On magic

It’s not Monday, but I had some thoughts on Magic. So here goes.

Making Magic usually takes some work in terms of aligning desires with actions that can take us towards fulfilling them.

But there are many times that life offers up Magic without any effort or doing on our part. Think the sweet spots that shine amidst the rhythm of mundane life. Surprises that hum through the low hum of daily existence. Unexpected gifts that were waiting to be revealed, that were chanced upon seemingly in the middle of nowhere. When we weren’t looking. Happy coincidences, chance twists in the tale, unexpected good times that somehow make our day, week, month or year.

It’s okay, good even, to take these moments of magic for what they are. With arms outstretched, to receive it in full, even when it feels unwarranted or like we did nothing to deserve it. From a source beyond our making or doing.

The end of 2020 has been nothing short of magical for me. And I’ve been trying to take it for what it is — pure goodness — without wondering if it will last, how long I’ll be before the next slump, if I’m worth it etc, and all the other thoughts I usually have that totally kill the magic.

If you need a sign, take this today. Magic received and passed on, just as is. No reasons given, no hustle needed.

One year ago: On listening
Two years ago: Changing seasons, changing reasons
Three years ago: I’m just too good at goodbyes
Five years ago: On waiting

Endless beach days

We took ourselves to the beach on the 31st to catch the sunset. And somehow, without plan, found ourselves back at the beach on the 1st too. Then on the 2nd, we celebrated D’s birthday by spending the day on a beach in the south. So now we’ve even ticked that off the box. I want to believe that starting the year with three days at the beach is a good sign. Of what, I’m not sure.

Of balance? Of grounding? Of more access to sunshine and salt water? All of the above?

One can hope.

One year ago: Recharged
Three years ago: Here I go again (on my own)
Four years ago: 2016
Five years ago: In-bloom

Sun and salt water days

I only got to the sea in the last quarter of the year. But it is a privilege and a joy I cannot overstate. Our plan for 2020 was to shunt between Goa and Bangalore, as and when we pleased, because finally we are at a stage and place in our lives where we can. But of course that plan was not to be.

We did make it though, in October, finally. And despite living in Goa for eight years and having this continued come-and-go relationship with it for nearly ten years now, this time around, I really made time and effort to make it to the beach.

VC and I decided before we came here this time around, four weeks ago, that we’d try and spend sunset at the beach everyday. And so when we did, I started marking the days. Counting them off, here and on Instagram. Till I got to day 10 (without a break) and I realised we were actually doing it. I t wasn’t just a pipe dream or a short-lived burst of josh. And so I stopped counting. Nearly four weeks in, I’ve been at the beach at least 5 days a week, on average. Most times with VC, some days with S, and many days alone. Sometimes to swim, sometimes to just sit and watch everything, sometimes with tea, sometimes just music, sometimes to lie on my mat.

I unfailingly made a conscious effort every single day to get out and go to the beach. And I made it on most days. Some days I settled for a coffee shop, or a drive — getting out at sunset everyday anyway. LIFECHANGING.

Anyhow. I’ve more than made up for lost time at the sea — a feeling I’ve carried for all the years I lived here and was too busy living life to actually go to the beach as often as one imagined one would.

All this to say, I’m deeply, deeply grateful for the sea. For showing me how to flow and be steady. For letting me let go. For taking my tears. For giving me so many spectacular sunsets to close so many days, all kinds of days. For taking my breath away so often. For leaving me silent and speechless. For being okay with my solitude and companionship, whichever I brought with me on any given day. For being always available. For steadiness. For resilience. For silence. For flow. For ease.

I have received more than I have given. I have taken more than I can ever return.

***

We spent today evening at the sea too. It was way mroe packed than it has ever been this season. That was expected, I guess. But it was ncie none the less. To soak my feet, ground them in grimy sand, catch floating seashells, dodge hermit crabs.

Watching the sun go down as it does every single day, I reminded myself to go in to the new year without heavily pressing my intentions on what is yet to come.
To be okay with feeling my way through.
To find comfort in the wonder. In discovering things beyond what I think I already know.
To learn and accept how little I actually do know.
To try and take each moment as it is. Full of possibility in its own way.
Without heavily pressing my intentions, expectations or plans on what it could hold for me.
To come and go lightly. To hold on to only as much as I need. And let the rest go.
To flow, and to be steady all at once.

One year ago: Curtain call
Two years ago: December
Three years ago: Crossing over
Four years ago: December

This disgusting sunset

So effing disgusting.

I mean, it has absolutely no business being so disgustingly good that my heart couldn’t handle it. NO business.

And then it went and made it worse by turning even more disgusting.

One year ago: Simple
Two years ago: Let the water lead us home
Four years ago: Home is where the yellow roses are

Year-end feels (#1)

(UH-OHHHH, if you think you smell a series, you’re probably right.)

It took the wiiiild ride that is 2020 to know that my heart is soft, but I can love ferociously. That I hold it in a small and finite space in my chest, but it can be unbridled, free and flow endlessly. I’m still getting comfortable with letting the love flow. And show.

None of this was easy to allow, because it involved (and continues to involve) challenging many notions about myself. Many that I’d like to think are set in stone.

I am embracing softness slowly and gently. Inside and out.

And this might be the first time I can say this with faith and honesty: I love the person I am becoming because of it.

One year ago: Away and around
Four years ago: Cutting the fat

On love (and connection, and life)

I’ve been carrying this on-the-brink-of-happy-tears feeling around in the pit of my belly, trapped in my throat, jabbing right behind my eyes for over a week now. It felt like a storm of emotions brewing in my stomach. Like the slightest nudge would break me. The feels sloshed around in me, threatening to spill…and yet they somehow would just not flow? Just sat there bubbling, kissing the edge of spillover and nothing more.

That upside-down splish-splosh feeling sort of just became omni present. I thought it was about the (surprise) excessive happiness of the good chill time I have been having with my husband and my best friend, juxtoposed with the shit year I’ve had. But as the days wore on, the feeling grew in momentum, intensity and and two days ago, riding the ferry across to Chorao, in a yellowed hazy sunset, it hit me that it was more than that. It was coming from more than just being in Goa and having this welcome, unexpected break. There has been an over abundance of joy, lightness and laughter, but with a very different quality. I feel very overly emotional about the joy. Like how is that even possible, to feel like I could cry buckets from happiness. Like so full and expansive that if someone touched me I could burst. And so, that state of being on the brink of happy weeping constantly just lingered around.

***

S left last night, and VC has been away on assignment since Saturday. So I took myself to the beach all by myself this evening. It was a flat, unusually blemishfree sky when I got there. Over exposed cloudless, exploding with hot white light. But at about 5:40, something turned and just as I was planning to leave and head home, I witnessed yet another spectacular sunset. In those few moments, something was also set off inside of me. It slowly broke me, gently chipped away and eased me into a swivel of happy tears.

Somewhere in the hour that followed I realised what I am feeling is the contentment of being seen. Just as I am. Not too much, nor too little.  And the tears were a combination of having my heart pretty much splintered by this experience I’ve had over the last two weeks. Equal parts overwhelming joy from having the space to be entirely who I am, happy sad, in pain in joy, messy and fulfilled, awkward and alright, all of it. Without adjusting myself to make it better or palatable for the other. As well as equal parts grief from going over oh so many past friendships/relationships where I have gone looking for it, having a pre-defined shape and form in mind, expecting it to be something I will be offered, and never really having found it.

The simultaneous delicious surprise in having stumbled on it most unexpectedly, in a shape and form like absolutely nothing I had imagined, in a confusing medley of emotions, and heartbreaking realisation in how long I have waited for it, looking high and low, waiting for it to be somehoe given to me, when it was here within me, waiting to be had all along, has been a lot to process.

Today, I sit in the comfort of a warm lap of that grief for how much I’ve gone thru, and relief at looking back and knowing it has all added up to lead me here. This silent work I’ve done between one ruptured relationship where I wasn’t met and the next, has brought me here, to this place of being so willing to show up and be seen as I am, in the right moment. That when I was met with a willing, equally authentic recipient, something clicked.

And it feels like love. Pure and simple love. With no labels, no boxes, no pre-defined form or extension.

***

The last time I felt this swirl of inexplicable happy-crying, my-heart-can’t-take-it-anymore love was this day, two years ago. And I see now that the common thread has been the element of being seen. Being received. Having space to just be — authentically, in everything the moment has to offer.

These past two weeks have felt like my parched soul found an oasis. And I am still drinking of it’s soothing, hydrating, healing love.

Authentic, intimate relationships are pure love. Authentic connections are pure love. Authentic support is pure love. We were born for this connection. And I am here for it. All of it.

One year ago: The ground beneath my feet
Two years ago: Love in a thousand different flavours

Protected: On love (and connection, and life)

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I get by with a little help

Plans and talks of having S visit us have been in the works since October. And yet, now that we’re here together in Goa, it feels a bit surreal that we’re hanging out in the flesh and not across a Zoom call.

What a year it has been, I think this thought umpteen times even now. And to be finally hanging out with a friend, ending the year together with someone who has played a big role in getting through 2020, feels all kinds of absurdly grateful.

We’ve been visiting markets, taking walks, cooking, catching up, sitting in silence listening to music, chatting, watching “content” together. But the highlight so far has been the daily jaunt to the beach to catch the sunset. I don’t know when, and this wasn’t planned, but maybe it’s going to be the thing to remember this trip by. And the skies have been the gift that just keep giving.

Uncannily, this is the third consecutive year where spontaneous plans have brought us together In December. Another one to add to the album.

This is day 4.

One year ago: New love
Four years ago: Looking back

Picture memories

Every now and then, more often than before these days, I find moments — ordinary moments like these — that could very easily pass me by. Stopping by a highway side to look at the wild flowers against a pink sky, even as traffic whizzed by kicking clouds of dust around. Moments that fill me with so much love, joy and satisfaction all at once, at seemingly nothing. Moments that make my heart explode. It feels good these days, to stop to realy take them in. Savour them a little more than normal. To feel the colours, drink in the joy and make a deeper memory of it. Nourishing, life-giving.

One eyar ago: Life goes easy
Two years ago: Anyway, I should be doing alright

Life is green

Today was a good day.

It was nice to get out, meet S, walk amidst the greens, take our masks off, gab as we walked till we lost track of time. It was nice to feel normal just for a bit.

Considering it’s been so hard getting myself to meet anyone, it particularly was refreshing to hear that S has been having many of the same feelings. Yawning distance that’s only growing, so much inward focus and a feeling of being somewhat incapacitated with where or how to pick up with people again.

And yet, since Monday, I’ve been feeling like life is slowly creeping back. Green, fresh and juicy.

One year ago: Ammama vs me
Three years ago: Hotel hangover
Four years ago: Invitation

All in a day

Today, after many weeks, I had a content, memorable, uniformly happy day that was blemish-free and without surprise chinks.

Woke up rested after 8+ hours of sleep. Had a killer workout (as I have this whole week) and relived the absolute joy that is working out in humidity levels of over 80%. With every passing day that I workout with R I realise I’ve missed this more than I realise. It’s not just the perfect kind form of exercise, but the addition of weather conducive to maximum sweating and the fact that nobody has ever pushed me the way they have (mentally for physical benefits).

Finally, today I had a breakthrough with the consistent string of things-not-working-out and a big, important thing that was causing significant stress, worked out. After much back and forth, painful paperwork, multiple trips to Panjim and what not — it got done.

I felt overwhelming relief. And so I allowed myself this.

Then wandered around previously unknown parts of my backyard in search of this divine chocolate cake we’ve been told was sourced in my neighborhood.

This short cycle of grinding down calories in the AM and using the entire day to build them back up has really worked for me through these particularly challenging emotional times haha.

One year ago: Diwali
Two years ago: You and me, we come from different worlds

Time out, in service of moving ahead

The end of something usually means it’s the beginning of something else. No? In this year of massive endings, death, loss and grief, I’ve held on to this simple thought just to get through the days. Days that were mostly filed under “I-don’t-have-a-fucking-clue-what’s-going-on-anywhere-anymore.”

Like much of the world, I have spent a greater part of this year in a state of Not Knowing. A stage that has felt decidedly like an incubation for What Comes Next. Nothing like the stage before, yet not fully inhabiting what lies ahead.

Like an em dash between all that I have experienced and learned and everything that is yet to bloom from it.

It’s been a stage that’s asked of silence, solitude and stillness of me. Retreat, reflection and rejuvenation, for a slow marination of a new sense of my world, my place in it and a desire to bring forth new expressions of my voice.

It also felt like a culmination of the last few years that I have steadily, relentlessly shifted the focus from Doing to Being, in an effort to move my axis, find a new centre of gravity to anchor my life.

This transition now though, has gently slipped an invitation to bring in a some Doing again. A crystallisation of the work I feel drawn to. More aligned to a new sense of myself.

I’m taking a short break from Monday Tarot Messages on here and on Instagram, to rest and to reflect, in an unencumbered way. But mainly to soak, in some of the ideas for Doing that have been brewing. The need for integrity to myself is high and I feel a great desire to bake in it.

I realise in retrospect that accidentally skipping the reading last week was not entirely an accident. It came from a need that I have felt grow during this week.

It seems that this topsy turvy time is potent or personal work. Providing tarot and family constellations sessions has not only kept me grounded and going, but also been the guiding light through it all.

I plan to resume weekly readings in November. I will continue to consult and take private sessions though. If you’re curious about or would like to book a tarot or family constellations session, please reach out to me.

One year ago: Mornings
Two years ago: They’ll be making sure you stay amused
Three years ago: Things change
Four years ago: When the going is crazy

That neck of the woods

Love yourself. Then forget it. Then love the world.

— Mary Oliver

There was something very different about the way in which I observed, enjoyed and engaged with nature this time away. It wasn’t conscious, didn’t inspire any effort and not something that came from a place of deliberation. It simply happened, and I noticed it in retrospect.

There is something very richly moving about being amidst overwhelming nature — whether in the size and stature, or the saturated hues, or simply the awe and power — when it towers over and shelters you. Perspective shifting. Life giving. Steady making. Love inducing.

After years of being drawn inwards, within myself, working on and learning to love myself, I feel a distinct draw outwards. A very real and specific desire to be in love with the world again.

One year ago: On ordinariness
Three years ago: A good life is a life of goodness
Four years ago: A picture

Enough (and then some)

That old familiar wordlessness has returned. I’m beginning to see that it coincides with times when internal processes take over and/or a deep sense of contentment has arrived.

The past eight days has been a mix of both. What words I had, I directed to my family with whom I share this space. And it was enough.

It’s been hard to put in words the mix of feelings that have brimmed over for me. But if I were to be honest, I haven’t even tried. I’ve just been going with it.

Everything has felt just enough lately.

Find a way to be adrift and uncertain, pray your surroundings are beautiful, and hope that someone emerges who offers you some fruit.

— Helen Rosner

I’m getting so used to this cycle of things coming together and falling apart as a part of the very process of life itself. There is less alarm when things go askew, but there is great joy in the moments when they come together. Being with and experiencing my family this past month has been like that. Something came together, even as we coexist in our uniquely different ways, each with our idiosyncratic best sides that get served up only when we are with each other. To have room that allows for that, I realise, is a blessing.

I’m learning that the uncertain times, many times, precede the times when things come together. And so I take it when it comes around. I am grateful, and accepting of it all.

One year ago: Fries before guys
Two years ago: Say, say, say, hey, hey, now, baby
Four years ago: I had to talk about Coke Studio, just a little bit

Nourish

Feed your desires.

Keep your heart warm.

Stay grounded. Grow. Thrive.

These pictures were taken sporadically, across last week. I like when the picture reel on my phone tells me stories when I look back at it on a lazy Sunday evening after a busy week.

I see in this triptych, for example, this sequence that is a pretty accurate summation of what I have been feeling and staying with. The need to cocoon, go inwards, to listen closely to the whispers of my being, and tend to the heart of it all with unfussy basics. Vitalising food, plenty of water, any thing that takes me to my roots.

It’s been such an up and down week, but the weekend was utterly fulfilling and has me brimming over. Winding down today with a light hum of gratitude reverberating within me.

One year ago: Running updates
Two years ago: Walking high on the wire
Three years ago: What coming home feels like: making friends edition
Four years ago: Down and up again