Category Archives: From Pain to Power

The Nature of Fear

Flames of blue engulfed her as she came running from the tent. I’d just released the ball to my friend Jamie when I saw her. I called to him. ‘She’s on fire, get your parents’. He turned, looked and we scampered off like mice in the direction of our respective tents.We all knew each other so well organisation was seamless. Eskies containing precious ice to keep food cold in the heat of summer was collected by the men and used to ease the woman’s pain; the local shopkeeper was assailed by teenagers running back and forth to collect more ice. Those teens that weren’t running there were filling buckets with water and ferrying them to pour over her burns. Mothers sheltered not only their children but the woman’s children from the horrific sight and sound of a mother screaming, dying slowly in front of her husband while we waited helplessly for an ambulance to come. A community of camper’s prayers was heard that day for somehow she survived her injuries, but every child that witnessed the tragedy now had a new fear. The fear of how a mother could die while doing something as inane as preparing dinner. Prior to this, the dark, jellyfish and the nuns that walked along the beach were the scariest things we encountered when camping. Now we flinched whenever we smelt gas getting turned on for cooking the evening meal. We feared we would lose our mothers as they prepared dinner. Of course what occurred was a random event but try telling that to a child. thenature What happens though when you become an adult? Does our perception of fear change?The answer is still elusive but there are those that do have a flair for looking at life differently. I like to think I’m one of these people, solely because life has been quite a bizarre series of events at times. I’ll show you what I mean. Come for a walk with me through my Forest of Emotions, specifically to the wild and untamed vista of the Valley of Fear. For ten years I lived in the Valley of Fear rarely venturing out to seek sunshine. After a while I became familiar with its quirks and funny ways. It was full of exotic flora and fauna all associated with creating chaos in my mind on a daily basis about all things small and large. It only took a few moments of being still and I would enter the valley ready to explore again. To feed the imagination with fear a mind has to be fertile and that is exactly what the Valley of Fear is. A thick undergrowth of lush, healthy ferns is nourished by the worries of a lifetime. It’s impossible to tell how deep the bed of soil they grow in is because it consists of worries that are not just mine, but those of my mother and children which I also adopted and are not mine to own. This luxuriant base lets trees grow straight and tall spreading thick leafy canopies across oft walked,well-worn paths as problems and fears are contemplated over and over. There are very few flowers. These need too much sun to grow and fear thrives much better in darker habitats. The little sun that is let through entices vines to twine their way around and climb up tree trunks;but the vines are deceptive with their curves and weaving ways. Whilst they captivate and mesmerize you, their sharp barbed thorns prick into your skin ripping at your flesh, creating not just something else to fear but also something to hurt you. As if this wasn’t enough there were also the animals to contend with. The mosquitoes were the worst. It would have been so much easier if I could have seen them and squashed them; but no, these ones would get in my ears and burrow through into my brain. Endlessly they would chant over and over my worst fears directly into my sub-conscious until I believed them and my stomach churned. Walking with care was extremely important. Not paying attention could see you mowed down by a rampaging bull. These only showed up when a fear so big and so sudden appeared that it took my breath away. It was something akin torealising you were going to be the one to make the decision about ending your parent’s life when they could no longer stand to be in pain or knowing your big brother was never going to wake up no matter how hard you prayed. Of course what would a forest be without streams or rivers? The ones here have leeches thatlatch on to take your courage away until, all of a sudden, you realise it’s gone. It sounds dreadful doesn’t it? Don’t despair, it does get better. Despite being a place where one can be lost in their worst nightmares it is also a place that offers a chance to truly understand who you are. There were times when friends and family joined me on my wanderings through the forest and held my hand. Fears are never as bad when someone is with you. Often when we journeyed together we found one of the many forks in the road. These are the most important places in the forest. At this fork,a path loops back to the Valley of Fear via Depression Way, the other to the Meadow of Opportunity. The choice may seem simple but don’t underestimate the power of routine. Anyone who has maintained a life of fear, oppression, loss, anxiety or depression can become so comfortable with these emotions that the familiarity is easier to live with. Change in itself is fear personified for some and that is why the fork in the road is a place of meditation and contemplation. It is a place where love and compassion are paramount in taking the first step toward seeing the flowers bloom rather than returning to be knocked over by rampaging bulls. I reached the fork in the road in 2012. My mother lay dying before finally succumbing to dementia at 86. She had entrusted me with her end of life care and the time had come to face that fear. I looked into her eyes through to her soul. Love, trust and peace all resided within. Whilst I was still afraid, my mother was without fear, ready to return home. For her this was an opportunity to be free of pain and of the body and brain that had betrayed her. My fear was put aside allowing love to fill the space it left and my mother’s gratitude to shine. I remained with her until finally without fear she returned home in the early hours of the morning. I had found my fork in the road 38 years after the fear of losing my mother began with a rush of blue flames. Admittedly, it wasn’t a fear that I dwelled on every day, but it was always there, more so when she grew elderly and lived alone. This fear was over. There were more to be dealt with, but for now, my time in the valley was over. There will be a next time and a next because I will always be scared of something. Forever, I will be avoiding vines, squashing mosquitos, dodging bulls and pulling leeches from my skin, but I will find my way into the sunshine again. When you find your fork in the road, sit and contemplate why you’re there. Chances are your fear led you there because it’s ready to be dealt with and leave the Valley. It’s a time to be brave and step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s easier than others, but every time has one thing in common. Each time you’ll learn something from the fear you conquered.No one likes to live in fear, or wants to sense fear, yet, if we don’t understand the nature of this emotion how then do we understand the concept of joy? It’s time now to leave the Valley and head to the Meadow.Kick off your shoes,walk onto the soft grass in the Meadow of Opportunity and sprinkle what is left of the fear. You can be assured that something beautiful will grow in the sunshine. If you need proof that fear can be conquered look ahead of you. What you will see is an abundance of colour that is a reflection of joy and celebration of those that have walked the same path before you and scattered the remnants of their fear across the grass. There will still be times that you cry, but more so to water the flowers that you have planted from the leftovers of your fear. Cry to honour the best of times and the strong person you have become from conquering your fears. Now those exiting the Valley of Fear will follow in your footsteps and lead the way for others.

From Pain to Power : Story 1

From Pain to Power- : Real Life Stories of Courage #Story1

This series is dedicated to brave hearts who chose to step into their Power despite being in troubled waters. Who decided to dance in the rain, instead of blaming ‘fate’ for not providing an umbrella. These heroes found themselves stuck in certain painful, frustrating points in life. They chose to rise above their areas of defeat to question and conquer their own spirits. You see- this is the thing:

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Anyone can change their Life if they change their Story.

The purpose behind sharing these stories of unflinching courage is my conviction in the power of every human to be such champions. Your tunnel of darkness is not unending. It is possible, and ultimately fulfilling to live in joy, hope, and happiness- and to realise that this indeed is our true natural state. Every story of bravery is not an epic tale of patriotic daring, but that does not make them any less filled with courage and faith..

Story 1: Overcoming Emotional Wounds

At 40, Rohit was a senior executive working for a Fortune 100 company. He enjoyed a six-digit monthly salary, a plush urban condo and an apparently fulfilling family life. His wife was loving, and his twin daughters were the light of their lives. He loved them, of course, besides having a fun social life.

But everything was not okay.

Behind the glass doors of posh meeting rooms, Rohit began to worry. And that was strange – even to himself. As far as he knew, he had nothing to worry about. He also knew that he wanted to end it all. This despair brought on panic attacks. Every morning was a black hole of worry, anxiety and the lack of any possible answer to the situation. The daily work-and- home routine took it out of him entirely. Short bursts of temper were followed by inexplicable lengths of silences. And Rohit was very, very tired. His panic attacks became more frequent, and left Rohit feeling dizzy, disoriented and confused. After making untenable excuses at home and work, he cried himself to sleep every night.

This was when I first met the remarkable person. He decided to come for a healing session.

“I have a job and a family- enough money to cover all my needs. There’s nothing seemingly wrong with my childhood either. Please help me understand why is this happening to me? I just feel angry, frustrated and stuck in the wrong life!” It was not surprising for an intelligent person to feel dismayed and defeated even in the face of success.

During the first session, he was in denial. We discussed the intensity of work he would have to undertake to face the true dilemmas, and I was confident that I would never see him again.

To my surprise and joy, however, he turned up for every session – bravely challenging his old beliefs whenever called upon to do so. He was made to understand that the root of all dis-ease, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, is repressed emotional trauma at the cellular level.

Someone who felt spiritually dead, emotionally exhausted and physically consumed with pain decided to take the first, most important steps forward.

Thus began his personal journey towards healing, acceptance and rebuilding of basic thoughts, choices and ideas in life. The person crying himself to sleep found power and energy within, when he needed it most.

Our tears and anxiety attacks are knocks on the door of our psyche. But often the knocks are so loud, we forget to see that the door is already open.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

#DiscoverTheMiracleOfYourSoul

From Pain to Power : Story 2

From Pain to Power : “You’ve seen my descent. Now watch my rising.”#Story2

When I saw Namita first, she was clearly nervous. She had a wary, vacant expression in her eyes, but she kept clenching her fists. Many people who come for Readings are naturally a little flustered, so I moved on from her manners to hearing what she wanted to tell me.

But her ordinary story moved me. She was at a crossroads, she said, and slowly tried to tell me everything that was in her mind. It was not easy for her to do that, and the narration I received was broken. Yet, even in the few sentences, I was aware of a powerful mind being clouded over by the doubts and fears life throws in our tough paths.

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Once she was put at ease, her story was like a raging river that would not stop. She had been an intelligent, witty girl at eighteen, passionate about legal affairs and confident about striking it big in the legal profession someday. Preferably soon. Her cheerful, enthusiastic nature and her beautiful voice were added attractions. Her future seemed quite bright.

Namita married young at 24, and had both her kids early on in her marriage. Though she had studied hard to finish her law degree, becoming a mother implied that her career would have to wait. Married in a traditional family, her preference for being a working woman was not entirely welcome.

It was not her place to strongly assert herself, and she didn’t. Slight things, like her love for reading and music, began to be frowned upon by elders. After all, it was possible for homemakers to entertain themselves in different ways. Her quiet, sweet voice which so often broke into lilting melodies was heard less often. She lost interest in things that had mattered to her; she ate irregularly, didn’t find it within herself to exercise properly and popped pills ever so often.

Her husband was kindly and supportive, but gradually, every responsibility fell on her platter. She quietly recognized and accepted the death of her personal dreams. Maybe happiness for her was in being a perfect mother, a steady and dependable homemaker and wife. Her life began to resemble an endless routine of catering to her children and her home – caring for her kids’ health and endless driving to tuitions continued driving her own health issues to the background.

When had she last read a book? Seen a film she wanted to watch – and not because her kids or her husband wanted to see it? She could not remember.

She was overweight, with very high blood pressure and her knee joints were unbelievably painful. Low self-esteem, coupled with the health issues she was facing, distanced her further from her husband who was spending more time at work in order to avoid long drawn discussions at home.

Three years later, Namita suddenly found herself facing the “Empty Nest Syndrome” with no one in the house most of the time. She came for a Reading to understand what her choices were and whether her decision to go back to work after so many years would be fruitful. She was also concerned about her health- both physically and mentally.

After a soul-searching conversation, she came back ready to sign the new lease of her Life. She took time to accept that Healing is a journey. No one can have a magical turnaround in one session. That journey was as much hers, as it was ours. On the emotional level, she joined the course where she uncovered her basic beliefs and wounds. She understood how her internal mechanism was shielding all the wounds - anger, perfectionism, alcohol.

As she uncovered the hidden depths, she began to realize how repressed, bottled-up feelings disease the mind and the body.

She started to consciously choose her thoughts and worked on her dreams. She tried to discipline her body with a good diet and a fitness program, and slowly went on to pursue her most cherished hobby- singing. She took the wise decision of joining a course specialized in clearing and healing emotional wounds. Finally, all the senseless, broken threads started coming together. The pieces of Namita’s fractured thoughts slowly ceased hurting her. What she had to resolve and refine, she did. As always, there were bits that weren’t meant to be resolved – Namita had much to let go of. And her underlying strength and courage – unnoticed for so long – came to her help, as she healed herself steadily.

She also went on a one-week program on Forgiveness. She began to appreciate how everything in Life exists because we have attracted it. Be it our family, our jobs, our feelings, thoughts, emotions, regrets, lack of finances….we have attracted them all.

Her journey is far from over.

However, six months from the day she met us, Namita started working with a small law firm and is working on her relationship with her husband. Needless to say, her self esteem has skyrocketed with her healthy habits and her newfound fit body. She also volunteers at a local school, and teaches them life skills.

We know that wrinkles are indicative of how much and how often we have smiled in life. We don’t need to be young to start healing – we only need to be willing. With willpower comes strength and change. Like the very famous GB Shaw put it, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

‘Know that one day your pain will become your cure.’

#DiscoverTheMiracleOfYourSoul

From Pain to Power : Story 3

From Pain to Power : Jessica's tale

“It’s just not working at all, Jessica. I think we had better accept that and move on.”

Jessica tried to maintain her calm while realizing that she was completely shattering within. Her heart beat mechanically and all her words came out in a frenzy. But even while she tried to explain and set things right, her husband seemed to have been ready for the situation. His bags had been packed. Before she could explain her bit of events, her husband had left. This was definitely not the kind of moment Jessica wanted to face.

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For five years ( Jessica was now twenty eight ) she had tried to make the marriage the first priority of her life in spite of having to handle a high profile job, which she enjoyed doing. It was her continuous nagging that fuelled the fights they began to have. One missing kitchen ingredient used to send her into fits of complaining rages. Her husband’s job, too, didn’t completely satisfy her; she thought he could definitely do better. This little issue had persisted from the days of their courtship, when she had found small troubles irritating enough to make her anxious. Then he hadn’t given it much thought, often even calling it ‘sweet’ how she worried about little things. Slowly, after marriage, as responsibilities both on the home front and in office increased, her patience crumbled. Very small things seemed to become huge.

It was almost as if she lost all trace of balance. She had been quite an achiever, having a degree from IIM and a first rate job in a leading multinational company. Her habit of complaining seemed to take over her everyday life.

When she came to us for healing, we told her quite early on that she had taken an excellent decision and that she could trust her inner spiritual power to help her ride the rough tide till she was whole and strong again. The tall, graceful woman was facing the toughest challenge of her life, and it was difficult to show her how her own confusion and anger were clouding her judgment.

But we did, together, decide to be frank, open and willing to move forward. Out of the intense bitterness of your husband suddenly deciding to tell you that your married life was over. The hurt and humiliation it brings. The agony you feel on understanding how you are, in a way, responsible for the loss of the relationship. What we needed to clearly show her was that her issues were not the main problem, it was her negative attitude of handling the issues that created the problem. It was in her to bring light and positivity to herself.

She mentioned that the loss of her relationship had changed many aspects of her life. Hell bent on clinging to everything she owned, she had become submissive and docile in office. The firebrand aspect of her nature had vanished. She was constantly afraid of losing her job or getting a demotion, and consequently couldn’t take as many determined stances as she had taken in the past.

Going from the passionate hurt to a touch of healing took quite a few sessions, and it was as much her strength as ours that revived and replenished her anxious, distraught mind. Once she began healing, I could see it would be a magnificent flight of victory for her, so surely did her body and heart accompany her spirit.

Complaining about things gone wrong doesn’t only irk others, it does not take us anywhere near a solution. We can complaint about our jobs and relationships, but complaining does not make them better. If we focus that negative energy into forgiveness and moving ahead, life will immediately be more positive. It is sad, indeed, that in spite of having wealth and a flood of emotional and moral support, the gifts don’t seem to be good enough for us, and we need to resort to complaining and whining about every circumstance in life.

It would not be right to say that Jessica has bounced back to being a bubble, chirpy personality. Her episode taught her a great deal and she learnt not to take small showers of blessing for granted. She may not always be giggling, but when she laughs, she means it. She sincerely compliments people on their good qualities and when needed, explains that improvements can be made. She consciously tries to be kind and smiling with everyone, and she can vouch for the fact that being nice to others also makes her feel happy, dependable and confident.

A true shero, if there ever was one.

“As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.”

#DiscoverTheMiracleOfYourSoul

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