Forgiving yourself

Most of us live in the past. Our wrong choices are reminders of our incompetence and we would rather stay in the comfort of failure than to step beyond it and risk failure again. And so guilt becomes our friend. It is easier to choose guilt than change. Why? Because it is easier to live in the shadow of past regrets, memories and experiences, than to step into the sunlight, face the harsh light of bad choices and move onto newer experiences.

But in the past few months, I have systematically chosen to release myself of guilt that I had been carrying since years. When I look back I see that I chose unwisely, trusted too easily and hurt very readily. I always assumed in my ability to awaken the inherent good in people and ended up hurting. But those experiences remain just that.

I have grown to realize that by choosing to stay stuck with those experiences, I still gave those memories immense power over me. I still gave people who hurt me immense power over me by continuing to remember the emotions, the memories still evoked in my mind and body. Guilt is a great way to stay stuck and I knew it was time to shake myself free of it and move on. Life was too full of possibilities to stay stuck.

And so, slowly and steadily I have been clearing myself of all the past garbage I still carry inside. First by forgiving others ( dear me its tough!) and then by forgiving myself ( even more tougher) for making those choices. By doing this not only do I feel much much much lighter inside but I am also opening myself up to newer and better experiences.

There is little joy to be found in the familiarity of pain while the fear of newness can usher in great happiness. I chose to forgive myself and I hope you do the same too.

Oblique rants 2

At some moments, a greater intelligence speaks with urgency. Her voice tells me lessons that I have closed my worldly ears to. So she nudges my heart and asks it to set my mind free. Often she succeeds and then her wisdom lends itself to me. Like a road trodden by a million feet, my weary mind looks joyous at the possibility of repair. The holes and cracks are filled with the sweet hopes of awareness and your path once again promises new adventures if you tread on it with faith.  To believe in myself and the universe is the hardest lesson I have been taught and re-taught in the past 14 years of spiritual practice. And it seems to be a lesson I forget the most.  Today as I sit in the threshold of yet another transition, I am reminded of the importance to breathe, let go and simply accept all that is changing. In a universe that is as dynamic, it is silly to complain about the passing of the familiar. This too like all things shall pass and bring forth great joys, mighty sorrows and wondrous moments anew.  Let me remember to watch it all go by with peace governing my heart and head.

The mind is a monkey

I have heard people refer to the mind as a monkey in many a spiritual discourse. And there is no disputing that! I have a monkey for a head most of the times. But while watching the cartoon ‘The new adventures of Hanuman’ with Pranav with the other day, I had yet another epiphany. (Seem to be having quite a few of these off-late).

Culture/Mythology has depicted Hanuman, the Monkey God (a devotee of Lord Rama) as a super-strong one.  He is said to have powers to destroy all evil and protect a believer from harm. Watching the cartoon, explaining to Pranav what Hanuman was doing, I realized that if the mind is a monkey, it needs to be a Hanuman. I strongly believe that it is not our ensuing physical emotions but our mind, as in thought process and responses, which is the root cause of all fears, sorrows and illness. If we can make our mind super-strong (Hanuman-like) then we can destroy all negative forces that drag us down. We all need a Hanuman in our head and it is completely in our hands if we choose to succumb to the monkey’s craziness or tame the monkey successfully.

This enlightened thought later, every-time I catch myself succumbing to a thought or emotion that begins to drag me down, I remind myself that its time to bring out the mace and whack it away. And wonders of wonders, it seems to be working most of the time too! Three Cheers for Hanuman, the cartoon and the deity!

Burning our batteries

Two months ago my 8-month-old laptop battery decided it didn’t want to work as hard anymore. 10 minutes after it has been charged fully, it began to warn me that the battery was empty. S quickly blamed me for it, saying I probably left it plugged in on charge for too long. Instead of having an argument, I had an epiphany!

We carry our bodies around, flitting from one scene to another, one memory to another, one drive to other, changing what we put inside, often uncaring about what we put out, till the body tires and demands to be charged. Then, we plug ourselves to momentary happiness. A new outfit, high following an accomplishment, a yummy dinner- the effects of which never last. But when we continue to keep ourselves plugged into these transient pleasures, often we end up frazzling our minds, hearts and bodies in the process. We end up burning our batteries, never being able to reach our potential irrespective of how much we charge ourselves. And so while you enjoy the highs, remember that its important to know when to switch off and disconnect yourself from all. Then carry yourself around with equanimity, grace and peace.

Oblique rants 1

From where you look, you see a world which seems daunting, imposing, bewildering and you wonder how can you, so tiny an object in the microcosm of existence, be an object of wonder. Insignificance overwhelms you with its voice and the pounding you feel inside, as you wonder about your role in the greater scheme of things, is not imaginary.

Standing at universe’s edge when you can’t see earth, you wonder how will anyone ever see you? Are all these experiences, emotions, goodness, art, love and living still worth it?

Yes. Because you are an energy, an energy that builds and creates this universe. If you see yourself as a minuscule life-form with no specific purpose, then you are denying the very purpose creation has conceptualized you into being. Everything you know about the size and nature of this world maybe wrong. When you know your own right, live it.