I read a quote by an author Andrea Dykstra which said, in order to love who you truly are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.

When I tried to understand what this meant, it sounded a lot like acceptance.

For a long time I presumed that acceptance of the situation meant labelling the situation as correct. But slowly I have come to understand that it just means accepting the situation as a fact or coming to terms with it. Be it global warming, corruption, or any other family situation that bothers you.

Complete understanding of the situation for its facts is acceptance. Only once we accept the reality for what it is, we can come up with an appropriate response to the situation.

If we accepted the situations or shortcomings for what they were, it is likely that we would be able to deal with them better. Even if you are an angry person, it would rather be beneficial to admit you are one, and move to finding reasons why you are angry than being in denial.

I read somewhere, that spirituality is not about being nice, it is about being yourself. Accepting yourself.


Love – no cliches please

In yesterdays Yoga Sutra class, Saurabh gave the closest definition of what love REALLY is.

The first Yama – Ahimsa.

He said if you do not hurt, harm, injure or kill someone that is love, or as the texts call it – ahimsa.

This basically goes on to say that if you practice ahimsa in your relationship with a person, then you love them.

We generally hurt those people who we claim to love the most. We load them with so many expectations and in the process hurt and harm them as well as ourselves.

We generally do not expect so much from the people who were are socially connected to otherwise like friends, teachers or other acquaintances. Hence we do not have a sour time in dealing with them.

This also makes me wonder, have we truly accepted these or are we ignorant about this aspect because we do not feel a sense of power via expectations over them?

Bollywood hasn’t helped because it has always portrayed some kind of psychosis as love – jealousy, anger, the need to possess the person or extreme sexual attraction.

We as a community need to pause and think about what love means to us.

Manufacturing opinions

Everytime there is something “viral” on the Social Media, it tends to happen that we are almost peer pressured into having an opinion about it.

And the things that go viral are either racy, stupid or downright condescending to poke fun at one or the other person who is displaying stupidity on social media to get popular.

What bothers me the most is that initially social media was more of a healthy space where people discussed matters of importance or shared news, but now the worse thing that has happened is that the news channels also feel “pressured” to share the nonsense that goes viral on social media.

I mean when did you ever hear of the list of MPs or the Union Budget going viral?

The only problem with the entire way in which social media is consumed now is that people just want to get entertained with every piece of media that they consume. So obviously the media that we will be shown is one in which we do not really have a choice to think for ourselves. It will be more dumbed down to a more simplistic level than it should.

The problem? More and more racy, sexy, idiotic pieces going viral on social media which will have absolutely no real contribution or impact in our lives. And the real important issues like environment, climate change and corruption taking a backseat and being stripped down of all the importance they should have.

Why I started drawing – AGAIN

I used to draw A LOT as a kid simply because it gave me a lot of joy! The only reason why I did not give my intermediate exams were because I could not paint to save my life. As you may have very well noticed in the above drawing I made.

After I started going to college things got busy and I could not make time to draw every other day, though I missed it very much. I must have picked up and dropped drawing a handful of times before getting onto Instagram.

After I started using Instagram and following brilliant art accounts, I suddenly thought to myself that I could NEVER make as amazing art as theirs. Of course it was not a competition! But I thought to myself, what was the point? Because would my art ever be AS amazing?

After a little maturity/ using my grey cells and contemplation, I started drawing again. This was not to match up to anyone, but I realised that you should just do somethings for the joy of doing them. Not because you want to be better than someone, not because you want to monetize that activity and certainly not because that activity is going to lead you to another glamorous goal.

You don’t necessarily sing/ dance/ draw because you are good at it or you want to be the next Indian Idol/ Dance India Dance diva/ Picasso. You do it because you love to do it, because of the joy it beings.

Inside Out

Inside out is a movie about 11-year-old Riley whose family has recently moved from her old house in Minnesota to San Fransisco.

She misses her previous house immensely, the games they played, her old school and friends…..this movie is about how all her emotions work optimally in order for her to feel in place.

The movie intricately illustrates how dominant emotions like joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust play an important role in giving you the final output of how you feel. Also their role in how we perceive memories and our relationships with other people are hugely dependent on them.

The movie takes a turn on how the girl tries to suppress her emotion sadness of missing her previous life with make-do joy, she has an emotional breakdown. She is numb and unable to process anything until she allows herself to feel the sadness again.

ALL our emotions are important and we should always allow ourselves to feel all emotions. If you believe you should always be happy and jolly, you are always going to suppress emotions like sadness, anger, fear, and disgust and that is going to harm you in the long run.

I believe you can feel all emotions as well as not allow yourself to be controlled by them with sufficient practice. And living is all about learning that art.

Love – overused word and underrated emotion

Out of all the things that have been written about, the last thing we need is someone writing on love right? Same with the last thing needed on earth is excessive humans who live and breathe day in and day out. So let’s give this blog a chance too.

The modern people sharing posts all over social media who say that never settle for a man who is less than you deserve, do not do this until he does that – are selling narcissism not love.

I read this beautiful post by Thich Nhat Hanh and he goes into the real beauty and essence of the emotion of love. He says that love is about understanding the other person completely and feeling his pain and suffering as yours.

I am not at the level where he is talking about, because I believe that to love someone else completely and to understand the other completely, first you must have a complete understanding of the person you are and love yourself. Because you cannot pour out of an empty container and you cannot give something you do not have.

We say we love the flower, but the truth is, that we find the flower beautiful and we want to possess it – by this I mean to keep this in the close proximity to ourselves. So we pluck out the flower, which is actually the death of that flower.

Same with people like me who claim to be dog lovers. We love dogs because a dog is one of the creatures who can love unconditionally and more importantly EXPRESS that love. So we love dogs because we know that the dog will love us way more than we can ever expect from average humans or other animals.

The problem with this modern emotion which we claim to be love is that – we believe we love the other person. But the truth is because he fills up something in us – whether it is our need to be desired, or wanted, or loved, or being given attention to. It is conditional. It is a transaction. And more importantly, it is not love. We will slowly get addicted to the person because of the action we are getting from him, and in the process destroy ourselves and the other person.

That is why our relationships end up tragically, because neither do we want to understand what love is nor do we want to sacrifice for the other, like people in the olden days would.

The solution could be to start knowing – really understanding and loving yourself so well that you have nothing except for love to give out.

Things you can do to be happier

I recently started learning Yoga with all the possible sincerity. Yoga Sutra talks about the 8 limbs of Yoga which emphasises “Chitta Vritti Nirodha” i.e. overcoming the fluctuations of the mind.

It lists the modifications as right knowledge, wrong knowledge, imagination, sleep, and memory.

Since I am new to the text, I will explain what I understand by “mental modification” in our daily life and how we can avoid them to be happier people.

Don’t get offended/ Have a thick skin: No matter what the other person says or how he behaves, it is not about you. Taking offense will affect you, not the other person. Reacting to everything everyone says is a waste of time and energy.

Don’t get attached: Because you will lose your ability to think clearly. No matter how awesome a person/ thing/ situation is, no matter how much you love the person… You will create A LOT of heavy duty expectations and trouble for yourself/ person you are attached to.

Don’t bitch/ gossip: Unless of course some psychopath is harassing you and you need some advice. Else it is a time waste. If you want to talk about people, talk about someone who inspires you.

Don’t debate: Discuss. Don’t debate. You cannot change the way anyone thinks. You can present your views and observation but do not try to prove the other person wrong.

Don’t correct everyone: Why do you want to give free advice? People have their own time to learn. No one matures before time. NO ONE. Let them take their time. Focus on yourself.

Don’t insult: Why? It’s mannerless. You don’t like it yourself. And Karma will get you if you cannot understand logically!