Hello my dear listeners! Welcome back to this special episode of Morning Cup of Sunshine podcast. It was my birthday a few days back and all the celebrations, phone calls, messages made me feel extra special. So, of course, first of all thank you so much for all the lovely wishes. You are part of my life now. Sometimes, I could not believe that in just two years, not even two years, I created this big and beautiful community. I feel grateful for each one of you. I count my blessings every day. I don’t know how I can thank you enough but truly, a couple of years back, I was lost, I had everything but still something was missing. I was searching for something unknown. You helped me find that something more. You gave my passion a sense of purpose and I will be eternally grateful for that. My birthday was a perfect occasion for me to ponder over these moments and reflect on my journey of the past one year.
I was always a big fan of new year resolutions. I know some of you might not believe in making new year resolutions. But to be honest, I remember writing those resolutions every year for a long time. I think it was 1996 when I first wrote those. I still remember sticking them into my cupboard and fondly looking at them. Some of them I did follow, some of them were lost in time. Some of them I wrote down year after year because those were never followed throughout the past year. Some of them, I outgrew. But the point is I still make them every year. I love to set good intentions, at least I want to try my best. But do you know what is the best part? My birthday comes a few weeks after New year so if I start to lose track of my new year resolutions, my birthday marks itself as a perfect occasion to bring myself on track. There is a funny story. I have a funny habit. I think I picked it up from my mom. Every time on 1st of January, on birthday, on Marathi new year in April, on the first day of school, there are a few more days in this list. But especially on these days, I tell my kids that today is a very important day, whatever you do today, you will do it for the rest of the year, so study extra hard today, behave extra good today. My kids have got used to this advice so much that they now know what I am going to say on those special days. I think my mom must have told me this so that we can reflect on our journey on these days and course correct if required and that is the exact purpose of this episode. Reflect on past one year and course correct if required. Are you ready for this fun, bumpy ride because yes, it sure was bumpy with lots of roadblocks in between?
Let’s rewind the past one year. I still remember my birthday last year’s birthday. My kids baked me a cake, Rushikesh gifted me one of my favorite books and to everyone’s surprise he even wrapped it. My friends came over, we had a fun evening. I got a lot of wishes, phone calls, messages, the usual drill. I felt loved, I felt overwhelmed, I felt happy but amongst all this I had a sense of responsibility to give back, do my best in the upcoming year to continue doing what I love, to hold my loved ones close, to enjoy the small moments.
Looking at the brighter side of everything
For the first time, I sensed that I am aging slowly but surely. I don’t know if I ever told you but, in my heart, I feel like a school going girl. Every time, I go into my kids' room to wake them in the morning, whenever I see them sleeping peacefully, I could not believe that these tiny humans are my own and I am a mom of these two lovely kids, I am no longer a kid myself, rather I am responsible for these little minds. It takes me a moment to sync that. This year, I sensed it more fiercely. I noticed that I am a little slower than last year, I have more gray hair showing up than last year, and it is a little more difficult to shed those extra pounds. It was a slow awakening. But I am determined to take this in a positive stride. This means I am more mature; I have more experience; I can make better choices. This is one of the biggest lessons learnt in the last one year. Looking at the brighter side of everything. There is always something good that you can find in almost every situation. You must have heard this quote, not every day is a good day but there is something good in every day. Finding the pockets of joy, small tidbits of positivity is not really that difficult. But last year, I was more mindful of finding goodness in even some stressful moments. Last year, I read somewhere that instead of saying I had to clean the home, say I get to clean the home because that means you have the home to clean. Instead of saying I had to work, say I got to work. The actions remain the same, but the mindset shifts when you take out the compulsion and replace it with compassion. I think that shift in mindset was my biggest learning in the last one year.
I also started reading more and more books about mindfulness. I started practicing mindfulness in my daily routine. Was it easy? No, absolutely not. I am wired to multitask. I feel inadequate if I am not multitasking. I feel I am wasting time, but I still remember on my last birthday, I decided to work on my stress levels. I decided to notice those small triggers and I realized my biggest trigger was doing too many things at the same time. I slowly started changing this habit of multitasking. I won’t say I am 100% successful but I am definitely on the correct path. The journey towards a more mindful day is truly beautiful and I learned so much in the past one year. You remember I promised an episode on Mindfulness a long time ago, but I never made it. The reason was simple. I did not find it authentic to talk about mindfulness since I was struggling to even grasp the concept. But now, I am at a place where I can talk about mindfulness and my lessons learnt in the past one year. I cannot wait to share that episode with you. That will be coming out very soon.
On the same note, another lesson learnt in the past one year was the importance of slow living. You can call it intentional living, mindful living, simple living, name really does not matter. Slow living was a completely new concept for me, which I got to learn from one of my recent favorite books - Simple living for a frantic world. This book was like a fresh breeze of new perspective. I truly needed to hear that. I needed to hear those words, slow down. I was taking too many things on my plate without even seeing how much my plate was full already. I was losing all the happiness of completing a huge task because I was in a rush to start a new one. I was not taking even a moment of breather between two chores, and it got to me. I was exhausted, I was burnt out. I still remember, one day I was walking down the aisles of our local library with kids. I was carrying a basket full of kids' books, when I noticed this beautiful white covered book, with Slow written in big letters on it. It intrigued my curiosity. I picked it up, just to take a look. I brought it home to just give it a try, the moment I read the first paragraph, I knew I was in for a wonderful treat. I was hooked. It taught me the importance of slow living, the ways to start the journey of more intentional living. It's been exactly one year, and I am very happy to say there is nothing more beautiful than intentional living. Intentional living was my true gift to myself that’s been giving me joy ever since.
Why so serious!!
Lastly, on the fun note, another lesson that I learned last year is to take things less seriously. Why so serious, right? My kids are at that age right now that anything silly and funny makes them giggle and just enjoy. Our house is constantly loud now with their non-stop banter, laughs, silliness. It is messy, we have acquired tons of art projects which they do not want to throw away even though that art project is just a paper cutting. Our art cabinet is full of countless pictures of rainbows, trees and a girl with long hair, that’s my daughter’s trademark picture. There are countless such pictures. I used to get stressed out by seeing the sheer number of papers. But this year, maybe because of the other three lessons that I talked about before, I am much cooler about this giant heap of art projects. Don’t get me wrong, I do get panicked sometimes and try to at least shove that inside the cabinet. But I am much more, what’s the word- cool about it. I am much more relaxed about inviting the guests over to our place, as I have left the idea of perfection way behind. I am much more relaxed about tossing my to-do list for a day and enjoy a slow-paced day with my loved ones. This is new for me and truly speaking I am loving it. This was one of the best lessons learnt in the past one year.
This birthday brought a lot of joy, a lot of hopes, and a lot of new dreams. I have no words to express my gratitude towards each one of you for wishing me, making me feel special. I am sure we are off to a great start of the year. I am soaking in my newfound way to simplicity. I am looking forward to this upcoming year. I want to write more quality blogs, record more episodes, enjoy podcasting and help as many as I can through this Morning cup of sunshine.