Tag Archive: Love


Mind the mind

 

It has been a wonderful month full of epiphanies! Here’s one more:

I had heard a talk once by Abraham Hicks about how a man wanted to win some gazillion dollars in lottery and he was asking how he could apply the Law of attraction to bring about that situation. So Abraham asked him to describe what he would do after winning all that money. If I am not mistaken, he wanted to win something like 10 million dollars. So he started describing all that he would do after winning 10 million dollars. But his wish-list didn’t even extend beyond 1 million dollars. That’s when Abraham said that his mind was not even ready to receive those 10 million dollars since he couldn’t imagine what he would do with those dollars. And hence it’s mighty difficult to believe with thought and emotion what the mind can’t conjure.

And I now know that to be true not just about money but about every aspect of life. The mind needs to stretch FIRST in order to attract things  into reality. It’s in fact not even just about getting a lot of money, or the most perfect relationship or the most gratifying career. I know of people who have over-flowing bank accounts full of wealth but they’re not attempting even half the things that I do even with my not-so-overwhelming income! But I am learning from and observing people who do a lot more with their money to grow themselves, to acquire skills, travel etc. In other words, I am stretching my mind so that when I become my idea of “wealthy”, I’ll know what to do with my wealth apart from eating, drinking, partying, shopping and other such mundane things. So I decided to put a different spin on “why am I not a millionaire yet?????” thought. I am instead grateful because honestly, this is exactly how I would want it to be.

I think it’s a similar thing with romantic relationships. At one point in time, attracting money was a huge challenge in my life. It’s not anymore. I am not averse to or afraid of wealth anymore. I know I am going to be wealthy. I am on the way. Now my next “challenge” is relationships. I have learnt so much from the ones that I’ve had that now I feel better knowing what I don’t want. I haven’t felt more clear about this EVER before. I now know my worth and I know what makes me special. Secretly in the recesses of my own heart I have finally admitted to myself that I am a brilliant musician with a very subtle yet sharp understanding between different streams of music. This is not arrogance. It’s just knowing something undeniable. And knowing it makes me feel great and grateful. Hence, I will be unable to walk into something through the pet door. I don’t care if it takes long, because I know that I am worth the wait. If you’ve noticed, I am talking about the importance of self-worth more than romantic relationships. But that’s the whole point. A healthy self-image is indispensable to a gratifying relationship with another human being. Personally, I feel good about myself because I take responsibility, I introspect and make changes and I am a giver…that’s how I am made and I think it’s a very desirable quality. Make a list of things that you like about your romantic personality and see your belief rise. I can’t predict when the “person of my dreams” is going to come wafting through the clouds. But I am preparing myself anyway. And the preparation feels awesome! Again I am stretching my mind into believing that I am worth it, I deserve love and respect, I deserve a long-term, fun relationship with someone who will love and adore me openly as much as I’ll love them…if not more.

It’s all in the mind. All of it. Events are just events. They become consequences only depending upon our perception of them.

Focus on what makes you happy. Anything. It doesn’t matter what you’re focusing on. Try it again and again. Because THAT is totally worth the effort.

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The Art of Letting Go

I have been subjecting myself regularly to a lot of psychological experiments these days. Most of these experiments include adopting a certain belief and then observing how I feel and respond to it and then drawing my conclusions based on my observations.

The act of “letting go” as been a sort of challenge for me over the years especially in romantic relationships and even articles as well written as THIS ONE written by Marc and Angel, does not help sometimes to actually let go. We’ve all been there. The longest time I’ve taken to get over this one person from my past has been FOUR YEARS!!! That’s an awfully long time and I realized that it’s very difficult to get over a person who has especially made you very very happy. And I knew that I was doing everything to get over them sincerely but it anyway took as long as it did. Last night just before I drifted to sleep, an epiphany happened. And I smiled because I KNEW that I had hit upon the answer to the question “So how do you get over someone?” Here’s how:

  1. Understand that one person cannot fulfill all your emotional needs   No matter how hard they try, it’s not always possible. But at the same time, there has to be something to stay back in a relationship. If most of your emotional needs are being ignored/trampled upon, it’s time to move away.
  2. Just because you’ve spent years with a person, doesn’t mean it will work out Insistence that it SHOULD work has never worked! I know that it sometimes feels like a colossal waste of time and energy to run behind something that was never meant to be. But trust this: Walking away is cutting your losses in some cases. Don’t spend yourself completely in the hope of a miracle. Miracles happen because of our beliefs, not insistence.
  3. You’re responsible for how you handle situations  I know this is a cliche! In fact when going through a break-up, I always want to punch that friend who throws this line at me. But fortunately it’s true! I just realized why it’s tough for us to let go. We want this person to miss us. You know what that actually means? That we want to be valued. Let’s admit that it’s initially difficult to imagine this love of our life being happy with someone else. You know why? It’s because we want to be loved as well. For all the feelings that come up in the way of letting a relationship go, there’s an underlying reason for it. It’s hardly about the object of affection. It’s about YOU. You want to be cherished and the sudden vacuum that this person’s departure creates is a little unsettling. Do you know why we feel jealous? It’s because we want attention. The only difference is that the attention, love, affection etc that one needs is now going to come from someone else in the future and not THIS ONE person around whom our life was revolving till a few days back. Hang in there!
  4. Fortify yourself  When the mind refuses to work, work your body. Do a couple of squats. Move. If you want the best, you have to be your best. You cannot expect a sexy lingerie model to think you’re hot if you haven’t worked on getting rid of your belly gut. Ain’t happening! I’m not being shallow, this is just to draw a point. There’s an unmistakable charm and air of effortless confidence about a man or woman who’s self-made. BE IT! Build your fortune- that”ll be a story that people would want to listen to. Build your body- people will respect you and ask you for advice. Build your personality- people will ask you what you do differently! Don’t be that person who passively waits for the right person to come along. Invest time in yourself to be the right person who everybody’s looking for. Start today!
  5. It’s a process No matter how hard you try, it’s not going to be over in a day. The mind goes through it’s own motions-sometimes wildly so. When you can’t take it anymore, it’s okay to cry. And no, you’re not bipolar if you’re laughing at a typical “people falling” videos on YouTube. Clench your teeth and go through it. It gets better. But it takes its time. Don’t rush it. One thing that helped me was changing my cologne. I went out and bought myself a new Ferragamo cologne when I was going through the letting go process. It helps dissociate at least one sense organ from your past. And it is said that the sense of smell is the most strongly associated with memories. If everything seems impossible, try this step today.

Be proud of yourself even to think that you want to let go and let things be as they are. Be proud of yourself to think that you deserve dignity and you’re willing to give yourself that. Be proud that you value your precious life. You’re already special. All this pain that you’re currently going through, will serve as inspiration for someone else. I have gone through more break-ups than I count on one hand(no kidding) and if I can get up again and look forward to the future, so can you! 😀

(Wo)Man enough?

I keep hearing about a lot of women who want a “real man”, “gentleman”, “refined man” et al. Ironically, these same women in real life end up hooking up with an excuse of a man! Those wimpy, unsure, spineless, rudderless, approval-seeking, self-pitying breed of men who nobody really looks up to. A real man has personality, an edge, his own opinions and some principles which he will never compromise on. Despite that the manliness of men has always been challenged throughout history and popular culture. But are women woman enough to recognize and respect a “real man” who they declare they want? It’s left to be seen.

I therefore decided to come up with my own list of essential characteristics that I highly admire in the men(and women) that I have interacted with throughout my life including my own parents.

What makes a man, a Man?

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  1. Integrity- For me, integrity translates directly to dependability. I can’t trust someone whose actions don’t match their words most of the time. Most people find being predictable to be boring. But if there’s no consistency in actions, values, principles then it becomes difficult for trust to develop in relationships. We take the presence of integrity for granted in our closest relationships which encourages us to “lean on” our partners, open up to them, be vulnerable in front of them. Which means that if our partner has said before that they love us, we are naturally inclined to believe that they have our best interest in mind and that their actions will be in accordance with that sentiment. That is to say that we trust our partner to have integrity. And that’s why integrity comes first!
  2. Generosity- It’s an extremely charming quality to have in a man or woman. The inclination to give without expecting much in return. It could mean, being generous with love, warmth, praise, gifts, attention, hugs, warmth, appreciation, help. A generous spirit speaks a lot about a person. Look out for it!
  3. Commitment- Commitment comes where convenience ends. We don’t need commitment to be on Facebook all day. But we need it to actually accomplish something in real life. It takes commitment to work on and weed out our flaws. It takes commitment to stay on in a relationship when things don’t look too bright. It takes commitment to workout when all we feel like doing is sitting on our behinds. Some people always have one foot in the door when they’re in a relationship because of a notion that being commitment-phobic is cute. It is not really. It doesn’t take any commitment to sleep around with ten women but it takes commitment to make one woman incredibly happy even after ten years. Yeah whatever. Call me old-fashioned but I find commitment very sexy!
  4. Self-assurance/Confidence- A man who has confidence does not wait to seek approval from others, including from women. A confident man acts according to his own will without feeling a need for appeasement. He can call a spade a f*&%ing spade. A confident man doesn’t have to roar nor does he have to discuss his romps with other women to prove how cool he is. A confident man doesn’t feel the need to come across as funny at someone else’s expense. A confident man stands up not just for himself but also for his people, if need be.
  5. Compassion/Caring– An understanding and sensitivity toward his fellow human beings is integral to being a man. These days I see people going a little overboard by being verbally compassionate towards the terrible suffering of the children of Syria but being stone-cold towards their own family! That’s NOT compassion, I am sorry. Does he walk on the traffic-side of the road when you’re together? Does she give you a spontaneous shoulder/foot rub when she knows you’re tired? Does he make himself available when you’re feeling low? Does she buy you a little gift(it could be anything…doesn’t matter) to cheer you up when you’re super-stressed? Does he open doors for you? Is he courteous with his car-cleaners and waiters? If the answers are yes then that’s because of compassion.
  6. Passion– I find people without passion rather dull. They’re not passionate in love nor in life. It’s all like an attitude of passivity; allowing life to operate on auto-pilot. A passionate person is naturally motivated and inspired by something higher than himself. Although I understand that not all of us are fortunate to find an occupation or hobby that we’re passionate about. But that can’t be an excuse to not BE passionate. There’s passion even in love. People who love passionately, allow themselves to feel unhindered emotion for this loved one, they allow themselves to be pulled by their heart, they don’t blunt what they feel under the guise of humour or some other excuse. Passionate people don’t feel ashamed of what they feel. There also could be a passion for sport, self-improvement, music, literature, dance, community service, travel, motivational speaking etc. The list is endless.
  7. Ambition– It’s ambition that drives men. Especially when the men they look up to are achievers, it fuels ambition. To me, a man who’s not ambitious, is a man who doesn’t care to give his personal best. He’s someone who’s unwilling to take risks and digest the possibility of failure. Such men come across as self-satisfied and complacent. Ambition doesn’t just mean talking about becoming a billionaire over and over again. It means doing whatever is needed to achieve that goal. Better life, better body, better mind, better money, better skills etc. Ambition and self-improvement are in that sense a similar thing.
  8. Responsibility– A man takes total responsibility for his life. 100%. No exceptions. There’s a difference between that and blame. Blame is just shifting the responsibility to someone or something else. A responsibility is taken with a resolve to face the consequences without complaining or making the situation better…again without complaining. Really, nobody like a whinoceros! A responsible man will speak and act with thought of consequences not just for himself but also for others. A responsible man is an asset to anyone’s life. He’ll take the responsibility of driving his friends when they all want to drink. He’s the one who’ll wait to drive a lady friend back home even if it’s inconvenient. He takes responsibility for whatever best he can do in his most cherished relationships to make sure that it grows and is well-nurtured. A responsible man is self-reliant. He doesn’t have to shout at his mother or girlfriend to find his socks. He takes responsibility and enjoys it.
  9. Humour- A man who can’t laugh at himself is a sour puss! But at the same time, I am beginning to see sometimes that being funny is overrated. It’s almost like it makes up for not having everything else! “….yeah he’s quite an asshole, but he’s really funny!” BAM! Redemption for being asshole. For instance, I was performing in Germany couple of years back and one such “funny” guy thought it would be hilarious to keep my guitar-case in the middle of the road, after my performance ended. So apparently the joke was: “oh where’s the guitar?!!! It’s in the middle of a road hahaha”.  I therefore know that humour is very subjective. But there are still some kinds of funny that are unbecoming of a man/woman. For example, making fun of your guy’s cojones or of your wife’s grandma-style underwear in front of people, your girlfriend’s ass or your boyfriend’s impotence. These are NEVER funny. There’s a difference between being funny and being abusive/offensive. Unfortunately in such cases humour is a lost art. But just yesterday I met a fine young man who’s one of the most silent people I have met. And yet he’s so damn funny! He didn’t need to keep yapping all the time to be funny. He just said these 2-3 hilarious things yesterday that had us in splits!  So there, a nice and subtle Chanandler Bong.
  10. Love- Last but not the least. What’s a man who cannot or has not loved! There’s really nothing cute about a man who’s a commitment-phobe. Since we’re on the topic of Chanandler Bong, even Chandler grew a pair and took steps forward when he was in love. EVEN CHANDLER. He had issues, he worked on them. He’s happily married with two kids and Joey. So what if your heart broke once? You’re sit over there and cry like a girl? Or set out on making yourself a man that someone would want to be with? What’s a man who cannot show love and affection? What use is he to anyone who is not passionate about the one he loves?

So this is my list of the “real man”. But these qualities apply to women as well.

Partners in crime?

I just came across this quote by Alain de Botton

Tendencies you complain of in your partner (he’s too weak, she’s too strict, he’s too cold), you have in yourself: own before dumping.

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It got me thinking. And thoughts similar to these have always made me wonder if there’s literal truth in it.

So what does that mean? Is it to be taken literally?

I don’t think it’s even logically possible to arrive at that conclusion. Because to take it literally would mean that if one’s partner is physically abusive, then even the person themselves are abusive. Or if one is a compulsive cheater, then even the partner is a cheater. But these conclusions do not make any sense. Is an angry person’s partner also angry? Is a cold person’s love-interest cold too? So then all people who are more similar to each other than different from each other, would face more relationship troubles. Because by this logic, only a non-affectionate person would complain about a non-affectionate partner, only a disrespectful, abusive, judgmental person would complain about a disrespectful, abusive, judgmental partner. But truth is that we see far too many examples of couples being radically different from each other and yet facing very grave relationship problems.

I am a big fan and believer of the Law of Attraction and it says

That which is like unto itself, is drawn.

And the answer lies here. What one focuses on with thought and emotion, manifests. Simple.

There’s someone I know whose relationships have been quite tumultuous to say the least. And all of their relationships ultimately broke because they got cheated on. It was like a pattern. They were wonderful in the beginning and then they all headed the same way. What went wrong? Well, I’d think that when we begin to expect certain outcomes from our relationships, whether because of our insecurities or very strong past experiences, we focus on these outcomes(which haven’t yet manifest) by dwelling on the past and allowing all these overwhelming feelings to well up and then similar situations start lining up again and again. Also as far as complaints about our partner go, they are our complaints to our own self. For example, I had a partner who would call me ugly. Really. Not even masking it. The word was UGLY. I laugh over it now. But at that time it felt terrible. In retrospect I feel that I didn’t believe I was good-looking to start with and I kind of attracted that behaviour from them. I am in no way justifying what they did! But I am specially mentioning this because, after this relationship ended(I ended it), I joined a gym, got in shape, felt genuinely good about myself, got around to being an awesome musician etc. And then the next partner I dated was wonderful! They made me feel like the sexiest thing on two legs. I felt sexy, confident, like I could take on an entire room. It’s not like I turned into a swan overnight! I changed how I felt about myself and therefore I saw that change in my partner as well. In fact my partner thought that I looked hot even with a toothbrush dangling from the corner of my mouth!

This sort of explanation makes the most sense to me. I can say this much with guarantee that if your better-half(or worse-half) treats you less than right, it’s perhaps because you’re not expecting to be treated just right as well. So, yeah that’s kind of your work to do; to work on your self-worth, self-love, decide what you want from life, decide that you deserve it. That’s the work.

Wishlist 2013

These are wishes, not horses; aptly so.  This is what I expect from life in 2013:

  1. More wealth
  2. More health
  3. More conversations
  4. More memories
  5. More friends
  6. More travel
  7. More music
  8. More dreams
  9. More heart
  10. More honesty
  11. More integrity
  12. More generosity
  13. More togetherness
  14. More courage
  15. More companionship
  16. More meaning
  17. More laughter
  18. More dance
  19. More hand-holding
  20. More hugs
  21. More liberty
  22. More freedom
  23. More independence
  24. More offline
  25. More sunrises
  26. More mountains
  27. More lakes
  28. More trees
  29. More beauty
  30. More growth
  31. More learning
  32. More knowledge
  33. More compositions
  34. More poetry
  35. More satisfaction
  36. More bliss
  37. More blessings
  38. More selflessness
  39. More moments
  40. More communication
  41. More deliciousness
  42. More fragrance
  43. More security
  44. More fun
  45. More muscle
  46. More inspiration
  47. More anticipation
  48. More surprises
  49. More room
  50. More LOVE!

Yeah. Bad news.

I have always been a musician and also a composer. Now, let me tell you, composing something takes a lot of varied things. Yes, one of them could be knowledge of music. But it takes at least a degree of experience of a variety of experiences ranging from heart break to loose motions and everything in between.

I have had both heart breaks AND loose motions many times but I never thought of myself as an intense person. Until now. Till this truly extra-ordinary love-story dropped by. And stayed.

My concept of intensity was equated with Shahrukh Khan from DDLJ

In fact now I realize that somewhere deep down, I wanted a story that was like this film. Strife, struggle, falling in love with someone who was engaged/half married, unreasonable parents, villains, trains, supportive friends, crying and bawling, love and longing, eloping etc. The only thing I didn’t want was someone like Kajol. Seriously 😐

So, I have got most of the things that I had asked for including eloping. The only things left out are these:

  1. The girl’s father saying, “Ja Simran ja. Jeele apni zindagi…” *sniff sniff*
  2. The red Mandolin (Ok, I am joking. Really! Seriously joking!)
  3. A happy ending

And I just thought that the code-word for the love of my life, the apple of my longing eyes would be “Simran” 🙂

We’ll meet Simran very soon…

Well, after the miraculous love-story still in its infancy plonked on my lap from heaven, I spent a week staring at it with utter disbelief. And I believe that I didn’t breathe or even close my mouth for that whole period. It was like child-birth…except for the fact that, I didn’t even know about the pregnancy! Now you get the emotion?

What was I supposed to do with it? What name do I give it? How do I raise it?

Many times in life, when we assume that we won’t fall in love with a certain person for whatever reason. May be thoughts don’t match, nor does physicality or political views neither does anything else. And it’s such a shock that then this very person becomes the central theme of the rest of our living days. These days we even calculate the possibility of love turning into a “successful” love story based on facts and figures. But I tell you from experience, none of that really works in predicting anything. That’s probably the singular reason why the prospect of falling in love is so scary! The wanting to know of what’s going to happen next doesn’t help here. On the other hand, that’s also what makes it so charming; just like gambling. How exciting it is to know that you might lose everything that you have earned in just one shot.

Hence, it’s  very interesting to know that we can’t even then blame God, Nature, Karma, Oprah or Astrology for being in the soup that we are because of love. Oh come on! If you have not been scalded by love even once, then you have been playing too safe. In fact then you haven’t gambled…or even played snakes and ladders!

So, coming back to my story, I had a word with God. I spoke to Him at length about the situation. And He listened as though He had never known anything about it. All ears! Didn’t say a word. When I told Him that His help and support is badly needed, all He said was this, “See what happens”.

So, He didn’t say “Let go of it”

He didn’t say “It’s not meant to be”

Nor did He diplomatically say “The choice is yours, Blessings are mine”

“See what happens”.

So, yes…we’ll see what happens.