Life Waves

Photo by Arnav Doshi

The process keeps going life beside
you yearn for a bit longer respite
A sense of having found a ground
maybe for a day and yet again slip down
Another layer being called to shed more,
then called to show up and Be more

Allowing lower energy mind games to penetrate
to become like others around to be able to relate
Showing how attached still to comforts of certainty
then suffering for not being your own self worthily

Feel and sense the divide happening
Grief of as if current reality leaving
Comes with having to keep going
while still staying in your Being

Cusp of opening up from the guardedness
feel the transition and rawness
The waves keep coming yes
you hope you can let go…
Maybe this is how it looks like always
you simply learn to breathe better in calmness

PS : This poem was composed sometime last year from my response to one of Sue Dreamwalker’s post on her profoundly inspirational blog Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary. I realized I had never published it.

The Ordinary Extraordinary

Photo by myself: Crater Lake, Oregon. Unedited mobile click – what is so ordinary or extraordinary about this picture?

It helps to blur the line between ordinary and extraordinary, whichever end we think us to be on. When extraordinary strength is required for everyday life during challenging situations that seem to be present for a long term, it helps to remember that even ‘normal’ life feels the same periodically.

I realized this when I dealt with a difficult illness for some years with no break of ‘normalcy’. I decidedly trained myself to accept my new normal and then the days that felt really hard became just like any ‘normal’ life. It lifted the burden of Why Me-s and made it somewhat more acceptable to live through the ordinary pain of a seemingly extra-ordinary situation (or vice versa).

And when we think of us as ordinary and normal it helps to remember that we hold the potential for extraordinary. When life is ‘normal’ we take it for granted that only some special people have strength. We forget that they are choosing to be strong. All of us have the choice to go a bit beyond our comfort zone, with integrity to our well being.

I love and admire people who have, what I don’t have in me yet. We need all shades of capacity, resilience and joy in differing measures from time to time. I keep learning to love myself more and more with all my perceived shortcomings. It gives a renewed taste of newfound freedom continually.

All things big and small when dropped to the felt sense become our internal experiences. No experience is ordinary or extra-ordinary, in some ways. Just because it happens to everyone and is normal, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be affected. If our thoughts and emotions are taking over that means our experience is real. It is affecting the quality of our life. Acceptance is being aware of all of that.

When fear grips, it means some perceived and real experiences have left us with no control over how we feel and choose. It becomes a struggle even when we have had a taste of divine faith before. We now seem to have lost the ability to be congruent with the core of our original being. When our system is out of balance the fear might bring up some pain or symptom in the body. We might feel agitation or confusion in the mind, we lose the capacity to connect with divine faith.

It is helpful at such times to create experiences to influence our system in the direction of balance. This can be done in various ways. A breathing practice that brings the body and mind to a calmer & clearer state of being, time in solitude or nature with nurturing activities. To me sometimes I just need honest conversations with people who can act as authentic mirrors to me. Either a friend or mentor who reinforces and channels that sense of trust, faith or divine connection back in our system.

I have found tremendous rich value in this process of intentional shifts between imbalance & balance, ordinary & extraordinary, and fear & faith. I am blessed to be a receiver of such reinforcements from friends and teachers that I reach out to.

I am also grateful to have opportunities to facilitate such shifts through the yoga classes that I teach in group and private sessions. If you are curious check my humble yoga website: http://www.YogaSaar.com

This post is from a train of thoughts that I had saved in my drafts. I would be honored to know what came up for you and if we are able to exchange perspectives.

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.

With Love

Photo by myself


Give IT time …with love
Give what IT takes …with love
Give IT fiercely …with love
Give IT all …become love

Give IT space …with love
Give IT up …with love
Don’t give up on IT …just love
Watch IT come back …with all the love!

Sometimes the IT is Love itself, and Love itself keeps unfolding for what it is for us. As I was wondering if I wanted to post anything on the theme of Love on this post-Valentine’s Day Monday, I was moved to revive this post that I had published on February 16, 2017. So I made it into the image above. I hope you like it and look forward to your thoughts on it.

P.S. My dearest blog friends and readers, I might be delayed in my responses and happy visits to your work, as I am traveling the whole week. Yet I will be very much and as much possible present here with utmost gratitude for you taking the time to read and comment.

Days are long, Life is short

Photo by myself

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 🙂

P.S :
Related post : Be-Come
Another conversation with my son when he was 11 : An attempt at success?

Trust through the unknown

Blooming

Photo: Myself

These delicate stalks peeking out from a gap in a fence as if called out to me. As I stood there for seemingly long, in admiration of the beauty and contrast, a lot was being said to me. I listened in.

This was more than a week ago, when I went on a last long walk around my neighborhood, before we went into shelter in place to stay safe from Covid19.

These are uncertain times of many unknowns. Everything is so transient, all that we cling to as normal and accepted, and also all that we are wishing away.  The air today seems filled with gloom, a shift from a fast moving energy of chaos and confusion in previous days. Just like every big shift that shakes the ground of reality we walk on, we hope that this is temporary before everything goes back to normal soon.

There are many including myself who are able to relate to the personal and visceral experience of every habitual way of being gotten stripped off of everyday living. It came with different experiences of loss or tremendous change with respect to our health, relations, or finances. We coped, survived and then thrived as we discovered the power of gratitude for what is present, what serves in the moment, acceptance and continual surrender to new normal ways of being and living. Peace, joy and amazing new avenues of life became available unlike ever before.

These are certainly times when we are called to appreciate the luxury and preciousness of every single thing available to us on a day to day basis. This experience of having to go out of the comfort of habit is now a collective experience and not lone parallel journeys in the midst of dominant normalcy in society.

It gives a first hand experience in how much kindness, empathy and compassion make a world of a difference. It is bringing to the forefront how pity, sympathy and indifference hurts the heart, soul and spirit of  tremendous courage. It is painful, it is messy, it is calling us to tap into our human resiliency, to trust our hearts, to have faith in a higher power and to peer into the beauty of existence.

Something always finds a way to bloom on the other side of it all. Always. Anchored in this trust, I join the flow of uncertainty into the unknown. I stay present to my capacity and limitations to carry this trust and space of peace in my heart, allowing the waves of all other human emotions to pass through when they do. Wisdom of teachers, their work, my personal practice, support from family and friends is available for me.

New amazing normals emerge, miracles and possibilities await to become evident, lot of our imagined and un-imagined dreams magically come true. They do.

Wishing you health, healing, happiness, joy, ease, gratitude and peace _()_

P.S. I am now offering virtual sessions for breathing, meditation, guidance, listening with confidentiality/witnessing. Complimentary offers available.
Please reach out through http://www.yogasaar.com

 

Innocence & Its Faces

IMG_3955

Photo Credit: Manish Doshi

Innocence is the face of a baby born
So also that of a person reborn
Each one has faced the struggle
To show up in the world

In their painful journey of birthing & re-birthing
Gut wrenching twisting and turning
Courage and surrender both have shown
To be able to breathe
And cry a cry of relief

That innocence has known survival
Not a scent of the vices of the world
The purity if they wish to retain
The reborn must keep the intent
To be alive & born to new moments
To die to each that has gone by …

We are blessed with many rebirths
In this lifetime alone
As much they make us weep & cry
Smile to welcome each one with joy

 

Note: This poem was first published on Dec. 11, 2015, when I was about 3 months into my blog on WP. The 4 bloggers that read it that time had felt so very precious to me. The poem itself was an emotional experience in response to a curious remark sent my way. Today this poem called me back as if to check in how and if it still fits with me. I felt it natural to share it again with all my new blogger friends.

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays on ForgivingConnects, a blog by Debbie Roth who profoundly teaches the art of letting go.

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.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Photo Credit : Manish Doshi “Sunrise”

Do you look back and wonder how you survived those times?
Those times that it made no difference whether day or night?

Do you look back and wonder what kept you living?
Those times how come you didn’t imagine dying?

Do you look back and see just how you chose to live?
Those times when it was death of a thousand kind?

Do you now see the brilliance of Life?
New Beginnings as if awakened by a beautiful sunrise?

Don’t ever give up, keep going …
It is a miracle all that is waiting.

 

Related post : Go seek that which is waiting for you!

PS : This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of Forgiving Connects.

The Continuum

The journey begins - sunrise hour at Govindnagar beach - Havelock - revised version - 1F8A1233

Photo Credit : Atanu Chakraborty “The Journey Continues – Sunrise”

When some conflicting energies were caused
A seemingly positive momentum got paused
All paradigms got shuffled and tossed
The heart and mind buckled & distressed

There seems no choice looking back
…yet there is no seeming lack
As if unbeknownst suspended mid-air
…yet seemingly held by emerging faith

A new place of no momentum
…yet assured of some continuum
As if all there seems to be is deceleration
…yet a knowing of tremendous forward motion

You become acutely aware
That you are simply on a flow
The current is calm and slow
You stir your way like you fully know

Then when boredom sets in
You insist on rocking the boat
You seek the adventure & thrill
And then scramble to stay afloat

…That is exactly how you most rapidly grow.

 

Yoga – My Life & Work

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays , a profound space by Debbie Roth.