A Serendipitous New Year

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I am positive I’m not alone when I say, “I can’t believe 2 weeks have already gone by in the new year!” It’s true, time waits for no one. The days, months, and years continue to move on whether we, ourselves, are ready or not. I know for me, I was more than ready to turn the page to 2012.

The past year was one full of change, challenge, and unpredictability for me. It was a year filled with many tough decisions. I had to take risks in order to move forward, even when I wasn’t always sure of the outcome. Though I didn’t choose nor love all the circumstances that arose during the year, I definitely felt that they opened up deeper parts of myself. I realized that unless we have challenges brought to the surface in our lives, we never really get to tap into our entire potential. We don’t know what we are capable of unless we are stretched beyond what we think is possible. But possibilities and boundaries are limitless. When we can recognize that only our perceptions create limits, we can finally appreciate the depth of the sky.

When I thought of the year in that way, my perception of it shifted. Instead of saying “good riddence”, I thought “thank God” for some of the moments. Maybe the year ahead will be that much smoother, because I am better equipped to handle the curve balls – not to resist and dodge them all the time, but to actually lean into them, even if I don’t catch each one.

At the end of each year, I do a re-cap in my journal of my life in that particular year – the ups, the downs, experiences embarked upon, opportunities yet to be explored, and the resulting serendipitous events that occured in that year. Serendipity is defined as, “making fortunate discoveries by accident or while searching for other things”. If we believe that life is a series of experiences that we are always learning and growing from, then each event in our life can be viewed as serendipitous, can’t it? Perhaps, we don’t see the fortuitousness in it until later, but maybe every cloud does, in fact, have a silver lining.

Like the rest of you, I am excited for a fresh, new start in 2012. I’m not one to set resolutions, but I do try to create some vision in my mind for what I want to do, be, and have by the end of the year. If it’s love I’m trying to draw into my life, how can I give it? If it’s a marathon I want to complete, what steps can I take to feel healthy and prepared for it? If I know for sure what I don’t want in my life, how can I seek out opportunities for what I do want? If we all keep our hearts and eyes open, and not fear the curve balls, we will know that serendipitous events occur all the time throughout the year.

Deepali’s Piece of Wellness: Think about how the past year has prepared you for an even better year ahead. What tools do you have today, that you could only have obtained by your experiences from the past year? Where do you envision yourself at the end of 2012?

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Warm Holiday Wishes

I wanted to take this moment to extend my warmest wishes to all my readers and their families for a happy holiday season.  I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to create this site in 2011.  You have all given me so much inspiration with your visits, comments and support to keep the Wellness Kriya site alive!  My hope is that it has been a little sanctuary to visit – a place to be inspired, motivated, and empowered to live your life with the highest wellness quotient.  We each have tremendous strength within us to navigate through all of life’s challenges and enough grace to relish in the goodness of it.  

For 2012, I challenge YOU to take risks in your life that expand you further than you thought possible, fuel your soul by exercising your mind and body, live authentically in the present moment, know that change is inevitable, and learn to embrace it by letting go of all that does not serve you, believe in spirit and be encouraged that something larger is working on you, through you and for you, be grateful for all that flows into your life.  May your lives continue to flourish in unimaginable ways!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You! 

More Life Lessons from an African Safari

No other place in the world has brought me such a feeling of closeness to life and the earth as when I was in Africa.  There was a feeling of connectedness to land and life in its beginnings.  It was the simplicity with which all creatures lived their lives.  Being on safari, I learned a few lessons from several of the animals.   *Click on the pictures to obtain larger images.

1.  Zebra.  I remember a pair of lions that were crouching in the grassy brush, plotting an attack on a herd of zebra.  They each scoped out a different direction.  I had to put my camera down and trade it for my binoculars to observe this rare opportunity.  To the dismay of the lions, the intuitiveness of one of the zebra pulled the herd in another direction and they all ran off.  There was no way for the zebra to actually see the lions from where he stood.  He just sensed it as I saw his ears twitch, his body contract and his face become more alert.  The lesson:  Don’t discount the power of your intuition.  Sometimes, that is the only guidance you receive to make a smart decision.

2.  Lion.  Though the example above showed how intuition can help guide one species, it shows the perseverence of another.  I doubt the pair of lions decided after that defeat to give up hunting.  Once again, it is survival of the fittest.  They must continue to try again in order to live.  The lesson:  Success only comes from perseverence.  Failures are the catalyst, or the fuel, that we can use to our advantage if we choose. 

3.  Cheetah.  The cheetah is a solitary animal, meaning it hunts and gathers on its own.  Though it is one of the fastest animals, it is also the most vulnerable.  If it gets sick or injured, it will likely starve to death.  The lesson:  You may think you can fly solo in life, but allowing others to lend a helping hand on your journey can make the flight smoother.

4.  Elephant.  The African elephant is the largest land mammal in the world.  When I looked into the eyes of these soulful creatures, I saw peace.  They are herbivores and pretty much stay out of the way of other animals.  And because of their size, they are rarely preyed upon.   Despite weighing between 6-7 tons, they walk quietly and are not aggresive animals.  The lesson:  No matter how powerful you are (literally or figuratively), true respect is earned through humility.

5.  Leopard.  We were lucky to see leopards on our safari, as they are usually camouflauged in trees in a distance.  They use trees to their advantage, as they are able to see an aerial view of the surroundings below.  They can take inventory and decide when to make a move.  The lesson:  Have a vision, do the research, and then act.  Your life depends on it.

I think animals have a lot to teach us.  So many of our wellness concepts are interwoven in them.  We may be more advanced from an evolutionary perspective, but sometimes there is much to learn from our primal predecessors.

Dreaming a New Dream

The other day I attempted to console a good friend who questioned the next step to take in her life.  She had recently come short of passing an exam she needed to pass in order to work in her profession.   The reality of the present situation forced her to question her existing vision and life path.  Does she continue to work toward achieving her dream profession?  Does she take the current circumstance as a sign to take a detour and carve a new path?  Does she still feel passion for the profession in the midst of discouragement?  It got me thinking about our vision – not just the picture of our immediate stimuli, but the greater vision we hold for ourselves.  How do we navigate through the maze of life when the things we envisioned for ourselves do not manifest as we thought and hoped they would?  How do we re-create our vision and begin to dream a new dream?

Let’s face it, life is full of challenges.  Things may not always go as planned, but it is important to have a roadmap.  I have always been a big believer in creating dreams or visions for my life.  There is no way to achieve the things you desire unless you first create a mental image of it in your mind.  I think we all do this to some degree.  We do this when we decide on a career path to take, or when we visualize a life partner, or when we imagine our dreamhome.  Many times during our journey, we hit roadblocks – you don’t get the job you want, you go through a divorce, you lose your dream home to another buyer.  What do you do next? 

The thing about creating visions is that they can always be re-created.  Part of our own roadblock is the attachment we hold to the old vision.  It takes a lot of strength to let go and surrender to the idea that another path is not only possible, but it can be greater and more fulfilling than you could have even envisioned for yourself.  You may still achieve all that you desire, but it may not be in the way or in the timeframe you thought.  Perhaps, during the process, you may discover you have a new desire.

Oftentimes, the reality of our situation doesn’t make sense to us.  It’s not supposed to.  Steve Jobs, in a speech he gave to Stanford University Graduates in 2005, states, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever”.

Remember, life doesn’t end when it doesn’t go as planned.  The most successful people will tell you that the times in which they felt lost or as though they had failed, were actually the catalyst for creating, or re-creating a better dream and a brighter future.  Be willing to take the risk in creating and re-creating! 

Deepali’s Piece of Wellness:  Have you given up on your dreams, because life hasn’t turned out as you expected?  Can you start creating a new vision for yourself today?  What does it look like?  **More tomorrow on how to get clarity on a new vision!

Jump Into the Unknown

I thought we’d end our week on the importance of taking risks by a quote I recently read in Whole Living Magazine.  It is an exerpt from the book, The Art of Uncertainty, by Dennis Merritt Jones.

“We were born fully equipped to break free of past confining conditions,that no longer serve us.  And it is our destiny to do so.  That inner impulse, that yearning to explore beyond the boundaries of our daily life permeates every living thing, and its voice perpetually whispers in our inner ear, ‘Grow, grow, grow…’  But, there is another voice that often speaks much louder, the voice of fear.  It shouts, ‘No, no, no…stay right where you are.  While you may not like it, you risk nothing by staying put.’ 

But, unfortunately, that is the big lie.  There is great risk in resisting the divine urge to grow.”

We all intuitively have the urge to expand, stretch, and grow.  Is fear keeping you from taking the necessary risks to accomplish those things?  I had stated in a former post that fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real.  It exists only in our minds and can keep us locked up. 

Why not be excited about the uncertainty that exists?  As you start your weekend, trade in your fearful thoughts for confident ones, as you begin to risk believing in yourself, risk showing your truth, risk venturing outside your comfort zone.  Jump, leap, hop, or skip willingly into the unknown.  It will free you and add excitement and growth to your life!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Your True Colors

Have you ever felt torn between doing what is easy and doing what you know is right?  Of course, doing what is easy in life is simple.  You wouldn’t have to confront a fear, you wouldn’t need to face the core of a problem, you wouldn’t have to deal with the difficult decisions that need to be addressed.  Many of us take this route, because doing the hard work involves taking a risk.

Facing what is true for us – whether it’s taking a stand on something we believe in or expressing to others what we really think and feel – means we not only have to face our truth, we have to value our truth.  We all have an inherent desire to feel worthy.  Showing others who we are takes courage and integrity.  It means we have to risk feeling judged, inadequate, embarrassed, or unworthy.

When we can diverge from the easy path and choose the road that will inevitably be more rocky, we can start living more authentically.  Making the conscious decision to do the right thing stems from your deep morals, values, and acceptance of yourself.  There is no greater freedom than knowing you can be exactly who you are and feel that you are enough.  You will find that most people hold a greater respect for those that take the risk involved in doing the right thing.  But what really matters is how much you respect yourself.

What would it take for you to be honest with yourself and risk showing people your true colors?

The Risk in Believing

Yesterday evening, I was out on a boat in the lake with several friends.  After the sun went down and the sky turned dark, the stars illuminated overhead on the clear night.  I sat on the upper deck looking across the Milky Way when I saw a shooting star!  I’ve seen a few here and there in my life, but this one seemed to shoot forever, leaving behind a trail of glassy stars.  I made a wish – because that’s just what I do, whether it’s birthday candles, a feather gliding in the air, a coin tossed in a fountain – any superstitious moment I deem pertinent, I will risk believing that my wish is granted.  I’ve always been a dreamer.  My family and friends can tell you that from a very young age, I’ve always believed anything is possible – maybe to a fault.  People would often ask me why I would risk believing something, only to be disappointed.  But isn’t that what risk-taking is all about?

When we think about taking a risk in life, we are really talking about taking a chance.   It could be as basic as making a wish or a plea to the Universe, or it could be taking up a new sport, learning a new skill, signing up for class.  We take a chance at having an experience that is potentially exciting and one which will stretch us beyond our boundaries.  That is the hope.  But taking that chance also means there is a flip side to the coin, which is really the “risk” – by believing in something we think is possible or by making the decision that could stretch us , we may not experience what we want.  In our minds, that means the risk of hurt, disappointment, despair, or failure. 

But think about this:  How would we ever grow, learn, prosper, or truly love, if we didn’t take risks?  Michaelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us is NOT that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”.  Why not take a risk and aim high?  Why not believe that you have what it takes to do something that scares you, that pushes you to new levels, that allows you to give and love more than you thought possible? 

It has to start first in the mind as a dream or a wish.  So go ahead and wish on a shooting star or whatever circumstance holds meaning to you.  Declare it to yourself and to the Universe.  And then you can take the necessary steps to make it come true.  Sure, there will be certain things out of  your control, but often they are right  in your hands.  

Deepali’s Piece of Wellness:  Rememer YOU hold the dice.  No one else can roll them for you.  You have to take a risk.  What have you been wishing for or dreaming about doing, being, or having in your life?  What can you do today to start moving yourself toward it?  Take 3 steps this week in that direction.