Manchester (UK): Sister BK Shivani, the motivational speaker and senior faculty of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organisation spoke to an audience of over 1,700 at the Lowry’s Lyric Theatre in Salford, Manchester with multi thousands worldwide watching online.
Master of Ceremony Sir Peter Martin Fahy, Chair of Care of Police Survivors, warmly welcomed BK Shivani to the city and praised Inner Space, the organiser of the event. He said, ‘BK Shivani does so much to spread understanding and help people to find inner peace. BK Shivani’s message is so relevant today, when we all live such busy lives.’
A short but stunning Bharatnatyam dance performance by Dr Swati Raut then followed, after which BK Shivani came onto the stage and took her seat. She began by asking everyone to say the words ‘Calm. Kind. Happy’ And then asked: ‘Are we?’
‘Which comes first,’ she continued ‘…calm, kind or happy? If I am one, the other two automatically happen. Calm is who I am. Kindness is my nature. And if I am calm and happy, then I will definitely receive blessings. And when I make it my aim to receive blessings – at work, at home, in my relationships – then being happy becomes a way of being.
For this, she explained, we need to take care of our inner world and not just our outer world. We look after our physical health, our homes, our families, etc but do we look after our own minds? Do we pay attention to what we think and feel? We may be physically comfortable but emotionally upset. What is necessary, she said, is ‘the daily practice of meditation and to use the power that comes from this practice to transform our own negative attitudes and habits.’
‘Who is the first person I have to be kind to?’ she asked. ‘Myself. Ask yourself: Is there anything I criticise myself for? Shift from criticism to kindness. I need only one person to be nice to me – me myself. The world wants people to be their way. But seeking other people’s approval, doing and saying things to please them, will not make me happy – and it is not being kind to myself.
If someone is not happy, or is critical of you – they are not happy, they are not well. They need your kindness. In being kind, in being a giver, you will protect yourself from their negative energy. Rather than seeking the approval of others, I need to make sure that every decision I make is approved by me, that I’m comfortable with it. Everyone may say that this is right – but is it right for me?
BK Shivani explained about detachment: ‘Detachment is when my mind is attached to that mind – and I am dependent on their feelings, words and behaviour. She clarified: ‘When someone in my family is in pain, the last thing they need is more pain. Detachment is not indifference; it isn’t that I don’t care. I am there but I am not experiencing their pain because, if I do, they will experience mine.’
She offered some tips and tools that can become our ‘emotional first aid kit’. For example, an hour for the self, away from electronic devices, at the start of the day ‘to radiate calm, kindness and happiness’. Secondly, practicing ‘traffic control’. And then, 30 minutes at the end of the day – ‘to be kind to yourself before you sleep.’ She emphasized how everyone needs to create their own discipline, to safeguard this ‘self-care time’ in their day.
Holding a full glass of water on the palm of her hand, she issued the challenge: Doing everything all day, keep your glass full. Be kind to yourself, so that then you’ll be able to be kind to others. In a family it just needs one person to be stable – to be able to stay calm, kind and happy, no matter what – to make a difference to the whole family. Are you ready to be that one?
BK Shivani finished her talk by inviting all to learn about meditation or pop in to the lunchtime meditation sessions at Inner Space in Byron Street. Leading the audience into a meditation she then, in her customary way, invited them to leave the hall in silence, row by row, and to staying in that awareness for at least 15 minutes and share those vibrations with those around them.