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

The sadness, the joy …Grateful to be back!

Photo Credit : Vikram Phale

I have been looking for a doorway back into this space certainly. There was an inert kind of sadness when my inspiration to keep posting trickled to a stop, earlier this year. I trusted it to show me when and where to be. I woke up this morning with a design of the quote image above and a clear feeling of wanting to bring it here for my WordPress friends.

As the entire world went through tumultuous changes that came with the pandemic, I took time to appreciate simple blessings, the gifts of being alive, the deepening heart connections for how real the ephemeral nature of our existence is.

Glimpse of the Sky and the Earth seems a true indulgence – Photo by myself

Sadness is really one side of the coin, when a mere breeze from the air or a caring word from someone brings us joy.

Happiness heals the planet
the kind that makes you smile from the heart
…and from behind your closed eyes
the kind that is only truly felt
…if the joy is shared

Some corners of Earth draw me in, as if I am moving inward within – Photo by myself

I questioned myself a lot for what my purpose on this planet is, what is my role truly in all my relations, gave myself permission to practice being unapologetically myself and enjoyed the privileges afforded to me. I went through some major internal shifts but then who hasn’t lately?!!

As we all question what our role is
In this world when none can stay passive
Take care of yourself no guilt & then give

We are all together in how our heart lives this


I am so happy and grateful to be back here to connect with you all and further explore the emergence of inspiration and new avenues of being!

Humble gratitude to all of you who emailed me or left messages in this space to ask about my well-being and to let me know that I am missed. Means-a-lot-whole-lot-to-me. You have been the most kind witness of my inner world when it poured out and needed to be received.

As I make my way to find you and your words, one by one, I await your visit on my post with childlike curiosity for who would I engage with next as I perhaps see your comment 🙂

Drama wanting to be shared

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Photo: Myself “Happiness on my way”

I had a conversation today, with someone from another state, who called to let me know that they were reminded of reading this poem from me and went looking for it. They told me that this poem is feeling so relevant and practical in their experience right now. We discussed how necessary yet tricky it can be to actually apply the idea of this poem in our lives. 

My heart feels so happy and grateful to share it again with all of you today! This poem was originally published on March 1, 2016  Someone actually went back to look for it because they remembered what it said!!  I wanted to bring it back for my new friends and readers here 🙂

Drama wanting to be shared
With anyone who even slightly cared

Boredom is the mother
Of looking for another
Who would give a nod
To the story that we weave
As truth what we believe

More than one head shaking together
Feels great to find a smile
As we walk the mile

Use it though like a condiment
Added to your own recipe of a journey
As a tasteful and powerful complement

If used as an escape
It only adds more trauma to the drama
If used as entertainment
Leads certainly to disappointment

Get to know the blank
The space of lonesome boredom
From where all drama arises often
Helps you isolate trauma in exclusion

Now you can choose what to play
Really feel the pulse of your character
Now you become the co-writer
Enjoy all the drama for what you care
Choose the audience with whom to share

It is your show
The more and more you let go
It is your show
The more you contribute to the flow
It is your show
Take time to really know
The characters you allow
To be part of your show

The choice may not be in some characters
The choice is then actually in your role
In all the drama you want to share
With the ones who would really care

That is Why …

That is Why

Photo: Manish Doshi, Editing: Myself

Because now
It is impossible to fake a smile
Because now
I am inwardly happy in my heart
Because now
I love myself with all of how I am

Because
I wish the same for you
Because
I wish we meet with exactly how we feel
Because
I wish to discover how One we are

That is Why …

 

While I was contemplating if I will ever write again …actually I have a lot of writing and ideas ready …so more if I will ever feel the urge to post again, and while navigating what feels like a transition in my way of being, the feeling of wanting to create this quote image brings up so much joy in me. I closed my eyes to call for what I wanted to put these words on, I saw that I wanted them to go on a path that looked like a scroll opening towards me. I started looking through albums of personal photographs and found this perhaps accidental click by my husband on a nature trail.
Growing up I felt a lack in me for not being good at art – drawing, painting, singing, dancing, anything. As an adult I discovered that there is an art to words and life itself. And the skill emerges when I keep living authentically. These text images that I  have come to love creating are my art and my heart. They are what they are and they are how they wanted to come through me. I don’t know how they should be, to be good. It makes me very happy if you really like them.

 

Note: This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects.

 

Amazing Feeling

Amazing Feeling

Photo : Manish Doshi, Editing : myself

A note to my dear heart friends,

All of us who share so much of our hearts in this space and all who have so generously given your reading times for all that came through me:

I am so thrilled to finally come back to this space!!! My break continued longer than I had planned on. I have missed our precious interactions. It is like I came back from around the world and hadn’t yet reached this corner of my home, that has given me such cozy comfort, support, encouragement, inspiration, enthusiasm, a place that feels so much my zone.

I am very eager to visit with each one of your works that I missed, will make my way slowly 🙂 I am curious as to how my own blog work unfolds though, as I am finding a new kind of joy and love for Life – curious as to how I would divide the time available, spent actually living it in the moments and the time spent in the virtual spaces that are so preciously real to me too.

I surrender to how the flow itself leads me, I will follow when it takes me here and I will follow when it takes me elsewhere. I am excited to see what pattern emerges (lightly clapping 🙂 )

I meet you today with a heart filled to the brim with reverence & gratitude for the most amazing shifts that happened in the last month for me, the renewed & refreshed way of being I feel into 2019.

I greet you with my first quote image of 2019, that photo is me smiling at you 🙂 and wishing that may the beautiful simplicity of life touch you deeply, playfully, magically and in ways that support you truly!

Chance Meetings of Perfection

Love is in the air - sublime sunrise at Kala Pathar beach - Havelock - 1F8A1055

Photo Credit : Atanu Chakraborty “Sunrise at  Havelock, Andamans”

 

About chance meetings of perfection
We are either blobs of messes that encounter perfectly
Or then a piece of perfection untangled out of a mess
Sometimes both true at the same time
It is how we intersect as part of humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either skillfully carve our personal journey
Or then truthfully honor the other’s story
Sometimes both true at the same time
It is how we raise the bar of humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either expect them to be exhilarating in experience
Or then try to escape those that bring deep reflection
Sometimes both true at the same time
It is how we have blinding views of humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either get trapped in the glory
Or then tend to repulse some misery
Sometimes both true at the same time.
It is how we have all the confusion in humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either look for them outside of the relations we have
Or then treat the relations we already have as differently
Sometimes both true at the same time
It is how we have suffering in humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either see each of our relations in similar view
(parents, siblings, spouses, such bound)
Or enjoy the brilliance of other special few
(those that intersect out of nowhere, really unbound)
Sometimes both true at the same time
It is how we allow the grace of humanity

About chance meetings of perfection
We either acknowledge the divine interventions
Or lead a seemingly undeserving existence
All big and small daily interactions
All long and short term relations
Make the perfect design of all of humanity

I offer this poem in Gratitude to every single human and soul that has crossed my path in this lifetime, and made a direct or indirect impact on my Being here ..

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects, blog of profound work by Debbie Roth.

 

 

Beauty in Resilience

Hard labor for a Living - a Local -0898

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.