6 Months, 200 Posts, 1000 Followers and 20,000 Hits – Thanks You All (you made it happen)

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Here are few pictures in a frame that I took in Sri Lanka this year.

 

Hello My Beautiful & Motivating Friends,

My heart is full of emotions today as I reached few milestones in terms of statistics and felt overwhelmed with the people who are following my blog at the moment. I couldn’t have made it possible in little less than six months without your love, motivation  and appreciation my dear friend.

As I have quit drinking so cheers with a glass of water at my end and you can pour some bear/wine for yourself to celebrate this awesome day with me. Do write if you have some ideas of motivating things for my blog. I would love to hear from you if you can spare some of your precious time.

Once again, thanks a lot for making this journey much more beautiful for me every day and every moment of my life.

Hugs & Warm Regards to all,

Kavita Joshi

How can we predict future when things are changing every moment?

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Many of us want to know what will happen in future? We are so curious at times that we even try to get some professional help to predict the future. But it made me think one day discussing it with a friend that every action in present leads us to our future and each action we take differently will change the direction to the future resulting into a unique future. I have not studied this subject very well so I would not question what people with vast knowledge might have to say. Although I would love to discuss it with the people reading here whether they agree with me or not.

I think it’s not possible to predict future as we every moment as we breathe creating it and working towards a unique future every moment. For example if we start our day with a bad or unfortunate incident and then depending upon our reaction to that even the whole day changes accordingly. Either we can choose to stay happy and try to smile considering what has happened can not be changed and try to make sure that rest of the day is better. Or we can feel bad about it and crib about it the whole day and then have an awful day. What I am saying is a very common thing and hopefully we all know it, but it is difficult to actually react in positive manner if we are not positive inside. So we not only have to think about the outside reaction but also need to think why we react in certain manner. Sometimes it might happen that we have something going on inside that might make our reaction go bad as well even if nothing big happens.

Lets close our eyes, now you would think how will we read this post then ..hehehe OK let me tell you then, this is an exercise you are supposed to do if you really want to know what’s going on inside you right now. And if any thing happens in next few minutes what will be your reaction. So what you need to do? Simple close your eyes for 30 seconds as it will be hard to do longer at first and then think how you are feeling – uneasy, frustrated,happy, sad,angry,bored or any other feeling. Then put it into the category of positive and negative. Now this will most probably drive the reaction force from you in case any thing happens. So make sure you try to change the inside as much as possible. It will change your reaction to things quickly and in a nice way. You will not regret why did you not do something differently to change the series of events in your day. What happens at times is not in our hand but what happens after that is definitely in our hands and there we can make a difference. Think about it and take one day at a time and observe the events and see how you made a difference.

Now you would think all this philosophy I am telling here, any one can  say these things. But the point is whether I practice this myself or not. Then I would tell you my experience and how it changed things. Just a simple example out of my many experiences – I was getting bored for many weekends. I talked to a very good friend regarding this that since I have come back from travelling I am facing some problem settling in normal life. And as I have just started fresh in Sydney so not much plans are made yet for the weekends and I am so bored. He said one line  – ‘Where is boredom? Is it here on the table, on the walls or on the floor? It is in your brain.” And I am so happy that I had that conversation with him as I did realize that I am always busy doing something or the other and in this race I have almost forgotten to sit back and relax sometime. Or not panic if there is nothing much happening on the weekend. This Saturday, I made sure that I am feeling good doing anything and I watched movies, went out to buy some washers for the tap, came back in windy weather and smiled looking at the cloudy sky. I then decided not to go to a party that was decided long back looking at the weather as it might have a really bad night to go out. But unlike other times I did not feel bad about any of my decisions taken during that day. Then before going to bed I decided to have a very good Sunday. I slept around 1:30 AM which was quiet late but nothing unusual  But it could have made me asleep all afternoon. But no, I had decided in my head that I want to be able to say that I had a wonderful Sunday. So I woke up around 9 AM and it was a beautiful sunny day. I had breakfast, watched a movie in a relaxed manner then painted my hands with Heena (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehndi). Then went out with my friends and you know what now I am able to say that I did have an awesome Sunday. So, now you see – make that decision in your mind of having a good day and trust yourself that you are capable of having a good day and you deserve it. Then see the magic 🙂

Have an awesome week ahead dear readers! And this is your moment to make that decision that you will have a good Monday tomorrow. You know what, that smile suits you so make sure you smile at the end of this post as that will make my post worth a million if you do 🙂

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We could have been the meal of the tiger that day – Lesson: Rice Terraces can be way bigger than they actually look

The lesson from the story seems to be a bit weird when it comes to survival in the jungle, I know. But you would soon realise why this seems more appropriate rather than saying that don’t try the treks that you are not aware of when tigers can be around at the same time.

Sarankot (1610m) – day hike – 5/6 hours from the town called ‘Pokhara’ in Nepal

4th Day in Nepal, we had successfully climbed up this day long hike but one problem was that we started a bit late. It was the day after Shivratri so me and my friend were of course not in the best state of our mind but we had been thinking of being more active and lose some weight in the holidays that we had gained from the various cuisines we already had so far. We anyways got determined to do this trek which didn’t look very threatening looking at our level of fitness and it was around 1 PM when we started. It was very sweaty but still refreshing to get to the top. We took our time to take some nice shots and admired the beauty of the town from there.

 

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I have already posted some really nice pictures that I was able to take the same day of sunset (only that I didn’t mention that it was half an hour before we were getting our new lesson in life https://talkingexperience.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/a-magical-evening-from-nepal/

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Soon we realised that we have been descending for quite a while via road and it does not seems to take us anywhere near the town hence I pointed out to a trek that was near the road and looked like a short cut. My friend agreed with me and we both started following this trek more quickly than we had thought as the sun was on its way home much too quick. We heard few kids laughing and saying there are tigers in the forest but their tone didn’t seemed to be serious hence we assumed it to be a common joke around the locals.

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Soon we had arrived the rice terraces with no one left around and we are still descending. We could see the town somewhere far away below but it was still a long way to go. Now there was no clear trek so we started jumping one rice paddies at a time. Then we spotted a farmer winding down his day and thought it as a good idea to ask him for the direction. He looked a bit amazed looking at us, two girls, in the middle of nowhere and keen to make our way in this wilderness into the dark. But he anyways pointed out to the right side and said good bye. As usual we obeyed to any guidance provided by this so called only available local expert in this foreign land but soon we realised there was no way that we can go ahead in that direction, else we will end up being in the very dense forest. And if we try to climb down the rice paddies then it was as high as the wall of an average room so there were quite a few chances of breaking our legs in case we jump from there. We thought that we were following the easier trek earlier (before we took the promising direction guidance from the farmer) so we might want to go back (to the left). So we thought of backtracking our way a little and successfully did half of it in one direction. But now there was no staircase like paddies left, all we could see were high walls all around and it was getting harder to imagine ourselves climbing down those with any success to getting close to the city. We scrambled few bushes and tried to follow the water streams between the gaps of two rice terraces vertically but then it was getting dark all too soon.

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Then we made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the rice paddies horizontally via the water stream and got ourselves into a very steep rock soon and back tracked the same to reach the top of the paddy. My friend was brave to say that it’s ok if we have to stay in the forest and back of my mind I started counting the resources we had to stay there – none. No tent, no water, nothing to eat, nothing to cover ourselves and no torch (battery of my mobile was also dying). She was confident to an extent that she was telling me to climb the tree if an animal shows up and here I was not trained in all these traits of climbing trees, living in the forest with nothing. Ouch, I felt a bit scared and my mind started racing to find a way out. I asked her if she is ok to back track the way up and go back to the street from where we descended at least that way we will be close to civilization and will be able to get a ride home if nothing. Thankfully she agreed and my heartbeat got a bit normal. Then next challenging task was to lead the way and I volunteer to do that. Soon I felt as if I had eyes of a cat (people used to say that I had catlike eyes – hazel), but joke apart, It really helped because I was able to see my way in very dim light from the moon.

Finally after 30 minutes of struggle we were able to see few people sitting near the farm. I can’t explain how relaxing it was as if we found the lost treasure there. Now I was more hopeful thinking that we would definitely be safe and alive now. But there you go, a guy from the group said that he can help us to go back to the same rice paddies and show us the proper track that we have just missed. This was not happening, as it was really dangerous to go back but he tempted us with the time it would have taken to get home through this short cut. And a moment later we were following him through the same path. Annoying – yes it was at that time but survival was more necessary than any other emotion at that point of time. My friend snapped at him once as well when he started doing the small talk by asking where she is from. She replied – ‘How does it matter at this time?’ and it was true we were there stuck in the middle of nowhere and not at all in the mood of this kind of conversation. But after a while we became more relaxed as we realized that he knew where he was taking us. My phone was of some help with the light to show us the way as well.

But the happiness of being found didn’t last too long. There it was – he said it. He started telling us that there is a tiger or may be a few in that forest and he even confirmed the path we had taken after being guided by the farmer few hours ago was where they saw the tiger few days ago. I gulped and didn’t know how to react. I was not sure to look ahead or look back to make sure no tiger is following me. Not that I would say that I am afraid of dying. But at least I wanted to be ready. My friend wanted me to take her picture looking into the eyes of tiger in case she encounters such situation and put it on Facebook (lol). But now that looked like a really bad joke when in the dark I was not sure where to look for this dangerous creature. It was not even like going into a national park to spot one…here we were not willing but still in risk of seeing one in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to shout or cry not sure what but I had to man up and focus on the way.

Soon when we were just able to gather our calm and cool again he threw another piece of information on us about a Japanese girl who got lost there like this almost a year ago. I was expected some kind of horror story now. But thank God it was alright. He told us that she gave him a lot of money to save her life, not that he fought with the tiger and all. But it was when we were ready to follow the track at our own when he asked if he can stay with us. Now that was awkward. We told him that we can give him money but he should find his way back home after that. There was a little discussion now on this as I preached this guy about morality and pointed out that we are happy to pay for what he is doing for us and we really appreciate his help. We realised that he was more risky to be around than the tiger then we decided to pay him money and track our way back home from there. We did that and finally got to the main road and took a deep breath. Our first reaction was a little shock realizing that we are safe and alive but we had a laugh soon when we started walking in the middle of road and my friend said that it would look very bad if after surviving through the forest we got hit by a car there.

We stopped for dinner on the way home in a nice looking restaurant, not that we were looking very good to enter there but we stopped anyways. We really needed some good food after no lunch all day (just late breakfast) and all this adventure. I liked a quote from my friend that we should be really good friends that we didn’t fight during this crises today. I really felt relaxed after all this and the meal tasted as if I never had that good a meal in my life. It was a meal after you just got another chance to live 😉 Now I think I am exaggerating it.

Thanks for reading dear friend. It was one of the experiences I will always remember and I am glad that you lived it with me again.

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What will be my gift to the world…

What will I give back when I have taken so much from the world?

I came to this world with nothing (empty handed and naked baby) and had nothing but fortunately today I have everything one can live his/her life comfortably with. Give and take is like action and reaction. I am writing this post while sitting idle in the airport, waiting to go home once my friend confirms that his night shift at work is over. And makes it 2 AM in the morning. SO any mistake in spelling or grammar might occur looking at the time. But I don’t intend to edit this as its not about my knowledge of English language or anything so we can ignore it for now.

A thought regarding death has made me think while reading this book – ‘The Last Lecture’ by Randy Pansen. And I have just read 18 pages of the book so far. Sometimes we try everything to avoid the inevitable question. And this is the exact moment when I am confronting myself with the question – What have I given back to the world that offered me so much of everything I needed in this life so far. It might not be like taking a loan from someone where you are bound to pay back. But moreover it’s our moral responsibility . Its like when someone does something good for us and we feel grateful to them and want to do something in return. And at times we do something good for someone else if given the chance to show our gratitude towards the world and good souls living in it.

It is our moral responsibility that we can easily ignore if we choose so as no one is going to point a finger on it. It is one of those duties that we do when no one forces us to do. I think I have tried to do few things in life although I am not sure how many of them were selfless tasks and how many of them were performed in order to fulfil the need of self satisfaction within the limits of my comfort zone.

I can write a book if I start on this topic so I should better summarize it. Things that I have done so far for society:

1. Volunteer in Red Cross for a year in Visitor Scheme.
2. Opened an youth organization – ‘Prabhat’. We used to provide people suffering from leprosy with clothes donated by the people in town. Also by spending some time with the kids in orphanage and provide them some food or fruits during our visit. Although it could not go a long way due to the politics around the area and also because of lack of determination on our part where we chose our career in different city over this when time came. As it needed our sacrifice to stay in the town to grow the organization as we were just not ready for this.

These are just two main tasks that I can remember and other than this I think I do small acts of kindness at times but nothing really big. Oh that reminds me of my own thought of sponsoring a kid in some of the developing countries if I get another job (that obviously indicates that I am going to be jobless in next two days, resigned from my current employer).

And also here are few more things on top of my mind that I would like to do in near future:

=> Volunteer in Red Cross again after a year break for longer time once I am back in Sydney
=> Help someone personally and not just financially

Oh yes I am already giving back the money to society I have earned so far by travelling around 😉 (It was a joke). See I can still crack a poor joke at this time of the day with a coffee in my system. But joke apart I am going to give it a serious thought though and may write the findings here as part of self realization. Till then you might also find it interesting to do some analysis.

Please share your thought and views on this or the things you think you have done to contribute. I would love to hear back from you my friends.

Goodnight for now. Time for me to get a taxi home and get few hours of sleep before attending to the needs of regular like in India again (as I have just arrived in Delhi from Colombo, Sri Lanka).

Sweet Dreams,
Kavita

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India (Sweet Crowded Home) – Mixed feeling while coming home

Last day in Sydney was not as I was expected. It was a mixed feeling of leaving the place that I felt home for two years with a hope to come back one day. It was the bitterness of leaving the loved ones and sweetness of seeing the family back in homeland. I was not sure what exactly I was feeling as it was not one clear feeling but mix of a lot of emotions. I was supposed to be happy like other times when I fly as it starts a new adventure. But this time it was more like leaving some unfinished business and not knowing what future has got in store.

Saying good bye to each friend personally with lunch or dinner was like bidding your last good bye. But I am sure I will be healthy and wise to come back and many more dinners and lunches will follow. I was more emotional to leave my new place which was home for less than 2 months as it became like the peaceful place where I could retire after a tiring day or feel safe when feeling frustrated from everything else. I had a lovely evening walk with my friend/flat-mate the day before I was leaving. It was first time in 2 years while living in Sydney that I had a family in form of friends. So in total it was like when you are a kid and you have to leave your friends and known surroundings when your parents move to a new town or new country. Although the child was my inner self and adult in this case was my higher self.

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Anyways flight boarded with the same attitude of a traveler – old habits die hard. All rough and tough look on my face as if saying – ‘Who Cares’. It was an evening flight so right time for dinner. First flight was from Sydney to Singapore where I quenched my thirst of movies with two new movies. It was only towards the end of the flight when I was falling asleep. A jolt woke me up and before I could behave as if the plane hit a disaster, I soon realized that we had landed in Singapore. I walked out like a Zombie but still trying to look super cool, being the single girl travelling. A staff person helped me with the next flight details to New Delhi and I killed an hour doing some window shopping which made me feel sick as I am usually never in mood of shopping when I travel (because I travel light and with only one carry on back pack, excluding this trip, and this usually doesn’t allow me to buy anything extra).

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Following other fellow passengers I boarded another flight for another meal and few entertainment shows to keep me awake. It was 2:40 AM in the morning, people were trying to continue their sleep and I felt the pressure to follow everyone else. I had one extra vacant seat next to mine where I got the luxury to keep my body in horizontal position in last 20 hours.

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It was funny how a little bit of space can make you so happy at times where you can spread your clumsy body parts and feel yourself for some time. But it was not supposed to continue for long and I woke up by the menu offered by the air hostess to the passengers in the seat ahead. Anyways I felt compelled to eat for what I had paid hence I got up and tried to open my eyes to see till where the crew had made progress in asking for menu preference. I thought of using the entertainment unit to help keep me awake. I soon got indulged into a movie and then it became easier to keep an eye on the staff serving food. I ordered vegetarian food although I was not sure whether I was hungry 3:0 AM in the morning or not. I gave myself the benefit of doubt thinking that it might be morning back in Sydney. So I threw another plate of unwanted food into my stomach. I felt like an eating machine as since yesterday I was up and eating and walking and sitting and many other routine tasks but sleeping. I think this is exactly what happens – you lose track of time and also the capability of making the right decision, when you are so tired and sleepless. Reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle 😉

Two and a half movies on the way to India and time to land in New Delhi now. Again my traveler spirit jumps at the right time when almost everyone in the plane had left; I bid my farewell to the nice staff of Singapore Airlines knowing that they had been serving me especially when I was the only passenger awake all through the flight. One time the air hostess actually handed me over the full can of juice when she realized I was demanding water or juice every twenty minutes.

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Now time to get on high alert as I was entering New Delhi airport. It is an old habit of being aware of my surroundings (don’t confuse it with spirituality) as this has more to do with making sure I do not become a victim of any pick pocketing or theft. It was only when a lady tapped on my shoulder and asked if I had an iphone. It made me feel a bit anxious as to why she is asking such question but she soon answered my silent question by telling me that she wants to inform her family that she has arrived here. I quickly emailed her family regarding the same. Custom clearance was easy and spotting my checked in luggage didn’t take me long either. I was now on my way outside the airport when I realized that taxi and other services don’t accept any card. I had to request the security in the airport to let me in to change currency. I know right I should have done it before but I learn this new rule when you can’t take your luggage in the premises of airport once you check out. After changing some money I was on my way to get a transport home when I simply asked a guy outside airport if the metro services have started from airport. Good news was that it was up and running for a month now. I paid 30 Rupees (way cheaper than hiring a car or taxi that is 350 to 450 Rupees) and went to Sector 21 (near my destination). It is advisable to check where you are going to stay as you can always take the metro from the airport. It is cheaper and very convenient air conditioning option.

Journey home was not very simple but it was nice to be in India with friends and family. As no matter how much different India is from other countries but it is the warmth of people that makes you smile and feel good. And now that I am in India be ready for many interesting posts to come from this colorful and spiritual culture. Also soon here we will be celebrating one of the biggest festival – Holi (festival of colors) in March. Hence I will update you with the same.

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Sweet-tooth….I can Understand

Who doesn’t like a candy or a lolly? At least most of us have some time in our life have savored an ice-cream or desert. I have taken a picture of my plate in Sydney Tower restaurant. I know this is too many but being a sweet tooth I could not resist but try all kinds of deserts available. Have you ever wondered how the custom of sugar started? There is almost 100 pounds of sugar consumption in United States every year. It was also called ‘White Gold’ once and the recipe was a well-preserved secret. It is a native product of Southeast Asia. Brazil produces the most today although Portuguese had brought it there in 16th century.

It was very interesting how Sugar played a major role in slavery as well. It was like a three-step cycle. Slaves would be sent to work for it, once the product is made it will be sold to Europe and then more products would be brought to Africa and slaves would be bought with them.

Britain is also argued to have lost their colonies to independence because the military was protecting the sugar islands. So the same sugars we eat almost every day in various food products have made its way to different culture and nation with a lot of stories. It was identified and used in the form of sugarcane very early in India. No wonder I have so many deserts to enjoy the evening today being an Indian 🙂

Let Go – Gift for yourself (Part 1)

We hold on to things since we are born. We clutch our hands on whatever things we can as a baby. May be because we leave a world where we felt safe and secure for almost 9 months and then we came to this world full of people and new scenery. It’s the feeling of belonging that we all want. Although sometimes we mix that with things and emotions and memories. We are good with sticking to habits but not very good in choosing them consciously first. And since childhood we start to see the change in everything around us. If we can make ourselves flexible to do that then it is ideal. But not all of us can cope with changes that take place around us all the time and we try to hold on to different things, emotions, memories to keep ourselves in an impression that things are the same and we are living the similar life as we used to.

It hurts when we start holding on to negative emotions like anger or feeling of revenge. Any such emotions leads to frustration and as found by science that emotions work as “on-off switch” for learning. And every day we have to learn or use our brain productively most of the time. Once we have the negative feelings then our brain interpret any information as negative and we lose interest quickly. And if we are happy then the brain interprets the same information as positive and sends a message of purpose and excitement that in turn directs the behaviour towards a goal.

Just like food, it is very important what we feed our brain as well. And we are not referring to the information but rather talking about the emotions as they are the key drivers of how we are going to perceive that information and how effectively we are going to make use of it. You must have observed when we are sad or grumpy we tend to miss bits and pieces of information that we either read or watch in television. Whereas when we are emotionally light or I would say emotionally available then we are more focused on what we are reading/watching.

Let go of such emotions. Holding on to old things is not as bad as holding on to the old grudges. Every time someone either treat us bad or make us do things forcefully, we get angry and if we hold on to that anger then it stirs the negative energy in us from time to time. Also if we have fear in us about failure in life or work then again that emotion drives our behaviour. We will have to first learn what emotions we might be holding on to. We can do some exercises like writing down the past memories that still makes us feel bad and observe how we feel when we think about it. Most of the emotions can be related to fear and anger. Now I understand that process of let go is not as easy as we say. But I would say that take it as a decision you make. We never harm anyone else by hating them or fearing them but we are our own enemy when we do that. It hurts us and no one else. So why not give yourself a gift and let go of such emotions. Forgiveness is the best way to do it. Decide that you want to forgive people who hurt you. Decide that you want to change the association of your fear to certain situations and see them in new light.

It’s just a start and I am going to write more about how we can use various techniques to let go as we move on. I would like to hear your perspective and problems that you face when you try to let go. As I am no expert but I am trying to let go as well. Why not we do it together as we all need support when we try to become a better and happy person.

Happiness Connection – Part 1

The true purpose of our life is to be happy. Now does it means that I should go out there and do whatever makes me happy even if that means drinking alcohol, smoking, eating fast food or harming some one. No, not at all. And there comes the concept of ‘connection of happiness’. We associate happiness with a lot of things and many times they are not right. For example eating sweets to make ourselves happy when we are sad or drinking alcohol to get over some one. These are the associations that we train our brain with for years of practice. 

Stop right there and list all such habits that deep inside you know are not good for you. This will not stop you from doing it but awareness is the first step. Until unless we accept that any habit is not good for us, we are not going to leave it. So it is the choice that we need to make first to know what are the things that we are doing are not good for us. Its like doing the diagnosis of a disease, only then it can be cured. 

Step 2 is to decide that you want to change the connection of happiness from wrong habits to healthy and right habits. Also you are the one who is supposed to define right or wrong as for some one it can be for a run every time they get sad and for another it might be meeting a friend and talk about it. Its also a matter of convenience and available options. So it is important to give your self some options before strictly adhering to the new habits. Most of the times we do not stick to the new habits because we assume there is only one choice and if we can’t stick to it then we are a failure and we get even more sad and end up returning back to the old habits to be happy. To get out of this loop we need to give ourselves rating from 10 to 1 and 1 means that we at least tried and this way we never are a failure and its just a matter of getting more or less points. Remember that while deciding to change the connection of happiness from the bad habits to good habits we are actually choosing a path and once we choose a path then we are no longer on the old way. I would suggest start visualizing this and then you would feel it is so easy to follow. 

Step 3 is practicing the new habits consciously. Any habit takes time to form therefore replacing a habit also takes a cycle. Our brain is very powerful but its like like wild horse that is jumping around all the time and its hard to train it. We need to understand that its our asset that we need to take care of and our baby that we need to nurture as well. Do not be harsh on yourself and have patience in teaching your brain the right things. Take time and be patient, the more gentle you would be the more calm the brain will become. The more strict you will treat it, the more wilder it will start behaving. Practice every day in the morning or what ever time suits you to calm down and tell your brain the right things. Tell stories to yourself just like we used to do in our childhood (reading loud) and believe me it works and it works very well. 

I will share more insight into this as we move forward. I am also just practicing these things as you are reading this. So there is a lot to come. Be happy with the right connection!