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inspiration, life

Kennedy


It has been a while since I sat down with my books to study for an exam. Last night, I put my head down and focused, feeling alive again as I studied.
After what seemed like a long time, a teenage boy walked into the lounge. His t-shirt said ‘Virginia Tech’. With his cell phone in his hand, ear phones plugged into his ears, he sat on the couch as if it was broad daylight. It was almost midnight.
I was aware of his presence and a little scared instinctively. After a few minutes, he walked to the kitchenette behind me to get a glass of water. As he walked past me, he looked curiously at my books.
‘What are you doing?’ he asked me.
I said I’m studying for an exam.
‘What do you do?’ his second question.
I’m a software engineer, I said.
‘What does that mean?’
Its someone who helps build software programs, I replied.
‘Like Photoshop?’ came the response
Yes, I smiled and explained how I helped teams put together programs like Photoshop.
‘Why are you studying, is it for work?’, he asked
I’m studying for a certification that teaches me how to help teams put together programs.

A few seconds into the conversation, I realized that he wasn’t looking me in the eye and didn’t seem to understand me.

‘What about you? Do you study at Virginia Tech?’ – I asked
He told me how his sister went to school and how he had finished special ed school and wasn’t sure if college was right for him. Then he asked me if he could sit next to me on the bar stools.

‘I’ll just continue to study and make notes while we talk, is that fine?’, I asked.
He smiled and nodded.

What followed after that was a revelation.
He was here visiting his step-father who had a corporate apartment from his job in the UK. His father was an alcoholic, been to jail and now working on his own business. His mother was a paralegal and met him only twice a month because of her commute to work. He lived with his sisters, a niece and nephew and his service dog. His sister had been on drugs in school and got pregnant when she was 17. His nephew suffered from cerebral palsy which ran in the family. A gene from his mother was somehow passed on to his nephew too.
He told me how he had Aspergers, Autism and Psychosis and knew exactly what each of them meant. He knew why he would get violent at times and how he got distracted with the slightest sound or light in his bedroom.
His service dog, Wolfy, was his only friend at home. His pass time was playing music. He could play any song he heard, on any instrument. When he showed me pictures of his drawings, I was shocked at the professional caricature in front of my eyes. An artist with an eye for detail.
‘You should study art and music – there you go, that’s what you can do in college’, I told him.
He mentioned how difficult it was for him to study anything.

‘When I approach people, they just walk away thinking I’m weird’. He confessed. ‘It takes a lot of courage for me to approach someone and talk to them’.
As I sat there, making my study notes and talking to this new friend I had made, I hid my disbelief, shock and awe from him.
‘There isn’t much space in our studio for the three of us so I sleep in the closet. Its nice and quiet’. I continued to smile and make notes.

Next to me sat a boy who had everything going wrong for him. His sisters weren’t the best role models, his parents were divorced and he was visiting his step-father who didn’t seem like the best caretaker. He took several medicines daily to keep him sane and normal.
His only friend in our community was the dog-walker lady who fed him and took care of him like her own.
In this plush, luxury apartment building, the last thing I had expected around midnight was to meet a child with such adversities.

At home, it was music and art all day and then playing with ‘Wolfy’ and sometimes entertaining the children at home. No friends, some family and definitely not much else going well.
‘I played music in a bar once and after I finished, the manager called for me. Now every time I play, I get paid. I don’t want to earn too much money, just enough to get things done. Its not that important to me. Its important to be happy and enjoy life.’

‘What about your future?’ I asked him.
‘I don’t think about the future, just live each day as it comes. There’s no use thinking what will happen in the future and waste time. There’s so much to do in a day.’

As he smiled and walked me through his life story, his words were blatantly honest and beautifully blissful. Tragedies or not, his voice and expressions didn’t seem to phase in an out. A constant smile lit his face as he shared his pictures, the story about his YouTube music channel with 20,000 hits, his art work and how he had to cut his hair because he was chased by people who mistook him from Justin Bieber.

There is nothing ordinary about this special person and yet, he is midst hundreds of twinkling young stars that may go unnoticed in this crazy, ambitious world.

‘You’re so talented and gifted’ I told Kennedy. With your skills, you can teach at college. He was honest and told me how he couldn’t teach anyone.
‘Art is just a lot of lines coming together.’, he explained.
My mind was opened by his amazingly, refreshing perspective and yet I was sad for how life had treated this innocent soul.

As I walked back home, I stared at my own life. Almost ashamed of all the luxury, privilege and blessings I had. How was this fair? I wondered.

Someone with so little was so happy and cheerful. A peaceful state of mind with a sharp focus on the present. And there I was, with so much. A house, a degree, a great job, family support and everything I could ask for and yet, there was something amiss. That need for something more, that constant hunger for appreciation, love and success had kept me from feeling the gratitude, kept me from sharing.
Lying awake in my soft, comforting bed, I could visualize Kennedy curled up in his closet, sleeping on the air mattress that his step-father gave him, sleeping on the closet floor because the mattress had a tiny hole. As I kept watching in awe, I could see him sleeping like a baby without a care in the world.

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life, travel

Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen


The Glowing Story
A coworker of mine recently got back from San Diego. Glowing and completely relaxed. I remember my last trip to San Diego in November and it was a blast. Ever wondered why this after-glow is so ephemeral and just vanishes in just a few working weeks ? If you’re the kind of person who is always glowing… I would be thrilled to hear from you on how you manage your stress and keep yourself looking spectacular all the time.
On the beach or in town, everybody is free to wear sunscreen. It doesn’t guarantee the glow but, it will keep your skin looking good. There’s more to it so listen in closely.

 

Have fun or burn out
This after-vacation glow disappears as we lose our happy selves in the daily grind, immersed in chores and with very little time to spare for fun. As we make way for everything else, there is very little time to plan fun things. Yes, a fun-filled day does need some planning. When you are all burnt out, sad and gloomy, it’s time to start planning for some fun. Don’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Do something about it. I take off for a drive, go to a coffee shop and write, you can do anything that is your idea of fun.
Did you know that the opposite of stress is fun ?
The way I see it, if you’re having fun… there really isn’t much time to get stressed. If you’re doing what you love and enjoy every moment of it, even work is relaxing and energizing all at the same time! Life is too little to not wear sunscreen and run around being stressed.
As you go about your day today… take some time, breathe and enjoy this sunscreen song with that I have picked out for you. Follow along with this wise singer’s advise and I guarantee you will be glowing soon!
Until next time, love moments and love life
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fitness
inspiration

5 months to turning 30!


I haven’t been writing as often as I would love to but, things are about to undergo a change in this little corner of the world. Love Moments Love Life is undergoing a transformation. As we get ready to bring in the new year in the next 5 months… there will be changes here as well. My goal is to make LMLL a destination to refuel your passion and love for life.

A fun place where we can all connect and share our stories!

To love each moment and fall outrageously in love with life means fueling up on passion and energy! As I start this journey with you, there will be lots of fun challenges on the way.

We’ll be in touch more regularly now!  Until then, you take care and enjoy reading what’s on my mind…


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galloping horses
inspiration

Stop Procrastinating And Become An Action Hero


We all face situations when everything around conspires against our goals.

You wake up feeling low only to realize that you have a deadline the next day. There are times when everything in the world is more attractive than the task at hand. If you have an essay to give, your mind wanders around the house chores. If you have an interview, you might be tempted to play your favorite game and beat your highest scores.

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James

If you are having the perfect, productive day every day, you have mastered the art of  un-procrastination. Let me know how you did it! For the remaining majority of us, the in-action bug catches us from time to time.

Have you gone through a Monday morning fighting vacation blues only to realize at 3pm that your work day hasn’t really started ? Have you have spent the weekend with friends to wake up on Monday with pending house chores ? I’m no productive genius. I’ve been in both those situations.

Recently, as I was faced with a similar procrastinating feeling, things took a new turn. I wasted my entire Sunday watching TV, Movies, Facebook and lazying around. There were several home maintenance chores to accomplish and a specific project that I had put off for the entire week.

Finally I decided enough was enough. Here’s what I did to convert procrastination to action!

1. Initiate with a tiny step to gain momentum

In my case, I asked for help with this project. Having someone to work with created the momentum that I was missing in my day. I explained my situation with a specific tiny ask. My question was answered and I came back to my desk. I had made a small difference to the mundane hour. It took me less than two minutes to carry out. The remaining day was 5 times more productive and one small step is all it took to get started.

2. Make it fun and move past the inertia

Now, I wasn’t willing to settle into a dreary, boring day and needed something peppy and fun around me. I cleared my desk & computer desktop, cleaned it with wipes and arranged everything neatly around me. My environment felt clear and open. Next, I turned on my study-table lamp and that helped me focus on my workstation.

A cup of tea and foot-tapping Bollywood music came next. To end it all, I changed my desktop wallpaper to a fun theme. This 15 minute exercise had me moving around and feeling energized. All these changes created a productive ambiance and I was enjoying my project.

Here’s the Bollywood play list if you want to indulge. It’s the energy and the vivacious beats that make any task seem fun. Find your happy trigger and make it happen.

3. Take breaks and come back

The key to taking action is in knowing that you’re not doing this task forever. Create time buckets of 45 minutes to 1 hour. A sore back or heavy shoulders mean it’s time to take a break. You need to be persistent with yourself. Don’t enslave your mind by your tasks and burn yourself out.

A short walk. Conversations on the phone with a friend. A quick errand. Anything that helps you disconnect and refreshes is good.

In my case, I love taking a walk. Sometimes, I’ll just walked out to the patio and enjoyed the breeze for a few moments.

4. Do something that makes you feel good

Compliment your spouse, give a small gift, read your favorite blog, tweet your favorite quotes. Do something that triggers happy thoughts in my your mind. We all know what ticks us off. Look a little deeper and listen to yourself, you will find things that will trigger you in the right direction.

I love reading my favorite blogs and often find myself refreshed within minutes. Check them out on my Blogroll and Blog Resources page.

5. Keep it simple

That’s it! Keep it simple and work with yourself. Don’t beat yourself for the time you wasted procrastinating your chores. Don’t let negative thoughts make you feel energy deprived. Just tell yourself that you can control your state. Listen to that inner voice which you might have ignored. Stop procrastinating and become an action hero. An action hero who believes in taking action!

If you aren’t ready to take on a task after all this, write a short to do list and give yourself a deadline. Come back to it and be honest with yourself. There’s no use forcing yourself to do things you don’t enjoy or can’t make enjoyable.

Wake up, Get up, Sit up, Stand up a little more straight, a little more stronger!

We all do our best when we’re enjoying the work we do. We all achieve the greatest results when we do things in earnest.

Question for you:

What is the one thing you would like to get done this week ? What action will you take to carry out this goal?

 

Just do it and have fun,

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stretch limits
inspiration

How To Increase Productivity By Stretching Your Limits


Have you felt overwhelmed living your life every single day? Balancing work, home and your own needs ? A majority of us, suffer from procrastination, laziness and inertia. A majority of us also want to increase our productivity. Stretch our limits and soar high!

Successful celebrities, athletes and entrepreneurs are adept at juggling a million things in their career and personal life. I’ve met some stay at home moms and career women who have mastered the art. Photo shoots, publicity events, film shoots, interviews, award ceremonies, caring for children & your husband, taking care of their home and health. It almost seems as if they have unlimited energy and time. The magic secret to high productivity is theirs to keep. Where does all this energy come from ? How do they get so much time in their 24 hours day ?

An insightful conversation

Last year, my parents visited us. One conversation stuck with me. We drove home on a beautiful evening after a Charity event. I was telling my father how it is so difficult to find time to take part in community events like dance & play performances.

ballet stretch

 

“I just don’t have the hours to put in for a rehearsal and even if I did take part in the community event, those groups have so many meetings. It’s just not possible.” Interestingly, my father had a different opinion on such matters.

He said, “You have enough time for the things that you can make time for” (read that again) The more active you are in your personal and work life, the more you will do. If you keep yourself limited to your own world and your box of comforts, you will never have time for anything.

This week, I’m working on an important project and work has kept me on my toes. I’m exhausted physically. In my mind, I’m racing against time to get stuff done. Managing my tasks effectively and de-prioritizing the ones that aren’t important.

I feel like I’m making time for things that matter. At home, I’m trying to get through my chores and have a lot more think time. Thinking about Love Moments Love Life – the blog, my eWorkBook and the next one to write after that. Usually, I try to balance things out but, this week it feels like life is increasingly productive.

 

Increase your productivity by stretching your limits

As I have stretched my limits both in physical stamina to get stuff done and mentally challenge my thinking, there have been a few things that have really helped me along the way. You could try being mindful of these little things and find yourself stretching yourself to new horizons!

 

stretch limits

Photo Credit – Anemone Jones

1. Give it your best shot and pour your heart into

“To genuinely discover your Spirit, stop talking, stop reading, and start listening to your heart.” – Sonia Choquette

If you are interacting with coworkers in meetings or just at home talking to loved ones, really give it your best shot. Pour your heart into those conversations and really understand the other person. Sometimes, it might take a shouting voice to reach inside you. In the tasks you do, engage and focus yourself fully and completely. If you are willing to give it your best, satisfaction is on it’s way.

2. Rule the situation and don’t let the situation rule you

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” ~Howard Thurman

In our busy lives, we often find ourselves running from one task to another, from one appointment to the next feeling rushed and tired.

Are the people in your life ruling how you manage your time ? Are situations taking advantage of you instead of You making the most of your moments on earth ? Step back and decide how you can manage your situations.

Stretching your limits doesn’t mean you do anything and everything you that comes your way and stand up to the plate at ever opportunity. You need to pick your battles and pick them wisely.

3. Make time for encouragement, support and a eyes-wide open power nap.

Even though it’s a popular technique, I don’t mean for you to close your eyes for 20 minutes at work. My definition of a power nap is just some me-time where your mind is closed away from all external factors and relaxed in it’s own cosmos. Where you coexist with this universe as just another passer-by, soon you too will be gone. Awakening your spiritual being and finding encouragement through those around you. Supporting words, comments or merely light & happy conversations filled with laughter.

If you are stretching yourself and moving out of your comfort zone, you will need these small fixes of fulfilling and truly uplifting moments. A few minutes to yourself will keep you productive longer than constantly burning yourself without stepping back to rest.

4. Overcome Fear & Be Strong

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome.” ~Steven Pressfield.

“You do it anyway. there are no shortcuts. fear greets us all.”

~Tina Su

How many times have you prepared for an exam or interview or speech and felt fear ? In varying degrees, fear greets us in all it’s shapes and sizes. From anxiety to panic to immobilizing fear… the spectrum is vast.

It will lead to inaction, stagnation and procrastination. Many of us fear success! Yes, you read that correctly.

The one thing that I kept miles away from every waking moment was fear. Thoughts floated in and out of my head. I did not fuel them. Simply watched them go by.

“What if something goes wrong?” Instead I asked, “What can I do to get through this successfully?”

It’s like building muscle, your strength to fight fear will only grow stronger as you exercise it. Be positive and overcome fear.

5. Be Inside Out

“When the truth is hard for us to hear it is our ego being pricked by much needed wisdom. When our responsibilities get heavier to bear it is our conscience being called upon for much needed growth”

If you are going to make progress, the last thing you will need is stress and panic. When I started out this week, my mind was going “How will I get through all my work?” “What if I miss something and can’t put in my best?” “What if I’m too exhausted with things at home?”

All those negative voices needed to be silenced. As I got into the week, I was into my projects. Not stressed. Music and tea certainly helped.

I was inside out with everything around me. I was focused in that moment and in the task at hand. Present with mind and body. I wasn’t willing to let my soul feel defeated and dampened if things didn’t work. Some things went off track too. I just continued to plow through.

“I’m just another being on this planet experiencing the rhythms of every day life. Even if I had the choice to isolate from my responsibilities, purpose and duties, what else would I do? If I didn’t feel the pinch from the challenges in my personal and work life, how else would I grow?”

We all go through our tough situations and happy moments. It is adversity that creates character and individuality.

With these thoughts keeping me strong, I was able to disconnect my emotions of fear, anxiety and fatigue. I was able to reconnect with my inner-strength and move along with the mission in front of me.

Question for you:

How do you stretch outside your comfort box ? What are your tips on increasing productivity ?


As you wrap up this day and refuel yourself, stretch those wings & love life,

 

 

 

 

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rediscover
life

Take A Moment – Take A Few Steps And Discover Yourself!


Are you a mother of two with a busy life ? Are you a working woman in her 20s … busy with the pressures of a career, a new relationship maybe … how much time do you take for yourself ? Do you give yourself adequate time to refresh, rejuvenate and replenish from the demands of the relationships around you?

As women, we are expected to fulfill several roles. A mother, wife, daughter, friend, confidante, boss, coworker, girlfriend… the list goes on. Notice carefully, each role has it’s own place and time.

You cannot be the best loving mother while you work on a deadline for the next day, you cannot be the most devoted and caring wife while you deal with pressures from your business or work… we all try and we all do our best. A small piece here and a bit of us there… we spread our time, love and attention to the plethora of spaces in our life that need our attention.

Source

Amidst all of this, we eventually forget about our own aspirations, hobbies and dreams. The beautiful dreams that we spun like magic yarn playing house when we were living with mom & dad. The aspirations of doing that special project at some point in our lives.

It’s sacrificing the spa at times or maybe just that routine weekend call to your best friend… in return for time with your loved ones at home.

The truth is that you are simply burning up your inner resources without truly replenishing them. The truth is that you are giving to the relationships around you without really listening to your inner self. Women are emotional and spiritual creatures in need of love, warmth, care and even pampering. As we wear our tough look and wrap those robes of worldly pursuits around our fragile and delicate hearts… we may sometimes suppress that inner little girl somewhere.

As you walk on in life… as you go about spreading joy and love to those around you, take a moment… for yourself. Look back. Are you where you dreamed you would be ? Are you missing something ? Now is the time to re-discover, re-define and re-invent ourselves.

1. Write down the top 10 things that you love to do

2. Put a check mark against the ones that are already a part of your life

3. For the ones missing a check mark, ask yourself, why aren’t you doing the things you love ?

4. Write down 1 action that you can take to get started

5. Get Started and complete those actions in 24hours

 

If something seems amiss… let’s seek it out and fulfill the dream that the inner child within you had. If you feel exhausted, you are! Take some time and replenish your emotional and physical reserves.

As you move ahead… remember, it’s really simple to take just a few moments to yourself. Discover yourself and then continue this journey!

Until next time, love yourself and live it up!

 

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