There was this one time, I was in town for a concert at the Moore. 12 mins from the start time, I was searching for a curbside spot in the busy streets of Seattle, circling the blocks, amidst rush hour and the one ways. My friends say, I have good “parking karma”. It was now 6.59 p.m. and I hadn’t still found a spot. And nope, I wasn’t going to shove my car in a lot as is my wont.

Up until now I’d stuck to the higher streets as my luck is better there, but I finally made my way to the busy 2-way cluster that is 1st Ave. As I approached the intersection of 1st and Lenora, I caught something from the corner of me left eye, there was this man standing on the opposite pavement of Lenora (so diagonally opposite from where I was) waving his hands. I turned to look and it was this homeless guy flailing his hands wildly and seemed to be looking in my direction. Perplexed. I looked around me, was it me? I wondered if my headlights were off? No. Was something broken in my then 13 year old car ( ūüôā, which I ultimately drove for 16 years)… Not that I could discern. From his hand movement he was trying to indicate something to me. And all this while the light was Red, so I had the time. He wouldn’t stop. I have to say I was a bit weirded out, but then I noticed something else. There on Lenora, behind a big-ass truck, which was blocking my view, was a vacant spot and he seemed to be pointing me to it. I was a bit skeptical at first, often these spots are vacant for a reason and then that whole left turn would be a wild goose chase and a waste of a few more mins delaying me further. Then the light turned green and I did turn left and slowly pulled up to the spot. It was indeed vacant and did not have any timing restrictions on it either!!

First of all, how did this guy know I was looking for a spot? Amidst all that traffic, its not even liked I’d circled 1st ave multiple times. My then vehicle, an old silver Honda Civic (nothing that stands out really) couldn’t have attracted that much attention. What was it about that moment that he just knew and decided to communicate to some gal at the light? I was overwhelmed. I emptied my pockets of whatever change I had (Had no notes on me that day) and gave it to him. He accepted them (it did not seem to me like he was looking for anything at all). He seemed to have this “knowing” look on his face. Our eyes locked for a bit. And he said “just beautiful”. I was just grateful. I went on to walk toward Moore and enjoy the rest of the evening, but remained stunned by the experience prior to the concert. Parking karma indeed.

And then just the other day, I was returning from a morning run, the last leg of my circuit being a hill. I’d just crossed Mercer and was on 5th, hoping to run another 5 mins or so, but just stopped with a big audible gasp and switched my Garmin off and was thinking to myself just how out of shape I was. A combination of self-chiding and acceptance. There was this homeless guy dragging his belongings in a trolley and walking on the pavement. He saw me stop and said “You coulda gone another 1/2 mile easily there!!” and smiled revealing big gaps in his teeth. I smiled back at him and shook my head and said “Thank you”. He said “Nice job there lady”, very encouragingly.

How much outside their own heads must these men have been to think about someone other than themselves, with no other agenda. And they had every reason to not.


The 8Cs to Love

I am a single woman, looking for love… Well, that was my line some¬†years ago. As I meander through life and allow myself to feel, experience and meditate,¬†I have understood what love is and learnt to recognize it, and it really has nothing to do with being single or being coupled, whether in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. ¬†It really is a state of being that can be arrived at alone or together. Since I am already where I am and may one day be interested in a partnership with another as well, what my line really ought to be is — I am a woman, looking for¬†a man¬†who understands love the way I do¬†and wants to walk alongside me as we continue our exploration of¬†this beautiful journey… And of course it wouldn’t hurt if he is this, that and the other too ;).Setting aside what I am looking for or even whether I am looking for anything at all (which I shall elaborate on in another post), let me explain my formula for Love, which I’ve developed based on life experiences and relationships that have touched me in some way. ¬†I am hoping this will be useful for the folks out there that are stumped by love in one way or another in that they either want to find love, want to understand it¬†or¬†are faced with quandaries about¬†what love and partnership means to them, about whether they are in love at all, whether they are out of love and if so, how to find their way back and questions of that nature. I present 8Cs, 8 building blocks that eventually lead to Love, or 8 gates that need to be crossed on the path to Love.It all starts with knowing yourself first. Self-Awareness or Consciousness is really the precursor to success in anything¬†in life. Leading a conscious life, with awareness¬†over a period of Time leads to the ability to trust oneself or self-Confidence. A truly confident person is most¬†likely an honest person. This in and of itself is good enough, but there is something to be said for synergy, sometimes one plus one could add up to three. So let’s add another person into the mix. The only way a synergy between two can be achieved is if there is a pathway between the two.¬†Communication is the way one builds that¬†pathway in this equation.¬†Confidence in oneself¬†coupled with honest Communication with¬†the other over a period of time¬†leads to trust or confidence in the other.

This practicing of trust¬†over time (Consistency), results in a strong and established pathway or a very definite Connection between the two people. Now connection is the pragmatic part of a friendship or relationship and is a must to be able to function. But sometimes, connection alone may not be sufficient. There’s got to be some play in it. Connection is real and¬†belongs to¬†the realm of what IS. But in order to take what IS¬†to what COULD BE, one¬†needs a dose of imagination or spirit so that Connection can turn into¬†Chemistry!¬†This is the space where fun is had, whether lightness of spirit is expressed and where the world of possibilities begins to open up. When this Chemistry¬†is founded on the building blocks of Consciousness,¬†Confidence, Communication, Consistency and Connection, it is the right kind of Chemistry, the kind that sustains. For many people it suffices to reach this stage and many equate this to Love.

But I’ve concluded that¬†I need more than just Chemistry¬†to sustain a relationship. So¬†my formula doesn’t quite end at Chemistry. Like I mentioned earlier, Chemistry is all about entering the world of possibilities. Once¬†I enter the world of possibility, how do I progress further in a constructive manner? How do I move the needle? How do I grow? This is where Creativity comes in. Creativity to me is the ability to consciously connect the dots, bridge gaps and come up with new solutions to problems. Creativity is a way of being. (See my posts on The Science behind¬†Creativity, Creativity Quotient). So how wonderful would it be if I can be creative in combination with someone that I share a chemistry with, and how wonderful would it be if this can fall into a sustainable rhythm over time and hence result in¬†productivity. And¬†productivity over time leads to…you guessed it – Contribution! And it is in this contribution or service that I define my existence.

So if there is someone that can walk alongside me (and vice versa) on the path of (combined) Contribution, something outside of and larger than our individual selves, then what exists between that person and I would cement into or flow into something undying and eternal, called Love.

Love Unfettered

Written Jan. 30, 11

(Presented at Yoni Ki Baat, 2011 at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, March 2011)

I am a single woman looking for love. After my marriage ended several years ago, I have taken my own sweet time meandering through life, work and personal projects. Through this journey of Self-discovery and through many beautiful friendships with men, women, singles and couples, I’ve understood that love is really just an exchange of positive, regenerative energy.

I know myself to be heterosexual, coz I like being with a man; I like being the woman, and want the love of a man for the long run because for better or worse, that is what I have been conditioned to seek. For the longest time therefore, I‚Äôve found myself looking for love through conventional means, but for a variety of reasons including timing, insufficient self or mutual awareness amidst the chaos of life, a limited dating pool and perhaps the filters and masks that society forces us to wear, it has not really ‚Äúmaterialized‚ÄĚ so far. Meanwhile, in the process of seeking balance, I have learnt to plug my own holes, complement myself‚Ķ and in some sense‚Ķ be my own better half‚Ķ a case of situational evolution.

As a big believer in destiny, I sometimes wonder if am receiving a cosmic message here; Am I really meant to be in a traditional framework of love that I and most of my peers have been raised to understand. Or am I meant to follow a more free form of expression of my love and passion?

I have a lot to offer and feel deeply for human beings and life in general. This capacity for deep connection transcends gender and status, so I wonder if I am meant to focus on an individual based on gender, orientation, socio-economic status or environmental background… or even just limit myself to one individual at all!

And hey, this is not only about love in its “purest” form, I am also very sexual. I want sex for pleasure, like many people do, but I also view it as a source of learning, from another energy that can take me to the next step in my spiritual evolution. Sex to me therefore is very much in my body, but also so much in my mind and my spirit.

So, combining my perspectives on love and sexuality, I’ve concluded that I am capable of loving more than one person. My instinct loves a man’s body, touch, energy and passion, especially if he is strong and smart, but when I invite my intellect into the equation, I Totally see myself appreciating that same energy and passion in an even more beautiful form, the woman! So the complementary energy I seek maybe in the form of a man OR… a woman.

Seeking energies that are sufficiently complementary and supplementary extends this thought further. What if that energy came in the form of not one but two people? ‚Ķ To be honest, most coupled individuals achieve balance through their partner. So that means that the form that complements my partly feminine and partly masculine brain (but fully feminine body!) could be a man AND a woman! I could seek enjoyment in the company of two people that represent the energies that I am looking for… Or maybe it could simply be‚Ķ that the Narcissus in me can swallow appreciation from both together! ūüôā

There have been a few times at clubs when I‚Äôve looked at couples, thinking‚Ķ ‚ÄúHmm, I‚Äôd like to join them!‚ÄĚ Two bodies to complement my passions! After all, what could be better than loving one other person‚Ķ loving 2 people!

I wonder how many couples out there think about inviting other singles or couples for dinner and more. If you think about it, it‚Äôs just an extension of watching an erotic movie together. I think this could be a great way to keep things interesting and long lasting in their sex lives… and perhaps even cement their relationship further. A few couples I know are willing to explore and experiment ‚Ķ but it may be a while before they act. I know that once I get with my partner, at some point in the future, I‚Äôd certainly love to‚Ķ I‚Äôm really hoping my partner turns out to be progressive and will have the ability to appreciate my deep loyalty, devotion and friendship on the one hand, and on the other, a sexuality that is soulful, playful, adventurous, erotic and open ‚Ķ which could include ‚Äúalternate‚ÄĚ avenues of fun on occasion‚Ķ under mutually agreeable terms of course ūüėČ ‚Ķ. and when the time is appropriate.

I have to admit though, that deep down I get more than just a kick out of tradition. So is this just greed? Is it a passing fantasy that is acting out or is it something else? I feel a conflict between my expression of universal love and the need for absorption in the accepted forms in common society. I just want to reconcile the social and spiritual sides of me.

Conflict aside, I am certain that there are many ways of giving and receiving love. It‚Äôs really about recognizing that people are just trying to be happy and fulfilling their needs for sharing and growth. They are looking for beautiful synergies and energies that will help them evolve as spiritual beings. There‚Äôs no malice, there‚Äôs no politics, there‚Äôs no judgment, there‚Äôs only love. So people, when you‚Äôre ready, open your minds, hearts and maybe… your bedrooms! ūüôā