Reflections on my first #AtoZChallenge 2017

Reflections on my first #AtoZChallenge 2017

 

Challenges excite me. Perhaps one of the reasons why I accepted my first #AtoZChallenge of Blogging, April 2017. The thought of doing 26 posts in the month seemed arduous and time consuming, what with a busy month ahead. But I chose to think of the positives on the other side of completion. And surely, it did turn out to be some experience. Takeaways from the challenge:

Time Management

The #AtoZChallenge served as a lesson in my time management skills. When something’s got to be done no matter what, it always gets done. Sure, it requires planning and scheduling and setting deadlines. Like all important and urgent tasks do. Writing a few blog posts before their posting date was a big time saver. (Something I got to remind the procrastinator in me about not waiting until the last minute to complete stuff). It also enabled me to discover so many wonderful blogs, read and comment on them and share the posts I had liked.

Talent galore

Versatility was a striking feature of this challenge. A plethora of themes was available for readers with all kind of interests. Shailaja churned out suspenseful flash fiction pieces with oxymorons; Modern Gypsy  expressed the beauty of art journaling, rekindling the artist in me; Destiny’s Child demonstrated 26 yogasanas with stunning flexibility; IsheeriasHealingCircle impressed upon the holistic aspects of living. How heart-warming it was to read another blog on divorce in India -there was an instant connection with Kalpanaa as I could relate to what she had to say. Then there were so many travel tales with gorgeous photographs. So also lots of new recipes being dished out for different tastebuds. It indeed is a blogosphere with oodles of talent.

Blogging camaraderie

Being a newbie blogger, I enjoyed the attention my blog received amongst several other accomplished blogs. I was noticed. I felt heard. Isn’t that such a basic human need – to be seen and heard? So it is in the online world as well! It was encouraging to read the comments from talented bloggers, conveying appreciation and encouragement. The blogging camaraderie kept me going.

Connections

The stories in our life form a big part of who we are and is the basis of all our expressions. The challenge helped me identify with bloggers I would definitely like to follow and stay in touch with. These connections made online seemed as significant and special as our friendships and associations in real life.

Gratitude

Personally for me, doing the challenge meant revisiting and reiterating all the experiences that touched my life. By writing about my spiritual growth influences helped me reconnect with them. It was a pleasant reminder of how I have evolved along the years along with life’s many other challenges!

I feel great to have completed the #AtoZChallenge and am thankful to it’s organisers and promoters.

 

 

 

Z – ‘Zen’ by Osho #AtoZChallenge

Z – ‘Zen’ by Osho #AtoZChallenge

“Zen is another word for zest…living life passionately, making life a joy, a festival, a love, a laughter…for zip and zap and zing.” ~Osho

I like the word ‘Zen’. It has a distinct energy to it. I can imagine only flowing with this word. It exudes an upbeat feeling, something constantly on the move. So when I saw this book amongst Osho’s several other books at his Commune, I chose to make ‘Zen – living the fire of life’ my first Osho read.

As adolescents, maybe we grew up with a negative notion of sorts about Osho. Perhaps that prompted me more to explore his teachings at the Commune in Pune. And lead me to his fabulous variety of active meditations.

Energy. Movement. Dance.

This was in abundance in all his discourses as well as meditations. Moving with the constant flow of life and in full awareness of the present moment is broadly the essence of Osho’s teachings.

There are three L’s of my philosophy: life, love, laughter. Life is only a seed, love is a flower, laughter is a fragrance.

‘Zen’ encompasses his beliefs in a question and answer format with his disciples. The caption sums up the core of this book beautifully: Living the fire of life with zest, zip, zap and zing. Not the one to conform to any tradition, scriptures, religion or political grounds, his views are bold and revolutionary. With my own built up of courage over the years and experience with the unconventional, it is easier to make sense of Osho’s philosophy –now.

Key Highlights:

“Silence is not empty, it is very full. The moment you are absolutely attuned with nothingness, the whole descends in you, the beyond penetrates you.”

“Freedom is the ultimate desire of man. Man comes to flowering only in freedom. Meditation will bring freedom.”

“If God is the creator, then the only way to worship him is creativity.”

“When you are utterly empty, the whole of existence enters you.”

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah
  24. X (cross) roads of life
  25. Yogshakti and Shilpa

 

 

Y – Yogshakti and Shilpa #AtoZChallenge

Y – Yogshakti and Shilpa #AtoZChallenge

Some souls are God’s chosen ones to touch upon other lives in the most wonderful ways. Their life’s calling is to spread the light that enlightens their very being. The cosmos works itself in a way by beautifully connecting these souls to the ones that truly need them. I am blessed to know and have one such soul in my life –Shilpa, founding owner of Yogshakti and my spiritual mentor!

Yogshakti is an integrative yoga centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What differentiates this centre from other yoga centres I have known is their holistic approach towards all facets of health and well-being. Their courses and workshops include various modalities of asanas, breathing, mindfulness, relaxation, diet, meditation and more. Yogshakti is driven by a passion to help students find their inherent power and unleash their full potential. The centre exudes a sense of personal warmth and calm amidst the beautiful environs.

Shilpa has been teaching yoga since 1993 locally and internationally. Over the last 26 years, she studied different styles of Yoga to include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Yin and Scaraveli Inspired Yoga and delved deep into the practices of Meditation, Mindfulness, Pranayama, the Buteyko method, Yoga Nidra & Advaita Vedanta philosophy. She has studied directly with masters such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Swami Veda Bharati and Advaita sage Ramesh Balsekar.

Personally for me, Shilpa has been instrumental in my own journey of spiritual pursuits. Her wisdom and clarity of thought has had a strong influence on the way I have perceived and dealt with my innumerable challenges. It is not very often that you find someone who inspires and resonates with your core so powerfully. I am truly blessed to have Shilpa as my guiding spiritual force. I dedicate this blogpost to convey my gratitude to her and my best wishes to Yogshakti. Stay blessed!

Do visit their website to know more: http://yogshakti.com/

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah
  24. X (cross) roads of life

 

X- X (cross) roads of life #AtoZChallenge

X- X (cross) roads of life #AtoZChallenge

Facing the crossroads of life ahead,
Not sure where to head…
So often I feel at loss…
Which bridges to burn and
Which ones to cross.

Mind wanders more there than here…
My inner voices I turn to hear
Some choices seem like regrets
To forgive or to forget?

Perhaps I’m looking for some sign
Or an intervention from the divine
Should I see how far I have come
Nah, its time I work for what’s yet to come.

For what lies behind is simply gone
And what eagerly awaits you at dawn
Is a new day…every day here on..
So just go tell life – bring it on!

~SoulMom (me)

How many times do we all reach the various crossroads in our life! The temptation of looking back and the fear of moving forward keep us stuck in many ways. It happens to me oh so often. Decision-making becomes tough. What do I do at such times? From all the positive influences in my life’s journey, I have learnt to make the following choices:

  • Become still
  • Listen to your inner guidance
  • Trust your intuition
  • Take one step at a time
  • Move forward in complete faith
  • Don’t ever look back

What choices do you make at the X-roads in your life?

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley
  23. What I Know for sure by Oprah

 

Image courtesy: http://bit.ly/2porJwt

W- ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah #AtoZChallenge

W- ‘What I know for sure’ by Oprah #AtoZChallenge

“The biggest thrill you can ever achieve is to live the life of your dreams.” ~Oprah Winfrey

If I was ever granted a wish to meet one person in this world, just anyone in my wish list, it would be the woman I admire from my very core: Oprah Winfrey. To me, she is an epitome of ‘woman of substance’. A legend in her own right and an inspiring public figure. ‘What I know for sure’ is a beautiful book with excerpts from her monthly column of the same name in her magazine –O, The Oprah magazine.

I was once afraid of people saying, ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say, ‘This is who I am’.

Oprah has shared her wise gems from life’s experiences and lessons that have been revised, updated and packed with her insights in this beautiful book. To read her book and thereby getting a peep into her world of thoughts was an absolute delight! There’s just so much to learn, absorb, ponder and admire in her words, it is difficult to extract the best to put it out here. Nevertheless, here goes a glimpse of this enlightening book:

 

Key takeaways for me:

“Look inward – loving begins with you.”

“Sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of our climb that we lose sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb.”

“Being a mother is the hardest job on earth. Women everywhere must declare it so.”

“Wealth is a tool that gives you choices – but it cant compensate for a life not fully lived and it certainly can’t create a sense of peace within you.”

“Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every pay check will be a bonus.”

“Evolving as a human being is a lifelong excavation process – digging deep to uncover your underlying issues.”

“Making a bold move is the only way to advance toward the grandest vision the universe has for you.”

“We are all the artists of our own lives – and that we can use as many colours and brushstrokes as we like.”

Go get Oprah’s keepsake book right here: http://amzn.to/2p65i0K

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam
  22. Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley

 

Images courtesy: http://bit.ly/2py99F6

V- Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley #AtoZChallenge

V- Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley #AtoZChallenge

“Dream big and your problems become small.” ~Vishen Lakhiani

Some speakers leave an impact as soon as you hear them. The connection is instantaneous and one that leaves you curious and thirsty for more. That’s how I felt when I first saw and heard Vishen Lakhiani online.

An entrepreneur, author and speaker, Vishen Lakhiani is the CEO and Founder of Mindvalley – a leading edu-tech company that specializes in modern learning experiences and content. It publishes personal growth education by the best authors in areas such as wellbeing, mindfulness, relationships, fitness, entrepreneurship and more. With digital education platforms, content platforms, mobile apps and live events, Mindvalley has served more than three million students, subscribers and followers worldwide. I am lucky and proud to be one of them.

Epic things start with small humble steps. Pay respect to your beginnings. And if you’re just starting out, know that it’s okay to be sucky. To be small and chaotic. Just make sure to never ever stop dreaming. ~ Vishen Lakhiani

Through Mindvalley’s various courses of transformational knowldege, one can learn to truly live the life of their dreams. So powerfully compelling is their content that enables unleashing our deepest potential. Being a student of their online spiritual school ‘Soulvana’ has brought about a fabulous shift in my mindset. I also follow their meditation app ‘Omvana’.

Vishen’s courses include globally acclaimed speakers like Eckhart Tolle, Caroline Myss, Lisa Nichols, Anodea Judith, Debbie Ford, Robin Sharma and many more. There is a different kind of passion for learning induced by him. He is also the author of recently released book ‘The Code of the Extraordinary Mind’.

Mindvalley has a uniques company culture that makes it one of the best places to work for today. With a tagline of ‘Be extraordinary’ and by constantly pushing us to lead happier and healthier lives, Mindvalley is truly an extraordinary force in my life.

 

This post is part of the #AtoZChallenge 2017 Blogging from A to Z: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/.

I write about my spiritual and personal growth influences from A to Z.
My previous posts in chronology:

  1. A New Earth 
  2. Brahma Kumaris
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  4. Dialogue with Death 
  5. Eat Pray Love 
  6. Finding a purpose in life
  7. GANDHI
  8. Healing with Chakras
  9. I Believe in Angels
  10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  11. Kahlil Gibran 
  12. Lisa Nichols
  13. Meditation
  14. Neale Donald Walsch
  15. Oprah & Deepak Meditations
  16. Power of Positive Thinking
  17. Quotes, my favourite ones
  18. Rhonda Byrne ‘The Secret’ and ‘The Magic’
  19. SKY by Santosh Joshi
  20. Thich Nhat Hanh
  21. Understanding Pranayam

 

Images courtesy: http://www.mindvalley.com/ 

 

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