Are you being authentic in your relationships? What are the mistakes that can make relationships unhealthy? Here are 5 tips.
Have you ever noticed how nice we are to people when we first befriend or date them? And then, as the ‘honeymoon’ period in any relationship ends, we start showing our true colors. Is it safe to say that we weren’t being authentic enough? I think so.
Our need to get approval from the society we live in, is perhaps the only reason we create a facade around our identity. If we could stop fearing being ostracized, we wouldn’t be as prone to inauthentic behavior.
And we wouldn’t set such unrealistic standards. Then not being able to meet them, wouldn’t disappoint everyone involved, including ourselves.
That being said, here is a list of 5 mistakes we make and how they can get in our way of being more authentic in relationships.
#1 – Don’t use passive aggressive behavior. Get to the point.
Teasing someone for being late “again”, or passing a sour remark sugar-coated with a laugh to hide our annoyance, are pretty common.
But if you have the habit of continually taunting people for how they are, as a workaround for expressing your needs, you are giving up your right and power to communicate freely.
You might be doing this because of the fear that calling someone out for their behavior may lead to an argument, or that they’ll like you less. But in the long run, a relation built on resentment and unaddressed elephants in the room won’t be very healthy anyway.
So take a deep breath, and in a very calm, firm and compassionate way, express your needs and how someone may have fallen short to meet them.
People want to make relationships work, and you have to show them how without avoiding confrontation.
#2 – Don’t share too soon or too late.
Sometimes, we might rush to give away our deepest, darkest secrets as an attempt to win trust in a relationship. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, we might share too little and end up appearing cold or disinterested. Let’s dissect both the possibilities.
Vulnerability doesn’t come naturally to most of us, because of our conditioning. But you know the best way to let someone see your real self? Let them in.
If you were going to share a story about yourself, you may cover the convenient details at first, trying to downplay your presence in the event. But try retelling it with a little more detail. And a little more. Then, a little more. Eventually, you’ll learn how to say things as they are. And you will realize that the person listening will be able to appreciate you more, for being authentic.
You’re essentially building your vulnerability muscle. 🙂
Even if you were just 1% more vulnerable every time, imagine how authentic you’d grow to become in your relationships!
And is oversharing a real thing? Yes! If you’re the kind of person that goes into minute details the moment anyone asks you “how are you”, you may need to evaluate how much someone is invested in the conversation.
While it’s good to look at people as listeners to your story, you need to be mindful and acknowledge how much of their time you’re taking in the process.
So, essentially, authenticity is about being unapologetically yourself, without overwhelming the other person or wearing a mask.
#3 – Don’t lie. It’s not cool. Not even the white lies.
It can be tempting to lie, because our inner rebel wants to get away with something. But when we do that, two things are happening.
One, we’re dishonoring someone and taking an action at the expense of their trust. And two, we’re giving too much power to another person’s right to intervene in our choices.
When we give our personal power away in this way, it weakens our solar plexus and it can become difficult to trust ourselves in these very relationships.
Overtime, we forget what it’s like to be honest, so we resort to lying.
But, lying isn’t the solution. Setting up healthier relationship boundaries is. And so is learning the art of being assertive. Consistently being able to self-evaluate and tweak the do’s and don’ts of a relationship are much better than snooping around. Or not saying anything at all.
#4 – Don’t shy away from difficult conversations.
A relationship can not always be effortless and smooth. Even Gottman highlights that it’s perfectly healthy to argue and disagree, as long as there’s a desire to reconvene and resolve the differences.
We are scared to have difficult conversations because we either don’t know what we’ll say in anger, or we’re afraid it’ll escalate to the point of a break-up.
But not acknowledging our needs is going to break our relationship anyway. So are we really doing anyone good by not expressing our needs or trying to understand theirs?
It’s time to practice your right to speak and be heard in the relationship.
#5 – Be authentic, but don’t be unfiltered.
Understand the difference between authenticity and unfiltered blabber.
Authentic doesn’t mean you say the first thing that comes on your mind. As adults, we need to remain accountable for how we are expressing ourselves.
We are NOT being authentic if we are profane, vulgar or disrespectful. Authenticity means acknowledging your pain, without trying to hurt someone else or create new pain for them.
So while it’s important to express oneself, you may be putting on a different wall around you, when you come from a place of self-defense or high ego.
The best trick in the hat, is to take a 20-minutes cooldown period and come back later with your thoughts gathered.
I also love Sonia Choquette‘s advice, to take a walk together with the person you’re conflicting with, to bring a harmony between your energies.
If we step back even further and look at it deeper, the number one obstacle in being authentic with others, is the fear of not being good enough. We’ve put ourselves on a pedestal, and we want to be perfect. But healthy relationships aren’t about the perfection, they thrive on genuineness.
While I encourage you to open up to others, I also want to emphasize on the need to be open with yourself. Start exploring self-acceptance and self-love, the key to a healthier relationship within, and around.
Do we have a higher calling? If yes, how do we find it? With a series of incidents, I talk about how the Universe guided me, and how you can find your path.
My career has taken a strange turn of events over the past couple of years. Once, I used to be a hardcore computer science engineer, but then my spiritual awakening happened. And bam! I started drifting away from my role in the corporate. It was nothing less than Divine Intervention that finally led me to my higher calling.
It took me several years to start gaining clarity about where I want to take my spiritual journey. Or rather, understand where it was taking me.
Having experienced this wave of uncertainty for a long time, and finally understanding what’s happening, I will be sharing the tools and guidance I received along the way. In hopes of inspiring you to keep going, and walking to find your path. 🙂
Once you wake up, it’s difficult to like the things you used to. I noticed a lot of changes in my habits, likes and dislikes, and even in the physical body, as I progressed through the various stages of the awakening.
And the bigger questions about life surfaced. What’s my real life purpose?
Do I have a higher calling? If yes, what is it?
And, how do I find it?
I didn’t know where to start looking, and it made me increasingly restless. As much as I was surrendering to the process, I was having a tough time making it through each day at work. I began to feel suffocated, and the ego inside wanted me to quit and go renounce my ‘modern lifestyle’ for something more spiritually satiating.
However, I knew better than to take such a big decision on whim, so I hung around and kept asking questions that fueled my restlessness. The first bit of advice that came to me through a series of synchronicities, was this.
Stop resisting what’s happening, and embrace whatever you are being asked to do. It is our karma, our moral duty to fulfill our commitment once we take on the role at a job, in a relationship or otherwise.
So, instead of resenting my work or the unpleasant experiences I had towards the end of my corporate career, I started evaluating the underlying spiritual lessons in these strange occurrences.
And I set my intention that I planned to get out of here once my karmic debts were cleared. Not knowing how it would happen, but trusting that the universe would find a way out for me when the time came.
I gained some level of clarity with a powerful self-reflection tool, called the Life Purpose Matrix. The steps made it clear to me that writing would be a part of my journey, but I hadn’t added up two plus two yet. You can try the steps out too, incase you’re wondering what your higher calling is too!
Lo and behold, at the end of 2018, I got engaged to my partner. Because he belonged to Canada, it was now time for me to pack my bags. And join him in his business.
This was a big turning point in my life. Because it finally made sense now. The Universe had much bigger plans than I could have imagined for myself.
And so, whenever someone tells me that they don’t think they “fit” in their job, I always tell them to believe that hunch.
I now suspect that perhaps this inner turmoil which arises in each one of us is simply a premonition. It’s as if the soul is preparing us for the next step of our life.
And we, as a human, are stretching our imagination to get there faster than is stipulated per the soul’s plan. Hence the restlessness.
The 3 Stepping Stones to My Higher Calling
I had “planned” to join my husband’s business right after we got married and I moved to Canada. But that move took 14 months! And a very dramatic period of self-isolation, amongst other things.
And so, having resigned from the corporate, I sat at home and did what I do best. Write! This period had its own set of challenges, largely because now, I was unemployed.
For the first time, I experienced jealousy for people my age that still earned from all the work they put in. Whereas even though I worked around the clock on my blog, I hadn’t earned a penny out of it. Maybe the whole sacred profession had me tied in a knot.
Ofcourse, it wasn’t something I was proud of, but it was just one of the many things that I discovered about myself. You can read more about it in more detail here, it’s called, 7 Lessons From a Year Without Income.
Let’s just say that 2019 was about immense self-reflection and confusion about what’s happening. Then, finally, in 2020, something turned around for me again.
As much as I can seem spiritually invested when you are reading these blog posts, I began to find myself distancing from the things I used to be so engaged in.
For instance, I had stopped meditating, and couldn’t sit still for the life of me! So, I began practicing alternate spiritual practices, but kept feeling like something was off.
It was then that the first miracle happened.
A Cafe Opens Its Doors For The World (And Me)
I met my friend, Sanchita in the weirdest ways. At a book club meeting.
A book club neither one of us went to ever again, but where we somehow managed to strike a cord with each other. We blossomed into an interesting pair of friends. Both undergoing transitions in our career, unsure about where we wanted our life to take us.
At the time, Sanchita told me I should be a TED talk speaker. Maybe, it was hearing such uplifting words from a stranger that made me take it seriously enough. Or maybe, it was subconsciously hidden, just waiting for an external push to make it into a dream worth aspiring for.
My first ever talk had 7 participants, half of them unknown to me. I wondered, was this beginner’s luck? Or was I really meant to pursue speaking as a part of my higher calling?
But Sanchita believed in me, and told me to come back again, with a different topic. My first spiritual talk was the most grounding and “real” experience I had ever had.
For the first time in my life, I could stand in the front of a room and talk about spirituality. And people were listening with undivided attention, without swinging between topics or trying to disperse the intensity that often arises from such topics. Because that’s exactly what they came here for.
How amazing was that?! As amazing as the experience was, I experienced a new kind of self-doubt.
Who was I to be talking about spirituality? I wasn’t enlightened. I had attained any superpowers in the journey, nor was I constantly able to watch my breath in meditation. Then what was the Universe thinking, putting me up there?!
Let’s just say, I should do another session. But what would I talk about?
On and on, self-doubt grew. And my desire to do the session became smaller and smaller. I just didn’t feel ready. But as always, the Universe had other plans.
Chakras After Dinner
“Let’s go back, I want to check another store”, my husband said. The shopaholic in him dragged us back. And there, smack in the middle of the wall was a giant poster of the Chakra System.
In its full glory, it looked like the Universe was sticking its tongue out at me.
I rolled my eyes. I had goosebumps, but I wanted to be like a child and stick my tongue right back at it.
Chakras. The topic that I am highly under-qualified to talk about, became one of my most successful workshops in no time.
But the most amazing part, was how the workshop’s idea came to me.
Till the very last minute, I didn’t know what to do to make the workshop interesting. I was just going with the flow. And this scared me, because as much as I trusted the Universe, I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself by showing up with a boring “something”.
I guess when you surrender to that capacity, miracles do happen.
I sat there, jotting away on my flashcards when I suddenly had an idea seep in. What if I could introduce the Chakra System in a story format? And each chakra would be connected to the next via this story.
This is exactly how I came to be a teacher of the 7 Chakras, in a practical and fun way. A sentence I never thought I’d say!
Workshop after workshop, people just kept showing up.
Even when I thought I would teach an empty room, I had last-minute angels come save the day.
Even after the world went under lockdown, my workshop was called forth by one stranger after the after. It was then that I was reminded one important spiritual lesson.
When you’re walking on the path of your higher calling, you don’t need to worry about how it’ll turn out for you. You just need to show up ready to be of service. And then, let the universe take care of everything else!
My First Client Trusts Me
I had been ‘coaching’ people since the very first year of my journey. At the time, the topic was Twin Flames, and overtime, it grew to be other things. Angel Numbers, Karma, Reincarnation, etc.
But one weekend, my friend, Geeti became the catalyst to my journey as a spiritual coach. I was having a conversation with her, and she told me how her friend, also a spiritual teacher, had been “guided” to charge for her services as a healer.
Uptil then, the idea of earning from my work was a huge mental block for me. The “sacredness” kept getting in the way. Eventually though, Geeti convinced me to set a price and see what happens.
And as soon as I made up my mind, the very next morning, I received a very urgent query. A woman was sure I could help her.
She became my first official client, and without thinking twice about the remuneration, agreed to work with me. One week after the other, she kept coming back with more and more trust in me and my work.
And this period kept reaffirming my faith in my higher calling.
The stigma around charging for a sacred profession has gotten to the best of us – both on the side of the giver and receiver. However, I’ve come to see money as a form of energy. Just like everything else. Then why bother making such a big deal about it?!
I know many wonderful spiritual writers in the community who like me, work tirelessly to serve others. But they are stuck, unable to turn this into a true service.
I think the message should be loud and clear to anyone following their higher calling – you are worth much more than you permit yourself to believe. But until you don’t realize what it is, the Universe cannot help you step into your purpose.
The Universe is constantly conspiring to realign us for our greater good.
Overtime, a lot of uncomfortable things have happened, that made me realize how little I understood divinity. Even today, I’m often taken off-guard when something magical unfolds for me and amplifies the course of my journey.
Whether you have been seeking your higher calling for a while, or your restlessness has just begun, remember that you aren’t crazy to assume there’s more out there for you.
Remember that things WILL align, people WILL show up for what you offer, and you WILL get paid for it. It’s not too good to be true. That’s just how the Universe rolls! 🙂
What is the importance of our physical body in our spiritual journey? What are some practical and spiritual tips to heal the physical body?
What is the importance of our physical body in a spiritual journey? It took me nearly three decades to realize that I’ve spent most of my life living in my head. Even when I was meditating and focusing on an arm or leg, it was mostly visualization.
I just hadn’t been paying much attention to my body. I was there, but I wasn’t really there to feel it.
Until I had no choice but to, after several weeks of unexplained fever. I questioned this from a Spiritual lens. And here’s what I discovered.
The Practical Importance of Our Physical Body
I’d like to explain this with a short story about Buddha, which I’ll paraphrase from the famous works called Old Path White Clouds.
In a brief period when the Buddha was ardent in his spiritual practices, he reached a point when he stopped eating altogether. At the tine, he felt that eating was distracting his meditation practice.
One day, when he came out of a deep meditation, he realized that he was too weak and would not be able to sustain the body if he continued to starve himself. He began walking in search of a village to find alms, but he collapsed midway.
A young lady stopped and gave him the tiffin of food she had been carrying. The Buddha, ever since, focused on the importance of keeping ourselves alive and healthy in order to focus on the task at hand, of liberation.
His objective was to keep the body nourished but balanced – hence arose the practice of mindful eating.
And consequently, over the years, he encouraged his disciples to eat only one meal a day, just enough to keep one nourished but not make them sleepy or lethargic.
It’s interesting how different religions and cultures say the same thing.
When I recently read the sacred Hindu scripture, Bhagvat Gita, it rightfully said, that one who eats too much or doesn’t eat enough, or one who sleeps too much or doesn’t, cannot become a true Karm yogi. It’s all about moderation.
We can then say, that the physical importance of the body, is that its the carrier of this soul. It’s our home, for as long as we’re alive in this lifetime.
Then mustn’t we love and respect our home, trying to make our stay pleasant and conducive for enlightenment?
The Metaphysical Importance of Our Physical Body
Let’s now talk in terms of karma.
When we’re embodied, we’re able to process our karma quicker. We do this by pairing our soul’s karmic patterns with our body’s intelligence to free ourselves of past behavioral tendencies and traumas. We are able to think and be ‘conscious’ of our choices, thus overriding the past and eventually becoming liberated from all past tendencies.
Once we’ve left the body, our ability to handle our karmic debts depletes significantly. Why? Because we no longer have the same level of ability to take actions (clear our karam, deeds).
Creating actions in the physical realm is much more energy consuming than creating in the mental or astral planes. Without a physical body, we don’t have that kind of privilege anymore, to create deep, rectifying actions.
Let’s say someone is born with 75 years of life.
But due to bad habits and poor health, they die by 50. Having misused the body assigned to them, they now need to disperse this residual karma in spirit form. Or, they take on an extremely tough life, like a physically challenged child, to catch up.
So in that sense, we’d be foolish to live with the YOLO mindset. Because we don’t only live once, and if we don’t want to live again, we need to make the most of the body we have now!
5 Spiritual Steps We Can Take To Heal Our Physical Body
Living a spiritual life largely has to do with living a good human’s life. And that entails a lot of time spent cleansing our body and thoughts.
I didn’t want to write this post until I had embodied all that I was writing.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been ‘thinking’. Even when I go to bed, it takes ages to sleep because my brain doesn’t quiet itself easily. And the more we think, the less present we are in the moment.
As a consequence, I’ve tried many, many things and I’d say their combination has made things a lot better. I’ll start my first recommendation around sleeping and how to relax the mind so that your physical body gets the much needed rest.
Then we’ll move on to the other tips, which associate more directly to the body’s well-being.
Unwind with Osho’s Advice
From time to time, I enjoy reading a few pages of the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, and Osho’s point of view on the 112 Meditation techniques. And one such technique that I recently discovered was undoing your memory. This does wonders to your Conscious mind, quickly tiring it and thus relaxing it.
You have to recount your day, backward!
It’s challenging because it takes a lot of extra work to reverse your memory. Apparently it helps with your karma too, but for the time being, it definitely does help you unwind.
So all you do, is start recalling the events of the day, from the very moment that just passed. And then keep going backwards, like playing the reel of a film on rewind.
The only word of caution is to not get attached to any memory, just keep reversing. Then, in no time, you’ll be fast asleep!
And now, onto the other spiritual tips to help take better care of your physical body.
#1 – Intermittent Fasting
There’s a significant relationship between our mental health and gut health. Here is what I can recommend by personal experience, on how to heal both in one shot – intermittent fasting!
I first tried it out in October 2019, after a trip to Bali, when I checked my weight and it was at an all-time high. For the first time, I was a 25 on the BMI. Hitting obesity.
I was fortunate to have come across a powerful book on the subject, called The Circadian Code by Dr Satchin Panda. Over a decade of research and some logical advice helped me take intermittent fasting seriously.
While I highly recommend reading the book for full benefit, here are some guidelines that I follow:
Eat within a 8-10 hour interval. But atleast have a 12 hour interval between your dinner and breakfast, no matter what.
Fix the interval time. For me, it’s 10 AM to 7 PM on average.
Fix the number of meals you consume. When you sit to eat, eat wholeheartedly. When you’re done, be done for a good 3-4 hours. Munching is the real cause for weight gain, for most people.
Being hungry does NOT mean being weak. Hunger is the indication that your body has digested the food. At this point, your true gut healing begins.
If you want to have something sweet, make it the first meal of your day so that you can maximize your waking hours to digest it.
NOTE: Late-night snacking and munching in-between meals is a huge problem for many of us. If you initially struggle, try having a spoonful of edible coconut oil. It works wonders to curb untimely hunger pangs!
Having followed this for just a few weeks, you will instantly notice your sleep getting better. Also, the quality of your thoughts improves because you’re not as irritable, your bowel movements are better, and so is your gut’s health.
When we’re able to maintain higher levels of thoughts, we can observe a quieter mind more effortlessly. And we’re not constantly thinking about eating, one of the biggest hurdles on our journey to enlightenment.
#2 – Grounding
I go indepth about the essence of grounding when I teach about the Chakra System. Also, some basic things you can do right off the bat are:
Play with pets and children. They are much closer to the harmonious energy of the Universe than we are and being in their presence can remind us of our joyous Truth;
Go outdoors and be in nature. Either walk barefoot in the grass, or take a hike in the forest. Or if you’re fortunate enough to, go take a dip in the ocean. Mother nature can heal our energy like magic!
Take out time to just be. Use this time to observe your surroundings, to slow down and pause for a bit. Our bodies and minds are constantly consuming information and working on overdrive. Sometimes a 5 minute pause can be like restarting your internal clock!
#3 – Exhaust Your Physical AND Mental Energy
Did you know, each soul, when reincarnating, comes with a dedicated reserve of physical and mental plane energy? The two must be exhausted separately.
While subconscious work, and activities such as thinking and meditation will do wonders to exhaust your mental reserve, we’re not doing enough to burn out the physical energy allocated for our lifetime. Or in the opposite case, some people are consuming that energy too fast.
Whatever side of the spectrum you may be on, start approaching your two energy reserves with the intent attain enlightenment.
And spend your energy in both realms, in moderation. Too little or too much time spent burning energy through the physical body is detrimental.
#4 – Communicate With Your Body
It was groundbreaking for me, to write a letter to my physical body. It was like something sacred opened up inside of me. Have you ever tried that?
It’s worth taking a few minutes to just say hello to your body, and to thank it for all that it’s done for you. Or for all the times you didn’t pay heed, and how you plan to better take care of it.
Some other tips for communicating with the body are:
This is where we need to step into our thoughts consciously, to help heal the body. Did you know that the thoughts which effect us, get stored in our body, and if left unchecked can become a host to many diseases and hormonal imbalances?
So the resentment you have against your high-school crush, or the anger you feel for something mom said when you were 10 years old, is all stored in your body. And it’s slowly eating away at it!
Books like Anatomy of The Spirit can really teach you how a thought manifests into disease. And how cleansing a thought can reverse the effects of the illness!
There are many ways to actively investigate our subconscious patterns and heal them at their root level. To name a few popular solutions:
Having a series of questions to guide your self-reflection can really help you when you’re getting started, versus an uncertain “dear diary”. If you’re new and looking for tips, here are 7 different journalling techniques I’d recommend trying.
I also have a plethora of self-reflecting questions in my monthly newsletter resources library, which you can sign-up for. It’s free. 🙂
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Now, there’s a lot of fear around hypnosis, and I understand because I’ve been raised with the same notions. But having experienced hypnotherapy myself, I’ve noticed enormous amounts of mental blocks clearing, which I had no clue about.
Granted how strange hypnotherapy may sound, I’ve put together a post that addresses your questions around the process. If you want to undergo a session of hypnotherapy, it’ll be good to read this first, to set your expectations.
– Chakra Balancing
This is my favourite subject to talk about, because of how easy it is to rebalance yourself, once you understand the Chakra System’s role in your life!
Not to toot my own horn, but I highly recommend my chakra balancing workshop, if you’re interested to uncover and heal blockages in a practical way.
– Inner Child & Parental Wound Healing
This is one of the shadow aspects of our healing, where we go into memory lane. It can be uncomfortable if you’re not ready to open Pandora’s Box.
But I always tell people who come to me for inner child work, that if your younger self went through it once and came out alright, you will too. You’ve got decades of experience in front of your younger self!
And it’s high time you use it to your benefit.
– Masculine & Feminine Wounds
It can come as a surprise how much our gender biases hold us back from being our true Self. Being able to balance one’s inner yin-yang nature ultimately harmonizes the mind, body and spirit. And it can lead to a more holistic way of being.
These are all modalities that can teach us where our limiting beliefs stop us. And help us re-evaluate the importance of our physical body in this journey.
Alternatively, you can explore energy healing in the form of Reiki, Pranic Healing and Crystal Healing.
I’ve repeatedly heard this advice, from great spiritual leaders. You don’t need to do many things, you just need to do one thing right.
So, if we could just devote our life to taking care of this temple, this body, it will can lead us to the very heaven we seek as an escape from it. The importance of our physical body in this spiritual journey is actually imperative!
No matter how well or sick you are, please love your body. It’s been serving you for decades, and it is your first and last companion in this life.
Be your body’s best friend, not enemy. It will reward you ten times! 🙂