The City of the Old, but feels so New!

So we moved again! (I know, within a span of 6 months!!) God made sure we stayed in Chicago for the winter which was like the trial run before we moved to our new destination 😛

Before stretching your curiosity any further, let me tell you where we shifted! Drum rolls please….One of the oldest city of US – Boston.

We were a mixed bag of feelings before coming here. We were excited because finally we would have family around. And a little skeptical looking at the high cost of living. Nevertheless we took the plunge and landed at the Logan airport.

We headed out of the airport and my first impression of the old city wasn’t very encouraging. A lot of traffic, very narrow roads and really really old buildings. Sujoy said a very valid point, “US for me means open space and Boston seems exactly the opposite”. Boston seemed nothing like what we thought.

But we were excited to meet Paula di, Sudeep da and Riya. That was kind of the saving grace for us. Until we went out yesterday and saw the glimpses of Boston which gladdened our hearts 🙂

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Massachusetts is one of the most liberal states in the US where marijuana is legal 😉 We got a taste of its liberal freedom when we witnessed a massive LGBT pride parade in the heart of Boston Downtown. The vibrant and festive euphoria in here was contagious!

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Boston Common Park was everything you need to relax and breathe in nature’s wild beauty. It was a nice sunny day to enjoy the waters or just sit in the green grass. The flowers hummed their song and the soft breeze played along with the water making the splashes! Ah! What a wonderful experience!

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The Boston Public Library was state of art building with 4 floors and breathtaking interiors. It is a dream place for every bibliophile and art connoisseur. It is the first public library system in the US and one of the oldest ones. I was amazed at the grandeur of this building and plethora of books it possessed! Every wall in here told a story 🙂 After doing the Angel Intuitive Course, the angel paintings stirred something inside me!

The best side of Boston which we fell in love with is it’s art, history and culture. We saw live performances at the library, on the streets, outside the markets. And each of these performances were unique and scintillating. Oh Boston – The Land of Art….you just amazed me with the culture richness inside you!

And we went to the Harbour at the end. I love waters. So looking at the water stretch and the infinite sky above just made my day! Walking beside the waters, looking at the greens and blues was the perfect end to our day.

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We have stayed in Florida which is kind of a flat land and Illinois which had the art culture. But here is a place which has the hills, the sea and a taste of art – what else can I ask for?

I think I am falling in love with Boston and can’t wait to explore it’s nooks and corners and dig into the treasures it holds!

Know Who You Are!

I love animated movies! I have been to theatres alone to watch them, I so love them 🙂
Recently I watched Moana and was floored by the central theme of the movie. The story wasn’t extraordinary but what captured my attention was the message the movie gave – ‘Know Who You Are’!

Without any major spoilers, let me give you a gist of the movie. Moana loves the waters but her father keeps on telling her that they are safe on the island and that the island provides everything they need. Nevertheless she is so drawn to the water that she keeps on dreaming about sailing away.

She beautifully describes her dilemma like this –

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Moana tries her level best to be her dad’s best version of a daughter and yet the calling is persistent. Her grandma comes to her rescue and says –

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Deep in her heart Moana knows that she is not meant to be bound at the islands and keeps on asking the question to herself, “Who I really am?” 

And she does find the answer 🙂

The movie made me think! How many of us are going on with our lives being the best parents, kids, friends ignoring our true calling? How many of us are trapped in a 9-5 job which we hate because we are told the job is our island which provides everything to us and that the waters beyond are risky? How many of us have our true life purpose shelved off because of the societal conditioning? How many of us still believe that the island is what our life is meant to be?

Isn’t it time to listen to your heart? Isn’t it time to answer that inner calling? Isn’t it time to live your life fully?

I am not advocating to quit your job and start with a blank slate. I understand we have responsibilities. How about starting small? We can start giving time to our true calling during the weekends or after work. Maybe just 20 minutes a week initially. See where it goes, take a call and then go full fledged. Does this sound impossible?

The movie ends with these lines and that was when I was crying like a baby (I cry like a baby in every movie :P). These lines dig so deep in your soul –

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You know who you are!

Miracle Diaries – What I learnt from Gabrielle Bernstein and her May Cause Miracles Course

When you set on a path of listening to your heart and manifesting your true life purpose, the Universe reciprocates. I hit my low last year and it was when I realized what my true life purpose was  – “It is making people realize their full potential and the light that is inside them”. And when I started working towards it, the Universe put this course in my path – Holistic Life Coaching Course by University of Wellness. I am just nine weeks into this course and I can see my world changing already.

One of the courses included in the curriculum was May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. It is a 40 day guidebook which offers compelling message that anything is indeed possible with a few simple shifts  in our life. The book guides you with a morning and evening exercise each day for 40 days. And each week is dedicated to one important aspect of our life – body, relationships, finance etc.

These 40 days were raw, true and so vulnerable for me. I unfolded so many inner demons, faced deep seated fears and at the end was amazed at the humongous work I did on myself.

I wanted to share my journey so that at least one of you is inspired out there and says yes to miracles by working on yourself first –

Week One  – Witness Your Fear

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Week one was sitting down and writing all the fears you have in life. I realized when you sit down to journal, deeper fears which you don’t want to acknowledge come up to the surface. The fears which you didn’t want to face, the fears which you locked up down there afraid to let them out. Week one made me realize how my fear governs my thoughts and how I feel when I am under it’s influence. The fear of failure came up for me. A simple affirmation – “I am willing to see love instead of this” brought back the calmness.

Week Two – Self Love

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Week two made me realize the importance of self love. I am a perfectionist and I beat up myself for every small imperfection. I realized I have been my own self critic, demeaning my self worth. It also made me realize that I am not taking good care of my body.  I doubted my capabilities and was harsh on myself when I failed at something. “I am willing to let go of my self-doubt. I surrender to self love” became my mantra for an entire week. I added one thing in my routine which was all about self love and it helped tremendously. Sometimes we are too brutal on ourselves and week two taught me to be gentle and let go.

Week Three – The Body

Gabrielle Bernstein
This was a BIGGIE for me and I wrote a separate post on how I let go of my padded bras and finally made peace with my body the way it is! You can read it here –

Why I got rid of my Padded Bras, after Clinging to them for 15 plus years

It took courage and a lot of self love to finally be free of the body image I had made for myself.

Week Four – Romance and Relationships

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Week four was revolutionary for me. Though when it came to romance, I was well sorted and was already doing what Gabby mentioned in the book. It was the ‘other’ relationships which needed healing. It was the judgement I threw on others and the way I compared myself with them. It was forgiving those who have behaved so inhumanly with my grandparents and which I never thought I will be able to do EVER in this life at least. It was about attacking others and passing condescending remarks. It was about not making or feeling myself to be special compared to others and making the foundation of oneness.

I love my Papa to the moon and back. But during this course I realized that I have had a grudge against him for taking some wrong financial decisions while we were growing up. Till date I never realized I had this inside me. This realization was something which turned my world upside down. I let go of this feeling and forgave myself for having this grudge and Papa. I set myself free.

Week Five – Financial Abundance

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Well, my sister and me grew up in financial abundance earlier and then things changed. While growing up I had this limiting belief about money which made me curtail all my wishes. I did not take the art class in school because I thought it will burden my dad financially. I went to the dentist the first time when I started earning. I carried my lack mentality with me till now. I sabotaged all the things meant for self improvement saying that I do not have enough money for this. The moment I realized about my lack mentality, my entire life came in front of my eyes – the courses I didn’t take, the training sessions I said no to and the learning opportunities I denied because I thought I could not ‘afford’ it. I removed my blocks around money the very same moment.

Week Six – Miracle Worker Mindset

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The last week was maintaining all the learnings and patting your back on the immense work I did during these 40 days! Ya, cheers to me 🙂
It also laid the foundation of continuing with this miracle mindset and let miracles happen!

It was intense and I am so self aware now of my thoughts. Whenever a fear based thought crosses my mind, I say to myself – “Love did not create this”. And see the shift within me.

I am ready to welcome the miracles in my life right now. Would you like to join me too?

Lessons I am learning from the Spring

Spring is here and this is the first time my husband and me are experiencing it in the US! Before this we were in Florida for 3 years and what we experienced all year long was just SUMMER 😛

I am excited and awestruck looking at the spring blossoms in Chicago, soaking up in the color and vitality and gazing at beautiful flowers all around. It is indeed a time of renewal and letting go of things that don’t serve us anymore. It reminds me of a rebirth or reincarnation. It is my first spring and I cannot be more elated about it!

Spring is teaching me a lot of life lessons too and here is what I am learning  –

#Lesson 1 – Humility

The other day I saw a bunch of yellow flowers in full bloom and I was so sure they were daffodils. I have never seen daffodils in real life before but those bright yellow flowers somehow fit the bill of William Wordsworth’s description of daffodils in his poem ‘Daffodils’. Those daffodils flowers were bent a little down. Beautiful as they were and yet they didn’t show the pride. I thought they were giving a lesson in humility and trying to tell me, “I know I am bright, beautiful and desirable. But my true beauty lies in my humility and hence I don’t have a haughty stance. I keep my head low with humility and sparkle my inner beauty”. 

Always be humble and don’t let pride take over!

#Lesson 2 – The tough season prepares us for our best

For the past 5 months, the season here was severe. No tree had one leaf left on it. Every tree was stark naked. The snow and the harsh winds blew and yet the trees stood strong. And now slowly, buds are blooming and leaflets are rising up. Nature never fails to surprise me! For 5 months the trees did not have leaves to prepare the food, it stored all its nutrition and survived this extreme weather only to transform beautifully the way it is today.

Those tiny leaflets on each tree give me hope that my tough times are preparing me for the best times in my life!

#Lesson 3 – You can always start over

Nature started all over again during spring! New leaves, new flowers, new energy – in short a new life. We can start over too. Why not let the spring guide our life and let go of the things no longer serving us and start over? How about starting over life by doing what you love? What about that toxic relationship which needs to be shed to let our spring bloom? Or that habit of ours which isn’t allowing us to grow into our full bloom?

Start over and welcome the spring in your life!

#Lesson 4 – It is time to sing just like the birds are doing!

Every morning I wake up to the chirping and humming of birds. Tiny birds with such gorgeous colors fluttering from tree to tree and sometimes visiting my patio. I have seen huge white and grey birds in Florida, but never such tiny timid vibrant birds. It just melts my heart. These birds seem to be singing their heart out not bothering about anyone! The lesson I learnt from them is sing the song of your soul! What is that your soul is yearning to do? Get up and do that! Sing the song your soul wants you to sing!

Sing the song of your soul and sing it as if no one is listening.

#Lesson 5 – Be your own beautiful self

Spring time is the time when wildflowers bloom too! It is a tiny flower which might look a little dull in front of the exotic cherry blossom and other colorful flowers. But the wildflower doesn’t care! It continues to be it’s own beautiful self! It does not compare itself with others and is happy in its own world!

Be your own beautiful self, don’t let the world tell you otherwise!

My first spring and I am thrilled to learn so many life lessons! My every gaze looking at the nature fills my heart and soul with so much of gratitude, love and renewed energy!

What spring lessons are you learning this season?

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Share your Story – Let your Vulnerability Heal the World!

You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability
-Brené Brown

I have got a real time experience living this quote! I believe it is our vulnerability that makes us stronger from inside and just shows how human we are!

I am a part of a tribe who are on their way to become ‘lightworkers’. Yes, I can see a few eyebrows raising and a few of you smirking. But this is my truth and I have come to accept it proudly.

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This is a wonderful tribe at the University of Wellness Holistic Life Coach Certification and some of their stories are truly heart breaking. A bunch of 25 some women who have gone through some real hardships in life and struggling with their truth today. And I love my tribe here – sharing our vulnerabilities, being there for each other and above all that one single thread that connects us all together – our intense inner drive to heal! Heal ourselves, heal each other and in the end heal the world!

These women decided to transform their adversity into a miracle minded life! They chose to look at their darkest times as a blessing and kept on asking what I have learnt from this phase of my life? They chose to rise up and shine and not let the low tide wilt them. They decided to look at the light instead of rotting in the dark.

And it is in the lowest of our times that we realize life’s true worth and what we are here for!

Till date I kept it under covers and was ashamed that I am on this spiritual path. I constantly worried about what will the world say and how will my loved ones react. But no more. We have not been sent to this earth to do a 9 to 5 job which we hate and pay our bills. All of us have a bigger life purpose in life and we need to attune to it. What is that thing which you will do for free for your entire life? Which is that intense calling in your life? What is your higher purpose in life? It does not have to be spiritual, but it will be something that will make the world a better place. Teaching, dancing, singing, cooking – it can be anything!

Also remember you don’t have to do this life purpose for ‘free’! I am not asking you to leave your job and start doing something for free. No. Your life purpose will give you abundance too so that you will be able to influence more people with better means.

I am telling my story today because it might show a ray of sunshine to someone. It was during the darkest of my times when I started on this path and I have never been so elated till date! It is my vulnerability that led me to this path and I am so glad today that I awakened to my real life’s purpose. I feel transformed and free only because I said yes to this call in my life.

I have a bigger story to tell on how I transformed my darkness into light and that I will share soon. But if you have a story of your vulnerability, share it with the world. You never know who will be healed with your story and how someone’s life may change by listening to your story.

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So what personal story are you sharing with the world today?

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Challenge Your Status Quo. Embrace Change!

A few days ago one of my good friends was home. While I was preparing tea, she just looked at the light arrangement in the kitchen. She realized that all the light was falling on the water basin and only some on my kitchen stove. Tall that she is, she swiftly rearranged my kitchen lights to illuminate the right places. My kitchen was better lit now with light all over the place and yet I wasn’t happy with it.

My husband and me were so used to the earlier light arrangement that this new and better light arrangement felt disastrous. The light arrangement seemed to suck and we were complaining and cribbing about it. But in reality, I could cook better in the nights with light focused on the stove.

When we first moved to Chicago from the sunny West Palm Beach, we were sad with the cold weather here. It was chillier. Going to the gym meant wearing 2 jackets, gloves and a scarf plus beanie. We were shivering when outside. But slowly we got used to the cold and the place. We love the high vibe energy here as compared to the laid back atmosphere in Florida. And we are glad we took this plunge.

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That is how I go to the gym here!

That is what happens with change! Even when the transformation is better for us, we still cling to the old. We don’t want to get rid of our old habits and try something new and better. The status quo so becomes our identity that we fear to leave it aside. Change is stressful. But if we embrace change in the right way, life will be so much simpler and easy.

Are you stuck at your current situation? Do you want to make a change and yet fear to do so? Trust me, take the leap. Be open to change. Start small with something manageable and attainable.

So what is it in your life that you want to change NOW?

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Women! Don’t Let the Guilt of Self Love Sabotage Your Inner Joy!

International Women’s Day is round the corner. While I am one of those who believe womanhood should be celebrated everyday, it is nice to have one dedicated day for this to specifically remind us! While we may have our plans on how to celebrate this ‘special’ day, I want to bring attention to something which we all need to get rid of! This Women’s Day, I want all women to let go off the guilt associated with self care and self love and embrace it as a life essential!

Thanks to our patriarchal upbringing, we as women have a tendency to immerse ourselves in bountiful pangs of guilt every time we do something ‘only for ourselves’. Remember those times when you let your husband baby sit your child and went out with your girlfriends for some girl time. How many times did you call home and check on your husband and child? Remember the time when you loved a dress but kept on thinking whether you are worth that dress? Remember the time when you did not give your husband his lunch to work and the pang of guilt that stabbed you. The time when you were at a friend’s place for dinner enjoying chitchatting with the gang, when you remembered your friend is alone in the kitchen. Remember that guilt which made leave conversations midway to help her in the kitchen while the men enjoyed! Remember the fees of any self improvement or that advanced yoga class which makes you feel so guilty that you don’t even think about joining it though you so want to do it!

These are just few of the examples. Why is it that whenever we indulge in self care of self love, it is ALWAYS accompanied by guilt? The society is one of the reasons. I am not a saint and as a part of the society, I have also been a part of the judging and name calling at one point. I have judged a mother who left her 3 month old baby in a creche and joined work. I have judged a woman who spent a bomb at the parlours. I have judged women who did not have any career ambition in life. Yes, I have been part of ‘that society’. But over the years, I have realized that it is these ‘judging’ eyes that ruin the joy of self love for most of us women. After all, who am I to judge someone? I don’t know their story, I don’t know under what circumstances they took a particular decision, I simply don’t know what their real life looks like. Even if I knew, what right do I have to judge? The first step we women need to take to eradicate guilt is stop judging others. Live and let live!

I love this quote from my favorite book Fountainhead by Ayn Rand – “To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.” 

It makes so much sense. Indeed you first need to love the ‘I’. You need to respect the ‘I’. You need to give space to the ‘I’. You first need to make ‘I’ a priority. You need to love yourself before you can reciprocate that love to someone else. If you don’t respect yourself, how will you garner respect from others? If you keep on thinking and doing things for others, when will you live your own life?

How many times have we sabotaged our joy of self care because of the guilt trip we always associate with self care? Gone are the days when women were supposed to be in the kitchen and yet that guilt doesn’t seem to die. I know we have been raised this way but let’s try at least to love ourselves without any guilt whatsoever! One step at a time.

This Women’s Day, I want all of us to do or take up one self care activity which we have been procrastinating or avoiding only because of this ‘guilt’. What is that one thing you want to do for ‘yourself?’

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