The clock is ticking

Past few days, I have been feeling like I am on a countdown. As though the clock is ticking and I can hear it inside me, around me, everywhere. And I am left wondering – I don’t know how much time is left for this countdown to end. I sat for days watching the clock tick away. Watching regrets rise, watching fears take misshapen forms. Feeling the urge to fix things, repair things. Feeling the need to rush to loved ones. Feeling isolation, feeling separated, feeling desperation and the pain of not knowing.

And then I stopped watching. I can still hear the clock ticking away in the background. But, from anxiety the thoughts are moving to living. From fear it is moving to gratitude. From worry it is moving to action. From restlessness it is moving to stillness. No two moments are the same. And as different as it is, as unsettling as it feels, it also feels grounding. Like it is time to grow my roots deeper into myself. Into the things that really matter.

It is time to grow from being a helpless child, unwilling to step outside her cocoon, still wanting someone to take care of her, to a person who is ok not knowing things. From being a fearful, anxious, self-judgmental spiritual seeker to a being who is beginning to understand that though she knows a lot, she understands little and practices even lesser.

Now, this ticking moment, is a moment to do what I have never done before. What I have avoided, felt uncomfortable doing. It is a ticking reminder to be silent, to be still, to look inside and accept who I am. Flaws and all. But it is also time to give up useless conversations, useless thoughts, useless memories, a time to empty all the knowledge and create space inside for God. Or rather to remove the clutter, so I can find the real Self inside.

It is time to give away freely all that I have. A time to stop hoarding what I feel is ‘me’ and ‘mine.’ A time to break barriers. A time to strip myself of all adjectives, synonyms, similes and metaphors, to see what remains.

And the clocks ticks. Tells me there is really not that much to do. Stop doing. Be here now. Stay in the present. There is really nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to be. Join with the ever-present stillness, peace and joy. If an action or emotion emerges, honour it. And that is all there is to life. Living it with a honesty. Living it with a simplicity. Living it without frills and fanfare because the clock is ticking.

The clock is ticking and I can see the Oneness in all there is. People coming together, universe sending support in unexpected ways. So much good and gracious in what could be the dark hours. All we really need is light. Inside us, if we can hold it. Or someone near us who holds it for us when we aren’t able to shine ours.

Red said it very wisely in Shawshank Redemption – Get busy living or get busy dying. I think I chose the former.

A short-story on faith for World Story-telling Day

Returning to Krishna

Usha looked at the clock. It was not yet 5. Sliding off the bed, careful not to wake up Ravi, she walked to the bathroom. The door creaked a bit as she opened it, but Ravi slept on, blissfully unaware of anything. She wondered how he could be so peaceful all the time.

As she brushed, she looked at herself in the mirror. The lines besides her eyes had deepened. The few strands of white hair glowed bright under the bathroom light. They were signs of her age. What was supposed to display the wisdom? Was she really any wiser now as an adult than as a teenager? Her fears still seemed to overcome her. Here she was helpless, trembling as she watched her fearful thoughts running in a loop. Playing the same movie of terror over and over in her head.

The cold water she splashed on her face seemed to knock a few thoughts away. What was the purpose of thinking about something she had no control over? What was the point in going over scene by scene of frightful possibilities in her head? What was the point of trying to know more, understand more about what was happening? She heard Ravi say she was causing herself immense suffering with her overthinking. And yet she couldn’t stop. She had been trying.

She rubbed her face vigorously with a towel. She rubbed the tears away with even more vigour. It wouldn’t and couldn’t move beyond the towel. She was tired of crying. She took a breath and felt the fear pressing down on her lungs. Heavy and immobile, sitting on her chest, refusing to budge, refusing to let her breathe deeply.

Walking to the kitchen, her gaze fell on the darkened prayer altar tucked away in a corner. When was the last time she lit the lamp? Just as she was about to walk away, she froze. Buried under a layer of dust, the idol of Krishna was smiling at her. She had meant to clean it last week and had forgotten. She walked to the bottle of water on the kitchen platform and poured herself a glass. She spilled some on and watched the water run towards the sink. And just like she heard Grandma’s voice rise from the folds of her memory. “Nothing in the world is permanent. The only constant is your connection to God. When life is lived with this awareness, everything is simple. Just take it one moment at a time. You and God. One moment as a time.”

The glass trembled in her hand as she sipped the water. Suddenly, she was overcome with a restlessness to clean the altar. Picking up the dusting cloth, she walked to the altar. A prayer, she said as a child, found its way to her lips. Grandma had taught her that when she was little. She picked up the idol of Krishna and carried him to the kitchen sink. She watched as the water flowed over him, carrying away the dust, bringing back a lustre to the idol.

Usha used to love Krishna. As a child, she would lovingly bathe her grandma’s idols and dress them in tiny colourful bits of cloth. But Krishna was her favourite one. She would hug his idol and dance with him. She remembered how she would talk to Krishna whenever she was scared or sad. She remembered praying to him, crying with him, and even getting angry with him when she couldn’t have her way. Once when her parents were out at night, she had been so afraid. Grandma was sleeping in her room and so Usha had rushed to Krishna and held him close to her heart. As she spoke to him, she had felt comforted, safe.

Now, she instinctively hugged the wet, soggy Krishna idol. Soon, she didn’t know if it was her tears that were bathing him or if he was still wet from his splash under the tap. Usha stood still, leaning against the kitchen platform just holding the idol. She looked at him with questions in her eyes. She looked at him with yearning in her heart. She looked at him and felt the familiar warm of the love she once felt for him burn in her heart. Why had she had forgotten him?

Reaching for the end of her sari, she wiped the idol dry and placed him in the altar. The prayer found its way back to her lips, as she reached for the wick of the lamp. As she chanted the prayer, Usha found the heaviness in her chest loosening itself. “Me and you. One moment at a time,” she told Krishna. Lighting up the lamp, she looked around the kitchen at the golden shadows dancing around her. She was with her Krishna. Krishna smiled at her. Usha found herself smiling back at him, as she closed her eyes and sat down to pray. 

Some tools to cope with fear, anxiety and panic in the current Coronavirus situation

As much fear as there is in the world, there seems to be more light. I want to choose that, believe that and not crumble in the fear right now. Healers and light-workers around the world, seem to have opened up their hearts and are creating such helpful audios, meditations, etc. to help everyone. Sharing some here –

Returning to a state of calm – by Micheal Golzmane

Tapping through a Crisis – EFT Playlist by Brad Yates

Wellness Shield Mediation – by Steve Nobel ( I love this one)

Physical Wellness Mediation – by Abraham/ Esther Hicks

CoronaVirus Energywork coding – by Rudy Hunter

Immunity Boosting from Now Healing – by Elma Mayer

Energy tools – By Donna Eden

Energy system strengthening – by Prune Harris

Qigong for Coronavirus – by Dr. Nan Lu

Tapping resources – compilation of links by tapping Agenda

Vibrational Support – by Rikka Zimmerman

Coronavirus Support FB videos – by Deepak Chopra

Community Online Meetings – by Teachers of God

Energy Healing – by Michelle Pinto

Poetry – On writing

Always I have waited, for words to be wise
before they are permitted on paper,
evaluated, judged and criticized for accuracy
lest they be decried as mere crap.

A mask of intelligence seemed necessary,
vulnerability was deemed un-necessary,
always it felt more important to hide,
all that actually needed to be shown.

Moments rare are embellished and decorated
with the fanciest, choicest of words,
but we judge most about ourselves,
are hidden, deleted and cleaned up from verse.

Now I feel a freedom, an irrelevance,
about all the things that I once wanted to hide,
parts of me are just that – thoughts, beliefs and stored,
bits and pieces of a complex “personality.”

I now want to write the truth
choose honesty, ease, peace and simplicity,
the words I pen are mere words, after-all,
why make it something that defines me.

This is just a simple exploration,
an playful adventure with words and verse.
how can it mean more than what it is,
for hidden meanings it has no more.

It matters not now what others may think,
each interprets them with their own stories in mind,
if you want to seek, look for the joy of freedom
that seems to be lurking behind these words.

I set myself free to write as I may,
I urge you to now do the same,
remembering what someone once told me –
write to write  and not to read.

 

 

Whom will you hang out with today?

A couple of days ago, I chanced upon the video of Oprah talking to Adyashanti, on her Super Soul Sunday show. The way Adyashanti was talking about living life connected with me. The word ‘dignity’ popped into my head. I thought about GD and how he lives. I thought about a few more people I know on the path and how they live their lives.

Be it spiritual masters or students on the path, everyone has to participate in daily activities and experience situations that do not fit the ‘spiritual’ tag. But what struck me about them and what I have not yet managed to learn, is how I go about my life. I am still stuck between wanting to live a simpler, ‘less affected by social norms’ life vs having deep attachments to family, clothes, and dark chocolates! And so I am automatically critical about myself. Perfection is a virus that seems to have deeply infected my system and I am extremely critical about “where I assume I am on the path,” pull myself down for not doing enough, and beat myself up for still having desires and attachments.

As I thought about the journey of those who I now admire, I realized everyone has gone through this graph. But the difference between them and me seemed to be the dignity with which they went about their lives. They gave no importance to anything that has happened and did not categorize it as spiritual or un-spiritual. They simply kept learning, putting into practice what they were learning and letting go of anything that came between them and God. When I look at their lives, I see humility, acceptance and compassion towards everyone including themselves. The base of their existence seems to be a silence, an observation of what happens, and a pause before they respond. All this is based not just on their mind or intelligence, but on their connection with the silence, with the Divine.

I thought what my life lacked was dignity. But as I explore this, it is apparent to me that dignity is another ego goal; what I can see in them and what I believe is lacking is serenity. I yearn for serenity. That still space, unaffected by life around it. And this is where my learning lies. I realize not only am I tough on myself and others, but most often I am not even aware of what I am doing. Life seems to be based on judging myself, feeling afraid, rejecting my own thoughts, feeling small and silly, and reacting to all this. And yet I can see, this is normal for most minds. It is the space the mind keeps returning to. When GD reminded me on Sunday that I am obsessed with myself, this is what he had meant. A life spent listening to the mind results in a hurried, stressful life. From the kiddo’s school project to the husband busy at work, everything seems to be a conspiracy against you – a poor helpless soul.

But as a student on the path, I know this much. I have a choice. I know a life with the mind, minus the Divine, is a small, petty, un-glorious life. It seems to be a life spent in self-glorification, protection, defense, confusion or indulgence. On the other hand, a life with the Divine seems to be one of stillness, serenity and peace. And I have experienced many moments of this connection.

So I ask myself today, who do I want to hang out with? My mind ( so that I can beat myself up a bit more) or with God ( unexpected, unknown day but serene).

I know I will choose God. Who will you choose?

 

 

 

 

Discovering who I truly am

I have known for years that the spiritual path leads to the discovery of “Who I am.” Honestly, I had no clue what that really means. My mind has always assumed that the discovery of who-I-am would mean a series of mind-blowing, earth-shaking, soul uplifting experiences. Today as I sat transcribing one of my conversations with GD in which he helped me see how afraid I am of him, it came to me slowly… a tiny nudge on my shoulder, a tap-tapping on my brain, a gentle dawn… that as I acknowledge the games played by my mind, as I willingly let go of thoughts, beliefs, and a carefully constructed personality, I am moving closer towards discovering “who I truly am.”

Like most people the thought of “discover who you truly are” left me with esoteric goals of seeing light bodies and other dimensions. While those are probably part of the learning, I never realized how these conversations with GD were resulting in a deeper connect with my real self.

The ways of the mind are not pleasant to acknowledge and accept. Initially, every time I saw something that needs to be released, it would send me into a tizzy with even more stories so that I could avoid the truth that had just been revealed to me. But I can see now, that knowing “who I am” has to do with learning to consistently choose truth, honesty, clarity and integrity. However hard it may seem. I have realized that the sooner I accept and work on what is being revealed, the lighter I feel. Trying to escape only leads to chaos, guilt and pain. It is far more sensible, if you truly are a student on the path, to work on clearing these from your system.

Our beliefs, fears, thoughts and habits are not meant to be carried on and on for years. It is in their undoing, in the undoing of the mind, ego and personality, that lies the discovery of who we truly are.  If I remember this, then the time spent in being a victim throwing pity parties for myself, denial, anger and confusion, gets shorter and shorter as I progress on the path.

I have invested years in building my personality, intelligence and knowledge. It had left me with a void, with not knowing what I truly wanted, what made me happy or who I was. With GD, as I shed one thought, one belief, one fear after the other, I know I am walking closer to knowing the truth.

The less of the world there is on me, the more space I am opening up to God. The more I shed my mind, the lighter I feel. The more silence inside, the higher the possibility of hearing God. I am discovering that knowing “who-you-truly-are” is not really spiritual. It is not just another experience. It is not just another event. It really is the journey itself.

The quest for perfection

For a few days now, I have been restless about judging my dad for something. Spirituality brings with it the awareness that judgements we have about others is usually something we judge ourselves for. But it is never easy to look at the things that make you uncomfortable, and so, for a few days now I have been avoiding doing some clearing work on this.

But as I prayed today morning, I felt ready to release this judgement. I am learning to honour guidance and started tapping. I usually use a combination of EFT, Clearing questions and forgiveness when I work on something. I find it works really well for me.

Aware that I needed to be honest and non-judgemental, I acknowledged all the judgements I had about my dad. It was tough to vocalize or say what I really feel, but as I tapped, I was able to release all these judgements. Remembering that these were just thoughts in the head and to not engage in guilt, made it easier to be honest.

As I tapped it the thoughts turned from the judgements about dad to judgements about other family members. Events and incidents of the past came up and led to memories of feeling judged when I was younger. As I tapped, I was also able to acknowledge hidden anger at him and others.

Interestingly, as it was ending it led to the quest for perfection, competing with God (who I believe is perfect), guilt for choosing separation from God and living as a “I”, and mostly about never really feeling perfect, good enough, or worthy. I ended it by doing forgiveness. Forgiving my dad, forgiving family, asking for forgiveness for judging them, forgiveness for indulging in this useless quest for perfection, and for believing in something called perfection.

All my life I have seen people around me struggle with their thoughts and beliefs about perfection. I have seen my mom live a life which would receive the approval of all and I in turn grew up believing that I had to be perfect too. I had to cook perfectly, be the perfect mom, daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, friend, acquaintance. As I tapped today, I experienced immense anger at how I have been believing in the wrong word and its wrong meaning all my life.

I want my dad to be a perfect dad, family wanted me to behave in a way they felt perfect, others in turn had the same expectation from those family members. It turns out the whole world is trying to live up to either their notion or someone’s notion of being perfect! This led me to question – if everyone wanted perfection, then is the meaning of perfect the same for everyone? No! For someone being perfect could mean giving more importance to helping others than cleaning their home, for others being perfect could mean choosing family over helping neighbours… And yet, we spend lifetimes in this quest for perfection.

As I tapped, it became clear to me that in my eyes God is perfect. That it is only God whom I can associate the word perfect with. But that didn’t meant that God had a standardized behavior. Because each of us has our own unique relationship with God. Then what does perfect mean!

If God meant perfection, it means perfection is allowance. Perfection is being accepting of differences, perfection is being flexible, perfection is being forgiving. Perfection means allowing others to be fragile, foolish, fearful. But most of all perfection is forgiving.

As I ended the clearing, I felt lighter because I had my own flexible definition of perfection. We all need to find our own definitions sometimes, because when we attribute inflexible meanings to words, we are limiting ourselves and others. And what I still need to remember is this is still not about finding the right meaning. There is no right and no wrong. Just remembering that allows me to be human as I look for the Divine.