Finding Happiness within the “Restrictions”

October 20, 2014
Recently, some time before my 50th birthday in late September, I became motivated—a couple sources inspired me. Perhaps feeling a deep spiritual involvement in everything that surrounds me helps. An example, is that the nature where I live is inspiring. My village is remote, but not cut-off from the every day hubbub of the neighboring “city” Ooty. I look up into the craggy mountains that tower 500 meters over my village, the accumulating fog and its dissemination in the eucalyptus trees, feel the mist on my face as I stand in my little kitchen garden, and I feel contented. My life is simple. To some, I have a lot of “things,” while to others I don't have much. When I return to the US, I see people's homes stuffed with “stuff.” No judgment. I once wanted a lot of nice “things.” But realized that as soon as I walked out of the store, the same “problems” were still there. What Westerners call “retail therapy,” a simple shopping spree to squelch loud thoughts, is a temporary aid. Compulsive shopping doesn't work. The contrast between India and the West is huge, and it takes time to adjust to the culture, the people, the “stuffed” environments again. In my practice, every “little thing” contains energy. Most of my life has been about simplifying on so many levels, not just the physical.

Right now there's a soft pitter-patter of rain outside of my window. My cat Curunji is neatly curled by my side as I recline in bed writing this. I'm playing my favorite mix of classical music. And inside, my heart feels warmth with gratitude for this life. Almost a relief.

What is important is that we feel happy for the people in our lives and tor the contributions that they make. I have a husband who has made great stride and effort in recent times to be a very good husband. We live a different existence than our neighbors, than our friends, than many people. We focus on good health—do health treatments, garden, eat organic foods whenever possible, practice art, and lead a spiritually centered life. We focus only on the good, use good humor and language, and enjoy ourselves and our friends. We don't attach dogma to this practice. Sometimes we miss the mark, and have learning experiences.

Some people may only see certain things about this life and may wish that they have the same. Really, what we have, happiness, that is, came with hard work and climbing up difficult spiritual paths with huge trials. Our life wasn't always like this, and with gratitude and humility we can look back and say that we're glad that those times—the way we used to live—are “over with.”

The other day I was reading an artist's blog about watercolor painting, and she said that when we want to enjoy our lives more, we must simplify. I had never thought of it that way, but when I look at it, that's what my husband and I have done. Everything is basic. We eat simply (one curry and rice at lunch time) or a salad for night time. I own three salwar outfits, blue pink and green. I have six tops, although some of them have been shredded by my cat, so I'm down to three semi-presentable tops... I don't know why I'm giving these things as examples, but I think it's understandable.

Recently I read a book called The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan. It may not agree with some Christians, but it did with me, as I've had similar experiences. The book is about "death" and afterlife. Something from this book, be it in between the lines, the meaning, gave me inspiration to live life more fully. That doesn't mean to go out and do more stuff, or get more stuff. God knows that many probably have full schedules—full houses already. It means more of going inside and observing. I think that Christ speaks about this as well.

My husband and I have come to terms with a “childless” existence. People who are blessed with children are truly blessed. I don't envy or wish that my life be different. The typical question in India is, “Do you have children?” followed by a look of sympathy when they hear our answer. No. I don't feel sorry for myself. I'm happy and grateful that my step-sister Jen is able to give my Father the “Grandfather” experience. God just has something different in mind for us.

I remember how I once envied someone for her accomplishments. But in this mistake, I also might be in some way wishing for something that she has that I wouldn't want. For example, a Pandora's box full of the unknown. Who knows, maybe I spiritually “took on” something of her's that I shouldn't have. An acquaintance once said to me, “I want what you've got.” Naive, I told her about a woman that had helped me through problems with a specific kinesiology healing system. Who knows what it was that I had—in those days over a decade ago—that she wanted. Later I heard that she had had a bout with a big “disease.” As the saying goes, “Be careful for what you wish for,” especially if one is covetous of someone else's life. We never really know what life is like for people. Behind closed doors, the truest living goes unnoticed and unacknowledged, only witnessed by God and a few people. I won't even begin with what our bodies carry around...

All in all, as we make baby steps toward our heart's wishes, there's something satisfying in knowing that contentment is a state of mind. When we calm our minds, our hearts find complacency within the confines of the situation. I know this to be true as an Indian resident—for I have lived with many restrictions (cultural and self-imposed) in these past ten years. And this is the happiest I've ever been in my life. I'm sure that you—dear reader—will receive everything that you need for your life. And I wish that you are guided and protected in the right way. All good things come with good thoughts and a step-by-step process. Best wishes!


“Awake,” said he.

September 26, 2013

When I was growing up, my father used to say, "Nothing is as it appears to be." He said it all the time. Forty-something years later I can almost agree, although I'd amend it to, "Most things appear differently than they are." Yes, this is how I'd say it, definitely.

And this statement can be applied to most things in life—especially when you don't pay attention to signs and symptoms of daily occurrences. Actually, the 20/20 hindsight, in the reflection of certain situations, you can alm...

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Nature begins with God

May 22, 2013
While I was in college, I worked with a college supervisor who was a very devoted man. He was devoted to God and Christ, and i guess that if we had to give him an affiliation, he would be considered Christian. For me, I don't much care for these definitions, as it has a tendency to separate people, to make people feel either proud of their religious affiliation, or proud of their non-religious affiliation, or proud of their Baptist or of their Krishna strain of religion, and proud that they a...
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Silencing the Christmas Machine

December 30, 2012
Most years, some of us do the same thing at Christmas time: we drag out the tree, assemble it, put lights on it, and then we decorate it with ornaments. But it doesn’t stop there. We find little shops where we spend our money on sometimes useless things that may be eventually put in the “re-gift” box at its final destination. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Some of us are still looking for the true meaning of Christmas, and I’d like to of...
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Developing a Thick Skin

October 18, 2012

A couple of years ago a good friend reminded me of something very important—she said, “Susan, you need not take things so personally.” This conversation I took very deeply into my heart, because at this time, I made an issue out of anything, almost looking for an issue, which was a divisive way for the darkness to “get me” to believe that something was wrong with my life. Unconsciously, I was looking to make life miserable for myself and for those around me.  Recently I heard the ...

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Your Own Spiritual Guidance System

December 9, 2011

Dear Friends,

The other day I took a peek at the news headlines in my home country—just so that I'm not sooo out of touch with that kind of reality. And while it was only a small look in form of reading one internet news article and watching one video on the internet, I am reminded of the importance to become aware of the negative influences that abound in the world right now.

I started to send healing power (kind of like vibrational prayer) for this situation, that it turn around soon...

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Cutting Corners

October 26, 2011

The Shine

You shine behind 'India Shining,'
unnoticed by many, but not by all.
The boats cruising the backwaters
leave your unread signature,
unclogging the arteries of Kerala.
                                                           By Rajkumar Reghunathan

This week, our dear friend Babu Varghese floated into God's magical canals of the afterlife. Loyal, thoughtful, resourceful, he knew something about everything—he was an extraordinary thinker. Babu wasn't perfect, but he had a...

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Our Spiritual Toolboxes

September 29, 2011
How can you know what is going on inside of other people if you barely know what is going on inside of yourself? I write this at the risk of bending a few egos here and there. But it's the truth. Many times we make assumptions about people, or judgments, or assessments, And this does not necessarily mean that they are accurate—but our mind registers this as a “fact.” And I know that some of my dear readers “have it all figured out” and “know it all.” Sometimes I still know it...
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Susan Rena Rajkumar Just trust and believe that everything in your life will turn around!
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