Archive for Inspirational

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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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. 

The Inherent Beauty of Every Woman

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 30, 2016 by tivaniam

I had a conversation with my teenage daughter recently that saddened me. As women, we are raised to believe in certain “truths” about beauty, standards that emanate from society’s warped perceptions and ideologies. This results in a collective neurosis of body shaming women.  Our minds becoming servants to our bodies and not vice versa.

I adopted this mentality too. And as a result, I have taught my daughter, by default and by my example, to question every aspect of her physicality. As a nation, we have taught our daughters to never accept compliments graciously. To never admire another beautiful woman without questioning our own beauty. To judge other women or girls based on external attributes. It’s a destructive thought pattern that gets handed down to girls in every generation. 

We need to learn that we are spiritual beings having a human experience and we have to accept that we are not the amalgam of our hips, legs, thighs, hair or skin. We are the content of our characters, the goals that drive us, the spirit within. We are beautiful and desirable not for the way we look but for the spark of life within us that propels each of us to live meaningful lives.

Beauty is not in the shape of the vessel, it is the volume of the soul it carries. The only reason we have a physical body is because no soul can come to Earth without manifesting into a body. Teaching our children to believe we are physical beings alone sets limitations on them, because the body has no power. It is the divine thing inside of the body that makes life possible. That is what makes us experience true beauty in this temporary plane.

Today, go home and tell your daughter, wife, sister or mother that they are beautiful. Not for the way they look, but for who they are inside.

 

Trusting the Magic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 30, 2016 by tivaniam

I’ve been having conversations recently that reminded me of my own a-ha moments and my personal journey with overcoming fear that once debilitated me. I have learnt through my own experience that courage should be recognised at the heart of the vulnerable. In a world that advocates living a life of pretence, I bow down to those who keep their hearts open and live and speak their truth.

Some of the most devastating events in our life put us in direct alignment with our destiny. We have to learn how to move past the lessons in order to see our path. This can only emanate from possessing a brutal level of honesty. We need to combat enough fear within ourselves to be able to live the honesty of our own truth – no matter how dark or bright. This admission was always hard for me. I attached myself to the victim mentality and continuously attracted negativity in my life that perpetuated that theory. I often felt like one step forward ended in ten steps backwards – continuous self-sabotaging behaviour. It was only until I realised that my actions reflected who I was and my life was a product of my own mind-set that things started to change.

I learnt how to show kindness to unkind people. I forgave people who didn’t ask for forgiveness. I love and continue to love unconditionally. It is never too late to create a new context and set the tone for amazing things to manifest.

We have to simply trust the magic of new beginnings and know that everything happens for our greatest good.

An Artistry of Words

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 28, 2016 by tivaniam

Last week I interviewed a woman whom I’ve long admired. She is a widely respected academic, a human rights practitioner, an advocate of women’s entrepreneurial development, a revered author and all round maverick in her field. We got to chatting generally and discovered shared interests and passions and a common investment in personal growth and development. Once the official meeting was over, she extended an invitation to me to write for her as a freelancer in her various philanthropic endeavours.

After an embarrassing display of excitement and the quickest ‘yes’ she ever received, I had to take a moment to reflect on what this meant. Here is a woman who doesn’t know me from Adam, who after having one conversation saw something in me that she felt resonated with her and offered me this opportunity which is a pretty big thing. I was overcome with emotion. I couldn’t believe how my life had changed so exponentially from a few years ago.

Two years ago, I was unrecognisable to myself. I looked at my reflection and didn’t know my own face staring back at me in the mirror. At night I’d hear the blood in my veins and that was the only indicator that I was alive. And again I am reminded that the only permanent condition is that of impermanence.

I am now staring at the unfolding of a twenty year dream. I am given the opportunity to actually make a difference with the writing I do and be appreciated for it. I am no longer a spectator watching in the sidelines. I am actively participating in this dream.

To fully articulate how this happened is difficult even for me that has developed an artistry of words. I consider it a divine dispensation but more so it is the utter and complete realisation that life is not a dress rehearsal. We don’t get a do over. When I finally got that in the worst life lessons I could have received, my mind expanded into the place of infinity possibility. And now, in awe, I marvel at the way the universe continues to conspire to give me what I always wanted.

Existing As I Am

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by tivaniam

Love and life is woven into the tapestry of my existence. I’ve died a hundred times trying to ignore and stifle the humming of my heart. I tell the truth and come to you with every wound, every secret I’ve kept hidden, every lie I’ve ever told. I come to you with sins and regrets, loss and memories and days where I’ve woken up with nothing and no one.

But those who are short sighted  aren’t ready to read the best parts of me. I’ve had to champion my own story because I have no interest in being loved in bits and pieces, too much for some, not enough for others. My heart is not a home for the weak. I wear my scars while you hide yours.

So I’ve found a calm in the dead centre of my own storms, naked, wearing only my scars and a smile. There are days when I can barely breathe, where my muscles seem to atrophy and then I realise that there is not one single thing behind me, nor one single thing ahead of me, that is stronger than who I’ve grown into.

I’m more whiskey than water.

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