Namaste! I have been thinking about Thanksgiving and giving back. How about we start noticing the people passing by more and give a big genuine smile. A smile doesn’t cost us a dime for sure! To all our desi friend’s out there, let us change the perception that “Indians are way too serious and do not smile”.
I had an interesting conversation a few months ago with a mother I met at the park. She said she is new to Silicon Valley and finds it hard to make new friends. I said well! did you really look around you for friends? I wanted her to clarify if by friends she means only Indians or all American’s, Latino’s and others in the neighborhood as well. She smiled. It is so easy to make new friends if we can smile more and may be share a delicious, mild, channa masala curry to our neighbor and be very open to talk to them before even trying to judge them and rule out that they can’t be our friends. When I moved from New Zealand and ended up in a small northern Californian town there were no Indians anywhere around the proximity. My neighbor Amanda came over and said Radha I have never seen anyone with such dark black hair before. I said of course dear you have not seen an Indian how about we catch up with a cup of coffee and talk some more about it. That was my second day in US and Amanda is still my friend to this day. She tried my spicy channa curry and some more of my cooking. I offered to help watch her baby daughter for her which was such a relief for this young mother and she offered to teach me drive on the wrong side of the road. Just kidding :). Giving gifts of attention, affection, appreciation,care and love is something that comes to us easily and naturally. Here we just have to practice a bit more of Chopra’s wisdom. By the way let us be genuine and sincere about it no faking please.
Each day serve others in some small way and do not tell anyone – Dr Wayne. W. Dyer.
Today was one of those days, I was having hard time to juggle between work, running important errands, parent teacher meeting, and with my emotions all over the place, not having a moment of free time for myself. All of us busy, working, experience this time to time. Wait a minute! I made time to pause. Yes! I did. I took deep pauses in between while running into meetings, talking to my lawyer, my son’s teacher, phone calls, I call it my mini relaxation technique. I practiced it for a couple of years now. I had this habit of to write on my palm, key words, import things to remember in a day. I guess it is one of those Indian things to do. I wrote “pause” for a couple of months time to time on my palm, post-it notes at my desk and deliberately took very short breaks time to time. It helped me to get through hard times like the beginning of 2009 when keeping my job was uncertain and talk about layoffs stretched on for months. All I could do was try to pause just breath, bring myself back to the moment and tell myself it is all going to be alright in the end. We all know smiling, laughing and teaching your child to do his/her home work at 7pm in the evening is not going to be easy. Pause, just breath, stay calm and smile. ..This the most important moment in my life right now and I must enjoy homework time with joy of my life, my little boy Jonathan…..
“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” Thich Nhat Hanh.
Yesterday we went to pick a pumpkin my son as usual made friends with a bunch of kids, enjoyed the bouncy house and had a good time. This is the first time I went to pick a pumpkin because I guess we are going to celebrate Halloween in a big way. Well! whatever Johnny wants Johnny get’s it unless it is something impossible for me. I was standing there watching people and thinking I very much enjoy being here but the fact is I look at things like I am a visitor or a tourist of some sort and Johnny feels very much at home. It feels weird I am comfortable living in US but part of me observes things like a visiting tourist and responds but Johnny’s response is very different from mine. The Halloween celebration is the most natural thing to do as far as Johnny is concerned. He plans to have a Halloween party etc. This would be for the first time I will be carving a jack o lantern, donning a costume and going for trick or treating, for me this is so much out of my comfort zone but I am all for it. It’s going to be exciting fun! This reminds me of someone said to me a couple of years ago well Radha! You are a strange Indian if you have to go to Afghanistan you would be so very excited and say Yay! I get to wear burka and live in a mud hut and learn to speak Pashtu…I am an American I am not going to change like you do…All I know is change is what I see every day and I just go with the flow….
In prayer you communicate with God, in meditation God communicates with you. – Inner Space.
It takes determination to make meditation number one priority in your day. But believe me if I can do it you can do it too. I am going to blog more on meditation to help all of us, beginners, to stay on the path. I know it is not easy believe me it is never easy for me either. I am using one of my negative traits here in a positive way. Since I was a kid I am always called a very stubborn child, stubborn women, bull-headed. I thought why not I use it to practice meditation as my number one priority in a day. And it has been working out very well for me so far.
Trust me if you make meditation as number priority in your day, be committed to practice it for one year you will get back to me describing all benefits you feel as part of the deal. My logic is you eat every day to maintain your body and know that if you exercise every day you optimize your physical stamina and so if you practice meditation for the spirit you become very creative and strong spirited. Don’t we want complete wellness: mind, body and spirit?
Some of the benefits I believe I gained as part of practicing meditation are; helps me to calm my frustration, my anger, helps me to accept change with ease, helps me to face a crisis with ease, and helps me to make peace with the moment. I figured that is what happiness is all about. If we are at peace with what is at the moment we are in a state of joy. I do lose my balance once in a while but I have wonderful friends all over the world to get be back up and rest of the ninety present of the time I am at peace and I give all the credit to making meditation a regular practice and number one priority in my day.
The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi –Ramana Maharshi.
Well! My older son has a project to visit a museum and write about it so we thought it would be a nice family outing as well to visit the Egyptian museum. It turned out to be an interesting experience. Our future chemical engineer took notes on the amount of knowledge Egyptians had in chemistry and the detail processes they developed in mummification over a period of time. He was very impressed took a long time to go through each and every object in the museum and enjoyed it.
My five years old on the other hand stepped in to the museum with great excitement holding big brother’s hand to take a look, within ten minutes came back to me scared. He said we don’t want to die. We don’t want to look at dead people. I don’t want you never, ever, leave me. Get me out of here. I said alright let us not look at mummy’s any more let us look at the tools they have and the pyramids they built. So we went to the other side to see artifacts on daily life, trade and such. Here we saw a model of a large boat with men rowing he said out very loud Hey Mom look at all those Americans on the boat. Everyone in the room laughed. I said they are not Americans, immediately he said are they Indians? I had to in sit down on a bench and explain they are Egyptians they come from Egypt just like we have people from china, Chinese in Ni hao kai lan, people from Latin American countries just like in Dora, and People from Africa just like my friend Tigist who came from Eretria and his friend Matthaus from Poland. We took a break going around the gallery because he still had a bunch of questions on after life. His questions continued throughout this week until last night before going to bed he said let us pretend we are dead now and I had to stop him. I said we talked enough about mummy’s pyramids and all that; we are going to build train tracks and talk about train engines again for a while now.
I was so thrilled to see replica of bust of Nefertiti. On a liter note it is interesting to see ancient Egyptians developed Kohl for eye makeup, had hair extensions and exquisite jewelry in my favorite aqua blue. I had to curb my curiosity to learn more about judiciary system with constant reminding of my five year to get him out of there.
To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.
The other day my brother called from India and said he is speaking from his i phone. He said India has changed so much in the last ten years you know. I said yes! I totally agree and so have I. I have change and grown a lot in the last ten years too. As a matter of fact we all know change is the only constant and we Indians have adapted ourselves very well to the change in this new millennium. I love that Indian economy is growing. It is exhilarating to know India is one of the fast growing economies in the world and will soon be in the league of developed nations. How exciting and how cool is that?
Isn’t it amazing and thrilling to watch India grow and march forward with resilience, boundless energy, optimism and a hope for a better tomorrow. Well that’s where I come from and that’s what I am and that is what I represent.
I am thrilled at the knowledge of yoga, meditation, and spiritualism that is freely available in India for every citizen of India, every citizen of the world who ever intend to practice it and master it. Today I see India and I have always been unique ageless, boundary less, enthusiastic, fire, energy, growing, changing, adapting and loving the journey of life every moment and every day. I love my India in my own weird way. The girl from tiny town of Gadwal, sweet dreamer, the girl with long dark hair braided in to two that went to Agraharam School for fourth grade that argued almost every day with her best friend Sreelu that one day she is going to fly to far away land inside her heart will always be very much Indian, centered in the holy spirit of her country and loves her country and her family. Mother India is the best!
satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ |
yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam ||
Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood.
Through truth the divine path is spread out by which
the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled,
reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides