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Why does it Hurt so bad?

So I’ve realised it takes a village to build you up and make you feel confident but it’s often just the one person that can bring that confidence crashing down! And that’s just sad…

What the tens, hundreds or millions say about you can be shattered by one thoughtless comment or one mean remark. It’s like that little devil inside of us barely needs a drop of water to take on a monstrous form and take us over completely.

And that’s why the trolls succeed so much. I used to visit a client ever so often and despite me being at my best; I’d watch how every compliment would be followed by a quick jibe, a passing thoughtless remark or just something plain mean. I noticed it a few times but I think it really came to a head when my team asked me what was wrong with them? I honestly didn’t know. Every time they made a comment it hurt but I tried to push it aside as much as I could and eventually knew when the comment would come , so played a song in my head to dull their words!

But then the husband came up with an insightful reason (no I wasn’t bribed to compliment him :)) they did this.He said that often people chose to use hurtful words to cover up what was happening in their lives. When they chose to criticise how I looked or that I spoke with an accent- it was often a reflection of them not being happy with what they looked like or how they spoke. And when I started really listening to what they were saying I saw all their deep rooted personal issues- marriage problems, body image issues, blatant racism and insecurities. And now I have realised that perhaps that’s the way to deal with trolls.

Everyone is on a journey. When they lash out, it’s more about what’s happening with them not with you. And when you re-teach yourself to think like that the hurt is less and you too are equally careful about how you speak.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Every person I meet I try and learn something from… even the worst people you meet have something they can teach you. Learn.

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Toxic Relationships

How many times do we know someone that or something is bad for us but we cling on to it persistently because of force of habit?

We know they’re wrong for us/ it makes us sad, unhappy, weak, angry… but we just don’t let it go…

And when we do let go…we mourn- as if we needed it, missed it ,wanted it. We mourn as if it was the best thing that happened to us when usually it was exactly the opposite! We cribbed the entire time and knew we were terribly fed up and disappointed in the situation but yet we don’t want to let it go.

Perhaps we’re suckers for punishment… or maybe we sympathise with those that torture us!

A friend in an impossible relationship was sticking on despite the relationship being totally toxic- he couldn’t let go. He left, it became hard , he went back- the cycle continued. He can’t escape or may be he doesn’t truly even want to. And the drama continues.

But to let go… to truly let go… is freeing. It’s amazing. It makes way for new opportunities, the joy of life and living again and complete freedom!

I used to make a lists of pros and cons and remind myself why moving on made sense but now I’ve found a new easier way- I allow myself to feel the loss- fully feel it, but for the day and after that I disconnect completely. I don’t allow myself to dwell or feel bad or get angry or allow the toxic person to have any emotion of mine because that would be energy I could rather use for something much more positive and I’d rather find people that would want that energy of mine and would be able to reciprocate!

This way I allow myself and the relationship the respect of fully feeling it; but also allow myself the respect of not sticking with something that drains me continuously. Just like they say, you can’t flog a dead horse, there’s absolutely no point mourning a toxic friendship/relationship.

Always remember you deserve happiness.

P.s. (Palat says)-: There are 7.7 billion people on this planet.You are going to find a few awful ones… but there are many many billion people left to meet!

#FakeNews

‘You look so beautiful.’ ‘ I am soooooo busy. ‘ ‘My marriage is perfect.’ ‘Of course I eat… yes… real food silly!’ ‘ The holiday was amazing!’ ‘My kids are awesome!’ – every lie we ever tell each other now becomes firmly stuck in the forever world of the internet. With filters and instagrammable hashtags it’s like we’re all living the perfect life…except we’re not! The picture perfect fairytale that we all seem so keen to show off is often anything but…

You don’t realise this till you get off the screen and actually meet your ‘friends.’ You don’t realise they’ve been up all night not partying but because their kids are sick. You don’t realise they are having lunch with you and not doing a double date because they want to talk about their marriage. You don’t realise they don’t eat because they are being fat shamed at the gym… You don’t realise a lot of things.

And yet you stay ‘friends.’

So what I have done is started meeting people offline… meeting and connecting and realising that everything may not be perfect- not for me and not for them and that’s ok. That’s what differentiates us. We can all have photographs with the same filters but life doesn’t come with filters and every photograph may not be perfect but it’s our experience and our lives and like my grand father used to say if life doesn’t have ups and downs how would you know you’re alive…

The meetings have been amazing. They have been real. They have been flawed. They have been perfect. And I gotta say I’m hooked! I’m more social than I have been… I’m making more real friends, having better conversations, caring more and feeling more and I’m actually connecting… not the Fb connect… but actually connecting and now the photographs we have at parties and get togethers don’t need the filters – cos they have memories attached … and that’s the coolest filter of them all.

P.s.(Palat says) #FriYay #NightWithFriends #ConnectInRealLife

The Goodbyes…

And I have realised that every good bye is tough…

When I did plays – as much as I loved opening night and all the grandeur and excitement; it was always bitter-sweet. There’d be no more rehearsals, no more swapping stories and gossip, no more long coffee breaks and bloopers. The family that we created would graduate and move on to their own lives. Of course we’d meet for shows , much like families meet for the holidays and we’d have the quick catchups and the familiar laughs but there would now be a distance and it would never quite be the same.

But then before you know it there’d be a new show and a new family and the closeness and bonds would be forged again.

When I started expanding Balancing Act, it became the same. Each person was hand picked and chosen and I made them family over time and every time one left there was a part of me that missed the relationship we shared and another part excited about the new person/ people I would meet.

I now know that life is a journey. You will meet many people on the way. People come in to your life for many reasons. Some to help you , even when you didn’t know you needed help; some to teach you lessons – even the harshest or hardest of lessons and once you receive the help or learn from the lessons they will leave you and move on as their purpose has been served.

However there will be a few who will stay on and on and on, because both you and them will keep learning, growing and helping each other. And these are the people that you will find over time, that you will learn to value and who will always have your back. These are the people who are on your journey with you- so you will never be alone.

These are the people you won’t say goodbye to.

Look for these people. Treasure these people. Love these people.

P.s. (Palat says)-: Every good bye has a hello just waiting to happen!

I’m ok.You’re ok.

In a world of comparisons and insecurities , it’s often mind numbing to compare achievements- personal and professional with one another… Just looking out of the window, the grass always seems greener… but once you get to that garden you often realise, the grass is not as green, covered with manure and far less exciting than you envisioned!

And yet it’s human nature to compare… to want more…to covet more and to therefore feel ‘less than.’

In the joy to get more things, climb more ladders, are we actually losing out on what we most seek- joy and happiness?

I’ve now started to look at people and things more plainly. You have stuff. I have stuff. I have problems. You have problems. May be without comparison we can both dream, create, be better and be happier… I don’t need your stuff to be happy…and you don’t need mine.

I say this as I enviously look at vacation pics… :)… then again my vacations are pretty darn good too no?

We’re all on the ride of our lives. And it’s absolutely fair to wonder ‘what if..’. But I’ve realised its far nicer to make the most of your life, your day, your people and your things and the minute you treasure them, you’ll start being amazed at how much you actually have.

The couple you envy may actually be in counselling. The vacation you wish you were on , may be the first someone has taken in years. The mom who has it all may be crying at night. And the perfect dad may be drinking him self to sleep at night.

You don’t know their journeys and they don’t know yours.

Life is hard. For everyone. But it’s up to you to just focus on yours and make it the best life that you can live.

P.s. (Palat says)-: It’s never about how much you have, it’s about what you do with what you have. Quality always beats quantity.

And stoop and build em up…

And the week went by uneventfully for most but for me it was a re-learning of sorts.

After weeks of walking like the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’ , I finally started walking straight and balanced again and then proceeded to show this basic skill to anyone and every one who’d watch me, often much to their amusement or annoyance (depending on whom I was showing it to)! Walking straight should come naturally to most , but for me it was an achievement that I was proud of.

And that’s when I realised how many of us take so much for granted till we lose the ability to do it. We often fail to celebrate the people we love and the things we can do and instead find fault with both. And then when we lose the ability to do something or lose someone in our life ; we then and only then understand the importance.

And in the spirit of things that I have learnt, I learnt lots from this Multiple Sclerosis Attack.

  • Value your body. It’s the only one you have and whatever you can do with it (even the bare minimum) is pretty darn amazing.
  • Connect with your family and friends. Say ‘I love you’ lots and give lots. Eventually all you have in life is for the relationships – so give them your all.
  • Don’t take your health lightly.Listen to your body. It’ll always be truthful to you.
  • Stop blaming yourself. You are exactly where you are supposed to be and any trial is just a lesson in disguise.
  • Smile, watch a comedy and refresh. Smiling is a lot healthier than stress is!
  • Party. When the world is turning upside down, get out and party. Don’t sit and mope. Get outside. Have a ball. The world is amazing! And tomorrow will always be a better day!

And we’re on to another weekend and the new week holds so much excitement with new hires, new jobs and new opportunities.

And yup, that’s another excuse to party!

P.s. (Palat says)-: Life is a celebration…or it should be. If it’s not, take a minute and remember – you are alive, you are amazing and you deserve awesomeness!

With unimaginable pain …

And as the steroids ended and my body struggled to fix itself I understood what pain and starting over truly felt like.

Steroids made me relearn how easy it is to take our body for granted. The simplest thing like taking a straight step became a chore and my body hurt in places I didn’t know could hurt at all.

But with that came respect. I began re learning movement, the joy of getting one step right– I can do about 5 now and the absolute joy of even one second of no pain.

It also made me re look at where I was and who I wanted to be and I realised with great joy that I had become the person I’d dreamed of becoming… the person in ‘if (by Rudyard Kipling)’ who learns to start over without a moment’s hesitation, who keeps on going and who is inspirational. And I was proud.

In life we all get our own personal struggles, it’s how we deal that makes us the people we are.

The weekend had 2 blocked veins – I equate it to 2 long client meetings. I had so much pain… I equate that to crazy work stress that we all often deal with. And I had sleepless , painful nights that I compare to the delays we face in work done and appreciation received.

And then I got the flu on a day we had a long, much awaited for Client meeting and woke up in a personal hell of pain and sickness. I put my ego aside and asked for help and with the strength that can only come from family (i.e. Mom), I was able to semi-recover and power on to a fabulous and rewarding day.

We all have a choice- every day, to either get up and roll with the punches or go to sleep and wait for another day. The new day may be brighter or duller- but a dull day can always become bright- it’s up to you to wake up and do the best you can with it.

We don’t get just one chance to make the day a better day. We get numerous chances. So why waste it? I was told numerous times I was doing too much and needed to recover and much as I agreed… I knew I was also getting a second chance at making things right and doing things over and re-learning.

And as much as every day hurt, I would have hurt more if I hadn’t tried.

So I get up and fight another day knowing that the world and my life is worth fighting for, knowing that it’s both the ups and downs that makes life worthwhile…and it’s because of the downs that the ups are even more special.

And so I’m off to a party filled weekend with tons of laughter and joy knowing that this will drown out the fuzziness and pain and illness and even happier that I have another day to recognise the power and awesomeness of the life we get to live.

P.s. (Palat says)-: It shouldn’t take illness or pain or steroids to learn to value all that we have… but sometimes its a good push in the right direction.

Sometimes we all need steroids…

It was a leap of faith- this was what the entire week seemed focussed on. On Tuesday I was told that in all likelihood my MRIs were false negatives and I would need to be put on to an immediate dosage of steroids! This is the first time this has happened since 2005 and naturally I was extremely worried about this. Another attack of multiple sclerosis seemed overwhelming not just for me but for my whole family. Wouldn’t I get better naturally? The pain has been worsening for over 6 months now and has been really bad for more than a few years and now I was walking like the Leaning tower of Pisa (if it could walk); so may be I should trust the good doctor’s expertise and take the leap of faith by taking treatment no matter how scary it seemed.

Sometimes you have to trust yourself and the people around you.

It seemed like I needed a bit more than faith and chocolate ice cream when the Nurse who came home couldn’t find my veins .She did try in three injection points and I held on to faith till she twisted the needle so hard it hit a nerve and I just saw black all around.

Must I actually do this? I asked Aditya as we now then decided to do this at the hospital. ‘Well, if you want to feel better, it’s the only way- ‘ he said. So the 5 days started and well I’m going to hope the pain is better and the walk a little straighter. I am going to feel better. I will. I have to.

A friend dropped in, having given up a steady job , he seemed worried about reactions around him.

He’d lost joy.

I know sometimes that (joy) seems such an elusive concept, but I do believe that we all have the power to search , nay the responsibility to find our joy. It is only when we know how to find joy can we truly live our best lives. It is only if you know how to be joyous , that you can truly inspire and give happiness. Responsibilities must be fulfilled but it should never be at the cost of joy. This world can be such an incredible place, it is up to us to find at least one thing that brings us happiness/joy every day.

I used to make that a task every day because I didn’t know how to find it! Now I do this out of habit. There’s always at least a few moments that give me absolute joy, if not more every day and it also keeps me grateful.

Just FYI it’s Masterchef and trashy TV shows that keep me happy thru the hour long injection… see even in that there can be joy.

P.s. (Palat says)-: The leap of faith can be terrifying… much like when I jumped off a plane to sky dive… but its only when you jump that you truly experience freedom and complete joy.

Fear, MRIs and 5 ams

The stress of or the fear of something often is far larger than the actual task itself. This was at its clearest this week. With the planning of a surprise party, the visit to a new doctor, yet another (though each one is as stressful as the next) MRI and the travel and return travel on 5 am flights made for a memorable week.

The surprise party had to be perfect. Everything had to be planned without the inquisitive Birthday boys’ knowledge and we had to get him back in time lest the guests and here we kept it to family only let the cat out of the bag! The menu had to delight him and each of our demanding guests and the party had to be run on time despite the Mumbai rains and horrendous traffic snarls. Add to that a power cut which took out all the lights in the house, but none of the air conditioning! Candles were lit and the dinner with all its pre planning drama ended perfectly. The minute I just allowed myself to go with the flow instead of fighting to control it… I learned to have fun and actually enjoy the party!

I met the new doctor with trepidation and cynicism. Challenging him almost by telling him the hateful, scary things I’d been told over the years; I was taken aback when he empathised and even apologised for Doctors without tact and bedside manner. This threw me off because I expected him to stick with the way I had been treated thus far. The apology made me learn that the fear of one doctor can’t make you avoid all others. And as much as I don’t want to be seen as a clone of anyone else… I mustn’t assume that all in the same profession are alike either.

The MRI technician asked if I’d like to see ‘Friends.’I was taken aback. How was that possible? With a new machine, you could watch something, you may not hear it all but you could watch it. The 2 hr long series of MRIs were made more tolerable with a comedy show playing above my head!

5 am flights to meetings- would I hack it? Would I be on my best game? Worried I did not sleep all of night 1… And then the day ended and I was wonderful. The staying awake only made for dark circles- didn’t dampen my enthusiasm at all!

I write this as Day 2 begins (at 4:30 am now)- and now I’m not scared!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I do now what I do during an MRI. Take a deep slow breath and let the fear find another person they can cripple- not me!

Live the Moment

We all believe we live in the moment but I have to be honest most do not! Unless you go through something life changing, you don’t even recognise how long or how powerful a moment can be. This is true. A moment really counts when my arm hurts so bad tears stream down my face or when the husband holds me apologising for the arm pain which he didn’t even cause-the MS did!

Most people just turn up in their lives. They make a guest appearance. You go to your 9-5 or 10-6 job and you just count the hours so you can leave and go back and do another mindless thing you won’t give yourself to.

You shouldn’t have to have MS or a brain tumour or nearly die or do something equally dramatic to care about your life! You can be the hero- the star of your own story- shouldn’t you use your potential to do that

With those I work with and those I’m friends with , this is what I try and enforce

  1. Do one thing- but do it well, else don’t even start.
  2. In a conversation with me , lets both look at each other and actually listen.
  3. A job is not 8 hrs, it can be 1 hr or 2 hrs as well- it’s just about applying yourself when you work
  4. Do something- one thing every day that you absolutely love and be present during that moment.
  5. Have one conversation every day- not on the phone but face to face. Make sure it’s honest and be absolutely involved in the conversation.
  6. When you are doing your job- make that the most important. When you are with your family- make that the most.
  7. Be true to yourself, even with new people. People will either like you or not but you can’t live your life acting like someone you are not.
  8. You are the star of every day. Your film stars you. Make a it a film you’d like to watch. Be proud of you.
  9. This won’t happen easily- there’ll be many times where you are not even present during a work day or a boring family dinner. Stop, reboot, refresh!

I write this because I see so many who just turn up in their lives and never actually show up and enjoy it. We get one chance, (even if we believe in rebirth and after life) to be the best version of ourselves- to be a part of a film called our life. Wouldn’t you want a blockbuster? I do!

P.s. (Palat says)-: Its the husband’s birthday weekend this weekend so stay tuned for soppy posts and mushy , unwritten love letters!

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