Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to start your day happy in 7 easy steps

I love to start my day with a smile. So, I have a couple of happiness routines that I like to follow. 
Sit up. Pause. Contemplate.
The first thing that I do is I sit up, slowly and close my eyes, hold my palms up with love and gratitude as "Namaskar" to my Guru. 
Express gratitude. Thank Earth.
Before I step on the ground with my feet, I bend down and ask forgiveness and loving energy from Mother Earth for trampling on her all day. I convey my gratitude that the ground beneath my feet keeps me and my loved ones safe.

Sing a song over a cup of tea
And while I brew tea, I sing kirtans. If I don't sing kirtans, I play it on my phone so that the energy stays divine and hopefully, seeps into my first cup of tea. 
Rewind to the 80s' childhood days.
When I was growing up, I always woke up to a very cheerful, energized home environment.  My mother would be in the kitchen, cooking a nutritious breakfast and supervising every little detail - whether my dad's shirt was ironed, whether we as kids had packed our school bags properly, and so on. 
Play some music
The early morning ''suprabhatam" by MS Subbhalakshmi would be playing in the background, followed by my grandmother's favorite song 'Vadakkumnathaa sarvam nadakum nathaa' by Kerala's 'Gaana Gandharvan' Dr. K J Yeshudas.  
Choose to be happy
My parents had their share of struggles and troubles like every one else but the mornings in my home did not reflect that. I realize now how lucky I am to have parents who chose to be happy no matter what the difficulties are. 
There was more laughter, smiles and hugs in my home that played out more often than the music. It was beautiful. The problem was that I felt so happy at home that I didn't want to go to school.
We didn't have a luxurious life nor did we lack the comforts of a good life. But we were happy.
Set little reminder notes or quotes to stay happy
Today, like many working mothers, I don't always wake up with a smile. There is a ''things to do before I leave for work"list that plays a cat-and-mouse game in my head. But I try to stay in a realm of higher awareness till I set off for work. 
On difficult days, I fall back on my favorite notes. These are usually hand written quotes that I read somewhere and I would have scribbled it down. These always perk me up. I have stacks of such little notebooks at home. So, no worries about getting bored of the same set of quotes.
 Start the day with a big smile
I think the best gift that we can give ourselves and our families is to start the day with a big smile, lots of positive energy and create an inner setting that enables all of us to sail into the day,  with starry eyes. 
My gut feel is that when we consciously bring a 'happy morning' ritual into our life, it can boost our productivity, make it fun and we feel happier at the end of the day.
Life is full of uncertainties but when we are able to transmit energy waves of joy, it will inspire our children to excel at what they set out to do and perhaps some day, they may pass on the same "happiness"routine to their children too.
What's your happiness routine? I would love to hear about it - do drop a line and inspire me. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Stepping out of the comfort zone

The year began with a visit to Lord Tirupati Balaji, the Kalahasthi temple, followed by three unforgettable days in my favorite place - Puttaparthi. 

When I returned from the trip, it felt as though something had already changed within me - as though an important decision was being shaped by the Universe or a Higher force. 

But of course, I didn't realize it then, nor was I meant to. That hit me later.

I returned to my place of work, happily. Within a month, there were all the signs of a new beginning, literally. I stepped down from my comfort zone.

                                                                                                            (Image credit: Unsplash)
It wasn't easy for me to do. I was too comfortable in my job and within the space that I had created for myself.

Maybe the Rig Vedic mantras had done the magic, pushed me out of my comfort zone and propelled me to take a risk and to simply find the courage to grow up. [[Do read! Quiet: The POWER of Introverts and STRONG is the new Beautiful]

Yes, I quit my job. A good, comfortable job. [Do read: Hope is sometimes a crumb]

The most important thing is this: I am happy. [READ: Never, ever GIVE UP!]

That's all that matters, isn't it?

Now it's your turn: Have you ever done anything that made you wonder why you were stepping out of your comfort zone? Do you remember the feeling of release and lightness within that comes with letting go?

Write in to me. I'd love to hear.

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