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?
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
I used to remain small to keep others comfortable They did console themselves that I am nobody big
I am nobody big I am no small either
There is a big difference…
I wish us all to continue to live with the truth of our being, with courage and compassion in relation to each other. I found this in the corners of my old drafts, while I was looking for something else. I enjoyed reading it back to myself and thought I should share it 🙂
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 🙂
I gave you valid respect for your given role in my life. I will never falter in that. I became weak, I cried. You scolded, told me to become strong. I did. You can’t stand me now.
I have no desire for power games. Each time you try to make me small, I hurt a bit, a lot and then just become tall. I desire respect for who I am and regard for my personal growth.
I shared with you that genuineness in relationships is required for me. You explained how I am being unreasonable. You thought you helped me understand. Sadly, I understood what you said.
I said it is important to show more care for each other. Soon it became a game of guilt-tripping grievances, while flaunting privileges. I wasn’t interested in those. I quit engaging. I am learning to be ok.
I kept my stories positive. I didn’t share what I really struggled & triumphed through. Validated, empathized and supported you inside out. You took me for granted and declared that I am lucky I have it all so easy. I am learning to find a balance.
You have given me a lot of goodness, helped in times of need. I expressed profound gratitude at every opportunity. I am done being made indebted to you forever. I perhaps bring no other value to you.
You praised my spiritual writing in public and in person. Then you said I was foolish to actually attempt to live what I wrote. I need to be loyal to my own word. I think you should have no say in that.
I have acknowledged both your struggles and your privileges without agenda and envy. I think I have suffered enough humanly, if that’s the competition we are in, to prove our worth. I now go for continual joy and gratitude. You preach me positivity while pointedly reminding me of my lack. I become weak only because I care and want to trust you.
You are so so lovely, I would love to create some fun moments with you, instead of you trying to make me jealous with other people. I wish we are truly that which we take turns trying to become/show. Have a cup of smiles, perhaps with some sweet, bitter, hot, perfect brew. I want us to speak easy and true, or then why bother with the façade/role play?
Praise is not the expectation behind any of my action. Love is the intention behind all I say and do. I feel deeply. I mean what I say. Your mixed layers of what you say, what you really mean and you intend to convey something underneath saying something in the perfect nice words – it is exhausting to me.
Respect & Love exist as attitudes, trickling into action and words. Certainly not true when the words are claimed, assumed, imagined, explained. All this while continually invalidating others’ feelings, in the guise of wanting to make them strong and positive.
These are things I have tried hard not to say.
Today I decided to get them out of the way. I am not perfect, made my own human mistakes. I am working my way through. All this is what I really think sometimes, before I work diligently at letting go of expectations and acceptance of what is.
When emotional I am often unskilled at expressing, wanting to keep the love and kindness, fearing loss of relations. It is ok I think now, to say what I really mean without trying to make it into something nice. It is ok to love myself as much as anyone else.
I am learning to become unapologetically myself, still humble and authentic, valuing positivity and peace, yet more unapologetically myself. All my heart feels is Love in this moment and I am willing to grow to be able to live it to the fullest extent of it.
Post Update because of some comments I am getting : This is not about a single person in my life. I share a good marriage with my husband – we grow together as individuals. This is a compilation of various journeys with multipleinteractions in life. Not an exact experience of this moment but a description of cumulative experiences I have been working through. A venting of how I think relations work in some ways in society, that I am growing out of very clearly, and felt the nudge to put it out in the Universe for anyone who might find it helpful and mark my own journey ahead.
Related posts from the past, if you feel inclined –
If you manipulate your way in changing the other person in a relationship, you will not feel the joy when that change comes. The thrill will go away quickly and the change won’t last.
If you manipulate your way of being in a relationship, the other person will reflect back the changes in you in the most beautiful way. This is a slow process of skillful transformation. Everything changes. You get to keep the authentic relation forever or let go. Let go of the expectation or sometimes the relation itself. You experience the most peaceful joy. It comes from finding yourself, discovering how you relate to yourself and strengthening that bond first.
It is our patterns that shape our relations. Let go of the blame of how people distanced from you. It is important to address what is the pattern in you, and what addiction of yours were they serving? Validation, approval, connection, filling up some emptiness – what is it that you were needing?
In the space that is consciously created, the real ones always stay or return. Because you returned back to yourself and allowed them to find themselves.
No judgment, all compassion, kindness and love, for oneself and others. All healthy boundaries.
P.S. 2020 became the year of deep reflection for how I relate to myself and others, seeking another level of balance in my personal spiritual journey and authentic relations. The nature of some family, society and worldly relations managed to create dissonance while also refining my appreciation for simple happy times with my immediate family.
If you feel inclined here are some of my other posts on relationships from different times. I appreciate all thought processes shared on my posts. All exchanges of perspectives are a growth for all.
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.
Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor. It means letting go of the idea of what the result looks like. Goodness comes in ten thousand and different ways. We fixate on having it come a certain way.
Be open to receive what’s coming to you. We shut ourselves off from what is coming to us. We do that with our busyness or often with feelings of unworthiness. Always filling the spaces available to us with ‘doing’ and ‘trying’.
We then go into judgment of self, and rest of the world. That is a sure way to find a million upsetting things in our life. Things, not even in our immediate life, upset us. We go about finding glory in all the suffering we endure in all our pursuits.
There are so many things that need not define our life. There are so many pre-organized structures that don’t really work for us. We seem to think it is comfortable to make ourselves fit into them. We imagine it would be our success to show growth within those structures.
There are some given structures that are nourishing to us. Those that give us certain joys, stability and security. Those are our gifts to receive from, and find our worthiness through them. There are some areas of our personal growths that need the freedom of creation.
Be willing to create, express and offer exactly what you want.There are no barriers in the space that is not restricted by definitions. Most things come to us in ways we haven’t ever thought about them. Don’t lock yourself up in finite ways of achieving things.
Keep your self-reflection with kindness and compassion. Have a willing contribution towards your pursuit. Let go of the idea of how it should be coming to you. Letting go of results does not mean denying the gifts of your labor.
This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects! You will find this blog very inspiring.
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