Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Silence

Every zero put on the right side of a figure increases it ten times. Come to think of it, in literal sense zero denotes nothing. In life everything begins from a zero and ends in a zero. There is a kind of nothingness in it which makes it great. The power of this "nothing" amazes me. When I come to reflect, there is abundance in zero because you can start anything from zero. Nothing else gives you this power. Even a one added will make it either a one or a ten depending on where you place it, left or right of zero. The result has to be more than zero.  Silence for me is that zero from where anything can be started. Life too can be scripted, once again.

Long time back in an in-flight magazine I had read an article written by a Chinmaya Mission Acharya. What I remember of it is that he had described silence as “not just inability of the mute to speak or of the talkative to keep shut or absence of any sound”. I still recollect as it had got me contemplating on this beautiful concept on my entire trip.

I am experiencing the same pensive disposition ever since I have picked up a book given by a friend on the gifts that we have in our lives. Not many books have the ability to stay with you for a long time after you have closed it. The book dealt with the concept of appreciation for all the gifts that we have been bestowed by life on us. We lose sight of these gifts in the humdrum of existence. We need to be silent and get them back.

After closing the book, I just sat back to think as to what was that one most important gift that I have got from life, at no cost. Silence perhaps. Silence for me is zero noise, zero turbulence, zero traffic of conflicting thoughts, zero remorse, zero regrets, zero high and; so on. It’s the only state where I can be more than what I appear to be. It is the only state where I can take note of myself and do away with any external noise. Where I am doing nothing and yet achieving the best this life has to offer.

We are so accustomed to being surrounded by something or someone that we have actually lost touch with what it is like to be oneself. All kinds of noises, external or internal, are forcing us to do away with this company. It’s the same thing we are teaching our children. We never tell them to just sit quite for some time and spend time with themselves. We never pass on the message that it’s ok to do nothing and just “be”. Why should we teach our children that they should make all attempts or rush to fill-in all the empty slots in a day or for that matter even life. Let there be space. We don't realize that in this process, later in life, our children will also run after attaining that “oneness” which we could have given them right from inception. No one gets into trouble for being silent. Use silence as your strength. One can convey a million emotions or make a point through one state, silence. Silence takes nothing but gives you peace and concentration, important ingredients for a happy life.

I believe that some part of the day should be just for you. “No entry” for anyone or anything, strictly. Do things which make you happy, silently. Read books which make you a better person, silently. Listen to music which touches your heart, silently. Look around you and soak the surrounding, silently. You will see the difference in yourself. Be in the ‘zero’ zone for some part of every day. Rest will follow. Believe me.      

Ma

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why? Its only Human Nature

A small get together of friends over soups, snacks and dinner turned into a “sensitivity workshop”. Not intentional but more out of freewheeling discussions and sharing. The basic content of the conversations hinging around favorite topics like me and my sacrifices; me and others; me and my husband and more on similar lines. The conversations that were happening were self gratifying, self engulfing, self motivational, self glorifying, and self satisfying etc. Some samples - “I did so much for him then why did he not reciprocate in the same way.” “I gave up everything for him but he still doesn’t support me in front of his parents.” " My spouse does  not stand by me but chooses to look the other way on things that hurt me." “I made all adjustments and went out of my way for my in-laws but they still favor my sister-in-law who doesn’t do even 1% of what I did.” “I gave up my career and dreams to build a home for others but no one cares for me.” “I taught him love but he never gave me back the same love.” “I married a different person than whom I loved”. “I was forced to leave my baby and come back to join work”. “I take care of all the needs of his parents but he doesn’t bother about mine”. "This is all, you know what I went through when….". It seems like a never ending story. Each one trying to out do the other in their attempt to show how dismal their existence has been after their "fairy tale marriage". 

I call this story session because the incidents are always real but all the stirring incidents/facts which made each friend sob, sympathize or cry had been sensationalized with added embellishments and element of pathos. Since they were the writer of their “original, never been heard before” sordid, pathetic, moving stories so they had all the liberty in the world to shape and present it the way they wanted. Nothing wrong with that. After all each story is as unique as the rest. Its like every soldier returning from a war wanting to share “one of its kind” story with the world.

When I come to think of such a “story telling session” I am amazed at its potential for self destruction and pathos. This makes me step back and think to myself. Why is it that some people are always surrounded by their miseries and will not let anyone get in their way of self pity descent? Does having suffering give some kind of power over others? What is the age old romance with pain and playing victim to circumstances? Why is it that our own sacrifices always appear looming and unattainable compared to others? Why my daddy is always strongest compared to others? Why is my love for my spouse and his family always more than his/her for mine? Why is my child more special than others? These are some questions which I am sure “Google” will also find difficult to answer to satisfaction.

So as self help would demand, I am putting together all my learning’s, reading, associations with others, training, sermons from mother and others and making a humble attempt at answering in order to put these thoughts to rest to some degree at least. 

"Accept all and move on". Everyone cries, everyone has gone through pain, everyone has been hurt at some point in life and everyone does "extraordinary" things for the supposedly undeserving, please listen to others too or better still watch re-runs of "Satyamev Jayate"No one can lock you in chains of emotions if you don’t desire yourself. 

There are constants in life which are there to stay and will be there even if you adopt “an ostrich approach”, so recognize them and start living your life beyond them. In every relationship one is the giver and the other a “less giver”. We love someone out of our own choice so if they change it’s to be accepted. If you have been let down once perhaps others could have been responsible for it but if you make a habit of being let down then honey let’s face it - it’s your fault. No one will value your 'selfless sacrifices' if they have not asked you to make one. No one in authority will ever accept a decision in which they are not involved and no one below will follow if they don’t have respect for you. If barriers created by others are high, please grow taller. If you feel that all that was dear to you and rightfully yours is being taken away from you, please run faster to get them back. Every problem has a solution which needs to be worked out – no free lunches in this world. For value addition to life, create opportunities and find creative solutions. We can’t run away from taking responsibility for our self created “Frankenstein’s”. Everything has a time and place so have patience to let the tides turn in your favor. No one in the rational world can take your rights if you are strong. Will and resilience to survive and fight back cannot be ordered from 'Flipkart' by courier. In this big, bad, mad world there is only one person who has your best interest in mind, will not be manipulative, will see and appreciate your point of view etc. – its “YOU”. Revelation. So either make use of this absolutely free, 24/7 available resource or stop wimping, cribbing and whining. Get going sweetheart! Life is waiting for you with open arms.

Ma

Monday, September 03, 2012

End: For a New Beginning

Sometimes ending is the most important thing for making new beginnings. Some relationships are such where the best way to "let them be" is by moving out of it, mentally and emotionally. Not all relationships are meant to have forever tag attached to it. This is true not just for romantic relations but true for any family, friendly relations between people. Expiry date is mentioned for most, we sometimes miss it. Or may be choose to ignore it because of weaknesses of our own. 

As far as family relations are concerned, its by birth, so there is very little that you can do about it. You will always find some are giving more to the relation than the others. This begins to hurt when you know you are being taken for granted. Only people don't realize that if the relations are stretched too far for comfort, they will break. May be for better. Sometimes people commit the folly of thinking that family members can't see through the designs of the  opportunist or "extra friendly and warm" relatives. Sadly its not so. Hypocrites can never display the genuineness of a pure soul. They can't understand either. I guess most people have the understanding to know whom to trust and where to alienate. There are no compulsions. If you sense that some people are deliberately looking you down or ignoring you, please step back. Everyone has eyes and most of them the maturity to see through the "smarter" ones and gauge their level of commitment to maintaining the respect required to sustain a relationship. Try locating the smooth operators during family occasions. Also always remember, never take sides during family discords. Have your own stand and maintain your dignity under all circumstances. Birds of same feathers will always flock together so don't get sucked in.  

However even if the foundation of relationships are based on mutual trust and liking, somewhere along the way people drift apart. It has got nothing to do with giving 100% to it or having enough respect for each other to help it survive. I feel sometimes giving space in a relationship creates the vacuum that cannot be filled by anything that you have to offer. That space becomes a black hole which has the capacity to suck everything without a trace. Moreover when two people believe more in what others have to say and not what their friendship has to offer then this distance is bound to come. It is one of those distances that cannot be covered or traveled no matter how much strength or strong will one has. No distance is greater than this distance between two people. 

Most of the times in order to hold on to something or someone, the most important thing is letting go. I think birth and death also give us the same message. When we are born, we have our fists clenched, hands close to heart, legs all folded up. As we grow we loosen up and open up. In death we are completely free. Hands open, spirit free, no sensation. So in relationships, when they begin everything is closed and drawn together but as it grows it starts to become free and is open to all that it has to absorb while it lasts. End brings numbness, no feeling. A sense of freedom that has the potential to create something new. A new beginning.

I feel that as part of growing up it is also very important to back out of relations where you are not welcome especially within family. Backing out is not being negative but becoming more positive for all the other relations in life. One bad experience has the potential to ruin so many other relations in your circle. Signs are always there. Keep your eyes open. I believe that not everyone will have all relations working for them all the time. Accept the ones that are there with you and let go those where you are not invited or involved. Withdrawal is not defeat. It only means that you have run out of all that you had to offer. Its not the number of relations but the depth in each one of them that matters more. Life is all about change. Accept that people change, priorities change, objects of affection change, friendships change, family relationships change, need to be together change etc. 

You have to move on in order to keep the relations that you don't want to go bad. Love happens by chance and not through coercion. Give your best but let go when you see the signs. I have learnt it the hard way but sharing with you the easy way. When there is pain in any relationship don't wait till the moment it has completely destroyed you. Never let anybody walk all over you. See the writings on the wall. Walk out before it is too late. 

Learn to differentiate between people who make you feel comfortable and those who make you feel that you were somewhere else to have that feeling of comfort. World is full of wonderful people. You just need to have the eyes to spot them and the heart to feel their goodness. Go and discover and make beautiful and happy relations of your own.

Ma