U.S. Election cycle of 2016-my takeaways.

“Hillary doesn’t come across as a strong candidate because she isn’t very dynamic and doesn’t have radical ideas for change. She wants to continue on Obama’s legacy whereas Trump is all about shaking up and bringing in change.” My father’s words rang in my head last night while I was watching Hillary Clinton’s last rally in Philadelphia. I was looking at the Obamas and HRC together and I said to myself, What’s wrong in a picture where power comes from a shared source?  In my humble opinion it’s time for people to honor and understand the collaborative aspect of power in addition to the existing aggressive individualistic concept. An individual can make a difference but real change can only be impacted as a system. Collaboration being a feminine ideal perhaps struggles to find its voice in our masculine competitive view of the world. We need a healthy balance of both to thrive. Assertion is needed to raise issues and collaboration to find solutions.

For someone who has kept herself aloof from politics, I must say that this election cycle has taught me a thing or two and I am writing this blog to share what I have learned.

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US Election 2016-Climax time

The 7 things that stood out to me during this election cycle were:

  1. This election had two candidates who hit the core of our hearts and conscience. Their mere existence asks you, ‘What are you made of?’ – Is your baseline marked by love or by fear?
  2. Emotion trumps rational thought process unless we as human beings use our highly prized ability to discern. Emotion provides us with instant data of what lies beneath and we can choose what we would like to do with this data. Being aware would be the first step.
  3. A message that is hammered long enough around you can become a belief. Constant flow of visuals through media influence what you focus on. What you focus on consistently becomes You.
  4. Collaboration is perceived to be weak and aggressive competitiveness is perceived to be a winner’s attribute. This very notion goes against biology and physiology where every element works in tandem with the other. Can you imagine any single organ of your body being able to function optimally if something else in the system is compromised?
  5. You need to blow your own trumpet. If you boast enough about yourself, your followers will emerge. This is perhaps what social media helps you with. To find and connect with your audience.  A case in point is Bernie Sanders’ campaign whose authenticity and passion resonated with millions.
  6. We need our leaders to be flawless. We can’t tolerate imperfections in the people whom we choose to put high up on a pedestal. Is this even possible? I think this only allows for us mortals to sin without guilt because we aren’t up there. We need to let them be human beings who can err.
  7. You cannot focus on what you don’t have or have lost and expect to become great again. It’s similar to how one cannot focus on disease and expect to become healthy. Disease can be used as a pointer/indicator and only a vision of health can move you towards wellness.

Meet your biggest Critic..YOU!

It saddens me to witness so many of my friends and clients become victim to their own inner criticisms. The negative self talk as we know it. Some of us are aware of this constant badgering we put ourselves through and some of us oblivious to it. When we find someone talking out loud to themselves we think they are going crazy but what about this constant unforgiving chatter in our minds?

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Be kind to yourself

One of the earliest issues a child develops while growing up is that of low self esteem. We often try to find external causes for the occurrence (that’s if someone identifies the issue) or assume that the child just needs to try harder in a particular area. As I write this, I am reminded of a friend’s facebook status after she delivered a baby which was “ the way we talk to our children, becomes their inner voice.” If it’s not parents, it is some other family member/friend/teacher/boss etc whose voice gets installed into the software of our brain. Sadly enough we keep running these tapes in our head without ever questioning them.

Messages like: 1) “You cannot even draw a straight line.”

2)  “You should always get an A or else you are a failure.”

3)  “You cannot afford to relax if you want to be successful.”

4)  “Boys are not attracted to you because you are dark skinned.”

5)  “You are not aggressive enough for this job.”

I am sure that each one of us has our own versions of messages like these that always keep running at the back of our mind. Somehow we believe these to be true and keep working as per the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘musts’ other people have imposed on us. We internalize these as our own values and continue inflicting pain on ourselves. All these messages tell you somewhere that “I am not good enough”, “I am not valuable/loved the way I am.” We also begin to play the “ I am good if I do..” game and feel puzzled when we are not accepted anyway.

It is also important to differentiate between this unhealthy self talk and constructive criticism/ feedback. When you receive constructive criticism or feedback for improvement, it is specific to the situation/ behavior and you leave from the situation understanding that you are valued for who you are and are being given suggestions to grow further. For example: A parent could tell a child that “ I was looking at your progress card and congratulate you for your improvement from last semester in Mathematics. Continue to do your best.” The child here is not being judged at a global level that he is a bad child for not receiving the highest grade. It is here that we learn to give ourselves some room for mistakes and ease out the need to be perfect all the time.

Low self esteem shows up in our work as settling for a lesser salary, our belief about what kind of life partner we deserve and what limitations we set on our abilities. A great amount of depression and anxiety stems from this unhealthy inner self talk.

At a much larger level, one cannot accept another person if one does not accept one’s own self. The answer lies in awareness. Be mindful of your inner dialogue, journal about it and reflect on whether it is helpful or harmful at this point in your life.

From a holistic perspective, I would like to mention Dr. Masuru Emoto’s water crystal experiment where he finds that water tends to crystallize in shapes resonating with the type of music being played around the water. The principle behind this experiment is that sound vibrations from the music influenced the formations in water.

With water being a major component of the human body and thoughts containing vibrations that echo through our systems, I would encourage you think about the impact your thoughts are having on your physical/emotional/ mental health.

Recent experiences with Synchronicity

Most of the times I write when I feel like it and when my hands are not tired from the typing I do at work:) I have been intending to write however have been putting it off like most other good things that I know are needed for my ‘spirit’. What is my subject of writing today? I just have been brought to my blog while I was just clicking links on other sites and I landed on a blog which required for me to sign in before I could read it. All those things that happened were links – literally and metaphorically for me to reach where I needed to be i.e. write my own blog:)

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Raindrops on my sunroof

I smile everyday when I experience these synchronistic moments. Life/ Universe has a way of bringing you to where you need to be. If you are open and aware you will make that choice that you need to after you have received enough signs..pieces in the mosaic if you will. As humans we definitely have the power to put off the need to act on these signs or even acknowledge them. The only thing about this is that it never goes away. If there is anything you need to be paying attention to, life will keep bringing it back to you with only greater intensity each time you refuse to or are incapable of acknowledging it. These signs can take many forms and get manifested in different ways. I will give you a personal example from what happened a couple of months ago. I would be driving in my car and quite a few times I got an image of ‘a cop car flashing lights behind me’. I knew I needed to pay attention but of course I ignored it. I would totally forget about it at the end of the day and after a few days the image repeated itself to me. In my mind, I kept saying, I have been good at driving and I am confident about my driving skills so I do not need to worry. Well, my foolishness of disregarding that message I was receiving led me into getting pulled over by a cop car within the next few days.I count events like this under synchronicity too because they give you information and you can choose what to do with it. Illnesses and the messages sent by our bodies are also signs we first chose to ignore and then have a full blown illness where our body says ‘ I was trying to talk to you but you never listened to me’. A positive example of experiencing synchronicity would be what I experience most days at my work. I work at Beyond Healing which is a Counseling, Wellness and Personal Growth Center in Palos Heights, Illinois. The owner and I are in sync with our vision and our minds work alike too. It was a year ago when we were sitting together and discussing the future course for the center when it was primarily a counseling practice. We ‘knew’ that we needed other holistic healers to come and work with us but did not have the money or the inclination to advertise for it. Within a few weeks, we were contacted by four different healers who wanted to work with us and aligned with our vision. We had not even mentioned our requirements to other people except for a few close friends who were in unrelated businesses. We experienced the phenomena of ‘ you are part of a much more integrated whole’ and all we needed to do was be open to accepting what was coming our way. As mentioned in the book ‘The Secret’, it is just setting an intention, forgetting about it which is another way of saying that it will happen and you needn’t worry about the ‘how’ and then letting the magic work. I am fortunate and blessed that after going through phases of experiencing ‘intuition’ and then getting wrapped up in mechanical and worrisome, I am reliving the knowledge I had once gained. As I finish typing my last line here, I feel lighter and better that I chose to listen to myself today..Did you?