Browsing Category emotional intelligence

Coronavirus is Not At Fault – You Are As Happy As You Want To Be

Coronavirus has slowed everyone down. People are staying indoors. Schools and colleges are shut. Offices have been closed down, and employees have been asked to work from home.

Borders are getting closed. Travel is forbidden, somewhere by law and somewhere by conscience. Some are still traveling and facing the wrath from the strangers on the internet.

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My Chilean Host Mother Took Her Broken Heart and Said to Life Vamos (Let’s Go).

We were in September, and the sun had been hiding away for many days from Chiloé, a southern island of petite Chile. Rain thudded the brick-tiled roof unabashedly. I shivered after a shower on a cold evening in Castro. To avoid getting scolded by my host mother for not drying my hair well, I walked down to warm my head near the kitchen fire.

My host mother, who was already sitting at the round, wooden dining and sipping mate from her cup, called me to join her while patting the thick sofa cushion on her left. Perched on her right, the British volunteer, who was also teaching English to Chilean students with English Open Doors, rolled his eyes as he saw me accepting her invitation and approaching them. Respecting our usual friendly banter and rekindling the Indo-British feud, I threw some bad words in his direction. 

Then as the three of us huddled at the dining and sipped tea in the cozy kitchen of our uninsulated home, my host mother told us that her brother had just come home to request some wine, and then she warned us not to trust him as he was an alcoholic. 

Though I had seen her brother visit us every day, eat bread and cheese at the dining, drink wine, of which she kept a big bottle in her kitchen especially for him, I never realized that he was an alcoholic. Maybe I was focusing on cracking the heavy Spanish that darted to and fro between the siblings.

But his alcoholism was not the devastating part of the story. 

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When Spanish Hit Me – My Heartfelt Tale of Learning Spanish in South America

I went to Chile in July 2016 to teach English in a state school. All my friends, family, relatives, acquaintances, and social connections asked what made me go to Chile; I said I didn’t think much. They asked me if I could speak Spanish; I replied that I would learn Spanish in South America.

My family concluded that traveling to South America was an immature escape as in the end I would be alone and financially unstable. I was sucked down into a whirlpool of emotional hurdles that my close ones stirred in my career and personal life while being assertive that they cared.

I was fired. I had just ended a two-year relationship which I believed would turn into the long-lasting love of my life. The Titanic sank. I was going to be twenty-nine soon. Friends were getting married. Babies were being born. I did not know anyone in Chile. I did not speak Spanish.

Before I left, an uneasy feeling of forgetting something lingered. Like the one that makes you shuffle through your pockets every time you walk out of your home. I understood later that I was scared: of being alone, of unknowns, and of not knowing Spanish.

I did not know then that in a couple of months I would be able to speak the language fluently.

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Let Your Life Flow Freely – She Knows Her Course Better than You Do.

Let life happen to you — Rainer Maria Rilke told a Young poet, Franz Xaver Kappus when he expressed his doubts about his poetry to Rainer in a letter.

 

Out of all the golden words that Rainer said, this advice struck me the most when I read the twelve-letter correspondence between him and Franz. Those letters are a brilliant read. But calling them a read would be undermining them.

The art that those twelve letters hold in their hearts thrives with life and hope and advice. That art is like that thunder which roars at night. That art is like lightning which dances across the grey sky. That art is like that twilight which doesn’t know any bounds.

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What Did Staying in Touch with My Ex-Boyfriend Teach Me About Life – And About Myself

After struggling for a year, I broke up with the man I had wished to spend the rest of my life with. Then I flew to the other end of the world. In that foreign land, I picked up a million tiny parts of mine and weaved them again. Then I breathed life into that lifeless me. After a year, I returned to the old city and happened to run into him.

I thought I had moved on. And I had. I am with someone else now, and I love my current partner most earnestly.

Also Read: Why Do We Need a Life Partner and Where to Find One

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Indian Marriage Conundrum – How I Hold My Ground as an Unmarried 30–Year–Old Woman.

My mother called me thrice at 8 in the night. Editing an article, I thought something had happened and picked up the third call. And then after some small talk about my writing and if I was ever going to take up a job, she said she wanted to talk about something.

As a thirty-year-old unmarried woman in India, I recognize this something, like dogs can sense tsunamis, for at least five years now. This something — without any exception — is marriage.

To humor her, I asked what did she want to talk about. She said she always worried about me and often cried because she cannot do anything else. That she didn’t know what my life plans were. That nothing made sense. That I must have been lonely. Didn’t I like having a family? Was there anybody? That why couldn’t we — mother and daughter —share everything with each other.

These sentences stumbled out of her mouth as she choked.

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An Open Letter to My Mind

Dear Mind, 

I am your human. 

How have you been lately?

We communicate — sorry, I listen to your orders — throughout the day. But I wanted to talk to you about a few things.

I want to start by thanking you.

You make me enjoy life. You have trained me to be alert, passionate, independent, healthy, and hard-working. You need me to be a good daughter and a loving sister and an understanding partner and a reliable friend. 

Now let’s come to the main point.

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How to Make a Bad Day Better

 

Some days are harder than others. Everything seems to fall apart on these days.

I could not sleep last night. At 2:50 am, the hour of deepest sleep, I woke up when an intruding mosquito buzzed in my ear. I went to the bathroom, came back, drank some water, and lied down. I was drowsy and it hurt to keep my eyes open. But the first step to sleep was killing the mosquito. After many desperate attempts, I took its life away.

Meanwhile, the brain kept at its activity. The ideas of my mother about me (unmarried, jobless, etc) encroached me from all directions. If I think about me the way she does, I feel that my life is doomed. Then I judged the nooks and corners of my relationships.

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Friedrich Nietzsche: How to Choose Between Ambition and Happiness?

After an hour or two of the daily evening walk, I tell myself that I should go back home and read. But sometimes, I want to keep walking with my friend. I want to sleep at 4 am after Netflixing zombie movies back to back. I want to wake up late and then write and let the day design its schedule.

But during those zombie movies, I keep looking at the watch. The MacBook throws the low-battery warning, but I don’t plug in the charger as I want the computer to sleep its natural course. And then we can sleep too. But then we stay awake some more and talk about our lives.

As every hour passes by, I realize that my waking up time is getting shifted by one hour and that I had to sleep early and start the next day with a fresh run in the morning. But I continue the conversation as that was what I wanted to do at that moment.

And the next day, when I start writing at 11, I brood over the valuable time that I lost by getting up late.

Also Read: How to Make a Schedule – To Live and Work Better

 

Why can’t we do what we want to do when we want to do it?

Why do we think about the future  —  the most uncertain and unpredictable   and not about now? Why do we follow so many small daily habits?

What do we want out of life?

Why do we wait for Sundays for lunch with our family? 

Why do we make a house and live in it and go to the office and come back to do the same all over again?

 How do we choose between ambition and happiness?

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15 Things We Care Too Much About

In today’s noisy world, choosing what to care about is essential.

Our brain neurons still keep sending messages even when we want to stop thinking. Sometimes, we cannot control our thoughts.

We hang out with our friends on a Wednesday evening or a Saturday night. We listen to music or Netflix and drink — to take our mind off things we do not want to think about, anymore.

Imagine — if we could be in that chill phase all the time. If we could block the redundant noise.

We think about two kinds of things:

  1. The ones that are important
  2. And the ones that are not

Unimportant things cloud our mind like the winter fog. Except that they never clear out even when the sun shines out our window.

Let us look at some of the fog that can be lifted.

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What is Mindfulness and How to Become Mindful?

What is mindfulness? What can we learn from Buddha’s mindfulness to live a better modern day, practical life?

The meditation, Yoga, and spirituality guru Osho said that when you are not thinking about the past or future or now contains all the time and there is no then — when a cuckoo calling, a train passing, a dog barking, is all you hear — when this is all and there is no that — when the world here is your whole reality and there is no there — you are in the state of sammasati or mindfulness.

You are absolutely present. Then you reflect and engage in reality without any distraction or expectation.

Mindfulness or awareness is to know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

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What is the Meaning of Life

 

Why do we need a purposeful, meaningful life?

We are born, play around, attend school and college, get a job, set up a  family, and then die. Each one of us — hopefully — adds something to the world; we evolve, the human race becomes smarter, and this repeats.

In the end, we do not get out alive, then why does everything — a broken relationship, a layoff, a fight at work, a stomach ache, a smartwatch — matter so much? What is all of this adding up to? Evolution?

All of this is adding up to these moments that the life is collectively composed of.

Why is it important to have a meaning in our life? So that all these moments together sing a melodious song and not blare out a cacophonous cry.

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