It’s one of those days, or should I say nights — dark windows, darker outside the windows. Pitch dark, and biting cold. The sky is grey, freezing drops of rain are falling. The wind is sighing, showing ominous signs of oncoming large snowflakes. The winter weather is upon us – stubborn, moody, heartless and unforgiving. That time of the year when the landscape takes control of our lives, the negative temperature on the weather app overshadows our very existence.
Life feels hard when we don’t have any control over our days; and its definitely harder letting the inanimate weather take control of our lives. It is kinda depressing listening to the sighs of the wind – the sad, loud, chilly sighs of this cold arctic wind which is going to be around for some time now. It is hard to look up at the vast, unrelenting grey skies day after day, every day! Hard to hand over the control of our lives to something that looks so calm and harmless from the windows of our living rooms.
But this depressing weather got me thinking today. Winter is harsh but it also preserves. Food labels always tell us to store foods in a cold, dark place so that they last longer. Winter has this quality of preserving life, like it preserves a seed – so that it blooms in the best possible way when the spring arrives. So let’s take this season to pause and reflect and see within, nourish our bodies with healthy foods and our souls with some self-reflection, so that when the spring arrives we are ready for it for all our worth. Winter is a friend in disguise; and this wintry night sky with all its glory and vastness will open into a new horizon as soon as the spring comes.
It’s that time of the year again. Just three more weeks to go and we will be in 2017. Every year, in December, I am forced to ask myself the same question; where did the year go, what did I accomplish this year, what did I learn! We blink, and the year is gone. Hard to believe.
Every year, I resolve to do something, usually something fancy but I only end up breaking my resolves. We all do that, don’t we. ‘Resolutions are meant to be broken;’ this is what I hear when I whine about not sticking to mine. I am yet to meet someone who, at the end of the year, would say that they have stuck to their resolution of the year gone by. Maybe resolutions are meant to be broken, we stick to them for a month or two and then off they go. This got me thinking. Instead of a breakable resolution, I am going to make an unbreakable promise to myself this year.
My promise to myself for the coming year is basic and very generic ‘Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karoon.‘ Plain and simple. It’s a phrase from one of the religious hymns of the Sikhs and it means that ‘I will make up my mind and be a winner, at everything and everytime.’ Be it at work, at school, at home, in life, in the gym. Anywhere and everywhere. You get the drift.
This seemingly puts a lot of pressure on me and could be an energy-drain, but in reality it’s a simple tenet to live by and easy to follow. Do whatever you want to do, but put your heart and soul into it and come out a winner. Do not do anything half-heartedly. Most of us perform better under pressure, and this is pressure of a good kind. I am definitely one of those people who need a sword hanging on their head to get better results and personally I think this is much easier to stick on to rather than a simple and (seemingly easy) task of losing weight ( which tests your will power at an extreme level. )
In today’s struggle of finding a work-life balance, we must excel at everything we do any which way. So in a way, we are used to this difficult promise without even being aware of it. So Happy New Year 2017, all you lovely people and be the best you can in this new year. And don’t forget to spread some love in this wonderful world.
xoxo, the yoga cookie
We talk about everything, don’t we! At least we want to.
We talk about things. Mundane, everyday things, and of their nothingness. We talk about people we met, and about people we wish we didn’t. People who left and those who stayed. The goodbyes we said, and the ones we didn’t. The winter that is coming, the journeys ahead, the ones already completed!
Chaotic, insignificant details of our busy lives. Isn’t it fun, you telling me and me telling you, about the crazy, but also inconsequential details sprinkled throughout our days. You, on the highway. Me on the treadmill. My obsession to Instagram, and my fancy camera. You lecturing me on finances. This small world, with little things that brighten our days. Imaginary lives, nostalgia trips. We talk about forest fires, and falling rain. Places we have been, and the ones we are yet to visit. People-watching, name-calling, gossiping, weaving stories – long, banal, useless stories. How much I love wine, and you your crown royal. Childhood memories, those anecdotes, these conversations. You feel like an ally now. Not a friend, but an ally. Listening to me go on and on about Pablo Neruda and that vague fragrance, the way a new book smells, or an old one. The romance of a train journey, the beauty of fall. This snow globe we live in, and the falling snow!
We never talk about hopes though. Never about how I want to cling to that hope. We never acknowledge our broken hearts, and their resilience. We keep so many secrets from each other. Never ask each other stuff – that’s the rule, your rule. We talk about dreamy poetry, never about dreams though. This is not a complaint, or a rant. This is a wish. I want these conversations to go on forever. Talk to me about whatever you want, but do talk!
As a teenager, I had always thought that a loving relationship was the best gift you could give yourself. But as I grew up and learnt the ways of the world, I found out that a lot of things could give you the same sense of security as love. Money, friends and partying (yes, I was insane.)
Now, in my thirties, I have again reverted to my teenage theory of love being the best. Only there is one addition this time: Yoga. Yoga and love are so alike. You are lost, confused, unsure, bad day at work or even a bad hair day. Love and yoga can fix everything, for a large majority at least.
It’s early morning. I stand on my mat, trying to find my ground. Inhale, hands in prayer position. I lengthen my spine, raise my hands up to reach the sky and bend forward to touch my feet. And I am immediately filled with humility and serenity, and strength to complete my daily rounds of Sun Salutations. Coupled with breath awareness and om recitation, this can be a complete tool of mental, physical and spiritual well being.
Not different from love at all. Bad day at work, nothing in place and too much work. I am doubtful and stressed. I get home and walk into his arms; and suddenly miles away from stress. Serene and calm. The fact that I have someone who loves me for who I am and not what I do is re-assuring. I walk tall again, completely sure of my place in the world!
XO, the yoga cookie
“I opened the window, and my heart. Sun filled my room and love filled my soul.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Put the phone in your pocket. Take a long walk. Feel the cool breeze on your face. Look at the kids play. Hear them laugh. Laugh with them. Go out. Discover your own neighborhood. Go see how much it has changed. Meet a friend. From your childhood. Have a heart to heart.
Read a poem, not from google, but from a book. An old, musty, dog-eared book. See how gorgeous it feels in your hands. Scribble a note. Write a letter. To that one friend, who was not in touch. Talk about old times. The nostalgia. Bond.
Lose your phone. Get a map. Lose yourself in a new city. Appreciate the beauty around you. Learn love, learn to love. Give it away freely. Understand. Be sensitive. Be vulnerable. Be open. Be kind. Be free. Flow. Like the wind that blows through your hair.
Go see the moon. Go see the stars. Contemplate. Look at the vastness of the dark night sky. Go take that road. The one you never do. Step out of familiarity. Step out of your routine. Step out of your comfort zone. Get a reason to live. Go chase that reason.
Go search for a story. Your story. Your purpose. Go away, far far away. And come back, for the simple pleasure of that walk back home!
love, the yoga cookie xo