Category Archives: Me

Gift of gratitude


Hidden behind layers of masks,  trapped beyond fears, falsehood and pretensions, inside the soul of some beautiful beings is this light. It penetrates and shines through their faces, it makes any place they walk into instantly bright, yet calm and under control. They glow from within.  I see the light and feel immensely blessed ‘cuz that is the most amazing gifts I think I have.  The ability to see and sense beauty in places where no one else seems to find any.

Are you lonely?

lonely   Check who you are with!! Cuz, loneliness seldom comes from being alone. A myriad of questions of the following nature are thrown at me at all times…

How can you possibly stay alone? Don’t you ever get lonely? How do you spend your evenings? What do you do for…uh…uhmmm…uhh…you know what I mean!!

The best one ever…

…are you the closeted type, it’s alright ..times have changed you know!!!

…followed by looks with various punctuation marks. Then come suggestions and well meaning advice. Am growing old. I ought to be concerned. I should look for a nice loving partner now or it will be too late. I say late for what?? Am just starting to grow up. Like in the real sense. For the first time I’m growing up for no one but myself. For the first time I have no expectations to live upto. For the first time am choosing to live on my own terms. For the first time am doing things that make me happy. Am finally getting to know ME. For the first time I am not afraid. I feel free. And if feels absolutely wonderful. Not to say I haven’t been happy in the past. Just that my happiness depended on a lot of factors. How well I pleased people. And how often I offended them. People who pretended to like me if I made them happy. People who made me feel loved when I sacrificed – my freedom, my choice, my voice, my entity, my likes and dislikes, my opinions and values, my friends. People who never tried to know me, and seldom cared. People that once provided a safe home to an obedient little girl that loved to please and serve, in trade for bits of what seemed like love. To a 19 yr old girl trying to escape a violent, abusive home, that was once indeed happiness. Today I don’t know if I am happy because I am single. Or because I am in tune with life. Because with time I have found a truly reliable friend, that’s ME!!! Or because I never get bored, and find possibilities…and so much to do, learn and get busy with. Or because am not afraid of being alone. Or that am no longer afraid of losing ‘cuz  almost everything I held so close to my heart for many many years, I have let go. OR Am I happy because I am no more surrounded by people with layers of masks who have no clue who they are or who I am and I don’t have to please them or pretend to be someone I am not. Well now my happier self wants to put out an order for a genuine, loving partner who’ll have to be my friend as in someone I can look upto, someone I can laugh and be silly with, who’ll take me as I am, show me what’s right instead of putting me down, be willing to learn and grow, be silly and adorable, sweet and irresistible, be fearless and carefree, and not take life too seriously, put up with my craziness, hold me close when am down, look into my eyes and see my soul, trust me wholly, blindly, completely, madly and most importantly, never ever let me go….uhmmm well, Universe, do you mind expediting my about an overnight delivery!! Thanks 🙂

Beautiful people that inspire me on a daily basis

My co-worker sits behind me munching on cauliflower heads and whole bell peppers, carrots and tomatoes all day long. How do I know he is eating a raw cauliflower? I smell it!! Right. And since the day I turned around sniffing the foul smell and said, ‘Kev, what are you eating cuz it is smelling pretty bad here’, he has started being secretive about his eating business n he brings his cauliflowers in airtight containers. And I started burning scented candles at my desk!! So when he says, ‘Hey Joyeeta you smell anything?’…I say, ‘Yes, my candles!!’ 🙂 But seriously, seeing him eat from a bag of salad like it was a bag of chips, witnessing his major weight loss ( he was like 250lbs couple years back) has been pretty awesome. He now walks six miles a day rain or shine, has joined Tai Chi, is learning Reiki and makes the best choices possible for a healthier lifestyle including learning to cook gluten free for himself and his kids. And all this after he went through a tough divorce. It isn’t an easy thing to eat right, and exercise and smile when you feel like crap. But once you see the results of healthier living, he bets your body demands it. And then you continue to make choices that make you feel good. And then you smile!!

One of my wonderful dance teachers I have had the opportunity to train with is over the age of 50 (not that age matters!!), started dancing at a very early age and has trained in various dance forms including Ballet, Odissi and Bharatnatyam, maintains an extremely disciplined lifestyle, dances everyday, practices yoga without fail, goes into splits, including standing leg splits anytime without having to stretch!!! The best and most beautiful thing about her is that she wears such a genuine, beautiful smile on her face.

My TKD environment is a mix of all kinds of people and its not hard to get drawn to the ones with talent, commitment, dedication and hard work. These people are crazy about their diet, nutrition and exercise. They motivate me in many different ways. But what I love the most is that they wear an amazing attitude. They work out with their families regularly setting up a great example for their kids.

We train at the best Martial Arts school in the area (in my humble opinion), with one of the best Martial Arts teacher who is very young, has had a tough, disciplined life and been fiercely devoted to one single form of Martial Arts…. Taekwondo!! No matter what situation he faces, I find him cool, calm and controlled. No matter what life throws at him, he appears grounded, centered, balanced.  I am sure he is as normal as anyone else and gets angry, irritated, frustrated. And I know its not easy to hold up a controlled front like that when you are mad.

I know every time I have tried to, I have failed. When I am mad, I am mad. Even if I think am controlling my anger, my stupid face says it all. People come and ask, ‘Hey are you mad?’…and before I say anything they ask more determinedly, ‘Why are you mad?!?!’ That makes me even more mad!!!

I have seen instructors get agitated, impatient, angry, condescending. Or they just wear this ‘do not mess with me’ OR ‘i simply do not care’ OR ‘life sucks’ attitude!!!

Not Mr. Mota. I have seen him deal with a lot of crap with grace.

Not Mr. Stoffel either. He is pretty cool in his class.

And certainly not Grandmaster Robinson. I wish I had the opportunity to train with the Grandmaster when I was young and acquired some of the invaluable traits of Martial Arts early on.

As they say, it is not the problem that is a problem, but how you choose to react is!

These are people from all different walks of life and I am constantly inspired by the choices they have made, and continue to make for themselves and those they care about.  These are beautiful people, not just by how they look outside. Having a toned, sculpted, muscular body may help us feel good confident, proud, beautiful…but without a great attitude, a calm, controlled mind…. it’s like having a beautifully wrapped present with nothing inside it.

Get well and get back…

For the last one and a half years that we have been training with Mr. Mota, he has been a huge source of inspiration, motivation, courage, confidence and moral support for us. With him around there is nothing I can say I can not do. The first time he sent me for a tournament competition, I felt like he was making a very bad judgement. I felt like I failed him when I got a second place. But he never made me feel any less, sent me to the next one and demanded a gold. I got a gold in every tournament he made me compete after that.

I had never imagined in my wildest of dreams I could break boards. In the past year, I have broken a board with a punch, hammer-fist, ridge-hand strike, back kick, side kick, round kick, jump round kick, jump side kick with a bag between me and the board!! ‘Now break it with your left’, he often says giving no acknowledgment to my sinking heart and just walks away after I am done breaking. Each time he has left me with this amazing realization of what I am capable of!!! I broke a concrete brick with an elbow strike after he said you are not going home without breaking it. I just do it even if I don’t believe I can. I like the challenge and appreciate that he shows confidence in his students. 

We had our Belt Test today and I was all prepared to test having broken the board several times with many tries over the last week. I wasn’t at all prepared to test without my instructor though. Am kinda worried he will be mad that I didn’t test. And it is wierd that I would need him around to perform…all I know is I didn’t feel I could do my best today.  The good thing is I was able to take pictures and videos of my kids which I normally can’t cuz I am always testing with them.

At times you just need to let go of this need to do the right thing and do what feels right!!! Right?? Breathe, relax, let go and see what happens.

Get well and get back Mr. Mota, we missed you today!!

Walk in Sacramento Midtown

The weekend before last, took a long mid-morning walk with a friend who works extra long hours including weekends. She barely has time for herself but chose to spend the morning with me, showed around the beautiful neighborhood in midtown Sacramento, a place I am not very familiar with. I have always wanted to stop and stare at the lovely Victorian houses but driving in downtown is not something I enjoy, and usually get in and out of the place as quickly as I can. We bought coffee, and walked leisurely feeling a crisp, mild chill in the air. And I absolutely soaked in the beauty of the place. We walked past a house that had an avocado tree in its backyard. There were so many different varieties of Camelia. Found out Sacramento is the Camelia Capital of the world.  The Magnolia flowers were blooming and were breathtakingly beautiful.  We stopped by one and just stared at how perfect and unique they were. Azaleas were everywhere adding such burst of color. We found scented geraniums and my friend gave me directions on how to make herbal concoctions. She wishes to have her own apothecary one day. The Japanese maple trees were blooming in pink hues.  There weren’t any roses in the rose garden at this time but the place looked really nice with an arbor placed for wedding events. We bought the best tasting muffins and scones from a local bakery…and walked back.

I had left my mobile in the car so couldn’t take pictures. Didn’t miss it.  Memories like this are etched in the mind.

What do I know of love?

‘Wisdom is knowing I am nothing. Love is knowing I am everything. Between the two my life moves’ – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Do you have love all figured out?

Love is what’s left over when falling in love fades away – Wayne Dyer

I am free to love. I can love with all my heart, and passion. I can love my family or the entire world. I can choose to love another person or myself and my solitude. I can choose to love my children or children in general.

All that is left when everything else seems lost…is love. We haven’t lost all as long as we don’t lose the ability to love.

The other day, a random baby in the arms of her mother in a parking lot, looked at me and waving her chubby little hands with a heart warming smile melted my heart right away. I waved back. And waved until I was gone from her sight, and she from mine…yes, she held my gaze with her neck craned over her mother’s shoulder. In that moment, in that look I exchanged…the smile I shared with the child, I shared a little bit of the love I carry within.

So yes I am open to love…I may not be conscious of it but anyone I have loved, given me so much to learn from…helped me grow. How can I not be grateful?