Today, on Day 21 of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, I am pleased to welcome Shailaja Vishwanath, who is a freelance content writer and prolific blogger. She blogs at Diary of a Doting Mom where she writes about parenting and life lessons while dabbling in creative fiction. Shailaja likes to swim, teach music, read and network with other bloggers.
I met Shailaja recently when one of the largest Indian blogger networks was shortlisting bloggers in various categories for their annual blogging awards. Her blog was listed among the top five parenting blogs in India and we instantly hit it off. To make it even better, we live in the same city. If you are thinking – what can be better than taking a fun online connection offline – you are on the right track!. Add a coffee, laughter and a leisurely chat followed by a walk – and you’re on to something solid. Shailaja is fun and enthusiastic about everything she does. Please do visit her blog – you’ll enjoy her writing. Connect with her on Facebook. Follow her on Twitter.
And now, here’s Shailaja with one of my favorite concepts: Unconditional – A state of being
Unconditional – A state of being
by Shailaja Vishwanath
When Vidya asked me to guest post on her blog, I was overwhelmed, for two reasons:
One, this is the first time anyone had ever asked me to write a guest post on their blog, and I know what an honour it is to be asked.
Two, Vidya and I met only in January this year, but the warmth with which she welcomed me into her world, touched the core of my being.
We still haven’t met in person, but I hope to remedy that soon! I am so glad that we got to meet offline just this last weekend. Vidya, hoping to have many more
With that I come to today’s theme: Unconditional. That word can be a really loaded one, so I am going to keep it simple. To me, it means just one thing: Do what we can with every fiber of our being and expect nothing in return, not even acknowledgement.
Unconditional love can extend to our relationships and our actions. Some people seem to have this in natural abundance. Others learn, through life experiences, that to be truly happy, we must do what we do with no expectation.
In our relationships:
You know the friend I am talking about. She is the one you don’t talk to everyday. She is the one who is busy juggling the roles of a mother, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a working woman and a friend.
But she is the one who will warmly respond when you land up at her doorstep unannounced. She will take your phone call in the midst of a deadline and let you pour her heart out on her shoulder. She will rush over to your house with a pot of warm soup when she hears that you are nursing a terrible cold.
And for all of this, she expects nothing in return. She will brush aside your gratitude and tuck you into bed. She will sit by your side and listen patiently while you rant about an insensitive colleague. She will throw open the master bedroom and insist that you make yourself comfortable, while she curls up on the couch.
I have not one or two, but many, many people like that in my life. People I can call up and ask for a favour, without feeling awkward.
We have people like that in our lives. All of us. We just don’t realize it all the time.
In our actions:
I once saw a potter at work. The way he dipped his hands into the clay and then placed the lump on a spinning wheel. I watched as he carefully spun the wheel and started lovingly give shape to that lump. With skilled fingers, he nudged the edges, smoothed the surface, added more water when needed and brought out a vase from that lump. At the end of it, he looked at the finished product with that quiet smile of pride and satisfaction. He didn’t worry about the fact that there were spectators around him or that some people admired his handiwork, while others walked by without a second glance. No, the work of art was prize enough for him.
As I watched this, I was reminded of the word ‘amateur’. Did you know that it means one who does something for the love of it? So different from what we associate with that word today.
Every single thing we do ought to be done for the love of it.
Like cooking? Do it with a passion.
Enjoy writing? Take up a pen or a laptop and let the words flow.
Love to travel? Let your feet take you where they want to go.
Look at every single person who excels at his/her art. The reason that is so is because they love what they do. They have an unconditional love for the art. They have an unquenchable passion for that experience. That passion gives them what they need- Satisfaction and nothing else matters.
A great person once told me this: The reason you feel disappointed is because you have expectations.
If I clean my home with the expectation that I will get a nod of praise, it defeats the very purpose of the exercise.
If I write because I want to be widely read and loudly proclaimed, I am not doing it for the love of writing.
If I do a good deed in the hope that it will come back to me some day, I am negating the very effect of goodness.
I am not saying that it is wrong to have these expectations. We are, after all, human. And it feels good, even wonderful, to be acknowledged. Truth be told, my heart fills up when efforts are appreciated.
However, what I must strive for, is enjoying the task for the pleasure that it affords, all by itself. And I must remember that anything else that comes from it is a pure bonus.
Thank you, Shailaja!
When the pressure of expectations is off our minds, we truly bloom!
What is your reaction to Shailaja’s perception of “Unconditional” as a state of being? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Today, let’s visit
Susan Scott at Garden of Eden (loving the sound of that!)
Sitara Nair at Rendezvous with life (has a great story going on there!)