Kill Cruella!

I have always been rather self destructive. My parents remember this well, when I got myself in trouble when they were in the midst of shouting at my sister for something she had done and I would suddenly point out something I had done which was worse.

But cute as that seemed as I grew older, I got even more destructive. The critical little voice in my head was almost a shout and I was never good enough, pretty enough, smart enough or worthy enough. And so I hurt myself, I had terrible bouts of anxiety and stress. I was depressed at times and was easily swayed into believing that I was lucky to get anything because I obviously didn’t deserve it.

And when I got sick (multiple sclerosis), this became even worse. Now I was living proof of someone who may never be pretty enough, smart enough or worthy of anything- but something switched inside me. I was stuck so long listening to this evil shouting voice, I never took the time to hear the softer, more encouraging voice in my head. And when I did take the time, and since in the hospital ,I did have just time- I started hearing the voice that told me to believe.

It’s the voice that tells you that ‘you can be more, you can do more and that you are better than you think you are.’ It’s the voice that tells you to believe in yourself and that you are ready for the meeting, for the interview and even to take over the world! It’s the voice that tells you that your body- in pain, fit or unfit- is amazing because it’s yours. It’s the voice that tells you every day can be amazing because you are part of it.

And once you listen to this voice , the evil one becomes softer and slowly becomes non existent, if you work hard enough.

Initially and even sometimes now, when I hear Cruella (yup she has a name) popping up with her fears and doubts in me… I loudly proclaim how sure , how positive and how amazing I am so that Miss D (yup she has a name too) gets the strength to go louder than ever!

P.s.(Palat says)-: How successful you are will often be a direct relation to how much you believe in you. Don’t look for the applause from outside. Be proud to be your biggest cheerleader.

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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.

#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!

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!