Since last Sunday’s session with GD, my spiritual teacher, I have found a cue-word to re-connect with awareness and reset the mind. The word is Unfocus. At the session we spoke about how the things we view as pleasure are the very things that create our pain. Then we spoke about awareness and staying in the space of consciousness. But for me the highlight of the session, was a simple lesson from GD.

When we choose to intently focus on something we end up creating pain. When we are unfocused, the pain disappears.

This simple statement affected me profoundly.  Isn’t it true that only when we focus on people’s words or actions, then speculate about their intent, judge their emotions, make assumptions about their motives, that a conflict arises which then generates a pain response in our body and mind. But when you are unfocused none of this matters. Like the times you are truly happy, walking around with a smile and don’t even notice other people’s negativity.

Watching anything from a distance helps keep things unfocused. If someone sounds irritated, Unfocus; instead of choosing to feel they are irritated with you and responding with irritation or anger. When someone provokes you, Unfocus and you will find that you respond with words and not emotions.

We live our lives searching for some deeper meaning in all that we do. Do we even realize how much of our life is about focusing? We have been taught to focus on what we do, what we must do, so that is it done well. And when work, relationships or even hobbies are not focused on and something goes wrong there, we end up feeling pain. But the truth is that we are all here just playing out our dramas. Our minds and emotions add so much fuel to our imaginations that we begin to take ourselves and others too seriously, letting not just sparks fly but fires rage.

Being unfocused can produce better results. It has. I have written more, been more relaxed, fought less, laughed more and been happier in the past 3 days. Being unfocused seems to be be creating a life around me that is at ease with itself and hence more productive.  When I feel the anger well up, judgements take over or tiredness creep, all I need to remind myself is to unfocus. And I see the larger picture- everything is meaningless unless I choose to give it a particular meaning.



Discovering Humility in myself

Today a random book I was reading taught me a valuable lesson on humility. The book had nothing to do with writing, ego or humility, but as I was reading it I realized that in the past two years I had let my ego, rise, soar and float high above. Why? I don’t know. I never thought of myself as an accomplished writer who has met all her life goals. I mostly feel like a struggling newbie. But somehow over the past couple of years, I let the number of years I have been doing this get to me. I started to respond to people with an authority that is terribly unbecoming of a writer, whatever your stature maybe. And somehow the humility and geniality disappeared.

It is so important for a writer to stay, warm, human and funny. People are drawn to writer who they can connect with. It is the aura of goodwill and creativity that connects you to your customer. And people can sense it when a writer’s priorities are herself and not the person she is writing for.

Luckily I never let be as audacious or get a big bloated head. Luckily my spiritual endeavors always set me right back on track. And what a joyous feeling it is to shed myself of my ego. I feel lighter happier and more energetic. Raring to write now. Write well, write more and write for more, all the while staying true to myself and my client.


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!

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.

Who are you?

Time goes so slowly when you live in another person’s mind. Everything takes on a different meaning, is coloured a different shade. Reality is blurred because you are not seeing through your eyes. That’s what happens if you live your entire life through other people’s viewpoint. Spend the days and nights doing things right, doing things that will make them happy, make them feel proud of you, make them think of you as someone who is good-natured, adjusting, beautiful inside out , etc etc, making them feel that you put your home and family before yourself. Because that’s what a good woman is supposed to do. Be her parent’s reflection, be her in-laws reflection, be her husband’s reflection, till nothing of her remains.

But what about inside? Are you proud of who you are? Do you like what you see inside you? What is inside you? Who is the real you? Is you the person who runs a good home and does the daily chores and at the same time manages to have an identity apart from the one you have as a wife and mother or are you only a career woman. What if you look inside and discover you want neither or want a combination of both or simply don’t want to be anything.

What if the you is something that evolves constantly and so what you would really want to do changes very often. And so it makes you feel something different everyday. And that’s why you are sad inside. Because though inside is in constant motion, externally you continually try and define yourself, label yourself for the world. You don the roles, the world most easily understands and is comfortable with. To avoid questions, you silence the soul. To avoid conflicts you forget your own voice, listening only to the voice of others. And then you begin to live a life that is not yours. Only because you have forgotten to listen to your own heart. Forgotten to sing your own song.

Today can you pause and ask yourself who am I?

No person can complete you

It is time to remind myself about something I told my friend some months ago. Sometimes we make ourselves believe that we need more to feel complete or to feel happy. People, objects, emotions- it could be anything. But that’s not so. The reality of my life or anyone’s is that what ever you need, life has already given it to you. If you feel something is not there or cannot sense something, probably you have no need for it. Really, there is nothing lacking in you for someone to come and complete. Just consider this, if you truly don’t have love , then how can you even offer it to others? If you crave love, does it mean you are empty of love? Do you expect someone to come fill your heart with love, so that you can give that same love in return? No, you love because you already have that emotion in you. And so when someone doesn’t reciprocate your love with love, let it not lead you to a sense of incompleteness or despair. Instead know that before wanting someone’s attention, you need to first love yourself and be at peace with yourself. Only when there is love in your life, a completeness with yourself, can you understand and see love. Else when it comes you won’t even be able to recognize it.