tolerance

7 THINGS YOU CAN DO IF YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED RIGHT NOW

Rainbow_Tunnel

Quite a few people I know seem to be in a state of spiritual limbo or some kind of inner breakdown/turmoil right now. The energy of Mercury Rx in Libra, with the Scorpio Eclipse approaching feels as though one’s life & life choices are under review and intense scrutiny. For some, long-forgotten wounds are rising to the surface to be acknowledged. With all that shifting – for those who experience it in this form – here’s a couple of commonsensical ideas that often get missed in the intensity of it all:

(1) Be gentle with yourself. Chances are whatever’s happening is not done ‘on purpose’ or ‘by design’ just to make you miserable. It’s a process, and one you’re going through as you move towards Wholeness. You’ll emerge from this part of it, just as you always have. Have faith in your capacity to learn, bounce back and integrate all these intense lessons.

(2) Be gentle with yourself. You aren’t ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ for having a ‘shadow side’. Yes, it exists. No, you cannot slay it into oblivion (well, you could try if you liked). Ideally, learn to accept the fact that there are things about you that you would rather not have. And know that even those parts teach you something valuable. If you can’t see the gifts they bear, at the very least work on the fact of accepting their existence in the first place. Denial will not help, in the long-run. And it’s okay – we’ve all got shadow selves. You’re probably not as ‘bad’ as you think.

(3) Be gentle with others. Those going through the ‘internal churning process’ may not be quite as pleasant as normal to those around them. Most people aren’t mind-readers, just communicate your needs if you have them. Assuming you have decent people around you, you’ll probably get some of those needs met by asking – ,if they are valid demands (e.g. I need a hug, I need some space, I need to talk, etc.). Remember that they are people too, undergoing their own internal processes at the same time that you are. Try to return the favour/kindness/attention when you can, if they are in need of it at a later point.

(4) Be gentle. The Universe throws us enough challenges and opportunities for growth and epic transformation. We do not need to make a bumpy ride even bumpier. Take it one day at a time and know that each little step on each day adds up to a mountain of progress in the long run. Baby steps. Nothing wrong with that.

(5) Laugh. Be Inspired. Be Moved. Watch or do something that takes your mind off all of this. Whether it’s a cheesy sitcom, a soap opera, a sunset, a baby giggling – get out of that headspace, or that funk.

(6) Love and Be Grateful. You’re still standing. You’re alive. You have the ability and opportunity to make better decisions than you did in the past. You have the chance not only to change your lives but the lives of those around you, for the better. Be grateful that you have that opportunity, even if it doesn’t seem like you could ever do that now. Gratitude works wonders. Try being grateful for yourself, your existence, at the very least. You were born of Love, even if you may not feel it at this time.

(7) Rest. Sleep longer if you can. Sit under a tree if you find one you like. Visit a temple. Go someplace where you can simply stay still and just sigh with relief. You need that moment of peace and respite from whatever it is that you’re facing. Don’t be afraid to take a little time out just to wind down.

Blessings, and I hope this is of help for those experiencing the current energies in a ‘rough’ manner.

With Love,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Image Information – Rainbow Tunnel.jpg – By Mark Chandler10smark (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why I Love the Dark Goddess: An Invitation to Self-Reflection and Dialogue

 

In this video, I pose a few questions at the start to get the ball rolling – and share some of my personal experiences along the way. So many of us are awakening now, as we are following paths which call us to an understanding of femininity, motherhood and womanhood that defies conventional understandings. As we go on this path – asking ourselves the basics of Why? How? Where? can take us a long way in understanding what we are embodying, and how to carry that as we move through the world. There are so many misconceptions surrounding the Dark Feminine (e.g. witches are bad or evil, women are inferior, it’s all negativity, etc.), deeply embedded into the collective psyche. So it’s important to think about how we deal with these challenges, and in so doing, embody the essence of this Path – which is to me, a commitment to truth and a way of life that goes beyond rituals or forms. This is an invitation to engage in self-reflection and dialogue. Please comment with your responses, if so inclined.

Just so I am clear – whilst I speak of the experience of women, the themes that I address will also be ones familiar to men honoring the Feminine principle, particularly if they do not obey the heteronormative norm (e.g. alternate sexualities, not being a ‘manly’ man, etc.). The same applies for those with a trans-identity, breaking out of societal expectations.

Vanakam, Namaste and Blessings to Everyone Across The Globe,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
http://www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

The Path of Peace can never be Forged by Hatred ~ By Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD

 

path to peace
Silence can be a powerful tool of protest through disengagement, but it can also be a sign of apathy, or of having been subjugated, your voice lost.

Despite having a PhD in the subject, I rarely speak about politics unless it’s in an article I write, or at a conference. I find it to be a subject that tends to polarize rather than unify. That being said, politics is woven into the world, and our personal lives in ways and levels that make it impossible to avoid.

Right now feels like one of those times where remaining silent would be apathetic.

On my page The Goddess, The Serpent and The Sea: Building Pathways of Light, I posted a meme that essentially condemned the situation in Gaza – asserting that standing in solidarity with the lives lost was not the same as hating either side. I liked it as it was a statement of empathy and solidarity without judgment. (We have enough of the latter in this world, and too little of the former).

I got two interesting responses to it: One, was a lady whom I’d never heard being aggressive, telling me that the extremists on the Palestinian side would kill me (us, the collective ‘you’) after they’d killed all the Jews. The second, was someone who’d posted a video of an son of a general in the Israeli army speaking out against the killings.

I was grateful for the second comment as it was a sign that not all Jews supported the conflict – many others are making similar efforts to put the word out there. This knowledge helps one de-link the actions of a particular military and/or government from the faith and ethnicity they are associated with. It also slows the growth and prevalence of insidious generalizations that equate people of a certain faith with aggression and war. (And it’s not just about the Judaism, I take that stance when any faith, religion and spiritual path is involved).

Equally, I was grateful for the first comment, as it was a reminder for me to get out of my silence and speak. This was my reply:

Hate manifests hate. Basic spiritual principle. By hating them, you do not change or help the situation.

I should add – By refusing to hate, you do not condone or support unjust actions. Too many people believe they must hate one side or another to support the opposite party.

If we are truly honest in our spiritual paths – we have to ask ourselves – can the Path of Peace be forged by Hatred?

I say this as a priestess, political scholar and as a Tamil woman – I am the daughter of a race that was raped and slaughtered in Sri Lanka in an act of genocide in its own right that has yet to be fully acknowledged.

Blessings to all,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

_________________________________________________
Image: Artist Unknown. Originally on: http://mepeace(dot)org/profiles/blogs/palestine-post

Update: It has come to my attention that the video of the son of the general may be a hoax. The idea that not all Israelis and Jews support military action on Gaza is, however, a valid one. 5,000 attended this rally in Tel Aviv, protesting for peace between Israel and Paleston: http://972mag.com/no-more-deaths-israelis-protest-the-gaza-war/94380/

 

THE POLITICS OF NAMASTE AND WAYS TO HONOR THE MILLION FACES OF INDIA

The Politics of Namaste

Blessings to all,

I’ve given much thought to writing this – as honestly, it is a sensitive subject – one that draws upon thousands of years of ideological and other forms of violence, suppression and grandstanding between two different religious and spiritual traditions in India: The Aryan (North) and the Dravidian (South). It‘s honestly a lot more nuanced than that, but there is that invisible line that is drawn across the Indian subcontinent that marks profound differences.

Whilst I love my Southern-Tamil culture and identity, I feel there is so much more to it than asserting whether it is the ‘best’ or the ‘oldest’ – but at the same time I feel deeply uncomfortable when someone does try to put down my identity by claiming cultural-linguistic-ethnic- and other forms of superiority. There is powerful linguistic evidence on both sides, which have equally been used to make such a case – and I honestly find that debate counterproductive.

I worship and integrate different aspects of both traditions, deities and divinities – placing them on par with one another. For those of you who have been following my work, you know that I do the same thing with religions and belief systems for we are all Equals in the Circle.

But what does all this have to do with Namaste?

Namaste is a specific term of – recognizing the divinity within others – that is from the Sanskritic linguistic root – strongly associated with the Hindi language.

Contrary to the kinds of cultural stereotyping that India is often subjected to (that everyone speaks Hindi, or is a Hindu, or loves Bollywood) – not every part of India uses this terminology – even in spiritual contexts.

I’m writing this as I realize that my Indian identity often makes others feel as though they are honoring that identity by saying ‘Namaste’.

I don’t blame anyone for/about it – and I see that the intention is pure.

It’s just that this discussion, or this distinction hasn’t been made in many New Age and spiritual circles. People assume that India is more homogeneous that it actually is, unless information to the contrary is given.

Simply put, it does not mean the same thing for all those who are of Indian origin. Nor do all people of Indian origin use it, even in temples.

Here are other ways that different Indian identities express a similar concept:
Vanakam – Tamil (some Tamil Brahmins use Namaskaram)
Vandanam/Namaskaram – Telugu
Swagatham/Namaskaram – Malayalam
Assamulaikum – Muslim-Indians

There are a lot of other ways that different states/regions and ethnicities express this concept. This list is but a start.

As has been shown in India’s history and politics – Language is key to one’s sense of identity. Words say a lot about who you are, where you come from, where you will go. And not having the right to express one’s self in their mother tongue was seen in India’s history as a severe limitation upon individual freedoms.

That is the reason why India recognizes more than 20 different official languages and provides for simultaneous interpretative services in its Parliament – and why MPs use English if not their mother tongue to speak with others.

The idea of a single identity, be it defined in terms of a language, a region, a belief system, could not take root – as it is a such rich land with a diversity of cultural traditions and ethnicities. Plurality and diversity were favored over imposing a common language – because that would have meant much more than ‘mere words’ to the people of India.

A friend of mine asked me (and he respects both traditions) – well, what is your point as ‘Hindi is the face of India’ (quoted with permission).

My response: Well, it is – and it isn’t.

India has a million faces, and each deserve equal recognition.

Here’s to honoring them all, and staying true to one’s roots. Tolerance and Plurality.

Vanakam,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com

Religious and Spiritual Tolerance

Religious and Spiritual Tolerance

 

Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs – even ones that oppose your own. Some adopt a ‘live and let live’ attitude, others argue with integrity, and others will try to un-seat you by using hate-speech and other inflammatory tactics.

My approach to this is simple. Today, someone demanded that my beliefs were wrong and they had to be challenged. I just said sure – Go right ahead. But I don’t feel the need to defend them. For when you have faith, no amount of doubt can make you believe otherwise.

What others may say about you or your faith is irrelevant. All that matters is what you feel about it.

I feel as though faith-based conflicts will be on the rise when Mars enters Scorpio (the house of Deep Esoteric Wisdom and one aspect of Soul-Penetrating Spiritual Insight) on the 26th of July (tomorrow).

Please keep this principle of balance in mind, as best you can. And know that even those who hate – and at their core, feel threathened by – what you stand for are here to teach you something.

Just smile, walk away, and wish them well – block them if you feel the need to (if they’re online) – and carry on having a wonderful day.

Best. Response. Ever.

Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
www.bairaveebalasubramaniam.com