Live in the moment.

Live in the moment.


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

December is usually a month of reflections. Looking back to the year that was; pondering what went wrong and what we learned from it all. December is also a month for planning for the new year that will soon make an entry; making resolutions; charting the route to be taken to achieve goals and fulfil every wish to make the next year a happy one.

For me, personally, it’s a month of reflections; remembering in detail all that went wrong; all that changed me completely as a person; and all that I will not be doing in the new year. Yes, not doing, as in planning for the new year, making personal and career goals, resolving to do or undo certain things.

All that happened this year taught me one thing, which has now become my motto:

LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

I had plans galore last year, which all crumbled to dust this year and left me broken hearted. Broken hearted and wise. It taught me to live life in the moment–the present. And, that all that we plan need not come to fruition.

I will share with you something that strengthened my belief in living in the moment. Nothing serious, but something really minuscule, and yet, significant.

Yesterday, we–hubby and I–completed 21 years of married life. Family and friends showered us with anniversary wishes; some asked what plans I had for the day; how had we decided on celebrating? And, my only reply was that I had not made a single plan. At the risk of sounding unromantic, it’s just another day, and now it’s 21 long years! But, on a serious note, I don’t make plans because anything could happen and ruin those plans and leave me with a heartache and a bad mood.

And, you know what happened in the evening? Hubby’s car broke down, so it had to be towed to the service centre where it will stay for a few days; hubby wasn’t hungry as he had had a late lunch, and also, he had some work to tend to. So, that left me all alone on my wedding anniversary.

Did I feel bad? Nope. Did I wallow in self-pity? No way! Instead, I went and treated myself to my favourite pani puri at a nearby chaat centre, fed biscuits to my 12 canine friends, who were delighted to meet me, came back home happy and satiated, completed a pending article and then enjoyed a dinner with my feathered babies. And, to be frank, it felt awesome!

Being alone on my wedding anniversary did not dampen my spirits a bit, and that’s because I have conditioned myself to enjoy my own company–in short, be emotionally independent. Does that sound a tad snobbish? I hope not.

So, to sum it up, I was glad I hadn’t made any plans and enjoyed the moment, as it came.

And, that is going to be my goal for the future. To live in the moment; to live life as it comes and to learn from all that it brings for me.

Do you remember Katrina Kaif’s dialogue in the very famous movie, ‘ZIndagi na milegi dobara’? When asked what plans she had for her future, she said she hadn’t decided upon anything, instead wished for Life to surprise her at every turn; looked forward to new adventures and meeting new people and making new friends.

Isn’t that the perfect way to live? The ideal way to live?

Let Life bring for you what She has decided for you. You are sure to learn from the tough times and enjoy the beautiful ones. Like I have been doing since some time now.

I learned from all that went wrong.

Met new people–blogger friends whom I had met in the virtual world only–and loved every moment I spent with them.

Basked in the surprise Life brought my way by getting my entry shortlisted from amongst 1600 plus nominations for the Orange Flower Awards.

And, gained a new insight into how She functions! She, as in Life.

So, it is with this newfound knowledge that I wish to step into the new year..in fact, why just the new year, but every moment that comes my way! That’s sure to take a truckload off of the stress that one usually tends to carry on one’s shoulders–anxious about the future–isn’t it?

The future will be what it is destined to be. Why worry, plan, look forward to the moment that hasn’t come yet? Why not live this moment to its fullest, doing our bestest and letting go the fear of the morrow?

What do you think?

Taking your leave with this quote from a really beautiful book my friend, Sanch, gifted me – ‘The art of racing in the rain’. And, it is something that the dog in the story wonders:

“People are always worried about what’s happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”

Points to ponder, eh?

Smile, shine and take care…

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

What do you think about my logo? Made it yesterday…thanks to Canva!

And, the new look of my blog? ūüôā

SHILPA…

When anxiety has a stranglehold on you.

When anxiety has a stranglehold on you.

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

It’s midnight. The world around you is fast asleep. But, you aren’t. You are tossing and turning in bed, anxiously awaiting sleep that seems to be playing a game of hide-n-seek with you. Eventually, after what seems like hours, your eyelids begin to droop. But, just when you feel a sense of calm come over you, a thought creeps into your mind, unannounced, and at once you are awake. The sleep that was at the threshold, has turned around and left.

The thought has now taken over your mind. A thought that is scary, terrifying and only increasing in its enormity by the moment. You begin to breathe heavily, taking in lungful of air, but suddenly feel suffocated and feel a horrid kind of fear taking shape in the pit of your stomach. You start panting and the restlessness increases to such an extent, you just wish to get out of the room, which feels like it’s caving in on you.

The fear now feels like a claw that surges upwards towards your chest, grips your heart and squeezes the life out of it and the world comes crashing down on you. You beg the thought to leave your mind; you pray for the anxiety and the fear to leave you in peace, but it takes more than prayers for it to happen. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, the thought leaves you. Exhausted, you fall asleep.

Have you experienced this, ever?

For me, anxiety and fear have been my constant companions for years. Being a caregiver for two patients of mental illness took its toll. Not a day went by when I wasn’t nervous, scared and anxious about something untoward happening and things going wrong. Try as I might, I couldn’t control Life and all that She brought with Her.

It is exhausting, this living with anxiety, day in day out. You put up a brave face for your family, for the world; you put on a mask of serenity so that others around you stay happy. But, after some time, it feels like a burden that keeps getting heavier. A burden that threatens to crush you under its weight.

After fighting this battle with anxiety all these years, I decided it was time to seek help. I couldn’t go on with it anymore. Moreover, with all that happened few months ago, the situation had only worsened. Sharing my fears with others is not something that comes naturally to me. Each one of us is fighting a battle, and to burden others with my worries is not something I can imagine doing, ever.

Close ones chid me for being so guarded, so “closed”, but the fear that, what if I share my worries precisely when they are going through rough times, themselves? stops me from doing so. And, so, I sought the help of my psychiatrist.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders with 1 out of every 14 people being likely affected.

I never knew I would be one of those 14 suffering from Anxiety Disorder until my psychiatrist broke the news to me last month. Was I glad I sought his help? I was, of course, but I wished I had sought this help long ago. I would have dealt with Life much better.

Lack of sleep, panic and fear, breathlessness, heart palpitations, dizziness are all symptoms of Anxiety Disorder. Your rational thinking gets affected and the anxiety that you suffer from, becomes overwhelming–an everyday affair.

Sharing problems with your close family and friends does help to an extent. But, the best course is to seek professional help. Anxiety can interfere with your everyday life, and can lead to depression, and also an increased risk of suicide.

Before things get completely out of control, approach a psychiatrist who will counsel you in the best possible way, prescribe drugs that will not only help you sleep well, but also help you learn to control the thought processes that lead to anxiety. It could take some time, but it’s all worth it. YOU are worth it!

How I manage my anxieties today:

The meds prescribed by my doctor help me enjoy an uninterrupted sleep and keep me alert to the thoughts that take form in my mind.

Blogging, writing, reading and art have helped me stay afloat. My work helps me keep my mind occupied. It’s when I am busy in these activities that my anxieties are at bay.

My pets take care of me at other times. Earlier, when Chikoo was around, he provided the buffer against the stress and the fear. And, now, I have Cookie. She may be a bird, but she is very well attuned to me and my moods. She is the first one to sense my discomfort and perches on my shoulder when she sees me upset. And, for these babies, I will be ever so grateful!

Since the past some months, I have developed a habit of trying to live in the moment; of not thinking about the future or the past, but only the present. Practising mindfulness helps, but It’s not easy, really. It’s an everyday habit one needs to work on, consistently.

Gratitude helps, too. Ending the day by thanking all that the Universe brings for me; for all the things that work out, as well as all that don’t and the lessons that I learn from them all, further helps calm the mind.

Living every day as if it were my last and doing my best in everything I do also helps me reduce the amount of anxiety that still lurks around the corner, threatening to takeover my mind.

Listening to music, yoga, walking and chatting with my nephew helps me keep my mind busy. Focusing on my breath while doing my asanas helps me learn to concentrate, as does drawing complicated mandalas.

It’s so necessary that we find the activity that not only keeps us busy and our mind occupied, but also one that enriches us, refreshes us and calms our nerves. Something that acts like the lighthouse that guides you to safety.

Anxiety disorders, if left untreated, can take a toll on our entire system, so it’s better to seek help. Sooner, the better. Our mental health is at stake, and if our mind isn’t healthy, how can we live a healthy, happy life?

Dear reader, if you, or a loved one, suffers from extreme anxiety, or has been suffering from anxiety since some time now, please, seek help. Remember, there is no health without mental health.

Love,

SHILPA…

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A new eatery in the neighbourhood. #flavoursometuesday

A new eatery in the neighbourhood. #flavoursometuesday

Hello, all, and welcome to this edition of #Flavoursometuesday!

To begin with, I wish to share with you all some good news. Sometime back, I had nominated myself for the Orange Flower Awards (a Women’s Web initiative) in the Wellness Writing Category. This Sunday, I was informed that I have been shortlisted from a massive 1600 nominations!

Isn’t that awesome? I still can’t believe it! It’s the first time in my life that I have found myself on the receiving end of such wonderful news and looking at the number of nominations from which I was shortlisted, it feels like I have achieved all I wanted to in life!

Umm..do I sound a bit too over-the-top ecstatic? Forgive me, if I do, but this feeling is something I haven’t experienced, ever!

Now, coming back to our flavoursometuesday, some days back, hubby took me to this new eatery which has opened nearby-SIZZLE HOUSE– at CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai. It’s owned by Aditi Limaye Kamat and according to me, heaven on earth for sizzler lovers!

Why?

We ordered the Paneer-cheese-corn bhurji, and, let me tell you, it was simply mind-blowing!

I just dived straight into it as soon as it arrived on my table, on a plate with two soft, fluffy, buttery pao (bread). It was only after a while that I remembered I had to click its picture to share it with you all!

The cottage cheese (my fav), the cheese (my fav) and the corn(my fav) …..umm….I just couldn’t have enough of it and wish I didn’t have to share it with hubby! I just dislike sharing my food with anyone, but when hubby has taken me on a dinner date, how can I deny him a bite from my plate?

Anyway, so, it was simply delicious and if you do happen to pass by Navi Mumbai, then do drop in at the place. I am sure you will love everything about it.

No, this is not a sponsored post, but just #flavoursometueday, where we share posts on food!

Sharing with you all some pictures of the place and the food I relished there:

That’s all for today!

If you have been to a new eatery, or tried a new dish, do share it on flavoursometuesdays. I would love to read all about it.

Love,

SHILPA…

FlavoursomeTuesdays

Welcome to #Flavoursometuesdays! My friend, Sunita Rajwade came up with this brilliant idea of sharing a food post on the first Tuesday of every month. So, we both host this fun bloghop where we invite bloggers to share food posts, recipes, foodie tales and memories revolving around food, pictures of food, or restaurant reviews, in fact, anything and everything about food.

All you need to do, is write a post, add this cool badge and share it with the hashtag #Flavoursometuesday. Sunita has a linky on her blog where you add your URLs and visit as many blogs as you can and share some love! Simple, isn’t it?

So, do join in and let’s have some fun!

The road to a better life passes through books. #WATWB

The road to a better life passes through books. #WATWB

Ludhiana, the industrial centre of Punjab, India, has some really large-hearted labourers, whose sole dream is to entice their children to read. With the only desire to see their children educated, the migrant labourers of Ludhiana, themselves earning no more than Rs. 10,000/ per month, have contributed towards creating a library.

The library is just a small room where a total of 30 children can be accommodated at a time. Not only is this a library, but also a place where they learn to read Hindi and Punjabi.

WIth parents, most of who haven’t studied past the VIII grade, these children have found a haven in this little library. The labourers, who contributed Rs. 100 to Rs. 5000 towards building this place, have received no help from the Government.

Belonging to the low income group didn’t deter their spirits and they came together for their children¬†. The library is active between 4 pm to ¬†7 pm and has a volunteer teacher coming over to help the children learn to read. An effort that has not gone waste as the children love going there and making new friends as well as learning to read.

Do read the entire story here.

We Are The World Blogfest

This is the 19th post of the ‘We Are The World Blogfest’, where we bring for you heartwarming stories about real-life heroes from around the world; ¬†stories that show love, humanity and brotherhood in a world that can often seem full of negativity and hatred.

The co-hosts this month are:

Damyanti Biswas,  

Shilpa Garg

Eric Lahti

Inderpreet Uppal

Peter Nena

Do join in with such human news stories that  you may come across and help spread hope and positivity  on social media using the WATWB hashtag. 

 

With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.

With brave wings she flies — Project WHY.


Featured post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Women are the backbone of the family, the strength of the nation and the flag-bearers of the change we wish to see around us. And, it is, therefore, no surprise when you read about women who not only faced the adversities in Life, but fought their battles singlehandedly and rescued themselves and their families.

Sharing today the story of one such woman, who, when faced with dreadful circumstances in her life, put her fears aside and fought to not only solve the problems but also make a change in the quality of life for herself and her family.

Meet RENU KAROTIA — The Sewing Teacher.

Six years ago, when Renu Karotia joined the Project WHY Sewing Circle, her husband had lost his job due to a work accident, her family had lost their home and incurred huge debts.

After joining the Project WHY sewing class, she started taking small jobs at home. She then grew into the role of the sewing teacher and began taking pride in her students.

She is now paying back her debts and knows that she holds the key to her future, Her children study at the after-school support classes run by Project WHY.

WHAT IS PROJECT WHY?

Project WHY is a flagship program of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, that provides educational support to underprivileged children, This after-school support program goes beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development.

Project WHY also runs vocational skill programs for women from underprivileged homes. Every year, this nonprofit reaches out to 1200 children and 160 women.

Since 2007, over a 1000 women have been trained at the Project WHY Sewing Circle.

WHAT IS NEEDED

Today Renu, the sewing teacher, is looking at developing the skills of her students through a six-month programme. This will enable them to find employment in the garment industry.

To this end, Project WHY needs the following:

Iron 1000/-

Interlocking machine 4400/-

Pico machine 5600/-

Ironing board 2000/-

Cutting table 4000/-

6-month salary for Renu 60,000/-

WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE

Women are true agents of change and helping them find the means to earn a livelihood goes a long way in transforming the lives of their families. At Project WHY, Renu and her students not only practice sewing but also learn to read and write. When women are empowered, domestic violence drops and the next generations gain access to better education.

Read the story of Project WHY at www.projectwhy.org

If you are donating from India, your donation is 50% tax deductible under section 80G, and the entire account would be put up on the project WHY website once the amount is raised.

Join the Project WHY family by supporting Renu so she can help women like herself. No amount is too small and every little bit would help make Renu’s dreams become a reality!

So, go ahead and make a difference in someone’s Life. You never know how your help could change a person’s destiny!

Donate here

Love,

SHILPA…