Archive for

Your Most Important Relationship

Posted on: March 25th, 2021 by Domante No Comments

It is impossible to explain to someone what mango tastes like. Yet for somebody who actually tasted it, just hearing a word ‘mango’ creates a very sensory experience. For a long time, the notion of the most important relationship being the one with yourself was like that mango to me. I kept on hearing how amazingly sweet and juicy it is. I understood it intellectually.

Last weekend though in the intensity of kundalini yoga teacher’s training I ‘got it’. It became evident to me that our relationship with the Higher Self/ Universe/ God/ Spirit/ Grace/ Unified Field (pick a name that resonates with you) supersedes any other relationship in our life. There is a hole deep inside each one of us that I am sure you have experienced the feeling of at some point. That hole typically feels like a lack, longing or loneliness. It takes us out on the quest to find the perfect intimate relationship, to build friendships, to strive for recognition, for significance, to become rich and famous. What we don’t account for is that all of these things will fail us at some point, none of them can fill the hole for a long time. There is nothing wrong with beautiful relationship, significance or being rich and famous, these just aren’t the right ‘filling’.

The relationship that supersedes any other is the alignment with our deeper truth, it is the stillness and the quiet knowing that we are a part of something bigger, just like the wave is a part of the ocean. Maintaining this relationship then means finding and fostering the connection with our deeper truth. A Course in Miracles says that 5 minutes in the morning spent with god ensure that he is in charge of our thought forms throughout the day. In other words, if we spent five minutes in the morning to realign with our deeper truth, we’d live the rest of our day more authentically. It would impact the quality of our decisions, how we show up for the people in our life, how we react in challenging situations and whether we are moving in the direction of our fulfilment.

There are many ways to connect to our deeper truth, to nurture the most important relationship we have. Kundalini yoga, meditation and gratitude do the magic for me. I know that if I start my day with either one of these practices (or all of them as they are so intertwined), it will be somewhat different. It doesn’t mean that nothing unpleasant will happen and the day will be just a pure bliss, however, my alignment will completely change how I respond because my response will be coming from a place of wholeness rather than lack.

When we take care of the most important relationship in our life (that with ourselves), our cup is overflowing and we show up more giving, more compassionate and more understanding in every other relationship we have.

What Is Controlling Your Life?

Posted on: March 18th, 2021 by Domante No Comments

For as long as I remember I’ve been told that I am weak, that I am too emotional, too sensitive, too fragile. I’ve been told that something was inherently wrong with me. Why can’t I just suck it up and be like normal people?!

The older I get, the more I realise that I am not weak, I am strong and beautiful – I allow myself to feel so much. It takes courage to stand still in the face of a difficult emotion, not to cover it up, not to run away from it, not to eat it up or drown it in a glass of wine, not to gamble it away, not to make it somebody else’s fault, not to sedate it with medication, just surrender to it. Have you ever tried it? What I learned recently is that very few of us actually ever had.

Uncomfortable emotions are like messengers, they are telling us that deeper enquiry is needed, they are offering us an opportunity to overcome and grow. Allowing ourselves to feel doesn’t mean going into full-blown drama. Drama is self-imposed, it is nothing but a story we made out of the initial emotion. We can save a great deal of time and energy by refusing to go there. The initial emotion (the pain) though is something we have to face and enquire into.

What happens to the most of us when we have that initial emotion, when discomfort arises, we launch right into our default coping mechanism. This is a self-soothing behaviour that we have adopted fairly early in life. Some of us reach for food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, others have an urge to buy something, to open social media feed, to bury themselves in work, to have a conversation with someone, to start cleaning the house, to watch TV, to play video games… You name it. Some of the coping mechanisms are healthier than others, however, the key is in recognition why we do what we do. There is nothing inherently wrong with a glass of wine or with shopping when we choose to do it consciously. Otherwise, it is doing us – we are no longer in control of our spending, smoking, gambling, alcohol or food intake…

It is very difficult to suddenly start noticing and facing our emotions, because it literally is a fraction of a second between the moment an emotion arises and the moment we launch into our coping mechanism. However, we can do this backwards, because, if we are honest with ourselves, we know exactly what our coping mechanisms are (Do you eat crap, although, you know it is not good for you? Do you drink too much, overspend, etc.? What’s your poison of choice?).

A friend of mine, who wanted to quit smoking, went to see the addiction psychologist. She advised him to have a journal, and every time before he picks up a cigarette, to answer a simple question “What’s the reason behind his desire to smoke a cigarette at this moment?” In other words, what is going on for him right now? She said he could smoke after answering the question if he still felt like it. However, every time he would answer the question, he’d lose his interest in smoking and he’d put the cigarette down. He actually hasn’t been smoking for over three years now.

Answering one simple question helps us enquire into the uncomfortable emotion that has arisen and, effectively, to face it. Once it is faced, we no longer need to self-soothe. It doesn’t mean that it will never arise again. It most certainly will, but it will no longer be in control of our life.

Remember, the pain (that sudden difficult emotion) doesn’t last, it passes very quickly if we allow it. Drama, on the contrary, is something we feed, indulge in and foster. If we suppress that pain or make a drama out of it, it can last for years on end. The only difference between suppression and drama is that one is an explosion on the inside, the other one – on the outside.

So, how could you apply this in your everyday life?

You know exactly the behaviours that don’t serve you. Keep an eye on them. You want to be slim and healthy but keep on reaching for a packet of naughty biscuits or a piece of rich fatty sugary cake?

Well, next time you catch yourself craving naughty stuff, pause, open your journal (or Notes on your phone) and answer the question. “What is the reason behind this desire? What’s going on right now inside of me?” The answer might be “I’m just hungry”. Great – make a healthier choice (you might have actually skipped a meal, haven’t slept enough or haven’t had enough water). In this case, the reason might be purely physiological. However, the answer might also be “I’m anxious right now” or “I feel a hole inside of me that I need to fill” or “I feel deeply sad”. Really allow yourself to experience the emotion and to pinpoint it as accurately as you can. This will do as a starting point. It will help you to take back the control of your health, finances and just overall life.

In time, you can enquire further by asking yourself “What triggered this emotion?”, “What is the message – what needs to shift/to be healed in me?”. Change happens one good enquiry at a time.

We are so fascinated with exploring the cosmos, different planets, galaxies, yet we forget that there is a whole universe inside each one of us.

Rise Above the Drama

Posted on: March 4th, 2021 by Domante No Comments

I have spoken to a friend recently who was undermined and harshly judged at work despite her obvious competence and remarkable work ethic. These things hurt especially when you know that you sacrificed the time with your family, your hobbies and your health in order to deliver projects in good time.

When we find ourselves in a situation like this, we immediately want to react whether that is by defending, attacking or retracting. If we jump to one of these knee-jerk reactions, we take ourselves down to the level of those people who caused the perceived injustice. We are now a part of a drama triangle, effectively becoming a victim with those ‘wrong-doers’ being the persecutors. Soon we start looking for so-called rescuers (people who would affirm our innocence in the situation) to fight our corner. Often, people get stuck in the drama triangle for weeks and months on end.

There is no solution to be found when we are in a drama triangle. We can’t see the situation clearly because we are busy playing our role. Furthermore, we are stripped of our true power.

In any conflict resolution, it is absolutely a must for at least one of the people involved to rise above the situation. Otherwise, everyone is just boiling in the same soup.

I want this person to be you!

So, how could you?

Respect yourself. You don’t need to respond immediately. Often the immediate response makes us feel emotionally hungover few hours later. Be a little bit like Mark Darcy from the Bridget Jones series. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, his normal response to any type of insult would be “Alright then, I see”. Joking aside, leave the room, breathe deeply and give yourself time to digest what just happened. If you can’t just walk out, ask for a 15-minute break.

Rise above the situation. Remember, hurt people hurt others. Whatever has been said is not coming from a happy place. Putting yourself in another person’s shoes for a moment can do a magic trick – quickest way to change our perception. What’s going on in this person’s life? What’s going on in their intimate relationship? What is happening for them at work? Any form of attack is usually a call for love. The best question you can ask yourself here is “How can I see this situation differently?”. It shifts our focus from being a victim to gaining much broader perspective.

Communicate non-violently. You can and you probably should still call them out, address the behaviour but with compassion instead of anger and judgement. Explain how what they did/said made you feel without the blame. Ask direct questions but from the place of curiosity, not judgement. “Have I done anything to upset you?” / “Please tell me honestly what aspects of my work are not satisfying to you? I need to know in order to be able to improve”. The preceding steps help to get to this point where you are actually able to communicate in this manner. In my own experience, when I spoke to anyone in this way, people got very humble and 100% of the time they told me that it wasn’t about me, that they were facing some challenging situation either at home or with their health.

Set the example. Don’t tell people, instead show them how to treat you. Remember, you always set the example to people on how to treat you. People will only treat you as well as you treat yourself. Good questions to ask yourself in order to shift this are: “Do I truly value and respect myself?” / “Do I truly value my contribution to this project at work?” / “Do I truly feel like I am giving my 100% or am I feeling a little bit guilty (even if for no apparent reason)?”. People pick up the energy, therefore, on a subconscious level they know how you feel, whether that is justified or unjustified. People pick up when you are feeling ‘not good enough’ and, again subconsciously, they will be treating you this way. Effectively, the conflict on the outside (in what we call the ‘real world’) points right at the conflict inside of us. That conflict is between the deeply ingrained limiting beliefs that we hold about ourselves and about the world without even realising it, and what we think and believe on the conscious level.

Every tricky situation that upsets us is usually a call to have a really good look at ourselves and adjust the relationship that we have with ourselves first and foremost. When all we want to do is to point the finger at others, it takes some practice and stamina to come back to our centre and to turn this ‘pain’ into a gift, but we can do it – we can do hard things.