Lessons of Duality

Half the year is over, and we are seeing so many different realities play out in different parts of the world. There are countries that are facing brutal repercussions of the pandemic daily, while others haven’t seen much change at all. We are being shown polarity more clearly than before. We can see the light and dark aspects of the world, and if we look closer we will be able to see it in ourselves too. We have also just experienced a lunar eclipse of darkness on May 26th, and an upcoming solar eclipse of light on June 10th.

With all this put forth so evidently, I believe we are being shown over and over how one of our biggest lessons on earth is to be able to accept both sides of duality to be able to live in a state of equanimity. It is paradoxical to our rational mind to maintain oneness in a world of duality, because we can only rationalise when two opposing sides are present. Hence it takes a different level of consciousness and letting go of rational thought, and then we can experience a state of bliss like never before.

We are being shown many opportunities where we can recognise everything has a dark and light too it, and it’s up to us to understand that or to remain oscillating between elation and depression. When you can see the value that darkness can bring, and the pain that lightness can bring, you can understand that the both don’t mean anything.

My intention of writing my book “52 Thoughts For Conscious Living” was to bring this message to light. There is one thought for every week of the year with a specific message to empower you to live more consciously. This year for my birthday on June 9th, in lieu of gifts, I would like to ask that you purchase the Kindle copy of the book for yourself or your loved ones. All the proceeds will be matched by myself and donated to ChickenSoup Foundation; an organisation near and dear to my heart that advocates positive psychology for at-risk families. Here is the link to purchase: 52 Thoughts For Conscious Living

I sincerely thank you for all your support, and hope that through this initiative you are able to see that every action produces ripples, influencing your life and the lives of others.

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Never Ending or Beginning

The more I work with people to accept recent changes, face losses, and move forward, the more I am understanding that every moment in time is a snapshot of an ongoing cycle where there is no beginning or end. If we keep tracing back time, we will notice that there is no start to when the universe was created, there would always be something that existed before a moment of change – even if that something was space. Similarly, if we keep moving forward in time, we will notice that whenever one era ends, another will always begin. Cycles will continue and consciousness will keep transforming into other forms, and there is nothing we can really do about that.

We are in a never-ending cycle of beginnings and endings, and each cycle brings us a different experience with more wisdom and awareness. If we can truly understand this, we will have the awareness to experience change without complaining or deluding ourselves that things are supposed to be constant and occur only in the way we want. The only thing we have full control over is how present we are to each moment. The more we judge, the more we are taken away from being present. The more we accept, the more we can be mindful and find peace in the present moment. That’s the only thing we have full control over, and the choice is ours to make!

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Do you know how influential you are?

As we go about our day, most of us don’t realise how dependent we are on each other, and how the behaviour of one person can influence many others. For us to do anything we want, we need to depend on others and the environment to function in a particular way. The choices that other people make impacts us, and the choices we make in response impacts them.

Think about something as simple as needing to travel to the other side of town for a meeting. You have a choice of how to get there; if you decide to take public transport you are dependent on the state of mind of the driver, and other passengers. If you decide to drive yourself, you are still dependent on the choices that the other drivers and pedestrians around you are making. If the taxi in front of you decides to stop before a green traffic light to pick up a passenger, the consequence could be that you need to wait for the next green light which takes 4 more minutes. Then, you could choose to be frustrated, which could impact how you drive. You may horn angrily at a pedestrian walking in front of your car, which startles them, and they forget to send an important email that day, which affects their business turnover, and the income of other families. Do you see where I’m going with this?

My point is that we sometimes get so lost in our illusions of independence, hierarchy, and separation, that we have lost sight of just how inter-dependent we all are. The truth is each being is as valuable as any other, and we all unconsciously depend on each other more than we realise. What if we lived with the belief that we are all part of the same tribe, and each person’s wellbeing is as important as the other? That belief alone would change the way we respond to each other, and we could create a world that has more unity, acceptance and peace. Take a moment to think about that.

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Emotional Mastery Made Easy

As a collective, we are going through more changes than ever before, and we have the opportunity to trust that we can handle it, or to judge that “it was not supposed to be” and feel powerless about it. There is no doubt that we are being challenged on many levels. For many years we lived with the notion that “what I plan should happen”, and now we realise that life doesn’t function that way. We can have an intention, however, we are not 100% in control of what happens. The only thing we have 100% control over is us; our thoughts and our emotions. In all other aspects of life, we are co-creators; we have an influence over things outside of us, however, we cannot fully control them. The sooner we realise this, the easier life will be. The good news is that we are all going through these lessons together, and there is so much support available for us to come together and grow.

There is a light and dark part to everything, so as much as we are seeing challenges, we are also seeing people coming together to support each other more than before. On a global level, we are recognising that it is indeed time for a change, and we don’t have to do it alone. I have been participating in so many group summits and basking in the power of group healing, and I am very proud to be a speaker in another fabulous global forum this month to help us understand how to use the power of our emotions to manifest the destiny we desire.

I’m honored to be featured on the speaker line-up at the Emotional Mastery Made Easy Forum by Silky Zhou, along with other remarkable speakers across the globe! The FREE summit is from March 1-14th, and features interviews with renowned healers, therapists, authors and speakers that are designed to be short and to-the-point, giving you lots of tools to raise your awareness, inspire you, and empower you with tools to move forward. I am speaking on March 10th on How to Better Understand Your Emotions; honour them, understand their transitory nature, and use your wisdom to move forward.

You can register for the FREE EMOTIONAL MASTERY MADE EASY – Live Forum here: REGISTER

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You Belong

We often have two conflicting needs that simultaneously occur, the need to stand out and the need to fit in. Logically, we know that we cannot be in both places at the same time, and yet there are parts of us that crave to be special, while other parts want to fit in and be like the rest. Both these needs are responses that derive from a deep underlying fear of not being accepted as part of a tribe, and thus neither approach will give us long-term fulfilment.

Both ‘standing-out’ and ‘fitting-in’ are about seeking external validation to make us feel a sense of belonging. Sometimes that validation comes from being like others, and sometimes it comes from being more than others so that we feel desirable. In either case, we are comparing ourselves to others and judging ourselves against the yardstick of what’s desirable at the time. A yardstick that was created by others, that is completely out of our control, and keeps asking more of us.

The more we seek validation from the outside, the more addicted we get to that momentary high that comes when we receive any type of acknowledgment, and then we need it to feel worthy. My invitation this month is to recognise how you have transferred your right to feel worthy to the likes of other people. The truth is that people will continue to judge; sometimes they will approve of you and sometimes they won’t, it will keep changing. The bigger truth is that how other people are feeling about you says far more about THEM than about you. If you are here at this time, it’s because there is a unique place for you on this planet and you absolutely belong!

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The Beginning of a New Year, and In-between Cycles

If you are reading this, then you have experienced the ride of 2020, seen things come to an end, perhaps experienced some sense of loss, witnessed your plans collapsing, adapted to shifts that were unforeseen, innovated new ways of being, and moved forward through it all. Take a moment to acknowledge yourself for all that it’s taken, and all that you’ve done.

One of the fundamental laws of the universe is that everything is energy and keeps moving, so that means nothing is constant and we will keep moving through cycles. Each cycle has a beginning, middle, and an end, and then a new cycle begins. It’s my belief that we have just witnessed the ending of life the way we knew it, and entered an interim period at the beginning of 2021 before the next cycle truly begins.

In this period, we have choices to make about how we would like to start the next cycle. Our choices, our attitude, and our focus will hugely determine how the next cycle will be for us. We can choose to be victims and collapse along with the old systems because of our attachment, or choose to accept what’s happened and ride the new waves that are emerging.

I understand that the last year was hard for many, growing through pain has become a natural part of undergoing ‘endings’ for our ego. If we think about it, the only reason why endings are hard is because of the pain we feel from losing what we have attached our identities with.

Here are some universal laws that 2020 has brought to the surface:

Change is the only constant.
Through pleasure we plateau, through pain we grow (by shedding the ego).
When we detach ourselves from our ego, we are fundamentally the same (without any hierarchy).
Here are some things to think about during this interim period between the end of one cycle and beginning of another:

If you acknowledge that you have choice over your focus, your attitude, and your interpretations, what choices do you want to make?
If you recognise that you have the power to innovate, what do you want to create in 2021?

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Graciously Closing 2020

We are now coming to the close of 2020, and what a year it has been! Perhaps for the first time in history, we are so networked across the globe that all of us have been impacted by one single situation. The pandemic we have faced this year has come without any warning signs and had us face one of our biggest fears, the fear of the unknown.

What we don’t know, we cannot control. What we cannot control can naturally scare us. One of the biggest lessons we can learn is that the only thing we have full control over is our response. We couldn’t control the virus, but we have choice over how to respond to all the changes this year has brought. Each choice we make has its own consequences; severe panic can lead to anxiety, avoidance can lead to things deteriorating further, anger can lead to helplessness, and facing the situation with acceptance can lead to innovating a new lifestyle. The more conscious our choice is, the more peaceful the consequence will be.

2020 has required us to tap into our inner resources and draw upon the qualities that may have been dormant, such as faith, courage, vulnerability, resilience, creativity, inner-strength, and above all acceptance. It may have been hard and at times more than you thought you could handle. Yet if you are reading this, it means that you’ve made it! My personal perspective is that we have stepped into a new dimension that needs us to develop all these inner resources, so that we can grow and overcome our unconsciously fearful ways of being.

As we graciously close this year, I would like to acknowledge all of us for stepping into unknown territory and making it through. This month, I invite you to think about three of the biggest lessons you have learned, three of your greatest accomplishments, and three things you are most grateful for in the past year.

Finally, I would like to share one of my accomplishments for this year, which is my first book on conscious living! I have written a book with 52 concepts and tools, one for every week of the year to empower you with simple and empowering tools to live more mindfully. The book presents deep concepts in a simple manner, making it easy to read and a great Christmas gift. Each thought of the week comes with an exercise for you to imbibe the concepts into your daily lives. The book is available on Amazon, and hard copies will be available at All About You Centre from December 15th.

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The Secret to Lasting Change

It takes conscious determination to create and maintain any type of change, otherwise, we tend to fall back into our default mode. As human beings, our minds have a tendency to interpret anything that is ‘known’ as safe, and anything is ‘unknown’ as potential danger. When things are familiar like driving a car, we can act unconsciously without even thinking about it. If a situation is new, we are naturally more alert to what it may require of us. In this sense, doing anything new will naturally take more energy, more awareness, and more determination to keep it going.

Take some time to think about the changes you are inspired to make in your lives as you move into 2021. Here are some guidelines on how to create lasting changes in your life:

1) Be inspired.
Do it because “you are inspired” to instead of because “you should”. When you are inspired, you are taking action from a place of accepting where you are, instead of judging where you are.

2) Have a clear vision.
The clearer you are about the change you want to make, the more likely you are to achieve it. Make your intention so clear that it paints a vivid picture in your mind and you can see yourself doing it.

3) Make sure the changes you want to make are 100% under your control.
What you can control fully are your thoughts, choices, and actions.

4) Keep it simple.
Create one change at a time. When we want to change many things at the same time, we are less likely to keep them going.

5) Schedule your actions.
If you really want something, schedule it in your diary and plan for it to happen.

6) When it’s time to act, do it within 5 seconds!
Accept that you won’t always feel up to it. When you feel yourself getting tempted to go back to your old ways, take action within 5 seconds!

Remember that it’s not only you that feels uncomfortable with change, it’s the way we were designed! Yet there is hope, and you don’t need to be stuck in our old ways. Know the most important part is to just get started!

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Showing Up for Yourself

It’s time for us to acknowledge how far we have come from the days of needing to sacrifice our needs to finally being able to focus on them. We have had a long history of focusing on the various roles we play towards others and putting them before our needs. You may have diligently shown up as a good child, spouse, parent, societal role model, and breadwinner. What have you done to show up for your own needs? For some people, even thinking about this is a foreign concept.

The biggest mental barriers that prevent us from showing up for ourselves are:

  1. We are scared to be seen. It can be extremely uncomfortable for us to be seen and face judgment of others.
  2. We are scared to fail. We can’t face the fact that we won’t be good at something straight away.
  3. We are scared to move past old conditioning. We have bought into the notion that it makes us a good person to ignore ourselves and do things for others.

Here are some tips to counteract these barriers:

  1. Accept that there is an equilibrium of support and challenge in your life. For as much admiration and support you will get, there will also be criticism. The only choice you have is to hide from the critics or face them! If you expect both admiration and criticism as a natural part of life, it will give you more courage to face the critics.
  2. Take baby steps. There will be times where it will be easy and times where it will be hard, all you need to do is focus on the immediate next step to ensure you are growing. “Mistakes” are an inevitable part of learning something new, and they bring valuable lessons too!
  3. Make time to focus on your needs. Know that it’s OKAY to focus on yourself. In our endeavour to give to people, sometimes we forget that we are a part of “people” too.

I invite you to think of one thing that you have been wanting to do for you, and before the end of the year take 3 baby steps to move in that direction and show up for yourself this month!

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Embrace Your Shadow

We all have a light and dark side. There is a tendency for us to judge the light as good and dark as bad. Hence, our dark side has often been referred to as our ‘shadow’, representing a part of ourselves that we have rejected.

Lurking in our shadows are all those parts of us that we have labelled as wrong, stupid, useless, and basically not good enough. We’ve all experienced judging ourselves, however we may not be aware of the impact; this can turn into a self-defeating postulate that can follow us around for our whole lives. For instance, if you want more money, the part of you who feels not good enough may stop you from even asking or receiving it because you haven’t proven your worth.

It’s difficult to face the pain of self-rejection and to even admit that we have judged ourselves this way. Hence, when our shadow creeps up, we develop defense mechanisms to avoid confronting our own self-inflicting judgments such as rationalizing or keeping ourselves so busy that we don’t have to face it.

As a result, we disown that part of ourselves further and it hangs over us like a shadow that we are constantly trying to avoid. If you have the courage to face it, you will notice that in the shadow is a vulnerable part of you that is just craving for your acceptance and to feel good enough. The only way to truly move beyond this is to face our shadow and accept ALL parts of us; the good, the bad and the ugly!

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