I am extremely fortunate to report into a VP - a working mother with four kids and a stay at home husband. She is extremely passionate about women's development and strives to create opportunities and provides guidance to all those who seek her out as a mentor. Every time I leave her office, I walk out a lot more stronger, taller, confident and happier. She has this way of recognizing where you are lacking confidence or doubting yourself and pointing out all the other 10999 things you are doing marvelously and in turn the self doubt moments of panic melt away in the face of accomplishments and challenges faced successfully and you once again are filled with hope that you can do it and this too shall pass. I have even spent an afternoon in her office, just sitting there, because she wouldn't let me leave. I was a hot mess, overwhelmed with things at home and at work, overwhelmed with dealing with difficult people both at work and at home and she just made me sit in her office to let me collect myself and that moment passed and I was once again strong. I am so grateful to her for providing me with a role model of a wonderful boss, a wonderful woman and a wonderful person to know in my life. You continually learn something from the people you come into contact with and she has taught me a lot.
I also have this other woman who I deal with on a regular basis now at home who is the opposite. She breaks me down. By belittling my accomplishments, by down playing the good things I do - through actions and mostly through words - careless thoughtless hurtful words. I believe every person is a product of their past and how they deal with it, the choices they make define them as a person in the present. This lady has many regrets - regrets for not having worked outside the home, regrets for not moving to the U.S. when she had a chance, regrets to not having the kind of support and attention from her spouse that she needs. And those unfulfilled desires and unresolved regrets manifest itself into criticism or undermining everything I do. There is no generous open your heart and breathe in fresh deep air, appreciate and be grateful, soak in every moment of this wonderful life with gratitude. She has also had her fair share of physical and mental issues (Is it caused due to this lifelong tendency of unhappiness and criticism?) that add to the sourness.
A friend of mine had a wonderful fortieth birthday celebration yesterday - she invited all of her close friends for a private yoga session with her teacher who she absolutely adores and revers. We spent the afternoon twisting ourselves into various positions, literally sweating it out and laughing at our lack of flexibility. The session culminated in delicious spicy crunchy mathiya paired with a cool yogurt dip that the teacher had made for us and a chocolate cake which we carried for our friend. The teacher then talked about philosophy and one of the topics was how we are all part of one energy and we came from it and will go back to it. This day/week/month/lifetime is just a drop in many countless others. In the wide spectrum of time and in the vastness of the Universe, we are just a tiny microscopic particle.
One of the things she also touched on was that there are no coincidences - all the people who are in our life, come and go in our lives are all part of a pre determined destiny. The person who is causing you grief today might be someone you had hurt in your past life and this is just karmic forces balancing out. If you want to stop this cycle and do not want to again be a part of each other's lives, stop retaliating and stop letting them hurt you. Make peace and let it flow over you and complete this transaction per se right here, right in this life time.
She also talked about the various stages of love - first and foremost self love followed by love for immediate family and friends, community and then followed by universal love. Self love is not limited to just giving pep talks to oneself or looking in the mirror and admiring oneself but it also means taking care of oneself and making sure you are physically, mentally and spiritually nourished - peace and happiness.
I see a lot of merit in that statement - only when you are truly happy and satisfied internally can u then avoid the traps of insecurities and be able to nourish others through your words, your touch, your actions. Remember all those people in your life - you meet them and you feel refreshed - there is so much love flowing through them, when you walk away you leave happier.
I am going to try to implement these teachings into my daily life now - self love - taking care of myself - giving priority to working out, reading good books and doing the little things that bring me joy without trying to fit some idealistic goal determined by other people of a good - put in what you want - mother, friend, spouse, boss etc. And to be that person who transfers peace, happiness, love and let everyone walk away from you refreshed and happier.