Action vs Distraction

As I went through my day today, I noticed that I kept watching videos everytime I thought of a certain task to do, that’s been pending since a while. It was a simple thing, I had to meet someone with whom I interacted via social media, but met in person only once, ages ago. This person is quite gorgeous inside out, and we have similar thoughts, ideas, tastes and like-dislikes.

In spite of that, I realised I’ve been stalling this meet up since a long time. It’s funny how I would always come up with stupid reasons to postpone it everytime we discussed the date and time of our meeting. I caught myself trying to do this with a lot with other matters too. And I wondered, how long am I going to keep this up? And how long will this person wait for me? What will be the effect of this habit?

Although I’m a person who loves interaction and communication, I frequently do this avoiding business out of some kind of fear that it may not go well, or that the person might turn about to be something else than what I thought they were. Fear and doubt convinces my body to the point that I subconsciously do not want to go ahead with something which I actually looked forward to. I’m starting to think I have controlling personality which make me shun any event or idea where I may have no control.

I guess the only way to address this is to find out if the reality justifies the fear. And how would I ever find that out? Only one way – face it. But how? And what if I start rationalising my excuses again? But what’s the most I can do to avoid disappointment- cancel it. And then, be regretful. Or, go with the knowing that disappointment was one of the possibilities, out of many. So if it does happen, atleast I was prepared. But if it goes well, then there’s so much potential in it to become something amazing and maybe even long lasting.

So, a cure for my distraction is yet to be found, and I’m working on my overthinking habit as well, but in the meantime I want to take the necessary steps to atleast push myself to go for the experience, whatever it may turn out to be. Why abandon the likelihood of an ever lasting friendship, introduction to a mentor, a golden opportunity, a new exciting place to visit or even the start of a new lifestyle and habits?

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Every breath is a fresh start!

First day into the year 2019 and all I see around is a sea of resolutions and expectations driving everyone into action as if it were the gunshot fired before a race! Personally I never enjoyed this notion of subjecting myself to making huge promises since when I lost my naivety. After believing in fantasies of life written in books, in people, in short lived enthusiastic motivational speeches by others and some by myself, and then meeting reality in the face, I derived the meaning of this futile exercise to be a waste of time and energy, if…….done without consistency and keeping a track.

Yes, I made my list of things that I need to discard, change or introduce in my life, but not without recognising what can sabotage it from previous year’s lessons. After all, if we don’t troubleshoot the recurring problems, how else can we ensure a smooth functioning system? It’s like adding makeup to a problematic skin, without treating it and then expecting the blemishes to disappear forever.

Simply put, I’m addressing the areas that need more attention like how do I become more regular and consistent with my productive habits, or how do I become more aware of my self limiting thoughts and actions when they happen instead of later, which are the things, matters, people, ideas, etc. that are most important to me that, I want to keep with me in this year; and maybe the next; and what do I no longer wish to have.

To begin with, I decided to approach things in my list with the tools given below, instead of trying to change everything all at once, because it gets too overwhelming and then I simply lose any will to continue. So this year, my list contains the following:

  • Be more mobile and productive, whenever I notice that I’m overthinking. (Basically replacing the second habit which makes me immobile and locked down inside my head with the opposite reaction, inorder to take my attention to the surroundings and present moment.) Just getting up, strolling around, going for a walk, dancing or even doing a short warm up, instead of going on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Communicate better: with my family, friends, associates and myself. Work on improving my relations with them by making time to talk, listen and do things for them; learn to resolve conflicts better by curbing my ego and making peace by verbal or gestural apologies and amendments, to make our bonds stronger, since I understand the value of these people in my life today, better than I used to before.
  • Find mentors who have excelled in the areas that I want to be better at. One mentor for each area of my life be it professional, personal, emotional, mental and spiritual, but starting with one area at a time. I may find just one this year, or maybe two, doesn’t matter, someone who stops my excuses, fears and doubts and pushes me towards my goals. My responsibility here is to define my goals and expectations as clear as it can possibly get, so that there is no misinterpretation due to faulty communication. (A mentor can be anyone from a friend, relative, acqaintance to an online person or community member, but they should be able to help me offline too. It could be someone who needs me to be a mentor if I’m good at something they want to excel in, in exchange for their mentorship.)
  • Dissect my goals into algorithm or ladder pattern to get the answers to “how do I do that?’, by establishing steps down to the small actions that are doable, starting now.
  • Surround myself with people having similar goals and ideas, but who stay focused and motivated instead of making excuses. That’s because when we’re around people who give in to excuses, we do the same. Being with a group of motivated people helps get to the goal faster as things get amplified in group effort.
  • Spending more time doesn’t always equate to better results. Infact there is a higher chance of demotivation to set in because of the excuse that it’s taking more time to do it. So put efforts to get things done (baby steps & consistency) with high energy and intensity instead of wasting too much time on it. For example, even a 10 min workout and 10 min meditation everyday is better than trying to create a 30 min and 20 min schedule, respectively, which then becomes difficult to incorporate daily, causing excuses of ‘not having enough time’ to set in as roadblocks.

In this year, I want use the above tools to focus only on the following 4 :

  • Learn and practice new skills related to my work and excelling at it.
  • Learn to manage my finances well
  • Communicate and love better
  • Improve my physical and mental health

And that’s the plan for this year. No frilly expectations and delusions. If I see roadblocks in my path, I will try to find another way to do it instead of giving up on it. Also being aware that some goals may take longer than anticipated time and energy, but still keep the efforts going consistently, out of habit and faith. And to be realistic, inspite of all this even if I make some progress, it is still better than a year with no progress and regrets of could-have, would-have and should-haves.

Being unemployed for 4 months, has made me understand that every phase is an important experience to learn from and that everything that happens is a product of my own mindset and I take full responsibility of it. I was unaware, lazy and unengaged in the works of my own life, always looking at it from an outsider perspective all the time. I would often fall into two extremes: either being too motivated and dramatic about bringing the changes or completely giving up and enjoying self-pity and misery. Now is the time to work on creating a balance.

And not because of the ‘new year-new me’ concept. I firmly believe that awareness can come at any point in life, at any time of the year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second or………a moment, a breath. So when the awareness sets in, that’s when the change happens and that’s why……..’every breath is fresh start!’

What’s the monster of lazyness called?

Well whatever it may be called, but I for sure am one of his aides and I practice this craft way too much nowadays. There is a particular thing at which I’m currently being lazy and that is …….exercise.

To be fair with myself, I’d admit there was a time when I would surprise myself with the way I transformed my body into what I never had imagined would look. The complete credit goes to my passionate and diligent workout schedules as well as being careful of what I ate. Losing 10 kgs in two months was spectacular!

I loved the way my body showed me the well known ‘thigh gap’ and the taut tummy- almost like a surfboard, along with the mesmerizing concavities on my sides, causing every skin fit dress to hug my delicious curves into an hour glass figure. I loved every second if it! I was ecstatic, looking at the results that I had created all by myself without going to a gym. I made it a point to follow the routines like a ritual everyday.

Nobody had to push me to do it. I used to wake up at 5:30 am to go for a run and come back to continue with my full body workout on the mat. I enjoyed the adrenaline-rush and relished the new found flexibility and strength in my body.

Then one day I had to stop due to some kind of job related travel to a far off place, for a few weeks. My daily routine was such that I could not manage to make time for any kind of workout. I was under the impression that suddenly my body is going to go back to its old self. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Inspite of not exercising, I was losing more weight and growing thinner. Once I was back home, my family and friends noticed the drastic change and were understandably worried about my health. The cute, plump face had sunken in with slight concavitites into my cheeks. I tried my best to convince myself that I was only better now. But I knew that I was lying to myself.

Well, I stopped working out as I noticed that my body went into some kind of auto-pilot mode, still digesting away all the fat and everthing else from my body. To be honest I didn’t look bad, but I knew that I looked better before the travels. To combat the loss of meat, I concentrated more on my diet, eating more frequently but still balanced and nutritious. But it took a long time for me to start gaining weight, something that was never a problem before.

After a while, my body looked better and I felt better too, but my sunken cheeks were visibly still there. I hated when people commented over it. There’s always something to comment about, isn’t it? Either you’re fat or on the ‘healthier’ side, or you’re too skinny. This was also a time when I learned how important people’s opinions were- they were not! Because there’s always going to be a sea of opinions. So whose matters the most? The answer- mine!

Coming back to now, I still see that my body retains the auto pilot mechanism whenever I try to exercise once in a while, which has led to me being scared of losing the fuller cheeks that I have now. My body weight is stable at the moment, but I guess I’m scared of working out because of what happened before. This has caused me to avoid exercise completely for 3 months now and that’s why getting up for those morning runs, that I loved so much, has become almost impossible. On days when I miraculously did get up and go for the run, I did it inconsistently, skipping it for days together, followed by an irregular and much too lethargic episode, once a week, thus incredibly disappointing myself. (I’m also a person who puts a lot of high expectations on myself, quite frequently, so……..)

It’s as if my mind and body are in retaliation. I tell myself everyday that I’ll wake up at 6 am and do only a short run of 3 km (you know…baby steps and all), but intead I wake up only to switch my alarm off and go to sleep. You wouldn’t believe that I have put 3 alarms, but I wake up before it even rings, and switch all the alarms off myself and go to sleep! Who does that? I basically wake up before my alarm to shut the alarms! Arrrrrrghggh!

I’ve become a lazy bum as I’m also unemployed at the moment. But I really want to start my new job with a fresh state of mind as well as a fit body. I don’t want to carry a weak mind that cannot stick to its own promises or a body that’s getting used to a sedentary lifestyle.

So today, to combat that I told myself, “Listen dear, you tried your best tricks and for some reason your body isn’t co-ordinating with your mind, so intead of wanting things a certain way, let’s be flexible. Why do you need to get up in the morning only for a workout to be possible? And why do you have to run as if it’s the only way? A better way to start would be to do it when you feel like it. Mid-morning, late-afternoon or evenings are times when you’re not full with food. So do it whenever you can, instead of waiting for the perfect timing, state of mind, motivation or the withdrawal of the body-mind non cooperation movement (I know its because of the fear of losing too much weight again!)”

Guess what, after this pep talk to myself, I actually did get some exercises done in the afternoon for 30 mins and felt so good! It was invigorating to say the least, to feel the rapid beats of my heart and blood pumping in my vessels. So I definitely plan to go on with this haphazard routine for now, till I get a tune that my body and mind can dance to in synergy.

I went from doing nothing to overdoing, and back to nothing. I guess I’m looking for the right balance yet again! I will surely update when I find it. Until then…….

Old habits die hard!

To say that I’m a piece of shit for not forgiving myself for mistakes that most people naturally do, would be an understatement. Growing up we learn a lot of things. Things that we learn to do on a daily basis, which in turn become habits. Some habits become reflexes sometimes or even instincts as we act on them without thinking.

I’m dealing with the ones that have been discarded long time ago, but they make sure to pay an unhealthy visit every once in a while. Why are the most basic, instinctive habits the most difficult to destroy. Then again, are we even supposed to detach ourselves from them?

Becoming slightly addicted to one of these at a young age made me realise that I was most uncomfortable not with the fact that I was caught and shamed for it, but because of my own feelings of guilt. Something that was a part of growing up and learning was treated as dirty and a taboo. I understood through my own observations of self and others that it wasn’t so bad if kept in limits. Simply avoiding certain habits altogether which are a part of our human nature doesn’t make it easy to live with, as it is an inseparable aspect. And feeling guilty for something natural is not only stupid and enraging but also an easy way of going down the ‘hating or demeaning oneself’ route.

However, I also realised that letting this habit loose like a rabid dog without any leash will not only cloud and bewilder our minds with an illusion of reality, while also stealing a lot of time that could have been used more productively. Not to mention the wastage of precious energy without acheiving any purpose out of those habits.

I know that our time on this planet is limited, so I completely agree that I need to use it wisely and spend it on habits that will mould me into a better person. I also know that these habits are the most difficult to develop, as it requires a lot of passion and dedication as well as goals to strengthen them, as opposed to the not so good habits which are easier to fall prey to as they draw dopamine out rather quickly, compared to the others.

This quick and easy way of getting happiness and pleasure costs us the long lasting feelings of contentment, peace and confidence that come through years of healthy and nurturing habits, developed relentlessly over long periods of time.

But the heart wants what it wants! So what is the solution to my problem?

I guess the only one that I have come up with until now is to indulge in ‘the habits’ once in a while and keep it short, all the while being confident in myself that I do have the power to stop it when I want and it is me who controls my mind and its temptations, not the other way round. As far as the question of guilt arises, I understand that my opinions about myself matter the most, not those of other people that I hear as my thoughts. And I’m perfectly fine with a little self indulgence as long as it doesn’t harm my routine and rob me of my time.

Finding the sweet spot.

‘When the going gets tough, get going!’, or ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!’, or even………’when life gives you lemonade make lemons!’….wait…..is it the other way round? Well…..for me it certainly is like that, since my mind is in a twist.

What is that thin, perfectly existing, unrealistic but real line called…….balance? 

Because I seem to fall out of balance all the time! I seem to always fall on either side swinging deep into the depths, almost drowning until, I realise that I’m too far gone, and then it is a task and a half to pull myself back to the middle, but not without scars or repurcusions from the extreme endeavours. 

Which makes me question……where is this line? When do we realise how much is too much?

How can someone be not too happy and not too sad?

How can you be attached but not too attached?

Where is the line that divides self care from selfish?

Emotional and caring, or possessive, obsessive….even abusive

Ambitious and nomadic or afraid of change and monotonous

Reserved and careful or wild and carefree

Silent and bottled up or loud and unabashedly honest

Resilient and hopeful, or enjoy misery, self pity and depression

Detail oriented/perfectionist and being smacked with an OCD tag or careless, spontaneous, imperfect rebel

Disciplined and rigid or disorganised and chaotic

Polite, diplomatic or insincere flattery/apple polishing or simply being a rude savage unleashing wrath everywhere

or even emotions like….

Irritation and annoyance, or Anger 

Dislike or Hatred

Infatuation or Love

Admiration or Jealousy

Hunger or Gluttony

Love or Lust………

Where is the blurry line that distinguishes between them clearly so that we can choose how far to go and not dive into the other sea?

Or is it that the line forms only once you’ve dived into both?

If so, then do we have lifeguards to save us from drowning?

I hope we do……but if not, then…….learn to swim or drown trying……isn’t it?

And since when did extremes become so bad? I mean we admire the colour Violet as we do Red in a rainbow. But I guess a deep violet can remind us of a bruise turning black while a fiery red can remind us of the iron smelling blood. 

But white is as illuminating, good and pure as it is boring and black is as mysteriously attractive, powerful and strong as it is full of void and a reminder of nothingness.

So I guess, touching both ends of the spectrum alone can bring us towards the center, filling the journey towards it with beautiful shades of pink, yellow, blue, green, etc. relishing the nectar of this sweet spot. But not before some of us long for the perfect violet or red again to embark on another journey of finding the balance into everything, even if it happens to destroy us in many ways. Phoenix rises from the ashes I’ve heard.

My conclusion……you can only be as safe with boundaries until you’ve reached the limit on one side, creating a need to explore the other side. That’s when you find the sweet balance! 

Heart Drink!

Hi. Today’s my first day of writing a blog. I sound like an excited yet nervous little kid trying his hand at something new.

My blogs will be about my daily routines as well as thoughts and ideas to reflect upon at the end of my day.

Sometimes they’ll be random fictional stories associated with episodes at different phases of my life. Some of them will be recollection of memories or simply a made up thing. You never know!

So let’s begin!