October 18, 2016

Purge, prune and get ready

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The nooks and crannies have been dusted off. The spiderwebs destroyed before they get a chance to weave their complex pattern at idle corners. The shelves cleaned and re-arranged. The junk has been thrown out without mercy and the outgrown stuff neatly piled into bags to be donated away. I'm methodically and systematically attacking every room and feel a great sense of satisfaction as I step back and admire the results.

Diwali is around the corner and I'm neck-deep in the getting my space ready for all things positive. I believe our customs are rooted in meaning and hence the prescribed ritual of cleansing before the advent of a major festival. The home-cleaning is only symbolic to reflect what we ought to do at a more spiritual and deeper level. We are preparing our mind for goodness to enter our lives, for light to dispell the darkness, for rustiness to give way for renewed energy and momentum.

I find spring cleaning therapeutic. While I pride myself on not being a hoarder in the literal sense, I have a tendency to collect unproductive adornments like anger, self-pity, despair, inertia, and demotivation. These sit silently beneath the surface, decaying my spirit. They burn my mental peace, the soot coating the true character from time to time.

I mentally visualize my mind being freed of the baggage as I diligently scrub away the dullness that is hardened precipice of dust and grime over my cherished brassware. Just as the metal responds immediately and enthusiastically, gleaming and shining, I will the mind to break away from the negative loop of ungainful thoughts and steer it clear from leading a disruptive way of life.

The blackness that cloaked the brassware previously has now blanketed my fingers. Placing my hands under the running water, I watch the remains fade away; vestiges of the labor, letting off a faint smell of the soap and powder remind me of my sweet victory.

Not far away, Chaos with its multi-faceted tentacles of turmoil is sitting quietly, smirking and shaking its head solemnly at the futility of my attempts, mischievously indicating its impending arrival. In reply, I look and smile in tranquility. What it does not know is that I'm not afraid of it anymore. I've begun to enjoy the periodical process of breaking it down and sending it scurrying away. I seek strength from defeating it every time even as I accept that I cannot wipe it away completely.

Just as I'm wired to get into action at the sight of disarray in my surroundings, I resolve to tune myself to work on my mind and body in a similar fashion. It is never a one-time activity and I'll probably never get to the day when I can sit back and say nothing that happens in my life will affect me negatively. However, I can:

  • Promise to attack negativity the moment it threatens to pollute my sacred space. 
  • Promise to not let it consume me and envelop me in its darkness. 
  • Promise to seek outside help when I falter and slip.

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I'm ready for the festival of lights. Are you?



35 comments :

  1. Loved, loved, LOVED this, Uma!
    So simple yet striking, I loved how you drew parallels between the cleansing around and within. I wish more people realised the truth of it.

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    1. Thank you so much, Mayuri! My day has been made as well to realize how much you loved this <3

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  2. Your prose is so poetic Uma. Beautifully written.

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    1. That such a wonderful thing to say, Tulika. Thanks a bunch!!!

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  3. Quite a thought provoking post. I do believe in the theory that a journey is more enjoyable when you travel light. Although, practising the part and throwing out junk is an art and needs some amount of will-power.

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    1. Yes, Vinodini, if you're talking about the mental baggage, it needs practice. Throwing away material stuff comes easily to me and I'm happy in that sense.

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  4. loved reading ....dont let negativity come into your mind...just brush it away...you are capable ..be it music ,writing or managing your house...so dont think that you are inefficient in anything...all the best

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    1. Thank you, ma. With your encouragement and support I won't ever feel low in life.

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  5. Lovely, everyone at some point or other faces the dark thoughts. Liked the way you wrote this piece on fighting this one space at a time and gaining the peace. Happy Diwali to you and family.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Sujata for reading! Happy Diwali to you and family too! :-)

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  6. It's really interesting, the way you write. It's like the cleansing happens externally as well as internally simultaneously :)

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    1. Thank you, Uma and welcome to my space :-)

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  7. Very well articulated Uma! This one has a different feel from the others you have written..

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    1. Thank you so much, Apsy and I'm glad you noticed that about my writing. I did try something different :-)

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  8. Very well written Uma! Loved reading it!

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    1. Thanks a lot, Sudha. Glad you liked it!

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  9. Wired to get into action at the sight of disarray in surroundings!! Am jelous now. How I wish I had that in me! I can tolerate disarray for days on end and I just hate that about me :(

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    1. But inner clutter, am relatively quicker to eliminate :) Thank God!

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    2. Isn't it better that way than the other way round :-)

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  10. Excellent post and loved tour promises.

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  11. Loved this post; especially how you drew parallels between cleaning our space and cleaning our souls. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Shanaya! Glad you liked it :-)

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  12. This was a brilliant piece of writing Uma! Your words were so compelling and the flow was poetic! Nothing beats the blues like a good old fashioned therapeutic session of spring-cleaning or Diwali-cleaning! It does feel exhilarating to see everthing in order, chaos at bay, wiping the slate clean for a fresh new beginning!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kala. Much as I dread the rigour of cleaning, I love it when things are in order.

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  13. Such a wonderful analogy drawn between cleaning the house and cleansing the mind Uma! I think it's a powerful visualization, I should definitely try it the next time I actually get around to cleaning around here :). Beautiful writing!!

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    1. Hey Aparna, so glad you liked this. Thanks a lot, dear :-)

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  14. Well articulated Uma ..this is the truth that we experience it very time during this festival...

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    1. True, Neha. Thanks for reading :-)

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  15. Its my first time here and I am glad I clicked. Your writing is so poetic yet strong. Let me prepare my Mind and heart for cleansing. :)

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    1. Hi Upasna, welcome here and thank you so much for the warm words :-)

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  16. Thought provoking and beautifully written Uma. Glad to be back here again! Lots to catch up. Keep writing. Cheers.

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    1. Hey Shashank, glad to have you here again. Thank you and sorry, missed replying to your comment earlier.

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