Paris and Zurich

Paris

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3days in Paris and I personally felt it was enough to cover the main parts of the city. The area we stayed in, Gare du Nord, was a pretty nice place and centrally located. It’s the little india of Paris and had really good Indian food.
Zurich

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Zurich was beautiful! And clean and convenient and safe. It was so easy travelling around by their trains. We visited Mount Titlis and it was snowing! It was -10degees celcius at the top… was so cold but fun to be in the snow…

Next up, Florence and Rome.

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I am cautiously psyched about our upcoming trip to Europe!
Cautious because I dont want any high expectations or excitement to jinx this trip – I am superstitious that way :-o! Anyway my husband and I have been planning to do an across Europe trip for a couple years now. For one reason or another it hasn’t happened yet but this year despite a tight budget we have decided its now or never.
In about 18 days we plan to cover 5 countries across central Europe. I want this trip to be a time where I enjoy a different culture not just as a tourist but as a traveller where I can learn things about others and myself. Aside from that I will also indulge in touristy pleasures too like posing in front of the ever-famous Eifel Tour and the Vatican and what-not…
I am sure I might not feel like going back to work after such a long trip! But we must press on- I shall think about it when we return. For now it is about absorbing each day and reveling in every exprience, taking it as it comes and going with the flow.

More updates to follow about the trip!

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The Human Spirit

The human spirit is an amazing thing. You think “I cannot survive this” or “I won’t be able to get beyond this hurt or loss”. But amazingly our spirit shows us that we can, we do have that ability. To take the next breath, to put the next foot forward, as time goes by all hurts heal. Scars remain, yes but the spirit heals and grows and you go past what you thought was not possible.

This is why I tell myself to never think – “I hope this doesn’t ever happen to me because I think I won’t survive the pain”. Life has a way of proving us wrong in the most twisted of manners. This is not to say I think that bad things will happen all the time and I have to keep expecting them.

No, rather I want to build up my spirit and resilience and tell myself that no matter how hard the situation, I have the ability to go beyond it and my spirit will survive. This is one way I combat the many fears, doubts and anxieties that creep in and disturb my peace.

I will handle it no matter what. And so will you. We all have the ability to do so. We need to believe in it.

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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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