Mindfulness l

PURPOSE

Enough written, discussed and said about this word and each one has a different take to it and each take is right!

Long term, short term, now..are the time lines one works on. It’s however, very simply put as your own drive which is yours and only yours . Ikigai, meditative gurus, eminent personalities, the Gita have all spoken about this extensively . In assimilating information from all, re – reading their thoughts and relooking at reality, all but gets shaken up every now and then with the thought “which way is my life swerving”! It’s all in the good as long as we reason it out with our own life map. As cars dealt are different, the playing field also varies. What could mean a purpose to you could be labelled as a mere existence for some and vice versa. Ever so often, this purpose would alter and it ought to do so at different life stages. The classic question posed in different interview stages from a student to a marital alliance, to a prospective employer about his so-called final purpose has had to be addressed but not with much know -how of the ground reality. Today with the dynamics changing ever so often, for the ones who’ve gone with the flow and blended well, it all seems so very logical to have a purpose which is not a rigid one. Also self brandishing and self berating seems and sounds so very self torturous, both in mind and body.

Small, daily routines can be meaningful and purposeful and big resolutes can be all so futile. Just to be up on the bright side and view the day as a new one in itself is a purpose of sorts. What can be made routine as a purpose is to have a good laugh, enjoy a good mirth and try and balance the pluses and minuses with a cheerful disposition.

The drive in ones life is never rigid and rightfully so. It’s the small adaptations one makes that go a long way, in form and character. Also, at times to up ones’ ante in a small chosen purpose can be a big morale boost. With kids, I have noticed that their short lived goals are all small, quantifiable purposes ànd the way they jump around from flower to flower in search of nectar, akin to the butterflies, is what makes their present purpose so very beautiful! So all and all, not to have a defined purpose is perfectly ok and it’s best if we walk around with our dignity, humility and head held high so as not to float amidst the clouds but remain rooted to the ground reality, it will all be just good.

Mindfulness l

Weekend living

If anything this past year has done to us is to teach us to live our lives on a daily basis. Extending this in today’s context, why not continue this for all of our time and not try and push everything to the sweet spots called saturdays/ sundays..agreed, with most of us having a rather busy work week, this kind of comes in the way and the weekends become our prized hours but now with some heightened time management skills acquired by many of us in the past few months , the 7 minus S days can be put to good use and some changed routines / joyful pursuits can be enmeshed in them.

Somehow, weekend splurges are so a part of our DNA that the thought of otherwise almost ceases. My kids also , over time, have made their sat-sun feel so very special for themselves that the other ones fade in comparison. So many milestones and otherwise specifics are rolled over for convenience of a weekend. It’s precisely this choice of convenience exercised over everything else that slowly begins to supersede our otherwise analytical and thoughtful mind and makes for a layer so difficult to permeate through! In the entire gamut of our preferences, if somehow we can change our minds to live in the moment, it’ll all be so very nice. The burden of the so called restful days which eventually come way loaded would gradually begin to ease off and an openness to accepting living/ celebrating/ existing on a daily basis would become more joyful. Convincing oneself has always been a daunting task but not impossible, if we choose to! It’s the mind which, as one graphic tshirt says, ” evil genius” that ought to be used intelligently!

There’s an almost derided unacceptance with the kids in our house that everyday is a birthday and every moment is to be lived for. It’s much to their chagrin but we keep pulling it off in the hope that it’ll register some day even if it’s way past their childhood. That way, every meal can be a party too so the pressure to load our systems on the weekend is minimised. Win – win for all in all matters in every way! I,sometimes, have that smirk on my part and almost gloat when the choice of days/ time/ meeting is slapped on our faces and we have to accept it with a straight face. So love one sided commands , at times! Makes decision making/ abiding smoother than a scornful smother! Daily drudges can feel a lot better if the thinking changes. The inevitables have to be pushed/ accommodated for the end of week days, but what’s very easily doable in one’s personal scope can be looked into. The load on travel, food, traffic etc etc would be so under control that am sure, it’ll be for everyone’s greater good, both physically and mentally. I don’t know if all this sounds rather pedagogical but in the past few months since we’ve almost lived our lives on a daily basis so to say, it can be implemented in small ways to begin with. Some super instant gratification can spring in more surprises and smiles than delayed/deferred planned activities. Life, after all is best in spontaneity!

On and all, if it makes the slightest sense in the real world for practical implementations, I would say let’s go for it! At worst, the reversal to the old ways remains an option but now with so many of us making so many small changes, let’s try this too. History has always spoken about the immense adaptability of the human race so why not create another chapter for our own little history books to be looked into at a later date! More memories!!

Live for today, plan for tomorrow, party tonite!.. as Garfield says..

General

Looking back while looking forward

The cocoon in which we all have lived in the past few months has slowly but reluctantly opened up for many. In many ways, yes, we are all moving on and that’s the way it should be for survival as we call it a day or a rather unusual year and march on boldly . The new change of the date brings in a psychologically new ray of hope and a new start. There is almost a pressing urgency to erasing this year as quickly as possible. Is this a step we should all see as a positive one or does this bring in more elements to think of?

While the tomorrow looks highly anticipating of some magical and quick change, some of us are in the looking back mode as now the safety net bubble has not only been punctured but also burst in some cases. Good to feel that we have somehow managed to overcome many fears though treading with caution will be the new normal. Those lockdown memories for the many who have started to bravely venture out with defined caution as also the ones who are still in the wary stage are now forming in their minds slowly and steadily. The times spent together with the family over meal times are now a thing of distant past..good or bad, well it’s the way one looks at it , but they sure have become memories. Those firsts of the many zoom calls with family and friends are now deja vu. They still continue but not in the same light as were before.

When going out was not an option, the drive was so much to get there; now being able to get there doesn’t feel the same! It’s sort of neither here nor there! Those culinary wonders that were dished out are on the list of ” not to repeat for a while now “for those many excesses. Those many classes and new pursuits one attempted will be, oh, looked back with a mixed feeling, some of achievement (the painting on this write up is my experiment with the pencil and brush and colours!) or of a mere attempt but whichever way it was, it sure will be something to look back at. To look back at the ease at which road navigation with an underlying fear of accidentally encountering a human being in close proximity seems oh! so very distant. When it was like a tall order being slapped on us which we had to adhere to, we resented but now when the chaos has restarted on the streets, those quiet and peaceful drives are missed!Today , we have reached a stage of we can but must we, we can but should we, we can but…and all such kind of should we/shouldn’t we issues. But yes, the larger humanity has loosened up quite a bit with fears now bundled up and openness becoming the norm. Like everything else, this year in due course of time will Also be capsuled in posterity.

As we are on the verge of the year end, while the virus does not believe in such finite closures, it’s nice to move on now with a ray and a shot of positivity. As always is the ritual to talk/ pen down thoughts of the months gone by, the missing piece would be the many clicks of those close family gatherings one usually ends up having in a calendar year as also the many short / long vacations taken. For folks with school going kids, like me, it’s the many small joyful experiences of their concerts, sports, cultural events and all the hype and hoopla that goes with it. No amount of virtual technology can come a shade close to the glitches experienced personally and eventually it’s these little imperfections that we realise are our reason for living!

Overall, it’s something that all of us have taken it in our stride and we should only pat ourselves for our resilience and efforts taken for keeping ourselves and all of our near and dear ones safe, healthy and positive!

Cheers to a new way of accepting life as a new year unfolds!

General, Mindfulness l

Tempting offers

Resisting or giving in, as the case may be to this one big word called TEMPTATION is something we all do every other day, knowingly or unknowingly

In the current scenario with ONLINE having become the buzzword or rather the most used term, school going kids are going to be tested and evaluated about the efficacy of online learning ,all coming fore in the form of copy, paste, download,upload and the likes.. Here, kids have all the possible tempting drive to peek into their study material in sly and twisted methods. The search engines, am sure are popping up with suggestions about manoeuvering ways to evade the examiners eyes and more. The dig in to temptations of these supposedly easy-breezy-cheesy kind of examinations is all pervading. Here is where the so called Moral values kick in. The small and different ways, sometimes explicit, sometimes obscure , sometimes obvious, sometimes askance is where all of us parents have invested a good part of our energies and this is where the outcome of all the investments will show up . It is in these easy to peek in your books kind of situations does the true character of the individual coated with his childhood values peek in. The temptations are kept at bay, or rather are meant to be kept that way for a clear conscience and sound upbringing. It’s gratifying to see the young teens in their honest endeavours and not trying to push the tempt button. 

Stepping out now with caution has now become the norm. Giving in to the tempting offers of violations for expressions of it’s ok and now am more than done may prove detrimental and might teach us a lesson learnt the hard and difficult way. All of us at times are tempted to lower our guards as humans who have been forced to live a certain new way of life without a definitive tomorrow! Now the talks are on to meet and greet folks with almost a rage and fury!

Tempted to eat and shop at an easy pace is so very alluring. Hard to resist the urge when it’s known that the places of one’s choice are within reach, specially after the tall order of being scooped inside our four walls. Temptations are all but draws and pulls towards all things fun and exciting. The forbidden drives to locales abounding greenery is oh! so very inviting! Closer home, there is also the time and again desire to just beat the hell of the situation and somehow fly. So very tempting the thoughts are for the kids to be a part of the aviary family where freedom is never restricted.

So many more tempting offers are emanating from the online stores that serious prudence is required else succumbing to these would be a cakewalk. These people were always showing us the Carrot and tingling our senses with deals and more and we all knew the hiddens behind them but now the tempting grabs for them is getting more and more. The carts were never so full with all and more than ever before! Deep down we all know about Adam and the apple but let’s see for how long we can steer ourselves away and tread the path of control and caution, whereever required. Hope we all outdo ourselves in this..

General, Mindfulness l

Kids and why?

Cannot blame them for the restlessness and whys if we adults get the home fatigue way too often in these new times. We can at least use our better judgement and more controlled mind in getting used to this way of home arrest but really can’t hold them to ransom so very often, and probably rightfully so! It’s their age to be outdoors, to meet with friends, to engage in game play and beyond a point, no amount of cajoling can get their little minds to accept this harsh reality of measured existence. Even the times they sometimes step for external stimulation for the weather, open air, bigger panorama to watch etc. , it is no cure patch for their fragile minds and at the end of the day it is still a very secluded lifestyle and a very alone kind of eerie feeling.  Their very wry remarks of ” my walls are tired of looking at me” , ” no fun in celebrating birthdays without the missing candies in school “, ” no egging and nudging” etc. etc.paints  a very morose kind of picture…remarkably  still, the way their resilience shows up is amazing, time and again!

Most of us older folks have gotten over the many NO’s with them in this stage. Conscious policing is helping at times, but mostly the reins are let loose..now HOW exactly all of this will pan out is a wait and watch kind of scenario. Maybe the good that might come out of it is a good bit of detachment from the world of see and learn and maybe the other merits kick in, maybe their world and their worldview could take a turn for the better, who knows?? maybe saturation with devices would become a pleasant eye opener for us , everything is rather in the hope and pray department! Till such time, one has no choice but to patiently answer their eternal question of ” when am i getting to meet my friends and play with them?” The teachers in their online school are also putting up quotes for them to visit and revisit the  ” tough times don’t last, tough people do”sorts. This too has a wry outlook for them and a very contrived, make believe sort of reassurance!

Now that some leeway is offered for many of these little prisoners of time, feet are their best bet for a stroll or a leasurely walk around the block with adequate protection. Cycling comes to the rescue for the ones who have it. A neighbourhood friend joining in with them in this pursuit brings about the feeling of remote connectivity. On and all, these little souls are and should be given that extra dose of pamper pills for calming their pent up potential energy and most of us folks are doing that. Technology, we all thought can take over our lives but the extent was never known! The gentle transformation of these waves have almost reached a crescendo way before time where the kids are concerned. Let’s hope Mother Nature restores the balance soon for all of us to step out, meet and greet and eat and play together!

General, Mindfulness l, Uncategorized

Comfortably numb or comfortably settled?

So, with most humanity behind closed doors, so many obvious stuff is made more obvious and has now come out loud and clear..

The general health, here I am addressing the physical one, is better than ever before with strict and somewhere Hitler- like form of stricter adherence to timely intake of edibles. ( the opposite is also true in cases! ). Tall order to be at the table and adherence to it has benefitted the otherwise mind- convincing hacks of consuming meals -when -able kinds and also trial and error with more outside options. The takeaway option does exist and the drive is still there to try and experiment with neatly packaged easy to consume meals but somewhere the resistance is working alongside!

All exciting new experiments in the kitchen by one and all was the rage when this whole wave began; now , with time , all has but ceased to exist..more of us now realise and understand the merits of normalcy where stomachs are concerned. The race to outdo self has now settled in a calm pace and rather than sprinting excitedly on this track, we seem to be happy with a slow walk down the our kitchen’s path. The results are all but seen in many with ” feeling fit ” without the very exhaustive fitness regimen. Basic staple can be so very lovely is now better understood than ever before.

The birds nesting and the young ones showing their beaks was observed almost like a live science show! Their growth patterns and trajectories were marked with a smile what newness and new creations brings forth. The green buzz around all of us became the new buzzword. So far, we have experienced one season changing to the other, willy nilly though, but now the comfortably settled numbness is secretly hoping to see yet another change of season from the confines of our homes. A lot of mind crunching work has also been achieved in this period for a different tomorrow by many , and it’s waiting in the wings to soar. One has to really jog his memory to realize when this kind of a mind resetting exercise was done earlier. The freshness and joy for rejuvenated thinking will definitely bear fruit when we all step out in the new world.

So many mindful thoughts are emanating towards compassion, empathy and the likes that, were it to consume all of us, we would pat ourselves on our backs in its close understanding and relevance. Of course, the zoom meets are waiting to be hurled out of our windows and the mere waves and acknowledgements are waiting for contact approval . This lacuna somehow just can’t be gotten over, and rightfully so for coexistence! No fun in outdoor and car meetings at all..All and more have learned to coexist or will learn soon but the touch and feel, brick and mortar and kick and play is what all of us are really seeking! Till such time, comfortable numbness is becoming the way to move on and probably rightfully so for mental peace and calm.

General, Mindfulness l

Originality compromised?

Was always I guess,  but is more apparent in today’s age..my kids still enjoy the game Pictureka..for all who aren’t aware, it’s tag line is “find it first, find it fast”..many pictures on a grid and the one who gets to point them out first is a clear winner.Today’s scenario with the barrage of whatsapp and other media feed, mostly over-fed is following this pattern more than ever before..very few are eyeball worthy; most are veneering towards an overdose of ideas and opinions of people, some sure fully baked and ready to consume but most of them half baked! The originality is all but missing from all except the creative brain behind it. Copying is so rampant for many that they sometimes forget that the pool of misinformation and sometimes excitement provided is available to all with a device in their palms. Were they to use their well formed cranium, we would all be blessed with so many more interesting reads and opinions..of course, this feed is there in plenty for consumption for the seekers and they sure have ways of finding them.

My write here is to emphasise the excitement for borrowed excitement! Basically, the mojo of many is to be the first,or at least think they are , in many spheres and really nothing wrong about it ! It is when this so called original and first cascades down only to note that there’s nothing original about it!. All the existing art, culture, thoughts, ideas etc. have been in existence from time immemorial and it’s the way one tweaks them that makes it interesting. There is so much joy to touch, feel and try and miss and retry and the loop going on thereof. The glitches in original creations but demands a gentle eye from many, primarily because of the glitches. With time, one does come to realise that most thought-of original ideas are anything but original. But the take each one takes from it is what makes it wonderfully original. The drive today has become to quickly forward many forwards thinking about it as being the original one to transmit information, willy nilly. The excitement for feeling to be the first of the many firsts is phenomenal! Kids are becoming the major contributors in this. Shuddering to think now with times changing rapidly to more heads ducking down, how much more challenging will it be to get these young ones to sieve and possibly plug out this barrage of the many tempting multitudes!?

The constant desire to be ahead of everyone is, I suppose the driver for all of this. It’s nice to develop a world view to be ahead of others which could be an assimilated coalition of many a reads, many a hearsay, many an eavesdrop , also, at times, many a thoughtful listening, many an engaged conversation. That would be definitely considered original in every which way. Why, even small things like the eating patterns of an individual tweaked to bring about an eye opening originality can be a treat! Endorsing people’s opinion to tune into their inner core emotional state may also prove to be a good learning experience . After all, it’s through experiences and learnings thereof one grows as a person , in form and character as well.Good strive , I guess, to be original in thoughts, opinions and ideas with gentle tweaking and trying and being the ” first among equals” in many a things, if at all..

With so much at stake in the current times, good to note that many of us are trying to bring in small joys and make our life worth living. Just a tad bit reduction in borrowed excitement can bring in more personalised joys and with so much of thinking time available, am sure most of us are treading that path. Own found, own cultivated and own honed with own copyrights would be a wonderful outcome.

General, Mindfulness l

Our interdependency

Never thought that we, the larger mass of any nation would be so clued in as to what is happening at the country level, as in, the work done by the various authorities and their interdependency and our own interdependency with all of them ! Today, with the media blast of how the jigsaw works , all are getting to know more and more about everything . Of course, going forward, this will result in more drawing room conversations; some insightful, some skewed, some erratic, but the moot point here is that today, a lot of us know how one thing leads to another and how the dominoes cascade down with people, work and situations.

While more and more are getting attuned to the world of tomorrow, still unknown, unsure, uncertain in many ways; some accelerating their lives, some reminiscing the good old days of measured lifestyle but the one common thing that is emerging is the swerve of the otherwise oblivious and ignorant self of many know- how’s about people and processes to a gentler U turn towards more knowledge in things than were outside their comfort zone and domain and probably never ever thought of! Why would we be bothered about how we get the fine ingredients or even the basics in our kitchens as long as we get them, why and how are the kids concerned about how they get their stationery, food/ junk supplies etc.. Suddenly, all have become adept at the cross functions of the systems that run a smooth machinery for our blissful living and lives! I am hoping the term ” essentials and non- essentials ” are understood more by my kids!

All and more is getting assimilated in the minds and absorbed by the individual in ways they can comprehend and grasp it. The outcome will be fascinating to see! But for sure , more economic, business, commercial , social terms like economy, GDP, clinical trials, supply chain etc. have surely been added to their common everyday lexicon, willy-nilly. How interdependent are we as a race is known more than ever before. More and more global awareness is the new norm. So many geographies are merged such that a sneeze in Italy is heard here and likewise. The roles of so many professionals is getting a clearer picture in many a minds. Closer in, and at homes, the behaviour of the spouses and partners in their work set ups and their working patterns is exposed, sometimes to their chagrin too , but the skeletons sure are out!!

With so much awareness may come/ should come more responsibility , sensitivity and evolvement.. let’s see how each of us takes all this added , almost forcefully thrusted information for all our greater good! The important point here, is to reduce the dependency on otherwise taken for granted people and processes  , yet , to use our discretion and wisdom to think and act independently.

General, Mindfulness l

Future tense?

So now we are all settled in this pace of living , but beyond a point in time, there is this nagging question in everyone’s mind , till how long am I held captive? How much more time till I can spread my wings and fly? When is the freedom which is freedom in the true sense of the word realised? When, after seeking too much within can I seek the outside!?!

It’s time to ponder over these and of course, no one can tell what our reaction would be when the coast is clear, will it be one of exhilaration, happiness, pleased, relieved or something . Will these home -bound memories last long enough to create a dent in lifestyle and living? So here, while the world is exercising caution at every step, would the world of tomorrow sensitise us, make us aware of our role on this planet, make our minds continue to live with the precautions and lifestyles we’ve all adopted and adopted so very well, or is it going to be a long slur best forgotten and march on in life with oblivion once again? In this, there would be sectors of humanity who would take this lifestyle of caution, precaution and masking further on but somewhere a little pessimistic bird inside me tells me we will soon forget this experience with time. This might purely stem from the fact that the human mind is capable of erasing difficult and unpleasant memories very well or to put it in current perspective, mask them! Yet, another way to look at this is , yes, why live life with fear, which is the baneful and defeatist way of addressing issues ,yet another way is out of defiance, also maybe out of sheer frustration having been denied all the worldly materialistic joys( and let’s be honest, many of us do like to live life that way and nothing wrong with it) or yet another school of thought is big deal, the big guns out there will make the necessary pill for us so let’s just carry on the way we were.

I feel we all will come out with mixed feelings and both school of thoughts will coexist, the ones who would ride the vwave of paranoia even more and the ones who will move on as if nothing adverse now will happen to them in the foreseeable future..This sure will make a mention in the history books of our future generations as a one off case but are we/ do we move on with only the history books to do the talking or otherwise? Difficult to dig into the human mind as much as robots are trying to, it’s one big mesh of a lot of emotions which would come into play. The only thing we can hope to be is tread on the world with awareness, sensitivity, living IN the moment and FOR the moment . Even if this is achieved, we can all pat ourselves on our backs and move on as more positive individuals and a more conscious society. Eventually, some day in the future, the world would write about our resilient race and our coping mechanism and our coming out stronger and as better human beings.

General, Mindfulness l

2 paces..

Outside is the old world charm..go out to buy groceries and essentials as and when and along the way, may encounter a few souls, else it’s all serene and peaceful. The bylanes to the neighbourhood shop are seen and felt in more ways than ever before.The drive, if at all, is all smooth minus the regular chaos and the many snarls accompanying it. In all of this , all the associated tempers the outside world poses for us are by far in a deflated state . The chaos, as always, is all within us in different forms. Some have overcome them, some trying to..

Outside has taken us back almost 30 years. Inside has accelerated the pace by years with all of us adopting the technology of today and an unknown tomorrow. Ironically, it has also slowed us down in some ways..

Outside is the sound of nature and birds chattering. The natural world is absorbed and felt in all it’s avatars at different hours and times of the day which otherwise was all too oblivious. Inside is all the human elements at play, some happy, some a struggle.

Outside is all feeling fresh and new with spring time flowers, refreshing greens and the likes while amongst all of us humanity, we are refreshing our old memories, thoughts, friends , family in more ways than ever thought of before.Barring the human personal interactions, all but otherwise is going on as ever.

Outside is an eerie silence , inside is the turmoil of uncertainty.

Paradoxically, all is ok but not ok.

In all of this, it’s nice to feel utterly and immensely proud of thy selves in trying and managing and after a point in time ,managing it rather well! What felt , at first, an insurmountable task today has been overcome by each of us in our own individual way with our own individual rhythm. Here again, our good resilience has played a major role.In more ways than ever before, most of us are experimenting with the many bold and beautiful stuff the world has to offer in all its bounties. It is with a great sense of self pride should we all be strutting about when we step into the world of tomorrow. The world, per se,  would be the same as we have left it but probably we all would be stepping outside with a lot more awareness, know-how about things and self and of course, if empathy, understanding, calmness and contentment become our second nature, it is for all of us to experience the resetted world through a different lens.

My children too are looking forward to having physical encounters and the social connect which has been the missing element, else the pace of life and living has been established by them all so peacefully . Feelings of gratitude pour out at every step they sense within their limited understanding. Stepping aside for a minute to acknowledge our going through tough times with grace and dignity will only enhance our self worth and make us feel super proud of our immense abilities.

Let’s all try and connect the paces of the outside and the inside for a more tolerant and understanding self and a more harmonious living.