festival of inner light.


Photo taken with my iPhone: October 23rd 2014: Self Realization Fellowship, Encinitas, CA

Our mornings on Laila’s school days consist of a general routine: getting ready, picking out what to wear, (my 2 year old has recently become very opinionated on her daily outfits…oh teenage years, that will be even more fun- sorry about the days I fought for ripped bell bottom Levi’s mom!), lighting a diya, breakfast, getting her lunch and school bag ready to go. And we are off.

Then it’s working, prepping lunch for my husband, teaching, picking her up and cooking dinner. If I can, I will squeeze in my yoga/meditation practice in there, or at least some pranayama. But mostly, I find myself working and taking care of and nurturing my family, something I carry with high esteem as a momma.

So today, after I dropped her off, picked up my husband’s dry cleaning and headed home to my computer for work, I took a different turn. I had just had a phone conversation with my best friend about self-care.

I drove down the 101 and found myself at a place I took time to go every day during my pregnancy.

At the Self Realization Fellowship Meditation Garden, I sat on my favorite bench and I closed my eyes and took a deep breath in and out. I let it come back to me, slowly, as the noise of my long list of things to do silenced, faded to a background. As the current background noises I heard, started to somehow blend with my breath. Ocean, leaves, birds. I let compassion in. For the nature I heard at first, then my sweet baby girl’s face filled my sun-kissed mind, and it kept going…for my love, my husband, for my whole family. I thought of my sister who was visiting us this evening, my brother who had just texted me, my mother and father who I miss dearly. My friend who I had just spoken to, my in laws who would be visiting next week. How amazing to have so many loved ones, I thought. And as the silence took over, as my breath felt fluid, as the thoughts dissipated, I felt my heart full of love for myself, the inner guide who always shines in my most difficult moments and helps me, this inner voice…she is my light.

When I opened my eyes, it was as time had stood still. My list was still there, my work was still ready for me. But you know, it felt like forever that I had spoken to her, my inner goddess, full of shakti, it had been some time since I had found her and embraced her. And in that moment, I realized how important self-care for myself truly is, especially to be able to tend to the needs of my loved ones and shine with my work.

May your inner light glow with compassion and truth today, happy diwali.


  1. Steph zito says:

    Absolutely love this reflection Puja! Happy Diwali!

  2. Puja says:

    thank you steph!