About Awards & Gratitude

Photo by Manish Doshi

As I sat down to create my weekly Monday post, I checked into my heart for what wanted to be expressed during this week of ThanksGiving. I realized that Gratitude has been my drug of choice in life – I trace back the infinite blessings of my life to this gift of Gratitude that sometimes blooms with joy and sometimes is a practice of cultivation that reproduces joy unfailingly.

I checked for how and for whom I want to express gratitude today. Of course, for this community that literally buoyed my being for these many years now, and also something unique happened. I realized that I feel a new sense of gratitude for someone who I have often neglected most. Now I feel quite audacious to say – Myself. But honestly, and humbly that is what came to me – I am grateful for myself for all of who I have become.

Now how should I convey this? – I asked, perhaps hoping to be redirected to something else. It was a pleasant surprise when I was guided to this Liebster Blog Award post from when I was 5 months into blogging in February 2016. I did not have readers yet, but this kind blogger acknowledging and encouraging me meant the whole world to me.

I wish to share with you all today, kind friends, my response post to that award. It felt so good to have a glimpse into myself from when I was in this space kind of innocently, not knowing what blogging meant. To see not much has changed truly, in spite of the fact that I feel like a whole new person since then.

I remember so tickled from getting asked questions about myself – it was an unfamiliar and amazing window to look at myself through. This is the only blog award I responded to, going award-free thereafter. Here it is :)))

11 facts about me:

1. I believe magic exists in everyday unfolding.
2. I love rain.
3. I love driving in the rain alone.
4. I like the crunch of walking on fallen leaves.
5. I love the sunshine in lukewarm weather.
6. I can watch waves crashing for hours.
7. I think every single thing that comes my way is relevant.
8. A coffee and a great conversation is time spent well to me.
9. I enjoy creating different styles of outfits.
10. I am passionate about seeing life transformations.
11. I have spent a lot of time playing board games with my sons.

Answers to the 11 questions given to me:

1. If you could live back in time when and where would you choose and why?
Hmmm …Actually I am feeling perfect where I am, so given a choice I would like to stay right now and here 🙂

2. What do you think will be the greatest invention in the future
Don’t know really …

3. What is the best t.v. show in your opinion?
I don’t watch t.v. much … have loved Friends in the past and now occasionally enjoy Big Bang Theory.

4. What book have you enjoyed the most?
Difficult to pick one … Power of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer, I was young and this book felt powerful…

5. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My first yoga teacher in US, he always helped me see the truth in me, in a very un-authoritative manner.

6. Which parent influenced you the most and how?
Not sure about this actually …by now every interaction has become an influence.

7. How do you think we can contribute to peace?
By cultivating peace within, it can be very contagious!

8. What do you think is man’s greatest achievement?
In my small reality, this virtual world that connects people across the earth, is an amazing achievement.

9. What do you think is man’s worst behavior?
Acting in harmful and untruthful ways, going against joy …their own and others.

10. What do you like to do for fun?
Listen to songs, chat with friends and laugh with them.

11. If you could travel into space where would you go?
Far enough to take a look at Earth as a whole and then back!

Thank you for traveling with me and my words till here, THANK YOU is all I can say truly and deeply. Happy Week of Giving Thanks!

P.S. Thank you to my husband for the amazing fall picture that I used at the beginning.

Don’t Blow Up Your Life: Take Responsibility for the Choices You Make

Photo by Manish Doshi ‘Sunrise on Kauai, Hawaii islands’

I am very happy to share that my prose of perspectives on long-term, family relations, is now published on AmericanKahani.com. I would be honored if you choose to read it on the link below and share your thoughts, feedback on it.

Don’t Blow Up your Life: Take Responsibility for the Choices You Make
Love is not dramatic or romantic sometimes. It is way bigger. It is something that helps accept what Is, wholly, and then change it.

This article was originally published on this blog On January 17, 2018.

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 _()_

About Boundaries

When suggestions are heard as criticism
Followed by gaslighting & defensivism
Criticism could be offered as suggestions
Followed by choice for personal decisions
It is often effective
To speak in languages native
To all that internal wiring
Sparks that have grown old & tiring
Need a lot of space for nurturing
The grounds of self-loving & caring

My internal dialog when this came up to be posted for this week:
“Really is this what you want to post? You have better thoughts, better words, better works to share! This?”
Am I sensing judgment for what truly came out of nowhere and is clearly asking to be the one today?:
“Well, does it even make sense?” “I think so… hope so…it is written and ready to go!”
So here it is. I don’t know why but this needed to go today from my universe into yours. I would be humbled to know if it spoke or made sense to you.

Love Warrior

Photo of me lounging on our beloved planet by Manish Doshi at Death Valley NP, California

The words on the picture above formed a short post Your Choice, published on April 30, 2017.

While I was thinking for a picture to pair with the poem Love Warrior, the above came to mind, along with wanting to add words from the older post to make it into a word image. I am shaking my head to myself over this compulsion I am feeling, to combine various elements to a post instead of just sharing the poem I intended to. Perhaps they are slightly different flavors of Love Warrior. I hope you enjoy the expressions of this phase I am going through.

Love warrior
Made
Unseen
Unfelt
Unnoticed
After being
Seen
Felt
Noticed

Love Warrior
Not Victim
Yet Victim
From
Heart assaulted
Ignored
Gaslighted

Love Warrior
Taking space
Humbly
Courageously
Vulnerably
Still looked down
By those
Taking space
Boldly
Unapologetically
Powerfully

Love Warrior
At war within
Without enough
Self Love
Wary from
Letting go
Expectations of
Natural reciprocity
Even from those
Placed in roles of
Nurturing tender hearts
And failed to deliver

Love Warrior
Daring to be so alone
No complacency
For want of company
Often doubting sanity
Counting blessings
Cultivating Gratitude
Choosing Love

Love Warrior
Colored leaf
Drifting
Through space
Finding Ground
Becoming One
With Earth
Finding
And receiving
Divine reciprocity

Love Warrior
Becoming the Ground
For bold ones standing their ground
Holding space
For unapologetics to walk upon
Lending strength
For the powerful to use
From the subtle
Power of
Humble Courage
And vulnerability

Love Warrior
Often Invisible
Being
The ground
And space
The embrace
They themselves
Yearn for

Photo by Manish Doshi at Death Valley NP, California

Note to dear blog friends: I have become slower in my visits to your blogs, I still treasure my visits to read you work the same, I will keep doing so, just going through shifts in routine.

No Matter What

Photo by Myself

You are annoyed with me
Because I insist on Love
No matter what

No matter what
I love you too
From the distance
We are both Comfortable at

I wondered about these words that clearly chose how I would resume back from my month long blog break. I questioned if this was the best inspiration or wisdom I managed to wring out from all the living I did this past month.

September mostly turned out to be a family oriented month with few milestones and celebrations that I enjoyed with fulfillment. I am also aware of all the growing up that happened for me inwardly while going through life that spilled out into the world.

It is perhaps known to all who commit to their personal and spiritual growth that the immediate signs of our evolution is reflected very clearly in how it affects our relations. The About page of my blog is when I first realized that I am now(then in 2015) able to see myself beyond all the definitions of the relations that I have soulfully invested myself in. Yet, after writings and writings on the skillful ways of relating to myself and others, I am deeply humbled at how repeatedly I face my own patterns of how I live in illusion of what some relations are, instead of what they really are.

I forever lived with the belief that Love sustains all, Love can bring any transformation, Love prevails all, Love heals all …I so badly wanted some of my relations a certain way, full of genuine love and kindness, that I was blinded to the art of healthy boundaries. I had to learn something I thought I was done learning so long ago. I questioned the integrity of my Love. I asked myself – after getting hurt so many times from the demands of transactional relationships, after so many awakenings and poetry, etc. what is it that value you want to show up with for anyone? The answer was still Love. I felt relieved for not losing that one thing that I based all my life on.

My mistake was to not allow the spaciousness that Love is. To not allow space for myself for the Love to bloom in nourishing ways for myself, along with those I insisted on with so much Love. They are literally annoyed and angry with me that I am not annoyed and angry at life exactly the way they are. I had to learn the lesson fresh, crisp and clear that no amount of sacrifice of my love and care for myself, is enough to make the other feel loved and cared for.

Some relations are the stickiest tests of our ability to stay in integrity to our core values of Being. They are an opportunity to me to cultivate the value of Love no matter what. Nobody needs to be held hostage to my definition of Love, just like I do not enjoy being hooked to any drama and games in the name of relations. Love with capital L is unconditional, devoid of any conditions of how it should look like in daily life. It can be as true and pure, even from a distance of time and space, if required.

Loving Note to my dear Blog Friends : Thank you for being here for me as I truly used this break to enjoy free blocks of time along with some joyful busyness. Each time I return to this space, it is with utmost gratitude in my heart. I look forward to making my way to your works that I missed.

Also I wish to humbly share with you this link for a Stress Reduction Virtual Workshop that I co-presented for Brown & Toland’s Physicians Group. The workshop is now added to the library on their wellness page and available for free public access: https://www.brownandtoland.com/wellness I would be honored to know if you were able to take the 45 mins to watch it fully.

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

Of Becoming Myself

Photo by Myself

I have circled back to square one yet again in my journey of Becoming myself.
It is my responsibility to patiently skillfully claim who I am.
I Am the ripple and the wave that keeps flowing in to her destiny.
I receive this gift of melting diffusion of my being fully, breathing and being with it.

A Moved Heart, deep no-tears-eyes feeling tears.
This is pure energy transmission through pure intent.
This is Truth of the moment. This is Love.
On my next phase, I work on absolute skill in silence or speech, than ever before.
My Life is Changed Forever.
I am stunned and moved, and receiving deeply. I am ready. Whatever that means.

In this moment I accept my wholeness.
I leave it to the shift and process to work itself through me.
It feels empowering. I am thrilled at the lack of the lurking fear and overwhelm.
The prayers and blessings are at work at all dimensions.
This energy is so fluid and expansive.

I am done blinding myself from the clarity available to me.
I am done being so cautious of stepping into it.
I feel the grief of mothering others’ emotions and then letting go.
I cared for how much they needed me to need them and so became the needy one they needed me to be. I have been part of the game too, trying to keep it all so comfortable.
Oh Truth is not such. So much peace in this moment I don’t know who I am anymore.
That makes me smile, it shows me my raw beginning yet again, to get back to being who I was, am, to be. I flow in to my destiny, from this moment here now.

I am not stuck here, I am planted and blooming.
There is pulsating power within, my container is adjusting, recalibrating for this shift.
I am reminding myself these sensations are not pain they are sensations of divine rearrangement of energy itself, tangible and intangible.
This process is going to stay alive for some while, I will stay present and silent.
What Gift, Grace, Gratitude – to hold this unfolding, in utmost reverence!
Thank You is what covers it and doesn’t begin to cover it, for the revelations and truth that are a grace of this lifetime.

This post is a modified compilation of my comments that came in response to
Amy Rose on a recent post of mine Layers Illuminated. I decided to make my end of this recent conversation into a post to turn the profound shift into a powerful affirmation, own and embody it fully. I would be honored to know how this post spoke to you.

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

Truth & Love

Photo by myself

Truth is a beautiful love language
Love is a beautiful truth

Neither is what we think it is
Without the other

Truth is a beautiful love language and love is a beautiful truth – this came up as my comment in response to this post by Fearless Free Soul, a beautiful poetry and inspiration on this theme.

*This is a scheduled post. I will return back to respond to your thoughts on it in a day or 2 after it is published.