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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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!

Birthday stresses (and no it’s not about just getting old!)

So the birthday rolled around and this one was unlike any other! I’m the quintessential Gemini about birthdays even though I’m a Taurus-Gemini cusp! I plan for the next birthday the evening of the previous one- so I’m that kinda psycho birthday maniac,

But this birthday I was a bit more introspective and stressed out- had this year counted for anything? Had anything changed ? Did my life thus far mean anything to anyone? Yup I was being a bit more fatalistic than usual. What had I acheived?

And so this time I stressed out before the birthday! And started (like the OCD maniac I am) listing down any positive learnings I have had or impacts I had made. Here’s what I found!

  1. I have become closer to family now than I ever was and that’s a win!
  2. I have more friends now and they accept me -flaws and all! I’ve reconnected with a few who knew me and they seem prouder of who I am today -so there must be growth and that’s awesome!
  3. More importantly I accept me- flaws and all and now can be honest with who I am , especially to me!
  4. I have taught people and they remember that fondly and I continue to teach the people who work with me and that’s amazing.
  5. I have started learning all over again! Online learning allows me to find knowledge in areas that I’ve always wanted to discover and that’s hugely positive for me.
  6. I’ve traveled and I’ve seen and learned more about cultures and places and put into perspective how magnificent the world is and how much more we can do and then gone ahead and tried to imbibe all that I have seen into making a positive impact.
  7. I have cared for animals and loved and looked after so many and got so much love in return.
  8. I have become kinder, more compassionate and learned to love more! I have become more grateful to the God, the Universe and to people.
  9. I have learned that the more positive you are , the more positivity comes your way!

And the list went on and I realised that not only had the years rolled on, the learnings had added up to and just the fact that I had so many blessings in my life, was definitely worth candles on the cake – even if there were more candles now, than cake !

P.s. (Palat says)-: Whenever you are down, look around you and make a list- when you see how much you have and how many love you; you’ll realise that the stress just disappears! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Sour Puss & Kotak Mahindra Bank

So off to the bank we went. Adulting is hard even when you are older. It seems everyone and here, by everyone you really mean your parents,- can do stuff way better than you! How they got so good at fixing everything is beyond me… but I decided let’s give it a try and handle some bank work on my own!

It seemed simple enough… we were paying money back to a bank- an absolutely unheard concept for most but since the amounts weren’t sufficient for us to do a Mallya or Modi and buy a new citizenship, rant about the fact that we ‘wanted to pay a debt back’ on twitter and afford a mansion in Europe- I figured let’s get out of debt. So off we were to Kotak Mahindra Bank, and sitting in front a sullen woman , who seemed unhappy that work was being given to her on a day she’d rather eat lays and glower. My chirpy (yes that happens occasionally) attitude annoyed her and she moved us away from her line of vision and then recommended (and I use the word kindly) that we leave. But we want to pay back a debt , we informed her. Well, the paper work was going to be an issue- i.e. she hadn’t printed them out yet , so may be we could take our selves out and come back later. While we changed schedules around to accommodate her, a gentleman who looked worn and tired brought paper work to her. “That’s it , right Ma’am, I’m done? Loan free?” Sour puss (my name for her) glared at him as if he’d broken the system by doing his own printouts and then grudgingly said yes. We congratulated him but the poor man was almost in tears– ” it’s been so hard…. just to give them the money and close the loan ,” he said.

And that’s when I realised. Every day we have a choice- a choice on how we are viewed. This man had probably taken a loan for his dream home. Today should have been the happiest day of his life- now that his home was finally his and yet she chose to make it hard on him. Instead of being his supporter, his cheerleader and his helper- she chose to vilify herself.

We get a choice every single day to make an impact on someone’s life- to make a difference. That difference can be either negative or positive- but the choice is solely ours.

Your life impacts others. Your choices impact them. Your behaviour impacts them. We can’t live selfishly unless we’re in a box. When you converse with someone don’t just turn up- actually show up. Be present and be aware of your impact.

So what happened to my interaction with Sour Puss? Well she pushed us out of the branch and we returned (more because of that gentleman’s warning). She remained sullen and upset when we now had done the hard job of print outs for her. She made us sign all the wrong sheets for her own record and had to then spend the next day coming to our office and correcting all her mistakes.

She made an impression on me but like the gentleman earlier- she made a terrible one. But she also inspired me to start being present during my interactions with people because I want all those that I meet to feel that I am present and that I want to be there. In a terribly negative situation, I learnt something…though more often than not I wish you could just learn life lessons from fortune cookies… not miserable encounters 🙂

P.s. (Palat says)-: Be grateful for the people you meet. Learn from them- not just what to do but what never to do.

26/11- Moving forward

I had written another post for today and was about to post it when I felt i should write about something that’s been so important to me for the last 4 years.

4 years ago today our city was besieged by terror attacks and for the first time in my life-I was scared, unsure of tomorrow and afraid to step outside. I didn’t sleep for days and when I did, I dreamt of blood, gore, screaming and fear. With the help of my friend Mr. Sivanandan and my encouraging husband – I set about to interview survivors and their families. I needed to find something positive from all the death,destruction and sorrow of that mindless massacre.

And every year , we’ve been going to different continents and telling people about our stories, our survivors, our heroes-names you’ve never heard of, people you’d pass by on the street but people who showed exemplary courage in the face of senseless rage and irrational hate and survived those 48 hours. Every year I’ve re-interviewed a few, re-assessed where they are and asked them how they feel and kept in touch. And telling the stories made a difference- not just to those we told it to…but to each one of us and giving the proceeds away made us feel that we were in some way, able to help contribute to a change.

Men and women died that night protecting one another. People survived using skills they didn’t know they had, calling on bravery they didn’t know they possessed. And we went on. We should have learnt from them. We can still learn.

Instead of inculcating fear, we must learn to live- not to just survive and go but to understand and to appreciate the value of life- yours and the people around you. We must focus on the moment and have faith in ourselves and in others because help can come from the most unexpected sources and it’s never hard to just do good and be nice.

We were all chosen to survive because of those who gave up their lives instead. But life is about making positive changes and trying to make your life count and the only way we can do that is making every moment of our lives make a difference – to ourselves, to those around us.

It’s 26/11 again now…and it’s four years later. Ask yourself- Have you made a change? If you haven’t… it’s not too late…! Next year- same time- I’ll check in!

26/11- Never Forget!

Making Monday not MournDay!

Ok so I HATE MONDAY MORNINGS! I mean I start stressing on Sunday night about the week that’s about to happen…not that the week isn’t totally exciting, glorious and fun…I’m the eternal stressed and so I stress!

This morning was particularly hard! There was too much to do and too little time- scripts to finalise, meetings to attend, chores to complete at home and to finish assignments for two online courses that i had signed up for (like I don’t have enough on my plate already)!

So in between my dialogues with God (my prayers) I was trying to sort out all the hundred things that needed to be done urgently and then I had / God gave me a much simpler plan! i have almost finished everything i needed to today and this is how I did it!

  1. I made a list! Often we think there are more things we have to do but when you write them down…it isn’t that many or that scary!
  2. I started early and started positive!
  3. I took a mid morning break to coffee and to just breathe!
  4. I focussed on single-tasking as opposed to multi-tasking like I always do. that way I have completed 5 jobs fully rather than 30 %  of 7 jobs!
  5. Take your lunch break. It’s not productive to not get up and to just keep working…that’s where the errors start! So take your breaks and come back more refreshed and ready to work more!
  6. Treat yourself after you complete your tasks. Whether it’s taking a walk outside, a cup of coffee or updating a facebook status- reward yourself! The more tasks completed …the more rewards!
  7. Celebrate Monday evenings! Why just celebrate Fridays…? Do a movie, meet with friends or go on a drive…the week is long but life is short so go out there and make Monday evenings a celebration of completing your Monday!

 

Write in…tell me what you think or what peps you up every Monday and do also check out my new Luxury travel Blog http://www.travelwithdivya.com