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.

Is HOPE Whispering In Your Ears?


My favourite spot of reflection

Hope whispers in my ear that I needn’t worry about kids, family, money, health, future and even world.  “Don’t Worry..” she says, “I am here alive in your heart and carry you through your worries.  ‘Forgetting’ is the magic dust I sprinkle on you. As you sweetly slip in to your dreamworld, I whisper gently and promise that I will hold your hands through the night and fill your world with dreams that help you wake up fresh and bright eyed.”

As life started closing in with all its worries, I was not convinced of these gentle whispers of Hope and needed more assurances from her.

Hope did not give up and continued to whisper in my ear that

  • She is here to make the world a better place by inspiring people to have visions that will not shatter with their current realities,
  • She is the bedrock of all visions and
  • She is an angel from God installed in every human heart no matter how flickering she might be in there.

Hope told me to tell you

  • To not give up,
  • To hold on as all pain comes to an end,
  • That Hope cannot be kicked out so easily
  • That she will linger as long as you dream even faintly against your reality.

Hope is the sun shining even when clouds are covering it up.  She asks us to remember that just as we feel a guarantee that there will be sunshine after heavy rains, there will be Hope even as despair tries to cover us up.  All she needs is half an acknowledgment from us and she is ready to run with us, leading us.

This is what Hope told me today.

She says that she is the next breath of fresh air that enters you – all you need to do is to pause, remember and inhale her deeply and she will light that lamp in your heart.

So, please lend her your ear and she will fill you with most divine melodies that you ever heard.

As Poet Lisel Mueller says –

Hope

It hovers in dark corners

before the lights are turned on,

it shakes sleep from its eyes

and drops from mushroom gills,

it explodes in the starry heads

of dandelions turned sages,

it sticks to the wings of green angels

that sail from the tops of maples.

It sprouts in each occluded eye

of the many-eyed potato,

it lives in each earthworm segment

surviving cruelty,

it is the motion that runs

from the eyes to the tail of a dog,

it is the mouth that inflates the lungs

of the child that has just been born.”

Will you allow Hope to whisper in your ear? What is she saying? Can you hear her?

Remember,

Hope is the Oxygen in the next breath you take

Fill your lungs with it – you won’t regret. 

Pause…..Relax….Breathe….deeply and fully. 

Do not let despair take over and constrict your lungs.

Fill them with Hope.

Inhale ‘Hope’ the Life Saver.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

Inhale ‘Hope’ the Life Saver.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

What ‘Hope’ Asks of Me….


??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Hope whispers in my ear that I needn’t worry about money, health, kids, family, future and even world.  “Don’t Worry..” she says, “I am here alive in your heart and carry you through your worries.  ‘Forgetting’ is the magic dust I sprinkle on you. As you sweetly slip in to your dreamworld, I whisper gently and promise that I will hold your hands through the night and fill your world with dreams that help you wake up fresh and bright eyed.”

I was not convinced and needed more assurances from her.

Hope continues to whispers in my ear that she is here to make the world a better place by inspiring people to have visions that will not shatter with current realities, that she is the bedrock of all visions and that she is an angel from God installed in every human heart no matter how flickering she might be in there.

Hope told me to tell you to not give up, to hold on as all pain comes to an end, that she cannot be kicked out so easily; that she will linger as long as you dream even faintly against your reality.

She says that she is the next breath of fresh air that enters you – all you need to do is to pause, remember and inhale her deeply and she will light that lamp in your heart.  Hope is the sun shining even when clouds are covering it up.  She asks us to remember that just as we feel a guarantee that there will be sunshine after heavy rains, there will be Hope even as despair tries to cover us up.  All she needs is half an acknowledgment and she is ready to run with you, leading you.

This is what Hope told me today.  Please lend her your ear and she will fill you with most divine melodies that you ever heard.

As Poet Lisel Mueller says –

Hope

It hovers in dark corners

before the lights are turned on,

it shakes sleep from its eyes

and drops from mushroom gills,

it explodes in the starry heads

of dandelions turned sages,

it sticks to the wings of green angels

that sail from the tops of maples.

It sprouts in each occluded eye

of the many-eyed potato,

it lives in each earthworm segment

surviving cruelty,

it is the motion that runs

from the eyes to the tail of a dog,

it is the mouth that inflates the lungs

of the child that has just been born.”

Will you allow Hope to whisper in your ear? What is she saying? Can you hear her?

Remember,

Hope is the Oxygen in the next breath you take

Fill your lungs with it – you won’t regret. 

Pause…..Relax….Breathe….deeply and fully. 

Inhale ‘Hope’ the Life Saver.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari

“To Stop the Violence Against Woman……”


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(Shakti – Acrylic on Paper, by Padma Ayyagari)

She was attacked brutally, violated, hurt and thrown on to the road side like a piece of waste used paper. She didn’t survive the assault.  The whole world came to know about it and an entire nation was outraged at the unbelievably audacious attack that happened right amongst crowded streets.

We came to know her name as Jyoti Singh Pandey.  There was not a dry eye nor an unbelievable feeling of horror and shame. Horror that such an atrocity happens time and again and shame that we witness it and continue our lives calling ourselves human.

Jyoti Singh is not an isolated case and attacks on women is not a new phenomenon either.  From Rwanda to Rome, New Delhi to New York; Melbourne to Milan and Sydney to Sudan, attacks and assaults on women is a common almost daily occurrence  more in some parts than the other.

Ironically, Hindu Mythology worships Females.  Creation is referred as feminine, Earth is called Mother, Countries we are born in are called Mother-Country and the native language we speak is called Mother-tongue.  Indians worship Goddess of Wealth – Lakshmi, Goddess of Education – Saraswati, and Goddess of Higher Intelligence – Gayatri.  There are countless stories of Goddesses having fought horrific wars to win good over evil and reestablish righteousness.

So, the question remains, how can an Indian Male worship Goddess in different forms and yet commit such horrific acts on a female.  How can we women pray to different Goddesses and yet can be incredibly cruel and judgmental against fellow women – be it a mother, mother-in-law, daughter or a daughter-in-law.

This painting is my tribute to Jyoti Singh Pandey and many millions like her who are made to suffer.  The painting depicts Shakti (meaning sacred force or empowerment) it is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Whilst Shakti sheds compassionate tears at the brutal attempt to tear her down, she also provides infinite source of hope, wisdom, courage and inspiration through selflessness and generosity.  We women have an obligation to learn to rise on that courage and inspiration provided by the selfless suffering of the likes of Jyoti Singh and stand united to stop the violence against women.  What is also most important is that we women need to stop violence against ourselves and towards fellow women.

As Alice Walker wrote in her poem “To Stop the Violence Against Woman”….

Woman
To Stop the Violence
Against
Woman,
Woman
Must stop the violence
Against
Herself.

We can begin to do this
Now, Now that we see
A sky
And not a Rock
A stick
Or a fist
Above all
Our Heads.

Woman
To stop the violence
Against the Woman,
Stop the violence
That you
perpetuate
Against
Your own
Sister
Who is
A Woman, your own
Daughter
Who is
A woman,
Your own
Daughter-in-law
Who is
A Woman.
Your own
Mother
who is
A Woman.

Woman

to stop the violence
Against Woman,
Stop the violence
That lives
In opposition
To your life,
Deep in your
Own terrorized and
Uncherished Heart.

Woman

Remember who we are:
Not “Guys”
But
The Mother
Of all
Living.
We create out of our
Own blood
And milk
The creatures
Who oppress
Us;
Whether they are men
or
Ourselves.

Woman
Awake!
Arise!
Stand up!

Woman

To stop the violence
Against
Woman,
Getup
on your perfectly
Unbound
Feet!
We have the earth
Living on our knees…

Yes, we need to stop the violence against ourselves, awake,arise and stand up united.

Nothing can stop the Shakti…

What do you think?
Love to hear your comments…
Until next week

With Love and Respect
Padma Ayyagari

The Real Reason Behind Procrastination……….


Procrastination
Procrastination (Photo credit: Emilie Ogez)

 

Procrastination – is a familiar word to all of us.  Every single one of us would have experienced this at one time or the other in our lives. We put things off, sometimes for a short period of time and yet at other times indefinitely.  We get anxious when we think of those things that we are putting off, briefly pick up, look at them and then delay finishing.  We often give ourselves very good excuses, justifications for not doing.

 

Procrastination is a subject written about extensively. Any number of solutions are on offer to conquer it.  What am I going to add that is new or what solution would I offer that is not already given?

 

Well, in putting off the inevitable – yet again, I realized a very important truth about this whole subject – the real reason why I procrastinate.

 

What do I hope to achieve in putting off the inevitable, or putting off things to do?  Why do I resist the knowing urge to act now? Why do I postpone things?

 

Procrastination helps me ‘Buy Time’ or so I think.

 

Delaying to Buy Time – such a fallacy.

 

When I look at the artificially created calendar, it comforts and acknowledges my continued mortality and the mental unrest due to pressed anxiety will ease in the short term.

Is that why I postpone – to comfort myself that I am going to live that much longer? Does that hope, ambition, expectation create a rush in me to live?  Am I scared that if I finish doing everything that I have to do now, there is no reason for me to live for tomorrow?

Is that it?  Procrastination helps me ‘Buy Time’ ?

I live in a big bubble of illusion thinking that I can stop the clock by delaying.  Small or big – the size of the issue or thing is not the question.  The fundamental  principle in resistance induced procrastination is the false hope that I am applying brakes on my guaranteed mortality.  I want to continue my life and living.  As long as I have hopes pinned on ‘One Day’ set at some arbitrary distant future, I feel comforted that I could live until then to see it through.

 

Needs, Wants, Desires,  Ambitions, Hopes, Expectations,  – they are the drivers of life.  Procrastination and Delaying are the brakes that temporarily stop the wheel of time – or so I think.

I fool myself that in delaying I have actually stopped the clock.  But my mind rotates along with the clock that never stopped, while my eternal clock that counts down my life ticks closer to the zero hour.

 

I don’t like to dwell on ‘what if’s’ but I don’t mind living in “if then’s”

 

The “What If” scenarios – “What If I fall sick”, “What if I have an accident and die”, “What if I cannot deliver/do/keep my promise” etc., etc., gets answered with a promising “If I…………, then I can………..” and buys time. You fill in the blanks.

 

The fear induced by “What If’s” are comforted by “If, then, I can’s” false assurances of our immortality, and the clock ticks as we settle our minds temporarily in its permanent impermanence.

 

Am I buying time or Am I wasting time?

 

If my existence is timed on earth, every moment I delay in doing what I am meant to be doing – I am wasting time.  On the other hand, if I think I am immortal (funnily enough we think that without ‘thinking’) then every decision postponed, I am buying time (Not),.

 

Deep down I know that my existence is limited and my days are numbered and yet on surface I act as though I am going to be eternal – and there is the conflict within me.

I can never be at peace with myself when two sub currents of ‘Push and Pull’ exist.  That unrest shows in me as emotional irritability, the deep discontentment, the anxiety, the frustration, the emotional ups and downs, the entire zeal we call living.

 

Many solutions are offered in conquering this self defeating enemy called Procrastination – they work for brief periods of time until we forget again.  So what is a solution that we cannot overlook –

 

Observing the Push and Pull of Time with awareness and remembering that the next minute is not ours

 

How do we do that?

 

We will explore that in the next blog………..

 

Until then, let me know what you think.

 

With Love and Respect

 

Padma Ayyagari