I have for a long time had an interest in ‘people’. This is what led me to do a Psychology Degree in the early 90’s and I was always invested in understanding what drove people to do what they do. I have always been intrigued in how people work, interact and perhaps ultimately I was looking to try and establish a way towards a form of best behaviour because I felt that everyone has ‘goodness’ in them. I still believe this to be the case although the last 30+ years has led me to places where I felt that goodness was illusive, not only in others but also in myself.
When I started to heal from my second, and latest breakdown, I re-established a reflective approach towards self-awareness but from a slightly different stance. When I had my first breakdown in 1993 I found that I isolated myself from others and layered upon my sense of self an outer protective coating. A shell that in time only got thicker and heavier, ultimately weighing me down. The new approach that I took this last time was more aligned with my ‘old way’ of seeing the world. One that was less about deep self-reflection and was more socially and globally inclusiveness. I started to open up to not only myself and my own strengths and weaknesses, but also others with compassion and understanding.
By taken a slightly different perspective on this thing called ‘life’ and particularly my place in it, I started to feel more deeply connected to the core of who I was, my Own True Nature (OTN), and those people around me. I have started to slowly feel complete and whole again.
In Hinduism the word Namasté means “I bow to the divine in you”, and in some of the writing I sign off using this word. It came about as a ‘gesture’ and one that sounded ‘spiritual’, but as I have continued to use it a couple of things have changed for me.
Firstly, while it still has a ‘spiritual’ meaning for me and one that I am not ashamed to express, I am more aligned to the power behind the use of the word. The word has an energy and intention to it, perhaps a bit like “God Bless You” but with a more individualistic slant and less of a deity based one. My faith however is one of inclusion of many paths to enlightenment and it especially encompasses the seeking of ‘gnosis’ (knowledge) and this may or may not include God. In all honesty I am uncertain, but one thing ‘is’ for certain, I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water and that means that I will hedge my bets and be open to many routes to wholeness. This includes the intention to share, via the language that evolution (of God) has given me, the power of spoken words and the energy and meaning a word generates.
Secondly, the definition of Namasté is important because it recognises a connection between you and me. Us and the world. The world and the universe. By recognising the ‘divine’ in you I am recognising the spark of humanity that may also lay underneath layers of past and present experience (good or bad) and those that are in me. It allows me to remember that I am not alone and that I am part of a collective whole that is called humanity. By me recognising that in YOU, I too may have reflected back on me and this opens me to the goodness in everything. I can step away from fear, doubt and withdrawal from negative self-talk and step towards OUR shared humanity, no matter what it looks like.
So by using the word Namasté, I am able to connect to you, me, and if there is, ultimately a divine force. So there is a power in this simple seven letter word, but there is no fear for me in its use and even in its Hindu etymology, because it’s use and intention is well intended and very much from the heart. Words have the power to move and to energise as long as the intent is sound. In this case this simple word has been very important to me and has made an immense difference to my life.