{Z} Zen and the art of blogging

Finally, it’s the penultimate post of the A to Z challenge! I never thought it would get this difficult, and I never thought I would manage to persevere, what with the crazy schedule at work and the craziness of writing a blog post each and every day. But this month of daily blogging, of stretching myself to the max, has thought me a lot – about blogging and about life.Continue reading

{W} The Kindness Revolution: Why worry?

“People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are catching cold.” ~ John Jay Chapman
OK, fess up! How often do you find yourself, brows furrowed, chewing your bottom lip, running through some crazy, made-up scenarios in your head? Or obsessing over something someone said to you, something that you forgot to do, or second-guessing a decision you took? At that moment, it seems like your life as you know it is over!Continue reading

{P} The Kindness Revolution: Be Positive

Happiness is a human birthright for everyone. – The Dalai Lama

One way to be kind to ourselves is to be able to choose happiness…and the way to do that, I believe, is to choose positivity. We can focus on everything that is wrong around us – the unfairness of a colleague getting promoted ahead of you, not having “enough” friends (whatever enough means) – or we can acknowledge those things, but focus on the things that are right – having the time to do the things you love, perhaps.

If you take a few moments to think about it, you’ll realize that there probably are a whole bunch of positive emotions or experiences that you aren’t even aware of. There’s so much to be grateful for each and every day… each and every minute…your very life, each breath, each action that you take for granted – walking, talking, smelling, seeing – is a miracle.Continue reading

{M} The non-manifesto manifesto

I was introduced to the concept of a personal mission statement at a corporate training years ago. At the time, I tried really hard to come up with a mission statement for my life. I failed.

Over the years, I’ve given it a try a couple of times. I’ve always failed.

Then I came across some awesome manifestos (like my personal favorite, the Holstein manifesto). While I found some of them inspiring, I never could come up with one that was ME.

This inability to come up with a manifesto for my life has made me feel like a failure of sorts.

It took a very wise man – the husband, in fact – to show (or rather tell) me why I have always failed at it.

The reason is simple. So simple that I feel like a fool for not seeing it for myself. Continue reading

{L} Conquer your to-do list

Have you ever created a to-do list and then wondered how you’re going to ever get all of it done? I have. More times than I can count. At the height of my insanity, I had a to-do list that was a page long. Crazy? You betcha! {And in case you’re wondering, I never did manage to cross much off that list.}

crazy to do listI can’t remember the number of times I’ve made a huge-ass list and then felt exhausted just looking at it! To top it all, half of the things on that list would have to be repeated in a week or two. {Yes, I included things like buy groceries before the pantry is bare, and put in the laundry before we run out of clothes to wear.} Needless to say, I just about managed to do things when ignoring them was no longer an option.

Now, though, I’m the queen of conquering to-do lists {err…when it is my queenly desire to do so}. It’s quite simple, and seeing as I am in a benevolent mood, I’ll share my inspired process with you. You’re welcome.

Step 1: Create a master list. This one is going to be huge. On it, you’ll list out everything your little heart desires to achieve. Keep adding to it; make it as long as you want. Do not look at it and panic. Move to step two.

Step 2: Create a “today list”. This one will stem from your master list. Make sure you don’t have more than 4-5 things on it. And ensure that at least 2 of them are fun things so you don’t feel like the biggest drudge on the face of the earth. You’re welcome.

Ta-da! In no time at all, you’ll be the queen of to-do lists!

Got your own to-do list inspiration to share?

{F} Finding Nemo: 4 tips to help you find yourself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

Growing up, I was a rather reflective, introspective kinda gal.  I used to spend long hours curled up under the window with some music in the background, letting my mind wander…or writing in my journal…or just day dreaming idly.

Then, life happened. Thrust into the work place with all its associated pressures, adjusting to a life away from home, marriage, changing states, adjusting to new cultures…all of it took a toll, and that introspective girl got lost along the way.

As things settled down I took a moment to look at my life and realized I love it and am grateful for it. But at the same time, I realized that I’ve been running for so long that I’ve lost touch with … me. And so I set off on a quest to find myself. As I worked through it I gathered a lot of tools to self-discovery along the way.Continue reading

{C} You have the power to choose

“If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.”
Susan Del Gatto

Choices – we are confronted with them on a daily basis. We can choose how we spend our day, how we react to situations around us, how we spend our free time. The easiest path may be the path of least resistance. Just do what’s easiest and ignore the hard tasks. Sometimes we choose to stay numb, to shut out the thoughts and emotions that we fear, to not examine our life or relationships.

But that’s a powerless attitude – and you are not powerless! You have the power to choose to move forward, to come unstuck.Continue reading

The Kindness Revolution

Have you ever stopped and noticed the amount of negativity we are surrounded by? It’s in the media, movies, television…sometimes it comes from our family and friends…and of course, there’s all the negative self-talk in our heads. It’s crazy and chaotic, it tells you that what you have is not enough, that you need to try just a little harder, work a little bit longer, look better than your best…run, run, run….harder, faster, more!

Continue reading

Year-end Wrap-Up: Top 20 motivational posters

I’m a sucker for motivational posters. I have a whole folder of them on my phone, my Facebook feed is filled with inspirational messages, and I follow a bunch of inspirational tweeps on Twitter. Needless to say, I’ve found tons and tons of inspirational and fun posters over the year, and made a few myself. Here are my 20 absolute favorites.

Enjoy!Continue reading

I wish someone told me…

I wish someone told me…
That the sun and moon wouldn’t really rise with his smile
That life isn’t really a dream that you dream with the one you love
That just believing I could wouldn’t help me to fly
That a hero doesn’t always lie in me, there is a coward lurking in there too…

This post is dedicated to those incurable romantics, who believe the songs and the movies and the books…who believe that what is sung and shown and written is literal…and are heartbroken when they realize that it isn’t.

Come on! How can you think that love would be so all-consuming that it would seem like a utopian dream from which you’d never wake up, or that just a smile from the person you love would light up your life, never mind their words and their actions? If it really was like that, life would be so exhausting! You wouldn’t be able to get anything done, because you’d just be melting into the other person. Not to mention that you would lose your identity – lose YOU. And seriously, that isn’t healthy. A relationship requires hard work. There are nasty fights and heartbreaks along the way. If you’re going to breakdown at the first sign of disagreement you’re going to be a mess!

Replace that narrative with this empowering thought:

Couples that are meant to be together

Can you really be so naive as to believe that just thinking is going to attract what you want into your life? Really now! The Secret may be great and all, but it’s very simplistic. Thoughts turn into things, sure, but it’s not magic. A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes. You cannot just think yourself into a new job, for instance. You need to create or update your CV, send it out to multiple people, attend interviews, and only then might you find yourself with a job. And given the economy in most parts of the world, that isn’t even guaranteed! What thoughts do is help you focus on what you want, and give you the necessary inspiration to put in the hard work required to “attract” it into your life.

Replace that narrative with this empowering piece of advice, given to me by my teacher at school:

Luck is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration

Do you believe that you will eventually find the hero within you? That you can always rise to every challenge thrown at you? That you can face anything and everything that comes your way? Listen to the lyrics carefully – all of them. To those lovely lyrics, I’d like to add this: It takes a great deal of courage… and before you can find the hero within you, you have to confront the coward lurking in you. Your fears and anxieties. You need to calm that coward down and reason with it. At times, you just have to downright ignore it. That is hard. Very hard. To listen to the fears and insecurities and go ahead anyway. Not everyone can do it all of the time and in all circumstances. And that’s OK, too. Instead, learn your limitations. Work on what you can, accept what you cannot, and take your decisions accordingly.

Replace the thought of always wanting to be the hero and beating yourself up when you aren’t with this little gem:

I'm strong becauseI've been weak

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

The prompt brought to mind my role as agony aunt with a friend who believes everything you tell her – literally – including these things I’ve listed above! If this helps you or someone you know, if you agree with the thoughts I’ve shared here, please feel free to share this post with your friends.

Now, it’s your turn. What do you wish someone had told you?