REST WITH ZEST

Rest with zest,
Keep yourself calm and cool,
Take a break from your schedule
Don’t behave old school.

Work will be completed
with all its glorious parts,
Help your mind with little zest,
And think about your heart.

Just chill and take rest and
give time to take life’s test.
When heart, body and mind
balance is done,
Soul shows its ecstatic shades.

– Lopamudra Pal

REST – simple word, but very complicated. It has many meanings with prefixes and suffixes. But REST means to keep time for yourself, maintain body and mind balance. ME time fixes the problem and rejuvenates you. It is the perfect time for resting the body and testing the mind for creating new ideas. We in our daily lives don’t take out time for ourselves and then starts the blame-game. Sometimes we indulge into the problems so badly that we don’t realise what we get and what we lose. We try to satisfy each and everyone, professionally and personally. But it’s not always possible. Still we try harder and harder to get it done. We get really tired of being perfect. Perfection and being perfect is good, but not always.

We as human beings, get frustrated and take wrong steps. At times, some of us go to the verge of breaking relationships too. But we don’t realise the main problem. We don’t look at the angle, that we actually need a break and want to take rest with zest. We need to get a break from everything we do starting from what we think, we plan, we cook, we read, we write… everything. ” Just being with self”, that should be the essence of being in rest.

The heart is a very small thing, but very precious. It understands all the feelings, situations, emotions, good, bad … everything. Resting the heart means rejuvenating it with more good and positive thoughts. The longevity increases. Now, everyone is overloaded with work and the pressure is burdened with bad impact on heart and mind. It affects family members and other relations as well. Keeping yourself cool for all situations is the only solution. It can be taken by taking a break for resting. Divide the works among family members and spread equality. Work is a never ending thread. It’s a continuous process. We need to take rest for making the future bonding strong enough to handle all the odds.

“Stop overthinking.
You cannot control or change everything.
Let things go with the flow.”

An understanding heart is always a tired one. It takes out positivity from negativity. It too gets tired. It too needs rest for a while. But actually we don’t take. We should go for the break for our heart, mind, body and soul. Close your eyes, think nothing. Leave the worries behind. Keep your mind cool with low volume soothing music. Take long breathe, exhale and inhale. Feel the power of the heart and the brain syncing together. Then the nerves of your brain will run in a supersonic way.

Taking a break in any way, is to get yourself in a Restart Mode. Sit in the balcony and look around nature with a deep breath. Feel serenity and calmness within. That’s the result of rest with zest!

A STORY OF DECEMBER

The snow has put autumn to sleep
luring people to the
shop of antiques
to greet the Christmas’s bliss
bidding adieu to
autumn departing in divine abyss
as if a pleasure to remember
that comes with each December
Gathers a choir of red Robin
sitting on the dusty hemlocks
singing a mystical winter song
While the flock of Bohemian
teases the pansies and willows
spread across the snow banks
for trespassing their winsome land
A gem of a nature
for some an unwanted stranger
A muse to the lost
amidst the snow frost
A shroud for the dead,
while a scenery for the painter ahead.

Saniya Firdaus

REST LIKE YOU MEAN IT

“Sometimes the best solution is to REST, RELAX and RECHARGE. It’s hard to be your best on empty.”

But with the new normal the office has entered into our homes. It has systematically eaten into our relaxation time. Office never ends. Calls and emails keep on going from evening to late into the night trying to accommodate all the different time zones in the world. The company says – anyways you have nowhere else to go to so might as well utilize the time. 

There is a kind of buzzing in the house all the time – enter one room and you realize it’s a classroom for the time being. Enter the second room and you have accidentally entered a meeting room with your hubby’s eyes transmitting a huge ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ Board. 

My mixer grinder, cooker and even TV are not allowed to create their usual racket. So what do I do? I blot out the buzz sit on the sofa plug in my earphones and login to my favorite OTT channel.

This was my relaxation. My little world inside this bigger world. I was really enjoying it. I get transported to another world, comfortably lounging on my sofa and the headphones whispering into my ear and time just flies..

Yes it flies and how.. Gone are the good old days of weekly soaps or even daily soaps. Now is the time for series. I am sure no one has dutifully stopped after one episode. One episode leads to the second and then the third and so on.. minutes turn into hours.. 

I have watched entire seasons in matter of days. Just completed the series ‘Sherlock’ which has 7 seasons. 

But seriously I have come to realize that is not rest and surely not relaxation. My body is lying for hours in an awkward angle trying to balance my phone or remote. Binge watching and binge eating go hand in hand. And then most importantly my eyes are not getting any rest. Work also means I am staring at the screen for long hours and fun also means the same. Brain is also buzzing with the non-stop watching. There is a sense of satisfaction that I completed so and so series in such less time but then again it’s a race to complete it not relaxation.

I am trying to kick this habit. Or at least reduce the binging time. 

Do share what is the kind of relaxation you are into. And does it really give rest to your body?

FORTY WINKS TO BETTER PERFORMANCE

“To meet any eventuality and to ensure smooth management of relief and rescue operations which may arise out of flood-like situation due to the heavy rainfall occurred in this district, it is hereby ordered that all officers shall remain present in their respective headquarters including Sunday. Any absence will be viewed seriously and action such as deemed proper will be taken against the defaulting person.”

Orders such as these are not uncommon in my line of work. But, what made me smile on receiving this order two days before was the fact that just few minutes before receiving this order, I had seen a WhatsApp message to write on the topic – ‘REST’ for CandlesOnline. I had volunteered to write for Monday, thinking that I could write leisurely on Sunday. But, what an irony it turned out to be! Leave alone write an article, my rest day was gone! Though losing a day’s rest usually makes one cringe, in emergency situations the call of duty is supreme.

Emergencies emerge every now and then in each of our lives – a loved one suddenly taken ill, a road accident, an unexpected death in the family. These are exceptions requiring occasional adjustments in our schedules for temporary periods during which our rest gets affected. Our bodies adapt, accommodate and rebound without much effort in responses to situations such as these. However, continual deprivation of rest is a silent killer!

Rest (it includes sleep and relaxation) is an integral part of longevity. Research shows that people deprived of adequate rest have a reduced life span, score lower on the performance scale and aren’t able to sustain for long. Machines made to run for durations longer than their performance capacity, often break down. They then need oiling and repair before they start functioning again. Without repair, they simply rust and rot due to disuse.

We humans are so much more than mere machines!

While it is important to find rest times for ourselves, it is equally crucial to identify the need for rest in the people around us. A humanized world is rapidly getting mechanized in a widely expanding digitized world! So much so, that we are increasingly losing sensitivity to the need for rest and relaxation in ourselves and others.  

Heard of the boss who comes to office at mid-day while issuing a whip for his staff to reach office before working hours and makes them to stay on beyond official working hours? An insensitive boss! The rest-deprived employees then vent out their frustration before their families, thus creating an unhealthy environment of depression, fear, anxiety and continual friction. Insensitivity breeds insensitivity!

From of years old, we all have been used to seeing wives and mothers working day in and day out to care for their families. Taking care of sick children, helping in their studies, cooking as per the taste buds of the family members, dusting, cleaning, attending to guests and some even balancing a job alongside. No gender biases, but cultural stereotypes world-over mostly accord the household chores to females, and hence the division of labour. That’s beside the point, since this article is not about gender equality or stereotypes. Be it a man who is engaged in heaps of chores or a woman, each one needs adequate rest. It is not justice for one person to slog for hours together without resting, without any one else lending a helping hand.

Human capital is a rich resource. It contributes aplenty to economic development. Apart from skill and training, the other important factor in assessing and tapping on to valuable human capital is ‘efficiency’. Efficiency is in turn assessed by performance. Performance is directly impacted by rest or the lack of it. Do you see the sequence here? Rest and relaxation indirectly impact economic development big time.

An organization having overworked employees will be an under performer in the long run, compared to organizations offering adequate rest, relaxation and recreation times to employees. Yes, each of us need to be on the toes in a fast-paced world – be it students in their studies or adults at work and home. None of us wants a night’s slumber at the cost of falling behind. Yet, it is wise to let the body clock tick away gracefully rather than pave the way for the clock to leap before time. Recognising the need for adequate rest and unwinding, some work places have a scheduled time for power naps or relaxation avenues like gyms, cafeterias, etc.

Two quick take aways:

DIVIDE AND DELEGATE

You may be a person who can multitask efficiently. Still, identify people around to whom you can delegate some of your tasks. If you are a mother, delegate some tasks to your children. If you are a team leader, delegate tasks to your team members. If you are one of those meticulous perfectionists, who cannot rest in peace without micromanaging, work on yourself to let go of obsessive management and look for smart ways of management with optimum productivity. Use the time saved, for a siesta. A burnt out candle gives no light. It just leaves behind smoky remains. Divide and delegate tasks so that you can continue to glow and shine in the world.

SHARE AND CARE

Look around you for overworked people. It doesn’t mean that you go snooping into others houses, offices or even into other people’s lives. Start from your immediate surroundings. Start at home. Check with your relatives and your immediate community. Share responsibilities so that others get time to rest. Accept delegated tasks without a grumble or a murmur when you have spare time. Awaken the spirit of sensitivity and the sense of realization that people around you need adequate rest. Sharing of responsibilities is a vital indicator of caring for others.

We can contribute towards a healthier world with happier people if we learn to rest well and realize that others need to rest too.

AM I RESTING OR BEING LAZY?

The statement, “if we take a day off, the world will not stop turning on its axis” suits perfectly for those who work day and night and are sincere to the tasks they are assigned to. But for those who are lazy, this statement is nothing but an excuse only.

An article on Psychology Today says, “A person is being lazy if he is able to carry out some activity that he ought to carry out, but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. Instead, he carries out the activity perfunctorily; or engages in some other, less strenuous or less boring activity; or remains idle. In short, he is being lazy if his motivation to spare himself effort trumps his motivation to do the right or expected thing.”

The Lazy Me:

Looking at my life, I found areas where I have been lazy in the name of resting. Procrastination being my favourite word in life, I kept postponing that are important and do what are easier and pleasurable to do. That’s the very meaning of Procrastination – “an act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline“. I am working on those areas to discipline myself on a day to day basis.

Rajnandini continues to poke me about the book I have been longing to publish for over a year or so. We decided on the title of the book and the content of the book even yet, I am procrastinating or being lazy to do the selection of articles and rewriting them. Usually, I work hard as the deadline come closer and finish it. But in this case, there’s no deadline so I am all the more lazy about it.

My spiritual father, Dr. Rev. Niranjan James asked me to make a routine of what I have to do and what I have to accomplish in a day’s time. He also told me to “forgive all my past failures, forget all my past successes and start afresh“.

The Busy Me:

I have always tried to follow the Bible verse which says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom“, I have mentioned about it many times. My focus has always been on the first part of the verse; I have tried to do everything that my hands have found to do and I was blessed. But today, I was trying to think about the last part of the verse which says, when we are dead we won’t be able to WORK, PLAN and ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE as well as GAIN WISDOM. So those who are not lazy they don’t take rest for granted but they rest for regaining their strength to work, plan, acquire knowledge and gain wisdom. Whereas, those who are lazy they continue to excuse themselves away from working, planning and acquiring knowledge.

I believe God has given us different talents, assigned us tasks and brought many people in our lives for a special purpose. Unless we rest our body, mind and soul in God and understand the call, we will be running errands like all others, participating in the rat race without a specific aim in life. It will never be fulfilling, trust me.

Resting Vs. Laziness

We need to know that God gives importance to Rest which we see in the Bible. In the beginning, God was busy creating for six days; then He rested. He rested not because He was tired but He wanted to set an example for the mankind to follow. When we don’t take rest, we disobey as it was a command to rest. The Ten Commandments mentioned in the Bible declares the seventh day of the week or the Saturday as Sabbath or a day of rest to be observed religiously without failure. It was a law. The command to rest was not an excuse to be lazy but to get to the Sabbath there’s six days of hard work before it. And there’re six more days of hard labour following the rest day. Thus, rest is a state which prepares an individual for future activities and our efficiency.

But what about laziness?

The Bible says, “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns”. Laziness leads to devastation (poverty). Rest is restorative; laziness drains energy. Sometimes we think we are resting when in reality we are draining our energy. Let’s not confuse rest with the excuses of a lazy person. That’s why the Bible warns us again and again about laziness.

Where I stand today, – a man busy with a lot of ideas for the Lord in heaven and the fellow beings around me? Am I working on all those ideas day and night with proper rests in between or I am procrastinating and lazing, thinking there’s still time? Am I making the most of every opportunity, knowing the days are evil or taking the word rest as an excuse and for granted?

I am working on it? Are you?

Stay blessed!!!

(Understand REST by clicking HERE)

IN THE AFTERLIFE

No, no, this isn’t a preachy sermon about how you should prepare for life after death. Well actually, this is about that except its not your afterlife I’m asking you to prepare for, but for those you leave behind.

Life has no surety. Death, however, is a certainty. We can get any number of insurances and jeewan bimas but nothing can ever prepare us for the final moment of death, not even when science has quantified the days, months, years of our lives. It’s hard to accept that all this skin, sinew, these memories, these people and their love that we have, all that we cherish, will be lost to us. But its harder for those we leave behind because they face the void created by us. And since we live in a material world, material matters do affect families hard. Enter family feuds, frozen bank accounts with no nominees, property wars, divisions of men over matter. Cheap it may sound, but these realities of life after the death of the dearly departed is what families are left to grapple with over and above their grief.

Why not make life a little easier for them? Why not leave them with a Will that clearly defines ownership and management of your assets?

I can see you shaking your head. You’re saying:

  • I don’t have that much property;
  • My spouse knows all that I have;
  • My bank accounts have nominees;
  • My children are too good to fight over the property after I’m gone;
  • I have a portfolio/asset manager who will know what to do, or worse still,
  • Meh, I’m still young and healthy!

All these are valid statements, even the last one, but a Will does not take care of just your monetary assets, it pronounces your wishes on all your assets, yes, even your collection of books or shoes or your kitchen utensils that your bank/portfolio/asset manager will not concern themselves with.

I have my mother-in-law’s example to assert my point. My father-in-law died at the age of 55, at the height of his career, within three months of being diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Needless to say, since it was sudden, his family couldn’t prepare for his departure, emotionally or otherwise. She was left with two years worth of struggles over bank accounts that had no nominees, some properties under his own name with no rights of joint ownership in the name of my mother-in-law, no mutation instructions about immovable assets, no power of attorney (POA) giving her authority to manage the assets, no knowledge of where or how his mutual funds were invested and a vacation notice from the government to vacate the government lodgings they had, all this while her two sons were still in school… and she herself was unemployed. Every time she approached a bank or a government authority she was asked to produce a valid will, a succession certificate, letter of administration or a POA, neither of which she had. So the general law concerning succession took over and we all know how long that takes! She suffered a lot because he would always tell her – there’s still plenty of time left to plan. I’m sure had he been alive he would have never wished such hardships on her.

A few figures for you to consider –

Not long ago, Daksha, an NGO that analyses the performance of the judiciary, published a report that said that out of all criminal and civil matters pending in courts in India, 66% were property related matters and 10% of them were family feuds over property*.

In my personal experience as a lawyer, land matters typically take anywhere between 5-50 years to resolve, sometimes even longer. A person’s next generation could be born and die within that kind of time-span. One family dispute I was involved in took as long as twenty years and that too only in the lower courts, and the parties were still willing to appeal to a higher court. The amount of time and resources such court cases waste is staggering! Besides, in India, if you die intestate i.e. without a will, the laws of succession (in case of Hindus, Parsis and Jains, it is the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. Muslims have personal succession laws and Christians are covered by the Indian Succession Act, 1925) take over and they take a mighty long time to settle property on the rightful heirs.

Executing a will is thus not a futile exercise, especially when your assets are huge. It is a document that centralizes your assets and your wishes regarding the management of those assets in one document while avoiding legal tangles, delays and family feuds. A little planning at your end could ensure that your assets reach those you wished to bequeath them to at the right time.

In India, under the Succession Act, 1925, a will is defined as a legal declaration of the intention of a person with respect to his property, which he desires to take effect after his death.

Anyone of sound mind, not under the influence of intoxicants or under distress, over the age of 21 is capable of executing a will. Even a disabled person. More importantly, in India, it isn’t necessary for the will to be executed on stamp paper or registered even. Sure you can do that, it’s good practice. But even if you write –

“I want all my property to go to my children in equal parts,”

over a piece of paper, signed in your own hand before two or more witnesses, this bit of paper will also be treated as a valid will. But don’t do that. Seriously!

You can change your will as many times as you like in your lifetime, but once you die, your last executed will becomes the final word on your wishes.

A few things to consider before making a will –

Legal Advice: Consult a lawyer if you’re unsure about the legalities of certain types of assets, especially if your assets are many. Drafting (writing) a will is also an important aspect of making a will, one that you may not be well-equipped to do. Hence, consult a lawyer. There are sites online that offer you templates to make wills online and help you with other legalities pertaining to wills.

Avoid Duplication: There can be only one will at any given time. Try to include all your known assets in that single document because eventually only your last Will shall be considered your final will. Having too many copies related to different assets will defeat the purpose of making a Will. You can keep updating your will from time to time but ensure that each time you do so, you clearly mention that the last will stands revoked.

Minority of Beneficiaries: If you wish to bequeath something to minors (below the age of 18), appoint guardians on their behalf for the bequest.

Right Executor: An executor is someone who declares your will to your family and ensures that bequests in the will are properly disposed of. Appoint a person who is considerably younger than you, is capable and trustworthy for the job. Execution (the process of declaration and distribution) of wills is not required to be done before a court of law, but you could request for a Magistrate or a public notary from the authorities**.

Above all declare that you are making the will in sound mind, without duress or coercion, and in full control of your mental capacities.

There are no guarantees that making a Will will necessarily mitigate all legal issues and family problems arising therefrom, but you would have done your part in ensuring that your obligations towards your family have been fulfilled. You wouldn’t want them suffering or fighting amongst each other, I’m sure. Which is why you must invest in some time towards making your will.


** Importance of will and some essential points to be considered while making a will, Jagao Investor, November 14, 2010.

Image Source: RobVanDerMeijden for Pixabay.

 

DEALING WITH PROBLEMS

Problems are inevitable. Everyone has to go through problems in their lifetime. Sometimes the problems are difficult enough to make us feel giving up what we are doing. We feel nothing is going right and therefore ‘I should quit’. But is that really a solution? 

Well, there is only one solution and that is to never lose hope. However one can avoid problems to some extent. Though one or another problem might keep raising its head, one can do a few things to keep problems away or deal with them. 

So what can do? Well, here are the tips:

  • Working rather than building expectations: Humans can never stop building expectations. Even if they don’t work they will have huge expectations. There is actually no problem with this but the problem arises when our expectations aren’t fulfilled. This can put us into stress, anxiety and may give birth to unexpected problems. So if you want to avoid any problems, work for it. That will surely help you.
  • Doing self-analysis: We know what we are capable of. Before getting into any work, make sure you analyze your capacity. The work that you might think is easy can be tougher and therefore you need to be prepared for that. Self-analysis will help you to avoid problems that you may incur while doing any work.
  • Thinking about the consequences: Whatever work you do, you must think of its consequences. As it has been said, ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’. Therefore one must think before acting.
  • Seeking help when needed: We need help at different stages of life. So one must not keep things to themselves when in need of help. It is good to ask for help. When you seek help, you will be able to tackle some of the problems.
  • Saying ‘no’ when needed: Saying no can be rude but sometimes it is good to say no. Especially when you are unable to fulfill somebody’s need. For example, if you have important work at home and if your colleagues ask you for dinner, then it is better to say a polite no. As you need to be at your home. If not, you will be inviting problems. 

Well to solve problems one needs to think rationally and working accordingly. But if you think the situation is baffling and you can’t divide your attention then it is better to prefer the one with the highest priority. This is indeed the best ways to deal with problems