Monthly Archives: January 2015

It is about the Journey, not the Destination

There is a time and a place for everything in Life. When you really think about it, there is no real joy in rushing from milestone to milestone so fast, achieving all our heart’s desires quickly and immediately. Soon we may run out of meaningful experiences. We have to live Life at the pace that is right for us. When we are raring to go forward all the time we miss the scenery; we miss all the little things that also matter along the way, the experiences that will shape us into who we should be.

I am often impatient for things to move along and to achieve certain goals. I can’t wait for “life to begin”. And then sometimes, it hits me with the force of a cosmic speeding train. This is Life and I am already living it. And this precious precious time I have in my hands now is for me to make use of it and to enjoy! Because I will never get this portion of time back; once I have achieved my “goals”, then what? The next goal, right? There will always be that next thing you want in life.

I mean, it’s great to have goals in life, it gives us purpose and something to strive towards and yada yada… All that is good stuff. BUT. I forget to live in the here and now. I forget to enjoy the reality I have now. Because there are good things here already, much that I have already achieved, goals already ticked off; these things tend to be forgotten once achieved. I am living a life of “Strive, Tick, Done, Next”. Not good. I want to remind myself everyday to be grateful for what I do have now and not fret for the things that I don’t yet have.

All good things will fall into place with consistent effort and a positive attitude.

So while I strive and work towards my goals, each time there is a setback or difficulty, I promise to myself that I will stop and think of all that I have already achieved and all there is to enjoy right now. This especially comes in handy when certain things are not in our control. There will always be factors that we are unable to control. It just becomes painful when we refuse to accept that some things are simply not in our hands. We can only do what is within our ability to control.

Then there is the thief of all joy: Comparison. We constantly benchmark ourselves against our peers. It is an unusually cruel and painful practice we inflict upon ourselves, I think. Yet I do it all the time. Unconsciously it slips in and settles comfortably in the corners of my mind breeding resentment and discontent. And then I catch myself doing it and I kick the beast out! No way are you sitting there breeding ill-feelings inside my mind. Everybody’s life is different. To someone else looking in, I could be living the dream life. In fact, I have told myself repeatedly, it is a good life that I have, and I will appreciate it! I will not make comparisons and covet what others have. It is the ultimate enemy to happiness.

Life is in the living and not in regretting or fretting. Enjoy the journey, for it matters so much more than the Destination.

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The possibilities abound!

Life is filled with possibilities. All good things are possible if we can just believe in ourselves and in the goodness of life. Life may not go according to our plan but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going in exactly the way it is meant for us. We need to go through a broad range of experiences in life to fully appreciate it. We do not get to pick and choose the experiences we get to have. Be happy with what is happening right now, make peace with the reality you have right now. For all you know, your reality may be a pretty darn good bargain after all, relatively speaking. Everything will fall into place when the time is right. No need to rush through Life and hurry along the experiences. Patience is a virtue and all good things will happen in their own time. Be open to Life and it will be good to you.

Well, now that we have gotten the really serious and soul-searching part of the post out of the way, I’d like to announce that I have started an early morning yoga practice – all part of my effort to take care of my spiritual energies this year and beyond! I am thinking that if I take care of my health and spirit, Life will take care of itself and I will be more equipped to take life as it comes. I am not expecting any magical outcomes or results. I just want to be more at peace and content with my reality, whatever it might be, on a day to day basis.

I have dabbled in yoga on and off in the past and I find it to be a wonderful practice that combines meditation and exercise into one activity. It really stretches out those stiff muscles and when you do it in the morning, it really helps you wake right up and helps you be more alert for the rest of the day! I don’t know if it is the excitement of having started a healthy new habit, but I already feel so much more refreshed today, despite having woken up an extra 50 minutes earlier. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy when the alarm rang at 6 am and instead of giving in to snoozing temptations, I dragged myself out. But once I’d started stretching on the mat, it felt better and by the end I was quite awake.

It was beautiful and so peaceful at that time of the morning, when all was quiet and later on, the birds came out to chirp – lovely. It was just me and space around me and it was excellent “Me Time”! Now that my husband and I have moved into our own flat, we have spare rooms, and I am delighted to say I have my very own Zen Den, dedicated to yoga, meditation and other creative pursuits. I started creating this zen den recently; slowly adding touches to make it a really peaceful place. It really helps that we had painted it a beautiful calming pale green colour.

I am looking forward to continued days of yoga practice to nourish my body and spirit. Now that I have told all and sundry of my plans, I will be more motivated to keep to it! Wish me luck, ya’all 

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Let’s talk about Gratitude

I had mentioned in a previous post that my New Year’s resolution was to live with a sense of gratitude. To this end, I have started (and so far maintained!) a daily gratitude journal. Many of you would have heard about this practice. It is a commonly suggested tool to boost happiness, creativity and a general sense of well-being and other positive outcomes. Personally, it serves to remind me daily of what I have in life, be it good or bad. To be mindful of the everyday little things or big things, to consciously accept them and see their impact on my life.

This gratitude journal is slightly different from the usual kind where we list a whole host of things that makes us happy and contribute to our well-being. In this list, I make it a point to list some stuff that bothers/upset me and I always title it “Today I am grateful for”. Strange, isn’t it? At this point, I must give reference to the author who inspired me to do this. I picked up this practice from the book “Make Miracles in Forty Days: Turning what you have into what you want” by Melody Beattie.

I won’t go into the finer details of what it was all about right now. Suffice it to say that the crux of the matter was to be grateful in Life no matter your reality. The message I took back was to embrace your life – including the parts we don’t like.

I have adapted this practice to suit my own needs and what I do is not exactly what was suggested by the book. I just got inspired by the book, that’s all.

The rule is for me to list down 3 things that I feel are topmost on my mind that morning, even things that have upset me, in fact especially things that bother me. No less than 3, but more is always ok. In the beginning, I admit it was terribly difficult to put down upsetting events under the title “Grateful”. Why should I be grateful for it; my mind struggled. But I persisted. I counter-act by finding the positive bit in each negative event. There are of course events in life where we will simply struggle to see the positive because it is that bad. But where possible, it’s good to try. Where it is not possible to counter-argue, I simply put it down on paper and leave it be – you don’t have to justify everything, some things just are the way it is… Mainly this practice will force me into a habit of positive thinking, where I will automatically find the positive in every part of life or to develop the habit of accepting realities over which I have no power.

This is also a way for me to pen down all the various thoughts that buzz around in my head and are a constant source of irritation. I have recently come across repeated suggestions that writing is good for your well-being. It was as if the Universe was telling me to go back to blogging! It just kept bugging me until I went back to it. I have to say that I do feel better when I write down all my thoughts and emotions, it’s like my mind is lighter!

But not everything I write make it to the published site, of course. Sometimes I start a post and I will be thinking – who wants to read this rubbish?! It sounds so preachy and boring…. Nevertheless, the process of writing for one’s own sake is what matters. It is the conversation that you can have with yourself without having to talk out loud and scaring everyone!

Now… how did I get from gratitude to writing to talking to myself? Oh yes, it is about feeling gratitude for life and writing it down physically so that it is in black and white and feels more real. As you see your gratitude lists growing, the sense of peace grows. You know you are putting your hopes and fears out there. The process may not change your situation, but it slowly changes the way you view it and gives you the strength and wisdom to handle it all.

Gratefully yours,
Prithi

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Time

Time is a funny thing. Most of us generally take it for granted. Yup, it’s there and it’s trudging along. We rush about checking the time at several points, trying to get our tasks done. Or sometimes, we keep checking it to see if enough has gone by yet in anticipation of something we are looking forward to. Sometimes, we simply can’t wait for large chunks of it to pass by so that we get what we want. Do we realise that Time is pretty much the only resource we can never get back once spent?

hourglass

I have been thinking about how we are constantly racing with Time to get to the next thing in our lives. The next job, the next promotion, the next purchase, the next project, the next whatever… Ok, I will speak for myself then. Without quite being conscious of it, my mind constantly keeps jumping to what’s next? I wait so long for one thing to happen, then, when it has happened, I am like “What is next?!”. I suppose it is the fundamental human need to keep growing, spiritually and mentally. It is what keeps us moving forward and that is how a lot of the good inventions have come about, no doubt. But on a personal level, I think I really should remain present more, appreciate my current status more and stop obsessing about the future and my plans for it. But it is so hard! I want to know what is coming, I want to grab hold and shape the (my) future.

But recently, I have tried to let go. To do what I can in the present and let what happens, happen. I am trying to view my future as the unread portion of a novel. I don’t know what’s coming and I can’t flip to the end to read; so I will just have to live it out, won’t I? There are literally a thousand and one things that can happen in life. We are really not sure what’s coming. That’s where Faith has to step in and give us the wisdom that whatever happens, we will know how to handle it. Good or bad.

Remaining firmly in the present is the only way to stop the obsession from taking over and making you cuckoo with anxiety. If not, it will be one nasty vicious cycle of constantly thinking “What’s Next?”. We get to appreciate Time more when we remain in the present.

That said, Life is all about “What’s Next”. Because without that something, we are not moving forward. We stagnate. My point was just not to obsess about it and get too caught up in achieving all your goals in a certain pre-dictated time frame. Let’s give ourselves a break, shall we?

Just because January has come around again, is no reason to get frustrated that you have undone resolutions still on the plate, or disappointed that you did not achieve certain goals. I mean you must have tried, surely, feeble attempts all inclusive. So continue your efforts, keep going for whatever it is that you want. With enough Faith and work on your part, what is meant to be will happen in its Own Time! The Universe’s concept of Time is vastly different from ours and the thing is, the Universe is in charge of this thing called Time; not us, unfortunately. I am a great believer in the saying “Everything has its Time and place”. I just have trouble keeping that in mind!

With Patience, Faith and Diligence, your Life will unfold in all its wonderful flaws and beauty, just the way it’s supposed to. Because, you see, in the end, it will all have worked out fine. You just didn’t know it back then.

Our job, therefore, is to enjoy the present, have faith in the future and not fret about the past.

Happy 2015…

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