If you say it doesn’t matter you’re lying!

How many times have you heard someone say, “what they think about you is their problem”? And had this thrown at you ad nauseam, “It doesn’t matter”.

So much BS! A lot of our life is devoted to gaining acknowledgement, be special, be recognized, be loved. So why do keep getting brain washed by all the best mentors, speakers, self-help gurus, inspirational leaders who say, “don’t worry about what others say or do or think, do what you want to, be yourself.”

Well honestly, I have never actually got beneath that statement enough to figure it out. I mean hey, are you seriously telling me that when you come first in the race, or manage to actually run the marathon, or sing in front of the crowd or get that role after auditioning for the nth time, or win the “star employee of the month” award, or when someone at work says something really nice to you about how you handled the presentation, or when the bus driver actually waits till you get on board, or when the guy at the pastry shop puts in an extra marzipan chocolate in your gift pack, it doesn’t matter? Of course it does. By Jove!

I know when I used to come first in school, what my grandparents or my aunts thought mattered.
I know when I chose an outfit and got it tailored (yes not very long ago, I used to get my dresses tailored), I was silently praying for the nods of approval from my cousin or aunt or friends.
I know when I did a good job with the content for a website, I would have my heart in my mouth (still do, after so many years of doing the same) till such time the client approved it.

I know it matters. I know what others think, say, do, about how you look, feel, or treat you as a person matters.
I’m not sure what the context of “it doesn’t matter”, “be you,” “be true to yourself” really means, because at the end of the day, each of us is really playing out a role, trying to somehow win some kudos, some recognition from the “other”. We start off on a mission with the faith that we can do it. But why do we start out “doing”? What is the “driving force”? Isn’t it a doffing of the hat from others as you pass by saying “well done?”. No? Then why?

Let me know. Because I refuse to believe that Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or Ariana Huffington did what they did because it didn’t matter what others thought or said or did. Where would they be if no one bothered about Apple or FB or Huffington Post? So give me another yeah?

So next time someone says, “don’t worry about what others think”, think about it. Think about if the person saying it to you actually believes in it himself. We’re geared to please others. In the process if we somehow develop a mindset of actually believing that what others say doesn’t matter, how others treat you doesn’t matter, as long as you have unshakeable belief and faith in your ability and have a really tough and thick hide, well, goof for us.

Anyway, will you love me anyway?

Sometimes a thought, it hits you and you go, “Yes, that’s so true! I wonder…!” and you want to give that thought some thought, you want to give it a voice. This is one of those thoughts.

In a world where each of us is an island yet connected unfathomably, in a world where each of us is exhorted to be our best, do our best, live our best, in a world where each of us is trying so goddamned desperately to outdo each other, what are we really like? Who are we? I mean really, who are we? Who am I?

Am I the one who’s a control freak and who likes everything just so? OR
Am I the one who’s low on self-esteem and self-worth and needs therapy everytime to remind her that she’s enough? OR
Am I the one who loses control and unleashes lethal verbiage in order to fight the anger of abandonment? OR
Am I the one who doesn’t know when to say No even if it conflicts with her ideas and needs and wants and desires? Just so she can feel needed? And needed = accepted and accepted # rejected? OR
Am I the one who doesn’t know where her father has been for the last 30 years of her life and has no qualms in admitting that she’s relieved that he’s not in her life? OR
Am I the one who wants to be heard so bad that she thinks raising her voice will do the trick when actually all it does is get other people to move away holding their hands over their ears? OR
Am I the one who wants to dance in the rain with abandon looking up at the sky and licking the rain drops off her lips and being happy to be alive? OR
Am I the one who sits alone in a movie theatre watching Interstellar and wondering what it’d be like to be in a space ship alone and never see another human being ever again for as long as I’m alive? It scares the shit out of me! OR
Am I the one who looks at people she knows and thinks to herself, why are they prettier, brainier, successful-er, smarter, fairer, richer, than me? Why not me? Why? OR
Am I the one who continues to weave the warp and weft of dreams in Dreamland because she believes none of her dreams can ever come true? OR
Am I the one who looks at people in the family she doesn’t like but makes attempts to accommodate them and their flaws even though pretence doesn’t get me anywhere? OR
Am I the one who tries on beautiful outfits knowing fully that she can’t ever afford them or look like she’d like to look and wipes a solitary tear from her eye? OR
Who am I? Really?
Low on: self-belief, self-worth, potential, love for self, lazy, meandering the corridors of my mind mindlessly, alone, wondering about the meaning of life and what all this is for.
High on: nothing really, perhaps hopelessness, powerlessness, despair, dreams, loneliness.

At the end of the day our only excuse is that we’re human. And it’s human to want, to aspire, to desire, to love, to leave, to excel and to fail. And it’s only human to look at ourselves and retch or like Dorian Gray love ourselves to death. I’m flawed. But I’m human. Will you love me anyway?

Love me anyway

Love me anyway

 

 

 

“Do I matter?”

Gosh! It’s been exactly a month and a half since I last wrote. I’ve been away for various reasons – all personal. And then I hide behind the most trusted of all excuses which won’t ever give you away: work. :).

I had fallen off the grid with my walking, yoga, meditation, journaling, blogging and my routine was all over the place. Why? Because I was intensely focused on creating a ‘wow’ experience for my mom for her ‘surprise birthday party’. The intention was there, the focus was there, the determination, belief and action, all were there. And was it a wow? You betcha! (Hidden nugget: recipes for success are all here – focus, determination, belief, action and detachment from outcome – just got to do it.).

Well anyway, I’ve gotten back to my morning walks. Slowly, but I did it, I took one baby step at a time. I’ve gotten back to listening to podcasts like this one on the Unmistakable Creative, which I found very enlightening. During the course of Samantha Bennett ‘s conversation with Srinivas Rao, the host of UC, she mentioned, “Do I matter? Does anyone see me?” and it immediately struck a chord. My primeval being heaved when she (my primeval Renu) heard “Does anyone see me?” and I knew that this is a BIG thing. A question that I’ve battled with all my life.

Let me ask you this. Have you ever felt:
a) that you’re the kind who’ll always be the silent behind-the-scenes type but unlike a set designer or a director of a movie, or even a spot boy, you never get credit for everything you do? Maybe you don’t want it, and that’s your personality, but come on, at least sometimes it’d be nice to get all the credit for everything right? Right?

b) that somehow there are people who’ll always say, ‘hey let me do this, I got this’ and then you find that you’re the one who’s doing it, but later everyone around says the former did so much heavy-duty stuff? What a great help he/she was?Aaargh!!!

c) in a community or in a family or even in a team at an office, no one gives credit to the original idea that started something, anything, but everyone goes cheek-bussing and hi-fiving and the credit goes to perhaps the last one who wrote that email and said, ‘let’s do so and so at this time. Let’s meet?’ and you look forlornly and wonder, is this how it’s always going to be? You shrug and realise YES!

d) that those who’re seen to be doing something all the time even though in actuality they’re doing zilch, are the ones who’re credited with being ‘active’, ‘amazing’, ‘brilliant’ whereas you, if you’re the one who started the movement, oh well, sorry pal, not this way, the EXIT’s out the back-door, and shut the door silently behind you will ya? Er…who’re you?

e) suddenly on those occasions when you do make a sound and question, everyone looks at you, doesn’t like the sound of the question and what it purports to be, (perhaps makes them feel uncomfortable) and then suddenly you don’t matter? You’re not in the consideration set anymore, because you dared to ask a question and there in one fell swoop you’ve been swept to the background again.

f) the need for closure when some people you knew well, laughed with, were friends with, suddenly for no reason (seemingly) avoid you, look through you, turn their nose up at you, frown in your presence or just ignore you? Do you want to naturally gravitate towards the back of the wall or the elevator and agonise about, “why me”?

Each and every one of those instances has happened to me. I’m not a diva. I’m not an ideas-machine. I’m not a self-aggrandizing attention-seeking cloying sycophant who needs to prove anything. Correction! I do need my day in the sun! I do need external validation. Yes, I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t matter. I do need someone to applaud and say, ‘Brilliant job! No one else could’ve done better.” I do need for others to raise a toast. Yes, it’s important. I won’t lie, it is important. And I do crave for it. But that’s the one thing I’ve realised – the more you crave for something, the farther away it gets from you. But I’m human. For once I don’t have smart alecky answers or guide posts on how to cross this oh-so-human-failing of mine. Because all I ask is, “Don’t you see me?” 

If you’ve felt this way too and have found ways to make your peace, share. Sharing is caring! Lots of love to you!

 

 

 

 

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.