S – Be your own Support System. #AtoZChallenge

S – Be your own Support System. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

It’s contradictory to what I shared about connecting with your tribe, isn’t it?

“Be your own support system.”

Apologies, if you think I mislead you.

You should definitely have a support system–your close friends and family who will be by your side through thick and thin, but, you also need to learn to be self-reliant.

Life is such…

Each one of us here is fighting a battle. With Life, you never know when it will spring a surprise (or a shock) on you. So, it could happen thus, that, precisely when you are experiencing a tough situation, the people in your tribe might also be going through a difficult period.

Just when you need someone by your side, you might not have anyone; or, those around might be preoccupied with their own worries. What do you do then? You don’t wish to burden them with your troubles, do you?

Of course, there are others around who will come to your aid. But, it’s something I have learned over the years that…

YOU ARE, BASICALLY, ON YOUR OWN.

The reason being, no one can fight your battles for you. You need to do it yourself. You might get support, but, once you enter the arena, it’s just you who’s facing the bull. And, so that you are able enough to face the raging bull and save yourself, you need to become YOUR OWN SUPPORT SYSTEM.

It’s tough, I know, but if we accept the (bitter) truth, it will be easier preparing ourselves to face the upheavals we come across, isn’t it? Of course, as much as we prepare ourselves, we can never be sure of what Life brings along with it!

However, if we accept that Life is capable of capsizing our boat when we least expect it, and hence arm ourselves with enough courage and will-power to face any situation, we will be able to get through it. Bruised and battered, but we will make our way through it, for sure.

Once we instil it in our mind, it gets easier working on our strength, looking for alternatives, and making ourselves mentally fitter to face all that Life brings along.

TIPS TO BECOME STRONGER AND SELF-RELIANT:

Begin your day with positive affirmations:

I am ready to face whatever comes my way.

I am enough.

I am physically, mentally and emotionally, stronger than I know.

I am my HERO.

I am confident of myself.

Life is good, despite its ups and downs. I love the ‘ups’ and learn from the ‘downs’.

I am not perfect, but it’s okay. I am ME…I am UNIQUE.

Control your mind:

Practise mindfulness. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it.

Live in the moment.

Do not frighten yourself with dark imaginings. Our anxieties stem only from imagining the worst-case-scenario.

Breathe.

Avoid multi-tasking and stay sane.

Look after your health and your needs.

Make self-care an important part of your day.

Smile.

Trust in the Super Power/God/Almighty. He gives us only those problems that we can handle, to make us stronger than we are.

Lift your morale with positive self-talk….each day, every day.

And, if Plan A doesn’t work, there are 26 letters in the alphabet.

Finally, always remember, you are much more capable than you give yourself credit for.

Wish you the best, my darlings!

Love,

SHILPA…

 

AFFIRMATIONS (1)

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find my posts here.

 

 

I – Infuse your Life with action! #AtoZChallenge

I – Infuse your Life with action! #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

 “Infuse your Life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make your own hope. And, whatever your beliefs, honour your Creator not by passively waiting for grace to come down from high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen, right now, right down, here on Earth.”

_Bradley Whitford.

 

I read this quote in my friend’s post and was, instantly, filled with gratitude for finding a goal in my life, when I did. Being a homemaker, there wasn’t much I could do to fill my days, apart from the daily chores and looking after my family.

But, blogging happened, and I also rekindled my passion for art after more than two decades, and I found myself feeling a lot happier and content with Life.

Our lives revolve around our families and fulfilling their needs. Amidst it all, we lose ourselves and we forget that we have our own needs, too, that we ought to fulfil–for our sake, our happiness. Sadly, seldom do we recognise those needs, and spend our lives wondering what our purpose in Life is.

The one thing we fail to realise is that its we who need to find that purpose, create it (if we fail to find it) and work towards fulfilling it.

Life is passing us by. Every minute here is precious, which often gets wasted in doing nothing for ourselves. I am sure we will repent this idleness in the future, when we realise how we could have done so many things, and yet, we let time slip through our fingers.

So, get up and get going!

If you are a homemaker, then find time for yourself; set aside some time, which you can spend doing something for yourself.

Take up a hobby, or pursue one that you have long since forgotten. Hobbies not only awaken our creative side, but also keep us mentally, physically and emotionally healthy and happy.

I can understand how difficult it is with little kids who need your attention all the time. But, I am sure you can find some time to read books, or even solve puzzles in the newspapers.

If you can find time for your hobbies, try to make these a source of income. It won’t be easy, I know. It won’t even happen overnight, but, at least it will be a beginning–something for you to look forward to, something that will give you a sense of achievement!

If you can, try volunteering at an NGO, or a pet shelter, or your kids’ school. Not only will it keep you occupied, but also give you a sense of satisfaction that you used your time constructively. You will get an opportunity to meet new people. It could also open new doors for you!

it’s up to you how you infuse the action in your lives. It’s something you ought to do, so that years from now, when your children will grow and leave the nest, you won’t find yourself alone and miserable, wondering what to do with your time.

Think over it!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Take some action....make things happen..

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. 

You will find all the posts here. 

Empowering the youth through art and theatre.

Empowering the youth through art and theatre.

27th March 2019 was celebrated as World Theatre Day.

Theatre– a stage where art meets talent from all walks of life–is a place that holds the secret to empowering the underprivileged youth of our society. A secret that the Mumbai-based NGO, Salaam Mumbai Foundation, discovered through its Academy of Arts.

The Academy focuses on using the power of art and theatre to instil in the youth from the lesser-privileged backgrounds a sense of respect for themselves by giving education a chance to improve their life. Bringing art and education together to teach and help them improve their career-prospects, the foundation offers the youth after-school programs for personal and economic empowerment through experiential platforms of learning.

It’s through theatre that these youth not only find a voice to express their innermost feelings about a life that’s far removed from the rest of the privileged world, but also get a chance to develop their talents and improve their career opportunities.

The Academy found how, with the help of art and theatre, the school-dropout rate of these youth could be brought down. it has given them a brilliant opportunity through part-time employment and scholarships to continue with their education and dare to dream for a better future.

The Arts have shown to help students to critique themselves, learn from their mistakes and be open to experimenting.

One of the success stories from the Academy is of Sakshi Kasare, a 16 year old, who lives in a slum in Bandra, Mumbai, with her family of 11 members in a tiny space. She joined the Academy where she transformed from a clueless teenager to a confident performer–a mime artist–who won her first Best Actress Award at the NCPA (National Centre for the Performing Arts).

The news of her wining and her photograph made an appearance in the newspapers, which made her decide that this is what she would like to do in her life–act.

Many students have benefitted from the Academy. They have gained confidence and an increased self-esteem, and learned problem-solving and collaboration that will help them when they step into the world outside.

Recently, the Academy decided to collaborate with the Stanford Talisman–a student cappella group from the world-renowned Stanford University, USA. The concert, titled ‘Circle of Love’, performed multi-lingual compositions interspersed with mime productions by the Salaam Mumbai Foundation’s Academy of Art.

An adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’, the performance brought together on stage privileged students from a world famous university and the underprivileged youth from Mumbai slums, with world-class theatre training. Their love for theatre was what brought about this collaboration.

The students from the university and the youth from Mumbai now look forward to performing in front of an audience from another country to showcase their talent.

The Salaam Mumbai Foundation and similar organisations today strive to create a space for these youth to educate them and help them learn life skills through the performing arts. They believe that these children, who may belong to the lesser-privileged background, do have the potential to make a space and a name for themselves and bring about a change in the social structure of the society they live in.

Sharing here, some snapshots of the beautiful performance by the two groups at NCPA on World Theatre Day.

 

*Linking the post to the We Are the World Blogfest – #WATWB. A blogfest that shares human news story from around the world that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

We Are The World Blogfest

 

Showing the world how arts helps improve lives of the lesser-privileged youth.

Empowering young girls for a brighter future. #BalanceforBetter

Empowering young girls for a brighter future. #BalanceforBetter

Every year, on the 8th of March, the world celebrates women on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Women being the backbone of every family and our society, are honoured for their contribution to the society, for their accomplishments–be they in any field–and their grit and determination to make a mark despite every hurdle, every barrier that they come across. It’s a day dedicated to challenging gender bias apart from felicitating women for their achievements.

This year, taking into consideration the skewed ratio of girls to boys in schools, a Mumbai based organisation, ‘Salaam Bombay Foundation‘, has organised a special campaign planned for young girls, to motivate them and empower them to achieve gender equality. And, in doing so, they aim to encourage them to continue their education and aspire for a better and a brighter future.

Children belonging to the underprivileged sections of our society prefer to drop out of schools to help their parents improve their financial condition. Many of them also get entangled in the evil web of drug menace, thereby ruining their entire lives.

Organisations like the Salaam Bombay Foundation help such children by guiding them, helping them return back to schools and continue their education so that they have a better chance at a respectable career and a future they never dreamed of.

The foundation offers girls vocational training in beauty, wellness and bakery so that they become independent and help supplementing their family income.

This year, the NGO has planned on presenting the young girls articles like pressure cookers, baking moulds and other starter kits which will be handed over to them by women entrepreneurs. The motive behind this wonderful gesture is to inspire the young girls to overcome the obstacles they face, and work hard towards achieving not only financial independence, but also improving their morale and self-esteem.

This year, around 1900 girls from Mumbai were imparted training in skills relevant to today’s modern lifestyle. About 493 of these girls have begun working and are helping out their families financially.

Helping mould the children at an impressionable age makes all the difference, not only to their confidence and overall development, but also to their lives. They are offered precious opportunities to educate themselves and enjoy a better standard of living. Through their foundation, the organisation also aims at increasing job opportunities for adolescents belonging to the underprivileged sections of our society.

The campaign theme for this year is, #BalanceforBetter, an initiative for spreading the word about gender balance around the world. The event will be held on the 8th of March at Worli Sea Face Municipal School, Mumbai, between 10 to 11 am.

If you happen to be in the vicinity, do attend the event and encourage the young girls. It’s all they need to work harder at fulfilling their dreams and living a better life.

 

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

Education and women empowerment

 

 

 

 

Why we need to let go of stuff we can’t control

Why we need to let go of stuff we can’t control

Have you been asked this question when you complained to someone about certain stressful events from your life?

Let me share this conversation, as an example:

“My dad used to thrash me when I was a kid.”, a person shares with his friend, who replies, “So, what? My dad disowned me!” 

What’s the thought that comes to mind, instantly? Doesn’t it make you shudder, looking at the other person’s situation in his Life?

It’s something I saw in a film, the other day. An exchange between two people, one of whom has carried the trauma of being raped during her childhood, for years. An exchange that makes this woman realise that despite having had such a terrible thing happening with her, she might still be in a better place than the other person, who has gone through something worse.

She also realises, how futile it has been, carrying this burden with her all her life, ruining the relationship she has with her very loving and caring husband and living with the ghosts of her past.

I know, it’s really not easy letting go of certain memories–events that took place in our lives that shook us to the core, traumatised us and transformed the person we were until then.

We keep holding on to those memories, keeping them alive in our heart for years together, and in the process, hardly finding any peace in our present Life–the one which we have, today.

We hold on to grudges against someone who wronged us, hurt us, tortured us with their behaviour; we hold on to stressful incidents that were, at some point, a part of our lives; we keep those wounds afresh, for ages. And, what do we get in return? Nothing, but heartache, and endless pain that makes us blind to the good that is happening today!

And these wounds, they ruin not only our mental health, but also our physical and emotional health, our relationship with others, and, most importantly, our relationship with ourselves.

The severe aches and pains we experience are very much a result of the stressful memories we hold on to, as they are a result of the physical wear and tear our body goes through as we age.

Why don’t we understand one thing that Life is never, ever, going to be smooth-sailing? That, Life is always, always, going to be a bumpy ride, which might, sometimes, offer us a beautiful view, and just as we begin to enjoy that beauty, will shove us in a pothole, the size of a crater, and shake us out of our reverie, turning our world upside down?

That’s LIFE, isn’t it? Ever-changing, never easy, always tough.

But, the one thing that can give us some solace is the game I shared in the beginning of this post. The game of, “So what?”

it’s a game you can play with yourself, too, you know, when you find yourself cursing your misfortune and grumbling about everything going wrong with your Life.

Just think about the situation you are in, that’s unpleasant and stressful, and ask yourself, “So, what?” .

Then, compare it to the time when things were wonderful, or, to how someone else is in a worse situation than you, and how they are tackling it, better than you are.

You will realise how fruitless it is, complaining about your situation, for the simple reason that….

Some day, Life will change, and it will be better, all over again.

The cycle of good times and bad times will go on and on, until we leave this world.

It is so necessary that we let go of what happened; let bygones be bygones.

And, learn to live in this moment–this moment that is LIFE!

 

 

Try it and let me know how you felt. I know, I am going to play this game, for sure!

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Let go of stuff for your peace of mind