Lessons Learned from Fatigue

LessonsLearned768 300x158 Lessons Learned from Fatigue

Lessons Learned from Fatigue

The body rarely ever lies.

It communicates to us varied information about ourselves and if we are ready to listen and decipher we stand to gain immensely.

Something is not right

Fatigue is of course always a warning that something is not quite right and one that we usually do not heed till it’s too late and whatever the issue, it gets magnified many times and we are pushed to knock at the Doctor’s door. If we delve into the cause there could be one or there could be many and the sooner we decide to dig deep into the root, the better. As with anything, pretending it’s something that will go away is just not a wise choice.

Rest

The first signal that fatigue could be giving us is quite logical and simple, that we need to rest more, or at a better time. Maybe our body is asking us to go to bed earlier. Maybe we are so hung up on an addiction that keeps us awake for longer hours that we do not heed the natural call of the body when it tells us to drop everything and rest. This could be anything right from reading, finishing up work, social media or any other form of entertainment.

Allergy

Interesting that as the world progresses at a frenetic pace towards more material advancement and technology the number of allergies are on the rise. Tiredness for no reason could be a sign of something not sitting well with body, the prime accused here being gluten and dairy.

I have recently found that I feel much more energetic after having given up milk. Yogurt/curds suits me fortunately and is great for gut health so that’s my saving grace since I can’t imagine giving up dairy altogether hailing from a culture where it is used extensively in cooking and sweets.

There are many people who are allergic to the above two but are either unaware or too lethargic to give it much thought.

Imbalance

The lack of balance in the stream of thoughts that we call the mind can cause lack of ease, an inability to choose healthy thoughts over unhealthy, negative ones, allowing the mind to buzz with greater thought energy than is necessary to maintain our peace- all of it can lead to tiredness.

An imbalance between how much we need and how much we want, between what we want to achieve and what we can, all of it can lead to fatigue.

Energy-drain

There could be an emotional energy drain in one’s life which one is unaware of. This could be a person, a group of people, a material object or a situation.

One of the above could be draining you of energy, either by being a negative influence in your life or by being so needy that you end up giving them a lot more energy in many ways than you can afford to. Result- you are drained.

Finally, awareness and the wish to live a complete life replete with health is the key to figuring out the why and wherefore of fatigue and finding out ways of getting rid of it.

 

About Sunila Vig

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from Fatigue

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.The most recent is the story Vishkanya, which features in the anthology, Sins of the Past, available on Amazon. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

Lessons from Pottery

LessonsLearned755 300x163 Lessons from Pottery

Lessons Learned from Pottery

Mud and anything shaped from it has long held me in its thrall. Many people are drawn by this elemental pull, which may well be simply because we are some part earth and some part the other elements.

Fingers sunk in clay – cleaning, kneading, moulding, drawing a lump of clay upwards on the wheel, ie throwing a pot, vase, bowl or a diya, all of it is soothing and healing.(Making a pot on the potter’s wheel is called throwing)

I chanced upon an article recently that spoke of pottery being one of the best therapies ever. This seems evident somehow.

I chose to formally learn pottery because I had always loved it. It was my chosen method of spring-cleaning my own self from a certain life event which spanned over a decade leaving perforations in my psyche.

Every morning after breakfast I rode my bike 45 minutes, to the central government pottery institute and worked with clay all day long.

Coiling, sculpting, etching motifs on semi air-dried pottery, learning to throw pots on the electric wheel, month after month was almost the only thing that could absorb me fully at the time.

I made at least a hundred pieces including terracotta jewellery and continued to make more regularly over the next few years.

Power to soothe

The power of pottery to soothe while one creates it or from pieces placed around the home is immense. Drinking water kept in terracotta pots for storing and cooling cools the body and settles the mind.

Power to clarify

The entire process of creating shapely or shapeless works of art not only calms the errant being but also helps in making things simpler and clearer. The buzzing mind can make a monster out of a decision at times and this very buzzing is calmed and issues seem clearer after a day of working with clay.

Creation of beauty

All art is a creation of beauty and deeply pleasing to the creator and beholder. The lump of clay holds hidden within itself the form that we can coax it to take. The emerging forms and shapes can be gratifying beyond measure. To sculpt away at a bust, fine-tuning the facial aspect is joyful in the focus and gentle precision that is required.

One with the environment

Same as us terracotta art emerges from dust and goes back to dust easily and quickly, especially when harmful paints are not used.

Finally, what does no harm to the earth and environment is soothing to us and to recognize this would be the first step we could choose to take to better our own lot.

About Sunila

sunila2 105x300 Lessons from Pottery

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.
She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

 

Lessons from Emotional Slumps

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Peaks and troughs dot life’s path.

Same as I cannot loftily sit atop a peak forever, I cannot stay in a trough for long. Even as I slide downwards, I can use the same momentum that is built while sliding down to catapult me upwards again. This is one lesson I am working on and can see myself improving.

The sadness that envelopes my heart when someone or something has in my perception, hurt me, can keep me heavy and downcast for a while, or not. I do work at looking at the coin from all the sides but even then it can take varied amounts of time to accept and move ahead without rancour.

When feeling low, a friend apparently uses the approach of ‘toughening up’. This set me thinking. What lay within the two words?

Did they mean that one should simply shove everything as deep down as one can and try and forget, which is only an escape and no escape is permanent. Did the words mean that one should balance the heart and the head and allow logic to prevail, thereby allowing the strength of the emotions to fizzle and lose strength over one? The latter thought makes sense.

Finally I found what I could draw from this and use practically and as always my answer lay with -yoga. Surprise surprise J So it was not so much a find, it was a return. I find that I wandered from applying this knowledge again and again, only to return with a sense of sheepishness, that all that I need and ever will, lies in me. This returning has become much quicker in the recent times. Maybe one day I would stop wandering away, altogether.

Whenever the heaviness of the heart got too much to bear, all I had to do was to be with my exhale. Every exhale going down towards the feet takes away with it the burden and the weight of anything that we tenaciously cling on to.

The mind, the constant oscillation between the past and the now, the what ifs, the whys and everything that helps us cling on with passion to a downward plunging thought process loosens its hold upon us and we are free to be in the present and be productive. Simply by being with the exhale as it goes down the body and the inhale as it moves upwards. We then move out of the head and into the body, which is a far better space to inhabit. I have found it best to visit the mind when needed.

Writing- has time and again proven to be another tool at such a time.

The very act of stringing words together, to express as closely as possible to what I think or feel brings my entire being together. Thinking becomes worthwhile. The mind, the body, the breath –unite.

The fragmentation of the being caused by an emotional slump then turns into a restful sense of ease and cheer. One is able to move past the trough and starts upwards towards a peak or stay comfortably on the plain grounds of equanimity.

About Sunila

sunila2 105x300 Lessons from Emotional Slumps

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.  Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.
She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learned from Swimming

sumi1 300x187 Lessons Learned from Swimming

Lessons learned from swimming

I learned swimming exactly 18 years back in Adelaide and almost forgot it entirely since I did not practice at all once I finished the 10 lessons.

My daughter on the other hand began weekly swimming lessons when she was three and has continued ever since.

The summer vacation of April-May 2014 again saw me making my way to a swim school in Bangalore. This was one held at a school near my home, making it accessible and the Olympic sized pool seemed immensely inviting. The fee was only Rs. Three thousand and the organisers and coach claimed confidently that I would be able to swim within the 15 sessions.

I decided to take the plunge, once more. After all I had always wanted to master the art of the fish and glide around as effortlessly in water.

A few things struck me in the 15 sessions that the coach trained us in and I will share them here.

Effort and ease-balance

Strangely there can be something like too much effort. One can keep making efforts and allow oneself to get stressed when one hasn’t got any further with learning a particular thing. If I got caught up with moving my arms and legs and breathing, all at the same time and lost my sense of inner ease, I would sink. When I made myself take part of my mind away from the effort and brought it to rest in such a way that I enjoyed whatever progress I made, it all worked out well.

On day one for about 10 minutes, putting my head under water felt like an ordeal. When I was okay with that, then letting go of the edge of the pool and letting the body float felt like a big ask, for another ten minutes. Finally what made each new bit I learned click into place was trust in the trainer, his teaching in what he obviously excelled at, as well as his being there, to protect in the case of a mishap. Trust in myself also kicked in along with trust in the greater energy that protects.

Weightlessness of lack of control-back float

How we love to be in control. The lack of it feels like the ground is slipping from beneath our feet. The back float needed the letting go of any need to control the body, in any way. No sooner had I done that I was floating, looking up at the blue sky. The second any fear or hesitation crept into me, I sank.

Fear- action despite fear

On day 7, the coach took our batch to the deep end of the pool, to dive. I was horrified. We had just learned to swim for a couple of breaths before we sank into the shallow end of the pool, where we were being taught and had to stand up and re-start.

We simply had to dive and swim towards the shallow end of this gigantic pool. I was scared and each time I dived, despite knowing that the coach was right there, I went in shivering slightly. However as the inward dive culminated into an upward arc, I managed, same as the others to swim and breathe and swim and breathe, till I reached the shallow end. So also many a time in life, action needs to be taken, come what may.

It was interesting to see how the fear of drowning worked wonders. Then on all of were swimming for many more breaths.

Rain and swimming-a different perspective of nature

It began to rain one evening, while we were still in the pool. Drops fell on us, which we didn’t mind one bit since we were already wet. It was a unique experience to be in water and feel the raindrops falling on our heads. Unfortunately we were asked to pack up early due to the fear of lightening.

The sight of the moon in the sky and tall trees on one side of the pool as we floated and swam was hypnotic.

Interestingly, being inside the water element instead of the regular terra-firma gave nature a rich, new feel.

Ego and learning-cannot be together

A very obvious point and one which goes with any learning is this. There were swimmers whose styles were rural and largely self-taught. They swam well but they were ready to start from zero and learn swimming from scratch. Ego had no place here.

If a person can’t be a fish it’s okay-acceptance

We started with various thoughts goading each one of us. One wanted to change one’s style, one wanted to improve technique, one wanted to be more graceful and few simply wanted to be able to swim.

Whatever the initial motivation and dream one had, one had to be able to enjoy and appreciate what one learned. Even if one hadn’t reached the point where one wanted to be, it was okay.

I had to accept that I had learned swimming but needed lots of practice. This acceptance had to be an enthusiastic one so that I would then continue to persist and practice as and when possible, enjoying and appreciating the entire process.

I have continued to practice whenever the weather is suitable, in the apartment swimming pool, oh! the joy of splashing water, playing and swimming laps with the eight year old is unparalleled. Sometimes this even is a family event, with the husband joining us.

I can’t say I am any closer to gliding about like a fish than I ever was, but a fish can’t walk can it icon smile Lessons Learned from Swimming

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from Swimming

Sunila Vig

About Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure.
She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.
She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page

https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

Lessons Learned from my Baby

LessonsLearned671 300x163 Lessons Learned from my Baby

Lessons Learned from my Baby

My eight year old began to teach me things right after I conceived. About the miracle that life is, starting off from one cell and growing till it’s time to exit the mother’s womb and everything that life can be right from the first wail to draw in air into the lungs and begin to breathe.

Ideally this post should have come before the post on my child, but ideas have their own mind as to when they appear in our head and so it is only today that this particular post decided to get written.

So, here are a few B pointers from my baby icon smile Lessons Learned from my Baby

Bawl or make a noise at times:

The first thing that a baby does at birth is to cry, if this doesn’t happen naturally then it’s little behind is spanked to make it cry. The lungs are flat and the surfaces stuck to each other at birth. Only when the baby opens its mouth to cry, air enters and the lungs bellow out like sails filled with air.

And thus life on earth, out of the cradling warmth of placental fluids, begins.

Bawling becomes a way of letting us know that the baby wants something or is not at ease.

Similarly there are times in life when sitting quietly may not help, given the nature of situations and people and one may have to make a little noise to get things going. Bawling at times can be therapeutic too, instead of bottling up pressure inside us.

Bliss is surrender and surrender is bliss

The surrender of my baby in its helpless infant state was complete. She drew from me the softest and most protective feelings that anything ever could. She was always in bliss, blowing bubbles when awake or looking around with her black-grape eyes, getting nutrition with single pointed focus, sleeping, soiling her nappies

I am not going to say that we surrender to everything and everyone (unless we are fairly advanced in our inner growth), but there are many times when we have tried our best and all we can do is surrender and things flow and take their own course. This is not a helpless feeling of giving up but one where we willingly allow a higher energy to do what is best.

What happens then is that the stress washes away and all we are left with is peace.

Being and agility

What can be more in the state of simply be-ing than a baby?

One may say that what else can a baby do but be, for it cannot do much else. In any case it would serve us well to unwind, giggle, coo, gurgle, tickle, blow bubbles along with a baby and learn to enjoy that moment, beyond everything else.

When my baby was awake she moved her arms and legs almost all the time and we would do well by moving our bodies to stay agile too.

Born singers

My baby was a born singer, and her little voice cooed and rose up in an ‘aaroh’ or descended in an ‘avroh’ many times a day, exercising her vocal chords and filling our hearts with joy.

We adults could try it alone if we are shy and let go of tension that gets held up in the throat and neck. If not singing, long chants of Om would ease us and fill us with pleasing vibrations of sound.

Bon-appetit

Babies know how much milk they need, usually and stop when they are full. Of course there is the unusual little glutton that doesn’t know when to stop, but that’s very rare.

Sometimes parents of young children force feed them and thus spoil their inner mechanism which tells them when they are full.

At times we adults eat to fill more than our little stomach bags. We are often filling holes in our psyche, eating out of boredom, eating out of greed, eating out of sorrow, over-eating to celebrate. This one is a toughie and most of us grapple with it.

 B for baby and B for belly-breath icon smile Lessons Learned from my Baby

My baby’s soft tummy would rise and fall, rise and fall with the natural breathing patterns that life blesses the newly born with.

Nature gives each of us this gift and somewhere in the midst of growing up, damage occurs. The simple filling in of the entire torso space with air like an inflating balloon and exhaling while emptying ourselves of air, changes.

If we take note, some of us do not breathe naturally most of the times, these patterns worsening at times of stress. We begin to clench our stomach muscles without our knowledge, breathing mainly from the chest area, thereby increasing stress, causing aches in the shoulder-neck region, weakening the back and a host of internal imbalances.

We can if we like, once again give to ourselves the natural breath, a baby’s breath.

I hope these lessons resonate with you dear reader and while parting I would like to share one last thing with you. Having, holding, watching and nurturing my baby in turn nurtured me and this has become a continual process as the baby unfolds into a little girl, always giving back far more than I could ever hope to give.

 About Sunila

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from my Baby

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher. Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.

She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog – www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com
Twitter @whitefielder

 

Lessons learned from Malnad and Kuvempu University

LessonsLearned642 300x164 Lessons learned from Malnad and Kuvempu University

Lessons Learned from Malnad and Kuvempu University

I had the great good fortune to enroll for my post-graduate studies in English literature at the Kuvempu university.

It is nestled halfway up a leafy-green hill in a tiny suburb called Shankargatta, near the Bhadra River Project (B.R.P) dam, about 20 kms out of Bhadravati and Shimoga. I almost got into the Bangalore University for the same and then had to cow down to my maternal parent’s dictates unhappily at the time since I was totally new to the Malnad region and had not a single friend thereabouts.

Also I was just out of the Satya Sai women’s hostel where I had stayed for five years and after all the hustle-bustle, found it singularly lonely, being sibling-less, to be staying home.

All of this changed within a month of starting my post-grad course though and a different and beautiful life unfolded before me.

We lived in Bhadravati that lies on the banks of the river Bhadra and is known for the Visvesvaraya steel plant and Mysore paper mills. The 67 sq km town slowly drew me into its thrall and I began to enjoy living there and travelling to the university every morning with a horde of others in a private bus.

The simplicity of the small-town folk was endearing, neighbours became family. Little children in the neighbor-hood came and went as they liked, keeping my initial blues somewhat at bay.

Every festival was celebrated wholeheartedly, Shivratri saw us going in a little group with other women, from temple to beautifully decorated temple, admiring and paying our respects to Lord Shiva, His consort Parvati and their offspring, the warlike handsome Kartikeya and rotund God of intelligence Sri Ganesh. The harvest festival of Sankranthi saw the sharing of yellu-bella-kabbu (sesame seeds-jaggery-sugarcane), while the monsoons had their extra special grandeur in this area. Heavy rains, a green landscape, cool days and cooler nights had us happily trudging around with an umbrella at all times and water-proof footwear.

My classmates at the university saw that a girl from a different background, fun loving, friendly, in love with Literature but totally naive with the ways of the world had landed in their midst and wrapped me in a cocoon of caring, right away.

The lingua-franca was the local language, Kannada. Today I speak it fluently and with pride, but then I only knew a smattering of it.

It did not matter at all.

I managed with smiles and bits and pieces of kannada. With oodles of inspiration all around me, soon I was even singing kannada songs in the cultural competitions. I could converse comfortably, thanks to the loving encouragement I received from friends.

Lecturers were enthusiastic and friendly, always open to discussion, also made of the same material that others in that region were made of, sharing the common elements that shaped them.

The affection was immense, at times funny, at times warm, at all times touching. Each of my friends, from my department and from others showered me with caring. I contracted typhoid in the 2nd year and was stuck to a hospital bed for the better part of a month. One group or another made sure to visit me daily, lifting my spirits with tidbits about what was happening on campus, while the resident doctor had to play warden as he tried to keep noise levels down and me flat on my bed, instead of sitting up.

Cultural events were an eye opener. Talent was abundant and singers, speakers and actors took part with camaraderie and respect for each other’s art.

Malnad, is the name of this region and it has given us many a writer, singer and artist. Nature has been generous and this has translated into the human spirit somehow, making the most ordinary person a poet.

It was here that traditional folk art like Yakshagana was introduced to my curious palate. I lived in the university hostel for a while and it was a joy sitting through the night with friends watching consummate artists work their magic, all the while weighed down by their heavy make-up and clothing.

On the other hand movies were seen in what were called ‘tents’, filmed in ancient movie halls with wooden benches for seating. This marvel was right opposite the hostel and one could eat fresh dosas hot off the stove in the grounds outside where dosa makers set up shop every evening, especially for the student populace.

These lovers of nature, art, poetry, beauty, simple, down to earth people with genuine affections lasted across decades. The friends and acquaintances I made at the Kuvempu University are a lifetime treasure and left behind in me the real fragrance of mother earth, a perfume I cherish like no other.

About Sunila

sunila2 105x300 Lessons learned from Malnad and Kuvempu University

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family. She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.  Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure.
She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing. Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.

She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

Lessons Learned from Giving and Receiving

LessonsLearned577 300x164 Lessons Learned from Giving and Receiving

Lessons Learned from Giving and Receiving

An acquaintance once shared a thought which left a deep impression on me. The awareness had existed within me earlier I guess and reading and reflecting on the same drew it up to the surface. It has been brewing in me for a while now and I found this the right place to discuss it.

Whilst giving has always been held at an upper hand and taking at a lower, in reality it may not be so.

A giver may simply enjoy giving and derive pleasure from the feeling of having helped someone in need.

She/he may have a developed social-conscience which can bring up guilt at having so much more than many people around. For e.g. the twinge one may experience at walking into a beauty parlour only to beautify oneself, while a woman labourer working just outside looks on quizzically and wistfully, wondering what the haloed portals hold for well off women (which she can never hope to have on her own dusty, rough skinned person).  This may force one to part with some cash, simply to pacify the unease one is feeling.

Similarly is the act of giving alms to the innumerable beggars. The more mutilated and miserable the beggar, the greater the need to give despite the argument that beggary has turned into an organized, money-making racket.

A giver may also have a few axes to grind, one being satiating the ego, consciously or sub-consciously. The self-esteem of a person can become heavily dependent on the feeling of worth derived from giving, so much so that giving then becomes what any addiction is- a crutch. An addiction, good or bad, harmful or harmless is still an addiction. It is something that slowly takes over our ability to choose and becomes an overpowering need that demands fulfillment, devoid of logic.

Then there’s the Shylock giver, a term coined at the spur of the moment. This giver is the one that demands the proverbial pound of flesh, be it in returning favours in cash or kind or via emotion, i.e. gratitude. This kind seems to me the most soul-sapping and verbally or subtly asserts that the giving needs to be met with huge amounts of gratitude, in the form of servitude, bowing to the giver’s will at all times and even groveling.

Only if schools could set out a few hours a week in which children are taught the art of awareness and contemplation, a host of inner needs would be met. A giver who has absorbed and practiced such learning would be able to sift through the chaff of strange reasons that motivate and finally reach a point of purity, where the giving becomes such that one hand does not get to know that the other hand has given. Only then is it possible to give for the sake of giving.

Receiving

Whilst a receiver has generally been held in lower regard, a receiver has things to offer, even just by receiving.

A receiver (we are not talking about people who ask for alms on the streets) has to tread the fine line where grace meets need. One has to hold one’s self-esteem clear and away from damage and if one can’t do that, then one better stay away from this role. If the act of receiving is whittling away at our own view of our self then we had better manage within our means, or learn how to politely say ‘No’ to a giver.

A receiver has to be freely grateful alongside of maintaining one’s dignity, which is quite a balancing act.

The Buddhist bhikshu’s manner of receiving alms seems so beautiful to me. It is detached from the giver, detached from oneself and detached from the object or service received. The receiving and the giving is sustained by mutual compassion, unstained by anything else.

If we could relate to each other and our-selves via Compassion, all the give and take of thought, word, feeling and objects that life entails- would be so beautiful, so relevant.

About Sunila Vig

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from Giving and Receiving

Sunila Vig

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is apractising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity. Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi SahityaParishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.
She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.

She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

Lessons Learned from a Child-bride

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from a Child bride

Sunila Vig

A few months into the first year and she was gone. She had just begun her Bachelors degree. Married at 18, mother at 20 and again at 22, I met her two decades after I completed my college studies.

While the rest of us assumed that everything had been hunky dory with her life, it hadn’t. Here are some priceless learning from her life.

Dedication and duty

Dreams laced her eyelashes as she walked into her new life. What she found though was far different from her expectations. Unexposed to the grey areas of life, she was not much more than a child, unprepared for the irregularities that life can throw at one.

Life was regular in some ways, though.

Her babies became her mainstay and her entire mind and heart got wrapped around them. Her energies went into doing her best as a parent. Her grown up children stand testimony to her dedication. She gave her all, to them. With the others she stayed ever dutiful.

Karmic debt

She went through the usual cycle of shock, dejection, anger born of misery, cynicism and finally resignation. Bitterness gave way to acceptance. Today she is of the view that if we allow resentment to leave us, it will drop away. All we need to do is not stand in the way and not cling on to past grudges with the madness of an addict. What harmful choices anyone close to us or we ourselves have unknowingly made for us, the harm that has come our way in any manner is all a debt we are settling from another lifetime, which once cleared leaves us debt-free and with a valuable lesson if we are ready to learn.

Giving

I saw her giving of herself freely, no holds barred in any situation she was in. Be it time, money, effort or her friendship and care. To people around her she does whatever they ask of her without a second thought. To a cousin’s charity, she gives whatever she can in cash, kind or time.

This also ends up in her giving her own self fully to any experience that comes her way.

Trust

Her trust borders on naivete. This is how I was up until I had a child when I became a bit more careful and cautious. When the travel bug bites, she is up and off, alone or with people-at any hour, in any clime. Generally with a pinch of common sense one gets what one gives out, and so she has been fairly safe since the universe has mirrored the trust she exhudes, back at her. As an extension of this quality, she is quick to see the goodness within people and ever ready to forget and move on.

Healing

She is a trained Pranic healer and has helped her children feel better many a time in their growing years, from their aches and pains. Though she doesn’t use the healing actively right now, she has an awareness of energies- of people, of places, of her surroundings. Outwardly flippant, she exists on a subtle plane inside of herself.

May you only grow and gain from your own wisdom, my friend.

About Sunila

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.  Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.

She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

Lessons Learned from my Mother

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from my Mother

Sunila Vig

Our first earthly embryonic abode

The first person we connect with

Nurturer, protector, teacher

The One trusty lap of love

The mother

Lessons aplenty has each of us learned from our parents as we grow up watching them, many a thing have we picked and emulated mindfully, a few traits we have twisted to our own persona or convenience and yet others we have used to become cautious against things the pitfalls of which our parents may have been innocent of.

I will now zero in on some gems I have gleaned from my mother Swarnalata’s life and the manner in which she has led it.

Simplicity

She was an athlete par excellence and has done her coach training from the National institute of sport, Patiala. She was a theatre enthusiast and acted on stage and on AIR. Trophies, awards and kudos and the like found her firmly grounded and with no trace of pride.

In all the black and white pictures of my mother I have found her to be one of the most simply dressed, yet dignified lasses in the group. She remained thus all her life and is a dignified, yet simple 75 year old now.

Living in the now

I have rarely seen her dwell on the past for much more than a few minutes, if at all. The now is where she lives, almost all the time. The result is that she achieves a lot each day and does not carry mental baggage to hamper her life’s flow.

Carefree attitude

She does not brood and worry like I am wont to do at times. I guess she does get worried when something worrisome happens or about the well-being of her near and dear but she never lets it grip her in a debilitating fashion and shakes it off with prayer and goes on blithely.

Optimism

Anything that does not happen according to plan only gets these responses from her. There will be a way out of this or it will all be fine in the end. What is lost will be found and what has gone wrong will be righted.

Detachment from material possessions

She has lived in adverse conditions as well as in a great deal of comfort but neither bothers her very much. Property, jewels, clothes mean very less to her and people are far more important to her than the transient goods.

Healthy attachment

Her attachment to us, her first family and her siblings goes very deep, without shackling her. Ma can still live a fulfilling life far away from everyone. Being in anyone’s good books means zilch to her and she can love people despite any harm they have caused her.

Balance

Hardly anything throws her off balance for long. When she fell and broke her wrist badly, she called an ambulance and went to hospital, leaving a note to my dad which said she was at the hospital. A flood while we were in Danapore, killing a cobra with a stick, nursing ailing relatives nothing ever seemed too much to her.

Inward outlook and accountability to self

My mother looks inward for any guidance she may need. Gratitude and belief in the almighty are her mainstays and anything she does goes through her internal scanner in complete detail and truthfulness.

Acceptance and open-ness

My mother accepts whatever comes to her without a grumble. A woman of all climes and seasons, very rarely does she judge people and is generally open to the varied vagaries of human nature, including mine. She has never been stuck mentally and is proficient with the demands of the current times be it social media or doing aqua-aerobics at the gym.

Enthusiasm

Ma is enthusiastic. She loves reading and reads whatever she can lay her hand on, usually. She plays table-tennis twice a week and come rain or shine is to be found at her TT club, brandishing the racket on the stipulated days.

All in all she is quite a fantastic human being. I only hope that I don’t embarrass her too much with having written at such length about her.

 

About Sunila

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family. She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.  Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.

Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure.
She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.

Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.

Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists. She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder

 

 

Lessons Learned from a Child

sunila2 105x300 Lessons Learned from a Child

Sunila Vig

The child is the father of the man, said someone very wise. Likewise the child is the mother of the woman. In many ways the child has the key to how a happy life can be lived, easily and simply.

A child can soften the hardest heart. Even a  tough criminal is putty in the hands of his own offspring. This reminds me of an old Hindi film, ‘Nanha farishta’ (little angel), where a cherubic little girl, transforms three hardened criminals, so much so that they surrender finally.

This is a topic that has been written on time and again but to each her/his own experience is unique. Each one of us sails in the same boat, so to say, of taking birth-living-dying and yet every life is different in its own way.

As children we must have lived in much the same way, except that our world was simpler, less gadget-ridden and less exposed to many things making our childhoods last longer than that of our kids.

Nevertheless and thank God for that, childhood is a pristine time and many lessons are learned by us adults, unknowingly or with awareness.

Be-ing

The gift of be-ing comes naturally at birth. All of us have had it and many of us preserve it to a varying degree even as adults.

Looking back I remember a time when there was no sense of time and each day stretched out endlessly, simply because one was fully immersed in what one was doing. One activity finished, a child moves seamlessly to another one or ambles around, dreams or does whatever the moment makes it do.

Laughter

Any little thing can make a child laugh. Some of us are like that when we are with friends. The smallest joke is endlessly funny. A tickle, always welcome as a source of some more laughter. As we grow our laughter gets shorter, engages the belly lesser. The number of times we laugh daily gets lesser and lesser less. It is lovely to share in my child’s laughter, watching the antics of Tom and Jerry and other such delightful characters, recounting comic anecdotes, making up new games and the like.

Forgetting

At times I am harsh with my little one for what I perceive as an undoable thing. Sometimes this is needed and sometimes totally unnecessary. When I have been needlessly harsh, I feel mortified and ask for forgiveness and explain when it’s been more from my state of mind.

What I have realized is that I don’t forget and come back to the same issue after school or whenever I can if I feel the need to explain. I have been beating myself up within me all that while.

On the other hand, the little one has forgotten within a maximum of 10 minutes. While I want her to learn that we needn’t be ashamed to apologise when we are in the wrong, I also see and enjoy the fact that she forgets and moves on, in a trice.

Be-ing, Laughter and Forgetting are only 3 out of the countless gems we can pick out, absorb and apply from a child. I will continue in another post, some other time.

About the author

Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.

She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practicing Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity. Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure.

She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing. Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi.Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad. Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium. She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka,that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.

She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl

Blog www.sunilavigauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter @whitefielder