Joy of just being

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“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”

~ Sylvia Boorstein

 
There is a saying words once spoken cannot be retrieved. The hidden meaning is that we have to be mindful of whatever we do especially what we speak. Speaking comes to us so effortlessly but does watching what we utter comes as easily to us ?

Make conscious breathing your anchor.

The moment has three inherent gifts for you if you’re willing to be in it. It rewards you with plenty of time, freedom to be precisely as you should be and notably infinite possibility.

The moment says “I exist in the space between your thoughts.”

You’re waiting in the line in a movie ticket queue and assume you have absolutely no patience. You are eager to watch the movie yet waiting in the line seems tediously boring. Define boredom to yourself. Boredom is an unproductive feeling while doing a task. What if I tell waiting in line is a virtue. It makes you mindful to the situation.

You can listen to music while standing in the queue or just contemplate. Be with your thoughts. Notice the commotion. Write something on your phone or text your friend.
By the time your turn at the waiting line halts you would be cursing the other way round. You would perhaps wonder why the queue dismissed so soon..

Being engrossed in the moment helps to a large extent by making the present environment seem very calm and accommodating. Even in situations where you wish to be not ‘there’, being in the moment lets you actually escape from the very ‘presence’ you wanna ward off.

Doesn’t that seem like a happy irony ?

Mindfulness is a challenge for a restless soul yet bringing your attention to the pace of your galloping thoughts makes it seems like an easy task.

If mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things, then even new lyrics that you come across each time to replay your favourite song, is being mindful.

An Urdu word called ‘Sitam’ means oppression. I learnt this while listening to ‘Jaago Zara’ of Viva band. Random things like these catch your unwavering mind as unknowingly you are being mindful without making the slightest of effort.

I just realised recently that talking to someone in an online forum is much different from talking to them in real life. Of course in ideal scenario, it should be the same if the person doesn’t have two personalities reserved for the virtual and real world separately.
You see I was being mindful here.
Just to tell you it isn’t a conscious process most of the time. It is ingrained within us and can come as naturally to as breathing.

I found something really insightful in this blog

http://melbournemeditationcentre.com.au/articles/confused-about-mindfulness-and-the-present-moment/#comment-904

For a change someone acknowledged that thoughts belong to the present moment. When we talk of the present we avoid thinking as a process. Thoughts are current and cannot be grasped as they are continual flowing like a river.
Its bizarre to pay conscious attention to them or get rid of them.

You don’t have to attend ardently to every freaking passing moment. Mindfulness isn’t about detaching yourself from your thoughts. Just like a camera cant click a picture of itself. You cant be the observer of your thoughts from a technical viewpoint.

“What’s useful — and interesting — is to note how we are thinking, how we relate to our thoughts, where our thoughts lead, under what conditions different types of thinking arise, and how we become aware of our thoughts.” –Matthew Young

You don’t have give up thinking altogether while being mindful. Every type of thinking occurs in the present. When we can pay attention to the environment in which we exist and the immediate objects and sounds around us.
Why can’t we just include our thoughts under the purview of being calm ?
Who said being mindful and serene has to do with completely ignoring your thoughts ? Isn’t that more if a delusion that evading thoughts helps us to concentrate on our breath ?

What if we allow our thoughts and intentions to interact with our body and it’s breathing pace ?
We naturally assume that our thoughts are bothersome and they have to be observed like clouds hovering in sky. This is senseless because they are a part of us. Who said thoughts have to be analysed from such a weird perspective ?
Why cant we just let the thoughts come and see from where they evolve ? Where do they lead ? They aren’t destructive in the first place and they try to tell us something important to the peace of our mind.
It creates a pressure on the mind when we force ourselves to empty it of thoughts. What would the mind subsist on ?
Mind needs thoughts. Even enlightened souls have thoughts. Just that their mind is placid and their thoughts are not in conflict with their body.
Their mind is at ease.
Concentration becomes easier when we allow ourselves to get distracted by the pervasive thoughts.

There is no golden rule that mindfulness is achieved by a vacuum state of mind. A mind full of thoughts yet knowing how to deal with them without fighting them out is more calmer than the one trying to ward off thoughts in a bid to be calm.

Extinguishing a flame is easy but thoughts are inflammatory. They only come again and again and with more force if you try to douse them. So why not just let them exist as per their need and wishes. They would fade away without even you trying to curb them.
They exist because of you and not vice-versa.

Mindfulness doesn’t mean overpowering your thoughts. It means being with your thoughts and yet not let them steal your joy of the present. You can investigate your thinking while being in the present.
You can have the best of both worlds.

A writer’s balance

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In traditional Eastern thought, art is a mode of transcendental experience. Writing being an art form is one such sensation.

Tuning our balance

Why do we contemplate ? It’s to tune the intellect, heart, mind and body to the same frequency so they all are vibrating together to create.
As a writer, each of these vibrations are reverberating in a different frequency creating a discord that blocks one’s creative potential.

My mind yearns to write but heart wants to be slothful. The intellect wants to read a prosaic novel and the body wants to to a salon for a spa. Now that is indeed a discordant atmosphere for anyone to produce a written masterpiece.
It is only by rejection that any growth in nature happens. Rejection of all that we are not that we can become what we are. You don’t have to write like someone else or internalize a legend’s writing style.

Creation doesn’t involve construction of elements rather a rejection of them.

The day we understand this it would help us simplify and be gentler with ourselves. We land at artwork that has integrity by doing away with all that is non-essential.

Instead of trying to create something let creation happen through you.

When we don’t anchor ourselves, we feel lost and our consciousness slips to a bare minimal requirement for survival. of Evolving into something beautiful is what we writers are for…Who wants to be  like birds with clipped wings blocked by limitations ?

For a writer, anchoring is also the essence of connecting to any space in which she creates art. Anchoring helps in settling the mind and weaving itself into the space in which creation happens.

Preview of ‘Black Suits You’ by Novoneel Chakraborty

The beginning of the book tells me that it is erotic fiction at its best without getting kinky. 

The prologue starts off with a girl explaining her sexual fantasy with an author whom she admires.

She tells him to imagine how would it feel to lie down naked with each other on a railway track with their barebacks on the cold metal. It has an eerie look to it. Thegirl  seems manically obsessed with him from the way she describes about her carnal desire. 

Who said there are no one liners to quote in this book ? You have to draft them on your own from the seductive style of writing. Pick them from the intricately woven paragraphs. 

My favourite line in the prologue is

“This world makes me feel like a house of concrete but you make me feel like a house of cards.”


Money spent is money earnt 😅

Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.

Sarah Bernhardt



I loved this quote simply because it affirms my belief in being a shopaholic. I love spending money because I have it and it is by spending that I bring more. Well,  splurging isnt good but spending on things that make you happy and reflect your lifestyle is worthwhile. 

A logophile’s plead

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A writer needs words for descriptions.

Remove the fear and behold each word as an icebreaker towards conversing wih your readers. 

Adverbs or similes enhance visualisation.

E.g. The road was sparsely populated.

The vegetation was as dry as kindling.

Desired emotional response
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Look our for a word that will elicit an effective emotional reaction from your readers. When you say, “I looked at him, unable to tear my gaze from his face.”

It sets a neutral tone. You don’t know the mood of the speaker. The word ‘looked’ produces a tentative mood. What if you use  ‘glared’ instead of ‘looked’ ? The tone would appear angry.

Some sensible gibberish..:

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I came across this line in one of Murakami’s novels.
“I love a magnificent falsehood more than an impoverished truth.”

I have never heard of this guy called Roger Vadim, a French director but apparently he stated the above line which all might have re-read to ingest the adjectives he used to describe two polarities. That is what caught my eye.

Truth is ridden with cliches making it look ‘impoverished’. But make-believe stories have the necessary ingredients to spark your curiosity, hence, ‘magnificent’.

Who killed the mouse ?
A cat. Who wouldn’t know afterall that’s the truth.. But how about a human who metamorphosed himself into a cat to kill his adversary – Jerry The irksome mouse.
Isn’t that more interesting to hear ?

What is a tangential discussion ? When the conversation veers off the topic and goes at a versatile angle which is mostly unrelated to the main topic under purview.

What if a tangential discussion meant something about circles and how tangents make them seem exciting and interesting to learn about in geometry ?

Truth becomes redundant inducing disinterest in us to go deep into any matter at hand. By giving it a decorative falsehood that still justifies its presumptions makes the truth seem like a discovery.
Truth always is unnoticeable owing to its assertive nature. But falsehood never explains itself as it believes in itself by default. It doesn’t seek to affirm anything.

The self-dubious nature of truth is its biggest enemy making falsehood vanquish it.

Believe me or not ? All that I told you so far is likely ‘The Truth’ !

A lesson in nature

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Usually, the stars in the night sky can speak to you in silence more effectively than an astronomer telling you about them. Anyway, with the increase in the city pollution, I hardly get to see a constellation of stars at night. The smoke seems to blacken the sky.

I consider myself lucky if I can spot a series of stars without blurriness.

I was reading When I heard the learn’d astronomer, a poem by Walt Whitman.
The poet says that the wonders of nature cannot be revelled through classroom lectures rather one has to experience them by oneself. He finds it tasking to be attentive to an astronomer trying to explain the formation of stars using charts and diagrams.

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A calibrated telescope can give the configuration of the stars. Yet it’s the naked eye which can admire the perplexing beauty of the stars. It is when the poet wanders outside the confines of the classroom and breathes in the moist night air and looks up at the sparkling stars, they hold a deep meaning.

Facts elucidated bored him but when he captured the stars spread out in the sky with his eyes, he learnt to marvel at them.

Do you realise how mechanical understanding of the universe can steal the awe with which people look at it ?There is something mystical in not robotically comprehending things and immersing oneself in the glory of the spectacular nature.
Appreciation goes away once you know where things stand in the universe. The fun is in pondering and drawing your own judgements about the universe than getting a scientific explanation from anyone.

I have shared the same soporific feeling as the poet listening to a talk delivered by a professor on an interesting subject in my school days. I hated physics maybe because I wasnt keen on knowing that light refracts when it passes from one medium of different density to another. It bore no relevance to my existence. Probably I wanted to witness it for myself. I rather enjoyed reading the same phenomena years later when I came across a photograph on BBC Knowledge.
It showed a kingfisher catching its prey using the technique of refraction of light.

I found it amusing and became more interested in the phenomena. The word ‘Refraction’ gained a different proportional importance in nature than what I learnt in school. I could actually see that it’s not just a scientific jargon rather the bending of light meant sustenance for a species.

Sometimes when we come across new concepts or ideas surrounding natural phenomena effortlessly on our own, they mean much more to us. Learning sucks the beauty out of things. One needs to feel science than just memorize or pay heed to yawn producing lectures in class.

Something crept in….

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Reading gives you a new perspective on life. It makes your life seem so much better when you see an octogenarian in a book feel nostalgic and reminisce his bygone days wth a sigh. At present he has constipation, can’t pass urine without the aid of a nurse. There was a time when he would sleep with his maid on a whim and drink to his heart’s content. Now drinking is more done to pass away time in the evening than for frolicking.

Im still in my youth, and I wonder whether once we become senior citizens, do we change our lifestyle and way of thinking. We take our youth for granted and feel as if none of us would become old. We act as we are immune to the vagaries of time.

Not only books but even random online surfing can sometimes enlarge your thinking.

“I hated labels anyway. People didn’t fit in slots–prostitute, housewife, saint–like sorting the mail. We were so mutable, fluid with fear and desire, ideals and angles, changeable as water.”

I was browsing some of the quotations from White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Aprarently, I was watching a movie called The Age of Adeline and just came across the name of this book in one of the scenes. It caught my immediate attention. The above quote kind of spoke what is in my heart most of the times. That is my philosophy of life. I don’t label people because we all change and assigning permanent value to someone is totally unfair to them. Even rocks metamorphose over a period of time, humans after all are beings with emotions, who change every single day.

I hate being labelled by anyone. But mostly people love to give you a name that kind of accompanies your character wherever you go. They love to call you as that even if they meet you after a long time. They don’t realize that you have changed and it comes across a surprise to them. Change is the only constant yet it comes as a shock to many.

When someone labels you, they are indirectly telling you they lack the sixth sense. The difference between human beings and animals is that we are prone to adapt our thinking and nature as we evolve, if someone cannot acknowledge that, they seriously are emotionally handicapped.

Labelling people can be a reasonable reflection of their behaviour at a certain given point but that cant form the basis of the essence of their character as a whole. I came across this in Psychology Today.com. I felt it to be so true. For instance, if you are known as a murderer, you could be just someone who happened to murder somebody on an impulse.. That doesn’t make you a murderer. Is all that there is to you as a person ? While indulging in putting labels on someone’s character we forget that there is more to them than the foundational act upon which we gave an ‘insignia’ to their personality.

Gratitude with “benefits”

A psychologist by name, Robert Emmons said that by keeping a journal where you record the moments you are thankful for everyday would go a long way in making you more satisfied in life and make you a better person.

I don’t know how far would that work on a regular basis. A trial is always worth it. If not forever this remedy would atleast work for five days in a month. So five multiplied by 12, I can be grateful to nature for 60 days in a year. Not a bad start.

Currently, as of this moment, I have three things to thank God. Firstly, since I use Ola car pooling service these days, my travelling cost has come down. This has eased my commuting concerns in the city. Saving hundred rupees makes a lot of difference psychologically. (I have no financial crisis any which way still- Money is Honey 😜 )

Every weekend I have a nice group of friends to hang out with. Not all of us have eventful days but I create my own without any effort. Now that is something I can feel happy about.

I am able to partially control my angst and desperation in situations that are out of my control at this phase of my life. Something really useful to be thankful about.

Here is a poem on that happy note 🙂 by the one and only ME.. atleast I’m educated enough to verbalise my feelings effusively…

Unedited gratitude

I chide myself for not being grateful enough

And asking for more

Yet I demand more

contentment is far fetched

It comes and goes

Leaving me in a whirlpool of frustration

I want things to be that way

Thats how I imagined my life

Hey, nope maybe thats not what i actually need

Life always gives me what I need

What I want and what i need are totally different

What I want is my illusion

What I need is my desire

The genie tends to my welfare

Not my gratification

The unkempt you (Weekly blog challenge)

There is a Hindi film song which says Hone Do dil ko Fanaa… which means let the heart become ecstatic…  let the ecstasy destroy you.. whats the big deal ? That is life in authentic terms..

 

I’m an incoherent lunatic who thinks she is this fantastic writer that was ever born. There you go. Radical authenticity elucidation.. okay I don’t always sound insane. I mostly make sense but I just have too many things to say that they all react together to produce an assortment of unfathomable things.

They seem like there is no connection from one thought to another. But there is an inexplicable connection indeed. Being authentic can sometimes make you look like you have totally lost it. But those who know you and can be as crazily real as you would know how blissful it is to be so ‘Real’.

Being real is an honor which the world often doesn’t reward. The real prize is your freedom and the sense of belonging to yourself and nothing else in the world.

It is a risk to be authentic. To be or not to be. A risk which can make you open to criticism and judgements yet thou shall be what you are no matter what. No matter whatever happens in tour life, if you stop being yourself, there is no point in living.
I feel unusually depressed offlate. A confession. I have a feeling that Im not being myself completely out of the fear of getting hurt. There is something in me which is pulling me back from experiencing life to the whole. I don’t know what it is. The thing that protects me also is the biggest curse of my happiness. The thing is fear and resistance. Resistance to change.

There are many deep seated insecurities within me. Whatever I fear usually happens in some form or the other.. The need to be perfect and say the right thing keeps me from being completely authentic. Sometimes I feel maybe I am fake. I am not the one whom I think I am. I always felt I am totally different from everyone. Maybe I was always the same as everyone. In a bid to be different from the rest I have made a fool of myself so many times and in the end have come across as a laughing riot.
I have hurt my soul.

What happens when you die ? You stop being human. You are a soul.
I just read something right now. It’s the most authentic thing I ever read and the energy in my fingers is trying to reach out to the collective energy of all you writers and bloggers here in WordPress.
Michel Singer’s book The Untethered Soul has a line which says you are conscious and you are experiencing what it is like to be human. That like caught my attention and I felt a pricky sensation. I felt as if Im just energy and my skin is a medium so that the flux can flow through it.

Who am I ? Am I the girl who is writing this blog ? Or am I someone else who claims to be a blogger but hardly knows the ‘W’ of writing. Am I someone who wants to show off in WordPress that she can write ? Am I writing for pleasure or for seeking attention ?

Identity fatigue isn’t a new concept. I always felt there is a fissure between the self I portray to others and the self that I keep only to myself when Im alone.
This fatigue has actually many a time overtaken my happiness. It has deterred me from being myself. I get scared when experience a sensation that is out of my grasp. Let us say : the moment I start getting attached to someone or start caring for them.
Its not easy to be radically authentic in a world which is getting emotionally drained out with every passing day. Intensity scares people off. If you show tour real self to the world, you are branded as insane. If you don’t and appear self-guarded then you are blamed to be politically correct.

A guy calls you unromantic simply because you withhold your emotions. The moment you start opening up to him and start being yourself with him, he starts being evasive and avoids you. One final day, he says I didn’t feel the connect with you. He severs all possible way of connection and acts so indifferent and cold that you lose faith in the value for emotions.

In short, it is hypocrisy that comes in the way of radical authenticity. The problem came when I expected people to acknowledge me for my authenticity. Why should they ? I am real for the sake of my own self. It isn’t to show others that I need to lauded for being authentic.

People who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind what you say or the way you are. This popular saying goes all the way to explain this concept of being authentic.
Don’t feign anything. Impressions are best reserved for professional purposes.
Human interactions and bonding need the real ‘you’.
You won’t feel connected to anyone if you suppress your true self. It might cause you pain and a few may run away from you when you exhibit your true self. But the ones who stay back with you are the people who treasure your authenticity.