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Life 101

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As someone who is constantly surrounded by Professors and Teachers, I tend to be hyper-aware when lessons are being taught.  But I find that the best and sometimes the most brutal teacher in life is Life itself.  After all its lessons don’t come in text books designed with a beginning, middle, and end, or a specific purpose, or at a specific timing.  Life has a way of throwing lessons at you when you least expect it.  You either learn on the first try or get knocked down to your knees (sometimes many times) till you learn what you are meant to learn.  Sometimes there isn’t even any indication to show you that what you think you’re learning is the lesson that’s meant for you at that time.  The game of dodge ball comes to mind.

On the occasion of Teachers day, I can’t help but think of some of my favorite lessons, and by favorite I mean the ones that made the most impact.  Life 101 if you will.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time

The great Maya Angelou said this, and how true it is.  Notice how she doesn’t use the word “Tells”, because it isn’t about the words people use.  People often tell you what they think you want to hear, which means there will always be little room to believe that it isn’t necessarily true or they perhaps don’t necessarily believe it, but  they simply say it because they think its what you want to hear, and for whatever reason want to gain your trust.  Notice more of what people do when they’re not using their words, or if things add up when its time to walk the talk.

Which brings me to the next one…

If something appears too good to be true, it probably is

I’m rarely genuinely surprised by people anymore.  Which makes me a bit sad, really.  Perhaps life has made me a bit too cynical (for my age?), but I suppose it is what happens when people show you time and time again that when they are trying too hard to make something appeal to you, there are almost always things behind the veil of pretense which will definitely NOT appeal to you.  If not this, sometimes the timing is just off, or the twist of fate is such that things don’t play out the way you had hoped.  Either way, this lesson is indelibly etched in my soul.

ALWAYS always always trust your instincts  

If something doesn’t add up, don’t let your stubbornness make excuses by giving it the benefit of doubt.  Whether it is a particular circumstance, person, activity, investment.  Anything.  I often describe Instincts as simply knowing.  Your soul knows.  How, why what, when, are questions which your conscious mind asks when in doubt.  But your instincts or your higher self or whatever you call it, simply knows.

When you know you know.  Trust your instincts.  It protects you and often helps you dodge bullets that you are not ready (or capable) to handle.

I can recount numerous instances where I have disregarded my instincts and tried to force the proverbial square peg to a round hole, and 100% of the time those things haven’t worked out.  Not only not worked out, it has blown up in my face.  100% track record is enough to make me never want to question it.

Life is Short, don’t waste it on things that don’t (shouldn’t) matter

Because just like that, it is already September of 2017.  I still remember wanting 2016 to end, and it feels like yesterday.  But time keeps passing us by irrespective of whether we are ready for it or not.  Suddenly it feels like our best times are rapidly trying to race past us.  Well, bottom line is, life is as precious as it is short.  And its pretty short.  🙂

And finally my favorite one of all…

Live un-apologetically

Your life is yours.  Live it the way it feels right for you.  Don’t worry about other people validating it or approving your choices.  Live.  No explanations or justifications needed.  You owe yourself at least that much.

Happy Teachers, Life. You’ll ALWAYS be my favorite.

Peace & Love

xo

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Disenchanted

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Source – Google images

This is what happens when you let only your emotions write a post, and especially when some of my emotions can come in waves (and some like tsunamis) –

Have you ever been idealistic about life, the world and the universe, and then some after the passage of time (say a few decades), you sort of feel like the odds are always stacked against you? Or that the thoughts you once held dear, you now feel disenchanted by?

All these thoughts seem way more daunting when you believe in the law of attraction (always working) because you now are sending out less than the highest vibrations to the universe…

Which brings me to my next dilemma- if everything in our lives is what we have attracted into our being, does it mean, that even without realising it, we are emitting energies that do not serve us?

it’s a bit of an existential conundrum.. very counter-intuitive. So how to feel less disenchanted with everything??

The point is, sometimes no matter how rational, balanced or collected we are, our emotions get to us. For me, when I don’t adequately vent or release pent up energies, they build up, slowly and insidiously at first,until it gets to a point that at the smallest provocation (sometimes not even provocations at all), something snaps. My emotions take hold of me till it is all acknowledged and released, sometimes taking days when I walk around with the proverbial grey cloud over my head.

It feels like an unhealthy pattern to me, because the truth is, ideally we should never hold on to negativity, because it soon turns toxic and manifests in different forms, like lowered resistance towards allergies or common colds, stress pimples, etc. But Life is such that sometimes there isn’t enough time or enough energy left at the end of the day to do this work (I call it work because it is a deliberate thing), heck, some days I barely have enough energy to take off my makeup before I crash.

The point I am trying to make is that sometimes we are on the brink of exhaustion and we don’t even realise it, and it comes off looking like disenchantment.

So I deal with it the best way I know how – I write about it. Lets face it writing develops us as much as we develop it. It is powerful and insightful, and at times downright necessary.

Here’s to a Friday without too much upheavals.

Peace & Love

xo

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10 things I wish I knew 10 years ago

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Lately I’ve been reflecting on the big lessons life has taught me, trying to understand why I had to learn what I’ve had to learn, and what I’ve had to learn.  If it were possible to turn back time, I’d want to shake my younger self up, and give that girl a taste of all the the things I know today.  Alas that isn’t possible.

So lets dive right into it.

10 things I wish I knew 10 years ago (in no particular order) –

1.  Live within your means

This might seem like one of those common sense advice (it obviously is), but in the day of consumerism and materialism, it almost seems impossible for a lot of people.  Living within ones means for me is spending the money you have after paying off all the bills & debts.

It may seem like its impossible, (we all have e-commerce apps on our phones) but it only takes a few months to adjust to this shift.

Tip – Adopt a de-cluttered and minimalist lifestyle for a few months, it will calm you down and living within your means will not only be easy, it’ll be enjoyable.  Buying and surrounding yourself with only things that are of some value and significance magnifies life.  I’ve been experimenting with this for the last few months or so and the results have been surprisingly good. 🙂

2.  NEVER loan money to friends/ or do, if you never want to see them again

This one may be a bit controversial, so let me start with full disclosure – I am ONLY speaking from my own experiences (yes, sadly there have been more than one)

When you “loan” money to friends, more often than not, that money doesn’t come back.  So if you really want to help out a friend in need, do so by giving it to them (without the expectation of repayment) without being sanctimonious, of course, because that would be insufferable.  Loaning money becomes awkward at some point, you might see you friend’s lavish lifestyle on social media and begin to wonder how sincere their claims are. Its a LOT of mind games that no one needs.

Also be vary of “friends” who pop up into your life out of the blue telling you about “great business opportunities that you HAVE to invest in”, its most likely a ponzie scheme, so unless you can afford to lose that amount, exercise caution when people make massive claims.  These are the ones who disappear after you’ve “invested”. Its the quickest way to kiss your money goodbye.

Be careful – some risks aren’t worth the hassle.

3.  Plan ahead – realize the value of delayed gratification. Invest now so you can reap returns later

This is about every aspect of your life, adopt a healthy lifestyle today, so you can live a happy healthy life when you’re older.  I recently read that one of the wealth mantras of the super rich is their ability to invest today for benefits that area long way off.  And having the right attitude towards it.  There are many little things you can invest in today (without feeling the pinch on your pocket) and it will grow significantly by the time you are older.

Invest in your own skills

Invest in your health and wellness

Invest for your future

4.  Never stop learning – Educating yourself

This one is easy – we live in the information age, everything we need to know is a click away, so not knowing isn’t an excuse anymore.  If you don’t understand someone seek help from your friends/family who know this stuff.

As a lawyer, I can tell you, a lot of the literature is drafted to seem very complicated and yes that can be frustrating if you don’t know (or aren’t comfortable with) reading running sentences, but enlist the help of experts so you can understand any subject better.  If not that develop a general curious attitude which makes you explore subjects that don’t necessarily come naturally to you.

After all how you do one thing is how you do everything.  You’ll be happier (and more satisfied) for having made the effort.

5.  Understand RISK

This one intrigues me most, because its almost a “cool” catch phrase of our times, isn’t it?

Take risks.

The biggest risk is not taking any. 

The adages are plenty. But what exactly is risk.

To me risk is not quitting your job and booking a flight ticket to a beach town, and it certainly doesn’t resemble an eat pray love situation (due respect to the people who do these and pull it off).  Taking risks is often misunderstood to being reckless. Taking risk doesn’t mean blow your savings on a trip to cabo (or where ever).

Risk is what you can afford to lose, should you lose it.  Be calculated about what you can and cannot lose, and the biggest risk elements are the ones beyond our control, so factor that in. To put it simply know yourself – be sure of whats important to you, so as to not be reckless about it.

6.  Invest in yourself

Understand that the one constant in your life is YOU, and invest accordingly.  Invest in educating yourself and polish your skills, and most importantly invest time, money and effort in making you the best version possible.

7.  Never compare yourself to others

The surest way to waste your time is comparing yourself to other people.  Once you realize that YOU and your circumstances are unique, and other people have their own realities, it becomes easier to be compassionate rather than envious about somebody else’ life.

If you’re not happy with your life, change it, make different choices.

8.  Looking rich v. Being rich

I have a group of friends who constantly humble-brag about all the material blessings in their lives. While I have nothing against people being materialistic (being pretty materialistic myself), I understand the allure of retail therapy, but sometimes when I see/hear that all your blessings are materialistic, I feel like you’re losing the point.  I’m all for people doing whatever they want, but I also know that most of the people in this particular group of friends are running into debt to keep up their lifestyles.

So I often wonder about looking rich versus being rich.  And what exactly is the point of “Looking” rich, whose benefit is this facade being created for anyway?  It all seems extremely hollow and un-satisfying, but maybe that’s just me. *shrugs shoulders*

9.  Fast fashion is horrible for your pocket and the environment

This one was a biggie for me especially because I love everything about fashion, especially how trends are always changing – which is reminiscent of phases of life itself.

I used to be a huge fan of fast fashion, and shopping fast fashion. And I began to notice that most of these clothes/shoes/accessories don’t last very long.  Which meant that I was buying more often for the same items, use it a few times, and find that its time to replace it again.  While it looked like I wasn’t spending too much money each time, when I added it up, I was horrified! I didn’t like the idea of spending as much as I was on things that lacked the quality of being well made.

There are also plenty of studies and documentaries which show the horrors of fast fashion vis-à-vis the environment.  So lately, I’ve switched over to buying extremely well made clothes/shoes/bags in more classic styles, and I haven’t been happier (my pockets are quite glad as well).

10.  Effort is Sexy

One of the most often heard statements from people around me is I’m bored.  This is weird to me because I honestly can’t remember the last time I said that.  We are part of the generation which thinks apathy is cool (unfortunately), probably why I feel like I was born in the wrong generation.  I digress.  I find that I like things more when I have made an effort for it, like it is worth it because I have had to earn it, conversely I’ve also noticed that often things are taken for granted when they’re handed on a platter.  So my conclusion is Effort is good! Be it in your work, dating/relationships, health & well being, LIFE (basically).

Don’t treat things and people in your life with disdain, instead cultivate the habit of appreciating the good.  No one likes feeling like they’ve been taken for granted.  So do yourself a favor and make an effort for the things and people in your life.  Not only will you not be bored anymore, you’ll actually feel good when the things and relationships last longer (because you are appreciative of them).

There are many many more things I’ve learnt from the life I’ve lived thus far, and surely there are many more waiting for me ahead.

But for today, reflecting on everything feels enough.

Peace & Love

xo

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CatchLight- and the fog lifted

The fog lifted just to reveal the beauty underneath it.

Sometimes it takes time for life’s plans to unravel, often one moment at a time, when you least expect it, the fog lifts and a path appears. If you ever find yourself feeling stuck or unable to move forward, know that that also has a lesson for you. Patterns often show up when we don’t learn these lessons.

It occurred to me yesterday, out of the blue, Life is a mirror. It is a reflection of you. Your life is what you are, so if you’re unhappy about your life, its time to take a closer look at yourself, and find a way to change it. This was one of the most powerful Aha moments in the recent past, accelerating my own introspection. More on this soon, when I have clarity to better articulate it.

Until then, there’s always enough beauty around us to make it all worthwhile.

Peace & Love

xo