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Love: The Only Religion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2018 by tivaniam

It’s no secret that I’ve always been slightly agnostic about religion. I don’t subscribe to indoctrination. I don’t feel inclined to perform rituals based on antiquated beliefs and I don’t actually indulge in conversations with people about religion because it becomes so highly contentious. Also, I have little respect for hypocrisy and the people who advocate what is “right” and “wrong” but who choose to behave in unkind ways with ingrained judgment, hatred towards others, and prejudice.

More than that, I have no respect at all for people who use religion as a basis for harming others. So, for all these reasons, I’ve chosen to use the foundations of love, peace, kindness and compassion as my way of being, while having a reverence for a higher power that is evidenced around everything that I hold sacred.

Notwithstanding my sentiments above, I’ve had very profound experiences in my life, two of which stand out in my memory, where I’ve connected with something supremely powerful.

The first experience happened years ago, when I saw the face of Jesus in a dream. He said nothing to me, but just appeared and disappeared. It was the face that we’ve been taught to believe is the impression of Christ – white male, long beard etc. I was too young to fully understand it, but I woke up weeping from the recognition of something and an overwhelming feeling of love.

The second experience happened the other night, again in a dream.

I know very little about Hinduism, barring what deities I grew up hearing about. I never practiced any ritual and never performed any kind of service. Which is why, the dream I had was so confusing.

In my dream, I was driving down a road at night, in my hometown. In the middle of the road, was a frame with a photo of “someone” I couldn’t fathom, with “something” protruding out of the frame that I couldn’t comprehend, but which looked like an object of sorts. In my dream, I drove around the road again, and when I came back to re-look at the frame, a crowd had gathered and people were enclosing the frame with flowers and candles. I didn’t understand any of it, but felt a “pull” that this phenomenon was exclusively for me. When I woke up, the name “Durga” was playing in my head. A name I’ve never heard before.

I asked friends who are knowledgeable on the subject, about the meaning of this, and also tried to describe the weird feeling I had. It seems my dream was an auspicious one, an invitation of sorts to honour the divine Goddess in me, in whatever way I feel comfortable. Because, I was surprised to hear, Durga is a Hindu deity, a warrior Goddess, combating evil that threatens peace.

Peace.

Sidebar: For my Soar family reading this, you would know why that would give me the tingles.

There are lots of things to take away from this, but the one lesson I want to speak about here, is this illusion we’ve created as humans, that there is only ONE way in which to know God/the Divine/Source /the Universe (however you define the higher power you believe in). This is what sparks hatred and divisiveness – the belief that each religion is separate from the other and that we are all different. Religious fascists make it their mission to force others to accept and adopt their particular way of being, denouncing all other beliefs. This kind of behaviour is what continues to spur the divide we face as a collective species.

My personal experiences left me with an all-encompassing KNOWING of a divine spark that exists within and around me. This is an experiential knowing, based on the truth of my experience, and NOT on information fed to me. It is the feeling of oneness, a thread that forms part of the tapestry of all of us, without any distinction.

I’ve had similar feelings when my kids were born. I feel it when I listen to music that moves my heart. I feel it when I am lying next to the man I love. It surrounds me when I am among my Soar family. Divinity is omniscient. It is in everything, everywhere.

Those who perpetuate a separation with stories of “our God” versus “your God”, do so from a place of fear. Love is the higher law. It’s the foundation upon which all religions are formed. If you’re not operating from that point, you have no relationship with God, and in essence, no relationship with yourself. I am discovering that the deeper I get to know myself, the more I feel the divine.

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Phoenix Rising

Posted in Uncategorized on September 3, 2018 by tivaniam

Over the last few days I’ve learnt some very important lessons, the biggest of which was discovered today:

  • Grace follows me wherever I go,
  • No act of kindness and love is ever lost,
  • We are all exactly the same fundamentally.

I happened upon these lessons in a very beautiful way. It began a few days ago when I felt really down. The spiritual being of me often wins the fight against my human ego, but over the last few days, my light began to dim.

Like most of us who experience a spiritual awakening, we have the ability to feel really intensely. And we place impossible measurements for ourselves, of standards we wish to live by. Over the last few days, I’ve been trying really hard to bring myself out of a funk. And the funk was really of my own making. I felt unseen. I felt like I didn’t actually make a tangible difference with what I do. I felt like a fraud. And those are very unkind feelings to subscribe to. As a result, self-love got replaced with self-deprecation.

The Universe though, in Her infinite wisdom, truly knows the inherent beat of my heart and decided to reveal to me, via some wonderful people, the power of the magnitude of Grace.

My friend, Sam, became the mirror I needed at the exact time I needed to see myself. She said to me the things I needed to hear and reminded me of what I chose to stop seeing in myself. She became my compass.

Then, today, I had the honour of receiving messages from some of the guys I managed a few years ago while I was still in the corporate jungle. I didn’t think I did anything significant for these men but three of them chose-randomly (or perhaps not)-to tell me today the role I played in changing their lives. Three, young Black men. The other day I received a message from an unknown, also Black, man who told me the same thing, that I’ve inspired him to complete his own book. This taught me that no act of kindness-however small-is ever lost. I can’t remember what I did for the three men that I managed, but evidently it was big enough for them to remember it, and me, almost five years later. Also, the fact that I write under the experience of an Indian woman, is something Black men can relate to and find inspiring. And that for me is absolutely amazing. It shows me that we are all more alike than we are different. And our desires to be seen, valued, appreciated and loved is fundamental, regardless of age, race, religion or social standing.

I’m so grateful today. I’m humbled and I’m inspired. My spirit is intact and my heart is full. And in a way that was completely unexpected. It’s an affirmation that we get from this world what we give to this world.

And in my moments of weakness, I am reminded of who I TRULY am. And I’m in awe of how this Universe works.

#phoenixrising

Honouring The Divine Masculine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2018 by tivaniam

There’s an unspoken truth we’ve turned a blind eye to. Which I’m not prepared to remain quiet about any longer. I’ve personally witnessed the destruction this lie has amassed and I’ve seen many spirits break as a result.

The lie I refer to is the way in which we’ve been taught to regard men and the standard in which we’ve upheld them. By “we” I mean society at large. I am not a feminist or fascist in any way or form. My advocacy has always been about truth, authenticity and conscious living. My personal belief is that men and women form part of the same energetic frequency with both masculine and feminine energies. But we’ve been taught to differentiate and prescribe certain roles and responsibilities on to men, exacerbated by antiquated stories of men saving damsels in distress.

We’ve all bought into the bullshit, and hyped it further with sayings like “cowboys don’t cry”. We’ve placed the responsibility of providing financially squarely on the shoulders of men. We defined success for them as a way to measure up. We’ve defined the meaning of a “real man” according to a carefully crafted script. We’ve negated their emotional wellbeing and suppressed their innate ability to nurture or comfort because it wasn’t the “manly” thing to do. We’ve given them the responsibility of taking care of our emotional wellbeing and blamed them for our unhappiness. We’ve used religion or posterity, loyalty and obligation as control mechanisms to get them to conform. We’ve scoffed at their desire to be vulnerable because boys don’t cry. And “real men” don’t behave like sissies. And what we’ve done is create very angry and very sad men who feel isolated, scared and depressed. But they’d rather kill themselves than ever admit their truth. And so they do. The recent spate of suicides by men bears testament.

So what are we doing here and why are we doing it?

The simple answer is conditioning.

As an Indian woman I’ve seen many men aspire to become the vision that was set out for them by their parents. Often this vision had absolutely nothing to do with who they truly were, but they executed that vision to satisfy their parents. They negated their truths out of duty and obligation. I’ve also been a witness to men who wanted to express their pain and yet had to suppress it, which suppression translates into anger.

It’s time we create a new context. There is no men versus women here. It’s men AND women working together towards a collective consciousness. That is the only time we can move forward as a species. These gender specific roles are an illusion. We are all exactly the same. Honouring the divine masculine means honouring parts of ourselves as women. As a collective. There’s no differentiation. There are NO templates to follow that govern how men ought to be.

Beloved masculine, today I invite you to hold a mirror up and take a stark look at yourself. Begin to embrace the real truth and not the bullshit you’ve been fed about how you’re supposed to be. Recognise the courage it takes to be vulnerable and break down those barriers to love. Speak and own your truth. Know that your power is inherent and doesn’t need to be wielded forcefully. Understand that you don’t need to win approval from anyone. Understand that love is not conditional upon what you can provide or who you need to impress. Understand that you have the power to create your own reality. Own the fact that you CAN choose yourself and your happiness. Most importantly, break down the stereotypes and free yourself. It’s okay to exhale.

I honour the divine in You, as part of Me.

The Tenacity of the Human Spirit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2018 by tivaniam

A couple of months ago, a very special friend of mine got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis – a potentially disabling disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. My friend is in her late 20’s and was relatively well until this diagnosis. When I heard about it, my immediate and instinctive reaction was grief and sorrow for what the future now holds for her. I am ashamed at myself for having that reaction. Even more so after seeing her a couple of times this week. She’s vibrant, energetic, enthusiastic and accepting of her diagnosis with more strength and positivity than I gave her credit for, even through her changing physicality.

Similarly, another very special friend was diagnosed at the age of 17 with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy – a weakness and wasting away of limb muscles. She’s in her early 30’s and led an active life until the point of diagnosis. A few weeks ago she was bungee jumping off a dizzying height, followed in tandem by the experience of sampling Mopane Worms – a LARGE, edible caterpillar. My idea of adventure is a lovely, DRIVEN experience through a scenic countryside. So when I questioned my friend’s sanity, her emphatic response was that life is meant to be lived.

I believe in the adage that, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And in these two beautiful humans, I was taught invaluable life lessons. I am no stranger to crisis and I often wax lyrical about finding the gifts in them, yet my conditioned response to these two women, was to engage them with sympathy. What a small mind-set to have, and what a stunning lesson to have learnt. I’ve watched in awe, the way in which these two women have dealt with their respective diseases and how they both now choose to live their lives – fully and completely present in the now. Each moment for them counts, each day of good health is one to be celebrated in gratitude. Life for them is about creating memories and cherishing the good times. How fortunate am I to have such amazing teachers in my life!

We cognitively know that life is precious and a moment of impact can change it forever. But, we actually take for granted the enormity of what this actually means. Don’t wait for something cataclysmic to happen before making a change.  Don’t waste time waiting for the perfect moment to say something to someone, or to do something, or to take the leap toward the life of your dreams. Everything can change in an instant and there is absolutely no guarantee that tomorrow will come. There is also no meritocratic system in this world, bad shit happens to good people. But, through the bad shit, there is always a lesson. And you need to pay attention to what the universe is trying to tell you.

Maybe you’re cruising and not doing what you’re meant to be doing. Maybe you’re lazy as fuck and letting life pass you by. Maybe you’re so focused on negativity that you just create more and more of it, and don’t see any possibility. Maybe you’re a perpetual victim so the world simply hands your ass to you, time and again. Whatever it is, your current life situation is telling you something. How you FEEL is telling you something. And the time is NOW to make that change, if you want to, towards a more fulfilling life…or, remain the same, and live with regrets later on. The choice is yours, so are the consequences.

The lesson for me, was a reminder of the tenacity of the human spirit and its ability to transcend anything. More than that, is the wake-up call I needed to step up, and be more fierce, more courageous, more compelling with my truth…just more. I made a promise to myself four years ago that I would never play small and these two women served as a reminder to myself, of that commitment.

 

Who Are You…Before The World Taught You Who To Be?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2018 by tivaniam

There is a fundamental need that we possess, which we aren’t talking about. It’s the need to tell the truth. Our individual truth. The voice we try to suppress and drown out.

This past week, two celebrities committed suicide within days of each other, shocking their friends and families, all of whom assumed that these people were happy. When you’re living a life of pretence, you become the greatest actor. Life imitates art.

In this era of social media dominance, we are consumed with comparing our “behind the scenes” to someone else’s “highlight reel”.  We have lost perspective and forget that people are putting forward the very best versions of themselves, which can often be nothing more than a facade. We spend so much of time pretending to have perfect lives externally, when the internal reality paints a very different picture.

The desire to fit in is so consuming that people are choosing to end their lives, literally, because of the suppression of their truths. We fake the smiles and happiness. We post stuff on Instagram and Facebook pretending to try and bridge the gap between who we are, and how we want other people to perceive us. We’ve become masters at meeting other peoples’ expectations.

All of this pretending is nothing more than lying. Lying to please others. And it’s making us sick physically and emotionally. We’re a society that is anxious, depressed, addicted and suffering. We’ve become so obsessed with fitting into a societal norm that teaches us to do more, to have more, to want more…and all it seems to be doing is making us more and more miserable.

So, who are you, before the world taught you who to be? Do you even know what that looks like? What freedom tastes like? What happiness feels like?

Prior to my failed suicide attempt four years ago, I was never able to answer these questions. All I wanted to do was fit in, be accepted and not judged. I moulded myself into the woman everyone else wanted me to be. I never listened to my own internal voice and truth and I negated my desires and dreams until I was prepared to end my life for it. Surviving my suicide attempt was the wake-up call I needed. I promised myself then, that I would never ever sacrifice my life in the pursuit of making others happy, or conforming to some stupid prescribed way of being that never encompassed my personal truth. I wanted to figure out who I am for myself, and what I was here to bring. And I got the answer. I discovered my voice and purpose and I was never silenced again. That is true authentic power. Had I fulfilled that intention to kill myself, this world would be robbed of my voice, my words and the gifts that I am here to bring; teaching others about hope and redemption. I will never again give anyone the power to dictate how I should be, how I should live or who I should love.

When you step into the light of who you truly are, you find real freedom and happiness that is authentic which can never be taken away. When will you understand how precious life is? When you’re on your deathbed riddled with regrets? Think about it.

Make today the day. Start now. Choose you.

 

Opening Your Heart To Love

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2018 by tivaniam

I had the honour this past weekend to be in service of others, assisting them to transcend the bullshit and begin to live through the lens of their real essence. In so doing, I served myself in the most powerful way.

I’ve always held a reverence for love, and I have learnt through the years, the power and magnitude of it. But never have I seen so powerfully, the PHYSICAL manifestation of it, than I did this weekend. It rendered the entire group of witnesses, speechless and emotional. It became so clear to me then that the ego can try and put up the best fight, but it never ever wins. Love ALWAYS wins, and I bow before its grace.

We’ve been raised with so much of conditioned thinking and prescribed ways of being. It is so difficult to listen to the call of our own voice in the midst of the whisperings of others. We’ve been fed the dichotomy that men are emotionless and women in need of saving. Movies and fairy-tales lend credence to this hype and we fall prey to the belief. As a result, men are scared to be vulnerable. They’re taught to “cowboy” up, balls to the wall, and get on with it. Women are meant to be selfless and quiet. So the Heart loses to the Brain in the game of Love, when Truth wants to emerge. The Brain, knowing it’s about to lose its power, kicks in, amps up, puts up the biggest fight and ruins everything in its wake.

An example of this, is my boyfriend, who is a verified head case. He is a civil engineer by profession and also someone who fell into the habit of conditioned ways of thinking. To him, everything should be analysed, preferably on an excel spreadsheet, with clearly defined formulae to get to the root of a problem. This thought process can take days, weeks or months to be completed. And often ends up with no solution (much to the disappointment of his very male-ego).

So, I taught him another way, and made him delete the spreadsheets. I showed him the power of love that was inherent in him as the way to get to solutions, through the FEELING of it, which is actually the real compass. It’s been a painstakingly difficult task. But, I know it has worked to transcend his stupid ego and analytical brain, because now he is a man who FEELS AND CRIES.  Openly. As was the case this past weekend, where he got to witness men just like him, transcend their own bullshit and emerge as pure love. It was so beautiful to watch.

This is the lesson for every one of us. To be aware of when the ego speaks, in the form of the stories it tells, and when the heart speaks, in terms of the actual truth. Your GPS is your feelings. They navigate you to your destination on the route of least resistance. It is the only thing you should listen to. You are never ever required to stop and ask anyone for directions. No one knows your destination. We have to get into the habit of drowning out the voices of others. We have to un-become. We have to reverse the conditioning, shut down the ego, and discover what is real and true for ourselves, something that is subjective and personal. We need to become unapologetic about it. This is life mastery. And the way to get there, is only and ever through love.

Who Are You Going To Blame Your Life On Today?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 3, 2018 by tivaniam

For many years, I owned the title of “victim” and wore it as a badge of honour. It served me so well. I got sympathy when I needed it, and it absolved me from taking any ownership over the shit-show that was my life. It kept me feeling small and was the excuse I used to hold myself back from making any sort of progress or achievement in my life.

I played the blame-game and reached pro-level at pointing fingers for what my life had amounted to. It was nothing more than entrapment and justification for why I was where I didn’t want to be. On the surface, it looked like a very difficult life – and with respect to me, it really was. I experienced the kind of things that would render most people insane and institutionalised. BUT, I learnt that all of this happened to me because I created it.

Taking full responsibility and owning this mentality is a very bitter pill to swallow for many people.  Taking a long, stark look in the mirror instead of pointing fingers is the hardest job in the world. It involves brutal honesty, absolute introspection, and accountability, and that is extremely scary and overwhelming.

Four years ago, after my failed suicide attempt, I was forced to wake up and pay attention because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I began the hard work, taking ownership of every aspect of my life and where I found myself. It’s a never-ending journey that requires me to be awake every single moment of the day because it’s so easy to default to victimhood and blame. Taking a look inward isn’t easy but it’s empowering and liberating to accept that no one has the power to make you feel any particular way. No one has the power to control your life and no one has the authority to tell you how to live it. When you accept that, you make your life less of a democracy and you step into authentic power where the actions of others have nothing to do with you.

I don’t have a history to guide me as I navigate unchartered territories. I am simply brave enough to explore the realms of my own possibilities, and because, as an author and writer I choose to have my life publicised, I hope that my truth-telling can become the key to unlocking the prison of someone else’s mind. More than that, taking responsibility for my life and telling the truth about it, gives my kids permission to do the same. My kids don’t need me to die from the burden of pretending. They don’t need a mother that’s a martyr. They need a mother who is real and true. That begins with taking full responsibility over my life.

The change from blame to responsibility shifted me emotionally and life followed suit. I began creating magic where once only shit resided. Where my life is now compared to a couple of years ago is such a big contrast that it shocks me still. And that tangible difference allows me to remain conscious even during those moments when my ego takes over and I point a finger. The awareness forces me to look inwardly, ask the tough questions and make the correct changes.

So, are you willing to hold up that mirror?

Or, who are you going to blame your life on today?

 

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