We had the good fortune of connecting with Shiv Shakti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shiv, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
There are no risks in life as such, everything in life is an experience and opportunity to learn and grow should you choose to embrace the ever present change. In the early summer of 2015, I was standing on the bridge of a cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman. I was uneasy the whole week, as something did not feel right in my life. Here, I am being an Officer on Ship, a dream once I worked hard to make a reality seemed to lose its meaning. As the warm salty air blew through my hair on the bridge wing as I was sipping my morning coffee, I saw a massive glow of light on the Horizon. The Sun was coming up. I have always seen remarkable sunrises at sea but today’s sunrise had a different depth. I observed the sun as every minute passed it rose further up at the horizon. As the day passed, something told me to look at the sun again. It was noon and the sun was there but the beauty which I observed in the morning faded away as I could not see the sun due to its brightness. I was stunned and frozen in the warm ocean that instant as something deeper moved within, I realized that earlier in the morning when the sun was humble and down to earth I could witness the beauty but now as the sun has risen up or as the ego arises the beauty vanishes and only the harsh rays are left. Throughout my life since childhood I wanted to rise up in my life to be something and be accepted by others but I never was humble and innocent in my approach. I was born in Amritsar, a small city in India. When I was 2 years old my mother had to give me away to her sister due to financial reasons and I spent some years in Boy’s Boarding school from the age of 3. I was the youngest kid there and often bullied. I was later taken out from the Boarding school and raised in both the families thereby leaving me in doubt to who my real parents were? I had Abandonment issues, Depression, no self-esteem and lots and lots of issues as a child. After my High school I decided going to sea on an adventurous lifestyle. I enrolled in Merchant Marines. I spent 8 years or more preparing and sailing all over the globe on Ships. The life at sea is nothing like what it is told to young kids, it is hard, emotionless. All I wanted to prove to myself was my worth through hard work and that day on the ship everything was losing its meaning. That evening I returned to my cabin and decided to sit down with my legs crossed, hands on my knees and my eyes closed. I was so tensed up inside, yet I realized, Tension is what we want to be and Relaxation is who we are. I suddenly shifted into relaxation that evening. The simple act of facing my fears opened me to the first stage of Meditation “Relaxation”. I unknowingly was opening myself to the depths of meditation. I spent and invested in myself from there. Every evening I decided to sit with myself and face all my fears and look within, I had no clue what meditation was, I was nowhere in the middle of the ocean with no guidance, books, teachers, nothing. I renounced my Uniform and let my beard grow as I was rebelling against my own ideology of life. The Captain of the ship was Kind and let me work with my white robe that I bought from one of the port the ship docked I finished my contract from the ship and decided never to return to my old self and jump into the unknown. I renounced everything once I knew, family, friends, Job and here I was wearing a robe traveling India by myself unknowingly exploring the second stage of meditation. I transformed myself into an observer of life. I was witnessing every moment that was passing and witness my thought process. Slowly I was transforming myself into the third stage of “Silence” where the language was losing the meaning and I was being an observer of the cosmos. I wrote The Seed of Nothingness during this phase of my life as a silent observer. I was having the best time of my life in India with this newness found within myself. Hakunama Tata!! But something did not feel right. Here I am on this newly found peak of life and people I was coming across were struggling being themselves. Once you start realizing meditation, there is this immense love that you feel within and Compassion for others arises. I made a decision if these life changes have helped me overcome my life challenges then I am going to share this way with everyone I meet. The fourth stage of Meditation is Creativity. The creator of the universe is always creating in love and Joy. A delicate flower is born through love and care of nature so it can give birth to life through more flowers. I was on my path of merging and surrendering into the oneness of the cosmos. I met my wife on this journey of creativity and together we have created our wonderful life blessed with two daughters today. But back the year was 2016 and I was in the US now finding myself giving lectures on this newly discovered joy of going within in the west coast sometimes traveling city to city. Still something was missing as the essence that I wanted to share was somehow not complete. I remember asking myself what made me unravel the joy during my growth process. It struck to me and I remembered the time I was in Goa walking on the beach and during a sunset I felt this immense joy looking at the sun that I started dancing as if this is the last day on earth for me. I had no worry or care of what others will think seeing me dancing. By the time I finished my cosmic dance with no music, I turned around and saw there were other people jumping, dancing behind me. They looked at me smiled and left. That was it! To realize meditation, one has to understand the Freedom of flow. This gave birth to the foundation of Dance Meditation transformation. I experimented for years with this idea, first simply playing music and asking participants to dance but I realized one cannot dance freely if the mind is chained with thoughts. The chains have to be broken and so on and so forth. Today the 5 steps I created in the Dance Meditation entails the experience of years of my own growth and the 5 stages to Meditation. The fifth stage of meditation is Celebration of life moment by moment. To Celebrate Life one has to be responsible first. The self-responsibility arises with self-care and self-love. Celebration is the true essence of life and this state is received if one flows through the other four stages of meditation. That sailor at sunrise? Little did I know then what awaited me beyond the horizon. It was where I felt most lost—not out at sea, but within myself—that I found myself, through the journey of meditation. I am still traveling. Through relaxation, observation, silence, creativity and celebration, meditation illuminates the path toward the truest, deepest place in yourself, the place that is always there, always ready to show you the way..
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
These days I am feeling more inspired than ever to embrace my creativity and express it through a variety of ways. Hari Om Tat Sat is a Sanskrit term. This is a simple yet powerful phrase to remember that nothing we think is more important than the actual experience of life. ‘Hari’ is all that we perceive, the world around us, and we believe this is our ultimate reality. ‘Om’ is the sound we make (when meditating or yoga) and it means that which cannot be perceived by our senses but yet we acknowledge it exists (angels, energy, etc). Lastly, the phrase ‘Tat Sat’ which means the Ultimate Truth, which is neither known in our perceivable world nor ‘Om’ beyond our senses. This phrase shares within its words that freedom from thoughts can be simple once we can recognize that our deepest truth is in the unknown. I live my life with this ever unfolding quality of unknown. I choose to not limit myself to any specific career or label instead i play with whatever flows into my awareness and inspires me to express myself. At this time some projects that have inspired me that I would like to share with the community as an offering is: In May i will be launching my first guided musical meditation Album “East Meets West” infused with Intuitive Healing World Music created by Ahme. The Album is based on the essence of bringing Relaxation, Calmness and to reduce stress through Intuitive Healing World Music and Guided Meditation. East Meets West brings you the serenity of Eastern Philosophy through words infused with Western Native American music. You will experience calmness and motivation when you need the most through this extraordinary experience shared by Shiv and Ahme. The second project is my meditation retreat that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. It is a blend of silent retreat with creativity (painting, self expression and dancing) inspiring you to enjoy the fruits of your meditation. This retreat will provide the sacred space to inspire you to take your meditation practice (beginner or experienced) off the cushion and into an inspired way of movement from my Dance Meditation Transformation that will awaken your senses and truly prepare you to experience the silence, further preparing you to express your creativity. If you are ready to say YES and embrace your one beautiful wild life visit our website at https://www.risingconsciousnesscenter.com/never-mind-retreat/ And lastly, I am offering one-on-one intuitively guided healing sessions. They are my humble offering of my very vibration and love that I share during each session to help reconnect you to your own inner sense of knowing and healing. We each are powerful healers and sometimes we must take the first step in seeking support from the outside to remind us of our own true potential. My sessions include an inspired blend of upgrading your energies to that of your higher source, clearing you of emotional blockages, and infusing you of new potent energies to provide you the strength, courage and willingness to live your best life. To book a session visit our website https://www.risingconsciousnesscenter.com/team/shiv/ To Know more about Dance Meditation Transformation https://www.risingconsciousnesscenter.com/dance-meditation-transformation/ I wish you joy and celebration on your journey!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Honestly, if I had a week long trip I would find myself wondering beyond Santa Monica as my nature is to constantly explore and to move beyond! I can definitely say that for a weekend trip to Santa Monica I would start with a drive to Ocean Blvd to see the beautiful ocean. Then head back inland Santa Monica to eat at Erewon. Then head to Main Street to visit Ryan’s beautiful and inspired Gem shop called: “Aura Shop” you can find the information on: www.aurashop.com. He has curated a magnificent selection of crystals, gems, stones and art pieces that all inspire healing, transformation, and wonder.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The love and support of my wife Maya have always encouraged me to be me. My daughters have taught me to practice what I share with people. I acknowledge every being that I have ever met, all the souls I met have impacted and shaped me today.
Ankit Shukla & Julie Branson