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! 🙂

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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.

 

Everyday Warrior

Yesterday while walking along the ocean, the fallen woods called me to play on them and I found myself an experience of the strength and spaciousness of The Warrior. The strength felt is a very subtle inner power.

The warrior may have an ocean of emotions churning within, the warrior allows space for them. The ground the warrior stands on may not be wide or is a shaky one. The warrior has strong grounding through the legs and open arms to receive to the fullest – the breath and from life itself.

Later in the day I found myself contemplating- what does Yoga mean to me?

Yoga is about:

  • cultivating positive energy and joy for our daily life.
  • dropping the effort and developing the skill and focus for everyday ease.
  • building our ability to sustain our productivity and functions for the long term.

The postures and movements may or may not be physically challenging for you. The effort is in the attention to cultivate a long smooth breath, that gives us the ability to be balanced in our body and mind. It helps cleanse the effects of stress and pain, physical and emotional.

The challenge is in maintaining focus of attention where it is required, often true even in our daily life. Yoga trains our mind for that focus, and to meet challenges with clarity & skill.

P.S. This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects.

Being with Myself

Being with Myself

Photo & Quote by myself

I was so conditioned
to not being
comfortable
with myself
But then most company
did not give me
the contentment
that I can now
find on my own

 

Note: This is the longest I have gone without posting and I am not on a break from this blog space. I have grown more silent in my heart and mind than ever before. I am enjoying and appreciating the spaces in between everything than ever before. I found myself engaged in some rich experiences & ordinary yet special moments in those spaces. Genuine connection with family, people, nature and self happens in life when we allow these spaces. 

I did hit upon phases where I encountered some layers within, of unworthiness and self-judgment for how productive and creative I could be with my life. I appreciate the space that I could create between myself and those painful thoughts. I can let them pass through me. That is how I find another layer underneath, of peace & contentment.

 

Please check out https://earthfamilia.org/  A noble friend brother Pancho is on a One Earth Family walk. I had the privilege of joining him on some sections of the walk as he crossed our city.

 

This post is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects that models forgiving and self-acceptance as a practice.

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 🙂 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.

Downsides of Gratitude?

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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

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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.