Madhur's Blog

thoughtleadership

Thoughts on the injustice that surrounds us, the systems that beget it, and where we can find hope.


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Identity Crisis and Identity Asset

I began 2018 with a sudden realisation of the identity crisis that had been brewing latently for most of my early and mid-twenties. I realised, that was disillusioned about my day-job. That I was unsure about which of my passions I should pursue. I owned so many things but kept yearning for more, and most importantly, I realised that my strongest relationships were a constant source of negativity.

Luckily, as the months have passed, I have been able to use minimalism to navigate through this identity crisis. Minimizing my circle enabled me to have a deeper understanding of what I seek from relationships and work on manifesting these attributes in them. Minimizing my finances and what I owned made me realize how privileged I am. It enabled me to squeeze out every ounce of value and beauty from what I already owned rather than feeding this notion that I needed anything more. These efforts created space, space that I was able to channelize towards the work I do. I narrowed my focus to tasks I enjoyed doing at my day-job and slowly distanced myself from what I didn't. I set clear boundaries at my day job so that I would have more time to dedicate to passions I had lost touch with, like blogging and making music. If I could summarize these changes in a few words, I'd say “I had been chipping away, transforming my identity crisis into identity asset.”

Deeper Exploration of Identity

After months of persistent chipping away transforming my identity crisis into identity asset, I found myself in a conversation with someone that led to an epiphany. At some point during the conversation, I was thrown the proverbial “there is no you” idiom. This was very conflicting for me to hear, after having spent most of the year working excruciatingly hard build an understanding and consequently nurturing my individual identity. After our call ended, as I sat in my living room staring at one of my houseplants, ruminating and questioning the conversation I had just had, I had a sudden epiphany. I frantically reached out for a piece of paper and wrote the following down -

“The leaves on this plant behind me aren't separate from the plant itself. A leaf might see another and think it’s separate or that it’s higher or lower. In rudimentary states of consciousness, the leaf identifies with itself. It perceives its position as on top or bottom and this stems from its belief of being separate from the rest. This isn’t unreal. This isn’t unauthentic. It is reality perceived in separateness. It is finite identity.

In infinite consciousness, the leaf knows that it isn’t just the leaf but the whole damn plant. And the position it perceives is no longer perceived out of separation but rather from wholeness. It identifies not with itself but as the sum of all that is. And in an instant, nothing turns to everything. Finite identity turns into infinite identity in the blink of an eye.”

Individual Identity Begets Collective Identity

Individual identity begets collective identity. Any identification with the collective cannot come without a prior identification with the individual. Have spent the past few weeks drowning in gratitude and amazement at the progress I've been able to make at with my individual identity.

#mindfulness #thoughtleadership

Taking inspiration from nature and grass fighting the wind, to access our inner resilience when faced with something bigger than us.


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We tend to look at life as an anticipation of better things or a look back at the past and at what went wrong. This at some level creates discontent in our heart and mind about the present moment, making it seem like it isn't enough. We feed the idea that life would be better only if we made more money, or if we had more meaningful relationships, or if we had more time. Alternatively, we look back and think – because this happened to me, I will never be good enough. But the reality could not be further and all it takes to bring about a change in how we look at things is a moment to pause. 

A pause can come in many shapes and forms, but my personal favorite way to pause and practice being present in the moment, is to take a minute out from whatever I am doing and stop to notice the sky above me. Whenever I do this, I find myself instantly calmed by the beauty & magnitude of the world around me and humbled by my own smallness. My problems seem insignificant (thereby unshackling me from negativity from either my past or anticipated troubles) and the world seems infinitely beautiful with endless possibilities.

Looking up at the sky, has become for me, the single most effective action to practice being present in the moment. At the end of this activity, which hardly takes a minute, I find myself immensely inspired, calmer, less anxious, and most importantly, I find myself unburdened from the past or the future, for a brief minute or so, everything around me, is enough. 

What are your thoughts? How do you practice being present in the moment? 

#thoughtleadership #mindfulness