Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Morning is the blessed time of the day. There is always an air of indescribable solemnity and verve about it. Getting up fresh after a nightlong sleep, one is ready to take on the world with renewed vigor. Though we perform the routine activities in the morning, yet each day starts differently from the other in terms of mood, inspiration and feeling of well being. Every day holds what, in its kitty, nobody knows. However, every morning brings a sense of expectation, mystery and hope in its fold. It signifies joy of being alive in spite of palpable moral crisis of our times. A good beginning imparts zest and confidence. The morning in a way defines the character of the day. It reinvents your strengths and resolves.
Waking up languorously, with mild playful stretches of limbs, gentle upward rub of the face with both hands, smoothing the lines, wiggling of the toes for pepping them up for the daylong onerous duty, nudging the body to be up and awake to welcome a new morning and silently praying to the unseen presence for making all this possible... This is what the morning miracle is all about. …
Straight to the first thing first, mission of making to the bathroom for swishing warm water in the mouth to refresh the breath and activate the cells, for their job ahead. Next the most pleasurable act of drawing the curtains aside for saying hello to the dawning light, to have a glimpse of the sparsely moving humanity, culminating with a soothing but passing gaze at the greenery around. Once again, the tacit bonding with the world gets going.
Next on the agenda is stepping out of the front door to bring in the morning papers while throwing just a glance at the headlines and no more. It is a pledge to keep away from forming an addictive habit, which steals a major chunk of your precious morning time.
How I enjoy these chores at the start of a new day! The ability to extend a cheerful welcome to the rising sun and its warmth to come a visiting and fill the yet listless veins with the fire of its energy is no less than a benediction.
Heading to the kitchen longingly for brewing the first cup of herbal tea (ginger, aniseed or cloves) in the cleanest pot, is a sacred experience like breaking a fast. The aroma of the steeping tea fills the nostrils with a sweet sensation. The brew stimulates and rejuvenates the body and mind with feel good properties.
Still better, it is to start the day with a glass of warm water mixed with juice of a quarter of lemon. Great for propelling the cleansing process. Helps in alkalizing the body and balancing pH. levels. Also watches weight…
While sipping tea, I enjoy dashing to each room to straighten up things here or there and make a mental note of the errands needing attention. It gives a very satisfying feeling of potency by way of being in control of the household. The interesting part is that it takes so little time, but the benefits are stupendous in terms of running the household efficiently even as a professional. The bonus is enhanced output sans stress.
I care a lot more for creating a friendly and comfortable space in my bedroom. For that, I take special care in making up my bed and putting the things at convenient places. A pen, a notebook and tissue papers on the side table (sometimes I snack sitting snuggled in the quilt) are mandatory along with a few copies of the Reader’s Digest for pleasure reading. The neat and tidy look gives me an adrenaline rush for ensuring the rest of the day to be fully productive.
Next on the daily almanac is some sort of indoor exercise. The whole of North India remains engulfed in fog these days and going for a morning walk is out of question. I am not a routine fanatic. I do things, the way I like. For example, I have started learning to exercise with lightweight dumbbells with inputs from the internet. I have made a beginning with fifteen minutes of workout and then some stretching exercises. This I feel is a gainful way of warding off winter blues and to remain active and inspired.
Post some cooling off period- the sharpened appetite craves for some victuals. Mostly the breakfast consists of wheat or oats porridge, or roti made of wheat flour kneaded with finely chopped fenugreek leaves and eaten with homemade butter and curd. Sometimes it is toast with egg, boiled or omelet and a cup of hot milk.
After a lazing stint of browsing my favorite columns of the newspapers, sitting in the lawn, enjoying the balmy sunshine, I take up my day’s activities in earnest.
Friends, my morning schedule, a little this way or that way has helped me to vanquish procrastination and sloppiness from my system and lead a more positive and peaceful life.
Let’s know your priorities for the morning by sharing them with us.
Image: courtesy google
Monday, December 9, 2013
THE MIND RESEMBLES THE INTRICATE STRUCTURE OF THIS FLOWER!
|this is one flower. from our backyard.It is called more pankhi(the,peacock feather)|
Off and on, inwardly, doubts, uncertainties and allied dilemmas of everyday living overwhelm the mind. Retrospection and introspection give no relief. The internal upheaval whisks away repose and happiness.The passage of time does not heal the pain of muted hurts. Regrets also now and then ruffle the mind. Negativity homes in with a defeatist attitude and snubs drive and enthusiasm. Most of the times, the thinking mind’s inner voice butts in at the opportune time and stops the onslaught of jumbled and incoherent thoughts. It goes for a middle path between subjectivity and rationality.
Thereafter the realization dawns, about the futility of digging the past or crying over spilt milk. Slowly the flow of the stream of consciousness wakes up to the reality of the present, for health and well-being.
Ironically, thinking beings keep wrestling with such emotional phases occasionally. Our inherent sensitivities dare to walk over the razor’s edge and bleed easily in the process.
Now in my golden years, mind’s machete stabs me into the awareness of emptiness of life. This brings unease and boredom. The danger of becoming self-centric looms large. Further deliberations; boil down to the need of finding some definite and fulfilling purpose in life. Many questions and many responses strike the grey matter. Invariably the answer comes - You have played your innings as best as you could. Why have any regrets? Yes, true, If only I could rein in the basic premise epitomized in- “I think therefore I am” ‘Cogito ergo sum.’ Everybody knows how merciless this psychic state is. The thinking wand of the mind leaves no escape route. The internal critic, your conscience deprives you of the bliss of ignorance.
Slowly, the inner soliloquy -the voice of sanity resurrects the buried good sense. It takes center stage. It reminds you to be proactive and keep at bay the satanic hold of the absurd, melancholia and cynicism. This entails determination to ensure mental and physical wellness. Moreover, only discipline and sense of purpose lead to a path of healthy self- renewal.
For me it lies in pursuing my writing passion. Paradoxically it gives me the thrill of an enduring purpose and the bittersweet pain of ensuring flow of inspiration. It is like, you take it or you leave it. It is rocky but you enjoy it. It defines you in your own mind. It makes you feel empowered to articulate your worldview in the blogosphere. When it is derailed, that is the time when misgivings and annoying pricks intrude. The only alternative is to stop feeding the bug and be mired in nothingness. What an option! Ha ha ha! Can one do it? Obviously not. Here one sweats but there are joys and rainbow moments too.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
― Eleanor Roosevelt
BTW don't you agree that the beauty of the above flower has the power to dispel all doubts?
Thursday, December 5, 2013
In the run up to the New Year, I am reaffirming some general principles for meaningful living, which I propose to follow diligently and sincerely. My commitment is based on due deliberations, experiences, observations and intellectual journey over the years. More or less, I had always been a votary of these beliefs. However, sometimes life’s boat faces rocky patches and things stare at you menacingly. Well, human memory needs refreshing periodically for direction and focus.
One confession I have to make at the outset. Listen ladies! Now I believe more than ever the adage, “Behind every successful woman is herself.”
The following principles/ suggestions are universal and have classic appeal: They are simply reminders, lest we forget.
Count your blessings at least once a day. Thank God for your good fortune, a loving family, good friends and the material comforts to enjoy life fully.
Be grateful to your parents for their unconditional love and support. Acknowledge the contribution of your siblings in your growing up years. Give a moment of thought to your colleagues and friends who stood by you in difficult times.
Live in the moment. Feel the joy of being alive. Stop whining about minor irritations of life. Make the most of your present and set achievable goals.
Be strong and kind to yourself. Try to forget the hurts (though very difficult) and emotional wounds of life and move forward.
Have a positive attitude. It imparts confidence, develops resilience and promotes good health.
Remain honest to yourself. Learn to say ‘no’ to something, which is against the core of your personality.
Try to remind yourself of the legacy of a value system ingrained in your mental makeup. Listen to your inner voice in life’s testing times.
Go with the flow of life. Don’t try to jump the gun. Patience and trust will sort out things for you.
Practice mindfulness, the ability to concentrate on the work at hand. Learn to meditate and do good Karma.
Hone your creative skills. Set a purpose and focus on it assiduously.
Develop the ability to visualize success in your particular field and work whole heartedly to achieve it.
Be friends with nature. It is our ally in all seasons. It is a great stress buster. Enjoy the sight of a flitting butterfly, a chirping bird and a frolicking squirrel. Look at the lark with a worm in its beak, a dove cooing on overhead wires, a pair of parakeets sprinting above and a woodpecker busy pecking in your freshly mown lawn. Listen to cuckoo’s melodious ditties on a rainy day in summer.
Smell a rose and strike a conversation with the flowers beaming in the soft breeze. Watch the swirl and swing of the newly sprouted twigs in the spring. Wonder at the sight of a dew droplet hanging precariously on the blade of grass and pause to watch the glow of the glowworm on dark moist nights. Can one ask for more?
Follow an exercise regimen of your choice. Anyway, go for a walk and savor the activity around. Focus on breathing. Be conscious of the inhalation and exhalation process. Feel the movement of your limbs as you take steps.
Sitting in your verandah, soak in relaxation in your body and mind. Practice spiritual abandons. Let wind caress your face and blow your hair and allow it to steal in and rub against your body. Forget yourself and be in a joyful reverie.
Don’t take life too seriously. Laugh and make others laugh. Spread cheer. It is said, “He who laughs lasts.”
In short, the process of inventing and reinventing oneself is life- long. Thank God for that. This is essential if we wish to lead a happy, purposeful life.
Friends, what do you think of the above discourse? Pl. suggest your own perspective about New Year resolutions.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Here is the Ariel view captured by my camera from the moving plane…
|the plane is above the ocean of clouds. Part of the right wing is visible.|
I’m back at Patiala after four months of stay in the U.S. It was a very rewarding experience in terms of hitherto unexplored treasure trove of unbounded natural beauty and many more eye-opening experiences. I had been to the U.S. many times before, and I visited capital city Washington DC and most of its tourist attractions. Most memorable had been the visits to Disneyland and Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles. However, unluckily I was not a blogger then and experiences remained unrecorded and faded from memory in due course of time.
|Zurich's green patches and surrounding areas. The red cross sign on the wing.The red cross movement originated from Switzerland.|
Now for the last couple of years I’m a part of the blogosphere and my perceptions and insights are deeply sensitized and propel me to decide what to chronicle. I only need a trigger point, that is.
|The architectural design of Zurich city and mountains in the far end.|
We had chosen Swiss international as our air carrier this time. We boarded the plane from Chicago for Zurich and boarded another flight from the same company from Zurich to Delhi. As the plane started to take off from Zurich, I chanced to look out of the window. Oh what an eerie display of the mystery of the skyline it was! I immediately pried out my camera from the bulging pockets of my purse, got glued to the window for capturing the rare scenes above the clouds. As the plane was slowly gaining height, I took pictures of the breathtaking scenes below. It brought into focus the charismatic paradigm of the view below. The boundless expanse embellished with pneumatic looking surface created by the moving clouds made my jaw drop in sheer amazement. Actually, these are the miracles, which go unnoticed. The sight was so awe inspiring and humbling. One bows in awe at the magnificence, which looked surreal and real at the same time.
|the open spaces away from human habitation.|
Switzerland is a beautiful country with gigantic mountains-Alps in South and Jura in North West- dotting its skyline. Zurich and Geneva are its global cities. It is a peace loving and safe country. It has a perfect banking system. (Remember all the money stashed in its banks from all over the world.)
|Further up,mountains engulfed in snow. Only tops visible.|