From Amma, With Love…

Dear Chinna,

As you go through life as an adult, I want you to remember the basics. Everything you need to know about life, you pretty much learned during the first years of life!

Have a productive, meaningful and filled-with-love life!

Love,

Amma

Always be curious.IMG_4013

Have a seat at the table for all kinds of folks.IMG_4015

Be goofy with your loved ones.IMG_4014

Don’t ever stop playing.IMG_4019

Sisters are the best!1422483_3691002970128_1226104493_n

Always listen to amma 😉IMG_4016

Travel as much as possible.IMG_4012

Be adventurous and take risks (check with amma first).IMG_4018

Get out of your comfort zone every once in a while and challenge yourself to face things totally unexpected.IMG_4020

Clean up your messes. Always. Never hesitate to apologize to anyone, and unconditionally if you make a mistake.IMG_4021

Have music in your life. Always.IMG_4017

Remember appa is always there to guide you.10404526_4311216035067_5037209842270875144_n copy 

You will have the whole world in your hands!IMG_4011

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If I Could Time Travel…

Having recently turned a milestone age, (everyone seems to know what that means), I was idly wondering what I would do differently if I had to do it all over again, knowing what I know now. Here’s my list of top things I wish my older self could have told my younger self over the years. Some of these are probably advice that other (famous) people have already said, and I have absorbed. But the haircut one is original!

  1. Nobody is worth losing your dignity over
  2. Shit happens. You have no control over it most of the time. But grace is something you do have control over. Use it. Especially when shit happens.
  3. Anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself just to make you feel bad is usually doing it because they feel bad about themselves
  4. If it ever comes down to being kind or being right, always choose kindness
  5. Never be so much available to someone that you aren’t available for yourself
  6. Believe in unicorns and fairy dust. And Santa. And the tooth fairy. And story telling.
  7. Never get a haircut when you’re feeling like you have no control over anything in your life. Guaranteed you’ll regret it the next day
  8. Don’t let yourself get too hungry when you have two toddlers. You will end up eating their food.
  9. Never argue with an idiot
  10. Your driver’s license picture or passport picture will never look good enough. Deal with it.
  11. Every thought that crosses your mind doesn’t need to see the light of day. Some will do better to die in the dark.

Things you should never do when hungry

What I intended to buy:

Spinach for our enchilada dinner

What I found in my grocery bag when I came home – I have no idea how they got in there!

Bad Food!

Moral of the story:  Never, ever shop on an empty stomach!

Start with the ‘Why’, and the ‘What’ will follow

This post is inspired by an amazing TED talk video that my son shared with us.   This is one of the best TED talks I have seen.   Basically the idea is this:  it examines the phenomenon that all things being equal (meaning available resources), why do some people succeed and some fail miserably?  And comes up with a brilliant and true analysis.  That being, you start with the ‘why’.  Why do I do what I do?  Start with the cause – why do I want to do something, sell something, pursue a career, rather than the result: what do I want to accomplish as a RESULT of what I do.   I won’t repeat what Simon Sinek very brilliantly and clearly explains. (Video link at the end of the post).

What I will do is share my own interpretation and experiences relating to the concept of clarifying the ‘why’.   My experiences with this have made my life that much more purposeful, and meaningful to me.

There was a time when I didn’t think much and just did things for the sake of doing things.  I was, in effect, one of the sheep, chewing and following along.  But somewhere along the way, I started to think and evaluate everything in my life.  I examined every little thing I did, every relationship and friendship I had – and realized that I was carrying around a lot of dead weight and excess baggage that was weighing my journey down.

When I started questioning the motive behind my actions and my associations,  an amazing thing happened.

I got more time to do the things I wanted to do and enjoyed doing by dropping certain things I did just because – just because someone had asked me to, just because everyone else was doing.

I lost some friendships – those that were not based on honesty and truth.  I also gained some friendships.

I made some career moves.  Some that worked, some that didn’t.   Some that are brewing.  I started writing this blog because I needed an outlet for my ‘restlessness’ (which some people have equated wrongly to not being busy enough and therefore restless), and in the process gained some readers.  I didn’t start the blog because everyone was doing it, or because I wanted to become a famous writer (which by the way, I still am not).    I write for my own pleasure and clear my mind of the cobwebs that keep building up.

The result of examining the why of everything that I do?  My journey became lighter and more enjoyable.   That is not to say I am a happy person all the time, and my life is bliss.  No.  My life is still full of ups and downs.  But it’s mostly my choice.   I am in control – for the most part.  And that is a very powerful feeling.

Do watch this video.  As my son wisely said, it’s worth every second of the 18.5 minutes.

If the link doesn’t work, cut and paste the following link in your browser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4

It’s truly a transformative talk.