Permission to Enjoy Life

I have folded myself into the cozy delicious pages of stories and wisdom. I have surrendered to my desire to read letting go of that nagging voice of reason- ‘too much of good will not last’ or ‘why do you need to spend money on books, you can alway get free books at the library’. Except that the books at the library are never the ones that I want to read. I have forced myself to read books that someone else has judged as a good book, an intellectual book, a must read. Many of these ‘recommended books’ were a disappointment.

After a long time, I decided to indulge myself and ordered 6 six books online. I had instinctively felt drawn to these titles and for once without questioning myself I jumped in and waited in sweet anticipation. The books arrived one by one in neat brown packages. For a week, each day I came home from work, a package would greet me, adding a spark to the humdrum that is life.

The titles and cover pages with splashes of colors promising an adventure. One by one I devoured them all. At water’s edge by Sara Gruen; Life from Scratch by Sasha Martin; Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George; The magic of ordinary days by Ann Howard Creek; Emptiness dancing by Adhyashanti; Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard; and finally The art of hearing heartbeats by Jan-Schendle.

As life ebbs and flows around me, books remain a ready source of escape, encouragement, inspiration, and a dear companion. It is sometimes an art and an effort just to let go and indulge in something you love without the baggage of guilt. I read on the train instead of working on my laptop. I read on my yoga mat instead of practicing my asanas. I read on my bed as my daughter lay next to me playing with her blanket trying to fall asleep. I broke out into laughters and tears regardless of who was watching me. It felt like the forbidden pleasure that comes from digging deeper and deeper into bags of chocolates and heaps and heaps of pasta.

Something shifted within me recently. I realized that I was waiting to enjoy myself; waiting for things to fall into place before I gave myself the permission to enjoy life.  This is no news flash, I have always known this and observed this as a pattern in myself and others but  this knowledge has never transplanted itself into my heart, mind, and gut like it has now. What brought about this change? Was it the daily dose of asanas and meditation or that one day of perfect road trip or the sudden realization that I am turning 35 this year?

There has  and always will be ladders to climb, one more chore to finish, decisions to make, improve oneself…..and in all of this I have to make time and space of to indulge in what I love- books, vacations, my beautiful daughter, my family and friends, writing,  and elaborate teas and lavish dinners.

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