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


“So, What Do You Do……….”

Question mark
Question mark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a common question asked at every social setting when we meet somebody new.

A loaded question that makes one decide our Belonging, Relational Status, Placement and Standing in Society.

A question that makes some stand tall and proud, some stay neutral and yet others crouch low in answering.   A question that makes one gloat or cringe, or stutter and stumble.  It is a question – the answer of which immediately categorizes me in  the other’s eyes.  A question potentially filled with judgment.

Voluntarily or involuntarily, knowingly or unknowingly, we all are culprits of that.  We ask that question and within a split second make a comparison and decide who we are and what we are in relation to each other.  Some cultures condition their members to interact with each other solely on the nature of what one does for a living.

Why is that question so important? Why does the answer to that question give rise to such mixed emotions in people?  Why is ‘Doing’ so important?

The ‘How are You’ question which gives rise to  ‘Being’ answers are briefly addressed unless one is chronically sick- then the ‘Doing’ questions take prominence.

We tend to place our entire worth on ‘Doing’.  People ‘doing’ meaningful and high end professions derive immediate respect from the inquirer and vice versa. Depending on the answer, we either become respectful or awkwardly polite.  Our bodies, heads, chairs lean towards the ones that we value as more – more educated (translates to number of degrees or the type of qualification), more wealthy (the type of profession or business), better dressed etc., The open or subtle “Ah’s” and “oh’s” we express say a lot.  This is more obvious in certain cultures and countries than the others.  We all become like birds -birds of the same flock………

Is this discrimination – albeit subtle?

A simple question, casually asked can arouse such a variety of responses with such a mixture of emotions that we suppress and try and act normal. We place each other in relation to one another depending on what we do for a living.  That placement, even if it is not  malicious in its intent, gives a sense of ‘Relative Belonging’ and that is important to each one of us.  Some have beautifully scripted responses full of confidence, yet others have awkward stumbling over almost apologetic responses to that question.   Regardless of societies and cultures, no matter how egalitarian one proclaims to be, this happens.

So, What do You Do………….

Will this change?  Can this change?

Can we all stand shoulder to shoulder and proudly announce what we do and acknowledge that every profession regardless of the status quo attached to it, is like a tiny screw in a huge rocket.  One misplaced or missing screw can bring the entire rocket down.  We understand that with objects. Why can’t we understand that in human relationships?

We all are interconnected.  We are ‘Human Beings’, not ‘Human Doings’.

We know that intellecutally, but to live that in reality is another entire story.  We judge ourselves before anybody else does.

Is a Doctor’s service better than a Taxi Driver’s? Is a Surgeon’s knife more noble than a Soldier’s?  Does a person who drives computers deserve more respect than a person who cleans toilets?  Is a Scientist who invents better than a Chef who creates? Where is the need for comparisons?

We need Surgeons and Soldiers, Chef’s and Scientists. We need Drivers – of all sorts – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. We need creatives of all sorts – Scientists, Artiists, Writers, Chefs.

We cannot live without any of these services and yet we measure, weigh, compare, judge and put a value and then act.  This happens in a split second.  We tend to know a person through what they do first and then based on that judgment, if we choose to continue our relationship we will eventually see beyond  – to the real ‘Being’ behind the ‘Doing’.

Is it possible to stop this at all? Is it possible to truly stand next to each other and proclaim it doesn’t matter what we do, we are one because we are human ‘Beings’ first and foremost.  Then comes the ‘Doing’.

We may not discriminate on the color, the cast, the creed, the culture, the race, the gender etc, but we tend to instantly discriminate on the grounds of what we do.  Call it what you may, but the Relational Comparison happens and based on that we take on our Society Conditioned Identities.

The day when we make our ‘Being’ as our exclusive identity and not our ‘Doing’, that’s the day when we will stop discriminating completely.  We may have to come up with new answers to that question –

“So, What do you do………” .

May be the answer can be “I am Being  Doctor, Driver, Plumber, Chef…….” etc.,

Will a ‘Being…. a profession’ response change how we feel about ourselves and about each other? Will that remove the layers that we surround ourselves with and the walls that we erect between us?

I think so. We need to urgently change the language that we use in our conversations. Only then believable change can happen.

What do you think?

I am interested to know what your response would be to that question.  Please drop in your comments.

Until next time

With Love and Respect

Padma Ayyagari