The Power of Surrender

Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron. Cause typically surrender means to give up, especially in the face of circumstances where there is no strength or resources left to fight any more. Like a meek acceptance of recognition of lack of ability to go on. Like a last resort to salvage what one can of an unpleasant situation, knowing there is only more to lose if one went on! So how can something that stems out of a sense of helplessness be powerful?

However, there is a version of Surrender which is very empowering. This surrender happens not at the end of a task, but at the very beginning. It emerges from having experienced grace. It grows out of the recognition of the supreme intelligence and goodwill of the consciousness that runs the Universe. It is made steadfast by the resilience of beings that hang-on to goodness and magnanimity despite being submerged in depravity and darkness from time to time.

To experience its enormous potential in our lives, one needs to adopt it, to make it a part of our everyday life. Those who are experiencing distress and unhappiness at the seemingly unfair hand that life has dealt out may not find it very easy. When despite all one’s efforts and tremendous hardwork, the outcomes have not exactly been encouraging, how can there be positive results through surrender they say. They may believe what they need is techniques that give greater focus, more motivation, better control. But instead, here I am advocating ‘Surrender’. Whether it is a dilemma in the professional realm, an impasse in a relationship or a struggle at the health front, just for 24 hours, don’t fight, just surrender!

This surrender can be learnt, it can be practiced, it can be self taught. The whole cornucopia of Religion and God has been built around it. But one does not have to believe in any of that in order to make it work for oneself. It be sufficient to accept that one may not be as much in control as one believes one is. This is not to say one should stop trying or working hard. It is only to recognise that there might be a power outside of the limited power one recognises as one’s own.

Surrender to this gigantic power that is propelling the Universe, instead of depending solely on one’s own will power and capabilities. To admit the possibility of this is actually the beginning of surrender. Just for one day, practice it. You will realise that you work with greater focus, because the worry about outcomes does not keep you occupied. And you do not worry about outcomes simply because you began with a sense of surrender. And to be surrendered means not to agonise over what may or may not happen. It may surprise you as to how much more productive you become. How much more available you become to the opportunities that come your way, how much more sensitive you become to feedback which therefore allows for course correction.

Keep doing whatever you need to do, but accept every outcome with that sense of surrender. End of the day, see if you feel empowered enough to repeat the process for another day, and then another. As the sense of surrender gets rooted inside, the world outside shall unfold in a more seamless manner, setting into motion an upward spiral of feel good not just for yourself but also for those whose lives you touch.

In Surrender

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Gupta Navaratri

From the 17th of July 2015 begin the Ashadha Navratri, also known as Gupta Navratri and also as the Gayatri Navaratri.

These are not the days when you will find special thali meals for those observing the fast at fast food chains. Neither are these days for delighting in dance and revelry in the guise of Garbha. Nor does it culminate in ostentatious gifting, and feasting and gambling in the name of Dusserah and Diwali. The Gupt navaratras are followed by serious saadhaks, who believe that all of life, the cosmos itself is Shakti. She who is considered the embodiment of energy and dynamism is celebrated. Obeisance is paid to her many forms. This maybe in the form of mantra chanting, tantra images, different set of anushthans, fasting, mauna or any other rituals that have developed over the years.

While we may not resonate with some tenets or with (aspects of) many rituals, there are some elements which when interpreted in a logical manner can enable a better understanding of our world and lives. I had written an article about Interpretting Navaratras a while back. It is a period of celebrating and revering the feminine energy in its myriad forms. Recognizing and celebrating the multifaceted woman in her many roles as mother, sister, leader, politician, business partner, teacher is not just a modern trend, our scriptures have been doing it for eons. They even had periods and programmes devoted to it, four times a year. Observing and following the programme enabled appreciation of the many forms of women at a social level and strengthening of the feminine energy at the inner level. Enquiring into the programmes, which we have made rituals out of, reveals the depth of knowledge and extent of understanding of our Ancients on so many aspects; of diet, of  weather, social impulses, personal desires, interpersonal challenges, role of sound, disease, cure, psychological challenges and so much more. Just the interpretation of the nine forms of Ma Durga is a lesson in the development of a fetus!

When stripped of the dogmas and interpreted in a logical manner, the wisdom of the Ancients could greatly support our well being. Those of us wanting to go on a detox programme could benefit from using this period of fasting as the window of opportunity for the same. I have heard that instead of being on a regular dieting spree, fasting for a day or two in a week is more effective for weight loss and well being. The Hindu system of fasting, of a particular Diety’s fast for a particular day of the week, may have some merit after all. Of course provided we do not get carried away by ritualistic behavior but follow the essence of it. For eg..those who have anger issues are recommended to keep the Thursday fast. Now, Thursday is the no salt fast, a logical preventive measure for someone who maybe prone to hypertension! The person however, if consumed large quantities of fried foods even though refraining from salt, may not derive health benefits from the fasting .

I remember a whole section and generation of women who fed their babies formula instead of breast feeding them, under the guise of being modern, thereby depriving them of unsurpassed source of nourishment.  May we not end up making a similar mistake by denying and rejecting some ancient tenet just because those who propose it have not explained(maybe not even understood) the essence of it but instead made a mess of it in the name of religion. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Let us take advantage of the timing of these forthcoming days. Let us develop a practical programme for wellness taking cues from our Ancients. I know of two religions that are advising fasting in these days. Don’t fast if you don’t wish to. Just abstain from excesses for the next few days.  A slowing down of the body and its senses may be just the kind of reboot life requires at the physical, mental, emotional and etheric level!

In silence

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Nothing is impossible.

As a 10 or 11 year old many years back I had seen a coaster which had a weird looking graphic man holding up a pencil or something saying – Who says nothing is impossible, I have been doing nothing for years! At that age when life was all about doing well in studies, scoring marks, winning awards and accolades, winning approval of parents and teachers, this funny little man on the coaster was like my 1st tryst with wit and humor. (I hadn’t encountered Mad comics as yet!)

It is one of my initial memories of how a different perspective could be found in the most unexpected places. True, ‘nothing’ seemed like a silly thing to be doing. The important discovery then was the freshness of the approach. How some accepted statement could be put on its head and a completely different take derived from it! It is only much later that I developed appreciation for the concept of nothing, respect for the state of doing nothing and acceptance of the power of nothing.

Many a times the best advice I can offer to many who come with minds that are ready to explode and hearts that are weighed down by helplessness and frustration is this – Nothing. Just do nothing and be. That nothing involves not arguing about one’s point of view, not insisting on having something one’s way, not turning the problem over and over in one’s mind looking for solutions, not watching TV or a movie to distract oneself, not going out with friends getting drunk, not attending meditation classes, not praying, not chanting, not hitting the gym, not cooking, not eating, not sleeping, not fighting, not shouting, not crying, not writing, not reading, not checking facebook, not balancing chequebook or whatever else you can think of doing, just not doing that. Don’t say Nothing is impossible.

For some time…do nothing, be nothing.

In that nothingness you may discover that anything is possible! And you too could do nothing for years….

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The healing power of Trust

Anyone who has known betrayal knows the long period of helpless hurting that follows. Whether the betrayal is of a spouse/lover who cheated on you, a friend who bad mouthed you instead of confronting you with his/her opinion, the Boss who did not stand up to the review board for your promotion after giving reassurances for months and making you slog, the sibling who mysteriously got aged parents to write all their family property in his/her name, the self styled Guru who in the name of trust and God took away everything dear to you, which could include your home and/or your freedom or just the maid /driver who took a big salary advance while going on leave and never got in touch again….every form of betrayal leaves a mark. And one challenge it invariably results in..the inability to trust!

Loss of the ability to trust is perhaps the greatest loss in life. Cause it is this ability on which all life thrives. Whether it is a baby monkey that clings to its mother while she jumps from tree to tree, or the human baby who gurgles and shrieks in joy when the parent tosses him in the air, their trust is instinctive and it is this trust that allows them to grow.

The same trust, atleast in humans, continues to keep getting eroded over a period of time. As the knowledge or belief grows that the world can be a mean place, where someone may toss you in the air but not catch you back in their strong arms, the trust starts to get replaced by cynicism. I have heard people say that those who we trust the most, hurt us the most. Hell, they are the only ones who have the capacity to hurt us. If we don’t trust, we don’t leave ourselves vulnerable, we put in place systems and procedures and contracts that protect our best interest. Despite all these protective measures we may still get cheated, but atleast we don’t get terribly hurt.

In the event that we do trust, when the betrayal happens, it is fairly difficult to recover from and trust again. Those who do trust again and get betrayed yet again are labeled as fools, as people who are stupid enough to not learn from their mistakes.  But yet, there are those, who despite this unfavorable critique and name calling continue to trust. They continue to take chances in life, in love and experience it completely, wholly. Their eyes shine bright with anticipation of what may lie ahead, not dulled by pain and fear of being let down. They continue to trust and inspire trust!

The few or many negative data points that they may have collected does not alter their anticipation of the trajectory of life. They see the larger picture. They know it’s all good. They trust. And despite every set back, this trust heals them, makes them grow, makes them glow.

In trust

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The Importance of being Earnest

Earnestness and sincerity have often gotten my attention even more than talent has. I have found myself to have more patience with people when their attitude is right even if on the aptitude front they may not make the cut. What I thought was probably a desirable psychological aspect, I realize more and more is a deeply spiritual event.

Earnestness is a visible sign of real understanding. When a smoker truly understands the harm smoking does, the efforts to kick that habit become earnest. There is no associated drama or lofty statements, just a quiet sincere effort to quit. And it is this quiet sincerity and earnestness that yields results, not the steps taken. That is because that earnestness makes the distinction between activity and action. Ask anybody who has ever given up any substance abuse, besides all the support they would have had, the most important thing would be the recognition that it was destroying their life!

Smoking is just an example of the self destructive habits we tend to acquire. There are so many more, which currently may not even be recognized as bad habits. I don’t think we currently view having expectations as a bad habit, and a destructive one at that. We all feel absolutely justified in having expectations from spouses, children, bosses, team members, friends… and complain and fret and fume about it! And even if we do at some point begin to accept that it may not be a healthy habit to have expectations and make some feeble efforts to alter our behavior, we find ourselves thrown back in that vicious cycle of expectations and disappointment. Because what we did was not alter our understanding, but just altered our expectations, maybe made them a tad lower or just different!

So much time, so much energy is spent on justifying and glorifying our own mind games, that very little energy is left to really understanding the true cause of our suffering. If we did earnestly investigate, we’d realize that very rarely does the cause lie outside of ourselves. I would say never if I could, but I don’t think I can yet. I am making a distinction here between pain and suffering. Hurting and breaking a leg is pain, agonizing over the forthcoming surgery is suffering. The former maynot have been avoidable, the latter could have been!

This applies not just to the physical aspect of our lives, but also to, or even more so to the emotional aspect. If instead of accepting traditions and conditioning and rituals, we were to enquire into the true nature of our expectations from ourselves and our relationships, we may have a better chance at happiness.  The 1st step towards this is being earnest about being happy or being whatever else it is that we want to be in our lives.

This is perhaps what Sage Patanjali implied by Dharna as one of the steps in Ashtang Yog. The step in the eight fold path that precedes Dhyan. To those who often ask me how can I meditate, I urge you to just be earnest about it. Why do you wish to meditate?  Meditate on it! Find out why…and you’ll know that’s how…

In earnestness

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Que Sera Sera- Whatever will be will be

Ten days back when my Ma was getting discharged from the hospital, the nurse was emptying the drawers in the table next to her bed, putting all the medicines she would need over the next few days in a bag and disposing off unnecessary stuff, empty bottles etc. There was this brand new lone syringe and needle which I instinctively reached out for and said I’ll take that. I couldn’t think of why I would need an injection, but what the hell, I do a lot of things I should not do, knowing the consequences. Like I know what will happen if I eat that one more besan laddoo and still do. So what’s the big deal about not knowing what will happen if you did something and still doing it!

Anyways, I kept that syringe in the back pocket of my sling bag, where it stayed for a few days, till I was finally back home and unpacked all my stuff. I found the syringe too, looking at it again still not knowing what I’ll do with it, I put it away in the cup holding my paint brushes. Maybe I’ll use it for some new painting technique I mused!

Couple of days later my Swami friend and I went visiting a dear friend’s place in a land not so far far away, but not close either. As I sat at her place attempting to pet one of her three cats, I was even more grateful for having had Princess for 13 beautiful years. Princess was this beautiful Yorkshire terrier who had filled our lives with so much joy and love that I still tear up everytime I talk about her since we lost her in December. As we sat chatting, my friend stepped out to investigate some commotion outside her place. Turns out a sparrow lay dead on the road, with another little sparrow hopping around its now dead mother. Maybe the mother was trying to retrieve her baby that had fallen off the nest and got run over in the process. Point is the little one needed to be rescued.

My friend gently held the agitated little one in her palm attempting to soothe it. She mixed a few drops of Rescue Remedy of Bach Flower Remedy in water and administered it to the feisty little one with some cotton.(I had never heard of Bach flower remedy before, but am glad I did.)

All this was done in the staircase of the house since the home had three cats and birds aren’t exactly safe in that vicinity. The next thing I know, we had decided I should take her home and we were on our way back with Swamiji holding a shoebox which had holes punctured on the walls to keep it well aired. Inside lay the little sparrow, nesting comfortably in the fabric Chandy had lined the box with. Once home, we made a comfortable place for her next to my bed by turning a sofa into a crib. Now started the agenda of feeding her!

Chandy had given me instructions on how to feed her with a tweezer. Not knowing any better, I took out some boiled rice and tried to administer a single grain of rice by gently touching it against her beak. Though she was no longer as agitated, she was completely unresponsive and buried her face into her body, indicating she wanted to be left alone. My younger born used to turn his face away from food in a similar manner, and I knew better than to coax too much. He is ofcourse now a young man, who was helping me with her, or helping her with me, can’t say for sure! Anyways, the next few hours were spent trying to feed her things we thought she could eat. She stubbornly refused and we finally accepted that she’d rather sleep than be prodded to eat.

I spent that night checking on her almost every hour. At the crack of dawn, which is a time most unfamiliar to my waking self, and if at all I have encountered it, it is mostly due to having stayed up, rarely due to waking up then, I tried again to feed her. There was once again no success. It was time to use the most important shastra, the Googleshastra. The 1st YouTube video that surfaced showed a little birdie being fed a home mixed formula with a syringe.

I went into the kitchen and prepared her meal, picked up the syringe from among my paint brushes and effectively fed her her 1st meal since the trauma. After I put her back to rest in her crib and washed the syringe as any Mom who has bottlefed a baby would know, I went back to sleep.

That is when it hit me. Her bottle had arrived, before the baby did. The synchronicity of life had taken me to visit a friend 30 kms away along with another friend, so this baby could get a comfortable ride back home. As I was telling my Swamini friend about the incident, she said to me – God knows how to care for each and everyone!

And I got thinking again…why do we ever worry? I was reminded of the song that I loved to sing as a child..Que Sera Sera, what ever will be will be!

In amazement

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The big O

Few years back I remember thinking – what if an earthquake is the Earth having an orgasm? After today’s earthquake the same thought visited me again. I wondered if I should dare to share it. I mean here I share my thoughts on such poignant subjects, issues which are close to our hearts. But then, wait, what is so off about this? I know the earthquakes have affected the lives of millions of people, left them homeless, struggling to survive in the most challenging circumstances. So by drawing a parallel between such a natural calamity and a sexual climax, am I committing blasphemy?

What would be blasphemous? To have probably made a humorous point in the back drop of such a serious happening. Well, to begin with, I wasn’t being funny, it is a serious enquiry. But even if it was being funny, what’s so off about it? Don’t we make jokes all the time about issues that are really not funny but infact deeply hurtful? We have made fat jokes, jokes about physical deformities, about being differently abled, about colour of skin, size of nose, lack of hair and many more things since childhood. Hell, we make jokes about rape too…I actually requested some people on a Whatsapp group sometime back to not forward rape jokes, and finally left the group, cause my sensibilities could no longer take it and theirs could not get it. Mind you, the people on the group were all highly educated, respected and successful!

Am I being insensitive to the plight of people by indulging my funny bone? Once again I wasn’t being funny, but let’s talk of indulgence. Who among us has given up indulgences just because calamity struck somewhere? Unless one is deeply affected by some personal loss, is our propensity to enjoy good things in life ever diminished in the light of other people’s suffering? The fine dining restaurants have been full, so have the cinema halls and the shopping malls have been overflowing despite earthquakes, terror attacks, cyclones, rapes, murders, famines, and all things unsavory. We actually collect donations for relief work for such events in charity functions attended by the high and mighty flaunting the latest in fashion and devouring the best of gourmet.  And nothing wrong with it…if for everytime something somewhere in the world went wrong meant I couldn’t do the things that made me happy, what kind of a life would I have? Hell, I ate a choco-bar just before I began writing this post. If the city could come down due to a shuddering of the earth beneath my feet, I may as well have the flavor of rich creamy chocolate on my palette while it is still around!

So, what is the incredulous part about this musing – Mother Earth having an orgasm? We do know she is a living being, right? I mean that which sustains the entire animal and plant life which sustains us in turn, has got to be living! If it weren’t for her magnanimity and benevolence, could we have enjoyed a single day of bliss? The basic material for our enjoying the technologically advanced well connected life that we share thanks to our computers has been provided by her- a grain of sand!  Further, while we may disagree on where we come from, but all our bodies do finally go to rest in her in some form or the other, no matter what our beliefs.  And yet, how we destroy and mangle that which is our final resting place, our final home! We mine more than we should, we dig and bore more than she can endure, we cut and raze to ground more than is necessary. In the name of progress and more, we practically rape her all the time. Our heightened insensitivity to the plight of this Mother who sustains us all suddenly gets touchy at the thought of her having an orgasm.

Why just her, in fact the entire female gender has been judged on this criterion, has been subjected to this sensibility. If she has to be pious and revered, she has to be asexual! Only little girls can be kanjaks, I have seen people deny the offering of poori and halwa to girls near the shrine of Goddesses, cause they are no longer devis for reasons of anatomy. Why, even the mother of the son of God has to be a virgin in order for her to be holy! Mankind, in fact all kind, has become conditioned to see only certain forms as holy, and lost the capacity to see holiness in all forms.  And even when we do see something as holy, what do we do? Light an incense stick or a candle, pour some milk or water over it? So many Kanhas with innocence in their eyes run about naked on the streets while the idol of laddoo Gopal is adorned in gotey waley kapde and soney ke mukut. Little girls traumatized by sexual abuse cower in fear, while men singing boisterously walk barefeet on difficult terrain beseeching the Goddess for her favour.

And we cringe at the thought of Mother Earth having an orgasm. For the kind of stress we put her through, thank God she has some respite and release. If this shuddering is not of some uncontrollable joy, but of her reaction in anger, it is frightening to think of what may lie ahead! Given her propensity to forgive us over and over for our repeated lack of concern for the environment and humanity, it may still be possible to assuage her anger. I don’t propose sacrificing a goat or a buffalo. This is not some blood thirsty demonic being we are talking about. This is the nurturing and caring mother Earth we are talking about.  If there is any sacrifice that can alleviate her suffering and the suffering of allkind,  it has to be the sacrifice of  our pettiness, our ego, our lack of tolerance, our greed, our judgments!

In surrender

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Thanking the Mother Support System

Of all the roles and relationships I have had, motherhood has been the most gratifying, the one that has made me feel most complete. I was born to be a mother. Even as a little girl I would look after little babies wherever we went. My Ma used to say that people get a muft ki aaya(nanny for free) in me!

While no one can dispute the role of a mother, there is also merit in the popular saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Wonder if one could draw an analogy between a Mother and a project manager? She may get credit or brickbats, as the case maybe, but having a reliable team sure does make it easier to deliver a successful project! At the end of this Mother’s day, I’d like to thank all those to whom I shall always be grateful for their contributions that enabled me to perform my role as Mom.

Of course the 1st  to thank would be the boys I mothered, cause frankly if they hadn’t been the kids they are(ok no longer kids, but still), loving, trusting, dynamic, adventurous, responsive, talented…how would I ever manifest all my potential to mother?  With their zeal for life they made sure I never lost mine, despite any circumstances. With their quite acceptance of and faith in all my decisions, even those that affected them adversely, they taught me what unconditional meant. With their belief that their Mom will have all answers, they ensured I kept pace with all that was happening. Most of all their little bodies housed such large hearts that my heart expanded just watching them. I still remember my five year old holding his hand out to me on our first visit to the sea, saying – Mumma don’t be scared, I’m here na!

To all their friends too I owe gratitude. Their love, innocence and sharing has gratified me in more ways than I can express. They made the words annu aunty sound as sweet as Mumma! In listening to their concerns and complains my capacity to empathise grew.

The greatest support I had in performing my role as the mother when my kids were young was that of my mother in law, their grandmother! Irrespective of what else happened in our lives, I never had to worry about my kids being hungry. I could devote long hours at work, reassured of her presence back home! We may have had differences in how kids had to be raised, but not for a moment did I have to worry that she didn’t have their best interest at heart. In fact, when my marriage collapsed, I still wanted her to by my side, even though the man due to whom the relationship had begun no longer was by my side! For my Mom in law I have gratitude not only for the Mom she was to me, but also for the Mom she made me capable of being!

To my Brothers and Bhabhis who pitched- in in every way possible while I coped with my role as single Mom my heartfelt gratitude. When my older born refers to his Maami  as Bangalore mumma, my heart wells up.  It is a testimony of her contribution to my children’s lives. For the Bhabhi who took my boys for swimming lessons and baked them cookies and made them Nimbu paani, it is in your kitchen that these young lads first dabbled in cooking. I may get accolades for raising such fine young men and being a swell Mom, but I know I haven’t done it alone.

To the Nana-Nani who helped cultivate responsibility towards school work and appreciation of all things simple, I owe thanks not just for raising me, but also for helping me raise my kids. To the Aunt from Ranchi who came specially to stay with my kids when the household help was on long leave, to the Boss who gave me flexi hours at work so I could devote more time with my kids, to the friend who woke up at wee hours of the morning to help my son stranded with a flat tyre on a lonely stretch, to the friend who stayed with my kids when I had to be away, to the landlord who took my sick child to the Doctor when Mum was not in town, to the Doctor who came rushing at 6 am to attend to my sick child….my heartfelt thanks. My role as mother could be performed cause I had all your help. I have received help from friends, neighbours, relatives, maids, drivers, tutors, teachers and even strangers! My thanks to the Universe that gave me the joy of motherhood and access to the support system that enabled me to perform that role!

In gratitude

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The Reality – Expectation Gap – Trap

I have never been too excited watching detective films. I didn’t even go for Detective Byomkesh Bakshi despite the fact that it is Dibaker’s film. While I’ve always been happy when my children have thrown me surprise birthday parties, they have often been disappointed by my reaction to the surprise. For someone who as per my eldest brother is very easy to please and gets easily excited, my reactions to surprises seem very lukewarm. I found the answer to this in my overall approach to life per se. While it may seem like a boring sort of thing, there is a flip side to this not getting surprised that really is quite wonderful. It enables me to live in the moment, a space of minimal reality-expectation gap.

Most of our unhappiness stems from this gap. We have a certain expectation, when the reality is unable to meet that expectation, there is immense pain.

I remember watching an Olympic gymnastics final once. Such grace, such beauty, I was totally captivated by the performances. I had come upon it while just aimlessly surfing channels and it was beautiful where I had landed, watching the beauty of the gymnasts landings!! While I was still soaking in all that elegance, the points were announced. Of the participants who were waiting with bated breath as the results were announced, one person jumped with joy and the other broke into tears. She had just won the Olympic Silver and she was running out of the arena crying hopelessly. There was no joy in that moment for her. All those years of immense practice and hardwork, and accomplishment, boiled down to a single moment of huge disappointment. The reality did not match up to the expectation.

It is not to say that one shouldn’t expect. That i think is in one’s intrinsic nature. And also necessary I suppose. I mean who trains to come 2nd right? If there wasn’t the goal of winning or acquiring something, how then would one be committed to something that requires years of practice and commitment? Cause let’s be honest, it can’t always be about the joy of doing. For all those children taking entrance exams, how much joy can there be in taking practice tests one after the other? If it weren’t for the goal and expectation of getting into that premium engineering college, how else would they burn the midnight oil as they do!  And when you work that hard and don’t make the cut, there is bound to be disappointment.

Honestly, I completely empathise with the gymnast who cried. Disappointed losing team members with their display of emotions is not an unusual sight in any sport. In a lot of events, there isn’t even a next chance, which makes the disappointment even more acute. And therefore it is completely natural to have such strong emotions. Problem is when some of us are caught in this reality – expectation gap in a chronic manner. Then instead of a life with occasional failures, our life becomes a series of constant unhappiness and ingratitude. When we succeed, we don’t feel grateful to life and all the synchronous moments and opportunities that brought that moment of accomplishment. When we do not succeed, we become either bitter or quitter!

What we need to do is minimize this reality-expectation gap and not fall into the trap. Our life shouldn’t become a series of reactions to whether or not our expectations were met. There would be reaction to negative results, but it should put one in a mode of proactive action and course correction. Intelligent analysis of one’s own aptitude and options when faced with setbacks could be of great service. Fine tuning one’s expectation set while simultaneously working towards enhancing the reality is what is needed. It doesn’t mean one cannot be sad about outcomes but to wallow in that disappointment and self pity is detrimental. And nothing wrong with being flexible revising one’s goal either!  Though the decision to revise should be based on an objective evaluation of one’s own capacity & available opportunities, and not as a psychologically defeating response to failure.

One more way of minimizing this reality – expectation gap could be to not have any expectation at all. But then that’s too much of an expectation from one self! Moreover how many of us could be motivated to perform and do our best if it weren’t for the expectations we have? I’m not saying it is not possible. It could be very rewarding if one could expect nothing and yet be motivated.

There is one more option, which is probably why I don’t really get too surprised. (Mind you it doesn’t mean I don’t feel happy.) And that is Expect Anything….cause really anything can happen! We see and hear of the most incredible events and incidents from all walks and spheres of life. Acts of courage and compassion in the face of extreme circumstances, windfalls for people living in most piteous circumstances, stories abound about courage, hope, compassion, betrayal, desperation…spanning the whole range of emotions and relationships from the human as well as the animal world. Our own lives are full of coincidences and synchronicities we could never have imagined.The soap opera of life has greater surprise elements than any twists in scripts the most creative writer can churn out. Just watching every episode unfold, marvelling at the comic or tragic timing, is a great joy. And when one can expect anything, one can accept everything. The gap is erased, there is just the moment. The understanding of which could very well take us into the state of prasad buddhi.

In acceptance

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