Receiving And Giving – The Healer Friend And The Magic Of A Dream


This is a very special post for me. A token of love and gratitude to the friends who have made difference in my life. Once in a while you come across someone who touches your life in an unexplained way. Someone who is a giver more than a receiver. I feel that is very inspiring. Not many give so unconditionally and freely.

I came to know Penelope and Slim Chandra-Shekar via Facebook. I felt an instant energy exchange. Strange, isn’t it, how a social network can become a channel for healing, for receiving and giving, for sharing and expanding in all possible ways? That itself is indicative that life opens up many ways to heal and to blossom. Love changes forms, negative turns to positive.

Healing works through spirit guides. If you are open and receptive distances don’t count.   Even though I have known Slim for sometime, I met him, for the first time, in June. He was visiting India to celebrate his father’s 99th birthday in B’lore and after that for three days he visited Delhi to meet friends and relatives. His physical presence was such a joy. They say when the student is ready the master appears. It is the same with spirit guides. They will be there when it is time. In that short time we spent together, I learned some meaningful life lessons, had long conversations over good food, listened to his amazing story of life transformation and how he and his wonderful wife Penelope are touching one life a day to bring joy and love through their work.

The Magic Of Gayatri

You know, sound is a very powerful medium of healing. The vibrations can actually dissolve the negative in you within no time. You just need to be in right energy frequency.  I still carry the essence of the positive energy I received through our interactions. Slim is shaman, healer, nutritionist, hypnotherapist and a wonderful human being. You can know a little about him HERE. Meeting people who are selflessly doing healing work is a gift that life brings. Apart from the love, care and understanding Slim gave me a token of spiritual love that I will cherish all my life. The Magic of Gayatri.  Gayatri mantra has been part of my life since childhood and I am aware of the immense peace and light it brings when chanted the right way. You will find many versions of it on the internet but the reason I found this particular CD worth listening is the profound energy vortex it creates within you. The calming voice of Slim, the introduction to the mantra the soothing music and the sublime rendering of the mantra makes it a wonderful vehicle to meditate, relax or just be inspired. The mantra works at whichever level you need help – physical, spiritual or emotional. For me, it opens my mind and heart when ever I chant it.

This isn’t a promotional post and I am not being paid to do this. This post is in gratitude, in love, in honor of what I received from my friend. It is important to spread the magic of Gayatri so that more and more people can benefit from it. You can let it play in the background as you work or sit quietly and let  the words wash over you. Since ancient times people have always used and still use the sound-vibration of chants for healing purposes. Many of us just chant the mantra mechanically and are deprived of the true value of Gayatri Mantra. Listening to Slim explain it with such simplicity made me chant it with intent and with an open heart. I am not a religious person but this mahamantra is a universal prayer that spiritually connects us. Frequently listening to it creates a permanent template of peace in our consciousness and even if you are not chanting the mantra it stays in you creating the inner calm. This, of course is my personal experience. I believe that we are all energy beings and we are all fluid. it is in our inherent nature to flow. If we don’t we rot. We need to keep expanding our vibrations. I don’t know if this makes sense but do think about it. I also feel that one needs to be watchful about what’s being said or repeated and this is not just for mantras, chants etc but in daily conversations, the sounds we hear and produce for they impact us in a very permanent way. Gayatri Mantra is next to chanting ‘Om’. It unblocks a lot of energies as it permeates through consciousness. The knowledge of the science and philosophy of Shabd brahm is an integral part of Indian spirituality. The Gayatri Mantra has a specific sonic pattern coded in syllables and vowels to carry the cosmic energies of sound and act as a spiritual tool. I feel that the chanting of mantras scientifically helps in healing as well as strengthening our mind-body-spirit triad. Filling us  with eternal calm and love.

When I talk of calm and love my thoughts turn to Penelope. I have not interacted much with Slim’s wife but followed her insightful writing and lovely art work on FB. I think the meeting with Slim expanded my inner horizons to receive more. I had always felt connected to Penelope at a different level. Many times I would just browse her pictures with grand children, friends, her husband or look at her paintings and other artwork and it would instantly fill me with calm and strength. Beautiful and talented as she is, one can feel her paintings through the screen. Slim and Pen are perfect examples of people for whom age is just a number. It is an inspiration that one can pursue one’s passions at any age. You are never too old for anything.

Here is another example of how the fragrance of healing comes to you. When we are open and even when we are not or think we are not, we are in relationship with everything around us. It is for us to consciously recognise and choose the positive and be in it.

Abstract Painting is one of the gifts Penelope has. She works with acrylic and mixed media. Her art has this strange calling. There is much more that what is clear. Art as a medium to heal is a concept I love. I reviewed a book sometime back where a doctor has introduced and infused poetry, music, art with medical care. It is exciting to know people are opening up to complementing and alternate healing therapies along with the modern medical care. The mind, body and spirit need to be in harmony for a wholesome wellbeing. Art in all forms – dance, music, painting, creates that harmony. Neuropsychologists believe that art and music heal by changing the person’s physiology and attitude. It changes from fear and stress to deep relaxation and inspiration, helping the person to change his/her perceptions of their world. Art, prayer, music and healing come from the same inner source of our body and are associated with similar brain wave patterns, mind-body changes. They all are deeply connected in feeling and meaning and take us to our inner resources of healing as we know that all healing comes from within.

I am struggling with a lot lately. I have a nervous temperament and am very vulnerable to everything around me. Life is challenging when you are a woman, rebel and have a mind of your own especially when living in Indian society. The fact that I trust so easily and open too soon is cherry on top and yet that is all I know. I am still learning to consciously be attentive to my emotions. To choose which emotion to act on, which to drown in and which to let go. To love, and bring myself up again.

On one such day, caught between the emotional and health issues, I had a very beautiful and life affirming dream. It was about Penelope. She came to me as a mother, a confidante, a friend. Women, I think are born healers. Some of us may not know it and hence not use the energies in positive ways but those who know, do amazing work. I have never spoken to Penelope, nor interacted with her much but still she found me as I sought the spirit who could guide me and she responded, a healing inspiration across time and space. I am a lucid dreamer and have earlier also connected to spirit guides in various forms and each time is special. It doesn’t have to be a human. It can be a spirit animal.

Let me introduce you to Gyp at this point. She was a Dingo, an animal companion of my very dear friend and mentor, author and artist Kris Saknussemm. Kris introduced her to us on FB through photographs and little stories about her and I always felt a calling. It was as if she was there, in the shadows, watching over me. I told Kris and he was very pleased. She was an animal spirit guide for many who met her or came in contact with her in some way. I often go and read this Article Kris wrote in her memory. The moment I read it for the first time I knew why we felt connected. Another female spirit , brave and wild, who was inspiring lives through her energies. Do click on the link and read.

Coming back to the dream, I shared it with Slim over the phone and he suggested writing to Penelope. I was hesitant but at the same time excited. The love I felt needed to be shared so I wrote to her. Here is what I said,

“I have been through difficult times and am still dealing with challenges, trying to bring on the positive in my life and this dream is a new beginning, new insight for me. Positive warm thoughts coming from you.”

“In the dream, You were making a painting with bright blue, fluorescent colour butterflies, fireflies etc. A beautiful scene from around where you stood. Not sure of the place but it was some lovely hilltop. I am sitting on a rock watching you paint.
The creatures you painted weren’t around us. You said “Tiku, if you believe in goodness of life it comes to you. Even inanimate comes to life.” I said , I believe you Pen, but how can inanimate come to life. It can have a different life, an aliveness about it but it can’t live like us.

You said, “like this” and as you gave the final touch to a wing of a bumblebees everything you had painted began to fly out, crawl out of the painting. Birds, butterflies, fireflies, bumblebees, the air got filled with a fragrance I can’t explain but I felt it. The canvas became white again as I watched awestruck. The voice I heard was soft, motherly voice. Something I crave for. It filled my heart. Not a shrill sound but light as a feather.”

“Wrapped in the fragrance and the sight I slept but I remembered the whole scene after waking up. I felt relaxed and the message came to me so clear , to move on, to cleanse myself of all the negative about myself, people , places. All the while we talked and I watched you paint Slim was in my thoughts too, as if validating the good vibes we shared. I loved the healing bond we formed.”

She responded with such love. A new bond was formed. She was even inspired to paint the dream and trust me, it is exquisite.

Tiku's Dream

Posted with the permission of the artist. (Penelope’s painting)

What can be more fulfilling that this? A blessing from the universe. You ask and you

receive.

Life unfolds in so many magical ways. One can only be grateful for such events and imbibe from them. That is the true gratitude. To learn from what you seek and flow with it. Heart connections are always way above the geographical distances. I always believed in this and now it’s proven in yet another amazing way.

Thank you Slim for connecting me and Penelope. For bringing to me the Magic of Gayatri, for your friendship and for the tremendous love and light you bring in so many way to so many people.

Thank you Penelope for making me aware of the immense possibilities that lie within me, for the dream visitation, for the awesome support work you are doing to touch so many lives and for being a strength, a solace and a source of light.

Thank you universe for your benevolence and for the challenges that make me strong.

For the gift of vulnerability in me.

The more we journey inwards, the more we shine outwards.

Let us create more space for healing. Do please listen to Magic of Gayatri and if anyone who is reading this wants to help Slim in making the CD available in India, please leave a note in his ‘contact me’ on the site link above.

“The things you take for granted are the things others are praying for.” Be generous with  gratitude. Be in harmony with yourself and with all.

Digital art by me. All rights reserved.

Digital art by me. All rights reserved.

You and Me – Gratitude


September 7th

This solitude is too loud. The writer’s block is too full of words swirling inside me. Unfinished poems, half told stories that rise and fall inside me like cresting waves travelling thousands of miles with tremendous amount of power and momentum to reach the shore. Each one with a different tone and timbre.  Slowly forming themselves from micro ripples to ripples, to wavelets to waves that are steep and choppy, all rising from an almost invisible swell at a distance, spilling, surging or plunging as they break over the beach. Waves that are the pulse of the ocean that’s inside me. I tune myself to their magical ability to nurture or destroy, to their colors, forms, moods and character, their faces, forms and manners, their tints and tones, their murmurs, their rage and sorrow, scorn and anxiousness as they frown and foam and riot inside me. I listen to their lament, their agony as they snap and lose their elasticity. I feel the spray of their innocent childhood, their luminous youth.  I inhale their faint sillage, the salty sweet smell of their leaving. A beautiful memory of small moments destined to be lost.

I revel in their phosphorescent, fragrant, passion as they whorl and dance, rise and fall with a tender ecstasy only they possess. I feel their taste, sweet, sultry, fiery as I catch the dripping juices on my parched tongue.  I conjure them and watch them rustle around me like a memory of a language long forsaken.  I feel the rush of love, the surge of grief, the respite of peace.. 

I am persistent in all the highs and lows of life and even though the page remains empty I write. I pocket every sound and smell, every motion, every pause that has been dormant till this moment. I let it enliven my senses.  I give myself to the seductive, never ceasing invitation of these waves and let the spell enfold me and make my soul wander into the close sensuous embrace of the sea. There is no story board inside me. Thoughts flow free. Sometimes, like a glint on a piece of glass, something illuminates, Le Mot Juste, and flows to the tips of my fingers, there is a quiver of understanding from the word to the brain to the heart and in that moment of transcendence words shed their printed bodies on the paper making it pulsate with life.

They may mean nothing to you or maybe everything but to me they bring on the much needed catharsis. They help me expand my horizons inwardly.

 You never lose by loving, you lose by holding back. So I write. I flow. My creative intelligence creates; recreates and transforms all that is not perfect though the twenty six letters. Words are stronger as they come together to Purge, purify, and expunge the unwanted just as the waves do.

 Usually all rivers flow to the sea but this river flows from the sea, turning the salt to sweetness as it journeys to the source.

You.

Against all odds.

I turn you into stories, verses and let the images emerge in accordance to my dreams making me whole and perfect and in the process the negative flows out leaving nothing but the sweetness of love. The key to healing is allowing so I get out of the way and trust the recovery. Letting the vibrations flow from the words that sooth me into being whole. What we write we become, is what I am learning so I write of hope, faith, trust and love. Releasing the block, releasing the doubt. Allowing the impulse to write rather than force it, molding the clay (words in this case) for the purpose of talking myself into vibrational alignment of what I want rather than dwell on what’s not or imagine what won’t be or wasn’t there.

Today is the day of gratitude. I am grateful to you for stepping into my world. For allowing me into yours. For the words you fed me morsel by morsel and helped me nourish my mind, body and soul. Expectation is the combination of desire with belief and I am thankful to you for showing me that. It has helped me write a new story. I am using this block and solitude to bury the historian in me and become a story teller so that the future doesn’t become like the past. The past is over and done with. No more beating this drum. I start afresh. I have lived enough to know what I want and to know what I don’t want. You didn’t know who you were and that taught me who I am. Thank you for that and for giving me greater strength, independence and clarity. There will be and are a million things that will take me back to what it was but thanks to you I will remind myself to see all the benefits that came out of those hurts and aches silences among other things. I promise that my happiness in an inside job so I won’t hold you responsible for how I feel or ask you to change in any way to make me happy. So, thank you for helping me discover a stronger than ever desire. Thank you for loving me, for all the said and unsaid words and for all the pauses.

best-blogposts-2014-blogadda-spicy

On Expressing Gratitude And Regret


I believe

“Gratitude needs to be expressed. A person may knowingly or unknowingly enrich your life by his/her thoughts /actions. However insignificant or intangible they may seem to him/her if they bring even the slightest positiveness, strength, love or happiness to the receiver then they need to be appreciated. Also I believe that such reciprocation of warmth cements the human bond (Wont give it a name like love, friendship etc) . Gratitude should also be taken graciously and seen as the love and appreciation from the receiver to the giver.

I remember sharing this on Facebook and here are two main responses to my status.

 Shail  says,

I believe in expressing gratitude and also accepting the same from others gracefully. Some stupid movies and books have popularised the philosophy of, “No sorry and thank you between friends”. Never heard such bs. Excuse me! I beg to differ. I shall aplogize and say thank you when occasion demands and expect them to be accepted gracefully. Otherwise you are no friend of mine! Well, I expect the same from you. But of course you are free to do as you like. ;)”

Another very dear blogger friend Sangeeta  added something equally profound.

I feel when we deny gratitude we start nurturing a guilt and that makes our personality seriously skewed…. as if always doing something to cover up something , to prove something or to repay( the reasons of gratitude) with useless gifts ….while gratitude in our attitude would have made it a lot simpler and peaceful for ourselves.”

I may not “unfriend” someone for not accepting gratitude and apology the way we believe it should be accepted but Yes, it would hurt me a lot. I detest when people say “no sorry no thank you between friends”. Even a dog doesn’t resist the urge to express gratitude , it wags its tail when petted.

Some people diagree and say it is inappropriate and inconsiderate to expect everyone to follow the same verbal code. I don’t think so.

Gratitude is a constructive force that expands our hearts and creates a bond between the receiver and the giver. It is the same with apology. We do all kind of things including going into an awkward silence but “sorry” seems to be the hardest word to say.

Why are we so afraid to expose ourselves to others?

Why is it so difficult to show appreciation and remorse in simplest form of words?

I feel a simple “Thank you” or” Sorry” when genuinely expressed can bridge distances, mend broken relationships , dissolve anger, heal broken hearts and much more. I feel being unable to express gratitude and remorse is a serious character flaw.

 Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, the bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and from deeds left undone”.

I think it is a very poignant statement. Often it is too late when we realize where we went wrong with our silence at a particular time. We leave much unsaid. It is strange that members of a species renowned for their communicative gifts should leave unexpressed some of these deepest emotions.

A friend feels that sometimes a person may feel unworthy of the gratitude expressed to him/her so he/she should be the judge of the amount of worthiness.  One may feel that one hasn’t done enough to deserve such praise.

I disagree.

I feel that the receiver is the judge of that. Even the smallest of gesture is enough for a person to say ‘Thank you” because it helped her/his growth in some way.  I don’t mean that these two words should be used blindly for they will lose their worth but when occasion demands one must express them with all sincerity.

We all crave for these basic feelings.  Unfortunately those who are closest to heart are taken for granted and always denied gratitude and empathy and more more unfortunate than that is the fact that genuine offering of gratitude , appreciation or remorse is usually not taken with the same spirit.

I feel that it isn’t a very nice thing to do to oneself or the person giving a sincere compliment whatever may be the reason.  Most people think they could have done better or been better than the reality of the situation. This is what I call negative reinforcement.

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

If I get my head bitten off every time I try to say something nice to someone, how likely am I to make that attempt again?   It surely is a big downer and in any relationship these are the small pebbles on which we stumble and fall.

Do we lack this art of graceful receiving because the social ethics makes us believe that giving is important and not taking? I believe that receiving is something different from taking for it involves humility and grace.

I feel that gratitude as well as feeling of sincere apology flows out of you naturally and if it is just a cultivated thing, it usually doesn’t last very long and becomes insignificant.  Gratitude need not necessarily find expression in the form of eloquence; it could be just a, gesture, a smile, look, a touch, a teardrop, but when we are at a physical distance then words are all we have to express what we feel. I have personally experienced how much it has helped me open up from within and blossom and also how it cuts like a double edged sword when the warmth of the feeling is not reciprocated or taken matter of factly.

We take people for granted, we feel ‘entitled” and this feeling of entitlement blocks us from giving or receiving and when we aren’t receptive to gratitude whether   it receiving or giving then we may be lacking many other positive emotions.

In recent times we have stripped these two words “Thank You “and “Sorry’ of sincerity and in doing this we have forgotten the major role they play in our lives. We use them flippantly, throw around without care, and often reduce them to an easy way of getting off the hook and evading meaningful action. How many of you remember doing it at one point or another?

Many people seriously lack in gracefully accepting gratitude and apology just as much as they lack in offering them.  I believe that graciously accepting them shows that we value the other person, that there is a positive emotional state and that we keep our relationship above our ego.

So the question is why is it that we can’t take a compliment, gratitude with grace?

One of the reasons is that the recipient of gratitude reverts to a negative rebuttal to whatever nice thing is said and feels that they didn’t deserve the recognition (“Oh, I didn’t really do that much…” ‘No problem’ Ah, Don’t mention it ‘“it was nothing’ etc.  While saying these things come naturally to many, they don’t realize that they are pushing away not only the gift of gratitude but a basic form of positive energy.

It is the same with apology. The act of offering and accepting an apology is as profound and healing as that of expressing gratitude but because the offhand “sorry about that” keeps flying around, our ego prevents us from realizing its full potential.

I think the word loses its impact when we refrain from acknowledging our wrong doing (“Sorry for what I have done”) or when we throw in a self-serving conditionality (“I am sorry if you were hurt”).

Well, if the purpose of an apology is only to say, “While I don’t think I was wrong, I will apologies because you say so”, it is best not to offer one. When you say “I am sorry BUT… “ then , the message of gratitude or apology is instantly annulled and it  perfectly translates  as “forget what I just said, now here’s what I really mean.”

The worst we can do is to insult someone’s sensitivity or intelligence by such a statement. If you are grateful, be grateful. If you are sorry, be sorry.

An apology must involve acknowledging the offense adequately, expressing genuine remorse and a commitment to make changes.

“A stiff apology is a second insult,” said novelist and poet G K Chesterton.

An apology is never a compensation for the hurt caused but a way of healing.  Quick fix “Sorry” never really fixes the broken heart. Apology should sensitize us for not committing that mistake again. It should help in restoring harmony and order in the relationship and in life.

It is sad that most of us lack this beautiful gesture of gracefully receiving and expressing gratitude and apology. The inability to soften and open one’s heart in response to a genuine sentiment is really a shame and one of driving force behind many sour relationships. An opportunity lost for strengthening and deepening the bond of love between one heart to another, for reconciliation and restoration of relationship.

Although I strongly believe in constantly reminding oneself to be graciously grateful and apologize instantly when occasion demands, I also feel that expressing gratitude and apology without necessarily being grateful or remorseful is an exercise in futility.

So next time you say “Sorry” or “Thank you” be aware from within. Ask yourself what is blocking you to these emotions? Is it the stubborn pride or the guilt? It is an act of courage to apologize.

Friendships or any other relationship becomes stronger and deeper when a little grace and humility is shown.

Great Relationships are precious gifts. Be grateful.