A more generous view of others

1 Aug

A protracted sparky conversation with a friend left me feeling exhausted. Besides having a ‘bumper car’ kind of effect, this ‘should have been tete a tete’ prompted me to mull over all the times she behaved unreasonably and upset me with her sharp tongue. For the nth time I decided to stay away from her.

A long walk and some introspection  led me to keep aside my smog stained glasses of labeling and egged me on to focusing on the good in her . Sure she had virtues- energy , patience and kindness. Yet in moments like this when I am all upset I fine tune my attention towards her shortcomings.

Gradually my anger began to diminish as my mind moved away from her imperfections and focused on the goodness in her . It isn’t an easy thing to do but it’s freeing.

So this uniquely flawed me has now begun to look beyond the apparent and turn my heart and mind towards the goodness in the people I interact with everyday.

Have you noticed how easy it is to take our closest relationships for granted. Some of us cannot release our grip on the grudges we bear or the wounds we nurse for years thus leading unhappy and disturbed lives.

If we only take time to bring to mind what we value and appreciate about the other person ; look out for what’s right rather than what’s wrong we would attract happiness into our lives and perhaps bring about more circumstances that allow us to enjoy these positive attributes.

In finding the light in others…. I began to brighten the light within myself.

This new found wisdom connects me to people and the words of William ward then ring true. ‘When we seek to discover the best in others , we somehow bring out the best in ourselves’

Nostalgia

2 Jun

A lot of my time these days go in thinking back to my childhood . I recall so many unforgettable places, events and people.                        They were ( at least for most of the time ) the good old days.

Living in this vibrant city, full of energy , with so much happening around me- I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning.

Here I met people who made life look so much easier to glide through. As their smiles flash back in my head ; I relive their philosophies and I am consumed by a strong need to jot them down lest they  slip by my transient memory. How to shepherd,  How to steward , How to live – these stalwarts have shown  me.

Grace and calm I saw came from the understanding that you are not exactly the center of the universe; and when people say hurtful things, it’s not exactly to hurt you but their own triggers compel them  to do so. Let it go. Be tolerant and empathetic .

Arguments happen….trying to win arguments with your loved ones is only self- defeating.  Do what you want to, but respect another’s point of view.

Responsibility for your happiness is entirely yours and the ability to change and adapt to circumstance is the only thing that maintains your sangfroid.

Don’t fret when you don’t fit in to the norms prescribed by society instead walk your path. It’s okay to go off course…. You’ll eventually get back on course with the wisdom that can’t be found in books.

Pain is a part of this journey . It will pass and for most of the time it makes you a great storyteller.

Love and Life I learnt are so interconnected. Allow yourself to feel the love when it comes by. Revel in it and if it moves on … Let go! It has served its purpose in your life .

The buzzing of the telephone bring my reflections to a sudden halt.  Taking a deep breath I do the next best thing I can think of – Stretch and get right back onto the wagon of daily living .

 

 

 

 

Stretching out

23 Jan

Another birthday round the corner, and yes I am excited. Excited coz I’ve managed to show up for 355 days again.

In an age where birthdays spell getting older and one isn’t comfortable being anything over forty I find each  passing year more relieving than the previous one.

At twelve you want you want your friends to love your  party ; come seventeen you hope that special someone remembers to wish you ; the twenties on …it’s the only time you are pampered  !

Two decades later with a wealth of experiences to talk about and having had my share of raising kids, pleasing others, pursuing a career , setting goals , I now step into another phase.  Like a rocket that escapes the earth’s gravity and is propelled into space because it has a longer voyage to make. Moving on to do what resonates with my soul; To get to a place of contentment and be at ease with myself

A need to give back something of value to the world  that nurtured me ; A call to be a part  of experiences that contributes to a  cause bigger than me is now the  driving force that propels most of my actions.

It’s a moment of redirection, with the same drive and ambition but replacing things what I thought was important with a new set of beliefs and ideas.

“We cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true , will at evening have become a lie”  Carl Jung

That’s where I am – excited and feeling all enthused about beginning this new journey.

Reminiscing

26 Dec

It’s the morning after Christmas;

The angels have sung ,  the baby welcomed ,  we feasted , we napped …..in short – A  day gone by in the the usual christmas style

Yet …mixed emotions  collide inside my head  as I look at my Christmas tree.  A reminder of  another year gone by ; the things I resolved to do …..and have still to do.

These weren’t difficult things nor  would they be called time consuming. When i  set them on  my ‘to do’ list it seemed  like there was  enough time to get there; but just as i  started thinking about what i  need to begin- it seemed  like they just ‘whooshed ‘ past me.

The whooshing startled , then baffled and finally i sat back in quiet resignation and watched it float past while i gave myself innumerable reasons why i couldn’t really get there.

They were always there at the back of my mind – standing tall, smiling gently as the ‘more urgent’ matters got priority. Each time they poked their head and tried to get an inch forward , more pressing matters pushed their way through and  at this point I can sheepishly add that a lot I thought I would do remained only on paper.

But there is something else I did do –I began jotting down little significant moments during the year – times when I felt happy ,Meals I really enjoyed; Stuff I bought and felt thrilled about; Gifts I received; The times I felt good about what I did ;  The people that added a little magic in my day. …..The moments that shine out the most during the course of the year.

Gazing at my Christmas tree ,   lights  twinkling through its branches – I stop and reflect on the things and people that truly matter in my life ,   The things I missed out on .  i was a little surprised at the things that  didn’t make it to my list,  Of course they were fun while they lasted but not enriching enough .

That’s it ….as the year waves goodbye,  I feel blessed and grateful for the so called ‘charming gardeners’ of my soul.  I will now lean forward and focus on things that do matter – frame goals that involve spending more time with people I love – people that bring out the best in me; Travel; Eat right; Accomplish those work goals.

Yeah ….am feeling quite awesome right now as I sit down to make this brand new list of things ide like like to spend my time doing in the coming year .  Suddenly this sparkling tree seems to be smiling at me

The Avatars we Create

13 Dec

I still remember vividly that evening at the fair, I wandered around mesmerized by the vibrant colours around me , my gaze riveted on the masks that hung a few feet above my head.  No two masks were alike – colourful smiling clowns, gnarled faces made of plastic, kindly faces that looked like angels…..’all tools of deception to hide the secret and sometimes wicked parts of ones intentions’ said the man with his betel stained teeth.

Years passed by and I began to understand the reasons why  one cloaks the soul.

True we all wear masks….but a few wear acceptable and friendly outer faces to hide from us their dark intentions. Often we buy into that image, not realizing that this is just a dressed up front

And then someday this mask slips and you see the real person behind his edited self.  it shocks us and we are clueless how to react – A low blow that causes our knees to buckle.

Which of the two is the real person-the one we knew earlier or the one we just saw behind the mask?

It takes a while to come to terms understanding or even getting to know the person behind the mask;  All you can do is to  Step back and take a long look at the feelings that go through your mind.

I don’t think it’s fair to judge the reasons why one needs to wear that mask.  The environment at times prompts us to be aggressive, passive, disinterested or compassionate.  There are millions of reasons why many people don’t want us to know the kind of people they really are. On a lighter note ……Sure the mirror is hostile enough!!

Acknowledging what I now feel has empowered me to make the decision to keep away from all the negativity this person unleashed.

But I wonder ……..Have we really evolved as people or have we  only gotten more creative in inventing masks that hide the true animal inside of us.

 

That special gift we give ourselves each day

1 Nov

Happiness – the most sought after elixir since the dawn of creation.

Dr Seuss probably knew the secret to happiness when he wrote this years ago  –                     “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

When one has walked this planet for as long as I have then a few simple truths begin to dawn upon you …the key one being… you are in charge of your Happiness.

That’s good news ! Knowing that we can whip up our own bit of happiness is empowering.

So how does one get to Happiness ?   I’d say Self-Acceptance.

Embracing the complete you…the estimable parts and the not very commendable parts, is an essential skill to cultivate.

Constant interaction with our families and peers  over the years have  constructed within us a script which we carry in our heads  throughout  life.  These scripts sometimes carry negativity and debatable shortcomings which prevent us from seeing the real person we actually  are.

The past can alter your thoughts, but forgiving yourself and not allowing your inner critic to hijack your thoughts helps streamline the process of moving on.

It’s helpful to remember what a wise man once said- Our mistakes and our imperfections are not bad or wrong or failures. They are the fingerprints of humanity and opportunities for learning, healing and growth.

Its only when we stop judging ourselves and accept every facet of ourselves that we begin to feel a sense of well-being and most importantly we no more have the need for others approval.

Look at yourself with compassion, accepting your weaknesses and your frailties and loving yourself…warts and all…That when you will allow Happiness to gently alight at your shoulder.

A choice we make ?

18 Oct

My friends….. Caring and sometimes exasperatingly so – asking, probing, analysing and many a time making deductions and thrusting those opinions upon me.

Their latest- The theme of Loneliness.

No doubt if one were to look at certain situations in my life, it would point to the fact that I definitely could be a victim of loneliness… but then I argue with them.

Is this malaise just about living alone? I am all but certain it isn’t …I have met people who being in the midst of others still feel the ache of isolation.
It’s that meaningful connection they look for.

Do we talk about it? – Mostly not. Loneliness isn’t something one admits to.
Infact its taboo talk. One would rather speak of shopping or even immersing oneself in work rather than admit to feeling lonely .
Perhaps they see it as a personal failing? The side effects of barriers one puts up to defend oneself from the outside world.

All of us desire to connect with people who share our interests and vision ….but some feel inept and unworthy and to them social obligations feel like a burden where there is always danger of rejection or feeling disconnected

It’s easier to embrace loneliness and the passivity associated with it..and before we know…its enveloped us. Thus lonely people get lonelier ….Loneliness feeds on itself. Then there is that inner critique that’s always lurking alongside to sabotage any effort you make, to convince yourself that you are not good enough

Each of us are worthy of love – especially our own.
So reach out to a friend, be a little vulnerable, Share pieces of your life with others and show interest in theirs too, weed out the goblins in your head and remember “Hello” is the most powerful word against Loneliness