Make way for the New

bc331109803691aa2a5e11da8896915aI must admit I have been a shopaholic in the past. Those of you who are shopping addicts, would know what I am talking about I guess.

Going shopping is like visiting paradise, isn’t it? Why then, even after a binge, do we feel dissatisfied and unsure and a strange sense of emptiness at times? As if it was not enough and the next time we need to top that somehow? Buy more? Spend more? Go to a better place?

Over the past years, I have reflected over this behavior pattern and learned some things, mostly inspired by a need to deploy my time and money for more fulfilling activities.

I reached a point when I was just done with shopping. I mean how many more stores would I scan? How many more clothes would I buy? What would I do even if I bought everything that I ever liked? Would that really make me feel ecstatic?

I turned to my wardrobe and started to go through the things that I had never worn and knew I never would. Those are the ‘mistake’ purchases. We all have those, right? I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought this! Or why did I never try this before I bought it? Something in me made me a bit sick and I decided that day that I would add a rule to my life. If I get something new, I have to decide first what I would let go of. I would assume my wardrobe has a finite capacity and at no time can I consider expanding it. New shoes? I would find someone to pass on my older ones to. There are always those things which are just lying there and my rule was quite simple. If I have not used it for over a year, through all the seasons and opportunities, chances are, it would not get used in the future.

I started a de-clutter chain for myself. I ear-marked people I would pass things on to – a ‘Second Chance’ store run by autistic kids, supported by an inspiring woman I know was a great alternative. Many other such people form part of my pass-on chain today and I realized I had set up a system for recycling things in my house. It is thrilling to say the least that I don’t see the things I had bought with so much passion and effort rot away and they get another life, while making room for my new acquisitions.

I do this for my mom when I can and have been coaching women to organize their house better and keep the house healthy, from inside.

Nobody likes clutter. Clutter is depressing and does not allow you to feel great about the new. Make space for the ‘new’. Be grateful for what you have had, acknowledge its presence in your life and let it go. It is an ultimate feeling of liberation. Give it a shot or just reach out if you need some help (http://growth-cube.com).

This post is a reproduction of my weekly column, ‘Her Point of You’ in the Weekend Edition of the SHE section in The Goan. It’s a great newspaper! (epaper.thegoan.net)

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Your turn to live

5bbfef83c149036a5d8c93e60f58874bDo you feel that sometimes, you are stuck with doing some things because there is general agreement that you are good at it? Many times, we do some things so often that we might even not think about the fact that there just might be a possibility that we might not like doing those things anymore or perhaps, we would do well with a break from them once in a while.

There are many such examples which come to mind.  Say, cooking – the clichéd role that most women end up with by default, not always by choice. Of course you would get up early from bed and get home early from wherever you might be and do whatever it takes to fulfill this very essential duty, every day, day after day. It might have crossed your mind a couple of times that it would be great to experience what it might be to not cook one day and then it is possible you might have quickly dismissed the thought as being silly or juvenile.

Childcare, is another of my favorite examples.  Of course you need to be there to take the child out for a movie with his / her friends and of course you need to remember to buy a bigger size of shoes soon and of course you need to think about and plan his / her upcoming birthday and the list is never ending.

And on and on and we go and life passes by, bit by bit, day by day. At some point, though, it might hit us hard – the moments we let go, the choices we make choosing the tasks we believe are non-negotiable and allowing our life and so many of our dreams, pass by.

If you catch yourself thinking ‘how did I ever land up here?’, think back to the choices you made or chose to not make. You chose this path for yourself and the things you do everyday. Unfortunately, some of us believe that we are in a fix and we are somehow caught in a trap that we are unable to get out of.

The good news is, that this is not true and in fact, there is a way out of every situation if you are really committed to finding that way, you can find your happiness and live your life just way you wanted to…well, almost.

All you need to remember is to make time to do the things you have always wanted to do. Choose to live. Live well.

Your cause cannot be you

main-qimg-15961280b70d90e6c9e119e2f8fb1cceI was thinking today, of a very interesting discussion I recently had with my sister on how it is appalling sometimes to see how some people put up acts of supporting a cause or living for it when what they are actually supporting is their self publicity.

We all have met and worked with such people at some point of time, I am sure. People who want to be known for their ‘leadership’ qualities but are in reality out to win popularity contests. In reality, they couldn’t care less if the organization went to dogs, as long as everyone would turn to them and hope to get saved. Their ego becomes larger than what they started out to support.

There are some simple ways of spotting such people actually. They would usually pretend to listen selectively to some people some times but then do pretty much what they would rather do. They live by formulae. They operate from the standpoint of – what do I stand to gain or lose rather than how will this really support the cause. Because there is no cause for them. It is them.

The sad truth is, many of us, really, don’t have a cause. We tend to sometimes be in the jobs we are in as we are fulfilling someone else’s dreams or our so called worldly duties. We have chosen to not look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves the tough questions because, as we have heard, who has the time? Well, if we choose to not make time, we will never have the time. I have been guilty of this as well at some point in my life, so of course, we are all in this together.

Being with oneself and finding one’s cause requires a whole lot of courage. It is very easy to drown oneself in work and pretend to be busy and not have time for things which matter, including ourselves. Playing the martyr, sacrificing our health and precious productive years is something many of us are hoping we could undo today. Trying to make a name, wanting to stand out, get the next best thing – all point towards you being your cause.

Think about it. You cannot be your cause. You are a means to a larger cause.

Think about why you are here. What do you really want to do? How will you find out? What will you do to find out? Maybe you have always known but have just never given yourself the opportunity to let your cause be greater than you. Choose to give yourself to your cause completely and let it drive you. Experience the magic of a higher purpose.

For coaching solutions, you can contact me via my website: http://growth-cube.com

Think. Eat. Think.

Healthy-Diet-Plan-Tips-For-Women-How-to-Make-a-Healthy-Diet-PlanA Nutritionist? Really?! Well…you choose. Who would it be for you? A dietician or perhaps a Health and Wellness Coach? You might choose any one of these but in case you are seeking ‘qualified’ experts to guide you on how to lose weight or to get back your energy which seems to be fading away by the day, guess what – maybe you need to think again, as the answers, lie within us.

To be precise, the answers lie in the eating choices we make everyday, every time we eat…or shall we say, the choices we don’t make every time we eat.

Here is how it goes usually – step into the kitchen, open the fridge, open the racks, see what I find, imagine its taste and just dash for it – there it goes into my mouth even before I have given my mind a chance to think about it.

‘Think” – the one magic word, which can make a world of change to our general sense of well being.

So let’s see – what does one think?

Think Why

When you get up in the morning, do you think about what you should be eating that could perhaps give you lots of energy for the day but not wear you down with its heaviness. What if you started to think about what to eat and why? Fruits? Milk (unless you are vegan, in which case Soya milk or Almond milk)? It is important for you to know why you would eat something (a better reason than because I always do or because I like it!). Every time you eat, think about why you are choosing to eat what you are eating and how you will benefit from it. If you have some time, look up what it offers your body on google (prior to your meal, preferably). It is fun sharing what you learn with your friends and family and a great way of educating others too!

Think Where and When

Make a list of things you have not been considering at all in your meals and be purposeful about making them available to you. Buy things you think you should be eating and make them most accessible to yourself in the kitchen. Also, remember to find the things you know are not good for you and stack them away (everyone is allowed a little indulgence every now and then and how stringent you would like to be with yourself is really up to you). What is important is that you make the healthier food more accessible. Think about where you are likely to look for food and snacks and choose those places as the spots for placing healthy food.

Think Who

I read somewhere that family and friends contribute to a lot of junk eating habits. Take the kids to a healthier place – why junk food? Say no to your friends when they insist on those oily snacks or calorie rich drinks and rejoice in the feeling of being in control. Let nobody influence you on what you eat and when you eat. Plan for the in between meal snacks. Carry salads or fruits or nuts. Plan healthy options for your family and friends – healthy food is good for you and for everybody!

It will take some discipline and a lot of effort to begin with but you will see the results and you will love yourself for this newly formed habit.  Think about it. It will make all the difference.

(This blog post is a reproduction of my write up for The Goan – check under The Great Goan Weekend (under the Edition drop down) on the link http://epaper.thegoan.net.

Bring home some love

Quotation-Billy-Graham-home-security-love-sense-Meetville-Quotes-128566Living in today’s world where pretty much everything is about money and what money can buy, we do sometimes tend to lose perspective of life and we have to offer to the world, especially to the people whom we value in our lives.

Many of us work, work very hard to do that extra bit, to get to that next milestone – a bigger house, a bigger car, more investments, more goodies to flaunt in front of those friends who are stressed out themselves. What that does is puts us under a lot of pressure. There is this constant nagging feeling in our head – there is this and that and that which I still need to do. We get home or turn our attention to the people around us and while that nagging feeling stays in our head, we want to shut down, get to bed, just get some rest or just let it out in ways we might feel horrible about later. We get up in the morning, the same feeling takes over and we go on and on and on.

At the end of the day, we choose to get home, to the people whom we value so much in our lives and give them our worries and our stress, which by the way, whether we would like to admit it or not, is something we have created for ourselves.

Where is the love? How often do we think about taking home some love to lighten up someone’s day and get a good feeling ourselves? No matter how the day has been, no matter how terrible we might be feeling, we can still choose to bring home some love.

That’s what your loved ones want – just you and your love. Think about it. That’s what you want too! So the next time you are out thinking of what to buy to make your loved ones feel special, think again! Just bring home some love! It works wonders! And what’s more, you can take love to work too! Spread the love and make the world around you a happy place -because you can!