Tag Archive | life

Long overdue!

I have not updated this space in a while. I love going back in time and reading my posts and looking at my thought process. Last year had been very eventful in many areas personally and professionally.

There is much more calmness and positive outlook in my life. I reduced complaining about people, and became less judgmental about behaviors. Learning to let go of past hurts is not as easy as it sounds, and as hard as it seems, it’s a very liberating feeling. Last few months have been extremely stressful with work and personal commitments. Although, the research says that women can do multi-tasking, it’s just does not work for me. I am more focused if I handle one thing at a time.

Given our budget and requirements for a certain location. We felt the real-estate market is at it’s peak and buying the home at this time is probably a bad idea. So, that idea is shelved for 2 years at the least and decided to save up some money to put towards down payment.  Instead, we are planning to rent a bigger space, so we can invite people over. I love experimenting with food and instead of meeting outside, we would love to have guests over. Most importantly, having parents over for long duration is something I’m looking forward to. Hopefully, we enjoy the new home and not accumulate any more clutter. More space means more clutter and that is a very scary thought.

Oh, and I ended up going through all the clothes and they all fit in 3 suitcases, which is more than what I wanted to hold on to, I plan on getting rid of them in the next 6 months to one year and minimize to an extent of just having few pairs that are classy and elegant.

Decluttering paper is another thing, I am working on. I spent one entire day – that produced a trash bag full of shredded paper, and I still feel it would take at least 3 more dedicated days to go through and may produce 2 more trash bags worth.  As I shred each paper, there is this sense of achievement. Many a times, I had wished to live a simplistic life and it’s not easy having a partner who orders stuff and clutters the place up. It is overwhelming and many times I had burst out crying. Now, I just decided to focus on myself, declutter stuff that I own should be my first step. America’s consumerism, easy access to credit and purchasing stuff is extremely stressful to manage them.

Just the other day, I called this sofa repair shop to fix the upholstery. Coz, I do not want to buy another couch and wanted this to be fixed. The couch costed me 600 bucks and guess what the upholstery quote was – 1500. I might as well buy a new one for that price. America makes life very difficult and no wonder the landfills with junk is only going up. There is no concept of repairing. Repairing stuff should be cheaper than purchasing the stuff, only then you reduce the trash isn’t?

Anywho, I digress – I went into ranting mode of de-cluttering and consumerism. You have no idea, how much I get agitated with home with full of clutter. In a nutshell, I am my own cause of my mental anguish and pain. Working on it to relax in those areas.

Much more to write- almost 2 years worth of content – will come back soon and update it How are you all doing?

Day 16 : On being Judgmental

One day, I met one of my friend who is a pregnant, wanted to find someone in her neighborhood to share experiences, essentially looking for a like minded person to make friendship with. She was driving me back to my home, and while passing I spotted a lady with a toddler and dressed for summer and there is something about her personality from distance sounded like a confident personality. I pointed to her and encouraged my friend to chat with her. My friend immediately retorted saying that how could you judge a person like that based on their appearance. True, you never know until you spend some time with her and the situations that arise will only speak if they are at your frequency.

We judge people inadvertently all the time that we come in contact with in our own limited capabilities. When we have conversation with a friend, stranger or colleague – we immediately react if that is in conflict with our ideas. Is it even possible to emotionally detach and absorb the information and not judge the person but act on the information by providing facts irrespective of whether you like it or not? How do you handle?

I have a friend who comes across as very judgmental and strongly opinionated. I used to avoid sharing information about my life, or family or discuss certain topics knowing well that she judges and defends her points without knowing entire context. I only speak up with her when I think it is important to show her another point of view on certain things that are important to me and she is aware of it. I like her, she is an extrovert and sweet, but that’s her personality and is neither harming nor hurtful. It is also refreshing for me to hear different perspective expanding my point-of-views for a given topic. There was an instance where one of colleague preferred cats to having kids. She has been harshly judged by my peers at work and was made fun of behind her back. When I asked what’s wrong with that choice?  All I understood was, they were trying to project their way of life onto her.  I feel, majority of us are always trying to project our views onto others and expect others agree to what we say or treat that as normal.

We judge people all the time based on our experiences and knowledge. It takes a considerable amount of effort in not judging self and others. Being emotionally detached and having presence of mind is something that comes with practice. Clearly that is not easy. Having compassion for every human being and not being judgmental is something that I try to remind myself every day. The world will be a better place had we been less judgmental and more compassionate humans.

Here are few quotes that I found more apt for the topic:

Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.  – Swami Vivekananda

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.  -Dalai Lama

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.  -Mother Teresa

What is your take on this?

Day 7: This moment

I have been listening to Practicing Mindfulness, an introductory course to meditation on audible. It has been there ever since I got added on to the audible few years’ back, this particular topic never got my attention until very recent.  It does not end without saying that how serious was I in getting into yoga, purchased the books, researched few yoga institutes in India for teacher training course.  That thought gradually faded when I was told that I need to have a regular practice of yoga asanas for at least 6 months. I joined yoga class, but I was extremely intermittent, maybe that’s not the right term to use, I would go to 3 classes per year at the most. Anyhow, that never progressed any further.

I digressed too much; coming back to the audible book that I am currently listening began after few days into my yoga practice. The topic of meditation is not alien to me.  As a child, we were told to meditate, pray and sit still for longer hours in front of god during special occasions, and yes – there weren’t many distractions back then either. As the author says, we never usually stay in the present moment, our thoughts vacillate back and forth from past to future. Paying attention to present is the most difficult task. As he makes such statements, instantly my mind wanders to evaluate itself.  So, when I come back to listening, I missed out on so much and had to rewind the cursor back to the position where I lost it. He also says that, sitting with your thoughts is the most difficult thing to do. It brings varied thoughts ranging from great to worse, thoughts like anger, frustrations, grudges, resentments, goodness, serenity, happiness, pending tasks, past, future, things to do and many more that makes you want to react immediately and if you do, which you normally would leave you restless.  To avoid such thoughts, we would put the TV on, or keep ourselves busy with something or the other but does not entertain the thought of spending time along to sit back and watch our thoughts and not act on them instantaneously. That is the hard part and that is why author says it is not as exotic as the media projects itself to be.

The author also adds that, our mind is a muscle that we need to work on. For instance, if one wants to bitch about something all the time, your mind wants to do that all the time. That is why they say, the more you practice, the better you get it. Apparently, the same thing happens with our brain muscle too. Growing up, we were told to have only good thoughts all the time, without any reasoning or knowing how that helps us to stay healthy. Happy thoughts generate positive vibes and organically it surfaces to your face and radiates through.  Now, the question is how ? ..and that is why it is considered as a challenge? Living in the moment is certainly not as easy as it sounds.

How about you? What your thoughts on mediation, do you practice it? If so, how do you feel about it? Has it helped you in any areas of your life?

P.S: This is part of 500 word challenge, if you skip a day, you pick where you have left and continue. That is exactly what I did.  And yes, there were no edits done.

Day 5: Transformation

There are days where you just have nothing to speak or write about. The flow just does not happen. This is when I look for other sources of inspiration. On my first day of blogging for 500 day challenge,  I was suggested to use WordPress daily prompt to get ideas by thoughts36. The first thought that came to my mind, when thoughts36 suggested to write on “Transformation”  is mathematics, signals and systems and mostly Laplace Transformations. I would not go into those math details around how they are instrumental in various advancements in technology and so forth. Besides, I really do not know much about them in practical context. I have to turn the pages back to re-read to write about it here. And that is not my intention here.

Instead, we can speak of real transformation in general. The dictionary states the meaning of transformation as “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance”. On the other hand, I would like to think that transformation is gradual. Sequence of things over a period of time will lead to a different phenomena. Time is variable and is relative. You might have noticed with yourself, when you look back in time, what you were like then to what you are now?  Don’t you notice differences? For instance, the way you speak or dress or think or do things, as you gain experiences , if you have any set backs or a open minded person with interest in improving in on certain things would kick this process of transformation. You may not notice unless you are conscious about it, but others will definitely, especially if you do not meet them often.

One such instance where I have not met this friend in real long time, so her perception of me stands still from that time and so as mine. So, there were some conflicts on what each other’s perception is and how we handled our differences came as a surprise to both of us. We forget, that there has been a time gap and we have had different experiences which we had not shared with each other in a long while. They come up here and there and you show up your angle as the situation demands and that is not usually what the other’s expects. This is a transformation that has changed you as a person. Here is where, either you choose to accept the difference of opinions and respect each other and continue the friendship, or if that makes you lose your peace of mind, it is probably best to not continue that friendship. It was definitely new to learn and catch up with good old friends. Oh and as you grow older, you tend to be strongly opinionated and stubborn. No wonder, you would make very few close friends as life advances. Don’t you agree?

Or there other kind of transformations, that an experience in life triggers you to take some extreme steps. What ever may be the path, life is full of experiences, transformations and more..

Do you have any stories of transformations that changed your life for good, if so, in what way?  What is the trigger? I would love to hear them.

P.S: It is part of 500 words challenge, one of the rule is to not edit and of course, I followed the rules and wrote what ever came to my mind today.

Day 2 : Time is constant

Don’t you think that time is constant per any given day?  Yet, the things we want to accomplish vary, in fact it sounds endless always. I am in this situation almost all the time. I have been learning about the importance of certain things much later in life. Better late than never really applies in certain situations. One really need to know or perhaps write down what the most important things  one want to accomplish or continue to work on,  be it in personal or professional life and everywhere else where ever it deems fit.

It is foolish that we think we have unlimited time on earth and yet we take time for granted. Don’t we all? Some of you may be exceptional. I have failed to understand this very basic point in life, not that I understood now, but it nails down to that.  Even, if I think time is constant, I tend to do many things at a time and fail at them terribly.

For instance, for the love of dancing and that I have never danced in life, wanted to master  in 3 different forms of dances at the same time. So, I went ahead and enrolled in all the three of them and went to 5 classes of hour long each and an hour one-way commute. Given that, I don’t even do any sort of physical exercises, I ended up in hospital that very week for straining my neck and unbearable back pain. Dear doctor suggested that I visit spinal cord specialist and gave medicine for relieving muscle spasms.  For the fear of any possible surgery, physical therapy or of after-math out of pocket expenses in my mind, I did not entertain any of those options. Eventually, I recovered. But, that took me over 6 months. And all the class packages that I got were expired.  Time, money and health all went into drain all at once.

Did I learn anything from there? Not much, I still continue to do many things at a time. But, I tend to forget that for everything that is on plate requires energy and motivation. We are not robots and cannot function at 100% all the time. Yet, we over estimate our capacities and over load ourselves without factoring in on all other factors that contribute for energy and time drainers.  Do you agree?

How many of you my dear readers follow the principle of doing one thing at a time? Or in a situation where I currently belong?

With that in mind, I hope to focus on one thing at a time. Moreover, research also says that doing one thing at a time is more efficient than multiple things at once. I would like to extend this philosophy to my personal, professional and any other lives that I tend to live. Most importantly, getting important things despite it drains my energy and momentum out of me. It sure does not sound easy, and I am going to give my best to follow the path I set forth for myself. One thing done is one less thing to worry about. Slowly but steadily, I’ll get there soon enough.

P.S: It is part of 500 word challenge, one of the rule is to not edit and of course, I followed the rules and wrote what ever came to my mind today.

Strategic thinking skills

Do you have it? if so, what is your strategy for everything you do in life?

Every game played with some goal in mind, strategy in place, would have better outcome than going with the flow, is it not? The strategy game that always comes to my mind is Chess. Growing up, I played several times with my brother only to lose 95% of the time. My goal of playing the game was to protect my king and his was to strategically place pawns to attack my king from all possible ways.  I drew the game more towards withdrawing than actually played up. I thought, I was never going to be good at and so gave up all together. I thought, I did not have any strategic thinking skills which are so required to play that game. Thought, those are inherent and cannot be learned.

As I started listening to this audio book on strategic thinking skills, they spoke about several sports, wars, political agendas on how certain teams wins over the others despite both of the team goals were to win. The audio books and myself does not really work well together, the moment a thought is shared by the author, my mind wanders back to my life experiences and how I have reacted or would react in such situations? The chess was part of the same thought process. The author said – strategic thinking can be cultivated and it is a learned trait. And this led me to a discussion about how I felt about me when it came to chess game.

The points that came out of the discussion were:

a. Chess like any game requires practice, the more you practice, the better your brain learns about all possible moves and you tend to calculate in your head, eventually learn to play with a plan.

b. There is some emotional aspect to the game, if you lose game several times in a row, especially when you are starting out, it is easy to lose focus and interest, feel let down and that impairs your moves or strategy.

The very fact that it was computerized, it is the possible permutations and combinations that were fed to be played mechanically. It is hard to beat a computer but it isn’t possible. Computer here is a collective intelligence, learns when it loses and the more you play and win against it, the probability of winning for computer only increases.

Switching back to the topic at hand, the author emphasizes the fact that- one should have a goal, and should work towards them. Spending just 5 minutes a day towards your long term goal is more than enough to feel rooted instead of wandering. Checking the progress weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly will tell you how far you have invested should be measured with some parameters that are helping towards your goal.

The satisfaction you get by achieving what you tend to is equally gratifying. It is totally possible that you may or may not achieve your goal, but that you have given all you could makes a lot of difference in your mental health. This thought also brought back me to my growing up days of praying. Praying as a kid for me was to think about what I want everyday and work towards it. It was that simple.

Most of the times, i think life is short to get to do so many things that i want to do in life. The list is endless. And other times, I feel, I lack something in life, something that I miss. I have everything a person(?) wishes for and yet there is something amiss, and it is very hard to figure out what I want in life. Heard of Maslows hierarchy? I cannot even say such statement, there is this side in everyone that I met. Every single person. If you touch them enough, there is this side of it. In quest of “who I am and what am I here for?”  do you think, we need a strategy to get to bottom of this? Buddha or Dalai Lama or Vivekananda or Aristotle or not-so-famous person-that-I-do-not-know-of-yet and many more.. their philosophies which I have not heard or read yet, might give me some insights ? May be, may be not. We shall see.

Wonder, how i drifted from having some goal about something to another? Happens. It sure feels bit heavy. I am sure, you are entertained by these thoughts by our amazing brains as well- is it not? what’s your take on this?


Morning routine

It hasn’t been snowing here yet, it is one of the warmest winter’s ever. It is so warm (it was slightly cold) that I was out late in the night without jacket. They say, if the current temperature on the earth rises to additional 2 more degrees, there will be a mass extinction of human race. And that wants me to relocate to south america Andes which is 6.9Km above the sea level. I feel, those people will definitely survive and continue our human race while most part of the earth shrinks into water.

Not a very good thought to start my day with, isn’t? I digress, so with such over confidence of warm winters, I have been neglecting to protect myself up from sudden changes in temperatures. Which is what happened on one of those warmest winter night. As a consequence, now I suffer from cold and woke up this early morning unable to sleep with one of my nostrils being blocked. Although, I do not feel well rested, it feels like a productive day already for the quietness around and darkness outside. I fixed myself with cup of warm green tea with honey, and it tasted divine for some reason. (Yes, I am not a huge fan of any green teas).

I wish to wake up everyday at this time and enjoy this morning serenity. The calmness and idea of getting things done before noon at work sounds exciting. But, having to travel to work is an hour long journey using public transportation which involves lots of walking. So, considering this in a positive way could be thought as “walking is a wonderful exercise” and I get plenty of it almost everyday of the week. This is the time, where I get to listen to my-not-so-favorite-but-informational audio books or random music from pandora while my brain is pre-occupied by some entirely random things instead of living in the moment. That’s the post for some other time.

What is your morning routine? or evening routine, the time where you feel good and productive?

Hola Amigos!

It has been a while that I touched this space. I hope all is well with you. Although, I have been actively passive, read most of my favorite blogs and their content, but did not comment on any. Last month was meant to be relaxing post my august challenge. The challenges, that I made to myself in one of my post in august has been successfully executed for 27 days. I diligently cooked every meal everyday with one exception of option to eat out once in an entire week. The blogging everyday has been challenging to keep up with new topics. Most of the times, I was either short on topics or short on time. This is clearly not an excuse and could have handled better using some pre-planning, but over all I feel good about meeting my expectations up to 90%.

The why? I lagged due to the long weekend labor day plans, I had guests pouring in, hosting them, preparing meals for them, taking them out during week days and being out of town the weekend, all of them together made it quite impossible, rather I turned lazy to blog about anything else. It was one happy hectic 10 days.

What I have learned doing the challenge?

It was not easy. It requires commitment and willingness to repeat this routine and make it as part of your lifestyle.

Challenges: Not having a plan of what to cook, drove me crazy almost every other day. The grocery shopping, cleaning, storing, preparing fresh meals in the morning and in the evening, cleaning dishes, blogging was bit ambitious for a person like me who is starting this routine afresh. It was hard to say NO to “going out for lunch” or “Dinner” with friends. That is why, you see, I failed at that 10% of the time, because I had to hang out with my friends once in a while. It was equally exhausting to execute so much considering my after work activities that I tend to actively participate.

Benefits – I felt accomplished for preparing fresh meals, with groceries scored from farmers market. I have drastically reduced using processed food for preparing my meals. My skin got better, discovered varieties of recipes, learned to prepare some quick meals in less than 30 minutes, and shared my recipes with my friends and family, who loved it. I choose non-indian version for most part of my diet. Overall, it also has helped me save few bucks and become health conscious.

Suggestions to self: Sometimes, it is okay to let go and take it easy, plan, write down a week ahead about meals and stick to the schedule. Take help, delegate some tasks. Simple is better. Wanting to do all by myself left  me de-motivated for most part. Going in small steps for a bigger vision is more successful than trying to get aligned all at once.

Last Month 

With the exhaustion from my own challenges, I stayed out of kitchen altogether post-guest departures. I hardly shopped or cooked. I entertained my self for every meal outside. This challenge has totally backfired on me.  Now, I am slowly getting into the groove of preparing my own food at least thrice a week. I have also been to many of my fitness classes in the evenings, and my attempts to learn something new like thisthisthis, this or this is back again. I found myself to have more time and feel relaxed with all the chores out of my way. Yes, no carrying heavy bags of grocery, washing, cutting, cooking, cleaning, thinking, browsing – it felt heavenly to not attempt to do any of those things for a while. An Aaha moment! 🙂

How are you all doing? What have you been upto?

I want to repeat the same challenge again, but with more pre-planning  – who is in with me?

How to be energetic?

In the past week or two, I trapped in the cycle of – wakeup-cook-clean-pack lunch-go to work- leave work <<optional – after work activities>>-come home-cook- clean-eat-watch tv-sleep and the cycle repeats except for weekend which is just wakeup-cook-eat-clean-sleep and i also feel very exhausted most of the time. If I have guests, i will be so tired and out of sleep too, stressing out on -planning activities or about grocery shopping/preparing food.

How can some one be very energetic and live life fully?

From the time I get back home, suddenly, I feel exhausted, hungry and would grab just about any thing. Well, you know what happens when you over eat anything, and I feel so lethargic after that and just sit in a couch watching TV for the rest of the evening (which is very bad and also very addictive to let go). Apart from that, the recent blood tests, it shows that I have vitamin D deficiency, do you think that is a problem? Not sure. Also, It does not help with the fact that my home some how get’s messy almost quickly, so hard to keep up with the maintenance. As soon as I step into the home, the mess around brings my energy levels down, how could I just not keep things in place?

How you keep your self energetic through out the day? what motivates you to be active, cheerful and lively? Is it food? or is it the attitude? what is your take on it?

Dissolving anger ? How ?

Does everyone have the ability to solve the problem under any given situation? I have my doubts about myself. If there is a problem, how does a person react?  I do not know how to solve it? I panic and I get defensive and start yelling at them for ruining my time and in turn I become so miserable for longer time interval.

Unfortunately, I only yell at people who are close to my heart and know for sure that they will not hold grudges against me for yelling at them.  I lash out harsh words that really hurt them and later, when I cool down, it hurts me for speaking that way. Well, I can never take my words back. It has already caused the irreversible damage.  Is it not? I often wonder why my emotions in general are so intense.

There is a clear need to find a way to control my anger. I am making someone accountable for my inability to handle a situation or being not prepared well enough to think through scenarios.  Why should I let someone have their impact on me?  I question myself from time to time and yet I cannot stop myself. It is no excuse.  It is the time to learn to find a solution to the problem, than displaying anger by shouting.

The other reason I found is, some of the anger on a person stems from my past interactions, or them being mean to me at one point of time in life (even though they are sweet and nice people now), or used me to their advantage.  I am also angry on myself for certain things from the past. I am stuck there. My best and dearest one suggested me to put things in perspective. The only way to get ahead is to learn to not repeat the same mistake and move forward. Forgive yourself and forgive others that caused you so much pain and be a free spirit. True, but It is easier said than done.

Anger seems to be more damaging mentally. I need a way out and I am determined to find a solution to this recurring problem.

What about you folks? How do you get past your anger if you have such intense emotion? How do you deal with the situation? I really am looking forward to hearing from you that will help me some way to get past and look beyond the anger.