Monday, April 16, 2018

Talk to Teen and Know there is a Maze

I met this expressive, brilliant, sensitive, bubbly and beautiful teen kid yesterday. Had a lot of talking time. 'If you are bored with life, catch hold of a child and talk’, is what I used to think. But, the newer version is ‘Talk to a Teen’.

Three plus hours with her and her folks made me wonder….

Lots are being said about…. well a lot of things today. 
  • How to raise smart kids?
  • How to do it yourself?
  • How to find work-life balance?
  • How to enjoy life?
  • How not to eat?
  • How not to live?
  • How not to talk?
  • How to speak to a child?
  • How much is too much in disciplining a child?
  • How to use a specific technology?
  • What is it like to travel to this exotic place?
  • How spirituality is important?
  • How politician is the only cause for virtually any problem in the society?
  • How much is too much of information?
  • How to multiply money?
  • How to become famous?
  • How to be rich and get richer?
  • How to sit? 
  • How to sleep?
  • How to stand?

When there is so much that’s already said, and so much more being written or spoken about as you read this post, and more and more of advice coming up, I just decided to shut off all of these completely and just focus on ‘NOTHING’ in particular.

Looking out the window of a cab that I was seated - soft Tamil music on my phone, twilight evening, Sunday's vehicular traffic - it was a light and nice feel in the head. 

Almost everything faded off my head, but an image of a lone girl child in a palatial house is what kept coming back. I was beginning to get a headache. If your headaches due to a social issue, then it is an indication to be considerate about the issue. Simple. 

I get to work today and get this book: Can I have it all? , a book for successful women. Nice!. I love books and especially the ‘feel-good’ ones.

Thoughts strolled back to the lone girl story I heard from my teen friend yesterday.

The successful women today had parents who worked their best to instil some exceptional qualities and attitudes in their children. On the contrary, do the successful women today work as much in parenting or being a person, to live as a good example to their own little girls?

Upper Middle class and Elite income class children today have everything….

I mean it is easy to agree with this statement if you are a parent or know any parent who earns more than he wants.

In this era of money, pampering, luxury, being busy, technology, and comfort:
  • How to ensure child safety when the mom and dad are working round the clock and the child is in some third party’s care inside the house?
  • How does a child find company when the mom and dad are busy all the time with no time for even each other?
  • How does the child learn to love when the home is just about a palace with no people to call her own?
  • How does the child learn the value of money when every waking hour the child can see and use and over-use the money?
  • How does the child learn to respect elders when they have never been anywhere close to visiting some oldie?
  • How does the child get to know that God or Universe is why we are what we are when there is no heartfelt prayer of gratitude given?
  • How does the child know to care when all that she sees is technology keeping company and not real people??

Sad that these ‘how’ questions still stand tall and fiercely strong in today’s world. Aren’t the children on a lonely planet and struggling to find company and comfort in spite of the myriad of luxuries and opportunities to network today?

It's not to say this whole thing has to do with parents working... I am a 'working mom' myself. Still, it helps to think that the company that our children need when they are in their teen years is much more important than the money and luxury we strive so hard to give them. 

What do the teens want anyway??

Fun. Joy. Attention.Company. Comfort. Acknowledgement.

Why a full-stop after every word?? Its because each of this ' element of importance' is a complete sentence to a teenager at different occasions, in different moods, at different places, with different people,  at different times, overtime and sometimes all on the same day. 

Each teenager wants one of these and resorts to whatever means to get it all. It is up to the parents/teachers/ neighbours/friends to tell them what works and does not and why caution has to be exercised in doing all the ‘so-called’ fun stuff. 

How about parents ensuring that their teen kids get all these from them first before seeking for it all outside?? It is overwhelming to think that it is even possible to give it all as a parent to the kids. 

Maybe in our capacity as a parent, we can just stay aware of the little, yet powerful mind maze that the kids are in and treat them like 'grown-ups' as they may like to be treated, yet quietly watch over their life with friends and society. 

Love them and serve them as much as you would want the world to treat them with respect and love. If every parent does this, the kids will ensure that they treat their counterparts with the same care and love. For all you know, they will stay balanced in fun and frolic.

Something to think about. I am thinking, so just rattled off. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Mind the Contents of your MIND

This morning, I was looking for something and found a piece of newspaper with a news article on a ‘No-brainer’ technique to something.

Books say that we already use little of our brain power. More of automation, simplification and 'no-brainer' tips/techniques/tricks may just end up in a rusty and lazy brain in us and the 'growing up' younger generation, is my subtle, yet, pronounced worry.

While we want everything automated, simplified, and made as convenient as possible, we forget that we should have more time to live. Do we have that kind of time today?

Without these luxuries and engineered lives we have today, how did our previous generation did it all, yet have time and live a better life than we all do??

The answer to this question is a simple realization I had:
We always want more.

With the underlying belief of always wanting more of things, people and their time, we have derailed from the path of what matters:  
Contentment, Value Principles, Empathy, Soulful existence.

While each of these is a whole branch of study on its own, let us focus on the present condition of our generation that is pivoted on the word, ‘More’.
  • want more and work long hours.
  • work more and feel too tired.
  • tire more and get angry a lot.
  • rage more and move away from people.
  • drift more and feel alone most times. 
  • feel lonely and our minds gather clutter.
  • clutter more and have no space in the mind for anything fresh and new.
  • dwell in negatives and rot inside.

It is time, dear friends, to find a way out of this whirlpool. For that, we must understand this rotten state of mind better.

What happens to a rotten tomato in your refrigerator??
It finds no use. If not discarded, your refrigerator will stink. Chances are the other stuff in the fridge would get infected. If you use it, your tummy gets affected. You get into pain, pay the doctors and suffer until such a point when the infection fades off your body. So much for a single rotten tomato that goes unnoticed.

Now, think of all the rust, all the pain, all the worries, all the sinking feelings as rotten tomatoes and our 'Mind' as the refrigerator.

Get the drift? The refrigerator needs cleaning, to store fresh and healthy stuff.
We have to:
  1. Clear the 'rust' of the disturbing past. It is of no use! Scrape it off!
  2. Soothe the pain caused by the bygone distress. Do not relive it in your mind! Move on!
  3. Trash the worries of the present. Stop being apprehensive! Start ‘Doing’!
  4. Brush the sinking feeling. Do not let your negative feelings pull you down! Restore your inherent positivity!
I think you are with me, so far.

Now, let’s reflect on this chain of words for a minute:
Clear mind - Better Health - Positive Energy - Friendly Network - Greater Achievements - Natural Giving and Forgiving - Bigger Joys - Better Life

How does that feel??
Awesome!!! Doesn’t it?

Now, if you like what you just read, I am sure you are wondering
  • How do I go about cleaning my mind?
  • How do I ensure that the mind stays disinfected?
“Ask and you shall receive!” is the norm of the Universe.
Whether we decide to work on stress ourselves or choose to seek help from informed, dedicated, and empathetic professionals, what matters is, for our mind to stay disinfected always.

For many of us, our unspoken stresses may have caused a complete overhaul of our personality and healthy lives resulting in newer ailments, which makes it imperative to seek help for both the body and mind. While medical treatment of the ailments are necessary for the cure/treatment of the bodily issues, the stress that silently causes these ailments need to be cured/treated too.

I see online that there are support systems like Better Help providing the support that our generation really needs. I think we all should be bold, practical, and prudent in seeking help if we must!

Life is beautiful! Let us ‘joyfully live' and 'be fully alive' to make a difference in this world of beauty, opportunity, hope, promise, divinity, and love!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Career - Part Two - Year One - Thanks Note!

Every person is a gift of God!
Every person has the power to Grow!

I was caught in a whirlwind of surprise when I picked up a call from a friend who has significantly contributed to my career - innings 2. It was lovely to feel and hear the wish from him, as I complete my first year at work.

Over the last year, I have many people to thank for helping me see this day at work.
Maids, Cooks, Caretakers, School Principals, School Teachers, Family,Friends, Co-workers, Auto drivers, Grocers, Doctors, Home nursing services and above all my parents, sister, a friend and my manager at work, who made it happen so I could see this date!!

Thinking back…

How many times I fell almost in despair!
How many times I have given up!
How many times I have lost my cool!
How many nights I have thought this through!

How many people were nice to me!
How many people bent their rules for me!
How many people gave their time for me!
How many people tried to understand me!

How many new people I met!
How many new people I made friends with!
How many chances I got to give!
How many blessings I chanced to receive!

I feel indebted today and very moved in fact, as I look back on the roller coaster ride it has been until today, in an effort to make my restart of career doable.

I learned many things between April 2017 and April 2018, met many people, learned many, faced many lows, sought many a help, cried a bit, laughed a bit, gave a bit, talked a lot, and got a lot!.

Take away is just this much:
  • It happens only when it happens!
  • You get what you deserve, but in His time, not yours!
  • Do it!
  • Hang on!, Hold tight! Storms subside!
  • What you once gave is coming back to you! What you give today will come back to you tomorrow!
  • Everything is possible! Stop thinking for a bit!
  • God is great, do not worry!
All of these said by different people many times last year, along with many pearls of wisdom from 'happenstance Angels’ along the way, makes me stand at year one work anniversary today. Means much to me!.

I am grateful to one and all who have been with me on the phone, email, in person, at work, on Whatsapp to see me happy and back on a career track.

Every person is a gift of God!
Every person has the power to Grow!

And I know it is True! Thank you!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Everything takes time - In Its Time!

  • I think about someone who was upset when we spoke earlier today.
  • I see a temple at the crossroads and say a quiet word of prayer for the person.
  • I look down on the pavement and see an insect writhing, in an effort to be moving again.
I drift off in thoughts...

For some reason, I am able to connect the dots and see the Universe's message for me.The person is struggling too. A lot of pain it must be. I wish and hope it gets soothed and healed by a miraculous touch of the Universe. 

I recall from school:

Make me beautiful in your eyes;Make me truthful in your ears;Make me strong in body and in mind;Make me gentle, good, and kind;Help me, dear God, to do my duty always;Wherever I am let me do my part!.

That makes me wish if there is something I must do, I better know! The Universe is what I trust in. As an afterthought... I did not help the insect back on its track. I have never done to date. Too bad, I realize late.

Hours later, I get off a bus, headed homeward. The crossroads again. I recall the insect. I walk a little mindfully, lest I step on it and kill the poor little thing if it were still alive and lying in the same place where I found it before. I slow down, my eyes scanning the pavement for the insect. 

I found it. The insect had managed to slowly move on its way. Although slow, it looked stable. I smile and walk on thanking God for big mercies to little beings.

Deep down I think that the messages are:
The Universe is guiding all that is going on.The Universe has something for everyone every day!The Universe is naturally responsive.The Universe never fails.The Universe moves things in our favour in its time!
Musing: I want to live a little more mindful life under the loving umbrella of the all-encompassing Universe! I will mind my tongue starting today.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Enjoy Life!

Enjoy Life! What could it be really??

On a casual yet, planned conversation yesterday with a friend of mine, he mentioned: "Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten to enjoy life". The ‘we’ referred to most people in the Indian sub-continent. I could not agree more.

An hour ago, in the Monday morning traffic, window-seated in a bus, I was listening to a very famous Tamil poet’s song: Chinnanchiru Kileye sung by a voice that practically can stop me on my tracks: Unnikrishnan. Oh! it was divine - the whole experience!

I watched the fresh green leaves of the Gulmohar trees lined up on the road, sway in a perfect choreography to the tune.

[I enjoy Bharatanatyam, the South-Indian classical dance, so much that I start mentally choreographing some really good musicals as I listen to songs. I did not chance to perform in twenty plus years now, still, the love of Bharatanatyam has not faded one bit in my being.]

The experience was all the more engagingly enjoyable and rewarding…

It took me a while to get back to the real world as the bus started moving again. Although I thanked God for the moving traffic again, I loved the traffic jam today because I was enjoying good lyrics, great music, soothing voice, the green color, the swaying dance steps, all at once.

Recalled my conversation with the friend on Enjoying life...

Little things like this, that last about five minutes are also to be counted in the book of ‘Life’ in the truest and fullest sense of enjoyment. I enjoyed my travel to work today.

[For those who are trying to see a meaning in enjoying a travel to work, "It took me two hours by bus to cover 10km in Bangalore on a Monday Morning".]

Coming to think of it, a good cup of morning coffee, distant chirp of a bird, the five minute rest after a good workout routine, the wafting by smell of a favourite food when you are hungry, a good movie, a nice music, a long walk, a sweet of your choice, a chocolate or a juice, a good book, a hug, a supportive and loving word and many more little, yet subtly meaningful things in life bring more joy and calm and hence meant to be ‘enjoyed' in this fast-paced, incentivized, and constantly-changing life.

Do we realize that every day, we get to enjoy little things in life that are often intangible, yet substantially rewarding for the soul/calm mind, in a bigger scheme of materialistic things which we are always after??

Makes me think:

We live by rules that someone set for us. What is a rule meant to achieve?? Joy? Not at all.

A rule is meant to achieve discipline, I agree, but not at the cost of losing track of the very idea of ‘Being’ in this beautiful chance of enjoyable existence called ‘Life’.

Let’s enjoy life for what it is and live by the minute and to our surprise, we would have enjoyed every minute :)

Again, there may be not-so-good minutes many times. Such dull minutes will pass. The Universe will send someone or an idea to help us through. Always!!!!

We are all in this TOGETHER!!!, in this thing called LIFE.

Moments make memories always !!! And Memories are all each of us, lives with. Let’s make them good for ourselves and others every single minute.Let’s enjoy a step at a time and realize the little joys that contribute to the verb ‘Enjoy’ in life.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I’ve come a long way!

  • From the anthill to the hallway to the sugar cube to the anthill is a long way for an ant.
  • From the farmers to the market is a long way for the rice grain.
  • From the egg to the chick to the chopping table is a long way for the chicken.
  • From the bed to the bath and back to the bed is a long way for an ailing elderly person.
  • From the bed to the bathroom to dining table to school gate to class is a long way for a toddler.

  • After an overwhelmingly occupying morning with the kitchen and kids, from the bath to the dresser to the dining table to the vehicle through the traffic to the office campus gate to the elevator to the desk to the login is a long way for a working mom.

    So, when we say, "I’ve come a long way", could it really mean that we have been through some experiences worth our while?

    • Dreams take us a long way than the Waking hours.
    • Struggles take us a long way than the Effortlessness.
    • Failures take us a long way than the Successes.
    • Understanding takes us a long way than Indifference.
    • Forgiveness takes us a long way than Grudge.
    • Truth takes us a long way than Falsity.
    • Love takes us a long way than its absence.
    The next time you say or hear ‘ I have come a long way’ from someone, watch for these pointers - Dreams, Struggles, Failures, Understanding, Forgiveness, Truth, Love.  Along the way, the person would have seen or been through one or all of these experiences that makes her say " I've come a long way'

    I have also posted the same post with few edits on:

    Friday, March 16, 2018

    We are born with positivity!

    All of us are built to be positive. We do not need someone to make us feel positive. 

    Going by electrical polarity, current flows from positive terminal to negative terminal. Electrons flow from negative to positive. Just run a search to know more, if you want to convince yourself of your lessons from high-school science classes.

    Recall Math lessons? Plus x Minus = Minus.

    We are inherently positive people. 

    By the Creator’s design, we have a certain mental energy level, which in different theories of Times and Geographies, have been manifested as aura, strength, shakti, positivity and many more of beautiful verbiage in spiritual diction. All of these refer to the inherent drive to live life positively with a purpose ( which we may or may not know ) that each one of us being born in this world will eventually and definitely meet. 

    This may be why are able to attract Negatives (Our thoughts, words or deeds may be negatively influenced by something that someone thought, said, or did). 

    Pessimism and negativity are perfectly acceptable in life as without them we would not be able to realize what it is like to be optimistic and positive.However, negativity is not appreciated to be dwelling in us, because that’s not what we are created to live with. We do not know to deal with it. None of us does. We simply are not cut to live with negativity.

    Negativity disturbs our health and happiness big time! This needs no explanation as you can see that the Internet has scores of articles in every field of medicine associating negativity to stress to dis-ease. Exactly why people talk so much about being positive or staying in the original state of energies that we all have come into the world with.

    External agencies ( situations, people, events, incidents, emotions, accidents, expectations, desires, goals, temper, temptations) seem to cause negativity because of our own swiftly depleting positivity that we came in with.

    We may need someone to help us know the negatives as ‘being negative to us’. Often a friend, a parent, a foe, a manager, a teacher,  a child, a spouse, or just an angry expressive individual would help us know/feel negativity with their helpful temperamental outbursts or with friendly, calm, soft, caring, emotional, or good word of caution.

    As an after-thought, I am thankful for every such exchange, because negatives if unnoticed, by the science and math laws we saw earlier, can just flow towards us and fuse with our inherent positivity and drown us totally.

    Let’s thank the sense of being able to identify the negativity, either by self or by seeking help, so we find ways to retain positivity, stay healthy, live happy, and completely on-course with our purpose in life.

    Talk to Teen and Know there is a Maze

    I met this expressive, brilliant, sensitive, bubbly and beautiful teen kid yesterday. Had a lot of talking time. 'If you are bored wit...