family prayer for home.

puja-shah copyrighted

When men raise their daughters with honor, patience and affection rather than restrictive controlling made to oppress her true essence, she will become a leader, strong and confidant. When she respects herself, men will respect her.

When men raise their sons with loving guidance rather than physical and verbal bullying, he will be a leader, strong and confidant. When he learns to respect the women around him, everyone will respect him.

When women nurture their children from belly to body, heart beat to heart love, cord to breast, breath to smile, their children feel roots in their world, powerful and courageous.

When men treat their wives with gratitude, respect and compassion, and caress their beauty then their women open their vessels of unconditional love and strengthen their family in divine power, bringing in ever flowing abundance.

When wives treat their husbands with gratitude, respect and compassion, honor their protection, their men shine with pride.

When children witness this union, they feel secure and grow well.

Businesses flourish, homes thrive as a unit, health is vibrant and leaders emerge.

Abandon the actions encountered and dogmatic beliefs held and engrained by previous generations and ancestors who accepted interpretations of truth. Nurture the inner and divine equality of love. True yin and yang. Both are needed, both are important, both are alone powerful, but need each other to create the purity of what makes up consciousness.

Do not worry what this looks like.

Do not worry what seems right or how things were done before. Do not worry about the things that should be. Do not worry about rules in rituals that came far after the golden time of unspoken understanding. That was an old home of ego.

Learn.

This is our new home. Our rules. Our essence.

Home is the current place of hearts.

When things get blurry…

Focus.

These inner gifts we individually have.

Follow and trust the voice of heart.

Praise your partner. Praise your children.

Lift your partner, lift your children.

Raise your head to the sun when patterns of the conditioning surface. When ego blares or unconscious flashes seep in.

Cold words and shoulders are not welcome in this home where warmth meets eyes and fingertips.

Even in the hardest of moments…

Melt away any doubt, fear and awaken to this presence.

To do it at other way goes against the grain of innate wisdom. Of the natural elemental energy we are one with.

This is our dharma as partners. As parents. As souls in this realm.

This is the home that Buddha can say is oneness.

This is the home that Vishnu’s serpent brings treasures to reside in.

This is the home that Lakshmi chooses to light.

This our chosen home.

a moment to pause.

 poem for anniversary

A poem dedicated to my love on our anniversary.

A moment to pause…

to the universe, for my father.

grandfather
Photo taken with my Canon SLR. Encinitas, CA: May 2014
Dear Universe,
You may remember it as clear as I do. I’m in my room again, circa 1996. I have my headphones on and my new Walkman blasts In Bloom by Nirvana. It’s a Saturday morning that I don’t have to go help my parents in the office. I can feel the music in my veins and I don’t know it then, but I’m an empath like daddy so music enters my body with conviction. My window’s slightly open and I see the magazine collage on my wall and hear the gardeners mowing the lawn. I can smell spring. Life feels still in that moment.
It was a happy year. Things were good for my parents, we had moved to a new home, mom went back to work and had her own office. Daddy sang old movie songs in our kitchen and made homemade sauces, he had life in his eyes.

The first time I asked daddy where his sparkle went was when I was a sophomore in college. We were in line at the grocery store and I looked straight at him and asked him. He told me everything was fine. But I knew something was up.

2001. Sh*^ really hit the fan that year. My parents seemed stressed at work, (even though daddy never showed it to us), my younger sister was in high school and rebeling. Nothing serious, she was never a party girl, but things like blue hair and a Jewish boy who liked her were amongst the mix for my shocked Indian parents. But that was all stuff we could have handled.

It was the Ahmedabad earthquake that really got us. That swallowed mommy’s smiles and daddy’s faith.

My grandparents went to India with my mom to visit their motherland after a decade of being in the States with us. Before they left, I had secretly talked to my dada about helping mom and dad with office management and numbers since he was a math genius. He told me I should concentrate on studying, don’t worry about it and things were fine. I will promise to help when we are back, ok beta?

For many years of my grieving after that, I had always thought you may have taken dada away from us, because I had asked that.

I was young, but felt that there was a something greater working and if dada had helped, something would have shifted fate. And so you roared as the force of a city’s rumbles killed my strong, brilliant dada.

I’ll never in my life forget what it felt like watching my mommy and nani walk from baggage claim to our car without him. I’ll never forget how much my own father cried. Dada was like a father to him too, you know.

I’m not sure from then to now, how things got to where they are now.

Sometimes it seems like a blur. Like I can still hear daddy, his brown stylish dress shoes walking on the granite floors strongly, his humming making me smile and in turn, his eyes dancing as his 3 kids hug him home.

But daddy got sick. And we blamed all the things we thought, diet, lack of exercise, stress, but even amongst that stuff, we learned that it was his condition that was truly attacking him.

I came home from final exams in grad school and we all prayed in that ICU. You heard us, over and over.

And daddy, you know him, he’s a fighter. He woke up and he was with us. Things were ok for awhile. I moved to California, got married.

Daddy was so happy at my wedding.

But it happened again, he was in the hospital during a visit to see us and then during my yoga teacher training. I gave him news of a granddaughter, (now the love of his life). It gave him life all over again, his little Laila. He woke up, ready to love her.

 Nowadays, it’s been many times where we’ve been scared. I’m grateful you hear us and sometimes think, mommy and nani’s faith has given our family these chances at his life again. At our family’s life to be whole. It’s the prayers of all the people daddy helped and loved with his true to the bone kindness.

[Read more…]

her father’s thumb.

fathers day

Growing up, my father meant the world to me and vice versa. He still does. So, it makes my heart smile when I see my husband with my daughter, his pure love shining bright. Happy father’s day to my amazing husband. You know, she may have my eyes…but you are right, she totally has your thumb.
thumb poem

 

Same thumbs

Vibrate

Love

Your hand on

Her and my heartbeats

From the womb days

Found an opening

In you

My soulmate

Your eyes have purity

Only truth can radiate

From within

As you

Hold her

As thumb meets thumb

And you smile

My dancing soul

And singing heart

Soar high

And when I hold your hand

Run my tic tac fingers to your wide thumb

I am reminded

Of our days

Strength

This sacred place we have made

For her

From our own teenage thumb wars

To a genetic code that goes beyond

Just thumbs

This is it, baby

This is love.

 Written By: Puja Shah

lotus of love.

IMG_2888

Photo taken in Singapore: August 2011

As my little on turns 22 months next week, I found myself wondering where the time went. The cliche, they grow up in a blink of an eye, truly resonates with me. This morning, I hugged her wet body after her bath and was reminded of her as a newborn love sac, knees curled to chin. Her words stream out of her like lotus petals unfolding with the sweetness of her voice, so pure and full of wonder. In so may ways, she is is my little lotus flower… and here, I offer this haiku poem to my lotus of love.

lotus of love. 

By: Puja Shah

purity of awakened soul

brings clarity to mind

strong roots in heart

mon ami.

my soulmate

Photo: Malaysia, the mossy forest of Cameron Highlands with my Nikon SLR: Sept. 2011

Dear soulmate,

I’m celebrating you today, as are all the people you have helped, changed, touched, given to, inspired and loved.

You see, I have known you for a long time now.

“Play fighting under covers and all…”

I may not know details about the candy tantrum as a child, (except what I heard from your sis), or the Krishna play, (except the old photograph I kept from your mom), but I know of a boy who had big dreams.

Who got lost in Shaolin, whose knees played hard on the b-ball court, who made a teacher or two cry.

We shared secrets. More than you ever told anyone, even your family, you said. [Read more…]

let’s dance.

moon

Photo taken with my Canon: Palm Springs, CA in April 2011

 

In the busy moments of our every day, as night falls and the moon dances in the sky, I was reminded that life’s moments and the presence of love, are what keep this song alive. A quote I once heard by the author Barbara D’Angelis, came to mind:

“The journey in between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life takes place.”  

 I wrote this poem before falling asleep last night. Remember to stop to dance today.

Let’s Dance

By: Puja Shah

[Read more…]

peace.

Kids For Peace

Photo taken with my iPhone in my home, (I edited).

An organization I support called Kids For Peace is in New York, my old stomping grounds this week. As they enter subways, turn avenues and stop at food carts, I will be thinking of how special it will be for my fellow New Yorkers to see these vibrant, inspirational children handing out paper hearts with words of peace, and on such perfect timing…only a week after the day that changed NYC those years ago.

The kids will present their peace pledge, in pic above, to the United Nations and I wrote and recited this poem just for them-our future peace heroes… (click to play poem below):

Kids for Peace: a poem by Puja Shah

blooming patience.

Photo taken with my iPhone, (I edited): Small local farm in Southern California during a private fundraiser with Jason Mraz

Recently, my daughter has been teething and going through a growth spurt so has decided that 11 pm , instead of 8 pm, is her new bedtime. While my husband and I have had a “good sleeper” on our hands for most her months, with this new bedtime behavior, she just wants to play and laugh the whole time, and has truly tested our patience. It seems that suddenly now, dishes don’t always get done after dinner, the work I had saved to type up or get done that night after she went to bed is waiting for me and when she gets up at her normal 5-6 am wake up call, I am not always at my peppiest, especially if I worked hours into the night.

Along with this new behavior, she has adopted a few other things, though…

[Read more…]

laugh, breathe, love, live.

Photo taken with my iPhone: Jericho, New York

There’s this simple saying I heard that always stuck with me.

“Laugh as much as you breathe, love as long as you live.”

I was surprised that it wasn’t said by the Dalai Lama or Gandhi or some great sort when I heard it. It was by Johnny Depp, (yes, I know, it makes him cuter) 😉

When I was snapping this picture, I remember hearing it in my mind… as Laila squealed, as my nani ba, Lila, took a breath and laughed with pure love as she held her.

Laila with Lila.

It was unbelievable to see them side by side this way. And the truth in those simple words, in the simplicity of my grandmother’s learned and daughter’s new eyes, both full of love and joy, reminded me how beautiful these breaths of life can be, every day. It’s about our perception, the way we see what these maya, these illusions, mean to us. It’s how we hold the loving visions, or don’t hold the unserved, in our hearts and eyes.

That through the cycle of these breaths, the beautiful, stormed, tainted, precious and dreamy…all of them, we can find real happiness.

We just have to breathe.