Design-in-self

What I sought to create, I found inside myself.

11 years ago (feels like lightyears), for my architectural thesis I designed CeSRON- the Center for Self Reflection, Otherness and Narcissism. A building designed to be a mirror for our inner space.

Little did I know I would create Come to Center, a live mirror that does just that, or that I would end up becoming that mirror myself for others, down the line. 

This surreal project was a celebration of, in a very tongue n cheek way- the obsolescence of self-awareness- before I had heard of transformation, awakening, healing, or any of the work I do now- ALL of which is about self-awareness.

I was fascinated by the race riots in Detroit- and in studying, and considering what led to the violence and deep separation between people, I saw very clearly, how the inner division leads to outer conflict. I was just so curious about the moment at which a child looks in the mirror and says- “me”. 

I spent final year of architecture school studying Lacan and Jung and Heiddeger and falling in love with Gordon Matta Clark…. I had a hay day questioning everything in a way that ultimately led to transcending my discipline of design and architecture altogether, when staring at the face of human suffering. 

What supported this inquiry was a reflection from my professor- I had finally found one person who saw my hunger for the edges of knowledge, and encouraged me to go all out-wherever you are Rupinder Singh I am so deeply grateful for our time together spent in joyous explorations of the depths of art, architecture, meaning, connection and dissection of life itself! For hiding my keys to get me out of hiding in the bottomless pit that was opening up as I got closer to facing existential truths. You weren’t just a teacher, you were a healer to me.

I didn’t know it then, but the questions alive in all these drawings are: What is the root of separation?

How did we become people? What got made into a self? Who am I? What is this? I even labeled the diagrams things like (my favorite) “Labyrinthine search for self”, never suspecting any of this had to with Spirituality.

And the thing is, I knew then, that all this, is really the search for our center. I just hadn’t seen I was literally searching for my self and that the answers lay within me, and that I could trust all that which I knew, but couldn’t understand. 

That took time. It took living in inquiry and eventually turning inwards.

It took facing the pain of my own inner separation, seeing through the trap of needing to understand things that lay beyond the confines of the mind.

As they say, hindsight is 20-20! Of course it adds up. Having looked in the mirror long and hard, coming to face myself over the years, now I have become the mirror I once set out to design.

Everyday, I hold a mirror to reflect back the truth, power and wisdom that lies within my clients, their shadows, their light and everything in between. In deep inquiry, I appeal to something that lies beyond my clients’ intellects to allow them to step outside the confines of their minds- diving into their conditioning, their traumas to find freedom within.

The journey of personal healing paves the path for our collective transformation. 

I often say, everything is everything- all forms reflect the One. What appears to be separate, is a facet of difference, not separation.

From the outside it may seem like I am doing transformational work, business consulting, designing a building, painting a painting, writing a poem or telling a story… 

From the inside, it’s always been about one thing- falling ever more deeply into loving exploration of myself, and life itself!

Say yes to YOUR life!

You need not betray yourself to be successful in life. In fact, a successful life can only manifest when you live authentically, from your Truth.

A little encouragement for listening to that inner knowingness….

I know sooo many people who are “in transition” right now. This is most commonly manifested as switching careers in our generation, but if you look more deeply at the unrest that drives it, the transition permeates all aspects of the being…mental, emotional and even spiritual…because all aspects are of the one.

Sometimes it’s hard to know which way to go. Old beliefs, fears, structures don’t serve, but the new, almost become, luring and inviting, can seem scary.

In these pregnant moments of self growth, be bold my friends! Be Courageous! Use these words, know the worth of living a life ALIGNED!

A collection of wisdom by Winslow Strong-

“If you bring forth what is within you it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.”

Thomas Merton

“And what, precisely, is destroyed? Energy is destroyed first. Those shining eyes. And then faith. And then hope. And then life itself. The increasing deadening of aliveness that Brian experienced as he went into the seminary is the very opposite of Jane Goodall’s experience. When a life is founded on self-betrayal, the habit of self-betrayal proliferates until we are at peril of not remembering who we are at all. There is a slow deadening of spirit as we try to pick up the burdens of adulthood without the energy of The Gift. Our work can be motivated by obligation, by hunger for the external rewards of accomplishment, or by strongly reinforced ideas about who we should be in this lifetime. But none of these motivations has the authentic energy required for mastery of a profession. So, all of these motivations lead slowly to a downward spiral that tends to crash, as it did with Brian, at midlife. Without the balm of real fulfillment there is a growing emptiness inside. Finally, it requires a heroic effort to simply go on with life in the face of this emptiness. The light in the eyes goes out.”

Stephen Cope