The Fullness of Nothingness

Photo by Manish Doshi 2019 – I was resting my spine on Earth at the edge of Crater Lake Oregon after a long hike. The peace was refreshing, the blue is the real color of the lake & the photo unplanned.

“Do Nothing – It is the Brave who can truly rest on this planet”

Do Nothing – I wrote this poem in April 2018. I was reminded of it when I was trying to make sense of my current unexpected blog break. My Kind WordPress friends, YOUR comments on this poem comforted and validated me, after 4 years now. Hope you enjoy it – on the image above or revisit on the linked title.

Life is gloriously flowing through me and I am simply Being – at times very raw and at times spacious freedom from shedding deeper identities. I feel very blessed for the opportunity of this lifetime and the abundance I am surrounded by, that I get to steep myself in when I choose to do nothing.

In the beginning, my mind rebelled against not delivering to my own expectations of a given day. Even while engaged in hands-on tasks of everyday life, I was inwardly pulled to the WordPress Space wanting to post my latest poetry, read yours, and engage in precious conversations that are the gift of this space. Each time I attempted to explain/inform of my unintended break, I as if entered a portal of stunning nothingness. Spirit questioned if my words were better than silence and silence became the choice.

The guidance was strong, I got steered away from all engagement. The mind went into a lot of chaos initially, collecting pieces of past, present, and future to make sense of. Once I steadied myself by allowing all that to pass through, a lot of truth that I was unwilling to accept became evident. The lies that I lived with, shook my now-reality into a fast spin. A lot of disintegration and reintegration seemed due.

This one was a transition similar to others, and it was also a different space of magical drift into nothingness. I wasn’t in a healing hole sliding down like in the past. I was feeling spacious, raw, getting renewed – I was immersed in the utter Beingness. There were waves of grief as I shed my past self, yet no tears, I was steady. Just Being present in the moment. There was no need for anything to be different, all sense of direction and aspiration suspended. There was a need for Slowness, amidst the Infinite waves of life. I often tend to pick up doubt in this way of being as much as I advocate it. I moved past that eventually.

There was a child-like joy with the knowing to make choices with lots of breathing space around for my intuition to be heard – for my reality and tasks to be structured differently than I was holding them – I gave myself renewed permission for taking the time to do one thing at one time, one day at a time, one week at a time with deep attention, with no sense of urgency or busyness. I was thrilled with the trust I felt in the Glorious Unkown, while Being in the wide-open spaciousness and tender vulnerability of the moment. The nature of Presence is such.

Be-come – This is a short post from December 2019 that Spirit guided me to, during this phase of Nothingness. It had conveyed the exact words as a reminder for my current self and yet again – my WordPress friends YOUR comments on it are an absolute treasure to return to. I humbly offer this post to you to revisit or if you are new to my space since then.

Even if it felt like Nothingness – some Infinite Living ways continued – I attended to every day needs of my family, at times hosted guests, had sacred conversations while facilitating my private students, completed my assignments as a full-time student & attended classes for my 4 year-long yoga therapist training. The list of what I allowed to fall off my day feels longer still as I have allowed myself the luxury of plenty of time. That’s where I am ready to receive guidance to make choices in powerful and playful ways. I am not giving up on anything I started, all that I have held in my intention with utmost love and gratitude.

Photo by Manish Doshi 2015 – Powerful & Playful is how I choose 🙂

“It is the Brave who can truly rest on this planet” – I am truly blessed and privileged for all that I am afforded – to dream and to live.

Dear WP friends – I look forward to visiting your blog space to find updates on your end that I have dearly missed. I sincerely hope you trust me when I say – my gratitude only deepens for this space with each passing day. It is very kind of you to allow and witness my inner process of living as you always do. My Presence, Slowness, Genuine Gratitude, Utmost Regard for you and your work, with Absolute Love and Humble Bow.

She

Photo by Myself

A girl, a woman born with the essence of feminine grace and beauty. With innate qualities and potential for expression of what she can be, with the gifts she is born with.

When she dances to the rhythm of music she becomes her pure essence. When every fiber of her Being becomes a part of the symphony, she embodies the purity of the soul.

A girl, a woman, often since born on earth, has been caged in this mold, a way of living carved out for her, defined for her. Her role-play in this lifetime dictated to her as if in exchange for basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing. The basic needs are met and she is trained to follow the rules of female existence.

This is from an age when her gender innocence is at its peak, she is barely a girl from a toddler. She is enrolled in a dance class to cultivate discipline. Not to allow her essence, her most beautiful expression of Being to bloom with her own unique fragrance, but just to learn a dance form. No public performance is allowed. Good girls don’t move their bodies this way in public, she is told, as she continues to mature.

The girl becomes a woman with a process of going through a shredder as if, separating her person into strips of ways of Being offered to different relations as designed and defined. She is a daughter of a family, daughter-in-law of another, keeping their smiles of approval beaming as long as she behaves in respectable ways.

One strip, the essence of that woman keeps fluttering in her face through life. It is her sense of being herself, a piece of that person wanting to be congruent within and not stripped off in so many ways. That strip has all the love and devotion towards her relations, yet wants the freedom to dance to her own rhythm, through life experiences of her own.

When this woman sets herself dancing to the music on stage, immerses herself in the realm of her own essence, her soul is set free to be herself. No name, no relations, no conditions, her gender evident only in the beauty, the grace, the art, the freedom that transcends all different ways of her being. This woman then captivates the audience as if in collective meditation, mesmerized and immersed in the rhythm of the soul.

Let us celebrate the awakening of this collective woman power in the uplifting of our human essence. Happy Women’s Day to all of you, those who identify with the gender, and others who support their journey!

Note: To me, She is based on my observation of so many sister-friends around, and the various ways of impact all of us have, from growing up in our particular culture. Do you recognize Her in someone you know from any of my descriptions?

P.S. This article was lying in my pile of unpublished drafts since 2017. It appeared in my mind today, as I was thinking about what do I want to share for this week’s blog post. I was delighted that this piece showed the willingness to go out into the world on International Women’s Day this year 🙂

“Straddling Two Cultures, Conditioning Love” Published on India Currents

Image Credit: India Currents “Self Love”

Love is felt deep and love is felt light. It is felt in its absence and in presence. It is present whether you are aware or unaware. This is a story & journey of Love, how I discovered its true meaning, some of it through my own living and some from observing others. This is Love broken down to Basics.

This article initially titled “Love Broken Down to Basics” was published on this blog before in 2016, in a longer form. The topic has been very close to my heart, and I am absolutely thrilled to see it take a new form to be published on India Currents, a South Asian digital media magazine with the largest following in the United States.

I will be very honored and humbled for you taking the time to visit this link to read it in full.
https://indiacurrents.com/straddling-two-cultures-conditioning-love/

It is my deepest joy to know your thoughts on my words about Love. Sincerely.

Relationships & Truthful Commitments : Published in AmericanKahani/Perspectives

Photo by Manish Doshi at Kauai Sunset

Some long-term relationships have the security of commitment and complete trust. Those in such relations often feel saturated and locked in the roles they either choose for themselves or get defined to. Eventually, distress comes up …

The above are the opening lines to my article on Relationships & Truthful Commitments recently published in the Perspectives section of the multimedia site AmericanKahani.com. It would be my privilege if you were to take the time to visit this link to read and share your feedback on my perspectives with me:
Relationships 101: The Importance of a Truthful Commitment However Difficult it Maybe

This is my second article on the topic of long-term relationships published with AmericanKahani. I shared the first article here on November 8, 2021 :
Don’t Blow Up your Life: Take Responsibility for the Choices You Make

This article was originally published on this blog On January 22, 2018.

A Lazy Afternoon

Photo by Manish Doshi – On a Lazy Afternoon

Earth, Water, Sunshine
And a lazy afternoon
Are enough for some flowers to bloom.
What needs have I made significant to not be in gloom?

I decided to show up ‘in person’ to share my lazy afternoon thoughts with you 🙂

I am watching myself, my compulsions, my almost obsessive needs that take me away from this abundant life given to me. Nothing a bit of sunshine on a winter afternoon can’t fix, and yet I seem to easily get back to being fixated on that one thing missing, that one kind of love from that one relation – making me feel like an imposter for all the joy of gratitude and greater Love that I keep sharing.

I am watching myself, with the same Love that I keep yearning to give others and be reciprocated with. The trick is, I have learned, to turn it all inward, pour it in oneself, for Love has to be directed inside-out. That is only how it radiates outward, pours out and changes the molecules in the air and the people interacting with you. I just sometimes wish it didn’t have to be that way, it is so painful when I have to love myself in those spaces where I am so adamant I don’t want to love myself, and yet I know how much I do love myself, and just this part of it, I want it exactly as I want it. You know what I mean?

Earth, Water, Sunshine
And a lazy afternoon
Are enough for some flowers to bloom.
What needs have I made significant to not be in gloom?

Phenomena at the Ocean

Some glimpses on our planet make me feel blissed and blessed for being alive here. They fill me with pride, glory, and humility in my being. They drop my felt sense experience of living into a sense of nothingness, in a way that I become present to life in ways indescribable. They stun me into silence and a childlike surprise for being chosen for these unexpected prizes for being in the right place at the right time, in the most undramatic manner.

This is how I feel about my visit to Maui, Hawaii at the end of December 2021. I expected warm waters, pristine beaches, forest hikes, and beautiful sunsets but didn’t imagine encountering these few other things:

I used to wake up in the early dark hours in anticipation of catching the sky colors at sunrise. I witnessed this instead. (It was difficult to pick just one picture of each kind. These are simple mobile clicks)

Spotlight from the Sky – Divine Light at 5.30ish am
Photo by myself
Full Moon shimmering on the Ocean – Oh the garments our planet wears
Photo by Manish Doshi
The Moon setting behind the island of Molokai
Photo by Manish Doshi

As if this was not enough, a totally unknown (to me) phenomenon was sent my way!

A night rainbow at 9.45 pm! I am told it is a rare sight on some moonlit nights and is called a Moonbow!
The picture is taken at night setting, the sky was much darker than seen here. Photo by Manish Doshi
Can you trace the lower end of the rainbow entering the water close to the shore? That was new to me!! It is not a reflection on the water, it is the rainbow curving all the way!
Almost full circle daytime rainbow at the same location. Photo by myself

These phenomena at the ocean along with other soul-nourishing experiences made me pinch myself for why I deserved this perfection of life moments. I met the ocean in various moods – calm & clear, fun and playful, and yes amidst all this beauty I had a major emotional meltdown as if wanting to deeply feel my worldly humanness again. As much as the Ocean mirrored the former qualities with slow rhythmic waves at the shore, it also joined me with thunderous unruly waves for the latter mood. The ocean showed me how all kinds of waves are beautiful – it is just breathtaking how we get to have all our humanly ways of being. I returned forever in gratitude.

Photo by myself

A short poem that emerged for an early morning with the waves:

The Ocean lends me a sense
Of power and beauty
Quite Unapologetically
The waves within
Are as playful or then unruly
I allow them all to flow
Quite Un-shyly

Happy Greetings for Amazing Times!

Photo by myself: First Sunrise of 2022

Happy Greetings for amazing times in the year ahead, my dear respected long time friends and newer heartfelt connections through our words in this space! I am always and ever so humbled and thrilled to be here and have this space to be here.

I did not really want to take a break from blogging during this holiday season – I kept coming here and then feeling very silent, so that’s what I stayed with, silence and all of you in my heart.

Silence did not translate into solitude for me – As much as I took an unintended break from much activity, life was brimming full with homely family time, island vacation, and a sense of blessedness for it all.

Life brings so much beauty through intensity, and also intensity through beauty! I raise one to you all, to drink it in with gratitude for the splendor of it all.

Though I feel fulfilled about honoring the silence regarding being here, I do feel the regret of being absent on reading your works. It is my loss when I don’t get to visit you. I will now take the time to make up as much possible for my misses. To my new visitors – I am greatly honored that you chose to spend time in this space. To my old friends – I apologize for being unresponsive to your comments for so long.

On another note, I am very happy and proud to share a poet friend Lalit Kumar’s first poetry book “Years Spent : Exploring Poetry in Adventure, Life and Love” Sharing my favorite lines from him:

“Niggling fear or the raging fire

whom should I choose?

I choose fear,

feels my life beginning to shrink.

I choose fire

I expand beyond my proportion.”

I hope you check it out and enjoy it as much as I did. I like how he relates to poetry the way I do – this surge that comes from experiences of our worldly quests and inner explorations of ourselves. His poetry feels like our story really. He writes beautifully about all things life – success, transitions, emotions, pain, love, etc. For my Delhi readers, this book will also be displayed at New Delhi World Book Fair in Pragati Maidan, Jan 8th – 16th.

Oh the Gratitude & Joy

It is Monday, time for my weekly post. I almost decided to skip posting today. The only way to convey the deep rich silence I am feeling full with, is Silence – I thought. And yet I wanted to park myself in this space. To be Here with you all. So then I decided to bring these glimpses of my yesterday to you, a day I spent in the golden weather and nature of California with a dear friend. These pictures are the only times I felt the urge to use my phone, and lock the moments in memory. I didn’t plan well to be able to share with you better, I hope you feel the magic dripping from the moments I did capture.

The Vineyards of Napa Valley
The Train, The Road & The Vineyards: It was thrilling to spot the train coming, pulling over the shoulder on the highway, and the perfect timing of my friend getting out of the car to get this picture. (We were also being safe :))
It felt like I had never seen more beautiful ripples on water.
Yeah the weather was pure gold
Such ornamental display by the side of the parking lot!
Made me forget I was standing on the sidewalk of a busy traffic street, I thought I wanted to spend the day sitting on this carpet.
As I lined my spine on Earth, looking at this sky through the Leaves&Light, the aroma of fresh grass replenished my Being
Entering Storyland …as if. This photo is by my friend.
Oh, the Gratitude & Joy I feel!!

Blessed Feelings. I offer to you the peace and rich silence within. Hope you take some moments to yourself and breathe in with ease & joy of your Being.

How is it even working out?

Photo by myself: Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes, CA

I am so absolutely dissatisfied forever and yet have this absolute contentment in me for my life – How is it even working out?

I am greatly amused at this thought that I am pondering about.

There are days I wake up with such waves of desires and aspirations pulsating within – all I can do is hold myself in stillness so I can watch where the currents are taking me. Sometimes I marvel at the glimpses of possibilities shown to me and sometimes I scream silently “Just Let Me Be”

And then there are days that I wake up so clear and calm, an emptiness that is so full, a fullness of the magic of life currents and empty of the turmoil of living – all I can do is bask in the bliss of gratitude, looking around at all that seems like a dream come alive.

Drenched in the joy of the life of it all, I then become aware of those undercurrents stirring within – they are both kinds, of today’s blessings and tomorrow’s visions, carrying the yesterdays in their very womb. And I am in awe of this container I am – that holds it all.

I look back gratefully at all the grief that brought me to this joy, I look forward gratefully to all the more grief and joy waiting for me.

I am sensing that one thing that I am never looking back on and looking forward to – the fear that I used to live with. It was not the fear of particularly anything, it was just Fear, my forever friend, who strived to keep me safe. It was the primary emotion I woke up with for a long part of my life. I now affirm to thrive and have fear take appointments with me, for any important conversations that need to happen. After all we are old friends.
(Just typing this brought up a tinge of fear in me – what if this is too much to ask? Thank you my friend – I hear you.)

I am so absolutely dissatisfied forever and yet have this absolute contentment in me for my life – How is it even working out? – Gloriously, I think. It is working out gloriously.

About Awards & Gratitude

Photo by Manish Doshi

As I sat down to create my weekly Monday post, I checked into my heart for what wanted to be expressed during this week of ThanksGiving. I realized that Gratitude has been my drug of choice in life – I trace back the infinite blessings of my life to this gift of Gratitude that sometimes blooms with joy and sometimes is a practice of cultivation that reproduces joy unfailingly.

I checked for how and for whom I want to express gratitude today. Of course, for this community that literally buoyed my being for these many years now, and also something unique happened. I realized that I feel a new sense of gratitude for someone who I have often neglected most. Now I feel quite audacious to say – Myself. But honestly, and humbly that is what came to me – I am grateful for myself for all of who I have become.

Now how should I convey this? – I asked, perhaps hoping to be redirected to something else. It was a pleasant surprise when I was guided to this Liebster Blog Award post from when I was 5 months into blogging in February 2016. I did not have readers yet, but this kind blogger acknowledging and encouraging me meant the whole world to me.

I wish to share with you all today, kind friends, my response post to that award. It felt so good to have a glimpse into myself from when I was in this space kind of innocently, not knowing what blogging meant. To see not much has changed truly, in spite of the fact that I feel like a whole new person since then.

I remember so tickled from getting asked questions about myself – it was an unfamiliar and amazing window to look at myself through. This is the only blog award I responded to, going award-free thereafter. Here it is :)))

11 facts about me:

1. I believe magic exists in everyday unfolding.
2. I love rain.
3. I love driving in the rain alone.
4. I like the crunch of walking on fallen leaves.
5. I love the sunshine in lukewarm weather.
6. I can watch waves crashing for hours.
7. I think every single thing that comes my way is relevant.
8. A coffee and a great conversation is time spent well to me.
9. I enjoy creating different styles of outfits.
10. I am passionate about seeing life transformations.
11. I have spent a lot of time playing board games with my sons.

Answers to the 11 questions given to me:

1. If you could live back in time when and where would you choose and why?
Hmmm …Actually I am feeling perfect where I am, so given a choice I would like to stay right now and here 🙂

2. What do you think will be the greatest invention in the future
Don’t know really …

3. What is the best t.v. show in your opinion?
I don’t watch t.v. much … have loved Friends in the past and now occasionally enjoy Big Bang Theory.

4. What book have you enjoyed the most?
Difficult to pick one … Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer, I was young and this book felt powerful…

5. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My first yoga teacher in US, he always helped me see the truth in me, in a very un-authoritative manner.

6. Which parent influenced you the most and how?
Not sure about this actually …by now every interaction has become an influence.

7. How do you think we can contribute to peace?
By cultivating peace within, it can be very contagious!

8. What do you think is man’s greatest achievement?
In my small reality, this virtual world that connects people across the earth, is an amazing achievement.

9. What do you think is man’s worst behavior?
Acting in harmful and untruthful ways, going against joy …their own and others.

10. What do you like to do for fun?
Listen to songs, chat with friends and laugh with them.

11. If you could travel into space where would you go?
Far enough to take a look at Earth as a whole and then back!

Thank you for traveling with me and my words till here, THANK YOU is all I can say truly and deeply. Happy Week of Giving Thanks!

P.S. Thank you to my husband for the amazing fall picture that I used at the beginning.