Go away Resolutions

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Let’s face it — it’s pretty pointless waiting all year to decide on one or two things that you kind, sort to want to stop doing, but that you know full well you’re not really committed to following through with anyway. How crazy is that? Resolutions don’t work. Stop smoking? Start exercising? Eat healthily? More work/life balance? These all sound good on the surface, but typically a resolution is based on what you think you should be doing, rather than what you really want to be doing. Too often, resolutions are decided upon by looking at other peoples expectations or by reading a magazine that tells you how to ‘get fit by summer’. Nonsense – forget about what you or other people think you ought to be doing and look at what you really want.

The problem is that as soon as you set yourself a goal you’re saying to yourself that you want more in your life than you have right now. The very nature of goals make you look forwards at what’s next, never at what you’ve got right now. Goals have the tendency to make you feel less-than, because there’s something you don’t have now that you aspire to have in the future. The real gold and real value is in the experience, NOT in the end result.

The problem is that you’re taking something that doesn’t mean anything to you and trying to make it happen. Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning and personal relevance that makes sure they run out of steam. Sure, you might get an initial burst of motivation that gets you started, but that never lasts. Motivation is like the big rocket boosters on the space shuttle – it gives you an initial spurt of energy to get up and get moving, but it’s just not sustainable.

Not only are you coming off the back of the holidays and getting back to the harsh realities of the world, but you see the whole of the year stretching ahead of you and summer’s a whole 6 months away. Living a full life isn’t about making some woolly, half-hearted decisions that don’t really mean anything. That’s not what truly confident people do. Instead, make confident choices based on what really matters to you, and jump in with both feet.

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Word of the year 2017 #FridayReflections

I’ve been seriously intrigued by all the “word of the year” posts floating around. Each one seems as poetic as the last, putting so much into one little word. It’s funny how you can really encompass all your desires and goals for a year into a single word. And yet it all seems to fit. I’d like to say I thought long and hard about my word. But that isn’t the case. It kind of just came to me. To me thriving is optimal living. It’s being present and awake and stepping up to be my best self physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively and within my relationships. It’s not a quest for perfection. It’s an opportunity to continue choosing to let go of things outside of my control and to figure out who that best-me-right-now really is. It will be a whole new journey!

I feel like I have been constantly waiting for things to be just right to do something. Instead of trying to wait for circumstances to be just right this year I am committed to doing more than just reacting or surviving. Regardless of how hectic the year may be I am going to thrive.  To thrive is grow or develop well or vigorously. to prosper or flourish. to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances. This word excites me so much! it excites me because it invites progress and growth regardless of surrounding circumstances, which I’ve realized I have very little control of. I want my relationships, my health, and work to thrive in 2017.

Bring it on 2017. It’s what I need to do desperately, what I need to do to make myself better, what I need to do to be happy, successful, and live a full life in the New Year.

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Reasons ‘not’ to Pray

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We all know we have our own reasons to pray to god, but what is this I recently read there are even excuses for not praying.

a. I am too busy

b. I don’t feel like it

c. I am not in a good place spiritually

d. I am too sinful

e. I am too angry at God

f. God won’t hear my prayers?

Have you ever bought into any of these statements when it comes to prayer? When I consider all my way in which I spend time with God , a prayer is always the one that I allow to happen. It makes so little sense though, that this would be the first things to go, when I consider the wonderful promises scripture makes regarding what prayer achieves.

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Favourite festival #FridayReflections

Diwali is a festival of lights. Diyas, candles and tiny light bulbs are all over the place. As far as your sight goes, you will see rows of houses decorated with colorful lights. It feels surreal to witness so much of beauty, as if stars descended on earth. I personally love earthen diyas. Lighting 14 diyas with oil and cotton wick is a must for most of the Hindu households.

Paper lanterns, also known as Kandeels deck up our houses. Colorful paper is used to create unique patterns. Not just colourful papers, but metallic papers, cellophane plastic sheets are also used to create Kandeels. They especially come out this time of the year. More than a house, I like looking at them in clusters displayed at a shop. They look so magical, just out from countryside fair.Diwali cleaning is a magnanimous affair. It starts from cleaning the water tank to your toe nail. The entire house is cleaned so that Goddess Laxmi doesn’t decide to skip her visit to your home. You see, Goddess Laxmi has an OCD with dirt. Also, she is allergic to dust mites. No, I am not kidding! At times, due to this cleaning spree we find lost objects or discard old stuff. Most of the times it leads to wardrobe overhaul. You know what I mean.We all are game to go back to our roots and experiment with Indian style and ensembles. Dressing up is so much fun for me. Environmentalists please pardon me, but crackers do mark the festivity. I don’t like the pollution and the noise generated with the crackers. But if community cracker bursting is done at one place for a limited period of time then a lot can be managed in terms of pollution. I do find them extremely beautiful when rockets burst into zillion sparkling stars or anars spew a fountain of sparklys. Who doesn’t love gifts? And Diwali is the best time to give and receive gifts. People exchange gifts with their friends and family. I love this part completely. Doubt is like darkness, Trust is like light, There is no way to destroy light by throwing darkness in to it. So come together and enjoy the festival of lights.

Which is your favourite festival? Do leave a comment below.

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To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved

I don’t know why, but I can’t bring myself to trust people. Every time I’ve trusted people in the past I’ve been let down, so now it’s easier and less painful to just rely on myself. Maybe you feel similarly, and even if you don’t, you’ve probably experienced broken trust in a past relationship that has caused you to question whether or not it’s worth trusting again. When you find yourself struggling to decide whether or not to trust someone, it’s important to figure out the reasons why. Our propensity to trust is based on many factors, chief among them being our personality, early childhood role models and experiences, beliefs and values, culture, self-awareness and emotional maturity. The combination of these factors and experiences shapes how quickly, and how much trust we extend to others. Your experiences may have resulted in you viewing trust as something to be earned, not given, so therefore you withhold trust from others until you’re absolutely sure they deserve it. Even then, you may only extend trust grudgingly or in small amounts. Having a low propensity to trust can hold you back from experiencing true joy and fulfillment in relationships. Unrealistic, unspoken, and unclear expectations are a primary cause for low or broken trust in relationships, and the higher the expectations the more likely it is they won’t be met. Trust usually isn’t something people openly talk about or address in relationships until it’s been broken, and by then it’s often too late to salvage the relationship or the breach of trust seems too big to overcome. Clarifying expectations is preventative medicine when it comes to trust. It’s much better to have the awkward or uncomfortable discussion up front about roles, responsibilities, and expectations, than it is to deal with the fallout when either party falls short. Trust is as vital to healthy relationships as oxygen is to a scuba diver; survival is impossible without it. Whether it’s a naturally low propensity to trust, having unrealistic expectations, or letting our past hurts hold us back from trusting others, we have to move beyond these reasons if we want to have trust-filled relationships in the future.

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When angry, count four. When very angry, swear

I am a one-woman truth squad. I believed in “radical honesty”. Liars triggered my anger. It took me a long time, and many wounded friendships, to realize that my truth may be different from yours, and we can both be right from our own viewpoint. I became that way because as a child I felt that adults always lied. I had had some traumatic experiences that led me to this belief. Today I realize that if I get angry at something someone does, I need to look at myself: often a trait I can’t stand in others is something I dislike about myself. I feel myself starting to go into a rage when I’m lied to especially when it’s a loved one doing the lying. I think it stems from hurt from being lied to in the past. I feel very hurt & let down. Also, it makes me wonder what else this person could possibly be lying to me about. I’m pretty sure we are also angry at ourselves for allowing the person to get away with lying to us, by not being able to do anything about it. We can’t lie like they do, and so it’s not as though we can pay them back with our own lie to them, and so we feel disadvantaged. I think the person who constantly lies needs the help. We just need to be able to get these liars out of our lives, so that we can lead happier, more stable lives.

In order to maintain the pleasantness of any social situation, people have to lie. Questions like ‘How do I look?’, ‘Am I getting Fat?’ or ‘Did you like my gift?’ are bound to fetch lies. You have got to accept that there are certain truths about everyone that are best kept hidden. It is much easier to simply lie than to share embarrassing truths about oneself. Sometime truth can invite a long discourse of unneeded advice, further questions or criticism. The crisis of time is universal to all people and some people have no other option than lying to avoid long conversations. The social needs of people often make them tell lies. Many people succumb to peer pressure and fabricate lies about themselves just to fit in better. Lies can be a small part of big schemes of conniving people. People can get really elaborate with lies in order to change an opinion of someone. Lying is so common that some people even lie just for the sake of it. The reasons for lying are as vast as the human imagination and no list can possibly encompass all the reasons for which humans lie.

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The Ecstasy of Gloom

As the mirth was fading away, I could see an unrelenting gloom settling down her face. Those gleaming soggy eyes and a lost face that was pulled down in disappointment; were all giving me the pangs of guilt. I could sense a prick in her heart. I wished to physically offer her a comforted hand but that was only a wish. A wish that flew away like a feather in the wind. The “moment” that came next leafed through some of my thoughts, memories, desires and wishes; yet all good, some old, some contemplation of good goals. And the “moment” that came further next shook me out of this stupor. In an abrupt haste my attention wandered away to her only to find her still sitting holding the same gestures: a face that was lost and pulled down in disappointment; eyes gleaming with sogginess stuck down to a point and I could still sense the prick in her heart. It was reminding me of a quote…”Silence has more eloquence.”

I knew she was more distressed than I was. It seemed inevitable to me for accustomed I was of her jubilation in my achievements that had always been on the higher notes than my notes had been. I, then mustered some strength to say to her, as I said anyway, “don’t play ignorant to the graph that life has drawn by plotting some failures, more challenges, open risks, hard-earned achievements, endless opportunities and ………” and the next moment I realized what I spoke, spoke on the other side of my mouth. Alas!!! More Alas and some more because she was still sitting holding the similar gestures: a lost face that was pulled down in disappointment; eyes gleaming with sogginess stuck down over a point and I was still sensing the prick in her heart.

My head then started hunting schemes to break her dedicated attention down and tell her that the life will not hold this situation everlastingly. I wish she could too sense what I was perceiving; what I was desiring and what I was determining the way I was sensing the prick in her heart. But she was so reclusively fixed to her “ecstasy of gloom” that she was still sitting in the similar way holding her gestures: a face that was lost and pulled down in disappointment. A few months have passed since. Now looking at her reminds me of another quote, “Time is a good healer”. Today she smiles, laughs, talks, reads, cooks, eats and does every routine chore. Nothing short of miraculous, she amateurishly and in humanly spirit does some motivational speaking too. That’s fairly worth that she has learnt to live as the things are. Nevertheless, she is breathing on a constant hope that some good is in the immediate offing perhaps. Meanwhile, that gloomy ecstasy is also occupied as someone else has occupied it !

Yes someone else has occupied it !! And that someone else is ME ! How I entered “that” ecstasy of gloom is not even known to me. Where have I lost my unrelenting hopes, my desires, my dreams, my life, my future is not even known to me. Today when I glance at her I see no hint of this irony on her face. Unfortunate for me that she doesn’t even know that “that” someone else is Me !! No matter what, at the moment I wish “her” to sense my gloom, like I sensed the prick in her heart. I wish “her” to help me get pulled out of “this” gloomy ecstasy like I helped her to. However, mine is only a wish, a wish that will flow away like a feather in the wind. A divine intervention and all I want is to see myself getting released from this gloom state ever and anon; and entering the world of charm, passion, inspiration, desperation and more But whatsoever for now merely ”I am” the one sitting alone in this “ecstasy of gloom” holding the gestures: a face that is lost and pulled down in disappointment; eyes gleaming with sogginess stuck down over a point ……with “no one” around to sense the prick in my heart.

 

“I am writing as part of the #Storytellers competition by The Gud1“. 

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What are you going to do with that?

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For anyone embarking on their studies in Literature, History or Management, they more than likely are faced with the question: What are you going to do with that?  People ask me why I chose Management and I answer “I didn’t decide to love it, I just did.  In the same way I didn’t decide to love chocolate, I just tasted it and enjoyed it.”  Now I research, write the subject well.

But the question: What are you going to do with that?  Teach? underscores something I find problematic in the attitude towards the profession of teaching.  It is as though teaching were the last and only option.  Or, more dramatically, the bottom of the career possibility totem poll.  I am not endorsing this view but merely pointing it out. Indeed, sometimes the term “teach” comes out with disdain, as if it were useless or not important.  If someone were studying Biology, for example, would the same attitude accompany: What are you going to do?  Be a physician?

With the wave of discussion regarding education hitting the headlines I would like for us to consider the way in which we view the profession of teaching.  How can we as a nation argue for better schools yet keep this sort of common question as a reaction to a student’s declaration of a major in the Humanities?  It is not the only possible career path, but for someone who does want to be a teacher they should not be subjected to the idea that “teaching” and “doing” are different things.  Or, that “teaching” is the equivalent of not being able to find something else.  If we want our students, our children, to get the best education, then respect for teaching as a valuable professional choice needs to be on par with that.

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A Bowl of Sole Curry and a Platter of Fish

After spending most of my life in a big city like Delhi, moving to Goa in the middle of hot summer was very difficult for me and my family. We were used to high temperatures but nothing could have prepared us for the soaring temperatures and the humidity in Goa. The excitement of the move to the home of my forefathers was dampened by my memories of Delhi. I disliked the feeling of sweat dripping from my forehead and I soon took to avoiding the kitchen altogether. My husband and son seemed more accommodating of the change in place. They took to wearing shorts and osho’s like they had been born in them while I looked longingly at my jhooti’s. They seemed like me, out of place in their surroundings. They weren’t made to walk in sand. I felt overwhelmed by the changes.

I missed a lot of things about Delhi, the feeling of solid earth below my feet, the dry weather, the khao gallies, the shopping sprees, the beautiful manicured gardens but most of all; I missed my best friend Diva. Diva was the person on whom I depended a lot, when we bid out last goodbye we wept like high school friends forgetting we were women in our late thirties with children. While she promised to write and email, I promised her that Goa wasn’t Timbuktu after all and I would visit her at least once in a couple of years.

The first few months in Goa, my laptop was my best friend. Hearing from Diva helped me keep my sanity in a world full of change. It wasn’t the same thing as speaking to her everyday but it was the best we could do. I missed our shopping’s, our discussions on our children and husbands and I missed having the personal counselor.

And then there were none of our lunch parties which I missed the most. Since were both were married to vegetarians, our kitchens were strictly vegetarian. Diva and I had found this nice little place called ‘simply fish’ that served varieties of wonderful fish. It was not just the fish; we went there for the sole curry too. It was something we tasted for the first time at ‘simply fish’ and after that we were addicted to it. We loved the ambiance of the place. It was laid back, and no one bothered you once they had laden your table with food. We spent precious moments laughing and discussing our dreams over bowls of sole curry and platters of fish. It was as if the rest of the world just ceased to exist during those few hours.

The monsoons hits Goa and I was glad for the respite from the heat but the humidity, it just would not go away. Still the sound of the rain was soothing and I felt I just had to give Goa a shot. One day when my son had left for the school and husband was at work, I decided to set about seeing Goa. Equipped with a map, I set about looking for a temple to worship at. All roads looked the same. On either side there were large expanses of sand. One hour into my search I felt frustrated, confused and lost. I had passed 5 churches in a radius of 7 kilometres but the temple alluded me. And then to make matters worse it began to pour in. my umbrella seemed insignificant against the wind and the Goan downpour and I stood on the road feeling totally spent. Tears the size of raindrops threatened to slide down my face and before I could succumb to the urge, someone materialized out of thin air and pushed me under a roof. I found myself standing under the awning of a beach resort.

I wiped my eyes and went inside. A cup of tea was just what I needed badly. I motioned to the waiter to get me a cup. He gave me a native grin and gestured to the menu. They did not serve tea. It seemed like the last straw and then my eyes spotted something else – ‘sole curry’. Quickly I scanned the rest of the menu. There was only fish, fish and some more fish. I ordered 2 bowls of sole curry and a platter of fried fish. It felt silly and wonderful at the same time. Suddenly Goa did not seem bad at all. For the first time since I arrived I felt that I could perhaps learn to think of this place as my home. My lips smiled of their own volition, and I started to make plans. I could make new friends and bring them to this place. I could sit down here and read my books enjoying sole curry while listening to the gentle sound of the waves. When Diva came to visit we could come up here and together toast our friendship, a friendship that would survive the miles. I lifted my bowl in a silent toast to my dear friend Diva. I could not care less that it was a silly thing to do. I toasted the nice little resort that had served me lunch. It had taken just two bowls of sole curry and a platter of fish to lessen my pain and strengthen my resolve.

“I am writing as part of the #Storytellers competition by The Gud1”.

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3 Blogs I am thankful for reading

Thank You  Amrita &  Tina For Choosing Me As Winner Of #Thankful Thursday Week 6. I wanted to take a moment to extend my most sincere thanks for selecting me as a Winner of weekly prompt. I am so humbled to have been chosen for this award knowing that there were many qualified contestants . You have no idea how happy I was when I received notification that I was selected as the winner. It was such a surprise. You can read my winning post here. 

3 Blogs I am thankful for reading 

1. Between Write and Wrong : To start the topic, I would like to say that ‘book reviewing’ is an easy work. So if you talk about book reviewing online, then Sakshi is doing a wonderful job. I am thankful to her reviews because her book reviews are general in tone and do not contain any unnecessary information. The reviews are insightful, point to point, in good language, and most importantly in general and candid tone.

2. Passionate About Baking : As the name suggests, it’s a food blog about baking, cooking, food photography, food trends, cuisines and cultures. Deeba Rajpal believes in ‘Doing Food From Scratch’ and her posts reflect the same. She loves baking with fruits, baking whole grain bread, exploring new ingredients, alternative flours, gluten free foods etc. She writes an online baking blog for the Times of India in the name – The Rabid Baker. I am thankful to her for my baking recipes and her amazing posts. 

3. Vanity No Apologies: Vanity No Apologies is not just a beauty website but a global reference and resource for beauty enthusiasts featuring in-depth reviews, beauty news, photos, DIYs, tutorials, beauty tips along with popular features such as Top 10. I read a lot of beauty and fashion blogs in my spare time, this blog is definitely one of them. I thank this blog for giving me absolutely superb reviews on beauty products. 

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