Hello, This is me!

Elita

Have Feet Will Travel Be You For You

About me

Hello

I’mElita

Freelance Writer and Workshop Facilitator

Welcome to my blog!

I am the heart+mind behind “Be You For You” and “Have Feet Will Travel”. And Nomadic Thunker is the canopy under which they are housed.

Be You For You is where my love for words meets expression. This is my entrepreneurial venture through which I facilitate workshops with students as well as working professionals on using writing and art as a medium of self-expression.

Have Feet Will Travel is where my love for words meets travel. Besides sharing my own travelogues, this is where I engage with organizations and brands as a consultant/freelancer to develop content.

Yes, I am a self-declared logophile.

And as you scroll along, you’ll learn more about the What, Why and How of all that I do (and keep adding on to)…

Be You For You

Self Exploration

"The person you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself"

We are the stories we tell ourselves. Have you EXPLORED your story yet? Do you know if you are playing Hero or Victim?

Self Expression

"If you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm...”

Interpersonal communication is key to healthy relationships. And what about the relationship with our own self - the Intrapersonal one? Have you ever EXPRESSED yourself to yourself?

Self Discovery

"Know Thyself"

We aspire to live to our full potential and may feel held back. Have you DISCOVERED your blindspots? Does it require you to course-correct?

Self Awareness

"I never change, I simply become more myself"

Through non-verbal and non-intrusive activities that require no specific language skills or writing skills (unlike Creative Writing), Be You For You workshops enable participants in re-examining the story that is YOU!

Have Feet Will Travel

Where itchy feet meets itchy hands

Travel is my muse and no journey is considered complete until I have written about it

Where budget travel meets responsible travel

At the heart of my wanderlust is the quest to cultivate more sensitivity about the world around me within the means I can afford

Where the desire to escape meets the desire to be found

I travel to write. I write to see what I'm thinking. I think to make sense of myself. I make sense of myself to thrive. I thrive to travel

Where travel meets human interest stories

Have Feet Will Travel is my online journal; a travelogue documenting solo and non-solo experiences

67

Be You For You participants since July 2016

532006

Seconds it took a non-coder (AKA yours truly) to singly revamp the blog

23

Books I want to read by the end of 2017

348

Age (in months) by which I travelled to each of India’s 29 states

All Posts

iRediscover | How We Got Rerouted To Assam: Part II

“Where have you reached?”
“Where are you right now?”
“Ask anyone for the bus-stand and get to the bus from there.”
“No, no. It cannot be that the last bus for the day has already departed. Have you asked the people at the bus-stand? Oh okay. Ask for the shared vehicles that ply then…”

We’d just gotten off a bus from Tezpur and were a bit hassled. Amidst which, I was on a call and my friend was looking quizzically at me. You would too. 3000 kilometres away from the state whose official language it is, I was speaking in Marathi to a voice on the other end of the call!
Except that I was speaking to someone in Assam!

monastery, assam, buddhism, buddha

bamboo, sunlight, assam, northeast, india
There's something about bamboo plantations... Something about the way sunlight filters through

bamboo, assam, northeast, dibrugarh
If I lay here.. If I just lay here...


A quick rewind
Piran Elavia runs a socially responsible travel enterprise – Kipepeo – that offers an insight into local communities and the local eco-systems of the region. So evidently, Piran’s was one among the many brains I had picked on while planning my northeast India sojourn. It was on his recommendation that I first became aware of the Namphake Buddhist monastery and the community of the Tai Phaks – a branch of the Tai race that is a part of the same Mongoloid pool the royal family of Thailand belongs to as well.
And this was why my friend and I had arrived at Dibrugarh after Tezpur.

namphake, monastery, assam, dibrugarh, buddhist, buddha
Entrance of the Namphake Buddhist Monastery | Dibrugarh, Assam

namphake, assam, buddhist, monastery, india, northeast, buddha
Entrance of the Namphake Buddhist Monastery | Dibrugarh, Assam

namphake, assam, monastery, buddhist, buddha, india, northeast
Inside the Namphake Buddhist Monastery | Dibrugarh, Assam 


Through Piran, I had gotten in touch with Raviji, the caretaker of the monastery. That someone I was speaking to on the phone in Dibrugarh happened to be Raviji. And although we had spoken about my visit much I advance, the reason I didn’t know who I was speaking to that evening was because we had: (a) never conversed in Marathi and (b) he was calling me from another number!

Incidentally, Raviji is from Maharashtra and has a very interesting story. He worked as a junior clerk with the forest department for about 16 years before he met a Buddhist monk who he decided to accompany as a disciple. Through that association which lasted for about 29 years, Raviji came to know of Namphake where he has been now for over 12 years!

Conversations
The morning after we had arrived, we accompanied Raviji for a tour of the monastery which was built in 1850 and a walk through the village adjoining it.

During our walk through the village, we were invited to the house of Oksoan Tumtein – a silver haired lady who had recently gotten her son married. The coy couple would sheepishly exchange glances with each other while looking away every time they found either one of us looking their way. Such is the degree of the privacy these communities have been used to for generations that our very presence (let alone the camera) feels like a huge intrusion. But our hosts are polite.

namphake, tai phak, mongoloid, assam, dibrugarh,
In conversation with Oksoan Tumtein | Dibrugarh, Assam

Inside Oksoan Tumtein's home | Dibrugarh, Assam

stilt, house on stilt
Homes built on stilts | Dibrugarh, Assam


Speaking of marriages, over a cup of tea and with Raviji being our mediator and translator, Ms. Tumtein tells us how it is women who officiate the ceremony. In fact, the marriage proposal is brought by the older women of the family and tobacco leaves are exchanged as a symbol of acceptance of the proposal. The concept of a wedding invitation has been redundant as it spreads through the entire village by word of mouth – in other words, nobody is excluded from partaking in the celebration.

We also had a chance to meet with the chief of the village, Ngikya Weingken and from whom we learnt that the word Phake comes from two Tai words: Pha meaning wall and Ke meaning old. It is said that this community used to live beside old stone walls along the banks of a river in houses built on stilts as the area used to be flood prone.

Probing our understanding of the community’s beliefs and practices, we learn from Ngikya how the entire community celebrates every full moon. And this is outside of Karthik Poornima which happens thrice a year during which they assemble for three full days and Buddha Poornima which is celebrated on a grand scale once a year.

What I found rather intriguing and fascinating is how the day of the week and the birth order determine what a child would be named. However, if it is a boy his name begins with the day of the week, whereas if it is a girl, her name ends with the day of the week!

lunch, food
Lunch preparations underway | Dibrugarh, Assam

tai phak, namphake, assam, dibrugarh
The chief of the village, Ngikya Weingken | Dibrugarh, Assam


The past and the future
We were told that the Tai Phakes have had to be constantly on the move owing to displacement due to climatic conditions or political situations. They have been known to have extended from Yunan Province in China to Hokam Valley in Myanmar via Thailand and to Assam in India over the centuries. It was during a Burmese invasion that the Tai Phakes sought asylum by settling along the banks of Burhidihing – which is the present day Namphake. Their entry into India can be traced back to 1776 (if not earlier) and it is said that their population – of 2000 – has remained almost constant ever since!

Currently, the Tai Phakes are settled in the Dibrugarh and the Tinsukia districts of Assam. The Tais practice Buddhism.


Here's to those itsy bitsy tiny moments The ones that creep in on you out of nowhere Leaving you beaming May be it's a person or a meal or a four-legged creature or the celestial torch of the night sky... . . My time in and around the Namphake Monastery earlier this month was spent indulging in conversations over lal chai (red tea had sugarless and accompanied with jaggery) while the Moon bore a silent witness as I'd recap the ongoings of each day before hitting the bed at night. I often wonder what energy draws me to the places and people I meet - whether or not I'm traveling! Do you? . . . #Namphake #Assam #India #monastery #buddhism #northeastindia #moon #travelblogger #naturephotography #igramming_india #whereisnortheast #incredibleindia #_soi #instagood #indiaphotosociety #bbctravel #lpmi #hgwanderlust #travel #_woi #cntgiveitashot #girlwhotravels #ngtdailyshot #sheisnotlost #passionpassport #ig_indiashots #instatravel #thevisualyatra #portrait #HaveFeetWillTravel
A post shared by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on



As a spectator from the outside one can barely tell how seamlessly they have integrated themselves within the geography of Assam and yet retained their own culture – which is said to be in its purest essence and had been the catalyst that triggered the curiosity of the royal family of Thailand.

“The princess of Thailand visited us in 2009 after our community and our origins got mentioned by an international magazine. Subsequently, the king made a visit too and this was telecasted live. We’ve seen a surge in the influx of tourists as well as writers and researchers who want to talk about us (and earn a buck or two by doing so).
The thing is, exposure of this kind is a double-edged sword. You know, there is talk about turning this village into a tourist hotspot and what they mean by this is to make it a mini-Thailand. Do you see what that would do to a community that has been able to retain its distinct history and way of living simply because it remained ensconced away from the mainstream world? The same reason that has garnered us all of the attention is going cause the dilution and the downfall of our distinctiveness!” That same evening we’d had a chance run-in that developed into a heartfelt conversation with a gentleman named Aicheng Weingken – who was Ngikya’s uncle and the former village chief.

tai phak, namphake, mongoloid, assam, dibrugarh
Chatting up with Aicheng Weingken | Dibrugarh, Assam


For a community that hasn’t had a single FIR registered and maintains a zero crime rate till date, opening its doors to the outside world raises many questions; questions to which the community has to collectively arrive at a consensus on.

But how?


--
To subscribe to posts via email, click here
For opportunities to work with me, click here

--
#BeYouForYou
I am facilitating a Be You For You workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore! Drop me an email on nomadicthunker[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested in attending and would like to know more.
You may download the brochure here and FAQs here

Upcoming Mumbai workshop dates
August 19: https://www.facebook.com/events/457157031305289/

Upcoming Bangalore workshop dates
September 23: https://www.facebook.com/events/1854052274855147/

Sign up and register NOW 


iCelebrate | An Anniversary And An Announcement

I was in capital a couple of weeks ago to facilitate a workshop with an NGO and had called for an Ola Share while getting from Noida to Delhi. It was the week the rain gods had graced the city with their presence. Now for someone who hails from the coast and has experienced monsoons very differently, i.e has been through a deluge, faced the brunt of frequent flooding and is used to watching sheets of water just fall out of the skies, rains in Delhi seem like a misnomer.
Because what I had witnessed was nothing more than a mugful of water trickling from the sky.
But that is not the point.
The point is that that mugful of water caused me to take three hours to traverse what was otherwise meant to be a 50 minute ride!

Despite it being an Ola Share, besides the one co-passenger who had long since gotten off, it was just the driver and me in the cab. After over an hour of us sitting in silence since I first got into his cab, he broke the ice, saying:
“At this rate you’re not going to reach your destination until evening, Madamji.”
“Arre! Please don’t say such things. I’m just about succeeding at calming my nerves on being stuck like this when it’s not even raining.”
“Well, for people like us this is an everyday ordeal. I’ve been stuck in traffic like this since morning.”
“That is exactly what I have been thinking too. Having to go through this on an everyday basis cannot be easy for you.”
“What can be done? It’s just that we don’t have the words to express what we go through.”

 “We don’t have the words to express” -- Something about those words reverberated on the inside.
***
Exactly this time last year on the 9th of July 2016, I ran my first ever workshop of Be You For You.

An introvert by nature, emptying my head, heart and soul on paper had been a very natural phenomenon. But it hadn’t only been limited to emptying myself out. Writing had helped me make breakthroughs as well as make peace with otherwise challenging if not tumultuous issues.

I often wondered how and why this had been possible; until it occurred to me that writing is non-intrusive and non-invasive and employed with the right outlook (which I had on multiple occasions equipped myself with through training) can lend itself to enabling powerful mental makeovers!
And this was something I felt passionately about.
Why my own travels had begun to leave me with soul-stirring thoughts because I would always come back and write about them on my blog.
[Read: The Backstory of #BeYouForYou and #HaveFeetWillTravel]

So draft after draft of concept notes later, I felt courageous to not only share my idea of Be You For You with the world but also pilot it and watch it take form for the first time before my very eyes in July last year.
At the root, was firm the goal of encouraging and galvanizing people to begin expressing themselves. To themselves, first.
And that’s why that conversation with the cabbie struck a chord.

Self-expression.
How often do we pause to consider its relevance and importance?
In my observation, seldom, if ever…

From the very moment our senses have awakened with us in the morning to the moment they finally shutdown, we are constantly communicating with ourselves. In other words, we are telling ourselves stories – stories about how our day is going to be, stories about what we thought of the relative we bumped into at the mall, stories about why we’re dreading a particular meeting…
In short, stories about everything that is, that has been and that will be…

Is it not strange then, that for all the books and training programs being made available on interpersonal communication i.e. the process of interacting with other people, there is not enough material on intrapersonal communication i.e. the process of engaging with ourselves?

In the past year, I have had the opportunity of being a part of this intrapersonal journey with those curious and motivated to express themselves better. The feedback has been more than just encouraging and at a scale much bigger than I had fathomed about a year ago!




Participants leaving the workshop have had the following things to say:
  • "This workshop has definitely led to a shift in my thinking process.  It has provided me with a lot of insights and tools to help me touch base with my core."  
  • "I'm leaving the workshop with a great set of tools to help me navigate my place in the world and the belief that I can be in control of how (and what) I think and feel"
  • “This has led to more self-awareness, more ways to be expressive. Definitely a lot more insight into myself.” 
  • “It’s going to help me get into the habit of looking inwards and taking better care of myself using the tools suggested.”
  • “This experience has brought a lot of wisdom and positivity for me and the inspiration to express myself through writing a little more often.”
  • “I feel a lot more confident about being me and penning my thoughts down"
  • “I am leaving the workshop with a big to-do list and a slightly clearer mind. I am learning that it is okay to be self-compassionate.”
  • “I find that I have stumbled upon a medium to disconnect and reconnect with myself.”


But that is not all.

Every once in a while, I receive texts informing me on how someone has been implementing a writing technique that was introduced to them for the first time at a Be You For You workshop.
Every once in a while, someone will share a piece of expression they have created for the very first time in their life and they attribute the nudge to a Be You For You workshop.
Occasionally, someone will express how they are getting better at understanding themselves and therefore better at managing their own interpersonal relationships because they have been articulating themselves out since attending a Be You For You workshop.
Some have gone on to making journaling a regular practice. Others have revived their blogs. Still others have reintroduced crayons and colours back into their lives.

It is heart-warming every single time.

Heart-warming because almost every one of them prior to attending a workshop spoke of how they:
i)                    didn’t know how to write
ii)                   didn’t like writing
iii)                 didn’t think they were creative enough
iv)                 didn’t have a good enough vocabulary
v)                  didn’t know English that well
vi)                 didn’t…
vii)               didn’t…
viii)              didn’t…
And yet… Look at the strides they have been taking since.

P.S.: As these aren’t creative writing workshops, none of the above mentioned excuses are even valid in the first place! If anything, participants are encouraged to create new vocabulary and better still doodle because the focus is on expression.


What is true for individuals is true for organizations too – be it for-profit or not-for-profit. Self-expression is not only relegated to the realm of personal development. It is as much as part and parcel of organizations as their workforce communicate with its different stakeholders, sharing with them the collective story of the organization itself.
And Be You For You has begun to make inroads in working with organizations too.


But Be You For You wasn’t meant to be just one workshop. If anything, the journey so far for both participants as well as for me has only been Step 1!
And what better occasion to take this forward than the day of its first anniversary…

On Saturday, 8th July 2017, a bunch of folks who’ve attended the Be You For You workshops during the past year, signed up and attended an advanced level of the workshop – Be A Better You For You!
Because if ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, then with better self-expression comes enhanced self-awareness.


This past year has been a journey of a different kind. A journey of tapping into my entrepreneurial side. A journey of travelling within and encouraging others to embark on…

A journey that would not have been made possible were it not for the support and encouragement I’ve constantly received from a bunch of folks – in the guise of offering space to run my workshops, recommending friends to attend, being strong advocates and sharing the event notification via every known platform, putting me in touch with other folks who can help me take this workshop to other cities, advocating for the workshop within their workspaces… the support has been tremendous and humbling.

But this is only just the start…

Below are dates for the upcoming Be You For You workshops:
Mumbai -- 

Bangalore --
Sign up and register NOW...


For collaborations, drop me an email on nomadicthunker[at]gmail[dot]com

--
To subscribe to posts via email, click here
For opportunities to work with me, click here

iRediscover | How We Got Rerouted To Assam: Part I

“Elita, you cannot come to Nagaland right now. There is an indefinite state-wide ‘bandh’ beginning today. I am so sorry about this” read the text message.


The effects of having spent five days in heavily militarised Manipur (though very safe with nothing untoward happening at all) had just begun to wear off as we settled ourselves in Mizoram’s Aizawl.
But Aizawl was going to be a short visit from the very beginning – a mere 48 hours.
Many route-maps through India’s northeast had been drawn and redrawn in the months preceding my impeding journey to the region. I was on version 7 of that route-map the day I left Mumbai for Guwahati mid-January earlier this year.

That SMS from my friend in Nagaland about the curfew alerted my prefrontal cortex that version 8 would have to be birthed now. Evidently, my amygdala was in the least bit pleased.
Assam, Tezpur, river, Brahmaputra
Hello again, Guwahati
Unrest in the northeast has lent a bad name to the region. But if you would have read my account from Manipur (and stand by for one from Nagaland), you will know that while conditions are challenging, it is the locals who are most affected. Tourism, on the other hand, can actually help the locals because of the revenue it brings. In other words, don’t let the news paralyse your plans of exploring the region.

But back to version 8 of my route map, my friend and I were crouched over our phones at our guesthouse in Aizawl, pinching our screens reacquainting ourselves with Google Maps and finding our next best alternative.

Aizawl, Mizoram, airport
Aizawl's Lengpui Airport 
Flying out of Lengpui Airport the morning after that SMS meant returning to somewhat familiar environs after 10 odd days; during which we’d hopped in and out of Tripura, Manipur and Mizoram. Yes, we were back in Guwahati and it was a reaffirmation that this capital city of Assam was like how most capital cities are – urban and therefore, cacophonous, congested and also, dirty.

But among some of the things most capital cities get right, Guwahati has been redeeming with its food, in general and street food, in particular.

street food, India, chaat,
When in India's east, always say YES to puchkas (distant relatives of Delhi's gol-guppes and Mumbai's paani-puri)

Guwahati - Tezpur – Kaziranga
With our train tickets from Guwahati to Dimapur cancelled, we made our way to Tezpur. What I imagined would be a stopover to catch up with a friend turned out to be an insight into the intrigue that is Tezpur.

The cultural capital of Assam and located along the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, there is more to Tezpur than meets the eye. Mild and calm in contrast to Guwahati, Tezpur has a pace and charm of her own that you gently begin to experience once you’re on the Kolia Bhomora Setu.

My ignorance and curiosity got my friend to introduce us to her uncle who shared his many recommendations with us. And since we had just that day in hand and had to obtain a new Inner Line Permit (ILP) for Arunachal Pradesh on priority - owing to the rejig and route-map number 8 - we settled to make a visit to two key points of interest.

P.S.: Obtaining a new ILP was no sweat at all. Find your way to the Deputy Resident Commissioner’s office in Tezpur and fill out a form requesting for a new permit and submit two photographs and a self-attested copy of a government recognised ID card. And you’re done.
It is the same process you would follow for either of the three states – Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh – irrespective of where you apply for the permit.

Tezpur
Here’s a bit of a backstory.
Before Tezpur was named so, it was known as Sonitpur which today is the name of the district. Interestingly, both Sonit and Teza translate to mean blood; the former in Pali and the latter in Sanskrit. According to a myth, a battle ensued between the armies of Krishna and Shiva that resulted in a bloodshed, leaving the entire place drenched red.
When myth and history combine, they sure do create something beyond imagination!

This was some of the nuggets of information I was able to pick from our conversation with an official from the Guwahati Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India in Tezpur.

But between having some time to kill and then going to re-apply for our ILP, we made two stopovers:
(i)                  Bamuni Pahar:
These are but ruins today. A heap comprising of the most intrinsically carved rubble. To a passer-by, like yours truly, these seem unseen and invisible to the rest of the world.
I was naturally tempted to enter my own mind place as if to recreate what this structure might have been dating back to sometime between the 6th and 10th century AD – because I really wish there was more information to glean from.

Legend has it that Aniruddha, Krishna’s nephew, fell in love with Usha, the daughter of Banasura - a thousand-armed asura king, who disapproved of the match and had imprisoned Aniruddha in this place.

Bamuni Hills, Bamuni Pahar, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Ruins that are now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India 

Ruins that are now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India

Bamuni Hills, Bamuni Pahar, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Ruins that are now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India

Ruins that are now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India

Bamuni Hills, Bamuni Pahar, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Ruins that are now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India

(ii)                Da Parbotia
Not too far away is yet another relic – Da Parbotia: a door frame that is a part of the remains of a temple consecrated to the Ganga and Jamuna who are carved and depicted on the lower sections of the doors, holding garlands in their hands. This too is believed to date back to somewhere around the 10th century AD.

Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Da Parbotia: the door frame

Da Parbotia, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Temple bell

Da Parbotia, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Carvings of Ganga and Jamuna on the door frame


Da Parbotia, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, northeast
Up and close -- Da Parbotia: the door frame
  
When not rummaging through temple ruins and failing miserably at distilling myth from history, I was found wolfing down the spreads available at Spring Valley. Why I heard about the Karbi’s for the first time when I was wiping clean the Karbi Thali. The Karbis, I learnt, have been an indigenous group from Assam who have had to flee invasion and leave behind their original inhabitation in present-day Kaziranga on multiple occasions.
Today, the Karbis are the third largest tribal community in Assam following the Bodos and the Mishings.

A post shared by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on


A post shared by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on



Kaziranga
The next morning, we hopped on to a state-run bus service to get to Kaziranga National Park – home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros besides tigers, elephants, wild water buffalos, swamp deer and avian population. The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

For me, it was my Animal Planet meets Nat Geo moment, sharing a physical space with the many creatures of the wild. Seeing these beings in their natural habitat has been such an out and out rewarding sensation.

Every once in a while, every one of us SHOULD step out of our rooms, our cubicles, our devices and more importantly, our heads and start seeing the world around us.
Seeing it for what it is; NOT what it is projected as being.

And maybe then, like Lennon sang, “…the world will live as one…”

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros, birds, avian


Kaziranga National Park, jeep safari

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros

UNESCO World Heritage Site, tortoise

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros, elephant, bird

UNESCO World Heritage Site, rhinoceros



To subscribe to posts via email, click here
For opportunities to work with me, click here

--
#BeYouForYou
I am facilitating a Be You For You workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore! Drop me an email on nomadicthunker[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested in attending and would like to know more.
You may download the brochure here and FAQs here

Upcoming Mumbai workshop dates
August 19: https://www.facebook.com/events/457157031305289/

Upcoming Bangalore workshop dates
September 23: https://www.facebook.com/events/1854052274855147/

Sign up and register NOW

iExpress | Dear Journal Writer...

Dear Journal Writer,

I’ve seen you scrawling.
I’ve seen you furiously scribbling away.
I’ve seen you fill reams and reams of sheets
I’ve seen how the grip around your pen increases and decreases. 
I've likened that experience to looking at a time-lapse video in motion…

I’ve watched as you’ve hesitated to sometimes put words to the thoughts swarming around in your head.
I’ve watched as you’ve stared into oblivion when you couldn’t put words to the thoughts swarming in your head.
I’ve watched you sit glass-eyed when you’ve been fraught with trying to understand your thoughts so you could put them down in words.


A post shared by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

After you’ve written, I’ve noticed the elation that comes from feeling the weight lifted off your shoulders…
Sometimes, I’ve noticed the relief that comes from being able to express something for the very first time…
Occasionally, I’ve noticed the surprise that comes from catching yourself off-guard by your own revelations on paper…

But of late, you’ve stopped scribbling away. The reams are now musty and blank. The pen has been rendered an orphan.

And of late, I’ve been noticing a wistful look when you leaf through some of your previous scrawlings. 
I’ve heard you mutter to yourself: “Damn! I sound so sad. There’s so much hurt and pain in here.”

I’ve begun to wonder: Are you judging yourself for expressing your inner-most world to yourself? Are you terrified of how you’ve felt? Does the angst and the hurt haunt you so much that you’ve decided to stop writing completely? 
How does it feel to choke your own voice?
How does it feel to fill that void with distractions?
Does thumbing away on social media, responding to and sometimes, perhaps, even being a troll serve as an outlet for that repressed angst?
Is being pseudo-poet-philosopher on Instagram fulfilling the urge to be expressive AND authentic?

Yes, I’m judging you.
I’m judging you for not writing anymore. Not writing authentically anymore, at least. 
I am judging you for not being connected with yourself anymore.

I’m judging you for abandoning me.

Yours truly,
The Journal

***

Journal-writing is the closest to expressive writing or self-expression some of us have ever been.

For that exact reason, in my conversations with friends as well as with folks who’ve been a part of ‘Be You For You’ workshops, a topic that comes up a lot is 'the decline in journal writing'.
Erstwhile journal-writers have claimed to stop journaling either because:
(i) It’s felt like a repetitive process with little or no outcomes
(ii) They’ve found themselves on loop without having any breakthroughs
(iii) Sometimes penning difficult thoughts and emotions have taken a toll

I’ve been there too. And I’ve had times when I’d stopped journaling too.
However that wasn’t a solution. Writing helps us connect with our innermost worlds. And to not exploit this medium, is to do ourselves a huge disservice – this is more true if we’ve never journalled before!
To be disconnected from our thoughts, is to fail at understanding our emotions.
To not understand our emotions, is to fail at comprehending why we are reacting in a certain manner to stimuli in our external environment.

Humour has been, is and will be my life-saver Be it while traveling solo. Or figuring my in-roads in the journey of life. Keeping my wits close at hand has redeemed me at every fork in the road. A li'l over three months ago, an unforeseen run-in with my inner demons ruptured the vein that transports the wit in my head to what I write by hand There could have been no sadder tragedy It brought everything to a stop It's taken its time (and patience with Self is key in matters such as these). It's making a return (the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train). Going old school with the good old pen-and-paper is more helpful than the laptop. It feels like a metamorphosis. Peeling away from what was. Making way for what is. Read this line earlier today: सुकून मिलता है दो लफ्ज़ कागज़ पर उतार कर, चीख भी लेता हूँ और आवाज भी नहीं होती.. Which loosely translates to: I'm comforted when I pen two words down on paper. Because that's how I scream without making any noise... . . P.S.: It perhaps helps that my notebook has that quote on its cover 😉 A post shared by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on


For the sake of simplification, I’ll say that expressive writing is journal-writing with nuance.

The merit of expressive writing – i.e. writing to express and not impress because your only audience is yourself – is that it is non-intrusive. We express and become acquainted with our deepest, most vulnerable selves when the nib hits the page. In other words, when we write, we begin to reconnect with our thoughts and our emotions.

Be You For You takes participants through guided activities that avoid pitfalls of finding yourself on a repetitive loop with no breakthroughs or finding yourself in the throes of emotions you suddenly feel ill-equipped to manage.

Be You For You enables participants to begin taking a step closer towards self-awareness.
Because like Robert Holden has said: Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.

--
I am facilitating a Be You For You workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore! Drop me an email on nomadicthunker[at]gmail[dot]com if you're interested in attending and would like to know more.
You may download the brochure here and FAQs here

To subscribe to posts via email, click here
For opportunities to work with me, click here


Quotes I Live By

“To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble.”

Bill Watterson

Cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

Poet

सुकून मिलता है दो लफ्ज़ कागज़ पर उतार कर, चीख भी लेता हूँ और आवाज भी नहीं होती

Unknown

**

SEND ME A MESSAGE