QUESTIONS/ANSWERS

“Don’t search for the answers,

which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.

Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

 Rainer Maria Rilke

Water on my bedroom window sill, the pitter-patter of rain…

past memories, two pines trees I call mom and dad …

Is it normal to call trees your friends or call them mom and dad?

Two mortals just disappeared & faded away, where?

I am in the queue. Aren’t we all?

They say time flies, but on some evenings I feel it just stops, why?

It gives me joy and distress both at times.

Do you feel that too?

I am learning to live the questions.

Someday, maybe I will live my way into answers.

Maybe Not!

YOU DESERVE It ! DO IT YOURSELF!

How are you all feeling? It’s only two more days left in this unforgettable year .People are describing it as chaotic, exhausting, lost ,cruel ,tragic ,lonely, learning , scary We all have our own descriptions and experiences of this year ,but one thing is common for all us is that 2020 would sure be a year to remember for all of us .

***

Today, I was reflecting my own life of this nine months since this “Pandemic paranoia”started . I began to ponder about my mental state in the month of March just after one week of my arrival from India. My life’s turmoils started before this Covid Chaos in the Summer of 2019.It all started when my elder brother had a brain stroke ,and after a month my dad’s health started deteriorating that led him to his last breath in January 2020 . I was able to visit India twice in those six months for which I am truly grateful . As we all know about the traveling restrictions which came into effect when the countries went into lockdown in March .It was a tough time grieving the loss of my father and being anxious all the times about my brother’s recovery thousands miles away .Besides, the fear of uncertainties which was there to stay for a long time. However , I was always aware of the fact that many of us were having losses and pains more than I could imagine.

***

Fortunately, we are alive today and we did our best to survive this historical year.I prayed and I meditated ,I walked and I sat still,I danced and I sang, I did yoga and I hiked ,I cried and I cried again,I read and I wrote ,I was hopeful one day and disappointed another day .I binged watched one day and did nothing the next day . I was grateful and scared in the same moment .I am healing but still hurting .I have tried to create myself from chaos like many of you .I have learned new life’s lessons as you all must have.

I pat on my back today for trying my best all this time to keep myself and the people close to me healthy and safe .

I request you to pat on your back for all the things you did and still doing for yourself and for the people you love .

Pat on your back :

  • If you are the breadwinner of the family and provide meals to the people you love.
  • If you have an elderly to take care of .
  • If you are being extra careful for someone with autoimmune disease or disability.
  • If you are a single parent .
  • If you are staying at home for your safety and for others.
  • If you are scared but still being strong.
  • If you have to go out to serve people .
  • If you are comforting people virtually.
  • If you are facing financial losses but still managing.
  • If you are grieving for a lost loved one and taking care of another.
  • If you have a chronic illness and only taking care of yourself.
  • If you are fighting battles you can’t talk about.
  • If you feel tired and exhausted but get up next morning for a new day.
  • If you feel anxious and nervous but hopeful too, for the future.
  • Even if you are hurt, sad ,and mad more than you should be.

Look how far we have come!

Wish you and yours health ,courage ,strength and peace in 2021!

What is your IKIGAI?

According to the Japanese ,everyone has an ikigai.. a reason for living .And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest -living people ,finding it is the key to happiness and longer life.Having a strong sense of ikigai -the place where passion ,mission, vocation ,and profession intersect.–means that each day is infused with meaning.It’s the reason we get up in the morning .

In other words ikigai means your “ reason for living “ This concept comprises of four elements :what you love , what you are good at , what the world needs , and what you could be paid for .It comes from a combination of two Japanese words: iki referring to life, and kai, which roughly means “the realization of what one expects and hopes for”. Everyone has ikigai, no matter their job or class or education level. It’s not about achieving what other people have for yourself, but finding your own happy combination of life satisfactions.

About a month a ago when I read about this it really sped up my own searching of self.I have realized to find your ikigai requires deep exploration and extensive “search of self ” -which is esteemed and which we must all do for ourselves to live a happy and fulfilling life.I am hoping the process of finding itself would be enlightening.

My next step in this direction is to read :

LESSONS LEARNED

A bachelor’s in Science and Education ,and a Masters in English Literature I’m a student of life . I’m positive that it began after my brother’s death.Though I was only twelve yrs old ,I started observing life around me very deeply . Life teaches you more than any books, it sounds so cliche but it’s true .While our learning never stops until we die ,here are some lessons I learned in my journey so far.

1. TrUTH CAN’t be SAID…

Lao Tzu said “Truth can’t be said “. How you actually feel about anything whether it’s joy or sorrow ,there are no words in any language that can truly express the gravity of that emotion. It can only be felt. Sometimes we say more than we feel ,and sometimes we feel more than we say .There is no way to express the inexpressible.I learned this the first time when my elder brother at the age of twenty one passed away.

2. Love is found in unexpected places, so always keep your heart opened…

Every creature on this planet want love, and we have been conditioned and taught to look for love at certain places only .But ,the more we leave the doors of our heart ajar the more we are able to receive love from all around us .I felt loved when my neighbor celebrated my birthday, when one of my aunt spent months with my family to take care of my mom and me ,and when my teacher listened to my stories of my tough childhood. A stranger smiling at you ,a child’s innocent look, a janitor opening a door for you ,a neighbor politely asking about your well being ,and a customer assistant on your shopping trip going extra mile to satisfy you. These are all valuable gestures which are tiny notes of love and kindness .We disappoint ourselves often searching for love when love is always around us in many different forms and shapes .

3. Insecurities Can be your opportunities …

This is a tough one .It doesn’t come easy and it’s painful .The chances are very high that it can go south for anyone . Insecurities make paranoid, narcissist ,addictive ,and dependent personalities .But,I am fortunate that it was the other way round for me .Though, I was hurt ,scared ,and sad when I was in those moments .But, many years later it dawned on me that those insecure and vulnerable times made me courageous ,and pushed me to gather myself and face life.

4. You must must MUST have frIends,But DON’T FORGET EVERyONE IS ALONE…

After my death if God asked me what I did in life.I’m 100% sure of one answer “I MADE FRIENDS”.I made real friends with whom I share my joys & sorrows , my insecurities and accomplishments, and this mysterious life .I made friends of different cultures and of all ages.Some became soulmates and some became family ,but each one of them has her own unique place in my heart.For me friendship is something immensely valuable. Love tends to be possessive; friendship is non-possessive love. Friendship has played an important role in my own spiritual growth. While making friends all these years I also learned the most important lesson that I must first learn to be friends with myself ,that I must be comfortable in my own company. We must learn to live happily alone because there is a high likelihood of a time when we all have to spend a part of our life alone.

5. Nature is healing…

The stress of an unpleasant environment can cause you to feel anxious, or sad, or helpless. A pleasing environment reverses that.Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing also.Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.Walking in the forests ,listening to the birds ,sitting under a tree ,watching sunrises &sunsets are my things to do when I need to heal myself from the unwanted visitors in my mind and body .

6.Yatha Drishti, Tatha SrishtI…

If I have to choose only one of all my lessons this is the one .This sums up every understanding of life I have.Thousands of years before, a very powerful line was said in the ‘Vedas’,(The Vedas are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India)  that is, “Yatha Drishti, tatha Srishti!”. It means, how you see the world, the world will appear to you in the same way. I faced death and loss at a very young age.I lost too much and too early in my life . Actually ,I grew up in sorrow and sufferings and that’s what taught me to not take things for granted ever. I learned to appreciate more and complain less, to be cheerful for what I had than to be sad for what I lost.Since, I learned the most important lesson of life doesn’t mean I never get scared or hurt or worried now .I still feel all those things as life represents them whenever it want to ,but I try to be mindful and put my efforts to come out of it.Keeping in mind “PAIN IS INEVITABLE BUT SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL

7. READ,WRITE,PAINT,SING ,DANCE,Plant….

Find something that makes you happy and hone your skill .Do it for yourself not for anyone else, not for money ,and not for fame.If it makes you rich and popular as its’ byproduct than no problem. But ,begin without any goal just be in that doing and forget everything else.Believe me, this will give you the most comforting moments when you are sad, and when it’s hard to be hopeful.

8. MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN ARE OVERRATED…

This may doesn’t sound good, and let me be clear I’m not against marriage or children. Most often we get married and have a family because that’s what normally people do .Social conditioning has blindfolded us from seeing who we are and what we really want.We have been raised by believing this myth that to be happy one needs to get married and have children.However, I believe that you can be pretty happy if you are healthy, financially independent ,and have a few good friends.Be courageous enough to do what you feel is right for you .Many times ,we feel it’s too late to start making our life happy when life doesn’t give happiness where we expected .It’s never too late to start investing in yourself.

9. BY ALL MEANS TRAVEL..

Traveling makes you a better and happier person.The more you travel, the more you  will grow and learn about yourself.Here, I don’t mean spending thousands of bucks and make a trip to some exotic destination.If you have the means go some place and actually live there for sometime .Try to spend time with the locals, learn about their culture ,food, language and traditions.It has always helped me give a different perspective of life.It made me more open minded and accepting towards life.I can’t always afford big trip so I try to spend a day somewhere outside my town. I have always found that it has always widen my horizon, and made me realize that I’m just a small part of this Cosmos.

10. NO LIFE WITHOUT DEATH..

Death is strange ! It changes everything yet nothing is changed.It seems paradoxical but there would be no value of life without death.The better we understand death the better we can live our life.The day I lost my brother was the day of my rebirth.Death gives meaning to life ,it helps us understand how fragile life is ,it teaches us the importance of every breath ,it guides us to the path of impermanence of things ,and most of all in every visit it reminds us of our own mortality and to be more mindful about the way we live.

I look forward to read about all the wonderful lessons life has taught you ..