By Patricia Danflous
You’ve heard about being a bad-ass. Do you really want to be one? That’s a question requiring careful consideration depending on who you are, where you are and what you want from life. Stop the contemplating for a moment and ask yourself this question, “do want to approach life half-ass?” Much easier question to answer, right?
Start today to live a “whole-ass” life–and we’re not talking “fat” or “big”–and you are on the way to discovering greater peace, pleasure, achievement, energy and an extraordinary existence. And you can take a leading role in making the world a better place. Where do you start? How do you do it? The magic extraordinary button is already in place within you. Follow the guidance and example of a modern day monk to push that button and go forward.
Yes, a monk. Specifically, Maharani, an Ishaya monk who defies the traditional definition of a hooded, brown-robed individual praying and laboring all day in a secluded monastery. A beautiful young woman with a dazzling smile and soothing, but commanding voice, Maharani has figured out how to live and share her success as an author, motivational speaker and spiritual leader. She and her fiancé are living in a mountain-top area of Spain where she finds time for meditation, continued self-growth, writing and guiding others to live more fully and more purposeful lives.
More often than not, Maharani uses a touch of humor to ignite an individual’s magic button. Her first book, “Whole-Ass: Stop living a half-assed life and enjoy an extraordinary existence so you can play your part in making the world a better place,” identifies what stops people half-way on the way to their goals and happiness, while making you smile in a whole-ass style.
“My dream is to have as many people as possible get up off their couch, and inject life force into this world,” she explains, noting that Ishaya is a tradition incorporating contemplative meditation and prayer.
“For me, that dream means to live dedicated to waking up from the illusion of the mind and stepping into Oneness,” she said. “That is my first and foremost commitment and direction, and everything else in my life stems from it. However, that devotion and commitment is lived in an everyday life. Not in a cave or monastery away from the world! Through my own experience and exploration, I am shown more and more ways to open up to divine will and to let divinity shine through.”
Her experience is hard-earned. Unsuccessfully attempting to end her life as a young teen, she knew that dying was not what she wanted. A devastating break-up twenty years ago, however, brought back the rock bottom feelings. “I had to figure out how to live,” she said. “I was done with life the way I knew it. There had to be more to living than just struggling to survive, day in and day out. Millions of years to create this stunning planet cannot be just so we pay taxes and then one day die.”
Inspired by the love and guidance of her parents, infused with a high-achieving, curious and competitive personality, she began a self-discovery journey, landing in Spain for six-months of meditation, becoming comfortable with herself and reaffirming a mindset that began early on.
“I was really curious as a child and a natural high achiever,” she recalled. “Everything I set my focus on would come to fruition. It wasn’t an education thing, I was naturally born that way. I always felt like I could ‘download’ any information, which was really annoying to my schoolteachers! I usually felt out of place, like I was a little adult trapped in a kid’s body with a huge heart and love for humans. But that out of place-ness, feeling different, the world around me not making lots of sense to me, was a strong drive since really young to find who I really was and what was I doing on this Earth. It felt imperative for me to discover it. I didn’t stop until I found my calling.”
As a contemporary monk, Maharani is a spiritual leader who “points the finger back to your own heart, to the divinity within, and can help you to get out of the way, so you live the life that is required for you to best serve humanity,” she said. “A spiritual leader will help you to transcend duality, the mind, and find freedom within. Regardless of the challenges life brings or the direction your life takes, a spiritual leader will enable you to experience peace beyond the external world. A spiritual leader will work with the permanent aspect of yourself, the Silence within.”
She is like you. “My life is ‘normal’ and there aren’t activities or requirements to be a monk,” she explained. “I face the same options in life as everyone else. It is all about the internal experience, that is the part I´d say is ‘different’. Meditation is definitely an essential, though, so I meditate around one and a half to two hours per day. That sounds like a lot but it isn’t when you see the effects in your life.”
The energetic monk acknowledges her parents for inspiration and guidance.
“I am blessed with two wonderful parents,” she said. “From my mother I learned to give everything for the people I love, to cherish people more than possessions but that creating a beautiful environment is love manifest! She taught me to follow my own drum and not settle for what everyone else was doing or desired, especially as a female. She also tried to teach me to not go out to the store in my pajamas, but that one never stuck.”
“From my father I learn that nothing is impossible,” she said. “He is a visionary and genius. He taught me that anything worth doing always serves others, and not yourself. To be committed to your own path and follow it no matter what. He is also really funny and really loving and a true family man. He taught me that you can have it all.
“They both always guided me and helped me to find my own truth and my own path as strange as it might have looked to others. It must not have been easy for them to have such a strange child that wanted to spread wings from a really young age.”
A highlight of Maharani’s current life is service to others as she works to enhance the quality of life for all. “Imagine, a world where all humans were in service to other,” she asked. “A world based on giving and not on taking. A world of connection, not of separation. All that, service can do. Only that switch in humans would create a different world.”
“Service is giving,” she explains. “Giving to others. Serving others. Making it about the rest and not about you. I´d like to think everywhere in the world, an old lady carrying her groceries is always taken care of,” she said smiling.
Maharani advised that being at peace, resting in stillness, living in joy is service. Have you ever been around someone that has good vibes and being in their presence immediately makes you feel better?
“That is service,” she explained. “You allow people to recognize in their soul there is more, and they might remember to search for more. Everyone has something to give. Don´t underestimate the power of giving your attention.”
Ready to push your magic button?
“Sometimes we want to live fully, we want to live whole-ass and we find ourselves over and over, back in our old habits, de-motivated and frustrated,” Maharani emphasized. “We go to bed and wonder, ‘ is this the life I was meant to live? Is this all there is?’ The answer is ‘no.’ There is much, much, more and it all exists within you, and it´s all accessible now. Be wild, be open, be willing change, dare to love, be simple, be wise, follow your dreams with passion, infuse your ever day with purpose through the limitations of your mind and see for yourself that the being that exists beneath is the most wonderful of beings: you. You have the power to change this world.”
For more information about Maharani and her approach to an extraordinary existence visit her website at maharanimonk.com, connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her book Whole-Ass is available at all major booksellers and online via Amazon.