I AM….


If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt & shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally or think about future with worry, anticipation and hope, mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment?

Nothing really. Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly rising, surging and receding waves of thoughts – the waters of past and future.

5 AM…If I remain still and notice, I hear the crickets drone and the rooster from the neighbor’s backyard, the fridge humming, my neck bones creaking, my left shoulder hurting, the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in intercepted by the soft clicking of the keys on the laptop as I am typing these thoughts.

In this present moment silence, there is a recognition of my solidity as well as the fluid awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly noticing everything – alert and present. There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in my mind to be penned.
I am aware of myself as well as my surrounds, far and near. My mind is trying desperately to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping like a bubble. There is the recognition of a thought arising. I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either – I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I AM” – that’s it. “I AM” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘AM’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on me and not carrying me away.

“No!” says the Awareness. “I acknowledge your existence, but you, my mind, are in my control and I will only use you to continue to make you know that I am in charge. I decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts. I have to use you for me to know who I am, but I will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over. You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, fears and anxieties, but ‘I’ am not them.

“I AM…” – anything after that is you jumping up and down with your theatrics. My mind! I own you and not the other way around. I am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed I choose, and so I will know and live in that recognition that “I AM…”

Who Is In Charge?


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It’s 5 AM.  I am sitting in front of a blank page not knowing what to write.  I don’t want to do the usual – pour out the events of yesterday, nor do I want to write about what I have to do and how I am not doing it etc., so, what remains to be said – really? Nothing.

If we don’t have anything to mull over about the past and get caught in the cycle of guilt and shame mostly, laced with pride and satisfaction occasionally, or, think about future with worry, anticipation, hope mixed with anxiety and fear sometimes – what have we got to say in the present moment – nothing really.  Only experiencing remains – experiencing the constantly surging and receding waves of thoughts rising – the waters of past and future.

I remain still – I hear the crickets drone in the distance and the rooster’s wake up call from the neighbor’s backyard, fridge humming, my neck bone creaking, left shoulder hurting.  I hear the silence I am surrounded and cocooned in, interrupted by the soft squishing of the pen on the paper that I am writing on.

In this present moment silence, there is an awareness of my solidity as well as the awareness of the ‘I’ that is making these observations quietly, noticing everything, alert and present.  There is no emotion in this state – only a deep calm interjected by next sentence rising in mind to be penned.

I am aware of myself.  My mind is desperately trying to create a particular chain of thought, but as soon as a thought is arising to a certain height, it is popping noiselessly like a bubble.  There is a recognition of a thought arising.  I have nothing to say, nothing to worry about, nothing to look forward to either. I am quiet, calm and rested in this deep echo in my heart of “I Am” – that’s it.

“I Am” is the only reality – anything added after the ‘am’ is the drama that we play on the screen of this world.

“Is this a thought regurgitated from acquired knowledge?” – asks my mind, unable to comprehend that it has no hold on  me and not carrying  me away.

“No.” says the awareness.  ‘I ‘ acknowledge your existence, but you my mind, are in my control and ‘I’ will only use you to continue to make you know that ‘I’ am in control.  ‘I’ decide when you can or cannot talk through your thoughts.  ‘I’ have to use you for  me to know who ‘I Am’, but ‘I’ will use you with full awareness and not let you cover me like storm clouds and take over.  You may have hopes, desires, wishes, worries, frustrations, anxieties etc. but ‘I’ am not part of them.

“I AM..” anything after that is you jumping up and down like a drunken monkey with your theatrics.  ‘I’ own you and not the other way around.  ‘I’ am the charioteer, you are the horse drawing the chariot at my command, in a direction and speed that ‘I’ choose from now on, so you will know and live in the recognition that “I” the eternal witness –  “I” am in charge.

How Much Planning Do You Do?


Cherry tree 2December of every year, my Facebook feeds start flooding with various posts on how to greet the new year, what plans to make, how to make plans – whether it be deciding on a word to guide one through the year, or creating a mandala for the year or a dream board or a vision board – the idea is that one has to plan and map the coming year so one knows exactly where to head.

I get caught in this religiously every year and my journaling towards end of December is always filled with plans, ideas, questions to answer, themes to choose from etc etc.,  Its a good practice to reflect on the year passing so the same mistakes will not be repeated.

So, the process has begun already and this year I have joined #quest2015 – you can learn more about it here – http://trackingwonder.com/quest-2015/community/#sthash.1K7KPArm.dpuf

One of the questions posed by Jason Silva is as follows

In what ways might you artfully curate your life in 2015 to occasion serendipity, creativity and awe?Ontological designing says: We design our world and the world designs us back. What are the linguistic and creative choices you can make in 2015 that will in turn act back upon you and transform you?

Well, my 2015 is already crowded with ‘to dos’, ‘have to dos’ and ‘must dos’ before it even started.  Some of those things on the list are unavoidable as a bigger picture of what I want to do with my life has unfolded a couple of weeks ago without my voluntary involvement – “Serendipity – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”  I was gobsmacked.

So, every other ‘must do’ will have to revolve around those things so it can all happen without losing myself in that process.  I am trying to accept that serendipity with grace even in the face of overwhelm and  need to steer 2015 creatively so I can maintain balance in all the five personality domains of life – physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual.  Any one domain neglected, the rest will suffer.

It has now become an urgency to curate 2015 with decisions on how I desire to feel in all those five areas.  I believe in Danielle Laporte’s #desiremap  If I know the choices I am making in how I feel, then those feelings will guide my actions.

So the predominant choice that I am going to make this coming year is that

“I choose to Love.  I will love everything that I have to do, must do and choose to do”

It is said that what we focus on grows – so why not focus on Love? But Love is too broad a word isn’t it? How can we love everything? Is it possible?

Well, Love manifests itself in many forms.  If we are open, aware and curious of the world around us, we will most certainly curate every area of our lives and only fill them with love.  The moment we start judging we shut down and there is no life in living when curiosity dies.

So, here is what I am going to do in 2015.

I will get curious about every opportunity, every encounter, and every possibility in every step of the way. I will show interest in others more than I do in myself; I will be compassionate as well as self-compassionate and I will let creativity guide all my actions.  I will separate the actions from the actors so I am not judging people. I will live in gratitude in the NOW.

When I live life with a respectful awe and wonder, the sacred returns.  A life filled with sacred has only room for love.

So, what are your plans for 2015? How do you want it to take shape? How will you know when that happens? Please share how you approach a new year.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

 

A Simple Process for Peace of Mind……


Good morning, turquoise swami!
Good morning, turquoise swami! (Photo credit: psd)

Every morning I open my journal, put the day, date and time on the right hand corner, and start my reflective communion with the Divine within myself – “Good Morning Swami” on the left hand corner. What starts out as  deliberately neat, legible hand writing soon becomes tight small scribbles that even I can’t decipher, as my mind opens at the nib of the pen onto the paper directly without much involvement of mine.  Some call this “Morning Pages”, some call this “Journal”, others call it “Streaming Consciousness” – whatever the name, mostly what comes out, at least lately, is repetitive, self bashing of not doing enough or not having executed on promises made to myself.

However, when I first started 20 years ago, what poured out of the pen were hurts caused by others, little or big; amused observations more as judgments of other people’s behaviors; grief, anger, worry, guilt, shame – not necessarily in that order – my mind overflowed and broke its banks and wet the paper with its black or blue flood waters swirling, crawling, circling – page after page.  The ranting would stop after a few pages as the river behind the dam is emptied, ready to receive fresh rain of life only to be emptied again the next day.

This is something many people do and the process for each one is different. If I go back and read 20 years stack of books, probably my life, however boring and repetitive it might be, will open giving insights and gems of wisdom through those spilled thoughts.

Am I scared that others might read them? I used to be.  Not any more.  The journal pages are the story of how my life has been influenced, changed, modeled and modified by others, myself included.  If those observations create feelings of discomfort in others, that is their choice.  By the way, arriving at this juncture of fearless expression also is the result of regular writing.

Why do I and many like me do this every morning, just about, without fail?  This question made me reflect deeply.

I have noticed that giving vent to mind to blow open and let it steam out on to the paper, made it into an empty vessel to be open and receive life each day freshly without preconceived judgments and ideas. This process keeps my head and heart light as they don’t have the need to dwell into their stories constantly.

As a result, I have now entered into a stage called “Choiceless Awareness”, allowing me to accept good and bad equally. Yes, the stones that are thrown randomly do cause turbulence, but the ripples are only small and the stones sink quickly washed off their dirt and sit at the bottom of the lake gleaming and shining their lessons to me.

The daily process of journal writing made me own myself with all the faults and failings and there are many many layers of them.

I don’t know fully what ‘Unconditional Love’ means, nor do I know how to fully love without duty, but as my awareness grew enough, what I realize is that there is no need for me to be opinionated and judgmental .

“Every action is perfectly justifiable by the Actor, whether it is philanthropic, mundane or murderous.”  Every one (including an ax murderer) has a perfectly justifiable reasoning behind their actions, given their circumstances. Daily peeling of the layers of my mind onto paper allows me to live in this Choice Less Awareness that my duty is to condone or condemn the ACTION only, not the ACTOR.

Choice less Awareness means Ownership of Self and Acceptance of Others with all our failings and successes, and is a moment to moment, day to day process.  That is a start to create peace and love within, whilst all hell is breaking lose outside that perimeter.

Choice Less Awareness keeps me porous and yet stops reverse osmosis.  I am able to allow my presence pour into my surrounds.

Choice Less Awareness grounds and regulates my breath, brings me out of the turbulence quicker and faster.

If a simple 30 minutes investment of daily writing keeps me away from therapy, doctors and illness, why wouldn’t I want to invest in that?

Try it – you will be amazed.  It will feel artificial initially. You resist writing down as fear clouds you –

  • Fear that you may hurt others or hurt yourself,
  • Fear of being honest with yourself,
  • Fear of having to justify your actions, thoughts,
  • Fear that you would be ridiculed, blamed
  • Fear that your are wasting time,

All the fears that form the top solid layer will play with you and you literally have to continue to poke holes with your pen to let them spill out.  As layers of the mind are peeled, you will find a sense of peace descending on you even through the clouds of pain and suffering.

I sincerely urge you all to try this.  Get up 15 minutes early if you have to.  Before the world drowns you streaming through 15″ of glass via emails, facebook etc., empty your dam of built up debris.  You owe it to yourself.  We all do.  The world is drowning of enough debris without us having to contribute to it.

Peaceful mind through Choice Less Awareness happens faster through the process of journal writing.

So, get a notebook and a pen and give yourself the gift of Peace of Mind that you deserve.  Start writing a Journal.

What do you think? Is it that simple….Let me know.

Until next time

with Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari