Spiritual journey…the road less travelled

  • What is Spirituality?

Is it being religious or doing all the rituals mantras japas, kirtans or is it renouncing the world and going to the caves in the mountains or just sitting under tree and meditating? People have different definitions. Maybe spirituality is fusion of all of this things, but what resonates true to me is, a spiritual person is synonyms with being a person who’s highest priority is to be loving to oneself and others, as all are manifested from the same one source. We are interdependent and consciously honour this oneness. We know that everything and everybody is an extension of the divine. (As Quantum physics says that we are made of waves and particles of energy that makes up the grand universe).

  • How can it Benefit Us?

Better equipped to deal with challenges – Life is filled with unexpected challenges and we can never be fully prepared for them, but spirituality gives us a larger perspective of life. Because it gives us birds eye view  rather than worms eye view. So once we are trained, we are better equipped to deal with challenges and we don’t get easily consumed by them.

It gives clarity – Since we are following directions from our heart and our paths are clear, a spiritual person rightly knows which battle to choose and that, is thoughtfully done.

It gives us Peace – Cancer provided me with the gift which was surrender to the divine’s will, after I had exhausted the human possibilities. I let go of inner conflicts, which ultimately gifted me with peace. I use this tool every time, even now.

Celebration – Once we are in tune with life’s flow, we are living more from out heart (love, compassion and oneness) rather than from the mind (worry, fear and anxiety), this term is called flowering of the heart. Life becomes a celebration.

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morning meditation at Oneness University
  • When should it be practiced?

I am a firm believer that we should make our own rules. It must be aligned with your true nature, you must be mindful and commit to your own growth and ‘WHEN’ will automatically follow.

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At Oneness campus.

To Redefine Life, Simply Change Your Values

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I simply love Cynthia Occelli’s words: “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

Inside that tiny seed lies the potential of  becoming a huge, sturdy, fruit –filled , flower laden, leaf-canopied  tree, which can provide a home to numerous birds and give shade to many travelers. But can the uninitiated see that?

Life is all about re-invention, re-alignment, re-defining oneself. It is in this challenge that growth lies. Those who miss this point, misunderstand the purpose of this beautiful journey called life.

Each decade of our lives gives us a chance to pause, reflect, refill our souls, drop dead chains that bind us and to joyously soar into the skies towards our ecstasy.

Having travelled through the hurly burly of my life, with all its myriad experiences: the good, the sad and the unforgettable, I feel as if I am now able to view everything in a sharper focus. All seems rain-drop washed, lime-fresh, wind-cleaned and crystal-clear. With this new-found maturity everything non-essential, non-interesting, non-valuable seems to be whittling away from my being, leaving me to focus on that shining Core inside that defines my essence and IS me!

At this beautiful juncture of my life in my fourth decade, I have hit upon my personal formula  for growth and happiness: To redefine life, simply change your values.

How have I done that?

I have consciously evolved from being shallow to deep, from being outward-looking to being inward-seeking and from being a limited human to becoming an unlimited, spiritual being. No longer for me the dead chains of my past’s value system. Today, I rejoice in the simple, the mundane, the ordinary…

Earlier, my life was all about “working hard and partying hard.” I loved rebelling against established norms, simply because I loved rebelling. Perhaps  the title of “rebel without a cause” suited me perfectly back then.

I was brash and outspoken and said whatever came to my mind, without thinking of any consequences. Today, I cringe when I re-read some of my earlier interviews. I wonder, ‘Who was I, back then?’

I used to spend a lot of time and money on shopping. The clothes had to be up-to-the-minute and the bags had to be  designer. Labels mattered.  In fact, in my girlie group, we all bought, displayed and bought some more, just for kicks. Shopping was mindless fun.

Then— Life happened….

With that, came a sharp change in perspective. I suddenly began looking at life from the other end of the telescope and was struck by its vastness and magnificence. Suddenly, all material things seemed to shrink before the majesty of Life itself. I was in awe.  At first, the shift happened in my heart…then in my mind and finally… in my entire being. I felt reborn, revamped and renewed. So how could such a new person carry old values?

Don’t get me wrong. I still love pretty clothes, bags and material comforts. The difference is I am not consumed by them.

I have hit upon the truth that life is Simple. It is we who make it Complex. Therefore, true joy lies in simplifying one’s value system. The new me is a Holistic person and am I enjoying it? You bet!

I now give value to things that make my everyday life better, healthier and  therefore, more fulfilled.

Here is a list of things that interest me now:-
1) The exciting decision to choose between a blender and a juicer. What is the value a good choice will give me? It will give me good quality green juices. And that will boost my health by keeping my body alkaline . i came across vitamix through my sister in law as she has always been a health freak .  vitamix

2) Choosing the right coordinated and comfortable gym clothes.

3) Membership in a good Health Club. I feel blessed that a good Health Club and a Spa has sprung up near my home. Members get private trainers and clean equipment. Besides, I love going to “The Club” for an occasional swim and my morning-evening strolls.  inch by inch

4) I have been super excited about my new bike. I have to thank my neighbor and old pal Shahid for initiating this! But I must admit that I am still a little wary about the traffic in my city. Yet, every time I whizz away, I think about what a great investment it has been!
5) My Yoga/ Pranayam classes with my brilliant teachers Shambhu ji and Abhay ji I love Pranayam and while breathing, never forget to send gratitude to the heavens for the magic of the breath. read more on..

6) Organic foods—I simply love them. I am a huge fan of Whole Foods. I also feel that if organic vegetables are expensive, they are certainly worth it! Farmers market Bandra

(Ah, how I ❤ my organic Farmers’ Market visits on Sundays, as also shopping at other stores like Nature’s Basket in Mumbai and Whole Food store in NYC.

7)A good Nutritionist– I accidentally found out that my ESR level was high, instead of my IGF-1 level. ..meaning I had high inflammation. I began looking desperately for a good Nutritionist and thankfully stumbled upon my very reliable Rachna Chachi.read more..

8) A good doctor/hospital I can rely on. After 30, I strongly recommend periodic check-ups.I love seven hills as its very clean and doesn’t  have the smell of a hospital 😉 seven hills Mumbai

9) Newer researches on Wellness. It’s s whole new world out there. Why not discover it  by being fit and healthy?

10) Good skin/face products. Especially after 40, one must make very informed choices. Nothing should harm  our precious bodies.

And has this switch to a healthier lifestyle made me a complacent, contented being who has finally found what she was looking for? No way! It has only spurred me on towards newer frontiers. It has turned me into an energy –filled, luminous being who is hungry for the latest research, breakthroughs and offers on health and wellness. I want to Be more… to Do more…

Here’s My Wish List:-
1. Attending and organizing Cooking classes on healthier options.

2.Going for Ayurvedic /Health Retreats in order to understand my body… to discover and customize what exactly works for me.

3.Increasing  my circle of friends who are into Wellness.

4.Reading and writing more on Wellness- on the blessings of life and living.

5. Contributing more.

6. Spending more time  with Nature.

7. Focusing on buying skin products that will make me look the best at my age rather than make me look younger than my age. I do want to look the best at my age without cosmetic surgery. I would rather be dignified, slim, fit and healthy than an artificially beautified clone.

8 .Becoming  more organised.

9. Doing only those films that give me joy while I am on the sets.

10. Being more positive, more happy and certainly laughing more!

11. Spend more time in self growth, I can’t stress more on how important Oneness University has been for me since its a topic which needs a lot of space to do justice,I would write more on this soon but for time being read on..Oneness University

Today, I no longer care about carrying the latest designer bag as my arm candy. I even don’t care about travelling in Economy Class. Life is all about finding the joy inside yourself, rather than seeking it outside–in things.

It is funny how a little shift in perspective can bring such a huge shift in values, is it not?

I am finally brimming with Life….

Joy Unlimited,

Manisha Koirala.

Gratitude

Some of us go through entire life complaining and not notice that life is a gift. We get so engrossed in our day to day activities that we fail to notice the magic that life gives us free of cost!!

How many times do we notice the early morning sky, the grandeur of sunset,the flock of birds passing by..the miraculous colours of a flower & leaves..

Lets take a deep breath and be thankful for this life. Our own body is a marvel of intelligence. The way its design, it knows exactly how to pump blood in the heart, how many times the heart needs to beat and how to digest. Our body has more intelligence then we can comprehend and do we ever wonder what have we done to deserve this? This life, this body and everything that comes with it.. It is a gift.

Whichever muscle works more, becomes stronger, we can either complain or be grateful, we decide.

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Whichever muscle works more, becomes stronger, we can either complain or be grateful, we decide. Picture Courtesy – Mike Baldwin.

 

Benefits of Gratitude

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Do’s & Don’ts

  • Notice your day to day world and keep a journal.
  • Constantly focus on positive things
  • Give compliments, and MEAN it!
  • Be genuinely interested  when listening to others..
  • Vow to not complain/ criticise for 7 days, as a practice..
  • During tough situations ask yourself “what lesson is here for me?

Self love

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Self love is a foundation everything is built on..it gives us clarity and direction..it is an empowering attitude of taking ownership of your life and not being a victim! When I faced death I realised I had not lead a mindful life, even though I was at the top of my career! I promised to do things differently if I got a second chance on life..rest is left on god..

It’s a lifelong journey to discover the self and its important..

What worked for me..?

  • Sit quietly, pay attention and get clarity – revaluate life, i.e on a scale 1 to 10 where are you now? your job, relationships, finance, health..and it’s important to be honest! (please be mindful that we tend to lie to ourselves much more then to others).
  • Have the courage to change..we know change is toughest yet most rewarding. To change any unhealthy habits we need to locate the thoughts or the values attached to it (this is broad topic but being aware about the thoughts itself is freedom).
  • Be kind..Be kind..Be kind..to your self – in my opinion discipline is over rated, for example 90% times new year resolutions gets broken and we beat ourselves for it. Juxtapose to it, it’s better being kind and gently putting ourselves on right track every time we divert.
  • Focus – on “what” rather than “how”. Be resilient, persistent and inspired till you achieve your goal.

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Once we are on alignment with our true nature and calling we can lead a fulfilled life and THEN we can also authentically love others.