By Bhavanjot Kaur
“Learn one thing: one who does not recognize his weakness can never be strong. There is no way to progress and grow other than first find out the depth, the lowest point of you. Then you can start going towards the highest.” –Yogi Bhajan, 3/25/90
My first recollection of public speaking gone awry was when I was in the sixth grade. I recall the teacher asking the class to take turns reading out loud from the textbook. It would soon be my turn and the anticipation was dreadful.
As the person sitting next to me finished confidently reading the last line of the paragraph, a lump simultaneously entered my throat. The momentary silence meant that it was now my turn. I started to read and could feel my face get hot and likely turning red. My voice shook and my palms began to sweat. Then my heart started to race and the beating sound echoed in my ears and chest so loud that I could barely hear my shaking voice read the word “colonel” exactly as it was spelled, “col-o-nel.”
The class began to innocently giggle, but my heart sank and a wave of nausea came over me. To my embarrassment, I learned that “colonel” was in fact pronounced similar to “kernel.” I could have easily laughed off such a small mistake, but instead I was mortified.
I decided that day that public speaking was not my strong suit. I don’t know why I subscribed to this thought pattern in that moment, but I do know that it stuck with me throughout my life. I would cringe each time I had to stand up in front of a class through grade school, college and even up until my first day of Kundalini Yoga teacher training. Public speaking has been perhaps one of my greatest weaknesses and it would seem that Kundalini Yoga became my way out of this deeply engrained thought pattern.
“Let us be master of our strength, not slave or prisoner of our weakness.” –Yogi Bhajan, 1/7/90
With the help of my Kundalini Yoga practice, I have become a bit more comfortable speaking in front of small groups and classes, but that has really been the extent of my public speaking experience up until the last two years, when my meditation practice really seemed to be put to the test.
My daughter and I were recently asked to be interviewed on the radio for the second time since she overcame a rare stage 3 childhood kidney cancer called Wilms Tumor. Against all odds, we accepted the invitations and attended the interviews with live listeners and onlookers. We were there to help raise money for local cancer patients with the Connecticut Sports Foundation, that once supported us in our time of need.
On the same day, after the radio show, we attended the celebrity auction dinner. It was a huge ballroom filled with tables and, of course, those tables were filled with people—lots of them. My daughter and I and a few other people were asked to come up on stage. They were recognizing local families affected by cancer to inspire donations from the attendees.
One of the mothers was given advanced notice and had prepared a beautiful speech. When she finished, I was a bit dumbfounded when the microphone was being handed to me, but I was even more surprised that I took it with a smile on my face. I gave a short impromptu speech and I was calm and enjoyed every moment of it, which was shocking to say the least. It seemed that, for just that one moment in time, I had overcome my fear of public speaking.
There was nothing flawless or exceptional about the interviews or the spontaneous speech, but it was significant because I was truly having fun and enjoying my life in the now. Escaping the prison of my perceived weakness for a fleeting instant and walking away feeling my strength was such a gift to me. It was a really wonderful moment to share with my daughter who was wrapped in my arms the whole time.
“In your life, first you create habits, then habits create you. And today is a day when you can create a habit of meditation. Then meditation will make you intuitive, and intuition will solve your problems.” –Yogi Bhajan, 5/11/90
One of the most profoundly life-changing meditations that I did for 31 minutes a day for 120 days consecutively is called, Breaking the Mask. In this meditation the thumbs (or ego) connect to represent “I am” and the pinky fingers (Mercury fingers) connect to represent “I shall be” and the three fingers that are open represent the past, present and future. If you discipline yourself and commit to this meditation, the mudra alone signifies that deep cleansing and profound change is not only possible, but inevitable.
Cleanse your mind. Break the mask. Resound. Jaap.
"Jaap. Repeat. Repeat that word again and again. Repeat the truth again and again. Repeat the life again and again. Repeat your essence again and again. Repeat your elevation again and again. Repeat and slowly and slowly you will be automatically elevated.” –Yogi Bhajan, 1/20/91
Please support our team, ‘LiVaune RakhaN’, in honor of my daughter, Livinia Vaune AKA Rakha Kaur. We want your help to raise money in support of Connecticut cancer patients for the 2016 Cycle Against Cancer. Please click on the link and choose donate now. Thank you for your support! Sat Nam. https://shar.es/14Lc6D
Bhavanjot Kaur is the owner and founder of Hamsa Healing Arts in Old Saybrook, CT. Bhavanjot is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Reiki Master & Teacher, Craniosacral therapy practitioner and she also offers sound therapy with a 32" gong. Bhavanjot hosts a local women's circle and various workshops on therapeutic grade essential oils, medicinal mushrooms and The Art of Reiki Levels I and II. She is a proud single mother to a beautiful and delightful four-year-old little girl who overcame a rare childhood kidney cancer.