How long was I gone?

Did I go on a long break?

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Photo by myself from a personal retreat in 2015

I have been on this unintended and unplanned break from this blog space. Sometimes I thought I knew why I was away and sometimes I wondered why. It feels more like being in response to the Greater Continuum of Life. It is surrender to where and how I am called to be, on a daily basis.

I am so grateful for the loving kind inquiries on my well being and whereabouts. You, my friends from this blog world, are as real a contribution to me as any other. You truly nourish the soil on which I find my ground to be Here.

The beauty of the space I have been in

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Photo by myself (unedited) : Crater lake, Oregon – the incredible clarity

I found myself letting go of all particular ways of how I spent my time of the day. It led me to venture into new avenues of life and become more consciously present & engaged in the familiar avenues of life. It gave me clarity on exactly how I am a contribution to my relations, my intention, how my purpose is getting shaped. I kept wanting to be back here in time, I had so much to say, yet no urge to write.

My ability to allow life to come to me and follow exactly as guided from within, has deepened more than ever. I finally feel no judgment over what looks productive, or not, in the world out there. The choice of simply Being, living life without the pressure of Doing, is coming more easily to me. I found myself in a profound wave of contemplating, clearly seeing, digesting and integrating all aspects of my life and being, towards a sense of coherence. It is unfolding in incredible ways. It is amazing.

I feel the process of grounding and the blooming of ease & joy alive in me. There is no rushing about this process. It is slow and luxurious. It yields abundantly with the time and space it provides me to grow and just Be. 

Blog Anniversary

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Photo by myself

My first blog post was dated October 5, 2015.  All this time seems to be magical and unreal. I entered this space not knowing what blogging meant, what it took and what could be done with it. I simply needed a place to rest the force that was pulsating within. A trusted friend suggested WordPress, dear husband set up this site for me in one day and I posted my first poetry. The name of the blog, the description of About page – all of it came without any thought or plan. I put my fingers to keys and the words simply came. The description on the About page feels so innocent and newly, deeply meaningful to me today, as I celebrate 4 years of being here, on October 5. 2019.

It took a while for this space to change from a scared place to a sacred space for me. The love and understanding I received from interactions here, wrapped around my heart and helped me thrive.

That was a time when poetry had become a living breathing part of me. Poetry doesn’t visit me anymore as of now. Poetry, as if lovingly conveyed to me that it was time for me to visit life in a different role. I had felt a lot of grief when I thought poetry was leaving me. I even wrote a poem named “What if poetry never comes through me again” (https://pragalbhadoshi.wordpress.com/…/what-if-poetry-neve…/). I did write some more poetry after that as the flow trickled to a stop.

I love the richness of this yet another new life that I am living and also look back at my poet self fondly. Poetry knows the perfect time to come through again.

I trust the process

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Photo by Manish Doshi

I am in the process of integrating all parts of me into one self and embarking on this training ground for compassion, kindness, love, acceptance and courage to live with the truth of my being. It does take me through difficult bends, unskilled as I am – they are lessons I am supported and guided through.

Comfort is not a requirement, and joy is guaranteed in choosing alignment with universal humanity.

I now allow all different realities of life unfolding into one beautiful, magical, miraculous tapestry of life and its expression waiting to be channeled through me.

I would love to hear your thoughts my dear friends. I will find my way to your work and get to as much as I can. I truly missed you all. I will post next when the inspiration strikes me again! 🙂

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Letting Go?

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Photo: Manish Doshi

Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor. It means letting go of the idea of what the result looks like. Goodness comes in ten thousand and different ways. We fixate on having it come a certain way.

Be open to receive what’s coming to you. We shut ourselves off from what is coming to us. We do that with our busyness or often with feelings of unworthiness. Always filling the spaces available to us with ‘doing’ and ‘trying’.

We then go into judgment of self, and rest of the world. That is a sure way to find a million upsetting things in our life. Things, not even in our immediate life, upset us. We go about finding glory in all the suffering we endure in all our pursuits.

There are so many things that need not define our life. There are so many pre-organized structures that don’t really work for us. We seem to think it is comfortable to make ourselves fit into them. We imagine it would be our success to show growth within those structures.

There are some given structures that are nourishing to us. Those that give us certain joys, stability and security. Those are our gifts to receive from, and find our worthiness through them. There are some areas of our personal growths that need the freedom of creation.

Be willing to create, express and offer exactly what you want.There are no barriers in the space that is not restricted by definitions. Most things come to us in ways we haven’t ever thought about them. Don’t lock yourself up in finite ways of achieving things.

Keep your self-reflection with kindness and compassion. Have a willing contribution towards your pursuit. Let go of the idea of how it should be coming to you. Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor.
This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects! You will find this blog very inspiring.

 

Everyday Warrior

Yesterday while walking along the ocean, the fallen woods called me to play on them and I found myself an experience of the strength and spaciousness of The Warrior. The strength felt is a very subtle inner power.

The warrior may have an ocean of emotions churning within, the warrior allows space for them. The ground the warrior stands on may not be wide or is a shaky one. The warrior has strong grounding through the legs and open arms to receive to the fullest – the breath and from life itself.

Later in the day I found myself contemplating- what does Yoga mean to me?

Yoga is about:

  • cultivating positive energy and joy for our daily life.
  • dropping the effort and developing the skill and focus for everyday ease.
  • building our ability to sustain our productivity and functions for the long term.

The postures and movements may or may not be physically challenging for you. The effort is in the attention to cultivate a long smooth breath, that gives us the ability to be balanced in our body and mind. It helps cleanse the effects of stress and pain, physical and emotional.

The challenge is in maintaining focus of attention where it is required, often true even in our daily life. Yoga trains our mind for that focus, and to meet challenges with clarity & skill.

P.S. This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects.

Focus

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“Myself on the trail” Photo by Manish Doshi

I have lived with a confusion of what exactly I want to do with the rest of my lifetime.

I looked upon the path I was walking on, I often saw multiple trails coming up ahead. The best I could zoom in was to stand at a fork trying to decide which one of the two roads ahead I want to choose.

That led me to question myself : “What is my purpose?” “What is the work that I am truly given time for, on this planet?” “Which dream do I follow? Which dream is truly mine? Which ones are more ideas from others about what I could be/should be doing?”

It felt like this lifetime wouldn’t be enough to cover the paths becoming evident to me.

It is funny how clarity in different directions can create confusion!

The word ‘Focus’ dawned on me. I needed to focus in one direction for now, I told myself.

I followed my inclinations and found things that I couldn’t stop doing. They are enough to fill the day ahead & my heart with immense joy & peace. I am committed to those.

It has become clear to me that I needn’t beat up myself with one ambition to focus on.

I am travelling this beautiful road of life and I have a lot of glorious views on the way. I give myself permission to look side ways and take time to appreciate what I see.

This picture of mine taken unknown to me, gives me a glimpse of my Focus in life.

I kneel to the ground in reverence to how I am being guided and choose to look through the lens of a powerful perspective.

I still see the fork in the road ahead of me, not knowing which way each trail twists & turns. Yet, I am seeing that I will be led on to one of them, one day at a time.

Something tells me there is a possibility that both those trails could meet at a later time, and I might have the opportunity to have an integrated experience of fulfilling all my dreams on the way. Just maybe …

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays, a monthly initiative by Debbie Roth of Forgiving Connects, a blog of inspiration to me.

 

Looking Back to Look Ahead

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As we prepare to step into the New Year I felt drawn to revisit my old posts that came at a similar time. It was like visiting the previous versions of me and how the felt sense of life has kept evolving for me, year to year. This year I feel fairly removed from feeling the years as separate blocks of time. The year ahead feels like a continuum, a knowing of how I am going to be changed as a person yet there is no rawness of curiosity in it. I feel focused and open for new directions.

Following post, first posted on Jan 5, 2017. I loved repeating this to myself, so I shed some more layers of confines I place on myself. 

Step into the New …You

It is too long that you stayed in that shell …to keep others comfortable.

There are some around you who have always loved you, with whom you are amazing and it is easy. You feel safe being yourself. Then why walk on eggshells in the rest of the world? Why numb and dumb down the goodness and brightness in you ? Sometimes to the point that you feel like the most ungracious or insensitive person?

Nobody realizes that you are trying to be just the opposite, or simply trying to fit in. You value them too much …more than yourself! They are getting used to that …your misery even. And you are getting comfortable with that. In your mind you are being nice to them …stop …just stop!

They are taking your appreciation and praise, for everything about them, as your weakness, or worse jealousy. When you soar higher than what they perceive you to be (and you are still nowhere in your perception) …what will you take their unappreciation of your journey as? How will you look at their lack of acknowledging of your existence?

Look at those who really ‘see’ you. You seem to do everything right towards them.

Break the shell, crack open …Do what it takes! It’s worth it! They will find others who feed their comfort. Yes, give them the shock …stop hurting so much!

They will have to step up, to be able to understand you and cheer you in your growth. They will have to know the pain you pay as your dues. The grace you are showing as you choose to crack open and take flight.

You in your truthfulness will mourn your perceived loss of some of them, because you truly cared about them. That’s why you kept them comfortable while you suffered being trapped in an unwholesome reality.

Yes, I know you also have done some things wrong to some. Those too will reach out to you or you to them, in your growth. Just that you are not accountable to all of them this very minute, so don’t judge yourself so hard.

Go ahead take that step, a small change, break open, fly. The ones ready for growth will grow with you, or even break some towards their own growth. Some will fall away, as you both cannot see eye to eye now.

Forgive yourself, forgive them, love yourself, love them, allow yourself to Be, allow them to Be. Trust me, trust me, trust me it’s worth it. When you feel stuck and choose to wiggle out, it hurts, it’s worth it.

The ones who care for you and the ones you care for, will have to accept you as you are today. Let them know you want ONE with them, you are one of them. But be stronger on your own path. Some of them Never let go!!

Break out of anything you are keeping yourself in …one step at a time!

Following post, first posted on December 31, 2017. I have picked lines of the poem to share here because I feel exactly the same in a very different way, as I look back to 2018 and head into 2019. Title is linked to full post.

Looking Back in Time & Curious Ahead

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My family at a beach on Kauai island, Hawaii – December 2017

Looking back 2016 had felt like a poetry
It’s rhythm evident towards the end
Miraculous intensities as if waves undulatory

Looking back 2017 feels like chunks of prose
Blocks of emotions riotous, faced to fend
Unbeknownst intensities dealt to come to close

Now I see tremendous success in simply Being
The freedom and liberation is sweet
Without the need to justify with achieving

A lot of life is hidden in the slow living
Follow into the next choice after deep listening

All the voices in my head that created turmoil
Most many of them were not mine

When I decided to do nothing
Exact things happened that meant something

Universe is becoming my family
Soul interactions touching me deeply

And there’s us souls committed to each other
Deemed as Family for this lifetime
We hold hands together in joy and trust
To make it through with our individual soul calling

Each of you dear one who reads
I wish you too a curious & glorious 2018 (now 2019)
May you find a ground steady as you tread
The waves of life with each twist and turn

May we all embrace the beauty with mirth
Of this finite vacation on planet Earth

Following post, first posted on December 31, 2016. Title is linked to the full poem.

Times that become the year

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My family at the Sand Dunes of Death Valley, CA – December 2017

 

I will be on a break from this blogging space for a month from now. If I don’t respond to any of your comments this is why. When I return I will resume my visits to your wonderful works that I am going to be missing 🙂 My heartfelt Gratitude & Love to all of you and this precious virtual space where we often have our most treasured conversations. 

 

 

Choice

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Photo by Manish Doshi – On the sand dunes at Death Valley, California

A note to my blogger friends & readers:

This could be the last quote image of 2018 from me. I have had so much fun creating these. Check out all my quotes at the Inspiration Gallery that I am so grateful for coming to Be. It is the gift of 2018 to me and my gift to all of you who enjoy it.

Pairing the words that came to me with pictures was like a meditative treasure hunt always. Pictures came from our family vacations and often browsing through sites of my photographer friends Atanu Chakraborty & Vikram Phale, who generously allowed me to use them. None of the collaboration of words and pictures were ever planned. Pictures were taken without agenda and words were gifts of the soul of the Universe. Rare few times the pictures prompted the quotes and other times the words took me on the trail to the right picture.

The first quote image I ever made took me about 8 hours to get the final version right, playing with all the tools, fonts and placements available. I was like a kindergartner getting my alphabets right on the blackboard. So much patience shown with me from my friend Vikram Phale with his coaching to visualize the aesthetic aspects of the images, his honest feedback always, and help in the technical aspects of editing from my husband Manish Doshi. Today’s quote above found a picture and got designed in under an hour with no help 🙂 and I love the feeling of that.

I started this blog with a lot of poetry and occasional articles. I dreamed of making quotes but didn’t think/trust I would be doing them. A blogger friend Josiah Harry of Skylarity gifted me some quote images that he made from my poetry lines that he so preciously picked. Oh the joy and gratitude with which I received his gift of these quote images! (Images created by him are included in the Inspiration Gallery)That gave me the boost of a beginning to create my own, though it took me about an year after.

My quote images seem to have replaced the process of my poetry. Poetry has become a occasional kind visitor to me in my work, some articles, some thoughts, some quotes, some long pauses, that’s how I am flowing in this blog space.

 

PS : This quote image is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. Choices come with ease when we work with forgiving and acceptance.

Downsides of Gratitude?

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Photo: Myself “Fallen Leaves”

Gratitude & Joy are on my mind a lot lately.

My understanding of gratitude and joy, how it has evolved and grown for me, is on my mind a lot lately.

The quality of Gratitude and its power became known to me during the seemingly toughest times of life when I found myself naturally leaning into all that was available for me to depend on – people, basic necessities, nature – every single thing that I was receiving anything from, to help me keep going. Genuine Gratitude swelled from my heart for every perceived blessing, every kind word, every new day, each genuine smile, each laughter that became possible.

Joy was the gift and the jewel that came as the core fragrance of Gratitude. It felt the most amazing to wear on me – something radiated brightly with just Being in this state of Gratitude and Joy.

Then came the awareness that my Gratitude for roles people played in my life was taken for granted and seen as my neediness alone. I wrote a short poem to give this an expression.

On further self exploration, I recognized that deep down I have always felt unworthy and undeserving, having to earn any regard, support from any one else. There was a feeling of indebtedness. I felt obligated to become everything I can for their comfort and be available to pacify any of their struggle. Result was a lack of boundaries, lack of self-compassion and honoring my own needs in favor of what was required of those others who had made any contribution to my life. I had a tendency to disregard any unfairness towards me, constantly justifying it as their humanness.

Eventually I was able to separate my heartfelt gratitude from the feeling of having to give up my true sense of being in return for approval and appreciation. I felt empowered, free and actually very unselfish. I am now available in my best possible ability to be of good service to anyone, when I am truly being myself. No amount of taking on other people’s suffering is going to lessen their’s.

That lead to the awareness of the guilt that permeated the joy available for me. Guilt about how much some other people had not still caught up on the true simple pleasures of life and how they needed to be supported in that. With time I realized, I can honor each person’s journey, feel the tenderness of their suffering but the Gratitude for what is available to each, is their’s to find.

Grief brings us in touch with the core of our being, empathy brings us in touch with the core of humanity.

Each one of us is responsible to use our emotions skillfully and compassionately towards self and others. No matter how many tantrums I threw about the sometimes seemingly treacherous life, I had to live out my own until I was able to choose the right perspectives that led to more Gratitude and Joy. There are so many people that I am grateful for, for showing up to help me keep steering powerfully in the right direction. I just needed to keep the strength to NOT let go of the wheel, and depend completely on others to carry me. The direction I am headed towards comes from within me.

Gratitude is a means and also the gift received through the means. Joy is something that flows through our veins and becomes a natural expression that shows up in relationships and life experiences. There remains no need to stage and create moments of happiness. Joyful moments keep occurring naturally. This happens with looking at some excruciating times of life in the eye – with the eye of Gratitude.

I am finally free to celebrate Gratitude without forever feeling indebted or undeserving of what life offers me through people and opportunities. I am still learning to express joy without the guilt because of how much suffering humans hold within. I share my Joy when moved to do so, in an attempt to inspire more people to move in that direction, share in this pure juice of life and genuinely celebrate life with each other.

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. Debbie Roth’s work on this blog is a wonderful inspiration.