And Sometimes the Significance of Family is Overrated…

Do you see the perfect reflection in the seemingly chaotic Nature? Photo by myself

There is a conflicting perception
of what is real and what is fake
while navigating relationships
that are 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
given to them and those
that you are required to inherit.

Your invitation to actually care
for each other with genuine words
and thoughtful gestures
rejected as naive.
All actions are transactions
for how we need each other in times of need –
all needs that translate into the Doing aspects
not really actually Being there for each other
without requiring you to be any different

All your initiatives of heartfelt love
are seen as your need for their support
when you might need it the next time,
and not for the love itself.

There is no 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,
unless only exactly as defined by them.

Love and kindness are good in words
until you try and implement them
– that’s when they want to fix you,
to become worldsmart,
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 cried with hurting
from the lack of integrity
when expected to conform
to feel a part of family
You just don’t and won’t agree
with hating someone
when expected to hate
because you are family

And you will get hurt repeatedly
when they only insist on having
unconscious conversations
and otherwise, make you invisible
for who you really are
Your real conversations –
reserve them for those
showing up in
your Universal Family

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 language
limited to how we relate
– these are the many painful
rebirthing parts of the process.

Acutely aware of your inner body
the rumble of fear in your belly
a holding up in shoulders & your being
having to affirm to yourself
of the safety, trust, and love
available to you

Nourish your inner self with your own love.
Invite the ability to be with yourself
with comfort and ease
Allow the capacity for gratitude
For they are exactly who
assisted your life journey
into this deeper yearning
and more expansive
Love of your Being
the kind which still
holds all of them
with
Love.

She

Photo by Myself

A girl, a woman born with the essence of feminine grace and beauty. With innate qualities and potential for expression of what she can be, with the gifts she is born with.

When she dances to the rhythm of music she becomes her pure essence. When every fiber of her Being becomes a part of the symphony, she embodies the purity of the soul.

A girl, a woman, often since born on earth, has been caged in this mold, a way of living carved out for her, defined for her. Her role-play in this lifetime dictated to her as if in exchange for basic human needs of food, shelter, and clothing. The basic needs are met and she is trained to follow the rules of female existence.

This is from an age when her gender innocence is at its peak, she is barely a girl from a toddler. She is enrolled in a dance class to cultivate discipline. Not to allow her essence, her most beautiful expression of Being to bloom with her own unique fragrance, but just to learn a dance form. No public performance is allowed. Good girls don’t move their bodies this way in public, she is told, as she continues to mature.

The girl becomes a woman with a process of going through a shredder as if, separating her person into strips of ways of Being offered to different relations as designed and defined. She is a daughter of a family, daughter-in-law of another, keeping their smiles of approval beaming as long as she behaves in respectable ways.

One strip, the essence of that woman keeps fluttering in her face through life. It is her sense of being herself, a piece of that person wanting to be congruent within and not stripped off in so many ways. That strip has all the love and devotion towards her relations, yet wants the freedom to dance to her own rhythm, through life experiences of her own.

When this woman sets herself dancing to the music on stage, immerses herself in the realm of her own essence, her soul is set free to be herself. No name, no relations, no conditions, her gender evident only in the beauty, the grace, the art, the freedom that transcends all different ways of her being. This woman then captivates the audience as if in collective meditation, mesmerized and immersed in the rhythm of the soul.

Let us celebrate the awakening of this collective woman power in the uplifting of our human essence. Happy Women’s Day to all of you, those who identify with the gender, and others who support their journey!

Note: To me, She is based on my observation of so many sister-friends around, and the various ways of impact all of us have, from growing up in our particular culture. Do you recognize Her in someone you know from any of my descriptions?

P.S. This article was lying in my pile of unpublished drafts since 2017. It appeared in my mind today, as I was thinking about what do I want to share for this week’s blog post. I was delighted that this piece showed the willingness to go out into the world on International Women’s Day this year 🙂

Raw Renewal

Photo Myself

It was in the middle of the night.
First came these words:
Love
Freedom
Raw
Empty
Joy
Full

Then they got filled this way:
Love for myself
Freedom for myself
Raw renewal

Empty of you
Joy of being
Full with myself

To become Empty again
To Love
To Serve

Stripped off of relations
Finding myself whole
Filling up all the holes

Then what looked like a poem took a different form for the image above today.

Do the 2 forms of the poem feel different in meaning and sentiment to you? I am not sure exactly but the words changed form for the aesthetics and they feel different to me. The original poem was ‘Self-centered’ with the ‘joy of being full with myself and empty of you’. The image made it more spirit-related, and empty in general. Somehow I was ok with how all of this wanted to be. Do you have any thoughts?

This journey I feel is not against any one, and for everyone. The world that I walk out in often feels like an alternate reality. What is real is underneath all that we actually see. The shortest way to describe it is Love. Because it is a feeling experience…

The trail behind me

I feel that I am personally transitioning through a portal from a known past into an unknown future in so many ways at once. It is eerie how outwardly all the walls of reality still look the same, and yet as if all the mental castles of reality have inwardly collapsed. Each day I find another brick falling.

As if each day I wake up and walk into a hall of mirrors absolutely wanting to confuse me – Is that me? or is that one me? Until I push back on a mirror to have it open on to a very expansive space of peace, joy and lightness, carrying an air of crisp clarity.

It is so thrilling and awesome terrifying to surrender in to that space, and live without alignment or resistance to any mental constructs, comforts of relations, definitions, concepts of what exactly makes up our everyday life. Also it is awesome that I don’t have the ever insistent fear rumbling inside me. For I recognize this portal from 5 years ago, and I know now what brilliance awaits on the other side of it.

I love and embrace with a much robust gratitude and awe, the exquisite and divine guidance, synchronicity and perfection with which this play of life is executed. These are such powerful times that our tribe of truth seekers and heart followers are finding their way with themselves and each other like never before! I am now ready to show up in ways like never before.

And hence, I wished to post this poem and picture today to share with you, my gratitude for the trail behind me. For the people on the trail with me.

This poem was first published on August 16, 2016, 5 years ago today.

There’s a trail from the past behind me
From whence in this moment I arrive
I look forward to see
Whereto it wants me strive
The smile on my face
Belongs to those who helped me thrive

The chosen and unchosen soul friends
The given and unchosen of relationships
With their simply Being or coaxing mends
Diffused and dissolved perceived hardships

I have all of You in my heart
To walk with You, I would go back to start
Gratitude for You will keep You forever with me
Especially when I seem to have parted ways with thee
There’s times when only You can make me less lonely

That’s when I look back at the trail
Find the bend where you found me frail
Then I walk forward steadily a mile
Taking with me the newfound smile

About Being Myself

Photo of Moon by myself

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.

A Similar Post : Envy & Inspiration

More on the topic
5 lines about Envy : Envy & What can Be
Thought image: Eyes Look Longingly
Short poems:
Here, Take them All
Parallel Disappointment
Show up with your gifts

Smile for Yourself

Photo by my son Arnav Doshi

I think it is ok not to smile
Especially when
Your cheeks are hurting
From all the years of being nice

I think it is important to smile
Especially when
You now finally know
How to be nice to yourself

I had made a post of similar theme in the past. I converted the short verse titled True Smile posted on Feb 2, 2018 into the image below:

Photo “Lone Kayak” by Manish Doshi

The numbness that we wear, in order to always smile
Choosing not to feel the pain, with that practiced smile
It is liberating to experience all there is, and not smile
For the true joys of life do not necessitate that we smile
One that comes from the heart and eyes is a true smile

Always grateful for your time and attention. The first image is what came fresh to me today and the verse in the second image reminds me of the cyclical nature of how these lessons and inspiration keep repeating to us in different ways. Look forward to knowing which one spoke to you better or what specifically.

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?

Days are long, Life is short

Photo by myself

2020 is a long year.
And yet it is already mid-November 2020.

My 15 year old said to me the other day “I can’t imagine living to 80 or 90 year old. That is just too much. I feel like I am on this Earth for too long already. I think it is tiring to keep living that long” He had said the exact same thing when he was 13 too.

I was speechless as to how to respond both times and a bit saddened that he thinks so. It took us few more conversations to arrive at the conclusion that the more we live to deliver to the expectations of social constructs, more tedious it seems to keep living.

I explained to him that I actually feel very young and I am forever learning something, growing, waiting to begin my life as if, and find that this lifetime wouldn’t be enough for what I think is possible. He explained to me that he doesn’t have time to think all that after attending school for 6 hours and working at assignments for another 5 or more hours. Then all we did was nod and smile at each other for what we had realized for ourselves.

The days are very long for my son who is in high school. The days can seem very short for me as I juggle my time between family chores and my personal pursuits. It can easily become overwhelming if I try to figure out what I should be doing. Most answers come from definitions of success and other conditioning. I have come to value Being – being at peace and joy and ease through anything that I am doing. This in itself becomes difficult at times as it involves setting boundaries and clearing attachment to certain ways of being.

It is a continuous process of discovery “What do I really want to do today?” that seems in alignment with me being my authentic self, in this moment and situation. Because life is very short really, to spend it any other way.

Dear friends and readers, I have made a friendly commitment to myself to post here every Monday. So I showed up today and simply decided to share what was lingering within and accessible to be expressed in words. I am absolutely thrilled to see if you have any thoughts to share with me on what became this post 🙂

P.S :
Related post : Be-Come
Another conversation with my son when he was 11 : An attempt at success?

Magical Glimpses

Peer Within

Photo by myself

I was drawn out of my way to peek in to this web of roots, branches and shadows on water. I felt as if I was pulled in towards the womb of the Earth. I had posted the original picture in this post last month. The words describe the special experience of being there.

Photo by myself

This glimpse simply made me feel blessed. The beautiful goose was peacefully strolling around ahead of me and as I reached this curve, I found it sheltering here with such ease and quiet. Reminding me of how we share this planet, how we belong to the same nature and can find such rest & respite if we would choose to.