Posted on Leave a comment

From ZEE’s point of view -Anxiety

A feeling of worry or fear, especially about the future

Hypthetical human – MR. ZEE
Acrophobic- Fear of heights 

Zee was on ground level and I told him about looking up at the man standing on a high rise building. He immediately dipped his head low and ignored me. It totally unsettled his mind when I coaxed further. For Z bungee jumping and sky diving is a complete nightmare. 

(Now my sadistic mind HAHA) —I have this weird thought—What if someone would put Zee on a plane and prepares him to jump but not let him actually take the jump -for hours. What would that experience be like for him? 

That’s dwelling in the fear of height. Dwelling there in the fear is what aggravates the problem. 

What we do with our future is the same what Zee experiences with heights. The difference is that Zee can jump off some day with a parachute and overcome his fear of height. How do you land yourself into the future to know exactly what will happen and fix it? 

Ummm…

Yes, that’s exactly what we want. We want to know if anything will go wrong and we want to fix it before it happens. We want a guarantee for everything. “Subject to market risks and conditions” —Whoever thought saying that line fast is cool—(Major eye rolling).

PLANS

You are not great because you can plan. You are great because your plan can evolve with changing times.”
mycoffeeweather  

For the longest time, I had this phobia of plans failing. (not atychiphobia exactly). It was like, nothing I plan should fail and my goal should be achieved in the way I had planned things. Seems so fanciful. The aim was to get to the destination, but I loved planning so much that I attached myself to the plan I chose. Knowing it’s all about the enjoying journey; but the need to obsess over my plans made me control the journey. Control Freeaakkk! 

Hehe! Not anymore.

Imagine someone falling from a chair! Wouldn’t you laugh out loudly? Plans failing should have the same reaction if we were not too attached to the plan. We are not our plans- plans failing doesn’t mean that we failed. We are still the ones who can plan better now that we know how not to fall from the chair. And we can still look back and laugh at it. 

Plans need to restructure as per every probable future. Even if your plans are flexible and you can adapt to any change, there will always be an unknown factor to the future. 

COPING WITH THE UNKNOWN:

Keep it simple 😉 —Eyes on the prize! And keep checking your form(plans), correcting your form (restructuring your plans) and getting better on the way. Because no one likes an undeserving win, even you’ll hate getting your prize without paying the price for it. Once you know you cannot control the journey or fixate on one single plan —you will easily accept any future that is thrown on you. 

Now a lot of people just sit back and blame the situation (Arey corona aa gaya na, that’s why no gym) and give up on the goal. You failed to restructure your old plan. Locus of control remember the 4th week of Monday Real talk on insta. You’re responsible for your goals. Plans can fail as per outside situation, let that go and you still have to own up for the part you play in the journey. 

ANXIETY DISORDER 

I’m no GURU and this really is a medical condition, which needs to be treated clinically or through therapy. My personal experience says any disorder stems from a habit we develop over time. When you’ve actually allotted a room to this fear in your head. It starts living in you. It affects your livelihood and relationships. 

Prevention is cure 

Having counter balancing habits before dwelling in the fear becomes a habit—is the preventive way. We sort of know where it stems from. We only need to battle it out with love and empowerment. 

—“I am healthy and fine and if something happens we’ll plan as per that.” Practical and assuring. 

—“I’m investing in this now it seems good, we’ll keep checking if it seems a bad buy we’ll let it go and take it from there.” Healthy attitude. 

—“I am doing my best, if I find a different way which works I’ll try that too.” No panic! 

Just like how Z ignored my request to look up at a high rise building—throw some attitude to your fears. It’s like an unwanted guest. It’s okay to have them at your door visiting dropping-off reality-checks. Just don’t let them come live with you. 

SEEK HELP FROM YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS and PROFESSIONALS

Posted on Leave a comment

The Flip side —Self-Righteous

“Enjoy the process!” —they said; “Don’t worry about the results!” —they said. It is nice to hear it; and to read it, but applying it in a reward-centric world is a different ball-game. We always want to make the right choices that lead to the outcome we want. Achievements have always been glorified in all of history because isn’t that supposed to make us feel good about ourselves? Being good at something and our laurels— they put us above others; give us an edge AND… on the flip side make us a little self-righteous.

A few days ago….

I was given two choices by my friend and depending on what I picked I would get rewarded. I picked the right answer and to my surprise the wrong answer was apparently more rewarding. Twisted right? It perplexed me, the idea of getting something extra for the wrong choice. Does that happen in real life? It could right?

You could reach faster, inspite of taking a longer route to a destination (less traffic); or wing-it in a recipe and it could taste fabulous. You could call someone by mistake and it could end up in a great conversation; or forget to save a file (happens if you’re technologically challenged like me) and get a whole new way of doing the work again.

What taught us to chase results and to get gratification from achievements then? I think it’s a generational curse! We’re praised as a kid for doing something good; given extra stars on our notebooks for good handwriting— glorified for good choices and reprimanded for bad ones. Some of us are still chasing those stars, a.k.a being self-righteous.

I always took pride in waking up early. Sure it has a great deal of health benefits but sometimes when I had to sleep-in late, I would begrudge myself the extra sleep that morning. Self-righteousness is like the card that sneaks in up the magician’s sleeve. You saw it but didn’t really look at it.

How do you catch yourself being self-righteous?

  1. Start acknowledging your pitfalls and rewarding them. Make the wrong choices look good too. I have started appreciating the fact that I break my routine sometimes. I woke up late the other day and decided to talk about it like it’s a great achievement, so that it felt as gratifying as waking up early.
  2. Self-righteousness can lead to being self-absorbed if not checked. You could end up talking about yourself a lot. (This I’ve covered on my Instagram handle @mycoffeeweather on Monday Real Talk highlights). When you start asking open-ended questions, it helps you learn that there is a whole word out there that you don’t know about and that can humble you from being too self-absorbed.
  3. Keep asking yourself- “Am I judging them/him/her?”; “Am I being too critical?”. Self-righteous people have high standards for themselves and they always want to live up to it. They can become too critical of themselves. It doesn’t allow them to be accepting of others. (Even if they’re not vocal they’ll totally judge you). Personally, I’ve come a long way from being judgmental, but there are times I slip. Tell your friends and family to stop you if you’re being judgemental.
Self-righteous
So needed for a tolerant society

Each one of us can be self-righteous in some way. Self-righteousness is an attitude that can be fixed only by yourself. If you can’t see you’re being self-righteous, no one can make you see it. From high up there, anything anyone says feels like it’s coming from a noob, because you’ll have a ‘been-there-done-that’ attitude. All you need to see is how this attitude can affect your life?—

When you are being self-righteous, you’re probably pushing everyone away. You will stop you’re own growth by limiting your channels of learning. There will be a lot of anxiety of slacking, and keeping up might feel exhausting at times. You might not have a balanced life- investing too much into the things that make you feel above everyone. Confidence in some areas of life could be low, if you feel highly self-righteous in other areas.

If you know someone who is a little self-righteous—

Just know you need to appreciate their smallest efforts in doing things unconventional to their forte, (like if they are too obsessed with their work life and they put together a meal -clap hands);

Avoid glorifying the things they already gloat about. (“OMG! Samantha you’re beautiful!”-they probably already know);

Encourage them to be in social settings where they can learn something outside of their world (“Why don’t you meet the neighbours today?”)

Small things go a long way!

There is a Yoga Sutra by Patanjali which speaks about discrimination. Finding the opposite of what is too intense- “Pratipakshabhave”. I feel I somehow found this connection after reading that. Yoga isn’t just asana- it’s a way of life and it’s the google maps for life’s journey; and I’m “Enjoying the Process” —like they said!

Insta post!

If confidence is something you’re struggling with— Watch this TED talk below and know you got it! Brittany Packnett!

Even the self-righteoud need to know what is confidence.

Self Care‘ connected to this topic; might give you better clarity if you read!

Posted on 1 Comment

Rewriting Self-care

Thanks to social-media and what’s been told…a lot of people think putting cucumber slices on your eyes, putting some music on and stretching your legs while sipping on a colada on the beach is ‘SELF-CARE’.

I hated the idea of being so self-absorbed and giving self-importance. Yes, you do need your mental peace and me-time and you do need that spa day once in a while. But are you looking at the flip side to this mass accepted idea of self-obsession? I’m not against having a good time; I just see so many people stomping out of bad situations and walking out of their responsibilities by giving an excuse of ‘Me-Time’!

Beyond basic hygiene and healthcare, there is splurging on yourself. Even after all that pampering there is this extra bit we really crave as humans-Social connections. It comes naturally to us humans. Being accepted by the society we live in is wired in our genetics, or at least passed down from civilizations. Our ancestors I just read banished a person from the tribe for their crimes and they feared isolation as the worst-case scenario. Being an outcast can feel so demotivating and dejecting; then why glorify the concept of ‘Me, myself and I’.

(Going candid now… basically time for getting random and then leading it back to the topic.)

My brother just told me this morning, that I should calculate the amount of time I spend, talking about, making and eating food. I do love food. In all honesty though, every time I’ve cooked something yum and had no one to share it with, I didn’t enjoy it as much. As much as when my people have loved my food back. The feeling of just creating something for others is like getting a star from the teacher on my answer sheet. Same like, when you do something for someone and they give you a tight hug in return. Their happiness radiates into your bones like therapy. That boomerang effect of your efforts is what I call new age self-care. Show and pour your heart out to the people in your life. That feels like self-care! (Ripleys) Believe it or not- the new definition of self-care is caring about others!

Even if you got free spa vouchers for a month or a solo trip to a famous place- if you had no one in your life to share your happiness from all the rejuvenation it would mean nothing. So first maintain the relationships in your life then enjoy your tea party with yourself.

Now! Now! Don’t be naive and too giving to toxic relationships where there is only incoming calls but no outgoing. You will drain out and every time there is the spa day it will just be a short recharge. Not a permanent solution. Find the connections that mutually wants to send you back the love. That’s where you’d want to go. We go to the best of the salons to get our things done, then why invest in bad relationships? Why hope for good connectivity from bad networks?

I’ve been told I have a tough luck with love, because I’ve never really dated anyone. But hey! I do have many other connections in my life who want to see me happy and bounce back the love I can give. I feel cared for and trust me that just doesn’t come to you in a platter you need to invest. Give your time to your mother, (just a short hey also will make her super happy), hug your dad, help your brother trim his hair, cook with your sister, play the guitar and sing with your cousins, call your friends who stay away! Go out there COWBOY! and grab your people with the lasso. They’re all you need to feel good and cared about- then probably add some ice cubes in your colada as you chill with them on the beach! PRICELESS!

Self-care is in giving

https://mycoffeeweather.com/2018/10/31/its-all-up-to-you/

A Previous READ! From October 2018 🙂
So well said! by Cloe Wade

https://www.ted.com/talks/cleo_wade_want_to_change_the_world_start_by_being_brave_enough_to_care?language=en

Posted on Leave a comment

Learning to Unlearn-Burp Out Loud

I’m sitting on the floor mat made of twigs and thread; and as I’m writing this, my gluteus muscles are screaming in discomfort. Every half an hour or an hour, I look to my left and talk to the plants, in the little indoor garden I’ve created in my room. I never saw my room from this angle ever before, because there used to be a low cabinet in this space. It didn’t take much effort to be honest. I just had to sit with the furniture and decide if I needed a few things it kept; if I was still using the things or just hoarding them. I can only say that the scanning was totally worth the effort because now my room feels so much more like me. More oxygen. More space. More learning.

Altering my physical space, I usually find a lot of clarity. Here are a few tricks that I learnt; in all this, rearranging and cleaning of drawers—

Learning to Unlearn- My new roommates!
My new roommates
  1. Have limited things and keep it spacious. If you have lesser things you’ll be able to find everything inside. Ask yourself “Do I need this?” —(Start being more aware of the b.s. thoughts that are cramming your mind-space. Ask yourself “Why do I have this thought and how is it helping?”)
  2. Rearrange the physical things; more organized; compartments and slots for everything. —(Time slots for thoughts—Not more than 5 min over a silly argument).
  3. Keep the most used stuff in the most accessible spot—(Same as giving priority to your main thoughts) 

Last week I spoke about how we learn narratives and form beliefs of what every relationship entitles you to. To change these narratives what does one have to do?— (find on Real Talk Monday on my Instagram page @mycoffeeweather).

Today’s Topic is—‘UNLEARNING’.

For the longest of time we have been taught ‘how to’, ‘what to’, ‘when to’, and ‘From whom to’ learn, and everything is focused on learning. What about UNLEARNING? The story of the Zen master asking his student to empty his cup to learn more, —was he supposed to figure out on his own, how to unlearn?

All the information available to us is using up mind space. Every experience, conversation and observation creates thoughts and they are getting saved in our minds. In one part of our country it’s learnt, not to burp loudly and in other parts burping is a sign of a hearty meal. In one part of the world greeting ‘Good morning’ to everyone you meet, is normal; while in some its considered creepy. Different cultures, locations and societies teach differently and that makes it all the more important to unlearn.

Other than time for cleaning, the lockdown got me used to working out at home. For warm up, I usually run up and down the staircase. Today, I randomly stepped down backwards from the terrace down, instead of the regular way. Basically, imagine a rewind video of someone going up the stairs. It’s fine if you step down at a slow pace; but it took some effort, concentration and balance to do it at a normal pace. I just figured something as simple as a staircase can be challenging if we use it differently. If we changed the way we see it, different from how we know it. Everything we have learnt can be unlearned, if we just do it differently.

(Okay Wait… let me sprawl on the bed and continue writing this article… since my gluteus have given up now).

The new view is gone; the greenery is near my feet now and my shoulders are back at getting strained. It’s so easy to go back to your old comforts right? Even if we realize and know our pattern of thinking; even after knowing that it is not good for us— we cannot help but go back. This is exactly the point where you’ll be separated from people who change versus the ones who don’t.

 (Okay! ….Slithering out of bed, back to the floor.)

It won’t be uncomfortable forever when you unlearn something, so get back in the game!

That’s all there is to unlearning. It’s keeping whatever you know aside and willingly moving towards discomfort. Writing something on a new blackboard with chalk is easy, but when we have to erase it with the duster it takes some effort. That feeling of a clean slate to start over again is priceless though. Keeping that in mind, watch what thoughts your chalking; and if you think burping is uncouth; try burping loudly once!

I read this quote 10 years ago! Always helps reading it over!

The last post was a Story “The Chest full of Nothings

Posted on 1 Comment

The Chest full of Nothings

A short story on “The Chest full of Nothings”

In a Victorian building, with a family of four, was living an old wooden chest; strangely never opened. He sat in the living room, accompanying the ornamental furnitures, royal carpets, chandelier lamps and expressively still statues. Everyone who passed by noticed everything except the chest. It feel disheartened and rejected. It tried its best to make some creaking sounds, but never got as much attention as his companions.

Sometimes, rays of light slithered in, through the edges and cracks; while the chest was busy looking outside and feeling demotivated.

Some time passed and the family had found a new place to move to and they began packing and loading everything in a wagon. They had tried moving the chest in every way possible; the stubborn weight made them leave it behind. For the lack of time they didn’t even try unlocking the chest. It truly lost all hope and felt deeply hurt. “No one wants me” this thought seeped in to rot it’s wood with feelings of unworthiness.

For a long time no one met the house or the coffer.

On a stormy night, the roof of the old building gave way; allowing the winds to displace everything that was left of the house. The coffer lay there hopelessly, awaiting its destruction in this storm.

The storm grew wild and let the branch from a tree fall on the coffer, breaking the lock. The winds screeched and rains thrashed the building. The building started to dilapidate and the chest slid to one side and hit the wall.

The next morning the storm had passed, leaving the quiet. The chest thought it didn’t survive the storm. It was lying open, facing the sun and the light was now throwing itself on every corner inside the chest. Rain drops like an alarm on snooze disturbed the chest out of the nightmare, to look inside. Filled with Gemstones, silverware, Gold and maps to places, secret books, letters of love and a peaceful stillness wrapping everything in velvet dense air. More than being ready for an identity makeover; it sat shell shocked.

A few days later a writer was passing by on the cobbled roads, riding on his bicycle and whistling to a tune. The gleaming rays of the sun shone off the gold and caught his eye. He rode to the building and made his way to the chest. It was finally going to be noticed and appreciated. The writer picked up the maps, books and letters. He felt enthralled to find these to be sixty years old writings. He rode off with the new reads.

The chest felt dissatisfied at not being accepted for everything that it was. He began to doubt his own value. The writer had not even notice the gemstones and gold.

Some days later…

A caravan came wheeling with hope to the building. The foreign traders stopped over, to find and grab all the riches they could. Leaving the chest behind bare, feeling used and valueless.

After a few months…

A humble carpenter was walking with his son and they were looking for some good quality wood to make a table to eat on. They saw the house and helped each other in, through the chaos. The chest was like a chameleon in all the dust and webs. The Father spotted the old wood of the chest and began to say—“Son look, this is a very rare mahogany wood for a coffer—see the grains and lines. It is very good and seasoned over time, as the colour has darkened. Let’s take this and add it to our table top to make it look rich.” The chest was carried away and it was now a part of a dining table in the carpenters house—staging three meals every day and merging into the background of their daily life.


What the Chest has to say to you—”What you make of yourself is how you value yourself. Everyone will notice whatever they can see of value to them. Don’t wait for people to see you and appreciate you. Look within and embrace the darkness as much as the light within; everything you’re made of.”

The story of a Chest
The Chest full of Nothings

Special mention to Tall Tales Story telling for being the stepping stone to write my very first story.

Instagram page:

Posted on 1 Comment

Accept and Bloom

All your firsts are special—first day of school, first time using a pen or getting your hair coloured, first time frying or baking a bread, first time going on a date or quarantined, first …. (long list, fill at your own leisure).

First own hair cut.

Even saying that makes me happy. The sound of snip snip has always been therapeutic to me. In fact, I start getting warnings from people every year as summer approaches — ‘Don’t get your hair cut short this time’! So I decided to do it myself. Just took the scissors and snip-snip! To tell you the truth it was scary at first— what if I goof up? Luckily ‘stay-at-home’ made it easy; now that the lockdown is extended.

I’ll just pause here.

What if there wasn’t a lockdown, I messed it up and looked goofy for a bit? Would I be judged badly and would people not let me be? As I stood in front of the mirror, hair drenched and dripping- I was combing my hair over and over; I would raise the scissor to my head and lower it. This went on for five minutes. It’s just fringes man! (Go for It); No! If it actually goes bad…? YES! NO! YES, NO! 

Beep* it!

That’s it!! That moment when I decided for myself —that’s what self acceptance is. You own the goofiest decisions, you own your worst nightmares and you own your insecurities. Every time I do these impulsive things, my need for validation dies a little.

I am going to rewind back to 2009…

I am standing on my yoga mat, at a1000yoga; A chilly morning, at half past six, I’m profusely sweating all over my mat (my warm up sweat would be your post workout sweat). After the regular bout of Suryanamaskar, I found myself literally tugging my body forward holding my toes in Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold). My back is curved and I’m hell bent (literally) to get myself to reach perfection in that very moment. (This was my fight against complacency-clearly OTT).

My breathing was fast like I was on a treadmill and face contorted, like I could just deliver something on my mat. Dj my yoga teacher must’ve seen my little act; her soft and loud words still ring clearly in my head today- “Don’t fight with your body. Acknowledge where you are in the posture today and breathe into the posture.” 

(Deep breath and sigh) Acceptance right in that moment.

For the next few days I’d just be happy to hold my toes and stay instead of wanting my back to fold forward. Slowly, I eased into it, over time and now I can easily have my entire body fold like a clip.

Now I’m facing the mirror, feeling the small tufts of hair, no longer a part of me (I didn’t know my hair was soft). Looked up at myself I couldn’t stop smiling. I never really accepted that I have a problem with my self belief. I would doubt myself all the time, (sometimes it’s good to be a little unsure is what I was feeding on). I stopped believing what I told myself. For just uploading a picture on social media I would need two opinions, for the caption I’d ask my brother to read. What my mind told me wasn’t good enough until something outside validated it. 

Now that I accepted where I am (seeking validation), I knew where I wanted to go. Instead of putting it under the carpet acknowledge the flaws, breathe into it and let yourself bloom. I wanted to break this pattern of looking for validation from outside and own what’s coming from within. Acceptance doesn’t come easily to many of us, but owning yourself completely leaves you feeling responsible for yourself and that is freedom. 

Accept and Bloom
Pashimotanasana (Forward Fold –YOGA)

What are you trying to accept about yourself? Your physical body, emotional strength, skills you don’t have yet, pronunciation, social skills, you’re not where you want to be? Whatever it may be, just sit down with yourself, once in a while and check on yourself. What is it you keep fighting with? What are you holding yourself against? How hard do you make your own life? Are you accepted in your own head?

Continue reading Accept and Bloom
Posted on Leave a comment

एक रंगीन सफ़ेदी

एक रंगीन सफ़ेदी- A Hindi Poetry; Use Google Translate to understand

**An ode to my devotion for HANUMAN**

मेरी ज़िद है वो,
मेरे धड़कन को हिम्मत दे वो;
मेरे आसमान का रंग भी वो,
वो हौसला ही नहीं, मेरी जुनून भी वो।

मैं ना सोच के भी सोचूँ
उन्ही की छवि के बारे में।
वो इस तरह समा गए ज़हन में मेरे,
खुद की खोज में खुद ही को भुला रही हूँ मैं।

ज़िंदगी का सफ़र है ऐसा सफ़र,
कोई जाना नहीं शायद, और समझा भी नहीं अगर।
तो क्या एक कहानी लिखनी है मुझे हर पल में?
या फिर बस पार करनी है ये धोके की डगर?

इस दुविधा को अपनी कमजोरी मत समझना तुम;
तुम्हारे पास तो वो क़लम है,
जो सफ़ेदी के पीछे छिपे रंगो को दर्शाती है।
तुम्हें बस घुल जाना है इस सफ़ेदी में।

इस तरह से घुल जाना है तुम्हें,
रास्ते में खुद को भी ना देख पाओ तुम।
कभी तुम्हें क़लम बन जाना है,
कभी खुद को सफ़ेदी में पाना है।

ज़िंदगी का सफ़र है ऐसा सफ़र,
यूँही कट जाएगी एक दिन समय के चलने से।
जब जो रंग दर्शाए उसे, ले अपने आँखों में भर;
फिर डूब जाना है अपनी सफ़ेदी के समंदर में।

समय के पाश में एक सोच ये है,
की दोहराते दोहराते सफ़ेदी क्या और रंग क्या?
सब एक हो कर सफ़ेदी ही हर पल में नज़र आती है।
अब ये क़लम की ज़िक्र की भी ज़रूरत ही क्या?

वो इस तरह से दर्शाते हैं मुझे,
सफ़ेदी की एक समंदर में।
लहरो को बनाते कभी, कभी हवाओं को;
नाव लिए, वो इंतज़ार करते हैं मेरे लिए।

मैं कैसे ना तैरूँ उनकी लहरो में?
मैं कैसे ना रंगु उनकी रंग भरे आसमानों में?
अब सब सौंप दूँ मैं उनकी हाथों में;
खुद की खोज में, खुद ही को जो भुला रही हूँ मैं।

Continue reading एक रंगीन सफ़ेदी
Posted on Leave a comment

Instant Noodles Personality- An Addiction

Living in the routine, sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even realize when and how our morning went and we’re already dressed for work and leaving home. Until we board the lift and (unconsciously pause to) take a deep breath of sigh (provided you’re not looking into your phone). I’m sure, staying at home in quarantine, this season, must be giving you a glimpse of slow-living. However, we still have access to everything at the tip of a button and our phones are glued to our faces.

Recently I was sketching a quote on my vision board and in the act of doing it with full attention, I lost track of time. This happens every time I’m cooking too, hence I seldom bake- Or I’d be burning a lot of things. When you are in love, or passionate about a project, the undivided focus makes you unaware of everything else. Why does this feel so satisfying? Some people call it ‘the flow (‘living in the Present’). Being possessed by something like that, leaves you feeling happy-high. You are constantly aware of everything happening moment to moment and forget about the world. This sharp awareness, gives you an illusion of having everything around you in control, almost powerful! 

The problem arises when you have nothing to be constantly diving into and there isn’t something you’d be engrossed in 24/7. The mind needs to be busy; it’s the way we are used to living. There is no pause, (unless you are on an elevator). We have got our power-hungry-minds, addicted to nibbling on something or the other. Idle minds are not necessarily bad, but if you don’t know how to handle the idle state of being, you’re sure to fall in trouble. Before you know it, you will be deriving power from controlling things that give you instant gratification. 

Instant gratification is when the reward for doing something is received instantly, just like how our world works- Instant Noodles in 2 minutes, Microwave heating in 1 minute, Fat reduction in 1 week with detox diets, and the list goes on. There is no time for delayed gratification. We no longer have the patience to work towards our weaknesses to gain the reward over a period of time. Rather we indulge in easier activities which provide similar sense of fleeting power. This is exactly how our minds get led to being addicted.

Anything with instant gratification sneaks up and lies to you that ‘you are in the ‘Now’’, ‘you are in control’, and leaves you with an infatuated sense of security. It’s very hard to find individuals who are not addicted to something or the other, in current scenarios. Be it Social Media attention, PubG or other video games, Pornography, Sex, Alchohol, Poker, Drugs, Chalk powder, Smells, and other sense abuses, even Attention; humans have evolved and are still evolving in addiction. We have some ground shattering statistics as a country.

Instant Gratification
instant gratification

People want to have control over something; to fill the void of lack of control in other areas of their lives. So, if a person working in a company isn’t feeling gratified enough, and if they cannot get to change their work, he/she will look to other sources of gratification in whatever time is left. At one point, from the constant use of this source, we are no longer in control of its use. The substance now is in control of interacting with our brains dopamine levels. We go on to increase the use of the substance because that’s how instant gratification works. Your mind gets accustomed to it and needs a bigger dose. We are in the sense of a ‘high’, because the void of control is filled up. Its almost like a symbiotic relationship. The substance has the real power over our brains and we are feeding on fake power gratification. 

How do we break up with this toxic relationship? Firstly, check if you’re addicted to something, by denying yourself access to it for sometime. If you feel you can’t live without it, you’re addicted. Get help! Speak to someone trust worthy and share that you need help. If you’re shy about it, approach a professional. It’s never too late to start all over again and its always okay to take help. 

It’s human to want power, but you just have to access the right kind of it. What’s truly powerful is, when you can control yourself. To know yourself so well, that you can maneuver instantly in response to any external changes. If you cannot control yourself, you give the leash to the the external environment to control you. If you don’t understand your own nature and learn how to manage it—waves will be formed as per the winds outside. Anger is the best example of one such wave—A compulsive reaction that occurs to the situation outside of you. 

In my earlier post of introducing Power (Power is always Free), I started off with a confession of being addicted to the internet. I feel powerful when I learn new information or have deep informative conversations with people. It gives me a sense of control. I have cut it down to balance it with my other priorities of health, family and work. I know I cannot live without the basic use of internet but I realize that I don’t need it all the time. People who have made a dent in the universe did it without any technology. Not going to be naïve but consciously use it to the limit of my goals and requirements. 

The objective, of using anything, should be to have the ultimate access to control of oneself, as a result. When the use of the the substance in itself becomes rewarding is when Addiction sneaks up! Keep him out! 

More Power to You OVER YOURSELF!

Posted on 1 Comment

Power Is Always Free

I keep scrolling through Instagram all day! (Honest confession to start with). The funny part is that, it looks like Instagram is scrolling through my life all day too. Is it ‘What you’re seek is seeking you’— sort of relationship!? Or have I let Instagram take control over my life? How do I know where my power is?

I hit upon this Information which said “If you’re not a powerlifter, Don’t train like one. Just because “power” is in the title doesn’t mean it develops power where YOU need it. Power is not a universal quality.” (This was under a body functionality building account) Dr. Andreo Spina!

Some bodies are short and petite an excellent requirement for Ballet or Gymnastic. Some are built and tend to gain muscles easily- great for weightlifting. Every human has different strengths and weaknesses. We don’t play on this because, we are firstly not taught how to be aware of it. Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? (Samosa is my weakness, but I’m talking about the characteristic weaknesses). That’s what controls most of our behavioral patterns. 

Stop here! ….mentally jot down only two of your strengths and weaknesses. If you play comfortable and make your weaknesses sound like strengths, then there’s no point. Being emotional in every situation can be a weakness, if it is coming in the way of making realistic goals. But if you put it like— “I’m in touch with my emotional sense” You play comfortable and make your weakness look good. So now if you see your list and your strengths are still coming in the way of a practical decision, then you’re not doing it right. 

Let me suggest here- I’d swear by this article to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Absolute best thing I’ve come across in a long time. https://articles.bplans.com/how-to-identify-your-strengths-and-weaknesses/

So once you’ve done some digging and discovered about yourself- It now makes sense to assess your power. Power is your ability to direct or influence others or a course of event. Most of us are control freaks in some aspects of our lives or the other- Why? Because Powerpuff girls/ Power Rangers! Power craving mentality was drilled into us from a young age. The acknowledgement received or pride in becoming captains or leaders in school, the limelight of being noticed in college, or the ‘making it big in life’, they call it “living the good life”. Everyone wants to be on top!

So you have to choose, playing by your strengths and weaknesses what power is accessible to you. If your strength is extrovert personality and your weakness is convincing people- Then if you choose to be a leader, you’re just going to sound like a rock band to Classical opera listeners. 

How do you then play your cards, without losing your power? A) You could work on your weaknesses and then harness the power from one source- say EFG. B) Meanwhile, harness power elsewhere from source JKL, where your weaknesses don’t come in the way. This way, you never run out of power and you’re always feeling upbeat. 

Harnessing Power from source JKL may look very lucrative but it’s not a great idea if you’re not equipped for its voltage. Let me tell you that most of the celebrities were pretty average all their lives before they made it big. Drop outs in school or a nobody at some point in time. They were busy working on their skill sets that would set them apart. Toiling and crashing and rebuilding like a phoenix. I have no better example than Mr. Akshay Kumar for this. Read about his life story to understand how he gave flops back to back and learnt from his failures to be one of the richest celebrities in India.

It’s great to be Power hungry or striving to be the best, and if you’re doing it right, you could even change your fate from a Chai-waala. Start by noticing your conversations that’s where we first lose our power. The whole concept of “I” and “me” is egoistic and coming from that space you’ve already given away your power. Since a person in power has an ability to influence; only if you are a person of “WE” over “I”, will others be open to the influence. I would trust someone’s intentions and allow them to influence me, if I know they want mutual benefit. 

I personally always attacked a situation with a Self-defensive attitude and protecting my interests. Most of my conversations in a conflict did not consider a win-win situation. This has left me stuck and powerless, because the other person becomes defensive too and we both want to grab our seats rather than meet mid–way. When I talk to my younger brother I tend to have this approach because of my ego not letting me see beyond my elder status and the gender bias is my instrument of defence. A win-win would be me being able to see the bigger picture where he gets his way (because I don’t use it to get my way) and I get my way because he now trusts me for protecting his interests.

Power is not achieved by feeding your ego, power is achieved by starving it. So Unlock your Power. Work on your weaknesses even in conversations (like mine was ego), to feel empowered by first empowering others. Power feeds power, just like I said “What you’re seeking, is seeking you!”

Power is Power within
Unlock your Power —it’s within.
Continue reading Power Is Always Free
Posted on Leave a comment

Pieces of a puzzle

“Pieces of a puzzle” — a poetry..

“Take a piece of me today,
I’ll give you my share of calm.
Sit with me if you want,
I’ll take your share of pain.
I’ve been there you know,
Watching someone in love;
Wanting how they care;
Wishing, to feel that way.

So take a piece of me today,
I’m all ears, for every word you say.
I’ll walk with you if you will;
I’m rooting for you, so don’t hesitate.
Because I’ve been in your shoes;
Standing under my umbrella in rain,
Wanting to let it fly, with imaginary lyrics,
Only to meet someone in life’s hurricane.

So take a piece of me today,
Till your heart pours from your eyes;
Till your mind falls short of thoughts;
Till you take a deep breath and sigh.
I’m doing this because you deserve to know,
You my friend, are a soul just like me;
And life’s not exactly perfect nor always pretty,
And if you’re feeling low, believe, it will be fine again.

Just take a piece of me; will you?
I’m extending my empathetic hand,
Letting it soak in your worries
To taste like everything you need.
Because I know who I am.
I may look only human to you;
I’m more than explanations can meet,
May be your modern day super hero.

Letting pieces of ourselves
Become a part of, the pieces of everyone else.
Listening, till the pieces cement to form a world
A world, where everyone is a super hero.
Because the world needs you;
I need you! And you need me!
We are the million pieces in a puzzle
That I’m beginning to solve.”

@mycoffeeweather
Pieces of a puzzle
31st December, 2019

Pieces of a Puzzle

For more poems and videos watch the space on Insta– https://www.instagram.com/mycoffeeweather/

Previous poem: https://mycoffeeweather.com/2020/01/22/hide-and-seek/

Posted on Leave a comment

Hide and Seek

Hide And Seek’ ..A poetry piece on— ‘how I met my sly cat?’

Hiding in plain sight,
Was this sly little cat—

A voice in my head hissing;
“You’re lost and I’m here to find you 
I’m here, look at me
You’re looking for me and that’s all you need.”
I stop in the middle of the day,
as I hear all this in a muffled voice; 
Almost unrecognisable those words.
Just a soft empty sound that stays-
In the middle of my coffee break;
In the traffic, amongst loud honking; 
While watching my dog breathing. 
It’s there with me this presence of a peace,
A sort of feeling like being watched. 
It’s not the creepy-being-watched; 
No! No! Not even stalker alert!
It’s just a sense of warmth and a sense of relief. 
(Sigh)
I feel home in the middle of the day,
Sitting in this room and this bed I call mine
I suddenly get this urge to let time just float away and watch it still.

Hiding in plain slight
Was this Sly cat—

Every time I went looking for it
And tried to grab it;
Slipping away like sand the soft fur
Leaving behind empty spaces,
Empty minds, for noise to fill in. 
Will can put up a fistful fight,
And force is just vain;
It stealthily settles next to your back 
Just when you’re not desperately looking. 
I tried and tried and failed; 
Failed at giving it a permanent space.
I just wanted it to feel home, in me;
But it had his own ways,
His own ways of making his presence felt;
His own ways of being. 
So I began to meditate.

Hiding in plain sight
Was my sly little cat— 
Well he’s my pet now 
And I call him peace.

@mycoffeeweather
Hide and Seek

31st December, 2019

For more poems and videos watch the space on Insta– https://www.instagram.com/mycoffeeweather/

Posted on Leave a comment

Choice Of A Window

“I am looking out of a glass piece,
Wondering what to see.
The circles of light on the edge of my eye;
The green grass; or the spotless sky.

Something tells me the wind feels good;
Something tells me the sound of a blue bird.
Whatever I choose to see, I will miss something,
So is life just a pile of perfect decision making?

Every window lets in a layer of light-
Letting you see the world differently.
There will always, always be something that’s worth admiring
And a puny part of you, could be secretly regretting.

It’s just a sight, that will pass by in a moment—
So, to make a choice; that you won’t repent;
Is almost like painting a picture on the glass
And calling that a possibility, when it’s clearly a farce.

It will all come crashing down you’ll see,
With the pounding and passing of reality.
So just choose a window, any window to look through!
Because past all those complaints, waits a beautiful view.”

For more poems and videos watch the space on Insta– https://www.instagram.com/mycoffeeweather/

Posted on Leave a comment

Piecing Out Self-image

I was sharing the news of my friend’s marriage getting fixed, with someone and they went- “oh! Good things happen to good people!” I agreed with this notion until they said it that day. I thought to myself, what makes someone good or bad and who is judging us anyway? Does karma brand people with everything bad for a few mistakes? These ideologies can do so much harm to our self image and that’s exactly what the next few months should change for all of us (the new year hoohaa).

Self image
Looking in the mirror…

I look at myself in the mirror everyday and know that my self image isn’t about the way that I look in the mirror. That’s already been talked about- body image and body shaming is a thing of the past. Now that we know what it’s not; what is self image about then? Is it about what we do—the actions and our reactions to situations? To fill the vacuum; Self image is our own opinion of ourselves (what we think we are).

Our opinion of others are formed even before we talk to them or decide the relationship with them. Similarly, what we think about ourselves is being pieced and re-adjusted, with every thought in our minds (self talk). Our relationship with ourselves is defined by our mental chatter. What was the last thought that crossed your mind—and what does that thought speak about you?

The babbling we did as toddlers was the first conversations we were having with ourselves. It made sense only to us but just think of how happy and uninfluenced that conversation was. Similarly it’s important to tell ourselves good things, reassuring yourself is the best way to feel good. Remember ‘ALL IS WELL’ from the movie 3 idiots.

Affirmations is something that needs to be talked about at this point. It is said that the words we repeatedly say gets fixated in our minds and we get automated to believe it. People who are confident are babbling away some really good affirmations consciously or subconsciously. We are inherently good babblers but if the external environment makes us doubt in our goodness, it’s important to keep oneself reminded.

The people in our lives project their insecure views of this world on us, making us scrape through layers of perceptions. Self image is about knowing who you are under all those layers and knowing the sound of your babble over other voices. Self love then is not something you have to achieve by doing, you just automatically love yourself.

So the next time someone asks- ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ You’ll actually be smiling thinking of your own voice.

I am _____________. (Fill in the blank with every word that only empowers you).

Posted on Leave a comment

A Window into Productivity

It’s 7:15AM and it’s my last window to quickly reach the gym; but the weather has gifted me a runny nose this Christmas and I just won’t stop sneezing. So I miss my workout fourth day in a row. I could die of guilt at this point or fret about losing muscle mass, losing momentum and progress I made so far. (But!! …the optimist that my heart is-) I’m perfectly fine with the idea of just sitting wrapped up in a blanket and sipping on lemongrass tea. So much for being productive?

So I’m already up and I’ve missed it, what do I do in the time gained. Yes, that’s how you look at it- “time gained”. I read, I meditate and check up on my work and blog a little earlier or just connect with friends on the other side of the world (time zone benefit). This is my way of ‘making hay wherever the sun shines’. Just be present to what is working, rather than what is not.

I think I learnt this concept back in school because math was my favourite subject. Yes mathematics! (haters going to hate #mathgeek) Writing a math exam made me high. To be your most productive at attempting the paper you had to attempt each question once; and when you were not able to answer something you just leave space and move to the next question. The time spent on pounding over a question that isn’t working out, can become time gained in the ones that you’re definitely going to crack. Optimum usage of time to get the most correct answers.

Optimisation is Productivity in my view. It is a prized possession in every field and in every aspect of life. The more productive we are the better the chances of getting the results. My dad always questions us about our productivity- especially when we’d be lounging around like Garfield. It used to pain me, until I read about the 80 20 rule of Pareto Principle. It is gold! This rule suggests that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. This changed everything for me. Being productive never felt less stressful.

So I don’t grudge not having given a 100% time to something. Strive to give my best in one goal; then if it reaches stagnation I let it rest and move to another aspect of my life. So if I’m doing anything I’m all-in, even if that’s going to be for 20 percent of the time I planned to do it for. This way it helps me accomplish more tasks and get more work done in the same 24 hours.

Very important fact!! Rest is the most essential part of being productive. In a time where everyone wants you to clock insane hours at work and be everywhere—remember we are humans and phoenix is a mythical creature. To come back from a complete breakdown and exhaustion, is worse than taking short breaks in between.

Productive burpees!
Burpee Life <3

While doing a set of 50 burpees you need to pace it. Break the sets into 5reps of 10 sets or 10 reps of 5sets. Short breathers and you’ll be more effecient than trying to go all out fifty burpees. So don’t grudge those short breaks in between work or workout or any aspect of life.

Make goals! More importantly achieve them with grace! And don’t forget to breathe.

Posted on Leave a comment

Do it all with Oranges

Oranges are such versatile fruits. It can easily be incorporated in many dishes! I had this salad at The Lazy Suzy (Bangalore, India) where they put citrus fruit segments in their salad along with beet root. It tasted heavenly. In your leafy green salads don’t shy away from adding orange segments to it.

Orange Fibre does it all for the body
Dont forget the fibre

You can add orange and basil to your over-night soaked water! That again adds an amazing taste to water. At W hotel in Goa they had added beetle leaf and slices of Malta. I’m not even kidding, it was such a killer combo; I filled up my carry bottle with their flavoured water. Flavoured water needs to be in the refrigerator to avoid turning sour. Its probably twice in a month for me.

Oranges are super good for Vitamin C; you can confirm with your nutritionist or just have and see how your body feels. My energy levels feel much better everytime I have oranges before my workout. ‘Oranges help strengthen and support the liver’—Diane Schwartz.

The hero ‘Peel’

The thick outer peel has XYZ number of uses. Just keep a bag in the freezer and keep adding the left over peels to it everyday.

Zest is a big yes! Just grate some on your salads or soups and whooopp!! Vitamin C booster. The zest from the peel is only from the coloured part. It gets bitter if you get over-enthusiatic and grate it too much. There’s a recipe on the website of ZerowasteChef (P.S. she is queen) about candied orange peels, go check it out. (Link down below).

If you’re doing it right you’re going to be left with a lot of peels. Put it in your compost or use these DIY recipes!

DIY Natural Cleaner recipe:

Collect fresh orange peels (pro tip- I freezer mine to collect enough to immerse in one litre of..
White Vinegar 1 litre (any brand)
Twist- added
4-5 lemon grass twigs
3 pounded cloves (doesn’t have to be fine)

Orange peels soaking in Vinegar for DIY cleaner do it all with oranges
Soaking Orange Peels

Place the Orange peels, lemon grass and cloves in a jar. Pour the vinegar to immerse completely. To keep it immersed use a small glass bottle. (P.S.—mine is going to be stuck.) Leave it for two weeks on a shelf not receiving direct sunlight. The longer it is fermented the more potent it is. Strain and store the concentrate in a glass bottle, it is strong and can react with metal or plastic. Put the peels in your compost or I read in a post you can grind it and wash your dustbin with it.
Transfer the concentration to a bottle in the ratio 50%water and 50% orange concentrate. Spray it and wipe; (also keeps those ants and mosquitoes away).

Uses- highly recommended for oven, gas tops and bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles. It removes hard stains tried it! Keeps the floors happy and insect free!

Please note—It’s a citric fermented cleaner. It can react with different surfaces like wood or marble. Tip: Patch-test before using on new surfaces.

DIY Potpourri:

Orange Peels cut in strips or unshapely equal sizes
Lemon peels same
Herbs (rosemary, basil)
Cloves
Bay leaf
Cinnamon sticks small
Rose petals dried
Essential oils

Orange do it all. drying peals for pot pourri
Orange peels ready to dry.

Dry the orange peels and lemon peels. Sundries is best or a dehydrator. I just used the oven in really low heat and almost like a preheat and leave it technique. I like to put the extra herbs I got from the market and dry it along with the peels. You don’t want any moisture in it.Nothing should be burnt charcoal black.

Add everything in a glass jar and drip some essential oils of your choice. Close the lid and mix well. Put it aside for the smell to mature into a good mix for a few days. I left mine for a week.

Now leave it in a bowl on your dining or living and watch how it turns everything to magic. DIY potpourri it is. I’m going to share the results on @mycoffeeweather on Instagram.

DIY Scrub:

With homemade scrubs I go all out and creative and this one is my all time favourite—

Orange peels of one orange
Any plant based Mylk/water
Coffee powder 1 spoon or just go by gut feeling

Do it all scrubs with Oranges DIY scrub
Scrub instantly, absolute love!

Grind it. That’s it. If you want it coarse add some oats/gram flour separately. You’re going to smell amazing after this.

Dry powdered peel can be stored in the box and used at your own convenience to make a scrub. Patch test again! Dried Orange peels are being used to make Christmas wreaths. I make bath salts too and add some Orange peels to that.


For now go stock up some oranges in your kitchen and share this post with someone who loves oranges 🙏🏽❤️

Continue reading Do it all with Oranges
Posted on Leave a comment

Brew it like Tisané (Recipes)

Every morning I stand on my mom’s head for making her have tisané (brew recipes) and stop having her morning cup of milk tea for the caffeine kick. It is really bad and why I have mentioned in my previous post of Tisane Over Chai. I prefer these healing brew recipes anytime and I’m not a pro-coffee or Anti-Tea person (Just because its called mycoffeeweather you thought I’m a convert? No.) So I’ve been very unsuccessful and I’ll still keep trying to help her kick the habit to switch to herbal brew recipes.  Below are a few more brew recipes with herbs and spices (tisané):

Go-to-Bed Tisané

—Turmeric is a boon to mankind. If you asked your grandmother or even granddad, they’ll know at least one home remedy with this ingredient. Brew Recipe: Bring a glass of water to simmer and then add a pinch of turmeric and a smaller pinch of black pepper. Turn off the flame and add the smallest pinch cinnamon. Just pour it into a cup and grate the lemon peel over the cup. The zest is only on the upper yellow layer, so grate and keep checking you don’t want the white bit getting into your tea (it tastes bitter). A tiny bit is enough to get the smell. This brew will help in keeping your immune system on guard, especially in the flu season. Liver health will improve as turmeric in combination with pepper has its own list of benefits. Lemon zest is a bomb of Vit C and Cinnamon helps in moderation.

Garlic brew for the flu

So after doing everything if you still caught the flu, because of “sheer dumb luck” then you’ve got this cracker. I was repulsed by the idea of garlic and tea, and mildly surprised when it tasted like Chinese soup. It’s just quicker to make. I was inspired by The Herbal Academy for this brew recipe (Just tweaked it and made it caffeine free). Boil a glass and a little more of water. Add some smashed ginger (3-4 slices fresh) and one smashed clove of garlic. Let it boil for 10-15 min. Cover with lid. Strain the water, add a pinch of black pepper powder. Taste, if you need add some Honey/ Black strap molasses (vegan option). I had this tea and in less than twenty-four hours the cold and flu went AWOL, and thank gods for this website. 

The Cramps Reliever

I have died and come back to life a few months of my periods due to cramps. Hot bag and instant meds are a savior, but if I do anything natural it is this. I remember having this for cold too and helps with constipation and bloating. Bishops it is. Bishop’s weed or Carom seeds in English and Ajwain in hindi is the tip. Start sipping on this from day one of your chums, in between meals.  Recipe: Boil 1/2 table spoon of Ajwain in 1 and a half glass of water for 15-20 min. Remove from the stove, strain and add a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt/ Black salt. I make a lot together so I can keep reheating and having it 2-3 times. 

Fennel Shennel

I love fennel seeds at anytime and I don’t see why people don’t use it all the time in all their recipes. I’m going to share an amazing recipe soon with fennel seeds you’ll love it. For now- This ones a refresher. Brew Recipe- Half teaspoon of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water. Strain or don’t. This is a lazy person’s go-to Tisane for sure. I do this when I have no time to do the whole process. This helps with digestion and bloating. If you want to be exta then go ahead and add some Dhanya (coriander seeds) and Jeera (cumin seeds).

Rosemary Brew

This is another tisane you can make when you’re lazy and just need a waking up. Its great for digestion and hair growth. Its my poison off-late. The cold weather makes it very complementing too. Just dry some rosemary leaves in the sun or in your oven. Powder it and store it in a jar. Use a teaspoon of leaves for one cup. Same process as fennel but this one I prefer straining. 

Curry leaf Brew Recipe

Curry leaf tea is a South Indian natural remedy used for centuries to treat many ailments such as constipation, morning sickness, diabetes, nausea, high blood pressure and diarrhea. Brew Recipe: Bring a glass of water to a boil and remove it from direct heat. Add 15 to 20 curry leaves to the glass of hot water. Allow the leaves to soak for a couple hours. Strain the brew to remove the curry leaves. Add honey and lemon to taste. Drink the tea on an empty stomach.

Hibiscus Cinnamon Clove

brew recipe for hibiscus, cinnamon and clove

This is a surprise combination. Trust me I never thought I’ll like the taste of this until I made it and got addicted to it. It helps in boosting immunity, promoting better skin, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, managing inflammation, and improving digestive issues. Hibiscus tea has diuretic and choleretic effects, thus controlling blood viscosity by reducing blood pressure and enhancing digestion. So go ahead and brew a cup full of goodness! Add 2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers (buy at a store, online or just pluck from the garden ad dry it) to boiling water (2 cups). Add a clove crushed. After the colour changes as per your taste switch the flame off and strain, add a pinch of cinnamon powder and mix it. This can be a little sour to some. Give this recipe a brew! 

Lemon grass brew recipe from ‘Sharan india’

Ingredients: Mint leaves + Grated ginger + Crushed whole pepper + Lemon grass. Method: Boil water. Set aside and add the ingredients to be infused. Take enough of each to extract the right amount of flavour. The quantity of ingredients can vary according to taste. Cover and wait for five minutes. Strain and serve. This concoction can be made in a large quantity and preserved in the fridge for three or four days to have it handy when needed.


Some more links- if you want to be extra

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/02/28/diy-herbal-tea-recipes_n_9324248.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/02/28/diy-herbal-tea-recipes_n_9324248.html

Posted on Leave a comment

पहचान (Pehchaan)

रोज़ की तरह एक सुबह, मैं
छत परसूर्य के उगने की आस में खड़ी थी।
जैसे रात के ओस भरे बुरे सपनों को,
ये सफ़ेद किरणेंउड़ा ले जाती थी कहीं।
मानो गाड़ी के वाइपर की तरह,
बादलों के आसूँ पोंछे जा रहे हो;
या चोक के रोते शब्दडस्टर से मिलते ही
काली बोर्ड में घुसी जा रही हो।
इन किरणो पे निर्भर हो जाती
मेरी हर दिन की शुरुआत।
कभी बादल ढक देते सूर्य को अगर,
तो दिन कैसे कटता मुझे पूछना भी मत।

फिर एक दिनएक नीली रंग के पंख वाली
छोटी सी चिड़ियाछत पर मिल गयी।
मैंने सोचा मेरी तरह सूर्य से मिलने आयी हो;
एकांत शांति से बिना कोई चहक किए।
क्यूँ तुम डाल पे यूँ अकेले हो?
क्यूँ मुझे तुम्हारी मुस्कान नहीं झलकती?
तुम्हारे तो पंख भी सही सलामत हैं अभी,
फिर किस सोच ने तुम्हें बन्दी बना लिया है?
जाने दोकोई नहीं। शायद कहीं दूर से आए हो।
शोर से छुटकारा के लिए सही जगह पाए हो।
मुझे तो आदत लग चुकी है अभ,
शायद तुम मुझे रोज़ मिल जाओ।

फिर हम रोज़ मिलते रहे कुछ दिन,
भोर के इस संक्रमण में।
जैसे साथ में पिटाई मिल,
दो दोस्त दुखः बाँट रहे हो।
मुझे तो ऐसा ही लग रहा था
की सूर्य अभ बस एक बहाना था।
छत का दरवाज़ा खोलनज़र पहले
पीछे डाल की ओर ही जाता था।
तुम्हारा होना ही एक लम्बी साँस
और मन को तसल्लीदे जाता था।
ये आदत भी क्या चीज़ है
बिना कोई अल्फ़ाज़ों के भी टिक जाती है। 

फिर एक दिन सुबहसूर्य काली बादल ओडे,
अपने ही कोई ग़म में लिपटेधोका दे दिया।
मुझे और तुम्हें.. भी..अरे नीली पक्षी (whistle)
एक मिनटतुम भी?
मेरा होसला नहीं बन रहा था अभ।
इन सभ चीज़ों से लगाव नहीं,
इनपर मेरे हर पल निर्भर थे।
कुछ देर दरवाज़े का सिरानहा लिए,
खड़ी रहीडाल पे नज़र अटकाए हुए।
तुम शायद आजाओ और ये बादल भी मिट जाए।
इस हालत में रात के काले सोच
आँसू बनकर बरस आए उस दिन।

फिर मैंने छत पे जाना छोड़ दिया;
सपनों को ही नया दोस्त मान लिया।
हर दिन नए भेस लिए सूर्य निकलता आसमान में,
आज नीली पक्षी तो कल कोई और रागों वाले;
इन सभ पे क्यूँ निर्भर है मेरी साँसे?
ये सवाल मैं पूछती बड़े प्यार से।
सांसें तो चलती ही जाएगी अंतिम तक;
और रोज़ एक नयी रात लाएगी वक़्त;
तो इन सभ के बीच मेंमैं कौन हूँ?
समन्दर में चाहे कितनी भी तूफ़ान आजाए,
वो अपनी पहचान नहीं भुलाता।
तो मेरी पहचान क्या है

Written by Sneha Bhuwalka
For video of spoken word check Instagram @mycoffeeweather

Posted on 2 Comments

Everyday I’m (not) Hustling

If you don’t workout at all then this read is going to make you super happy to join the fitclub; If you’ve just started off, then maybe you can learn from my mistake; If you’re a crazy hardcore killer-of-workouts, breaker of PRs and mother of all flash diets then you definitely need to read this.

Every time I go on a holiday the first things I pack are my fitness gears. People think of vacation as a complete break but I was never able to go without workout 3 days in a row (unless I’m not well). I barely feel awake the days I stay in and don’t actively move around. There are times I question myself—Is it a craving and obsession? Am I being too compulsive about it? Or is it discipline and giving my body what it needs? There’s a thin line and I was on the wrong side of it for a few years of my life, but now I’m learning to ‘listen to my body’. (FYI I used to think people are crazed when they said that.)

Before listening to my body:
Most of my mornings would start like this “Common one more rep! You can beat the time! Go for it!! Don’t give up! Go Go Go! No pain no gain!!!! Show up everyday! Give your 100% or go home! Puke but don’t stop! Its all in the head! The body can do more than what your mind is telling you.”This and a million other fitness slogans, that are basically not worth hearing, not worth following and totally not worth living by. All about the Hustle life—over exerting my body more than its current need and capacity; going all-out crazy in every workout and gassing out, no recovery and drained of energy but still push hard, using workout to pound myself as an escape from life’s stress (BIG NO); running the mad race without a fixed goal.

Pointers on why not to hustle all the time—

  • High rate of injury
  • DOMS –Delayed onset of Muscle Soreness
  • Causes Hormonal Imbalance
  • The stress of your life has to be dealt with, an hour of escape everyday is not getting you out of the problem, it will just be an escape.
  • Without a Goal there cannot be any results, you’ll just be wasting a lot of energy.
  • To get freaked out read this – https://www.businessinsider.in/What-too-much-exercise-does-to-your-body-and-brain/articleshow/63821723.cms
  • Adrenal fatigue, Yo-yo dieting, Detox diets (links given at the end) are just a few which you have to know about even before you start the basics.

Now that I’m crazy too, telling myself to listen to my body:
There is absolutely no need to HUSTLE is what I realized! (That might be totally contrary to what you’ve almost heard everywhere.) I don’t put an alarm to start things off. I see how my body feels moving from my bed to the washroom; if I’m feeling energetic, lethargic, sleep-deprived, sore, too fit to care, or just a bundle of excuses. Then I take a call what I should do that day and just make sure I’m doing something- yoga, swimming, running, walking, weight training, group class at (The Outfit currently). Also when I have a super active day, unlike my normal desk-job hours, I make sure I’m not doing a taxing workout. Incase I have had a very lazy day I throw in an extra evening walk. Basically instead of using the tracker, fitbits and apple-watch to complete the red circle of activity, I just waste time in being aware of how my body is feeling …… (like how it’s supposed to be). Discovering the importance of rest, pacing myself and not letting the drive, drive me down to fatigue. Giving my body the time it needs to recover. Slow and consistent progress is always better than quick fixes.

So now there is going to be the famous problem of choice because this article is on the internet and so are 20 million other articles which are going to contradict this. If you google any nutrition/fitness related question on google you’re going to find both a ‘Yes’ and a ‘No’. We know about famous combos like Elixir Coconut oil vs Harvard Professor, Karin Michels and Keto fad diet vs Rujuta Diwekar, India’s leading nutrition and exercise science expert. If they all belong to the fitness industry and spring from one concept of good health, then why are facts not the same for everyone? No two trainers have the same idea on the ideal way to stay fit and no two nutritionists promote the same eating habits.

I guess no two bodies are the same and hence, it brings me to only one conclusive thought-— your body knows best. First decide what you want as a goal, or multiple goals. Then, speak to the right people, learn as much as you can, don’t be afraid to try new things and based on how you feel achieve them with a paced out and balanced approach. You don’t want to end up with any side effects. Its easy to fall prey to people pushing you and coaxing you, but it’s up to you to find your balance.

Note: You should read about LISS (that’s going to be the next ‘trend’).

Disclaimer: I’m not a Fitness GURU! I’m just sharing my personal experience on my personal blog about my not-so-personal-anymore life, so you can get some perspective!

MUST reads:

1. This article is very useful on understanding Adrenal fatigue and how you can avoid it  and the concept of metabolic reserve:) 

2. Please read this before someone misleads you!- about the YO YO effect!

3. DOMS

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Chasing Beauty

Spinning on the dresser chair with half my body hanging in the air, I would eye my mother’s cosmetics, every time she was setting her room up: one of my time passing activities as a kid (because there were no gadgets and the television was timed). I loved fiddling with all her stuff, especially the musical trinket box, turning the key and leaving it to play some tune I don’t recall now. What I clearly remember is, there was a make-up brush stand with a porcelain face almost completely white. Every time she wasn’t around I would flip open a few lip shades and colour the porcelain face, my own master piece of work. I was pretty fascinated by it, ironically I hated any make up on myself. Maybe because my mom never encouraged us to use any products forget about make-up, or may be that was just a 90’s thing (things are pretty different with ‘kids these days’- saying that makes me feel older for some reason)

Introducing my childhood house helps and Tamil tutors, Jaya ma, Kuppu and Mary amma. Every morning they walked in with a bright smile flashing their crooked teeth, sporting a flower garland on their hair buns, and wrapping their ‘pallu’around to completely block any skin show. Sun-burnt skin, scaly palms and cracked feet, but they hardly ever let their difficulties show on their faces. They worked hard and toiled all day for their families, they made it look fun, chit-chatting and giggling away at intervals. I thought they were really beautiful people for all that they were. No make-up or style sense needed to impress. (Dress to Impress? really?)

There are more people I’ve met in my life, who’ve been such amazing sources of light by just their vibes; my Dad, he barely cares about his looks (I took that from him) and still manages to impress me with his confidence; my Yoga teacher DJ with her ‘haven’t you brushed your teeth?’ every time we frowned in a posture; My Gymnastics Master Gangadhar who made everything seem funny and still got us the results with his dedication; and the watchman uncle Selvaraj who always greets people like he’s younger than them. All these people didn’t make looking attractive their goal and they still got me feeling so happy.

Mr. Selvaraj captured in a candid moment

I guess that’s why my idea of looking attractive was not defined by the way I looked, but by the choices I made and the way I thought. Even those adolescent years never let me get used to the so called ‘girly stuff’. Until only recently the whole idea of looking presentable became an obligation. I still had this mind block that I didn’t want to make an effort to look attractive. Running after looking attractive is like living in a beauty pageant-cum-truman’s show where a panel of people are always scrutinizing and scoring us. Wearing powders and tints, I thought, was for the shallow and insecure. This thinking was so wrong. Some people look at it like art, like fashion can be art too; while some look at it as tool to achieve attractiveness.

Attractiveness and beauty are not synonymous because Attraction is more about physical features and not personality. Attraction is like an animal instinct that all creatures have, to fulfill sexual needs, however only human minds can appreciate beauty. Mobula rays (fish) fly out of the water and land on the surface creating huge sounds, which attract the opposite gender. If you’ve seen the Wilson’s bird of paradise and how the male birds need to work hard to attract the female, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. So if I’m trying to be like these guys I’d probably make an effort to look attractive. However, make-up is not something I would use to express beauty, because beauty is a lot more than that.

(Honest confession- I did buy some vegan make up only last week, but I’ve mostly got it all sorted now in my mind, that… ..I’ve just wasted my money)

What is the expression of beauty and how do you see it? Real beauty cannot be captured on camera, and the verdict of beauty cannot be passed by a few pictures on social media, print media or digital media or any virtual artificial medium. Remember? it is in the eyes of the beholder— and what if we all are blind? Hence it’s not literally about seeing physical beauty of an individual face. Beauty to me is a feeling of Godliness, like a fleeting emotion of belonging to this existence and creation.

IMG_8124.JPG
Something like this..

Soul touching music, the sound of birds in the quiet of the dawn, cool breeze scraping your skin and that earthy smell in the air just before a heavy rain; stories and memories are beautiful they have such an impact on our lives; Hugging someone and sharing your thoughts can be beautiful. Watching the little sapling in your garden grow into a big tree is beautiful, we can’t create that but we are a witness and that’s the glory of it. When babies smile to a silly peek-a-boo, the red colour of the rising sunrise, a stranger ending up becoming your best friend, raindrops crashing on the ground, making of airplanes or even watches, creation of garlands, a simple painting, a poem that means something to you, culture and there isn’t a dearth of beauty so I’ll stop there. Something having the power to influence us to feel like the sparkling in a drink, bubbling with joy (oye bubbly bubble oye) and a jumpy heart—could be exclaimed as beautiful.

Are you chasing beauty? Good news, you don’t need to; you just need to own your raw self. The one who is confident, takes pride in their flaws, spots beauty outside themselves with ease, feels kindness in their bones and has an undying spirit to enjoy life with a smile. Make it rock solid by reaching that person inside yourself, everyone has a shard of beautiful inside them. The magic is if you put some focus light on it, it prisms on everyone who meets you. So what’s your new standard of being beautiful?


You is kind, You is grateful, You is ‘Beautiful’

If you haven’t seen this movie, watch it for good perspective- THE HELP


Posted on Leave a comment

Chai ka Daag (चाय का दाग)

ये पीली shirt पे लगेचाई का दाग़
ने मुझेवो याद दिला दिया।
कई बार सोचा था,
कि एक बार मिला लूँ;
नम्बर याद तो था ही मुझे,
पर डर ने उँगलियों को जकड़ा था,
और सवालों ने मन को उलझाया।
कई बार तो ऐसा भी हुआ
की phone हाथो में लेकर,
उसमें कुछ लिखती
फिर मिटातीफिर कुछ लिखती
फिर भेजने की हिम्मत ना जुटा पाती।
ये लिख कर मिटाने की जैसे,
आदत सी लग गयी थी मुझे।
तुम क्या सोचोगे’ ये डर,
मेरी network भी समझ रही थी जैसे।

सुबह को चाई की चुस्की में गूढ़इलाइची और
तुम्हारे ख़यालों को भी घोल देती थी में;
अधरक की अक्सर ज़रूरत भी नहीं पढ़ती थी।
सुबह की अख़बार जब पापा पढ़ते,
तो पीछे से सारे शब्द धुँधले से दिखते मुझे।
माँ जब रसोई से आवाज़ देती थी—”बेटा!”
तो ये कानअपने ही कोई धुन को घूरती रहती।
फिर जब cab आतीतो कुछ हमेशा पीछे छूट जाता;
लेकिनतुम्हारे किताब को कस के पकड़,
हर दिन की शुरुआत करती थी मैं।

Office में काम तो वैसे भी कोई नहीं करता,
तो मैं फिर वो किताब खोल लेती।
Boss 
आता तो computer की ओर नज़रें फेर लेती।
Boss 
जाता तो तुम्हारे अदृश्य पन्नो पे;
जो AC के हवा से आगे पीछे हो गयी थी।
तो कहाँ छोड़ा थावहीं से फिर शुरू हो जाती।
इतने में दूसरी चाई के cup में,
तुम्हारे ख़याल ताज़ा हो जाते।
ऐसे पड़ते है शायदकिताबी कीड़े।
उनको कहानी से इतनी आस हो जाती है,
की कुछ भी समय मिलते ही
उसमें गुम हो जाने को मन करता है।

फिर एक दिन मेरी दोस्त रोशनी ने,
मुझे कुछ पढ़ते वक़्त शर्माते हुए देखा,
और मुझे कंधे से पकड़ हिलाया।
तो मानो किताब थी ही नहीं जैसे;
चित्र पर पानी फेर दिया हो वैसे।
TV 
देखते वक़्तकोई आकर बंद कर दिया हो जैसे।
जलती मचिस को पानी में ढाल दिया हो वैसे।
मेरी ख़यालों की क़दर
जैसे नोट बन्दी में पुराने नोटो की।
कुछ चाईमेरी office के shirt पे,
ये दाग़ भी छोड़ गए उस दिन। 

रोशनी ने मेरे ख़्यालों को चाय में
buiscut 
के जैसे डूबा कर,  मुझे कहा
सभ ख़यालों में ही हो जाता तो कितना आसान होता
मेरी मानो चलो अभी बात करो
उसने हाथ से phone झपटकर
तुम्हारा number मिला दिया।
मैं उससे वापस छीन पाती,
उस से पहले वो call ring हो रहा था।
मुझे कुछ सोचने का समय भी नहीं मिला;
बंदरो के जैसे कूद रहे थे हम।
मेरी हालत कोई पहली बार,
Airplane 
में बैठने वालेके जैसे:
साँस अटकी हुई और
दिल तो सीने के बाहर ही धड़क रहाथी
मुझे ambulance की याद  ही रही थी
की इतने में phone पेतुम्हारी आवाज़ आयी—“Hello!”