Staring at what remains to be the last glaciers on earth, I'm on my special trip with my two lovely sisters on the other side of the world, in New Zealand. I can feel the ice melting in front of my eyes and feel the urgency to do something with my life. To finally do the things I keep saying one should do. When positive parivartan started in 2020, I was meditating every day and inspiration hit me. My best friend to this day says, she was surprised, how creative I became: I wrote articles regularly, I listened to the ideas I received during my meditations, I was taking care of my health, I even wrote a full children's book for my Godson. I myself was so surprised by myself, because while I was taking care of myself, I was somehow able to think more of others as well. It felt like taking care of myself freed some space in my mind to think and create for others. This was the beginning of COVID, so I had more time for myself. In New Zealand, in the midst of pure nature I found that connection again. That connection to the universe. Something bigger than myself guiding me. I'm not sure whether you believe in a higher power, but I can tell you that I have too many stories from my own life to think otherwise. I returned back to Singapore, my home at the time, and joined my usual yoga class. From Samastitihi, the standing posture, I was trying to lean back to drop into backbend, or bridge posture. My yoga teacher was holding me on my hips in order for me not to fall. I leaned back, and half way through I lost my balance and came back up again. Then Shirly, my yoga teacher told me assertively: "Ushma, you cannot change your mind mid way. DON'T CHANGE YOUR MIND MIDWAY." Somehow that moment stuck with me: I went down again, and managed to drop back into a perfect backbend. As soon as Shirly had said those words, I knew that these words were going to have more meaning to my life, than I could imagine in that moment. A couple of week's later, I quit my job and decided to pursue my passion and set up my own foundation in Europe. Only when you look back you realize what moments in your life lead to big decisions. I cannot say that I'm very comfortable and all well settled with the decision that I took, and there are moments of fear that cloud my mind so much, that pure terror exacerbates my whole being. But I was convinced to not change my mind, so I slowly allowed my mind to wander - if you would be able to set up your own foundation, what would it do? what would it be called? and most importantly why do you want to do this? I took it step by step, not giving myself any pressure of having to decide anything, but things happened: I read a book, and identified with a paragraph talking about how actions carry consequences. It reminded me of a domino effect or a ripple effect. It was like lightning, and I called my family, excited and happy: "I have the name of my organization: it'll be called ripple." The crucial day arrived, where I left my job and left Singapore, preparing to move back, I still wanted to experience the beauty of nature in Asia before I go back to Europe, so I planned to see my favorite singer J Balvin in Sydney, to see Vietnam and Thailand. I wanted to make sure that I'm close to nature, so I did my utmost for the budget that I set myself, to find ways to go to nature. In Thailand, at that time, somehow the flights were too expensive to anywhere but Bangkok. Because I love their culture, I decided to visit Bangkok. It's a city I wasn't excited to visit, considering it's reputation of being able to shop and party there. I love to shop and party, but that time was not the time for me. I still went. And I know now, why. This is a story to show you why I believe in the universe. You might call it coincidence, and that's ok. Just call me crazy about coincidences :) I love art, so while in Bangkok, I researched what art exhibitions there are at the moment. One exhibition caught my eye: it was called "destiny". The exhibition took you through different rooms. I was completely alone there, so it was beautiful, because I could take my time to move from one room to the next, and staff was always available for any questions I had. The exhibition looked at the definition of destiny, challenged the visitor to create their own definition, understanding the red thread through their own life - this was beautifully demonstrated with red threads hanging from the ceiling. Choosing one of four red threads, you had to follow that thread into a dark room. So dark, you couldn't see where you were going, and you had to completely trust the thin thread you were holding in your hand. You had to trust the thread to lead you to safety, to lead you in the right direction, because there are phases in your life, where you won't be able to see anything or do anything but trust the path. I thought it was a beautiful way to demonstrate that lesson to you. The next room I was lead into was a circular room. In the center of that room was a round table with lots of post cards. Those post cards were piled on top of each other - completely white, except that each card had a black number on them. In the center of the table were some instructions with a task: pick a card. I was born on the 17th January, so I picked a card with 17 written on it. Then I continued reading the instructions and saw at the bottom of the instructions, that said "make sure that it's random: you didn't chose when you were born". It hit me - it was like the instructions were specifically speaking to me, considering I just chose my birthday date. I quickly put back the card with the number 17. Took another round around the table, and I randomly found the card with the number 20 on it. I took the card in my hand, and was intrigued what this card was going to bring me.
The next room was a complete surprise: a huge room, with 30 canvases hanging from the ceiling, sorted in two rows (15 canvases on the left and 15 canvases on the right). The picture below demonstrates a bit better what the room looked like. I was taken aback by the beauty but decided to walk through all individual canvases, take in the picture, read the caption and the title patiently. I did that for all pictures. In the back of my mind I was curious about what the canvas number 20 would contain. I moved slowly from canvas to canvas. Would you like to guess what I saw when I came to canvas 20? You guessed it: the picture was titled Ripples with the statement "a drop of kindness fall into a pond and it surges forward into infinity." Here is the proof.
I find this a regular pattern in my life - signs that help me confirm that the path that I'm on is the right one? Even if you want to call these coincidences, like a child, I just like to be fascinated or in awe with these coincidences or, as I call it "signs from the universe". It's amazing right? A month after this incident, I went to a wedding in UK. After a very long time I met my cousin from Canada, she is a beautiful soul and the kindest human. She wanted to understand more about what I was planning on doing, so she listened attentively to my plans with rypple, and then (without me telling her the name of the foundation I had set), she told me "it starts with a drop, Ushma". boom. Even she was surprised by the relation of her statement "it starts with a drop" and the name I gave the foundation "rypple". For you maybe another coincidence, for me another sign :) I have so many more stories to tell you about how the universe guides you - with exciting things like these, or more frustrating scenarios that I hopefully learn from well, but also and most importantly content on how rypple intends to transform health systems. Humbly, I ask you dear reader, support rypple on this journey, pray for this vision of health and wealth for all to craft its way to reality. I promise that I will do my utmost to be true to this vision, changing the world for the better and not leaving one human behind while leading this transformation. With love,