Changing selves…changing relationships…

I have often thought about this question: do we change with time? Is there an essential part of us that stays the same? When I visit India and see old friends, I’m often told that I haven’t changed at all. And yet, I also know that like a new haircut or a way of dressing, there is always change on the outside, but also on the inside. To me it feels like every experience we have, every person with whom we have a meaningful interaction, changes us in some way. When I think back on my own life, I can point to not just the people who have come and gone and changed me in some way, but also to specific experiences connected to those people, that have remained with me. It sometimes feels to me like I am a screen on which experiences pass through like a movie, but I as a screen also change and evolve in color and texture.

Obviously, the most significant people in my life have changed/transformed me the most. I know that my own choices in relationships have made me who I am today, every step of the way. My partner, my daughter, my closest friends have made me who I am, or maybe MORE of who I am even as I become more of them! But then also are the people who come into our lives not by choice, but by chance or without choice. These people, close family members, room mates, neighbors, people we have seen everyday at some point in our life, too change us, impacting us in ways we can never expect, more so perhaps than the people we choose to have in our life. This ME is colored by all of these experiences, and relationships…

I think of friends from the past, their sweet contributions to my self, moments shared over joy or despair, camaraderie or friendship, a friendly acquaintance or a deep relationship. I think of friends who are no longer in my life but have somehow changed the direction that my life was headed, like a river that is gently moved to a slightly different path. I think of friends who have provided that helping hand without expecting anything in return, during sickness or a crisis; during a rough spot or a smile on a difficult day. I think of the amazing thing about serendipity. Do we attract the people in our lives? Or do they arrive perhaps sent by a guardian angel somewhere looking out for us, giving us a chance on change, on possibility, on trying a different experience than we have been used to…

I think of the unexpectedness of it all. Bumping into a familiar face after a long time and how that can literally change the course of our lives. (That has happened to me, with one of my closes friends!). I do believe, every person in our life has a role to play, somehow, sent at just the right time, to be there in some way that we perhaps cannot comprehend. Sometimes, other stuff (like our own issues!) get in the way, but ultimately, every moment offers the potential for newness, of rediscovering ourselves in ways we cannot know, cannot conceive or imagine, and of appreciating the mystery and possibilities in life. Even when experiences are unpleasant, we do learn something; if nothing else, we can always learn compassion!

May we continually remind ourselves to be present and open to all that unfolds in life. Here is to embracing all of our experiences and gratitude for all the people who have touched us with their love and friendship!

With love, S.


ordinary magic…

This morning, the sun shines gloriously. After several gloomy cold days, the warmth of the sun feels like a blessing. and my spirit lifts.

One of the things I’m learning from Anjali is how to hang out. Just hang out. without agenda or purpose. Just snooze in bed, roll around a little bit, get the bowels going. If your eye happens to catch the toys hanging over your head, pay them some attention. study them for about 10 minutes. when you are ready, call for Mama. Nothing special. just an ordinary day.

Going for a walk with her this morning, this is the sense I got: how to just be. forget the grocery shopping list or the emails you have to send. forget the phone calls you have to make or the shower you want to take. just enjoy this morning, this moment. So hard to come by! As I walked out with her on the sling, she looked around, studying the scenery as we walked. every now and then she would burrow back into my chest and yawn. and when she felt like it, she would look out again. she finally settled into a doze.

Her contentment was contagious. After a long time, I felt relaxed, a rush of gratitude and peace. I just wanted to keep walking. So much to learn from this little one…

with Love, S.

Until then…

Until you open your palms
you can’t see how beautiful they are

until you release your grasp
you can’t see what you were holding on to

until you put yourself out there
you can’t know which hurt you still carry

until you experience
you can’t know what you love

until you stay up at night
you can’t see the stars

until you let yourself be
you can’t hear the song of your heart

until you let yourself dance
you can’t know grace in motion


The Dance of Elephants
The Dance of Rain
The first snow of the season
The first colors change

The first taste of Ice cream
Cookies and jam
The first scent of lavender
Mistletoe and Jasmine

The first step you take
The first mittens you wear
The first cry of disappointment
And first consolation you get

Your first best friend
Your first Love
Your first vacation
Your first Moonlight

So much to look forward to
A lifetime of Joy
A tender heart full
Of Love and Delight!

a fleeting glance…

I wonder if you have noticed how your heart is drawn to certain people. your heart just cares about them. that they be happy and that they be well. there aren’t any reasons for this.

initially, this used to throw me off. I would try to find reasons. It was great when I stopped doing that and realized that its just something the heart does. it cares. and we can dwell in it, in that loving-kindness and feel good.

It also used to throw me off if that person was of the opposite sex. and then I realized again, that this caring had nothing to do with man, woman, sexuality or attachments. it was more like soul-friendship, connecting with kindred spirits.

sometimes our love is personal. like my husband, my sister, my parents. and sometimes it is the simple caring for people we know share our journeys. it may be brief. like the one time I traveled with this amazing passenger on a flight, who had kind eyes. it may be more often like the woman/friend who works with me. I don’t see her often, but when we do, we instantly connect from the soul. it may be someone we have known, but don’t see anymore – and still know that the connection is there.

when we bring awareness to our heart’s caring, we start living fully. this doesn’t mean doing something about it. sometimes it just means being with it. without fear and without drawing back. instead, we engage with the heart in a friendly way. I guess that’s what they call loving-kindness!

may we open to the possibility of living and loving with kindness and friendliness,
with love, S.

new beginnings…

I’m writing on a new moon day – this new moon is in the sign of Aries – the astrological sign of courage, passion, action. It is warrior energy that makes things happen. and new moons always signify new beginnings. and whats more – its spring! the time of clearing out the old and bringing in the new.

One of the themes that can be associated with this time – of spring and beginnings – is that of death and rebirth. It is necessary for some things to die. things that we have been holding on to, that no longer serve any purpose, other than pure habit. and when we can let go of things we no longer need, we allow ourselves to make space for the new, for the things to be born that are more of need.

This is a wonderful time to ask ourselves – what needs to die in my life right now. and what would I like to be born in its place.

My own experience this past couple of weeks has been a revelation – of the rigidity I hold in my life. How much I like things to go my way. and how I respond when things don’t go my way. It was interesting to know how much I like to be in control. Wanting things to go a certain way is natural. It allows us to plan ahead. as long as it doesn’t get in the way of life happening. because the reality is that things will never go exactly the way we planned. can we go with the flow when that happens ?

So as I contemplated death and rebirth this morning, it came to me – I wanted to let go of some of the rigidity in my life. and in its place, I want balance to be born. balance, the place where we can listen and respond to life with wisdom.

Can we all give ourselves the permission to allow some things to die ? Letting go of things is not easy. It needs courage. and showing up. and forgiveness. and yet without death, how can the new be born ?

may whatever you need to be born into your life this spring blossom bountifully, as everything does this time of the year.

with love, S


leaves bloom, buds blossom
the air of spring is here
I think of what I need to grow
what I need to let go

those old habits don’t serve anymore
I don’t want to be a slave anymore
this moment, this choice
I will relearn new habits

it will take time
it will take patience
but as surely as the buds blossom
the leaves grow,
I know I will too, grow.

I will hurt some days
turn away some days from myself
where did I learn this from ?
I’ll ask myself and cry

and I’ll pick myself up
and go on to grow some more
after the rain, the sky will glisten
the sun will peep out
and I will know I have lived. once more.

with love, S.