Heal the world

Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)”– Marcus Tullius Cicero

I love watching short films on Youtube of any genre. It was a realxing day,  was done with my daily chores, so thought of  indulging  in some movie. I happened to click on a link on Asian films as the thumbnail caught my attention. It showed a woman and her family eating dinner. Now nothing unusual or different about it but the only thing I was inquisitive was about the sad expression on the woman’s face.  I wanted to know what could be the possible reason for her to bear such an expression. I clicked on the link and the movie started. It was a short movie for about 12 minutes but by the end of it  something in me changed. The family consisted of a woman, her children and her aged mother. The economic condition of the family was frail!, in fact they were really hand to mouth.  The woman pretended to be a leper so she could get a place to stay and keep her family secure but for some reason she was now asked to move out hence the expression. The scene shows the woman crying and telling her family “All these years I have pretended to have leprosy so we could have a place to stay! where am I supposed to go now with you all! We have no home..” I felt numb for a moment and felt as if I was that woman instead. It was a horrifying feeling! I could not imagine not having a home or food for my kids and at the same time  also felt grateful for what I have. Being homeless is the biggest curse in the society today. There are so many people all over the world for various socio, economic or political reasons without a place to live and food to eat today.

What are we doing for them as a community? How to arrange shelters and food for them? How to find a long term solution to this ?

I had no answers then.  living in my own small cocooned world of security and comfort, I never faced the challenges that so many people in our community face on daily basis.  “If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.” Warren Buffet. My empathy for less priveledged was not going to make any difference in their lives. Only thing I can do is take  a step.

There are so many good samaritans who are working endlessly to  help others and volunteering to bring about change . Many NGOs and government agencies are working towards the eradication of major social and economic issues. Many of us are not even aware of how we can make a difference and contribute.

So here are the  links  to  the list of Shelters provided by the government of India and in Malaysia where I currently reside, where in if you see a homeless person you can help them.  Also, links to few other NGOs where you can volunteer and donate for other serious causes.

For India

http://delhishelterboard.in/main/?page_id=483

http://delhishelterboard.in/main/?page_id=3305

http://homelesspeople.in/

http://www.giveindia.org/certified-indian-ngos.aspx

http://www.ngoreporter.com/search-ngo/state-wise-ngo-list

http://mumbaimarathon.indiatimes.com/images/ngo2010.pdf

For Malaysia

http://www.peoplegiving.org/list-of-charity-partners

If we are able to take some time out of our busy schedules and contribute for the betterment of the society and empowering  those in need , this world would be a different place where every child has food to eat and a place called home.

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.”– Dalai Lama

 

 

 

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Loving Yourself

Love is a simple word yet people tend to make it complex! U receive what you give and vice versa. Life is a full circle, if its dark today, tomorrow there will be light. If its day then its followed by night. If there is a head then there is a tail. Every thing has its own beauty. Difficult times teach us lessons to move forward in our journey and discover our inner strength. As very well said by Leanord Cohen

“There is a crack in everything, thats how light comes in.”

The truth is, before you expect love from others, learn to love yourself first. If you don’t love yourself completely, then why complain others don’t?

Be compassionate, loving , caring and responsible for your own well being. Maintain a balance between your mind and heart. Mind will always play tricks on you but heart will tell you the truth. Bring balance in your life by taking care of your needs, emotions and health. Dalai Lama says “The purpose of one’s life is to be happy.” For this you have to consciously make an effort everyday.

There are simple things you can do:

1. Excercise . Some form of physical excercise is very important to keep you moving. Maintain the physical strengh to get through the day. Even 5 to 15 minutes of quick workout can be very helpful. Please take care of yourself give atleast 5 mins to your health. I personally do yoga. It balances both mind and body.

2. Eat well and eat healthy. Its always good to have your meals on time and short meals at shorter duration. Please don’t deprive yourself of that, you owe it to your body. Choose the diet plan which suits you but have your balanced meal.

3. Pick up a hobby. Idle mind is a devil’s workshop. If you are not working full time, its more than necessary to pick a hobby or follow what you are passionate about. Daily , weekly , monthly what ever fits your current regime, follow your hobby. Keep yourself busy with constructive and creative things.

4. Learn to say No. Its OK to say NO for things you don’t want to do or do not believe in. You have not taken birth on this planet to please everyone. Its impossible to please and keep everyone happy so say no when you strongly believe it should be a No.

5. Have Gratitude. Believe me, this is one I can vouch for. Having gratitude and value of what I have instantly lifts me up. If you are having a bad day, think of the good things you already have in your life and feel blessed. There are many people on this planet who do not even get a single meal in a day. Always thank the universe for the things and people you have in your life.

6. Do service. There are so many people in this world who need your help. Do help others in whatever capacity you can without expecting anything in return. You will be blessed with lot of love.

7. Expect less from others. This one is tough but really works. Stop expecting others to give you what you can give yourself. Do not beg, even for love, affection, validation and companionship. It will always disappoint you. You are complete. Do not seek others to complete you. If you depend on others for your emotional stability and well being you will always loose.

8. Have faith. Have faith in your own power. Perseverance and patience can achieve anything in life. Atleast it will keep you focused on your life purpose. Have faith in your abilities and always give positive affirmations to yourself. Even if negative thoughts come, let them. The key is not to dwell on them. Slowly, but firmly replace them with positive ones.

9. Practice mindfulness. Live in the moment. You cannot change the past and cannot control future. So what do you do? You start living in the moment! Love what is. Every difficult moment will be replaced by a happier one thats the law of nature and universe.
Practice any form of meditation to control your thoughts. Living in the moment will keep you balanced and at peace also keep you connected with your inner self.

10. Do not be judgemental. Everyone has their own story. You just don’t know it. Its best to be compassionate than judge others. Its not always black or white, it can be grey as well. Judging others is like getting into a black hole of broken relationships. Empathy is the medicine that can be used to bridge the gap between you and the other, not judgement.

If you are already doing the above mentioned things, then my friend, you do love yourself and it will resonate with others and attract best in your life. If not, its never late to start. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts. Blessings and love…

Relationships- If only they were easy!

Recently, I attended a full day workshop on holistic approach to life. Among many talks, there was a particular talk by an international speaker on ‘Art of relationships’. It wasn’t surprising that people were flocking to get a seat. The speaker herself confessed it was an enormous task to sum it all up in 30 minutes, a topic which could take days perhaps if not months. As I listened in,  a light bulb flashed in my head, I could clearly see myself coming out of a deep well of ignorance. A Few takeaways:

  1. The focus should be on US rather than THEM– Often we forget about our own and clog our minds with other’s behavior, attitude, habits and actions affecting our life situation. We easily overlook the same in us. To be successful at any relationship, be it with your children, parents, spouse, friends or work colleagues, its important to have clarity of your intention. Pause and ask this question ‘ What do I intend to achieve in this relationship?’ listen to your gut feeling. It’s scientifically proven that your gut is made up of same matter as your brain! If your intention is of love and your action does not align with the same, the result would be catastrophic.  Your own Thought- Speech- Action alignment is imperative to achieve  breakthrough or success in  any relationship.   Also, a universal truth, You cannot control Thought- Speech- Action of anyone else’s.., so its futile focusing on that.
  2. Do you love your self enough?  What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?……..if not all, but most check their cell phones!  With an action like this, you are actually focusing on what others are doing, rather than focusing on how you feel that morning and how can you make your day more creative and fulfilling. A minute lost will never come back.  Indulge in activities that enrich you. Complete focus on your tasks ahead, eating healthy, exercising, giving positive affirmations or learning something new are some examples. In case your mood swings and you find yourself in negative space, try deep breathing until you feel relaxed. In nutshell, taking care of yourself and being in touch with your feelings leads to a happy place. I have added link to my another blog to elaborate on this. – Loving Yourself
  3. Law of receiving and giving –  The law states that whatever vibrations you give out in the universe, you receive them back and sometimes in magnifying proportions. So be mindful of Thought -Speech- Action. Be patient and consistent with this approach to receive abundance and prosperity. let me give you an example, if you sow a mango seed, you cannot expect to eat the fruit instantly. It takes years to grow in a tree  with correct amount of exposure  to air , water and sunshine to receive its fruit. So be patient. This law also teaches you to balance in life. As you need a balanced diet constituting all the essential nutrients in right proportion to achieve a healthy body, similarly  you have to balance giving and receiving to achieve a fulfilling life.
  4. Forgive and forget –  Sounds easy, but difficult to imbibe. Forgiveness is one thing that most people struggle with everyday. Irony is not doing this leads to a lot of suffering and pain. Therefore, we have to remind ourselves everyday to be a bigger person and embrace forgiveness essentially for our own peace of mind.  Anger with resentment is our biggest enemy. As  Lord Buddha says, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with intent of throwing it at someone else; You are the one getting burned.”
  5. Smile often – It’s a simple gesture but rarely followed. Like Air, Earth and Sun are the basis of survival and are absolutely free. In the same way, a smile can go a long way to make someone’s as well as your day better and requires no amount of money.  There is an experiment I would recommend you to try. Next time, if you find yourself in a conflict with someone and are about to explode in anger, just look up and smile! and then look straight into that person’s eye with a smile. It will definitely save you that explosion that you later might regret. It is in that one moment where you  apply your wisdom and save relationships that matter instead of breaking them apart.

last but not the least, I will leave you with something to ponder on, a beautiful quote, I absolutely love:

Continue reading “Relationships- If only they were easy!”

My trip to the amusement park!

img-20161230-wa0031Oh really ? Amusement park! My first reaction was , what will I do at this age in an amusement park? But you got to do what you need to do for kids😀. So we decided just before the New year to finally make the Visit. I packed the bags with all the essentials and for emergency  ( still something is always left out!) Put loads of sunscreen on me and the girls , put the right footwear and outfit ( It has an amazing water park too) and went right for it. Inevitably, we were behind the schedule and I thought its not possible to cover the whole park today. For some reason I was not feeling too well but did not want to postpone the trip.

When we reached, the kids got super excited and at the entrance we came to know that it had 6 different parks to cover! What a task, I was already feeling exhausted in the mind.

First one we chose was the ‘Scream park’. Believe me, when it comes to showing courage and bravery in the ghost world, I prefer to run in the other direction. Somehow I mustered all the courage and stood in the queue for the haunted house tour. After good 30 mins, we entered the horror zone and suddenly a Zombie from nowhere jumped in front of me and I had the most horrible shriek that I am sure that fake zombie must have also shivered!

Next park to cover was the adventure park and the roller coaster! I said to myself, bring it on baby I am ready. It took us 45 minutes after that statement to step onto the roller coaster. Phew! That was some ride. I felt as if I have accomplished a milestone. I felt if I could do this, I could even climb Mount Everest! I was all pumped up. But my excitement was short lived as soon as I saw the ‘Pirates revenge’ That ship literally did a 360 degree in the air and just watching that, my dream of climbing the Mt Everest vanished. I decided to skip it but my kids did it anyway. After doing couple of more rides and my head spinning of dizziness, we decided to go the water park.

Now there is lot of physics going on in the water park and how they designed each slide. Some of the slides were at such a height that just to reach the entrance I had to climb hundred stairs and carry a big double tube along. I was so excited by the look of it ( so many twists and turns) I completely disregarded my dizziness, pain in the knee ( lack of vitamin D) and on coming dehydration and reached the top! And whoosh , I came sliding down on the double tube with my daughter and had the most amazing time. It was so thrilling and exhilarating, I did it again !

After covering almost all the parks but not all the rides, we reached the final park ‘Nicklodeon’. I was in awe! But was too tired for anymore rides. So decided to take a break, sip a cola and relax. The girls went on. Now the park was about to close so my husband and I went looking for the girls and spotted them climbing down the stairs after doing one of the water slides. They had such an expression of joy, happiness, surprise, unexpected achievement  (all in one), that I just felt so happy just seeing their faces. They urged me to do the water slide and experience what they had. Believe me, it was the one of the best! After all, the trip to the amazing amusement park was worth it.   At the end of the trip I realized that, truly age is just a number, never miss out on moments of fun. Will I do it again. Why not?

Starting over again

When you face a situation, u have three choices to make:

Accept it

Change it

Leave it

I chose to change it.

I was a very shy child, so much so that it was sometimes difficult for me to introduce myself. My sister used to come to my rescue and say my name! Well I never knew what was the reason behind my shyness or fear of speaking in front of people. This was getting worst by the day. When I went to my new school, I was asked to introduce myself in the class and there I was standing with the blank expression and nothing was coming out of my mouth. It was evident to everyone around that I was struggling and I had become a laughing stock. As I became a teenager, this issue got slightly better but it did not go away. I used to stutter most of the time.

I went to a speech therapist, who was very patient with me. I practiced speaking slowly whenever the fear  emerged but still sometimes I got stuck just uttering my name. I thought maybe the vowel sound of A is the issue so pronouncing ‘Amrita’ was a task!! so why not change my name to ‘Rhea’ or ‘Sana’. But my problem was more of a psychological nature than physical.

I told my self ‘Amrita’ you can overcome this, get hold of yourself, its not a big deal. I noticed that I did not stutter much when talking to my family members or friends.

I decided to take help of my mother and others for motivation and was determined to resolve this issue.

Well this is what I did:

  1. Stand in front of the mirror and practice speech.
  2. Read very slowly almost in a singing tone.
  3. Self motivation talk about fear and shyness
  4. Order on phone for pizza or groceries
  5. Participate in singing and poem recitation(debating was out of question!)
  6. Having the attitude of ‘You can do this my girl!’

With time I started noticing that I was getting better. I still felt the fear but was able to overcome it quickly. Till the time I reached graduation, I was almost normal in speech. I did my MBA and also picked up a job. Guess what? My first job was a role of a student counselor! My role required me to counsel students coming to take admission in the IT related course and solve queries through phone and in person. Then I went on to become a trainer and did voice coaching. Sometimes when I reflect back, I feel very proud of myself. It’s not that I am doing great in my life at present or am very successful in my career but I know for sure that If one believes in something and has a clear vision, perseverance and patience, its possible to achieve it. Today, at this point in my life, It feels like its time to start believing in myself again and achieve what I want. Its a long road, but I get to choose the path! There is light at the end of each tunnel.

 

 

 

 

Is it true that the world hates women?

Just the other day I read about a 7 month baby girl being raped and left to die, it took me a few minutes to comprehend and assimilate exactly what I had just read ! this insanity certainly  was not done out of pleasure! It looked like a hate crime. But guys if you hate women so much how do you think you were born? and assaulting oops! raping an infant that is some psychology even Freud would have struggled with. Its the same story world over. Women of any age,country, size, color are being treated worse than animals, not only raped but tortured after that. It only proves one thing that men are finally proving that they have lost their minds! Is it about power, mental illness, manliness, just for kicks, deep rooted inferiority complexes or sheer madness that men resort to such heinous crime? Of course the law takes its own course but in the meantime these nut cases are busy committing similar crimes believing they are above the law or born on earth only to torture the one specie who is much smarter than them ‘The Woman’. I ask why can’t there be a law which allows the parents, families of the victims to torture the man responsible probably the same way or worst possible way and left to die. There should not be any respite if proven guilty.  Now I am certainely not branding all the  men in the same category but its high time that fathers start educating their sons and lead by example ! This has to STOP!

How are you feeling today?

This is a question which I was always confused about, but my answer mostly was good! Wait what a lie! Really do I know for certain? So I think… am I feeling good, tired, happy, sad or just OK? Well combination would be precise! this does not make sense. What am I doing to change that feeling… lemme think, lets start with thoughts! Good idea but thousands keep pouring, all kinds funny, strange, negative, positive, sad and weird, yes I said it.

I wish I could feel great all the time but how ? Simple, what does not make me feel good don’t think about it instead think about something which makes me feel good,even if it not true but changes the feeling from bad to good. Works for me! Not difficult really, just simply say ‘get out I don’t need you’ to a negative thought and ‘ Welcome positive thought, I really need you.’

But mostly, I notice people are very busy making themselves miserable all the time with unnecessary thinking which in no way is contributing to the’ good feeling’ any way, like my job sucks, my salary is too low, my boyfriend does not care about me, my kids don’t listen to me, I need more money, why did someone lie about me, where is the world going? will there be any peace ever, nothing can go right in this country, oh god I am fat , thin or ugly! the list goes on and on. Of course then the list of “I want“- I want to be rich, beautiful,successful, I want this car, watch, bag, dress, phone and it goes on and on. Until you get that particular thing you almost become a ‘neurotic’. I certainly don’t want to become one. do you? So I realized  only I control how I feel and not any other person or thing. Next time you are asked this question, what will you say?