Sunday, March 1, 2015

Vironika Tugaleva, Interview #211

Your Name:
Vironika Tugaleva
Where you live:
Nowhere specific. I'm on a permanent-address-less journey at the moment. I'm a citizen of the world.

What you do as a vocation or avocation? I am an author, coach, and speaker

Your two favorite books: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Prisig,  Island by Aldous Huxley

Your two favorite songs: That changes on a regular basis, but at the moment I'd say: I am Light by India Arie and Lateralus by Tool.

Why you are interested in spirituality? 
Accidentally, really. I was a die-hard skeptic and cynic, stuck in the box of empirical tradition, always believing I knew the "truth". I accumulated so many wounds over the years - trauma, addiction, self-hatred - I eventually had a mental breakdown. In that time, I found something deeper within me. It wasn't until much later, after I started trying to understand what was happening to me, that I discovered the entire field of spirituality. Now, I don't know what my life would be without this deeper self-understanding.

Your favorite quote:
This also changes, and there are so many! This one is probably the most poignant for me, as a teacher, right now:
     You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You. 
     Nothing seemed right. 
     What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean. 
     Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. 
     It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
     So I've brought you a mirror.
     Look at yourself and remember me."
 Your favorite web sites: I love writing for TinyBuddha, Elephant Journal, MindBodyGreen, and HighExistence. I founded a project called The Real Us, where people share their stories of healing, authenticity, kindness, and courage. I always love reading those. I try to keep my own website an enlightening place for people to visit as well. You can find that here:

Your hero? Honestly, my partner. I met him after a few months of deep healing and he's been here for this whole amazing journey I've been on. He's helped me face demons I couldn't face alone. He helped me see past my self-imposed limitations. He believed in me when I quit my job, when I wrote a book, when I went public. He's been here every step of the way, not just as a support system, but as a fellow traveller on the journey of self-discovery and courage. I've watched him change and evolve, and he's done the same for me. Now, we've both shed our day jobs and are setting off to go travel the world, learn the mysteries of life, and appreciate each other even more. He's my everyday hero. He's what makes this fun.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? At the moment, I'm learning about the balance between unconditional giving and self-care. I'm learning what it means to give without making it into a transaction, while still respecting myself as a human being with my own needs. It's a funny balance. I'm learning that, while I am powerful and beautiful and interconnected on a spiritual level, I do still have to honour this human experience. I have to respect my form, right here, right now, instead of playing martyr (like I sometimes do).

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Eyes, human eyes, wherever I meet them. And nature. All nature. Unless it's that fake pseudo-nature at the mall.

Editor's note: Vironika is the author of the award-winning, bestselling book The Love Mindset and  Founder of The Real Us. You can find Vironika on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.