GD Speaks, Journal

The Zen of Creativity

creatividad

Every few months, my creative compass as a blogger goes a little awry and begins pointing towards approval seeking. My writing leans towards the show-offy shortcuts and borrowed genius. My effort becomes to craft that cleverly-written post that will get the maximum likes.

The symptoms are familiar: I begin to be driven by a compulsion of proving. I become a little hurried and irritable. I contract when given criticism. I wait anxiously for responses as a measurement of my worth. In essence, I become a victim of the blog.

At such times, I get a reminder from my mentor GD of the real reasons that we write. I had shared it in a post many moons ago in the form of five questions to ask before you blog. But it can be applied to any form of creativity. I am reposting here for so many new fellow-bloggers and readers who have joined since then. It’s a goldmine of wisdom that helps me get back on track.

A reminder that, as GD says: “Writing is just your excuse to connect with the Source. It is a means for your evolution – your device for meditation. A blog is just an excuse to be in that space. It’s finally not even about honing your skill as a writer – it’s about finding your integrity. Are you becoming a puppet and dancing for others? Or are you finding your truth and acting from there?”

The original post reproduced below: 

The Awake Blogger

(Originally Posted November 2012)

A few months ago, when I was just beginning my blogging journey, I had asked my mentor GD for some tips on blogging as a path of reflection and self-learning.

The insights he shared in the form of questions to ask myself while creating a new blog could well be insights one could use while creating anything new. Just replacing the word ‘blog’ with cartoon/artwork/book/poem/screenplay could make the same questions a blueprint for any creative person seeking to tune into a higher and wider inspiration.

Some of the questions overlapped, but each was worthy of being asked again and again every time I sat down to create a new blog.

1. “What tiny contribution can I make to the planet today?”
Beginning with an attitude of being available for service silently opens the doorways of intuition and inspiration.

2. “Who am I being when I am creating this blog?”
GD’s one constant reminder to those around him is to develop sensitivity to who they are being rather than focusing only on what they are doing. Everything we create, he says, carries an invisible energetic signature of our state while we were doing it. The most brilliantly written post about love can have the energy of arrogance, fearful desperation or pushiness. Regardless of whether people consciously pick it up or not, they respond to the energy. So the underlying energy is as critical as the content and the awake blogger must gradually become sensitive to his energy while he is creating a blog post.

3. “Is this blog coming from a state of Flow or is it coming from a should, a must, a need-to?”
Sometimes, the starting point for a blog can come from a mind compulsion – a panic that too many days have passed, a fear that one is going to lose one’s readers, a desire to get validation, a need to project oneself as more evolved. Forget about enlightening others, GD told me once, blog for your own evolution.

4. “Do I have a desire for a specific outcome?”
If there is, GD said, you will manipulate the flow into a fixed direction. You will not be true to the natural impulse in the moment. Sometimes, just like the expensive car and house – blogging can also become another vehicle for self-gratification. Instead, consider approaching it as being an expression of me being fully, simply, me.  So the question to ask is: am I being honest to myself and my deepest integrity? Is there any form of deception creeping in? Is there any subtle greed and fear operating?

5. “Is there any part of me which wants to convert/coerce others into changing their point of view?”
The analogy GD gave to explain this was that of a handsome gulmohur tree. Seeing the tree may inspire us. But the tree is not trying to make us like it. It is just standing in his own truth. As we get into the Flow, blogging becomes as natural, effortless and spontaneous as the bird singing its own song or the flower sharing its fragrance: a spontaneous happening with no thought for the result. Along the way, GD cautioned, don’t become too attached to your point of view. ‘Don’t hard-sell,’ he said. ‘The harder you sell, the more resistance you will face. Don’t take your own wisdom too seriously!’

Finally, GD reminded me: Don’t judge your old writings – your old blogs. That was the best you knew then. Appreciate yourself for going out there and saying your piece. And thank the blog and the readers for giving you an excuse to Flow. Everything in life is a means to return to your true self. Let the blog also become another reason to dive deeper into you!

Uncategorized

The Best Moment in Life is Now

Wonder

Over the last few days, Reena from Yoga With Maheshwari nominated me for the “Best Moment Award” for my posts on The Foolproof Guide To Being A Guru. Reena not just writes a wonderful blog, but is also one of my favorite bloggers. Her posts, and her comments, are genuine, heartfelt, and never dashed off with hurried cliches.

first-best-moment-award-winnerThe Best Moment Award comes from the Moments Matter website. The RULES for this award can be found here. According to the website, it is for awarding bloggers who capture the precious moments in life.

Awarding the people who live in the moment,
The noble who write and capture the best in life,
The bold who reminded us what really mattered –
Savoring the experience of quality time.”

The rules of the award acceptance includes an acceptance speech, so here goes:

“It’s always an honor that someone thinks your work is good enough for an award. It’s an even greater joy for me when it is for capturing the essence of life: this moment. As I grow older, this now-moment grows larger and all-encompassing, and less remains of my life beyond it. Revisiting the state of perpetual wonder with my little son, Nirvaan, every moment feels like the Best Moment. Writing, like meditation, is one of the doorways through which I enter this moment. And though I joyously fail every time to capture the beauty and vital spark of this moment, the time spent is never regretted. Thank you GD for being there to always remind me that who I am being in this moment is more important than what I am doing.”

My nominees for the Best Moment Award:

Please do check out these lovely websites – each one has its own distinctive, nourishing energy.

Uncategorized

It’s Liebster Time, My Beloveds!

crazy-bald-guru-holds-guitar-over-white-background

Have been busy with two film releases for the past week and missing the quiet company of bloggers within the excitement of the film world. Will be back with new insights & cartoons from GD & me this week! In the meantime, happy to have been conferred a Liebster Award from lovely Pavithra of secondattemptinblogging. The name of this award comes from a German word “Liebster” which means ‘Dearest’, ‘Favorite’ or ‘Beloved’ and has been going around since 2010. Sweet!

liebster-awardRules:
1.     Write random facts about yourself.
2.     Answer the 11 questions given by the person nominated you.
3.     Fabricate 11 new questions.
4.     Nominate 11 bloggers with under 200 (or 300) followers and mention them in your post. 
5.     Tell the person who nominated you, along with the people whom you have nominated. 
 

Random Facts about me:

  1. I used to pretend to read palms in college so I could hold pretty girls’ hands. I had worked out a few stock sentences (“you care for others more than they care for you”) which I realized almost everyone believes are true!
  2.  I am a pickle-fanatic. Have around six different types at any given time at home.
  3. I love my mac products – ipod, ipad, iphone & macbook pro.
  4. I stopped reading fiction for almost 15 years in between.
  5. I don’t know how to drive a car. Embarrassing, but true. Fortunately, I have a fantastic driver.  

Here are my answers to Parvathy’s questions:
  1.  What is that one thing you will not give up in your life?
    – From teenage to middle-age, it seems that meditation is a constant. Haven’t given up yet!
  2. Which is your favorite restaurant?
    – Saravana Bhavan in Chennai. Lucky to have a job that requires me to be in Chennai once a week! 
  3. What is the one vegetable you cannot live without?
    – Potato. Potato. Potato. No question about that.
  4. What is that one recipe you hate the most?
    – Nothing really. Anything with karela (gourd) probably. 
  5. What is your favorite movie in the comedy genre?
    – Bruce Almighty. Can watch it ad infinitum.
  6. Which is the best city to live in the world?
    – For me and my wife, London has a strong past-life calling. I can find my way around there even to places I have not been to before. Everything feels so familiar. 
  7. Share a cute or daring memory from your childhood.
    – At age 10, got an adult video tape (…Conan The Barbarian!) telling the library clerk my ‘uncle’ wanted to see it.
  8. Do you know how to dance or sing 🙂
    – I break-danced professionally at weddings when I was a teenager. I sing in E Flat so I have stopped by popular demand. 
  9. What is that one thing you would want to teach the world?
    – How to go within and find peace.
  10. Whose name comes to your mind when you think of optimism?
    – My wife.
  11. Name a famous personality who is strong, determined & admirable
    – Shah Rukh Khan & Will Smith
Here are the lovely blogs I want you all to check out! To my liebster bloggers: if you have over 200 or 300 followers, my bad. I think your blog is amazing so you can do it anyway!
  1. Yaz Rooney of Free Your Mind
  2. Angela of LA Screenwriterliebsters2
  3. Margaret of Life As Improv
  4. Miriam of This Unlit Light
  5. Kozo of Everyday Gurus
  6. Meg of IStopForSuffering
  7. Zen Doe of The Wind Horse Blog
  8. Kai of SmallPebbles
  9. Howstrait of The Gait
  10. Sarah of Through The Looking Glass
  11. Katalina of Follow Your Nose
 
And here are my 11 questions:
  1. What is your favorite movie which has a spiritual theme or message?
  2. Which book has influenced your life the most? 
  3. Is there any current line/mantra that works for you whenever you remember it?
  4. A childhood friend/lover who you wished you knew where they were now?
  5. One quality you wished you had more of?
  6. Your single most favorite blog post ever (either your own or another’s) that you feel everyone should read.
  7. The spiritual teacher who has inspired you the most?
  8. Your escapist fantasy life looks like…?
  9. The one addiction you wish you could get rid of.
  10. On your last day on earth you would…?
  11. Your favourite city in the world is…?

Thank you all for reading and for inspiring me. Your feedback and comments are nourishment for my enthusiasm to create and share even more with you.

Quotes

I Love You!

I Love You

One of the purest & most powerful lines of love I have come across.
I created this image for all of you who read this blog.
And who muster the courage to put out your creativity every week.
You awe me. I love you…

*

GD Speaks

The Awake Blogger

A few months ago, when I was just beginning my blogging journey, I had asked my mentor GD for some tips on blogging as a path of reflection and self-learning.

The insights he shared in the form of questions to ask myself while creating a new blog could well be insights one could use while creating anything new. Just replacing the word ‘blog’ with cartoon/artwork/book/poem/screenplay could make the same questions a blueprint for any creative person seeking to tune into a higher and wider inspiration.

Some of the questions overlapped, but each was worthy of being asked again and again every time I sat down to create a new blog.

1. “What tiny contribution can I make to the planet today?”
Beginning with an attitude of being available for service silently opens the doorways of intuition and inspiration.

2. “Who am I being when I am creating this blog?”
GD’s one constant reminder to those around him is to develop sensitivity to who they are being rather than focusing only on what they are doing. Everything we create, he says, carries an invisible energetic signature of our state while we were doing it. The most brilliantly written post about love can have the energy of arrogance, fearful desperation or pushiness. Regardless of whether people consciously pick it up or not, they respond to the energy. So the underlying energy is as critical as the content and the awake blogger must gradually become sensitive to his energy while he is creating a blog post.

3. “Is this blog coming from a state of Flow or is it coming from a should, a must, a need-to?”
Sometimes, the starting point for a blog can come from a mind compulsion – a panic that too many days have passed, a fear that one is going to lose one’s readers, a desire to get validation, a need to project oneself as more evolved. Forget about enlightening others, GD told me once, blog for your own evolution.

4. “Do I have a desire for a specific outcome?”
If there is, GD said, you will manipulate the flow into a fixed direction. You will not be true to the natural impulse in the moment. Sometimes, just like the expensive car and house – blogging can also become another vehicle for self-gratification. Instead, consider approaching it as being an expression of me being fully, simply, me.  So the question to ask is: am I being honest to myself and my deepest integrity? Is there any form of deception creeping in? Is there any subtle greed and fear operating?

5. “Is there any part of me which wants to convert/coerce others into changing their point of view?”
The analogy GD gave to explain this was that of a handsome gulmohur tree. Seeing the tree may inspire us. But the tree is not trying to make us like it. It is just standing in his own truth. As we get into the Flow, blogging becomes as natural, effortless and spontaneous as the bird singing its own song or the flower sharing its fragrance: a spontaneous happening with no thought for the result. Along the way, GD cautioned, don’t become too attached to your point of view. ‘Don’t hard-sell,’ he said. ‘The harder you sell, the more resistance you will face. Don’t take your own wisdom too seriously!’

Finally, GD reminded me: Don’t judge your old writings – your old blogs. That was the best you knew then. Appreciate yourself for going out there and saying your piece. And thank the blog and the readers for giving you an excuse to Flow. Everything in life is a means to return to your true self. Let the blog also become another reason to dive deeper into you!

Image © Aalif Surti 2012