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.

The Journey

Photo by Manish Doshi

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.

The quote in the above image came as a part of our conversation on one of her blog post “Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself” This post made me thoughtful and I responded with saying:

“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.

Silent Revolution

Photo by myself

There is no point in talking to you
I heard them say…
What I really heard was
You just speak the truth

Should I apologize
for my lack of humor…
When it really feels adding to
endless lies we keep telling ourselves

It doesn’t make sense
I heard them say…
What I really heard was
Just say exactly what I want to hear

The time for the heart to sing
its song aloud is ripe
Either you listen
or then silence will speak volumes
The song just keeps rhyming within

The silent revolution
will bring parallel lines intersecting
We are meant to walk on our own
That’s how we find our tribe

The warrior tribe
binding invisible hands
assisting each other
in this intricate
yet well-designed journey
of truth
authenticity
and a lack of deceit

Note: This poem has come from my comment on this post by Sue Dreamwalker of Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary. She has been a deep inspiration and companion for all these blogging years, enlightening and lightening my spiritual and human journey of living with as much truth and authenticity that becomes available in my capacity.

I am very grateful for your continued visits on my previous post while I went on a break. I am yet to find my way to your work that I so love visiting whole-heartedly. I am feeling overwhelmed/sluggish with picking up the momentum of several threads into this new year. You do know I get there eventually, slow and steady I will be there 🙂

Just for fun:
Some of my previous work with similar titles/themes

Silent Communication

Silent Reflection

The Silent Warrior

Earth Gratitude – 2

There are often days or weeks together that I don’t step out of my home. When I do, I am gifted with the most incredible sights around. The Universe is simply so generous, so forgiving of my inattention and so readily showering me with these luxurious moments. These following glimpses, all within a mere 10 minute evening walk, 2 weeks ago. I indulge in the feeling until I venture out next …

I ventured out
You dressed up

Sunset

I looked up
You blessed me

Moon Blessing

Earth
You a Miracle Wonder
Me
One ungrateful imposter

Colors on Earth

Earth
You as if exist for me
Me
Lived enough as if you don’t exist

Earth
What would you want from me
That is what I would like to be

Earth Gratitude – 1 (previous post)

The Feeling of Published

Photo by Manish Doshi

I loved standing at the center of this labyrinth, as if a journey inward & then looking outward. If you could get a wider view, right behind me you would see the Golden Gate Bridge over the San Francisco Bay. This photo was an unplanned surprise. While a couple of other visitors and I enjoyed walking the labyrinth, my husband decided to hike up a nearby hill and take some pictures.

Little did I know that this picture would become the cover photo of my first article published in a magazine. Getting an email from the editor saying that my article was live on the India Currents magazine site was as novel an experience as beginning to publish on WordPress exactly 5 years ago. Yes that’s right it is 5 year anniversary of my blog today!

I soaked up the feeling of being published, it was like crossing a threshold for me. I was writing after a long time, also something that was more than poetry and inspiration. I was writing the personal story of how I happened to develop this relation with poetry and inspiration. I was opening up a lot more, with surprising ease, to a wider world than before. I hope this is a beginning towards more open authentic writing that would serve its purpose, God/Universe willing.

It does feel like a sliver of courage to bring this article for more people to read. I would be honored to have your time on it and perhaps get to know if you have any thoughts for me.

Here’s my article:

Poetry was never something I imagined to become this significant to me, it was not even a sliver of a dream of an unimagined future …read more @ A Poet Born Through Healing

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

 

Be-Come

Be-Come

Picture, Editing and Quote by myself

There’s a message within me that I am holding on to.
There’s a purpose within me that I am holding on to. There’s an inner reality within me that seeks to pervade the outer world. There’s an outer reality that I am continually attempting to merge with from within.

I still see inner and outer realities separately.
So I know that I am not as mature yet to feel integrated consistently. It is a work in progress on a daily basis to access this integration through my yoga asana, conscious breath, meditation practice, study of the universal principles, time with trusted teachers & noble friends, choosing actions out of deep listening for clarity and intention.

I am often sloppy and imperfect in how I live this.
Any time I have attempted to do any work from a place of want, I have had to cut through the noise of how it should be done. It takes up a lot of energy to clear out the pressures and fears that come with goal oriented choices.

My greatest power to be of value to myself or anyone has been my innocence.
It is those things that I had no idea of What and Why I was doing it, that have given me the most beautiful, joyful, nourishing experiences and expressions of life. I seem to have accepted what was coming or given to me, then aligned and equipped myself to be the best contribution I can be. This holds true for everything from motherhood to blogging.

The illusion of knowing a lot more than ever now takes away my innocence.
It takes away my capacity to accept, explore and live playfully. It makes me take refuge in my comfort zone and resist change. I am now seeking to be more deeply anchored within –  from where I find the strength of a mountain and the child like innocence.

I affirm here to listen intently for where I am called and show up consciously.
I lay down to rest all that I think I know and want. I remain present for what needs to come up for the moment, the day, the person, the situation, the project, the intention. A structure arises for me to work with, from what looks like a chaos that overwhelms at times.

It is not about what I want. It is about what wants to Be and Come through me.

It is not about what I want. It is about what wants to Be and Come through me.

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Original picture from one of my morning walks, from which I made the quote image above

 

How long was I gone?

Did I go on a long break?

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Photo by myself from a personal retreat in 2015

I have been on this unintended and unplanned break from this blog space. Sometimes I thought I knew why I was away and sometimes I wondered why. It feels more like being in response to the Greater Continuum of Life. It is surrender to where and how I am called to be, on a daily basis.

I am so grateful for the loving kind inquiries on my well being and whereabouts. You, my friends from this blog world, are as real a contribution to me as any other. You truly nourish the soil on which I find my ground to be Here.

The beauty of the space I have been in

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Photo by myself (unedited) : Crater lake, Oregon – the incredible clarity

I found myself letting go of all particular ways of how I spent my time of the day. It led me to venture into new avenues of life and become more consciously present & engaged in the familiar avenues of life. It gave me clarity on exactly how I am a contribution to my relations, my intention, how my purpose is getting shaped. I kept wanting to be back here in time, I had so much to say, yet no urge to write.

My ability to allow life to come to me and follow exactly as guided from within, has deepened more than ever. I finally feel no judgment over what looks productive, or not, in the world out there. The choice of simply Being, living life without the pressure of Doing, is coming more easily to me. I found myself in a profound wave of contemplating, clearly seeing, digesting and integrating all aspects of my life and being, towards a sense of coherence. It is unfolding in incredible ways. It is amazing.

I feel the process of grounding and the blooming of ease & joy alive in me. There is no rushing about this process. It is slow and luxurious. It yields abundantly with the time and space it provides me to grow and just Be. 

Blog Anniversary

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Photo by myself

My first blog post was dated October 5, 2015.  All this time seems to be magical and unreal. I entered this space not knowing what blogging meant, what it took and what could be done with it. I simply needed a place to rest the force that was pulsating within. A trusted friend suggested WordPress, dear husband set up this site for me in one day and I posted my first poetry. The name of the blog, the description of About page – all of it came without any thought or plan. I put my fingers to keys and the words simply came. The description on the About page feels so innocent and newly, deeply meaningful to me today, as I celebrate 4 years of being here, on October 5. 2019.

It took a while for this space to change from a scared place to a sacred space for me. The love and understanding I received from interactions here, wrapped around my heart and helped me thrive.

That was a time when poetry had become a living breathing part of me. Poetry doesn’t visit me anymore as of now. Poetry, as if lovingly conveyed to me that it was time for me to visit life in a different role. I had felt a lot of grief when I thought poetry was leaving me. I even wrote a poem named “What if poetry never comes through me again” (https://pragalbhadoshi.wordpress.com/…/what-if-poetry-neve…/). I did write some more poetry after that as the flow trickled to a stop.

I love the richness of this yet another new life that I am living and also look back at my poet self fondly. Poetry knows the perfect time to come through again.

I trust the process

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Photo by Manish Doshi

I am in the process of integrating all parts of me into one self and embarking on this training ground for compassion, kindness, love, acceptance and courage to live with the truth of my being. It does take me through difficult bends, unskilled as I am – they are lessons I am supported and guided through.

Comfort is not a requirement, and joy is guaranteed in choosing alignment with universal humanity.

I now allow all different realities of life unfolding into one beautiful, magical, miraculous tapestry of life and its expression waiting to be channeled through me.

I would love to hear your thoughts my dear friends. I will find my way to your work and get to as much as I can. I truly missed you all. I will post next when the inspiration strikes me again! 🙂

Letting Go?

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Photo: Manish Doshi

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.