Sunshine almost always makes me high…..

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……if I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine for all the while……..( John Denver- Sunshine on my shoulders)

A lovely song that perfectly resonates with this picture,in my honest opinion. We long for sunshine in every aspect  of our lives and pine for companionship that could enjoy the same bliss that we experience. Amidst war ridden, poverty and illness stricken situations, let us all rise, gather, shine and prove that United We Stand. If we have to oppose these maladies, we need to be united in our thoughts, words and actions. No  hate, only love should be the mantra, the solace to our souls that would  enable us to march forward with undeterred determination and grit.

Toggle between Being and Becoming

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Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Maa rupena samsthita I

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Shakti rupena samsthita I

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Buddhi rupena samsthita I

Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Laxmi rupena samsthita I

Namestasyai II Namestasyai II Namestasyai II

Namo Namah II

To the Divine Goddess who resides in all existence in the form of universal mother

To the Divine Goddess who resides in all existence in the form of energy

To the Divine Goddess who resides in all existence in the form of intellegence

To the Divine Goddess who resides in all existence in the form of true wealth

We bow to her, we bow to her, continually we bow to her

My Humble prayer to the Divine Mother,

Give me the courage  and the mindfulness to understand  the unknown in all its mysteriousness and accept the challenges gracefully,emerge stronger and invincible in the face of all that is filled with  darkness, despair and un-illuminated. Show me the light and direction to move ahead and achieve what is meant for me so that I can validate  my existence and return to my eternal abode after fulfilling all my  responsibilities with poise and elegance.

Empathy vs Sympathy

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Have you tried looking at the world through someone else’s eyes- give it a shot and see the different views and colours that emerge; hues that your eyes may have missed. Empathy is the most important skill in my mind..it gives you a true perspective on matters because when you see things from others perspectives, you are not biased and therefore the results are not askew. They give you a true and fair view of situations and matters that are important.
Empathy is a long term investment and therefore the returns may not be quick but when an individual feels like another (empathy) as opposed to when an individual feels for another (sympathy), this act of kindness goes a long way in yielding higher returns.
This is like a personal investment because it is similar to investing on oneself – today it is your turn and then tomorrow it would be someone else’s turn to be empathetic towards you.
A drift from the age of information to the age of concepts is happening and this short video clip provides ample evidence as to why empathy should be embraced as an important life skill in the modern times and used as an important emotional muscle that becomes stronger with its usage and application.

The mystery of the unknown; the wonder and ecstasy that it brings….

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The sky is full of the sun and the stars
The universe is full of life
Among all these I have found a place
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
The world is swayed
By eternity’s rushing tide
Rising and falling
I have felt its tug in my blood
Racing through my veins
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
While walking in the woodlands
With my feet I have touched the blades of grass
I have been startled by the flowers’ fragrance
They have all maddened my mind
The gifts of gladness and joy
Are strewn all around
And in wonder and amazement I sing.
I have pricked my ears
I have opened my eyes
I have bared my heart to the world
In the midst of the known
I have sought the unknown
And in wonder and amazement I sing

-Rabindranath Tagore
(Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region’s literature and music. Author of Gitanjali a he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern South Asia.) (Source: Internet)

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Podcast on strategies used for improving emotional intelligence in the 21st century classrooms

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My  latest podcast on the role of emotional intelligence in the 21st century classroom and the strategies for implementation of such emotional intelligence….

Amen Women….

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I chose the color pink since it is a symbol of insightful tenderness with dollops of empathy and sensitivity. Pink is feminine and romantic; it represents compassion intertwined with unconditional love and nurturing. Pink is a sign of hope; it gives us the energy to move forward battling all wars- external and internal. Pink channelizes our emotional energies, ameliorating feelings of aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect.

Therefore, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I strongly urge women from all walks of life to come forward and make a promise to themselves first and then to the others that it is time to arise and awaken their souls.

On this day, let us make a collective vow- stand for each other, stand by each other and stand for  a collective vision – a vision that does not despise women ,a vision that does not underestimate the powers of women and a vision that is forward facing ; that empowers women and does not drag them behind and supports them on making decisions   that would enable them  to make that difference in their life, in others’ lives.

Yes.it is again you and me ,and us collectively as a whole who could make ourselves and each other phenomenal; give us that power to rise and shine and write our own stories and be that empowered woman who wrote herself………!

 

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Ups and Downs of an Emotional Voyager

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Here’s my new Podcast titled “Ups and Downs of an Emotional Voyager”

It is roughly 5 mins in length, please give me your opinion!

What’s in a name..??!!!

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A flashback……

Why is it so hard to stay away from thoughts of Kolkata? – I do not know. And I have been looking for an answer in all these fifteen years that I have moved away from the City of Joy, to no avail. Kolkata is, was and has always been an integral part of my daily existence so to speak. I have looked for tiny dollops of Kolkata in every aspect of my immigrant life and it never mattered how big or small its magnitude was. In my mind, I am ambivalent – I switch back and forth between its positive and negative traits, but at heart, I like to forgive and forget and move on with the everlasting feeling of love that I can only have for this city where I spent a considerable part of my youth.

As I was growing up in Calcutta, it was a common trend among families with children to send their wards for tuition classes or tutorials – as the sophisticated population phrased it, and conventionally, I was also put in one of those in my neighbourhood. Apparently, these classes were supposed to be treated as important and helped one to seamlessly move up the education ladder in terms of higher grades, and consequently offered a better chance of getting into better schools after the age of 16 or after one gave his or her Class X exams. I was a bit hesitant at the thought of joining this tutorial, which definitely meant more work, more pressure; but I duly gave in to my parents’ demands when they made it so obvious how enrolling in such a class would largely benefit me in the long run, and how great an opportunity this could be, and that it would be extremely foolish not to consider this and let it pass. I succumbed to their wishes, and thus began another journey. Little did I know what I was signing up for!

No, it wasn’t anything bad – it was different. I walked into a room that had a mixed gender population; coming from a girls’ school, it had opened up a wide horizon for me and for many of my classmates and friends from other schools, who were in a similar situation like me. We were young minds – waiting to be explored and also to explore new and unknown realities. Each class summoned a different avenue of knowledge, and, as we progressed, I was learning and getting wiser in every respect, undoubtedly. I made friends – I made acquaintances and even met my first crush at the same place.

I can vouch for this – my parents had sent me to this tutorial for gaining academic knowledge and voila! Here I was, experiencing quite a few things which were unexpected and unwarranted – again not something that my parents would feel proud of. As with everything, good things come to an end sooner than we want them to – our classes at the tutorial ended as we all left woefully (some more than the others), and parted ways. 

Cannot help quoting Marilyn Monroe here – “beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living”.

Years later, I went back to study Clinical Psychology at a University in San Francisco as a mature young adult and going by the University guidelines had to study Mathematics under one professor by the name of Jeff (last name not divulged to protect his identity).

Now, Mathematics is not one of my favourite subjects and I have no qualms in claiming that, but within a span of six months or so, Jeff had entirely changed this connotation of boredom and dullness associated with Maths. His were one of the most interesting classes that I have ever had in my life. They were full of laughter, jokes and of course, quality lecture on the subject matter. I would look forward to his classes every week, and to this date, I cannot fathom if it changed my feelings towards the subject or was it the teacher who made it so interesting, that I would have probably felt the same way had he taught Ancient History *yawn*.

He was an American in his early 30’s, had class written all over him and his sense of humour was something that made everyone swoon over him. I recall one funny incident that has left an indelible impression on my mind – he walked into the class on a sunny morning in spring and referring to a portion of the University that was being renovated and renamed, said, “As I was driving by, I noticed that they have named the new building ‘Hyman  Hall’. Now who would name a building ‘Hyman Hall’? There is a possibility that it could be named after one of the donors for the University but come to think of it – Hyman? Man, this sounds ridiculous!”

We, the students – about 22 of us, sat there in pin drop silence, not knowing how to react to such a statement. After noticing the mischievous smile on his face, we all burst into laughter. It was one of the most embarrassing moments for me, given my conservative Indian background, but till date I cannot imagine such an interaction between teachers and students in the Indian context. This was one such occasion when I was awestruck, and had a gaping jaw not knowing where to look momentarily.

It’s been so many years since I completed my education in the US – more in the case of my Indian education. I have been fortunate enough to have studied in both the countries, and each time I have learnt something new and different. Both experiences have been so touching, so full of life, that I cannot undermine one or the other.

As an educator – entrepreneur today, I hope to create such a mark in my students’ minds so that they come up with anecdotes such as these to look back and reflect – with a smile.

Enough time

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Time is a relative concept – it holds different connotations for different people..depends on the situation in which the individual is in. On one hand it passes us by without us even realizing it and on the other hand people try and hold it in their firm grip to understand the nuances of time and decipher the underlying codes that time has to offer in the garb of opportunities. Time fails us..time helps us to succeed..time helps us to conquer and it is the same time which creates barriers between what is real and what is imagination.
Truly Time is a self perception and makes changes in one’s life. relentlessly.