Person of the Week
A person who has a purpose in life to realize my own potential, the Divine within, and Co-Founder, Secretary and Board Member of New Creation International
We are all assigned a job and your job can be done only by you. Difficulties are opportunities to grow. I know sometimes it is hard. You might feel low. But if you think this has come to learn something new, you will be able to get back on your purpose.
1. What led you to the mission of being a person who has a purpose in life to realize your own unique potential, the Divine within, and being the Co-Founder, Secretary, and Board Member of New Creation International?
My father gave me this opportunity and my inspiration came from knowing the Mother. As a child my father took me to Pondicherry, India to be with her physical presence. Even as a child eleven or twelve months old, I was seen by the Mother. (Lakshmi is referring to The Mother, Mirra Alfassa, pictured to the right, was born in Paris on February 21, 1878. The Mother was the spiritual collaborator with Sri Aurobindo forming a spiritual retreat in Pondicherry, India – the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. When Sri Aurobindo Ashram was formed in November 1926, Sri Aurobindo entrusted its full material and spiritual charge to the Mother. Under her guidance, which continued for nearly fifty years, the Ashram grew into a large, many-faceted spiritual community. In 1952 she established Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education and in 1968 an international township, Auroville. To learn more about her teachings click here. Her experiences are chronicled in the 13-volume work The Agenda.)
The Mother left her body on November 17, 1973. She is still guiding us and helping us. Growing up with this vision helped me become a person who has a purpose in life to realize my own potential and recognize the Divine within.
I learned form the Mother to realize the purpose of my life and work for it. No matter what obstacles I have, I know her guidance and strength is with me all the time. Having that faith and trust has guided me.
For instance, when the thought of organizing New Creation International came up, I could clearly look back and see how the Mother had guided us through every step and is still guiding us. (To learn more about New Creation International, click here. The mission of New Creation International is to assist children of developing nations in becoming conscious, creative, Global Citizens through the promotion and practices of Integral Education.) When we started this nonprofit,
I had no idea or knowledge about how to do it. I had no idea how to do the paperwork. I was calling people, friends, acquaintances, and lawyers to help me. My husband has been a help. I learned a lesson from him. When we first got married he told me that we have to accept others the way they are as each one is different. This is the best advice he gave me.
Finally, through my relator I came to know about this nonprofit resource manager at the St. Charles County Library. He helped for one year and educated me. I am very grateful. You may be able pay someone to get this paperwork done, but he educated me about the process. For one year every two weeks I sat with him for two hours and he educated me about every question on the 501(c)3 application and how to fine tune the mission. I contacted the law firm Bryan Cave and they graciously agreed to do a pro bono to file our paperwork. Within four months we got our approval without any inquiry. Everybody was amazed. Other nonprofit managers told us we should not expect to get approved for six months.
I want to tell my Father’s story as well. He is 84 years old (2014) and still works hard. I am fortunate to have two parents with high vision. As a child my father dreamed and wished to help the needy. He was born in a small village to landlords. He went to school in the village till 3rd grade and went to city to study further. He came to the United States on a scholarship for Masters Degree and went to Hawaii for a PhD in soil science. He came to know about his spiritual teacher Sri Aurobindo in Hawaii.
In 1969 he resigned as a professor in Agriculture University and went to a village in India to help. Our inspiration is from Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. He started rural development with the idea of integrated development (economic, social, cultural, spiritual, educational). In 2010 they started the school, with 75 students in an existing buildings and now they have 300 students. The students come from many villages. As part of integrated development, they also train farmers and women school dropouts. Trainees come from different states, and countries all over the world.
2. What does this mission mean to you?
This mission has helped me to deal with my own self, my family, and life. I learn new things. I was not tech savvy at all. I would have to ask my children how to do a PowerPoint presentation for my classes! My daughter taught me some things. I started learning on the job. My friends, my husband, my children, my family have all helped. My sister is in a different state and she is doing her part. I am so very grateful for support of our board members and the advisory committee. I’m very grateful for being a part of New Creation.
I’m grateful for the support of Julian Lines. (To learn more about Julian Lines click here and go to the About Us tab.) Julian recently gave a talk about this work. I would like to speak more about his inspiring talk and share it here. Julian started his talk with the following words, “My goal this afternoon is to share what inspired me about the work in education that Lakshmi Reddy and the New Creation International Board and I share, present some observations about the path we are all on and invite you to work together to manifest a Dream. The journey is one we all have hear about – the path of self discovery.”
Julian Lines continues, “We are brought together today by the high vision of an evolving consciousness, by the premise that the arc of our known, universe and the cycles of human societies are fundamentally a vast unfolding of discovering the soul spark hidden within ourselves. We are playing a fantastic game of Hide and Seek.”
He went on to summarize some background on the path of integral yoga that is a spiritual search unique to each individual and distinct form a religious doctrine. He then described some of the experiences of the children who are in the Free Progress approach to education and who practice “Awareness Through the Body”. He mentioned how similar programs are already being adapted in the United States including Goldie Hawn’s MindUP and Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE). (To learn more about MindUP: The Hawn Foundation, click here.) (To learn more about CARE: Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education the Garrison Institute, click here.)
I learned that it is not a question of repeating spiritually what others have done before us, for our adventure begins beyond that. It is a question of a new creation entirely new, with the unforeseen events, the risks, the hazards it entails – a real adventure whose goal is certain victory, but the road to which is unknown and must be traced out step by step in the unexplored. This is something that has never been in this present universe and that will never be again in the same way. Each one of us has a role. After so many years, I have realized my role in this world.
3. What was your best day being a person who has a purpose in life to realize your own unique potential, the Divine within, and being the Co-Founder, Secretary, and Board Member of New Creation International?
My best day was when we had an event and everyone came to support and encourage us at what we are doing. We invited friends in the community to learn about New Creation International. Everyone walked away very inspired. That was the best day. The event was a launching event, an open house.
4. What was your worst day being a person who has a purpose in life to realize your own unique potential, the Divine within, and being the Co-Founder, Secretary, and Board Member of New Creation International?
The worst day is when I am trying to figure out something and I can’t figure out how to do it. I get stuck. That is the worst day – when I hit a roadblock. It is like pulling hair.
5. How did you survive your worst day?
The only way to learn is to realize difficulties are opportunities. I also learn through reading Mother’s words. I take time of at least five minutes or ten minutes of my day to read one or two pages of her words. That is my strength and guidance and reinforcement and encouragement. I read the Mother’s volumes. (To read Mother’s volumes, click here.)
A sample of her writings is quoted from her volume, “What you must know is exactly the things you want to do in life. The time needed to learn it does not matter at all. For those who wish to live according to Truth, there is always something to learn and some progress to make. The true aim of life is to find the Divine’s Presence deep inside oneself and to surrender to It so that It takes the lead of the life and all the feelings and all actions of the body. This gives a true and luminous aim to existence. Life has a purpose.” Volume 14, The Words of the Mother II, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.
6. What advice do you have for someone who would like to realize his or her own potential?
I talk to myself, “What can I learn from this?” I can uplift myself and go on a little faster rather than staying in the low mood for a longer time. That is what is the difference before New Creation and now. Before New Creation I was always worrying about my own little self and my own family. There is so much else that goes on. Now when I think of a bigger vision, I’m always thinking big. I forget the little problems. The problems are not difficulties. They are opportunities.
Take time to look inside because all of us are always on the go. Learn to step back and look inside. You can hear your inner voice telling your own purpose. We are all here for a purpose. We are all assigned a job and your job can be done only by you. That’s what Mother says and I feel difficulties are opportunities to grow. I know sometimes it is hard. You might feel low. But if you think this has come to learn something new, you will be able to get back on your purpose.