Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gratitude post for July, 2015

I am glad to write this post for the month of July 2015. There are so many things to be grateful for and I turn back in gratitude for the last 6 months of the year. I am happy to be constantly reminded of being grateful every month! Thanks to the Gratitude Circle!
Butter scotch - icecream
July has been a happy and month of celebrations. Happy because of my good health. To be active and healthy is a blessing, even a small little problem like the ear infection can cause tremendous stress – I am glad that this has been treated and am back in action to do everything that I love to do.

YWCA Friends 
I call this month a celebration  because of the privilege, I had and still have to connect back to my old friends. These friends are from my college where I completed my degree with whom I spent hours together chatting, playing, joking and completing my assignments. Now these friends have married, had children and one my friend has also got her daughter married, and the others have grown up children in college and high school. It was great going out with them once again and listening to one another’s experiences of life in the last 30 years.
At a theatre closer to my house
July month was also a time wherein I gave a little more attention to my blog; I participated in the 3 day quote challenge nominated by shilpa at http://shilpaagarg.com which was inspiring to look for the best quotes and carry forward nominating another 3 persons.

I am happy to participate in the 5 photo 5 post challenge nominated by Susan Scott @ http://gardenofedenblog.blogspot.inwherein I posted for 5 consecutive days and passed on the nominations to those whom I could. The best part of this challenge is the person whom you are nominating is free to take it or leave, so there was no stress and pressure on anyone who wants to take on this challenge.

I am glad to have even responded to Laurel’s post on weekly gratitude at http://www.alphabetsalad.com for adding for gratitude list for a couple of weeks on almost two or three Mondays. I felt positive to have given more time for my blog and blog posting. I am motivated further to give as much time as possible to not only write but also visit and interact with a few more blogger friends.

Another reason for July being a celebration month was we celebrated my sister in laws birthday at my place.  The reason being, it’s only a 3 month since her husband passed away and she is in grief, so I and David decided that we invite her home with her 2year old daughter and have a simple celebration to cheer her up.
  
10 Downing Street -Hyderabad
The celebrations did not stop there as once again I went out with a different group of friends wherein we are working together for a cause, and we felt it’s time we also had some time for ourselves together and for the first time in my life I went to a pub with my friends.  

I only heard of pubs and seen them in the movies..... I am glad for this experience as I looked around to see a lot of youngsters in this pub enjoying the loud music and a few of them taking substances, which revealed the current scenario of our youngsters in the city. I felt working with young people it’s important for me to understand and see how and where they spend their time.


Maria clicked this in front of our house

Maria's special Dish
I am also grateful and happy to see my daughter progress; she loves photography and takes beautiful pictures whenever she is inspired.  I admire the way she captures an image. I am happy that I could go out with my daughter for a Hindi movie, which was very entertaining.

My gratitude is also for David my husband who makes sure that every Sunday we are treated with a different kind of Chicken curry. Today he added spinach to the chicken and presented a new dish for me and my daughter.  I ate my lunch with gratitude thinking of all the effort he has put in to make this curry a delicious one.

Despite the internet issues and power cuts I am able to post this today; and am feeling grateful that everything is fine and all is well in my life!


Be Blessed & Be Happy!appyHappy

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Photos 5 days Challenge – Day5

Today is the fifth day of this challenge, for which Susan Scott has nominated me to take part in the 5 day 5 photo challenge from http://www.gardenofedenblog.com. Thanks Susan once again.

I am glad to be at my counseling centre, the place is calm and very cool.  I came to the centre this morning with gratitude; completing all the household task at home- waking up my daughter, helping her with breakfast, packing her lunch and dropping her till the bus stop, and bidding her goodbye to school in the early hours.
A view from my window from the counseling centre
I came back home spent some time with myself doing some yogic stretches followed by some deep breathing exercises and the last 15 minutes in prayer and meditation, being grateful to God for the brand New day, affirming and thanking the Lord for the breath, and every part of my body that is functioning perfectly well, and closing with sending vibrations of love, peace and harmony to everyone around me, and especially for those who I find difficult to forgive. By then I am energized and active to resume to continue the rest of my work at home.

Then I got busy with putting the house in order, packing my Tiffin and serving breakfast to myself and David, and then we are off to work. I was singing with gratitude as I rode to my office amidst a lot of traffic and reached the campus safely.

View from my office window

Once at office  I check if there are any emails for me, I found a few messages from my friends on whatsapp..  . While I was responding to them, I got a call from one of my students, asking me whether they can come for counseling. I agreed and told them I am in the centre; within 15 minutes I had a student, who had come earlier with issues related to fear, anxiety and negative thinking. 

I had helped the person, and recommended that she comes regularly to get of this sorted out. Now for the last 3- 4 months I have not heard from her, and today suddenly she felt that she should visit us with the same problem reoccurring. So I sat listening to her for an hour and half and later got back to do some write up in completing the 5thday for the 5photo 5 day challenge..

Another beautiful view from my window
I am thankful for the weekend that has gone by, feeling refreshed, relaxed to continue my routine, no stress at all, I move around my place; sometimes I  love standing near my window looking at the trees; the cool breeze touching my cheeks and playing with my hair. Today I forgot to get my reading glasses; I am trying my best to complete this post.
clicked by my daughter Maria when she visited my office
I am grateful for the privilege to be in a helping profession.. .. I keep myself busy when there are no students for counseling. I follow up with other students who take medical support from the doctors and visit the centre for support counseling. I write down and fill up the progress note of the students for filing and follow up.  
Thanks to Google for this image
I take calls both on the intercom as well as my cell phone, some students just would like to chat a little to feel better, and some others keep me informed about their  visits to the doctors and how they feel, and still some students make it to visit the centre, even if there are no issues, just to stay in touch. I am happy to complete this challenge,.

Today I would like to nominate Cynthia Rodrigues who writes at http://cynthology.blogspot.in. Cynthia is a mother of two and writes beautifully her experiences in parenting, also a short story writer, and is an inspiring person.

 The rules are simple:
·         Post photo each day for 5 consecutive days
·         Attach a story to the photo.  It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely up to you
·         Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation! This is fun, not a command performance!
A quote for inspiration:

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings”. William Arthur Ward


Thank you for reading… .. I would love to hear from you…..

Be Happy!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Photos 5 days challenge – Day 4

 Today is the 4th day challenge, for which Susan Scott has nominated me to take it forward this 5 Photos 5 days challenge from www.gardenofedenblog.com

Today being Sunday it’s a day of quiet time and relaxation. My husband David is very much involved in the church activities, and he has a group by name soldiers of Christ that conducts prayer meetings in the church, every fourth Sunday of the month for half day, with a fellowship meal. David is very religious minded person and follows every ritual of the church, and also the cultural customs in the family.

The Logo of this group

I was a religious person, once upon a time trained very well in saying prayers, attending Sunday mass regularly, fulfilling all the obligations of the Catholic Church.  Over a period of time with my exposure to so many aspects of faith, I have moved breaking all boundaries of religious in order to evolve as a spiritual being.

Thanks to all the priests/nuns and other religious for enabling me in this journey of faith, where in I have always questioned and desired that my faith be vibrant, alive and full of positivity. I am so blessed to have gurus who have taught me the art of meditating, who have broaden my vision to explore further in understanding myself in the context of a particular time. Wherein I believed that my life has a purpose and I need to respond positively to the given situation in the history of time. 

The alter at St cecilia's church

I still believe I have purpose to accomplish.  But with so many varied experiences in life, and also the arrival of my son a down syndrome child, I found very difficult to manage him and my daughter as they both were extremes (my daughter was quick, and my son was just the opposite very slow in everything) Due to which I could never be on time for prayers/mass/ or any other rituals in the family. My son being very sickly and prone for respiratory issues. I never participated in traditional and other activities in the church and community. In the process I have given up a lot of rituals and religious practices and have embraced a quiet and a silent way of praying and meditating.

Now that my son is no more; and my husband in the process of coping with the loss, he has held on to faith; and has managing to move on… and now feels that he has a responsibility of helping those who have lost faith and hope in God, to help them renew faith and bring them closer to God and church through prayer meetings.

The choir group

I have coped with the loss of my son by learning to swim in the deep waters regularly, and also took up a career that helps students, listening to their sad stories, brokenness and challenges has made me forget my own sorrows and I am content and happy working in the counseling centre at the university campus.

Initially I was not really very comfortable and happy about these prayer meetings; as I enjoyed meditating in silence…. Despite our differences I felt that I must strike a balance in helping my child to learn to value both aspects in life; to appreciate certain traditions and cultures practiced in the church, to learn to sing, pray openly and at the same time also learn to meditate silently.
 
St cecilia's church
Then I decided to help David in whatever way I can to organize his prayer meetings on every 4th Sunday and my daughter sings in the choir and also prays.  I encourage her to meditate quietly and integrate prayer with work. So today we were all in the church singing, praising, thanking God for everything, attended mass, joined in the fellowship meal and came back home with gratitude.

An outing with the prayer group

Tonight we will be visiting one of our relatives place which is 15kms away from where we live for a family function and dinner. I decided to complete this post at least by evening so that I don’t miss today’s challenge.

A few quotes to inspire …

“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” Buddha

“When I do good, I feel good, when I do bad, I feel bad, that’s my religion” Abraham Lincoln.

“Prayer is the key in the morning and bold in the evening” Mahatma Gandhi

“Work out your own salvation, do not depend on others” Buddha

“But you have no need to go anywhere –journey within yourself. Enter a mine of rubies and bather in the splendour of your own light.” Rumi

“Lets remember who we really are, which souls, not egos is.” Ram Dass

“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.” Ram Dass

Today I nominate Corinne Rodriguez from http://everydaygyaan.com. Corinne is an authentic and passionate blogger. She is very sensitive, helpful and frank and is very inspiring. I have always enjoyed reading her blogpost. In fact I have learnt so much from her, and she has been my motivation to start blogging.  I owe a lot to her and in fact whenever I had required support and have been stuck I have taken help from her.  I consider her as my Guru.  Thanks Corinne for everything and this is a request from me to take this challenge forward: the rules are simple:

  1. Post photo each day for 5 consecutive days
  2. Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely upto you
  3. Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation! this is fun, not a command performance!


Be Blessed & Be Happy!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

5 Photos 5 days Challenge – Day 3

Today is the Third day of this challenge, for which Susan Scott has nominated me to take part in the 5 day 5 photo challenge from http://www.gardenofedenblog.com.

Today I am glad to have met friends who work for a common purpose. I am an active member of the YWCA Secunderabad. YWCA (Young women Christian Association). The YWCA is a Christian global network of persons leading social & economic change in 125 countries worldwide. YWCA advocates for peace, justice, human rights & care for the environment & have been at the forefront of raising the status of mankind for more than a century. You will find a lot more information of YWCA Secunderabad activities and programmes in the link given below. 


 I enjoy doing my bit and am always glad to meet and share my experiences with this community. Today the board members and the members of the various committees decided to go out for a lunch together, leaving all work aside and just being together for a fellow ship meal at 10D. So I came out today with my daughter for the lunch here and had a good time meeting the other women friends.

I remember reading a forward that speaks about, the importance of nurturing relationships in order to be healthy as women. “ A Psychiatrist at Stanford says that, among other things, that one of the best things  that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a  woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her  relationships with her girlfriends. 


Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin-a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.  Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities.” He goes on to explain how men are wired differently and the kind of communication is so very different from women.

I find this so true, and I have so many experiences of having girl friends not only during tough times in my life; but also other times… I just need to dial a number and I have a friend on the other side ready to listen to me; the best part is that I can just pick up the conversation from any where, in the last two months, I am feeling so blessed to have connected with my college friends, and it did not take a second to get back to each one of them on email, whats app and sms and whatever possible ways to communicate.  The happiness of meeting and being together is such a great feeling.


So today I was out with the YWCA women’s group for lunch, and after which just went around window shopping which I enjoy. I just love to go around looking at all that is displayed in the shops and check the rates and keep myself informed.   At the end of the day, I am grateful for the experience of just being together and connecting with one another.

Some quotes on friendship..

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” Hellen Keller

“A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else.” unknown.

“A friend is someone who knows the song n your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” Unknown

I nominate Aparna Adhikari who writes at http://aparnaadhikari.blogspot.in  Aparna is a good friend of mine,  very committed to her work. She works as a Manager for the Suicide prevention helpline at Makro Foundation, Hyderabad.  She is a PhD scholar and blogs whenever she is free to inspire herself and others.

 The rules are simple:
Post photo each day for 5 consecutive days

Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely upto you.
Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation ! this is fun, not a command performance !

Thanks for reading… would love to hear your thoughts..

Friday, July 24, 2015

5 Photos 5 days Challenge – Day 2

Today is the second day of this challenge, for which Susan Scott has nominated me to take part in the 5 day 5 photo challenge from http://www.gardenofedenblog.com.

Clicked from my new cell phone
Yesterday I was going for a meeting and when I reached the venue: I found a small hoarding that said books exhibition. The moment I saw the board, I remembered my daughter, just the other day she was reminding me about getting her some books to read. I am happy that Maria has developed the habit of reading and I am thankful to the school for promoting the children to read the printed word. The school has something called the DEAR Time (Drop Everything and Read) once a week on a Friday, wherein children are allowed to bring one book for reading and spend time reading in the class.

I have been getting Maria a lot of reading material in the form of comics, short stories, popular personalities in the bible,  right from the time she started reading; her favourite stories were always Cinderella, Snow white, chanakya, Alice in the wonderland, Birbal and few popular characters from the bible.
  
Getting comfortable with my new  cell phone
She also started borrowing books from the library, and her taste has also been changing; now from class V onwards she has started reading Charles dickens, Jane Austen and a few more popular books.  Now for class IX the school has given them one book to each student to read throughout the year, that is Gulliver’s Travel and the assignment will be given at the end of the year.

Now when I saw this board I was very happy; so after the meeting, I stopped by at this book exhibition where they were selling the books in kgs.  Books are displayed in a rack and amount is tagged as to Rs 300/per kg, 250/per kg 200/per kg and 100/per kg. I was fascinated by the way the books were displayed.


So I went to Teenage section, where there were plenty of novels, I picked up one by one to see whether my daughter will like it; and finally after spending an hour I managed to pick up 6 books, favourite of Maria’s – Charles dickens, Mark Twain, Chicken soup for the soul, and harry potter which costed Rs 300/per kg which I felt was very cheap. When I came home Maria was very happy that I picked up so many books, and immediately started reading one of the books by Mark twain.


Books have been a great companion for me; and I have always enjoyed reading books. I was very regular to the library when I was in college, and later on where I worked, there was a good collection of books in the office library and I would borrow a lot of books for reading. Books have always kept me engaged; I have travelled with books for seminars, training sessions from my place of work. I have always gifted books to my close friends and had spent a lot of time selecting books in the book store, forgetting the time.

Books I picked up. Thanks to Maria for clicking this pic
After marriage, kids arrival and full time work... it’s not been easy for me, and I could not go to the library and was tied down to looking after kids.  In the recent years I have begun reading again, but not the printed word, but a lot on the internet which is related to my work and the commitments at the work place. 

I also read plenty of E material available on the internet. I  find blogs very inspiring, mostly I read a lot of stuff related to self development, inspiration, motivational and something that triggers me think, questions my beliefs and which helps me make some positive changes I read. 

Maria posing with Mark twain book
Here are some quotes to inspire:

“There are many little ways you can enlarge your Child's world. Love of books is the best of all” Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Maya Angelou

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand” Neil Gaiman



Today I nominate Vidya who writes at www.http://vidyasury.com.  Vidya is another blogger who writes beautifully straight from the heart. I have always enjoyed reading vidya’s posts and I found Vidya very knowledgeable and writes on so many different aspects of life. I have read some very brilliant posts on parenting, healthy living, tips to blog better, and some very rich experiences of her mom and her family.
The rules are simple:
·         Post photo each day for 5 consecutive days
·       Attach a story to the photo.  It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely up to          you
·         Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the       invitation! This is fun, not a command performance!

Thank you for reading, and I would love to hear your thoughts…..

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

5 Photos 5 days Challenge – Day 1

I am glad to write this post as Susan Scott of http://www.gardenofedenblog.com  has nominated me to take part in the 5 day 5 photo challenge.  I have met Susan during my April A-Z challenge, and was happy to read all her post which was focused on Dreams.  

She is a great writer and am truly fascinated by the depth of her writings. I have learnt and grown so much reading her posts which has always been enlightening, and I get to learn something new.  Thanks Susan for all the learnings I have had through your meaningful posts.

So here goes my first day challenge:
Ready for Disco Dancing


waiting for their turn
This is the photograph of my daughter Maria Dorothy in her younger days.  I still remember the days when she loved dancing, in fact she still loves. This photo was taken when she was waiting for her groups turn for dancing. A disco dance done by along with her classmates for one of the school functions. I remember one day she came excited stating that she was selected for a dance by the teacher and every day for whole month, she went for the practice, and just a week before the organizers felt the girls were more in number, so some children were asked to drop out. Maria was one of them.

I remember she came home in tears and refused to go to school next day.  I tried telling her that she will have many more chances, and she will get better opportunities to perform, she was angry with me and I forced her to go to school, thinking that she must learn to adapt and adjust as we will not get everything we want in life.


Somehow deep within myself I felt she was right – as she was crying and stating; that they (teachers) should not have made her practice every day; as she had to give up her class and catch up with her subjects on what she missed for a whole month.

I get very disturbed when my daughter cries – so I could not concentrate on work that day; I decided to go to school and talk to the person in charge.  When I went and spoke to the concerned person, she was very open, and listened to everything I said about my daughter, and her disappointment about being removed from the dance group. At the end of the conversation she assured me that she will take care of my daughter and everything will be fine. So I came back assured all is well!!!

Maria came back from school that evening with an angry face and told me that I must not come to her school from henceforth.  I could not understand…. I tried to check with her what happened…...she refuse to speak.  After a little while she told me that she was taken back again in the dance group.  Then I told her that she must be happy with the decision taken, and not angry.


Then she replied that the person, who spoke to me went to her class room, and made some sarcastic remarks about children, who were dropped out of the dance team and Maria did not like the statements made, she felt humiliated. She got angry on me because she understood that I had gone and spoken about her to the concerned person; and the strong reaction of the person in her class room was due to my visit.

I understood the dynamics both of the school and in the class room. From then on Maria never allowed me to interfere in her affairs… she learnt to sort her own issues out…. Somehow she understood the reactions and the consequences that affected her class room.  But I still keep enquiring about the school and the class till date.  She has now become independent and does all her school work by herself and when she requires help; she takes my help.

Good Teachers influence children positively. They are sensitive and aware that Children may forget what is said; but they will not forget how they felt.  Children are the flowers of life, let’s be kind to them, lets help them and make them happy.


I am glad that Maria learnt to accept challenges and move on; to take part in the dancing competition, as she went to the next standard.  Now she is in class IX and more focused on academics as there is only one more year to complete her schooling. 

I was glad to find that she never gives up easily and persists till she gets what she wants… …. Which is something I am happy about?

Have you come across such experiences?

I would be glad to hear?

I take this as my privilege to participate in this 5 photos, 5 days challenge. 
The rules are simple:

  1. Post photo each day for 5 consecutive days
  2. Attach a story to the photo.  It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, a paragraph – all entirely up to you
  3. Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation! This is fun, not a command performance!
I nominate Shilpa from A Rose is a Rose is a Rose www.shilpaagarg.com  and invite her to take this forward.

Be Blessed &Be Happy!

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Gratitude Post for Today

Thanks to Google for this image
·     I have so many things today to be thankful for; especially for the last week I had so much time to do what I had been postponing for over months. The most important task is to clear up the clutter once again, sorting out my clothes and placing it neatly in the shelf, to make my life easy to pick daily what to wear; without having to waste time in searching.

·         To get rid of all those clothes which are torn, gone old and some that doesn’t fit  me and some of it I just don’t wear. What a relief to have my cupboard cleaned.

·    While sorting, I found a couple of sarees with white colour, and a purple border, and another plain white which my mom used to wear to the church and maintained it so well, till she was alive. Now I have it with me and I don’t feel like giving it away, as I feel very sentimental about these two sarees.   
·         I will write a separate post about my memorable moments with my mom.

·         The next most important task I felt accomplished was to sort out my academic certificates, medical reports and a few financial investments I made for my daughter, the receipts, bonds etc which was all in one file… so I took time to separate all these and made separate folders and even wrote down on a sheet of paper.

·  I am also glad to have a new smart phone, thanks to my husband David for his thoughtfulness and generosity for gifting me one.  I appreciate the effort for taking time, for me to a  shop and showing me a variety of phones. I picked up a good one – Sony experia… feel excited with this new gadget, there is so much to learn….. I am feeling grateful and I appreciate David for this gesture
I like this quote  “Gratitude is the antidote for misery”

Be Happy! Be Grateful !

 

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