Ten things I am grateful for right now, at the moment, today:

1. I am alive and I feel good!

2. I have a fantastic job that I love.

3. My two boys.

4. My best friends.

5. My love for life.

6. My positive attitude.

7. My support network.

8. My life in US, filled with freedom, possibilities and hope for betterment (All things are possible and I believe in American dream)

9. Fantastic weather at Campbell. It is just perfect!

10. Watching Sunset at Gazo’s creek Beach.

Say “Yes” to the seedlings and a giant forest cleaves the sky.  Say “Yes” to the universe and the planets become your neighbors.  Say “Yes” to dreams of love and freedom.  It is the password to utopia.  ~Brooks Atkinson

Happy Krishna Janmastami! Let us talk about “Saranagathi”(Surrender).

Happy Krishna Janmastami everyone! I am delighted to see celebration pictures of Janmastami by my  family on Facebook.  This got me back to  memories of my childhood at Gadwal. My mother and grand mother used to read the epic Bhagavatam during this time. One of my favorite story my grandmother used to tell us was about an elephant attacked by an Alligator crying for help prying to almighty to come and rescue his life. There is more to it. The theme of the story is total saranagathi ( surrender) to Almighty. I was telling this story to my son in the most simplest way without missing the impact and meaning of main elements of the theme, kindness, compassion and surrender to god’s will.

For a long time I did not understand my mother’s confidence  and philosophy that everything will work out all by itself. I guess I was in my twenties having anxiety attack waiting for the results of my undergraduate degree. I sort of got it when my mom calmed me down explained it to me a couple of times. I remember she spent the whole after noon talking to me and saying now or never you need to get this other wise you will be in a total mess and miserable with anxiety and stress. I loved the way she explained. She said it is good you are sort of always competing with the three boys (my brothers) but you need to learn to totally completely surrender to Almighty for the results part. I am not asking you to sit down and do a bunch of prayers but just have faith develop the faith, believe that everything will work out for the best for you in the end. I always pay full attention to my mother when she speaks but I did not get it what she wanted me to learn around this time either.
Now I am going to tell you an  interesting incident when I finally got a most profound spiritual experience in the middle of chaos at an airport. It happened when I was about leave to US from New Zealand . When we were just about boarding the flight the cops stopped my son and said he is detained and I can go if I like. I said to the cop he must be kidding and I am not leaving anywhere without my son. It so happened that my  NZ Lawyer by mistakes totally forgot to  remove an order to prevent him to be taken by anyone away from NZ . I had done it for his safety and  she just forgot get it removed. Now I am in the middle of transit away from my friends in Wellington in Auckland airport in the night  can’t leave the country for that day. So the first thing I did was I moved  my trip to US later  to the next night. My son was so stressed he just feel asleep and here I was eight months pregnant with big belly in the middle of the night in an airport of a new city I have never been sitting and thinking and planning how do I get to talk to my lawyer and  go to a court and get the order removed in a day’s time to get back on a flight to US the next night. For some reason I thought of my mom how strong she was and what would she do? All of a sudden  this saranagathi-total surrender and the conversation I had with my mother around my anxiety time in twenties came back to me. I sat there with Himmi’s head in my lap fast asleep and prayed to my Dad and of course God for not too long. There was this sudden calmness around me something so profound, peaceful, as if an angel is sitting with me around me I thought is could be my father ..I don’t know what it was but I became very calm, blissful, peaceful sort of knowing that tomorrow is going to be ok and every thing will workout well for me and I will be boarding the flight the next day. I closed my eyes trying to get some rest and opened my eyes to see a big Maori guy with tattoo’s watching me he just said go to sleep there is plenty of time for the morning. I slept for a while the next morning this guy goes and brings breakfast and coffee from McDonalds and tells me where the Auckland family court is helped to get a taxi and moved all my luggage in to it, gave the direction  and wished me luck said everything will work out well for me. I am thinking was he God or something? I just could not believe. Then the day went so beautifully well as if someone is arranging everything for me I met this lady lawyer at the court another Angel who was more than happy to help me. She called my lawyer got the documents filled the petition at the court  got the judge’s time for 4.30 pm in the evening I sat there in the court house awestruck watching something amazing happening around me I did not know until then meditation, faith, surrender, saranagathi was such a powerful thing. Here I was at 5pm with preventive order’s removed and path clear for us to leave in one single day. What you call it as miracle. Out of no where everyone is helping me big time almost telling me the right words that I needed to hear. That was one heck of experience for deep meditation and Saranagathi(surrender). Now I do it all the time…you can check with Himmi..Mom how is this going to happened? My answer: Uperwalla ( the guy up there/Almighty) will provide. You just have to surrender with complete total faith that’s all. Why we would not consider surrender unless we are full of ego self or foolish  enough not to acknowledge and trust the all powerful, incomprehensible almighty, the creator, that which is keeping the planets in to alignment and in divine right order, that  which is  in charge of our life here.  I guess I disagree with Stephen Hawking . I for one totally completely believe there is one higher power heavenly father up there watching over me and my kids I have nothing to lose and everything to gain  in committing saranagathi in total complete surrender to Almighty . You see I have a good life I would say I have a wonderful and prefect life in Almighty’s divine design.

‎”There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. ” — The Dalai Lama

Picture of the same cradle I used to decorate as a child for Krishnastami celebrations.

Picture by: Srikar Deshikan.

First week of school for Johnny at Rose Mary-Kindergarten!

It’s been a week since Johnny started kindergarten. This is one of a kind experience for me. School started on Monday on Tuesday he got into trouble at after school care because he is using adult language and bad words (this needs some investigation) and by Wednesday he did not like wearing uniform and did not like Himmi being away and through a fit. By Thursday Morning he got sick and refused to go to school we managed to go late to the school. And by Friday I had to convince him to go to school and promise to bring Himmi back which of course I did. With all this hungama there is something amazing about this kid in the evening when we have study time/homework time/I read- you read time he will sit still and write and read whatever I suggest him to do. After an hour or so if I say we are done he still wants to do some more learning which is awesome! I do have to mention here that we started home work schedule during last year/pre- school year, which I figured now got him into a regular evening home work  habit and routine. Of course we don’t have a TV at home which makes it easier and of course  no other distraction around the study area.

Johnny definitely has far more physical energy than I can cope and handle. I would love to hear from other parent’s experiences as to how they engage their hyper active children. Here is an example of what happened on Saturday. We got up early and went for almost four miles walk to watch sunrise at the nearby creek trial. We got back home for a short break and went to the park in the neighborhood spent almost a good three hours since he got hungry even after we had a big brunch. Now Johnny said he is hot and wanted to get into the pool and so we were at the pool for a couple of hours. Then it was almost time to drive Himmi back to Berkeley.  We get back home almost nine in the night and Johnny says Mammy now it is time for us to wrestle until I win. And he seriously means to have a fight. I am not sure how he can have all this energy. Johnny definitely is a lot more different than Himmi to deal with and of course he is very independent, has a clear opinion on everything and expresses his feelings and emotions very clearly like a little warrior. Nothing is calm and quiet here as you can guess. I do like the fact that he expresses himself very clearly.

There are bad days too like the other day when my five years old completely refused to cooperate in the morning and got me so frustrated. Each child is different and so this is going to be altogether a different journey. I guess I have signed up to take on this new challenge hope I can do well and be a good Mom. We all go through days when we feel can I do this? Don’t we?