How and Why I Quit Coffee The Cold Turkey Way

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I managed to survive without a single cup of coffee in the last 7 days, that too on a week that had just so much work that I could not even post major updates on Social media as of yet.

I must admit I had become quite a coffee addict recently, and I needed coffee whenever I had to work otherwise I felt like I was always on a brain freeze. Especially for places where I was doing the choreography, I would reach the location and reach out for the coffee and only then sit to start the rehearsals. People who have danced with me know the ultimate level of brain freeze I go into if I didn’t have my coffee.

It was turning into quite a nasty habit, and I was fearing it was an addiction and a dependency without which I thought I could not be efficient. Coffee is not really an “addiction” like alcohol or smoking, but I had started feeling the same level of dependency that smokers or drinkers have. Coffee would give me instant burst of energy for a while, but it would get followed by this dip of energy where I would need to reach out for another cup of coffee instead. I would feel anxious and my heart rate would increase everytime I had coffee. I started feeling like I wasn’t calm anymore. And more and more I realised I was in need of the calm and peace in life.

My anxiety levels post coffee is very much in control, I don’t have major spikes and dips in my energy levels, I am not groggy all the time. I wake up in the morning these days and have a much better idea of what I need to do with my day.

Coffee actually could be a good drink for you, but not the way that I made my life depend on it. I don’t know if I will reach out for that cup of coffee anytime soon (since I am worried that dependency might come back, and weirdly I don’t feel like having a cup of coffee anymore), but with those crazy withdrawal symptoms of smelling coffee even if there wasn’t any around, I feel actually more fresh and awake after a week despite the coffee. That made me realise that if I could quit coffee (which at one point I thought was impossible, but a week later I am feeling very recovered and empowered), I think we can get rid of any habit if we REALLY want to.

Forget gradual changes, wake up one morning and decide for yourself. And we are set.

I don’t think the idea of gradual changes work for me, its like one time cut off and thats it. That works better for the will power.

I am uploading my first #letstalkaboutthis video tonight where I have talked about certain aspects of self improvements and my struggle in life as well.

I had a lot of fun filming this video. I also created my first dance tutorial video, something I had been thinking about for years, but I finally managed to conquer the fear of talking live on camera. I shall upload this soon after I upload the #letstalkaboutthis video.

See you very soon.

Love,

Priya Kumar

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Why We Judge Others and How To Stop Pulling Each Other Down

(Please keep in mind that these are purely my thoughts and opinions on the subject, and this is in no way meant to be a personal attack to anyone)

“I am tired . Tired of seeing people be judgemental about everyone. This constant badgering that I witness all the time must stop.”

I realise we talk about women empowerment, about how women must come up in all fields of work and life. Then why is it us women only that judge other women with so much vengeance?

It has been 6 years of me going into a path that wasn’t conventional and “good girl” as such. The rebel in me still went ahead and did what I felt was right for me. I have countless instances of judgements being expressed to me as well as people around me.

I have a very close friend who went on a fantastic weight loss journey, and  I have seen her work so hard for this. She went on a very healthy diet and worked out twice a day. And she succeeded in losing all the excess weight and looking and feeling as healthy as ever. I still managed to hear some people judge her for being too “Conceited” because she apparently “Only Cared About Getting Thin”.

In another instance, I had decided in the beginning of 2015 that I will start taking better care of my body, skin and hair and dress up more often. Since my rehearsals mainly involve me being in track pants and tees and sports bras, I had decided to bring about that change. I was very happy on the days that I would dress up, I would feel much more confident and I definitely felt good. Someone I knew very well who had seen the change in me then told me that she thought I was dressing up because I wanted to “Seek Attention”.

I know someone who is an actress. She is doing very well in her life. She clicks pictures of herself and puts it on Social media. A friend of mine thought she was too “Self Obsessed”

You know what, caring only about getting thin is YOUR opinion of her, her wanting to “seek attention” or be “Self obsessed” is YOUR opinion of them. They are the ones who instead of focussing on you , are getting their work done and progressing slowly.

I must tell you that I am that way very fortunate to have had mainly supportive friends and family in my life. And they are the ones that stayed along.

The reason I decided to write this blog is because I suddenly realised how judgements do affect all of us. Whether we are the most sensitive people, or more rebellious for that matter. The ones who are stronger, get affected for a moment but let that pass.

Frankly, its not even the strangers’ judgements that matter as much as someone within our social circle.

For some strange reason, we think that judging others and putting them down will bring us up. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are simply wasting your time thinking about others’ lives instead of focussing inward into your own.

This is not meant to be one of the happy blog posts. I am writing this because I have been a witness of judgement being passed on me all the time. I am honestly not affected by it anymore since I have developed some special kind of immunity where whenever I get judged, I do the same thing even more. But I had to fight battles and train my mind to do the same.

What if this whole process of training the mind never came in the first place? How about we just don’t pass judgements at other people and put them down? Wouldn’t the world just be a nicer place then? Wouldn’t all of us make much more progress and be uninhibited in whatever we did?

Think about it. If everyone decides to stop passing judgements as others, everyone gets to live a life without dodging these negative instances. Forget about strangers here, because strangers might always have some opinion about you. I am talking about people you know, people who are working to become successful, to live happy , fulfilled lives.

Lets make it a nicer world for everyone to live in. That might be a nicer way to live then, wouldn’t it?

 

Sadness and Ways to Cope With It

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(This is for someone who requested me to write this post, and I felt like I wanted to write about this for quite sometime, so here it is)

I have this very simple policy. I do not like to grieve for long. For anything. It is not like I don’t feel sad, or have lesser emotions than other people. It is just that I feel like I owe myself much more than just grieving about anything sad that comes along in life.

Look, nobody’s life is perfect. And we all are bogged down at times with different situations which make us feel like we have hit rock bottom. And it is okay to grieve. But there is always the end of the tunnel. So might as well hit the tunnel a little quicker.

For some reason we share with everyone only joy and happiness, but never failure and sadness. Here are my top 8 ways of dealing with moments that make you feel low about life.

  1. Get a Makeover : Be it colouring your hair, setting up new fitness goals, changing my wardrobe or dressing style, however frivolous these things are, they do help. Every time you look into the mirror from then onwards, you will not see the  victimised or grieving you, you will see the confident, new you. And that is a wonderful feeling.
  2. Declutter Your House : People deal with grief in different ways. My favourite way is to clean the house. I clean. And clean like there is no looking back. I discard a lot of items, get rid of all the clutter, all those dresses I have not been wearing for years but is still lying in my closet, those killer heels that actually give me the worst shoe bite and I would never wear it again, all gone. I pack them all up in a big cardboard box and gift it to my maid/house-help. Happy maid, happy me 🙂 (Plus she is the sweetest so sometimes every morning I get a nice cup of chai, she has become like a little sister to me now)
  3. Set New Goals : Sometimes our life gets set into such a rut that a small setback gets our body into a zero-functioning mode. Like the paralysis of the spirit. Get it out by creating new goals as soon as you can, even if it involves you pushing yourself and not feeling comfortable. The feeling of inertia stays forever if you do not get up and do anything about it immediately. Be it running the next marathon, achieving a particular yoga asana, learning the language you had been thinking about learning for a long time, playing the instrument you always wished to play, be it anything. But set a goal. And a goal with an end date. The goal will distract your mind from all that grief right away. And if you just push in the beginning a little bit, you will see how wonderful you feel about yourself. In fact you will forget you were grieving in the first place.
  4. Start Taking Care of Your Skin and Hair : Oh my god, how this works 🙂 Drink more water, oil your face and hair regularly, get a facial done,paint your nails. Nothing gives a person more joy than pampering yourself, and self-love as I say comes above everything else.
  5. Travel : Travel makes one happy. Really happy. The idea of nature. And new places. And everything else. Meet new people there. New cultures.
  6. Listen To Music : They say music has the power to change the world. And yourself.
  7. Journal It : It is always a good idea to journal your thoughts. When you write, your complete state of being gets focussed on to understanding what you are feeling. Always helps. What helps more is a Gratitude Journal. Which has all the things you are grateful for, and all the things you forgive the people who did bad to you. No point keeping grudges with anyone. It makes us lose our peace of mind.
  8. Talk to a Counsellor : I will write a more detailed version of this in a separate blog post. But its not a big deal. The sooner our country stops acting like it is such a big taboo and starts communicating problems, the sooner the brain will hit sanity quickly. And it is exactly like venting out to a friend. Just that friend knows why you are saying what you are saying.

All in all, no situation or a person is significant enough to succeed in destroying your inner world. Your love for you comes first, the rest shall follow. And I know if you are reading this and you are grieving about something, we all do. You can feel free to write to me at info@piah.in and share your story with me. Privacy will be respected and the only aim of this post is to help someone, anyone feel better than they already feel. And trust me, I have been there 🙂 And I can guarantee that it is ALWAYS just a passing phase. And this is a fellow human just trying to show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Because sometimes our silver lining is more than just a line 🙂

Love,

Priya

(Photo Courtesy : Curse of the Sad Mummy)

Top Beauty Hacks Using Natural Ingredients – January 2016 Edition

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It has been quite sometime in life since I got fascinated to the idea of skin and hair care and I realised that whatever tactics beauty brands might use to sell their products, one needs to really have a keen eye to look for chemicals that might cause harm to the skin and hair in the long run.

I love the idea of using kitchen ingredients for my skin and hair. I have not gone 100% natural ingredients yet. I am a dancer by profession, so the use of makeup for shows and even for events becomes pretty extensive at times, plus with a lot of lifestyle challenges it all comes down to how you can take care of your skin NOW for later years.

I am almost 30 (even though I feel better, healthier than ever). I genuinely believe that age is just a number and I will feel like a 16 year old even when I turn 60. To put it better, I think I like taking care of my skin and hair not because I need to, but because I wish to add to the feeling amazing about myself for this year.

You know that feeling sometimes where you just do not take good care of your body and mind and you keep going in a rut for a long time? And then one day you wake up and decide that you have had enough. And you want to change the habit.

Here are my top health and skin hacks using natural ingredients. My skin has been feeling much better, and added to this my hair fall has reduced. As I have mentioned in my posts earlier, I genetically do not have the best skin and keep having acne breakouts. And even though genes play a big role, I feel that if you manage to take care of your skin, it does make a difference.

I am jotting down a few health hacks which I have been following, and how to make it convenient to store and use, since I know that all of us including me are inherently lazy and want things which can be done without any hassle 🙂

  1. Besan + Turmeric (Face Wash) : I keep a jar of besan+ turmeric mixed in 3:1 proportion inside a jar. I have an excess of empty peanut butter jars that I binged on. The powder does not turn bad. And when I want to wash my face, I keep an empty bowl for all mixing purposes besides my basin. Mix it with a little bit of waterbesan-flour and give a good cleansing massage to your face. If I have time I also keep the mix on my face for 2 minutes and let the turmeric work on my previous acne scars before washing it off. Add honey to the mix if you feel extra indulgent but even if not then this does the work so well. I have officially got rid of all face washes in the house, and the one tube of face wash I had left I am currently using to clean my makeup brushes.
  2. A Jar of Coconut Oil Mixed With Lavender Oil For Your Delicate Underarms :
    Underarms !!! The most neglected part of the body for most females. Did you know that the skin around that area is just very delicate and need your extra TLC? I had been thinking of writing a separate article on Underarm care (I might do that soon). So we go liberal in applying deodorants on our underarms without realising how much torture that skin is going through. I keep a small jar of coconut oil mixed with lavender oil in 2:1 proportion. And that has been my natural deodolavenderrant for almost two months. Trust me ladies, if you love your underarms, throw that deodorant right away. Switch to a natural deodorant using coconut oil which heals scars and is a natural deodorizer. Add essential oils for the extra fragrance.
  3. A Mandatory Jar of Baking Soda (All Purpose Use) : Oh I can’t begin explaining just how versatile this little jar of dry baking soda is. I use it on stubborn pimples whenever I get them. It is excellent to use as an exfoliator for your lips as well as the underarm area. Also, when sometimes your hair starts feeling limp even after washing, that means it has a lot of shampoo build up. Use thebakingsoda baking soda wash once a month. It does not lather but make sure you massage your scalp with it to let go off the buildup.  Just keep a jar besides in your bathroom. And please don’t confuse it with baking powder. We are looking only for baking soda 🙂
  4. A Jar of Ground Coffee Powder (Reduces Cellulite and stops ingrowth of hair) : coffee_powderSo I used to have the weirdest ingrowths on my legs earlier. Hair removal by default causes all kinds of ingrowths and the skin around your legs start to look spotted even if it is hairless. I don’t know if you have suffered from this, but if you have then you will understand exactly what I am talking about. I use a mix of olive oil mixed with coffee grounds almost every other day these days. It has helped me deal with ingrowths almost completely. Also cellulite. Look I will not shy away from saying that all of us have it. I don’t think I have met a single woman not having even a little bit of cellulite. And funnily men don’t suffer from it as much. Apparently the hormone estrogen plays a role. Scrub away your high and hip area along with whichever area that might be cellulite prone and watch your skin become taut in no time.
  5. ToothBrush and Coconut Oil Scrub (Lip Scrub) :
    Have you have this very irritating feeling where when you apply lipstick and there is a cracked skin on your lip ready to be displayed to the world? I have it all the time and honestly, I hate that feeling. I recently discovered that it is super important to scrub your lip gentlycoconut-oil-toothpaste-fb with a toothbrush dipped in coconut oil to get rid of the excess dry skin due to lipsticks and other cosmetics. I will not describe the before and after of it, but try it for yourself and you will see a major difference. Softest lips that will feel very healthy in just no time. Just don’t scrub too hard. Remember the lip area is very delicate too. Be gentle please !!! 🙂
  6. Castor Oil (Thicker Eyebrows + Brilliant Hair Mask for Hair Growth) : I have always dreamed of more bushy eyebrows. Believe it or not, I go to a salon to get my eyebrows shaped not more than twice a year. And the only reason I do that is because I am trying hard to grow my eyebrows. Castor oil they say works, and it has been helping me quite a lot. Just takes a little more time and you might not see overnight growth but you will see results in a few months. Also the best hair oil to mix with oils like olive oil for your weekly “hair champi”. I have seen hardly two strands of hair while shampooing everytime I apply castor oil. The only downside of it is that it is very very sticky. Sleep with a bathing cap otherwise the whole house would smell like Castor oil.
  7. My Favourite Figaro Olive Oil (Body lotion, hair oil, lip balm, hand cream and everything else) : oilve oil
    I have dry skin. And olive oil has saved my life. And all the big bucks. I have not bought a body lotion for almost three years now. Skin never felt better 🙂 I have two cans. A big one and a small one. I use the big wholesale pack at home, and the small one for travel. No body lotion needed. I even use this to remove my makeup when I am travelling. Plus I love the smell. I am a big smell person and sometimes think I was a hound dog in my previous birth. 🙂
  8. Coconut Oil (Anti Ageing Night Cream and Makeup Remover) : I
    have read so much about coconut oil being miraculous for the face, but my biggest fear was that it will clog my pores and cause more acne breakouts. I was wrong. So wrong. Coconut oil is an antiseptic and makes my skin look like a baby’s skin whenever I use it in the night and sleep. For people who have met me, you know my skin is not naturally the best. And if I can vouch for a product that makes my skin look seriously soft and healthy, I thcoconut-oilink its a must buy for you right away. Oh also, I have started this technique called “Oil pulling” which is basically taking coconut oil and rinsing your mouth with it. I shall tell you reviews about it after I have tried it for a month or so, but till now it feels good.

There are a lot of other hacks which I will tell you about very soon. But these are my top few and I have been trying them for almost a few months to a few years and truly I have felt a big difference. Please try these at home and let me know whether the hacks made a difference in your skin and hair.

Love,

Priya

Resolutions of Self Love

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Let’s do things a little differently here. So 2015 was a real roller coaster. And I mean a real BIG one. A soldier comes out of the battlefield wounded, but stronger than ever.  I can’t definitely compare myself to the bravery of a soldier, but that is how I feel sometimes. A tough year, a lot of good things I got, a lot of good things I lost, but all in all it had been a good ride.

So I was trying to list down resolutions for 2016 (as you might have guessed already) and I do have a couple of them which have been broken down into sub resolutions to help fulfil the actual resolution. Sounds complicated doesn’t it? But I wanted to talk about something a little different today.

While I was writing my diary and filling up resolutions after resolutions, I stopped for a second wondering exactly WHY I was in need of resolutions. So I went back and saw that most of my resolutions revolved around having better health, eating better food, getting less anxious, not letting the insignificant people get the best of you, being a better dancer, come up with revolutionary ideas in the field of dance, reach out to more people, make more friends, working more efficiently. All in all getting myself to become better.

Now the word “better” is very loosely defined here, but I was wondering why I wanted to be “better” than what I am right now. And I could categorise that as 1) I wanted to feel proud of myself for having achieved whatever I thought I would not but managed to get the willpower to push through it 2)achieving these things will make me love myself more

That is when it clicked to me. Why not I decide to just keep a resolution of loving myself and then start backwards? Isn’t that simpler? The answer honestly is yes and no.

Yes because it makes your agenda in life and the purpose of living just very simple, and no because loving yourself is I think the toughest thing to do.

I’ll be honest to you, I did not treat my body well in 2015. Just had the most erratic sleep schedules, bad food habits, anxiety bouts and skipping so many meals just because I did not have the time to get out of working. I realised that other things do not matter as much if you are not healthy. And I refuse to be anything less than healthy and respect my body.

  • I started this year off well, keeping in mind wellness of the mind and of the body. I took a much needed vacation to Kachchh, Gujarat and had the best time there. I remember moments where I just lay in the white desert and looked up at the clear sky. Something my mind needed to do for a very, very long time.
  • Once I got back, I decided to take one meal at a time instead of keeping big resolutions and not keeping at it. So I have been eating the healthiest foods like Quinoa pulao for dinner last night, my egg frittata with a lot of vegetables and flaxseed.
  • Also I started off with my green juice every morning, which had been on a halt for quite sometime.
  • I have stopped using face wash on my face, but instead use a mixture of besan+turmeric which I keep in my fridge and use from time to time. I genuinely can feel the difference in just a few days.
  • I am able to work slightly more efficiently, and able to say no to projects I don’t want. And this is just becauseI remind myself of how much I am supposed to love myself and hence every decision should be based on what I want from life and no one else.
  • Oh, I am doing this Burpee contest with myself. Endurance training basically, google Burpee to see what it is. The idea is to see lung capacity so I see how many burpees I can do at a time (a break of 10-20 seconds at the max). I have hit 70 burpees till now. But my abs already seem to be getting rid of the holiday weight.

 

All of us strive for success, for more money, but if you think about it closely, why do you want the money? It is because you can live a happy life, eat good food without worrying about expenses, have a comfortable house above your head. How then are we supposed to be grateful about having all those things if we are not able to get ourselves to love oneself?

Think about it. Say you don’t like yourself. You could work all the number of hours and get all the money in the world and try and get all the luxuries in the world, but if all that is not able to make you love yourself then we have a problem here.

But don’t worry, its not just you who gets stuck into a rut like that. I do too, all the time. So trust me you are not the only weirdo here who is running like a lab rat in circles without knowing why we are running.

Now the work makes us happy, and the money makes us afford certain luxuries in life. So lets just be happy and savour those things this year, shall we?

Love,

Priya

Some pictures from  my Kachchh trip 🙂

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P.S : I had not been keeping the best of my health (with the viral attack and other stress related issues) and hence had been pretty irregular in posting blogs. But I want to strive to post more regularly very soon.

Teas. Yoga. Oils. Getting Rid of Bad Habits.

I wouldn’t say I have any bad habits as such. I don’t smoke, ain’t addicted to any kind of drugs, go to sleep at night (barring some days where I am either working or have had many cups of coffee), I hardly drink (like a drink socially, that too sometimes because most of the times I am driving and hence cannot drink).

I still would say I have some bad habits which I am going to list down so that I can change in 2016, which are probably worse than the above habits. The above habits is still material stuff.

  • I  Will Not Take Stress in 2016 :  Yes, this is probably the worst habit to have. I won’t say always,  but yes, I find it difficult to balance work/personal life and when I am working I tend to get into the work rut. The biggest issue is that I sacrifice MY time. I sacrifice my food habits, my peace and quiet time having tea, my time with Phoebe. I genuinely believe working is a good thing, but not being able to balance causes burn out. And then the times I am not working, I am plain vegetating. This rut can stop only if I learn how to balance. And ironically, I own the dance company, so ideally I should be able to decide when to work and when to take my food breaks. So 2016 is about me “Womaning Up” and setting priorities straight.
  • I Will Become Better At Saying No in 2016 : I have become much better over the years, but yes, as much as I hate to admit, I don’t know how to say no. The only people I can really say no to are the people I know very well. So if I have ever told you I can’t meet you or cancelled a plan, that probably means I consider you close to me. The problem with this is that I don’t end up speaking my mind entirely. This shall change in 2016. I will speak EXACTLY what I wish for. No pretence.
  • I Will Not Let Random Projects Make Me Lose My Focus in 2016 : Oh god I cannot begin to explain how much I do this. The only times I haven’t lost focus is the times I have done big things. Bandhani, Bhoomi and Dance India Dance were the three things that resulted out of not losing focus. Enough data points to understand I should not do that in 2016 🙂
  • I Will Take Better Care Of My Body, Skin, Hair in 2016 : I have been very erratic about my schedules, and the only reason is because of a combination of not being able to say no to things I don’t want to do and losing focus of what I want to be. I will exercise more, do a lot more yoga, get up more early, sleep early and better, drink more water and have more fruit oolong teas. And have chamomile tea when I start sensing stress. Nature’s Basket has the best fruit teas, some of them are caffeine free, and do not even contain tea. They are dried fruits inside tea bags and make the best teas.
  • I Will Meditate More in 2016 : Okay this one I recommend everyone to do. My god the difference it makes to a day. You will see me running around like a headless chicken on days where I do not meditate. I haven’t been too good with sticking to routines this year, but 2016 is my ray of hope 🙂
  • I Will Not Cut Off Friends When I Am In Trouble, But Instead Take Their Help in 2016 : My mind has a shell mechanism, pretty much like a tortoise. If I sense that I am going to feel some kind of heartache then I get off inside my shell. I am sorry to the people I entered the shell in, and I wish to work on this trait in 2016.

Apart from this, one of my other resolutions is to stop drinking completely in 2016. A year of no alcohol whatsoever. Also, I am trying to make it a year of No Face Wash. I have been doing this Olive Oil cleansing technique for the past two days. I am planning to alternate between that and “Besan”to wash my face. Let’s see how that goes.

Its 4 days before Christmas, and I will update you about my Pet clothes shopping for my two wonderful kids, Phoebe and Kitty 🙂 I am hoping to buy santa themed clothes for them.

Till The Next Post,

Thank You For Taking Time To Follow My Updates, I am filled with gratitude 🙂

Love,

Priya

Top 10 Things To Do When Vegetating At Home

Does it ever happen to you that you have a lot of things you like doing, but with so much madness surrounding your life, you sometimes forget what those things were?

That happens to me. A lot. So I keep telling my friends I really have memory issues. The only thing I probably remember well is dance steps. But yes, I forget other things. Which is why I get over things. Anything. Happy memories, sad memories. There have been times I meet people I might have been really mad at, but after I meet them I can’t really remember why I was mad at them.

Anyway, the weather is really cold and I am drinking my lemon water and honey and ginger. FYI, ginger is really really nice (I am sure I might have repeated this many a times, but still can’t get over how lovely it is) to burn fat. It helps you digest your food better and cleanse your stomach. Try it and you will see a difference.

Since its festival time, I decided to entertain myself while I am at home. So I made a list of things I like doing. I have honestly never minded my own company, so mornings and afternoons have never been an issue for me. If you are like me chilling out at home for at least the first half of the day, and are not particularly into Diwali traditions (I am quite a bit depending on my mood, but I am super lazy)

The top 10 things I could do while at home today

  1. Make Tomato Soup : Just microwave some tomatoes for 10 minutes, peel off the skin and blend the tomatoes while they are still hot. Add sea salt, some oregano, basil (or whatever herbs you have in your house). Top it with a nice coating of butter and watch Romedy now.
  2. Paint Your Nails : I painted mine in glitter. Its festival, so why not go all out with glitter. My Colorbar silver glitter nail polish was almost over, so I added some nail polish remover to make it work just one more time.
  3. Train Your Dog To Pee In The Bathroom : And it can take you a lifetime to do that, trust me. But yes, it gives me a lot of entertainment so I don’t mind the process.
  4. DIY Face Mask : This one is very easy. Seperate an egg yolk with the white. Mix the yolk with coconut oil and some essential oil (if you have) and apply to your hair, and take the white and apply it to your face. And then make green tea and sit. I also store green tea bags in the fridge and apply it to my eyes to feel like life is suddenly good.
  5. Make Hot Chocolate : Okay, so you all (including me) need to make a good visit to Nature’s Basket. And buy some cocoa powder, some cinnamon sticks, vanilla pod, almond milk or regular milk (depending on how lactose intolerant you are, I get gigantic pimples whenever I drink regular milk, so I try to keep it to a minimum). My dearest friend Urvi Lakhani and her lovely website CinnamonChimney told me about this idea where you could dip Vanilla pod in vodka and store it for a few weeks. And that makes for the best vanilla essence. Also while you are there, make sure you buy a lot of herbs and spices too. It makes for the perfect frittata.
  6. Exercise : This sounds more underrated in terms of the fun it creates. But I use exercise to feel good whenever I feel low. And it makes me feel not just happy, but makes me look better, feel better. So sometimes I watch a movie and do my squats. Not all that bad, what do you think?
  7. Clean The House : You should see a before / after of my house and you will realise how much cleaning I might have done in the past two days. And I can’t tell you just how wonderful that feels.
  8. Listen to “Clunky” Music As Phoebe Buffay puts it : I am listening to this one right now and I love it .
  9. Update your Saavn Playlist : Or whatever music app you listen to. I did this today morning and realised I used to listen to this song so much as a teenager. Its called Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.
  10. Blog if you haven’t in a while : Self explanatory 🙂

Have a great Diwali people 🙂

Curly Hair Care Ideas and Updates About My Daily Life

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I am not very big on sleeping. I mean I like sleeping. But you will not see me sleep for more than a six hours each day. So its not like sleeping is my hobby.

But today I ended up sleeping for almost 15 hours till now (don’t know if I will write this post and go to sleep again). I had managed to pull off a night out at Raasta Cafe Bangalore with my company dancers at Piah Dance Company yesterday. We came back in the morning and I was supposed to be at an event to judge their dance competition that time. So after a good 42 hours of no sleep and no shut eye even for half a minute, and surviving on around 7 cups of cappuccino, I somehow survived the day.

I feel very good right now, it is 8:45pm and the three of us, Phoebe, Kitty and I slept cuddled up together for the longest time. That is one thing I love the most. And that is seeing these two cuties snuggled up besides me.

I decided to blog since I do have a couple of serious posts lined up in my drafts, but waking up like this made me write about the things that I like, and the things that genuinely make me happy.

The first thing I can think of right now is Ginger Tea.

I just made myself a cup, and the spicy aroma of ginger just elevates happiness to another level.

Despite having quite a mad two week stretch, and honestly, I love it. I love every moment of working. There has not been a moment of working where I feel like I do not want to work anymore. I do not understand the word “settling” or “retirement”. I cannot imagine myself wanting to do that.

I wish to have a super long life, where I live for at least a 100 years, and manage to stay fit and active till I live. And that I keep doing a lot of things. I think I have picked this quality from my mother. She takes solo trips so often, and not just her generation, but you will never see very less women even from my generation doing that. That inspires me. People sometimes ask me to slow down. I have tried doing that at times, but honestly I cannot sit at one place. I am an extremely restless person and always need enough activity. I also meditate. And for those 15 minutes everyday I meditate and slow down. And you must think it does not make sense that I manage that since I am so restless. But the peace of mind helps me cope through the active day with a lot of positivity and enthusiasm.

I was trying to make a list of things I need to buy in the next few days. And funnily our shopping list gives us a good idea of who we are as a person. And along with the stuff to buy, I also thought I could give you an idea of what to use for the skin and hair etc. I love sticking to staples to be honest. And I am not too big on using products as such. I am pretty much content with using natural ingredients.

Some of us had asked me to make a hair tutorial which I will do very soon. But for now I thought I will just write down the things I do to take care of my hair. And to be super honest, it is a very simple rule.

Stick to fewer hair products. Simple

Things I usually do to my hair on a daily basis.

  1. Apply Oil everyday : Or almost everyday. I am big on oils and all my friends will see a “champi” on my head whenever I am at home. I use a mix of organic castor oil, coconut oil and olive oil and massage from the roots to the tip. If I skip oiling my hair even for a few days, my hair looks very, very unhealthy.
  2. Use a Hair Mask Once A Week : And no, I do not use these hair products. I mostly mash an avocado or a banana and apply on my hair, or use an egg yolk mixed with oil (the oil reduces the egg smell). I then take a garbage bag and tie my hair up . I am seen a lot with these black coloured garbage bags sticking out of my head, and that’s when you know I am chilling with some food on my hair.
  3. Do Not Comb My Hair So Often : Now this is only specific to me, or people who have curly hair. Please do not go around combing your hair so much, it makes the hair look frizzy and one loses the tight curls look. I probably just comb it when I am going to perform and need to tie my hair into a neat bun.
  4. Use Old T Shirts To Dry Hair : The “Dhobi” style of drying hair that we sometimes do, is the biggest punishment you can be giving your curls. Just take a t-shirt and cover your wet hair with it.
  5. Use Moroccan Argan Oil instead of Mousse : A dollop of argan oil applied on the lengths of your curly hair (not on roots) gives it such a healthy shine, and so much better than mousse which tends to sometimes tighten curls. In my video on hair, I shall give you information about where I buy these things from.
  6. Eating a Good Dose of Healthy Fat : This applies especially to dieters who cut down fat from their food completely. And suddenly before you know it the hair becomes so brittle and starts falling. I eat half an avocado everyday, and also consume olive oil and coconut oil in my food . I cook all my food with either of these oils.
  7. Do Not Own a Weighing Machine : This sounds completely obscure and unrelated. But I will tell you why. Sometimes our weight fluctuates during different times of the day, and that might or might not even be related to our health. Also muscle mass makes us gain weight, so sometimes after working out more, one might feel toned but weigh more on the weighing machine. Plus when we drink water, the weighing scale shows more. So to counteract that we eat less. And hence eat less fruits and vegetables, and most importantly water. And thats the worst thing to do for your hair and skin. So if you are one of those people obsessed with the digits on your weighing machine, make sure you keep drinking a lot of water and not let the weighing machine affect your temporary water weight gain.
  8. Sleep more, Stress Less and Let Jealousy and Anger Get Out Of Your System : All these things end up causing your hair to get affected and once you start letting little things go, you will feel better not just in your head, but also your hair.

I am soon going to make a video about hair care tips and what products to use and how to make hair masks at home. If you like this idea, please write to me at info@piah.in and I will get back to you very soon.

Love,

Priya

My Updated Bucket-list

wishlist

I am making big changes in my work and my lifestyle. Pretty much changing a lot of things which I had been doing for the past four years. It sounds absolutely overwhelming, but I get stagnant with things easily. I have realised that the concept of thrill of the chase really works for me. I don’t think I like settling for something that is going well, but nothing really special is happening.  Plus I think I have managed to make peace with the fact that I will always be the source of giving shocking information to people from time to time.

So since I was anyway making changes in my life now, I decided to step back a second and write down a bucket-list. The last bucket-list I had written was in the beginning of 2013. So its been long and a lot has happened since then.

Here it goes :

  1. Go to New York – And live there if things work well. Not a biggie. I have been wanting to visit New York for the past one year now. I had written this in the beginning of 2015. They say its a crazy fast paced city. But also the best place for art. And dance. And slowly it seems like it might be coming true.
  2. Invent A Dance Style – This sounds absolutely mental. But I want to someday invent a dance style. Something which is not reinventing the wheel. I don’t even know if I am creative enough to be able to pull off something so elaborate, but this is something I will want to do in my life.
  3. Write a Book – This has been in my wishlist of the first half of 2016. I have wonderful writers like Sharath Komarraju and yogi friends like Aditi Manja who I have sat with to discuss this idea. Obviously I am not a writer, and its only their guidance that will help me write my book. I am very close to finalising the concept of the book too. And maybe once the first book works, then write a few more eventually.
  4. Perform a Free Sunday Dance Morning at Central Park – I haven’t been there and don’t know if its allowed, but for the people who live nearby, please let me know if it is a good idea and come attend my free Sunday session 🙂
  5. Keep My Kitchen Always Stocked Up With These 50 Best Foods – I love dance. I love healthy food too. Sometimes I feel I could totally become a health consultant on the side. Check this link out for the top 50 foods.
  6. Travel At least 50 Countries to Perform In My Lifetime – Yes I told you I am very ambitious. I want to become a good soloist. I had been giving my solos a backseat and focussing on building a company in the past few years. I realised that I needed to work on solos too. In the beginning of 2015 I had started making the shift slowly, it was one of the things that was needed for my growth. Managing a company teaches you a lot, and I am grateful to all the members in the company who taught me that.
  7. Become The Biggest Indian Youtube Dance Channel – Again, something that I want to really start working on. Oh on that note, our Youtube Channel hit a whopping 5 million hits this week. I intend to make the subscribers go to that number eventually. Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 9.57.48 pm
  8. Learn to Balance Friends, Work and Family – This is something I have always aspired to do. I tend to get very involved with work and forget about everything else, when its actually my family and friends that have helped me take my best decisions, pushed me to do aspire for big things. I know that being with them gives me the happiness and strength to just conquer anything in the world.
  9. Give a TED Talk / U.N Speech – Do not call me nuts here, but I have had dreams, yes actual dreams where I have been giving a speech about empowerment of women in the U.N and TED talks about how one shouldn’t feel scared in doing what they want to do. Sometimes deep down, I feel like I might want to be a good motivational speaker. I might need to google and see how to become that.
  10. Become A Good Dancer – Someday I wish I will. A really good one. Not stopping. I think maybe somewhere I might have slowed down my learning, and that is something I do not like. I think growth is the essential need for everyone, at whatever age in life you are. Money will not buy you happiness, but good dancing will. You just have to work to be a good dancer. Period.
  11. Get Pirouettes Right – Oh man, how much I struggled my way in Dance India Dance with pirouettes. My turns are absolutely horrible, probably my weakest in my dancing skill. This is something I want to work on in my life, and to able to get more than 10 pirouttes at a time will be my dream come true. They say that if you get 5 right, you can go till 50. Will not know how true it is till I try it.
  12. Create A Video Filming Studio – I keep having Youtube video ideas all the time. All The Time. I feel the urgent need to set up a studio, which has lights set, a beautiful green and black screen, multiple cameras set, a wireless mic, where I can sit and create my videos. I want this one just so bad. And since I just typed it out, I know i need to start working on planning this. Very Soon. Since it also coincides with my largest Youtube channel idea.
  13. Minimise The Use of Plastic – I hate plastic. I use it in my house. A lot. I agree. But I wish there was some alternative. Something more readily available. I wish foods did not come wrapped in plastic. I just don’t like plastic. Also I do not like when people litter on the road. I almost picked a fight when I was driving and I saw a guy throwing a chocolate wrapper right in the middle of the street. I am extremely feisty, so please do not litter in front of me.
  14. Get My Documents In Line – My chewed up PAN card, my U.S visa, Adhaar card, health insurance documents, upto date filed I.T forms, my international driving license. I want to get these done. Since I am very bad with getting documents on time, I want to make sure I sit and get it done. And feel like the greatest sense of achievement.
  15. Let Go Of Apprehensions in Life – All of us are inhibited. Atleast a little bit. I will not believe if someone tells me they are not inhibited to an extent that they can just do anything in the world without the thinking twice. I get inhibited to approach new people. I want to stop that. And be able to approach anyone without inhibition. I want to stop being apprehensive and always thinking “What If This Does Not Go Well?” instead of believing that it might actually go well in the first place.

So this is my top 15 till I fill it next time with some more. Honestly, I woke up feeling so aimless and lethargic, but writing down a public post does really help in pepping one up to get up and get going.

You should try this too. It really works. 🙂

Love,

Priya

I Forgive. Because I Am Selfish.

forgiveselfish

Sounds like an antithesis. I know.

I am a Cancer born. My birthday falls in the month of July. And with my basic temperament I find it hard to forgive people easily. Or forget the times I have been hurt. I do not mind holding a plank position for 5 minutes straight, but I find it really hard to let go of things easily.

Or at least I used to. I am changing. For the better.

I still get really mad at people. And I won’t say I have been able to forgive just everyone in the world. But its getting better. A little bit.

Before I start sharing my story of why I decided to start practicing forgiveness, I must warn you that I am no saint. I have my share of negativity and grudge that I hold just like anyone else. I read all these self-help books that talk about forgiveness and gratitude, and to be honest I used to think all this was bulls**t.

Until I tried it.

I was talking to my friend the other day about how I have managed to get life in abundance every time I made sure I forgave someone for really hurting me, and forgave them with all my heart. I realised forgiveness is not to make the other person happy. It is to give me a good head start in life.

I have around 7-8 stark instances where I got something really significant in life within a month of forgiving someone who has made me want to bite their head off with anger. And trust me, I have not made these things up. I precisely even remember the instance where I was completely filled with rage, but decided to be the bigger person and forgive, even though it was not coming to me naturally, but I still managed.  But the forgiveness gave me impossible things like

  • Microsoft Internship at Hyderabad
  • My Dance India Dance selection
  • The success of Bandhani
  • Little things like winning my corporate Basketball tournament during my stint at the company I was working for 8 months, my step to forming a cultural society in college along with a bunch of folks, our selection in the top 8 of the fashion show in Mood-Indigo, the fest of IIT Mumbai.

So the logic in my head started working. And I realised, that if by forgiving someone I could get things like this (which in my head are pretty good achievements for my present life), why should I not go into a forgiveness spree and start living a life of abundance?

But here is a catch. Do not think about getting something consciously. Just think of your own well being. And it actually feels really nice. To be the bigger person.

I cannot preach, but could tell you the plain advantages of practicing conscious forgiveness even if sometimes you might or might not end up getting anything sbustantial. (Because I know that you are selfish too just like me, and will do things for the selfish part 😉 

  1. My skin looks better the day after I have forgiven someone who has driven me completely mad. Haven’t figured the logic here, but I have always noticed a difference. And I like having nice skin.
  2. I like the feeling of acting like a mature woman who chooses to be the bigger person and not pick fights with people
  3. I like preserving the energy that I might have wasted fighting or arguing in maybe doing something nicer, like writing or dancing or playing with my pets
  4. I have lesser hair loss. Seriously. I see a difference in the shower. I think it is something to do with lesser stress. But trust me, it works

I keep a gratitude journal. Ya, I know it sounds all preachy. I did not believe in things like that too. I always only carried a planner which carried my to-do list and goals for the year. So this was something very much out of my comfort zone. And I started doing that after some of those things started happening.

To be honest, I do not forgive all the time. And you will see a bad side of me from time to time too.  But the times I have genuinely forgiven, I have got good things in life. Happiness even if not achievement. So why not just try it? I mean, what is the worst that could happen? Your life will not have any change. But thats not too bad right. At least it might be worth trying. Read more about Gratitude Journal here or try the Apple app.

I want to be able to forgive everyone, ideally. Maybe someday I reach that state, I don’t know.

Love,

Priya

Oh by the way, I vlogged this weekend. I had gone for a random road trip with Anisha, and we decided to vlog our experience. Click on this link to watch it.

And I have two more blogposts coming up. One out of the two is exclusively on Coffee Shops and the other one is going to be my top 10 microwave food hacks 🙂