When you have no choice, you are free

You might argue just the opposite: real freedom is the freedom to choose.

This reminds me of a quote that I posted a while ago: “Suffering is the resistance to what is.” Just imagine that you choose something according to your like or dislike which is not available at the given moment. Read more

Mirror,mirror on the Wall…

If you have been following my posts, you might have read my post a few days ago, about the change I had been experiencing in the past two years – from being extroverted and moving out a lot to preferring to stay at home with plants and animals.
Well, there is another change I noticed while taking a walk along the beach this morning. I used to be concerned, naturally, about how the local people see me here in India as I didn’t want to offend anyone. I was being over-conscious and always in the state of emergency. Today, I realized that that is no more the case. It’s not that I am no more concerned about other people, but my inner attitude towards this situation changed. When I realized this a story came up in my mind that my husband used to tell during our yoga trainings: About the Dog and the Temple of Thousand Mirrors.
Once upon a time, in a remote Indian village there was an abandoned temple. Nearby lived a pack of dogs, who never used to enter the temple as they were frightened of the other pack of wicked dogs living there.
One day a dog from the neighbouring village came and joined this pack. As he was a friendly chap, the pack accepted him and immediately issued a warning: “You can stay with us, but never go to the abandoned temple at the foothill of the mountain. There are 1000 wicked dogs living there.” The dog agreed and lived happily with the pack.
One day, he went on a stroll and suddenly ended up at the entrance door of the abandoned temple. He was curious to know about these other dogs, even though his pack warned him. He entered the temple and suddenly he saw 1000 mirrors surrounding him. In each mirror he saw a friendly dog happily waving his tail.
This was also my case. As I was going about my life worried that I dwelled in the energy of worry and attracted the same. The moment I started acting in compliance with my own nature and showing up authentically, even though unfamiliar for the local people, I started receiving the same energy back along with acceptance and tolerance of my authenticity.
Again and again, everything unwinds from our own attitude with which we relate to the world. And that’s a good thing, right? Because the own attitude we may be able to change.

Breast Health: The Bra No-Go Story

I remember years ago, I thought judgmental about my friend not wearing a bra. All these justifications would pop up in my mind that I had heard from my familiar circles while growing into a young woman: “It’s important for your breast health to wear a bra. If you don’t wear a bra, your breasts will sag.” I never really minded saggy breasts but the health warning was important for me. Sounds familiar anyone?

Then one day, the Covid pandemic came and India went into a complete lockdown which meant that you were confined to your home for a few months. It was getting summer in Kerala which means 35 degrees and 75% humidity. As I was not going out I stopped wearing a bra just for the comfort of it… And to tell you the truth, never put it on ever since. Sounds almost like a fairy tale, right? I came to the following conclusions (my own experience only): My breast sensitivity increased, so that I felt more connection with the heart. And surprise! My breast firmness increased.
Wearing a bra has nothing to do with breast health, but it is mainly a product of the centuries long patriarchal rule that breasts and mainly nipples should not show and provoke. This was a revolutionary revelation to me just like years ago when I started living in India about the uselessness of the toilet paper 🧻 except for wiping off oil spills. 😉

What have I learnt from this experience? Never judge somebody for doing things differently, as the time might not yet be ripe for you do do them the same way. Inspect your habits and thinking patterns thoroughly. They might be just another adopted clichés that block your personal growth. 🙏🏽

You can choose your friends but not your family

When a yoga therapy participant asked about these pictures yesterday hanging above our house entrance, these thoughts came up in my mind. 💭
One Indian tradition I embraced is honoring my parents and the ancestral lineage. Each Indian house will display a photo of the deceased father and mother in their living room to remember and honour their path. I altered the tradition a little as my parents are still alive, however, honoring them and the path I came from helped me to heal and feel whole. (Indian arranged wedding photo from 1950’s of rural Kerala and the Czech wedding photo at the Old Town Square in Prague in 1973). When I was growing up, I felt like everything else but fitting in into my family. I felt different, misunderstood and later rebellious. The “Indian” perspective helped me to look at my family situation with compassionate eyes and I understood that every father and every mother would do their best to bring up a child. I also realized that if you didn’t reconcile and came to terms with your family, mainly your mother and father, you could never make peace with yourself and feel complete. In another words: you choose your friends but you cannot choose your family. Accept the past, honour the path you walked, heal and pave your own true way. Christmas time might be just the perfect time. 🎄

Old is Gold  – About Honest Relationships

Because we have my mother-in-law here for a couple of weeks, this impression comes to my mind.  When I look back 9 or 10 years ago, I always thought, my husband and his mother were constantly fighting judging from the tone and volume of their conversation. But no way! Now I know that they have no formalities with each other and simply live! It’s beautiful to watch. I’ve written about it before. When I asked amma (amma is the common word for Mother and the oldest woman in the family is called so) a few weeks at what time she would want to leave to return to her house, she replied in a relaxed voice: “I don’t know, let Hari decide”.  It’s not like a son decides for her. But in this case, she can let go and rely on her son. How many old people can do this with confidence in my country? My wish is to be able to take care of my parents, when they get old. And besides, I just love old people!

The following text about relationship is of course a lot more elaborate by Jeff Foster (www.lifewithoutacentre.com)

The healthiest relationships and friendships are not necessarily the ones that look happiest to the naked eye.

They aren’t necessarily the ones where two people are always found holding hands, giggling, dancing and singing with the butterflies on Instagram, where nothing ever goes wrong and love is beautiful and blissful and perfect.

External ‘perfection’ can easily mask internal devastation, disconnection and that awful, unspoken desperation to be free.

The healthiest relationships are the honest ones. And they might not look so ‘happy’ or ‘carefree’ from the outside. They might not fit the image of what a relationship ‘should’ or ‘must’ look or feel like.

Here, two people tell the honest, painful truth about today, and continually let go of all their preconceived ideas about each other. The relationship is forever renewed in the furnace of authenticity. There may be ruptures, misunderstandings, even intense feelings of doubt and disconnection, but there is a mutual willingness to face this seeming mess head-on! To look – with open eyes – at the present rupture, and not turn away or cling to the past. To sit together in the midst of mutual shattered dreams and expectations, and work to find a place of reconnection, here, now, today.

Here, relationship is seen as the ultimate yoga – an ongoing and ever-deepening adventure and rediscovery of each other, a constant letting-go and a constant meeting! Love is not a future destination, conclusion, point of arrival, or a convenient story to tell others. Love is alive.

As Eckhart Tolle says, relationships aren’t here to make us happy – for true happiness lies within. They’re here to make us profoundly conscious.

To break us, to humble us, to make us whole again.

Playful But Involved

Don’t take life too serious. However, stay fully involved.” This quote from Sadhguru of Isha Yoga resonates with me very much

There were a few incidents in the past weeks that led me back to this thought. The Czech writer Veronika Hurdova also writes about this in her latest book “Agata a zakazana hora”. This was Agata’s, the 11 old girl’s last lesson to learn, before she could fully uncover her life purpose.

One of my friend made a post on FB, as she was returning on a plane from Asia and next to her sat a fully covered lady with mask, glasses and even a hood, probably trying to protect her from Covid. The reaction to this post were the following: “She has so much fear. You should cough loudly next to her. Some people have gone mad.” First of all, we don’t know what her reason might be. She might be not afraid at all, but might have a secondary disease which in case of covid infection, might prove fatal. Or maybe she just likes to wear a hood which resembles a fluffy deer. Who knows?!

The question is: do we really need to know? Does it help, if we immediately judge? We might spend our whole life by thinking what is right and wrong. Should we do this or that. Is it the right thing I have done or not. Can we know for definite?

Isn’t it better to move away from different hypothesis of our own mind and instead involvein the present situation with our full enthusiasm and skill?

I think so. Have a peaceful and involved Sunday!

A Rich Man’s Son…

Today, during my morning jogging session (10 min around the block) I passed the house at the end of our dead end street. One plank from the fencing was broken off, so I could take a peak inside. To my surprise the house looked run down and grown over by weeds.
I remembered when I was small, I used to play there with the neighbour’s son feeding ants to the antlions. In my memory the house and the surroundings were always kept in excellent shape as the owner was a millionaire and took good care of his property.
In that moment, one Kerala proverb popped into my mind: “A rich man’s son will become a spendthrift. A spendthrift’s son will become poor. A poor man’s son will become miser. A miser’s son will become rich…”
Prosperity is about attitude, not about what was given to you.

Who makes out your reality?

Today early morning, as part of my small self-love challenge, where I post one motivation affirmation on social media everyday, I was not vigilant enough and slipped into mindless scrolling. How easily that happens!

I came across an Australian supermodel’s profile. Because the topic of external image and appearance have not been part of my social bubble for some years now (especially the last year and a half of the pandemic dressing up in outfits numbered 1,2 or 3), I have completely forgotten about how much pressure for appearance there is in the Western world and remembered with delight my first years of life in India and the feelings of relief.

After having spent my teenage years in the booming post communist capital city of Prague and my college years in 3 different Western countries, I was unconsciously influenced by the latest trends: Not to follow, but to rebel against them. Either way, it meant that I was hooked…

When I moved to India in 2009 I was relieved to see that people cared more about the hygiene and cleanliness than about cosmetics. Gradually, I replaced creams and lotions with coconut and sesame oil, started alternating between toothpaste and tooth powder, reduced the use of natural shampoo to monthly once. Stopped using spray deodorant and started to take shower twice daily instead. 😉 Stopped using perfume and became an essential oil addict.

However, the biggest advantage was the dress assortment. Except for the colour of the skin (the lighter the better and that you cannot change anyways), people in India didn’t care much about one single trend in appearance. Fashion trends were there, but without the pressure to follow. I didn’t have to spend many minutes of confusion in front of the wardrobe in the morning wondering what to wear and how to combine all.

Currently I have 4 pairs single coloured pants that I combine with 8 kurtas (longer top with a slit on the sides) of different colours and materials for different occasions. One thing I have ditched completely over the years is the shawl worn across the shoulders, except when visiting temples, ashrams or attending weddings (there are many in India). After so many years, I finally feel competent enough to know when and how and not having to adjust. 🙂

And what about the ideal image of body shape and beauty? My answer: You can hide everything under a sari and still look like a goddess.

By living in a traditional culture such as the Indian, that does not take in the globalised trends fully, I realised that my reality up to then, was not the only one and that the creator of the reality is myself only (this does not apply to clothes and appearance only). And so the self-quest journey began…

Be the creator of your own reality!

Adjust, adopt, accommodate OR what is MY yoga all about?

Yesterday, in an internet discussion about vegetarianism, where I was its advocate, I was called “a stupid cow” by the objector. I can only agree that with the word “cow”, that he was not far from the truth.

Today morning, in midst of my daily duties of making the Kerala breakfast, giving water to cow, feeding the chickens and waking up Gayatri (sometimes a task requiring high concentration and stamina), we received a call that the milking man is not coming today. Why? He’s not well. Can happen, right?!

I swallowed heavily and thoughts started swirling through my head: “Let Krishna (our calf) drink it all, let him enjoy the milk today. But, he’s already 6 months old, and he doesn’t need milk anymore. And if he drinks all milk, we won’t have any milk for tea and mainly my COFFEE!” I was not ready to give in. I saw my husband in slight distress as he was in the middle of the preparation for his online class starting 1 hour later. “I will milk Paru,” I uttered suddenly, thinking, if I really said that?!!!

Having observed the milkman a few times, I was determined to perform my milking duty. However, while taking the milk pot, Paru, our cow, already noticed that something was different. She became restless. I was determined to perform my milking duty. I released Krishna to drink a little milk, to be able to milk. I tried to sing while milking, such as the milkman usually did, for Paru not to get too suspicious. First kick. I was determined to perform my milking duty. Second kick. Paru starts moving around with me following her trying to jump on Krishna. While my determination is slowly diminishing, I hear the sweet voice of my husband through my left ear: “Do you need any help? You know, animals listen more to men.” “Yeah, right”, I thought to myself. However, my opinion changed in a split of a second, when I saw Paru standing motionless like a statue with her eyes squinting blissfully.

This might sound like a funny story, but it was not fun for me earlier. Earlier, I would not come up with the idea of taking on any unprecedented task (which makes it almost impossible to live in India). I would blame my husband for not having arranged otherwise. My mind would be ruminating about how much I had to do, would fall into the victim’s role.

With today’s morning story, I just want to point out what yoga means for me: to go about daily duties and responsibilities happily. To be able to adopt to change with less friction or resistance. To be compassionate and patient. To be there for my family.

AND at the end of the day, I am grateful, that I am going to sleep in my girlie room and that I might  even wake up the next morning! Although I am not doing any “yoga” these days in the form of asanas, pranayama or meditation, I feel that I am doing more yoga than ever before and that truly warms my heart.

Happy May 1st tomorrow, which is “lásky čas” (in Czech the time of love)

with love and a moo from India

Meera

Happy New Year!

Wish you all a happy new year from Kerala! Today, is Vishu and according to the Malayalam calendar a new year starts. On this day, the most significant event is the sighting of the Vishukkani during dawn, which is believed to bring luck throughout the year. In Malayalam, the word ‘kani’ means ‘that which is seen first’, hence, ‘Vishukkani’ means ‘that which is seen first on Vishu.’ It is believed the first thing that children see on the day should represent abundance. For this, the Vishukkan is prepared and children are blindfolded and brought to the altar to see the decorations and start the new year on an auspicious note. In general in the Indian tradition and spirituality it is believed what you see or think first in the morning will decide the course of your whole day. Every sleep is a small death and every waking up is a new birth.