Monday, November 23, 2015

By Thy Grace....

Grace is something we feel, not always visibly seen with the physical eye. We say grace before food to say thank you for the abundance of food in our life, but what if we say grace before everything we do? what if Grace is a part of us no matter where we are in life. This time of the year is always bittersweet for me. It reminds me of a loss I had many years ago that sits with me everyday, but in that too I find grace - I find grace for being where I am today. I find grace for being able to move past many emotions and still survive. Ironic because while so many of us were celebrating life and gratitude, many years ago we were mourning a loss. But it was Grace that taught me to celebrate the loss and use that as a way of living and getting past it. It was Grace that pushed me to always remember that kindness, love, and service is what gets us far in life not misery, sadness and anger. So thanks to Grace I learned to honor both life and death. You see it was also a time of joy - thanksgiving was being celebrated and it was the beginning of the holiday season in the U.S.  The time of togetherness, spreading cheer and reminding ourselves of the good in life. That too is Grace. grace is all around us, we just have to catch it, breathe it, hold it and never let it go. You see, it never lets us go, it is us who lets go of grace - when we feel we don't need it anymore. We always need Grace. It is what keeps hope alive. Grace is what helps us believe in miracles -it helps us survive the loss of a loved one, it helps us beat a sickness, it helps us put food on the table, it helps us forgive those that have hurt us deeply and last but not least it is our feeling of expanding love. I say thanks to thee again and again for thy Grace.   So wherever you, whomever you are with, however you are celebrating this thanksgiving weekend, try to practice one thing - Grace. We all need it, so instead of holding on to it just for yourself, extend it to others - you don't know where it will lead you.  
There is too much sadness around us and suffering, we all have and are part of that process in some way or the other.  As we move into a new season let us each try to contribute in our way to more hope.  That has been my word for 2015 - Grace has led me to believe in HOPE, and without HOPE we cannot survive.  Look for it and you shall find it. It is there waiting for it to be seen.  Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

Journal Prompt:  Grace is a five letter word.  With this word think of synonyms that define Grace, Write down at least 4-5 words without stopping. After you are done, begin writing non stop for five minutes with the following lines:  BY THY GRACE.........

Happy Journaling! 



Monday, November 9, 2015

Lead me unto Light!

The Hindu festival of Diwali is one my most favorite times of the year. It brings back warm memories of my grandmothers making mouth watering sweets, lots of cleaning of our homes, and anxiously waiting for the big day - celebrating with families and friends and preparing sweets and goodies to give away to loved ones. It is something that I hoped to continue as I get older, and pass down as memories for my son. It is a time of happiness. It is a time of storytelling. It is a time of prayer. As I get older I have found that the rituals get less and less with me, but my focus is more so the significance of this holiday. 
But what is the story behind Diwali that is so special?  It is two fold - It is welcoming the Goddess of Wealth into the homes and wish for a prosperous New Year.  Wealth is not just measured by material -it is spiritual, physical and mental wealth - and on this day we offer prayers and light "diyas" to welcome her.  It is also the story of good triumphing over evil. The story associated with it is that of a prince named Ram who was exiled to the forest for 14 years with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana. During that time, in the forest, Sita gets kidnapped by this evil king called Ravana and Ram begins his search for Sita. King Ravana was in Lanka, but in order to find him, he enlists the help of a monkey king/god named Hanuman. It is a wonderful story because it shows the determination of Ram on finding Sita, , it shows courage on the part of Hanuman to undertake this task of finding Sita single handedly, and it shows how with Right Action, Clarity, and Love, one eventually is able to defeat "evil.  Diwali is celebrated because the city of Ayodhya was celebrating its Prince's return and they decorated every street, every corner with rows and rows of lights. You see, although the Prince was exiled, the city was very sad without its prince - there was darkness all around- and so the light symbolized the joy he was bringing back. Although he was the rightful heir to the throne, he had to go through his journey to get to return back home. And he went through his journey without complaining, without resentment, without bitterness or anger. He simply moved with his duty treating all alike and fulfilling his duty to the best he can.

The story of Diwali teaches us that and much more - our trials and tribulations are many but how we respond to it is what is important, not the final outcome. These stories have remained with us since childhood and by hearing and reading these stories over and over again, it taught me to remove the negativity in my life. Only if we are able to remove the negativity within ourselves, and by that I mean the doubts, the insecurities, the ignorance in our lives, can we have clarity. There could be a row of lights in front of us and we would be unmoved by it, because we are clouded by ignorance - but we must begin to remove the ignorance and negativity within us so that we can see the light. 

Light is light -it does not go away it is always there , but we must be willing to see it and only we can make ourselves see it.   So on this day before Diwali, I want to wish each of you happiness, joy, prosperity and clarity - I hope you gain a glimpse of the light in you - because it is only when you begin to see your light you can spread light and be a beacon of light for those around.

Journal Prompt:
Use the word clarity and light in a poem. see what comes up.
Feel free to share!

Happy Journaling!