I have often heard people talk about this “3D World” we live in, where the 3 D’s stand for death, disaster, and destruction. That these are some of the inescapable truths of being alive if you will. I have also heard other “D words” interchanged with some of these, such as disease, devastation, deception or doom.
Wow, there are a lot of heavy D words, aren’t there?
If you have been reading my blogs for a while, it may come as no surprise to you, but this “3D” description of life as I know it, did not sit well with me, so instead I came up with my own version of a 3D world; one that I can rejoice in and am wholeheartedly willing to commit to and embrace. Want to know what that is?
Deliberate Divine Discovery
What if we looked at our “3D” world as an invitation for Deliberate Divine Discovery instead? What would that make available? When faced with challenges in life, past conditioning and belief systems may guide one down a...
At the launch of my book, “Coming Home to the Heart - Transforming Trauma into Infinite Possibilities for Healing” I had a major breakthrough. Not only was the process of writing the book cathartic, but I realized that once written, it was the first time in my adult life that I didn’t have a shame-based secret to hide. I had never, as an adult, inhabited my own body, secret-free. Do you know what I mean?
Since I was a little girl, I was made to believe that the secrets of my life would have to live and die with me. That was as final as it could have been. I was fortunate enough that this trajectory changed in my life and today I know what it is to not carry the past in my heart, body, and mind. Just weeks before my book launch, I was so afraid, so terrified of the book coming out, that I wrote the following words:
I don’t want to be here
In front of you like this
I don’t want to tell you my story
I don’t want to speak about what happened
Buddhism identifies Ten Worlds -- ten states or conditions of life that we experience within our lives, moving from one to another at any moment according to our interactions with our environment and those around us. Each of us possesses the potential to experience all ten, from the prison-like despair and self-hatred of Hell to the expansive joy and wisdom of Buddhahood.
The Ten Worlds are Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity, Heaven, Learning, Realization, Bodhisattva, and Buddhahood. By strengthening our spiritual lives, rather than being at the mercy of our surroundings we can develop the ability to set our own direction and spend more of our lives in the more positive life states.
Each of us has a tendency to gravitate toward a particular life state, and if this is one of the lower worlds, great suffering can be caused to ourselves and those around us. Through raising up our life condition which manifests in the Ten Worlds, we can bring out the positive aspects of any...
Last year this time I was running a program called Raising Conscious Parents. After an incredible experience speaking on a live online parenting summit, I found that the Pause for Power material was really helping parents be the best version of themselves. I realized that not only do I have some personal experience (by trial and error mostly) as a parent myself, I have also been struggling for decades at reparenting myself – which of course, is this whole other ball of wax.
On the surface, my life growing up looked amazing. What with the big house, pretty clothes, private schools, chefs, maids, and chauffeurs. Then, to top it all, a career in the movie business as a film star in none other than Bollywood. Many would have given anything to have all these “things” I had. Unfortunately, that was not the reality of my life. In reality, I was living in an emotionally and sexually abusive household and with dysfunctional parents. From the age of 9 my sense of safety...
I was four years old when I took my first dance class. It was an Indian classical dance form called Bharatnatyam. I took to it right away, absolutely loving every minute of it. A few years later I enrolled in Classical Russian ballet. Such different styles, but both forms brought me so much joy.
A few days ago cleaning my closet I came across a silk bag. Bells jingled as I picked up the bag. My mother’s dancing bells. Mommy was a classical dancer. She performed all over the world. She was also an accomplished actress, singer, writer, director, and still is to this day.
She had given me her bells and I would wear them and dance in the house. She taught me some basics and I would improvise from there. I had such fun dancing. I would love getting lost in dance. But something happened this week that shook me to the core.
My heart leaped with joy with the sweet remembrance of the days I used to wear bells around my ankles and dance. Wanting to recreate this memory and share it with...
18 years ago when I lived in Paris, I wrote the following poem called, “The Nightingale”.
The bubble burst and splashed itself all around and over me.
The bird was flying across the blue sky and a hunter shot it down.
The rose was blooming petal by petal and I plucked it and threw it into the fire.
I had a sip of water in a beautiful lake in a beautiful forest and stepped into a trap.
A bowl of milk was lying for me and a drop of black ink fell into it by chance.
The Gods were showering their blessing on me and I was looking for shelter.
The spirit in me was rising splendidly and I stepped on it with the weight of an elephant.
I was singing like a nightingale and someone pushed me off the branch in my sleep.
You could say there was distress in my life then, even trauma. It was a dark and dreadfully dreary time. My heart was heavy and the future looked bleak. Hope, love, joy, and peace were not easily accessible, to say the least.
At the time...
When will you be happy? When you have a better job? When you have saved enough for retirement? When your children have flown the nest?
Where will you find inner peace? Painting landscapes of the countryside? Traveling the world? Meditating in the Himalayan mountains?
What will make you love unconditionally? When everyone that has wronged you has atoned for their misdeeds? When you are “ready”, truly “ready”?
What if I told you that all you needed to know is already in you? That your peace, love, happiness, joy are already primed and ready, awaiting your noticing. There is nowhere to go really! Your inner peace is already here, ready and waiting for you to turn your attention inwards. Unconditional love is right here, right now, yours for the taking.
You really don’t need another road sign or mystical message from the Universe to nudge you on your path or show you what your next step needs to be. If you pause to listen, truly listen to your inner divine,...
"Too cool for school." Raise your hand if you remember using that phrase when you were a kid. You know the kids I'm talking about...the ones who always wore the best brand name clothes, drove the fanciest cars, and sat at the "cool kids table" at lunch. I think we all knew of a clique of people like this growing up. When I look back on some of the kids I knew who were part of this group (and who weren't very nice to me and several other classmates), I now know that, in many cases, these kids were dealing with deeper issues at home that they never let on about at school. Acting out or playing the "too cool for school" part was just a cover up; a way to make themselves feel better when what they really felt was devastation and loneliness.
There are adverse effects of coping with childhood trauma that surface in us as adults. We too think we are being COOL, but in fact, we also may be compensating or perpetuating a coping skill we used when we were kids. Children...
Human beings are creatures of habit. We generally feel the most comfortable, safe, and secure when our lives are orderly and we are on a schedule. We spend millions of dollars on planners and calendars and reminder apps so we stay on track and don't miss a beat.
Part of living a well-organized life is developing habits. We set our alarms so we wake up at the same time every day. We go through the motions of our morning routine; go to the bathroom, make coffee, check our email, Pause with Richa...almost as if we were robots in a sense. Think of what would happen if you did just one of these things out of order, say you made your coffee before you went to the bathroom, would that completely throw off your day?
Of course, not everyone functions in this manner. There are those of us who function quite well amongst chaos and madness; those among us who burst out of bed in the morning and take the day by storm...those "fly by the seat of your pants" kinds of people, the "whatever will be...
If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me to teach them how to simply “turn their mind OFF”, let’s just say, I’d have hundreds of dollars.
At the beginning of my career as a personal transformation and spiritual teacher, I would patiently and lovingly explain how it was not possible to “turn one’s mind OFF”, but instead notice, witness, and be an observer of the mind. I’d say things like, “Picture you are in the audience and your life is happening on stage….”! A few years into my practice, I developed a more direct way to illustrate this.
Turn your mind off? If you want to turn anything off, wouldn’t it help to know where it is?
When I ask such questions, some reply – the brain.
The brain? The brain is your cerebral cortex, frontal lobe, gray matter – the brain is an organ in your skull. Your mind is not the brain.
So where is your mind?
Does the mind have a physical form, shape...