Archive for January, 2016

Let My Pain Be…

suffering in love

Hi there, Uma here and man am I ready to write this post! From my own personal experience and recently talking to several people in the past few weeks i have been incited. And of course, what better way to deal with it than blog about it? (blush)

So here’s the thing, I am going to make a statement right now and it may have you in agreement with me (keep reading) or not (no shame, abandon post now) but it has to be said because I am really tired of the world’s insensitivity to people that are hurting. I say world because I am not calling anyone out in my personal life (you know who you are) and for people I have been talking to, it runs the gamut from family to lovers to friends to coworkers. It is just not ok.

Listen….we all have something we are dealing with. If you are walking around with not a care in the world, no luggage, no pain and no suffering, really move on, this is not the post for you.

This post is for the people I KNOW are suffering and doing so silently because they are afraid to speak up or share because they are tired of the judgments and criticism. I am choosing to be the voice of these people today. So here…we….go….

  1. My pain is my pain and try as you might, you will never know my pain

I met a woman at my studio who came in to talk about some matter in her life with her relationships. However, the more we talked and the deeper down we went, we touched on the fact that she was molested as a child. I held space for her as she talked and talked and talked about it until she couldn’t talk anymore. I was intently listening and very involved emotionally as I felt for her but at the very end, she said something to me that made the hair raise up on the back of my neck. She said, “Thank you Uma for listening. I guess that’s all I really wanted, to be heard and not be judged.” I told her that was preposterous, who can judge her in this situation? To which she replied, “My ______ (family member) told me to get over it because there was no penetration, only touch.” Shock.

This is the world we live in. A world where we are so insensitive that we allow crap to come out our mouths and hurl it at other people. Now you see why I am incited? Oh but wait, there’s more stories like this to come.

Here’s the thing folks. You cannot RATIONALIZE someone else’s pain. How do you even begin to justify that?! When you try to rationalize something, you are consciously analyzing the thing you are rationalizing. You are completely out of the field of emotions, where the pain is stemming from.

The next time you are blessed to be in the presence of someone hurting (I say blessed because clearly they trust you enough to share their pain with you) do one of two things and ONLY these two things:

  • Have compassion. Listen intently with your heart, maintain eye contact and relax the face. Allow yourself to listen to what they are saying and when you do say something, do it to bring forth encouraging words and not to respond. Most people who are hurting are not looking to you for advice but some form of comfort if even only temporarily from their discomfort. You would be amazed how little is required from you to do so much for someone who is hurting. All you really have to do is sit quietly, listen and lend an ear. Most times when you do this, people will tell you they feel amazing after. They feel lighter and really they are because energetically they have chipped away at the block of pain and they can feel it.
  • If you are unable to provide space for someone because you are busy, tired, selfish or egotistical then do the following: Have compassion. Say something gently to let them know that you understand this is a source of hurt to them and you are unable to hold space for them at this time or forever, whichever your cold heart desires. It could look like this: “I am so sorry to hear this is affecting you. I can hear the pain in your voice, this must be something very deep for you and I am so sorry to see you in this amount of pain. I need to be honest with you, because I love you and respect you, I don’t think I am the right person for you to talk to about this. For my own personal reasons (I am dead on the inside) I cannot provide a safe and warm place for you to open up and share and help in your grief. I hope you understand and can find someone to share this with because it seems like you have to talk about it and not keep it in.”

2. I am not hearing YOUR advice about MY pain if your advice includes YOU more than I

Sigh. So, we are creatures of habit and usually our habits are shown in our speech. You can tell a lot about a person from their speech and how many selfies they take. A couple of months ago I met a woman at one of my workshops at my studio. She came with a friend and it was a workshop on “Letting Go”. We talked about relationships and how all relationships had a natural end. Most times, people tend to stay longer than they are supposed to and they then experience suffering as a result as the relationship no longer holds value for either participants. This woman was in awe. Clearly the workshop was hitting home and I noticed it in her eyes but I didn’t want to draw attention to her so I kept talking and made sure to keep my eyes roaming freely around the room. Finally she spoke up to say what I suspected, this talk was exactly what she needed because she was in an on again and off again relationship with someone and she is now seeing it clearly for the first time. Well, no sooner had she said that when her friend started jumping up and making a real show of herself. “Omg I have told you many times, over and over the SAME thing Uma is saying!” As the conversation continued between me and the woman in front of the class (I had her consent to use her personal situation as an example), her friend would chime in every time I said something that resonated with the woman. “Yep, I said the same thing.” “Yep I said that too.” And on and on this went until she finally got the woman to admit out loud to everyone that she was right and she had said the same things to her over the years.

Folks, I know you need validation. Heck, we all need it but you getting validation at another’s expense is not pretty. It is actually downright ugly. If you are the friend who gives people advice and they never take it…..you need to take a step back and realize it is one of two things:

  • Either you are not giving sound advice and people realize that and just don’t pay attention

 

  • OR you give GREAT advice but they cannot use it because it usually comes attached to some form of validation for you. My pain is your victory and that is not ok. I know I am rubbing a lot of egos the wrong way right now but hear me out, this can be very helpful to you and people in your life. How to tell if you are doing this? Easy!

– If you give advice to people and they don’t follow it and what you said will happen, happens….you usually follow that up with a big ole serving of “I TOLD YOU SO”

– You give advice to people and they decide to follow you on it and then suffer the consequences of you holding it over them for the rest of their life. It sounds something similar to this “You should be THANKFUL for me because of ALL I DO FOR YOU”

Ok there is no judgment here, Lord knows I have used these techniques too so if you are guilty of these behaviors, just admit it and make amends within yourself to be better about being a better person to your loved ones. What is the appropriate way to give advice? I have no clear cut answer for you, what I can share with you is what works for me with my clients that allow them to take my advice:

  • When I hear a person’s dilemma, I verbally mirror back to them what I am hearing. Sometimes people don’t understand just how crazy they sound until it is mirrored back to them. “So what I am hearing is that you are frustrated waiting by the phone for him because the relationship is on his schedule when he is not with his wife?” Ahhhh, revelations. BUT if you do this, please do it with an honest questioning voice and not one dripping with sarcasm. Hold that for the comedy club.
  • I like to put the power in the person’s hands. Why would someone feel motivated to make a change when it is advice from me? It is much better for me to make a change when I made the decision by myself. So in my sessions, my role is less of an authoritarian figure and more of a sounding board to get them where they need to be. I can make suggestions, but I do so lightly and put it back in their court. Something I would say sounds like, “Ok so these are the two decisions you are faced with. I am not telling you which to choose and in fact I am not even telling you to choose. What I am saying is to process. Process where you are at right now and when the time is right, you will make the decision that is right for you.”
  • Have empathy. I like to let clients know I understand where they are at and empathize with them. That sounds like this, “I know you have to make a decision between the two…and you know what? Take as much time as you need because if I were in your shoes, that would be a difficult situation for me too. I can see and understand now why this is painful for you and how much you have suffered as a result. I know though that when you make a decision, it will put you in a much better place than where you are right now.”

 

I can go on and on about respecting other people’s pain and suffering but we will stop here now. I feel like I have gotten it off my chest lol, I do feel lighter. My hope is simple. Read this and practice it. If you know of someone in your life right now who is hurting, make a commitment to be there for them as much as you can. I say that last part because there are a few people out there who do like staying miserable, but that is a topic for another time.

If you like this blog post and would like to hear more about pain, suffering and unrequited love or maybe ask me personally your own questions into your own situation, come to my event on Sunday February 7th at the Intuitive Wellness Center in Burke. It is called “Love Redefined: Understanding Today’s Relationships”. For more information and to RSVP, please visit:  http://www.meetup.com/thelotusandthelight/events/227974559/

Until next time, have a Namaste and stay beautiful inside and out

Love and light,

Uma xo

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 No Comments

Top 5 New Year Resolutions You Can Make

NEW-YEAR-2016

It is 9.30pm on January 1st as I write this and I am well aware it is a little improper for me to be wishing you a happy new year but nevertheless I do.

I love the energy of a new year’s day. It is so full of hope and wishes, new intentions and resolve for us to be bigger, better, brighter than we were the year before.

Yes most times we break those new year resolutions but for the most part, we are an optimistic species because new year resolutions are still a “thing” despite many seeing it as a fad, it has withheld the test of time.

There are a couple of things I do at the end of one year and the beginning of the next and you know, I never change it or question it because every year has been a good year, with lots of growth and understanding so in my mind, why fix it when it’s not broken?

Let’s see, the week leading up to New Year’s day, I tend to keep the house in order and clean up or throw out things no longer of use. The day of New Year’s Eve, I make sure all the laundry is done and the trash is taken out. This is telling of my Guyanese background as it was considered tradition to enter the new year with a clean home.

Another cultural observation of New Year’s Day is to make black eye peas and leave it on the stove. Most of my family and friends make cook up rice which include black eye peas in the recipe but I prefer to just cook up some black eye peas on the stove and leave it out. The understanding is that black eye peas invite prosperity and abundance to your home, so you should meet the new year with some on your stove. Hey! This is the stuff old wives tales are made of, so somewhere along the line, it must have worked and hence carried forward generation after generation!

Another New Year’s tradition for me is to make a vision board. I LOVE doing this because I always go into it with my expectations of what I want and by the time I am done, Spirit has another plan for me. I love my board for 2016 because it involves a lot more introspection, meditation and introverted behavior, which is my nature (I know, I know I can be the life of the party but deep down, I really am an introvert). I also inspired Rob to do one of his own and he is excited to see what Spirit has in store for him (big hint-we match up perfectly in love and in life).

I have also completed my annual reading where I pull 14 cards to tell the energy and events of each month (if you would like me to do yours, click here for more info). It is such an affirmation when your reading lines up with your vision board which lines up with your energy. It is all coming together and I am excited to see it play out this year!

Finally I make a resolutions list. Yes I do! I know many people are against making new year resolutions but I will leave them with this thought. How do you approach a project? Do you go into it letting the chips fall where they may or do you have an outline or plan of action? Of course having a plan makes you accomplish that project quickly and with the best results. If you have a plan to become a millionaire in this lifetime, will you wait to win the lottery or will you go about saving a little each year and investing your money to make it happen? I rest my case.

If you have goals and dreams to accomplish, don’t wait! Start on them now and make your resolutions to either accomplish them this year or at least make some headway. For example, I plan to publish my second book, “Love Redefined” and it has twelve chapters. I plan to write a chapter a month and finish it by December to promote and publish next year. Challenge accepted.

I will admit I do not accomplish all my goals (I am Capricorn-a high achiever if you ever knew one!) but I do get a lot of satisfaction with the ones I do accomplish because it shows me, physical proof that I did something with my life and the year was not wasted. How many times have you heard people say the time flew by and they don’t know what they did with their year? Not me! I can tell you with a straight face I have accomplished a 10 day fast with no foods, global volunteered in Brazil, read 12 books and grew my business exponentially in 2015. I lived!

So if you are serious about your goals and want to start with new year resolutions good for you! You are on the right track and I can help with some tips by giving you the top 5 resolutions everyone should make every year. Last year in 2015 I completed 14 out of 17 goals, yah me! This year I upped the ante by making 30 resolutions. Ooohhh, I can’t wait to make them happen! Of those 30, there are 5 that are repeated every year and this should be part of your resolutions as well:

1) New Year’s Resolution #1- Address a Fear 

Every year I address one of my fears (yes I am admitting I am human and have fears) by including it as one of my resolutions. Last year in 2015 I had not so much a fear but uncertainty that I can go long periods of time without food. So I took part in the Master Cleanse fast which meant 10 days of no food and only drinking a lemonade mixture to keep you going. It was brutal but it was worth it because the empowering feeling I had after was amazing.

When you set out to conquer a fear and you do it, you feel unstoppable and confident that you can tackle anything. You don’t have to go in with a large resolution like mine, start small. List your fears or uncertainties and pick one that you can do but just avoid doing because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Start with say a bikini wax or sky diving if you want! Whatever it is, large or small, it will give you a sense of empowerment and that will trickle into every part of your life.

2) New Year’s Resolution #2-Increase your Savings Account 

If you haven’t already created a savings account, now is the time to. If you don’t believe in the banking system, then buy a safe and save at home. Bottom line, we all need to have a stash put aside for a rainy day. You don’t know what life can bring so saving money for that rainy day will bring you peace of mind now and when it happens.

The goal is to have six month’s worth of finances safely tucked away so if you are unable to work, you can pay your bills and continue living for the next six months while you figure out what you need to do. You don’t have to push yourself and stress yourself out, move at your pace! If you need to have $12,000 in savings ($2,000/month) give yourself three years to accomplish that goal. This way if you have a new year’s resolution to save $4,000 this year it works out to putting aside $300 a month. Of course you can try to accomplish it in one year, but remember resolutions are not meant to stress you out, it is meant to keep you on track with your goals and hold you accountable. Take as long as you need to reach it.

3) New Year’s Resolution #3- Do Something Healthy 

Let’s not expect miracles here! As much as I would love to lose 50 pounds, the most I am realistically expecting to take off this year and keep off is 10. The understanding is that you want to live healthy so as you age and get older, you can live fitfully and easily in your body with minimum aches, pains and medical conditions.

Weight loss as Oprah has identified is a tricky event and is less about physical action than it is about mental attitude. If you can see your weight loss journey as a pyramid, it will stand tall and looming over you….and you know what? It should. It has taken you a lot of years to put this weight on, it will not disappear overnight. Instead of focusing on the weight, focus on increasing healthy behavior. Try to incorporate more wellness activities into your life such as walking, yoga or dance. Try to tackle the unhealthy food habits and love of junk food and bit by bit, when you do these things, you start to chip away at that pyramid from the base. Eventually over time it will crumble and you will be free from the dieting yo-yo regimen that has been your life.

My goals this year include restarting my yoga routine and choosing healthier snacks. I am no longer going to eliminate snacking from my diet but make better choices. Instead of reaching for a piece of cake, I will have a yogurt and granola mix instead. If I can keep choosing healthier, it nourished my body and helps me keep the weight off as well.

4) New Year’s Resolutions #4-Include the Family 

If you have kids or pets, it is important you also include a resolution to do something for them that they cannot do for themselves. Being the owner of a wellness center, I teach and provide services of a metaphysical nature. As a result, my children grew up practicing yoga in their bedrooms, meditation and other things. This year I plan to complete both of their Reiki trainings (Nathan is level II and Joshua is level I) and increase their daily meditation times.

When you put emphasis on someone else and make it part of your resolutions list, it will come about because it is part of the plan. Listen, we are all good parents and we all try our best to do right by our kids (and pets!) but sometimes we fall short. We fall short because we are tired, busy or have other things to do. Its ok! It happens to all of us, including the super moms and super dads out there. By putting your loved ones on the resolutions list, you are committing to spending quality time with them and not overlooking them. You will feel great about it as they will too.

5) New Year’s Resolutions #5-Grow Yourself 

And finally one of the resolutions you must make every year is a commitment to you. We are all students of life and if we do not keep learning, we will stop growing. Stop growing in spirit, in mind and in evolution. Every year I sign up for continuing education classes for my massage therapy license and other licenses I need CEUS for but I also enroll in personal enrichment courses or read books to grow myself as well.

Spiritual enrichment doesn’t need to be about studying alone either. You can take up a new hobby, learn a new dance or recipe or do something you normally won’t do. The idea is to grow your knowledge base and allow expansion in. The more you learn, the more you grow and you become a more open minded person. As we know especially now, the world needs more of that, open minded people.

So in closing dear reader, my wish for you is simple. Live 2016 the best way you can and don’t look back. Make this year fabulous and live it large! I have faith you will do it better than years past and will have much to show for it at the end of the year.

Until next time,

Love and light,

Uma

Posted on: January 2nd, 2016 No Comments