Monday, February 3, 2014

New Beginnings

Dear friends, family and wonderful readers. It has been a long long time since I wrote something here. As I give this blog a fresh beginning today, let me start by sharing some very personal thoughts and some very special news with you.

Beginnings are always exciting!

Whether it is the beginning of a new relationship, a new job or a new project. Whether it is the beginning of a new year, a new month or a new day. Whatever the beginning is about, it marks a fresh start. Something to look forward to. New beginnings also bring with them new hopes and a way to let go of the past. The month of January is one such time when I get excited about new beginnings. It is the time of the year when I, and a lot of people I know, get busy writing down resolutions. Around this time each year I start with a new diary to write down my goals, hopes and aspirations for the next twelve months.

As I started the one for 2014, I realized that this year marks the beginning of an extremely special and unique phase of my life. My husband and I are expecting a little one in the family who is due to arrive in about a month’s time now. Let me tell you that I am finding it very difficult to describe our feelings about this new phase of life that both of us are about to enter. However, if you can make a full sentence from words like extremely happy, elated, super excited, little nervous, out of the world, can’t wait, a different life, change of priorities, new hopes, new dreams, hundreds of questions and a million other emotions and thoughts, then you have just nailed what I am trying to say. Our families – parents, brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have showered us with love and are super thrilled too. All in all it has been an amazing journey so far as we eagerly wait to embrace this new chapter of life.

I know life will be different – as a girl, as a woman, as a daughter-sister-wife, and as an entrepreneur who loves her work. I am aware of the fact that priorities will change. I also do realize that there are now going to be other responsibilities, longer to-do lists and shorter days. I know that the famous work-life-balance dynamic and debate, about which I only read, talked and perhaps partially understood, will become more relevant. I know that this has not changed my aspirations, my career goals and dreams and my burning desire to achieve loads of milestones in life. In fact I want to do better each day now than any point in my life. I want to continue inspiring people and facilitating interesting training programmes. I want to grow my company in leaps and bounds. I want to keep working with all the excellent and esteemed clients who have trusted and supported my work. 

At the same time, I also want to continue to cherish romantic dinner dates with my husband, give cooking lessons to my brother on skype, practice my yoga and fitness regime, travel and explore the world, sip on afternoon tea and have crazy evenings with friends. But most importantly, I want to continue to  be there for my family when it matters. I want to be the best mum to our little one. I want to do everything for our little bundle of joy which my mum did for me. Tough task. But I want to.

In short, with this new beginning, I want it ‘all’. Am I expecting too much – perhaps. Am I scared – definitely not! I am completely sure that while I strive to achieve my personal definition of ‘all’ I have the support of my family, friends, associates and clients. And I am looking forward to this new challenge. 

With the start of the year of the horse, I take a leap of faith (again) and welcome this dawn of a one more significant story of my life. Here’s raising a glass (of fresh coconut water) to new beginnings!


Kung Hei Fat Choi! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All things Bright & Beautiful!

A beautiful morning in Switzerland - View from my train

Years ago I had written down a song in my scrapbook. It was a hymn which we sometimes used to sing at school morning prayer. It was called - "All things bright and beautiful."  I had pasted pictures of beautiful places, dresses, cakes, dolls etc alongside it. I smiled at my then list of things which made me happy. 

As I was going through the rest of my scrapbook, I suddenly had a question for myself -  What is my current list of "bright & beautiful"? What are the things which generally brighten up my day? As I began prodding myself further, I was amazed at what I discovered. It turned out that my list was disarmingly simple! Here it is:

1.     A simple smile 
2.     Delicious food
3.     Speaking to a close family member or friend
4.     Old letters from family and friends
5.     Beautiful mornings and Warm evenings
6.     Pictures from various travels with friends and family
7.     The smell of a new book
8.     Sinking feet in the wet sand by the beach
9.     Fragrance of a flower
10.  Experiencing a flight take-off by the window seat
11.  Getting a good bargain while shopping 

I think I am still adding on to this list, but these were the first few I could think of! Have you made your list of "ATBB" - All things bright & beautiful? If not, then I highly recommend it. It opened my eyes to the perspective that how easy it is to be truly happy! Share your ideas here and lets spread the joy!
As I had mentioned earlier in one of my posts, 

"Remember, it is not really difficult to become happy. It is just that we forget to do so!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

5 ways to remain happy on Monday to Thursday & Sunday

Do you find the title strange? Why would someone talk about being happy on selected days. Reason - people find it relatively easier to remain upbeat on Friday and Saturday. Today I will give you some quick ways to find bliss on those days when you are generally counting the number of hours left for Friday evening!

1. Spend a little money 

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness, didn't know where to go shopping" said an American actress years ago. I agree. Although it is not the only source, there is no doubt that money can get you bliss from time to time. There are endless possibilities and an endless budget if you think in broader terms. But to buy a few moments of smile during a heavy week can be surprisingly inexpensive. Buy a bunch of flowers or a house plant and adorn your living room. Buy that yummy blueberry muffin you have been avoiding, from the bakery on the way home. It can be anything which you have been thinking of getting for a long time!

2. Play a sport

It is good exercise, good recreation, a good way of catching up with friends and an excellent way to recharge yourself mentally. Playing a sport adds a little bit of verve to the week. Take out an hour every week for any game of your choice - Squash, Badminton, Pool etc. Join a team or league. Soon it will be something you will be eagerly looking forward to!

3. Cook a dinner

As someone who loves cooking and does it day and night, I vouch for it. There are few things more rewarding than having a home cooked, delicious and aromatic food, made with carefully picked ingredients and spices. Add colours and flavours. Experiment and use your imagination to come up with something which you have not tried before!

4. Phone a Friend

Although usually we leave such 'errands' for the weekend, try this out on a weekday. Just pick up your phone and call a friend from school or university you have not talked to in a while. Just refreshing those wonderful memories and having a laugh will leave with a great feeling! 

5. Write your journal

Although it does not sound as much fun as the other four, retrospection during a week will definitely bring more value and meaning to your days. Write down about anything which made you smile, anything which you are grateful for, or anything which you are glad you did or did not! Make a collection of moments and memories and update it every week! Just going through it once every week will only take 10 minutes but the joy will last for 10 days!

"Remember, it is not really difficult to become happy. It is just that we forget to do so!"

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pause, Pace and Peace.

Image: Phi Phi Island, Phuket

It has been a while since I 'wove' something for this Tapestry. So I am back again, with some new patterns and colours to add. The colours which I picked up from the pearly white sands and the turquoise blue waters of Phuket. Patterns which I picked up from the warm smiling people and their enriched culture. 

It is not new to us what a holiday can do to our spirits and energy. But sometimes, it can be more than just a get-away. Sometimes it can bring you closer to what you have been striving. Sometimes it can make you reflect. Sometimes it can be a life changing or even a life threatening experience. Well, I am not saying that this trip changed my life or anything. I am just saying, sometimes it can happen to somebody! However, it certainly gave me time to pause. Time to reflect. Time to slow the pace.

I realized that ever since I moved to Hong Kong last year, I felt a rush to be somewhere. A need to accomplish things before the break of the next dawn. Even though I was having a great time all the while both at work and home, I felt that I needed to do something more. Even though I was moving forward at a good pace, I felt that I needed to run, jump and fly. In the last year, I certainly met more than 365 people and certainly got more than 365 perspectives. Some told me I was doing great. Some thought I was not aggressive enough. I heard everyone, listened to few. But I was hard on myself. I wanted to do too many things, actually everything, now! Whenever I felt that I was falling behind my own set deadlines, I would take severe actions. And when I felt I was doing good, I told myself to do better. I was quite unfair to me.

In Phuket, sitting on the beach, I heard the rhythm of ocean waves. I felt the sand beneath my feet come and go with the tides. I noticed that not all the waves made it to the beach. Some broke midway and some just managed to touch the sands. However, all would gather speed again and then move towards the shore with more speed than earlier, reaching further than earlier. It was all very beautiful and yet very simple. I had of course seen this earlier on other beaches too. But this time I realized that I too, can follow the waves. I didn't have to reach the end of the shore every minute, every day. I didn't have to have the same speed every time. It made sense to me. A little bit of pause to increase the pace and peace.

Now I am back in Hong Kong, breaking my speed from time to time to gain more speed. Does that make me less competitive? Certainly No. Does that make me more productive? Certainly Yes. Does it make me happier? Certainly certainly Yes.(It is not a typo). Does it make me more successful? Well, let's just say it makes me feel more successful, a little more, each day. Success too, after all, is a state of mind.

I hope that you feel happier and more successful today!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Starting afresh this New Year! Time to let go the past!

Hi Friends! Happy New Year! 

I hope that the year started great for all of you. For me, yes it did! I had a great time in India with my family and friends and now I am back in Hong Kong, just in time to celebrate the Chinese New Year! 

And as the first month of the new year is coming to an end, I tried to retrospect this morning if anything had happened worth noting down here. If I had discovered some pearls of wisdom to share with you all. And I realized that I had in fact understood a very important point. 

To tell you this point, I will start with a short story which I had read in the Speaking Tree section of The Times of India newspaper. The story goes like this.  

A wise man once told a joke to a group of people. Everyone was amused and laughed a lot and appreciated the humour. After some time, he narrated this joke again. This time, people were slightly less amused and just smiled. He repeated the joke the third time and nobody gave a reaction. When he tried telling the same joke again for the fourth time, people got irritated. Someone shouted at the wise man asking why was he repeating the same joke again and again. The man replied, "If repeating a joke ceases to amuse after a few times, then how do we carry on with repeated remembrance of painful stories?"

As per my last post, when I was noting my experiences of the last year and the dreams and challenges for the coming year, I was reminded of some of the sad memories and unhappy incidents from my past. I realized that I had been carrying them with me since many years and they had only accumulated and become a huge emotional baggage affecting my present and future. This baggage had only hurt me and given me more pain with time.

Many of us have been carrying the weight of these unnecessary painful memories since ages. A lengthy warm discussion with my mum made me see that it was time to let go, time to be free from this baggage. Time to be free from fear, anger, hurt, resentment, guilt and all kinds of negative emotions from the past. 

Hence as the Chinese celebrate their New Year with fireworks today, and the world rejoices with them, let us all decide to leave something behind in 2011 and start the journey of 2012 afresh! Lets free the diaries of our mind and heart and fill them with fresh happy chapters. You might say that this is not easy. I agree. I wish that the human genius would invent some device to retain only selective memories in our brain. However until that happened, we would need to do it manually. And this how I did it:

1. Free from Anger - Try to make yourself free from all the anger, resentment, or hatred that you might have carried for many different people since childhood. You are only doing a favour to yourself by letting go of these feelings towards them. Forgive them. I am not asking you to make them your best friends. But rise to a level where it no longer affects you. The moment is over. Now it is time to move on. 

2. Free from Guilt - Quite often we life we blame ourselves for things which happened in our lives or in the lives of our loved ones. However, don't forget that we do not have control over everything. So free yourself from guilt. If you know you made a mistake, try to redeem it. But do not spoil what you can do today or tomorrow because of one wrong thing you did yesterday. 

3. Free from regret - Time machines only existed in fiction and hence there is no way we are going to be able to go back and change our decisions, our situations, our mistakes. Hence, believe that everything happened for a reason and learn from them. Live in the moments of present and think of the dreams of future. Try not to regret the past. 

4. Believe in yourself - Believe in yourself and believe in the beauty of your present and future. Just because something happened once in the past or someone told you something, it does not become a reality. Trust yourself.

I had read when I was a kid, that every story has two parts. A beginning and an end. If you didn't like the beginning you could give it a beautiful end. So don't remain stuck on the beginnings which didn't start well. 

I have decided to give some fresh endings in the year 2012. I have decided to forget and to forgive. All the best to you too!

Kung Hei Fat Choy