Guest Author Feature – Balroop Singh – Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person

  Today’s guest feature is author/blogger and friend, Balroop Singh. She is a nonfiction writer and a poet.   I met Balroop through blogging when I found so many of her posts resonated with my own personal beliefs. Balroop is a beautiful spirit, and an eternal optimist despite weathering many storms in her past, and all of her books are based on her spiritual and inspirational writing. I recently had the pleasure of reading her latest book – Allow Yourself To Be a Better Person, (my review is here), and I knew, based on what she shares of herself and her experience that I would love that book and I look forward to eventually reading all of her books.   About Balroop: Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. Balroop lives in Danville, California.     Balroop’s latest book, Allow Yourself To Be a Better Person is Available at Amazon    Blurb: Do you think you are a good person? Would you like to meet your better self? Welcome to the vast vistas that this book unravels before you by highlighting the shaded areas that could never get your attention. Enhancement of personality is a long process, which starts only when we acknowledge the need for it. Often we detest looking at our imperfections and if somebody is professionally successful, the thought doesn’t even strike. This book enlightens you about the goodness, which lies dormant within us till we make an effort to explore it. It exhorts you to introspect and accept natural human failings. It guides you towards the metamorphosis that could make you an endearing personality.   Welcome Balroop and I’m happy to have you here today to enlighten us about yourself and your inspirational writing.   From conversations we’ve shared in comments and many of your posts and your poetry, I detect that your childhood wasn’t ideal. How did you learn to rise above and not fall prey to the negativity you encountered?   Whenever I hear this song – “Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance, I wanna grow up again”…tears well up in my eyes and my heart can feel the pang concealed in this verse. I know there are children who don’t have a perfect childhood even today and when I look at them or read their stories, I tell myself…I was okay. It is quite difficult to share layers of darkness that shroud me but I lost my father to a road accident when I was 12 and you can understand how challenging life could be for us. I grew up in the cauldron of circumstances, adversities molded my personality and my mother’s determination steeled me. I learned all the lessons of life by encountering them head on and negativity was a very little element in the face of setbacks that I saw at a very young age. When you tell yourself what could be worse than what we have, negativity dare not touch you!   Your writing is not only beautiful but filled with such wisdom about human emotions. What kind of experiences did you encounter in life when you were younger that inspired you to write books?   Who cares about human emotions? Do people understand them? Is it essential to display them when they can be read through one’s eyes? Many such questions haunted me when I was told to grieve. ‘How dare you smile or laugh’…was the perpetual message! Societal norms, judgmental people and a feeling of emptiness encompassed me during the most impressionable years of growing up. I did put up a brave front, telling myself that it must be the way of the world. Moments of joy around me were snatched away by those who chose to live in sorrow but I learnt very early that emotions could never be suppressed; it is better to accept them, embrace them and conduct a meaningful dialogue with them. Some of them were shoved into the obscure corners of my mind, which crept out when I learnt to deal with them. All these now find way into my books, making a natural spring of emotional resilience.    Most of your writing and poetry is based on human emotions and inspirational and uplifting prose. What inspires your poetry?   Probably I am too sensitive and intuitive. Even small incidents of misery, oppression, injustice, discrimination and violence around me pursue my thoughts till I decant them into words of my choice. Emotions have imprisoned me, ruled me and tried to smother me but I channelized them and poured them into my poetry. A somber solace pervades around me now! When I published my first book of poetry ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life’, I sent it to my friends. One of my school friends who had not been in touch with me rang me up and asked me – ‘is everything ok in your life?’ When I replied in affirmative, she said she got worried as many of my poems are submerged in grief!   You write with such depth and knowing of the human psyche. Did your background in education involve studies in psychology, or did you accumulate your insights from observing and your own experiences?   I could never get the opportunity to choose Psychology as a subject of study though I would have loved to delve deeper into human psyche through a systematic study. Most of my insights and perceptions were gathered from observation and analysis of people who meet us in various garbs and gears. The study of Literature, discussion of diverse characters and their motives, critical analysis of poetry and drama must have developed my interest and ability. I have spent a major chunk of my life amongst youngsters of the age group 15 – 17 years; their intrepid and unassuming reactions, their idealism, aspirations and their buoyant, ever-inspiring energy further honed my skills of getting into the skin of various kinds of people around us.   When do you think was the pivotal point in your life that inspired you to begin writing books?   There comes a point in life when we discover we have plenty of time, when you arrive at a station, which welcomes you with your solitude and inspires you to start afresh, when one phase of life gets over and you realize you have a lot inside you…that was my point of awakening. My girls flew away overseas for further study and a deluge of emotional outburst resulted in my first poetry book. One of my friends told me ‘this is just the tip of the iceberg!’ It was indeed!   What advice would you give us about how we can work to free our souls from emotional, negative chains that keep us bound to people that aren’t bringing any positivity to our lives?   Negative and emotional chains are very subtle and deceptive. They absorb more energy and often walk away victorious, testing our patience and strength yet they ennoble us, tame our ego, thereby transforming us into humble human beings. However hard you try, you wont be able to knock negativity out of your lives. You have to deal with it – self-talk, introspection, detachment and writing your reactions down often helps. All those hurts, the agony, the emotional throttling gets assuaged when we pour it out, when we weave a wreath of words to be placed on those buried memories, when we share it in the form of a poem, a story or a book that we write. Freedom starts the moment we pen down our thoughts. We feel relieved. We learn to forgive. We rise above human imperfections.   What advice would you like to share with us about building and maintaining healthy, emotional relationships?   I have written a book about ‘Emotional Truths of Relationships’…here is an excerpt that answers your question: Relationships have to be nurtured slowly and carefully, their brittleness is felt only when they are on the verge of falling apart. Take care of the words you use. They act like arrows, words spoken in anger or frustration cause deep wounds, which never heal. It may not be always easy to control your rancor but prudent are those who think before they speak. Many loving relationships break up due to arrogance of establishing supremacy, whether it is your spouse or sibling. If you think you have the capability to control, you are seriously mistaken. Self-respect and freedom is dear to all. When we pretend to be loving and affectionate but our actions and words are not in consonance with what we pose to be, such relationships never grow well. Do you think people are so dumb that they can’t see through your sham? If you expect others to respect you, don’t forget they too expect the same. Hurting their self-esteem can boomerang. Lack of respect for each other is a slow slayer of relationships! We all possess human frailties, which are either inherent or picked up from the environment. Nobody is born perfect…we learn from each other. All we need is the will to improve our relationships. Blaming our past or our parents who could not give us the best of this world will not make us better human beings. Our own efforts would.    Your book, Allow Yourself To Be a Better Person offers much insight on traits and habits of our personalities in which many are formed from our backgrounds and upbringings, shedding light on how we can overcome the negative traits and build a more stable and happier sense of self. Would you please share an excerpt with us?   Sure! Here is an excerpt from my latest book:   There was a time when I never gave a thought to becoming a better person as I considered myself to be ‘the best.’ Probably we all think like that! At the threshold of youth, we are too vain and self-centered, living in the world of our dreams and friends…a blessed domain of self-absorption, of freedom… devoid of any fetters that link us to societal norms. Then I came across William Faulkner’s observation: “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” Better than myself? But ‘I am the best,’ I told myself! The arrogance of this thought hit me hard when I met my husband. I hardly knew him as he was ushered into my life as a prospective groom who had been chosen for me. I was told ‘he is the best!’ But that is another story. I am glad I soon realized that we all have some imperfections, which we refuse to reflect on. I discovered that each personality could be enhanced. I learned that self-enhancement is the dream of almost all people…areas may differ. I also learnt that what holds us back is our own ego, which talks to us in hyperboles. We can only become a better person if we have the inclination and the resolve, only if we accept that life is a learning curve and all experiences add something to our personality.   Debbie, I would like to extend my gratitude to you for providing me this awesome opportunity of sharing my works with you. I love your benevolence and amiable nature of taking such an initiative.   Thank you … Continue reading Guest Author Feature – Balroop Singh – Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person