First of all I want to thank Quillnparchment for the opportunity and the idea of the topic of this post. I think the topic is very interesting and important and I am very glad that I was given the opportunity to share my thoughts around this topic on Quillnparchment’s blog.
Blogging.. Why do we blog actually? I think there are many answers to that question because the motivation behind can differ according to interests and so on. Motivation brings topics to the blog which is driving our willingness to write. There are so many good blogs out there where you can see people really passionate about what they are doing which I truly love. The motivation and idea behind this post came from Quillnparchment who asked me to write about things such as the driving force behind blogging.
Blogging for a cause. Do you have to blog for a cause or is it enough to write just for writing. A huge motivation factor behind blogging among many people are money and likes. If the reason behind your blog is one of these things I doubt very strongly that you will succeed. I am sorry if I am disappointing some of the readers by claiming this but I think it is the harsh reality. Your blog has to Continue reading “What is your driving force behind blogging?”→
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
John and Nathan are two best friends came back from their schools to see their old teacher at his house. He had invited them to reward them with different gifts. They both were looking very happy and cheerful. They spoke well to everybody, they helped every needy on the way to their teacher’s house. The expectation of receiving gifts made them happy and joyous. Finally when they reached, their teacher asked them to sit down and wait. The teacher came with two packets and handed them their respective gifts. They expressed their gratitude and started opening their packs. John found an expensive watch inside his packet and Nathan found a canvas, and all different colours of crayons, water colours etc. Nathan was a great painter but he was unhappy and looked gloomy.
I have seen many faces changing colours from white-happiness to red-anger, yellow-panicky, and black-gloomy. I have even seen faces changing from yellow, red, and black to white. But holding a cheerful or white face is not always easy. We need practice to keep our heart happy, to make our face cheerful.
In my life I hate to stay gloomy, grumpy, angry… I have always tried to stay happy and cheerful. Only a satisfied heart or a heart of contentment can make our face cheerful/glow. When we are discontent about certain things we feel the poke/ache. Then we feel our spirit crushing with no-enthusiasm, disinterest etc.
Even if Nathan couldn’t have bought the painting materials by himself as he was not financially that well to do, but still he was sad because he was discontented about the gift he got from his teacher. His eyes were greedy for his friend’s gift – an expensive watch.
How many times we do compare our gifts, blessings with others and feel sad?
Let’s learn to stay happy and content… then only we can have a cheerful face, otherwise our discontentment/heartache will keep crushing our spirits everyday, every moment.
I was reading Proverbs. A passage drew my attention. I was amazed. The initial verses of that passage say that Four things are small but extremely wise, and then in the following verses, it talks about those four small things and their behaviors which rate them as extremely wise. Let’s talk about those small things as follows:
The passage says that the ants are of little strength, but they store up food in summer. We always keep our work pending. I am not talking about official work. I am even talking about the family responsibilities & duties. That we fail to fulfill in time.
Lesson: Do we really think about our soul the way we think about our body and mind?
2. Conies or Marmots:
The marmots or Conies are of little power but they make homes in crags. They believe in strong foundations. They love to stay safe and well protected. Do we build our relationships on strong foundations? What about our relationship with our spouses? Is it rock solid?
Lesson: How good is our foundation of life?
Locusts have no king but they advance together in ranks. Wow! What discipline & unity. Do all our works properly coordinated and disciplined? Do we have unity in our family members? Do Americans have unity? Do Indians have unity?
Lesson: Do we really have unity or we fight like dogs?
4. Lizards (or spiders):
Lizards are caught by hand yet they are found in king’s palace. Whether it is lizard or spider but both are susceptible yet can be found almost everywhere on this earth. I think it talks about our presence. Two thoughts came to my mind. Firstly, do we make our presence felt? And secondly, how do we make our presence felt? Are we well-known for our tolerance or violence?
Lesson: Does our presence bring joy or trouble people?
This passage is an eye opener for me. And hopefully, it will be for you all also. We really need to learn from these four small creatures. They taught me great lessons. I hope it will help you all to learn those lessons.
Panic is an absorbing aspect of our day-to-day life. It feels like you are worried for no reason at all and you are trapped inside a small room with no windows and doors, when it creeps on you unawares it will make you stop in your tracks, the heart starts to beat faster, the skin turns cold, sweat beads break on your forehead, breathing gets shallow, and you feel suffocated, hands and feet start to feel numb, you feel your words aren’t coming from your mouth, your own voice seems alien to you, what you see feels like a third dimension, like some movie, like you aren’t there, the things said to you are not registered by your mind and then you get big bold sign hanging in front of your eyes that says “Heart Attack”, and this fear that you might be actually dying acts as a catalyst and turns the Panic to own you completely and take over.
Panic has some triggers usually thought it can come totally out of the blue, a song, a person, an incident even a feeling of Deja Vu, often these triggers are the connection between the conscious mind and a buried painful memory. Its acceleration speed is awesome, it can go from 0 to 100 within a split second. It is our imagination at it’s best to be true when we take a small thing and make a big scare out of it, but you are not alone in it, it happens to most of us, in fact, it happens to every 1 in 3.
When under Panic attack know that it’s just temporary and this too shall pass.
Keep moving, don’t do any work, that would worsen it, but pace or stroll. It helps your mind and body stay empowered and focussed.
Talk, I know at that moment you just feel like keeping quiet, but being with people and talking to someone helps you soak their positivity and power. Say your thoughts out loud.
Keep breathing, it’s the most important thing, this is just one trick your mind is playing on you, don’t let it win.
Touch, hold onto something tangible, like your phone or TV remote or water bottle, it keeps things real and doesn’t let you slip into the distorted state.
A simple sentence like “we need to talk”, can give you that panicked feeling because you fear that some mistake you did has come back to haunt you, even though you might not have done any. Have you ever noticed that even as adults if we are separated from our companion, be it son or friend in crowds like supermarket and movie theaters, we immediately Panic, even though we know that we will find them soon. People even panic to see the last few overs in cricket matches, I did, last over, 6 balls and 10 runs to take, I would switch on the TV and calm down my heart.
Panic does not mean that you are weak or have no self-control, it just means that you have gone through some trauma or some pain. Do not feel apologetic for being sensitive and emotional, it is a sign that you have a big heart, but your mind plays clever tricks on the poor heart. Believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS !!!
The first thing people ask you when you meet someone is How Are You? And more often than not the answer is I Am Fine, How About You? The subject about they are is quickly dismissed with a little rhetorical answer. But I have often wondered is the other person Fine, or are they just Pretending? Pretending to be happy when you’re in pain is just an example of how strong you are as a person. Pretense might keep the other person free from the burden of your trouble and might save you some exasperated looks but it breaks you from inside bit by bit, at the end of the day we always find ourselves encountering the crucial truth that I am broken inside, that no amount of pretending will change the pain inside us.
Pretending is like creating an illusion that suits us, sometimes for us, at times for others, but at some point, we have to accept that we can’t go on pretending forever, Someday that illusion has to break, will break. We Pretend to be heartless, to forget, to forgive, to be deaf to the things we don’t wanna hear, to be blind to the truths we don’t want to see, to be mute to the matters we don’t. Usually, address. Often we Pretend to be someone we are not to please someone saw a pretend that we don’t love, we don’t care, we aren’t hurt on the phone we fake things that will hurt others or will make us seem weaker in others eyes. As we keep pretending and keep playing that game, we realise that slowly it became our habit and gradually it became our character.
Pretending is a very diversified art, it can be used in so many ways andthough weso many situations. A child Pretends of stomach ache to avoid a school day; an intelligent person pretends to be a fool in front of a fool who themselves are pretending to be intelligent. I often pretend I have great interest and insight about medicine in front of my doctor friend so that I don’t have to listen to his banter as he tries to instill his knowledge into my brains, sometimes I pretend to be naive about art in front my painter friend just to hear her tell me about it from her point of view. Some people pretend to be sympathetic and understanding during your suffering just so that they can get a better seat to watch you struggle, which teaches us not believe that ever helping hand isn’t always there to help. My aunt Pretends she isn’t in pain so that she won’t be sent to a physiotherapist because she fears doctors, a distant cousin of mine pretends to have wealth in abundance to save herself some humiliation in front of her rich friends, and another pretends to be hand to mouth so she won’t have to buy her friends expensive gifts though she can very well afford it. I once saw a child Pretending to talk to his dead father on the phone; I smile sadly because I knew what he was doing, he was creating a myth for himself. We Pretend for small and big things; we Pretend to be asleep, to have eaten when hungry, to be not tired when the wife wants to go to the movie, to not miss that special someone even though we miss him dearly. One day I saw a Shani Baba stealing guavas from my tree through my window, and I saw him fall, I ran out to check on him, he was sitting on ground cross-legged like someone in deep meditation, upon asking he pretended that he was just sitting here, I laughed hard at him, because he was hiding his fall in fear of getting scolded for stealing guavas, I gave him some money, some guavas, and some pain ointment to apply on his scraped knee which was clearly bleeding. My mother often Pretends she isn’t my father so that she won’t see my crying with her pain. Our reasons to Pretend are different but trust me, we all do it at one time or another, we all Fake.
Don’t be angry at everyone who is pretending, they might be saving you from their pain, they might be smiling through tears, they might be going to pieces when they stood by your side to support you. Now lets us pretend that you loved this snippet, haha. PLEASE KNOW THAT WE ARE BOUND TO PRETEND.
Generosity ! You do not have to be rich to be Generous! Even a beggar can be generous at times. Yes, you heard it right, he can be generous with blessings and gratification. The poor don’t know that their function in life is to exercise our Generosity. Being Generous is the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return and doing all the good you can within your means in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, in times of need to people around you as far as you can. What can be given? I know the first word that comes in your mind’s eye is Money and the second would be most probably Food and then will come other materialistic things that usually cost us. But no one must have thought Time, Love, Affection, Smiles, Attention, the rarest and purest gifts one can give without spending a single buck and can give in abundance.The act of giving selflessly and unconditionally is the most satisfying act, it gives such immense peace and feeling of self-worth that no amounts of receiving can give.
Ever given a smile to a kid sitting on the kerb looking at you sadly, how his face lit up? He does not know you, neither he hopes to be benefitted by you in any way, just the gift of smile was enough o lift his spirits. Anything, when given freely, is exploited, and that’s our biggest fear, that we will be used for being kind. Some people are afraid of Generosity, they feel they will be taken advantage or oppressed. But in the true sense in cultivating generosity, we are only oppressing our greed and attachment, this allows true nature to come out and become lighter and freer. Generosity is often met with pride, as giving more than you can is being generous but taking less than you need is pride. The more you evolve and reach higher levels of conscious the more giving you become. There is evidence that the higher is the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness and generosity. Why ? Because they know how much it hurts when you can’t meet ends meet when you can’t provide your loved ones with the needful, and it makes them more compassionate towards others pain.
I had a hymn I read in school:
Whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers,
That you do unto me!
Whatsoever you do to the least of your Sisters,
That you do unto me!
When I was hungry, you gave me to eat
When I was thirsty, you gave me to drink.
Now enter into the home of your father.
When I was tired, you helped me find rest.
When I was worried you calmed all my fears.
Now enter into the home of your Father.
When I was lonely, to me you did speak.
When I was troubled, you listened to me.
Now enter into the home of your Father.
When I was homeless, you opened the door
When I was naked, you gave me your coat
Now enter into the home of your Father.
When I was laughed at, you stood by my side.
When I was happy, you shared my joy.
Now enter into the home of your Father.
It simply means that whenever you are generous to mankind, you are generous to yourself too, you get much more than you give, you get solace, comfort, gratification. Today, while standing in line at a store, I saw a little girl who asked for a candy bar. After saying “no” twice, her mother gave in. She paid, and as they walked away, the mum gave it to her daughter. The little girl stopped, turned around and handed it to a little boy who was crying in line behind us at the register. The mother asked her why she gave it to him and she said she heard the boy’s mum tell him they didn’t have money left for candy anymore until she can find another job. Such acts of kindness are often seen among kids as they have pure hearts and love to share and to give, their minds are free from the why and what for. We need to learn from such examples, give one fruit to a poor kid as you buy dozens for you family, but a cup of tea to the man shivering across the road, read something for a man who is uneducated. It won’t cost much but will earn you lot of self-worth.
Here are some steps you can take to channel your Generosity:
Consider the benefits of generosity. Like being happier.
Embrace gratitude. Count all the times who were treated Generously.
Start really small. Start with just 10 bucks a day.
Give first. Keep aside some amount for charity at the time of your paycheck.
Divert one specific expense. Like don’t smoke one day and use that to help.
Fund a cause based on passions. I support HelpAgeIndia, it’s my passion.
Find a person you believe in. Find the one most motivated by your support.
Spend time with people in need. Spend some time in orphanages at times.
Spend time with a generous person. Talk to the most generous person you know.
Live a more minimalist life. Just a tiny bit of abstinence from indulgence.
“The world’s most generous individuals have been revealed – and Bill Gates has topped the list. According to research compiled by Business Insider and Wealth-X, the Microsoft co-founder has a net worth of $84.2bn and has so far donated $27bn over the course of his lifetime.”
I think I have taken a lot of your time and said all that could be said. Remember, THE HEART THAT GIVES, GATHERS !!!
I always believed in fairy tales, from my childhood they fascinated me, those mystical lands of Prince and Princess, Kings, and Queens, Demons, and Devils, Witches, and Wizards, of Palaces and Caves, of Unicorns and Centaurs, of Spells and Potions, of Curses and Charms and I was lost in them for as long as my father could manage to stretch the stories, and then I would whine and sulk that it wasn’t long enough, and he would kiss me as he made me sit in his lap and promise me an even better story tomorrow and I would go to sleep with that promise hanging in the air, already eager for the next night. The next evening as he would come home from the office I eagerly would wait for him at the door, reminding him that he needs to recite the longest story tonight and he would smile and nod hugging me despite his tiredness and weariness. I could hardly contain my excitement as he washed and changed, finished dinner, spent some time with grandparents all the while holding my palm in his hand like a constant reassurance that said “soon”, and then he would pick me up in his arms and retire to our room(me, my mother and him had one room to ourselves as we lived in joint family), there he would help me get settled for the night, lovingly containing my excitement with his words, making me realise that we should finish all our nightly routine so no one disturbs us during story time and my eyes would grow a little wider with that pre-event buzz. He would tuck me in my cot and lie next to me on his side of the bed as my mother finished the remaining chores in kitchen and finally, he would ask ” so what kinda story shall I tell my doll today ?”, I would turn to him with enthusiasm only to find him drowsy, about to fall asleep, then tickle him, till I see him shake off the sleep, wanting his complete focus and unwavering attention. He would pretend that he was just acting to fall asleep and I would start giving preferences “Papa I want one where there are animals and a princess and a ghost”, and look at his face eagerly for him to begin, and then he would say “my hand I can tell you one magnificent tale of a lion, a princess like you and a poor carpenter”, cleverly deterring me from the demand of a ghost story as he knew that I wouldn’t sleep out of fear then. I would nod vigorously just wanting it to begin, and he would always start with “once upon a time”, and trust me, it became my favourite quote.
He would meticulously weave his story through all the elements and characters, spinning a thrilling tale for me on the spot, he would decorate it with sound effects of animals, horse hooves, arrows flying and drums beating, he would change his voice and tone for each character, turning it animated for animal characters, making me jump and squeal and laugh with each twist and turn. Somewhere during the story, I would leave my cot and scoot on his side clinging to him as I wrapped my small arms around his belly, thinking I have secured the most unique seat and he would tap my back in that rhythmic pace. I would hide my face in his chest when he told how the lion attacked the princess and would kiss him in between when he said how the carpenter came to her rescue and my breathing would get shallow when the King decides to execute the carpenter for touching the princess, I would change postures in elation as the adventure progressed losing myself in his voice as he traveled with me through that magical world and would stop breathing when the princess marries the carpenter to save him from King and clap like the most attentive and satisfied audience when he ended it with “and they lived happily ever after”, never once he ended them sadly, making his girl happy, keeping her safe from the harsh realities. My mother would settle with us by then, and she would look at my father with the hope of exchanging a few words with him, but he would be softly snoring by then, and I would place a finger on my lips ” Sssshhhh, Papa has fallen asleep, I helped him tell a very nice story”, my mother would give me a warm and sad little smile and place a finger on her own lips in agreement, and we all would switch off lights and close our eyes. The only thing I could think of was how nice a tale, what wise princess, what courageous Carpenter, what a fierce lion, while my mother would be gazing silently at my father’s sleeping form with contentment. The thought that the story was told to make me sleep, so that my father could have a few words of affection with my mother never crossed my mind, I was gleeful that I am still up while he slept, it never occurred to me that my mother was a very vital part of my father’s life, that she yearned for a little time with him, for me he was all mine, my property.
As I grew up my love for stories kept growing, and I graduated from papa’s fairytale to short stories, books, novels, epics, and then came a day when my storyteller left this world forever! And now, I want to write a story, I want to be a tale spinner, you know why? Because I know that my love for stories was not because I loved to read, but because he loved to tell them, now I know that I was his only audience, and he charmed me each night, just for love I showered on him. The magic was in the man and not the tales, in his unconditional love, and I often crave for one more story. Now it’s my turn to be showered with love. Today I wanna be a storyteller, today I want to return some of what I got, today I want to honour my father’s memory, today I have decided I will spin some tales of my own as I was nurtured with the fables of a Tale Spinner!
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