2 Ways Of The GroundHog

Feb 2nd is Ground hog’s day.

Not exactly Christmas or woohoo, it’s snow day, but just your average groundhog who is scared or lazy enough to NOT want to get out of it’s warm burrow! It’s winter,after all! And then the one time it does decide to come out to trench it’s tiny swollen little leg and belly and peek out, what does he see but a ton of cameras and very rude nosy reporters shoving their black gigantic mikes and cameras onto his home and nose. Uncool!

Imagine the scenario? Would you like the world at your doorstep just hoping you will NOT see your shadow?

It seems like an old wives tale, a folklore or something that could feature in a sci-fi novella, but nope, this is a regular feature and we all love to crowd around the TV and news – “What’s Phil saying? Is Phil out yet? Did he see his shadow? Oh God no! Oh c’mon Phil!”

Sooooooo, now that Ive officially crossed the meandering limit for my post, what I realllly want to say and ask and suggest was this:

Why not we be Phil Pauxtawny for a day? Yeah?

Alright. I’ll explain. So, you know how Phil pops up while hibernating the winter away? But pop he does? Just to say Hi, and check out the world before returning to his own cocoon?

Isn’t that how we live our lives?

In cocoons? In our comfort space? With our own thoughts, captured and dwelling in our minds and the daily grind that we have enmeshed ourselves into? We are aren’t we? So, just like Phil, how about we take a moment to step outside of our lives. Look around, and stop thinking about us and our own intricacies, but genuinely spend a little time and thought on ones who are around us? Just one person maybe? A person who you have lost touch with, who you once shared a rapport, someone who made a difference to you, even in the smallest way possible.

Reach out

So here’s a drive that I’d like for you to be a part of:

1. Think back to someone whom you lost touch with. EVEN if they are on Facebook and not really actively participating. They can be your friend, classmate, a lost cousin, an uncle, a mentor, an ex-colleague or someone you shared a carpool, a coach or your ward. Think back. Wonder. Remember.

2. Look them up. Call them. Nope, no Facebook message, no whatsapp, no tweet, no whatever else which way that the internet has thrown at us. Pick up the phone, better yet, drop in, but if they are a distance away, call them. Surprise them with your voice. With the care and the thought that you once cherished, talk to them. Genuinely talk with them. Make that time.

3. Glow in the happiness and laughs or warmth that you shared. Bask in the glory of how you two made each other. Okay, that was a bit more cozy than I meant for you to be, but you get the drift!

4. Come back here, tell me what you did and how it went and well, wish me. Yes, it’s my birthday. It’s the best gift you can give me.

5. If you are on Facebook, click on this event, and join in. Speak there. It’s okay, be yourself, no one really cares, and if they do, well, they would love you more for it. I promise you.

So, what do you think?

Relationships, however small, and however fleeting, matter. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t have remembered them.

People matter.

Networks matter.

You matter.



grocery bag karma

Am not a domestic goddess. I watch all the domestic goddesses around me with alternating expressions of shock and awe and then of complete disinterest. To put it bluntly, I oscillate between playing Garfield in a cartoon strip watching Jon’s antics and that of a wide eyed toddler at Disney World.

For the few rare readers who have stuck on with me for the past 8 years (BY GOD! HAS IT REALLY BEEN THAT LONG?!) I had once written this post on how one goes about cleaning a closet. The formula was quite simple if you ask me. Get upset with someone, go clean. And if that someone happens to be your significant other, even better. The cleaning is directly proportional to the intensity of the said frustration. Trust me, it still stands the test of time.

And, let me add here that to my great astonishment I learnt while reading a Feng Shui book (no less!) that cleaning a closet or clutter is fabulously accurate a reaction to our state of mind. Go figure!

So where am I going with this? Of course I’ll tell you. Yesterday I accomplished a lot. That means I was upset a lot. I loaded my van with 6 bags of clothes that didn’t fit any of us anymore. 2 big cartons of SAT books of various kinds and some fiction and random books, and drove 14 miles out to a used book store and the Goodwill nearby.

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Waris Gap

On first glance, for an Indian or of anyone in the South Asian community, this picture wouldn’t really make us stop dead in our tracks. The girl model could be anyone – her facial features not exactly boxing her into one community. It says Indigo. Which could mean anything. He is a Sardar, in full gear, wearing his turban.

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Yogini Karen: An Interview

Starting off the Wednesday Featured series with an interview with my Yoga Instructor of close to three years. My mother embraced yoga many years ago and kept asking me to try it when I started having foot, knee problems and the tummy from the childbirths refused to go. I did on one trip to Madras, and hated it. Something didn’t seem right and it just didn’t stick.

Then in 2008, I tore the cartilage in my right knee. It was pretty bad and I had an arthroscopy done and it instilled a fear in me, very deep. You see, that was the very first time I had a scalpel on my skin. I was a healthy woman all through my life and all my three children were born naturally. The procedure and its after-effects terrified me cold. I was not admitting it, but I slowed down my lifestyle dramatically and in turn put on more weight coz of inactivity.

A new online friend on hearing about my stiff knee suggested that I try Yoga to ease and stretch my muscles. I knew I was taut. By coincidence, two days later, a neighbor friend asked me to come try out this Yoga class she goes in the neighborhood on Wednesday mornings. I tried on a whim, and I came home sore, in tears and feeling extremely ashamed that I was in such bad shape (physically and emotionally). Next week, I pushed myself out the door, and then the next and then before I knew it, I was hooked. I liked my teacher, I loved the stretching and how I felt the next day, I loved the space in which we practiced and most were neighbors, and women I knew outside of class. Another good friend joined in, and well, session after session we stuck on, and this is my third year with Karen Jaynes. 

Yoga has changed my life. Well, at least it has slowed me down to pause, think, and be in the moment (those Wednesdays at least) and I like how much of a foundation the stretching of the muscles has helped in my aerobic exercise and in my general well being.

I love Karen for how she runs her class, for her little anecdotes, for the way she eases folks into poses and for the humor that she and in turn we bring in, and am amazed at how far we have all come, individually. I can now do a downward dog with ease. Stay in a plank for more than 45 seconds. I can sleep in the pigeon pose and not groan, and I am almost there with my balance as a tree.

I believe that things fall into place when they have to. The right teacher and the right moment in your life are two traveling points. They meet, at random and on occasion or maybe just once. If your mind is open then, there is a click and a match is made.

Today is her birthday too! How things come together eh? :-)

Meet our wonderful, interesting and inspiring Yoga instructor, guide and teacher:

Karen of All Ways Yoga. 

Contact: Website and Facebook Page

karen Jaynes

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