Archive for authenticity

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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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.

 

On Being True

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2016 by tivaniam

Can we be true to ourselves even if that means failing another? That is a question that I have been plagued with. The more I choose to love myself and vote for myself first, the more complex it becomes for everyone else. This act of juggling and choosing to serve me or serve others leaves me exhausted, with a dire need for peace. I don’t have the answers so I am trying to sit with what is, without trying to hide it or fix it.

What has come up for me in the last few weeks is that it’s not even the pain that consumes me, it’s the fucking shame. Shame about the pain. Shame about the choices. Shame about the reality and the perceptions. It takes self-loathing to another level and is completely counter-productive for my growth and development. I have to become unapologetic about my behaviour and choices whilst knowing that this will be too much for some people. That I will be too much for some people.

A part of me knows that those people, aren’t my people. I know for a fact that my too much is exactly enough for the right people. For those who want more. Therefore, I cannot become less.

Yes, I’ve got these life experiences and perceived failures that many cannot and WILL NOT profess to have. It is dealing with a past depression that could have killed me. It is dealing with multiple failed relationships – often in close proximity to each other. It is making very fucked up decisions, the repercussions of which, are felt to this day.

But guess what, these are also my superpowers. I’m the canary in the coal mine. My experiences, my sensitivity, my telling of the truth is what allows me to sense danger that others cannot. So, instead of being silent and trying to extinguish my fire, allow the same fire that almost killed me, to be the same fire that I will use to light up the world.

Closure is an act of sanity for me.  It is something I choose to bring to the table of my own healing. I don’t see this as failure. It becomes an earnest quest for answers that often uncovers life changing truths. These truths will only set me free.

I know for sure that whatever this is, I will get through it, because I already have and continue to do.

 

 

Living With Integrity 

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2016 by tivaniam

I’ve been mulling over the concept of integrity over the last few days. More than just HAVING it, how many of us actually LIVE with it? 

I know for a fact that I like to think I do, but I don’t. Not consistently anyway. And it’s hard but necessary to tell that truth.

Living with integrity means more to me than its simplistic meaning. Often my spirit is nudging me in one direction and I bypass that feeling and go in the direction that puts myself last. And havoc gets created internally as a result. Can I live a life that involves being true to myself fully without worrying about what people would think? No. It seems I cannot. And therefore I lack integrity.

When my life turned a corner, I promised and committed to living with the full expression of who I am, actively participating in life after wanting to die for so long. But like most women, I suspend my deepest desires and needs in service of what needs to be done. That is not living with integrity.

I’m not the same woman I was even a year ago, fortunately. I’ve learnt that only by owning who and what I am, am I able to step into life fully. But I’ve bought into this distorted hype of what society deems beautiful and correct and loathe my aging process. I used to hold it in reverence, marvelling at the gift that wisdom brings with age. Now I look at myself and see mounds of fat. I am not living with integrity.

Recognising that there are issues to work through is one thing. Taking the action necessary is where the hard work begins. Starting over begins by looking inward. Paying attention to the inklings and murmurings. The universe applauds action not thought. Real providence comes from knowing what is the truth of your life. Where everything you do and say every single day shows the world who you are.
That is living with integrity. 

Peace, Orlando and Soul Shifting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2016 by tivaniam

I am not a fan of propagating negative stories. I don’t subscribe to ‘anti’ this or that and have been fortunate enough to learn the importance of creating my own reality through words that I use. I have learnt that I create more chaos and more trauma when I perpetuate the belief that I need to be ‘anti’ something in order to give it traction – it only serves to create the reality of that which I am against.

However, in honouring my own essence, the recent Orlando shooting has affected me deeply and warrants some mention because of the nefarious act in itself. There are certainly a ton of these unmentionable horrors that happen all over the world that do not receive any publicity. I know that there are instances of these unspeakable acts that happen within our own communities. But the fact that the Orlando shooting has been in the forefront of anything else today, is where the reference comes from, and this post is to that end.

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No religion teaches people to act in ways that harm others.

No religion on this earth serves as an indoctrination so entrenched that acts of murder, intolerance for others and a lack of humanity on a basic level, are principles upon which that religion gets displayed.

I do not believe that certain classes of people are predisposed to murder.

I do not believe that God in His wisdom would EVER encourage anyone to take the lives of others in an effort to promote His teachings. The shooting in Colorado is the act of one individual who lived in a state of absolute ignorance and darkness and his act was a demonstration of the illness that he suffered.

That being said, collectively, as humans, we are ALL responsible for the shootings in Colorado. All of us. In a spiritual sense, we are all connected. We are all Spiritual Beings trying to navigate in this human world. We possess the entire spectrum of human conditions within us – from the purity to the evil. Some of us are fortunate enough to be in tune with our spirit and choose not to act in deplorable ways. There are other people who choose to demonstrate their internal chaos, externally, and as a result kill people.

Notwithstanding the sadness and the senselessness of it all, all of these tragedies create an even greater awareness to those of us who are already aware and we have an obligation to now step up and be the change we want to see in the world. My personal belief is that God resides within me, as me. And in that belief comes the responsibility to demonstrate my Godliness in ways that serve this world.

Many years ago, I was in a perpetual state of anger. My anger consumed me. I never became violent – but I could have if I hadn’t reached a state of awareness and healing. My victim mentality and hatred of my past and all its experiences was something I had to learn how to make peace with. I didn’t ‘turn around’ my story – I ‘turned towards’ it and honoured my own shadow, inviting it to consciousness. To the extent that I chose to work through them, accept them and forgive myself for everything, I was able to use this for my soul’s expansion.

Those who don’t deal with their traumas and bypass them or apportion the blame onto others, remain stuck and confused. And end up killing people.

To all those who have lost loved ones through acts of violence, my heart cries with you. The time has come to expand our hearts and stop living in the shadows of prejudice, racism, intolerance, hatred, bigotry (it’s all the same thing really).

It is time to live in the light of our own souls. And that is where ONLY Love resides.

A Single Girl’s Take on Valentine’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2016 by tivaniam

I hate Valentine’s Day. I’ve always hated Valentine’s Day. I don’t consider myself to be a cynic but the whole commercialised idea of love being glorified on one day of the year doesn’t appeal to me. Plus I have residual issues stemming from being the only girl in school who never got to gloat at the thrill of having to carry around a stuffed animal and/or obligatory red rose. I missed that whole fiasco.

The month of February seems to have become synonymous with love and romance that is grandiose. It gives hope to the broken and life to the otherwise forgotten. I’ve found though that desperate love is always the toughest way to do it and the pressure to find Mr Right can become all consuming and depressing.

Love is a disease in and of itself. Fortunately, I’ve long since parted ways with the girl I used to be – the days where I’d walk around with a high fever in my face, the poster child for a montage of every Adele song ever written. I’ve exhausted myself with the collective consequences of a lifetime of choices made out of chaotic passions, always the victim of my own optimism.

But, I’m not brooding. This isn’t a brooding essay. I have reached a level of contentment that comes with age and life experience. I’ve learnt that to love is to recognise yourself in another. Few of us can even comprehend the enormity of that. The longing to be recognised not on the level of form, but on the level of being. To become unstitched from below the surface, with a refusal to indulge in anything that’s less than passionate. I want to experience and hold on to the moments that remind me of me.

What’s wonderful about getting older is that love takes on a new meaning. It’s untainted by a physicality that’s superficial. It’s enmeshed in purity. It’s the inclusiveness of being joined with someone and becoming more than you would have been alone. A love that has no opposite.

But before that level of appreciation is had and as clichéd as this sounds, I’ve learnt that I need to Be the embodiment of love, to myself and others, in order to receive it in the way I want. It’s a consecration of sorts to the essence of who I am. This arising awareness makes me feel love that is True and Pure. A Divine dispensation if you will. And while romance is definitely a beautiful thing, true, authentic Love should be a celebration every day.

I’ll be buying myself a bunch of red roses tomorrow 🌷

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