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Goodness Should be Ubiquitous

The world often seems to be ‘playing’ on the other side of a glass divider, like an aquarium. Everything ‘seems’ close and within reach, and yet not so. We often end up making choices based on what we believe we are ‘seeing’ and know, and more than not, those choices do not reflect ‘good’.

The fact is that goodness at any level still surprises us, and on a large scale – we are shocked. And yet, the ‘idea’ of goodness is ubiquitous, often mentioned in passing, assuming everyone truly understands its meaning and significance. The irony is – we use the word goodness in everyday parlance and yet the actual concept is highly underused, to the extent that any sign of goodness surprises us. Your first reaction might be to disagree with me – but think about it. Someone responds with care to your message – you wonder what objective the person may have; someone helps another or even cares about the planet and animals – there are innumerable posts of ‘wow’. What doesn’t shock us, on the contrary, are acts of unkindness, bullying, and hatred.

Why do so many of us turn to ‘God’ when we undergo tremendous difficulties and sufferings in our life? Why don’t we learn from our pain and ensure that we do not mete out pain and suffering to others? Why do we allow ourselves to wallow in self-pity or take out our frustration on those around us, and worse still, those weaker than us? The answer to all of these seemingly perplexing questions is that we allow our character to be shaped sans goodness. We make choices that lead us down a path that does not allow us to be receptive to goodness. Some of us believe that goodness can only be a reflection of some ‘divine power’ but definitely not a person’s internal ethical values.

Strange!

We need to make goodness ubiquitous – and this should no longer be a choice. This is so since without all-pervasive goodness, we are actually going against what is natural – it’s like abstaining from breathing, or food, or air – which sooner or later will affect our survival! The greater good is present inherently in all of us – but can only be effective and become stronger when we practice it. Hatred and evil are what we ‘learn’ and pass on to our generations! Ever seen a child ‘hate’ on another living being? A child’s first reaction is to run towards, hug another, pet an animal, and laugh for no reason – proving that goodness is inherent. We are born with it. Yet over time, we replace a lot of it with everything that would be the antithesis of goodness. Are you brave enough to accept this truth?

It’s time to reboot – now. Do you agree?

Writing Uncovers Even the Depths of the Soul

I must admit that when I began writing as a means to earn, it was scary. There were times that I would write just to escape – from being tired, from feeling emotionally drained, or even from laborious chores. At other times, I would relax and stop battling these ‘demons’, only to find my head and heart in sync, which then allowed the words to tumble out of them. My heart, mind, and words would coalesce – sometimes into a smooth flowing river and sometimes I would end up with a big soggy puddle!

Over time, I realized that in order to write well, I need to write from the depths of my soul – not from the surface of my emotions. I had to venture deep inside – deep enough to awaken feelings that would help me become distinct. Writing for me now, after years of practice, is a series of layered subtleties and gradations, expressed well enough to make people want to go along with me on my journey. I write from my soul.

When I write, I want it to be read and to leave the readers wanting more. It’s a deep desire to captivate the readers and enable them to ‘live’ my experiences, joys, darkness, lessons – albeit vicariously. The truth is that all of us have a story – we all are memoirs. When I write, however, it becomes a journey that I wish readers would want to undertake with me, and maybe compare notes of their story with mine.

It’s all about simple choices – the kind that creates magic, the kind that is the difference between words that readers want to soak in repeatedly or give up right at the beginning. I write such that readers can learn about my pain and joys – and maybe ease their pain and re-live their joys.

Life can be mundane in some parts – but through my words, I try to help see those ‘worn out’ parts with a fresh perspective. I know that when I read something, it often is to find some light or some solution to the complete madness in life – I read to save my soul and move towards being a better person. No words should be taken for granted – they must enrich the reader and encourage him/her to feel the emotions without actually undergoing a similar experience. Imagine that!

Wishing you well always!

Wherein Lies Inviolable Equanimity?

What does this phrase mean? What does it mean to you and can it be explained? To my way of thinking – it is not that this cannot be explained, but in doing so, it is possible that it loses its meaning when explicated in words. The world from each person’s perspective is evidently dissimilar. We seem to see everything up close and personal, and yet things seem detached.

We are not aware of what the future holds – and the pandemic is proof of that, in a forceful and ‘larger than life’ way. No, this is not a discourse on the pandemic! We know (even without the ‘scourge’) that we cannot predict the next moment, let alone tomorrow. What we can do, is either make the ‘uncertainty’ creep on us like flames lapping at our feet or choose to stay with and in, each moment. #Inviolable Equanimity is harder to achieve than we might think, but it is not impossible to steer clear of the immediacy of uncertainty. Without this composure and being in the present, we add isolation to the already lethal mix of depression, pain, anxiety, anger, and other toxic feelings. We create a ‘pressure cooker’ like state in our mind, heart, and body, with no discernible ‘release valve’.

We know that the definition and meaning of certainty and inviolable equanimity changes all the time. The reality of these terms is volatile and multi-layered, and even paradoxical. The phenomena of our everyday life seem fiddly to define. So, is there a way to center our minds and attain Inviolable Equanimity? Yes, I believe there is – if we are willing to go about things differently and remain committed to achieving positive results.

The trick lies in maintaining the impenetrable calmness – moment to moment or what is defined as being #mindful and being in the now. The offshoots are clarity of thought, ability to influence positive outcomes, focus and concentration – and a number of other such niceties that help maintain Inviolable Equanimity. Must say, however, that this sweet spot is by no means a given or easy to attain, even though it is core to our being. It is an essential albeit fragile asset.

Many of us have been dealt harsher and more frequent blows in our life – ones that either shook the foundation of our being or had other catastrophic aftermaths. These ‘thrashings’ often result in coping strategies that are usually apathy and even ‘resigning to one’s fate’. What makes these feelings even worse is the seeming revelry of our plight, of those around us – sadistic pleasure as we know it. Face it – there are demons amongst us, and each of us may have worn the cloak of such demonic impulses, sometime in our lives.

It is apparent that the disdainful and emotionally impoverished reactions, need to be culled – we need our inviolable equanimity to feel as dignified equals. We need a deeper form of ‘equality’ – a place where we accept our differences, stay away from corrosive inequality, and keep alive a profound sense of dignity not just for ourselves but for others too. Inviolable Equanimity is that higher stage – the one that lies beyond formal and material equality. Are we ready/committed enough?

Let’s talk more about this – chandini.khanna@gmail.com

Have a Super Life!

Do YOU Know Why You Write?

Writing as a business and for a living has been with me for the last 11 years and what I have realized is, that I write best when it is personal. This kind of writing has a ‘soul’. This kind of writing allows my unique voice to shine through – share my experiences, tell my story, bare my vulnerability and humanness, and enable readers to ‘bond’ with me. I must add though, that writing with soul is not always about one’s personal life. It is the kind of words that sparkle with vivacity and brio – a sparkle that is transferable. I often find myself telling myself to stop using my head and hand over the ‘pen’ to my heart. And it works.

The most important thing for me while writing is to never wear a mask. The mask of pseudo perfectionism or being a crackerjack – these personas are easily shattered. I have and will continue to share my susceptibility, my errors, and my doubts.

Even as a solo-flyer, there is a truckload of competition but my rule has been simple. Rather than ‘fighting’ the competition, I choose the path of differentiating myself – allowing ‘me’ to shine through, while still engaging in a conversation with my readers. This is true for any work/profession – sharing yourself and your experiences gives the persons listening to you, the freedom to do so too. In the words of Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

Perfection is boring – it lacks sparkle and the ability to go beyond. As humans – we all are imperfect, quirky, idiosyncratic, and flawed – and it would be unwise to try and hide these inadequacies. I feel more at peace by embracing my quirks and flaws – it is comforting and not just for me. Think about it – do you prefer being around that ‘oh so perfect person’ or that ‘crazy and eccentric’ friend who allows you to be you?

I have always wanted my writing to comfort – allow those reading it, to argue with their inner critic and know that they are great despite the self-doubt. My writing is about the portrayal of a real human being. When writing, I prefer to ‘close the door’ – on the world and on the inner critic – and work on the first cut, uninhibited and without focusing on sharing it or possible praise or brickbats. The aim is to write with soul!

There is enough ‘writing’ out there that is loaded with falsity, ennui, aimed at ‘shocking’ for the sake of it. Why add to it? I would rather continue writing to build a ‘real’ human connection – and that means writing from the heart. I don’t have a humongous marketing or branding budget – I would rather write in a way that gets readers to like my work and know me and remain in anticipation to read my next piece. It is about being relatable and daring to be different – about putting ME into every piece. So, why do YOU write?

What Motivates You?

Whoever you are or wherever your road has taken you, your personal story is your companion on this journey. Have you thought of sharing it with the world – stark and unobscured? Yes, it is scary to break down that wall and bare your soul. There are for sure certain parts of your soul that exist only for you – your thoughts, your secrets.
However, what inspires you constantly, should be shared – find the tools to express what lies inside of you and dare to share that which motivates you – pushes you beyond ‘comfort’. Share your experiences and motivations as an anecdote or in any other compelling manner, such that not only would you help others but also would rid yourself of exhaustion. When you have nothing that motivates you, there is a real danger of building and concealing self-loathing.

You would find it hard to do anything of consequence, feel constantly drained, overthink everything, and worst of all doubt yourself whether you can do or have done anything worthwhile. When you share and feel motivated, you would discover synchronicities in every part of your life. And while, you might believe that motivating yourself is the best form, reflecting on and soaking up the learnings from the lives of others, can be truly stirring and stimulating.

You might say that everyone needs their time and space, to travel their journey. And you are right. However, this journey must brim with productive thoughts and a grounded approach that takes you one firm step at a time. It is futile to waste your energy fighting against where you are currently. Move on to invest that energy to reach where you want to be, while sensibly shedding all that which pulls you down and does not serve your ‘motivation’. It would help to remain circumspect of habits that potentially annihilate you, such that you can defeat the old patterns that seemed ‘comfortable and easily ‘accessible’. Indeed, you cannot hold yourself responsible for what someone else does, nor should you hold on to what happened ‘yesterday’. Blaming the ‘past’ quickly turns into a mindset that is limited and constrained. The only thing that should motivate you is being in control of what can make the life you want. It is all about altering the response.

Looking back should be reserved only to see the strength you displayed in the face of challenges and the hardiness you gained from whatever ‘thrashed’ you. You will (I assure you) feel motivated to see how much you have grown and you will learn to give yourself credit for being tenacious and resilient, and moving ahead with grace even when it may have been the hardest thing to do.

The mistake we often make is to wait for what we deem as the ‘ideal’ path – when we know that a path is created by walking. Rather than waiting to build confidence and motivation to start a journey, take that step and build courage and motivation as you move along. Most often, life never turns out the way we deem it to be. Start by finding that one tiny scintilla that serves as motivation, and you will soon smile and be at peace with even that one baby step that you take as you build a new path.

Keep Motivating!