Beauty in Resilience

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Photo Credit: Atanu Chakraborty “Ladakh Old Lady – Hard Labor for Living”

Note: This is a narration of a true personal experience of a profound mental shift, I went through. This was originally posted on Infinite Living on December 2, 2015.

I was standing at the busiest intersection of Mumbai, India, just arrived from US, couple of days ago. It was the end of June and rains were expected anytime, unannounced. I was there waiting for my friend to pick me up, to take me shopping for some rain shoes.

I was much immersed in the experience of being there, soaking in life moving at a fast pace around me. There was a sense of impatience in the atmosphere as there were too many vehicles on the road, to be able to move fast enough. Mixed in, was the sun, moist heat, dust, pollution and the blaring horns from drivers.

I was going to be waiting there for 15 mins, my friend called.

My eyes lingered and then my gaze dropped down on a sight, about a foot by my side. Just inches away from traffic, on the footpath/sidewalk, on a tattered mat, was a mother tending to her newborn …maybe a month or so old. She had the baby on her legs outstretched, no clothes on the baby.

My mind drifted very briefly to some memories of how I had lovingly purchased multiple things to keep my babies in perfect health and comfort. I was again drawn back to the sight in front of me. Words came to my mind-  hygiene, safety, nutrition, sickness – but I was again drawn into the scene.

The cars and people zapped by. But the only thing real for me was the mother taking care of that baby. Perhaps just like the only thing real for the mother was her baby and what she could do for the baby.

Flies were hovering over the baby. The baby was clean. The woman had a rag in her hand and a half filled bottle of water by her. She would sprinkle a few drops of water on the baby and then wipe it off with the rag, every few minutes. It was her way of keeping the baby cool and the flies away. The mother and the baby looked content, and for what it takes, doing ok with each other.

I was filled with love and inspiration for the duo. What endurance and strength they have been born with! What beauty in that the mother making the best use of all that was available to her, to be able to give her baby all that she could!

This experience opened me up to a different reality altogether. The reality of our human arrogance that equates a good life and happiness with wealth and all that it brings.

I remember only 3 years ago when I previously visited Mumbai, I had a very different perception. I used to feel sad and have tears in my eyes as I walked past poverty and people living in tiny made up houses with their kids roaming around naked. I felt happy and also guilty about having a beautiful house and a bountiful life. I assumed they were suffering from poverty. I assumed I was happy and was supposed to be happy because I had all these material comforts.

In the 3 years in between, I went through a profound journey of self-discovery, transformation and renewal. I could now see the world through the eyes of people who have felt like their body has betrayed them completely.

People who have to show up for themselves, each day with tremendous courage to survive, what feels like their own death, day after day.

The ones that go through pain so intense that they have to continually keep tapping into the pulse of life itself to find faith, surrender and the means to help them inch towards the ability to thrive.  

Having a house, the food, the comforts, all become part of gratitude. Body and mind become the primary dwelling and the immediate place of turmoil and suffering.

There is tremendous beauty in the strength and resilience that people show, in showing up each day of their life, to make the best of what they have available to them.

To me this day, there was no difference between this mother and anyone else doing just that. Having a house is not enough. What you choose while living in any kind of house or under the sun is what makes you what you are.

In that baby I saw a beautiful being born with a purpose. One purpose was to open my eyes to this beauty. In the mother I saw a face of pure nurture and love. I felt a renewed faith that we are all very well equipped for where we are placed.

In that mother and baby, and all other contrasts around me, I see no suffering, only beauty, grace and strength!

 

P.S. This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays on ForgvingConnects. It is in the forgiving non-judgmental perspective of our circumstances is where we find our strength and happiness.

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Awakening

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Photo Credit: 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

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays on ForgivingConnect, for awakening is a process that happens where there is acceptance in our hearts.

Gifts of Life

 

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Photo Credit : Vikram Phale

Beware what you ask
For it surely comes

Make sure you Ask
For it surely comes

Sometimes gift-wrapped
In porcupine skin
Pricks & pierces as you get it unwrapped
Until your heart bleeds in pain as if tapped

Unwrap with gloves of gratitude
And blessings counted profuse
The asked gifts get revealed
Deep wounds get healed

Be aware of all you ask
For it surely comes

Be Alert
For it surely comes
In ways you haven’t considered

Gratitude Attitude

 

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Photo Credit: Vikram Phale

My gratitude is not my weakness
My softening at heart not my meekness

My gratitude was once my survival
My breaking down was emerge & arrival

My gratitude is now my treasure
My attitude by which I measure

My gratitude is actually my strength
My existence made magnificent at length

My gratitude propels my life velocity
My refuge it is to contain life’s intensity

My gratitude is not my neediness
My choice it is to stay connected with Oneness

 

P.S. Dear Debbie, please accept this Gratitude poem as a contribution to ForgivingFridays

Beautiful Life & YOU

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Precious Times & Me

Sometimes being in a certain place nourishes more than any food can ever could. That’s how I feel when I look at this photo from a personal retreat I had been to.

There was so much perfection of space and time. A Hafiz poetry book just as if walked up to me …drenching my soul in the feeling of eternal love and contemplation for hours. Just the memory of that time at this place brings a luxurious peaceful feeling to me.

This moment now I am feeling such grace of gratitude flow through me. I wish to go back to that place yet I don’t need to. Those hours and moments in that place are just alive in me forever.

Such moments are a gift of this lifetime. They keep you satiated in precious ways. They help you find the treasure of gratitude for exactly where you are.

The yearning and the seeking takes a break. Right now is one such moment for me.

I am thinking of every single person and soul that has been a perfect intersection in my life. All those who have been perfection to my existence. You called me at perfect times. You said the perfect words …as if speaking aloud the whispers of my soul that were being dumbed down by the outer noise. Yes, YOU. YOU know who you are.

I am thinking of all those with whom I am virtually connected with. You are as real in my world as any other, because your words have made priceless difference to me. You have helped me live my dream life of seeing, acknowledging and connecting at the most authentic level.

I think of all the people that I have not been a best of myself to. I have often faltered in my human ways. I have been very sorry in my heart. I am yet to find the courage to get to each one of you. To melt the walls of thickness between us. I am grateful for you.

I look at this photo of mine at this place and feel gratitude for my time on Earth and the beautiful life that keeps coming to me. This is how I feel in this moment now. For now, that’s all. And now.

May all of the beauty of life flow in all preciousness to us all …and we flow in life with ease and joy.

 

P.S. Dear Debbie, it is my pleasure to make this post a contribution to ForgivingFridays. You are a kind loving presence in this space.

Flight of Success

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Photo Credit : Pelican in Flight by Atanu Chakraborty

When a bird soars high in the sky

What is it’s connection to the earth?
Is it aware of the height it is at?

Does it perceive the expanse around?
Does it perceive all the freedom surround?

Does it simply take flight in the light
All unaware of the ground below in sight?

Humans that dream of taking flight
Of what is called as success in their intention

When they do take flight in their realm

How aware and connected do they stay
To the ones they left behind in the day?

Do they become one with the height?
Not knowing any difference slight

It is the ones watching them who measure
The distance and the scale of the flight

Is this how detachment sets in
For the ones taking flight?