Healing & the Emerging Beauty

Photo by myself

I found myself in this tender raw space of being this past week. Outwardly I was functional for day to day life and inwardly I have been sliding down, what I now call, a healing hole. It is a messy, vulnerable experience every single time when that happens. You know the kind of unwellness that you feel and there is actually nothing really wrong in the present times? The kind that would convince you of your loneliness when actually what is true is the wisdom of being present with the aloneness in this process.

I felt assured that I will be guided and supported throughout. There was something within me that was almost thrilled at this opportunity of cleansing and renewal that it usually is. Knowing fully well it comes with much heart ache, tears and discomfort.

It can get pretty dark and lonely in the mind forest where you are clearing away the dense thicket of old beliefs, tendencies and old patterns. Some are so much our comfort zone yet a source of continual Dis-ease. I am not new to this geography of our mind for how we create our reality from all that we allow to grow here.

Just in case that I don’t lose myself fully in the seeming abyss, I made sure I informed few friends that I am feeling the urge to isolate. One soul friend accompanied me into my thickest and reminded me to remain in this human state of suffering only long enough that I am actually using it to clear out the old, and emerge renewed. The realities that we get stuck in, are mostly created in our mind by humans around. It is our responsibility to change that. She reinforced my connection with this Universe, my oneness with the Earth, the sky, the grass, so I could tap into the Infinite source to breathe and feel good where I am.

I found access to a deeper level of myself, that corner of my mind basement that had long gotten neglected. I had to shine the light on everywhere I was conforming at the cost of being my true self. I had to become comfortable to allow the chaos while I clear the space and make the required shifts to reclaim my power. It can feel very disruptive and scary, but then it is all in the mind. The only way out is through.

Photo by myself

I am amused at my arrogance that I feel shocked initially for having to do this inner work yet again. Judging myself for getting hit with this intense a low. As I watched myself continue to slip deeper, I knew I had to surrender to the wave. I slowed down to the fullest. Giving myself full permission for zero productivity. It is surprising how all the necessary gets done with better quality of attention and satisfaction this way.

No matter who is available for us, these are lonesome stretches that we have to be willing to walk through, without mistaking it for being alone, or trying to escape it. Even though it might feel excruciatingly lonely while going through some of it. How we relate to family and society are constructs of our minds. The greatest support from our immediate family is the space for these individual journeys. Drawing boundaries around our personal well being is a necessity.

I marvel in gratitude at how richly beautiful this life is, how amazingly supported we are. AmyRose a divine friend from this blog world sensed where I am through my comment on her blog and wrote this to me, affirming powerfully –

This journey all of us have been on is far from easy. We all have our good, bad, and then some iffy days. It takes practice acting like you and not how you have been conditioned to behave. You are fortunate you are learning this now, for the energies are creating the opportunities for you to grow rapidly. Always listen to your heart for it will not ever lead you wrong. You will know when you do or say or think something that is not lined up for your highest good because your Inner Guidance will not leave you alone until you rectify whatever it is that rubs your Golden Heart wrong. Be gentle with yourself ….”
(Do visit Amy by clicking on her name above, you will find her photography, and authenticity incredible at the least! She inspires me, guides me through her work and words.)

Today I woke up with a very tender nascent feeling, as if I had managed to crawl back to the rim of the hole and now simply absorbing the light. I decided I will take a break from my every Monday blog post. I felt exhausted and absolutely blank about wanting to share anything. Then the following words popped up as FB memory, that I had posted on my wall exactly 6 years ago today in 2015, when I didn’t know what a blog meant and that I would be called a writer.

I felt charged with aliveness after reading these words, a bold reminder of how I have been here before. That I can restart small and slow. I decided to put those words on the burst of blooming pink flowers as you can see at the top of this post. I thought I would post just that image. Then I realized I do not want to only share the full bloom of the flowers. I also want to share about my experience of having gone underground into the dirt before I could find my own joy beginning to bloom again.

I trust the process always. It only gets better from here.

Original photos used for above images below

P.S. I am truly blessed to have your comments.
I have been feeling a tug for not being able to visit your work as consistently as I would like in these few days. I will catch up on all that I miss, genuinely my loss as I love indulging in all the beautiful works by my friends here. Much Love & Gratitude.

Did I hurt my ‘image’ by sharing about my pain?

My Meditative Moments – Photo by Manish Doshi

I shared about my recent knee pain here and how I used it as an opportunity for deeper healing. Since then I have had quite a few conversations with curious and also concerned friends. I was encouraged by one of them to write this part 2 for my post “Liquid Gold” Following are some of the questions/comments I received along with my responses.

Why do you share about your pain publicly? Doesn’t it hurt your image as a healthy yoga teacher, and affect your business?

I do not have a brand to create in this moment, if at all, I am the brand for who and how I am. If there is any public image I strive for, it would be one of authenticity. I am in the business of creating myself in the truest expression of my spirit, and I facilitate that process for my students to the extent they would choose to go. I am a good coach to help someone identify what it is in their way & reach their goals with clarity, if we are a good match to each other.

I am as curious as you are, if my approach creates a well paying business for myself. I am open to discovering it. I forever keep pushing the edges of my skills, courage and vulnerability, and will keep showing up with all that I have in the moment. The results come abundantly in ways we are open to receiving, and that can look different for each one of us. I refuse to create an image of that which I am not in my being and becoming.

You practice yoga every day and also teach people, then how come you have such knee pain suddenly?

I am a human first, then a teacher, practitioner and everything else. Yoga practice does not give me a pain-free pass through life. It gives me the ability to become present to the pain and find a positive skillful way of being through it, and maybe out of it. It gives me the capacity to discern clearly, where is the pain coming from – is it purely physical, or is it also from some stagnant emotions? Is it being inflicted and accumulated from some mental belief that has us make certain choices repeatedly? Often pain has deeper roots than we can imagine.

I am skilled at facilitating this process for others, designing practices that help them become aware of their own body, mind, emotion patterns, and replace them with more aligned, balanced patterns.

I am a bit worried about you, Pragalbha. Are you taking health risks by treating yourself with yoga & spiritual stuff? Do these affirmations and all work for you because you are really specially spiritual or are you really doing something scientific?

This is in no way to replace expert medical advise (which I did take). I simply believe I have absolutely contributed to whatever pain emerges in my body, and so I need to be of equal or more contribution to my recovery from pain. Sometimes there are perspectives and choices that are needed in addition and for any medicine to take sustained effect.

While my doctor focused on the inflammation aspect of my pain, I focused on lengthening my spine with postural yoga to relieve strain on my knee joint, using my breath to keep my mind calm & clear, and other ways to clear out emotions like fear, inflexibility, anger, resentment that tend to create stiffness and pain in joints. In my case, my knee needed help to allow me to move forward literally and in life. I still have some lingering moments of pain coming back, reminding me that I am falling back into my old patterns. Pain is a very intelligent medium that helps us by its presence, until we heal wholly, deeply and fully. I am in touch with my expert medical practitioner for advice as needed.

Yoga is a science and practice of Being. It helps us get skilled at Being through circumstances without added stresses like fear or worry for example. It helps us get through difficult situations with much more ease, without anything become a major impediment. We are able to function in ways that otherwise might not have become possible. I have seen countless examples of this in students that I work with, be it physical pain or other stresses of life. And of course, I hope to keep sharing my personal journey with honesty.

P.S. If you liked this article, you might like the poem Questions Answered that I wrote back in 2017.

The most memorable thing anyone said to me

Myself in the Tall Woods – Photo by Manish Doshi

During one of the weekend trainings that I was taking about 5 years ago, another girl who was about my height or an inch taller, came up to me and said

“At your height, you really teach us how to stand really really tall!”

I had a good laugh with her and responded “This (height) is all I ever got, so I just stand that’s all”

She then shared with me how my passionate contributions to discussions had helped her gain confidence in her ability to speak up for herself, ask questions in front of the group.

I don’t remember being bothered, but I have been reminded all my life of being short. Nobody did the reminder as amazingly for me as this kind classmate did!

I thought this was the most memorable thing that anyone said to me. Then few months ago, I was in a phone conversation with a long time friend, sharing our latest life experiences with each other lovingly. She suddenly said “You know Pragalbha –

You live as if someone getting a PhD on the subject of life itself… not just studying but actually living it”

I was speechless, also because I only have an idea of the amount of meticulous research and dedication required of those who pursue the PhD degree. I do not have the experience of it. My educated friend went on to remind me “Oh you are no different, always remember that. You have a similar passion and dedication towards life itself, and to my eyes you live exactly like any other PhD aspirant.”

I remember being bothered by my lack of higher education and degrees behind my name during my younger years. It used to cut into my sense of self worth. A lot of life happened before I grew out of that and found my purpose in life. I feel content and blessed for how I was guided all along to reach where I am. I was absolutely humbled with what my kind friend had to say about my approach to life.

Now I have 2 most memorable things anyone said to me that make me smile when I remember them :)))

I would love to know – What are the most memorable compliments given to you? What do you think of those I shared?

Liquid Gold

Sunrise photo by my son Sanved Doshi

Sunrise & Sunsets are Magical Moments
And the one at the ocean
Is that liquid gold beauty
That invokes Gratitude naturally

My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude. I returned from my travel, a trip to Hawaii islands that seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen and then it was exactly what was supposed to happen.

Just one week before my trip, I suffered from a ‘bad’ knee that had me unable to walk or move for 3 days. While the doctors might talk about ligaments and what not, I went into deep communication with my knee, asking my body what it needed from me.

I have been holding multiple other life journeys in my heart, making me unable to move forward. My knees were telling me to keep moving ahead, and not carry so much of the heavy load, it wasn’t mine to carry. I serve better by living the lightness and the joy available to me, so I know, yet my mind felt selfish as if having to leave life and people behind, if I were to break out of more personal barriers.

My knees were holding a lot – they were stuck with much pain, grief, anger, even traces of resentment that I wasn’t willing to look at. The only way out of anything is Through. I have been there, done that before – this time it was my ‘intelligent’ knee that made me pause, look, feel, and let go.

I equipped myself with the following affirmations that I repeated to myself during the 6 hour flight and my daily barefoot walks in the earthly sand for at least an hour.

I release any inflexibility & fear I have stored in my knees.
I release any lack of ease I have stored in my knees.
I release any shock & resistance I have stored in my knees.
I release any anger & stubbornness I have stored in my knees.
I release any irritation & stress I have stored in my knees.
I release any excess responsibility & pressure I have stored in my knees.
I release any conflict & spiritual turmoil I have stored in my knees.
I joyfully release all that old stuff.

It is safe to surrender now.
I feel safe and flexible moving forward now.
I feel so supported and secure now.
It is easy to forgive the past and go with the flow now.
It is easy to stand up for myself now.
My knees are strong, stable, healthy.
I am perfectly aligned and embrace change easily.
I move forward with confidence and joy.

With every breath I take I send love, gratitude and healing to my knees and every single cell in my body.

I practiced deep long breaths and spine lengthening postures every day to release any stress on the lower extremity joints.

I went to the airport limping and I came back from my trip absolutely pain free. We planned for this trip only 3 days in advance when I felt very certain that it was in perfect alignment for moving forward. My knee wanted me to move through the pain, and the pain kept receding each day as I consciously worked through what my body needed and spirit guided.

Each day, each moment is an unknown unimagined miracle into another – last 2 weeks were as exquisitely amazing as much as how arduous the work might feel to dive in to the depths of our inner and outer journeys, finding our way through it all.

Myself at Sunrise, Photo by my husband Manish Doshi

The ocean has this magical ability to drink up all the tired unrelenting waves of my being and replenish with relentless, refreshed, playful, peaceful ones. My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude for all the abundance, joy, support and guidance available to me.

The Journey

Photo by Manish Doshi

The journey itself doesn’t see our earthly age. It is a joy to arrive when we arrive and a delight to meet your own tribe on the same path.”

This blog platform has been a significant way of meeting and interacting with utmost amazing beautiful people who have created an indelible impact on my life journey from one day to another. They are generous hearts and souls delivering divine messages and reminders as if guide posts on the path, through their work and exchange of comment conversations, often year after year. I hope to find the ability and inspiration to share about each one who has been a contribution to me. You know who you are. An humble bow of gratitude to you.

Today I want to share about one such beautiful blogger friend, Tamara Kulish.

The quote in the above image came as a part of our conversation on one of her blog post “Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself” This post made me thoughtful and I responded with saying:

“Do what you want and what you enjoy – this seemed like the most revolutionary advice I gave myself at one time I remember. The sense of self-worth when not independent of others’ expectations, we lose our sense of Being and keep choosing to do things to satisfy some external standards. Your post is one perfect statement after another.”

Dear Tamara responded to the above by saying:

“We have both learned the value of doing this in our lives, you earlier in life than I did, but it’s wonderful when anyone does, whether earlier or later! There’s really no better time than now, for anyone contemplating this in their own life! It’s a truly liberating mind set!”

My heart all joyful with resonance and as if with a nod to her, I responded :

The journey itself doesn’t see our earthly age. It is a joy to arrive when we arrive and a delight to meet your own tribe on the same path.”

Tamara then generously shone her bright light on this statement of mine and made it into a quote in this post: Your soul is the place within you that is timeless, ageless, and eternal She gifted my words back to me, to take this beautiful and powerful form, as you see in the quote image at the top. I hope you enjoyed and found value in our interaction that I chose to share, in similar fashion of her post.

Please visit Tamara Kulish to know of her expansive work of books and journals published in the area of self-discovery, personal development, finding happiness and fulfillment. Her blog posts are a treasure, each one, with her honest authentic sharing and inspiring perspectives.

Couple of Little Celebrations

Me & The Book :))

I thought of meeting you face to face to share my happiness of this book that I am holding :)) Some of my poetry is published as part of this collection, alongside poetry from some amazing poets that I have come to admire and adore for their absolutely magical art of words. It is available on Amazon for download on Kindle here for $0.99. Do check it out to see its description and if it interests you.

Step Into the New You – image sourced from the India Currents article

And in another little celebration and I am thrilled to share with you that an article of mine was selected by a community media platform India Currents to be published as part of their January theme – Renewal : You and the World around You. I chose to focus on my favorite topic, you can read it here: Step Into the New… You. I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Heartfelt Gratitude for all your support, reading and meaningful interactions that has afforded me tremendous growth as a person and this journey with words as a writer. It is more like pouring these surges of expression that come and what a privilege to be read and received! These tiny expansions of publishing in the outer world are a spillover of all the love in this inner world of WP where I first dipped my toes and then kept swimming in this world of writing and sharing.

Impossible

Photo by myself

The Impossible Just Takes A Bit Longer

Much of life that I live today are seemingly craziest, weirdest thoughts that I kept repeating to myself to the point of absurdity even. So many regular simple moments now were a distant dream of the past. If I pay attention truly, each day is a celebration of some evolution and manifestation. It helps me trust and dream bold. Without the yearning to be anywhere different than where I am. And of course at times I get impatient with the next dream. Then I remind myself to look for places I am not paying attention. To find gratitude for prayers answered and desires fulfilled. I love the feeling when I find it, again and again. I love being in the moment, as if I am living a dream.

On a visit to a beach close by, early November 2020, I picked up a stick and asked the ocean to guide my hands to carve words as messages, to move forward into the days ahead. I kept my mind clear as I watched the words appear. The above image – ‘Trust’ was the first to appear. The next 2 were as below.

Photo by myself
Photo by myself

I then stood there silently and watched the waves wash over some words partially. The ocean surely washed away those messages after I was gone – they are now a part of me and part of the ocean. I continue to wish, dream and trust happily.

Wishing you my kind friends on WordPress and dear readers a very optimistic, fulfilling, enriching, peaceful, healing New Year 2021!

Note: I will get back to visiting your beautiful posts that I enjoy heartfully after Jan 4. I apologize for not being able to take time now and any delay in my responses if they happen.

Days are long, Life is short

Photo by myself

2020 is a long year.
And yet it is already mid-November 2020.

My 15 year old said to me the other day “I can’t imagine living to 80 or 90 year old. That is just too much. I feel like I am on this Earth for too long already. I think it is tiring to keep living that long” He had said the exact same thing when he was 13 too.

I was speechless as to how to respond both times and a bit saddened that he thinks so. It took us few more conversations to arrive at the conclusion that the more we live to deliver to the expectations of social constructs, more tedious it seems to keep living.

I explained to him that I actually feel very young and I am forever learning something, growing, waiting to begin my life as if, and find that this lifetime wouldn’t be enough for what I think is possible. He explained to me that he doesn’t have time to think all that after attending school for 6 hours and working at assignments for another 5 or more hours. Then all we did was nod and smile at each other for what we had realized for ourselves.

The days are very long for my son who is in high school. The days can seem very short for me as I juggle my time between family chores and my personal pursuits. It can easily become overwhelming if I try to figure out what I should be doing. Most answers come from definitions of success and other conditioning. I have come to value Being – being at peace and joy and ease through anything that I am doing. This in itself becomes difficult at times as it involves setting boundaries and clearing attachment to certain ways of being.

It is a continuous process of discovery “What do I really want to do today?” that seems in alignment with me being my authentic self, in this moment and situation. Because life is very short really, to spend it any other way.

Dear friends and readers, I have made a friendly commitment to myself to post here every Monday. So I showed up today and simply decided to share what was lingering within and accessible to be expressed in words. I am absolutely thrilled to see if you have any thoughts to share with me on what became this post 🙂

P.S :
Related post : Be-Come
Another conversation with my son when he was 11 : An attempt at success?

Things I have tried not to say

Photo by myself

Things I have tried hard not to say:

I gave you valid respect for your given role in my life. I will never falter in that. I became weak, I cried. You scolded, told me to become strong. I did. You can’t stand me now.

I have no desire for power games. Each time you try to make me small, I hurt a bit, a lot and then just become tall. I desire respect for who I am and regard for my personal growth.

I shared with you that genuineness in relationships is required for me. You explained how I am being unreasonable. You thought you helped me understand. Sadly, I understood what you said.

I said it is important to show more care for each other. Soon it became a game of guilt-tripping grievances, while flaunting privileges. I wasn’t interested in those. I quit engaging. I am learning to be ok.

I kept my stories positive. I didn’t share what I really struggled & triumphed through. Validated, empathized and supported you inside out. You took me for granted and declared that I am lucky I have it all so easy. I am learning to find a balance.

You have given me a lot of goodness, helped in times of need. I expressed profound gratitude at every opportunity. I am done being made indebted to you forever. I perhaps bring no other value to you.

You praised my spiritual writing in public and in person. Then you said I was foolish to actually attempt to live what I wrote. I need to be loyal to my own word. I think you should have no say in that.

I have acknowledged both your struggles and your privileges without agenda and envy. I think I have suffered enough humanly, if that’s the competition we are in, to prove our worth. I now go for continual joy and gratitude. You preach me positivity while pointedly reminding me of my lack. I become weak only because I care and want to trust you.

You are so so lovely, I would love to create some fun moments with you, instead of you trying to make me jealous with other people. I wish we are truly that which we take turns trying to become/show. Have a cup of smiles, perhaps with some sweet, bitter, hot, perfect brew. I want us to speak easy and true, or then why bother with the façade/role play?

Praise is not the expectation behind any of my action. Love is the intention behind all I say and do. I feel deeply. I mean what I say. Your mixed layers of what you say, what you really mean and you intend to convey something underneath saying something in the perfect nice words – it is exhausting to me.

Respect & Love exist as attitudes, trickling into action and words. Certainly not true when the words are claimed, assumed, imagined, explained. All this while continually invalidating others’ feelings, in the guise of wanting to make them strong and positive.

These are things I have tried hard not to say.

Today I decided to get them out of the way. I am not perfect, made my own human mistakes. I am working my way through. All this is what I really think sometimes, before I work diligently at letting go of expectations and acceptance of what is.

When emotional I am often unskilled at expressing, wanting to keep the love and kindness, fearing loss of relations. It is ok I think now, to say what I really mean without trying to make it into something nice. It is ok to love myself as much as anyone else.

I am learning to become unapologetically myself, still humble and authentic, valuing positivity and peace, yet more unapologetically myself. All my heart feels is Love in this moment and I am willing to grow to be able to live it to the fullest extent of it.

Post Update because of some comments I am getting : This is not about a single person in my life. I share a good marriage with my husband – we grow together as individuals. This is a compilation of various journeys with multiple interactions in life. Not an exact experience of this moment but a description of cumulative experiences I have been working through. A venting of how I think relations work in some ways in society, that I am growing out of very clearly, and felt the nudge to put it out in the Universe for anyone who might find it helpful and mark my own journey ahead.

Related posts from the past, if you feel inclined –

Prose :
Downsides of Gratitude?

Step into the New …You

Truthfulness, kindness & the dumbness of it all!

Love broken down to …Basics

Rhymes :
I Certainly Will …

Gratitude Attitude

Being Positive Truthfully

Relations & the Balance

Photo : Yosemite NP, CA by myself

If you manipulate your way in changing the other person in a relationship, you will not feel the joy when that change comes. The thrill will go away quickly and the change won’t last.

If you manipulate your way of being in a relationship, the other person will reflect back the changes in you in the most beautiful way. This is a slow process of skillful transformation
. Everything changes. You get to keep the authentic relation forever or let go. Let go of the expectation or sometimes the relation itself. You experience the most peaceful joy. It comes from finding yourself, discovering how you relate to yourself and strengthening that bond first.

Photo : Distances by myself

It is our patterns that shape our relations. Let go of the blame of how people distanced from you. It is important to address what is the pattern in you, and what addiction of yours were they serving? Validation, approval, connection, filling up some emptiness what is it that you were needing?

In the space that is consciously created, the real ones always stay or return. Because you returned back to yourself and allowed them to find themselves.

No judgment, all compassion, kindness and love, for oneself and others. All healthy boundaries.

P.S. 2020 became the year of deep reflection for how I relate to myself and others, seeking another level of balance in my personal spiritual journey and authentic relations. The nature of some family, society and worldly relations managed to create dissonance while also refining my appreciation for simple happy times with my immediate family.

If you feel inclined here are some of my other posts on relationships from different times. I appreciate all thought processes shared on my posts. All exchanges of perspectives are a growth for all.

Relations – A leaf that loves the Tree

Relationships …a choice or a privilege!

Relationship Illusions & Truth of Soul

A true Relation

A Good marriage is the Best

Don’t Blow Up your Life

Truthful Commitments

Is there a Perfect Spouse?