What does ‘Progress’ mean to you?

For me, being open to listening to an unheard song after avoiding it for like countless times – is Progress!!

For me, jumping out of my comfort zone to try something new in the kitchen – is Progress!! (A rare occurrence)

For me, looking at myself in new light, choosing to see myself differently – is Progress!!

Giving myself permission to like/ love something that others don’t – is Progress!!

Also disallowing myself to form opinions about those who think differently than me- is Progress!!

Knowing the challenges of this tough journey n being unable to keep up pace, and yet, being aware of ‘BEING UNABLE TO KEEP UP PACE’ – is Progress!!

Knowing that ‘knowing something’ & ‘experiencing something’ are completely different n choosing to eagerly await the experience – is Progress!!

Getting rid of all fears and all the worries that are simply ‘thought -induced’ – Progress!!

Acceptance of everything around me, and being able to dis-associate myself from my ‘so called self’ – Progress!!

Being ‘at peace’ with the thought that nothing here belongs to me – Progress!!

For me, Freedom = Progress!!

No longer attempting to differentiate between my ‘self’ & my ‘thoughts’, rather peacefully existing in that separation – Truly Progress

What does Progress- mean to you? Wanna share your thoughts?

How dare you?

‘ Do I look crazy here, to go on and on in the kitchen? Trying my best to come up with varieties that match everyone’s tastes, n then hear what’s just not enough to make this dish perfect? ‘

Is this all that you’ve got to say about me?

Hey hey hey… Just Pause!!!! Rewind a bit !!! Now Play!!!

Was that about you? or was it about the dish you made?

Yep!! The world is too fast paced & let’s admit  that we don’t have even a second to spare, to think n differentiate between the two! So much hurt inside of us, for something that has nothing to do with us- Lol..

Funny na!!

We attach so much value to all our beautiful relationships, knowing that they mean a lot to us, yet we fail to see this difference that can eliminate all the pain and anger !!

At work, which is now an integral part of everyone’s lives – My work = ME!! Criticism @ my work = criticism @ Me..

Haha ha -this work, which is not gonna accompany me any further than a few decades gets to be ME 🙂 Wow!!

What do I know about myself? Nothin I’m sure!! Else I wouldn’t have dared to equalize it with something as trivial as work..

I’m pausing everytime an arguement comes up, n checking with myself if its really me! N amazing, that I don’t get hurt when I see that its not even close to what I am 🙂

I never dare to insult myself now, with trivial stuff like this..

How dare you?

Confessions of a Rhythm-oholic!!

I love you – RHYTHM!!

The word ‘Rhythm- oholic’ may not exist in the English we all know… But I have no other word that describes my emotions towards RHYTHM!!

I love to find rhythm around me! Its like I have a song in my head n I’m swaying to the rhythm of that illusional song.

Since last 2 months, I’ve been travelling every week to Pune (its almost a 4 hour journey one way) & thanks to this travel, I’ve explored the opportunity of listening to more n more music. N I’ve realized RHYTHM, drives me crazy..

I’ve always loved exploring dance as a medium of expressing myself, not to the world but to myself. But never really observed that its not the music or my ability to shake a leg, but its the rhythm that strikes a chord with me 🙂

N how does RHYTHM, make me feel?

~ It makes me feel as if, everything is in my control

~ It makes me feel SUPER empowered

~ It makes me feel joyful (I experience BLISS – believe me)

~ It makes me sway n move to its beat n I am transported into an altogether different world

~ It makes me observe & appreciate the beauty

I’ve realized lately that I listen attentively to the background scores of songs to trace the rhythm -be it beats of the drums or tabla or the guitar strums or whatever that generates rhythm 🙂

OMG! I feel elevated simply writing about this! Its like an AHA moment for me!

What is it that makes you feel empowered? Ever observed what makes you love yourself ? What makes you feel blissful?

Sharing this song that super magnifies rhythm- listen closely! Purposely not sharing the video cuz the rhythm seems to have been wasted totally & the visuals kinda distract ….

Cheers

Shraddha

 

My list of Crazy Moments- a tiny part of an unpredictable series!!

I’ve always loved being in nature’s arms. I had never thought of blogging about all those moments that drove me crazy, but looks like I will…in a series of posts.. But for starters, this is what one gets!!

Beautiful moments with nature, where nature takes over one’s presence & makes one feel small… kinda insignificant. When you gaze at the beauty, you totally forget yourself…

All that exists is beauty, manifesting itself in a variety of forms. I don’t know if I can express this any better, but take a look at this pic & may be its easier for me to convey.

Thanks Dad for clicking this pic!!

I felt really insignificant or rather nonexistent!!

This beautiful pic above, was clicked by my mom or dad, I’m not too sure who, but I was unaware that they did. This pic captures for me, ‘THEEEEE MOMENT’, when I forgot that I existed..the moment when I was awestruck at the beauty that can exist, not just the clouds but those huge, really huge mountains that made me feel like a tiny spec. I remember, I spent hours, sitting right where I am seen standing, simply gazing at the beauty. The clouds, the mountains, the blueness of the sky, the soothing sound of the river ganges..It was awesome..Mindblowing!!

On the other side of the railing 🙂 this time with dad!!

I remember this vacation. It was in May end / June 2006 & I was not very happy listening to the name of our holiday destination.  “AULI?? What’s that? Mom, has anyone even heard of this spot?”

I was crazy then, not CRAZY crazy but ANGRY crazy, cuz this was what sounded like a pilgrimage, in which my mom, dad wanted to visit the temples of Kedarnath & Badrinath in North India (in Uttaranchal to be precise), n I was tagging along to visit these holy places.

But wow!! What an amazing place this was!! A ropeway/ Cableway takes you to this awesome altitude @ Auli & the amazing journey in a cablecar starts at a place called Joshimath.

Capturing the journey of the cable car from our Hotel!!

What an amazing feeling? I remember getting out of this cable car at the tower that can be seen in the pic above. My hands and feet were trembling, not out of cold, but cuz we were at this amazing height & I could see everything down below. I waited for a while, cuz I was freezing with fright & couldn’t move. I remember the door of the cable car closed & it started to progress ahead in its journey.

There was a guy from our hotel who had come to receive us, and was asking me to hurry n get down the stairs of this tower. I didn’t listen to him & waited gazing at the beautiful sight. Everything was fine till the cable car was in place. Once it started, it quickly got past this tower on its own journey… And then suddenly, I was at this edge, where the cable car was no longer there, n the feeling was like being on the tip of the diving board, from where all you can see is the depth of the blue swimming pool… This was a different case, I could see all the beauty, the greenery, the clouds, deep down and an edge that held me from diving into all of this.

If you zoom into the pic above,I guess you can see that edge. Then, I was so scared, that I almost felt like crying & I felt my whole body was shivering with fright. Somehow I managed to move my feet, turning away from the breathtaking yet frightening view n once I reached the stairs, I was feeling fine seeing the framed structure on all four of my sides…

‘The Edgy moment’ –  is another moment, that drives me crazy. I was so mesmerized by the beauty, that I almost got lost, till I realized, the altitude & the limitlessness at that edge.

Wow!! I remember each n every minute of this trip, all the time I spent with my parents (Read all the attention I had for myself cuz  my sister was already married then 😉 ) , the time spent waiting in our car- for the landslide to get cleared, the stories of the buses and trucks that fell off into the river (during landslides) n could never be traced, the awesome drive on the long and winding roads…when it wasn’t the landslides, it was my dad’s altitude sickness, that made us take halts n observe the beauty around.

The beautiful temples -Kedarnath & Badrinath, taking a holy dip in the natural hot water springs (What they call as a ‘KUND’ ) , horse riding rather climbing ,to visit the Kedarnath temple, all the time spent in Auli, the efforts taken by one of the hotel house keeper to keep a small mouse out of our room ( I screamed n screamed till he could get that mouse out of my room), the camp fires organised by our Hotel – ‘The Cliff top’ ,the journey in a chair-ropeway with my mom (Dad was feeling sick n was in the hotel room).. Wow!! It was Awesome !!

This one’s with Mom!!

Some thing else, that drove me crazy was what I felt, whenever I would dive my head outside my car window, peep down the winding roads to see a narrow- silent, tame river… The same river of whose stories our driver would tell!! The river has eaten so many buses, trucks, and huge vehicles silently, not on purpose though..

A peep pic, clicked after sunset, out of my moving car- window!!

The river, that gracefully flows, making beautiful sounds, also has the strength & capacity to cause so much damage. There is so much to this river, than it shows!! It looks so narrow, so tame but its depth is unimaginable!!

Kind of symbolized the feminine aspect of existence!! Graceful, beautiful, existing to serve the civilizations around, flowing endlessly, not audacious to show its depth but humble and selfless.

Few more  moments, that made me go crazy were at the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. My very first trip in a chair ropeway (I dont know what its called & I do not have any pic too, to show what I mean). It was an awesome experience, similar to the one in a cable car, but this was tons of times better as this time it was just me n mom, kinda glued to 2 chairs and rolling down the greens 🙂 Mind blowing 🙂 Sadly ,there was no one to click a pic..

The pic below is taken as soon as we got off our chair ropeway trip, at the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, where they conduct training workshops for those who wanna learn how to ski. We visited Auli,at the wrong time i.e. after the snowing ended, thanks to my mom dad’s wish to visit the temples. The temples are shut down during winter and are open to tourists only after May or so.

So the temples – yes we did visit them, but the ski-ing 😦 No, we didnt!!

This pic below captures one of those moments when I went mad looking at all the flowers around 🙂 I forced mom to walk for quite some distance to capture all those flowers together 🙂 n Im glad I did 🙂 Check it out 🙂

At the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, where they give Ski Training 🙂

Wow!! I must thank wordpress that it gave me such a beautiful platform to blog, to think of all the moments that made me freak out, also made me jump out of joy. Am enjoying every minute of writing all of this as its transported me back to 2006 🙂

Signing off with a beautiful picture of my awesome trip to Auli.

Cheers!!

Thanks Mom for being an early riser!! Ive wasted all the Sunrise moments in slumber 😦

The Best Person who can help me out of trouble???

Have you ever thought of asking yourself this question? If you ever have asked it, have you thought about the answer? And if you ever answered it, was the answer anywhere close to – ‘No doubt its ME’.

The ‘Me’ here does not refer to the person writing this post (that’s me) but refers to the person currently reading it (that’s you)

It’s quite natural that when we feel stuck, when we feel we’re in trouble, when we feel we need a solution, we often look for help outside. We look for a miracle to happen, or we wait for some divine soul to appear in our life who will tell us the solution. Sometimes we also try discussing our problems with friends, colleagues or whoever we see around us hoping to get some help. Nothing wrong with it!

Have you ever thought that YOU could be the best person to pull yourself out of trouble? And why is that? Cuz there is no one (other than the almighty) who knows the problem better than YOU, there’s no one who knows what is that stuff around the problem that’s bugging YOU! So when YOU are the best person to know & understand the problem, aren’t YOU also the best person to analyse and figure an awesome way out of it?

Isn’t this the reason why they say – God Helps Those Who Help Themselves!!

Sometimes what works for others may not work for us! We may have a different way of dealing with the problem & when we follow other’s suggestions or advice, it may actually even backfire.

So what to do then? Lets dive deep into ourselves. Lets just start getting aware about stuff that we like, stuff that we don’t like, stuff that we love doing, stuff that we absolutely hate from the bottom of our socks 🙂

Lets start getting present to ourselves. What happens when we are angry? Do we look good? Does it show on our face? Do other people find it weird when I shut myself up when I’m angry? Do they tend to misunderstand me cuz my expression of anger is different from theirs?

Being present to ourselves is just taking a minute off and noticing ourselves. Do we often work our way around being fully engaged in thoughts? Thoughts about what’s wrong with my health? or What did that friend mean when she actually said blah blah blah? or Why am I looking so old? Can people tell my age? Do i look happy? Am I really Happy? Why am I not happy?

OMG!! So many thoughts being processed at one time!! Are we driving or are we thinking? We don’t know if we added salt to the dish, we don’t know if we washed our face, if we did, we don’t know if we used soap or we used face wash. Did I shampoo once or twice? Did I turn off the burner flame?  What are we doing?

Lets get present to ourselves! Lets ask ourselves, what do we love most? What is that in my life, that claims to make it ‘MY LIFE’. What is a ‘MUST HAVE’ in my life? If a ‘MUST HAVE’  finds no time in my life, is it okay?

If you hear a big NO, then its time to dive deep inside! And when we do so, I’m sure one will ask the question – “The Best Person who can help me out of trouble???” & also answer it – It surely is MEEEEEEEE!

I may not respect you, but i definitely respect myself!!

I dont think this statement holds good.. It actually works the other way round..

If I respect myself, I respect everyone around!

So if there are quite a few people whom I dont respect at all, does that mean, my self respect is very low???

The answer to the question above is YES!! It was quite disturbing for me when i came across this concept  and  it was very difficult for me  to digest…

” That does not make any sense!! I respect myself a lot, and just cuz I dont view certain people as deserving respect, does not and i mean it, DOES NOT mean that I have low Self Respect”

I had this thought all of the time, after my class on one of the power tools – Respect Vs. Invalidation. In this class, I had to deal with this complex concept of respecting others and self… I cudnt quite link the two fundas..

Why do they say that if Im not respecting few people around me, Im actually not respecting myself??

And the answer to this was quite simple and it occurred to me few days back.. I had to post this as it means a lot of clarity of thought for me..

Let me try to word it in an example.. If i ask my reader friends to define the word ‘Quality’, what will be your answer??

Quality is fitness for use, having minimum no. of defects or no defects, complying to certain standards,etc

So if we visit Mc Donalds, and the burger served to us is hot, very yum, just as its shown in the ads put up there,  we say it is as per the promised quality!! Can we expect the same quality from a road side stall selling a burger??

If i go there and question the guy at the small road side stall, saying he is not selling quality stuff, you all can guess what i will get to hear from him… He will politely ask me to get lost…He sells his burger at less than half or may be even lesser than the price of what McD sells.. and his tacit quality standards are : the stuff he sells is hot and fills the tummy of any hungry person who has a very light pocket..

So both sell kinda quality stuff.. Just that the quality standards the 2 products adhere to are different!!

So far good??? This is what happens with us too friends!!

If i go around the world judging a road side burger with the quality standards of a Mc Donald burger,or may be the other way round, i go around invalidating myself, not the world!!

In short, I judge people based on my quality standards without even taking a minute off to see, what is the quality they are adhering to!! And what are the quality standards that we all have? They depend on the values we hold close to our heart!!

I am a person who loves freedom!! Freedom is my quality standard!! I may not respect a person who is living a life, someone has asked him to live.. whereas for that person, his quality standard may be, living his life in a manner that pleases the people around him…

He is fit as per his quality standard & im fit as per mine!! The minute i start judging him based on my quality standards, i start invalidating myself!! How do i Invalidate myself here?

I got a better understanding of this concept on reading Dr. Chana’s post on Integrative Communication. Beautiful post which gave me a lot of clarity. The link to this post is:

http://drchana.com/2012/04/04/communication-in-relationships/

On reading the post, it dawned on me that I have been created to see people as they exist. I have that capacity to love them and treat them as respectable individuals, but i sometimes choose to NOT SEE them in the manner they exist.. I choose to see them in a manner I EXIST… i judge them against my quality standards & by doing so i have simply invalidated myself..

U think, people who go around judging people, have a lot of self respect for themselves? No.. Im sure they fail to see themselves also exist in a manner they really do.. they may be seeing themselves as failed individuals, as a failure at all those little things like a job, or a relationship or money matters… come on..

We all do it!! If you think, im writing this post as a preacher.. NO!! I also have my judgements!! We all do!

It may be impossible for us to stop judging people and even more so, to stop judging ourselves… But the max we can do to save our self respect is “RELEASE OUR JUDGMENTS”… Simply being aware of our self, can help us here!! Lets just observe ourselves a little more than we do everyday.. and with regular observation those small little judgments will surface .. & when we get to know of them, we can very well suspend them or release them or let them hang in there for a while..

Leaving my friends with some food for thought here.. Im leaving with the same state of mind too!!

Cheers!!

‘Knowing our Measurements’ using a beautiful tool – The MBTI

For knowing what kind of measurements this post is leading to, would like you to refer to my previous post – ‘Just imagine this day in your life‘…This current post starts off from where that previous post stopped!!

How long can anyone wear an over sized or undersized shirt? Some day, the dissatisfaction of using something that’s not really meant for one, will emerge n we will have to ask ourselves, if this is not my fit, then what really is?

And while we are in the process of finding out our measurements, we may have to use certain tools that work like a measuring tape. There are many tools available, each tool acting like a specific unit for measurement. These tools will help us in knowing our measurements in various units and this will eventually help us in knowing our “BEST FIT”.

The MBTI- or the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, is one such tool, that can help us in knowing our measurements. As the name suggests, this tool helps us to identify our TYPE. Ive been very eager to write about this very beautiful tool, and in a series of 5 posts, (starting with this one) i intend to give my reader friends a fair understanding of this tool.

Its just that Ive been very lucky enough to attend multiple training sessions on this tool. This was one of the major advantages for me being in the training and development team, the flip side being it was a gr8 way for me to learn minus the certification!!

So coming straight away to the point, please excuse me for picking up all the technical stuff about this tool from wikipedia (seen in bold and italic)…..and allow me to showcase my creativity in the various examples and scenarios that follow the techie stuff… the examples and scenarios will help my friends here to get a better understanding of the tool n the scenario creation will help me in putting my creativity to good use :).

So this tool, the MBTI describes four dichotomies or pairs of preferences. What is this pair of preference? It is like say blue vs. pink or cricket vs. soccer.. where blue has its own characteristics as against pink, and cricket has its own rules as against soccer, and we have to identify our preference towards any one side of these dichotomies or pair of preference.

Now before i mention the 4 dichotomies, would like to mention sumthing very important!! WE as individuals have been programmed to write exams throughout a major part of our life, hence, whenever we come across a test, we wanna know what is the correct answer. Please remember, this tool is a measuring tape… It will simply show your measurements..

Have you ever heard anyone, telling the tailor, listen- “26 inches is the ideal size, so please measure me as 26 inches!!!”

No!! He just measures you as you exist!! And similarly choosing any preference over the other will come naturally to anyone, in a manner they exist. There comes no question of which choice is the ideal choice…

So.. the 4 dichotomies in MBTI are:

Extraversion (E) vs. (I) Introversion – this aspect deals with the way in which individuals draw their energy 

Sensing (S) vs. (N) Intuition- this aspect deals with the way in which individuals gather information or perceive

Thinking (T) vs. (F) Feeling – this aspect deals with the decision making function or judging function in individuals

Judging (J) vs. (P) Perception- this aspect deals with preference of individuals towards the Judging or Perceiving functions.

So, this is about the 4 dichotomies. Reading the brief description here, may not be sufficient to gauge our preference.. So have patience friends.. In a series of 4 more posts, i’l be sharing about each dichotomy n all that ive learnt about this tool. 

And would request you all to treat this series of 5 posts as an interesting read rather than a knowledge transfer mechanism. Im writing this post, to express myself creatively. All the info about MBTI is readily available online and any of you who wishes to read more about the MBTI may visit – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator

In the past, Ive used my knowledge of the MBTI, for identifying why conflicts/ misunderstandings happen between people… n ive come to this awareness that knowing about the various types helps us to deal with conflicts in a better manner!

So hope knowing about the MBTI, helps you ll to appreciate the differences between people n hope this post wasnt boring!! I’l try my best to make my future posts more interesting n helpful..

Till then heres wishing you n me, a happy time knowing our  measurements”!!!