The Season Within!

Varala_Statue

Finland experiences a very harsh winter. Many years back when I visited Finland in the peak of winter season, I asked one of my Finnish colleagues, “It must be very hard for you to endure the harsh winter and snow all around just like we in India endure harsh summer season.”

He replied, “In fact, my kids wait for winter and snow so that they can go skiing and do ice fishing on the frozen lakes.”

I quickly realized that I underestimated human ability to choose an attitude. I understood that

the season outside does not matter as long you carry your own spring within.

Don’t we all see people who are grumpy even when weather is pleasant and ones who are pleasant even when weather is grumpy?

The nights and days may be gray but if there is joy inside, if there is hope that snow whirling from sky will eventually give way to sunshine and blossom, any season is a good season.

From that day onwards, I gave up cribbing about the weather, for I know that I and we carry our seasons along.

I am reminded of a 100 word story that I wrote in 2013.

A retired weatherman was once questioned by a friend, “What kind of weather is it going to be tomorrow?”

“The kind of weather I am going to love,” was the instant response with a gentle smile on his wrinkled face. “How do you know that it will be the weather you will love?” the friend was curious.

The weatherman went on to explain, “35 years in weather department has taught me just one thing: there is no bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. To make the most of everything that doesn’t go as planned is an attitude thing!”

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And here are some more pictures from that amazing trip to the land of frozen lakes.

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Snow capped trees on the banks of a frozen Nasijaarvi lake, Varala Resort, Tampere, Finland.

Pispala_Shore

Frozen Pyhajaarvi lake from the ridge of Pispala, Tampere, Finland.

Pispala_Bench

I am.

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My son loves being a cop and always ends up making a thief of me. The other day, during this role play, I asked him, “Who are you?” and he almost instantly replied, “I am no one.” I instructed him to say, “I am a policeman” and we resumed our play.

Later that day, it occurred to me that kids don’t really have an identity outside the confines of home and school. As we grow and learn from things around us, we pursue learning and endeavors for years to build an identity. The quest for an identity, of being “someone” often feeds our false beliefs and egos – so much so that we become immune to new experiences in this process of becoming someone.

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What if we chose to just “be” – perfectly in harmony with our real selves, going where our energy takes us, being in the moment and doing stuff that we truly love? What if we just enjoy every step along the journey as a celebration of our being? What if we just do the work without worrying about what it will make of us? What if we are driven by love rather than anxiety?

Life is never a race, but a glorious opportunity to uniquely express ourselves through our endeavors. And when we are immersed in the joy of expressing ourselves through our work, every thing around us melts. We become no one – just like my son who doesn’t have time to care for who he is while playing with his toys!

The path to “being someone” is to first “be no one”. Only when we keep these self-delusionary external labels aside that we can focus on our true expression. Only then an we become truly human with others. Only then we rise!

We think we are in this world and therefore try to find our place in it. But the reality is that our world is within us and that space within can only be tapped when we break through the chains of external identities.

I am not this or that.

I just am. 

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Pictures from my December 2016 explorations – Amsterdam and Chail (Himachal Pradesh)