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Month: January 2017

9 life lessons I could relate to lessons from running

9 life lessons I could relate to lessons from running

“Running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there’s no reason to fear starting lines…or other new beginnings.” ~ Amby Burfoot

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon recently saw its 14th edition completing in all its glory. The streets of Mumbai came alive in the early hours with hoards of cheerleaders, music bands, people lining up to cheer their folks, runners across different categories reaching the finishing line in exhilaration – it’s an extremely buzzing atmosphere every year.

Now, I have always been a sport enthusiast and a fitness freak but never so fond of running. However, last year I decided to attempt running purely for fitness reasons and also to satiate my fetish for attempting the new. And it turned out to be quite an experience to be part of a marathon training group and subsequently run three 10k marathons. What I landed up learning while running is I realised what we all learn from life everyday. A few take-aways I would like to share here:

  1. Action – We all think of doing so much in life, but very few take the necessary steps to initiate an action plan. Dreams will only remain in our wish-list until we act upon them. Action counts.
  1. Motivation – Self-motivation is the key to achieve our goals. Life’s path, just like the running path, is uneven with several twists and ups and downs. What we constantly tell ourselves, the inner dialogue we have and how we push ourselves is what really matters at every step.
  1. Team Strength – When we work together in a group of like-minded people with common interests, the strength that we derive from each other is unparalleled. Being a part of an extremely enthusiastic training group (read related links below) has been highly inspiring and encouraging. A big reason I could push myself out of the bed in the early hours and put on the running shoes. 
  1. Setting goals – When I began training, I could barely complete 1km. of constant running. Then I started setting small goals – running up to that electric pole without stopping, running on a trot until 5 songs on my playlist got done, running for 20 minutes non-stop, etc. and thereby gradually increasing the targets. Within a few weeks of training, I could manage to run my first 10k marathon! Setting short-term goals is the key to long-term success. Small steps lead to bigger steps; small achievements lead to bigger achievements.
  1. Mind over body – In running as in life, it is the mind that rules over the body. Runners often suffer from cramps mid-way through the marathon, get dehydrated or have to face extreme climatic conditions. It is their unflinching will-power that keeps them going towards the finish line. So in life, we got to endure with our inner strength to move ahead and hurdle all tribulations until we reach our destination.

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t

  1. Slowing down – During the course of my training, I experienced discomforting pain in my knee for the first time. I had to let it heal and was forced to take a break. In life too, sometimes situations leave us with no choice but to take a pause. It is then essential to rejuvenate and restart.
  1. Enjoying the journey – As kids we were taught that participating in activities is more important than winning. And as adults we also realise that it’s enjoying the journey that counts as much as reaching the destination. Being out in the open close to nature in the wee hours of the morning, with uplifting music for company and great team spirit around, made the experience a lot more fun. Not to mention the exuberance of finishing a marathon. In which ways are you making your life’s journey enjoyable?
  1. Getting out of our comfort zone – Every instance in life when I decided to venture into something seemingly difficult, I have grown immensely as an individual. My self-confidence took a huge leap. It is extremely vital to stretch ourselves every once in a while, challenging our resilience and expanding it. Growth truly lies in stepping out of our comfort zones.
  1. You are on your own – You start, you run the marathon and you finish on your own. Even though everyone is running together towards the same finish line, you are alone in your race. People will advise and encourage and be around, but you got to run to the finish line on your own. You and your thoughts. You and your self-talk. You and your journey. Isn’t it just the same in life?

Related links:

http://www.striders.in/training-programs/striders-training-program/

http://www.jollygymkhana.in/activites-marathon.html

Featured image courtesy: Pixabay

 

Practicing gratitude is a magical attitude to live with

Practicing gratitude is a magical attitude to live with

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

My first blogpost in the new year – it is gratitude that comes to my mind. For everything that came into my life last year, feeling overwhelmed with people and things that I am blessed to have. Looking forward to the new year with a sense of humility and grace.

There have been innumerable moments of despair, like there is with everyone, when life seemed bleak and hopelessness crept in. As I kept seeking answers from the universe, I was drawn towards many self-help books that explained the mystical ways of the universe. Books that touched upon the various aspects of spirituality and the cosmos. One of the many books that had an impact on me was the iconic bestseller ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. And one of the many practices it mentioned that touched upon me was the attitude of gratitude.

We are often habituated to look at all the negative things in our lives, focusing on our problems, the lack of something, anything that is missing, stuff we don’t have and our complaints.

Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty. – Christian Science Hymnal

I asked myself, how could I be grateful for what I have when I have lost everything I wanted? I asked myself, why should I say thank you to life when it has cheated on my kids and me? As I continued reading the powerful processes explained in ‘The Secret’, something inside of me stirred. I was willing, though reluctantly, to try the exercise of gratitude.

When we decide to change direction, acknowledge everything that we do have and be thankful for that, a significant shift in our energies takes place. When we appreciate the simpler pleasures of life, the universe opens up bigger opportunities of happiness. Gratitude works like an antidote to dissatisfaction, anxiety and fear. It becomes a shield protecting us from negativity in our lives. It changes our perspective towards life events and people. Gratitude leads us towards the divine light, peace and happiness.

Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have, and you will attract more good things. – The Secret

Maintaining a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal wherein we write the things everyday we are grateful for is a life-altering exercise. We do not realize that there is so much we take for granted – if we acknowledge all our blessings, our perception changes and something inside us shifts. Journaling was something I loved practicing so starting an exclusive gratitude journal was simple. What was difficult was recollecting the things I was grateful for.

There were days when I would be so angry and bitter, that at the end of the day I could feel thankful for nothing. That’s when I started feeling grateful for my life, my health, my limbs, my senses. The stuff I so took for granted like the roof above my head, the food I eat, the daily comforts and luxuries I enjoyed. And more importantly, all the people in my life who cared and loved me unconditionally. Just their presence and concern was a huge factor to be grateful for.

Practicing gratitude has changed the way I perceive life. It has helped the healing process immensely. Subconsciously I have attracted abundance in different areas of my life. It has had a positive impact on all my relationships. Even when I think I have little in life, I feel life has given me a lot. Every night, I make it a point to write down at least 5 things that I have felt thankful for during the day. It’s a daily chore that sets the tone for peaceful sleep and a positive start to the morning.

Read: http://soulmom.in/everything-new-enriches-lives/

The simple ‘Thank you’ that we were taught as kids, little did we know then the immense power this phrase has. No matter what your life situation is, count your blessings and be grateful. The universe will fill your life with abundance and contentment.

On a closing note – ‘Thank you’ for visiting and reading this blogpost.

Related links:

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Oprahs-Gratitude-Journal-Oprah-on-Gratitude

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/100-reasons-grateful-today/

Image courtesy: Pixabay

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