Let’s Get Inspired – Interview

I am deeply honored and grateful for being interviewed for the ‘Let’s get Inspired’ series by Thoughtsnlifeblog. I have been following this series that featured many inspiring authors and writers, learning so much from them. I was pleasantly surprised when approached to be interviewed, and humbled by how the questions were so thoughtful and specific to me. It gave me an opportunity to dig deeper into my own blogging journey and look at it coherently. Thank you very much Thoughtsnlife Blog!
For years now, Thoughtsnlife Blog has been an oasis of peace, beauty, positive energy, and inspiration for me, whenever I would land at their posts full of affirmations, meditations, and practical tools for daily living.

ThoughtsnLifeBlog

Welcome to theeleventh interview of the Let’s Get Inspired Series. A series where I interview our fellow WordPress.com bloggers on their blogging process, what they write about, their passions, their blogging dreams and their blogging tips. Each blogger has a speciality, well, more than one. Which I attempt to bring out in the interview.

Today we are going to speak to Pragalbha Doshi of the Infinite Living blog.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Pragalbha; it is a page-turner. I had no idea of Pragalbha’s story, how she blogs and her accolades as a writer. Do enjoy.

Pragalbha and I have known each other for a long time, maybe since 2016, when I started blogging. I think she found my blog, and that lead me to see her blog. Her writing is from the heart and always, always leaves me in deep contemplation or an awakening of…

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Awakening

Sunrise photo by Manish Doshi

Yes Dreams Come True
The Waking Ones often Do

Fears too Come True
The Sleeping Ones often Do

Each can be stifling to the other
Awakening within, the creator

It is so interesting to look at our life and reflect on how it is a sum total of our dreams and our fears come true. Often when we stumble into suffering that diverts us from going towards our dreams, we are actually living our unconscious fears. Our waking dreams are our desires and yearnings that give us hope, direction, trust to find our way back again to where we are actually living parts of what we always dreamed of.

I chose not to make the C capital in the word ‘creator’ above because in the tender moments when we are transitioning from fear to faith, it is hard to feel the power of the Creator, and yet we are getting in touch with our creator self within to not succumb, but to dream even more boldly.

Awakening is a short poem published on June 20. 2018. The words felt very relevant to me to repeat and put them in the form of image.

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.

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 most memorable thing anyone said to me

Myself in the Tall Woods – Photo by Manish Doshi

During one of the weekend trainings that I was taking about 5 years ago, another girl who was about my height or an inch taller, came up to me and said

“At your height, you really teach us how to stand really really tall!”

I had a good laugh with her and responded “This (height) is all I ever got, so I just stand that’s all”

She then shared with me how my passionate contributions to discussions had helped her gain confidence in her ability to speak up for herself, ask questions in front of the group.

I don’t remember being bothered, but I have been reminded all my life of being short. Nobody did the reminder as amazingly for me as this kind classmate did!

I thought this was the most memorable thing that anyone said to me. Then few months ago, I was in a phone conversation with a long time friend, sharing our latest life experiences with each other lovingly. She suddenly said “You know Pragalbha –

You live as if someone getting a PhD on the subject of life itself… not just studying but actually living it”

I was speechless, also because I only have an idea of the amount of meticulous research and dedication required of those who pursue the PhD degree. I do not have the experience of it. My educated friend went on to remind me “Oh you are no different, always remember that. You have a similar passion and dedication towards life itself, and to my eyes you live exactly like any other PhD aspirant.”

I remember being bothered by my lack of higher education and degrees behind my name during my younger years. It used to cut into my sense of self worth. A lot of life happened before I grew out of that and found my purpose in life. I feel content and blessed for how I was guided all along to reach where I am. I was absolutely humbled with what my kind friend had to say about my approach to life.

Now I have 2 most memorable things anyone said to me that make me smile when I remember them :)))

I would love to know – What are the most memorable compliments given to you? What do you think of those I shared?

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.

Eyes Look Longingly

Photo by myself

You look to my eyes
and search for envy
I invite you to look deeper
You will find sadness
for what I see in your eyes

I look to your eyes
and you just look away…

Envy is an inescapable human trait. Provoking envy as a motive hurts the spirit of all involved. Sharing the joy of our Being lifts the spirit of all involved.

Envy & Inspiration – a past article on how I learned to turn my envy into inspiration from experiences from my very young age.

Other related posts:

Here, Take them All – my favorite on this topic, a short poem
Envy & What can Be – short post of 5 lines
Parallel Disappointment – short poem

Couple of Little Celebrations

Me & The Book :))

I thought of meeting you face to face to share my happiness of this book that I am holding :)) Some of my poetry is published as part of this collection, alongside poetry from some amazing poets that I have come to admire and adore for their absolutely magical art of words. It is available on Amazon for download on Kindle here for $0.99. Do check it out to see its description and if it interests you.

Step Into the New You – image sourced from the India Currents article

And in another little celebration and I am thrilled to share with you that an article of mine was selected by a community media platform India Currents to be published as part of their January theme – Renewal : You and the World around You. I chose to focus on my favorite topic, you can read it here: Step Into the New… You. I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Heartfelt Gratitude for all your support, reading and meaningful interactions that has afforded me tremendous growth as a person and this journey with words as a writer. It is more like pouring these surges of expression that come and what a privilege to be read and received! These tiny expansions of publishing in the outer world are a spillover of all the love in this inner world of WP where I first dipped my toes and then kept swimming in this world of writing and sharing.

Difference

Photo by myself

I used to remain small
to keep others comfortable
They did console themselves
that I am nobody big

I am nobody big
I am no small either

There is a big difference…

I wish us all to continue to live with the truth of our being, with courage and compassion in relation to each other. I found this in the corners of my old drafts, while I was looking for something else. I enjoyed reading it back to myself and thought I should share it 🙂

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