Movement

I have always felt the need to move as an important coping mechanism.

When I feel exhausted, a small rest and simple movements works wonders. When I have a headache, I drink some tea and keep moving from one simple task to another.

Moving my arms to fold clothes has always been therapeutic for me!

And when my thoughts are moving at the speed of light, I move my pen from point A to point B and draw. I move the paint brush from one end of paper to another, to bring in colors on a white paper.

And sometimes, watching the natural movement of my breath helps me to stay calm.

In all these movements, there is one underlying quality which made a difference. And that is awareness.

Being aware of the movement is a beautiful way to focus on my breath, body and what is happening with it!

Explore

Explore…

Walkthrough unknown terrains
Or drive through them
To explore
The people, their produce
How they live and what they eat!

Exploration can be done
At mind level
When we question
Reason
Inquire on subjects…
A beautiful learning process!

I went on Facebook
On a mission to explore
New friendships…
Met a lot of amazing people!
Online friendships
Turned into real ones…
Resulting in a happy me!

So, it is a good thing to explore
New paths of life
While traveling
Discussing
Learning
And when making new friendships!

Intention

I begin my day with prayer.
There have been days when I didn’t have the energy to move myself to the puja room; I told my prayers lying on the bed.
Many days I have sat in my puja room, cried myself dry, as I tried to tell my prayers.
There have been days when I was jubilant with joy when I told my prayers.
These were some intentions which I used while praying – that this is not alright / that person is not right / this has to change / that has to change / please give me this / make me happy!
One day it struck me – the patterns behind the way I was reacting emotionally during praying. I understood that my emotional state was directly related to the intentions of the prayer.
In recent times, I started meditating. There has been a lot of acceptance within me to what I think and what I do. There have been times when I have dealt with all those thoughts which I had hidden in the depths of my memory. It was a difficult process but done with great effort. This has led to a sense of appreciation for myself and the people around me. Everyone, like me, is doing their best and trying hard to be their best!
So, now I have a simple intention for my prayer – just deep gratitude – a simple thank you, for the day, for that particular moment, for the current breath, for good people around me, for the blessings in my life! This intention inspires me to wake up every morning earlier than others. It gives me the inspiration to light the lamp, offer flowers to my Guru, and to the Higher force that I believe in. This intention inspires me to move on with life! It inspires me to be myself, to be able to express the love I have inside me without fear of rejection, to be the best version of myself.
There are days when things are not aligned inside me and there may be feelings other than happiness. On such days, my guiding force is my intention of gratitude for that space on which I stand, feeling my prana in my body!

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

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Sunshine people

They are this unique set of people. When they arrive into a room, they bring in cheer. Eveyone wants to be with them. No, it is not the money or attaching oneself to some predefined image. It is simply for the warmth with which they hug everyone. It is in the simple way they smile warmly at people. It is their genuine nature that shines through. It is the way they make others also to glow. I have named them the sunshine people.

They are true and very much alive even in this world and they make everyone, in their vicinity, to shine! They are experts with the smiling mehanisms and can quietly transfer it to you.

They bring a sort of calmness to the troubled mind and help us to rise above it. There might be a hundred and one things on their mind but these special set of people seem to be beyond all their worries when it comes to making others happy.

I personally know a few of them. And I assure you my life is blessed and smooth going because of them. They guide me, cheer me, listen to me talk and then just hug me, transferring such positive energy that I feel not to let go of that hug!

May their tribe grow!

Here’s to the sunshine people!

A story from the roadside

She sells guavas near the bus terminus. I was pulled towards her cart of guavas for the way she cared about them. She sorted them into two heaps. The ones with the reddish inside variety was kept on the right and the other normal variety to the left. She still sorted them as hard ones, somewhat crisp to eat and the ripened ones. One look at the cart, you will know what to buy and where to look for it in that cart.

She had a big smile, a beaming one. Her beautiful hair bun always had an encircling flowers around it. The big red kumkum circle on her forehead was attractive enough to pull me towards her. There was something about her. I have been buying from her for the past one year and her genuine smile always touched me.

Once she handed me extra change without realizing it. And I also didn’t check it till I reached home. So, the next time I saw her I returned her change and apologized. She was very confident that I will return it. And we hardly had spoken with each other. I wondered what made her think that I will return the money! She was very genuine in her warmth and thoughts.

For the past 2 weeks she was missing. More than the guavas, I missed her, her smile. Yesterday I met her again.

The story went like this.

Her father had boarded a bus to visit her, from Dindivanam. He had taken a wrong bus. So the conductor dropped him off in some place, instructing him to take another bus. In a similar fashion, he was taken into wrong buses and somehow reached Tiruvannamalai, the abode of Shiva for all those who are lost (in a spiritual way too).  And he had no phone with him.

She and her three sisters along with their sons and daughter-in-laws went from one place to another, switched buses to possible places and finally found their father. Without a phone to trace, I found it a humongous task. But not for them, where the hearts were filled with love and an yearning to find him. She was so proud of her accomplishment.

My fondness for the guava lady has grown in multitudes now!

Proving them right and wrong

I stopped when I read this. How did they write such accurate predictions!! Yes…me a Virgo and if there is anything that I hold above my heart is to prove to people that they are wrong in doubting me – for whatever varied reasons it can be like capabilities or skill-set or reactions to situations or even my love towards them!

This is actually a bait, which I understood recently. The moment people doubt me on any factor I started fretting. The said words and unsaid meanings used to haunt me. And till I master whatever I had been doubted for, I wouldn’t rest.

Through all this, I stressed myself. I hurt inside. While I was sweating profusely over mastering something, the baiters were not even in the vicinity of my life.

The past year has been particularly enlightening on many aspects and the thoughts inside me have gone through the tumbling inside a washing machine kind of process which has led to the realization that those people who showed me that bait, were least interested in whether I did anything about it or not.

Now I wonder why I should even learn or master this damn thing, just because someone questioned me or my capabilities!

In effect, I’ve come to terms with myself. Even when it has to go against the Earth sign’s predictions, I am willing to do it; this is a change in the right direction for me. I learn things which I want to learn not because someone is doubting my smartness or intelligence. My efficiency in dealing with life is not for anyone to assess and grade but it’s totally mine to enjoy and live in peace.

Living in peace – yes, that is what I have claimed back into my life! The strength to stand up for myself and to make myself a priority is such a blessing in disguise for it is easy for me to accept my limitations and others too.

Those questions like – “how can they do this?” “how can they be ignorant?” “how can’t they not understand such simple stuff?” – do not compound me now. It does come to my mind; can’t say no to that. I have learnt the art of looking at those thoughts and let them be or even swipe them off my mind screen. In effect, I have learnt to let them be however they want to be. It is their life and I am no one to question. And I hold my fort strong on “its my life”!

There is a secret to it, if you want to know. Tell them sweetly, politely yet firmly on when you want to say a no. It helps. Put in a smile. Make them know that this is something you want to stay away from. But that doesn’t lessen the love and respect you have for the other person.

Such is life. You learn and move on…earth-sign predictions can take a hike! 😉

The secret to healing

There is this unforgettable day when all of us, as a family, sat huddled outside the ICU, each one lost in their own thought process as to how to send healing energy to the man lying inside.

Just before that we had a huge task to do – that is to inform the patient, my husband, of the probability of amputation. When we heard of it first from the doctor we were shattered. We didn’t want to believe it to be true. The doctor said it is only a probability which they will decide on the day of the surgery after opening up the wound and checking the level of infection. So, till that day of surgery we were holding onto our own way of saying “this can’t be true” and “let the leg stay”.

And finally we found the courage to go and talk to my husband and informed him of the doctor’s decision.

I could see my hands trembling as I signed the document accepting to the amputation, in case it was required.

Then that surge of faith conquered me with one thought – so what if the leg is gone, his life will be saved and after the surgery we can take him home healthy. I kept on this thought so strongly that all I wanted was to take my man home, healthy.

The surgery went on successfully, as the leg was saved and we took a deep breath of thanking God and the doctor too. When we expect the worst outcome from a situation, even a small progress appears as a huge bonus to our life! We were so happy that the leg was saved that we celebrated with coffee and biscuits in the ICU waiting hall. That celebration touched a cord inside…I looked up to say a prayer of gratitude – a moment in life which I cannot forget!

Later on, I came to know that when the doctor was talking to my husband before the surgery, my husband had asked the doctor how much of the leg will he lose! The doctor was shocked and quietly went on with the surgery.

This is not to gloat over what my husband said to the doctor but the attitude a patient need to have during the course of treatment. All through the time of hospitilization, he never ever felt bad or cried hoarse asking “Why me?” He took the whole thing in stride and trusted the doctors for the treatment they were giving him.

The courage he showed even when told about his probable amputation is the single most reason he sailed through it without any hitch.

The strong will inside him helped him to heal fast.

When the doctor said he will take 6 months to walk, he proved him wrong by walking without the help of the walker in one month.

Driving the car was slated as a 2 year project while he overcame the whole car driving within another month.

I am still in awe over the courage and will power exhibited by my husband throughout the period of hospitilzation which helped him to bounce back to healthy routine very quickly.

So, face your fears and you will be healed!

Bus stories…

I got into the bus at the bus terminus, which means that I got a nice seat to sit and I got to choose it too among the many available. I chose the one next to a young girl with nerdy glasses. Somehow students attract me; maybe because of their inquisitiveness! And this girl smiled sweetly which created a warm feeling inside me.

And like long lost pals, we started talking. I should say that I am mighty pleased to have met her even for that brief 30 mins bus ride together. She hails from the town of Kumbakonam and is doing an internship. And may God bless that lovely girl for she and her family have moved to Chennai to enable her to study the teacher training course for physically and mentally challenged children. I just sat astounded hearing her talk very gently about her passion to help the challenged children, while she didn’t even make a great deal about it.

The conductor boards the bus and he was showing his annoying face and vocally disapproving anyone who was not giving him the exact change for the ticket.

While I had already kept the change ready in my hand, my bus pal had a twenty rupee note. As she started searching her purse for change I told her that we will buy our tickets together and then there won’t be an issue with change. She was so happy to have the “change” problem solved and we continued talking.

That nerdy glasses girl with her humbleness and gentle voice is someone who will stay in my memory forever!

 

Sunday musings – God dwells inside us…

With the birth of the Tamil month Karthigai, there begins the feverish activity all around the southern states, where people decide to take up the 48 days viratham before going to take darshan of the Lord Ayappan at the end of this mandala. Those people who undertake the viradham wear the customary mala around their neck and wear black or blue colored dress.

This year is special at my place, as my husband has taken up this viratham for the first time. And I keep hearing to the dos and don’ts during this period of 48 days. This period is actually a preparation time for the devotees to take up the difficult path via the jungles to reach the Ayappan shrine in Sabarimala. The walking of barefoot, restricting food intakes to two meals per day, sleeping on the floor are a few things that might look like the luxuries of life are being given up. Devotees abstain from drinking alcohol, smoking, usage of curse words and other activities which are considered a vice.

There is a saying that anything that is done consistently for 21 days becomes a habit. And when something is done for 48 days, it becomes a way of life. And then I wonder how these people, who have made it their way of life for these 48 days, leave all this and go back to their vices after the darshan of the God!

In all these days of observing these people, I noticed that they call each other as “Sami” meaning God. And everyone is treated with the utmost respect during this viratham days.

There is also a viratham for people to go to Melmaruvathur Adi Parasakthi temple. And here everyone is called “Sakthi”. Here also people treat other devotees with utmost respect, during the viratham days.

Even to the primitive mind, this will strike a chord that the God dwells in each and every human. And this is not restricted only to the viratham days – God is inside each one of us always. While people call each other Sami or Sakthi, during these viratham days and then later spew enmity at each other after visiting the temple, just proves their constricted thinking or rather no thinking at all.

The terms used to call others are not for just showoff during viratham days. It’s a direct implication to the God (conscience / supreme power) inside every human being.

Let us open our minds to accepting that each one of us needs to respect the other person irrespective of this viratham.