FIRST DAY OF 2022

When we were young kids, we were told that whatever you do on the first day of the year; you will end up doing the same thing for the rest of the year. We used to make fun of this “superstition” and we would sleep on 1st Jan so that we get a chance to sleep a lot the whole year. Or we would go for a picnic on 1st Jan so that we keep going for picnics throughout the year. Of course, it never worked.

But guess what like all superstitions are healthy habits miscommunicated over the generations, this one was no different. Recently one of my coaches mentioned this –

“Be careful how you spend the first day of the New Year because this first day is as important for the rest of the year as the time of birth is for the rest of your life. The life of every human being is marked by the planetary influences at work at the time of their birth; the whole course of each life is contained in seed form from the beginning, which explains why horoscopes exist.

On a smaller scale, the first day of a year bears within it the seed of the days to come. This is why you must take care to live in light, love, and harmony on this first day. Throughout the day, through prayer, meditation, songs, good thoughts, and good feelings, try to inscribe imprints of light that will have a positive influence on all the days of this year.”Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov

This just made so much sense. It is not that if you do certain activity on 1st Jan, you will end up doing the same activity. The fact is that the feelings that you have on the first day of the year (doing whatever you are doing) will have some influence on the rest of the year.

I spent the first day with my family and friends at Preeta’s place. Had a great time and the kids enjoyed a lot too. Preeta has already mentioned this day in her article. And I am really glad I spent the day in good and light feelings.

END OF 2021 TO NEW BEGINNINGS

29 December 2021
19:20

When 2020 ended, I believed that there cannot be a year with more to learn from. But I was wrong, 2021 had, even more, shocks and surprises saved for me and all of us.

I was more of a crying baby till the last couple of months, not that I would cry in front of anybody but in general, I would keep complaining about how horrible my life is and how cool everybody else is. I had my reasons to do so. There are always reasons, right? But what is important – our valid reasons or our dear lives full of possibilities.

I know for sure that one major reason for this change was seeing death so close by. Our own mortality and the fear of being suffocated at the hands of this virus and dying was probably the biggest factor that jolted me out of my bubble and forced me to take responsibility for my own happiness and my own needs.

In 2021, I am putting an end to my helplessness, self-pity, poor self-image, and lack of confidence. With the rise of 2022, I pray from the depth of my heart to have enough confidence and strength to own up to whatever wrong or right happens in my life. To stand up for what is right and believe in my intuitions.

Yeah, these are all big words. Let me tell you how I plan to do it.

I want to be a spiritual seeker, I want to experience the limits of the physical nature of this body and touch what is beyond physical. Again big words, oops sorry. In short, I am taking up multiple courses related to spirituality to learn different meditations that can make me reach my highest potential and even touch what is beyond. I believe I am ready for it now.

The second big skill that I want to learn is all the new ways of investing money – crypto, NFT’s, etc. Its been too long that I have been just not paying attention to the money that I earn. So, now beginning to take money investments seriously.

Well, these are just the two things that I want to focus on in the coming year. They are quite opposite to each other – one is a spiritual path and the other is a materialistic one. However, I am looking at it in a holistic way. I simply want to grow a few steps in having better physical health, mental health, spiritual health, and financial health.

Seems too ambitious?? Well, let’s see what I end up writing next year at the same time.

INDEPENDENT PARENTING


What has changed my life in last 30 days?

Well, my life has turned downside up (opposite of upside down) in the last couple of months. From living with parents (or in laws) for last 7 years, I am finally living on my own. And it’s a world of difference to me. I had been looking forward to this for many years now. A time when I can just drop my son downstairs to play and have the whole house to myself for at least an hour or so. A time when my son would just say Goodnight and go sleep in his own room (well, not there yet but almost there). A time when I don’t have to feed him, bathe him, clean his potty etc.

There is famous saying about motherhood – “Motherhood feels like years pass by in a blink of an eye while days are almost an eternity”.

Motherhood is a constant tug of war between wanting kids to be independent so that I can have my own space and being scared that kids will finally grow up and go away. Somewhere in this tug of war, we manage to find our own moments of happiness. That stolen “me” time which would be a quick pedicure after the child sleeps or those sparkling eyes when I cook his favorite cheese omelet – there are millions of such moments which make motherhood so very special.

Well, after living with parents for so long – I had been craving for independent parenting. Yes, I came up with this term “Independent parenting” a while back. It really means to have a space where I can parent my child without anybody’s interference. When a child gets exposed to different parenting styles, he/she can really get confused. Where none of the parenting styles are wrong, they are just different and can really screw up with the child’s psychology.

This year January, I decided to move to Dehradun because there couldn’t be a better opportunity to spend time with my parents and live in the home where I grew up. I decided to stay there for as long as schools don’t reopen. 6 months later I realized that my son was getting so many different messages from all around and he had started behaving so weird. I have a certain parenting style, my parents have yet different one and my in laws are quite different as well. To top it up, my husband would visit us once in a while and would approve/disapprove of many ways in which he was getting parented. Forget about my 6 year old, I was getting confused about how he is supposed to behave.

It is not like the parenting styles are poles apart, but every family has their own unique traditions and habits. I started to feel very strongly to build these unique traditions and habits the way I want them and not borrow them from my parents or in laws.

9 months later in last October, I moved back to Bangalore. Now I am struggling as a single working mom handling “WFH office” and “online school” (my hubby stays in a different city). Also trying my best to expose him to some hobbies (in non-online way) whatever is possible. This keeps me super busy and also frustrated and exhausted many times. But at the end of the day, I have a sense of achievement at least in being able to parent him the way I want. And it means the world to me today.

METLIFE – “HAVE YOU MET YOUR LIFE TODAY”

They are trying to sell Insurance but this tagline is just so deep in its meaning. I have learnt in life that we are not our bodies, we live in bodies till we are on this planet and then we leave. I have learnt that we are not our thoughts – we have these positive and negative thoughts and we often get consumed by them but they are a running train in our head all throughout our lives.

We are not all the possessions that we collect in our lifetime, they are just there to make our stay on this planet easier. We are not even our purpose that is just the work that we do for humanity.

We are attached to a million things – our body, our thoughts, our purpose, our possessions but we are none of this. We always get consumed by all these things throughout our lifetime. We are just life, we are just meant to enjoy this God-gifted life and leave when the time comes.

Have you really met the life that you are? Maybe not.

Nature has given us 5 sense organs to perceive the outside world. We can see what it around us, we can hear the sounds, we can taste what is in our mouth, we feel all that we touch and we can smell the world around us. Living is a challenge if one of these sense organs fails us. We can perceive the world outside with so much clarity yet we cannot feel the blood rushing in our veins, we cannot hear our heart that is working 24/7, we cannot feel our stomach, kidneys working.

Our sense organs help us tremendously to live a good life on this planet and those are really important for our survival. However we need to work a little bit and have some direction in life to go inwards. Only when we go inwards, we can meet life. Life that we are!

Simple techniques of meditation – observing your own breath and the changes in your body with each breath, eating food mindfully, being conscious of your own thoughts can help us tremendously be in touch with our inner selves.

Another way to meet life is to observe the life around you – the little ants that carry the burden so gracefully, the pigeons that collect to pick up the grains, the dog that looks into your eyes requesting for a pat, the leaves that just sway with the wind. Put a brake on the speed on your work and stop to appreciate these little things that are lives.

Life is not our jobs or deadlines, life is not our conflicts with other people and life is not the love we have for others. Life is just the constant transaction that we have with the world outside – transaction in terms of our breath, food, water, excreta. We are constantly taking something from the environment and giving out something. This is life – just observe this life and take time to meet this life.

Once it becomes a habit – you can truly say “I have met life today”

I DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP ON MY GOALS

Well, it has been a long time since I wanted to be a famous writer. Yes, I have a few 100 blogs, a published book, couple of other published stories – but I am far from where I imagined myself to be at this age. Is that bad that I couldn’t make it? No, I won’t judge myself. There have been reasons and there have been responsibilities that kept me from focusing on my goals.

When I was in my 20’s, I used to maintain a document wherein every year end I would write down what all I achieved in the last year and what are my goals for the next year. Then I would break them into monthly goals and plan on how to achieve them. I haven’t done this since last 8-10 years at least. I didn’t have the time or the energy to put in so much effort towards my personal goals. I just let life happen to me.

With the responsibilities of parents, a child, running the house, getting that promotion, meeting those impossible deadlines; I forgot to keep track of how many books I want to read, how many kgs I want to shed, how many stories I want to write, how many dance performances I want to do, how many paintings I want to make. It all takes a backseat.

Recently, I went through a serious bout of depression. It was only because one fine day I woke up and after some petty arguments with my family members, I realized that I am not myself anymore. I have become this subdued person who is ready to take any sort of nonsense from others just to keep peace at home. And when I thought about my own goals, there were none – absolutely zero. It was a huge setback to me to realize that I have come so far in life to discover that there is nothing that I have for myself.

That realization woke me up, as if I was in some dream world – and just got aware of some of the harsh realities. And now when I wanted to have my own goals and start working on them, I realized that I had no confidence at all. I couldn’t think straight and I didn’t trust my talents anymore. I cried, I blamed myself and everybody around me, I fought with myself and my husband, I got nightmares and woke up sweating on my bed, I got really anxious and had palpitations as if my life is over and it was a complete waste.

And finally my husband said, if you know that you are overthinking everything – then force yourself to take an action. After arguing with him for hours together, I did take an action; it was a simple action to just go for shopping for myself at 9 pm in Dehradun (the city sleeps before 9). That action led to something else and a chain reaction took over me. I started taking actions one after the other. That helped me build myself again.

I am not there yet. I am not as confident as I used to be. I am still not sure what my personal goals are, where do I want to land up a few years from now. But I know that even though my goals might change, I might not resonate with them now – I need to have them always. I cannot afford give up on my own goals in life – no matter what kind of responsibilities I am loaded with at work and at home.

I knew this at some level of conscience, still I ignored this aspect of life for almost a decade. And now it feels like I have to build myself up from scratch. I hope my readers find some inspiration in this article and never make this mistake in life.

STOP. LOOK. APPRECIATE. FALL IN LOVE

I lived in Dwarahat – a place in Uttarakhand in middle of Himalayas for 4 years. Those 4 years were also the best part of my life, the 4 years of Engineering. Beautiful memories of those mountains are just so many. However, when I left that place – I told myself I would never go to the mountains again. I felt that I had too much of mountains and moreover the problems of living in mountains had overtaken the beauty of the place from my mind. There were problems related to water availability, electricity availability, no heating mechanism in the hostels in the utter cold and many more. Over the years, I forgot how beautiful that place was. There were some of the amazingly beautiful scenic beauty of the forest filled green mountains that we witnessed in those 4 years. 

Today I am reminded of those days so much because I am quite close to this place where our college was. I am in Jim Corbett National Park with my family. We did the safari in rain, we went to the Kosi River and ventured into the Jungle ourselves too. In short, I experienced the nature after too long. Living in the hustle bustle of city life, I have forgotten what it is to feel the nature. We just get way too busy in our lives, running behind the deadlines of work and home. We forget to appreciate the little things in life. 

We forget to notice the little ants who carry the broken piece of Lays. We forget to notice the pigeons picking up little twigs to build their nests. We forget to notice the clouds floating in the mountains and little wind that makes us feel so cold that it gives goose-bumps. We forget to notice the dogs waiting to get that pat on the back. We don’t even notice the little blue and orange butterflies fluttering around the flowers and not even the beautiful texture, colors and fragrance of the flowers. We forget the simple fun of getting drenched in the rain. 

We don’t notice these little things and then even at a beautiful place of nature we take support of alcohol, smoke, weed and other things to make us happy when all you need to do is to look around and breathe in that fresh oxygen. If you do that enough and more, you will be intoxicated naturally – there won’t be any need to take in all other stuff to get high. Today a monkey very silently walked past us and came in uninvited in our cottage to steal the bread, it just made me and my son feel so joyful to witness that, something that a city life can never give.

I noticed all of these little things a lot in last few days and it is life changing. I have always been the kind of person who has constant To-Do list in her mind. Along with the To-Do list, there is a huge emotional baggage that feels so very heavy. Noticing these little things in life gives me that much needed break that all of us crave for. It makes me meditative. The feeling makes me feel wiser and heals the wounds.

Stop living your regular life for some time, look around you and appreciate the nature. You will definitely fall in love with this magnificently amazing life that you are. 

TRUSTING MY OWN DECISIONS BASED ON MY INTUITION

Well, my intuition is one of my best friends. It guides me when I need it the most. It makes me feel secure and safe in this wild world. It makes me do the right things at the right times.

What is Intuition?

It is that tiny little voice that says – “Just do it. Everything is gonna be alright.” It is your own sixth sense that tells you if your decision will take you where you want to go or not. It is that gut feeling or the vibes that one feels when something is not right. Even without enough analysis of something, you sometimes just know that you should do something or not do something.

Is the intuition always right?

No. It has failed me many times so that I could only learn better from my experience. Sometimes I failed multiple times but that’s just life. Isn’t it? Intuition is not always meant to be right. If it were, then all of us would be Gods.

When do I use my intuitions the most?

In trusting people. About 6 years back, after a few unfortunate incidents of betrayal at the hands of my “so-called” friends I made a decision. That decision was to get away from any friendship (or relationship) that seems fake. If I cannot make any meaningful conversations with a particular person, then there is no point in being in touch with that person just for gossiping about rest of the world.

Since that point in time, I have used my intuition the most in choosing my friends. And I must say that I have been really successful. I chose the right people who brought out the best in me whether it was the group of my apartment buddies, or my office lunch group, or my Candles family, or my child’s school friend’s moms etc. I am so glad that I haven’t faced any sort of a discomfort from any of my friends since I started to use my intuition to choose my friends and to decide how much to open up in front of whom.

I recall one such incident where I really trusted my intuition and took a decision. And I really got what I wanted. In the year 2013, I suffered a miscarriage and at that point of life I was so upset about not being able to conceive. We had seen doctors, got a lot of tests done and even taken a few treatments. It was not working out. We changed doctor after doctor because I had a strong feeling that I am not finding a good doctor. Little did I know then that infertility clinics is such a huge industry and it is very difficult to find an effective solution. I was looking for a doctor that I could connect with, a doctor who listened to me and my concerns about my body.

Eventually I found a doctor, recommended by a friend. And as soon as I met this doc, I knew that she was the one. She didn’t talk too much, she listened, she empathized and she didn’t talk medical jargon. She just looked at the reports and said – “Everything’s normal. Let us not worry too much. We will just take the right steps and see how it works.” The calm way in which she spoke I just knew that I could trust her. My intuition told me that this will work. And it did. Finally we were blessed with our boy in 2015 and life was good again.

How to sharpen your intuition

This is something that I am not an expert in (I am still learning). But I know for sure that to sharpen your intuition, you need to do the following

  1. Keep your thoughts organized. Don’t let your mind clutter with all the negativity. Negative self-talk is the killer for a strong intuition.
  2. Meditate and focus on the process of life. When I say process of life, I mean focus on something that proves that you are living. Like your breath, or the movement of your abdomen when you are breathing, or just focus on one of your fingers etc. There are a million ways to meditate effectively. Use what works for you.
  3. Do not take decisions when you are angry or upset. Your intuition is simply shut off when you are in a negative state of mind.
  4. If you are in doubt whether you are taking a right decision or not, take time. Time to breathe and slow down your thoughts or time to just sleep over it.

Your intuition will always make you trust your decisions and stick to them. Use it wisely!