Monthly Archives: March 2017

Need a Break!

It’s Sunday evening and you are thinking about all the things that you haven’t done. You have a busy day ahead and want to get to bed early but at the same time you have not had a break. Anyways you go to bed with the unfinished business hanging over your head.

You wake up in the morning with a feeling of never-ending list hanging over you.(All you want is some space to yourself) It’s Monday – busy day at work, things just keep piling up, people keep requesting things from you and you didn’t get a moment to do anything on your list.(You cannot wait for the break when you get home).

You get home – walk your dog – make food and eat. (All this while you are looking forward to a break). And finally you end up staying late so that you can have that time to yourself that you have been wanting for days now.

And the cycle starts again. Sounds familiar?

The question here is Why do need a BREAK from something?
Because you are so fed up with what you are doing that you need a break.
Why are you so fed up?
Because you think you would be rather doing something else than what you are doing right now.

We are not accepting the moment which unfortunately or fortunately is the only thing we have. The following quote from

Imagine we have a pipe through which water is flowing and we keep blocking one end of the pipe slowly. There comes a time when the pipe is blocked and water stops flowing.

When somebody comes with a request while all we want to do is to send the email – we resist it and add a little pebble to the end of the pipe. Note that we already added quite a few pebbles to the pipe over the weekend and as the day goes by we just keep adding pebble after pebble. No wonder when we come home all we want is a BREAK.

Now, if we just accept whatever happens as something that is exactly what we wanted then there is no pebble and water keeps flowing.

How do we do that? First and foremost as usual, awareness is the key, second practice and third actual experience of acceptance of what it is. And surprise, surprise when we accept things as they are we end up having more than enough time to do all that we ever wanted. This like all major shifts will take effort.

If you are ever present in the moment then the feeling of “Needing a Break” will diminish leaving more energy for you to do your own things or just be.

Another way to look at it is through my favorite Quote “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” Ros Zander who co-authored “The art of possibility” with Ben Zander talks about her experience in writing the book. She got herself a nice cabin in woods, well-equipped. And she would go there every weekend but end up doing everything else except writing – we have all been there! Until one day she realized that everything else that she was doing was also writing – it was food for thought like taking her dog for a walk, washing dishes etc.

Similarly if we view our daily life as all connected and every single piece including – broken pipe you need to fix, the stakeholder who has an urgent request then life just flows – there is no blockage.

Bollywood, Movies – Illusion

As some of you might know I run a small business on the side which is teaching Bollywood Dance. As a part of that I got contacted by Bollywood Musical Company Taj Express asking if I wanted to partner with them.

It was on a Tuesday night at 8:00 pm and Friday before that we had another Bollywood Dance Party (A great one by the way – they are having another one in May too, if you are interested) and that was a late night affair. It started around 9:30 pm and went on until the wee hours in the morning.

We sleep around 9:00 pm ish – as we were leaving the house at 8:00pm my iPhone gave me a reminder “Go to bed at 9:00 pm to get 8 hours of sleep”. If you are thinking why I am telling you all these details – its because I am trying to say that our sleeping cycle was already disturbed and we go to bed pretty early. So I wasn’t sure if really wanted to go to this event or not.

Anyways the partnership they wanted was for me to advertise their show and I said yes. Sow what you reap – I am very selfish that way. So they sent me this packet containing flyers/posters and two complimentary tickets. We decided we were going.

I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in – it was 75 percent full which was a good turnout. And then the show started. Foot Tapping music, lovely costumes and dance moves that made you move in your seat. We had done quite a few of the songs in our dance class as well. And at intermission there was an significant increase in my energy levels and that was reflected in the crowd as well. People were smiling at each other as if we are all a part of a big secret event. It got me enthused for sure. And the joy-ride continued with full steam ahead for the rest of the show and by the end of it I did not want it to end. I secretly wanted to get on the stage and dance with them.

Here’s a link to a latest Bollywood Movie Song – Watch it NOW, its only 2 minutes. I am sure you were also excited – there definitely has been some upward movement in the energy levels.

The reason I love Bollywood is – a) I am an Indian b)it a part of my job requirement c) it’s entertaining d) it takes me out of my daily life and lets me be immersed in something which is so fantastical that for those few moments nothing else exists. This is probably true for any activity that we truly enjoy like reading a book, meditating or doing yoga.

However, it as during the show I thought that there might something else going on here too – it might be deeper than just the energy rush that we get. Life is an illusion and maybe when we go to these movies we get a little more closer to realizing that we are watching a movie within the movie which we call Life.

And if that was too complex – check this out

Mind Over Matter – how much can you stretch?

It was summertime and I remember very vividly that my dad who is usually very fit kept sleeping for an entire weekend – non-stop. He had just made a trip to Delhi or some other city for business and when he came back all he did was sleep. His clothes had a slightly yellowish tinge – anyways they did go to the doctor. Doctor did a few tests and told him that he had jaundice but it’s on the decline now. The worst was over. So his Jaundice was at the peak during his business trip but it didn’t affect him at all.

If you are wondering why I am telling you this incident then here it is – Mind Over Matter. I believe that my Dad is one of the few people I know who are very good at mind over matter. What does it really mean?

In my dad’s case he willed his body to believe that it was all good – one can argue that he slept the whole weekend but you get the point. Basically what this is saying is that your body can withstand anything it’s your mind that you have to convince. There are scientific studies which prove this as well – let’s say you flip a coin 20 times what are the chances of heads/tails – 50% right? However, there was an experiment done where they had participants who willed a certain outcome like either heads and tails and the probability was not 50%. Check out this article for more details. If it could be done for coin flip experiment – imagine what we could all do if we ALL set our minds to it. Another famous example is the DC crime rate which started dropping when a meditation project was started and then started increasing when the project was disbanded – read about it here.

Our faith can move mountains. All we have to do is to believe.

The question is – If there is so much evidence that meditation/focusing your mind on an object is so powerful then how come most of the people don’t do it? Why is that each and every one of is not drawn to meditation?
The only answer that I can come up with is – when the student is ready , teacher will be ready otherwise even if you read about it, even if you see it, you are still blocked to it – you will not see it really. But it doesn’t mean we don’t try.

And then there’s a flip side to it too – you can only push yourself so much. It’s like different rubber bands can be stretched only to certain points before they break – so you have to find out your breaking point and work on it to increase its elasticity if you are so interested and called to do so!

It also comes back to my favorite quote – its all in me – all in the mind. Everything that happens to us, including the angry boss, difficult stakeholders, great pets, lovely spouses is all within our mind even the so called external circumstances like political situation/global warming all of them – they are all creations of our mind and most of us are ignorant of what our minds are creating.

But nobody said it better than the Mysore style Ashtanga teacher Pattabhi Jois – it’s true even in yoga.

Cooking Creativity

When I first met Adam one of the my very emphatic statements to him was that I am not going to cook. Coming from India where it is assumed that girls will grow up and cook for their husbands and family, I assumed that Adam had similar notions. I was all set to make it straight. Adam’s cool answer to my “ready to go to war with” statement was “OK”.

And now surprise, surprise I love cooking – well, trying new recipes and if they are vegan/gluten free/healthy and have chia seeds or other superfoods even great. Like this weekend I made Onion Garlic Buttah [Vegan butter from Cashews], I have been on this cooking journey since last year. This weekend as I was making the Buttah I thought about why the sudden change. At first, I thought it was because, now it’s not expected of me – it’s my choice. But then I realized it was because it was creative. That got me thinking and hence the blog.

The picture above says it all and the output of the cooking is a lot different from the input itself. You do create something new and that’s what I like. Even the recipes I have made once I always change something in them. There is something very satisfying in taking different ingredients and making something new out of them.

And maybe this is why I love Software development too – creation of a website/form that did not exist before. As an engineer I assumed that I wasn’t creative but as I got into management the one thing I really missed was the creation of something tangible. And we will not talk about the fact that creativity might end up looking like a skyscraper when the client really wanted a small cabana on the beach – minor details.

And it was when I read Artist way that I started opening up to my creative self. And it is a journey – for years I grew up thinking creativity was something was outside of me – even the dictionary meaning of creative states that is something which is used for artistic work like painting/art. So if you are not a poet or an artist you are not creative.

the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

However, now I am realizing that creativity is inbuilt in us as humans. Well, to begin with the mind chatter – voice in our head creates these lovely movies about things that don’t even exist or will never exist. For example, you see somebody in a party and your Mind Chatter creates a reality where that person does not like you. Or you have just given an interview and your Mind Chatter creates a reality where you will never get the job or where you get the job. We are creating all the time.

In fact, every day we wake up in the morning we are creating our day – every moment is a one that did not exist before. We are all creative beings in that sense – and now I beginning to understand where creativity and personal mastery come together.

What kind of a life are you creating right now, at this moment?