A Moment of Thanks

Gratitude.

How significant this word has become for me in the last few weeks. Gratitude has always presented itself to me over the years in various metaphorical situations and stories, but I never really seemed to acknowledge its existence in my own life.

I still remember vividly a few months ago driving back home on a particular chilly afternoon. Let’s just say I was feeling complete frustration…frustration with people, with  my career, with society….frustration in life in general. A peculiar moment occurred during this particular day that would change the way I felt about Gratitude.

As I walked into my home, I observed how my energy seemed drained, particularly when days ended and I grudgingly trod myself over to gym before heading back home, feeling robotic in some of the mundane tasks I would normally do. I noticed how this was becoming routine, dangerously routine! I realized a feeling of Gratitude had disappeared from my life, even for the smallest,  seemingly most insignificant areas of life.

I observed how my constant complaining, both non verbally and verbally actually started my days off in a rut, eventually getting me to end off the day feeling drained, perhaps mentally exhausted from the millions of movies I was playing in my mind, wondering what new fatal chapter would arrive that would give me more reason to not feel Gratitude.

Once this epiphany presented itself, I knew something had to give. I have watched countless documentaries and short videos showing the power and benefit of expressing Gratitude (read The Secret), fleetingly acknowledging from time to time how I had to start practicing this ritual. Perhaps in this explosion of frustration I knew it was time to start somewhere now or turn into the abyss of self pity.

Slowly I began researching the various ways to practice gratitude, not least by mere sayings of simple Thank Yous. One book in particular caught my attention, a book about a man who describes how  his project of writing Thank You notes to people for over a year transformed different areas of  his life bit by bit. It must have been some transformation for him to even write a book about it!

I realized I had to apply some simple habit or process that would involve me really expressing a strong sense of Gratitude. It didn’t need to be something that felt like a daily chore; I had been there and done that and the last thing I really needed was another spiritual chore to imbibe.

I realized how I started and ended my day was going to be absolutely critical in my new practice of expressing Gratitude or giving Thanks. By writing something to be grateful for while waking up and before retiring for the day, I felt it would really impact my general energy during the day. The most simple approach was to write just one thing to be grateful on each of these moments. Thankfully a friend of mine gave me one of the best gifts and reasons to start this habit, and I found new vigor to use the gift for it’s fit purpose.

It’s been a few short weeks since I started adopting this new gratitude habit. I have to say without sounding cliche, the results have been amazing. I have slowly started noticing many small positive changes in my life in general. Sure, not all is always hunky and dory, but what this practice has helped me to do is realize that by expressing Gratitude daily, I am also reminded to be in the present. Being in the present has often given me cues and reasons to find something to be grateful for.

A clear example of how this practice has been significantly positive is in reacting (or not reacting) to people’s energies that are draining; I find once I experience such energy, it acts as another reminder to learn from the situation and to find the good out of that situation which I can be grateful for.

It’s hard to tell how practicing this in the long run will benefit me more, but it’s the process of my energy shift which really shows the power of expressing gratitude. I learnt how I made things complicated in my life, which is why I often started feeling frustration.

Most people will be grateful for the more common things like a house to live in, a good car to drive, a great family or partner, or the ability to have lots of money to spend on luxuries. While these are all great and good reason to show gratitude, forming the gratitude writing exercise has also taught me to recognize the intangible aspects to be grateful for. I believe this is very crucial because some days it’s hard to find tangible areas to be grateful for as you run out of the more common ones.

There’s a reason mystics, sages, and gurus have often expressed how expressing Gratitude or Thanks is one of the most powerful ways of transforming one’s life. We live in a complicated world and this is why I believe people have forgotten such simple principles which would help them revitalize and live an idealistic life with passion and zest. This is what all the experts have been trying to teach for years, if not centuries.

It’s a moment of thanks that I can express this in my blog as well now. What’s there for you to be grateful for? When is your moment of thanks? For every moment of thanks, you could be one step closer to living a more abundant and fulfilling life.

Copyright 2018 – All Rights Reserved

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Be Present

“Be present in whatever you do on a daily basis”. I heard something like this on many occasions over the last few years. It baffled me for a while what the teacher, the guru, or the sage providing such advice actually meant by such a concept.

Anxiety is something I have had to endure for a long time, to the point that it could actually strangle my ability to make firm decisions that could have a significant impact in a certain area of my life. I was searching for ways to alleviate such anxiety…whether it was  through meditation, visualization exercises, or just new age techniques to address the issue, I found some of these cumbersome to apply. It almost becoming a choking chore process looking at ways to address my anxiety. Then I was told to ‘Be Present’.

When I first starting thinking about the impacts of how we think and how such thoughts affect our life outcomes, I actually thought it would be a losing battle trying to address the thousands of contriving thoughts had each day. So the notion of being present actually came at a time where it was going to dispel my theory that observing our thoughts is a futile task. I balked at the aspect of being present because I asked myself how one person can ever go through a day either not thinking about the past or future (or at least trying for just a minute)?

Then last week I had some answers which helped me realize why I always seemed to create moments of anxiety in the past, and why this had detrimental effects on my outcomes: all my worries really were just me not being present, thinking of the Now. My worries were often to do with how I would address future situations or imagined scenarios, a little different than actually planning for a future positive outcome.

They say meditation is one of the best forms of being in the present. Possibly so. I can admit meditation was mentally difficult for me to adopt as a practice, but my revelation last week is giving credence to the practice to be applied on a daily basis for remaining in the present.

The concept of being present is actually giving me new found enthusiasm in approaching different situations in life. Since I started embracing the concept, I am beginning to find the idea of anxiety is slowly being alleviated from my daily conscious. It’s not always the case, but it has helped me remain focused on what’s happening NOW.

I remember a long time ago a friend explaining to me a very simple concept of why life is often called a GIFT; another term for Gift is Present so if we see life as a gift, we will begin to see it as a Present, which is all the more reason why we need to remain in the present. When we remain in the present, we begin to allow life to happen for us, never doubting what are the possibilities.

It’s simple to understand the concept of Being Present, but sometimes difficult to apply in daily life. Perhaps it’s the only saving grace that will enable each of us to embrace our life more for what it is today, rather than our contrived notions of an idealistic life we are anxious to create.

Copyright 2018 – All Rights Reserved!

 

The 3rd Person

It’s amazing what taking time out reflecting does, sometimes bringing you to past moments that you thought were a key part to how you would ultimately change and transform as a person.

What I’m writing about here could be controversial, but I choose to write about it because I wonder how many countless people go through this every day. Some even let it become their identity. I thought the only way I could elaborate on it authentically was to give my own perspective.

You may have met someone that over time you built something special with; in some instances destiny and fate could ultimately bring you together as life partners, soul mates…call it what you wish.

Sometimes circumstances or choices/decisions lead to a point where you don’t confess your feelings for that person in time, yet they remain an integral part of your life. In some instances that person moves on and builds a new life with someone else. Since you love and respect that person, you tend to accept that to be happy for them (at least in most circumstances happily).

I was reminded of this after having a conversation with a friend who experienced a very similar situation and was feeling extremely hurt and disappointed. In some ways it resonated a lot because of going through such hurts personally before. I thought by explaining my experience and how I got over it, I could help that person.

These situations often tend to place the affected person into what I call a ‘3rd person’ role. It’s like those movie scenes where often you will see this 3rd person appear in the background…they’re not exactly part of the main cast or story, but somehow they fit some of the key pieces together, always having some key integral part to play.

It’s often an odd situation though, and sometimes the affected person can feel a lot of deep pain and anguish. While they don’t want to confess their feelings because of a fear that they be estranged, it does cause emotional confusion in certain instances, especially if the other person they feel for is still a major part of their life.

I write about this because I feel a lot of people get into these situations where they don’t want to be seen as the reason a relationship broke up (with good reason), but they are caught in this world where they can’t fight of some of their feelings. In some cases it gets so overwhelming that they confess their feelings, either with favourable or drastic consequences.

So why do people hang on in these situations and still keep the other person as someone who is deeply involved in their lives, even if they are just friends?

I have my own theories some of which are below:

– genuine love and respect for the other person despite not being able to reveal feelings, and wanting to maitain that genuine bond

– the other person becoming such a big part of their life, that it’s hard to imagine a life without them (human nature I guess, even if it sounds extremely cliche)

– the need to want to show genuine happiness for the other person

– in some instances, probably waiting for fate/destiny to change situations (without interfering in a negative way).

One belief I do have is never needing to confess true feelings if it means causing disharmony in their relationships with someone else. That’s just not the way I grew up learning to create love or trust between people anyway.

I know in some instances people do hang on, waiting for fate/destiny to change things. I believe life is unpredictable, but that should never be the reason ‘3rd persons’ in these situations should hang on in hope. There is always that adage ‘if it’s meant to be it will happen’

So if you do come across such a person going though this, think for a moment about their pain before rushing to judge.

The world needs more genuine love and such affected people also desire such genuine love!

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved

Soul Song

There’s a Song that beats,

Ringing with every vibrational flow

The flow of life, with every second,

Every minute, every hour…

 

 

There’s a Song that reflects the Soul,

The Soul’s every desire, every wish,

It’s ever seeking of the abundance,

Creating the melody that reflects

The Abundance of A Magical life.

 

There’s a Song that reminds us

Of every deep Human connection,

Every moment of Happiness,

Every moment of Despair,

Every Moment where we feel

That moment of Arrival!

 

 

There’s a Song that keeps

Us going, even in those moments

Where we don’t know where the next

Note of life will tune into,

Where the next chorus will

Be written to create the melody

Where we can dance to.

 

 

There’s a Song that reflects

Who we are, a Song that tells

What our Soul deeply seeks,

Seeking our infinite passions,

Seeking our infinite destinies,

Seeking those we treasure most.

 

 

That Song is the Soul Song,

The Song that reflects our

True Selves, Our Soul Identity.

Listen to the Soul, for in there

Is every lyric that tells you the

True Melody of your life,

The Melody that will make you

Effortlessly dance to your

Ultimate Fulfillment.

 

 

Listen to the Soul song!

Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved.

The Moment I Died!

When you first read the headline of this post, you might have had some rather interesting reactions…”what”? Did he just put that? What does he mean the moment I died? Well, there’s a reason I did that. And I’ll start by saying it takes a lot of courage for me to put this here, but the greatest revelations in mankind only really came at moments of great insights, lessons, or revelations.

Yes, I have died, but in ways where I have a learnt more about this life, about what makes us grow as individuals and work towards a purpose, sometimes a purpose we thought is ours and we find might continue to elude us.

I died the moment ‘I’ realized I am not just this body, this persona called Siddharth Bawa. Those are worldly clothes, meant to protect us from the illusions that we live in, ‘the matrix’ of this world that continues to spin its own web of deception. But, when I died I also had a rebirth, a rebirth of realization that there is a greater power within us that we only occasionally tap into…maybe because we search for it, searching in the external, only to realize that it evolves internally with our spiritual growth.

I died the moment I realized that the connections we felt that personified our existence actually never really had that deep meaning or yearning for the long duration we think they will always survive for. I was born again realizing that each connection sometimes has a fleeting purpose, a coming and going in our life, teaching us a lot about relationships and their purposes. The few relationships that remain, be them familial, friendships, or love, they are our everlasting ‘companions’ staying with us on this journey as lifelong soul connections.

I died the moment I realized that sometimes the paths we think we are taking are serving our higher ideals, only to be born again and realize that we need to be ‘broken’ before we come to a point where we start to heal, become authentic in our daily interactions and reactions, and serve where it only serves our higher good.

I died the moment I realized that all the planning in the world sometimes can lead to failure, but I was born again realizing that many failures become the launch pad for many moments to serve with greater success, not just for us individually, but for humanity as well. Our successes may not have a global impact, but if there is even just one individual impact, we are already serving with a higher good.

I died the moment I realized some of the dreams we thought were for us would possibly never come to fruition in this life; I was born again realizing sometimes the mystery of this life can bring us to realize new dreams, dreams that we never thought actually would bring the greatest joy for us. Dreams that would actually bring that inner smile, knowing these dreams were eventually meant for us, our true Universal life purpose.

I died the moment I realized that not everything ever lasts forever, but was born again knowing that there will always be new moments where in the moment we would feel like it was forever; the mere thought and memory of that moment would bring an inner happiness each time.

So if ever you feel you are dying, think about the many re-births you will take in this life, rebirths that bring out your true passions, your true ambitions, your real desires to become a person of spiritual growth and serving. A rebirth where a person who strives for the highest Universal ideals! A person that the Universe brought to serve with high impact purpose!

Embrace the new births for then you know you are evolving into the being with the highest ideals you needed to serve this World with!

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved!

Living with a flow…My Take on It!

There’s been a thought that has crossed my mind a number of times over the last couple of weeks, but actually when I reflect and look back, I think it really started at the beginning of this year. Suffering from personal losses, I engaged in a lot of inner reflection, breaking down with emotion what my mission was to be serving in this life. The thought was around setting life expectations and how there was no flow…that there was too much expectation, too much ‘planning’ and that it all needed to be undone. I felt there was too much control from the past. I needed to let go, let life flow! I felt I needed to put my thoughts about this process down in a written piece to really reveal truthfully how I feel about all of this.

Personal loss can be interesting because very often it can shake us down to the core as humans, breaking down the identity we form over the years, either through environmental or societal exposure, seeking to forge a recognition and life path we feel will help us achieve that which inherently our soul so demands of us!

My own experience of going through personal loss over the years has actually brought a lot of humility, and more interestingly an authenticity and acknowledgment that the way I have been approaching life is not really in my best long term interests. Sure, if one was to look at my life materialistically, I would say I could be grateful for the family, friends, relationships and moments and experiences I have had, apart from the mundane like having a house and car, a luxury many we seldom forget don’t have in this rarely impartial world.

The humility felt came from knowing that things needed to change without the feeling of a need to control or set path to live my life on.

Here’s what I think fundamentally has changed for me: growing up I always set expectations of achievements, desires, and goals by a certain time…like settling down by the time I was 30, having kids by a certain age, maybe even achieving a great business by the time I was in my mid 30s. Obviously these did not materialize at the set time frames or with the expectations I imagined back then.

As time has passed, I ‘tied’ myself to my expectations, to the notion of achieving within these timelines. I didn’t adapt, at least not in the earlier years. I think many of us in adolescent years tend to set such expectations. But for each of us, we often get lost and forget that ‘life’ sometimes has other ideas; when Life breaks a path we think we are comfortably moving on towards our goals, it can really break our inner foundation…at least initially if not permanently.

So over the last few years many events didn’t lead to what I initially set to hope to achieve or to expect. For instance where I thought I would achieve certain career objectives with certain action steps I took, I still didn’t achieve some of these. Then there were many times I thought a certain relationship, romantic or otherwise, would materialize but oddly enough events never led to favorable outcomes for such relationships to occur. And often when things didn’t go the way I wish they had, I felt a deep sense of resentment and frustration setting in.

Now I know some will say but that’s life (and they’re entitled to that all so cliche of statements)! In essence what this process did  was really reveal for me how sometimes we can get too attached, wanting to control the way we want our lives to turn out, often forgetting there is a mysterious journey to the flow of life, something unexplained, even getting me to acknowledge there is a higher guiding force directing situations for our own personal benefit even when it’s not physically apparent at the time.

I realized during these last few months I had become too attached, too concerned about the expectations of certain situations. And eventually I realized it was creating a tension and hold in me, a tension and hold that really didn’t let me progress with a smooth and peaceful flow; just like Bruce Lee once said that we should adapt to life like water does in a “shapeless” form, with water ever changing and ‘flowing’ according to the situation.

Where I once had expectations from friendships, I find I no longer need to…it was a case of realizing that some friendships served a time limit, a purpose to help in my own growth as a person…and if there was to be a long term purpose for a certain friendship, it certainly would have served a longer term. Don’t get me wrong, I have many life long friendships I truly value…but if a certain person in a friendship grows or changes, sometimes we need to let go of the expectation that that friend will always be around in the same vein we would think they would be.

Then there are encounters where I would have sought to have control, to try to take action where I thought I could create the perfect scenario for an expectation I had. Now I find I let it go…I let the flow of life come in and let it allow it to be a part of my progress and growth as an individual.

In a career or business sense, where there is an objective to strive hard for certain milestones or achievements, I realized I can no longer get attached to an outcome because there are many factors which are out of my control…for my own sanity I just need to let it go, let things progress, while I take action without expectation.

Does it mean I don’t form anymore expectations? Not at all, I am still human, but now I feel there is a greater awareness of this and letting things flow in their natural order. In a sense I feel letting go actually releases a lot of anxiety, while also allowing the freedom and space for a lot of creativity. And interestingly I feel every outcome which arises or arrives from my letting go actually serves a purpose for my growth, even if the situation is perceived to be painful or bad.

This space has allowed to reevaluate a lot on how I approach general situations in life now. Looking back now I remember moments when I would really feel upset because I had an expectation on an outcome and when that outcome didn’t materialize as I wanted to, I got really disappointed and would close up as a person.

In a way I think living with a flow also allows one to live life, ironically, on our own terms. Oddly some expectations we set because we want  to achieve it because we think that’s what family and friends expect of us. We forget though as individuals we need to form our own path, a path where we let the Universe reveal the direction, the purpose, and the mission that our souls really direct us towards…and that’s why  we should live in flow. When we do this we start experiencing the coincidental events, the universal language of communication telling us we are on the right path (but with patience).

It’s early days, but let’s just say I am beginning to accept the Yin and Yang of the Universal song that life can offer.

Copyright 2017 – All Rights Reserved.

The Last Page

Early morning winters never really inspired Kabir to do much. Waking up felt like a monumental task, made more difficult with the chronic back pain that he felt each time he attempted another new journey into a new day. With antique furniture pieces surrounding him, it seemed like Kabir was stoic, accepting whatever fate had in store for him, not really progressing or changing with the times. Sometimes when we don’t see the time to change, it can make us feel a lack of motivation to progress further on.

One particular area always caught Kabir’s eye the moment he woke and sat up on the edge of his bed each morning: the little study table by the corner. It was reminiscent of the old Colonial days where a neat pad lay with a fountain pen stand on a solid pine wood table, the ones where you could still smell the old pine, evidence of lasting in strength for many years despite all the moments of happiness, sadness, despair and endurance that went on in that room. Years of neglect and attention though meant that dust collected steadily; brown stains appeared on the once fresh crisp pages of the pad, the smell of new evaporating over the years. The lack of creases or folds in the corners  was further evidence that Kabir never attempted to lay hands on the pad.

While Kabir was only in his 40s, his movement across the room resembled that of an old man past his prime, wilting towards the time when he could finally call it a day and seek abode in the infinite consciousness of eternity. Such was the perceived misery of his life, the loss of pursuit of high dreams of being a well noted and published author.

Kabir grew up in a notable and recognized family of artistes and renowned scholars; his fondest memories were of those moments when he would sit in the open terraces of the fertile grounds of Punjab, the fresh air of crop fields, listening to the melodious readings of his Grandfather at their family home. His Grandfather was a voracious reader, a deep  intellectual and philosophical thinker, and always felt there was a special writer in his young Kabir.

There was always a beam in young Kabir’s eyes, paying that child like attention while listening to the words that emanated out of his Grandfather’s melodious voice, reciting old folklore stories; some of inspiration, some of a majesty that few were privileged to witness such as Kabir’s Grandfather.

But on this particular morning, like any other morning, recollecting those memories would be bitter sweet until Kabir realized where he was sitting now, this mundane routine of his life. While earlier there was a sadness, it had become an acceptance, an almost this is my life now approach for him.

Life sometimes takes us on journeys we least expect, perhaps unable to understand the emotions we will endure. For Kabir this journey started 10 years ago…

***

Kabir and Sukina, a couple that were  admired and envied both for their immense and deep love for each other, and for the beautiful young family they raised. Sukina, a young junior to Kabir in University, fell in love with Kabir’s extreme intelligence and poise. Handsome as well, but witty and charming, it was no surprise the effect Kabir had on Sukina. The attraction was immediate, and from there a deep bond was sealed in their undergraduate years. 

Both were ambitious, seeking fame and glory in the world of writing. The difference though was Sukina lived life with the flow, never really getting attached to what could be or become…Kabir had big dreams, even visions of being a notable bestseller and grand writer, sometimes becoming drunk in the imaginary success and wealth he would acquire once he would get there. Sometimes such wild imagination can lead us astray, resulting in our downfall, not realizing each of us perhaps has a different path or life purpose.

As Kabir and Sukina ultimately built their marriage and life, Kabir’s lack of finding a break for a writing career leading to stardom over the years ultimately made him question where his life was going. In many moments of frustration fights ensued between Sukina and him, before he turned to the bottle, hoping the numbness felt would dissipate the pain he bore deeply. 

Some pains are more ingrained over time, and Sukina had her own emotional pains while seeing how Kabir was slowly taking a treacherous path. After taking years of physical and emotional abuse from Kabir, Sukina felt the toll on her to the point where she finally asked Kabir for divorce. Kabir never really recovered from that moment in life, thinking all was lost until he became a recluse, only momentarily visiting his children, and building a life away from the society he once felt a big part of. 

***

Waking up this morning was different though. There was a yearning deep inside of Kabir. This yearning was unfathomable. He gazed again at the study, focusing intently on the dusty pad that lay exactly in the center where it had been, not having moved all the years. One treasure he always paid attention on was the fountain pen in the stand, an old gift given to him by one of his renowned mentors, a well known poet in his times. A gift Kabir truly cherished, and perhaps the one ornament he held dearly close to his heart in these years of being reclusive.

The morning was beginning to feel surreal, like the pen was calling out to him. The last time Kabir ever laid pen to paper to write creatively was all those years ago before that heart breaking moment with Sukina. Trying to write again always reminded him of that painful moment. Sometimes there are pivotal moments in life that become the triggers either for pursuit or decline, forging sometimes unforgiving paths.

And sometimes there is an epiphany, a call from within, or a Higher Source that offers us the chance for redemption, however small a step we take.

Kabir mustered himself, taking small steps, however painful his back was. He slowly progressed in the direction towards the study table. The calling urged him harder each step, encouraging him to move quicker. There was definitely something he wanted to get out…like a power that sometimes takes over when new vigor and ambition are seeking us.

Pulling out the chair, Kabir noticed the dust accumulation and swiftly wiped it off with his bare but rough palms, a symbol of the lack of attention paid to himself over the years. Not for a moment did he care; his attention was on THAT pen!

Sitting down, there was a feeling of comfort, but a different comfort he hadn’t felt in so long. He gazed briefly out towards the small window frame, looking out into the tiny garden now looking like a ghastly mess of shrubs. He had a hesitant laugh, but his attention soon turned to the pen…

A few minutes passed and Kabir seemed fixed in a trance, like sitting in his own deep meditation. His frail arm slowly lifted the pen…holding it felt right and slowly he began to write his first few words on the crispy brown paper. Perhaps this was the start of a new but brief chapter?

Like an artist in the zone,  he slowly moved into song, writing with poise and flow. This was his moment of redemption. Was it his Last Page though? One never knows when the ‘Last Page’ in life is, but every time when we don’t feel like turning over a new page, there is always some calling, some thing that always urges us to keep writing our stories, setting our destinies, however murky or dusty the road ahead seems!

Perhaps Kabir found his calling again, his new journey to unfold, maybe writing and leaving new stories for many of his future generations to listen to, just like his Grandfather made him listen to all those years ago!

Realizing this, Kabir ensured the Last Page was still a while to come.

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