An Message To Self: Live Life with Integrity

Meditation

We don’t honor ourselves enough. You and I are designed to accomplish great things, we’re built to withstand tough challenges and we each have a unique purpose for being here. We do ourselves a great dishonor whenever we allow anything, or anyone for that matter, convince us that we’re not worthy enough or that it’s not possible for us to follow our true calling in life.

We often talk of purpose as if it’s some cosmic gift from above or some declaration that society hands us and because of this thinking, we never feel like we’re quite good enough unless someone else affirms it. We’re constantly doubting ourselves and we’re seeking validation through notifications to which hold no real value. We diminish our self-belief because we’re not seeing purpose as a natural birthright; we’re to own who we are and to be free to explore life, so that we can grow into our purpose and courageously stand by it.

What I’ve written already may sound a little cryptic, but I’ve recently experienced a shift in perspective and discovered why so many of us struggle in our daily lives. A lot of us don’t feel supported enough to share how we truly feel and therefore we burden ourselves with our truths rather than opening up about them. We then learn to cope with our burdens instead of overcoming them and we hide away our truths under a guise of denial; resentment; anger; sadness; frustration; silence; avoidance and so on, always a disguise nonetheless. I’d bet that many of you feel misunderstood, but that feeling isn’t going to shift until you drop the veil, set free your truth and allow the healing to begin.

Too many of us are good people working hard and trying even harder to build happy and fulfilled lives. Even at our lowest of lows, we muster whatever energy we have left and rise out of bed in the morning to live through another day. I’ve coached enough people to understand that this statement resonates within a lot of us, as it did with me for a very long time. I’ll even admit that I’ve thought about ending all this despair too, because if I can’t live openly then for me there’s no reason to live at all.

I grew up in a Sikh household and the very first words that appear in the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy text) are “Ik Onkar, Sat Naam” which roughly translates to: There is one “God”, Truth is its name. From what I understand of this, is that the only thing we should live our lives by and the very thing we should actually honour, seek out, and respect, is the truth. The discovery of truth has guided Scientists, Mathematicians, Philosophers and Scholars alike, so where will your truth guide you?

It’s said that the truth will set us free. Think about it, the reason why many of us feel isolated or alone, outcast or trapped, or even misunderstood and lacking purpose is because we’re not living truthfully. We lock up how we truly feel; who we truly are; what we truly desire from life, because we’re too attached to mass produced ideologies that misrepresent us. Our attachment to these ideologies cause us to judge one another, because we’re conditioned to follow each other like sheep and respond negatively toward those who stand out.

The day I realized myself, was the day I embraced myself, shared my ideas and started exploring the truth. I may make it sound like this grand occasion, but it really was just a simple realization. Obvious, even. So I’ve decided to write this post today to encourage you all to start freeing yourself from any burden you feel buried under, because you are way too valuable to live your life in vain.

You all know me as Terry but not many know that my real name Is Talwinder Singh Sidhu, a name that I’ve only recently learnt to be proud of and respect. I believe we are all born equal in an unequal society and the only way we’re going to make positive change, is if we stand up and continue to fight for equality on all platforms. On that note, I’ve also recently learned that gender isn’t and shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to forming relationships. Lastly, I believe that every single one of us on this planet is destined for greatness, but only those who live truthfully will achieve it and find fulfillment within it.

Living with integrity will help you uncover your purpose and give you the courage to pursue it, because you’ll no longer feel bound to the same life design everyone else is following. Your relationships will improve because you’ll only support ones that are mutually supportive and as a bonus, your patience for ignorance to fade will increase too. Finally, when you do step out from underneath your disguise, you’ll finally give people the opportunity to understand you fully. Although it can seem incredibly terrifying at first and there may be some consequences to face, but in time, you will realize that you’ll have nothing left to fear and that your freedom guide you to where need to be.

All the best,

Terry Sidhu

Advertisements

Where do you find love?

Post by Vancouver Life Coach, Terry Sidhu.

Love

I recently came back from a trip that made me realise the unspoken struggles we face alone, beneath the surface of the identities we present. Having reconnected with loved ones after many years and establishing brand new connections, I came back from this trip more aware of the emotional experiences we’re all striving for in life. Experiences that many of us will fail to achieve, if we continue to overrule what we’re truly feeling with rationalisation. The experiences I’m talking about, have to do with Love.

Love is an emotion that has baffled great minds for millennia, and I’m learning that the only way to understand what love is and the purpose it serves, is to first accept and embrace it. To realize that it exists and that it sits at the very core of all human emotion.

Sometimes I feel my work simply involves reconnecting individuals with love. Albeit helping individuals accept and embrace who they are and develop a love of themselves, through to helping individuals uncover a path that feels genuine and purposeful. Then there’s the relationship aspect of my work, where I help people reconnect with the feeling of love, rather than merely presenting the idea of it.

Although I began my career with a subjective understanding of love, my work has helped me develop objectivity on the matter. I’m understanding that love is an authentic connection to an honest energy, where one feels completely accepted by and accepting of said energy. Love is the most liberating of all emotions, which is why I feel we should navigate our lives by it. Learning about the impact of love and how it can influence even the most stubborn of minds, I finally feel I can write from the heart and of the heart, about this alluring topic.

I feel human consciousness or the gateway to human consciousness, has a lot to do with the awakening of our emotions. I think to when a baby is born, the very first thing a child experiences in life is raw and uninterrupted emotion. I feel my understanding of emotion is that they’re our awareness of existence. I feel our emotions are the true senses of our consciousness, and it’s trusting and relying on these senses that will guide us to the best conscious experience possible. Perhaps then our traditional, physical senses, are the gatekeepers that help us manage and construct our conscious experience.

I imagine human consciousness as a vast garden where seeds of emotion are planted. I think these seeds sprout at birth and from then on, the way we live our lives shape the way this garden grows. For example, a lot of negative life experiences will probably result in an unappealing garden full of negative emotions. Weeds that overshadow or restrict the potential of an appealing garden from blossoming; a garden full of flowers of positive emotion. If we can imagine our emotions in this way, like plants that need to be nurtured, then we can appreciate the value in nurturing positive emotion. Understand the effort it takes to maintain positivity and how easy it is to neglect and let negativity take rule over time. Therefore, to nurture and grow positive emotion, we must make the effort in our everyday lives for positive life experiences.

I use this analogy in order to help my clients understand the work it may take to revive their identities, and manage their lives into the fulfilment they seek. It’s a matter of managing and maintaining our “gardens” so to speak. It also helps us understand that all our emotions exist and are present within us, and just like the plants that grow in our gardens, we need to nurture the right ones. We must work to grow a garden worth presenting; to live a life worth living, and where relationships are concerned, we must develop a garden worth visiting; a life we’re confident sharing.

I’ve always noticed, or rather envied how children seem to have an innate ability to embrace love so easily. It makes me think that love is the emotion that grows in the centre of our conscious gardens. A tree that branches into emotions like passion, hope, enjoyment, confidence, excitement, happiness, liberation and so on. I think naturally we’re supposed to, and are allowed to, live our lives this way and I suppose that’s why it’s said that happiness is a choice.

I think our negative experiences in life and the mass, repetitive messages we’re surrounded by impact our emotions so much so, that we lose sight of our positive emotions. Our positive emotions become defined for us and reinforced by messages that tell us how we have to look and behave. Our gatekeepers, our traditional senses, are so overwhelmed by these messages that we’re convinced that love and happiness is something we must strive to earn, even though they already exist within.

As an example, think about the last time you’ve really wanted to settle a curiosity, or wanted to be spontaneous in life and just live, but you’ve stopped yourself because of a fear of what others may think?

If we continue to limit these potentially positive experiences in life, we nurture and grow negative emotions like insecurity, isolation, hopelessness, sadness, fear and so on, until they take over that tree and transform it into hate. If we can realise that we are in control of our lives, that we are the caretakers of our own gardens, we can actively take charge of how we feel. We can consciously choose to grow love.

Emotions have always been key to our survival and well-being and as the world has evolved, I fear we’ve learned to rationalize or turn a blind eye to what we’re truly feeling. Think about it, how many times have you had to convince yourself that “everything’s fine”, because from the outlook you should have nothing to worry about? You may have built a life that looks good, but how many of you reading this can honestly say you’re living a life that feels good?

It’s really simple actually, because we can easily distinguish what feels good from what feels bad and more importantly, we can distinguish what leaves us feeling good and what leaves us feeling bad. We just need to start listening to our emotions in order to guide our lives in a positive direction. We must learn to neglect and move away from all things bad, and educate and strengthen our gatekeepers to focus on all things good.

My apologies if this post sounds more spiritual than usual, but the happiest people I’ve come across lead their lives with love. I see that they’re surrounded by an abundance of love because they’ve let this emotion take reign over their lives. They love what they do, they love who they are, they love others easily and most importantly, they’re easily loved. How many of us can say we feel this way everyday?

Today we can to stop contributing our own misery, by facing the truth that is rooted in our emotions.

Vancouver Life Coach

Meditation, what a trip!

Meditation

I’ve been meditating on and off for many months now and I’ve recently become more disciplined. I’ve been dedicated every day for the last two months and I’m noticing an increased sense of peace of mind and I’m finding it easier to maintain a positive mindset and focus.

I feel that I enter a semi-conscious state when I meditate, a place where extreme reality meets extreme wonder. My troubles and difficulties dance with my hopes and dreams, until the two realities co-exist and become one, which I define as truth. When I arrive at this truth, balance and serenity is achieved, relinquishing fear and doubt. Meditation allows me to pick myself up and confidently continue work towards my aspirations.

It sounds beautiful and poetic ‘n all, but I’m still eager to experience this “awakening” that I keep hearing about. However, I think last night I came incredibly close to experiencing something I can only describe as sensational.

Last night I prepared as normal: my clothes were warm and loose, I sat crossed legged and began breathing deeply, in and out. With the amount of practise, I’ve gotten closer to perfecting a technique that settles my mind quickly; I tend to focus on the sound of my breath.

After the serene dance between two realities, I experienced something very different and I couldn’t feel my body. It didn’t feel like I had lost the sense to touch, it was more like that feeling you get when you hold your hands really close together, without them actually touching. Maybe it was brought on by sitting crossed legged for such a long time, but it wasn’t a numbness, nor did I feel the tingling of pins and needles. It was very bizarre.

I wouldn’t call it an out-of-body experience, I’m still skeptical of that, but I did sense that my mind was lost and trying to navigate itself somewhere. I felt as if a veil or layer of something had been dropped and it caused my physical senses to weaken and my thoughts to escape rather than silence.

Was I experiencing awe?

A moment frozen in time?

Was I awake in my sleep?

I had no idea, but I reckon it could’ve been an experience of complete and genuine detachment. It felt like I had officially let go of something, more accurately, I felt I let go of everything and that I had finally accepted some sort of peace. Needless to say it was comforting yet peculiar.

When I awoke, I awoke with an incredible awareness of consciousness. I seemed to magnetically re-attach to everything I had let go of: the fear, the hope, the good, the bad, the sadness and joy…I felt like I was a giant electro-magnet surrounded by an assortment of metals, which had been switched back on.

I’m still unsure of what this all means, but it’s definitely contributing to the case for meditation and its role in awareness and positive impacts to mindset. It’s a personal, self-driven influence over your own identity, it’s taught me more about myself and it’s helping me better understand my place.

I highly recommend it to you all.

Image Credit: digitalbob8

VanCity

What is Mindfulness? – The Philosophy of “I don’t give a damn Sh*t”

My mum hiking The Stawamus Chief, Squamish, BC

My mum hiking The Stawamus Chief, Squamish, BC

I have very cool parents. A father with the ability to dream big, despite life’s knock backs, the man still has some big aspirations. His encouragement is limitless and he has every confidence that, no matter what I do, I’ll be okay.

My mother on the other hand, she lives by one philosophy which she insists on passing down through generations. A guru in her own right, my mother never ever gave a “damn sh*t!” We, we being myself and my siblings, all used to laugh at her funny sayings, this one in particular.

My parents grew up in a generation surrounded by very strict Indian traditions and extremely outdated cultural practices. Also, one of the first generations to genuinely experience the struggles of integrating into a western society, from racial prejudice through to raising children that adopted very different values to those she and my father were raised with.

An avid reader, my mum grew up reading books on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. She generally read anything that allowed her mind to explore, to escape the realities she was forced to surrender to. All our lives, during the troubles that came with financial turmoil, crooked family politics and the bullsh*t that came with living an arranged life, she never let her spirit die.

We all grew up hearing “I don’t give a damn Sh*t!” around the house, as she belted it out during stressful moments. In her charming in-glish accent (an Indian accent with an English undertone), followed by a delightful laugh that made any unfortunate situation seem small and insignificant. It’s only during the last few years, having figured out my own path in life, I connected with what mum actually meant by the words she uttered.

My mum has practised mindfulness her entire life, before the world began trending it, mum was living it. In every difficult situation, she would never let negativity infiltrate her mind. It was like this mantra shielded her from turning into a bitter old lady; resenting the world and everyone in it.

I always thought she held onto a hope that things would get better one day, as many do in unfortunate circumstances. I thought that was where she drew her strength. In actuality, that one-day was always her present day, the here and now was the time to laugh off her troubles and focus on whatever bliss currently existed, however big or small. Be it the fact that we had a day with a full healthy meal on our plates or, at the very least, love and closeness in our family.

Today, at 64, mum continues to share lessons of mindfulness to any person she meets. It makes complete sense why people warm up to her very quickly. She lives life as if life is literally the only thing she owns, and so long as she maintains control over her own mind, the force that drives her life, she’s the most fortunate person she knows.

So no matter what situation you’re faced with, no matter what your current circumstances are, practise having full control over your mind and be aware of your thoughts. That’s what mindfulness is. Mum taught us to focus on everyday bliss, however big or small, it exists, we just have to start paying attention to it.

Negativity can only affect us if we allow it to and what mum actually means by ‘not giving a sh*t’, isn’t that she doesn’t care, it’s that she’ll continue to fight for the one thing that can’t ever be taken from her; she will never surrender her mind to negativity, no matter how hard life tries.

VanCity

How to Reduce Anxiety and Ease the Pressure of Making Choices

Connecting two worlds

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in a shallow sea just as the sun is about to set and the tide about to rise. Although I may feel content and happy where I am, I’m merely moments away from a bad situation and if I don’t do something soon, I’ll be stuck here wishing I had made the choice to move sooner.

When we feel content and safe in a situation, it’s easy to overlook our pursuit for fulfillment. We begin to struggle with the choices we need to and/or want to make, that progress our lives towards betterment and actualization. This complacency feeds anxiety.

The longer we do hold onto a comfortable situation, the closer we become to losing sight of who we truly are and what we truly want. We can lose sight of our aspirations and motivations, as our complacent ways consume and become our identity.

Our true desires eventually catch up to us, for complacency can only repress our inner intentions for so long. There’s no running away from who we truly are and what we truly want from life, as it only takes a tiny spark of inspiration to reignite our true identities. And when we are reminded of who we actually are and what we actually want from life, we’re confronted with many choices that cause anxiety.

I’m working with several clients that are realizing this burden of complacency in life and are now facing a great deal of anxiety, because they’re facing the “pressures of freedom of choice.”

A wise connection of mine known as ‘Dilly Dave, recently published a video on anxiety and he describes it very well. He talks about how we need to take action in order to limit worry and overcome “the dizziness, of freedom of choice.” I think it’s a compelling video that sums up anxiety and worry brilliantly, check it out below:

To ease this pressure, I want to share something we all already know but easily forget, it’s the importance of engaging in trial and error.

I came to this re-realization when I began delving into both spiritual and scientific practices that help people reduce anxiety. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge impact on my life since adopting yoga and meditation, but what really intrigued me was how these practices actually developed.

Breakthroughs and discoveries in both Science and Spirituality are the result of trial and error, and I hadn’t noticed this primary link that connected the two together. Both, on the same mission towards solving problems and seeking answers, only progressed and discovered results because of regular trial and error.

Ironically, anxiety causes complications as we’re overrun by choices, yet a proven method towards solving problems and seeking answers, thrives on the many choices we’re presented with. Therefore it’s very important to understand that making the wrong choice shouldn’t really be the thing we should concern our lives with, failing to try is what we  really should be focusing on.

Motivation is triggered by thoughts that access our potential. If our thoughts are focused on making the wrong choice, then we’re only feeding an anxious spirit. However, if we mindfully focus our thoughts towards the outcome of not trying, we begin to awaken a motivated spirit.

There’s a wonderful bliss that one can experience when engaged in seeking answers. We can enter an active flow state and steady our minds just by engaging in life’s most simple and most effective learning tools. To sum up, we can begin to reduce anxiety by embracing the pleasure of discovery.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Understanding Detachment and the Meaning behind This ‘Spiritual’ Philosophy

Post by VanCityLifeCoach.com

“Attachment is the root of suffering.” – The Buddha

Detachment

I’ve been reading a lot about detachment, or non-attachment if you rather and like most, I’ve always believed the philosophy of detachment simply meant not letting material possessions have rule over your life. Which I guess is true, but teachings suggest that detachment roots much deeper than that. That one must detach oneself from people, emotions, thoughts and desires…basically, all the things we latch onto that give our lives meaning and purpose are none and void, if we wish to experience true freedom; liberation.

I was beginning to feel a little bewildered by the concept because it conflicted with a lot of my own ideas and beliefs. For one, I thoroughly enjoy connecting with people, so does this also mean that love keeps us from ever reaching this experience too?

After raising more questions and failing to firmly grasp the concept, I continued on with my day. It was only when I began my daily meditation that the concept re-entered my mind. As I sat there, cross-legged and awkwardly ready to achieve stillness and serenity, I was overcome by answers.

Detachment doesn’t necessarily mean living life a recluse and closing off connections and interactions to the world around us. Nor does it mean finding a spiritual place to live out the rest of our days trying to reach a higher level on consciousness. I began recognizing detachment as building a more mindful relationship with life, and how that journey towards mindfulness begins from within.

I always talk about identity and living life by the true values of who you are, by doing so you guide your life in a more fulfilled direction. I still believe this and it aligns with everything I’ve learned recently too.

Detachment is not about creating distance, I feel it’s more about understanding the true significance of life so that we better connect to it. For instance what do my possessions mean to me? Well if you think about it, they don’t actually mean anything. As a living organism; as a force of life, my possessions really have no value.

So feeling like I learned something amazing, I shared this conclusion with a friend of mine and he said “well what if you were on a life support machine, you’d need that wouldn’t you?” Ah…that got me thinking and the thought kept me up for a couple of nights as my mind was once again riddled.

A few days had passed and I was writing a letter to a client of mine. I was fully engaged in a state of flow and out of nowhere I found the response to my friend’s question: ‘Well why am I, or would I, be afraid to die?’ That one realization blew my understanding of attachment wide open, particularly how attachment causes us to fear/avoid one of life’s uncomplicated and inevitable outcomes. At that moment I felt completely present. I finally understood the significance of detachment and how it fits in with life’s most basic principles, right up there with death and breathing.

I started to look at my life much more closely, everything from brushing my teeth in the morning through to picking up my nephew for a cuddle after work. What does it all mean to life, not my life, just life in general? My nephew has only existed for several months and now I feel I can’t live without him…how and why does this impact my life so much? How and why does this rule my life? Each answer only raised these same questions.

The more I broke down my life and especially as I delved into my past, I noticed how little control and influence I had over it. I clearly wasn’t grasping what life meant at all. I was living life attached and as a result, I was indeed suffering: from my lack of confidence (controlled by what other people thought of me), to the fear of paving my own path (expectations from and responsibilities to those around me)…it all made complete sense.

I’m thinking that maybe we could all use a little less attachment in our lives, to step away and embrace actual life. Maybe I’ve got it completely lost in translation or just maybe, I’ve stumbled upon the beginning of something more definitive for myself.

I am also realizing that detachment has just as much, if not more to do with the physical realm than it does with the spiritual. I think detachment isn’t this glorious concept that I’ve always thought it to be, I think the true beauty and power behind this philosophy lies within its simplicity.

Either way, this recent experience has at the very least, taught me to keep my mind and my eyes wide open; to be more mindful and aware, and that outcome alone is priceless.

VanCity

2015: Reintroducing Spirituality to Success

I heard the above tune back in 1998 when I was about 10 years old. Now almost 17 years on, I still have it on my iPod and I’m gutted at the fact that Tupac might be right, that nothing will ever change. I listened to this track yesterday and picked out a handful of lyrics:

  • “Cops give a damn about a negro? Pull the trigger, kill a ni***, he’s a hero.”
  • “Misplaced hate makes disgrace to races we under.”
  • “There’s war on the streets and the war in the Middle East.”
  • “Take the evil out the people, they’ll be acting right.”

The world has advanced in so many ways, yet nearly 20 years on, this song could have been released today and still be relevant. So I began to wonder what was missing in our pursuit of success. After all, when we think about wanting success, it’s often motivated by the desire for change.

After some reflection, I began to wonder why society has become so socially latent; it seems the very pursuit of success has been misguided and reduced to self-indulgence and lifestyle. Making us blind to issues (like the ones above) that our successes could help eliminate.

Defining the Pursuit of success

We’re 15 years into the third millennium and I’m thinking about my own future and that of our future generations. I want them to become successful of course, but what message can I share that ensures their success isn’t pursued in vain. That their pursuit of success does not perpetuate social latency, because the idea of having a fancy car trumps the value of personal accomplishment.

We often look up to successful people today for all the wrong reasons, they set so many bad examples of what it means to be successful. Causing society to substitute true fulfillment for material possessions, to replace true leaders with pop icons and to adopt mass trends instead of embracing their own ideas.

I meet so many people living “successful lives” yet they struggle to find any fulfillment in the lives they live…that’s not success.

The pursuit of success seems lost in translation. It’s surprising how many people want success yet find it difficult to define it, let alone have any worthwhile reason as to why they want it. Lacking purpose and identity.

I think the pressure to look successful has blurred the true meaning of what it means to be successful.

The entire reason I anchored this topic off of Tupac, was to illustrate how much we have disconnected with the spirit behind success, and how this disconnect can result in no real progression or change. Be it in ourselves or circumstance.

Here’s a man who pursued success for much defined reasons. He became successful because he had the right spirit. That spirit then left a lingering echo through time. Leaving an awareness that identified some of his unfulfilled aspirations, for others to then recognize and connect with. To me that’s a very good example of what it means to become successful.

Success and Spirituality

It’s spirituality that exists within great people of today and those that have left legacies behind for others to align with. The advances in science, the innovation in technology, the force of community, the boldness in art and the tenacity in sport. They were all driven by the spirit within individuals. Industries moved forward because those that carried the spirit of success prevailed.

I sometimes can’t help feeling that the connection civilization had to spirituality has been lost. Through the misinterpretation of religion perhaps, or the lack of belief and trust in those that lead us.

Spirituality is personal-growth, it’s giving our lives meaning, giving our ventures a reason to be pursued. It’s developing an elevated feeling of purpose. It’s the connection we can’t measure, yet have with our dream.

Spirituality authenticates our aspirations. It’s our journey, we should make it significant.

Having spirituality in success defines the outcome we desire. It’s the umbrella that hosts determination, courage, confidence, motivation, perseverance and pretty much anything else we require, that contributes to believing in ourselves.

Let the pursuit of success once again become a virtue. With it, make positive changes within ourselves and to world we live in.

We have the opportunity within us to leave a legacy, not just a memory. Pursue accomplishment and be successful, don’t just pursue the idea of success.

“You see the old way wasn’t working so it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive.”

– Tupac Shakur, Changes

VanCity