Tarot: Unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams

Aside from the Monday tarot messages, I have sometimes done the one-off card pull mid-week. Either when inspiration strikes, or when I needed the guidance, or if something came up for me that needed to be seen or resolved.

Like these:

  1. On resilience
  2. Thinking and feeling
  3. Loss and betrayal
  4. Middle-ground

I’ve been wondering about doing a card a week (maybe) discussing some common themes that arise in my sessions. Frequently asked questions that most people have on their minds. I’m not sure how frequently I want to do this, especially because in essence they’re only very slightly (barely!) different from the Monday posts. Let’s see how it pans out. Anyway, here’s the first one.

One of the most common situations clients bring to me are unmet goals and unfulfilled dreams. And the idea that something is “blocking” them from becoming reality.

I want to clear the block.

I feel blocked.

No matter what I do, it doesn’t work out.

For many, the healing journey begins with the desire to clear the “blocks” in getting to places or things they aspire to. Because the realisation that the blocks aren’t entirely external and certainly not actual, physical hurdles comes pretty early in the process. The idea that sometimes what’s in the way, blocking us, is we ourselves, can be revelatory.

Healing mostly begins with examining deeply held beliefs about a host of things. What follows inevitably is revisiting experiences that created them. This requires building safety within oneself, a necessary requirement of moving out of old beliefs and into new ones. That itself is the healing process.

It’s how we may find the power us do the work to get out of our own way.

We can then create goals grounded in values that come from the newly-discovered authentic place, values that aren’t borrowed, convenient or fear-based, there is a greater likelihood that we will succeed.

If we are upholding the values drilled into us by our parents, society or what is culturally expected of our gender, for example; or if we’re trying to outdo past experiences of trouble and trauma that our family or past generations may have faced; or if we’re simply caught in aspirations that aren’t aligned with our own true values, we find ourselves working hard but getting nowhere, and feeling unhappy most of the time.

Defining values is step one. Next begins the work to meet those goals. There is no shortcut to this: dedicating energy to consistently examining, realigning and evolving values and beliefs, so that they are relevant and true is so important but often forgotten. This is the constant work of life, birthing values and shaping them into real living things.

Then you’ll see that progress, moving ahead, levelling up is a bit like going around in circles, but definitely upwards. You’ll find yourself revisiting the same essential questions, but with a deeper understanding. Figuring out what values make you tick is just one part. Practicing consistently, the ways to live by them is equally important.

It’s like planting a sapling that requires constant nurturance in the form of water, sunlight and nourishment in order to thrive. This isn’t a one time task. It takes consistently show your values your love. Nourishing them by feeding what they need to come to life.

Nurture your authentic self, give life to your desires, watch your values take root and your goals will definitely blossom.

One year ago: No rain, no rainbow
Two years ago: It’s been a hard day’s night
Four years ago: What my Sunday morning was like

Riding the highs

I have just had such a full and satisfying day. Actually the week and most of last week has been this way. Full not in tasks and busyness but in satisfaction. In feeling filled up.

My work has definitely become lean during the lockdown. And I would take responsibility for that because given the all round situation, the grief and the uncertainty that was prevalent, I just didn’t feel enthusiastic to push it as aggressively as I have in the months before.

I was getting by with the bare minimum that came from small mentions and calls for work on Instagram. I stopped tracking numbers and following up. In fact I didn’t accept all requests that came because I have myself been in such an inward looking space.

Even so, work has come my way. Without me looking or pursuing it. Through referrals. Through random Instagram connections and it has reinstated my faith in not always having to hustle or labour to get my work out into the world. It has been lesser than normal, for sure. But it has been consistent and for that I’m grateful.

This month though, things have switched around somehow. I myself feel more outward and looking out into the world. I feel much more energetic to work. I feel a receptivity from the world around too.

Personally and professionally, I have had my head under water for the most part of the last three months, swimming difficult, choppy waters. But in the last 20 odd days, the tide has turned and I find myself coasting placid, pleasant waters. Swimming along happily, taking the sights and sounds if this new phase.

I’m getting more comfortable with accepting that perhaps this is just the way my energy is. I will operate in cycles. Especially with a life that is so heavily invested in my own inner work, I must make space for the underwater phases. When I will need to go inwards so much that it won’t leave me much energy or mindspace for external facing pursuits. Especially because the work I do and what I offer to the world depends so much on my own internal process. Keeping my mirrors clean and constantly working on myself.

I have been slowly trying to give up that expectation of uniformity from my energy and motivations towards “work”. The idea of that being “normal” has somehow receded. I’m open to riding the waves when the come and letting myself go under when that time comes. And to go lean with the work, when those phases hit.

All this to say, OMG I’ve had such a great work day today. I’ve done at least one reading every single day this month. Two on some days like today. And it feels good. I feel ready and able. But a day like today — that just knocked it out the park in terms of how challenging the readings were — give me life.

I had interesting, unique and very special clients today. Questions that came from a place of clarity and openness to listening. Sessions that demanded so much stretch from me, asking me to slow down and think differently, articulate specifically, not generically. To move away from the way I normally take a reading.

I have also been doing more video sessions. A big change from pre-COVID days. The more obvious reason is distance but the less obvious reason, and the thing I have noticed happily, is my own comfort with my offering that has given me new confidence to be seen. By strangers. To receive with love and grace the faith the put in me. Unapologetically. I notice that my body language in sessions has changed. And that I am able to access my own body and the cues it gives me.more easily.

It’s been hard won, this comfort. And on a day like today, I’m just so grateful for this twisting- turning journey and where it has taken me. But most importantly, where I am at today.

I’m here now and I feel so filled up. In my heart and in my life. My cup, it brims over.

PS: July sessions have been open all month, in case you didn’t gather. If you’ve been reading my Monday messages and find value in them, and if you’ve been hemming and hawing about trying out a session for yourself, may I encourage you to reach out? If it’s any added motivation, I can honestly say I am in an extra good headspace to do this work at the moment.

One year ago: New light
Two years ago: Oh my life, is changing every day
Four years ago: That’s all

Tarot: In my head and in my heart

I’m am back to the classroom this morning. I’ve missed the learning space but I’ve also missed the cradle, the nest that the space has been in teaching me how to fly. And so it was good to head back there today.

I felt the need for some guidance today so I picked a card this morning before I set out. And it was not only apt for a day of re-entering an academic space but also for something I have been working thru in doing my work out in the world.

Questions I have asked myself: What would it be like to find a place where I can think *and* feel? How can I talk about this work without mystifying it but also not losing the essence to jargon and academia?

Today’s card made me instantly see something that I have known but perhaps been unable to articulate. The value the modern world attaches to the singular pursuit of intellectual/academic knowledge that is verifiable, over building intuitive knowing, that is not, is worth questioning.

It is inviting me to surrender in a new way. This is something I contend with a lot in my work with clients which requires me to use practices founded in psychology and therapy, while also building my own intuition, and encouraging my clients to as well.

Perhaps the answer isn’t so much in pitting one over the other, but understanding that they each have their place and are valuable for different things. An understanding that sometimes a gentle combination of the two is required.

Much of my own healing journey has been the deliberate return from doing/thinking to just feeling. And as a product of the world that routinely lulls us into doing, not feeling, it has been a tough but essential hurdle to scale.

In Somatic therapeutic practices, the accent is clearly on feeling. Our bodies are the vehicle/container for sensations that carry clues about our emotions. It is important to rebuild that connection with the body, in an environment that is always asking us to exit the body and rely on our minds alone.

Exiting the body and only relying on the mind amounts to a form of dissociation. And while dissociation may be a legitimate coping mechanism, unpacking or reversing it to help manage illness and some forms of psychopathology, requires returning to the body.

The more we let go of ways to access the knowing held in our bodies, the more polarised, rigid and unchanging our perspectives become. And what we reject in our outer worlds, we also reject within ourselves. The more comfortable we get with exiting our bodies and bypassing all that we reject, the more fragmented and disconnected we feel.

The softness and fluidity of intuition can keep our inner world from turning polarised. This also means we’ll be better able to witness parts of ourselves that would otherwise turn unacceptable, unpalatable, and best avoided. Integrating unpalatable aspects and experiences is a very useful way to work through a backlog of unfelt/unprocessed emotional material.

There are several practices today that are grounded in the soma, in accessing somatic and intuitive material, in going beyond the limits of the cognitive to delve into the unconscious. Because there is so much more, in places our minds will never go to.

Today is a good day to honour both sides — the cognitive/intellectual/academic, and the intuitive/energetic. And to see where in your life you need to bring back balance between the two.

Through the day, learning new things — broadening some, deepening some — I realised that this is true for my work as much as it is for my personal journey. This finding a balance in my reliance on both.

One year ago: The food, the food
Two years ago: We form our own boundaries

Of love and longing

Like thousands of other Indians who are horrified at the aftermath since the Delhi pogrom, I am no longer able to keep my politics under wraps. I find that it is showing up, surfacing, in my face, even without any effort. Pushing me into spaces and conversations where I have to really think about where I stand, and what I really feel. I’m trying not to be hasty about many things, to take my time to decide and make up my mind, but I find that being altogether apathetic is no longer an option.

It’s clear that what the current Government is doing in the name of making a statement that probably works as a (severely myopic) political tactic has done some severe damage to the minds of people. Much of this is going to be hard, if not impossible, to rebuild.

This has come up especially loud and clear, in my work. Last weekend at the workshops, it was not a coincidence that three clients came with issues of distress around the devastation playing out in our country. I know that going forward, in an increasingly polarised world with multiple forces trying so hard to divide us in as many ways as possible, people’s longing for connection and belonging is only going to be on the rise. And so, I realise my work as a practitioner and facilitator of family constellations feels relevant and has suddenly taken on a new avatar.

The connection between the personal and the political has never been greater for me than since studying family constellations. Belonging is such a fundamental theme in the work, and I have written about it so very often, here too. I’ve seen time and time again how the transgenerational trauma and effects of world events like the Partition, World Wars, mass migrations, being prisoners of war, and the like, experienced by older generations impact the current generations ability and need for Belonging, Love, Flow and Life. And how the effects of it show in surprising and often unbelievable ways.

Watching current events pan out, I am frankly petrified of the nation we are becoming. In full view of the world that is watching. The continued blame shifting around the violence in Delhi, the complete lack of accountability, the violent amounts of straightfaced lies, the atmosphere of uncertainty and the abject lack of empathy as we have all just slipped back to assumed normalcy as thousands in Delhi are still missing, possibly dead, entire neighbourhoods burned to the ground, with virtually no questions asked, IS TERRIFYING.

I know this is going to show up in my work time and time again. The need to hold these polarities, to make a case for peace, love and hope, against all odds, even as we acknowledge and call out the effects of these atrocities. It’s a tough job. And it’s easy for me to slip into an abyss of gloom sitting in my home endlessly scrolling and consuming the news.

But because Belonging is such a huge theme not just in my study, but now in my life too, recent events have had me wondering a lot about it.

  • Who decides who belongs?
  • How do you belong once you have lost everything?
  • What is the place of love in the world today?
  • What is connection in the world today?

I live for pockets of solace and moments of hope when I get them and yesterday, it came in the form of Sindhustan. An exquisitely made labour of love. I went to catch Sapna Bhavnani’s epic film Sindhustan, but reached the venue early and slipped into a talk that was already running. It was titled “The Politics of Citizenship” and it was about a newly launched book The Deoliwallahs, about the true story of the internment of Indian Chinese in the 1960s. Co-author Dileep Dsouza was present, while Joy Ma spiritedly joined on Skype. Somehow the boundarylessness of the setting itself was so fitting. The conversation shone a light on an issue I was entirely unaware of and even though I had to duck out in time to catch the film, the experience was everything.

Sindhustan, on the other hand, had me in tears from the get go. I was so overwhelmed for so many reasons and I feel a serious lack of words to express what or why. So I’m not going to try, except to share some lines that have stayed with me.

No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.

I may finally be understanding that my inexplicable bind with Sindhis goes beyond my love for VC and Sindhi curry, because my fascination about the community, their migration and the way in which they exist as a culture today has no logical reasons.

I came away definitely looking at not just the community differently, but also feeling very differently about my family. The family I have often struggled to find my own belonging with. It is so interesting how answers to so many long-held questions can suddenly crystallise when you’re least expecting them.

When love ends, everything ends.

I have known for a while that the average South Indian like me, especially us who live in the South, are largely shielded from the true atrocity and violence of the Partition. I have in some measure tried to dig up and read about it for my own curiosity. More recently, it has come up again and again as a theme and an event in my work with family constellations, and I may have only begun to understand its consequences a little bit more. The film gave me a solid hours worth of fodder to pull away from the frankly useless maddening cacophony of news cycles and Twitter threads, offering not just hope through the stories of love, of overcoming strife, of humanity, of spirit and of belonging, but also reason to change my perspective.

I’m sitting with that for a while.

So I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity I literally chanced upon yesterday. I went off to soak in the feeling over dinner with myself after the screening, furiously jotting down notes and thoughts. And I sat quietly, with a sense that while I know what is going on right now is looking like it will be a long, brutal fight that we will undoubtedly pay for heavily, somewhere inside of me I carried a glimmer of hope. That maybe we will be okay after all.

One year ago: Baffling Benaras
Two years ago: Everyday is blue Monday

Seasons

Observing the quiet, natural way in which the planet gently and purposefully moves, signalling timely moments of birth, blossoming, life, rest, recovery, strife, renewal and eventually death has come to hold a lot of meaning for me. I’ve unconsciously internalised the message about everything happening in it’s right time, all things — even difficulty — having a place and a purpose, so deeply in the last couple of years, that it has become natural to now see a tree in full bloom, or absolutely leaf-less and immediately feel a connection.

Flowers, plants, butterflies, dragon-flies, moths have taken on a new meaning, when I spot them. Nature holds so much more. The earth has called out to me in so many ways.

It’s how I observed some days ago on a Sunday walk, that it is that time of year again.

The start of the same cycle that I have noted before.

Here. As hope, in a time pregnant with uncertainty, but promise.

Here. When I experienced the transience of time and how insignificant my worries, and I myself, felt in the larger movement that is life.

And here. Symbolic of the the despair I was experiencing then.

Looking back I see a movement in how I have moved in experiencing the same phenomenon as distress, to eventually hope. It’s telling for how much power there is in working through distress, even when everything is saying don’t go there, and processing it. Not so you can forget, forgive, or deny and minimise the effects of a difficult time and the pain it may have caused, but so you can actually integrate it in your being, in a way that eases the power it holds on you, to move on with ease.

Yesterday, I wrote a post on Instagram about trauma, and how the most human tendency towards processing it is avoidance. And how holistic methods of therapy can actually work in ways that befriend feelings in order to loosen their grip.

One year ago: Move, move, move
Two years ago: There’s nothing here to run from 
Four years ago: Major leaps, minor struggles

That time of the month again

For sundry work updates.

1) Tarot sessions

My tarot sessions are ongoing and open to anyone anywhere in the world.

I offer these as one-on-one card reading sessions, either done in-person if you are in Bangalore and would like to meet face-to-face, and by telephone or Skype, which makes them conveniently location-agnostic. These are guidance sessions for clients who may either be facing specific challenges they wish to get a deeper understanding of, or simply for anyone who is seeking general guidance or clarity about broader areas such as work, life path, relationships, success, money, travel, etc.

The wisdom of the Tarot and ancient symbolism holds a ton of information to explore conscious and unconscious realms of our minds and lives. The cards have been an excellent tool for me personally, to reflect on issues, patterns, situations and challenges through my own life these past few years.

The specific benefit being the way in which they mirror visually, what’s usually going on inside, giving me a pictorial story board of sorts to get a grip on what I am going through, how I feel.

Think of it as a mirror to hold up to your inner and outer worlds so you can navigate the path accordingly, and sometimes make them meet.

Each session typically lasts between 45-60 minutes, and they can be booked very easily by reaching out to me via the contact form. I am usually quite prompt with responses.

Again, if you are maybe considering but have questions or would like to understand more about how this works, or if you’ve been waiting for or looking for something like this to get a handle on something you have been sitting with, please use the contact form to get in touch with me. I’m happy to help.

2) TWO Family Constellation Therapy Group Sessions in Bangalore:

  • 29 February, 9.30 am t0 5 pm | Katte Creative Community, Indiranagar | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)
  • 1 March, 9.30 am to 5 pm | SMArT, Ulsoor | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)

We’ve been working hard to keep these group sessions small and intimate as possible, because I know how much I valued a space of warmth and safety.

During these sessions you will experience Family Constellations therapy at work, whether you personally bring your issue/challenge to the fore or not. It is beneficial for anyone seeking to either break patterns such as stuckness, negativity, ill-health, etc. My colleague Sunitha has an FAQ that has some more details.

I’ve had a lot of messages from folks via Instagram, email and also by phone with questions about Family Constellations (from people all over the world! which really makes me wish I could do this online — boo), many of whom have ended up signing up for our sessions. This time around we’re also hosting second-timers! So if you’re considering, if you have questions, if you’re sitting on the fence and you’d like to talk about exploring this, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

However, if you’re already keen to register please do it immediately — details in the poster, or use the contact form — as we have limited spots this time around.

***

While it has been exciting and the anticipation of working towards a group sessions has been challenging yet fun, the flow and ease that I have with Tarot sessions has made me very happy. To have spoken to and connected with over 25 people (some of whom have come back for seconds) in this way has been deeply humbling and enriching.

I ran a discount promo for Tarot Bookings at the start of this month and it sold out in less than a day, even before I could announce it on my blog as well. I was really pleasantly shocked. So I hope to do these more often. If you’d like to stay informed about these, and other updates, please find me on Instagram where I am trying to be diligent with posting everyday.

Some months ago, when the idea of doing these for the world at large began to take shape, I was really shaky. Mostly I didn’t think anyone would be interested. And I didn’t think I had it in me to hold the time and space for a client. But much has changed, and I really underestimated the value and depth in the months I spent training with my mentor for Family Constellations.

But of course the dots only connect when I look back. And today, it makes sense. It fits. And I do feel like I am in the right place at the right time, and that things will unfold as they should, when they should. I just have to stay true to myself, keep doing what feels right.

One year ago: To heal
Two years ago: Make me somewhere I can call a home

A sense of wonder

Off to Bombay tomorrow for a third workshop. And as I sit here today, with a just-packed suitcase, I’m still a bit gobsmacked to be making a “work trip” that though isn’t panning out the way I imagined, is already offering up so much more that I just didn’t imagine.

There is a huge sense of wonder in this building a new practice up from scratch. I have been feeling quite like a little child who has just got her hands in something entirely new, thrilling and riveting.

I want to soak up this sense of wonder a bit longer. Wonder and awe at how quickly and organically, yet ever-so-naturally, this avenue has unfolded for me. And how absolutely new and undiscovered everything is. No rules to play by, no predecessors to follow, no milestones to hit. Just one step in front of another, and on I go.

***

There is this feeling I get at the end of every workshop. When we’re sitting in a circle, sharing final thoughts, exchanging glimmers of where each one of us is at and riffing off of that, I feel a rush of being in the midst of immense courage. I always feel gratitude for that courage. The courage of every single person that shows up at a workshop. It’s easy not to see it as that, because I know I went into my first workshop some years ago, feeling quite depleted, defeated and “weak,” in that sense. I was looking for answers I so desperately wanted, and I was certainly on the back foot, facing life.

The truth is, though, taking a step towards healing is always a step of courage. It takes great inner strength, strength that one might not even know lies within, to seek wellness. It is a glorious, almost divine space to be in, when you surpass the fear of what change will bring, and you throw yourself into the abyss. For me it meant that anything was better, more promising, than the place of stuckness I was in. I wanted out, and even though it took me a long while to get there, sitting in that workshop was a first courageous step towards finally doing something about it.

I know it takes fighting a serious amount of fear — of what people might say, of what it makes them look like, of what might surface, of the discomforting truths they might have to face, of oh so many things, really — to take that step. So yes, gratitude for people’s courage. Courage in seeking better for themselves, and courage in trusting us with helping them to navigate that path.

I know now that focusing on self-development means focusing constantly on confronting this fear that is always just two steps behind. It means making a habit of making courageous choices in our own interest. Choices that often make us feel selfish, guilty, self-indulgent, every single day. It means facing that voice of fear and shutting it down and doing it anyway.

These days I have a new measure of maturity and responsibility. It is in taking control of one’s situation and seeking better. Even if that means making a choice towards that wellness, in taking that step with a sense of fearlessness. In making that choice even in the face of words of caution from within and around. Those are voices that usually operate form fear. Fear of being perceived as reckless, wasteful, silly, wishy-washy, even. It takes emotional maturity to want to push past that fear and do it anyway. And I have an immense of wonder for that aspect of courage. And respect for anyone in whom I sense that spark of fearlessness.

One year ago: My heart is a bloom
Two years ago: We are children that need to be loved

On rejection

I usually look at this card as a very bright and optimistic one. Of birthing new ideas, welcoming new dawns. Of tending to the inner child. Of returning to a place of innocence and trust in how I operate.

But today, the same card brought up rejection as experienced by an innocent child. And I am always so fascinated by how the same cards provide differing anchor points, a story-board of sorts, depending on where I am, what I am experiencing or how I am feeling. The cards have become a powerful way to engage with whatever I am experiencing, in a visual way.

Since a large part of my recent work has been to do with autonomy and power, it has been really interesting to observe and witness how this is playing out in various relationships. One of the strangely-timed recent events has been reconnecting with an aunt of mine after a decade-long period of estrangement. She is one of my absolute favourite aunts from when I was growing up, and a true kindred spirit in many ways. As a child, she was my everything. I emulated her, imitated her, strived to be like her and in the process, aligned myself with her completely, probably in mind and heart too. With that background in mind, reconnecting with her, after this long gap, and at such a significant juncture in my life as I am navigating reconnections as a new me, has been super interesting to say the least.

As with any process of individuating, in peeling away and separating myself from many of the ways of being — that I might have cleaved to from blind loyalty, kindness, politeness, wanting acceptance and validation — and finding my feet in my own power, I have seen some really stark differences in the way we have connected this time around.

It’s different. And I feel the difference the most in that I may be that same doting niece, but I feel far less vulnerable and gullible in wanting approval. I am the same doting niece and I have felt an incredible amount of love and respect since reconnecting, but I also feel so grown up in how I no longer desperately want to be just like her at any costs. And yet, there have been a couple of instances, particularly in the face of a heavy projection of opinions, when I have chosen either 1) complete silence, 2) over-explanation of my stance on said thing — both typical tell-tale signs for when I am seeking approval, or avoiding rejection.

This morning, it came up in a big way for me — this dance of avoidance of rejection. It instantly took me back to specific times in my childhood when I have behaved in much the same way, and when I struggled to quickly try and formulate an opinion of my own that would be acceptable. That would make me continue to be worthy of approval and love. I know now, that this has been the unsaid, unconscious code for our relationship.

And it got me to thinking about what love does. Love can be the wellspring of nurturance and care. But for children, it can also sometimes be the channel for heavy projections and oppressive helpings of adult hopes and desires for what they want of and for their children. Every part of this happens unconsciously, and completely devoid of malice or ill-intention. And yet, this very lofty placing of the best hopes and dreams on to a child — it does so much.

It dictates to a child what is required of them in order to belong.

And it lays down early experiences and memories — sometimes violent ones — of rejection.

Today, as I sat with that flitter of a hint of rejection at having an opposing view — my own (seemingly questionable?) view — I had a rush of memories and visuals of that old self, that child I once was. Who has experienced this rejection in full force at times. And I realised this is such a primal human emotion, an evolutionary building block, as it were. For if we didn’t experience rejection, we wouldn’t learn the codes of how to belong and stick together which was so crucial for our survival.

Literally every one of us knows this rejection. It is the very basis of what keeps families together. A watertight unwritten, but experienced, knowing of what is right and wrong. What is acceptable and what is not. What is good and what is bad. What is allowed and what isn’t. And if we were to dial any of those experiences and really feel in to them, at the very core it is usually a rejection of the very essence of who we are, through the eyes of a member who really needed us to be a different way.

So we comply. In order to avoid rejection. And when we comply, it is often at the cost of dishonouring our own instincts and inner needs. Oddly enough, it is at the cost of rejecting, or sacrificing, ourselves.

Today, when I touched that old place of rejection, it wasn’t long before I realised where in my present I am rejecting a part of myself. But that is the stuff of an entirely different post, for when I have processed this some.

It’s an old and heavy wound for most of us, this one. Not one we can shrug off easily. It cam come up again and again, even when we have touched the place and healed some parts of it many times before. And so, of course I shuffled my deck of cards and pulled The Sun, which immediately took on a new meaning this morning.

It so happened that I had a therapy session today, and even though I have had a world of things to talk about since our last session, pulling a few cards this morning gave me immediate clarity on the one thing I wanted to bring up and dive right into. That old wound of rejection.

One year ago: On crying
Two years ago: Tell me what you really like

As within, so without

When Joseph Campbell came up for the third time this week, in passing conversation, my ears perked up.

As always, repetitive things, strange coincidences, synchronicity, catch my fancy. I have dived a little bit into his work lately, as I am charting out some projects I want to kick off in the first half of the year. I’m dreaming of a melting pot of writing, psychology, Tarot and behaviour sciences and the ideas are blossoming faster than I can keep up with them. Exciting work that for now requires me to make a laboratory of my brain, to meld together old (and sort of rusty and dusty) and new identities (still emerging and unfurling), old and new skills, the comfortable spaces of familiarity with stepping into new spaces of discovery.

Still not in any coherent form, I am going with it — mind-maps, vision boards, lists galore and the like — in the hope that clarity and form will emerge. All through this month, as I have nurtured these thoughts, I have realised time and time again how much this year is already different to the last one (or two actually!). The last two years felt quiet, slow, restful, inward, while this year already I feel so outward and such a significant sense of movement and shape-shifting taking form. It felt like affirmation for how much the focus within has impacted how (differently) I can now relate and connect to the world without.

Affirmation also that the last few years I have spent looking within have irrevocably altered the axis of my being, putting a wholly different spin on how I want to be as a person in the world. What it means to be a human being in 2020, and how I can bring purpose to my existence.

Affirmation of a necessary journey that everyone must make if they can — this inward one — for how much more rich and fulfilling it makes the outward experience of life itself.

I seem to be running into this same message over and over again in different forms, in interactions, conversations, pieces of writing, video. It’s quite astounding.

Affirmative. Life-giving.

Today, I read something Campbell said and it has stayed with me, speaking of The Hero’s Journey (which is central to Tarot, and also what I have been researching):

We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the centre of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

It spoke right into my search far and wide for belonging, and more recently, thoughts about how to belong in this jagged, fragmented world today.

And then, one of the favourites I have cultivated and savoured over the past year — Adyashanti — put it beautifully in a view from just a few days ago. Speaking of the universal interconnectedness of all beings, and the need for us to operate from that place of deep connectedness with ourselves.

Speaking affirmatively once again to the fact that there is no better way to connect with the outer world, than to first be authentically and deeply connected to oneself.

If one thing has become more and more obvious to me—and I don’t say this so anybody is overly aggrandising themselves, because it’s actually a very humbling thing—the world needs you.

The world needs each and every one of us. It needs anyone who is endeavouring to be connected and to live from a place that is a bit more connected.

It ties in beautifully with the tenets of my Family Constellation work, with the state of the country in this present day, and the ask of each of us as human beings in this world that is insistent on spiralling out of control.

I feel a gentle coming together of many disparate threads of my life. And I am curious, humbled and very, very, excited in a childlike manner, imagining what is yet to unfold.

***

In the interest of new dawns, new beginnings, new steps, new spaces, new projects, after much, much, much deliberation, it’s taken me a few weeks to figure out the best way to do this in the manner that best aligned with my specific needs, minus the onslaught that social media inevitably brings.

Finally, today I swallowed the red pill.

I am on Instagram, purely for work. Follow me, and spread the word, if you’d like!

https://www.instagram.com/revatiupadhya/

One year ago: Little pieces of magic
Two years ago: Pretty lights
Three years ago: Because I want to remember
Four years ago: Saru-anna

On being

Very quietly, I stepped into a new life and into a new role — that of a practitioner and helper (as we call ourselves in Hellinger’s system of Family Constellations) very early this month. First with putting out my website, then with inviting tarot sessions that flew in thick and hard, and finally with two Family Constellation workshops on consecutive weekends these past two weeks.

Even though I very silently slipped into this new space some weeks ago, and it has been a busy time since, I really felt like I had landed in the very centre of the space that is this feeling like a whole new identity for me only yesterday, at the workshop.

One of the threads of Hellinger’s Family Constellation philosophy, is the idea of a spiritual conscience. And even though we have defined it in words so many times over the years in training, and I know in my head what it is, I have struggled to really understand what it is. I have had no counterpoint or marker in my outer world, in real life to pin it to and say Ah! Yes, this is what it is.

I have over the years understood it as many things and concluded that perhaps it is all these things at different times. A spiritual realm, a twilight zone between that which is known and that which can only be experiences, a sense of flow, a connection with ones higher conscience.

Yesterday though, at the workshop, I really landed — and I mean to reflect the deeply visceral experience that I had facilitating a full day’s work in Family Constellations — in this new space. I felt firmly in my mind, body and heart, that I was in the space of a helper.

It felt like safety.

It felt like alignment.

It felt like all was well with everything around me.

It felt like everything was as it should be, in the right place, in the right way.

It felt like a great sense of harmony flowing within and out around me.

It felt like intense satisfaction and intense purpose simultaneously.

It felt like perfection.

It felt like grace.

It felt like flow.

It felt like I have hit solid ground, and yet floaty and airy like I could fly endlessly.

And I realised at some point, for a brief moment, mid-work, that perhaps this is what the experience of the spiritual conscience is. The dance of the movement of one’s spirit, when it is unencumbered and free to move in the way that it needs.

When I get out of my way.

When I surrender, over and over, to the call from within.

When I find a deep inner connection that feels in my outer world like I am being guided mysteriously.

I also realised that this experience of the spiritual conscience is not an end point like I have imagined in the past. It is an experience that will come, when all things are in alignment, and go, when it must.

Yesterday was a blissful, immensely satisfying and rich day for me. I can only hope some of it translated to the group of folks that attended. And I ended the day just so grateful to have found this work and to be sharing it with the world in my own small way.

One year ago: Learning to let go
Two years ago: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Three years ago: 2017 book beginnings
Four years ago: Perspective

On listening

In a full tilt turn from last year, 2020 is already off to a very full beginning. So full that I am making good use of the delightful little planner that S got me as a present for the holidays. I didn’t see this coming. At least not this soon, even as I was planning and making motions towards directing my energies towards a new kind of work. I didn’t anticipate this. So even as I am trying to work the pace, I am also consistently reminding myself to listen to my pace.

It’s easy to get carried away in the first flush of the new year. That squeaky clean energy of a new beginning, a new shot at trying this efficiency thing out once again. That gust of enthusiasm to go, be, do, that we all feel at this time of year. Sure, it maybe all of those things, because it has well and truly begun in full josh. But, what I have also been feeling quite intensely this past week is that a lot of what’s coming at me now is a reflection, a rebound, a return present of energies I have been consciously and unconsciously putting out for months now.

I am in receiving mode, now more than ever. And what a paradox it is, because what’s brought me here is actually putting myself out there in service of others. What I am receiving is the opportunity to work with and for others.

Since the very next day after I returned from holiday I have had packed days. Not the kind of busy like the headless-chicken and aimless-hustle I usually associate with packed days, but the slow, deliberate, intentional packed.

I’ve done multiple readings every day, sometimes with follow ups. And there’s another change that occurred to me today. I am suddenly also in listening mode. For years now, my healing journey has been about making my voice, my mind and myself be heard. Incessantly, selfishly and singleminded-ly so, sometimes.

It seems as that need finds more and more comfort and integration, I do have a largely undiscovered and untapped capacity to also listen. And I mean, listen deeply. Doing readings for absolute strangers, speaking to them for the very first time and having them often immediately share a vulnerability or a deep difficulty means listening first, and speaking minimally, but thoughtfully. It has meant listening respectfully. It has meant remembering that this is not about me, that I am in service.

Professionally, I have always been in the business of words and communication. I have always prided myself in doing the “speaking” in that way. In giving voice to unsaid things, shaping words where none exist. And now I am learning to listen. Between the words, beneath the words. And to hold all that I hear with care and compassion.

It occurred to me today that there was no way to learn to listen in this way, without working on building a container to hold and all that I have been hearing. And to do that, I have had to learn to have myself be heard fully. Within and without myself. I have had to do enough honest talking in my outer world, as well as to myself in my inner world, and integrate and accept every kind of response I have received. In the process I have encountered contradictions, disappointments, difficult dualities and discomfort, as much as I have the joy and jubilation. I am beginning to see that there cannot be one without the other.

When I listen carefully, I am able to do it because I know that I am, and I feel, heard.

One year ago: Changing seasons, changing reasons
Two years ago: I’m just too good at goodbyes
Four years ago: On waiting

Sundry work updates

Okay folks, it’s time for some plain and simple work plugs. I’m starting off my work as a Family Constellations practitioner with a series of workshops. Two in Bangalore, in January and one in Mumbai in February.

If you have read this blog closely for the last few years and wondered (or reached out to me asking) what form of therapy I have been using for my self work, it is this. I began with attending workshops in Family Constellations, before I decided to do the level 1 course which is a deep dive into the work, followed by the level 2 course that trained me to be a facilitator.

So this post is going to be some housekeeping. First, I’ve added a page on the blog to reflect the new work developments and my new offerings. Second, some fliers for both workshops. IN case any of you in Bangalore or Mumbai want to connect to understand more, possibly register for these, or reach out for tarot card readings, you know where to reach me.

1) Workshops in Bangalore:

  • 12 January, 9.30 am t0 5 pm | SMArT, Ulsoor | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)
  • 19 January, 9.30 am to 5 pm | SMArT, Ulsoor | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)

To confirm your place at the workshop/s, please reach out via the contact form or any of the contact numbers on the poster above.

2) Workshop in Mumbai:

1 February, 9.30 am to 6 pm | Santa Cruz | Rs. 4000 (including morning and evening tea)

To confirm your place at the workshop/s, please reach out via the contact form or any of the contact numbers on the poster above.

3) Tarot offering, via telephone:

A short, 15 minute reading for guidance and clarity going into the new year and new decade. This could be either in the form of a question/s (I’ll take up to three questions per reading, for this one), or just seeking guidance/a message for an aspect of your life as you step into the new year.

15 minutes, or 3 questions at just Rs. 400. Please get in touch with me via the contact form so we can schedule a reading.

Please see my page on Tarot Card readings to understand more.

Going forward, I’m probably going to be making a couple of such posts a month. If you’re here just for the posts and words, you’ll have to bear with me!

It would be great to meet some of you — especially those who have written to me expressing interest in therapy and healing. I do hope that you’ll reach out and we can connect one way or another.

Four years ago: Sometimes, I draw

Where focus goes, energy flows

I have to say it was lovely to be so off the grid (my phone has zero network and I bum my father’s hotspot to post and send messages a few times a day) that I didn’t have to spent yesterday morning making and answering obligatory calls. Those that I wanted to wish, I did. I received way more than I have this new year’s day.

Despite not having connectivity, I made a small step in a new direction with an offering of the work that has held and helped me find my feet and know myself a little deeper these past few years.

It’s ridiculous how I got into this without the faintest clue I would be here today — sending out messages into the world about taking on clients. It’s surreal, but also very happy making. And a real-life testament to the power of this work, how deeply it has touched my life and how much movement it has introduced for me.

I spent much of the day looking out. And it hit me that I have left the life of the hustle far behind. Or at least the hustle the way I used to know it, driven by the idea that I have to struggle to make a mark or get anywhere. To be sitting in the boondocks without network, and yet be able to send off my humble little offering out into the world, receive enquiries, messages cheering me on and excitement all round, felt like so much momentum from minimal, but intentional, effort.

There is power in quietness too it seems.

It’s true. Where focus goes, energy flows. And I have waited a long time to see and feel this.

One year ago: Food and friendship
Two years ago: Gratitude. That’s all.
Four years ago: Love

In with the new

I moved into the new year very quietly last night. In my sleep, to be very specific. Hahaha.

VC, my father and I had a day and evening no different from the ones we’ve been having since we got here. A long walk, coming home in time to cook dinner, while VC and my father potter about around me doing their thing, a drink (or three if you’re VC or my dad *eye roll*), some conversation and laughs, music, and a quiet meal together.

And we were in bed by 10.30 pm. Happy new year to me.

Quiet. It’s something I have been sitting with since I came here to my father’s new home. The literal quiet around here has been profound. It’s making me hear sounds I wouldn’t otherwise. The umpteen birds playing raucously, leaves rustling, wind howling, water sploshing, cows mooing. There’s also been a quiet within me. A peaceful settling. And then there’s the quiet way in which I’ve been directing energy and focus to what I want to the new year.

I’m stepping into the new year, the new decade, with something new. And I seem to be wanting to do it quietly too.

So here it is. I’m delighted to share my new and updated website:

https://revatiupadhya.com

Same look, new me, I suppose? This is me quietly stepping into new shoes, a new journey and hopefully new avenues of work. The foundations for which I’ve been quietly building for two years now.

Sharing this here, especially for those of you who consistently write in to ask me what I’ve been doing for my self-development, what happens at therapy and how I’ve “changed”. If you’d like to know more, please reach out to me.

Also! To mark new beginnings, and to step forward in the spirit of the work I am setting off to do, I’m opening out a new year offer:

A short tarot card reading for guidance to begin the new year with clarity.

This could be either in the form of a question/s (I’ll take up to three questions per reading, for this one), or just seeking guidance/a message for an aspect of your life as you step into the new year.

We can do this over a phone call or whatsapp, as we’ll need to chat very briefly, and then we can go straight into the reading. This will typically last 15-20 minutes. And as a first step into this, I’m offering this for just Rs. 400.

So, if this is something you’d like to explore, please get in touch with me via my contact page. I am keeping this offer open for the next five days, post which I will begin to do readings.

I’m SO excited!

One year ago: Taking it slow
Two years ago: Day 1: Onwards and upwards
Four years ago: Day 1: Move more