Becoming receptive

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I had read “The Secret” long back in 2008 after it was suggested to me by my class teacher. I read the book randomly without understanding a word in it. However, my sister was very intrigued by the book and spent days and weeks on the internet to find out all the related concepts discussed in the book. It was the first time in my life that I came across the concept of “Law of Attraction” and absolutely rubbished the claim. The book literally said that “Treat the Universe like a genie, ask your wishes, truly believe that you will receive it, act has if you have already received it and voila, your wishes will come true!” How was I supposed to believe in something as vague as that? Also my life was pretty uncomplicated during those days, I was always full of hope and positivity and truly believed that I had control over my life and future.

As I grew up and started experiencing failures and setbacks in life, I realized that life wasn’t as straight forward as I thought. We don’t get everything we dream of, things don’t always work out in our favor, sometimes we get rejections even after trying our best and many a times we keep waiting for better days to come. I turned to “The Secret” again during my C.A. final exam days in the year 2012, when I was in stress 24*7 and it helped me immensely during that time. It helped restore my faith and hope in the Universe, it made me forget about my negative feelings and focus on the bright side of every situation.

It’s been more than 9 years to the last time I believed in the power of “The Law of Attraction“. I let life take control of my destiny and stopped believing that I too have the power to rewrite my future. I know it might sound way too nonsensical to many of you at the moment but the only reason I am trying to get back to believing in the power of the Universe is because it had helped me immensely in the past.

Lately I have noticed few instances in my life where I got a glimpse of few things I have desired since long, only to be taken back from me. This applies to my job search and a fitness watch that has been on my wish list since forever. It felt like my prayers were answered finally by handing me these desires only to be snatched away from me at the last moment. As soon as I realize that there’s even a slightest chance for my life to change, I start overthinking all of my life’s decisions and start questioning if I really need those things in my life. I have never felt this confused ever in my life before. My thoughts aren’t clear, I don’t know what I truly want and any change in my life is only triggering a sense of fear instead of excitement or wonder. This should certainly not be the case.

While researching about this phenomena, I stumbled upon an amazing article by Rose Stein (https://thoughtcatalog.com/rose-stein/2016/04/this-is-how-you-should-open-yourself-up-to-the-universe/). Do give it a read, it is precise and just what a confused soul is seeking. For people who feel confused and stuck in life, she has suggested 5 guiding ideals that’ll help clear our thought process and make us receptive to the Universe and it’s infinite possibilities.

  • Trust
  • Openness
  • Gratitude
  • Acceptance
  • Intention

I really wish to get more clarity in my life and this article gives me hope. I have decided to delve deep into the practice of gratitude journaling, setting a powerful intention, deeply believing in the power of the Universe, opening myself up to the abundance and most importantly accepting my current situation instead of running away from it.

I choose to be receptive and will work hard to clear the unnecessary blocks in my mind.

Just breathe it out

#89/100

“Life is short. We can live it lost in thought or we can choose to be present as life unfolds around us.”

-Headspace

Meditation! I must have ignored this important and extremely powerful habit for a happy mind all my life. I just couldn’t bring myself to stay still at one place and concentrate on my breathing. It made absolutely no sense to me. The biggest misconception that I had in my mind was that meditation was supposed to immediately calm me down and clear my anxious thoughts. That’s not how it works. About 4 years back I encountered a difficult situation at work. I had made a huge error and was petrified of the consequences. I was constantly anxious and my mind didn’t leave any stone upturned to churn out one negative thought after another. There was no respite even at home as my mind continued the negative thought pattern. That’s when I decided to give meditation a shot at calming down my mind. I could see a positive result from barely few days of consistent practice. While the thoughts continued to disrupt my mind, I was slowly learning to acknowledge them and let it go. I didn’t even realize when I did it. My anxiousness subsided eventually when everything got sorted out at work and not one of my negative thoughts manifested into reality.

I stopped practicing meditation the moment situations got better in my life and I technically didn’t ‘need’ it anymore. That’s where I went terribly wrong. Meditation helps in improving our overall physical and emotional well being if practiced daily. I have tried making it a habit few times in the past and failed terribly. In the past, I scheduled my meditation session at a time during the day which made it easier for me to delay it indefinitely. I made a small change in my daily routine to incorporate my meditation session, first thing in the morning. I start my day with a 20 min meditation session every morning and carry on with my daily activities after that. This schedule has worked pretty well for me in the last 12 days and I feel great. I’ve noticed a decrease in my junk food cravings as I am able to not dwell on those thoughts for long. I’m pretty excited to experience the long term benefits of this powerful new habit in my life.

There are various ways to meditate, I personally use a guided mediation application called ‘Headspace’. The techniques shared in the application are easy to follow and the video animations are catchy enough to sustain my attention. In the initial days I had to force myself to sit at once place quietly and meditate. It sure has gotten easier over time and scheduling it first thing in the morning has been extremely beneficial in being consistent at it.

Apart from reducing anxiety, stress and calming the mind, the long term benefits of meditation include better emotional health, an increased sense of self awareness, improved attention span, helps in fighting addictions as well as improved sleep. This habit seems like a long term investment with no immediate rewards but I surely want to continue long enough to reap it’s benefits in the future. Making it a daily habit surely helps in being consistent.

Have you ever felt unsettled in life?

So I’ve been going through this phase for quiet sometime now, I guess the Covid-19 situation might have just aggravated it further. I feel very unsettled in my life. I don’t mean to say I’m depressed at the moment, might have experienced bouts of anxiety when I was asked to resume work about 3 weeks back, but the feeling of not having things under my control.

Before you guys jump to conclusions and write me off for spelling out a common phenomena that everyone experiences in their life, let me tell you I’ve been feeling like this for a long time now. It might have started roughly about 4 years back when I gradually started losing interest in my professional work. My mind kept asking me questions as to what purpose does tallying balance sheets and calculating P&L serve the mankind in general. I know it very well that it’s an important job to do, people need to know how much money they have made so that they can make more the next time. I realised in the end, it’s all about money! I really don’t know if I’m that crazy about money to spend my whole life calculating it, in different ways and forms of course!

This whole mystery of finding one’s life’s purpose has made me go through several emotions. 4 years back when I realised I need to find my purpose, this thought gave me an interim purpose of going through various content online, watching videos, talking to people to help figure out my own purpose. Then the initial excitement of being exposed to helpful content online, listening to various people who have it all sorted gradually waned leaving me with this additional burden of not having figured out my purpose yet!

Is there a rulebook or textbook or anybook that gives out the exact instructions to solve this great mystery of life? They really should have made it for atleast people who suffer from OCD. It can get annoying to the point that nothing makes sense anymore. As I said, the inital excitement and energy has completely dissapeared, my younger self might abandon me completely if she found out how I turned out eventually. I was a person who believed in the lamest of fairy tales, innocently believed and trusted people around, made a wish and really believed that it would turn true. Now, I’m just few points short in unclocking my next avatar, the cynic!

This sure seems like a very first world problem right? There are people around us who don’t know where their next morsel of food will come from and mighty me is complaining about not finding her “purpose” in life! Seriously, is that even a problem. While I’m totally empathetic towards the people who’ve had it extremely difficult in life and do whatever little I can to help them, I’m really not able to silence this nagging thought inside my head that keeps saying, this is not it, you are wasting your time, something is not right!

They say the best way to help yourself is to start by loving yourself. The question that I have now is whether I need to love myself in a manner that I’m able to forgive myself for the possibility of not EVER finding my purpose in life or should I love myself enough to keep giving myself chances when I fail to find it despite my best efforts? Does this thing called purpose even exist in life, or it’s just a ploy by the self help gurus to help sell their books and speeches?

Aah, seriously though, please share the rule book to life, I really want to go back to the person I was 4 years back who had no such thoughts, striding through life in oblivion!

Know when to let go..!!

I am a person who dwells on the past. It is not a bad thing to revisit your memories, however it becomes a problem when your past affects the present. There are a million thoughts that race through your mind throughout the day. My thoughts range from regrets about the past to imagining situations about how I would have reacted in the same situation differently. One of my favourite hobbies is also thinking about a parallel universe where each one of my impossible thoughts come true. These kind of thoughts generate negativity about the present and also the future. You would find me staring at blank walls most of the time immersed in my own thoughts.

I’ve also seen people dragging a dead relationship. We meet a lot of people in our life, some we connect with mutually, some we don’t. The third and most painful situation is when one person wants to connect with someone who is least bothered. People who overthink tend to convince themselves to keep on trying. The phrase “If at once we don’t succeed, try, try and try again!” is drilled in our minds throughout school. We keep on trying and lose our dignity and self respect in the process.

It is very important to know when to stop.

When your thoughts over power your present as well as cast a shadow on your future, you need to stop.

Everyone has a lot of dreams and goals in our life. The situations I mentioned above create pitfalls in your journey to achieve these goals. We admire people who are extremely focussed in their life and keep on climbing the ladder of success. What we forget is the fact that each one of us possess infinite amount of ability to reach the pinnacle of success. People who end up succeeding in life are ones who have mastered the art of using thoughts to their advantage. There will be situations in life that side track you from your goals. In such scenarios, you need to keep your inner belief system strong. Always remember the below 3 points before making any irrational decision :-

  • Be the master of your life, not the victim – “Live life as per your terms”
  • Keep your dignity and self esteem in check – “Someone else cannot define you”
  • You can achieve everything you set your mind to – “Nothing is impossible”

Be the person you wish to be “NOW”, there is never a better time. Always stay in the present and witness wonderful events unfold in your life.

If you are caught up in the web of self pity and despise, please go through the above 3 points again. The points though basic, can have a huge impact on you if you choose to believe in it.

All the best!!

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How these 4 little changes in life are helping manage my time better!

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst – William Penn

Being a chronic procrastinator, I’ve always found myself running out of time, for no specific reason whatsoever. From reaching appointments late to sprinting like a marathon runner to catch my morning train at the last moment, I’ve done it all. However, my tardiness got the better of me last month when we missed my sister’s flight. I couldn’t handle the situation at all as this was the third time we had missed a flight. At that very moment, I decided to change, for the better!

The methods that I’m listing below are not foolproof or devised after years of research. These are the methods that has helped me, a chronic procrastinator, to value time and use it well.

  • WRITE DOWN ALL THE TASKS AT HAND

I’ve always been a fan of preparing meticulous timetables with fixed time slots for specific tasks. These timetables have unfortunately never worked for me. Setting time limitations forces you to work haphazardly. Also, the disappointment of not completing tasks in decided time slot wrecks the entire schedule.

What I did : I’ve started writing down everything I need to do in a day first thing in the morning. This is the habit that I’ve developed at office to remember everything that I require to complete on a single day. I try to make this list as elaborate as possible, listing down all then small things that I need to do that day. This little change has worked magically for me to realize the amount and importance of tasks at hand and work accordingly. Also, the pleasure of striking off a task on completion is unimaginable!

Result : I now have a clear schedule of the number of tasks at hand and plan my day accordingly. This has also helped me to cut down on tasks that I may tend to forget.

  • WILLPOWER

This might seem like a vague idea to implement. However, this is the single most important thing that can help in better utilization of your time. Everything boils down to one fact, desire to complete the task at hand. If you can find the reason why you want to accomplish a certain task, believe me, you’ll find a way and time to manage it. Before starting any task, find one reason that made you do it in the first place.

What I didMy Super list has given me a clear reason to achieve certain long term goals. For all the other mundane routine work, I try to time it and complete it in much lesser time on the next occasion.

Result : I can prioritize my tasks well and complete them in the order of importance.

  • SET CLEAR REWARDS

This is the fun element to complete your work. Usually, our mind wanders or we delay the work at hand when it gets boring. What you can do is set a reward for completion of any work. The reward can be as simple as taking a break to buying that thing from Amazon which you’ve been eyeing since a long time. Successful completion of your task will help you enjoy the reward better.

What I did : The rewards set by me give me motivation to finish any task. I’m prone to taking a lot of breaks or indulge in long periods of doing absolutely nothing. Now, I’ve set these as my rewards which helps me complete my work as well as enjoy guilt-free breaks!

Result : Work is always fun when you have a reward waiting at the end.

  • BELIEF

In officer Judy Hopps’s words, “Zootopia : Where anyone can be anything!” Now imagine your entire life to be Zootopia, this gives you the power to do and be anything you want. Always have a firm belief that you can accomplish any task at hand. From belief comes confidence, from confidence comes success! This realization is for those big dreams in your eyes. For all other work, the above three changes should suffice.

What I did : I’ve read somewhere that negative thoughts are the weakest when they first arrive. Whenever I’m apprehensive about certain work and have negative thoughts about it, I counter attack it with a positive thought.  They usually don’t return.

Result : I can cut down on delaying any task for the fear of not being able to complete them well. Attempting something has already given you an edge over those who are yet to begin or think they can’t do it. Life is a compilation of experiences!

Hope these methods help you in some manner to achieve your goals.

Ciao!