Shutterbug's Blog

Living with Multiple Myeloma in Hyderabad , India . Random musings .

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Bye Bye 2019 !

Few highlights from 2019:

Be Grateful for what you are blessed with.

Let go of your resentment, fears, guilt etc

Forgive , forget and let go.

Love yourself and accept yourself exactly as you are.

It was very tough for me to do the above during all these years, finally succeeded in being able to do it. Thanks to Anita Moorjani and Louise Hay. Their videos on YouTube helped me a lot and I recommend everyone to listen to them and read their books.

Visited Pondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram , Mysore, Madikeri .

Completed the trek to Tirumala via Srivaari Mettu successfully.

Attended a 10 day Management program at IIM , Bangalore as part of a requirement at work.

Had a good time with a few friends from school and college.

So grateful for my family, my support system, my colleagues and friends for all their support.

Love You Life !!

Happy 2020 !!

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Walk / Trek to Tirumala via SriVaari Mettu

There are two walking paths to reach Tirumala.The Alipiri route and Srivaari Mettu route.

Alipiri is the longer path , almost 7 km distance. This is the easier of the two paths and would take 3 to 4 hours for a normal healthy person. This path has very steep steps only at the beginning and end of the path, rest of the path is very comfortable to walk.

We had been to Tirumala via Alipiri earlier. This time we decided to take the Srivaari Mettu route.

We had a cab with us that dropped us at the starting point of Srivaari Mettu. We left our belongings in the car. The driver would drive to Tirumala via the normal route and wait for us at the top. There is a thorough security check of all the vehicles going to Tirumala and all the baggage is opened and checked. We have to leave the bags unlocked and hence didn’t carry any valuables.

Another option is to leave the luggage at luggage counters at the entry to Srivaari Mettu and your luggage will be transported to Tirumala. You can pick them up once you reach the top.

The length of Srivaari Mettu route is just 2 km , however it is difficult to climb as the whole path is only steps. There are 2388 steps in all . Of these the first 800 steps are comfortable and the rest are steep. A normal healthy individual would complete in 1.5 hrs.

Those who are ailing with BP/ Asthma/Diabetes/weakness of the bones etc better avoid this route.

Drinking water taps are found at every 50-100 steps. There are no stalls selling Mineral water, snacks , Tea or coffee . Take your own food items along with you , in case you like to eat something . Eat light before you start. Sip on water frequently. There are several washrooms along the path.

All I could think of while climbing the steps is ‘Óm Namo Venkatesaya’. No other thought entered my mind during the 3 hours that I took to climb.I would stop after every 50 steps and rest for a while. Slowly and steadily like a tortoise I completed the climb successfully :).

Pilgrims in all shapes , sizes and ages were seen to be climbing . Each step is treated with respect. A few light camphor at every step, some apply Pasupu (Turmeric powder) and Kumkum (red colour powder) to every step as a prayer.

My imagination was proved wrong when I saw lots of people all along the path. There is no dearth of company. There a few spots with good views of the hills. Lush greenery on either side of the path. The whole route is covered above and one can take this path during any time of the year.

BTW everyone walks without wearing any footwear.

Here are a few pics that I clicked along the way.

View of the Hills as you approach the entrance to Srivaari Mettu. This is the point where one has to get off the vehicle.
Details of the Trek and the starting point of the Trek.
Before starting the Trek , pilgrims perform a little puja here.
There’s a Balaji temple where you can have darshan before starting your Trek.
The whole path is covered on the top. Gets a bit crowded in a few places.
The 100th step !!.
Some pilgrims light camphor on every step as the climb.
The 400th step !!
Another 1988 to go 🙂
One of the Beautiful views along the path.
You can see the path covered with blue sheets.
There’s a beautiful Mandapam as soon as you reach the top. Time to sit down with gratitude for having completed the trek successfully. Time to relax and drink a hot cup of Tea 🙂

I was apprehensive about body pains but there was no weariness . I felt very normal and in fact was quite energetic 🙂

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A Miracle called Our Body

Our Body that we take for granted is a Miracle in itself. What other Miracle does one need to believe in a super power.

Every living entity is a Miracle. A single cellular organism is also an intelligent creature. Every multi-cellular organism, including a human being is made up of Billions of cells. Each cell is an organism in itself, made up of several intracellular organelles . Each cell is highly intelligent . These intracellular organelles carry out several important tasks of the Cell. A group of cells form an organ. An organ in turn carries out its own special tasks. Every organ is different . All the organs in turn work together seamlessly to keep our body intact and function as a single Unit. The Intelligence which controls all the body functions is different from our thinking mind. However, both these together are doing a great job to give us a beautiful experience on this beautiful Planet.

I can never stop appreciating the Miracle that is our body.

Isn’t it wonderful that each of these cells love each other a lot and happily live together. We do know that they all ”talk” to each other through the nervous system in their own language 🙂

We, are actually a conglomeration of all these tiny beings . It is our duty to take good care of this conglomeration and not abuse them with wrong habits.

These cute little cells are very sensitive to our thoughts. Our emotions have an effect on their functioning. Hence, we need to always have good thoughts not only for ourselves but also towards other living beings which are also a conglomeration of cells. Poor things get confused when we have ill feelings towards others and become diseased and start disintegrating.

Let us all pamper our bodies with nutritious food, some exercise, some sunshine, lots of good thoughts about ourselves and about others, so the cells are also joyful and healthy. In turn , we too get to enjoy our stint on Earth.

~Be Grateful and Love yourselves~

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Conscious , Subconscious and Witness Consciousness

I remember having read long long ago that the conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg, whereas the Subconscious part of the mind is like the submerged part of the ice which is huuuge. Of late I have been listening to talks by Louise Hay where she mentions about the Conscious and Subconscious parts of the mind. I had begun reading more on these in the last few days.

This morning, during meditation , I got the clarity on the qualities/functions of the Conscious and Subconscious mind and how they are related.

The following is my interpretation –

The Subconscious mind is involuntary and controls/regulates all the bodily processes. It helps us in carrying out all our physiological activities and in maintaining a healthy body. Isn’t is wonderful that we do not have to consciously breath, pump and circulate blood, digest etc. All of this happens involuntarily which is nothing short of a miracle. The Subconscious mind also strongly influences several of our day to day behaviors. The sudden outbursts of anger or sadness etc emerge from our subconscious mind.

Whereas , the conscious mind helps us in planning and carrying out our day to day activities . The conscious mind collects information from the environment using the 5 senses. The conscious mind also get us into trouble by thinking wrong thoughts continuously and also gets us into wrong habits and behaviors which then stay stuck in the Subconscious.

Here is a simple example given by Louise Hay to identify the Conscious and subconscious parts of the mind –

A child wants to learn to ride a bicycle . Initially the child uses the conscious mind to learn to balance the bicycle and slowly becomes steady. During this process the Subconscious mind is also learning the methodology and stores its learnings. Very soon the child is able to ride the bicycle without any effort by the conscious mind. The Subconscious mind now starts functioning and the child effortlessly rides the bicycle. The subconscious mind has learnt its lessons perfectly and from now on drives the conscious mind to ride the bicycle.

We have been blessed with these two different aspects of the mind which carry out very different and very important tasks.

Once a wrong behavior is stuck in the Subconscious it is very difficult to get the behavior out of the system. Thankfully there is a way out 🙂

There is another part of our mind which is the ‘Awareness’ . It is also called as ‘Witness Consciousness’ , as this part of the mind is able to witness/watch the thoughts arising and changing. It has the ability to observe the thoughts in our conscious mind (which are being subtly influenced by the Subconscious) and can guide/monitor/channelize these thoughts in the right direction , thereby slowly and gradually erasing the wrong habits/behaviors from the subconscious.

How does one identify the ‘Witness Consciousness” ? One can identify the ‘Witness consciousness ‘ very easily during Meditation. During Meditation when we sit still , are silent and focus on the breath or any other object we begin to start noticing our thoughts.Sitting still and focusing on the breath may be a little difficult initially. There is some restlessness. Continue with the Meditation and in a few days you will be able to observe the thoughts coming and going. Once we are able to witness our thoughts during Meditation, we can also start being a witness even during normal waking state.

So, it is very important to watch our thoughts and help the conscious and subconscious mind be more positive, thereby control our emotions , behaviors, habits and have a healthy body and mind.

The above inference is my own after listening/reading various sources.

Currently , I am comfortable with this inference and finding it useful in my day to day life.

Hope to be a Witness to all that is happening in my mind and around me.

~Sarve Janaaha Sukhino Bhavanthu~

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Gratitude journal Oct 2019

Extremely grateful for the nice warm bed that I wake up from each morning.

So glad that Electricity has made life so easy.

Thanks to the plumbing system for the hot/cold water flowing from the taps.

All the appliances in the kitchen make cooking so much easier. Thanks to the stove, the water purifier, the electric cooker, the mixer grinder and the refrigerator.

The Sofa, dining table, easy chairs and other furniture make life so comfortable. Grateful for all the furniture.

Transportation is indispensable. Thanks to all the varieties of transport systems, we are able to travel far in a short time. Blessed to have own transport.

Last but not the least , communication systems and Internet have revolutionized our way of life. Life would come to a standstill if communication links broke down.