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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

FEELING GRATEFUL!!!!!!!!!!


On November 7, 2013, I joined Kindspring.org as it began a 21 day Gratitude Challenge in honor of Thanksgiving. Gratitude has its ways of opening up energy centers in us that are blocked.  Gratitude helps us look at the bigger picture, and removes us from our so called “tunnel vision.”  Gratitude allows our compassionate self to become more dominant, but most of all Gratitude is another gateway to “happiness.”   Journaling about Gratitude and having daily journal entries can allow us to be more mindful about how we experience Gratitude on a daily basis.  So when I came across the challenge, I was so exhilarated, because it gave me an opportunity to experience this while journaling.  Today, marks the end of the 21 day challenge, and all I can say is this will push me to be more grateful on a daily basis.   I involved my son who is six (almost 7), and his version was a modified version, but it was a beautiful experience as we both journaled our thoughts on the various ways of feeling grateful.  And that’s what it is in essence – BEING, FEELING AND LIVING GRATEFULNESS IN THOUGHT, WORD & DEED.

 

The Power Of Gratitude Will Unleash Your Ability To AttractFor those of you who are interested in keeping a journal on Gratitude, I will list the questions that we received each day as journal entry prompts – There was a community of participants whom we could share our thoughts with, there was support in our joint mission on feeling grateful.  I ask you to pick one of these questions, and reflect on it – and throughout the day be mindful of that particular question – notice how it manifests itself in your daily life – be mindful of it.!  And more than anything, a big Thank you to Kindspring.org - an amazing idea...

 

1.      What do you have enough of?  Write it down.  What is that you have, focus on what you have, not on what you do not have.  Write about it, Draw it, or make a collage of words on the word SUFFICIENCY!
 
2.      Who do you know that you can never repay?
 
3.      What inconvenience are you grateful for? LIST IT ALL and see how you can be grateful for this inconvenience!
 
4.      What is your most precious memory?
 
5.      Which Artist Lights up your world? Take a moment to reflect on it and how they played an impact on you.
 
6.      How has your life changed for the better?
 
7.      What is that you know that you never want to forget – what wisdom that you always hope to have in your heart?
 
8.      What is the greatest compliment you have received or given?
 
9.      What is the best advice you have ever received?
 
10.  What made you smile today?
 
11.  What is the best mistake you ever made?
 
12.  Who inspires you to be your best self?
 
13.  When has nature taken your breath away ? (My personal favorite)
 
14.  What has shaped your inner compass?
 
15.  What is most cherished gift you have ever received?
 
16.  Who in your life are you underappreciating?
 
17.  What skill do you value most in yourself?
 
18.  Who can you say THANK YOU in this very moment?
 
19.  What have you lost and learned from? List them, each of them – it is important to take the time to acknowledge all that you have lost in order to move forward.
 
20.  If this were your last day how would you spend it?

And last but not least – below is a link to a warm video called “GRATEFUL.” 


 

Happy Thanksgiving all & Happy Journaling!

 

 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Imprint in our Hearts!

It is a week before Thanksgiving.   Today, I choose to reflect on the ones who have made an imprint in your life - whether they are alive or deceased.  Often the ones that are closest to us, are also the ones who are no longer physically with us.  And this time of the year, can be particularly difficult especially because Thanksgiving marks the union of family - far and near.  For me, specially although time has passed, not a day goes by without me thinking of my father, whom I lost 12 years ago, around this time of the year.   Although the memories are not painful anymore, I usually take this time to reflect on his life -his imprint on me and being grateful for being his daughter.

Last week, I decided to take a walk in the woods at the nature center -we have a bench that we have dedicated in his memory -with a quote by his favorite Poet, Rabindranath Tagore.  Mind you, I seldom go there, but this time I was determined to find my path on my own.  I started walking thinking i would find it - but i found myself lost in the woods.  Usually I would have become panicky, upset, because I had set out on an intention and it did not appear instantly - but this time, I decided to do otherwise - let my heart guide me because I knew I would find the bench - and I did in due timing.   I love to write after walking in nature.  And so, below is what came out of my time in the woods on the bench that gave me closeness and proximity to my dad.   Yes, it is personal - and I choose to share this more so for those who may have a loved one who is no longer with them and want to pay tribute to them - do this for you, do this for yourself. 

My father, My friend
From a very young age, I took to you,
Your way of speaking,
Your view of the world,
Compassionate, gentle, idealistic, and yet practical
In your world, I was introduced to Literature, Books, Music & Film!
I allowed myself to dive into it, and continue that eternal search of "Who Am I?"
The idea of always wanting to better myself and at times to perfection was instilled in me from a young age.
You taught us to love all, to treat all as equal.
Each of us come with gifts on this earth and we need to treasure them. 
I learned to laugh at myself, and more I learned to love food like you did....
For the many road trips and plane trips that we went on I am eternally grateful. 
Exposing me to another world, another way of life, a different culture. 
Your hard work, strong ethic, I saw it come to the forefront in your sweat.
Your love for education & sacrifices for us, I will never forget
When you left, I was prepared, yet a hole in my heart remained. 
Trying to remember everyday your words that you are never away, and always with us...
Difficult to do, but it pushed me to believe it. 
When I want to find you, all I have to do is go within, and a strength emerges. 
When I want to be inspired by you, all I have to do is go to nature and feel the beauty of the world around us.
When I have to be practical, all I have to do is go back to the words you left me. 
They are always with me. 
I give thanks to you for bringing me in this world.
I give thanks to you for being able to always see past the surface and hold my head up high and walk. 
I give thanks to you for your wisdom that still lives on in the lives of those you touched.
And I give thanks to you for letting me see the beauty in death. 
For when you were gone, You showed me the true meaning of life - which is to Love!
And Give Love~
Let me always remember this message on this journey of Life!

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

You are never Alone!

I read something the other day that keeps following me wherever I go : "Never doubt for a moment that you are ever alone. There is a universal force, God, guides, angels, invisible helpers and visible helpers that make themselves available to you during your moment of need - and even in non-needy moments."  The trick is to believe and allow that help to come your way - because they are there with you all the time. 


Whatever your belief system is , I ask you to drop all judgement at this time and preconceived notions of what you think is right or wrong - and think of times when unexpectedly help has come your way - or you feel surrounded by protection -or a kind stranger has given you something to ponder about,  or you just truly feel blessed.  Think of the feeling you had at that moment - whether it be shock, in awe, dumbstruck - whatever it was - go back to that feeling not so that try to gain understanding of why or how it happened, but moreso to remember that "you are never really alone."   Hold onto that feeling and let it become larger and larger until you breath it.  

That feeling of aloneness can make you numb - can paralyze you and create such boundaries around you that in the long run can have devastating effects on you emotionally.  But if we shift that perspective and truly begin to feel that there is a protective cloud around us - that our needs are always provided at the right moment - that everyone in some way or the other that has been in our life has helped us move forward in life - then that loneliness feeling will slowly fade.  There is an inner strength that emerges from our soul that allows us to walk with our head up high and feel secure.  Then the questions of survival and security - our basic living needs are satiated because we have our roots firmly planted in that.

And if it is difficult for you to inculcate that feeling of an invisible helper, then think of all the people that have helped you become the person you are today - Have you changed in some way or the other for the better? Make a note of who they are and note down what they have thought you.   Take this a step further - note down even the ones whom you consider have been destructive to you - that have triggered things in you - whether they are in your life now or not - think of the impact and how their presence in your life has helped you for the better.  All these individuals that appear in your life are visible helpers - are there to mold you, make you like gold - and help you become the person you are supposed to be. 
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And if that isn't enough - then I ask you turn to nature - and that will always remind you that you are never alone.  The sun rise - with its scorching rays- giving light to us when we are about to go forth through our day - take a look at the sun rise - and see the beauty in which it rises.  Take a look at the sun set - and just bask in awe at the beauty of the various color combinations that make the sky look so perfect - Take a look at the moon - in the night surrounded by stars-so clear, so calm, so still - a beautiful blanket for our eyes to see.  And for those that live in the U.S. - the folliage this year has been absolutely breathtaking - that is nature asking us to spend a moment with it and appreciate the beauty it is sharing with us for our eyes.  Everytime you feel alone, I ask you to look at the sun setting, I ask you to go by the water/beach, I ask you to just spend some time with nature - and you will feel complete.  

Journal Prompt:
Take a couple of deep breaths.  Feel Relaxed, and Go back to a moment in your life where you truly felt helped by an invisible helper or visible helper.  Now I want you to describe that moment- think of the time, the day. Think of the feelings, think of what you were wearing, if you were eating or in your car, or at home.  Feel the moment and relive the feelings of that moment and then write about it.   Your entry is a detailed entry of that moment !

Happy Journaling!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Light Light Every Where!

2013-11-02-Diwali_Diya.jpgThis Past weekend, I celebrated the Hindu New Year, called Diwali, or Deepavali!  Which in sanskrit translates to "Row of Lights."   So as much as lighting candles can be a fire hazard, it is taken to its maximum level on this day.  Houses are filled with tealights or earthen clay pots called "diyas" and on the night of Diwali, you will see rows of lit candles.   There is a famous Hindu prayer, that translates "From Darkness lead me into light" -and in many essence that is what Diwali is.  It is our way of saying good bye to whatever darkness that may have happened in our lives during the past year, and welcome it with light, light, light everywhere.   Symbolic in its meaning, but rituals are played to display the symbolic meanings.   The rituals of lighting the candle for peace, for love, for wisdom, for unity - the rituals of wearing new clothes, of cleaning our house and get rid of all the clutter, the ritual of visiting /calling/wishing loved ones and family so that the light can be spread to them too.  
It is my favorite festival because it gives me a new chance with a new beginning.  It allows me to let go of the past without any regret, resentment and blame - and look forward to a new year filled with positive resolutions, and filled with love.    It is also the day where we are reminded that the lamps of light we burn in our homes, is also the light of god that we need to light in our heart.  However you may consider God, and the relationship you have with God - the light is symbolic of the qualities you believe are characteristic of God.  And for me - Diwali is about living up to that ideal.  Whatever the case may be - even if you feel you may have failed in one way or the other, even if you may have caused someone pain in one way or the other, even if you have been wronged more than one way or the other - And that's what Diwali is - an opportunity and the chance to change - to be new again.  We are given that chance again and again every year - and when the new year comes, we need to remind ourselves of that goal. 

Serene Tea Light Candles Stock Images - Image: 343114What does "light" mean to you?  When you light a candle, think of the feelings that are associated with that- do you feel happy, warm, peaceful, romantic? Those are all positive feelings -and if you think about it, a candle has that ability to make you feel that way.  Nowadays, you have scented candles and with the aromatherapy, it gives you a deeper sense of upliftment.   Think of how you feel when you enter a spa - that is lit with candles - allow yourself to be aware of those feelings/sensation in your body.   That is the power of LIGHT!!!!!!! It can lead you to a brighter side of you.  

Journal Prompt for you today:
Close your eyes,  Imagine there is a flame burning in the center of your heart.   Allow that flame to grow larger and larger - Begin to feel the warmth of the flame.   That flame is you .  That flame is Love multiplied 10 times and more.  
1.  Now open your eyes and for five minutes write:
The light in me  ______________________


Happy Journaling!