Unconditional Positive regard :)

Relationships aren’t meant to be stressful. I am talking about all the relationships we form during the course of our lives. Friends, family, lovers, spouses etc. They are meant to provide something beautiful, they are meant to liberate us.

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Your friends shouldn’t make you feel restricted, your husband/wife shouldn’t make you feel bound, your family shouldn’t make you feel contrived. In my little experience in life, I have started to value the relationships that are consciously formed, we can’t change the people who are part of our lives because they’re linked to us by biological bonds. This makes it crucial for us to create an environment around us that makes us feel free, stable, connected and liberated at every step. For this first we need to know who we are, and what we are looking for in these friends, partners, lovers, etc.

upr31344115437730Some people are not capable of giving this freedom. Avoid them, they’re toxic, they will take everything you have and leave you wondering why you even bothered. These people are in majority, I am warning you. I learned the hard way, well, at some level I consider myself stupid beyond explanation of naivete. I really was taken for a ride, but learned my lesson, learned more about myself, and while trust issues may be part of my life for some more time, I have realised that it is not wrong to stand up for yourself, and demand the respect which was supposed to be given by default. When you let go of such people, they will reveal even more of their colours. But they will never see you the way you are, they’re blind to goodness, unfortunately. And if you’re lucky and strong you will get yourself out of the environment such people create.

I am glad I have a support system that makes me feel thankful to Allah every moment. Friends who know when to do what, how to make me laugh, when to provide support, how to be blunt and honest, most importantly they are 100% welcome me for who I am. It is important to have this bunch of people, and important to reciprocate these relationships with the same respect and sanctity. Apart from my lovely friends I also have a lovely partner who is supportive and liberates me, accepts me, has unconditional positive regard for me. The freedom that comes with adding someone to your life is something to be experienced, words can not describe them. I am content. And with the sanity, and faith I believe we all can be honest, and accept people, and demand acceptance, pity those who can’t get out of their bubble and enjoy life and relationships to their best. We only have one life on this earth, we ought to make the most of it.

Let’s make a conscious effort to not judge, have unconditional positive regard for people around us, so that we can enjoy every relationship to the fullest and feel liberated. It’s challenging, but definitely not impossible, and worth your while. Trust me on that 🙂

A quick haul and what's next on the reading list

I don’t remember when purchased the items below, but I remember vividly it was a bad day, that had to be turned into a good one and some shopping doesn’t do anyone harm, now does it?

Let’s get started, not going to go too much into details…..More pics, more fun…

IMG-20151001-WA0016The truck pocket notebook from Letternote. My previous ‘Do Epic Shit’ book got over!, and I had to purchase another, love the quality of letternote notebooks, this is A5 size and colourful wanted to buy something that would lift my mood every time I say it. This notebook is with me at work, in class, wherever I am. The book itself will last me over a year, I’ve started to make more notes, but I also like to not waste space, so I will usually draw a line and jot down stuff, it gives a very loved vibe. The notebook is from Letternote but I ordered it on Flipkart.

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I’ve been looking for a small size sudoku puzzle book for quite some time. Usually they’re super thick and hence impractical to carry around. This one looks cool as well, and has the elastic to keep pages together. I’ve finished a few puzzles, use it in autos, or when in waiting for doctors or appointments. It has other puzzles too, I have never even heard of them, but am willing to explore. Variety is the spice of life init! Got it at Crosswords (City center, Banjara Hills)

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Flipkart purchase, looking forward to reading Commonsense parenting, it’s going to definitely be an interesting read. Indian authors talking about Indian parenting issues are always more relate-able.

CAM04358At crosswords I found a few really nice Nigella Lawson cook books, but I neither have the time nor the space to cook them recipes!, So I decided to be practical and splurge on books that I can’t even store anywhere. And these were a great find, I think they do a better job at serving the purpose of cooking than collectibles. Tarla Dalal, haven’t tried anything yet, Shameless I know!, but when I do, I shall blog and boast! 😉 These I think are good random gifts for close friends who already cook or want to venture into cooking, they’re very affordable, and can also be added into a random gift basket of various fun items.

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CAM04356And on to some random stationery purchases, needed book marks, and purple being one my favourite colours, I had to go with this ombre purple pack. Also bought a ink pen by Parker, trust me the only reason I did was because it came with two extra cartridges. However I noticed the one in the pen was empty and is refillable like a syringe, which was a relief!. Loving using it and somehow, I am conscious of not misplacing it and it definitely isn’t allowed in the hands of the daughter. I am the queen of misplacing pens BTW!, I will buy them packs of ten one a bi-monthly basis. Will always have one in every bag, and the daughter will totally open it up and misplace some piece and the whole pens useless.

CAM04348Another catch point about the pen was that it’s ox blood red which I love. Using an ink pen reminds me of school days, in-fact, when I was using it in school earlier this week one of the staff members exclaimed “ink pen!, haven’t seen those in a while’ which I think is sad, kids should enjoy the beauty of using an ink pen.

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And finally the book that’s next on my reading list is: Me Talk Pretty One Day

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Will review it once I finish, haven’t started yet! Long ‘life is busy’ reasons! What have you bought recently?

Book Review: Sh*tty Mum

This is a must read for any mother. Gift it, share it, keep it in your collection. This book is an ultimate mood lifter for mother all over the world, goes belong culture boundaries, all you need is a sense of humor!

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Adding humor to life not only brightens your day but makes life simpler, as moms it’s always comforting to know that your struggle isn’t yours own, and that there are many other moms out there who’re facing the same challenges in parenthood. This book covers them all, with classy humor, abusive language, sarcasm, and touches on all forms of parenting a mother can take up!

I think it’s a great gift for a mommy friend you have. It’s written well, is a light read, and is sure to crack you up. I had tears in my eyes reading several pages, and I shall warn you, if in public places be ready to let out a louder than expected laugh, you just can’t see it coming. The humor is spread throughout the book, and is just refreshing.

A big thumps up for Sh”tty Mum!. Have you read it?

What do you want?

This may seem the most regular question on the planet. But really take a second and ask yourself; “What do you want?”

It’s a rather difficult question to answer, I constantly find myself among a tonne of things, juggling more than I can, constantly taking up more responsibilities and pushing myself, and there are days that just force me to take a pause, and just dig deep into my mind and heart and figure what it is that I am chasing.

We all believe we know exactly what we want, and good on you if you’ve got it all figured out. I did too, and here’s a thing about plans and knowing what you want, THAT CAN CHANGE!

Yes, you read right, we are constantly evolving as human beings and sometimes we just don’t realise that our goals have changed in the process of getting there, it’s a rather annoying place to be I must say. But I believe it’s better to constantly keep reanalysing and being in the pursuit of that which will make you happy as opposed to continuing just because you started.

No matter what we do, if it’s intentional we will put in effort, so if you change your mind it’s fine. Could be anything, from what you’re going to cook today, to what you want to order when you get to the ice-cream parlour, to your career, anything!

Satisfaction will come when you reach the goal and are happy, and not regretting that you should’ve taken the other route/changed paths when you still had the chance, enthusiasm and opportunity.

There’s no doubt, it’s an irritating feeling to be confused, leads to frustration and self-doubt. It’s also natural. We only live one life, and we only get so many chances/opportunities. It’s about knowing what you want, having the courage to follow-through and persevere, because in the end of the day, the decision will effect you the most, and if you’re happy everyone else around you will have to accept it too!

What is therapeutic for you?

You don’t have to be a mom to understand those moments or days where you are just furious. Anger is a natural emotion that all of us experience and it’s not a negative emotion unless it’s expressed wrongly. Some days you can sense the frustration build up enough to predict an explosion, sometimes if you’re moody, it may just creep up on you suddenly. In all cases, it’s NORMAL to feel anger, just like all the other plethora of emotions. The following lyrics from an old Avril Lavigne (Runaway) song is very descriptive of these type of days.

‘Got off on the wrong side of life today, yeah

Crashed the car and I’m gonna be really late.

My phone doesn’t work cos it’s out of range,

Looks like it’s just one of those kinda days’

The point now is to try to find those things that calm you down. For me there are some things that I find very therapeutic, like washing the dishes and cleaning. Yes! Cleaning! It has a positive effect because I feel in control, I feel like I am removing some part of dirt/negativity out, and in the end I get the overall  feeling of ‘accomplishment’ because let’s face it I was being productive. Also, no one will disturb you when you’re busy washing the dishes, if anything they will leave you alone so that they won’t be given any part of that responsibility 😉

Cooking too has a therapeutic effect on some, as does art or writing. What I have noticed is that in a state of frustration or anger, we need to release energy. This is the negative energy build up in our mind and body that needs to be exhausted out of you, in order to  truly feel better. It’s not always emotions, anger always sends messages to the body to react in some way, we can definitely feel/visualise some physical symptoms of anger. Working out, going for a walk are great ways to let go of those thoughts and feelings.

Relaxing via deep breaths and meditation can surely calm us down, but eventually having a regular outlet to your emotions and energies is very important. It’s an instant mood lifter.

What do you find therapeutic for yourself?

Take a minute, you're fabulous

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve received the same advice from the same friend you gave the same advice to, few days earlier? I guess we all have!

No matter where in the world you are, as women we are struggling, there are some common gender bias struggles, some uncommon issues unique to only us, add the mind mess that we create for ourselves and you have the recipe of unsatisfied women!

Well, it’s natural for us to be caught up on agendas, and goals, it’s great to set goals in life, have a bucket list or something to keep you focussed, at the same time we have to also appreciate the efforts we have put in and most importantly celebrate in whatever little way the achievements we have accomplished. The simple pat on the back can go a long way, just your favourite ice-cream, cooking the dish that YOU like for a change, wearing the lipstick that has been crying for use for months, just anything to reward yourself, because you know you’ve worked hard!

This was the realisation my friend tried to grill into my head the other day, that I just jump onto making a new list of to-dos and goals without appreciating the ones I have ticked off, lord knows it took time and energy and effort ad dedication to achieve those in the first place. We tend to skip this very crucial step and then end up feeling like we’re in a constant rut of trying to fulfill aims without satisfaction.

We put pressure on ourselves, we raise the bar higher and higher each time, and while that’s fantastic, especially if you’re a goal driven woman, it is also important just tell the world to appreciate you. Shift the spot light on to yourself and bask in the glory of your hard-work, resilience and patience. In all this craziness, I appreciate that I have friends who can understand what I am going through, and can relate to my thought processes.

It is extremely difficult as women to find that empathic, unconditional support, we often put too much expectation on our family when our friends can support us just as much. The mum will grow old, and there will be generation gap, find your own circle of strength and keep flying.

And whenever you find yourself in an endless to-do list, remind yourself to take a minute, You are fabulous!

I just need quiet

Days of low motivation. Very subjective these things even for me. I may have 10 things to do, but they’re all more or less the same. Actually they are the same. I’ve been studying, running the Sunday school, working at a school, being a mommy, freelance writing/blogging for years now. The type of work hasn’t changed, but motivational levels fluctuate.

I have always tried to figure out what comes in the middle of my motivated zeal, because there are days when the plan is to wait till the daughter falls asleep so I can pursue all my studying and writing. And when she does, for some very embarrassing reason I don’t do anything. I end up wasting time on Youtube, or watching a movie, or just whiling away time on the internet.

But tonight I realized, that it’s because I function in quiet. Uninterrupted concentrated time. And hence I have decided to find myself more quiet time, and scenarios where I can work without being interrupted. Because studying requires concentration and while I have learned for the most part to be able to perform with auditory interference, I still need that solid 2 hours time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.

As mommies we are forced to multi-task, and I have become really good at writing and listening, and typing and listening. I can engage in both activities with ease now. And sometimes I am amazed at how I am able to do that. The coffee helps in that, but when you have a toddler and an exam together, you will learn to manage.

So at-least the mystery is solved, studying can take place only in a peaceful quiet environment, doesn’t matter how exhausted I get I still have the enthusiasm to continue and finish off whatever assignment I have started., it’s because even my mind values peace and quiet. Will hit the library for this, at least on my Thursdays.

Do you have any studying tips mommies?

Low IQ days

So today was Thursday, the only day I have off. And well I had an agenda, a very productive one. Didn’t do squat!

Dropped the daughter at school, came back up, and thought I’d take a nap. Now I blame the Hyderabad world for this, nothing really start till 11AM here, so I thought I’ll put an alarm for 10 and will go about with my day. But guess what? I didn’t! I slept till 12, shamelessly got up, counted the number of hours left before I embark on picking the daughter up from school, called me friend, spoke to her, called another friend, spoke to her. And then I thought maybe a cup of coffee will raise some shame.

So I went into the kitchen, ate breakfast standing, didn’t bother with the coffee. I thought After such a long time I am having a full day to myself and I like that I am chilling. Caffeine plan cancelled.

Switched on the lappy, checked e-mail, and by that I mean just checked didn’t open any mail. Maybe ‘viewed’ would be the right adjective. And wasted hours on FB, doing nothing, just nothing, reading this and sharing that. All the while my Super Ego kept saying “Do something!!!”. But I didn’t bother.

I wasted so much time online, that I got exhausted, switched off the lappy and lazed around till 3PM. Went to pick up the daughter from school, and basically did not do anything productive the whole day. And you know what! I have made the conscious decision to just not do anything today. Cos I am human, and living in this typa stress is just not right.

The daughter is watching Peppa Pig, and now I sit blogging, cos let’s face it I have done everything else there is to do in order to waste time!

You know you’ve really been up to nothing, when you message a friend and say ‘I am bored’…The only productive thing maybe that happened today was a load of laundry, which BTW i just dumped into the machine and the machine worked its magic.

Lazy days are okay. Today reminded me that I truly didn’t have one Thursday off since I came back from Dubai in May. While I was browsing FB, my brain told me, ‘you’ve been upto some proper low IQ shit today’ and that was an insight for me!, I thought Hmm, let’s blog about that!

One year closer to death.

Hehe, I know sounds rather pessimistic when talking about a birthday, but hey! let’s be realistic! hehe

I don’t like celebrating birthdays (read fact #19), because I view them as my title suggests, but I do think it’s a good day to let others in your life know how much you appreciate them. Plus any other time of the year people won’t buy you presents (you shall laugh now)

Since 14th July marked finalisation of the Irans Nuclear agreement, the younger brother made brownie and sent me a pic, half of it was in celebration for my birthday and the rest for Iran. I accepted!

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So what happened on the 15th of July 2015? Well I had to back to back classes at HAP, and an exam in the second class. Was I prepared? Umm…No! I had missed three very crucial classes cos of the Chennai trips in the past two weeks, so I was lagging behind. However the exam went pretty fine and the whole day went in that. I did like the fact that my “new” year started off in a good tone, day 1 of the 27th year of life defined my life. I identify myself as a student for life, so Wednesday was a very good day.

After class I stopped at Archie’s to pick up a birthday card for myself from my daughter and also a mug. She’s too young to pick cards and presents, so I did it. One day she shall haul in a section at a shop count her pocket money and buy me a card or present. I shall patiently wait for that day. That day would definitely be special.

Reached at me paternal aunts place at around 9:30ish, had dinner, made the daughter sign the cards (yes I picked two, cos they were just too good). My younger paternal uncle and aunt had bought a cake, which I cut and the drill happened. Yummy cake, and when I reached home, I saw a present from them too! and it was the sweetest thing ever!

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16th July I threw a dinner for me girl friends. Haiking is my favourite restaurant in Hyderabad. I can eat their noodles, every single day. So it only fit that I treat me friends for a dinner there, and guess who joined? The Batool! The idea was to introduce me friends to each other, since they’re all from different parts of me life, and since I can remember, I always went to Haiking (Himayatnagar), and wanted to host my own dinner for friends at the round table. It was a dream of mine to have 8 friends, whom I could chill with. And it happened, even though 2 of them couldn’t make it. Two chairs empty but the heart is full with love!

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Got a pretty pink bag, I would not have dared to ever buy a pink bag, so it’s good to get presents that push me to try new things, and lovely bag has a long strap, I am into sling bags, plus the size is perfect (not too big not too small). A voucher from shoppers stop also awaits to be used! Thank you guys!

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It was a lovely birthday, felt very loved. Thank you all for the wishes. Eid post coming up next!

Really, What is lonely?

Probably the most difficult feelings to feel; loneliness. It’s one thing to want quiet time, alone time, a break from everyone, and it’s a whole different scene when you feel lonely, in your heart. That’s why there’s marriage, for companionship, however I have noticed the most lonely, helpless people to be those who are “happily” married. I am not anti marriage, I am pro marriage like proper! It saddens me when people who are lonely, with  partner for life, consider themselves “happy” or define their marriage as “successful”. They project marriage in a negative light too.

Number of years do not project success of a marriage, the happiness, contentment, non-lonely feelings do. Human beings can believe the most hideous form of illogical rubbish if it’s drilled enough in their head. Which is why Indian people or at-least the ones I have been exposed to value marriage so much, but don’t even know what the purpose of it is. And the worst is they stick to it because that’s what they’ve been taught to be the right thing, lonely married people are the worst at giving advice, especially if they haven’t accepted that their marriage is crappy. This false believe, delusional living, lonely hearts, living with each other for purposes beyond my comprehension are basically just weak, conforming to notions of society, culture, and random people.

Lonely isn’t not being married, lonely is the feeling you get when you truly are looking for another human to share your every day with, and reciprocate the same. Lonely can happen with 25 yrs of marriage, it truly can.

It’s ironic that people celebrate their wedding anniversaries when they’re not happily married. Truth doesn’t become non-existent just because you refuse to admit it! ups and down are part and parcel of every area of our life not just marriage, jobs, education, career, children, health all will have ups and downs, what is supposed to make it bearable is faith in your creator and that special person who eases the pain. With whom it’s all hopeful. Someone to rely on, someone with whom you belong and are appreciated, someone who doesn’t make you feel lonely.