I have been on a de-cluttering journey the couple of weeks! It is spring time, and so I have taken to spring cleaning! According to Ayurveda, Spring is a wonderful time to de-clutter the home. The reason being that spring is characterized by the kapha dosha. Kapha is composed of the elements Earth and Water. You can observe this dosha all around us now with the frequent rain showers and the earth blossoming before our eyes each day. I have loved watching the trees, plants, and flowers come alive over the past few weeks!
One of the emotional qualities of the kapha dosha is love and attachment. Like most things, these qualities have a light side and a shadow side. The light side is obviously sweet love; the shadow side is attachment, or clinging tightly onto things that no longer serve us. To create balance when we are faced with the shadow side, Ayurveda says to introduce the opposite. The opposite of attachment is letting go. One way that we can practice non-attachment is through de-cluttering our physical space. I like to call this a “Spark Joy” process!
I read Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” a couple years ago, in which she describes the process as only keeping things that truly spark feelings of joy! So that, essentially, it is not really about the seemingly tedious task of getting rid of things, but it is actually about getting to keep only things that truly inspire you!
It is such a beautiful practice that I wrote a blog about it two years ago right after reading the book so that you can learn the exact process that I use. I love the process so much that I now go through it at least twice a year! And so, my message for you today is that this is a beautiful time of year that nature invites us to practice letting go. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, we are called on to spark joy our lives by keeping only what inspires us and letting go of the rest!
Today, I want to talk about how to deal with the sense of loss that can sometimes appear in our lives. We all experience times in our life when there seems to be such a sense of loss all around us. This has been the case for me these past couple of weeks as I have experienced the loss of my loved ones’ relatives, as well as acquaintances of dear friends, and then also yet another school shooting last week. With all of this news, I found myself feeling sad, down, and heavy. I turned to a loved one who offered me a lovely perspective. This perspective really helped me and so I want to share it with you today:
Instead of falling into sadness, respond with the Buddhist concept of Metta - compassion and loving-kindness.
When we allow ourselves to engage in Metta practice, loving-kindness and compassion, we allow ourselves to heal deeply emotionally and spiritually. We can start by practicing compassion with ourselves, then with all those we interact with directly, and then simply sending loving energy out to the world. By sending loving, healing energy out to the world, we transform loss into love. And, love is, I believe, the sole truth in the universe.
If you have been experiencing a similar situation in your own life recently, then I hope that this video offers you some comfort. If you have a friend who would benefit from the message, then please share this video. Watch here for a brief, guided Metta practice
The phrase “I'm fighting off a cold” kept coming into my mental dialogue this week as I caught a cold after my recent travels last weekend. I realized that this phrase is a conditioned pattern that so often shows up when we get sick. You may be thinking, “What's the big deal, Sheetal? It is so common to use that phrase when we have a cold!” But, what was coming to me almost as an immediate response was, “No, I choose not to fight this cold. I choose to honor my body this week. This cold is coming up for me as a signal to honor my body, to slow down, to rest, and to cleanse.”
I decided not to “fight” the cold, rather to work with it as an opportunity to tune in more to my body. So often when things come up in our life, whether it's a cold or anything else that seems like a challenge or obstacle, we have two ways to look at it:
1.We can look at it as a fight. When we do this, it automatically brings a feeling of separation, that this challenge is something separate from me. This challenge is something that is happening to me and that I need to fight against. It then becomes a battle.
2.This challenge is happening for me, and I choose to honor what it is showing me. What can I learn from this experience? What is this experience trying to show me? Where is this experience guiding me? Is it guiding me towards greater awareness and self-care? Is it teaching me to tune into my body even more in this moment? When we choose to honor our experiences, instead of fight them, we are able to find peace and spiritual lessons within the experience.
This simple shift in perspective starts with awareness. Then, the next step is shifting the words that we use. There is a wonderful quote that goes: Watch your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, Watch your words, words become actions, Watch your actions, actions become habits, Watch your habits, habits become character.
It all starts with our thoughts and the language that we use. So this week, I have been working with the phrase, “I am fighting off a cold.” I have been shifting the language of my own mental dialogue such that anytime I noticed this phrase, I would immediately replace it with the phrase, “I am honoring my body. I am listening to my body's signals this week.” That being said, I am now going to return to sipping on some warm tea and allowing my body to heal.
Today, I want to talk about living with intention. What does it mean to live from a place of taking consciously aligned action as opposed to living from a place of reaction? Our current day-to-day life lends itself so easily towards living in a state of constant reaction. Certainly, our smartphones help us with constant notifications, news updates, Facebook, email, and Instagram updates such that we live in a state of constantly allowing ourselves to receive information from the external world. It is absolutely amazing that we have this technology these days that easily connects us with the entire world; at the same time, it also lends itself towards us being in a state of constantly reacting to those notifications. It can build a system of continual reactions towards our external environment, as opposed to allowing ourselves to be led by our inner guide.
Living with intention is an alternative option that is available to all of us. So that instead of living in reaction, we have the opportunity to allow ourselves to pause and find stillness. If we choose, we can take a moment to connect with our self, with our breath, and with our inner guide. We can connect with our true intentions for our life and for how we would like to interact with the world around us. Living with intention is taking consciously aligned action that is directed by our inner guide. This is in contrast to living in reaction, which is when we allow our external circumstances to dictate our actions.
We can choose in any moment to take our awareness inward and live with intention. What does that give us? It gives us joy, peace, and allows us to actually co-create with the Universe the life that we envision!
Let me know your thoughts on living with intention vs reaction by leaving a comment below. Share this message with anyone you think would benefit from it!
Today, I want to share with you the power of vision - of creating visions, allowing ourselves to dream, and believe in those dreams! For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to reading personal development, personal growth, and self-help books. Even when I was in high school, I always gravitated towards these sorts of books. In recent years, this has led me to books and lectures that have all talked about the power of vision. A common theme has been the importance of getting really clear in the vision of your life, and the clarity of your vision will pull you forward to co-create the life that you are meant for.
Repeatedly hearing about the power of vision, I uncovered my own limiting belief that “I am not good at visioning.” I know how important and powerful visioning can be; all of these experts are talking about the same thing; I am hearing about it everywhere! But, I'm just not good at it. This was my belief.
Well, the past few months, I have started to practice visioning, and I am finding that it's a lot of fun! This morning, while I was taking myself through a meditation and visioning process, I had an “Aha moment” as Oprah calls it! I realized that the reason I thought that I was not good at visioning was because I blocked myself from it. You see we are all really great at visioning. We did it all the time when we were kids. If you just think back to your own childhood or if you're a parent, I'm sure you see it in your kids. Children have such active imaginations and so much creativity. They are constantly visioning! But, somewhere along the journey of “growing up,” we forget to vision. We get caught up in our day to day “stuff.” We forget that we have this beautiful power of vision. We may start to believe that those visions are just daydreams. That they aren't really things that we can create in our lives, because we’re caught up in the rat race continually moving from one form of necessary busyness to another. And so, we start to believe that those visions aren't worth the investment of our time and energy. This is all a natural process that arises from our ego. The ego and mind are always trying to protect themselves at all costs, even at the cost of our dreams.
When we start the process of allowing ourselves to vision again, many fears can pop up. These fears tell us that our vision and dreams are not possible. But, fear is simply a mechanism of the ego to protect itself. In all of the spiritual traditions that I have studied, they all have this idea of the ego, mind, and soul/higher self. Whenever fear arises, it is because we see ourselves as separate from our higher self. The ego sees itself as separate. The ego sees separations, distinctions, and differences in the world. Our Higher Self sees connection and oneness.
When we really get into the visioning process and allow ourselves to dream, it brings us so much joy! A Course in Miracles says that love and joy are the same. Love and joy are both manifestations of being connected with our Higher Self. So when you start to vision, if it is bringing you joy, then know that it is coming from your Higher Self. If it is coming from your Higher Self, then it is coming from a place of love. It comes from a place of knowing that you are worthy of that life and that you have the ability and the tools to co-create that life to make your vision into reality.
So, my message to you is this: Never stop dreaming. Never stop visioning.
I have written many other blogs about finding your passion and reconnecting with those things that inspire you. This is because those things that give you joy have been placed within you for a reason. When we allow our passions, those things that give us a deep inner sense of joy, to guide us, then it is through those things that we connect even deeper to the love within our own hearts, with each other, and ultimately with our Higher Selves.
I invite you to search your mind and soul for just one of those things that you have envisioned, but maybe have let fear block you from pursuing. When you find that one thing, then take some time to acknowledge it. You are invited to leave a comment below sharing with us what your vision is, or perhaps write it down in a journal. You could even write it on a sheet of paper and tape it up on your wall so that you can see it everyday. Acknowledging your vision and sharing it in some way is the first step towards telling the Universe that you are ready to accept the gift of your vision.
Leave a comment below. I would love to hear your vision and support you on your journey towards it! Feel free to share this message with anyone you think would benefit from it!