The Beauty of Traveling

Image result for quotes on traveling

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.–Anais Nin

Wanderlust, traveler and free spirit! These are all words that I call myself as an avid traveler!!! Traveling started at the age of 3 months; my very first trip was with my mother in India. Although I have no recollection of this holy adventure, I do know that it was monumental for my life. Up until today my mother always tells me how as an infant I was cleansed in the holy water in Golden Temple of Amritsar, Punjab.

Growing up my second home was the United Kingdom. There are so many memories of visiting family and creating new experiences. By my 20’s that’s when the traveling bug hit! It started with Cuba, and then I fell in love with Europe. I have been to Italy four times and love all things European. My dream is to live in Europe one day! The moment my feet hit the ground of each country it feels as if I’m walking on ancient terrain. Almost like I have traveled to certain places before.

In June 2016,  I had the opportunity of to travel to Europe with my best friend! We had wanted to do this for years and finally were able to make this trip happen. It was a journey of lifetime and memories we will share forever. Prior to this trip the last time I was in Europe was in 2013, I went with a tour organization called Contiki Tours! With the tour group we explored the Mediterranean — Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. I was apprehensive about going on the tour alone, as I would be with a group of complete strangers and traveling with them for a lengthy period of time. There was something inside me was saying step out of your comfort zone and embrace this opportunity. This truly was a time of growth. Little did I know that these unfamiliar individuals would become my new group of family and lifelong friends.

The beauty of traveling is life experience! This past summer especially, while being in Europe I had no concept of days or time, I was so consumed in the moment – it was exhilarating. I was never concerned of where I was heading next or fear of being alone. This experience taught me to go with the flow. While on the Contiki trip to the Mediterranean, new faces became familiar friends. I met people from all over the world and connected on such a beautiful level. It was as if there was an invisible thread that connected each and every one of us together on the Contiki tour. Something extraordinary was happening, stories were exchanged new memories were created and lives were changed. Each individual had a special gift; something to share that made them shine their own light.

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. travel. meet many people. go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. try everything. exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life. –Lawrence K. Fish

There were two significant events that I will always carry in my heart. I have always felt connected to the country of Italy. As the Contiki group arrived to Italy I had the pleasure of walking through the terrain of Cinque Terre also known as the fisherman’s islands. At the Cinque Terre, while breathing in the ocean air, many of us hiked from the city of Vernazza to Monterosso. While on the mountains I felt so close to the sky, limitless, free and so engrossed in the feeling of peace. The Vatican City was another holy experience. When I was at St. Peter’s Basilica last summer, I felt oneness and connected to something far deeper then I can imagine. It was a spiritual awakening. Time stood still and all I could think was how blessed I was to be alive living a dream of traveling in Italy, with new and old friends.

Why does one travel? Traveling open’s the spirit and the soul. It allows us to find clarity, reflect on our own lives and embrace conscious living. We gain perspective while being away from the comfort of our city and home. We encounter souls who we share our stories with and ultimately we are on the same journey. So that being said, where will you be heading next? I’m off to France for the next adventure, hope to see you there!

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Advertisements

Self-Love & February

Image result for rumi love poems

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.–Nicholas Sparks

It’s February and we all know what happens on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I’m a romantic at heart, I adore love songs, have watched every romantic comedy movie, and like all things love inspired. I cannot get enough of this topic. I often think what if Valentine’s Day was celebrated every day of the year? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we appreciated our significant other, family, friends, co-workers on a daily basis? The feeling of love would be shared everywhere and felt instantaneously. In essence, Valentine’s Day should be celebrated each day of our lives. This being said, let us not forgot the sacred relationship with ourselves. This is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Why do we need one day as a reminder to love others? This needs to be done every day throughout the year. Send anonymous notes, give hugs, smile, really listen to others when they talk to you and say thank you! These are all acts of love which will make your day and someone else feel appreciated. The objective is to be kind – to express love in any way or form. It is about giving love freely and not expecting anything in return. By practicing giving we allow love to flow within us and this creates those euphoric feelings of happiness and gratitude is felt. Do not let one day go by without expressing your love for someone else.

What is self-love? In my opinion, self-love is, unconditionally loving yourself just the way you are. Your personality, spirit, body, mind are all perfect. We are all here as a reflection of the divine. Love is spiritual energy it can transform lives and has a healing effect. When you love, value, and honor yourself, life really does change. It may sound cliche even selfish to be this way however, I cannot express enough how much you deserve your own love and light. No one else can support, complement, cherish and give you what you need but YOU. We are not taught the value of self-love in a formal classroom, however can learn ways to enhance this practice. It may take some time but I promise you that once you begin the journey inwards, you gain the strength to spread your wings and fly.

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. — Anna Taylor

It was 2008 and after hearing so much about Louise Hay I finally read her profound book: You Can Heal Your Life. Reading this affected my life dramatically. I started to recite affirmations, really took the time to know myself and began a journey of self-acceptance. There was an exercise in particular in which you are to look in a mirror and say “ I love you”. I had never done this before and really felt awkward doing it. As soon as I started this practice, tears began to fall like rain drops on my face. I felt my soul was awakening and the process of self-love and healing began.

A few years ago I hit a plateau in life. Dating and relationships were unfulfilled, and l needed to make a change. After reading publications by authors Iyanla Vanzant and Gabrielle Bernstein I felt inspired to participate in a self-love project. I began a Self-Love project on myself!  For one month, I wrote love letters from the heart. I expressed how much I had evolved as woman, dreams that I had fulfilled and experiences that caused growth. I know it sounds a bit outlandish but it made me appreciate absolutely everything about “me”. Once a year, I pick a month and write letters to myself. This allows time for reflection, and gives that extra dose of self-acknowledgement.

When we fulfill our function, which is to truly love ourselves and share love with others, then true happiness sets in. — Gabrielle Bernstein

Valentine’s Day is a reminder to spread love outwards, but also remember to love yourself too!  Always treat yourself with kindness, admiration and respect.  You are the love of your life, the love you are seeking. Give yourself the love you deserve every day of your precious life!

Image result for love is patient love is kind

Following the Heart

Image result for paulo coelho listen to your heart it knows all things it came from the soul of the world

When I think of the word HEART, right away I feel at peace, become relaxed and a wave of love fills my entire spirit. It makes me smile from the inside out. My girlfriends and I often call ourselves the group of “Pure Hearts” for we feel so inclined to help others who need a dose of motivation and encouragement. When my heart is happy, so are other circumstances in life. The vibration of love literally takes over my whole spirit as if I’m in a deep meditation. Nothing makes me more content then serving others and giving them hope when needed. My cultural background is Indian and I’m of the Sikh origin. In the language of Punjabi we call charity Seva. Charity in my heart means to give; a smile, your time, energy, compliments and practice kindness. Giving does not necessarily have to be in monetary forms. All we need is to make someone’s day and allow them to feel loved.

Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness. — Erich Fromm

But why do we follow our hearts? What makes listening to our heart’s so rewarding and meaningful? How do we know that our heart will steer us in the right direction? My answer is simple, why not! The heart is connected to the divine, when we truly are at a crossroads along our way the heart intuitively speaks to us. As we lift others, we lift ourselves and humanity. This is the act of Seva, spread kindness whenever possible. When the heart is content so are we. During those moments we do not follow our heart, we sit in fear and at times do not take steps that could change our destiny forever.

Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.
Marvin J. Ashton

On a personal note earlier  last year I had an encounter with a stranger who I sensed needed a friend. As I was coming home from work and approaching my driveway I noticed an older man, walking by himself with grocery bags in his hand. Something inside was saying talk to him and ask how his day was going. The elderly man proceeded to tell me he had lost his wife over the winter and began to cry. At that moment in life all I wanted to do was hold his hand and tell him he is going to be ok. This stranger kept on walking but this story will always remain with me. I was forever grateful to just listen and let this soul express his heart.

The heart is a magnetic force that cannot be reckoned with. I truly feel that the energy of an individual who is governed by their heart emits a vibration which can be felt instantaneously. I have once heard that if you hug someone for more than 30 seconds it causes a healing effect on the receiving end. Hugs are the soul’s remedy and can lift anyone’s day! Spirituality speaking our heart chakra is of the most important out of the seven chakra systems. It knows what we truly desire in all aspects of our life. When we are in complete silence answers come forward.

There have been times in my life when I have revived criticism, judgment even looked down upon for being fiercely heart governed. For anyone who is similar to myself, embrace it. If you are an individual who wear’s there heart on their sleeve, this is truly your gift in life. Not many people are like this so accept your uniqueness and shine bright. See this as a tool to help not only yourself but others along their journey.

Why I follow my heart for almost every decision in life is because it’s connected to my soul, the presence of the divine is within me. When the mind is quiet and noise of the ego is shut down, the vibration of love is felt. Seva makes me recognize that my purpose in life, which is to guide others in their journey. The heart offers peace, stillness and being in sync within my own guidance system. The heart is the governing force that fills me with love!

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Goals vs. Intentions

Related image

Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.
Bryant McGill

It’s almost the end of January; the New Year is officially here. I have been reviewing my wish list for 2017. Every year, I take out my journal and pen and get down to business. I make a list of resolutions and goals that I would like to accomplish throughout the duration of the year. We are given 365 new days, a clean slate to set things in motion and shake it up. I must admit it’s quite advantageous, and sometimes a few of the goals get crossed off, but not all of them. After attending a meditation class in December 2016, my perspective completely changed with setting goals and resolutions.

It was the end of 2016. and I finally made it to a weekly meditation session. I had not participated for a few months and realized it was time to get back into group practice. That night we were to meditate and read a Tibetan passage regarding the topic of goals vs. intentions. That evening changed my outlook on everything with regards to how I perceive goals and life.

Personally speaking, I’m an action oriented person. I write things down and like to see results instantaneously. After attending the mediation class it entirely shifted my perception. I learned something so valuable that evening and feel inspired to share.

Goals are orientated in the ego and mind, we look for rewards immediately. When things do not happen the way we like, we get discouraged to try again. When setting goals, right away it seems like we pressure ourselves into getting things done instantly and forget about the process. Honestly, goals sometimes stress me out. I’m a heart centered soul and take my time to make decisions and that goes with tasks as well. Completing tasks should be creative and fun not arduous. That goes with life in general; we need to enjoy what we do on a daily basis and build from there.

Now for intentions, they come from the heart. This was the biggest “ah-ha” moment ever. It was like the bells were ringing and time stopped, something was so clear. The Tibetan approach to living a peaceful lifestyle is to set daily intentions every morning we rise. All it takes is few minutes during your day to spark this process. Setting an intention can be done at your desk, in the car or even in the subway. What matters most is that you are doing something constructive for you. The value of intentions is that we can reflect on it throughout the day and before we shut down for the evening. Intention sets the way for growth and allows daily miracles to unfold throughout the process. There is no stress in this heart centred approach.

Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master is a master of vision. —George Leonard

We have to be ready for change on the inside and in order for the transformation to occur on the outside. With setting intentions it gives us direction, ask your heart what it wants. Results may not happen in a day, week or month. Things take time and learn to trust every experience that comes your way. Life is not a race to be won, life is to be experienced. Now what your intention for today?

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you. –Wayne Dyer

Article of reference:

http://garywonghc.tumblr.com/post/145532783712/set-your-intention-rejoice-in-your-day-by-geshe

Sacredness of the Root Chakra

dsc02230Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. – Kurt Vonnegut

The Root Chakra is the first chakra of the Vedic Chakra energy system. This is known as the as the Manipura Chakra energy centre in Sanskirt (ancient Indian language). This energy centre represents your connection to your ancestors, tribe, family and the beloved Mother Earth. For many, I included 2016 was a year of trials, tribulations and a great deal of inner transformation. It appears that there were lessons to be learned, understood, and to keep self-love in the forefront. I kept hearing of unexpected illnesses, unpleasant news and misfortunes. With realizing all of this chaos happening around me, I decided to delve into learning more about the Chakra system and what they really mean. I would like to invite all readers into an introduction to learn about chakras.

What are Chakras?

Chakras are seven energy centres in your body that draw energy from the earth and circulate through are physical body. They circulate from the base of our spine to the top of your head. When one chakra is out of balance we feel it internally and our health can be affected. For example, my root chakra has become weak since May 2016. I had felt pain in my lower back and developed a form of sciatica. This tells me that I need to support myself and practice ways to enhance self-love and deepen my connection with nature. They beauty of chakras is that there are various ways to enhance our energy centres and begin to restore them. This can be done with aromatherapy, mediation, yoga, reiki and more.

Root Chakra:

The Root chakra anchors itself to the earth. It is located in your back moving down towards your legs as well. Qualities related to this chakra are patience, structure and the ability to make your dreams come true. Questions to ask yourself with regards to your root chakra are: Do you feel supported in life? Are you living your passions? It is known as the mother archetype and associated with Archangel Michael. When one is feeling off balance it is important to nurture thyself just like a mother would to their child. It is essential to adhere to your intuition, follow your gut. Be your individual support system and love yourself immensely through any upheavals you face. We all may encounter additional tests during the the course of 2017, please remember to stay positive. Your dreams are manifesting and time has come for you to take the leap of faith and fly, don’t look back and ascend above it all. Keep focused on your desires, the universe will provide the rest

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.–Simone Weil

Health associations with Root Chakra:

My root chakra has been stagnant, run down and fragile over the last few months. Aliments that can happen when we are not grounded are with the kidneys and skeletal system. You may feel pain in your legs or hips as well. It is so very important to connect with your inner child and write down how you feel on a daily basis. Where this is pain coming from and is there an emotional feeling behind it? Question your present circumstances in life, learn to let go. Try to find answers on your own, go internally and listen to the authentic voice inside. After months of going to health care professionals I finally have decided to just sit with the pain and realize that my body is actually talking to me. The questioning has intuitively brought forward things that I need to work on. These areas of insight are to do with; healthy boundaries, self-worth, speaking up for myself and releasing fear.

How to enhance the Root Chakra:

The colour red is associated with the root chakra. Wear this colour when you feel like you need to get centered. Yoga postures, mediation, being in nature, will all help this chakra become balanced. Nature is free medicine and available to everyone. Always know you are in charge of your life and can change anything at any given time. Reflect on this year and make the changes you need to move forward. Adhere to your inner spirit, recite affirmations and keep yourself happy! Nothing is permanent and you can move mountains.

When you touch the celestial in your heart, you will realize that the beauty of your soul is so pure, so vast and so devastating that you have no option but to merge with it. You have no option but to feel the rhythm of the universe in the rhythm of your heart.
― Amit Ray

Chasing Your DREAMS

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are you afraid of? When is the last time you took a chance and did something outside of your comfort zone? I completely understand that it is scary to take risks and dive into unfamiliar territory. Ask yourself though; are you happy in your present circumstances? Do you ever feel like life is set on the rinse and repeat cycle? Wake up each day to your morning to your alarm, shower, have a quick bite and then off to work. You adjust to this cycle, its fine for a while until you start thinking “I do the same thing over and over again”. I know there are sooo many of us out there who are searching for more. What is stopping you from chasing your dreams?

I’m not saying you have to quit your day job or start a million side projects. I’m asking you to remember, pay close attention to the whispers that spoke to your soul. Go back to childhood, adolescence, and your young adult years. What were you always interested in? What sparked your curiosity?

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
Anaïs Nin

It was in grade 3 when writing became a creative hobby. I was in Mrs. Obrien’s class and this dear teacher encouraged us to write daily. I wrote about absolutely everything from princesses, super heroes, dinosaurs and more! Each week I would have a book mounted on wallpaper cover and ready to add to my collection. In hindsight, it felt as if I was a little editor in the publishing world. It was such a euphoric feeling even at that young age! Not until my 30’s have I started to write again and remember my childhood dreams. Reflect on those vital moments of your life. What were you working towards? Have you kept that dream hidden inside? I encourage each and every one of you to listen to YOURSELF again.

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends called for our daily catch up chats. She was reading something unfamiliar to me. I did not recognize until a few minutes into our conversation that it was something I wrote from high school. Low and behold – it was a high school note from when I was 16! (Before cell phones, many of us born in the 1970’s and 80’s used to pass notes to each other as a means of communication) I was in stitches of laugher as she was reading, but it made me think about who I am today. This note was a reminder of how much I love to travel, and go for what my heart desires. Even at the age of 16 I had dreams to travel and see the world. That vision has stayed with me today as I have had the privilege to travel to parts of the world.

Things do take time and this is something I fully accept and embrace. We all remember that cult classic movie “Groundhog Day “with Bill Murray, is your life mirroring the movie? Are you at a place in your life in which everything is the same day in and day out? Believe it or not, you can change it! The thing is you need to have the desire, vision and complete belief to manifest what you really want. (Desire + vision + belief = Dreams). Take a little leap of faith; don’t wait for tomorrow, next week or month. Allow yourself to take those steps and veer off the path for a bit. It can change, for all you have to remember are those dreams. Lastly, thank you to my soul-sister for making me realize, nothing is impossible. Keep on dreaming and never for a second stop believing!

Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
Lao Tzu