Tag Archives: me

A different kind of journey

There is yoga. And then there is inner yoga. We all start off at the first level. When we decide to go ‘check it out’…(psssst…and hopefully in the process lose some weight). But once we go there we realize that we don’t really sweat very much and then they make us lie down and relax. A lot. A lot. A lot. So much so that you can hear at least two people snoring in class for sure. Duh.

Many of us give up on our yogic journey somewhere at this point.

For those of us who persist, the real benefits of yoga begin to unravel. Quietly. One breath at a time.

That’s the road I’m taking now. It’s a really long journey and if I need to continue and reach the end, I need to shed a lot of excess baggage. The first thing I’m trying to load off is my inhibitions. You know, that horrid thing in your mind which tells you this-looks-tough-I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this. Yeah. That. Drop it. And don’t look back. You can do every asana there is under the sun. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not for another two years. But eventually, you’ll get there. Believe. And you will. The good news is this percolates into everything you do in life. There is nothing you cannot do, if you set your mind to it. It’s an amazing feeling, this quiet self confidence you develop within you.

There is a flip side to this as well. Don’t punish yourself. Don’t look at what others are able to achieve and develop a complex. This is about you and your body. Push yourself. But know when to stop. Listen to your body and eventually the body will give in to your mind. Be patient.

It’s amazing how this can be applied in life too. Sometimes we punish ourselves for being too thin, or too fat, or too dark, or too pimply or for having perennial bad hair days…well, it does not matter. Really, it does not. Perish those thoughts. Come to terms with who you are. As long as you are healthy and feel happy from within, there is nothing to sulk about. Stop worrying and feel at peace with yourself.

Another baggage I need to shed is my ego. This one’s a little harder. (Pretty much like the elusive padmasana and chakrasana!). It’s taken permanent lodging in one corner of my mind. Like an annoying guest who refuses to go away. It pops up unnecessarily and poisons my mind. If a client rejects my work – I feel anger. How could they! My work! I put my heart and soul into it! And so on and so forth. But fact remains that it makes me dive deeper, explore other dimensions and come up with something better. Rejection is good. Failure is even better. This is what I tell my ego. It’s not listening yet. But I need to keep trying.

There’s much more to learn. Much more to let go. I’m realizing that every day. With every inhalation I’m learning something new about myself. With every exhalation I’m realizing that there are things I need to let go. It’s a long journey. But I’m happy to have taken the first steps. Who knows where this is going to take me. But honestly, who cares about the destination. It’s the journey that’s invigorating. The destination will become clear one day.

Hopefully.

meditation

To be or not to be?

I have a good life. Great in fact. Nothing to complain about. Really. Except the usual minor grouches here and there. So then is this all I want out of life? Or is there a higher purpose to my existence. When I start thinking this way it bothers me terribly. For me higher existence is that Booker Prize winning novel that’s locked up in my subconscious and will one day gush out of my being for the world to go gaga over.

Until then, I shall just – Be. Or not?

Every now and then something jolts me. And I say – what am I really here for?  I’ve been given so many blessings – am I using them well? I watched this talk by Sheena Iyengar yesterday. A scholar. A scientist. Who despite her disability (or because of it?) seems to have achieved so much more in life. So am I under-utilizing the resources gifted to me?

Alter ego: You feel that way because it’s always about you. Your book. Your happiness.

Me: Well, it’s my life. It has to be about me.

Alter ego: That is where the problem is.

Me: What’s wrong with that? If I don’t think about my happiness, who will.

Alter ego: Happiness is in giving. To others I mean. Not to yourself. That’s like giving yourself a Christmas gift – and feeling happy about it.

Me: So what do you want me to do? Go to that beggar on the street and say…hey buddy I want to help you! Where shall I begin?

Alter ego: Don’t get all sarci on me. You know what I mean.

Me: No I don’t. You want me to give happiness to others. I don’t know how to do that.

Alter ego: You’ll figure out a way if you stop thinking of your clothes, your hair, your nails, your meals, your footwear…all the time.

Me: So you want me to be a saint? Give up all the lovely things I have…for what?

Alter ego: No. But everyday in some small way you can make someone’s life better. Just by smiling at a street kid. Or buying someone a meal.

Me: Easier said that done buddy. No can do.

Alter ego: Ok tell me why do you enjoy doing things for your daughter so much?

Me: She’s my baby! You fool…

Alter ego: Because the love you feel for her is pure and selfless. You simply want to give and expect nothing in return. Except of course that she love you back.

Me: Hmmmm…yeah maybe. So what are you saying?

Alter ego: If you can feel that kind of selfless love for others…you’ll get there.

Me: Where?

Alter ego: On the path to finding the higher purpose of your existence.

Me: Oh…ah….hmmm…hey look! There’s a sale on at Metro Shoes!! I need to go see that. We’ll think about this later.

Alter ego: Sigh!

(pooof)

So, have I grown up?

Every New Year’s eve I used to have this urge to do something. To make it special. To make it memorable. Have to. Have to. Have to. I’m not sure this is because everyone we know is doing something. And then later they ask – how was your New Year’s eve and we feel compelled to say how exciting ours was. I’m ashamed to say just for this I used to plan ‘something’ for every New Years’ eve.

The last four years I’ve done nothing special. This year I was with friends on the eve. We just chatted around, watched some television, wished each other at 12 am and then promptly went off to sleep. So is that going to make my year any less special? I don’t think so.

How does celebrating on New Year’s eve make the year more special? How does getting drunk on this day ensure that you’re on a high all through the year? How does getting together with friends and creating a whole lot of noise ensure that you have a peaceful year ahead?

While we boring people sat watching television at home, we heard the noise on the road around us. I peeped from the balcony to see a bunch of youngsters on their bikes, all high on something, all talking loudly, all unsteady and suddenly they all got on to the bike and sped away to some place. In that flush of youth you really have no idea where life is taking you. As you grow older you realize that you do not choose your destination. Life does. The sooner you realize that, the better for you. No harm in celebrating on New Year’s eve but why endanger your own life and the life of others around you? Why do we need strict police rules to force us to behave in a civilized fashion?

The next morning we woke up to newspapers filled with stories about youth in their 20’s who died celebrating on New Year’s eve. Bike accidents. Car accidents. Young people in their 20’s who wasted their lives for nothing. There were pictures of their mourning parents. It broke my heart. What were they trying to celebrate, really?

All I want for this new year is to be able to take each day as it comes. To have the maturity to accept and handle what life throws at me. To be able to make sensible decisions even during life’s tricky moments. To not be pressurized by what is expected of me and to do what I feel is right. I know now that life makes its own plans. It took me so many years to realize that! But I’m glad that I’ve finally given in to that higher power. It leaves me feeling calmer and more relieved. I like this feeling. I’m no longer the monkey with a herd instinct. I’m me. Finally I have found that ‘me’ somewhere.

I want to thank all my friends and all those who sweetly visit my blog. You have all certainly been part of my growing up. (A special thanks to OTEE and Jairaj here). You have helped me see the light. You have made me believe in myself. You have helped me find me. This year is going to be fun – because I’m going to be spending it with all you friends. And me. Happy New Year dearest friends :)