To need and to want

I was reminded today, by someone very close to me, of the many things I had started or tried in the past year, that I ended up abandoning and giving up. One particular example immediately came to mind. Few weeks ago I signed for lessons in Swing dancing, a pursuit that has now come to an end.

Learning to dance is something I had always wanted, having always been a complete klutz on the dance floor, looking like a fool with two left feet. I’ve had a great deal of admiration for those people who can simply glide across the floor, marveling at, and yes envying, the ease with which they spin the most complex steps. It made me want to be like them, to be capable of happily enjoying a dance without embarrassment, and even maybe find myself the subject of admiration and applause.

So I signed up for something I wanted. And almost from the very beginning, I realized it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t who I was. I felt no joy at the mindless jumping up and down, that was anything but beautiful and graceful looked from the side. The constant change of partners in the class left me uncomfortable and unsettled, with a different stranger touching my hand, finding myself unable to find harmony and comfort with the ever changing hands that held mine.

So I gave it up. And today, following the remark about my inconsistency, it got me thinking. Why is it that we always want so many things, yet the moment we get them, we don’t want them anymore?

One of the first things I learned from my meditation teacher more than 15 years ago, was about the eternal battle each of us face, between the pursuit of our wants and the fulfillment of our needs. His words of warning – “We decide we want something and we go after it. And when we get it, we want it no more, now we want something else. So by design and definition, our wants can never be met. Our needs, on the other hand, always will be”.

But where do our wants and needs spring from? Our wants come from our ego, that pushes us to always want more. This is how it makes itself useful, it justifies its existence. We get it in our heads that we want something, we achieve it by will, work or sacrifice, and it brings no happiness or joy. We think we’ve wasted our time. So the ego jumps back up, putting a new batch of thoughts in our heads, making us want the next thing. And off we go… But it’s a losing battle we fight. It’s like building a cabin of straw on a windy beach, and every time we complete it, the tide comes in and washes it away. And we have to start from scratch. Giving into the illusion that the constant ‘building’ gives our life a purpose. Except that it doesn’t. We are wasting time and energy we don’t have, to build something we don’t need, to impress an ego that doesn’t serve us. And where is all of this rooted? Our ego lives in the past. It is the sum of all of our fears, pains and disappointments. We are trying to solve problems that no longer exist, because we have long grown past them. We no longer need the cabin of straw. We now need a castle of stone.

And this is where our needs come in. They come from the soul. From the path we have charted for ourselves for this life, before we even started it. Our soul doesn’t need the pursuit of momentary happiness, fleeting pleasure or instant gratification. It needs no cabin of straw. The soul’s work is to build a castle. Something solid, unshakable, indestructible. A sustainable foundation, on which we can base the next layer of growth and evolution on our path. A home, where we can find shelter from the harshest storms, where we revive and recharge ourselves after each of life’s challenges. It takes time, and the building stones are often heavy, but the reward is greater than we could possibly imagine.

The ego bombards us with thoughts and fears and doubts every minute of every day. That’s all we hear – what we don’t have, what we can’t achieve, how we must get this, do that, be something else. Surrounded by unconcerned faces, deafened by the news on TV and the mindless chatter of social media, manipulated by false admirers and ‘friends’ with hidden agendas, the voice of our soul – quiet, subtle and unobtrusive – is drowned out by the shouts of our ego.It speaks to us through our feelings, but how often do we silence our feelings and our intuition, to follow the voice of ‘common sense and logic’? How often do we convince ourselves that the right choice IS the right choice, even when deep down it feels anything but right?

This is where all of our pain and misery come from. From the conflict of doing what we want, instead of getting what we need. From not living in our truth but putting on a show, for the world and our ego to see. Following the voice of our ego will lead us down a path of emptiness and disappointment. We will find admiration, but not true love. We will find followers, but not partners, we will find success , but not fulfillment. The voice of the soul, however, leads us back to ourselves, to the things that matter the most, the only things that are truly real.

The voice of the soul can only be heard in silence, solitude and stillness. When we disconnect from the world, when we stop looking without, and we start searching within. So find a quiet place, sit down with your eyes closed, and just be. And ask yourself the questions that trouble you the most. Let your thought flow freely. If an answer comes to you and it leaves you feeling unsettled and sad or angry, it’s not the right one, move on. The right answer will leave you feeling happy, balanced, it will leave you feeling ‘right’.

Your life is not a business deal, you are not running a corporation. Your job is not to ‘do the right thing’. Your job is to be blissfully happy, fulfilled, and to feel at home, no matter where you are. So go on, sit in silence and find your home.

Namaste.

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Size doesn’t matter

I’ve got this dream. I’ve had it for years. Something that I have wanted to do, or rather obtain, that would make a big difference in my life. One of those “If I get this done, I can do anything” dream. And being a follower of the Law of Attraction practices, and doing my daily bit of daydreaming and visualization, I’ve always thought that it was a matter of time. If I do this often enough and hard enough, it will happen. I will make it happen. Yet the years go by and the coveted dream is still as out of reach today as it was the day I conjured it up in my mind.

But the mind doesn’t like vacuum. If you don’t feed it with the right thoughts, it will make up its own to fill the void. So inevitably, a different sort of musings begin to sneak in – this is never gonna happen, who are you kidding, how could you possibly make something so big appear out of thin air….and on and on. Doubt is like an infection. Once it takes a hold of your brain cells, it will spread and multiply and it will take over your thoughts, your dreams, your beliefs. And it will never cease until it has destroyed the last shred of hope that miracles exist, that they are really…quite possible.

Years ago, caught in one of those ‘infection spells’, I decided to take a different approach. Tired of nothing going my way, having lost hope that ‘anything good would ever happen to me’, I got pushed into action by a word mentioned somewhere in the corridors of life, by a stranger passing by, or was it a friend concerned about me – gratitude. I sat down with a pen and notepad and began to make a list of all the wonderful things that had happened to me, that I didn’t even make an effort to achieve. That was the main point. List only the ‘little miracles’. Not things I had worked hard to accomplish, not purchases that took months of discipline and saving. No, only unexpected gifts of things I had once wished for, thought about and then quickly discarded as un-doable. Like experiences I had hoped for but never had. Or even inventions that didn’t exist in the world but I thought useful. The dream jacket that was nowhere to be found. The kind of answer that was not in a book to be read. That sort of stuff.

I sat and I wrote. And then I wrote some more. And suddenly I stopped, realizing that I had filled four pages with things I was grateful for. Things I had said about “I wish I could have/find/buy/experience that…..” and then never spent a second thought on. Four pages of little miracles, and I had only gone back six months in time.

And then I realised. It wasn’t that I had spent hours and days ‘working’ on getting those things. It’s not that I had invested energy and effort into making them happen. It was more that I never had doubt they would come into existence. I never felt I wasn’t deserving of them, or they were impossible to obtain. No, I just had a fleeting thought about something I desired, then left it at the back of my mind, never revisited, until the day that thing or object landed in my lap, and then I’d go “Oh yes, I’ve always wanted one of these, I’ve always wanted to come to this place, I’ve always fancied that”.

My meditation teacher used to say that ten hours of visualization can be undone by ten seconds of doubt. “When you do that, he’d say, you’ve lost all your brownie points”. Doubt and fear can destroy in moments what faith and belief have been building for months.

In his book “Think and grow rich” Napoleon Hill teaches us that we can achieve anything we can think of, as long as we have a burning desire for our dream and unshakable faith that what we want is possible and we deserve it. But how do you make yourself believe that you deserve something, that you are worth it? The answer is as simple as it is profound. Love yourself. Love yourself as you are the worthiest and most deserving person on the planet. Believe that all the goodness and abundance of the universe are yours. By default. By birthright. Indeed, failure is not an option. You will receive everything you believe you deserve. So believe wisely.

By now however, you are probably asking yourself – what does all of this has to do with size? Steady, my dear readers, you are not being spammed with an advertisement for a miraculous cure for male prowess or lack thereof.

The size in question is the size of your dreams. And the doubts and indecisiveness such size induces. A trap I have fallen into way too often myself, thinking that because something is too big, it is therefore impossible. Yet the simple truth is – size does not matter to the Universe. She is as willing and capable of fulfilling the grandest of dreams as easily as the tiniest of desires. However big or small your aspiration, she can meet your request with equal ease. Whether you want a small raise at work or lower gas prices nationwide, better looking garden or world peace – it is all the same to her. Size does not matter. At least when it comes to the metrics of your dreams, it doesn’t.

Where it does matter however, is in the size of your faith that anything is possible. The size of your conviction that you can have anything you wish for. The size of the desire burning in your heart and the size of the voice in your mind saying to you “Yes, you can have it, you deserve it, it’s yours”.

A friend of mine complained to me the other day, how something she’s been hoping for in a very long time, keeps slipping through her fingers. The more I want it and try to make it happen, she cried, the harder and more out of reach it seems. I said to her the same thing I’m gonna say to you now:

Be grateful for everything you already have.

Believe that what you want is already yours.

Be patient for everything that’s yet to come.

Successful careers and fat bank accounts might be built on work, education, ambition or greed. But inner peace and happiness need only three foundation rocks – gratitude, patience and faith.

So dream on. Dream big. Do not lose sight of your horizon. Chase away doubt and fear. And fuel the fire in your heart. For whatever you wish for, is already yours. All you need to do is say “Thank you”.

Namaste.

The sacred wheels

We are all energy beings, which is not that hard to imagine, considering the fact that everything around is nothing but energy. The energy of life is flowing throughout our bodies all the time via thousands of energy centers, but there are seven of them, which are considered major. They are located along the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. All seven chakras help to regulate the body processes, from organ function to the immune system and emotions. Now, you probably know that in Sanskrit the word chakra means “wheel” and each of those wheels governs specific functions and has its own vibrational frequency, so in order to visualize a chakra, you could imagine a swirling wheel of energy, each of the relevant color as described below. The first three chakras are referred to as chakras of matter, i.e. more physical in nature. The fourth one represents the connection between matter and spirit, while the remaining three are referred to as chakras of spirit. This article aims to provide a brief description of the seven main chakras, which are essential to our body functions and overall physical existence. Here we go.

The Root chakra (Muladhara)

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Located at the base of your spine, the first chakra is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. It is associated with security and safety, survival, physicality, physical identity and aspects of self, grounding.

When imbalanced, Muladhara might result in excessive negativity, cynicism, eating disorders, greed, avarice, illusion, and excessive feeling of insecurity, living on survival mode.

The Sacral chakra (Svadhisthana)

Located just below your navel, this is the chakra of sensuality and creativity. It’s associated with emotions, feelings, relationships, relating, expression of sexuality, sensual pleasure, feeling the outer and inner worlds, creativity, and fantasies.

When imbalanced, Svadhisthana might result in dependency on other people or substances, being ruled by your emotions, feeling numb, out of touch with yourself and how you feel, overindulgence in fantasies, sexual obsessions, lack of sexual desire or satisfaction, feeling stuck in a particular feeling or mood.

The Solar Plexus chakra (Manipura)

Located at your solar plexus area, this is the chakra of expression of will, personal power, and mental abilities. It’s associated with taking responsibility for your life, taking control, mental abilities, the intellect, forming personal opinions and beliefs, making decisions, setting the direction, clarity of judgments, personal identity, personality, self-assurance, confidence, self-discipline, independence.

When imbalanced, Manipura might result in excessive control and authority over your environment and people, feeling of helplessness, irresponsibility, being obsessed with minute details, losing the big picture, being manipulative, misusing your power, lack of clear direction, lack of purpose or ambition, making plans or having a lot of ideas without finding efficient ways to realize them.

The Heart chakra (Anahata)

Located at the center of your chest, this is the chakra of compassion, love, and beauty. It’s associated with the capacity to love, integration, bridge between earthly and spiritual aspirations, transcending personal identity and limitations of the ego, experience of unconditional love and connection with all, heart-centered discernment, appreciation of beauty in all things, experiencing deep and meaningful relationships.

When imbalanced, Anahata might result in being overly defensive, feeling closed down, jealousy, fear of intimacy, codependency, relying on other’s approval and attention, trying to please at all cost, always putting oneself in the role of the savior or the rescuer or falling into victimization, excessive isolation, being recluse, antisocial, holding grudges, inability to forgive.

The Throat chakra (Vishudda)

Located at the center of your neck at the level of the throat, this is the chakra of expression and communication. It’s associated with expression, ability to express your truth, to speak out, verbal and non-verbal communication, connection with the etheric realm, the more subtle realms of spirit and intuitive abilities, propensity to create, projecting ideas and blueprints into reality, realizing your vocation, purpose, good sense of timing.

When imbalanced, Vishudda might result in lack of control over one’s speech; speaking too much or inappropriately, not being able to listen to others, excessive fear of speaking, imperceptible voice, inability to keep secrets or keep your word, telling lies, excessive secretiveness or shyness, lack of connection with a vocation or purpose in life.

The Third Eye chakra (Ajna)

Located between your eyebrows, this is the chakra of intuition and foresight. It’s associated with vision, intuition, perception of subtle dimensions and movements of energy, psychic abilities related to clairvoyance and clairaudience, access to mystical states, illumination, connection to wisdom, insight, motivation of inspiration and creativity.

When imbalanced, Ajna might result in feeling stuck in the daily grind without being able to look beyond your problems and set a guiding vision for yourself, fantasies that appear more real than reality, indulgence in psychic fantasies and illusions, inability to establish a vision for oneself and realize it, rejection of everything spiritual or beyond the usual, not being able to see the big picture, lack of clarity.

The Crown chakra (Sahasrara)

Located at the top of your head, the seventh chakra is the one of higher consciousness. Sahasrara means “thousand petals”, so it’s often depicted or visualized with a thousand-petaled lotus. It’s associated with consciousness, awareness of higher consciousness, wisdom, of what is sacred, connection with the formless, the limitless, realization, liberation from limiting patterns, communion with higher states of consciousness, ecstasy, bliss, presence.

When imbalanced, Sahasrara might result in being disconnected to spirit, constant cynicism regarding what is sacred, living in your head, being disconnected from your body and earthly matters, obsessive attachment to spiritual matters, closed-mindedness.

As you can see, vital energy force flowing freely through all these chakras is crucial, therefore energy blockages might result in illness and various disorders. In the following articles I’m gonna go into detail for all seven, one by one.

Namaste.