Humbled by Honesty

Brutal Honesty can bring out your vulnerabilities. It is worth it when the result is peace of mind.” I wrote this to myself in 2013.

It had seemed the most challenging year of my life, as I was going through a ravaging health crisis. These words came to me as I was unwillingly about to enter yet another agonizing treatment phase. It was more than unpleasant for me to surrender to becoming completely dependent on others, until I regain strength, yet again.

“Do I really want to do this?” I checked in with myself. Without a pause came a YES! I sensed into how I was feeling, and it was PEACE. I felt so vulnerable to myself even. Because it meant I would be going ahead with the treatment, that too willingly. Saying Yes to an impending suffering by choice seemed like brutal honesty to myself. Why can’t I just deny it and be comfortable in ignorance? I thought. Because I felt the trust, that it was going to be worth it. And it totally was.

It has been deeply humbling how this lesson comes back to me, on repeat, wearing different garbs, cracking me open in every vulnerable spot in my being, everywhere I live in fantasy, everywhere I have a need for some things be a certain way. Though by now, along with it feeling Brutal, I feel a lot of Gratitude. For the Gods of Clarity are inherently kind with the revelations, in my experience.

I have found myself supported in utmost possible ways, before a shot of disillusionment hits me. Resources, divine and worldly, are made available to me in perfect design. I am at times lost in awe of the grace with which I am held and guided through the seemingly unexpected, as much I imagine I could slip down in the pain of another castle of made up reality crashing down.

If we are willing to read closely, there are signs along the way. Only in hind sight are we able to connect the dots, regarding any situation and our own role in it. I am amazed at how much I protected myself from the emerging uncomfortable clarity every single time. Not realizing how many mental justifications and worldly definitions, I keep living with regarding people or situations, that are not really serving anyone truly.

I would go into mediation on a rising sun, an object of meditation as instructed by my teacher Chase Bossart, and see myself sitting in a cave looking at the sun rise only partly, refusing to come out in to the wide open space. While discussing with my teacher I said “there are things I do not want to see, I am not ready for that clarity” That is one instance from couple of years ago.

In the recent months I have shared poetry about being Awake at Dawn, and yet not willing to open the curtains to enjoy the early morning light, wanting to take care of baby Me a little while more. I had been wondering to myself for quite a while why I wouldn’t want to see the light of the day, stay hidden in my cave.

Sunrise on Kauai

It makes me laugh at myself (I will do that only lovingly), at how each time I am shocked at how unexpected something that follows is. I am aware this will keep happening until I clear my own emotional geography at the deepest level that brings me these experiences. It will happen again to show me my ability to step up, in my vulnerability, and integrity. I take full responsibility, and it humbles me. I will keep moving through life with as much kindness to others and myself. This process empowers me and teaches me to live more as myself in the truest sense.

Here’s what I have discovered until now. If there is inherent peace to a decision, it is worth it. It is actually a gift to everyone that you live in fear of hurting. It is up to them to find their truth or not. Fear is a Lie, I heard several times from Dr. Dain Heer’s teachings, and yet only now I realize the extent of how much fear existed in me because of some lies I was allowing to continue. If the lies are not your own to yourself, if they have been coming from other people, they are not going to be happy when you make choices for yourself. This can be painful for those who are as if born with the vow of keeping others happy. Often forgetting themselves in this quest for gifting happiness.

All of this keeps getting much more easier, with quicker recovery from the hits of reality, more surrender with faith to the Divine Guidance – whichever way you tune into it, more courage to make tough choices, with literally miraculous ways and people showing up for you.

Honesty as a conquest is worth it, don’t doubt your own knowing of anything. The peace is not short term. The Peace felt in the Truth is addictive. Life unfolds like you never imagined it to be.

Of Becoming Myself

Photo by Myself

I have circled back to square one yet again in my journey of Becoming myself.
It is my responsibility to patiently skillfully claim who I am.
I Am the ripple and the wave that keeps flowing in to her destiny.
I receive this gift of melting diffusion of my being fully, breathing and being with it.

A Moved Heart, deep no-tears-eyes feeling tears.
This is pure energy transmission through pure intent.
This is Truth of the moment. This is Love.
On my next phase, I work on absolute skill in silence or speech, than ever before.
My Life is Changed Forever.
I am stunned and moved, and receiving deeply. I am ready. Whatever that means.

In this moment I accept my wholeness.
I leave it to the shift and process to work itself through me.
It feels empowering. I am thrilled at the lack of the lurking fear and overwhelm.
The prayers and blessings are at work at all dimensions.
This energy is so fluid and expansive.

I am done blinding myself from the clarity available to me.
I am done being so cautious of stepping into it.
I feel the grief of mothering others’ emotions and then letting go.
I cared for how much they needed me to need them and so became the needy one they needed me to be. I have been part of the game too, trying to keep it all so comfortable.
Oh Truth is not such. So much peace in this moment I don’t know who I am anymore.
That makes me smile, it shows me my raw beginning yet again, to get back to being who I was, am, to be. I flow in to my destiny, from this moment here now.

I am not stuck here, I am planted and blooming.
There is pulsating power within, my container is adjusting, recalibrating for this shift.
I am reminding myself these sensations are not pain they are sensations of divine rearrangement of energy itself, tangible and intangible.
This process is going to stay alive for some while, I will stay present and silent.
What Gift, Grace, Gratitude – to hold this unfolding, in utmost reverence!
Thank You is what covers it and doesn’t begin to cover it, for the revelations and truth that are a grace of this lifetime.

This post is a modified compilation of my comments that came in response to
Amy Rose on a recent post of mine Layers Illuminated. I decided to make my end of this recent conversation into a post to turn the profound shift into a powerful affirmation, own and embody it fully. I would be honored to know how this post spoke to you.

Life Waves

Photo by Arnav Doshi

The process keeps going life beside
you yearn for a bit longer respite
A sense of having found a ground
maybe for a day and yet again slip down
Another layer being called to shed more,
then called to show up and Be more

Allowing lower energy mind games to penetrate
to become like others around to be able to relate
Showing how attached still to comforts of certainty
then suffering for not being your own self worthily

Feel and sense the divide happening
Grief of as if current reality leaving
Comes with having to keep going
while still staying in your Being

Cusp of opening up from the guardedness
feel the transition and rawness
The waves keep coming yes
you hope you can let go…
Maybe this is how it looks like always
you simply learn to breathe better in calmness

PS : This poem was composed sometime last year from my response to one of Sue Dreamwalker’s post on her profoundly inspirational blog Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary. I realized I had never published it.

Arcane Truth

Fractal Mirror

I am thrilled to share this Poetry in Collaboration with Amber from DiosRaw. When Amber invited me to write poetry together I doubted myself. Yet with her gentle loving nudge, I decided to give it a try. It was a very beautiful experience to engage in, with the brilliant lines she would send me, and I would add a line to it. It was a truly immersive experience, and that too in the very topic of Truth! What a gift, thank you Amber for this unique experience and opportunity! Here it is, the lines in italic are mine, that follows each of Amber’s lines:

Absolute Truth arcane masked in plain sight
Seeking soul Suffering heart Existence blight

Befuddled by the many vandalized paths to know our birthright
Seemingly battered, finding & losing, losing & finding our own Light

Ridiculed unaware by many, revered by few diverging paths of haze
Assured yet doubting our way through the maze

Breaking into the comfort of the unknown eternity to set the soul ablaze
Oceanic waves of the heart to swim through that often rage

The house of mirrors of the cosmos, reflecting Truth in the stirring of the chemical universal pot
Particles settling, soothing clarity descends, buoying up the Light of Truth sought

The Truth may not be as you conceive, before you wake up in the lessons of nets caught
The truth is in all that you perceive, after you wake up to the knowing in your gut

Alerting to soul growth, Truth beckons from the depths of bodily and psychological pain
Returning to self core, Truth awakens to the expanse of the universe and wisdom innate

Truth is the Reality, all else is ignorance, deception, distraction, distortion, limitation and indoctrination and the elaborate mystery we imagine life.

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

Truth & Love

Photo by myself

Truth is a beautiful love language
Love is a beautiful truth

Neither is what we think it is
Without the other

Truth is a beautiful love language and love is a beautiful truth – this came up as my comment in response to this post by Fearless Free Soul, a beautiful poetry and inspiration on this theme.

*This is a scheduled post. I will return back to respond to your thoughts on it in a day or 2 after it is published.

Tidal Wave

Photo by Manish Doshi

The deep blue
Ocean
Clear waves
Peaceful purity
I watch
I feel
From the threshold
Careful that
I Don’t get wet
So I can Turn back
walk in home
Engage with drama

I glance back at the blue
It calls me back
“Watch” it whispers
Enormous tidal wave
It drenches me
Sweeps me off my feet
I playfully give in
Then come back to my threshold again
The insistent blue wave
Now peaks higher than the roof
Breaks through the doors and windows
Floods in through me and everything
From the back of the house, out through the front
Cleansing everything on the way
Within me and the house
I am amazed at, how clean and peaceful it feels
Despite such powerful waves breaking in

And I am reminded ‘they’ will return soon
The ones that I am not done playing with yet
And their games have different rules
So I close the windows and the doors
The wave, like the romantic lunatic lover whispers
“I won’t give up – now that you are wet, you can’t keep me out”
I smile one way and annoyed in another
Proceed to hold the door shut tight with all my strength
The wave still pours in, flows through me, and the house
This time it is careful, once inside the house, not to flow higher than my ankle
Flows out the front silently, without the uproar unlike before
‘They’ arrive and I start explaining and convincing
How I tried my best, with all my strength
To hold the door, so no water comes in
I just couldn’t do better than this

I was amazed again
How they simply said “Oh the floor is wet”
Fetched the mop and started mopping the floors
I watched them from the corner
All wet and floored at myself
Wondering if they would ever want to know
About that amazing blue ocean
That visited this house
Did they even notice
That
I am
All
Wet!

Perhaps
I will just
Allow myself
To
Hang dry
As I help Them
Mop and dry
The floors
Of the house.

I woke up recently with a sense as if I had had a profound experience, and slowly realized and recollected this vivid dream. I decided to write it down and this poem is how it got described. It gave me abundant clarity in my juggle and confusion in navigating my relations while allowing/resisting the waves of transformation that keep washing over me. I am in deep gratitude for the gift of healing and awakening afforded to me in this lifetime. All relations and interactions serve a purpose in this evolution towards embodying my authentic being. Emotions of guilt and grief tend to interfere when we first become aware of how we have been unknowingly contributing to false constructs and agreements of relations. Guilt for not keeping up with our end of the agreement any longer and grief for losing some comfortable ways of being, not being acknowledged for who we truly are. It is my personal responsibility to honor the truth of what the tidal wave brings me and continue to walk with that truth. This acceptance helps me smile and continue to engage with all my Love and Gratitude.

Did you relate to the poem in some way …similar or different? I would be honored to know.

Awakening

Sunrise photo by Manish Doshi

Yes Dreams Come True
The Waking Ones often Do

Fears too Come True
The Sleeping Ones often Do

Each can be stifling to the other
Awakening within, the creator

It is so interesting to look at our life and reflect on how it is a sum total of our dreams and our fears come true. Often when we stumble into suffering that diverts us from going towards our dreams, we are actually living our unconscious fears. Our waking dreams are our desires and yearnings that give us hope, direction, trust to find our way back again to where we are actually living parts of what we always dreamed of.

I chose not to make the C capital in the word ‘creator’ above because in the tender moments when we are transitioning from fear to faith, it is hard to feel the power of the Creator, and yet we are getting in touch with our creator self within to not succumb, but to dream even more boldly.

Awakening is a short poem published on June 20. 2018. The words felt very relevant to me to repeat and put them in the form of image.

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.