Tag Archives: life lessons

Have you turned your back on someone crying Wolf?

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-BlackWolf--4There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!”

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

He does this a couple more times and as the story goes….

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, “Wolf! Wolf!”

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again and so they didn’t come.

I remind you of this story, because in my own way I have cried wolf. Unlike the shepherd boy, however, I was not lying about the wolf.

The wolf in my life was depression. In my cry of wolf (which came out as cries of pain, tears, sadness) loved ones came for a while and I was heard but quickly dismissed because they could not see the wolf.

The wolf was always lurking. My cries took the forms of chronic stuttering, pacing, insomnia, weight-loss and these all compounded my tears and my pain. People could see signs of trouble but no one saw the wolf so they turned away.

Then the wolf, chewing on me, was devouring me and my life. I made the final cries that I wanted to die. “Help me! Can’t you see I want to die?” And yet the ones who I thought loved me the most were deaf to my pleas. Worse yet, those who heard me held me in contempt.

I never lied about the wolf in my life.

As the little shepherd boy cried out to get attention, yes I did too. The attention I needed was in the form of help.

If someone you know is crying out for attention, they may have the wolf known as depression in their life. Take time to look through the trees to see if they have wolves in the shadows and are in need of help.

Don’t turn away from a cry for help.

It is the loneliest feeling in the world when you reach out to those you love for help and they walk away.

Not seeing what has ALWAYS been there can be a true gift…

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School-boy-and-blackboard-300x300My lesson from identical twins, 25 years in the making.

I have known a set of identical twins from the moment of their birth. We have shared hours and days and weeks together over the course of their 25 glorious years on earth. They are as close as my own children and I love and respect them as much as I do my own.

I have never been able to tell them apart. My daughter has ALWAYS been able to tell them apart. She, my daughter, would get so frustrated with me when I would keep asking her which was which.

She tried to point out all the small details of their faces, the shape of the eyes, the difference in the smiles, the profile differences and still, as hard as I tried to look to see, all the details evaded me.

I remained blind.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had the lovely chance to spend five glorious days with them.

The first day I was still blind….I could not see the differences. (I had actually given up many years ago, because I was sure I would never get it.)

Then, as clear as day, I woke up the second day and I saw it.

I cannot tell you what I saw. I just had a shift in perspective and RIGHT there, I said, “Are you Jackie?” (Name changed to protect the twins.)

She said YES!

I could not believe it.

I asked again a few hours after and again I nailed it.

The next day, I nailed it again.

I do not understand what shifted in my head, but something very significant  did and  I know that I will always be able to tell them apart.

I think that this paradigm shift is what needs to happen with women who accept abuse.

They must keep looking for ways to recognize that which they have been blinded. They may have been blinded by childhood abuse, or by acts of war, or some other horrible history.

They must be able to see through what they have accepted as fact.

Each woman is the ONLY one who can shift her perspectives.

Thousands of experts can point out the problems such as:

  1. No one has the right to hit you
  2. No one has the right to rape you
  3. No one has the right to control you
  4. No one has the right to blame you for their anger

I could go on and on…

It would not matter, because unless something shifts inside of each individual person, they would not be able to escape the abuse.

I will keep doing the work I do.

Indranis Light will keep putting up blogs, sending out recordings and teaching in shelters IN THE HOPE that some people somewhere will be able to make the shift and begin to see the SIGNIFICANCE of their individuality. 

When the shift happens, when people see that THEY are worthy, NO ONE will be able to take it away and they will be able to change the relationship.

They will, like I did, say “Is that you?”

They will say, “Yes, it is me and I am worth MORE than putting up with abuse. I refuse to accept it another day longer.”

I will never give up on all the women out there who are looking for the little hints about their worth and I hope they tell me when they figure it out.

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Love & light,


When the nasty “Know It All” person rears their ugly head, be very targeted in your response….

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Finger waggingAllow me to set the stage.

A couple weeks ago I buried my father.

I had the highest honor at the funeral to have delivered his eulogy.

It was, BY FAR, the most important speech I had ever and will ever make in my whole life.

I wrote and rewrote and edited and practiced and was generally very anxious about the whole day, but especially that I would do the greatest job I had ever done as a public speaker.

I wanted to rely on my memory but I choose to bring up the iPad and I stuck to the script because I was afraid I would lose my composure.

A dear friend had advised me that the eulogy should educate the congregation about the greatness of my father.

I spoke to my siblings and I spoke to his friends and to many young people that he had mentored and I composed my poetry on my Dad.

During the delivery, I spoke clearly, pausing to breathe and to allow the words to flutter like and angel’s wings over my family and dear friends who were in attendance.

I managed to get through almost 97% of it before my voice cracked and the tears began to flow.

Almost everyone came up or called up to tell me what a beautiful honoring I had done for my father.

Ok Dear Reader,

The stage has been set.

Fast forward to the actual night of the funeral. My siblings and children and nephews and mother are gathered in the humble living room in Trinidad and a friend of my mother comes to visit.

She walks in, loudly announcing that she has spent the whole day in church and has just offered up prayers for my mother.

THEN, she looks at me…

“Indrani,” she says loud and clear, “the eulogy was lovely BUT you should have said how devoted and loving your father was to your mother.”

The WHOLE room of people fell silent.

Everyone is now looking at ME, for my reaction.

Let me remind you Dear Reader, that the funeral would have been less than 8 hours prior and we were all still raw and in pain.

My sister, God bless her, sits upright from a slouched and relaxed position and says, “I MUST DISAGREE WITH YOU. You clearly did not hear the beginning when MY sister talked about their marriage of 62 years!”

The “nasty know it all” woman began to defend her position…she REALLY DID begin to defend her position!

If I wouldn’t have been so pissed I would have been laughing.

I then spoke up in a LOUD and VERY CLEAR VOICE.

And this is what I said….

“I have had many comments on the eulogy and everyone has said how lovely and honoring it was. I must tell YOU, you are the ONLY critic. I MUST give YOU a prize for the honor of being the sole critic.”

I then arose from the sofa, I walked to the dining room table and I picked up a piece of crumpled paper and I PRESENTED it to her.

I said, “THIS is your prize. Congratulations for criticizing the eulogy I spoke at my Dad’s funeral.”

Dear reader of this blog post, YOU should have seen the look on her face.

She could NOT believe that I was indeed defending myself against her attack.

She scampered out of my childhood home as fast as she could.

The lesson of this blog is this…

DO NOT allow nasty people to hijack your beautiful brain. Bring out the big response, stand on your sacred honor and let your brilliance fly.

Love and light,


My Father, the Ninja…..

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080410_ninjaWhen I hear the word Ninja, I think of a person who is stealthy, nimble and agile and uses the forces of his opponents to his advantage.

He only fights when necessary, and then too, only to defend himself or his family, or to right a terrible wrong.

My father is a Ninja.

He never let on to any of his three children how difficult it was to put food on the table. He never allowed us to suffer the stigma of “poverty” and always found ways to provide what we needed to succeed as students and young people. He encouraged all of our friends to visit, sleep over (often in drunken hazes when we were teenagers) and never once do I remember him lecturing or making us feel like losers for our immature behaviors.

He always led with love and followed with well placed stories with metaphorical lessons that somehow always made sense.

As my father lays in a sedated coma due to a severe stroke, we his children are left to remember the greatness of the Ninja skills he wielded so magnificently and we are left to wonder IF we managed to become the adults he always believed we could be and if we told him we loved him and showed it as much as we could.

I am so grateful that he never considered that his daughters be married off at young ages so that he would be relieved of our care.

He always stressed as much education as we were capable of and never wavered in his belief in our abilities to become fully functioning members of society.

I read about fathers and mothers who sell children into prostitution as a solution to bring money to the family. I cannot even imagine what my father would say to theses practices.

I read about parents dragging their girls out of school so that they can take care of the house and the younger siblings. I cannot even imagine what my Ninja father would say about that.

I cannot imagine lots of atrocities that I hear about fathers around the world. I am grateful that I had a DAD who would have given his last ounce of blood to keep his children safe and secure.

My father was a Ninja and as he sleeps in his coma, I can only hope that his dreams are of better times with me in Texas, where he loved to be.

He loved to go to the giant grocery stores and to buy what he wanted and came home to cook it for me and my children.

He loved driving my son to elementary school almost 25 miles away from home while I took care of a new baby.

He loved to go to Target and to be able to buy whatever his heart desired and it always desired very little.

If he had two pairs of pants, it was enough.

If he had four, he would say something like, “but I can only wear one pair at a time while I wash the other one.”

He was not a hoarder of material goods. He spent wisely and knew the value of a dollar.

My Ninja father taught me so very much and most of all he taught me the value of the relationship between Father and Daughter.

A bond that should never be taken lightly.

A bond that sets up the girl for a life of happiness or dread.

A bond that cements the way a girl feels about men.

My father, the Ninja, is my everything.

He is and will always be my hero.

As you sleep know that I respect what you have taught me and I hope to continue to make you proud.

Love and light,
Daughter of Ralph Augustine Nathu.

When religion disrespects women it’s bad for all of humanity.

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10277278_715031178560095_2112063105973454337_nI grew up a Catholic. I was one of the best Catholic girls you could ever want to meet. I was openly critical of ALL other faiths. I remember so clearly at a young age reciting the Lord’s Prayer in church and asking why we did not repeat a line that my Anglican friend used to say and I was told, “THEY don’t know the real prayer.”

Shamefully, I admit that I accepted that response as gospel and I told my friend, MY DEAR friend, that her prayer was wrong.

How hurt must she have been?

I persisted in my dogged dogmatic beliefs well into my twenties until I began to realize that ALL faiths taught the same thing and that I did not have to lambaste people about what they should believe.

The teachings from my childhood have made me a moral individual and for that I am grateful. I no longer practice anything and I consider myself a just and moral individual.

When I went to India in 1984 to get married, one of the first questions I was asked was this:

“Are you having your period?”

I was shocked and upset.

WHY was that anybody’s business?

I was told that the priest would not do the ceremony because I was unclean!!


I remember thinking, “At least the Catholics never called me unclean!”

I refused to answer that question and I refused to play the game of being bound by yet another set of rules that made NO sense to me.

Fast forward to a few years ago, a friend asked me to speak at his Hindu temple during a women’s gathering.

I knew from past experience that this sect of Hindus DID NOT allow their women in the presence of their priests. I told my friend that I would speak but he should expect me to NOT agree with the segregation.

He withdrew his invitation, which was probably a prudent thing to do on both our parts.

The quote that appears in this blog by President Jimmy Carter seems to chronicle ALL the distaste I had seen, felt and understood throughout my life from people steeped in their religious beliefs.

There is definitely a place for religion, otherwise, the system would have died away already.

BUT why do women STILL follow religions that perpetuate a bias against females?

Why do men who love their wives and daughters still follow the dogmas that are prejudiced against women?

Would these same men and women be ok with words like:

“Women can’t be doctors.”

“Women must just be housewives and bear children.”

I have no answers to these questions.

I still have the questions and they get louder in my head.

Do you hear the same questions in your head?



Love & light,


The ART of saying a Powerful NO!

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Photo Credit: horiavarlan/Flickr

Photo Credit: horiavarlan/Flickr

When a dear friend ASKS you for a favor and you are in a state of exhaustion can you say NO without guilt?

When a family member yells and screams at you about something and you feel attacked can you say “I will not respond to yelling or screaming, so we can talk when you have calmed down” without feeling scared or guilty?

When people disrespect others in your presence, are you able to stand up for what is right?

There is a good chance that you either said a quick NO to the above questions or an “Of course” but if I were to ask you for examples where you were proactive and said NO to bad behaviors, you would have a hard time coming up with examples with close friends and family.

You may be better able to do it with strangers and people for whom you care very little.

Standing up for what we believe is right is not something that we are taught.

We are often taught to not rock the boat and therefore the people behaving badly get away with their nasty behavior.

A long time ago when my son was in 1st grade, about 6 years old, I took him out of school early one day for a “mental health day” and we went to get ice cream.

He ordered his ice cream and we were sitting there talking about his latest Lego creation and he was deciding what he would build next when the following happened.

A group of three boys about 10 or 11 years old came into the store and two of the boys ordered their ice creams while the third boy just stood there.

The two who ordered were making fun of the boy who had no money.

The boys took their ice cream, laughed at the one without and proceeded to go outside.

I then got up and told the ice cream-less boy to order WHATEVER he wanted. He looked at me and said, “Really lady?”

I said “Yep … make it an order bigger than your friends.”

I kind of made him order five scoops. He was grinning so big I thought he would burst. His friends came rushing in to tell ME that it was not fair.

I asked them why it was not fair. They said that they only had 2 scoops. I then asked why it was fair that they did not share their ice cream with their friend who had no money.

They looked shocked that I would bring that up.

The other boy said that he would go home to bring money for me and I asked him to go home and hug his mom and tell her he loved her and for me, he should try to always be kind to others. He left happy, the other two…not so much.

What was my little son doing this whole time?

He was eating his ice cream and looked up and said, “What took you so long mom?”

I smiled and said that I was giving the boys a chance to be kind. He shrugged and asked could he have as many scoops as the other fella got.

That night there were two very happy boys in Kingwood, TX, one in my house and one in another house, telling his Mom about his adventures.

I said NO to unfair treatment of a child. I said YES to kindness and I showed my son that day what it means to step up and right a wrong.

How will you say NO to unfair treatment?

What will you teach your children?

How will you stand up to bullying in and out of the family?


Love and light,


Counteracting the internal predator…being supportive to self.

70620889.Y2hPFqyeWe all have internal voices that regale us with how many things we do wrong.

This voice seems to take great pleasure in rendering us helpless in the face of challenge.

It happily reminds us about all the things we failed to finish. It shifts and disrupts the ground from under our feet with all the things we can’t do.

If we believe these internal onslaughts, we remain tightly wrapped and bound by our failures instead of being able to open up those failures and glean the lessons in each.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with Wolves tells us we can “dismantle the assaults of the natural predator by taking to heart and working with what is truthful in what the predator says and discarding the rest.”

If my internal predator says “you are so wasteful, you have so much fabric and never finish any quilts”…I can calmly tell myself that I have made and finished more that 12 quilts and each child has at least two quilts handmade completely by me.

This example is quite tame. It can happen, however that my internal predator can tell me something like:

“Oh, so you think you are so special and want to end Gender Violence? Well missy….YOU have been yelling at people all your life. You even yelled at someone last week! Who are you to think you can do this?”

I will then have to have the presence of mind to remind myself that I am human and while I still do yell, I am trying to stay calm in situations and to treat others as I want to treat myself.

If I can do these exercises with my OWN internal predator, then I have a fighting chance to speak MY truth in the face of an external predator.  The person who wants to abuse me physically, emotionally or verbally is an example of an external predator, whereas, an internal predator is the negative voice that tries to bring me down.

The external predators can do serious damage to my psyche and if I do not develop the internal muscles against my internal predators then I have very little chance of standing up to external predators.

Estes tells us that we can “dismantle our predator by maintaining our intuitions and instincts and by resisting the predator’s seductions.”

How do you hone your instincts when the world is ready to tell you that what you feel is false and that your instincts are stupid?

The only answer is that YOU must believe in YOU!

You have to be courageous enough to know that you have deep understandings about life.

You can sit in prayer or mediation and recall times in your life when you did listen to your instincts and were happy because you did.

Like any skill, listening to your instincts is a muscle you must build up.

You must have patience, and practice on little things.

For example, if someone asks you to do something, instead of answering from your head, take a few minutes to notice the way your body is reacting to the request.

Do you feel happy and joyful, or heavy and dark when you think of the request?

Only you will be able to read the signs that your body give you.

Then, you have to be courageous enough to follow your natural instincts.

This may mean that you have to say NO to things you used to say YES to.

I know someone who recently told her boyfriend that she would no longer take part in orgy sex. She was very scared to do it and felt he would leave her if she refused. Whenever she had done it in the past, she felt dirty and less worthy but he always told her that she was the prettiest one in the room. She so badly wanted to hold on to him, she continued with behaviors that left her feeling empty and nauseous.

When she finally decided to stop the orgy sex, she delivered her decision and he promptly left her. He found someone who would do exactly what he told her to do.

It took her a while to recover but now she is happy that she found the courage to end that part of her life.

She had to get used to a new normal. A life without big lavish parties…but now she has her life and her body and self worth.

When you decide to counteract the internal predator it will mean that you must get used to a new normal.

Give yourself time to craft the new way.

Give yourself a pat on the back every time you kick the internal predator to the curb.
Love and light,

Transactional or relational…what kind of relationship do you want?

downloadA while ago, while listening to Barack Obama, I heard him describe a relationship (not with Michelle) as one that was solidly transactional and polite.

He knew and understood exactly what kind of relationship that was. The way I understood it was that when things were discussed he did not say things like ” that FEELS great, or that MAKES me HAPPY.”

Emotions were OUT of this equation and both parties understood that.

To put the transactional relationship out into the light, think Pretty Women. It started out as a transaction and then she wants a relationship. It took him a while but eventually the arrangement changed.

I have read that successful pimps prey on young women and start off with the lure of a relationship, then when the young girls think they have a real boyfriend…..the pimps beat them, rape them and turn the arrangement into the transaction it was always meant to be.

I have been thinking about marriage and have been wondering if perhaps the high rates of divorce might be due to the fact that we do not know the difference between transaction and relation based relationships.

A wife who complains that her husband is always at work, travels too much and is never available is complaining that the relationship is suffering. The man may be very confused as he is providing a house and cars and lifestyle and does not understand what she wants from him. He is seeing the transactional side of the arrangement.

How can people on two different sides move towards the center?

I think a good place to start is with shared filling in the blanks of “What’s missing here?”

If the wife says her piece and says that time with husband is missing and intimacy and friendship it is a start.

If the husband says nothing is missing and he is happy at work and just wants to be the provider, there is an insight into the size of the divide.

I knew of a couple who went on vacation once, and while he played golf everyday she drank and sat by the pool.

She did NOT want to spend more time with him and HE was happy with that arrangement. They saw each other the same amount of time while on vacation as they did at home.

The only difference is that they slept in a hotel room.

This transactional vacation worked for them, he bought the vacation package and she used it.

We don’t get to complain about the type of arrangement we have if we are not courageous enough to open it up and ask questions.
If you are in a relationship that feels like it needs to be changed, ask “What’s missing for me here?”

Journal about this question as many times as you need to. Look at your answers.

Make a list of the things that are missing.

Then begin to see what YOU can provide for yourself.

This may not be the answer you want, but when you can provide the elements of life you want for yourself than you can begin to fill in the other elements with your partner.

Love and light,

Researcher or Drama Queen….

dcbf965b004317b524a5cda135406191I was having a lovely discussion with a very dear friend the other night and I heard her say, “Am I just a drama queen?”

I listened to her words and I listened to her heart and I listened to all the words she and I have spoken over some 6 years.

I tried to look for Drama Queen, but I could not find it.

What I did hear was a woman who was so brilliant that she chooses to unwind her life, experience by experience, to look at it.

She turns over events so as to uncover the deeper truths and meanings behind the things she chooses to do and those things in which she chooses to not do.

Our conversation brought to mind a passage I had just read in Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

“Three things differentiate living from the soul versus living from the ego only. They are the ability to sense and learn new ways, the tenacity to ride a rough road and the patience to learn deep love over time. The ego, however, has a penchant and proclivity to avoid learning. Patience is not the ego’s strong suit.”

Yes, dear, dear friend, you are fully aligned with your souls’ purpose when you question and turn over and question yet again, the events and lessons that life has given to you.

You do me the honor of speaking aloud your truths, even as you dive for deeper more resounding tidbits.

I am honored to be the one whose ears are privy to such gifts from your soul.

The next time any of us get branded as a drama queen, ask yourself this….

Am I just complaining for the sake of complaining, to wrench some pity from an unsuspecting someone OR I am being a true scientist and researcher by turning over each bit of evidence, patiently waiting to see the truth underneath.

If you do indeed feel like a drama queen, just say it out loud and proud… I am a drama queen, hear ye, hear ye, all my subjects…. and watch people scatter like flies!

Or maybe you can choose to be an inquisitive scientist and look for evidence that your life is taking you exactly where you want to be taken.

You see, it is really just a choice…YOUR choice.
Love and light,

Pepper Corns or Allspice? You just gotta smell them!

2011-10-20-07Recently, a friend came over to my house for dinner and grabbed my pepper mill to find it empty.

She did me the favor of filling it for me.

She had opened the pantry, found a container of pepper corns and she filled it up.

Just then, I came into the room and saw that an empty container was on the counter and the mill was full. I looked at the empty container that was labeled “Allspice” and said, “Is there a reason you put allspice in the pepper mill?”

“What??” she said.

I took the mill, ground the corns that were in there and had her take a sniff.

“YUCK!” she said, “I do not want allspice on my steak.”

We laughed, opened the mill and removed the all spice.

There is a GREAT lesson here.

It is both powerful and simple and it can be captured in words from Sesame Street.

One of these things looks like the other, one of these things doesn’t belong.

Here, with the pepper corn and the allspice, they did look alike BUT they tasted and smelled VERY differently.

Let us use ALL of our senses when deciphering a problem. Let us ask for help and advice even if we are SURE that what we are doing is correct.

Let us open up to the possibility that some things look alike but are very different.

There is NO shame or embarrassment when we ask for help, and we can often save ourselves a lot of extra work.

In this case, the work was simple and we had a good laugh, but often when we misjudge we have quite a lot of unraveling to do.

Save some time, ask for clarification, then, take the first step.

It is a good life strategy.


Love and light,