Traveling is one of the best ways to expand your horizons and learn about different cultures. It has been such a long time since I’ve taken a long holiday with no obligations attached that I had almost forgotten what a wondrous experience it is!
Cenotaph at Madore Garden
We were to travel to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer during Christmas and New Year, and the excitement was building up since almost a month. I spent quite a bit of time after work looking for places to stay and researching the two cities and all that we could do, that I was dreaming of all the places we would visit and what they would be like weeks before we even left!Continue reading→
I was discussing the changing face of consumerism in India with a friend a few days back. There was a time, even until about 4 years ago, when almost any purchase could give you a high for at least a few days. Nowadays, we seem to be so jaded, that even when we buy something we’ve been hankering for, the joy is missing. Like 6 years back, when I was staying alone in Bombay, I spent a “princely” sum of Rs. 2,000 on books, and I was kicked about it for weeks! I could never have imagined spending that much on books before, not for lack of money, but for remonstrations from my mother. Now, about a month back, I spent Rs. 8,500 on a woolen rug for the hall, again something I had been wanting for a long, long time, but when we came home and laid it down, I just looked at it, said yeah it looks nice, and that was it! Even when I bought my first car a few months back (ok, I know, I learnt driving really late!) it should have been a monumentally happy occasion—but it was not! I just felt like yeah, ok, I got my car. Why?? Where’s the joy gone? It’s not like these purchases were “unnecessary” and neither is it that I have truck loads of money and shelling out about 9k is no big deal—9k still is a lot of money for me! But there’s just no joy!
Maybe it’s just that it has become easier to buy things, what with banks falling over themselves to give you loans and credit cards. Or that we are earning increasing amounts of money with lesser time to enjoy it; so, when we do buy something, its generally taken such a long time to manage to get the time out and buy it, that we just don’t get that kick anymore. Or could it be that we are so spoiled for choice, that we’ve become jaded about our purchases? Whatever it is, it isn’t a very pretty place in which to be.
I was reading an article on Flow, and how it can be easily achieved by everyone. Flow is the current that enables our lives to unfold effortlessly, and moves us toward a feeling of “completeness” and harmony. When we are in flow, we experience synchronicity—events line up and fall into place, and obstacles just melt away. Flow has tremendous power to transform our lives, for it is dynamic and moves us unfailingly toward joy and aliveness.
When we are in flow, things happen, seemingly without any major effort on our part; almost as though we were in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. But it’s been a long time since I’ve felt connected to the Universe. There was a time when things just seemed to happen, when I just knew something was pre-destined, and events unfolded almost perfectly. I seem to have lost my way to the wellspring, and can’t seem to find it!
According to the article I was reading, there are nine qualities that engage flow:
Commitment—Living by our deepest values
Honesty—Telling the truth to ourselves and others
Passion—Engaging with what we care about
Immediacy—Being in the moment
Openness—Saying Yes to whatever comes our way
Receptivity—Listening to inner and outer messages
Positivity—Finding the value in each situation
Trust—Having faith in ourselves and the Universe
Somewhere along the way, I forgot how to spend time dreaming, to be receptive to things around me….I forgot about me and how to myself….I had no time to purse my passions, or to look at things objectively and honestly. With no time to introspect, it seems to be no wonder that I lost my bearings.
However, the article does go on to list out techniques that help us deepen the aove qualities in ourselves:
Accept yourself and others
Express who you really are
Follow your intuition
Do 100% of what you know to do—and trust
Finish things and move on
Break with your old reality
Give of yourself
Get a point of view from the Universe
So, will I have the time and the courage to find my way back? Only time will tell….
After planning, hoping, waiting, fighting, and crying over it, the husband and I finally managed to co-ordinate our days off and go for a vacation – after years and years!! The destination: Jaipur. Although we had been there before, about 5 years ago, and had done all the touristy things, we hit upon it due to paucity of time, and the fact that I wanted to indulge in some retail therapy. And what better place to sooth a girl’s heart than Jaipur, where you get lovely silver jewelry, and much cheaper than you’d ever hope to find in Delhi!Continue reading→
Solitude…a word at once calming and scary. Calming because it is only in solitude that I can get in touch with myself, examine the effect various events and conversations have had on me. I need my solitude to center myself, otherwise I become like a prickly hedgehog, ready to rise to the defence for almost no reason.
Its scary at the same time, because I can squander it away….or go alone to find myself and discover there’s no one there. Even though that at least has never happened.
But in spite of just how important solitude is to me…there are times when I have none. Caught up in this hullaballo of daily life with all its demands, there is no time for self-reflection and contenmplation. And it is during those periods (like right now) that I just wish for a small cottage in a remote hill station where I can lose myself.
Aren’t we all muddled in some way or the other? Second guessing ourselves, wondering about our decisions, going through life with some firm opinions and with others that change. Questioning our faith and beliefs. The rationals among us questioning history and faith. After all, it was recorded centuries after the event. How much of it is true? And how do you sift between fact and fiction? How can blind faith explain certain concepts of relegion – like the Immaculate Conception and the Indian Creation Myth? Do we choose to believe? Do we act like we believe? Not only with regards to relegion, but with regards to the many excuses we hear everyday. How much of it goes on in an endless loop at the back of our minds, as we try and analyze what was said and what may have been implied? Confusion and chaos rule….most of the time….and if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know it’s true.