How have you been? or rather how is life treating you?
We are nearing the end of the year and invariably I am in my reflection phase. What I love reflecting are the lessons I learnt during this time. I share my favorite lessons throughout this post and is grateful for all the people and experiences that have come my way.
Favorite quotes of the year
‘When you know yourself, you will know God‘- Prophet Muhammed P.B.U.H
‘The strongest wrestler has no strength compared to the man who can control his anger’– Prophet Muhammed P.B.U.H
‘I never lose. Either I win or I learn’– Marie Forleo
‘Action is the antidote to fear‘- Marie Forleo
‘Help is the sunny side of control (when you interact with your child)‘- Anne Lamott
‘Vulnerability is not winning or losing: it’s having the courage to show and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not a weakness: it’s our greatest measure of courage‘- Brene Brown
Lessons of 2019
- Family First– My precious place. Nothing can come close to the love and joy I get in spending time with my family. They are the rock that I hold onto, when I get washed in my adversities. Every relationship requires effort. Even your relationship with God. There will always be chaos and I seemed to stay with it more than turn away from it. The universe was created from a big ball of chaos, so families come with their own mayhem. This year, I tried to be fully present in my interactions with my family. They are always on top of my gratitude list.
- Trust– Trust should not be fleeting. I’ve pondered at this and realized that people tend to believe trust is something available for Sundays and it is not meant to be kept on other days. When I read about trust in Brene Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly’, I had to stop reading and immediately make of list of people who are part of my marble jar moments. Confused? So Brene says, trust is built in those small pivotal moments in life when you feel loved, supported and cared by someone. It could be anyone from family to friends. And when you experience those moments, you put a marble in your jar for them. When you lose trust, you remove the marbles. So the more marbles a person collects, they become trustworthy. It applies equally to me as well. If I am not trustworthy, I won’t get that trust from others either. You cannot expect marble jar moments, if you are not in someone else’s marble jar.
- You do you– Probably, the most I’ve struggled with during this year. The people pleaser trait ingrained in me, passed on through generations. When I was a little, I was my own instructional manual. I only listened to me. As I grew up, I tend to criticize myself more than anyone else. Why is that? Why do we do that? Is the world influencing this trait in us?Should we blame our parents? I’ve done all that, the blaming and complaining. And sometimes still do. But I catch myself, falling into the incessant chatter in my head, that says ‘Be the victim, let others bear the brunt of it’. Well, I am in charge of how I feel and respond. I will speak the truth, even if it might seem unpleasant to others. I will hold myself accountable to the highest standards of human behavior. I am brave enough to hear the unpleasant things about me, reflect and move on. I will live in integrity and truth.
- Presence and Patience– I continue to try and get better at this. Being in the present moment is difficult. Try it and you will see how much the waves of endless chatter, will take you off course. How do you do it? Focus on your breath and when thoughts come to you, let them stay there and linger there. Be the person in the background, watching your thoughts. I recommend books like ‘The New Earth by Eckhart Tole and Being Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza’. These books have brought a profound change in the way I perceive things, people and situations. I believe when you are present in the moment, fully surrendered to the now, then patience comes as a by product of it. This feat is tough but it’s worth the effort every single day. This is the first year that I’ve started meditating and it’s been phenomenal.
- Getting my values right– I’ve never really thought of them until this year. I became a huge fan of Brene Brown watching her Netflix show, The Call to Courage. Please watch it. I read two of her books (Daring greatly and Dare to lead) and she knocked it out of the park for me. I listened to her and went ‘ What! you can’t possibly measure shame, courage and vulnerability!’ Well, she is a scientist who has done some incredible studies on human behavior. Researched it, measured it and implemented it. She is a power packed, no nonsense ninja for me. Her books inspired me to absolutely crystallize my values into two and they are ‘Integrity and Financial Stability’. I know these are the values I strive for and everything I do should be in line with this.
- Embrace the dark side– Yes, we all have it. Unless you have meditated your whole life or achieved ‘Nirvana’, I will not believe your claims of being the perfect human being. It’s probably an overrated expression that ‘No one is perfect’. Yet no one fully embraces it. We say it but strive for perfection the next minute. Trying to penalize the dark side and flush it out. It just doesn’t go away. Make friends with it and use it for your advantage. When I am really angry with vengeance, I channel it towards writing by pouring my heart out or working out. It has really helped me.
I did set some goals for myself, but I did not kill myself to smother my ego with the sense of accomplishment. I am proud of what I’ve done so far:
- I had set myself to write at least 12 blog posts this year and I’ve written 15 of them already.
- I wanted to read 50 books this year and I have reached 32 so far, which is brilliant. I am on it!
- I want to go trekking, which I hope to do in the coming weeks as the weather gets better.
- I worked on myself a lot this year and will continue to do so. The best investment is to invest time, energy and love in yourself. As you get better, the world around you gets better too.
What are you reflecting on?