Caged Flight! 

They care for me so much, they don’t let me fly. 

They care for me so much, I am the star of their cage! 

But there will be a day, when I will choose to fly 

with wings that don’t know how to flap or with a soul that doesn’t know how to rise.. 

For then there would be no care for the cage or for the flight..

I wish I were not a bird meant to fly. 

I wish I were a turtle.

HAPPY NEW ‘EAR’!

On my trip to Goa two years ago, the worst happened. For some unknown reason (A peg of gin with tonic water) my right ear was infected. My ear bled for over two days while I experienced unbearable pain. But no, this wasn’t the worst. The worst was what subtly tagged along with my ear infection – a continuous ringing sound in my ear. Initially I surmised it to be a part and parcel of the infection; however when it did not subside even after the infection healed, I decided to find out more about it. My research, later re-validated by doctors, informed me that this ‘ringing in the ear’, medically known as ‘tinnitus’ is a disease with no established cure. It may not be incurable, but the cure still remains unknown. I was acquainted with HIV and Cancer as life threatening diseases with no guaranteed cure, but I wasn’t prepared for ‘tinnitus.’ Every single minute of the day was spent in praying for the sound in my ear to stop. But it didn’t. I couldn’t come to terms with the sudden imperfection in my body and I endlessly lamented about the irreversible damage caused to my life. Even while I continued to moan and wonder why I had been inflicted with this disorder, life somehow went on. I got married, bagged a job at the biggest law firm in the country and all was apparently well except that the ‘Why me’ question, prodding me all the time, remained unanswered.

My question was answered in a strange manner. In one of Oprah Winfrey’s interviews randomly playing on air, an overwhelmed Oprah asked, ‘You are actually living right now! Doesn’t this statement make you feel wonderful?’ Oh yes! The feeling was absolutely extraordinary. That little moment pushed me to introspect and to decipher the true meaning of the events in my life. It was that tiny enlightening moment which brushed off the dust accumulated on my intellect and the simplicity of the underlying truth shone through. What really separates a person from ‘living’ to ‘not living‘ is not a damaged ear, a broken leg or even a non-functioning kidney; it is a dead heart- A heart which does not beat.

Gosh! I had been such a fool to have been cribbing about my sorrows when I was being bestowed with abundant life. Thanks to this insightful wisdom, it also occurred to me that the ringing in my ear did not impinge on my routine tasks. Doctors had informed me that tinnitus does not impair a person’s hearing capacity. I could focus and concentrate as effectively as always and except when I was at a place with absolutely no external noise (My life, post tinnitus tells me that such places hardly exist), I did not hear the sound in my ear. This meant that the ringing sound in my ear was not my enemy or my weakness. Infact, it had always been my friend which was trying to make me respect life and was strengthening me with the belief that no pain can kill me and rob me off my life till my heart stops beating. For far too long, I had unnecessarily cursed my luck and wasted time blaming my ear and hating my defects. But now that the misconceptions had been washed away, I could no longer afford to let my life stagger aimlessly. I took charge and within weeks made big changes to my life.

My ringing ear had thankfully reshuffled my priorities. ‘Living a life being thankful to my beating heart’ topped the list. Squandering my present working a 15-hour day, taking orders from my many seniors at a job which ‘assured’ me of a bright future was not fitting the bill. I quit my job at the law firm to take up a job at a place with defined work hours and a pretty rich work profile. Work-life balance is now perfect! I pursue my hobbies, go on vacations, laugh a lot more and yes, I thank God for blessing me with the sound in my ear which plays straight from my heart!

You may not have tinnitus to guide you to a hearty living. But if you have a voice within you which questions your life decisions, you have the right apparatus installed to assist you in living a life of your dreams. Just listen to that voice within, it is the voice of your heart beating. Following your heart neither entails making grand plans and chasing them, nor does it demand countless sacrifices and compromises. Following your heart means constantly acknowledging the fact that your heart is beating tirelessly for you. This simple exercise dissolves all woes, fears, apprehensions and pressures of unreasonable goals.

Living heartily makes you happy instantly! This year, just ‘ear’ your heart and be thankful that it’s beating for you!!

Happy New Year!

HEARTWORK FOR SUCCESS!

We often wonder if we are doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Career choices and life decisions mostly seem immature. We wish we had taken a step or two differently while we were younger and still at college. And while the heap of our regrets only keeps increasing, when it comes to changing the situation that we have got ourselves into, we continue to hesitate. Surprisingly, following our heart seems to be the biggest gamble of our lives.

Although most people write off frustration and disappointments as an essential part of life, there are a few who have gone against the current (Read, followed their hearts) and are now celebrating every moment of their life journey. What is it that they did differently? Has it got something to do with their upbringing and genes? Are their families more liberal? No, it is none of the above. (Well, may be some of the above for some rare lucky ones.) It was and always will be the art of being honest with yourself and sticking to your dreams that has worked, no matter what. Here are a few tips for going forward with your dream:

  1. Acknowledge and respect your dream:

Start respecting your dream instead of dusting it off your sleeve. Be proud about every single one of your crazy ideas. Imagine what the world would be today, if Graham Bell had dismissed his idea as an absolutely crazy one-off thought! First of all, stop calling it a mere ‘idea’. Elevate it by calling it ‘an initiative’, ‘a design’, may be even a ‘brain wave’. Sounds fun already, doesn’t it?

  1. Think of life after your dream has come true:

Just for a while, imagine what life would be if all of your crazy ideas were to turn true. Enlist the benefits that you would enjoy living your dream. If this exercise transports you to an absolutely blissful world, befriend yourself and walk yourself to that idyllic place. Well, the only argument to hold you back is what you may call ‘job stability’. A job which assures you a monthly payment at the cost of your mental peace is far from a stable one, it is a leech sucking all your ambitions out of you. You may rise to the position of a CEO doing the dreary job that you currently do, but your mind will always hassle you with ‘what if’ questions that could unsettle you till you die. Now, you don’t want that, do you? So get moving!

  1. Make an action plan:

Yes, this might appear highly premature but make an action plan to help your ideas blossom to reality. Since it’s an idea that prods you, only you can shape it. But for that, you need to start working on it. Sit down with your organiser, calendar, paper or slate, whatever you use to make timelines on. Plan for each day and allocate specific hours and detail out exactly what you plan to achieve during those hours. Make another list of reasons and arguments that you could use to procrastinate. Now promise yourself that you won’t fall for items on that list. Once, your schedule seems absolutely workable to you, it’s time to start following it.

  1. Positivity is the key:

Life will seem uphill once implementation begins. Unforeseen errors in your plan will start showing up and you are likely to slip into a full-blown self-blame mode for your error in judgement. The one and only way of wading through this is to remain truly positive and to keep reminding yourself of all the benefits that you enlisted which you get to enjoy by simply sticking to the plan. Demotivation, parental pressure, fear of being ridiculed, sense of aimlessness would be redeemed only by keeping the flame of inner positivity burning throughout. You may take help of any mental booster which works for you ranging from just a simple quote from your idol to heavier ones such as motivational videos or self-help books. Louise Hay, the famous author of ‘You can heal your life’, who has herself battled through many circumstantial hardships, has time and again stressed on the power of one’s thoughts. She has successfully demonstrated the power of daily affirmations. Here is one which you could repeat to yourself:

“I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves.”

Once the problems fix themselves, your story is a success! You are a hit! You may not be the CEO of your company, you may be a blogger, a chef, a pet hairdresser or all of that together (if that’s what your dream is!) but you would be happy, sorted and in a state of mental peace!

What about money? If money was part of your dream, you will have that too! Else, who cares!

So stop hard-working, it will only give you dark circles and wrinkles; start heart working instead, it will make you feel lighter and bestow you with a life worth living!