This whole thing is surreal.
I cannot believe this is happening, and THAT is extremely ironic because the whole of this past week all I was supposed to do was BELIEVE. So let me tell you this, and BELIEVE me, I’m not just saying this for the sake of this post, I’m saying this because I have started to believe it myself.
THERE IS MAGIC in this world.
And when you believe in it too, you’ll experience it yourself.
Even though I chose this word just last week, I started making small changes in my life and the way I thought sometime in December itself when I joined @oneupbaby’s ‘Dream with Kat’ online program. I’ll be very honest; it was a desperate attempt at trying anything that’ll get me out of the funk I was in (work-wise, mostly) for many months. And somehow it turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve made for myself in the recent past.
This program is about making your deepest dreams and wishes come true and as most of my dreams are long-term, nothing that can happen immediately, obviously it is too soon to tell if it has worked.
But I’m looking at the bigger picture here. This program helped me channel my energies in the right direction and focus on the good things: internal as well as external. I believe that the biggest change in my internal framework started not on January 1, 2020 with ‘Word of the Week’, but on December 8, 2019 – the day the program started.
Right from writing down my biggest, most extravagant dreams, to finding my innermost fears and limitations, and facing them head on, it was the start of my transformation. From ‘There is so much I want to do,’ to knowing EXACTLY what consists of ‘so much’ or how I’m going to go about making those dreams a reality, I learnt so much about myself, what I want, what my strengths are, and what has been holding me back for so long.
And that’s when I started believing, first, in myself and then, that I could achieve whatever I wanted to. I had almost written myself off as a lost cause, but this revived me. I took charge of my life bit by bit (I started working on that novel that I was going to put off for another 11 months, I brought art back into my life,) and it changed the way I saw and felt about myself as well as the picture of what I can look forward to in life.
It may sound silly, because how can an online program do that, but it did. I’m not saying it was the ONLY reason. I put in a lot of hardwork too, and I BELIEVED that it will work for me. Without that it’s just Katerina asking me to do things and, me doing them mechanically with zero heart and zero feelings. But that’s not how I did it. I gave it everything I could. I submitted all my assignments on time (I never did that even in school or college) and working on the assignments was the start of my journey of self-discovery.
Not only did I love figuring out what it was that my dreams in life were made of, I also realised that with each assigment, those dreams changed and in some instances, I didn’t really want what I thought I wanted so I took that dream off my list without as much as batting an eyelid. And that helped shape my internal journey so much.
And then, the last magical ritual of this journey came together beautifully on January 10. I wish I could reveal more details, but you have to go through the entire process to feel it from within. A tiny hint is in the photo attached.
And as far as this past week is concerned, a lot of things have come together in the past 5 days (and I say 5 days because as I write this, it is only 10:12 AM on Monday, January 13, 2020.)
Last week I told you all that I was a sceptic, that I lacked (religious) faith, and that I needed to start believing in things, if only to make myself feel better. As a next step to being better, I wanted to believe in a power greater than all of us.
To be very honest, to that end, I didn’t try very hard. It’s not that I didn’t try AT ALL. Just not as much as I would have liked to because for the past few years I have trained my mind to think in the opposite fashion. But even so, the Universe conspired to help me along the way, probably encouraged by even the tiniest amount of effort I had put into this exercise, if only it was ‘intending’ to start believing
Now, as of this moment, when I say ‘The Universe,’ it has much more meaning to it than being just a phrase I ‘sort of’ believe in.
Just this morning, I had what I can safely call THE MOST PROFOUND epiphany of my life, that has completely changed the way I think.
I was reading Big Magic, (yes, almost two weeks into the year I am still reading the same book. Not because I don’t have the luxury to finish it in one sitting (I don’t, really), but because I don’t want to either. I want to savour it – every word, every page – and then take a minute to think about what I just read. I’ve read the book once before and except for a few places here and there, I have no memory of reading most of it so it’s almost as if I’m reading an entirely new book. I’ll do an separate post devoted to what I feel about it once I finish reading) and I was about to put it away for the day because a major section had ended and I didn’t want to start a new one when I knew I had to sit down to write in a bit.
But somehow, I kept going. And the one page that I read (that I wasn’t planning on reading) made me realise why my relationship with God was not working for so long and made me want to be a believer again.
In it, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about one of her friends, a Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, who teaches Environmental Biology. Every year, the first question Dr. Kimmerer asks her students is if they love nature, and every single one of them raises their hand. It’s the second question that stumps everyone. It had me stumped too.
“Do you think nature loves you back?”
And this is what happened next in the book.
And therein was my problem. I didn’t think that God, or the Universe loved me, or loved me enough to care about me. So I stopped communicating with Him/Her/It. I wasn’t upset, or angry, there was no yelling, cajoling, pleading, or anything going on in my conversations with the Universe because I had stopped communicating altogether. I had become indifferent, I had stopped caring.
Like I’ve said before, my whole outlook towards God changed after I became a parent because this is the analogy I applied to my relationship with God.
Mother -> Child = God -> Humans/me.
So whenever I had questions about religious dogmas or practices, I always asked myself, “As a mother, would I expect my child to do this? Then why is God expecting this out of me?”
And now, I applied this same analogy to my present situation, one where I had cut off all communication because I didn’t think I was loved, and I thought about how I would feel if Laddoo stopped talking to me, didn’t care about me any more, didn’t believe that I could help her, and therefore, wanted nothing to do with me.
I would be devastated. I would still be there for her as much as I could, but I’d probably not be in the right frame of mind to take care of her as a mother should.
And then I imagined an older, depressed version of myself who sat in a dark room all day because her child didn’t love her and had cut off all ties with her.
And then it hit me.
That’s what I had done too!
I had been the child who had cut off all ties, stopped believing that my Creator cared about me, and this heartache had sent my creator, the forces of the Universe, in a dark hole from where it couldn’t do anything for me.
In that moment, there was nothing I could do to stop the tears. I closed the book, went back inside the living room, sat on my sofa and sobbed.
I wish I could be dramatic and say that I sobbed for a long, long time and then instantly had a change of heart, lit a lamp, or said a prayer, but in reality, this is what happened.
In less than a minute since the realisation hit me, I decided to write about it before I forgot what my chain of thought and subsequent revelation had been.
I immediately went back to the balcony, and opened my laptop, and that’s when I smelled perfume in my balcony. Not some residual fragrance that may have wafted from a lower floor, but strong, as if someone sprayed it right next to me. It was the second time this has happened in the past week.
My sister has experienced this before. We both have been raised to believe in God. In the recent past, while I drifted, it seemed like her faith has become stronger than I remember it. She wasn’t like this when we lived together (or at least she never talked about it the way she does now) so I’m assuming this development happened after I got married and moved out. Or maybe it only seems profound to me now because mine had reduced.
Nevertheless, she and I talk often about these things and in one of our discussions about feeling the presence of otherworldly spirits or angels, she told me just a couple of weeks ago, that there have been instances where she could randomly smell perfume in the house. I immediately asked her if it was possible that someone else in the house was getting dressed but she said that the smell was very different from the scents our family members used. It all seemed strange to me then because I had never had such an experience.
Until one morning when I was speaking to Disha @photostoriesbyd who freaked out when I randomly mentioned that I smelled a perfume-y fragrance, and then again this morning as soon as I opened my laptop to write this down. Now, Natasha told me that this usually meant the presence of spirits around you, and that they’re trying to communicate with you. I did a little bit of Google search on this and though science suggests that it may have to do with some sort of disorder in olfactory senses, right now, I have decided to save that information in a back-up folder.
Although I did not find any concrete evidence to support the theory of the presence of spirits, I’m not going to diss it completely. I want to believe that it is a sign that someone, more powerful than I am is egging me on, as if they were saying, “Keep going, you’re on the right track.”
During the week there have also been other developments in our lives that I’m not ready to share yet. But I’ll give you all a hint. España. 😀
What I’m trying to say is that I finally got the push to start believing.
Maybe I’ll start with a little bit of prayer. To whom? I’m not too sure about that yet. I am from a Hindu family and was raised as such, and I’m not denouncing that entirely. But for now, my prayers are going to go to the forces of nature, the Universe, the power that keeps everything alive, whatever you’d like to call it. Because, well, what’s in a name?