Monthly Archives: August 2019

Capacity For Joy

I crossed a birthday last month. Being born near a decade switch, my every ten years seem to align in personally with the defining traits of the decade.

At 20, I was a newly minted adult in a newly minted millenium, a forerunner of the generation that would come to be known by this word. At 30, the millennium & adulthood had taught me tangible lessons about money, employment and stability. Now, at 40, what do I have to show as a human representative of the 2010s?

I found this photo taken last year in a green room minutes before I’d go up on stage to tell a story of love & flamingos. It had been 3 days since the second heat of the #MeToo movement began, bringing down men of repute, men of my acquaintance, men I’d liked, men I’d performed with, eaten with, laughed with, clapped for. It was amid stories of assault by women I knew, women I admired, women I wanted to protect, women I related to. Earlier that day, I had dragged myself out of bed having spent yet another sleepless night of trauma. I’d judged a poetry event. I’d performed at another venue and collapsed on stage. I’d changed at a friend’s house, tried to laugh and lighten up. And I’d made my way here.

I think the MeToo movement is the most significant thing in my mind about this decade, blowing the cover off things I’d never thought I’d see exposed in my lifetime, traumas I assumed I’d experienced alone. It is also a metaphor for my decade. I began it surprising myself by getting swept into what would turn out to be an abusive relationship. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s with a failed engagement, which sounds much worse than ‘Single at 30’. I’ve weathered much since then and things did eventually settle. They keep getting stirred up again. All I have is this breath.

I look up at my reflection, seeing a tangle of stories. Then I take a deep breath and remember,

The capacity for joy
will not be lost to me
When I look in the mirror
It will be all I see

When I open my eyes again, I’m in the green room alone as outside a crowd cheers for me. I walk out with a story about flamingos in a big city.

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CAPACITY FOR JOY I crossed a birthday this month. Being born near a decade switch, my every ten years seem to align in personally with the defining traits of the decade. At 20, I was a newly minted adult in a newly minted millenium, a forerunner of the generation that would come to be known by this word. At 30, the millennium & adulthood had taught me tangible lessons about money, employment and stability. Now, at 40, what do I have to show as a human representative of the 2010s? I found this photo taken last year in a green room minutes before I'd go up on stage to tell a story of love & flamingos. It had been 3 days since the second heat of the #MeToo movement began, bringing down men of repute, men of my acquaintance, men I'd liked, men I'd performed with, eaten with, laughed with, clapped for. It was amid stories of assault by women I knew, women I admired, women I wanted to protect, women I related to. Earlier that day, I had dragged myself out of bed having spent yet another sleepless night of trauma. I'd judged a poetry event. I'd performed at another venue and collapsed on stage. I'd changed at a friend's house, tried to laugh and lighten up. And I'd made my way here. I think the MeToo movement is the most significant thing in my mind about this decade, blowing the cover off things I'd never thought I'd see exposed in my lifetime, traumas I assumed I'd experienced alone. It is also a metaphor for my decade. I began it surprising myself by getting swept into what would turn out to be an abusive relationship. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s with a failed engagement, which sounds much worse than 'Single at 30'. I've weathered much since then and things did eventually settle. They keep getting stirred up again. All I have is this breath. I look up at my reflection, seeing a tangle of stories. Then I take a deep breath and remember, The capacity for joy will not be lost to me When I look in the mirror It will be all I see When I open my eyes again, I'm in the green room alone as outside a crowd cheers for me. I walk out with a story about flamingos in a big city. #theideasmithy 🎶: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW – Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

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Looking For Light

Light. It’s an idea I’ve yet to wrap my head around, a word I’m still to learn to spell right, a reality that I still don’t entirely fathom. And I’m a woman of imagination and words.

I used to write a blog titled Behind Cobwebs which many readers told me was my best work. Gruesome feelings and dark poetry all written in the ink of despair and pain made it there. After awhile, I didn’t want to live in the dark anymore. Because we live in our words, our narrative of ourselves and the world around us.

Does city living make us more prone to negativity, more likely to wallow in despair, to enjoy pain, to revel in the toxic? I want to think not. After all, I’m a child of cities. And even my fractured, shabby city has gorgeous sunsets and flights of flamingos. The people of this city make the biggest film industry in the world. Are they selling just escape and not dreams? 
Is internet culture inherently toxic? Why are trolls so powerful when we all learnt that this word equals monster? When did we start carrying guns into a friendly conversation? I know we all just want to be heard and seen. I know it in my bones, deep where neither the city I live in nor the bandwidth I’m on matter. So, why are we in mayhem?

Maybe the newness of things always feels dark. I wonder what the experience of being born must be like – passing from comforting darkness into something entirely new. Light.

Maybe we’re constantly being born.

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LOOKING FOR LIGHT Light. It's an idea I've yet to wrap my head around, a word I'm still to learn to spell right, a reality that I still don't entirely fathom. And I'm a woman of imagination and words. I used to write a blog titled Behind Cobwebs which many readers told me was my best work. Gruesome feelings and dark poetry all written in the ink of despair and pain made it there. After awhile, I didn't want to live in the dark anymore. Because we live in our words, our narrative of ourselves and the world around us. Does city living make us more prone to negativity, more likely to wallow in despair, to enjoy pain, to revel in the toxic? I want to think not. After all, I'm a child of cities. And even my fractured, shabby city has gorgeous sunsets and flights of flamingos. The people of this city make the biggest film industry in the world. Are they selling just escape and not dreams? Is internet culture inherently toxic? Why are trolls so powerful when we all learnt that this word equals monster? When did we start carrying guns into a friendly conversation? I know we all just want to be heard and seen. I know it in my bones, deep where neither the city I live in nor the bandwidth I'm on matter. So, why are we in mayhem? Maybe the newness of things always feels dark. I wonder what the experience of being born must be like – passing from comforting darkness into something entirely new. Light. Maybe we are constantly being born. 🎶: SOUND OF SILENCE – Simon & Garfunkel #theideasmithy #mumbai #city #citylife #cityliving #urban #bigcity #skyline #urbanlandscape #internetculture #chaos #loneliness #positivity #living #livingmybestlife #hope #hopeful

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Regrets & Regards

Let’s think about regret. Decisive people rarely seem to have regrets. As a decisive person myself, I weigh what a situation is worth & if dithering will help. Regret seems to not be worth it. Who has time to regret the past when a lesson can be gleaned for the future? FOMO life doesn’t allow for regrets.

Yet you may come upon a time when even your speediest, most decisive self isn’t able to escape regret. You call it age catching up. You name it fear or cynicism. You realise that you are no different from others trying to escape people and feelings they don’t like. Your nemesis is regret. Escapism always looks like running away, no matter what the cause.

I am sitting in a garden of regret now. I call it a garden because I’m realising this is a feeling, an emotion that grows in me, from me. I’m trying to keep from bolting. I’m looking around to examine what is growing around me. Blossoming & festering are two words for the same act.

I thought we regret the bad things in our lives. But I’m finding regret in the times I’ve trusted, the ones I’ve loved, the hopes I’ve nurtured. Honest self examination means allowing every possibility to exist. I must admit that regret grows even in the most decisive, courageous, responsibility-taking, careful self that I’ve created.

Regret means admitting there may have been better choices. It means acknowledging your decisions weren’t always best. It means accepting that you weren’t always your best self. And what of the selves that aren’t the best? They cannot be escaped or ignored. They are the bigger part of you. The ones enduring mistakes, making even more. The ones personifying the messiness of living. Of emotions, memories and navigating a way forward.

f I didn’t have these, my life would have been a straight trajectory from adolescence to death, choosing the most optimal roads, going to fixed destinations. The mistakes cost me time and effort and many rewards. In coping, I found other paths, other gifts I didn’t even consider, let alone work for.

Maybe regret is a reminder that living is never going to be a simple sequence of right decisions.

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REGRETS & REGARDS Let’s think about regret. Decisive people rarely seem to have regrets. As a decisive person myself, I weigh what a situation is worth & if dithering will help. Regret seems to not be worth it. Who has time to regret the past when a lesson can be gleaned for the future? FOMO life doesn't allow for regrets. Yet you may come upon a time when even your speediest, most decisive self isn’t able to escape regret. You call it age catching up. You name it fear or cynicism. You realise that you are no different from others trying to escape people and feelings they don’t like. Your nemesis is regret. Escapism always looks like running away, no matter what the cause. I am sitting in a garden of regret now. I call it a garden because I’m realising this is a feeling, an emotion that grows in me, from me. I’m trying to keep from bolting. I'm looking around to examine what is growing around me. Blossoming & festering are two words for the same act. I thought we regret the bad things in our lives. But I’m finding regret in the times I’ve trusted, the ones I’ve loved, the hopes I’ve nurtured. Honest self examination means allowing every possibility to exist. I must admit that regret grows even in the most decisive, courageous, responsibility-taking, careful self that I've created. Regret means admitting there may have been better choices. It means acknowledging your decisions weren't always best. It means accepting that you weren't always your best self. And what of the selves that aren't the best? They cannot be escaped or ignored. They are the bigger part of you. The ones enduring mistakes, making even more. The ones personifying the messiness of living. Of emotions, memories and navigating a way forward. If I didn't have these, my life would have been a straight trajectory from adolescence to death, choosing the most optimal roads, going to fixed destinations. The mistakes cost me time and effort and many rewards. In coping, I found other paths, other gifts I didn't even consider, let alone work for. Maybe regret is a reminder that living is never going to be a simple sequence of right decisions. 🎶: YESTERDAY – The Beatles #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

A Garden of Abundance

I like the word ‘abundance’. It signifies so much more than wealth or any other kind of material possession. Abundance is not about owning at all. It is a state of mind, not a state of finances.

Feeling abundant is feeling like you are everything you need to be. The universe is being exactly as it should be . All things are okay and good and in harmony. It is a state of being undisturbed without that meaning unmoving. It is peacefulness that can exist in silence or noise alike.

I know the feeling of abundance even if I don’t always live in that mind state. My worries and feelings are things I carry in my head. Sometimes I get lost in them and forget that I’m always standing in a garden of abundance. Plants are a good reminder.

Any gardener knows a plant is a daily source of wisdom. It is a constant reminder of the miracle of life – how a seed can combine with mud, a little sunlight and water to make a paradise of colour and fragrance and good food. Gardens tell us how the beauty of life is in the fact that it is not forever. Standing among plants makes me feel abundant for being among and a part of this joyous, unstoppable, finite thing called living.

The image on the right is a tarot card called ‘9 of Pentacles’ and among other things, it represents abundance. When I saw myself in the photograph on the left, I thought how much like this card it was.

Remembering my state of abundance helps me move past things that usually slow me down like worry, anger, pain and regret. Feeling abundant allows me to experience these and still hold hope, joy and love for myself, for other people and the world. 

I hope you find your garden of abundance. 

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THE GARDEN OF ABUNDANCE I like the word 'abundance'. It signifies so much more than wealth or any other kind of material possession. Abundance is not about owning at all. It is a state of mind, not a state of finances. Feeling abundant is feeling like you are everything you need to be. The universe is being exactly as it should be . All things are okay and good and in harmony. It is a state of being undisturbed without that meaning unmoving. It is peacefulness that can exist in silence or noise alike. I know the feeling of abundance even if I don't always live in that mind state. My worries and feelings are things I carry in my head. Sometimes I get lost in them and forget that I'm always standing in a garden of abundance. Plants are a good reminder. Any gardener knows a plant is a daily source of wisdom. It is a constant reminder of the miracle of life – how a seed can combine with mud, a little sunlight and water to make a paradise of colour and fragrance and good food. Gardens tell us how the beauty of life is in the fact that it is not forever. Standing among plants makes me feel abundant for being among and a part of this joyous, unstoppable, finite thing called living. The second picture is a tarot card called '9 of Pentacles' and among other things, it represents abundance. When I saw this photograph, I thought how much like this card it was. Remembering my state of abundance helps me move past things that usually slow me down like worry, anger, pain and regret. Feeling abundant allows me to experience these and still hold hope, joy and love for myself, for other people and the world. I hope you find your garden of abundance. 📷: @anubha23 🎶: HUM HAIN RAHI PYAR KE – Kishore Kumar #theideasmithy #nature #naturelovers #naturephotography #greenhouse #greenlife #greenparent #garden #gardening #gardener #abundance #gratitude #mindfulness #mondays #mondaymotivation #motivation #nature_good #natureza #nature_photo #greenhouse

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==============================================================

If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

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