A Prayer from my heart to yours

A prayer

Find the true you

May you always wake up knowing that you matter

& be aware of the impact you have by simply Being

May you always see the truth

& choose to keep your eyes and ears open

May you always be surrounded by beauty and love

& spread the goodness you receive

May you always use your voice to uplift others

& let not fear or pain crush it

May you always live courageously

& act in accordance with the highest good of all those around you

May you never have to make a choice that pollutes your innocence

& find forgiveness in your heart if you do

May you be open to experiencing pain

& not have suffering cloud your sense of purpose

May you always be blessed with all that you need

& find gratitude in that which was not given to you

May you find moments of bliss where the ‘I’ no longer exists

& develop a reverence for silence when you do

May you feel compelled to create something larger than you

& lose sleep to fulfill this desire bestowed upon you

Beyond all else, know, that your biggest challenge & reward is to find & be the true you!

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Loving differently-Happy Valentine’s

More often than not people around us tell us that we need to find love in people who satisfy certain ‘normal’ conditions of religious upbringing, caste, color, community, social status, gender orientation etc etc.

This post is dedicated to every person who has had the courage to recognize love in themselves and in another beyond the peripheral differences, be it for a day, a month, a year or an entire lifetime. Happy Valentine’s Day!

To some people who ask, how we came to be? I say:

S(he) and I existed in two separate worlds or so it appears to be.

Born in lands rooted in the same Earth but torn apart by dotted lines

Raised in different religions and different cultures

One would think what common could there possibly be?

Life placed us together in a time/space co-ordinate

Strangers we were, united by forces we couldn’t see

We talked about the beauty of our lands & the pain created by wars

We talked about the one God who gave us all different paths

We let love guide us into these uncharted territories.

In a world where fear, greed and lust reign supreme, we challenged each other to face our demons and be the best we could be

To some people who ask, how we came to be? I say:

How could I not be me?

How could you not be you?

In this universe where not much moves without grace, the ‘us’ that we are was not chosen by you and me.

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Valentine’s Day 2017

Link

An inspiring story- Listen to & follow your dreams

A friend of mine in India chose to quit a ‘safe’ job and pursued what felt right to him in his heart. Three successful years into his business, he describes his journey.

Many of us feel stuck in our jobs/ relationships and choose to continue in the comfort of the known. This story is not about acting on an impulse or being irresponsible, it in fact stems from a sense of being compelled to live your authentic life.

Hope this story strikes a chord with you. Click on the link embedded in the title of this post and enjoy reading.

After all family is family…

It has taken me quite an experience to understand this fact of life. For years I heard people say this to me and I was also fortunate to see some people act on this belief. Being a person who needs to experience things first hand to understand them ( you can read it stubborn), it was not an auto response for me to nod my head when my father said to me ‘ in trying times, it is only your family that comes to your rescue’. In my share of life experiences I had seen friends and well wishers come to your help when it was needed and when they couldn’t I just did not take it as an opportunity to fall back on my father’s words. I always believed that you meet people in your life as per your needs and friends become your extended family or sometimes even acquaintances reach out to you when you need it the most. It is also important to mention that these experiences I am referring to occurred in my life when I had the luxury of having a permanent roof on my head ( provided by my father) and some money in my bank account (courtesy my employer). What I needed the most then was more of emotional support and I sought it from my friends.
Today, I am a student in a foreign country (US of A) who does not have a permanent income or accommodation. Being a romantic optimist I chose a university where I do not have any family relatives or friends that I knew from before. Somewhere in my heart I used to feel that life was too easy for them who had relatives that they could lean on when they needed. I would see some of my roommates who would go live with their relatives over the weekends and could count on them when they needed some help in this foreign land. When I saw the relatives help my roomies I would think , it need not just be family but anyone (who is your friend) would come to help you when you need it. Fortunately in addition to a couple of Indian friends, I also made some non Indian friends here who helped me go to a grocery store (you had to have a car to move around in the uncivilized neighborhood I lived in), drop me home from school, help me shift apartments and the likes. These experiences affirmed my beliefs that there are good people out there in the world to help you out. I felt that these people who helped me until then were my friends and I thanked the guy above for having met these people. What I am going to share further is completely a personal experience and I don’t intend to generalize it. Two months ago I fell very sick and I had to be hospitalized for a serious respiratory infection. This was sudden and I had not dreamt that I am going to need hospitalization. That day in my head when I was searching for someone to come and get me stuff I needed, I could just think of one name of the many friendships I thought I had developed here. It could be my shortcoming but some of my other experiences had made me aware of some cultural differences between Americans and Indians. A small example would be that I felt the degree of cautiousness surrounding common cold/cough and the likes among the people who were brought up here was very high compared to what I have seen back home. At times it irritated me and at times I was successful in making myself see the benefits of being so cautious. When I fell sick, my head told me that I should not try and call someone who generally is overcautious about avoiding infections. I did debate with myself saying that may be the people I was thinking about may understand the complexity of my present situation however I decided against putting anyone through such a dilemma and called on the one person I had no doubts would understand.

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Boston

During my stay at the hospital, I recalled the times when one of my family members fell sick and without a second thought we would do what was required. When I was here in a foreign land without anyone whom I could assume would bring me my clothes/ food and other basic stuff I remembered how members of a family perform such duties as an ‘auto’ function. As much as I am thankful for the two friends who helped me the most during this period, I did gain a far better understanding of what it means to be a family. No matter how strained your relationship, when need arises its your family that takes over the situation and understands your needs even before you verbalize them. I have been fortunate to find such support with people who are not ‘related’ to me however there is always a limit to what friends can do. Some willingly cross that limit and go out of their way to be around you when you need it but that limit always stays. Beyond that limit is when you enter the circle of your family and close relatives. Sometimes members of extended family may do it as an obligation but I guess it still counts because at the end of the day they do help. I have not personally experienced the ‘extended family’ reaching out to help part but have seen this happen with people around me when cousins and uncles traveled distances to settle their niece/ nephew in this place they would otherwise be foreigners to. Perhaps, you can say that I have learned to appreciate some relationships when I did not have them around me.

My Spirit wants to dance…

My Spirit wants to dance……but she will have to wait

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Manresa beach, California

My Spirit wants to dance. She knows the best rhythm and beat that would make her dance but is shying away from it. She dances on other beats too but does not shine in them. If it was only for these beats, she would have danced her way through life but it seems the flooring provided to her isn’t suiting the footsteps. The shoes are hurting when she dances on this floor yet she is trying to adjust. The beat also does not excite her right now but she fools herself by trying to believe so. I have instructed her to believe and live with some of these facts – that she will have to wait for a while…
Her care takers fail to see the glow she has when her body strikes the rhythm it is meant to serve. They want her to dance on the tunes, they had chosen for her. I am indebted to them for all the care and support they have given me through years. She does not seem to care for it and only knows her rhythm. She does not want to understand the circumstances that I am in and she does not understand any debt. She says, when you let me dance, all your debts shall be repaid. I do believe in her but I am scared that my care takers won’t understand her. If I support her, I know I will start living, for, right now I just exist. Once when she danced through me it seemed to be the best feeling ever. I did not want to stop her. I wanted that feeling of being alive each moment of my life. I spoke to them about it. Alas! They themselves were denied their rhythm. I cannot blame them for what they make her do but I feel suffocated when she cannot flow through me. For, she is sole reason for my “being”.
The rhythm of the universe keeps knocking within and I can’t open the doors. I can feel the beauty she wants to show me but cannot bear suppressing it. In moments of quiet, I let her dance. In her rejoice, then, lies my pain. I do not talk about her with others because when I did, I found myself to be foolish. Most of the seasons, I am left alone with her and she asks me, “when will you give me my wings”. I cannot explain to her the many silly reasons my caretakers load me with. When I talk to her about it, she blames me for not having the courage to keep up my promise. Sometimes, walking along some lonely streets, I witness some spirits who have found and are living their own rhythm. I keep quiet as she enviously looks at them. I fear, one day, she may stop knocking!
I know she is selfish. Much to my surprise, it is only in such selfishness that I have found veracity. It is only when I let her be, I feel beautiful and purged. She wants me to know that all I need to do is to let her take charge and the rest shall be fine. I sit here waiting for the moment when she no longer asks for my permission and storms herself through me…Possibly, I lack that force right now…
Wandering about in wasteful times, I pity my inability to live “her”. But, I want and need her in me, hence I dance with her when she is about to get into a recluse. This is how I save my Spirit and pacify her by saying, “the day is not too far when you and I shall be one”. She smiles and gives me another chance to save myself…

Being YourSelf…

What does your experience say? Is it easy being you or it is a challenge every SELF faces in the years that it lives amongst many other “selves”. Let me take you to another tangent- while I write this, I remember a quote – “Most people are other people”, they live by the way other people want them to and think with other people’s minds (the collective mind, do not read it as the mind of the Supreme Being) There are two alternate questions that pop up when we discuss this: 1) Whether an individual realizes what his Self is made up of, his distinct identity or his uniqueness in this universe?
2) Having realized it, what does one really do with it?

Lets take the first question: Right from the moment a child is born, we assign him similarities to his parents/ relatives etc etc…We tend to focus more on what our child shares in common in his peers (does he attend the same coaching classes, or the same summer camps, or may be is one’s child doing better than the neighbors’). Very rarely do we let a child find have his time to explore and find out what he really likes. For some fortunate souls, this liberty is granted in the form of extra- curricular activities in school and college. Some struggle later in lives to FIND themselves, that passion in them that lits them and sets them apart. The SELF is strong in these individuals and they cannot resist the urge to follow it and understand it. Many others resort to convenient ways of just doing what they have been asked to and live a life acceptable within the societal parameters of stable job, marriage followed by kids and the likes…In effect, the process of finding oneself is in itself a courageous task because many a times, you may have to stand alone and not have the luxury of being comparable, hence declared normal, acceptable. The uniqueness in each individual is not comparable if you do realize it, that is.

Now comes the next question: After having realized what ingredients you are made up of, what do you do? This is an even more challenging task for as SELF to conquer, for this is where thoughts start shaping up into action. For example: what happens when the blue eyed baby born in an engineer’s family, decides to take up pottery as his profession. I am sure I need not essay the confrontations that would take place in a normal setup. This is where the strength of a passion is tested through fire. Many a potter must have given up his dreams for the want of answers to practical people who believe in stable lives and who have not seen people making a living out of their passions. It is only when your courage to follow your heart is tested that you understand how clear you are about the dream you are chasing. The road ahead is even tougher for the people who decide to take the plunge and in the bargain lose out on their safety nets of bank balances, secured relationships, steady job etc etc…The individuals who reach till here know that as and when you learn more, you realize that you are alone, left with HIM. And independence is always coupled with responsibility for one’s actions.

It is also only over a period of time that one can differentiate between a fool and a wise person.
For any person, both appear to start the same way but it is only the end that justifies the strength and conviction of the SELF in either.