Monday, December 4, 2017

It's that time of the month

The beginning of every month is an exciting time. We are one month older, a few ounces heavier (or lighter), (hopefully) a little wiser, and (you can fill in the blank------------). 
Start of every month can be an edit, refresh and restart time. We can:
  • archive and possibly delete unpleasant memories, 
  • print happy memories, 
  • restock our fridge and pantry, 
  • clean our living spaces (I mean detail cleaning), 
  • declutter our closet and cabinets (donate, recycle and repurpose all those unused items taking space),
  • send out some cards and notes (in the age of social media, print communication is even more rewarding),
  • review our budget (maybe ask ourselves do I really need to dine out that often or help out amazon's sales every month),
  • weigh ourselves (you can decide what to do after seeing that number on the scale),
  • start a new healthy habit (can be anything from portion control, meditation, taking supplements, washing your face every night, burning a scented candle while reading etc.),
  • schedule family and friend time (some of us might forget to do that if we don't plan it ahead of time),
  • read (our society is in great need of people who read, not just fiction but a variety of books to self-educate).
You can make your own list and personalize it of course. But the monthly assessment of our life is less daunting than every January or after a disaster. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ladies check your PURSE!

How many women have neck and shoulder pain, headaches and preventable injuries related to their bags (handbag, shoulder bag, purses of different styles and sizes.)
How did we get here? Do we have to stay here? Do we really need the bag?
History of women's handbag is fascinating. It started as a pouch attached at the waistline, then a wristlet and now to almost a piece of luggage on our shoulders. It truly was inspired by the carry on handbags carried by travelers. We adopted a piece of luggage as part of our daily fashion. But does it have to be so inconvenient, inflict physical pain and cost so much?
So ladies check your bag or purse. Assess if you really have to carry all the items you carry in your purse or handbag around all the time. Start with your wallet. Do you need to have your collection of department store credit cards with you every day? Do you need two different kinds of hand sanitizers, lipsticks, nail clipper, electronic devices, notepad, diary, checkbook (if you still have those), extra pads, snacks, planner and other stuff at your immediate disposal daily? You might need some items like your planner and your small wallet (which includes your DL and one credit card), one emergency pad ( if you are overly cautious like me, you will always have an emergency stash), lip gloss, pen and hand sanitizer. You can make your own list of what must remain in your purse, and everything else can find a new home. Your desk or locker at work and your car can be back up storage locations. You really need to get the load off your shoulders and neck. Larger bags and heavier purses cause muscle strain on your neck and shoulder, which can lead to headaches and fatigue. The cycle will continue with sleep disturbance, posture problems, mood imbalances, wrinkles and premature aging.
To draw a conclusion, heavy purses make you wrinkly and old.
I know, I know. This is not a scientific conclusion. It may not even make any connection to you. But seriously, do you need the heavy purse you carry on your shoulder every day?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Is Balancing Act for women only?

Gender equality.
Philosophy, religion, science, and history have been trying to define and implore gender equality with minimum success. Why is it called a Man's world when in reality they wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for women? Why is the balancing act targeted at women? Why do women have to balance career, family and much more? Who gave men the pass to not deal with the same conflicts as women?
Why don't TV shows and magazine articles dispense advice for men on how to win over women and please their partners in bed better? I am not even going to bring the superficial issue of youth and how and why women need to keep young appearance. That's a separate discussion.
Why do women sit around telling other women how to please their husbands while taking care of their children and owning a professional career? Why don't they advise men on how to participate in house chores with their wives and how to behave with their female coworkers?
We have been telling girls to behave a certain way for centuries while not addressing the issue of masculinity. Why is "boys will be boys" an acceptable term?
We are making some overdue progress in elevating women in the society, but we are not addressing the widespread passive oppression of women. TV shows, magazines, social media (clips, articles and etc.) all have separate messages for men and women. The husband is grilling while the wife is decorating and getting vegetables ready. The man is raggedy while the woman is polished and decorated. All the man gets to do is work and drink while the woman has to work, raise kids, clean the house, look enticing, maintain independence and some more. When the marriage falls apart, or kids are screw-ups or business project is flawed, women are questioned.
Most of the time, it looks like a jungle out there, Men vs. Women. How I see it is that women are set up to fail by the mere design of the society and its expectations of women. The idea of harmony between and coexistence of men and women seem like an alien idea only endorsed by some celebrities as a luxury.
The balancing act wouldn't be so complicated if a partnership existed between men and women in the society. If mutual respect and understanding existed between men and women at home and at the workplace, women wouldn't have to do it all by themselves. Instead of teaching women "the balancing act," inform them of available options. Please advise men on pursuing a balancing act at home and work. Please educate men on establishing partnerships with their female counterparts. Mutual respect for each others' intelligence, gender, effort, and achievements is the basis of a harmonious existence. This is an established fact. We know the destination, we just haven't figured out how to get there yet. One way is to educate men and teach boys to respect women and girls. That's the balancing act.
#thebalancingact #genderequality #heforher

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Morning vs Evening

"Don't talk to me before my coffee!" "I am not a morning person." "I am a night owl." I am most productive at 3pm." What is your preference? Are you a morning person or evening person, and what do you mean by that?
Being sluggish in the morning can have different reasons, like poor sleep hygiene, low blood sugar, unhealthy diet etc. Running out of energy by the evening shares some of the same reasons like poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress and idleness. There is plenty of online advise for you to choose from to improve your energy level and mood.
What I would like to reflect on here is morning vs. evening. I am a morning person in the sense that I wake up early. But instead of spending beautiful morning hours stuck in traffic or listening to the news or anything else, I would like to sit and watch the color of the sky change, listen to the sound of life getting louder gradually, and join the stillness there is in the morning hours. I would like to go around my own house and observe and appreciate it in the early morning. The crisp weather, vivid colors, slowly changing backdrop, the anticipation of a new or another day are thrilling for those who notice them. It's my spiritual time of the day when I connect with my God and thank him for everything he has created and everything he has made possible for me. I can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to two hours doing all this. Then I would like to continue my day.
I avoid sleepy or sluggish portions of the day by taking small breaks throughout the day remaining focused and excited about what I am doing. My drive time is for books and music ( I listen to books, I don't read and drive). My evening is my home and family time. I don't multi-task, neither at work nor at home. If we are getting ready for dinner, that is all we are doing. No phone calls, no homework, no other menial chores. We chat, laugh, eat and clean up. Any serious subject has to wait for after dinner (never have serious talks on an empty stomach). I don't mind evening parties and hangouts once in a while if they last couple hours. Any longer than that, I (mentally) check out.
I am focused on removing the sense of hurry and rushed behavior from my life. When I take 30 minutes in the morning to meditate or stretch, I am not thinking of anything else but the activity I am doing. I use all the 30 minute and intend to enjoy every minute of it. When I am spending my evening hour with family, I fully relax and focus on enjoying my family time. I listen, I laugh, I share. There is no counting of minutes to the end of the hour so I can check the mail or get my laundry done. The days that I arrive home exhausted, I lay down first, or drink a nice hot cup of unsweetened tea. I am not thinking about "only couple more hours to push through, and it will be bedtime, and I can relax then." I don't want to be tired and miserable for two hours waiting for my bed. I spend 30 minutes recharging so I can enjoy my hour and a half before bedtime.
Yes, I do have those mornings (during the week) that I don't want to wake up. Since feeling forced really takes the joy out of life, I don't force myself to wake up. Instead, I compromise ( which is better than feeling helpless and being forced). I quickly decide what do I want to give up to lay down another 10-20 minutes, hot breakfast, putting on makeup, or 30 minutes of my lunch for arriving 30 minutes late to work. Then I lay back down and close my eyes and thoroughly enjoy my extra minutes of morning sleep.
So I am a morning person and an evening person depending on the kind of morning and evening I have created. And I can be annoyingly active and chatty midday because I stay motivated.

#lifehacks #morning #evening

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Your knight in shinning armor

I had lived my early years of life under an oppressive regime, in a state of constant unknown, and hopeless future. As a girl, I couldn't dream to be independent and have an individual identity. I had to be someone's daughter, sister, wife or mother. My parents were torn between keeping us safe and giving us hope.
I sometimes took refuge in my imaginations, where I was placed in a very different society where I could be my own person. One of these imaginary paths were running away to a foreign land with a male companion who would protect me and also allow me to become my own person, my knight in shinning armor.
When I finally did come to the land of opportunity and freedom, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to do so many things with very limited capabilities. My imaginations had fooled my mind and my expectations by tricking my mind to believe that I was capable of more that I actually could do. I had a major gap between my new reality and my unrealistic expectations. Thus began my struggles.
Fast forward to now, I know better than to let my imaginations fool me again.
Envisioning your future can be helpful but don't let imaginations take you to a far land of fantasy from where return will be a rude awakening. Keep track of your goals and keep count of your skills and potentials. Make sure what you want to do matches your capabilities. If not, draw the map and find out where you can make improvements. Do you need an academic degree, a life coach, a health consultant, an accountability buddy, a new financial plan, or something else?
Also, don't ever underestimate the power of smart work. There is no substitute for it. You can inherit a kingdom, but if you don't work smart, it won't last you long enough. Don't let roadblocks, laziness and shinny things distract you. Don't let Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest be your guide. Have fun and relieve stress as needed. But go back to basics, education, smart work, networking, ethics, honesty and common sense should be woven deeply in your plans of action.

#envision #lifelesson

Monday, October 2, 2017

Go ahead and Quit!

"Winners never quit and quitters never win."
Like "think positively" this statement is a scam. Don't believe it, don't make it your motto. You will save yourself a lot of heartache, time, effort and even money by quitting the cumbersome pursuit, the wrong person, the forced relationship, the impractical dream.
We sometimes think of our energy and time as an infinite resource, a well that never dries. WRONG!!!!
Once we realize this, we will value our personal resources dearly and will dedicate them to meaningful purposes. If getting that perfect body is an unmanageable goal and brings you so much guilt and shame, it is time to quit. Don't quit on your health, instead quit on the unreasonable goal that doesn't fit your priorities and lifestyle. Redefine your goal; maybe you can't be size 2, but you need to work out to keep endorphin circulating in your system, to keep pain away and your blood sugar steady.
Escalation of commitment is what keeps gamblers in the game longer. People stay in broken relationships because "they don't want to give up on love" or something of such nature. Fear of unknown is another reason.
We human beings are very complex psychological beings and usually there is more than one reason for our actions. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts, no easy way out or simple way to the top. There is no need to be discouraged though since we are wired to struggle and grow. The key is to invest in the pursuit of meaningful goals. And if you arrive at a dead end, don't sit there. Make a U-Turn and take a better route.
I have learned that quitting is very liberating, allowing you to re-invent yourself and see different colors of life. So make sure that you don't put on blindfolds of traditional myths and rules and deny yourself richness of the world by trying to open a door that has been sealed shut. Quitting is not a bad idea. When you quit, you are saying "This phenomenon no longer deserves my energy and time and I respect myself enough to walk away now."
Once you find your true passion and purpose, you will know it in your heart and mind. Investing in your true passion will be rewarding and productive. So save your patience and persistence for the right reason.


#quit #lifelesson

Monday, September 25, 2017

Denial is the first step of failure.

You read all kinds of quotes about "denial" and how it is bad for you. I agree.
One way denial can hurt you is it brings you closer to failure. When you deny your own responsibility in your mistakes, you fail to learn the lesson. When you deny you made a mistake in the first place, you deny yourself growth and change. When you deny you need to change, you are getting ready to settle in a hole and wait for misery to be dumped on you.
Denial has its perks which makes it very popular with lazy people. When you deny, you are putting the blame on someone else and so you win the blame game. When you deny, you don't have to change or do anything different and that makes life easier.
Oh the luxury to have to no accountability and responsibility towards yourself and others is so precious. Sometimes, we go the extra mile to obtain that luxury.
Imagine how privileged it sounds when we issue the verdict that someone else was at fault and now has to pay the price and acquit ourselves from any guilty feelings and hard work. That is denial at its best. The temporary reward of denial is luring, to feel no guilt, to not be disappointed, to face no consequences. Denial is like paparazzi with TMZ, a cheap shot.
During this whole time, your conscious is waiting for jitters of fake victory to subside so it can give you "the look". The look that means "are you done kidding yourself?". If your conscious is severely damaged, comatose or dead, your fake victory will last much longer, and will turn into chronic self-righteousness. Win for  you.
If your conscious is still alive and functioning, then denial can only go so far with you. You eventually will have to face the reality. This reality will require you to accept responsibility, face disappointment, suffer criticism, make amendments and change. All of this is hard work and sometimes they contradict our perceptions and beliefs about ourselves. If you think I am on to something, you are right.
I am using reverse psychology as a means of motivation for you to ditch denial and embrace your mistakes and your responsibilities, and to improve yourself. We all know reverse psychology, we have been subjected to it by our parents at one point or another in our lives. Honestly, it works more often that we like to admit.
The bottom line is that denial will lead to failure. If you want to succeed in life, don't deny yourself growth and change, don't deny your flaws, don't deny your own role in your destiny. Embrace it. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses, embrace hard work and embrace your free will in designing your life.

#denial #embrace #lifelesson #createyourowndestiny

It's that time of the month

The beginning of every month is an exciting time. We are one month older, a few ounces heavier (or lighter), (hopefully) a little wiser, and...