Category Archives: Inspiration

Making Sense of Non-Sensical Things

Life is unpredictable. We plan for it. We hope for it, but at the end of the day, we cannot predict nor control it. And, as humans, logical, practical humans, this uncontrollable nature of life is absolutely the worst.

We hate things we do not know or cannot control. We love to enjoy a hot cup of tea when the rain is outside our windows. But getting caught in a downpour is enough to ruin our day. We need to feel in control. But as is life, just as we begin to make sense of it, it takes us by surprise and turns everything upside down.

Then what? Well, while this isn’t a tailor-made, airtight answer, it is a guide. To feel in control or make sense of the nonsensical things there are some things we can do –

1. Do What We Can (Duh!)

In every situation, there is something we can do immediately and somethings we have to wait for. Distinguish between the two and do the things you can do.  You cannot control the outcome, but you may be able to control the input.

2.Stay Away from the Blame Game

It’s easy to blame. Yourself, your past, your future, your dad, your mom, your husband or wife. While it might be someone’s fault, at the moment, blaming them won’t change anything. It’ll either break their spirit or make them hostile. Hold your tongue. Maybe a day will come when someone can mend or apologize for their faults. But in the midst of trouble, it’ll only add to it.

3. Take a Break

Seriously. Read a book. Watch YouTube. Order in. Take a break. Stressing your mind only adds to its troubles. A mind cannot function well under stress. It will instead, think of everything that can go wrong and try to come up with a backup plan for everything leaving it exhausted to plan for something actually goes wrong. It needs a break to be able to see genuine threats and come up with good, legit, plans.

4.  Talk to people

Talk to people you trust. Your family, friend, doctor, whoever is a well-wisher. Talk to them. Include them in the process. Listen to them. Take their advice. Know that you are not alone. Knowing that you have someone to look out for you will be hope in itself. That hope will fuel you.

5. Do One Act Of Kindness

Kindness is a strange power. It’s the kind of power that almost taunts you till you accept it and pass it forward. Do one act of kindness for a stranger. Have no motive, no guarantee of repayment. Do it, because kindness will make you feel good. Do it, because it may help someone who still doesn’t know how to make sense of everything yet.  Do it, because kindness is a strength.

6. Have Faith

Faith is tricky for me. So I’m not the best person to speak about it, but my parents have tremendous faith. And it has always tided them though. Faith has given them strength and resilience. So if you can, have faith that everything will turn out the way it ought to. If you don’t have faith, then know that life will take the turns it has to. With or without faith, you have to do everything you can in your power and leave the rest to life. It’s just easier if you have faith.

 

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This is Why Women Hate Women

Walk into any teenage girl’s slumber party and you’re bound to overhear a conversation about some other girl that the entire group hates. The reasons for that hate are many. She’s mean. She’s rude. She’s a slut. She’s too arrogant. And while all these reasons seem perfectly acceptable to those girls, they are not.

When these young girls learn at an early age to turn on one another, to compete with one another on looks and boyfriends and to label one another, we as a society, have failed them. We have culturally and traditionally failed our daughters and continue to do so.

We have at every level taught our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, that they are just that. They are someone only when they are in relation to someone else.

We have taught our daughters that they belong to someone. It starts with belonging to their fathers who then give them to their husbands. All our rhetorics, from Disney to Vogue, have taught us to wait for our prince charming, to be in need of a prince charming who will then forever take care of us. We are told right from the start that for one prince charming, there is only one princess and if you don’t get that prince, your life is doomed. And that is why women hate each other.

We have been systematically taught to value a man more than we value ourselves. We have been taught to listen to men more than we listen to our women. We value a firm fatherly figure than a nagging mother. And yes, this is about society. It’s about how we function, it’s about the messages we send our women. It’s not an excuse, it a rationale, or as some call it ‘a feminist propaganda’. Women hate women because that’s all we’ve seen and heard.

That’s it. But the good news? That rhetoric is slowly changing, too slowly for my liking, but I guess change takes time. In my lifetime, I have seen women hate women, but more than that, I’ve seen women stand up for women.

I’ve seen girls who value their friendships more than petty differences. I’ve seen and been a part of friendships where we treat each other with love and respect. Where we slowly learn to be our own people.

I’ve seen my best friends be a pillar of strength. I’ve seen my mother be an endless source of courage. I’ve seen my aunts tell their daughters to be strong and independent. I’ve seen my brother, push me towards being a better woman.

Change is happening. But we need to choose to be a part of it.

I’ll meet you tomorrow.

Love,

SfR

The Fear Of Running Out Of Things To Say

Any blogger will tell you this, at some point in their lives, they’ve wondered what to write about. And that’s a reality.

Even in life, at times we don’t know what to say. With friends, we can reminisce about the past, about future plans, and about the present.  With strangers or acquaintances, we don’t know what to say. We stare at the ground awkwardly and hope someone will talk about something other than the weather, traffic or the upcoming movies.

This fear of running out of things to say, and the awkward silence that follows, is actually an amazing way to connect. Seriously.

When we run out of things to say, often two things can happen – we blank out or we dive in further. Going blank, helps our mind wander away, to day dream, and to simply stop thinking for a while.

If we dive in further into the conversation, we are introduced to a whole new side of a person. Often a sensitive vulnerable side, that we didn’t see when we first began the conversation. Of course, we may come across people we don’t particularly like, but that’s okay too.

Not knowing what to say, doesn’t need to be a negative thing. It doesn’t have to be a buzzkill. It’s just a pause. Not a full-stop, but a pause and every conversation, relationship, and situation in life needs a pause.

How To Learn From Your Mistakes

Life is full of errors. On a daily basis, we do something wrong. Left the milk to boil too long, sent in the wrong emoji, didn’t have your meds. But these are small things that don’t hurt anyone (much). Every once in awhile, we make mistakes that can hurt us or others. These mistakes then, begin to matter. We become conscious of the consequences.

Till here the process is pretty sorted.  Make mistake -> See bad consequence -> Don’t want to feel bad again.

Yet, more often than not, some mistakes we continue to make. Why? Why is it that when we decided to not be angry again, do we suddenly burst out with anger? Why is it that when the situation is tense, our resolutions fall through? It’s often because we don’t know how to learn from our mistakes. In the process listed above, we have a problem, we have a consequence. We don’t have a solution. And that makes sense. Solutions are hard work. They require mental and physical effort.

If there was a solution though the process would look a lot like

Make Mistake -> See bad consequence -> Solution -> Don’t feel bad again.

The solution, though not a one glove fits all, but a medium size that almost fits all.  Learning a from a mistake requires you to deconstruct it, see different triggers and components and then practice the solution. So the complete process looks a lot like this.

Make Mistake -> See bad consequence -> Introspect and break down mistake -> Practice Solution -> Don’t feel bad again

Learning from your mistakes is an active process of control and repetition. Control your natural urges, practice your preferred response.

On Creating Oneself

Being who you, are is easy in a way. We don’t have to change or nudge ourselves to be different. But what happens when we want to change? When the urge of being who you are isn’t enough to carry you forward?

What happens when you want to create yourself? To take one step back and two forward?

Well, you get confused. You get upset. You won’t know where to begin and where to end, but here’s the thing – that’s completely okay.

To create one needs a canvas and if the canvas is full, you need longer to first figure it out and then work on it. To create, one needs to begin. One needs to slowly find the faults and repair them.

To create oneself, one needs to learn to be okay with the unknown. One must find what they want in life and one must finally begin to work on it. Today.

Working on creating yourself will require active effort. It will require you to challenge yourself and read more.

People talk about reading all the time, the reason is simple – the more you read, the more you can learn. The more you learn, the more you know even for yourself.

In order to create yourself, learn about yourself, and then learn about others. Learn from them. Dr. Carol Dweck, in her book, Mindset, says that our change is a function of our mindsets. That if we decide in our minds that change is possible and work towards it, it will be possible.

Think of yourself as a dynamic changing being that is constantly in progress.

So it’s okay to make mistakes, to be unsure, to not know. the important thing is, to keep moving forward.

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How to Write/Form a Resolution

2017 is finally here. After an interesting 2016, 2017 comes in like a much-needed vacation after the vacation. You know what I’m talking about, right? A break after a break? The tiny break we need after the big break we had? Anyway, now that 2017 is here, the best thing to do is make a resolution.
Yes, that is the best thing to do, regardless of what Facebook memes tell you. If you’ve always wanted to do something, or if you’ve had a dream you’ve been putting off, what better way to get back at it (or start it), when everything is new?

Resolutions often don’t work because we do it wrong. We make goals we can’t achieve and set the bar so high that often we don’t even see it. What we forget is the process. We forget to make a blueprint. So, if you want to form a resolution, break it down into tiny tasks.

Break down the main goal into tangible daily routines. By doing so, your goals will be more manageable and your resolutions are more likely to succeed. Example –

Goal – Run a marathon

Resolution – Run a little every week

Goal –  Publish a book

Resolution – Write for two hours every week

 

Goal – Be less angry

Resolution – Count for three seconds before responding in a tense situation

It’s very difficult to change the way one has been. So, a drastic resolution is likely to fail. If you want to actually make any change it has to be tiny enough for your brain to be excited yet convenient enough for your body to work towards it.

So make your list, 2017 is going to be a great year!

 

 

The Self

Do you remember exactly what you were like when you were 5? 7? 14? 18? Do you remember specifically what made you laugh, what motivated you, what kept you going? My guess is that you don’t. You may have a general idea of who you were, but with every passing year, something changed. The change could have been your sensibilities, your emotionality, your favorite cuisine, or whatever, but something(s) changed. So, when asked “who are you”, why do we often try and fit ourselves into a box? Why do we shrink ourselves to 3-4 adjectives and try to live up to those adjectives?

Well, maybe it’s because in that very moment those three adjectives may apply to us, but two weeks or two months from that moment we may be very different. The self is ever changing. While that is a difficult thought to entertain, it’s an important thought to retain. Don’t box yourself in. Remember, we all will change and that’s usually a good thing. So, embrace your uncertain self and flaunt your ever evolving self.

The self is not a word, but a language within itself.

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Reading Poetry

Recently, I’ve seen and read lots of  poetry on social media. Serious, flippant, happy, sad-  all forms of poetry seem to be making their way to my news feed, yet, so many times, I’m left wanting. While poetry cannot be judged, per say, I do certainly enjoy a degree of creativity and authenticity in the poems I read. I admire and cherish poetry that pushes the boundaries of the physical, and spiritual world and I haven’t seen that much, if at all.

I see poems that resonate, elaborate and reiterate an existing sentiment, but I don’t want that. Maybe studying psychology and making it my career make me picky. I don’t want to know about the current known state, I want to learn about the current, unknown state.I want to be challenged, unhinged, uncomfortable, or excited, exuberant and absolutely amazed. I don’t want to simply nod in agreement or smile in acceptance.

And so, I’m excited because I still haven’t found that kind of poetry, means it must still exist somewhere waiting to be found.

If someone else has found poetry like that, please tell me.

Choosing Yourself

NaNoWriMo is happening. That’s the National Novel Writing Month. In November every year, writers world over decide to try and write a novel of a minimum 50,000 words. Why NaNoWriMo is in November and not any other month, I couldn’t tell you, but what I can tell you is this- if you decide to do it, do it for the joy of writing.

And the same rule applies to all your hobbies. Every passion today seems to be shared by a million people, at least. Writing, sky diving, rafting, mountaineering, knitting – you name it, there are at least a thousand  people doing it and many who are way better at it than you are.  Hence, whatever you do, there will be someone better and regardless of your goal (to keep it to yourself or become a pro at it), it can be intimidating or demotivating to do something that so many people are doing or that so many people are already good at.

The best reason to do anything is to do it for yourself because you enjoy it.

Life is too short to not have personal goals and hobbies. Constraints will always be there, but if you pick and choose what you will do and what you won’t do, you can squeeze in time for things you love. Doing what you love, will definitely make you happier and if philosophers are to be believed, happiness is the ultimate purpose of one’s life. Within your life constraints, try to do one thing that makes you happy. Every day choose yourself for at least a little while. So, for all of you NaNoWriMo fans, do it, if you love it.

The Love of Ideas

I love ideas. I love new ideas, old ideas, exciting ideas and even boring ones. Well, it’s debatable if one has boring ideas or if every idea is exciting but only some resonate with us. I was watching Marie Forleo  and Seth Godin’s talk and was it amazing! To me, that was a new, exciting idea!

Seth Godin, spoke of priorities, how to do what you love and why you ought to blog every day. This talk was just what I was looking for,to be honest. It resonated with me way better than my 11th class physics lab that tried to teach us how things resonate and some law related to the same. I do wish class 11th physics resonated this well, but, hey, who’s keeping track? Having gone through his blog, I was inspired and since blogging is something I’ve been doing since 8th class (albeit not too well), I’m going to try and write every day. I have picked the 5 things I want to focus on at this point in my life, and blogging definitely made the cut.