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Archive for July, 2012

Through my window I can hear the soothing sound of the constant flow of the river Ganga… or ”mother Ganga”, as they say here. The unfamiliar things, customs and people passing my eyes are merely reflections of my mind’s eye. A whirling river of colors, fragrances, people that dwell inside of me as well as in the external world. Everything is everywhere and I am everything. Something that has risen to the surface during my journey so far is the power of choice, expression and of surrendering, and how spiritually crucial it is that we acknowledge these things. All of these are connected to the fifth chakra, biologically connected to the throat and the thyroid.

To me, people could take away everything from me but the last thing I would give up nowadays would be my freedom of choice. In fact, I’m constantly amazed over how lightly some people take on this and how few actually take advantage of it. You always have a choice. Even the choice of not making a choice is in itself a choice! We must guard this and use it at all times, to grow spiritually. So many people give away (no wonder there are so many people suffering from under-functioning thyroid) their power of choice to someone else; to society, religion, cultural customs, spouse, family, co-worker… the list could go on and on! As someone wise said; life isn’t about finding oneself but about creating oneself and to define who you are you need to make choices. All the time. Choices are like the hands of a skilled potter, shaping the moist clay between his hands into something beautiful and useful.

Our choices define us, every day and as we evolve, we (hopefully!) move up through the chakras and our choices will have less and less to do with plain survival and more and more with spiritual development. But we can also excercise the ability to make higher choices. The first three chakras, situated at the navel and below, is concerned with our physical ability to survive and reproduce in a hard world. Choices made from these chakras will not be spritual or intellectual.

The fourth chakra is the gate keeper through which choices benefiting the higher centres will be made once the are approved by the heart. We need to ask ourselves whether the choice we are about to make belongs to the lower or the higher chakras? Am I making this choice because of fear of not surviving? Of not reproducing? Of not making money? Of not being accepted by my tribe? Or does my choice qualify for spiritual development? None is better than the other, so don’t judge yourself – simply develop an awareness! If you are homeless, you will naturally make a choice of getting food and roof above your head than some spiritually developing choice.

Then there’s the importance of expressing our choices and our will to the world. If we don’t, the prana/energy in the 5th chakra area becomes thick and sluggish with unexpressed feelings and opinions. We are born to communicate, born to express ourselves. Children (and old people who have lost their wits) constantly express themselves, until they are taught that it is bad mannered and they are forced into normalization (and out goes their natural psychic abilities).

Another spiritual quality connected to the 5th chakra is (and this is a bit contradictive indeed) is the ability to surrender to divine guidance, to divine will. This is extremely difficult for most of us, because it often creates a conflict with our ego, who likes to be in charge. For me this is probably the most challenging in my spiritual practice. The ability to let go, surrender and trust that all is well. I simply cannot trust that things will work out to my benefit, unless I am actively getting involved in it. Getting involved is of course good; if you’re uninvolved in your own life, you’re in serious trouble! But you have to be able to let go sometimes, have a little faith and trust that there is a higher purpose, an intelligent force whose intentions are good and that there’s always a bigger picture –  a master plan of which you only see a small, small part of.

 

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This afternoon I was low, feeling so sorry for myself as only a spoiled, young (relatively – fair enough?) and probably self-absorbed woman can feel.

Admit it, ladies… you’ve all been there! When you are emotionally convinced that nobody in the whole, wide world suffers like you do and that no one can even begin to comprehend your misery, for reasons that afterwards makes you utterly embarassed over your own superficiality. This was my state of mind this afternoon; incredible self-pity.

Anyway, I pulled myself together and went for my normal walk which passes my friend at the tea stall between Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula (for those of you familiar with Rishikesh in India). After the normal ten minute chat he was going to make chapati for his dinner and asked me to walk across the street with him to his house to get the flour and that’s when the divine reached down and gave me a hard slap which spun me around 180 degrees.

He opened the cranky wooden doors (how could they keep the cold out during the winter?!) to his house and the sight that met me made me realize, in a blink of an eye, that I actually don’t have one single problem worth reflecting over. None! His house was literally the size of my walk-in-closet at home, with one bed overloaded with laundry and undistinguished stuff where he sleeps. A lonely bulb lit up the space and he told me his mother sleeps on the floor… It was heartbreaking to see and I was dumbstruck, even more so because he is always smiling, always happy although his job can hardly be stimulating according to western standards. Self-development? Intellectual satisfaction? Carreer ladder? Dream on

He can’t write and I don’t know if he can read – probably not! He optimistically wants me to introduce him to a western girl so that he can ”come to the west as he thinks that there are so many jobs there”. Today I tactfully told him that even if he would hook up with some western yoga student, it’s difficult to get a job in the west. You can’t just put up a tea stall by the road; you need licenses, money, permissions… But a part of me wish I could take him with me in my suitcase and bribe the immigration department, just to give another human being a fair chance of a different life. He’s a good, hard working person and it just seems so unfair that anyone should be forced to live like that when it’s just a matter of where you are born. A chance of luck as the gods are playing dice with human lives. And yet, maybe I’m more appalled by his poverty than he is? If you don’t know how it could be then maybe you don’t suffer as much?

In Sweden, as well as in many western countries, there are an unspoken racism and reluctancy towards accepting immigrants, which I find apalling in many ways. Anyone who makes a decision on whether to accept or reject an application should take a long, hard look at where the other person is coming from. Poverty is just a word for so many of us, something we associate with not being able to travel abroad or having to buy second hand clothes but we really don’t grasp it until we get to see it and I am so humbled by what I saw today. I will always remember this day and my friend will serve as a reminder of that whatever I’m feeling down over is an illusion and that I should go back to counting my blessings instead of being a cry-baby. If I worked at the immigration department and I saw the closet-like space he called his house, then I would have signed whatever documents necessary so fast my pen would be on fire – just out of humanity.

My day was brightened indirectly by someone else’s misery, which disturbs me. Why can’t we see the light if there isn’t darkness? Why must there be misery to enhance joy? We live in a world of light and shadows, ever dancing, ever challenging each other. Of course, what we perceive as light versus shadow may differ… But why can’t there be just one world, illuminated by the soft light of a hopeful dawn? One world, one language and no religion but love?  One of my favorite songs is Imagine by John Lennon and I will let that be the soundtrack of today… and the rest of my days here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwUGSYDKUxU

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”There’s a crack in everything… that’s how the light gets in”, wise lyrics by Leonard Cohen. I’m home now, in northern India. It’s my third time here and this time I realize that yes, this is my home. This is where I can breathe and shine, where the best part of me flourishes. Everything here is unfamiliar and familiar at the same time. I have no knowledge but I have intuitive understanding.There are cracks everywhere here… and that’s how the beaming light gets in. Perfection has to be imperfect to touch the human heart and appeal to us. Yesterday I saw a guy with a T-shirt which said: ”Nobody’s perfect. I’m a nobody. Therefore… I’m perfect.”Damn right you are, my friend! Lovely attitude, indeed.

 

Maybe that’s the problem with many places in the West; we are obsessed with filling the cracks of imperfection and the light has no chance of getting in? At home, when I’m at a restaurant, I send the food back into the kitchen if I’m not pleased with it. I have no problem being a bitch if I have to… but here I don’t mind an ant in my cup of tea. I merely shrug and lift it out. Or stepping in cow poop at least once a day… I smile to strangers and they smile back. There’s resonance and connection between people that goes beyond words; heart to heart, spirit to spirit as it was always meant to be in human communication.

I believe there are three  basic things before you can truly go through spiritual transformation; the first thing, connected to the base chakra, is having a supportive and loving tribe, who not only loves you, but who brings out the best in you (because that does certainly not always go hand in hand…). The second thing, connected to the sacral chakra is to be in a place/town/country that creates fertile soil for your inspiration and creativity to flourish. The third one is making a difference. To feel that your presence or contribution to the world makes a different is unbelievably important, especially for your solar plexus chakra where your self-esteem is situated. It is only when the three first energy wheels are spinning that we can move up the spiritual ladder. I pray that India will be the place where I can fuel all of them… but let’s wait and see!

The monsoon period will be here soon and today it was raining. Warm rain pouring from the cloudy sky, people covering their heads with scarves, umbrellas… ever smiling. The air became damp and heavy with the scent of wet soil, incense, perfume, sweat, garlic and cardamon. I’ve given up trying to figure out why I love this place. It doesn’t matter, does it? What matters is that I do. It’s the same with love, I think… when we can’t list the reasons for loving someone it really comes from a place deep within us, free from rational thought. If we can list the qualities that we love about that person as a reason for loving, then that’s love of the mind – not of the heart. I thought that this was going to be another yoga trip, but it won’t be. This journey will be about friendship, love, human interaction and communication beyond the visible. Across cultures, languages, skin color, social class and all other nonsense made up by the intellectual society, starting off by dinner at a tea stall that is full of cracks… and beaming light! Bless the cracks…bless the light.

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Good morning!

This blog post is in a way a continuation of The Power of Intention post. Just like intention has tremendous power, so has conviction and belief.

Like I wrote previously, we are all connected through a giant, living, ever changing electromagnetic field of human consciousness. That means that thoughts are living, changing vibrations affecting everything, everywhere and all the time. Vitamin supplements are frequently accused of working through the placebo effect, even though a lot more research has been done vitamin C than any medical drug out there…but let’s not go into that now!

What amazes me is not whether supplements, nutrition or medical drugs are working because of the placebo effect, but the fact that there is evidently a placebo effect! Why on earth isn’t that used instead of trashed?! The placebo effect means that if you believe that a supplement or medicine will work, it works. Somehow, the belief that something is helping you heal, triggers the body’s self-healing ability. Without side effects! It is said that one third of all healing is due to the placebo effect, but personally I believe it to be more than that…

An increasing problem in the world today is abuse/over use of medical substances, sometimes (as with some celebrities…) mixed into deadly combinations, polluting the body, causing acidosis and troubling the liver. People start medicating at a younger age nowadays than ever before and are not only taking medication for their condition, but additional medicine to combat the side effects of the medicine. Crazy, right? Why is this? I believe it’s because the majority of the western population is living an unnatural, unhealthy life; avoiding the sun, eating junk food, not getting enough exercise and in a constant stress mode due to caffeine addiction, sugar and insufficient sleep… and let’s add some artificial food chemicals, polluted environment and strained relationships to that and it’s no less than a miracle that anyone is willing to reincarnate back to the rat wheel!

But, back to the subject of belief! 🙂 The good news is that if we start using the placebo effect instead of criticizing it, the future looks pretty bright. The western health care system will collapse before not too long, because its focus is not on preventing disease but on repairing the damage that already has been done, which doesn’t take a genius to understand how super expensive that is. Surgery and organ donation is extremely costly and very risky. As wonderful it is that some people can survive thanks to a donated organ from someone else, it is far from a sustainable solution. People will soon be forced to start taking responsibility for their own health, because there simply will not be an option in the future other than for people who are willing to spend their entire salary on outrageously expensive medical insurances. What better way than to use your own mind as the tool for healing? No side effects except for positive ones, 100% free of charge and no pollution!

When we talk about today’s placebo effect, the patient is unaware of him/her receiving a placebo supplement and therefore not  consciously directing their belief towards healing, but towards trust in the medicine. But it is time that we become aware of this very natural ability to heal, because as we have discovered, the power of intention is amazing. There are enormous financial interests in selling medicine (surprise!) which is why alternative medicine, healing, reiki etc. is so often ridiculed and dismissed; if you can heal yourself then there are some people out there who will stop making money on your diseases which I guarantee will not be popular. The funny thing is that when modern medicine doesn’t work and fails at saving a patient’s life it is never ridiculed but conveniently blamed on “an inherited predisposition or that “it was too late but they did the best they could” … In Sweden there have been women removing perfectly healthy breasts because their mother or grandmother had breast cancer and they’ve been so scared by the “hostile DNA” theory that they prefer chopping them off in advance! This is madness on the verge of stupidity (in my eyes) and an unfortunate consequence of diseases being blamed on inheritance rather than lifestyle and emotional trauma…

Therefore, we should also take into consideration the nocebo effect, which means that if we believe that we are getting something poisonous we are reacting as if it actually is poison. If we believe that we have a predisposition for a certain disease and we keep repeating that though in our mind, chances are bog we will think ourselves sick. If you don’t believe in the treatment you’re getting – it simply won’t work no matter how sophisticated it is or how much prestigious research is behind it. The nocebo effect is as well documented as the placebo effect and means that just as we can think ourselves into healing… we can think ourselves into disease. This suggests that it may be completely irrelevant which type of treatment you chose – what matters is your own conviction of its efficiency. So whether you chose modern medicine, alternative medicine, healing or nothing at all… your belief is most probably what will decide the outcome of the treatment. Hence, the power is in your own hands, or rather your own mind and it’s about time that we start using it!

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This is a beautiful morning. Rays of sun are caressing my face as I enjoy my cup of morning tea, the birds are singing cheerfully and the air is crisp and clear. It’s the kind of morning that makes it impossible to comprehend that the world is a cruel place for some people less fortunate.

Last night I watched an amazing documentary on prostitution in Iran (you can find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHmK2Xyveio) for the 2nd time and I couldn’t help but feel amazed by these women’s endurance. Personally, I feel that I would have just laid down and died if I would’ve had to go through even half of what they’ve been through. But I wouldn’t, of course, because movies like that remind me of just how strong the instinct of survival is and why I don’t believe in autoimmune diseases nor cancer randomly spreading like wild fire. I just don’t buy it! We are genetically programmed to survive at almost any cost. When flight 571 crashed in the Andes in 1972 and after weeks of starvation the survivors started eating from their dead friends, the world was appalled. Compassionate but appalled. Everyone who read about it probably threw up their hands and exclaimed:   “I could never do that, I would rather die than…”. No. Youwould! You would do anything you had to do to survive – we all would, because human nature is all about survival.

Think about people getting one arm stuck somewhere, when out climbing or trekking and after a couple of days when it dawns on them that they won’t survive unless they get out of there, they use whatever tool they have to chop off the arm and free themselves. Can you imagine that? Cutting off your arm with a little swiss army knife without anything to numb the pain? The very thought gives me goosebumps! Imagine the power of instinct that makes you do something like that!? How mighty it must be… Yet there’s a massive hysteria when it comes to germs and viruses, ever since the days of Mr. Pasteur. People are so scared of viruses that they permit themselves to be injected with heavy metals and formaldehyde, so called “vaccines” which is nothing but madness and the side effects of vaccines are killing and injuring a lot more people than the few ones possibly (yes, I’m very skeptical) saved by it.

I had a discussion with my dad the other day, regarding whether or not doctors should give patients and estimation of the time they have left. My dad thinks so, he says that it makes it easier for the patient to plan the rest of their life and make sure they make the most of it… That’s a fair point of view perhaps, but I totally disagree. For some mysterious reason, a white cloak almost has a religious nature to it and many people tend to become submissive in the presence of a doctor, as if they somehow have the power over life and death. They haven’t. If they did, then they would live longer and healthier, but instead physicians and dentist are topping the suicide statistics so clearly something doesn’t quite add up.

But what more is that when you tell someone, someone perhaps not knowledgable about health or with an almost religious respect for doctors, that they just have 6 months left – you’re very likely to jinx them and make it a self-fullfilling prophecy. Every cell in your body has ears. Every cell in your body hears “6 months left” and that is absolutely disastrous for healing. Because there are two truths to be consider. 1) There is no chronic diseases. Chronic doesn’t mean incurable, it just means that modern medicine doesn’t yet know how to cure it. 2) No one can predict the survival instinct in you. No one but you knows your level of endurance, or the intensity of your will to live, the changes and sacrifices you are willing to make…

We are born to survive and born to endure so carry that knowledge with you. Carry the prostitutes in Iran… the poor teenagers smuggling  petrol from Iran to Afghanistan on winding mountain roads, risking getting caught or set on fire… the climber cutting off his own arm… Carry all of them in your mind as a reminder of the mind-blowing human ability of survival during the most horrible of circumstances and may it strengthen and humble you as it does to me.

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This morning I was sitting on my balcony with my morning tea, listening to the summer rain falling outside and drawing what I like to call a new life flower. I do that every now and then and it really is very helpful and very easy; you simply draw a big, lotus shaped flower on a blank piece of paper and let each petal represent a different area of your life. One petal for family, one for love, one for career, one for spirituality, one for friends etc…. Then you pretend that the pen you’re writing with is a magic one and whatever you write will come true.

I firmly believe that the first step towards getting the life that you want is expressingthe life that you want – most importantly to yourself but also to others. Deep inside, we all know what we want, even though we say we don’t. We do know, but we are for some reason terrified of expressing it. There’s a collective misunderstanding that expression of desires is somehow rude, inappropriate, bad mannered and somehow cheeky. But if there’s something I’ve learnt the past years, in regards to both relationships and career, it’s that if you express what you want and need – you are much more likely to get it! Which indeed also makes perfect sense.

It has been considered especially inappropriate for us women to express our desires, whether in work, relationships or life in general. Up until the 70′s we were supposed (and unfortunately this is still the case in many countries…) to be seen but not heard, so the resistance of expressing ourselves are almost encoded in our DNA and we need to change that – right now! Imagine going to the grocery shop and standing there, hoping that the shopkeeper will somehow intuitively figure out what you want to buy? How long would you have to be standing there waiting? Probably an eternity and people would consider you half daft for taking that approach.

The universe and the law of attraction works the same way; what you bring your attention to will come around and when you express that, it will come around even quicker! One should never talk about one’s spiritual practice but one shouldalways express what one desires. You don’t have to believe in karma, gods, the law of attraction or anything like that, because it is a proven fact that when a thought/wish is repeated over and over again the brain subconsciously understands that it is a matter of importance and influences you to make the decisions which will eventually get you that. And when you express what you want to other people, doors start to open and you’re helped by their minds and their networks too!

If I could give you one tip this rainy Sunday it would be to draw a life flower and start expressing yourself. Asking for something is not rude if you do it in a sophisticated way. I believe all relationships, whether personal or professional, benefit from expression of desires. For example, as I write this, my male cat jumps up at my desk, shoves his head into my chest in a clearly affectionate manner and begins to purr so loud that it’s ridiculous. He’s expressing himself in an obvious and not so subtle manner, making me understand that what he wants and needs now is attention and for me to stroke him. My female cat on the other hand is much prouder and more discreet. She looks at me and tries telepathy  for me to understand what she wants. Doesn’t work half as well… guess which one of them ends up with most cuddle time, unfair as it may be?

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Intentions rule the universe, that has been my conviction for quite some   time now. It’s been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I strongly object to that. If the intention is good, then the outcome can never be evil even if it may appear so. A couple of years ago I was watching a movie called The Living Matrix. Some of you may have seen it too?

The topic of the movie is healing and how we all all part of a living matrix; an electromagnetic field that connectseverything in the universe and that healing can take place instantly and unexplainable to the medical world. So called ”miracles” happen all over the world – all the time. Isn’t it wonderful? I love the thought of there always being hope and a chance for recovery, even during the darkest of circumstance. One of the people in the movie was Lynne McTaggart, author of brilliant books like The Field and The Intention Experiment, originally a hard core journalist, now dedicated to displaying what is starting to be proved by science; that we all are connected and that there is a field of electromagnetic waves which is infinite.

As is shown in the movie, intention of healing is crucial and we all understand that our own ideas about healing our own body are important, but now it turns out that the thoughts from someone else also contributes to healing. Kind, empathetic thoughts when received are affecting certain areas of the brain. One of my yoga teachers used to say: ”If it’s in here (pointing to his head)… it is everywhere”, in other words: there are no secrets on the subconscious level. You may have the best poker face in the world and yet there is no way to lie to this field. It picks up everything. Once you think something it is out there, affecting all living beings. Forget about privacy!

Where yogis are purposely meditating for world peace, there’s a noticeable decrease in crime rate and modern research has now been able to prove, using sophisticated technology to registrate brain activity, that yes… something happens when you receive loving thoughts. Most probably something also happens when you receive not so loving thoughts… It goes without saying though, that for thoughts to have the power to effect another human beings brain centers, the attempt needs sincerity and focus. Just thinking that your boss is an idiot will not affect him and neither will good thoughts that lack empathy; the intention iscrucial. My friend used to say that words are like arrows and you should fire them with care, becaus once you release them you cannot take them back. That is indeed wise, but aparently that goes for thoughts as well. Maybe one of the most powerful things we can do to make the world a better place is focus our intentions in the right direction? If we can reduce crime rate by meditation, then we need to start seeing our minds as powerful tools to be counted upon and used seriously.

Another interesting thing that was discovered was that memory is most probably situated outside the body. Experiments on mice showed that even when the memory centers in their brains had been totally destroyed, they still remembered the way the had to go to get to the food. Meaning the memory has to be somewhere else, most probably in the auric fields. What else is situated there, I wonder? This opens up a whole new idea of the concept of healing if it turns out that we have to look beyond our physical bodies in order to heal and recognise the importance of being connected to everyone and everything… always.

Where do I end and the next person begin? All is one may not just be a spiritual statement, but a scientific one.

 

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