What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration to write “Kindness on a Budget,” came from my twin brother, Jamie, who said “Sue, you need to write this all down because its important and will help other people SEE what is possible in daily acts of kindness.”
Secondly, from the “Secret Garden” I started long ago, off a service road, that united so many people from every background imaginable in search of , perhaps, “connection.” I wrote the book for ALL of them too. 🙂
What is the theme of your book?
The theme of my book is daily acts of kindness, which can be a word, a note, a gesture, and/or a gift. The message is any act of kindness done daily (mindfully/consciously) creates a benefit to both giver & receiver alike and therefore, I humbly believe, energetically raises our precious planet’s frequency & vibration.
Who did you have in mind as you wrote your book?
In writing this inspiring & uplifting little book, I had in mind all the people on our precious planet & how important sharing the gift of spreading kindness daily is.
I was deeply blessed & honored to spend time with my greatest influence & spiritual teacher Yogi Bhajan who always said, “Unless you see God in all, you can’t see God at all.” He was right on!
How has your study with Yogi Bhajan influenced your life and teachings?
My close connection with my Dear Dear spiritual teacher Yogi Bhajan influenced my life & teachings profoundly. Yogiji would tell me as a young woman in her late 20’s that I was a “fully conscious being,” Of course, then I did not fully understand the implications of his sharing & yet I felt his words to be true even then. He would often have me in his living room as a guest with 10-12 people and ask me what I thought of someone. I would answer what I saw and then after would be told by many I should not have answered!
Yogi Bhajan was training me to be confident enough to withstand the push/pull of the Ego wanting to hide into the background.
I believe he gifted me with strength, courage and an unbridled heart that he recognized was kind, even if I wasn’t sure at times.
Yogi Bhajan was an Aquarian teacher. He was strong, fierce, commanding, gentle, loving and for me the kindest person I had ever known all the days of my life then and now.
I could write volumes & volumes of the impact Yogi Bhajan had on me as a student, mother, wife and community leader.
What mostly pierced the finer lining of my heart’s soul was his steadfast commitment to me, Peter—my husband, my 3 children— Zach, Haley & Riley and that I just be steady or in my grace which took me 2 decades to embody!
In my early 30’s I was Yogiji’s informal gardener for his Los Angeles properties, Yoga West and The Guru Ram Das Ashram. He would say” Suzie, when you garden, it connects the heavens on Earth.”
I never missed one moment with Yogiji to say thank you, to sit near him, hug him, learn from this vastly DIVINE & RADIANT soul…as shy as I was in some ways, I just knew in my heart our time was super special.
My husband, Peter, and I never really knew the details of the titles of who Yogi Bhajan was until many, many years after his passing. I suppose its because it didn’t matter because he was just this exceptional and magnificent being who mattered to me, my husband, Zach, Haley & Riley.
He was kind to the core with a heart of solid platinum infused with the rarest gem stones undiscovered on our planet. That is who he was for me. I felt at home just hearing his voice and no I didn’t fully understand why, yet trusted my heart that would have traveled by donkey for endless miles to be near this deeply kind-hearted soul, my spiritual teacher.
I was honored to address the Los Angeles Guru Ram Das Ashram/Sangat during Gudwara on Sunday, October 4, 2015 on the very Dharmic message of kindness as it pertains to both my book’s contents and our world. As tremendously nervous as I was at this somewhat daunting task as a non-turban Westerner, I KNEW Yogi Bhajan would expect me to do it from my heart.
At first, I was visibly shaking scanning the room and seeing so many of the people I treasured and saw frequently when Yogi Bhajan was alive. I drew strength and comfort seeing Guru Singh, Guru Johda, Kirtan Singh, Manjit Kaur, Dr. Allan, Siri Simran, Mahani…so many people I shared the journey with which by no means was the easiest route I could have chosen to trek down!
I finished sharing about the value daily acts of kindness has on all of us and after the close of gudwara we all sat in the langar hall next door. People shared with me that “we really needed this message that you delivered from the heart.” I just said thank you and for a few brief moments felt as if Yogi Bhajan was right next to me, the whole time, just as he was all those years and I wept in gratitude.
I asked the Sangat (community) to please join me in a prayer Yogiji gave in 1998
“My soul, bless me, be with me. Energize me so I can face the world with the strength of the Spirit. Save me from duality, give me the reality and royalty, so I can face my world in peace and tranquility. May this journey of life be completed with love and affection, kindness and compassion for all living things.” ~ Yogi Bhajan 1-23-1998
What do you say to people who become discouraged with all of the war and anger in the world?
Healing is possible with one person doing their own inner work and mindfully & consciously committing to daily acts of kindness.
I am more & more sure that this may be the answer to so many of our world problems because when one is serving another through kindness, all things become neutralized and therefore peace is possible.
What is your own daily spiritual practice?
As soon as I am awake before getting out of my bed I say thank you, thank you, thank you as “an attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga,” (Yogi Bhajan) and therefore sets the energetic stage for the day.
I next take a fairly cold shower and do sadhana which consists of prayers, chanting and meditation in front of my very large Tratakum picture of Yogi Bhajan.
What last thoughts would you like to leave our readers with?
Try doing just one act of kindness daily. See, feel and become consciously/mindfully in tune or aware of how much better you feel despite whatever challenges or hardships you are facing. Notice the softening or dropping deeper into your heart. Your soul, I believe, will say thank you.
In gratitude for this opportunity to share with all of you today.
May your days be blessed with the sweet ambrosial nectar that is delivered to the hearts core when one is kind on a daily basis Dear Ones (S.E.A)
Suzie (Harijot) Abels
Suzie Abels is a beacon of love and giving for her family, friends and community. She lives life to its fullest, opens her heart to strangers and loved ones alike and has left a lasting footprint of inspiration on her path to spread kindness. Residing in Orange County, Suzie is the devoted mother of Zach, Haley and Riley and the proud wife of Peter.