Come What May

The one thing we must never lose is hope. The one thing we must always have is faith. The one thing we must always seek is inner peace. The one thing we must always give is compassion. The one thing we must always cherish is love. The one thing we must always heed is wisdom borne of experience. The one thing we must always do is pick ourselves up and carry on. Because the one thing we’re meant for is living to the fullest, come what may.

Soul-Care Routine

Instagram is full of one influencer after the other pushing their favourite skincare routine towards you. A few spread the cheer by sharing their workout routines. And some share their quarantine diets.

All helpful, all well received. However, my recent break from social media and the constant, ceaseless demands on my attention showed me quite starkly how we lack a soul care routine. Atleast in myself I had could vividly notice a very drone like, robotic existence. On schedule, yes, but fulfilling? Oh hell no. I’d wake up, workout out, sit down to work from home, take a break for lunch, continue working till the evening, workout once more, watch the telly or read a book and then off to sleep I went.

In this well rounded, healthy routine was there even a minute that I took out for myself? To spend time in my own company? To pause, unwind, decipher and declutter my mind and to let go of all the stress weighing on it? No. Not even a second.

So today I’m embarking on a new routine. The soul-care routine. A cleansing, workout and healthy diet is the order of the day for my soul and mind too. And maybe, I’d unlearn and relearn myself in the process.

But more importantly, will you?

Flight or flight

I drew a self portrait

With wings

Still life

They called it

About to take flight

Was how I interpreted it

Because you see

A thing at rest

May not always be at rest

If you have an imagination

Strong enough

To will it into motion

So tell me

What’s stopping you

From unfurling your wings

And letting your thoughts and dreams free to fly today?

Because I

Well,

I am already feeling a little light headed

By the height of my desires

Halfway to the weekend

Good evening, dear friends, and congratulations for making it halfway to the weekend once again! This is exciting for me also because my blog is halfway to 5K which reminds me to try the couch to 5K thingy as well.

However, before committing to weeks of running, I feel it to be of the utmost importance to first prepare my body for what’s to come. I can’t just throw it in the deep end of the pool without any inkling.

Now, I don’t know how long it’s been proven to take to make or break a habit, but I’m guessing half a week is a good way to start. And if you sustain it through the weekend, where all good things go to die and evil rules the roost, it is bound to be a good omen for days to come. My body can then power through.

So who’s with me to give half a week to bettering our mind and bodies by following the self care manual by yours truly?

And thanks to the whole lot of you for keeping me on your screens. Your constant support means more than words can ever convey!

Self Care Manual for Dummies Like Me

  1. Sleep early and sleep enough. Every night, for instance.

  2. Being bored is not equal to feeling hungry. Portion your meals and have them on time.

  3. Workout for 30 minutes (minimum) daily. Not for a summer or bikini bod but for a long, healthy life.

  4. Your body is a temple and your mind its reigning deity. Monitor what you consume, both physically and emotionally. Don’t eat crap, don’t take crap. Don’t drown yourself in tears pitying your existence while gorging on unholy amounts of french fries.

  5. Socialise. Share your time. Share pieces of yourself. Allow kindred spirits to enter your life. Allow yourself to be treated the way you actually deserve to be. Look at yourself from someone’s else’s perspective. It’s okay to have some alone time and well defined personal space but it’s equally important to get out of your comfort zone too.

Better functioning adults than me, please feel free to add to the list. Let’s all lift each other. There’s enough in this world to pull us down. Always remember the words of one very wise, albeit forgetful, fish, “Just keep swimming!”

Your Way or the Highway?

Spread your wings

Or

Unfurl your cape

Take a leap

Or

Hop, skip and jump

It does not matter

If it’s the former or the latter

You can choose either way

Wizard or fairy or witch or fae

Know this

If you must have your say

You’ll get there in time

As long as you’re on your way.

Featured Image

A Psalm of Life – #FridayFlashback #2

It’s been a minute since I announced the Friday Flashback Edition of my blog. In case you’re new to this space, you can read more about it here.

In short, on Fridays, as I put up my feet and sip on a well deserved glass of wine, I’d be curating some of my favourite poems for you. These will all be brilliant creations that have stuck with me over the years and I can, more often than not, recite them verbatim. For the sake of brevity of the posts, I’d be sharing one such poem a week. Every Friday (I plead guilty to the charge of not having followed this earlier but time has been a flighty mistress. I’m back on track now). They shall be shared in no particular order. I have always been bad at picking just one favourite. That might quite possibly be the reason why I love making lists!

Today’s poem is titled ‘A Psalm of Life’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It is a poignant narration of how life is meant to be lived to the fullest and not as a mere counting of days till the day we lie in our graves. I am absolutely certain that almost all of you must have come across this poem at some point in your life. It’s very famous and highly celebrated. So much so that first time readers would be able to identify a lot of verses as commonly cited inspirational quotes that they’ve heard more than once in their lives. Without further ado, here’s the timeless masterpiece –

A Psalm

of Life

What The Heart Of The Young Man Said To The Psalmist.

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating

Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,

In the bivouac of Life,

Be not like dumb, driven cattle!

Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!

Let the dead Past bury its dead!

Act,— act in the living Present!

Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.”

I hope this poem inspires you in the way it has done for me all my life. I cannot possibly pick my favourite lines from this one because every single one of them is resplendent and overflowing with meaning. I hope each one of us is able to leave behind their footprints etched in the sands of time no matter how fleeting our lives might be. Here’s to not going gentle into that good night! (But I guess that’s for another post 😉)

I would like to thank you for your overwhelming response to the previous post in this edition featuring ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. In case you haven’t read it yet, you can do so by clicking here. I’d be delighted to know your thoughts on this poem and would love to hear your recommendations for further posts.

Thank you for reading.

Love,

Varnika.

Breaking the Mould of Peer Pressure

A question that sometimes drive me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

Since as long as I can remember, I’ve been aware of the realisation that most of the time my likes and dislikes are quite different and distinct from the people around me. It would appear as if the whole world is obsessing over a certain fad at the moment while I’m unable to see any charm in that particular thing. More often than not, I absolutely abhor or despise it.

Time and time again, I’ve tried to ascertain the reason behind this discrepancy, because, like everyone else, I wanted to fit in or felt pressured to do so by peers. I failed to understand if I did not want to follow the beaten path merely because so many others were doing the same or was there some other factor involved? Would I have given the object/substance/matter in question a fair chance in vacuum without knowledge of the fact that people were going bonkers over it? It was baffling and somewhat disconcerting.

As of yet, I have no answer. Over the years it had become more and more difficult to define my own choices, to choose my own desires. It was easy to get swayed by popular opinion because of the tendency to be one of the flock. Any deviation from the ordinary is usually looked upon with scepticism and I really did not want to draw attention to myself. Was I being true to myself, however, was an entirely different question. All the lines had gotten blurry.

What I do know, today, is that it’s alright to be different. It’s alright to think differently, to choose differently and to decide differently. Peers are just that. Peers. They are not you. You’re your own person. It does not matter why your wavelengths don’t match those surrounding you. What matters is being unperturbed by their existence and concentrating on your own. So many children buckle under peer pressure. So many college kids get goaded into doing things they don’t like to the extent that it they end up ruining their lives. It is important to learn to say no. To put your foot down and draw the line between what is acceptable to you and what isn’t. No one can take the right away from us. All that’s needed is a simple assertion from our end. Within no time at all the notion of fitting in would look like the smokescreen it actually is. Sooner or later, invariably, everyone ends up finding like minded people. Thus, it is imperative to thrive in your individuality rather than to suppress it, to let yourself grow into what you’re meant to be and not what others would like to see you as.

At the end of the day, and also to answer the questions I posed earlier, remember the words of the good ol’ Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland – “We’re all mad here”.