A pilgrimage of self-reflection with Paulo Coehlo

Many of my articles have begun as a result of a good movie or a good book. Yes, that is the kind of connection sometimes you build with a book or a movie or should I say vice versa

Today I am in the midst of my favourite writer Paulo Coelho’s autobiographical novel by Juan Arias entitled- “Paulo Coelho: Confessions of a pilgrim”. 

I don’t remember the first time I met Paulo- I mean the year or the date. it seems like an eternity. It seems I have known him all along.

Though I do remember it was with The Alchemist.

I had always been a spiritual, introspective person. Thinking and rethinking my life. I could say I am the biggest critic and analytic in my life. Maybe that is why Paulo’s works impressed me so much. Though, I won’t lie when I say I love only a few of his books like The Alchemist, Hippy, The Pilgrimage and now his autobiography (which of course is a series of his words captured by another writer).

Anyways, I should stop digressing here and come to the point!

So, the autobiography of Paulo had me look into his life stages and reflect on mine.

One would say we have one life-one soul- one body right?

Wrong.

We die many times and are reborn many times in the course of our lives. Our childhood often dies when we are transitioning into youth, our youth dies when we act like adults and we often kill our adult side in the end just to have a glimpse of that childhood back in us. More so, we transition from innocence to practicality, to a rigid set of ideas, to loose and rigid morality and so on. 

Lately, I began wondering whether a new wave in my life, a new turn of events is changing the way I am living my life. 

My life has been driven solely by others. My father has been a dominating figure throughout my life. He took decisions for me and told me what to wear, and where to go. And I as a strong rebel kept on fidgeting with his ideas, fighting but in the end, the parent is always one. I won’t say I didn’t try at least!

Lately, as I began to get older, I depended on him completely. I had and no longer have confidence in the way I am because I am afraid of errors. And you know what? I do that. (Oh yes, it’s called self-sabotage, I read it somewhere). I am not confident. And slowly, just gave in. Now other people decide what I wear, where I go or do. I am left with little, what you call ‘authority’ in my life. 

Though I chose the man with whom I had decided to spend my life but with him too I lacked authority. You know what? He is exactly like my father. Yes, yes, I read this too- women often fall in love with their father figures. 

Back to the point. So now, he takes decisions, I influence yes- but I am not confident you see. I rely on him for APPROVAL. And what I am doing that way? Living a life according to him? So where’s my rebel spirit? Alas, dead!

That was up until now. 

Now a new wave entered my life. A person. A series of events made me fall in love with myself. Some people as they say are mirrors in your life. They act as your reflectors so that you could realise what exactly you are and want to be.

I want and have always wanted a life of my own choice. I will make mistakes, I will fall and get up and get hurt but the journey would be mine. I am not afraid of adventures! I love life itself! I am curious. I am spiritual. I read signs, I know things, and I am intuitive. 

No, I don’t like parties. No, I hate getting drunk and sleeping. I like good movies. I like romance. I like honest and pure souls who I can read to their very last drop of blood. I deserve to be loved- truly, madly, deeply. Enough of serving others for life. 

I am a slow lover. I don’t like fast-paced life. I am inquisitive. I don’t want to settle. I don’t want to lead a sedentary, drudgery life. I am alive every moment. My head is full of ideas. My heart is full of love. I am young. No, I am not practical. I am a dreamer. I am a creator. I am not a materialistic. I am words, I am stories, I am rhythms and seasons and blossoms and rains. 

It is my time, to rise again.

It’s the turning point of my life again.

It’s me vs me, it’s me alone, on my path- to what they say, what Paulo will say- a journey- a pilgrimage of self-reflection. 

Would love to have you back!

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO walk alone?

The world believes unity is strength, but I beg to differ.

This world itself made me realise, that I am strongest by myself.

I am strongest when I walk alone when I am vulnerable, prone to harm and injury and exploitation.  

When I have no one to ‘lean on’ I feel confident in my abilities, my choices and my actions. 

I feel liberated and free. I feel I can conquer the world, and I can conquer the world according to whatever stupid fantasy or desire I have. 

I could sleep if I want to, wake up if I want to. 

Spend money in vain activities or save like I am getting bankrupt. 

I can look at the sky and find crazy patterns and not care if people around me feel I need a psychiatrist. I can plan for holidays around the world without having the possible means at hand. I can live in my mad mad world and not care a dime about people’s opinions. 

So I walk alone 

Because….

When I am with others I am weak. I am weak in love

Because..

I heed what others want. 

I have a desire to fulfil ‘their’ desires. 

I mask myself for them to outshine, I live for them as a sign of my love and in the end, I forget who exactly I was. 

I start drinking if the person I love wants company, I stop drinking when the person I love hates drinkers.

So much so that I start shaping my personality, my words my ideas my pursuits according to their wills and desires. 

Perhaps I want acceptance? Perhaps I just want to be loved. A simple, basic need.

So does love make me weak?  Oh yes, it does. 

It weakens who I am.

It weakens whom I want to be.

It weakens my love for myself.

It weakens my desires, my fantasies.

It weakens who I am to myself.

Because I kill myself in loving others,

My love is the all-consuming love

That is why I have a small cohort of people I truly love

Otherwise, I would have used every vein of my heart till it drops dead.

So, the only way to survive for me is to walk alone. 

Would love to have you back!

I found God

I never believed in religion. 

But I always believed in God. 

I was wrong both ways.

I thought he/she/it is something that is either inside us or maybe in the sky, what we often call heaven, jannat, swarag or the likes. But actually he isn’t.

Remember he can neither be created nor be destroyed? Every scripture talks about it.

Remember that time on a chilly morning when you had to get out of bed because you already overslept. You were almost shivering and hating every bit of it. While rubbing your eyes and adjusting to the reality, you find yourself drawn to the window. It’s cloudy, but somehow behind those clouds a soft ray of sun falls on your face? What did you feel then?

Remember the time that you were heavily burdened under your work. Your eyes pain, your headaches, the day feels dreadful and suddenly your dog comes closer and looks at you. What did you feel?

Remember the time it rained heavily and you were walking on the grass, barefoot. It seemed sticky at first, but then the pointy edges trickled your feet. What did you feel then?

Remember when you got out of a party? Everybody was drunk with ecstasy but you still felt sad inside? You got out and into the balcony, and heard a bird singing. Soon you see her, her round black eyes looking at you while she flutters her long yellow tail while singing. What did you feel?

Remember when you were sitting near a pond, thinking about your life goals.  There, on a log of wood appears a stone like figure but it seemed to move. People around you start noticing a neck beneath the stone. The turtle is standing still and everybody starts trying to get the turtle’s attention. But you don’t budge but silently watch it from your place. And somehow the turtle turns his neck and straight towards you. How do you feel?

You feel ‘him’, you feel the ‘energy’, you feel the ‘universe’ and you know everything is that divine energy. And everything else is just a distraction, just noise, meaningless worries and meaningless words. It is your mind that is actually causing all this ruckus. The universe runs through the veins of your heart. It connects you with every living being that surrounds you. It is then, that you finally know that the search for him/her/it is over. 

Where you able to find him?


Would love to have you back!

A CITY GIRL IN LOVE WITH A TOWN

I was born a city girl. Having that typical access to renowned brands, famous restaurants, premium quality stuff, everything at the click of a button or a call. A city that has so much hustle that it is difficult to hear anything but the noise of endless horns or people fighting over nothing. Crowds swarming the streets and the endless wait for getting anything you want because there are several in line for the same.

Whenever these streets clogged my mind, I would sit back and watch a movie where the girl enters a jungle or somewhere in the middle of nowhere and could hear her own heart pump. Or else, a novel, a similar setting for a similar escape.

A new town

One day I got a chance to travel to a small town called Vidisha in MP. I had never heard of it but from a friend who was lucky enough to have it as his maternal hometown.

We reached there by train, what I saw in front of me was a world where things had a slow pace. The streets were narrow but not empty. And there was a silence that made the birds speak out the loudest. A chirp here and a flapping of wings there. I saw sparrows that had long left my city, jumping across the street for some bits of food. I saw jackals on the way too. Nature seemed to like this place.

The houses were old. The colors were dull. Nothing fancy, nothing proud. But what you actually call authentic. People still mingled around. Neighbors basked in the sun together and called out if they needed help. They were still living in the past I thought, but in reality their social lives were still preserved from the degradation we suffered, as city people.

The next day a friend took us on a town-tour. Who would have thought a town this small could hold such treasures?

The hidden treasures

Sometimes little things make big differences. Likewise, travelling on the bike, smelling the air mixed with the scent of flowers, was a choice that fate brought on us.

The drive itself was liberating. As the town unfolded, a whole new area with virgin expanses of green came our way. Trees making canopy on the roads, as if to provide shade to the riders in the heat. The air was soft and fresh. The people had a curious but a simple quality to their faces. Not the kind of pride and disgust you come across in the cities.

We visited Udaigiri caves and resort. It was like travelling back in time when people used to live in harmony with the nature. Nested besides the forest it contained several Hindu and Jain relics dating 5th century AD. Magnificent, as if untouched. You could explore it, on your own accord without the hustling of tour guides or people incessantly clicking pictures. You could see how those that came before you lived and worshipped. Even peacocks and peahens found it suitable to reside in.

Udaigiri caves, Source: Tales of a nomad

Our next stop was Bijamandal. A whole new whole world of the gods opens up and you sense something sacred in the site. A temple and then a mosque, the site still holds the memories of the past, afresh. Walking a bit further we found a small water harvesting pit that one can mistake as a magical place much like Game of Throne’s House of Black and white.

Water reservoir aka house of black and white, Source: Self

The whole area is unexplored and still so pure from people who trade history. It numbs you because the vast expanse of the site is such that it makes you look so little and so unimportant, thereby humbling you.

On a 15minutes drive from Vidisha was another unexplored gem called Sanchi stupa. Yes, the picture that you find on a 200 Indian Rupee bill that is a symbol of Buddhism. The vast expanse made by King Ashoka in 3rd century BCE still holds huge idols of buddha but with the kind of calmness that he always preached. We even trekked a bit down to see if we find some unknown relics residing in the overgrowth surrounding the area.

Sanchi Stupa, Source: World heritage journeys

An enthusiast of history or shall we say, a proud lover of his humble town, our guide was a friend with whom we were staying. He had a passion for things only heart can see. He made the journey alive. We travelled several other places, discovered hidden temples and known farms all through his eyes.  His passion was pure and his love for his town, quite clear.

Sometimes, when I sit back still, try to hear those sparrows or the rustling of the leaves, I am reminded of the town and its passionate eyes and I almost forget if I was a city girl ever! And my eyes feel the bitter-sweet longing.

Did something like that ever happen to you?

Would love to have you back!

Are you ONE NAME & SEVERAL TITLES? hOLA RENAISSANCE PERSON

Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Aristotle-What is common between them apart from being famous personalities?

They are people with multiple specialties, talents, and interests, they are called ‘Renaissance men’.

Renaissance man: A person who has wide interests and is an expert in several areas (MERRIAM WEBSTER)

lET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING

I use to call myself messy!

No, I wasn’t shabby looking or unclean but because I had a shabby idea of who I am. I was unable to juggle between different identities and interests that I often had. I had a deep curiosity in a field, I pursued it for a while, became good at it, and felt it become boring now. As a result, my resumes always changed.

Yes, it did change because I was now looking for a new role but it also changed because I had developed a whole new set of skills that were to be added to the resume.

When people asked me what do you like I had a list of endless different fields some of which didn’t overlap or connect in any way.

Yes, I had many and I have many. The list goes on every time I check it.

I remember my anthropology professor telling me,

Beta tumhari problem ye hai ke tumhe sab chahye ek sath, ye possible nhi hai” (Dear your problem is that you want everything together, that’s not ideally possible)”

Do you wonder what I said?

I said I wanted to study cultures, have a running income, write a book, work in the open, pursue Ph.D. and serve society in some way.

If you don’t identify with these feelings, you must be thinking she is fickle-minded! She is lost! And I am thinking, how blessed you are to have one true purpose known to you.

The world is full of people who figured out either a calling or decided on a job meant to serve them for the rest of their lives. Aren’t they blessed? They wake up without confusion, sleep without anxieties, don’t appear lost!

Having too many interests is tough! Really! That is what gives you the feeling of ‘something isn’t right.

self-sabotage & ‘something isn’t right

I had lived a life full of self-doubt, self-sabotage, and the feeling that something is wrong with me just because I wanted to be taken up so many roles.

I have ‘N’ no. of dairies and digital files with endless diagrams of Ikigai’s and purpose and goal and ambition and what not! But I could never have one single answer.

If you are a researcher and have made user personas, imagine multiple personas living inside of you! Which one to go for?

Maybe my professor was right, but was it wrong? And why? Just because I am curious and want to immerse myself in a lot of things? Just because unlike others I never get bored! Rather I am overwhelmed with so much to do in such a short time?

the answer from beyond: The multipotentialites

But, the universe has always had my back. Years before it had brought a message saying “if you enjoy the solitude that is because you are an introvert” and now it brought me a message saying you are a ‘multipotentialite’.

It happened so that while scrolling through Youtube for some motivational videos (felt dead low then!) I came across a TED talk and immediately on to a book. It was called, How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up by Emilie Wapnick

We are what Emilie Wapnick calls ‘a multipotentialite”. A heavy term for someone who doesn’t possess one isolated quality but has several feathers in his/her cap.

So, I came to know that we are a kind of career superhuman!

And the Hollywood superhuman flicks have already told you how difficult it is being so!

I am sure many of you agree. We like arts, sciences, nature, cultures, people, music, theatre, mathematics and so many different stuff all at once. We value freedom, are innately curious (my website name agrees), have endless ‘will’ to learn, and are busy either learning or creating something! That is the reason no one role can define us! We are but many in one package!

You’re someone who’s going to shake things up, create something novel, solve complex, multidimensional problems, make people’s lives better in your own unique way

-EMILIE WAPNICK

I realized even my father is a multipotentialite. He is an entrepreneur, a Plummer, a carpenter, an electrician, a philosopher, a spiritual guru, a motivational coach, a gardener and there is an endless list of things he can be relied upon!

I guess, being a multipotentialite is a rather a blessing, that I realized like just now!!

We have a creative drive that wants us to follow several paths the world laid before us. We are blessed to be inspired every now and then. We are those who can be employed for many roles at once. We are those who ditch the mold and create a niche of ‘multi-talented people.

You may like photography, playing guitar, sketching, painting at the same time!

Everything said-but is it practical?

I had been a believer of ‘one’s true calling’. Though I still believe in the ‘calling’ but no longer believe it to be ‘one’. But having multiple callings is sometimes not practical.

But that doesn’t mean we should doubt ourselves. Remember that we were born in this way, we didn’t create our curious hormones! And if the maker intended us to be this way, he must have a plan (or wants you to find one!).

Emilie Wapnick happens to have found one. She cleverly defines the 3 of our crucial needs and how these 3 can be had, even with multiple roles, without any compromises!

MEANING+VARIETY+MONEY

These are the 3 main ingredients that an innately curious multipotentialite often seeks to have. But, we often find meaning in a particular field, money in another, and variety in a yet different field, so how to balance these?

You may like playing guitar, painting, photography, sketching all at once

Emilie Wapnick has found 4 ways to do so:

CAN TAKE THE “GROUP HUG” APPROACH: choose an interdisciplinary field or role so that your curiosity gets satiated by yet new roles you play at work.

CAN TAKE THE “EINSTEIN APPROACH” where you can invest time in hobbies like many of you must be doing right now while working at a full-time job.

CAN TAKE THE “SLASH APPROACH” where you can do one or two jobs simultaneously if you can handle it!

CAN TAKE THE “PHOENIX APPROACH”  where you can take up a career, and switch whenever you feel you have earned mastery in it!

No matter what career, job, passion, interest you choose, let one thing settle down in you first- you are a multipotentialite and not a fickle-minded freak that ‘traditional’ systems of the economy might convince you to believe.

I remember being asked in an interview:  “You took up a master’s in English literature and then in Anthropology, ”from arts to social sciences, why? 

Because of a whim? No! because I thought having experienced people and emotions in a book, I can now move on to experience them in person! It’s not like mood swings we have career swings! It’s just that, we can never settle on something mediocre! And sometimes when you have mastered a skill, a career, a role, you do find yourself capable of experiencing a yet new field or space!

To all the multipotentialites out there, say out aloud-

We do have a plan, and that is to progress forward.

If a role delimits us, we are bold enough to move forward and get hold of the next best thing!

We are career nomads, polymaths, lifelong learners, RENAISSANCE people

we are COCOONED in curiosities!

I am sure if you have reached the end, you are one of us, what are your thoughts and which approach would you choose?

Would love to have you back!


Would love to have you back!

What I learned about the concept of flow

The clock struck 11 am. It was a cool morning, where the clouds were dancing to the tunes of thunder and the trees were enjoying a bath. And I, was numbed by the whole view. Alas, it was the best time to pick up a pen or rather open a word doc. 

That is the last thing I remember.

The clock had traveled past 3 pm. I suddenly realized I was hungry and thirsty. However, a sort of calming happiness dwelled upon me. Somewhat like you feel after a successful attempt at meditation. And I simply loved it.

But, I was confused.

What just happened? Was it normal? Where was I?

I got an answer to this puzzle when I read about the concept called ‘flow’.

I never thought of going deeper unless I read the book flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Being an Indian I was accustomed to the idea of nirvana or salvation but isn’t that what the highly abled hermits achieve? Maintaining your consciousness to a level where it remains in harmony with the surroundings, such that you don’t feel negative emotions due to external factors?

Well, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory taught me, that you could try to reach there without giving up on a comfortable life. Neither become a hermit nor a slave of the distracting world, but lie somewhere in between, having a perfect balance.

Mihaly defines flow as-

“ a state of joy, creativity, and total involvement, in which problems seem to disappear and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence”

The state of flow, when you are focussed beyond anything
The state of flow, when you are focussed beyond anything

It is where you lose yourself in whatever task you do and feel one with the universe. 

Well, that much is understandable, but what amazed me was the idea that this experience of flow defines the level of happiness in our life. It is much more than having flow at work!

To explain further, let me tell you the 10 lessons that I found revealing:

Consciousness is like a chameleon

Here, Mihaly debunked something that I truly believed in- the gut or the inner instinct isn’t necessarily your soul, it can be an output of social and biological needs. Your task remains to differentiate between whatever you actually feel/want and what sociological/biological factors influence. 

If you let your consciousness run amok, you might be led astray. 

So, you need to get hold of your consciousness, by paying attention. To focus on what matters and not what your body or society calls for. That is when you listen to the ego and not ID (biological factors) and superego (sociological factors).

Attention is the key

Once you are in control of your consciousness you know where to divert your energy and attention. 

While we use our tiny brain to process dinosaurs of data every single moment, it is impossible to process and retain much of it. However, what we do retain that data where we focused and held our attention to. Thereby letting meaningless distractions go to the bin. Hence, we need to learn to differentiate between what comes in and what goes in the bin, that alone can determine how peaceful our life is. 

If the bin comes in, victory goes out

Remember the time when you were worried about your promotion and burned the dish you usually prepare in a breeze? That is a fine example of how negative feelings-worries, fear, distract you and disable you to achieve the task at hand. That is when the psychic entropy(inner disorder) sets in and you are left crumbled with the weight of your emotions since you gave those negative thoughts maximum attention.

Complexity leads to growth

You must have been familiar with the fact that challenges lead to the growth of an individual. No, it’s not a plain motivational idea but has scientific reasons behind it. Our mind is designed in a way that it needs a constant dose of challenges, problems, hurdles. When you overcome those hurdles, it releases happy hormones like dopamine and you feel blessed. Often you must have seen people you often call ‘boring’; because they play safe; are more often than not disgruntled with life. That is because they lack complexity and stink in a stagnant personality.

Achieving flow is not a cakewalk

Overcoming a challenge like breaking your record at the gym or finishing a complex book often gives you a feeling of being a winner. Whenever you focus on a challenge with full attention, your mind indulges in it so well that you experience a flow state of mind where you stay until you have accomplished the task. After which you feel fulfilled. But for that to happen you need a task that aligns to your goals and skills (such that no negative energy disrupts it) and give it your full attention.

You don’t need coffee, but a constant dose of flow

Recreating every day to align yourself to a challenge and accomplishing it with efforts and attention, makes your self-confidence soar. You crave dopamine and indulge more in challenges that make you feel happy upon overcoming them. A happy state of mind, a self that stays boosted with accomplishment leads to a harmonious life altogether.

Pleasure and enjoyment have different souls

That might be the first time you read that. But it’s true. To attain pleasure your biological and sociological needs must be met. For example: while watching tv or eating a favorite food. But for enjoyment to happen, you need to go a step further and ‘invest yourself’ in the activity. For example: playing a game or taking part in fruitful discussions. In these activities, you invest your skills, often overcoming a challenge or finding something new to add to your psyche. You might lose your sense of self and thereby experience flow while enjoying but not while experiencing pleasure. 

But sometimes we don’t enjoy an activity that we otherwise do. That is because enjoyment occurs at the perfect intersection of one’s skills and the challenge at hand.

A challenge must lie between anxiety and boredom (copyright of the author)

If the challenge is too hard, you feel anxious and don’t enjoy it, while if the challenge is too light, you feel bored. So aligning the level of your abilities is necessary.

Leisure is a ghost of happiness

We all could agree on one thing, Friday being the most impatient working day. That is because we are waiting for our beloved ‘weekend’ where we are free to experience pleasure through leisure. Ironically, Mihaly’s study found that when people are involved in pleasure activities, they actually ‘feel’ bored, often sad (Okay, that might not be the 100% true, but a significant portion of the data pointed towards this fact).

On the other hand, when people are working, they feel happy now and then. They are always involved in completing a task, overcoming challenges and thus experiencing growth. But while taking pleasure; for instance in watching tv; we behave as passive receivers and hence don’t play an active role in our life. Most of the time happiness stems from circumstances under our control, where we are the main player!

More often, we waste our precious time while being involved in passive leisure. The author recommends using this time to perform your favorite activity. You might want to give your plants a visit, or pick that canvas up again! That is when your mind sends happy signals again.

Shed your human garment and enter the universe

We might assume that we are one amongst the many on this planet. We have to fend for ourselves and blah blah. It is this constant concentration on our self, the “consciousness of the self” that makes it impossible for us to excel. We forget that we are connected to the universe.

It is with the loss of this ‘sense of self’ during flow activities that make us accomplish the task so perfectly.

Our self is somewhat suspended, we merely become an agent in this huge setting, where we contribute to a task/work/skill/activity while merging ourselves with the cosmos. It is the feeling we often refer to as transcendence.

Be as light as air  

The word autotelic comes from the Greek word auto (Self) and telos (goal). It means that whenever we do a task for the reward inherent in doing it and not for an outward benefit, we achieve a greater result. For instance, whenever you are conscious that you should win the game, playing becomes anxiety-ridden and you often lose. That is because you focus more on the goal, more on your image, and less on the task. Remember our previous discussion on attention?

It also matters how you pick small bites in everyday life, give it your full attention and make the best of the circumstances. That is somewhat living with the world, and away from your conscious self. That is working for a greater good, for the joy in doing it, and not for some external output. This might mean, having a hearty talk with an individual while you stand in a long queue.

In short, finding hidden meaningful goals that make everyday life worth living. This is when you achieve an autotelic personality. You become someone who doesn’t need external factors to drive your consciousness because you are the sole driver.  

This all might seem hard to understand, but it’s not. 

So what is the crux? 

How to achieve a flow state of mind (copyright of the author)

Just keep your mind and heart in the right place, invest your skills in everyday challenges, learn to nourish an undistracted mind by limiting your attention to important tasks, immerse yourself in whatever task you choose, have a rendezvous with the worldly muse, come out victorious and bear the effects of happy hormones and a life of harmony.

If you think this book is worthy of your attention, you can find it on Amazon

Would love to have you back!


Would love to have you back

tHE CAT AKA mother earth?

Scientists throughout the world have been busy searching for the answers regarding the origin and spread of this highly lethal pandemic that has shaken the roots of the world.

We always have been a diligent population, proud of our abilities to progress and research. Little did we stop and look around as to what have we done to the world.

Corona might or might not have been originated and spread through animals like bats.

But what is sure is that it is nature’s way to cleanse the earth.

After repeated crying, begging and shouting, mother earth had to resort to a violent act to let humans know who wears a hat in the nature vs man equation

Human ecological footprint has been on rise, as species are going into extinction. But we haven’t learned. We are still busy creating more fossil fuel, cutting more trees, changing the course of rivers, investing in industrial meat production and what not!

It’s like the tale of the pigeon and the cat. It is said that whenever a pigeon confronts a cat, he shuts his eyes because of the fear and imagines the cat has vanished.

We are surely amongst the dumb pigeons.

But the cat is pouncing with all its claws.

If corona wasn’t enough, India has been struck by a cyclone Tauktae that again proves the sea is cleansing itself.

Corona held the air from our lungs and cleansed the earth by massive deaths, now the cyclone is cleansing the sea. Again, the hubris of human is being destroyed along with lives and infrastructure.

Isn’t it time we take climate change, global warming and overpopulation seriously? Or are we gullible enough to believe we will live through it?

Have we not seen how pleistocene and holocene suffered mass extinctions specially of large mammals?

We won’ budge, because have ‘conquered’ the earth and are fit to ‘use’ it, whatever way we like. Isn’t that so?

Before answering that we must remember, that we may die the next day but the planet still moves on. The mountains, the forests, the rivers. Remember Lord Tennyson’s lines-

Men may come and men may go

But I go on forever.

This Anthropocene epoch might lead to the destruction of anthropos itself.

According to Hindu religion, the human life is made up of panch mahabutas or 5 elements: prithvi (Earth), agni (Fire), jal (water), akash (Sky) and vayu (Air). The earth has been using all these to destroy the human life itself. We did bear the brunt of excess water and rain from the sky (flooding throughout the world), fire (Amazon/Australia wild fires), earth (droughts throughout the world) and now the air (coronavirus) itself.

So, we shouldn’t be so proud of ourselves because Darwin’s natural selection is always at play and our intelligence won’t help us but our subservience’s to nature might!

Or else, we might stay put like the pigeon and let the cat take its course.

Is your ‘dream’, your ‘purpose’?

There are several ways to lead a life. Most of us live to breathe and do whatever it takes to breathe comfortably. We fill our days with endless drudgery, closed doors, stuffed desks, reaching deadlines, or going past un-ending days. If we are lucky still, then we reach home to someone who might have filled our role, in our absence and we won’t have to go through the unfulfilling, non-gratifying yet laborious, and time-consuming duties of maintaining a household. While some of us are not that lucky, and hence burdened with that too.

A tiny minuscule though takes a different route. This small number engages in something more than the simple act of breathing. They have enough time to count their breath, take a deeper one, or else question rather than taking it for granted or worrying about its continual. They spend their days in search of something more than ways to breathe. They have either gone past those desks or broken the unending misery of the unending days and have rather chosen the days to be shorter. This number often talks about DREAMS.

Dreams are all over the fantasy world of movies. Confusingly, the English language gave the same term, to two different concepts. Dreams are something that you see only when you close your eyes, have no control over and when you are asleep. However, they also are the reason you wake up every day and are rather thought out with conscious mind. While our Lord, Brahma, Allah or YHWH wasn’t there to tell us why we were born or when the science failed too, the world brought about a fantasy to put some amount of hope to live with. An ideal to live and aspire for. Something which will make our days full and our nights long and blissful.

But is it so? And what if this becomes only the liberty of the privileged who don’t have time to worry about taking a breath comfortably? To dream of being a star, a cricketer, a successful entrepreneur, a world-traveler etc. Let’s go a bit deeper.

Dreams. ironically, are never our own, they come to us from what we ‘perceive’. The mind is like a big stomach that digests whatever happens in our daily life and blurts whichever part seems indigestible to it. This is what we see in our sleep, according to Freud (the repressive unconscious and subconscious). And what about the dream of waking life? Is it too not the same? A fragment of our imagination and an ideal made or loved by someone we look forward to and aspire to be our own? A role model that we often have in our dream? Someone that embodies our dream and makes it closer to reality.

Dreams are more often ‘wishes’. Something that we want and like. Now the thing with wishes is that they change as we age, as the world changes, the dreams change too. They expire, renew and even end if we are so keen on achieving it. It’s a road which is meant only for the destination and, for which the path, as everybody believes, has to be leaden with thorns and mud which is a rite of passage. But it’s the end which is beautiful, they say, so keep on walking.

So, here is what happens- either you achieve it, or you don’t dare to go there, or you went there and failed, or you realized it was somebody else’s dream. Now what?

If dreams were the reason you were born then you must die when it gets fulfilled. You are no longer needed on planet earth. So why live? And those who don’t go on that path how do they live? The answer is no, they don’t. They fill their lives with a parallel reality, and have a mock identity where they feel they are empowered or at least more successful or gratified but, are dead in the real world, dead inside. The torn-out drinkers, the sad old faces, the irritating souls that when you see you get angry, rather than feeling pity for them. The majority around us are like that, it’s easier to spot the ones who get old and are full of regrets.

So back to our point, is dream ‘the it’? should we rely on dreams for a fulfilled life?

Well, I got a parallel too (I borrowed it)! This one sounds more real though. This one is called PURPOSE, yes the one Oprah Winfrey often refers to. Something that emanates from within you and is an extension of your natural self and something that serves the world at large. I came across the real meaning of PURPOSE when I heard Oprah Winfrey interviewing the author Gary Zukav. He said,

“You are a personality that means you were born on a certain day and you will die on a certain day.. When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment”

What Gary means is that your likes, dislikes, way to talk, passions (though also shaped by the environment) leans you in a certain direction and feeds your soul. That is the direction you were born to go into. As for all the animals in the food cycle, our role is also defined if we are so keen to understand that and to find that. It’s that role that makes us closer to what we truly are. Its what makes the great people great, because they harvested that power, and out came the purpose of their lives. It’s not something you saw or copied or literally dreamt, it’s something that comes from inside you, it’s the real you, the real self. And when you get in touch with your true self, your purpose is brought to light. Its this ship, that takes you on a journey and don’t worry about the destination because you don’t feel you are on a journey.

Another great thing about following your purpose, not dream, is that purpose is made by the higher laws of the universe. Yes, it wasn’t made or dreamt by you. Its serving the will of your maker, because you were born in a way to equip you to be able to serve well to a task or an action. You made no plans, it sometimes is thrust upon you. Its when often interviewed, movie actors say, ‘I never knew I was born for it. It just loved accounts and thought I would be an accountant, I never thought about acting’. But someone did, god did.

There are times when your purpose drives you in a way or at least informs you of its existence but you feel you are smarter and will carve a path on the wings of your dreams rather than succumbing to the will of the world. No matter how brave it may sound, you might end up loosing yourself and feel lost. You don’t realize its all in you. In your subtle passions, in your ‘zones’, in your natural abilities, your apparent personality.

So what would you choose dream or purpose??

Would love to have you back!


Would love to have you back

little wisdom

If you have long been trying and still didn’t make it,

perhaps there was nothing new that you did

no fears were overcomed, no hardships faced

And yet you ask why!