Tuesday, 3 May 2016

When Nature needs Nurturing

There’s something about these early mornings. The peace in the air, gentle breeze blowing and the only sound you hear is that of the rustling leaves, the birds chirping and tweeting. The elements of nature interact with each other to give us moments that stay etched in our hearts forever. We just have to be still with it to noticeIn stillness and in silence, I listen to the whisper of my soul that guides me to express the fullness of my being and enjoy each moment.
Are you delighted by the sweet chirping of birds? Well, I am .The birds have always fascinated me. I had read about birds as a teenager, when I read a book published in France written by someone who called birds God’s “spiritual messengers.” I subsequently learned that these marvelous creatures have fascinated others all the way back to prehistoric times when birds were depicted on cave walls.
     The Bible certainly tells how God used birds to send needed messages. He used a dove to tell Noah that dry land had returned after the flood; He used a raven to deliver Elijah his food; quails were sent to supplement the Israelites’ diet of manna. Early in man’s history he believed that the birds were messengers between God and earth.  After all, they could fly so high into the sky surely God must get our message and return his blessings. A great feeling to being able to reach out to Him!
Being in the Army, had a chance to travel across India and stayed in the weirdest of places but that gave me a chance to enjoy the flora and fauna of each location. I personally had many amazing encounters with birds and had a chance to nurture them. I, invariable would find an injured bird or an abandoned baby bird and with that …would start the fulltime baby sitting! :) Treating and nurturing birds who often turned up injured or orphaned on our lawns and at our place was not devoid of anxiety, but at the same time it is impossible for a bird lover like me to turn my back on a sick or injured bird so that left me with no option but to adopt them. Every backyard birder has seen the “starving baby” act by fledgling birds, when they flutter their wings and call piteously for attention from seemingly hard-hearted, indifferent parents. The desire to feed and nurture those fluffy balls of feathers can be strong, but then it is important to understand the special needs of a baby bird’s diet and know what to feed a baby bird for the best nutrition. So it was never an easy task but definitely a joyous one!
It was early winter, Nov 2011 to be precise. My garden was coming up with pruning and planting of winter saplings in full swing. I often sat on the swing in the garden around sunset and looked up towards the majestic crimson sky and would see birds flying back home in groups forming formations or screechy parrots flying from one mango tree to the other. They emit squawks so shrill that they can be heard even when they are flying high overhead. I would smile and wish I could hold one of these in my lap! 
One fine morning I saw this small little baby bird fallen off from the nest on to a bush. It was such a tiny little creature looking towards me as if saying I’m sure you can help. I cut off the little branch on which it was sitting and helped it back into the nest. It’s parents came back and what a chit chat I heard as if the baby was sharing it’s little adventure and the parents were kind of warning it not to venture out again. And then the parents flew over my head in circles ..may be thanksgiving flight !!! :)
And two days later I found this injured baby parrot, with a broken beak and blood oozing out on the head. God! I was so shaken up to see this little one who appeared so dazed and confused. After cleaning up the wounds, feeding it with water, I just held it next to me and it cling to me digging her face into my neck. I carried this little one inside my sweater for a month and to my amazement it clung to me, probably it kept her warm and safe. At night she slept in a box lined with soft cotton cloth.
It was a grey headed parakeet with a yellow ring in the neck and beautiful colours all over the body. With a brilliant green colour all over and a lovely tinge of blue in its long tail. Gradually her wounds healed, her beak grew back and she grew into a charming young bird that is as beautiful as a fairy and enjoys the royalty of a princess. A platter of fruits and birds feed  served to her and a ladder to play on, she enjoys her home. As she is unable to fly because her wing never grew back, she is brought out of her cage often and she even right now she sits on my shoulder while I write this piece. :)
       Birds symbolize the spiritual nature of man by reflecting, among other things, our spiritual aspirations, our freedom, expansiveness, our intuitive abilities, and our ability to rise above our fears and limitations; in the process, teaching us Divine principles. Their abilty to soar high and their proximity with the sky make them the purest souls and make them so desirable for us who cannot fly.
          “The dialect these beings speak, where melodies 
                    Alone are interpretations of their thought!
          Whose everyday words are songs in many keys,
           Sweeter than any instrument has ever caught!!”
       Every day I am becoming more and more open to receiving the great abundance of the universe .It honestly makes me sad when I encounter someone who doesn’t entertain these kinds of concepts. Once you’ve seen what’s outside the walls of normality, you might wonder how you existed before. The bird thing is more of a constant fascination- something that I feel drawn to in a way that I just can’t quantify. I wish I could be a bird, that’s for certain, but until I disappear in a cloud of feathers, I’m here to share all I can !

Friday, 29 April 2016

Is It Easy To Forgive ?

I was just thinking about forgiveness today. Its an important, but a tough action as what we think we have to forgive is usually something that is hard to let go of. These are the things that stay in the memory for a long time and this memory can evoke feelings that hurt as much today as they did then.

But we need to look at it from a different perspective. its about the energy involved. Undoubtedly there are a lot of emotions attached and forgiveness is a choice to release those emotions and the energetic hold that the seem to have on us is huge.

Lets make a deliberate effort and visualisation ..think about something someone said to you that was unkind, inconsiderate, something that you did not deserve. How do you feel? Are you able to recall each detail? Do you get the sad feeling once again?

Thats the emotional energy that it has. It still causes the same pain while you think of it again. These emotions are a lot strong and powerful.

We often hear people say, “ I would never get close to someone again”. There is a lot that is being impacted here in your life. Lot more than we can think.

Forgiveness helps let you get rid of this emotional baggage that limits your life, and lets you move on. And the best way to forgive is to say, “I forgive us”. The reason to say this is if we take the responsibility of what is in our life, we cannot take action to make the required change. This acknowledgement gives us the power to tread on a different path. Otherwise we are blaming someone else for our experience. We just need to cut the chord and release every aspect of the situation that exists.

Coaching has helped me become stronger and also helped me get back to my strong beliefs and values that I had imbibed. As a coach I have helped and walked along with my clients through this difficult issue and they express their anger, sadness, and a strong emotions of frustration at how badly they were hurt. I acknowledge their experience but I ask them simple questions like: how long do you wish to feel this way? Are you willing to release? Are you ready to connect back with peace? If so what do you think you can do ? Each one has an effective way to release.

The chord cutting exercise helps you forgive someone in a powerful, fulfilling way. It helps you realise it and you reap the benefits of forgiveness without feeling further victimised and powerless by a situation. It helps you get back the control of your life and enriches your relationship. I seek forgiveness too, to free myself of the guilt of hurting someone.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Can Bad times become Good beginnings?

Hard times..and that too personal hard times can strike at any point to any of us. Each one of us have our share of them..in our relationships, at work, with family and not to miss matters related to health. The challenge here is to accept these blows and wade through troubled waters, to learn from them and emerge stronger, braver, wiser than ever before.  It’s definitely easy said than done. 

How do we deal with these moments? 
We could …in several predictable ways i.e complain, consider it as lady luck not favouring us, try and gain sympathy. You would hear some statements like,” you think that’s bad, wait till you hear my story !  But does it help? No one can judge the severity of your hard times. Your tough path is tough and it is yours to tread on. One needs the inner energy to emerge out and some are able to do it while some go down in a spiral dungeon.

Being upfront and open helps in some ways. One, that it allows you to live up your reaction towards it and in the consequence let others help accordingly. For example in a relationship turned sour, the last thing that you might want to hear from a friend is that all would be well, but, you also don’t want to hear that how awful it is. Keeping matter to yourself is even tougher! So we need to let people around us know that you are not looking for an over or a poor response from them.

Sometimes it helps to peep into the past to see how those tough days have contributed towards who you are today, it helps to reflect how new patterns appeared and moulded your personality. And try and think back what you did during those tough days. Was it that you wrote it all out of your system or maybe an evening out in the woods helped or was it the daily gym routine or was it the quiet , cosy ambience of  your room soaked you in a comforting energy? Think, imbibe what helped! 

Hard times force change. It sure throws an opportunity to do something different. Recovering from a break up makes you more independent and capable with a life that is offering so much more..more interesting ways than what they were! Or may be a cancer survivor comes out with a new hope and excitement towards life. 

Take your time to process what pulled you down and explore your feelings connected to it. As you process the one thing that needs to be avoided is the blame ..blaming yourself, your luck , others, life. Blaming is a double edged weapons that bruises your soul. It is surely a no-win position to be in. So fight this to avoid at best.

The duration of sadness, remorse depends on the blow that you got out of the situation. Find someone who can be a sound board, could be a friend, a coach to get a fresh perspective, to let them help you build steps towards your goal..to be happy again. Seek out cathartic activities that work well with you. 

Few questions to ponder over :

What can you draw from the situation that can help you move ahead?

What didn’t work well?

What are the choices you wish to consider?

Any behaviour that you wish to change that might turn your life towards betterment?

What is the strengthening gain out of this event ?

What step would you like to take that might put the spark back in you?

What do you enjoy doing?

Happy Reflections! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Relationships.. the Modern ways …The Attraction Paradox

As a coach I’ve had a few thoughts about the relationships of the modern world…the techno savvy world.. 

What is it that we are looking for?

What comes out forthrightly in today’s relationships is our fear of commitment. We are attracted to those who are unavailable and lose interest in those who are. In dating a partner who is acting needy or too invested in us is often the cause of our losing interest in them and a host of terms are used to describe them as too clingy, creepy, desperate and the like. We are comfortable with maintaining emotional distance. This is not to say that these days people don’t have wonderful, fulfilling relationships, but it’s just that it’s much harder to scale the emotional distance we are so careful to cultivate. But we are unknowingly getting complicit in a dating culture that prevents intimacy - we are turning into a generation afraid of being in love. 

The spectre of technology invading our lives is literally sapping our emotional attention. We were drawn by its power to connect, but somewhere down the line we have lost some of our ability to talk to people face to face. Take a moment and think ..when was the last time you called on a friend? We have filled the holes of intimacy with updates, feeds, snaps, beeps and clicks. These are beginning to control our happiness and our moods in place of real genuine human connections. We are more comfortable with fleeting online relationships where people are getting bolder on the various social sites. We are actually struggling to find intimacy in our increasingly connected but disparate world.

Youngsters are not settling in as they are faced with the consequences of excessive choice. Why commit and settle when there is always someone new round the corner? The online status screaming out to get attention, the Facebook pictures waiting to be liked and the end result being unfulfilling at best. Choice takes priority, intimacy and connection are afterthoughts. But we never give the other person a chance to express themselves long enough to give them a chance nor do we give ourselves a chance to learn about things about them we could love. And as a result the relationships get lost somewhere. Ghosting (dropping off from text/phone communication) and flaking are commonplace as they help remove the guilt of hurting each-other.
So where does that leave us?
Our childhoods taught us to value love;  but the new era of technology have taught us to fear commitment and put choice first. We’re trapped in a self perpetuating cycle of emotional distance with each other. Most of us really want love at some point in life, but our actions are at war with this desire. The fear of commitment and rejection makes us maintain emotional distance.We comfort ourselves knowing at least we’re not feeling the stinging pain of a broken heart, at least we don’t have to deal with real emotions. But is this our true self?  Are we not losing out on one of the most important aspect of being human.

Are we all not looking for happiness? Don’t you think having a strong, positive relationships in our life is one of the keys to happiness and fulfilment. Anecdotally, we know this to be true. 

Lets stop playing games where there are no winners. Lets break free from this culture and learn to love again.

Lets take some actionable steps:

  • Lets give time to each other to help you know 
  • Say what you mean and mean what you do.
  • Express your thoughts and emotions with less filter. 
  • Compliment each other on skills, interests and looks of course.
  • Learn your partners emotional cues.
  • Question your assumptions…remember your partner is not a mind reader 
  • Try to refrain from “ghosting” or “flaking.”

Lets not fear when other people like us. When they’re attracted and interested  in us, value and treasure these moments. Somebody has decided that you’re a great enough person for them to want to be with you. Conversely, do not value people who do not value you.
I am sure for most of us improving our relationships is one of the best things we can do in our lives. Maybe, this will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life, maybe it will just make me a better person, or maybe it will lead us to finding love. 

Lets build real emotional connections !!! Happy Connecting !!

Article in the news paper