“So, this is Christmas… and what have you done?
Another year over and a new one just begun…”
These are the famous lyrics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The words certainly set the tone for this letter for the New Year that I am sharing with you.
I ask myself: What have I done? Hmmm… Well isn’t that the problem? It always seems to be about what we do and not what we become as a result of the doing. Last year that was a lot of my focus and I think I am going to do more of the same this year. My aim will be to focus on BEING, and then the doing will happen automatically. Raja Yoga really inspires me because it truly is the yoga to master the mind. To become a master of the self. I may not be the master seated on my seat all the time, but certainly the pull is forever there to become that self-sovereign. In fact, if I do the inner work in the right way and come from a space of spirit, then the positives naturally flow into my life. Really life is all about coming back into spiritual alignment.
Lately, I have been very inspired by certain ancient sages of India who lived in the caves in the Himalayas and managed to conquer the elements. They would sit for hours in Tapasya, a form of deep meditation, and as a result develop such inner powers that they could predict events, or even read people’s minds and tell their futures! Sometimes they would be able to stop things from happening or make things happen, whatever was the best outcome. Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have taken inspiration from such yogis. It shows that this power can be developed by anyone. They were not born with this power, but they were able to focus the power of their minds. Hence, if we apply our thought energy in the right way, we too can achieve any level of peace and happiness that we may seek.
2018 was a year with many firsts…
For example, the meditation centre here with the help of many hands organised a major conference in Kuwait, Awakening Inner Power and Potential. That was an amazing and exciting two days with wonderful speakers from around the world and a hall full with 280 people dedicated to the programme for two full days from 9:00 am until 4:30pm. It took a lot to plan but in the end it was all worth the effort. Seeing people’s faces shine, smile and sparkle was the greatest gift and was most rewarding.
I was honoured to be invited as a keynote speaker and to conduct a meditation at the IFTDO, Dubai 2018 World Conference and Exhibition where the theme of the Conference was: The Future is Today – Creating a Culture of Happiness in the Workplace. UAE has initiated a Ministry of Happiness and Tolerance, so it was a fitting topic to bring about greater awareness. Everyday we choose whether we want to be happy or not! Choose to be Happy… NOW!
Happy people are happy because:
- They help others! And the good karma boomerangs back to them!
- They get their body moving, either through dance or exercise and create endorphins and GABA neurotransmitters which makes the cells happy cells!
- They stay positive – always looking at the bright side. They do not entertain negativity and depression!
- Their lives are meaningful and purposeful and so they are very grateful.
- They have an attitude of learning and growing – therefore always feeling accomplished!
“A loving eye does not find faults,
While an angry eye sees all faults.”
Earlier in the year I visited Konya, Turkey, the hometown of Rumi. It had been on my radar for some years, yet I had never managed a visit during the five years I lived in Turkey! So, it was a treat indeed! Rumi was so in love with God and truly an inspiration of how one’s love should be for THAT DIVINE ONE! I also visited one of my favourite cities, Istanbul. I revived my wonderful memories of living in Istanbul. Although a lot has changed since then, I practically know all the back streets of Kadikoy and Istiklal Caddesi. It has the old and the new, the rich and the poor, the ancient and modern, that city is such a melting pot. In 2019, Istanbul will become an international main player on the world field, as it becomes one of the two biggest state of the art mega hub airports in the world, covering 26 square miles, an area larger than the island of Manhattan. Go Istanbul. Go!
I just love Rumi’s ‘seven advices’, they transcend religious boundaries and epitomise the essence of all religions today. If we all simply lived by Rumi’s special seven, indeed the world would be a much healthier and happier place. Rumi’s advice is to live life with compassion, tolerance, patience, acceptance, and beyond all love! So here is Rumi’s advice:
- In generosity and helping others: be like the river
- In compassion and grace: be like the sun.
- In concealing others’ faults: be like the night.
- In anger and fury: be like the dead.
- In modesty and humility: be like the soil.
- In tolerance: be like the ocean.
- Either you appear as you are, or: be as you appear.
Whilst in Antalya, I started researching into intermittent fasting and began applying it in my own life. Basically, it is the 16/8 diet. Eating for 8 hours and not eating for 16. During this fast time I make sure that I stay hydrated and drink lots of water. I stuck to it religiously for five months and very soon, I found I had lost several kilos! Yes, it definitely takes inner strength and perseverance at times. But isn’t that the case in life with everything, you get out what you put in! Or not put in, as the case was! (Please consult a doctor if you are not sure of your health status before starting a fast.) I strongly suggest that if you have not done any kind of fasting, you give it a try. It makes you realize how little food you need (with very little hunger pangs) and how much more energy you have as a result of eating less and the right type of foods.
At the moment a few of us are experimenting with eating little to no salt for the next few weeks. The main intention is to help the body to be more flexible and adaptable to change. So, if there ever comes a time of crisis and when we may not have food easily available, then we know we will be ok and can survive. The body will already be used to adapting, and we will have proven to our self that we can cope and… the worst will be over!
2018 saw the death of a very beloved uncle type figure in my life in India. I had known him for 30 plus years. He was the embodiment of humility and wisdom, always encouraging and setting one in the right direction in life. Following his dead body to various sites before setting it ablaze, this really brought home the idea of us leaving this world one day and to question what will we carry with us in the end? Nothing but good wishes and a stock of good karma – that’s all!
During the past year drama has pulled me to different parts of India for various reasons, and they were all wonderful and exciting and it is always a joy to visit Incredible India. They say in 2019, for the first time, the national GDP of India will rise above that of England, India’s former colonial ruler! My, how tides have turned. Isn’t this another important lesson of life? Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you… because the tables may one day turn! India is definitely changing and many NRI’s are moving back to India, believe it or not… for a better life!
This year also saw the launch of the 6th book in the series: It’s Time… I was inspired by this title: It’s Time… to do the Inner Work. I felt it really is the time to look within and empower the self. There is so much potential we have not tapped into, or we have not yet fully discovered our self. Seldom do we look inside for the answers. But that is where they lie, all kept safe and hidden. So that when we lose our way, we will always have the answers within us, we simply need to look there! The book will be released in January in London.
After resisting for many years, I finally started my Instagram account. I am not social media savvy and don’t like to hang my private life out there in public… but this app has certainly made me look at life in a more artistic way and I am thankful for it.
LET IT GO
Finally, here are my three words for next year: LET IT GO! This is my mantra for 2019! Whatever it may be, let it go. Don’t hold onto new or old hurts and certainly don’t allow them to ruin your relationships. Talk stuff through if you can, clear it and move on! In the end, do you want peace of mind or do you want to be right? Even if you cannot meet face to face, at least you can speak spirit to spirit. Believe it or not, it works! Basically, we would call this a form of love and forgiveness of the heart. What is your mantra for the coming year that will be your guiding light?
A BIG THANKS TO ALL
A Big Thanks to All who follow the Blog. I love to get your comments and questions. Keep them coming in and I will do my best to answer them, either publicly or privately.
I would like to take this opportunity to Thank the It’s Time Team – Viannie Chua, Mike Saunders, Jaymini Patel and BK Publications, Carol Lipthorpe, Marion Higham, Pavitra Sangwan, Bina Shivram, and Joachim Debarge. Bless You all for your selfless time and commitment to It’s Time…. You help to make all the difference! No wo-man is an island and nothing can ever be achieved alone!
If you want to walk fast, walk alone,
but if you want to walk far, walk together!
Dada Ratan Tata
Keep enjoying that inner journey.
Have a fabulous 2019! Make it your best year yet!