Begin Again!

Begin Again!

That was a very spontaneous thought to name by blog as i did. Writing after a gap of two months and trying to test whether i need any brushing up with my writing skills. Then i let it be, i just let it be like that. If i am able to express, then it’s good enough.

I am tempted to have new year resolutions, and yet I know if i come up with something, i wont be sticking with that for long, and that’s because i don’t have strong enough reasons to do so.

If you don’t like something about you, or your situation, then change it, its of no use to cry and whine over it.

At the same time, don’t wish or expect the world to change to any better in this brand new year, nothing is going to change. Yes, you can definitely expect yourself to change for better.

I am trying to make my reasons and WHYs strong, as of now I have figured out two things- I need to get into shape, and I have found out few strong reasons to do so. I will be turning 33 this year, and with the age i want to get healthier.

Secondly, genetically  i was blessed with good metabolism and yet i have not utilized it to the fullest, and I want to identify how hard i can train my body to become more fit.

Thirdly, I don’t want my stomach to bulge, the reason is simple- i don’t like the idea of looking like a fat old middle aged lazy guy who is just interested to work 9 to 5, and finish the day complaining about the world.

For now the above reasons to become fit and be in shape shall motivate and inspire me for long. And therefore it will all be about #Transform!

Click the link below where I speak on the related topic..

Secondly, with the nature of my work, i have been giving lots of excuses about not getting enough time to write, and i plan to write regularly again. Therefore, i am going to break all the excuses and start with updating my blog with at least one article every week. The reasons are as follows-

The first reason is simple, last year I figured out the motto of my life, i.e. to INSPIRE and GET INSPIRED! And writing is one of the medium where I can use it to do the same.

The same reasons cause my brain muscles to function more, the same reasons to inspire give me the thrill like no other.

Now, I have been procrastinating a lot on finishing the maiden book, and my search is on to have enough strong reasons to finish it by this year. No more pushing of my aspirations.

If you like what i shared or have something to share with me I invite you to share your views on this on the comments section below!

Have a meaningful year ahead!

 

 

 

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When you begin to live an inspired Life!

When you begin to live an inspired Life!

I am excited! Yes, being in a place where you always wish to be, doing the things that you love and most of all living a passionate life, all of these marks for the perfect ingredient for a purposeful living.

Mountains and hills inspire me, and having born and raised in a city I always hankered to spend some time amidst nature. But I never wanted to visit a hill station as a tourist, in fact I don’t enjoy crowded tourist places where people are too noisy and busy clicking selfies.

Rather I always wanted to stay in the hills, wake up every morning to the chirping of some unknown flock of birds, hear the distant giggling of children playing in the nearby mounds, sip my cup of tea looking at the magnificent landscape right against my balcony, and the smoke coming from the chimney of a wooden house surmounted on the surrounding hills.

Yes, all that is happening right now.

When you live your dreams, it is not less than a magic!

Last March when I resigned from my job I wanted to pursue that I enjoyed doing. It’s not that I did not like my last job. I was working as a learning and development professional with a good pay.

But I was fed up with the 9-6 timing (sometimes till 10 PM),  the daily meetings which I found nonsensical. The monthly reviews on some imaginative figures defining the feasibility of learning and development. And the regular poke by the manager to doubt my abilities.

It’s an irony when people with least empathy work in human resource department.

After resigning from the job I packed my bags and went to Himachal and traveled to some beautiful hills and terrains of Barot and Parashar lake. I also stayed in McLeod Ganj for few days and made a wonderful friend there.

I still had some doubts to live an unconventional life, I applied for another job. I was confident that I would get through. However, my name was not there among the selected list of candidates. I was in deep trouble, I didn’t had any plan B.

When life becomes stressful, it takes a toll in your health too. My back was anyway not in good shape as I have strained it too much during my first attempt to start a cafeteria.

I was diagnosed with a slipped disc in the month of May, and my legs started weakening gradually. Doctor advised me a complete bed rest for 3 months. It was really frustrating but it also gave me time to reflect back on my strengths and inner calling.

It turns out that life becomes monotonous even when you don’t do anything; I would wake up by 6 in the morning, do my back exercises, have breakfast then go for physiotherapy. Then the whole day I would search for jobs and apply the suitable ones. Read as much as I can, Have dinner and sleep.

Then, I would repeat the same the next day, and for the next three months I would repeat the same.

After three months I stopped applying for jobs anymore.

I started meditating regularly, it helped me flush my negative thoughts and made me stronger physically and emotionally.

After a month of regularly practicing mindfulness in meditation I felt much better, a ‘feel good’ feeling can do wonders. I gradually made myself believe that I don’t really need to work conventionally to sustain myself. While meditating I figured out my purpose and my goals. I felt lighter!

I realized that throughout my life I have lived a twofold purpose– to Inspire others and get inspired. So, why not start working on that? Why not continuously do something I love- write, coach and inspire others and in return get inspired!

Everything started falling in place. I have started working as a consultant counselor, and now I am working on my first book. I have also started to jot down ‘ideas’ (will write about them later) daily. I will also be giving a session on ‘stress management’ and the ability to say ‘no’ for school students in Chemchey in South Sikkim. I am excited!

Sheer law of attraction!

We get a beautiful view of Mt. Kanchanjanga from Chemchey, so you can expect lots of pictures of the place in my next post.

Inspire & Get Inspired!

 

Living abundant-Living with Passion

Living abundant-Living with Passion

This blog was one of the more difficult pieces to write. It was stressing to ask myself what were my passion(s)? But I hit the grey area. Probably I don’t have any passion to talk about. And that’s really a serious concern.

I do have some serious interests though. I will start with my training career. Without any formal training I started working as a soft skills trainer, I liked the idea of making a positive impact on my audience. I felt that my own self-esteem grew higher, and that really felt good.

Secondly, I have a great interest in writing and reading. I have been writing close to 9 years now. It all started with the desire to jot down my memories from my first crush in a diary, it was back in the year 1999. Like many of us I dream of publishing a book, since the year 2007 I have procrastinated so much that it’s been 9 years that I have not been able to finish my book. Yes, that sucks!

I love to bake, I picked this skill 3 years back and just months before when I started my own café. My pleasure giving neurons gets triggered when I see a cake rise, and when I am able to ice it. The very process is soothing.

Pretty much like others, I like to explore places. I think I would change the term from ‘exploring’ to ‘being there’. When I travel, I don’t think I have ever explored places, I just like the idea of being there, that’s it. It really inspires my creativity. That’s how I am.

As a kid I used to ride a BMX, and my love for cycle is intact and growing, I have started cycling more seriously, and gradually covering longer distances. Surprisingly, it is helping my spine as well which was not in good shape (recovering from a slipped disc).

Congratulations if you have read till here, you might have been confused as well as amused that while I am talking about passion but I have all the while written my about hobbies and interest areas. But you know I had more items on the list, but may be some other time. Importantly, you need to know that your passion is very different from your hobbies. Yes!

The word Passion is one of the misnomer of our times. Many times, passion is synonymously misunderstood with our hobby(s) and livelihood. But then, can’t our hobbies be our passion, of course it can!

A hobby is an auxiliary activity, something that one pursuits outside one’s regular occupation especially for relaxation.

On the other hand, passion is not at all relaxing. Passion engulfs you like a storm, it chases you and never leaves you alone. Whether you have time for it or not, it incloses itself in your life. In the older English, passion also meant to ‘suffer’ and therefore it is a sacrifice one is ready and willing to give and is thrilled about it.

Then, how to know/find your passion?

The answer to that question starts with finding your purpose of life. When you begin with the end in mind you will also build the bridge to reach your aim. You will relentlessly build that bridge to reach the end, you will give all your energy, emotion, and time as bad as you want to breathe. When you find your purpose, you find your passion, and when you have found your passion you will continue to pursue it despite what it may cost you.

Passion is the common ingredient between a novelist losing all the sleep over her next lines, when a fighter is knocked out inside a ring but trains hard for the next fight, and when an entrepreneur sacrifices his personal life for the betterment of the society.

Passion and livelihood may not be connected, you perhaps work in the typical 9 to 6 set up in a govt office or in corporate. At the end of the day if you are contended then there’s no need to worry, but if you find yourself complaining then it’s time for you to pause and think.

I heard our lecturer in the college once said, “Don’t chase money because you will never have enough, chase your passion and you will have enough money”.

While writing this blog I did a small survey on facebook to understand where the passion of people lie. Of the people who responded to the question couple of them said they are passionate about cooking and baking respectively. The former is a chef and the latter is a professional home baker.

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Smoked salmon over lettuce with balsamic glaze; Ambarish Das is a young promising chef from Guwahati
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Neha Gupta is a professional home baker. One of her creation! 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/488346214653307/?ref=br_tf

Other passions mentioned by the respondents were- Poetry, Gardening, writing scribbles, social entrepreneurship, music, wall art, face art, mountain biking etcetera.

These are interesting subjects and having a passion for them is a wonderful thing.

80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs according to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, and therefore it can be figuratively said that only 20% or lesser than that percentage of the world is actually going out there, chasing the unknown and working on their passion.

And therefore, it is easier to understand why so much less percentage of world population is living happily and loving what they do. Most of us die incomplete and unaccomplished. That is sad. That is scary.

I was no different, I was typically standing in the category of 80%, and if I contemplate little I understand that I was lying far below in that percentage. I didn’t even had the slightest of the idea what I wanted from life. And no wonder why I faced hardships in a very detrimental way.

How I discovered my purpose?

For me, and for anyone else if you are trying to figure out your purpose in life then start with the question Why?

Why do I have to travel that far?

Why do I earn that extra income?

Why do I have to survive another day, and another night?

Why do I bake?

Why do I write?

Simply start by asking the core question- Why? Remember if your why(s) are not strong you will give up easily when you face hardships. Keep asking the question until your why is not strong enough. If you don’t get the answer to your why, then it’s not your passion. Simple!

My purpose in life is simply defined by I-squareinspire & get inspired!

Whether I am talking to an audience, whether I am writing or reading, whether I am training my leg muscles while cycling, and whether I am baking, I am doing it with the purpose of inspiring the humankind and get super inspired at the same time. The very thought of these two elements fuels my intention. My core interest areas are transforming into passion, but not yet. But I am not making myself a fool by calling the things that I love to do as passion, not yet.

But the transformation is coming as I change the whole paradigm of looking into life itself, when I can contribute to the wellness of the people through life coaching, counselling, baking, cycling, gathering new experiences by travelling, and writing I see that in the process my purpose of inspiration and getting inspired is fulfilled. It won’t take much long to become passionate about all these areas. And while I write these lines, I am already losing sleep, and I am already focusing on impactful living.

Next time you think you are passionate about something, ask if that something leading you to your purpose of life, is that something that you are ready to walk the path of suffering, the path of sacrifice, is that something will lead you to sleepless nights.Remember the path of greatness goes through your passionate work, and its not easy, but that’s where our salvation lies.

Live abundant!

 

 

 

Meditative journey

Meditative journey

“If you have time to breathe you have time to meditate. You breathe when you walk, you breathe when you stand, and you breathe when you lie down.”— Ajahn Amaro

It took me a while to understand this, but unless you don’t meet face to face with the realization it takes time to understand what meditation really is. At least for me who is not so advanced in the transcendental knowledge of the supreme or perhaps you can say the nature, it is really difficult to attain the state of meditation. As I am still discovering the path of being in the meditative state here is a small write-up which I have co-authored with my spiritual friend Milli Datta Khan who is a Nichiren Buddhism practitioner.

Let’s dissect the word to understand it better. Meditation is according to Wikipedia is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.” That’s one of the most lucid definition of meditation I could find on the web, and when I dwelled on the meaning within the lines it was indeed enlightening.

Another insight to ponder upon is the word ‘meditate’, meditation is noun whereas the word meditate is verb i.e. to take action. Therefore, to meditate is to take conscious action to achieve the desired mode of consciousness, and it can be said that meditation is a way of life, and how beautiful it will be if one’s life itself is converted into meditation. Now it starts with the very simple process of meditation and one needs to meditate on something to start the ignition.

Let me narrate a simple yet an apt metaphor, say, you decide to go somewhere by your car, in order to run the car you need to start the ignition then the car will move. Your ride depends on few factors like the condition of the road, the agility of the driver which is you, and the knowledge of the destination. Similarly, meditation is the journey, to meditate is to start the ignition and to keep running it, depending on your karma how smooth or difficult your journey will be is decided, but if you have developed the firm skills and character to face the adversities just like the skills possessed by the driver there is no second doubt that you shall reach your ultimate destination. Yes, the paths may be different and even if it sounds a bit clichéd it is true that it will lead us to the same destination. (Now, isn’t funny how people are hell-bent in destroying each other because they happen to choose a different path in order to reach their destination)

Just like you have the choice and free will to decide whether to undertake the journey by the car, you also have the free will to decide whether to meditate or not. It is for those who seek answers for their existence in this world, those who have realized that their existence perhaps might not just be a coincidence but by a deliberate design. Knowledge of the knowledgeable is important and that is there in the form of books and their wisdom is inevitable in search of truth, but without the knowledge of the ‘self’, the knowledge of within, the realization is not possible. The key to all the knowledge within is meditation.

When you initiate the process, when you start to meditate, you open the window to unlimited possibilities, you reach the ultimate knowledge source. If one needs to understand what I am talking about through graphical representation you can watch the movie Ant-man. Towards the end, when the Ant-man destroys the Wasp to keep his little daughter safe, he becomes so tiny that he is able to enter the smallest part of the atom itself. It appears that there is no concept of time and space here. There is just a vacuum which is so peaceful and full of transcendence.

All the answer lies inside us, we hold all the knowledge of the universe, and in fact all human beings are super powerful and full of knowledge. If all the bliss and eternal knowledge is inside us then why do we appear so much in difficulty and so much in pain? The answer to that question is very simple, if you have a trunk load of treasure which is locked inside, unless you open it would you have the access to it? You need the key to unlock the trunk, and that key is the way of meditation. We seek the key to that trunk outside, whereas it is within us. Failure after failure of inability to find the key leads to frustration.

That trunk is nothing but your subconscious mind that stores all the treasure of knowledge. When you are aware, you will observe that it is always guiding from what is (right) and what is (wrong), I have put them in brackets as these spheres are always subjective for humans, but our subconscious mind knows it all. When you listen to your ever existing voices inside you carefully then gradually it starts giving you all the answers that you need to know.

There is no particular way of meditation, however shutting down your visual sensory organ is necessary as it helps to shut off any distractions. Our mind is ever restless, it is here with us for a moment, and the very next moment it shall cover miles to be somewhere else, and that too before you realize. When you close your eyes, your inner guiding light is lit and helps you to have conversations with your ‘self’. In a definite way meditation is a prayer to invoke the higher powers to communicate that we surrender before You, it is a way to touch the ever beautiful ‘self’, and when that happens your world turns out to be beautiful, the sky, the flowers, the stream brings you message of happiness. You become filled with gratitude, and full of compassion.

Our heart only knows the path of happiness that gives us the inner peace and serenity. Spiritual practice such as meditation and prayers are nothing but to remind us what we are and we already know, why we are here, and what our mission is. And we all forget our heart’s message and fall into life’s ruts and crevices. We feel unfulfilled and unhappy. We get depressed and anxious. We have blurred our perspective and forgotten you bigger picture, and lost the way.

The remedy is simple. Take the time to remember our divinity, our spiritual nature. Remember why we are here. Meditation is one way to triggering our memory.

Meditation is a feeling of self-realization, and to know our subconscious mind where we can face our inner potentialities as well as our inner flaws and have the Strength to take the full responsibility of it and have the courage to accept it and change it. Here change is an inside job which causes conspicuous as well as inconspicuous benefits means unknowingly we start changing from inside and along with our outer circumstances also start changing.

As we take the full responsibility of ourselves that means we have already open our subconscious mind because with close mind it’s impossible to learn anything new. Only open mind can receive and process new knowledge. Now there will be a question, what is subconscious mind? Subconscious mind is our conscience. It can also be called our higher mind, higher self, or inner voice (the feeling that your subconscious mind gives you is called ‘instinct’. The subconscious mind is our true mind, spiritual mind. Just as the conscious mind or physical mind take care and guide our body, the subconscious mind take care and guide our soul. The soul and the subconscious mind are joined together for eternity. So after guarding our soul by preventing it from taking the wrong actions, the subconscious mind guides us towards what is morally right. Only spiritual knowledge alone will help our subconscious mind to evolve. It is only when we put that knowledge into practice that the subconscious mind grows. Therefore, the key to spiritual growth is pure action. Physical mind sets limit but our subconscious mind is actually shows how much limitless or powerful we are, and can only be done through meditation.

Meditation is an art or technique of quieting our mind. Although everything is energy and everything in this universe are interrelated and all set in a beautiful rhythm. With the help of meditation we can follow and sync ourselves with the universal rhythm. So that the endless chatter that fills our consciousness is stilled. In the quiet of the silent mind, the meditator begins to become an observer, to reach a level of detachment, and eventually, to became aware of a higher state of consciousness. By pulling us out of the rut of everyday awareness, meditation serves as a reminder of what we have been learning about higher, more spiritual values. To meditate is to remember regularly. You are reminded of the bigger pictures, of what is important in our lives and what is not.

There is a very beautiful line by Osho — “If u can be in love in any situation, then you are in meditation.”

It means only love is real. Only love is an energy of incredible power and strength. We are all made up of energy and love encompasses all energies. Love is an absolute. Love never ends, never stops. The purest form of unconditional love, expressing your love and expecting nothing on return. By giving love away freely you become a spiritual millionaire.

Remember to listen to your intuition, and try not to let your fears sway the soft and gentle murmuring of your beautiful heart. Feel the freedom to love without holding back, without reserve, without condition. For our lives in this plane is limited ones. We are merely in a school. When we return home, we take only our thoughts, our actions, our learnings, our love with us.

Finally, do not be afraid. We are immortal, eternal spirits and we are always loved. In fact we are love.

Therefore, remember, when you are seeking love and happiness you are seeking the path to self-realization. You just don’t know it yet or perhaps still seeking ‘happiness’ at the wrong places. When you are walking the path of your passion, the things that you love to do, it is in fact a manifestation of meditation. Sooner or later we will be there, we all will be taking that journey. You just have to understand our relationship between you and the Gohonzon, till the time your life itself is converted into a form of meditation and it becomes visible when you walk, talk, sleep and think.

Growing through failures

Growing through failures

 

“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.”- Vincent van Gogh

Last Sunday Phil Brooks popularly known as CM Punk was debuting in UFC against Mickey Gall. Stakes were high, people were cheering aloud for Punk as he entered the Octagon. He definitely looked pumped up and in great shape, and why not? He retired from professional wrestling and trained for two years to compete in the professional mixed martial arts arena. It was not going to be easy for Punk as he had no formal training on any format of martial arts except some on and off work on Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. However, just like some fairy tale meets a violent death, CM Punk lost the match to submission in less than 3 minutes.

I was disillusioned and was bit upset, the fight could have at least lasted more than a round, and Punk could have shown some resistance. Instead, he was thrown off the ground moments after the bell rang. He clearly looked dejected, defeated and stripped off his pride. I think we may win some fights, and lose some and yet some fights are presented before us to become more humble and stronger.

You may not be successful in achieving every single goal of yours, but it’s important to give your best shot, sweat it out, and channelize all your energy in the process of what needs to be done to reach your pinnacle. When Punk decided to give up wrestling and train for UFC he simply got out of his comfort zone, and that’s a great accomplishment. When you get out of your comfort zone and go after the goals that you have set for yourself the amount of transformation that takes place is magical. The end result might just be different against your expectation but I don’t care.

All of these years I have been searching for my moment of triumph, and it has been a journey of trying circumstances and perseverance. I am far away from home but I continue to learn through my mistakes. Every single day I wake up with the idea of achieving greatness, and that idea of greatness might not be scaling an Everest or becoming a millionaire but all the goals that I have set for myself and gradually achieving them one by one which is dedicated for the personal growth.

Don’t let others define your success!

David Ferrer, one of the most accomplished tennis player in the world might not have any grand slam titles in his kitty, but he still holds the astonishing figure of 685 singles wins, and only three other active players namely Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic have more singles wins than him. Recently in a press release he said, “I don’t have a Grand Slam because I don’t deserve it.” It is definitely not easy to be that brutally honest with yourself but I believe it is so important for your personal growth, and to know where your success lies- to understand where is what is your ‘success quotient’. Success is very personal and one doesn’t have to justify to anyone what it means to him/her. Remember, let not the society define your success, let you not limit yourself in any bracket of success as success is limitless.

 I have failed several times, got hit by life in the face but I know it’s not about “how hard you can hit but how hard you can get hit but still can get up, and give back your best shot.”  In search of non-conventional ways I have always looked to take up new ideas, and I have never shy away from challenging myself. I have always faced my fears upfront. I still remember my first job that I picked right after my college. The job was of door to door salesman and sell those oxford publication books. Being extremely shy I used to get jitters while approaching people to buy those books. But I kept going door to door, knocking and trying to sell the books, at times they would abuse me and ask me to get out of their place. But I grew stronger and firm. Although I couldn’t sell many books, it certainly helped me to come out of my timid nature. I realized, self-esteem and attitude are the foundation for my personal growth. Many years later I felt a sense of accomplishment when I was adjudged as one of the best trainer and presenter in one of the corporate TTT (train the trainer) programs.

Two years back when I planned to start my café, that decision was in itself a big leap for me. Nobody in my family had any experience of starting any venture before. Therefore, it was a big decision to start something on my own. I decided to apply for a bank loan to initiate my business venture, and put my stake by utilizing my own savings and borrowing money from home. I was very excited after meeting the bank manager as he showed great enthusiasm. At times Murphy’s Law works seriously against you, when everything was going fine my loan application was rejected at the last stage, I was devastated.

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When the bank rejected my loan application I was in a fix, but I didn’t give up and I went on. Yes, I had to re-define my strategy, and re-work on all the operational plans and devise a different set of outlook for the project. Suddenly I was left all alone and forced to play the multifaceted role of an interior designer, an assistant to the carpenter, an assistant to the painter, and later a novice assistant chef in the kitchen. It also gave me an opportunity to collaborate with my talented friends who offered their services pro bono. In a way the café was first of its kind as it planned to promote aspiring artists- musicians, magicians, painters, speakers and rappers and give them the much needed attention through open space platform. However, your brilliant ideas and matchless grandeur does not guarantee sure shot success.

The venture pulled off well initially, and managed to occupy some space on the print media as well. The café was gradually nurturing its own USP. On one side it was generating all the goodwill and rapport of being one of the unique cafés and on the other side I was facing acute fund crunch. Moreover, the café was not able to generate the revenue to sustain itself. After one and half years of operation I had to part ways with the cafeteria due to operational losses, and I didn’t had enough money to back it up.

I had to fight huge financial losses and emotional turmoil amounting to depression but I didn’t give up. Afterwards, my major chunk of money would go to pay back the money for a year which I borrowed from my friends and well-wishers, I am yet to pay few of my friends in full. I either can get depressed about it or can shut up and do something about it. Why not face you failures then? Why not embrace them and become stronger? I felt defeated but I am still here- alive!

So I continue doing what I do best, I continue to search for my inner giant. Let others talk behind you, let others define your success, but does it matter for you? If yes, stop dreaming, and stop reading, go back to your cubicle and adjust to your boss’s whine. But if you are a dreamer then dream strong, dream big. This write up is a witness to my journey, it’s a journal towards success, because I am getting ready, it doesn’t matter how many times I fall, and how many times I fail I will be there.

At this moment, I pause for a while and look back on all the small and insignificant looking accomplishments which has made me the person that I am today. I am nowhere near my Shangri-La, and I don’t know when I will get there. Perhaps I will know by myself when I reach there. This write-up is not to about tell you my hardships or accomplishments but as momentary stop and to remind myself that I am capable of achieving that I want to, to be what I wish to, and same goes for you too. When I reach the summit I will open this story and go through it once more, to tell the demons inside me that, “see, I am finally here!”

(Image source: google)

 

Fearing your Fears!

Fearing your Fears!

Fear, the word itself can echo so many emotions that may be visible in the surface or stay hidden in our subconscious mind. It’s a dark and unknown zone where we hesitate to put our foot into. As a behavioral and life skills trainer, it has provided me the opportunity to look closely the unique spectrum in which the fear resides in humans. The phenomenon of fear can be as simple to understand as the ‘fear of needles’ to the more complicated ones such as the fear of closed spaces also known as ‘claustrophobia’, and yet there are other forms of fear which comes under the bracket of social phobia, now known as Social Anxiety Disorder. I wanted to understand what kind of fears do people suffer from, therefore, I asked my friends in one of the popular social media platform to share one of their fears; I got some interesting insights, few of them are- a single mother was anxious that she would lose her only son to the worldly possession when the child grows up, another respondent was fearful of not being able to complete the professional course he has enrolled into, yet another respondent replied that she was afraid of losing the man in her life. The different insights helped me garner further perspective in how fear present itself in different facet in one’s life according to their relative truth.

The wordweb dictionary defines fear as “An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger”, if you re-read the definition it gets more interesting as it involves ‘anticipating’ or expecting the outcome of a particular situation you might be in. Let’s start from the individual point of view and understand how he may see the world from a fearful state of mind. If I have to regress my thoughts some time back to the point where I started writing this piece my mind was clouded with doubts, I even thought of giving up this piece of write up, reason being that I read through the blogs of my fellow writers and thought that it was marvelous, but my mind didn’t stop there, it started comparing with their quality of write up with that of mine and surely I felt I had pathetic sense of writing. It took me a while to contemplate and looking at things from a vantage point where I could sense back things as they are, the answers I got was divine and its true for all with no relativity involved; maybe my writing is not as good as my fellow bloggers, but, yes, I am doing just fine wherever I have reached and I am writing on the topics which might inspire someone. There was a sense of calmness after that, I could see that there was no reason for any comparisons and I am doing just fine. The fear that someone is greater and better than you is deep-rooted from the self-doubt, and once your doubt is gone your fear is gone.

Fear is paradoxical because it doesn’t exist because when we confront the situation (which is in the form of fear) it either vanishes or gives you weapons (solutions) on how to face them, however, fear itself is imaginary. What about fear of death? We have a mortal body, and sooner or later it shall be lessened to ashes, however death is only a medium or a passage where the mind and soul travels to its next destination. People who have gone through near death experience (NDE) might have more than a vague idea about what exactly went through when they approached ‘death’. Many experience reveals no particular pain and suffering and if there’s any they don’t remember. However, what happens when you confront and stand face to face against your death; there can be only two possibilities- either you die, where the fear of death is no more, because you have just met it, or perhaps you now know how to better deal with the circumstances that can lead you to your death. We might be extinct in human form but we can never cease to exist.

Some phase of your life may be lonely, you might hanker for acceptance but you may not find any. Your ‘false ego’ will lead you to think that you don’t belong anywhere, and you start to think that you are not being loved, or you may lose your most precious possession in the form of friends and loved ones someday. If you have observed carefully then you must have noticed that the source of happiness in all these are all lying outside ‘you’. The ego seeks to control, it seeks acceptance, and it seeks love not knowing that both these elements are inside you. You cannot seek it outside, you shall probably find your own reflection outside and that is only possible when you are ready, so there’s no fear, and therefore, there is no fear of separation, there’s just the ‘ego’ reducing and gradually shrinking.

In my formative years I was extremely shy, later it developed into a mild agoraphobia where I would get really anxious about going outside, and being present in a social gathering. Even now I would be conscious while eating and being stared at in the public. However, when I confronted my fears of social anxiety it was once again proved that fear is actually non-existent, it’s like a ghost that we may feel but can never see, and take varied forms through powerful human imagination. Although I am an introvert, I enjoy my work as a behavioral trainer and motivational speaker, and I like to speak to a sizeable audience. Someday, I wish to speak in front of a packed auditorium.

Fear and the world order

The very existence of fear in the form of insecurity is the reason for wars and unrest in this planet. Mass murder, genocide, taking control of the resources are all stemming from the ugly variants of the same. Religious principles are not based on the foundations of spirituality but on the foundations of fear, i.e. the fear of insecurity, trying to propagate the theory of ‘One God’ but will condemn other’s belief. The deep rooted psyche goes out to believe the ‘other’ non-believers in their Gods or ways as enemies, and propagandas are laid out to annihilate them. As we move forward in the cycle of life, the sphere of fear will widen, however, with divine faith in oneself, by walking in the path of self-discovery one can definitely revive this process, as they say, one needs to look within, search for the calmness, hear the silence. Then, the ‘self’ will reveal the things as they are, it shall be bereft of any judgments, when that happens no fear can exist. At this point there comes no one but Viktor Frankl in my mind who survived the Nazi concentration camp to tell the tale of exemplary human endowment of love. Even after losing his wife and his entire family to the gas chambers of the camps he survived this ordeal of extreme nature. After losing everyone who was close to him, he contemplated why he was even alive, and wished for death for himself. He almost lost all his will to live, but there was a divine intervention in his heart and he realized that no one can take away his inner freedom. The Nazis can strip him off his clothes, cripple him or cut off his tongue, and send him to the gas ovens but they cannot take away his freedom, no one can snatch the love that is inside him. He came face to face with his death only to realize that no one can take his ‘life’ away from him but him.

People spend most of their lives in fear, you are fearful of dying, fearful of your circumstances, you fear that you may never be able to achieve what you aspire to do, but you are ready to live a life of mediocrity. You want to see what’s in store but are reluctant to turn the pages of life, and most importantly you are fearful of living. When we live in our true self, no fear can ever touch us, no doubt can surpass us because when one lives and leads with an enlightened self, full of love that’s when one starts to live fearlessly.

“Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.”

-Victor Frankl

Memoirs of the first scar!

Memoirs of the first scar!

You are reading the third chapter of the ten story-series of heartache which never saw the light of the day. Life is not a bed of roses literally, we store so many stories of our past in some forgotten corners of our heart, I am just trying to re-visit them as a tribute to all my friends and strangers whose tale are never known or perhaps long forgotten. The ten-chapter series is a work of fiction. There resemblance with any person living or dead might not be coincidence, anything can happen- this if life!

No one forgets the memories of adolescence, the emotions attached to it are so strong. It’s so powerful that perhaps all the nostalgia that people suffer are generally from this phase. Since, they are never forgotten, it also acts as a foundation of the many lessons that life may offer to teach us. At times they are windows of opportunity to lead a person to become cognizant, and further find a purpose of her/his life. However, it is not necessary that the realization is presented in an altar of roses. Quite often it is the other round, people bleed, they burn, they suffer and die, and at times rise from the ashes like a phoenix to come alive again. No matter how much one tries to protect herself, no matter how protective shield has been built around the offspring they have to go through this pain, and suffer wounds. Remember, during its first flight, a bird has to jump out of his nest against all its doubts and all reservations.

Adolescence is a tender form in one’s lifetime, however, just like an untoughened clay has to go through fire to hardened itself to be able to store water in it, a tender soul too has to go through the ‘fire of life’ to become ready for whatever challenges life throws at her. Mridula was a confident girl of 17, she was tall, dusky with a distinct jaw line. Her features were distinct from the regular ‘beautiful’ girls who hanker for attention, rather Mridula commanded respect and carried an elegant poise that came naturally to her. Her eyes always sparkled with conviction. But her journey was rough till now, inside her there were myriad of emotions that she encountered and fought the inner monster of doubt surfacing every now and then. Few of her classmates would ridicule her for being dark-skinned, and at times would invent names to depict her lanky feature. Earlier, she used to fight with those bullies, trying to shut every mouth when they fathom to tease her or to pull her down. But she became indifferent towards the bullying and became more confident about herself when she took up to modelling, and she also learnt early that ignoring few people in your life can lead one to inner peace.

Mridula was one of the brightest student in her class, and due to her helpful nature she naturally attracted many friends. Despite of all these she was often the target of her classmates and even her teachers. At times your honesty can be brutal to others, so people become naturally scared and devise ways to shun these gifted souls. She took up modelling a year back, the constant walk on the ramp had given her much confidence, now guys were getting attracted towards her gradually developing changes in her body, and it was known to her. However, her biggest motive to flirt around guys was to get a packet of chocolate in return. Her desirous feature was a disguise of her innocence. But she was still in doubt within, at times the self-emanating doubts would devour her. This August she turned 18, and as a true lioness her body and her free-spirited nature blossomed into womanhood. Soon she met her love interest- Raag, the first person to whom she would lose herself to.

Raag was the only son of their parents, after his father’s death Raag’s mother brought him up, she never allowed any vagaries of life to come near him, he always got what he demanded. With utter perseverance she built a successful business from a scratch. Although his mother’s love remained intact, Raag suffered from bipolar disorder when his mother remarried again, he couldn’t take it that his mother’s love for him would now be shared by another man.  He took salvage in alcohol and often sleep around with girls. Alcohol and womanizing became a way of life for him. However, underneath he was lonely, amidst surrounded by all the people and money he was left alone within himself.

Mridula and Raag met in the tuition classes, although coming from different backgrounds something attracted them towards each other, perhaps their imperfections became the common ground, they knew they were hurt and they knew that they needed someone to heal their wounds. One day Raag expressed his love to her to which Mridula said “yes” and opened the doors of her heart for him. She already knew about Raag’s erratic lifestyle but true to her nature she decided to tame him into a responsible person. Love can indeed change a person for all the right reasons, Raag who didn’t give much heed to studies started paying attention to his career. Mridula would spend hours in explaining the topics which Raag didn’t understand. When the results of higher secondary exams were announced they each came out with wonderful results. Mridula passed with first division distinction and missed the first rank with few decimal points. Raag, except for Mridula surprised everyone by securing first division marks, but Mridula always knew about his potential.

Mridula always wanted to take admission in the country’s top-notched college, and with her scores she could have easily got into the likes of SRC, Kirolimal, or Hansraj in Delhi. Moreover, she never stepped out of her hometown, she wanted to explore the places and in turn explore her identity. At times your willingness to reach for the sky can be pulled by shackles on the ground by your loved ones and your circumstances momentarily. Citing their inability to finance her studies in a metropolitan city by her parents, she had to take admission in St Edmunds which was situated in a nearby hill station. Later, she realized how pivotal this chance occurrence was as this institution would shape the foundation of her bold and no-nonsense personality. Raag took admission in one of the premier colleges in the city itself.

Both good and evil reside in the hearts of men, there can be different degrees of possessiveness but if that becomes an obsession then one is certainly looking for trouble. Making friends was natural for Mridula and she was genuine about this nature of hers. Raag, initially was alright with it, however, as the time passed by doubts crept in his mind, making it corrupt with the suspicion. Now, since Mridula was studying in a different place, he wanted to keep a tag on her all the time. He would ask her whereabouts every now and then, as it was hardly 3 hours of drive Raag would often surprise her by presenting himself in front of her hostel, it was more of doubt than love. He started to have issues when she would talk to her guy friends which would always end up in an ugly fight over the phone. Mridula was gradually becoming suffocated. Raag gradually shifted to alcohol and womanizing again, perhaps few things remain in your DNA, and he started cheating on her.

She eventually discovered about the illicit affairs Raag was having behind her back, but when she confronted him he didn’t seem to be apologetic about it, rather he displayed true arrogance of a chauvinist. Needless to say that she was hurt, she was pained to the core, and it was her first heartbreak. She did not imagine that it would inflict her so much. That day she drank to her heart, she tried to wash away her scars and drown her tears in it. She faintly recollected how exactly an year back she was lying next to Raag, how he touched her tender bosom, and it’s ecstatic feeling when he entered her and opened the floodgate of emotions for the first time. She sobbed like mad that day, but in her heart she knew she still loved him.

Mridula wanted to de-clutter and wanted to escape for some time, so she tagged along with her friends for a trekking expedition for three days. She wanted to fall in love with herself again, devoid of all doubts she wanted to discover her true self. Amidst nature, she felt that she was much stronger than she thought, she had wings that needed to taste the fear of first flight and overcome it, and amidst nature she connected to her ‘self’ again. She was not afraid anymore, afraid of her own self.

When she returned, Raag was waiting for her, he became anxious as he couldn’t get through her phone. Seeing her happy and rejuvenated he became agitated, he felt how she could be calm when he was not in peace. At times our inner turmoil spans from seeing others happy. In a sudden rage he slapped her. That very moment his fate was sealed, and was to be thrown in the deep dark well of obscurity. She was hurt but the hurt couldn’t touch the inner walls of new found ‘self’, Mridula slapped him back. Raag couldn’t understand what just happened. Mridula kept glaring at him, burning the very existence of him. He was startled from within, and couldn’t withstand the aura of hers. After that day, she never heard back from him, neither did she wanted to. She learned that it was never enough to love someone unconditionally, the way one deserves to love oneself.

Years later when she flipped through the pages of her yesteryears she realized that had it not been for those scars she would not have become the person she is now. “Madam, it’s time for your flight”, her assistant woke her from her daydreaming. She was waiting for her maiden flight to London to attend a conference of UN. Perhaps she finally flapped her wings to fly high in unknown spheres of her sky.