How life changed when I invested in Buddhist readings!

I get addicted to anything that makes me feel anything. Because not a lot of things make me feel.

Let me explain how life is complicated and a turmoil, mostly.

About three years ago, I started buying books on Zen and Buddhism, straining my eyes, heart and mind searching for demonstrable results.

I read everything. I didn’t understand most of it, but I tried.

I was born in a South Indian Kerala- Nair family. Of whatever memory I have of the 40 years, I lived so far, my family was not deeply religious nor were they dabbling in meditations and philosophies. Intellectually the feeling was good. It was a straightforward staring into reality mode, most of the time.
Hence, discovery of Buddhist readings was rejuvenating and to a large extent, honestly, entertaining.

So, the basic line was that everything depends on us, how we do the thinking . Therefore to be positive. Think positive and as a habit formation then, spread the happiness to all around you.

Now this is how life slowly, certainly not dramatically changed for the better.

I have a problem in dealing with arguments. Well, not the business, formal ones. With limited emotional outpour in those valleys, my performances there, are usually stellar. I can dip in and come out and I have rarely ruffled sentiments and in the rare cases I do, we find a calm solution.

My weaknesses come to the fore in the other kind. With friends, relatives and in matters of the heart, I fail to deliver on emotional grounds.
If the argument, gets out of hand, I would find myself at a place, from where it is often, difficult to return.
Sadly this new position of hostility becomes solidified and what was once an enjoyable relationship becomes over-shadowed with bitterness – not a good place to be.

For as long as I can remember, I have always crossed back into my own mind when I am upset. Talking to others during these times makes me feels bothersome, at best. This is not conducive to connecting and is usually not helpful in healing, but it’s the way I “work”.

I have always been in awe of friends and acquaintances who have the marvellous ability to let their pain show without drama, pride or self-beating.

Vulnerability has never come easy to me. Yet here I am pouring myself onto a page, day after day. If you were to ask me about it face to face, I would smile a little and maybe throw a laugh in there.
Damn! I can’t be confronted with pity pupils and I am sorry smiles. I retreat inward, I pull up my shields, it’s something I wish I didn’t have to do.

I am a work in progress now and the progress is good.
I give up on people slower and hold on to people tighter. Slipping happens rarely. I have shown an improved ability to read vibes and radiating the appropriate ones.
Earlier, patience never come easy to me, it was a ‘I want what I want, I want it now, no delay’ situation, in my life.
If they hesitated I would move on.
It’s romantic in a way now, when I am steady with my affections .

In slow and painful moments, I remind myself that there are good things left. there are good things coming. there are good things waiting for me. whoever I am, wherever I am, however I am, it can and it will get better.

It’s really great to have someone’s support before you accomplish something big because that’s when you need it the most, so here’s some friendly ghost support for the times before people recognize your greatness!

(Thank-you for reading this article!)

My passion is writing. Everything I write about is geared toward things that I deeply cares about—experiences, thoughts, drama, and emotions. A full-time mom to two handsome boys—11 and 4—I built a career around insurance underwriting and later, teaching of English literature and language in high school, before vanishing into full-time mommy responsibilities. I believe that life is not meant to be serious all of the time, and that we should have fun as much as we can. Besides writing, I enjoy watching spy network series and living it up by creating laugh memes with my two lovely young boys!

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I love you guys, but spare me your sarcasm…

‘Listen, smile, agree. And then do whatever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.’
Robert Downey Jr.

(Photo by Christian Lambert from Unsplash)

Every time we level up in life, we have to readjust our boundaries. what was okay before, no longer works. The people in our lives, self care rituals, the environments, and situations we engage with must all adjust and meet our new vibrational frequency, in order to be sustained.

I understand sarcasm. People use it often in their interactions. We all do. While on most occasions it is supposed to indicate friendly banter, it is belittling to many.

Here I share my thoughts about the harmful kind.

I have noticed how, for some people it’s practically the primary language, absolutely intended specifically to make the other person feel stupid. When you’re always sarcastic, people won’t want to be around you because people don’t want to feel stupid.Sarcasm has a two-faced quality: it’s both funny and mean.

In their defence, I could say that it gives them an internal satisfaction, inner peace and a feeling that could be compared to a-punch-in-the-face through their mean words.
Not only is it rude, but I’ve found that people who are “always sarcastic” tend to be unfunny.
I have ceased to interact with many friends because of their terrible addiction for self depreciation and when you don’t play the ball with them, they feel strained and nurture this obsessive need to spew nursed bitterness.
Often, many of them are left wondering why I don’t speak to them anymore.

I feel attracted to charming men and women. People who exude charm assume that no body is boring; they realize that when you’re contemplating a person’s story or their passions, you are genuinely looking for more information about them, and they’re going to value you for this.

I am forty and have had a fair share of bullying and sarcastic friends in my journey yet. I can say confidently that I have learnt my way around this terror. Some of them are unrelenting.

They would want to figure out why you wouldn’t want to connect with them anymore, as you learn to live around them. It’s a tongue in cheek situation. It is the easiest to ignore them and make it known in polite ways, that perhaps you are busy or would connect with them at a time soonest when you can.
People that like to be vindictive with words and poke fun at somebody, apparently in a friendly situation, really don’t have much going on with their intellectual mechanisms and have a lot of growing up to do. I mean really how boring do you have to be to take pleasure in somebody else’s embarrassment and unease. I can think of a million and one things I’d rather do, than that.

Over the years, I told myself, that most of the time when people point out others faults, its to draw attention away from their own. I don’t have the skill for reverse sarcasm and I convince myself again, that I am a decent human being and I am better than that right?

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Why I choose kindness as a remedy to almost all my problems.

(Photo by Andrea Tummons from Unsplash)

Do you ever feel so absolutely disinclined to do things?

Like it ain’t even postponement or laziness anymore, you just physically and mentally can’t bring yourself to do anything. It is like I really, really just wish to binge watch Discovery Plus, my favourite channel, until my mind numbs completely or lie on the bed and stare into the abyss.

And it’s not like I don’t have “motivation” or anything or even that I don’t want to do it, it’s just..I can’t. I don’t know, how people just do things randomly, get up and go at it. I have to have an entire existential crisis and like, read a goddamn motivational passage or something first before I do the smallest thing on a particularly difficult day and it’s June for God’s sake. ..and not much of monsoon to help ease the heat.

And just at times as these, sometimes I am immovably sunken. I just want someone to be kind and ask me how Iam doing and genuinely. It feels so good to be kind. We are all, rowing our heavy bars through the tough waters. We all hesitate.

But we are hopelessly looking for kind souls. It’s the warm feeling you get when someone tells me that I look nice today, or that I did a good job, or that my voice sounds lovely, or that the dinner I put together was delicious, or how I always laugh at their jokes.

It’s the warm feeling you get when they respond bashfully, or surprised, with that small smile and a thankfulness that shines in their eyes. It feels so good when someone is kind to you.

When it feels like the effort you put into the world is seen and acknowledged and appreciated. It feels so good when you’re able to make someone feel that wonderful.
It is certainly one of the best ways to build connections, if only for those few minutes that you’re in conversation with the other person.
All I want to do sometimes, on these days, is to put one foot in front of the other and be grateful.

I love the contagious nature of kindness. Have you noticed ..when someone goes out of their way to show kindness just because, it spurs others to do the same. I like simple things.

1. Giving them attention. Intentional eye contact and an inviting smile are my favourite ways to be nice. Everyone likes that.
2. Check on your neighbours once in a while. If it looks awkward, call them still and let them know that you just wanted to say a hello and ask if everything is going well with them. I have understood through practice that it wins hearts.
3. Smile at the person waiting next to you at the billing area. In most cases, they have similar agenda. They wish to collect their stuff, reach home to family.
4. Ask about someone’s pet as you meet them on your way. Ask how do they call them and say a kind word. It wins hearts.
5. Many an exhausted parent struggle when their toddler throws a wild tantrum in public space. I am a mother. I know it is a tricky situation. If you find someone in that situation, look at them with a smile and wink at them. Let them know it’s perfectly normal.
6. Say thank-you to the parking meter guy. He will be proud of his job.
7. Wish friends and acquaintances on their birthdays and send specially emoji-ed messages. It makes them happy. They will be find you attractive.

Good things happen tobhood people is a universal saying. In my modified personal note, I would say good vibes make you incredibly attractive.

Let’s make love!

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What’s up…buddy!

1. Human 1: Hey! What’s up?
Human 2: ” hey! Going on” (most common response, Iam more or less sure 99% of people say that)

2. Human 1: Hey! What’s up?
Human 2: “The sky” (smart person answer: also: “the ceiling” or, “da roof”)

The second one sounds more like my son.

There are some annoying social protocols that are non-rational (i.e. not irrational, but not rational, either — just there). This is one of them. I find it quite irritating.

Sometimes I suspect, most people who say this phrase(or equivalents, like “How’s it going?”) don’t want a true, non-terse answer. They simply want to fulfill the “mutual acknowledgement protocol.”

Believe me, in my case it could lead to few minutes of nerve-wreaking mysterious silence, or if you really take the initiative, it could lead to a nice conversation.
It’s bothered me before because I couldn’t answer it.
But depending on the situation, “what’s up” will be interpreted differently.
As such, I stick to neutral and short responses which is socially acceptable. “Not much. How ’bout you?” “Great day. Hope you’re having one too.” “Enjoying the weather.” “Looking forward to the weekend.” Or anything along those lines.

I generally vary it up, sometimes coming up with a date-specific response in advance. Otherwise you risk appearing unfriendly due to a disingenuous/unoriginal/stock response.

I find it peculiar.Sometimes, the wrath on their face builds up as they know they are approaching the answer which they weren’t willing to gather with great interest anyway. At other times, it is fuelled by a comical ‘I-dont-know-what-else-to-ask-you-first’ look pasted on the face. And them I imagine, either they quite don’t enjoy knowing me or obviously the person asking is either bored and wrote 10 messages like that to other people, or has little imagination.

I have special affection for people who come up with an endearing ‘how are you doing! Hope you are well! So nice we meet today!’ It’s almost romantic and filled with an assurance that the person did indeed like seeing me.

Over the years however, my expectations are stoically aligned with the larger choice. And I gradually adjusted to the knowledge that..the most common answer to what’s up is “I am fine, thank you, what about you?”
I have begun to assume that irrespective of what the person who is asking intends, they are enquiring about my well being, at that very moment. And as for my answer..yeah! I have worked on a bunch of alternate responses, sometimes hilarious, based on the age of the person.

It may start from a ‘Life is good’ …or a ‘not much, what’s up with you?’…to ‘same ‘ol’…and then inching towards a pressing ‘everything that’s supposed to be’ or an ouch! ‘we’re gonna find out soon enough’.

And there is always that person to whom I might say..’aah! Shit you know… living the dream!’

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