Where We Stand

Photo by myself

Flowers strewn all over my walking path feel like a definite sign and reminder of blessings on my way. They make me pause and smile – at myself, and at their short miraculous existence that brings beauty and joy on our way. That is if we happen to encounter them in different ways – either as buds, blooms or dried and fallen around undramatically returning to ground.
And we get to walk on that ground.

We get to walk on this Earth.
Sometimes with flowers strewn on our way…
And sometimes there are pebbles…

As a child growing up in a tiny home in Mumbai, I used to run out to play with my friends without any shoes or slippers. Coarse sand and tiny pebbles poked my feet but I only remember a befriended feeling of it. Staying out as much as possible was happiness and the feet stepped on and around the pebbles effortlessly.

My family later upgraded to an upstairs apartment in another town and from there into adulthood, stepping out only with shoes on became the norm. It took some decades until now to get back to appreciate going barefoot, welcoming the experience of Earth through the sands, the grass, the water. I am beginning to also venture on to some pebbled areas to test how my comfort conditioned feet now play with the tingles and the tickles.

Wherever I Stand, I Stand on the same Earth”
Use this to stand a bit taller
Use this to soften within…

These lines posted on Jan 26, 2017 came to my mind today. They had come from my awareness of so many levels of separation we feel with others – the feelings of smallness or superiority based on innumerable definitions we have created as our markers, including where we live, what we eat, how we spend our day – literally shaping how we live our life. There was a yearning to share the feeling of Oneness and yet not much ability for how to live it. So I had reminded myself that we share the same Earth – it felt as simple and as radical.

Today, we are collectively experiencing our existence on Earth as never imagined before. The world is vaccinated and opening up where I live. Yet family and friends in India are suffering deep losses and hardship every day. I feel trust in our Oneness and in our Earth to guide us to be of support to each other.

How do you relate to these 3 lines that came back to me today? I would be honored to know what came up for you when you read them. I discovered a lot more layers in those lines today from the time that I first wrote them.

The most memorable thing anyone said to me

Myself in the Tall Woods – Photo by Manish Doshi

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?

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.

The Journey

Photo by Manish Doshi

The journey itself doesn’t see our earthly age. It is a joy to arrive when we arrive and a delight to meet your own tribe on the same path.”

This blog platform has been a significant way of meeting and interacting with utmost amazing beautiful people who have created an indelible impact on my life journey from one day to another. They are generous hearts and souls delivering divine messages and reminders as if guide posts on the path, through their work and exchange of comment conversations, often year after year. I hope to find the ability and inspiration to share about each one who has been a contribution to me. You know who you are. An humble bow of gratitude to you.

Today I want to share about one such beautiful blogger friend, Tamara Kulish.

The quote in the above image came as a part of our conversation on one of her blog post “Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself” This post made me thoughtful and I responded with saying:

“Do what you want and what you enjoy – this seemed like the most revolutionary advice I gave myself at one time I remember. The sense of self-worth when not independent of others’ expectations, we lose our sense of Being and keep choosing to do things to satisfy some external standards. Your post is one perfect statement after another.”

Dear Tamara responded to the above by saying:

“We have both learned the value of doing this in our lives, you earlier in life than I did, but it’s wonderful when anyone does, whether earlier or later! There’s really no better time than now, for anyone contemplating this in their own life! It’s a truly liberating mind set!”

My heart all joyful with resonance and as if with a nod to her, I responded :

The journey itself doesn’t see our earthly age. It is a joy to arrive when we arrive and a delight to meet your own tribe on the same path.”

Tamara then generously shone her bright light on this statement of mine and made it into a quote in this post: Your soul is the place within you that is timeless, ageless, and eternal She gifted my words back to me, to take this beautiful and powerful form, as you see in the quote image at the top. I hope you enjoyed and found value in our interaction that I chose to share, in similar fashion of her post.

Please visit Tamara Kulish to know of her expansive work of books and journals published in the area of self-discovery, personal development, finding happiness and fulfillment. Her blog posts are a treasure, each one, with her honest authentic sharing and inspiring perspectives.

Eyes Look Longingly

Photo by myself

You look to my eyes
and search for envy
I invite you to look deeper
You will find sadness
for what I see in your eyes

I look to your eyes
and you just look away…

Envy is an inescapable human trait. Provoking envy as a motive hurts the spirit of all involved. Sharing the joy of our Being lifts the spirit of all involved.

Envy & Inspiration – a past article on how I learned to turn my envy into inspiration from experiences from my very young age.

Other related posts:

Here, Take them All – my favorite on this topic, a short poem
Envy & What can Be – short post of 5 lines
Parallel Disappointment – short poem

Couple of Little Celebrations

Me & The Book :))

I thought of meeting you face to face to share my happiness of this book that I am holding :)) Some of my poetry is published as part of this collection, alongside poetry from some amazing poets that I have come to admire and adore for their absolutely magical art of words. It is available on Amazon for download on Kindle here for $0.99. Do check it out to see its description and if it interests you.

Step Into the New You – image sourced from the India Currents article

And in another little celebration and I am thrilled to share with you that an article of mine was selected by a community media platform India Currents to be published as part of their January theme – Renewal : You and the World around You. I chose to focus on my favorite topic, you can read it here: Step Into the New… You. I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Heartfelt Gratitude for all your support, reading and meaningful interactions that has afforded me tremendous growth as a person and this journey with words as a writer. It is more like pouring these surges of expression that come and what a privilege to be read and received! These tiny expansions of publishing in the outer world are a spillover of all the love in this inner world of WP where I first dipped my toes and then kept swimming in this world of writing and sharing.

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?

Appearances

All of us what we look like
Have a story of our life
Sometimes really brave ones
And then those that we hide


When we want to change
Something in what we look like
It is actually something
We want to change in our life

I had never stepped out in my glasses all my life until this year. I simply forgot to put that attention before I showed up in front of the current zoom world of 2020. I stopped caring if I was wearing my blue glasses, red glasses or contact lenses, eliciting so many responses of how great I look in my glasses and how they never knew I wore glasses. I found myself smiling – at the realization that I have really grown more comfortable in my skin. That I did make this distinct preparation to face the world, was actually acceptable and enjoyable to me, until it didn’t matter anymore.

Social media presence brings some interesting experiences and often loaded with judgment with regards to appearances. No matter how deep my body of work is, my social media posts are at times selectively responded to, as if it is a display fishing for superficial praise, disregarding the story, the very journey that makes me who I am today and continually learning to show up for who I simply am. Gratefully such instances are few, yet they have shown up sadly from those who I considered close circle, long time acquaintance/friend. Mostly otherwise I am blessed with warmth, love and support from those who see me as a person for my appearance, also read me and my writings.

The stories of our life truly define how we show up in all genuineness and joy. There is a lot of courage often in showing up anywhere. And when there is ease, there is a story of our life behind that ease. There is a story of our life behind not wanting to show up – even on social media. There is often judgment we hold for ourselves and against those who do show up.

So many of us often are waiting to look different. Some of us flow through changes gracefully, some of us struggle. Also so many personalities look the same, pandemic or no pandemic. Every instance is a story that we are hiding or not, something we are willing and need to change in our life, or not. What we really want different is how we feel about ourselves. This life is all we have, we are who we are & how we are. There is a lot of love to be discovered in that.

The Feeling of Published

Photo by Manish Doshi

I loved standing at the center of this labyrinth, as if a journey inward & then looking outward. If you could get a wider view, right behind me you would see the Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay. This photo was an unplanned surprise. While a couple of other visitors and I enjoyed walking the labyrinth, my husband decided to hike up a nearby hill and take some pictures.

Little did I know that this picture would become the cover photo of my first article published in a magazine. Getting an email from the editor saying that my article was live on the India Currents magazine site was as novel an experience as beginning to publish on WordPress exactly 5 years ago. Yes that’s right it is 5 year anniversary of my blog today!

I soaked up the feeling of being published, it was like crossing a threshold for me. I was writing after a long time, also something that was more than poetry and inspiration. I was writing the personal story of how I happened to develop this relation with poetry and inspiration. I was opening up a lot more, with surprising ease, to a wider world than before. I hope this is a beginning towards more open authentic writing that would serve its purpose, God/Universe willing.

It does feel like a sliver of courage to bring this article for more people to read. I would be honored to have your time on it and perhaps get to know if you have any thoughts for me.

Here’s my article:

Poetry was never something I imagined to become this significant to me, it was not even a sliver of a dream of an unimagined future …read more @ A Poet Born Through Healing