I Am Worth It – Self-Respect and Acceptance
Interview with Isha by Geetee. Interviewed for German Osho Times
Hi Isha, you have been living at the Humaniversity for almost half of your life. For me you are a role model of having a positive attitude especially when the going gets tough. I love living and working together with you and I keep being amazed by the way you encourage people to be total. How did you learn to accept yourself?
First of all, listening to your question touches me very much because I am so happy I can feel this way inside my heart today. And I can also feel all of what it meant for me to come to this place. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet people who inspired me to find acceptance inside of me and who helped me to learn to love myself.
I come from a background where the message I got was that I was stupid. Literally that’s what my father would say to me. From my mother I understood that I did not have the ability to make it in life. I grew up with very low self-esteem and I believed that I was wrong. I learned that I am not capable and I didn’t have the energy to be creative.
I remember an important moment and turning point in my life was meeting a woman that had qualities of love and compassion. She really inspired me and the boss at the place I was working at, would call her ‘Sannyasin’. She would disappear every now and then to go on one of her trips to India. She was kind, loving and respectful towards me. She treated me like a person. I didn’t experience that often in my life and it touched me.
I felt drawn to her and my heart wanted to see something that was inside of her. Today I know that she showed me the qualities of love, respect, acceptance and compassion. Through her I got in touch with Osho. That was for me a very big step on my journey of accepting myself. I never met Osho in person, but feeling the love in his words and through his eyes on the photos inspired me and set me up to look for that love inside of me.
I understood: “Ok, I have my conditioning, things I learned to believe about myself.” And I asked myself: “Who am I actually? How do I feel about things? What do I like or don’t like? Who am I beyond my story?” I realized that I can actually find out and create my life. I started to explore what gives me pleasure or a good feeling. I looked at how I related to a man, how I could be in love making, and how to say what I want. I wanted to learn what meditation is, going inside, and not being identified with all the negative messages I was giving myself. At that time, I had no idea what gives me a good feeling besides food (laughs).
Veeresh brought Osho’s message for me into a practical reality and in his programs and courses I could heal my wounds and traumas. I learned to let go of my anger and the resentments that I had accumulated in my past. It was not easy. Veeresh and other teachers at the Humaniversity showed me that if I want to create a space inside where I feel alive, I need to put my full energy and intention into what I was doing.
While engaging in the therapeutic process, I was also put in different situations in every day communal activities, where I could explore who I was in the moment and how I interacted with others. Suddenly I was asked to work in an office, which I had never done before. I always painted and there I was confronted with organizing, writing letters and being very responsible and practical.
A part of me was excited, another part said: “Ahh I can’t do this, I don’t have the qualities, I will never learn.” Then I decided to just do it and explore how that is.
Accepting myself has to do with exposing what I feel in my heart and making myself vulnerable. I need to honor that and include it rather than closing off and disappearing because I am afraid. For that to happen I needed a lot of support from Veeresh and other people at the Humaniversity. They encouraged me by saying: “Isha you are good, come out. Isha trust yourself, say it, do it, you are ok, you are beautiful.”
I needed that loving push. It had to come from the outside before I could find it inside of me.
What does self-respect mean for you?
Self-respect means honoring and listening to my heart and really trusting it. It means not to give energy to put myself down and to stop putting the world down for not fulfilling my expectations. Seeing and accepting all the different parts of me has been my biggest discovery. I can be angry, I can be competitive, I can be mean, but I can also be so loving and beautiful. To honor and integrate my beauty, the genuine loving heart that drives me, and the passion for life I have, was my biggest challenge.
Self-respect is that clean space of being honest with myself and sharing that with the world around me. And when I miss, I adjust my way of expressing myself and correct my behavior. When I don’t fulfill my own expectations and go into my mind and my ego, I tell myself to relax and trust the love I feel in my heart.
With me you get what you see. You get all of me, all my colors and all that comes with intensity. I love that about me. I respect myself because I know I am a good person with loving intentions.
How do you apply the attitude of “I am worth it” in your daily life?
When something in life overtakes me, I break up with a boyfriend, I am in pain or when I am sad, I reach out to my friends. I share where I am at and I create the support I need. I learned to ask for help when I feel lost. My friends reassure me and help me get back on track. Because of their love I can come back to the love in my heart.
Feeling that ‘I am worth it’ is a challenge and I need to constantly be alert and present with it. I feed it and give it energy by reminding myself that I need love, not pain. It is not something that comes from existence by itself. I nourish feeling worthy by keeping my relationships alive, because that is what brings balance to my life when I loose myself. Situations will always come, shocks, life is unpredictable. I accept that I will always be challenged. I can slide, but I cannot fall anymore. I love life and I am open to what comes.
How do you get back on track when you slide?
One thing is my friends. Looking into loving eyes or a warm hug brings me back to my heart. I had 3 miscarriages. That was a strong experience, I really wanted a child. To acknowledge all the pain of the loss, and not having something I wished in my heart was a very important challenge for me.
At the end I managed to let go of the resentments I had towards myself for not doing it right. By doing this I opened myself up to live the intensity of all the feelings involved and finally accepted that this is what was going on in my life. It was where I needed to go to learn something new about myself. I used the situation to see whether there were parts that I did not want to accept about myself, parts where I put myself down, or other unresolved issues. My miscarriages gave me an opportunity to look into that and heal myself on a deeper level.
I truly believe, if I hadn’t had that experience, I would have gotten sick in my body because of repressed emotions. Today I feel:” Wow that was beautiful too, my life is so amazing.” I accept my life. I want to grow and learn from every challenge that comes and become bigger, deeper and wiser. It is the dance I am in and I accept and love who I am in it. That makes me a very strong woman.
You are going to lead our month-long workshop “WOW” again this year. Why should people study themselves with you for a whole month? What can they expect from you?
I want everyone to feel happy about themselves and to know how to create the life they want. There is nothing better than having a month-long life experience to discover that and to let go of the layers that are in the way.
The month will be about experiencing the love Geetee (leads the WOW together with Isha) and I have inside and about the friendship we share together. We will turn on the participants to be excited to learn about themselves, to discover and to explore all their different parts and finally we will get them to accept and love themselves.
The WOW is beautiful, it is challenging, it is sad, it is wild, it is all of it, and at the end there is so much more to us than what we think we are. Geetee and I have discovered this and everyone, who lives at the Humaniversity, is in the process of experiencing it every day. We are very excited to say:” Hey take a risk, drop some of those limits, explore, enjoy, find out!” And along the way you will make honest and heartful friends. You will become friends with me, with Geetee, and with all the people that you meet.
Sometimes people say one month is long, but think about it. You have invested a lot of your life in feeling in a certain way about yourself.
So, take a month to expand, love, feel great, boost your life, change, and learn to fly, it’s time!
Is there anything you would like to add or say to complete the interview?
I wish everybody to come and challenge themselves to be here with us. We have a unique place and we are exciting people to meet. We are therapists, we are friends, we are family, we are rock and roller’s with our feet on the ground. We want the world to be a better place and we make it a reality every day, because we are here 24 hours non-stop, giving everything and taking care of everybody. Veeresh and all of us have created this energy field where you will drop into your heart almost automatically. I see it again and again. So come and check us out.