Ask Parvati 26: Follow Your Bliss – Part 1, Whose Life Are You Living?

FOLLOW YOUR BLISS

Dear Parvati,
I really don’t like my job, not because I am not good at it, but because I know it is not what I really want to do. I love art, fine art, painting, not houses, but canvases. Colours, textures… they inspire me. I know that you have an active career as a musical artist. I want to know, how did you find the courage to follow your dreams and not get pulled into the rat race?

PART 1: WHOSE LIFE ARE YOU LIVING?


“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Oh! How I found the courage to follow my dreams… a question very close to my heart! I feel that my life of an artist is an organic one. As such, it is evolving and ongoing. It is not about arriving, but about being. It is very much an unfolding process, which reveals layers of my psyche that are to be celebrated as an authentic expression of my soul or purified and released as distraction. For me the life of an artist is one deeply connected to spirituality, rooted in the cultivation of both interconnection and humility. So the immediate answer to this question is, I am in an ongoing, day-to-day process, learning and discovering a deepening courage to live my dreams.

However, I can offer what I have learned so far in finding courage to follow my bliss. Through the recording of my first record when I was in a co-founded band, prior to my solo career, I would literally go into the vocal booth repeating: “I choose courage, confidence and commitment.” This helped me greatly overcome the self-deprecating thoughts that would hold me back. The process of finding courage is one that I have been working on, and one that continues to grow.

I have shared in these blogs that singing, music, performing is my “way in”, the way I feel closest to Source, most connected to the divine, most alive. As such, it is also where I feel the most raw and vulnerable. But I need to go there, because it keeps me real, honest and true. I feel connected through music. It gives my life meaning.

I think that is the way it is with our joy. We can get caught up in things that seem easy, but in fact they end up being harder, because they squelch the voice of our soul. When we align with our soul, life starts to flow with lightness and possibility.
Probably like you, I have several skills and could have had a solid career in a variety of paths other than music. I studied architecture and was part of the co-op program at the University of Waterloo. I was good at it, too. I excelled at school and in the workplace. People thought I would have a great career as an architect.

But morning would come and I was expected to be at my desk at the office. I needed to get up, get dressed and get to work, except a weight that felt like a million-pound truck was lying on top of me. It took immeasurable effort to even simply get out of bed. I was depressed. I was listless. I was unhappy. I could not go on this way. So I had to change.

My yoga and meditation practice was my sanity lifeline during university. So rather than doing a Masters in Architecture, which I was generally expected to do, I told my family and friends that I was going to India and to not expect me back for five years. A year later (not five, providing my family with much relief), I returned. But I had changed. I had begun the process of letting go of living for other people’s dreams and listening to my own soul voice, which continues to flower and guide my way.

So I ask you, whose voices are driving your life? Take a moment today to ask yourself sincerely, what drives your life? If you feel it is not the voice of your soul, perhaps it is time to do some inner housecleaning and start living the life you were born to live.

(Continues tomorrow with Name It To Claim It)

 

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Oh darn… with my six-figure income as a Bay Street MBA or Forest Hill Jew-Boy lawyer, I would be looking forward to buying a luxury condo designed by Parvati Architects Inc. Unfortunately given the economy went down the crapper in 2008 and is showing no signs of improving, it’s virtually impossible for many people to follow their bliss. If you hate your job, at least be grateful you still have a job to hate.

Thank you Keval for reading these blog posts. I am grateful that you take the time to comment as well. It seems that each time you comment there is a theme you touch upon, that is, that what I am suggesting is impossible for you. What I write about comes from my own personal experience. I don’t have any magic recipe. If it is possible for me, it is for you as well. Would you be willing to re-read my posts with a fresh and receptive eye? Perhaps consider that the skepticism you show is a mask for your own fears. We are all afraid Keval. We all must learn, in order to evolve, how to face our fears and be loving towards ourselves. That means me, you and the next guy. You are not alone.

One of the ways I know I’ve come a long way in the past 10 years is that I no longer work at a job I hate. I used to work at call centres and I actively disliked it. It was a drag to get myself there on time and, even though the pay was ok by the standards of that time and place, I never seemed to make any financial headway. I now see the pattern that I was in – that most other people at the call centres were in too – and know there’s no way I would go back to that “I hate this but I can’t have it any better” mindset. I’m still not all the way there in terms of following my bliss, but at least I’m not following my misery anymore!

Wow Pranada! That is beautifully said. I too am in process. Life is far too short to be hanging on to misery for fear of really giving joy a go. Thank you for sharing!

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi
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