There come many opportunities in a person’s life when they can choose to follow their hearts or continue living in fears and insecurities of the mind. We (Geetha and I) have passed through quite a few and perhaps there lie a few more ahead of us. Most of the times, our choice was of the heart but once in a while we let our fears cloud us and keep us in the same of loop of suffering. We are once more at one such juncture in our lives.
This time the choice was unhesitating and simultaneous for both of us. Now, we’ve both come to a clear realization that further and truer healing cannot happen with conventional therapy but rather through a deeper introspection and awareness. And stepping into pure present moment awareness means we cannot avoid stepping into the unknown that follows it immediately. And to do that we realized we simply have to put in more faith into the life within and trust it to take care of us. And we are doing that. We are going away together to explore and experiment in deeper and truer healing. And, as usual with our lives so far, the experiment is first on us. We didn’t have to go away to let this healing happen, but the moment the realization to heal deeper came for us the universe opened doors for a perfect space to heal!
As a result, we are both taking a long sabbatical and we are closing Purple Room Healing for the public. The leave is for at least six months. The blog and all its articles will still be available for you all. We are also opening a site and another blog to share our onward (and inward) journey and to write about the practice of awareness. We will announce them here soon once we have made the physical transition to our new home and personal healing space.
Thank you all clients and friends who made this journey with us. We learnt a lot from each of you and we hope each of you had equally benefited through the help we could extend.
“The only freedom we’ve got is not to react to anything, but to turn within and know the truth.” – Robert Adams
How many straight lines can we draw from a dot? Infinite. It means there is infinite number of viewpoints from which you can see a dot. How many straight lines can we draw connecting two dots? Only one. And this line can be further projected on any side of the dots to predict the occurrence of similar dots. This is funnel vision. As our mind connects similar experiences (dots) across time, it tends to project a future with narrowed possibilities and diminishing joy. Think of it as an inverted funnel place in front of our eyes, like eyeglasses, and we can see only through the small opening at the base of the funnel.
Funnel Effect is common to all of us and most of us fail to recognize its presence and effect upon our lives. Our minds have infinite capacities to bring to us (or take us into) those experiences that prove our existing beliefs. For instance, if a girl believes that all her romantic relationships would end in the man dumping her then that is all she will experience or fight against one relationship after the other. After a few relationships, she may form a new belief that all men are untrustworthy. And she then continues to attract herself into hands of such men. And if she chances upon a trustworthy relationship, her funnel vision can cause her to remain suspicious of the man in her life and can even end up in severing the relationship out of her inability to trust him.
What this girl, in this instance, fails to understand is that her first incident of heartbreak had become the base out of which she operated in the next experiences. Either she would want the same outcome if it makes her happy, or she would want to avoid the outcome if it had suffered her. The very pain has become a yardstick of measure for her. And even the very first experience could have been attracted due to an underlying feeling of undeservedness and poor self-image she had experienced in childhood.
The problem with this emotional approach is that the emotions can make a mere possibility seem a certainty thus creating an anticipation and preparedness – a narrowing of our vision. Naturally when the situation occurs we interpret it through our narrowed or filtered vision and give out prepared reactions only to regret later on. Sometimes the narrowed viewpoint is so strong that we may not even realize our misinterpretation for long.
Our rational mind is also not free from such bias or funnel vision. In fact, it can have more devastating effects in some cases. When a logical mind has to make predictions about an event, it always estimates possibilities based on past similar experiences in our lives or other’s. But all data from past is based not on reality but on the memory of the experience of the reality – either ours or of others around us. That’s like mistaking twice adulterated milk to be pure milk.
Another problem with rational mind is its blind reliance on science. There is an excellent dialogue from the movie Men in Black that beautifully illustrates this problem. Tommy Lee Jones makes this statement to Will Smith after Smith’s first experience with an alien being: “Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”
A logical mind concludes often fails to understand what it ‘knows’ could be just one, its personal, version of reality and not the truth.
Logical mind kills joy because of its tendency to be too controlling. Emotional mind increases pain because of its tendency to indulge. Funnel vision causes this to become reality of the future. Think of it as series of dots joined by a line, only the mind did not just create the line but it even ended up creating the dot after dot in its life based on its past prejudices.
When experiences in our lives become our beliefs, we undergo a gradual narrowing of our vision and philosophy in our lives to such extent that all we get to experience of life is but a tiniest fraction of its wondrous spectrum of possibilities. We trace a path of suffering, struggle, and strife ahead of us and end up living it just because we assumed a possibility to be a certainty.
So how do we get rid of this funnel in front of our eyes? By first acknowledging its presence. Unless we know our vision is narrow, we will remain the proverbial frog in a well that thinks the well is the whole universe.
The second step is to learn to be in the moment instead of simply accepting the viewpoint our thoughts portray based on our past memories. We cannot stop the funnel vision from giving extremely convincing viewpoints. But we can stop ourselves from entirely believing the viewpoints and being open to the present moment as if it were our first experience. And that is also the truth. No matter how many times we may have experienced events similar to the current situations we are in, we have never experienced this moment before.
We can color this moment and make it as painful as the past with our complicit acceptance of the funnel vision. Or we can simply let every moment become a fresh experience by paying attention to this moment to see what we can experience this time. When we remain absolutely open to the moment, life can surprise us with new joys and experiences that we never had before. Deeper doors within us can open up making us more sensitive to the wonders of life. And this also serves to widen our visions and eventually get rid of the funnel effect altogether.
Imagine this: A poor lonely girl sitting alone by herself on a starlit night full of sorrow and suffering. She is quietly weeping for herself and her pitiable condition. She has nobody to talk to and everybody around her is treating her badly including her family. She hopes somebody would come to her aid. She is yearning for her prince and savior to come along and save her from her plight. Someone who would love her with all his heart and make her worthy of her life. This is the Cinderella Syndrome.
We all know the Cinderella story. The poor fatherless girl mistreated by her step-mother and made to scrub the floor all day. She yearns for a better life and weeps all night long. One day her step-sisters go to the ball at the palace. Cinderella wishes she could go to the ball too. And lo, a fairy godmother appears and turns Cinderella’s rags into a lovely dress, and rats and pumpkin into horses and a chariot. Cinderella dances with the prince at the ball who is taken by her beauty. By the hour of midnight, heeding the warning of the Fairy godmother, Cinderella rushes out of the ball leaving behind her glass slipper. The prince has his staff search for the girl whose foot would fit the glass slipper. Cinderella’s foot fits and she is married to the prince, and she lives ever after.
The Cinderella Syndrome is a real life situation of a fatherless girl who was unconsciously playing the Cinderella for real. Unfortunately, Cinderella stories don’t end well in reality. This girl had prince after prince coming to her rescue but they would then eventually desert her and go.
This happens because her mind had to survive her identity which she formed of herself from early childhood. And that identity was that of a lonely, suffering girl who is hurt by near and dear again and again. Once the mind forms an identity for the person, its goal is to keep it alive – to keep both the body and the identity alive. So for this girl, in spite of yearning and manifesting princes into her life, her mind has to still keep her lonely and suffering, hurt by near and dear. Now the near and dear also include her romantic relationships. Yet her desperation to get out of the situation is also real.
So she battles with herself endlessly. She manages to attract guys who would take advantage of her desperation and then dump her. She would be left once more the poor Cinderella. After a few repeated such incidents she has a fear of relationships which all the more helps her to remain the suffering Cinderella.
Real life Cinderella is helpless by choice, derives melancholic enjoyment of her loneliness, noble in her own view due to her uncomplaining (not entirely) suffering. Her self-pity, self-hatred, and her pride keep her remaining that way.
There is only one way for real life Cinderellas to get out of this miserable loop – to decide not to be a Cinderella in the first place. They need to give up their life story. They need to look beneath the voids they carry within to find out their true self. The Cinderella Syndrome is an addiction to pain.
Most real life Cinderellas carry a deep void within. They wait for an outside hero to come and fill that void. This is their second mistake. The first and their biggest mistake is in assuming they are the void within. Instead of trying to fill the void, they need to question the reality of the void they carry within. Is she the identity she formed in her childhood? Or is she somebody else? Can she, as a life, survive if that identity is snatched away from her? The day real life Cinderellas can give a yes to the last question, they can effectively come out of their troubles and heal their lives.
The recommended times are for getting the best out of this method. They are not mandatory. In fact, I recommend you not to take up all the below at once. That will simply become a burden to you and that will motivate you to give up the meditation practise.
I personally follow these and I do not meditate for no more than two minutes maximum each time. And I increased the frequency of this practise after I fell in love with the meditation, not before.
As soon as you wake up– this is especially good because it can have a great influence over your entire day.
In the toilet – this again is another time of the day where our thoughts and emotions then can affect the whole day. Just a few minutes of this meditation here will help us greatly.
During travel (if you are not operating the vehicle) – this is one of the best times, I’ve found, to meditate. In fact somehow it is easy for me to meditate while sitting in the bus or train. After this technique, I personally began to prefer travelling by bus or train over driving myself because it gives me a long time to meditate. Especially while returning from a day’s work, this meditation in bus has tremendous benefit. There is an immediate flushing of stress and anxiety which I used to carry from work to home.
Before beginning a work – I have found this to be another huge benefit. When you are able to move into ‘being in the moment’ before you start any work, it gives you the calmness as well as the presence of mind required to handle the task effectively. In fact, I found this even improved my performance.
Immediately after eating – If you do this over a few weeks, you will even gain an amazing ability. You will be able to tell if the food that you just consumed is good for you or not. Body has a great ability to communicate what it wants and what it can’t digest. But we never listen. This technique helps you gain back that listening habit. Not only will your stomach tell you if the food you ate is good for you or not, but if you ate something that is particularly not so suitable for your constitution, the few minutes of this meditation after food actually helps reduce the discomfort or indigestion problem. Of course, that does not mean you can continue to eat whatever you like and use this technique like some antacid tonic. When your body communicates, listen to it. Try to avoid that food stuff in future.
Evenings when free – This is the time when I practise this for a slightly longer time like about ten to fifteen minutes. Sometimes, if I find time, I do this in the mornings instead. This helps me become more anchored in that state of peace and calmness, and also helps me get into this practise easily even during most stressful times in the day.
Before going to bed – I sleep with this technique. It will soon help you fall asleep faster.
Getting the Best Out Of This Meditation Practise – Meditation Tips and Advice
Enjoy the meditation – Just be and you will quickly fall in love with this meditation. Whenever you are being in your body, you will find a certain peace and calmness in it.
Let it grow upon you – Let the meditation grow upon you not the other way round! Do not try to overwhelm yourself with doing this too many times in the beginning. You are trying to acquire a habit of regular meditation. And anything that you dislike or are trying to force upon self can be tough to become a habit.
Take it easy – If you take this meditation too seriously (instead of enthusiastically) you are only adding to your stress. Remember you are trying to find peace out of this meditation. The more desperate you grow the less likely you will find peace. Just take it easy.
Skip once in a while – Take a break when you feel like it. The importance of peace and calmness is felt more in its absence. Don’t be a stickler to punctuality and discipline. If you enjoy the meditation it will become a part of your daily routine quickly enough.
Don’t try too hard – Once in a while you may find it difficult to move into the ‘here and now’ when you are too stressed out or emotional. Don’t try hard. With enough practise during other times you will soon, within weeks, reach a state where you can go into the meditation even during high stress.
Don’t empty mind – Again the emphasis is to be your posture and thus enter this moment. Not on emptying your head of thoughts. There is no need to change your thoughts. Move your focus from them to your body.
Stay on the goal – As you become more practised in this meditation technique, you will find some interesting latent abilities of yours getting activated. For instance, sometimes when I am doing this meditation, I become aware of the mood and thoughts of people around me. Stay with the goal. And the goal is to gain peace and be stress-free. If you start pursuing this meditation for the sake of latent powers you will lose both peace as well as the powers.
Experience this moment – Each time you do this meditation you may have a different experience. The goal is to be the posture and experience this moment as it is. Do not try to reproduce the experience of your previous meditations. That is where you can get lost and lose peace.
Do it as you are – Do not try to assume special postures for the meditation. Just move into the posture you have at the moment. Of course you can adjust a limb or two for the sake of convenience. Sometimes you can also realign your posture as a physical way of ‘gathering your mind’. Special postures or asanas can restrict the places and times when you can practise this meditation.
In the last posts (Part 1 & Part 2) I discussed about mental health and the most important time of the day where your emotions and thoughts can set a trend for the day. This post let me share with you a very simple meditation method that will help you reduce stress and anxiety dramatically in your daily life. It can also help you become attain peace and calmness if you practise it every day.
The very word meditation sometimes puts us off. We have, at least some of us, have tried in the past various meditation techniques and have failed to achieve the consistency in practise. Two most important obstacles were time and achieving concentration. We either did not have the time to put aside for the meditation. Some meditation techniques demanded a particular time of the day be set aside for it, especially like early mornings which turn out to be particularly difficult for those who are night birds. Some meditation methods insisted on long durations of practise – sometimes even an hour out of our daily routine. The other reason why we give up a few other meditation techniques is because of its demand of nearly super human single minded concentration which seems to be more difficult than time. Just when we want to empty our minds that all sorts of silly thoughts come into our heads.
The meditation technique which I am sharing is neither time consuming nor requires inordinate amounts of mental concentration. You don’t even need to practise it at a regular time too. In fact, the efficacy of this meditation technique lies in practising it everywhere and anywhere you can.
The technique is deceptively simple. All you need to do is to simply move your awareness into your body and this moment. Let me explain how to do that.
First of all, you do not have to assume any meditative posture for this. Doing that can help you initially if you are used to practising meditations, but otherwise it’s not necessary. Again the best benefits of this technique can be extracted if you do this anywhere in any posture.
Simply begin by watching your posture. This can be done either by closing your eyes or with your eyes open. The goal here is to bring yourself, your mind I mean, into this moment and to ground yourself. It means you are bringing yourself here and now. Becoming aware of your posture or physical presence is an easy way to do this. Be like this for a while.
Become aware of your body from the inside. It means you are going into being the posture. See, all postures are actions like sitting, lying, standing, resting, etc. So go into that doing. Be it. Be the sitting person, be the standing person, or be whatever your posture is doing right now. Do not be deceived by the simplicity of this technique. Try it and you will find tremendous results.
The Thinking Mind
Well, what about the mind? You do not have to empty your mind. Just watch it. Do not try to clear your mind. Neither do you try to hang on to a particular thought. Just let them be – in the background. Your awareness is into your posture. Into being.
It means you are letting your mind be what it wants to be and YOU are going away from it. Yes, you and your mind can be separated like that. By ‘you’ here I mean your awareness. So simply let your thoughts be, let your mind be.
What you are doing is letting everything be. You are not trying to change anything. You are moving into the being of the moment. So, like I said, it does not require extraordinary consciousness. Just plain awareness. It’s easy.
Time and Duration
You can do this meditation anytime and anywhere. And you can do this for any duration ranging from just a few seconds to an hour too. In fact, I would not recommend that you do this for longer duration at a set time of the day like other meditation practises. The efficacy of this technique lies in its time flexibility.
I have noticed that in meditation practises people tend to get the best benefit out of it during their early days of practise and then gradually the benefits seem to disappear. The problem is not with the technique but in our ability to compartmentalize our daily routine. We usually stop the benefits of meditation influencing us in the rest of the day after the meditation. In the beginning days of practise, we are so motivated that we feel the lightness, joy, calmness, or peace that we gained during the meditation all through the day. After the initial motivation wanes, we tend to go back to our worry patterns and even the meditation seems to become a burden at times. So what peace we gain during the meditation practise seems to fade within ten minutes of getting up. Yes, any good meditation practise can change that and affect our whole life positively in a long term practise. But that again takes us back to our initial problem of consistency in practise.
So the best way to gain benefit out of this practise is to do this meditation just about two or three minutes or less and do it number of times per day. As you do not have a restriction of posture and you don’t even have to close your eyes for this meditation, it makes it easy to practise this meditation just about anywhere. While sitting in the office or the class during a break, while travelling (if you are not driving, of course), during brief periods of waiting, in the toilet, just after eating. Read the next part here for some best recommended times that can provide greatest benefit out of this technique.
Benefits of Meditation
The first thing that you will notice is the flushing of stress and anxiety. An instant calmness will come over your body and mind as you become aware of them. When you move into the posture and be the posture, what happens is that you are letting go of your identity with your thoughts. You are not stopping the thoughts, but are not attaching yourself with them anymore. Again, the goal is to move into ‘here and now’. Be only in this moment. Any thoughts about the next moment let them be. Just watch them. Don’t try to change them.
This technique acts a vacuum cleaner for stress and emotions. What I mean is that it can effectively stop stress and bothersome emotions from affecting other areas of your life. So when you practise this regularly, you stop carrying emotions across different areas of your life. Stress of your personal life will not affect your professional area. And vice versa.
Due to its flexibility, this technique can be incorporated in your daily life far easily than other longer methods. Of course you can continue any other meditations and Kriyas that you are already doing or intend to take up. In fact, this practise will aid you in other mind management or spiritual techniques.
A constant state of peace will become yours when you pepper this practise along the entire day. You will notice that you are able to look at problems in their proper perspective and proportion. In fact you will even be able to deal with tougher issues with a presence of mind. Worry becomes lesser.
Though the clinical training and experience of the therapist are the most important factors, let us assume the client has made necessary enquiries in that area (See ‘How to find a good Hypnotherapist?’ for more). Coming to the session itself, the foremost role of the therapist is in pre-talk. Pre-talk is a consultation session where the past life therapist explains to the client how the therapy works as well as clears misconceptions about past life regression therapy. Most clients have many expectations and opinions about past life regression. If the client had not attended any past life sessions, then most of the expectations and opinions would have been created by the media as well as their religious and cultural background. Some opinions could simply be false. It is the role of the therapist to find out these expectations and set them right if necessary.
What many therapists end up doing in pre-talk is making a sales pitch – which creates even more expectations in the client’s head. The misconceptions remain. Creating an expectation towards healing is necessary, but creating expectations about the therapeutic process itself can become counter-productive sometimes.
There are other responsibilities of the therapist, but discussing them here will only create a client to become analytical during the session, thus again creating a block to a successful past life regression session.
Role of the Client in Past Life Regression Therapy
The client’s responsibility is an important determinant for a successful past life regression therapy.
One of the biggest obstacles towards a successful past life regression therapy is excitement and anticipation on the part of the client. What with so many television channels having hyped up past life regression therapy through their programs, lot of excitement has been generated for this therapy. Clients want to ‘experience’ past life more than having their issues resolved. There are clients who want only past life regression because they are sure the root causes to their problems are from a past life. Some of them are true, some are simply excited.
The most important expectation for a client should be resolution of their problem, rather than having to ‘see’ their past lives. Anticipation about who they could have been in their past life can produce false memories. That would simply be a wasted session without any concrete progress towards actual therapy. Excitement can also cause the client to regress nowhere. They simply hit a blank wall.
There is a simple way to move away from anticipation and excitement. Put your focus on the actual goal of the past life therapy – which is solving a problem in the current life. Do that and you will make easy progress.
In the last post we have seen how Past Life Regression Therapy works. Now let’s explore root causes. As I said, past life regression is done for the purpose of pinpointing the root cause to the problem and resolving it. Root causes are unique to each problem and person. However, they can be broadly classified based on the consequences they cause.
Some root causes create karmic debts. By karma, most people seem to think it is some kind of punishment or tit-for-tat situation. That depends on our perspective. As long as we see karma as punishment, we cannot get out of the situation nor accept it fully. But karma is also an opportunity to learn. Think of it this way – a school student can see his learning process as a grueling torture or as an opportunity to learn something new. The perspective alters their experience. And if you notice, unless the learning is completed, we will only repeat similar experiences that also worsen with each repetition. The worsening part is due to our increasing frustration and
In some past life therapy sessions, we get root causes that have become emotional triggers, meaning they are incidents of emotional trauma that become associated with strong reactions in us, and every time similar situation occurs in our current lives it triggers off same strong reactions. Shortly put, it is a strong emotional habit. For instance, many psychosomatic diseases like asthma, stress-based psoriasis, etc. are triggered in similar ways. Physical reactions are caused by cellular memories. Each cell of our body seems to have a capacity to hold limited memory in the way of physical reactions like pain or other dysfunctions. Whenever a strong emotional situation occurs the simultaneous reactions of the body are deeply etched into the cellular memories. And when similar emotions are evoked, the cells throw up the physical reactions. Hence, the cases where people who have died of drowning in the past seem to have asthmatic attacks in face of severe threat (both physical and mental) to their survival.
Some past life regressions root causes are oaths, vows, and contracts. We sometimes feel so strongly about something or someone that we enter into very strong contracts or take serious oaths. These seem to have their effects carried into our future lives until we revoke them consciously.
In the next post we shall look at requirements for a successful past life regression therapy both in terms of therapist and the client’s responsibilities.
Past Life Therapy has become quite popular these days because of its recent promotion in the television. As a hypnotherapist many clients call me just for Past Life Regression. Initiated in India by ‘Raaz Pichle Janam Ka’ in Hindi, it was later remade into many regional languages including Mun Jenmam in Tamil. The therapists all over the metros started getting enquiries about past life regression including in Chennai. But how does a Past Life Regression Therapy work?
There is a general assumption that by recalling past life memories, we see the roots of current life problems and hence it helps us resolve the problem from its core. The assumption is true but let us go into it in more detail.
When a client undergoes past life regression, there is always a goal (obvious…but is it?) – to resolve a problem in the current life. The stress on goal is important because some times, in the excitement of ‘seeing’ past life memories, the clients can tend to become enthusiastic about therapy itself than the goal, which will only lead to waste of money and time.
So a client is regressed to those past life memories which are the root cause for current life’s problems. The problem could be a phobia, a relationship issue (marital problems, parent child relationship), resentment or jealousy issues, sexuality issues, certain physical conditions (Psychosomatic diseases), etc.
The therapeutic goal of a Past Life Regression is not to make the client ‘relive’ the memories and trauma but to simply find what the real problem is. You see, when a client comes with a problem to be resolved, a therapist never sees that as a problem but as a symptom for a root problem.
Think of it this way. You approach a doctor with fever, headache and other symptoms. The doctor would never give you a paracetamol; in fact, you would have gone to a doctor after having tried your own medication. The doctor’s goal is to find out what’s causing the fever and other symptoms in the first place.
The same is the case here. The client is having the current problem as a symptom of a deeper root cause. Sometimes those roots may lie in past lives. Hence the diagnostic tool Past Life Regression Therapy. Just like the doctor may find a malarial parasite or some virus as a cause for the symptoms, past life regression will help you find the root problem. Once the root cause is found, the client needs to focus their attention on it. For this root cause is the reason why the client is having certain problems in current life.
Past Life Therapy is not just a great diagnostic tool it is also a powerful therapeutic technique. Once the root cause is found one of the two things happen; in some cases the problem comes down by itself. The mind works out the solution as soon as the root cause is recalled. There is a certain ‘automatic release’ that happens as soon as the root cause becomes apparent to the subconscious. This can be seen in cases of phobias or psychosomatic diseases mostly, though I have seen such results even in cases of relationship and other issues too. The problem may be resolved fully or it may come down to a manageable level.
But do not expect this dramatic change to happen in every case. In other cases, the therapist and the client now work towards resolving the root problem. It may be a few more sessions still before the client starts seeing resolution and positive changes.
In the next article, I will explain about what kind of root causes may come up and also the right mental attitude and other conditions required of the client for a successful past life regression therapy to happen.
Every problem that we face no matter how big or small it is arises out of the conflict between our ‘What Should Be’ and what is.
I should have my keys! I lost my keys!
My car shouldn’t have a flat tire! It does!
I should be getting more income! I am getting less!
My neighbor should mind his own business! He doesn’t!
My wife should do all the household chores! She isn’t!
My husband should support me financially! He isn’t!
My spouse should understand me! The spouse doesn’t!
My son should get better marks! He isn’t!
My daughter should dress properly! She doesn’t!
My parents should give me more freedom! They aren’t!
I should be healthy! I am diseased!
She should have been alive! She’s dead!
All the clients that ever came to me, all the problems I ever sought to resolve in my life – everything came down to a conflict between ‘What Should Be’ and what is.
No matter what help we resort to for our troubles, be it Allopathy, Ayurveda, Reiki, Hypnotherapy, Self-Help books, Psychological Counselors, a well-wisher’s advice, Angel Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, Critical Analysis, Astrology, Chakra Healing, Divination, it is always because we cannot accept what is and we have a ‘What Should Be’ in our head.
But have we ever once stopped to question our very ‘What Should Be’ beliefs?
Have we ever once thought why can we not simply accept what is?
We are so caught up in the denying, resisting, fighting with, attempting to change the ‘what is’ that we never for once sat back and asked ourselves why should anything be any other way that it is! We never questioned the standards! We never thought why can’t we simply accept what is!
Which standard says that human being should be healthy always? Is that a biological law? If it is, why, then, aren’t we always healthy? Why then must we die?
Who said that relationships must be the way we expect them to be? Is it a natural law of the universe? Don’t you realize that your relationship is lousy just because you are trying to make the other person confirm to your expectations of that role?
When you look deeper into the problem, we find that all the ‘What Should Be’ beliefs are all acquired standards. We picked them up in the process of growing up and learning to cope with this world. They are all mere beliefs. Yet they become our moral and social commandments of life. We seek to fulfill them at the cost of sacrificing who we are.
Some may say it is a conflict between ‘What I Want’ and what is. I’ve noticed ‘What I Want’ is either defined by ‘What Should Be’ or it becomes that.
The roots go deeper still until they touch our very egos. But we never want to go that deep. We just want to be on the surface and depend on our ‘What Should Be’s to define our happiness.
The truth is there is greater freedom in learning to accept what is. That does not mean we cannot or must not change what is. But in learning to accept, we lose our ‘What Should Be’ and then what needs to be actually done for the situation will become clear. It might be changing the situation or it might be simply being in the acceptance. In some cases if we accept the situation, the situation changes without any apparent effort on our part (except for the acceptance, of course).
Isn’t accepting everything that comes a loser’s way?
Where did you get your definition of losing and success from? Merely another ‘What Should Be’ standard!
And if we accept a situation just because the situation will change by acceptance, then we are still hanging on to a ‘What Should Be’.
Next time you have an issue just, for once, try accepting the reality of what is.
What do I mean by acceptance? Just be! Stop resisting. Just be. And see what happens!
Remember, when you are accepting, you must really let go of your ‘What Should Be’ for that particular situation. Otherwise, you are merely pretending to accept. You still haven’t come down into the reality.
Here is the story. There was a kid who was very fond of music and playing guitar. All his friends were football players. Whenever he and his friends used to hangout together, the topic would mostly be about football. They would discuss quarterback techniques, defence strategies, and other football related stuff. And this kid used to feel left out and lonely during these times. He wished he had a fellow music lover for company. Nevertheless the kid kept his interest in guitar going strong and would practise regularly.
With the friends always talking about football and how to be successful in it, what was initially loneliness in the kid gradually turned into an inferiority feeling. Perhaps guitar was not the way to success! Happiness became synonymous with success. If you are successful then you are naturally happy!
As the kid reached his teenage, he began to believe that a football player is a more successful person than a guitar player; but he couldn’t leave his passion for guitar. Then came the big phase of critical decision making – should I be a guitar player or should I be successful? The teenager decided to give up music for football and success. He joined his friends and started rigorous practise. Of course, he could not ace in that sport because his heart was not in it. So the inferiority complex grew deeper. Another mistake he made was comparing himself with his friends who were into the sport from childhood. Naturally they were better than him for they had years of experience and practise. But he failed to look at that, he just compared by age.
He became a mediocre player who was allowed to play because the team needed sufficient numbers. He began to fear that he would be chucked out of the team anytime a better player turns up. In a few years his friends made it to bigger teams and games. But his growth was limited. By now he was in his late twenties. And married.
The fear of being kicked out of the team became a constant source of anxiety and stress. Burden of responsibility of family took its toll too. He withdrew from his social interactions and spent time brooding, worrying, and secretly crying. Children became new additions to his family. And his fears grew proportionately. Self-esteem was as low as his blood pressure. He believed his fear of failure was the root cause.
In all these years, the guitar lay in a corner (for he hadn’t the heart to dump it) gathering dust. Occasionally it would be source of short-lived motivation for the man to change his life, to start afresh but, in his words, it was too late! The truth was that he had grown too comfortable with his life and circumstances. He did not have the guts to dig up old beliefs about success and happiness and change them. He was too afraid to step out of his comfort zone.
The passionate kid who loved music grew up into a fearful man who hated himself, his life and his job. His mistake: he let others define success and happiness for him.
Many of my clients say they have a fear of failure when it comes to their profession. I ask them, do you love what you are doing? What’s the point of learning stress management when the source of stress is still active! That’s like wearing raincoat inside your house just because your roof is leaking. Fix the roof!
Earlier we examined how nearly everything that happens to us is a result of our own manifestations at the subconscious level. It simply means that we have immense power to create our lives just the way we want it. But since we are programmed with a lot of self-limiting beliefs while growing up, we tend to manifest many situations to our disadvantage.
What we need to learn and master is the art of positive manifestation. With persistence, positive manifestation can even change your deep rooted beliefs about yourself and the laws of life. So how do we manifest positive events in our lives?
We start by first identifying and eliminating all the negative manifestations that we have created in our lives. Simple way to look for negative manifestations is by looking for patterns in our lives. Look for similar situations that we repeatedly put ourselves into. These are the situations we are creating. For instance, routinely getting caught in traffic, being late for office almost daily, fighting with our spouse every weekend, etc.
Before you start curbing this manifestation, understand what the situation is trying to teach you. Do you need to be more assertive? Do you need to spend time on planning before you act? Should you try to understand the needs of your partner or family members better? Don’t analyse the situation too much. Usually the solution is something simple and clear within you. Just ask yourself what you need to learn and the answer will pop from within. Make sure you learn before you go about stopping the negative manifestation.
Here’s how you stop negative manifestation. Run the whole situation in your head. Think of the reasons why the situation occurs. You may feel inclined to blame time and people. Unless you take personal responsibility you cannot change the situation. So now focus on yourself and think why you are creating this situation repeatedly. You will find a subconscious belief within you which is dictating this situation.
Now go about changing the situation in your mind. Replace all the negative elements in that situation with positive visualizations. For instance, if you are in the habit of arriving late to office, imagine that you are reaching at least ten minutes earlier and you are having ample time to relax yourself before beginning the day’s work. Create that visualization as convincingly as possible. You may find your mind throwing objections.
‘It’s Monday morning, there will be heavy traffic on the way.’
‘My spouse always delays breakfast.’
‘I have to hunt for fifteen minutes for a parking space.’
Brush aside all objections and recreate your visualization in your head. See yourself arriving on time. Do it again and again. Now let go of the imagination. They key to successful manifestation lies in creating an absolutely positive visualization and then letting it go. You may write a great mail but you cannot get a reply unless you send the mail. So let go of the visualization. Repeat the process of visualising the positive and letting go every time a negative objection enters your head. Don’t argue with your head, you cannot win such arguments! Just brush aside the negative thoughts and visualize the positive once more. Wait for the results. You will soon be surprised with how you can change situations in your life.
In the next post, I will discuss common pitfalls we encounter in the early stages of learning positive manifestation.
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run There’s still time to change the road you’re on And it makes me wonder” Stairway to Heaven
I hear this often from a lot of clients:
“I can’t change my career path…it’s too late for that!”
“I can’t change! It’s too late now!”
“I can’t get married anymore, I’m too old marriage!”
“Our relationship cannot change. It’s too late!”
Then why do you even come for therapy?
If you feel it’s too late, then accept your fate and learn to like it! If not, change your fate!
When we see a beautiful image on Facebook with a quote that reads “It’s never too late to change who you are!”, we immediately click like, share it to the world, and feel smug about it. But when it comes to our own lives we always have the excuse “It’s too late!”
We all know it’s never too late. We are so comfortable in our uncomfortable and fearful existence that we do not want to come out of it. Hence the excuse ‘it’s too late’.
Remember, the day you said ‘it’s too late’ is the day you decided shirk responsibility for your issues. You just want to stay where you are because it gives you the perfect opportunity to grumble, snort, sneer, cry, complain, and be miserable. You both like where you are and are too much of a coward to change who you are.
Every moment in life is a perfect opportunity for change and in fact, life makes sure you keep getting opportunities one after the other after the other just to help you change. But as the old saying goes, you can take a horse to the lake but you cannot make it drink, the decision to take action is yours!
I have had a client in his late 60’s who was ready to dig up and deal with childhood issues and gave up his 40 year old addiction of tobacco chewing. I have also had a 25 year old client who told me it was too late to learn to deal with his colleagues in office and walked out of my room and six months later he hung himself to death!
Choose where you want to be! Now is a perfect opportunity to change!
Finally we are happy to announce that we are moving to Chennai. The Hyderabad branch will still function however with only Reiki Services.
Our core services and operations will be from Chennai. The new healing space is in Besant Nagar – about two minutes walk from the glorious Elliot’s Beach. We are looking forward to working there and the operations will be fully function by the end of the first week of May. It will be a healing experience for all of us!
Do you compare a 5th grade child to a Post Graduate and scold the child for not knowing calculus or literature? Then why do you compare your inabilities with the most talented person and chide yourself? The mistaken logic of considering peers to be naturally equal to you creates unnecessary issues in our lives.
Do you compare a 5th grade child to a Post Graduate and scold the child for not knowing calculus or literature? Then why do you compare your inabilities with the most talented person and chide yourself?
This is a common trait we all carry and fail to see the mistaken logic behind it. I often get clients who come and say they lack a particular talent. Things will be fine if they stop at that. But they go ahead compare themselves to their peers in this area of talent and start criticising themselves. What they fail to understand is that they are making unfair comparisons and drawing wrong conclusions about themselves.
For instance, I had a client who was 35 and worked in an MNC. He lacked in communication skills and he had come to resolve that. He would often compare himself to his colleagues who are of his age and feel very bad that he was not as communicative as them. This in turn developed a marked inferiority complex in him. Until I pointed it out, he failed to see the mistake in his logic.
All of us have, more or less, equal capacity to grasp and learn a talent or skill. But because of the circumstances in which we grow up we tend to pick up certain skills faster than others, while missing out altogether on some skills. Figuratively, we can say that we are Doctorates or Post Graduates in those skills we had developed well while in some other skills we are still at a Primary or a Pre-primary level.
In the above case, the client was a primary school student in communication skills while in his technical skills he was certainly top notch. So where is the logic in picking a peer who is a Doctorate in communication skills and saying that I am not as talented? That is the path of doom and failure.
We simply need to understand that we have to start honing the underdeveloped skill as if we are learning it for the first time – because we are in fact learning it for the first time. And also expect to make those mistakes that any beginner will tend to make. Yes, our peers may laugh at us when we make mistakes, but ask yourself if you want to improve at the risk of being laughed at for a short while or hide behind a defence all your life pretending to be talented and worrying within all life through!
Once I pointed this to my client, he was able to focus on what was important – learning to communicate better – than comparing with peers and feeling depressed. It was in no time that he was able to communicate himself better. He has more milestones to cover, but the block that was even stopping him from making journey was gone forever.
And it is not just in communication issues that we make such mistakes. It is in many areas like relationships, financial stability, looks and image, technical talents, soft skills, and in many such that we compare unequal people just because they are of similar ages and put ourselves or others down unfairly. Stop doing that. See your mistaken logic. And start developing your skills if that is what you want!
Our fears about others can hold mirrors to our behaviors in that what we are afraid about others could be the very thing that we are doing to others. Like one being afraid of betrayal from others may himself be capable of betraying others.
What we fear from others is usually what we are capable of doing or being ourselves!
If a person fears he will be cheated and he cannot trust his partners, it can mean he himself is capable of cheating others. Whether he does that or not determines the course of his life, which is a different thing altogehter. Similarly, a person fearing jealousy from others may be capable of being jealous of others’ progress. I am not talking of small or momentary fears in life. I am speaking of fears that are so strong that it is almost always in the back of our minds.
I’ve often noticed that what we fear from others is something that we are capable of doing ourselves or we are already doing it. For instance, I had a client who was so afraid of people’s judgement that she let that fear dictate her every behaviour pattern in her life. To the point, that she would not wear her favourite clothes because of fear of ridicule. In the process of working with her, we explored her views about others. And she was quite surprised to note that similar to her fears, she was judgemental of others’ appearance and behaviour.
Once this was discovered, it was easy for her to work the judgemental attitude out of her and consequently, work her fears out. Today she dresses just the way she wants or is comfortable with and has become more extroverted.
This is just one client of many with similar patterns. A daughter afraid of too much control by her mother could be exacting the same level of control on others in her life without realizing it. A guy who is afraid his friends will desert him can have the capacity to just drop friends in life and move on. These fears about others can indeed mirrors our own behaviour and shortcomings. And by using these mirrors for self-examination we uncover our own issues and work them out.
Mind Drama is the dramatic argument we sometimes have with our subconscious. It is a trick played on us by our subconscious in order to keep our defenses intact. But since every goal of therapy is break down self-limiting defenses, we need to learn how to get out of these Mind Dramas.
The trick of our subconscious to lure us into arguments with it and how to get out of such situations.
We all experience certain negative emotions that are difficult to control or remove. It is true, probably, that we can never be entirely free of our anger, envy, jealousy, fear, and other negative emotions. However, for some people some of these negative emotions become too much of a problem. For instance, some people seem to be inherently jealous of everyone. Some are always fearful. Some are very short tempered. Each of these person faces a tough time in controlling these emotions.
One of the reasons these are difficult to control is because our subconscious mind plays a trick on us. I call it the Mind Drama. Remember the times when you had an emotional internal argument with yourself? One part of you would want to control the negative emotion while the other part of the mind keeps giving arguments to support your negative emotion. This is mind drama – a dramatic conversation that you run with your subconscious.
For instance, you hear a friend of yours has been promoted. You suddenly start feeling jealous and insecure. A part of your mind keeps giving reasons why your friend does not deserve that promotion or it keeps comparing you with your friend and says you are better than him and so on. You try to negate these thoughts by arguing with that part of the mind. No matter how the argument ends you only succeed in suppressing those emotions for the time being.
The trick that the subconscious plays here is luring us into the argument, because no matter what is the outcome of the argument, the subconscious wins. It has won the moment you began arguing with your subconscious.
You may ask why does our subconscious throw up these emotions in us or support it. The answer is that the emotions are coming up because of some root belief and the subconscious supports it because it cannot discriminate what is right or wrong. It just makes true the belief. In the above example, the person could be jealous because of some security issues in past where they formed a limiting belief about their progress or capacity. Hence they see everybody else’s progress as a threat to their growth.
So what is the solution for this Mind Drama?
Simple, don’t get into one! Just refuse to let your subconscious pull you into the argument. And if you suddenly find yourself in a Mind Drama, simply get out of it.
Understand the subconscious will try everything to tempt you into the Mind Drama. It will bring up the most provocative arguments and juicy imagination. Just remain firm. And keep getting out of the dramas whenever you find yourself already into it.
By getting out of them consistently, you slowly gain control over your subconscious in that area and it starts co-operating with you. You will also be clear on your core issue instead of being misled into petty issues. You will have more time to focus on finding and resolving your core beliefs.
‘I will be 29 next month and I am still not married!’ a girl told me once in my consultation. She is not alone in this.
‘I am 31 and I do not know how to mingle with people properly,’ many guys told me with obvious pain written all over their faces.
‘Most of my colleagues are much younger than me. I feel ashamed I am just a Team Leader in my office,’ is another statement (more or less) I hear again and again.
‘My younger brother earns much more than me!’
Every culture has its aver‘ages’ – an unwritten social chart that dictates appropriate age for each important phase in life. These aver‘ages’ are embedded in our minds as a product of childhood programming and peer pressure. Yes, they are subconscious. And we try our best to adhere to it. I get a lot of clients who have issues merely because they do not fall into these aver‘ages’. They place so much of emphasis and importance that it is all they could think of day in and day out.
We fear so much what the world will say if we do not stick to these averages that we end up creating a severe critic within ourselves. Whether the world will look down upon us or not, the moment we fail any aver‘age’ this critic within will censure us endlessly. The result: We suffer from severe self-esteem issues. But that is just the beginning of our problems.
If our subconscious has an issue it cannot resolve, it will create a defence mechanism to hide that weakness from the world. The defence could be anger, withdrawal, arrogance, displacement of issue (where you start pointing out similar issues in others so they will become the butt of ridicule and you can hide behind the diversion), etc.
Over time, these defences themselves turn into issues merely because it had become a habit. Of course, simultaneously the stress being produced by the core issue within also manifests itself in various ways. The complexity of the issues grows so much that we even forget our core issue after sometime.
And it is all because of the importance we place on these aver‘ages’. Yes, the programming begins very early and is subconscious. But it does not mean that you cannot overcome it. Frankly, you don’t even need to rush to a therapist to address this issue. It just takes awareness, some effort, and persistence.
I will discuss more about what kind of awareness you need to carry and what effort is required in the next post.
We usually think our effort to change is like building a house of cards. And let this house of cards come tumbling down twice, we quickly become dejected and give up. I call this the House of Cards Effect and nothing could be further from truth.
Many people think that their effort to change is like building a house of cards. The moment a setback occurs they assume the house of cards has come down collapsing, and their effort towards the change was wasted. After a few attempts at rebuilding the house of cards, they finally give up and assume that they cannot change. I call it the House of Cards Effect. And they cannot be further from truth.
The truth is that nobody can go back to square one ever. Any person working to resolve a personal problem is constantly moving forward. Each and every effort we put in counts, it makes us wiser and is never wasted. Of course, the pace of change depends on how ready is the person to learn from a setback, how deep the problem is, and other factors.
The real setback comes when we think we that we have gone back to square one and all the effort that we invested has gone waste. That becomes a convenient excuse for our subconscious to give up and sink back into the problem deeper than ever. The subconscious is very reluctant to come out of its comfort zone and the resistance increases when we start venturing into a previously unknown territory. So when we start working on a particular problem, we are training our subconscious to move out of usual known behaviour to a new behaviour pattern. So it does its best to stop us from getting out of our comfort zone.
The moment we think all our efforts have gone to waste, we quickly become convinced that we are naturally flawed and we can do nothing to change it. This gives our subconscious the perfect opportunity to revert back to its old behaviour. And the very negative thought becomes a self-suggestion for us and helps us settle deeper into our problem.
But as I said, no effort of ours is wasted and we need to develop an attitude of continued effort until we succeed. This attitude will keep us barging ahead in spite of setbacks and challenges. In fact after a few setbacks, with this attitude, we will actually be looking forward to challenges because we would have realized every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow.
I found this approach very helpful in my practise. Clients quickly find this attitude encouraging and there is also a renewed acceleration in healing.
At Purple Room, we are now offering distance healing for cases of Spirit Release Therapy. Distance healing is a method of healing where the client is not physically present for healing. Although it is possible to treat many issues through distance healing, we are currently offering healing only in the cases of spirit attachments.
In the last post I spoke of the necessity of training oneself to become aware of their semi-conscious thoughts. This post will look at some simple techniques that can be practised to bring the stream of semi conscious thought to conscious cognizance.
There is a reason why I prescribe the following techniques. The stream of semi conscious thoughts can at times be so subtle that training yourself to directly observe these thoughts can become a trying and frustrating endeavor. These techniques are relatively easy to follow and they teach you to review your thoughts just after you have had these thoughts. With enough practice you can become aware of your semi conscious thoughts as they occur. Reviewing our thoughts just after they occur is easier than being in a state of awareness as they thoughts flow through your mind.
Technique #1: Observe Your Breath
Breath is intimately connected with our thoughts and emotions. Fluctuations in breath indicate variations in our moods and emotions. Even the subtlest changes in our moods is reflected in our breath. This is no new technique. There are hundreds meditation courses that emphasize on this connection between the mind and breath. You would have already observed the fact that when you become angry your breath becomes short, shallow, and rapid. So by making use of this well known fact will help you achieve deeper awareness of self.
This technique is simple to practice. Start by observing your breath as you go about your daily routine. Observe what is your regular rate of breathing – are you a shallow breather or deep breather. Initially it takes a little conscious effort on your part to remember to be aware of your breath. But with a little consistent effort it will become second nature. After a few days of practice, whenever you observe a change in breath from normal, immediately stop whatever you are doing and cast your mind back over what your immediate thoughts had been. If you become aware of your breath sometime after the fluctuation occurred, then just cast your mind back to your thoughts just about the time the breath varied. It would be very easy to do, you just need to devote the time and effort.
Here are a few breath variations that you need to pay special attention to:
Shallow and Rapid breathing – this kind of breathing occurs when the body is undergoing some kind of anxiety or tension.
Sudden sharp intake and Holding of breath – indicative of fear or shock
Tightness in Breathing – this is indicative of fear as well as anxiety
Follow these symptoms backwards to when they started and what you were thinking at that time or just before it and you will easily go to the root thought.
Technique #2: Observe Subtle Body Movements
This technique is relatively easier to follow than the previous one. It also increases your awareness of your body language. Whenever we have negative, anxious, problematic thoughts these affect not only our breathing rate but also our body language. It manifests itself easily in the body extremities like hands and fingers, feet and toes. Practice being aware of these extremities and you will be able to detect variations in mood and emotions easily.
Watch for these movements:
Repetitive movements – like rubbing fingers/palms together, rubbing any object like chair handle, etc
Pressing actions – wringing hands, one foot pressing another foot, clutching objects like chair handle, etc
Nervous actions – watchout for subtle nervous actions in limb extremities
Also of use is the action of biting lips.
All of the above actions are indicative of stress or anxiety. Pressing actions are indicative of stress and continous actions like rubbing are indicative of anxious thoughts in the semi conscious thought stream. As soon as you become aware of them, just stop what you are doing and follow the action back to the time they started. You will easily know what upset you.
As you grow adept in observing your thoughts, you will notice that not only are you able to become aware of your semi conscious thoughts but also you find repetitive patterns in your thoughts. Most anxieties and stressful situations all boil down to two or three major root issues.
Being aware of your subtler thoughts will give you a deeper understanding of your personality, uncovering hidden dimensions of self that you either thought were not there or that you had already worked on the issue. It also gives you immense control over your self and the ability to manifest situations suited to your needs and evolution. Learning to be conscious of innermost thoughts of your being is the foremost step to self healing. Because, you cannot resolve a problem that you are not aware exists.