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Month: October 2016

8 simple ways to de-clutter our minds of negative thinking

8 simple ways to de-clutter our minds of negative thinking

Lantern

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” ~Elbert Hubbard

It’s the season of Diwali, a festival celebrated with fervour by Indians all over the world. One of the customs of this festival is the ritual of spring-cleaning wherein a lot of time and effort is dedicated to thorough cleaning of the houses. Every nook and corner of the home is scrubbed hard to shine and look anew. It’s also that time of the year when we remove clutter from home – discarding things we do not need, giving it away to those who do and creating space for the new.

Having an obsession for all things neat and tidy (do not read OCD), this season strongly fuels my need for order. In true festive spirit, I have exhaustively indulged myself in the cleaning and de-cluttering traditions very seriously over the last few days. Organising things in their rightful place and packing off heaps and heaps of useless stuff into bags to give away. While spending all my energy into this tedious process, I’m amused at how things just get accumulated in our homes! And it sets me thinking…just the way a lot of unnecessary stuff gets accumulated in our minds too. Negative thinking for instance…

Negative thinking is alarmingly prevalent all around us, almost like an epidemic of sorts in today’s world. It seems easier to get into a whirlpool of negative thoughts and to remain stuck there. Negative thinking can sap our energies and before we realise, it can harm our bodies, mind and everything around us. In many ways, organising our physical space is making way to imbibe the positive elements into our minds and spirits too. This can then also be the time to de-clutter our minds with all the negativity and unnecessary trash we can do without. After all, there is a choice we can exercise, if we make a conscious effort to be aware.

Here are simple daily practices I have learnt over the years to bring in more positivity into our lives:

1. Positive thoughts – Catch yourself while thinking negatively and replace your negative thought with positive ones instantaneously.

2. Positive people – Surround yourself with people who do not put you down, whom you can learn from and exude a lot of positive energy.

3. Smile – It’s amazing how this one small curve on our face sets so many things straight. Even if you don’t feel like it completely, simply smile and feel the difference.

4. Inspirational reading – Reading books, quotes, articles, etc. that is motivating and encouraging is a helpful way to replace negative thinking.

5. Exercise – When you get moving, your endorphins get going. So quit the couch and do any form of fitness that suits you, daily.

6. Switch Off – Stay away from screen time and all gadgets that bombard you with negative information, thereby sapping your energy.

7. Music –Good music is therapeutic. Listen to the kind of music that you enjoy and see your mood change instantly.

8. Gratitude – Be thankful for everything you already have in life, sincerely from your heart.

It’s that time of the year when we must attempt to do away with darkness and light up – our homes, hearts and minds.

“She Let Go” – A Poem!

“She Let Go” – A Poem!

letting-go1

After having shared my difficulties with letting go in the previous post, I chanced upon this very beautiful poem by Rev. Safire Rose and thought this would be a perfect sequel to ‘Letting Go can be very hard’. Serendipity anyone?

Over the years, I have struggled to let go of so many things – both tangible and non-tangible. It is an ongoing process of releasing all that I want to cling on to so very tight. Every time I let go of something painful to release, I feel a void within me. But the emptiness that follows brings with it a sense of freedom and lightness –such a precious feeling that is!

We do have the power to make a conscious choice of dropping the baggage behind and moving forward. Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go:

“She Let Go” by Rev. Safire Rose

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Would you like to ‘Let Go’ of something today? Do mention in the comments to really let it go, take a deep breath and notice how you feel! 🙂

‘Letting Go’ can be very hard

‘Letting Go’ can be very hard

cliff

jump

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” ~ Hermaan Hesse

What you see in these images is a small cliff and me jumping into the water. What you do not see here is what preceded this jump!

The adventurous side of me decided to do something I had never done before – cliff jumping in the cold waters of Rishikesh. With all enthusiasm I climbed up to the top of the cliff with friends who had done it earlier and swore by the fun. “Its an experience you must have!” they had said. It was only once I reached up and looked down at the water that all my gusto was taken over by nervousness. Was I insane – how could I possibly jump from this height! I wanted to turn back and go down the hill but it was too late. Scores of people had queued up behind me to take their turn, patiently waiting for me to jump in. And I simply couldn’t let go! I was scared and landed up creating a scene for about 10 minutes, when normally people take only seconds to jump in. Until finally I couldn’t do it on my own and had to ask the person behind me to push me!

But that’s me. I have always had difficulties in letting go or have a strong habit of holding on – whichever way you look at. How I treasure my precious collectibles for years – the books that I loved reading and revisiting; my innumerable photo albums, both in print and digital; cannot let go of my favourite outfits until they are shamefully tattered; holding on to the colourful stationery and art supplies from college days; saving those heartfelt letters and cards from childhood days. Speaking of which, it was hard to even let go of the cards from my ex, despite all the bitterness post divorce.

How then was I supposed to leave my marital home, whose every nook and corner I had tendered to (the Bollywood fan in me was reminded of the scene from the Hindi movie ‘Astitva’ when actress Tabu was hugging the floor of her home for the last time before she was leaving her husband). Familiarity brings comfort and I wanted to hold on to my comfort zone. The people associated with me in the neighbourhood – the librarian, the girls in the salon next door, and the smiling lady at the grocers. My favourite walking parks by the sea and the shops down the road that I frequented. My yoga class in the vicinity, my friends, and all that I was attached to.

How was I supposed to let go of everything that was built with so much love, dedication and trust in marriage. Of a bond whose foundation began with vows around the sacred fire. How could I let go of all those memories built over days and months and years!

Life surely has its ways that are sometimes beyond our comprehension. When it gets you to the point where its best to leave behind everything and move on, then you gotta let go. Even if it means being pushed into letting go!

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