Your Inner Guru

“You are your own guru” a wise woman once said to me.

“I know” I instinctively replied.

I have carried this truth with me for as long as I can remember, that I have all the answers within me somehow and the journey lies in discovering the way to unlock them.

Today, I sat with this knowing, this understanding. What does it really mean to be your own guru?

Here are the words that came:

We, human beings, are seekers by nature. That’s what makes us such great disciples and devotees. We find bliss in the search for something greater, for purpose, for meaning when it comes to our existence. Why are we here? Why do we suffer? What is the point of it all? What is God doing about it? We have never-ending questions and very little answers, yet we keep searching. We leave no stone unturned. From the bottom of a bottle, the tip of a needle, within the holy temple of another, we look up into the sky trying to peak behind the stars and the clouds for answers but now we know better. Now whether you ask a priest or a scientist where to look for answers they will both answer: Look within.

Within. What does that mean? Yogananda used to say that “God is in your spine”. What does this mean? I did Biology, I know everything this body is made up of. What could my liver or my kidneys tell me that I don’t already know? And yet, those two words keep ringing. Look within. Before you know it, you’re doing it. You’ve invited the silence to come a sit with you and you’re taking the trip inwards. You can feel your breathing. Do you know how bizarre this sounds? Yet you’re doing it. You feel it. In your breath, in the air. You feel it. The energy. Where do you think it comes from? Once you stabilize in this stage of being, of concentration and silence, once you feel the energy, you are finally being with yourself. This is my favorite part. It’s like falling in love. You feel something beautiful without knowing why. You just feel attracted, you feel like you’re next to goodness. It’s inevitable to fall in love with you. Because the divine, light-filled energy you is pretty damn amazing. You are kind, you are peaceful, beautiful, clear, honest and most of all, you’re wise. There is such deep, ancient wisdom here within you. The experience from all of your lives, all the memories engraved in your soul. There are things you don’t even know you know.

One of my very close friends asked me yesterday “how did you grow up to be so awesome?” I couldn’t tell if she was pulling my leg but she was actually serious. How did someone like me, knowing where I came from, the kind of family I was brought up in, how did I become this person? I laughed. It’s not something I’ve thought about recently but the truth is I know. I know I’m awesome. I know my heart is made of gold and I know why too. Because this is what I chose. I chose this life, I decided to be the person I am today, the person I’m working to become tomorrow. I made a choice. I chose to surprise people. I chose to offer compassion, patience, generosity, love and kindness in situations where they’d expect resentment, anger or jealousy. I made this decision to be different. To do things differently from the examples I had before me. I chose this life knowing full well what I was getting into. I know my kindness would be treated as weakness, I knew I’d encounter people far too eager to take advantage of me. I knew I’d let them. I knew I’d suffer immensely emotionally, I knew I’d learn to endure, I knew I would always be disappointed if I chose to expect the best from others, but I did it anyway. I knew I’d be disappointed and betrayed, I knew I’d learn new ways a human being could hurt every day. This is the honest truth. I knew. And I still chose to live this way. I have loved everyone that has ever hurt me. I have loved them deeply. Why? It sounds insane when I put it this way, so why did I choose this life?

Because I heard a voice inside that told me that it was what I had to do.

I can’t help make sense of that either but it’s the truth. I trust in this voice. it guides me when I lose sight of myself. It knows things, it feels things, it’s been places, it’s seen indescribable situations. But you know the most fascinating thing about this inner being? It’s how it connects with others. It has this way. Sometimes, when I look at someone, I know. I just know what they need. I know their wound, their lack, I know what they’re searching for. I feel it in my whole body and sometimes I know just what to say or do. Other times, they look at my eyes and find their own answers. I am not even aware of what happened. This is why I trust this voice.

I like to believe this being is the truth of who I am. Of who we all are. I like to believe in a world where each one of us chooses to live from this space. This is my guide, my spirit, my north. I trust in this voice. This is how I end up on street corners at odd hours just waiting and wondering, this is why I miss trains on purpose, why I’m perpetually late for meetings, why I take forever to decide. I don’t want to miss a miracle.

In this moment, my heart is full of love. I’m in love with someone I’ve never met. How can this be? I just know because that’s what my heart tells me. I trust this voice.

I know what I have to do but I hold myself back because the shoe feels too big for me to wear. I know the sacrifices I’d have to make, the risks I’d have to take and I don’t know if my fragile human state is ready for that. But every single day I get a little braver and push myself a little further that what I believe to be my limit. Because I trust this voice.

And I know I will never change. I won’t stop loving, I won’t stop hurting. I did what I could do. I’ve stopped lamenting and victimizing myself. My life is in my hands, from now on I’m making the choices and I’m done waiting for a savior to come. How could I forget something I knew all along? All I had to do was look within. All I had to do was sit with myself to find her. My true hero. Me.

Under all the rubble in your life, under all the dust and the sand and the dirt, you will notice that there is always life waiting to be born.

There is always a second chance.

A new beginning.

A new story waiting to be told.

As long as there is life, there will always be hope.

 

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A Wake for my Weaknesses

 

“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”
Corazon Aquino
I am always first to admit when I make a mistake. I have no pride holding me back from recognizing that I am flawed. After all, I am human. But I am also divine. And I am now learning how to live from this divine nature within me…
For me this hasn’t been easy since I am someone prone to playing the victim role. There is always something or someone else to blame for what is happening to me…
I come from a line of toxic family beliefs: “money is the best indicator of success, vulnerability is a sign of weakness, honesty is cowardice, love is meaningless, time for leisure is laziness, etc etc”
For a long time, all I remember is how much I criticized myself for not meeting these standards. How well I put myself down, oh boy, I should’ve won some kind of prize. I didn’t appreciate any of my qualities. I always focused on what I didn’t have or what I was missing or what I had in excess.
It wasn’t until I discovered meditation that my old story and belief patterns were able to melt away and I could fall into the truth of who I am.
How you perceive yourself creates the filter, the lens through which you see everything… your entire world. How you see others is a reflection of how you see yourself. So if you see yourself as unworthy, you are going to seek worthiness in places and people…. and that just isn’t healthy. Trust me, I know.
But when we see ourselves as beings of energy, of love, of peace, beauty and bliss…. we allow ourselves to shine and we give permission to the other person to do so as well.
I now follow a specific spiritual path. Practicing Raja Yoga meditation, dedicating myself to serving others, having a focus of self-study and personal growth in order to be an example through my dharna. Being a part of a spiritual family and transcending the human form to become who we once were: Shaktis. This practice is my life and this is where the inspiration for my article comes from.

This path brings you face to face with the best and the worst in you. Your old story comes up and claws into you trying to hold on for dear life. This old story contains all our weakness and vices. All our sins and crimes.

It is not enough to just recognize them. The objective is to leave them behind. To destroy that which no longer serves you so you can make room for the light. To say it’s an emotional roller-coaster is an understatement. Fear  will appear like a knight in shining armor convinced that is has come to save you!
What I’ve found is that we can’t focus on our weaknesses, but rather our strengths. The stronger we are, the stronger the opposition. In order to stop identifying ourselves with our weaknesses we need to start to identify with our strengths, our innate qualities, our virtues, our powers. The more we connect with the wholeness that we are, the more we close the door to our faults. 
I have recently buried three very important weaknesses in my life. Each one of us knows who our monsters are and what they look like. These are mine. Thank you all for coming to their funeral:

My doubts


You are like this grey cloud in my head. Literally inside. And not only do you rain down on me, you constantly pass judgment! You are the birthplace of my confusion, my insecurity and my lack of decision-making.

You are the reason I always second guess myself. Why I don’t have trust or faith.

Where did you come from? Sometimes you feel like a lost boy. I wish I could get you home.

Sometimes you disguise yourself as intelligence (rational or emotional). But the truth is that I always see through you. I know you but I let you take over anyway. You always make it seem like I have more to lose than to gain. But I have clarity now, I have love and I have light. I have power. You feel smaller now, but you’re still there… surviving.

Maybe if you let go, it will liberate you. Maybe at the bottom of that abyss is your home, who knows?

I think you should go. I don’t need you anymore. Thank you for our time. You really forced me to fight hard against you so… thank you. But really, you can go now. I’ll be just fine without you.


My guilt


You’re like a husband I never had.

That old ball & chain.

I’ve dragged you around for as long as I can remember.

I sometimes think I was born with you.

But what good have you done me?

You come to me as self-pity and I wallow in you.

I used to consider you my conscience.

You’d be the one to tell me what was right and what was wrong.

But to you, everything I wanted was wrong.

You told me I was selfish. You even told me to stop wanting things. That I could live without having anything. That I had to learn to appreciate what I had. That there was happiness and reward in sacrifice. That by following you, I was being humble and noble.

What kind of bias conscience are you? My whole life I felt remorse for not doing or being what others wanted me to be and you… oh, you had a party with that. Every time I was about to make a decision for myself and my happiness, I envisioned how it would impact others and boom! You exploded like a supernova in my heart. Why couldn’t I just want what others wanted me to want for myself? You made me hate that I was different. What is so wrong with wanting to live life just for me? Why is it my duty, my obligation to fulfill all the expectations put on me? Last time I checked, I wasn’t a fairy. So why do you keep suffocating me? How can I fly with your weight holding my soul down like gravity? I don’t know how to get rid of you yet, but for now I’ve learned a neat trick. I learned that I can reverse you. Instead of feeling you when I let others down, I will only feel you when I let myself down. You will only haunt me when I am not being true to myself. To my beliefs. You will also have a companion from now on. Her name is compassion.


My fears


I have carried you around for so long. You’ve become like an old friend that’s no good for me yet one I choose over others who are more worthy.

You keep me in the dark, and the hardest part is that I know the light. I’ve seen it. I recognize it. But you make it seem out of reach for me.

How long do you intend on keeping me prisoner?

You take the joy out of life. You blind me. Turn me into something I’m not.

You make me ugly and small. I’m tired of waiting for you to release me. I kept thinking that if I grew up, matured, and deepened my knowledge in spirituality that you would let me go. But NO. Here you are.

Gate keeper of my happiness and freedom.

I now realize that it was never your responsibility to release me.

I had to release YOU.

I had the power all along.

But I know you. You’re going to try to come back to me. That’s alright. I’ll never forget whose boss again.

You are not my friend. You don’t keep me safe. You keep me locked in a cage.

I’m letting you go. I’ll take the risk of being hurt or rejected or unloved or defeated.

Whatever comes my way, I’ll face it. My happiness is worth the risk.

My freedom is worth fearlessness.

Look… Listen…

We live in a world of contrast. Of duality. Of division. Of perception. Of perspective. Of difference. Of illusion…

We focus on the little things. After all, these are often the big things in our life. We focus on our family, friends, work, our belongings, our dreams. Each one of us has a bubble we can fit our whole life into. Everything and everyone we know.

Isn’t it funny, however, that even though we focus on what we can see, on what’s right in front of us… sometimes… we miss it altogether?

The big picture.

The raw beauty that always surrounds us. The energy. The connectivity. The LOVE.

We prioritize possessions over experiences.

We think tomorrow is promised.

We take the act of breathing for granted.

We take our very existance… for granted.

When was the last time you thought of yourself as more than just your name, age, nationality, profession, gender or status…

When was the last time you contemplated yourself as a universe, within a universe, within a universe?

Who are you? What are you? Why are you here?

When was the last time you had a conversation with the real you?

Speak up, soul.

Speak loud.

This body is here to listen.

I suffer from F.O.B.S {& more confessions…}

I’ve procrastinated for over 2 weeks deliberating whether or not to write this article. Alas, here I am.

This is going to be a tad different from other posts. I’m going to get more personal and intimate with you. More open, more honest.

Am I a positive person? Hell yes.

Am I spiritual? I am constantly practicing spirituality.

Am I kind? The older I get, the kinder I get.

Am I good? As good as I want to be on a good day.

Am I perfect? No freaking way.

I am human after all.

Could I be better? Yes.

Could I be happier? Indeed.

Could I be more stable in my emotions? Absolutely!

Could I achieve great things? Yes. Yes. Yes.

What’s stopping me?

That is what we’re going to talk about today…

You see, I think that ever since childhood I’ve suffered from this particular syndrome.

I call it the F.O.B.S, i.e:

THE FEAR OF BEING SEEN

 

Just by hearing this, you can probably relate. Maybe it made you smile or shy away. Either way, I know I’m not alone in this.

The Fear of Being Seen Syndrome has plagued me my whole life.

Imagine that you are the sole owner of the biggest, brightest, clearest and finest diamond in the entire world. What do you do? Wear it around your neck everywhere you go? Or keep it somewhere hidden where you know it will be safe?

Now imagine, that diamond… is you. You are this beautiful, one of a kind gem. You’re priceless. So what do you do? Do you put yourself out there, lay your truth bare, stand naked in Times Square to show off your radiance? No… you hide it. You keep it safe. You protect it. Or at least that’s what you tell yourself…

our-deepest-fear-is-not-that-we-are-inadequate-our-deepest-fear-is-that-we-are-powerful-beyond-measure

All these years, it’s what I told myself. I was SO AFRAID of being seen. Of someone discovering the REAL me. Of being recognized for who I really am. Of being noticed for my kindness, my thoughts, my words, my deeds, and most importantly…. My heart.

Yet, at the same time, I was DYING for someone to see beyond what I would show. Like some magic stare from some magical person could break through all the falsities and just see… me. If it happened like that, I would know that I was safe.

Ultimately, it was a fear of being hurt, rejected, judged, criticized, also a fear or raising the bar of expectations (for others and myself), a fear of not being able to go backwards, a fear of not recognizing myself, of losing the relationship I had with me. A fear of being inadequate, of not feeling like enough….. Basically, the entire dictionary of fears!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these fears off my shoulders. I collected all my insecurities like jewelry and decorated myself with them.

For years I felt heavy. Unaware of the invisible weight I was carrying around with me. (not to mention the additional physical weight of top of that!)

It took me YEARS and I mean that literally to gain some perspective, some self-love and self-respect.

To love myself, want myself and choose myself the way I wanted others to.

It took me decades to value and appreciate my strengths, my talents, my gifts, my AWESOMENESS!

Like I am a GREAT listener (seriously, ask anybody), If you’re my friend you know you can always count on me, I’m a giving lover, I’m a challenging daughter (in a  good way hahaha, I love you Ma & Pa), I’m a grateful traveler, a pretty rad teacher. However, there are things I want to try that push me outside of that attractive comfort zone so I keep procrastinating because secretly I am terrified of trying new things (yup). For example, my friends tell me I have a really nice voice and I’ve got a knack for storytelling. I actually love to tell stories. However, making videos or starting a podcast intimidates me. (plus im not as technologically savvy as I seem…. You see what happened right there? Another limiting belief… * mental delete*)

These are things that I push through, little by little, piece by piece, day by day, until the puzzle is complete.

fabulous

I KNOW I have so much more to offer, to give away, to learn, to see, to be. Sometimes during my meditations I feel this power surge through me, begging me to be released. How? Where? Into what? These are the current questions that plague me.

How do I reach a state of full expression? Without limitations or restrictions?

How do I let myself show, completely, unapologetically, openly, strongly, and wholeheartedly?

How do I let go of my fear of being more that what I thought I was capable of?

How do I fall into all this gorgeous glory?

Gosh, does it really belong to me?

YES!!!! Because IT IS ME!

So, I guess, my advice to you after all these years of searching and hurting and growing and breaking and learning is the following:

Life is a story and you are the main character. You can choose to be the hero, the villain or the victim.

But ultimately, it’s your choice. You can hold so many titles. Play so many characters. Just choose the one that fits you best.

Every day I choose to be the hero. The warrior. The kindness agent. The dream maker. The philosopher. The gardener. The healer. The photographer. The artist. The musician. The nomad. The label breaker. The seamstress. The butterfly. The leaf. The sun rays. The treasure. The diamond. The student. The guest. The star. The instrument. The raindrop. The feather. The cloud. The ocean. The rock. The scientist. The lotus. The dragon. The swan. The passenger. The key. The pearl. The projector. The blank page. The entire damn Saga.

You are a soul. You are Concentrated Energy. Know this. Know the light that you hold. The power within.

Know your worth. Discover you’re limitless. Admire yourself.

You are everything you have ever searched for

You are Love

You are Peace

You are Happiness

You are Truth

You are Beauty

You are Bliss

Know this

Feel this

Be this

And allow yourself to shine through

All the fears and BS around you

Just…

Be.

Dear Reader,

I beg of you…

Remember your divinity.

 

{this article was mad scary to write so please be gentle with your comments. My big, open, heart would appreciate it. Thanks}

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