You are responsible for your own life. But isn't it comforting to know that there are people out there who are always there for you when you need it?
Everyone hits a low point every once in a while, & sometimes we need a shoulder to lean on, no matter how big, dark, silly or inconsequential the issue at hand may seem.
When we are at our most vulnerable, we need people whom we can trust, & who will accept us for who we are at that moment in time & not judge us. We need people who have the patience to let us go through the motions & gently help us figure shit out.
Yes, of course we can't expect others to always drop everything & be there for us all the time, especially if we are not committed to making any effort to step out of our own bullshit. But once in a while it is nice to have someone who cares, & is willing to give you a helping hand.
To me, there is an art to being there for someone. The term commonly used nowadays is 'holding space'. This does not only mean that the other is merely a good listener, it also means that 'whatever happens in the space, stays in the space'. See, to have the integrity to not blab to someone else about the conversation; & not use whatever was talked about nor the speaker's weaknesses against him/her in future...now that's priceless.
That's truly priceless, dear readers.
If you ever find someone who is able to hold space for you, please hold on tight to them. These people are undercover angels. ;) ;) ;)
We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage & risk.
- Thomas Moore -
I'm grateful to have people who are able to hold space for me. I'm also grateful that we can talk on & on till the wee hours of the night, laughing, crying, sharing our experiences & learning from each other, even if our life paths differ greatly. Even after not being in touch for yonks, just one call & it's like nothing ever changed.
Relationships are beautiful when both have sincere love for each other. When neither one thinks themselves higher than the other, & there is no idea of domination or control. Then everything flows naturally.
I don't know why, but each time I'm going through a difficult time, the Universe sends someone from far away to help me out. One of the most amazing things in life is when you just meet someone & it's like you've known them for years, or you just click naturally & everything just pours out from within. You just 'get' each other. You don't judge them, & they don't judge you, no matter how silly either of you may seem to others. & you know that, they will always be willing to help you out in any way they can, even if that means giving you the proverbial tight slap on the face with the hard truth.
Thanks to the Internet, I have sometimes even found strength in the most unlikely strangers halfway around the world. There have been times when I was all weepy under my covers & a short text conversation helped me regain my sanity. Sounds foolish, but in my experience, there are times when you just need to hear someone else state the things which are already in your head, so that you can completely comprehend & accept the situation at hand.
Sometimes, you just need to know that somebody cares. & although I don't know when I will meet these dear friends of mine again, & there are some whom I may never ever come face to face with; those few moments in time made all the difference in my life, & I am grateful.
Woy, Universe, send lah someone who is at least in my time zone! Why you so like this ha! :P :P :P
Of course, the quality of a relationship cannot be determined by how much time you spend together, nor how long you have known each other. But you can't deny the impact one person can have on another during the latter's moments of despair.
Two things to remember:
1. Never take people for granted. You never know what their story is. Always be kind.
2. There is always someone out there who cares. It's okey to not be okey. You just need to reach out & there will always be someone there to catch you. I promise.
I will always remember this parable Gurumukh told us:
We are all walking together on a dark path, & one person is holding a flashlight. If the person with the flashlight is walking too far ahead, the ones at the back will be left in darkness. Same thing if he is too far back. So, if he is too far ahead, he should slow down so the others can catch up, & the others need to make an effort to catch up. If he is too far back, he needs to walk faster, & the others need to slow down. We need to walk together, so that we can share the light & reach our destination together.
This mixed media piece I did last July (oh damn, has it been that long???):
'Ripple Effect. Core Connections.'
Each soul we cross paths with affects us to a certain extent, whether we like it or not, & whether we realize it or not.
The question is, how many actually touch your very centre? How many do you allow close enough to see your one, true self? & how many are sincere enough to want to know the real you?
Given these two variables, how many people have touched your centre?
We come into this world alone, & we will leave it alone. But in between, it is the heartfelt connections we create with others which makes life beautiful.
(Image courtesy of Su Yen)
Now the petals are falling. Evening has come. The sun has set, the night will take over. The death has come, the petals are falling towards the earth. They don't hesitate. They don't know where they are going, they don't know whether there is an earth down there or not - maybe it is a bottomless abyss - but they don't doubt, they don't hesitate.
(...) Petals falling, fluttering down towards the earth. Simply trust - do not the petals flutter down just like that? & everything - God, moksha, nirvana - everything, I say to you, becomes possible.
Just trust. Just like that.
- Osho -
When I was in Rishikesh last year, I wrote this:
After ten months, here I am again!
Although my beloved Rishikesh is not the same, & the Ganga is much more ferocious than when I first met her, I am learning a lot about myself this trip.
Sometimes you need to remove yourself from your usual environment to check in with yourself as to where you are in life. What is important to you? Who are the people who matter? Are you living the life you want? Are you living *at all*?
One question I always thought I knew the answer to is, 'What do you want to be?' I'm very glad to report that nowadays I'm very sure that I don't know what I want to be. It was a soft voice, but has grown loud & strong. 'I don't know.' It is one of the most beautiful statements in life.
I never would have imagined I would have this life. So how should I know what I want to be, what I should be? All I know is that the Universe has my back, & I'm excited to see what the future holds!
Hair drier, skin two tones darker, feet dirtier, sweaty & sticky in the monsoon weather; yet these are among the happiest days of my life. Words cannot even begin to express how I feel.
Ganga Maaya Ki Jai!
Most of the time, I'm gobsmacked at how my life has turned out. & it continues to stun me what the Universe has planned for me.
However, this 'not knowing' isn't always easy! The ego always wants that false sense of security, of being in control, of knowing not only the final destination but also the route, the possible detours, the weather forecast, ETA, yadda yadda yadda.
Then, 'not knowing' starts becoming a frightening thing.
'What am I going to do?'
'What about my plans?'
What do I want in life? This question has been making its rounds in my mind ever since those days in Rishikesh. Sometimes, it is easy to say, 'I don't know'. But other times, it is a struggle surrendering to the Universe.
This fear is all too familiar. Yet it is a unique & new experience in its own right. Throughout the day, it goes from one end of the spectrum to the other. One minute my tears are tears of happiness & gratitude, the next they are of fear & sadness. Sometimes, they are both at the same time.
I don't know.
I am just observing these things, coming & going. Observing the emotions, observing my clinging to them, observing my letting go of them...
I don't always know what I want in life.
But I do know what I want from life.
I want to travel. I want to see the world. I want to be around people who are roaring mad & have a zest for life. I want to experience life in its entirety. I want to be me, & not have to be apologetic nor ashamed about it.
It would be nice to have someone to share the journey with. But it is equally wonderful to have the freedom of not being answerable to anyone.
Feck, I don't know. I don't know a shit about anything. Yet I know a few things. That must count for something, right?
Fast forward almost a year later, & I am still experiencing those same sentiments. The fear is still very much there, but I can say that I surrender more easily now. It still scares the shit out of me that I don't fit into the idea of what an adult is (well, the version that I grew up believing in, anyways). Sometimes I wonder if The Mother was right: 'How long can you be a hippy for?' Damn. Just typing those words makes everything seem so surreal.
But by & by, it has been shown to me that I cannot work purely for money. The last time I did, I got stomped on the foot by a horse & it took me months to recover. Lesson learnt.
However, the Universe is a benevolent one. It always provides when necessary. I remember the time before I'd ever been to India. We were planning to attend Teacher Training in Rishikesh. I had quit my day job few months earlier, & being a fairly new yoga teacher, did not have many classes. So afraid of not having enough cash to pay for the course, I avoided the matter altogether until the last minute - taking out the envelope of money containing all the class payments I'd received, nervously counting them all...the grand total came to just about RM200 more than I needed. I'll never forget that moment when I clutched those goddamn paper notes to my chest & wept like a biatch. Bahahahahah!
I'm not a business-minded person. I can't brain money, politics, sales, networking, branding & what-not. But miraculously, things always work out in the end. & I am extremely blessed that to have crossed paths with people who help me along the way. I believe that people are inherently good, & are willing to share or help out in whatever way they can; but of course don't expect them to run through hell & back all the time lah...that one melampau batas loh (crossing the line)..! Either through emotional/mental support, sharing of experiences, sharing of food (om nom noms!), etc...each & every form of assistance is a blessing. & I hope to be able to return the favour(s), & pay it forward whenever necessary.
By the way, today Facebook told me that I made 100 friends in the past year. Mindfuck. How is that even humanly possible???
Image from www.introvertdoodles.com
So what am I actually doing here in this world, in this lifetime? Maybe it is to share my journey? It feels narcissistic to think so. It seems scary. Because who am I to discuss philosophy? Will I be able to handle the fact that my viewpoints will piss at least one person off? Will the future me look back on everything & cringe in shame?
I don't know.
But what I do know is that being vulnerable is necessary. It is so much easier to show the real you than to hide behind a mask all the time. Showing my real self, I've found true friends. Showing my real self, I've had people tell me how much my writing helped them through a rough patch in life. Being 100% is freedom.
I find that I can't forgo the things that my heart beats for. I cannot deny the things which remain, even as the days go by, even as other things come & go. The things which stubbornly cling to me, although I try to shake them off or distract myself with other things. Although these things may seem foolish or even crazy, even to myself, I cannot deny them any longer. It's true, sometimes I myself can't make sense out of things, & I wonder if I am truly going bonkers. Quite scary-fying lah. Huhuhu...but what to do?
I think I've had enough of playing small. I've gained this much so far, let's see what the Universe will bring now. ;) ;) ;)
It is true that we all have an inner GPS, & that no external influence is necessary to guide us through life - we will get where we need to be sooner or later, we need to be authentic to ourselves, yadda yadda yadda. But in my experience, a guru's grace is invaluable. In any relationship, love is the most vital ingredient; & the student-teacher one is no exception. A real guru's love is such that he always has the student's ultimate welfare in mind, even though it may not be apparent, or may even seem otherwise. He does not create a bondage out of his students. He gives the student the joy of their own freedom & independence.
After teaching for two years, I now appreciate the presence of the guru more. Today I suddenly remembered the last day of my first Teacher Training course back in 2014. We were having a sharing session, & I said, 'I don't know what to say, but...my life is the proof of his teachings.'
Oh fuck, if only I knew what that would entail in the years to come! Bahahahah!
Somehow, I've always had this sick satisfaction when being disturbed by my guru, even though I may not have shown it or sometimes may not even have been aware of it. Never could put a finger on it until now. Damn.
You never know when & how a guru is imparting his teachings to you. If you are unaware, or 'asleep', so to say, you may miss the lesson. & the lesson isn't always pleasant, it can seem like a swift jab in the eyeballs!
I'm no guru, & don't intend to be one. In fact, the mere thought of being a guru scares the shit out of me, because it is a very heavy responsibility. Out of love, the guru carries a big responsibility towards his students, & is there any rest when it comes to love? Eh, tired you know! I imagine it's probably something like taking care of an infant, you need to always be on the lookout for the brat to make sure nothing goes horribly wrong, yet allow them the freedom to learn/explore by themselves…oh damn, my brain feels fried already!
As humans, it is not always easy to accept the fact that we can't please everyone all the time. & as a teacher, I had to learn to accept criticism, be it constructive or otherwise. I had to learn that everyone is on different paths in life, & that what I have to offer will not be accepted by everyone. One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received about teaching is that if out of a thousand people, I positively affect the life of even just one…just *one* person, it is more enough. & boy is that true. That feeling that I get when a student *finally* understands, & the happiness of watching a student's asana practice go beautifully, that feeling of actually observing someone's life change for the better...to me, that is the real joy of teaching. & this is also why when I think of my guru, tears of gratitude start pouring down. Because it was he who made me the person I am today.
My understanding of what a guru is? Well, a guru is a God. But then again, God is in everyone & everything. What makes a guru different is that somehow, by some crazy crossing of the stars & planets, this particular person has been brought into my life so that God can work His way to me. A guru is an instrument of God. He is a godsend. A guru is to be adored, without forgetting that he too is human, that he too has his own path, that he is just a medium. He is not to be worshiped as God Himself. He is not to be put on a pedestal. The student-teacher relationship, like any other relationship, is a volatile dynamic. It isn't necessarily a life-long relationship. The guru isn't obliged to be with you throughout your life, & you aren't obliged to follow him forever. Some gurus just show up at important points of your life, then disappear forever.
Even if sometimes you think he is against you, a guru has your best interest at heart. Out of compassion, a guru can kill you, because he knows that this 'you' needs to die before the real you emerges. & you may never know what he is teaching you, until yonks later. & then you laugh & think to yourself, 'Why my teacher like this ah???' Bahahahahah!
If I really had to put it in simple words: A guru is the truest friend you will ever have.
A guru does not necessarily have to be a teacher by profession. You can find a guru in a friend, in a parent, heck, one of the greatest gurus is nature herself! Gurus don't necessarily stay with you long, sometimes they are there for just a second. Sometimes a friend can be a guru, through sharing of each other's journeys, or through a shared life experience.
I must have done something right in a past life to have crossed paths with many great people in this lifetime. But the biggest blessing is to have met a true guru.
A guru is not a crutch, he is a bridge.
- Sadhguru -
Gratitude for the guru's grace & blessings.
Do you know what happens when you decide to stop worrying about what other people might think of you?
You get to dance. You get to sing. You get to laugh loudly, paint, write & create.
You get to be yourself.
& you know what? Some people won't like you. Some will laugh or mock or point out flaws.
But it just won't bother you all that much.
- Doe Zantamanta -
This word has been resounding in my brain for the past few weeks.
I kicked, screamed, & fought to be kept in my prison cell.
I held the door shut, although it was never closed.
If left alone, it would slowly open wide. Yep, it was one of those doors.
Yet here I am today.
I know what it is like to go through that period of denial & blind stubbornness. It was the most unpleasant thing I've had to go through. But it was also the most necessary, & the best.
Freedom is not a forgoing of responsibilities. On the contrary, it is the biggest responsibility you will ever carry throughout your life.
To be fully accountable to yourself for your actions & inactions. To say, 'yes, this is for me,' or 'no, this is not for me'. To not place the blame on others when things don't turn out right.
Freedom is doing what is best for you, regardless of whatever the hell others may think. Goddamn it I'm so damn tired of blind compassion. It isn't my goddamn job to analyze others' past traumas. I wasn't put here to help others through their shit, at the expense of my well-being. My life isn't to help others live theirs.
I'm here to live my life.
They said I was crazy. One said I was 'domesticated'.
The thing is, they didn't know the meaning of 'tame'.
You see, the wild ones aren't always easily recognizable. They are not always the all-up-in-your-face, crazy-bitch-break-your-windows kind. They are the ones who you will never be able to fully understand. They are the ones who will sometimes seem to give you the most problems. They will tell you when you are full of shit. & sometimes when you are too full of shit to see that you are full of shit, they won't even bother telling you you're full of shit. Because what would be the point?
You will try to undermine their talents & strengths. You will try to trample on their opportunities, critique their passions & hobbies; & confine them into a box.
You will withhold praise during times of success, & kick sand in their face when they hit rock bottom.
They will take all of these in stride, & may even give you the joy of having the upper hand for some time.
We want what we want. We cannot be restricted by the boundaries of what you think is right & wrong. We do not play by your rules. We cannot be predicted. We dance to the rhythm of our own heartbeats. We are the ones for whom the drums are played for.
We dive deep. We cannot comply to your conventional idea of 'beauty', as we see the unique, raging beauty in each & every one of us. We are not your superficial, shallow-minded humans who fight one another. We wear whatever makes us feel good. We do whatever makes us happy. We do not succumb to mindless trends, gossip & fads.
If you want to run with us, by all means, come.
But make sure you can keep up. Make sure you step your game up.
We cannot afford to be dragged down to anything less than a full life.
I've had it with people who cannot be happy for me, even on my best days. I've had it with listening to what others think about me, & what they assume about me. I've fucking had it with people who don't have jack shit in life, yet try to put my work down, work that I've been getting positive recognition for, at that!
& every time I think about all of these things, there's a voice in my head yelling at me, 'Stupid, Ee Lee, stupid!' I was a dumbass girl who was too naive, too trusting. I was an empath who felt & understood too much.
I was stupid for allowing myself to be mistreated. I was stupid for allowing others to determine the course of my life, for letting myself be swayed by the opinions of those who I thought were on my side. I'm tired of being taken advantage of for my kindness.
My stupidity, my unknowingly allowing myself to be vulnerable; has made me strong.
I'm living my life now; according to my rules. I'm doing the things I've always been good at, & more & more opportunities are opening up to me. I make a living doing what I'm passionate about, & from the money that I earn, I gather more experiences. I surround myself with people who support & empower me.
& during the times when I'm done being angry, I actually thank those who did me wrong. When I dance, I dance for them. When I sing, I sing for them. Thank you for being the toughest lesson I've ever had to learn, so that I could arrive to the ultimate truth: self-love.
I'm ready to be responsible for my freedom. Are you?
Original version of this post here:
It's been almost a month since I boarded that plane to India, & since then it's been a whirlwind of a journey! For the first week I stayed with friends in Delhi & Karnal, then headed to the mountains of Dharamshala to meet up with my beloved Teacher-jis & to attend the Dancing Soul meditation course in Osho Nisarga. Upon returning, there were Teacher Training courses to attend & finally today I relived the joy of not having to wake up to an alarm clock, bahahahahah!
I always say that my life is divided into two parts: before yoga & after yoga. When I attended my first 200-Hour Teacher Training with Deep in 2014, I was in a shitty relationship, could barely speak to strangers, even over the phone, & thought I would live & die working with animals because I was so not a people person! Heck, even though I loved music, I was embarrassed to dance, even alone in my own room!
Since then, my boy-cut crop has grown down to my waist, I've gained 10 kilos in the past year, have met beautiful people from various parts of the world, I make friends fairly easily & can speak in front of a group of people, more importantly I can sing & dance whenever I feel like it...life has never been better! It feels narcissistic, talking about myself, but I really believe that it is important for people to share their personal experiences, not only the good ones but also the supposedly 'not too good' ones. Especially the not too good ones. Because you never know who may be going through the same things you were/are. True, yoga is all about the self, but community helps tremendously too. Sure, I fought to be the person I am today, but at the same time I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the people who helped me up during some of my darkest days. More about this in my next blog post.
What can I say about my journey so far? The more I go into it, the more idiotic I feel. At the moment it is a constant battle between holding on & letting go. What really is the purpose of life? To achieve a self-created vision of oneself? The old me would never have imagined she could become the person she is today, so how do I know that life won't take another about turn in the next few years? In just this past year especially, so many things have changed. Time & again, life shows me that I am not in control of anything, not even myself! Just as I'm beginning on one path, life snatches me up & drops me down somewhere else! Layers & layers have been shed, sometimes forcefully torn away from me, but thankfully, what is left is always more beautiful.
Ambitions? Goals? What is there to do in life except to find out who I am? & by 'I', I'm not referring to the I who loves ice cream, the I who wants to change the world, the I who detests sour dough cookies; I mean the I who is beyond all that. Life is so short, so fleeting; why to create tension, why to aspire to achieve things which cannot be carried into the grave?
For years & years, even before my yogic journey began, the only constant I have found within is love. No, not even God! Because to me, love is God. To me, God is not someone sitting above the clouds. He is within. He is without. He is in between. Where there is love, there is God. So for now, all I can say is that I am living love. If the Universe could bring me this far, I'm sure it will bring me wherever it is I need to be in the days to come. All I have to do is just live my truth & share love.
I am grateful for this life. Every few weeks I get all soppy & teary eyed for seemingly no reason. The most weirdest-est time was when I was sitting alone on my friend's balcony in Delhi & saw a plane & two eagles flying in the same direction at the same speed & just burst into tears...LMAO..!
There's so much truth within this song. The irony of life, the trials & tribulations of spirituality, that seeking for truth...it can be a tough journey. But I wouldn't have it any other way. There is much more 'breaking' to be done, but since it has been proven time & again that what comes after is always much more blissful, I accept. Anything which leads me astray from You, let it burn into ashes; even my own bullshit ideas & beliefs. Let there be nothing left within but You.
Grateful for my biological parents who are crazy in their extremely differing yet similar ways, for passing down their Crazy genes to me, & for giving their unspoken blessings in my journey. For their spouses, who take such good care of my parents, so that I don't have to worry about their well-being, & I can travel freely.
Grateful for my Teacher-ji, Deep; for his guidance & direction, even when I was not aware of what he was doing, even when he seemed out of the picture, bugger was still somewhere there...oh damn, there is no escape, hahahahah..! This man played a big role in moulding me into the person I am today. Finally, this trip he has given me my Sannyas name. To me, those few moments were enough of a Sannyas celebration for me, worth more than any Sannyas initiation/celebration.
Grateful for my beloved cat, Karas...oh, meri jaan...some things can never be said; perhaps only you & I know the sacrifices you made for me.
For my best friends who I have not spoken much to this past month...love is the connecting factor to everything & everyone. Although with some of you, our paths are different, & we don't see each other much or even rarely speak, my love for you is as strong as ever. Hell, I think one or two of you probably don't even know you are my best friends, LMAO...yep I'm undercover like that, yo!
For new friendships forged...thank you for being you, & for sincerely sharing in this madness called life!
Grateful for the gift of yoga. Yoga is not about the shape of your body, it is about the shape of your life. It is about going deeper into yourself, so that you can then relate to others. It is about creating awareness within yourself, so that you can live each moment in totality. It is about celebrating this madness called life!
One can have a spiritual experience anywhere in the world, but somehow India always impacts me greatly. Let's see what happens during our next meeting! (By the way I did not cry upon landing & take off this trip, bahahahah!) I'm grateful for the freedom to explore her lands & mingle with her people.
I must have done something right in a past life to deserve this one.
That WTF feeling when you want to express something, but can’t.
I'm kicking it in Delhi, yet been typing & backspacing like crazy for half a day. So much feels, yet I can’t find the right words to perfectly express them.
You know that feeling where everything's awesome, life is great & you're in 'The Zone'...but it would be so much better if that one person were there with you? Fuck, yaar...all yoga & meditation practices, down the drain! Bahahahahah!
Enjoying it, though! There is beauty in the nuances of life, in the rawness of human emotion, be it happiness, sadness, joy, grief, fear, excitement...& I am thoroughly enjoying drowning in this chaos.
O Govinda! Feeling Your separation I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, & I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.
- Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Sri Siksastakam Verse 7) –
Love it when I read words which perfectly describe what I cannot describe.
This song is one of my current obsessions. Such beautiful lyrics!
It is always an ongoing battle between the head & the heart. The mind wants to control everything, down to the tiniest detail. It demands certainty...no surprises, gotdang it!
To some, the heart may seem like an impatient fool burning his tongue again & again every morning while sipping on his favourite hot chai: 'Idiot, if you would just wait for a while & let it cool!'...but such is the madness of the heart. It is devoid of logic & reason. It is a courageously impulsive bugger. It just knows, 'Okey, now this,' & *boom*.
I used to be an over-planner. Everything had to be planned & prepared down to the most minute detail, ASAFP. But life has shown me that not everything is 'plan-able'. Sometimes you just have to jump first, think later. But more often than not, you can have a plan, but you have to remain flexible enough to adapt to any change which happens along the way.
Well, it seems I've gone to the other end of the spectrum now - too relaxed, bahahahahah...I didn't really know who what where why when how, I just knew I wanted to be here in India. & here I am. Grateful for every experience, grateful for good friends, grateful for this life.
Ah, mama India...every time I return, you teach me so much. Just to sit on your lap is a blessing.
Sometimes, the things, places, & people we hold dearest to our hearts teach us the biggest lessons.
Hope this post makes sense, I literally can't brain much at the moment.
Image from www.scoopwhoop.com
That moment you understand that everything happens for a reason, & that you are that much better off now because of all that shit...
& then you think back on your old self & be like, ‘Damn, I was pretty much a dumb ass back then huh? Bahahahahah!'
When the idea of relationships was that it would be the two of you against the world, for ever & ever (oh, the horror!), that you'd be joined at the hip for the rest of your lives (holy smokes!)...dayummm, son!
Oh sweet bejesus, those were crazy times..!
A few days ago I was watching the travel channel & they were advertising a beach side resort as a location for a romantic getaway. Oh geez, maybe it's because I rarely watch TV, or that I never before noticed how they have always been airing cheesy overrated stuff like this...but I was like, 'Homaigot, not boring ah every day every where hold hand! Snorkeling also hold hand, eat dinner also hold hand! Aiyooo sien lah weh!'
Seriously though, I'd rather have a best friend than a metaphorical conjoined twin. Bohot cheesy hogaya...& everything doing together, boring lah weh, give some air to breathe can ah!?! Until when want to drama drama like this woh, suffocating, sial! :P :P :P
'What time are you coming home?'
'Why are you looking at him/her?'
'Are you seriously going to wear that?'
'Who are you talking to?'
Homaigot, my brain will break..! Life is so much better when you don't have to answer these questions. If you are lucky enough to have found someone who is on the same wavelength, then jackpot! But most of the time...hmmm! Maybe experiences have turned me into a cynic, but I’m not completely in the clear yet, dear friends! I still do have my dumb ass moments every once in a while…bahahahahah!
So what really is love? If you're not living your lives together, is it still love? If the other’s actions determine the amount & quality of your love towards them, is it really love, then? Actually, what the hell has any of this have to do with what you are choosing to put out there? Is the age-old model of love, as dictated by society, really love?
There is a very beautiful phrase by Rumi: Two lanterns hang alone, yet their light mingles as one.
Indeed, aloneness is the very basis of all relationships. You have to really know what you’re about, & to be damn bloody sure about it, before you can relate to another.
The beauty of loving in aloneness is that you are free to love the other in your own way. & loving another does not necessarily mean that you have to be physically close, it does not mean you have to talk the whole day, it doesn’t even mean that you have to be in an ‘official’ relationship. Sometimes, it even means that you have to step away because that's what's best for both parties.
Even without the other's presence, a heart that loves totally is a heart that is loyal & devoted. Yes, some people are capable of polyamory, but I'm speaking purely on my experience here. To some, it may seem like utter foolishness. But the heart sees no other option. It can't convince itself not to love. To deny itself its feelings would be to suppress its truth.
Love can happen in silence, it can happen without the other even knowing it, or heck, without you yourself even knowing it! Yes, it has its own magical way of sneaking up on people like that, the cunning bastard! <3
The heart wants what it wants, regardless of what the mind says, regardless of what others say. So why to fight it? To be able to love, & to have found someone/people who you love deeply, is a blessing. The best things in life are unexplainable, & that’s what makes them so miraculous. Maybe you randomly meet someone, &…you just know. Even though maybe at that time your mind refuses to acknowledge the fact.
Lastly, a heart which has tasted freedom will never create a prison for the other. It allows total freedom, because the image of dank prison walls & cast iron bars still weigh heavy in its mind’s eye.
Love’s secret is that you must love without desires that bind.
Hafiz, enjoy the one you love, drink deep and embrace;
seek not with her to please your world, just give love and be kind.
- Hafiz Shirazi -
Two persons absolutely complete in their individual aloneness are not dependent on each other. Their giving & sharing is totally because of an overflowing of love, without expecting anything in return. It is the culmination of all these things which makes a love like this so pure & divine. There are no laws to bind it, no guidelines to dictate how it should proceed, no regulations as to how long it will last. Even the heart itself does not know how long it will love; here today, maybe gone tomorrow...so while love is there, why to not go totally into it?
Look at a rose flower dancing in the wind, & in the rain, & in the sun...
It is very fragile; by the evening, its petals will be thrown in all directions. But while it was, it was tremendous; while it was, it was more than any rock. The rock will remain, the rock is permanent; the flower will comes & go.
The higher the value, the more fragile it is.
- Osho -
Aapan gaand hawai, dusar ke kare dawai.
(There are wounds on your own ass & you are putting medicine on another’s.)
For the past few weeks, one of the things which has weighed heavy on my mind is the subject of relationships. After risking a very precious friendship (read more in my old blog here), I asked myself, ‘What is all this hullabaloo about human connections?’, ‘Is there any error on my part as to how I have been relating to others?’
Quite recently, I received one of the best & juiciest pieces of advice ever:
Whatever it is, just say thank you & give your blessings. You cannot have even a tiny ounce of ill-will, or else the blessing cannot manifest. You cannot throw your shit out on others, it’s your own responsibility to handle your shit. If you have shit inside you: go to the toilet, close the door, shit it out, wash your own ass, pull your pants up, & come out of the toilet. Don’t just sit there & expect someone else to wash your ass for you. Maybe your own mother can wash your ass for you, but even then, she can’t do it for you all the time!
Bahahahahah! Love it!
Besides, dear friends, I’m sure you have been on the receiving end of all this shit-throwing at least once in your life! Remember that one friend who was going through a break up/didn’t get into college/was having a hard time in life/yadda yadda yadda & called you out for coffee & here you were trying to cheer them up but they refused to come out of that shithole? & to make matters worse, maybe they even started giving you a hard time for no reason? Heckuva lot of fun that was, huh?
I’m all for people helping other people. But I don’t believe in being someone’s punching bag.
Yes, the idealist Libra in me still very much hopes for someone who will walk me through life & help me through every up & down. But at the same time, the realist in me understands that at the end of the day, it is still my own goddamn responsibility to save myself. Not a very nice thought, considering all those Disney cartoons I’ve been watching since toddlerhood. Goddamn social conditioning!
I could go on & on about this. But what I’ve learned is:
I did this piece last July:
Ripple Effect. Core Connections.
Each soul we cross paths with affects us to a certain extent, whether we like it or not, & whether we realize it or not.
The question is, how many actually touch your very centre? How many do you allow close enough to see your one, true self? & how many are sincere enough to want to know the real you?
Given these two variables, how many people have touched your centre?
According to mainstream ideology, our relationships with the people we love would remain the same forever. (Un)Fortunately, life isn’t always this way. We each have our own thing to do in life, our own lessons we have come to this world to learn. & that may mean that our paths will separate.
Life is a never-ending journey. Like a train ride, it stops at various stations; some people get off the train, some get on. Some stay. The thing is, we can never really fully control who gets on or off, & who stays. Ironically, this is the beauty of life – not knowing. But that doesn’t mean that out of all these people, some are ‘better’ than others. Regardless of how our relationship with each one of them is, they all played a part in shaping us into the person we are today, & vice versa.
Aapan gaand hawai, dusar ke kare dawai.
Check yourself. It's not your job to think for someone else. But it is your job to think for yourself. Do you, & everything else will work out just fine. ;)
The Sufi meditation retreat was oshemmm! It’s always amazing how just a few days, or even, just a moment, can change your whole life!
The practice which blew my mind was the one which did not really interest me in the beginning: Gurdjieff movements.
The very first time I watched a Gurdjieff movement performance on YouTube, I was like, ‘What. Da. Fuq.’ *rolls eyeballs emoticon*
It came across as a very robotic, & emotionless dance which made no sense whatsoever. It did not appeal to me at all. However, now I understand the real purpose of these movements. Dayuuummm, son…I stand corrected…it is a tough practice, yooo..!
Our teacher said, ‘It’s not about learning the movements. It’s about learning about yourself. Watch your habit. What is your learning style? Do you depend a lot on others, or are you able to learn by yourself? How do you react when you fuck up?’
Okey lah, he did not say the f word…but you get what I mean…heheh…
Watch your habit.
Those words are still ringing in my mind till today.
We learn the movements in parts – hands, legs, then combine both. Each movement needs to be precise, & you cannot add any shimmies nor sashays as you like. Which explains why it looks robot-ish. No expressions either, & you are to look straight ahead throughout.
The movements challenge your coordination & awareness. Even one tiny moment of distraction & bye bye, you’re out of sync with the rest of the group! Distractions? Ain't nobody got time fo dat!
Oh yeah, did I mention that some movements require stepping forwards & backwards, & therefore even though looking forward, you still have to make sure that you keep in line with the others??? In my mind I was like, ‘TEACHER. My eyes so small, how???’
All those years of piano lessons, Girl Guide/Vanguard marching, yoga, weeks of drum circle & dancing FINALLY add up! Sheesh!
For me, it wasn’t that difficult executing the movements separately. But when he said, ‘Now arms & legs’, I would go into a state of half shock...sometimes I wouldn’t even attempt to combine both movements, because if I did, my mind immediately went blank! Something which totally relates to my life, because I’ve always been afraid of trying things which seem daunting.
Watch your habit.
Each moment, watching, watching, watching. I find that this is one of the juicy things of life I have been searching for. I guess I had taken for granted this thing called awareness. Thank heavens I have been reminded & brought back down to earth.
Watch your habit. When you can do the movements, how do you respond? When you make a mistake, how do you respond? Do you criticize yourself, or do you immediately try to get back into the groove? Where is your attention? What’s going on inside?
So. Again, I stand corrected. On the outside, it looks like a lifeless dance. But inside each & every dancer, who knows? I see the similarities of Gurdjieff movements with yoga. In yoga, we call this looking inward: Svadhyaya - self-study. Many say that yoga is boring, too slow-paced for their liking; when in fact, a practitioner needs to be aware of a multitude of things – alignment of every body part, breath, external stimuli, internal ongoings…aiyooo..!
Tattoos carry deep spiritual meanings for me. I got this one in January 2015, a few months after completing my first Yoga TTC. The intention I set into it was:
Risk everything for awareness,
but never risk awareness for anything...
This is the commitment of a sannyasin: that he is ready to lose his life
but not his awareness;
he has found a value
which is higher than life.
There is no other value
which is higher than awareness. Awareness is the seed
of godliness in you...
- Osho -
Lost my way, but glad that I am back on my path. Grateful for everything.
'Sometimes I hate the words, 'still crying although you're a grown up'.
The truth is, the more I grow, the more I mature, the more I cry. Crying when I was younger, did not hurt as much as crying during adulthood.'
Wasn’t life much simpler as a child? When you knew nothing about consequences, & just blindly did whatever you wanted to, & then whatever the outcome was, you just dealt with it there & then?
What in actuality is innocence? & how much can one afford to stay innocent? Is being innocent or 'un-innocent' a choice we are able to make, in the first place? Or is one just destined to be come into & go out of this world that way?
What is the difference between innocence & foolishness?
I love this meme. It made me realize that the harsh truth that, sometimes, the more I experience life, the harder it gets to just live & let live.
If you have always done the same thing, without getting the results you wanted, is it mere innocence or sheer foolishness to continue on doing the same thing? But at the same time, although you are doing the same thing, in each situation, many, if not all, external stimuli differ, things which are beyond our control…so how?
Try, try again?
Maybe it depends on what you are willing to risk.
Are you willing to risk a heckuva lot of money to invest in a new business venture?
Are you willing to risk a friendship, in order to pursue a relationship?
Are you willing to risk your mind, in order to gain your sanity?
Maybe it depends on where your heart is? How strongly you feel about something, regardless of what is at stake?
‘No mind’, ‘be present’; yes, these are the main purposes of meditation & yoga, but dayum, where does one draw the line between right & wrong usage of brain in processing past experiences?
Knowing pain & hardship, one requires much more courage to maneuver through life with a pure heart. Fear of failure & difficult emotions is hard to push aside. Sometimes life is easier when you don’t know shiz, when the whole world seems like an idyllic fairyland.
But at the same time, being the person you are right now, would you want to go back in time & erase any experiences you’ve had? Considering that everything good & bad has worked to mold you into who & what you are this very moment, & if you never went through all that, you wouldn’t be any wiser?
Which will you have: wise madness, or foolish sanity?
- Miguel de Cervantes -
Where can one purchase wise madness? & how much do I have to pay for it?
Osho talks on innocence, & keeping the child within us alive.
Ee Lee is a yoga teacher based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is an animal lover & may just kidnap your beloved animal friends so keep them safe when she visits your home! She is passionate about philosophy & the arts, & when she is not hiding in her cave, can be found randomly baltering, inspecting unassuming everyday objects, or instigating shenanigans.