Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Mind and the Ego!

There was a request to post the Learnings from the book 'The Power of Now' by Eckhart Tolle in one of the forums that I am a member.

This is what I felt! Read on....

Dear Mayannk,


The Power of Now has the ingredients needed to experience the state of Being rather than the state of doing, which by the way is how we operate most of the time. This is because of the fear of the mind in this case the brain of its mortality and how it influnces the being or tries to overpower the being by not letting it operate in the 'NOW' which in any case is all that we have and it manipulates us into the past and the future thereby giving us a false sense of reality!

In trying to train the brain to remain in the present, we need to observe our thoughts and the constant flirtations that it has with the past and the present which feeds the ego. These thoughts can be based on the accomplishments (past) and/or projections (future). The 'Win' for the brain can be as trivial as 'having the last word' in even the most simple communication exchange between two individuals while 'losing' is perceived as its demise!

Thoughts of the past and the future also puts us into the understanding of time as something that adds pressure to the self rather than look at time as resource that can be had to accomplish what is at hand in the 'Now'. The crib/boasting about the past and the expectations for something to happen in the future is a way of the mind in not wanting to accept that which is and that is the 'Now'. When we are in the present the mind has no role to play thereby rendering it practically useless and this it will not let happen!

All this brings me to the learning that the mind and the ego are the same and understanding of either helps us 'the individual.'

This is the essence that the book placed in me.

In Being,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The in-ternal Customer

A lot many times we look at the cure from outside without realizing that the cure more often than not lies inside.

I have had a lot many friends who have approached me to counsel children simply because the children are not behaving according to their expectations and they think that the problem lies with the child rather than themselves. This is exactly the same as trying to satisfy the Customer without satisfying the employee.

The first request that I make is that they go through counselling themselves to unearth the reason why their children are behaving the way that they do. The minute a suggestion like that is made the defence mechanism within the each one of us springs to defend ourselves to thinking that the problem is with the child and not the parent. Exactly like what companies say, "We are paying them well and providing them with all the comforts and benefits that they want, so that's not the problem". It is like saying that I am giving my child all that he or she wants in terms of material comforts, so she/he has no reason to be dissapointed!

Many a time we hear terms like 'bonding', 'quality time' etc that is used to address the issue of developing relationships with children and often the 'quality time' that we give them is spent "advising" them on what to do and what not to do! where as all the child needs is a patient hearing what Steven Covey calls "Seek first to understand and then to be understood", of what's happening in its own world. the child is quite capable of finding the answers by itself!

The reason the emphasis is on children and the family is because all learning starts at home and what is prevelant at home is what we carry outside including our offices, social settings and the like. It is no wonder that the saying "people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others" is so very apt in this situation. Likewise satisfy the customer with-in before trying to satisfy the customer with-out. Look at yourself before trying to look at the child, wife, friend, boss and peers!

In Inquiry,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


In this modern age of double incomes and financial independence the greatest concern that faces all of us is the need to move to a stage of Interdependence as stated by Steven Covey.

Marital conflicts arise from the fact that both the individuals are equally capable of living on their own and everywhere we go, there is this increased focus on individual success, brilliance etc being recognized. This has created a 'I', 'Me', 'Myself' culture that has led to self-centered behaviour.

Also, we now live in a culture of instant gratification, we have everthing around us available to us when we need it, we can make calls half way around the world in an instant, instant noodles, fast food etc, so much so that we are even promised instant 'Nirvana"!.

We carry this with us even in our relationships and we want our relationships to be what 'we' want it to be instantly and when that does not happen, we want instant seperation!.

Most of the discord that arises in any relationship and particularly couples is that "each individual is trying to change the other"! while change we need to understand happens with the self first. The only person that you can change on this Earth is "you", which a lot of us tend to miss.

So, the key point that we need to address is that we need to give 'time' in our relationships, what with 2 different individuals being brought up in completely different backgrounds, beliefs, values and even life styles in their respective houses come together to make a new beginning.

Secondly, we need to develop the attitude of 'acceptance', we need to accept the other person for her/his beliefs, values, life styles et all. Unfortunately we 'expect' a lot from the other individual and when that expectation is not met we instantly discard the person/relationship.

Lastly, we need to develop an 'awareness of ourselves', we need to understand our background, our trigger points, our pain points and the like so that we are able to understand the other person's point of view. Infact this point needs to be at the beginning rather than in the end.

Feel free to share your thoughts.....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." - Viktor Franklyn Attitude is everything.!!

It is more vital than events. It's more important than what's happened. Because attitude determines whether we are happy or unhappy, fulfilled or empty, the positive perspective assures us that we can never fail. A hopeful attitude guarantees internal success. Attitude- the altitude adjuster determines whether we fly high or low, crash or soar, glide or slide.

Anybody can have a positive attitude when things are going well. What really matters is its how you act when things are going badly that determines the strength of your character. An appropriate attitude means feeling hopeful in challenging times. Stop yourself. Count your blessings. Look for the good.
Here are some magnificent ways to improve your attitude:

Choose to be Enthusiastic

Corporate presidents voted it the most valuable personality trait. It's the biggest single factor in successful selling. Think enthusiastically. Talk enthusiastically. Become enthusiastic by acting enthusiastic. Your thoughts and actions establish your level of enthusiasm.

Be Alive to Everything You Do
Walk fast. Put a bounce in your step. A vigorous, hearty handshake indicates you are glad to be alive and happy to be with the other person. A good smile radiates enthusiasm. Put spirit into your speech by varying the tempo, raising and lowering the pitch, changing the tone and modulation. Force yourself to act with enthusiasm, and soon you will feel enthusiastic.

Broadcast Good News
No one ever made a friend or accomplished anything worthwhile by transmitting bad news. Good news, on the other hand, promotes good will and spreads enthusiasm. The message, "Hey! I've got good news" gets the attention of everyone. Take sunshine to school or work. Always aim to make the person you talk to feel better than they otherwise would.

Positive Self-Talk

What did you say to yourself today? Did you moan and groan about everyone at work? Did you complain about your parents to your best friend? What we think is 100% reflected in how we feel. If all we think about is negative thoughts, our actions will be negative. Remember "I'm a 10! I'm Healthy! Wealthy! Happy! I do what I ought to do, when I ought to do it, whether I want to or not! No Debate! I love me!"

Love Others
How can we become more loving? By bringing encouragement, optimism, and hope to all that we meet. By helping others feel comfortable in our presence; by spreading joy and goodwill; by being concerned about the wishes and desires of others; by understanding, caring, accepting, and forgiving; by becoming more concerned about helping others achieve their individual desires.


Today, choose your Attitude and choose your own way!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life as a mirror …

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."-- C.G. Jung
How many times have you found people around you happy when you are not? The world is like a mirror, reflecting who you are. The best example of this are children, we are full of energy and laughter when we are around children, why? Because they are full of energy and laughter!
Unfortunately we get so caught up with what we do, we hardly laugh, research says that at age 4 children laugh at least 4000 times a day, when we reach 14 that has come down to 40 and by the time we are 40 that drops to 4! What happens is that we loose that child like innocence and thereby loose touch with our inner selves.
Have you ever noticed, at traffic signals observe how many people have a smile on their face….none! In fact if someone is smiling, we wonder, “Is something wrong with him/her”, a serious look in today’s world gives a perception of being highly intellectual!
Next time try smiling at people you will be surprised at the response you get, greet people, say a warm ‘hello’ or ‘hi’, because when you give you get, and to get you have to give first.We get clues about our unconscious programming if we watch our reactions, responses, feelings and thoughts about other people and events. Ask yourself: How do I judge or stereotype people? What pushes my buttons? What makes me angry or fearful or sad?
The outer incidents that trigger these reactions in me simply MIRROR my own nature. If I didn't have beliefs around the issues that upset me, where would my reactions come from? If I didn't have some internal reference, I wouldn't react at all. When outer events spark a reaction, we need to look inside to explore what’s going on.
"We discover in ourselves what others hide from us and we recognize in others what we hide from ourselves."
Discover yourself this weekend….at least make a beginning!!
Enjoy your weekend folks!

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Commit to Compliment"

Mr. Dale Carnegie in his world famous book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ states that to build Rapport with people, we need to ‘give honest, sincere appreciation’. Appreciating someone is nothing but complimenting the person. Think about it for a moment, when was the last time that some one genuinely complimented you? How did you feel?
Now, ask yourself, When was the last time that I complimented anyone?......
Compliments are powerful things, even from strangers who barely know you. We all feel the need to be complimented because it gives us a sense of ‘Self–Worth’, it makes us feel good inside, in today’s world we are constantly being bombarded by criticism around us in the media, television, newspapers, practically everywhere so much so that when we receive a compliment from others, we doubt the person’s intentions!
Unfortunately we all back away from giving compliments when we observe others have done something good, be it friends, colleagues, spouses or anyone. We in fact tell ourselves, “I’ll praise him when the time comes”, and that never happens!
Compliments need not be something very big, perhaps we noticed how well someone has dressed, or how much progress a colleague has made in a project, or their cheerful disposition, a well cooked lunch/dinner from the spouse, they can be appreciated with a small phrase of ‘well done’, ‘thank-you’, ‘nice job’ etc.
All this involves awareness, an awareness of what is happening around us and recognizing the opportune moment and complimenting. Allow me to demonstrate. I’m going to give you some compliments right now, to kick off your weekend. You might be surprised how good it makes you feel.
First, if you are reading this, I already know something about you: You have an open mind, and that’s a rare and wonderful quality. Most people only enjoy seeing their preconceived ideas fed back to them. That doesn’t happen here. Open-mindedness is one of the most important qualities a person can have. You have it! I also expect you’re well-liked by the people who know you best because you’re curious to find out, and fun-loving.
Secondly, it involves commitment, promise yourself to give at least two compliments to your loved ones this weekend and feel the difference……it’s liberating!

Have a great weekend folks!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Accepting Oneself

This is the time of the year of anticipation, the time when we reflect on the year gone by and the anticipation of what the New Year has in store. This is the time when we look forward with hope and cheer.

While looking forward to what might come in itself is exciting not being able to accomplish what we make as resolutions can be disappointing. This is because we look at the external to make things happen whereas we need to look internal to accept what we receive. There is a great saying that we get what we deserve not what we desire, in anticipating much through our resolutions, the inability to keep pace with fulfilling the resolutions soon leads to disappointment which in turn leads to breaking the resolutions that we have made very quickly.

The present day culture is driven by the need to accomplish and accomplish at the speed of thought, this has been created by technology, while it is possible for technology to deliver quickly, it may not be the case with every individual, because each one of us has different capabilities and given the time and space, each one of us is capable of completing what we have set out to accomplish with our resolutions. Time in its present sense does not allow for such luxuries and this creates anxiety within.

When anxiety increases the speed of the mind increases and when the speed of the mind increases it leads to disturbances in our breathing patterns which percolate to the physical body and then the individual organs. Just observe your breadth, the life force energy the next time you get angry, scared or anxious and you will know.

Therefore the speed of the mind is the cause for physical imbalances and to overcome this we need to observe our thoughts, we need to understand whether they are enabling us in accomplishing what we set out for or are they disabling us and making us anxious. Developing the awareness is key, when we are aware, we are in meditation.

The initial path to this awareness is acceptance, accepting ourselves first, accepting our capabilities next and accepting our accomplishments much later. Often we are expecting, expecting more from ourselves, expecting more of our capabilities and expecting to be able to accomplish more that what is actually required. Expectations when not fulfilled leads to disappointments and a feeling of unworthiness of self. This can be dangerous as it sets the ball of comparison rolling and when we compare ourselves with the supposedly higher accomplishments of the others, self-guilt sets in which can become disabling at the speed of thought.

As we arrive at the New Year, the action resolution to take would be one of acceptance resolution rather than expectations, thereby enabling us in taking the first step to accomplishing a journey of inner knowledge and healing.