An Inward Journey: Letting Go.

An Inward Journey: Journal Series- Introduction.

An Inward Journey: Journal Series- HE is Everywhere!

An Inward Journey: Letting Go.

I thought I am letting go off things.
I did let go my first rattle, my first toy,
My first book and my favorite dress.

I thought I am letting go off people.
I did let go my best friends, my grandpa,
My first crush and my favorite teacher.

I thought I am letting go off places.
I did move out of my first home, my own room,
My secret hiding spot and my favorite park.

I thought I am letting go off my emotions.
I did slowly let go my fears, my anxieties,
My biggest inhibition and my over possessiveness.

But, what I just discovered, disturbed me;
I have let go one thing only to cling on to another.
I have replaced one person by another.
I have switched one place with another.
I have overpowered one emotion by another.

How Do You Let Go then? Actually Let Go.
Not just replace one by another,
But let go and not have any.


When I was looking around for an answer to this dilemma, I came across a beautiful thought by Sri Ramana Maharshi. It read:

“Think of God; attachments will gradually drop away. If you wait till all desires disappear before starting your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait for a very long time indeed.”

It was such an apt message for my state of mind. 

God can be that supreme power that we believe in. That power can have a form or no form depending on how we perceive it and what we have trained our mind to believe in. It is not easy for sure. But atleast when our mind seems extremely disturbed by the desires, the attachments and the inability to let go, this is something we can try.

Rather than trying to pick up every spec of dust on the floor, get a bucket of water and pour it on the floor. Don’t worry about the dust because the water can take care of it.

Over a period of time there can be more dust accumulated but then, we have our water handy! 🙂

 

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An Inward Journey: Journal Series- HE is Everywhere!

An Inward Journey: Journal Series- Introduction.

 

He Is Everywhere! 

I live in a pretty crowded part of the world. The sheer number of people around you can sometimes be overwhelming. I started looking at people are mere crowd creators. I knew I had to get over this feeling because it was having a negative impact on me.  HOW could I help myself was my question.
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There are days when you wake up with a different kind of energy. Sometimes you just know that it is going to be a very productive day. For some of us, who celebrate a lot of festivals, most of the festival days are very special. The rituals and festivities apart, the inner energy itself is very different.

One such festival day, i woke up with a wonderful feeling. During the preparations and meditation, I knew I would find an answer today.

So with this thought in mind, I went about my chores of the festival day. When it was all over, I took out a spiritual book and wished for a message for me in the page that I open to read. I have done this very often. But this time, I did it with a different energy.

I opened the book and read out a story in it. The summary of the story is as follows: An old devotee was sitting on the floor with her legs stretched towards the direction where The Lord was sitting. Another (younger) devotee saw this and asked her to fold her legs else it might seem disrespectful. The old lady who was an enlightened soul and knew what she was doing asked the younger devotee, ” Is that so? Tell me in which direction is HE not present? ” She then turned her leg to another direction and to the surprise of the younger devotee, The Lord also shifted to that direction. The Lord got shifted to which ever direction she turned her legs to.

The moral of this story being ” Where is HE not present? ”

It was such an eye opener to me. I found my answer right there. I have to just remember that HE is present EVERYWHERE in EVERYONE and in ME. Isn’t that thought and that realization enough to make ME look at anyone and everyone with respect and gratitude.

I shall not elaborate it and spoil the very essence of that statement.

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I still live in a very crowded place. But I look at the people around me as respectful human beings who are here to fulfill their life journey. I feel happy to see how hardworking people are. They don’t fill me with negativity anymore.


The same story can give you a different insight. Please feel free to leave your comments with regard to this topic.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

Love Galore

Theme 1: First Love.

As she ran her fingers down his soft curly tresses;
He slowly opened his eyes for the very first time.
He looked into those big beautiful eyes;
And saw himself there for the very first time.

Theme 2: Love Drops

The cracks on earth seemed too big to handle;
The rain filled it up in no time, drop by drop.
The thirst to know initially seemed unquenchable;
Experiences in life took care of it, one by one.

Theme 3: Eternal Love.

Some keep asking; some are just quiet.
But all of them get what is best for them.
How does HE keep track of all his children.
That I guess is why HE is not understood by many.

Theme 4: Love Hope.

That rattle, that thumb, those best friends;
I let them all go one after the other.
It gives me hope in my love for salvation;
I can let go off everything else, when it’s time.

 

 

An Inward Journey: Journal Series- Introduction.

I have always wanted to start a series blogging. Contemplated on a lot of topics. Couldn’t narrow down on one broad topic which would be a rewarding experience for me and my readers. I finally found the topic that I have been looking for: An Inward Journey.

I have always believed in one thing : No matter what I do, no matter where I go, unless I work upon myself on becoming a better person, nothing in the outside world can change. I can be unhappy and crib in the best of places and I can be happy with tears of joy in the worst of places, depending on how I feel from within.

I am embarking on this Inward Journey today with this very first blog in the series.( This is the introductory page with subsequent pages to be added on a weekly basis)

As I was making a list of questions that I will try to find answers to and share with my readers, I noticed a very unique aspect in all my questions. All the questions started with a HOW and not WHY. Which means that I have already become aware of the need to do it and now have decided to actually do it. For example, it is only when you decide the destination, that you google for “how do I reach the place”.

Each person has his own journey to travel in order to unravel the beauties of the layers of wisdom that have been passed down to us by some truly enlightened souls. This is mine. I sincerely hope that each reader who reads it finds his cause and is able to embark on the journey sooner than later.

This blog series will be short with less than 500 words. I believe you just need one or two words to actually understand a concept if you are tuned into it. A thousand words can do no good when there is no connect.

Looking forward to a wonderful experience and journey. And wishing all of you the same.

So, let the journey begin!

The GymKind.

It has been a while since I wrote about one of my favorite topics : Health and Fitness. Some of my friends talked to me in detail about my previous blog on this topic : Your Health, Your Choice.  Some also mentioned about how they still can’t stop smiling when they are on a treadmill and think of the issues in the measurement concepts in mathematics. (Run Baby Run) . Thank you for those kind words.

Today being World Heart Day, all the gyms in my part of the world are running promotional offers for those interested in achieving their heart goals. ( i mean getting all those numbers right. ) I love my gym but would not call myself a gymaholic. ( yes, I found that word on a t-shirt recently) There are days when my gym buddy has to lure me into going to the gym by reminding me of a dress that I have been planning to buy. But once inside the gym, I know I rock! 🙂

I would like to call the gym as a place of possibilities. I become a possibility of enjoying good health, possibility of a fit body and mind, possibility of all that I have always wanted in terms of health and fitness . 

Frankly, I have never felt more optimistic and passionate about all my dreams and my ambitions anywhere else.( Other than in my dreams of course).  Research associates it with all the good hormones that are released during workout. But my buddy says it could also be because of some of the good looking people who keep walking around. (hmm.. I don’t disagree! ) 

Gym can actually be fun because it is a place where you find the most self obsessed people on the earth. You just have to keep your eyes open. One LOL moment that I see everyday is the way people stand all beefed up in font of the mirror. The moment they move away from the mirror, their are back to their actual vital statistics. And a lot of times, there is a considerable mismatch. 

I will categorize the gymkind ( referring strictly to that part of the mankind who are familiar to the word gym and have at some point of time considered stepping into the gym) into 5 different categories based on their gymming habits.

Category 1: The gym dwellers: I am not talking about the instructors and trainers but the category of people who almost live there. They exercise day and night. Their goals keep get bigger ( and so do their muscles) . I sometimes wonder whether they are on a sabbatical in order to spend time in the gym.
If you belong to this category, common, get a life outside the gym!

Category 2: The dedicated members: They are very strict about the amount of time they spend in the gym and they do it every day. Absolutely no cheat days (unless the gym is closed on account of natural calamity warnings) . They don’t waste time in the gym. Their mission is clear and they don’t mind making other people wait or move places so that they can finish their exercises.
If you belong to this category, please be considerate to you co-gymmers. There are also there for a purpose. 🙂

Category 3: The semi-dedicated members: They are very prompt in taking an yearly membership and are very regular for the first couple of months. They have to keep getting motivated by the instructor or their gym buddy or something else (like a dress in the store or a vacation coming up) in order to stay focussed. They don’t mind helping out or befriending their co gymmers.
If you belong to this category, please work on self-motivation factors. How long can others keep motivating you!

Category 4: The tomorrow-onwards members: They enroll themselves into a gym, go there a couple of times every month and then find an excuse to not attend for the rest of the month. They either have too much work or too little work at office which stops them from going to the gym. But they do proudly talk about the membership that they hold in a particular gym.
If you belong to this category, then keep a 3 days a week goal so that you know it’s only those many days that you have to go there!

Category 5:The almost-there members: These people have always wanted to get enrolled in a gym. (like, since the time they were born! ) They read about all the benefits of gymming and ask their gymming friends about the type of exercises they do and how they have benefited from it. In spite of all the knowledge and research, they never reach the gym.
If you belong to this category, Just join a gym near you!

I am a category 3 member. 

Which category do you fall into?

Disclaimer: Each form of exercise has its own benefits. Gym is just another place for ensuring regular and monitored exercising. It is more important to understand your body’s exercise requirements and then select a form of exercise accordingly. 

Wishing everyone a Healthy Heart today and always.

Structured Or Unstructured.. Does It Really Matter?

Story Begins…..

(S)he was a happy farmer living in a big farmland.(S)he knew his job well. Tilling the land, making sure there is enough air and nutrients in the soil for the plants to grow and taking care of the soil.(S)he fed on whatever(S)he found in the farm.(S)he helped the soil and the soil provided food in return. It was a wonderful symbiotic relationship.

Was(S)he a believer? Yes, of course(S)he was.(S)he believed in work and the rewards that came with doing one’s work. (S)he had complete faith in the forces of nature which ensured  through the different seasons, the soil was kept healthy and capable to grow food on. (S)he received help from the elements of nature like, sun, wind, water and earth and (S)he had complete trust in the cycles that they followed. So (S)he believed in the forces of nature.

Did (S)he pray or go to a worship place? No, I dont think so. The field was the worship place. (S)he offered everything that (S)he got to nature. Nature created all the different beings that (S)he saw around. (S)he did not harm anyone or get harmed by anyone .(S)he was happy, content and independent.

There were tough times also. Times when it did not rain or rained too much, times when the soil got too dry or too soggy  to till and plough and times when (S)he found nothing to eat. But that condition wouldn’t last long. (S)he never gave up hope and as if the prayers were being answered, things changed just before it got very bad. Then, it was back to normal.

So that was life in that part of the world.

One day, a strange foreign being came to that part of the world.

He (that strangely pigmented being) visited all the farms around. He asked the farmer, ” How is life and how do you plan to cope with all the adversities that are in store?  I have solutions to all those problems.”

“Problem???” The farmer thought for a while. (S)he did not have any problem.

The strange being continued ” The powers of nature are all controlled by one single entity and that entity has to be worshiped and prayed in order to overcome all the disasters that lay ahead. There is no point trusting in all the forces of nature and putting everything at risk. And there are some rules and regulations that you have to follow while worshiping ”

He pointed at a couple of things ( Models of animals and elements of nature that was made out of mud) in the farm and said ” Don’t you ever think that all these things that you respect will ever protect you from the disasters that lay ahead? They will all be washed away in a rain or fly away in a storm or dry out in sun.”

(S)he was thoroughly confused. (S)he did not know what to say or do.  “Respect nature and  work” was the mantra that he followed.

He did not know the difference between respect and worship. He respected ( and hence worshiped) every creation of nature. It could be a huge elephant, a small mouse , a poisonous snake or a mighty tiger. Respecting them and giving them their space is all that had to be done.So he felt bad when the visitor ridiculed him. But (S)he kept listening because (S)he always listened when someone else spoke.

(S)he kept listening for years. The strange being came especially when there was a near-drought or a near-flood condition. He came with some food and water. (S)he knew that things were about to get better but accepted the goodies because (S)he did not know to reject something that was given with love. That would be disrespect. The strange being would come again as soon as the conditions improved. He would say that the food had been blessed by the entity that he prayed to and that was instrumental in the rain showing up  or the sky clearing up so early. (S)he still listened.

After a very long time (S)he was given some water and some food for one last time and the strange being told that now on, (S)he had become a believer in that supreme entity and (S)he had to follow some rules baring which there could be serious repercussions.(S)he did not understand such terms but nevertheless kept doing what (S)he was told to do because not doing that would be disrespect again.

(S)he kept working at the field and now, in addition to addressing all the forces of nature (S)he believed in, (S)he added one more name to the list: that of the entity that the foreign being had told him about.

Things returned to normalcy after that foreign being left. (S)he was happy about it. The only difference was a stamp that was kept in the field. The strange being had left it behind in the farm. ( (S)he was strictly asked not to move it from there and (S)he respected that. )

The  fear of some unknown mishap waiting was sown somewhere in the farmer’s mind. That kept bothering the farmer once in a while.

The strange being was happy while leaving because he had achieved what he had come there for. He thought he had saved the poor farmer from the wraths of nature. Now, he had to fly to another field , to another farmer, to leave another stamp, to make another story..

Story Ends……

I forgot to introduce the characters of the story :

The farmer : An earthworm. And he/she can be used alternately for an earthworm because earthworms are hermaphrodites (an animal having both male and female sex organs in the same body) .

The Strange Being : A praying Mantis from a foreign land.

The part of the world: A place where nature was considered the Supreme Power.

Stamp: A mark of structured practices.   

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And the debate still continues: Structured or Unstructured.. Does it really matter?

Does the number of people, animals and plants following a particular faith matter or the number of people, animals and plants that are actually able to live on earth really matter? ( When we really don’t know how long each species is going to last on this earth.) 

Isn’t an all inclusive (especially nature and other forms of life) respect/worship the need of the hour?

 

 

Strength Or Weakness!

All through our life, we read so many motivational stories and poems, we listen to many inspirational talks and we watch so many inspiring movies. But how many of them actually stay with us? We talk about it to friends and family for some time and then, it is gone! Some of them stay with us for a short period of time and then we have to listen to the same talk again in order to reinstate it. And some are gone the very same day.

As a kid, I always found it difficult to remember the moral of the stories that I read (It was fun to remember the story, but moral….was the difficult part and I felt it took away the fun element from the story). I guess I passed on the same gene to my kid and she also found it very difficult to remember the moral of the stories she read. She was smart enough to come up with a solution. She would tell the same moral for all the stories she read and her favorite one was “Work while you work, play while you play! ”

But then, there are some stories or statements, that stay with you for a lifetime. There is a voice within you screaming “hold on to it baby.. it’s worth keeping….” the moment you hear it. I dont know why that happens, but it does happen. Here, I am sharing one such statement that is totally “keep-worthy”.

I have been thinking of writing about it for some time now. Wrote so many drafts and discarded them because I did not know the best way to present it. I tried to do it using a story with imaginary characters, as a short poem, as a conversation between two people  etc. But none of them seemed to have the impact that I wanted it to have. So finally i decided to tell it point blank.

I was at a friend’s place and we were discussing the behavior of a particular kid who had attended our workshop that day. During the discussions we realised that the point that we mentioned as his strength was exactly his weakness. I was taken aback at first. My friend then told me that this is something her dad kept telling her all the time.
“Your biggest strength is your biggest weakness” 

The moment I heard this, I heard that voice within me screaming ” It is keep-worthy….”

Sounds like an oxymoron , doesn’t it? It took me sometime to analyse it and accept it.

This is how I analyzed it:

I am often told “you are a dreamer” as a compliment and as a criticism.

The same person has told me:
” Wow! You don’t stop until you get your things done. You are so focussed. Keep it up! “
and
” you just keep nagging till you get your things done. You are so irritating.”

I tell my kid ” you are so polite and sensitive to other’s feelings , sweetheart! “
and
” why are you so sensitive and polite to others? You let them take advantage of you all the time”?

I tell my friend ” you are such a listener. I love talking to you.”
and
” you are so boring. You only listen.”

I tell another friend ” You are so organised and planned. Thats wonderful”
and
” I dont like to travel with you because you plan everything. There is no scope for surprises.”

Do these statements ring a bell ….

So is “being a dreamer” my strength or my weakness? Is ” not stopping until I get what I want ” my strength or my weakness? Is ” being polite and sensitive ” a strength or a weakness?

  • The same quality that manifests as a strength at a point can become a weakness at another.
  • This realization has helped me understand myself and the people around me much better. 
  • It has helped me accept people as they are.
  • It has helped me look at the qualities in my kids in a different way.

If my kid is being very stubborn about the game that he wants to play and gives valid reasons as to why he wants to play only that game, I let him do it. Earlier, I would have labelled him as a stubborn kid with “stubbornness” as his weakness. Now, I know that this stubbornness in him will help him get what he wants because he will not stop at anything lesser. So I tell him that I let him play that game because I found the reasons he gave, valid.

When someone tells me ” wow! you are a risk taker” I make an effort to be aware of the issues that could crop up when the “risk taker” in me becomes my weakness. And I make an effort to assess the risks a little better. I am as careful about my strengths as I am about my weaknesses.

I am not talking about the really negative qualities like addiction, cheating, lying, not obeying the rules,  etc. Those are weaknesses that have to dealt with strongly. And they cannot be considered as his strength, no matter what the circumstances. They are bound to get him in trouble sooner or later.

Family can be your biggest strength and your biggest weakness. For an organisation, the employees can be its biggest strength and its biggest weakness.

So, be aware of your strength and make sure you know that the same could become a weakness.

When you point your fingers at the weaknesses of a friend/colleague/child , remember that it could be his biggest strength elsewhere. So you can talk to him about that quality being a weakness with reference to that particular situation.

YOUR BIGGEST STRENGTH IS YOUR BIGGEST WEAKNESS!
This statement is definitely keep-sake.