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.

 

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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.

 

 

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?

 

 

The Best Outfit Ever.

Who doesn’t get mesmerized by a butterfly!
I like to follow every butterfly I see.
Each one seems to have a better pattern and color than the other.
Once, when I was admiring the colors of one such enchanter,
Wondering how an outfit with that color pattern would look,
Something really strange happened.
She looked at me, straight into my eyes.
“What are you staring at? ” She asked.
“Look at your mesmerizing colors ” I said.
She smiled and winked her beautiful eyes.
“Don’t you have colors ?” She asked
I looked at my dress and smiled.
“I have black and peach.” I said.
“That is your dress which you keep changing” She said.
“Oh! black hair, brown skin. Is that what you mean?” I asked.
“No No. Deeper within. Can you not see within?” She exclaimed.
“Within? You mean the RBC, WBC and the other stuff inside?” I said.
“Is that all that you are made of” She sighed.
“Are you talking philosophical? Do you mean my soul’s color? “I asked.
“There you go again! Your “philosophical stuff”. She ridiculed.
“Not that deep. May be between RBC’s and your soul” She said.

I could feel myself turn red in anger.
A butterfly ridiculing me! I thought.
Suddenly I saw her laugh and nod her head.

“Oh! You mean the colors of my emotions?” I asked.
“Exactly. Tell me your colors”. She said.
“I am orange when I am full of energy”
“I am yellow when I feel happiness”
“I am green when in harmony with everything around”
“I am blue when at peace and am relaxed”
“I am red when I feel passionate about something”
“I am white in purity and simplicity”
The list went on and on…

She looked at me and smiled.
“See! You have so many colors within”.
“You just have to form a pattern with all those colors”.
“All combined in the right proportion”.
“Try that, and see the beautiful pattern you develop”

Her twinkling eyes winked at me again and she flew away,
Leaving me with so many emotions to deal with;
And to bring out the best in each emotion;
The right state of mind with the right mix of emotions.
I did exactly what I was told to do;
And there I was, standing in a park, wearing my best outfit ever!

 

 

 

Pineapple Porcupine and Me!

During my last visit to my parent’s place, I got a beautifully grown and ripe pineapple from my dad’s organic garden. He had given me instructions on how I could replant the leaves and grow another pineapple from it. I read up further about it on the internet and set out to plant my first pineapple plant. I must admit that I enjoy my rare encounters with soil. In the process, I got bruised by the thorns on its leaves. I shouted out loud to the plant “Hey Ms., I am just trying to help you grow. I mean no harm. How can I plant you if this is how you behave? ” I finished my work and got going. Each time i saw my bruises, I ended up thinking about the pineapple encounter.

I love watching the National Geographic with my seven year old. That evening they showed a fiery fight between a porcupine and a leopard. A fully armed porcupine escapes from becoming the leopard’s lunch thanks to its sharp protective quills. Porcupines usually escape from being a prey to most of the animals in a similar fashion. Only very few animals know the knack of porcupine-eating. They target the porcupines belly which is the most vulnerable part. The 30,000 odd quills make porcupines a ” stay away from me” kind of an animal.

I looked at my bruises again and thought of the similarity between the pineapple that I had planted that morning and this porcupine. Self defense was their need. But then, how would you know if that person/animal actually meant you no harm!

I looked at myself. My life so far flashed in my mind. A girl born in a fairly conservative family and society, with a list of Do’s and Don’ts. The list kept growing bigger and bigger as I grew older. Looking back, the list was a well studied one with points to cover each and every aspect of my life. ( And this list has been passed on from one generation to another with some points getting added and deleted with every successive passing.) It covered topics like the time I had to get back home to the type of people that I could talk/not talk, befriend/not befriend, ask for directions/not ask for directions, take a lift from/not take a lift from, trust/not trust etc etc etc. It also had pointers about the roads that I could travel and not travel and the decisions I could make and not make.

With this list dangling in front of my eyes, I can now, in this context of pineapple and porcupine, see all these points as thorns/quills. Thorns with which I have driven away people, thorns which I used as direction diverters, thorns which helped me wear a mask and make myself invisible under a lot of circumstances.

Just like how a baby porcupine is born with soft quills which harden in a few days, my thorns kept hardening with time.  And I became this “thorn-woman” with a nice protective shield around me.

I had told the pineapple when I was planting it ” Ms., will you ever be able to distinguish between a friend and a foe or will you keep pricking everyone? ”

I spoke to the porcupine too ” What if the other animal was just trying to alert you of a possible danger? You would hurt that animal too? ”

I told myself” Will I ever be able to pluck out all these thorns or will I pass it on to the next generation with the usual minor changes in it? ”

In spite of being aware of the fact that along with ensuring the safety of my children in this society, I am also keeping them away from a lot of genuine friendships, wonderful experiences and beautiful untouched roads, I will still do the same.

What I plan to do in order to reduce the impact of the thorns  is to read out this blog to them when they are a little older. Tell them that these are just safety precautions. Tell them to develop their own instincts and senses to help them differentiate between a friend and a foe. Tell them to be open to taking new roads when they feel it is safe to do so. Tell them to take any decision after carefully studying the pros and cons.

I shall tell them to use their quills with caution.

 

Don’t give up girl, Don’t give up!

The leaves rustled to call her;
The clouds rained to tell her;
The sun shined bright on her;
The wind whistled into her ears;
All of them told her the same thing;
Don’t give up girl, Don’t give up!

 
Your dreams define you;
Your dreams inspire you;
Your dreams live within you;
Your dreams make you work harder;
Your dreams keep you alive.
So, Don’t give up girl, Don’t give up!

 
Yes, it could take some time;
Yes, it could get a little hard;
Yes, it could drain you out;
Yes, it could drive you nuts;
Yes, it could knock you down.
But, Don’t give up girl, Don’t give up!

 
The day your dreams come true;
You will thank the leaves and the clouds;
You will kiss the sun and the wind;
You will feel so proud of yourself;
For not giving up when it was tough.
You will tell every little girl you meet;
Don’t give up girl, Don’t give up!