#119 – Gratitude – A Choice, A Practice and An Attitude

flower wallpapers

 

In 2013, ShahRukh Khan was awarded one amongst the 25 Global Living Legends by NDTV. The award was presented to him by the former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee.  Out of all the funny and witty lines said by SRK, one thing which stuck in my brain forever was the line

“Gratitude should be an attitude”.

He said

You have to be grateful to the Almighty, to your parents, to your teachers… not only them…. because that is something we all follow but we got to be grateful to everyone who works for us,works with us, makes us who we are brings us to what we become. Because on your own I believe you’re not unique you are just alone so gratitude should be an attitude.

But before making gratitude an attitude you need to follow two more steps in order to completely reap the benefits of gratitude.

First, you need to make gratitude as a choice and then second, you should make gratitude as a practice in your daily life. Then alone, it sinks in your skin and becomes your attitude. Grateful people also have bad days in their lives. But their choice to stay grateful for people and objects around them allows them to not get mind boggled. Happy people also encounter lots of set backs but the practice of staying grateful to each and everything around them, makes them less prone to anxiety, depression, getting mindfucked etc. It also further improves the quality of your life. Training one’s mind to stay positive and be grateful to every situation is not an easy task. It takes years of practice and patience. But once you achieve it, there is no end to it.

Being humble and grateful to life teaches you how not to take even simplest of the things seriously and lose sanity. For example, you wanted to start a new venture. Before even writing the business plan and pitch, what if you allow your mind to wander into all sorts of negative things and mindfuck your own self? Losing sanity amidst a world full of distraction is very easy. Gratitude is sometimes like gravity. When your mind says “What if I don’t get initial capital… what if nobody buys it… what if… this that etc” , gratitude makes you aware of the current situation and helps you stay grounded. It makes you realize that you are so lucky that you have atleast your basics covered.

Does this mean that even when the world is going against the grain you have to be super calm and peaceful ? No. You definitely should not. But that doesn’t mean that you tackle all the issues and start creating a dark ecosystem for your own state of mind. It is all in your hands whether to stay calm and think about a solution or get mind fucked and do nothing.

In my own life, I am grateful to everyone. This includes even those people who still doubt on me and say “I am useless”. I am so lucky that in every tragic situation of my life I never got any help. This not just made me super strong but it gave me the mental strength to deal with any situation now. Some people still think I am anti-social, but it is not true. I just choose people wisely into my inner circle now.

I would like to give credits to Yoga practice as well, for putting me into a fine balance and helping me achieve greater clarity on life. With each breath, I know I was better than who I was yesterday. I won’t stop until I become unstoppable. At the same time, I won’t change myself to someone who is not me, just because they were mean to me. I practice the power of gratitude daily and also try to make it a part of my personality.

How do you practice gratitude in your daily life?

Love,

ARK

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#118 – Staying Loyal Is Also COOL. Try It Out !


Pinterest is a great app, especially if someone wants to skim through millions of quotes on a day-to-day basis. I usually keep scrolling the entire dashboard of Pinterest atleast twice a day. One such quote caught my attention off late. It read

Our generation thinks “It’s cool not to care”

It’s not. Effort is cool. Caring is cool. Staying loyal is cool. Try it out

For a second, I was awestruck. Because in today’s generation as the quote says everyone is high on the word “COOL”.

  • It’s cool to be in a relationship even when you are not ready for it.
  • It’s cool to break up when you feel that the other person is quite difficult to handle.
  • It’s cool to walk away and be rude in the name of “I am being ME” because you know you do not have the patience to deal with things.
  • It’s cool to be not kind and act like a indecisive person even when you know several others are depending on you.

How many times have we cursed someone for not showing up when required?

How many times have you been ditched in your dream projects when all you ever wanted was efforts to be equi-distributed?

We often get into relationships only when we feel we are too lonely. We take care of someone only when we are obliged to do that. We swap into multiple roles all at once in the name of cool and then get derailed from the real purposes of our life. Why is it that staying loyal to your own ethics is so hard? Why committing yourself towards success is so old schooled? Why only partying, chilling out and smoking up is considered as swag or cool?

Is it what the society demands us to be or is it something we have imbibed it into our own skins in the name of “I’M COOL”.

I leave it up to you… to take a call on what is cool and what is not.

But someday if you have some time, why not try to change the way you take things.

  • Try to show some unconditional love towards someone, even when you know the other person is eventually not going to give you the same kind of reaction from the other side.
  • Try to go for a long walk and help someone and show some care by lending your ears. He might turn out to be a very big talkative person who would talk talk and simply talk for hours together. But if you mute the entire conversation and watch only his body language you might find how lonely is the other person and all he wants to do is to just put out his feelings outside.
  • Set a goal for yourself. However small it might seem, just set a goal for yourself and try working towards it. Stay loyal to your dreams and keep working one step towards it each day. Eventually you will be amazed at how cool it might seem, when you track back your progress after 100 days. Stop giving excuses that I don’t have time and hence I am unable to blog. I don’t have time to work on my dream project. Everything is just a trick played by your mind to avoid the big picture.
  • It is cool to distance yourself from energy draining vampires.
    It is cool to walk out from the lives of people who no longer serve a purpose in your life.
    It is cool to not answer every fucking email that comes to your mailbox.
    It is cool to prioritize your happiness and mental peace before every fucking “other” person in your life. Place “I” before every other person in this world. And remember it is not being selfish. It is called “self-care”
    It is cool to work on your projects while maintaining a happy work life balance.
    It is cool to get your financial statements always on check.
    It is cool to take your parents for a vacation and give your time and energy to them.
    It is cool to take your loved ones for a medical check up and ensure their well being is taken care of.
    It is cool to take the most difficult path of letting go of your ego for someone who is worth every sunshine in this world.
    It is cool to quit the high paying job and take up something which your heart always craves for.

Why don’t we shift our perspectives and try to channelize our energy towards something meaningful.

As the quote says “Effort is cool.”

 

Writing Prompt Source: Daily Post

#117 – Her Popularity Comes With A Price


The term impostor phenomenon is used to designate an internal experience of intellectual phonies, which appears to be particularly prevalent and intense among a select sample of high achieving women. Certain early family dynamics and later introjection of societal sex-role stereotyping appear to contribute significantly to the development of the impostor phenomenon. Despite outstanding academic and professional accomplishments, women who experience the imposter phenomenon persists in believing that they are really not bright and have fooled anyone who thinks otherwise. Numerous achievements, which one might expect to provide ample object evidence of superior intellectual functioning, do not appear to affect the impostor belief. Four factors, which contribute to the maintenance of impostor feelings over time, are explored. Therapeutic approaches found to be effective in helping women change the impostor self-concept are described.

reads the abstract of “The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention” – a paper written by Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes from Georgia State University.

I was always fascinated by the term Impostor since the day I read an article about how even some of the great role model figures like Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson and Kate Winslet suffer from this syndrome. Popularity for women always comes with a price. And sometimes it takes toll on her self image and the scars last for a lifetime if not treated with proper care.

Impostor Syndrome is one such behavior. In their paper Pauline and Suzanne have gone to the depths of how this behavior arises and is prevalent among women. It’s not that Impostor syndrome is associated with specific gender. It is found both in men and women but it lasts longer in women as compared to men. The main reason for this being the stereotyping of women in our society.

It sometimes starts right from within the family when parents start being indifferent to their kids. When parents label one of the siblings as “bright, intelligent, creative” and the other as “sensitive, fragile, calm” kids presume those attributes to be true and act accordingly. Usually when a girl is always compared to her brother and told that she is a girl, so she has to be sensitive, compassionate, kind, and she is not good enough to pick a fight with boys, instead of empowering her, parents unknowingly are pushing her into becoming one impostor.

Ask how? The girl who has been now labelled as weak and fragile will continue to fight against that mental image painted by her parents. Each day she tries to break the glass cieling and fast forward this nature for another 10 years, you would get a perfectly crafted imposter syndrome stricken woman. A woman who would always doubt her abilities and always thinks “Maybe I just got lucky that my entrepreneurial debut is making a six digit income” , “Maybe the jury was being very considerate in nominating my name for the best business woman of the year”.

Added to all this, I have seen a lot of workplaces where if a woman has achieved something a man could never achieve all they would do is “Why not… after all she has got a beautiful face, boobs and pussy… she can get things done”. I might sound very lewd and disgusting for some. But the reality doesn’t change. In 2011, the Institute of Leadership and Management surveyed managers about how confident they felt in their professions – and half of the female respondents reported self-doubt in their jobs, compared to less than a third of men. It’s not that these women were inefficient or not qualified enough to take up their roles. It’s the constant fear of falling into the dilemma of whether to accept that she is fit for the role or to dismiss the entire fact and say “Hey it was just by fluke”. Either ways, she is not going to have mental peace until she accepts that she is as good as any other person in that role.

People should always remember that feminine charms are not everything in this world. A woman can be pretty and yet be dumb. These kind of women often drop off in the middle of their career in pursuit of love – marriage and – baby carriage. Taking these kind of women as an example you cannot target every other woman walking on the road as “She has boobs and pussy so she get’s things done”.

There are hundreds and thousands of women who are paying price for being smart, for being successful, for being pretty + badass, for being intelligent + creative, for being gutsy + sensitive and most importantly just because she is a woman. . They suffer silently throughout their teens proving their abilities to their parents, relatives and society. Once they get into their work places, they suffer even more because the stakes are really high. And how many more people are they going to prove if they become CEO’s of MNC’s , CIO/CTO’s of large tech firms (which is largely filled with male workers) , professors of reputed universities. The self doubt increases until there comes a point when each significant achievement they accomplish seems like “Ok. Maybe I wasn’t worth it. What’s next to achieve so that I can justify I really deserve this”. The loop doesn’t end. It goes on and on until it takes a toll on their self esteem and damages a part of their personality forever.

Here are some tips from famous super achievers among women who are dealing with impostor syndrome on a regular basis:

Sheryl Sandberg:

“Every time I was called on in class, I was sure that I was about to embarrass myself. Every time I took a test, I was sure that it had gone badly. And every time I didn’t embarrass myself — or even excelled — I believed that I had fooled everyone yet again. One day soon, the jig would be up … This phenomenon of capable people being plagued by self-doubt has a name — the impostor syndrome. Both men and women are susceptible to the impostor syndrome, but women tend to experience it more intensely and be more limited by it.” —Lean In, March 2013

Emma Watson

“It’s almost like the better I do, the more my feeling of inadequacy actually increases, because I’m just going, Any moment, someone’s going to find out I’m a total fraud, and that I don’t deserve any of what I’ve achieved. I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird — sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.” —Rookie, May 2013

Natalie Portman

On being a Harvard student: “So I have to admit that today, even 12 years after graduation, I’m still insecure about my own worthiness. I have to remind myself today, You are here for a reason. Today, I feel much like I did when I came to Harvard Yard as a freshman in 1999 … I felt like there had been some mistake — that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company and that every time I opened my mouth I would have to prove I wasn’t just a dumb actress. … Sometimes your insecurities and your inexperience may lead you to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values, but you can harness that inexperience to carve out your own path — one that is free of the burden of knowing how things are supposed to be, a path that is defined by its own particular set of reasons.” —Harvard Commencement 2015, May 2015

Kate Winslet

“What people really think of me is something I remain blissfully unaware of most of the time. I love acting and all I ever try to do is my best. But even now I always dread those emotional scenes. I’m there thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m rubbish and everyone is going to see it. They’ve cast the wrong person.’ But I have come to realize that those nerves are all part of the process for me.” —The Mirror, June 2013

So the next time you hate a woman for being bossy and super successful, please remember the journey and the mental fight that she must have fought in order to feel super confident about her own abilities. Her popularity comes with a huge price. Respect the journey and hard-work of each individual irrespective of a woman or man. Before you judge others make sure you are “picture perfect”.

Quote Courtesy: http://ow.ly/1Wku30fU0jL

#116 – You Are The Average Of The Five People You Most Associate With.


The origin for writing this post dates back to several months from today. I was attending this Behavioral and Value Creation Sessions organized by our company and one of those sessions had this amazing facilitator who was giving speech on law of attraction. He started his session with the simple statement that even if we equally distributed all the wealth in this Universe , after few days the money would once again reach to the top billionaires in the world. He further went on to explain why successful people are always abundant. Be it in terms of health or wealth, they are always contended.

What I understood after the session was that

“You are the average of the five people you most associate with”

Even after reading the above quote from many online sources, we still choose to hang around with losers each time and end up becoming one. This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all the unsuccessful people in this world and bask in the glory of only successful friends.

What I meant was

“You have to surround yourself with a positive circle of friends”.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t give the perfect set of people for us always. Life is fucking unpredictable. Anything can happen at any time. Any person can enter in your life anytime and make or break you. But what stays constant is the inner circle of friends/close-set of people whom you always hang around with, no matter what. This close-set of people should always be either people who push you towards success or people who desperately want you to fail. Because either of the categories will motivate you to work hard and make it big.

If you aspire to become a  good writer, then surround yourself with the best writers/publishing agents in the Industry.

If you aim to be a good basketball player, then hang around with the titans in the game.

If you want to invest more time on yourself, then stop looking fucking lost and start doing what your heart wants you to do.

It is very simple. Whatever  you want to achieve, surround yourself with like minded individuals. They will push you towards accomplishing mastery in that field.

Your boyfriend/girl friend may leave. Your boss may fire you up. Your spouse may just walk out of the relationship. What stays forever with you is this small inner circle which genuinely understands your positives and negatives. Never allow them to go away from you. And also if you don’t have the right set of people in your circle, its time to say bye and find your tribe.

Be careful to choose whom you vibe with. It is perfectly fine to be alone than in bad company. Life is too short to be around people who are genuinely not good enough for you.

Edmund Lee Quote

Writing Prompt Source for today’s article: Circle

#115 – There is no fucking “Coincidence” in life

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Source: Coincidence

Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous..

Many times we think that whatever is happening in our current lives are a result of some bad karma. But in reality there is nothing called as “Coincidence”. Everything happens for a reason. This involves including the breakup which you had last week, the job which you lost today or the fight which happened between you and your brother.

Nothing happens just like that. Everything happens for a reason. You might not know the reasons immediately but sooner or later you are going to thank the invisible force for making it happen. There is a connection why people arrive in your life when you least welcome them and people depart when you most want them. There is a connection as to why some situations happen in your favor and some against your will.

Earlier I used to get disturbed a lot. But now, I am used to the uncertainties of life. Because I have stopped drifting from one emotion to another. I have started accepting life the way it comes to me. Hard situations have taught me how to be grateful to each small happiness in my life. Happy situations have taught me how to enjoy and live in the moment. Each day is a new day and each lesson is a new lesson that you learn in this school of life.

My Yoga Guru once taught me ….

That the best way to lead your life the happy way is to trust the process and believe that nothing happens by coincidence. Everything has a reason beyond our comprehension.

This mantra gives me so much of positivity that, I seldom break down now. Episodes of crying hours together has now been replaced into episodes of laughter. I no longer brood over things which are beyond my control. Instead, I trust the process. It is not so easy to reach this state. It has taken me over a year and a half to let go of few things and being in unlimited positivity inside my mind and soul. But each effort taken towards that direction was worth it.

Hope this post has helped you in some way or the other. Do let me know your comments on the blog post.

Love,
ARK

Her deepest fears


Okay it’s been so long that I have not written anything apart from posting few songs on my blog. Today I am really happy after a very long time. And I do not know why. Maybe I know.. Oh …its a mixed feeling.
How do you feel when you meet someone as fucked up as you?
Great ! Perfect ! Sad !
Great because finally you have found another embryo as defunct as you.
Perfect because now you both can share the same shit that you have been trying way hard to explain to others
Sad because even this human being will go away from you one day.
Well many of them might think, I am a very negative minded bitch. But wait….

Why am I even writing all these?

My good friend Hiteshika asked me to pen down something on the topic “Fear” and hence I thought of using one of my personal experiences as a blog post today.

Once upon a time, my definition of fear was walking alone in a dark room.

During my teens it was the fear of missing out the important action in the school

During my college days it was the fear of jeopardizing my career due to my over emphasis to extra-curricular activities

Now… I have to fear nothing …except one fear…

Its THANTOPHOBIA – The fear of losing someone you love.

It could be the fear of losing  your parents, friends or someone special in your life. But, the constant fear of they leaving you permanently sends chills down my spine. It is so much evident that one or the other day we all have to die. But, my point is …. let them die peacefully, after they have fulfilled everything in their life… not in midway….not in a rush…not leaving a big black hole in the hearts of others.

People come up with strange theories like

  1. Probably he/she was too good that’s why God decided to take them away
  2. Maybe his/her time was up
  3. Maybe he/she was sent to do this
  4. Maybe that person was just not good enough to keep your promises
  5. Maybe that person was …. blah bla bla

Fuck you all. Fuck God… Fuck every mother effing theory like this. No God should ever (if he exists) do this to anyone. That he gives the eternal happiness at one point and snatches it right when you start believing that this happiness is yours. And what the fuck do you mean by his/her time was up….

Some theories really fuck up my anger so much that I just feel like punching right on their faces. Losing someone is lonely, terrible, painful and if you have an amazing group of friends who say “Come on… life is like that. You need to get involved in something… You are feeling this way because you are jobless” Then here is what you guys deserve

$_3

P.S Buds understand that “Nobody grieves just because they are happy doing it.”

They are doing that shit because they lost the most inevitable piece of their soul along with the departed soul/asshole.

It’s not just about those mother fucking memories. It’s about the hole they leave in your hearts and the big vacuum chambers that they give you …. You try spirituality, you try meditation, yoga, gym, travelling…. and all that shit and in the end realize that nothing helps except you yourself deciding to end this pain.

Whether it’s by hanging yourself to a fan or kicking the shit out of life…. you decide that enough is enough and let me put an end to it. You happily march to the local store, purchase a mask and wear it like Heath Ledger “Why so serious”.

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Like Joker, you keep smiling and keep confusing masses … making them think Life is so beautiful. You don’t allow anyone to dive deep into your heart and fathom the pain you are hiding the whole day.

Smile a lot… and as Joker says it’s easy than explaining what’s killing you inside. Let people think you have moved on from the trauma and think that you have bounced back. Because they would anyways not understand that

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal”.*

But hey , what about the fear that you have masked behind the mask?

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It still exists… It will endure. It thrives forever. Because the fear knows you are a chicken and you love people indefinitely until you have the last piece of soul to trade with the pain. And I have now come to terms with this fear. I have given up fighting against it. I don’t want to conquer it. I want it to conquer me. To infest on me… and to feed all the left overs of my soul. Because I can’t give up on life… at least let the fear do the job for me. For what better job does it have other than invoking fear?

What’s your biggest fear?

*One of my fav quotes from an Irish Tombstone

Banana Pancakes Recipe for Heart


The other day I was busy looking for some light hearted song and I found this one…. There is something with this song. It’s not much of a complicated lyrical song but it’s a simple song…. But the tunes and the lyrics are catchy.

This one song made me a fan of Jack Jhonson.

Here is another song which I enjoyed from the same singer:

When my time comes around Lay me gently in the cold dark earth. No grave can hold my body down I’ll crawl home to her


On a rainy day, I spent listening to this song… Somewhere inside me the lyrics perfectly connected all the dots inside my heart. No words can aptly describe some of the memories in our lives. After “Take Me To Church” I think this is the second best song I have heard from Hozier.

The lyrics are here:

Boys workin’ on empty
Is that the kind’a way to face the burning heat?
I just think about my baby
I’m so full of love I could barely eat
There’s nothing sweeter than my baby
I’d never want once from the cherry tree
‘Cause my baby’s sweet as can be
She give me toothaches just from kissin’ me
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
Boys when my baby found me
I was three days on a drunken sin
I woke with her walls around me
Nothin’ in her room but an empty crib
And I was burnin’ up a fever
I didn’t care much how long I lived
But I swear I thought I dreamed her
She never asked me once about the wrong I did
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
My baby never fret none
About what my hands and my body done
If the lord don’t forgive me
I’d still have my baby and my babe would have me
When I was kissing on my baby
And she put her love down soft and sweet
In the lowland plot I was free
Heaven and hell were words to me
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her
Songwriters: Andrew Hozier Byrne

#114 – K9 Security Against Emotional Distress


Share a photo that depicts your interpretation of “security.”

Source: Security

“You have two dogs, good for us” said my neighbour when I first came home with my second baby “Arrow” – a five year old Labrador Retriever Mix. I said “They are more than just a security guard for my house”.

Many people told me that I have to forget my social life and my hobbies etc once I get dogs in my home. Actually, they were true. I had to sacrifice a lot of things which were dear to me. But they were all worth it.

People still feel it was one of the most regretting decisions of my life to adopt two sick dogs. But I don’t give a damn. My dogs are my security system from the cruel cunning outside world. They provide me emotional companionship which nobody else in this world can give. They wrap me with unlimited cuddles and countless number of unconditional moments. They surround me with paws that heal my emotional ups and downs.

So, yes they are my security guards but not guards for my materialistic prospects. They guard me against negativity and uplift me to an entirely different world. My daily walks with them are filled with deep connecting moments with Mother Nature. There is a hell lot of difference from how we humans see life and how dogs see their day to day lives. They live for the present moment and don’t care about anything other than that.

The photo here was taken when I was preparing my morning breakfast. Look how obediently they are eyeing the food and their mom 🙂

So the next time when you think of getting dogs into your life, please don’t think they are just security guards for your homes. They are much more than that. They are no less than a family member. Paws heal more scars than any other therapist can.

Love,

ARK

#113 – Don’t Count Your Happiness By Those Selfies


Not long ago, one of my new friends, asked me to share a smiling photo of me and to my surprise…. out of all the 5000 photos just a handful of them were smiley selfies of mine. My good friend , for a moment gave me a complex as to whether I was really happy in my life or not….

After a brief contemplation, I asked myself that ….was it all about smiley faces that act an index of happiness? A selfie where I am smiling cannot depict the exact state of my heart. If that was the cause, then all the fashion models in this world would be the most happiest souls in this world. One recent study says, two thirds of all models suffer from depression, anxiety and body image issues. This is a good example for the fact, plastic smiles are easily available in this real world.  So what is happiness according to you? According to me? Let’s keep it very simple.

It’s that moment when you see a Shahrukh Khan song on Television

It’s me waking up to the sound of a KTM Motorcylce early in the morning

It’s the warmth of a brother’s hug

It’s the warmth of a friend’s support when you are down

It’s those moments when people support your passion and help you transform the world around you

Happiness is being myself and inspiring others to get comfortable in their own skin

Happiness is purely my choice….. And should not be dependent on anyone.

It’s not the number of smiley selfies that you share on Instagram

It’s beneath you …. skin deep….

Happiness is remembering a dead person and still being able to smile at all their jokes….

Happiness is in short, letting go of negativity and embracing positivity.

Where is your happiness hiding? And how do you measure your happiness?

Love,

ARK