Updated: Jun 10, 2019
Over a year ago, I moved to Bangalore, to be near my son, during his final exams. And while he thought it was me who made the sacrifice to go there and sit with him, the truth was, it was the best gift he could have given me!
I was juggling way too many things, trying to be everything to everybody, and living a very productive and efficient life. However as I was self evaluating, I noticed that while most of my stats were great, one area was significantly low:
Friends networking 9/10
Me personally - 5
You see, most would imagine if life is giving you such a perfect score, life must be happy. But without the pause in the melody, even music starts to feel like noise. So I used this trip as an opportunity to adopt new habits (remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit) to improve my personal score and here are the 5 things I learned:
1. I own my day - I know it sounds silly, but when you live surrounded by people/agendas/events/kids, you are running all the time. Women around the world have started to speak of fatigue & mental exhaustion from life. Bangalore gave me a chance to truly own my day, therefore own my life. I'd never enjoyed that kind of energy! I did 20000 steps on my birthday because I had so much energy. I just thought as I receive calls, why not walk and talk? I’m going to stop complaining about being busy for I had forgotten busy is a choice, not something that’s happening to me.
2. Intention over impulse - I set clear intentions for these 21 days:
To be with my son when he needed me. When he didn’t, I kept myself busy in a happy way. I read fictional books. Joined Zumba, pilates and TRX. Started walking an hour a day. Ate only healthy. Woke up early & slept early. Dining with people I know in Bangalore. Tried new recipes and listened to music. Intentionally did not complain about missing friends/missing birthdays/missing home/missing hubby/missing work.
In life I just have to keep resetting to choosing to respond vs react.
3. Slow time - I clicked pictures of all the 26 varieties of flowers in this building. Spoke to every aunty or child that came up to me. Sat comfortably for hours without doing anything on my phone or on paper. Lived agenda-less with free blocks of time. No make up, no getting ready. Reached early for all my classes. Spent time observing nature life and people. Chose things to buy and picked them up later. When we stop rushing life, joy walks in. To pause at least 5 times a day to just say thank you to the Lord for the life we have been blessed with was something I started to practise daily.
4. In my joy - no matter how stressful the situation, my son and I enjoyed that period. We will remember those 21 days forever just because of the bond of an uninterrupted relationship.
I am responsible for my joy and I have to carry it with me everywhere I go - I designed a bracelet as my physical symbol of joy, and wore it every day.
5. Break patterns - I did things differently from my usual self; exercised daily, wore sports shoes instead of chappals, kept my hair tied up, watched romantic serials, etc. I learned so much from being so different. I got to try new things at least once a week to break away from old patterns. Learning to understand other ways will open up so much more of the world for me.
My biggest lesson has been, when you live in the present - life starts to truly communicate with you. Your ability to handle your emotions and your negativity becomes so much easier. Negative thoughts pass by so easily when you are present and happy. I hope you are inspired to incorporate some of these lessons into your life if you aren’t practicing them already!
- Puja Puneet