Tag Archives: Motivation

184: Do You Know…

4 Jul

…that everything’s going to be alright? That it never was anything but alright all this while? That it takes a special kind of understanding to feel at peace, to come to terms with life’s ways, to essentially let go?

Do you know that the world conspires to put things together – sometimes with a small prayer, sometimes by its own volition?

Do you know that you’re safe, loved, trusted to be the best and only the best?

Do you also know that perhaps there’s no one better than you to do what you’re supposed to do?

:)

150: Zero Going On 150

30 May

I remember when I hit 50 posts; it was sometime in February. It felt surreal, almost like I had achieved the impossible; so low are my expectations from myself. But to be honest, those 50 didn’t come easily – there was a heady mix of struggle, doubt, creative inertia, blankness, and a lack of inspiration that I had to tackle with on a regular basis. That apart, and because blogging somewhere also boils down to the number game no matter how much a blogger denies its importance to them, my numbers were (and still are) not up to the mark – basically my content and blogger behaviour was just not attracting the readership that I desired. (It still isn’t, but that for later). However, (and I also mentioned this somewhere), there were many a time when I needed to show myself the mirror and remind myself of the purpose of this journey and who I was really embarking on it for. Shifting perspectives did help, because here I am, low numbers and all, at 150 posts today.

There are so many takeaways that I have from this experience already. Apart from the ones I have written about here already; where I celebrated one month, introspected a little at 90 days, looked back at a 100 days, and also fell into the pit of self-doubt regarding this concept of overfeeding, today makes me feel all this and more. For example:

I am grateful for me, for the time I have taken out to invest in this, for showing up, and just motoring on irrespective of everything else that tried dissuading me from going further. During this journey, I have realised the importance of genuine and conscious self-gratitude. Somehow this has become invisible, something that was kept on the back-burner for later which was then conveniently forgotten. Being thankful to everyone, everything, and one’s own self is mandatory because we are, ultimately, a part of this scheme of things, works, and circle too. This act of a simple thank you, minus any frills or falsities has made me realise the significance of genuine, ego-less thanks and the necessity for self-love for self-growth to take place. It, I think, stemmed from one of these marriage memes I saw on FB somewhere; something on the lines of “a marriage requires filling before it can be fulfilling”, which I analogised to this for myself “you cannot give if your cup is empty.”

The other thing I have learnt is that narrowing down my focus to a day at a time really helps in the long run. It has helped me get less overwhelmed by the large and looming fear of a three-digit number when I focus on just one. I hope I can imbibe this in the rest of my endeavours too.

On looking back, the road seems seamless, faultless, and just so smooth. Of course it doesn’t take a fool to realise that this wasn’t, in fact, my reality. But what I am going to take away from this is that no journey is hard if you show up and decide to take it forward; that roadblocks were made to make you slow down either to take in the view better, or to bring you back to humility that we might have not seen flying out the window.

I have become more observant, more fluent in my channels of expression, more comfortable with the way I express myself, less perturbed by comparisons and numbers, more confident in my own capabilities, and definitely more patient with my faculties. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have come this far. Now if only I can keep this drive and focus going.

Lastly, it has made me feel more secure about myself. When I bring the mirror to me, I am reminded that this is something I am doing for my own self – irrespective of the numbers it may or may not garner as per my desires. This has reflected in the smallest of things which have brought me joy – that my readership is stronger than a promotional hit on a social media platform, that I have a dedicated bunch of faithful readers (with my mom taking the cake for this), and that I feel purposeful, almost humble as a writer/blogger for being able to achieve this. Quality over quantity, I remind myself. And that is exactly what we have given each other, dear reader. I wouldn’t have come this far if it wasn’t for this collective effort. For that, I do thank you, most genuinely and consciously, too. :)

111: Choosing Battles To Pick

21 Apr

…and almost all of them have got to do with fighting for my self.

Saying no, without the blink of an eye.

Standing my ground when necessary.

Drawing lines in markers so that they’re starker, darker, more ingrained.

Maintaining boundaries.

Letting go and learning to give in to leniency whenever I can.

Shutting off with an aggression, because nothing else works.

Risking tip-toeing into the softer side of just being.

Therefore, easing off on that rigidity.

Applauding myself when everyone and/or everything is silent.

Respecting myself.

The last one, I realised, will happen when I stop to consider myself, to give myself a second thought, glance, and chance. That everything me starts and stops with me.

I’ll say these practices are helping. :)

Happy Friday! :)

32: Looking Back On January

1 Feb

January 2017 was…

…slower than January 2016

…more peaceful and easy

…more patient with me

…calming

…incredibly productive on many counts

…a smooth ride

…generous

…special.

When the year started, I didn’t have a sparkling, spanking new plan to trail-blaze my new year with. I’m incredibly lazy and unplanned like that. It’s ironic that I love planners, diaries and actually planning things out; everything, except all the necessary stuff that would otherwise help me be a more productive person. Trust me, I go gaga over well-documented excel sheets, notes, and to-do lists. But when it comes down to the dirty work, that’s one thing I procrastinate till the very end. Ugh. So yes, I as usual, didn’t have a plan or goals. The new year came along, and with it, I ambled along into it too. It was only after the year started that this posting a day idea dawned upon me. Be useful, set some goals, do something with your time, I told myself. Lol.

January took its time to leave; I guess it needed to settle things down after the whirlwind that was 2016. It has been a special month on many counts. What highlights itself is that it gave me the time to be kinder to myself, enjoy myself, and most importantly, to learn to understand myself. Back when I was studying, I came across this classic self-actualization theory of Carl Rogers, where he talks about finding a balance, or a congruence rather, between our ideal self and our actual self. By this he meant that all of us have an ideal self (what we imagine ourselves to be or what we want to be) and an actual self (what we really are) which, if not aligned, can naturally cause conflicts about the way we perceive ourselves in general. When one comes across these numerous theories, they’re interesting to dig deeper into and understand; well, some of them at least. However, they come into actual play when applied to real life, no? I digressed and spoke about Rogers because a lot of what he said, especially concerning this conflict and discrepancy, happened to me in January. It wasn’t easy when I looked into the mirror. It was harder still, when these differences confronted me. It’s true.

But I’ve been harping about being more aware and conscious endlessly only so that I can constantly remind myself to work towards it. I haven’t come to terms with this conflict entirely, and it isn’t going to happen overnight. What is happening though, is that the process of smoothing the rough edges out, has begun. I am not my ideal self and my ideal self is not me. There are quite a few differences, naturally, and I’m giving myself the time to figure them out. That’s what most of this month has been about, to be honest. Of course I still don’t know how to be diplomatic, or mask my feelings when they need to be masked. With success obviously comes failure, and this is mine. But one day at a time is the mantra.

But the month wasn’t all work and no play. There was a lot of letting go, doing what I wanted when I wanted and without feeling guilty, giving into cravings especially those of biryani, painting and drawing, being lazy and not folding the mountain of clothes that are just building a wall around me, sunning myself in the winter sun which has gone by the way, gardening, lots of drinking and chilling out at home, and of course, quite a fair share of cooking and baking. Oh, and couch-potato-ing too. I don’t want to buy that weighing scale.

Maybe that will be my goal for February 2017. I hope your first month was productive, engaging, and mad too. :)

31: One Month!

31 Jan

One month, you guys, I’ve managed to clock a whole 31-day month. Thank you for stopping by, and for your support. I haven’t felt more gratified on this space in a long, long, time. I solemnly hope that this endeavour continues.

There’s actually so much distress all over the world, and I feel very ostrich-like for not engaging (for the lack of a better word) enough, or speaking out, or just participating, you know? Instead, here I am, wrapped in my own world, not oblivious, but focusing on other things that are more in my control. Moreover, I’m at a loss for words and feel a vacuum within me with respect to so much that’s happening all around us. What’s happening in the United States – does it matter? Yes, it does. But in my view, the US of A does not comprise the entire world; there’s far too much that’s already been happening for much too long in many other countries that didn’t choose to be in the state they are in. I just sincerely hope that we can work towards being more tolerant again, someday.

There wasn’t a plan or a fixed post structure I had in mind on logging in, here. Neither did I think I’d begin with matters that are too heavy to digest. But when you wake up to BBC’s banners with the stuff that’s making news today, it’s just a bitter and deeply disturbing taste to begin one’s day with. Too much, too often, and about the same stuff over and over again. It’s hard to wear blinkers, you know? But not all’s lost, and so I’ll hope, and keep hoping. In the meantime, and almost at the cost of sounding insensitive, I cannot believe I’ve written for a month straight. It’s a strange feeling of accomplishment, I’ll tell you.

When I began, the only thing I wanted, more than writing every day, was to inculcate a habit of consciousness and awareness into my space. I don’t mean to say that mindless writing isn’t therapeutic or healthy; not in the least. But making an effort to be conscious and be in-the-moment of what I’m doing, has given me more than I’d imagined it would. For example, it helps me focus on the positives, more; which in turn helps me experience gratitude more, which in turn enhances my perspectives and way of experiencing things, more. This cycle has shown to me, in just a month, and even during my bad days, that I’m capable of channelising happiness and positiveness; that I overlook the many rights that are overshadowed by fewer wrongs; that it’s so darn easy to miss the good stuff especially when they’re so minute and miss my radar because I’m so busy not looking or being aware. Most of all, writing for a month straight has given me something to look forward to; even on those horrendous days when I cannot put my thoughts into words. I’m not certain about what lies ahead, and I choose not to think about it because it’s not in my control, but I do wish to keep this going. Do keep reading and wish me bloggers’ luck, dear reader. :)

On to the other things, here’s me sharing what I’ve learnt so far (they’re in third person, again, because I’m talking to myself, as usual). Apologies, if there are any repeats.

Take things one day at a time. This doesn’t mean you don’t think about the future or plan for it. It means you set your goal, and then chalk your path towards it, one day at a time. 

Don’t be afraid of the goals you set. Be realistic and practical.

It’s undeniably easy to look at others reaching their goal and to marvel at their willpower. It’s easier still, to chide yourself for not being strong enough. Know that everyone has their struggles and faces their own challenges on their respective journeys.

Understand that bad days are on the same spectrum of okay days and good days. It’s okay to fail.

Befriend patience.

***************

What I’ve learnt is not over the top or even rocket science. It is simple, everyday stuff that’s, believe it or not, quite revolutionary. If I fail in seeing this goal through, I’ll know that I tried and that I learnt from it, the stuff that I did. Hopefully these insights will keep me going, and more importantly, sustain my motivation. And hopefully you’ll continue walking along with me, too. :)

Dear reader, I did intend for this post to be something else altogether, certainly more positive and chirpy, but I cannot, especially today, deny the heaviness that is in me, which seems to want centre stage. I don’t wish to brood or give it precedence over my entire day, and I hope to find the strength to push these thoughts away like I have been for sometime now. However, watching our world fall apart at so many levels is distressing. I’m not sure how many times I’ve used the word hope in my post today, but I reckon it’s also fighting for that centre stage position…and I really hope (haha!) it wins. :)

May we conquer the larger and smaller demons within ourselves and in this world, at large. May we give tolerance its due space on the podium. May we reach out and become more aware, more conscious, more forgiving. And may we learn to live, and love, and to live with love. Sigh. This is me saying ta-ta for the day with the help of one of my favourite people-artists, Molly, from Buddha Doodles. Her work has been hugely inspirational to me.

buddha-doodles_optimistic

Have a lovely day! :)

23: When KWK Inspired Me

23 Jan

I just watched the KWK episode with Priyanka Chopra, and I think I’ve found a new role model to add to my list. Oh well, my notes, because I don’t have a list. I’ll admit to never really having liked her, not as an actor because I think she can act, but because she was everywhere, and in a way, that was annoying, and something I didn’t want in my face constantly. But some good has come from this couch show, and I think it’s that in all these years, and through all the things that have been said and not said about her, it was a breath of fresh air to hear her talk.

She made me realise so much that I’d either chosen not to see or missed seeing or was simply latent in me. It also got me thinking about the impact that portrayals can have on our perceptions. By that I mean, not once in all these years of her crossing the seas and breaking concrete, did I get to see from her words, her voice, her thoughts, or even in her silence, a glimpse of her reality. This noise so far, has only been that – noise. And perhaps it was a different kind of noise thing, because maybe that’s how it is abroad. We Indians are super noisy about a lot of stuff too, but in different mannerisms. But I’m not here to talk about cultural differences or white noise or even noise. What I saw on television, and keeping in mind that it was indeed a television show, I felt more realness speak than I’ve ever seen. She is yet another woman who is par strengths that so many of us dream to possess or realise we own.

Watching her on television today made me feel so good, and so proud, all together. How can a person, especially a woman, not feel good about seeing another out there, achieving things that, let’s admit, we at some point have wanted to do for ourselves? I won’t take the liberty to speak for anyone but myself, and I will confess quite matter-of-factly, that she has what I dream of having. And in that identification, I found inspiration. I aspire for goals that are my own, but which come from that same universal dream of getting there, being successful, and owning that success. Who doesn’t want that, after all? I fear failing, and I hate losing. Bumpy roads bring the demons out in me, as much as the awareness that most often success ironically mandates standing out, and therefore standing alone. Thinking of these things scare me, and therefore I do not allow these thoughts to gain strength or even a voice. I don’t think I’ve ever been so really moved and prodded by an episode on tv, except that gratitude/thanksgiving one on Oprah those many years ago.

The Priyanka Chopra I saw today, brought forth the many things I idolise in my world view, and maybe even reminded me to never put them on the back-burner, like I have in some cases.

Be busy working hard, and smart. Make no room for thoughts that debilitate this effort.
Never show the world the chink in your armour. Remember that you’re not perfect, and move on.
What is an obstacle now, will in time, and with experience, be water off your back. (I love this one!)
Each of us has our demons, which in turn have their own voices. Know when to let them talk, and when to silence them.
The world will always talk, irrespective. Keep walking. (I follow this, and believe in it a 100%)
In versatility lies the key of progression, just as change is always constant.
Boundaries are definitive in maintaining best health.
Silence is gold, even when it’s most tempting to give away.

Of course she’s said a lot of things and I’m clearly, but unapologetically bowled over. Enough inspiration and influence for one day, no? :)

11: 60 Minutes

11 Jan

It was over a whatsapp conversation with V, a couple of weeks ago, which reinforced this very special and indulgent (almost) idea of me time. I’m all for it, to be honest. And I don’t care if the world thinks I’m being selfish, haha! Ever since I quit my job and relocated cities, I’ve had only time at hand, and a rather volatile idle mind to accompany it most times. Sometimes I read, sometimes I draw or paint, sometimes I go out for a walk if the weather permits one, sometimes I cook or bake, and sometimes I just be. These are conscious periods of time I take out to engage in these particular activities for my self. So while I do read, cook, bake, listen to music, or just do random other stuff to keep me occupied most of the time, I’d over time, I guess, forgotten to be conscious of the things I was doing for just my self; irrespective of whether whatsapp chats were bursting at their seams or if phone calls came in a dozen.

One day I sent a random message to V when my mind was foggier than I’d have liked it to be and I needed some distraction. Soon after, as is when chatting with my girls, a conversation ensued. I’m thankful and so grateful for some friendships, and my girlfriends of course. More often than not, these same girls I once shared not just a classroom bench with, make me realise with an almost breathtaking cognizance, that I’m never alone. Friends double your joy and halve your sorrow, they say, and so it is. Of course these are your pillars that don’t freeload off your energy and emotional pools leaving you parched and incomplete. Anyhoo, while we were conversing, she reminded me of this absolute therapy, that is, my time – to consciously take an hour or more if you can spare it, to do something only for yourself. And there we had it, eureka.

Ever since, I’ve very actively removed a small chunk of time for myself to do as I please – and the outcome of it has been miraculous. I’ve managed to read more books than I had during all of 2016, painted more paintings than I had all of 2016, and tried yoga after so, so many years. When V told me about her go-to, which is yoga, I promptly scoffed and said that’s not my thang; much the same way I tell ma this every time she recommends yoga, pranayam and meditation to me. But I tried it, and it left me feeling calm in a zen endorphin way. Ever since, I have lost my temper less, been calmer more often, taken the zen route more than the path of war, and of course, I think I’m feeling more healthy both mentally and emotionally.

She also told me jump 20 times, which I’ve conveniently ignored.

This isn’t a yoga promotion by any means, as much as it is about the significance of giving to oneself what we give so freely and abundantly to others – a lot of ourselves. Because I also am addicted to my phone, and to thinking, it’s an enormous challenge to pick stillness and stay with it for that chosen period of time. It’s astounding how absolutely stubborn and restless my mind really is. There’s so much to patch up from the immense healing powers we have within ourselves, and while the first few days have been difficult and painful (because yoga is not for pussies), the discipline to give my mind and body this time is making itself felt, and heard (oh my joints!).

Namaste!

9: A Few Of My Favourite Things

9 Jan

In this journey of trying to find myself and who I really am, there have been quite a few pathways that have appealed to me more than the others. It’s an interesting turn of events, or phase of life as it were, to examine where you’ve come from, where you presently are, and where you’re headed. Of course the guarantee and promise of concrete answers is negligible most often, especially when you’re desperately seeking them, but not entirely elusive altogether. Or that’s what I’ve come to believe. I’ve found many a light not when I was in darkness, but when I was either transitioning or was in light itself, and there have been many eureka moments when they were least expected…sometimes during a shower, sometimes during a fight, sometimes during a walk, sometimes while cooking…quite a few were missed because I wasn’t watching or wasn’t perceptive enough, but too bad and tough luck. Some reflections were rather obvious, some more inconspicuous…it was when and where I picked them up that gave these much needed insights a fuller context, and padding, as required.

While moving along, here’s what I’ve discovered are a few of my favourite things:

Solitude. I thrive on it, because it’s mine and mine alone. Whether and what I choose to do in my company, is my own prerogative, my headache, my fruition.

Moments. Whether it’s while I’m sitting down with a cup of tea or my food by myself, or while watching tv with A, or just making a fulfilling omelette; each moment speaks of its own spark and energy, each gives me a little bit of itself without expectations or judgement. And there’s so much to savour with what they have to give.

Art. There’s a satisfaction in creation which welcomes everyone in its grace, life, and magic, like nothing else does. I find art in cooking and baking, vegetable shopping, and my morning cup of tea – from making it to drinking it – apart from the obvious others of writing, painting, gardening, music, and movement.

Stillness. It’s gotten me so very far, this one. And it’s also been the hardest to nurture and incorporate. Stillness in my thoughts, emotions, mind, functioning, chaos, without falling apart…I’m far from where its absolute magic resides, but it’s all a part of the journey.

Silence. I come from that thought which mandates me to speak up, stand up, be seen for what I think, believe, or do. I don’t mean this in an attention-grabbing way at all, but in a way which makes you accountable, even if publicly so, for your actions. I will fight a battle if it rages inside me, I will break loose if the floodgates are too much to bear. But I’m a lover of silence, and honestly believed to have incorporated it in my life, till I was so wrongly mistaken. Being silent didn’t mean keeping quiet, it meant picking what to speak up about, and letting the rest rush past you without affectation or chaos. This was the difference I didn’t quite understand till very recently. I find it hard to pick my battles because I cannot keep my mouth shut, and this really is a secret favourite I hope to imbibe. It’s clear that it needs a predominant and paramount level of investment and effort, but here’s to trying and making it through, one word less at a time.

It is at this point when A, if he were to be reading this, would swoop right in, look at me, and tell me to not think so much…that everything I’m trying to tame in me comes from overthinking. This would’ve made me argue to prove a point, but before I’d speak, I’d have to acknowledge that there’s more truth in this than not. No?

6: Forward

6 Jan

I’ve never experienced a bigger black hole than overthinking. I’m an expert at it, by virtue, and because I have so much time at hand. One of the main reasons I left my very lucrative job as a counsellor was because it mandated me to think not just for myself but for the other party too. I loved it, and I still do; counselling i.e. It came naturally to me, academically and practically, until I came head on with this mountain which I couldn’t conquer. How could I possibly help someone else if I didn’t know the art and skill of disconnection? My family urges me to take counselling on again, because it’s such a lucrative business to have. But I know it goes beyond just that at so, so many levels. Maybe someday, once I’ve figured how to summit this one out, if at all, to be realistic.

I find myself falling into this excruciating trap of thinking and overthinking more often than not. As much as I once proudly considered myself to have intellectual tendencies, I firmly steer clear of them and that thought today…because there’s nothing more degenerative to a moment than breaking it down till it stops making sense anymore. Nothing. I refrain from meeting or speaking with people who intellectualize. And very actively so. It has led to a drastic metamorphosis of many a relationship, but one’s got to look out for themselves, as selfish as that sounds. This world does have too much negativity, armchairism, and labelling to go around amply.

I’m a believer in reason, action, hard work, and learning. I’m a believer in things happening for a reason. I think love, laughter, and hugs have indescribable powers. I believe in magic wholeheartedly, I seek it and incorporate it in my worldviews. I think kisses are pathways for so much of the unsaid to be transferred and shared. Hard work is compulsory, in my understanding of things. I also have a very skewed understanding of the hard work relationships require to exist, forget thrive. And I think I live in an ideal world hugely inspired by movies, and everything unreal. I’ll let you imagine what the consequences of that perspective do to me on a regular basis. It isn’t pleasant or exciting, to say the least. The disappointment is most hard-hitting and painful, when it strikes.

But I’m learning, I’m clasping on to any rope of help and support that keeping overthinking at bay throws my way. I’m mostly underwater and breathing in painful amounts of chaos. But I haven’t drowned yet. I think I’ve learnt to stay afloat a little better from where I was last year. And that’s all I need, to move forward. That’s all I need.

Learning About Love

16 Jun

It looks like I’m in the mood to write today. There is a tonne of work to be done and it’s not much of a surprise that it’s been kept aside, yet again. It’s a fact that I’m a procrastinator and that working under pressure seems to be the fuel I need to finish a task and to achieve a goal. But how much pressure now feels uncertain given how I’ve wasted my time away instead of doing the things that need to be done. And I’m not even talking about that pile of clothes which needs folding and hasn’t been approached/tackled since forever. It’s good to not care sometimes, because you want your spouse to help out with some of the housework before you end up doing it all without leaving any for them to do. But at the moment, it’s more about not caring than about implementing spousal domestication – haha – because I’m stuck at that ‘thy mug brimmeth over’ feeling since yesterday, which I wrote in my previous post.

I actually came here to write about this love business because I guess it’s a good time to tap into this aspect of life when one is feeling peachy and rosy and unperturbed by that pile of laundry, unwashed vessels and other more important tasks at hand. It’s a good time to forget about priorities and talk about love, because the pessimist in me used to firmly believe that love is for fools and that love makes us weak and foolish. No, I’m not judging anyone for being in love or for showing/feeling love…I’m just a very normal pessimist who prefers to prepare for that dark cloud rather than bask in the glory of some golden sunshine, happy honeybees and chirping birds, as it were. It’s no surprise who the fool here is, but never mind.

But, because that coffee from yesterday has been so elevating (ahem), I only see blossoming roses, chirpy birds and that stray honeybee today. It has also brought me to write this post and so I shall begin…sorry for the massive digression and thank you for your patience if you still are reading this post.

I’m no expert in love and never have been, as you’ve read and gauged so far. But over the course of the last few months, I’ve learnt the following about love and about learning to love. Of course, the journey of discovery and enlightenment continues and I have a long, long, long way to go. But here’s what I’ve figured, so far.

*********************

Love is when you’re bloody pissed off with the person but still manage to do the things you know will make them happy without hitting them on their head.

Love is being able to express your feelings, thoughts and emotions without being judgemental or without judging.

Love is frayed hair, bushy eyebrows, forested hands and legs and no makeup that elicit responses and actions that make you feel normal.

Love is also having to state how funny, terrible, not presentable the other is looking when required.

Love is being able to fall asleep to that snore you found too loud to begin with, unless of course you’re too tired to care.

Love is about learning when to let go and when to hold on.

Love lies in communication.

Love is about acknowledging the small things we do.

Love is a big fat argument or fight that settles down in a calm and practical conversation.

Love is comfortable silence.

Love is grilled chicken and vegetables and love is certainly a well-made sandwich that is savoured in silence.

Love lies in honesty, no matter how hurtful it can be.

Love is a tight hug that you may or may not have asked for.

Love can sometimes be found in irritating the other. Sometimes.

Love lies in acceptance.

Love also lies in constructive feedback and sometimes, criticism.

Love is about being blatant.

Love is about being no-nonsense.

Love is about being firm.

Love lies in kindness.

Love is a talk you really needed.

Love can be found at the end of a scream, if you care to listen.

Love can also be found in the voice of silence.

Love definitely lies in insurance policy nominations.

Love sometimes lies in unforeseen possession.

Love is a walk like none other.