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Saturday, May 2, 2015

How to Work, Love and Play like the Danes

What if you could move to a country that made it the norm for working parents to take it easy and spend more time with their kids? 

In Brigid Schulte's book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time, she explores how different Denmark is from the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to parenting, leisure and sharing of household tasks by men and women.

Denmark: Parenting comes first, Productivity second 
The Danish economy is one of the most competitive in the world and it is also has one of the most productive ranking with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

                                         [Image Credit: http://www.pexels.com/]
Consider this:

Denmark has one of the longest paid parental leaves and one of the highest rates of mothers who work in the labor market in the world.

Danish men do almost as much housework and child care as Danish women. They are more involved in house work and child care unlike men in any other country in the world.

Danish mothers have the most leisure time of mothers in any country.

Denmark's Happiness Formula: Leisure First
The very structure of Danish society is set up to support leisure. 

The Danes believe that meaningful work can be done without working all hours and sacrificing yourself. [Also, read : There's no woman on the moon and What My First Job Taught Me and Why I didn't learn from it

Now connect the dots...

And here's what we can learn and embrace from the Danes:
  • Six weeks of paid vacations
  • Flexible work options [Also, read: Keep Cool]
  • No one works till 6 pm or 7 pm just to show they are there
  • Govt-sponsored mothers' groups put together by nurse educators
  • Adult education is a norm in Denmark, with classes that are affordable and subsidized.
  • Being ambitious at the cost of sacrificing family time is not something that is appreciated. [Do read: The Secret of Success
  • Hygge – the Danish essence signifying happiness – is all about living in the moment. 
  • The simple, lovely things – that’s what the Danes embrace 
And now, tell me: what's your secret to maintaining a happy work-life balance in your life? 

NOTE: These brief points are taken from Brigid Schulte's book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One has the Time.  READ her book to know more.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Keep Cool about Calories, Heartbreaks, Confidence & More

It's May 2015 already! And look what's been keeping me busy!

In case you'd missed my earlier posts, here's the one on Dad's 70th birthday and the birth of my niece, Aishani.  

Hard to believe that the months have flown and we are at the peak of a scorching summer that is bound to last for the next two months!

Here's my "Keep Cool" summer round-up of posts that I enjoyed reading:

                                                                        [Image credit: Morguefile] 

Andy Mort talks about how to maintain our focus and his second post is about how to see confidence as a continuous journey that never ends.

In another humorous take, Sangeeta also talks about our eating habits and how festivals perk up our calories...she answers a relevant question: So, what really is 500 calories? 

And for all those who have experienced life-shattering heartbreaks: Vishnu's latest e-book cuts out the fluff and tells you what happened when the greatest love of his life crumbled. 

He's been through it, got what it takes to bounce back and wants to help you do the same.

The return from heartbreak is never easy but you can come back a stronger, calmer and more loving person than you were...do read Vishnu's post here.

I am sure you've also done some fun things this summer...it may be your reflections, observations or something you've read or some one whom you've met and had an interesting conversation with.

Do share it with me here...would love to know what your summer's been like.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad!

It's Dad's 70th birthday today. 

Dad has been my idol and my ideal throughout my growing years. 

Everything that I am is because of my father's love, trust and sacrifice.


Dad is some one whom Mata Amritanandamayi Devi referred to as "A man in whose footsteps God walks like a shadow...instead of the other way around. God walks behind him, because in every action, your father is God-like, he leads the way. God is bound and bonded to your father. In your father's presence, Amma (referring to herself) will stand up to show respect. He is such a great man."

Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you and it's not just us - every one who has been touched by your love and compassion loves you too!

Funny How a Baby can Change Your Life

It's funny how a baby can change your life. 

The only thing I care about right now is keeping this baby happy. 

A baby brings out the best in us....we become less selfish, more caring.

You spend hours just gazing into her face and begin to search for yourself in this little individual. 

She becomes your Universe, your everything.  You wonder what your days will be filled with when it's time to stop changing diapers, singing lullabies,etc.  

That's how my niece, Aishani makes me feel. Can't wait to watch her grow up.


Love you, gal! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beat the Heat: 8 Ways to Stay Cool and Fresh Through Summer

Stepping out on a summer's day isn't easy. It's so harsh on a woman's skin. 
The older you are, the more you need to care. 
What worked for your skin five or ten years ago may not help now - you have to discover new and easy ways to learn what benefits your skin. 
These are a few of my favorite things:
1. Drink water throughout the day. Fresh juices and milkshakes also help.
2. Lots of coconut water. Yummy, nutritious and your skin just shines.
3. Lots of baths.  
4. NEVER step out without a sunscreen. I have tried out so many different brands and nothing worked. Till I started using Vichy SPF 50. It has been good so far.
5. Avoid eating fried stuff during summer.
6. Pamper yourself with more fruits. Have lots of papaya. It brings that glow on your face.
7. You can also try Fab India's Haldi and Chandan pack. It feels delicious on your skin, smells hmmmm and your face feels so fresh afterwards.
8. Lots of Vitamin E cream (try Fab India Vitamin E cream). 

                                      (Image: http://petalsfromtheheart.blogspot.in/ )
For more skincare tips, check out this post on Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer and do share your skin care tips too, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Karma is a bitch

“The good stuff in me I got from my mom. I can joke, I can laugh, I can tease, I can celebrate and support and praise – I can operate in sunlight, basically – but I can’t deal with angry or tearful women.”―  Gillian FlynnGone Girl

The good stuff in me I got from my dad. 

Best of all, I can smile with serenity when people cause me grief and pain.

                           [Image Credit: Canva]

Karma is a bitch. There's no escape for anyone. 

What you say and do to others comes back to you manifold.  [Do READ: 5 ways to take charge your anger

Can you share your thoughts on this? It would be inspirational to learn how you have tackled tricky or difficult situations.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Ask More, Fear Less: How we think about the choices we make

It is easy to get caught up in following what others do. But sometimes we also need to enjoy the quirks of "thinking" for ourselves. 

There will always be specific areas where we wish we could be 100% perfect or that we could take a more balanced view. 

Whatever that may be, how we think about the choices we make for ourselves is more important than what we think. 

[Also read: Jealousy - Why do we feel it?  and Why are women mean to women?]

There's a well-know story about a lady who always cut off the end of the roast as a practice. 

When asked by her daughter why she followed this method, she had no answer. She didn't know. She said that her mom always did it and she had just followed it. 

She phoned her mom and asked why she always cut the end of the roast. Turns out that her mom only had a small roasting pan and the roasts never fit unless she chopped off the end of the roast. 

BUT now: she had a big roasting pan, so why was she cutting off the ends of the roast, like her mother did?

She was following a 'family practice' without ever understanding why. 

Arjuna asked. Lord Krishna answered. Lord Krishna didn't say, "You are a sinner who questioned the Word of God." Lord Krishna encouraged Arjuna to ask more.

I can't think of a better example than Lord Krishna to illustrate this point.

Ask yourself "WHY" before every action. Don't follow any practice blindly. 

I know, I know, it's not easy. 

But still..... know why you choose to do what you set out to do. 

I would love to know what factors you weigh in when you make a choice ....it could be anything...buying a new book or a dress or tasting a new dish, visiting a new place, etc.

Do tell me about the process you follow while making choices for yourself. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

That Feeling of Love

That feeling of being in love is probably the happiest, craziest and over-the-moon experience in your world.

Embrace it. 

Love it. 

Cherish it.

What's your favorite love quote? 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to never ever give up on the spiritual path

The Upanishads have compared a spiritual aspirant's journey to a razor's edge. From the age of 9, I have been walking on that razor's edge. No matter how hard I try, how sincerely I aspire, the fall is always a gut-wrenching one, filled with mind-numbing pain. 

Then I chant the name of Lord Sai in my heart and I start my baby steps all over again, stumbling, sometimes falling but always knowing that my God is there , protectively watching over me. 

Being human, sometimes I forget that my nature is essentially divine. And on such days, I turn to Baba in despair, wanting to understand the cause of these inner struggles and consequent pain. 

I forget that my real Self is untouched by suffering. 

One such day, this was His message through the book 'Life is a dream; Realize it' by Joy Thomas:

"Many quail before the impossible demands of Sadhana. When confronted by calamity, you must attach yourself to this sadhana even more firmly, instead of losing faith in it and slacking off. The drug should not be given up when it is most needed. The pity is, when the first disappointment faces you, you lose courage and give up..."

And here's how to NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path:

1. Learn to think in positive affirmations.
2. Discipline your mind to shut negative thoughts.
3. Love yourself, stop self criticizing.
4. Put your Divine awareness to practice
5. Create new patterns of thinking and actions to feel good about yourself.

What steps do you take to overcome the struggles that limit you from realizing your true potential? Looking back, how do you see your pain, struggle-filled phases in life? What has it taught you over the years?

Do write it, I'd love to hear from you!


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