If You Ever Get Anxious, Read This

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 3.47.20 pmThe other day I was sitting with my diary, or a journal as I’d like to call it.

That journal is my daily gratitude journal / daily diary entry / the outlet to express myself about things that I might not be able to talk to anyone else about.

I decided that I would introspect more about who I really am as a person and what is important to me. And what does a successful, fulfilled life mean mean for me.

I thought I’ll get answers straight away, I must admit. I always believed I had enough self awareness to be able to discover who I was almost immediately.

Looks like I overestimated my skills. Or maybe not.

For some reason I was able to list down a lot of little things in life that give me joy and happiness, but was not able to pin point that ONE thing that would make me feel like my life is fulfilled. Did that mean that maybe a real fulfilled life doesn’t really have this ONE magical thing one should do but rather a series of little joys that help sail and live through this journey called life?

I was speaking to someone over Facebook chat yesterday. I happened to comment on her post on the same day of her looking at my Youtube channel for dance video ideas. She told me something I did not think consciously, but that sentence resounded in my head and I decided to note that down before I forget it. She said “Spread the joy of being alive”.

You know something, what I’ve slowly learned about life is one needs to stop worrying about happiness that “one day” and focus about being happy NOW.

If you are happy naturally without any effort right now then you are sorted. But if you feel anxious and need to address your anxiety, or rather get rid of it, here are a few things you could do (that I personally do) :

  1. Meditate : I cannot stress the importance of meditating. I actively started meditating about one and a half years ago and I have never looked back since. I try and meditate at least once a day. And on the days I go without meditating, I can see the difference. In fact not just me, my friends and close ones can also see the difference. If you need to get some peace in life, irrespective of just how bad you think your life might be right now, meditation will help.¬† I use this guided meditation app called Insight Timer on android phones. It is a free app and is perfect for anyone who wants specific topics to meditate on. My account handle on the app is via my email priya.kumar.0707@gmail.com. You can add me there and we could meditate together ūüôā
  2. Gratitude Journalling :  I have been really on and off about this for some reason. I resumed gratitude journalling about three days ago mainly because of the same anxiety attack I talked about. And its strange, but every time I end the journalling I am either almost in tears or just genuinely filled with gratitude towards the people that matter to me. Just get a pen and a diary, make it a point to write the top 3 or 5 things that you are grateful for today.
  3. Fake It Till You Make It :¬†This is probably the BEST advice anyone could give anyone. I know this works. If you don’t feel confident but want to become one, just start acting as if you are the most confident human ever made. And the brain almost gets attuned to the fake confidence and mistakes it for real confidence. Mission accomplished !!! I am really trying to incorporate this into my daily life, and even if there would be times where one would falter and things would fail where you cant fake anymore, the key is to get back up and get going again till you genuinely start being that person.
  4. Talk To Someone About Your Problems & Ask Them For Help : Because sometimes our minds make a much bigger deal about a problem than it actually is. Talking to someone you trust always helps this situation and makes you feel better by the end of the day.
  5. Daily Affirmations :¬†My best friend Aditi told me about this. I had a weird anxiety attack one day, so I pinged her asking advice about what I could do to make myself feel better. She said there are these daily affirmations that help conquer the biggest fears, so she asked me to write my affirmations down and the most important part…. Read It Out Loud !!! Initially I thought that might not really make a difference but the truth was that by the time I was reading the affirmations out loud, I was already feeling better about myself and about the reasons that caused me anxiety.
  6. Engage in Activity That You Always Wanted To Do : And do not delay it. I do that a lot. My creative urges would want to make the next vlog, or the next dance video or just the next candid talking video. But I would keep putting it off till I “feel better”. But the truth for all of us including me is that we WOULD feel better once we push ourselves to engage in the activity. So bring out those colours if you have always wanted to paint, get your¬†camera out if you love photography, and note for me – Go make the next damn dance video because I’ve been wanting to for the longest time. Just Do It!!!

 

I also must admit, I absolutely hate it when I start something but don’t continue it after a while, so typing out this blog has been one of my things on my to do list. And guess what , I did follow my own advice of point (6) . To add to that, I shall go ahead and finish my choreography so that I could shoot the video tomorrow.

Till the next post,

P

 

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It Is Always A Choice

That is the truth.

Brutal.

And Bare.

So wake up and realise that you need to put yourself in top priority, because if you do not do that for yourself, there is no one going to come doing that for you.

Because this world is a big, vast place filled with people. And there are just too many things to do and too many plans and the bucket list is almost endless.

The one favour you can do yourself is to remember that you are like the source of light. You can shine and spread light into other people’s lives ONLY if you do that to your own life.

You have a choice. You can either be the sun, that shines brighter than the sun and helps create joy and inspiration into other people’s lives, or you can be a ‘Dementor’¬†from Harry Potter, that takes in all the energies from everyone and still stays lifeless.

It is always a choice.

And the only person who has to make the choice is you.

Because every time you blame someone for something not being right with you, you need to take a hard real look into yourself and realise that only you can do something to improve your life.

You will have loved ones around you all the time, but the only way something good will happen is when you get yourself up, despite all the things that weigh you down.

It is always a choice.

 

 

 

 

We Secretly Love The Company Of People, Even If We Don’t Realise It

People’s first impression of me is always that of an extroverted human being. More often than not, people have told me that I come across as the amicable, social person who likes to make people feel accommodated in a social setting (apart from certain mood swings at certain situations) .

The world view of an extrovert is usually that they might have a lot of friends and would never feel lonely.  While that might probably be true in certain cases, I can absolutely vouch for the fact that a lot of times that might not even be true.

But then I would go through my bouts of wanting to be by myself and not enjoying company.  Even when I would be the extrovert out there.

Has this ever happened to you?

 

This whole struggle between introversion and extroversion has been on my mind for almost a year or so. I had been trying to figure out who I was.

And then I concluded this about me.

When I am happy, I love being around people. When I am sad, I feel the need to withdraw socially. 

The KEY here is that when we are sad, and if we can somehow push ourselves to be around people even if we feel the need to be with ourselves, it can switch things around dramatically and we can feel happy again.

For me, the mind switches to wanting to be withdrawn during the times that I am sad and feel like sulking in sands of sadness for some more time.

I don’t know if it is the case with everyone, but I believe that human beings are social animals, and whether we call ourselves an extrovert or an introvert, we can really uplift our moods if we are in the right community of people, the right settings. Provided it is obviously the kind of people you would like to hang out with, the like minded individuals. Else it could even be a disaster putting yourself in places where your mindset doesn’t resonate with anyone else’s.

Certain social settings might never be my cup of tea, like those weekly Saturday night fever where one drinks like the fish and dances all night where there are no conversations and no real emotional bonding and feels super groggy the next morning. But then there are a lot of social settings that can be totally my thing. Like meeting strangers, that has been one of my favourite things to do.

We love being around people. Not every kind of people. But people we like hanging out with, we REALLY love being around them.

I talk to strangers. A lot. Even though we were taught as kids not to talk to strangers. But they have some great stories. 

I love communities that work out together, train together, dance together (hoping to create a community like that in Ahmedabad/ Mumbai/ Bangalore soon). I love attending places that encourage conversations. I think that is why I like travel. Travel gives me a chance to meet new people.

 

I practically lived the life of a socialite in the past ten days. Two of my best friends from different phases of life got married within a span of one week of each other. I met a bunch of my girlfriends from school as well as girlfriends of the other friend. If you can imagine what sisterhood looks like, it was that.

What I concluded out of this was that when we are happy things go really well. It is the sad times that just need a little bit of pushing, that little bit of getting out of the house, that little push of putting on that nice dress and some highlighter and mascara and suddenly things get turned around.

Let’s get out. Even more often .

Don’t let the mind withdraw into getting into a shell during the times you feel blue.

Especially since winters are arriving. Join the nearest gym, go for a run, join meetup.com and find the social settings near your place. Book tickets to the next dance festival and go watch them. Go click some pictures on a Sunday morning. Make those pending calls to the people that you were supposed to call but ended up procrastinating.

Let me know the things you did to push yourself to get out of the cocoon you are in currently and moving yourself up to doing something that gets you around people this week !!!

Till the next post.

Love,

P

Don’t Hold Back

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A letter to myself. And to those reading it.

Don’t hold back from telling the world your goals in life, don’t feel scared that you will fail. If you have the guts to announce your goals to the world, you have already given yourself the push to get up and do it and leave no stone unturned.

Don’t hold back from falling in love and letting your heart break.¬† I have seen real happiness and have seen heartbreak. And one thing I have learnt is that the only thing that will make you and your partner (or potential partner) happy is to ASK for what you really want. Let the other person know clearly what you want so as to make it easy for them to take a call about you and vice versa. Never hold back from being honest about what you want.¬†Like for example, while choosing a guy, if someone who prioritises you over every other person is an important quality for you and it is a non – negotiable for you, then that is your right to express what you want from your partner. Or if fidelity is something which is a non- negotiable for you then that is your right to decide. Decide what you want and ask for it. And ask for what is important for you. And don’t hold back from giving the person all that you can give. Don’t hold back your love just because you are scared to have had your heart broken before.

Don’t hold back from making the strongest career choices even though people think that being a woman you need not be TOO ambitious. There is no such thing as being TOO ambitious. So go ahead and make your goals. And let them be as impossible as possible.

Don’t hold back from doing what you like to do, if it breaks stereotypes then it is even better. Is it just me that gets bothered by certain societal stereotypes, especially if they don’t affect you directly in any way? Like for example, someone in your neighbourhood going out with someone of a different race, or someone who has turned 30 and is still focussing on her work and her career and not focussing on having kids, or being judgemental about someone who chose to be a strong woman and have a kid out of wedlock (since I personally don’t even see any connection between a marriage and having a kid, since they are exclusive) or being judgemental about some relative or friend who has gained weight, or judging someone who has got plastic surgery to make their nose look better. If it doesn’t affect you directly, stop judging them and even if you want to judge, keep it inside your own head instead of getting it out to the world, because the world doesn’t need anymore of non – contributing negative thoughts and unsolicited advice.

Don’t hold back from being successful , whatever your own definition of success might be. Trust me when I say this, I have to remind myself of this every single day. I was once dumped ages ago over an email from someone I was with for a significant period of time, and the reason they stated was that we were growing into different human beings. Irony of the situation was that that was the same time as the peak of my career. Whether or not it is true, but my mind translated it as me getting commercially successful that translated to my personal life crumbling down, even though I like to believe I hadn’t changed (or maybe I did). Now even if the person is a fantastic human being otherwise and is highly respected by me, but maybe these societal stereotypes got the best of him that we did not foresee.¬† But I see women face that ALL the time. Their partners want them to be successful but not TOO successful. Please do yourself a favour and find a man who can look at you beyond your success and failures and focus on how much you are emotionally invested in them, and can overlook the commercial success or failure you have been going through. And if you as a woman can be happy seeing your man hit the Time Magazine of the most influential people, I am sure the right man can do the same for you.

Don’t hold back from sharing your opinions with others. I have to admit I have been doing this for the longest time to be “Politically correct”. It is okay if someone who is reading this blog of mine doesn’t agree with a woman having a kid out of wedlock, or someone who doesn’t agree that there are some men (of course not all men) who don’t like their partners to be too ambitious about their work.¬† It is okay if there are people out there who believe that I am too feisty for writing this blog and who are choosing to judge me only on the basis of this one piece of article and my opinions based on one blog. It is okay ladies, and even the gentlemen. So let’s not feel afraid to speak up. Speak up for what we really feel. And be honest to ourselves about the things we like and things we don’t like. And no two people need to have similar likes and dislikes too.

Don’t hold back from dressing up the way you want. Who says that red lipstick or burgundy highlights is meant only if you are going for a special occasion? Wear your favourite lipstick even if you want to go to the nearest store to eat your favourite Chaat.¬† And yeah, try and not under dress just to make the other people around you comfortable. You are born to stand out, not fit in. So stop trying to fit in all the time.

Don’t hold back from making solid financial goals and also goals for investment and savings. You need to start now to have a solid financial base by the time you are in your 50s. Invest, and remember that you should focus more on increasing your modes of income as opposed to saving exclusively at this point since you are young.¬† Be judicious with your money, but don’t be so stingy so as to not take any risks of investment and do not play too safe.

Don’t hold back from making your life goals and visions right now.

Love,

P

Am I In The Present At The Present Moment?

 

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“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present”

Master Oogway managed to explain a profound thought like this, but I am not quite sure what being in the present means. All I know is that I have felt the feeling of being in the present and I know how that feels. How that feeling of being absolutely in the present feels like.

Like right now. When I am typing this blog on my laptop. Not worrying about the thumbnail I will put to promote it, nor about how well I need to format this content so that it looks and feels more “professional”. I am just scribbling away (or the typing version of whatever it is called).

Has this ever happened to you that you are just always thinking of the number of things you want to do in the coming days, weeks and months but you seem to spend most of your time in just brooding over how much is left to do. And even if you do those things, or at least half of those things, you don’t have the same amount of fun that you used to before.

There is one big downside of making your passion your career, and that is that people will always keep telling you the right move and strategies for your “career”. Your career might have started out as being fun and being in the present and doing what you enjoy doing, but soon became a series of putting up high definition well edited videos so that you retain your audience. And then make sure you follow trends so that you can ace the search engine optimisation game. And then take the trouble to dress well, and put on that extra load of makeup even though sometimes you find the joy in just doing the dance piece “now”. Good background, good choreography. Someone once even told me to strategise my Instagram and put only pictures that I take as a part of a photoshoot so that I can establish my brand.

All great pieces of advice I completely understand. And yes I know that all these factors are fortunately or unfortunately needed to build a brand. But in this rat race of beating some new “punk” who has garnered more views or youtube subscribers than you (or me) in the last few months, I don’t want to end up losing the joy and the passion of actually doing that thing. I don’t want it to become a chore. And I don’t always want to keep thinking how many views my video or blog will generate. And how many people will tell me to improve on point X, y or z.

Let’s start being in the present a little. And do things for the joy of it. Maybe we might end upproducing genius in the name of anything that we are doing.

And yes, this is coming from a semi – public figure who feeds off of popularity from social media. I am aware that one just cannot create as long as one is worrying about results, or numbers.

One can create only and only when one just wants to create. And its not just in terms of quality, but my hunch also says that one can end up doing more work.

 

A simple example before I end this post.

I normally would do just a lot of formatting for a blog post, write down the heading of the content and strategise how my blog post will go. And end up writing one post after months, and that too after a lot of will power pushing.

I did not need that will power pushing today. I am sitting on my yoga mat, with a cup of warm lemon water and some slow jazz music and just typing off.

No pressure.

Let’s hope I remind myself to be in the present and do things for the joy of it. And remind you too.

 

Good morning and a very good September to you!!!

Love,

P

Ten Things You Can Do On A Saturday Morning

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It was raining last night. A lot of rains and thunder and lightning. The entire city seemed to have gone to sleep by 10pm when I looked outside from my window on a Friday night.

I finished my workout and dinner, Facetimed with an adorable friend of mine and went to sleep.

Today morning, the same gloomy night scene outside my window turned alive. I see kids playing around in their tri-cycles, ladies trying to get some exercise by taking a walk, the grocery delivery boys on their way with grocery on their shoulders carrying their huge green delivery bags.

I am standing by this window, sipping on some warm lemon-honey water, listening to some morning jazz Music and embracing the gorgeous weather Bangalore is blessing me with.

I woke up after I had a nightmare, and had quite a bit of anxiety the second I woke up. But I pushed myself to finish my gratitude journal for today morning and write down all the things I have been grateful for . And yes my anxiety from the nightmare and certain things that had been bothering me, suddenly were completely gone.

Those of you who had a similar state of mind last night and today morning, and are already feeling happy (or are bored and looking to feel happy in this beautiful weather) here are ten things you can do today on a Saturday morning to feel better.

  1. Make yourself a nice, hot cup of coffee. Or ginger tea or warm water with lemon and honey. Go to your terrace or balcony or look outside the window.
  2. Cook breakfast. I am planning to cook some sunny side up eggs, with some sauteed corn peas and tofu pieces, along with some muesli and soy milk and some freshly cut mangoes. If you are too lazy to do that then get up, go get dressed and go to a breakfast place. My Suggestions : Try Glen’s Bakehouse (Indiranagar and Whitefield) . They both have yummy foods and really good portion sizes. If you fancy something fancier then go to Smokehouse Deli (Indiranagar)
  3. Write in your gratitude journal. Don’t have a journal? Take a diary or an office booklet or just about anything and convert that into a gratitude journal. Too lazy to write but want to have a journal ? Get a gratitude app, or just create a private blog on wordpress. (Who knows you could make this gratitude journal public once you are 80 years old and want to share with people all the things you had been grateful for in your life)
  4. Play a sport. If you live in a gated community then go downstairs and just go play something. The community people will always have equipments even if you don’t have one. If not, then go to Gurukul Sports Academy (Whitefield) and rent a badminton racquet and take a friend along, rent a badminton court and enjoy some badminton.
  5. Paint. Draw. Or Create a Mandala. I used to create characters based of my friends and then draw cartoon strips based on real life incidents. I still have the book with me and I treasure it so much.
  6. Install this app called StumbleUpon. My friend Urvi from college had told me about this app when we were studying in college. It is a plug in for Google Chrome and I had forgotten about it until recently. And it is highly entertaining. You can know a lot about a lot of things in the world with that one button.
  7. Install the Kindle app on your phone (any platform) or your Ipad ¬†and get free books. The classics. Did you know that most of the classics that are listed as ¬†‘The Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die” and “The top 100 All Time Classic Books You Must Read” are mostly free on Amazon Kindle or are either merely priced at a max of Rs. 100. I am reading ‘Gone With The Wind’ right now and I am loving it.
  8. Plan your next trip. Nothing like planning your long overdue holiday right now when the weather is so fantastic. Do some research about places nearby that you could visit and take a trip there. Maybe if the place is closer you could leave tomorrow on a Sunday. Or even better, leave right now after your breakfast.
  9. Listen to some nice morning jazz music that I have been listening to for the past few days.

 

10. ¬†Exercise . And lastly, if you are feeling sluggish and don’t feel like doing any of the above and instead want to just be at home and need a workout, then go do this 6 minutes of ab workout.

 

Have a super happy Saturday morning and I hope you start enjoying the day in 5-6-7-8:)

P ūüôā

Find Your Enthusiasm and Embrace It

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This is the year 2017. A year where we should remind ourselves that it is absolutely perfect to be excited about the things that excite you, and make you enthusiastic about things.

A year to be excited about life!!!

Has a situation ever happened to you where you really want to be excited about something but sometimes people ¬†ask you to “tone down” your excitement?

I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me countless times. ¬†There were a lot of times I was asked to “tone down” my excitement when I posted about food, about the healthy stuff I ate, about the yoga poses I did, about all the activities that I followed, the places that I visited.

I was writing in my gratitude journal last night (a habit I started religiously just two days ago, thanks to my friend Alfan who told me about this concept) and I was writing down the things I am grateful for. Apart from all the people around me who have made my life better, I realised that one thing that I have always been grateful for is the fact that I have always been blessed with having a lot of enthusiasm.

I am an extremely enthusiastic person. I am energetic. I have too much energy in every single day that I look for ways to expend so that I can sleep.

I am enthusiastic about little things. About healthy food. About working out . About dancing. About travelling. About minimalistic fashion. About yoga. About reading about various things. About new experiences and documenting them.

This is just who I am.

Nothing anyone tells me or no one can really change that about me.

So along with my gratitude journal, one thing I wanted to talk about is for you not to listen to anyone to ask you to be a certain way. Because honestly, in trying to be someone else you will just do the worst job ever. The only way you can be brilliant is by doing what is really you.

So in this process of identifying who is it that I really am, I have decided that one of the things in my life that I am going to try and incorporate everyday is to be excited about life.

(* Remembering Mr. Parker from the Friends episode, the one who was Phoebe’s date*)

So in no particular order, some of the random things that make me enthusiastic are

  1. Fruits and Vegetables : This has been there since time immemorial. People around me thought that the only reason I ate a lot of fruits and vegetables was so that I could be healthy. But the reality is that even if that were true to quite an extent, I eat them because I absolutely love them. I don’t like dry foods and that is why things like breads I cannot have as much.
  2. Sharing¬†On Social Media About New Experiences : After a couple of years of posting and then become a semi – public figure can really mess up your brain about what is real and what is only a marketing strategy. Especially when you would have friends and managers insisting you post certain things to get certain viewership, I feel like the brain sometimes would go into an altered state of reality. So I took a step back and tried to remember what it is that I really am. And then I realised that I don’t share my life to “become famous” or with an ulterior motive, I share the stuff I am doing because it excites me genuinely. And that is not just social media, but I also share it amongst friends and people around me because sharing is fun. I feel like sometimes you kill a particular experience if you always attach an ulterior motive along with it. Maybe we can do some things in life and get some joys in life by just doing it because you like it.
  3. Making Online Content / Videos : I genuinely love it all. The ideation, camera work, angles, lighting, choreography, scripting, shooting, talking, managing, editing, uploading, creating thumbnails. And no, I do not do this because I am “supposed” to do this for my work. I love doing this and would have been doing this irrespective of whatever job I had, or wherever I was in my life. I love making videos and I have close to 20-25 video concepts right now in my¬†diary waiting to be shot and uploaded.
  4. Talking : This was one of the most bizarre things I experienced even as a kid. They always, ALWAYS asked you to shut up. I don’t get it. I love to talk, I probably want to make a parallel income by talking for a living too. But more on that later. Point is, please do not ask your child to shut up when he has the potential of being an orator when he grows up.
  5. Working out, Dancing and Other Activities : I’ve always been the kind who loves movement. It was not a recent development for me. I was always the most restless kid in class. Even when I was a 2 year old, my mom used to think I would become a gymnast because I would climb on swings and invert myself at that tender age. Movement for me is natural . Being static and calm is a very unnatural process for me. The only time I am calm and not moving is when ¬†I am meditating, or sleeping (although I toss and turn quite a bit sometimes even when I am sleeping)

Point here is that, if certain things make you happy, do it. All the time. And stop trying to fit a certain kind of role that others ask you to fit in. You like bright neon clothes, wear them. You like striped clothes, wear them. You have a favourite pair of yoga pants and wear them more often, then wear them.

I am encouraging everyone who is reading this post to embrace where their natural enthusiasm lies.  Whether it is new found enthusiasm, or something that has been there since childhood.

Embrace your natural enthusiasm.

And forget if it fits with the world’s definition of enthusiasm.

Sorry, but I am not sorry for being an enthusiastic person !!!

And to any of you who were ever asked not to be excited about something, kindly show them the exit door. Because you need to be just who you are. And if something excites you, then do EXACTLY that ūüôā

Big dancing love and a lot of gratitude :*

Signing off in 5-6-7-8,

P ūüôā

I Moved Houses and Things I Learnt About Houses in 2017

 

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I moved houses last week. Moved closer to my main area of work in Bangalore. Also moved to a smaller house because after last year I realised that I did not really even need to live in a huge 2bhk with wall mirrors attached and a rehearsal room and a separate office room when I am travelling in and out of Bangalore for almost 7 months out of 12. Plus my previous house did not have enough sunlight. And I realised that I need sunlight to function properly and to be happy, positive and energetic rather than lazy and sleepy throughout the day. So this house I call it my “liveable storehouse” where I can pack my bags and leave whenever I need to. And ironically, out of the seven days since I have moved in to this house, I have been travelling for four. So looks like it already is a good decision moving into a smaller, more sunny house.

But that is not the most important part. My lifestyle when I moved into my previous house in 2016 versus the house when I moved in 2017 feels like two different people altogether.

(Remember that this is a case when you don’t own a house but rather rent houses. Maybe life is different when you own a house, but these are things I learnt after living in a rented house)

My top three things that I have learnt in 2017 yet :

a) Living Out of Boxes Is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

I can be ferociously hard working when it comes down to business. I know that about myself. I can work like a maniac. Non stop for 18-20 hours. Can dream about solutions in my sleep and wake up knowing the answers to a certain issue. When I rehearse for a dance piece, I dance it a zillion times. Even if I know it.

As hard working as I am when I need to, I am equally lazy when I don’t have an agenda. Infectiously lazy. If I am in my lazy state and you end up making the mistake of visiting my house, I can make you sit besides me with another cup of green tea in your hand and watch a tv series or listen to music with a glass of Merlot. And this territory is dangerous. If I get lazy it is impossible to “Un – lazy” myself unless pushed by a lot of people or projects.

What works to prevent me from being lazy is not to make the place too comfortable. So I haven’t unpacked all boxes yet. Just the ones that is needed for functionality. Minimalism. My house is comfortable. But not “settled in” . The second it feels “settled” I will go to my couch and not get my lazy ass up.

Plus living out of boxes makes you not feel like you “belong” at home. You already feel like a backpacker. So right now, if I get a call saying there is a fantastic project for me in any part of the world where I need to live there for a couple of months, I just need to wake up, pack bags, book tickets, lock my door and fly away.

Also I cannot say this enough now, since my experience of throwing just so much crap away before I moved houses

STOP – BEING – A – HOARDER

You will thank me for this. Moving house, making bigger, more radical decisions become so much easy when you don’t have a bajillion items in your house to deal with. My friend told me this. He follows a strict Japanese style of home interiors. And he has been living this way for about 6 years. No wonder he manages to travel all over the world.

b) All Good Things Happen Outside Your Comfort Zone. And Outside Your House

Get out.

Get out.

Get out.

(This is what I keep telling myself)

I am clearly an “outside the home, out of your shell” type of a person. I am a chameleon. I can become a perfectly content introvert, enjoying the company of myself while I am at home, spend even weeks without needing human company. I would read, workout, create, cook, groom myself, do just endless amount of things at home. I don’t get bored by myself at all. But then I also love meeting humans. Hearing their stories. Making friends. Having a social circle.

Meeting strangers is my favourite thing lately. Random people where you have random talks. Sort of like the “Humans of New York” type experience.

And now I know. I want to be out. Being at home can be addictive, and can get you into a shell. I want to break free from the shell. So I am getting out so much more now.

All the best things happen just when you get out. Whether it is for a rehearsal, for a dance performance you signed up to go watch. If nothing else, then just take your laptop or your diary and sit in a coffee shop or a cafe, and work. Anything. As long as you are getting out of your pyjamas and oiled hair. And getting dressed. Trust me, the extra bucks you spend on coffee / herbal tea made outside actually is so worth it. Worth doing that for all the freelancers / self employed folks out there.

 

c) Stop Being In a Relationship With Your House. It Is Just Cement And Concrete. 

The House Is Not Important At all. Because The Reality Is You Like Making Life Outside Of It.

I was preoccupied with making sure my house is set PERFECTLY last year. This year I am all about functionality and minimalism. I donated close to half of my clothes, old dance costumes, extra furniture and just a lot of random clutter that took up all my space. I spent all my time trying to make my house a perfect haven to live and work in, and then I realised that whenever I was at home, I was isolating myself from the possibility of meeting new people, having more experiences that could happen outside the house. Also the travel bug hit me in 2016 and I realised that I am genuinely blessed to have a career where I can hop from city to city, country to country and be ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. So why am I not taking advantage of it to the fullest?

I changed my plan of having a private space to practice for myself at home. I am renting studios to rehearse now and it works perfectly. The idea of a private space is when I construct my personal space and buy a plot of land to do the same. Till then let me enjoy the wandering and no commitment policy with my house.

So I officially broke up with the idea of “setting my house to make it perfect” and instead use the house as a tool to get what I really want in life.

 

Also, I hope you had an amazing Valentine’s day and spent good time with your loved ones, in person or virtually through technology. Because I made sure I do. And absolutely made sure I spend some time in the day on myself, by myself.

Till the next post,

Signing off in 5-6-7-8,

Priya

 

 

2017 : New Habits And General Updates

2017

 

Blogging is a habit. Just like brushing your teeth at night. You know you can skip it and it won’t totally damage your teeth but you wake up in the morning regretting not brushing the previous night. Blogging feels exactly like that.

It has been four months since I blogged, and whenever I wake up from a long hibernation, the first roadblock that happens is to figure out what to write about. And since I have a lot of things to talk about that are uncategorised, let us call it the first uncategorised post of 2017.

This year started with a lot of positivity. 2016 had been a year of learning. A lot of learning. Learning to live alone all over again. Learning to handle failures and volatility. 2016 also taught me that managing finances is very important. It also made me realise¬†just how important dance¬†is for me. Also learning that mood is a temporary affair which can be cured with a good 20 minute workout. The time around October 2016 was a turning point for me where I decided that I wasn’t happy with the way my life was going. I decided I would change that. It took me a good three months to get myself to a stable state so that I could embrace 2017 the second it started.

So what is going on with me at the moment? For starters I started inculcating a few habits that I did not do during the most parts of 2016 but started doing around October 2016.

In no special order of importance, these are the five things I have started doing in 2017.

1. I Exercise For At least 16 Minutes Everyday, No Matter What

I think we end up looking for perfection¬†and maximum efficiency from a workout. Wear the perfect workout clothes, make sure¬†you are not too hungry, perfect music, yoga mat all set up, your music playlist arranged in screenshot_2017-01-31-21-41-01-585_com-halcyoni-gymboss2the order you want. But reality is that none of these things really happen. So I do 3 minutes of Surya Namaskars, 6 minutes of Glute workout, 5 minutes of Abs , 2 Minutes of Arms even if I do not do anything else in the entire day. No exceptions to this. Holidays, fever, if I am chilling I am doing at least this. I have this app on my phone called ‘GymBoss’. Install it now and you will thank me. I have made most of my friends and students and dance company folks install it.¬†And no I am not getting any commission for installation of this free app. This is how my app is customised for me.

 

2. I Am Meditating Almost Everyday

I will say almost because I keep missing a couple of days since the¬†time I started and I am not very proud of it. But screenshot_2017-01-31-22-20-20-821_com-spotlightsix-zentimerlite2my god, what is this magical potion of meditation that works as soon as you open your eyes ready to take on the world?¬†To make it even more interesting, I installed this app called ‘Insight Timer’¬†which times the duration of your meditation so that you won’t want to open your eyes every two minutes to check the time. Time obviously moves extremely slowly when meditating and ten minutes feels like a lifetime. But I slowly managed to increase it to fifteen. This app also keeps track of how many days you have meditated continuously and gives you stars. What a nice way to make meditation a fun little game? Here is a snapshot of my profile from the app (I missed the last two days so lost out on the consecutive day count).

 

 

3. I Am Reading One Book A Month in 2017

I used to read¬†a decent amount of Enid Blyton books when I was a kid, but the habit of reading diminished to a large extent with the Internet and “with growing up”. That isn’t to say that I completely stopped reading books. I would still manage to read a book (mostly half a booscreenshot_2017-01-31-22-21-27-651_com-amazon-kindlek) in bursts and feel pretty good about myself¬†but that was pretty much it. Because of Kindle and this book I found after I saw this TED talk by this lady called Mel Robbins, I bought her book and read it. My friend told me he was keeping this resolution, so I decided to do it as well. ¬†Why I feel good about it? Reading helps me focus on just absorbing the information in front of me, without getting anxious about the gazillion things going on in my mind. And man it works. Kudos¬†to all those who have a regular reading habit, because I can imagine how calm they must be. I read “Stop Saying You’re Fine” by Mel Robbins for January, and reading “Money Wise” by my dear friend and writer Sharath Komarraju for February 2017 (who also happens to be my best friend Aditi Manja’s husband).

 

4. I Am Taking  A Conscious Effort To Post About My Work / Me on Social Media

Just like exercising, social media is also a result of routine. People think it is an addiction. I find it a habit. If you vanish off social media for a month, it becomes absolutely impossible to figure out where to start and what to post. And in this age of social media being so important for marketing and branding for our professions, I knew ¬†I had to break out of the social media vacation and get back into the game and stop shying away from the camera.¬†¬†Not just that, but isn’t it such a nice feeling to share your thoughts to people you know (and also don’t know but want to see your work)? All those lookbooks to #outfitoftheday¬†pictures you see on Instagram where I am dressed up, to dance videos to photoshoots with wonderful photographers, all of that took effort. It took a lot of push from within to get the habit in place. And the best part is that the habit takes just a few instances of pushing yourself, and before you know it you are back in the game.¬†Social media helps you share your thoughts, your work. If it creates anxiety it needs intervention, but if it gives you an outlet to share , then I am always up for it. This is helping me not just share my thoughts, but also get comfortable to make more videos, and hopefully more talking videos on Youtube in the near future. It does help me feel good about myself. I am meant to be in front of the camera. Being in front of the camera energises me, so I want to make sure I understand and encourage that. Here is today’s Instagram post:¬†img_20170131_173938_061

5. I Am Socialising More 

I practically had to whack my own head and remind me that there is nothing more enriching than meeting people, making friends, socialising and attending events. It teaches you so much about so many things and it is absolutely essential for your own well being. Socialising boosts your self-esteem, actually gets you out of the house and a perfect excuse to get out of your yoga pants and dress up (where otherwise you would have been sitting at home wearing your hair up and looking like a hundred year old lady watching an episode of Friends and getting more and more disconnected with human beings). Man is a social animal. Find out where you get your energy from. I always thought I am an extroverted introvert. But when I started socialising I realised I get energised after meeting people. Amazing people and amazing conversations energise me. I still like my occasional quiet time to rejuvenate if there has been a lot of noise for a prolonged period of time, but for the majority of it I need people in my life. I need human beings and I have learned that well. Not to forget how you learn about different things happening in the world, different work opportunities and a great place to network.

 

Before I end this post, I’d just like to tell everyone that we all go through tough times in life. What is important is to let it go and realise it is time to come back home to where you belong , and slay it like your own kingdom.

For all those who have greater reasons to look forward to a brilliant 2017, I wish you ‘Slay’ this year like the Queen (or King) ¬†and nothing lesser. And here is a song just for you ūüôā

Love,

Priya

 

Picture Courtesy : Yoga at Goa, India by Alex Kennedy (http://vimeo.com/aken)

Temple bowl picture (Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp0CPGiQphI)

Epiphany And The Power of A Diary

picmonkey_image.jpg

It can strike without warning.

You never know when you get it.

It is a strong feeling. Overwhelming yet liberating.

A fleeting moment. Catch it before it goes away.

Write it down.

Write it all.

I developed the habit of writing since childhood. I got my first diary when I was 12. I would write a lot of things there. Feelings, insecurities, aims and ambitions, lists. I have been on this writing journey for the longest time and each day I try and understand aspects of who I really am. What my traits are. What I like and hate. Sometimes in this worldly process of showing an image of yourself one forgets to see what they really like in the first place.

When you write, you identify what you like. What you do not like. What bothers you. What does not.

And most importantly, there are very few times in life where you get an epiphany.

And when you get that, you do not want to forget what it was.

I have five ways I can suggest where one gets more in tune with themselves. And thus experienced a greater sense of awareness. I try and do this at least once a day or whenever I can. And I feel so much more in tune with my emotions. And most importantly I feel calmer during the day and about little things that I might have been mulling over.

  1. Prioritise at least ten minutes of the day to write – I take 20 when I am anxious or sad or stressed with work or stressed about the future. Helps like magic. I also as a rule carry my diary everywhere I can. It stays in my purse with a pen sticking to it. When I am angry, I use a bigger handwriting and crib. Crib like never before. And in less than 2 minutes I can’t even remember why I was cribbing in the first place. Have you heard people say “Learn to suppress your emotions?” . I say do the opposite to your diary. If you are sad, tell your diary you are the saddest you have ever been. I swear after two pages of your saga, you would realise you aren’t really sad actually but wanted to over dramatise your situation and two pages of doing that helped you get back things in perspective.
  2. Listen to Headspace : The coolest meditation app. I try and do this daily. I love the animation in between videos especially. You can download this free 10 day app from Playstore in Android phones.
  3. Drink some sort of a beverage in the morning : I switch between coffee, green tea and lemon water for variety. But yes doing that gives one a certain sense of calmness in this mad world. I tried quitting coffee for a bit. But realised that the anxiety created inside me was because of having multiple cups of coffee. One cup does no harm . Tip – I use coconut milk (Dabur Coconut Milk in a tetrapack) instead of cow milk. My acne is very much under control by staying away from animal milk (I have a feeling I am lactose intolerant to a large extent)
  4. Watch atleast one TED Talk : They say you do a lot of what you want for yourself. And till I give my TED talk in life, I thought why not watch them.
  5. Go out, Socalize, Dress Up, Get Out of The House : Its weird our culture teaches us so less about fashion and makeup. It is honestly such a  self loving sort of a mechanism. I am actually going to start an Outfit of the Day pictures on Instagram. I have shopped quite a lot of new clothes and accessories recently and want to share with you guys.

And one last thing. People are good, I think. We just sometimes get stuck in our own shortcomings that we end up seeing negative in people around. But I think people are good. And I am lucky I have the best people around me who are the nicest and help me deal with my shortcomings.

Love

Priya