While in India, we had the great good fortune to have Dr. Madan Vishwakarma as our personal tour guide.  Besides being a guide, he was a teacher and – by the end of our 6 days trip with him – a friend.

We learned much about the complex and multifaceted realities that make up India from him.

One word and concept that has stuck with me – and has a real connect to The Power of TED* – is the Sanskrit word and term, Sanskara (pronounced Sans-car-ah).  Madan encouraged us to observe the people we interacted with and to sense their Sanskara – the “aura” of their character.

Several definitions and statements from Wikipedia capture the concept Madan was conveying.  Sanskaras are, “imprints left on the subconscious by experiences…which determine and condition one’s desires and actions… Once acquired and accumulated, (they) form what can be compared to a lens through which the subjective aspects of our experience arise. Thus when we perceive (either thoughts or external objects) we apperceive those objects through the lens of past experience. We perceive through the imprint or conditioning of past impressions or sanskaras.”

The Sanskara of those who live in and through the lens of the Victim Orientation is one of a focus on problems and resulting reactivity – as well as interacting with others through the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT) roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.  Drama defines the “aura” that they project, whether it is through complaining, blaming or fixing others.

On the other hand, those who have adopted a Creator Orientation and embody TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) roles of Creator, Challenger and Coach have a much different Sanskara.  Their experience and perceptions are based on possibility and empowered action – and the support of others in doing the same.