Once upon a time, I was that person who would put a check mark on the box marked “single” whenever I was filling out forms that asked about my status. Then some years later, I was checking off “married”. Now, I am checking off “divorced”. Labels, labels, labels. We are continuously being forced to categorize ourselves. Whether we are categorizing ourselves by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, it always one thing or the other. Somehow it seems that our society demands from us a label that we become identified by, recognized by because apparently we need to differentiate ourselves from I vs them, and then we carry those labels around with us and they become who we are. I guess when I check mark that box, then I am introducing myself as “HELLO, I AM DIVORCED” “Well nice to meet you, I AM DIVORCED, I AM MARRIED and this is my friend “I AM SINGLE AND EAGER TO GET MARRIED”Read more
I’m sorry – but what a LOAD OF BS!
What is the point of these labels? Whose purpose is being served when we choose to label our societies, our communities, our cultures, our faiths, our beliefs, our religions? Why are we focusing so much on differences? How about for just a moment, we focus on the fact that “WE ARE HUMANS” “WE ARE PEOPLE” “WE ARE INDIVIDUAL BEAUTIFUL SOULS”
My newest label, DIVORCED was never one I imagined I would be associating with myself. But as life would have it, this was part of my journey. Regardless of what people think about divorce, for me, this has been the hardest, most difficult blessing. It has shown me things about myself that I had never known. I know my soul knew it, but in the process of my soul getting lost in this physical world, my divorce became my rude awakening into realizing why I am here. Why was I brought into this world? What is my purpose? My divorce freed me from societal and cultural expectations and oppression about who I was based on my gender, based on my role as a wife, as a daughter in law, as a mother, as a full time employee. It freed me from the limited perception that I had of myself as being only that which those roles defined me to be. It opened up my eyes to the fact that in addition to all those societal and familial roles and responsibilities, I had an individual role, that demanded a responsibility towards myself.
It gave birth to a curiosity to seek out the answer to the question “Who am I? What role and responsibility do I have towards myself? See, far too often we are trying to figure out how we are attached to what and who exists outside of ourselves. We ask “Who am I as a child, as a sibling, as a wife, as a daughter in law, as a mother? And what do all these relationships expect from me?” “How can I satisfy or perfect this role and the responsibilities that are being expected of me?” In focusing on all that is outside of us, we completely forget about the role and responsibility we have towards our self. Do we even realize we owe it to ourselves to ask this question?
See folks, I am ME. I have likes, dislikes, dreams, aspirations. I love, I fear, I hurt, I cry, I laugh, I smile, I get excited, I wish, I desire, I hope, I crave, I fantasize … I do all of those! I seek to understand, what is it that makes me feel all these emotions? What keeps me going, what keeps me thriving? What elevates me, what depletes me? How do I handle all of this? How do I live through this, without fear, and how do I keep it real without fearing guilt, judgment, anger, resentment, shame?
It took walking away from what was familiar, to embracing the unknown to find these answer – to find me! I had become comfortable in the uncomfortable for way too long, and that can only be tolerated for so long before you start becoming the ugliest version of yourself. No one needs to endure this
sacrifice or this misery. Walking away was hands down the scariest decision because I knew nothing of what lay ahead. What I know now, is God lay ahead. I found Him in ways I never imagined. Faith has become my knight in shining armor, and God leady my journey. My travels are nowhere near over. It has only just begun. But one thing is for sure, if the beginning has been so magical, I can’t wait for what else is in store.
When you point one finger at someone, three others are pointing right back at you.
Becoming a victim of our circumstance is way too easy and I did this for way too long. I pointed fingers at people who I wanted to blame for the terrible things that happened in my life. What I have learned on my journey is that I too am just as much of a player in the circumstances I face as anyoneelse who was involved. However, I can only take accountability for my own decisions and the outcomes of them. I cannot change or control the actions of others. We all make decisions in our life. I believe, that at any juncture in a person’s life, where they make a decision, at that moment, the decision we decide to make is based on the fact that we truly believe that the decision is the right one to make.Read more
Regardless of what anyone else thinks or says, you will make that decision because you feel it is the right decision. It may be a relationship decision, a career decision, a business decision, a health decision, etc, whatever it is, it is your decision to make.Right vs wrong is a judgment call and you will always have someone who will judge you. Oh well, move forward and do what is right for you. But remember, with every decision, comes an outcome. If you are going to move forward with the decision, you have to learn to embrace the outcome, regardless of what it looks like.
Many times, the outcome of our decisions may not show up with results we had hoped for or that we had predicted. The true power comes from embracing, non-judgmentally the results of your decision. Do not feel shamed by it, do not feel guilty by it, and do not worry about hearing “I told you so”. Use your experiences to help you learn, grow, and become a better and stronger version of yourself. Stay focused in gratitude and allow yourself to turn your experiences into teaching moments, growing moments, teaching you to survive and learn something new about yourself every moment of every day. This will teach you self-love, self-forgiveness and self-empowerment.
Up until about 1.5 years ago, I lived my life merely fantasizing about a life I wanted.But somehow, there were always “more important” responsibilities I had to live up to, which made my dreams, just that; a dream, anunachievable dream, a fantasy. I did not recognize that I also had a responsibility towards myself, towards my dreams, towards my aspirations. I think at some point in our life, we begin to convince ourselves, and are convinced by others, that we have other priorities in life. Before I was married, my primary responsibilities were towards my family (my parents and sisters) and myboyfriend (whoever it would have been at the time). After I got married, my new responsibilities were that of a wife and daughter in law.Read more
When I became a mother, I was trying desperately to not only be the very best wife and daughter in law, but also a mom – a new mom! The message I was receiving from my married family right from the start of my marriage was that my pre-marital responsibilities towards my own family should no longer be a priority. I struggled with this the entirety of my marriage, but that is a story for another time.
The point is, we immerse ourselves in a kind of obsession where we are trying to be the best version for all these societal and familial roles. In our desperate attempt to perfect the role, we fear failure, we fear disappointment of the other person’s expectations of us, we fear criticism, we fear not getting it right, we fear mistakes, we fear judgment … we just FEAR!!!
How exhausting! Reliving all those emotions of fear, even as I type this makes me feel exhausted and drained. And in the midst of desperately attempting to be the best and do the best for others based on these roles, we forget about the most important role, the most important responsibility, which we have always overlooked, and that is, the relationship with our self, the responsibility towards our self, and what we want for our self!
I picture it like this. We become servers at a dinner table. Imagine yourself as a server that has walked up to a table that is surrounded by a number of people. You go around the table asking each one of them what they are expecting from you. How can youserve them. We are trying to take a customized order from each of these people, about what and who and how you need to do and be for them. They truth is, the number of people that surround this table will continue to go up and down, and so will their demands and expectations of you. We have a choice. We can either write down and cater to every single customized order no matter how many orders are being placed, and then go back into our “kitchen” and try and “prepare” the “best version” of our self to go and serve to them, or we can choose to hand over a preset menu of only what is available, no substitutions, no additions, you get what is available, otherwise feel free to step out and go to another “restaurant”. I am who I am. Love me or hate me, accept me or reject me, but sorry folks, this is all that is available here.
On the rare occasion, if you feel up to adding some extra taste or spice to what you have to offer, do it on yourterms. Perhaps you can call that version “today’s special” where you may give a little extra because youdecided it works for you. If it is accepted, great, and if not, that’s fine too. But remember still, even with “today’s special” there are still rules and boundaries that need to be respected. There will still be no substitutions and no additions.You only get what is available.
My belief in God
My belief in God, is just that. Simply put, it’s my belief. It doesn’t have be your belief, or what you follow, or what you understand or have accepted. My belief is mine, it works for me, it keeps me on track, it makes sense to me. I do not believe that God wants us to fight or argue or be conflicted in who and what and how He is in our life. I do not believe He wants us to judge each other’s beliefs, label them as right or wrong, or any of that. God is pure, God is beautiful, God is love, God is light.Read more
I think that can be safely assumed as the general consensus of believers. But whether we want to call him God, Jesus, Allah, the Universe, Spirit, The Divine, it really doesn’t matter – at least not to me. For me, He is all of that plus a whole lot more. He is forgiving, He is kind, He is compassion, He is purpose, He is light, He is love. I see Him in the sun, I see Him in the stars, I see Him the in trees, I see Him in the clouds. I hear Him in the wind, I hear Him in the storms, I hear Him in music, I see Him in art. I seem him in children, I hear Him in their laughs. I see them in our elders, I hear them in their wise, loving words., I feel Him in my breath, I feel Him in my heart, I feel Him in my soul. He is everywhere. He doesn’t have one body, or one look, or a particular color. He lives everywhere, no matter the church, the mosque, the temple, the synagogue. He shows up at different times, with different messages, perfect messages, “right place at the right time” moments “what a small world” situations, “funny you should say that” conversations. Those “random coincidences”, those “blessings in disguise” that’s God, there’s God, showing up just for you, and just for me. He knows what to say, He knows what to do. He knows how it will make sense to me, and how it will make sense to you – that’s how He shows up. When I stay present and focused in my present moment, when I live fearlessly and in faith, I am better able to notice Him, recognize Him, and receive all the signs that he brings for me. To me, that is God, in all His glory, and all His light.
No label, no religion, no stereotype, no judgment, will take Him away from me. He is within me, He is around me, He is always there for me.
So accept my request, do not judge what I believe, and do not condone what keeps my faith. You can travel whatever journey you wish, just do not control, criticize, judge or mock mine. Let’s respect all that we are for we are perfect, divine creations made by Him. If He does not judge, so how can we?
What brings you joy?
Joy – a small short word. But don’t let the “size” of the word mislead you from seeing and truly feeling the intensity and impact it can have on you and your life. Joy brings so much fulfillment and purpose into our lives yet we overlook the importance of it, and perhaps quite frankly, we have no idea how to obtain it. If by some chance, we have it, we do not know how to keep it. Often time, we look at joy as a temporary feeling or experience because perhaps the source that we seek it from becomes something that doesn’t last forever. Therefore, when that entity, person or experience that brings us joy leaves us, we think the joy leaves too.Read more
Oh what a tragedy, to make joy so temporary in our life.
Does that mean joy is not permanent?Is it something that we can only have temporarily? Is it possible to make it something we can hold and keep with us for as long as possible, perhaps forever?
I wouldn’t say I have mastered the art of permanent joy, but I can say, that it is also no longer a fleeting moment either. I would say, compared to some years ago, joy has been in my life a whole lot more than it was in the past. Perhaps before, it was like a temporary visiting guest, it just wasn’t around long enough to have a huge impact. Now, however, even in the midst of difficult challenging situations, joy seems to have found an abode within me that has gotten quite cozy and comfortable literally inside me. Somehow, I am a lot more conscious and mindful that joy is not outside of me, but rather, it exists within me.
Joy is not found outside of us, like in a store, or in a person, or any such external place.It doesn’t need to be purchased, we do not need to wait for someone to give it to us, rather; joy resides within us. It has always been within us, it just needs to be acknowledged so that once we become aware of its existence, we just need to light the spark and allow it to shine in us.
I have started to get into a habit of looking for joy the simplest experiences and moments. Find joy knowing and experience your breath, allow it to remind you that you are alive, that you are well. Find joy in your present moment, in all that surrounds you. Do not take for granted these moments, because they may very well not be here to experience the next time you blink. When you start living in the present moment, when you start living and appreciating your now moment, when you start being mindful about all that is, you begin to feel joy. You realize, joy is not a Chanel, Gucci or Prada handbag, nor is it Louboutin stiletto heels, or a red Ferrari … at least, that’s not my joy.
Joy is in a bright new sunny day, joy is the sound of the birds in the morning, joy is the butterfly that lands on a flower on a beautiful spring day. Joy is the laughter of your children, the time you spend with your playful puppy, joy is the smell of the rain outside your window, joy is the food on your plate, joy is the time you spend with your family, joy is being right here, right now … at least that’s my joy, a simple word, with a huge impact. #stayjoyful #whatsyourjoy
Dreams into realities
What if we were more than just the roles that society or our family has dictated to us. What if we were not just a CEO or a Director, or an administrator, or a secretary, or a mother, or father, or daughter, brother, sister, son, father in law, daughter in law? What if we craved more, wanted more, wished for more? What if it wasn’t just our family or societal defined roles that made us who we truly are? What if there was another reason we were here? What if we could actually impact more lives with our God given potential. What if the world needed us to release the shackles from our feet that trap us into a mediocre life, a stressful life, an unfulfilled life? Regardless of how much money we make or don’t make, what if there was more?Read more
How will we know and what steps do we take or prevent ourselves from taking to find out all the answers to these questions?
In my effort to seek the answers to all these questions after I was completely unfulfilled, sad, depressed, disappointed with the way my life course had directed me, I decided there had to be more in life to just this.
I took the leap of faith to free myself from all the shackles that trapped me into a box that served someone else’s purpose. I made the decision to get divorced and as a single mother, decided to venture off to seek the answers to all the questions I had been asking God for so long. I recognized I had dreams, big dreams that would change my life and would impact the world and I am now on the journey to discover all that I truly am and all that I am yet to become.
I am living my life with purpose and intention according to my terms and my dreams. My faith in God has grown deeply since this journey has begun and I continue to grow and learn. My awakened journey is not only impacting me, but also people I speak to, who I coach, and who I mentor, and of course, my beautiful five year old son, my earth angel, my soul mate. I will continue on this journey of purpose knowing that God is on my side and I have the power to manifest the life I want to see for myself.
My thoughts become my dreams, and my dreams are becoming and will continue to become, my reality. That is what I want for myself, and that is what I want for you. Let us walk this journey together, a journey where we can mutually share our love, share our passion, share our purpose, and make this world a better place, one soul at a time.
We crave love yet we fear it
I ask myself, “why do we turn love into such a complicated emotion? I doubt there is a single person who doesn’t enjoy the experience of feeling completely loved. But while we all crave it, while we desire it, we also fear it. Amidst all the searching, the seeking we do to find love, true love, a soul mate’s love, when we are faced with it, when we are caught in that moment, we almost freeze and build a wall disallowing complete surrender into the magic of what it brings. The world we live in continues to expose us to all kinds of opportunities to build bridges that help us find that person.Read more
Social media, dating websites, dating apps – all collectively are being used as tools, so that the seeker of love, the inquisitive lover can go out and find that perfect match. But yet, when we meet that special person, when we share moments of complete bliss with them, when we lock lips and intertwine our bodies with theirs, when we become one, and feel whole and complete in that very moment that we are together, we fear expressing how we feel. We fear uttering the dreaded 3 words, “I love you” because apparently it may be too soon, or we may be “moving too fast”, or we may “not be ready for that type of commitment”. It is ironic and almost completely ridiculous in a sense, that while we are ready to whole heartedly be completely open and intimate with an individual, open communication to articulate and express the perfection, the pure bliss, the love in the moment through words, is almost like performing the ultimate crime. Those dreaded three words, “I love you” inevitably make the person on the receiving end want to run the other way. Ironically, giving yourself intimately, sexually, lovingly to them seems totally justified and appropriate. But don’t you dare say “I love you”.
We truly do not understand love. We give out mixed messages to the universe about it. We want it, yet we don’t. We crave it, yet we fear it. We long for it, yet we push it away. Why do we cease to recognize the purity and beauty in the emotion of love? Why are we not ready to embrace and accept that love can manifest itself beautifully in different ways, with different people, under difference circumstances?And therefore, the simple expression and articulation of those three words “I love you” can be the icing on the cake, that makes the experience complete and perfect, and perhaps that’s all we need. Can’t we just complete it without fear? I say, let’s just be love, let’s just be in love; with ourselves, with each other and with the moment. Simple yet beautiful.
I love you!
Farahana Surya Namaskar
Far too often, we get burdened by that one question – “what is our purpose?” “Why are we here?” “What is the point of all this?” So many of us feel stuck because we really do not have the answers to these questions. Perhaps we feel like we are living life day to day as if running a crazy rat race, and though we are doing so much, though we have so many responsibilities to fulfill, we still suffer from an overwhelming sense of feeling unfulfilled. Something deep inside of us craves more, but what that is, we still haven’t figured out.Read more
See, I believe that the void we feel, that lack, that burning desire, that craving of wanting more is our soul letting us know we are here for something bigger, our divine purpose, and it is up to us to figure out what that is.
I asked those questions for as long as I can remember, but that inner voice in essence started to scream when my marriage broke up. I was asking all kinds of questions like “what was the point?” “Why did this happen to me?” My anger, my disappointment, my pain, my hurt, my emptiness all started to over flow out of me like dormant volcano that had sat inactive for years. I literally finally erupted and everything I had held in me for all those years literally exploded out of me.
It wasn’t until I started my inward journey to contact my inner self, my inner child through meditation that I literally got introduced to who I was inside. I realized, that for all those years, I had become caught up in who people saw me to be on the outside and as a result, I only knew myself from an “outside perspective”. What I realized was, who I appeared to be on the outside, who I had been defined from the outside, was nothing like the person in the inside. It was like discovering pandora’s secrets when I went inward.
My journey within enabled me to begin an inner exploration that felt like I was getting to know myself all over for the first time. I was getting to know me like we get to know a stranger. I began to discover my likes and dislikes, my love, my fears, my pain, my strength … I started to discover everything from scratch. Once I began doing that, I started to recognize my purpose, my soul purpose. A part of me that had been in a deep comatose state for all those years, awakened in such a beautiful way, that I began to feel more awake, more aware, and more in tune with myself, the world around me, and more importantly, a connection with God came to life that I had never ever had before. My journey continues and I can truly say, I am finally living a life filled with love, purpose and faith. This journey that to guide me towards creating a life God wishes me to have, fearlessly, full of dreams that are coming alive and will continue to manifest into my reality. Has this journey started with you and if not, how are you ready to make it happen?
I love you!
Farahana Surya Namaskar
Let your heart open up to accept love fearlessly
Love – a dichotomy of pure bliss and passion combined with an overriding pain that is so hard to recover from. Ex-lovers leave imprints in our hearts, scars that never leaves us, but still a longing, a desire to seek out what is bigger and better out there. Our disappointments, our heart breaks build us stronger, teaching us so much more about ourselves, who we are and what we will not accept anymore. Once bitten twice shy becomes our motto, yet deep down in the depths of our soul, we hope and pray for that loved one, that soul mate, that dream lover who will show up, perhaps unannounced, and make it all worth it. Perhaps we really do have to kiss a thousand frogs to find our prince.Read more
What is it with this heart of mine, this heart that has been hurt and disappointed so much, this heart that longs to be loved in a way like never before. I peculiar knowing and confidence still lingers despite the broken promises and the heartache, that somewhere amidst all the pain, there will come that soul who is hear to stay, that companion who will offer unconditional love, that partner who was made just for me.
In the meantime, I move forward loving me, respecting me, and honoring me, because the most important love, is the love that I have for me, and honestly, this self-love is growing quickly, more strongly and more truly than ever before.