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  Spirituality - spiritual solace

- By Girija Naiksatam

So you've been going through a rough patch for a while and no matter how hard you try for a clean slate, there's always something unsettling that gets left behind. Here are a few steps on how you can begin the process of emotional cleansing and move on.

Accept: Start by accepting your emotions as your own. The more reactive you are, the more averse you are to change and improvement. The first step is to make your peace with the kind feelings you’re experiencing without trying to fend or fight them.

Identification: Most of the times your reactions will be extremely moody and swinging from one extreme to the other; even then, there will be some that resurface over and over again. Identify and make a note of these.

Observation: Observe what a particular emotion does to your body. While anger leaves you unsettled and raging, insecurity can make you jittery and could even trigger anger. Every emotion of the mind has a consequent reaction in your body. Try to observe and draw a connection between the two.

Switch Off: You’re bound to have a hobby/interest that can take your mind off the most troubling of situations. It could be anything like going for a walk, a game of football or something inert like listening to music or watching your favourite television show. Use whatever works to distract yourself and divert attention. It’ll help to analyse your own situation more objectively.

The Way Out: You need to find an outlet for all that is pent up inside you. It could be writing or talking to a friend or painting. But the important part is that it needs to be vocalized and brought out into the open for you to hear it out loud, come to terms with it and gauge how you’re feeling about it.

Putting Away the Past: Most often, once people have made their peace with emotions, the next step is to rid their mind and life off them. While some people literally choose to throw things away, others opt to use it as fodder for other pursuits, creative expression, learning etc. Find out what path of release works best for you and use it to your advantage.



Tired of monotony and looking for a spiritually healing summer holiday away from the hustle bustle of crowded city streets? What can be more meditative than the places enriched with the goodness of nature, yoga and meditation? Here are a few suggestions on where you can head:

1. Auroville
Located in the heart of Pondicherry, Auroville is a quiet-seeker’s paradise. The place, framed after the Saint Aurobindo, is a cluster of locations and monuments such as the International Commune, the Matri Mandir (the golden dome shaped meditation hall) and the Healing Center (for those seeking much therapy). All in all, the serenity of the entire township will engulf any visitor that enters Auroville.

2. Igatpuri
Just a train ride away from the bustling city of Mumbai is Igatpuri, a known meditation destination in the country. The highlights of this place are the Vipassana courses offered by the Dhamma Centers here. The courses can last from up to 2 days to 10 days and are said to teach one of the most revolutionary forms of guided meditation.

3. Bengaluru
A few kilometers South of main Bengaluru City are located the global headquarters of the Art of Living International Foundation. A sprawling ashram with lush green lawns, a lake and a four tier meditation hall, this is said to be the congregating center for a number of people who are looking to learn the renowned Sudarshan Kriya (a meditation technique taught only by this foundation).

4. Kerala
Nothing can get more healing and peace inducing than the backwaters of Kerala. Located amidst tall palm trees and boat houses on the river, this place offers numerous courses and healing treatments for those looking for some relaxation and quiet time. You can choose to enroll in any of the meditation centers here, opt for a quick yoga course or enjoy an authentic Ayurvedic massage.

5. Rishikesh
The home of the yogis, Rishikesh is the unbeaten spiritual capital of the world. Located at the foothills of some of the world’s highest mountain ranges, Rishikesh is teaming with ashrams and meditation halls that offer you food and stay at reasonable prices. It is no wonder then, it is one of the prime destinations for those seeking to know and experience more about India through yoga and meditation.


How many times have you thought to yourself, "I just have to be Ok with it!"? Chances are that you're probably feeling exactly like this about something, this very instant.

Surrender, in common parlance, refers to the act of giving in, often forcefully or with a certain level of dissatisfaction, against one's will. This seed of dissatisfaction that stems from the inability to give in without a fight then tends to snowball into something much bigger, thus taking up a lot of our time and not to forget, our peace of mind.

So can you actually ‘Surrender'?
Start by understanding that Surrender is not an act, it's an attitude that you build over a span of time by incorporating certain simple values in day to day living.

Yes, surrendering is important, but you must surrender only to break free and to liberate yourself, not to give or accept defeat. Here are a few tips to help you surrender better:

1. When you wake up every morning, sit still with your eyes closed for a while. Forget about everything else in the world. This time is purely for some self-indulgence, to recollect, learn and rejuvenate.

2. Sit with an attitude of complete acceptance. Know that whatever has and will come your way is just a mere lesson in learning. It is through an adoption of this mindset you will learn that there is nothing you cannot handle. The minute you fear, loathe or have a strong opinion about something, you allow it to control you.

3. Some people often imagine themselves soaring high with complete abandon or think about activities that make them feel completely liberated. A common thought is that of soaring far and wide in the endless sky without strings attached (that represents everything that holds you back.)

4. Whatever negative feelings and thoughts may arise, simply accept them, realise they're there and move on. The lesser the attention you pay to them, the lesser they will affect you. Repeat the same cycle at night focussing on your entire day. It'll help you feel calm and relaxed and also aid in a peaceful night's rest.

The magic of Surrender lies in comprehending that true Surrender doesn't just pacify you; it leaves you unshakable and feeling fabulously free. Go ahead. Try it!



Yes! Guilt can eat you up from inside rendering you hollow, so it's important to get rid of it. Here are 5 very practical tips to help you drop the excess baggage of guilt that is tying up your mind and soul in knots:

1. Talk to settle the matter
People feel guilty when they feel they've failed or transgressed in some way. However, very often the things you are feeling guilty about do not have any impact on the other person and you continue to suffer for no reason. At other times, they may be slightly affected but are not as upset as you think and are just waiting for you to talk it out and end the matter. So it's best to make the effort to talk and act accordingly.

2. Be ready to apologize
If you have done something that you truly regret, do apologize and try to make amends. A simple ‘I am sorry' when said with genuine feelings can set a lot of things right. This conciliatory gesture is appreciated by most as it reflects that you care about them and value the relationship.

3. Do a reality check
Guilt often arises automatically, based on thought processes internalized over the years. So before you automatically accept guilt, ask yourself, "Should I really be guilty for this?" Priorities and thought processes tend to change with time and by judging yourself by those old standards, you are not being fair to yourself. Worrying about not being a perfect wife because you didn't take out time from your busy schedule to bake a cake for your husband's birthday but instead bought it from a bakery is guilt gone wrong.

4. Don't blame yourself unnecessarily
In case you are just a victim of circumstances and haven't done anything hurtful yourself, you shouldn't feel any guilt. For example, if your child gets out of school earlier than usual and meets an accident and you reach there after the accident, at your usual time, there is no reason for you to feel guilty. Yes, the accident might not have happened had you reached earlier, but by holding yourself responsible for a situation that you couldn't have predicted is only going to make dealing with the situation tougher for you.

5. Don't let someone put you on guilt trips
Some people tend to induce uncalled for guilt in others to often advance their own selfish agendas. To avoid falling prey to these guilt trips, assess whether the other person's point of view is legitimate and if they are taking your needs into account.




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