Lifestyle, Mind - Body - Soul Balance

Have yourself a Good Morning – I !

For me, the way I begin my morning, sets the tone for the rest of my day. So I thought why not begin my Mind – Body – Soul Balance series with a post on working towards starting off the day on a Positive, Fresh, Happy & Balanced note.

So today, instead of hitting the snooze button & rushing with the rest of the morning, I resisted the temptation & got out of bed & freshened up.

I knew I wanted to establish an early morning ritual for myself & keeping that in mind , I decided to start my Journey towards achieving Balance in my life with a morning spiritual practice that is given a lot of importance in my religion, Hinduism & my country, India.

I decided to give Arghya to the Sun ( Offering water to the Sun).

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In India, Sun is treated as a God & According to the Hindu Vedic scriptures, offering water to the Sun God in a copper vessel is given a lot of important.

I think it is really important to begin your day positively and having a spiritual base to it. Connecting with the higher power fills you with a sense of peace & fulfillment. It also helps you get centered & focused. Isn’t that the best space to be in during the earliest part of the day?

Go on, Customize it your way. It can be something as simple as a Thank you god for another beautiful day & staying in that space of gratitude for a minute.  Just try & get into that space within yourself where you feel peaceful, fulfilled & supported. Most religions have their own morning spiritual practices. Why not follow some from your religion.

If you are not religious, go connect with mother nature, observe the sun rising, the bird chirping, the cool flow of morning breeze. Just have a little morning ritual, that gets you in the inner happy space.

Once you are in that space, happy & fresh get on with the rest of your morning.

What I do with the rest of my morning, stay tuned!  More on that in the next post.

What is your early morning ritual to get centered? Let me know in the comments section!

Regards,

Arry.

LifeLessons

Time to Disconnect!

We live in a world where technology has advanced to such an extent that you can get in touch with a person residing on the other side of the planet within a mater of seconds. You are constantly connected with people at any given time, you are constantly accessible .

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I have been one of those people who would update their Facebook, use Watsapp & Bbm for personal & work related matters, answer my phone every single time it rang, & have gone to bed & woken up in the morning having my smart phone constantly on me.

I have Attended almost every single social function I was invited to. Ansered work calls & attended to my clients even when I was on a family holiday thereby missing on all the fun! I am sure I am not the only one out here who has done that!

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However there came a time when that joy of connection turned into an obligation. I was almost like a burnout. And I started to think to myself, Do we really need to be constantly connected all the time?

The answer is was No, we didn’t. We just do it out of obligation. A kind of societal pressure we face, that’s causing us a lot of stress!

The truth is we do not have an obligation to make ourselves available all the time. I think it is extremely important especially in the age of such constant connections to periodically disconnect & to simply be.

Its important that we set boundaries for ourselves.

How do we do that?

Try & leave your cell phone at home next time you go out for a family dinner. Stare at the face of your family member or spouse instead of your smart phone screen. Give them your full attention without the distraction of your phone buzzing every now & then.

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Have no phone zones in the house like the dining room & the bedroom! If not no phone zones you can have a time limit set beyond which you will not be available on your cell phone to people. You have special features these days on phones where they have the no disturb timings settings.

Delete Social Networking apps from your phone! The urge to constantly use your smart phone is primarily because of having these apps on your phone! If you have to use Social Networking, do that when you log in through your desktop!

I strongly suggest having a Gadget Free holiday! Be conscious not to use them as much as you can when you go traveling.  People did travel when there were no cell phones & did not get lost (if using Google maps is your excuse!) Enjoy the glory of mother nature & appreciate the beautiful things that you might otherwise miss!

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Spend time with yourself, Spend the time you would have spent on your cellphone on your own self! Do some old fashioned reading, or just be! When was the last time you did that?

People, Its okay not to answer every single phone call, its okay not to check your mails everyday, its okay to not post update of every activity you’ve done on Facebook & its okay to not attend every event you are invited to. Connections are Important, don’t get me wrong, But more so now, Its important to learn the joys of Disconnection.

DO IT FOR YOURSELF, you will be glad you did .

Minimalism

Minimalism – Mindful Spending

Today was the day I packed all my belongings here at the old house.Tomorrow, I will be moving my things over to the new apartment.

I am exhausted beyond words!

This experience has made me want to take my Minimalism journey all the more seriously. It baffles me, the amount of stuff I own. Most of it, I have because I can afford to have it, not because I need it.

In spite of the fact that I have given away so much already, so much still remains!

I read an article the other day which said Minimalism was for the rich, the poor do not have a choice, they have very less to begin with. And to be honest, I agree with it. If I did not have the money, I would never own some of the stuff I own.

I think the first thing one needs to do when moving towards wanting to be a minimalist is curbing the urge to spend mindlessly.

My friend Debbie ( check out her blog here ) gave me some really good advice about spending & being a Minimalist. She said, If you have the urge to buy something just because you have the money. Put the money in a jar & watch it grow instead. You can put the same money to some good use later (  which does not include buying useless crap from the mall that you don’t need )

The second advice is, before spending your money on something big, sleep on it for a day or two. Sometimes, we buy things in the spur of the moment & regret it later. The sleeping on it part will save you a lot of money & guilt as well!

These are words I live by now! Thanks Debbie!

Regards,

A.

Book Review, Minimalism

Book Review – Life Changing Magic of Tidying up.

g_042815_kondo_goodmanI have been hearing about this book for the longest time, both on Youtube & Blogs alike but somehow never got around to getting it because I was not so much into the organizing & decluttering.

It was only after I was I watched the Tedx talk by the Minimalists & really got thinking about how I wanted to live my life, that I almost drew this book to me. I was discussing Minimalism with my friend Estee, & she recommended that I read this book. I had seen a lot of difference in her space for sometime now, so I finally went ahead & ordered my own copy of this book.

I must say the book offers some really good advice when it comes to tidying up & is a great book to read if you are about to start your decluttering journey.

Marie has some great advice to offer. Here are some of them.

Marie advises that instead of going step by step when it comes to tidying, a better approach is to get it done once and for all. Like if you plan on tidying up just do it all.

Also instead of tidying up location wise, it is better to go category wise instead. Example – Instead of sorting things going Room my Room it is better to pick a category, say Clothes & sort out all the clothes you own. Move on to the next category, say Shoes, in which case you Sort out all your shoes at once.

When she is goes to a clients home to help him tidy his possessions, & when they are Tidying category wise. Say, they are tidying Clothes/Books. She insists that the client bring out every single piece of clothing/Book that they own & place it in front of them & go through them all at once.

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(In fact she mentions that if anything is left out after that point, will go straight to the give away pile, which i think is drastic!)

Marie encourages the owner to use their intuition to sort the things they own. ‘Does an item Spark Joy’ is the question the owner should ask oneself as he holds each item. If it does, it needs to be kept, If it doesn’t they should let it go.

( That really makes sense to me. We all know the stuff that really brings us joy & we wont hesitate for a second to keep it. but there are stuff that we have in our possession just because we paid money for it. Its a technique I now use when I have to decide on what to keep & what to give away)

I also liked the suggestions she gives on how to fold our clothes in order to make more space in our wardrobes.

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I am going to try that out as I move my clothes into my new wardrobe soon. Its really something useful.

Marie also insists on not letting your family see what you are giving away!

( Golden words I say, I never ever clean when my family is around because whenever I am about to give things away, my mother always finds things from the pile which she thinks might be useful to her, but honestly never makes use of even once! )

Another thing Marie insists upon is not making your parents house a place to store the stuff you don’t need. We usually give away things we don’t use to our parents, thinking they might put them to good use, but it seldom happens & we end up cluttering their house in the process!

There are very few instances where I don’t agree with Marie’s ways. Say for example each day when she gets back home, she empty’s her hand bag & places its content ( train pass, wallet ) in places she has assigned to it!

(I mean, Its great if it works for her but I need almost the same things in my handbag everyday. My travel pass, Money purse, Id cards, So it saves me time in the morning to just have it in there at all times)

Also when it comes to mementos, we all get a little sentimental & keep somethings that have memories attached to it. And I would want to keep them. So giving them away is not something I can do. Its okay to be a little attached to stuff, we are human beings.

Other than the above, I did like the book a lot. Marie writes about how tidying affects our lives positively. It sure does, I feel it since I have started the process of Minimizing my possessions.

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She has given examples of how people have lost weight, changed careers, found their passion in work & life alike after organizing & tidying their spaces!

I liked the structure of the book & also the ways of the author, she seems like such a kind & gentle soul as she shows respect towards her things & possessions. Its endearing.

I do recommend it & can finally see what the buzz about the book is really about! Overall a great book to start if you are looking for ways to declutter & Tidying up your space.

If you have read the book, do let me know how you liked it in the comments section below.

Regards,

Arpita

Guest Posts

Guest Post- Chivalry or Kindness, Take your pick!

Chivalry is defines as the combination of qualities expected of an Ideal Knight, especially Courage, Honor, Courtesy, Justice & a Readiness to Help the Weak. The words that caught my attention were, ‘Readiness to Help the Weak’. I would however tweak that to ‘A Readiness to Help’.

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I have read quite a few articles which talk about chivalry & how it is dead, how it should be brought back & how women should choose chivalry or equality. I am not saying that I don’t agree with these articles. The authors in the articles voice their opinion on the topic to which they are entitled. However, my views differ.

To me, Chivalry is all about Kindness and respect to each other , be it a woman or a man. It is not something that is purely expected of and applied to men alone; it is and should be applied to women too! And why not? When we scream equality it is only fair that it be in the true sense of the word.

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Allow me to explain my concept with an example from this small true life incident.

Recently I was at a mall on a shopping trip with a couple of my friends. After an eventful and splurging shopping trip, we were on our way out. As we approached the exit, my friend remembered that she needed some cash from the ATM, she headed to the ATM while the rest of us waited for her near the exit. I was as usual observing the people around me when I noticed a young man walking to the exit door, he reached the door, opened it & walked out & held the door open. Why? Because he saw there was a young girl who was on her way out as well. He held the door open anticipating her to walk out right behind him probably. But the young lady was not walking, she was strolling, then she stood there looking into her cell phone, then searching for something in her purse for a good 5 to 10 minutes.

Now this exit is pretty narrow and constructed in a manner that only one person can exit at a time, so by this time there were quite a few people behind her to go. All this while that she was stalling the young man continued to hold the door . What made the young lady feel that she deserved such kindness without having the courtesy to acknowledge it? Chivalry? The young lady should have seen the fact that there was someone holding the door open for her and walking out all she had to do was smile and say thank you!

The scene I witnessed would then have been an act of Chivalry or Kindness from both the man and the woman.

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In my view, everyone should be treated with the same deference, regardless of the gender. Instead of focusing on treating only women with respect, men & women should focus on treating everyone with respect.

In my view, Chivalry is all about making sure someone’s okay when they have fallen, or standing up for someone who is being bullied or holding the door open for the person walking behind you be it a man or a woman, or splitting the bill on the first date, giving each other little gifts, or about something as simple as smiling at a stranger.

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In my view, the act of Chivalry goes both ways! And as long as there is still some good and kindness left in this world, Chivalry can exist among all of us.

Regards,

Rashmi.

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More on Rashmi,

Rashmi is a single mom with a zest for life! The experience she gained from her life’s journey & her work as a Woman empowerment & Child rights advocate led her to blogging. Top it off with her passion for writing and you have her blog ‘Mind and Life Matters’ . to know more about Rashmi and her work, check out her blog here. You can also connect with Rashmi on Twitter – @impulsivecookie or her Facebook page Mindandlifematters .

Soulful Saturday

Soulful Saturday – People Don’t Change!

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The first time I heard Oprah say the above lines was during the Oprah Winfrey Show! It was a lesson she learnt from her mentor & friend Maya Angelou. The Lesson was “When people show you who they are, believe them”.

It took me a long time to learn this lesson, ( even when it came from Oprah! ) I have seen people in my life be self centered, self serving and yet I’d make excuses on their behalf, giving them chances after chances , till I finally came to the conclusion that things are not going to be changing anytime soon!

Hence for the ones like me who believe people change, well they don’t. People are who they are, and as Oprah says, Its we who need to protect ourselves, so we don’t end up emotionally empty after all the giving.

Regards,

Arpita.