Guest Writers

Tippu Sultan: A direct descendant of the king of Srirangapatnam, at least that is how he introduces himself to people who don’t know him, has a very unique personality, just like everybody else. He ascribes all his life’s problems to the spin of Andromeda galaxy.
Obviously, he writes under a pseudonym Tippu Sultan. Although he aspires to be a polymath, truth be told he is a Jack of all trades, Sultan of none 😜

God helps those…

Words by Tippu Sultan

Numerically speaking, one of the most beautiful years (at least to look at) of our lifetime (after 2000 of course) just went by. It held a mirror that questioned our biases, assumptions, and actions. A lot of us – the privileged included – were battered. With Herculean efforts, collaboration, and cooperation, we finally have a vaccine to escape the fear and suffering. Thanks to scientific prowess, we can look forward to a hopefultomorrow. As you look towards the East, this hopeful tomorrow is right at the horizon causing a daybreak. As time tides by, it is a warm and sunny day to look forward to.

I was offered an opportunity to jumpstart this day – a chance to get vaccinated by a PHC camp was organized at my apartment. As flabbergasted as I was to be offered this chance, my mind quickly pondered, “What’s the catch?” Here are a few possibilities that it listed down:

1. Without my knowledge and consent, I am being slyly recruited to be a part of a trial.
2. The vaccine has expired. By inoculating me with it, not only do they not get questioned about the expired vaccine, but they also get to dispose it off. 
3. The government is desperate to achieve their target numbers before the state election on Apr 6th.

Apart from these, I could not find one good reason on why they were ready to vaccinate a someone in his mid 30s, who does not step out of his home (for anything), does not prefer visitors, and has no co-morbidities. In short, a social recluse who could easily be the last person to need the vaccine on earth!

More than the lure of the vaccine itself, I was inquisitive to understand the reasons behind how it was made available to me. I visited my apartment’s gym (where the vaccine camp was organized) and found the doctor. I engaged in a casual conversation and laced my apprehensions to it. Understanding my direction of thought, she tried to reason it for me:

“We all have target to achieve. And we are not able to achieve them since people are not openminded enough to get the vaccination. They believe the fake anti-vaccine WhatsApp forwards more than they believe us doctors. On one hand, we cannot make it compulsory but on the other, we cannot waste the vaccines. In such a Catch-22 situation, the only way we can do justice to our jobs is by making the vaccine available to people, who are willing to be forthcoming. Irrespective of their age, exposure, co-morbidity status – people who are plainly willing.”

Even as I sympathized with her, I thanked the stars for serving the vaccine on a platter. There was an iota of guilt on how I am jumping the queue while the vaccine could make a world of difference to someone else in my place who may need it more than I do. I cursed the poor demand planning done by the concerned people at a city level. But also secretly thanked them from the corner of my mind since it was probably their poor planning that brought the vaccine to my doorstep.

While I waited out the observation time after the shot, the doctor came around to examine me. I asked her again if all her reasoning were indeed true. As Indians go by, pinching her throat, she said, “God promise! These people want their respective gods to save them from COVID-19. But what will save them is vaccine. Prayers are effective, but miracles seldom happen. What the gullible people fail to understand is that the miracle they had always hoped and prayed for, is this very vaccine!”

With a sheepish smile, I remembered the adage, God helps those who help themselves

Creative Visualization Exercise

Ondi Imbo, Founder of Oneology Yoga
We live in a world of data, metal, plastic, and instant access to everything. We are always on, and as a result, we can easily become overstimulated and less in touch with our true selves. However, by using visual imagery and creative visualization, we can put ourselves back in touch with a more natural world—one in which we actually belong and can feel at peace. A simple, yet powerful, exercise for inspiring creative visualization is to design a personal vision board. This is an activity that can be done alone, or with your entire family.What is Creative Visualization?So, what is creative visualization? In her book, to Creative Visualization, author Shakti Gawain says “creative visualization is when we use our imaginations to create a clear image, idea, or feeling of something you want to manifest. Then, you focus on the idea, feeling or picture regularly, giving it positive energy until it becomes objective reality.”The idea of envisioning what you want and then believing it will happen is very similar to praying to a Higher Power and believing it will manifest. And, the act of making vision boards—dubbed “treasure maps” by Gawain—is a wonderful way to deepen the connection of our belief systems by creating a physical representation of our goals or desires.In other words, we can play “make believe” by using the power of imagination to get in touch with our future selves in a desired place or emotion.Make Your Own BoardI’ve grown quite fond of an annual New Year activity of making vision boards with my quirky 2nd-grader. The whole ordeal of gathering old & new magazines, piling up new poster boards, fresh markers and other accents inspires an imaginative, and positive, buzz that lasts for weeks!Note—I enjoy making vision boards with my daughter, but you absolutely do not need to include anyone in this exercise. Creative visualization is a personal experience, and some of us connect better when we approach the process solo.Step One: Gather your supplies.Step Two: Dedicate 1 to 2 hours for getting lost in print material, preferably magazines that you don’t mind clipping up and ripping through. Thumbing through glossy magazines also ignites a sense of make-believe as we read articles and learn about different parts of the world.Step Three: Cut out any and everything that catches your eye, draws you in, and inspires you in a positive way! Start a few piles: one for photos, one for words/phrases, and maybe one for entire pages of articles. We tend to use an old shoe box to organize our findings, but by all means, be fancy and use a more formal scrapbooking technique to store your collections.Step Four: Start plotting on your board. Without glue, spend 15-20 minutes placing your clippings around your poster board. I like to put larger photos on first, then I pepper the phrases and words around, over, or beside the images.Step Five: Commit to a design and crack open those glue sticks and tape! Once completed, you can finish your board with spray glue to preserve the design longer.Step Six: Display your vision board somewhere you feel comfortable, and where you will see it regularly. You should be looking at your creative work as much as possible, at least once a day. Another idea is to turn a photo of your board into a phone wallpaper or screen saver.
Creating vision boards is meant to be a transformative and delightful experience. Take your time with your work and always remember that, as we change, your boards can too! When it suits you, remove or add words and pictures that resonate with you the most.“Every moment is a moment of creation, and each moment of creation contains infinite possibilities,” says Gawain. “I can do things the way I’ve always done them, or I can look at all the different alternatives, and try something new and different and potentially more rewarding.”

Ondi Imbo

Ondi(she/her/hers) is a certified meditation & yoga teacher (RYT-270), and a mindful business consultant. Ondi has been practicing meditation and yoga since 2015, and she enjoys teaching Restorative and Yin Yoga. She lives in Beachwood, Ohio, with her husband and daughter. You can connect with her on twitter and IG @Oneology_Yoga.