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Emotion regulation

Once I took my nephew for an injection- baby vaccination. I was supposed to hold him down while the jab went in. Done in a second and when I lifted him up, his yells seemed to be shaking the floor. We immediately took out the phone and showed him a video to distract him from the emotion of pain. 

How many of you are doing that to yourself? Every time there is an uncomfortable emotion what do you do? Reach out for that smarts phone and start scrolling through, text someone, call, jump into work, sleep it off, Netflix it or just shop! Whatever you’re doing it is a coping technique.

I used to be the one escaping from uncomfortable emotions. Experiencing low emotions was too much. It would take up space from my work life, it would keep my goals on pause and derail me from my routine. Looking back the things I did to escape the emotion were also keeping me derailed. 

All this escaping is a form of pushing aside but it doesn’t go away if you’re not looking. Evading an emotion is only delaying the processing and you’re only suppressing it for now. Emotional suppression can lead to psychosomatic diseases. It’s more stressful when you bottle up your emotions than when you’ve let them out.

Learning from my mistake I tried to let myself feel and express myself. I let my emotions spill out, go all over, and not hold back. It went to another extreme— I would replay the incident over and over in my head, feel it repeatedly-emotional indulgence, I would vent and play the victim- emotional dumping and pouring my heart out to strangers- over-sharing. 

Then people who see you also form a perception. Once I was told ‘You’re too emotional but that’s you.’ I introspected though it was their personal bias. My understanding of emotions was more evolved. Emotions are like people. You can acknowledge their existence, gauge their characteristics and where they come from (which trigger) and what they want. Emotions just need the acknowledgement. Okay! Allow it but softly. Let them come into your space, observe what they feel like but let the force of the emotion be light. Remember you give the emotion power, so you can also take it away.

emotion regulation

In boxing, you cannot go unscathed, you will get punched and sometimes really hard. Escaping is not an option. Triggers will come from outside but the expression of the emotion starts within your control. Most of us don’t have that control yet because we were never taught. The trigger and reaction are too fast because we lack awareness. Awareness helps to prolong the gap between trigger and reaction. 

The reaction time is everything for a boxer, the slower you are the more hits you get. You need to see the punches coming and react before they hit you. If you are throwing the punch then you need to be quicker than the opponent’s reaction time. To be able to see between this time-space requires another level of alertness and awareness. 

When I get hit a few times my focus goes like a needle of a broken speedometer. My mind switches to panic mode. My coach shouts in the background- “Get in, punch back”.

In life when external triggers come punching us down, we could take the hit but stay calm. Let it exist, you choose to focus on your choice of reaction instead of focusing on the trigger. Inside rather than outside. Even if you’ve taken a punch- focus on your counterpunches and how you will react.

There is no quick fix to get this. Learning anything is tough initially. Meditation is a way to become alert and aware. In real-time, the speed remains the same your mind gets faster at seeing the trigger and your speed of choosing the reaction is faster. This comes when we are focusing on one thing at a time. In meditation, we eliminate everything and focus on one thing. While our phones have primed us to dilute our focus on 10 things at a time, aka distraction.

I can still hear the loud booming voice of the paediatrician in my head, from when we distracted my nephew with a video to escape injection pain. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” -It’s a good mental reminder to not distract myself.

A Great Article for Emotional Regulation Tips :

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Welcome Lakshmi

People think Lakshmi is money- and on Diwali once a year they want to appease the symbol of money with prayers, decor, sweets, lights and flowers. Have you ever thought that why the Goddess has never tossed back a coin at you from that photo or that statue- you come every year, why not just toss one coin?

Let’s not say -‘there is no Lakshmi’ but let us really make space for a new way to look at her; instead of a money-making machine; the provider of all comforts, the giver of all things luxurious. 

Let’s make her more than that.

When a child is given a gift without asking have you seen the glee on their face? They are so filled with intense humility and joy that they forget their surroundings and just become elated. That’s the feeling of receiving. Lakshmi’s presence is the same feeling of abundance. Lakshmi is already in all our lives, to check it, you need to allow yourself to see the things you have received and feel her presence. 

Having received without asking and feeling elated is abundance. Even a person living in a meagre hut is living in abundance, a beggar sitting by the lane is in abundance, an orphan is in abundance— it is how the eyes can see. 

Now to be able to have that sight or be able to sense the abundance you first need to build some qualities. 

  1. You need to have peace, materialistically speaking contentment. When you’re at peace everything comes and goes and you remain unaffected by the world around you because you are enjoying something far more valuable within yourself. You need to value the peace, contentment and acceptance of the present reality. Only then will you be able to see the abundance around you. Vishnu is the peace-loving God and Lakshmi is rightly so his wife.
  2. Even if you want something beyond the peace— you want your children to get settled, you want a new house, you want a baby, this and that -all those human wants. You need to respect the goddess of Time. Kali. You need to understand as an unevolved mortal, your powers are restricted within the limits of Night-and-day, till the moment you meet death. Time is feminine energy and like all other feminine energies it flows, where it finds its need being met. Time follows belief. If you believe and have faith you need to have patience. When you are persistent with your belief, Time has to follow, change has to come. Whatever you seek, work for it, with faith and patience. With the flow of times, Lakshmi has to come- abundance will be seen, in some form or another. 
  3. If you’re unhappy about what you already have, you mostly lack the knowledge of its value. You could be in a toxic environment, stuck in office culture, bad relationship; or in any situation that you’re unhappy in. If you’re unhappy you have not developed the wisdom to see beyond your discomfort. Wisdom and knowledge, Goddess Saraswati comes when you have a certain level of humility and you seek. Humility lets you accept things and yourself, as they are (acceptance does not mean you don’t take action, it means it’s not affecting you mentally). Your will to seek a solution leads to the gathering of knowledge. This holistic knowledge gives a true understanding of the value of what you have and you see Abundance. Without the right wisdom, you will never see abundance in its true form. And then you could become happy with what you have and find solutions to more.
  4. Abundance is finally a sense of having, a sense of feeling lucky to have. When you’re in that emotion you always want to share with others, your happiness is so big that you cannot just keep it with you. The reverse is as good. When you give just for the sake of giving, not for anything in return, your mind senses that —you had enough that’s why you gave. You did not feel the need to hoard because you had enough and will always get more. Giving and sharing are not just a Christmas thing and do not stop at giving materialistic things. You could give your company, give time, give attention, give a listening ear, give a shoulder to cry, give a comforting hug, give an encouraging word, give them space, give respect and honour, and keep giving just for giving. Suddenly you’ll see abundance behind everything you’ve given away. You’ll still be left with more. If you can give with an attitude of “just happy to give” you’ll feel the emotion of having received manifold. That’s what they meant by “Give 10 you’ll receive 100”. 

Lastly, you don’t have to be Hindu, to feel abundance in your life. Understand that the symbolism of Hindu gods is not directly spoken of to maintain Godly supremacy or reverence. Truly though each of us can learn and grow these qualities within us. So Welcome Goddess Lakshmi this year into your hearts and not just your homes. Make her more by feeling her presence in your life. 

Wishing you and your family a very content, peaceful and joyful Diwali. May we value what we have and share whatever we receive from our endeavours. 

Sneha Bhuwalka 

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Dropping a Truth bomb for Diwali 2022 

Diwali 2022

History of everything including Diwali is all over Google. I’m one who passed the subject of history with grace marks (10th mock exams). That’s the truth bomb now you can stop reading. Without going into the mythology of Diwali.

Let’s get personal- ‘What is Diwali to you?’ 

Yes, I’m asking you, You! The reader! I asked my friend this, over-planning something. We came up with different answers. New clothes, lights, family, friends, sweets, diyas, festivals, colours, new year, pooja, prosperity, money.. and fireworks. Yes, I’m a vegan, I’m a passive environmentalist and I care more about nature over most humans. (An intense topic of discussion for another day). 

Honestly, Firecrackers were on my list because the word Diwali still reminds me of it. Going by facts, India and Diwali are not even the first on the list for the most crackers burst in the world. China is the biggest manufacturer, and The Walt Disney Company is the largest consumer of fireworks in the world. (Oh, Disney stop selling fantasy already!!)

Do I still burst crackers?— No! It’s been a few years and it’s been surreal to see the transformation in many families who gave up firecrackers. Upon reading a beautiful article (sighted below) I had a change of heart for our government.  In spite of the government ban, some will still be smuggling crackers into their homes. Then in crisis, we’ll blame the government for not doing better, to curb pollution. You do your bit na?!- It all adds up, every home counts, and every firework that lights up counts. 

I am speaking from a future, where things will be hard for children and grandchildren. I’m requesting you review the Diwali you’re trying to recreate now. How many ‘Patake-wali-Diwalis’ do we need, to make us more aware of the need of the hour? Does the air around you need any more smoke? The impact of air pollution is like smoking 5-7 cigarettes a day. Do your child’s lungs need those cigarettes? 

Many young people are dying of heart strokes. Doctors do link it directly to pollution if not our lifestyle. Even then —The annual turnover of the Indian Firecracker industry stands at ₹3,000 crores.

Sure, naysayers will come at me saying, “Oh hello! Even lighting candles and Diya causes pollution.” The ones who want to take a bigger dig at me will go into jargon. “Hey, what about your Carbon Footprint from all the other things every day?” Exactly! Carbon footprint! That shouldn’t even be jargon anymore. If you don’t know what is Carbon Footprint I allow you to pause. Look into the mirror for a few seconds and say “I forgive myself for living under a rock.”

Coming back…

Collective living is the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint. Watching movies in theatres over your laptop; travelling by bus/metro over your personal transport; a million people celebrating Diwali together instead of celebrating Diwali individually as single families: is the best way to reduce your Carbon footprint. If you still have the urge and must by any way light a sparkler (because Goddess Shagun, biggest eye-roll) then make sure a million lungs are spectating just one sparkler.

Hoping that that 1 in a million will definitely plant a tree to counter that pollution. 

Happy Diwali and I hope we and our families will define festivities in a new way,
Light up our minds with brighter insights,
Clean out our shelves of beliefs that are obsolete,
Help grow the real green currency- a.k.a. trees,
Meet everyone with more tolerance and compassion and
Choose to fuel our bodies with all things joyful, healthy, and love!

Bring Home a Good Lifestyle
Sneha Bhuwalka (@mycoffeeweather)

Continue reading Dropping a Truth bomb for Diwali 2022 
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Vipassana July 2022

Reading Time: 5min

“You shoot me down but I won’t fall I am Titaiiiinnnnniiiiiuuuumm!” if you have not heard this song by David Guetta feat. Sia ..then you won’t get my emotions for why I wanted to go for Vipassana Meditation.

Physically I was doing everything in my power to be at my best— No Sugar (10+ years), Vegan (4 years), Gluten-free (4+years), Workouts, Active time, Fuelling well, Hydration, Fasting, Pranic Healing, Gut health— I went all out. Whereas, my mental game was not where I wanted it to be. 

In movies have you seen the protagonist being dragged on the ground with a rope tied to a vehicle/horse on the other end; with the villain in the driving seat? I felt like in my life-story I was being dragged like that, helplessly by some extreme situation, that was unexpected or against my expectations. First I would try and control the villain, in my case the situation, or my environment. If it was not in my control, I would give up my senses and be at the mercy of the situation. My mindset in these moments let my emotions take over me. 

I tried many approaches—Yoga, Stoicism, Landmark Education, Vedanta, Bhagwad Gita, Self-help books. It was insightful and transformational— it added a huge jump to my mental growth graph. Still, there was a missing link of ‘HOW?’— ‘HOW’ does one live in the present moment continually? HOW does one not have any attachment? HOW do you be compassionate? HOW do you ‘Be Positive’? And HOW do you create these mindsets permanently? Sometimes it seemed impossible to put to action when the villain came to play. 

One day it suddenly occurred to me that this Vipassana meditation has been on my bucket list for about 15 years now (I’m big on learning and growing so my bucket lists are a bit unusual). Why not do it now? I did not think it is going to be the thing I have been looking for, waiting for, seeking. A tool to create that mindset. 

So here I was, in middle of July 2022, a Chennai evening, sweating profusely (because I wasn’t dressed for the weather) in a hall with approx. 60 determined women. 

Challenge yourself

Some people told me “Are you sure you want to do this? It is not for the faint-hearted.” I actually went in, not knowing it will be that tough. For me, the challenge was sitting for 10+ hours and not having writing material for 10 days. I was actually memorising the things I want to write, once I am given my stuff. 
10 Days of zero communication with the world – The not talking bit was absolutely beautiful, as I was quite entertained by myself. Quite enjoyed my conversations with myself not being interrupted by work, people, noises or anything. Just me and my thoughts— I relished every second.. 
On the last day when we all got our phones, for 2 min I was looking at the object in my hand and wondering— ‘Oh! Yes, I have to unlock it, but how? How do you use this thing?’ It is beyond me how the mind can be altered in profound ways. The things you gain when you challenge yourself is the beauty of growth.

Pain is a part of life

Oh yes, on days 6-7 I was missing my mom hysterically. Also the reason I stuck to her for 4 hours when I got back. During meditation, I did have some huge soul-scratching moments, had me battling with the 5-year-old me, sometimes facing those emotions (that scrolling on Instagram made it stay in the background) and I was left dumbstruck by the nightmares, I used to have as a kid. It was still beautiful, the tears and all. 

Managing your expectations is the real maturity

Before writing here, I wanted to wait and see if I slip up on what I’ve learnt after I come back. I was at Dhamma Setu, Chennai and there they had a whole South Indian menu. Which I love. So I had a good experience, even being Vegan and Gluten-free wasn’t hard. Still, I did not expect that we would be allowed a single serving of only one fruit every day. On a regular, my body depends on fruits (natural sugar) so I told myself it is just 10 days. My goal is different, so I can accommodate.
Been about 2 weeks since and after I got back I could sense a few people looking at me with an evaluating eye— ‘Did she get enlightened?’ Silly NO! I  learnt a new technique and that’s it for now. If I put in the work and practice what they taught me I know this will be the reason why my life turns to better roads. To have new tools is exciting and to be able to up-skill is even more so. If you are fit mentally, many people will be saved from the drama that you bring in their lives. If you are looking to upgrade your Mental game—that’s it you are home. 

What exactly is Vipassana then?

This course is no time pass, it is simple HARD work and it is scientific, methodical and has a very systematic approach to understanding the mind-matter phenomenon. The technique will help you see through to the beginnings of your patterns, equip you to break those patterns, tools to automate living in the present moment and get clarity.  It is a science that can be practically experienced and I just got a sip of this understanding. A great discovery by Gautam Buddha sitting under a tree and meditating in Bodh Gaya. It is what Buddhism is all about— it really made me change my perspective about Buddhism, I truly felt this is a universal scientific discovery and it should be taught in schools.

After having to follow a strict schedule of waking at 4:00 AM, meditating for about 10 hours a day, eating 2 meals and a snack (as being served) and following complete silence and no communication with anybody, not even eye contact. Here I am yelling in my head now— “I did it!” just like I had many years back when I overcame the fear of falling from a plane mid-air. This is Vipassana, excruciatingly beautiful and it is GOLD!

I attended the course with about 60 women, (men in the other quarters don’t have a count) each of them very different from the other (age, language, occupation, etc). I don’t see why YOU cannot do it. It is for everyone. If we can, You can. 

To Being bulletproof! 

Buddham Saranam Gacchami।
Dhammam Saranam Gacchami।
Sangham Saranam Gacchami।

Special Credits to S.N. Goenka for getting this technique back to the world and how! This man will make you laugh every day and get you to do the work. To the Sangha for supporting his work and letting the Dhamma spread to one and all. 
Susheela Chudiwala- Facilitating Teacher
Kaali, Maala, Aditi- Dhaama Servers
All my fellow Vipassana inmates
Chennai Dhamma Setu
July 2022

LINK To START RIGHT AWAY: If you can spare 10 min every day

LINK To Read more about the Vipassana Course:
Vipassana Meditation

An old post from  , where I tried to just be silent for a day, because I never thought I would be allowed to go for this course. (I still was not allowed).

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From ZEE’s point of view -Anxiety

A feeling of worry or fear, especially about the future

Hypthetical human – MR. ZEE
Acrophobic- Fear of heights 

Zee was on ground level and I told him about looking up at the man standing on a high rise building. He immediately dipped his head low and ignored me. It totally unsettled his mind when I coaxed further. For Z bungee jumping and sky diving is a complete nightmare. 

(Now my sadistic mind HAHA) —I have this weird thought—What if someone would put Zee on a plane and prepares him to jump but not let him actually take the jump -for hours. What would that experience be like for him? 

That’s dwelling in the fear of height. Dwelling there in the fear is what aggravates the problem. 

What we do with our future is the same what Zee experiences with heights. The difference is that Zee can jump off some day with a parachute and overcome his fear of height. How do you land yourself into the future to know exactly what will happen and fix it? 


Yes, that’s exactly what we want. We want to know if anything will go wrong and we want to fix it before it happens. We want a guarantee for everything. “Subject to market risks and conditions” —Whoever thought saying that line fast is cool—(Major eye rolling).


You are not great because you can plan. You are great because your plan can evolve with changing times.”

For the longest time, I had this phobia of plans failing. (not atychiphobia exactly). It was like, nothing I plan should fail and my goal should be achieved in the way I had planned things. Seems so fanciful. The aim was to get to the destination, but I loved planning so much that I attached myself to the plan I chose. Knowing it’s all about the enjoying journey; but the need to obsess over my plans made me control the journey. Control Freeaakkk! 

Hehe! Not anymore.

Imagine someone falling from a chair! Wouldn’t you laugh out loudly? Plans failing should have the same reaction if we were not too attached to the plan. We are not our plans- plans failing doesn’t mean that we failed. We are still the ones who can plan better now that we know how not to fall from the chair. And we can still look back and laugh at it. 

Plans need to restructure as per every probable future. Even if your plans are flexible and you can adapt to any change, there will always be an unknown factor to the future. 


Keep it simple 😉 —Eyes on the prize! And keep checking your form(plans), correcting your form (restructuring your plans) and getting better on the way. Because no one likes an undeserving win, even you’ll hate getting your prize without paying the price for it. Once you know you cannot control the journey or fixate on one single plan —you will easily accept any future that is thrown on you. 

Now a lot of people just sit back and blame the situation (Arey corona aa gaya na, that’s why no gym) and give up on the goal. You failed to restructure your old plan. Locus of control remember the 4th week of Monday Real talk on insta. You’re responsible for your goals. Plans can fail as per outside situation, let that go and you still have to own up for the part you play in the journey. 


I’m no GURU and this really is a medical condition, which needs to be treated clinically or through therapy. My personal experience says any disorder stems from a habit we develop over time. When you’ve actually allotted a room to this fear in your head. It starts living in you. It affects your livelihood and relationships. 

Prevention is cure 

Having counter balancing habits before dwelling in the fear becomes a habit—is the preventive way. We sort of know where it stems from. We only need to battle it out with love and empowerment. 

—“I am healthy and fine and if something happens we’ll plan as per that.” Practical and assuring. 

—“I’m investing in this now it seems good, we’ll keep checking if it seems a bad buy we’ll let it go and take it from there.” Healthy attitude. 

—“I am doing my best, if I find a different way which works I’ll try that too.” No panic! 

Just like how Z ignored my request to look up at a high rise building—throw some attitude to your fears. It’s like an unwanted guest. It’s okay to have them at your door visiting dropping-off reality-checks. Just don’t let them come live with you. 


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The Flip side —Self-Righteous

“Enjoy the process!” —they said; “Don’t worry about the results!” —they said. It is nice to hear it; and to read it, but applying it in a reward-centric world is a different ball-game. We always want to make the right choices that lead to the outcome we want. Achievements have always been glorified in all of history because isn’t that supposed to make us feel good about ourselves? Being good at something and our laurels— they put us above others; give us an edge AND… on the flip side make us a little self-righteous.

A few days ago….

I was given two choices by my friend and depending on what I picked I would get rewarded. I picked the right answer and to my surprise the wrong answer was apparently more rewarding. Twisted right? It perplexed me, the idea of getting something extra for the wrong choice. Does that happen in real life? It could right?

You could reach faster, inspite of taking a longer route to a destination (less traffic); or wing-it in a recipe and it could taste fabulous. You could call someone by mistake and it could end up in a great conversation; or forget to save a file (happens if you’re technologically challenged like me) and get a whole new way of doing the work again.

What taught us to chase results and to get gratification from achievements then? I think it’s a generational curse! We’re praised as a kid for doing something good; given extra stars on our notebooks for good handwriting— glorified for good choices and reprimanded for bad ones. Some of us are still chasing those stars, a.k.a being self-righteous.

I always took pride in waking up early. Sure it has a great deal of health benefits but sometimes when I had to sleep-in late, I would begrudge myself the extra sleep that morning. Self-righteousness is like the card that sneaks in up the magician’s sleeve. You saw it but didn’t really look at it.

How do you catch yourself being self-righteous?

  1. Start acknowledging your pitfalls and rewarding them. Make the wrong choices look good too. I have started appreciating the fact that I break my routine sometimes. I woke up late the other day and decided to talk about it like it’s a great achievement, so that it felt as gratifying as waking up early.
  2. Self-righteousness can lead to being self-absorbed if not checked. You could end up talking about yourself a lot. (This I’ve covered on my Instagram handle @mycoffeeweather on Monday Real Talk highlights). When you start asking open-ended questions, it helps you learn that there is a whole word out there that you don’t know about and that can humble you from being too self-absorbed.
  3. Keep asking yourself- “Am I judging them/him/her?”; “Am I being too critical?”. Self-righteous people have high standards for themselves and they always want to live up to it. They can become too critical of themselves. It doesn’t allow them to be accepting of others. (Even if they’re not vocal they’ll totally judge you). Personally, I’ve come a long way from being judgmental, but there are times I slip. Tell your friends and family to stop you if you’re being judgemental.
So needed for a tolerant society

Each one of us can be self-righteous in some way. Self-righteousness is an attitude that can be fixed only by yourself. If you can’t see you’re being self-righteous, no one can make you see it. From high up there, anything anyone says feels like it’s coming from a noob, because you’ll have a ‘been-there-done-that’ attitude. All you need to see is how this attitude can affect your life?—

When you are being self-righteous, you’re probably pushing everyone away. You will stop you’re own growth by limiting your channels of learning. There will be a lot of anxiety of slacking, and keeping up might feel exhausting at times. You might not have a balanced life- investing too much into the things that make you feel above everyone. Confidence in some areas of life could be low, if you feel highly self-righteous in other areas.

If you know someone who is a little self-righteous—

Just know you need to appreciate their smallest efforts in doing things unconventional to their forte, (like if they are too obsessed with their work life and they put together a meal -clap hands);

Avoid glorifying the things they already gloat about. (“OMG! Samantha you’re beautiful!”-they probably already know);

Encourage them to be in social settings where they can learn something outside of their world (“Why don’t you meet the neighbours today?”)

Small things go a long way!

There is a Yoga Sutra by Patanjali which speaks about discrimination. Finding the opposite of what is too intense- “Pratipakshabhave”. I feel I somehow found this connection after reading that. Yoga isn’t just asana- it’s a way of life and it’s the google maps for life’s journey; and I’m “Enjoying the Process” —like they said!

Insta post!

If confidence is something you’re struggling with— Watch this TED talk below and know you got it! Brittany Packnett!

Even the self-righteoud need to know what is confidence.

Self Care‘ connected to this topic; might give you better clarity if you read!

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Rewriting Self-care

Thanks to social-media and what’s been told…a lot of people think putting cucumber slices on your eyes, putting some music on and stretching your legs while sipping on a colada on the beach is ‘SELF-CARE’.

I hated the idea of being so self-absorbed and giving self-importance. Yes, you do need your mental peace and me-time and you do need that spa day once in a while. But are you looking at the flip side to this mass accepted idea of self-obsession? I’m not against having a good time; I just see so many people stomping out of bad situations and walking out of their responsibilities by giving an excuse of ‘Me-Time’!

Beyond basic hygiene and healthcare, there is splurging on yourself. Even after all that pampering there is this extra bit we really crave as humans-Social connections. It comes naturally to us humans. Being accepted by the society we live in is wired in our genetics, or at least passed down from civilizations. Our ancestors I just read banished a person from the tribe for their crimes and they feared isolation as the worst-case scenario. Being an outcast can feel so demotivating and dejecting; then why glorify the concept of ‘Me, myself and I’.

(Going candid now… basically time for getting random and then leading it back to the topic.)

My brother just told me this morning, that I should calculate the amount of time I spend, talking about, making and eating food. I do love food. In all honesty though, every time I’ve cooked something yum and had no one to share it with, I didn’t enjoy it as much. As much as when my people have loved my food back. The feeling of just creating something for others is like getting a star from the teacher on my answer sheet. Same like, when you do something for someone and they give you a tight hug in return. Their happiness radiates into your bones like therapy. That boomerang effect of your efforts is what I call new age self-care. Show and pour your heart out to the people in your life. That feels like self-care! (Ripleys) Believe it or not- the new definition of self-care is caring about others!

Even if you got free spa vouchers for a month or a solo trip to a famous place- if you had no one in your life to share your happiness from all the rejuvenation it would mean nothing. So first maintain the relationships in your life then enjoy your tea party with yourself.

Now! Now! Don’t be naive and too giving to toxic relationships where there is only incoming calls but no outgoing. You will drain out and every time there is the spa day it will just be a short recharge. Not a permanent solution. Find the connections that mutually wants to send you back the love. That’s where you’d want to go. We go to the best of the salons to get our things done, then why invest in bad relationships? Why hope for good connectivity from bad networks?

I’ve been told I have a tough luck with love, because I’ve never really dated anyone. But hey! I do have many other connections in my life who want to see me happy and bounce back the love I can give. I feel cared for and trust me that just doesn’t come to you in a platter you need to invest. Give your time to your mother, (just a short hey also will make her super happy), hug your dad, help your brother trim his hair, cook with your sister, play the guitar and sing with your cousins, call your friends who stay away! Go out there COWBOY! and grab your people with the lasso. They’re all you need to feel good and cared about- then probably add some ice cubes in your colada as you chill with them on the beach! PRICELESS!

Self-care is in giving

A Previous READ! From October 2018 🙂
So well said! by Cloe Wade

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Learning to Unlearn-Burp Out Loud

I’m sitting on the floor mat made of twigs and thread; and as I’m writing this, my gluteus muscles are screaming in discomfort. Every half an hour or an hour, I look to my left and talk to the plants, in the little indoor garden I’ve created in my room. I never saw my room from this angle ever before, because there used to be a low cabinet in this space. It didn’t take much effort to be honest. I just had to sit with the furniture and decide if I needed a few things it kept; if I was still using the things or just hoarding them. I can only say that the scanning was totally worth the effort because now my room feels so much more like me. More oxygen. More space. More learning.

Altering my physical space, I usually find a lot of clarity. Here are a few tricks that I learnt; in all this, rearranging and cleaning of drawers—

Learning to Unlearn- My new roommates!
My new roommates
  1. Have limited things and keep it spacious. If you have lesser things you’ll be able to find everything inside. Ask yourself “Do I need this?” —(Start being more aware of the b.s. thoughts that are cramming your mind-space. Ask yourself “Why do I have this thought and how is it helping?”)
  2. Rearrange the physical things; more organized; compartments and slots for everything. —(Time slots for thoughts—Not more than 5 min over a silly argument).
  3. Keep the most used stuff in the most accessible spot—(Same as giving priority to your main thoughts) 

Last week I spoke about how we learn narratives and form beliefs of what every relationship entitles you to. To change these narratives what does one have to do?— (find on Real Talk Monday on my Instagram page @mycoffeeweather).

Today’s Topic is—‘UNLEARNING’.

For the longest of time we have been taught ‘how to’, ‘what to’, ‘when to’, and ‘From whom to’ learn, and everything is focused on learning. What about UNLEARNING? The story of the Zen master asking his student to empty his cup to learn more, —was he supposed to figure out on his own, how to unlearn?

All the information available to us is using up mind space. Every experience, conversation and observation creates thoughts and they are getting saved in our minds. In one part of our country it’s learnt, not to burp loudly and in other parts burping is a sign of a hearty meal. In one part of the world greeting ‘Good morning’ to everyone you meet, is normal; while in some its considered creepy. Different cultures, locations and societies teach differently and that makes it all the more important to unlearn.

Other than time for cleaning, the lockdown got me used to working out at home. For warm up, I usually run up and down the staircase. Today, I randomly stepped down backwards from the terrace down, instead of the regular way. Basically, imagine a rewind video of someone going up the stairs. It’s fine if you step down at a slow pace; but it took some effort, concentration and balance to do it at a normal pace. I just figured something as simple as a staircase can be challenging if we use it differently. If we changed the way we see it, different from how we know it. Everything we have learnt can be unlearned, if we just do it differently.

(Okay Wait… let me sprawl on the bed and continue writing this article… since my gluteus have given up now).

The new view is gone; the greenery is near my feet now and my shoulders are back at getting strained. It’s so easy to go back to your old comforts right? Even if we realize and know our pattern of thinking; even after knowing that it is not good for us— we cannot help but go back. This is exactly the point where you’ll be separated from people who change versus the ones who don’t.

 (Okay! ….Slithering out of bed, back to the floor.)

It won’t be uncomfortable forever when you unlearn something, so get back in the game!

That’s all there is to unlearning. It’s keeping whatever you know aside and willingly moving towards discomfort. Writing something on a new blackboard with chalk is easy, but when we have to erase it with the duster it takes some effort. That feeling of a clean slate to start over again is priceless though. Keeping that in mind, watch what thoughts your chalking; and if you think burping is uncouth; try burping loudly once!

I read this quote 10 years ago! Always helps reading it over!

The last post was a Story “The Chest full of Nothings

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The Chest full of Nothings

A short story on “The Chest full of Nothings”

In a Victorian building, with a family of four, was living an old wooden chest; strangely never opened. He sat in the living room, accompanying the ornamental furnitures, royal carpets, chandelier lamps and expressively still statues. Everyone who passed by noticed everything except the chest. It feel disheartened and rejected. It tried its best to make some creaking sounds, but never got as much attention as his companions.

Sometimes, rays of light slithered in, through the edges and cracks; while the chest was busy looking outside and feeling demotivated.

Some time passed and the family had found a new place to move to and they began packing and loading everything in a wagon. They had tried moving the chest in every way possible; the stubborn weight made them leave it behind. For the lack of time they didn’t even try unlocking the chest. It truly lost all hope and felt deeply hurt. “No one wants me” this thought seeped in to rot it’s wood with feelings of unworthiness.

For a long time no one met the house or the coffer.

On a stormy night, the roof of the old building gave way; allowing the winds to displace everything that was left of the house. The coffer lay there hopelessly, awaiting its destruction in this storm.

The storm grew wild and let the branch from a tree fall on the coffer, breaking the lock. The winds screeched and rains thrashed the building. The building started to dilapidate and the chest slid to one side and hit the wall.

The next morning the storm had passed, leaving the quiet. The chest thought it didn’t survive the storm. It was lying open, facing the sun and the light was now throwing itself on every corner inside the chest. Rain drops like an alarm on snooze disturbed the chest out of the nightmare, to look inside. Filled with Gemstones, silverware, Gold and maps to places, secret books, letters of love and a peaceful stillness wrapping everything in velvet dense air. More than being ready for an identity makeover; it sat shell shocked.

A few days later a writer was passing by on the cobbled roads, riding on his bicycle and whistling to a tune. The gleaming rays of the sun shone off the gold and caught his eye. He rode to the building and made his way to the chest. It was finally going to be noticed and appreciated. The writer picked up the maps, books and letters. He felt enthralled to find these to be sixty years old writings. He rode off with the new reads.

The chest felt dissatisfied at not being accepted for everything that it was. He began to doubt his own value. The writer had not even notice the gemstones and gold.

Some days later…

A caravan came wheeling with hope to the building. The foreign traders stopped over, to find and grab all the riches they could. Leaving the chest behind bare, feeling used and valueless.

After a few months…

A humble carpenter was walking with his son and they were looking for some good quality wood to make a table to eat on. They saw the house and helped each other in, through the chaos. The chest was like a chameleon in all the dust and webs. The Father spotted the old wood of the chest and began to say—“Son look, this is a very rare mahogany wood for a coffer—see the grains and lines. It is very good and seasoned over time, as the colour has darkened. Let’s take this and add it to our table top to make it look rich.” The chest was carried away and it was now a part of a dining table in the carpenters house—staging three meals every day and merging into the background of their daily life.

What the Chest has to say to you—”What you make of yourself is how you value yourself. Everyone will notice whatever they can see of value to them. Don’t wait for people to see you and appreciate you. Look within and embrace the darkness as much as the light within; everything you’re made of.”

The story of a Chest
The Chest full of Nothings

Special mention to Tall Tales Story telling for being the stepping stone to write my very first story.

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Accept and Bloom

All your firsts are special—first day of school, first time using a pen or getting your hair coloured, first time frying or baking a bread, first time going on a date or quarantined, first …. (long list, fill at your own leisure).

First own hair cut.

Even saying that makes me happy. The sound of snip snip has always been therapeutic to me. In fact, I start getting warnings from people every year as summer approaches — ‘Don’t get your hair cut short this time’! So I decided to do it myself. Just took the scissors and snip-snip! To tell you the truth it was scary at first— what if I goof up? Luckily ‘stay-at-home’ made it easy; now that the lockdown is extended.

I’ll just pause here.

What if there wasn’t a lockdown, I messed it up and looked goofy for a bit? Would I be judged badly and would people not let me be? As I stood in front of the mirror, hair drenched and dripping- I was combing my hair over and over; I would raise the scissor to my head and lower it. This went on for five minutes. It’s just fringes man! (Go for It); No! If it actually goes bad…? YES! NO! YES, NO! 

Beep* it!

That’s it!! That moment when I decided for myself —that’s what self acceptance is. You own the goofiest decisions, you own your worst nightmares and you own your insecurities. Every time I do these impulsive things, my need for validation dies a little.

I am going to rewind back to 2009…

I am standing on my yoga mat, at a1000yoga; A chilly morning, at half past six, I’m profusely sweating all over my mat (my warm up sweat would be your post workout sweat). After the regular bout of Suryanamaskar, I found myself literally tugging my body forward holding my toes in Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold). My back is curved and I’m hell bent (literally) to get myself to reach perfection in that very moment. (This was my fight against complacency-clearly OTT).

My breathing was fast like I was on a treadmill and face contorted, like I could just deliver something on my mat. Dj my yoga teacher must’ve seen my little act; her soft and loud words still ring clearly in my head today- “Don’t fight with your body. Acknowledge where you are in the posture today and breathe into the posture.” 

(Deep breath and sigh) Acceptance right in that moment.

For the next few days I’d just be happy to hold my toes and stay instead of wanting my back to fold forward. Slowly, I eased into it, over time and now I can easily have my entire body fold like a clip.

Now I’m facing the mirror, feeling the small tufts of hair, no longer a part of me (I didn’t know my hair was soft). Looked up at myself I couldn’t stop smiling. I never really accepted that I have a problem with my self belief. I would doubt myself all the time, (sometimes it’s good to be a little unsure is what I was feeding on). I stopped believing what I told myself. For just uploading a picture on social media I would need two opinions, for the caption I’d ask my brother to read. What my mind told me wasn’t good enough until something outside validated it. 

Now that I accepted where I am (seeking validation), I knew where I wanted to go. Instead of putting it under the carpet acknowledge the flaws, breathe into it and let yourself bloom. I wanted to break this pattern of looking for validation from outside and own what’s coming from within. Acceptance doesn’t come easily to many of us, but owning yourself completely leaves you feeling responsible for yourself and that is freedom. 

Accept and Bloom
Pashimotanasana (Forward Fold –YOGA)

What are you trying to accept about yourself? Your physical body, emotional strength, skills you don’t have yet, pronunciation, social skills, you’re not where you want to be? Whatever it may be, just sit down with yourself, once in a while and check on yourself. What is it you keep fighting with? What are you holding yourself against? How hard do you make your own life? Are you accepted in your own head?

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एक रंगीन सफ़ेदी

एक रंगीन सफ़ेदी- A Hindi Poetry; Use Google Translate to understand

**An ode to my devotion for HANUMAN**

मेरी ज़िद है वो,
मेरे धड़कन को हिम्मत दे वो;
मेरे आसमान का रंग भी वो,
वो हौसला ही नहीं, मेरी जुनून भी वो।

मैं ना सोच के भी सोचूँ
उन्ही की छवि के बारे में।
वो इस तरह समा गए ज़हन में मेरे,
खुद की खोज में खुद ही को भुला रही हूँ मैं।

ज़िंदगी का सफ़र है ऐसा सफ़र,
कोई जाना नहीं शायद, और समझा भी नहीं अगर।
तो क्या एक कहानी लिखनी है मुझे हर पल में?
या फिर बस पार करनी है ये धोके की डगर?

इस दुविधा को अपनी कमजोरी मत समझना तुम;
तुम्हारे पास तो वो क़लम है,
जो सफ़ेदी के पीछे छिपे रंगो को दर्शाती है।
तुम्हें बस घुल जाना है इस सफ़ेदी में।

इस तरह से घुल जाना है तुम्हें,
रास्ते में खुद को भी ना देख पाओ तुम।
कभी तुम्हें क़लम बन जाना है,
कभी खुद को सफ़ेदी में पाना है।

ज़िंदगी का सफ़र है ऐसा सफ़र,
यूँही कट जाएगी एक दिन समय के चलने से।
जब जो रंग दर्शाए उसे, ले अपने आँखों में भर;
फिर डूब जाना है अपनी सफ़ेदी के समंदर में।

समय के पाश में एक सोच ये है,
की दोहराते दोहराते सफ़ेदी क्या और रंग क्या?
सब एक हो कर सफ़ेदी ही हर पल में नज़र आती है।
अब ये क़लम की ज़िक्र की भी ज़रूरत ही क्या?

वो इस तरह से दर्शाते हैं मुझे,
सफ़ेदी की एक समंदर में।
लहरो को बनाते कभी, कभी हवाओं को;
नाव लिए, वो इंतज़ार करते हैं मेरे लिए।

मैं कैसे ना तैरूँ उनकी लहरो में?
मैं कैसे ना रंगु उनकी रंग भरे आसमानों में?
अब सब सौंप दूँ मैं उनकी हाथों में;
खुद की खोज में, खुद ही को जो भुला रही हूँ मैं।

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Instant Noodles Personality- An Addiction

Living in the routine, sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even realize when and how our morning went and we’re already dressed for work and leaving home. Until we board the lift and (unconsciously pause to) take a deep breath of sigh (provided you’re not looking into your phone). I’m sure, staying at home in quarantine, this season, must be giving you a glimpse of slow-living. However, we still have access to everything at the tip of a button and our phones are glued to our faces.

Recently I was sketching a quote on my vision board and in the act of doing it with full attention, I lost track of time. This happens every time I’m cooking too, hence I seldom bake- Or I’d be burning a lot of things. When you are in love, or passionate about a project, the undivided focus makes you unaware of everything else. Why does this feel so satisfying? Some people call it ‘the flow (‘living in the Present’). Being possessed by something like that, leaves you feeling happy-high. You are constantly aware of everything happening moment to moment and forget about the world. This sharp awareness, gives you an illusion of having everything around you in control, almost powerful! 

The problem arises when you have nothing to be constantly diving into and there isn’t something you’d be engrossed in 24/7. The mind needs to be busy; it’s the way we are used to living. There is no pause, (unless you are on an elevator). We have got our power-hungry-minds, addicted to nibbling on something or the other. Idle minds are not necessarily bad, but if you don’t know how to handle the idle state of being, you’re sure to fall in trouble. Before you know it, you will be deriving power from controlling things that give you instant gratification. 

Instant gratification is when the reward for doing something is received instantly, just like how our world works- Instant Noodles in 2 minutes, Microwave heating in 1 minute, Fat reduction in 1 week with detox diets, and the list goes on. There is no time for delayed gratification. We no longer have the patience to work towards our weaknesses to gain the reward over a period of time. Rather we indulge in easier activities which provide similar sense of fleeting power. This is exactly how our minds get led to being addicted.

Anything with instant gratification sneaks up and lies to you that ‘you are in the ‘Now’’, ‘you are in control’, and leaves you with an infatuated sense of security. It’s very hard to find individuals who are not addicted to something or the other, in current scenarios. Be it Social Media attention, PubG or other video games, Pornography, Sex, Alchohol, Poker, Drugs, Chalk powder, Smells, and other sense abuses, even Attention; humans have evolved and are still evolving in addiction. We have some ground shattering statistics as a country.

Instant Gratification
instant gratification

People want to have control over something; to fill the void of lack of control in other areas of their lives. So, if a person working in a company isn’t feeling gratified enough, and if they cannot get to change their work, he/she will look to other sources of gratification in whatever time is left. At one point, from the constant use of this source, we are no longer in control of its use. The substance now is in control of interacting with our brains dopamine levels. We go on to increase the use of the substance because that’s how instant gratification works. Your mind gets accustomed to it and needs a bigger dose. We are in the sense of a ‘high’, because the void of control is filled up. Its almost like a symbiotic relationship. The substance has the real power over our brains and we are feeding on fake power gratification. 

How do we break up with this toxic relationship? Firstly, check if you’re addicted to something, by denying yourself access to it for sometime. If you feel you can’t live without it, you’re addicted. Get help! Speak to someone trust worthy and share that you need help. If you’re shy about it, approach a professional. It’s never too late to start all over again and its always okay to take help. 

It’s human to want power, but you just have to access the right kind of it. What’s truly powerful is, when you can control yourself. To know yourself so well, that you can maneuver instantly in response to any external changes. If you cannot control yourself, you give the leash to the the external environment to control you. If you don’t understand your own nature and learn how to manage it—waves will be formed as per the winds outside. Anger is the best example of one such wave—A compulsive reaction that occurs to the situation outside of you. 

In my earlier post of introducing Power (Power is always Free), I started off with a confession of being addicted to the internet. I feel powerful when I learn new information or have deep informative conversations with people. It gives me a sense of control. I have cut it down to balance it with my other priorities of health, family and work. I know I cannot live without the basic use of internet but I realize that I don’t need it all the time. People who have made a dent in the universe did it without any technology. Not going to be naïve but consciously use it to the limit of my goals and requirements. 

The objective, of using anything, should be to have the ultimate access to control of oneself, as a result. When the use of the the substance in itself becomes rewarding is when Addiction sneaks up! Keep him out! 

More Power to You OVER YOURSELF!

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Power Is Always Free

I keep scrolling through Instagram all day! (Honest confession to start with). The funny part is that, it looks like Instagram is scrolling through my life all day too. Is it ‘What you’re seek is seeking you’— sort of relationship!? Or have I let Instagram take control over my life? How do I know where my power is?

I hit upon this Information which said “If you’re not a powerlifter, Don’t train like one. Just because “power” is in the title doesn’t mean it develops power where YOU need it. Power is not a universal quality.” (This was under a body functionality building account) Dr. Andreo Spina!

Some bodies are short and petite an excellent requirement for Ballet or Gymnastic. Some are built and tend to gain muscles easily- great for weightlifting. Every human has different strengths and weaknesses. We don’t play on this because, we are firstly not taught how to be aware of it. Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? (Samosa is my weakness, but I’m talking about the characteristic weaknesses). That’s what controls most of our behavioral patterns. 

Stop here! ….mentally jot down only two of your strengths and weaknesses. If you play comfortable and make your weaknesses sound like strengths, then there’s no point. Being emotional in every situation can be a weakness, if it is coming in the way of making realistic goals. But if you put it like— “I’m in touch with my emotional sense” You play comfortable and make your weakness look good. So now if you see your list and your strengths are still coming in the way of a practical decision, then you’re not doing it right. 

Let me suggest here- I’d swear by this article to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Absolute best thing I’ve come across in a long time.

So once you’ve done some digging and discovered about yourself- It now makes sense to assess your power. Power is your ability to direct or influence others or a course of event. Most of us are control freaks in some aspects of our lives or the other- Why? Because Powerpuff girls/ Power Rangers! Power craving mentality was drilled into us from a young age. The acknowledgement received or pride in becoming captains or leaders in school, the limelight of being noticed in college, or the ‘making it big in life’, they call it “living the good life”. Everyone wants to be on top!

So you have to choose, playing by your strengths and weaknesses what power is accessible to you. If your strength is extrovert personality and your weakness is convincing people- Then if you choose to be a leader, you’re just going to sound like a rock band to Classical opera listeners. 

How do you then play your cards, without losing your power? A) You could work on your weaknesses and then harness the power from one source- say EFG. B) Meanwhile, harness power elsewhere from source JKL, where your weaknesses don’t come in the way. This way, you never run out of power and you’re always feeling upbeat. 

Harnessing Power from source JKL may look very lucrative but it’s not a great idea if you’re not equipped for its voltage. Let me tell you that most of the celebrities were pretty average all their lives before they made it big. Drop outs in school or a nobody at some point in time. They were busy working on their skill sets that would set them apart. Toiling and crashing and rebuilding like a phoenix. I have no better example than Mr. Akshay Kumar for this. Read about his life story to understand how he gave flops back to back and learnt from his failures to be one of the richest celebrities in India.

It’s great to be Power hungry or striving to be the best, and if you’re doing it right, you could even change your fate from a Chai-waala. Start by noticing your conversations that’s where we first lose our power. The whole concept of “I” and “me” is egoistic and coming from that space you’ve already given away your power. Since a person in power has an ability to influence; only if you are a person of “WE” over “I”, will others be open to the influence. I would trust someone’s intentions and allow them to influence me, if I know they want mutual benefit. 

I personally always attacked a situation with a Self-defensive attitude and protecting my interests. Most of my conversations in a conflict did not consider a win-win situation. This has left me stuck and powerless, because the other person becomes defensive too and we both want to grab our seats rather than meet mid–way. When I talk to my younger brother I tend to have this approach because of my ego not letting me see beyond my elder status and the gender bias is my instrument of defence. A win-win would be me being able to see the bigger picture where he gets his way (because I don’t use it to get my way) and I get my way because he now trusts me for protecting his interests.

Power is not achieved by feeding your ego, power is achieved by starving it. So Unlock your Power. Work on your weaknesses even in conversations (like mine was ego), to feel empowered by first empowering others. Power feeds power, just like I said “What you’re seeking, is seeking you!”

Power is Power within
Unlock your Power —it’s within.
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Pieces of a puzzle

“Pieces of a puzzle” — a poetry..

“Take a piece of me today,
I’ll give you my share of calm.
Sit with me if you want,
I’ll take your share of pain.
I’ve been there you know,
Watching someone in love;
Wanting how they care;
Wishing, to feel that way.

So take a piece of me today,
I’m all ears, for every word you say.
I’ll walk with you if you will;
I’m rooting for you, so don’t hesitate.
Because I’ve been in your shoes;
Standing under my umbrella in rain,
Wanting to let it fly, with imaginary lyrics,
Only to meet someone in life’s hurricane.

So take a piece of me today,
Till your heart pours from your eyes;
Till your mind falls short of thoughts;
Till you take a deep breath and sigh.
I’m doing this because you deserve to know,
You my friend, are a soul just like me;
And life’s not exactly perfect nor always pretty,
And if you’re feeling low, believe, it will be fine again.

Just take a piece of me; will you?
I’m extending my empathetic hand,
Letting it soak in your worries
To taste like everything you need.
Because I know who I am.
I may look only human to you;
I’m more than explanations can meet,
May be your modern day super hero.

Letting pieces of ourselves
Become a part of, the pieces of everyone else.
Listening, till the pieces cement to form a world
A world, where everyone is a super hero.
Because the world needs you;
I need you! And you need me!
We are the million pieces in a puzzle
That I’m beginning to solve.”

Pieces of a puzzle
31st December, 2019

Pieces of a Puzzle

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Hide and Seek

Hide And Seek’ ..A poetry piece on— ‘how I met my sly cat?’

Hiding in plain sight,
Was this sly little cat—

A voice in my head hissing;
“You’re lost and I’m here to find you 
I’m here, look at me
You’re looking for me and that’s all you need.”
I stop in the middle of the day,
as I hear all this in a muffled voice; 
Almost unrecognisable those words.
Just a soft empty sound that stays-
In the middle of my coffee break;
In the traffic, amongst loud honking; 
While watching my dog breathing. 
It’s there with me this presence of a peace,
A sort of feeling like being watched. 
It’s not the creepy-being-watched; 
No! No! Not even stalker alert!
It’s just a sense of warmth and a sense of relief. 
I feel home in the middle of the day,
Sitting in this room and this bed I call mine
I suddenly get this urge to let time just float away and watch it still.

Hiding in plain slight
Was this Sly cat—

Every time I went looking for it
And tried to grab it;
Slipping away like sand the soft fur
Leaving behind empty spaces,
Empty minds, for noise to fill in. 
Will can put up a fistful fight,
And force is just vain;
It stealthily settles next to your back 
Just when you’re not desperately looking. 
I tried and tried and failed; 
Failed at giving it a permanent space.
I just wanted it to feel home, in me;
But it had his own ways,
His own ways of making his presence felt;
His own ways of being. 
So I began to meditate.

Hiding in plain sight
Was my sly little cat— 
Well he’s my pet now 
And I call him peace.

Hide and Seek

31st December, 2019

For more poems and videos watch the space on Insta–

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Choice Of A Window

“I am looking out of a glass piece,
Wondering what to see.
The circles of light on the edge of my eye;
The green grass; or the spotless sky.

Something tells me the wind feels good;
Something tells me the sound of a blue bird.
Whatever I choose to see, I will miss something,
So is life just a pile of perfect decision making?

Every window lets in a layer of light-
Letting you see the world differently.
There will always, always be something that’s worth admiring
And a puny part of you, could be secretly regretting.

It’s just a sight, that will pass by in a moment—
So, to make a choice; that you won’t repent;
Is almost like painting a picture on the glass
And calling that a possibility, when it’s clearly a farce.

It will all come crashing down you’ll see,
With the pounding and passing of reality.
So just choose a window, any window to look through!
Because past all those complaints, waits a beautiful view.”

For more poems and videos watch the space on Insta–

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Piecing Out Self-image

I was sharing the news of my friend’s marriage getting fixed, with someone and they went- “oh! Good things happen to good people!” I agreed with this notion until they said it that day. I thought to myself, what makes someone good or bad and who is judging us anyway? Does karma brand people with everything bad for a few mistakes? These ideologies can do so much harm to our self image and that’s exactly what the next few months should change for all of us (the new year hoohaa).

Self image
Looking in the mirror…

I look at myself in the mirror everyday and know that my self image isn’t about the way that I look in the mirror. That’s already been talked about- body image and body shaming is a thing of the past. Now that we know what it’s not; what is self image about then? Is it about what we do—the actions and our reactions to situations? To fill the vacuum; Self image is our own opinion of ourselves (what we think we are).

Our opinion of others are formed even before we talk to them or decide the relationship with them. Similarly, what we think about ourselves is being pieced and re-adjusted, with every thought in our minds (self talk). Our relationship with ourselves is defined by our mental chatter. What was the last thought that crossed your mind—and what does that thought speak about you?

The babbling we did as toddlers was the first conversations we were having with ourselves. It made sense only to us but just think of how happy and uninfluenced that conversation was. Similarly it’s important to tell ourselves good things, reassuring yourself is the best way to feel good. Remember ‘ALL IS WELL’ from the movie 3 idiots.

Affirmations is something that needs to be talked about at this point. It is said that the words we repeatedly say gets fixated in our minds and we get automated to believe it. People who are confident are babbling away some really good affirmations consciously or subconsciously. We are inherently good babblers but if the external environment makes us doubt in our goodness, it’s important to keep oneself reminded.

The people in our lives project their insecure views of this world on us, making us scrape through layers of perceptions. Self image is about knowing who you are under all those layers and knowing the sound of your babble over other voices. Self love then is not something you have to achieve by doing, you just automatically love yourself.

So the next time someone asks- ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ You’ll actually be smiling thinking of your own voice.

I am _____________. (Fill in the blank with every word that only empowers you).

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A Window into Productivity

It’s 7:15AM and it’s my last window to quickly reach the gym; but the weather has gifted me a runny nose this Christmas and I just won’t stop sneezing. So I miss my workout fourth day in a row. I could die of guilt at this point or fret about losing muscle mass, losing momentum and progress I made so far. (But!! …the optimist that my heart is-) I’m perfectly fine with the idea of just sitting wrapped up in a blanket and sipping on lemongrass tea. So much for being productive?

So I’m already up and I’ve missed it, what do I do in the time gained. Yes, that’s how you look at it- “time gained”. I read, I meditate and check up on my work and blog a little earlier or just connect with friends on the other side of the world (time zone benefit). This is my way of ‘making hay wherever the sun shines’. Just be present to what is working, rather than what is not.

I think I learnt this concept back in school because math was my favourite subject. Yes mathematics! (haters going to hate #mathgeek) Writing a math exam made me high. To be your most productive at attempting the paper you had to attempt each question once; and when you were not able to answer something you just leave space and move to the next question. The time spent on pounding over a question that isn’t working out, can become time gained in the ones that you’re definitely going to crack. Optimum usage of time to get the most correct answers.

Optimisation is Productivity in my view. It is a prized possession in every field and in every aspect of life. The more productive we are the better the chances of getting the results. My dad always questions us about our productivity- especially when we’d be lounging around like Garfield. It used to pain me, until I read about the 80 20 rule of Pareto Principle. It is gold! This rule suggests that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results. This changed everything for me. Being productive never felt less stressful.

So I don’t grudge not having given a 100% time to something. Strive to give my best in one goal; then if it reaches stagnation I let it rest and move to another aspect of my life. So if I’m doing anything I’m all-in, even if that’s going to be for 20 percent of the time I planned to do it for. This way it helps me accomplish more tasks and get more work done in the same 24 hours.

Very important fact!! Rest is the most essential part of being productive. In a time where everyone wants you to clock insane hours at work and be everywhere—remember we are humans and phoenix is a mythical creature. To come back from a complete breakdown and exhaustion, is worse than taking short breaks in between.

Productive burpees!
Burpee Life <3

While doing a set of 50 burpees you need to pace it. Break the sets into 5reps of 10 sets or 10 reps of 5sets. Short breathers and you’ll be more effecient than trying to go all out fifty burpees. So don’t grudge those short breaks in between work or workout or any aspect of life.

Make goals! More importantly achieve them with grace! And don’t forget to breathe.

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Do it all with Oranges

Oranges are such versatile fruits. It can easily be incorporated in many dishes! I had this salad at The Lazy Suzy (Bangalore, India) where they put citrus fruit segments in their salad along with beet root. It tasted heavenly. In your leafy green salads don’t shy away from adding orange segments to it.

Orange Fibre does it all for the body
Dont forget the fibre

You can add orange and basil to your over-night soaked water! That again adds an amazing taste to water. At W hotel in Goa they had added beetle leaf and slices of Malta. I’m not even kidding, it was such a killer combo; I filled up my carry bottle with their flavoured water. Flavoured water needs to be in the refrigerator to avoid turning sour. Its probably twice in a month for me.

Oranges are super good for Vitamin C; you can confirm with your nutritionist or just have and see how your body feels. My energy levels feel much better everytime I have oranges before my workout. ‘Oranges help strengthen and support the liver’—Diane Schwartz.

The hero ‘Peel’

The thick outer peel has XYZ number of uses. Just keep a bag in the freezer and keep adding the left over peels to it everyday.

Zest is a big yes! Just grate some on your salads or soups and whooopp!! Vitamin C booster. The zest from the peel is only from the coloured part. It gets bitter if you get over-enthusiatic and grate it too much. There’s a recipe on the website of ZerowasteChef (P.S. she is queen) about candied orange peels, go check it out. (Link down below).

If you’re doing it right you’re going to be left with a lot of peels. Put it in your compost or use these DIY recipes!

DIY Natural Cleaner recipe:

Collect fresh orange peels (pro tip- I freezer mine to collect enough to immerse in one litre of..
White Vinegar 1 litre (any brand)
Twist- added
4-5 lemon grass twigs
3 pounded cloves (doesn’t have to be fine)

Orange peels soaking in Vinegar for DIY cleaner do it all with oranges
Soaking Orange Peels

Place the Orange peels, lemon grass and cloves in a jar. Pour the vinegar to immerse completely. To keep it immersed use a small glass bottle. (P.S.—mine is going to be stuck.) Leave it for two weeks on a shelf not receiving direct sunlight. The longer it is fermented the more potent it is. Strain and store the concentrate in a glass bottle, it is strong and can react with metal or plastic. Put the peels in your compost or I read in a post you can grind it and wash your dustbin with it.
Transfer the concentration to a bottle in the ratio 50%water and 50% orange concentrate. Spray it and wipe; (also keeps those ants and mosquitoes away).

Uses- highly recommended for oven, gas tops and bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles. It removes hard stains tried it! Keeps the floors happy and insect free!

Please note—It’s a citric fermented cleaner. It can react with different surfaces like wood or marble. Tip: Patch-test before using on new surfaces.

DIY Potpourri:

Orange Peels cut in strips or unshapely equal sizes
Lemon peels same
Herbs (rosemary, basil)
Bay leaf
Cinnamon sticks small
Rose petals dried
Essential oils

Orange do it all. drying peals for pot pourri
Orange peels ready to dry.

Dry the orange peels and lemon peels. Sundries is best or a dehydrator. I just used the oven in really low heat and almost like a preheat and leave it technique. I like to put the extra herbs I got from the market and dry it along with the peels. You don’t want any moisture in it.Nothing should be burnt charcoal black.

Add everything in a glass jar and drip some essential oils of your choice. Close the lid and mix well. Put it aside for the smell to mature into a good mix for a few days. I left mine for a week.

Now leave it in a bowl on your dining or living and watch how it turns everything to magic. DIY potpourri it is. I’m going to share the results on @mycoffeeweather on Instagram.

DIY Scrub:

With homemade scrubs I go all out and creative and this one is my all time favourite—

Orange peels of one orange
Any plant based Mylk/water
Coffee powder 1 spoon or just go by gut feeling

Do it all scrubs with Oranges DIY scrub
Scrub instantly, absolute love!

Grind it. That’s it. If you want it coarse add some oats/gram flour separately. You’re going to smell amazing after this.

Dry powdered peel can be stored in the box and used at your own convenience to make a scrub. Patch test again! Dried Orange peels are being used to make Christmas wreaths. I make bath salts too and add some Orange peels to that.

For now go stock up some oranges in your kitchen and share this post with someone who loves oranges 🙏🏽❤️

Continue reading Do it all with Oranges
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Brew it like Tisané (Recipes)

Every morning I stand on my mom’s head for making her have tisané (brew recipes) and stop having her morning cup of milk tea for the caffeine kick. It is really bad and why I have mentioned in my previous post of Tisane Over Chai. I prefer these healing brew recipes anytime and I’m not a pro-coffee or Anti-Tea person (Just because its called mycoffeeweather you thought I’m a convert? No.) So I’ve been very unsuccessful and I’ll still keep trying to help her kick the habit to switch to herbal brew recipes.  Below are a few more brew recipes with herbs and spices (tisané):

Go-to-Bed Tisané

—Turmeric is a boon to mankind. If you asked your grandmother or even granddad, they’ll know at least one home remedy with this ingredient. Brew Recipe: Bring a glass of water to simmer and then add a pinch of turmeric and a smaller pinch of black pepper. Turn off the flame and add the smallest pinch cinnamon. Just pour it into a cup and grate the lemon peel over the cup. The zest is only on the upper yellow layer, so grate and keep checking you don’t want the white bit getting into your tea (it tastes bitter). A tiny bit is enough to get the smell. This brew will help in keeping your immune system on guard, especially in the flu season. Liver health will improve as turmeric in combination with pepper has its own list of benefits. Lemon zest is a bomb of Vit C and Cinnamon helps in moderation.

Garlic brew for the flu

So after doing everything if you still caught the flu, because of “sheer dumb luck” then you’ve got this cracker. I was repulsed by the idea of garlic and tea, and mildly surprised when it tasted like Chinese soup. It’s just quicker to make. I was inspired by The Herbal Academy for this brew recipe (Just tweaked it and made it caffeine free). Boil a glass and a little more of water. Add some smashed ginger (3-4 slices fresh) and one smashed clove of garlic. Let it boil for 10-15 min. Cover with lid. Strain the water, add a pinch of black pepper powder. Taste, if you need add some Honey/ Black strap molasses (vegan option). I had this tea and in less than twenty-four hours the cold and flu went AWOL, and thank gods for this website. 

The Cramps Reliever

I have died and come back to life a few months of my periods due to cramps. Hot bag and instant meds are a savior, but if I do anything natural it is this. I remember having this for cold too and helps with constipation and bloating. Bishops it is. Bishop’s weed or Carom seeds in English and Ajwain in hindi is the tip. Start sipping on this from day one of your chums, in between meals.  Recipe: Boil 1/2 table spoon of Ajwain in 1 and a half glass of water for 15-20 min. Remove from the stove, strain and add a pinch of Pink Himalayan salt/ Black salt. I make a lot together so I can keep reheating and having it 2-3 times. 

Fennel Shennel

I love fennel seeds at anytime and I don’t see why people don’t use it all the time in all their recipes. I’m going to share an amazing recipe soon with fennel seeds you’ll love it. For now- This ones a refresher. Brew Recipe- Half teaspoon of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water. Strain or don’t. This is a lazy person’s go-to Tisane for sure. I do this when I have no time to do the whole process. This helps with digestion and bloating. If you want to be exta then go ahead and add some Dhanya (coriander seeds) and Jeera (cumin seeds).

Rosemary Brew

This is another tisane you can make when you’re lazy and just need a waking up. Its great for digestion and hair growth. Its my poison off-late. The cold weather makes it very complementing too. Just dry some rosemary leaves in the sun or in your oven. Powder it and store it in a jar. Use a teaspoon of leaves for one cup. Same process as fennel but this one I prefer straining. 

Curry leaf Brew Recipe

Curry leaf tea is a South Indian natural remedy used for centuries to treat many ailments such as constipation, morning sickness, diabetes, nausea, high blood pressure and diarrhea. Brew Recipe: Bring a glass of water to a boil and remove it from direct heat. Add 15 to 20 curry leaves to the glass of hot water. Allow the leaves to soak for a couple hours. Strain the brew to remove the curry leaves. Add honey and lemon to taste. Drink the tea on an empty stomach.

Hibiscus Cinnamon Clove

brew recipe for hibiscus, cinnamon and clove

This is a surprise combination. Trust me I never thought I’ll like the taste of this until I made it and got addicted to it. It helps in boosting immunity, promoting better skin, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, managing inflammation, and improving digestive issues. Hibiscus tea has diuretic and choleretic effects, thus controlling blood viscosity by reducing blood pressure and enhancing digestion. So go ahead and brew a cup full of goodness! Add 2 tablespoons of dried hibiscus flowers (buy at a store, online or just pluck from the garden ad dry it) to boiling water (2 cups). Add a clove crushed. After the colour changes as per your taste switch the flame off and strain, add a pinch of cinnamon powder and mix it. This can be a little sour to some. Give this recipe a brew! 

Lemon grass brew recipe from ‘Sharan india’

Ingredients: Mint leaves + Grated ginger + Crushed whole pepper + Lemon grass. Method: Boil water. Set aside and add the ingredients to be infused. Take enough of each to extract the right amount of flavour. The quantity of ingredients can vary according to taste. Cover and wait for five minutes. Strain and serve. This concoction can be made in a large quantity and preserved in the fridge for three or four days to have it handy when needed.

Some more links- if you want to be extra