Shift in Perception

On January 1st,  Iceland started enforcing a new law where any employer with 25 or more employess, is required to pay men and women equally for the same job. This law makes Iceland the 1st country in the world to make it illegal for men to get paid more than women.

In the United States women are paid on an average of 80 cents per dollar that a man earns for the same job.  The gap is higher for women of color. In Europe women earn 84 cents on every dollar a man earns for the same job. In India women earn 25% less than men.

Hearing about wage equality in Iceland gives me hope that someday equal pay will be part of the norm.  Per the World Economic Forum, In the U.S. we should reach economic gender equality in 2059. Globally we wont see economic equality until 2133.   Because it will have taken many people to have advocated for the right to receive equal pay, I sincerely hope that in 2133 people rejoice and celebrate as economic inequality becomes a thing of the past.

In the present, however I am happy knowing that in 1 corner of our world, in Iceland, the government has recognized the value of equality in pay.  The message on the surface is that men and women will get paid equally. But deeper than that are so many other factors that make this a monumental shift.  With equal pay, life for so many will be transformed. Now that it is happening in Iceland, perhaps other countries won’t want to be left far behind and might catch up. A cause for healthy competition.

I am grateful for other healthy shifts taking place as well and I am mindful that they did not happen overnight. Whether a personal shift in perception or a collective one, it all leads to a better world. Wishing everyone a blessed year and liberating shifts of perception.  In John O’Donohue’s words:

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
John O’Donohue
To Bless the Space Between Us

 

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

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Happy Holidays

When I was a kid we celebrated Christmas with  family friends. They came over to our home for Diwali and we to their home for Christmas. I also attended a catholic school and we celebrated Jesus Christ and enjoyed nativity plays.  This was in Calcutta, India. 

When we immigrated to the United States, our traditions changed a bit, but we continued to celebrate both Diwali and Christmas with family and friends.  We had friends who celebrated Eid and Hanukkah and we celebrated along with them. 

My husband and his family are Celtic.  We have continued the tradition of celebrating Diwali and Christmas. We have also in recent years celebrated Hannukah because part of our larger family is Jewish. 

So for us, ‘happy holidays’ start sometime in October and seem to continue to the end of December.  We feel blessed to live among and be a part of diverse family. We are grateful for this life experience of having faith in our deep rooted traditions and comfortably belonging  in each other’s beliefs. Practicing loving kindness towards all has been a natural inclusion. 

At the root of all the holidays we recognize the true spirit of peace, happiness, love, kindness and wishes for everyone’s well-being.  

Wishing everyone a harmonious Christmas today. 

Namaste,

Shobhna

In Communication

In The Lost Art  of Good Conversation, Sakyong Mipham  provides simple ways to have authentic  conversations.  Conversations that engage the heart and mind so people feel heard, seen and understood. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala lineage and much like in his teachings, in this book he focuses on kindness, compassion, wisdom and bravery so that people can  genuinely connect and relate to each others goodness. His words create their own joyful rhythm leaving the reader inspired to lean into simple and difficult conversations.
The book is full of stories and practical advice which can be used seamlessly in daily conversations and in personal reflections. The book can be read multiple times as each chapter focuses on different aspects of conversations.
I chose this book from http://www.bloggingforbooks.com and my recommendation of this book is based on my own opinion. I would suggest this book to anyone who has conversations; to anyone who wants to support people in being their best and to anyone who wants peace in their heart and in the world.

Namaste,

Shobhna

Together

We  yearn for connection

while speaking of the inconsequential

We long for community

yet we are divided by ethnicity

We speak of peace

and engage in wars

We want unity

while excluding diversity

          An open mind and kind hearted spirit

          is needed now more than ever

          so we can boldly yet gently

         be in this space of ambiguity

         moving beyond fear

         hand in hand, together

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Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Love

“The source of love is deep in us, and we can help others realize a lot of happiness.  One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy.  One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation.  One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity.  One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions.  If love is in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.”

~Thich Nhat Hahn

 

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Buddha statue in my garden

Namaste,

Shobhna

Happy Diwali

Diwali, also known as festival of lights is a 5 day celebration. It marks the arrival of God Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) after 14 years of exile. During his exile he defeats Ravanna and signifies good winning over evil; Wisdom winning over ignorance.  In Sanskrit, Diwali also means row of lit lamps. Although the festival is marked by different celebrations based on regional and religious beliefs wishes for joy, prosperity, light, love and success are the same.

On Diwali and in the year ahead I wish you all wholesome happiness, love, compassion, hope, unshakable faith, and an inner nurturer who helps you shine in joy and spread your wisdom.

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

Vulnerability

For a few months, I left this quote on our kitchen wall as a constant reminder:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage  ~ Lao Tzu

I believe in order to live an authentic life, we have to be vulnerable and in order to be vulnerable, we have to have courage.  To be courageous, we also need to feel safe, which is intricately connected to love  and trust.

Brené Brown has spent years doing research on vulnerability, shame, worthiness, connection and belonging. In this You tube clip she talks about moving past the critics, including the inner critic that don’t truly serve us.

Brené  quotes Theodore Roosevelt  in this talk as being pivotal  in shifting her  own perspective about critics.  The quote is poignant and sheds light on what resilience looks like and the courage it takes to keep trying.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

Namaste,

Shobhna