As my little New Year present to you, I am delighted to share with love and respect a beautiful reflection with reference to many beautiful insights from my guru Omar S Khan.
One of them from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens about the gratitude we show for the conditionality and vulnerability of our happiness. Another from the Pastor of St Bart’s New York who shows that it is not that we are looking for God, but God is looking for us and we need to be JUST be open to receive the grace. As you let this message speak to you in a unique way based on what you are open to, let it nourish your soul. For me the conditionality of happiness, being grateful for everything and the profound meaning of ‘JUST’ were soul nourishing.
Enjoy this beautiful audio message with your loved ones and your team and have a conversation about how this message spoke to each one of them. This would perhaps generate a insightful conversation that can serve you all individually or as a group.
May you be filled with love and abundance. Just accept it.
My new year’s message last year was ‘I wish you a new year and new decade overflowing with abundance & purposefulness’. Having gone through perhaps the most ‘interesting’ year of our life, I wonder if this wish had an impact or not. I suppose it depends on how we look at 2020. While many of us had challenges in our jobs, businesses, finances, relationships and health, it is important to reflect on and find the hidden gifts.
With regard to our jobs, did we find more creativity and productivity, having to work from home? Did we end up finding a better job if we were made redundant. Or did we find better ways of using our time and talent if we were not re-employed?
With regard to our business, did we find creative new products and markets, did we find more efficient ways of working and communicating? Did we right size and re-allocate responsibilities?
With regard to financials, did we find better and bigger sources of income? Did we prioritise expenses and found we were living better at a lesser cost? Did we find ways of re-deploying our assets and re-negotiating our liabilities?
With regard to our relationships, did we find more time with close family, did we connect with more people using virtual methods, did our limited contact result in limited conflicts? Did we learn to trust and respect better?
With regard to our health, did we become more conscious about our conduct in society so that we do not get and give germs to each other. Did we change our sleeping, resting, eating and exercising habits to strengthen our immune system? Did we find better ways of caring for ourselves and found home remedies to reduce the visit to the doctors?
My reflection on the above questions shows me that my life was filled with abundance and purposefulness as per my New Year’s wish last year and I hope it was the same for you. If not, we can help manifest such abundance and purposefulness through the power of intention and love.
Another question that comes up is ‘should we plan for 2021, given that our plans were totally irrelevant to what the universe had in store for us’. I remember something mentioned by my guru ‘Omar S Khan’ at the ‘Mastery of Self – Playshop’ 25 years ago. If you want God to laugh, tell her your plans. If you want God to laugh out loud, tell her your business plans.
This calls for a different way of planning, what I call ‘Loving Intentions’. It starts with Creating powerful intention is a method of informing the universe. This will result in appropriate opportunities coming towards you while your subconscious mind starts to liberate resources required to respond to such opportunities.
Given below are a few questions that will help create the intention.
What would be the intentions that will be most aligned with my purpose?
What would the intentions you and your family, friends and team be most proud of?
What would be the intentions that would add most value to your family, friends and team?
What were the biggest learnings about life from 2020?
Reflect on these questions alone, as a family or as a team. This exercise will help create positive intentions. Thereafter inform the universe of this intention by writing it down or presenting it using unique artful forms of yourself, family or team.
Once the universe if informed of the intention it is important for you to take the first step towards making the intentions real. Once the first step is taken, see how the universe responds to it and then decide on the next step. Be in this process and enjoy the best year of your life.
How time flies. We are upon the final month of 2020.
This year we learnt that plans are nice to have but our plans are so insignificant when compared to the plans of the higher powers; be it God, Universal energy system or nature.
We learn that we need to deeply understand and respond to the plans of the higher power so that we synchronise, rather than fight those plans, causing anxiety, stress and a multitude of negative behaviours.
I decided to take a break from social media, blogging, tweeting and newsletter writing in October (2020) and I decided to have only a weekly blog post and very limited time in social media from November. I allowed beingness to guide me and I ended up writing only 2 blog posts for the month. As I started writing my monthly newsletter, I felt that this message needs to be shared with my blog and social media follows and therefore this will become the third blog post for the month (as against a daily blog post during the past 8 months. I believe this is an example of allowing the higher powers to guide me, rather than trying to act as per what I feel is ‘right’.
The month of November has been quite relaxed as well as productive in both the personal and professional aspects. On the personal side I enjoyed engaging in improvements, in my relationships, home, health, personal finance and studies. On the professional side I enjoyed delivering transformational process for clients which added value to them, doing some free sessions to help those who need them, streamline work processes and developed business for the future. I feel fulfilled reflecting back on the month gone by.
These reflections make me realise the importance of holding my plans lightly with willingness to understand the need to adjust them so that I synchronise them with the plans of the higher powers.
I wish you a happy and successful completion of 2020.
When I first read these lines in the ‘Road Less Travelled’ by M.Scott Peck, quoted from the original writings of Khalil Gibran, I was confused. What are you saying? My children are my children, I gave birth to them and I did what it takes to grow them in to purposeful adults. However, after listening to it and reflecting on it, I realised how profound these words were. I have created a video with these words of wisdom as you see embedded in this blog. I recommend you watch and listen to the words in the video, reflect on it and then read the rest of the blog.
I believe the impact this video creates is different from person to person. I also believe the impact this video creates for you is determined by the journey of your life so far, where you are in your life now and your aspirations for the journey ahead. Therefore I feel the best contribution I can make is to write about what this poem means to me. Perhaps that might give you another perspective for you to reflect on, perhaps nourish your perspective and move you on to further reflection.
Let me reflect on the verse in two parts;
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.
As I saw my three daughters growing in to become beautiful, graceful, intelligent, confident, loving and caring young ladies, I realised that they were all unique and had amazing lives they were longing to live. The three of them had their own passion and purpose in the areas of political science, fashion and culinary respectively. What an amazing contrast. Thankfully I had read these words when my daughters were very young and had been a student of the notion of purpose. These helped me to let them to grow into the life they were born to live, not to make them follow my profession or do what I believed was best for them.
I realised they belong to the process of life and came through me and not from me. They are miracles that cannot be created by me. It was my responsibility to provide them a secure and nourishing environment to grow, but not to give them my thoughts. They had their own unique ways of thinking. Parenting them was educating for me and my wife, learning how they think and learn. We only housed their bodies as their souls belonged to a higher energy force.
I realised that I was trying to be like them as they were much more talented than I was and it was a joy learning from them many times more than they would have learnt from me. In the middle of writing this I paused to play a card game with my youngest daughter while watching a talent show going on TV. It was amazing how much she knew about types of dances, musical instruments, methods of singing, names of coaches and the best coach/performer fit etc., that I did not know.
The other part of the verse is;
You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you with his might that his arrow may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.
My life experience confirms that I am the bow that is responsible to send my children, the arrows in to the future. The more the bow bends the further the arrows travel. Me as the bending bow is synonymous with the ‘stretching’ I had to do to give the best grounding for my daughters. It was about stretching in the areas of learning, balancing demands, dealing with challenges, working, earning and teaching to ensure they, the arrows go far and wide. And as in the last line of verse I realised that the ‘archer’, the God Almighty, loves me as much she loves my children.
I hope this helps you to reflect and make sense of your life.
Do you really know who you are? Well, I am still discovering who I am and I am not sure if I will ever find the answer. However, everyday I live with this question in my mind, I see a little bit more of who I am.
So, how do we find who we are? Each of us might have our own way of defining ourselves, starting with basic aspects such as our gender, nationality, race, etc. and going on to more complex areas such as relationships, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, attitudes, beliefs, political aspirations, fears, struggles, intelligences, epistemology, ontology, world views, relationships etc. The aspects are much larger and this is only a few of them.
The quote from José Ortega Y Gasset; “Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are”, gives us an interesting method of finding out who we are. Take a journey of your day, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. What are the things you pay attention to? What do you notice? Do you pay attention to your health, spirituality, relationships (which relationships?), social concerns, type of news, beneficial to self or others (who?), positivity or negativity, mutuality, aspirations, hobbies, habits etc. This will show you what your ‘values’ are.
Therefore ‘our values’ would be an interesting way of knowing who we are. I recommend you reflect on this question to figure out who you are and perhaps that can lead you to the next two questions; ‘who you want to be’ and ‘how do you get there’. I hope these questions will engage you and give you direction to improve the quality of your life, contributing to a better world.
Reflect on the basic human qualities taught by each religion and philosophy. Reflect on the extent to which we measure up to those qualities. What changes do we need before we earn the right to call ourselves Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or any other religion or philosophy we belong to.
A photo taken at a rain forest in Kandy, the hill capital of Sri Lanka.
This is a photo taken during a nature walk with my team. I remember sitting down on this bench to take in the energy of the beautiful rain forest. As I reflected I felt the paradox of the place; the sounds of nature and the voices of people, the trees and the cement bench, the forest and the road, the cool wind and the warm sun rays. One of my colleagues had taken this photo at that time and I was fascinated with the rays of sunlight coming towards me, as if the universe was sending me rays of enlightenment.
An amazing perforce that stunned the audience and judges at Britains Got Talent.
As you watch this video, think of the times that you have pre-judged someone by your initial perception. How many time have they surprised you with the real substance in them. Reflect on times that you had been in the receiving end. What learnings do you take from the reflection and what steps would you take to change your attitude and help other change their attitude.
In the one before the last blog post (two Wednesdays ago) in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I started attempting to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had regarding the first two questions related to goals, in last Wednesdays blog post. Let me attempt to respond to the third questions;
What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?
I had already answered this question on my blog post of 30th March 2020. That was at the beginning of the pandemic and it is interesting to see how the answer to this question has evolved.
Six months ago we were wondering how the pandemic was going to affect our lives. Many of the conversations were about the materialistic impact such as health, economy, jobs, livelihood, etc. This has been visible all over the globe to various extents. However these challenges have made people think about their lives, livelihood, vocation, goals etc. Some have started their own business that they were procrastinating. Some have changed jobs to a one with a lower salary, but more in line with their passion and talents. Some have taken a bigger job. Some mothers stopped working to ensure they give time to their children who are studying online while the father earns the money or visa versa. Therefore for some people the purpose of the pandemic was to make them more purposeful in living.
While we felt that the bigger purpose, of the pandemic was to remind us that this planet belongs to all forms of life, not just to human beings, to remind us that our purpose is not to just enrich ourselves but learn to co-exist with each other and other living beings. We are one eco-system, one life process and there needs to be balance. However in many countries life is coming back to what it was with the traffic building up, factories emitting fumes, government not improving their policies on climate change etc. While aircrafts are not flying as usual, many airlines have started commercial flights and I feel that air travel will be back to normal soon. So six months later , I am not sure if we humans responded to the pandemics aim to make us value and protect our ecology.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw beautiful videos of how families are closer, having lovely conversations, playing board games, and watching movies together. We saw people helping each other, the rich helping those that are having financial difficulties, the poorer using their talents to harvest the crops and deliver to others who need it, healthcare workers caring for the sick, security forces and law enforcement officers maintaining quarantine centres and providing security, banks and utility companies postponing payment due dates and rescheduling loans. However all these things are going back to what I was with work re-starting in many organisations. While the pandemic liberated human values and reignited the consciousness of the need to coexist, my hope is that it at least stays at a deep level and guide the conscience of people.
At a higher level lets hope the eco-system that started regaining its balance will provide us better living conditions while we do our part to support that effort.