The Ordinary Extraordinary

Photo by myself: Crater Lake, Oregon. Unedited mobile click – what is so ordinary or extraordinary about this picture?

It helps to blur the line between ordinary and extraordinary, whichever end we think us to be on. When extraordinary strength is required for everyday life during challenging situations that seem to be present for a long term, it helps to remember that even ‘normal’ life feels the same periodically.

I realized this when I dealt with a difficult illness for some years with no break of ‘normalcy’. I decidedly trained myself to accept my new normal and then the days that felt really hard became just like any ‘normal’ life. It lifted the burden of Why Me-s and made it somewhat more acceptable to live through the ordinary pain of a seemingly extra-ordinary situation (or vice versa).

And when we think of us as ordinary and normal it helps to remember that we hold the potential for extraordinary. When life is ‘normal’ we take it for granted that only some special people have strength. We forget that they are choosing to be strong. All of us have the choice to go a bit beyond our comfort zone, with integrity to our well being.

I love and admire people who have, what I don’t have in me yet. We need all shades of capacity, resilience and joy in differing measures from time to time. I keep learning to love myself more and more with all my perceived shortcomings. It gives a renewed taste of newfound freedom continually.

All things big and small when dropped to the felt sense become our internal experiences. No experience is ordinary or extra-ordinary, in some ways. Just because it happens to everyone and is normal, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be affected. If our thoughts and emotions are taking over that means our experience is real. It is affecting the quality of our life. Acceptance is being aware of all of that.

When fear grips, it means some perceived and real experiences have left us with no control over how we feel and choose. It becomes a struggle even when we have had a taste of divine faith before. We now seem to have lost the ability to be congruent with the core of our original being. When our system is out of balance the fear might bring up some pain or symptom in the body. We might feel agitation or confusion in the mind, we lose the capacity to connect with divine faith.

It is helpful at such times to create experiences to influence our system in the direction of balance. This can be done in various ways. A breathing practice that brings the body and mind to a calmer & clearer state of being, time in solitude or nature with nurturing activities. To me sometimes I just need honest conversations with people who can act as authentic mirrors to me. Either a friend or mentor who reinforces and channels that sense of trust, faith or divine connection back in our system.

I have found tremendous rich value in this process of intentional shifts between imbalance & balance, ordinary & extraordinary, and fear & faith. I am blessed to be a receiver of such reinforcements from friends and teachers that I reach out to.

I am also grateful to have opportunities to facilitate such shifts through the yoga classes that I teach in group and private sessions. If you are curious check my humble yoga website: http://www.YogaSaar.com

This post is from a train of thoughts that I had saved in my drafts. I would be honored to know what came up for you and if we are able to exchange perspectives.

Sleep Chaos

Photo by myself

Clarity exceeds capacity
Calmness becomes chaos

Dreams keep awake
Sleep alive with dreams

Life itself pulsating, Allow it
To draw you out from within

Float away into the day
It will carry you back

To a good night’s sleep
When you give up the need

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?

With Love

Photo by myself


Give IT time …with love
Give what IT takes …with love
Give IT fiercely …with love
Give IT all …become love

Give IT space …with love
Give IT up …with love
Don’t give up on IT …just love
Watch IT come back …with all the love!

Sometimes the IT is Love itself, and Love itself keeps unfolding for what it is for us. As I was wondering if I wanted to post anything on the theme of Love on this post-Valentine’s Day Monday, I was moved to revive this post that I had published on February 16, 2017. So I made it into the image above. I hope you like it and look forward to your thoughts on it.

P.S. My dearest blog friends and readers, I might be delayed in my responses and happy visits to your work, as I am traveling the whole week. Yet I will be very much and as much possible present here with utmost gratitude for you taking the time to read and comment.

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.

Difference

Photo by myself

I used to remain small
to keep others comfortable
They did console themselves
that I am nobody big

I am nobody big
I am no small either

There is a big difference…

I wish us all to continue to live with the truth of our being, with courage and compassion in relation to each other. I found this in the corners of my old drafts, while I was looking for something else. I enjoyed reading it back to myself and thought I should share it 🙂

Silence

Sure
I will eat my words
So they don't bother you
I will eat them all
So I don't look for
morsels of your approval
Question is
Will you be able to 
Drink my silence?

This is the original picture that I used for the above image. The lake was frozen solid in silence and clarity –

Yosemite NP, December 2016

Wishing you all a beautiful transition through this powerful winter solstice, may the darkness take you into rich silence, ushering a renewed peace & harmony in your being.

Guilty

Sunset picture by myself

Those who seem to be happy all the time
Don’t judge them or take them for granted.
Often they have taken deep dives into grief or depression.
They have somehow managed not to drown
and that’s why the smile.

Those who think & act from the heart
Don’t try to fix them, it is not a weakness.
Often they are being their own version of strength.
They are somehow trying not to hurt anyone
and that’s why the tears.

What if we actually live all that we have been feeling & made guilty of? Instead of forever trying to keep living & convincing otherwise?
Where else does this question seem relevant to you?

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

Choice

Choice

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.