Yin Yang



The web of lines
Emotion filled
Thoughts
Perspectives
Judgements
That compulsive order
The need to do
To surpass myself…



The stillness
Clarity
Surrendering to the chaos
Letting things happen
Feeling the energies
Manifesting
Holding space for me…



I shine
I glow
I am complex
I am the Yin and the Yang!

Watch

No guessing there…I choose the verb!

Just thought of listing a few watchful things that have made a huge impact on how I move through my day, and my challenges.

I watch my breath. Whenever I can. And also allocate some 20 to 30 minutes every day (I try to do this without fail but there are exceptions) when I practice my breathwork. Even during that time, I try my best to be with the breath – watching the inhales and exhales – than to be led by my thoughts! Some days are too good and I just don’t have any idea of what is happening around me. There are also days when all this is too much effort.

I watch my thoughts when I am in my shower. They are my sparks. They give me solutions. They give me ideas to write. They help me connect deeply within myself. Every stroke of the soap on my body strengthens the connection and I feel that I am getting a download of the document which I wanted to write. It is an amazing space to look for yourself.

I watch my posture when I am in the kitchen. When I am standing and watching that milk to see if it will come to a boiling state, I check if my weight is equally distributed between my legs. When I chop vegetables, I watch my back – I watch if my legs are open so that I stand firmly with weight in the center – I watch if I am bending too much – I also watch to see that I am changing posture every few minutes. This watching has helped me to be relieved from knee pain, hip pain, and lower back pain.

I watch my skin with its white patches in certain places and understand the residue of the trauma that I experienced in 2006. I hug myself for accepting that trauma, for speaking about it to people around me, for writing about it, for learning to process it, for seeking help, for moving towards art, and for making beautiful connections!

I watch how I cook every day. Do I think of it as a chore dumped on me or do I feel the love inside me for my family that I cook something they relish? I have been through both stages and felt the extremes in both. Now I watch if I am kind to myself in this process. Menopause has taught me the biggest lesson of being kind to myself in all sorts of situations. So, when I feel irritated to do any cooking, I watch it happen – ask for help from others to take up the cooking or simply order. When I feel the love overflowing from inside that needs to be expressed in my cooking, I take it in stride and cook with joy. Even though I am writing all this in one paragraph, it took me nearly 3 years to reach this stage. And I struggle some days. I hug myself. I become kind to the person inside me.

I watch. I heal. I struggle. I watch. I think. I draw. I cook. I watch. I love!

Unburden

I think I have chosen such a challenging word today, for there is so much to write about this word and what it means to me in my life! Let me delve into one of the aspects here.

There are things and perceptions in life which may feel very comfortable and something to be proud of, during a particular phase of life and then the same may feel like a burden. Here, I am talking about my uterus. I was so proud of it when I got it for the first time even though I faced menstrual cramps every month. There was also a kind of peer pressure in my class when all the girls who were going through menstrual cycles will meet secretly and discuss things. I wanted very badly to be a part of that group. I was delighted by the fact that women are the ones who have the physical advantage to help in the creation of another life and to hold the child inside for 9 long months.

Every time I had to go through the menstrual cramps, I would tell myself that this is the place of creating another life! I would be dying inside with the pain but I kept telling myself that this is all for the good and that one day I will be holding a child inside my uterus.

I burdened my body with this thought and went through the cramps every month with gritted teeth. I didn’t know what other options I had and at that time I didn’t want to look at any option.

The burden of the pain was kept at bay and sugar-coated. Every doctor I consulted gave me just pain killers and advised me to bear it – it is considered as a part of the menstrual cycles.

None of them wanted to do a pelvic scan to a girl who was not yet married, for simple reasons like menstrual cramps.

And then they gave me ideas – that when I get married, the pain will go away! Haha 😀 They put ideas in my head that menstrual cramps are cured by sexual intercourse.

But pooooffff to their ideas! I was still burdened with that pain, after marriage, and after blah blah blah!

Then came the next round of suggestions – maybe the delivery of a child will help in relieving me from the pain. Oh really? It turns out that both my children were born out of C-section surgery and the required expansion of the pelvic bone didn’t happen. And I continued with the pain every month.

It worsened when I hit peri-menopause and then later menopause. I felt burdened by the many years of being with the menstrual pain! There was no more delight in the idea that women are the only ones to carry a child inside.

And now I feel unburdened! The cycles don’t happen! There are no suggestions or sugar-coated solutions.

I have met a lot of women who sail through their menstrual cycles as though nothing has happened. It was a cyclical storm for me for nearly 4 decades! I wonder how I went through it.

There are a lot of things that I understand now about my body, my pain, and sometimes feel the burden I was carrying inside my head contributed to this pain syndrome!

May we all learn the art of unburdening – whether it is pain or anything!

Stories

This flower has a story to tell
About its mother plant
And how it came to bloom…


 
The plant has a story too…
About how it was part of a bigger plant
The harsh way in which this branch was broken
How it felt barren and naked
Devoid of leaves
Feeling dried up
Till it found this pot
And the wet soil
To hold on
To nourish itself
To make new leaves
And to be the mother plant now!


 
The pot has a story
Of how it was made
And how the potter sold it…


 
The balcony has a story
Of how it hosted this garden
Filled with these beautiful pots
And the plants, of course…
Of how bare it was before
And now the scene has changed…
Of how it enjoys the sunshine
The breeze
The rain that splashes
And the joy of being clicked!


 
Every single thing
In nature
Has a story
If only we can listen!

I have a story too
To share
Of how I took up a career
In Engineering
And then left it
To embrace motherhood
And after two decades
Of running around the mill
Trying to figure out
What to do with my life
I found a hold
In Yoga!
I went there to heal myself…
Now I have learnt
To be a trigger
A nudge
A seed
To others
And help them
Find their own healing!
I am a teacher
And a student
Of yoga
And how it is a part of our lives!

You also have a story
Am sure of it…
Which you can share
I am a listener…

Quick to Quiet

I can’t believe this myself. I couldn’t think of a word in Q about which I wanted to write. I went and googled some words that start with Q. I stopped at Quintessential, then at Quesadilla, and pondered a lot on Quixotic! Haha 😀

I was Quick to ask for Google’s help but some Quiet time gave me something to write.

I used to be this person Quick to judge others, label them – mainly on doing things to perfect as I had this humungous notion that I am the one who is perfect always! Quietening my inner thoughts and perceptions have led to clarity – no one can be perfect and there is no such concept.

From “jumping to Quick conclusions” to “take-your-time to decide Quiet me“, I have journeyed well.

All the Quick thoughts, Quick actions, Quick cooking, and Quick decisions were becoming more stressful. I was creating stress for myself. Have you heard of this? – Ellu na ennaya irukkanum – which translates to – even before I say sesame seed, the sesame seed oil should be ready! Ugh! I was brought up to be like that and sometimes I expected everyone to be like that! What high levels of stress that thought can create!

Now, it is all about Quiet moments by the plants, Quiet moments to enjoy the tea, Quiet moments with my thoughts and my breath, Quietening myself to observe, Quieter cooking moments – like doing one dish/task at a time! I feel the enjoyment in those Quiet moments!

Priority

I missed writing for 2 days. And I sit with the letter P, this is the word that comes to my mind. There were other priorities that kept me away from writing.

Now, writing is great therapy for me and I love to babble here, in this space about all that is going on inside my head. But there are times when this becomes like a huge commitment to write every day and the thing is there is a built-up of guilt when I skip writing.

This time I was clear about my priorities and I also decided to be flexible about it. The same writing cannot be held at the highest priority all throughout the month.

So, one day became magical with laughter, good food, and great company when I spent it with my friends. Even after coming back home, I was dwelling there, relishing the funny moments, the laughter, the comfort zone among the group of friends! Sigh! I allowed myself to soak in that moment of magic with friends! I prioritized my friends that day!

And the next day, I gave priority to procrastinating! Haha 😀 Yeah…I did! I just let myself be carried away with what happened in the day and never gave a thought to writing.

I felt exalted! While I felt very powerful expressing myself in words, I felt more powerful procrastinating (the writing) – I hope someone out there would get this feeling! For a person like me, this is like being wild. And I enjoyed the day with myself! My husband was home early and I talked a lot and allowed him to comfort me! Sometimes I find myself very strong and being comforted by another person makes me feel less confident. Yesterday, felt different. There was love in that comfort and I soaked in it. I embraced it with both hands.

I loved the way how the day changed to comfort and love when I changed priorities inside my head. I felt a beautiful lesson bloom there for me!

Orange



I have always liked black – eternal favourite. The other colors come and go in the favorite spectrum as I surge through the different phases of my life.


When I got engaged, I was told in clear terms that the favorite color cannot be put forth for buying wedding related stuff. Black was a big no no!


Then I had to choose my next favorite color and it was rust orange. I bought a sari in that color with a bottle green border and that sari was my favourite for a long time.

I loved the orange colored kanakambaram flowers that everyday I used to get it and decorate my hair. I also loved the jasmine and kanakambaram mixed sets to wear on my hair. I never bothered about how I looked in such bright colored clothes and flowers. I just wore them because I liked them.


I was pleasantly surprised to receive saris in orange from everyone, as gift. Now what to expect when I went blah blah about orange! Some were with zari work and some with thread work. And I continued to dazzle in orange!


Then there was a long break from wearing orange. I chose the comfort of pants, kurtis as I became a mom who was constantly moving. I went to my eternal black!

Recently I wore one of those orange saris for a function. I saw myself in the mirror and laughed out loud🤣 I looked like a walking Fanta bottle! I just don’t know bow I fell in love with that color and wore it with such elan!

No – Nothing



“No post today” – I told myself yesterday on the day allotted for N. For the first time in my life, I just didn’t do something I committed myself to. I let go of the idea to write!


I have heard many times that NO is a powerful statement. But for me, more than the NO, the acceptance of what comes when I say NO is the powerful thing.


When I committed to this A to Z challenge,  I mentally made a promise to myself that I will try my best to write on all days of April except Sundays. So when I didn’t write on a Saturday, I first struggled to handle the disappointment that I gave myself. It may lead to guilt, self-pity, inability to do things which I like doing – it is a vicious cycle.


Yesterday, no such thing happened. My self-love was so strong that I felt I have conquered my biggest fear – the guilt of not able to do things. I slept the whole afternoon and spent the whole evening with family. Never once did the thought of not written for the day came into the picture. Am so very happy about it.


By saying a NO to a simple task of writing, I moved from a space filled with “do this” “do that” to a space called “nothing to do”. That felt very powerful for me.

Longing – Learning – Letting go – Love

Everyday I sit to practice pranayama – gently working on the inhale and the exhale. First making the exhale long and subtle. And then holding the breath after exhale. This helped me to relax a lot! I was Learning a lot about my breath as I practiced everyday.

Some days, I tried to work on the inhale and may be hold after inhale. I felt energetic the whole day.

As I worked on the inhales and exhales, one thing became clear – the body has tremendous confidence of the next breath coming inside. It just holds a small volume deep inside the lungs and allows the breath to let go! Go breath go – that moment of exhale is too important that you cannot stop noticing it. What assurance do I have of the next inhale? Nothing. Anything can happen or all can be well. But the body knows. Letting go is the best option. Holding it inside is more suffocating. As I type these words, I feel enlightened! Really! Have you wondered about breath like this?

Same holds good for emotions, food, water – anything that goes inside the body needs to be let out. The body cannot hold it all for its suffocating to hold.

I have realised that the beauty of Love is also to let go! When there is so much love for one person, we sometimes try to hold them close and never let them go out of sight. It is like the love is the leash that keeps them connected to us. This is suffocating too. I learned that love needs to be free and giving – not to be held inside but let out in words, expressions, in letting the other person be their own, in not using it to change the other person! And I feel that I am in a space of love and enjoy being in that space!

Being conditioned in that restricting kind of love all these years, it is a struggle many times – to feel the love even when the other person is in no mood to receive it.

There is Longing inside to Love better…
Am Learning everyday to Love better…
The Letting go is helping me to Love better…

Thank you for lingering till the end of this post!

Kinder by 1%

I try to begin my day with an intention like this – let me be 1% kinder than yesterday! Easier said than done – this is a lot of effort but worth every moment of it!

This happened recently – I came across an artificial jewelry seller on Instagram, as I love these big chunky pieces of jewelry esp the jhumkas. I contacted her and ordered first. And I was very happy with the service that I have been buying regularly from her. Recently, I ordered a necklace to send as a gift to this person L. I received it neatly packed and without even opening it to check (my trust in the seller being the reason), sent the gift across to L. It was received well and then I came to know the link chain with the hook was missing from the necklace. I contacted the seller – before she replied to my text, I was drowning in my own thoughts – is it wrong to trust that seller? – why didn’t I check it completely before sending it across? – This has never happened before…why now?

Then I stopped thinking about this and went to do some yoga. I distracted myself from it and did chanting as I did yogasana.

I got a reply from the seller stating that she had sent the link chain separately and she asked me to check the cover. I hid my face under the table. Thinking that clutter-free is the norm, I had thrown away that cover without checking the contents on the same day itself.

I sat and thought about the whole thing. I can either be critical of my actions or keep sulking all day long. I can direct all this to the seller and tell her to take the blame for this incident. But both options will not solve the need – to deliver the link chain to the person who needs it.

I decided to be 1% kinder to myself than yesterday. This was an important moment – the changeover happened at that moment.

So I sent a message to L, accepting that there has been a mistake and I will send the link chain soon. She was quite OK with it. I suddenly realized how simple this turned out to be than breaking my head over the fact that I needed to be the perfect human being doing everything perfectly, according to my standards.

And like this and in many small ways, the practice of kindness is slowly and gently becoming a part of my life.

There is this sense of kindness to my body – listening to it groan, rumble, creak and tries to tell me something. This was my first step. The second part that I committed to do was to be kind with my breath, to watch it and allow it be and then slowly bringing in the nudge to do better. This kindness towards myself is something that keeps me going day after day with a sense of joy and appreciation.

To all the people who come across my path and whose path is not clear to me, let me be 1% kinder than yesterday.

To my husband who carries all the stress and anxiety into the home from his workplace, let me be 1% kinder to him than yesterday.

To my daughters who are caught up in their web of careers and friends, let me be 1% kinder to them than yesterday.

To those people who are dear to me and who have their own life to live and sometimes miss texting or calling back, let me be 1% kinder than yesterday.

It also instills inside me a deep sense to draw boundaries so that I can be kind to myself first. And then, from within those boundaries, I am trying my best to practice this “1% kinder than yesterday”!