Shit-show

Like I said the other day, I don’t understand anything that’s happening in this country anymore. While the COVID situation is continuing to erupt every singe day in new and horrific ways, our Health Minister was elected Exec. Chairman of the WHO. That Bill Gates conspiracy theory is beginning to sound very real to me. It fits right in. And the brazenness of it all is frankly really, really frightening.

As life slips back to normal, as it has this week, I have been tentative about whether I want to jump in with the wave, or take my time. Erring on the side of taking my time, I have been confronted with the difficult task of searching out meaning in the midst of this trail of devastation and injustice that is being left behind. I find the need to stay with it, to examine and really look at the dirt, to face the full force of the disgust it churns up in me. Because I know the only way a meaningful way to continue will emerge, is from facing the depth of the ills we have brought to this country. Even us, the silent minority that pushed ourselves to the corners, enabling this filthy, greedy, evil majority to power. So powerful that they now owe nobody any explanations for the horrors they perpetrate on a daily basis.

And we just have to watch, paralysed.

I fear the muck and the filth that has been uncovered runs the risk of being relegated to the back burner once again. If we turn away now, there will be no looking back again.

I feel this so keenly.

One year ago: On compassion, connection and belonging
Two years ago: Ground control to Major Tom

On balance

Last week, back in the classroom before things got disrupted by escalations due to the coronavirus, it wasn’t surprising that so many of us brought up Balance. In context to things feeling very out of balance around the world lately. Between the political shitstorm in India to what is playing out in the USA as well as globally, the ecological extremes and now the virus, everything seems a bit off kilter, no? One of my classmates didn’t even make it in for class because she comes in from Dubai and the travel ban was enforced a couple of days before class was scheduled.

Balance (like Belonging, that I also talk about a lot) is another fundamental principle of family constellations therapy. Bringing back balance in systems (usually families), restoring individual members to their rightful place, size and helping them understand their place as not just as individuals (in that singular fashion) but as symbiotic beings belonging within the interconnected framework of a larger natural system (or family) is a significant part of the work we do. This is a big part of the therapeutic work in viewing our individual realities, understanding context, making perspective shifts and releasing energy that is blocked when we are otherwise in a position where none of the above is possible.

It involves learning to pull back and view systems and how they operate, what impact it has on individuals and most times the thing that we’re viewing under the microscope suddenly takes on a new look.

One of the key principles in understanding Balance is that the system always works to restore balance. To bring back that which is off-balance. And in doing this, it may sometimes sacrifice some other elements. And so, I can’t lie, I’m fascinated at how looking at things through this lens, the systemic lens as we call it, is making me view the pandemic: as an instance of the system taking charge to restoring balance (as systems as naturally programmed to) that we haven’t been able to do ourselves.

And as we also see in family constellations every movement in the process of bringing back balance, comes with a serious amount of churn, a lot of unsettlement and what presents as destruction with far reaching consequences, before things can settle again.

The scale of these “consequences” in the case of the virus has been mind-boggling. I’m marvelling at how equally helpless we are in the face of this mysterious thing we know so little about. Except that it’s deadly, airborne and spreading uncontrollably. I’m fascinated how nobody is above this. No race, no country or border, certainly no religion or economic group. None of the divisions we have created to pit ourselves against others matters.

The pandemic is testing each of our personalities. Bringing out our collective compassion and monstrosity alike, surfacing parts of us that are deep-seated and rooted. Something deeper is at place, affecting change from within, showing up who we really are and what we have become as people. As a planet.

Notice how we’re facing shortages — in food, in resources, a foreboding sense of shortage of time, a palpable shortage in patience, an inability to deal with our fears and panic. It’s quite something. Mostly, a sign that things are not balanced within.

Restoring balance requires bringing back a deliberate consciousness towards natural rhythms, cycles, checks and balances. Our own, within us as well as around us. This forced slow-down, stay-home situations feels significant of that restoration. A time to do nothing, with no plan and little control.

How easy or hard has this been for you? What feelings have surfaced? It would be telling (and useful) to check in with yourself.

Restoring balance also means returning to our original size and place in the universe. Knowing there are forces that are and should be larger than us, literally and metaphorically. That we are not omnipotent and indestructible. Because far too many of our choices these days make it seem like we are.

This has been a sordid reminder of how frail and vulnerable we really are, and a jolt to step back from the plunder and destruction we have made a normal way of existence. It’s time to check our excesses, at every level, from the personal to the global. It’s time to return to some state of compassionate, synergistic, balanced way of living.

As a civilisation we have been through churn like this many times before, showing us how far off we have veered from the natural order. How cluelessly we believe we are the bosses of nature. How many horrific gaps we have created and how many of those we continue to ignore and resist fixing. How overly disconnected we have become from ourselves and the planet that has obliged us this chance at civilisation.

If this situation has thrown your emotions off balance or brought up difficult things to deal with, that is probably exactly what you need to reconnect with, witness and bring back into balance. And I believe it’s what this time is doing for us — bringing us back in touch with ourselves, one way or another, at whatever level we are willing to receive it.

We talk so much about “slowing down” and “solitude” and “self care” but very rarely do anything significant about it. There never seems to be enough time, and always far too many distractions. And yet, here it is, the perfect time. With nowhere to go, nothing to do.

If nothing else, it’ll be immensely useful in steeling yourself for future eruptions like this, because Gos knows this is just the beginning.

It’s a process. Connecting with yourself. Restoring balance within yourself. And you can start now. This is nature giving you a chance.

One year ago: Out there
Four years ago: Abandon

Where focus goes, energy flows

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.

One year ago: Food and friendship
Two years ago: Gratitude. That’s all.
Four years ago: Love

Friendship fires

 

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.

One year ago: Lay down all your thoughts
Two years ago: Morning song

The ground beneath my feet

The mind is still a tizzy with thoughts of the country and how fast things are escalating. How the mainstream news channels and newspapers aren’t portraying a picture that’s even semi close to the reality on ground. Sending out prayers and good vibes to everyone facing this in a far more brutal and real way in their lives and days. And trying hard to find my grounding in simple things today. A visit to the nursery, where my father and I spent over an hour traipsing through the entire length and breadth of the sea of plants and flowers. The winter flowers are in full bloom, and it is an absolutely delightful sight for the eyes. So I walked, stopped, touched, smelled, picked, and then some. Before returning home with a small loot.

I napped a nap deeper than I’ve had in a while. My night sleep hasn’t been the best the past ten days or so. Preoccupations, my mind active, reaching out to read the news — all the things I do when I cant sleep that then keep me from getting to sleep. I woke up feeling tremendously rested.

I felt a shift, a weight lift, a sense of clarity and a penny dropping after my afternoon with S yesterday. There is a sliver of light shining through, and I feel heartened and suddenly invigorated by the possibilities, and the palpable sense of things coming together. I am no longer in dream stage, but things are quickly moving to action. I am not feeling paralysed by that movement, rather feeling more and more energised to get going. I have a website going that I hope to finish by the close of the year, tomorrow we meet a CA to discuss the options ahead of us to work together and the first project is already in sight.

And so, this evening I feel alive and full again. Not shrinking and cowering under a helplessness like I have been feeling inside of me, for over a week now. I cooked us dinner, figured out what meddling I need to do with my pots and plants tomorrow, and now I’m off to pick up some frames of prints I want to get up on the walls this week. And then I’m off for therapy.

I want to acknowledge and state here, that since my first meeting with S last week, where we really got down to the brass tacks of working together, I had this feeling that shit just got real, it has translated into a sudden burst of action in the rest of my life. My days are flowing smoothly. I somehow wake up knowing what I want to do and have been moving through my time effortlessly, getting things done. And not just work things, but home and food and life things as well. We’ve had people over, I’ve cooked umpteen meals, we’ve made time to chill and watch TV, we’ve been out, I’ve found my rhythm and regularity with the gym again, I went to a couple of protests, work got done, home improvement is in full swing like it hasn’t ever been. Somehow everything has been finding a time and place, and happening. I have managed to get some simple, small things that I have planned and not moved on for literally years — like a website revamp, like a visit to the nursery, like frames of prints I’ve collected over the years. I’m feeling a sudden effortlessness. And t has brought to my days a fullness that is not overwhelming or exhausting, which is the only kind of “full” I knew for a very long time.

Balance and flow, balance and flow, balance and flow. It is such a surreal, heady feeling to suddenly have that which I have only dreamed of and coveted for so many years. I feel so grateful.

This feels so sweet, I can almost taste it.

One year ago: Love in a thousand different flavours

Old-new, new-old

It has taken me many months to accept that the cost of that degree of honesty — the cost of owning my full power — is sometimes the friendship itself.

I just wrote these words a few days ago. (Not so)Strangely this was the very crux of therapy today. I want to say I didn’t see it coming, or that I was taken by surprise. But the truth is I’ve felt this welling up in me — the gut wrenching and heartbreaking truth about dipping fully into my power. Because it has meant witnessing the shifts, the changing dynamics with everything and everyone around. And the inevitable consequence of letting it all go to the point of facing emptiness where there was once the fullness of comfortable relationships.

With some helplessness and some liberation, I’ve been watching subtle, small changes and the difficult realisation that many are slipping away irrevocably. That there’s that gaping emptiness that may remain for a long time to come, and while it is always an opportunity to reconnect anew, this may be yet another time of letting go those relationships where reconnecting is harder still.

This has also felt like the ground beneath my feet has been totally shaken up and like nothing is quite the same anymore. Quite destabilizing, if I were to be really honest. And yet, I’m seeing how this time around even as I’m aware of what’s happening, the old stock response to resist it has faded away significantly. In its place is a gentle witnessing and awareness to make space for everything that comes up.

This is bringing waves of grief on the flip side of the excitement for the new. Grief For the impending loss, for how quickly and painfully things are shifting. For change. For transitions. For loss. For moving on. For letting go. Over and over. On and on we go.

***

On a separate note, speaking of change and letting go, I’m that weirdo that replaces an old pair of shoes with a new pair of exactly the same kind.

There’s something about old-newness or new-oldness, which ever way you prefer to look at it, that has presented itself loud and clear in my life recently.

I’m sitting with it all, making space for the whole gamut of emotions that it is bringing with it.

One year ago: I’ve got a good feeling

Move

I’ll say this much today.

I’m not done.

I want to go farther.

And I will get there.

One year ago: Whatever you believe, could be real
Three years ago: Internet things

New

On Saturday, I found myself in the middle of a Pandora’s Box of feels, that I had opened. It was triggered by a small act of showing myself in class, in the very way that I was afraid of doing on the two days before. I didn’t really plan it or think it through at all. I just felt deeply compelled to speak my truth in whatever way that it had to be seen — a little unpretty, maybe even ugly and difficult to digest. It set off a feels fest that derailed the entire agenda of the mornings lesson plan, but it happened and in the bargain gave me a live experience of what happens when I stay with my authenticity.

At the time it just felt like I was going with my intuition and doing what I just needed to do. I had reached a place where I could do nothing else but speak up and take my side. But today, with enough time (and sleep) having gone by, I see it as a moment of tapping into my inner strength. Because I defied all my own rules in that moment.

I didn’t stay quiet to stay safe.

I didn’t worry about how I looked or what the ten others in the room might have thought of me.

I stood up to a bully in as gentle and kind a way as possible, yet made my opinions and feelings known.

I simply showed up. As I was, with everything that I was feeling. No excuses.

Today, I realise that took a lot of strength and conviction. Of a degree I have not known I even had within.

I’m completely overwhelmed by the experience and it will be a few days before I have fully processed what happened and what it means for me. But it was a delightfully new place to be in. To stand up for myself. To take my side in this way and to believe in myself so completely.

It was an important step forward. A move from being the shy, passive one who is usually quiet and happy to step back to make space for someone else who needs is louder, bigger, more assertive or just more in need of space. It was an important movement in claiming my space and not giving up on myself.

In the process I’ve probably released a lot of what I typically hold within, locked into my body, long after the module, giving me disorientation and fatigue that takes a few days to pass. This time I have woken up the very next day feeling fresh and new.

Perhaps it’s a new me? I’ve been seeing it in the way my body is changing. My face has found room for bigger nosepins and brighter lipstick. In the way my torso and shoulders feel stretched and ask for more everyday. In the way my heart has opened, my eyes have softened and my mind feels supple.

Today I feel it in the presence of a voice that’s found a place.

I’ve met myself again. In a new way.

I certainly feel it within. Something life changing happened that day, in that moment.

Two years ago: Bangalore: A graphic novel
Three years ago: Interwebzy things

Stillness

It’s so great to be in a learning environment again. While I’ve really enjoyed and felt the need for the time of processing in the months between level 1 ending and level 2 beginning, I have also missed staying in touch with the work and being in an environment that nurtures and makes me feel like a learner. Just two days of it and I’m thrilled, my heart brimming over with joy.

Last year, there was a decided pause I had made in my life to make space for this learning. This year it feels like I’m going with the flow. To be in a classroom again, without a plan, without a focused specific outcome and without any inkling where this learning is going to take me is like flirting with the unknown at another degree. To go with the flow even as I remind myself to go one step at a time, one day at a time is exciting. To lean in and make myself available to any way in which this journey may unfold and take me is feeling as much a part of the learning process as the course itself.

I’m glad to be able to give myself this opportunity and to be in this process minus the regular anxiety about performance and outcomes that I am known to experience, is refreshingly new. And it feels like a shift within me.

When I began this journey, this exploration of learning last year, it felt like a sabbatical. There was a concious putting off and away of all other preoccupations. It has been interesting to see how much more has peeled away in the months after, how much more continues to strip away even to this day, and how I am being guided to really focus on this without much effort on my part. Without a plan. Without any preconceived ideas. Without expectations.

My life looks nothing like it did one year ago. It looks nothing like I thought it would either. And I have been having Ong a strong feeling that I have to let go of the very idea of what “my life should look like”. Earlier this month when I had thoughts about work and which way to go, there were vestiges of a past life creeping in, which though I invited and explored, didn’t stay very long. So I’ve been feeling for a while now, with a growing sense of confidence every day, that perhaps this isn’t a sabbatical anymore, and just a new kind of life itself. The end of one way of living and making space for an entirely new one.

This exploratory, flowy way of living through my days has a special kind of slowness that now sits beneath my skin. I find myself reluctant to have days that are packed full of activity or that require me to run helter skelter. I am.unabke to function in that way. There is a slowness that has pervaded my very being, shifted and rewired some very fundamental building block in me.

It’s like an internal clock resetting, a rewiring of my system. And maybe I need to stop looking at this as a temporary set up, or a stop gap, but just a very new way of life itself.

One year ago: One day, we’ll be old and think of all the stories we could have told
Three years ago: Thoughts on a girly holiday

Slow and steady

It’s been a rather flip-floppy week and I’ve floated along feeling unanchored for the most part. First the extended weekend and the extra day spent at the beach. It took me a whole day to recover from that and get out of the holiday blues and back to work. Just then I had the blow out with the client. I felt all loud and fierce in the moment when I stood my ground, but a couple of hours later I began to feel really sad about it. Not for what I said or did, because I was in the right, but just about yet another disappointment. Human beings are just so disappointing and it felt like a last straw.

So I turned to good old carbs for comfort. With a side of a Sri Lankan cinnamon and burnt star anise infused G&T at my new favourite pizza place. VC was only more than happy to take me out and so I binged on a meatballs on focaccia starter followed by a pepperoni pizza.

Today though, I woke up feeling quite rudderless because it dawned on me that suddenly a large chunk of my day is absolutely free and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Work does give my day structure and purpose and I’m back to the drawing board about where to go next. All of this is especially floaty in Goa where my days are long and lazy, and I’m technically in this limbo between holiday and regular life, not sure which way to go.

It could have been another floaty, aimless day but thankfully by now I have figured out my go to fixes that anchor me and bring steadiness to my days. I’ve dragged my feet with exercise this week, thanks to sleeping late so many nights in a row and all the indulgence in terms of food and drink. I’ve flaked and fudged a workout or two, even though I caught an hour long beach walk/run with R every morning that we were away.

Today I just knew I needed to not give myself any excuses. So I kicked myself to workout in the morning and forced myself to finish it strong, in a pool of my own sweat. I was finished, totally wiped, by the end of it but I felt so good. It’s like every single day, I forget how this is just starting trouble and that just seven or eight minutes in when I really break into a sweat and begin to feel the burn, is when the endorphins happen and I begin to thank myself for not allowing another miss.

I went to the nursery again this past weekend and got some new plants for the house. I’m afraid it might have become my new retail therapy, considering I’ve decided not to buy any clothes, shoes or accessories for at least another year.

After my workout I spent a good 20 mins tending to my plants. Don’t ask what I do and why it takes so long but I just enjoy pottering about, digging here clipping there, moving pots around. I don’t believe I’m very good at it but it is extremely satisfying and warms my heart.

I’ve also figured I don’t do well with just being cooped up all by myself for many days. I’ve been especially lonely after VC leaves for work this week, and the lethargy has made my enthusiasm to plummet. So today I got out and decided I should get out every few days, even if it’s just a supermarket run. I’m no longer the homebody I used to be when I lived here, going for days on end without stepping out at all. An hour outdoors was all it took, stocking up on groceries and stuff for a BBQ dinner VC has planned tomorrow, for me to feel steady and like I was back to being myself.

I came home, put things away listening to John Mayer and cooked myself a simple lunch. Dal, millets, a sabzi of sprouts and ate it with leftover kheema. Later, I watched Brene Browns new Netflix special and I ended up doing a couple of card readings for peeps.

This is pretty much all it takes to bring steadiness back to my life. A rhythm of utterly mundane tasks. Some days are just like this, steady and normal, as S said just as I was going about my day and she coincidentally texted me at the very same time telling me how she went about her plain and simple day and how it grounds her in ways nothing else does.

The benefits of having a routine are seriously underrated and I realise this is just what my parents talked about all along when I was growing up. I’m just living and experiencing the wonders as an adult.

Watching Gully Boy yet again in bed tonight and already looking forward to the beach tomorrow morning.

This is joy.

One year ago: The times, they are a-changing
Three years ago: Go far, they said

Separate, yet connected

The biggest takeaway, for me, from this past weekend has been the realisation that I suddenly know what it is to be separate, yet connected. To engage, to relate just enough and connect, without losing myself wholly, or disconnecting either.

Somewhere along the way, all these weeks and months of owning the words and turning them around and around in my head, I suppose the inevitable has happened and it has sunken in just a wee bit, into my being.

For a decade now, VC and I have consciously believed that we are not one of them, and unconsciously kept ourselves away from extended family on his side, as a whole. I suppose there is a time for everything, and this past weekend was as much about testing my renewed capacity for this kind of togetherness, as much as it was for me to create a space for myself, just the way I am. I have always feared doing this because of how different I am. But I realised this past weekend that I’ve reduced different to be a weakness. Unknowingly, that difference became my strength over the last three days.

I’ve only ever thought of belonging in this family, as requiring losing myself a whole lot, and so I’ve always kept myself at a safe distance. Something happened this past weekend that made me realise what it is to be almost wholly me, rather fearlessly, and still believe that I can be one of them. Surprisingly, I received nothing but love for it.

I feel I have a better sense of what it is to live and let live now. The two may be separate and very different indeed, but they needn’t be mutually exclusive. The two, they can coexist in the strangest, most bizarre and satisfying ways.

***

It’s a bright hot day outside, with an over-zealous wind in the air. I’ve picked up toppled pots several times, watched my curtains billowing violently almost like they’ll snap and fly away, and I’ve devised many methods to keep doors from slamming. I have work to get started on, but all I’ve managed to do in between all of this is lie down and doze off from time to time. It seems almost ridiculous, but between the emotional stirring from the weekend and the excessive time spent in the water and the harsh sun, I’m totally exhausted. After pondering about why I’m so tired for all of today, I suddenly realised what I am feeling is a deep vulnerability hangover.

One year ago: Where is the love?

Postcard from staycation – 2

It’s been an extended weekend staycation by the beach. This time around, I have realllly indulged and maximised the time in the sea and pool, spending an average of 6 hours everyday between both waterbodies.

I’ve returned exhausted, burnt to a crisp (so burnt my shoulders hurt) but feeling really (surprisingly) fulfilled. I was super sceptical, borderline worried about this trip and was on the brink of chickening to stay home on the eve of it. But it has surprised and satisfied me in ways I will have to slowly unpack for myself over the next few days.

The best part? When everyone else was leaving, lamenting the end of the holiday and the crash back to reality that flying into Bangalore will be, VC and I drove 1.5 hours back home, still feeling the holiday feels.

Hashtag blessed, I guess?

More tomorrow when I can put my thoughts down coherently.

One year ago: Remind yourself, nobody built like you

Everybody says I’m fine

Today I realised stillness is not something I can achieve. It’s not a thing that I can trap and make mine, captured in me forever. It’s fleeting, it’s constantly transforming, it’s constantly elusive. So much to my disappointment, I realised in therapy today that despite many past brushes with the virtues of stillness, it remains to be something I don’t quite know. It comes and it goes and when it goes it becomes something to win back again. It’s something to constantly aspire for.

I’m not very good at accepting these realities about myself. These dips, these realisations of the two steps back that we all have to take every now and then. Even now, despite all the work and movement, I hold myself to an unnaturally high expectation of constant upward movement, rarely giving myself a break (on this emotionally exhausting journey) even when body and mind are screaming for it.

To let go of that expectation, is to invite in the fear of crashing, of falling those 2, 3, 4, 5 steps back from where I’ll have to work my way up again. To let go, is to begin to wonder what a step back means. In some senses, in my head, to let go is to fail. And today, in therapy, I realised this is what I have been running from. This is why I have avoided being still.

It’s so much easier to say I’m fine. And maybe I am, but to acknowledge that small part of me that isn’t at this moment? Would that be such a bad thing? I don’t even know what it is like to acknowledge it without the riders and the disclaimers of being “largely okay”, that stem from my deeply hardcoded nature of emotional adjustment and flexibility that compel me to look on the bright side.

To let go of this expectation is the only way to move forward again. And so while I may pride myself in being emotionally agile, constantly flexible and finding the good/happy in me even when other parts are in distress, today I’m trying to just be still. To let go of this need to be okay constantly. To see what happens when I do.

One year ago: We’re up all night for good fun
Three years ago: Giving thanks

Changing seasons, changing reasons

Feeling the feels and thinking lots of thoughts about death of a phase, moving on to new horizons, finding new ground and growing into new skin since yesterday.

Maybe it was the massage I had yesterday that set of this feeling of having shed something. Or maybe it’s the energy of the first week of the new year that still feels like the dregs of the old, leaving on its last legs. I have actually been feeling this energy of something finishing since the last big full moon of December. Or maybe it’s the near end of this trip — that has in so many, many ways been life-altering — that makes me feel like something new has been set in motion.

Nothing confirmed it — this inner knowing of what was one young and tender, having grown, and what has grown and fulfilled its purpose eventually meeting a logical end, this feeling of the continuous cycles that keep finding their peaceful completion — like this splash of pink and white that’s taken over a curry-leaf tree whose time is in sun is clearly done.

This overgrown burst of colour that’s brimming with the kind of audacity that only be found in youth. The loud, look-at-me-flourish vibe that overshadows and drowns out what once was a wee little pot-sapling no higher than my knees, forced me to see what is.

Today, I went back to visit an old neighbour and dear friend, and quite by surprise found a parking spot right next to where it has grown into flourishing tree in it’s own right.

I’d planted that little sapling in the ground in the home I last lived in, in Goa. And something about witnessing this transformation, to see the blossoming tree full of life in all its glory, hit home today.

One year ago: Day 8: I’m just too good at goodbyes
Three years ago: Day 8: On waiting

Day 326: Oh God I feel like I’m in for it now

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of November. Though my mind seems to want to defy that passage of time, within I’m feeling a slow churn like the wheels beginning to warm up and whir. It’s been many months of slowly taking one day at a time, walking through the disorienting I-don’t-know-ness of “future plans”. I’ve been waiting for a sign. Some indication from within or around, rather than a preconceived and fixed idea about where I ought to go next.

This has been time off from doing, and suddenly when the time to do something has come, Ive felt stumped and a bit caught in the headlights. It is so easy to slip back into these old patterns. Even so, I find myself still calmly moving. Without a plan, but with intention. Without a routine, but with a method to the madness.

At some level, I’m beginning to believe there is no other way to get closer to ones most authentic self, than to let go of the controls and commit to a slow life. I feel like this journey would have been incomplete without these important everyday-living lessons in waiting, patience, acceptance and surrender.

There is an incredibly freeing kind of joy in taking things slow that I never knew was possible, or that I could enjoy.

That said, I’ve sensed a shift these past few days. Like a pregnant buzzing pause before new beginnings. There’s some thoughts brewing about projects, new interests to pursue and some journeys to take. Fitting, as we’re fast approaching the close of the year. So even though my mind tells me it can’t possibly be the end of November, deeper within I know this has been a long time coming.

Two years ago: Day 326: Paint me like the sky