Mind-body, body-mind

In somatic approaches to therapy the body is considered a vessel of energy and information when looking at one’s psychological past. As we go through life’s ups and downs, in differing levels of contact with our bodies and energy, we may either work through, process and release the energy, or in the case of difficult experiences and emotions, avoid processing or letting go. But in the bargain, we invariably end up holding on to the energy tightly.

However, energy being energy, must go somewhere. And most often it wanders deeper, lodging itself in the body. The Devil, as ominous as it may seem, is today just a gentle reminder that we are all vessels of moving energy, sometimes chained to energies embedded in places we aren’t aware of.

We may experience it as blockages such as ailments, stuckness, difficulties, struggles with mental wellness, chronic pain, sometimes confusion, joylessness, grief or sadness. Sometimes it manifests as recurring patterns of difficulty. Or self sabotage. But have no idea where it is coming from, why, or what to do to free ourselves form it.

Most often, this is just trapped energy from unresolved emotional material, asking to be seen, or heard. Thankfully, the world is waking up to somatic therapies that go beyond just the mind. Many such practices make it possible to access these spaces, tapping into the sub-conscious through what is locked in the body, and release energy.

Allowing free-flow in this energy brings profound shifts, not just as physical changes like alleviation of pain and movement towards wellness, but also in a deeper mind-body connect that sets off a holistic healing which may be experienced mentally too. As feeling “fuller” in ones being, believing more in the self, seeding fully into ones own power and potency, feeling confident, etc.

In a Family Constellations perspective this is a reinforcement of the idea that what is in the mind, is in the body, and what is in the body is in the mind. It is limiting to try and work with one without the other.

The tarot message for today is to reflect on whether any of your current challenges that feel recurring, or insurmountable, or beyond your cognition, may be seeded in something deeper, something from your past, something from previous generations even, that you maybe carrying in your body.

If so, it is time to free yourself from it, put that burden down. And the work is to get to it through your body. Begin by establishing a connection with your body — by using your hands, exercise, walk bare feet, ground your energy. Then, explore holistic therapies that consider both mind and body equally.

One year ago: Another favourite
Two years ago: If you could change your mind
Three years ago: Pointless post
Four years ago: Make like a tree

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

Finding flow, and flowing with it

It’s been over a month and a half of doing tarot card readings for people. At the end of practically every one of these sessions, I feel a bit in awe with the realisation that if there’s one utterly human thing that connects us all, it is the basic desire to understand ourselves.

It’s very grounding and humbling. Levelling, unifying. As much as we are diverse and unique, we’re all also much the same.

The pursuit takes different meanings and manifestations for each one of us, but at the heart of it, is always a desire to “make sense” of the machinations of our minds, hearts, desires and stimulations and getting them all to align from time to time.

Since committing to sharing my journey and learning, and stepping into what Bert Hellinger calls The High Art of Helping I try and stay in touch with what feelings are evoked in me when I engage with clients and am in the seat of The Helper. It’s usually where I find clues for what I need to still see in myself, what parts I am yet to integrate and possibly to unpack a little bit more, the complex machinations of my own spirit mind.

It is a process that while very satisfying, evokes a simultaneous helplessness and the desire to do more, reach more people (because I see how common and universal human struggles are) while also drumming up the soft rhythmic beat of a series of gentle yeses that affirm I am in the right place and this pace is just right.

Like I said, grounding and humbling. Levelling and unifying.

***

At some point in the last few months, I made a slow and almost inconspicuous shift from the pursuit of flow, to just flowing with it when it arrives. I’m somewhere in the process of making friends with the up and down natural rhythms of my body’s energy, my minds willingness to be motivated and push through, and the sweet spot when the two meet and find alignment. I don’t recall exactly when, but I do recall having a conversation about it with S and saying, perhaps this is just it then. I welcome the highs when they arrive, and ride them fully, enthusiastically. And I give in to the lows with as much welcome, allowing for rest, if that’s what it is asking of me.

Working with people in the way that I am these days is also asking for a lot more emotional and mental energy than I imagined. I know I will develop ways to conserve and protect my energy, as I go on, but that is a curve and right now I am at the very bottom of it. So it has been taxing, depleting and quite revelatory.

Which explains perfectly, why my energy hasn’t been uniformly upward or even plateaued. I’ve seen wild ups and downs and for the first time in my life, I have been able to go with it peacefully, rather than grit my teeth and fight the natural rhythm of things.

***

And then there have been days like today. Three readings, two of which were in-person, in my home. And two more enquiries from people who I’ve done readings for last month — my first repeat clients!

Today has been a super demanding on me, but also super satisfying for all the same reasons. It’s been a day of flow. A day that flowed. And I was able to just go from one thing to another with ease, enjoying thoroughly, every moment of my work. I live for days like this, and I’ll bookmark this one to remember.

One year ago: Renewal
Two years ago: You guys, I must be the luckiest alive
Four years ago: Beach bum

On doing too much, as a way to find love

For some time now, the King of Wands has signalled compulsive doing, a restless energy, hyper-activity. For this message, I’m going to talk about compulsive doing as a response to early trauma, as a coping mechanism.

Dr. Daniel Sumrok, Psychiatrist and Director of the Centre for Addiction Sciences at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine introduced the idea that Addictions are essentially coping mechanisms and should be renamed “Ritualised Compulsive Comfort-Seeking” behaviour. He also says that at the heart of comfort-seeking such as smoking, alcoholism, excessive shopping and consumption, binge-eating or even spiritual bypassing and excessive doing is a response to an Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).

Yes, compulsive doing is often classified as an addiction if it is excessive to the degree that it occurs at the cost of one’s own self, sanity, health and wellbeing. Whether it is the urge to keep oneself busy, or it is linked to ideas of ultra-productivity, this constant subconscious need for be “at work” or “fix things” or “remain committed” to others needs, or just masochistic levels of perseverance, many times stems from the inability to just sit with something that needs to simply be witnessed. It very often catapults into compulsively putting the needs of others over one’s own needs.

If one were to trace this back to Adverse Childhood Experiences, it could go back to growing up being less parented than one may have wanted or needed in the early years. This instills the idea that one has to DO something to earn love and belonging, which manifests as compulsive doing to be “useful” to another, to prove ones worthiness of having a place and receiving love. The idea that to be loved, one has to take on the responsibility of doing something, is innate.

I’ve personally been thinking a lot about how I engage with periods when I feel compelled to do nothing. Lately, it has been difficult to allow it without judgement. And I have been wondering what has changed.

I’ve been questioning where my ideas of doing stem from, and if this is a form of ritualised comfort-seeking, what am I soothing? Having grown up in a family that placed a huge premium on teeth-gritting, bone-crushing perseverance as a virtue, with an absurdly high value placed on enduring (self-inflicted) pain, developing strength, commitment, never giving up and constantly being useful for others more than myself, I have grown up without healthy ideas of when it may actually be safe or essential to give up.

This has had catastrophic effects on my relationships, thanks to not having a clue what healthy boundaries look like, or how to keep myself safe. I have worked hard to learn what listening to my body and my inner cues actually means, to know when I need to stop doing, when I need to drop commitment to an unhealthy relationship, when I need to recognise a damaging pattern, and when I need to just sit still in silence. I’ve had to learn boundaries, on my own terms.

Today’s message is about looking at whether you have enough space for rest and recharging in your life. To quote an old adage, you cannot keep giving from an empty cup. If restlessness and compulsive-doing ring true for you, and if you think they may be ritualised comfort-seeking behaviours, is it fundamentally fulfilling an inner need for being loved and accepted?

One year ago: Safe and sound
Two years ago: The heartache lives on inside
Three years ago: Commitment issues
Four years ago: Pur very first Carnival in Goa

Suspend

As a race we’re increasingly creating a world of instant-everything. Instant feedback, instant validation, instant results, instant responses, instant justice, instant opinions, instant noodles. We want everything really quickly. Perhaps it’s a way to feel in control, a way to one-up the rapid movement of time and change that seems to be hurtling faster all the time.

The Hanged Man asks you to consider what it means to pause. Pause before you speak. Pause before you make up your mind. Pause before you decide. Pause before you think you know it all.

A major part of any inward journey is heading right up into spaces in your being that will require you to pause.

To take a moment. To allow a slow unfolding. To give things time. To feel your way through uncertainty. To sit with discomfort and do absolutely nothing about it for long periods of time.

And a major part of confronting these spaces will mean facing that innate resistance to all of it.

In the Hanged Man’s suspension, I see surrender. A reminder that not everything needs to be figured out immediately. There is power in knowing your place in the grander scheme of things, of realising how little is really in one’s control, and finding joy in flexibility of not figuring it all out. This allows for that little play for things to emerge, and gives you the permission to change your mind, to stretch and flex, and to grow.

Can you shine a light on those aspects of yourself that resist waiting and watching, that fight the pause, that grow quickly uncomfortable with uncertainty, and look at what that urgency might be about?

A good place to start is to see dow it feels to suspend action. To suspend logic. To suspend the need to solve everything instantly. What happens in your body when you suspend the need for certainty? How does it really feel, to just for a moment, let go the need for instant-everythings?

One year ago: Slice of life
Two years ago: Fields of gold
Four years ago: Every day

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 receiving

I’m Starting a Monday ritual of sharing a message for the week. Just a little something to get my tarot energies out into the world, and who knows, maybe some of you may enjoy and benefit from it?

I’m also going to be posting a version of these on Instagram every Monday going forward.

***

As luck would have it, I picked an apt card for current times.

The idea of belonging and connection. It has come up in virtually every other reading I did this past month. Either in the ask for guidance in relationships, in the context of clashing families and community, in finding companionship and friends. And I too have been thinking so much about belonging, in context to the current political scenario.

This card speaks words of belonging, to me. If you’re waiting to find belonging or connection or simply support and understanding, it’s quite likely you already have a fixed idea of what it ought to look like, and you’re waiting for it to take shape in exactly that way.

It’s also equally likely that you are already receiving connection, the opportunity to belong, be held and loved, in many other ways. And that they may not look anything like the belonging and connection you long for.

Is it possible to perhaps change the gaze with which you’re looking? So as to not lose out on what already is, in the constant hankering for something more? Perhaps the work is to learn to receive what is with grace, and with gratitude? To find ways in which you can count your blessings. Identify the ways in which you are receiving — belonging, connection, support, love — and put your energy and focus behind that instead.

In a world that celebrates (and often conflates) independence and strength, it’s easy to lose touch with the authenticity of collaboration, community, connection — the very building blocks of belonging — such that the basic act of receiving becomes challenging.

This card always reminds me of these lines from the brilliant Toko-Pa Turner’s book Belonging, in which she says;

Worship at the altar of your being supported. After all, you are the receiver of too many generosities to count. Count them anyway … At any given moment we can attune ourselves to wellbeing, which is a tributary of belonging. It is that place in our hearts where we are grateful for all that we’re receiving and, for a moment, want nothing more.

Belonging begins with the ability to receive. So today, maybe think about how it is for you to receive — a gift, a compliment, a pleasantry, an olive branch, a hug, an act of kindness, help.

Four years ago: Finally moving

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 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

Day 339: Trying to get high enough to cut the clouds

Today was a good day.

For some reason, I woke up extra early. This hasn’t happened in a while. The nippy mornings we’ve been having have meant that even on the off chance that I wake up early, I linger around under my blanket much longer after. Getting out of bed is a task in this weather. But today was different. I actually woke up, managed to finish some work ahead of time today. I also did this reading for D, which uncannily seemed as much a reading for me, as it might be for anyone else who stumbled on it today. Uncanny because of the pondering about friendship that I have been doing, which has been pointing me in this general direction — of surrender and acceptance once again. Uncanny because last night S and I met for dinner and our conversations stirred up these feelings again.

I went across town to meet S for breakfast (and run a few pending errands) and here too, our conversations brought home this fact again. Of accepting changing dynamics, keeping my heart open to the inevitable evolution and to drop expectations and embrace things as they are. Unconditionally.

Breakfast was an elaborate affair that started off on a breakfast-y note, but since we lingered around chatting, while I waited for the person I was meant to meet to arrive, and it was past noon we indulged in some chaat too. I came home in time to catch an afternoon nap and some work, before I headed off veggie shopping to prep for lunch with A tomorrow.

I came home and suddenly felt a cooking frenzy descend. I stuck some tomatoes laced with garlic, basil, salt and pepper in the oven to roast. I set a big pot of vegetable stock on. And I set off cooking tomorrow lunch with guidance and help from Amma who came over for dinner. We made one of my favourite gravies, but with cow-peas (teehee) since they’re in season and because I love them so much. And a cold dill and sour yogurt coconut curry. Then I also made a few Vietnamese cold rolls with fresh carrots, cucumber, spring onions, mint and pan fried peanut-chilli tofu for us to eat with the soup. By then the roasted tomatoes were set to cool, and blended with the vegetable stock to make soup.

I love a day like this that is full, productive and fun. A day that has equal parts work and play, and leaves me feeling content with such seemingly simple pleasures.

I’m grateful, and thankful, today. For the winter chill in the air. For breakfast with S. For her friendship and life-affirming conversations she brings. For serendipitous messages from the universe. For the cabs and autos in Bangalore. For VC, who gets me. For my CA who takes the load of paperwork off our backs. For flexible work hours that allow for the rare nap. For fresh vegetables and the sporadic willingness to cook. For amma and her company. For keeping me well-fed, one way or the other, wether in her kitchen or mine. For light, satisfying dinners. For experiencing living alone and to my own rhythms alone. For turning in at 9 pm.

Day 333: I’ve got a good feeling

I’d label this occurrence as an uncanny coincidence with what I am feeling and where I am in life right now. But I know there are is no such thing as an uncanny coincidence. Only the right thing at the right time.

And so, I wait.

Two years ago: Day 333: Toast