Two different paths and you have to choose one,
You think, think and re-think, but can’t get it done,
One seems high and the other seems low,
One looks right, but who decides so?
Your conditioned mind, or your soul?
The innocence in you or fear of troll?
Close your eyes and listen to the child,
He is untamed and runs wild,
If that doesn’t give you a clue,
Imagine your best friend in your shoe,
What would you tell them to do?
And that, my friend, might be the way for you!
I had been thinking, a lot, about the things I say/write and how many of those I actually implement in my own life. And It’s definitely not an easy task to change the behavior patterns we have learnt over the years.
I feel that monks have it easy. They do not have to interact much with other people and have no relationships that evoke and test your feelings of greed, anger, desire, attachment and ego – the infamous five attributes. It is exceptional when someone conquers these while living a worldly life.
Usually, I dont share personal stories but I feel like sharing a recent incident where I had to drive for 90 minutes with my 7 year old son, to have him see a doctor. This was the road that usually takes 40 minutes but because of morning rush hour traffic it took us much longer to reach there. I did call their office informing them of the traffic situation and they said that doctor would still be able to see us.
But that didn’t happen when we reached there. Anger and resentment started bubbling up. I watched how my mind started making stories about what a failure I was for not reaching on time for my kid’s doctor appointment, what a waste of time the whole trip was, I should have asked my husband to drive him and so on. But when I observed those thoughts as the watcher and focused on the feelings in my body, they dissipated slowly. By the time I sat back in the car, I was over it. On the positive side, my son was very happy that it happened that way. We joked about the whole thing on our way back😍.
It feels great to be a work in progress, physically and mentally. Mind part is harder but like Marcus Aurelius said:
Keep working on yourself!
This is a dilemma for many people, including me. When you take time out for yourself, are you being selfish? How could you think about going for a long run when there are million things to be done at home! You could instead be spending that time with your family, or for work or for social work.
And then, on the contrary, there is innate need to do something selfless, something bigger than your own selves, a desire to make positive impact on the world. But we all get stuck on the “how”. Or we end up thinking that this is the work of a very few chosen ones, so why even bother trying.
I have come to realize that both of these are so intertwined. If taking care of yourself is selfish, be unapologetic-ally selfish. It is your biggest responsibility to care for your physical and mental health. When you see that your own life is meaningful, worth living for, you can value the lives of others. In order to help the world, help yourself first. In order to understand the world, understand yourself first – not an easy task by any means.
Tune into the conciousness behind the ego, behind the brain, behind the definitions given to you by other people. Question the things, beliefs, your own opinions that do not make sense, as sometimes unlearning is the beginning of learning. Disagree with an open heart. There is a possibility that you are wrong. Meditate and watch your thoughts. Make it a habit to pause before you react to situations. You will learn to respond appropriately.
Understand that we all share the same fate, here on earth, of birth and death, joy and pain. We have more in common than what is different. When we have that light in our hearts, we can easily lit the path for others. Our actions automatically come from a deeper place, a place closer to god. Yes, I said G word with ease now, because I feel that I am finding the answers to my questions. Cheers!
For the uninitiated, various blogging awards are a way for a blogger to appreciate, encourage and know more about other bloggers. Thank you Richard for my first ever nomination. I did not forget about it. Finally, got some time to respond to the award posts. Check out Richard’s blog here . Richard does not appear to be in great place right now and seem to be depressed, so any appreciation and words of encouragement you could give him on his blog would help. Hang in there friend, good times are just around the corner.
Following are the questions from Richard to his nominees:-
- DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A GOOD PERSON? Yes.
- DO YOU REFLECT YOUR CHILDHOOD IMAGE OF YOURSELF, IF NOT; WHAT COULD YOU DO TO MAKE IT REALITY? My childhood image is too naive and emotionally weak. I strive to be tough in this harsh world while still keeping the goodness in my heart. Also, i enjoyed singing and dancing a lot when i was little, but lost touch with those as the life got more focused on earning a degree. Now that i have time, I am trying to include those in my day-to-day life.
- WHAT ACTIONS DO YOU TAKE TO BATTLE SELF DOUBT? Meditation has been a huge help and I read motivational books. What i have learnt so far is that ultimately, everyone is unique and there is no point in comparing yourself to others or have self doubt about yourself. My purpose is to try to be the better version of myself every single day.
- WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST INHIBITION? My greatest inhibition was to be true to my own self – my own emotional, spatial, physical needs. I worried too much about being judged or inflicting pain to others. I have started to let that go.
- ARE YOU HAPPY? Happiness is elusive. I am grateful and at peace for what i have.
For the sunshine blogger award, these are the rules:-
- Use the sunshine blogger award logo
- Give thanks to the blogger that nominated you
- Answer the 11 questions given to you
- Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions
- How did it occur to you to start blogging?
- What kind of blogs or books do you like to read?
- Do you believe in God and why or why not?
- If given a chance, what would you change in your past?
- What do you like the most about yourself?
- Are you an introvert or extrovert?
- What is your greatest inhibition?(borrowed from Richard)
- What kind of music do you like? Any favorite songs?
BLOGGERS I NOMINATED:
How often do we answer this without thinking too much. I am ‘blah’ and I do ‘something’ for work. This is usually how we introduce ourselves. But did we not exist before we were given a name? Are we defined by what we do or how educated we are? Sometimes, we introduce ourselves by our relationships – son/daughter of Mr and Mrs Xyz or father/mother/spouse of abc.
As we grow older, these details change and hence our definition of ourselves changes. So that must not be who we are. How about our thoughts? 🤔That must be us! But do we cease to exist without our thoughts? For example, in the thought-less state of meditation?
As a newborn, before we have a name and everything else, who are we? Or who are we left with if we lose everthing that we use to define ourselves? That probably will happen towards the end of life.
Are we the very life force, the consciousness, the essence of that superpower? Is that the God that everyone keeps talking about? The god that is inherent in all beings? If so, God seems very simple and I wonder what is in the intricately written religious textbooks.
And of course, keep introducing yourself like you do to other people, else they will call you crazy😜, but try to truly answer this question for yourself.
Is Love that intoxicating, all-consuming feeling that doesn’t let you sleep? Someone rightly said(and science proved it with brain scans! 😲🤓) that Love is a drug like no other and stronger the drug, worse the hangover, stronger the addiction and more severe the withdrawal symptoms.
But is that longing for a loved one true Love? Or is it just a need : emotional, social or physical? Does love fade once that need is met? Or, a tougher question, would it ever turn into hate? And if it does, was it ever pure love? Even Rumi 👇 couldn’t explain love, who am I! 😍
I recently saw a video that talked about how fashion creates 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases and that 235 million items of clothing are sent to landfill every year. How sad is that! On one side of spectrum, people are so poor that they do not have clothes to keep them warm in brutally cold winters and on the other side there is a race to buy the latest trendy clothes for every new season and waste precious resources of this amazing planet. Celebrity repeating a dress becomes a news these days. Is that the kind of world we want to leave behind, for our children?
I am definitely not against dressing nice and looking good but why is there a never ending need to impress others with your possessions, be it clothing, cars or houses. We keep chasing highs in material things and as they are short lived, we stay in that cycle, looking for newer things to make us happy. There is a dire need for all of us to pause and think before we buy things. I am equally guilty of this, but not anymore. Just by being aware of the negative impact we are making on our environment and society and then getting into the habit of pausing and thinking before we buy/trash things could make a huge difference in our perspective. We are less likely to do it next time.
Is that even possible? How exactly do you do that? Why would you even want to do that? Those were my thoughts when I came across this quote few months back.
Once I started looking inside myself, I can see that not only it is possible, it is beautiful. But one has to be willing to seek the change, to have the courage to go beyond the rules and to persist when faced with the roadblocks. Evolution should not only be the outer changes. Inner changes are much more important and I believe that those will automatically lead to the outer changes. My dear friend shared the following quote and I loved it:
Our learnt behavior is conditioned by the environment(Culture, people, education, workplace etc.)we live in. We establish a routine based on that and keep doing the same or similar things every single day. It is hard to get out of that cycle and reflect on what has been going right or wrong. Even our workplaces have year-end reviews and next-year objectives. Why don’t we do that in our personal lives?
This year,my first time ever, on new year I made a list of things I would like to do. It included: read a new book every month, improve my running pace, visit my brother, try going vegan and a few other things. It is great to check off these items as the year goes by. But you don’t have to wait for the new year, you can choose your Birthday, any other important Day or better yet, TODAY – the day you decided to evolve! And it will become your milestone day, one day.
The book that brought much needed change for me, internally, is ‘The power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. I am starting to read his other popular book ‘A New Earth’. So here’s to slowly moving Onwards and Upwards! Peace to you all.
Do you have a list? What changes are you making this year? Would love to hear from all the wonderful people out there.