“I was certainly in the firm grip of the machinations of my own ego – my refusal let go – my emotions were bolted away behind heavy doors where possible – stubbornness led to a lacking ability to be grateful. I often resorted to my well-established and thoroughly rehearsed habit of feeling hopeless – of not being loved and approved of or accepted unless certain, often unreasonable conditions were met externally.”
MANTHAN-TREATMENT WEEK MAHABALIPURAM
I arrived at the NV Life quite at the end of my tether. What is worse, it is a trajectory I almost predicted or plotted months before – thinking that things would slip from my grasp and fall apart. Everything had a sort of inevitability and a seemingly unalterable trajectory about it. I was in my well-established habit of managing my emotions and the events in my life using “logic” and my head – suppressing all I could not fathom or predict. Whenever a moment came to be with myself, to feel my inner core, I welcomed and sought out any distraction whatsoever to avert my gaze of myself.
Whatever maligned source my motivation for acting as I did come from, I saw my world disintegrating around me. My love relationship was drawing its final patient breaths, money and income was drying up faster than a grape in the sun turns into a raison… I increasingly felt my outlook blocked and obstructed. I could see possibilities, but they weren’t for me. As if through a veil, I could see what I could / would in fact like to be and do – to live out a lighter, more creative and outgoing versions of myself – but I felt this might be possible in another dimension but not this one I was presently inhabiting.
I reached out to Naveen Sir who invited me to participate in a treatment week. I arrived in Chennai on April 12th in the early morning having slept uneasily on the second leg of my flight that I had purchased on my credit card hardly knowing if I could pay it later. The air was filled with the smell of a city starting its day. Bleakness and hope occupied the same space – bleakness from the sum of my inner thoughts and feelings – hope from feeling the palpable threshold of a new outlook for my life. My usual excitement of being in a new place was tempered by my well-cultivated fear of the unknown, of uncertainty. Still, I felt lucky to try to work out how and why I had gotten to where I seem to have ended up and lucky to be given the chance to plot a new course.
I was certainly in the firm grip of the machinations of my own ego – my refusal let go – my emotions were bolted away behind heavy doors where possible – stubbornness led to a lacking ability to be grateful. I often resorted to my well-established and thoroughly rehearsed habit of feeling hopeless – of not being loved and approved of or accepted unless certain, often unreasonable conditions were met externally. I learned how I demanded a level of approval, love and acceptance in a form from others that was as destructive as much as it was unreasonable.
I allowed hopelessness to fester inside me. A well-cultivated low self-esteem demanded to feel good but would simultaneously turn away from others’ affection as well as my inner self. I externalised and blamed outside events and circumstances for not giving me what I / my ego demanded. I stored all the negativity that no longer seemed to have space in my own mind, body and soul outside. I refused to be curious about why the suffering was increasing rather than abating – seeing no way out because I trapped myself in the matrix of stubborn, self-reinforcing negativity.
It was a sort of bizarre comfort zone of familiar suffering. Examining this matrix of inner beliefs and motivations – seeing the energy behind patterns and repetitive manifestations of uncomfortable or undesirable outcomes in my own life – allowed me finally to see the problem with the problem. More importantly I was able to experience and welcome the feeling of leaving this very small and rigid space.
My key realisations from the NV Life Treatment week (Manthan) and the follow-up NV Life Home Support:
- I have been creating and cultivating hopelessness since childhood based on what I felt was a lack of ever being able to do anything to be accepted by my mother. I felt her resentment as unconquerable. This pattern duplicates itself throughout the subsequent years, and whatever I attempted would be measured against whether or not it might lead to acceptance or approval. When it did not, the process would collapse, and I would revert to feeling hopeless as a default go-to emotion. My feeling whole and loved was entirely dependent on external conditions.
- This hopelessness and unreasonable demand for affection and insecurity is something I have brought to my relationships since – romantic, professional and friendships. I would do things out of an inherent sense of insecurity and need for approval. I acted out of a sense of not being good enough or worthy.
- The realisation that unlocked this was identifying how the ego creates a stubbornness and a distaste for uncertainty. This further blocks movement and reinforces the stubbornly held belief that things are just so – and they suck, but that is what it is. No need for curiosity here! As Naveen Sir said, “The problem with the problem is, that you don’t see the problem.” And my inner eyes were blind in this regard.
- Gratefulness, true emotive gratefulness – feeling the love in small gestures and seemingly insignificant events is the beginning of growing love inside. Naveen Sir’s story about the one rupee in my back pocket daily forcefully made this point of seeing the power of the small gestures versus the demand for a certain outcome or gift.
- What I had been blocking is, in fact the love I did not let myself feel and acceptance I did not give myself. Because I did this, the damage I inflicted on my fellow souls and my own life was a guaranteed success, albeit one I am more ashamed than anything. Shame, guilt, low self-esteem, worthlessness and hopelessness were all packaged into a bundle of suffering that blocked the true experience of pain, but also blocked the feeling and light of feeling the love that so many people in my life had given me, but which I stubbornly refused to admit into my heart. And this layer also tied me to the demands of my ego.
- The many meditations and discussions of the NV Life Treatment Week (Manthan) unlocked this matrix of firmly held beliefs in stages and let me experience directly the pain and the love, the shame and gratefulness, the connection to others and my own inner centre. It allowed hope to sprout and bliss to happen.
- NV Life shows direct through experience in a safe space how the soul moves, how energy moves through our mind, our emotions and our body. NV-Swimming was the primary exercise to feel the flow of the energies.
- Sharing our experiences in a group created a powerful synergy between the participants and Naveen Sir because of the many overlapping experiences our own individual challenges brought with them across gender, culture and age. This sharing also carved out a space for individual concerns to be addressed directly in the context of everything we shared and learned about. Often these soul journeys and the pain and suffering can feel very lonely and frightfully individual. Sharing creates connections, resonances and new thought patterns almost automatically. The loneliness is displaced by sharing. Experiencing the internal shift in awareness and practicing the techniques of NV Life together created an internal bond that, to me is far more powerful than when these techniques are practiced on their own. The core exercise we practiced together was becoming aware of our breath and yoga nidra, or yogic sleep: the lucid dreaming state of consciousness between waking and sleeping that we experience as we fall asleep each day.
- “Choose love.” Give yourself acceptance. How we choose to behave towards ourselves and interact with people and the world around us is often directly influenced by our inner state. This experience – how it feels to really do it and how to choose to do it – to give yourself the gift of feeling love and inner acceptance, but also accepting the pain as well as the bliss – allowing rather than blocking – is now firmly anchored in my mind and my heart. I feel life and all its facets more fully. I accept that feelings and emotions tell us things and therefore need not be repressed, suppressed or denied.
- Before coming to the NV Life Treatment Week (Mnathan), I was afraid to look at myself – to be with myself. I was afraid to even do NV-Hunting, a technique to stay with, and reverse the pain and suffering of past traumas and experiences. Learning to allow emotions to well up to such an extent was a new experience for me, and one where I was shown – as well as permitted to let them flow and come out of where they were stored in the body.
- Being able to experience the emotional connection to these events, feelings and emotions was indeed difficult, and my habit of blocking and using my mind to look away persisted, feeling elated comes with allowing these feelings to flow inside. The peace from Yog Nidra, when I allow it, is wonderful. I feel increasingly able to sub-consciously allow my mind to “give up” its addiction to over-thinking, ruminating and seeking to control my view on the world and attempt to force an ego outcome. For this, treatment week was invaluable!
- I am immensely grateful for the shift the treatment week triggered. As I write this down, I am re-living many of the experiences and memories from before and after the treatment week and am feeling the tingle up my spine from the connection between my head and my heart that was re-established in that week. And it feels good to “choose love;” much better than the previous default of choosing hopelessness, suffering and self-destruction as this was a false compromise – a false comfort and familiarity
- Feeling hope – feeling hopeful – rather than thinking it merely exists was another takeaway. And this was the benefit of Home Support – to keep the flame of hope burning. The temptation to slip into old habits as you return to the familiar ecosystem is a present possibility. Being reminded of the positive alternative and continuing to work on processes that were started in Treatment Week is very valuable. It is said that any habit needs twenty-one days to be anchored. The week in Chennai and the subsequent contact with our assigned NV Life Coaches helps establish and strengthen the learnings and practices of treatment week as well as the possibility of circling back with questions and comments. Having the group on WhatsApp also keeps the group from Chennai connected to each other and their soul journey. When Naveen Sir speaks with the group, the learning and insights continue, even if they are focused on a single person’s concerns or questions.
- I am very grateful for having experienced this shift and of feeling the higher vibrational frequencies at work in my mind and my body.