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Monday, August 30, 2010

My reflections from my time at Kayakalp, the Ayurveda and Yoga Centre in the Himalayas- Palampur, India ~ Umang Goel

My reflections from my time at Kayakalp, the Ayurveda and Yoga Centre in the Himalayas- Palampur, India ~ Umang Goel

We left for our much awaited India trip on July 2nd 2010, from San Francisco airport. We had a 2 hour 15 minutes lay-over in Seoul, Korea, and reached Delhi airport by 12:50 am, July 4th. At 5:15 am, we took an 8 hours train journey to a place called Chakki Bank and from there another 4 hours taxi ride to Kayakalp, Palampur in the heart of the Himalayas. Yes it was quite an extensive journey to reach there! But the destination was well worth it :)

Once there inside the Kayakalp grounds, the natural surroundings were very powerful. Many beautiful plants and flowers adorned the grounds taking my breath away. The weather was very pleasant. We could see snow on the mountain tops, which were in the very last stages of melting away. It was 52 acres of beauty that pleased my senses through and through, with solar panels throughout.

We took residence in the “Niket” residential block. It was not a very fancy place, but all the basic amenities were there. We had reached there on the evening of July 4th, had our first introduction to the Dining Block as we had our dinner, and we looked forward to starting the next morning when we would meet our doctor, about whom I had heard from my parents and siblings. Yes, my parents had made all the necessary reservations for our stay much in advance of our actual trip.

We had been given a schedule of how our stay at Kayakalp would work; and sure enough like clockwork, we followed the schedule. I was very jet lagged, more so than my children! I was up at 1:30 am the next morning (almost 12 hours, night and day difference proved to be difficult to catch up with!!). I kept my eyes closed for a bit, then got up and went about all my regular morning rituals. Spending time in self-analysis is always very fruitful. Then early morning sweet chanting sounds of Gayatri Mantra wafted through the windows drenching me in heartfelt peace even further. “What a way to start your day,” is all I could think of

As the schedule promised, there was a knock on the door exactly at 5 am; I was ready! We were handed a jug full of warm water. I woke up my son, and we both drank 3-4 glasses each. By 5:30 am, we were out walking in the fresh early morning air. We have been told to walk bare feet on the green grass, topped with morning dew; we admired the beautiful flowers and the green lawns as we walked – yes it was very soothing to the eyes and the feet. We walked for the next 25 minutes before we ended up in the Treatment Block. The strategically placed signs with words of wisdom on the lawns or the side walks were very appropriate and much appreciated reminders.

By 6 am, we were in the Yoga Hall inside the Treatment Block. This room could easily fit about 35 people on the already placed yoga mats (or rather hand made mattresses). The Yoga Instructor, Mr. Roop Lal came in, opened the windows for fresh air and seated himself on a raised dais. A round of introduction revealed the various people from the various parts of the world, but mostly from the neighboring Indian states. The next 1 hour and 30 minutes were spent in a very restorative yoga practice, pranayam, neti kriya (with the neti pot), the drinking of salted water and then expelling the toxins out of the body through the mouth. The last part really had my eyes watering; it sure needed getting used to. Another expert from the Naturopathy section came in to spread knowledge on health and sprinkled with words of wisdom – all well worth the effort. How quickly the 1 hour 30 minutes passed! I loved the way Sun Salutation/Surya Namaskar was taught facing the rising sun and starting with chanting. The rubbing of the hands together and cupping the eyes with the heated palms was very relaxing. Alternative Breathing practice/Anulom-Vilom took on a different meaning. Savasana pose was sprinkled throughout the practice. Echoes of the Ohm chant in a staggered manner were especially elating, relaxing and uplifting. Ending the yoga practice with “kheer-asana” /Laughter yoga was absolutely mind blowing. The way the instructor did it left me in awe. I felt completely uninhibited, and could not help but bring that into my own practice all the way back to the US! The yoga teaching was shared among two yoga instructors on different days, each bringing their own uniqueness into the practice. I learned a lot and my own practice was completely re-affirmed. During my own student days, as I was learning yoga myself and how to teach others, I had developed my own unique ways, extracting from others (teachers and practitioners) as I went along, modifying and adding what instinctively felt right to my mind, body and spirit. I had always felt that enough attention is not given to pranayam part of the yoga practice, and yet breathing is integral to the physical side of yoga. The mind-body- spirit connection is not complete unless pranayam is made an essential component of the full practice. I had learned pranayam in separate courses and had always included it in my own practice and this re-affirmation in the Himalayas was very heartening.

After the yoga practice, we walked again and then went for breakfast in the Dining Block, which was right next to the Treatment Block and the residential area. The first day was a little different for us though, since we had not met the doctor yet and we did not know what exactly we were supposed to eat. We met Dr. Garima Thakur, the “Nabj Gyan” / Pulse Specialist at 9 am, as scheduled for us. There were 4 specialists there and ours, as known to us from before and as desired by my parents, was Dr. Garima Thakur, one of the most amazing doctors I have ever met. She is a two times gold-medalist, awarded for her excellence in her field. She is a rare human being, one of a kind. Such human beings are definitely hard to find and when combined with the skills of a health professional, it sure is a rarity. I felt immediate connection with her, and as I was told it was the same on her side. Dr. Thakur’s family consists of her husband, her 2 year old lovely daughter and her patients! She was always smiling, always beautifully dressed in her Indian fineries and always ready to help and care. The aura around her was dazzling. We became very comfortable with each other and it was clear how much we did have in common – our absolute faith in the Almighty, our reverence for education, our passion for writing both prose and poetry, our enthusiasm for yoga and our desire to impact those around us in the most wonderful ways and most importantly our positive attitude towards life and living. She shared her poetry diary with me and I gifted her with my book. She is a friend for life.

Dr. Thakur studied our pulse. I have never had this experience and I was curious about her finds. She knew about our personalities, our body types (vata, pitta or kapha), and what our bodies “lacked” from a health perspective…all just by studying our pulse for a few seconds. She prescribed our treatments accordingly and the food we were supposed to eat during our stay at Kayakalp. It was quite an experience and one that left us awed. She had no prior information about us.
Our treatment was supposed to start right after we had our delayed breakfast (scheduled breakfast time between 8 am and 8:30 am), for Dr. Thakur reads the pulse the first time on an empty stomach. So we went to the Dining Block to satisfy our hunger. The person in charge of serving our food looked at the individual diet plan created by the doctor, and served. The quantity of food, as expected was “limited” and each one of us had a little different food to suit our body types and needed for our treatment. The food was delicious, even though more on the bland side. Freshly squeezed pomegranate or watermelon juice was the norm. I always got “dhaniya pani”/roasted coriander boiled in water every day. There were sprouted “methi seeds”/fenugreek served every day as well. Soaked big golden raisins, almonds and walnuts as well as roasted “ajwain” seeds and “gur”/jiggery became our sweets! Warm milk was prescribed, which we sweetened with “gur,” and that tasted pretty good too. Herbal tea was present, but it was never a part of my prescription! Yes, I went without any form of tea or caffeine…Each day the breakfast was different, a complete Ayurvedic way of eating, and we sure looked forward to this morning ritual; we were hungry!

After breakfast we went to the “Panchkarma" (Ayurveda primary purification and detoxification treatment) section of the Treatment Block for our individualized treatments – for my vata body type and my son’s pitta type. (My daughter was not participating in the treatments; she wasn’t ready for these experiences).

The treatments went for almost 4 hours each day; sometimes waiting in line made it go after the lunch hour as well. The treatments I received were typically a form of massage, with Ayurvedic jari-booti/Ayurvedic herbs either like a scrub or acupressure kind and always done by two masseurs at a time in a completely synchronized manner. This experience I will never forget, for it was so relaxing and rejuvenating. The massages were either followed by Ayurvedic tub-baths, where you were spoilt completely by the masseurs; or a sauna in an enclosed space with just the head sticking out, and again kept hydrated with freshly made lemonade literally put to your mouth by the care-takers! Shirodhara/pouring of oil or milk and water combination through a machine in a simple harmonic motion on your head as you lay with your eyes closed was also a regularly prescribed treatment– very cooling, nurturing and relaxing – also a new experience. Mud treatments on the entire body or on the stomach was also very cooling and rejuvenating. One of the last treatments I got was the application of a mask on the whole body from the head to the toe – yea, looking at yourself in the single mirror in a wet, marble floored enclosed spacious hall was quite fascinating. The application is while you are standing. Once dried, the care-taker takes you to a bathroom in this hall itself, with the offer to scrub you clean! Of course I refused in spite of her insistence…This is one experience I am never likely to forget. All in all the “treatments” were so relaxing, so wonderfully done that they did not feel like treatments! You just enjoy and relax like never before…By the third day, we felt a big difference in our desire to eat, drink, walk and even how we relaxed! My son, who had been facing headaches for some time, was throwing up toxins by day three – Dr. Thakur’s response was, “Finally the body is ready for the real treatment, it will now accept what is being given internally and externally.” What she meant became very clear when the headaches disappeared as though it had never been there in the first place! His “pitta” had normalized, and he was enjoying the treatments as much as I had been.

The scheduled lunch time was from 12:00 – 12:45 pm everyday, the doors were shut after, unless special permission was granted by the doctors due to treatments. Cabbage, lauki (bottle gourd) juices or in the form of vegetable, spinach, whole wheat roti, lentils were invariably a part of the diet. Aloevera juice and gooseberry juice were also prescribed. Certain foods were never given: banana, potatoes, eggplant, okra, kidney and garbanzo beans, rice, yogurt, pickles, urad dal, arvi. The reminder to drink minimum 8 glasses of water a day was constantly given. Also the reminder to not drink water during a meal and to drink 30 minutes after a meal was also honed in. I am still trying….
After lunch either there were treatments that needed to be completed, or we met he doctor for a quick exchange around 3pm (yes the doctors were residents, within a few minutes walking distance), and always followed by walks on the beautiful grounds of Kayakalp. We certainly photographed the mountains and the natural beauty of the surroundings, which always drew my breath away. I had fun with yoga poses in this natural beauty.

Snack time was from 4 – 4:30, offering freshly squeezed juice or fruits. We followed this with meditation in the Meditation hall, an absolutely beautiful small hall with “Ohm” painting adorning the entire back wall. The experience of meditation here was unique.

By this time my jetlag would completely engulf me and I headed straight to my room, and wonderful sleep…

Dinner was from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. It was pretty amazing how hungry we felt at all these meal times and looked forward to these. More walks, more pictures and we headed to our room…Jetlag drove us to sleep early and wake up extremely early throughout our stay at Palampur!

We met several people who were registered there as residents and those who were there as locals. I found it very sad that most people who came there as patients were over-weight, and everyone was suffering with some illness or another – joint pains in the knees, back, hips; digestive issues, eye issues, blood sugar… They were equally surprised that I was not there for any illness; they would all question me, “Why are you here? You look so fit!” and my answer always was that I was there because I was so fit! Yes, I was there to enhance my fitness plan, to relax and rejuvenate from daily routines, to enjoy natural surroundings, to observe and learn from the yoga experts there.

I have gained an invaluable experience during the week I was there. My 18 year old son has benefitted tremendously – evolved in his lifestyle, his way of thinking. My daughter was more of an observer, not quite ready to try out this experience. We all left on July 10th, very pleased with what we had achieved in the beautiful Himalayas, ready for our journey towards Delhi on the way to my parents.

I would gladly repeat this experience again. My future plan is to bring my yoga students on a planned yoga retreat to Kayakalp. It is very well worth all that it has to offer in the magnificent Himalayas. 

I found some wonderful information on some of the rituals that we did at Kayakalp:

1. Information on Kayakalp, Palampur India:
http://www.kayakalppalampur.com/aboutus.html

2. Benefits of drinking warm water in the morning: http://www.homeschooloasis.com/art_warm_water_in_morning.htm

3. Benefits of walking barefoot on grass, especially in the morning:
http://www.lifemojo.com/health/benefits-of-walking-barefoot-on-grass-in-the-morning/articles

4. Benefits of an Ayurvedic Diet:
http://www.lifepositive.com/body/ayurveda/holistic-health.asp

5. Benefits of Methi seeds/fenugreek:

http://www.homeremediesweb.com/fenugreek_health_benefits.php

6. Benefits of Ajwain/Bishops Weed:.
http://herbs.ygoy.com/2009/07/13/health-benefits-of-ajwain/

7. Benefits of gur/jiggery:
http://www.divavillage.com/article.php?id=45940

8. Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Recharge-Yourself-With-Ayurvedic-Massage&id=435343

9. Benefits of Yogic Kriyas/Purification techniques (Neti kriya, Tratak Kriya, Kapalbhati, all of which we did at Kayakalp:
ttp://living.oneindia.in/yoga-spirituality/yoga/yogic-kriyas.html

10. What is Kayakalp?
http://www.kayakalpa.com/what-is-kayakalpa.php

11. What is Panchkarma?
http://www.ayurveda.org/panchkarmadetox.html

12. All about body types/Doshas (vata, pitta, kapha):
http://whisperingworlds.com/ayurveda/dosha_body_types.php

13. Benefits of Turmeric/haldi:
http://www.indiaparenting.com/babys-diet/20_152/benefits-of-turmeric.html

Ayurvedic treatments invariably used the following:
Ashwagandha, Prashanti, Triphala, Cold formations, Castor oil, Almond oil
 
Enjoy :) Umang

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Daily Prayer...

My Daily Prayer, from my book, "A Journey of Self Revelation," under my pen name "Joy". 


A gratitude prayer throughout the day proves to be one of the best things one can do to enrich ones Soul.


My Daily Prayer



"Thank You GOD”
"Love"
“Smile”
“Let go”
“Allow”
“Forgive”
“Practice silence”
“This too shall pass”
“Live in the present moment”
“Time heals ALL wounds”
“Drop expectations”
“Drop control”
“Drop judgment”
“Think positive”
“Be humble”
“Be strong”
“Be committed”
“Be compassionate”
“Be respectful”
“Eat healthy”
“Exercise”
“Reward yourself”
“Help others help themselves”
“Accept people for who they are”
“Read words of wisdom everyday”
“Allow your children to be who they are meant to be”
“Open arms to change, but don’t let go of values”
“Indulge in a little self introspection everyday”
“Possibilities are endless”
“Allow yourself to say ‘No’ ”
“Be with like minded people”
“Allow yourself to say, ‘It’s OK’ ” 
"Express gratitude"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"What is the difference between taking care of yourself first and being selfish?"

"What is the difference between taking care of yourself first and being selfish?"


Let us first separate the 2 subjects.
Taking care of the Self means to take care of your inner and outer being selflessly, that is with whole heart, without reservations, without any confusions or doubts, and most of all without any guilt. When you take care of the Self, the result is a whole person, not a needy person, a confident person, and not one with doubts, a loving and caring person and not one with greed. When you are whole, there is no selfishness in you.

Now let's look at the subject of being selfish. 
When you live only for yourself without consideration for others, no matter who it is, is considered being selfish.

Now let's combine these two subjects together.
A person who takes care of the Self, the inner and the outer being, is a whole person and not needy. A needy person cannot do justice when taking care of another. So when a person takes care of the Self first, becomes a whole person first, and then takes care of the other, there is only love and care flowing out of that person, which is the opposite of being selfish. A needy person taking care of another will be considered selfish, since he cannot be of service 100%!! A whole person is without expectations of a return, a whole person is not judgmental, a whole person is not selfish at all. :)

When you change your perspective, everything changes...

When you change your perspective, everything changes...

Get out of the mindset, “why me?” “I am so unlucky!” “Bad things find me.” Instead practice “abundance” for a change in everything that you do, every thought that you have, and continue with all your efforts. Tell yourself, “I am grateful for everything. I have all that I need. I am completely fine. I have His blessed hands on me.” Practice this day in and day out…When you change your perspective, everything changes. :)

Just survive or LIVE?

Just survive or LIVE?

Each and every one of us, every being is surviving if we are here on our mother Earth - humans, animals and plants included.

Humans, animals and plants wake, eat, fight for survival and sleep.

Humans are the most evolved, so how are we different from the less evolved? We will be different only if we do more than the less evolved do.

The big question for humans is: who is just surviving from moment to moment, from day to day, from month to month, and from year to year and who is living as we were intended to live; who is really alive?

It is not enough to just wake up in the morning, take care of our responsibilities, earn money to survive, eat, waste time with mundane activities and sleep… and repeat the process again…I call that dying while living!

If we just took a little time beyond our day to day activities necessary for our survival, so that we could devote some time to our inner beings, follow what our Soul desires, provide service to our community in whatever way is possible for us (rest assured that there are innumerable ways and not every way involves money and neither does your way have to be guided by others!) and continue to spread joy, spirit and cheer all around us, with gratitude in our hearts, we would be actually living the life we were meant to live.

When I discovered my passions, I discovered I had created more time to devote to my passions beyond I had ever imagined! Yes this magical concept is amazing.

Find your passion. Allow yourself to do something creative and constructive each day that YOU want to do. Try it! :)



Saturday, June 5, 2010

It is always your choice!

Do not empower anyone to hurt you - the choice is yours and yours only :)

Come closer to the real YOU!

Close the gap between the facade you present to the world and the real you - a big step towards freeing yourself and a de-stresser. Only that and those stay in your life that need to stay :)

Friday, June 4, 2010

On addiction...

On addiction...

Someone requested me to write on alcoholism. I have maintained that I will write only on those subjects I have myself experienced, and have come out as a winner; and so I am unable to write on alcoholism. What I can say with conviction is that any form of addiction can be won through intention, determination, continuous effort, action and faith until all mental barriers are broken down.

Yes anything is possible if the desire is absolute.

I also believe that addiction and fear are very closely related. There is always another factor behind the addiction. Once we have delved deeper within ourselves, overcome the fear, resolved the deeper issue, addiction becomes easier to break down.

I have overcome fear, the kind that felt like it was a lifelong thing that would never leave me. I have overcome addiction to things like tea, sweets. Immense mental strength is needed, but it is doable. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Each and everyone of us has the inherent wisdom...

Each and everyone of us has all the knowledge we ever need; what has happened though is during the process of growing up people, events, circumstances put layer after layer of what we did not need and this was successful in creating a thick sheath all around us seperating us from the inherent inner wisdom where all was always well. The noise and the clutter took us away from ourselves. With effort the sheath can be penetrated, torn and thrown away for the inner Self to shine through once again. All we need is intention, action and the ever powerful faith that we can do it :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Free yourself from fear and know what it means to live…

Free yourself from fear and know what it means to live…

When we think and act from a state of fear, our lives are narrowed and constricted; we are our own prisoners. Going to the root of the fear, analyzing it and acting on it to free the barriers of our mind makes us eternally free. That is when we begin to live.

I have had many fears that were just there. I used to do my best, in fact put a lot of time and effort to stay away from dealing with them. My life was not just static, it had deteriorated. It took me years to understand how simple life becomes by one moment of understanding, by one moment of a conscious decision, by one moment of truly loving myself. But when I did, my mind and heart became free. Confidence grew by leaps and bounds. Life opened up like I had never imagined.

All as a result of just one momentous decision.

You can do it to.
Be free right here, right now.

Love,
Umang

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Journey of Self Discovery…Are you ready?

A Journey of Self Discovery… Are you ready?

To find out if you are ready or not, ask yourself these questions, and reach for your answers within:

What stops you?

- From something as simple as picking up a book to read?
- From reaching out to a friend?
- From spending money on something you know you should spend?
- From joining a learning, educational class – be it academic, or health related?
- From saying “yes” when your gut is screaming for you to say it?
- From investing your time into something that even you know is critical to your spiritual, mental, physical, and/or financial well being?
- From living a life of joy and meaning, of truth and peace?

Why is it so easy to waste time and money?

- With mundane activities and things that have no other value that a quick, instantaneous pleasure, and loses its charm very quickly leaving you hunting for more quick fixes?

In my own experience, we do not know what we really want, since we are reluctant to “meet ourselves.” I absolutely believe that each one of us needs to put some effort in fixing up a date with our own Self. Yes, plan a date with you! Like any other appointment, it needs to be planned:

- Are you ready to become your own beloved? – that has to be the first and most critical question you should ask yourself, for this journey of self-discovery cannot continue otherwise. You have to want to love you, for only then love for everyone and everything else drenches your Soul in the most meaningful way.

- When should you meet you?
-How much time you would like to spend with you on this first date?
- How often would you like to meet you as the relationship progresses?

Here is an exception to the general dating rule: Even if you end up not liking the various facets of you, you continue with this date!

The actual meeting:

- Pick up a time: that suits you, when you know you are not being pulled in so many directions.

- Pick up a place: of solitude, where you can be comfortable and at peace with yourself, without interruptions of any kind – the setting like in anything else has to be right!

- Have a paper and pencil with you - At the right time and right place, you can start to be yourself, since there is no outside pressure. The writing tools will help you document whatever comes to you, so that you can progress in your journey to you in a very constructive and progressive manner. This enables you to get back to a thought at a later date, “massage” it further and progress.

- Make sure you are clean, dressed comfortably and ready to meet your date, you. Look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge that you are ready to meet you.

- Sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, start acknowledging your thoughts. Imagine that you have a remote control that can pause your thoughts, but that has no fast forward button. Observe your thoughts, and see where they take you in your journey to you. You tell yourself repeatedly that this time is for thoughts about you and your relationship with you, so that you can acknowledge the thoughts about everything else if they come and let it go. Quickly jot down all that you need to.

- The meeting may not be to your already formed expectations. Tell yourself, “it is ok.” You are here to learn and progress towards loving yourself more and more each day.

- Continue with this journey on a regular basis – how frequent will depend on you and your schedule, and how important you are to you! Meeting yourself everyday even for a few minutes is absolutely wonderful. Some days you may have less time and others a lot – use your time wisely.

- Give this most important date of your life the time it deserves; then there will be no limit to what you can achieve with yourself. Your potentials are limitless.

Remember not to take advice from those who have not had the experience, for
“Wisdom-Experience = Theory”
With lots of love to all,

Umang

Monday, May 31, 2010

My recipe for a delicious life...

My recipe for a delicious life...

Wake up early, practice gratitude, meditate, communicate with your Higher Self, determine to have a wonderful day, practice faith, work with devotion, have fun in everything that you do,read and write, eat healthy, think healthy, exercise both your mind and body, practice gratitude, sleep well. :)

Make your mind your friend.

Mind – the most powerful, the most critical, the one thing that is the most difficult to leash! Make your mind your friend.

Understanding your own mind itself is not easy; how can you even begin to understand another’s? One needs to make understanding and befriending the mind a life long practice.
The speed of the mind beats all other speeds. It works faster than one can comprehend. It works simultaneously on so many things that we can’t keep up with ourselves, and in fact that is where problems begin.

The mind creates far worse scenarios that what they really are. It exaggerates little things into humongous proportions and not understanding this, you get sucked into its effects and the negative domino effects begin. The scenario created in your head may make you angry, depressed, tired, irritated, frustrated, anxious...and where do any of these emotions lead you to? A place where you cannot progress in any good way, a place where there is no healing, a place where the downward spiral begins.

This is the very reason we hear, “Sleep on the thought. It will have a different perspective in the morning.” Acting on any thought in the heat of the moment is disastrous. Words come out that you did not really mean. You act the way that you never really wanted to. And there begins the regrets...

And this points to something really critical: How you act in a situation not to your liking determines which part of your personality you need to work on; for when everything is going well, according to the way YOU want to, does not really tell anyone who you really are.

Let us go to the very root of all this and what should we do to prevent ourselves from disastrous situations that we create ourselves, or rather our minds create for us.
1. Know you are not unique when it comes to the mind playing games.
2. Meditate, go in solitude, indulge in self introspection, and understand where is the thought originating from, and learn gradually to LISTEN to your better self. No matter what it is in life, it points again and again to the ability to actually listen to what is going on inside you. The psychiatrist can only judge and make assumptions based on data collected over a period of time and prescribe potential solutions. On the other hand, meditation is the best doctor that I know of, that actually enables you to understand yourself and creates a peaceful environment, a fertile ground for the nutritionally rich seeds to be sown for a better tomorrow.
3. Work on yourself everyday, a little at a time, knowing in your heart that you are going to become so solidified that nothing will ever bother you.
4. Know that the only person, the only mind that you have the ability to control is yours. You can only plant seeds for the others; whether they follow or not is their own path. All you need to do is have compassion for them, smile at them, send a prayer their way and progress in your own journey to freedom from the mind J

Love to all,
Umang

Self Esteem

Self Esteem
These two words have so much in them that they have the power to make or break a person.
Self esteem is how people evaluate themselves, how much they find themselves worthy by their own perceptions. If their own perception of themselves is faulty, in either direction, self esteem suffers – they may consider themselves too good for anyone else, which certainly does not mean high self esteem in my book; or they may consider themselves worse than what the truth is, which definitely is low self esteem, and results in disheartening the person to the extent that their full life’s potential is never achieved. In fact they may end up depressed and worse try to take their own life!
True evaluation of self worth comes from self introspection, going inwards, and constantly allowing ourselves to progress in various characteristics and personality traits that we ourselves are aware need enhancing in either direction. This is being truthful about ourselves, accepting ourselves, and intending to progress ourselves with a passion.
We need to value ourselves, and that value will automatically come if we know in our hearts that we are on the path of truth, of integrity, honesty and love. In this journey towards internal freedom, you allow yourself to fall in love with yourself, which is critical to mankind. When you truly fall in love with yourself, you allow love to overflow to all others, and the thought that you are too good for others does not even come in the picture, for you truly form a relationship with others considering each and everyone worthy in their own right.
Always keep the focus on the internal, and never on the external. In doing so, external takes on the meaning that originates in love and not power or greed or any other negative emotion, for there is no selfishness there.
Then the two words self esteem melt and dissolve. :)

A Lesson in FAITH…

A Lesson in FAITH…
During my mentoring sessions with one of the most amazing individual who I have had as a mentor since the beginning of 2007, I gradually began to understand what Faith really meant. He told me, “Umang either you have faith or you don’t. It isn’t in between. When you are doubtful, it isn’t faith. Also when you have faith, you do not pick and choose – you have faith in EVERYTHING. You do not pick and choose which aspect in life you have faith in and which you don’t.”
It took me a while to figure this out completely, for he is the kind of mentor who does not give you the answers. He enables you to ask yourself questions and seek answers from within. The last 3 years have proven repeatedly what this mentoring has done for me. It helped me reprogram my brain cellsJ
I have an amazing episode to relate…
One day last year, my 17 year old son lost his cell phone during a visit with his friend. It was late night when he told me with sadness. I asked him to retrace his steps in his mind, and he told me that he had gone to many places with his friend in his dad’s car. They had stopped at various places like the store, the library, the park and the community centre! He told me that he had been very careful with his phone and that he could not remember ever taking it out of his side pocket. He was genuinely sorry. I told him to relax and not to worry about what had been lost, especially since he had been careful. And then something came out of my mouth just like that, “We will find the phone tomorrow early morning. If it is still raining, we will take the umbrella with us.” My son just relaxed, and went to sleep.
Early next morning we woke up, got dressed, and took our umbrella (since it was raining) and I drove us to the community centre! I can’t really tell you why I chose to go to the community centre grounds; just that I did! As we walked the sides of the community centre, I called his cell phone from my phone. Finding nothing, we then walked on the other side where he told me he had visited. There were bushes, and I heard the faint ringing sound! Yes we found the wet cell phone in the bushes just minutes after reaching the community centre.
Miracles are waiting around every corner. All you need is faith J Thank you God. J

Getting a mentor is one of the most critical steps you can take towards achieving your dreams and goals…

Getting a mentor is one of the most critical steps you can take towards achieving your dreams and goals…

Who is a mentor?
A mentor is a person who guides an individual to develop themselves in various aspects of life and life choices. The mentor is experienced in the area needed for mentoring. The experience may be through personal life experiences, as well as through coaching and leadership. It is not necessary that the mentor be older.

An exceptional mentor is a responsible individual who provides true mentoring/coaching selflessly, where the well-being of the mentee comes first. A professional mentor charges a fee for their valuable time; but you may find a mentor in an individual who is not a mentor/coach by profession.

A mentor can be chosen for any area of ones life that may need mentoring – be it be academics, finance, business, any professional field or personal growth.

A mentor should be someone you respect and admire; has values and ethics that matches your way of life and should be someone you can place your trust in. A mentor should believe in you and your goals, should be available to you with their time, should be open minded and not rigid in their way of thinking, should be compassionate and caring and wanting you to succeed as much as you do, helping you and urging you in the most positive way and in a way that is suitable for your needs, helping you focus and staying focused with you. Most of all, your mentor should believe in you and is honest and open with you. To get the most out of mentoring, mentor-mentee relationship should be very comfortable, so that you are able to open up without feeling inhibited or guilty. You should be able to emulate your mentor and so it is important that your mentor is well versed in whatever area you want mentoring in.

Why and when should we look for a mentor?
Look at any exceptional individual, in any field and you will find that there is always a mentor behind them guiding, urging, and developing the individual towards the appointed goal. A mentor provides the guidance in such a way that you become beyond good; you become exceptional.

The time you make intent to do something, to be someone, and this decision is going to alter your life in ways that will have major impacts on your life, you will want to have a mentor.

My mentor:
In my case, I acquired a mentor without a conscious decision. Jan 1, 2007 saw me making a very conscious choice – to lead the highest life. The moment that decision was made, I gave myself no other choice but to step forward on this self chosen path. Since I was extremely clear on what I wanted, the doors kept opening one after another, leading me, guiding me towards my chosen path. The Universe always knows and gives what you truly want, and that has been the reality in my life. Once you know this you are bound to become aware and turn your life around in the way you want it to turn around.
I had chosen a path and consciousness, of spirituality, of progression. Very quickly, unknowingly that I was meeting my future mentor, I did and soon it was evident to me that he was the perfect human being to guide me on my chosen path with highest integrity. I have felt very blessed and very fortunate to have met him. He has been my mentor ever since. I meet him twice a month and I am able to talk to him about all aspects of my life, enriching myself in ways I had never dreamed were possible. I was fortunate to have found the perfect match for my personality. He had met every criterion that I could possibly think of as a must in a mentor, without consciously making that choice! The only thing I can say is that God had listened to all my prayers and I was listening to all His guidance. He has not only proven to be a guide, a coach for me but for my children as well.

My life has unfolded in ways that the only way I know how to describe is that I was truly reborn on the day of my birthday almost 3 years ago. Thank You God.

To know more about my life changing moments and the journey to who I am today, please read my book, “A Journey of Self Revelation.” I wrote this book through 2007 – 2008 and published it in October 2008, the day of Diwali. I wrote this book under my pen name, “Joy.” You can find this at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or through my website: www.wellnesshaven.comunder the "My Book" tab.
Love to all,
Umang