Thursday, May 23, 2013

A mango - Breaking invisible boundaries

Yesterday, I went to a store to buy some vegetable. Seeing beautiful mangoes, on a spur I bought a few. A gentleman before me literally looked at every mango before selecting about 6 of them. After waiting for 5 min, I decided to quickly pick up the mangoes that 'felt' right. If these were not good then I would change them. So 4 came up quickly. Then there was one, which I realised I did not want, nevertheless 'felt' like picking up. So 5 mangoes came up with me to the cashier!

This is the story of that 5th mango!

After I came out of the store, I was debating within myself whether to go after my husband shopping in another nearby store or wait in the car. As I stood there unsure of what to do next, I noticed a girl of about 13 looking at me. She was part of a small family at what seemed their old paper mart / kabadi shop. ( For those who cant figure what it is - it is about 10ft x2 ft shop stacked with old newspapers bought from ppl like us and sold for a few rupees profit to recycling orgs). In her seemed to be an old, empty jewellery box from some jeweler, no doubt discarded by somebody better off. She was caressing the velvet where a necklace would have been. Her father and younger brother around busy with other 'junk'.

Seeing me and touching the velvet, she seemed to be looking at a fantasy .. She was seeing me right in front of her. Yet I seemed to be a fantasy just like necklace she would never have. I seemed to be a metaphor for the person she could never be. Short hair, jeans, confident walk, in a car....

I was a bit uncomfortable under her gaze. At that time, I was aware only of a young girl staring at me. A thought stuck me of giving her a mango from my stash. But then the pros and cons followed. A debate raged in me ...

She will be surprised... It will seem like charity...She might be offended....Am I trying to help her or what .Really, a mango? Whats that going to do for her?... Career guidance, coaching all that is helpful, but mango? What are you going to achieve?.....Well this is what I would be doing to a friend's daughter - Share a delicious mango..... She did look a bit like a friend's daughter.....She could have been one had she been born in in diff circumstance. .... But how do I go up there and do it. .. It seems wrong..I will seem like a weirdo...What will I tell Sampath.... Oh I wish Sampath would come back soon, so I dont have to deal with this....What is he doing there for so long! .....He ought to have come by now!....

Thought cycles in which our minds run - based on Patanjali

On a normal day this conversation would have gone on with no action happening. Today, before I could debate and decide within, I found myself stepping up to the girl, picking a mango  and offering it to her.( you guessed right the 5th mango!). No words flowed in the beginning. Only eye contact! All that was there in me was a wildly beating heart! She was startled. Obviously so. She looked around at her father for direction. While he was busy, she knew she could take the mango from me. She turned around and smiled. Took the mango.

I almost ran.( I ran in my mind, on the outside, I was carefully keeping up the pretense of a strong, confident woman). I went to the shop where Sampath was still there. This time thankful that I can be somewhere other than the car for sometime. Then after a couple of min, as we walked back, we passed her again. We exchanged smiles. As we drove off  , she waved at me with a cheerful smile and I waved back.
This time it was the wave of a friend. No charity here. It was acknowledgement of being lifted to hope, wonder and something different in operating in both of us now.

Suddenly I realised that an invisible barrier between two worlds were broken. You could look at this in different ways - 2 classes, 2 patterns within both of our minds.
For both of us, it was a shift from what was to what can be. I was no longer fantasy, I was real. Somehow, it seemed to bring back her confidence as if now she knew that she could be what she wanted to be.
For me too, I was no longer a prisoner of notions I held within, I could do, I could act on what I truly 'felt'.

I do not know whether they fought over who would get how much mango, or whether she should have accepted it or ......
But I know it changed her and it changed me. Boundaries built deep into us by unknown, unseen people was broken by a mango. Boundaries so deep , that they cannot be known by us, only their impacts on our decisions understood when we are out of them.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Challenge of Living Life from Self

Finding the inner self and operating from it continually is at the same time a very easy and a very difficult task.

Easy because, the person you are trying to be is actually you. You do not need to acquire anything new. On the other hand the bounty of nature becomes more available to you when you are yourself. Just think of the times like first time seeing your new born - the moment, feeling its magnitude, the miracle of having been part of creation and holding something whose potential future is a mystery ... All this can be felt by us with no effort from our side in terms of acquiring skill, planning. It is there for us to feel whenever we wish to. 
Even a young puppy can evoke love in us, strong enough to make us commit to take care of it through thick and thin, rain and sunshine, work and vacation!
The beauty of nature, the twilight sky, the flow of water  -- their capability to mesmerise  us is because we have the ability to fall in sync with our inner selves in their presence. 

By the time you come to this line of text, a portion of your mind, will be calling this idea bull s***. Birthing a baby is no easy task, neither is raising it. It does require a hell of a lot of work. Nature is fine, but getting to  a place of nature needs a lot of work! All that joy is only to be wished for, practical life is to work hard to make it even. Exactly! The impossibility in Living from the Self starts coming in the minute we use this critical mind to dismiss the possibility of living from the Self.  And this Critical Mind is also very much part of us, just like our Self. Our critical mind (you can use different names for this, our Ego mind is one ) can bring out hundreds of reasons why not to think of living like this. It says it is IMPOSSIBLE. Loose weight? IMPOSSIBLE! Find Love? IMPOSSIBLE! Be joyful all the time? IMPOSSIBLE!

Well without it life loses its point! There is no point to live life without these. There is no point in life if you dont live out in the external life the richness of the inner Self. It may be tough, but in the struggle for it, becuase if its toughness if you loose sight of this  Inner Self, you loose sight of the Beautiful picture that is your life's attempt to create. 

Thus the challenge always is to keep in touch with the Self within, even in the most depressing times, and then to keep alive the beautiful vision that the Self has given us even while we navigate through the business of Life  to manifest this vision.

This is the task we approach in our program  - Finding the Inner Compass in Bangalore from June 3rd to 6th 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Announcing - Finding the Inner Compass from June 3rd to 6th at Bangalore

WE are announcing the module one again to be done from June 3rd to 6th at Aikya Centre in Bangalore

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Workshop on Shadow and Self, Bangalore

We are organising a workshop - Light from the Dark - Shadow and Self in Bangalore from February - 25th to 27th

Link to the website with details - Click here

Working on this topic and this project has been a great energy giver to us. The topic is deep and demands that we are alert, active and we persevere.

Designing a program which help participant experience it has been very tough. But the first program was a reasonable success.

One of the thoughts after the program has been not to associate ourselves and the program with Shadow alone, but to Self also. The way to deal with Shadow is to get centred with the Self. If we associate very closely with Shadow, we are running the risk of introjecting shadow elements from outside us also. Associating with Self on the other hand brings us closer to achieving our purpose. Hence this time the title of the program includes Shadow and Self.

Welcome to the program! This is an opportunity to experience it, not just talk about it!