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 the 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 my 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 book) 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:
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 🙂
Picture Courtesy : Yoga at Goa, India by Alex Kennedy (http://vimeo.com/aken)
Temple bowl picture (Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp0CPGiQphI)