image of chocolate in a post on decoding chocolate cravings by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, self love, when spirit meets science

Decoding Chocolate Cravings

There is something very comforting about the sensation of chocolate melting in your mouth!

While there may be many physiological and/or psychological reasons for chocolate cravings, I personally find that I crave chocolate when I am under stress or am having to juggle multiple responsibilities at once.

Being a mom to an active ten-year-old plus a super active toddler keeps me on my feet each day!

The current spike in Covid cases has made schooling go virtual again, which means more work than usual for parents. Apart from constantly ensuring that my son is focused during class time, there’s more homework to oversee, more sibling squabbles to handle through the day, and bigger messes to clean up around the house.

On the one hand, it does feel amazing to have the beautiful energy of children light up your home. You get to enjoy kisses, hugs, joy, laughter, innocence, and playfulness throughout the day. On the other hand, it can also be exhausting in some ways and you end up feeling like you need a break from all the noisy activity and clutter. If you are a parent, you most certainly understand what I mean!

On most days, I do have my family oversee the kids for a while so I can take some time off. But there are days when I am the sole caregiver throughout the day.

Recently, I had one such day. I was on parenting duty from morning until night. When my husband finally arrived and I was able to enjoy some solitude, I began to crave chocolate!

I stood near the refrigerator pondering if I was reaching out to chocolate for the right reasons.

I asked myself if I should give in to my craving or manage it with grit and determination and allow it to pass naturally.

And you know what?

I chose to give in to the craving!

My reasons for doing so –

From the perspective of health, I would have been concerned if I had felt the need to eat an entire bar of chocolate. Since Reiki practice helps me stay very tuned in to my body, I am very conscious of what I put into my body, and also how much. As far as chocolate is concerned, all I ever eat is one piece or a maximum of two (if the pieces are tiny). And I have no medical conditions that make chocolate a no-no. As I understand, a small amount of chocolate is not harmful to my body in any way.

From the psychological and energetic perspectives, I had had a difficult day, laced with some bitter moments.

So was I craving some sweetness on the subconscious level? Possibly.

Would this amount to comfort eating? Most likely.

While I am certainly not for comfort eating as a routine, I am OK with it as an occasional indulgence. I am human. I believe it is OK to indulge ourselves in small ways at times. If a piece of chocolate can help me re-connect to the sweetness of life on difficult days, then so be it! It’s not like every day is difficult.

And guess what?

I did feel lighter and energised after allowing myself this small sugary indulgence.

After spending the evening being ‘Snappy Mom,’ to my children ‘I was back to being ‘Happy Mom!’

I hope this article inspires you to decode your chocolate cravings!

healing pregnancy loss in a blog post by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, personal, pregnancy loss, when spirit meets science

Reaching Out To Babies In Heaven

The loss of a pregnancy, no matter how early or late it occurs, can be a devastating blow to the mother and father. This post is dedicated to all women and men who have lost their children to complications in pregnancy or birth, or even later in life.

You are not alone. Your pain is valid. Pregnancy loss may be a relatively common occurrence but that doesn’t make it any less painful. Acknowledging your pain is the first step to healing it.

When you get a positive pregnancy test, you assume a little human being will land in your arms at the end of nine months. Rarely do you imagine that something could go horribly wrong midway and that the baby won’t make it.

Our first child, baby angel Siri, left this planet even before she could take birth. I developed life-threatening pre-eclampsia during the latter part of pregnancy. This condition halted the growth of the baby and put my own life at risk too.

Thanks to advances in medicine and timely intervention, doctors managed to save my life. However, we had to let the baby go.

I grieved the loss of Siri for years. I experienced episodes of anger, blame, inadequacy, frustration, and helplessness.

On the physical level, I couldn’t understand (and still don’t) why a young and perfectly healthy woman like myself had to develop a random life-threatening condition. On the soul level though, I believe there was a higher reason for this incident.

To some extent, I am able to intuitively decipher the reason behind this seemingly unfortunate incident but I have not found all the pieces of the puzzle yet. It feels like there are way too many pieces and I am waiting for all of them to fit together and reveal the complete picture to me.

I trust I will find my answer one day when I am fully ready to know, understand and accept it.

It took me several years to come to some acceptance of Siri’s loss. By the Grace of the Divine, we are now blessed with two beautiful children and I love them with all my heart.

Along with my two incarnated angels, I will always love and honour Siri as one of our offspring. I didn’t get to hold her in my arms. But that doesn’t change the fact that she was our first baby.

When I give Siri her rightful place within the family, I find that my love for my other two children multiplies.

Siri may not be here in physical form but I often sense her presence on the energetic level. I cannot offer a logical explanation for this because energy doesn’t always work in logical ways. Many experiences in life have to be taken on trust. I prefer to enjoy such moments for what they offer, minus the analysis.

On this anniversary of her transitioning to the higher planes, I felt inspired to pen down a heartfelt note-

Dearest Baby Angel Siri,

The time we spent together was brief. I wish things had been different. I wish I could have held you and nurtured you.

Our separation seems to have been part of a higher plan. My mind doesn’t understand it but my soul knows there is more to this separation than just pain and misery. I trust that when the time is right, the ‘human me’ will manage to retrieve the answers to my burning questions from the ‘soul me.’

I choose to clear all subconscious and unconscious energy distortions behind this occurrence with the beautiful words of Ho’oponopono-

I am sorry

Please forgive me

I love you

Thank you

I trust these words will transform all pain – hidden and otherwise – and bring healing to you, me, and all involved.

I will always love you from the bottom of my heart. I pray that you are free and happy, wherever you are.

And we will meet again, somewhere across time and space…

This time in the best of circumstances, in accordance with divine will and in perfect divine timing.

This is my promise to you, little one…

Love

Mama

Mindful eating in a blog by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, personal, reiki, science, when spirit meets science

Life Lessons in Mindful-Scientific Eating

Thanks to Reiki, I took to the practice of ‘mindful eating’ quite effortlessly and practiced it for years. Reiki helped me tune in to my body completely, knowing exactly how much I ought to feed it and when to stop.

Of late though, the responsibilities of parenting a young child have thrown me off track. I have not been practicing mindful eating and my body has been acting up. I have been trying to schedule my meals around my little one’s nap times so I can enjoy eating in silence. This need to enjoy solitude at any cost has taken a toll on my body. I have had episodes of acid reflux and have needed to pop antacids to soothe my tummy.

My husband Suraj, who has been observing my lifestyle for a while now, brought my attention to the fact that my eating habits have become less than ideal – both from the scientific as well as energetic perspective.

Some points that came forth from the discussion include –

Eating Small and Frequent Meals – I had gotten into the habit of allowing myself to go hungry until my baby slept. The hidden unconscious agenda behind this was that I could relish huge meals at one go (without needing to attend to anything else). I was helped to understand that this strategy isn’t working in my favour and that smaller, more frequent meals are best for the tummy. Eating up to 80% of the stomach’s capacity at a given meal time and leaving some room was recommended to me.

Relaxed and Mindful Eating – As I reflected on Suraj’s observations and suggestions, I also realized I had been eating in a state of hurry and worry. I was constantly anxious to finish eating before my little one could wake up. Add to this the fact that I was gulping down large meals, anyone looking would think I was deprived of food! From an energetic perspective, anxiety isn’t the best energy to put into your body while you nourish it with food.

I am so grateful these insights were brought into my awareness.

I recently resumed the practice of ‘mindful-scientific’ eating. Since I was very mindful, I noticed initially that every time I got ready to eat, my hands tensed up in preparation to grab and my tongue salivated at the mere sight of food on the plate. I realized I must have been approaching meal times in this unconscious manner for the last year or so.

When I became aware of the way my system was responding to food, I took a deep breath and told myself that I have all the food I need. I told myself I will be alright even if my little one wakes up in the middle of my meal. I stopped eating when my stomach was 80% full and ended the meal with a word of gratitude. My tummy feels light now and so does my mind.

Very often, we are unable to see our own blind spots. It is OK for others around us – family and friends- to show us the light!

energy medicine, inner child, when spirit meets science

Did Santa Knock? Merry Christmas!

2007 was a year of several breakthroughs for me. So, it came as no surprise when the Christmas of that year felt extra special too!

I spent the Christmas of 2007 sauntering in the gardens of St John’s Hospital. The hospital had a beautiful giant crib set up to welcome Baby Jesus. My husband Suraj (then fiance) worked there at that time. Knowing my love for Christmas, he offered to show me around the hospital that was all decked up for the festive season.

My inner child felt excited to be present in that bright and colourful space of health and healing. I soaked up all the good vibes floating around.

As I walked around, a huge decorative star on one of the hospital buildings caught my attention. It had the message ” Peace on Earth” engraved on it.

A wave of peace literally washed over me when I read those words.

Being there in that divine space felt like the best Christmas present I could ever get that year! I often travel back in time to that day in 2007 and my body still warms up in joy and peace.

It’s 2021 now and Christmas is here again.

Life’s circumstances have changed. I have a lot more responsibility now. With two beautiful and active children running around the house, I am so happy but also often exhausted. Besides, a messy house with books and toys strewn all over, leaves me feeling grumpy! To make matters worse, a woman I had employed to help with housekeeping had to quit her job.

I recently appointed another young woman to help me around the house.

She spends a couple of hours here every morning. She walks in flashing a big bright smile and goes about her work with a spring in her step. All instructions I give her are received well and she executes them with sincerity. I thought she was being extra nice to me because I am her new employer. However, I soon realised she is equally nice to everyone. When I hear her talking to family on the phone, she sends out the same sweet vibes.

My grumpy moods heal just by listening to her phone conversations! To me, these kind of people who heal simply through their presence are human angels.

I often wished I would find a house help who would work with a smile on her face and my wish has been granted this Christmas. My inner child would like to believe Santa was the force behind this!

Merry Christmas!

divine feminine, divine masculine, haripriya suraj, suraj manjunath, when spirit meets science
energy medicine, personal, when spirit meets science

A Letter From The Divine Feminine To The Divine Masculine

The Feminine and Masculine Energies are an integral part of life. When they are in sync, life comes into greater balance.

In New Age circles, we refer to these energies as the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine.

The Divine Masculine is symbolic of action, rationality, precision, thinking, providing, planning and strategising.

The Divine Feminine is symbolic of being, intuiting, creating, feeling, nurturing, and flowing with life.

Both of these energies exist within us and all around us. It is perfectly normal for us to be more inclined towards one of these energies. However, it is also good to embrace the opposite energy when required. This way we tap into different strengths and come into greater wholeness within ourselves.

I have always been more inclined to the Divine Feminine. I had very little connection to the Divine Masculine until I met my partner Suraj.

He introduced the Divine Masculine component to me, simply by being who he was.

Initially, it seemed like we were polar opposites and I often wondered how we ended up together! But today, I see that these polar energies are not really opposing but complementary in nature. The Masculine and Feminine bring different strengths and each of them is needed in different scenarios.

Our journey began in December 2007, when we met for the first time, and has been ongoing. I am grateful for all the growth that has been made possible through the years.

On this note, the Divine Feminine in me feels inspired to write a note to acknowledge the Divine Masculine in in my own self, in Suraj and in all the men and women around me who embody it-

Dear Divine Masculine,

Thank you for coming to meet me exactly where I am, as an equal.

Thank you for revealing your strengths to me and for helping me find them within my own self.

Thank you for teaching me how to engage in fruitful thinking and analysis.

Thank you for being a provider, for planning life with care and precision, and for showing me how to do the same.

Thank you for encouraging me to play a nurturer’s role fully, while not hesitating to take on the same role yourself when required.

Thank you for showing me how to banish irrational fear and thought through the power of rationality.

Thank you for being my mirror and for triggering me in different ways so I could grow in areas that felt most uncomfortable to me.

Thank you for holding space for me when hormones wreak havoc in my physical body and I sink into depths of darkness.

Thank you for supporting my creative power and creations and for cheering me on to become better and better.

Thank you for loving and accepting me as I am, – dreamy, feely, and flowy…

Together, let us blend our strengths.

Together, let us explore the depths of unconditional love.

energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, Spirit, when spirit meets science

What Happens When Spirit Meets Science?

Science is working wonders in our lives today. Travel back in time to your childhood and compare the role that science played back then to what it does today. Now go back further to when your parents and grandparents were children. What was the role of science during those times?

It is a known fact that scientific advancement has been happening in leaps and bounds. Human intelligence has been working hard to create marvel after marvel. Isn’t that amazing?

The world of Spirit has existed since time immemorial too. Different people resonate with different spiritual paths. Many paths include a quest into realms that lie outside the concrete physical world. This apart, spirituality also includes elements of love, compassion, peace, oneness, service and the like. New age spirituality, often has concepts of energy medicine blended in and places much emphasis on wellness, mindfulness, self-love, emotional well being and a whole range of such concepts.

Is there a need for the world of spirit to meet the world of science?

Not necessarily. They both can exist independently and progress perfectly well.

But….they can also choose to meet.

Let’s explore what could happen if they do choose to meet.

  1. Life could be more well rounded. While science is primarily based on logic and rational thought, spirituality is rooted in philosophy and intuition. When we embrace both these aspects within ourselves, we find a whole new level of strength and wisdom. We know which strength of ours to apply in different scenarios and make the most of both sides of our brain.
  2. Healing sciences may become more holistic and focus on healing body, mind, and soul. For instance, modern medicine is rooted in the science of evidence based practice. This brings structure, strength, and precision to modern medical treatments. Intuitive therapies like Reiki focus more on going with the flow and staying flexible. This brings in subtler elements of softness and self-care to help maintain overall well being. I often recall times when popping paracetamol brought down a viral fever and helped me feel comfortable, while Reiki helped me relax deeply and give myself space and time to heal.
  3. Human intelligence can take on a whole new definition. EQ receives as much importance as IQ. Apart from applying our classical intelligence to create breakthroughs in the outer world, we also nurture our emotional intelligence and create many inner breakthroughs. We may go deeper into our human experience and live life more fully.

Making spirit meet science is not a lofty unattainable goal destined for a future time. Its principles are simple and can be easily practiced in our day-to-day lives. It is all about embracing logic as well as magic and knowing what to choose when!

This image shows Reiki in a bblog post on Reiki by Haripriya Suraj in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, personal, reiki, Spirit, when spirit meets science

The Many Gifts Of Reiki

I placed my palms on my body and felt them warming up in a way that I had never experienced before.

The warmth transformed into intense heat at times and tingling at other times.

I looked at my hands with a sense of wonder! What had just happened?

Was it magic at work?

Or a miracle?

Or was it something ‘normal’ that felt miraculous because it was new?

I would say it was a bit of all!

November 2007 – A significant time period when I began my Reiki training ; significant because my life since then has been built on this foundation of Reiki practice.

Apart from warm healing hands that bring peace and comfort each day, some other gifts that Reiki brought into my life include-

1. Love and reverence for my physical body and inspiration to take good care of it

2. Deep rest and relaxation

3. Heightened awareness of unhelpful thoughts and mental patterns

4. Ability to let go of or transform aspects of life that weren’t working so new people and opportunities could come in

5. Profound spiritual growth and strength

I am so grateful for all the gifts Reiki practice brings.

To me, Reiki is pure love.

After all these years, I am accustomed to the sensation of my hands warming up. I do miss the ‘wowness’ of how it felt in the beginning!

While that ‘wow’ was like the euphoria brought on by love at first sight, my relationship with Reiki today is like a solid partnership of love that is built with someone over years. And that is so beautiful as well.

What do you love about Reiki?

Wellness vs Illness, Haripriya Suraj, When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, modern medicine, reiki, science, when spirit meets science

Wellness vs Illness

Being a wellness practitioner, I am often asked by clients and also by family and friends to cure their physical ailments through Reiki. They hope beyond hope that I can do something to bring their thyroid levels back to normal, to help blood sugar stabilise or even to make cancer dissolve.

When I tell them I can teach them about wellness or support them through Reiki sessions, but not perform medical miracles, some of them look at me like something is wrong with me. I can almost read their mind saying – “What kind of a Reiki practitioner are you if you cannot do any of this?”

I may be a Reiki practitioner but Reiki is not some form of magic! It is not a quick fix for illness or for any problem. And it is certainly not something I can do to make a problem vanish from another person’s life. We are each responsible for our own lives.

Reiki is a way of life that empowers people to create physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Reiki takes work. Being well in body, mind and spirit may play a role in helping to prevent certain illnesses and also to cope well if at all illness strikes. But if an illness has already set in, wellness therapy like Reiki alone cannot manage it.

For a long time, I had a hard time telling people that there is a difference between wellness and illness. I often felt judged for recommending that someone must seek medical assistance for illness.

While there are plenty of anecdotal accounts of miraculous medical healings and they are certainly inspiring, they are not the same as ‘evidence.’ Evidence is when a particular therapy is proven to have a specific effect on a specific condition, and is accepted as a fact worldwide.

Being married to a cancer surgeon and co-authoring the book ‘When Spirit Meets Science’ with him has helped me clearly understand the difference between anecdote and evidence. This work has helped me appreciate the amount of effort that goes into conventional medical research before treatments are certified and offered to the world. As explained in the book, the principles of evidence based medicine can be easily applied to ‘alternative’ therapies too. Therefore, until we have a more solid scientific backing, I prefer to call wellness therapies complementary or supportive treatment.

Over the years, I have learned to drop the fear of judgment and to not hesitate to tell someone that they need medical evaluation. They are welcome to ask for Reiki but they must also take medical support if required.

Finally, I believe wellness therapies like Reiki offer enough value in themselves and don’t need a medical tag to certify their worth ( unless someone wants to test its efficacy in treating physical illnesses).

A Reiki session can help to relax the body, still the mind and calm the emotions. It can also help one experience the richness of their inner spiritual world. I believe these aspects are also essential components of any healing process. Reiki is always open to anyone who is interested in adopting a holistic approach to healing.

This image shows love in an article on alchemy with love by Haripriya Suraj in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, Spirit, when spirit meets science

Alchemy With Love

There are two ways to operate in life-

Love

Non-love

Very often, a given situation will have a completely different feel to it, depending on whether love is the driving force behind it or non-love.

Non-love could be defined as any state of being that makes one feel negative, uncomfortable, anxious, restless etc.

Love brings softness and higher consciousness into the picture. Love can elevate the vibration of even seemingly routine or mundane situations and make them take on a whole new quality.

When you find yourself feeling low, pause and tune in to your heart.

Ask yourself where you are operating from.

Now bring the element of love into the situation and tune in again.

If the emotions you are feeling are very intense, it may not be possible to tune in to your heart without addressing the emotional charge first. I find the practice of Emotional Freedom Technique to be very helpful in bringing down the intensity of difficult emotions. However, different techniques work for different people. So pick a practice that works best for you.

Once emotional intensity drops and you are able to tune in to your heart space, notice what happens.

You are likely to find that your perspective about the situation shifts. This is usually followed by the situation itself transforming for the better.

Remember, love is like a ‘healing balm.’ It can comfort, soothe, uplift and transform, sometimes in an instant.

Let’s invite more love into our lives!

This image depicts the sacral chakra in an article on wellness by Haripriya Suraj
energy medicine, reiki, when spirit meets science

Sacral Chakra Wisdom

The sacral chakra is an energy centre corresponding to the pelvic region of the physical body.

The health of this chakra is associated primarily with the following-

Emotions

Giving ourselves the permission to feel the wide spectrum of human emotions is vital to living a balanced life. The moment we label an emotion as ‘ unacceptable’ or ‘bad,’ we create a block within our energy system. This holds true for women as well as men. Men are often not given as much liberty as women to feel or reveal their emotional side. In the new paradigm, it is perfectly permissible and normal for men to feel and honour varied emotions and to allow themselves to feel vulnerable.

Sexuality

Sexual energy is a gift of the Universe. It is the force behind creation itself. However, sexuality is often associated with shame and disruption. It is also often a misused resource, as in cases of sexual abuse and assault. Not feeling safe or comfortable about one’s sexuality is a sign of imbalance in the sacral chakra. Feeling a healthy connection to one’s sexuality while respecting and honouring the sexuality and sexual boundaries of others is an indication of a healthy sacral chakra. As wounds related to sexuality are carried by many in the world, this is one chakra that needs significant attention.

Creative potential

The sacral chakra is the ‘womb’ of the energy system. It is associated with creative potential of all kinds, including the potential within the female womb where new life takes form. It is important to know that creation is not restricted to giving birth alone. Any kind of creation is an outcome of creative potential at work.

Place your palm on your sacral chakra and connect to your creative side. How does it feel? Are you utilising your complete potential? What is longing to be birthed through you? Can you channel more of your energy to birth creations unique to you? Each of us is born with unique talents. We can give ourselves the permission to recognise them and share them with the world.

Ability to flow with life

Flowing with life means letting go of the need to control every aspect of life. Is it truly possible to be in control always? Excessive control can begin to feel constricting. Letting go of control doesn’t mean no action must be taken. Action in the right direction must be taken when called for. Letting go means not being too fixated on outcomes. It is the art of taking action and then allowing life to unfold in its own glory.

Blessings!

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