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Aneesah Bakker

Owner/Director/Developer, Creative Change Coaching

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Our greatest gift is our capacity to have insights, epiphanies and aha moments!

What is an epiphany?

Please share your thoughts on epiphany, insight, aha moments, synchronicity, serendipity.

Where do they come from?

A related TED talk is by Elise Ballard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dJFoTAbL0ko


How has your insight changed your life?

Do you have a quote on insights, a lesson learned, a mantra you live by because of insights you have had!

Insights are described as a gift.
When I listen to TED talks, I have noticed that many of the speakers are who they are and share the message they share, because of an epiphany/insight.

Insights are triggered/created in many ways, whether from profound crisis or listening to someone's story. What has sparked your insight?

Can one prepare for insights? If so, how?

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    May 20 2012: Insight ...Aha moment pops up only in an open and relentlessly curious mind backed up by reflection......

    No comparison of the people who told ....following mantras I found great to keep curiosity awake.....

    "Know Thyself"............
    "Stay hungry, stay foolish"...........
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    May 16 2012: Aneesah,
    I was raised in the Catholic church. My mother and father both believed in purgatory. That belief would have a serious effect on me. At age eight, I suffered second degree burns on both hands due to an accident. Later, my mother would relate that accident to the pains of hell. On that day my life would change. I no longer cared what people believed. I now wanted to know why they believed it.
    For the next few months, I questioned my Sunday school teachers on everything that they taught. Then one day a nun called me aside and told me that I needed to get alone with God and ask him the questions and let him answer, that my teachers were not able to answer my questions. At the age of nine, I had an epiphany while meditating on God. I felt like the spirit was saying to me, if you want to know who the creator is, look at what is doing the creating. I saw the basics of quantum mechanics eleven years before I would receive any instruction on the subject. They are everywhere. They are invisible. They are all powerful. they are the source from which all things come and back to where they go. They are the stuff of all that is, or was, or ever will be.
    Throughout my life, the spirit has guided me to learn more and more about what that all means. It has given me a window into a world that few have ever seen.

    Where do epiphanies come from? They come from within. Quanum fields are the same throughout the cosmos. Our brains are made up of them. They are the blueprint from which the universe evolves. In deep meditation, we can come to know things not apparent.

    How do you prepare for insights? Get away from the noise of life. Believe that there is something greater that can be understood by the human mind. Meditate on a particular question, and believe that the cosmos can answer that question. The answer may not come to you the way you expect. God works in strange ways. Be prepared to think outside of the box. Don't expect immediate results. Be patient for the answer.
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      May 16 2012: Roy, I too learned at a young age to go within. I greatly appreciate your contribution.

      Yes, I believe in meditating on a particular question. I experiment with different types of questioning and believe it is an art in itself... ask an empowering and powerful question when one wants an empowering and powerful answer... they come from within and are an intricate part of our creativity. A question that owns our personal power and takes responsibility to be open to the answer and "act" on it.
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    May 13 2012: Isaac Newton had more than a few moments of clarity. He said, "If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than any other talent."
    Orator and author Edwin Chapin said, " Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link, into the great chain of order."
    I think we would do well to exercise Newton's patient attention as we watch for Chapin's seeming anomalies. We can argue which is the greatest gift bestowed by the Giver of gifts, but thanks for a provocative question Ms. Bakker.
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      May 13 2012: Dear Edward,

      beautiful, thank you.

      "patient attention" - yes I think consciousness, awareness, mindfulness and "practice" makes the difference.

      I am creating a new mantra this week to remind me of this: Notice, Accept, Affirm!

      and, " Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link, into the great chain of order."
      Well, this is music to my ears, so eloquently expressed. Beautiful and clear in itself, provocative too. I find the word anomaly interesting, like "exceptional?" or perhaps, out of the ordinary? - which is in itself a paradox, no?

      "Giver of gifts" - I have never heard that term before and am going to embrace it fully.

      and, you are welcome. Contributions like yours is what inspires me :-)
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    May 12 2012: Aaaaaha!
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    May 12 2012: I see a new Aneesah, the philosopher. I really like your approach to the changes you entered. Home is where the heart is. Epiphanies can either be philosophical or literal. It all fell into place in his mind .... or I found the last piece of the puzzle and can see the whole picture. It is my thought that these moments come after long hours of thought and effort.

    As a non-drinker and non-play around person I was often asked to drive friends who want to drink and chase. I told them I would drive but if ever asked I would not lie for them to their wives and significant others. Later I was asked to be a person they could have their wives call when they were not home and the wife needed help. This was in the military. By being honest and up front we gained a mutual respect that still lives today.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with "acceptance". I saw many of my friends (as a kid) lie to their parents and saw both rewards and punishments for their lies. I decided in my early teens that lying was to hard to control and that I want to live a more honorable and simplier life. That has always served me well. I know who I am and that is the highest form of acceptance. My mantra RETURN WITH HONOR All the best. Bob
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      May 12 2012: Dear Robert,

      I really enjoy my conversations with you! (I was born a philosopher (lol), reading Carl Jung, Freud and others at 11 already - I would walk one hour to a library, librarians loved me!)

      When I look at my various life-changing epiphanies, they have something in common... TRUTH

      When I was 11, I had a dream, I was giving a speech to thousands of people, about... you would never guess! Truth! Truth was the topic of my talk. I woke up remembering every part and word of this talk and this was to me an epiphany.

      It was such an incredible connection and powerful visceral knowing that I can still "feel" it to this day. I have such an incredible respect for truth and first and foremost being honest with myself. This has shaped me in my thinking to such an extent that I value congruence, alignment and paradox... and these words and sentiments are an intricate part of my language and mindfulness.

      Regarding congruent, my mantra is "creating congruent connections"

      Regarding paradox, my mantra is: understanding the best of both worlds and even better!
      For me arriving at such understandings is insight, aha and epiphany... and is only possible from "long hours and effort"

      All the best to you too, Robert!
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    May 18 2012: Emily McManus taught me a trick on how to search for TED talks that mention the words epiphany, aha, eureka, insights and the like. I will list some of my favorite discoveries here. This is here trick:
    I'll tell you one of my secret tricks -- using a Google search with this exact syntax:

    epiphany "video on ted.com" site:ted.com

    where "epiphany" can be whatever word you're looking for. This search will return the transcript of each talk that contains the word. It's pretty magical!


    1. The first one and I am listening to it right now, powerful and couldn't be more appropriate:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from.html

    To quote Steven "Chance favors the connected mind"

    and this talk connected me to a TED conversation...

    2. http://www.ted.com/conversations/10318/what_is_the_most_defining_mome.html
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    May 12 2012: My dear Aneesah,
    You were reading Jung and Freud at age 11??? You are WAY ahead of me darlin'...I didn't get there until I was a young adult:>)

    As you know, I have many quotes and mantras which I use as guides in the life journey...just as you do:>)

    One that popped into my mind with your idea as presented.......
    "The winds of Grace are blowing all the time.
    It is up to us to raise our sails"
    (Ramakrishna)

    To me, epiphany, insight and aha moments, are those times when I catch just the right wind in my sails, and I KNOW I am on a good course. I truly believe that the winds of grace (information) is available to us at all times. It is up to us to be aware of wind directions, what course we want to be on, how and why we can adjust our sails to take us in the direction we want to go. If we don't know how to run the boat and adjust the sails (our body/mind), the life adventure can be more challenging. When we DO know ourselves, know how to use the equipment (the body/mind), and are ready, willing and eager to adjust the sails to catch the wind, the life adventure is more enjoyable:>)

    You ask..."Can one prepare for insights? If so, how? What has sparked your insight?"
    My answer....Yes, one can be prepared simply by being open minded/open hearted and be ready to receive, in every single moment without expectations. Be ready to catch the wind and adjust the sails. It is a gift we can give to ourselves:>)
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      May 12 2012: Expect the unexpected!... letting go, trust, relax, open, receive

      I like the patterns that are being revealed

      ps. It seemed so natural to me to be reading all that at 11! I am a species unto myself lol!
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        May 17 2012: Aneesah,
        Honestly, I don't believe you are a species unto yourself....I think/feel that I am related to you:>)

        So, this topic question you ask is very much related to your other discussion..."What's the best choice you have made"......is it not? Well, I perceive EVERYTHING to be related, and that feels very natural to me....probably to you too huh?

        The patterns of my thought/feeling process are built on my perception of life as an adventurous exploration, so how could I NOT recognize insights, epiphanies and aha moments? It is these moments that move me to explore more and more of the life journey.

        The choices to trust, be honest, compassionate, relax, open, give and recieve without expectations and WITH unconditional love simply create possibilities to experience insights, epiphanies and aha moments, and it seems silly to deny oneself that adventure....what do you think/feel about this?
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          May 17 2012: Colleen, Soul Sisters! :-) I certainly feel the connection.

          Yes, I agree, everything is related, and this conversation on epiphany and insights is intricately connected to my conversation on best choice. One of the reasons being, such ahas, and the like have such a profound, life changing effect that they do shape our beliefs and how we navigate our perceptions of choice, the choices that we make and how we not only make them but how we feel about them (once we've made them, no matter what the outcome)


          I see a correspondence between these thoughts of mine and what you say : "The choices to trust, be honest, compassionate, relax, open, give and recieve without expectations and WITH unconditional love simply create possibilities to experience insights, epiphanies and aha moments, and it seems silly to deny oneself that adventure....what do you think/feel about this?"

          I actually keep an insight journal and love talking about synchronicity and the like... it is such an amazing adventure that I find it to be irresistible!

          I recently watched an episode of Oprah's Life Class, and believe it or not, Perez Hilton spoke of the epiphanies that led him to see what a vicious person he had been and how he was now turning his life around... he calls them "aha-orgasms!"

          Here is the link to the conversation
          http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Celebrity-Blogger-Perez-Hiltons-Newfound-Purpose-Video
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        May 20 2012: Aneesah,
        I watched the video. I LOVE Deepak Chopra's reaction! Perez Hilton seems to be doing what many people do after making a discovery about themselves or life. He is basically saying...this is it...I had my insight, epiphanies, aha moments...now I am enlightened and I'm going to teach everyone else what I know. Deepak Chopra, of course, has been teaching for many years, AND he also recognizes that we are all teachers AND students in this earth school:>)

        As soon as a person thinks s/he "knows" everything...or has "got it", s/he may stop exploring, and try to teach everyone that what they have discovered is "right". For me, the human life exploration continues as long as I am in human form, and I would not deny myself that opportunity in favor of saying I know it all now!!!

        I don't know anything about Hilton and his previous life. If he was vicious and has now changed his behavior, that's a good thing. I see that video as entertainment, and nothing much beyond that:>)

        I agree...it is an amazing adventure, and I too love to observe synchronicity. When we are open to possibilities, we experience more and more of it. When we are "stuck" in anger, frustration, regret, discontent, or any other fear based emotion, we block the possibility for new information, which may facilitate new insight:>)
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          May 20 2012: Hi Colleen,

          This does highlight a whole lot of other aspects around ahas, insights and such moments of enlightenment...

          especially when one's insights lead to radical change, people may be skeptical... and rightly so, when they go by a person's track record. The person experiencing the epiphany and being called to change their lives have a natural desire to take it as far as it will go... and to share what they have learned.

          This probably is similar to the effect that is "one teaches what one most needs to learn".

          In such shows, the power can be lost in the "hype", the over-presentation and marketing that seems to accompany it... it is too polished rather than fresh!

          Our calling is to be open to new insights and when we receive them, to notice them and practice what we have learned... As an advocate of The Hero's Journey, I think part of embracing these gifts "the ultimate boon" includes a responsibility to rise to a new challenge of sharing this gift.... playing it forward!
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          May 20 2012: Colleen, If I was choosing a workshop, or mentor, I would choose Deepak over Perez at the blink of an eye! To be a mentor, it's important to walk one's talk...

          For the newly initiated, the "teaching" can be a distraction, when the journey first and foremost needs to be the inner journey with the inner challenges and the initiate is better off investing one's resources of time, energy, etc. there! Most definitely!
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        May 20 2012: I agree Aneesah..."the person experiencing the epiphany and being called to change their lives have a natural desire to take it as far as it will go", and I also agree that we often teach what we need to learn.

        Sharing information, or having the mind set that one is going to "teach" everyone what they "think" they know, seem very different to me....does it to you? With the idea of "Taking it as far as it will go", it's important to understand that we can take it farther into ourselves. Taking it as far as it will go does not always mean taking it "out there".

        Deepak Chopra, for example, lives what he teaches...to the best of my understanding from watching videos he has produced and reading his books. Hilton? Not so much:>) If someone is trying to teach me something, I first say...show me...be what you say...walk the talk. I don't listen too well to someone who goes to a weekend workshop, and is then going to show me what enlightenment is. I simply find that to be amusing:>) Hilton didn't say anything about sharing what he has discovered. He says his mission is to "teach" everyone.
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    May 11 2012: When I left SA to come to Holland, it was an incredible culture shock... and learning experience. Once the honeymoon phase was over, I felt pretty lost and disconnected from myself. Psychologists probably would have explained it as stress... new husband, new baby (post-partum depression), left job, new house, new country, no family, death in family, and the list goes on.

    However, the reality was, something had to change. I am not sure how, perhaps I was asking the right questions of myself, ... but something just "clicked". I can't even identify the exact moment this happened. It dawned on me that if anything was going to change, I had to be the change!

    Part of this realization was that I was unlikely to ever return to live in SA, having married a Dutch Diplomat, the world was now going to be my home... normal was now changing country every 3 to 4 years and only knowing 6 to 8 months before as to where I will be living.

    Acceptance... I created a mantra "life goes on... only differently!". I have given interviews on homesickness and how to turn this around and I write a blog on "being at home, wherever you are.... because you take yourself with you". This is one of those realizations and turning points that has changed my life!