Shame, shame! Who me? Yes you!

First off! Brene Brown salut! 

You’re a genius. You’re a wholehearted, wonderful, insightful, genuine, authentic, articulate, creative, empathetic being. Dare I say more? Jesus, someone may think am plugging you shamelessly in pursuit of some hidden agenda (getting my blog noticed for one)! Off with your heads all ye who think shameful thoughts! Oh Lord! That’d mean that the entire planet would become headless because everyone bar none thinks shameful thoughts. How do I know? I did Brene Brown’s e-course yeah! Did you? Well, shame on you! Just kidding y’all (this is BB’s favourite term, y’all, not you all, ye all, but y’all). Am just tripping on ‘shame’ right now!

Anyway, this post isn’t going to be all gush-gush about Brene Brown and her course and what I learnt or didn’t and so on. However, I would urge y’all (wink!) to read her book/s, especially ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’. I loved it. Everytime I read something that resonated with me, I’d go nodding my head, ‘Yeah, she’s so right!’ and that would be every 2 minutes :). It’s amazing really about how conditioned we are into thinking that we’re not worth it. That if:
we don’t do or behave or perform or achieve or say or plan or become or feel the way we ought to, as proscribed by those omniscient beings, who wield a circle of influence in our growing years (could be anyone, not just parents), we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. This ridiculous notion has had some seriously debilitating consequences on our psyche, and I know I’m paying for it still because I bought into that silly idea just like y’all. Why? And why in the name of God didn’t we open our f&^$@#ng mouths and scream and yell and rave and rant saying ‘I don’t want to feel this way?’ Ooops! We did, just that when that happened I guess we were called neurotic or paranoid or just plain mad. Thankfully, this deep, insatiable hunger to throw off our shackles of conformity (in a good sense) and find ourselves, yes, just plain find out who the hell we truly are, has gained so much momentum that well, I’m just lovin’ it baby! Thank you conformists. If it weren’t for your rigid outlook and if it weren’t for our inherent restlessness to just be, however anachronistic that may sound, for to just be harks back to stillness, we wouldn’t have the likes of the wonderful and heart-full and soul-full Brene Brown talk to us of ‘shame’ and owning our story.

When I wrote Fears, Mine – 1  and Fears, Mine – 2 last month, little did I realise that what I was actually doing was naming my ‘shame triggers’. So now you know that my entire life and self-worth is hinged upon how I look and what others think of me. I feel so small right now, I could cry. But Brene Brown, I tip my hat to you, you taught me, through some very creative exercises called ‘art journaling’ that I’m enough. Like Sark (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) had said in one of her wonderfully illustrated books, ‘I am enough’! I remember this because a colleague of mine called Kunal, back in my advertising agency days had mentioned Sark, during one of my ‘deep dark and lonely’ moments and I’d gone looking for Sark in bookstores and couldn’t find it and I finally ordered it on Amazon, back in the day when the Rupee was much stronger and the dollar wasn’t so forbidding and prohibitive as it is today! Be that as it may, the point is, shame is a powerful, fearful, deeply prohibitive and shackling word, a word that can freeze you in a nano-second making you forget all your meditation and the scrupulous and arduous ‘inner work’ you’ve been doing for months. For shame is nothing but the absence of self-worth, and the presence of fear tormenting one’s soul till you die with an eternal sneer on your lips, deep regret in your heart and unquenchable thirst in your soul. Well, I could ramble on about what it is and what it isn’t. It may resonate or may not resonate with you. What I’d like to do however, is to leave you with these wonderful sentiments as expressed by none other than the magnificent and truly wonderful and creative human being – Brene Brown!

Take care of yourselves till next week when I’ll be back with more chronicles. But hey, don’t forget to share, for sharing is caring! Have a super duper weekend, promise me, no crying! Love y’all!

Creativity Lives In All Of Us

I shall not suffocate. I shall continue to express and articulate and create.

I am a creative being!

Creativity lives in all of us

What's the greater risk?

Let go. Let go. Let go. Is that such a risk?

Contribute more than you criticize

What would you like to be remembered for? The one with the acerbic tongue or the one with the warm, generous, loving heart?

Don't run from the truth!

Truth is here, it’s going nowhere. Why run from it?

Stillness speaks. Stillness rules.

Think. Dream. Feel. Question. It ain’t that hard you know?!

Perfectionism be damned! Be yourself!

What would you rather be? Perfectly fearful or imperfectly daring?! You choose!

Let Go of Cool! I'm me and that's cool!

Would you want to be called a traitor? That too a traitor of yourself to yourself by yourself? Never ever ever!

I am superwoman!

I found my superpower. Curiosity and Passion! Now I’ve got to own it.

Own Your Story!

My story matters to me. You bet! I matter to me.

Did you think that courage was the absence of fear?

FEAR!      F-E-A-R!             FEEEAAAAAR!!!!

I get goosebumps even as I write the word down, mind you! Fear! Just a simple 4-letter word you would think. Not a chance honey! Fear is that one powerful word that can:

  1. change the status quo of your heart beat.
  2. allow you to froth at the mouth
  3. make you beg and plead for mercy
  4. have a million thoughts churning in your head at full throttle
  5. make an agnostic completely devout and faith-full
  6. make you take risks that you never thought possible – it’s called leap of faith maybe?
  7. ruin your appetite, give you ulcers and perhaps be the root cause of your irreversible illnesses (really? is that even possible? I thought my illnesses were because of the processed food / genetics/ rare disorder/ environment/ self-medication? And you’re saying my fear could be the root cause? So I eliminate fear and I can be cancer-free for instance? Hmm! Maybe. The point is no one can actually eliminate fear completely. Which is what I was coming to and the point of this entire post is. It’s about the conquest of fear. And replacing fear with another f-word. Guess!)
  8. make your friends into enemies
  9. give you x-ray vision and you can see ghosts where none existed
  10. help you swallow your pride and ask to be saved
  11. make strange bedfellows with greed and insecurity and allow you to feel complacent
  12. take you to the nadir of being humane without letting you on
  13. blind you to itself and weave veils of illusion around your befuddled and fearful mind
  14. make you want to be the best you can be
  15. spend sleepless nights in a toss-turn-hallucinate-toss-turn-hallucinate continuum that you fear you may never wake up from
  16. ensure all your relationships are f&%$ed!
  17. can make you wealthy and successful beyond belief
  18. can also make you aspire to be more than you can be
  19. help you survive (ever seen Bear Grylls doing his thing on Man vs. Wild? Maaan! He’s something and I think his FQ (Fear Quotient) must be pretty low. He’s seen it all, been there, done that and his belief in himself and in that other F-word keeps him going!
  20. help you value LIFE when it hits you in the solar plexus and knocks your breath out.

Because when FEAR wrestles with you, the only chance of survival is when you give yourself over completely to that other F-word! It’s 5-letters and anyone who needs miracles in their lives needs to inculcate this pronto, NOW! Dunno what I’m talking about? It’s called FAITH!

Do you know what happened before I decided to pen this post, here, right now? Firstly I was overcome by fear! Fear of:

a) Writer’s block having come to occupy me like Occupy Wall Street
b) my writing not having the power to move even an ant, let alone a human being
c) having my memory cells slowly and surely being drilled away by termites and my memory crumbling around me like powdery dust
d) my Outlook crashing/ being infected/ and all my emails disappearing (it has happened incidentally, the Good Lord knows I’m not lying and that there’s a worry gnawing away at me this very instant even as I write this (what will I do? will it mean all my emails are gone forever? why didn’t I take that back-up? will my emails be on my mail client?) and on and on like a carousel gone wild goes that inner voice of mine)
e) not remembering the movie that I saw last night and all the wonderful dialogues that made an impression on me and made me think of writing a blog post on that
f) just not having flow  – you know the stuck-ness that you feel sometimes where nothing that you say or write sounds right? It’s like trying to get into a tee-shirt or jeans that’s too tight – you wriggle, you jump, you shake – nothing! It won’t budge.

That’s like 6 friggin’ things that went through my mind as I was logging in to write my post after a week. In the space of maybe 10 mins. What the F#$@! Another F-word! Sheesh!
And then I realised that no one, no human being can ever have the absence of fear. In fact if you don’t fear anything then that’s a fearful space to be in. Because fear helps you survive, helps you decide, helps you take that leap of faith and be superhuman sometimes.

As long as you don’t allow fear to paralyse you into taking those risks, those actions that allow you to fulfill your potential, you’re okay. As long as you look fear in the eye, you’ll be fine. As long as you can outrun, outgun, outsmart fear and confront it without blinking, without taking a step back, without hesitating, you’ll be fine.

Because fear cannot, should not be eliminated. It’s about sifting it, learning to understand what it’s egging you to do, then you can conquer it, turn it around and make it your best friend. If fear allows you to go out there without second-guessing yourself, allowing FAITH to have your back, that’s the time to sport the badge of courage. Because courage is not the absence of fear, but it’s conquest. I did it just now. I couldn’t think of words to write. I was fear-full. Then I closed my eyes, meditated and my Faith came back on, blazing headlights et al. I won today! Yes!!

Go forth! Stand tall! Crush it!!

And while you’re doing that, try this one on for size – sing this song imagining that you’re singing to a girl/ guy called ‘fear’. Have fun! Peace out!