Come pause a minute,

Sit with me awhile,

and share your thoughts...

03 April 2015

The other day...

Some of us colleagues were talking on how short we are on one very important thing - listening.

The conversation moved on to how many kids could be drawn back from getting into wrong habits or doing wrong things if only someone would listen to their conversations - one would then be able to detect undertones which are really cries for help.

Even with each other, how often we just don't keep quiet and listen - we're in such a hurry to give our point of view, or solve their problem (which they haven't even asked us to help with), or just to show we are know-it-alls and have all the answers. Why can't we just keep quiet? For all you know - and it often is so - while the person is talking, and we are giving them our ear - QUIETLY - they figure out their own solutions. All they needed was the reassurance of our presence - that's all.

In my meditation, that evening, I came across this wonderful quote:

Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

So true - and so what we don't do...

I've talked about identity before...

Came across another very do-able and understand-able take on identity.

This is from the Brain Pickings Weekly newsletter. It features Margaret Mead and James Baldwin on Identity, Race, the Immigrant Experience, and Why the "Melting Pot" Is a Problematic Metaphor.

Identity is something we claim for ourselves, then must assert willfully to the world:

You've got to tell the world how to treat you. If the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble.

You see, I think we have to get rid of people being proud of their ancestors, because after all they didn't do a thing about it. What right have I to be proud of my grandfather?

I can be proud of my child if I didn't ruin her, but nobody has any right to be proud of his ancestors.



And so draw their sense of identity from them (our ancestors)...

Creating our identity is something we have to do ourselves, for ourselves.

Something to munch on...

Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat.

There are many kinds of silences...

One is total silence when the body, mind and soul are at one - are at peace - and are quiet. There are no thoughts scurrying across, no memos niggling at the back of the mind and nothing poking or needling the soul. All are still creating a sense of complete and restful calm.

There is another silence when words hang in the air like drops of water waiting to condense on the nearest surface regardless of time and place and who's around.

And there is another silence which is sheer hostility - where the words though unspoken, ping on your vulnerabilities and send out barbs of deep hurt, never mind who is around...

31 March 2015

You can overcome fear...

that fear that blinds - physically, mentally, emotionally

that drives away all ability to think - every last bit of it

that makes you a victim, sometimes without your even knowing it, till something brings you up short and you ruefully tell yourself - there...it happened again...

that morphs you into something horribly sad

that puts its claws in deep into your very soul

that makes you think you don't have a chance

that tries to keep you in its grip, making you feel that being free is actually not a good thing....



This 'fear' thing is so debilitating, and some of us spend and have spent so many years on it, knowing - somewhere deep inside - that the only way to really live is to live without fear. No one likes to be afraid....no one. And fear is such a terrible thing that it knows exactly who to get its claws into, and when.


Whereas, actually, in reality

You don't have to fear anything...


However,

This is not easy to do - it takes practice not to be afraid (self talk - I am not afraid; You have no power over me; I am not going to give in to you; and so on). It takes vigilance not to let fear creep up inside of you...It takes strength of mind and determination to push it out the instant you see it coming on...



The best part is that it can be done.

24 March 2015

Learnt a great deal today more about women...

from the place where I'm serving...

learnt how much suffering women carry around in their hearts as they stoically go on and on and on...

learnt how the only way to break a woman is through her daughter...for a woman can take everything except the tears of suffering of her daughter...

learnt how a woman will do all she can to see that her daughter is happy in her in-law's home...even up to spending money she can ill afford if it meant buying her daughter at least some peace of mind...

learnt how much a woman can hold in her heart...and hold it in silence...

learnt how accepting a woman is of a lot that she may not have ever wished for, have ever dreamt would be hers, or even agree with...

learnt how a woman sees her dreams broken one by one by one, even as she keeps the smile pasted on her face...

learnt how a woman grapples with a fate she never thought would be hers, and tries to be cheerful about it...

learnt how a woman finds her own freedom and space and learns how to hang on to it and keep it against all odds - for that is the only place where she can let her heart roam...

learnt how women try to balance their place in society, at home, and in their workplace...

learnt how women try to protect their reputation knowing that always the first stone is always thrown at them...and that stone invariably comes from someone in their own home...

learnt how a woman who wants to educate herself and work will not let anything or anyone stand in her way - like water she flows on till she finds the route that will let her get these two things...

learnt how protective a woman can be of the weak links in her family...

learnt how women immediately form a fierce and protective shield around a woman who has been hurt by a man...

learnt how women give tips to other women about how to deal with difficult situations in the home...especially when it is related to the mother-in-law...

learnt how sometimes it takes just one hurtful word or call or look to make a seemingly strong woman crumble...

learnt how a woman can be diminished if the men in her family relentlessly go on at her...and yet she goes on and on, till she can go on no longer...and even then she will make one last-ditch effort to redeem herself...

learnt that a woman can take a whole-whole-whole lot before anything finally breaks her...

learnt too that when things don't work out for a woman, some of the first stones that get thrown at her are by women who live in glass houses...

learnt that these women who belong to this small town and do not have the kind of access to things that big city women have, are braver, tougher-without-being-rough, more down-to-earth, more silent and hence stronger in their silence, have more laughter and are more unselfishly supportive of each other...

I still have some more time here with them, and I hope I can absorb more of them for after all I am of this same soil...

19 March 2015

Another brutality...

this one has ended in death at the age of 40 years. Suzette Jordan was fearless....but they crucified her with their callousness....men stalked her and society ostracized and humiliated her. She was a single mother. Her beloved daughter wrote of her:

http://theladiesfinger.com/my-mother-suzette-jordan/

The Chief Minister dismissed the incident cruelly saying it was "cooked up" and "an attempt to malign the government."

Ms Damayanti Sen, IPS, first woman joint commissioner of Kolkata police (Crime), differed. She worked with Suzette and nabbed all but one of the accused. Sen was transferred.

Read for yourself, and once again ask how we can help these women - they are as important as we are to our Maker...and we should never, ever, ever treat with unkindness anyone who has gone through this experience...Only love and inclusion could have helped Suzette Jordan. May her soul find peace. Sending love and positive energies to her lovely daughters. Suzette lives on through them - nothing can destroy that fact....

http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Kolkatas-Park-Street-rape-survivor-dies/articleshow/46551499.cms

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/why-india-hated-suzette-jordan-she-defied-every-stereotype-of-a-rape-survivor/#_ga=1.212817108.1334723767.1425541977

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kolkata-police-officer-who-solved-park-street-rape-case-removed/1/183041.html