Tag Archives: motivation

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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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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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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Letting go and finding peace

It has been a while since I last blogged. Things got a bit hectic and blogging unfortunately got left in the back burner for a little too long. It’s always tough to get back in sync when you have been out of it for too long…But here I am again, trying to get back in the flow…

Recently, I have taken up meditation in order to feel more calm and manage stress better. I attended a 4 week course on it and I must say I really enjoyed it. It has really helped me become more calm, less anxious about the future, and to respond better to stressors and annoyances.

Meditation is really about mindfullness, about being really in the present moment and being aware of yourself. Being aware of your own behavior, responses and thoughts on a day to day basis is also part of the whole mindfulness thing.

My meditation teacher told us that “Peace is in the same place as your suffering. When you accept, peace takes its place”. I didnt really get it when she said it, I was skeptical, I admit.

As the classes progressed and she taught us various techniques about how to let go and accept, I realised how true her statement is.

A large portion of our suffering comes from our unwillingness to let go – of possesions, of pride, of ego, of relationships that are no longer working, of the need to control what happens to us and our loved ones. Hence comes the inevitable suffering as we struggle for control. When we let go and accept what is, peace takes its place in our minds.

We can do what needs to be done, work hard towards our goals and achieve and grow but with an attitude of acceptance and peace, where we do not try to control the outcome, or become upset when things don’t go according to plan.

A lot of the time, when we are upset about something and we search for the root cause of it, it will likely come back to our own self, our need to look good, our need to keep up our ego, our need to fufill certain desires, our need to control, etc…

And so I have been trying to practice this in past few weeks. I must confess I am not always so patient or tolerant and have lapses, but I do notice a significant change to the way I respond to what happens around me and to me. I react less harshly and am able to let small things pass me by. It is so much more better for my peace of mind to be this way. There is less internal stuggle and more contentment.

Meditation helps to release any pent up emotions or angst that you may have inside of you. It’s like weeding your garden. Your mind is a beautiful garden and you have to make sure to regularly get out the weeds so that the flowers can bloom. Cheesy as it may sound, its true!

In the beginning, it will be tough to sit still and focus your mind but the trick is not to force it. The mind is a tricky thing-it will only do what you tell it not to do! With practice, however, it will get easier and you will see the benefits.

Here’s to peace for all of you…
xoxo
Prithi

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You know what they say about well-laid plans…

I love planning! I have been engaging in this joyful activity since young. I love to orchestrate my days, know exactly what I will be doing and when, and with whom and when things should happen and even how they should happen… yes kind of a control freak…

BUT…

The plans I make always seem to dismally fail me – at least the major life plans. Whenever I PLAN a certain sequence of events for my life – it doesn’t happen quite that way. So I have resolved to stop planning anything beyond what I am going to have for lunch and what to wear to work tomorrow – even this, I am too weary at night to bother; I just open my closet in the morning and pick what comes. I have heard that God has plans for me. I sure am glad He does and I hope they are good stuff.

It seems those who see success in life go after their dreams relentlessly and methodically and have a series of goals that they aim to reach. I would reckon that a fair bit of planning is required for this. I have thought much about this. How do these people plan out their lives so well?

I think it is a matter of having several contingency plans, or taking things one step at a time. You can have a few realistic and well chosen goals, have a few ideas on how to go about getting there, but also know that things may not work like clockwork. We need to have the ability and mindset to constantly adapt to our changing circumstances. We need to have the trust in ourselves that no matter how the situation evolves, we have the ability to adapt. When we have this, we don’t need to be afraid that our well-laid plans will come crashing down – we know that we will be able to adapt and re-design as we go along.

Currently things are not too rosy but I guess (hope!!!) things will get better soon. But things are OK all things considered. That is life, I suppose, because if everything’s great then there is nothing to look forward to, is there?

“The best things are never arrived at in haste. God is in no hurry; His plans are never rushed.”
― Michael Phillips

Wishing all of you well-laid plans that will see success!
XOXO
Prithi

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