It’s Okay to Be ‘In the Making’

Most of the times our thoughts are focused upon our goals, roles, duties, and dreams. The nucleus of our life is constantly working to strive for our goals, and to become an achiever. But amidst all this struggle of being ambitious, we often loose the sight and essence of the present.

As much as it is important for us to ignite this fire of passion in us to make life more meaningful, it is equally imperative to be still as calm water, and just be in the ‘here-and now’, and let all the anxiety and restlessness of future be at bay.

A Taoist proverb beautifully explains this- “We cannot see our reflection in running water, it is only in still water that we can see”.

It is good to keep an eye on our jumbo dreams, and be persistent in their pursuit. Nevertheless, at times, it is necessary to gift ourselves with the peace we deserve, to be conscious of the moment and cherish the ‘now’.

This peace helps us to explore our true callings clearly, reflect upon our purpose in life, and regain composure to start afresh with newer zest. And, by letting ourselves mindfully be in the present, we boost the process of our “In the Making” project, because we are always in the making-either by learning through our successes or failures, and it is okay to be- ‘In the Making’.

Magic Ingredients To Work On Your Dreams

I am a believer because I believe in my dreams. Working upon some of my dreams, I have learnt that there is a paradigm which is generic for all passions. So, here is a little list you may check to kick-start on your goals:

Firstly, always believe in your natural talents and do not doubt or change them. Our natural talents are the behavioral patterns which are in sync with our personality, a natural inclination and potential. Do not generalize that inner calling just to ‘fit in’.

Secondly, there is NO alternative to hard work. Success demands resisting all the temptations, striving to learn and practice each day through consistency and perseverance.

Lastly, dream big and let go of all your social inhibitions. This phrase might appear as a cliché, but this is really all what it takes to turn dreams into achievable goals: true aspiring and lots of self-belief.

One quote by Walt Disney always works for me: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them“.

So, keep believing, keep working towards your ambition by taking small steps and immerse yourself with the magical power which then resonates you and creates a cycle of its own for your motivation.

 

The Light Exists

My last article featured an atrocious tale, where one can easily loose faith in humanity and question the existence of any Supreme Power. Today, I am sharing a story I read in HT, but which brought a smile on my face and positivity to my morning.

Amidst the news of corruption, hikes in metro fares, there is a news on Page 4, of Debendra Kapri- who is now an exemplary of honesty, and virtuousness.

The 22-year old taxi driver returned a bag worth 8 lakh rupees to his passenger, who had mistakenly left it in his taxi. Now, this itself exhibits a lot of goodness. But above all, knowing that Kapri is a debt-ridden man, is working hard each day to repay a loan of rupees 70,000, and is striving hard to make ends meet, still returned the bag the same day it got lost- is itself a moral-setting instance.

How often do we consciously choose our morals in place of our every day or dire needs?

Kapri may have easily repayed his debt and fulfilled his dreams of owning a taxi. He may have even resumed his study of engineering which he had to discontinue; but he chose ‘moral values’ in place of his ‘personal needs’, chose ‘conscience’ over ‘chicanery’, and, ‘contentment’ over ‘dishonesty’.

Now, he surely epitomized honesty, and helped HT convey a better news to start one’s day, by winning much appreciation and many hearts…

Justice Served?

This might appear like another mournful rant following the news of Supreme Court’s judgement for the spine-chilling event of December 16 gang-rape, which reiterated the horrific tale where human took its utmost sinister shadow. Nevertheless, I would want to express my true views on how I weigh the judgement.

It may be a sigh of accomplishment for the brave soul’s family, and the country who expressed national outrage, yet I cannot assimilate it in that way. Many questions arise in my mind on many bases-

Is ” death sentence” really enough?

Although death penalty is reserved for the gravest offences under the Indian Penal Code. Is it still enough for the devilish, most inhumane crime of the ‘guilty’? Is it really enough to put forward a lesson, and a warning to the acts that are still happening, everyday?

Four Years and the Progress

There may have been stringent laws post the fateful night, but according to HT, “Delhi still reports six rape cases every day” and mind you, these are the statistics which include only the cases that are reported. Now this leads to further questioning-

Is it good that more cases are now being reported, and that the police, and people are more sensitized towards the cases, which has led to the rise in number of reported cases?

No matter how many cases are reported, the statistics just offer a quantitative number. They are just incompetent to even suggest the woeful pain caused by these barbaric acts, which are still happening every day.

They are happening when the country’s politicians ridicule each other in the Lok Sabha, they are happening when they make impressive advertisements for their vote pleas, and they sure were happening all through the demonetization revolution. I really kept thinking- “Is this our priority?” Black Money can sure wait to be dealt, these crimes cannot!

Is economical stability and progress more important than creating a safe, livable environment for one and all?

I was reading the news of the verdict in HT last evening, and I can say that merely going through the words in the news made me immensely sad, and doubt the nature of humanity. I really could not come to imagine the pain, the grievance, yet, the immense bravery of Nirbhaya, and her parents.

All I wish for is- India to be a habitable place for all, especially its daughters…

 

 

 

The Practice To Be Happy Amidst All

A few days back I read an interesting ranking in Hindustan Times. The ‘World Happiness Report 2017’, designating the happiness level of 155 countries based on the level of social support, freedom to make choices, sense of corrupt society and their own level of generosity.

And my country-India, was at a ‘not so bright rank’ of 122 on 155. Though I am not very surprised, I sure am a little disheartened that I am surrounded by a society which is gloomy, more towards resentment and blueness.

Considering the political, and economical conditions, I know its hard to be happy and to push India to a better rank, yet being a psychology student and a positive psychology admirer, I thought to write a few self-help practice points on How to be Happier.

Happiness isn’t a position, its a practice!

Practice 1: Awareness of the MIND-BODY relationship: Our minds and bodies are more directly connected than we assume them to be. A recurrent joint pain may not be associated to fatigue; a deeper analysis may suggest that the physiological botheration was because of being too self-critical, or holding up negative energy for too long. Keep a check on your symptoms- both biological and psychological. A chronic emotional symptom like resentment may soon turn into a medical concern, if left ignored. (I developed this insight after reading- Heal Your Mind By Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz).

So, be conscious of the fact that an excess of negative, or a deficiency of positive emotion can equally affect your health just like any vitamin deficiency or  hormonal imbalance.

Practice 2: Choose a better Attitude: Its hard not to crib about things that keep happening in our daily lives and in the crazy world around us: Shiv Sena ‘MP‘ Gaikwad beating up an airline staffer 25 times with his slippers, government being blind to the everyday news of rape and eve-teasing; you, being an independent girl, can’t step out of your home  after 8 and attend your favorite comedian’s show because-Dilli ka haal!

Ignoring  constant stressors like these seems similar to avoiding that overgrown nail in your pinkie finger that keeps getting struck with paper.

Yet, amidst all this madness, its still  better to have an Attitude of Gratitude or of Optimism. It has been well proven that optimists are better able to enjoy life, cope up with stress and have better social support. So, choose to look for the brightness out of all the thunder around. You can practice that in your own way:

  • Maintain a Gratitude Journal: be thankful for at least 5 things each day, and see how life seems a little more manageable, even surprisingly magical when you count your blessings.
  • Use Positive Affirmations: I am happy, I am healthy, and its going to be a happy day. It may seem like a clichéd act, but it gives more power to you when you’re consistent with it. And, Believing is what will eventually make you go through anything.
  • Practice Empathy: Try to empathize more than you criticize. Keep a check on your thoughts and choose to stop when you know you’re sliding towards the critical continuum.

Step 3: Work Out To Work Through: In a previous article, I mentioned how A Walk A Day can bring the lost mindfulness back in to our lives. Since we all are constantly struggling with our work, relationships, and outer body image, we lose the connection with our inner body. So, remind yourself to choose health everyday.

Try to do at least one activity, be it a simple walk, yoga, gym hour, meditation, or dance- as an honor and reward for your body, and not just to burn those calories.

Finally, in the ending note, I would want to emphasize that these seemingly simple practices might not solve your huge problems, might not lift the country’s rank from 122 to 1, but they may give you the positive energy and that needed enthusiasm to fight back-each day.

And, being positive and sunny does not at all guarantee that you won’t encounter any problems. Problems are the part and parcel of life. Health concerns, career stress, burn outs, family arguments, or just ‘low’ moods would still revolve around your days, but with these steps you can surely assure yourself with some resilience and better emotional immunity.

Also, please note: readers who have depressive symptoms, anxiety, panic, suicidal ideation, or even frequent mood shifts, may not be able to gain any benefit from this article since their condition may require immediate special attention by a mental health professional.

Believe!

 

A Walk A Day

The first thought about penning something down on ‘Walks’ sprang when I read Seema Goswami’s article ‘Walks are a period of quiet reflection, a time to switch off’. I am quite a regular reader of her columns in the weekly magazine Brunch, and I really accord with the phrase she had put forward in this one.

Walks are serene. They are small rejuvenation packages the nature has granted us for free. Nevertheless, even the most gratuitous thing comes with a price. The price here is pretty reasonable- Effort.

Our mere effort to straighten our necks by leaving our smart phones aside, and getting to a park (or anywhere close to nature). Yet, for some, like me, the price extends beyond just physical efforts. It involves disavowing social inhibitions, and preoccupations of mental scenarios: A very common one I face having a narrow body is- “Why would you need to walk?”.

Well, the answer is- I have a body and I need to take care of it through a routine, fresh air and good mobility, irrespective of my body structure.

Hence, a little more price but it surely does outweigh the benefits. Saving the aspect of physical benefits aside, walking in a park or anywhere close to nature can work like therapy for the mind.

Everyone would agree with me that we ALL are stressed and strained in our daily lives; be it anxiousness from procrastination, or exhaustion of studying all night, to being emotionally drained in dealing with fellow humans. We all are there- fighting our own little battles each day.

And, a walk a day brings mindfulness! It can bring pent up emotions to a level of homeostasis, where there is no verbal vent out, just rhythmic steps, like the leaves and flowers that flow freely in the breeze of spring.

So, connect with nature, its always there for you. Even if you did not ace that interview, the sun will still cast its mesmerizing rays on you. Grass will still flaunt that green to calm and brighten your eyes.

Do remember that you are not walking to achieve a stupid number of ’36-24-36′. You are doing this for your body which houses your soul. Like whitewash renews a house, being close to nature repairs your mind and body.

Ban your gadgets in that hour and replace you iPod’s playlist with the chatter of birds.

Go on, no fancy gym subscription needed here. Choose your 30 minutes and run to the park like you did a few years ago…

 

 

 

Fair Deals at the Book Fair

The previous week I went to img_8070the World Book Fair 2017 at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. It was one ‘house-full’ place. And, being the tiny, jittery person, I managed to make my way through the hustle of readers, keeping my demophobic personality aside. Quite an achievement itself!

And what all books I got? I got my hands on 4 books, out of which one is for my newly born niece, who is although too young to make any meaning out of it, yet I have saved it for our upcoming years of growing together.

Here goes a little abstract of the 4 new arrivals on my shelf:

1. The Utopia Experiment: 

The sole reason I put mimg_8066-1y hands on this was that it’s a fable and a story of hopes where a roboticist is drawn to the unusual idea of how life would turn if an apocalypse hits it, sweeping off all our technical luxuries and every day gadgets our lives revolve around.

I think it’s a brilliant thought to not only imagine this but also, making inquisitive practical move towards creating a scenario like this- a place without cars, metros, tablets, television, digital money.

Save for the fact I am one of those persons who survive on smart phones.

And, after reading half a quarter of it, I am very curious to know-how the Utopian Experiment turns out.

A devastation teaching the simpler ways of life, taking us back to basics! 

A fair deal of buying a book worth ₹600 at just ₹100.

2. Heal Your Mind:

img_8067This book might interest anyone who has a mindset that we are made up of-our thoughts, emotions, and feelings.

It talks about an eclectic approach where any dis-ease (from allergies to cancer) is the outcome of our life- family, relationships, goals; and our emotions and response towards these aspects.

It is a beautiful book that is a fusion of physiology, psychology, and medicine; which not only explains the problem areas, but the remedies for them through-medicine, affirmations and intuition.

A justified deal for good health at ₹400.

You are your thoughts! What you think, you become. 

3. The Book Of You:img_8073

Are you a procrastinator? Do you push your every day tasks, assignments, or fitness plans to tomorrow? And, mostly, you do love being engaged in a task but struggle to initiate it?

Here is a little micro-actions book where there is one little, tiny activity for each day. Micro-actions imply tasks that are really simple that you do not find them difficult to accomplish (example: two-minute workout, using the stairs; say thank you to a person who makes you happy), and imbibing them on a daily basis give you a great sense of accomplishment.

There are also little checkboxes for you to tick off the tasks when they’re done and few blank pages to reflect on how the micro-actions helped you soar.

I bought the book for ₹400 which is not very cheap (actual price ₹500). And, on the contrary, I discovered that they have a free app (You app) for the same purpose.

But, I still do not regret buying this since it helps me to achieve those little targets I set for those jumbo dreams!

Our life is made up of days. Our days are made up of the actions we take. Smaller steps slowly lead to bigger achievements! 

4. Precious Moments Through-the-Day Storiesimg_8069-1

Finally, this pretty book is for my little Cuddles, my niece. I wish to read this to her very soon and listen to her recitations, along with a lot of fun!

A fair deal it is, to buy a gift of reading for my little one for ₹100, where the actual price could have been easily around ₹500-₹700.

It has poems, stories along with a lot of cute illustrations to keep any toddler engaged in the beauty of books away from the modern-day trending tablets.

And, that was all!

Wish you a happy reading winter! #Books #TheBookOfYou #MindBody #WorldBookFair2017