Big apologies for the empty post of yesterday. Technology! Just like cars and mobile phones: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Please read on…
My Dearest Komal, Anjli and Amar,
Some years back, when I was doing my yoga teacher’s certificate in India, through the institute, Paramyoga, I introduced the phrase ‘Frame of Life’ to you. It is a concept introduced to me by my yoga lecturer. In the West, yoga is always associated with convoluted poses, but there is also a big part of yoga studies which deals with spiritual and psychological aspects of life. This is how she explained the term: The ‘frame’ is what you inherit at your birth: birthplace, date of birth, sex, parentage, etc.; all unique to each individual. How one fills up that frame to attain a happy life is entirely up to the individual.
My frame consists of:
Born in Africa in the fifties, with gujarati parentage and a gujarati lifestyle. Living in an extended family of 3 generations. My education, my circle of friends, and the environment could have been changed by circumstances or my parents, but my ‘frame’ remains the same.
Born in the U.K. in the eighties or nineties, still with gujarati parentage and now perhaps only the gujarati eating habits! You too have/had the influence of the extended family lifestyle. Otherwise your ‘frame’ is quite different from mine. Even though dad and I were born in different parts of E.Africa, our ‘frames’ have a lot of similarities. One reason, why we think alike in many aspects.
Your frame will influence your thought patterns (unless you happen to have rebellious tendencies!) and your thinking will influence the choices you make in life. Choice of friends, of educational path, your personal demeanor and so on.
A different ‘frame of life’ could mean a completely different life experience. Imagine being born in the Syria of today!, or to nomadic parents or starving parents in a war-torn country or to a mentally challenged parent. I could conjure up hundreds of such possibilities. Looking around the world today, there are many children who have been dealt with unfortunate ‘frames of life’, whereas you have been dealt with very fortunate ‘frame of life’. You on the other hand are privileged. Use your status to make a difference in the world. Use your advantageous frame to give back to society in one way or another.
There are many famous people, one could look up and see how they have used their frames. Some have achieved a great deal and unfortunately some have only concentrated on their negative frame values. Can you give me some examples? My positive examples would be my two sets of grandparents, Kajidada/Gangaba and Purshottamdada/Surajba plus people like Roger Federer, Narendra Modi and Bill Gates. And on the negative side, I would put up Idi Amin and Pol Pot as my examples.
For me, being happy is one of the important goals of life and I hope it is yours too. Happiness is important but cannot be paramount. Sometimes happiness is achieved by being patient too, it does not have to mean instant gratification. I would like you all to lead a meaningful life, be mindful (be aware) of everything you do and also the environment you are living in. Soak up the wonders of this world. At the same time, remember your family. It is the most stable commodity your ‘frame’ has given you. Nurture and cultivate those family ties. You are all very good at this, and your strong family connections make ME very happy.
So then comes the question, “So what makes YOU happy?” Lets make that our 2016 Christmas theme.
Barring any other technical hitches(and there are many), I hope I can send out one more letter before our Christmas gathering.
Bye for now, and with lots of love, hugs and kisses,