Come pause a minute,

Sit with me awhile,

and share your thoughts...

20 January 2015

De-stress? Detox? Relax...

the place to go is Cancio's House, Aldona, Goa.

The Amarals are a warm family - Roberto and Raquel and their three children take you straight to their heart - even the dogs and cat welcome you happily; you're in the lap of nature; there's good food and music......what more could you want?

Besides the 'have-to-be-done' sights to be seen in Old Goa, Roberto and Raquel put together a sight-seeing plan which shows the real heart of Goa. There's even a fort in Aldona - The Corjuem Fort!! Gorgeous sunsets, hot buns straight from the ancient oven, lazily strolling to Steve's Pub & Grub place, homemade wine, the 'Teen Mansher' sluice gates......what are you missing? Nothing...In fact, you feel blessed to be in this quiet, beautiful village. The crowning moments are when Roberto takes you on the speedboat, of which he is the skipper, down the beautiful Aldona River to the high seas. The Arabian sea, with its wealth of exotic history, is fabulous, and the dolphins are a treat to watch. In the distance, one can see ships clothed in mist - reminds one of Capt. Jack Sparrow??!!!

Roberto explained the concept of susegad which is associated with Goa. It is derived from the Portuguese word sossegado which means quiet. Sadly, the word has acquired negative connotations and is taken to mean a relaxed attitude and enjoyment of life. Roberto was quick to tell us that this is not what susegad meant. It means contentment, and being at peace with yourself. Raquel and Roberto certainly embody this concept for you cannot find two people who live their passion for their home, and their interests.

How many of us can claim this? After a visit to Aldona, living at the Amaral's ancestral home - Cancio's House - this concept seems the only way to and do things and be in a way that you are at peace with yourself...

Cancio's House
Corjuem Fort
The village road

Sunset in Aldona

Aldona River
Teen Munsher

19 January 2015

What a woman may be...

The tussle is between what we may be or might be and our conditioning which begins in childhood.

Most of us are quite happy coasting along on our conditioning, till adversity strikes. This adversity could be in the form of what you thought of as a strong relationship gone sour and beyond repair, or a financial setback, hard times, or deep suffering for one reason or another.

It is then that we start questioning our conditioning because it does not fill the gaps left by this change of circumstances. We start questioning ourselves and this is the worst and the longest to get over, because we are questioning our conditioning and all that has been ingrained in us over the years. Once free from, and of, this conditioning, come the feelings of revolt. Here again there is a mini tussle, for every woman's mode of revolt is different. This not only comes from what defines her, but she also realizes that this is what defines her. Gradually, very, very gradually, a future starts to take shape, and she discovers that she can carve a way out.

Finally, she realizes that she can love herself....she has gone through so much - that is proof enough that she ought to love herself....Those who are close to her love her for what she is, but it could well be that she has still has not recognized and appreciated her own qualities (could be remnants of the conditioning are holding her back). If she can hang on to herself, hang on with all her might, then she will be free to live as she a manner that she would want to live.

It is not easy - this self-discovery and this launching out on a new voyage. But others have done it, and they remain the beacon for us...

Germaine Greer sums it thus: “In the struggle to remain a complete person and to love from her fullness instead of her inadequacy a woman may appear hard. She may feel her early conditioning tugging her in the direction of surrender, but she ought to hang on to herself and not find herself nagging, helpless, irritable and trapped. Perhaps I am not old enough yet to promise that the self-reliant woman is always loved, but she cannot be lonely as long as there are people in the world who need her joy and her strength, but certainly in my experience it has always been so."

And Maya Angelou, my role model adds: My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style!

09 January 2015

If you pray...

long enough (or meditate long enough) and hard enough about a crisis situation that you may find yourself in, you'll see that messages about what to do, how to go about it, how to think and many other related and viable ways of thinking come across your path. It almost seems as if the Universe is gathering the material that you need just at this point and is sending them to you. You have to give your situation your full attention - only then will you see the pattern in what the Universe is sending you. Only then will you be able to see that your life has been leading you to this point and whether it works or not, you will also be given the strength to bear and overcome.

Believe me - it is true for I am walking this path.

The only thing is that since this is your life, you must battle/reason/work with it by yourself. Not even the most well-meaning person can fully grasp or understand your pain or your questions/doubts/apprehensions. No one can take away the pain - you have to deal with it, and absorb it by and into yourself. Another thing is that if you ask too many people - as it sometimes happens, when the pain is too much and you run from here to there wondering what to do - chances are that there will be too many opinions offered, most of them conflicting ones. You cannot shift the responsibility for the taking of your decision on anyone - not even the one you love the most with your whole life - simply because it is your life and you have to live one else can live it for you...

Jesus walked this lonesome valley - He had to walk it by Himself - Oh nobody else could walk it for Him - He had to walk it by Himself....

Likewise each one of us.

06 January 2015

Roll with the punches...

Having popped up more than once during my reading in these past few days, I felt this phrase had a message for me.

Read up on it on the Net, and here's what I found.

To roll with the punches means:

Every time life throws an unexpected turn, go with it - don't fight it or try to get even.

When things don't go your way, adapt to the changes and keep moving ahead instead of flipping out.

If something unexpected happens that might be negative, don't let it get to you - instead, adapt to the situation; handle life's hardships.

To cope with and withstand adversity, especially by being flexible.

Quite a deep hidden message...and one to be taken very seriously...

02 January 2015

This New Year's Day...

has been a day of retrospection and looking forward...

I am at a crossroads of my life...

22 December 2014

Can you imagine...

Christmas without a Christmas tree? We choose spruces, firs and pines for our Christmas tree. What we don't realize is how incredible these trees are.

According to this article I read - Five things you didn't know about Christmas ( - these trees can 'survive drastic temperature swings, grow to towering heights and create ecosystems that shelter strange and wonderful creatures.' They, in fact, have touch, tenacious lives.

I asked myself why these particular trees were chosen at this particular time, for this particular celebration. Yes, we put the wreath on the front door to welcome everyone, and light the Advent candles to remember the birth of Jesus, but I had never wondered why this particular tree was chosen as the Christmas tree.

At home, the Christmas tree had pride of place in our garden, and come the days after Thanksgiving, my Dad would start work on the tree - clipping off the dead leaves, and sprucing it up, painting the pot and then finally with great ceremony the tree would be brought in and kept at the window of the drawing room. We would all get together to decorate it, with carols playing in the background and singing along, and finally my Dad would drape little fairy lights on the tree. This was really special. When we used to come back from our games or late lessons, cycling home in the cold, we'd see the lights twinkling through the was so special.

Today, after reading this article I realize that this tree, this very special tree symbolizes how our life should be. (It doesn't matter whether we have a real tree or an artificial one - the symbolism is the same). While we celebrate the birth of the beloved Christ child, this is the way our lives also should be...tough, tenacious, survive all the drastic swings of life without crumbling or breaking, grow to towering heights in our mind and hearts and above all deep inside us, shelter and be sheltered in the love of the Christ child.

14 December 2014

Life is all about making choices...

and yet to make a choice is the hardest thing to do...right from deciding what to eat, what to wear, what color you want to paint your room

Yet the whole secret of life is that we have the freedom to choose what we want to be...we can choose the attitude we wish to have....we can choose to live life the way we want to live...

And, we have been given a clue, a pointer - we have to choose LIFE. No matter what point we find ourselves in, we always have two ways in front, it is up to us to choose the way that will lift us up.