This week marks a year back in the motherland. And I can’t resist but reflect and evaluate the consequences, the lessons and the experiences that have followed the choices I have made since that day last year on 6 March 2017, when I took my one-way air ticket and got on a plane to change my life, to move back to India after spending almost a decade away in London.
12 month changes, 4 home changes, 3 job changes, multiple friends who came, left or stayed, 100s of cough asthma attacks, 1 hairline rib fracture because of the attacks, 1 iPhone upgrade, a few seasons of Netflix originals, 15 locations, 26 flights, 1 life changing divorce from an organisation I considered the centre of my world, handful of tears but infinite love, laughter & madness..and between all this, India began to feel like home, and yet I sit here watching the changes as they come & go and deep inside the Self remains unchanged. (Sigh) The mystery that is the Science of Love & Oneness!
And swinging and swirling in all these changes, I kept learning and growing. The lessons were many! But here are 20 lessons I have shortlisted that were the key learnings in the last 12 months:
- Life’s choices are all about my happiness & wellbeing. Period. That is the greatest service to the world. The world needs genuinely happy people!
- The chalta hai attitude or the jugaad attitude in india is designed for its doom..or is it? I am still undecided. I think it is situational…that seems diplomatic enough for now.
- Oneness cannot be lived without equality. There are no two ways to this. And equality is the best way to truly love anyone. And love is the best way to truly live!
- PMS is a real thing. It can’t be ignored. Awareness of my own body means I must accept it graciously as yet another regular aspect. Nothing to be ashamed of, no disease to fix, not something to ignore – just awareness and just the art of simply Be-ing.
- People say they are like family. And it’s ok if they don’t feel it. I love them still, but don’t expect anything from them. It might hurt a little, but I will get over it..because so what if some people who said who loved me like they did, didn’t actually. Meh! Also it could be simple misunderstanding. Feeling unloved is a classic creep that crawls into the vacuum created by lack of communication. Beware!
- Dating apps in india are used as a new age substitute for matrimonial sites. Umm.. that is not the point of dating apps guys (& gals)! If people do find their partners then great. But surely that shouldn’t be where the mind is headed even before starting, should it? But then again..who am I to judge. I have used dating apps for networking, for finding new friends, for simply a good conversation I can switch off from on my own terms without offending anyone..to their face :P. And hola to all the new friends I have made! You guys are all awesome! Sorry for friend-zoning you even before we started. But trust me its a very privileged space when it comes to my life.
- A friendship is a precious and valuable relationship..highly underrated in the society. A romantic relationship, on the other hand, is also precious and valuable a relationship..but highly and unnecessarily overrated in the society.
- Travelling opens your mind to new experiences. But it’s a false expectation to translate that experience for others who haven’t done it with you. They can imagine, get glimpses but can’t live it the same way even if they visit it at another time.
- A lot of good ideas with bad implementation is worse than no idea at all. But for lack of better choices, one can appreciate the effort and keep hoping that they get better at the implementation or there are better choices (Hope Modi is listening!)
- A grahastha is one that understands dharma (that which is the essence of something), works for artha (earning), engages in kama (desire gratification) and pursues moksha (permanent infinite freedom & happiness). And because I have chosen this path, it does not mean I am higher or lower than a sanyaasi because its just a different path to the same goal. Not because I can/can’t do it but because this is where I am like a fish in water. Also marriage may or may not be my framework of operation but doesn’t mean I am not a grahastha.
- Achievement/accomplishment, job satisfaction and love – are 3 needs that every human following this path needs fulfilling. And time and effort must be invested into it all.
- If I am working on myself, growing, loving, investing into myself every single day, only then can I truly be secure and loving towards all around me. And that investment has to be at body, mind and intellect level.
- Discipline and ability to humbly learn are the only sure ways to truly do well in anything.
- An apology is like a kiss by the lip to the wounded finger. It needs to be from that same space of love and oneness still, including love and care for oneself. Self-condemnation is never an option.
- A human child born adds ‘average of 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year’. Imagine his/her entire life and all the choices he/she will make that will lead to even more CO2 emissions! What service is it to Mother Earth by giving birth to a new human to add to the climate change trauma she is already feeling, when there are so many orphans waiting to be parented? Showing empathy to the pain of Mother Earth is true parenthood. Of course anyone who chooses otherwise is no less a parent. To each their own and I totally respect each one’s choices. But this is my conviction. Something I pondered upon for years and after moving back I am even more convinced that the world does not need another human from my womb. What it needs is the existing humans to sort themselves out.
- Be it anyone and anything..psychological judgment is not an option.
- The truly selfless love of my Satguru (Ultimate teacher Swami Chinmayananda), my Bodhak Guru (immediate teacher- Nidhi Chaitanya) and my parents is actually unmatchable and I dint realise how much I missed it in its full glory and how much I needed it, until I came back.
- To be a seeker of infinite happiness, one must develop faith in the words of the Guru or the logical content of the words or both.
- A name borrowed from a master, doesn’t mean the organisation lives the master or the vision. One must learn to disassociate the master from an organisation and see the organisation as merely a means to reach a goal. If the means are incapacitated due to lack of maintenance, due to natural degeneration, or inefficient delegation or politics or any reason, then one must change the means. But the goal cannot be compromised. Of course one has choices.
- One can sink with a sinking ship & be a so called martyr. Now this choice sounds rosy but in reality that would probably not be the case because by conforming to the sinking ship, I am training myself to sooner or later be the cause of the sinking ship. ‘If you don’t stand for anything, you fall for everything.’
- Try and save the sinking ship. But for that the fact that the ship is sinking must be a fact all agree to, to start with. If that is a battle one wants to fight then fine. But sometimes the ship is too far sunk to save it as it is.
- Jump off the ship and swim in the vast ocean carrying the master the vision because he/she is the most important one on that ship. Save the master and you save the world.
- India is not perfect. It is a flawed land with many issues. And yet many things lovable and worth being grateful for too. I don’t think it’s the best country. No country can claim that. But I love it because being in a country where you are not an immigrant, not a minority, where family is not a lip service and freedom is not attributed to just a mental state, a country where you belong – it has its joys. And for now I am basking in that joy, surfing through the waves with sass and grace, smothered with love and security from within and without me!
Thank you India. You have been great.