Maybe you are not needed

‘But they need me.’

is, many-a-times, a good enough reason for us to stick around doing things we don’t really like, with people who don’t really value us.

And yet, we insist on continuing to assume that role, just a little longer, just until the dust settles, and then we can let go and find ourselves. Because we are the managers, teachers, the parents or the likes with ‘great responsibilities’, and though we wake up everyday imagining a different life for ourselves, we somehow decree that ‘now’ is a bad time to take the next step towards it.

Well, maybe reassess. Maybe your school will still have great teachers on-board to care for the students. Maybe your subordinates do not need your exaggerated effort to keep them together. Maybe your successor, no matter what role you pursue that your heart doesn’t, will do much better than you do.

Not being needed gives you the freedom that you need to walk away. That makes you dispensable – and indeed, available to the things and people you love.

Well sure, we worry all the time that we might look like quitters. But what do we see for ourselves? What would you like to be?

 

 

 

 

The year of showing up

Don’t show up three times, and people will stop asking.

I haven’t shown up for an awful lot the recent years – not to the gym, not to my team’s outings, not for a few friends’ weddings…and the fine is too huge!

2016 was about realizing how just very few people really miss me, and crying a little bit about it. But then it dawned on me: How’ll they miss me if I’m never there?

I’m sure we all say no to a lot of things, we have our own priorities set. But when one or more of the forts of friends, family or the personal self is crumbling, it is surely time to re-assign the priorities.

2017 is that year for me. I have seen forts cracking in their pillars. Forts of personal, professional, financial and social forts. (Yes, ALL of them.) I need to renovate a little – by showing up, by catching up with lost opportunities I still miss today.

And showing up doesn’t mean being everywhere – it means showing up for what or whom you care.

It means being there for those few people, to whom your presence has no substitute.

Find yourself at home…

I got my first sneak peak into the Zen philosophy yesterday; just a soup in the food for thought.
And it was disturbing. And then marvelous.

Disturbing, because it is most inconvenient to fathom that all you are, and all everybody around you is, is mind-body – the co-existence of certain hardware and certain software.

Marvelous, because thankfully Continue reading “Find yourself at home…”

Send them love

“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.”

~ Mitch Albom

It breaks my heart to have parted ways with so many dear people…people that used to be such a tremendous source of belonging in my life. I don’t know what the future brings, whether these paths might converge again, but I cherish them, I miss them sorely, and I send them love.

Where do you live?

Can’t can be a dubious word. It gives you the illusion of helplessness, but it is really a choice.

We can’t do so many things; because of so many things, and so many people.

We can’t more than we can.

But if you can, not because everybody approves, not because there are no challenges, but because your faith is bigger than your fears and your will is irreversible, amazing. Go ahead. I won’t be there to take the rough road and weather with you. Maybe no one will be there at all. But that is never the truth.

The truth is that you Continue reading “Where do you live?”

This and that, and that

It is good to want less, I’ve heard. Is it also good to want less from yourself?

 

To want to be one thing less, to struggle toward one dream less, to desire to excel in one thing less?

The inner well of self-belief once discovered, is surprisingly deep and unrealistically wide. We make ourselves want to be extraordinary, we make ourselves believe we have purposes to fulfil. In this world of reckless contest, even more so. We want to learn more, be more, do more. We want to get rid of what we have because we believe we want something else.

We burden ourselves with expectations, then push ourselves, often half-heartedly, the other half filled with pressure and uncertainty.

We push ourselves, yet can never be satisfied by the extent of our push, and we push more. And we exhaust before we achieve.

We feel powerless, and think lesser and lesser of ourselves and our life. We start wishing more. And stop appreciating whatever little or much we have.

At the end of the day, no matter what we have done, or how close we have gotten to our goals, we are still dissatisfied. Unhappy with the extent of our achievement. Because it is nothing when compared to what we fancy ourselves achieving.

Why do this to ourselves? Why think lesser and lesser of our life? Why not cut loose a couple of aspirations, why not ease out the pressure we carry day in and day out?

Why not be just a great something, rather than struggle to be a good everything?

Why not hold on to one thing with both arms, rather than spreading ten fingers ten ways, trying to hold ten things?

Why can’t we get rid of the whip of comparison and expectation?

Why can’t we just do one thing at a time, focus on one thing at a time?

Why do we have to think about a car, a home and a bank balance, when we can just choose one of them to start with?

Most of us spend one-third of our day at work. Some of us even two-thirds. Why can’t we just plain focus on the job, and not on some clout of aspirations that you want to fulfil with the money that it will bring you in the next x years? If not, why can’t we just leave the job, and take the plunge into doing the thing we know would be right and best for us?

Why always this and that? Why not just this or just that? At least for now?

One Phone Call

The phone call most dreaded in most of the Indian households is the call from their maid’s daughter/ son, saying ‘Mother won’t be able to come to work today.’ The morning, that would have otherwise fleeted by comfortably with just enough time to fill, is suddenly doomed.

Indian working women are the greatest victims of such sudden telephonic intimations. They usually realize that just when they wanted to have that extra cup of tea or iron that new saree to wear to work, the phone call strikes. And then, most of these women tuck up their gowns, tie up their hair, and hit the kitchen to do the dishes.

And in a country like India, where we express love by cooking, serving, re-serving and eating, and repeating the cycle at least two times a day, the dishes to be done are almost never ‘only few’. Continue reading “One Phone Call”

Tomorrow’s soul

As she lay sleeping, I ponder: Whom does she look like? And what will she look like a few years from now?

What will her interests be? Will she be an artist like her father and me, her aunt? Or will she be a brilliant mind with extra-ordinary capabilities of reasoning and mathematics, like her mother?

What will we teach her? What will I teach her? What values will she be raised in? What will I stand for in her life?

These thoughts reminded me of a beautiful paragraph written by Khalil Gibran in his soul enlightening book, ‘The Prophet’.

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.”