24: Changing What’s Inside (with Madhu Bazaz Wangu)
Many of us try to change our lives by constantly attempting to fix our circumstances, our environment, or our relationships. Dr. Madhu Bazaz Wangu says the only real way we can change our lives is by changing what's on the inside through meditation, self exploration and self connection.
Dr. Madhu Bazaz Wangu is an author and the founder of Mindful Writers Group. She has published four books about Buddhism and Hinduism. Her fiction includes Chance Meetings (2015) and the novel, The Immigrant Wife: Her Spiritual Journey (2016). Currently, she is writing her second novel, The Last Suttee. Her inspiring CD, “Meditations for Mindful Writers” has helped novice as well as professional writers to improve focus, remove blocks and increase creativity.
Nuggets of Wisdom from Madhu:
“What is not within, is not without.”
“Whatever is happening around us, it is just not happening without any reason.”
“If you do not love your own artwork, nobody else is going to love it.”
“Nobody can imprison you, unless you imprison yourself. You have the authority to break the locks, run away, do something, so that people would realize that they cannot imprison you. She had the power to be her own self.”
“If you really want to do something, the whole universe comes to your rescue.”
“Death is on left, right, above you, below you, death is everywhere, but you never pay any attention to it and let alone my own death…. I realized that all these rituals, symbols and myths were meant more for the living than the dead. They give us sanity to heal our wounds.”
“We must talk about death. We should talk about death. You do not hide it. You discuss, ‘What is it? What happens? How do people deal with it? How have people from centuries dealt with it?'”
“Symbols are the ones which connect within and without. They connect what we can see and what we cannot see, but it is very real. It is like the sky filled with stars does not disappear during the day simply because we cannot see it. It does not mean it is not there. Sky and stars are always there.”
“My default is I stay happy. I am blessed with that kind of attitude.”
“I am self-motivated, and I am very disciplined and that is a gift from my father. I am just disciplined. I do these morning rituals every day, and it has become woven in the part of my 24 hours that it feels as if I have nothing to do. I do everything, it just happens by itself because I am doing it everyday. I'm constantly very grateful that it is not my doing that I am self-motivated and that I am disciplined, that I am happy with my routine. I am grateful, whatever, whoever, whether it is hereditary, whether it is self discipline, or whether I am simply blessed. I am very very grateful for my every day, for my life's blessings.”
“If you are getting better within you. You know exactly what is wrong. We all know what we do wrong in our lives. Nobody can tell me, ‘Well, I didn't know I was doing this wrong.' If we pay little attention, we know exactly who we hate, whom we criticize, who we jealous of, who we angry with, whom makes us feel low, who makes us feel high and also at the same time, all the good things which happened to us, but we ignored those, and we ignore, most of all, telling ourselves what are the negative things within us. If we can fix those every single day, little bit, little bit. It is hard. It is very hard to love someone you hate. But if you somehow say, ‘Okay, that person is alright, not that bad, so let me see what is it about that person that I do not like.' Making big baby steps in liking people or at least not hating people. Hate also includes being jealous of people, being angry with people, being fearful of people. So, these we can do, we do not need anybody's help in this. This is our personal work. Working on our own emotions and our own parts. And everyday, if we can improve that, everything around us, slowly will change.”
Some of Madhu's Favorite Things:
Personal habit: “If I can get up in the morning, do my meditation, o my reading for the soul, in the morning, maybe from scriptures, world's scriptures. Anyone, Huston Smith's World's Religions. I read Jon Kabat-Zinn's books. Meditation for an hour, reading for half an hour, yoga for 15-20 minutes. Then I write for the soul, really journaling for 20 minutes, half an hour. And plus working for my manuscript. Then reading books. And cooking. I love cooking.”
Easy meal: Indian, Korean, Mauritian, Mexican… as long as it is prepared with love from the heart.
Book: Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Best advice received: “To spend time with myself at least for half an hour, ten minutes, an hour, two hours, as long as I can, to get to know yourself. Look yourself into the mirror and ask
yourself. ‘Who is this person?' Because we never, we grow old, and we die, and we do not know ourselves.”
Madhu's Happiness Formula:
Love and commitment for family.
A Challenge from Madhu:
“For 10-15 minutes sit in silence and solitude to know yourself. If you cannot sit, you can go for a walk for 10-15 minutes. And be with yourself, nobody else should be with you.”
Man and His Symbols Book by Carl Jung
The World's Religions Book by Huston Smith
One Hundred Years of Solitude Novel by Gabriel García Márquez
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
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