Countdown

In exactly one month I will be celebrating a milestone birthday, the big Three-Oh, and unsurprisingly I am completely freaked out! I felt exactly this way when I was turning 20 (and now I think, awww how cute, that I was actually worried about turning 20!), when I realized I’ll never be a teen ever again, and THAT was a decade ago. Where does the time go?

Milestone birthdays always give me a bittersweet feeling, it makes me feel like time is passing me by so quickly, even though it happens one day at a time, and I always countdown big events, it still manages to catch me by surprise and I can’t help but wonder how I got here.

Anyway, after the surprise (shock) has subsided, I generally tend to feel a little sad that perhaps some of the most fun moments are behind me, but I hope to heaven that I’m wrong and whats coming is way better than what I’ve left behind. After all life is about moving forward, even if we do sometimes look back just to reminisce for a little while.

Nonetheless, my 20s have been (and still is for another month) a very memorable decade, so many firsts, so many memories made, so many epiphanies, its been wonderful so far, and as I sit here making plans for the coming month, I can’t help but think of some of my favorite moments of the last decade.

In my 20s, I –

  1. learnt how to drive;
  2. got my first tattoo;
  3. met my Best friend/sister in law school – I don’t know what I’d do without her;
  4. graduated from Law School;
  5. got my first job;
  6. had my BIG heartbreak, and survived it;
  7. re-connected with my other best friend, after almost 10 years (or more) of having lost touch – and boy am I blessed to have met him again;
  8. reconnected with many many old friends;
  9. drove in my first TSD car rally and won;
  10. battled with numerous insecurities and overcame most of them;
  11. did my first bungee jump;
  12. drove a tractor;
  13. started this blog – my own little corner of the internet, which gives me so much joy;
  14. tried my hand at teaching – a lifelong dream;
  15. finally learnt to swim;
  16. solo-traveled for the first time, don’t get what the fuss is all about, I enjoy travelling with loved ones more;
  17. learnt some pretty major “life-lessons”;
  18. started to actually enjoy good White Wines – and even have a favorite one;
  19. started painting more, and I realized I love it – maybe this will turn into something more substantial someday, only time will tell;
  20. learnt to crochet – and now making a scarf for myself;
  21. dealt with chronic back pain, and realized the biggest thing needed for recovery is TLC;
  22. learnt that I can perform miracles when I am kinder to myself, and forgave myself for all the times I wasn’t; and
  23. finally fell in love with myself – and started my life long romance..

I’m sure there are many more of my favorite highlights of the last decade and numerous “full-circle” moments, but for now this is a pretty good list!

I am looking forward to the next month to cherish these last few days of being a 20-something, I obviously intend to make the most of it.

Life sure is full of surprises, ten years ago I would’ve never believed this would be my life, and despite all the challenging moments, I would never change anything. I get to wake up as me, and that is pretty spectacular.

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Until next time, embrace your life. This day will never happen again, make the most of it.

Love more.

xo

Life Lesson – Back to basics

As someone who has been practicing yoga for the last decade, I tend to be very aware of my body, how it reacts to certain things, how it is affected by change in diet, weather, fitness routine, pretty much most things. That’s the thing about Yoga I love most, the awareness it creates. Yes, the flexibility, strength, etc., are all great, but the awareness you have over your body (physical and energy body) is immense.

On December 12th 2016, I had the most rude awakening of my life – I woke up and could not get up and stand up straight, or walk without crying. I had shooting pain in my lower back, and no matter what I tried to do, I could not move. My legs felt like they each weighed a ton, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, couldn’t lie down in any position other than a fetal position. The only thing that got me through the night was to be heavily sedated, and I saw the doctor the next day to figure out what had gone wrong, and found out that my disc is damaged, and more damage and it could easily have been a slipped disc or a herniated disc. This was something I have to be careful about for the rest of my life.

I asked him how this was even possible, I do yoga! I’m in my 20s! Okay, I work a desk job, but I’m very conscious about talking breaks and stretching, HOW could this have happened??

Very calmly, the Doc told me that this could happen to ANYONE. It doesn’t matter how old/young you are, how fit/unfit you are, etc.

It has been over three months, and my back still hasn’t completely recovered. I still occasionally get shooting pain in my lower back, or sometimes a weird pressure in my lower back. There is now a constant awareness in my body that my back is still recovering. I still cringe at attending long meetings, because I don’t like to sit in chairs too long, I now avoid certain kinds of lounge chairs, I am hyper aware when my back isn’t straight or supported, because anything other than perfect posture, my back makes its presence be known, like a tantrum throwing child trying to get your attention. THIS is not fun!

The back incident (as I now refer to it) was a huge wake up call – because I never expected that I would have back issues, in my 20s (okay Late 20s), it made me so angry, all the rage I didn’t know I had came out to play in those days when I was stuck on my back. It was unfair and I definitely didn’t deserve it!

For 10 days I literally did nothing other than wake up, shower, get dressed, get on the carpet on the floor, took pain medication, slept, ate, and repeated this cycle.

The first few days were pure rage! I was pissed off with life, it felt like I was screaming uncontrollably into the abyss and no one could hear me, no one could help me. I felt alone,  helpless and very angry.

After my anger tired me out, it turned into plain submission (with a hint of helpless sadness), I told myself that I won’t let this pain go to waste. It HAD to mean something. I know that God (at least the one I know, love and believe in) wouldn’t put me through pain so senselessly. It HAD to mean something. I needed it to mean something.

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Image Source – Facebook

But what exactly did all of this mean, what was this meant to teach me?

The back incident gave me a LOT of time to reflect, and one of the conclusions was that maybe I had allowed life to go into auto-pilot mode, and just went with whatever life was sending my way, instead of living more deliberately, so much so that life had to give me a jolt to wake me up!

Now I don’t know if I’m right or not, but I choose to believe that it was for some great piece of wisdom that I had to uncover.

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Image Source – Google Images

Sometimes it is at your lowest point that the most precious lessons are revealed. So what was this too precious lesson that got revealed that I wouldn’t have learnt without pain that put the fear of god in me?

Well here are some of the big ones, at least this is what I’ve come up with so far –

  1. My family will be there for me no matter what – of course, I knew this. But this was a reminder because when my big brother (who is usually very busy), cleared up his day to take me to the hospital; and my mum spend almost all day with me rubbing my back, getting me hot packs for my back and comforting me; and I found out that my dad actually lost sleep over my new health condition. It made me realize how blessed I am, even if I wasn’t fully capable to appreciating it in that moment. I definitely do now.
  2. My body is more fragile than I thought – while the human body is capable of surviving in unimaginable conditions, it actually takes real discipline to keep it in good shape. Damaging it is the easiest thing, and recovering might take the rest of my life.
  3. Life is as unexpected as it is short – we NEVER know what is coming next. It only takes a second of life to make a 180 degree shift, and life as you know it will cease to exist. The impermanence of things is both comforting and unnerving. So enjoy and don’t take life so damn seriously all the time.
  4. Appreciate everything and take nothing for granted – there are people praying from the stuff we take for granted. So always be grateful and cherish life.
  5. Meditation helps with unexpected emotional outbursts (in my case rage) – To me, meditation means to simply be still and silence your mind of constant clatter. It is to simply be present. It isn’t always about chanting and getting into an elusive state of trance. It is to simply be still and let yourself be at balance with the world around. I know it sounds new age-y but it works like magic, it has made me calmer and happier.
  6. Writing about experiences dissipates pain – This makes me want to start a journal (with an actual book and pen).

Obviously there are many more, but I am yet to figure out how to articulate it. Its time to get back to basics, to ignore the external influences, and listen to my inner voice and go back to who I am.

Until next time, be good!

xo

Downtime

Often I find that there are various (often opposing) elements co-existing in the same realm without conflict, be it the natural elements, be it our emotions, be it our energy, be it the people around us (it could be anything, really) and then suddenly there’s a trigger which changes the whole equation. In Chemistry class, I remembered learning about catalysts, which are chemical substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

In life also, there are so many triggers, so many instances that provoke change and alter the course of our lives forever.

The biggest such catalyst in my lifetime has been the Internet. Practically anything can be done online – Research becomes faster and more accurate, finding old friends and people you have lost touch with is way easier, online shopping (thank heavens for the person who came up with Online shopping!), dating, work, writing (this post!), business transactions, you name it and the Internet has some part in it.

It has definitely made many aspects of life easier, but it has also made us less personable, less present, and generally averse if not intolerant of anything which isn’t an instant gratification.

Which brings me to what I have been thinking of these past few days, long gone are the days when people wrote hand written letters or sent out thank you cards to one another, and waited days before it reached its recipients, and wait days more for the replies. I can’t help but wonder, do the people of today have the resilience and patience for delayed gratification?

I mean, in a lot of aspects, we may never have the need to find out, but it still makes me wonder.

Sometimes life is about watching the paint dry, before we can go to the next stage. This downtime too is needed, even if it feels like we are stuck in a state of limbo. Perhaps it will all make sense in the (not so distant) future.

Until then, I’m still here – attempting to pour my thoughts into words.

xo

International Day of Happiness 2017

Today, 20th March, 2017 (Monday) is the International Day of Happiness – the concept of such “days” leave me perplexed, simply because often these are things that one should be mindful about always.

Like mothers day, women’s day, father’s day, valentines day, etc. – to me these days feel like someone is playing a joke on the world and reducing human sentiments to no more than posts on social media. (and yes, I do acknowledge the delicious irony that is this post)

Happiness is a state of mind, which requires nothing external, which has no limits or rules.

To be Happy, simply be. It really is as simple as that.

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Image Source – Google Images

Lately, one of my favorite things to do is reflect – to be still and observe the patterns of my life, to be able to review my reactions to life, perhaps with the hope that I can better myself, and that gives me immense happiness.

So in the spirit of celebrating the International Day of Happiness, I will do a thing that always makes me happy – make a list (of things that make me happy), so here goes –

  1. Making Lists 😉
  2. Puppies – playing with them, looking at pictures/videos, or even just thinking about them changes my mood for the better
  3. Re-reading books – it always gives me the feeling of coming back home
  4. Reading book reviews of books I’ve already read, which gives me an insight to other people’s perspective on books that I’ve loved, more so when I find opposing views than mine
  5. A good cup of coffee – I once tried to give up coffee and practically lost my will to go on (I wish I were only saying this for effect), to have seen what life could be like without my favorite beverage gave me a real appreciation for it. And now when I drink coffee, I savor it for the drops of heaven it really is ❤
  6. Revisiting favorite memories, of certain moments which seem devised purely by the cosmos above
  7. Talking to old friends…

and many more, a list like this is endless, just as it should be.

In life, we often forget that there is something to be happy about each day, not just happy – delighted and enchanted – the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the joy that surrounds us each day, our jobs, our experiences, the endless possibilities of tomorrow which gives us hope, even just breathing (taking full deep breaths) and enjoying the essence of being alive and present.

Its all right here, waiting for us to stop being busy, and just look.

So today, I promise myself that no matter how busy or difficult my day gets, I’ll take at least 30 minutes to just indulge in things that give me joy.

I hope you do too.

Until next time, be happy!

xo

On Aha moments

My biggest “Aha moment” (so far) came to me towards the end of 2016 – it was when I started noticing that a lot of my set in stone principles are actually evolving to be more fluid, to be more flexible (of course, there are certain exceptions to this).This obviously came as quite a surprise to me, simply because I’ve always been quite rigid in the way I perceived life, very black & white.

I’ve been realising that life is never set in stone, everything is constantly changing, everything comes in phases, time keeps passing us by, days change to night and then night changes to day, even the sky – if you sat under the sky for a while, you will notice that the clouds keep moving and changing, nothing ever stays the same, and doesn’t physics tell us exactly that about matter as well?

Anyway, over the course of certain experiences, I’ve begun to understand that NOTHING is constant, everything keeps changing, including (and most importantly) ourselves.

Am I the same girl I was 10 years ago – No (and thank god for that!)

Does this mean I was bad/wrong 10 years ago – again No, I was the best version of myself in the circumstances which existed 10 years ago.

With my world constantly changing and evolving, I have had to adapt and evolve as well (despite my own resistance), if not for anything else, just to be able to keep up.

Such have been the nature of my Aha moments, the ones which tended to sneak up on me, most often results of quiet reflection. I guess that’s just the thing about Aha moments – it is that you never realise it at the time of the actual event, at the time you are more focused on surviving the thing that leads to the Aha moment. I guess that’s how connecting the dots work. It can only be done backwards.

My latest and most profound one is that Life is transient, no two moments are alike, what is it about a river never being able to touch the same water twice? I think life is like that as well. No two moments are alike, no two circumstances are alike, heck, we are not alike ourselves under different circumstances.

So if life is this temporary, and this ephemeral, should we hold on to our anger and pettiness? That is the question I find myself asking when my most human quality of pettiness takes over my personality in certain situations. There are a few things that can still manage to bring out the worst, most petty parts of me, and with this new realisation I wonder if any of those things that make me feel petty are even worth my energy, in the grander scheme of things.

I haven’t yet figured out all the answers, of course, sometimes I just like reveling in realisations which leave my perspectives altered forever…

Today is one such day…

Until next time, stay safe & be good.

xo

2017 – Valentines Day <3

The day of Love AKA Valentine’s Day 2017 has been a great day!
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Source – Google Images

Although I’m very irked by the whole ONE day for Love deal, I had the most wonderful day possible, with surprises that I hadn’t expected, and expected events that didn’t happen (Just yet?), but at the end of the day, I am in love all over again. The kind of love that makes you hopeful, that it only takes one second for the Universe to bless you with everything you’ve been hoping for (and more).
Even once you’ve taken off he rose tinted glasses, Love is everywhere, whether it is your parents, your best friends or (best of all) even yourself, there is ALWAYS love around you waiting to be noticed. So as I get ready to turn in, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed and tongue-tied, and when words don’t come easy, I rely on words of the Greats who knew their way around the typewriter.
What better poem that the one I chanced upon today – a perfect synchronicity. A poem about a man who loved a love so, it made the angels envious.
Annabel Lee By Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
   I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
   Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
   Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
   In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
   Of those who were older than we—
   Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
   Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.
I hope that this year brings a love that even Angels in heaven envy.
Until next time, Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤
xo

To trust means to do?

Have you ever met a person who you now recognize as the “One that got away”?

I have, and in retrospect I feel like he got away because I did not muster the courage to ask him to a coffee when I had the chance. Of course, we eventually became friends and pretty good ones at that, but there are sometimes moments of doubt when I let my mind wander and think what life would’ve been like had I walked out of that auditorium that evening over six years back and asked him out..

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And now I am faced with a similar dilemma, and I wonder if I should trust my instincts and take the first step, irrespective of where it may lead me?

Or

Should I trust that whatever is meant for me will always find its way to me, and not do anything?

Does “to trust or to have faith” mean that we act on our instinct, or does it mean that if we do trust in the bigger plan we simply keep on keeping on till something is directly in front of us?

To trust means to do? or to trust means to let it be?

What exactly is the catalyst that will trigger a reaction?

I really don’t know, but I have butterflies in my stomach anyway. I hope I get a sign from up above on what to do.

See you next time.

xo