General, Mindfulness l

C A L M N E S S

So much in ones head, so many scattered thoughts, so hard to feel calm! This is all but the life of many moms in the current times with school going kids. If both parents are working, the pressure is even more on the mom in question to juggle the time between work at home and work outside of the home! Then with our own parents ageing, life at times seems to be in a tizzy! So much talks and readings all around talking about the merits of those meditations etc etc. Still the mind does not go into mode CALM. A few pointers which I keep reminding myself time and again.

Prioritise – No matter how great I feel about being a super mom who can juggle enough and more, it’s prudent to prioritise the many things to do. On a given day, everything and more is done to perfection ( ah yes! another not to seek quality when one has kids around as the strive to get to that perfectly orderly stage is quite a tedious one so it’s better left at the maximum effort basis level), yet another day one feels like a waste! So the only way to get past is to do the relevant stuff for that day and feel happy and calm about it.

Small targets -Over ambitious tasks be it clean up drives, doing chores endlessly need to be broken down into small units and self patting on the back ought to be done for achieving those small targets.

Oodles of patience with people, kids and surroundings -This one ought to be there for that sense of calmness to prevail. It comes naturally to some very envious ones in my list but for the many, situations outside ones scope like weather, traffic , inadequacy of resources almost saps the minds capacity to stay calm. Well, since we really don’t have much control over these, nothing much can be done but here I am seriously trying to find a popping pill which gives me calmness instantly in these situations!This brilliant quality called patience sure instills calmness.

Mind not on constant overdrive -If everything is done for a change, and one is actually sitting idle sipping their coffee or tea or doing a crossword, the mind should actually actually feel calm and nice in doing this. At such times, feelings of oh my god, am I really sitting sitting, I should be doing this and that should not hit the mind. A constantly charged mind need not be there and if free time to watch tele or read a book comes along, savouring the time guilt free might set the tone of calmness.Restlessness is all there at times but a constant reminder to self to see the calmness amidst the clatter should be there.

Yes the one big one which seems to work wonders is to take deep breaths, count till 10, inhale the fresh air( as and when available!) and never stop admiring nature and the greens. It’s one big mind leveller and a sure shot winner!

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Sequencing and logic

The many patterns which the little ones are asked to observe and then recreate at a relatively young age has a great bearing as they get older . Very clearly telltale signs are visible and as they grow older, these only build up more and more .We used to love following a sequence of hearts, spades, clubs, then again heart , spades,…and while this was used as a fun play way method sort of exercise, our logical sense was expanding. This almost became a sort of an important building block as we grew. The ones who showed sharpness in this gradually took a liking to this sequencing logic in their lives and the results are but evident in those adults.

Amongst us who have adopted this in their lifestyle and general thought process are a distinct breed well spotted from a distance. Their every action and reaction thereof reeks of this trait and all this is in a positive manner.Talk about any area of their lives and these people are literally a step ahead. The mind forms a pattern of one thing leading to the other and the rest follows in order. Simple everyday tasks like making tea, putting things away, leaving the house etc. etc. is all done so very logically. Here basic intellect and the right usage of it play an important role in channelising this trait to their advantage. It’s an absolute delight if we were to deal with this lot more often! Even in chaos they set a pattern for logic. Take this further to a work space and your co worker who follows this will be one cherry picked for assignments which require significant doses of this trait.Their anticipation to the next course of action is quite explicit. Even the creative souls who sometimes seem to be in defiance of this trait can actually apply this for their own good.

Meet someone in the sports arena and the way their logical brain conducts itself is worth a medal! Their every move is almost measured it feels. This does come from a good bit of training etc. but at the heart of it is the sequencing pattern which would have been absorbed rather well when they were kids. Just observing people in their kitchens, work places, garages, malls , airports, parks, child management, public places etc etc. is almost a dead giveaway to their minds! Basically their conduct, reactions to situations etc. all breathes logic and more!

So if in the process of raising young adults, trying to incorporate this wonderful trait may not be a bad investment. Educationalists and parents do spend time in this but regular monitoring and challenges make this trait go northwards! Of course , each ones own wiring and tuning is different and in some it comes naturally but very worthwhile if in daily living this can be instilled in them. For the start, it benefits if this is a caregivers trait  for it to get transmitted down the line smoothly but I strongly feel, a little bit of conscious effort can get us there. At a later date and age, when wisdom breathes more, the benefits breathe even more !

General, Mindfulness l, Parenting

Competition

This word is so commonly heard in almost every stage of our lives,  right when we were kids to progressing to being a student to going on till work life and thereafter manifesting itself in different ways as years add up. The telltale signs are visible each time, sometimes clearly and sometimes in an oblique and obscure manner.  Many interpretations/ misinterpretations are associated with this word and it’s usage is in both, appreciation as well as sounding scornful at different times and in different measures .It’s also how it is projected by one and perceived by the other! Can be healthy as well as cancerous; the way the pendulum swings is rather judgemental, though shouldn’t be ! But it is at many a times!

Competition in reference to kids when they are small is mostly amongst their folks which is gradually layered on to them unconsciously or even intentionally .As they start developing their own minds, I have seen this sense of competition stemming from within. Thats rather healthy, and I like it that way as it’s outdoing and bettering one self ONLY . Here, the only piece of advice given is to deliver your best and up the ante in your and only your eyes. Sometimes, a close associate or even a friend views this in a strong worded  tone reeking of accusation but then it’s only us we have a control on and not the people surrounding us! In not using this word directly but communicating in a subtle manner is what brings out the best in kids. This has to be very carefully handled lest it becomes an issue later on in their lives .Young adults decide for themselves how competitive they wish to be but the seeds have to be sown at an early age, gently and softly, both, in words and in actions.

Adult work life has its own share and take on this and this is different for each soul. What feels like, “he is utterly competitive” for one rings a tune of ” it’s nice to be like that ” for another. It’s only the perceptions that vary and they are rather personal to either of them. Nothing really right or wrong, just how one looks at growing up and growth is what it is all about! It’s also passion to a large extent which makes people competitive in their own eyes as well as the eyes of others. One actually is driven by a passion to either excel/ grow/ outpace or maximise ones potential. It is all good as long as it’s not coming in anyone’s way or disturbing the rhythm of living and life.

Competition with self and known only to self is wonderful and in my mind should be a driver in most areas of our lives from the mundane to the ordinary. Raising  the bar in our own eyes to levels which improve our own self worth and thereby makes us more charged to take on yet another day of our living, not mere existence , is what it is all about!

General, Mindfulness l

We the people- PART 2

Continuing from where I left, there are so many species amongst us humanity who make for interesting observations . Today I delve into a few more..

I have met and seen so many of if- then -else lot that my first memories of basic computer programming comes into fore! This interesting lot have very conveniently slotted their lives into this mode. Any experience that life has to offer is diagnosed to the last tee in this mode. If this happens, then this will happen, else this will be the outcome! So much thought goes into programming your mind in matters that have not seen the light of the day. Here caution somewhere has disproportionately taken over on the smallest joy of living. It’s true that all rational reasoning has to be apportioned for but this lot takes all thinking to an altogether different level. The net result is missing out on small joys. These folks also take over cautious approach to food intakes, minor health glitches and the likes. The more one looks around, one head is always there which subscribes to this philosophy of life. Nothing really wrong as long as the rationale is rationalised and convinced in their minds and most often they manage to convince themselves rather well and go on with their living being oblivious to the unnecessary loads their minds hold.

The self tagging lot is another brood of our vast human species. You meet one and very quickly the ice breaker is towards the time of the day they are the brightest! I am a morning/night person, I am a coffee/tea person, etc. etc. Of course, personal preferences do play a great role for a meaningful existence but this self tagging sounds rather limiting. It kind of gets in the way of sudden unexpected days/ events/ situations for them. Again, it’s all slotting in their minds only and it seriously need not be given the weightage it does! Habits can be changed to suit and better ones lifestyle and the slotting , if any, only mars their evolvement. Funny, but true how weather, coffee and tea takes up so much of ones time and thoughts, even becoming the main conversation pieces for some , much to the chagrin of many!

The critics/doubters are so prevalent and if they weren’t like this at some point in their lives, the general feeling of displeasure make them one! Here, the situation is viewed only from a narrow lens of mostly self convenient options and convincing the mind thereof, the rest falls under criticism of the utmost nature. I have very close set of people who fall in this criticism trap. Their minds only somehow sees what it wishes to see but the larger picture is rather obscured. Their “buts ” become so much that talking to them feels like a pain in the backside literally !! Their self doubting minds  plays havoc with them and this is seen very  clearly to an outsider. Try and explain the ills of it and you might end up getting the brunt of age, so called more and wider experience and seen life more closely kind of feedback. It’s a given that learning is ongoing, be it from the generation before us, ahead of us and of course our current lot. The mind just has to be calmer and the criticisms evaluated well before they are placed forward for all to see. Else, this lot become silent victims of their own thought process.

There are many more categories of people I can think of and I might just be tempted to write  part 3! After all, it’s us humanity which makes our world interesting!

General, Mindfulness l

We the people- PART 1

Life and living is such a wonderful blend of myriad people we end up interacting with daily. The many lot in one’s repertoire makes for interesting observations and learnings. The uniqueness of everyone while being different makes for good insights.

I thought of penning down a few in broad categories and this is purely stemming from my own experiences. The finer nuances are but an altogether different category within these broader ones!

There are the general acquaintances who for most parts are kept in the general box of people I know and am comfortable with that . Casual greetings and kept to yourself thoughts make up this lot. A great number of people fall into this box if one is a parent of school going children. So many faces ring a bell but such little is known of them. Just their outward appearance and brief talks is enough for gauging the potential of they moving up in your own personal ladder of adding people in your lives. Why, actually after a certain life stage, less is more feels more comfortable!

The all discerning people come with their own know it alls. Some absolute genuine ones are gems and open to fresher insights and it’s interesting to be with them while some believe rather strongly about the old adage of” knowledge is power.” These latter ones could be hijacking every conversation in the yarn of knowing more , at least thats what their minds tell them. The ground reality is very different when met on a one on one basis as the real soul has no choice but to speak up his thoughts in a more close knit set up and then the proverbial opening up of the Pandora’s box happens! Honestly, it’s absolutely just fine to not know everything under the sun and moon but the seemingly discerning soul is not in acknowledgment of this. It requires deft handling and veneering the talks from their point of view to a larger world view. No one here is trying to gain brownie points but the idea is to enjoy those wonderful brownies together ! Experiential lot speak with more clarity and depth of understanding compared to heresay and bookish know how lot.

Then , there are those  Insecure minds who try and justify every action of theirs without being told to. The outside rational viewers can see this trait but at the same time find it hard to explain the demerits of it all to them lest it be construed as you being the lucky soul in the world. Hidden comparisons only raises their insecurities further.

Unbiased and non judgemental factors really works wonders but the human mind thinks otherwise. The ones that I know who have these wondrous qualities are really unfettered by the many going ons  àround them and somehow are at peace. It is almost become my very mission to be like one of them ! Here emulation is, I know for the larger good . Sadly there’s no hidden formula but small conscious changes can get me there I feel, even if not all the way though in this lifetime! The weather, universe and its bounties are for all in equal measures,it’s only how each of us take it personally and grows or benefits or uses them to favour our own lives that makes the difference.

There are so many other lots , sub lots and I will very soon pen down PART 2 of this!

At the end of it all , the strive should be to be oneself and accept oneself with utmost level of self worth and confidence. Anything else is a mere pretence.

General, Mindfulness l

FOCUS

So now looks like we all have taken 2019 in our stride rather well..why, the number of feet pounding those mud tracks in the jogging arena of the parks around seem to say so! The beginnings of fitness schedules have kicked off in more ways than ever. It’s now left to see the sustenance levels of those happy or tired or focussed feet.

Whatever it is that one has consciously taken a stock of, evaluated and considered worthwhile to pursue can be done with dedicated focus. Unrealistic goals should be steered clear off the course and reasonable measured small jobs in areas where we wish to better ourselves have to be focused upon. Taking too much on one’s plate is a recipe for utmost frustration and near zero results. Even if the results from these many chosen endeavours does see the light of the day, the hidden stresses would prove to be detrimental later on.Wisdom only says to quantify and break the whole into doable and dealable parts and timely evaluation of the same. Regular sustained efforts should be the yardstick. The new year is but a fuzzy line separating the year gone by with the current one! In my view no change of the date/ calendar should hold us or propel us to take the steps we wish to towards our own greater good.

I , for one , have assessed over time and experience the areas where I need to focus and the results , as and when, would ONLY gratify me to the greatest possible extent  . Alongside, the wish is always there to see this affecting the people who matter in my existence in a positive manner. In the broader scope, these are the usual suspects all of us have to deal with in our lives- the physical, emotional, social , intellectual and spiritual issues. How well we try to change/ enhance/ acknowledge /improve our own shortcomings is the only measure. The gratitude in the end will be the completion of our own self chosen goals and how well we enmesh them in our everyday living. Here, work in progress can be rolled over to timelines which again, should be set by us and ONLY US ! Our living will make us slip in many areas owing to circumstantial pressing urgencies but as long as the will, determination and continuous reminder is with us, we are there.

Acceptance of our rough edges and smoothening the ones we wish to is something very personal to each of us and it’s  nice to keep it that way. Awareness and focussed approach should see us getting to where we wish to without the date and year fuzz.

General, Mindfulness l

Weather and mood and more

So, the weather does play a big role in ones temperament and I am one big affected soul with the way the wind blows! During this time of the year, there is a general feeling of joy and cheer and this cascades on to all things and people around. The air seems nicer, the mood is upbeat and what better way to begin ones day with that mug of coffee tasting better cupped in those warm cozy hands!

The walks, drives , short trips around all seem more pleasant and invigorating.The intake of goodies goes up exponentially and the waist and guilty heads grows parallelly. Still, justifications to the great weather feels and sounds comforting. The holidays and general light heads all add up to the winter glory. In this , kids’ extra shenanigans are given the nod and inudulgences become the key, be it the Santa Claus kinds or the holiday – mood parent kinds.

Friends and family all add up to this year end mood. Parties, outings and social connects make for good memories. All possible gratitude thoughts and other such feelings begin to surface in various forms and shapes. The exercise routines are well attended to and  the thought that the new year will bring in fresh and renewed listings for weight and other such checks and controls, life and living seems all very optimistic and sorted! It’s actually just a change of the date but somehow, the whole piece of I will do this and I will do that takes centre stage. Realistically, no weather and change of date/ day should be the deterrent , but it is for many and probably justified rather convincingly too!

So, here’s cheers to all things bright and beautiful and to see better versions of ourselves in the new year . Good weather, holidays especially the year end ones have always been the yard sticks for positively and they do have a say for our minds and matters.  As long as we are true and in complete acknowledgment to our thoughts and feelings , the turn of the day will surely be brighter!