Healing & the Emerging Beauty

Photo by myself

I found myself in this tender raw space of being this past week. Outwardly I was functional for day to day life and inwardly I have been sliding down, what I now call, a healing hole. It is a messy, vulnerable experience every single time when that happens. You know the kind of unwellness that you feel and there is actually nothing really wrong in the present times? The kind that would convince you of your loneliness when actually what is true is the wisdom of being present with the aloneness in this process.

I felt assured that I will be guided and supported throughout. There was something within me that was almost thrilled at this opportunity of cleansing and renewal that it usually is. Knowing fully well it comes with much heart ache, tears and discomfort.

It can get pretty dark and lonely in the mind forest where you are clearing away the dense thicket of old beliefs, tendencies and old patterns. Some are so much our comfort zone yet a source of continual Dis-ease. I am not new to this geography of our mind for how we create our reality from all that we allow to grow here.

Just in case that I don’t lose myself fully in the seeming abyss, I made sure I informed few friends that I am feeling the urge to isolate. One soul friend accompanied me into my thickest and reminded me to remain in this human state of suffering only long enough that I am actually using it to clear out the old, and emerge renewed. The realities that we get stuck in, are mostly created in our mind by humans around. It is our responsibility to change that. She reinforced my connection with this Universe, my oneness with the Earth, the sky, the grass, so I could tap into the Infinite source to breathe and feel good where I am.

I found access to a deeper level of myself, that corner of my mind basement that had long gotten neglected. I had to shine the light on everywhere I was conforming at the cost of being my true self. I had to become comfortable to allow the chaos while I clear the space and make the required shifts to reclaim my power. It can feel very disruptive and scary, but then it is all in the mind. The only way out is through.

Photo by myself

I am amused at my arrogance that I feel shocked initially for having to do this inner work yet again. Judging myself for getting hit with this intense a low. As I watched myself continue to slip deeper, I knew I had to surrender to the wave. I slowed down to the fullest. Giving myself full permission for zero productivity. It is surprising how all the necessary gets done with better quality of attention and satisfaction this way.

No matter who is available for us, these are lonesome stretches that we have to be willing to walk through, without mistaking it for being alone, or trying to escape it. Even though it might feel excruciatingly lonely while going through some of it. How we relate to family and society are constructs of our minds. The greatest support from our immediate family is the space for these individual journeys. Drawing boundaries around our personal well being is a necessity.

I marvel in gratitude at how richly beautiful this life is, how amazingly supported we are. AmyRose a divine friend from this blog world sensed where I am through my comment on her blog and wrote this to me, affirming powerfully –

This journey all of us have been on is far from easy. We all have our good, bad, and then some iffy days. It takes practice acting like you and not how you have been conditioned to behave. You are fortunate you are learning this now, for the energies are creating the opportunities for you to grow rapidly. Always listen to your heart for it will not ever lead you wrong. You will know when you do or say or think something that is not lined up for your highest good because your Inner Guidance will not leave you alone until you rectify whatever it is that rubs your Golden Heart wrong. Be gentle with yourself ….”
(Do visit Amy by clicking on her name above, you will find her photography, and authenticity incredible at the least! She inspires me, guides me through her work and words.)

Today I woke up with a very tender nascent feeling, as if I had managed to crawl back to the rim of the hole and now simply absorbing the light. I decided I will take a break from my every Monday blog post. I felt exhausted and absolutely blank about wanting to share anything. Then the following words popped up as FB memory, that I had posted on my wall exactly 6 years ago today in 2015, when I didn’t know what a blog meant and that I would be called a writer.

I felt charged with aliveness after reading these words, a bold reminder of how I have been here before. That I can restart small and slow. I decided to put those words on the burst of blooming pink flowers as you can see at the top of this post. I thought I would post just that image. Then I realized I do not want to only share the full bloom of the flowers. I also want to share about my experience of having gone underground into the dirt before I could find my own joy beginning to bloom again.

I trust the process always. It only gets better from here.

Original photos used for above images below

P.S. I am truly blessed to have your comments.
I have been feeling a tug for not being able to visit your work as consistently as I would like in these few days. I will catch up on all that I miss, genuinely my loss as I love indulging in all the beautiful works by my friends here. Much Love & Gratitude.

Is it necessary?

Photo by myself

Why is Letting Go often so difficult?

Lodged in my bones
are your words
through the years

Is it necessary
that I feel them all?
when they begin
to dislodge
on their
way out?

I had managed
to smile
with them
sealed
all within
my strong bones

My words
never really
made it
from your ears
to your heart,
slid right down
from your strong ribcage
down to the floor,
and you said
you heard me

And I said,
Letting go
Is the way

But
is it really necessary?
that I feel them all?
The words
that you
didn't mean
yet said,
And now
are getting
dislodged
from my bones
to be let go

Love remains
after it all
Is it felt
as dry
Or then
wet drenched
in my tears,
that you
don't see
any reason for?
Is it love
after all?

Love
I will not
let go of
I will hold it
through my 
screams to be heard

Will the holes
in my bones
accept
your version
of love
to get filled
enough
to bring me
a smile?

Did I hurt my ‘image’ by sharing about my pain?

My Meditative Moments – Photo by Manish Doshi

I shared about my recent knee pain here and how I used it as an opportunity for deeper healing. Since then I have had quite a few conversations with curious and also concerned friends. I was encouraged by one of them to write this part 2 for my post “Liquid Gold” Following are some of the questions/comments I received along with my responses.

Why do you share about your pain publicly? Doesn’t it hurt your image as a healthy yoga teacher, and affect your business?

I do not have a brand to create in this moment, if at all, I am the brand for who and how I am. If there is any public image I strive for, it would be one of authenticity. I am in the business of creating myself in the truest expression of my spirit, and I facilitate that process for my students to the extent they would choose to go. I am a good coach to help someone identify what it is in their way & reach their goals with clarity, if we are a good match to each other.

I am as curious as you are, if my approach creates a well paying business for myself. I am open to discovering it. I forever keep pushing the edges of my skills, courage and vulnerability, and will keep showing up with all that I have in the moment. The results come abundantly in ways we are open to receiving, and that can look different for each one of us. I refuse to create an image of that which I am not in my being and becoming.

You practice yoga every day and also teach people, then how come you have such knee pain suddenly?

I am a human first, then a teacher, practitioner and everything else. Yoga practice does not give me a pain-free pass through life. It gives me the ability to become present to the pain and find a positive skillful way of being through it, and maybe out of it. It gives me the capacity to discern clearly, where is the pain coming from – is it purely physical, or is it also from some stagnant emotions? Is it being inflicted and accumulated from some mental belief that has us make certain choices repeatedly? Often pain has deeper roots than we can imagine.

I am skilled at facilitating this process for others, designing practices that help them become aware of their own body, mind, emotion patterns, and replace them with more aligned, balanced patterns.

I am a bit worried about you, Pragalbha. Are you taking health risks by treating yourself with yoga & spiritual stuff? Do these affirmations and all work for you because you are really specially spiritual or are you really doing something scientific?

This is in no way to replace expert medical advise (which I did take). I simply believe I have absolutely contributed to whatever pain emerges in my body, and so I need to be of equal or more contribution to my recovery from pain. Sometimes there are perspectives and choices that are needed in addition and for any medicine to take sustained effect.

While my doctor focused on the inflammation aspect of my pain, I focused on lengthening my spine with postural yoga to relieve strain on my knee joint, using my breath to keep my mind calm & clear, and other ways to clear out emotions like fear, inflexibility, anger, resentment that tend to create stiffness and pain in joints. In my case, my knee needed help to allow me to move forward literally and in life. I still have some lingering moments of pain coming back, reminding me that I am falling back into my old patterns. Pain is a very intelligent medium that helps us by its presence, until we heal wholly, deeply and fully. I am in touch with my expert medical practitioner for advice as needed.

Yoga is a science and practice of Being. It helps us get skilled at Being through circumstances without added stresses like fear or worry for example. It helps us get through difficult situations with much more ease, without anything become a major impediment. We are able to function in ways that otherwise might not have become possible. I have seen countless examples of this in students that I work with, be it physical pain or other stresses of life. And of course, I hope to keep sharing my personal journey with honesty.

P.S. If you liked this article, you might like the poem Questions Answered that I wrote back in 2017.

Liquid Gold

Sunrise photo by my son Sanved Doshi

Sunrise & Sunsets are Magical Moments
And the one at the ocean
Is that liquid gold beauty
That invokes Gratitude naturally

My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude. I returned from my travel, a trip to Hawaii islands that seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen and then it was exactly what was supposed to happen.

Just one week before my trip, I suffered from a ‘bad’ knee that had me unable to walk or move for 3 days. While the doctors might talk about ligaments and what not, I went into deep communication with my knee, asking my body what it needed from me.

I have been holding multiple other life journeys in my heart, making me unable to move forward. My knees were telling me to keep moving ahead, and not carry so much of the heavy load, it wasn’t mine to carry. I serve better by living the lightness and the joy available to me, so I know, yet my mind felt selfish as if having to leave life and people behind, if I were to break out of more personal barriers.

My knees were holding a lot – they were stuck with much pain, grief, anger, even traces of resentment that I wasn’t willing to look at. The only way out of anything is Through. I have been there, done that before – this time it was my ‘intelligent’ knee that made me pause, look, feel, and let go.

I equipped myself with the following affirmations that I repeated to myself during the 6 hour flight and my daily barefoot walks in the earthly sand for at least an hour.

I release any inflexibility & fear I have stored in my knees.
I release any lack of ease I have stored in my knees.
I release any shock & resistance I have stored in my knees.
I release any anger & stubbornness I have stored in my knees.
I release any irritation & stress I have stored in my knees.
I release any excess responsibility & pressure I have stored in my knees.
I release any conflict & spiritual turmoil I have stored in my knees.
I joyfully release all that old stuff.

It is safe to surrender now.
I feel safe and flexible moving forward now.
I feel so supported and secure now.
It is easy to forgive the past and go with the flow now.
It is easy to stand up for myself now.
My knees are strong, stable, healthy.
I am perfectly aligned and embrace change easily.
I move forward with confidence and joy.

With every breath I take I send love, gratitude and healing to my knees and every single cell in my body.

I practiced deep long breaths and spine lengthening postures every day to release any stress on the lower extremity joints.

I went to the airport limping and I came back from my trip absolutely pain free. We planned for this trip only 3 days in advance when I felt very certain that it was in perfect alignment for moving forward. My knee wanted me to move through the pain, and the pain kept receding each day as I consciously worked through what my body needed and spirit guided.

Each day, each moment is an unknown unimagined miracle into another – last 2 weeks were as exquisitely amazing as much as how arduous the work might feel to dive in to the depths of our inner and outer journeys, finding our way through it all.

Myself at Sunrise, Photo by my husband Manish Doshi

The ocean has this magical ability to drink up all the tired unrelenting waves of my being and replenish with relentless, refreshed, playful, peaceful ones. My heart is filled with the fluid gold of Gratitude for all the abundance, joy, support and guidance available to me.

Smile for Yourself

Photo by my son Arnav Doshi

I think it is ok not to smile
Especially when
Your cheeks are hurting
From all the years of being nice

I think it is important to smile
Especially when
You now finally know
How to be nice to yourself

I had made a post of similar theme in the past. I converted the short verse titled True Smile posted on Feb 2, 2018 into the image below:

Photo “Lone Kayak” by Manish Doshi

The numbness that we wear, in order to always smile
Choosing not to feel the pain, with that practiced smile
It is liberating to experience all there is, and not smile
For the true joys of life do not necessitate that we smile
One that comes from the heart and eyes is a true smile

Always grateful for your time and attention. The first image is what came fresh to me today and the verse in the second image reminds me of the cyclical nature of how these lessons and inspiration keep repeating to us in different ways. Look forward to knowing which one spoke to you better or what specifically.

Silence

Sure
I will eat my words
So they don't bother you
I will eat them all
So I don't look for
morsels of your approval
Question is
Will you be able to 
Drink my silence?

This is the original picture that I used for the above image. The lake was frozen solid in silence and clarity –

Yosemite NP, December 2016

Wishing you all a beautiful transition through this powerful winter solstice, may the darkness take you into rich silence, ushering a renewed peace & harmony in your being.

Awake at Dawn

Sunrise on Kauai, December 2017 (Not sure who took this picture, my husband or I)

 The last thing I read at night was Dawn by Frank@BeachWalkReflections where he described dawn as a free magical moment that too many miss. I ended my day with an innocent question within – why do I miss most of the sunrise moments in this lifetime?

I was awakened the following morning at the crack of dawn with the eerie feeling that I have become accustomed to, as a cue to start typing because a poem or something like that needs to be given the way out. I hope you enjoy reading it below. Always infinitely grateful to have your thoughts on what takes up space here.

I was awake at dawn
I stayed in bed
Resting my head
Taking some deep breaths
I won't open the curtains
I want to curl up deep inside my own womb
I can feel my belly alive
The baby me held in her turmoil

I refuse to see the light
I need to nurture this one within first
I want to hold her, send her a full breath
One after the other
Soothing her, loving her
Making her feel safe
Letting her know I see her
I understand her

I want her to be nourished with my loving presence
I want to be in this dark cave
Until she gets what she needs
She is worth the wait
The curtains can be opened very late
She needs to feel her own beauty within
Before the light floods in

I was awake at dawn
Wondering if I should be out there
Witnessing the magical beginning of the day
Yet I could feel her tug
More a churning and a yearning
For that unconditional unattached hug
So I stayed in bed
Resting my head
Taking some deep breaths

I did wonder how long?
For an amazing beauty of the morning awaits
There is no hurry I decided
My womb had just now begun to melt
To become this assured part of me
The morning can continue to grow into the day
Just like the baby me is continuing to grow into my person

Someone else decided to open the curtain
I looked up out the window
The light was bright and yet quite mellow on me
Both baby me and I, just One, now could finally smile
Both received so much from each other
We are now a ball of tenderness and a fullness
Comfortable in one skin
Hopefully not as thin but still permeable
To all the love that we can receive from the light of the day

I pray we both stay merged enough 
When we are awake at dawn of another day
To open the curtains and soak in the beauty 
of what awaits us in a magical way

P.S.: I have found Frank’s Beach Walk Reflections very enjoyable and contemplative to read as he brings alive so many aspects of the beach, ocean, sand and everything associated. I hope you also visit his site.