What’s a secret?

What has a secret become today? Something that you tell everybody to tell nobody! Or some truth that you’d rather take to the grave to save yourself from embarrassment! The definition of a secret could rather be described as something that you intend to not tell people. The reason for keeping a secret could either be logical or emotional. Logical being, the inability of the audience to handle such information. For example, hiding something from children because you are “protecting them” from the truth. Emotional being, due to fear, guilt and judgement. Or it could be the sheer thrill of knowing something no one else does. This gives you a sense of power and control. I have met such people and trust me, no good has come out it in the long run.

We all have secrets. Harmless, jovial ones, the deep regretful ones or maybe the gossipy ones. And keeping other people’s secrets is the most uneasy one. If they confide in you with a secret, you should respect yourself enough to hold it in you. If you have disclosed it to someone else, shame on you.

The problem is not in keeping it, it is the stress we put in mentally to not tell anyone. It keeps us awake in the nights, it makes us cry when we listen to songs that describe our life perfectly, it makes us choke when we see movies depicting our disturbed past. The idea of it alone stems from the fact of intentional hiding. So we choose to eat away, drink away, exercise away or do anything to rationalise the power of it.

Remember, having secrets is not a problem if they do not affect you in an unhealthy way!

But, my question is this: Is the fear of having secrets or keeping secrets more powerful? A secret, itself, has a lot of power. You don’t have it, it has you! It compresses you into a cage of judgements and doubts. Will people accept you for who you are? Will you be happy sharing it? Are we afraid or are we being judgemental about ourselves? Do I have the capability to keep a secret?

Am I bothering you with so many questions?!

Okay, here’s my thought on secrets!

I think keeping secrets between loved ones could cause havoc if not taken care of. I have things that I’m unwilling to share with anyone. The reason being I’m constantly in fear of being judged. With time, all these thoughts made me think of how foolish I had been at certain times. For a secret to remain a secret, one has to hide away from the fact that it is a secret. You pile up your thoughts with one or more lies to comfort yourself that not revealing it is the right thing to do. Eventually, you either accept it as a hidden thought or live with the consequences of disclosing it. Either way, it is a tough call.

Secrets are a fragile part of your life, at least the ones important are! The denial of it is what inflates the power of it. It will make you judge people. It will introduce you to a side you haven’t seen. It becomes an important part of your identity. My advice is if you are dying to tell things out, write it on a piece of paper and tear it. Even better? Talk to your trusted ones. You are not alone, ever. In a world where everyone’s life is shielded by a mask of social networking lies, we need authenticity and transparency!

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Achilles’ Heel

Once upon a time in optimist land, a 25-year-old was hit with tragedy. And thus formed the new me: a not-so-optimistic head with a hopeful heart. Things had gone from good to bad, better to worse before I could sink into the consequences. Talking about bad times, have you guys ever come across this term “Achilles Heel”?  Well, here’s the story behind it!

According to ancient Greek mythology, the great warrior, Achilles was foretold he would die young. His mother, Thetis, to prevent his death, took her son to River Styx which was known for its powers of invulnerability. She dipped him in the water head down by holding him near the heel, thus giving him enormous power- immortality. Achilles was held by the heel and his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. As time progressed, Achilles grew up to be a great warrior. He fought with the Greek army during the Trojan war. None of the weapons could hurt Achilles because of his boon. However, the God, Apollo, knew of Achilles’ “weak spot”. Apollo told the Prince of Troy, Paris, all about it and was thereby lodged with a poisonous arrow near his heel killing him shortly afterwards.

Moral of the myth: Even the world’s mightiest have a weak spot. Achilles’ mother defied the basic rule of humanity gifted by God: death. And the irony is death came after him in the form of God himself (Apollo).

All of us have our Achilles’ heel, including the toughest. Mine is certainly fatty things like tiramisu and ice cream. Well, apart from that, I definitely was hit with a reality check very late in my life. By the end of 2015, I had a career with no direction, a body with no iron levels and a soul without peace. I always looked at life in the most hopeful way, more like seeing the glass half full. But, what happens when the things around you make you look at the glass half empty? You start losing the warmth of life and you start to question every little thing you believed in till then. Does being optimistic make you unaware of how serious situations can be? Or was I using the word ‘optimism’ to cover up all the obstacles I had to eventually face? I was losing control on all the major aspects of my life, yet, I was hopeful things would change without acting on it. What I failed to realise initially was I had to act on it and stick to that decision: self-care.

Earlier, I would run by every emotion and issue with my peers. I would become low if they were in a bad mood. I became emotionally dependent on them. But gradually, I started to let go. I stopped ranting to my friends and being in situations that threatened my inner peace. I was becoming independent with my thoughts. I was able to sit alone in a coffee shop and eat my dessert. That is a big deal for me. I never, ever sat alone and ate in all my life. I love my friends very much, I do, but, I have come to terms with the fact that no one can make you content better than you. Somehow, amidst all these changes, I was looked at as arrogant, impatient and head-strong.

Eventually, I was questioned by many: “Why aren’t you telling us anything? Why are you distancing yourself?”

The ones who understood my change stayed with me and the ones who looked at this negatively, slowly began to drift away. The fact is I turned into a realist. I turned into this person who looked at the glass with hope and excitement. It is my glass and I can fill it! I can sit and do nothing with hope in my heart or I can act on them and live a life with hope. The choice was right there on the table all my life. I was just hit by a rough phase to remind me that the cards are still there on the table.

But in this process of loving myself, have I become insecure about my spot in others lives? Today, with fewer people whom I can rely on, can I call the fear of losing people my Achilles’ heel?

 

3 months later…

Hey, guys!

I know it’s been a while I posted on this blog. I have been super lazy and inconsistent with my writing so after much contemplation, I’m here. It so happened that on my recent visit to Hyderabad and Chennai, I met a lot of people who actually read my blog.  On one fine cloudy, have-a-strong-coffee kind of day, I bumped into a friend I hadn’t met since college. We greeted, did the usual hey, how are you exchange and this is how the conversation went.

She: so how is your blog?

Me: (in utter shock and in an obviously loud, excited voice) you read my bloggggggg?!

she: (quite surprised at my reaction) um, yeah!

Me: (happily glowing)oh my god!! I had no idea people actually read it. And it’s coming from someone I know!

She: (smiling oh-so-sweetly at me)I followed it until a while ago. In fact, there was a day I really wanted to read your blog and I ended up stalking your Instagram and FB page for the link.

Me: (still in shock) Wow! you stalked my social hubs? Yayy! (covering my face to hide my flushed cheeks)

She: Why did you stop writing, by the way?

Me: (confused now)Um, I never thought people actually followed it?

And I ended up giving really stupid excuses. The truth is, I couldn’t write because I was no longer upset about life. Does that make sense? I know I sound horrible when I say it but believe me, writing was always a medium to let out my sorrow! I never really practiced the art of expressing thoughts when I’m content and in peace. Maybe I should start to.

Anyway, back to the conversation with my friend. We ended the friendly encounter by her advising me to keep writing. She said, “don’t stop writing. You write really well and people actually do follow your blog”. I guess that was enough to hear because finally, it felt like my blog had a purpose. I never understood why I started this in the first place but her words felt like appreciation in its truest form.

Soon after, I left to Chennai. My darling bestie and I had planned our pre-birthday celebrations. Long story short: turning 25 is awesome! To my surprise (like as if turning 25 wasn’t exciting enough), everyone I met ended up asking the same question; “Why aren’t you writing?”

I figured, eh, I may be bad at writing but I still got a bunch of people waiting for my next post. So people! Be prepared to listen to all the random s*** I encounter, my food porn and my not so intellectual opinions on life.

And oh, a special shoutout to Sonal(the friend I met at the coffee shop) and everyone who asked my friends and me about my blog. Thank you! A big, huge, warm thank you! It was just the motivation I needed. Nothing makes me happier than making my loved ones smile.

Shower gyaan

I was in my shower post my evening workout thinking about life and lessons because clearly that is the only time we are ever free and constantly winning imaginary arguments. And guess what? I had unknowingly achieved something. After 2 years of constant self-motivation, counselling from friends and gyaan from the movies and novels, one fine day, it vanished. Naturally, like every other blogger, I thought I could write a post relating to this.

So I got into my sexy pyjamas and jumped on the bed to jot down. However, I look at my blog page and I’m shocked. It has been almost two whole months since I posted anything. My friends urged me to write now and then but I shooed their thoughts away thinking I will do it the next day. And the next day. And so on. So here I’m, approximately 48 days later, wanting to write something. If there is something I value now, that is definitely time. Where did it go? Maybe I was contemplating my thoughts on life, the people around us and how energy affects us all. Nah bro, I was just kidding. I was busy eating mangoes. Because food, baby! Always the first priority.

Anyway, back to my shower thoughts. So I had been dealing with a lot of negativity since I can remember. I still cannot pick on a certain issue but, maybe it was the incidents happening around me or the people I met or it could be just my stupid illusion. It still affected me in a big way. And in a bad way. It took me relentless hard work and dedication to lose all the baby weight by the end of 2014. Unfortunately, by the early of 2016, I gained all of it. Because? Stress! At the mid of 2016, all that revolved around my mind was WTF was happening to me.

I’m not getting into the sad and gory details of that phase. Not because it’s private but, I’m lazy now. Like someone-breathe-for-me lazy.

Come to think of it, the speed at which my over thinking brain was analysing things was just crazyyy. I really wish I listened to my friend when she said: “let go”. And she reminded me of it every single day. Let go of the worries. Let go of certain people. Let go of everything negative. Seriously, how did she survive repeating that to me for the last 365 days? I would have given up on the fourth day. Okay, not so soon but still! She is a boon to me.

So here I’m, with my waist size bigger and my hair thinner than ever, telling all of you the secret to my rather happy post. Yoga! I’m not here to propagate the principles of it and I certainly do not wish to get into the details. However, trying is never a bad thing. So go ahead and invest an hour into yoga. Screw the gym, ditch the weights and go on the mat. It will do wonders. Maybe not physically but, definitely mentally.

I’m more aware of myself and I learned a lot. Number one: you can be mindful. Number two: my body is super flexible. I could do wavy things with my tummy and twist my body to the point I do not recognise myself. Imagine that. How cool!

Whatsoever it did to me, it worked. Firstly, my mind is much clearer so I don’t have my brain speeding at 260km/hr. Secondly, I feel lighter and happier. I’m starting to move away from the negativity. I don’t stress excessively like I used to. And by the way, I’m still one size bigger but definitely better in my mind and heart. Weight will come and go. It is the heart and mind that needs constant effort. Focus on that. 

I urge you all out there to try yoga. Get to know your inner self ’cause that is pretty badass! And finally, spend time with people that bring out the best in you, not the stress in you. Okay?

Dear Self

Dear self,

I know there are days when you feel directionless

I know you have thoughts about quitting yourself

I know you have nights of discomfort and utter silence

But

I also know there are days when you feel like sunshine

I know your eyes instantly light up watching your little brother smile

I know the beaming smile when you smell coffee

I know the sense of pride you own when you hit the five-mile mark

But why am I pining for more? What is this “more”?

Let me remind you, what you are going through is life. It tries knocking you down every day because it senses your strength. But, It treats you with small moments of happiness. Fear not, you are normal. You are just like every other being who craves to see the soul in everything.

I admit you have your flaws and imperfections. I know how you like things to move your way at times. I know the temper you possess. You love too much, care too much, give too much. There are days you try so hard and then again, there are those times you give up easily. But I’m here to tell you, you do not have to change anytime soon. Your good qualities balance it all and that makes you one hell of a strong person. You wake up every day to fight your inner demon but, you also live through it.

My dear self, you aren’t sad, you are just human. Let your light in and watch it do wonders to you. Give yourself a chance. Practice the act of standing up for yourself and being firm in your beliefs. There will be people who do not understand your journey and that’s OKAY.

All that hurt you have in you? Make art with it.

Write. Bake. Groove. Live.

After all, that is what life really needs: spreading your light in times of darkness.

 

What would you call it; happiness or perfection?

Why is everybody driven towards “being perfect”? Is that the only route to happiness? Could it be the over increasing power given to technology? Every day we wake up checking our phone, we go to the loo with our phone and we sleep after we stalk every inch of all the social networking websites. We are constantly forced to update ourselves: Exercise more, dress like that, read all the possible news in this world, have an opinion on everything, be strong, don’t show weakness, strive for that perfect flawless body and skin. I’m so tired of hearing these things. I’m so tired of people making resolutions. I’m so tired of pretending like I-know-it-all. Has the definition of happiness changed today? I would say YES. I recently stumbled upon a post on Instagram and I was startled reading this.

 

The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel they are left behind.

To be calm becomes a kind of a revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our money, human selves, would not be good for business.”                

                     –Matt Haig, Author of “Reasons to Stay Alive”

 

You cannot recognize the surrounding substance till you take a step back and see it from another perspective. When you are born into it, it is hard to distinguish the mental chains. We, humans, are an arrogant species governed by greed. We have taken our planet and placed it on the road to destruction. The technological world has surpassed the human psychology by ten times fold and we are desperately trying to reach within those limits. I don’t understand this: What is so wrong about being sad when life hits you hard? What is so wrong in being satisfied with just what you have? Sometimes happiness is staying in bed all day and sometimes it is about enjoying our morning cup of coffee and practicing yoga. Sometimes it is about munching on peanut butter jelly sandwiches in the midnight. The road to your happiness does not depend on what the world wants you to be; it is who you want to be.

We live in a society that puts maintenance first. We are taught to maintain that perfect body and maintain calm and unaffected by sadness, we are taught to maintain perfection aka happiness throughout our life. Is that the only emotion ruling us now? And even if it is, isn’t it being portrayed in the wrong way? I have personally met people who are affected by the society and its norms and let me tell you this: the mind gets easily webbed into lies of perfection. Look at the people walking outside. Look at them. There. Outside the window. Why can’t you be like them? Maybe I would be happy if I had her looks, I wish I had money to buy those expensive footwears and cars, maybe I would have been happy if I was like him. It’s the maybes’ that will pollute you. Constant comparisons and unremitting struggles: that’s what the so-called happiness has led to. There is a very fine line between perfection and happiness.

Tao Porchon-Lynch, the oldest yogi in this world(98 years old) was asked, ‘what advice would you give to your younger self?’. She said, ‘I wish I knew the power of everything was within me. If you feel the life within you, nothing is impossible. It is within every planet, every blade of grass. Whatever you put in your mind materialises, so materialise what you believe in life’.

Please remind yourself: happiness comes from within. It comes from silly thoughts of your crushes and late night couch dinners. It comes from Sunday brunches and finding extra money in your pocket. More often, it comes from seeing your loved ones happy. Feel the sun on your cheeks and the rain on your skin. Eat amazing food. Drink more water. Travel if you can. Enjoy solitude. Meditate(if you haven’t, you should). Stop chasing happiness, perfection, or whatever you call it. Being happy does not mean everything is perfect.It means looking beyond the perfections. No one is perfect, my dear.Remember:

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The essential post.

Made new friends: check

Career problems: check

Vacations: one

Proposals: none

Pounds lost: minus one

Lessons learned: 46795

 “At the end of the day, life’s about realising one’s potential. I don’t know if I have realised mine, but I’ve certainly gone a long way towards realising some goals and some dreams”

                                                                                                                                         – Linton Kwesi Johnson

So here I’m, from failing to stand up for myself to being unfuckwithable! It is okay to be kind and compassionate and accommodating but it’s a whole other thing to be soft, yielding and fierce. Life is messy. It can be pretty overwhelming to fear of being perceived as imperfect. Give yourself the room to experiment, screw up and learn the hard way. Speaking of screwing up, I’m a pretty anxious person so I prefer having a lot of outlets. I hit the gym when I’m frazzled and cook when I’m sluggish. I write for venting out emotions. I know it sounds stupid, but it is my way of dealing with anxiety. I have a lot of worries (almost all the time unnecessary ones) and although I’m known to be a talkative person, I do not express much in my life. I’m at my best when doing something time constructive. Exercising releases all the endorphins in my body so I end up cheery and joyful. Cooking teaches me patience (one minute to make the cake batter, but 45 staring-at-the-clock minutes to bake it). And writing, well, this is a special one! It feels happy when people connect to one’s thoughts. It makes me feel like we are not alone in this world. All the people I’ve met this year either turned out to be a blessing or a lesson. And I’ve come to realise that there are those special ones who want nothing but the best for you.

Become aware of this: Life’s all about experiences and lessons. You are responsible for your success and failure. The sooner you realise and accept that, the better. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure. Life is about the choices you make. Nobody owes you anything. Some incidents occur repeatedly in life until we learn from it. If someone compliments you, don’t shrug it off trying to make it look like modesty; embrace it, say thank you and move on. Don’t indulge in notions that make you feel mediocre. Life can be unfair just as it is fair! For the millennials that we are, it is important to realise that life is much more the virtual world. I know it is not easy to live without tech savvy items, but push yourselves away from your phone/tab/laptop at least for an hour before hitting the bed. And it is understandable to juggle between ‘live your life and eat the damn dessert’ and ‘you are an adult, be sensible and workout’, but appreciate your body’s worth. Too much of anything is unhealthy. Extremes are easy, strive for balance. Life is all about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but don’t stop improving yourself!

An excellent year’s progress, if I may say. Even though I’m just 24 and I suck at driving!

What was your year like?