The Mug’s Story

The transparent mug / pail I have been using for more than 3 years for taking bath looked depressingly brownish orange last Sunday. Now I remember, it was  so for many, many months. Last Sunday I requested the maid to clean it, hoping to see a cleaner mug.

When the maid gave the mug back to me after cleaning, it looked so clean that transformation is the apt word to describe what the mug had undergone. During the entire week whenever I saw or took the mug in my hand, I marveled at its new lustre. Evidently, the maid had put her heart into the cleaning.

A clean mug can be a source of joy and inspiration.

I ought to have cleaned the mug much earlier, I blamed myself. Then I consoled myself, it had become very dirty progressively, so I hardly noticed the discoloration and deppressing look.

Eyes get used to seeing things as they appear, instead of seeking out the lurking lustre behind appearances. Awareness of the lustre behind things induce in us the urge to retain their shine.

Real seeing involves seeing the inherent potential in a thing, in a person – including in me.

Paradoxically, during the same period of about one week – when the mug had returned to its brilliant best – things were getting muddied inside me.

At office, I was depressed that we were content to keep things going on instead of making things happen. And, while talking to customers, I also found out about a few cases of dissatisfaction. I felt furious with a few of our staff.

I did not feel like writing in my blog. And I purposely forgot all about my outcome.

For one full week, I did not go out to run in the morning.

And, I felt very lonely.

All within one week, I had become very much like how the mug was before it was cleaned – soaked in brownish orange dirt. A restless feeling characterized by heaviness accompanied me throughout.

Just one unwholesome thought and its accompanying feeling is enough to string together a garland of corrupting thoughts.

Every time I saw the mug in the toilet, it seemed it was mocking me – for staying in the rut. It was imploring me to examine my restlessness like John O’ Donohue advices in his poem, For a New Beginning.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Two days back, a friend of mine asked me to fine tune a well-formed outcome. One of the greatest gift is someone asking for help when I myself am besieged by doubts. That is when I realize others have spotted a light that shines within me. I then discover I  have all the power I need to be that light.

So, I am going through the Chapter on well-formed outcome in Sue Knight’s NLP at Work again. In the process I am gaining more clarity on my own outcome and re-finding some resources.

 Mug's story

Yesterday morning I smothered the 4 am alarm and went back to sleep. I got up at 6 am, then ran a short distance for about 45 minutes. It felt good. The day at office was purposeful. In the afternoon, I saw a doctor to attend to the nagging pain on my ankle and heels. In the evening, I attended a meeting with five like-minded people who shared how they chase their individual dreams passionately.

This morning, when the alarm went off at 4 am, I was on my feet and went to Ashok Pillar to run. I joined two strangers who were running to Marina Beach. We ran almost the entire distance to the beach and back. We walked the last 5 km scuttling the run target in favour of staying with the runner who was too tired to run. We were together on the road for more than three hours and half.

During the run, I witnessed the week’s predominantly disturbing thoughts and feelings waylaying me again. The heaviness of the dark feelings were descending on me, like dark clouds.

I stayed with the heaviness in awareness. And understood ceding control to it brings even more of the same heaviness. I realized I am their creator. And, I have the power to create their opposite – if I choose to.

The run today was beautiful not just for the distance covered. What was wonderful was that along the way I was staring at dark clouds inside and dissolving them. So, though the legs were weary and tiring towards the end, I was feeling light inside.

I also spent a long time looking at how I let my own light pale before the imagined brilliance of others. I often behave as if the world’s approval is the oxygen that sustain me.

What Anusha said about one post I wrote recently, echoed in my mind’s ears:
Very nice piece, daddy! However, all your articles make you sound like an awe-struck, star-struck teenager :-). I wonder if you’re selling yourself short. You can admire and wax eloquent on someone without making yourself out to be a worthless speck of dust next to them. You are worth a lot too…. Think about it…

I thought about it and many other things. I reveled in my power and glory silently, not gloating.

Just one enabling thought and action I give credence to, is enough to string together a positive neural garland.

It is the next thought that forms the beginning of a retinue of similar thoughts – whether they are enabling or dis-empowering.

I embody the spirit contained in the next four lines of John O’ Donohue’s poem I quoted earlier in this post:

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

The mug needs a maid to look clean. For cleaning myself, I alone have the resources. I am the all powerful creator.

2 thoughts on “The Mug’s Story”

  1. I love the words of Anusha. Babu, with her by your side always you do not have to look far or scour the websites and seek inspiring words…You are indeed fortunate.
    An ordinary plastic mug can awaken you… You can seek meaning anywhere….

    • Yes, Anusha is very insightful about things and I am fortunate. In the case of the mug, the message was so very obvious. Thank you very much for taking time to write.


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