Finding Harmony Within Aversions In Life

My writing about my life experiences is in a way an avenue for my own self healing / clearing and too, in presenting to readers who may connect with what I have to say in regards to their own respective life journeys.

I’ll start here by relating on aspects of stuff in my life that I had impactful aversions to, and further to the insights as to why this was so and where I am now finding harmony with this, 40 years down the road.

Its a path of reconciliation of sorts, coming face to face with unwanted patterns and conditioning of old, recognizing them, understanding why they were there, with regards the role they played, acknowledging this and coming to terms that I no longer have to hold on to these. And in doing this, I set the stage to free up my mind and energies to move forward lighter and also to look back and discover the beauty and harmony that actually existed within that I was once averse to.

If you relate to what I’ve just mentioned, consider where in your life, do you see this play out in your own and what can you do henceforth to set your own stage for transformation.

What I’ve written here is something that I’ve always kept to myself and not even the people closest in my life are probably fully aware of this, Well its out now. 🙂

My Origins

I currently live in Perth, Australia, but I originated from Malaysia. I am Indian by race and I am what I’d term as a 3rd generation “Malaysian Indian”, on the basis of my great grandmother emigrating from South India to Malaysia. While Tamil was my mother tongue, I grew up with English as my main language. I myself though have never been to India, well one day I will. 🙂

Culturally and behaviorally, I see (well my view at least) a difference or distinction between the Indians born and bred in Malaysia in contrast to those in motherland India. For that reason too I’ve never quite identified myself with the ethnic cultures and dispositions of those from motherland India. That world as I then viewed it was a case of “Us” and “Them”. Even for that matter, as you’ll discover below, I also never quite fully identified myself with the ethnic cultures and dispositions of Malaysian Indians as well.

The Aversions

Up towards my teens and into my adult life, I found myself being quite averse to aspects of Indian culture and really “anything Indian”. I won’t say it was so in total, but it was significant enough.

Strange one would say, given that is my heritage.

I had this intense dislike for Bollywood movies, especially Tamil movies. With Hindustani movies however, somehow that seemed more tolerable, but still definitely not my cup of tea. And given Bollywood movies and songs go hand in hand, the same aversion existed within me for Tamil and Hindustani songs, here too with me being a little more tolerable towards some Hindustani songs.

These movies (and culture) for me were a representation of “too much drama”. Well those who watch Bollywood movies will know what I mean (well maybe some of you). To me the “drama” in these movies represented and portrayed a host of negativity, sorrow, pent up anger, narrow minded mentality and focus, glass half empty attitude, etc. Hang on one would say, there is beauty, harmony and joy in the songs and the dancing, well sadly I never saw that or related to it.

For me, all of this was in fact anchoring to the “drama” I observed in real life around me, family, friends and especially in general within the Malaysian Indian community. The intense dislike for Tamil movies came from this and my “over exposure” to it growing up as a kid.

I saw the Indian community in Malaysia as taking on the aspect of  “Life Imitating Art”. A lot of them seemed to emulate the unhelpful “drama” of these movies into their daily life and this was in turn projected onto people they interacted with. I truly believed that absent the influence (“drama”) of Bollywood movies, the Malaysian Indian community in general would possess a greater degree of consciousness.

I never quite resonated with the mindset, character, temperament (looking for the right phrase ..LOL ) of the typical Malaysian Indian and in particular that of the typical Indian male. I just never fully jived with it and with the associated bravado.

I’d like to emphasize here that I do not intend any disrespect or disregard to any persons or aspects of communities mentioned. What is being related here is my story, as a result of my own experiences and conditioning … read on.

So here I am painting multi aspects of the Indian community with the same broad brush and strokes. Nice one Tony !! 🙂

It can be said that my perception at that time was rather biased, somewhat judgmental, negative. All of this was however based on my clouded internal perception of “anything Indian”. Looking back it was due to my own insecurities and selective filtering, generalization of reality out there, resulting in my own selective reality based on my experiences of my life then.

As A Result

The consequence of my mindset, my self denial stifled my energy. I indirectly placed self impositions on what I can and can’t enjoy in life, where and how I should have  fun. Because I placed rules on what I can and cannot like, I inadvertently placed blocks on the joy of life flowing through me.

You know, one would never ever catch me dead wearing traditional Indian menswear. There was no way in hell you’d get me into one of those. Well, hang on, I may have once, dunno, its a faded / vague distant memory. Again, this is the result of the internal representation I had created in my head about “anything Indian”.

These days I am more comfortable in admitting and saying, without fear or favour that I never really liked my childhood, I did not enjoy it. I also don’t recall much of it, and where I do, its about things that I disliked about myself and what it represent in regards to that I wish I was not, or could have been instead.

In essence its not so much about what the external world projected onto that little boy, but more the meanings and the representations that little boy choose to take on as his belief systems and his reality.

But I have since, especially in recent years come (learnt) to sit in harmony with that little boy within.

There was a time when I left the family home, living and working in other towns (well, cities really). For me it was a time away from all these. Even still I’d literally & physically cringe if I were to walk into a situation where there was a Tamil movie playing and / or similar real life situations.

But it was not all 100% aversion. There were some old Tamil songs that I liked, the same with Hindustani songs and a couple of Hindustani movies (who recalls “Bobby” with Dimple Kapadia and Rishi Kapoor 🙂). But in the style of self-denial, aspects of me would never admit or acknowledge this, while secretly having a fondness. Ahahaha !! A representation of the many opposing conflicts within my life then.

The first three girls that I courted were strangely and in contrast, .. guess what ?  Ahahaha …. Indian !!! would you believe ?? 🙂 🙂 But then I found myself being pulled towards girls who were non-Indian. The pattern was playing out and my attractions diverted to females who were non-Indian. That was the case for subsequent girlfriends (not that I had many or I was playboy like .. Gosh !! the truth being far far from it 🙂 🙂) and my eventual marriage to a non-Indian. That in itself tells a story huh ?

Digressing a little, I held within me huge insecurities about me and the opposite sex. This was in relation my insecure take on their likely perception of me, my interaction with them and / or my concept of the opposite sex ever finding me attractive enough. Aspects of these core insecurities exists still today .. well that’s a story for a another blog and how I overcame it and how I continue to mop up the residual.

Now

Fast forward to present time and my journey of awakening and growing in consciousness and spirituality. Its been a long “tooth and nail” path of transformation to where I am today. Do have a read of my blog titled Finding My Inner Radiance for more “juicy insights”.

I now consciously experience wave after wave of shifts both in the cognitive and spiritual sense.  But just when I feel I’ve reached a stable platform, something else, some gunk, is unearthed within for me to come face to face with. And when I learn to sit in harmony with these, I am then transformed and raised to another platform of being.

These days, I look forward to the “gunk” in my life surfacing, for its within these lie the answers and keys to my path henceforth. It frees my energies for me to engage more effectively in fulfilling my Life Purpose, the reason I came to this planet.

Today and in recent years I find myself becoming more in harmony with these aversions of past and my views of “anything Indian”, and this is the result of my progression in clearing away layers and layers of insecurities, unwanted patterns, conditioning and belief systems. I find myself now attempting to reconnect to my roots, my heritage in a new light and with a fresh set of eyes and perspective. Where this will take me, I do not know, but its a good thing.

These days, while I still don’t have any inclination to watch Bollywood movies, I find myself looking back in fondness at some of the songs of old and discovering the beauty and light in these and in others too . With regards my aversions of “anything Indian”, I nowadays find myself more accepting and in flow with it. I am now able to catch myself in the act  of any past patterns and have a conversation with myself as to why it is so, and what I can do to change it.

Of late I found myself waking up in the morning with some of these songs stuck in my head or finding myself spontaneously bursting into song with these, humming as I go about my day (Damn !! feels like me in a Bollywood movie ehh, bursting into song  ? .. Ahahaha !!). 🙂 🙂

Today was one of those days and I even did my gym workout listening to tracks of Hindustani songs .. LOL ! .. Gosh !! OMG !! What’s happening to me ! … hee hee !! 🙂 Well, it inspired me to write this blog out.

I leave you with this Hindustani clip “SAY SHAVA SHAVA” below. Compared to other songs this was kind of in the “acceptable” list for the me of the past. But as a result of my past internal perceptions it would have been uncomfortable for me to sit and watch the video in full .. e.g. the whole group dancing, party concept etc, amongst other things.

I guess some of you must be by now scratching your head and going .. but why ? Hmmm ! The power and impact of subconscious patterning. 🙂

I now am able to enjoy listening to this and more significantly so, am able to watch the “antics” 🙂 with greater sense of internal authenticity, acceptance and in harmony …. a stark contrast to even the me of even a couple of years ago, leave aside the me of old (not sure yet how I’ll fare with Tamil clips … watch this space). 🙂

I’ve come one step more towards sitting in harmony with things that I once dissociated with. Consider, that the things we fear, dislike or have aversions with are the very things that we’d need to face, find harmony with for our ongoing spiritual and cognitive growth.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Blessings to you !

Song and Video Credits And Acknowledgements
P/S : If the video above buffers too much, do click on the You Tube link below

You Tube ClipSonyMusicIndiaVEVO
Song Name – Say Shava Shava
Movie – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Singer – Sudesh Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aadesh Shrivastava & Udit Narayan
Lyrics – Sameer Anjaan Music – Aadesh Shrivastava
Director – Karan Johar
Studio – Dharma Productions
Producer – Yash Johar
Music Label – Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt. Ltd.

 

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The Transition Journey

A reflection on the years past and towards the years to be.

Part of what I like to do is looking for alternate (positive) meanings within things and using metaphors.

This time its the song “The Last Goodbye” from the movie “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”. This song was composed by Billy Boyd, and who also sings it and beautifully too. Now, Lord of the Rings fans will know Billy Boyd to be the one playing the character of “Pippin”.

Scroll down below to listen to this song and view the full lyrics.

I connect with the lyrics of this song very much .. as what I take from it is a journey of transition.

To me, my journey of change over the years from a hard set personality with blinkers on, the “Accountant”, moving onto a continuously new and evolving horizon. I find myself now walking and discovering more and more the spiritual path with realizations of new levels of consciousness, all this towards the role I am to play in helping others in their very own journeys.

This song for me sheds light on the aspect of “the ME who can be” versus the aspects of “the ME that no longer serves my higher purpose”.

For something new to grow and flourish, at times somethings must die, somethings must end !

Connecting With The Song

And now, as 2017 ends, we reflect back on the trials, the tribulations, the journeys and paths traveled in 2017 (and prior), quoting the lyrics of this song, I now say to the ME of old …

To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home

Many places I have been
Many sorrows I have seen
But I don’t regret
Nor will I forget
All who took that road with me

And as 2018 looms and as the trials of 2017 end …

Night is now falling
So ends this day

But now comes the day
To bid you farewell

And as I flow into 2018, I welcome, brace myself and look forward to the new trials, the new adventures, for …

The road is now calling
And I must away
Over hill and under tree
Through lands where never light has shone
By silver streams that run down to the sea

The Pursuit Of Happiness

For many, we wish so much to be in control of our destiny, we tend to take comfort in the predictive, in being predictive. We cling on to the hope, the ideal of happiness .. to the extent that we can end up becoming quite unhappy in the pursuit of happiness. Ironic huh ?

Consider that the happiness, the knowing that we seek can sometimes instead arise within our ability to let go of the need for it.

Consider that this can entail one walking within the dark, not knowing, unaware, feeling lost. But when one is able to do so and embrace this concept with trust and faith re the path ahead, the knowing and happiness have a tendency of presenting itself, disguised though at times, but know that it exists therein.

Consider the concept of …. that when we no longer view happiness as the end state / the destination … and instead embrace the ideal that we can discover it within the journey walked, within the darkness, within the trials and the tribulations

Consider that the “Happiness” is in fact the “Journey”

And though where the road then takes me,
I cannot tell ….

Consider too, for its within the darkest depths of the fears we hold onto, that we can in turn discover the light, the beauty and the strength that represents the most precious aspects of us and potentially the launch pad for our further greatness.

With the onset of the New Year, symbolically ….

I turn at last to paths that lead HOME 

For it is here in walking this journey, walking within the not knowing, that …

I can fully serve the purpose I was put here for …

I now embrace, live and sit in harmony with my fears and that which is presented here forth  …

The journey HOME .. where I further discover my own truth. Accepting who I am and who I’m not and being able to speak and walk my truth within my true authenticity …

Live my authenticity in the absence of the collective fears of past patterning and conditioning that have plagued most of us …

 

Hence to the “ME of old” ….. I bid you a fond farewell. For the road is now calling and I must away.

So !! What is your story ?

What road beckons you forth, what goodbyes do you have to say, what loads must you drop to travel through lands where never light has shone ? I bid you blessings on your journey.

Video and Song credits;
Korital Lyrics : For the You Tube clip with the lyrics
Copyright by WaterTower Music

“The Last Goodbye” (Billy Boyd)

I saw the light fade from the sky
On the wind I heard a sigh
As the snowflakes cover
My fallen brothers
I will say this last goodbye

Night is now falling
So ends this day
The road is now calling
And I must away

Over hill and under tree
Through lands where never light has shone
By silver streams that run down to the sea

Under cloud, beneath the stars
Over snow and winter’s morn
I turn at last to paths that lead home

And though where the road then takes me,
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell

Many places I have been
Many sorrows I have seen
But I don’t regret
Nor will I forget
All who took that road with me

Night is now falling
So ends this day
The road is now calling
And I must away

Over hill, and under tree
Through lands where never light has shone
By silver streams that run down to the sea

To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home

And though where the road then takes me,
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell

I bid you all a very fond farewell

 

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Finding My Inner Radiance – Part One

Me penning down my transformative journey has been at the back of my head for a while but I never got down to it. Today something made me spontaneously write this out, and most of it a one single sitting. Its time !

I feel guided to share aspects of my own journey of personal transformation so far, for the benefit of those who are looking for answers, direction  themselves in their  own respective journeys and perhaps if in some small way you’ve connected with that below and / or taken something out of it for yourself, well the purpose of me writing this will have been accomplished.

Hence, if you’ve read so far  🙂, do read on further, and one never knows, something may potentially resonate with you and your own journey.

I saw myself, (well, I used to see myself), as a really “tough nut” to crack, as far as personal change and growth was concerned. Looking at where I am now compared to where I was, I’d say I’m quite a different person. My opinion is, if I (gosh, of all people) can shift out from where I was, anyone can.

Me Now

From a corporate career spanning 30 plus years, I’ve now discovered and am living my passion in life. Signs of this appeared in 2011 and by 2012 whimsically, I started re-skilling myself progressively.

In 2013, out of character and again whimsically, without a goal or forward plan in place, I volunteered for a redundancy, gave up my corporate life and a good paying job as a Finance Manager. I subsequently become an Energy Healing Facilitator, Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Personal Fitness Trainer.

That was not my plan, but it happened and just fell in place through a series of events.

Nowadays, I now work from my own holistic practice helping people transform, discover and to become better and improved versions of themselves.

My journey of change has led me to this state within me ; where I am now comfortable with who I am and who I’m not, discovering the inner peace within and knowing that it can emanate only from within me and that I and only me is/am responsible for it.

More than ever, I’m now able to speak, live and walk my authentic self, my own truth and in doing so, without fear or favour. I am consciously aware that I need to project always from a place neutrality, unconditional love as opposed to that of fear and unwanted emotions.

I now understand more the reason why I was put on this earth and what my purpose is. The clarity of this grows even more as time passes and the journey continues, with its share of challenges and realizations as the growth and learning reaches up to new levels.

The Call Of The Path

All of this was not by any conscious or intentional design on my part. Instead it followed a bizarre set of circumstances that led from one thing to another. Fate, without me realizing it, was apparently paving a new path for me towards my life purpose.

I’ve always had an innate desire to help people, to reach out, but I did not necessarily always have the skills and right approach to do so and sometimes (an understatement .. LOL !) I’d put my foot in where it was not appreciated, for example, attempting to help change people who did not want to be changed or who were not ready for it. But I could not then see that completely for what it was.

For a long, long time before all of this, I’d have this whimsical thought or imagination in my head, whenever I’d come across a sick person or a crying baby, I’d fantasize and think to myself, how I wish I could simply place my hand on them and everything would be ok ? I’d never tell anyone about this, gosh how embarrassing that would have been ? “Earth calling Tony .. come back” !

I was born into the Roman Catholic faith, but these days I am more spiritual than I am religious. I have my own take on “religion” and mankind’s attempt to define and structure the Divine into a framework, but let’s not visit that proverbial can of worms 🙂.

I’d go to church and pray for the gift of healing. Well nothing happened of course and consequently I’d get into serious arguments with God .. to the tune of  “Dude, you said seek and you shall find, ask and you shall receive, what the hell ?” .. LOL !!

Decades ago, I watched a movie where a “healer” touched a person whose body was crippled and contorted with pain. The person was miraculously “healed”, but the healer in turn took on this person’s symptoms and himself became crippled and contorted with pain, before eventually coming back to his original self. He had healed by absorbing the persons ills. Something within me at that time resonated with it so much and again my fantasy whimsical imagination kicked in.

Were these were signs of my calling being previewed ? Well, looking back now, it would seem so.

All of these fantasies, imagination vanished over the years, forgotten and as mentioned through bizarre events, the path mysteriously led me back to it.

Because these days, this exactly what I do. I channel through divine energy, I place my hand on someone and things happen which I cannot logically explain. I could now look at someone and feel into their psyche. I just know what’s going on with them, I’d tell them things about their life, their personality which are spot on.

I connect into someone and I feel their emotions, I sense their physical pain and can know exactly where its present within their bodies. I draw their unwanted stuff out through me, I’d literally cry for them when they can’t or will not themselves.

Imagination, fantasies can come true eh ? Well, I guess, I sought and now “I’ve found”, I asked and now “I’ve received”.

Oddly today, in between writing this, I had a client come in for 2nd session, she asked in amazement something like  “Are you psychic ?, how did you know”. Well, no logical answer, I just knew !

I’ve learnt that I have innate gifts of healing and to help people transform. I am able to tap into and draw down Divine healing energy and channel it through at will. Believing, trusting and accepting this was a big, big challenge for me. Self doubt was ever so prevalent within me. Eventually the more I believed, the more I allowed myself to trust and accept, the more things happened to people I worked on, the more messages came through, all of which defied conventional logic.

The Journey

My work career started like for a lot of others, with casual work, at factories, cleaning and waitering at restaurants, I was even a Cook once. Eventually I found my way into the corporate world, primarily in Finance and Accounting. However I had this creative, curious and inquisitive nature within me, compounded with a very high drive and this saw me branching out and getting into managerial posts covering, Human Resources, Operations, Project Management , Audit, “Troubleshooting” and Business Process Improvements (I was known as Mr. Fix It), Business Development,  Facilities/Property Maintenance as well as Fleet Management.

I became a whizz, a guru with Excel in spreadsheet and financial modelling, and till present time I’ve met / heard of only a few who can do what I do.

Looking back, there was literally nothing I could not do if I put my mind to it. I was truly multi skilled and versatile. I was creative, I was passionate about what I did. I just knew stuff, I saw things and the world differently. I was always receptive to taking on new things where it challenged my ability and intellect. If it was broke, I’d look forward to fixing it.

“I could not understand why. I was kind, bighearted, sincere, my intentions were good, why did people think of me this way ?”

But I was strong minded, single minded to a fault. I saw things in black or white, no shades of grey, things needed to be compartmentalized. I had trouble though expressing myself to and with the world. Apparently I was not an easy person to get along or work with, so it has been said.

People saw me as different, perhaps odd, “the know too much” guy. It was said that I rubbed people off the wrong way and I guess aspects of that was true. But, I could not understand why, I was kind, bighearted, sincere, my intentions were good, why did people think of me this way ?

Well for one, I was overly sensitive to criticism (and reacted accordingly), I took things way too personally. I did not know what I did not know.

Moving on to sometime in 1997, I had a huge paradigm shift when it actually dawned upon me that not everyone saw the world and would think like I did. It then occurred to me that the “optimum” way I typically strived for to skin the proverbial cat, was not necessarily the only way.

Well, that whole concept took a further few years to assimilate in and my journey of change slowly started taking shape.

The Challenges

But this change for me has not been an easy one, it was bloody hard. Change did not come easy for me. I’ve had to fight hard, tooth and nail to get to the state where I am today.

Despite the description of me above, I was a classic introvert and a very insecure one at that.

I suffered for nearly all my life, with poor self esteem, with severe self doubt and self insecurities, that I was never good enough, that I could not be as good or as successful as the next person or good enough for the expectations of others. I viewed myself as insignificant, undeserving. I’d in turn pretended to be something I’m not, perhaps others may then view me differently. Self-love was probably non existent for me then.

It was hard for me to find middle ground within the facets of life, I had a severe tendency to oscillate within two extremes, which again kind of explained why people viewed me otherwise (or did they really ??) and why too I viewed myself the way I did. I recall in my younger days, my sisters describing me as “Tony is either very hard working or hardly working”.

There was an army of unhelpful subconscious programming and imprints running around within me and I did not have a freaking clue about it. We don’t know what we don’t know.

This whole concept has had such a deep rooted impact on me that it ruled my life, paralysed and stunted my personal growth and the essence of who I truly was. Such was its impact, and I cannot overstate this more, that today at the age of 56, I am still clearing up the last few remnants of these patterns and belief systems.

There once lived within me, an ever smiling, happy go lucky, little boy. But within all these above, he lost his glow and disappeared. I’ve since rediscovered aspects of him over the past few years, with no doubt, more to come.

This will be a surprise to many who know me now, but I’ve been a loner for most of my life (still am to an extent), past patterning, imprints and conditioning had reinforced that further, which did not help that little boy.

I can’t say I’ve ever had really close friends back then, confidants whom I could truly open up to. Less than a handful came close, but not close enough. Hence it became such that I became my own solace, if something needed fixing within, it was up to me. Sometimes it became just too hard for me to fix, but I felt there was no one I could reach out to. I just lived with it, but I still was always there for others, every ready to help, putting the needs of others way ahead of myself.

Hence, this became the tone of my life. It was fine, manageable but eventually it took its toll on me. I had the tendency to place onto my shoulders the burdens of others, through my self-imposed ideals of loyalty and commitment. At the same time having to deal with my own challenges, with hardly anyone to turn to for myself. But I sucked it up, that’s the only way I knew how and I forged on. What choice did I have ? Well, those were my thoughts then.

The Awakening

 “I started finding myself, I was interacting with the world better, I was interacting with “me” better. I realized that while I could not change the people, the situation and the world around me, I instead had influence over the way I perceived and interacted with these”

From the year 2012 onwards, I began to “awaken” more and more both consciously and spiritually. I started facing more my  internal demons. I went through cycles of changes, I was starting to move away from the person I used to be, my thinking patterns changed, my associations with people changed. My philosophy on life started to change.

Those familiar with journeys of the spiritual path, will understand the ups and downs, its like a personality detox, with spirals, highs and dips, roller-coasters, etc. Its a lonely journey. It’s the kind of journey that prompts one to jump off the cliff, without the surety of a parachute or a safety net, but to instead place trust that all will be well regardless.

Ha !! Easily said ! 🙂

I started to discover an unfamiliar sense of peace and ease within. I was at a phase where I did not know where my next dollar was coming from, but it did not matter, I was happy, and strangely in spite of this, I felt a sense of stillness and peace within. This was a big contrast compared to an otherwise state of being when I was earning big bucks in the corporate world.

Hang on ! there was something wrong with this equation … or was there?

This aspect of the journey was a true “mixed bag of nuts” for me. I started finding myself, I was interacting with the world better, I was interacting with “me” better. I realized that while I could not change the people, the situation and the world around me, I instead had influence over the way I perceived and interacted with these.

But within that “mixed bag of nuts” came bouts of depression, loneliness, mood swings, withdrawing within. However, it was all part of that process of change. With that “detox”, the challenge was to recognize it as a process, a staging area leading up to another staging area and another.

I’ve always considered myself to be a loyal friend (to a fault). My word was my honor and I always tried to keep to my promises. For a very select few (new friends), I was just that. I’d be ready to drop everything in a blink of an eye to help if ever called upon, and I have done so. But alas, there was a critical time period when they were not there for me when I needed them most, as I would have been for them. I was alone once again to face my struggles on my own.

I remember all to well the days of crying on my own, in secret, so that no one would see, so that no one would know. Eventually, tired and exhausted, I begun to pull back.

“It was a process and I now recognize it as that”

As I was not in paid employment and too did not have a sustainable source of income, financial worries added to it, and that looming financial uncertainty took a big chunk out of me. Savings were drying up fast.  As a result, I even contemplated suicide a few times. Oddly though it was not due to depression but more as a practical, logical approach. My insurance policy would still pay out on suicide, hence I’d be assured that this way the family would be in relative financial stability … well in comparison. It all made logical sense (Accountant’s brain kicking in). Hee Hee !  🙂

I researched as to the best ways to end my life. Being the planner and perfectionist that I was,  I knew exactly how I was going to do it and the places where I could do it at. But I also had this desire that I needed to tie up all the loose ends first for the package to be complete. That aspect of addressing the “loose ends” instead became too hard to do and I eventually abandoned  that idea and moved on with life instead. Something had subtly nudged me into an alternate direction.

Me revealing this now, will be a surprise for many who know me and even my dear wife would not realize the true depths of what I’ve mentioned above. Still, if my story helps someone else on their path, it would have served a positive purpose.

But, deep down, somehow I knew I’d never take my own life. The Universe had bigger plans for me and I sensed it. For me it served as a process I had to go through to eventually come out at the other end. It was a process and I now recognize it as that.

“Hence, every step I took, every falter I encountered it would seem, served as a stepping stone, a launching pad, if you will, through my journey of change”

Through all of this time frame, no amount of therapy, energy work, etc. done on me seemed to produce any sort of apparent change or impact, though undoubtedly something was working at a deep / base level. I was probably just too much in my head to recognize it.

My interpretation from this was the Universe / God / Fate (take your pick) was telling me that I needed to sort “my shit” out on my own steam. No compassionate friend, healing or therapy was going to give me that magic pill.

For me it had to come the old fashion hard way, via self realization! Hard Yakka ! (an Aussie term, for those of you not in the know 🙂)

I understand now why this was so. All these challenges were in fact presenting me with invaluable lessons and knowledge for me to move forward and to get to where I am today. It also served well to enable me to help people who came to me for help.

Hence, every step I took, every falter I encountered it would seem, served as a stepping stone, a launching pad, if you will, through my journey of change. That very essence today forms one of the cornerstones of my personal philosophy.

Hence most of my change came through my own awareness, discovery, my own energy work done on myself.  I started  to recognize and be in harmony with the perceived “shortcomings” and “demons” within and in turn recognizing and appreciating that child of creation within.

One large aspect of this for a start, was me learning to move out from the busy thought patterns, the “Accountant’s Head”, the noise within and learning to manage the busy mind. In turn, I learnt to move down to the heart, my gut and to learn to feel and trust with that. I eventually learned to connect with and trust that inner voice, that niggling feeling within, that dream, that vision which at kept playing in my head and the resonance I felt with it.

I always had good intuition from way back, I just did not know it, I did not recognize it as such.

Self trust and self belief was something I truly struggled with, to overcome the volumes of self doubt within me. I was hard for me to accept that I could be special, that I was deserving. It was hard for me to accept compliments, that someone could actually see me as what I secretly wanted them to view me as. Aha ! that “secretly wanting others view me differently” was an inadequacy in itself !

It was bloody hard, I tell you, bloody hard !!! But the solution, the direction was in fact simple, Just Trust And Believe In Myself !, Change My Thought Patterns !

The only thing in my way was me !

“The knowing that I sought, came through me letting go of the need for expectations, the outcome. It came through me walking within the dark, not knowing, just trusting and accepting”

I’d say these days I’ve grown to hone my intuition, my psychic abilities and my gift to channel to an extent where at times I have to pinch myself to remind me that this is real, LOL ! 🙂

I’m able to listen to and trust my intuition, my higher self, more and more as time progresses. This has taken me working with clients, especially in Energy Healing, to a whole new level.

Most of my decisions these days are done from me searching within, my intuition, my gut, just trusting. Gone are the days of analysis paralysis and the stress and anxiety that came with it.

So, for those of you struggling with your own “perceived inadequacies”, know that your beauty,  your greatness, your essence lies with the greater sum of your own “imperfections” ..warts and all.

“You do not need “fixing”, for you are “perfect” within your “imperfections”. All you may require is an awareness, a recognition, a rediscovery of the beauty and power of you within …. and once you achieve that, you will recalibrate, grow and become new and improved versions of yourselves.

Know too, that the journey and the learning never ends.”

There’s more I can write, more stories I can tell, but I’ll end it for now. Potentially there could be a Part Two to this somewhere, but it has not been written yet. Hence till Part Two then.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you for your patience and for taking the time read through. Would love to hear your comments and would love to hear about your journey as well … Blessings to you.

I leave you with this clip, simply because this tune has been playing in my head the entire time I’ve been writing this. In a way its reflective of aspects of me overcoming myself, or it may resonate with one of you out there. The amazing, inspirational and brave Mandy Harvey.

“I Will Try”

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Basic Dog Training – By Tony Ratnam

Many years ago, following a request from a friend, I wrote up an instructional guide on Basic Dog Training for him. Filed and forgotten, I came across this recently while cleaning up my hard disk and decided I’ll share this out for anyone interested.

I hope you find it useful. If anyone’s interested, I am also available to provide basic personalized obedience training for dogs here in the Perth region. Contact me at info@inneralignment.com.au.

First, My Story

Like a lot of kids, I grew up around dogs and was very passionate about them.

I found myself  continuously educating myself about dog well being, behavior and training, further growing my passion.

This passion reached its height in my late 20s / early 30s. Work opportunities saw me living in Papua New Guinea for a number of years. We lived in a 5 acre plot of land which housed the office, factory, stores and living premises.

I started off initially having my own dogs there, but due to security reasons we decided to have more dogs, paid for and maintained by the company,  but under my care and guidance, housed in custom built kennels and enclosures. It was like the “Ritz Carlton” for dogs, LOL !!

We had up to 15 dogs at one point in time, breeds of which ranged from Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Dobermans, Great Danes, and mixed breeds (cross of German Shepard, Rottweilers) . Each dog was assigned guard duties nightly at various points  within the premises and within segmented areas therein, with some accompanying the night guards on duty. This proved to be an effective deterrent against would be burglars and intruders. Mind you, some of these dogs were trained (by your’s truly) to attack on command.

It was 1994, I left Papua New Guinea. Sadly I could not take these dogs with me and I had to leave them behind, but confidently in the capable hands of my assistants.

It was a very emotional event for me, leaving for the airport, I could not bring myself to say goodbye to my dogs, I just could not ! Strangely (well maybe not really strange), the dogs sensed the departure and as I left my house, initially there was an eerie silence (or energy) in the air.

As I walked towards the waiting car, which would take me to the airport, all the dogs started howling and crying out at once. It was like nothing I’ve heard them do before, considering I knew all of their personalities individually, having raised most of them from puppies.

That howling and crying by the dogs felt even more eerie, they’ve sensed my leaving, they knew something was amiss, they’ve picked up on my energy. Still, I could not bring myself to go to them to say goodbye or to ease their cries. I kept walking with tears now welling in my eyes, tightness in my chest. I felt so so guilty for abandoning them. My mind went, gosh, what would they think of me, they’d be looking for me eventually … gosh, how much I would miss them.

Today now in 2017, I suddenly realize that these emotions are still with me because, as I write this, I have tears streaming down my face and that tightness in my chest is present again.

Well, a that’s chapter of my life I will always cherish and remember. Maybe I should write a few blogs about my time in that country, but for now, back to the purpose of this blog, dog training.

The Training Instructions  

This is what I had written out for my friend, based on my experience and knowledge, which I’m putting out for those who may need it.

The models in the images below are my son and our Dalmatian.

There are 4 basic commands described below, SIT, STAY, DROP & COME. Try these out first and if you can master this, you’ll have a generally well behaved dog.

Dog‘s have varying temperaments and can develop various behavioural problems, the solution for each however will have to be specific to the dog’s issue & root causes.

Sadly most dogs’ behavioural problems are caused by humans. We tend to treat dogs as humans instead of treating dogs as dogs, often due to pity and/or to fulfill our own insecurities or emotional needs …….. and this is where a lot of issues arise from.

The Law of the Pack is an integral part of the dog’s life. They need a strong pack leader and to be told what to do or they will take over. Watch the likes of National Geographic and observe how wild animals discipline their young ones, e.g. wolves, the big cats, etc. that’s the role we should take.

The four commands are part of you establishing your authority and dominance over these animals. Essentially, you are telling the dog that and own the space around every part of the house, that  you are in control, that you are in charge and that you will provide direction when required.

Take every opportunity to enforce these commands with the dog. Consistency is the key here. E.g. ;

  • Always get it to SIT & STAY before you give the dog its daily food. Eventually you can even get it to eat only at your command
  • Before entering or leaving an area
    • Dog to sit first at the back or front door before entering the house, (SIT / STAY) and enter only at your command (COME)
    • The same applies when leaving the house with you. SIT / STAY before leaving, you go outside first, apply COME, and when the dog comes, then apply SIT
    • This conditions the dog’s mind to the fact that there are boundaries and that YOU own the boundaries / you’re in command. This can also prove useful to prevent the dog rushing in & out uncontrolled
  • When visitors come, get the dog to SIT / STAY (even DROP), you greet and get the visitors to enter. You’d have to check the dog in place if it does otherwise
    • Dogs can get over protective of us against visitors and our behaviour / actions (or non-action) can inadvertently reinforce negative behaviours in dogs.
    • On the converse, some dogs get overly excited and jump all over the visitors
    • Applying the SIT/ STAY / DROP commands in a way tells the dog, that you’re OK and in control and checking it tells it that is behaviour is unwarranted.
    • For the overly excited dogs, the idea is to get them calm and non-fixated before getting the visitors in (a slightly more advanced technique)
  • When you take it out e.g. to the park or public places, you’ll find the need for these commands even more for practical reasons.

The training starts with the verbal commands, while using fixed hand signals (visual), with food used as an incentive and reward. The dog forms an association with the commands, its actions and rewards and learns from this. Through repetition and consistency, a strong association is formed with the visual signals and what’s required. This will be your goal .. to be able to eventually command your dog with just visual (non verbal) commands  and / or just verbal, without visual commands.

Basics

  • You’d need to have a relaxed, calm, affirmative composure about you as dogs can sense your energy and react adversely to it, if otherwise
  • Remove any nervous / excited / highly strung persons / kids away from the vicinity
  • Train dogs preferably one at a time & away from distractions
  • Dogs get easily fixated on distractions & other things, you’d have to break them from this fixation and get them calm & focused on you before you begin
  • You’d need to command in a calm, low, firm voice, one word , e.g. SIT , repeated after pause, praise the dogs when do it / reward with titbits
  • High pitch commands tend not to work as well, as dogs may in turn get excited
  • Yelling / scolding, punishing the dogs during the process can be considered to be counterproductive
  • For titbits/ food rewards when training, liver treats work well, dog biscuits … but even bits of bread will do

SIT

  • Titbits held between yr thumb and middle finger
  • Hand extended out in front of you
  • Palm up towards you, back of hand facing dog
  • The dog will smell but can’t see the food
  • Get the dog’s attention, if necessary place your hand (with food) closer to the dog’s nose and once you’ve the dog’s attention, bring it back up as shown
  • As you move close towards the dog, say SIT
  • Its head will usually rise up towards your hand / food and usually this will cause them to sit
  • If it does not, gently push its bum down with other hand while saying SIT
  • Reward must immediately follow positive action by dog

Hence as soon as the dog sits .. give it the food & praise.

This hand position below is very important … as it will form the basis for you to command the dog at a later stage purely by hand signals only.

dog-training-sit-1
Hand signal used for the SIT command .. with food
dog-training-sit-2
This is what the dog will get used to seeing for the SIT command
dog-training-sit-3
This is the same SIT command without the use of food, which is where you’d want to be eventually with the dog, commanding it with visual commands only (no food)
Dog in the SIT position, notice the head position of the dog, as it senses the food (in this image, the command was executed without the use of verbal commands) .. move in closer to the dog if it helps
Dog in the SIT position, notice the head position of the dog, as it senses the food (in this image, the command was executed without the use of verbal commands) .. move in closer to the dog if it helps

STAY

When the dog is in the SIT position, place hand, palm down, towards the dog (see pic below) and say STAY

  • In the initial stages, reward with food immediately
  • Later on, walk a few steps back, maintaining the hand signal and reinforcing the word STAY
  • Walk back to the dog & reward with it with food & praise
  • As you progress, you may take more steps back / and or wait longer before doing the above

You may use titbits, held between your thumb & middle finger, while doing the STAY command (like in the SIT command, only different position), just to get the dog’s attention

Do not expect immediate results with this, it may take time. Patience, consistency & repetition is the key. If the dog moves, just go back to the SIT command  and restart  with STAY. Do not reward with dog with food yet, and most of all, keep calm,  no yelling or scolding the dog.

It’s important that the dog associates this hand signal with the required action. This will become useful to get the dog to stay when from a distance .. without the use of verbal commands.

Stay Command
Stay Command
Stay Command
Stay Command

DROP

The command for this is your hand flat / horizontal with palm to the ground. In the pic below however, my son’s hand  is somewhat bent as he’s holding food between his fingers (same as the SIT hand position, but reversed)

  • Hold hand in front / near dog’s nose (it will smell the food)
  • Say DROP and lower your hand to the ground, repeat the word DROP
  • Usually the dog will follow as in the pics below
  • You may need to adjust the angle of your hand drop. Too near the dog, and it may stand up (backaway). If the hand position is too far away in front, this may make the dog move towards you instead
  • As soon as it “drops”, give it food & praise
  • Get it back up to the SIT position (treat & reward) and repeat

Here again, it will take time for the dog to get used to it … it may be confused at first, but with repetition of the above, you’ll get there.  Once it’s used to “drop” & stay “dropped”, you may apply the STAY command and COME command (see details on COME  below)

Sequence of the DROP command
Sequence of the DROP command
You may keep hand in this position for it to continue to stay “dropped”
You may keep hand in this position for it to continue to stay “dropped”

COME

  • For this to be effective, its best if you’ve already mastered the SIT & STAY command first
  • Start with the SIT position
  • Walk back and reinforce the STAY command
  • Lower your arm down to your side, hand straight, palm facing the dog (bend your body forward a little, if it helps)
  • Initially, you’ll have titbits held between your thumb & middle finger (just like the SIT command, only different position) .. see pics below
  • Upon doing this (& the dog will see the food), immediately say COME, repeat COME if necessary
  • Eventually the dog will associate this hand position with the command COME and the required action
  • Reward and praise the dog when it comes
  • You may also apply the SIT command when the dog comes, and ONLY THEN reward it
Notice the COME hand signal as circled
Notice the COME hand signal as circled
Notice the COME hand signal as circled
Notice the COME hand signal as circled
COME Hand signal with food
COME Hand signal with food
COME Hand signal with without food
COME Hand signal with without food

I hope you’ll find this instructional guide of use for a joyful and healthy relationship with your pet. Know that each dog is different and what works for one may not necessarily work for the other in the same manner. Experiment and adapt.

Feel free to share this around. I’d love to hear your feedback and any questions you may have in the comment section below or drop me an email at info@inneralignment.com.au if I can be of help.

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Lessons From The Rose Bush

Perhaps you were once (or still are) like a beautiful rose bush. You stood out, had beautiful foliage, displayed this awesome spray of vibrant flowers, so fragrant. Yes, you had your share of thorns as well, but these were well shielded and overshadowed by your sheer beauty. People liked you and you possibly even stood as feature in the entire garden.

You Get Pruned

One fine day “the gardener” comes along and brutally cuts you down, he takes away from you everything that you see as you, your beautiful flowers, the slender branches that gave you form and shape, your beautiful green foliage, all gone. All that’s left behind are bare stems, unsightly, naked, the beauty gone, the thorns within you now clearly visible and stark.

Inner Alignment Rose pruning

One may ask, seriously dude ?, why on earth would you cut down a perfect and beautiful growing rose bush. I’m guessing it took a while for it to reach this stage and it probably had its share of challenges to overcome to be where it is now. At face value, it certainly seems ridiculous and unfair to the plant .. like why ?

Such is life, one may say. One day, life’s a bed of roses, the next day we are struck down bare. How many of us have gone through similar, an illness, cancer, a break up, a loss of someone, kicked out of a job, thrown into the deepest and darkest of places, the list goes on.

The Challenge

It can be hard to pick up the pieces, hard to make sense and meaning out of all this. Some of us just get dragged down so much, it’s just difficult to bounce back. You hate the world, you hate your life, you hate yourself. At times suicide may even seem like a viable option. Others in comparison trudge along, but the sparkle is gone, life’s just a drag spinning round and round.

Then there others where all this can resemble water off a duck’s back , they move on, they become more resilient, they bounce back like one of those bouncy balls.

So, why is this ? Why do different people react differently to similar circumstances. Now I say this with the utmost respect for each of your situations as I’ve not lived your life, I’ve not felt your pain, how could I know what you’ve gone through. I don’t ! and I’d never presume to know.

The Lessons

However, what we take from life can be connected to what we perceive of life and of the trials and tribulations of life. “Can be connected” Ha ha .. I’m being light with my words here, in fact perception is everything !!

Lets comeback to the rose bush. Usually the rose bush, if left to its own devices, unattended and left to grow on its own, can get rather gangly and unsightly, spreading out. Resources and nutrients are spread across and between maintenance, growth of these gangly branches and to flowering. Sometimes the bush starts to seed at the expense of flowering. This whole gangly thing can get even more unsightly during the colder months and when spring comes, new growth which produce a new burst of flowers can happen. However sometimes, as in this case, there can be inadequate opportunity for new growth, new vibrancy to happen when the rose bush is the way it is.

And such is life too.

Part of the science behind the practice of pruning of roses during winter is to stimulate and encourage new growth and vibrancy come spring. To let nature take its course, to trigger the plant’s blueprint to overcome, to survive and thrive. To regrow what’s been lost, and quite often in turn, with greater vigour.

“something may have to die first for something new to grow”

The Choice

So ! Let’s come back to the concept of perception. What can you make of the “pruning” that’s taken place in your life ? Yes, it could be seen as unfair, you did not deserve it, it is real, you’re living it and it can be hard for others to understand this at times.

But, it’s said that so long as we hold on to the negative effects of what’s happened, the reality of our life can turn out to be just that. Hence the choice is ours !

One could choose to see it as just that or alternatively choose to move on, look for the lessons within, learn from it and find a way to allow the pruning to nurture the new growth and vibrancy within you. Could this perhaps been part of the greater plan in your life?

I’ll leave it here, perhaps touch more on this in a later blog. But if you have been “pruned”, do take a chance to consider “that outside of the box”, the hidden meanings, the hidden lessons within the “pruning”.

Know too that we can inadvertently entrap ourselves within that deep and dark place by totally accepting and unwittingly being too accustomed to it. It comes down to a matter of choice of perception. At times “You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.

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Just Jump – Take A Leap !

Goldfish jumping into the sea
Just Do It – Jump!

 

There are times when you may wonder if where you are in your life is where you should be ? ….And you feel deep down, something needs to change, but  Aggrraaahh ! It’s just hard .. The How’s, The What Ifs come in. Continue reading Just Jump – Take A Leap !

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The Dark Swamp Metaphor

One can metaphorize the experiences and challenges of our lives as a long journey, segmented by beautiful paved paths, lush meadows, rolling hills and then too, raging rivers, torrent downfalls, rocky paths, swamps, steep mountains, the list goes on.

How do we then negotiate this ? Continue reading The Dark Swamp Metaphor

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My First Blog Post

Hello, my name is Tony Ratnam a.k.a. (Abang Joe).

Well, I’ve finally done, started a blog page, after sitting on the intention for ages. I have loads of stuff in my head that I want to get out, based on my journey in life, my experiences, my passions, things I know, self authored articles based on the work on I do. Hopefully this is the catalyst to me writing my first two books, currently too trapped in my head .. LOL !!

First a bit about me & I’ll proceed to tell you the story behind “Abang Joe“. Continue reading My First Blog Post

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