Bewildered #MondayMusings

Bewildered #MondayMusings

It’s harder to be bewildered than to be clever.
Bewilderment makes us insecure, and

No longer are we……
prepared to be bewildered by the magnitude of this Universe
in awe of the Creator who made it all
amazed by the beauty of Nature
ready to wait things out and see the Universe unfold its plan…

What’s to be bewildered when we have seen it all and done it all?

No bewilderment, please.

We want……
quick answers to our questions
immediate insights into every painful situation
instant responses to our prayers.
We want a plastic God that we can mold to our image.

We think we’re clever..
And clever we may be…..
But at the cost of being wise?

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. ~ Rumi

As for me, I’m selling my cleverness (the little that I have anyway!)
I’m attempting to get rid of my too-easy answers to life’s questions and my sometimes know-it-all attitude.

I’m working on……
seeking,
being amazed,
examining other opinions and
being open to other perspectives.

What about you?

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A Great Beauty Tip #MondayMusings

A Great Beauty Tip #MondayMusings

Today, I want to share a great beauty tip that occurred to me recently.

A Great Beauty Tip

You’re walking down the road just in front of your house, perhaps. Not thinking too much. Just taking in everything around you. And then you begin to find the need to pause – a bright mustard butterfly flapping its wings; leaves attempting to grow in the hollow of a gnarled plant; a woodpecker pecking away at an old tree; tall trees framing a blue sky. And each time you stop and say, ‘Thank you, life is beautiful’. You realize that beauty is all around you.

And you know what? You can’t identify and acknowledge something outside you as being beautiful without acknowledging that YOU are beautiful.

Of course, you could choose to go through life walking down the same road smelling dog poop, grumbling at the stones in your path and generally being upset at how hot it is.

And yes, constantly finding ugliness all around will make for an ugly life.

So what’s the beauty tip then? It’s up to you to acknowledge or deny beauty around you and within you. The more you see beauty around you, the more you will find it within you.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. – Roald Dahl

Let’s make time in our hearts and minds today to look for beauty outside and within us.

 

Hope springs eternal. #livingfearlesslyauthentic #hope #motivation

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Sticking To The Script #MondayMusings

Sticking To The Script #MondayMusings


I’ve been thinking a lot about how expressing one’s authentic self and how often we can be stopped by others. Our own insecurity causes us to believe other people when they tell us that sticking to the script is the best way to survive.

Sticking To The Script?

Sticking to the script means making choices that are comfortable. Making choices that make other people in our lives comfortable. Never going off the beaten path. Following the herd. Never giving yourself permission to be really you. Doing what’s expected of you, never what you really want to. Never really questioning, because questions bring discomfort. Trying new things bring unease.

My question is who wrote the script? 

Here’s a modern day fable I read recently, that illustrates  what might happen if we stick to the script.

A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage, and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.
Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, every time a monkey would start up the ladder, the others would pull it down and beat it up.
After a time, no monkey would dare try climbing the ladder, no matter how great the temptation.

The scientists then decided to replace one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was start to climb the ladder. Immediately, the others pulled him down and beat him up.

After several beatings, the new monkey learned never to go up the ladder, even though there was no evident reason not to, aside from the beatings.

The second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated in the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth monkey was changed, resulting in the same, before the fifth was finally replaced as well.

What was left was a group of five monkeys that – without ever having received a cold shower – continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.

If it was possible to ask the monkeys why they beat up on all those who attempted to climb the ladder, their most likely answer would be “I don’t know. It’s just how things are done around here.”

The moral of this story? Sticking to the script is for monkeys!

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Let Go Of Heartache #MondayMusings

Let Go Of Heartache #MondayMusings

Sometimes I think we love to hold on to our pain. Perhaps, it’s something that makes us comfortable. Or maybe it’s something that gets us attention. Or the pain is such a part of us, that we can’t imagine life without it. Holding on to it, while we should let go of heartache.

And when I speak of heartache, I don’t mean something caused by loss of romantic love. Many relationships cause us heartache.

Let Go of Heartache

I’ve done this.  Allowing pain to stop me from being happy. Allowing it to hold me back from following my dreams. Wanting so badly to make the pain go away, and yet not really taking that one step of letting. Of cutting off from the person who causes us pain.

We want to make him love us. We run after her and it only increases the pain. We tie ourselves to these people or attempt to tie them to us. Desperate. Hopeless. A wife holds on to her abusive husband. A man holds on to a girlfriend who tells him she doesn’t love him. A daughter holds on to her mother who disrespects her, hoping someday to win her approval….. We’re not ready to move from the loss of a loved on. Not ready to dare to look for love again….

Just the other day, Carol Cassara shared a quote on Instagram that spoke to me very deeply.

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table
When love’s no longer being served”.”
― Nina Simone

Strong words. And true. But so difficult to follow. Our mind plays all sorts of tricks on us. We feed it with all sorts of stuff about loyalty and how noble we are to hold on. Perhaps, it’s not loyalty but comfort. It’s not love, but need.

Difficult questions. But the kind we need to ask ourselves from time to time.

Here’s one of Osho’s stories which talks about how our mind can sometimes hold us captive.

Junaid was going through the market-place of the town with his disciples. And it was his way to take any situation and use it. A man was dragging his cow by a rope, and Junaid said ’Wait’ to the man, and told his disciples ’Surround this man and the cow. I am going to teach you something.’

The man stopped – Junaid was a famous mystic – and he was also interested in what he was going to teach these disciples and how he was going to use him and the cow. And Junaid asked his disciples ’I ask you one thing: who is bound to whom? Is the cow bound to this man or is this man bound to this cow?’ Of course, the disciples said ’The cow is bound to the man. The man is the master, he is holding the rope, the cow has to follow him wherever he goes. He is the master and the cow is the slave.’

And Junaid said ’Now, see.’ He took out his scissors and cut the rope – and the cow escaped.

The man ran after the cow, and Junaid said ’Now look what is happening! Now you see who is the master; the cow is not interested at all in this man – in fact, she is escaping.’ And the man was very angry, he said ’What kind of experiment is this?’ But Junaid said to his disciples ’And this is the case with your mind.

All the nonsense that you are carrying inside is not interested in you. You are interested in it, you are keeping it together somehow – you are becoming mad in keeping it together somehow. But you are interested in it. The moment you lose interest, the moment you understand the futility of it, it will start disappearing; like the cow it will escape.’ – The Sun Rises in the Evening, by Osho

Let go of heartache. You can do it. I know, I did.

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Turn The World Kind #RAKWeek2017 #MondayMusings

Turn The World Kind #RAKWeek2017 #MondayMusings

We’re celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week (RAK) from Feb 12 – Feb 18, and I want my message to be positive. But there’s so much I want to write about the whole issue of racism and religious intolerance in the US that is being fanned by Trump and his ilk.  How can a country known for its tolerance and openness to people make such choices? Now more than ever, we’re called to turn the world kind.

Turn The World Kind

It’s easy to get on a soap box and talk about things in another nation, much harder to examine my part of the world and see how we’re doing with issues of tolerance.

I’m shocked when I see posts that bash one religion with no qualms. When a classmate posted what first seemed to be a message of tolerance about Muslims on Whats-app, I read it eagerly.  And then I continued to read with shock at the nastiness of it. Did she think that because there were no Muslims in the group she could share it? I’m still wondering whether to take her on or to quit the group – perhaps, I’ll do both.

I remember one of Pope Francis‘ speeches in which he said  “(Because) fear makes us cruel.” But what do we fear? The differences? Things we don’t understand?

We may no be so different.

We’re just back from a visit to Goa – the land of our ancestors. We went there via Bijapur (now Vijayapura) and I’ve made some interesting discoveries that I will share with you in post/s to come. In case, you’re wondering how intolerance is related to my trip, let me tell you that before we speak out against any religion, let’s go back to our roots. We might find that our ancestry might stem from the very religion we’re speaking out against. Enough to stop any racist or intolerant person in their tracks, I would think. I know I’m rambling, but I’m allowed to muse for #MondayMusings, am I not?

Let’s do our bit to be kind to others especially the marginalized, those bullied and isolated because they’re different. Those who we keep far from because of our fears. Let’s turn the world kind.

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Let’s turn the world kind! Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb 12-18 #RAKWeek2017 randomactsof.us Click To Tweet

turn the world kind

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Start With Why  #martinlutherking #MondayMusings

Start With Why #martinlutherking #MondayMusings

About a month ago a shared a video of Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, ‘How great leaders inspire action’ based on his book, Start With Why. Watching it, I realized that this was going to be one of those life changing resources for me.

I have yet to read the book, but this video made so much sense. It got me thinking about the ‘why’ of many things I’m doing. I know it’s going to help me make better choices going forward.

If you haven’t watched this video yet, I’d urge you to do so now.

 

Today on Martin Luther King Day, I’m happy to share Simon Sinek’s talk about Dr King’s ‘why’.

In the summer of 1963, 250,000 people showed up on the Mall of Washington, DC. to hear Dr. King speak. They sent out no invitations and there was no website to check the date. How do you do that? Well, Dr. King wasn’t the only man in America who was a great orator. He wasn’t the only man in America who suffered in pre civil rights America. In fact some of his ideas were bad but he had a gift. He didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around and told people what he believed. “I believe, I believe, I believe,” he told people. And people who believed what he believed took his cause and made it their own and they told people. And some of those people created structures to get the word out to even more people. And lo and behold, 250,000 people showed up on the right day, at the right time to hear him speak. How many of them showed up for him? Zero. They showed up for themselves. It’s what they believed about America that got them to travel in a bus for eight hours to stand in the sun in Washington in the middle of August. It’s what they believed. And it wasn’t about black versus white. Twenty five percent of the audience was white.

Dr. King believed that there were two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by man and not until all the laws that are made by man are consistent with the laws that are made by a higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happens that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We follow him not for him, but for ourselves. And by the way, he gave the I Have a Dream speech not the I Have a Plan speech.

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Choose To Shine  #MondayMusings

Choose To Shine #MondayMusings

Often we think of all the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘could have beens’ ‘should have beens’ and allow them to prevent us from being happy in the present moment. I think if we all learned to  choose to shine in all situations, we would be so much happier.

The author, Sue Monk Kidd writes the story about her daughter, coming home from school in early December, telling her mother she got one of the great parts in the Nativity Play.
“What part did you get?”
“I’m the Star of Bethlehem!” the daughter says proudly.
“Well, what will you do?” Sue asks.
“I just stand there and shine.”

Choose To Shine

I choose
to live by choice, not by luck
to choose to focus today,  not look back on yesterday
to be grateful for all I have,  not yearn for more
to make lasting changes, not never-ending excuses
to listen to the wisdom of my heart, not the opinions of people who don’t matter

I choose
to make a difference, but not be used
to reach out in love, but not be taken for granted
to listen with understanding, but not be drawn into drama.
I choose to be creative
I choose to be brave
I choose to live in the Light
I choose to shine

Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” ― Anne Lamott

choose to shine

pic via Karenika

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Did 2016 Live Up To Your Expectations? #MondayMusings

Did 2016 Live Up To Your Expectations? #MondayMusings

Did 2016 live up to your expectations? Even as I start to answer, I hear my inner voice, rephrasing the question to ask ‘Did you live up to your expectations of all you wanted to be and do in 2016?
And the answer comes back to me loud and clear : No.

Is that cause enough to be disappointed in myself? Yes.
Am I going to wallow in guilt and beat myself up? No.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it is to accept myself faults and all. I’ve also learnt to live in the moment and be much more forgiving.

Am I making excuses for myself? No way. I don’t need to and don’t want to.

Does that mean that I’m not going to plan and dream for the next year? Absolutely not. Stay tuned for my word of the year linkup.

Here’s something that I found that I keep telling myself.

“Even at the moment of your failure, right then, you are beautiful … you don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.” — Lidia Yuknavitch

In many ways 2016 was a hard year for me. It forced me to make some difficult choices. But those choices helped to simplify my life.

I found that the best way to deal with situations was to be honest. Was I being dishonest before? Yes, when I chose to pretend that people didn’t hurt me. Or act as if it was open season for anyone who wanted to play games with me. 2016 was the year of no waffling. You ask me a question and you’ll get an honest reply even if you don’t like it.

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” — Gandhi” ― James Altucher, Choose Yourself!

I still have a long way to go towards complete authenticity but 2016 took me a little closer to it.

What about you, dear reader?

Did 2016 live up to your expectations?

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