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A Recap on Forgiveness and My WORD for 2017!

As many of you know I choose a word every year since 2015.ย The whole idea of choosing a word instead of some 10 new year resolutions is being true to yourself and sticking to this one singular goal. This one word representsย who you want to be and how you want to live.

My word for 2016 was ‘Forgiveness’ and here are some lessons I learnt in my journey so far –

  1. Forgiveness is not a cake walk. It is a difficult job. Rage and revenge surge within you and it is difficult to keep those strong feelings aside and forgive someone.
  2. Forgiveness is not for ‘them’ but rather for ‘you’. It does not matter if the other person does not accept your sorry or doesn’t respect your forgiveness. What matters is how light you feel after shedding off those extreme negative feelings from within you.
  3. Saying sorry is as important as forgiving someone. Don’t let your ego play with your mind. Own up your mistake and say sorry.
  4. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are weak, it actually makes you the bigger person!

I continue with my forgiveness and gratitude journey. And I have been thinking hard about the word for this year. It took some time to choose, but nevertheless I am happy that I chose this word for 2017.

So, my word for 2017 isMindfulness‘!

Why I chose this word? With the advent of the smartphone and the fast paced life, we have stopped being in the present and almost forgotten to enjoy the current moment. We are running after a mirage, wanting something more or thinking that we will be happy in the future. Well, I want to break that chain. I want to be mindful of the present moment, of what I am doing currently and be focused. I don’t want my hands to go involuntarily to my mobile phone while watching the movie or be thinking about my upcoming Toastmasters speech while I am cooking. I want to be mindful of what I am eating and not just have my food half heartedly. I don’t want to worry about the pending action items while I am enjoying my coffee.

In simple words, I want to be mindful of everything I do right from brushing my teeth to researching for my next article.

I want to be here, in the present! I want to be mindful in 2017!

 

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The Purpose of Our Life!

I remember the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, where Ally first asks about how babies are made and then she asks innocently, “Why are we born? Why has God put us here?” Raymond is taken aback and then the entire family tries to find the answer. They contact the church, search the Bible and call their Pastor. And no one has an answer to the question.

It has been a constant question for me too. I bet many of you must have also mused on this question. And I think I have figured out the answer, thank you to my spiritual guides.

We are here TO BE HAPPY! Simply to be happy. The purpose of our lives is to be happy! To make the most of what we have and at the end of the day BE HAPPY! It is so darn simple!

But today, we have lost the true meaning of happiness and we are running behind mirages. Illusions which we think will make us happy. Or the conditioned upbringing and the society norms which dictate our definition of happiness. What we need is to sit down and think. Think about what really makes us happy. Is it really the expensive smart phone? Is getting married and having kids the paramount of happiness? Is having a house bigger than your acquaintances the real definition of happiness? Is getting likes on your FB post making you happy?

The above parameters might be making you happy but you need to analyze whether it is true happiness or society infected happiness within us? If it really makes you happy, please go ahead with it. If not, isn’t it time that we addressed the purpose of our lives? Being happy in the true sense?

Does reading the book make you happy? Does sitting on green grass and just gazing at the sky make you mellow? Singing brings a smile on your face? Playing football makes you joyful? Spending time with your friends cheers you up? Going on walks comforts your heart? Meditation brings solace to your soul? Dancing makes you ecstatic? The sight of your dog wagging it’s tail on seeing you brightens you up? Being in your mom’s caress elates you?

What is that one thing that makes you jubilant?

When you sleep tonight, try to remember the happy moments of the day. If you have none, then you know you are doing something terribly wrong.

What makes you happy? Just do that. Keep life simple. Be happy always ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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2016 -The Year of Awakening

Recap of each year tradition started from the year 2014 and made it to 2015 too! I still want to continue the tradition and hence the post for how the year 2016 shaped up for me. The first recap was far too lengthy and second one too ended up being a tad bit longer. However, this year I have decided to keep it as short as possible!

So here we go –

The Most Awaited India Trip and Travel Chart
So after getting our visa extension, the first thing we did was book our tickets for our India trip. It was after 2 years that I was going home and Sujoy after 3 years. I was excited to meet my family. I was also looking forward to meeting my boss cum dearest friend Shweta in person FINALLY, with whom I had become really close during my 2 years working at Stylewhack. It was a memorable trip professionally as well as personally. I ate like crazy, met new friends and old and spent quality time with family.

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The most treasured meet of our India trip would be meeting Thamma, Sujoy’s grandma who passed away just a few months later our India trip. We were really really grateful to the Almighty that we could meet her one last time. She is sorely missed!

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Thamma and Us during our recent trip to India

We also had some short but rejuvenating trips to Naples, Sarasota and Tarpon Springs this year!

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The Writing Galore
2016 was a year of getting better at writing. The India trip helped immensely where I attended some celebrity events and shared some moments of limelight with my writings getting published in reputed platforms. My New York travel story got published in Sakaal Times, one of the popular newspapers in Maharashtra. Thanks to Amrita and Shweta for this. My blog story ‘The Tamasha of my Life‘ got picked up by Times of India and this was a real feat for me ๐Ÿ™‚

I completed 100 posts on Stylewhack and still continue to share my voice on this platform. Thanks to Stylewhack I met quite a few regional celebrities and had some wow moments during my stay in Pune. I attended the premiere of Marathi movie Anuraag, of which Stylewhack was a media partner. Got to watch the play Don’t Worry be Happy and meet the cast and crew. My review of the play was shared widely by the team. I wrote a post on Shveta Salve’s unconventional pregnancy and she shared my post! Yayy, yayy!

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From the Sunshine State to the Windy City
What has been the biggest transformation for us this year is move from West Palm Beach to Chicago and that too just at the beginning of winter. We are still getting used to the cold, but we love the high vibes of the city. The winds are chilling, the roads are uneven, the people are busy, friends are away, days are shorter, the new kitchen is small, the water fountain is gone and yet I think I am ready to embrace this city as my new home!๐Ÿ™‚

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The Real Awakening
What has marked 2016 in the real sense is my journey on the self realization path and a conscious effort to make life better in all aspects – physical health, mental peace and most importantly healing the soul. My motto for this year has been #Healinginsideout and the journey so far has been bumpy.

August month was crucial with back to back physical ailments, dreams crashing and friends alienating. It was a time when I was struggling with my spiritual beliefs too. But then I took the reigns of my life in my hand and made sure that I took responsibility of my life. No more blaming, no more destiny cries – just pure action.

The first thing that I started was gaining my physical health by strength training at the gym. Thanks to Sujoy and my friend Alka who helped me every bit in doing what it takes. Since then I have been a regular at the gym, even in the cold windy icy winter mornings of Chicago.

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Then came pacifying the emotional turmoil inside. This took ages and I am still working on it. I break down many times but get up again. The best part is He made sure to get me in touch with some outstanding guides and mentors who helped me rebuild my faith. All of this helped me to mend the broken pieces of my life into a lovely canvas.

Recently I have taken up chakra meditation. And I would love to help anyone who needs a little nudge! If you want to learn the technique of manifestation or chakra meditation, just buzz me and I will be more than happy to help ๐Ÿ™‚

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I am doing a course on the book ‘The Art of Extreme Self Care‘ conducted by Ro Ferrelli in 2017. Can’t wait to continue on this path of enlightenment.

2016 was all about the ups and downs of life. But what I have realized this year is that you have to go through the pitch black darkness to see the first ray of the sun. When life is hunky dory and everything is fine, many a times you take it for granted. That moment of pitch darkness defines you. That moment of pitch darkness creates a new you. That moment of pitch darkness changes your entire perspective towards life.

It is you who has to decide whether to rejoice over the first ray of sunshine or shut off everything and stay in darkness forever.

So how was your 2016?

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There is no Tomorrow!

Have you been wanting to do something since ages and have not been able to do it yet? It might be due to time constraint or resources crunch or you just think you are not ready for it! I do too…..most of the times. But in the past one week I have learned that, ‘There is no tomorrow’…so don’t wait to have enough money, to retire, to stabilize in your job….just go for it!

We met with a friend yesterday. Devesh is Sujoy’s football buddy and one of the supporters and motivators for me when I first started writing. It was a football marathon yesterday when he was home for dinner. But you know what struck me the most of yesterday’s meeting? It is the guy himself! This guy wakes up every day in Chicago cold at 5.30 am and goes to play squash or hits the gym. This guy takes every opportunity to travel and add experiences to his kitty. Thanksgiving weekend he went on the historic Route 66 road trip and I was awestruck. Here is a person who is living the present! Doing what he wants, putting efforts for it and being in the present! It was an eye opener for me! It was fun too catching up with him ๐Ÿ™‚

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That’s him ๐Ÿ™‚

A few weeks ago, I had a discovery call with Ro Ferrelli of the Feed Her Soul blog. Ro is an Intuitive Personal Coach for women only. She is amazing and you should have a look at her blog for some life changing ideas and thoughts. During the call with her I said, I have been wanting to do Kundalini Yoga since a while but haven’t come to it yet. She said, “The first thing you are going to do after hanging up the call is go and look for a Kundalini Yoga class. Then you will not feel your life is at a standstill. Get up and do it RIGHT AWAY“. That pumped me up and I went on internet and searched for the classes, looked at some self teach youtube videos and got in the zone. Just doing the research felt so good. It felt that I have accomplished something. That a new road has been opened for me. So yes, do it now because there is no tomorrow.

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Yesterday I spoke with a spiritual guide too, thanks to my childhood buddy Pooja who introduced me to him. He told me about a manifestation technique which is really simple and does not need any monetary investment or a dozen of resources. The only prerequisite is you should have faith. It was a Wednesday and I have special affinity for Thursdays being a Datta Guru Day. I first thought let’s start from tomorrow i.e. Thursday. But then I thought what if today would have been a Friday. Wouldn’t it have been foolish to waste 6 days to start the technique only because I feel Thursdays are holy. So I started right away with the manifestation technique. It felt good. I did not wait for the tomorrow!

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I am sharing the manifestation technique here as shared by the Spiritual Guru –

How to manifest a wish through the Magical Technique of “Glass of Water”ย 

The only prerequisite is ‘You should have faith’.

Friends we are constantly manifesting things all the time. The trouble is, if you’re constantly thinking about all the disasters and bad things that could happen, that’s the kind of negativity you will attract. The opposite experience happens when you think high-level thoughts, like “I rock!” When you think and feel “I rock,” you radiate a Positive energy of confidence; in turn, you attract great experiences and good fortune into your life.

Each thought you have informs your energy, and your energy manifests it into your experiences. Your thoughts and energy create your reality.

Here’s what you do:

1) First, take a piece of paper. Write down something you need or a wish you want to come true.
Write it as if it were an affirmation. If you’re working on a project and need creative ideas, you can write something like “I’m full of inspiration and creativity.”

2) Get a glass and fill it with clear water. Attach the paper with your affirmation or wish on it to the glass.

3) Rub your palms together to activate the energy flow in your hands, and place them on the glass of water. Be sure to use both hands.

4) Say the affirmation or wish out loud or silently. But if you use your voice, you’ll give it more power.

5) Visualize what it is you want to achieve while sending your energy towards the water in the glass.

6) Drink the water.

Do all steps 1 to 6 every morning when you wake up, and every evening before you go to sleep.

Two weeks should be enough for small wishes, but larger wishes may take up to three months or longer depending on their complexity.

Hope it helps as many out there looking for manifesting their wishes. If you need help in writing the wish into an affirmation format, buzz me and I will help you.

So what it is that you have been wanting to do since long? Go, get up and do it. Let me know how you feel after doing it! Best of Luck ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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A New Girl in the City

3 years in the towns of the glorious sunshine state Florida and I land up in a city for the very first time. The setting is different, the people are disparate and the weather is another story. For the first time, I am in a city and that too CHICAGO!!!!

Yes, I know…I know. You understand my plight of the weather combat. You maybe have already started praying for me. Some of you might just be smirking on the upside down of my so called fate ๐Ÿ˜›

But here I am to make this city my new home!

We reached Chicago the night the Chicago Cubs won the world series! Surely, we were lucky for them as they took almost a century (108 years to be precise) to win back the world series. Since then, my husband has an inside joke and a conversation starter saying, “We would have come earlier, had we known Chicago Cubs needed us to be here to win!” I think we started our journey in the new city at a good note ๐Ÿ™‚

We were put up at TownePlace Suites Napervilleย ย and that was our home for the first 2 weeks in Chicago. The staff around made us feel at home with the best of hospitality. The room was cozy and spacious. The kitchen was just apt and the ever smiling room cleaning staff ย made my day while we stayed there! The small room almost had everything one can ask for! I wonder how do they make that happen – bringing an entire home in one room! I even made my first friend in Chicago here at the TownePlace Suites Naperville ๐Ÿ™‚ I totally recommend it if you are visiting this side of the US!

The next day we started house hunting and this entire one side wall at Route IL-59 with these growing climbers in an array of fall colors, just brightened my day! It brought back all my memories of a wonderful trip we took last year to Smoky Mountains. Nature always surprises me! ๐Ÿ™‚

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The city people seem to be busy with rare greetings and rare smiles! But hey, I think this is the story in every city. We had been to New York and experienced the same hustle and bustle, where the city never slept and people were in their own world. The Chicago skyline reminded me of New York too, the lights and grandeur making a spectacular view!

What brings a smile on our face are the innumerable Indian eateries all around us! Too many to even mention it here. Last weekend I had the fluffiest and softest idli EVER! On Monday, we went to this Biryani place and can you believe it had 18 varieties of biryani! Phew! We are kind of spoilt for choice here when it comes to Indian food ๐Ÿ˜‰

We shifted to our new home last weekend and the fountain from Florida is replaced by red bricks and a christmas tree! The fall colors are at its maximum glory and the sunshine in the day just adds the little tinge of happiness for me! My balcony has this view now –

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It’s cold for us here and I think I am going to pick up my crochet soon! Time to finish that unfinished shrug and crochet some more beanies and scarves and gloves! ๐Ÿ˜›

The winds are chilling, the roads are uneven, the people are busy, friends are away, days are shorter, the new kitchen is small, the water fountain is gone and yet I think I am ready to embrace this city as my new home! ๐Ÿ™‚

Isn’t it the people whom you love make a house a home?

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Death – The Ultimate Truth

Death is morbid. And you might be wondering why am I talking about it right now. I should be focusing on the living than pondering over this. But when you lose a near one, you tend to visit this ultimate truth of life which no one wants to think about.

We are selfish. Period. As long as death is in someone else’s life, we are fine with it. We move on. The real pain is felt when someone near vanishes from our life FOREVER. We lost Sujoy’s grandmother Thamma last week and that made me traverse through this journey of death.

The one who leaves the place is at peace. But what it does to the friends and family left behind is the worst. We go through the denial phase first, then think about all the times spent together or talk about a particular habit of the person and keep on thinking if we did enough when they were alive. We did the same last week. Spoke about Thamma’s inability to speak hindi, episodes of Sujoy’s vacations spent at their place and a little bit of solace that we could meet her during our India trip this year. The hollowness still remains and eyes still get wet thinking about her.

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I know how her kids are feeling today. She was the knot which held ย the family together. The knot is off now. The worst hit are the near and dear ones. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to recover.

I wonder how others grieve. How someone who loses their baby before even being born copes up with the trauma? How parents losing their young kid handle the pain? How kids handle the departure of their parents?

I am scared. It scares me to no bounds. My parents and me do not skype, we just talk everyday on phone. So I get to see them when they share their pictures on festivals or family get togethers. So is the case with my in laws. Every time I see the pictures – the hairlines are receding, the faces are wrinkled, sometimes the faces look tired, the teeth are falling and the shoulders are drooping. I skip a heartbeat EVERY SINGLE TIME. The fear cuts at me from inside and captivates me for sometime. I know I should not be thinking of all such things but I do. I do and it scares me.

I cannot imagine a life with them not in my life. It may be too early to think about all this but the thought does cross my mind sometimes. All of us know that death is inevitable and yet it takes so much of courage to accept it.

And then, with a lot of effort I try to refocus my thoughts on living in the present. Being happy that they are content in spite of those wrinkles. That they are at a good place in their lives despite the receding hairlines. That they are proud of their kids though their shoulders are drooping. That they laugh enough with falling teeth too. That is what keeps me going too.

I am sure many of us who are so far away from our parents go through this phase sometime or other. I want to know what brings solace to you in such situations? How do you cope up with the fear? How can we sustain living far off from our parents?

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Why I stopped trying to be in everybody’s good books

There was a time when I used to be in everyone’s good books no matter what – friends, family, colleagues and even neighbours. I thought about others ALWAYS before even considering what I really wanted. I listened well, didn’t cross anyone’s opinion and always obeyed to what they had to tell me.

You can imagine the amount of stress I must be going through doing all of that just to be in everyone’s good books. But then something changed.

A relative of mine, a cousin one day just blurted out hate statements pointed at me on a whatsapp chat. I was taken aback. I tried to call the cousin just to understand what did I do wrong? The call was never answered. The words like bi*** and hypocrite were hurled at me. I have never been abused verbally so much ever in my life till date. A piece within me was broken, my mind was numb and eyes kept on crying. I kept on thinking if only I knew what I had done wrong, what was my fault?

I was in the US then, all alone at home. My husband came in the evening and he was shocked to see me that way – red eyes, sore throat, eyes still wet and face all swollen. When I narrated what happened, he simply said “Why do you have this extreme obsession that everyone should like you? That everyone should say you are a good human being. That everyone should applaud your goodness?”ย 

That hit straight to my heart and soul. So yes, why am I hell bent on everyone liking me? I realized during school till 4th grade, I was a stubborn little brat. I back answered my parents and was notorious in school too. That image of mine was stuck with all my relatives. My younger sister was the more loved one as she was quiet and obedient. I even made her use my old stuff in exchange of her new school stationery. That cult I was!

Then my mother was sick and bedridden which changed the whole equation. I kept on thinking that it is my fault that my mom is bedridden, my behaviour made all of this happen. The guilt kept on gnawing. I became shy and silent and tried to be a girl whom everybody liked. I wanted everyone to like me.ย That trend went on till for most of my life.ย ย But not anymore. My husband’s words echoed inside me and slowly the hurt and insult started receding. Till date I don’t know what exactly went wrong and I am ok with it today. I am fine with the fact that someone in this world hates me so much. It isn’t easy, it tears me apart but I have made peace with it.

Just the other day, one of my friends Ankita said that her other friend still hates me. This is a 6 year old hate story. At first I thought it is just jealousy that Ankita and me grew closer while this other friend was a close friend of Ankita since graduation. It used to hurt me that someone dislikes me. But when I came to know recently that the other friend still HATES me, I was calm and it did not affect me at all. Here is a girl, with whom I have not been in touch since 6 years now and she still has such extreme feeling for me. And I am OK with it.ย It just went to show how much I have changed in these last few years.

Instead I felt bad for the other friend, so much hatred for so many years is deteriorating. Hate corrodes you from inside and affects you in such ways that you don’t even comprehend until it’s too late. It just goes to show how much importance she is giving to someone whom she detests.

Today, I don’t crawl to be in everyone’s good books. Instead I speak my mind out. I may come off as a rather straight forward person than being called a hypocrite. If I don’t like something, I will speak out. If I love something, I will appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I will help someone because I feel like doing so and not to be called a good person by the society.

It is a revolution and I am sticking to it. At least a part of my stress is off. There are still other stress reasons in life like being obsessed with reaching 5 minutes earlier to meetings, but I will keep that for another blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

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