Love yourself

For the longest time, I have battled with insecurities, and then I discovered  self-love. Its one of my favorite things to talk about, to read about, to write about – you name it, it all starts and ends with self-love for me.

Which also beings me to one of my biggest pet-peeves, that we are raised to believe that liking yourself (let alone loving yourself) is vain and only shallow and selfish people indulge in it.

Even now, if I think about how many multi-billion dollar industries are thriving on people’s insecurities, it makes me realize that I am not alone – beauty, luxury products, technology, highly curated, edited and mono-tonal media, matrimonial and so many other industries are thriving on people’s insecurities – we are constantly conditioned and nurtured with imagery to believe so many things:

  • If you are not tall, thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed you are not beautiful; Of course this has changed quire significantly in the last decade! YAY!!
  • India’s obsession with fairness, where beauty means having fair unblemished skin;
  • If one is fat – they get constantly mocked and made to feel undesirable and un-datable – and not because being fat/out of shape may be a health hazard;
  • If one doesn’t have the latest technology- they’re outdated and uncool;
  • If one isn’t married by a certain age, they may as well be lepers.

Okay, maybe I was a bit dramatic on that last one there, but you get my point.. 🙂

We are constantly told that only “a particular way” was is right, and if don’t fit into that mold, you are not good enough…

For example, I recently went to the salon for a haircut, and ended up getting a very expensive facial and hair treatment along with the haircut. Why? because my stylish was very vocal about how damaged my hair and skin was, and I fell for it, simply because they had pressed on an insecurity of mine! Consequently instead of spending 1000 INR, I ended up spending 5000 INR that day. I came back home with a temporary fix and a lighter wallet. (See what I mean about industries thriving on people’s insecurities).

After parting ways with 5 times the amount than I had originally planned on spending that day, I took stock of my habits and decided I will take better care of myself, invest in good quality products and life long habits, and take the best care of myself.

Even now when I go to the salon, stylists try pressing buttons as they are trained to do, but at least now, if I do opt for treatments, it is because I want to, and not because someone is trying their luck at en-cashing on my insecurities.

So let me start at the very beginning of my own story – of how I was raised to feel like I wasn’t enough; and how I got over it (to a large extent…); and what that has resulted in.

Growing up, I was constantly compared with others (mostly by my grandmother, god rest her soul), this eventually lead to a pattern of me comparing myself with others and drive myself insane – thinking if only I was as tall as so and so, or if only I had a figure like so and so, or if only I had a job like so and so…. my life would be perfect. This lead to me feeling insecure and wanting to hide my real self from everyone because I never felt like I was good enough, resulting in me attracting situations and people who treated me likewise, giving me more of the same, reassuring me that how I felt was right and reinforcing the idea that I was not good enough.It became a vicious circle.

I spent years (decades) like this – outwardly happy looking, but struggling and hating myself for not being enough. In hindsight this saddens me so much, because your childhood, teens and early 20s should be filled with joy and not insecurities. Alas.

Something changed in my 20s, around the time that I was 23 years old actually – I had just graduated from law school, and having read the book called the secret, I realised a lot of the perpetuating patterns were made by me, by accepting it. I had lived my entire life not knowing that I could say No to something.

I had successfully manifested a 6 year relationship which can be described as toxic and a stressful job – where I gave my all and still felt inadequate. It made me clingy, angry, petty and pretty awful. I really didn’t like myself then.

All I knew was that I never wanted to feel like that, so I had to say No to things that diminished me. Then came the next dilemma, what do I say yes to and what do I say no to?  I hadn’t the slightest. I had never ever asked myself this question…

So I did what I do best – made a list (not pen to paper list), which turned out to be one of the most powerful exercises I’ve ever done for myself and one that I do so constantly, that today it has become almost an involuntary function.

But that was not the case when I started  – so what exactly did I do – well, it wasn’t one thing- it was however, triggered by one Oscar Wilde quote (which continues to be one of my favorites even today) –

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” ~ Oscar Wilde

 It seems so simple right – except we are usually taught the exact opposite of that, aren’t we??

I stopped dead in my tracks, how could something so essential never be taught. No answer.

So I started on my quest with no answers: I made a conscious effort to dwell on things I like about myself, it started very small like one or two things that I did like, and I’d acknowledge it – it felt good, so I kept adding to it, and adding to it and then adding some more – till I fell in love with myself, and thus began my lifelong romance. Thank you, Mr. Wilde!

Things that I was once insecure about, I now loved and flaunted – Like my height, I stand proud at 5 feet 2 inches.

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It was merely a change of perspective. Not short, but utterly adorable. And just like that, you like something instead of feeling embarrassed. AND I get to wear the tallest heels and still look like an adorable little pixie! Win-Win!

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Of course this is only one example, and like this I found things I didn’t like and changed it, and what could not be changed, I changed my perspective about it, and it worked! I constantly found myself surprised that it was that simple and yet it never occurred to me sooner.

As they say, better late than never, but don’t let it fool you into thinking its all great all the time, sadly romance doesn’t work like that – there are still days of utter confusion, self doubt, and worst of all self defeating thoughts, but like with any relationship, you process it, you figure out a way to fix it, and you make an effort to do so again and again till its not a problem anymore.

Since this realization and my efforts to live this way began, I noticed a LOT of people were uncomfortable and even unhappy with this development, uncomfortable because they could not relate to me (the evolving me) anymore, I was told that I was selfish and that if I kept it up that I would end up all alone, because no one like vain people. I was told that my affection for myself was wrong because it was conceited to think like that. These people practically handed me the scissors and begged me to cut them off (from my life), and I happily obliged.

Some people expressed their unhappiness in their actions and sometimes even with words, they questioned why I deserved to like myself, or how I could dare to not seek their approval anymore. It pissed off a lot of them, again they practically handed me the scissors and begged me to cut them off, and again I happily obliged. This actually made me feel a thousand pounds lighter.

Through it all, I realized how many toxic people I had collected along the way, how many toxic people I had so happily accepted as my friends and family. It brought me to a new mantra –

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I finally realized that it was okay not to be liked by EVERYONE. We are not built for that. Life doesn’t end if a few people don’t like you, either they don’t know you, can’t relate to you, or best yet they don’t matter.

So what difference does it make if someone dislikes you – NONE (I promise you) No difference whatsoever, as long as you like you, as long as you approve of your choices & consequences, it makes NO difference. I remind myself this every time I start to obsess over this.

Of course, as human beings, we all want people to like us, but here’s another secret that I uncovered along the way, when you like you and accept you for the beautiful unique person you are, you set the bar for those around you as well; and the people you attract into your existence will like you. But just like anything, this type of consciously choosing a life that serves to magnify your existence, is not as simple as flipping a switch, it is, but its not a one time thing, every time you are faced with a choice, you have to choose the one that aids your well being more. Its more than a full-time job, its a way of life. 🙂

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Another result of this I have noticed through the years is friends have used it as an innuendo to make light of what I was saying – self love to be more literal rather than the tool to build your self-esteem and self-worth, but hey, they were funny so I rolled with it, laughed at it, and moved on.

If people were not ready to hear my story, it was okay, I no longer felt the compulsion of explaining myself or convincing them. That was freeing, to know that my way of life and my story is enough for me, irrespective of how acceptable it was to others.

This has resulted in better relationships, better confidence, more compassion, and most importantly a grateful and highly satisfying life, knowing every day that I am enough… Hell, I am an awesome, genuine, one-of-a kind woman!!! That is worth the world.

Now lets get to the big question – why self love – because this is the foundation of everything your life is built on. How, because we come to this world alone, and one day we will leave this world alone, but from the time we arrive to the time we depart – we are surrounded by people, beauty, and endless opportunities offered by this bountiful world, and we would have done ourselves a HUGE disservice if we didn’t make the best of our time here.

To build anything lasting, its foundation should be solid, so to make your life one of substantial significance, it starts with the strong foundation, that is YOU! The you that derives strength from inside yourself, and the ONLY way to do it is when it starts with the most powerful creative force known to mankind – Love!

The ONLY reason for this post is because I had to learn this the hard way, and I’m hoping that you don’t have to.

Its okay to love yourself, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, and see how life changes for you!

Go ahead, start with one baby step today. Look at the mirror and focus on your favorite parts for a good 5 minutes, you will come away liking yourself a little bit more!

Go on, try it, and let me know!

Until next time, go love yourself!

Enjoy ❤

xo

Good times ahead

Every time I found myself struggling in life, I have gone inward, all my pain, all the confusion, the disappointments, get taken in like the most precious things in the world and protected. Rarely do I let on that I am not okay, this has been a lifelong habit of mine, I was raised to share good times, to celebrate out loud, and I understood this to mean that everything else gets handled in the privacy of your own soul, maybe because it feels like others should not be burdened with your issues because almost everyone is struggling with their own.

At such times, I have also found well meaning people around me who offered kind words and deeds unexpectedly. I truly believe that the Universe sends these little gifts of kindness because it knows too well that you need some TLC. Some such kind souls have been colleagues, spiritual pundits, family members, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers.

Having always been a spiritual person, I have never doubted that there’s a bigger plan, one which no one can’t fully understand (not yet at least), that can only be let to unravel one day at a time, one miracle at a time (sometimes even one setback at a time – thank god for unanswered prayers, no?).

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Source – Google Images

The last few days have been consumed with reading about (talking about) astrology – more specifically the planet Saturn. Astrology has been a pet topic since early years, mainly because anything that is mystical and celestial fascinates me. That somehow the way the celestial bodies move has an effect on human experiences here on earth. It is no secret that I prefer the Sky to the Earth. The vast, almost endless space which may never get completely uncovered by human beings (at least not likely in my lifetime), the stars, the planets and everything else .

Anyway, back to astrology – as per the Hindu astrology and in reality (when connecting the dots), I noticed patterns of having had a particularly rough time for the last two and a half years- caused by transit of Saturn in the eighth house. A testing time really, where one is faced with big disasters, accidents, losses (of wealth, health, reputation, jobs and mostly HOPE).

Lets talk about Saturn first – this planet is most feared, almost always thought to be malefic and terrifying, worshiped as part of the Navagraha by Hindus (which literally means Nine Planets). Saturn is actually not all bad all the time, as it signifies virtues like discipline, authority, leadership, honesty.

This planet is a perfect slave driver, which brings one to their knees with exhaustion and hopelessness. On the flip side, it gives one a chance to learn patience and be more appreciative of the good things (irrespective of how bleak everything may seem), and precisely this is how the last two and a half or so years can be described.

Layers upon layers upon layers that were uncovered one by one, be it in disappointments in work, love, health or generally life – working hard only to find the results were not even worth it, a lot of time wasted, trusting wrong people, lessons, blessings in disguise, getting knocked down, a constant swimming against the current, which does not let you move forward – sink or swim, delays, miscommunication, etc.

In the last two and a half years or so, the one thing I lost more often than anything else was Hope, no longer the same person anymore, perhaps that is exactly the point of anything, to be forged by fire and emerge stronger (and a little more jaded – a common side effect).

On 26th January (yesterday) the planets started moving again, so this transit is over (Yay!), and it apparently brings with it the end of hardships (at least astrologically speaking). The last few days, I’ve been reflecting about what this means to me, does this mean that suddenly the clouds will lift and life is sunny and bright all of a sudden, I don’t know.

As I sit here writing this post, despite Saturn (or whatever else it was – Life perhaps) bringing me to my knees, all I can do is sit still and look forward, as I slowly gather whats left of hope, and ready myself for the times to come. Today is a new day, a time to unburden and rest, after all tomorrow just so happens to be Chinese New Year – the year of Rooster, a day of new beginnings.

So until my next post, I wish you well and Happy Chinese New year!

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Source – Google Images

Good times ahead, see you there soon.

xo

Sleepless..

Day 2 of waking up exhausted because I had nightmares that felt so real that I woke up feeling like I haven’t slept at all. My body feels like I’ve been running – tired, muscles are a little sore, quickened heartbeat…

Have you ever had recurring dreams that leave you feeling a little scared? For the last two nights in a row, I’ve been having the same dream, and it makes me wonder what it could mean – is it a sign of being stressed about something subconsciously, or is it a sign of something needing focus, or is it a sign of a vivid imagination, or repressed thoughts/feelings, or is it a sign of something to come… Right now, I can’t be too sure.

Thankfully it is the weekend, so I will try and catch a few quick naps, and try to figure out what these dreams mean when I’m feeling a little better.

Until next time, stay well.

xo

An unlikely Lawyer Life

Riddle me this – what is one of the most hated professions in the world, which is also one of the most feared, and one of the most respected, some of the most brilliant world leaders are part of this fraternity?

Answer – *Two thumbs pointed at myself* A Lawyer!!

Despite all the hate, being a lawyer is Great! (apparently I am also a poet.. ish) I should know, I am it. 🙂

About 11 years ago, I made a choice which changed the course of my life forever. Everyone who knew me as a child or as a teenager would have bet their lives that I would grow up to do something in the Fashion Industry, be a designer in a little atelier sketching up lovely designs, styling clothes, working with luxurious fabrics and ornate embellishments. No one, (not even me)  would’ve guessed that I would be a Corporate Attorney.

11 years ago, I decided I wanted to go to Law school, and one day be a Lawyer, a choice I made for many reasons, some grounded in impeccable logic and some which were a bit silly (not getting into it now), it lead to a path that took me to 5 years of law school, with its own set of experiences and lessons, a place which taught me the Law, and also gave me my best friend and sister for life.

That path eventually lead me to my first job, then my second, and which has now brought me to Today, when I sit at the cusp of completing 6 years of being a Lawyer.

That one choice made a lifetime ago brought with it the teachers, the friends, the people, the clients, the colleagues – each of whom have brought value, the lessons that I was meant to learn, the memories more precious than jewels. I can go on and on really!

Its a rather tasteless form of “comedy” that people often resort to, to express their hate/fear of lawyers, countless jokes (some of them are actually funny – like this one below) that are made at our expense, we are often called sharks, ruthless, liars and more.

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Picture Source – Google Images

However, if you ask a lawyer to describe our beloved profession or its professionals, they will use words/phrases like Rooted in Tradition, Ethical, Service, Detail oriented, Brilliant and more. Perhaps we are biased, but it doesn’t make it less true. Of course, there are exceptions, like in any rule, the rogue ones here and there who are willing to do anything for a quick buck, the ambulance chasers and so on, but isn’t that true for any profession in the world?

Today, I can proudly say I am a Lawyer, and I can’t imagine being anyone else! Although most people tell me that I don’t “Look” like a lawyer, to which I have no answer other than an awkward smile. It is still an old boys club, after all (for the most part), and we still live in a world where people see a woman who looks like me and doesn’t immediately guess, Lawyer! And that is okay, I don’t fault the world, after all it does amuse me.

In this unlikely lawyer life of mine, if there’s one thing I know for sure, it is this – whether I look it or not, I am it and I love it. A girl who loves the Law, with all its words, its rules in black & white, its interpretation in shades of grey, its traditions, and its pride, I love it all.

Life is as strange as it is beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how the rest of it unfolds. My parting thought for you is this – don’t hate! Lawyers are actually super fun, and if nothing else, great drinking buddies 😛

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Picture Source – Google Images

Until next time, be good.

xo

Just me?

Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you woke up to an almost rude reality that you were dreaming, and you’re still in your own bed. Exactly that happened to me last night/this am. It was a dream that felt so real, with friends who I haven’t been in touch with for well over a year, that I woke up wistful. It took me a few moments to notice that I’d been holding my breath. Does this mean that they are thinking about me or missing me? Or does it actually mean that I am missing them, and my subconscious mind decided to remind me this by way of dream. Pretty sure its just me. Either way, I shot out a message to one of them this am, because why not!

I wonder sometimes if our feelings, like our physical bodies (and stamina), are a limited resource, and believe me I am really starting to feel this as I inch slowly towards the big Three-Oh. If I give and give my feelings away to people, and not get it back (not necessarily in perfect reciprocity, life is hardly as simple as perfect fractions! OH MY GOD, I never figured I’d see the day when I thought MATH was simple, I guess this is what growing up feels like, Math starts to look less scary), will it run out one day? or is it more of a bottomless well, that I can keep infinitely drawing from, and from unknown depths, can keep digging out more… Most times I feel like its the second one, but on days like today I feel like it could be the first one. This makes me want to stop and keep my feelings to myself. Maybe that is what made me hold my breath when I woke up today.

Other times I wonder if its just me, who thinks so much about stuff like this, and hoping that one day I might get answers.

Until then (Read: my next post), here’s to the people who aren’t afraid of feeling, heavy lies the head…

Be good, feel more, live!

xo

Happy 2017!

Finally 2017!! May the coming days be the best, most glorious ever for all of us.

My plans include wearing high heels more often, finding (and wearing) the perfect shade of red lipstick, bringing back the classics, drinking champagne more often, and generally living the most glamorous life possible!

With this, I feel like I’m starting the year off rather well, and that makes me feel hopeful for whats to come.

Until next time, Feliz Año Nuevo! Blessed 2017 to everyone! ♥️

xo

NYE 2016 – Parting Thoughts

Last day of the year and I can’t help but take stock of the 366 days that we have spent going around the sun again. It is something I do every year, but this exercise feels more important this year because a LOT has happened over the past 12 months.The hopefulness of January which was quickly shattered (by an incident I don’t really wish to re-live here), the decision taken in February whose consequences lasted till July, Rude awakenings in August, Travels and mindless spending that took over my life in September and October, a welcome lull that was my November and Finally the December which was mostly spent on my back with a slipped disk, which I haven’t fully recovered from (another rude awakening).

Yes, the highlights look bleak, but it wasn’t all bad, there were a handful of moments which were utterly breath-taking and so lovely that it broke my heart, these were the quiet moments that didn’t make an appearance on social media. No remnants other than the memories that I will carry in my heart for life.

So simply put, 2106 had its moments of Bad, Good and downright Awful. But hey, its almost over and for once saying goodbye to something has never felt easier.

So while I wait for 2017 to finally arrive, I can only think of the things I will strive to do more of, are these New Years Resolutions? No. I’m not one of keeping them up..

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These are more of a fun list of things I hope to do more of, it makes me happy just writing this –

  1. Write more (consistently) – Give myself achievable targets and actually stick to them. Say three posts a month. So that gives me 10 days to churn up one post. Very do-able.
  2. Exercise MORE – For someone who has been working out for the last eleven years now, this is not some silly seasonal fad, I do however want to be more disciplined about it. Fix my back and make my body fit af! 2017 will be a year of beast-mode, and I can’t wait to get started!
  3. Click more photos – be more mindful to chronicle significant moments, whether they get posted or not!!
  4. Give more – Give more of my time, attention, advice & of course material gifts, especially to my loved ones.
  5. Learn to shoot a gun and get good at it. This has been a bucket list item for a long time! So in 2017, I will firstly get my membership at the shooting range, and make a schedule to visit it and learn. Its so badass, I love it!!
  6. De-clutter. De-clutter. De-clutter!!
  7. Be more mindful with money.
  8. Buy less and re-use and up-cycle more.
  9. Travel more – To places far and wide.
  10. Forgive more.
  11. Let go of old hurt & past grievances – Seriously, if lessons have been learnt, they serve no other purpose anymore. Let that shit go.
  12. Count my blessings every day.
  13. Expect the best from myself – Expect the best conduct, words and way of being. Polite, Polished, Graceful, Gracious and a little sassy.
  14. Change my job.
  15. Meditate more.
  16. Love more.
  17. And finally DANCE more.

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Happy 2017, everyone.. See you all next year.

xo