We were recently in Mumbai to attend a friend’s wedding there. While I’ve always been mesmerized by the idea of India, this was my first actual visit. Mumbai, which used to be known as Bombay, is an amazing place. While we were staying in one of the downtown areas, we managed to find Mani Bahvan, the house where Mahatma Gandhi lived, worked and wrote. Hours after this we heard that Nelson Mandela died. If I hadn’t visited Gandhi’s home earlier that day, I wouldn’t have known that he had spent almost two decades in South Africa, that there might be even more links between them than a first look would permit
Two men who are known as peacemakers. Two men who made an impact during their lives and beyond. Two men who have important messages for the subconscious mind.
Where we start is not where we end
Sometimes we forget that each of us carries with us a past. I know that sometimes people come to me to forget their earlier mistakes or experiences so that can put it behind them to live the life they want now. And while I’m all for helping people release themselves from trauma and pain, while understanding that blanking out the past may, most times, not be the best way to serve yourself. That our experiences, whether it is deemed ‘good’ or ‘bad’, help to shape us, and like the high heat used on metal in the tempering process, can either burn, melt or strengthen us. I like to believe that we can, even belatedly, choose for them to strengthen us.
Gandhi studied law in England and lived in South Africa for 18 years, defending expatriate workers, and led a 400km march against a salt tax in India. Nelson Mandela head up the armed wing of the ANC and was imprisoned for many years. These were only a few things that these men did earlier in their careers and may not be the first thought of contributions made by them when reviewing their lives.
Often we forget that our experiences can affect us when we are not aware of them, but our deeper understanding and compassion to all our past foibles or seemingly wrong turns are the ingredients that shape us and create our individual commitments and strengths.
Lightening vs Dawn – how change happens
It is said that on a train in South Africa a passenger complained that Gandhi was in the first-class compartment, and due to his skin colour, was kicked off. The story goes that that was the spark that changed to trajectory of his life. Before that, a lawyer, after that, a supporter for equal rights. It happened in an instant.
It is also said that Nelson Mandela saw all the injustices and inequality of his town as he grew up. And over time he realized that this did not align with his internal ideas of what was right and started to get involved in a cause he believed in. It all added up over time to contribute to the drive for change.
Does change happen in an instant or does change take time? Yes to both. Situations in our past can unwittingly (or to our knowledge) contribute to our shifts and change. Sometimes a big event can deeply affect us in a way that our direction is instantly redirected. Or it may be that the cumulating of smaller events were ‘pushed over the edge’ with a final event. Whatever the situation, if it is supporting us and guiding us in a way that works best for us, that’s great. However, if it is a change that detracts from our lives or hurts us in some way, there are different approaches to the change process. Hypnosis, working directly with the subconscious mind, is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of clearing out our thoughts and feelings to help us in changes that support us best.
Peace and Forgiveness – allowing for the next chapter
One similarity of these two men that seemed to strike me as being most important is their ability to move past the actions of their ‘counterparts’ and search for more peaceful options to move forward. The concept of non-violence in a world of ‘an eye for an eye’ definitely goes against the grain of family feuds and getting even.
While I personally struggle with situations and people who create an unfair environment or who hurt others with their expressions and attitudes, I realize that freedom and change takes a (sometimes slower) path through forgiveness and inner peace.
Whether we’ve been taught to respond to injustice or whether we’ve not allowed ourselves to move past the small pains and unfairnesses, our overreactions to inequality, discrimination, ignorance or cruelty, can malfunction for us.
Learning the lesson of letting go and forgiving aspects of the problem that we can’t do anything about anymore, frees us and our energy to focus on the situation at hand and use our personal powers to create change from this moment forward. To write a new chapter from now, without having to carry the hurts with us, even as we take the lessons from them.
The Legacy we Leave – who will take up the torch
Who will be next in line after these two men? Does she or he exist now and need our help? On the international stage, I don’t really know. However, taking it down to a more local or personal level, I ask you to look at yourself and imagine what lessons and legacy you are creating to leave for those who follow after you. If there are positive strengths – feed them and do more of them. If there are problems or weaknesses – it’s not too late to change them, reevaluate and redirect them. You are a leader in your own world – how do you chose to inspire and support those who are within your sphere of influence? It’s a daunting and exciting thought and I support you in developing the power you hold. Peace be with you.