On Time

I had one of those serendipitous moments today.
It didn’t come easy.
I struggled for many decades because I didn’t even know what were the right questions to ask.
It only came because, over the years, I had gotten better at seeding the right questions in my brain.

Over the last 3 decades…by reading about time management, by using every time management tool there is possible, by optimizing, by juggling, by prioritizing and by trying to run my life as a project…..I haven’t actually been doing what I thought I did – Managing time instead of letting time manage me.

Due to my eastern learning, fortunately, I also know that time itself is timeless.

With that context, here is the realization that dawned on me today.

Ready for it?

I actual haven’t been managing time or let time manage me.
Something more.
I have been trying to OUTRUN time.
Did you hear that?
OUTRUN TIME.

How foolish?
How contrived?
How conceited?
How powerful?
And yet, how foolish and futile?!

In the picture, I am trying to outrun time and make it to Mt. Whitney 14,505 feet peak by noon.

Yes, I braved changing mountain conditions with a couple of hailstorms and indeed bagged Mt. Whitney one beautiful day in Summer 2010, by noon time, as I had willed it.

If I didn’t have Worldly Responsibilities

If I didn’t have worldly responsibilities, I would possibly be climbing mountains. Because, 2 eyes, 1 lifetime, 1 soul is not enough to enjoy God’s work from mountain peaks.

This shot was taken from my tiny camera at about 14,000 ft in the Inyo National Forest on my way to bagging the Mt. Whitney peak.

On Monday, July 26, 2010 about noon time Kumar and I completed one of our long standing goals of bagging the Mt. Whitney peak.

We ascended the summit from the Whitney Portal trail head at 8,365 feet and completed the round trip 22-mile hike in 19 hours! We managed to hike it without any altitude sickness (which can be dangerous and life-threatening!).

Mt. Whitney is the highest summit in the contiguous United States and the Sierra Nevada, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4421 m).

Here is a few of my writing on climbing/hiking:
http://ambalbalakrishnan.com/tag/climbing/
http://ambalbalakrishnan.com/tag/hiking/

Be BRAVE. Go SEEK.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. – Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A wise man once told me:

It is not what you know that will kill you.
It is not what you don’t know that will kill you.
It is what you don’t know that you don’t know….that is what will kill you.

He told me to seek the unseen.

Seeking the unseen is nothing fancy.
It is kind of like looking in the blind spot when you are driving.

Let us talk some neuroscience.

Use it or lose it…is very true for our brain and beliefs it holds.

Over adolescence there is a pruning back of the brain connections. The brain decides which connections are important to keep, and which can be let go. Scientists call this process synaptic pruning, and speculate that the brain decides which neural links to keep based on how frequently they are used.

Not just that. We start losing neurons (brain cells) almost immediately after birth with very few neurons ever forming during our post-birth lives. It’s an important part of healthy brain function.

Got that context?

Now, let us assume that we don’t use the reasoning side of our brain.
Let us assume we accept what the main stream media is feeding us or we accept what is popular belief amongst our friends and family.
Then, eventually we lose it.

We lose the ability to see the unseen.
What is worser than losing the ability to see the unseen is that, eventually, we even lose the ability to recognize the need to seek the unseen.

It is so much easier to believe the popular belief.
Because, it is very hard to be the ONE voice of dissonance in a group.
It is very hard to be brave enough to rise up and call out the unseen.

Remember, for as long as humanity as lived, the one who called out the unseen has been persecuted.
So, even if you have a semblance of doubt about the unseen, we are wired to be a sheep, say blah and follow the crowd.

Like I always say, don’t take my word for this.
After all, I am not a neuro scientist.
I am only an aspiring neuro scientist who has been pouring over brain research for the last decade.
I am only a fan of the brain and all it sheer beauty.

So, read articles like these: WHY FACTS DON’T CHANGE OUR MINDS

Put to use the most precious think that nature bestowed you – BRAIN.

Don’t succumb to status quo beliefs or fear based on politics or who is ruling or who has the power or who can control over your future.

You have made it so far over the hills and valleys?
Haven’t you?
Like me, you have survived and lived to tell the story.

It is a beautiful world.
It TRULY is.

You make YOUR world.
You.
Not somebody else who has the power.
Not somebody else who is ruling the country.

Do you hear me?
It is YOU.

So.

Think.
Think for yourself.
Be open to hearing views that are completely different from yours. Trust me. You’ll be surprised with what you learn and your life experience will be so much richer.

Be BRAVE. Go SEEK.

A Wild Trip to Mexico

It all started a few weeks ago.

I gave Kumar one of my awesomely brilliant bright ideas.

“Dey Kumaru, boys have had a busy and rough year. So much has happened this year and we haven’t traveled much. Why don’t we take the boys somewhere…someplace quiet…..just to relax”.

The rest, as they say, is a danger-vacation story to be told and retold for several decades to come.


Dec 22 evening:

Within an hour and half of landing in Mexico, my hand bag with cash, credit card, passports, car key etc was stolen.

It has been a nightmare.

The boys are possibly beginning to find out how bad humanity can be….with what they saw on the security camera and how slowly everbody is moving on this case.

It is dark learning and this isn’t the kind of learning I intended for them in #Mexico.

We are trying to contact the Usembassy.gov to sort out paperwork.

Send us your positive vibes. Thank you.


Update on Dec 23 morning:
Thank you Friends for sending us prayers and positive vibes and reaching out in every possible way to help us. It has been a maddening nightmare in the last 18 hours. Boys and I are safe. We are at the embassy trying to sort out the mess and get emergency passports.


Update on Dec 23 evening:
We had a crazy day roving Cancun to take passport pictures, file for emergency passport and also fill out police report.

The 3 boys proved to me again they were men of mettle with how they handled all the curve balls with calm and resolve.

Thanks much to all of you for the flood of messages sending wishes and queries for how to help.

I am also thankful for those of y’all who tried to put a smile of my face by asking the following question in many different forms – “Given your penchant for drama and grandeur, did you stage the whole thing to teach the kids about safety when traveling !?”

Special thanks to my buddy Rohit for sending the boys birth certificate to Embassy to expedite emegency passport issual. I owe him a lifetime worth of chai.

We are safe. I count my blessings for that. I also count my blessings for a husband who never told me in the last 24 hours – “You should have kept the purse more safely”.


Update on Dec 24 afternoon:

Still lots of mess to clear up.

But, figured it is about time to bring the boys to the ocean and coconut trees.

Despite the lost passports/purse and all the ensuing mishaps, I am beginning to fall in love with this beautiful country and the effervescent smiling “hola” saying Senors and Senoritas.

For the record, Kumar is getting way too many “holas” from the beautiful chicas who are possibly mistaking him as one of their very own Hombreros.

Thank you for the outpour of good wishes, prayers, encouraging words and wise cracks that really did crack me up.

Love and light.

Anyways, one thing has led to another and before you know it, I find myself on this airport bench waiting to catch the flight back home.

After we get back home, I have to get new passports, new drivers license, new car keys, new house keys, replace credit card…as if that wasn’t enough, have to do loads of laundry and much more.

Hope y’all are having a great holiday and getting ready to call it a year.


Update on Dec 29 evening:

#ingratitude #homesweethome

We are back home! Yipee!

Thank you for sending prayers, white light and best wishes for us to return home safely. We appreciate it more than words can describe.

My bandana is in honor of the friendly folks at US consular office who moved so swiftly to get us the emergency passports.

Warm water of the Atlantic Ocean. Met my feet.

Another first.
Warm water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Met my feet.
For the very first time.
Joy knew no bounds.
Extra special.
Because waited for this moment for so long.
Since reading about warm Atlantic Ocean waters in grade 8.

 

My love for the Pacific Ocean: http://ambalbalakrishnan.com/2013/07/21/national-bridges-at-santa-cruz-in-california/