Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dont agonize over getting it right!

WoW brings you tips that will help you not just improve your writing but also your lives... Simple steps make all the difference! :)

Dont agonize over getting it right!

WoW writing...
Haven't we all been there… Writing something and then revising it and editing, then again revising and editing, revising and editing. Hardly is the case that we are satisfied with what we have written at the very first go. But don’t agonize over getting it right! Let your work be for a while, a few days if need be, forget all about it and then come back to it fresh. If you know there are problems with your work which you cant seem to fix, try getting it read from a friend or colleague, they might be able to offer valuable feedback! The more you dwell over something that’s not working right, the more you will think around those lines and will not be able to break the shackles to get a fresh perspective.

WoW life...
You ask for apples and life throws lemons at you. Not everything in life will work out the way you expected it to, but that’s just life! Don’t agonize over getting it right, getting it the way you had planned. We need to have faith and believe that whatever happens, happens for the best. If you are having problems in your relationships, be it at home or with friends, give it time, look away for some time. Then when you revisit, you might see the situation in a completely different light and might be able to deal with it better. Don’t obsess with working things out that very minute!

Try it, wow your self!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sacred self

She has been with me since the day I was born. I have often hated her, blamed her, burdened her with guilt and done all sorts of things I never should have, but did. And yet, she remained. With me, within me. Yes, I am speaking of the ‘self’, that lives with us from the day that we are born to the day we die.

So often, I have treated myself in a way that I would never imagine treating another. If a little child is scared of something, will you take the child and scream and shout at it or will you lovingly hold the child, tell it ‘it’s okay’ and comfort it? We all have a scared inner child who is afraid of the unknown, afraid of the numerous rides life puts it through. I have one too. And I have hated myself, been so harsh on myself just because at times I get scared. I have got frustrated with myself. Furious even. I have internally screamed at myself and today when I think of all the harsh things I have said to myself, tears flow down my cheeks. It’s okay. To be scared. And to admit that I am scared. When one is scared, they need comforting, not yelling… and so too with ourselves.

When someone fails, what do you do? Inspire them to do better next time? Motivate them for another try? And yet when we ourselves fail, we subject ourselves to such a beating. We curse ourselves, believe we are good for nothing and think that we can never do anything right. It’s okay. To make mistakes. To fail. When it’s okay for others, why is it not so for you? Who has achieved anything great in life before first getting a taste of failure? Let’s love ourselves when we succeed, and yes, when we fail. In fact, when we fail, we need it the most.

I can give to others, only what I have. If I have mangoes, I will be able to give mangoes. If I have oranges, oranges is what I will give. If I hate myself, the very person who matters the most, hatred is what I will give out. If I resent myself, resentment is what I will exude all across. If I am insecure, insecurity if what I will pass on. But if I love myself, if I learn to accept myself irrespective of my numerous weaknesses, if I love myself unconditionally, it is this pure love that I will give to anyone who comes in contact with me.

I have so much time for my work, for my colleagues, for my family and friends, but how much time do I spend each day with my sacred self? How often do we detach ourselves from all our roles – being a mother, being a son, being a teacher and just experience ourselves as the pure selves that we actually are. There is nothing selfish in loving ourselves. Nothing self centered about it. Close your eyes right now as you finish reading this article. Tell yourself a sincere, “I Love you”. We all need love. Each one us needs acceptance. From others, but even more, from ourselves.

 Megha Bajaj

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Be positive.. Not Negative!

WoW brings you tips that will help you not just improve your writing but also your lives... Simple steps make all the difference! :)

Be positive, not negative!
WoW Writing...
The power of positivity can never be underestimated, so how do you bring about this positivity in writing? Try saying what something is, rather than what it isn't. Focusing on the negative leads your mind towards it and emphasizes the negativity. If I told you a particular brand is inexpensive,  your mind will still automatically focus on the "expensive" in "inexpensive". A better way to put it would be to say - this brand is quite economical!
If you want to say "writing is not difficult" try saying "writing is relatively simple". Similarly, if you want to say that "this process is error-free" , you can express it positively by saying that "the process is consistent"!
Conscious effort for a few days will lead to a positive change in your writing.

WoW Life!
Day in and day out people talk about the importance of positivity. Positive attitude brings about more positivity to your life whereas thinking negatively attracts unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Lost your job? Be positive and reflect on the many doors that this situation opens - spending more time with family, focusing on doing what you really want to do. Didn’t get something that you really wanted? Maybe there's something better in store for you!
Every cloud has a silver lining to it, look for your silver lining and keep shining. You need not be the cheeriest person in the world, but simple efforts will lead to profound changes in your life.
Wonder of Words

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Simplifly... Simply FLY

Who says that time cannot be turned? Look at me, I have taken the wheel of hours in my hand and gently tipped it backwards. It moves slowly, gracefully, round and round- anti- clockwise.

I became eight years old once again. It happened a few months ago. I chanced upon an old copy of my favorite fairy tales book. I read of Cinderella, I became Snow White, I danced with Thumbelina, went through adventures of Hansel and Gretel and felt like I am in heaven once again. The beauty of fairy tales and almost all other ‘kiddy’ books that one reads is in its simplicity. No, not just of language but of the thought. I realized that all the characters in fairy tales go through their share of mishaps and challenges but they remain absolutely untouched by them. The characters remain good. They remain beautiful. They remain simple. Little wonder, all of them in time, live happily ever after. I loved every page of every fairy tale because I knew, I had complete faith that ultimately it would all end happily. As I stared out of my balcony that night, in to wonderland, or so it seemed since I had just completed the entire book I realized..

Everything in life had become such a big deal. Taking a string of relationship, another of health, one of profession and yet another of positive thinking I had knotted all of them around me so tightly that without realizing I had strangled and tangled my spirit. Having a beautiful relationship and sustaining it seemed impossible. Feeling healthy, pain free and blithe again seemed hard. I loved my work as a writer but often doubts and fears clouded the dreams. Over the years I had complicated my life so much. And yes, I had done it. No one else. As I gazed at the stars I realized about ninety percent of my problems were self created. Beautiful relationships seemed impossible because my relationship with myself was not all right. I was constantly judging myself. Constantly wondering if I was all right? The only consolation was that most people around me seem to be doing the same. Indeed, if you just look around you will realize half of people’s lives get wasted in questioning themselves. I realized a simple solution to this would be to love myself. Yes, I would strive to become better each day… that makes life exciting but at the same time I will constantly remind myself that I am one of God’s most beautiful and precious creations. The minute I start thinking like this, a lot of self doubts and question marks clouding over would disappear.

I desire health. Yes. Do I deserve health? No. I realized my sleeping times were irregular; I ate almost everything I could lay my hands upon and exercised my mind much more than my body. I wanted to feel vibrant, I wanted to feel energetic. That night I realized that all I need to do is give my body the little attention it deserves. And the way to health can actually be fun. Eating healthy and fresh food, regular walks and sleeping times. It’s so simple. Health became an issue only because I made it one- but by taking simple, progressive steps towards my body so much can be achieved. ‘It’s not so simple okay…’ your mind may start thinking. Look at all the healthy people around you and you will know it actually is that simple.

Doubts. Depression. Dullness. Dread. The four deadly D’s in my life. I found a very simple solution to these, meditation. By beginning and ending my days with concentrating on my breathing and introspecting all these four, and much more, could be taken care of. Clarity shoved doubts away. Cheerfulness occupied the space of depression. Energetic enthusiasm became a part of who I am and fear is gradually being replaced by faith. There is so much meditation can do and yet for years I resisted sitting still and silent for just a few minutes in a day. The solution was so simple that I was unwilling to accept this could be the answer to all my woes- but well, life is actually so simple. I only complicated it because I could not accept that it was actually so simple. Somewhere I had heard that life was tough, life was a challenge, life was a struggle and I made that my reality. The illusions shattered and today I know life is only a series of experiences… to make them appear simple or complicated is the function of the mind.

K.I.S.S. , KEEP IT SIMPLE, SWEETHEART, has become the new philosophy that I abide by.

Megha Bajaj

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Practice makes one perfect~

WoW brings you tips that will help you not just improve your writing but also your lives... Simple steps make all the difference! :)

Practice for perfection..!
WoW Writing….

Not everyone who is talented, was born with it. Many times, greatness comes through practice. Incessant practice and the will to go on without giving up. Its the same with writing. The more you write, the more you will learn about writing. Most writers will advice you to set aside some time to write everyday. Or set a goal for each day, for eg. writing a page everyday. Keep reading your previous work after a few days and you will see the difference in your writing. It will get better and you will feel much better about it as well. After all, how can you improve something if you don’t practice it, don’t work on it?

WoW life!

Effort never goes waste. Half the battle is won the minute you make up your mind to get better at something. You want to cook better, spend some time reading recipes and the various techniques about cooking - then practice what you have learnt. Want to get healthier, spend some time exercising and eating healthy - then practice what you have learnt. Want to ace that interview, practice, practice, practice; catch hold of anyone and everyone willing to hear you and hold some mock interview sessions. Want to get better at presentations, its the same thing, practice, get up in front of that mirror and talk away. One of the keys to success is practice. Every iteration, every practice session take you one step closer to your final goal.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Living life Inside-Out...

We believe we will feel healthy when our health becomes okay. Conversely, I have realized, the more we feel healthy, the better our health becomes. We believe that if we find that one person to love us, we will fall in love with ourselves; conversely, I have discovered that when I love myself, the entire world around me automatically finds itself in love with me. We live life outside in – and struggle on to find peace and happiness when the answer lies inside out. Peace and happiness, after all, are not commodities available in a shop. They are the bounties of the inner world.

I realized that in all the areas of my life which were going great, I was subconsciously using this ‘inside out’ formula. A while ago I had read somewhere that feel rich to become rich. Each day, I was consciously imagining abundance and ‘feeling’ it and indeed, to my astonishment, within a few months my income had grown 100 per cent. I wasn’t following the formula in relationships. Too often I depended on Arun to make me feel ‘happy’ and ‘complete’ and if ever he failed to listen to me, or understand me, I went into Being angry.

I smiled at a thought. Life is indeed like a cosmic kitchen. We are the guests who have come here to fulfill our hunger. We are ordering dishes to make us feel a certain way. We believe if we order the wonderful spouse, or the Mercedes car, or the fame we seek, or the love of the world, we will feel happy and peaceful. When the dish arrives we do feel satiated – for a moment. But, the feeling is short lived. Either we get bored of our dish or watch someone ordering a bigger and better dish and start believing now that if only we order that dish we will become happy. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler to order the feeling you want to feel instead? And grow into it, so much so that it becomes you?  In peace, in happiness, you are bound to enjoy every dish served to you – be it small or big, sweet or salty.

 I admire some people around me for certain aspects, and on closer observation I realized, they take care of their state of being in that particular areas. I have rarely ever seen my dad in a state of depression – he is usually cheerful and jokes are always in the air when he’s around. The result? I have seen so many things just go his way – reducing the chances of him feeling low altogether. Inside out. Whenever I ask my 85 year old granddad how his health is, he shows me a thumbs up. The result? He continues to remain radiant and glowing. Even when he had a kidney problem five years ago and the doctors said he wouldn’t make it through – he bounced back, full of life, because he kept telling everybody (and more importantly, himself) that he is simply waiting to eat some of his favourite delicacies (Jalebi and pizza, if you please!). Inside out.

The more a person feels good – and makes it into a permanent state of being, the more Life presents reasons for him to feel good. Unfortunately, the opposite also is true. The more a person feels miserable and dejected – and makes it into a constant state of being, the more Life presents reasons for this to be so. Change The Being – and life undergoes a change. There is no other way.

The problem with us humans is that the state of Being is our personal responsibility and too often, we don’t want to take it. We want to feel low because of him, we want to feel angry because of her, we want to feel we never became what we could because of them. It’s too easy to pass the buck on – but I have decided, I won’t do this anymore. After all it’s my life, and I want to experience abundance flowing, nay gushing, towards me from all directions.

Another issue, I recognized was that often I didn’t strive long enough to remain in a desired state of Being. Say, for five days if I tell myself to feel positive, and on the sixth day something goes wrong with my life, I started to believe the Law is not working for me. I now realize that the Law is immaculate. The thing that went wrong on the sixth day, went wrong because of my thinking before these five days when I decided to become positive. To ensure my life is amazing – I will have to constantly strive to feel amazing within. It’s not a day’s agenda – but a lifelong striving. However, the superb news is that the longer I stay in a particular State of Being, the easier it starts becoming to be there. For so many people they don’t have to try to BE happy – happiness BECOMES them.

Megha Bajaj
Like us on Facebook

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Challenge yourself....

WoW brings you tips that will help you not just improve your writing but also your lives... Simple steps make all the difference! :)

Challenge yourself..!
WoW Writing….
What is the secret ingredient that makes your writing an interesting read? Your passion! If you are inspired to write and have keen interest in any topic, words and plots flow out to weave a riveting story. Hence, it 's a no-brainer that you would choose a topic that you like, a topic you are comfortable with. But don’t get too comfortable playing on the same turf. Never underestimate the importance of learning. If you are comfortable writing for children, try writing for adults once in a while. If you are comfortable writing fiction, try writing something reflective. If you are comfortable writing about opinions, try writing about a theoretical topic which will need some research at your end. Dabbling with stuff that is new to you, will bring in a fresh perspective and help you grow and learn as a writer.

WoW life!
Again, let me stress on - Never underestimate the importance of learning! I try to learn something new every day. Be it by reading books, researching a topic on the internet, or speaking to someone about something that I am not very well versed with. Keep challenging yourself and you will find that you end your day with a fulfilling and satisfying feeling. You know how sometimes when you watch a bad movie, you feel terrible that you just wasted precious two hours of your life that you will never get back? Imagine that happening with a whole day! Go to bed thinking of the few bits of wisdom that you gained in the day, be proud of your efforts and enjoy the deep slumber!

Friday, October 21, 2011

As is...

Outside, it was just another November morning. Within, my cells were in a state of celebration. I was meeting my guru and couldn’t decide what to wear. His timely message on my phone read “Don’t take too much trouble over dressing. Come as yourself. In the ‘As is’ state, you are beautiful.” I sat down and softly chuckled to myself. Somehow, he always knew all the antics that I was up to. I wore my most comfortable pair of jeans and a simple T-shirt, grinned and said, “As is”. At various points of the day, the two words tickled my mind and made me smile. As is. As is. The wondering had begun…

Although I enjoy a several close relationships, it is in my sister’s company that my inner Self completely unfurls and stands ‘As is’. I feel so at ease when I am with Nidhi. If I have an issue with her, I don’t need to think or edit, I can express myself as it is and I know nothing about our relationship will lessen. I can scratch my nose or I can burst into a song, I can laugh and roll on the floor in mirth or cry like my entire world has fallen apart, and I know nothing about us will change. I always wondered why I sought her company and now I know. With her, I am ‘As is’ – not an inch of formality, not a molecule of pretension. Not even an atom of being what I am not. Oh, such freedom this is!

Being with children refreshes me – this I have known for years. This is so because kids are always in the ‘As is’ state – is a discovery I just made. Whether a little one is running around or sitting peacefully, colouring; whether he is gurgling over nothing or she is crying over a toy; I can sit in meditative silence and watch children for an entire day. So beautiful they are, in the ‘As is’ state.

As I dwelt more upon these two words, I began to realize whenever I saw someone being ‘As is’ I enjoyed that person, no matter how strange or eccentric they appeared. I liked my loud aunt because that’s just the way she was. She had no qualms about her decibel levels so why should I? I loved my miserly uncle who wears torn socks and ‘banian’ (inner vest) with holes even bigger than the ones through which we put our hands, although he is a billionaire – that’s just the way he is, who am I to question it? Conversely, I have found something within me repel whenever I sensed that someone was not being themselves. Even if someone was doing a kind act – but being extremely pretentious about it, something within me would screech like nails over a blackboard. A humbling experience came in the form of a college re-union.

The party was in full swing, and so were my thoughts. I was judging all those who weren’t being genuine and was wondering, “Why can’t people be ‘As is’ – it’s so obvious when someone is not being genuine…” Just then, a reflection caught my eye in the long panel mirror of the party hall. Someone had a huge, plastic smile on her face as she was telling another person, “Hey, we must catch up, it’s been soooo long.” With horror, I realized that the reflection was mine! I looked fake. I sounded fake. And it was clear, I was being fake. It was like a bucket of cold water being dumped on my head. Obviously, just the way I could sense it when someone wasn’t being genuine – it must be so clear to others when I wasn’t ‘As is’ too! After, we all acts as mirrors to one another!

So often I change myself because I believe it is ‘socially acceptable.’ Why say, “pleased to meet you” when in my mind I know I found the meeting boring? Why say “the food is amazing, give me the recipe!” when I know I am never going to try the dish? Why tell someone “you are looking so amazing” and then gossip about her later? I have promised myself – if I say something good to someone, I will mean every syllable of it.

Conversely, when someone around me is displeasing me, I have started asking myself a key question. It is, “Does this person really matter?” If the answer is no, I am learning to keep my peace and remind myself that I am no one to judge anyone. However, if the answer is yes, the person does matter, I make it a point to express my feelings to him. Of course there is a way to say things – and a time and a place, but instead of allowing negative emotions to fester and boil within me, I have decided to let the other person know what’s troubling me. I have seen that when I am able to communicate nicely, directly and respectfully to the other, when I am able to say things ‘As is’ most of the times it has been received in the right spirit and the relationship has only deepened. When I looked into my life and reflected upon the relationships that got strained or fell apart, I saw that in most cases it wasn’t the issues that were too big, it was the gap between discussing the issues that had become too big. We had stopped being ‘As is’ with each other.

Being ‘As is’ is improving my life so much. From little instances to important ones, every instance where I was ‘As is’ leaves me happy and refreshed. For example, I love getting gifts. In fact an important part of my birthday is sitting amidst colourful wrapping paper and admiring the things I had received. And yet, until now whenever someone would give me a present I would say, (with one hand upon the gift, mind you) “ Heh Heh Heh, you shouldn’t have…” This birthday, I decided to be ‘As is’ – I accepted all the presents with an excited smile. As is.

In the book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert shares a profound insight. She says, “God exists within you, as you.” If the Almighty can accept us as we are, why do we change ourselves to please others? Even the journey of self improvement can only begin when, in the first place, there is self acceptance. Only when I accept that I am a liar can I move towards becoming more truthful – only when I accept the ‘As is’ can I do something about it. The stupidest thing that I have done in life is to deny me to myself, others and even God– and I refuse to do it anymore. This is me. As is.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just another memory

I realize, life is nothing but a series of memories. Every moment that passes becomes a small fragment of my mind in the form of a memory. It’s up to me whether I choose happy memories or the painful ones. Do I slip in to reminiscence with a gentle smile or a scorn? What he said, what she said, what he did, what she did, will all result in nothing but a memory in my head – so which ones are worth keeping… which not worth processing? As I became conscious of this thought, I realized, somewhere unconsciously I was picking and choosing all the right memories and therefore life is as beautiful, as abundant as it is right now. The negative memories must be lurking in corners – but I consciously choose not to think of them whereas the happy ones I play time and again, making them stronger.

I had a quarrel with my best friend. We both said quite a few nasty things to each other. We raked the past, we scorned the present and questioned the future. However, in the end of it all, it ended with both of us weeping, realizing, how much we mean to each other. There were I love you’s and I care for you’s. There were hugs and holding of hands. With a new day, with a new understanding – what played an important role was our old memory. We remembered not the hurt but the healing power of love, we kept in mind the adoration not the abhorrence, we memorized the gentle words and not the stream of insults and that’s why we are closer than we ever were. Memory… just a memory. Yet, which I choose to dwell over, which I choose to lose, makes all the difference.

“You will never be good at English”, said my teacher ten years ago. Although her words were meant to hurt, in my memory, I only remember a little girl in a blue uniform looking back with raised eyebrows. I had said nothing. But even then, I remember thinking, “No teacher, I will learn English. I will.” Even in memory there was no sense of humiliation or failure. Indignation, yes. A chance to prove myself, perhaps. But no sense of failure. Recently, after having finished a book called Thank You, Cancer and being praised for it in Times of India, the same teacher wrote me an email saying, “I am privileged to have known you.” Probably none of it had been possible if somehow my mind had not chosen to keep the memory of this moment as a challenge rather than a hopelessness one.
That’s the beauty with memory – of an entire instance, of an entire conversation; I can choose to keep alive only that which I want to. So when someone once told me, “You are pretty ugly”, I conveniently, in my memory keep alive only the first three words of the sentence. Today truly looks does not seem to be an issue in my life and I walk about with my head held high, believing I am God’s beautiful creation. What could have broken me, created me. Memories which could have shaken me, awakened me, as I chose to keep only those alive which helped me feel good, made me happier.

What you say to me is not in my control. What life brings to me is not in my control. What will happen in the very next moment is not in my control. But as I sleep, what memories I choose to keep in safe possession, what memories I choose to ignore and thereby discard remains in my, and only my control. I have made insults in to compliments, failures in to challenges, fights in to yet another chance to renew a friendship, ill health in to an important rest and pampering period, moments of humiliation in to humour in my memory. So when I look back, there actually seems so much of joy, so much of excitement and growth, that I get excited about what tomorrow will bring.

This article, as of now will be nothing but a memory… but I want to keep it alive in my mind, keep remembering that life is nothing but a series of memories – and I can chose, and lose them according to my wish. Let this learning not fade away… let this memory, of memories, remain alive.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New day.. Old me?

Did you, like me, buy a brand new book, a brand new pen with a shiny tip just when you had to begin studying for school exams? For me, it was an event. I would go to a stationary shop, hold my nose high so the shopkeeper knows he is to take me seriously and stand pondering what to buy- which pen would get me more marks- which book would ensure that I write more, learn more and sleep less; which color marker would help me notice important words better? Pink, maybe. Purple, Yes. And like this my tiny shopping bag would fill with new stationary. Surprisingly, I would actually study harder, concentrate more with all these new things surrounding me.

Do you, like me, get so excited when you bought a few new clothes, that for quite some time you forgot your old ones completely. Little else thrills me as shopping does- there is a certain fragrance that new clothes have, a certain feel- that old clothes just don’t. Laden with shopping bags, thoughts of what I will wear when, anticipation of coming sales- I feel this little thrill. Ok, ok, if you are a man- its probably not clothes- think of that brand new car that you bought. That glisten, that glimmer, that fragrance that teased you as if saying- ‘I am new and therefore special’ and you probably know exactly what I am saying about the thrill of ‘newness’.

Have you, like me, felt shivers run down your spine at the prospect of getting to know a person, of adding that one more number on your mobile- knowing that you are going to use this number quite a lot. What a feeling it is to talk for hours and find out- favorite colour, favorite food, favorite flower. And favorite person. Shy smiles follow. Some relationships become new with each passing day- no matter how much two people know about each other they always find something new, something more to speak about- something new to discover together. And the excitement of ‘newness’ within the relationship simply refuses to fade away.

Have you, like I did, realized that life itself renews itself each day? With each morning, life begins once again. Sleep, like a mother, puts her hand over my head and weaves webs of darkness around me so I may sleep in peace- and wake up to a new day, a new life. What a waste of a new day it would be, if I am the same old! Yesterday I allowed ego to spoil a relationship, today I won’t. Yesterday, I was afraid to be the first one to do something; today I will do it with excitement. Yesterday I lost my temper on someone I loved, today, I will make it up. Yesterday I didn’t realize my potential, today I will. Yesterday I didn’t extend my arms and hug a child, today I will hug two. The old me had health problems, the new me wont. Yesterday I couldn’t, today I will. Between what I was yesterday and what I will be tomorrow lies a new day- renewed twenty four hours asking me- so, today what will you do?

What a feeling it is to wake up to a new day. The thrill of newness engulfs me every morning as I wonder what all I will do with this brand new day- the fragrance of newness tantalizing me to explore more, more, more. The beauty of life is, until it’s here, it keeps giving me a new day, again and again. A new sun, a new sky, new clouds, and to go with it a new, improved me- everyday.