Friday, April 28, 2017

X - 5 Xcess baggages you needn’t carry...



When you fly, the airlines specifies the weight of baggage that you can carry. Anything more than the specified weight, you end up paying an extra tax for it. As with the airlines, so it is with our lives. All our lives we walk around carrying a lot of xtra baggage. It does nothing except make us pay for it by eroding our own peace of mind. What are these xtra, xcess baggages?

Here they are-  

Expectations.

We all have expectations from people in our relationships. We do something for them, and we want them to remember what we did, and give it back to us when we need it. And when they don’t, it doesn’t go down well with us. Expectations in a husband-wife relationship, child-parent relationship, or in friendship, are quite common, but they end up ruining the relationship.

Don’t carry that xcess baggage of xpectations.

Do your deed and forget about it. If you aren’t likely to forget it, don’t do the deed. Don’t give yourself an xtra baggage to carry, by counting your favours. Karma has its own way of finding its way back to you and repaying you for all that you did, good or bad.


Anger –

Anger is like a piece of burning coal. The longer you hold it, the more it burns your hand. It will leave you charred and worthless. Yes, circumstances make us angry, people make us angry, and many a times we have no control over those umpteen things that make us angry.

But don’t carry around the xcess baggage of anger.

Instead, whenever you are angry, don’t react. Pause for a minute, take deep breaths and do nothing until you are calmer. An angry mind is prone to taking decisions that we might regret later. But also, remember not to leave the issue unresolved. Talk it over, take appropriate action, but resolve the matter. Otherwise, you will still be carrying that anger in your heart!


Feeling of hurt –

People have the ability to cause hurt to each other. They say or do things that leave us hurt and upset. The feeling of hurt is more when people whom we love and trust are responsible for it.

Don’t carry the xcess baggage of hurt.

If someone has hurt you, do this analysis. Is the person a loved one, someone who’s presence makes a difference in your life or is it some random person who merely has a passing presence in your life? If they belong to the latter category, there’s no point carrying the hurt. If they belong to the former category, ask yourself if you want forgive and forget, talk it over or give up on the relationship. You will know what to do. By carrying around the hurt and not doing anything about it, you are doing a great deal of harm to yourself.  


Past mistakes and feeling of guilt –

Who doesn’t commit mistakes? No one is all-knowing, or godly enough to have never committed mistakes in their life.

But don’t carry that xcess baggage of guilt.

It was a mistake, you realise it, you feel bad about it and swear to never repeat it again. Leave it at that. What’s the point in going over past mistakes, ruminating over it and killing yourself with guilt? What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and get on with life.  


Revenge –

Don’t hate someone so much that you wait to exact revenge from them for the misdeeds they have done unto you. Someone might have broken your trust, or tampered with your emotions, but is revenge the answer?

Don’t carry that xcess baggage of revenge.

Even if you succeed in taking revenge and destroying the other person, you aren’t going to feel better. Forgiveness, on the other hand, is the best revenge.



Whether it is an emotional baggage or moral one, xcess baggage is xcess. You have to stop continuing to carry it. Leave it on the ground, and save yourself the trouble and pain.
No matter who is responsible of the action, in the end, your response is about you. Make that count.





Thursday, April 27, 2017

W- 5 ways to stop Wasting Time


If there’s something that runs away in the blink of an eye, it’s Time. We often complain that we have no time but if we’d just pause and look at what we have been doing, we have probably wasted away ours when we had enough.

“Every day you waste is another day you won’t get back” ~ Anonymous

Here are 5 ways to stop wasting the precious hours of our life.


Get off social media.

Social media has become the biggest killer of time. Whoever named it the World Wide Web, knew what a web it was going to turn out to be. Like a fly caught in the web of a spider, we go round and round, unable to break free of the tangle. With smartphones notifying us of everything that’s happening around us, we don’t even need to be logged into our PC.

So, we are either going green eyed at that cousin who’s having a destination wedding and posting hourly updates, or getting into unwanted arguments posting our point of view on topics that are irrelevant and a total waste of time, or busy updating the world about what we ate and if we burped and whether our dog did potty. To add to it we are in umpteen groups on our phone and the poor thing keeps beeping the whole day delivering you useless forwards that you forward it again till it comes back to you!

How to stop wasting time on social media? The best thing to do would be to uninstall every dam**d app from the face of your smartphone. Impossible, right? I know! The next best thing would be to turn off notifications when you are completing your work or studies. Avoid looking at the phone every now and then to know who did what. Deactivate once in a while. It is a good detoxifying therapy. The world will not come crashing down if you don’t immediately like someone’s status or post pictures of the food that you are eating.  


Get off the endlessly long phone calls.

If social media is bad enough, the long duration phone calls are even worse. They sap your energy and time. But when it’s your best friend or close relative or the love of your life, you cannot just tell them off. Your parents or sibling might understand if you tell them not to call during working or studying hours, but friends often do not.

How to stop wasting time on calls? If you are studying for an important exam or are neck deep in work, the best thing would be to switch off your phone. If that’s not possible, let the calls go your answering machine. Put in a message that you are studying now or are working and will respond to their calls after a particular time, say after 7 pm.  


Stop procrastinating.

Putting off things that you can do today to another day is such a waste of time. Sure, it might not be urgent and it can be put off, but if there’s time today, the best thing to do is finish it off. Completed work equals that much less stress.


Don’t do unnecessary things.

Don’t go and clean your garden when there are more important things to be done. Don’t sit and gossip when you need to devote time to something else. Don’t watch back to back movies on Netflix when your attention is needed elsewhere. There’s a time for everything. Relaxing is important too, but relax in between work, not vice versa.


Make a to-do list.

A to-do list is an effective way to get things done. I stick three different colored papers on my board, green for work that needs to be done urgently in a day or two, yellow for work that can be stretched to a week and pink for work that does not need immediate attention yet needs to be done within a time frame. I keep ticking off the ones in green as I finish and move to the yellow and then to the pink.


What's your mantra? 


   


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V - 5 Valuable lessons I've learned from life..


I didn’t think I’d be able to write the ‘V’ post in time. But certain things happened that forced me into contemplation about life and the lessons it teaches us. Whether we learn from it or not is up to us.


Here are 5 Valuable lessons I’ve learnt from life-


Life is so very unpredictable.

We all know this, life can be so unpredictable, and therefore we can never be prepared enough. I met my close friend’s father on Saturday. He looked happy and cheerful and spoke to me for quite some time. But just day later, he developed a mild shoulder pain. He was even cheerful on the way to the hospital and chatted away with his family till they admitted him. He recovered enough by midnight and his family had just returned home to catch some sleep when they got a call that he had suffered a cardiac arrest. But unfortunately, his brain was deprived of oxygen for just a couple of minutes and he was declared brain dead.

In a matter of 24 hours someone who was alive was gone. Just like that. The uncertainty that looms over our lives is scary.


Set your priorities right.

Perhaps, that is why we need to get our priorities straight. Your boss, your job, your home, the car, these aren’t or shouldn’t be your priority. Your family, your friends, your passions, your health - these should be. You can always get another job or buy things, but there will never be another parent, or good health if you don’t pay attention to it. The sad part is the things that matter don’t really last. You have to care for it while they are there.   


Don’t hold emotions within.

We hold a great deal of emotions inside us, anger, revenge, stress, grief... why, even love and happiness. The heart cannot deal with so many emotions. Express it, vent it out, talk it over, but don’t hold them within. It eats you up from inside. I lost a cousin to stress. He was just 38, but was suffering from a great deal of work related stress. He just woke up one day and collapsed before anyone could realise what was happening. Sometimes, I wish he had spoken about it.


Don’t let ego and time eat up the relationship.

My friend said that her father had been coming down to meet her for the last three days before he passed on. But she had been busy ferrying her kids’ to summer camp and had been unable to meet him. She rues the fact that though she had the opportunity to talk to him, she didn’t, because she had been busy and now she wishes that she could have a few minutes with him, but can’t.

Life doesn’t wait for anyone. You will never have time - make time.  

Her brother had broken away from his family over some issues, but mercifully he came back a few months before his father passed on. The burden of not having time to say goodbyes, of not having the courage to mend relationships, can be too heavy to carry.

If that relationship is important to you, don’t let ego come in between.


Nothing is permanent, neither grief nor happiness.

Grief and happiness are like the spokes a bicycle. As the wheels rotate, so do happiness and grief, and come into our lives alternatively. When you are very sad, tell yourself that ‘this too shall pass’. We all suffer from pain – emotional or physical. That is not in our hands. But not letting the pain become a suffering – that is in our hands. Don’t keep scratching the wounds, let them heal.

When you very happy, be thankful for it, but don’t be sad when the wheels turn.   



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U - 5 ways to Unwind


After two back to back posts on why we shouldn’t overwork ourselves and why we should learn to relax, here’s one more that tells you ‘how’ to unwind and relax. I know, most of the times we have very little time at our disposal and sometimes we may have a little more. So here are five ways to unwind, depending on how much time you have on your hands. 


If you can afford to unwind for less than half an hour – Do Shavasana.

Shavasana or the corpse pose is a yoga pose we normally do at the end of the yogasanas. It is meant to relax the body. But it can also be done in isolation. All you need to do is choose a flat surface - your carpet will do. Lie with arms and legs stretched in a relaxed manner and close your eyes. Guided shavasana is even better. The yogic guide takes you through a series of scenarios which shuts your mind off from what you are doing and relaxes you completely. There are several well-known audio relays of such guided shavasana.


If you can afford to unwind for less than an hour - Lie down.

First create a space in your home other than your bedroom which you can use to relax. It can be a quiet corner somewhere, maybe a large window sill, or even your balcony. Use your imagination and creativity to decorate the corner in a soothing manner. Put a relaxing push-back chair, a rocking chair or a soft mattress and some pillows if you like to relax on the floor. When you need to relax, go your corner, lie down, and close your eyes. You may choose to listen to music or read a book or sleep. Why create a corner? Because, by marking a certain place as your relaxing spot, the body learns to relax when it is in that place.     


If you can afford to unwind for an hour or more - Take a stroll.

Find a place nearby where there’s a garden, maybe some birds and butterflies (do such places exist?), and take a calm stroll all by yourself. Solitude and nature are a great combination. Smell the flowers, admire the plants, breath in the cool air, and walk at a leisurely pace.


If you can afford to unwind for a couple of hours – Book a relaxing treatment.

Get yourself enrolled at a spa, or a Kerala Ayurvedic massage center or a fish spa center. Getting your body pampered is certainly the best way to relax. I can vouch for the efficacy of the Kerala Ayurvedic massages. They artfully knead your muscles into a putty and when you leave the place, you will have a broad smile on your face and a spring in your body. The fishes biting your feet is a delightful experience too!


 If you can afford to unwind for a day or two - Take a vacation

Skip the hot holiday spots. Steer clear of crowds milling around and opt out of sightseeing. Look for places that are far away from the city, have no wifi, and are set plush in the midst of nature.  You may not have to travel too far. The nearest village might be your weekend getaway. Do nothing. Just sleep, eat, stroll, repeat.

My most memorable vacations are – the one in a village called Magundi, Chikamanglur, surrounded by coffee estates, the Bhadra river flowing through it and surrounded by hills on all sides, the second one in Hebri, Mangalore, bang in the middle of a forest, the Sita river flowing by, and the third in Dandeli, near Hubli, the river Kali gurgling by and the Western Ghats surrounding the place. The common thread that linked all these three places was there was no network whatsoever, the rivers were practically uninhabited except by local people, and we were in the lap of nature for as far as we could go!



What's your favorite way to Unwind? 

Monday, April 24, 2017

T - 5 Ts of Togetherness...


Love is not easy. It involves a lot of effort. Irrespective of whether love has been around for 2 months or 20 years, whether the object of your affection is your child, partner, parent or friend - the effort needs to be renewed every single day. If being together with your loved one for an entire lifetime is your idea of love, then read on to know the 5 Ts that form the frame for togetherness.  

Trust –

Easily, trust forms the basis of all relationships. When someone places their complete trust on you, it’s their way of telling you that they feel safe and happy with you and are confident of turning to you when in need and know that they will not be disappointed. Don’t break the trust they have placed in you. Honour your commitments. If you have promised them something, keep it up, no matter how difficult it is, or else, don’t promise. If they have entrusted you with their secrets, with their issues, with their ambitions, guard them in your heart.

Truth –

Truth and trust are like two sides of the same coin. People trust those who are truthful. The moment you start having secrets that you cannot share, when you have to lie, be dishonest or cheat, be sure that the truth though hidden for some time will soon come out and the trust will be broken.

Time –

Togetherness demands your time. Isn’t ‘time’ the best gift you can give to your one? Agreed, in today’s fast-paced world, everyone is busy, there’s so much to do, and there’s hardly any time. But like it is said, ‘It is not about having time, it’s about making time.’ So, make time to be there for people you love.

Talk and touch –

Communication is such an important part of being together – both physical and oral communication. Most misunderstandings happen because people don’t talk, they don’t express themselves properly. People assume and presume, accuse and scream, and do everything but talk! Most issues would be solved simply if people communicated. And don’t forget to look into their eyes when you talk.

Touch is an important way to show love. Hug, hold hands, kiss. Make your loved ones feel loved.  

Tenderness -

As time passes, we tend to take people in our lives for granted. We expect more, we are disappointed more, we fight more and we hurt more. We forget that human hearts are as fragile as glass. Hence treat the people you love, like you would handle glass – with tenderness. Speak softly, act responsibly, behave gentlemanly and love endlessly, so with the adult, as with a child.  

What would you like to add to the list?



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