Divya Arathi
3 min readAug 21, 2020

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A game of Jumanji (between intuition/feelings and my mind)

Have you ever been in a tug of war ? Not the ones played on a field with a rope where brawn strength and tactics matter.

But played instead in the depths of your mind where inexplicable emotion is warring with rationale and logic ?

Where simple decisions are debated with fervor and passion by the voices in your head. Where you are moderating these debates and have run out of time, because the yoga class (topic of debate) began 10 mins ago and here you are on your bed still determining whether the warmth of your blanket wins or the discomfort of getting off the bed should prevail.

I’ve often wondered about the structure of consistency inside the minds of people. What makes them do what they do every single day. Despite everything that comes in the way. And by everything, I mean the internal conundrum of 'feelings' manifesting themselves physically as knots in the stomach, a lump in the throat, a pain in the shoulder foreboding something unpleasant.

The answers that have fascinated me the most are the most unassuming. Simple in their execution and practiced as ‘tradition’ or 'discipline' or simply 'duty’.

I learn a lot from the women in my family. I learnt that faith(or devotion) is not just an emotion. It is an expression. Expressed outwardly and inwardly.

It is expression accompanied by a firm resolve, steely determination and overwhelming gratitude. All of this ( and sometimes more) culminating in an elaborate ritual of prayer or Thanksgiving to the many Gods- each symbolising the highest form of the many emotions that make up 'Faith’.

Outwardly, it is a daily ritual. A ritual therefore, is nothing but micro tasks, so simple in their structure, so ingrained as habit and almost always involving physical action.

Lighting of a lamp, saying a prayer before bedtime, ensuring every morsel finds a tummy or a place in the refridgerator are occupations of the mind and the physical being that seem trivial but are in essence the basic building blocks of consistency, grit and mental wellness.

Leaving this story here as further food for thought:

“Grandma, how do you cope with pain?”

“With your hands, honey. If you do it with your mind instead of relieving the pain, it toughens even harder.”

“With your hands grandma?”

“Yes, our hands are the antennae of our soul. If you move them; knitting, cooking, painting, playing or sinking them into the ground, you send care signs to the deepest part of you and your soul lights up because you’re paying attention to it. Then signs of pain will no longer be necessary.”

“Hands are really that important?”

“Yes my daughter. Think of babies: they start to know the world through the touch of their hands. If you look at the hands of old people, they tell you more about their life then any body part. Everything that is done by hand is said to be done with the heart. Because it’s really like this: hands and heart are connected. Masseurs know well: when they touch someone with their hands, they create a deep connection. It is precisely from this connection that healing comes. Think of lovers: when they touch their hands, they make love in a more sublime way.”

“My hands grandma.... how long I haven’t used them like this!”

“Move them, my love. Begin to create with them and everything within you will begin to move. The pain will not pass away. And instead what you do with them will become the most beautiful masterpiece and it won’t hurt anymore. Because you have been able to transform its essence.”

~Elena Bernabe
Shared and translated by Takiruna

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