The Moment I Died!

When you first read the headline of this post, you might have had some rather interesting reactions…”what”? Did he just put that? What does he mean the moment I died? Well, there’s a reason I did that. And I’ll start by saying it takes a lot of courage for me to put this here, but the greatest revelations in mankind only really came at moments of great insights, lessons, or revelations.

Yes, I have died, but in ways where I have a learnt more about this life, about what makes us grow as individuals and work towards a purpose, sometimes a purpose we thought is ours and we find might continue to elude us.

I died the moment ‘I’ realized I am not just this body, this persona called Siddharth Bawa. Those are worldly clothes, meant to protect us from the illusions that we live in, ‘the matrix’ of this world that continues to spin its own web of deception. But, when I died I also had a rebirth, a rebirth of realization that there is a greater power within us that we only occasionally tap into…maybe because we search for it, searching in the external, only to realize that it evolves internally with our spiritual growth.

I died the moment I realized that the connections we felt that personified our existence actually never really had that deep meaning or yearning for the long duration we think they will always survive for. I was born again realizing that each connection sometimes has a fleeting purpose, a coming and going in our life, teaching us a lot about relationships and their purposes. The few relationships that remain, be them familial, friendships, or love, they are our everlasting ‘companions’ staying with us on this journey as lifelong soul connections.

I died the moment I realized that sometimes the paths we think we are taking are serving our higher ideals, only to be born again and realize that we need to be ‘broken’ before we come to a point where we start to heal, become authentic in our daily interactions and reactions, and serve where it only serves our higher good.

I died the moment I realized that all the planning in the world sometimes can lead to failure, but I was born again realizing that many failures become the launch pad for many moments to serve with greater success, not just for us individually, but for humanity as well. Our successes may not have a global impact, but if there is even just one individual impact, we are already serving with a higher good.

I died the moment I realized some of the dreams we thought were for us would possibly never come to fruition in this life; I was born again realizing sometimes the mystery of this life can bring us to realize new dreams, dreams that we never thought actually would bring the greatest joy for us. Dreams that would actually bring that inner smile, knowing these dreams were eventually meant for us, our true Universal life purpose.

I died the moment I realized that not everything ever lasts forever, but was born again knowing that there will always be new moments where in the moment we would feel like it was forever; the mere thought and memory of that moment would bring an inner happiness each time.

So if ever you feel you are dying, think about the many re-births you will take in this life, rebirths that bring out your true passions, your true ambitions, your real desires to become a person of spiritual growth and serving. A rebirth where a person who strives for the highest Universal ideals! A person that the Universe brought to serve with high impact purpose!

Embrace the new births for then you know you are evolving into the being with the highest ideals you needed to serve this World with!

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved!

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Living with a flow…My Take on It!

There’s been a thought that has crossed my mind a number of times over the last couple of weeks, but actually when I reflect and look back, I think it really started at the beginning of this year. Suffering from personal losses, I engaged in a lot of inner reflection, breaking down with emotion what my mission was to be serving in this life. The thought was around setting life expectations and how there was no flow…that there was too much expectation, too much ‘planning’ and that it all needed to be undone. I felt there was too much control from the past. I needed to let go, let life flow! I felt I needed to put my thoughts about this process down in a written piece to really reveal truthfully how I feel about all of this.

Personal loss can be interesting because very often it can shake us down to the core as humans, breaking down the identity we form over the years, either through environmental or societal exposure, seeking to forge a recognition and life path we feel will help us achieve that which inherently our soul so demands of us!

My own experience of going through personal loss over the years has actually brought a lot of humility, and more interestingly an authenticity and acknowledgment that the way I have been approaching life is not really in my best long term interests. Sure, if one was to look at my life materialistically, I would say I could be grateful for the family, friends, relationships and moments and experiences I have had, apart from the mundane like having a house and car, a luxury many we seldom forget don’t have in this rarely impartial world.

The humility felt came from knowing that things needed to change without the feeling of a need to control or set path to live my life on.

Here’s what I think fundamentally has changed for me: growing up I always set expectations of achievements, desires, and goals by a certain time…like settling down by the time I was 30, having kids by a certain age, maybe even achieving a great business by the time I was in my mid 30s. Obviously these did not materialize at the set time frames or with the expectations I imagined back then.

As time has passed, I ‘tied’ myself to my expectations, to the notion of achieving within these timelines. I didn’t adapt, at least not in the earlier years. I think many of us in adolescent years tend to set such expectations. But for each of us, we often get lost and forget that ‘life’ sometimes has other ideas; when Life breaks a path we think we are comfortably moving on towards our goals, it can really break our inner foundation…at least initially if not permanently.

So over the last few years many events didn’t lead to what I initially set to hope to achieve or to expect. For instance where I thought I would achieve certain career objectives with certain action steps I took, I still didn’t achieve some of these. Then there were many times I thought a certain relationship, romantic or otherwise, would materialize but oddly enough events never led to favorable outcomes for such relationships to occur. And often when things didn’t go the way I wish they had, I felt a deep sense of resentment and frustration setting in.

Now I know some will say but that’s life (and they’re entitled to that all so cliche of statements)! In essence what this process did  was really reveal for me how sometimes we can get too attached, wanting to control the way we want our lives to turn out, often forgetting there is a mysterious journey to the flow of life, something unexplained, even getting me to acknowledge there is a higher guiding force directing situations for our own personal benefit even when it’s not physically apparent at the time.

I realized during these last few months I had become too attached, too concerned about the expectations of certain situations. And eventually I realized it was creating a tension and hold in me, a tension and hold that really didn’t let me progress with a smooth and peaceful flow; just like Bruce Lee once said that we should adapt to life like water does in a “shapeless” form, with water ever changing and ‘flowing’ according to the situation.

Where I once had expectations from friendships, I find I no longer need to…it was a case of realizing that some friendships served a time limit, a purpose to help in my own growth as a person…and if there was to be a long term purpose for a certain friendship, it certainly would have served a longer term. Don’t get me wrong, I have many life long friendships I truly value…but if a certain person in a friendship grows or changes, sometimes we need to let go of the expectation that that friend will always be around in the same vein we would think they would be.

Then there are encounters where I would have sought to have control, to try to take action where I thought I could create the perfect scenario for an expectation I had. Now I find I let it go…I let the flow of life come in and let it allow it to be a part of my progress and growth as an individual.

In a career or business sense, where there is an objective to strive hard for certain milestones or achievements, I realized I can no longer get attached to an outcome because there are many factors which are out of my control…for my own sanity I just need to let it go, let things progress, while I take action without expectation.

Does it mean I don’t form anymore expectations? Not at all, I am still human, but now I feel there is a greater awareness of this and letting things flow in their natural order. In a sense I feel letting go actually releases a lot of anxiety, while also allowing the freedom and space for a lot of creativity. And interestingly I feel every outcome which arises or arrives from my letting go actually serves a purpose for my growth, even if the situation is perceived to be painful or bad.

This space has allowed to reevaluate a lot on how I approach general situations in life now. Looking back now I remember moments when I would really feel upset because I had an expectation on an outcome and when that outcome didn’t materialize as I wanted to, I got really disappointed and would close up as a person.

In a way I think living with a flow also allows one to live life, ironically, on our own terms. Oddly some expectations we set because we want  to achieve it because we think that’s what family and friends expect of us. We forget though as individuals we need to form our own path, a path where we let the Universe reveal the direction, the purpose, and the mission that our souls really direct us towards…and that’s why  we should live in flow. When we do this we start experiencing the coincidental events, the universal language of communication telling us we are on the right path (but with patience).

It’s early days, but let’s just say I am beginning to accept the Yin and Yang of the Universal song that life can offer.

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved.

The One Word that Symbolizes my life!

I write this at a time when I am grieving, grieving the loss of two wonderful and close souls to me, my maternal grandparents. I write this from the depth of my heart, because it is moments like these when I cannot express in words my true thoughts, I begin to express them in the skill I have always enjoyed which is writing.

So why I am opening myself up and writing this now? Because of the shock of what has happened with the two losses within the last month, I have started reflecting, really reflecting on me as a person; my character, my virtues, my dreams…most of all questioning with real conviction what IS my true purpose here.

While I am still searching for and discovering some answers, there is one epiphany I have had during these last few intense days of reflection. I have come to realize there is one theme, one word that seems to have summed up my life to date, and perhaps the purpose I will work towards…that word is FIGHTER!

If I think in earnest how it all really started, the turning point was my father’s demise 12 years ago. 22 years and innocent in the ways of the world, that was a point I started a path of fighting…not fighting in the sense of being a spoilt brat not getting his wants…but fighting in the sense for my family, for my dreams, for the things I felt were right in terms of my values…and fighting in those moments when I felt despair and felt no more reason to go on!

I know it sounds cliche, this whole talk about fighting in life when things don’t seem right or when things don’t go the way we planned. There were moments when I regrettably thought that I will always struggle and have to fight for the things that I desired…like nothing was ever going to come easy without me going through a dip and then rising back again…

But then it hit me…

I would be fighting to show that I could help others FIGHT for what they wanted…Perhaps my experiences in fighting for my dreams, desires, or ambition is exactly the reason I needed to go through these experiences in order to inspire others, others who felt their worth was no more, while for some who felt lost in this ever confusing space called the World!

It’s no wonder then that I always get inspired when I see comeback stories, whether they are in the real or reel…and that’s why I always refer to that old cliche of a blockbuster, Rocky! While Rocky shows what hard work and ambition can achieve, I believe what ultimately gets Sylvester Stallone through to be a champion in life is to FIGHT! When everyone else around believed no more, that was the time Rocky won because he fought back!

And so when I ponder and reflect on some of the most happy memories of my grandparents, there is one particular moment which always raises a sense of pride and joy thinking back to it. This particular moment is one I always refer back to when I feel all is seemingly lost and hazy…

Back in December 2005, in a cold biting Delhi winter, the moment I had returned ‘home’ to return my Father’s ashes, I remember still coming out through the moments of despair I felt all year with my loss. My grandfather was always a strong man, one who believed in values but at the same time worked hard with the belief to always fight on with independence and courage! I remember at the airport on our return home, he gave me this look where he perhaps recognized a sadness in me…I remember him putting his hand on my back and saying with an authority in Hindi “go and show the world now what you are made of!”

That was the moment when a sense of pride returned, my “Rocky” moment! From then on I learnt to become a fighter in life!

Copyright 2017- All Rights Reserved

On the road to Self Actualization

You sit with that gnawing feeling, the knowing that there is something more! It eats away at you so much that it almost feels like a physical sensation in your body. So you ponder and wonder when, how, or where? When will this feeling of this knowing materialize into the very situation or outcome you know should happen?

Whether it is in our careers, our creative pursuits, passions or interests, most individuals have this knowing, something that they feel they are supposed to be doing, fulfilling their real Earthly existence. This is the process towards Self Actualization. The momentum to get to that point can seem slow, sometimes excruciating to the point that you feel you’ve been sucked into a vacuum too strong to pull yourself out of.

Abraham Maslow, the famous American psychologist who came up with his well renowned ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ theory wrote an interesting piece on Self Actualization. The basic premise of his article was that a very small percentage of individuals could ‘self-actualize’ to the person they are inherently meant to be in terms of common traits and pursuits that made them exceptional or dutiful towards their true purpose. It is perhaps no accident I came across this theory in my feeling that there is a deeper knowing of what is meant to be, and perhaps this theory was an answer to my search for the process.

I am sure you have pondered on what it is you are supposed to be doing, this feeling of knowing that you should be pursuing this or that. The pursuit often comes with many challenges, some that make us wonder whether our imaginations are really just taking us over in a desperate hope of looking for that greater meaning or purpose in life.

Have you ever asked yourself if you are following the knowing? Have you pondered on whether you can self actualize to the REAL person you were meant to be, fulfilling your human drive purpose in this life on Earth? Just asking that question can have some profound impact on the decisions you make in coming weeks or months. Sometimes you need to ask that question, forcing yourself or acknowledging that you are meant to push towards your higher ideal.

Think about this…apparently 2% of humans self-actualize. That’s a scary thought in itself. What’s more scary though is if you actually become part of that 2%!

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

Where is Destiny?

Saturday nights often are supposed to be a time of social fun, dinners, maybe the odd party atmosphere or two! But what happens if there is a thought that has been nagging you for a couple of days and you can’t really seem to shake it off? That’s the current predicament I am in, and that too on a bloody Saturday night! Yes, one may wonder who would want to get into such a contemplative and dark mood for a Saturday night. However, I am sure this thought has crossed many a mind; it just may have not been spoken about for those seeking serious clarity.

Billions would go through these thoughts daily: is it my destiny to be successful, is it my destiny to ever get married, is it my destiny to become famous, is it my destiny to make this a successful project…you catch my drift and where I am heading with this. So I have been asking myself where is this Destiny?

Is this Destiny just a perception, a combination of perceived visions and ideas that we feel will really manifest itself? And how do we know for sure something is our Destiny? Yes, current outcomes and situations may seem to align towards a perceived desired outcome, making us truly believe it was our destiny after all.

Yet on many an odd occasion there was a preamble of such events conjuring up to what was a perceived or given outcome…and alas nothing of the sort happened. So is this Destiny just a bunch of new age bullshit people need to lean on, believing all is not lost?

The hope of Destiny has helped many to linger on a little longer, really believing that the desired destination or path will be achieved because they are the chosen One for it. There is nothing wrong in having dosages of hope, for hope is that tonic that sometimes alleviates the misery of many, even if for a temporary basis.

I am questioning if maybe there is no such thing as Destiny? What if there is no such thing as fate as well? Should we just propose that every situation and outcome is just a myriad web of randomness, just accepting the situation for what it is? For now this is a question. It doesn’t matter whether this question is right or wrong,  it’s a question that doubtless many will have, even on this arbitrary Saturday night. It is a question that will provoke many, even those in solitude.

I don’t have the answer, but I continue to seek revelation on where Destiny is. Share your thoughts and comments because it will perhaps provide clarity.

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

 

Why Failure is An Asset

FAILURE. That dreaded word. We all encounter it during our progress in ambitious pursuit and endeavor. The thought of it makes some crumble, while for others it can be the fuel to many new dreams and visions being realized. For me growing up failure was seen as a setback, something not well welcomed, especially from my culture where ambition and recognition are common place and a non negotiable.

I read an article about Failure and how it could be viewed as an asset. For some it is a novel idea, not a concept very popular among the common. It got me thinking that perhaps there is merit in Failure being an asset. Forget the countless examples of human stories where failure was the base for greater things to come and proof of failure being an asset. Failure can be an asset in many areas of our lives; it’s a matter of what our perception is in each situation and whether we view the result as failure.

How is Failure an asset for me? Let me start with an obvious area: career and business. Failure is an asset in this life area because it has helped me realize over time what are my real strengths and weaknesses, not what others have observed as such. When I have failed, it is on the basis of my OWN expectations and not what others would have perceived as the stated objective. In my career I took certain steps which were risky, some which didn’t work out favorably. Despite the results of my decisions, the lessons I obtained are priceless; each human experience is so valuable that I learnt embracing the failures from my own experiences would make me a better person, learning to have a laser focus for future projects and pursuits.

As I embark on new projects, the thought of failure is seen as a welcome sign. I know with every failure in my progress, there is a smoother path that will help me work with a zest to achieve my dreams quicker. Failure is now seen as a stepping stone; others’ opinions will get drowned during my process, but without any semblance of arrogance and ignorance for other’s opinions. What matters is my perception of the result after each stage I have completed. Failure is now seen as a friend, something that is positive; the quicker I learn from the failures, the closer I am to achieving that which I am striving for.

Failure is also an asset because it has taught me to treat each outcome with equal measure. Success and Defeat are viewed as the Ying and Yang of progress as a human with a spiritual experience. This is a powerful quality that few can embrace and help to keep a person calm during major storms. Failure has also helped me to embrace humility. When I was younger failure was viewed as a deterrent, a deterrent to the great opportunities for success available in the world. It was unacceptable for me; everything had to be success.  Combining humility with equanimity will help me stay focused on the vision I seek.

What about Failure in love? Is it an asset there as well? Setbacks in love teach us much about ourselves; in relationships which have been perceived as failures, we can learn much about ourselves and our spirit. We may not like what we observe, I certainly haven’t in past relationships that ended, but I certainly gained more from each relationship that ended. So the failure of those relationships gave me value.

As the world changes and more and more people are looking for quick success, perhaps we need to some how view Failure as a stepping stone, an asset that will provide durable value. Like a financial asset, initially we may not see many great returns; we think we may have ‘invested’ in the wrong asset. But failure is a VALUE asset, an asset where we need to invest with time and only then will we realize the real return from it.

Embrace Failure. Accept it is as your companion for future success and progression.

 

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The True Champion

I have been watching the Cricket World Cup with quite a lot of interest. Much is to be said of the elongated duration of the cup, but the first semi final between South Africa and New Zealand woke up our sports spirits and showed me something we tend to forget is vital in any high pressure international sports match.

AB De Villiers and his South African team would have been distraught at the outcome of the match. But what AB displayed after the match is a quality that few exhibit, a real champion that respects the sport and shows true sportsmanship. AB did not use any excuse in his post match conference, rather accepting he was beaten by a team that showed determination. In a sense he was displaying a sense of a true champion, knowing that not every moment will result in glory.

A real champion is someone who mutually respects his opposition and gives credit to the opposition when it is due. He showed a remarkable sense of humility as well, knowing he could only do what was within his and his team’s control.

These qualities are found in another man I really admire. MS Dhoni, the Indian Cricket team captain has always demonstrated calm and a sense of purpose for his team, without ever looking too far ahead. He also shows a sense of humility in admitting his team’s strengths and weaknesses openly. Dhoni personifies a true champion by being calm and in the moment.
Perhaps both these role models are also true champions because they remember one thing when they go out to play: they are just playing a game. Whatever happens on the field remains there, afterwards life continues as usual.

This got me thinking about how we can become true champions in our everyday life, even if we feel what we do on a daily basis is mundane and does not add significance to our lives. It can get easy to get carried away by our emotions, letting the current situation get to us. If we are true champions, we will know each circumstance can change quickly; yes a bit of luck helps but I really believe we make our own luck through our hard work. We need to remember to remain in the moment…I am discovering this to be true more and more as each day passes by. Life can change in a second, and if we are to become true champions in our daily efforts and causes, we need to remember things can change for the better even in a second.

If outcomes don’t always go the way I might expect, I always remember how MS Dhoni looks at his life in cricket: it’s just a game at the end of it, your life goes on and you move ahead with the times. Letting go of what happens and remaining calm in the moment will help us to become true champions and embrace each moment as it comes.

 

All Rights Reserved- Copyright 2015

Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.