Quiet

The tree stands quiet and tall even when surrounded by cloud chatter!

I am in self-love mode. The situations and challenges of the past three years have enabled the self-love process. And I am so happy about it. Instead of being the “critical me” towards my actions and thoughts, I have become loving towards myself.
Getting into the practice of self-love was a huge task for me, initially. The moment I do some work, I switch to a self-criticism mode. I constantly look for faults and there is constant inner-chatter – “this is a wrong way of doing things” – “you need to do it at a faster pace” – “you used to do it better before” – “you are not doing with enough sincerity” – like this and many more!
For many years, I had succumbed to this chatter of self-criticism. The mind won’t rest and I was constantly stressed out, anxious about results – perfection was my goal, and this level of perfection was becoming unreachable!
When I consciously decided to accept myself for who I am and whatever I do, in whatever level of perfection, there was this deep sense of acceptance within me! But I took a lot of time to quieten the chatter in my mind.
My go-to methods to quieten the mind chatter and to strengthen my acceptance of myself were chanting and music. I joined a chanting class. Even though I am not continuing the class, the chanting continues – it is a part of my day where I work on quietening the chatter of the mind.
Listening to music reduced the mind chatter a lot. Choosing a playlist of songs that I enjoyed during my childhood days provided the much-needed quietude inside me!
Coloring, drawing mandalas also made me feel calm and relaxed and I always felt quieter, as I let the strokes cut through my mind chatter!

#hopewriterlife

,

Mandala and me

I am the sky with the white clouds
I am the mountains and valleys
With rivers and trees
I am the green pastures
With wild flowers and grass
I am the ocean
Constantly in motion
And deep inside me
Is my heart filled with love!

I am the mandala
And the inter-connecting patterns
That make it!
I am the colors
Which fills up the patterns
In VIBGYOR mode…
For life isn’t just black and white
But all the colors in a spectrum of light!

The Mandala and the thought process

“The Mandala drawing is a representation of one’s own thoughts and its associated processes” – this I read somewhere and this idea kind of stayed with me.

A few months back, I took the first step in learning it properly from a beautiful soul, Elsa. And all through her classes, she taught me the precise way to draw concentric circles, mark angles and make space to draw the patterns in my own way. She made such an impression on me that precision was the key to doing mandalas. And her mandala drawings are great examples of the precision she talks about. Of course, there is always an interpretation to her mandala and she does it with ease and beauty.

My journey in the path of mandala drawing started after the classes. I watched and learnt many new patterns and techniques from others too. But I was still a novice in the way I used those patterns in my mandala.

And instead of stressing on how to draw mandalas which is an interpretation of something or a pictorial representation of a thought process, I just let myself to relax. I told myself that I will attend to any spark of thought that I receive from my mind and then take it forward.

I didn’t get to relax a lot. There were some sparks and some representations of them in my mandala drawings. The recent one was I wished to represent the Marigold flower in my mandala. I didn’t know what led to that spark; probably yellow is my new favorite and flowers are my new found love in nature!

The reasons apart, I gave in to the spark and started the work on my pictorial representation of marigold.

I drew petals and filled them with floral patterns and kept filling it up in my favorite yellow. In my excitement to draw more petals, I messed up one whole concentric circle. And instead of getting worked up on the mess I created. I filled it up with yellow and that filled me up with joy.

I forgot to draw the double line border in one circle. Another mess up. But I carried on and filled it up with floral pattern and yellow color.

In one petal on the outer most circle, I seriously messed up, filled it with whitener and then realized that yellow color didn’t stick on the whitener and this mess up was very evident. I still carried on and kept filling that yellow, wherever I could.

And then the borders of mandala faded and the marigold took over it all, which led to those free lines of yellow around the mandala. I felt absolute joy when I did those strokes of yellow with slashes of light brown and gold.

I felt complete with the mandala.

As always, I try to draw parallels.

I am like this mandala – I have messed up many a times with relationships. But that didn’t stop me from making new relationships, for I kept filling that space of relationship with love and more love.

Many decisions that I have taken have not been great ones.

Many times, my words were too much and there were times, when my silence was too much!

Many of my experiences stressed me a lot and were blocking me from moving forward.

There were times, when my expressions were not an absolute representation of what I felt because it was so intertwined with my emotional blocks!

And just like this mandala, I worked on it, taking one circle at a time. The past two months have been great that I worked on identifying my blocks and helped myself to clear them too. It is still going on and I am loving the “me times” where I work on this!

I used to be like these patterns – always following a strict adherence to rules and regulations. May be, it helps to relax the rules and go with the flow! I am learning to take it easy!

If you have read till here, I hope you see me in all the different shades that I express myself. The key point for me is that these drawings help me to see myself in those shades and be very accepting of myself and continue to love myself too!

My “go to spot” at home!

This is the view from my kitchen window, which faces the western sky!
And this is my favorite spot at home!

I stand here, watching the clouds swim by while I wash vessels.
I occasionally take my cutting board with vegetables and stand near the window!
I stand there to sip coffee.
I try to fill bottles with drinking water standing and staring at the blue sky!
I watch the moving clouds as I drink water.
I try to take my calls in my kitchen, where I sit on the kitchen top and still can watch the clouds.
I stand there to feel the gentle breeze on me.
I don’t need any reason to stand in my favorite spot but I guess I like making up the reasons πŸ˜ƒ

The solitary moment

A moment to reflect
Upon thee
Is here
For us to embrace!

Close the eyes
Observe the train of thoughts
Let them all come and go!

Here is the time
To feel gratitude
For this life
For this moment
Where we feel alive!

This solitary moment
Is mine to hold
To breathe in deep
To exhale the stress
And to feel the love
That encircles me!

 

Self-introspective mode ON

Pic courtesy: Google

Recently, I had a dream. And immediately I decided that I will not share it here, in my space, for I felt it was too personal to put it out in writing. But today’s introspective mood of mine has won over and here I am writing about my dream and my feelings towards it.

I see myself lying on the floor, with blood flowing through the nose and it clearly looks like I am dying. I see my daughters on either side of me. And all this was happening in a house where I used to stay as a teenager. I could also see the man who was walking towards the house as my husband. Then I could hear what I was talking to my daughters; the silly me was so paranoid that the soul will depart soon and was frantically telling all the passwords in all the apps and websites for my daughters to note it down!

Ok…that was the dream! When I woke up from that dream, I laughed out aloud. And kept smiling and laughing whenever I remembered it. The whole idea of not passing on my passwords gave me the worst nightmare, in my dream; it sounded very silly to the present me.

Now, observing that dream from a more matured point of view, I wonder why didn’t I worry about that favorite sari of mine which I didn’t wear many times! I wonder why didn’t I fret over all those jewelry which I loved to buy but never wore them! I wondered at that unused purse, notebook, pen, saucepan, wine glass, coffee mug – anything that I savored for a better day to come. And I had just kept postponing all those favorite things without enjoying them at the present moment.

I had reserved all the good things for a later date.

I had written love notes for all my favorite people for them to see later.

I always plan on going on a trip that I never seem to get to.

Everything was planned for a later date.

Then the dream happened.

My better self took over. This is the day I had waited for. Today I shall proclaim all the love and fondness for all my favorite people in this world. I will hug them with my love and kindness. I will use that saucepan. I took out my favorite coffee mug.

And suddenly the day I am living mattered.

I got a plant. I smelt the flowers. I stared at clouds. I made coffee. I sang my favorite song. I colored in my mandala book. I learned to forgive all those things which happened in the past.

I suddenly understood what I had to do with my life. It is to live this moment!

Dear tongue

The eyes saw the wine bottle first
And you started drooling
All those memories
Of that fermented grape juice
From previous times
Boggled your memory
And hence your mind
The appropriate groundwork was done
You just waited for the bottle to be opened!

You wondered…
“Why can’t this New year arrive early?
It is a stupid idea
To open the bottle for 2020
Why can’t we have in 2019 itself?”
Your taste buds overlapped
In excited agony
And you drooled indicating that to me…Phew!

You got excited…
When the ears confirmed the sound
Of the bottle being opened
“Who cares if the New year has come or not!”
Was the only predominant thought
When the eyes feasted
On the beautiful color of the wine!
The nostrils were ready
And the fragrance that wafted
From the wine
Its pure intoxicating smell
Was just too much, right?
“Bring it to me!”, you ordered.

One sip you had…
The chillness hits you…
There is a forewarning
From a sensible side of the mind
Of not to drink anything cold…
But you push it away…
You are addicted
To the taste of that wine
You wanted more
And more of that drink!
The chilled wine
Went down the throat
Creating the ruckus
Which didn’t hit for more than 2 years
That severe throat pain
And cold and fever
The sufferer is me!
It was because of you
And your love for that taste of wine!

That forever drooling
That forever dancing
Of tastebuds
For that cold wine
Has left you in drylands today…
You are devoid of taste
Your tastebuds are in hiding
You cant even taste your elixir
Leave alone rasam or dal!
Is this what you wanted?
Shame on you…
You have become
The tasteless tongue!

I don’t even know whether to address you as “dear”
For the havoc, you have created
In my body!

Taking solace

I think I escaped the bug for long which can give you body pain, a sudden increase in the levels of phlegm, a sore throat and a feeling to lie down all the time under the comfort of a quilt.

Since the gap has been long, I think its taking vengeance with a force. Its been 4 days now and the running nose has just turned for the worse. And suddenly the cough reminds me of its presence, apart from dealing with the other symptoms. There is a saying that goes like “The cold lasts 7 days with medication and a week without medication”!

All kinds of medication are going inside my body; I hope they all reach the right parts of my body to heal me well!

To add to the chillness quotient, its been raining since morning today. I really wanted the sun to be out for me to soak in the warmth but naaa…life is not like that! Its always not what we want!

And here I take solace by posting pics from archives, where I close my eyes and feel the flowers in my hand, where the warm sun caresses me gently and suddenly I feel all healed.

It is therapeutic!

Ten on Tuesday – Grateful moments!

Swaru’s post last Tuesday is the inspiration behind this post!

So many people have crossed my life at various times, giving me brief lessons, moments to ponder, values to cherish, bonds of friendship and sometimes a touch of love! I want to write about those people; this was my first choice for this post.

I then wanted to try a new perspective to this thought, where the presence of certain people changed me a lot. And hence I thought of writing those moments in life, which helped me in realizing and understanding the worth of those people in my life!

1. In all my life, if I have to point to the most precious moment for which I am grateful, its when I became a mother. Nothing can match in intensity to the overwhelming emotion I feel even today, thinking about being a mother.

2. Those moments when appa let me learn the value of freedom or being independent along with the responsibility that comes with it, are very special. It helps me to think better while staying grounded and also to instill similar values in my girls. This needs a mention especially for the fact that appa didn’t contain himself within the strict rules and regulations of the religious circle, which surrounded him.

3. There have been many moments that helped me to understand that owning jewelry or a house or a car and such materialistic things do not matter in the long journey of life and the only thing that matters is love, kindness, and understanding. This understanding has made me into a better person and I am very grateful for those moments of learning.

4. If there has been a lucky streak in my life, its the thing that I always get awesome teachers/gurus, who guide me in my destined path with just a gentle prodding and smile. Those moments when the teachers brought out the best in me, is something to cherish and be amazed too (for they saw those potentials in me what I couldn’t see myself).

5. Those moments in amma’s life where she silently smiled, offered help voluntarily, gracefully accepted life’s situations and questioned no one are moments of learning for me.

6. Sometimes God sends angels in human form. For me, my daughters are my angels, for they not only stand by me during all my moments of happiness and otherwise, but they are also my cheerleaders, my staunch supporters and such darlings to hold close and cherish. Every moment that I have spent with them and all those moments I will be spending with them are moments for which I am grateful always.

7. I have always been a person who follows my heart. Even though the mind tries to play logical roles, it is the heart that wins always. And for all those moments I have done following my heart, like this space of mine – my blog, the many times I have tried my hand at art, I am very grateful that I did it.

8. I am this kind of person that when things don’t work out in my way, it stresses me a lot. But I have default coping mechanisms. It is a fact that I love my coping mechanisms which help me to heal from the stress then and there and not carry it forward. Those moments where I heal by cooking, washing clothes or folding them, cleaning, coloring, meditating are my precious moments with myself where I heal to be a better person. I am very grateful that I could find those moments in my life!

9. Those moments when nature presents itself in all its glory for me to smile, visually treat myself to the beauty of flowers, sunrise, sunset, birds flying towards home, enjoy the small pleasures of staring at changing cloud patterns, allowing the waves at the beach to caress my feet are the best moments life has presented to me.

10. This comes last, as always, for sometimes we take those precious people for granted. The friendship bonds are lifelong and so precious. Those moments of friendship, today from a friend in person, tomorrow from a virtual friend and sometimes from a long lost friend from childhood, are moments for which I am eternally grateful!

 

Dreamy clouds

Recently my Sir asked this question in class – How do you define sleep?

All of us had various answers – when the body is tired we go to sleep – when the senses shut off, then we sleep – we have an internal clock to sleep when we rejuvenate – and many more!

As I keep thinking about this simple thing called sleep, I am getting more amazed at the way our human body has been created. Sleep is a state where we lose consciousness but a slight touch or a fan switching off can bring us back to a conscious state. Does that mean that the senses were still alert?

Sleep is also the time to recharge certain supplements in the body, to produce new cells – that indirectly means that there are many functions of the body that are active. We even wake up when there is a sense of urination.

We rest, yet we are active in many ways. It’s an amazing state, which cannot be defined in words.

And for me, the moment I hit my pillow, I just go into a deep sleep. I prefer to call it a blessing and a genetic transfer from appa…hehe πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ It’s only when people suffer from sleepless nights that they can appreciate the need to sleep well and how refreshed and recharged we feel the next day!

Of course, dreams are an integral part of sleep. Can you see the connection between the post and the picture now? Those are dreamy clouds…the more you look at them, the more you will feel sleepy…hehe πŸ˜€Β  Sometimes they look like a comfortable bed to lie on!

Whenever I go to sleep with a problem in the mind, I often wake up with a solution that came in my dream. It has happened to me when I was working doing C++ coding – imagine sheets of codes that run through your dreams! It happens even now for simple issues too! I also feel that the more intentions I place before my sleep, the more they come into existence! Its a kind of transformation from thoughts to reality. I don’t know how it happens. But my dreams always show me the way to move forward. Of course, it is not every day. There are days when I know that there have been dreams but I can’t remember anything about it.

As I wake up from a dreamless sleep, I write this post on dreams!