Saturday 23 April 2016

Empowering Self: Why Bother with Discipline?

Because it could be a positive power or be a destructive power! Because it’s something that can feel uplifting or depressing… And I discovered it’s got to do with the energy you choose when you are disciplining yourself or others. What’s the texture and spirit to your discipline related actions?

Struggling to discipline myself to focus on the task at hand or to do the exercises, I realized the feeling of deprivation looming up – feeling like one had to do the compulsory thing and miss the greener stuff! Why when discipline is about doing the right things to get the right results would such feelings overcome one to create the quick escape into meaningless activities? The illogical answer I got was it felt safer and stress free, it felt like I escaped the dreaded task, though the task at hand, my conscious mind told me was actually not so aversive to me.

How our mind works can explain this. The nature of our experiences, particularly childhood ones, stimulates feelings that get associated to activities and things. This makes us want to do something when it has a positive feeling going with it and escape it when it’s a negative feeling that goes with it. A feeling further is not just a feeling but a vibration, an energy and it makes our energy system flow or be blocked, blocking us from being able to do what we need to do! Discipline for many brings to the mind feelings of being forced, punished or pushed. This means that this is how they experienced discipline in their lives. The sounds and images associated would have been those of being shouted at, put down and not having a chance to say anything. The activity seems burdensome and has some threat attached to it. This is discipline governed by the energy of fear. Everytime then you think of “I have to get this done.” it gets associated with all these heavy feelings!

With the energy of fear, you either escape discipline and procrastinate or you work with the whip on yourself and others in a regime of strictness and fear, with strenuous will power experiencing “life as tough” and no time for feelings or nurturance!

What if, instead we could create beautiful images of discipline as moving towards success, as ‘happy challenges’ as caring for oneself and believing in one’s talent? Whether you succeeded or not you could feel excited to give yourself the possibility you deserve. You see it as building yourself and as growth and having the goodness of health and vitality, of clean spaces, of an easier time with everything neat, clean and handy. It could be the path to creating more of the good for yourself. This is the energy of love guiding your discipline related actions.

That is exactly what it is, when your emotional state when you discipline yourself to exercise, do your accounts, put away your things or prepare for the meeting or the exam would be – a state of positive expectation and caring.

Discipline is a way of making things work, getting results and therefore happiness and success.
It is the way to emotional stability when you relate to discipline with the energy of love.
You see it as a way of loving oneself, keeping self respect and respect of others. It is a way of doing good team work, doing your part. It is the way you are fair, honest and a lovable person.

You bring for yourself effectiveness and you contribute to others, with the motto “Make life easy for others!” You follow through on your commitments. People trust you and understand you. As the ’yes’ for life gets bigger in this way, saying ‘no’ to T.V. and all the time wasters becomes almost automatic.

So shake off the energy of fear, step into the energy of love and feel the true joy with discipline. It means you make conscious caring choices with these four areas to do what’s aligned with your values and outcomes and make your life, relationships and happiness expand for you and your loved ones around you –
  • Your lifestyle, chores & daily routine
  • Managing your emotions 
  • Doing the tasks related to your role and work 
  • Strengthening and expressing your talents & purpose 

Enjoy and wishing you happy disciplining with your work and your habits leading you into your higher potentials and the radiant vitality that is you!

The Power of Positive Power

Power is the energy we use to live our lives and get our work done from ourselves or others.
Both the uncertainties of life and pressures of performance create in us fears.
Fears of the possible risks, and of failures and success.
These get activated when things don’t happen the way we want.
Someone does not listen, a trip we planned does not go the way it should have, the project we took up meets some roadblocks. We get reminded of the uncertainty or of performance stresses. We may get strangely more fearful than relaxed with every success as there is now more to lose if failure were to confront us. That’s when the energy to get the work done shifts from that of love to that of fear. 

What is the problem with using the energy of fear?
…Because how we get work done from ourselves or others will be coloured with fear. This will create disharmony and imbalance.When using fear, the gain we may somehow get in one area will result in a loss in another area of life. For example you succeed in the work area and lose out in the health area. Fear changes our actions or sometimes it is more subtle. It can change our intentions though the action has remained exactly the same. Colours of fear show up in various tones and hues. Intentions become about ego, domination, violence, borrowing authority from status or possessions, trying to impress rather than act in truth, jealousy, feeling left out, competing, getting angry, shouting, getting stuck, procrastinating, falling sick, giving up… in short some sort of disharmony. Even if we continue and eventually succeed we are exhausted as it’s like going uphill without respite. Being in harsh clime or territory, the winds too forceful and the sun almost cruel on our backs or the night too dark and cold. 

Instead positive power is like walking in a light shower of sunshine, feeling the breeze or experiencing the luminescent moon and bright stars.
You take action, meet the roadblocks and consistently turn your fear into faith, faith most of all in your vision whether the current reality supports it or not.
 Faith is the energy of love in your purpose in your potential and sometimes in other’s potentials.
 To recover the energy of love shine your spotlight on what is working and consistently keep using these to take your life forward
. You treat the situation as a place for learning matters of the heart for yourself and a challenge to get creative. 

Many people have converted their trouble spot into a creative challenge and built their wealth and purpose from it! You have Helen Keller, Lance Armstrong, and yoga guru Iyengar exactly turned his childhood asthma problems into the pursuit of health that has landed him on the world map!
Colours of love appear as faith, purposefulness, acceptance not approval of limitations, a focus on where to put one’s energy, choices, calmness, gratitude, forgiving, setting limits, problem-solving and staying on course
. You do things not from fear but from understanding and choice.

Easier said than done…

Positive power needs our ‘caring to make careful choices’! Choices that recognize consequences in an imperfect world and then being ready to take on the consequences or better still doing that something more to reduce negative consequences.
 What are ways to reduce negative consequences – either a creative step or a negotiation, persuasion or even a healthy detach from specific things or behaviours, not from all of life or the entire person. 

Most of all positive power will need you to center yourself and return to your first intention of creating something better for the world or your loved ones or yourself in harmonious ways. Your intention remains a loving one.
 This way your inner thought and inner feeling can stay positive with the outer action you are undertaking. Therefore truly positive power is an inner to outer journey at every step of the way.
 Why is this important? Love is unifying consistent and abundant and with the law of attraction you will with your success have unity, peace, stability and abundance!
 Many dynamic therapies heal the fears and transform fear into power and help you in your inner journey to your sub-conscious and super-conscious mind enabling you to live more joyfully rather than fearfully.

Awareness with Choices

Today we are flooded with having to make decisions, decisions and decisions! There is a scary feeling about making the ‘right’ decision or being trapped forever… 

Whilst discussing their decision stress regarding activities or people in their lives with clients I enquired “What would you look at, to know it’s a right or successful decision for you?” A common answer is “I look to see if it feels ‘good’!” That can mean seductive and tempting choices can get your nod only to later discover “Oh my god how did I get into this soup!” Instead you may need to also check on what would truly makes you feel good – what your priority areas are and whether they are met in the choice that has come up. 

When we are checking only to see if it feels good we are like the child who wants to dart across the road for the attractive glittering object on the other side. Our adult self will know there is more complexity than meets the eyes in the first instance. So you look with adult eyes that notice more with the learnings from all the experiences. You see the traffic you will manoeuvre before crossing and you check out if the glittering object is worth it and what it’s shape is… Now you figure if it all adds up – does all the information you are gathering match and align for consistency. Does your ‘feel good’ go beyond the glittering words or the few flattering or ‘helpful’ behaviours someone is showing you to something more robust and consistent in other areas and over time. You notice what happens before or after, you notice what else is happening. 

What is the colour or texture that’s added to the activity? Does that colour match with the priority area of the outcome you are seeking? Watching T.V. feels ‘fun’ and then the texture added to the ‘fun’ can be either ‘inspiring fun’ or ‘meaningless fun’ or ‘purposeless fun’ or passive fun’. This texture could tell you how much to do this activity or not. Someone takes interest in you or is helpful. Should you go along with this friendship that gives you ‘feel good’ moments. But what else is happening. You check out your feelings at other times for the choice you have to make – whether you also sometimes feel confused, pressured or guilty. Then you might be able to identify other actions and non-verbal behaviours of the person that are not aligned with the main actions of the person. It tells you whether the person can walk the talk or be consistent with what they do. A person’s helpfulness or interest in you can have colours that you may need to observe before you get involved. If there is a colour of ‘sincerity’ it becomes ‘sincerely helpful/ sincerely taking interest’ and that can confirm your choice. 

However it can have colours which can be disturbing to you. Arti found that an older co-member of her prayer group who was most helpful. This woman kept telling her “I care for you, I’m like your mother, come and tell me any worries. We are part of the same group.” She even talked comfortingly. Arti went for this friendship. What she did not see is how this woman asked her for so many favours and goodies when they met that were costly things. Only after considerable expense did she realize that this woman was helpful but she was exploiting her with her ‘demanding helpfulness’. Vinita’s boyfriend demonstrated lot of love and affection but he was also always secretive and talking to other women and always giving mixed messages “I can’t live without you” and “I cannot commit to you as I’ll have to see what my parents want me to do.” So there was this was ‘irresponsible and uncommitted affection and interest’ being shown. Name the colours you experience. These can be… ‘domination’ so it becomes ‘dominatingly helpful or dominatingly taking interest’ or it can have the colour of ‘ulterior motives with the helpfulness or interest shown’ or it can be ‘demandingly helpful’ or ‘inconsistently helpful or inconsistently and confusingly taking interest’ or it can be ‘irresponsibly helpful’. You can think of the many colours that could become warning bells to stop you then reciprocating with that person. 

Colours, such as ‘putting down or sarcastic helpfulness’ or ‘uncommitted interest’, when they are very strong and rigid, they can make the helpfulness or interest destructive to you. If they are mild you can set limits to those colours. Then you know if that choice is truly positive or not and whether it is worth what it appears to be! You would know that all that glitters may not be gold.

FEATURE: Does your ex deserve a second chance?

Couples hoping to give their relationship a second chance, however, need to be alert to reactivating certain 'conflict patterns' or habitual ways of reacting within the relationship."When a person feels insecure, they are likely to feel threatened and view the situation as a win or lose one," explains integrated healing coach Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. The important thing is for each partner to be able to step out of set ways or patterns of thinking.
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: Parenting in the New Age

Dr Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, integrated wellness therapist and relationship expert, says parents continue to be confused when it comes to disciplining. “Some are too strict and the kids refuse to take it lying down. Then there are those who indulge in flattery and think they are praising the kids,” says Dr Shah. “There was a time when kids were afraid of parents. Today, it is the other way around. In my practice, I meet parents as well as children suffering from anxiety and depression. Parenting is more complex than it ever was. The influence of media and peer pressure is higher than ever before. Life is uncertain. People lose jobs suddenly. It is not easy. While there is no golden rule that I have to offer, I believe respectful communication is the key. It boils down to seeing and doing it right. The way ahead is for parents to be firm where it is necessary but always remember to be respectful,” she adds. 
Read the complete story on Life Positive

FEATURE: Nasty piece of work?

"You can know a person is turning problematic when certain behaviour patterns emerge," says wellness coach Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. She adds, "Behaviours are wrong if force is used to create fear, work is sabotaged or boundaries are crossed." According to Shah, men and women exhibit different problematic traits, owing to societal and biological influences. Problematic behaviour in women may originate from the need to be accepted and treated with respect, while for men it is more about power play. 
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: How to deal with 'decision fatigue'

The next time your mind goes blank and you cannot decide the best course of action, don't panic. It's probably 'decision fatigue'. Here's what you need to know about it, plus, expert advice on ways to cope. 
"Decision fatigue is a recently recognised cognitive phenomenon that refers to the tiredness from continuous decision making that can reduce the quality of decisions being made by an individual," explains integrated wellness therapist Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. 
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: The good ol' days that never were

One remembers a time when dad was 'father', 'babuji' or even 'sir' - you listened when he spoke, and more often than not did what he said. In the traditional Indian family, each member had a place depending on age, gender and relationship. As long as no one rocked the boat, this model worked fine. "Indian families are more focused on duty, propriety and hospitality. We look at caring as food, shelter and clothing rather than the sharing of emotions, " says psychotherapist Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. "Structure and hierarchy was what kept Indian families stable." 
Read the complete story on TOI Crest Edition

FEATURE: An ex to grind

A good amount of introspection on the matter before saying yes to your ex is a good idea, feels relationship counsellor Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. Since such reconciliations may create moral and social discomfort, Shah recommends that both the partners should maintain new boundaries of keeping a distance by meeting in less intimate spaces and timings. Admitting that often, guilt after a break up makes a partner feel obligated to give in to sexual interaction, Shah says, "Both the persons need to be clear of their intentions and the implications before taking this step and even then they need to know that such a high level of intimacy will give rise to questions and confusions." 
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: Phir milenge, Break Ke Baad?

Relationship expert Ameeta Sanghavi Shah admits that couples are now more willing to consider going on a 'break' as a solution to their relationship problems, both before and after marriage. "There's nothing wrong with short-term breaks that can last from a fortnight to a month. The couple can pursue individual interests or even go someplace together and decide to keep their issues in 'freeze mode' during that period," says Shah.
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: Is she into me? Relationship advice that actually works!

If she's avoiding facing you or her stance clearly says she's not interested, read the signs," says relationship therapist Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. The eyes don't have it: Not maintaining eye contact is another sign, adds Ameeta. "Eye contact tends to be more frivolous in nature. She'll glance around, check her phone, look away at people passing by," she adds. But what if she's just shy? "There isn't a definite way to tell if a girl isn't interested. Disinterest will be spelled out by a combination of signs like leaving early or not talking about personal details. All these little things add up," she observes. 
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: Space, the final frontier

The issue of space in urban Indian marriages has now caught the attention of experts. “Along with family, today, friends and lifestyle choices are equally important. The institution of marriage is undergoing a change to accommodate these choices,” says Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, a Mumbai-based hypnotherapist and relationship expert. 
Read the complete story on Hindustan Times

FEATURE: Put the focus back on ‘you’

Expert speak: Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, relationship expert: One's motivation to achieve big things come mainly from believing in yourself and in your capability to do so. Apart from that, you also need to believe in your talents, values and the purpose of your task. Sometimes, the things people say may cause you to doubt yourself. But instead of losing faith and getting disheartened, it's better to look at the comments as constructive criticism. It is very important to nurture the ability to convert bad feedback into constructive criticism. At times, the quick pace at which your peers may achieve success can also be a de-motivator. However, it is important to remember that each person works at their own pace and that, just because you are slower, doesn't mean what you're doing is less good or less powerful that the other person. 
Read the complete story on TOI

FEATURE: 20 too early, 30 too late. What's the right age to wed?

Mumbai-based relationship expert Ameeta Sanghavi Shah says the ideal marriageable age could lie somewhere between 22 to 30. And if you plan to get married earlier than that, be prepared for pitfalls. "Young individuals are vulnerable. They tend to derive a sense of identity from the other person, which is harmful for their self-esteem. Their maturity levels are low and they are unsure about their boundaries," she says. But Shah admits that she has witnessed enough cases of young couples marrying early, and helping each other grow and support one another.
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: How India's youth are dating

Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, a relationship expert based in Mumbai, says the confusion stems from the existence of more than one idea. "Unlike earlier, a relationship today doesn't have to always end in marriage. It is not pre-decided. Some prefer exclusivity, others keep it casual and open." The youngster today, is much more individualistic, unafraid to voice demands, and seeks a personal-professional balance. They are turning into perfectionists. Most want their partners to be high-achievers, but refuse to compromise on leisure time spent together. "They demand personal space, but don't want to be deprived of romantic attention either," says Shah, 40% of whose clientele includes singles ridden with relationship issues. 
Read the complete story on Mid-Day

FEATURE: Overworked? Try this stress buster!

Having trouble making decisions? Or coming to a conclusion about a certain matter? According to Psychotherapist and Soft skills trainer Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, chanting can help as well.While dwelling on a certain thought, your thoughts move in a circular motion and you tend to exaggerate. While chanting your mind gets focused on the activity. In that manner you tend to get better clarity about things.
Read the complete story on Money Control

FEATURE: Writing, the new way to lose weight

According to Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, psychotherapist and soft skills trainer, it raises your consciousness and make you aware of what all you are consuming and why. There's also a tendency of fasting and feasting among obese people. They tend to stick to a very strict diet, exercise regularly, initially, and then completely let go.
Read the complete story on News 18

FEATURE: The Key to a Better Me

The basic principle behind hypnosis is to deal with the problem at the subconscious level. Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, psychotherapist and soft skill trainer uses hypnosis as a form of therapy to help people win confidence. Ameeta explains, "You may not register everything you experience, but your subconscious mind does - it acts as a recorder, a registry of everything you see, do and feel. The subconscious mind thinks in images and metaphors, and links the series of experiences to visual imprints. Hypnosis gives you access to the subconscious mind."
Read the complete story on Money Control

FEATURE: Spoilt for love

Raising children is fulfilling, tough and often combative. Especially modernday parenting where work and home battle for equal space. So what happens when parents turn to treats to justify the lack of time spent with their children? Co Founders of the Backpackers Company, Yogi, 35, and Suchna, 32, Shah, parents of two, 48-year-old psychotherapist Ameeta Sanghavi Shah and 19-year-old medical student Rohan Palshetkar ask whether it is the many little things you do together like making popcorn, playing cards and window-shopping that your child will remember or the expensive gifts?
Read the complete story on India Today

FEATURE: The Final Act

Ameeta Sanghavi Shah also advocates developing a new purpose. “Do some social work, consulting, learn a new talent. One hears of elders taking a new degree. If you recognise that we live again and again, this is not a waste of time. After all, knowledge is what we will take with us, not money and things.” Says Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, “When you retire, not only are you deprived of yes men at work, but your children have also grown up and they are not saying ‘yes’ any more. It’s natural to feel neglected and ignored. It’s important to recognise that this is a natural life cycle. And to prepare for it by getting your ego satisfaction through other activities. Many men feel that they will have more time to spend with their wives, but they don’t recognise that the wife has her own set routine, and their presence may actually disturb her.” 
Read the complete story on Life Positive

FEATURE: Dealing with a Stalker

An important thing to remember is that a stalker feeds on your insecurity. Psychotherapist and Soft Skills Trainer Ameeta Sanghavi Shah explains, "They do this, partly to make you afraid and partly as a power issue. The situation is just like that of a sexual abuser who gets sexual gratification knowing that he is in complete control. Showing him that you are affected will only aggravate the situation." 
Read the complete story on Moneycontrol

FEATURE: Tied up in Knots

Arnav Kapur (name changed), in his late 20s, is overcome with anxiety when faced with exams, interviews and performance. Despite his innate intelligence and capability, his overwhelming feelings have sabotaged his education and career. He finds excuses not to apply for jobs. Thankfully, Arnav recognised that he should do something about this. He is coping better with professional help from psychotherapist and soft skills trainer, Ameeta Sanghavi Shah. 
Read the complete story on Life Positive

FEATURE: Why some kids seem immune from the bad effects of television violence and violent video games

The exposure the child has to real life violence, whether verbal or physical is a deciding factor. Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, psychotherapist, explains this: ‘If the child is in a situation where the parents are very dominating and he is made to feel powerless, then he will search for symbols of power.’ 
Read the complete story on Nita's blog

FEATURE: Married to the Extreme Job

Extreme jobs are commonplace in Mumbai and therapists say marriages and relationships are the biggest casualty. From five cases of marital conflict a month six years ago, relationship counsellor Ameeta Sanghavi-Shah now gets anywhere between 10 and 15 in the same period. And most have an extramarital affair angle as well. “Every one of these people complains about a lack of time for each other and increased work pressure,” she says.
Read the complete story on DNA India

FEATURE: When should one see a psychiatrist?

‘Some psychological problems are caused by loss of a loved one through death, separation, divorce, loss of expectation (cannot have a baby), loss of job or because of physical incapacity due to illness or accident,’ says Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, psychotherapist. When people resist recognising that they need help they can make their situation worse ‘with use of escape measures like addictions or somatize their feelings with body aches, fatigue, head-aches or project their problems on others,’ says Shah.
Read the complete story on Nita's blog

FEATURE: A byte of the apple

Economically independent Indian women are discovering self and are not afraid to articulate their sexual and emotional needs. If they are not met by her spouse, she is willing to outsource them. Marriage counsellor Ameeta Sanghavi Shah points out that when physical and emotional needs are met outside wedlock, women get addicted to the attention and slowly boundaries get eroded. Extramarital affairs are bubble relationships where the romanticism and adventure are not overshadowed by the nitty-gritty of everyday life unlike with the spouse. 
Read the complete story on India Today

FEATURE: Marriage umpires

The problems are seemingly more complex compared to marriages of the previous generation. Parents often cannot relate to issues faced by today's couples and are not in a position to help them, says Ameeta Sanghavi Shah, a Mumbai-based psychotherapist. Perhaps this is why psychiatrists and psychologists have seen almost a 300 per cent rise in the number of cases seeking marriage counselling in the past 3-4 years.
Read the complete story on India Today

FEATURE: Nurturing the independence within

What does independence mean to us in our day to day existence? most of us are struggling to feel independent. many take it literally. if i listen to you then i am giving up my authority. so i must be different, just to prove my independence. but independence is a deeper quality too. it means that the forces around you do not drive you. you are not driven to parent your child to behave, achieve and be like the 'child next door'. the frenzy of the world around does not drive you into a frenzy, you retain your own pace, adapting to the world's pace in your own unique way. do you have the independence within you to be the person you want to be? and, are you giving your child that same power?
Read the complete story on TOI