On Being Back Home

There is nothing as awesome as coming back home after a long week of travel, sleeping in your own bed (didn’t matter the boys pushed me to the very edge of the bed), waking up in the morning (yep, Kumar let me sleep in and handled the drop offs), making a cup of coffee, enjoying it, albeit hurriedly, and getting ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Happy Friday.

Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. – Robert Montgomery

On Finding Warmth and Cheer

Whether you are standing underneath the mistletoe with your sweetheart,
Whether you are rushing home to be with your loved ones,
Whether you are gathering near the overloaded holiday dinner table,
Wherever you are struggling through year end commitments,
Whether you are wondering where life is going to take you next,
Whether you are standing on a cold dark windy beach with your dog and wondering how much longer until you see Mom again,
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you find warmth and cheer (within you and outside you) during this last week of 2017.

As 2017 draws to a close, I want to take a moment to tell you that I am grateful for your readership. Despite a busy life, I continue to write because of the personal connections it helps me make with y’all.

Thank you for letting me share my stories with you. Thank you for reaching out to me and trusting me with your most personal stories.

I wish you a joyful holiday season surrounded by the warmth and cheer of family and friends.

I also wish you a happy and healthy 2018!

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.