Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.
I shot this picture at a used sari market in Pune, India a few years ago. It sticks with me. At first it seemed that this woman, who lived on the opposite end of the globe, had nothing in common with me. Now, I understand it as just the opposite.
Her circumstances, no doubt, were dire. They probably still are, if she is still alive. If she could transport herself out of that slum, I bet she would. Perhaps that’s exactly what she was doing when I snapped this photo. One thing is for certain, here, there, and everywhere: Life is hard. It’s a universal issue.
A favorite book that rings true from experience is Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are. (Check it out.) Sometimes, I think the opposite is also true: “Wherever you are, there you go.” That’s the beauty of mindfulness and meditation. They are always available to you. You can be transported beyond your seemingly insurmountable circumstances. You simply have to practice.
Do that, today. If you’re anything like me, you are reading about this and not putting it into practice enough. Just do it.
If you need to, set a timer on your phone for five minutes. Then put the phone on silent. Close your eyes. Breathe from deep within your belly. Feel the energy of something positive permeate your body, something that has recently warmed your heart. Cultivate that feeling and stick with it as you breathe into the heart of it. As your mind wanders, return to the energy of that positivity, with no sabotaging interruptions. If this woman, trapped in the slums of India can do it, so too, can you. Breathe deeply and inhale appreciation for all that you have. Exhale any thoughts that interrupt your gratitude. End with gratitude. Say thanks aloud.