I Know for Sure

Writing today’s post had been on my mind, since yesterday. A blank Windows Live Writer had been staring at me since yesterday. I stared at it for a few more minutes and then went on to check the Facebook notification alert. I spent a few minutes on my timeline and then clicked on a link that led me to Twinkle Khanna’s latest article. I read it and smiled and then moved on to another link of some another article and suddenly I realized that I had a task at hand.

I came back to the blank Windows Live Writer and stared at it for some more time. So, the thing is that I want to write but I just don’t know what to write.

A voice in my head said, write what you know. Writing about what I am sure of or am familiar with would be easy, I thought. Well, I wouldn’t know, until I made an attempt to do so.

So here I go with the list of things I know for sure…

  • I know how it feels to lose an unborn child.
  • I know that one small, thoughtful gesture can make a big difference in someone’s day/life.
  • I know what it’s like to struggle and wait for the success to come your way.
  • I know what it’s like to have to sell one’s most prized possession.
  • I know how it feels to buy it back too.
  • I know how it’s like to risk everything for an idea.
  • I know what it is like to hold on to the past.
  • I know for sure how freeing it is to let go.
  • I know what it’s like to live with fear of death of your loved ones.
  • I know what it feels like to lose hope and then finding it back again.
  • I know what it is to have pain so deep, that you spend countless nights crying yourself to sleep.
  • I know what it’s like to feel alone, like you have no one to turn to.
  • I know what it is to receive support from unknown quarters.
  • I know how it feels to sing at the top of your voice with the singer on the radio.
  • I know that failure is just what is needed to learn some important life lessons.
  • I know for sure that this post has a melancholic feel to it.
  • And I know for sure that a blank page is no longer staring at me.

What do you know for sure?

Linking this to #MondayMusings and NaBloPoMo

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Skywatch Friday : Silver Lining

The storm was brewing on the horizon and soon it started rolling in faster. The sky which was clear except for one wispy cloud, moments ago, turned into charcoal grey. Clouds began to rumble and darken. The wind was not howling. It was screaming. The sea below started stirring with big waves ready to swallow everything that would come in their way.

Suddenly, there was a crack in the dark storm clouds and a bit of sunlight peeked through the clouds, promising of new possibilities.

Every cloud has a silver lining

More often than not, we find ourselves sitting under a dark, black gloomy cloud. Sometimes, these dark clouds turn into small quick rains or hurricanes and even tornados. That’s life for us. But no matter how rough things get, there’s always something good that can be gleaned from the toughest of tough times. No matter how hard life may seem at the moment, a new opportunity always comes our way to make it better. Though it is hard to believe at that moment but every cloud has a silver lining. There is hope always and it shines brightest in darkness.

Linking this to Skywatch Friday and

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Inspiring Quotes About Kindness

Inspiring Quotes About Kindness

Some time back, I was travelling by bus and was not feeling too well. I dozed off right after getting my ticket checked and got up when the bus stopped at midway. I wanted to drink something cool but felt too tired to get down from the bus. My co-passenger, with whom I had not exchanged even a single word till then, asked me if he can buy something for me from the shops outside. I hesitated. He said that it was no big deal for him for he was getting down anyways. But it was a big deal for me. His gesture truly touched me and I am grateful for his help, still.

The other day, after a busy day shopping and doing some chores, I took a cab for going back home. As I sat in the cab, I realized that I had skipped lunch and just then my tummy growled to confirm it. I asked the driver to stop at a food joint and I darted out to pick up something to eat. I bought some sandwiches and gave a pack of it to the driver. I cant forget his reaction. He was so happily surprised and said that nobody had ever bought something for him. He had this happy smile on his face that continued till he dropped me at my destination.

Yesterday ie 13th November was celebrated as World Kindness Day. Kindness is something that we all need and it is something that we all can share with everybody we meet. It’s small little things that make a big difference in our lives. It makes us not only happy but leaves a lasting impression on the receiver too.

Here are some of my favourite quotes on Kindness that inspire me to make a difference…

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness. -George Sand

There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. -Nathaniel Branden

You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force. -Publilius Syrus

Always be a little kinder than necessary. -James M. Barrie

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. -Amelia Earhart

How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it! -George Elliston

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession. -Sophocles

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. -Benjamin Franklin

Unexpectedkindness is themost powerful,least costly, andmost underratedagent of humanchange

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. -William Arthur Ward

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. -Albert Schweitzer

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. -Princess Diana

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”
-Barbara de Angelis

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. -Scott Adams

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Linking this to…

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Thank you Corinne for inspiring me to do this post!

Wake up to a Gold Morning

(A) “In the morning I woke like a sloth in the fog.”― Leslie Connor

(B) “Every new day gives me ceaseless hope to reach out for my dreams”― Lailah Gifty Akita

Which of these two describe your mornings? 

Did you say that mornings are not the best part of the day for you? Did you hit the snooze button one more time today? Or snuggled under the quilt to catch some more sleep for just 5 minutes? And when you finally got up from the bed, you ran through your routine like a robot. Aah! You lament that you never have enough time in the morning! Believe me, you are not alone!!

Though you may be doing this almost every day, there is a realization at the back of your mind that throwing away the covers and waking up with a spring in the step is the key to a good morning. Starting your day on a happy and relaxed note greatly increases your chances of a healthy and productive day. In fact giving a good start to the day, sets the tone of the whole day ahead. Yes, the way you start your morning can make or break the rest of your day.

Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning”, says that if you win the morning, you win the day. He has a routine called SAVERS, to start the day off right.

The SAVERS acronym for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing, reminds us of six habits or rituals that can improve our morning routines.

Here’s how you can incorporate SAVERS in your daily routine and win the morning and the day ahead.

  • Silence : Meditation, Prayers, Breathing. Whatever it is for you, the idea is to quiet your mind and block out the chatter and the start the day with calm thoughts.
  • Affirmations : Encouraging words you tell yourself to achieve your goals, overcome fears, be healthy and happy, and live out your purpose.
  • Visualization : Imagine yourself doing each thing, step by step that you need to do to accomplish your goals. Them imagine what it will feel like when you succeed.
  • Exercise : It doesn’t have to be powerlifting or long distance running. Just do some bodyweight exercises for 5 minutes to get the oxygen flowing to the brain.
  • Reading : Fill your brain with positive thoughts and ideas to improve yourself. Learn the knowledge of people who have accomplished the things you want to do,
  • Scribing : Writing or journaling is a great way to process your thoughts and reflect on your life. It will help you to be more self aware and more articulate.

Making SAVERS as a part of your daily morning works wonders because it…

  • Helps create a positive mental attitude
  • Increases self confidence
  • Keeps you focussed as you achieve your daily goals
  • Infuses energy and enthusiasm in your day
  • Gives you time to review and reflect

Morning will come, it has no choice, but it is up to you to make your good mornings into Gold Mornings with SAVERS #Colgate360GoldMornings

#UnwrapChristmas with Secret Santee!

It only takes a spark to get the fire going.

And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.

That’s how it is with God’s love,

Once you have experienced it

You want to sing

You feel like spring

You want to pass it on…

A few of us gathered together for Secret Santa tidings, divided by names and united through a common Christmas spirit of sharing. And it is in this spirit that we bring this blog chain to you.

I am thankful to Pratikshya for passing on the baton of spreading Christmas joy and spirit.

It is here through words and my secret santee that I unwrap Christmas on my blog for you.

The sisters at my convent school for 14 years, introduced me to the magical world of Santa and  toys, X-mas trees and tinsel, elves and Rudolph, carols and chapel, cakes and cookies, stories and sermons.  They also shared that spirit of Christmas is all about being humble, generous, loving and giving.  Our Christian friends showed us that Christmas is about family bonding and that of the spirit of giving and rejoicing.

Today, as I sit and reflect on the true spirit of Christmas, a realization dawns that there’s nothing more satisfying and enriching than reaching out to someone and bringing joy to them.  And this is what represents the spirit of Christmas which is a spirit of giving!

Numerous experiences from our daily life show that we have always been grateful when somebody touched our lives or gave us what we needed the most at that time, whether a smile or a kind word or a patient listening.

It’s proven that a sure way to be happy and to spread it all around us is by having a generous and a giving heart.

A giving heart is not about material offerings…

It is about being compassionate to someone who is hurting.

It is about encouraging someone who is not able to see the light.

It is about being there for someone.

It is about giving our love,  our time, our understanding, our positive presence, our commitment, our genuine care and concern for someone.

It is amazing to see that these small acts of giving never fail to lighten the recipient’s day. It may even turn it around. And do you know that generosity is contagious of course in a healthy way.

Here’s hoping that each one of us embrace the spirit of Christmas and find the true meaning of the season by being generous thereby bringing more joy and happiness into lives of those around us.

I now invite Sujatha Singh  to spread the message of Christmas and new years on their blog.

#UnwrapChristmas


Letting Go Amidst Chaos

I am addicted to lists. I’ve sung its praises incessantly on my blog here. Lists, as you know, help to…

  • Stay focused on the task 
  • Remember what you need to do and when
  • Be more productive
  • Stay motivated
  • Reduce your stress levels

As usual, my To-Do list for today is as long as my arm. I am panicking and stressed out as I look at it from time to time. Ideally, it should calm me and give me a feeling that I am in control. But that’s not happening.

Actually, I have an important assignment with a short deadline to chase and I am just not able to start my work on it. The more I am thinking about it, the more hassled is my state of mind.

I pondered a bit on my chaotic situation and realized that it is not the work that is causing me stress. Though the task at hand is challenging but I know I can do it. It’s not the deadline that is giving me panic attacks, because that’s just a time constraint and I was aware of it when I took up the assignment. So, what’s actually stressing me?

Well, it’s the fear in my head. Fear that I’d mess it up or that it might not get approved or that I’d look inefficient or incompetent! And all this is because I want the assignment to be perfect in every way.

What if I just focus on my work and let go of these fears. While the work I do is totally in my control, I don’t have any control on the outcomes. So, letting go of the fears that stop me working on the task is the key. Easier said than done, I know. But realizing it and working on it should bring in the peace in this chaotic state of mind.

As I allay the fears in my head and work on my assignment, you have a great week ahead!

What is your recipe for getting the work done without fears messing up your head?

MondayMusings

Discover Real Togetherness

Picture this…

A family at a restaurant is out to eat and enjoy and somebody or the other is checking their phone for text messages or emails, every few minutes.

At a get-together with friends, people look at their phone’s screen more often than their friend’s face.

You are stuck behind someone on a road who is driving at the speed of 40 kmph What’s your first thought?  That guy needs to get off his phone!

You could meet your friend for a coffee date, instead you catch up on whatsapp for an hour.

Sounds familiar?

Ok, here’s a question. Can you list the names of your 10 neighbours and all those in their families? Tough question? If not 10, can you list the details of 5 neighbours? I am sure, it would be still difficult to answer!

Technology though connects us with anybody and everybody but is disconnecting us from the world around us. Instead of spending time in person with family and friends, we just call or text them. It may seem simpler and convenient, but we ultimately end up interacting with our family and friends face to face a lot less. 10 texts can never match the fun and joy of meeting a friend over lunch. And all the smileys and emoticons can be cute, but they could never replace the ear-splitting grin and smiling eyes of one of our best friends. It’s like the Real Togetherness is missing from our lives. Don’t you agree?

Here are a few ideas and strategies that can disconnect us from our Smartphone/gadget addiction and reconnect us with our family, family and neighbours in the apartment complex so that we can enjoy Real Togetherness with them.

  • Play games. Play badminton, volleyball, tennis, frisbee, or table tennis.
  • Go jogging or take a walk together.
  • Have a cookout. Cook a dinner together on the terrace or garden.
  • Visit all of the nearby tourist sights we have never bothered to check out.
  • Go for a picnic to a nearby resort.
  • Go grocery shopping together.
  • Invite some friends over and bake cakes and cookies together.
  • Tour something: a factory, bakery, dairy, or a garage.
  • Organize a flash mob dance in the apartment complex.
  • Go bowling with friends.
  • Visit a farmer’s market.
  • Take a class on something you are good at… quilling, baking, photography, blogging…
  • Organize a bake sale in the neighbourhood.
  • Prepare a meal for a couple with a new baby.
  • Make cards with children for Diwali and send to all in the neighbourhood.
  • Take a group of children on a field trip.
  • Pack some food and distribute them to homeless people.
  • Take a bicycle trip around the city.
  • Go to the zoo or an amusement park, a museum or a planetarium.
  • On a weekend, get out the gardening tools and find someone who could use some free yard work. Everyone can pitch in and help.
  • String popcorn and place on trees for the birds. And watch them eat from far. Click lots of pictures.
  • Have a bonfire outdoors, cook, eat and sing together.
  • Visit some elderly people and spend time with them.
  • Visit a farm. Milk a cow/goat, help to feed the animals. Or clean around.
  • Organize a film festival and watch some classics together with family and friends.

Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. So, let’s get started on this journey where we discover and share Real Togetherness with family and friends.

Flying with a Cry-baby #MondayMusings

Last week, I took an early morning flight from Bangalore to Delhi for which I had to reach the airport at an unearthly hour. Sleep deprived and tired from the hectic work schedule, I reached the airport on time and requested the lady at the counter to give me a window seat. Thinking of catching up on my missed sleep during the two hour flight, I boarded the aircraft, only to see a young mother with a child occupying my seat. Sitting next to her was her old father (or father-in-law). Without a word I occupied the vacant aisle seat. Yes, it seemed silly to ask her to vacate the window seat for me.

I settled in my aisle seat and dozed off even before the flight took off from the ground, only to be jolted awake from sleep a few minutes later by the loud screams of my little co-passenger. The face of the lil baby was all red and his eyes all scrunched up but no tears trickled down his cheeks. The mother held him close, rocked him back and forth, and softly repeated some words in his ear, but the child refused to calm down and showed us all his super power of screaming really loudly. And as if one uncomfortable child on the flight was not enough, another one wailed from the back seats. By this time, I gave up on my plan to sleep during the flight.

I smiled at the mother and she smiled back with gratitude. I looked around and saw the other passengers having expressions ranging from disdain and irritation to anger and exasperation. And memories of a flight taken some 13 years ago flashed in front of me when a 45 day old baby shrieked and howled in my arms. There was absolutely no difference in the reactions of the passengers between these two incidents which spanned more than a decade.

We all know that babies do what they do when they want to do it. The babies don’t know how to deal with air pressure and the pain it causes or any uneasiness that they might be experiencing. The only way they know to express their pain is by crying. What’s new or different in that? I am sure every single person and their children have cried like that in a public space whether in a plane or a train or a store or a cinema hall or at a restaurant.

While at a restaurant or a store, one can still go out and distract the crying child in some way, but how does one do that while sitting in a aircraft when seat-belt sign is still on? The parents have limited ways  to manage the cranky child.

Oh, I know it can be very frustrating for the co-passengers, after all it is not their child, but show some empathy to the parent who is all stressed and even more frustrated. She is trying her level best to calm and soothe the baby.  

Imagine, how unnerving it would be to hear the exaggerated sighs and sense the irritation and stares from co-passengers while your baby is howling, wailing and shrieking his guts out in your arms. How guilt ridden you would be when you know that you and your child are annoying other passengers and some are even judging you for it.

I wish people know that they can’t have library-silent, no-wails-allowed flight. It should not be difficult to understand that a child being a child is not the parents’ fault, and to realize that making someone else feel bad will not make you feel better or improve your flight. So, instead of giving a death-stare to the mother and the child, show empathy, practice patience and put on your noise-cancelling headphones and simply deal with it minus the negative drama from your end. Deal?

Linking this to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings

MondayMusings

What to do When there are Too Many Things to Get Done

My To-Do list for today is longer than my arm. I am swamped with work and have so many deadlines to chase. And it is making me all panicky! I have been up since wee hours of the morning and haven’t accomplished anything of importance. I am finding it really hard to focus on one thing and am not even able to prioritize. And this is when I have a list of things to do right in front of me.

One moment, I want to do X task and I am abandoning it the next moment to look at data for a client presentation. And then there are constant beeps from my phone about the End of Season Sales SMSs, Retweet messages, Likes and Comments on a post from Facebook, emails, whatsapp messages and all this cannot be ignored, right! As I type this, the buzzer of my washing machine has gone off, which means that I need to rush to take off the wash load and put it out for drying before the Sun God goes and plays hide and seek with the Rain God! I am constantly looking at the watch, as the house help has not turned up as yet and it is way past her regular time. If she does not turn up and if I end up doing her work too, I will be seriously derailed from the work timelines.

And then, I have to write this post too, as I am co-hosting #MondayMusings with Corinne, for the first time. This post should have been up at midnight last night, but the grey cells and the fingers refused to coordinate and hence, a blank document stared at me for a long time, till I gave up and decided to sleep over it literally and figuratively!

What to do when there are too many things to be done and nothing is getting accomplished? This question is ringing in my head for a while now!

I am amazed that an otherwise organised me, believe me, I am pretty disciplined regarding my work , is struggling to get tasks ticked off from my To-Do list today! I am realizing that I have not done any productive work today. I am just killing time. I don’t know if this is one of those days or I am doing something wrong.

And then I came across, this infographic. It has 7 pointers that destroy productivity. From these 7 pointers, I am guilty of doing 5 things except for point no. 2 and 3.

These are simple things, and I am aware of all these time wasters, but still till I got nudged and shaken by this infographic, I couldn’t bring myself to unplug from the social media, and mute the distractions from phone and stop being a multi-tasking diva.
Marketo-Killing-Time1Image Courtesy : Source

Aha! Avoiding these simple time wasters made me complete this post in record fifteen minutes.

As you chew and digest these productivity killers, I am off to  annihilate the tasks in my list!

You all have a productive and satisfying week ahead!

What do you do when there are too many things to get done? Share your tips and experience!

MondayMusings

Join Corinne and me by writing a #MondayMusings post on your blog. Write a post sharing your thoughts on a subject of your choice. Make it as personal as possible. Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and then add your link to the linky below. Do remember to visit the other blogs linked here and begin by reading the #MondayMusings on Write Tribe and Everyday Gyaan. We would love to read your thoughts.

Acceptance is a Choice #1000Speak #MondayMusings

Good Times, Bad Times, Ugly Times… That’s Life! And such times come in everybody’s life.

We have had a phase when nothing seemed to work for our business venture. We did our best but it all back-fired. And while we were struggling to make it work, some of our ‘good friends’ left us. It was like a double blow. All this while, we believed that they were our best friends and that best friends stick by you through hard times.

We wondered how could our choices turn out to be so wrong. We became our biggest critic and engaged in self-pity and finger-pointing. We held ourselves accountable for the uncertainties and vulnerabilities that we were facing. Of course, they were our decisions… our choices…

Sooner than later, we realized that it would not do us any good to have these pity-parties that made us more miserable. We realized that all this self-blame was unnecessary and harsh. It was not helping us in any way and in fact, it was taking the wind out of our sails.

And then we came across, Deepak Chopra’s The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success, in which he Acceptance 2explains that we need to receive with open arms what happens to us, because if we fight and resist it, then we are generating a lot of turbulence in our minds. He explains that we might want for things to be different in the future, but in the present moment we need to accept things as they are. That’s the way we can make our life flow smoothly, instead of roughly.

And this made a lot of sense to us. We had already seen how it is to hold on to negativity. So, we had to opt for the second and the only option available to us which was that of acceptance.

It was time to accept things as they were. It was time to accept that all days are never the same and that things would work out, eventually.

It was a hard choice. Acceptance did not come easily to us. But when we did accept the reality, it gave us a peaceful state of mind, it made us see the positive. Owning and accepting our decisions helped us to move forward and helped us to make new and exciting choices.

Yes, acceptance is a choice.

We can complain about the rain or accept that it’s raining, find an umbrella and dance in the rain and/or sit in the balcony with a book and tea and enjoy it.

Acceptance 1

Linking this to #1000Speak a monthly linkup on the 20th of every month, which invites bloggers to blog about compassion/empathy, etc. This month’s link up is on the topic of Acceptance and also linking it to Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings

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