Posted in Detox, Experiences, Experiments, Family, Food, Gratitude, Inspiration, Intentions, Introspection, Kids, Life, Me, Us

Word of the Year

How did I do? Is it worth continuing with the word of the year? Is it a meaningful exercise?

I did ok with Mindfulness  although I forgot  it was THE word a few times. Setting intentions in the beginning of the year did unintentionally influence my everyday actions. I am able to sense tension, tightness and panic when things don’t go my way. I don’t become zen or calm about the situation right away. But I have learnt that the place to start is relaxing my jaws and facial muscles. Paying attention to that tactical action, settles me a bit even when there is restlessness raging within. I talk myself into getting some alone time and engage in some productive work so I am not being disruptive to the ones around me. It works a few times even if not always. I have also learnt to drift back to sleeping when I wake up in the morning. This is worth a mention because it is part of my effort to not to be a slave to my To Do or routine.

Mindfulness like Discipline and Detox (my Word for the prior years) is a lifelong practice. So this year was just the beginning. I did not move mountains or boil the ocean but I have made incremental progress as a person. So I see value in pursuing this practice.

For this year, I am choosing the word “Us”.  Hari has five to six years with us before he takes full responsibility for himself. There are so many interesting things to do with him. There are so many things that he needs guidance on. I want to be fully present for him in this critical phase of growing up. Ram is still young and he needs me differently. I want to do all the things that I enjoy doing with him – reading, cooking, playing, coloring and what not. And with Da, I will be a little nicer, kinder and compassionate instead of using him as my punching bag. As rudimentary all these aspects sound to you or may come naturally to many of the moms that I know of, they are hard for me. I tend to oversee these finer aspects as there are so many things I want to dip my tips in. 

While the “Us” does not preclude my parents, siblings and families, I am doing pretty ok on that front, which is why I am narrowing the focus to the immediate concentric circle around me. 

This does not mean I will abandon pursuits outside home. Far from it, I want to do my bit, so they are not going away. But I will be deliberate about what I take on and make sure that I balance between what gives me intrinsic and extrinsic joys. I missed out on reading, writing, cooking experiments, and connecting with friends this year and I hope to pick up the slackness there.  I will strive to be more consistent with eating clean and healthy and working out.

These are the intentions I am setting for the year. What are yours?

Advertisements
Posted in Detox, Experiences, Me, Work life balance

Mid-week bonanza

I get to do one of the coolest things right in the middle of the work week, in the middle of work day – yoga! My company conducts a yoga session every Wednesday. I so look forward to it and I am very protective of this time.

“There is earth beneath you, breath within you, and you have good intentions. So many things should have gone right for you to be right here, right now. There are places to go. There is work to do. The most important work begins with you. Take the time. Take care of you,”  the yoga instructor reminds us as we stretch and warm up. “Believe in the power of your strength, and the natural ability of your body to find balance,” she continues. I hang on to every word she utters and commit it to memory. 

I love these reminders.. To stretch, to pause, to reflect, and to connect my breath with my body. Immensely thankful for this mid-week break that refreshes and rejuvenates me like no other. 

Posted in Gratitude, Me, SYW, Writing

Share Your World

Enjoyed answering your questions Cee.

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning anything that spills or breaks. Specifically when glass container shatters all over the floor. No matter how thoroughly you clean, there is always a piece staring right back at you.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Over the weekend as I arranged our closets listening to Oliver Sacks speak.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years? Zero. We moved to our current home 10 years back and have planted ourselves here since them.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. RadioLab podcast had an episode where they have captured Oliver Sacks think aloud, brought goosebumps as I got a get a peek into how great thinkers think. To hear his assistant talk about his passion for writing made me want to write passionately and from my heart. I felt so grateful to live at a time and age where access to such gems is just a finger swipe away.

Posted in Me, SYW

Share Your World

Thank you Cee for these thought provoking questions. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so? I would like to think that I would choose to have a clear conscience instead of writhing in guilt from cheating. I would rather fail and cut my losses than qualify for something that I am not ready for. But hey, hypothetical problems are easier to solve on paper than when they strike you in reality. So who knows? I just hope I have the courage to hear the little voice in my head and do the right thing.

What things in nature do you find most beautiful? Sunrise, sunset, fall colors, foggy mornings, flowers in full bloom, spider webs with due drops, sunny skies, verdant leaves, lush green fields, sun rays filtering through trees, rainbows, nests, sea shells, snow capped mountains, brooks and streams, water falls, and more!

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to…. people watch, be a passerby and soak in the world around me.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week? I appreciated my home and my family after traveling on business in the first half of the week last week. I found joy in the most mundane of tasks – loading and unloading dishwasher, after a couple of days of not having access to my kitchen. I appreciated feeding simple home cooked dhal rice for my children after having them on a diet of processed and packaged food. As much as I detest a trip to the beauty parlor, I appreciated the outcome – clean eyebrows and hair colored with henna.  I was inspired by the quotes in Hari’s classroom. Wonder inspired and awed me!

Posted in Life, Me, Uncategorized

Hello!

Yes, I am very much alive and kicking. The lack of updates has been because I have been drowning in a sea of commitments. The few times I came up to the surface to catch my breath, I couldn’t make myself put pen to paper. I felt so out of touch. I felt like what I had to say was inconsequential. It felt like there was nothing left to say. Truth be told, life has been anything but normal these past few months. We have been working very hard as a family since this summer with barely any downtime. First, it was my dance production, then it has been renovation at home. I have also been volunteering like never before. The downside to all these activities is that there has been very little time for anything at all – to rest, to relax or to reflect. I do hope to make time and reclaim my life back. Slowly but surely and steadily!

Posted in 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.
Posted in 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?