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

Day 313: And yesterday becomes tomorrow

Two steps forward and one back. On and on it goes.

Amazed and humbled at how things one feels confident and sorted about have a strange way of cropping up when least expected.

Surprised myself at the latent anxiety I have obviously absorbed and locked away these pastany months, only to have it surface when I roamed a supermarket in Panjim last week.

It led to this post and much introspection and eventually a light at the end of the tunnel. But not without first running myself down just a little bit.

But it helps to have timely conversations and frequent insights from folks who help realign my mirrors, clean the fog up and remind me see the me I am now, when it seems easier to be stuck in a difficult past.

Two years ago: Day 313: Mid-week blues