Sep 26, 2023

Energy Management - Questions to ponder



 D and I walked to a nearby supermarket around 7 p.m. today. It was dark and there was less traffic on the road. We were walking on the side and all of a sudden, a premium sports car whizzed past us in a second, making a loud noise. The high speed and the terrible noise came all of a sudden. I lost my balance a little bit but I didn't fall. Both of us were shaken and shocked.

We entered the shop and as I was trying to pick up a few things, the packets placed on the same shelf started falling one after another. I usually handle things softly but today, it felt clumsy and I couldn't explain why these packets were falling. This happened on two different shelves.

After a few breaths, I felt better. We finished our shopping and returned home.

We are energy beings. We radiate energy through our thoughts, words, actions, and behaviors. We also grab energies (consciously or unconsciously) from other sources - people, videos, news channels, social media posts, movies, series, etc.

Let's say, we face a stressful situation at the workplace, we carry that stress energy back to our home and end up re-transmitting it onto our spouse or children. We all have experienced this situation at some point or another.

When we watch a disturbing movie, the energy of fear or anxiety lingers in our conscious minds for at least a few days.

When we watch a triggering/argumentative talk show, the energy of anger increases and spoils our day.

The same applies to positive energies as well. When we watch a funny video or an inspiring talk, we feel the energy of joy and motivation immediately.

The kind of energy we put out to the Universe also matters, as it impacts the overall collective energy.

I couldn't have controlled or prevented that rash sports car driver from making that noise today.

But I can control what I consciously feed my visual senses this evening.


Sep 23, 2023

Are we over-glorifying drop-outs?



 A few months back, I was talking to someone who had recently joined the workforce after completing Engineering. During our conversation, he proudly claimed, "I never attended any classes. I would be outside the classroom most of the time but I would somehow sail through exams at the last minute". I didn't intervene or judge him. It is his choice to skip classes.

But what worries me is that this trend of being "the drop-out", "the last bencher", and "the one who bunks all classes" is considered cool and aspirational. Not just that, some of them end up propagating (on their respective YouTube channels or social media pages) that they have achieved big in life after dropping out of school/college/university, etc. This is being glorified in movies to a great extent.

Can one become successful in the eyes of society IF one drops out of college? Sure, why not?

But such turnaround only happens to very few people owing to their specialized skills, networking, financial backing from family, or sheer luck.

Not every person who drops out happens to have one or more of these privileges.

However, this kind of glorification sets bad precedence amongst the youngsters and their attitudes towards learning, knowledge, the importance of hard work, discipline, patience, resilience and persistence to focus on something that they are not so keen on.

Such negative attitudes towards learning also tend to dilute the respect towards those who impart learning.

A teacher once told a class I was part of - "If the students show a lot of interest and enthusiasm in class, the teacher feels special and motivated. We feel inspired to do more preparation before stepping into the class".

In a class, if only a handful show genuine interest and the rest either do not show up or are least bothered about what's happening, it is hard for a teacher to sustain her motivation.

The effectiveness of a teacher is not only dependent on her skills and experience but also on the involvement of the student.

In any course, one takes back as much as one is willing to give in terms of time, interest, effort, and commitment.

P.S. Pic taken on the last day of my MBA at IIMB in 2009. I feel so grateful to have attended the lectures of some fantastic Professors.


On-screen character



Is there a character from a book, a series, or a movie that closely resembles your personality? 

When you read about or see that character come alive, your mind or even your friends and family go, "That's exactly you!".

Hermione from Harry Potter is the closest to my personality. And I see her in myself in all these years.

I was participating in a test today and I raised my hand even before the teacher asked the question (I later realized it wasn't even a question!). It was a bulb-u (face-palm) moment, as I unleashed my inner Hermione! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I exhibit many of her characteristics (knowingly or unknowingly), especially when I play the role of a student - asking questions, answering questions, preparing ahead, voluntarily asking for additional work, etc. I'm sure it would be annoying to a few in the class 🀣

A few days back, K made fun of me, "42 vayasaachu.....neeyellaam innum thirundhaveyilayaa?" ("You are now 42 years old, and you haven't changed yet?")
In Thalaivar style, I replied, "koodave porandhadhu"πŸ˜‰ ("It's my in-born nature")

I remember this conversation that happened a few years back. I was attending a workshop and it was the first session. To break the ice, we were split into 2-member groups. We had to introduce ourselves only through popular characters and the other person would guess our characteristics.

I introduced myself as Hermione, hoping the other person would say "bookworm, studious, sincere" etc. But to my surprise, along with these adjectives, she also added, "You are brave and strong. You have few friends but you would always be there for them". It felt so good to hear about these other qualities of Hermione that do match with mine.

Sep 20, 2023

Stillness Breaks



 The body thrives on movement. The mind thrives on stillness.

But in modern times, we are doing the opposite. This seems to be one of the main reasons behind most lifestyle ailments.

Most of us are aware of the importance of the movements for the body.
We track steps, train for marathons, walk, run, jog, swim, lift weights, do Yogasanas, etc.

But are we spending adequate effort towards stilling the mind?

Distractions are plenty.
Inputs are overflowing through all senses.
The mind is overloaded with sensory input.
In the name of "Content", so much sensationalism is being created.
We are always "wired", which makes our minds so "tired".

Though our body and mind feel tired, we are unable to sleep OR we don't want to give them the required rest.

Infinite scroll (a.k.a. doom scroll) gives us the feeling of relaxation at the end of a long day, but it only makes our minds more restless.

Similar to tracking the number of steps, track the minutes(or hours) during your wake hours when you can just sit with your eyes closed, doing nothing and taking in no inputs through your senses (even good, useful, or inspiring content).

Start with 5 min of stillness and gradually increase the duration.
Practice frequent moments of stillness during the day.

Meditating for 30 min and then going about the rest of the day overloading the mind nullifies the effect.
Take 5-minute stillness breaks every 1 hour (or at least once every 2 hours).

When there are impurities in a bottle of water, you shake them vigorously and then lay it still so the dirt settles at the bottom.

Stillness breaks give the mind a much-needed breather to let the thoughts settle down without further inputs going in.

Sep 18, 2023

Consistent efforts over sudden rush



 When we work hard and achieve something, it feels more special. For every skill we intend to master, there is a Mount Everest / Kanchenchunga / Annapurna equivalent to reach.

A few months back, I wrote about how making Vadai is like Mount Everest in cooking for meπŸ™‚

There are quite a few mountains in my asana practice journey as well. The Mount Everest is indeed Shirsasana, which I hope to reach someday!

Shalabasana is one of my favorite asanas. I remember I was struggling with this pose in 2016 and on one September morning, I finally was able to do it.

I also noticed over the years that whenever I go out of practice for a while or lose my strength/flexibility, I struggle to do this asana. So I use this asana as one of the benchmarks to measure my physical strength.

Strength, stamina, and flexibility can be gained with consistent practice, but it is also easier to lose them when our routines get derailed.

Consistency will help us to sustain the benefits gained for a long time.

Pushing ourselves too much on one day and then feeling aches and pains for the rest of the week isn't beneficial.

When we listen to our body's present boundaries and limitations and align our physical workouts accordingly, the body's ability gradually improves and expands.

Choose time, patience, and consistency all the time!

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