As I came close to the mid-point of my collection of the A-Z of Just Being, some niggling thoughts and doubts began to surface and trouble me. Was I being too arrogantly ambitious in wanting to attain all these attributes? Authentic. Brave. Curious… Was it even possible? Was I being delusional or even superficial? What does it say about me when I want to become so much more? Am I so imperfect?

These questions got me thinking deeply and my honest reflections brought me back to a place where I had originally started from but had kind of forgotten… that I AM already Whole and it is still quite natural to strive for betterment. Not perfection, which I think is over-rated. Just being a wee bit better today than yesterday. Thus, as a reminder to myself, as I move towards the second half of my musings, W is for Wholeness.

Part of being Whole involves accepting and embracing your shadow self which I have written about in previous blogs. No one is perfect and each life has its own struggles and trauma, big or small. And it is essential for our emotional wellbeing that we come to terms with our so-called flaws, old programmes, faulty beliefs and imperfection and those parts of us that have been wounded, hurt and shamed. It means releasing the shock or the trauma stored in our body. When you stop self-condemnation and/or get out of a victim mentality, you heal those parts of yourself and bring them together in love, acceptance and grace. Then you can master your emotions and not be reactive. Your spirit becomes whole, no longer splintered. It does not mean you will be happy 24/7. It is about accepting the reality of all your human emotions…the mad, the sad, the hard and the glad and remembering who you truly are under those emotions.

Deep down, I know I am Whole, just as everyone else is Whole.

“As you explore, you will find you already have wholeness inside; you just have to find the key and open the door”. Linda Caroll

That had been another raw, soul-searching dive for me. It meant going deep within to see what was going on there.

“We’ve got to descend to ascend”.

And I have to keep returning to that sense of wholeness from time to time and stay in touch with it. It is a continuous process.

My personal conviction is that being in Oneness with the Divine is what makes me feel whole. Wholeness and Oneness are interchangeable. It is only our spiritual self that remains whole, unbroken by the winds and waves that knock about our bodies, our minds and our emotions.

So I would like to remind myself plus emphasize that it is from a position of wholeness rather than a lack or deficiency that I endeavour to be the best version of myself and strive to take steps, albeit miniscule, towards the qualities I admire.

My First Story

I have read/heard about so many stories of how EFT/Tapping (see my last blog A Tapper), has helped people in incredible ways. And I have experienced the benefits myself. But now as a new practitioner I want to build my own repertoire of magical stories.

Here is my first one.

My grand-son was down and out, the whole day, with bouts of vomiting and nausea and he had been kept home from school. To see a bouncy, bubbly, boisterous 5-year old morphed into a supine, silent and sad little kid was quite upsetting. He said he was scared of throwing up again.

In the evening, he was not much better and while the parents were discussing whether to take him to A&E and as he lay with his head on his mother’s lap, I gently started tapping just above his chest and he actually let me which was surprising in itself.

They decided it was best to have him seen as the week-end was around the corner, so we started getting ready and my husband got set to accompany them. That is when the little one said softly: “I want dadima to come because I feel nice when she does this”.

I had already observed that he had calmed down whilst I had been tapping but for him to verbally spell it out was quite something. So, in the car, during the whole journey, I continued tapping whilst he sat still quietly.

A Tapper

You may well ask: What is a tapper? No, I don’t mean someone who tap dances (I wish!). I am referring to tapping, a self-management, stress-reduction tool which I learnt about some fifteen years ago when I was going through a bad patch in my personal life and I had found it quietened my mental chatter most effectively, slowed my breathing and pounding heart, and sometimes gave me answers to my issues. Since then I have used tapping at various phases of my life but it is only recently that I have taken my “personal peace procedure” seriously and committed to tapping everyday. Thus T for I am a Tapper in the same vein as Y for I am a Yogi.

Both involve daily practice which I find challenging. Like yoga, I have done tapping on myself on and off over the years. It helped me immensely again when I underwent surgery and radiotherapy. I used to do it religiously soon after I was diagnosed right up to the time I was discharged from care. It helped by making me feel calm and centred, allaying my fears, and even relieving some pain. I keep going back to it when I am undergoing stress which is what it is meant for but if done everyday when stressors may not be that traumatic, it has a cumulative effect like any exercise. It allows us to release emotional blockages in the body. Clearing blocks regularly and removing the emotional detritus that has accumulated over your lifetime is a daily technique called the Personal Peace Procedure, I guess because it allows one to make peace with what is, let go and move on. It is this daily, dedicated practice then which becomes part of one’s identity as a tapper.

Tapping (or psychological acupuncture) is the common name for Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT for short. It is so called because it involves tapping on several meridian points on the upper body, mainly the face. What it does is it calms the amygdala, which is the brain’s flight or fight response. When the amygdala senses danger it triggers the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol which, in turn, prepares your body to flee or fight. While the amygdala is intended to protect us from danger, it can interfere with our functioning in the modern world where threats are more subtle in nature. By simply tapping and thus calming the amygdala, anxiety can be reduced and that allows for clearer thinking. Check out the demo in the video below.

Tapping can look strange and weird. Some years ago it would have been considered as woo-woo. Perhaps many people are still skeptical. But in the last decade, it has come into its own with over a hundred scientific papers which are evidence-based. In one research, it was shown that cortisol was reduced by as much as 43% with one hour of tapping, (although it can be effective when done for as little as 3-5minutes for straight-forward stress relief).

In fact, tapping does so much more. It can be used to relieve pain, boost your mood, clear trauma, overcome phobias and addictions to name just a few. It is said to rewire the brain’s response to stress and change any negative conditioning that has developed in childhood.

Personally for me though, I finally decided to get certified as a practitioner because I wanted firstly to support cancer patients in their journey as I had experienced the benefits myself. But my greater passion is to take in into schools. I am of the firm belief that it is a simple, gentle and effective tool that each child should be equipped with from a young age so that they do not have to carry a lot of emotional baggage into adulthood.

Simultaneously though, I have to continue tapping on myself everyday.

A Yogi

I AM a Yogi. The words popped up in my head, one day last week, and then repeatedly rang in my ears like a earworm, a melody that you cannot get out of your head. I don’t now whether to call it intuition or synchronicity. I had been having a mental block with my A-Z letter this time and here it came to me, quite out of the blue: Y for Yogi. It was almost like an inner calling.

Let me go back in time and try to explain maybe how it might have come about.

Last year, I had participated in a healthy lifestyle programme. (My blog on Health addresses some of my concerns.) The diet part of it was challenging but I had risen up to it successfully. It was the exercise element that had been insurmountable for me. By the end of the year, we were supposed to have chosen one activity in particular, on which to focus on and master. It could be athletics, walking, cycling or yoga. But the main point behind it was for you to take on that identity of a walker, athlete, cyclist or yogi. I definitely didn’t see myself as a walker, athlete or a cyclist as I felt my knees and my joints didn’t support me. Every time I exercised or just walked,I felt discouraged as I would put something out of joint. It had been like that for a while. Sometimes even whilst doing yoga. So even though yoga was the most likely fit for me, at that time, I couldn’t even imagine being a yogi. The test had been to do 108 Suryanamaskars (the Sun Salutation sequence) in a day…and I was still doing them on a chair. Thus my disillusionment.

My relationship with yoga has been a long and rocky one. I must have taken it up some eons ago most probably because I was always into alternative options and at that time yoga had still not really come into its own. Yoga’s benefits are well-known now and I found it gentle and relaxing. However, my Achilles’ heel being inconsistency for a long time (something which I am now working on), I did it for a while and then there would be long lapses. I would go back to it when I had issues and then once better, my yoga mat would fall by the wayside again. Sometimes, I feel if I had practised it religiously all those years not only would I have been a yogi by now but I might not have so many health issues!

But regrets are futile. By nature, I am Young-at-heart and I do believe it is never too late and there is only today, the here and now.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot

There are so many people out there doing great things in their eighties and even nineties. They are an inspiration for me and give me hope that I can still become a full-fledged Yogi.

I Did It


I had ended my last blog post on Fear with Nike’s slogan ” Just do it”. And last week I got the chance to put my own advice into action. I needed to get out of my comfort zone to conquer this one fear…so I just did it! 

For most of my life, I have not been an outdoor person, preferring an armchair and a book any day. My sister, on the other hand, was very sporty and sometimes I envied her daring, adventurous spirit which saw her through many adrenalin-rush activities like paragliding and skydiving which I was never brave enough to try. Strangely though, in recent years, nature seems to beckon me and there has been a yearning to have a go at one water sport in particular…snorkelling.

Unfortunately, my first attempt at it had proved disastrous and that had raised the fear factor, partly of the activity itself but also of failing again.

Yet I was determined to try again and I got my second chance last week.This time I was wiser and went in better prepared.

The first thing I did was some research into the gear required…a full face mask or the traditional goggles and tube. Being claustrophobic, both didn’t seem ideal to me but according to some videos I saw, the latter won on most counts. So one decision made at least.

Next, I continued to watch more videos on how to snorkel, tips for beginners. This assuaged my fear of not being able to breathe, of water getting into my goggles as well as my mouth….all of which had a happened in my last attempt.

Moving from theory to practice, this time I actually invested in a short lesson even though it all sounded pretty simple. I wanted desperately to get it right and the step- by- step instructions really made it easier.

After that, I pushed to the back of my mind, any thoughts of being stung by a jellyfish, or coming across a shark, of not being able to jump off the boat or climb again as I had joint issues, of losing sight of others and being abandoned…I simply jumped, took a breath, put my head in and went with the flow.

Your 2023

Happy New Year to all my dear readers.

Many forwards for good wishes go around at this time of the year, but this is the one that resonated the most with me, so I’d like to share it with you, as did my friend with me. (Thanks Anisa.)

The image has multiple interpretations for me: waking up from slumber to awareness; liberating yourself from whatever is holding you back; manifesting your full potential; expanding your comfort zone; claiming your power; standing in your truth…. What does it mean to you? Pick one (or more) that you identify with and hold that intention for the year.

Good luck and all the best.


I thought for this blog I would recap on some quotes I have used in previous blogs. Do leave a comment which is your favourite and why.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus

“A merry thought is medicine, ill thoughts dry the bones”. The Bible

“Wrong happens. You have to make the right happen.” Gopal Gaur Das

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon

“The paradox of personal growth is that it begins with self-acceptance.”  Carl Rogers

“If we still ourselves we can mirror the Divine perfectly”  Sarah Blondin

“Think the thought until you believe it. Once you believe it, it is.”  Abraham Hicks

“The unexamined life is not worth living”  Socrates (5th C BC)

“The way to use life is to do nothing through acting. The way to use life is to do everything through being.”  Lao Tzu (6th C BC)

Cream teas and flowing rivers

I used to love afternoon teas. But that was way back in the days when I could guzzle umpteen cups of tea and scoff down all the carb-loaded scones and sarnies without them affecting either my waist or my bladder. Today I am not that keen on the afternoon teas anymore for various reasons and I think basically my taste buds have also changed.

But who observes these minute changes in you? Sometimes I think we ourselves are not totally conscious of how much one changes over the years. Not only in tastes but also in personality. Hopefully one is growing and evolving all the time.

I am convinced though that sometimes even close family and friends do not or cannot keep up with these changes. That struck me when a close relative recently treated me to an afternoon tea because she remembered that I liked them and another sent me a link to a themed tea which he thought I might enjoy. As both occurred one after the other, it got me thinking: how well do we really know people? And more importantly how can we keep track of their changing tastes as well as nature?

According to Heraclitus, who reasoned that everything is always changing and that this fact is fundamental to the functioning of the universe, it is not possible to step in the “same river” twice because the river is ever-changing.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

“And he’s not the same man.” That’s the crux. Like the flowing river, people are also ‘flowing’ from one day, one moment to the next. That is why it is suggested that when you meet a person, be so open as to see him with fresh eyes, as if you are meeting him for the first time. This is especially true for people near and dear to you, because one tends to assume and take their traits and proclivities as set in stone and as they are so close, (in proximity as well as relations), one needs to step back a bit and be alert to be able to notice the changes which can sometimes be quite subtle. Easier said than done, I think.

Yet worth keeping in mind, wouldn’t you say?

I am Health

My choice of word for the letter H might come across as unusual as my other words so far like Authenticity, Curiosity, Detachment, Forgiveness… have been more personality qualities or traits. I might have gone with Harmony or Hope, both of which are also important for me. But at this point in my life, Health stands out like a sore thumb.

So why Health?

As far back as I can remember, I was a robust child and young adult. My mother would always say with pride to her friends how I was no trouble at all, to the extent that she never had to take me to the doctor’s. Apart from a tonsillitis operation, I breezed through my youth without any health scare or major complaints. I understand today that my mother’s repeated declarations were actually an expression of gratitude.

Youngsters, full of energy and vitality, feel invincible and sometimes overlook the fact that one has to take care of one’s health as it is not guaranteed to last. Though, try telling them that and it will fall on deaf ears.

I only woke up to that realisation myself in the last twenty years when my health issues surfaced and I think on the whole, I have faced my challenges full on and remained strong in spirit, in spite of them. I am also fully aware and grateful that my physical difficulties, though stressful, have never been as debilitating or crippling as for some others.

But I sometimes wonder where that robust young girl disappeared, and on reflection even though I thought I had been very resilient in later years, a certain negative thought pattern had crept in slowly and insidiously. The ‘poor me’ mentality. Why is one thing after another happening to me?

I think I work hard to stay on top of my health issues, having kind of taken the reins in my own hands. Chronic pain does not seem to be a priority for general medicine practitioners and sometimes the sufferers are left to their own devices. There are many modalities out there which help with healing and I have heard and read about many miraculous self-healing stories. So why cannot I do it?

Lately I have been feeling stuck and not having much success, in spite of knowing that I have to address my negative thought patterns which create depressing feelings because “Your body hears everything your mind says.” Naomi Judd. So “To change your body, you must first change your mind.”

Healing with the mind has been around for thousand of years. It is written in the Bible:

“A merry thought is medicine, ill thoughts dry the bones”.

Making this shift from ill thinking (Oh dear! What now?) to my new mantra I am Health, is what I have been focusing on for a while but with not very significant results. Then as synchronicity would have it, just yesterday I listened to an interview with Brandy Gillmore PhD, an expert in mind-body healing which not only reminded me of the science behind the mind-body connection but also reinforced the need to create a radical shift in my feelings and reprogramming my mind at a deeper, subconscious level.

Our thoughts do really create our lives more than we realize and thoughts create feelings. I am aware that I have a tendency to bury my emotions. So it’s been a while that I have been working on identifying specific emotions, like anger, hurt, rejection, resentment… and either tapping on them or meditating with supportive soundtracks to let them go. The complexity arises when there are more than one emotion and one has to work harder.

Gillmore also emphasised the greater importance of accessing positive emotions like feeling loved and being connected which she demonstrated with a visualization exercise that helps you feel lifted. I am familiar with such practices and her pointing out that it is even more important to raise our energy’s vibrational frequency is a reminder for me to do it more often. She also suggested to use music to help you feel good which I also find helpful. As Gopal Gaur Das says:

“Wrong happens. You have to make the right happen.”

What’s more, I was reminded that you have to reinforce the new programme over and over again till it becomes the new norm. Thus my journey in self-healing continues and it just struck me that this path is linked very closely to my endeavours in being more Authentic, Curious, Detached, Grateful, Forgiving, Joyful… because I believe all those attributes can promote wellbeing and Health.