Pathway To Peace Course

A close friend of mine suggested I do a writing course with her called “Pathway to Peace” a few weeks ago. It was a four week course, and this past week was the final week of the course. It was an amazing experience, and I turned a couple of the writing prompts into songs.

The final assignment was writing a sacred letter to your younger self. I had plenty to write, but here were the three most important points I walked away with for my past and future self:

  1. Maintain the belief that you are worthy. Everything in life is a process, and believing in your worth is not something I take for granted. But for me, it is essential and deserves time and effort.
  2. Prioritize your health as being critically important. I learned some tough lessons early, and ignoring what your body needs means you’re too broken to show up for the stuff that matters if you don’t listen. And by then it’s much harder, if even possible, to fix the problem.
  3. Be true to yourself. Cliche, but so true. Trying to force yourself to become someone else version of what’s right for you will leave you feeling empty and drained. I’m really flawed, but I also have good things to offer. If I ignore that completely, everyone will miss out on the good stuff. 🙂

Musings for a Saturday. The air finally cleared later today, and I’m grateful for it. I’m happy I can finally think clearly and don’t have a burning sensation in my throat. 🙂

Gratitude…

I went to get cavities refurbished at my dentist’s today. My dentist and the staff at their office are amazing. It was truly the highlight of my day, and I felt completely relaxed afterward. Weird way to start my two days off, but I was really grateful for the change and their kindness. It was a reminder of how many risks essential workers brave to provide services like health, food, and dental care, and I’m truly thankful for their bravery.

Work is still insane and I’m sad to say I’m working during my days off, but somehow my sense of calm has persisted despite a rushed morning. I’m also really grateful that I got a solid night’s sleep last night, and the air was clean when I walked over to my dental appointment. Small things. 🙂

I’m hoping to get to work on a new song that I finished writing a couple of weeks ago and wrap it up over the next couple of weeks! It’s been some time since I’ve released a new song, so I’m excited to finish it. It’s an interesting one, so requires a different way of thinking. I’m looking forward to pushing myself. 🙂

“And It Was All Yellow”

The wildfires tinted the sky yellow on Monday, and I was inspired to wear this dress to start the week off right.

I actually had a wonderful Monday, which was a nice break. Then on Tuesday I found out I probably got scammed via Instagram to become a brand ambassador, ended up running into a major issue and working 16+ hours trying to solve it, still haven’t fixed it and today was another long day at work. I feel worn out, but at the point where everything is just sad and absurd. 🙂 So I’m still able to laugh, which I’m grateful for.

I’m weirdly calm, because of a complete loss of hope, I think, lol. I read an article reviewing a book written by a Buddhist monk, or maybe it was an interview? The main gist I walked away with was: in order to truly find solutions and achieve peace, you need to stop hoping for something better.

This is reality, peeps. This is what we’ve got. So what do we do with it? I’m grateful tomorrow’s Thursday. I tried to take vacation tomorrow and Friday, but I’m swamped and will probably end up working through some of my PTO. Really hope I finish the week launching these, because I really like our partners/clients. They take a lot of pride in what they do, and I want to make sure we really give them the value they’re looking for. It’s how businesses grow.

Will find out on Friday, I guess. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to my dentist’s appointment tomorrow? I really like their office and the people who work there. 🙂

Skin

Today was a difficult day, and this week’s been more difficult than other weeks. Over the past few years and months, the unfair and harsh realities of life have become acutely clear, and my ability to cope has been truly tested.

One ray of sunshine is my latest release going live in a few hours. 🙂 This song is about loving yourself as you are, and accepting truths you can’t change and yet valuing your growth and potential no matter what other people say or do to you. It’s one of my favourites. I hope you all enjoy it and are able to find peace and joy this weekend.

The Void, The Darkness, And The Chosen Path Towards The Light

The past few months have left me stumbling, sometimes with tears streaming down my face, sobbing helplessly. There were many moments when I found gratitude, peace, joy and connection amidst heartbreak, questioning the future (my own and the world’s), and what I would find on the other side of all this in myself. What would be left of connections, systems, and the lives and dreams we have painstakingly built, piece by piece.

And then the police brutally murdered George Floyd, highlighting how much change is needed in this world. I was lost at sea, horrified and stunned.

As an immigrant, I chose to come to the US. Because it seemed like a great place to be, a place with different kinds of people and attitudes coexisting, where you can find culture, art, and intellectual curiosity in its amazing cities. A place with beautiful, vast landscapes to explore. A place of excitement and growth.

I didn’t really grow up with racism, though I understood racial prejudice growing up in Asia. Racism was something my grandparents and great-grandparents had fought against the British over, and won the fight in a magnificent show of civil disobedience. (I’m remembering the 9 year old version of it, which is how old I was when we left India for the Philippines.) It’s a chip on my shoulder in the world, but it was relatively small. Until I moved to the US.

I remember remarking to a close friend during college that I was becoming more and more aware of racism, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was getting older and more observant, or if it was because of my time in the US. My friend and I agreed the latter likely had a significant impact, and now I firmly believe it did.

As a teenager in Hyde Park, Chicago, I was part of a vibrant community that I absolutely loved in all its facets. Barack Obama had just starting his political career. I felt so much hope for my time in the US. I knew it was going to be amazing despite its challenges.

Over the past four years I’ve been left questioning if I made the wrong choice, if I chose the wrong country. Family members have bluntly told me I did. Being an immigrant and a person of Indian descent comes with its burdens in the US, but it also comes with the freedom to know that I chose to be here, and I can choose to leave if that’s what I really want to do. I built a life here from scratch, I can do it again somewhere else.

With that thought, however, I’m also reminded that I’ve lived here longer than any other country in the world. This is the place that feels most like home. I’ve worked hard to become a part of this country’s fabric and rather than running away, maybe I have a responsibility to see the opportunities for doing the right thing.

We need to change. This is the time when the pain has, once again, become unbearable and with this destruction and chaos there is an opportunity to get a fresh start, a clearer understanding of what needs to be done, and do better.

I hope we’re all able to find some peace, compassion, and growth as we crawl towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The darkness is always temporary, my experience tells me this. This is temporary, and will pass.