Death of A Journal

Blog Reading Time: 1 minute

Today as I sat to write in my journal, I realised that it is running out of pages. A feeling of resentment fell over me.

I have filled and maintained countless journals over the past 5-6 years. They have helped me prioritize my day-to-day tasks, lent me their shoulder when I felt overwhelmed, and ears to my seemingly endless rants, and been a patient listener to my deep philosophies.

This particular diary was gifted to me by a friend. It is small, colourful, and pages so rough that some pens wouldn’t even write nicely on it. It was the type I would not have bought on my own initially. But my discomfort didn’t last long. I had spent so much time with it, written and shared so much with it, that I started seeing it more as a partner than a diary.

Today I become teary when I write my final entry into it. Every word I write brings me one word closer to its end.

And though I do not like this part, I know this is going to repeat itself with the next diary; discomfort when transitioning into the new one, followed by comfort, followed by habitualness, followed by the feeling that it’s like a partner, and then finally the day of its last entry.

It would be a good thing to have right? A book of your choice with the same size, but with infinite pages.

The crux is that nothing is permanent. “This too shall pass” said Abraham Lincoln. It’s better to realise this, that everything we witness, feel or experience, is here for it’s own time. It will serve its purpose and one day go. Punch him in the face who tells you to be detached from everything because nothing is here to stay. The idea is to love everything fully until it’s there, so that when the time comes, you can loosen that grip which you never let tight.

I bid farewell to my diary. I had a good time with you and I thank you for being.

Thank you

Book Review- Stillness is The Key

Rating: 5/5
Blog reading time: 2 minutes

This another magnificent book by Ryan Holiday talks about the stillness of the Mind, The Soul, and The Body. This book makes you realize how much we had been pushing ourselves, running around, throwing ourselves into the endless hay of emails, news and notifications, and how we never let ourselves be in silence.

We have become so used to stress and noise that we feel uncomfortable if we are told to do absolutely nothing. We are not still. We cannot sit in one room and do nothing.

The book gracefully manages to take you on a ride on which it really dawns upon the importance of silence and solitude. Ryan Holiday uses examples and knowledge from the ancient philosophers in the book extensively. The teachings are brief enough so that you don’t pray for the chapter just to get over, and explained enough so that the teaching really gradually settles down into you, so that you can take it with you and live with them.

Every chapter is a step closer to stillness, and you will feel differences on a day-by-day basis. I recommend maintaining a journal with you when you read this book especially if you are a fast reader. The book changes the way you think, but also presents simple tasks that affect massively your stillness.Be ready to get your thoughts challenged. Thought patterns that you were so accustomed to since birth, will be challenged. I really recommend reading the book with a kind and open heart. It will fill you up with calm and clarity if you let it.

Shocking stories of Tiger Woods and Micheal Jordan and inspiring ones of Winston Churchill and Zen masters, will make you question your own ways of dealing with problems. That accompanied with the time-less wisdom of great ancient philosophers will grant you the ability to stop yourself at the very sight of yourself taking a woeful path.

“All of humanity’s problems,” Blaise Pascal said in 1654, “stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

This book deserves a 5 star rating and has made it to the top spot on my recommendations list. I really hope you give it a read. This is a book which surely I would re-read after a year.

Only through stillness are the vexing problems solved. Only through reducing our aims are the most difficult targets within our reach.

Slowing Down

The Lock-down slowed us all down, preventing us from going for walks that we loved, to meet the friends that we miss so much, and to meet our spouses whom life without can be daunting during times as such. We cannot move freely. Our independence of movement is curtailed for the greater good. The boredom, the restraint, the feeling of having no purpose in life, and even the absence of stress has caused us stress.


We cannot slow down. We like the busy life, drowning in the void of social media, chasing towards pointless news, trying out different video games, just to keep ourselves busy.


The most foremost change that the lock-down brought into my life, or anyone else’s, is bring stillness into life; enjoying the silence of nature, relishing the food that we eat, feeling grateful for the work our loved ones do for us without seeking rewards but our good health, and of course become aware of the harm we had been doing to ourselves and others all this time in the name of being ambitious.


When Covid-19 came to India, and lock-down was just an idea; I remember the sense of boundaries falling apart. The boundaries built by us on the sturdy grounds of religion, country and income. All these boundaries seemed to vanish. I started to see all of humanity as one. The virus infected all of the people as one. We all are humans with the same needs. We all stand equal in the eyes of nature. We are far more connected than we think we are.


This vision of a world without any boundaries prevailed for a while, and it was such an overwhelming vision that I could not easily forget. It got me thinking about the differences we so unnecessarily see among people, though there aren’t too many. Why do people following different religions need to fight? You follow your religion. I follow mine. Both can co-exist peacefully without either of them urging to prove that “Our religion” is superior to “yours”. Why do we even need to identify someone by their religion?


Gradually, as I became more calm and still, the way I looked at my relationships with others changed. I began to realize how important they are and how much I take them for granted. I even took this time to talk to some of my friends with whom I wasn’t talking to and matters weren’t so well. It took some courage, and letting go of the ego, to be able to do it. I cannot describe how calm I felt after I was back to talking terms with them, after, of course, a lot of fighting and explanations.


All during this blog, you kept reading ‘calm’, ‘still’, and ‘slow down’, right? Well, this is what the Covid-19 lock-down was for me. It gave me time to heal, introspect and rethink what I thought of the world. It allowed me to read the books that have a profound effect on the person I am. It granted me the knowledge that I can sit somewhere, not do anything, and enjoy the moment. It allowed me to think that the world can be calm and that it need not be broken into pointless fragments.


We are in this together. We are one.


Take care of yourself and others. Wishing and praying happiness for you.

Yash

Why ?

I don’t have any expectations from this blog. I write to really pour into the blog, what my mind has made of the things that matter most in life, and unravel, and untangle the conflicting thoughts and hence bring more clarity. Writing down brings forth what really goes on in our minds. Similar to when we think we know the answer to a question… but are unable to just get it down on paper. That’s because we don’t really know the answers, or the answer is complimented with conflicting opinions, or the answer is right there but just not clear enough. That’s why this blog.

I cannot keep raising a building higher if I don’t make sure the lowest floors are strong and can endure. Just like that, I cannot break boundaries, or redefine my limits, until I make sure that every floor in my building is made of the right size, strong and firm.

I cannot go fast unless I go slow.

Why write a blog? Why not just journal it?

I have been journal-ling for the past 5 years. I realized how starkly my opinions can change on extremely important life-changing matters. I can sense the mindset taking U-turns when it does, but I needed a tool so I could go back and compare to how I felt earlier, reason with my earlier self, make necessary modifications, hug my past, hold its hand and take it along with myself on this journey.

This blog isn’t just for me, it’s for anyone who is unaccustomed to going slow, or enjoying the sound of silence. You are not alone. The world is one. We are all in this together. Let us all be serene in the face of crisis. Let us all not be wavered by urges and all our decisions based on clear reason. Let us all be joyful and not be afraid to ask ourselves the big questions.

This blog doesn’t mark the starting point of my journey. It’s just a tool that is going to help me, and possibly you.

Take care