Love Warrior

Photo of me lounging on our beloved planet by Manish Doshi at Death Valley NP, California

The words on the picture above formed a short post Your Choice, published on April 30, 2017.

While I was thinking for a picture to pair with the poem Love Warrior, the above came to mind, along with wanting to add words from the older post to make it into a word image. I am shaking my head to myself over this compulsion I am feeling, to combine various elements to a post instead of just sharing the poem I intended to. Perhaps they are slightly different flavors of Love Warrior. I hope you enjoy the expressions of this phase I am going through.

Love warrior
Made
Unseen
Unfelt
Unnoticed
After being
Seen
Felt
Noticed

Love Warrior
Not Victim
Yet Victim
From
Heart assaulted
Ignored
Gaslighted

Love Warrior
Taking space
Humbly
Courageously
Vulnerably
Still looked down
By those
Taking space
Boldly
Unapologetically
Powerfully

Love Warrior
At war within
Without enough
Self Love
Wary from
Letting go
Expectations of
Natural reciprocity
Even from those
Placed in roles of
Nurturing tender hearts
And failed to deliver

Love Warrior
Daring to be so alone
No complacency
For want of company
Often doubting sanity
Counting blessings
Cultivating Gratitude
Choosing Love

Love Warrior
Colored leaf
Drifting
Through space
Finding Ground
Becoming One
With Earth
Finding
And receiving
Divine reciprocity

Love Warrior
Becoming the Ground
For bold ones standing their ground
Holding space
For unapologetics to walk upon
Lending strength
For the powerful to use
From the subtle
Power of
Humble Courage
And vulnerability

Love Warrior
Often Invisible
Being
The ground
And space
The embrace
They themselves
Yearn for

Photo by Manish Doshi at Death Valley NP, California

Note to dear blog friends: I have become slower in my visits to your blogs, I still treasure my visits to read you work the same, I will keep doing so, just going through shifts in routine.

Humbled by Honesty

Brutal Honesty can bring out your vulnerabilities. It is worth it when the result is peace of mind.” I wrote this to myself in 2013.

It had seemed the most challenging year of my life, as I was going through a ravaging health crisis. These words came to me as I was unwillingly about to enter yet another agonizing treatment phase. It was more than unpleasant for me to surrender to becoming completely dependent on others, until I regain strength, yet again.

“Do I really want to do this?” I checked in with myself. Without a pause came a YES! I sensed into how I was feeling, and it was PEACE. I felt so vulnerable to myself even. Because it meant I would be going ahead with the treatment, that too willingly. Saying Yes to an impending suffering by choice seemed like brutal honesty to myself. Why can’t I just deny it and be comfortable in ignorance? I thought. Because I felt the trust, that it was going to be worth it. And it totally was.

It has been deeply humbling how this lesson comes back to me, on repeat, wearing different garbs, cracking me open in every vulnerable spot in my being, everywhere I live in fantasy, everywhere I have a need for some things be a certain way. Though by now, along with it feeling Brutal, I feel a lot of Gratitude. For the Gods of Clarity are inherently kind with the revelations, in my experience.

I have found myself supported in utmost possible ways, before a shot of disillusionment hits me. Resources, divine and worldly, are made available to me in perfect design. I am at times lost in awe of the grace with which I am held and guided through the seemingly unexpected, as much I imagine I could slip down in the pain of another castle of made up reality crashing down.

If we are willing to read closely, there are signs along the way. Only in hind sight are we able to connect the dots, regarding any situation and our own role in it. I am amazed at how much I protected myself from the emerging uncomfortable clarity every single time. Not realizing how many mental justifications and worldly definitions, I keep living with regarding people or situations, that are not really serving anyone truly.

I would go into mediation on a rising sun, an object of meditation as instructed by my teacher Chase Bossart, and see myself sitting in a cave looking at the sun rise only partly, refusing to come out in to the wide open space. While discussing with my teacher I said “there are things I do not want to see, I am not ready for that clarity” That is one instance from couple of years ago.

In the recent months I have shared poetry about being Awake at Dawn, and yet not willing to open the curtains to enjoy the early morning light, wanting to take care of baby Me a little while more. I had been wondering to myself for quite a while why I wouldn’t want to see the light of the day, stay hidden in my cave.

Sunrise on Kauai

It makes me laugh at myself (I will do that only lovingly), at how each time I am shocked at how unexpected something that follows is. I am aware this will keep happening until I clear my own emotional geography at the deepest level that brings me these experiences. It will happen again to show me my ability to step up, in my vulnerability, and integrity. I take full responsibility, and it humbles me. I will keep moving through life with as much kindness to others and myself. This process empowers me and teaches me to live more as myself in the truest sense.

Here’s what I have discovered until now. If there is inherent peace to a decision, it is worth it. It is actually a gift to everyone that you live in fear of hurting. It is up to them to find their truth or not. Fear is a Lie, I heard several times from Dr. Dain Heer’s teachings, and yet only now I realize the extent of how much fear existed in me because of some lies I was allowing to continue. If the lies are not your own to yourself, if they have been coming from other people, they are not going to be happy when you make choices for yourself. This can be painful for those who are as if born with the vow of keeping others happy. Often forgetting themselves in this quest for gifting happiness.

All of this keeps getting much more easier, with quicker recovery from the hits of reality, more surrender with faith to the Divine Guidance – whichever way you tune into it, more courage to make tough choices, with literally miraculous ways and people showing up for you.

Honesty as a conquest is worth it, don’t doubt your own knowing of anything. The peace is not short term. The Peace felt in the Truth is addictive. Life unfolds like you never imagined it to be.

Sleep Chaos

Photo by myself

Clarity exceeds capacity
Calmness becomes chaos

Dreams keep awake
Sleep alive with dreams

Life itself pulsating, Allow it
To draw you out from within

Float away into the day
It will carry you back

To a good night’s sleep
When you give up the need

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.