Fitting In

Many people struggle on a daily basis to fit in and belong. The struggles, and consequences of these struggles manifest differently, and the truth is in order to have peace in the world we have to continue to explore what is truly meaningful personally. 

To feel like we truly belong we have to have courage to be ourselves  and realize that sometimes it means we can’t please others or that we won’t belong to a specific group.  This will no doubt cause pain and suffering and require courage, vulnerability and resilience. However,  when we try to fit in and go against our grain, we also suffer.The more we face the fears we have of being our true self,imperfections and all, we find that being ourselves can be our biggest gift to the world.

Our inherent goodness and worthiness is waiting to be uncovered at all times.

Your purpose

is to be yourself

You don’t have to run anywhere

to be someones else

You are wonderful

just as you are

~ Thich Nhat Hahn

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

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Silently Blooming

 

 

Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us. 

~Thich Nhat Hahn

 

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

 

 

Friendship

We have genuine friendship
when it is based on true human
feeling, a feeling of closeness
in which there is a sense of sharing and
connectedness.

I would call this type of
friendship genuine because it is not
affected by the increase or decrease of
the individuals wealth, status, or power.

The factor that sustains that friendship
Is whether or not the two people
have mutual feelings of love and affection.

Genuine human friendship is on the basis of
human affection, irrespective of your position

Therefore the more you show
concern about the welfare and rights
of others, the more you are a genuine
friend.

The more you remain open
and sincere, then ultimately more benefits
will come to you.  If you forget or do not bother about others.
Then eventually you will lose
your own benefit.

H.H. THE XIVTH DALAI LAMA
 

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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

 

 

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