Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Me

Fitness Diary – Day 3

With all the banging, drilling and thumping in the house due to construction activities, the day seemed busier than it actually was. It was a noisy day, literally and figuratively.

Eats – went ok. Same oats and berries for breakfast and quinoa salad for lunch. Had roasted poha-nuts-raisin for snack. I missed my evening tea but hanging in there. Dinner was dosai with avocado filling, and beans and sambar on the side. The workshop calls for gluten free menu, so no wheat based products. Dessert was mango and dried figs.

Exercise – 20  mins of jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Hydration – didn’t keep count but I think I hit the 8 cups mark.

Today’s focus in the workshop was sleep. How well do you sleep? Is getting to bed a challenge for you? You all know that I need my 8 hours of beauty sleep. If I don’t get it, I end up in a vicious cycle of crankiness, high caffeine intake, general lack of discipline, and sleep debt. I don’t get the 8 hours of sleep on most days because either my commitments are demanding or the day has been so intensive that I need to unwind with some Netflix binging. While I cannot always control the former, I can manage the latter. I think I should practice hitting the sack before 10:00 every night.

Things that I offer gratitude for today.

  • I had three work calls today and I made the bad decision to work from home. Thankfully, the construction related noise was not as loud when I had to speak during the call.
  • My thanks to the wonderful wonderful world of podcasts. How would I manage all the dishwashing and the cleaning without the entertainment? In particular, I am thankful to Gretchen and Liz for their weekly Happier podcast, their podcast truly makes me happy. It’s like bantering with your girlfriends. It’s light but not fluffy.
  • Last but not the least, I am thankful for the Nutriage workshop. I have made some incremental lifestyle changes as result of this workshop over the years. And in the short-term, it gives me the focus and discipline I need to get back on track when I go astray.
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Inspiration, Introspection, Learnings, Little Moments, Me, Reading, Uncategorized, Us

On reading

We were resting in the tent indulging in the leisure that a beach trip rewards you with. I looked up from my book and declared to nobody in particular, “Poor Mr. Darcy. All because he was an introvert!” My unintentional and sudden outburst elicited uncontrollable giggles from my offsprings. After the amusement settled down, the first born quizzed, “Who is Mr. Darcy”, the second born questioned, “What does an introvert mean?”  Their questions were lost on me, as I had long delved back into the world of  Lizzy, Darcy, Jane and Bingley, oblivious to my curious boys. They gave up and ran back to the waves. 

It felt so good to be lost in this world that Jane Austen had built that it was a sweet burden to pull the mind back to where the body was. What fine writing!

The reading experience was reassuring because I was beginning to wonder if my love for reading was just a figment of my imagination; something that I made up in my mind. Perhaps I liked the idea of reading more than reading itself?  I felt like an imposter when I borrowed books from the library. Finally,  I feel liberated from those self-doubts! For sure, I can say, I too love reading!

A couple of weeks back during our road trip, the conversation meandered to reading styles and habits. I told the family how I tend to take a long time to warm up to characters and story plot. That I read the first few pages very very slowly, and at some point, there is a flip of the switch and the pace picks up. Hari, who likes to read books in one sitting, said he has a different style. “I love reading the first portion of any book. It is so exciting to get introduced to all the characters and see the story unfold. It is in the middle that I slow down.” Da, who is a very fast reader, commented that for him it is the last part of any story that slows him down. And not wanting to be left out, the voracious reader of the family, our Ram, piped in, “I don’t slow down at all. I like reading the first, the second and the last part”  Atta boy! I thought to myself. Not necessarily for what he said on his reading style but that he made his opinion matter. A lot of times, may be because he is small relative to the rest of us, we overlook him on subjects that involve deeper discussion but he always stands tall,  makes his voice heard, and weighs in with his thoughts. Never ceases to surprise me. Anyway, I digress.

This discussion was a revelation to me. It made me cognizant of my reading style and helped me figure out why I have been reading less. The first few chapters requires that I stick to the book, so it can grip me.  Without understanding that piece, I have been expecting to instantly immerse myself in the story and have ended up feeling utterly disappointed.  I am not sure I got my reading mojo back but it is good to know that there is some mojo left.

What is your reading style? Do you ever suffer from a reading block? What are you reading? What is next on your list?

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Me, Wishes

Another year, another b’day

I had a day filled with little moments of celebrations – Ram made a b’day balloon out of Lays chips packet, he tried his best to train Alexa to wish me happy b’day, and brought home sweet little knick knacks (paper boats, rockets and what not!) from his KG buddies. He made sure that anybody and everybody he came across knew that it was my b’day and made sure that I got wished. Hari left a heartwarming note for me this morning and has been been talking to me in Tamil all this week. I had a nice walk in our very picturesque neighborhood, chit chatted and connected with friends and family, and wrapped up with a nice dinner at an Indian restaurant. Did I forget to mention that I am typing this post on a brand new laptop? All in all, I feel celebrated and pampered. I am deeply thankful for this privileged life.

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Experiences, Gratitude, Learnings, Me

Sharing My World

Thank you Cee for your questions this week.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? As a child, I have aspired for a better handwriting. I even used to have a notebook in which I practiced writing. Somehow, I never got better at it. I also write very slowly and can’t write well with some writing instruments (eg. ink pens or mechanical pencils).  For better or worse, the only time I write is when I am writing a check or a checklist. My instrument of preference is Reynolds Bold black ballpoint pen.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? I would love to be an amazing dancer with profound understanding and appreciation for music.

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? The idea of debating does not hold my interest anymore. When it comes to debating, people come with the mindset to win, to prove their point; it is seldom about learning and seeing things from another’s perspective. On the other hand, I love to be part of discussions where things are analysed from different perspectives, where there is an opportunity to grow and learn. The kind of discussion that NPR hosts – Onpoint, Hidden Brain and Ted Radio. I would relish any discussion related to the human nature and the enigma that the human mind is.

What are you a “natural” at doing? Empathising comes naturally to me. It’s both the boon and bane of my existence.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was an emotionally draining week with a lot of things going on. I am very thankful from the bottom of my heart for Da’s calm, solid, unbiased, predictable presence in my life. This week, I am looking forward to coming back home after my business trip.

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Me, Uncategorized

Gobblefunkist does a weekly post on Share Your World through Cee. It’s something I have come to like and more often than not, I participate via comments on her blog. Thought I would post it on my blog going forward. I have made some modifications to my original responses for no specific reason. 

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

  • Making tea/milk/coffee on stove top the old fashioned way instead of heating it in microwave. There are so many things I get lazy about, but not this one. I take great pleasure in serving/having frothy milk or coffee.
  • I do namaskarams to my dance teacher before and after class. It’s my way of reminding myself to not take this opportunity for granted.

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

  • Favorite genre of book – memoirs.When it comes to books, I like them to be profound and rich.
  • Favorite genre of movie – chick flicks.

Be it books or movies, I can’t handle swear words. I simply cannot.

How often do you people watch?

Not as much. A lot of times, I get my first couple of minutes to stop and notice when I am at Ram’s bus stop in the morning. That’s when I notice things – why are his lips so dry? I need to give him a haircut? Oh he has outgrown those tshirts. I am not sure I am a people watcher. I do know that I love love watching children interact, I love seeing them in action, I love getting a glimpse into their worlds.

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

Meditation. I think it’s a gift that we are giving ourselves – to just sit there, without any agenda, without any goals.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Grateful for a relaxed weekend. Looking forward to being disciplined.

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Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Life, Me

February reflection

I kept up on mindfulness till mid-February. But the last two weeks saw me falling, falling and falling.  I was disheartened that I had not kept up the momentum but let’s face it. Not falling is not a realistic scenario. Atleast not for me. So may be the goal is to minimize the frequency of the fall and to pick myself up as quickly as I can after the fall. This month I will focus on eats, workout and meditation.

Coincidentally, I have enrolled in the advanced nutriage workshop, wherein we will design our own menu, eating clean 80% of the time, and allowing for indulgences 20% of the time. I want to specifically focus on cooking simple meals. Wish me luck.

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Experiences, Gratitude, Introspection, Learnings, Life, Me, Now, Wishes

Word of the year

For 2015, the word of the year was Discipline. The year taught me that I have a hard time being disciplined because I am an inherently indisciplined person. And I realized that striving for Discipline is a lifelong ongoing effort for me rather than something I can master in a year. So the quest continues.

For 2016, the word of the year was Detox. Relative to 2015, I did much better in terms of sticking to the intention. But I was unable to keep up the momentum in spite of having practiced it aggressively for the first six months. I knew I was slipping, I kept telling myself that I need to pick myself up. But somehow the mind has a mind of it’s own and it sabotaged my voice of reason. And that’s ok. It just means that I need to work a lot harder than what I thought.

For 2017, I am  choosing Mindfulness. I want to know my mind and if feasible, befriend it so I can help it to help me. I want to be aware when the mind is running helter skelter and gently bring it back to the present moment and to the current task.  I am also choosing this word because I am a big picture person, which has its pros and cons. Pros being I am generally easy going, I can take a step back from a situation with some effort and I do not sweat the small stuff for the most part.  Cons being I do not pay close attention to details, I can be blissfully clueless about so many things, and most importantly, I am not living life in all its richness. So I am going to give a shot at beginning the practice of living a mindful life.  

If you are reading this and if you feel up to it, I would love to know your intentions for the new year. Here is to new beginnings, opportunities, experiences and intentions. 

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