In a doleful conversation about the state of the roads after the incessant rains and snow, my landlady’s daughter-in-law’s father suggested a detour for my trip back to the city from the mountains. He told me the road was fine because ‘cutting’ (road being widened by the authorities) was being done and it was now a “double-bus road” (meaning the road was wide enough to allow two buses to cross each other).
Reassured as I was by this information, when I took the turn for what was my first foray into this stretch of the mountains, I asked two ladies standing on the side of the road if this was the road to Katola and was the road passable, no recent landslides that are such a regular occurrence in these mountains. They assured me it was fine and I continued. A little further, a truck driver told me that I would come to a bifurcation and I was to take the lower road. Further on, I confirmed this information from a man walking on the road. A few meters ahead, I came to that fork in the road and was just starting down that road, when I heard the man shouting behind me as well as a car honking frantically behind me. Stepping out, the man shouted that the car was heading for Katola and would show me the way, that was not the road he meant. So I reversed and allowed the car to go ahead.
As I continued on this narrow, mostly uphill road, I was struck by the quiet and untouched beauty of the area I was passing through. Very soon, I stopped keeping pace with the car ahead. The higher I went on this road, the wider, more panoramic views of snowclad mountains came into sight and I finally stopped to take it all in and enjoy the stillness. Little villages perch high on the sides of these mountains and you can’t help but wonder how they live their lives in such remote areas.
Resuming my journey, I suddenly saw up ahead, the ‘escort’ car waiting for me. As soon as it caught sight of me, it took off again. I can only wonder at what they must have been thinking as they lost sight of me in the last 20 minutes. There was this lone woman driving in an unfamiliar area, had she got stuck somewhere on this mostly deserted road or was she finding it difficult to drive in such terrain? Because far from being that ‘double-bus road’, there was just space for one car on many stretches, the road was still covered with the debris of earlier landslides or potholed.
Eventually, the car pulled up at the side of a dirt track that apparently led to their village and as I pulled up, I saw the two ladies I had questioned about the road in the car. Smiling, very thrilled that they had brought me safely to this point, they gave me explicit instructions on how to avoid going in the wrong direction. That’s the mountain people for you, showing concern for a perfect stranger and willing to stop, wait and escort said stranger safely to the point they could.
This road goes high up to the mountain pass, after which it starts winding down its way on the other side. About 20 minutes along this way, the road suddenly widened into that wide tarmac road my acquaintance had told me about. It will be some time before this road gets completed all the way to its starting point off the highway but sheer joy of driving in this sparsely populated, less travelled area is indescribable. The clean, fresh, chilly air, the magnificent views and clusters of rhododendron trees bright with red flowers made it an experience I would love to repeat.
At Katola, I stopped to give a lift to a man and his wife, who had come to the place for herbal treatment of her arm, which they told me had ‘dried up’. As we chatted along the way, they told me they couldn’t grow apples in their area because they were hit by hailstorms every year that destroyed the blossoms and so the trees never bore fruit. Then they very excitedly pointed out a snow peak just barely visible behind the mountain range in front of us and told me they lived near that peak.
As we neared the place where I was to drop them off so they could catch a bus the rest of the way, the man asked me to purchase a phone for him that ‘could be worked with the fingers’ since I was going to the city and I would probably get a better price for it there. My mind boggled – I wasn’t very conversant with the different types of phones available and what he might need, all I knew about where he lived was a village with an unpronounceable name and the recent view of a sliver of the snow peak near it. Again, that’s mountain people for you, those from remote areas that still have such a simplicity and trust and friendliness about them that they touch your heart.
Such encounters are always so highly rewarding for me that I enjoy giving lifts if I am ever flagged down, much to my landlady’s displeasure. She warns me of people moving around with drugs (the famous Malana cream comes from the area near where I live) and how I could very well get into trouble one day. She doesn’t realise that you can sense the energy of a person from a distance away and it is a good guiding force when deciding to give a lift. It’s that instant connection, in more ways than one.
When something happens that upsets us or causes us stress or worry, we try to drop the matter and stop our thoughts but we are generally unable to. Our thoughts go round and round in circles over the same things, rehashing the event, situation or interaction, which compounds the issue for us.
- Why are we unable to let go of any such thought patterns or ways of reacting to certain situations or people?
- Why are we unable to stop having overwhelming thoughts of fear or worry or stress that keep us from functioning at our optimum, especially when we need it the most (e.g. in a crisis)?
- Why do the same experiences in love, fortune or state of health keep repeating themselves?
- Why are we not mostly in a state of happiness?
The cause lies in 3 or more seed issues of fear that are deeply embedded in our psyche, which are the root cause of our continual processing of fear. They get embedded sometime in childhood and some may even be carried over from other lifetimes.
These seed issues create a grid of fear-based thoughts around us, something like a honeycomb that is filled with honey. In our case, this honey is the glue of fear to which every incoming thought sticks and is processed in the same fear-based way. R-factoring is a cutting-edge healing modality that first helps you identify these crucial seed issues. Then begins the process of dissolving these issues, the glue of fear, and replacing them with a grid of higher frequency thoughts and emotions. You are thus enabled and empowered to live life from a love-based grid, which totally transforms you, your life, your health, your relationships, your work and creativity.
R-factoring enables an extremely powerful movement and transformation in human beings within a short period of time – the gigantic shift from processing fear-based thoughts almost continually to processing thoughts that are life-affirming, happy and empowering. It is a reprogramming of who you are.
This is the enormous significance of R-Factoring. The law of attraction, which everyone has now heard of, functions very efficiently in bringing you experiences, circumstances, events, people and things that match your frequency. If it is fear-based, you are going to attract more of the same. When you switch over to love-based thoughts and emotions, you will start attracting more of what keeps you in the same frequency, and you have a life that is smoother, happier and more fulfilling.
An R-factoring workshop is a 3-day workshop.
R-factoring is not offered over Skype or phone. All sessions are in person.
For more details on R-Factoring and training to be a practitioner: http://bit.ly/2AZdKCH
What is heartening about the city I was residing in till recently is the consideration shown to elders. Whenever I come here to visit my parents, I also take up the chauffeur duty because the driver plays truant more often than he comes for work. And while I’m on this duty, I take care to park the car somewhere close to where they have disembarked so that they don’t have to come searching for me nor do they have to walk far.
Recently, I took my mother to the tailor she has been patronising for the last 5 decades. Since it was a crowded parking lot, I parked to the side but in front of some cars. Though I was seated in the car, ready to move out of anyone’s way, the parking attendant arrived and started the usual instructions of ‘go here, there etc’. But when I explained that my mother had difficulty walking far, he immediately changed his tone and directed me to a spot close by. He was more than willing to help me squish the car into a tiny space. Just then, he looked up and with a distinct note of relief said, “Lo, mummyji bhi aa gaye.” (There, your mother has come).
My father gets the same consideration when he marches off to ascertain why he’s got a bill that hasn’t been adjusted according to his calculations or to register a complaint about the non-functional landline (they still exist). Last time, he had a concerned employee of the electricity department escort him to the lift and place him in it with tender care. This time, he had the employees of the telephone department shepherding him into the lift just as he placed his foot on the first step of the staircase – ‘this way is much better’. With all the expedited attention accorded to him, I had just found myself some illegal parking space when he appeared at the entrance. And as always when I rush to collect him, he never fails to express his appreciation for the concern and help given.
At 95, he is the epitome of an indomitable will that overrides his slightly trembling hands and unsteady gait as he tries to negotiate the uneven surfaces of potholed sidewalks and barriers that serve no useful purpose. All those assisting him may think his children are unfeeling brats living it up in Amreeka while he goes around sorting out life’s problems on his own. What they probably don’t realise is that he absolutely refuses to let us do these chores. He enjoys the little excursions that validate to him his independence. And he certainly enjoys the consideration so generously shown to him.
In gratitude, I send some high-frequency, joyful energy to those strangers, knowing that they will receive it at the energetic level. Such thoughtful acts may not be the case everywhere and with everyone. But when we dwell on, reflect and enjoy such instances of kindness, we give this love-based energy more impetus at the collective level. The more we dwell on how the world is going from bad to worse and there’s really no love or helpfulness towards the elders in our society, the more we give that energy power. And it becomes. The power of our thoughts and emotions is truly mind-blowing. Each one of us may play a valuable role in raising the energy frequency of this world through our love-based thoughts and emotions.
It is our empowered choice to make. Be the change you want to see in the world (Apparently not a quote from Mahatma Gandhi).
Human beings generally like to be helpful, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in more major ways. We Indians are notorious for giving wrong directions to a lost motorist in the overriding impulse to be helpful. Or as is the case in the mountains, the villagers feel almost compelled to encourage you by telling you that the place you are wheezing your way to is just 5 minutes away, just over the next rise or around the corner. If you’re lucky and the path is not too steep, you reach there within an hour.
When I first started living in the Himalayas, I would often use the bus service to make my way around. However, there were times when the colourful local bus would not make an appearance because apparently the driver had more important things to do than transport passengers from point A to point B. Those were the times I would flag down a car (always a small one because the drivers of bigger cars apparently also had better things to do).
One fine midday, when I was rather frantically trying to get to a client in the next valley and no bus was in sight, I thankfully hopped into a car that had stopped to give me a lift. It was only when I was sitting comfortably in the empty backseat and we were on our way that the alcoholic fumes hit me from the passenger in front. A little concerned, I looked over at the driver and asked, “Coming back from a function? A marriage or had a devta (local god) come visiting?” These are some of the occasions when men start drinking from the morning till they eventually pass out or weave their inebriated way home. The driver replied that they were returning from a feast. Being of a certain mature age, I find I’m permitted to ask impertinent questions without the other person taking offense so I promptly asked the driver if he had also imbibed. The waiting client could wait, I was going to save my skin.
The amiable driver replied that he didn’t drink and I sat back to enjoy the scenery. That’s when his companion stirred himself to start a monologue. He told me about his recent retirement from a government job and how he had refused to cooperate with the arrogant sub-divisional magistrate in the last one year and how he was so glad to be out of all of it.
“Didi (sister),” he then said in a tone that was going to make an important pronouncement, “didi, I am so happy today because in all my 60 years, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to call someone my Didi.” Something that I seriously doubted because I had discovered that most men in these areas have at least a couple of ‘rakhi sisters’ that seem to enjoy almost the same status as the real sisters. But he went on, “Didi, do you know we are 5 brothers and NOT ONE of us has a sister?” He tried to twist around in his seat to ascertain whether I was truly grasping this incredible fact. Then he pulled a wad of notes from his back pocket and threw them onto the backseat with a flourish.
I usually let people in such a condition ramble on without too much interference, especially when I can’t escape it but when the retired government employee stopped the car to buy me a carbonated drink and some hard stuff for himself, I thought it was time to state how I really needed to get going or I would be late for my appointment. To which he magnanimously replied, “Didi, you take the car and carry on, we’ll catch the bus later.” Turning to his companion, the driver whose car it was, he said, “Let’s give her the car because she’s in a hurry. We’ll stop and have our drink.” To which dear friend agreed. I somehow don’t think he could have done anything else because the front seat passenger had a certain imperiousness about him that demanded agreement.
However, it was soon clear that though he sincerely wanted to help this new Didi, warning bells were ringing in some more lucid part of his brain. “Didi,” he said again, “you take the car but leave the car keys on the table with us. Yes, you do that – you take the car, your problem solved and you leave the keys with us.” After which, he commanded his friend to stop the car for the fifth time and with an apologetic backward glance at me, the driver stopped the car.
As I walked on, I reflected that day on this desire to be helpful. It had been quite presumptuous of me to try to insist that we drive on when he clearly wanted to stop for further celebrations. But the desire to be helpful had battled with the desire for more drink and come up with what he thought had been a perfect solution.
People in these parts are generally more than helpful. Perhaps it is because they haven’t lost a sense of being part of a community. Fortunately for me, it seems I’ve become a slightly strange addition to it because they all seem to have adopted me, much like a stray who’s wandered into these parts and seems set to become a resident. May all strays be just as welcome!
The thing about being helpful is that it gives as much happiness to the giver as to the recipient. There is a certain happiness that arises whenever we help out another, even in the simplest of ways and for the briefest of moments. These moments dilute the harsh critic that resides within and place us in a higher frequency that immediately transforms the next few moments, hours or day in a happier, more fulfilling way.
Pass it on – the acts of kindness and consideration. They are truly invaluable!
A healer helps others heal themselves. They don’t have magical abilities that are going to override the free will of the person seeking the healing nor do they wish to. What is honoured is the fact that everyone is on their own journey through life and consciousness. And on this journey, the free will of each person is sacrosanct.
In the early days of my healing practice, this truth would often present itself to me till I accepted it as part of my knowing. However, before I did, I was always full of optimism, which was founded on the belief that if someone had asked me for a healing, it was because they wanted to resolve the issues in their lives.
People move on from an experience when they are completely done with it, which is quite different from being stressed by it. I remember a young woman, staying at a nearby resort, who requested a healing. We spent almost the entire morning in a session because it was clear that she needed to vent about all that was troubling her, in particular her relationship with her in-laws. Then we did some healing. The next morning, I bumped into her as I had come for another healing session. With a wide smile, I asked her how she was feeling. To which, she responded, “Well, I’ve realised I’m not ready to forgive them.” She was feeling marginally better but not the relief and lightness that comes from letting go of heavy, fear-based emotions. In time and when she’s had enough of that particular experience, she may consider the broader picture and the insights that will free her from her resentment and the need to pay back. There’s nothing wrong with any of the choices she makes. It is her journey and hers alone to make. In our own unique journey, we are all having experiences that lead to our growth in the grand drama of this existence.
Was it a waste of time to offer her those insights that would help her step away from feeling like a victim of her circumstances and the people in her life, so that she could become empowered? No. Whatever was conveyed to her will leave a delicate imprint of thoughts that constitute the love-based possibilities of her life and whenever she comes to that point of growth where she is ready to move on, the seed will begin to germinate.
This is what we all do for each other. Give suggestions, convey other possibilities from our own experience that carry that ring of truth. Unsolicited advice is quite often not welcome and in those cases, it’s best to put away our well-meaning attempts to fix and repair people. But when a friend or loved one approaches you for guidance, it is a wonderful opportunity to help that person to a higher love-based possibility of that issue, to move from feeling like a victim to becoming empowered. In the highest truth, we are all One and as each of us moves into a perspective of love and light, we all benefit.
Savita’s* eldest daughter ran away with a boy from a village some distance away, just nine days before she was to marry into an eminent family, who owned a hotel with “its own parking space”. This act of her daughter had heavy implications for the family, most of it was the scandal that would surely ensue – how would they face society again? Hearing this news, Savita’s husband, recently elected sarpanch, locked himself in a room and banged his head against the wall. Early next morning, Savita armed herself with a long axe that the villagers use to cut wood and set off in the general direction of the village the couple had eloped to. In those days, there was a Roadways bus (a rickety contraption that ran the interstate route, as opposed to local buses that plied between the villages) that trundled down the mountain every morning at 5 am but for some inexplicable reason it didn’t show up that day and she returned home. “Didi”, she laughs as she recounts that incident to me, “if that bus had turned up, God knows what might have happened that day, I was so angry!”
Knowing Savita as I do now, her venture that day would probably have ended up as a show of sabre rattling to restore some honour and that would have been that. Her reactions more often than not were extreme, as her 7 children have informed me on some occasion or the other. Whenever Savita was triggered, she would go down all guns blazing which usually didn’t help in solving the problem. She would just shrug it off after she let off steam, till another trigger made her as reactive, the knee-jerk response to fear.
For many of us, our default setting is fear. We have moments of happiness, hope, enjoyment, love but when they’re over, fear holds reign again. Like Savita, we know of incidents when we are reactive to an action and then we go crazy trying to figure out the solution. Savita could bring out her axe to show her wrath and in a calmer state realize that she could have done irreparable damage. When we ponder over her reactive behaviour and ours, what do we see is fear, and it is these fear-based reactions that create all our experiences in life.
Going purely by the law of attraction, in our inner fear-based world, we are going to attract people, places, events and things that will continuously give us fear-based experiences that we’re certain we don’t want, yet we attract them due to that lack of awareness of what is causing them in the first place. And then the cycle of conflict in relationships, low self-worth, disease, aging of the body, lack of money, friends, opportunities, growth goes on in a never-ending downward spiral.
How does one change tracks towards a happier, less reactive life? The answer lies in seeking to be the inward alchemist by being the master of your thoughts, you are the driver that can change the course whenever you choose. Over time, Savita who possesses a native shrewdness that has served her well, has learned to make that choice. She knows that if she just stops for a second before she flares up, calms down her reaction, she is making that conscious decision for a more harmonious outcome. And it could well be that as she continues her journey through life, it becomes her true nature not to be reactive at all. As things stand today, she and her eldest daughter share a close relationship that has been a source of great support to Savita in recent years, but more on that later.
Just as fear lies within us, its solution also lies within- love. Love is that powerful force that is the true essence of everything in creation, including us. It is that choice and exercise of free will that lead us out of stress, anguish, misery etc. And as we become aware of the root cause of all issues in our lives, do we allow ourselves to make that choiceless choice for a life well lived on a road less travelled?
*Name changed to protect identity.
Ochune has the proud privilege of living in the best room of Savita’s house, the ‘hall’. Her kitchen is occasionally borrowed back for holding pujas (various prayers for an astounding variety of petitions to God).
You can connect with Ochune on her Facebook page – Inward Alchemy