Family, Myself, Random

Walking Dreams

A gray morning. Perfect for my fuzzy thoughts as I pulled Bella along our 2 mile walk (the pedometer on my iphone told me so). I wondered what my obsession was with tracking all that I did lately.  As if the pedometer made the walk real, or it made it more than me just being the valet for my dog to take her shits’ which I dutifully scooped up. Or perhaps it was a way to distract myself from seeing the hurt on my parent’s face as they still processed what someone close to us had done. We don’t mention their names anymore, but that doesn’t make them disappear, in fact, it makes the hurt deeper. Their recent actions now are scrutinized under new lenses, and it makes me wonder when they began resenting or perhaps even hating us to do this.  I want to ask why they didn’t tell us what they wanted, but maybe they didn’t want our input or perhaps wanted to get away from our shadow to mark their own territory.

Yet I know that stepping on someone’s back to get up maybe OK occasionally, but not to break it. Each day, I want to text or email them ranting away, but really it’s just pain I want to get out. The pain of lost holidays, and the loss of seeing their faces. The number of relationships that we thought were made of love now just a shared last name. And Bella keeps tugging, the pedometer keeps recording steps, and I struggle to be grateful for the rising sun, and the slowly awakening street. I as for forgiveness for my unkind thoughts, and ask for the strength to forgive who just threw away a relationship like an empty wrapper.

I turn on the app TuhiTuhi, and I get lost in the voice of Veer Manpreet Singh, and for the next 15 minutes I just listen with an open heart and express my gratitude for being still being on this earth, still having the ability to walk my dog just 9 months after brain surgery. It hits me that I am recording everything because I wish to remember that I am not sitting idle. I am not letting life pass by, but am trying to live it each day to the best of my ability. And at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Myself

Emotional Intelligence

Cover of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"
Cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

As someone who is trying to change so much in myself, there are times I do feel overwhelmed. I wake up almost every morning now to do the following: journal, work on original writing, sometimes blog, watch BK Shivani and mini meditation about soul consciousness raising, do Lumosity.com, walk the dog who has been patiently waiting and then right after that work out for precisely 15 minutes, 11-13 minutes running off and on the treadmill and 3-10 minutes using a punching bag.  Finally, shower, Grab a banana or cereal and off I go!. All this before even starting my day at work.  Initially, I was exhausted by 9:30am when I arrived at the office, yet now I feel it normal, full in a way that I have not felt in ages.

I try to use BK Shivani’s message that I am the creator of my thoughts, feelings and actions. I am in charge of my emotions, and I create almost 50-60,000 thoughts in my head in a single day. The question is not about quantity but quality. Positive and soul consciousness raising thoughts give energy while negative, necessary and idle thoughts deplete you.  I’d like to add that negative emotions do the same.  At the same time while I listen to “Healer Within” I remember the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 which tells me to use active listening to hear the other person. I am trying on so many levels to be the person I want to be. I have made it my mission to be a better person because ultimately, I want to enjoy meaningful relationship with others but most importantly with myself.

It’s a hard path because I constantly fail at active listening which involves me really hearing the other person and asking questions. Instead. I get hurt and become self-defensive which in turn creates more hurt and pain which leads to more negative emotions.   I am starting to see that I am truly at the beginning of my journey of being in charge of myself. Wish me luck!

Food For Thought, Random

Boston

THINK
THINK (Photo credit: Erik Eckel)

I will be honest. I only know that 3 have been killed, and 147 injured. I have heard that from NPR, and have actively avoided watching TV.  I have briefly glanced at Facebook statuses which either express horror, or underscore people’s own insecurity. Muslim?  Then you go on a rant for people to be open-minded and wait for the person to be caught before blaming.  White? Silence. Because the reality is if it’s a minority, we will put you in a box. We will launch missiles, but if you are white, we will just call you mental and ask for gun control.  These types of events are so loaded that many of us struggle not to say anything that compartmentalized or sounds vaguely racist or xenophobic.And others feel free to spew their vision of the world. But as humans, that’s what we do to survive. It does not make it right, it just is.

So before we go balls to the walls on our social media networks announcing what we think, perhaps just for a moment take some time and think about those lost, and perhaps forever maimed mentally. Give a breath and a prayer to the ones who will never get to see another day.  These type of tragedies make me realize how truly alone we have become.  We only listen to like minds, and have no interest in knowing the Truth.  Whatever fits into our narrow scope of thoughts has to be the truth.  I realize that past experience forms our present prejudices, but it also allows us not to think anymore. We, as humans, can do better than that.  We owe it to ourselves to not let emotion run us all the time.  Yes, the person(s) intended to create terror, but their real win will happen when we become less tolerant, and more willing to let others do the thinking and actions for us.  We can do better than that.

We have to.

Myself, Preeti

A Letter From Me To You

 

by Jemal Yarbrough

I sent this to my dear friend and family today. Then it hit me that I meant it for anyone in my life.  I hope it helps or if nothing else makes you appreciate what you do have instead of what you do not.

 

I woke up today, feeling lighter in months.  The sun is shining, lighting up my library and my soul.  I sit here writing these letter with a smile on my face.  I have been meaning to write to many of you and then it hit me that it was almost the same message for all of you.  If you’re getting this email today, it is because I love you, and cannot express how much you mean to me in person.  Before anything else, I would like to apologize to some of you for my mean spiritedness and my childishness.  I expected everyone to behave exactly how I was feeling, and I made it about me and not Preeti so please accept my apology as I was unfair, small-minded and frankly, just selfish.  To some others, I was also unkind and cruel for no real reason than because they happen to be in the way and again, I apologize. All of who have been generous with your warmth, help and thoughts at one time or another so much so that I don’t think I will ever be able to repay you.  So I simply say thank you again, and again and again. 🙂  One last apology, I couldn’t BCC you all for some reason so please ignore the CC’s and do not reply all please.


But that’s not the real reason for this email   I just finished reading the Taking The Leap by Pema Chodron, and so much of the book made instant sense to me so I ask you to please get the book (I was lucky enough to be gifted by someone very thoughtful).  In a nutshell, the book says we are not alone, and we do not need to suffer alone.  Many of you are going through your own crisis’s and challenges, and I just want to let you know that your are loved and thought of by me and others  Don’t let ego and pride be the reason for not reaching out.  I know I didn’t.  Don’t let fear, hate and anger rule your world because in the short-term it will feel good but it won’t solve anything in the long-term.  Do not let negative emotions rule your day and self because they are just old habits that will only give you temporary relief.

Instead, pause throughout the day, take 3 deep breaths.  1) Acknowledge that you have the emotion 2) Experience the emotion 3( most importantly, relax and let it go.  You don’t have to act on those negative emotions. I just reread the email, and I know I sound like a born again sappy religious wacko, but I truly mean the words that are here.  I love you, I miss you, and I am sorry.  IF nothing else, please just remember that.

Have a great day.  I know I will be thinking of you all.

Myself, Writing

Being Present

Cover of "Taking the Leap: Freeing Oursel...
Cover via Amazon

The house is quiet, the window open and I can actually see my neighbor’s house next door.  Funny, in the past 5 years we have barely said hello even though we live 10 feet away from each other.  It’s moments like this that makes me realize how much of my world is present to me yet I am absent from it.  Reading the book Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron (thank you Santoshi for this amazing gift!) has made me understand that I am have been asleep and letting Shenpa (attachment or being hooked or stuck) rule my world.  It’s as if I am all reaction even when I try to slow down.  At some point, the apologies have to desist, and real action has to take place.  I need to practice the 3 things we all carry: Natural Intelligence, Natural Warmth and Natural openness.  I know that there are things I need to do especially towards a few people who have hurt me deeply unintentionally.  As much as I talk about real friends and family, I know that I need to have a conversation with those dear to me.  I see now that I am pushing them further and further away by not opening up to them and letting them know that I need them in my life.  Too often, I have let my ego rule my world, and while it has proven satisfying for the moment, like poison ivy, that satisfaction has spread the rash all over my mind and soul.  In my quest for the temporary release, I managed to do some long-term damage that I may never be able to repair.

I have the ready excuse that my wife has cancer, or that I am recent stroke victim, yet I know that I have made this all about my pain and myself in general.  Shit happens.  Life happens.  Get over it.  Actually, I don’t mean that in an angry way.  I am just tired of fighting, of alienating people, and hurting the people close to me.  I see now that I need to be better, do better, be the person I can be.  I have let my emotions become me, and that has led to me being even more alone.  So I need to follow the 3 steps (easy to describe but extremely hard to do).  1) Acknowledge that I am hooked, 2) Take 3 Deep breaths and lean into the energy, experience and taste whatever it is, take it in the waft of anger, pain, hurt, breathe it in, make love to it, play with it and then Step 3: Relax and Move On.   Again, I come back to the realization and advice to STAY PRESENT, BE AWAKE.

It is so easy to drift, to dream, to look at the past, the future but so incredibly difficult to experience the Now.  So now my birthday resolution makes sense now because writing forces me to stay present, to observe, to relish the moment, lean in experience it whole-heartedly.  But, (and there is always a but).  I know now how much I am loved, and how much I have hurt others.  However, no more apologies, just being present, using my natural intelligence, warmth and openness can now save me.  In other words, be who I am, not what others want me to be.

 

Journal, Myself

Dreams

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Image via Wikipedia/ twitter.com/zibasanjay

The images of talking to Preeti’s dad evoked my dread of the long-awaited conversation of what next?  Flash of Gurjit crying reminded me of Tejpal’s as well as the death of the normalcy of my life and of the challenges ahead.  Still I dived in these murky as my heartbeat slowed, well aware that the heat of the blankets told of an intense and long sleep.  The room become brighter as if to mark my awareness.  No longer did I want to ignore the idea that I was awake, instead I fished for more.

I marveled that I only had one drink yesterday yet told everyone I had two.  Why?  I wondered.  What was it about being in certain crowds that made you want to be an overachiever in an activity designed to kill brain cells? What was it about social discomfort that made me want to grasp to the one liquid that could return me back to feeling like everything was ok temporarily. How was it different from my dreams?

Then it hit me.  While I thought about last night, the dreams had made their escape.  It was as if I had been purposefully distracted so they could go to their secret hiding place. My breathing slowed, the blankets cooled, I reached for my phone to get my daily Twitter and Words with Friends fix  and the dreams went further away and suddenly the urge to write feels silly and trite.  I am left holding simplistic words and thoughts rather than the deep implications my dreams carried.  Conned, once again by my mind, I reluctantly came to my page and had nothing to offer except the memory of my dreams gone.

I closed my eyes, and nothing came save for the feeling of betrayal I caused myself.