Peel the Layers
Peel the Layers
Peel the layers
The inspiration from this topic came from Rumi’s quote “show me anger and I will show you hurt. Show me hurt and I will show you love. Peel the layers if you care”.
Such a wonderful thought - “peel the layers”. Lot of psychology is based on this too and lot of inner work gurus do is to get away from the layers and identify the core.
I had a spiritual experience yesterday in something as simple as fireworks. Though they were the biggest firework happening this year (2021) in Nashville. First few minutes were ‘normal’. We all were in awe and appreciated it and thought they ended. But fireworks continued. So the next few minutes for me were to burst away all negativities - criticism, judgement, too much advising, body shaming etc. and I thought the fireworks were over.
But it continued! So next time was to bring in all the positivity. Blessings, showers of grace, gratitude, happiness, achievement, family …the list goes on on all. All bursting with energy! And the fireworks were over.
Not yet. So next phase we are done with both positive and negative. So only Krushna (God) remains. And the next set was all forms of Him. Everywhere. Omnipresent. Omnipotent. Omniscient.
The fireworks still continued. Now we are down to nothing. Just energy. Bubbling and vibrant. Untainted. Pure.
The fireworks show helped me peel the layers. Next time I feel an emotion, I am going to go deep into what led it and what is the layer behind it.
How have you been peeling the layers?
Layer after layer
Needs to be peeled
To get to the essence
A new discovery
With each layer
The journey is long
But worth it
|Posted by [email protected] on 6 October, 2018 at 15:55||comments (1242)|
The thought of this topic came from a book on proverbs. I found this phrase very catchy :” One day or Day 1”? I have noticed multiple times if I have a desire to do something, I say to myself that “one day”. One day turns to sometime and sometimes to never….
This phrase challenges me to think why can’t this be Day 1 to get my dream going. Why do I have to wait for the “one day”? Why can’t it be today?
I recently read a Linked In article that the biggest fallacy we have in life is that “I have time”. The author noted, that was the biggest regret lot of people had. In my “one” day argument, I keep thinking I will do this post x years when Ashna, my 7 year old, grows older. In the same breath, I also waste time surfing the internet or lately getting into online shopping. So, really, do I not have the time or am I using “one day” as an excuse?
The idea is to challenge ourselves to go from “one day” to Day 1. Yes, I want to learn pottery. Let me join a class. Yes, I want to continue writing, let me begin today. Yes, I want to build better relationships then let me send a note.
Day 1 is simple. Day 1 is a mindset. Day 1 is a beginning. Day 1 is an accomplishment. Lets move from one day to day 1 today!
I will paint
I will travel
I will write
Put on hold
I can take a tiny step
I can live my dream
I can make one day
|Posted by [email protected] on 7 July, 2017 at 22:55||comments (787)|
The idea of this topic came from a podcast. The speaker was talking about how mentally pressing the reset button helps reset things. I tried it recently. I was having a hard time with a colleague at work and I mentally decided to press reset. I am making a strong effort to restart the relationship on a better and positive note. Reset concept is also helping me when I am stuck in a negative emotion. I tell myself to reset and it works!
Reboot - that to me implies new beginnings. That's when we choose a different profession, different location, a different life. We are rebooting ourselves to something new and exciting! For me, reboot was when I decided to quit my last job and finding something different. Another upcoming reboot will be moving to our new home. Reboot with the right attitude is sure fun!
Reformat is to fully start over - wiping all the memories of the past, cleaning up the junk and starting anew. For most of us in life it's at the time of death. Everything is gone and everything starts over. For some saints, it's when they take 'sanyas' where they willingly give up their past identity, take a new name, take a new lifestyle and work towards their highest goals. The soul is the same, like the hard disc, but everything else changes.
Where have you exercised Reset and Reboot?
I start over
Not bound by any past
Not hurt by any wounds
Forgetting it all
I start over
With a clean slate
To live life
|Posted by [email protected] on 15 April, 2017 at 22:45||comments (761)|
This topic was inspired from a radio talk of a person going on a “Listening Tour”. Implying just go and listen to thoughts, concerns, ideas , without finding justifications but with the mindset of reaching out and understanding. I decided I need to go on my own listening tour both intrinsically and extrinsically. Extrinsically it implies listening to my loved ones and intrinsically listening to my body, mind and soul.
As I started my tour, I was reminded of a quote, “The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply”. I made a commitment reminding myself of the principle of listening. I will listen. I will not find reasons or excuses to justify myself. I will simply listen and seek to understand.
The question I asked on my listening tour – starting with my loved one, my husband was “Is there anything I do that annoys you?” My husband’s first reaction was “Is this a trick question? Am I in trouble”? He is funny! As I explained my context, he mentioned that I could pay more attention to cleaning and picking up after myself. I have taken the feedback seriously. Part of the issue is, I don’t even notice it. So now, as I leave a room, I put my “Pranav” cap on to figure out what would he see. I think he will say I have improved!
I have then asked my mom if she notices anything that I need to work on. She responded I need to pay more attention to being gentle. As I get crunched to complete an activity, I start getting edgy and blunt. I sure know that is true! I am still working on it.
The other question I ask on the listening tour is – “Is there any advice you would give me at this moment?” My husband would say “Find your happiness” and I would say “Focus on staying blissful”.
I start my intrinsic journey and ask, what is my body telling me? I do the body scan. I listen. I hear the body wants to be pampered (may be massage is overdue) and pushed (exercising).
On the listening tour with my mind and soul, I hear continue to find your quiet time and continue to listen! Let the tour become a frequent phenomenon.
Being on the listening tour has been fun. How would you feel on embarking on your own listening tour?
I am here
I am here
I am here
Asking for your advice
And to grow
|Posted by [email protected] on 26 November, 2016 at 11:55||comments (438)|
This topic was inspired by a book I read “The Secret life of bees” by Sue Monk Kidd. In the book one of the characters dies and the family starts falling into the trap of guilt. “If only I had done this, he would still be here”, was the common refrain. This in turn reminded me of the death of a close family friend. The husband was in the bathroom when he got a massive heart attack. Unfortunately, he passed away at a young age of 45. The wife took the blame and guilt stating if I she had checked on him quicker he may be alive.
It’s sad to watch how we succumb to guilt and blame game. Somehow we always find a reason for it. It can be simple things, if I had only exercised I would not be this fat or more complex emotions if I had only trusted him more, we would have a lovable relationship. Blame and guilt follow us everywhere.
I notice blame and guilt are over the past events. And I think the root cause is the lack of acceptance of the event, the thing or the person.
Now I don’t like myself fat so I blame my non-exercise routine. Most of the times blame and guilt pull us down instead of giving us the courage to do something about it. I am fat and I am sure if I exercise I will lose these extra pounds. That power, courage and conviction is not seen in the blame and guilt game.
People can also use blame and guilt game on us. I think it’s the manifestation of fear. I am afraid you will leave me so I use the blame/ guilt game to hold on to you. Fear – one more downer.
It’s on us to realize that blame and guilt games are not fun to play. We should rather play acceptance and courage games. Let me forgive my and everybody else’s mistakes. Let me accept today’s reality. Let me find the courage to tread forward.
But you didn’t show up
I start playing
The blame game
On my whereabouts
I am now
In the guilt game
Break the shackles
Let compassion overrule blame
Let acceptance overrule guilt
Let courage forge
Now, I play
The compassion game
The acceptance game
The courage game
|Posted by [email protected] on 9 October, 2016 at 20:40||comments (344)|
This topic is inspired by an avid biker, blogger and author Alastair Humphreys (www.alastairhumphreys.com) who has written this book called Microadventure. The author has an interesting concept. He says 9-5 we are at work but 5-9 is for ourselves. In this 5-9 time lets enjoy some micro adventures. On his website he gives various ideas on how we can create our own micro adventures. Its sure worth a read.
I got introduced to his author by my friend and colleague Mike Dits. This young man has decided to cycle around the world and learn about renewable energy. He quit his well-paying job and decided to pursue his dream. He is on a world adventure!! Follow his adventures at www.renewride.com
For some people adventures are big and bold – like Mike and my brother. With my brother, I remember him climbing on the first floor with his bare hands, jumping in the ocean to swim, riding his motorcycle for 60 days and walking miles to reach new cities. Just yesterday he was talking about earning money or winning a lottery to be one of the people who can go to space. I on the other hand have always played it simple. When I was a kid, I had a game called “going on adventures”. I and my friends would go to places that were not very safe to visit. We went on construction sites, climbed up trees and tried to explore new roads. I don’t think I can ever be the full-blown adrenalin or adventure junkie. I think the 5-9 microadventure is an awesome concept developed just for me!
For all the complaints I have with time, I do have 5-9 and I do have weekends. So what can I do in this 5-9 that makes me feel more alive and adventurous. For me, the 5-9 micro adventure doesn’t just mean going hiking or swimming. Its micro vacations, micro spiritual pursuits, micro health pursuits, micro knowledge ventures or even micro experiments. A micro vacation for me is taking a walk. Micro spiritual pursuits are practicing gratitude or mindfulness. Micro health pursuits are 40 days of Tai Chi and micro knowledge venture is reading book and taking courses to improve my writing. I consider all of it that helps me feel more alive.
It also reminds me that I need to treat the 5-9 time with respect and not simply that I am done for the day and now I should watch TV and relax. The attitude change itself has done wonders. Currently my micro-experiments are experimenting different cooking and cleaning up ‘Marie Condo’ style implying really giving away things I haven’t used.
The crux is how can I have some fun micro adventures to feel more alive! What is on your 5-9 micro adventure list?
The gift of time
That’s my time
The way I want to
Adventures and experiments
Fun and freedom
Experiencing and celebrating life
|Posted by [email protected] on 13 August, 2016 at 10:20||comments (294)|
The thought of this topic was inspired by a quote by Jim Rohn “if you don’t like where you are, change it. You are not a tree”.
Really, change it. Why are we so afraid of new things and change? Why do we always use practicality as an excuse to avoid change and keep suffering through it? Why do we behave like trees?
A few months ago, as I neared the 100-day mark of my job hunt, one of my beloved advisors said, “Maybe you should have stuck around and found something before you quit”. Another one asked me “Can you not go back?” I guess they believe being in an uprooted stage is not fun. However, if I want to change, I have to uproot myself to find the soil and environment that facilitates growth. I didn’t uproot myself to go back and I needed the gift of time to find the correct soil.
On the other hand, I am blessed to have friends and family watching my journey and reminding me to focus on one step. The universe will automatically send something my way and it has. I know it and I believe it. The lesson that I need to keep learning is ‘patience’. Once we uproot ourselves it takes time. I always focus on the big picture. Today I am itching to find out what’s next but down the road, I will fondly look back at this time and thank God for giving me the courage and granting me the luxury of time.
As I think about “I am not a tree”, I am reminded of the saying “You only live once”. So why should we live in a state of dissatisfaction and unhappiness? Why can’t we have the courage to get inner peace?
The universe always tests our intentions. It tests if we are true to our beliefs. Some of us have tougher tests than others. Once we prove we are serious, I feel confident fate will turn in our favor. The universe helps us to find the best version of ourselves, so sometimes it tests us over and over again. It pushes us to change and forces us to ‘not be a tree”.
So for me, if I am unhappy, I am not a tree and I will push for change. I will not let fear of failure or fear of being in an uprooted state stop my efforts. However, I will plan my time. I will trust the universe and I will reflect on the lessons it wants me to learn and remember.
I have left you
And I am not coming back
I have a new journey
And I am walking ahead
The days maybe tough
And I may get lonely
Hope and faith will get me there
I have things to learn
I have paths to try
Don’t hold me back
I have just one life
And now is the time
I have no regrets
I will follow my dream
I will find my bliss
I have something to share
|Posted by [email protected] on 26 June, 2016 at 18:55||comments (233)|
The thought of this topic came from an article I was reading on introvert leadership. The author believes that introverts have the habit of being ‘fixers’. According to her, this helps introverts get out of the social talks and instead focus on helping by being the ‘fixer’.
Hence, Fixer to me stands for people who want to jump in and solve problems. These type of people take ownership but can overwhelm themselves. Reading it I realized, I do this too.
The author cautions that we fixers should be conscious and count on people’s intelligence to solve their issues. Fixers don’t need to jump and solve all the problems and fixers don’t need to undermine people’s capabilities.
I do this both at work and personal life. At work I had a nickname “Urmi knows”. In turn I had created a dependence for others to look to me. It felt good for the ego, believe me, but I had to make a conscious effort to educate and create self-sufficiency.
Everybody likes fixers. They resolve the issues. They do the work. It is a very delicate balance to help fixing issues yet creating self-sufficiency. I believe sometimes fixers just have to learn to delegate, be out of the problem and let the team figure it out for themselves. Maybe they will fail a couple of times but eventually they will learn. Fixers in this case take the role of being teachers.
For non-fixers, I recommend calling us out! Ashna does that all the time. “I can do it Ma” she says. I have to be patient and let her do it. I also have to watch her fail at times and then teach her.
What are your experiences with fixers or as fixers?
I will fix it
You need this
I will get it
Am I really helping?
Or am I creating unnecessary dependence
Did they try?
or did they simply call the fixer?
I will serve
|Posted by [email protected] on 17 February, 2016 at 13:05||comments (391)|
We were flying back from Bermuda. It’s a beautiful, small country with the pretty pink sand beach. The water is a gorgeous blue, clear, warm and welcoming. There I came across this thought from an article “Do things that make you gasp”.
This thought goes perfectly with my one-word resolution for 2016 - it’s the word “Courage”. Doing things that make you gasp needs courage. Courage to not let fear of doing it or fear of failure stop me!
The thought also hits on one of the secrets to happiness. If we do things that make us gasp, it will create more enthusiasm in our lives. A little bit of adrenalin is a good booster! Though lets be cautious not to become adrenalin junkies.
The important word for me is this sentence is also the word “you”. It doesn’t talk about what will make the world gasp. It is saying what will make “me” gasp. The three things recently that have made me gasp are :- a) Quitting my job without having another one in hand b) Travelling with my little one Ashna to India on Standby c) Travelling with just hand luggage to India (to provide context usually we would have 4 bags each of 50lbs and instead we came in with only carry-on bags). All of these, I haven’t done ever and all of them have made me gasp. I now have this restless but happy energy and a few butterflies too. Things that make you gasp can tickle too!
A swarm of butterflies
A brake released
An unstoppable momentum
The energy free
Restless and happy
|Posted by [email protected] on 26 December, 2015 at 17:10||comments (643)|
The thought of this topic came from a Qigong exercise. It’s like a breast stroke move. The intention behind it is ‘Clearing the Clouds’ implies moving with purpose towards your goal. It also implies clearing the fog, the doubt and the fear in our minds.
I find this concept quite strong. I feel we all face decisions every day. I also feel our decision making is quicker and clearer in some cases vs others. I believe I am a good decision maker. I can choose my food, my car and my time quite nicely. However when it comes to picking out what to wear, I flounder. I can choose something to wear before I go to shower (which process took 10 min) and as I come out I want to wear something different! I guess the sun is not yet out to clear these clouds!
Clearing the clouds takes time and intent. I think it works best when we are clear about our purpose. In the case we had to make a decision about which car to buy. My intent was clear. I wanted a safer car with a good sound system to help listen to discourses at certain budget. I guess once we figure out our “non-negotiables” as my friend Sophy calls it, decision making is simpler.
I feel a big relief when the clouds clear and decision is made. Other than picking clothes, I believe once you make a decision don’t change it and don’t regret it. Live with it, atleast for a bit. I generally use 90 as a guiding number. 90 days to live with a decision. I believe living with the decision helps strengthen our will as also our trust in our own abilities to make decisions and live with them. However post certain time; we should check the decision with long term purpose and intent. To site an example, I had taken a job with the idea that I will learn how to manage a business. On day 3, my stomach churned as I realized it was not for me. I still stuck to it for 90 days and at day 120 I got a hang of it. I eventually excelled at it. However it still didn’t align with my long-term purpose of being centered. Post 2 years, I pushed to do something different. Thankfully it all worked out. The clouds are now clear and I know where and where not to focus my energy!
In case of picking my clothes, I am not clear on my purpose and intent. Rather, I have conflicting intents – some driven by ego. I want to be comfortable and look good; be centered and be chic. I guess, overtime I have to clear the clouds on this one too.
The sky is dark
Cloudy and gloomy
A gray day
It doesn’t rain
And it isn’t bright
A blue day
A sudden ray
And light all around
A changed day
He cleared the clouds
And made space
For the sun
|Posted by [email protected] on 14 November, 2015 at 20:05||comments (346)|
This thought was inspired from a rerun of Oprah Winfrey’s show. She was interviewing 3 young adults each addicted to plastic surgeries. The young woman, 28 years old, has had 23 plastic surgeries! A few nose jobs, lifting cheeks, liposuction of tummy, thighs, hands, and brow lift etc. Funnily she was pretty even before she got all the surgeries. Honestly she looked artificial – like a Barbie doll. She still didn’t like her reflection in the mirror. Hence the thought, “Love thy neighbor but first love yourself”.
The common theme amongst all those women addicted to plastic surgeries was exactly this – they kept seeing imperfections in their reflection. They were not able to accept their own selves. They were willing to go through the pain of surgery and recovery with the illusion that this one would get them back to being ‘ok’ with oneself.
It was quite surprising and sad. I took for granted that everyone loves at least their ownself. It’s easier, in my opinion, to love others and love thy neighbors if we start with ourselves. As Zoe Kravitz says “Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that's when you're most beautiful.
Most scriptures and saints talk about feeling the love for everybody as a stage of enlightenment. First you love yourself, then your neighbors, then the community, then the city, then the nation, and then the world…slowly your love expands to everybody!
I do believe loving yourself is important. Imagine else, we would be spending all our time doubting and criticizing ourselves. The caution is not to become a narcissist. The caution is also to have deep humility. Everything needs to be balanced!
In conclusion, I feel the first step is to love yourself. Let me not be fooled by my image or reflection and get into the tireless endeavor to perfect it. I will start with acceptance. One of these days, with deep humility, I hope to evolve to loving thy neighbor!
Laughs at me
What have I done!
In the desire
To look good
I lost myself
I start again
I love me
I really love me
For what I am
With deep humility
To expand my love
Searching and bowing
To the God