On Finding a Zen Moment

If it weren’t for that 1 tumbler of coffee in the morning #zen moment…

Those of you know who know me really well, would finish that sentence by saying “you would be admitted in the max security mental ward”.

#gratitude-for-the-lil-things-in-life

Question: If it weren’t for your 1 cup of coffee in the morning #zen moment…..

Today, just sit for a little bit and enjoy a quiet moment just for you.

“Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you – sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.”
― Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium

“When forever becomes a place…
when forever ceases to be just a word…
when it ceases to be just a measurement of time….”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

On Being Whole Again

“In every atom, there is a reflection of the whole.”
― Jay Woodman

Do we need to have seen darkness….to appreciate light?
Do we need to have seen light….to understand darkness?

How does it go?

Do we need to have been broken…. to appreciate being whole?
Do we need to have been whole …to feel the pain of being broken?

Feeling broken.
Feeling whole.
Feeling together.

Have you been there?
Have you felt broken?
Have you felt whole?
Have you felt together?

What is whole?
What does that mean?
Who can we define being whole?
Should we define being “not whole” before beginning to define whole?

Is being whole a feeling?
Is it a state of being?
Is it a state of knowing?

Do we need our friends to feel whole?
Do we need our family to feel whole?
Do we need food to feel whole?

What is it?

What if we are already whole…just as we are?
Then, why do we need other things or other people to feel whole?

Do we need to feel whole to be happy?
If so, why?

I don’t think you or I can define, with words, the true meaning of feeling whole.
I think one has to feel it.

One has to be broken.
Only then, one can understand and appreciate the true beauty of feeling whole again.

I am feeling whole….again.
Are you?

“Sometimes I wonder if we ever truly let anyone completely in. The desire for another human being to know you, all of you, all the pieces, even the ones you’re ashamed of — is huge. But too often, we sit down and sort through the pieces only picking out the pretty ones, leaving the ugly ones behind, not realizing that choosing not to share with someone else is like committing a crime against our very soul”
― Rachel Van Dyken, Toxic

“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole”
― C.G. Jung

“I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don’t pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“Through the absence of what we think we have to have we can discover our wholeness”
― Renae A.Sauter

Richness isn’t Measured by Wealth

Richness isn’t measured by wealth.

Because, the most precious thing in the world is to have at least one friend that will make you “anda gunda” (lots) of mushroom soup with loads of ginger, garlic, black pepper and red chili because:
a) they simply can’t stand what a wimp you are and
b) they are sick and tired of you moping around about how scratchy your throat has been.

That is the most precious thing.

Counting by that standards, I beat Buffet and Gates hands down.

#countyourblessing #gratitude

On Unchaining Yourself and Breaking Free

In India, elephants don’t just roam royally in jungles and zoos. You will find elephants in temples and festivities as well. They are considered to be very auspicious and wise.

Grandpa TVS told me many stories when I was a child. One of those was about an elephant named Jumbo.

Grandpa’s story started out with a baby Jumbo being brought to a village by his mahout. Jumbo has got lots of energy and curiosity. Every day, the mahout trains Jumbo. The mahout ties down one of Jumbo’s foot to a big stone pillar with a big chain to prevent him from running away. For the first several years, Jumbo is constantly tugging at the big chain…trying to break away. He cannot break away because of the big chain that is holding him down. Meanwhile, Jumbo learns all the things the mahout wants him to learn.

Jumbo grows into a young strong elephant. He is well trained now. He knows how to follow his mahout’s directions and cues. Jumbo begins to do all the things the mahout wants him to do. Jumbo moves heavy pieces of log and turns huge stones over to build a huge temple. Jumbo is still trying to tug away from the big chain that is tying him down to the big stone pillar. But, he is unable to break free.

Jumbo matures and becomes an adult elephant. He helps the mahout move heavy pieces of log and turns huge stones over to build a huge bridge. The mahout puts a smaller chain on Jumbo’s foot. Jumbo is now strong enough to tug away the smaller chain that is tying him down to the big stone pillar and break free. But, he has forgotten to pull at the chain. From years of trying, he has “learnt” that there is no use tugging. So, he doesn’t tug anymore.

Jumbo matures further and becomes an aged elephant. He still remembers his family and jungle that he left behind. He remembers the watering hole and the fun that it represents. He would like to go back there. The mahout now puts a smaller jute chain on Jumbo’s foot. Jumbo has become weak. But, can pull at the jute chain with just one tug and break free. But, remember, he has forgotten to pull at the chain. So, he doesn’t tug anymore.

Grandpa TVS ended the story there. For many years during my childhood, I continued to bug Grandpa about whatever happened to Jumbo. I hypothesized various endings and proposed them to Grandpa. Grandpa continued to hear all my versions with great interest. But, he never did tell me what actually happened to Jumbo. As always, he left it up to my imagination.

Does that story sound awfully familiar to you?

Remember the unbridled energy of your own baby years?
Remember the unwavering hope of your own youth?
Remember all your dreams, beliefs, and wishes?
Remember all your losses, pain, and failures?
Remember, every time you tugged at the freakin’ iron chain and you couldn’t budge a freakin’ inch?
Remember how you kept tugging?
Remember that?

Now.
Hold that thought.
Can you go back to when you stopped tugging?
Can you?
No.
I bet you are struggling to remember that moment.
It is very difficult for all of us.
Because, none of us remember when we forgot tugging.
It just happens.
One day.
We stop tugging.

Now, here is my ask: As the year draws to a close and you go through your pensive moments, try to think about what old beliefs are chaining you down that don’t serve you anymore? Have you forgotten to tug on an any chains (that don’t exist anymore)? Think about it. Don’t have to pick many. Pick just one chain. Just one.

Go ahead.
Break away.
Come on.
You can do it.

Unchain yourself. Break free.

That is my wish for you and wish for myself in 2018.

P.S. While you are it, for some inspiration on unchaining yourself and breaking free, read or watch “The Shawshank Redemption” during the holidays. Andy Dufresne is one of those guys who didn’t give up tugging after nearly two decades.

On Flying

When I was a little girl, I had this recurring dream.
I was a bird.
Sometimes, I flew over green and fields.
Sometimes, I flew over lakes and rivers.
I flew with a sense of freedom.

This uncanny sense of flying stayed with me for many years.
It also led me to dream of being a pilot or astronaut.
To fuel my dream, Appa encouraged me to write letters to ISRO (Indian Space Research Org) and explore opportunities.

On a beautiful Spring day in 2012, Adi, Kumar and I went parasailing together on 3 seater. Kumar was in the center. Adi and I were on either side of the parasailing seats to balance out the weight appropriately.

The boat took us out to the Pacific Ocean and we para sailed with for glee for a few minutes. That wonderful feeling of freedom I’m flying rushed back to my memory.

The rush of ocean wind on my face and my legs dangling free… the whole feeling of freedom…. the scent of salt water…. all of that was visceral.

To this day, when I take a flight, I am fascinated with the engineering and mechanics of what humanity has made possible.

What recurring dream did you have during childhood?