'Get out of your way'
Delna Anand talks about why the journey to enlightenment begins with oneself
Your best childhood memory?
Visiting my grandparents in Lucknow, Northern India, in the summer heat of 45°C. Strangely, this comes up as one of my most cherished childhood memories. And all credit goes to my lovely mother and grandmother for making such a celebration of the hot summer days, instead of complaining about it (or avoiding it completely by visiting some other place). I'm sure they had enough to complain about, but they just knew how to make the most of it.
Waking up early, playing outdoors till noon, reading a book indoors and then enjoying an afternoon siesta, delicious summer fruits like mangoes, water from a clay pot, and sleeping outside on the verandah under the starry skies. These are indeed a few of my favourite things!
If you could move anywhere in the world for free, what place would that be?
A few years back, I might have named an exotic location. But it's taken me a long time to come to this space of saying that wherever I am right now is where I am meant to be. Coddiwomple means "to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination". My inner coddiwomple is more likely to be towards the realm of inner stillness, rather than an actual place.
The biggest learning point or experience in your life.
Life teaches us that loss and grief are inevitable. It teaches us not to take anything or anyone for granted. It also teaches us to experience joy, despite deep sorrow, and without any guilt. because we cannot mourn all our lives through. Life has to be lived, authentically. When we lose someone dear, we learn something at the soul level. Life just goes on and, no matter how long we take to grieve, life must be lived in honour of that person, instead of mourning him/her.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Get out of your way! In fact, I'd probably say this to my present self too!
If you could go back to any era in time, which one would it be?
I'd like to go back to a time of revolution. Surely none with any violence, but maybe something like the Green Revolution. "Revolution" signifies an idea whose time has come. All revolutions have manifested when a catalyst under the surface created a major stir, causing society to explode and transform. The ripple effect could be disruptive, but it can also be generative, leading to reform and renewal.
What is your greatest fear?
Fear, I have come to realise, is the exact opposite of faith. So, when I have fearful thoughts, I quickly convert it to a prayer. And it's a fear no more! There are probably loads of fears to add to my list, but I've learned to keep my coping tools very handy.
If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
Maybe one of the popular celebrity "gurus" to see what actually goes on in their life, behind their social media and digital personas.
Favourite movie character of all time - and why.
It'll have to be Shrek. I love that this giant green ogre is so unabashedly himself. He doesn't care if his 'beautiful' princess has turned into an ogre, respects her for speaking her mind, is a loyal and protective friend, can slay a dragon, is completely comfortable in his skin and enjoys his quiet life. But, above all, he has a heart that is larger than his swamp!
- Staff reporter
Delna Anand is a wellness expert and founder of Heal With Delna