Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Reflections, Work

Stop..Observe..Shift..Move

Ever felt the awe on wondering how one had reached the end. Sometimes it’s so hard to grasp that one has finally checked off that “to-do” in our own list. Such were the feelings on nearing the finish of the present project. While the start and the journey through were something not to be experienced again by choice, the lessons learnt have not just changed the mind but moulded the perspective for the years ahead. The initial phase of the project was something akin to the experience of Edison and his light bulb; too many glitches and hang-ups on how to start off. In the end we had to break it down to many minor components and then tackle it down. Through all this was team-work, improvisation and plenty of re-dos. But the point was to stick on to it.

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” Danny Kaye

Many of us have gone through similar phases in some part of our lives. They were those days when one couldn’t earmark them as progressive days. But the reality was those were the rest days to regroup, re-focus and re-centre ourselves once again. Those gap days gave the energy to strive on. The change of thinking lay in not rushing off to mark each day as a failure or success, but to look at the bigger objective and target. Sometimes in our haste to reach tot he top, we forget that without the rest for the soul, the body nor the mind can’t move ahead.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

To regroup, sometimes we need to go back and re-trace our steps. Few may be wrong; but admitting them mayn’t be an easy task. For those moments let the feeling of “I’m always right” take a backseat. Being human, we all are prone to err. So it doesn’t really matter that one went wrong, rectification if feasible, is what makes a whole lot of difference. As long as one keeps the will strong, time would be an ally to the self. Take a moment, a deep breath and chin up. As always, be true to the self and move ahead. Eventually we’ll all reach there.

The Mountain

If the mountain seems too big today
then climb a hill instead;
If morning brings you sadness
it’s okay to stay in bed.
If the day ahead feels heavy and your plans feel like a curse,
There’s no shame in rearranging,
don’t make yourself feel worse.
If a shower stings like needles
and a bath feels like you’ll drown;
If you haven’t washed your hair for days,
don’t throw away your crown!
A day is not a lifetime.
A rest is not defeat.
Don’t think of it as failure,
Just a quiet, kind retreat.
It’s okay to take a moment
From an anxious, fractured mind.
The world will not stop turning
While you get realigned!
The mountain will still be there
When you want to try again
You can climb it in your own time,
Just love yourself till then!

Laura Ding-Edwards

Posted in Personal Musings, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World, Work

Stance on the Slant

Many of us or may a few, may have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by an unexpected turn of events. More than the “happy” feelings, there may have been the “feelings of doubt and uncertainty” that reigned high. It’s only in the aftermath, that one realizes that, it was those unexpected turns that brought out the best in us. Or it was the unexpected, that became our saving grace.

“You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side-bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. and if you don’t play you can’t win.” Judith McNaught

In retrospect, it all comes down to the attitude that we hold within us. The choice lies in either embracing the new, but a strong sense of grit, hope and faith, along with the willingness to take each day as it comes. As we do, one does get the blessing and a chance, to experience some of the best aspects and colours of life.

The point is to embrace these uncertain, unplanned turns and make them into some of the best outcomes. For all this and more, one needs to come out of the sidelines and wade in deep with all the senses in tune and intact. Then the journey will provide new insight into the perceived notions of the old. If so, then the surprise and brightness of the whole new vista awaits each of us.

“A group of prestigious university graduates came to visit their old professor. During the visit the conversation turned to work: graduates were complaining about countless difficulties and problems of life. After offering coffee to his guests, the professor went to the kitchen and came back with a coffee pot and a tray, filled with many different cups: porcelain, glass, plastic and crystalline. Some cups were simple, other ones – expensive.

When the graduates picked out the cups, the professor said:”Notice, how all the beautiful cups were picked out, and the simple and cheap ones were left. And although it seems normal for you – wanting only the best things for yourself, but that is the source of your problems and stress. You need to understand, that the cup doesn’t make the coffee better. Most of the time it’s only more expensive, but sometimes it is hiding what we are drinking. Actually, all that you wanted was only coffee, not the cup. But you consciously picked the best cups, and later watched what kind of cups others got.

And now think: life – is coffee, and job, money, position, society – are the cups. They are only instruments for maintenance and upkeep of life. The type of cup we have, doesn’t determine the quality of our life. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cups, we forget to enjoy the taste of coffee. The happiest people are not those who have the best things, but those who enjoy life and get the most of it with what they have.”

Posted in Life, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Stories Around the World

Answers

Remember those days, where few would gather around the table or just around, throw about ideas and build on them. Those “round (or-not) table ideas” were one of the highlights of the week. Regardless of brainwaves, the gathering was meant for camaraderie as well as emotional, mental and moral support. Unfortunately for now, these occasions have become a rarity.

These days, almost every idea which is being brought to reality requires one to put in plenty of own effort. Where one used to avail the option to take the opinion of others, maybe in an offhand; these days it’s more like one has to sit down, weigh own options and have the inner faith that one can handle it.

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.” David J. Schwartz

Reality is that we need to give ourselves a little more credit, a little more faith and trust ourselves with each new challenge. The answers are there within; just need to search deep within, pull them out and put them to good effect. Each of us hold the answers to the challenges that we face. All one needs to do, is to be determined to ask own self first and give it a try.

For the best person knows you is your own self. Take care to not lose sight of that little fact; for if and when that happens so, all becomes confusion. For to throw away our dreams, as one forget to believe in own self, is an error that each one hopes would never happen. For the silver lining around the corner, ask your own self first and then with His Grace you shall find it.

One man decided to reach for his dream. But he didn’t have enough strength to do it. So he turned to his mother:
– Mother, help me!
– Darling, I would be glad to help you, but I don’t have it. And everything I have, I already gave to you…
He asked a wise man:
– Master, tell me, where can I get strength?
– It is said that, it is on the Everest. But I couldn’t find anything there, except the snowy winds. And when I came back, the time was irretrievably lost…
He asked the hermit:
– Holy Father, where to find the strength for realization of my dream?
– In your prayers, my son. And if your dream is false, you will understand it and find peace in your prayers…
The person asked everyone, but the only result of his searches was confusion.
– Why are you so confused? – asked an old man passing by.
– I have a dream, good man. But I don’t know where to find strength for its realization. I asked everyone, but there was no one who could help me.
– No one? – a light flashed in the old man’s eyes, – And did you ask yourself?

Source:Internet

Posted in Reflections, Stories Around the World

Little of Reality, the Why and the Truth

With a little extra time at hand, thanks to the hours saved by missing out on the daily work-school commute (though one definitely misses them), reading those “snippets of information” makes one realise the gargantuan foundations laid not just by science, but also by reality and history. Embroiled in the fiasco of the present crisis, it looks like science and history have reinforced their teachings once again.

“Science taught…. without a sense of history, is robbed” I. Bernard Cohen

Reading up on these historical and scientific articles, one would understand that a lot of science is born from how one chooses to perceive reality. Take for instance, the fact that one has repeated bouts of morning coryza symptoms, on opening for that breath of fresh air. Some of us just pass it over, while few of us blame on the timings and the like. Yet a distinct set of people chose to ponder the whys and hows of it. So the options lie in not opening the window, or opening it another time. When the people who had the “whys” observes their hard facts, it led to the concept of “allergies”. Broaden it and includes not just the usual “hay fever” but also dust, pets or even upholstery fabrics as allergens. Record this over a length of time, and it leads to the study of allergies and the start to overcome them.

“You don’t get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd.” Neil Gaiman

Point of interest to note, is that one has to address. Just like the person with the “whys”, one needs to brood on their failures in life too. Success too requires it’s fair share of the “pats on the back”, but learning to address the falls helps one to get past them and back on our feet withe next single or couple of attempts.

As the spider says to try, try again; to do so, one needs to choose to inspect the facts, remove the inner emotions and face the hard reality. Once we join the dots and map out the course, each of our journeys will have something extraordinary and exceptional to offer, in the course of our own.

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Albert Einstein

Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician and scientist, now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “saviour of mothers”, Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics. Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal. Semmelweis proposed the practice of washing hands with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847 while working in Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards. Despite various publications of results where hand washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings, and some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and mocked him for it. It much later that Joseph Lister and Louis Pasteur discovered that it was ‘germs’ (bacteria) that were responsible for the Puerperal fever. Source: Internet

 

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Work

More than Exist

While working in the first job opportunity after college, my brother had to move out to the new city. Over the next couple of months as the call duration and frequency to home decreased, my parents’ radar went into full frequency mode and it had grabbed yours truly. After all a couple of calls, the instinct sense that something was wrong was pretty strong. Whether it was by His Grace that a work travel opportunity had presented itself to his office or just a matter of chance; making the visit was an eye-opener. The short phone conversations and the decreased frequency of calls wasn’t just due to work stress but the unhappiness in doing something which he never wanted to. Though it took plenty of courage and risks; he did get out of the mess and went on to another office doing the advertisement projects that he had trained and wanted to.

“Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” Theodore Roosevelt

We all get stuck in those unexpected ruts. Full of promise and hope of what was once good, mayn’t seem so a couple of months later. That is when it is time to call a temporary halt to reexamine the situation and find a path out. The tussle is between the surety of the present and the uncertainty of the next that causes one to choose the former. Yet in the long run, it isn’t just existence that drives one person forward, but the courage to take the path to do what one loves to do.

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau

The inner spirit has to stay strong. When things may go downhill for a time, take a break and choose to do something about it. Even though it may be a late attempt, but it is way better than to just exist. It is that spark in each of us, that gives the glow and a special meaning to the gift of life, time and love that we all have been fortunate to be blessed with.

Credo
by Jack London

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor
every atom of me in magnificent glow
than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live
not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.

 

Posted in Daily, Family and Society, poetry, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Record in the Storm

On May 6, 1954 at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Track, when Roger Bannister had broken the four-minute barrier; it was a marvellous achievement. For he had not just set a proven record of being the first to run a mile under four minutes; but he had also broken the calculations set by the science of physics, mechanics and human biology. Since then, many more athletes have broken the four minute barrier. Such and similar achievements of people have left often amazed about the infinite possibilities of man and his abilities.

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” John F. Kennedy

All of us have it in us, the ability to do the best of ourselves. At times, these come to forefront only when challenged or mired in a crisis. Imagine being stuck in a deep crevice, there are only two options then; to either go down deep and perish or gain footholds and climb up till one finds a way out. Being put against odds, helps one to find the strength within. Many a time, it is these rough patches that help to find ourselves. One is never beaten unless one thinks one is. The strength depends on the state of the mind. As one learns to climb the rough rocks, gain a foothold, test own wings and fly; does one get to see fresh beauty, soar to new heights and touch fresh skies.

A State of Mind
by A Walter D. Wintle
If you think you are beaten, your are
If you think you dare not, you won’t,
If you like to win, but don’t think you can
It’s almost a cinch you won’t

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out in the world you’ll find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in a state of mind

For many a game is lost
Ere even a play is run,
And many a coward fails
Ere even his work is begun

Think big and your deeds will grow
Think small and you’ll fall behind
Think that you can and you will
It’s all a state of mind

If you think you are out-classed, your are
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize

Life battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the fellow who thinks he can

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Quotes, Reflections

Below the Surface

“Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below.”
John Dryden, All for Love

A school visit to the local underwater aquarium had lead to an exuberant eight year old going on and on about how big it was, the funny stringy umbrella creature with many legs (jelly fish), bright coloured fishes with funny noses as well as the rich colours of the underwater life. Among his expressions of surprise and wonder, what caught my mind was the comment that “no one would see all this if we just go to the beach alone, we need to go inside the ocean.” One would wholeheartedly agree with this. A quiet day at a beach would never give cause for one to imagine that there is another world teeming below the blue waters.

“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” Meister Eckhart

The essence of human life is similar to the depths of the ocean. On the surface, each of us have our own basic essentials, food, clothing and shelter. Yet to feel complete, one needs to go beyond the creature comforts. Each of us need to find our own meaning in life, not just to find a purpose or define ourselves but also to feel complete when doing so. The innate human potential is boundless. It is only when one takes the step into the unknown waters, that one can challenge themselves to be better and explore the hidden talents.

To breach beyond the surface requirements requires one to pursue their instincts and challenges to use the present strengths to become something more. The only care to be taken is to know that the difference between the ocean and the quicksand. As for the ocean, no matter how big or deep it is; knowing to put in a full set of diving gear and air supply tank is what counts the decision to stay for how long. To experience the joys of the sea-world, one must know to stay in with the reasoning to pull out as soon as required. To enjoy experiences and explore the hidden, a cautious touch to the mind with a realistic approach does help one to look beneath the surface and bring wonders for the soul.

“The desert and the ocean are realms of desolation on the surface.
The desert is a place of bones, where the innards are turned out, to desiccate into dust.
The ocean is a place of skin, rich outer membranes hiding thick juicy insides, laden with the soup of being.
Inside out and outside in. These are worlds of things that implode or explode, and the only catalyst that determines the direction of eco-movement is the balance of water.
Both worlds are deceptive, dangerous. Both, seething with hidden life.
The only veil that stands between perception of what is underneath the desolate surface is your courage.
Dare to breach the surface and sink.”
Vera Nazarian