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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad!

It's Dad's 70th birthday today. 

Dad has been my idol and my ideal throughout my growing years. 




Everything that I am is because of my father's love, trust and sacrifice.

                         


Dad is some one whom Mata Amritanandamayi Devi referred to as "A man in whose footsteps God walks like a shadow...instead of the other way around. God walks behind him, because in every action, your father is God-like, he leads the way. God is bound and bonded to your father. In your father's presence, Amma (referring to herself) will stand up to show respect. He is such a great man."


 
Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you and it's not just us - every one who has been touched by your love and compassion loves you too!

Funny How a Baby can Change Your Life

It's funny how a baby can change your life. 

The only thing I care about right now is keeping this baby happy. 

A baby brings out the best in us....we become less selfish, more caring.

You spend hours just gazing into her face and begin to search for yourself in this little individual. 

She becomes your Universe, your everything.  You wonder what your days will be filled with when it's time to stop changing diapers, singing lullabies,etc.  

That's how my niece, Aishani makes me feel. Can't wait to watch her grow up.


 

Love you, gal! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beat the Heat: 8 Ways to Stay Cool and Fresh Through Summer

Stepping out on a summer's day isn't easy. It's so harsh on a woman's skin. 
The older you are, the more you need to care. 
What worked for your skin five or ten years ago may not help now - you have to discover new and easy ways to learn what benefits your skin. 
These are a few of my favorite things:
1. Drink water throughout the day. Fresh juices and milkshakes also help.
2. Lots of coconut water. Yummy, nutritious and your skin just shines.
3. Lots of baths.  
4. NEVER step out without a sunscreen. I have tried out so many different brands and nothing worked. Till I started using Vichy SPF 50. It has been good so far.
5. Avoid eating fried stuff during summer.
6. Pamper yourself with more fruits. Have lots of papaya. It brings that glow on your face.
7. You can also try Fab India's Haldi and Chandan pack. It feels delicious on your skin, smells hmmmm and your face feels so fresh afterwards.
8. Lots of Vitamin E cream (try Fab India Vitamin E cream). 

                                      (Image: http://petalsfromtheheart.blogspot.in/ )
For more skincare tips, check out this post on Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer and do share your skin care tips too, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Karma is a bitch

“The good stuff in me I got from my mom. I can joke, I can laugh, I can tease, I can celebrate and support and praise – I can operate in sunlight, basically – but I can’t deal with angry or tearful women.”―  Gillian FlynnGone Girl

The good stuff in me I got from my dad. 

Best of all, I can smile with serenity when people cause me grief and pain.


                           [Image Credit: Canva]

Karma is a bitch. There's no escape for anyone. 

What you say and do to others comes back to you manifold.  [Do READ: 5 ways to take charge your anger

Can you share your thoughts on this? It would be inspirational to learn how you have tackled tricky or difficult situations.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ask More, Fear Less: How we think about the choices we make

It is easy to get caught up in following what others do. But sometimes we also need to enjoy the quirks of "thinking" for ourselves. 

There will always be specific areas where we wish we could be 100% perfect or that we could take a more balanced view. 

Whatever that may be, how we think about the choices we make for ourselves is more important than what we think. 

[Also read: Jealousy - Why do we feel it?  and Why are women mean to women?]





There's a well-know story about a lady who always cut off the end of the roast as a practice. 

When asked by her daughter why she followed this method, she had no answer. She didn't know. She said that her mom always did it and she had just followed it. 

She phoned her mom and asked why she always cut the end of the roast. Turns out that her mom only had a small roasting pan and the roasts never fit unless she chopped off the end of the roast. 

BUT now: she had a big roasting pan, so why was she cutting off the ends of the roast, like her mother did?

She was following a 'family practice' without ever understanding why. 


Arjuna asked. Lord Krishna answered. Lord Krishna didn't say, "You are a sinner who questioned the Word of God." Lord Krishna encouraged Arjuna to ask more.

I can't think of a better example than Lord Krishna to illustrate this point.


Ask yourself "WHY" before every action. Don't follow any practice blindly. 

I know, I know, it's not easy. 

But still..... know why you choose to do what you set out to do. 

I would love to know what factors you weigh in when you make a choice ....it could be anything...buying a new book or a dress or tasting a new dish, visiting a new place, etc.

Do tell me about the process you follow while making choices for yourself. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

That Feeling of Love

That feeling of being in love is probably the happiest, craziest and over-the-moon experience in your world.

Embrace it. 

Love it. 

Cherish it.



What's your favorite love quote? 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to never ever give up on the spiritual path

The Upanishads have compared a spiritual aspirant's journey to a razor's edge. From the age of 9, I have been walking on that razor's edge. No matter how hard I try, how sincerely I aspire, the fall is always a gut-wrenching one, filled with mind-numbing pain. 

Then I chant the name of Lord Sai in my heart and I start my baby steps all over again, stumbling, sometimes falling but always knowing that my God is there , protectively watching over me. 

Being human, sometimes I forget that my nature is essentially divine. And on such days, I turn to Baba in despair, wanting to understand the cause of these inner struggles and consequent pain. 

I forget that my real Self is untouched by suffering. 



One such day, this was His message through the book 'Life is a dream; Realize it' by Joy Thomas:

"Many quail before the impossible demands of Sadhana. When confronted by calamity, you must attach yourself to this sadhana even more firmly, instead of losing faith in it and slacking off. The drug should not be given up when it is most needed. The pity is, when the first disappointment faces you, you lose courage and give up..."

And here's how to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path:

1. Learn to think in positive affirmations.
2. Discipline your mind to shut negative thoughts.
3. Love yourself, stop self criticizing.
4. Put your Divine awareness to practice
5. Create new patterns of thinking and actions to feel good about yourself.

What steps do you take to overcome the struggles that limit you from realizing your true potential? Looking back, how do you see your pain, struggle-filled phases in life? What has it taught you over the years?

Do write it, I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's a Magical Feeling to be a Mother

Before I became a mother, I was a busy, successful party-hopping editor. I came home only to crash and I didn't have a single boring 'at-home' weekend. And I kept FAR away whenever I saw kids....just as I did from domestic pets....not that the two are fair comparisons. 
And when I was in the process of becoming a mother, I went cranky with worry. 

Kept asking myself questions like:
Will I be a responsible, loving mother?

Will I feel that my baby tied me down to a routine that bogs me down?

I remember the exact moment when my baby, Adi was placed in my arms. 
When the doctor placed Adi in my arms, I saw a red face that was shrieking in a way that would have made anyone wish to be tone-deaf....but the emotion that I felt at that moment was one of ocean-like love, may be much more. 

I loved this tiny being with a fierceness that I didn't think could have existed in me...no wonder, it is said that when a baby is born, a mother is also born.

Every moment of watching a baby grow makes a mother experience Sath (truth), Chith (consciousness at the deepest level) and Ananda (Bliss)
Time flies but there are so many beautiful moments that mark motherhood. And here are some of my favorite ones:

Gazing at his sleeping face
Call this crazy but I have spent hours gazing into Adi's sleeping face and he looked so angelic, as all babies do. 
Cuddling up with sloppy kisses
I still haven't got over this yet. I love kissing my baby and the way his face would sometimes scrunch up to look at me, unsure whether to be happy immediately or give out a good, healthy yell. I miss that as he grows up and acts like a big guy. He won't let me hug him in front of his friends - it's a 'guy' thing.
Sound of Music
When Adi was a baby, I would look into his eyes and sing continuously to him. He would listen with rapt attention. I used to sing old Malayalam melodies, English hymns and African English songs, bhajans, keerthans...and I always felt he enjoyed the sound of my music. He had that rapt expression that made my heart soar while I sang.
And just when you think you already know everything there is to know about being a mother, a series of events happen to make you doubt it. 

Every mother goes through a world of emotions that no one outside of her inner circle would probably know about. 

And as my son turns nine, I feel the same anxiety and happiness course through me as it did on the day he was born.

You see, no mom wants to let down her kid no matter what the odds are.  And perhaps that's what makes mothers strong, vulnerable, powerful and wise - all at once!

The vulnerability of parenting is terrifying at most times. 

But it's also about sharing joy, experiencing love and demonstrating the values you believe in. 

As Joseph Chilton Pearce writes, "What we are teaches the child more than what we say, so we must be what we want our children to become."

And no matter what, every mom knows that secret truth: It's a magical feeling to be a MOTHER.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Four Magic Ways to Keep Your Spirits UP!

What to do when you feel bogged down by negative thoughts? These simple tips give you a clue:


1. Do something you enjoy
Bake. Cook. Read your favorite Or better still, go to one of your favorite places and simply chill. Watch people around you, how life moves on and brings out the best in everyone. 

2. Contemplate on how you feel
Work through your observations. Everyone deserves happiness, so do you. It's just your thoughts that tend to choose happiness and unhappiness. Once you know what you want, create your action plan and stick to it no matter how impossible it seems

3. Visualize your dreams
Remember, you alone can make your dreams come true. Visualize and live your dream. You have to help yourself first by taking the first baby steps. Doesn't matter if you fall, get hurt...just NEVER GIVE UP. Keep trying. 

4. Dare yourself to do something like never before
I am a cautious person by nature. I hate taking risks. Afraid of getting badly hurt in the fall. 

[You may also want to read: Sounds of Silence.

But I did something daring and brave in 2014. It changed my life. Then I did something braver at the beginning of 2015. 
Feels super good to be trying. I am on a roll. Talk to a stranger. Or angels. Whatever makes you happy, just do it!
It doesn't matter that I can fall. Thing is, I am not afraid anymore. I can bend and break the rules. I can dare to do things. 
Letting go of fear is the boost that we need to discover what we are capable of. So, go on. 
Break the rules that bind you.  
What's the bravest you ever did? And looking back, how does it make you feel? 

Would LOVE to know. Do write in.

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