Vacation and all that comes with the mindset

I am all for vacations in life. Married women tend to have a whole another situation when it comes to vacations, especially moms. I have noticed a lot of moms just get too caught up in their routine lives and aren’t able to plan a vacation. For many who live away from their family, their holiday is all about meeting their family than actually exploring the world. It’s almost like a choice you have to make, between family and your lifes goals. We all are not able to take vacations whenever we wish, finance being one of the major reason. With a family to book tickets, and plan an itinerary around, you need a lot more of it!

What I have learned is that “me time” can serve as good mini break while life takes over. We need that time not just to pamper ourselves, but to be able to think about us, and where we are and where we are headed. I often times find life to be moving way too fast to be able to even breath. Especially with a baby around, it gets even more tough, add to that your everyday responsibilities and you’re one lost soul. I have observed that since becoming a mother I very easily put everything that has to do with me to the side. The attitude is ‘Will do it later, after the baby is xyz old…’ It’s like a bottomless list of priorities and whatever has to do with me gets lost in the bottomless pit. Sad isn’t it. Take a moment and think, you too may have thrown some of your lifes goals in that pit!

Thing is no one trains you how to live your life with periodic vacations. No one prepares you for things, mentally, physically, emotionally or even spiritually. I do believe if the moms of my mothers generation were more insightful, thoughtful, or simply vocal, we would be prepared for a lot of what we experience as surprises. Not to blame anyone, I am being realistic, and hence talking about it myself. There will be plenty people ready to make you feel guilty for taking a break, some don’t understand the concept of ‘me time’, and as a mom you are so aware of the incredible list of tasks that you feel bad to skip some to take time out for yourself.

I used to wonder what people get from a ‘weekend getaway’ but now I understand, that few hours away from routine helps a lot. The world isn’t how it used to be before, cycling for hours to school/work, walking to your cousins place, getting together on weekends for a tea, writing letters, and waiting patiently for responses. We live is a world that is too fast paced. We ourselves aren’t ready for what we have created, we do not have the coping mechanisms for our inventions and innovations. So what do we do? We vacay as much as possible, however possible and try to maintain our sanity to get through life 🙂

Essentials of success

There are quotes that inspire me, every-time I read or even think of them, one such quote is from former president of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam;

The beauty about this quote is, that it is a criteria for you to know what you’re passionate about. You won’t lose sleep over a gig or idea that you’re not interested in. It’s the things that you fantasize about, what you truly want to achieve that you can pass away your time dwelling in it.

To achieve dreams, and be successful there are several things that come into play. For me personally, it has been 1. time management and 2. facing the challenging situations/ restrictions you are in. We are living in a world where a lot of our work can be managed online and work never sleeps. People who have inspired me have been those who know when to do what. There are no timings to emails, do them early in the morning, or later at night. Make the most of the hour that is going on. That’s the major time management lesson. That’s how I understood the ‘Time is money’ idiom. Truly there’s so much that can be achieved, while people look at you and think “how you did it!”, it’s not super-power just practical thinking.

Restrictions and challenges, this is one that required me to change a bit of my personality and thought process, hence it was rather difficult. It’s a phenomenon I still struggle with, because while you will always have 24 hours in a day, you will have different issues to face each day. Unpredictable ones! As a woman, restrictions can be health, pregnancies, children etc. some of these are exclusive to us. I never had a healthy smooth sailing pregnancy so maybe that’s the reason why it was such a challenge for me, also the daughter was 28 weeks preemie! If you work from home, to get the support and understanding from the people around you s very difficult at-least initially. You will notice a lot of now accomplished YouTubers and bloggers talk about what they faced in their initial days, but as they pick momentum people around them started to understand.

I came across this video some time back, and well that’s what inspired this post really. I thought to myself, there are plenty things I want to achieve, in terms of goals. But there are some I have already achieved and am successful in, the thoughts made me ponder over what got me the success with my Sunday school, and in other things in life. And came this post, with my two findings of true success.

Criteria for me will always be to be able to sacrifice everything except your morals and family for your dream. If you’re at that level, where you can give up sleep, a meal or two, a splurge purchase, just so that you get a teeny tiny step closer to your dream, then you’re going good, and you’re going strong. What are your secrets to success?

 

 

 

Patience

I have never in my life heard anyone categorise patience as something positive. It’s always the last resort of the weak, the unfortunate. In fact even when advised, it’s said with

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a sadness, like the most hopeless thing in the world is to be patient.

Well, all this changed when I listened to this liberating lecture on YouTube by Maulana Syed Muhammad Rizvi. I had read a book on patience, which can similar content as in the lecture, however the introduction and explanation of patience by Maulana Rizvi was eye opening. There are many concepts that we taint with our human thoughts, dirty them with our little minds, and spread the notions with people around us. It’s sad, that something as beautiful as patience has been so ridiculously and openly projected as weak.

I have been maintaining a separate book where I make notes of lectures that I attend, or any other meaningful lectures. And few minutes into this lecture, I had to pause, and pull out my book and start making notes. References of such sort and very helpful to me, I also have a small notebook where I write quotes that have relevance to my life, or inspired me, or changed my thoughts. Significant things should be made note of.

It will still take time to truly believe in the power of patience, and practice it in the right manner, and know when it’s too much. But I do believe, most of us struggle with patience, we all go through hard times in life and all of us struggle in the patience period.

I am glad I came across this lecture, shared it with friends and family, and now on my blog.

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A little inspiration

Gobble down some coffee after opening your fast and YouTube one of your favourite subscribers to chill. I have a tonne of work to do, I have two teacher training workshops coming up, the madrasa starts on 3rd July, my uni classes start on 2nd July and have a pending post of Himalaya, the product stares me everyday. Story telling sessions lined up for my internship, and while I contemplate the to-do list in my head, I went on to Fleurs YouTube channel after a very long time to just chill.

And after watching a couple of videos I stumbled upon this one. And even though she’s basically just talking about herself, and working as a full time YouTuber, I found some inspiration to focus on the tasks I have at hand (Which as I enlisted are MANY).

I admire people who are freelancers, or their own bosses. There’s something more demanding about a job like that, you have to be super organised and constantly prove to yourself that you are just as inspired as you were in the beginning.

In life we may find inspiration from and in people, places, a simple quote, an image just about anything, but the real challenge is always to maintain that level of passion. Especially if you do multiple things, and have multiple responsibilities, it gets rather difficult. Not because the to-do list is longer, but because you have to constantly prioritise everything on that to-do list.

Here’s where my struggle usually lies. Should I first finish work, or blog? should I cook now and then do laundry? Shall I take a nap or stay up and finish the reading work. Add to that parenting and well you’re set for a busy busy schedule.

I liked from this video that she decided to show the side of life of a YouTuber that isn’t all glam. That isn’t as materialistic, and makes you appreciate the efforts that go into any job. The  most successful and richest, people in the world struggle, it’s just that their struggles are not what are photographed and talked about. We only see the greener grass, or rather are shown the greener part of the grass.

What I have learned from expereince is that it is important for us to take time out and ask ourselves every few months if we really truly want the things that we are working toward?, are we really getting there or getting side-tracked? Because as we evolve we may not want the same things from life, and it’s better to know sooner rather than later. It is important for all of us to maintain a balance in personal and professional life, just what our goals in general are, and stick to our decisions. Being aimless is the most disastrous thing a human can do for himself.

It’s always good to hear, watch success stories. And it makes me genuinely happy that people are open to share about their experiences, and inspire others.

 

The sheep in the herd

One amongst many, all doing their degrees and masters and just the same. While this first sentence may resonate with you on many levels, I am talking about the field of Psychology, mainly counseling.

India doesn’t have quality control in this regard, in Hyderabad alone there’s a school pooping up every month, all wanting a school counselor to complete the over all services of the school. It is mandatory for schools to have a counselor, it is important that the students get that kind of support, not just for remedial help, but for emotional health.

But where do we get ourselves registered? Who should a counselor go to for quality check? We do not have a counseling Association, that can license therapists in the field. Anyone who is interested in psychology is able to and allowed to pursue a full masters degree in the field, but no quality control. Passion, and inner wants drive people into the field, some come into it for money (just like in any other field). You will also find courses in counseling taught by people who may have been in the field but do not hold the qualification to be organising such courses. Who is to stop them? Who asks what their PhD is in? we are merely impressed by the ‘Dr.’ in front of their name and presume they may have attained it in counseling, or child psychology…

I have a belief. Just because you have been in a particular field for xyz years doesn’t make you a professional in it. Yes, it’s partly the fault of the country that we do not have a council to keep track and license our counselors, but it doesn’t stop the frustration.I wish to be recognized for my efforts, I wish to me known because I am valuable everywhere in the world not in one country or city. I believe it is important for us to try to reach that level of [proficiency if we want ourselves to be called a part of a field. Right now counselors have it easy in India, I can speak more about Hyderabad, it’s all about generating good clientele. What the client expects from the therapist, what he gets from the therapist is upto the client to decide, but the client has no clue how to pick a reliable one in the first place, they do not even know what to expect from a counseling session! This is even more dangerous when people deal with children and don’t even know the basic skills of counseling children. The intention may have been good, but many children get scarred for life by poor counseling, they lose hope, and trust in adults all together.

Point being? I rather not be in the field till the field decides to give importance to those who are not just passionate about helping people, but hold the qualification and skills needed for the job. I rather do something else in the field, or try to get recognition in another country. Universal recognition. Quality control, not money making.

 

 

Times running out!

That’s what I have been telling myself since I can remember. Since my marriage actually. 2008. All I could think of was how much I was missing out on what my peers were doing. Well they were studying, working hard on their education. And while I started my graduation in 2010 after Batool was born, I still felt bad that I was behind my peers.

It took me some time to realise that ‘better late than never’ is a good philosophy to adapt. Now while I pursue my masters, many of my friends have stopped at their graduation and are working. Working away, working hard. While many of them may have an ultimate direction, most of them are just caught up in the job circle. Where I wish to not be stuck for the rest of my life.

I have constantly found myself asking “what have you accomplished?” that question haunts me, while I do genuinely keep moving forward, there seems to always get lost, seem to always never be satisfied. I have realised that is because I do not want to do the ordinary. I keep myself busy and involved enough to be able to update my CV every month at-least with some professional development, I am constantly thinking about the next opportunity to do a course, or attend a workshop to broaden my horizon of possibilities. Few minutes ago I came across this article which talks about the true hard-work required during your twenties.

‘Once you become an Actual Rich Person, with a business drowning in opportunities but short on talent and you deal regularly in financial figures that contain more than one comma, you start to see how this works. It’s easy to have a successful business if you can find really smart people who are willing to do really hard work for you, in exchange for a high salary. But all these younger people seem to just want to sit around and network and have cocktails. All the hard workers already run their own company.’

Reading the above lines of the article made me realise that I have been wanting results way faster than it’s humanly possible. I have certain limitations and challenges that are exclusive to me. Life is difficult, and while I am still in my twenties it’s a safe enough zone to focus on hard-work and aim for results maybe in the 30s. I will turn 27 this July. The problem is to find that pause button, the ‘take a deep breath’ zone so that I am able to recharge and get back into the drift of things.

I think part of my understanding has to now be the fact that I can’t resist adding more and more responsibilities, and expectations on myself. It’s just how I am wired. I work very hard, exhaust myself and crave for a break, and then get back into the cycle of madness. But maybe this time the goals have to be clearer. Maybe now a timeline of achievement has to be marked. No matter what, Multi-tasking is a skill I have command over, the more I do, the more time I am able to make for more things, the more I become organised. The more stationery I have an excuse to buy 😉

Somewhere we all live under expectations from ourselves that are beyond our capacity. These could be related to our family responsibilities, work, education, everyday chores etc. The point is to master the art to edit out, be patient and be human in all of it. I guess this is something that will always be a part of my life, maybe I will never find a place in my life where I would be doing only one or two things without craving for more. At this point I believe accepting it as a positive thing is the only way to be happy about it.

Let there be sanity!!

 

 

 

Finding therapy

I’ve been wanting to paint for a very long time. Can never forget the hours I used to spend as a child painting, water colors, paintbrushes, colourful art. It was thoroughly captivating. It is very important for us to revisit these simple memories that caused so much happiness in our hearts and do those things.

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I have genuinely found so much peace in painting, in fact I actually look forward to the evening, for the time I have scheduled to indulge in art. No doubt the spontaneity of childhood would never come back, and as adults we don’t have the luxury to spend hours doing such things, but I do think it’s worth our while. That’s why I am focusing on not so elaborate paintings. In fact I am also looking at working on my skills too. Maybe an art class or so would help. Right now I am enjoying YouTube videos on water colour techniques. Just watching them is also inspiring and relaxing.

So far I have done 4:

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I have done all these painting sitting on the floor. One reason for that is that I simply don’t have desk, however I avoided the dining table to really get a creative feel. A different experience. I am not blown away by my art, I was surprised though. To be able to create anything like looks decent enough to share is an achievement for me. After easy 6 years I have held a paintbrush to paint.

Used to be tempted whenever students at madrasa would be doing prep work for their exhibits and projects, I really need to re-connect with my creative side. It’s been way too long, and wrong to have just pushed it aside.

It amazes me how much we learn from life, from our past, and to know there’s so much scope of development and healing is amazing. I am glad I pushed myself to explore, and have found a good therapeutic way to be myself and zone out.

What defines you?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Are you someone who has ever tried to define yourself?

Many a times it’s the simplest questions that get us confused, What are your hobbies?, Who’s your favourite author?, What character from a fiction would you like to meet? etc etc.

This pause, this state of frozen mind happens when we aren’t clear about ourselves. What truly defines us? I have decided to change my job in the next academic year, and while I am in the limbo of applying or jobs, and having a zillion other ideas for generating an income for myself, there’s that odd feeling. I defined myself as a student, as a counselor at a school…that was the main focus. And now I wonder who I am. More importantly it makes me ponder about what things/people I let myself get defined by, what responsibilities, career choices, etc. I define myself with. And what truly should be the best expression of myself, because let’s face it, there has to be consistency. Change is constant, but we are the same, we evolve, truly we do, but there has to be clarity on who we are.

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This is the current struggle that’s going on in my head in the recent past. It’s a difficult phase, as it is life is pretty adventurous and has it’s own drama, and unforeseen situations, and circumstances thrown right into my face. However I am trying to find stability, the stability that comes with relying on yourself, and not another human being.

It’s almost like a greed. I am greedy to be independent, to achieve certain targets, then again they make me wonder if I am chasing the right things. Who is to know? Who is to provide clarity? A conversation with God would do me good!

So here’s maybe the easiest question you’ve ever heard, or the most difficult;

What defines you?

2016 is about priorities

It’s a new year, a chance for us to make new amends, change our point of you, just feel like some mercy is on you. For me this year is about prioritising and being reasonable. As a parent is is especially difficult to put yourself anywhere in the top 10priority list. It is a fact. We always put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own.

This is something that has been engraved in our minds and heart, to the point where we lose our own identity as soon as we give birth. It’s difficult to snap out of this zone. It is hence very important to just make a list of what you want for yourself this year, for your child/family. Where do you want yourself to be in the end of 2016. Bottom line is, if you’re happy, everyone around you will by default be happy.

For me this is the direction, no matter anyone says, all I will focus on is my priorities, and focus all my energies into that. Moving forward is crucial, no matter how many years it would take for you to attain your end goals.

What are your priorities?

 

 

The pressure of 'I'

Fact: the laziest of us believe we worked hard when we want to achieve something. And while some of us are realistic of where we slacked, it is a great feeling to achieve goals. The best feeling of the achievement is not the achievement of goal itself, but the fact that “I did it”. This concept of “me”, “my hard-work”, “my effort”, is great, no doubt, but the counter effects of it when we fail are super bad.

The concept I am trying to present is pretty simple. Most of the time when we are unable to get what we want despite the effort, there’s plenty resentment we pile upon ourselves. “I couldn’t”, ” I should’ve”. The ‘I’ and ‘me’ creep back into the picture, but leave us feeling miserable.

I have learned to be humble and accept that no matter how much effort I put in, only what’s decreed best by my God is going to happen. And if I don’t keep that faith, the negative impact when “failing” would effect me a lot. If I did it, it’s because I put in my genuine hard-work, and the lord was happy as well, and if I were to not attain my goals, in-spite of working hard, I should try to reflect and understand where I went wrong, what could be wisdom behind it, and focus on moving on, having faith that whatever happens happens for the best.

We are too weak to be expecting perfection from ourselves, our own pressures burden us. Being realistic, rational, and using our common sense helps us be the best that we can be. Pushing boundaries of achievement is great, no doubt, but what is important is to not lose yourself in the highs and the lows. We can’t spend our lives beating ourselves down, believing we are the only cause for our success and failure, that we determine our destiny completely, because we don’t. We don’t even know how long we’re going to live!

There’s too much pressure when we isolate ourselves for being the sole reasons behind our success and failure, and frankly no one wants that. And no one can make you feel that you are incompetent, and we should try hard to not get carried away by praises, and appreciation as well.

Part of being an adult is to be sane, and acknowledge that all our decisions effect others in our lives, and people around us are in some way looking to us for some guidance, and learning from our actions. Maintaining sanity poses to be crucial hence.

So relax, and when you look back at the year, and the many goals you had set, remind yourself that you’re human, and only the best happens. Developing insight on issues, showing gratitude, and prioritising is all you need. Set new goals; realistic goals, enjoy the company of the people in who love you and most importantly appreciate yourself for making it through another year of life.