ROOTS

I sat on the twinkled roots, old enough

In awe, clutched and twisted in thoughts,

Memoirs rising above the ground, from grave

My roots not so decayed and decomposed.

 

Reminded me of the journey etched in my diary,

Regret, no that’s not in dictionary, rooted in darkness,

Unable to wind up and decipher words in the woods

Uncertain where roots belong, that binds me to ground.

 

Tried to uproot, so as to forget, and forgive you, but

The cradle of thoughts, brought deeper into heart’s tissues

That bled, in resilience fruits of love that is time tested

The tree provided shades, covering love stories buried alive.

 

You planted a “forget-me-not” seed that went deep

Yes, ripping the ground of reality into a dream come true

You cannot re-discover the pain of penetration in heart

I only can feel the pain of retaining the roots of love.

 

Like the roots that clutch the earth, carrying life for the tree

Life being short, not to worry, but move on the way to witness

I wondered and listened to the whispers of leaves above roots as

I pass through the passage between memories eyes closed.

 

Like roots carry nectar to heart of tree, your

Love comforts, consoles, soothe my nerves

Making me a treasure house of pleasures in thoughts

Making me pause and feel about our relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of the unknown

2016, we are almost close to changing the calendar. In front of us lie 365 days of uncertainty. I looked into the fear of unknown that hangs in some of our minds, on how the year is or going to be. After all this moment is a dot in the straight line of what unfolded and the next split second is an extension on the same straight line.

Steve job at the age of 20 started a company with two people at his parent’s garage and became a two billion dollar company in ten years. S he was fired he started new ventures NEXT and PIXAR. Steve was back. Rest is history. Heaviness of success he said replaced the lightness of the beginner in him.

In his last words before he succumbed he said: “Aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth: Perhaps relationships, art, and a dream from younger days. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. The wealth I have I cannot take. What I can is only memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.”

Does it ring a bell in your mind?

Fear is within the human existence. It’s part of us. But in this context of the variety of fears what we confront is the risk of failure. We are afraid to try because we expect failure. However, if we reduce the cost of attempt, by experimenting, we reduce the cost of failure. Remember, every experiment has a perspective. The value of the opportunity if we succeed – the value of the people or situations we meet in the experiment and the exit value, value of the knowledge one gain in the process that may be applied elsewhere. Failures make us learn and add value to our asset – Knowledge.

“We do NOT fear the unknown, we fear what we think we know of the unknown” – Teal Swan.  We give meanings for the unknown. It is better to fall in love with uncertainty and be with it. Resist the fear of uncertainty and we lose all what we have. When we are born we are endorsed with what we call love. But as we progress we learn and mature with fear. Unlearning fear and relearning love in abundance is the transformation Steve spoke about.

Concern and curiosity provide us with answers that charge our minds with courage. Handle fear of unknown. Worrying actually reduces our capability to take decisions provided by uncertainty. It impairs judgments. As we are closer to the new 2017, let us open up our minds without fear and with courage based on decisive actions to deal with those unknown to us.

Isn’t our expectation and desires that takes us forward. Gaps between those and real are stressed situations. Handling uncertain moments is easy if our expectations are positive, that propel inner magnetic vibrations reflect energy. Ambition should be based on ability to do the best every moment.

Imagination is innovative. Visualize the best to happen. Let the mind and heart get thrilled with the elixir of imagination. Then we can resolve jigsaw puzzles of uncertainty and create a map for progress as we pass through 2017. Falling is easy getting up tougher. Wake up, bless and love and share what we can, as nothing belongs to us. Trust instincts; faith brings miracles.

It is unpredictability that provides options. Difficult times produce better results as we innovate and think better. It is a happy year ahead.

Be aware. Be blessed. Enjoy the new year – 2017.

Life – No explanations needed …. Just smile.

g p n

31st October, 2015. Some reflections enriched my way of looking at life on this day. We were at our grandson’s school as grandparents for a celebration. The function well organized had music, dance and speeches and ended up with a game for grandparents! Age plays, when energy wanes and enthusiasm dies, but this get together reset my mood. I asked “when did I last behave like a child” – as I watched my wife play the game for grandparents. That gave me a chance to peep back.

Later I was at the beach watching our grandson play with the waves. Waves and tides have their own rhythm not set by anyone’s directives. I listened to the roar of the waves. I watched sea gulls flying above trying to catch their feed and almost immersed into myself looking at my grandson getting wet in the sea. Over a time, I stretched my thoughts listening to myself. Standing at the beach, I realized the vastness of the universe and the insignificant me. I felt it’s nice to grow down rather than growing up. I listened intensely to my inner self.

A bit later, I applied “reverse gear” on my life. I etched and browsed into my past. Times have really changed. I thought of my grandparents both from paternal and maternal side. They both taught immense lessons. For a while I closed my eyes and dipped into my young days. I recollected times when my parents held my little finger as we walked to the beach. All of a sudden I recalled watching an aircraft in the sky as a child. I wanted to fly. My parents said that it was not possible, because we did not have enough! Later, I flew to continents. I realized then contentment or “enough is enough” feeling is needed to curtail excessive desires. Like the tides and waves; opportunities keep knocking at your doorstep to create destiny. Not to worry – much! Abundance persists but we need to find that in us and around us.

Aren’t we adults, obsolete children?

Standing at the beach side I probed? Did I set priorities in context while growing up to be a good grandparent?

As a school child, I studied at a convent school and moved to a nearby German Missionary initiated High School. The first year in College opened up as a gift. Then I had exposure to work and to learn. I remembered writing a story watching the stars rising during one of those sun-set as a student. The stars will rise and the sun will set as a routine. Priorities keep shifting. But we need to play with times. Our childhood may be over; that does not mean play time is over.

On 31st October watching my wife playing the game, I remembered the book “Games People Play” – written by Eric Berne. We need to switch between child – parent and adult. That helps us to appreciate the never ending child in us, to reinvent ourselves as we grow.

We need to be happy – to be happy for no particular reason. If we identify and seek happiness for a reason we may be in trouble. Live the moments. Otherwise that particular reason that we identified for our happiness may be taken away from us.

As I went for my usual morning walk, I observed a number of grandparents, either taking their grand children to school bus, holding their hands and playing with them, watching them play hide and seek or just gracing the greens in the garden.

I looked at them. That lit my inner self. It was possible after I listened intensely to myself, introspected on life and reset my priorities to feel good. Now I find I need not have a particular reason to be happy.

I smiled at all those grandparents who returned their smiles. Grand children also smiled – No reasons assigned!

Hide & Seek

 

As I un-wrapped a packet of “Hide & Seek” biscuit this morning after a walk at Sarovaram Park, I got myself engrossed to wrap up in thoughts.

This is not about the biscuits but about the varied thoughts that enter our mind when we are awake and per dreams in our sub-conscious minds when we are asleep. I am told that on an average more than 50,000 thoughts come across as we pass the day.

I walked through the park with Sujit my friend’s son who works in US and we spoke about the thoughts that matter. In that circle of 50,000 thoughts, a few handfuls of them may be called as areas of influence and the rest are areas of concern where we have nothing to do. But that’s the area where we spend our energies most, is that right? A bird sang songs as we were in the discussions. The sun was rising up for the day. On the sides of the narrow path where we walked, fallen leaves like those who completed their terms of life’s journey reminded me of the short period that we are here on the surface of earth.

Asked myself – why do we get mood swings? Let’s come CLOSER to undersatnd. We undergo change in our moods as feelings affect us through thoughts both positive and negative. Unfortunate it is that there appears no filter is in our minds, to get positive thoughts always. We need to understand this and witness the more than 50,000 thoughts that flow past our minds. Someone said – thoughts come as visitors, let them come and go.

Long back my colleague Shaik Iqbal in Saudi Arabia spoke about Lean concept. Later I learnt Six Sigma Lean concept. These are approaches that make things simple, less complicated, more productive and value added. “Minimalism” probably connotes the same where we tend to be minimalistic in our materialistic desires.

Probably the silence as we walked around made me think with a back drop of natural surroundings on a chill atmosphere of January morning.

I also looked at the variances between desire that leads to pleasure and need that leads to action. It transgresses in our minds and lay out a channel that needs probing. I also tried to pick up threads on values that relate to others and karma that relates specifically to our-self.

In a multiplex world with changing social behaviors our minds pass through multiplex levels of thoughts to understand and judge good and bad or right and wrong. We tend to sit in judgment with the balance hanging in front, on each of those 50,000 thoughts and corrupt our valuable time to wasteful paths. After all who are we to judge and conclude the righteousness of each and individual episode? We did not create most of it and so be it.

Let us get across to areas of influence where our effort may find a solution to us and others involved. Are those areas of influences anything more than two or three in a day? May be may not be. But a mathematical evaluation can prove that we spend most of our time where we do not satisfy ourselves. We lose to see the current, the NOW part of our journey called life. With less than 65 years of a standard life estimated we hardly have just about 23,000 days. If we consider the best part that we can utilize we have about 15,000 days. If we give ourselves a rough cut we hardly have productive days as 10,000. On a LEAN concept, if our minimalism ideas were to work out during these 10,000 days multiplied by 50,000 thoughts we need to still handle nearly 50 Crore thoughts of wasteful energy. Look at that number that we may have to handle if we consider 10,000 days and a maximum of 3 thoughts of influence it still amounts to 30,000 thoughts! Imagine if we do not re-set our desires to need based action we clog our minds with thoughts that spoil our days. I would never have heard the singing of birds or located the fallen leaves and had a second look at the rising sun and its HIDE & SEEK that makes up our good and bad days.

Most of the things we desire are expensive, but most of what makes us happy are available free – like love and share, giving and forgiving, or for that matter the song of the birds or a breeze in the air. We need to keep calm, as nothing including these thoughts last forever. We need to be aware of our mood swings and ensure we do not mix our words with moods as we communicate. Moods change but words cannot be erased. We need to live and enjoy and be happy with our lives and not just EXIST. With a purpose driven life, direction is also important otherwise we wander without reaching our goals.

In the name of pretext we HIDE many things and SEEK many even if we really are not in need. We mostly tend to pass through black and white and not see the rainbows of colors that exist at the reach of our minds.

Let’s come closer to the facts that drive us. Let’s find the direction we are leading to achieve our goals. Let’s re-visit priorities that set us to enjoy the limited days in our lives to be happy and make others happier.

For this let us peep into the past by the click of reverse button and find – did we attempt to do what makes us happy? As William Faulkner said – “Past is never dead, it is not even PAST”.

Each of us may find a new clue and a new key that opens up corridors of happiness in our hearts and around us with a surge to open windows of yet another chance to be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is STATIC; nothing PERMANENT

It was a down pour with thunder and lightning as unexpected in an evening, early November. I watched the street lights and vehicular traffic from the window pane, enjoying the clouds above and lightning with deafening sound of thunder. Pouring it was from the heavens above and as I watched with passing light beams that fell on the road, steamed vapours were moving up as the rain drops hit the hot road surface. It made me think – it’s about a cycle, water vapor moves up, form clouds and comes down again – like the life cycle we undergo. Nothing is static or permanent – it is part of the cycle with ups and downs.

We have changed and some of us change fast. The question is about the change in the environment we live in with a drive that’s made possible by technology where the reach is immeasurable, advantages overweighing imaginative umbrellas that used to bind us earlier.

In this context Sikka, CEO of Infosys made a statement recently – “Seeing is believing” need to change to “believing is seeing”.

With so much change, people and organizations must adapt, learn and become comfortable with change. It is this competency to adapt and manage change that is needed. It may seem difficult due to barriers in culture, structure and routine ways of looking at things impacting the past that reflect resistance to change.

Technology motivates innovations that outpace our internal moves. We see often than not old brands becoming obsolete replaced with new ones in the market place. People who adapt fast create a competitive advantage, while people who refuse to change are left behind. Belief in self is a criterion to change.

The importance of readiness to adapt is a consent that precedes management of change. While culture issues can influence as barriers to change can also support change.  The world over culture has transformed and changed. There is no such thing as a perfect culture.

According to Oettingen: – We need more than just the dream; we need “mental contrasting,” by which we visualize obstacles that stand in the way of achieving it. Naming the hurdles, she says, helps us to find a way over them.

The vast potential received as gift when we are born need to be utilized. Zig Ziglair says – when you catch a glimpse of your potential, passion is born. It is wisdom to know others; it is enlightenment to know one’s self – Lao-Tzu. Magic is to believe in us and make smart moves.

The topic of discussion is – “Nothing is static; nothing permanent” and it’s nice to have this story.

A management consultant, on holiday in a Kerala fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock on the shore. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch fish.

“Not very long.” answered the fisherman, close to Kovalam.

“Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?

The fisherman said that his catch was sufficient to meet needs and expenses of his family.

“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep till I wake up, fish a little, play with my children have an afternoon’s nap under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the nearby gathering to see friends, have “kallu” (country liquor), and sing a few songs….. I have a full and happy life”.

The consultant thought to advice – “I can help you…… You should start by fishing longer and sell extra fish you catch. With that extra, you buy a bigger boat. With that extra buy a larger boat, a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with big buyers and maybe open your own process plant and start export. You can then leave this place move to a city or maybe even to some other country, and you become a millionaire”

“How long would that take?”

“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.”

“And after that?”

“And after that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the consultant, laughing, “When your business gets really huge, you start selling shares in your company and make millions!”

“And after that?”

“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small island, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends…”

“That’s what I am doing right now” said the fisherman and went his way.

The moral of this story is in a rush, that supersede own interests, to match the speed of changes it’s passion that ignite us to live realizing  values of our interests and ideals and have a “FEEL GOOD FACTOR”  that we cannot buy.

Our mind goes through over 50,000 thoughts in a day – and a large part of these thoughts have a negative connotation. This is the area that we should discard and work on the area of influence. That filters and reduces the ups and downs of the thoughts.

Believe in yourself and trust the Universe by letting go of our incessant desire to control all our outcomes is possible by trusting the Universe and its evolution.

Trusting the universe and accepting what happens helps us to reduce the peaks and troughs of our concerns that bring in an experience of peace.

Clouds will turn into rain and rise again, anyway.

Everything changes ...

Everything changes …

Strategy - Yes Plan - Yes Hurry - NO

Strategy – Yes
Plan – Yes
Hurry – NO

Just a Moment . . . please.

I was cooking yesterday with spices and herbs and the dish reminded me of Opor Ayam that we enjoyed in Bali.  With a simmering heat, I was passing through feelings garnished with aroma and colour changes. Then I turned to make a dessert and as I passed through the mood and ambience, remembered my old friend Sameer Al-Khadravi, with whom I enjoyed Basboosa a curd soaked, coconut sprinkled, syrup drenched, semolina based dessert. When the work was done I realized the flavor of that moment.

 

As days come and nights fall, we still request “Just a moment, please.” – That moment I realized after cooking made me think of time. We lose time and its value as we engage in innumerable activities at work or otherwise. As someone said – time appears like a river in flow, we cannot hold or touch the same molecule of water again, and so enjoy every moment in life. We also come across moments that make us happy and at times sad. Life we need to understand is a song, played in background with a piano, in rhythm. A piano has white and black keys, white representing happy and black sad moments – but the music is enhanced by playing both the keys in a measure of composition.

 

“We do not remember days; we remember moments” CeSare Pavese said. Sometimes we do not know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Time has elapsed by then.

 

Either we spend our time in search of what has gone by or what is in store for us. We tend to evaluate and procrastinate we tend to plan and plan more with an “analysis paralysis syndrome”. We tend to reach our own destinations fast, ignoring the journey. In that process we forget to seek direction for arriving at the destination. We indulge in internal dialogues and loose silence within to introspect and learn. We lose the True North as we move ahead in lives. True North and Magnet North are different. True North emanates from own bottom line – the “Lakshman Rekha” a line of compromises, a balance between moments that makes up time.  That defines the moment of truth. Like that I got while in the Kitchen. Good moments reconnect to the wonderful moments of the past like that of Opor ayam and basboosa.

 

Lessons learnt are simple– we need to change and amend as we pass by time. When we come across road blocks on our journey of life we find alternatives. The moments that pass by need to be taken care of. Not to worry about what has gone by or what is yet to be disclosed by nature. Moments are interludes on the thread of time. It’s difficult with a wandering mind to accept and practice, the mere idea of enjoying the miniscule of time that can provide comfort.

 

Just a MOMENT, please.

Just a MOMENT, please.

 

Albert Einstein said “Time is an illusion.” – That applies well to a mind that gets confused in dealing with TIME. A corollary to that is what Alan Wilson said – “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”  I practice using two imaginary compartments of my brain – a DUST BIN and a FREEZER: what I cannot influence by my effort on time scale, I use DUST BIN and that I need to re-visit, use FREEZER.

 

Being a professional I came across many sessions that dealt with TIME MANAGEMENT. Those sessions tell us how to manage time as a resource. But I tend to believe what Mahatma Gandhi said:  “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”

 

My wife at times remind me of not being on time is as well good. Right – Wrong? God has perfect timing, never early never late. It takes a little patience and a little faith – but it’s worth the wait. It may not be visible as a perfect time.

 

Moments are precious, it is infinitely creative – and the place we are connected is bountiful; we need to work on the moments and make it sustainable. If the mind wander and leave moments to history we lose our lives. Our own mind acts as our main enemy and we underperform. Nothing comes from outside, everything is generated and achieved from within – it’s our own thought, to feel the moments that pass by and recognize and align hopes that try and match with reality as moments pass into history. Inhabit in those lovely moments, feel them and do not leave it for someone else to occupy – its precious; it’s yours. Our emotions affect every part of our cell, mind and body, mental and physical – let go when you cannot control it.

 

Nothing is really good or bad, but thinking shapes the outcome. As time clicks let’s move on that much travelled grey path, where many have traversed without seeking the perfect white or black that do not exist. Un-certainty is best dealt by being at this moment – the only moment of truth.

 

In our lives, when we lose direction that leads to success, we may find we are NOT really doing anything right. My friend’s wife is immobile and depends upon an object to walk. This is for the last twenty years, and he supports her in all aspects of running the house and managing their full time social and spiritual activities, a sublime act that forgets about past and future. Another family friend Rati, who owns “Rat’s Brushworks”, is on her own though she is unable to mend herself for most of her own daily routines. She finds time with children and colours and teaches them the art of painting that she marvels in. Both create an ambience of happiness enjoying the precious moments that makes their lives.

In the end what matters is taking ownership of the moments that makes up our lives. Living abundantly because we have abundant capabilities and potential, that is the core of the theme of “Just a Moment, please”.  Werner Heisenberg, Nobel Prize winning physicist summed it up: – Atoms or elementary particles are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities”.

 

We need to appreciate the value and potential of the moments that pass by, once passed we cannot touch them like the flow of water in the river, believe in the possibilities and enjoy the moment with passion and life into it.