As of today, she WAS where I always met her when I visited my parents back home in India. Meeting her was a natural extension of my being there, unsaidly expected.
I was a young girl when she came in as a young newlywed. Today I watch my life backward through that lens. I remember her joy when her husband would come back for his monthly visit to her and his family, from his job far away.
She knew my happiness with new dresses and would share her new shopping with me – “Here wear these to college this week, enjoy them. I can wear them all the time later.”
Her son was the baby I came home to play with every day, throughout his growing phases. He calls me Didi and I used to address her as Tai – both refer to a big sister. It is lovely how it didn’t matter what relation we regard each other with – it is the impact we have by being in each other’s life in the most ordinary ways.
I clearly remember our last meeting & conversation 2 years ago and somehow I am very content with it – we had connected through our eyes and shared genuinely, there was Love.
That’s it. That’s all matters. Because we don’t ever know when it is our last meeting, with anyone. I never took pictures with her – I have a snapshot of our life together living in me.
Dear Tai, your courage through life is seen and has made a difference. In unknown ways too. I will miss you. I miss you.
Everything else that could be said, I hold in silence.
Note: I wrote this exactly last year and wished to share it with you all here, as we mark one year of her passing.
Don’t try to fix What you see as Weakness in me You might be Messing with What is actually Strength in me Authenticity & Vulnerability
I admire you For your boldness Don’t judge me For my softness That’s how I hold you too Just like how I like to be held Kind & Compassionately
The WordPress community has played an enormous role in my ability to express Spirit’s voice and share my honest message in the world. I am continually empowered to show up with authenticity and vulnerability. To be heard and received unconditionally is a luxury imagined and unimagined. I am dedicated to this journey of showing up, to listen to every calling – big and small. Each time we show up we break some known and unknown barriers within. So here’s ‘Me’ humbly showing up to meet you in utmost Gratitude, and a new sense of sovereignty.
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 …
I am very happy to share that my prose of perspectives on long-term, family relations, is now published on AmericanKahani.com. I would be honored if you choose to read it on the link below and share your thoughts, feedback on it.
When suggestions are heard as criticism Followed by gaslighting & defensivism Criticism could be offered as suggestions Followed by choice for personal decisions It is often effective To speak in languages native To all that internal wiring Sparks that have grown old & tiring Need a lot of space for nurturing The grounds of self-loving & caring
My internal dialog when this came up to be posted for this week: “Really is this what you want to post? You have better thoughts, better words, better works to share! This?” Am I sensing judgment for what truly came out of nowhere and is clearly asking to be the one today?: “Well, does it even make sense?” “I think so… hope so…it is written and ready to go!” So here it is. I don’t know why but this needed to go today from my universe into yours. I would be humbled to know if it spoke or made sense to you.
You are annoyed with me Because I insist on Love No matter what
No matter what I love you too From the distance We are both Comfortable at
I wondered about these words that clearly chose how I would resume back from my month long blog break. I questioned if this was the best inspiration or wisdom I managed to wring out from all the living I did this past month.
September mostly turned out to be a family oriented month with few milestones and celebrations that I enjoyed with fulfillment. I am also aware of all the growing up that happened for me inwardly while going through life that spilled out into the world.
It is perhaps known to all who commit to their personal and spiritual growth that the immediate signs of our evolution is reflected very clearly in how it affects our relations. The About page of my blog is when I first realized that I am now(then in 2015) able to see myself beyond all the definitions of the relations that I have soulfully invested myself in. Yet, after writings and writings on the skillful ways of relating to myself and others, I am deeply humbled at how repeatedly I face my own patterns of how I live in illusion of what some relations are, instead of what they really are.
I forever lived with the belief that Love sustains all, Love can bring any transformation, Love prevails all, Love heals all …I so badly wanted some of my relations a certain way, full of genuine love and kindness, that I was blinded to the art of healthy boundaries. I had to learn something I thought I was done learning so long ago. I questioned the integrity of my Love. I asked myself – after getting hurt so many times from the demands of transactional relationships, after so many awakenings and poetry, etc. what is it that value you want to show up with for anyone? The answer was still Love. I felt relieved for not losing that one thing that I based all my life on.
My mistake was to not allow the spaciousness that Love is. To not allow space for myself for the Love to bloom in nourishing ways for myself, along with those I insisted on with so much Love. They are literally annoyed and angry with me that I am not annoyed and angry at life exactly the way they are. I had to learn the lesson fresh, crisp and clear that no amount of sacrifice of my love and care for myself, is enough to make the other feel loved and cared for.
Some relations are the stickiest tests of our ability to stay in integrity to our core values of Being. They are an opportunity to me to cultivate the value of Love no matter what. Nobody needs to be held hostage to my definition of Love, just like I do not enjoy being hooked to any drama and games in the name of relations. Love with capital L is unconditional, devoid of any conditions of how it should look like in daily life. It can be as true and pure, even from a distance of time and space, if required.
Loving Note to my dear Blog Friends : Thank you for being here for me as I truly used this break to enjoy free blocks of time along with some joyful busyness. Each time I return to this space, it is with utmost gratitude in my heart. I look forward to making my way to your works that I missed.
Also I wish to humbly share with you this link for a Stress Reduction Virtual Workshop that I co-presented for Brown & Toland’s Physicians Group. The workshop is now added to the library on their wellness page and available for free public access: https://www.brownandtoland.com/wellness I would be honored to know if you were able to take the 45 mins to watch it fully.
Growing up around a lot of extended family and friends who were more affluent than my family was, I never really had envy. It was a matter of fact for me that you have some things that I don’t. I remember once a cousin who owned all the latest CDs, excitedly sharing with me about it, apologized to me “oh I didn’t know, I am so sorry you don’t have a CD player.” As if I lacked a family member, I thought. I just responded “Why sorry, I just don’t have a CD player.” I think I simply enjoyed the feeling of abundance they enjoyed and was very much interested in their life. I can have all that some day I imagined and yet never really prioritized having ‘things’ in my life.
What I craved was people, authentic people. I looked for genuine care and unconditional love, and struggled to fit in, wherever I went. I didn’t know that though. So I envied the confidence in people. Often being affluent made people more confident in the world – like they owned the world in some ways I didn’t. I mistook it as something being wrong with me. It didn’t cross my mind that money made the difference. They kept showing the riches to me, I kept looking at it and saying to myself “yes but I want to become like you, be more confident in being myself”
I was amused to realize that my life long quest of living as authentically as possible, has this root in my envy for confident people and those with artistic abilities. That is how I discovered that what I think of envy is actually my admiration for people who can express themselves in ways I can only dream of.
My honesty and vulnerability in my quest for authenticity was repeatedly taken for my weakness, and that became a further blow to my confidence. I am emerging from that too. I have nothing to prove to anyone as much as I owe to myself, the gift of being myself. This is one journey that I have mastered very well and yet always be a beginner forever on the way. I have discovered that I can be way more courageous than just confident.
I love and admire people who have what I don’t have in me yet. I keep learning to love myself more and more with all my perceived shortcomings. It gives me a renewed taste of newfound freedom continually.
I wished to highlight these lines above from my previous post as a reminder to myself for everywhere I am not living this in every fiber of my being. I am committed to waking up with more love and freedom in being myself for the rest of my life. I also know that I will have days when I falter and slide away from this commitment, and wake up in judgment and fear instead. I feel immense gratitude for being in association with those who model greater faith, trust, capacity, resilience and joy of living and being alive. They fill my day and life with abundance and blessings. I get to borrow from them what I might wake up lacking for the day. I consciously practice filling my cup and then rejoice in gratitude when I can be a channel of support to others.
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.
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?