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.

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.

Guilty

Sunset picture by myself

Those who seem to be happy all the time
Don’t judge them or take them for granted.
Often they have taken deep dives into grief or depression.
They have somehow managed not to drown
and that’s why the smile.

Those who think & act from the heart
Don’t try to fix them, it is not a weakness.
Often they are being their own version of strength.
They are somehow trying not to hurt anyone
and that’s why the tears.

What if we actually live all that we have been feeling & made guilty of? Instead of forever trying to keep living & convincing otherwise?
Where else does this question seem relevant to you?

Things I have tried not to say

Photo by myself

Things I have tried hard not to say:

I gave you valid respect for your given role in my life. I will never falter in that. I became weak, I cried. You scolded, told me to become strong. I did. You can’t stand me now.

I have no desire for power games. Each time you try to make me small, I hurt a bit, a lot and then just become tall. I desire respect for who I am and regard for my personal growth.

I shared with you that genuineness in relationships is required for me. You explained how I am being unreasonable. You thought you helped me understand. Sadly, I understood what you said.

I said it is important to show more care for each other. Soon it became a game of guilt-tripping grievances, while flaunting privileges. I wasn’t interested in those. I quit engaging. I am learning to be ok.

I kept my stories positive. I didn’t share what I really struggled & triumphed through. Validated, empathized and supported you inside out. You took me for granted and declared that I am lucky I have it all so easy. I am learning to find a balance.

You have given me a lot of goodness, helped in times of need. I expressed profound gratitude at every opportunity. I am done being made indebted to you forever. I perhaps bring no other value to you.

You praised my spiritual writing in public and in person. Then you said I was foolish to actually attempt to live what I wrote. I need to be loyal to my own word. I think you should have no say in that.

I have acknowledged both your struggles and your privileges without agenda and envy. I think I have suffered enough humanly, if that’s the competition we are in, to prove our worth. I now go for continual joy and gratitude. You preach me positivity while pointedly reminding me of my lack. I become weak only because I care and want to trust you.

You are so so lovely, I would love to create some fun moments with you, instead of you trying to make me jealous with other people. I wish we are truly that which we take turns trying to become/show. Have a cup of smiles, perhaps with some sweet, bitter, hot, perfect brew. I want us to speak easy and true, or then why bother with the façade/role play?

Praise is not the expectation behind any of my action. Love is the intention behind all I say and do. I feel deeply. I mean what I say. Your mixed layers of what you say, what you really mean and you intend to convey something underneath saying something in the perfect nice words – it is exhausting to me.

Respect & Love exist as attitudes, trickling into action and words. Certainly not true when the words are claimed, assumed, imagined, explained. All this while continually invalidating others’ feelings, in the guise of wanting to make them strong and positive.

These are things I have tried hard not to say.

Today I decided to get them out of the way. I am not perfect, made my own human mistakes. I am working my way through. All this is what I really think sometimes, before I work diligently at letting go of expectations and acceptance of what is.

When emotional I am often unskilled at expressing, wanting to keep the love and kindness, fearing loss of relations. It is ok I think now, to say what I really mean without trying to make it into something nice. It is ok to love myself as much as anyone else.

I am learning to become unapologetically myself, still humble and authentic, valuing positivity and peace, yet more unapologetically myself. All my heart feels is Love in this moment and I am willing to grow to be able to live it to the fullest extent of it.

Post Update because of some comments I am getting : This is not about a single person in my life. I share a good marriage with my husband – we grow together as individuals. This is a compilation of various journeys with multiple interactions in life. Not an exact experience of this moment but a description of cumulative experiences I have been working through. A venting of how I think relations work in some ways in society, that I am growing out of very clearly, and felt the nudge to put it out in the Universe for anyone who might find it helpful and mark my own journey ahead.

Related posts from the past, if you feel inclined –

Prose :
Downsides of Gratitude?

Step into the New …You

Truthfulness, kindness & the dumbness of it all!

Love broken down to …Basics

Rhymes :
I Certainly Will …

Gratitude Attitude

Being Positive Truthfully

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.

A true Relation

IMG_2743

Photo: Arnav Doshi, our son captured this photo of us 🙂

“Waves on the Sands of Time”

The richness of togetherness
Often is in the casualness
And the assuredness
In the seperateness

There is not much of day-to-day missing
More of the genuine caring and sharing
Relation sometimes easily taken granted
But never in the least slanted
Utmost trust and respect
Not a you-versus-me prospect

The differences are the strength
Work em out or let them be
The samenesses are the faith
On which you operate as WE

There is no as such fairy tale
There’s some laughs and some wail
It’s just how you help fly and sail
Look at the other soar with pride
While keeping pride itself aside

Each is a person evolving sole
Infinite being exclusively
It takes the finest of soul
To watch you on your own be whole
Yet be a partner unconditionally

Do I need an occasion or apprehension
To celebrate this true relation?
The heart spoke to me auspicious today
With such feeling and emotion …

 

Recently my husband & I celebrated our 20th Anniversary, 20 years of creating waves on the sands of time 🙂 The above poem, originally published on Aug 30, 2016, was a raw feeling then and now feels truer than ever. It only felt natural to share it again now, and also it was read by fewer WP friends back then.

 

Related posts on True Relations –
To the Perfect Spouse – 20 words only

Is there a perfect spouse? – short prose

A good marriage is the best – short poem

Relationships – A choice or a privilege – prose

P S : This post is an humble contribution to ForgivingFridays on Forgiving Connect, a blog by Debbie Roth, a beautiful one that you will find.

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

A Good marriage is the Best

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Picture: Self  ‘A perfect fit?’ Editing: Vikram Phale

A happy marriage does not simply exist
The choices of happiness in it does

A perfect marriage does not just exist
The courage and kindness in one does

A marriage with all agreement does not exist
The growing up in disagreements does

A forever romantic marriage does not exist
The willing creation of undefined love does

A successful marriage does not already exist
The commitment towards success in it does

 

Some of my in-depth views and articles on this topic below!

Is there a Perfect Spouse?

Don’t Blow up your Life!

Truthful Commitments

Relationships …a choice or a privilege!

Choosing Teachers/Mentors – My Story

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“Grow & Bloom in places that seem unlikely”

As I have explained here, I did not trust my own company for the longest time. Now I enjoy my own company yet I know the significance of having the presence of a guide, mentor, teacher in my life.

A true mentor/teacher holds a clear mirror to your being, reflects your strengths and your weaknesses, without any personal agenda attached.

I say this because I have gone through a good number of teachers and mentors, long term and brief, in my quest (thirst, greed) for more knowledge, more perspectives. I found only very few who walk their talk, live their lessons and lead with compassionate authority.

There are teachers who try to lure by dangling a carrot of some conjured bliss. I could smell these carrots from afar. I have also met those with whom the work began well, I grew rapidly and then they fanned my weaknesses to keep the work going. It ended from my side, not without distress for both parties. I seek greedily, but not needily.

My humanness always saw the other greater than I am. It took me a while to become a person who seeked with clear intention. There is tremendous trust and vulnerability involved in these relations.

When they saw the potential in me, kept it a secret and worse tried to manipulate it to their advantage, it made me confused, sad and furious within, to not know what is really happening in our teacher-student relationship. When they infused fear in me to satiate their egotistic authority of their role in my life, it made me grieve and mourn the end of our relationship.

If I was feeling fearful or furious, it was time to be on my own. The right teachers always showed up next when I was ready.

I have the gratitude and blessings of this lifetime to have some truly amazing mentors/teachers in the present and past. They are true mentors because they know about each other and their significant role in my life. They are aware when I am working with more than one of them parallel, for different reasons. They are not threatened by the other nor is their ego bruised by my choices. I am able to be crystal honest with them. They don’t judge me for what I am yet don’t entertain my dependence on them. They hold safe space for my humanness and facilitate me to see my way clearly.

A true mentor strives to outgrow the relationship with the mentee and empowers you to thrive on your own.

I have never stopped being in touch with this kind. One of my past teacher of Yoga philosophy insists I should never stop working with my current teacher of Yoga philosophy. She even asked me to teach her the new perspectives I am gaining. This to me is the height of humility of a teacher for whom I had very high regard any way.

All the teachers that I crossed path with, helped me become who I am today. They modeled the right and wrong. I love having students who share with me what other sources are being helpful for them. I will never be done growing myself. I teach, facilitate, mentor with joy and freedom. I offer the same to others. We are in this together. I am walking my talk, if you see me ahead of you, just call out to me and I will reach out to you.

What if poetry never comes through me again?

IMG_6177

Photo Credit: Manish Doshi “Silent Question Answered”

It is as if recess time
A much needed respite
From my soul unrelentingly crying

It is as if an unknown strength
A much needed insight
From my heart soothingly sighing

It is as if I am not up for any play
A much needed friend divine
From times eternal shows up on my way

It is as if I am unshakably yet softly still
A much needed deep breath
From the juice of life helps me feel

It is as if I am looking for something
A much needed sense of contentment
From the clarified mind shows I have everything

It is as if I feel whole yet miss something
A much needed inspired poetry
From the churning of emotions, I reminisce

It is as if I fear words might never now rhyme
A much needed equilibrium achieved
From the turmoils of expectant time

It is as if I forage for disappointment
A much needed depth of mind diving
From the surface of a world striving

It is as if I need some intense emotion
A much needed transport vehicle
From the randomness to the magical

It is as if now I get it
A much needed realization
From the wanting to churn a poetry
To just Being with no drama of emotion

So what if never again my words rhyme
I am willing to be reborn that way
To just watch what else happens in this lifetime

 

P.S. This poem is a contribution to ForgivingFridays of ForgivingConnects. This blog by Debbie Roth has truly helped me find forgiveness for any judgment I hold towards myself, every single time I read her heartfelt posts.