THE LENS OF FEAR OR THE LENS OF LOVE

Ever tried on a pair of tinted glasses? Say green? Then everything seems to have a tint of green; the people, the things around us, everything.

 Now let’s try and analyse at any given point of time in life, are we looking through the lens of fear or lens of love? Are we looking at everything negatively or positively?

 “We are not responsible for what our eyes are seeing. We are responsible for how we perceive what we are seeing” – Gabrielle Bernstein.

 We all see the same things, live in the same world and deal with the same people. But we all have different perceptions of the same. One is happy, one isn’t. One is angry, one isn’t. So where does the difference lie? Clearly in the lens through which one is viewing life.

 Amaya Pryce, a life coach and author of “5 Simple Practices for a Lifetime of Joy” and “How to Grow Your Soul” conducted an experiment for herself.

She realized that she was perceiving herself as a middle age, lonely woman with almost nothing fun in her life. Stuck in a “boring” job, she felt like life was just slipping away.

 And then as a part of the experiment, she decided to change the lens – the lens of love.

Her perception about herself changed drastically. She started focussing on things that she probably had ignored previously. She was thankful for the bond she shared with her daughter and for the fact that she had a job that could open up multiple avenues in the future. She focussed on relationships that were important rather than the ones that were amiss.

 And then, everything changed for her. Nothing changed externally. Her life remained the same, but her perception had changed, urging her to feel positive. This proved to her the existence of two kinds of lenses.

 She believes that this exists in everyone’s lives and it can be tried in different circumstances and with different people.

 Pick certain people that are currently bringing in a negative wave of emotions in your life. Switch lenses and try to see the pros. This will not change the person or your relationship with him/her, but will sure change how you feel about the person and reduce the negativity around the relationship. This is not necessarily done to make things better with the person, but to relieve you of unwanted stress related to them.

 This works great in situations too. Sometimes the worst of the worst situations don’t really have an immediate solution. But each one has an option of changing lenses. Instead of waiting indefinitely for a situation to improve, we’d rather don our lens of love and give it a positive spin immediately. And then we could maybe see that every cloud does have a silver lining.

 It’s time we started feeling proud of all that we have done than fixating on all that we aren’t able to do; be grateful for that we have than mulling over what we don’t. It’s time to put ourselves in the “hero” spot rather than the “victim” spot and replace the minus with a plus.

 So, let’s remember – LENS – STORY – FEELINGS.

 Your feelings reflect a story and that will show you what lens you are looking through. And a change in the lens can change the perspective of a story and thereby help you feel better.

 It’s easy to blame the situation and grumble as we wait for change, but it’s liberating to know that you don’t have to wait and things could change this very minute – just by changing the lens to the lens of love.

 The blog is based on the following article –

 https://tinybuddha.com/blog/all-about-perception-lens-love-or-fear/

 

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Endings can be beautiful too.

Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn and every ending leads to a new beginning. So don’t fear sunsets and don’t fear endings; because for all you know something better is waiting for you.

Often, people find it difficult to accept that certain things have come to an end – be it relationships, jobs or phases. Change isn’t welcome but change is also the only constant. When it comes to jobs it’s easier to leave one behind and move on to another. But how do we handle it when we are to leave people behind and move on? It seems impossible. And which is why many often shy away from doing so and choose to stay in a dissatisfying relationship or job while harbouring resentment. ; because a rocky road is more appealing than a goodbye.

But the important question, what about in the long run? A fear of an ending could lead to life-long suffering in a toxic relationship or in the wrong job. Isn’t it better to rip off the band-aid, feel the pinch but later be introduced to a healed life, to a happier life?

This definitely doesn’t mean to say that every argument in a relationship is an ending. There are ups and downs in each relationship. But when the pain exceeds the happiness, one must acknowledge that the relationship has perhaps reached the expiry date. And when one is faced with a dilemma, it’s wise to pause, visualize your future (up to next 30 years of your life) in the same situation, then turn the focus inward and see how you feel. That could give you some insights as to if you have reached a dead-end or not. If the answer is yes it’s worth the pain of saying goodbye now and moving on to the next phase in life.

In the light of frequent suicides by teenagers and young adults, it’s essential to understand an ending to something in life is not the end of life. A relationship, an exam or a job is Lilliputian when compared to the magnitude of life. Unless one goes through the tunnel, how would they know there indeed is light at the end of the tunnel? Giving up mid-way isn’t either fair or the solution.

Some relationships don’t work out, some jobs aren’t meant for you and sometimes it just isn’t a good time. If something isn’t making you happy, end it! End the chapter and start a new one! But one must never shut the book! Because you wouldn’t know if something beautiful was waiting to be discovered in the next chapter.

Like they say, the darkest hour is just before dawn.

So what might seem like an END could only be the beginning to a new, and probably a better chapter.

This blog is based on the article – https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/O-zone/what-s-wrong-with-endings/

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What’s your differentiator?

Oh he’s trying that out. Maybe I should too. Oh she’s wearing that? Then I guess I should try it too. Oh he is reading that? Maybe I should pick up a copy too.

 How often do we see people stuck in this cycle of thoughts?

 Were we humans built to be the same? Why not have robots instead then? The beauty of nature lies in the fact that each flower is different and each leaf has a unique pattern. And that comes so naturally. Then why do we humans struggle to find our one “USP”? Or sometimes, even if we do have them, we tend to overlook that and build on something that’s so not us, only because someone else is doing so.

 The world is getting competitive by the day, and the irony is that people are trying to cope with the same using traits they observe in others, not their own unique ones. Especially today, with people so unsure of themselves, uncertain of what’s right and what’s wrong, it seems easier to just follow the crowd; sometimes at the cost of compromising on your own personality. It’s time we look deep within ourselves, self-reflect and understand who we truly are. It’s ok if we aren’t like others around us or if we have to deal with a little criticism as long as we are true to ourselves.

 Let’s take few examples to understand the role of differentiators –

 Let’s start with babies. Each baby is different. Each one starts walking at a different time, talking at a different time, each one laughs differently and cries differently. Because babies are innately establishing differentiators. They haven’t yet been taught to ape others. They are just being themselves. But as the child grows and goes to school, a child wants to wear what his classmate is wearing, or buy something he/she has bought. Where is this coming from? Us, adults! We have taught them that being different is risky, or in some cases “bad” and unacceptable. We, as adults, need to establish differentiators. Only by doing so and accepting our children the way they are, we are showing them that being different is not just ok, it’s great!

 Another common example we see is about the professions we choose. Everyone wants to be at the desk, doing mundane jobs. How many of us consider being a guitarist or violinist or a kathak dancer by profession? Everyone wants to earn a lot of money, own a house. How many of us are okay spending their whole life in a rented house? Same thing goes with regard to marriage and kids. It is unsettling to see one’s friends getting married and one not finding a suitable person.

 Key question here is – Is everyone, who is doing what others are doing, happy? Is it out of choice that they are doing this? Would they really want to do all of this Or are they doing it because everyone else is doing this and they are scared to be different?

 However, being different for the sake of being different isn’t the goal. Accepting who you are, loving yourself even if you are a little different from others is essential. Because we are in a world where this is no right or wrong for every action; it’s about what works for you and what doesn’t. The minute you embrace your own personality, qualities and values, you naturally tend to carve out your own path, establish your own “differentiator” and eventually stand out!

 If you want to lead a life different from others, and without having to worry about keeping up with them, it’s time to find your differentiator. Then it won’t be about catching up with them or matching up to them, it’ll be about moving ahead and making your own mark.

 This blog is based on the following article:

 https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/O-zone/what-is-your-differentiator/

“ME TIME” – A much-talked about phenomenon but rare to find.

When was the last time you were able to find time to do what you really wanted? Time to relax? Time to read a book? Take a long shower? “Me-time” could be defined as time to do as one pleases, without any disturbance from the outside world. If this seems like a far-fetched dream to you, then maybe it’s time you started your search for your “me-time”.

When one is single, it’s perhaps easier to find time for oneself. You could go on a drive, stay in you room or stay glued to Netflix for hours. But things change when you get married and perhaps, more when you become a parent. So what is the way out? Do we accept that things have changed and forget about “me-time”? Or do we do everything we can to find that one chunk of free time for ourselves?

 

While the former is what most of us are doing these days, the latter is advised. Like they say, you can’t make others happy if you aren’t happy; similarly, you can’t find peace externally if you aren’t at peace internally. And to do so, it’s essential to skim out some time from your busy routine for yourself. Be it having a cup of coffee by yourself, or taking a walk; listening to music for a while or just sitting outside and observing nature; exclusive time for yourself can help you stay calm. It’s a way of bidding goodbye (at least temporarily) to daily stress. It’s like taking a mini (really mini) vacation everyday. Just the thought seems refreshing right?

Mothers especially tend to neglect their own needs, sacrificing day in and day out to cater to their children’s needs. And in such cases, “me-time” becomes a luxury. Not a necessity. The minute we reverse that thought cycle, we are only doing ourselves a favour.  While we go out of the way to make sure our kids have a bit of studying, sport and leisure in their lives, why do we forget to do the same for ourselves?

Be it for fulfilled relationships or happier working hours, dedicated “me-time” is a life-changing factor. We need to not only accept that we need the “me-time”, we also need to start demanding for the same; from ourselves and from those around us.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen time for your kids

Before we go into how much time our kids must spend in front of the screen, let’s look at what we ourselves do. Because that is what influences their association with screens and mobiles.

How much time do we spend on phones or gadgets? What could we have done if we didn’t have these screens? Maybe spent more time with our kids? And while we discuss about how harmful screens are for kids, why do we forget it’s not doing us any good either.

The concept of even trying to monitor screen time for kids is something strange. I mean where did screens come into the picture for kids? Are we trying to indicate, that of all the options available in toy stores across the country and on global websites, we have been unsuccessful in finding something for our kids to do; that with Google knowing everything, it still doesn’t give us suggestions on how to keep our kids busy; that with a truckload of hobbies, sports, arts and crafts in a culturally rich country like ours, we haven’t found something interesting for our kids to pursue?

Really?

The article does suggest what parents must do and how they must restrict screen time for their kids but why not go a step further and restrict screens? This is not to say one shouldn’t learn how to use a computer or be tech-savvy; but to identify the difference between using the phone/computer as a hobby and using it as a gadget is important. A gadget serves certain purposes and especially in today’s tech-friendly world, one must understand its functioning. But that’s where we need to draw the line. For ourselves and for our kids. The problem arises when the minute a child has free time, the need for a screen arises; be it for Netflix, YouTube or games.

The smell of new books, sailing boats in the rains, jumping from square to square in hopscotch, finding the most unique hiding spots etc. We had SO MUCH to do when we were kids. Why don’t we want our kids to enjoy that? Is our laziness or rather our need to find quicker solutions making them lose out on such exciting experiences?

It sure is challenging to keep our kids occupied with our busy schedules, with most mothers being working mothers. But the bottom lines remains, if a child doesn’t know what a mobile can do, he/she will never ask for it. But once he/she has been exposed to the magical, addictive world of screens, it’s rare that they forget about the same.

Go that extra mile, spend that extra hour, pass that extra rule – it’ll all be worth it. It’ll help build children who are enriched with all kinds of experiences; not just screen-related ones.

This blog is based on the article –

Deccan Herald Metro life page17 – 14th May 2018 – Is screen-time harming kids? – http://www.deccanheraldepaper.com.

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MI

The game of love depends on your MI!

Forget IQ. It’s time to test your MI – Mating Intelligence.
IQ could get you a great job but for a great partner and a sustainable relationship,
psychologists say Mating Intelligence plays a very important role.
Now, MI is not something everyone is born with. It’s mostly an acquired skill, and may we safely say a life-skill? It’s how one can navigate relationships successfully, using mental skills to keep your partner attracted.
Being smart and aware can help you woo someone you really like. It is of course also linked to your confidence level that allows you to use your intelligence aptly or on the contrary, lack of confidence that could restrict your ability to begin a relationship.
Unfortunately, with technology taking over dating and romance, to possess mating
intelligence is almost mandatory. To steer through different paths and keep someone
interested in you despite the availability of options, is sure a daunting task. However
clichéd it may seem, wooing is still an integral part of our society and lives. Like Oliver
markus (Author of ‘why men and women can’t be friends’) quoted – Why are we here? We have pondered for centuries. The answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That’s it.
While mating may not be the goal in everyone’s life, it’s hard to deny that it sure is
essential to fulfill needs. And to find a mate and sustain a relationship, we might need
more than just a heart. Our mind may need to sit behind the steering wheel for a while,
especially in today’s comptetitive world.
Pyschologists believe that relationships do end quickly for people with lower MI. Higher
confidence often helps in higher levels of MI. Moreover, there isn’t one rule that could be
applied to all relationships. It’s about being confident, knowing what could work for you and your relationships, being aware and going for it. Because if you don’t just go for it, in
today’s world, chances are it’ll be gone before you even blink.
So for all you men and women out there, wear that smile of confidence and go find your
soulmate. Use a set of pyschological abilities to look for someone, choose someone, go
through a period of courtship and guard your relationship. And surely, to do all of those
challenging things, you do need to let your MI flow.
The blog is based on the following article –
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/love- sex/whats-your-
mi/articleshow/63829564.cms

Being single!

Single and not ready to mingle? Well, then it might be quite difficult if you are a woman over the age of 30. Our Indian society is not very friendly with “unmarried” women over that age!

 A day in the life of a 30+ Indian woman – start the day with a heavy breakfast of proposals from all over the world, a mid-morning snack of some taunts, lunch with a huge portion of doubts on sexual orientation, an evening snack of emotional blackmailing, light dinner with some labelling and perhaps a sweet dish of tears.

Raised eyebrows, side glances and hushed talk – all of which a single woman who has crossed “the marriageable age” in India is quite familiar with.

 So what is the big deal? So what if a woman isn’t married or even so, not thinking of getting married at 30? She still does have it all – a job, friends, family, perhaps even a house of her own. Is that all invalid?

 If men aren’t married at so called marriageable age, do people portray the same kind of displeasure? Or for that matter do we give a second look to a man who has ventured out to eat alone or even watch a movie alone? But somehow when a man is replaced by a woman, perceptions change. And that’s when we know that gender equality is still only a dream.

 Women who have younger siblings who are ready to get married are faced with questions like – Will you be ok? How will you get married later then? Will someone agree to get married to you? This not only puts them in a tough spot, it doesn’t let them rejoice and celebrate their own sibling’s big event!

 I wish it was as funny as it sounds, but unfortunately this is the harsh reality for women in India who are striving hard to be independent, to live life on their own terms and to make their own rules and regulations. However, the society still believes that women are born to only follow rules and not make them.

 Having said that, it’s refreshing to see women get past all of these obstacles and show the world what identity is all about. Identity is not about getting married and having kids, or about changing your name and taking another family’s name, and certainly not about giving up your dreams and ambitions for the sake of tying the knot. True identity is finding your own path for life and identifying one’s passion and pursuing the same. So, women – Claim your space! Get out there, and live life “queen” size. With a husband or without. With kids or without. With a job or without. It’s all really about you! What are you waiting for?

 This blog was based on the article:

 https://www.deccanherald.com/features/living/singled-out-being-single-665639.html

 

Be obedient. Be good. Be nice. Be correct.

Basically be all that you are told to be. Isn’t that what most children are taught? And somewhere along the line, while being all of that, they forget to just be themselves. When these children grow up to be adults, there could sometimes be a spark that encourages them to stop being what other wants them to be, and start living life on their own terms.

They start saying “no” to unwanted things, start emphasizing on their own happiness and prioritizing their preferences over that of others. It’s a liberating feeling, no doubt; but at times this could come with unpleasant reactions from people around them. So does that mean they go back to complying? Well, no! Then it’s time to look for the golden mean.

The golden mean or golden middle way is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency.

So in this context, it’s finding a way to make sure your happiness is of topmost priority without really marking the beginning of a war with your loved ones.  It’s an ideal way of respecting others’ feelings and not compromising on your own needs.

The golden mean is essential only to preserve your own happiness. Without that, you are tilting either towards only pleasing others or towards the exact opposite. The golden mean in other words is a “smart” compromise.

With changing trends and beliefs, rifts are caused between generations, between partners or basically between any two people. The key to the golden mean is understanding how much one should give in (and in which relationship) and how much one should stay firm to his/her views. Life is about relationships as much as it is about your own happiness. To keep both intact, we all ought to look for our own golden mean. But once you have found it, you could see not just a silver lining, but a true gold lining to all your problems.

The golden mean challenges the belief that one should prioritize the happiness of his loved ones over that of one’s own. It encourages you to put your happiness in the first position. And at the same time, it preserves the fact that in the end, if one has to live as a part of the herd, one needs to find a way of adjustment. While it sounds idealistic and hard to achieve, the golden mean is quite simple when applied in all spheres of life. The day you have found your very own golden mean, it could mark the beginning of your golden era.

This blog is based on the following article –

https://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/O-zone/look-for-the-golden-mean/

 

Do I really need a counsellor?

So when does one approach a counsellor? When one is facing a problem with relationships, when one is stressed out or when one is depressed? Yes! That’s when you must approach a counsellor but that’s not the ONLY reason why you should approach a counsellor. Counselling is an exercise that frees your mind and liberates the soul. It helps you connect with yourself, leads you to a better understanding of yourself, of who you are, which in turn helps you make right choices in life. Most of the time who we think we are is actually what someone else has told us to be. Best person who can help through this process is a counselor.

Let’s look at various reasons why counselling should be a necessity, and not just the last resort.

  • Let it go – We all deal with our own amount of frustration. And we can’t always talk to friends/family. So what happens to all that frustration? It builds up within us; threatening to blow up one fine day. Why wait for that? It’s important to let it all go. And a counsellor is the right person to help you do so. A counsellor is someone who’ll listen unconditionally and help you release the tension. If you were given a chance to just discard all the frustration from your mind, vent it all out and walk away feeling lighter, would you take it? That’s what a counsellor helps you do.
  • Dealing with problems – Problems come and go, but the way you deal with it will change when you have a counsellor guiding you. It helps you realize that when external factors are out f control, it’s time to learn to manage your own emotions. Everything that irritates us about others can lead to a better understanding of ourselves. So while coping with external issues, you are subsequently connecting with your inner-self.
  • Underlying problems – You may think all is well, but subconsciously there might be a lot you are dealing with. There might be baggage you are carrying from childhood or past relationships and which might unknowingly be stressing you out. Unexplained body issues like headaches, cramps and pain could all be caused by unidentified stress. That’s your body’s way of sending signals that you need help. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak; it’s the first step to making you a stronger person; a person who is taking responsibility of his own life.
  • Prevention is better than cure – With stressful, busy lives, we are hardly able to dedicate time to ourselves. With each passing day, the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression is rising steadily. The long term effects of these are well-known and we all would like to stay far from it. So if we just started taking care of ourselves from this very moment. If we realized by simply “talking” to a counsellor, we might discover a better self, get valuable perspectives to situations, it would keep stress away and ward off illnesses caused by stress (and let’s not forget there are quite a few in that list).

The penultimate line is, counselling is not only for someone who is having issues, it’s for everyone who wants to go through a process of self-discovery and self empowerment. Finally, it’s what everyone must experience once in their lifetime.

 

Why we still need a women’s day?

And yet another Women’s day passed with the usual posts on social media, pink runs organized in cities and women’s day offers at malls and at restaurants. Of course, with that people assume women are happy and for another year they will remain “quiet”. And that’s the reason we still need women’s day; and not just once a year, through the year. Some men of course feel threatened with the concept, and surprisingly some of the women too aren’t happy about it. They feel that the very fact we have a dedicated day for women proves women aren’t equal to men.

Women are equal, but women aren’t treated equal. One part of the changing society might actually feel liberated and believe that times have changed, but sadly, most women across the globe wouldn’t agree.

In a recent interview Meghan Markle quoted that people keep saying – we are helping women find their voices. She is completely against the statement because she believes women have voices, they just need to feel empowered enough to use them, and people need to be encouraged to listen.

In no way has our country, or for that matter, other countries too, reached a place where we can safely say things are changing for women. Women are sexually harassed and assaulted. Women are discriminated against in the workplace. Women are excluded from political decision-making. Even women who “have it all” can’t seem to get it right. Working mothers are reprimanded for not being present enough for their children or at work.

From celebrities to the crowds, women just can’t seem to strike the right chord. From a woman’s outfit to her maternal duties, everything is being commented on. Have we really moved ahead? It’s like women were given freedom but with a leash which will pull them back if they “overuse” it.

Of course, if we move to another section of women that doesn’t even have access to basic sanitation; we realize it may be decades before gender becomes only a biological term.

Workplaces celebrate women’s day with pink balloons and roses with a theme for the women on 8th March and rest of the year women fight against harassment in the office. Husbands take wives out for a meal on Women’s day and then next morning she is expected to wake up at 5 am, begin her “chores” in the kitchen and look after her in-laws.

These are simple instances, but the implications of the transformation through the year are huge!

Do all women feel this way? No. If you are one of those lucky women, then you must thank your stars. Because from women not being “allowed” to drive in Saudi Arabia, to women not being “allowed” to work in India, there is a lot that still needs to change. The fact that women need to be “allowed” to do things is what needs to be looked into.

On that note, it’s also important to understand that feminism aims at gender equality.  This is not a war against the men. It’s a war against inequality. The rise of women does not mean the fall of men! Pro-women does not mean anti-men. Pro-women is anti-abuse, anti-discrimination and anti-inequality.

The day we feel women’s day is just another day and all days seem like women’s day as much as men’s day, that day we’ll know we have truly achieved equality.

This blog is based on the article –

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/do-need-international-womens-day-let-count-ways/