How is it even working out?

Photo by myself: Cypress Tree Tunnel, Point Reyes, CA

I am so absolutely dissatisfied forever and yet have this absolute contentment in me for my life – How is it even working out?

I am greatly amused at this thought that I am pondering about.

There are days I wake up with such waves of desires and aspirations pulsating within – all I can do is hold myself in stillness so I can watch where the currents are taking me. Sometimes I marvel at the glimpses of possibilities shown to me and sometimes I scream silently “Just Let Me Be”

And then there are days that I wake up so clear and calm, an emptiness that is so full, a fullness of the magic of life currents and empty of the turmoil of living – all I can do is bask in the bliss of gratitude, looking around at all that seems like a dream come alive.

Drenched in the joy of the life of it all, I then become aware of those undercurrents stirring within – they are both kinds, of today’s blessings and tomorrow’s visions, carrying the yesterdays in their very womb. And I am in awe of this container I am – that holds it all.

I look back gratefully at all the grief that brought me to this joy, I look forward gratefully to all the more grief and joy waiting for me.

I am sensing that one thing that I am never looking back on and looking forward to – the fear that I used to live with. It was not the fear of particularly anything, it was just Fear, my forever friend, who strived to keep me safe. It was the primary emotion I woke up with for a long part of my life. I now affirm to thrive and have fear take appointments with me, for any important conversations that need to happen. After all we are old friends.
(Just typing this brought up a tinge of fear in me – what if this is too much to ask? Thank you my friend – I hear you.)

I am so absolutely dissatisfied forever and yet have this absolute contentment in me for my life – How is it even working out? – Gloriously, I think. It is working out gloriously.

This Is How You Experience Your Own Rebirth

Photo by myself

You notice some who have a spiritual practice for an hour or 2 of the day and then they freely live as themselves for the rest of the day.

To you, it seems like you get an hour here and there to be your authentic self in some circles that support and allow the ease for you to show up as yourself.

Rest of the time you are so acutely aware of your inner body – the rumble of fear in your belly, a holding up in shoulders, and your being. It feels like some practice the entire time, to have to affirm to yourself, of the safety, trust, love available for you. To nourish your inner self with your own love. To invite the ability to be with yourself with comfort and ease.

There is a conflicting perception for what is real and what is fake when navigating relationships that are either unaware of your inner journey or outright deny your feelings as invalid. They approve only what fits in their world and make what comes from your heart invisible. They want you to be assured of their love – the one that lies behind their everyday expressions of negativity, sarcasm, facade – the life of only upholding the structures they embrace and those that you are required to inherit.

Real, meaningful conversations are reserved for outsiders. Your invitation for actually caring for each other with words and gestures that are thoughtful at the personal level is rejected as naive. All gestures are transactions for how we need each other in times of need – all needs that translate into the Doing aspects without really actually Being there for each other.

All your initiatives of heartfelt love are seen as your need for their support, and not for the love itself. There is no mindful receiving, gratitude, or reciprocity, only need, indebtedness and duty. A made-up love and made-up relations that we commit and adhere to. The condition is also that your love has to be contained for this family setting only – any expression towards outsiders is foolish or unrequired, or valid only exactly as defined by them.

All other things called love and kindness are good in words until you try and implement them – that’s when they want to fix you, to become world smart, to play the power games, to lend them your energy and kindness-laden words to bring them the results of their agenda. Beyond that, they have no trust or allowance for you acting on those words and extending that heartfelt kindness to someone they don’t approve of.

They want you to get over your mushy heart that cries with hurting from the lack of integrity. You just don’t and won’t agree with hating someone for how much you disagree with their actions. You get hurt repeatedly as they only insist on having unconscious conversations with you, and otherwise, make you invisible for who you really are.

Getting past this need for nourishing family relations, standing up for being yourself, holding compassion for what they bring as love and life, not feeling like a fake when speaking their limited language when we choose to still keep the relation – these are the many painful rebirthing parts of the process.

Death of the old self and rebirth of your authentic self is what this is – very raw, very powerful as if barely not drowning in the deep dives. It is very tricky to navigate as you hold compassion for those who don’t necessarily understand your journey. You are stepping up, speaking your heart and it is taking up energy. You nourish yourself with slowness, naps, holding your baby self in your own womb, conveying her safety, trust, and love. The baby cries tears of the process, you hold her. The Universe showers you with support by putting you in circles where you feel supported and held through this.

My Beautiful Friend, this is perhaps one way you experience your own rebirth in this lifetime. Some relations continue in your new life, some don’t, some go on an uncertain length of break. Love is all you ever wanted to feel, you literally are willing to be reborn for that. You will have the capacity to love them all. This time without needing them to love you in exact certain ways.

Because now
You are Love.

P.S. I just might be slower in my responses this week, yet I am right here, absolutely treasure our conversations and the honor of knowing your thoughts on my post _()_

What are you really looking at?

I felt moved to repost this inspiration first published on August 22, 2016. It has come back to me to help me look at my own deeper wounds and how I am doing at allowing the light to bring healing. I have had a long unconscious tendency to overlook all that is hurtful and gloss it over with positivity and love. Until the lies to myself stop working, I am forced to face the truth. I am grateful to find the capacity for greater deep dives in the crevices of my wounds than ever before. 

Peeping thru the leaves - starburst at dawn - Kala Pathar beach - Havelock - 1F8A1073

“Peeping through the leaves” by Atanu Chakraborty

There’s an empty glass of water sitting on the counter. It is broken. It is holding together but it has been shattered and has cracks going all direction. I look at it and see just that and nothing else …a piece of broken glass.

If you try to think of a situation or event in life that might have shattered your intact way of being …what do you really think of ? A situation that has cracked your core and wounded you open in places? Or something that has been bothering you very much since yesterday or last week? The broken glass probably doesn’t really represent anything to you. Life is perfect …except that this person, yesterday or last week, did not behave well, had a wrong attitude, did not do exactly like you expected or even deserved. My glass is as intact as ever. Now if I somehow make evident to this person that he/she has wronged me, I can get on with my perfect life … 🙂

I glance up out of the window behind the counter. There is this big vibrant sweet gum tree, always standing tall majestically, un-wavered through the winds and seasons. There are 2 men cutting off overgrown branches. The ones that were weighing down on the core were being fell to the ground. The idea made me feel light. They then raked off the fallen leaves and branches, leaving the ground clean and green again. A lot felt cleared on the slate of my mind. The sky was in better view now that the tree was trimmed.

Looking down at the broken glass again, sunlight now reached through the window and pierced through the broken glass …as if pouring through the cracks …filling them up, making it shine like never before.

I closed my eyes. Trying to imagine the healing golden light pour through my wounds and cracks. The glass became all gold but a dull one …no more cracks. Instantly I erased it and opened my eyes. If I am healed of my cracks I better look lustrous, I do not accept dullness!! …Ohhh do I accept my cracks?!!!

Are they caused by blows caused by other people or person? No, I do not play that blame game in my life. Did I allow those to be caused to me? Was I never strong enough to stand up to myself? That self-judgment doesn’t feel good and hurts me. So I am not going to relate to that broken glass in any way!!!

How many times do we try to mask and escape this way? In day to day life, what are we really looking at? Is it really the person yesterday that has made your life miserable? Or is there a deeper patterning at work here, a deeper healing  that we are denying ourselves? Healing of our health, and also relationships, with ourselves and the most significant to us. So, all that is bare and there, is there to nourish us.

Be brave to see the cracks, the deep wounds, let light enter through them, seal them and heal them. Let the glass hold the gold of clarity for you to drink from it. A crack in the roof of a deep dark cave lets the light in …imagine the exhilaration of seeing your path clearly, when you encounter that crack. What chipped the roof to make that crack, all the trauma that it endured, is just the drama that can become your story, that you might tell one day.

Be wiling to see your cracks …not as some external object or person. Sometimes we have shown such enormous endurance towards something un-imagined, or even unacknowledged, we don’t dare to look back at it …making us cranky at the most trivial though. Sure it is very human and also helpful in the healing process. But really if you see what you are looking at and what you are trying to escape, it becomes a true digesting of life events …tantrums, tears and all that are a part of it. Let it flow!

The light will always lead you to solace …if you allow it to enter you …pierce through you …seal you and heal you and shine you!

The Fear-quake at 3am

Photo by myself

3 am Fear-Quake
Seismic activity
Not plates colliding
More like
River revolving
Not flowing
But like
Pouring
Out of the
Heart cave
To form a whirlpool
In the belly
Richter scale
reading registered
Incessantly in the brain
Momentum of thoughts
Keep pale awake
Heavy eyes
Floods they make
Pulling the river
Reversed
From belly to cave
Heartbeat
Aftershocks
Desolate search
Breath rhythm found
Richter Scale broken
Blank
Lost
Quiet
Grief
No river
Anymore
Cave open
To the ocean
Of Being
Belly becomes shore
For the waves
Of breathing
Vision ships
Awake sleeping
Powerful release
To all turmoil within

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.

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.

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.

Is it necessary?

Photo by myself

Why is Letting Go often so difficult?

Lodged in my bones
are your words
through the years

Is it necessary
that I feel them all?
when they begin
to dislodge
on their
way out?

I had managed
to smile
with them
sealed
all within
my strong bones

My words
never really
made it
from your ears
to your heart,
slid right down
from your strong ribcage
down to the floor,
and you said
you heard me

And I said,
Letting go
Is the way

But
is it really necessary?
that I feel them all?
The words
that you
didn't mean
yet said,
And now
are getting
dislodged
from my bones
to be let go

Love remains
after it all
Is it felt
as dry
Or then
wet drenched
in my tears,
that you
don't see
any reason for?
Is it love
after all?

Love
I will not
let go of
I will hold it
through my 
screams to be heard

Will the holes
in my bones
accept
your version
of love
to get filled
enough
to bring me
a smile?

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.