Posts Tagged ‘choices’

Energy doesn’t lie..

I have waited for a week or so, since this realisation hit, to write it all down. I am not an expert on this branch of thinking, I just write what I experience so my account may not be statistically correct. It is at best a point of view, not a point of reference. Having given the disclaimer, I now feel free to share what has been brewing in my mind.

In my humble opinion, people, places, events, plans everything has energy. That energy might be good or bad, positive or negative, dynamic or stagnant, but it does have an impact. We tend to rejuvenate after a vacation or a change of scenery. We can radically change our mood in the company of people- friends or strangers. We alter our perspectives and opinions when we come across fresh persuasive take on things. We react when we are challenged by a new work atmosphere or work profile. That reaction might either be growth or our lack of adaptation. The result doesn’t really matter here. All I am trying to say is that energy of a place, people or an event has the potential to change us as human beings–for better or for worse, that depends on myriad factors.

I have known families who have packed up and moved out to new cities because they were not doing as well in their home towns. People change houses all the time and all of us, whether with a conventional outlook or not, believe that the energy of the house would have repercussions on the quality of life of a family. If we move to a new place and fall ill, most people would say that the new house or city didn’t suit us. Some might also recommend elaborate religious rites to purify and make the place more conducive to living.

It doesn’t take super human powers to get a grip on how these energies work. We, humans, have been endowed with intelligence and logical thinking. More often than not, we realise in the initial stages whether a relationship, a job, a move to a new place, an arrangement, a marriage, a treatment is working or not. But as humans we have also been given an element of hope ( the biggest evil to come out of Pandora’s box) and a belief in perseverance. We don’t leave things or give up on them if they don’t work out initially. We just keep at it, hoping it would change.

This is the approach I have an issue with. In my experience, anything that we have misgivings about even before starting out or in the initial stages, doesn’t really improve with time and effort. We may feel that it has started working if we see a relative difference in the state of things. It may be due to one of two reasons- the realisation may be due to our own efforts and would cease to exist once we stop putting that input, or the change may well be in the way we look at things, that again would be our own adaptability or acceptance of things as they are.

I know there may be varied views on this. As I said, we are taught to be adaptable. We are told that things would not always be according to our comfort or wishes but we trudge along. That’s the way the world has always moved. Nothing wrong with that opinion. To each his own. But for the few who live by the maxim of YOLO, or who feel personal happiness and contentment is important to keep others around us happy, adaptability, as in compromise, is not acceptable.

No one is infallible and if we fall into this trap of disregarding the energies that surround us, we are not naive. We are just what our decent upbringing has made us but expecting happiness in such a scenario would be a little too much to ask. Speaking from experience, I would reiterate that when it comes to people in our lives– whether they are parents, siblings, friends, better halves or romantic interests– we ignore the energies and go about the old fashioned way. We persevere. We hope. We put in an effort. We come to terms with how things will be. That, in most cases, robs us of our peace of mind, our carefree attitude. We refuse to acknowledge ‘the energy’ of our relationship. We turn a blind eye because what else can we do?

This may not apply to many but holds true for me- When I go to consult a doctor, no matter how accomplished he/she might be or however highly recommended, I cannot put my trust in them if I don’t get a positive vibe. I rely on energies. I can’t remember the number of opportunities I have had to let go because I cannot work for someone whose aura doesn’t draw me in. Miraculously, I don’t regret any of those decisions. I am confident that I wouldn’t have been content had I compromised.

I have also observed a shift in the energy with the giving up of certain habits, routines, places and people. It is rare that if one huge part of our lives is in turmoil, due to our insistence on holding on to something or someone, another part would flourish. No, it won’t. The negative impact of such a vibe would block all the good that other aspects of our life could have. And if at all there is an ouster of this negative energy, everything else also starts falling into place. The moment we decide that we have to get out of a situation that is holding us back, we start to grow and recover. We don’t have to go down guilt trip just because we ended something to improve our own lot. We don’t have to explain or justify our actions to people who would criticise us any which way. We are here to lead our lives to the best of our abilities. We are not here to please others. Keeping our own selves happy isn’t being selfish.

Lighten up. Trust the Energies. Make your own path. It isn’t necessary that the well- trodden one is the right way to go. Infact there isn’t any right or wrong here, just choices.
As Robert Frost rightly said –

Where do you plan to go this vacation? How are you bringing in the new year/ your birthday / your anniversary? What do you plan to do in future? Are these the right courses for what you have in mind for your life? Why are you going out with this person, do you see a future with him or her? Have you been saving for a rainy day? Have you ensured that your children won’t want for anything in their lives? Have you made sure that they have a sound financial backing as long as they live?

Sound familiar? The mental checklist!!! The grocery list for life. We have all been taught not to disregard it. We have all been brought up to think and over think like that. We think and think and then think some more. We plan, we propose, we toil, we execute and in the end we have successful lives with enough financial security to last us a lifetime and some of us even go beyond that and take care of our next generation too.

We marry, have a family. Sometimes we fall in love too and then again we analyse whether that (person /relationship) would work in our lives or not. We hold on to it if it fits with our master plan and let go if it doesn’t.

All of it is highly rational and responsible behaviour. We have to keep up the family name, its legacy which is the biggest thing we pass on to our children. It cannot be tainted by impulsive acts or decisions, can it be?

But just for a moment think, what if we could lead our lives without planning ahead? What if, we concentrated more on OUR lives alone not burdened by the family name, or what people would say or what will happen if plan A fails!! We have been brought up to think of all possible scenarios. We have a master plan A, if that fails we fall back on Plan B, God forbid if that fails we either have a workable Plan C or we give in to despair. Assign it to fate. Lose hope. Sometimes we muster courage to pick ourselves up and fight back. Isn’t that what all great success stories, that we keep hearing for inspiration, are about?

What I am suggesting here is something completely different. Something, few have the courage and audacity to take up. I am referring to a Super Plan S, where S stands for SPONTANEITY. What would it be like to live life as it comes? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if it is led as God wanted us to lead it- without frills & attachments. It would be a great relief if we could start a relationship, a job, a move, an education without thinking— WHAT NEXT!!

Isn’t it enough that we are living it up in the moment?

How many of the ‘successful’ people, we look upto, have lived their lives without compromises? It’s a cliché choice – happiness or success. I am not posing that question here. It is perfectly alright to want to be successful in life. It is great to be ambitious but not the same rules apply to all people.

For me success might not mean money. For me happiness might not mean success. I may be happy in a relationship without a future. I may find contentment even in the absence of high living. I might be fulfilled without a soul mate or in some cases a life partner.

It is different for each person and it is alright for him or her to make those choices without pressure from family, relatives or well meaning friends. We are not going to take back anything from here. Not the money we earn, nor the good deeds we perform.

We are here to keep our Souls happy. We form attachments along the way- some we are born into, others we cultivate but our prime responsibility is to ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty cup. To be able to give happiness, we have to be happy inside. There is no perfect recipe for it which suits all palates. How we find it, nurture it, is upto each individual..

💫Conundrum💫

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , , ,

If we try and hold on to everything at the same time, we lose everything in the process..

How many times have we read and heard it spoken, yet it hurts when it actually goes down.. There is no perfect world out there. Every moment in our lives comes with choices. Sometimes they are simple and easy to make and give us a freedom to go with what suits us best but there are times when we don’t want to take the fork. We want the paths to merge so that we can have it all.

Every writer, worth his or her salt, has a Muse. Whether they know it or not, something or someone always acts like an inspiration or a cornerstone of their writings. They lay the foundations of their pieces around it and weave their magical yarn.

Our words flow when our Muse is somewhere in our minds.

To me, writer’s block comes when I lose that vision or thought on whose foundation my words stand. It’s true that I wrote earlier too but my writings started making sense to me with that presence in my mind. I realized quite late where the word flow came from. There was an extremely dry spell when I couldn’t put my thoughts into any coherent sequence and I quit trying to write for those few months because even if I did try, it came out as a forced effort. Not honest, not sincere!

What that sabbatical from writing did, was another blessing. I found my Voice in the mean time! I found that writing was not the only thing that could be cathartic if you had a willing ear to hear you voice your opinions.

But life happens when you start settling down to change. When you start to get comfortable in the little haven that you have created, BAM! life hits you with a test. And it is cruel at times. It gives you the choice of Either Or.. It’s more of a conundrum than a choice, actually. Either Or exists only when both the choices are hard to give up on. That’s the whole idea behind it.

By some turn of fate, if I get back my Words, why should I be posed with the threat of losing my Voice?

Why can’t both stay?

In a perfect world, they would!

I went to the general store the other day and decided, on an impulse, to get a different brand of tooth paste for myself. It was weird and at the same time exciting to add it to my cart, after all, for as long as I can remember, I have been using the same brand of toothpaste, the same red color, the same taste. This morning while finally opening the new tube of shiny yellow green paste with cooling crystals, I felt like an adventurer out on her maiden voyage into the unknown.. 

Hilarious as it may sound, most of us don’t venture out of our habits and comfort zones even for something as mundane as a new kind of toothpaste. It’s not brand fixation that keeps us tied up, atleast not in my case. It is just the comfort of the familiar. 

Sadly enough, consumer products are just an example of what we are doing with our lives. I cannot speak for everyone, neither can I generalise (I hate to generalise, as it is). But I have to write about what sparked this seemingly unremarkable or ordinary sounding thought process. 

I read quotes like – “Life isn’t supposed to be lived in one place.” – and being a thinking person I understand how right that is, both geographically and intellectually. One has to travel, one has to explore, gain new experiences, let go of the things and people gone by.. One has to grow.. And people don’t grow while being confined to their comfort zones. 

One has to try different things, be different people in order to find what one actually is. Experimenting, juggling choices, failing, learning in the process- Everything is important

While I know all this theoretically, I have never dared to try my luck outside the protective cocoon of my family. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t told what to do and how to do it. A set of instructions were always provided no matter what I decided to do. I understood quite early in my life that simply following the instructions provided, would save a lot of bad blood and complications. I did not know any other way to live. 

I had never learnt to live without my support structure. I had never been to a bank till I was forced to do that, at the age of 27 when I joined a job outside my hometown. I had never travelled alone, never taken a bus on my own, never even purchased my own clothing. Everything I needed was taken care of by my parents and the support structure that they had ready for me. I never thought I could have a say in my own life. I was meek, indecisive and confused all at the same time- a recipe for disaster

Eventually, I rebelled. Because it is crippling, too much love. It is suffocating. It feels like a leash. It leaves too less breathing space for us to grow. It breeds fear, distrust and some degree of lying and manipulating too. I developed a coping mechanism where I didn’t have to share everything I did, at home. I found new confidantes. I found solace in books. Sometimes my coping mechanism bordered on escapism. 

I once told my therapist (actually just a medical practitioner, I was talking to) that I am indecisive. I don’t know what to buy, what to wear, what to eat. I am left flabbergasted when provided with choices. That’s the reason I never order at a restaurant. I simply don’t know what to pick. I never learned to choose. He simply asked me, “Do you drive?” I said yes I do. “Do you ask the one sitting shotgun where to turn and which route to take to reach your destination?” I said, ‘mostly no’. “Then you are not indecisive” he said, ” you have to just convert that ‘mostly no’ to a resounding never”. 

Simple as that. So I started with the small things, case in point, my new toothpaste. I find a deep seated pleasure, now, in breaking stereotypes, the bigger things, none of that silly toothpaste stuff. I dream of taking it further. Life is too short to be left with regrets at the end. 

It is late but it is never too late to evolve, to give oneself a shot at happiness and fulfillment. It’s never too late to BE. 

Not for everyone, Small Town Living. 

Not for everyone, the Fetters of Conservatism.

Not for everyone, the Maxims of Society.

Not for everyone, the Inhibitions of Gender.  

If you happen to dwell in small town India, you would agree that lives here are lived more out of duty & honor of the family rather than for Self. Nothing wrong with keeping family first or adhering to the norms laid by them but it cannot be the end all and be all for an individual. We were born as an individual soul and it is our foremost duty to make sure that our soul is growing , that it is happy and healthy. Unfortunately, inevitably, we succumb to the wishes and diktats of the family or society and largely curb the small indulgences that our Self seeks. 

We may find comfort & fulfillment in travel, books, connecting with people, writing, music, love, friendship- all of which are designed as choices an individual can make. But as engulfed in the guidelines of age old conservatism as we are, we unavoidably think – what would people think if we make any of the above individual choices. Will we be acceptable to the society? What will our parents feel? Is going against the tide worth all that dissension? Are we the only people around, who are compromising on our dreams and happiness? If others can give up on small pleasures of the soul like these, why can’t we conform too? Are girls even supposed to think so freely? Do girls not owe it to their parents to abide by the code laid down for their own safety and virtue? 

We forget that this life here, that we have been endowed with, is precious. We cannot and should not go through it denying ourselves gratification in order to appease others. People have different sets of rules for themselves and for others. Whatever we might do, not everyone would be happy. So why not make the Self happy? No one is squeaky clean. A close friend recently explained to me the fact that,  the cleaner people look the more dirt they’ve swept under the rug. Why, then, should we pay any heed to their counsel and deny ourselves lifestyle choices that may lead to satisfaction and delight for Self?

Take that trip that you have been yearning for, read-write-create if that is your poison, sing-play-enjoy any music that ups your spirit, opt for a job that gives wings to your imagination- something that inspires you to get up every morning and go to work, meet people, make friends, fall in love. Never apologise for the choices you make. Let go of the constant conscience pangs and guilt trips. We are not here to please others. We are here to live our lives as best as we can. Yes, we are responsible to the people who love us or those we love- our parents, children, friends, spouses. But none of them is entitled to use that love as a leash to keep us chained & bolted. The biggest debt we owe is to ourselves. 

What is the worst that can happen if we follow our hearts? We may not succeed at a job or in a relationship but atleast we would have the satisfaction that we tried. We gave ourselves a chance to be what we envisioned. There will be lessons along the way but good or bad, they will be the ones we are ready for, because they would be in direct consequence of the path we took of our own volition. We would learn to gather our pieces and move forward instead of trying to place the blame on the very people whose love tethers us to an unremarkable routine life. 

It all starts with the Mind. If we can train our minds to let go of the guilt that our choices ineluctably bring, then, gradually, we will be successful in Unshackling the ties that bind us to the mundane. We can, then, prevail and give meaning to our tales. We are not born to breathe, adapt and die. We are all stories in the making. Let’s put our hearts into the making of our very own blockbuster.