Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

March 17

Drawing by Gurjit Suri

Yesterday, we celebrated Papa’s birthday which felt surreal, but in a way, it ended up being a joyful day where we swapped stories about him, and his name came up often. For once, social media made me feel connected as I got to see how others expressed their affection for him.

Papa made so many feel special, and he had an energy about him that was contagious. It made perfect sense that we got to go to an Iranian restaurant to have his favorite food while my only regret became I didn’t eat his favorite, Lamb Shank well because I am vegetarian, but, then again, Papa never was for formality. The result became what he loved most: family time while eating delicious food.

I hate to admit how it can feel overwhelming to share what came up for me when I think about Papa. Not much time goes by when I am reminded about him, and the little habits of his that I am now adopting. It feels bothersome to be a downer or one who speaks about someone in the past, yet when that someone still manages to teach you things while they are gone, then who am I to not honor them.

Papa and I had our special time at Ziba Music, but there also so much time squandered away due to my stubbornness and ego. I can only express gratitude that I realized how much he influenced me, and the great times we did have. Sure, being greedy to have more now just brings ache to my heart.

But then again, his special day now has become mine, and I look forward to more birthdays where we can celebrate him.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal


Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

It can be overwhelming to host celebrations, but when we remind ourselves to be kind, patient, calm, and loving, we can check in with the real reason to take on celebrations. We want our loved ones to feel special, to know they matter, and that they are thought about and loved. This weekend, we got  a chance to show my brother-in-law how much his presence in our lives is appreciated.

I will admit that the fact that he shares his birthday with my first mentor Tejpal made for a nostalgia tinged day for me. And then my mom shared the last picture Papa tried to send the kids while in Switzerland. For a moment, grief and nostalgia choked me, but then I remembered what a special day it truly had become.

My brother-in-law is not only kind and thoughtful, he would be mortified to see a post like this because he’d rather act than say things.  It makes perfect sense that he would share his birthday with someone who inspired me to keep writing.

When I think about it, there are more coincidences in life than I ever considered, and it appears that what we think are random acts of life that collide randomly, perhaps, just perhaps are the universe’s way of making sure we know that everything is connected.

So today, I celebrate  Micky, and Tejpal and think about Papa fondly, and chose gratitude for the life I get to live.

Happy 40th Micky, I wish you an amazing year!

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Travelling Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Travel with others most always is fun and and a challenge. It hit me that so much of my time in the past got wasted for wanting to move things along and if everyone would just listen and then we would get to the next thing. And then I take a pause, become present in the moment, and take in the fact that right now only this moment matters.

I realize that all of us are unique and have our own wants and needs, but that means taking responsibility for myself, keep myself in check. Wanting things to be a certain way just invites grief and impatience and really just waste times that could be better spent being in gratitude for being able to travel with others.

But, and this is a big but. It’s easy to say to shift perspective, but when habits are there, they are hard to break. It takes time to walk expectations and desires back and just enjoy the vacation instead of wanting others to behave a certain way.  It’s a tough lesson that I struggle with, and I admit some days I fail at it. But then in those glorious moment when I succeed like when I take a walk on a beautiful trail, in the bright, sunny, chilly day. Listening to a customized playlist by a dear friend, I got a chance to reconnect and reset.

I don’t always get it right, but I am learning, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Unfinished Marathon

Uncertainty: Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

There is a constant nagging thought inside me to do more, to be more, to explore more, more, more, more, and yet there are days I do the same things over and over.  A guilt inside me reverberates through my soul, pushing me to try new things, to explore, to question, to not sit still. Each day feels like an unfinished marathon.  I look at the goals from the past, current goals, and then my to do list, and it hits me that it will never be enough. I will never get everything done, and you know what, that’s all right.

It can be easy to look at all that I am not achieving, or maybe, just maybe it might be good to see what I finished the days before. Not to sit on my laurels but to give myself assurance that I am not sitting still, not stagnating, not spinning my wheels. A reset so to speak because it can be easy to look at all the lists and convince myself I did nothing. And I take the moment to review, and celebrate. The thoughts that I tried something new and failed. Those memories are the best ones not because of the failure but because I tried.

It is easy to count failures and ignore them as opportunities, the time I took to step off the ledge of comfort and uncertainty and took a leap of faith. It was never to succeed, but to grow, learn and ignite a new fire to keep trying. I admit there are days it can feel hopeless to fail at so many new things, those are the days when it feels like a marathon of failure.  And then I take a breath, and I let out all the failure and breathe in the opportunity.

A new day.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Night Song

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

One of my early morning perks is the ability to read and write in the quiet, but today as I wrote I got the urge to listen to the Album Night Song by Nusrat Fateh Khan and Michael Brook, and then I heard my favorite song on there, Lament, and it hit me that sometimes the quiet allows me to bring in things inside me that I cannot adequately express. The song reminded me of God, My Dad, Aunt, and in that moment I relived happy and sad moments, and my throat tightened up with grief and longing for them. And then I read the Artist’s Way, and in that morning quiet it hit me that only in these moments do I allow myself the luxury of thoughts and emotions that are the undercurrent of my daily life.

i use this time to process, to grieve, to learn, to create, and to really just be. Not caught up in to do tasks, or the  next worry of the day, but a chance to just relive my past and be in gratitude, the good and the bad, the mistakes, the opportunities, the old friendships, the betrayals, the many people who, at one point, were so central in my life, but I have not spoken to now in years. And it hits me that this too shall pass.

Only in these moments do I realize that in the hurry to go from one thing to another, there is so much to learn, and be present for. It is a daily struggle to remind myself that this, this right here, this moment is all that I have as a guarantee. Each other moment a gift for me to either squander or to appreciate. Some moments I success, but a majority I fail, but instead of lamenting the losses, I sit in appreciation of being able to experience Nusrat at his finest, and I know, this moment, this real moment, I got right. And for now, that’s enough.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Morning Pages

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Each morning, I sit on my desk and hand write three pages of whatever thoughts come to my mind. My brain feels like it’s on a dimmer that gets brighter with each word put on the page. At first, I repeat the same things over and over and the tasks for the day, and then sometimes write that nothing comes to mind, yet my hand keeps moving forward as if excavating my mind, and then little nuggets begin to fall out. It’s slow going work, and I admit some days I just want to stop and not write the three pages.

My hand aches from the exertion. I type most of the time as my handwriting is atrocious, yet I force myself to use the pen to connect with the paper. It feels more real as if I am making real what is going on to the page. Yet also what gets released are my doubts and wonderment if I am doing all that I can do in this life of mine.

And so word by word, page by page, morning by morning I keep filling up in the pages with hope, despair, desire, mantras, and random thoughts. Each of those filled out pages become vassals of my thoughts and feelings. Each time I near the end of the three pages, my hand feels lighter, my thoughts quicker and cleaner, and I close the book with the realization that as long I have the Growth mindset, I can keep moving forward, keep learning and know that doing the work ensures I get to the destination even when it feels I am stuck in self-doubt and insecurity.

And so I do the morning pages. I do my reading. I walk the dog. I wait for inspiration. I continue on a path of discovery, knowing no matter what I am richer for it. Even if some days I have nothing to show for it.