Breaking the Cycle – Better Together

Hello, my lovelies!

Some of you may well remember my posts from way back in 2017 on physical and mental wellness (for a refresher, click here). I was in the best of shapes – fit in body and in mind.

Well, that was then and this is now. The past year I’ve really let myself go. It has been quite a slump, in more ways than one. And like some of my spirit animals (think sloths and, well, Po) I eat when I’m upset. Trust me, stress eating + comfort eating = deadliest duo. The more I was depressed, the more I ate. The more I ate, the more depressed I became at the declining state of affairs. And the vicious cycle continued.

Recently though, I lost my cousin to a heart attack. He was 18 years elder to me, but still young. He had always been in the prime of health, a martial arts and fitness enthusiast and could almost rival a monk in holistic, mindful eating. Yet, he’s gone. Leaving a wife he literally grew up with and a 3 year old toddler behind. When I was done crying, I decided to wake up. I cannot put my parents through the pain, grief and loss being suffered by my Uncle and Aunt right now. I need to look after myself.

Following up on the wake-up call, I’ve been walking-jogging for the past two days. But like they say, it takes a village. So this is me, reaching out to this beautiful community to help my along my journey to wellness and health. My lack of stamina and endurance is appalling, but what I don’t want to be found lacking in is motivation. So I’ll be posting an update everyday. Be my watchers? Pull me up for slacking off? Commend me for pushing the limits? Two minutes of your time a day might move this gal two further miles!

Also, if any of you are having trouble or need support in reaching your goals (most of us must already be off the new year’s resolution high), I am here. Let’s get fit together. Let’s get better together. Let’s grow well (-er…I know that’s not a word) together! It can be done. Believe me, I speak from experience. I’ve done it once before and I’ll be darned if I don’t do it again.

Drop me a line if you’re interested. Remember, a little love is all it takes. As a starter, I’m posting screenshots of my efforts for the past two days. I’d love to hear about yours.

Thank you for reading!

As always,

Love,

Varnika

img_0374img_0375

Advertisements

Balance

One half memories

One half fear

The future looks bleak

And the present

Seems too dear.

The past is all that remains

To guide the reins from here

So how about balancing

The scales of harm and happiness

To love yourself foremost

And not let anyone come near?

 

 

For more poetry, please click here. Please don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments down below, I’d be delighted to get a feedback. Thank you for reading!

Catch up with me on social media-

Featured Image

The Fairest of them All

You say thunder thighs

Like they’re bad

Look at stretch marks

Like they’re scars

You throw around skinny

Like it’s a colour

And wince at plump

Like it’s a curse

For years, I was driven

By what I saw in the mirror

It’s high time

Don’t you think

For the mirror to mould into me?

Because, in the end

Even the fairest of them all

Was a mere fairytale

While

I’m a woman

Strong and lush

There’s more to me

Than a pound of flesh.

Hello, all of you amazing people! If you’ve stuck around this blog for some time, you’d recall I did a series on mental health awareness last May, post which I’d emphasized on the importance of wellness and health, both in mind and body (Those who are new to the blog and interested in reading the posts, please click here). I’d also shown how they were interconnected. Some of you may also be aware that I spent 2017 getting into shape. For that, I didn’t crash diet, kill myself with rigorous workout or obsess over the weighing scale. What I did do, however, was completely overhaul my lifestyle. Now, I eat healthy, drink healthy and do just enough to stay fit. My body’s shape is immaterial to me in the face of my body’s health. Can you guess what I learnt over the year though? Once you stop obsessing and start accepting, you become happier and healthier. While I’m a staunch advocate of equal love for all sizes, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in losing weight or gaining some. What I am saying is to not let the weight define your self worth. I’ve come to realise, the more I lived healthily, the happier I was inside, the more it projected on the outside. More than a few people have told me I’ve started glowing these days. It’s definitely not because of a new skin care regime. It’s not even that my skin is actually glowing. It’s just a stark contrast to the depressed skin of earlier. When I felt ugly within, my skin, my glow, my happiness died a little outside. Now, when I feel healthier, so does my outward self. Hence, find a wellness goal, not just a fitness one. Be fit, be healthy, be well. Take care of your body as well as your mind. After all, that’s all we really own in this world, don’t we?

P.S.- For anyone struggling with weight or mental health issues, my door’s always open. I’m no expert but I will listen to you. I will hear you. I will provide a shoulder and I will do my best to get you out of whatever is ailing you to the best of my capacity. Sometimes, all we need is to find acceptance in a friendly soul to be able to find the same within. And that, my friends, is the first step to getting better. You know where to reach me!

#BookReview: Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins – Book Blog Tour December 6th-15th

Hello and welcome to today’s book blog tour stop for the Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins. This book series is a New Adult, post-apocalyptic trilogy with a twist. Very neatly divided into three parts, each having its own, distinct theme, the concluding part of which released on 5th December2017, this trilogy is a beautiful bundle of romance, conflict, intrigue, an unusual war and unlikely heroes (which includes heroines, FYI) tied together in an interesting plot.

Unknown begins quite unassumingly as a narration of teenage angst and unrequited love in a quaintly idyllic town of rural Nevada far from any untoward happenings. Until pandemonium strikes. The entire country is brought to a standstill when multiple bombings disrupt the flow of basic amenities and the government is brought to its knees. However, instead of cowering in fear and disappearing into oblivion, Amber Tate, a nurse, and the bleeding heart of the unrequited love mentioned above, rises to the occasion. Having lived a protected life hitherto, she finds herself right in the middle of the ensuing strife along with her friends and the object of her heart’s desire.

Wendy Higgins’ command over the flow of language and plot buildup ensure a seamless transition from romance to highlighting a strong, feminist protagonist as the heroine of a war-torn, dismantled country.  Higgins’ fast-paced narrative is delivered in the first person by the characters itself, making her readers well aware of all the inner turmoil, emotions and conflict challenging the character, relationships and the resultant future of the protagonists. Personally, I found it to be unique from other post-apocalyptic novels due to the care given to setting the scene before chaos ensued. Having gone on this journey from peace to disaster to an unending zeal to survive (spanning a course of three novels), readers can see the growth taking place in every character and how that merges with the increasing complexity of the plot. In that regard, I found it to be a brilliantly penned series. The interplay of platonic romance and what could be, while in the midst of life-changing and world-changing events has been portrayed with a delicate, skilled hand without overdoing either nor favouring one over the other – Wendy Higgins has managed to strike a perfect balance.

Unrest, the second book in the trilogy, makes us delve further into the cause of bombings and a very suspenseful whodunnit as we are taken on a ride as to the true nature of the perpetrators. I would have said more on this issue, but it is very integral to the storyline and I would want this review to remain spoiler free.

The demeanour of the protagonist, Amber, the nurse hell bent on saving the world is reminiscent of Prim Everdeen of The Hunger Games. If she had survived the explosion that killed her, I believe the compassion, loyalty to the cause and sheer grit of Prim would be quite akin to Amber. You cannot help but feel for her and fall in love with her. Like I mentioned before, the first person narrative makes us privy to every character’s inner voice. Those of you who have read my works earlier must be quite aware of my advocacy for feminism. It was very refreshing to read about a female protagonist and discover her strong, undaunted voice through her own thoughts and not just her actions. Same can be said for all other female characters.

In this vein, Unrest can be termed as the most revealing book of the three. Not only does the quest for survival strip every character bare, revealing all their best and worst qualities, the reason behind the world-wide turmoil is also uncovered, so are the perpetrators. You can take it to the bank when I say that it is one of the best plot-twists in this genre. Some might find it unrealistic, but the completely plausible and detailed manner in which it is presented really goes to the quality of the writing therein.

I am extremely glad that I read the entire series in one go where I could overcome by anguish at every cliffhanger by simply picking up the next book. Because, trust me, there will be anguish. I commend those who had had to wait for the release of Undone, with bated breath obviously.

Undone begins like a sort of interlude, seemingly abrupt, like we have bursted into a room in the middle of a process already underway. The setting of this scene is the conflict of emotions inside what was chosen to be instrument of an infiltration into the human race we, and our protagonists, knew it to be. But this task and position of leadership weighs heavy on bahtan who finds the actions of his own kind to be somewhat inhumane, if I may take the liberty of using this word. What was worse was that he might also be guilty of falling in love with, or at the very least, sleeping with the enemy.

Wendy Higgins has continued to deliver with her wonderful mastery of human nature right till the very last instalment of this series. Never slacking, never confusing, yet covering a plethora of issues, plots and sub-plots, Undone makes for a delightful read. It also tests your loyalty to the characters as you can never decide who to root for, which couple to cheer for or who you would absolutely not want to die. Continue reading “#BookReview: Unknown Trilogy by Wendy Higgins – Book Blog Tour December 6th-15th”

Here’s a Brilliant Blog you should know about (Spoiler Alert- I’m not talking about myself)

In other news (the first one was about my blog being 500 followers strong. You can read about that here), the incredibly talented December Rose (I really need to find out the guy’s name – I’m assuming he’s a guy) has reached a 100 followers today. I’m in awe of the quality of his writings (forgive me if you’re female). He calls them mind vomits while I call them art. His poems are crisp, succinct, poignant and hard-hitting.

And do you know what he did on reaching this milestone?

He compiled a list of 100 of his favourite bloggers along with links to their blog and his favourite pieces of writings by them. Imagine the painstaking amount of care and work that must have gone into it! It’s his way of saying thanks. I couldn’t respect him more. More so because I, myself, would never have been able to write such a blog post.

So if you’ve got time on your hands, and your mind is eager to absorb writings that would directly touch your soul, please visit December Rose’s blog. I’m popping a direct link down below –

https://decemberrosecom.wordpress.com

His beautiful blog has an even more beautiful tagline – “God gave us memory so we could have roses in December” – J.M.Barrie

PS: If there are any lingering doubts in your mind about visiting it, remember that I’m a people pleaser and I’m scared of disappointing. Hence, I wouldn’t be sharing this here if I knew there was even the slightest chance of you not liking what you read on December Rose.

Retribution- Poetry Feature

It is a humbling experience when one of your favourite writers and bloggers deigns your work worthy enough to be showcased on Blood Into Ink – a platform that portrays warrior voices of survival. You can find my poem, Retribution, as shared on Blood Into Ink, down below. Please be sure to give the collective a visit and be awed by the writings of beautiful, strong, resilient warriors who’ve survived and rebuilt their lives after experiencing unspeakable traumas.

Blood Into Ink

Retribution

A squeak
A groan
A whimper
A whine.
As you took from me
All that was mine.
A blade
A cut
A drop
A scar.
Was what I was reduced to
A once bright, burning star.
A will
A strength
A stand
A heart
Gathered over time
To pull me back on my feet.

Hurt. Recovery.
Hope. Despair.
A never ending cycle
Of deep viciousness.
Pills. Needles.
Drinks. Dregs.
Efforts to obliterate
Memories from my consciousness.
You took.
Mistook.
My silence for submission.
Now pray.
And pay.
The price of retribution.

Featured Image


Varnika Jain is prone to having verbal epiphanies in the midst of all the cacophony surrounding her life.  She is a voracious reader, vociferous eater and a vehemently passionate writer. You can read more of her writing at Moonlighting Scrivener where you can find her changing the world, one word at a time.

View original post

The Name They Call Her

By Christine at Brave and Reckless Blog

Brave & Reckless

Always said with venom

Always intended to punish

“How dare you?!” it asked her

insinuating that she was uppity

presumptuous

a ball breaker

to draw a circle around her body

declare loudly “Mine!”

Was she 12 the first time

that she had been called bitch?

Or was it 16

when she tired of boys and men

acting like her body was theirs

to look at

comment on

hold down

insult

touch

control?

Tired of adult women

telling her to be

nice

quiet

polite

complacent

a “good” sport

She was NOT a good sport

The rage became a

knife

sharp

deadly

that she learned to yield

much too often

on her own flesh

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

View original post

#CoverReveal of The Getaway Series

 

 

From New York Times Bestselling author Jay Crownover comes the next two standalone titles in her Getaway series, SHELTER and ESCAPE! And that’s not all! RETREAT, the first standalone title in the Getaway series, is on sale for the first time ever! You can grab your copy for just $.99 for a limited time only. So check out the amazing covers below, and order your copies today!

 

 

Cover Design by Hang Le

About SHELTER (Coming 12/26/17):

His life is chaos and confusion. It’s a storm of uncertainty and raging emotion.

Sutton Warner is a mess. Everything in his life feels like it’s unraveling.

He’s let a lot of people down lately, including his daughter. Sutton always promised his little girl he would never disappoint her and that he would always be there when she needed him. Until he wasn’t.

The truth is, he’s used to disappointing the women in his life. First was his mother who couldn’t find a reason to stick around when he was growing up. Then there’s his ex. The woman who takes unbridled delight in making his life incredibly complicated. Luckily, his daughter is still young enough to believe her old man is some kind of hero. But, he knows the day is coming when she realizes the truth, that he’s just a man with some serious flaws and a list of ever-growing weaknesses.

Finally, there’s the woman he’s desperately trying to forget with every shot tossed back and each pill popped.

He more than disappointed Emrys…he almost got her killed.

Her love is steady and sure. It’s a shelter shaped by conviction and silent assurance.

Emrys Santos is lost. Everything in her life feels pointless and futile.

She’s been busy running away from her feelings and all the people who love her the most—including her best friend, the one person who knows exactly what she’s been through. They promised to always stick together and to lean on one another. It was a promise Em had to break so she could lick her wounds and figure out her next move. For once, there is no easy way out of the tangled web of emotions she’s caught up in, and right now, she recognizes that all roads lead back to Wyoming…and back to Sutton.

The man she nearly got killed.

Shelter is a standalone novel, the second book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon Other Retailers

Goodreads

 

 

Cover Design by Hang Le

About ESCAPE (Coming 1/30/18):

Everything inside of him is screaming that he needs to run, he needs to go, he needs to escape.

Lane Warner is used to being overshadowed and overlooked.

After all, he’s the youngest brother and the most laid back one in the family. He’s the one known for going with the flow and not making waves, even when things seem to be at their worst.

Very few things in life have had the ability to rile Lane up and get under his skin. At the top of that list is his childhood friend Brynn Fox…no…Brynn Warner. The fact that they share a last name was the one thing that has the power to light him up and spin him out of control like no other. There was no calm, cool and collected when it comes to all the reasons why Brynn had to become part of his family.

It’s slowly killing him to keep wanting what he can’t have, so Lane sees only one way to stop himself from doing something they’ll both regret…he has to leave.

Everything inside of her is calling out to find him, to follow, to bring him home.

Brynn Warner is used to being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After all, she’s the daughter of an unrepentant gold-digger who never once blinked at being the cause of her daughter’s pain and suffering.

Very few things in her life have ever brought happiness and a sense of security. At the very top of that list is Lane Warner. She has unwaveringly loved the youngest Warner since the first minute she laid eyes on him. He was everything Brynn ever wanted and everything she knew she could never have.

Sometimes the right choice is the one that hurts the most and Brynn’s had to make a few that felt like they might be the end of her.

When Lane takes off, one thing is clear, the only choice Brynn has is to go after him.

She’s going to bring her wayward cowboy home….whatever it takes.

Escape is a standalone novel, the third book in the Getaway series, which features the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women who dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

 

 

PREORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Amazon Other Retailers

 

Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 


And don’t miss the first standalone novel in the Getaway Series, RETREAT, on sale for just $.99! Grab your copy today!
RETREAT on Amazon
RETREAT on Other Retailers


 

 

About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

 

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Shore to Sail

In life we dread

Choppy waters,

And we tread

Lightly

Steering clear,

Lest we get sucked into a whirlpool.

For the mighty ocean has claimed many a life,

Promptly becoming a floating grave

Engulfing men in its watery depths so cool.

With an aura of mystery,

And the promise of adventure,

The sea of life

Ceaselessly beckons

Yet we drop our anchors

Near the shore

Ignoring the summons

Never venturing to the fore

But listen to this, loud and clear,

Tides will come

And tides will go

But we are ships.

And ships, my dear,

Ships will sail.

Featured Image