SIMPLY BEING

Tag: self (page 1 of 3)

“I see it, I do nothing”

A long while ago, when I was young and new to the world of social media, I got an email from a friend announcing that she was “unfollowing” me. (I had no idea what “unfollow” meant.) I think my writing was making her awfully angsty, and she strongly wished to respond. But she is a busy, working mother with little time to respond to silly Facebook posts. So she did the next best thing. But she assured me that she wasn’t “cutting ties.” Instead, we would go back to corresponding the old-fashioned way, i.e. email. She also expressed concern about the increasing trend of negative articles that I had been posting.

Huh? Clearly, I was stumped. I wrote back a nice response. Thanks for being so candid, I am well, I have no problems if you wish to unfollow, I try to be cordial and objective, I try to keep away from nasty arguments, etc. etc.

Needless to say, she hasn’t emailed me since, or kept in touch any way, old-fashioned or newfangled.

Another social media friend had started to act all cold and dismissive. Huh? She was warm to me whenever we communicated, so I had no idea what had changed. Then I couldn’t even find her on Facebook. I wondered if she had deactivated her account, so I sent a message on Whatsapp. She responded. Again, in that weirdly cool, indifferent tone. I was certain she wouldn’t deactivate her FB account because she used it to promote her work. The lightbulb went off a few weeks later. She had blocked me.

Then there was another social media friend who was also warm and sweet whenever we connected. One fine day, she stopped responding to me. I sent her a few messages sharing posts I thought she might like, connecting her with similar minded people. Radio silence. I knew that she had seen the messages. Mystifying! And rather rude, I thought…

All of these strike me as strange happenings. It takes me a while to comprehend that someone might actually have a beef with me Then I wonder, did I say/do something wrong? Was I insensitive?

I view myself as a mellow, mild personality. I don’t get into your face or business. I am fairly courteous and polite. I don’t challenge your assumptions and beliefs.

Hmmm, I think that last one may be the issue. My beloved husband often reminds me that I am rather clueless when it comes to managing perception. (And, perhaps I am challenging assumptions and beliefs in my own way.)

Envy, maybe? Anger? Bitterness?

That I could be an object of envy or that I could elicit anger is a little difficult for me to grasp. Perhaps it is somewhat true. I don’t spend much time dwelling on it. Yes, I understand that people act out of envy/resentment, and it may be that I am an easy target. For one, I am rather unsuspecting, so I don’t get that I am a target. And when it dawns upon me, I do nothing. I simply stop engaging.

Here’s the thing, though. My relative naïveté has kept my heart free from bitterness. Not to say that I don’t experience the occasional twinge of envy or frustration or bitterness myself… I see it, I do nothing.

Flimsy Boundaries

I recall thinking a few years ago… Perhaps our skin, the only tangible boundary between us and the world is highly superficial, or permeable. The “brine” that exists outside our bodies swims within us, too. The air and smoke and microorganisms and invisible beings that permeate the space outside our bodies exist inside them, too. Same goes for the metaphorical space that’s filled with dreams, ideas, fears, disappointments et al. It is all-pervading, meaning it’s also within me, Lakshmi. So, my so-called mental/emotional space isn’t any more mine than it is anyone else’s. I suppose it’s like being in a swimming pool. The water is everywhere—it’s foolish to think you can get away from it.

It then follows that both this physical body and the egoic one (Lakshmi) are flimsy vehicles with nonexistent boundaries because space gets in EVERYWHERE.

I am not your …

Watched this film last year, and I am in total awe of James Baldwin’s clarity, insight, and articulateness.

“I have always been struck in America by an emotional poverty so bottomless and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable organic connection between his public stance and his private life. The failure of the private life has always had the most devastating effect on American public conduct and on black-white relations. If Americans were not so terrified of their private self, it would never have become so dependent on what they call ‘the n**** problem’.”

“What white people have to do is try and find out in their own hearts why it is necessary to have a ‘n*****’ in the first place, because I’m not a n*****. I’m a man. If I’m not the n***** here, and if you invented him, you the white people invented him, then you have to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it is able to ask that question.”

(To me, this speaks of a kind of “fractured self.” When you feel broken on the inside, or you have a deep sense of conflict between who you are (or perceive yourself to be) and how you present to the world, and/or you experience a kind of disgust/hate toward yourself that you are unable to accept or contain, and you have little understanding on how to digest or neutralize this experience… all of that is close to spilling on to the outside, and now you need to find an object/recipient for that emotion.)

(Each one of us needs to find objects for the negativity within. We have to offload it someplace else, or we’d suffocate and die.)

(I love this title because what it signifies to me is Baldwin’s refusal to be anyone’s N****. No, I refuse to be the recipient of your angst and self-hate and dread and demons. They are yours to deal with, not mine to carry.)

Video: Yoga & Authenticity

As part of the takeover of the Instagram profile of abcdyogi, I made this video.

I feel that Yoga helps us lead a whole, integrated, and authentic life. If there is a point to the path of Yoga, this must be it. And whatever emerges from that state of wholeness is truth — plain, simple, beautiful. (Also, is Yoga even a “path?” Is anyone not on it?)