Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Random thoughts...

from the past few weeks in no particular order. All this time among family and not much to do except tending after Kuttipa has left me time to think..

Gods and Pujas: Maybe there is no God or maybe there is. I prefer to think there is because it is immensely comforting. It is nice to be able to direct a prayer at someone. Or to be able to thank someone. But if there is a God or several of them, would he/she/they be happy to answer anyone's prayer if said in the right manner (homam, pujas etc.). What if the intent of the prayer is frivolous? Of course then the next question would be 'frivolous to who'? Who decides these things? What is a sufficiently serious thing to pray for? The amount of money spent on the puja? What if the desired outcome is actually not so desirable (not necessarily harmful) to someone else? Will it still be answered? Or if the other person has a clear conscience, does he/she have nothing to fear? And of course there is the pujari himself. Is it possible to be a pujari and spend hours everyday praying and fasting and chanting hymns and still be a lech or something just as undesirable?

Family stuff. Parents expect unquestioning obedience from children and yet expect them to go out and be assertive and even agressive in the big bad world. How is that possible? I don't remember who I heard this from or if I read this somewhere...It's not an original thought though. But its been going through my mind recently. I guess being among family makes you realize that you either have to spend a lot of energy resisting things or simply give in to every wish of theirs to avoid conflict. I mostly choose the latter option but then spend energy in simmering resentment. Perhaps there is a better way?

Self validation: How much of our time do we spend doing something in order to get validation from someone else? Inordinate amounts is my answer. Whether it is about trying to look good and evoke appreciation from men or trying to 'be good' and evoke appreciation from my family,
or appreciation from employers for being a 'good employee' or plenty of other such things. But what happens when I fail in these attempts like I mostly do? And the world is always only too quick to point out when and how much you fall short of anything. Then comes untold misery and self-bashing and feeling abject and feeling the complete opposite of validation. And so then it leads to a greater quest for validation. Somehow. Somewhere. Anyhow. It's some kind of vicious spiral. If validation came from within instead of coming from other people, it would be much better, wouldn't it? But how does that happen? I am worthy of existence. I am worthy of happiness. But how do I so completely believe it that it becomes a part of me?

Acting scripts: Kind of related to self-validation. How many of our interactions are kind of scripted, in the sense of saying the expected things, the 'right' things. Are we using our minds in conversation to actually have the conversation or to figure out the 'correct' responses so that we can survive the conversation?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Adrift

Feeling listless, restless and generally angsty. The reasons are several. My time in India is almost over. So there is all the homesickness and all that. And there is the uncertainty of the future. What am I going to do next? Where do things fit in? Does my life make sense in any way? Why am I in Calgary? that sort of thing....

And when I am feeling angsty, the bad poetry starts to flow ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Faces

In the landscape of my mind
Some faces remain etched
Deep in the granite,
Cut deeper and deeper
by thoughts, feelings
And dreams.
Other faces vanish though
washed away in the tides,
of everyday life

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the moonlight,
in my dreams,
a sentence winds
through, ebbs
flows
and
then s t
o
p
s
.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Heavy stuff

I've been overweight most of my life. I say most instead of all, because there are some childhood photos of me looking like a normal child. But anyway, after a certain point the weight started piling on. A variety of factors I am sure contributed to it and although I've analyzed a million billion times, I don't have a conclusive answer. And even if I did, what of it? How does it help?

The weight gain certainly didn't help. I've lived most of my life feeling like a lesser person; feeling depressed, feeling unattractive, feeling unworthy of love, feeling like because I couldn't successfully lose weight I couldn't possibly be good at anything.... Believing the stereotypes of 'fat' (dirty, lazy, slothful, stupid).

The only thing that kept me going sometimes was the distant hope that someday I'd somehow lose all that weight and then I'd show everybody who I really was. Or some such thing. All my childhood diaries teem with this fantasy. Particularly when I was terribly enamored with some boy or the other in my class but did not dare reveal my crush to him because I was so sure I was unworthy of his attention. I actually did muster the courage to talk about it after I went to college but the results were always bad. And I expected no less. I looked down on myself and was confident that others looked down on me too.

Somewhere along the time I met my husband I'd developed a better self-image. I was happier with myself and wasn't desperately trying to attract a guy to improve my self-esteem. And so I guess things worked out between us. Paradoxically the improved self-image attitude was because of another guy... but that's a different story.

And yet the improved self-image thing somehow got lost, as I gained even more weight upon getting married and moving and all that stuff.

There have been times when I have lost some weight, significant amounts even. And then gained it all back. Terrible, terrible, terrible! Every unit of weight gained was a unit of self esteem lost. And here I am at 32, weighing close to the most I've ever weighed and starting (yet another) diet. Feeling almost as bad as my teenaged self, though she was agonizing over far less weight than I am right now.

And somehow I came across a website called 'Shapely Prose' about weight issues. Good prose. I couldn't stop reading. And one of their core premises is that you can be healthy at every size. That link leads to a news article about a research project. And what was the study? Two different groups of women - one group on a diet and the other being counseled on self-acceptance and being healthy. The diet group lost weight the first year and gained it all back after that. The 2nd group lost nothing but became much more fit (cholesterol levels, etc.) compared to the first group. And they were more physically active too...Surprising eh?
'.
What does this mean to me personally? Am I going to stop my diet? No, I can't stop now. I am not quite there yet. I still am under the spell of 'the fantasy of being thin.' I've held this one for too many years now to give it up in a couple of nights of reading.

But perhaps I can start the journey of self-acceptance as opposed to constant self-flagellation (metaphorically speaking of course). And perhaps my goal should be becoming healthier even if not necessarily slimmer(!)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Trapped in my tower,
I yearn to be free.
Can someone rescue me?
But who has the key?
Me?