YouTube gurus I am loving right now

Always looking for a way to unwind. I seem to get bored with even my new unwinding ideas! YouTube has been one of the steady ones. And I am glad that in the smart phone world we are able to access YouTube whenever, wherever!

I would go the the lengths of saying that I have a relationship with my YouTube subscribers list, we are BFFs at this point. There are days I tend to lose interest in some of my subscriptions. However in the recent past I have been steadily enjoying few and wanted to share the love 🙂

  • Lily Pebbles – A UK based beauty and lifestyle blogger whose vlogs I am addicted to. She puts up a video every Sun and has recently also started podcast series with another YouTuber. I love her accent, her take on things, and most of all, I totally enjoy how honest and down to earth she is. In her recent two part Q and A video she embraces each question and is super open about her experiences as a YouTuber and the business of things. I also follow her on Instagram, and enjoy her Instastories.

  • Emily Norris– A mommy blogger from the UK. Yes Mommy bloggers are my saviors at times when I feel isolated in my motherhood madness. Her vlogs and videos are fun to watch, I get a lot of inspiration from her parenting with her three kids. I feel if she can do it with three, I should be fine!. I particularly enjoy her vlogs and she is extremely relatable because of her soft spoken nature, and truthful opinions.

  • Danielle Mansutti– She recently moved to the UK and I am totally enjoying her moving vlogs. I somehow feel empowered by his big move on her own to a new city. It’s a good feeling to see young girls following their dreams and taking control of their lives. Let’s face it, moving to a new country ain’t a joke! (She was living in Australia prior to her move just in case you’re curious). I totally loved this particular vlog where she unites with her pug after moving….I am not ven an animal kinda person, but this was emotional!

  • Niomi Smart– Also from UK (OMG are we seeing a trend here!) Niomi is a beauty and health blogger. I am thoroughly inspired by her healthy lifestyle. I am looking for inspiration to loose the baby weight at the moment, and anything that keeps me in the mind set is welcome. Aside from her health, I like that as a beauty blogger she has not lost her head while becoming famous. She’s humble and grateful for her achievement and I feel like I can relate to her in her vlogs. I also love the minimalist yet beautiful make-up she wear. I get appalled by beauty gurus who have a tonne of makeup on all the time, it’s not realistic and doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Kaushal Beauty – An Indian but in UK! She is hands down the most creatively inspiring beauty guru I have found on Youtube. Her looks are easy to do, and are beautiful. She knows how to transform simple looks to glam with her creative eye liner tricks. I think it’s the Indian in her who is not afraid of bright colours, especially in eye makeup. Most importantly, she is the sweetest and it shows through her personality. My favourite videos from her are the Indian get ready with me makeup looks. It’s nice to see her take on makeup when wearing Indian dresses.

  • The Uphill– A mommy from UK, also has another channel called A model recommends. I am subscribed to both, and discovered her on her first channel. Even though I still enjoy the beauty videos on that one, I am enjoying her mommy channel more. She has two kids under 2 and her day in the life videos are fun to watch. I relate to her as a mom who works from home and has a little baby. Her baby and Abbas are around the same age, and so I have been following her videos through her pregnancy 🙂 I like that her content is mature, and real. Mommies don’t have a glam life all the time, and she is not afraid to hide that. In fact I appreciate it and am inspired by her.

Over the years I have grown out of some YouTubers and seen some grow into people I can’t relate to anymore. I do appreciate how much YouTube has helped talented people show their talents and eventually become a brand. However, I personally enjoy YouTubers who stick to the aesthetic of making videos with the same passion, even though YouTube is their bread and butter, they don’t compromise on the roots of their channel.

Do you have any favourites? leave suggestions in the comments below, I shall happily expand my YouTube subscription list.

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical education?

I have done my grad through distance education from University of Madras, and right now am enrolled in the masters prog at IGNOU. I hated the experience of the former and just am pushing myself through the masters at IGNOU.

The Indian system of distance education doesn’t satisfy the purpose nor is it as dynamic as it should be. There is no wonder that distance degrees do not hold much value, anyone and everyone can get an admission! I am specifically talking about the field of psychology. People who enter the field end up working to help other people and if their education is going to be sub-mediocre quality, we are going to have sub-mediocre quality people working in the field. Many students I know are pursuing a masters in Psychology with the plans to work with children. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to become a counselor, and sadly we have no quality control whatsoever by the government in this regard.

In the IGNOU masters we have to hand write assignments that will be a min of 50 sheets per subject. The assignments are nothing but a set of questions. I can not understand how that is practical for anyone who is opting for a distance course. Many applicants are not in the flow of writing so much, let’s face it we hardly write with our hands 1000s of words on a daily basis for anything!. They do not accept assignments that are typed. There’s something sad here. India isn’t the only country in the world providing a distance course, universities all over the world are. And they have assignments that are typed, well researched and intellectually igniting. Needless to say, many and I mean many students end up copying their assignments, or paying others to do them. I in-fact even received an sms from someone saying that they have the solved assignments and guides for IGNOU students. Now if that’s going to be the masters holder in the field of Psychology, I would be scared at the level of knowledge of the person.

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We have so many things that need development in our country, but if the education doesn’t improve the future never will. Therapists with such qualifications open their own counseling centers, and once you have a center no one really cares how qualified you truly are!. And this is the truth.

University of Madras has still not issued my degree, provisional certificate etc. I have the TC/Course completion certificate and original marksheets, but that’s about it. I have to constantly write LETTERS to the university, to do what should be in their protocol. Not being in the same city as the university causes great communication disadvantages. Which is why I opted for IGNOU this time around. A full time education, even though was mouth watering for me, didn’t seem like it would be practical, I am at a point in my life where I do not trust Indian education nor the teachers to do a decent job. Going back to college surrounded by youngsters high on life, wouldn’t serve the purpose for me. Intellectually stimulating environment is difficult to find here, even in an intellectual field like psychology.

My assignments are due this month, and so far I only got around to making one answer. And am not interested in submitting assignments that are stupid to begin with.I want to indulge in education, not do it so that I can add it to my name later. I see myself as someone who is so well versed with the subject that I can converse about every aspect of the field; particularly history. May not write exams this year either.Want to be sure of everything.

The sad truth is, there are students out there, eager to learn, but the country isn’t giving them the attention and practical approach needed for them to flourish. And then we complain about brain drain!

What have been your experiences with education in your respective countries/fields?

 

 

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?

 

 

 

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Something different happened this year on my birthday. I am no longer afraid to grow old. The feeling is totally gone. I used to always joke and wish anyone on their birthday saying “Congrats you’re one year closer to death!” And while I wished myself the same, I realised that I should be grateful for the year that has gone by, no matter how it went, I am alive, and I have survived the downs and stayed humble during the ups.

Another conscious move that I am making it to think in terms of destiny. What has God planned for me this year, and be excited each day, and be thankful each day of the people and happenings. For surely I do not control everything and I need to be able to focus on the day and make sure if my Birthday didn’t bring me a whole year closer to death, I at least made the most of the few days/weeks/months!

Been thinking of death more often as well, as a reminder of the inevitable returning to your creator.I fantasize more about heaven now, and think seriously about life after death. Not focusing on long term stressful goals, even if it is my education, because you just can’t plan anything.I am going to make an effort to make the most of the present.

How did my Bday go?

Well it was a busy day just like last year, I had a training to do at SAFA. After which the hubby and I had lunch at Spice 6, picked up my red velvet cheese cake from Eclaire and headed home. It was a busy day, the cake was yummy as usual.

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I have to say the packaging of the cakes at Eclaire is beautiful. Eclaire is my go-to place for baked goodness, I love their chocolate cupcakes, and triple chocolate brownie cake, it’s very heavy but if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve got to taste it!

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I had been told by cousin to visit Spice 6 but I only could get around to doing that recently, and I am in love with their Arabic platter, takes me back to Dubai, it’s so filling and delicious. They are known for their lebanese food, I have been there twice already and ordered the same platter! It’s just yum!spice 6

The hubby couldn’t make up his mind on the birthday present, so I asked him to buy me a stationery obsession I was having, this pen has been in my wishlist since forever, I didn’t want to buy ANOTHER pen without having a good enough excuse. And what better excuse than your birthday!

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It’s a matte black Parker. Lovely!

I am looking forward to life. And not concerned about growing older, going to take each day, one step at a time. 🙂

 

 

 

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.

 

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!!

 

 

 

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?

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.

Let’s celebrate Passing the HAP course!

I finished my course at HAP!! Yayii!. Received the certificate of the same on Saturday 12th, And boy was that day hectic. I know what you’re thinking! I constantly talk about my busy schedules, I am sure it’s getting monotonous at this point. Keeping this in mind I shall move on to what I wanted to actually write about. I treated myself with some online shopping.

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Note the excitement on the daughters face! That’s just ‘zoom into pricelessness moment’ She was roaring “Yayiiiii”

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Appreciating oneself is a habit I am still developing, but when I found out that I was actually truly passing I had this intense feeling of treating myself. All the hard work, running around, studying, maintaining sanity while balancing the many responsibilities that I did, I just had to acknowledge my efforts. The icing on the cake was that I topped the last exam which was a paper submission! Felt great, that sense of accomplishment I have never felt, never topped anything! hehe

Anyway so this is what I did, I bought some make-up, a wallet, and shoes (which are on the way).

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The experience of the course was great, in one word I would describe the course ‘insightful’ apart from the academic learning that took place you really do get to explore yourself, and become more aware of your behaviour and that of others. I have met some really special people, from various walks of life, women who inspire me and will continue to be part of my life. Even though I didn’t perform to my potential, there’s a lot I have learned to do better in the future in other ventures in my life.

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Dr.Diana is a great teacher, and an inspiring role model, for her high ethical standards of practice, passion for her field, and the unconditional positive regard she gives to us as her students. I highly recommend this course for all students who are in the field of psychology to broaden their view of the field, and get exposure to new thinking and learning.

The next target is to wind up my PGDiploma from IHMH. That should be a call for another mini shopping spree I guess!

The past and the present

I have heard this many times, “don’t think about the past”,  “Live in the now”. And like many such things I have heard, I know they will make sense to me only when they will make sense to me.

We are all unique in our abilities and it takes a certain insightful moment, a certain number of days for us to “get over” anything. Grieving loss is very important, but there can never be a number on it, a duration, a perfect method, we all have the right to go about it however we want to. And the most important thing in such times is having the right kind of people around you, who let you dwell in the sadness and in the right moment pull you out a little further.

I chose (unconsciously/consciously) to stick to the past, revisit it, think about it, ponder over it, and have made the conscious decision to stop, because I realised I am losing too much of my present because of the past I didn’t even enjoy. It’s not worth it. Not at all.

Another significant realization has been that we on a regular basis don’t tend to be grateful for simple things. This happens even more when we’re sad, I have decided to be grateful for the pleasant weather in the morning, even if it lasts only few hours, for the auto guy who is happy to use the meter, the student who sees that I  have run out of water and offers to fill  my flask, grateful for warm water for a long shower in the night while the daughter cooperates and sleeps, grateful for good writers who write good books so that I can unwind even if I manage to only read 2 pages…..Truly, when these small things become a great cause of pain for us a lot, then why not appreciate them when they’re going right?

I can’t afford to mess up the relationships in my present, for the wrong people I happened to be exposed to. Our experiences shape us, the negative ones make us the strongest, but we decide what from our life will define us. And I do not wish to be defined by my past relationships. I want to enjoy and reciprocate to the ones in my present. It’s not right to be worrying about what took so much courage to end! 🙂

Everyday, is a day for us to learn about ourselves and be better as human beings. Exploring ourselves is liberating. Feel free, it’s awesome. There’s no one and nothing stopping you but your mind. Ask it what it wants, figure it out and find your freedom!