Magical Chotu who taught us what happiness is

Hey guys, I know it’s been long since I have written anything on my blog. Thought of taking a sabbatical for a certain period of time before I felt up for it once again.

Well, to let you know, we have a new member in our family now!

Yes. We named him “Chotu” because he’s so small and cute, although we know that he would grow up one day to become not that big, but big enough for a Cocker Spaniel.

Chotu

And that’s Chotu in all his feigned ‘gentleman’ pose

We never thought or even had the slightest hope of having yet another canine companion ever since we lost our last member “Browny” who lived with us for a good fifteen years. I mean, the pain of being separated from Browny was too much for us to handle yet another emotional attachment with another pet. Well, life is full of mystery and surprises and we are extremely happy that we found such a great surprise in the form of Chotu now.

Let me tell you plainly as to what Chotu does. Well, the first time met him was after I got discharged from the hospital after being treated yet again for deliberately going off my meds for bipolar disorder. I would not like to call it selfishness because the wonderful experience that Chotu imparts on me every time I go near him or even think about is simply out of this world! The unconditional way he demonstrates his love and excitement at our sight and presence is simply very very difficult to translate in any word.

And it’s just not me who gets this feeling of warmth from Chotu. Everyone from my family and even my relatives, friends or any other visitors who come to meet us feel the same way. it is both magical and like a ‘nasha’ (intoxication). My friends, relatives and even our neighbors want to come to us or to Chotu, more specifically, because we are all intoxicated by his unimaginable ways of help us realize we still have life in us, that we can still be happy and carefree despite our daily grind of life.

That's Chotu stopping my nephew, Adwitiya, from leaving him and go to Pokhara, a popular city in Nepal famous for its lakes and mountains

That’s Chotu stopping my nephew, Adwitiya, from leaving him and go to Pokhara, a popular city of Nepal famous for its lakes and mountains

The other day my nephew was about to go to Pokhara, a popular tourist destination of Nepal, along with his sister and parents. The very morning they were to leave for Pokhara, Chotu actually sensed (and dogs have a strange and a very strong feeling about certain things as you may well know) that Adwitiya was leaving him. He tried all his methods to actually prevent my nephew from leaving the house. However, since the van was already waiting for him, Adwitiya whispered a few words of consolation into Chotu’s ears and parted.

The evening Adwitiya was back from Pokhara, Chotu knew no bounds to his happiness and excitement. He licked Adwitiya and my niece, Smriti, as much and as hard as a two-month Cocker Spaniel could and would! Haha!!!

See what Chotu does

See what Chotu does to me! Haha

Well, Chotu is definitely a gift from the heavens to all of us. I am greatly indebted to Chotu for all his great and magical ways of keeping all of us so happy and upbeat. I thank him for showing what love is, what true happiness is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tête-à-tête with my tea

Today’s Prompt was to pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.
Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

My word is “Tea” and the book is “Freedom in Exile”.

Freedom in exile

 

Dear Tea,

I am ever so thankful to you for being there for me through thick and thin. I vividly remember my college days when I used to trap you inside a stainless steel tumbler so that I could drink you later in the night to study for exams. But did you ever complain? No! Instead you would slowly and silently enter my system to help me through the night. I got distinction. And the credit goes largely to you. You are my silent hero.

And when I used to have puffy eyes in the morning, you came in really handy. How? Well, I would just put a wet bag of you over my eyes for 15-20 minutes and voila I would not have puffy eyes any more. I do that every now and then even today. I’m sorry to make you go through all the trouble in the process:

  1. Steeping you in hot water for 3-5 minutes;
  2. Refrigerating you for 20 minutes until you shrivel;
  3. Taking you out of the freezer and squeezing you to remove excess liquid before applying you over my eyes.

Thank you so much!

Wait, I’m not finished yet!

Dear Tea, you are truly amazing not just in helping me get rid of puffiness, but also for a large variety of your medicinal benefits. And you come in all types and color–green, black, white, oolong, herbal to name a few. I have tried your green, black and herbal avatars. I went through your glossary a bit ago on a site dedicated to you and your kith and kin. I am amazed that you are cultivated in so many great varieties. I am yet to try your other avatars and I’m sure you must be equally good in them.

Honestly, you are simply the best. A hot cup of green you in the morning works wonders for me, not to mention your superb ability to help digestion. When I come back home from a tiring day at work, you are there to welcome me with all of your invigorating properties. You are truly a lifesaver.

What more! You make me look younger by the day! You are brimming with antioxidants and you help me ward off diseases and early signs of aging. No or reduced wrinkles, that’s what I’ve experienced. It is scientifically proven that you have 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies. No antioxidant supplements needed- just a few cups of you throughout the day and I’m done.

No matter how much I try I will never be able to thank you enough for your magnanimity.  The more I drink you or think about you the more grateful I feel I am to you. Thank you so much for always been there for me. I am sure you will never fail me even though I might not be as kind to you as you are to me.

Sincerely yours,

Ayushma

An avid tea drinker

 

I plan my dream

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar

Put plan to action

I have been wanting to write for so long but could not muster enough energy to do that. The last few months have been totally taxing for me. It wore me down easily and I felt as though I lost all my self-confidence. Well, that’s just human I guess.

As soon as I would wake up, I would always feel the urge to do something worthwhile that day but couldn’t actually do so. Well, today was no exception, but it was different at the same time.

I have been reading online resources on brushing up your life skills and training yourself to be positive for the last few months without actually performing any of the tips or suggestions. However, today, I got up and actually wrote down my reinvention plan for 2015.

Writing down a plan to fulfill your dream is much more insightful instead of just confining your dreams in your thoughts on what you wanna be in the future. When I got down to write the plan, my dream felt tangible. It felt as though I will be able to fulfill it without having to wait for long. In other words, writing my plan helped me live the dream and provided me self-confidence.

For this I would like to give credit to all the resources that I read online on developing one’s life skills. Special credit goes to Kathryn Sanford. I stumbled upon Kathryn while I was going through the rummages in Facebook. Her recount of her past resonated with what I am, or rather was, going through at the moment. Kathryn has worked as a teacher, deputy principal, project manager and business consultant. Working with incompetent bosses rendered her redundant 3 times in 18 months. Life was harsh. However, she survived because of her passion for life.

What Kathryn wrote on her blog definitely convinced me to do something with my life. I am a proactive person by nature. But the last few months seemed really challenging. Every time I tried to bring my life back on track, it would rebound and I would fall flat on my back. But this time I can say with great deal of confidence that I will not fall short of realizing my dream anymore.

Life is a roller-coaster ride. I’m sure that even though I have the plan, it will not be a cakewalk for me to achieve my goal. As Robin Sharma said that relentless beats intelligence, I’m on my way to take on the gauntlet life throws at me. With carefully chalked-out actions and tasks, I am sure I will be able to overcome challenges.

Let me leave you with more quotes on the importance of planning.

  • “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “By failing to prepare, your are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

My fracture, how I am recovering

Buddha's quote on self-kindness

Sometimes things occur when you expect them the least. Who would have thought that I would have a broken arm once again after a period of 9 years! At least not me. But then it happened. I broke my left elbow a little less than 2 months back for the second time. Thankfully, my arm is no longer on cast (plaster). However, I am currently undergoing excruciatingly tedious and painful physiotherapy sessions that render me feeling feverish all day long.

Now you must be wondering as to why I am writing this post despite having painful episodes at the moment. Let me take this opportunity to thank a dear blogger whom I have been following for a pretty long time. He managed to write a blog post today despite his age, today’s ruthless weather and the ever unpredictable power cuts in Nepal. If this elderly gentleman who likes to be called “Dai” (elder brother) could muster enough strength to go about his Christmas shopping in this weather and also write about it, why couldn’t I?

So let me share with you the things I did to distract myself from being worried about my broken arm.

After reading an insightful article on Huffingtonpost.com one day, I decided to try at least as many of the 40 self-kindness advice the article recommended. I like No.6 especially for its emphasis on watching our self-critic from pressurizing ourselves too much for everything and anything. I am trying to keep a balance to everything that’s going on within me ever since I got the fracture so that I do not end up hating myself for all the things that did not go well in my life.

Of the things that I could do during the time my arm was on cast was join the online Oprah and Chopra 21-day meditation experience which spanned from 3 to 24 November 2014. I am most thankful to Chopra Meditation Center for holding this event which coincided with the time when I needed it the most. The discourses given by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra were amazingly thought-provoking and very enlightening. I wish to apply each day’s mantra and teaching to my every day life.

I remember posting this on my Facebook timeline right after the fracture:

It’s such a debilitating experience to have an arm broken and then having to face the fact that it has to be plastered for 6 long weeks“.

For once it was debilitating, but later on when I thought about it long and hard I realized how hard it must be for people without limbs, I consoled myself that it’s just a matter of time.

Sometimes when we are weak physically, our minds tend to wander so much that we think only of the negative. I believe that we should not let our inner critics berate ourselves for all the things that went wrong. Just relax and love ourselves.

[Image credit: daniellelevynutrition.com]

Play music for better brains–So says TED

Dedicated to musicians, this is an amazing TED video explaining the connection between the level of analytical and problem-solving ability that musicians have.

This reminded me of all my musician friends and especially Rudra (Pandey) and Sunita (Tiwari). Rudra is a seasoned guitarist whereas Sunita was learning violin when we worked together (I hope Sunita has mastered the art of playing violin by now just as she has made everybody proud by winning the Nepal Chhatra Bidya Padak (Nepal Education Award to Girls)).

Music, as I have already expressed in my earlier posts, is my greatest passion. After watching this video, I want to play a musical instrument now. I have been practicing on harmonium during my early days of getting into vocal lessons. I will definitely have to learn to play harmonium once again, not only to train my voice, but also to train the brain.

 

 

 

Change your beliefs to change your life

Happy Faces

Happiness is an elusive state. It is. Nothing can define happiness, instead, it defines everything for us. Having followed Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained positive psychologist, for some time now, I believe in the power and strength of positive thinking. Thinking positively can bring about miracles in one’s life. Continue reading