“Living here on Earth, we breathe the rhythms of a universe that extends infinitely above us. When resonant harmonies arise between this vast outer cosmos and the inner human cosmos, poetry is born.”
– Daisaku Ikeda
MY WORD OF THE YEAR AND ALL THAT JAZZ:
You may wonder what’s taken me so long to come up with my Word of the Year (WOTY), while most of you are done and dusted (err not really, rather have begun to work) with yours.
Well, I do have to admit that it took me a while to come up with my WOTY. After going back and forth with words like Being, Mindful Living, Transformation, Growth, Compassion and what-have-you’s; I finally zeroed down on this life changing word.
Though I came up with my word over two weeks back, the thing is I have picked work as a Content Writer. My work is for a cause I am extremely passionate about – wildlife and conservation. So the early weeks of this new year were spent settling into work and churning social media and blog content for Pugdundee Safaris
And then last evening, after spending almost three hours crafting a 1k word long post, my post was swallowed up, thanks to either a server error, or a glitch by Gutenberg. So here I am, back to my Classic Editor furiously typing a brand new post.
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Collarwali Makes Her First Grand Appearance with Her New Set Of Litter The stork has yet again come visiting The Queen of Pench or Collarwali. Spotting her this sunny Sunday morning, with her new litter was the high point of our day. The royal strides were not to be missed, as our big cat sauntered through the jungles, lovingly carrying one of her brood. Collarwali was named after the radio collar around her neck. She is known in the jungle circles for giving birth to the highest number of litter in the wild. And we leave you with this little trivia: Tiger cubs become independent around 18 months of age, but it is not until they are around 2–2.5 years old that they leave their mother. Picture Credit: @monudubeypench #WithPugdundee #PugdundeeSafaris #TIgersInTheWild #TigerCubs #Collarwali #QueenOfPench #Pench #PenchNationalPark #WildCats #TigersOfIndia #Tigeress #Tiger #WildLife #WildLifeIndia #CollarwaliCubs #2019TigerCubs
My work with Pugdundee Safaris is proving to be extremely enriching; one of new learnings, discoveries and explorative joy. So far, so good. As a child I always wanted to work with and in the wild. This probably is an offshoot of that dream being realised. Fingers and toes crossed for a fruitful innings with this organisation. My focus for the major parts of January was my content writing work. I am slowly but surely figuring out a schedule that will help revive my blogging mojo, and get me started with blogging on a regular basis.
WHY I CHOSE BREATHE?
Why Breathe, you may ask. Well, 2018 was a year of challenges galore, a roller coaster ride of sorts. I’m so glad it’s behind me. It was a year extreme busyness, and I spent most of it racing against time and chasing various timelines. I had cluttered my life with a whole lot of inane stuff, which was adding to the hectic pace. Plus there was way too much to do, then I could handle.
In the process I realised I had forgotten to stop by and smell the flowers. To focus on my prana or breath. I was always on the edge, trying to meet deadlines, and having a melt down at the drop of a hat. My hormones seem to flying all over the place. I was edgy, crabby, impatient and miserable. Especially towards the last few months of the year. I hated the harridan that I was turning into and wanted out of this anger vortex. And the only way to go about this was to stop and breathe. To enjoy the process of exhalation and inhalation. To spend moments just regaling in the beauty of my breath. And also to let go of what was not serving any purpose. After all our breath is all about letting go and allowing ourselves to just be in the moment.
NURTURE: MY WOTY 2018
My word of the year for 2018 was Nurture. I spent most of 2018 nurturing a bunch of people who mean the world to me. My ailing mother who crossed over early February 2018, my father who had lost his companion of fifty-five years, my older daughter, my octogenarian furry child-Cotton, who was ill most parts of 2018, my family especially at a time when we did not have any home help for over eight months, and members in my Buddhist practise. In the process of filling others cups, the one person I forgot to nurture was me. My cup had emptied out and I was feeling a gaping void.
Towards December 2018, I developed a chronic back pain, which still refuses to leave my side. But I must admit it is showing marked signs of improvement, ever since I took the decision to BREATHE. Therefore, it was only natural that I chose BREATHE as my WOTY.
Breathing In Love, Breathing Out Pain
Consciously focussing on our breath and becoming aware of it helps us be present in the moment. It helps us let go of the past and future and fills our lungs with a fresh lease of life. Our breath can help control and harness the energies in our body, mind and emotions.
Haven’t we noticed that when we are anxious, angry or stressed, our breath becomes shallow and rapid. At this point of time, if we were to bring our attention back to our breath, focusing on deep inhalations and exhalations, we can attune our minds to a state of calm.
We all breathe from the same grand ocean of air, thereby it helps unite and connect us all intrinsically.
Let’s start by practising breathing in love, and breathing out hate, pain and angst.
WHAT BREATHING DOES TO ME?
In the last few weeks as I have learned to merge my breath into my being, this is what I have managed to accomplish.
I mediate and do my reiki healing everyday with my breath in perfect alignment. I chant abundant Buddhist chants, with my breath moving in tandem with the prayers. I have been doing my stretching and back exercises which drives a major dose of oxygen into my lungs and muscles, helping them relax. I go for long walks breathing in the crisp winter air (though the AQI may not always be affable). I spend a couple of hours during the course of my day reading books and breathing into their beauty.
I take long breaks from social media and technology to watch the world pass by. I savour the moments spent with my family, our breaths aligned with each other. I have started taking time off to watch the sunset or sunrise, breathing in the beauty of the moment. I enjoy my refreshing cuppas, savouring them bit, by bit, breath by breath. I enjoy putting together a meal, not just for the family but also for myself, that I enjoy and relish morsel by morsel. I buy myself flowers and flower pots and surround my home with more green beings, as that is one incredible activity that does magic to my breath.
It may sound weird but focussing on my breath, has also helped me take time away from social media. I detox myself completely from my phone post 9 P.M. I stop the urge to check my Whatasapp or Insta feed, instead be in the moment and focus on people and things around me.
Breathing has helped me let go of people, things, situations which were no longer serving a higher purpose in my life. Breathing has helped me cleanse and declutter my life to a great extent. In the last one week or so, my forty-six something hormones seem to be raging less, not so much prone to anger, anxiousness and irritability. The moment I feel the bubble rising, I step away from the situation and breathe.
I’m so glad to have found this simple, yet so very exquisite Word of the Year. A word that helps me …
B.R.E.A.T.H.E. and stay fabulous.
Amen to that!
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey