Tag Archives: mindfulness

Endings are only beginnings

If you are reading this then 2018 is at an end (or gone) and we are welcoming 2019, either eagerly or in some other way.

Please look for a moment at the photo. It is of the meditation pod at Auroville, outside of Puducherry India.

It is known as the Matrimandir.

Auroville, City of Dawn, is an intentional community. It was first envisioned by a guru called Mirra Alfassa. She was a European woman who devoted her life to spirituality.

The City of Dawn, is built on land that was “approximately 20 square kilometers of barren wasteland.”

The earth was unable to support both plant or animal life.

A small group of believers began (what must have looked like madness to the non–believers) to rehabilitate the land by planting trees. When I visited about 4 weeks ago, the area was a veritable forest. Species of plant life that had died out were flourishing. Animal life was abundant and humans from many countries were permanent residents in the village. Permanent residents are expected to work 8 hours daily in exchange for living there.

It seems to be flourishing by all accounts.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by 124 nations who sent delegates with gifts of their earth to be all placed together in one urn. It was held on Wednesday 28th, 1968.

On that day, I was living in Trinidad and was 15 years old. I was actively filling in to be the caretaker of an 11 year old brother and a 7 year old sister. I was in over my head.

I had no idea that on the other side of the earth, a small group of people were gathering to celebrate a vision of a future and that as a 65 year old in 2018, I would be lucky enough to visit.

That 15-year-old, was also unaware that she would go on to do some amazing things.

Things like finish a triathlon and marathon after she turned 50 or get a handle of clinical depression and make her pain the foundation of a nonprofit, or have a wonderful husband and children, or speak at the UN, or (and most importantly) end generational violence in her lifetime.

I was unaware of all of this and more.

As I write this message to you, I am blissfully unaware of what will happen tomorrow, next week or 10 years from now.

I am not worried about not knowing.

I have learned to trust and believe that if I follow my path to end violence to girls and women, I will be fully living my destiny. I also know that when I do not trust my gut, I get burned.

I did not always believe I had a destiny. I believe it now.

I am asking you to give yourself time to uncover your own destinies and to allow yourself to take small steps in the direction of what you know that destiny to be.

Some of the tools to help you uncover your destiny include physical exercise, yoga, meditation, gratitude journaling, setting and keeping healthy boundaries by saying No to things that do not support what you know your destiny to be.

How we can help:

At www.indranislight.org/caregiver-resources we have classes to give you a head start of some of these tools. You can find a podcast called Caring for the Caregiver where we take deep dives into real questions by real people and give some ideas to handle life stresses.

I wish you a happy and joy-filled 2019. I wish you the clarity of mind to find joy in the midst of inevitable pain and I wish you the courage to love yourself as deeply as you love the most precious person on your life.

Love and light
indrani

The Sewing Machine Worked Just Fine… Until It Didn’t

The other day I was preparing some small quilts to take with me to India for a program I planned to visit. The quilt squares had been decorated by children of the mothers who had been burned by fire or acid. I had met these kids years before and never got a chance to finish up the quilts. I was going to India in a few days so I was inspired to finish them. This work reflected all my hearts passions: meeting the survivors, speaking to the kids, remembering to bring them fabric swatches, saving the swatches for the right time to finish it and of course sitting at my beautiful machine and finishing the project.

All of a sudden, the machine would not work. The needle would not stay threaded.The bottom thread would not catch. I rethreaded it about 6 times and then I yelled, to no one really, “what the F is wrong with this machine?”

I began to hyper focus on the threading mechanism and tried to use a pen to poke the thread into one of the moving parts and of course it could not work. I had never threaded the machine with a damn pen before. Why was I trying to do that now? I have been sewing for 50 years. I used to make my own Catholic School uniform skirts. I KNOW how to thread a sewing machine.

Then a heard a voice in my head say “Indrani zoom out, close your eyes, and use muscle memory to do this. Nothing is wrong with you or the machine.”

So.

I closed my eyes. I allowed my hands to float up to the machine and I held the thread a loft. I mimicked threading motions and saw that my left hand floated behind the presser foot to check if it was in the down position.

I opened my eyes.

I smiled.

The presser foot was NOT in the proper position.
I put the foot down and threaded the machine and finished the quilts.

Then, it dawned on me that this episode mimics what women do to themselves. We KNOW how to be in the world. We know how to be brave and courageous and yet, when we forget a simple thing (like lowering the presser foot) we begin to judge ourselves and we accept the judgment of others. I love that it was the “putting down of the foot” that brought me out of my trance of feeling inadequate and stupid for not successfully completing a task I have done 1000’s of times for 50 years. How can you use this in your life?

The next time you KNOW deep in your heart how to do something, or WHO you are at your core, put your foot down on the knowledge and do not allow any one (even your judgmental self) to convince you otherwise. If others in your life say unkind things, let if go in one ear and out the next. Put your foot down and don’t let others define you with their words. Maybe use a simple phrase like “I am not sure whom you are describing, but that’s not me.”

Believe the words. You know you!

Now, go be the full YOU. The world needs all of you.

Love and Light from Indrani

Kids on Mindfulness…..Just Breathe

We could all learn a thing or two from these kids.

 

Watch as they describe what happens when they start to feel angry and then what they do to control the emotion.

 

Our future is so bright. 

 

 

Love & light,

 

Team ILF

A BOTHERSOME GROWTH…

 

hand-on-shoulder-via istockIt was the size of a small marble for more than 10 years, the lipoma on my shoulder.
I used to feel it right under my skin over my right shoulder, and I hoped it would go away.
Then it started growing and I STILL hoped it would go away.
Until it grew to a size that I no longer had to feel for it, I could see it. It was really there.
Today, I finally had the courage to remove it. I had to give in, to trust in the expertise of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist and I had to ask for help!
Also, I have to accept a scar in an obvious place on my shoulder.
So BIG DEAL!!! This really is NOT a big deal.

However, I have such growths in my mental body and in my emotional body. I have ignored them and I have hoped they would go away. They’ve grown so large that they have become my blind spots. They feed my prejudices. They become the elephant in the room. They drag toxic energy wherever I go.

What would it take to rid myself of these elephants and these blind spots?

It takes making a decision.
It takes awareness.
It takes mindfulness.
It takes courage.

The best thing about the “lipomas” of my mind is that I won’t need to be put to sleep and I won’t have any physical pain when I remove them. The pain happens only if leave them IN my mind and heart.

Will you do the necessary mental surgery to get rid of the mental and emotional lipomas?
Take the first step, admit them.
Love and light,
Indrani