Okay folks, it’s time for some plain and simple work plugs. I’m starting off my work as a Family Constellations practitioner with a series of workshops. Two in Bangalore, in January and one in Mumbai in February.
If you have read this blog closely for the last few years and wondered (or reached out to me asking) what form of therapy I have been using for my self work, it is this. I began with attending workshops in Family Constellations, before I decided to do the level 1 course which is a deep dive into the work, followed by the level 2 course that trained me to be a facilitator.
So this post is going to be some housekeeping. First, I’ve added a page on the blog to reflect the new work developments and my new offerings. Second, some fliers for both workshops. IN case any of you in Bangalore or Mumbai want to connect to understand more, possibly register for these, or reach out for tarot card readings, you know where to reach me.
1) Workshops in Bangalore:
12 January, 9.30 am t0 5 pm | SMArT, Ulsoor | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)
19 January, 9.30 am to 5 pm | SMArT, Ulsoor | Rs. 1500 (including morning and evening tea)
To confirm your place at the workshop/s, please reach out via the contact form or any of the contact numbers on the poster above.
2) Workshop in Mumbai:
1 February, 9.30 am to 6 pm | Santa Cruz | Rs. 4000 (including morning and evening tea)
To confirm your place at the workshop/s, please reach out via the contact form or any of the contact numbers on the poster above.
3) Tarot offering, via telephone:
A short, 15 minute reading for guidance and clarity going into the new year and new decade. This could be either in the form of a question/s (I’ll take up to three questions per reading, for this one), or just seeking guidance/a message for an aspect of your life as you step into the new year.
15 minutes, or 3 questions at just Rs. 400. Please get in touch with me via the contact form so we can schedule a reading.
The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We’re know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet there knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.
— John Berger, Ways of Seeing
I’m really enjoying the newness of this ease in the not knowing, in seeing and noticing the relation between what is and what I know, and that which may never be “settled” in the way my mind might desire.
I don’t quite have the words for what has altered, but something has shifted within me yet again. Altering the way I am seeing things around me, just a wee bit again.
Ending the first week of the new year in yet another home away from home, in such deep levels of peace, has been everything.
Mandatory picture of parental unit, as seen in my adulthood, on a road trip rushing through just-planted paddy fields in that golden 4 o clock sunlight.
It’s a bit overwhelming, that I get to enjoy this peace and quiet, right here in my life without having to getaway or make space for it in anyway. I do have to physically get away to get here, but that suddenly my life is somehow fashioned so this is possible, and possible often kind of amazes me. Even now.
I have to say it was lovely to be so off the grid (my phone has zero network and I bum my father’s hotspot to post and send messages a few times a day) that I didn’t have to spent yesterday morning making and answering obligatory calls. Those that I wanted to wish, I did. I received way more than I have this new year’s day.
Despite not having connectivity, I made a small step in a new direction with an offering of the work that has held and helped me find my feet and know myself a little deeper these past few years.
It’s ridiculous how I got into this without the faintest clue I would be here today — sending out messages into the world about taking on clients. It’s surreal, but also very happy making. And a real-life testament to the power of this work, how deeply it has touched my life and how much movement it has introduced for me.
I spent much of the day looking out. And it hit me that I have left the life of the hustle far behind. Or at least the hustle the way I used to know it, driven by the idea that I have to struggle to make a mark or get anywhere. To be sitting in the boondocks without network, and yet be able to send off my humble little offering out into the world, receive enquiries, messages cheering me on and excitement all round, felt like so much momentum from minimal, but intentional, effort.
There is power in quietness too it seems.
It’s true. Where focus goes, energy flows. And I have waited a long time to see and feel this.
I moved into the new year very quietly last night. In my sleep, to be very specific. Hahaha.
VC, my father and I had a day and evening no different from the ones we’ve been having since we got here. A long walk, coming home in time to cook dinner, while VC and my father potter about around me doing their thing, a drink (or three if you’re VC or my dad *eye roll*), some conversation and laughs, music, and a quiet meal together.
And we were in bed by 10.30 pm. Happy new year to me.
Quiet. It’s something I have been sitting with since I came here to my father’s new home. The literal quiet around here has been profound. It’s making me hear sounds I wouldn’t otherwise. The umpteen birds playing raucously, leaves rustling, wind howling, water sploshing, cows mooing. There’s also been a quiet within me. A peaceful settling. And then there’s the quiet way in which I’ve been directing energy and focus to what I want to the new year.
I’m stepping into the new year, the new decade, with something new. And I seem to be wanting to do it quietly too.
So here it is. I’m delighted to share my new and updated website:
Same look, new me, I suppose? This is me quietly stepping into new shoes, a new journey and hopefully new avenues of work. The foundations for which I’ve been quietly building for two years now.
Sharing this here, especially for those of you who consistently write in to ask me what I’ve been doing for my self-development, what happens at therapy and how I’ve “changed”. If you’d like to know more, please reach out to me.
Also! To mark new beginnings, and to step forward in the spirit of the work I am setting off to do, I’m opening out a new year offer:
A short tarot card reading for guidance to begin the new year with clarity.
This could be either in the form of a question/s (I’ll take up to three questions per reading, for this one), or just seeking guidance/a message for an aspect of your life as you step into the new year.
We can do this over a phone call or whatsapp, as we’ll need to chat very briefly, and then we can go straight into the reading. This will typically last 15-20 minutes. And as a first step into this, I’m offering this for just Rs. 400.
So, if this is something you’d like to explore, please get in touch with me via my contact page. I am keeping this offer open for the next five days, post which I will begin to do readings.
New Year’s Eve has been something of a non event for years now. But this year we may have dropped even lower. And something tells me I could get used to the go-nowhere, do-nothing new year’s eve of this kind.
Snapshots from yesterday’s evening walk through the village, VC stopping for pictures and my father stopping to say hello to every single person we met.
We walked all along the river side for a good one hour, VC changing his mind and turning back halfway through.
Happy to be closing the year spending theseast few days (and the next few) in simpler ways and a slower pace.
We’ve had splendid sunsets for two days now. I hope today is spectacular too.
This past year, I have felt drawn back to the earth in so many different ways. It has come up over and over in conversations, hidden desires, thoughts and dreams I’ve nourished privately and some that I’ve acted upon to bring into my life, in the events that have panned out and also the way in which I have strangely been on the move all year long.
Whether it’s the desire to finally really tangibly act on using less plastic, or the sudden life-altering need to grow a garden — I now see the source for both developments is the same. A need to find literal, real earth for my energies that were being directed into dropping new roots and finding new ground beneath my feet.
I realised today, happily, that this year I spent more than the average time I spend at the beach. Somehow, I listened and heeded the curiosity to see the hills for the first time in my life. And I’ve nurtured a year long desire to go back to the forests, harking back to the numerous family jungle safari trips we have made in my childhood. And right on cue, as with every other desire to earth myself, the means have opened up and happened. I’m ending the year amidst ancient trees, foggy, misty mornings and I’ve spotted two snakes, a baby crocodile and at least a dozen adorable pond turtles right in our backyard in my fathers home.
This year has given me a newfound respect for the planet, not just through these surprise desires but also through umpteen opportunity to pursue them.
I feel a deep reverence and a sense of being my own size when I’m out amidst nature. I think that is what essentially grounds me.
Another milestone. Another year on walking this planet.
Another year obsessing about all the things that you do. Another year living in that fully committed single-mindedly focused way that you do.
Another year of simultaneously infuriating me with our polar opposites and softening me with our fundamental likeness.
Another year of inconveniencing me with unnecessarily heavy luggage all for another year of stunning pictures and memories from our travels.
And yet, I suspect this year will be a touch different. So as you step into the new, I wish for you a year of just enough surprise of magic and just enough comforting familiarity. A balance of enough challenges and the right amount of easy wins, too. A year of flow and ease, peppered with opportunities to stretch yourself. I wish for solidity and harmony as you continue to take life by the horns and grow from strength to strength like you have this past year.
I had my last session of therapy for the year today and it was such a good culmination of the work I have done since I resumed again just over a year ago.
Today, as we talked about where I’m at — the cusp of a new unfolding in possibly every different space in my life — I had a moment of almost disbelief at the way in which I was even holding myself and articulating the things that I was.
Today, I reiterated and reaffirmed to myself the uniqueness of my own journey, the need to honour my pace and place, without judgement or measuring it up against anything or anyone else.
Today, I felt like I turned yet another corner in my becoming.
The fundamental building blocks of doing things to please others (and in that way make myself agreeable to them) because of the firmly held belief that doing things to please me will inevitably and always be “too much” for them to take, or might make them upset, or unhappy, or confused, or hurt, are shifting. This has been an unsaid code and way of being in my family. Especially for generation after generation of women.
In moving out from that space, that way of being, I have had to slowly let the foundations — those very fundamental building blocks that decide how I will be in the world — slowly crumble and fall away. There is no rebuilding new and healthier foundations without undoing the unhealthy, unsafe and unstable ones that have held me so far.
There is tremendous power in doing this. The proverbial endpoint seems promising, liberating and great. And it is. But the journey to there is seldom uniformly great. It is downright painful, difficult, isolating and harrowing even. Milestones and in fact many important pivotal moments along the way are often the ones that have left me shaken up to my core and like I have lost the very ground beneath my feet.
But one of the most powerful experiences I have had this year is of letting myself crash and drop so low, allowing myself the ability to dive and sink to depths so low, and meet vulnerabilities so raw and deep that the only way from there has been up.
And the person I am today, as the year draws to a close, definitely feels like a transformed version of the person I was at the start of this year. I am ending the year feeling solid from within. Truer to myself, more in touch with my body and emotions, and very, very unafraid of seeing and holding my vulnerabilities
It’s true what they say. True strength only comes from being intimately and ruthlessly honestly in touch with those deepest fault-lines that exist in all of us. If only I learned earlier that there is no glory in that outward facade of strength and powering-through facade that comes at the cost of bypassing real pain that is asking to be seen and heard.
Today, I felt extra gratitude for all those whose help and support I have sought and leaned on during this time. Fellow truth-seekers, truth-tellers, some professionals whose work it is to help shine a light in spaces we are unable to journey alone, some friends and confidants who have offered everything from a kindred spirit, silent holding of space when I’ve been in the lows and cheered me on through my highs. All the people who have joined me on and off along the way, sometimes holding my hand, sometimes leading, sometimes being led by me, sometimes holding up a mirror or a light, sometimes stopping momentarily and letting me go on so I can journey those necessary parts on my own.
Meeting myself has been equal parts thrilling and terrifying, but I hold close those moments that I have been in touch with recently, the real fruit of all these years of an inward journey — moments where I have felt in love with myself. It has been life-giving like drinking sweet, sweet nectar. And somehow it makes all the heaving difficulty, the bouts of pain and loneliness so worth it.
The sadness of a really good time, of the sort that uplifts and nourishes and fills you up, coming to an end hasn’t hit me in literally years. The last memory of such a deep post-good-time of this degree sadness is from when I was a young child and my favourite aunt and uncle would visit us once a year, leading to endless bunked days of school and just too much fun all round. So much fun that when it was time to leave, even as young as 9, 10, 11, 12 years old, I remember feeling abject sadness and finding it difficult to slip back to normalcy and function as usual once again. It always took a few days to get back to the regular rhythm of life.
And that’s the degree of sadness that hit me yesterday once S had left. Thankfully, I had a meeting with S in the evening to soften the blow of the hard knock it could have been. And today, I met S for drinks and brunch at mid day which is always uplifting, and certainly helped fight the gloom that I would have inevitably felt if I was left to my own devices.
Talking to S this afternoon, about friendships as we always do, I realised for all my complains and cribs about disappointments and dissatisfactions about people, especially in a year like this one that has seen the most upheaval and shaking of the ground beneath my feet, I have also received the best and mellowest gifts of love, affection and friendship. I am not very quick to notice it for what it is, and that is something I am trying to change.
The last week spent with S and VC was life-affirming in that sense. And I want to acknowledge the many ways in which it was so good for me.
It gave strength and validation to my deeply held belief that friendships that are based in simple truths and genuine connection don’t take work. They work beyond distance, infrequent meetings and all else. And they have that wonderful ability to rejoin and pick up exactly where we may have left off, even when either party has undergone massive transformation in the time spent apart.
I realised S and J are amongst the handful of people (that I can count on one hand) that I have this absolute and utter privilege with. They honour me with a kind of friendship that some of the relationships closer home that I have struggled to keep going haven’t. That ability to cut through the fat and come straight to the heart of the matter. A high degree of respect and space for vulnerability, even as we hold space for the silliness and laughter. A genuine warmth and being excited for the best in the other.
These are folks I talk to maybe 3 times a year. It’s only in the last six odd months since we started a whatsapp group between us (yes, it took us that long) that there is some form of frequent banter. But otherwise it’s restricted to the timely wishes and brief catch ups on each others birthdays and new year, at best. And yet, somehow, by hook or by crook, we seek each other out at least once a year. Making plans to meet somewhere or the other, dedicated time to spend catching up and reliving the old days. This, is not something I have with literally anyone else in my life. The effort and the follow-through on this, year after year. And today, I realised I really love that we do it.
This past week, I laughed harder than I have in a long while. VC admitted he enjoyed our company more than just being the third wheel he usually makes himself feel like. And I came away feeling like we are grown up versions of ourselves from 2012-2014, with something at the heart of it all, intact. To have each been through some seriously diverse experiences, some transformative times, and still find it’s possible to connect. And connect long and well, and enjoy every moment of it, is special.
So, when I got home in the evening I dug out pictures that pock-mark the many years of our friendship. There are folks who have lifelong friends. I haven’t had that luck as yet. But here, I see solid potential of being stuck with each other for life. OOPSIE – hahahaha.
I realised I have a picture for nearly every year since we split ways, and that we’ve met in six cities and four countries in the years gone by. Again, not something I see myself going out of my way to do with too many people.
This was taken on this summer trip that I documented, but several day trips and wanderings — way way too many to count because we’d go out literally every weekend — that probably went undocumented. When we weren’t out and about, we lived out of each others homes. We shared way too many common loves — for movies, music, art, travel — that made us converge on more things than not.
In fact, I cannot separate my association with monsoon listening of Coke Studio from S and J at all. I write about it here. I shared my most impactful professional year, the one that had more far-reaching consequences that I knew, working with S. We’ve cooked way too many meals together and shared way more beers for our own good.
S left Goa in the end of 2013 and moved to Bombay. He visited us in Goa again in 2014, but apparently we took more pictures of the food we ate and absolutely none of ourselves at all.
In 2016, S flew in from Singapore to Bangkok to catch up with me. Many shenanigans ensued, and ended with this very drunken picture that was taken at 2 am in a bustling street market.
Somehow, we missed meeting in 2017, as S reiterated today with a “WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017??” when I shared these pictures with him. I was caught in the landslide that was moving to Bangalore and the year zipped by without any big travel.
In 2018, we made it to Paris where S now lives. And he and J plotted to surprise us, with J flying in from Hamburg.
Again, way too many shenanigans ensued. And I’ve written about the ways in which I felt so filled up from it all here and here.
Last December, we caught up in Goa, just months after we had returned from Europe.
And then, a whole year later we connected in Bangalore, making a trip to Coorg together. I have a new picture to add to this collection — the first one in the post.
I want to say this is fate or destiny or some such, but I think it isn’t just that. It’s also a lot of deliberate intention, and sincere keeping up of our word and following through on the things we plan to do. That is a deeply cherished aspect of friendship I have coveted for years now.
It’s not too late to acknowledge that for all the knocks and falls I’ve had in the last few years, and especially this past year, as far as people and friendship goes, I am still one lucky girl, for all the love and connection that has stayed and found it’s way to me, despite it all.
Currently severely feeling the sads since S left this evening. The house got extremely quiet and lifeless for a bit. Thankfully I had a meeting in the evening to run off to, but when I got back home there was no escaping the full force of a plunge into deep, deep melancholy at a superbly fun and nourishing few days coming to an end. As all good things eventually do.
Niyu and amma made some sheera and sent it over so I ate a big bowl of it to feel better. Yeah, I’m that level of sad and feeling the post-holiday blues.
Two nights of feeding a fire to keep it going long enough for us to stay snug and warm, talking intimately and candidly huddled around it, listening to the best music is what it took to end a year of massive friendship lessons on a positive and love-filled note.
There was warmth in the silences. Life in the conversation. Fuel in the feelings shared. I am mildly changed by the three days I have spent away in the company of VC and S.
Something fundamental has shifted as far as my perspectives on adult friendships go. And after months of not knowing what, this trip away illuminated that something for me.
I’m just sitting in the afterglow of it.
I’ll say this again. I’m grateful for those who left, almost as much as I am grateful for those who remained.
Few things more grounding and levelling than being surrounded by nature. Waking up to sunlight breaking to birdsong, walking about the trails dotted with all things bright and beautiful all creatures great and small, napping amidst the ruccous of cicadas, waking up to walkabout the softly setting sunlight that winds all things down within.
Happy to be on this break with VC and S. That’s yet another city and state that we managed to catch up in, another set of memories. Same old fun. Rinse, repeat.