Doing it right! (A prayer)

Dear readers,
Please accept my warmest greetings. It is great to be able to share with you all again yet another topic and I hope you all are faring well.
Today, I’ll like to share with you all a prayer, like I do from time to time. The prayers I share here are usually written in a mood that allows for my readers to connect not just with the words of the prayer but also with the mood with which they are written. As usual, I’ll like to say that my prayers do not in any way reflect my stage of “advancement” however they are my deepest cries and call out to the Supreme Lord in various times.
Dear Lord, I know I try to connect with you every day in my meditation, my mantra recitation and my worship, however when I write you a prayer it is different. In my writing, I have the opportunity to offer you my intellect in the form of choice words, strung on the thread of various moods just like a flower garland. Sometimes it is difficult for me to find the right words but as always, I just start and let you lead me from within. Today my request is simple, not one too materialistic neither too spiritual, but a perfect balance in between them both. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, having a material body means I have to take care of it by eating, sleeping, mating and defending. However, I do not want these tendencies to take over my intelligence and cloud my ability to discern right from wrong. I know the modes of material nature are at work 24/7 in their quest to keep me entangled, but I also know that your grace is sufficient for me. As I eat to nourish my body, let me only eat food which has been offered to you in sacrifice and accepted as communion. Protect me from eating anything that will cause pain to any living entity, knowingly or unknowingly. Please teach me how to do it right
Dear Lord, as I sleep, let my subconscious mind and subtle body create dreams that help me rise up to higher planetary systems and connect with great teachers from the past and future. Let my dreams be a continuation of my reality as I try to learn more about your pastimes and glories. Let my subtle body learn to travel to realms that are free from sensual activities or filled with hostile people and creatures. Allow me to experience different spiritual activities in a way that may not be possible with my physical body. As I mate to procreate, please help me do so with a partner who is a gift from you, and may the act itself be a source of bliss and joy for us and the world, because we would be bringing forth souls that are pious. Help me understand that my partner is a gift from you and as such I must take care of her, seeing you in her at all times. Please protect me from my own mentality of being an enjoyer but rather one to be enjoyed by you. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, as I defend myself either through my navigation of daily activities or against envious people who try to thwart my effort, let me always remember to do so with a sense of detachment and love. Help me see that even those who try to cause me pain are nothing but instruments in the hands of material nature and as such I have nothing to prove to them. Help dear Lord to rise above the spirit of being vindictive, for revenge is of you and as such I must have faith that time and karma would eventually fight for me. May all those who wish me bad not have to deal with my sense of defense, because with time you will place me on higher grounds above them all just to show that you are loyal to those who serve you. As I pray to you to keep me safe from having to defend myself unnecessarily from wicked an envious people, Lord please also protect my mind from finding fault in others. Help me always remember to mind my own business and not make the affairs of others my priority. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, as I try to use material things in spiritual activities with the sense of dovetailing them, please help me remember to whom everything belongs. Help me see that you are the proprietor of everything and as such all that I have is but a gift from you. Lord, please help me stay true to the promises I make to family and friends when it comes to providing them with material amenities to support their spiritual functions. Help me so that I can create a system that allows them to remember you always because they do not have to focus too much on the material aspects of life. To those who serve you with explicit love and devotion, you carry what they lack and preserve what they have. Lord, even though my love and devotion for you may not be explicit, please do not forget your promise. In your words, I have faith and believe that just by keeping true to them I will surely receive the blessings thereof. Please teach me how to do it right.
Dear Lord, not a day passes by without me committing some sort of offense knowingly or unknowingly, I sincerely pray that you please overlook them just like a father overlooks the faults of a child. I in no way try to purposely offend you, however living in this world can take a toll on you sometimes, so much that you act in ways beyond your control. Lord please see and remember my service to you, no matter how insignificant they may be. This simple servant of yours is simply just trying to live right. I know I may slip at times but I promise I’ll always find my feet back up again. Please teach me how to do it right.
Till next week do read, share and follow for more.

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Compromise

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well, it is a great pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another topic this week.

This week I felt I harp a bit on something I feel is a rather crucial factor in any relationship. Over the years I have always wondered what could be a solid factor that has saved many relationships from ruin and the list ranges from Love, commitment, friendship, compromise, service etc. In this discussion, however, we will be looking at compromise as a factor that has helped many relationships in the past and present. So what exactly does it mean to compromise? To compromise means to have an agreement or settlement of a dispute where each has to make a concession.

Almost every relationship would at some point experience some turbulence and when the ship begins to rock from the stormy waters, it is sometimes difficult to reach a healthy agreement, if both partners are not in tune with each other. Whenever there is a disagreement in a relationship, be it a conflict in ideas, thoughts, a difference in opinion on matters that both parties hold important, or just mere daily choices, it is important to understand that there is a lot more than “having our way”. Generally, as human beings, we all have our own opinions and every healthy relationship should definitely allow us the chance to express this to the fullest without incapacitating our partners. However, there comes a point when there is a lot more to expressing our views than just wanting to be heard.

Without realizing it, many people may unconsciously want a desire to be met or an opinion taken as absolute because it validates an unspoken need to feel important or to lord over everything. This need could be innocent or sometimes motivated depending on the individual. Since we do not possess special abilities to read our partner’s mind and intention, we all have to rely on our senses, and they are also imperfect in nature. Due to this fact, we have to be very careful about how we react or judge the actions of our significant other. This is where compromise comes in. Basically compromise in any given situation means; you have a strong ground and I also do, however, we want to work together without allowing these seemingly different opinions come between us. So in other to do this, we are both willing to take a step/multiple steps towards a common point and then work from there.

The beauty of being able to make a compromise in a situation of conflicting interest is that it reminds our partners that we do love them as much as we profess and that we are willing to accept some discomfort so that the relationship can thrive. Compromise helps sustain the life airs of the relationship, while egocentric decisions snuff the life out of the relationship. Compromise helps us remember to put the other person’s feelings into consideration instead of just dwelling on ours. Compromise in a relationship is a way of acknowledging our partner’s individuality while existing in a strong bonded relationship. If we do not have a spirit of service then reaching a compromise can be difficult. If we do not have the spirit of fellowship in the relationship then reaching a compromise is also difficult. The concept of compromise in a relationship, however, goes a step further than this.

The ultimate form of compromise is when a couple consciously decides to make a compromise for the “third partner”. The third partner being the Supreme Lord. In every relationship that is based on higher spiritual values, the couple should involve the Supreme Lord as a third partner. He acts as the basis of the relationship and helps to always bring things to center and perspective. The couple works together as a team to build all they have for the sole pleasure of God. In all that they do, even if they have seemingly different views and perspectives, they can both come to a compromise that is uplifting and fulfilling in the long run. In a regular relationship, sometimes couples may feel that they always have to make a compromise while a partner doesn’t, and with time this can tell on the bond shared.

In a relationship where God is the third partner, this feeling is not there because the compromises made are all done for the satisfaction of the Lord and not for either of the partner’s interest. Ultimately the results of such compromises are still enjoyed by those in the relationship but with a sense of service to the Lord. No one feels pressured to always initiate a compromise and as such there are less ill feelings. Another interesting point about making a compromise for the “third partner” is that the compromise is a middle ground that both partners have accepted from a place of solid scriptural understanding. They make these compromises knowing fully well what the outcome is because of previous couples in the path of their faith who have made similar compromises.

As a matter of fact, those couples who have been able to establish the place of the Lord as a third partner in the relationship would soon notice that they have lesser compromises to make. This is so because every decision they make or anything they do, they do so knowing full well that is meant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Thus the concept of I, Me and Mine is reduced to a very minute extent. The more we think less of ourselves and more of the Lord, the more we can experience real happiness and peace in our relationship. A large percentage of the frustrations in a relationship are from unfulfilled desires that each partner carries around with the hope and intention that they can somehow realize it within the relationship. Thus simply put; working in the relationship to satisfy their own senses. Compromises will be made no doubt, the real question is whom do we make it for and how.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

 

Thought Bending

Dear readers,

I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with you some new insights this week. Today before we delve into our topic for the day, I just want to say I had an amazing weekend, most especially because I could connect with my god-family and also had the chance to make new acquaintances. The buildup to last weekend for me was pretty exciting and I must say I have picked up a few more things.

I needed to make a journey and as such, I had to make arrangements such as flight and other travel logistics. Prior to this journey, I had a few doubts as to whether I could make it or not. The entire process of preparing up to taking my flights had some hiccups that I had to practically power my way through mentally. This kind of reminds me of my travel experiences as a teenager. The power of visualization had helped me go through some of the most hectic travels all before I actually had them. Even though at the time I had some vague idea of the power of visualization, I didn’t really know how powerful it was and to what extent I was influencing things. One day, I actually had a conversation with my Dad and I had mentioned that I used this technique to sort of cushion trips I knew would be “tough”.

Of course, he knew about this concept and used it on a more advanced level and did share a few pointers but I sort of “outgrew” the practice with time. Every now and then I’ll channel this process whenever I had a “blockage” in any of my activities but it was sort of an occasional means to be one step ahead of matter. Last weekend while travelling, I missed my connecting flight as I wasn’t familiar with the airport and the concourses they had. So it took me longer than usual to find the boarding gate for my flight and by the time I got there, my flight had taken off. At this point; panic, fear, regret and more negative thought patterns can easily envelop you and before you know it, you are sunk in self pity. I had quick glimpse of all these but there and then, I guess subconsciously I knew it wasn’t going to help me. The ticket attendant, did what she could and I was scheduled for another flight that was 2 hours away; as pending and another 6 hours away that was confirmed.

I accdepted my fate and went to sit in the waiting area as I began to refelect on the events that were unfolding as nature’s way of allowing me to reorganize my energy. I had 6 hours to look into my trip ahead and the entire weekend’s activities. This is where the concept of “thought bending” comes in. For every positive thought I tried to project there was an equal and opposite negative one just waiting to tell me that I was wasting my time. I’ll refocus and then try again to send out the vibes I needed. This part requires mental power that isn’t easily affected by the hundreds of negative thoughts streaming into our minds. For each positive thought I created, I had to back it up with some detail. The subconcious mind has its way of also allowing us tap into reserved positivity or negativity; depeding on which we have cultivated more in the past.

Just like the animated series of Avatar, where you have tribes that bend the elements ( Water, Earth, Fire and Air) to serve their will and purpose, similarly thought bending  is a process of been aware of our thought pattern and bending them to become more favorable. I must say that as simple as this sounds, it is very esoteric in nature and those who haven’t had any experience with projecting energy may find this write up somewhat vague, and I do understand how they feel, nevertheless do not give up on trying. To those who already have some experience on this subject matter, I say that practice, and only positive thought patterns should be cultivated.

My dad once told me during one of our esoteric conversations that “magic is order”. I got a hint of what he meant at the time and how he had used the phrase to explain an incidence, however little did I know that when order is instilled in our thoughts, the result is nothing short of a magical expereince. When we can weed out the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones, so very often while believing in the materialization of the new thoughts then we can aspire to have a better chance at thought bending.  A quick example I’ll like to share to give more insight to this concept is a simple one we can try at any time. if you can lay your hands on a packet of straws, scatter say 30 straws on a table and without trying to arrange them, grab them in that pile and try to make them all conform to any particular distortion of your choice. You’ll find out that it is almost impossible, as the straws will keep falling off your grip. It might be even very difficult to pick them all up.

Now if you gather all 30 straws and arrange them nicely side by side, you’ll notice how much more easier it is to pick them all up and then proceed to distorting their shape all in one move and direction. In the same vein, negative thoughts are like scattered straws and the untrained mind is like the hand trying to grab them all in one pick. By constant practice such as meditaion or better still mantra meditation, one will gradually be able to arrange these thoughts and then have them conform to whatever shape or form we desire. I hope this blog helps those of you struggling with having prodcutive thought patterns, and I hope it helps those who are more advanced in this practice to be able to affect the world on a more positive energy level.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

The concept of divine inspiration

Dear readers,
I’m glad to share with you all once again another interesting topic today. I hope you all are faring well. Today we will be looking at Divine Inspiration and how faith can be a propelling factor to make this happen.
This is more of a thought process for me rather than me actually sharing some “realized perspective”, so kindly bear with me if my thoughts flow in a raw format. We all know how important it is to have some source of inspiration in our lives. Some people look up to elderly folks, parents, celebrities, you name it and I can bet you it just might be someone’s source of inspiration. I am not here to actually analyze the source of inspiration but to see what it does per say. On one hand, I’ll like to imagine that the “bigger” the source of inspiration, the bigger the achievement but I guess that wouldn’t be correct. The story of Robinson Crusoe who got inspiration from a spider to sail after 7 failed attempts would naturally put this theory to rest. In our modern times, we have a good number of Pastors who claim to have been “called” or at least inspired by some divine energy to go forth and save people.
On the spiritual side, we have someone like Arjuna, who got on the battlefield and seeing his relatives, developed cold feet and decided at the last minute to cow out. Krishna standing right next to him becomes his divine inspiration to put aside fear, false identification with the body, Illusion, Doubts, etc. while giving him clarification based on sound philosophical discussions. So naturally I ask myself sometimes a question I think we should all ask ourselves; What (Who) is my source of divine inspiration? How does it motivate me to be a better person? What can I do to be more in contact with my source of divine inspiration? What has my connection to this inspiration done for those who surround me? Is my source of divine inspiration a blessing or a curse to others? These and many more questions are the likes of what we should ask ourselves on a daily basis; at least I try to ask myself this.
The twist is often times, we may get connected to the “wrong” source of divine inspiration, or maybe better still let me say our desires and aspirations have a nice way of masquerading as divine inspirations. Deep down us, we have these desires that won’t go away and after years of trying to get rid of them, our intelligence aided by the fickle mind; this duo finds a way to try to weave our desires into whatever belief system we have. Thus, it is not hard to come across wickedness has woven into religion and presented as religious conversion, greed woven into spirituality and presented as spiritual growth and prosperity, lust is woven into our society and presented as expression and passion. The examples are limitless and so are the consequences, but what can we (I) do about this? Of course, on a bigger scale, there isn’t much I can do to influence people, probably because I don’t have that platform yet, however, I feel in my own little way here and now there are some things I can do to enhance my connection with my source of divine inspiration.
The way I see divine inspiration is like drinking through a straw. If the straw is clean, we get the drink straight, nice and easy. On the other hand, if the straw is clogged up with debris or stuff then when we try to drink, we would obviously have a mix of the debris and the drink. In plain terms, I think the way to having a better divine connection is trying as best as I can to just be as clean and as open as a straw free of debris. To make sure that my “inside” is as clean as my “outside”, otherwise, the drink would be mixed. Another way to see this is that if the source of inspiration (drink) is also not divine as we think or claim it is, then for sure we won’t get the satisfaction we are seeking and/or we may get contaminated depending on how “toxic” it is. If the goal is to drink water and we have a straw filled up with sand, then we may drink water but end up with dirty water in our system. If the goal is to drink water to quench our thirst and we have milk in the glass, for the time being, we may feel good, but the thirst would come back and until we have water we would never be satisfied.
So, every day as I go through life I try to make sure that my inner reflection or internal dialogue is in line with my external dialogue. That my heart reflects what I do and not hide who I really am. That my desires are as simple and clear as possible so that whenever I connect to a source of divine inspiration, whatever is magnified by this connection is positive. I must say as humbly as I can that in real life this is somewhat difficult because we are caught up in a material body and living in a material world, and we are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of suggestions etc. Thus, to navigate through all of these while maintaining a sane mind that has desires that are pure and sincere takes a lot more practice and determination. It would be more of a journey than a destination and the more we try to better the journey than try to arrive at a preconceived destination the easier it will be to achieve this.
Last but not least, we have to consciously fine-tune our desires so that when we make this divine connection, we have positive desires magnified in our lives and not selfish desires. We are definitely going to have some desires that are personal but the way we go about realizing them shouldn’t be selfish neither should it bring harm to others. Till next week I hope we can all try to think through some of my thoughts here and see how to apply them in our lives.
Kindly Read, share and follow for more.

Black Panther; a spiritual perspective from the Ramayana

Dear readers,
I hope you are having a great day, it is a pleasure to be able to share with you all another blog today.
Many of you might have seen the movie Balck Panther which came out February this year and I know this is somewhat “late” nonetheless I felt I share some things which struck me about it. The movie had various open and hidden messages and I guess depending on what you are searching for, we cannot miss them. Seeing the global performance as the 9th highest grossing film of all time with a whopping sum of $1.34 Billion, I knew there had to be more to it than just the action.
Let us start from the very obvious one; the ritual combat between King T’challa and M’baku for the throne. Right after T’challa accepts the challenge, M’baku responds by saying “glory to Hanuman”. For those who know who Hanuman is, there isn’t much to be said but for those who don’t, I guess a little introduction is necessary. Hanuman is the son of the Wind-god born with half Man and half Monkey features. He is very powerful and helped Lord Rama (avatar of Vishnu) conquer Ravana in his attempt to retrieve his wife who was kidnapped by the latter. It is worthy to note that the Jabari tribe worshiped an “ape-god” from whom M’baku got his superhuman strength. Thus, it comes as no surprise when he gives glory to Hanuman whom he worships just before combat.
Also, just like the Epic Ramayana, when there was a dispute between Bali and Sugriva as to who would ascend the throne, Sugriva seeks refuge in the forest in fear of Bali after their misunderstanding. Similarly, in the Black Panther, M’baku’s tribe also leaves for the mountains after his clash with the King. Killmonger the villain of this story challenges king T’Challa to a ritual combat and wins, with this short victory he usurps the throne leaving the king for dead. The King is found in a river by someone from the Jabari tribe (who worship the monkey god). The king makes an allegiance with the head of the Ape warrior in order to get back his throne.
This is almost parallel to the Ramayan because Lord Rama loses his kingdom (gets banished) and then sought the help of an ape warrior (Sugriva) in order to get back his throne. In the Black Panther, King T’challa depends a lot on his sister Shuri, who is in charge of his weapons and self-defense mechanisms. In the Ramayana, Laxmana who is Lord Rama’s brother is a formidable fighter and was known to have taken out many great warriors during the war at Lank but most especially Indrajit the son of Ravana. Now one may wonder what the connection here is. Indrajit was said to have been blessed with so many Astras like the Brahmastra, Vaisnavastra, and Pasupatastra just to mention a few. Defeating someone with so many weapons would require a person of superior power.
In the battle at Lanka, Laxman was knocked out into a coma that left him almost lifeless and he was revived by a special herb the sanjivani, which was brought by Hanuman. In the Black Panther, when T’challa was thrown off the cliff by the Killmonger and left for dead, he was also revived by the heart-shaped plant which had special powers and could infuse whoever took it with superhuman strength and the power of the panther god. During the war at Lanka, Ravana’s brother Vibhisana leaves his brother’s camp and decides to join Rama’s camp, he then gives a lot of information about Ravana which helps Rama to eventually kill him. In the Black Panther, we see a parallel with the CIA agent Everett Ross who although working with the US government to investigate Wakanda and their Vibranium resource, eventually joins forces with T’Cahlla and gives him information about Killmonger. Agent Ross is also seen to have helped the warriors of Wakanda, take out those who were commissioned with supplying arms from Wakanda to the rest of the world. Just like Vibhisan, he switched sides and was quite helpful.
In the Ramayana, the killings and war are all about rescuing and regaining Sita; who is Lord Rama’s wife and the most valuable person in the Epic. She is none different from the goddess of fortune and as such having her makes one the richest person. Although the comparison is not equal from a spiritual perspective, however, we can see that the most valuable item that is been fought for is the Vibranium; which is the strongest metal and has a large variety of uses. This has made Wakanda a very rich and advanced nation. Thus, we see the battle to Lord over this precious item. Besides all these interesting similarities, the Black Panther is also laden with lessons just like the Ramayana and I’ll share a few.
A true warrior or Ksatriya would rather die than accept defeat or be humiliated, and we see this spirit in Killmonger who after he was stabbed in a fight with T’challa, had the option of been healed with the Technology in Wakanda but chose to die instead, knowing that recovery only meant a lifetime in prison for treason. He replies with the statement that he should be buried in the sea with his Ancestors who knew that death was better than bondage. It is also interesting to see how Lord Rama and King T’Challa; who were both superhuman, at some point in their lives hit rock bottom. They were without a Kingdom, they had lost practically everything but they survived because they had a few loyal friends and family around them.
In life, we would all hit rock bottom at some point and our recovery or ascent from there would be greatly influenced by those we surround ourselves with. Just as King T’Challa’s father said; “A King must surround himself with people he can trust”. Rama had Laxman by his side and then added the company of Hanuman, these two people were totally loyal to Rama. We see the Black Panther have his Sister and Fiancee, both of whom were also most loyal to him. Likewise, as we journey through life, we must also have people we can trust and have faith in. These people will be very beneficial in helping us whenever we hit our lowest points.
I hope you all enjoy this little comparison of the Ramayana and Black Panther, till next week do read, share and follow for more.

Beauty; in the eyes of the beholder?

Dear readers,
I am happy to be able to connect with you all today and I hope you all are faring well. Hope you all had an amazing Independence Day celebration (for those of you living in the States).
Recently I came across a rather funny video online showing women take off their makeups to reveal their real faces. Needless to say, I was both surprised at how much the make-up industry has evolved and also how far people can go just to conform to certain expected standards. Growing up as a kid, I can’t really remember seeing women with the level of makeup that there is now, maybe because I am not in a woman’s body or maybe because I just didn’t notice. As a teenager however, I remember that girls back then would have a lipstick on, some eyeliners and that was it. The narrative today is totally different, as you see teenagers giving tutorials on YouTube that can bring about total transformation of a person.
If we really want to understand the word beauty we probably have to define it. Now I am not talking about the regular definition of “beauty”; the aggregate of qualities in a person that gives pleasure to one’s senses. Externally this definition is what we are used to and it explains why many people are not comfortable in their own skin. When beauty is looked at from the bodily platform, then it is easy to get caught up with how we look, walk, talk, laugh, etc. When these qualities fit a particular standard that we aspire for or one that society dictates that we have then we say that “a person is beautiful”. The question that remains unanswered though is “what about the soul?”. We spend so much time trying to beautify the body while constantly neglecting the soul; the real reason the body functions in the first place. An allegory is given of how one is polishing a cage while refusing to feed the bird in the cage.
No matter how much gold or diamonds we use to decorate a cage, if the bird inside is not fed (or better still, let loose, back to where it belongs) then it would die for sure. The soul is eternal while the body is temporary, the soul never dies and only moves from body to body in a process called Reincarnation. Thus, one who has real knowledge of the “self” knows that while the body should be taken care of, we should not forget to give proper care also to the soul in the body. Let’s take a slight shift from the spiritual perspective to a rather metaphysical perspective. There is an African proverb that says “True beauty stems from a good character” (This is the closest translation I could give), however, I hope you get the idea of the message.
I guess most of us would rather prefer to have a partner/spouse/friend who has a rather average look but has a heart of gold than be with someone who is jaw-dropping gorgeous but has an appalling character. In fact, while most Men will notice a woman’s body at first glance, they would rather remember a woman with qualities that are pleasant and kind. Yes, no doubt people with certain physical attributes will most probably attract more attention than others, however, we all know that the reason why anyone would like to be with them is for how they look. Sooner or later, it is either they get tired of how you look and seek someone who is more beautiful, or they just hop on to the next beauty that surpasses yours (and there will always be someone more beautiful, no matter how beautiful we think we are). At this point, many of my readers may ask, so are you trying to say you would date an ugly person just because they have a “heart of gold?” Come on now be real! I get it and we naturally come to the physical aspect of this matter.
Beauty as they say is in the eyes of the beholder. A person might seem beautiful to you, while someone else thinks that they are just an average person. So, it is safe to say that we all judge or measure beauty, even externally in different shapes, forms or sizes. While one person admires men with six packs, another prefers men with a daddy-bod, someone thinks curvy women are beautiful, another begs to differ saying that slim women or athletic women are beautiful. The balance is always shifting according to different perspectives from different people. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to beauty; even on the physical platform. Now having said that, why is there so much effort to make-up the body to fit in some general definition of beauty. Fake eyelashes, fake hair, fake lips, fake noses, fake hips and butts, fake teeth etc. The list could go on and on, but I feel you all get the idea.
If one has to correct a deformation from birth or an accident or a bodily trait that either makes movement difficult or gets in the way then it is understandable. When the goal is to “fit in” rather than to preserve, then that is where the misconstrued idea of beauty comes in. Now I know we live in times when matters like this could be very touchy and generally, people are of the opinion that we should all be allowed to do with our bodies as we please as far as we are not “hurting anyone”. While this may be true to an extent, the question is “why hurt yourself?”. Obviously, no one is going to stop you from trying to make-up your body to fit whatever standard of beauty you deem fit; however, it should not become a criterion for someone to love you or be with you. If you have to adjust the way you look for people to love you, then it will never be good enough. There will always be one fault or another in your body.
Invariably, the body will get old and at that point no matter how firm, solid, strong and fit it looked in its prime, there would always be an end to that. What doesn’t fade is a positive character, that will linger on no matter how old the body gets. Let us begin to use our free will to bring about an age of higher consciousness and vibes. Let us try to become vessels of love and compassion.
Till next week do read, share and follow for more.

What is Success?

Dear readers,
It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all today yet another blog. In a world where everything is fast-paced and on a constant increase, the measure of growth nowadays is almost solely measured by how much profit/ return/ wealth we are getting form any given endeavor. To the common Man, any endeavor that doesn’t translate directly into money or profits isn’t very successful.
So usually the question is asked time and time again; what is success? Is it the amount of money we have or make? Is it measured in the number of cars we own, or the private jets we fly in? Before I proceed to give a brilliant answer which we can deduct from a very ancient text called the Ramayana, allow me to clear some misconceptions. Money is not bad, in fact, a lack of it could be bad. The ability to have adequate resources to meet one’s daily requirement and also take care of family is a necessary need for everyone. This blog is not about demonizing money or making those who are rich feel uncomfortable, not at all. However, this blog is an attempt to clarify the common misconception that money is directly equal to success.
So, the story goes in the Ancient text of Valmiki, called the Ramayana, that after the demon Ravana was killed by Lord Rama; who is an avatar of Vishnu, the distressed wife of Ravana was in so much pain and anguish and she wanted to see the “human being” who had killed her husband. For those of you who are not quite familiar with the Ramayana, I’ll give a brief recap. Ravana, a great demon, and King kidnap the wife of a King (Rama) who is in exile from his kingdom, due to bad politics from a stepmother. His wife and brother accompany him and during their stay in the forest, Ravana kidnaps Rama’s wife. Rama seeks help from an army of half-human half-monkey soldiers and they attack the capital city of Ravana in Sri Lanka. They build a floating bridge of stones (which is still there to this day, and I have personally seen these stones float on water), to cross over to Lanka. There is a huge battle in which Ravana is killed and Rama’s wife; Sita is rescued.
After Ravana had been killed, Rama was sitting on a stone and the setting sun had cast a shadow of him on the floor. The wife of the late Ravana came running into the battlefield with the intention to insult the “Man” who had killed her mighty husband. As she was approaching, her shadow cast in front of her also approached Rama’s shadow. Without lifting his head up, Rama could see that the Shadow approaching was that of a Lady and so he moved aside so that his shadow wouldn’t “touch” hers. Seeing this act, she stopped in her tracks and thought; here is a Man who wouldn’t even let his shadow touch mine, and my husband had kidnapped his wife and held her in captivity for a long period. If he respects the possession of others to this extent that he won’t even want his shadow on someone else’s possession. At that point, she stopped and the initial rage she had which she had wanted to vent out in insults, subsided and turned into admiration.
Considering the time of this epic, there was a lot more culture among people and it may come off as strange to someone in the 21st century how avoiding shadows is a sign of respect? I get this and I’ll try to explain further. The underlining principle is how one balances one’s values with respect to wealth or money. It is mentioned in the same text that, a third-class person will sacrifice his values, integrity, and morals just to get money. A second-class person will sacrifice some of his values in order to get some type of wealth or reward, while a first-class person will never sacrifice his values for wealth. Thus, true success is how much of our values we can retain and uphold why trying to attain some level of material wealth etc. If after having achieved so much wealth, we are bereft of any values, then it is safe to say we have become morally bankrupt at the expense of material wealth.
Another interesting factor to consider is that money or wealth is based on numbers and numbers have no limit. So, if someone is trying to achieve happiness off a factor that is limitless in acquiring it, then we can somehow or the other see the attempt is futile. There will always be another figure we want to achieve in order to be happy. We have $1,000, then we strive for $10,000, when we get it, then we strive for $100,000, then we strive for $1,000,000. The race never ends. The proof is that hardly do we see any Millionaire or Billionaire who comes out and says; “Ok, Now I have made enough money, I want to stop and allow others to make some for themselves using my resources”. So, the question remains; What is success?
I can only offer a direction and allow you all run with the ball. Success is a state of an all-around sense of purpose and satisfaction gotten from living a life that gives us equilibrium in our mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and material endeavors. This equilibrium comes about as a matter of a constant and conscious set of actions and choice, as opposed to a wishful thinking or happy go lucky attitude. That being said, success is not a destination but a journey. We should try to be successful at every point or stage in our lives as compared to waiting for a big break or grand finale of “success”. Having this idea of success at the back of our minds will help us see that material wealth is but one aspect of the equation of success. So just like a regular equation, if one component is balanced as opposed to the entire equation, the end result is still unbalanced.
I hope this meets you well and looking forward to sharing more blogs with you. Do read, share, and follow for more.

Catch them, Young

Dear readers,
It is a pleasure to be able to share with you yet another interesting blog today. I hope you all are faring well.
Today I’ll like us to look at the concept of early training and teaching good morals to kids. I recently had the chance to follow an online seminar on how to homeschool kids and needless to say, I learned a lot.
There were a lot of points discussed during the presentation, however, a couple of things were worthy of note. One very important factor to consider when dealing with kids is that; they do what you do and not what you say. The irony with this is that as adults we expect kids to do what we tell them and somehow think they will not see what we do. This is usually just wishful thinking, as often times than not, kids will do exactly what they see us do.

The concept of catching kids young is basically helping them to grow in various aspects of interest at a very early stage in life. when we try to inculcate good habits or qualities in our kids at an early age, there is a lesser tendency to rebel or refuse to adapt. We can also notice this principle in major disciplines like dance and athletics. Most ballet dancers start off when they are very young because, at that time, the body is soft and pliable. It is easier to get a 4-year-old girl to do splits than asking a 16-year-old. The same principle applies to other habits and qualities. When kids are able to assimilate the discipline required of them to excel at a particular endeavor, then it becomes second nature for them as they grow older.

Not only does it become second nature but because they have spent so much time practicing their art and craft, they naturally fulfill the principle of giving time and attention to become better. There is a saying that to become a Master at something one should do it 10,000 times, others say do it for 10,000 hours. In martial arts, it is said to practice a technique or a Kata at least 10,000 times before moving on to the next one. Of course, in our fast-paced world today, not many people follow this anymore, because everyone says “there is not enough time”.

When kids are introduced to healthy habits at a young age, then as they grow up cultivating those habits, they naturally put in the required hours/time it requires for them to be masters. Let’s say a young girl starts taking ballet classes at 4 and does twice every week, 3hours each session till she is 16. That is 12 years of practice and an approximate total of about 3456 hours. so Imagine how long it takes to get mastery
in good habits. That is barely one-third the 10,000 times mark. This is not to lay too much emphasis on the number of times kids engage in developing good habits, but a means to draw our attention to the fact that the earlier they start the better.
The other aspect of catching kids young is engagement. It is one thing to help them develop desirable qualities at a young age, it is another thing to show them by our actions and also engage in it with them.

If we want our kids to eat healthily and cut back on sweets and sugar, then we must endeavor to provide them and ourselves too with the kind of meal we expect them to eat. If we want our kids to exercise then it has a lot more impact when they see us in shape and keeping fit. If we want our kids to stay off drugs, alcohol, and intoxicants, we have to live a drug-free lifestyle too.
So basically we have to live whatever we preach to them. This principle also and most importantly applies to spirituality. Often times some parents would refuse to teach their kids spiritual practices in the name of allowing kids to make their own decision. The irony is that when this kids grow up and choose to not follow any specific spiritual path, the parents get upset and wonder what happened. The truth is kids are to be guided because they are too young to discern everything for themselves. If we have to help kids with their homework and clothes, things that are so physical, what makes us think they can somehow figure out the metaphysical and spiritual things on their own?
We have to teach them favorable spiritual practices, by our own example and this will go a long way to help them as adults. If they decide to follow another path of spirituality different from the one we showed them as kids, at least it would be from a position of strength and choice and not because they were empty inside and were cajoled into being a part of something. Often times, statistics show that kids who were brought up in a particular form of spirituality with parents who were actively involved, hardly ever strayed away from that part.
Why? because it became second nature.

The bottom line is; whatever good qualities we desire to see in our kids/child etc we need to help them develop it when they are young and flexible. The older they become, the harder it is to show or teach them.
Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.

Father’s Day

Dear readers

It is a pleasure to be able to share with you all yet another interesting blog today. I hope you all are faring well and having the best of summer time.

In the US and UK, yesterday was Father’s Day, I am not sure if it was in other parts of the world, nonetheless I’ll like to say Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there and all potential fathers too. My post today is dedicated to my Father. Of course, it would be impossible to describe his qualities in one post but I shall try to do justice to it. I learnt a lot from my Father growing up and till today, I am still learning from him. There is no doubt that as an adult I may very well have a difference in opinion from him, and there are times when I feel that maybe my way is the best, still I admire his insights. There are a couple of words I’ll like to use to describe him, however please note that these are just but a few of his qualities.

Visionary: I marvel at his foresight and ability to see way beyond the present situation at hand in many circumstances. Most especially as one who served as a pioneer in an International society, it is pertinent to have people who know how to lead, can lead and can motivate people to work towards a goal. The ability to show people what is possible even when the circumstances at the now may not be very favorable.

Pioneering/Entrepreneurial: Not once, not twice, I have seen my father go to places where he had no connection, whatsoever, knew no one, and yet built what we can call an empire in record time. Not many people can do this. Sometimes I imagine what would have been the outcome if he had directed all this talent into pure profit. However, he is more of a selfless visionary, whose sole desire is to see others grow, not caring much about himself. Not only can he create new things, he also can sustain existing projects and make them into successful enterprises. One of his many projects is the Food relief initiative he has running now for close to 14 years in Africa. This initiative distributes food to the needy 6 days a week, serving at least 400-500 plates of freshly prepared Vegetarian/Vegan meal.

Determination: Back in the early 90’s my Dad went to a foreign country far away from home trying to salvage the situation of a failed project. He took a huge Bank loan to help purchase the building for a Temple at the time when the Interest rate in that country was the highest in the world. Even his spiritual Mentor was shocked at his guts. Not only did he repay every single dime plus interest in time, he also made that project an outstanding example for others in the region. His skill and qualities would later give him recognition with the President of the country. (I have decided not to mention the name of the country for safety reasons).

Public Speaker/ Excellent Writer: If anyone knows me personally and feel that I have some skill in public speaking and if you appreciate my writing either through my blogs or my book, then you can be relieved to know that I probably got some of these skills from my Dad. Of course, over the years, I have also put in practice and time to sharpen whatever skill I have in public speaking, and I still do to this very day. My Dad can talk himself out of any situation and when he writes, he can convince anyone. In my younger years, I can remember talking myself out of some very sticky situations and all the while just trying to use my dad’s wits to dazzle those whom I spoke with. When we both sit to discuss philosophy, I can bet you it is a display of wits at its finest. In fact, we could very well have a reality show of us doing this.

Intelligence: This is one quality that I’ll say he has on both sides of the spectrum. Some people are book wise but not life smart, and others are life smart but not book savvy. He is comfortably both. He encouraged me to get my Bachelors and Master’s Degree, but he also made me realize that life was a school of its own and in that school, degrees didn’t really count. As a teenager, he will tell me “If you can convince me with enough reasons why you want to do something, trust me I’ll let you do it. However, if you can’t then sorry it is not happening.” So, imagine a 16-year-old boy trying to outdo his Father at the battle of wits whenever he wanted to do something he knew he might not get permission for. No doubt, many times I’ll lose but it helped me sharpen my intellect a lot, so much so that in front of my peers, I was an intellectual force to reckon with.

My dad was so much of an intellectual that he used to tell me when I was a teenager, “I need to keep my brain active all the time”. This was his reply whenever I told him to rest after working so hard. Then his Asian friend taught him Chess, and from that day on, my Dad found another intellectual leisure for his brain. I can proudly say, he taught me how to play Chess and watching us play against one another is a spectacle to behold.

Hard Working: Despite his very intellectual nature, my dad is never afraid to get his hands dirty to get a job done. He believes in putting in the work, to make things work. In fact, people can call me anything but Lazy. Lazy is one description my Dad and I will never be given. He walks his talk and I try to do same. If we say something, be rest assured that we can do it.

No – Nonsense: When it was time to play, my Dad was a good team player, but when it was time for business, he meant it. To this day, I come off as a bit too serious for people of my age bracket and even older folks notice that my demeanor is way beyond my age. This is not a show or something to claim I am too good, but qualities I got from my dad. In other words, I have learnt from him that one should try as much as possible to reduce time for bullsh*t. If it doesn’t add value to my life, to other people’s lives, or at least create some positive impact then you won’t see us there.

Some of you might be “woow” your father must be a “Demigod”, well even though he doesn’t see himself like that I must say he just like any Man, has his short comings. Now the beauty of his short comings is that; I see what I must do to NOT get those too. Thus, even in his short comings, he is still teaching me a lot. Happy Father’s Day Pa, I am still trying to figure out this thing called life, I am not where I want to be ultimately however I have come a long way, and you have helped.

Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.