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Peace

Why I’m glad I failed every new year resolution!

 

picWhat is recurrent, changes shapes, rarely comes to life and almost always leads to regrets? Yes, you know what I’m talking about.

New year resolutions have had an unnerving effect on me through life. And I can safely say that I’ve possibly lived up to 1 or 2 of the long list of promises. With that track record, I should ideally be ashamed of myself, but you know what? I brazenly confess that this year I am happy that I’ve failed so miserably. Because now I am wiser.
Human beings are fascinating creatures and have mastered the art of infusing doubt and fear into the most harmless and positive things.
Jan 1st: You decided to lead a healthy life, change your bad food habits, eat only fruits through most of the day.
Jan 2nd: Oh my gawd! That jalebi looks divine. I’ve eaten so many fruits. One can’t hurt.
Jan 3rd: I didn’t exercise today, and I ate 2 samosas. (Palpitations and sweating)
Jan 4th: I hate my life, I am so stressed, I’ll always be fat. This year is looking terrible already!
Look what you just did there? 4 precious days were wasted stressing and the end result was the year being labeled as a waste. Think of ways in which you can improve the success rate and not start your precious year with a nervous breakdown. And give your self more time and achievable goals. You aren’t running a race and don’t need to post your completion time! My personal mantra this year is to sloooooooow down.
I realise that by doing this I am contesting the popular trend of doing everything ‘fast’ and ‘quickly’ but what can I say, that’s the new me.
I will stop looking at my watch so often: Have you counted the number of times in a day you stare at your watch? Sometimes I feel I’ve done this even while getting intimate. That’s terrible right? Only because I’m so habituated (On second thoughts my husband would have appreciated another relevant example)We are always on the clock, timing ourselves, jumping ahead to figure out the next task.  It’s great to be organised but it’s a fact that if your mind is always on the go, it will lose steam at some point. This year, I will not try to conquer time, but walk along with it peacefully.
I will sit and do nothing sometimes: Ever tried this? I love sitting quietly and observing everything in my immediate environment. From birds to bees to odd human beings. It is relaxing and rejuvenating. Somewhat like a ‘kapalbhati’ for the stressed mind. But during my New Years break, sitting by the sea I had an epiphany. Why on earth don’t I make time to do nothing in my daily life? Why was this reserved for holidays? Doesn’t It feel great, to take a break, take a deep breath and have no to-do list in your hand? Try it! Being useless never felt this good!
I will take my time eating my food: I recently read about how a lady on a road trip in the hills, stopped the car by an apple orchard and ate an apple for 5 minutes. That for the first time in her life, because she was chewing slowly and carefully, taking her time, she truly enjoyed the apple and had never eaten anything tastier. Made me think about all our express food sessions at home or at work or on-the-go. My daughter has heard me saying ‘Eat Quickly!’ so often, that I really thank god those weren’t her first words or that she didn’t think it was her mother’s name! I wouldn’t blame her. Action point? Mindful eating, enjoying every bite and its been proven that in this way your body will even receive and absorb it better, leading to a healthier you.
I will take a long shower as often as I can: Do I really need to explain this? Everything I do in the bathroom is on fast forward because I usually have my daughter banging on the door and asking me to come out. That’s also the maid’s favourite time to approach me with all her queries and for all the people in the world to call me. But I will take the time to start my day right. Even if it means getting up a little bit earlier than everyone else. If your day starts calm, chances are you won’t end it off yelling at someone. And a long hot shower works miracles anyway doesn’t it?
I will stop and talk to people: A few years ago, at a club in Kolkata, as I went about chasing after my daughter armed with a spoonful of food, a lady randomly walked up to our table and proceeded to chat endlessly, while we made our disdainful faces with ‘how bored is she’ stupid big city attitude on our shoulders. Though I wished she had spoken just a little lesser than she did, it was such a refreshing chat. I find myself avoiding conversations, because it is too exacting. But chatting is good. Because it opens up your mind, lightens up the mood and feels great because after all we are social creatures. Today I started talking to my Uber cab guy and it turned out that he was a superb singer and from the city I was born in. I walked out with a beautiful song in my head and my heart felt lighter.
I will use my phone less: This is such a common plague that it needs no further explanation. Everything in moderation is great but one of the biggest problems I have
is that it distracts me from my writing, work, and I am aware that my daughter is watching me like a hawk all the time. It’s unnerving! Hard to do but give it a shot.
You’ll be amazed at how much time you can create by just switching off from time to time. (I have a sneaky suspicion that I am about to fail embarassingly at this resolution!)
This list might seem a bit simplistic but that’s what we need most in our lives according to me. Simplicity. No relay races, no frantic dashing, no chaotic plans. But an honest awareness and acceptance of things around us. Most importantly, to figure out an acceptable speed to live your own life by, even if you get left behind a little. See? I even wrote this post late, well into the new year and I’m doing just fine!

Conquering worry is the most life changing gift

Happy celebrating winning success woman sunset
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been what I like to call a ‘muller’. This does not mean that I am unhappy, or that I don’t have a normal functioning brain, capable of clear decision making. It just comes with an immense inbuilt bandwidth, to think excessively about an action, its consequence, its origin, which leads to another unrelated thought, bringing with it some anxiety and before you know it, you’re at the bottom of this confused vortex where you’ve done a run through of issues from problems at work, to your daughters health to your holiday expenses, to possibly the future of the economy of Ghana. What is meant to be a mechanism that should help plan and deal with life better becomes a deterrent to just that. It’s like having an unnecessary unproductive cobweb in your mind that you’re constantly wanting to get rid off.
Let me help you with an identification process here, to help you understand whether you fall into the same trap. I just read somewhere that thinking too much means that you are more intelligent, that you have the capacity to absorb and process more. I tend to think a bit differently here. The minds of great thinkers, philosophers, and all the most important people in history who have made an impact, must have been a complex and masterful web of thoughts and decisions but I doubt they could have done any of that without clarity of thought and peace of mind. No revolution, no dreams, no great acts can come from a pre occupied mind that is ‘stewing in its own pot’ so to speak!
Where and why have I attained this mental nirvana you ask me? To be honest, I still struggle with it on bad days and as I analytically tell my husband, I’m still in a batter state, far from being baked in the mould I desire! But in the last year, so much has happened around me, to me,  that I was forced to make a decision to stay sane. If I wanted to have a peaceful mind, not have it become a permanent residence of the chattering monkey, I would have to make some changes. The environmental factors would not change and were not in my control, but my mind and body should be.
Here is a very small snapshot of what I believe you must remind yourself once everyday to banish that worry.
– By worrying, neither does the problem change, nor its resolution. You are the one that suffers mentally.
– If you keep worrying, you will open your body to countless diseases in the future. This is a promise. Leading research has proven over the years that elevated levels of worry and stress are directly co-related with several common to life threatening diseases. They were right when they said you can worry yourself sick. You really can.
– When you are worrying, ask yourself, what is the worst that can happen? Once the worst of the consequences is clearly in-front of you, you’ll feel less dread and think more clearly.
– When you’re overanalysing and not being able to reach a decision, take to pen and paper (should be easy for you guys since you belong to this tribe:-) eh?) List out pros and cons. Sounds childlike in its simplicity but sometimes it really helps putting things in perspective.
– Take out one hour everyday to do something easy, where your mulling and your mind can relax. I turn to physical exercise very often. Sometimes I’ve gone into a workout with drooping shoulders and come out with a fantastic solution to something I’ve been obsessing over.
I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg here but I do hope it helps someone in some way. It is such a liberating feeling to unshackle your mind from fear, dread and over analysis. Try it and you will breathe like you have a new pair of lungs!
‘I am taking my #Alexa rank to the next level with @Blogchatter’

 

I want my money back

I would feel cheated for my money.

If I had paid good money, to buy silence.

Post purchase dissonance for sure.

I would rip open the package it was delivered in, but gently, aren’t all wrapping papers engineered to shout and crackle?

I would expect a whole day’s worth of deafening silence but I’d be in for a shock.

The early morning solace, pounded by the unrelenting waves of unfinished conversations playing back from last night.

The quiet coffee lull, shattered by the newspaper screeching its warnings about the world gone mad.

A long run up the hill, without a soul in sight, would fill my head with the noise of aborted work and the instructions I never uttered.

No one plays cassettes or tapes anymore but there is a broken down tape recorder in my head that is always powered up and replaying memories and songs I have long muted.

Try stuffing your ears with cotton and your head with reverberate with the echoes of your own thoughts.

That fellow commuter,listening to music on his earphones, will still, egged on by an incensed sense of politeness, murmur pleasantries while craving his own quietude.

Makes me wonder if it’s more polite to be quiet than to break someone’s quiet.

Did you know that even the sun sets with a slight thud? Everyone’s a talker I tell you.

And don’t even get me started about bedtime orchestras.

Those crickets are my sworn enemies.

If I was really delivered that package, I would send it right back!

A perfect Sunday 


A lanquid yawn escaping a shapeless mouth.

A stretch so sweet, promising to linger, you just know you’ll never be up and about.

Some giggles, some thuds, some pitter pattering feet.

The pressure cooker hissing away, promising a king’s feast.

The droning din from the television no one’s watching.

The window sill battle of the pigeon and crow, who’s winning, who’s lagging.

The washing machine is steady but shaking with passion.

The fruit vendor wafts by the window, shouting his prices in a sing song fashion

Feet are stacked on some more feet.

Hearts and tummies are full, it’s time for some more of that sleep so sweet.

Who would have thought the lazy, the familiar, and the mundane,

Could bring such peace and comfort, time and time again!

Perspective

image
When is too much enough?
From the time we are born, it’s a steady diet of superstitions.
Don’t laugh too much, or you will end the day crying.
That’s too much happiness. Don’t jinx it.
I’ve had too much good luck, I’m in for a downward slide for sure.
Is it that we are scared of utter happiness?
Or is it just second nature to doubt normalcy and stability.
Why must our hearts be gripped with weary predictions of doom,
When it’s just so much easier to be happy and carefree?
Does an empty house with bare walls make you pine for what was?
Or does the resident laughter, the memories, the echoes that ricochet off the ceilings, rebound into your heart and light it up like a Christmas tree?
You can’t stop the sun from setting, the lights from dimming, the darkness from descending every night.
But what you can do, is welcome the rising sun with a smile, and tell yourself, that whichever side of the bed you get off, your glass will be half full every day of your life.

Little lessons

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It felt like a day that should be forgotten, quickly.
Nothing made sense.
I looked at a wall, and upon this vast canvas I painted and projected all my contemplation.
Then suddenly you crawled into my lap. I hugged you and breathed in your tiny soft curls.
I will never forget that smell.
It was a heady mixture of baby powder, happiness, innocence, trust, joy and peace.
It carried me away on a cloud.
I was weightless, drifting, with your tiny trusting fingers wrapped around mine.
You gurgled and burped. This amused you so much that you toppled over laughing.
When was the last time I had embarrassed and entertained myself this way?
Back on the ground you crawled over everything that came your way, never losing that smile.
I wish I had thought of your resolve and tenacity when I needed it recently.
When you wrapped your tiny finger around mine, I knew I had to trust in my instincts as well.
For all the fancy schools and colleges and miles upon miles of books,
Some of life’s simplest lessons can be carried in the tiniest hands, you just need to know where to look.

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