Our Guest House   #FridayReflections #RumiInspired

Our Guest House #FridayReflections #RumiInspired

I wrote ‘Our Guest House’ sometime in October 2009. Today’s #FridayReflections prompt sparked off the memory and I decided to share it with you.

Our Guest House

Here’s a look at our lives in 2009.

In August, José started a fever that turned out to be cerebral malaria (Plasmodium falciparum). Having had an uncle in a coma a few years back with this same illness, I was scared. I’m still not used to Mumbai and the thought of hospitalizing José and running back and forth on my own, plus taking care of Pablo was a bit too much. I asked my brother, Marc, to come down from Hyderabad to help. He came and although José didn’t need hospitalization, Marc was big help and having him around made things so much easier for us. Constant calls with advice from the two medical professionals in our family – Ann, our sister-in-law and Maria, our cousin – were most helpful too.

With José almost recovered, Pablo decided in September to chase a wasp! Half an hour later, he just keeled over and seemed to be having a heart attack – he went blue and stopped breathing. I thought we had lost him, but his eyes kept moving. We rushed him to the vet and while we were there realized that it was an allergic reaction to the wasp bite. Poor fellow was out of sorts for a few days and I kept having recalls of the incident…..scary!

Life seemed to settle in to a routine for the rest of September. I started a yoga class, which I really enjoy. I started travelling on my own to town (quite an achievement for me in this city!) and enjoying the use of the British Library.

However, early on 3rd October morning we got the very sad news of my cousin’s tragic death. She was only 38 years old and in the prime of life and her business career. The family was devastated and it was only natural that I go to Hyderabad to be there for her funeral.

While in Hyderabad, I started a fever – but was determined to come back to Mumbai for José’s birthday and because he had plans to go to Igatpuri for a Vipassana weekend. He had planned this for a couple of months. I came back alright, but the fact that my fever turned out to be malaria (Plasmodium Vivax) put paid to all his plans!

Now if you think this is a tale of woes – it’s not meant to be so at all. In fact, through all these times and experiences, I’ve never been more conscious of God’s loving presence in our lives. The overriding feeling in me has been one of gratitude – for the life we have, our relationship, our family, the many people who make our life easier – doctors, vets, our maid, our dhobi, delivery men from medical stores and our friendly neighborhood grocer…….the list is endless.

I’m grateful too for all I’ve learnt during these months – patience, humility, trust, faith and just going with the flow. The words of this poem of Jalalud-Din Rumi’s ring so true for us :

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
So we’re treating each ‘guest’ honorably and being grateful for every experience, sure in the knowledge, that each has been sent to teach us something about ourselves, about love, about faith and about life.

“Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.” – John Amatt.


If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch of Living My Imperfect Life and Everyday Gyaan give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

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Everyday Gyaan

Don’t forget to come back on Monday and vote for your favorite post!

Prompts for 12th May 2017:

1. Write a letter to your future self – 10, 15 or 20 years from now
2. Share a book review
3. Show us your handwriting
4. “Adventure isn’t hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day to day obstacles in life.” – John Amatt. Use this quote in your post or as an inspiration for one
5. Picture Prompt (credit: Parul Kashyap Thakur from Happinessandfood)

our guest house

Do You Do Silly?

Silly Little Dolls from Recycled Upholstery FabricImage by davis.jacque via Flickr

Okay, so I made up a phrase – ‘doing silly’. What do I mean by it?

Spending a few minutes every day being absolutely crazy and child-like. 

I can picture some of you reading this and going……’She’s certainly lost her marbles.’ And you wouldn’t be wrong – I’m simply ‘marbless’! 🙂
Back to the serious business of being silly. If I’m all tense and tired, at some point in the day, I find, it’s because I’ve not spent any time being silly! With a mad boxer as a pet – there’s not much chance of being serious the whole day, but I do manage it, sometimes. 
I’m sure there’s some scientific research out there to back up my belief, but right now I’ll go on my experience.  Here’s what a bout of silliness does for me.
  • It makes me feel lighthearted 
  • I feel energized
  • I’m in a better frame of mind to start or continue with my tasks
  • I get in to a positive frame of mind
  • I lighten the ‘atmosphere’ around me.

How do I do silly?

  • Make up silly songs (you’ll enjoy this one – not mine of course – but José feels I should record mine too!!).
  • Do different accents
  • Talk in broken English
  • Pull funny faces
  • Prance around with Pablo.
I think when I’m being silly I’m laughing at myself and have others laugh with/ at me. What is great is I know that I’m comfortable enough with José to be silly. 

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it’s lovely to be silly at the right moment.~ Horace

So I’m asking you:
  • How often during your otherwise busy and serious day do you stop to ‘do silly’? If you don’t, why not?
  • Do you have people in your life around who you can be silly? If you don’t, please ‘cultivate’ some……..

May you be inspired – everyday!

Thankful Tuesday Blog Hop

What have I got to be thankful for this Tuesday, I wonder? The answer, as always, is – plenty!

First of all, thank you to all of you who sent ‘get well’ messages for José (J) and birthday wishes to my Mum. Since last week’s post, we continue to be blessed and content. J is much better, albeit a little weak. We’ve worked out a great arrangement to have our  flat cleaned regularly. My Mom had a good birthday (without me) – lots of calls and a family evening out. So I’m really grateful for all this.
Also, I’ve managed to take Pablo out for long walks – anyone who walks a large, high spirited dog will know why this is an achievement. I have been very apprehensive about taking him out on my own and J was stuck with this ‘duty’. However,  with J being ill, it didn’t seem fair that Pablo should not get a walk. So I began, very tentatively, at first. But thanks to some great training we invested in (for us more than him!),  he’s very manageable. 
Now, I’ve actually taken Pablo for a few  45- minute long walks – when the weather’s clear. And let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun. He’s one crazy, happy dog and that transmits to us. That’s one more thing to be grateful for (J sure is!).
So that’s our gratitude story for this week. What’s yours?  
That brings me to the second part of this post. I have started a long term Thankful Tuesday Blog Hop. Do join. What do you have to do?
1. Write a post on Tuesday – not necessarily every week – whenever you want. Write about all the things you are grateful for – post a picture – write a poem – share a song – share an idea…….
2. Link to this Thankful Tuesday Blog Hop (enter your link at the bottom of this post).
3. Use the Thankful Tuesday Button – The HTML can be found in the EG Buttons page and put it on your post/ blog sidebar.
4. You could also grab the HTML for the Blog Hop, put it in your post,  and get more of your readers to sign on for it. This way, we’ll continue the chain of gratitude…….I truly believe this:

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more. ~ David Steindl-Rast

 May you be inspired – everyday!

PS: This post got delayed because of a problem with my internet connection 🙂

Ordinary Miracle

I  love Musical Monday posts because there are so many wonderful songs out there that I’d love to share with you. In fact, I have several drafts for these posts. But today, I’ve chosen a song that is especially meaningful and came to my mind yesterday afternoon.

We had had a nice Sunday lunch, and  José was napping, as was Pablo and I was lying down and reading a very interesting book (okay Mom, I know, I shouldn’t lie down and read, but old habits die hard!). I’m not sure what made me stop for a moment and look out of the window, but I did…..nothing spectacular, just the trees rustling in the gentle breeze and the sound of birds chirping. At that moment, I felt a great peace within – a knowledge that all was well and deep gratitude for all that we enjoyed. An ordinary miracle……..

I felt it yesterday…but I know that our lives are full of such ordinary, everyday miracles. And I realize that the more we ‘see’ these miracles, the happier and more at peace we’ll be.

So don’t give me the big, flashy miracles – all I want is the grace to constantly be aware of the ordinary ones.

Do take the time to listen and watch this video – it’s truly beautiful.

May you be inspired – everyday!

It’s not that unusual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?

It seems so exceptional
That things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Not Stressed Now

Not Stressed Now

I was supposed to be in Hyderabad (my hometown) today and in time for my Mom’s birthday on the 25th – but on Saturday, José started a fever that turned out to be malaria (again!), so I cancelled my trip. There was a time, when I would have been very unhappy with this change of plans and keep wondering what to do next…Not now.
We’re without a maid at present, so there’s extra housework to be done and one less hand (José ‘s) to help. There was a time this would have stressed me out ….Not now.
It’s been raining heavily all day and we’re housebound and I’m unable to complete some of the outdoor chores I needed to. There was a time this would have frustrated me…Not now.

What I’m doing instead is enjoying José’s company, enjoying Pablo, doing housework on a ‘need-to’ basis, enjoying cooking, reading a book I’ve wanted to read for a long time (Scott Peck’s – People of the Lie) and even watched a great movie – Alice In Wonderland (this version). We’ve just finished eating a lovely dinner (a Spanish omelet of sorts!) and I’m sitting to write this post.

What has changed? A better question would be – Who has changed? And the answer – me! I’ve changed because more and more I realize how blessed we are. Yes, I am now officially :

Yes, how can I be stressed about not going to visit my parents as planned, when I think about someone who couldn’t afford to visit her family for 14 years and had no means of being in touch with them either? When she finally went, she didn’t know whether to expect to find her mother alive.

How can I be stressed about my husband’s illness when I know of people who don’t have the means to get the timely and effective treatment we got?
How can I be stressed about not having a maid when I know of women who have to travel long distances to work, do manual labor and then come home and do all the housework -no help, no appreciation either?
How can I be stressed about being housebound for today when I think about the many people who are housebound for life because of their disabilities or others who have to go out in the pouring rain to earn their livelihood.

So I’m too blessed to be stressed – only thankful for the abundance I enjoy………

May you be inspired – everyday!