Tag Archives: life

A story of gratitude

God gives all these precious gifts to each and every one of us. In reality, we all prosper. Just looking at a child, growing in any surrounding, nature provides everything to that child. He or she receives a mother who nurtures him, brings food and warmth, love and security to every moment of his life. He receives a father, a protecting figure who makes sure there is a roof, a safe environment for the mother and baby. Sometimes nature gives different gifts than those, takes the mother or father away and provides a bigger challenge. Nevertheless, the child grows and prospers. Nature is wise.

In reality, our job is not to interfere with our ego-mind. What we must instruct it to do, is to become grateful for all those gifts that have been given. Grateful in every way, in every situation. That of course, doesn’t mean you become passive. It means that you can actually act from a neutral place, where you can enjoy a high perspective.

Imagine looking at a city from above.

You will see the people walking on the streets, the traffic, the rhythms. If you look closer you will see the windows of every house, holding a different story behind each of them, a family sleeping, a dog alone barking, a couple having dinner, a child playing with a cat. Among them, you will see your story, the emotional reaction you are having to this hard day, the way you are so focused in your financial situation, your worries about tomorrow, your jealousy for the couple upstairs or for the innocence of the child playing with the cat.

Zoom out again.

Realize that the couple have also their own worries. Every story behind every window has their own bubble of emotions, commotions, passions, worries, limitations.

Now what does this big picture give you? You can just accept that you are just one more of the crowd, useless, worthless, struggling like the rest.

Or you can discover the treasures you hold and be grateful for them. The smallest things like the look on your dear children when they wake up, or the food you have on the table, or the broken car which nevertheless brings you to places. Or even the old and humble furniture you hate, or the job that you don’t like but helps you to pay the bills.

We have been trained to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. It is part of a sequence in our mind, an illusion which actually helps us to develop the power of will, the power to move and to act. Yet the illusion will not bring us to happiness. It is the inner harmony with tr present moment that can only bring back to a sense of prosperity. This is all begins with recognizing, accepting and agreeing where I am standing. This is my story.
We need to stop living in our minds and rehearsing the story of the neighbor- if I had money… If I had that wife… If I was this or that. The first step to finding peace is through gratitude. However dark and gloomy my own story may seem, it is mine, and that is already a precious finding. Thank god, thank the universe, thank yourself, thank whoever and whatever that has helped you shape your story. Because it is unique and valuable as it is.

We all create our stories. There are certain patterns we follow, personal, inherited, societal, national and universal patterns which help us shape that story. Yes, you can and must become aware if those patterns and change the ones you don’t need or which are negative. Yet even each if those has been there for a purpose, whether you realise it or not, but you can be grateful for each of them.

I am grateful specially for the difficult and challenging situations in my life. Because through them, I have had to find the courage to go through, to find the light in the darkness, to wake myself up so that I can shine, to become neutral in the middle of emotion and commotion. And that I can guide others in spite of whatever turbulence is going in in my story. And at the end, that turbulence will find peace if I find the gratitude in the middle of it.

In humble service and love to the one in all,
Sukhdev Kaur

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Cold

We are driving to the countryside. It’s 8 pm and Theo is sleeping on my lap (yes, on my lap). Outside it’s pitch dark and cold. I remember how I used to fear cold when I arrived here to Estonia. That was right years ago. I was so afraid of the cold, it was a very strong fear of death. I would feel as if I would be left alone in the forest and just freeze. That feeling haunted me for some years. Sometimes it comes back to the surface. But what has happened, what is different?
I remember few occasions when I used to go cross country skiing or hiking with friends in the frozen swamps and rivers. Those were amazing experiences. Fearful ones. I remember thinking that I needed to face that fear of freezing to overcome it.
I don’t think I overcame it fully, but it helped. Going out there like that helped me in a way I didn’t expect it. I just got used to that fear. I became friends with it. I accepted the fact that it is ok to have that fear and I can live with it. Let’s better be friends than enemies. And it kind of lost its greatness with that, and with the fact that I lived one winter after another, and kind of got used to the cold.
The first time I worded what that fear was was after three years of having been here living, I went back to Mexico for a yoga training in Authentic Relationships (incidentally, it is the same that I’m organizing next week). The recognition that that fear of the cold came from a very human fear of death wasn’t very easy to guess. But it came then. And at the very end of the training, Tarn Taran Singh, who was leading that course, said that all fears actually sprout from the fear of death. Any kind of fear, be it small, stupid, deep or real, originates from the fear of death, the fear if the unknown. What if?
So we just have to accept the fact that there is no answer to that question. And it is ok if we don’t know what’s on the order side. We don’t have to know, it is beyond logic, and we just have to trust. It takes courage. It takes grit. It takes fearlessness. It takes awareness. It takes excellence. It takes grace. It takes consciousness. It takes peace if mind.
We are all one with the one. No fear will ever change that fact.
We are just riding on an amusement park. Just trust.
During those long hikes in the harsh cold, I discovered that I could’nt fight against the cold. I used to get all cramped and stiff as if that would warm me up. It was an automatic reaction. But I discovered that I better relax and merge with the cold. Be one with it. Enjoy it. BE cold. And in fact that made me warm.
Stay tuned.
In gratitude and humility to the one.
Sukhdev Kaur

God is great (in other words, waheguru!)

Dear family,

I am amazed at the human heart. I’m just coming out of two very challenging days, full of stressful moments. This being a long story full of details, I will cut it short.
Two days ago I found myself in an awkward situation, where a training that I’m organizing was about to be cancelled 3 times. The reasons being different, I was concerned the most for the commitment I made all these participants on prices and resources. A big ugly misunderstanding came across, which demanded everybody to pay much more than what we had agreed with them. I could not consider calling and saying “hey, listen now you have to pay 80 eur more on accommodation for next week”. It was just a no question. I prayed for a solution. I considered all possible options, and would have been willing to pay that compensation from my own pocket. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) my pockets are almost empty, so I had to come up with a way to make it all work out well, for everyone, not only for me. I don’t like nasty people who leave you hanging or just quit at the moment it gets challenging, and I definitely didn’t want to be that person!
So I didn’t sleep, and I prayed, and I worried.. (this last thing didn’t help definitely!)
I followed Yogijis advice, and my heart, and wrote a very honest and respectful letter, just as I would like to receive from someone in the same situation. I empathized with all the players in the game. And I diplomatically and courageously wrote my heart out. What was new to me, breaking my usual (bad) habit, was that I specifically and clearly asked for what I wanted / needed. I tend to be one who postpones direct demands, which usually lead me nowhere or into an imbalance, having to give more than the other party (e.g I was willing to put 800 eur from my own money to just save the boat, let alone receiving any money for my work).
I stated my demand in a loving yet clear way.
And no answer came.
I got more scared.
I waited.
And prayed.
And ran around the house trying to become neutral.
So I went to Guru Sahib, and made an ardas (prayer).
I bowed, and took a hukam (a message to follow, I asked for something easy to understand for my poor head)
And just as I was reading it, Theo woke up.
I didn’t get to read the English translation, which my mind longed for guidance!
So I’m in bed, breastfeeding Theo back to sleep.
And continued reading the hukam in my phone (luckily before I ran out I looked at the page number).
And these parts stroke my bells:

“Serve the True Guru fearlessly, and your doubt shall be dispelled.

Do that work which the True Guru asks you to do.

Go to the Gate of Truth, and speak the Truth”

So in this situation, this meant to start calling everybody and tell the whole story, so they would decide whether or not to continue and put in some more money for their expenses. Wow, that sounded like a very nasty job, (to be done fearlessly!) but truth was on my side. So I took this command and bowed to it.
If that is what I’m supposed to do, then I’ll do it. Thank you.
Peace came into my being, a peace full of responsibility.
And I receive an email back from the venue.
By reading my letter they agreed to come down with their prices and meet us at a common ground, keeping their original prices. Wow!
I’m just amazed at the power of the human heart, by opening up and commiting to the end, I get this reward. I had lost hope, and kept my commitment. And I clearly stated my needs (thank you NVC!)
And I’m grateful for these people who sacrificed their earnings and time to come and meet us at common grounds.
Grateful for all the learning in this experience, may it stay with me in the future.
I make a pause, contemplate the beauty of the human soulful heart, and say:
God is great!
Blessings to each and every one.

Sukhdev Kaur
(from the bed still, Theo sleeping in my arms while I’m finishing this text on my phone)

Conscious Parenting workshops in Estonia and France

Dear Family,

I am happy to announce that my long-planned project and wishes of teaching Conscious Parenting have started to crystallize. Together with my dear colleague, mother and kundalini yoga teacher trainer, Bachitar Kaur from Germany (living in the Netherlands), we have set up a series of workshops to start the project running. All information is found from our joint website on Conscious Parenting: http://www.consciousparenting.eu/

The first one of these workshops is this weekend here in Estonia, at the Haapsalu Yoga Festival. The workshop will be held in English and translated into Estonian. We will see what parenting is from the yogic perspective and I will guide through a meditation to connect with this life flow as parents. Full description of this workshop and the Haapsalu Yoga Festival you can find here:
http://www.joogafestival.ee/en/program/tootoad/tootuba-kuidas-olla-teadlik-lapsevanem/

The second, longer workshop will take place at the European Yoga Festival in Fondjouan, France. This we will teach together Bachitar Kaur and me, and we welcome all friends from all over Europe (and beyond!) to join us. It will be an experience of parents together uplifting our experience as teachers for our children. For more information go here:
http://www.3ho-kundalini-yoga.eu/en/eventsactivities/european-yoga-festival/festival-program/workshop-schedule2012/bachitar-kaur-sukhdev-kaur-netherlands-estonia/

Im looking forward to seeing you all and sharing experiences and the teachings with all of you!
In gratitude to the divine,
Sukhdev Kaur

Gratitude for life and death

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Very often I go into a sleepy state of consciousness, where I only realize what is going on in the moment and become overwhelmed by the situation. Last week, it was the sleep issue. Thanks to my dear friend and sister Guru Jagat Kaur that I realized Theo was not sleeping because he was hungry… So all those children who are put to sleep by crying might just after all be hungry, and then denied even more food by not giving them the breast… Karmic and cruel… So listening is the best thing we can do, and love our little ones.
Soon they will be grown ups and won’t need our caresses, love and arms to sleep. So let’s take the chance!

I discussed it already a few months ago, how as humans we are playing among the 1 and the 10, among the individual and the vastness. It is a habit to stay In the individual and get so frustrated and drown in our little bubbles that we forget being part of the big 10. It is our birthright and our blessing as humans to live and experience that vastness as part of our nature. Sometimes, hints like an accident put us in perspective. These accidents are blessings to remind us to come out of our bubbles and be with our souls.

The best gift I have ever had is gratitude. It is what takes me beyond the bubble and to realize all the gifts I have. Even if I haven’t slept, or even if Theo is ill… Instead of “why me?” an attitude of gratitude transforms it all into “thank god it happened to me”. My greatest gift in that realization was my daughter Vida. She came to give me that attitude, and left quickly back the way she came. This week we are celebrating her passing through this earth and through our lives two years ago — time actually goes fast.

So better enjoy the moment, serve all those who we need to serve with gratitude, and go back home in peace. No regrets, no whys, no criticism, no questioning. Pure gratitude. For the good and the bad. For life and death. For the ups and the downs. For the breath of life.

In humble service of the Naam,
Sukhdev Kaur

8 months… into the ocean

A thought has been haunting me lately about the next step in our family life. Theo is already 8 months and although it sounds funny or strange, as a mother I feel him as still that tiny baby. My mother says that even 30 years from now, to her eyes we are still the same. Many others might agree.

Yet our relationship has been evolving and changing, routine slightly evolved and grown. He acts and does more things and is now more ‘human’ like… I had Always the feeling that as a baby he was more living the life of an angel (some call them fetuses..) not really human, not really here in this world.
What is stronger is now the change of energy and in a lack if better word, what astrologers might refer to as ‘ruling house’.

When Theo was a small baby, I experienced strongly the effects of the number 1: humility, need for developing patience and endurance (those long endless nights and days which were no different from each other, wakings and crying without any possibility to do anything), the surrendering when realizing that now he is outside (it may sound logical but as experience it was (still is) quite challenging and slow to realise), the timelessness of those sleepless moments and never ending arm carrying, the infinite and ageless wisdom from his eyes, the strong foundation to be formed by the first 40 days and 3.5 months, the love and headless heart needed for the journey, confusion and overwhelmedness of my new role as a mother, the ‘mysteries’ of motherhood and parenthood (as an unreachabley high standard), the need to focus on the one and only task in front (baby), the seed implanted in our relationship, in his life and karma; the need to set up a clear intention of my task as a mother (protection, love, patience), clarity of vision for choices of breast feeding with no bottle, no pacifier, no distractions nor ‘easy routes’, the determinism to keep up with those decisions and keep them clear despite the constant reminders by others of the ‘easy way out’ commodities (like pacifiers or medicine), the patience to carry him as much as possible (99% of the time) next to my body to remind both of us of the oneness in all, the breast feeding on demand as a reminder to my surrendering to his essential inner wisdom, the leaving all external influences out as much as possible to focus and con-centrate on the inner world, honoring his sleep, rest and quietness, listening and tuning into his world and experiences.

Slowly these experiences have given way to a stronger influence of the number 2, after approximately 6 months after birth: me being dreamy and off concentration, feeling of being dragged by the everyday routine (being out of hands), establishing more the role of me as the nurturer, the keeping up with breast feeding on demand while including solids, the need for moving on into a more structured life (2 as a link to 3), being a mother and remaining also a woman, keeping the obedience to the intention and to listen to my intuition and soul inspire of the fuzziness, starting to set up needed limits to our relationship and to Theos behaviour (like no biting the breast, no scratching my face, unavoidability to put on winter clothes on..), to recognize my own personal needs parallel to his (when in 1 I would retract and completely bow to his needs first and only, which sometimes meant no toilet breaks or no food for a while), his becoming more emotional and reactive as part of a natural evolution of his character, and my need for structure and force (need for 3 and routine, structure and my own space and time, the timing of everything and in general experiencing time, the letting go of unconscious fears, the realisation of the organic and biological relation between us and our processes, the drowsiness and dreaminess of a breast feeding life informed by the return to work (teaching yoga) experienced as a polarity, and the journey of separation of us as two entities in two bodies and the growing gap between us (which in this second stage is healthy and in the first stage seemed completely impossible), having the devotion to continue with the dedication and intention set up in our relationship as mother-son and also in the cosmic play of teacher-student (at the same time I am and he is my student and teacher)
I’m blessed to have the consciousness to go through this process accompanied by these teachings and also to share it with others through this writing.

Keep tuned!

In love and devotion,
Sukhdev Kaur

Transformation at 02:54 hrs

Just when we started to sleep better (and that means waking only three or four times in the night) again comes a sleepless night… Oh my mind, yet another opportunity to surrender to the divinity in all. Ang Sang Wahe Guru

Today I drove my bike quickly to the shop and left the men at home. At first it was such a light feeling (weightless and free hands) and a sort of familiar sensation of freedom and naiveness came to me, as when I was single and doing whatever I wanted with my time. Suddenly that feeling of freedom became a boring emptiness, where life was pointless and lacked real depth. My lesson of that very ordinary trip to the shop was of valuing all the blessings I have been given. Without the pressures and challenges of motherhood, life was not as fun and deep. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude. 24/7. That’s all that is needed.

Now the time is 03:02 and Theo is sound asleep in my arms, hopefully to remain for the rest of the night.

Stay tuned.

In humility,
Sukhdev Kaur

Few thoughts on parenting and legacy

It’s been a while since my last post here. The everyday life of a mother has sucked up all my time and energy, being in the moment and taking a break from overdoing too much other things. Today I really feel like writing. Theo recently turned 5 months old, and as I write this he is behind me sleeping soundly (beautifully and peacefully).

Many thoughts have been today going through my mind. Recently we bought Theo a new (and light!) stroller, which I must say is more of a comfort to me than bringing him happiness. He loves being carried and being in arms, as all small babies should. And today I went back to the rebozo (carrying sling). It was a good experience- one of those when I came back home sweaty, tired, in a bad mood. He was sound asleep and happy, but not much difference than those times with the stroller. To me it was. He has grown big and heavy, and the sling is not any more a first choice for long journeys in the city. For home use its great, but the time has gone when we were tied together 24-7. It was a small thing, but a strong realisation of how he is growing, and me giving in into al sorts of imagined ideas of how I want to raise him. I give up, my body just doesn’t allow for such perfectionism (my 9’s talking here).

I can see a difference those days when we use the stroller a lot. He becomes (the difference is subtle and slight) more isolated, slightly more irritable and needs more entertainment. Yet I realised today, that in spite of being aware of that, I just cannot physically give him 24-7 hours of body contact anymore. The long uncertain nights have given way to more routine and peaceful days and nights, which is such a relief for me as well. Also, he does not ask for the 24-7 carrying, and is happy playing alone for a while.

Life in this point is so full of moments of awareness. My own cells bring the traditions from my mexican ancestors, yet Theo also has qualities from these northern peoples. I can see both sides in his personality in development.

Another thought today caught my attention: What is the most important thing that I would like to give my child? That means, if I would be gone tomorrow, what would I like it to be my legacy to him (and the others yet to come)? It would need to be something bigger than me, a connection with the divine, an understanding of this play we are all in (maya), and the link to God through Guru. Thats it. The only thought, knowledge and experience of being part of the play of something bigger is what I want to give him- so he will not be dissapointed by the time when he realises that mama and papa are not perfect, or that his mates are also not perfect, or that even he is not perfect. The experience that he can always lean on Guru for answers, for hope, for uplifting and elevating himself and others. And of course, the core of the teachings that is, live for the other. No matter in how many problems or situations I might be stuck today, the sole thought of helping another makes it all senseless. Live for each other, said Yogiji. Thats it. It makes life easy, smooth, relaxing. And of course, gratitude for all.

I am grateful that my child came into my world by the time I have this depth in understanding. Thats probably what I was so afraid of when thinking of having children years ago. I was not consciously mature. But now I have these teachings to give him, and serving the sangat while doing so, is the most divine gift that god has given me. Obey, serve, love, excel. Humility, service, compassion and realisation. The teachings of Guruji, the way to live in this world to walk light and in light. If it was not for elevating others, there would be no purpose in this life at all. Serving humanity to the very last breath in this world. Sharing the technology, the teachings of consciousness. Being a bridge- serving others find the divine in themselves, that is the only thing why I came into this life, and that is what I want to give to my Theo. That is my teaching to him. All other is just icing.

Theo’s new discovery

Sat nam dear family

My son Theo will soon be three months old. Life has become completely different since he arrived, of course a lot more demanding and full of responsibilities, and blessed with new light and an opportunity for us to relive life and discover all it has to offer.

Today Theo has been immersed in the discovery of his hands. he spent all morning just looking – or I should say contemplating deeply – at them. He just held them on the air as long as he could and would look at one and the other. All the time both hands were in really tight fists and motionless. Just concentrated on the one thing of realising that those interesting tools were his own, and that he could move (and squeeze) at will. Thats I guess what a baby in deep meditation looks like.  He even did not want to be held, which is rare. 

As we get used to our hands, our bodies, manners and habits, we humans tend to forget how amazing the tools we have been given are. And such simple yet key realisations, like Theo today, are big steps in understanding our surroundings, ourselves, and life. May our days be filled with such illuminating moments throughout our lives, so we remain fresh, alive, healthy, learning and in love.

Reporting from the mother’s lap,

Sukhdev Kaur