Gratefulness

Recently I have been coming across a lot of messages about being grateful, appreciating the life we have instead of what we don’t have and learning to trust in the Universe. This has grounded me somewhat and made me realise how much I need to remain in the present and appreciate Life as it is now.

If we really start counting, the vast majority of us do have a lot to be grateful for and things we just take for granted. The very fact that I am typing this on a smartphone speaks volumes about the luxuries of my life that some will never get to experience. It can be truly humbling when I get right down to the details.

That said, a fellow blogger once said we do not have to feel obligated to justify our pain. We all have challenges to deal with. Issues that are beyond our control or simply goals we want to attain but haven’t done so yet. These things may keep us awake at night asking: why me or why does it have to be so hard? Our own life and its challenges are valid and no one gets to diminish the effect it has on us. “Someone else has it worse” doesn’t always work. I know.

But what does work, I find, is to think more in terms of what we do have and how far we have come. Comparing with others even comparing down doesn’t often work because by nature we are very much tuned to our own selves. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead, we can tune in positively. We can look at the advantages we have and how we can best thrive on those. We can trust in ourselves and more importantly the Universe, that we will attain all that we want or need when the time is right.

Another blogger recently mentioned: What seems unfair sometimes conspires in our favor and saves us from ourselves.

This had a profound effect on me. What we wish for may not be always the best thing for us (at least not in the timeframe we have in mind). We are simply too unwise to know this. Nothing to do with intelligence, simply our lack of understanding of how life works. Long ago, I had vowed to not try and understand life but to live life. This message reinforced that in me today.

Appreciate.
Be grateful.
Live not understand.
Have Faith.

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The list never ends…

When we start stacking up our desires and making lists of what we want it becomes endless. Somehow there is always more things we want out of Life.

Modern life is so cluttered with material attractions, competition and expectations that we impose them on ourselves and somehow get lost in the feeling that we need this or that to live a good life.

So many of us put such pressure on ourselves to achieve wealth, status and success as pre-determined by society. When did it get to a point when someone else was an authority on what is a successful life for me? When did I get to the point where I let someone else’s ambitions become a template for my own?

I started questioning and realised that I get to choose what constitutes contentment and happiness for myself. The trick is not to allow others to make you feel bad for the choices you make. To not allow myself to get pressured about situations that are beyond my control.

Its easier said than done and I have to keep reminding myself to keep my priorities straight. It is a constant practice.

Practice does make perfect, though.

Keep on practicing!

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Trusting the Universe is hard

So lately I haven’t been feeling too happy. There is something missing in my days. Everything is a bland routine. The weekdays come and they go, the weekends come and yes I do have some fun, and they go by as well. The days go by but really what are they made of? What do I do that is meaningful? Lately, I have been harping on things a lot. All the things that I am dissatisfied about are coming up repeatedly. I suspect it’s these things that keep me unhappy. There is not much I can do right now to fix any of these things. Drastic actions and decisions have never helped. So I am not doing any of that. But the alternative is inaction, to do nothing while everything remains unsatisfactory. I am supposed to have faith in the Universe and trust that all things will fall into place at the right time and everything will turn out OK. But I am often afraid that this may not be true and that the end result will just be that I wasted time doing nothing. Does that even make sense?

Because at this point in Life, for certain situations I am facing now (I won’t go into the gory details now), I simply do not know what the right solution is. I am not sure what the right decision is.

I also have so much resentment and frustration. There have been a couple of things that have not been working out for me for the past 3-4 years and it’s all adding up. There is a constant ever-present conflict. I strive all the time to be content but it is a constant battle. They say you can make your Life out to be the way you want it to be. It is not true. We do not have the power to influence certain circumstances. We can only change our inner attitude towards our circumstances. This is the journey I am on. To constantly fight the resentments and frustrations that nose into my thoughts.

To be honest, I admit my issues are first world problems, and those living in poverty and starvation will not be impressed by my frustrations. But that is the problem with the human ego isn’t it? When our basic needs are met, we aspire towards higher fulfilment. And the more we have, the more we want, because there is always a next level to aspire to – it never ends. I so desperately want to be content with what I have. But I feel if I don’t keep aspiring to things, I will not grow and my life will stagnate. So I feel I must keep trying… And in this process, there is so much conflict and frustration…

Strangely, after writing all this, I feel better. Nothing has changed, but I feel better about it. No wonder they say writing is good for the spirit. I need to write more!

So… On that note….

Things that make me happy
Family
Well brewed coffee
Aromatherapy soap
Pasta
Moscato
Devious maids episodes – I am officially addicted
Time with friends
Getting dressed up and going out
Lazy Sunday afternoons (with Devious Maids episodes of course!)
Friends getting married!

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Innsbruck and Prague

Innsbruck
The city is literally in the valley of a circle of mountains. Almost each time you look up you are bound to see the peak of a snow-capped mountain. Its a small city in which you can travel around by bus and tram. The Sightseer bus is especially useful for tourists to get to the main attractions around Innsbruck. You can take a train or a tram up to Hungerburg mountain which has a great view of the valley where the city resides.The food was good, the hot chocolate great!
So far Innsbruck has been the loveliest stay of all despite the fact that I got a bit sick in the middle and had to sleep in half a day. It was peaceful and relaxing here.

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Prague
Wonderful Praha! It’s like stepping into a fairy tale and walking around the streets of Far Far away from the Shrek movie. Most of it’s earliest architecture has been kept the same including the cobblestone streets and roads. It really gives the city a charming medivial quality. There is lots to do in Prague- city tours, castles to explore, parks and gardens, concerts, craft workshops, museums, etc… If nothing else you can just meander the streets and take in the sights and enjoy the many cafes and restaurants along the way. I will definitely be coming back here for my next trip!

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Florence and Rome

Florence
Florence was quaint and pretty. We took a best of tuscany tour which brought us to Sienna, San Gimignano and Pisa. We saw wonderful countryside, medivial towns, vineyards and of course the ever famous leaning tower of Pisa. The architecture was ancient and beautifully preserved in these places. Of course the food was epic in Italy. I totally had my fill of pastas and pizzas.

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Rome
The ancient ruins such as the Coloseum and Roman Forum was mesmerising. The tour guide’s stories really brought me back to those days giving me an idea of how they lived. Rome has preserved its pieces of history very beautifully right in the midst of their urban living. The streets of Rome are filled with amazing ancient architecture and monuments here and there. It was amazing to walk along and suddenly find a fountain or a monument or beautiful church just in front. Lovely time in Rome.

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