I first met Ashtar Tashi at an intimate gathering of a group called “House of Entrepreneurs”, a platform for sharing business stories and helping others in their journeys. Tashi struck a chord with every member of the group. Her willingness to share lessons from her healing practice, was evident. When she handed us a copy of her book, “Keep Shining”, I knew it was a deeper dip into the many internal observations and lessons she has mustered over years of spiritual healing practice. “It’s my belief that all of us have the ability to go deep within and explore our highest potential to shine our brightest,” says Ashtar. This belief thus lends the book its name.
Here are excerpts from our conversations that stemmed from the varied thoughts presented in her book and motto, “Keep Shining”.
In Keep Shining, you speak a lot about energies. How could one stop negative energies from impacting us? Could you give our readers couple of simple suggestions that they can implement easily?
Everything around us has energies. The smallest particle of atom to the largest being on the planet holds its own brand of energy. All of nature’s elements and every breath we take, is energy. So, we are nothing but energy. Even our thoughts, words and actions carry energy-positive or negative, but energy all the same. Many people are sensitive to energies and feel them a little more strongly than others. Many experience the impact of energies but can’t really recognize or put a finger to what or why they feel a certain way when energies impact them.
Negative energies are felt as discomfort, uneasiness, a sense of sadness and malaise, and sometimes when deeply percolated into our auras, the negativity takes form of disease. To help stay away from these negativities I would definitely recommend what I follow myself..
First and foremost, every day on waking in the morning, sit up in bed and say a prayer of gratitude. This helps open up your heart and soul to receive more blessings from the universe
Don’t seek approval from others for everything. Invariably, most people tend to be judgmental and if you keep seeking approvals and validations you are giving out the message of not trusting your own self. That makes you vulnerable to being judged and put down for your own efforts. Such experiences shall deplete your energies more.
Believe that you are perfect the way you are. There is Perfection in Imperfection. So, whatever your flaws or frailties, live with them. Of course, make the efforts to change that which does not resonate with you, but stop beating yourself for characteristics that otherwise define who you are. Nobody is perfect and no one should be perfect either.
Don’t spend time with people and in places that don’t make you feel comfortable. We as humans are inherently intuitive. When you walk into a place where you feel uneasy, or meet people who make you feel uneasy, take that as a sign to move away. Do not hang out with people (even though they may be close friends) who enjoy indulging in idle gossip, demeaning others, being disrespectful, back biting etc. All these are sure energy downers and being around these negative energy magnets you will surely feel low and create anxiety and negativity for yourself.
Each chapter in the book talks about one aspect of life- for example, Drawing boundaries, emotion of fear, and so on. Which of these topics/aspects personally resonates with you the most?
All chapters have been written through my life experiences. I have shared what’s closest to my heart and my life learning. Many are direct personal experiences as you would have read and some are also via my clients who have sought guidance and help from me.
The chapters of Self-Love and Fear resonate the most with me since these have been my true-life transforming experiences. I did suffer a lot with lack of self-love, inspite of having so many people who loved me. It took a lot of inner work and introspection for years, for me to realize that I did not need approvals and I had to muster up the courage to walk alone on my terms and still know how special I am and need only to love myself.
The fear aspect was deeply ingrained via some childhood misconceptions and I carried the fear within me for years. I realized how much it was harming me by draining me emotionally besides being tiring for the mind and body. I then took the steps forward to deal with it.
In both the situations I realized that I had to do the work of healing, repair and resolving, by myself. Alone. It was my battle and I had to fight it and win it, all by myself.
As we all know, morning routines and how we start the day is crucial as it sets the tone for the day. How do you start your mornings?
I wake up with a smile for sure. And the first things I do are look at the skylight in my room and say a prayer of gratitude. Gratitude for the comfortable and restful sleep and the blessed opportunity for a brand-new day where I look forward to sharing my love and light with many more people.
Only after doing this little ritual do I step out of the bed. I also chant the Gayatri Mantra (the Mantra of Light) facing the east and when I splash water on my face, I chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. I ring the gong at my altar every morning to send out good energy vibrations and blessings to the universe and all its beings.
In “Keep Shining” you talk about abundance and how gratitude opens the doors to whatever we seek in life. However, how can one ensure that asking for abundance does not stem from greed?
Gratitude is the essence of the human soul and is embedded in our DNA. We sometimes may forget it but it cannot be wiped out. Hence, when we experience abundance and express gratitude, it is obviously coming from that space within us that feels and knows that we are blessed with something, due to the benevolence of a higher grace.
But greed is what appears when gratitude is forgotten. Some people may “ask” from greed and it will be given as well (remember the universe doesn’t judge or refuse anything to us) but it will be given for a short period of time. When it is asked for, again and again with the hidden motive of greed, one day it will stop coming. The universe is “smart” that way. That’s the way it works. It will wait for us to fall flat on our face and perhaps learn some valuable lessons.
The aspect of greed changes the inner quality of a human being. Many things that otherwise come easily, greed would slowly make them difficult to come by and the abundance shall stop. Human beings may or may not acknowledge this happening but it is the truth.
You also talk about guardian angels in the book. Do you feel that people must do something to ensure that the connection with these angels remains strong?
Guardian angels are around us at all times. They wait for us to ask them to help us in our times of need. They nudge us with a gut feel or intuitions sometimes when something has to happen. They do this to make their presence felt. To keep the connection strong, all you need to do is to keep calling on them and asking for their help and guidance.
So, whether it is a task that seems challenging and you need your wits about or it’s a new creative idea that you are seeking, ask your guardian angels to come around and assist you. The only energy you need to have while seeking guidance from them is faith that they can be trusted and will help. And they do!
After reading your book, I felt that as an adult I need to unlearn and relearn a lot! I think it is important to introduce many of the concepts you have spoken about to children. Are you planning to write about these ideas specifically for children?
Yes, after writing Keep Shining! Find Your Happiness Quotient, I too felt that the young generation also needs answers to so many questions. They are sometimes too skeptical and unsure about whom to ask. It maybe from the fear of being judged or sometimes they feel they shouldn’t ask certain things at all and life will figure itself out.
One day while I was in the swimming pool with my teenage daughter and was sharing thoughts about life, she suggested I write a book for youngsters. Thus, the idea germinated and I started work on it.
It’s a book that is aptly called “Life Lessons on Piggyback”. It will have chapters on different issues that come up as questions in the minds of the young. From a topic such as Who is God, how to handle guilt and anger, Dealing with comparisons, and much more, the book holds the hands of young readers and walks them through the maze called life. I shall be completing it soon and sharing it with the world!
What suggestions would you give potential readers about getting the maximum benefit out of the book, Keep Shining? Any tips from you on how to approach the book?
The whole idea of writing the book was not to preach but rather share my own life stories and experiences. The real concept was to reach out to millions of people in the world, knowing that each one of us faces the same or similar issues. Frankly, when we know that we aren’t alone we can try and not be harsh with ourselves. We would then be able to understand the real truth behind our issues so we can deal with them and resolve them.
The approach to this book is nothing but to just flow and read what you feel you need to read first followed by what you may need to know about next and so on and so forth. I have many people writing to me telling me how much the book has helped them It feels like a friend is sitting across and talking to them. I feel humbled with such feedback. I have others who say they bought the book thinking they want to understand only one aspect of their life but land up reading all 19 chapters because each chapter resonates with them. The book is written the way I speak. Simple and lucid and the concepts are explained in a simple manner.
Indeed, Keep Shining is a book that will touch your life just as a friend would. You know that you will not be judged, because the friend has been through the same challenges. It’s that kind of warm fuzzy feeling of being loved, for who you are.
Title: Keep Shining!
Author: Ashtar Tashi
Publisher: Balboa Press
Genre: Self-help/ Healing