Choice

Choice

Photo by Manish Doshi – On the sand dunes at Death Valley, California

A note to my blogger friends & readers:

This could be the last quote image of 2018 from me. I have had so much fun creating these. Check out all my quotes at the Inspiration Gallery that I am so grateful for coming to Be. It is the gift of 2018 to me and my gift to all of you who enjoy it.

Pairing the words that came to me with pictures was like a meditative treasure hunt always. Pictures came from our family vacations and often browsing through sites of my photographer friends Atanu Chakraborty & Vikram Phale, who generously allowed me to use them. None of the collaboration of words and pictures were ever planned. Pictures were taken without agenda and words were gifts of the soul of the Universe. Rare few times the pictures prompted the quotes and other times the words took me on the trail to the right picture.

The first quote image I ever made took me about 8 hours to get the final version right, playing with all the tools, fonts and placements available. I was like a kindergartner getting my alphabets right on the blackboard. So much patience shown with me from my friend Vikram Phale with his coaching to visualize the aesthetic aspects of the images, his honest feedback always, and help in the technical aspects of editing from my husband Manish Doshi. Today’s quote above found a picture and got designed in under an hour with no help ūüôā and I love the feeling of that.

I started this blog with a lot of poetry and occasional articles. I dreamed of making quotes but didn’t think/trust I would be doing them. A blogger friend Josiah Harry of Skylarity¬†gifted me some quote images that he made from my poetry lines that he so preciously picked. Oh the joy and gratitude with which I received his gift of these quote images! (Images created by him are included in the Inspiration Gallery)That gave me the boost of a beginning to create my own, though it took me about an year after.

My quote images seem to have replaced the process of my poetry. Poetry has become a occasional kind visitor to me in my work, some articles, some thoughts, some quotes, some long pauses, that’s how I am flowing in this blog space.

 

PS : This quote image is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. Choices come with ease when we work with forgiving and acceptance.

Advertisements

Downsides of Gratitude?

GratitudeLeaves

Photo: Myself “Fallen Leaves”

Gratitude & Joy are on my mind a lot lately.

My understanding of gratitude and joy, how it has evolved and grown for me, is on my mind a lot lately.

The quality of Gratitude and its power became known to me during the seemingly toughest times of life when I found myself naturally leaning into all that was available for me to depend on – people, basic necessities, nature – every single thing that I was receiving anything from, to help me keep going. Genuine Gratitude swelled from my heart for every perceived blessing, every kind word, every new day, each genuine smile, each laughter that became possible.

Joy was the gift and the jewel that came as the core fragrance of Gratitude. It felt the most amazing to wear on me – something radiated brightly with just Being in this state of Gratitude and Joy.

Then came the awareness that my Gratitude for roles people played in my life was taken for granted and seen as my neediness alone. I wrote a short poem to give this an expression.

On further self exploration, I recognized that deep down I have always felt unworthy and undeserving, having to earn any regard, support from any one else. There was a feeling of indebtedness. I felt obligated to become everything I can for their comfort and be available to pacify any of their struggle. Result was a lack of boundaries, lack of self-compassion and honoring my own needs in favor of what was required of those others who had made any contribution to my life. I had a tendency to disregard any unfairness towards me, constantly justifying it as their humanness.

Eventually I was able to separate my heartfelt gratitude from the feeling of having to give up my true sense of being in return for approval and appreciation. I felt empowered, free and actually very unselfish. I am now available in my best possible ability to be of good service to anyone, when I am truly being myself. No amount of taking on other people’s suffering is going to lessen their’s.

That lead to the awareness of the guilt that permeated the joy available for me. Guilt about how much some other people had not still caught up on the true simple pleasures of life and how they needed to be supported in that. With time I realized, I can honor each person’s journey, feel the tenderness of their suffering but the Gratitude for what is available to each, is their’s to find.

Grief brings us in touch with the core of our being, empathy brings us in touch with the core of humanity.

Each one of us is responsible to use our emotions skillfully and compassionately towards self and others. No matter how many tantrums I threw about the sometimes seemingly treacherous life, I had to live out my own until I was able to choose the right perspectives that led to more Gratitude and Joy. There are so many people that I am grateful for, for showing up to help me keep steering powerfully in the right direction. I just needed to keep the strength to NOT let go of the wheel, and depend completely on others to carry me. The direction I am headed towards comes from within me.

Gratitude is a means and also the gift received through the means. Joy is something that flows through our veins and becomes a natural expression that shows up in relationships and life experiences. There remains no need to stage and create moments of happiness. Joyful moments keep occurring naturally. This happens with looking at some excruciating times of life in the eye – with the eye of Gratitude.

I am finally free to celebrate Gratitude without forever feeling indebted or undeserving of what life offers me through people and opportunities. I am still learning to express joy without the guilt because of how much suffering humans hold within. I share my Joy when moved to do so, in an attempt to inspire more people to move in that direction, share in this pure juice of life and genuinely celebrate life with each other.

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. Debbie Roth’s work on this blog is a wonderful inspiration.

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.

 

 

Big & Small of how I am

Waterfall

Photo Credit: Manish Doshi

Is this Waterfall Big or Small?

I used to remain small to keep others comfortable
That’s how we were used to being, relative to each other

Now

I feel nobody big
I feel nobody small either

There is a big difference…

 

*Kindly excuse me as I will be a bit delayed in getting back to your kind comments, in a day or two surely.

P.S. This is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects that promotes healing through forgiving of our judgments and limitations.

 

How Long?

Trust & Lies

Photo Credit: Vikram Phale “Wildfire Sunset in Yosemite”

When we Trust, what is it that we really Trust? Is Trust about someone other to be a certain way forever? Is it really Trust if it is dependent on some other’s choice?

Maybe Trust is just about the Knowing that it all works out right. Maybe Trust is about the ability to let go, knowing if it is meant to be, it will Be.

When we Lie to someone else, if ever, is it that we lie only to them? Is Lying anything about keeping the Truth to ourselves? Is it really Lying, if we are oblivious of Truth?

Maybe Lies is just what we believe or base our choices on, for comfort. Maybe we live the Lies that feel like they give us the ability to keep going.

Question is – How Long?

 

P.S. This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays on ForgivingConnects – a blog by Debbie Roth that empowers through forgiveness and acceptance.

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 Рbut 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.

Of Truthfulness

Sail Sunset

Photo Credit: Manish Doshi

It is courageous vulnerability
Not a weakness
It is soul confidence
Not an arrogance
It is pure truthfulness
Not a lack of humility
It is heartfelt gratitude
Not a sign of neediness

It is actually an humble attempt
To persist in this made up world
With absolute will and trust
To insist on a world made of Love

Agnized their’s is a lonesome way
Greatest battles fought only within
Rain flowing from the eyes of turmoil
Emotional storms cleansing the heart soil

This is true of the ones who have tasted
The brutality of the life of humanness
The ambrosial essence of existence itself
Their tenacity time & again tested

A strength seemingly divine revealed
Ceded to the oceanic universal current
Soul-calling of intention keeps the ship asail
In the guided direction that Source avails