Thursday, November 15, 2007

Power of Visualisation

It was a near death experience. A couple of years ago we were returning from Los Angeles. I was on the driver’s seat driving my corolla with 5 people in the car including my 2 year old daughter. The sunlight is very strong during summers in California and many would agree with me that driving on a highway for long hours is quite exhausting especially when we are traveling with kids. My eyes were getting dilated because of the blazing sunlight. I started speeding up and exceeded the speed limit beyond the capacity of a car like corolla, why? Well that’s another story altogether. And suddenly I found myself parked at the top of a hill right at the edge, my car almost completely smashed from where all I could see was nothing as nothing really was there after that; no reference point, we were just steps away from falling into that ditch which must have been around 1000ft deep. What happened I didn’t know. I was told later on that my car went on to a rough patch and at that high speed I kind of lost control and got hit by a trailer truck. My car went off balance and in the state of nervousness instead of slamming on my break pedal, I started accelerating further. I very faintly remember hearing some sounds yelling break, break, break……… and somehow the car stopped with a jolt. I kept looking at my daughter if she was ok…………..

That incident had shaken me up so bad that for a long time to come driving had become almost impossible for me; in fact sitting in the car with any other driver would also bother me if I saw a truck in the next lane. I, however, tried to hide it from everybody as I was ashamed to admit the fact. I would try and avoid the lane next to a truck and would try and go to the farthest lane possible. My husband would understand what was going on why I am suddenly changing lane but he would pretend not to acknowledge that ………. Once we were returning from Niagara after a vacation trip and I insisted that it’s ok for me to drive, I can do this I told my husband. The long highways typically have only 2 lanes. He tried to warn me but gave up ……….I was doing fine until I saw that killer truck (I used to call it in my mind) to my right lane. I started pulling back and slowed down way too much, there was a huge line of cars tailgating angrily behind me, and some of them even honked. I was nervous, I wanted to speed up pass the truck and then change lanes to give them a pass. But I couldn’t. I was sweating all over. Howsoever I tried doing that, that image of getting hit by that truck kept flashing in front of my eyes…….

I reached home completely distraught and embarrassed. Why was it so hard for me to do that? I kept wondering. I have read zillions of books on how to overcome fear how to be calm and composed and be positive even in the worst of circumstances, then why did I forget them? Why is fear overpowering me so much that I am getting almost paralyzed on the road while driving? I have read Deepak Chopra talking about the power of Visualization, seen Barbara Streisand talk on TV that our visualization is very powerful. And Anthony Robins, Robin Sharma and many more ………. then still why am I not being able to implement that? All my knowledge and reading is false if I am not able to put that into practice.
I decided to make a change. I would overcome my fear through the power of visualization. Every night before going to bed I visualized myself passing the trucks without any fear. I did that for quite some time. The result was not dramatic though. I didn’t see that happening for quite sometime but I didn’t give up. I practiced that everyday. I spoke in a different language to myself. Instead of saying “no it’s not hard to do that” I said “yes I can do this”. I didn’t realize when it became a part of me coz one day I had to reach for an appointment and was kind of rushing as it was rush hour too and changed lanes a few times as there were some slow drivers in front me :) and didn’t realize when and how I passed so many trucks on my way without that thought even occurring to me. It was while coming back when I noticed myself trying to pass a truck I looked back and said to myself, “did I just do that”?

It was the Power of Visualization and the kind of language I spoke to myself that made all the difference………………….
Nothing is out there, its all in our mind and how and what we speak to ourselves………………..

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Awe or Attraction?

"Opposites Attract"! Isn't that a much trite idiom??? I was wondering, we are so used to keep using something without giving enough thought to it.

The other day I went to a party where everything was very smooth and quite interesting. There was a nice flow to it and too much predictability in everything we did. The topics we discussed, the things we shared showed evidently enough that this was a group of like minded people. People had quite similar likes and dislikes and pretty much everyone agreed to what the other person said. But there was something missing............ that spark, that fire which would set all our thoughts ablaze. Someone radical; someone very different from us. These are the people who make an occasion interesting or stimulating. They bring with them a different perspective to everything in life which is very invigorating and refreshing for our mind.

But do we call it attraction? Is our interest in someone just because he is able to hold our interest longer than normal can be called attraction?I don’t think so. It is rather a stimulation of the chemicals in our brains. Those are not very lasting. We are attracted to people with whom we can share a common ground, a level of comfort, with whom we wouldn’t have to worry about ever being misunderstood and where we are even able to communicate without any words or with fewest of them, if at all!

We learn a lot from people who are unlike us. They sure are able to arouse our curiosity, but attracted to them? May be I am taking the meaning of attraction too far but when I look around I see that our closest friends are the people who are inherently like us in their thought pattern. Would it be possible for a fun loving, light hearted person to be attracted to someone who is drawn to intellectualizing or philosophising everything in life? Aren't we more drawn to talking to someone who says or may be thinks like us? To me, in a marriage, an ideal life partner would be the person who would understand without having to say much.

Then is it Awe that our mind confuses with Attraction? May be………………I am sure many would like to differ with me but that might attract them as well?????? :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Simple is Beautiful

Simple is beautiful. It cannot be fragmented into different parts as it is one composite whole without any layers to it. That is the beauty of nature, that is the beauty of music and that is the beauty of knowledge and power. They are so simple that it is hard to explain……..We cannot say which note of piano sounds better than the other, we cannot say, that droplet of water is better than this one or when we are out there enjoying the beauty of nature, it’s hard to figure out if the chirping of birds sounds better or the different colors of trees or the mountain behind it or the sky above it. Despite having their own particular uniqueness, they are all so well amalgamated with each other that they all look like one integral whole……….which cannot be broken into different parts and existence of one without the other is absolutely inconceivable…………….

When I listen to Mozart, Beethoven or pandit Ravishankar, I cannot marvel more at its beauty and power. I just submerge myself in the calmness and serenity that it provides. What Mother Teresa was doing on this earth was so simple that it couldn't have been explained. She was helping people!! but that was the power of it ........

Sometimes it makes me sad to see that in the modern world there is nothing simple, there is no harmony, it is an incongruous Whole where we could very easily do without the other……………..............!

Posted by Jyoti at 11:57 Permanent Link Comments (4)

Goof Ups!

A situation is humorous not by just being what it is. It's the way we look at it, interpret it or see it in that perspective.................

My mom visited me from India to the US and would very easily break into a conversation with an American in Hindi. The other day I had some technicians come over to my house to fix something, and as soon as she opened the door she told them " the lady of the house is not home right now" in HINDI. She realised what was happening when they were still standing there completely blank....................

While driving around, I showed her all kinds of fancy cars, Mercedes, BMW convertibles, Audi, Harley Davidson bike etc etc.......She liked them all, but she asked, I am surprised I didn't see a single Maruti (a very small size Indian car)here!!!!!!!!!!! I was as amused as you are while reading this..................

I love you Mom.

I was caught once for exceeding the speed limit. I heard the siren and saw the lights flashing behind me. No escape, I pulled over, the officer comes and tells me, " mam do you know the reason for being pulled over?A little encouraged at his question, told him, "may be you made a mistake, I did nothing".That may have angered him a little bit, coz he answered" well mam, if an officer catches you it's not because he likes the color of your car".....................

We have the Internet phone. Once I ran into a problem with my computer and called up the customer service. We also have a wireless connection. The guy on the phone started telling me, " OK now take off the wire from the router and connect it directly to the modem". I am admitting awfully embarrassingly that I am not very good at these things and the terminology is confusing too. I asked that guy " which one is a modem and which one is a router"? I may have kind of freaked him out as there was total silence on the other side for a few seconds. Then after a pause, he said OK let's do this. Let's reboot the computer once. Confidently I said, oh yeah that's not a problem. He said, pl. go ahead and pull the plug out from the outlet.I did that, and guess what, I forgot that I had the Internet phone...................................

I hope we never loose the ability to laugh at ourselves .....................

Posted by Jyoti at 10:03 Permanent Link Comments (2)

Life, The way we look at it!

Everything in life depends on how we characterize something. The human desires are so powerful that should there be a delay in achieving or obtaining what we want or crave so earnestly for, we start looking for excuses to comfort ourselves falsely. We start thinking that there must be something out there having an external form, which is coming in our way. We do not think about the issue from an objective standpoint. We fail to do an introspection of ourselves as to where we might be going wrong!

Throughout the history, the greatest achievers have been the people who did not give in to the pressure or stress of the daily lives. The problems were never bigger than them. Their imaginations and ideas were much more powerful than any obstacles that might have come their way. Abraham Lincoln’s life is a glaring example of that. There wasn’t a single tragedy that he did not experience in his life, be it the death of his own children, failure in his career or battling depression, but he stood stalwart and withstood everything like a rock. We also have some great examples of the people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey etc...........

Through various experiences in life, I have come to realize that no feat is ever achieved without having the perseverance, the passion and the persistence to go for it.........

"The moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves, too"

I am learning at every stage in my life. Whenever one door closes another opens. ........................

Posted by Jyoti at 14:39 Permanent Link Comments (4)

A Talent Show

“Star voice of India” modeled after “American idol” is one of the good programs that star TV has started recently. It’s refreshing to see that they are able to think beyond the rigmarole of saas - bahu(in-laws) drama. We got star TV because my husband wanted to watch the world cup finals. However, that didn’t serve any purpose coz, while we were still contemplating to buy the subscription for the match, which would cost us around $300/ , India was knocked out of the game. My husband was really sad but I was happy that our procrastination saved our money.
Now our Friday evenings are booked for this program. There is complete entertainment for 2 long hrs. First this one then comes laughter challenge which has a lot of originality in it. The participants are good, Sidhu’s opening remarks are original and kind of puts you in the mood! However, if they could do something about Shekhar Suman……….I would’ve enjoyed more.

The participants of the VOI are really talented though. Some of them have become extremely popular as well, as I saw in the news that after a couple of them got eliminated, the crowd went berserk. They took out a torch rally, burned the effigy of VOI and even decided to go and pay their tributes at Vaishno Devi and Ajmer Sharif for their favorites. It seemed like they are starting a political drama now. Well, how could any Indian program run without its uniqueness. Based on how it had been formatted, out of the final 12, every week, one participant, who got the lowest no. of votes would get eliminated. It’s been 10 weeks so far, so we were a little sad that in next 4 weeks this program would get over. But, like I said, how can it loose of the touch of Indianness………the judges fought over their favorites, they had to pacify the angry crowd and may be got a little inspired with Ekta Kapoor where everybody comes back to life after being completely wiped out of the scene. They decided to bring back some contestants who were eliminated, through a “wild card entry”. In the wild card entry, they called in the veterans of the music industry and supposedly, their decision would have been the final one. But after seeing that they didn’t pick up a candidate who happened to be the judge’s favorite, they used their Veto power. So instead of 4 , a number that they had originally decided to bring back , they picked 5. Now the program which was getting over in 4 weeks, got an extra life of supposedly 3 more weeks, but we never know.....

Well, good for the business, but that got me thinking , if they are so uncomfortable with the public vote why did they ever have to go for it in the 1st place? I am a big fan of the American Idol. There also we have seen some very good contestants loosing out based on the public vote, but they had the professionalism to stick to the original format and accept the decision of the masses with dignity. The talent show didn’t turn into a popularity contest. I don’t mean any disrespect, but I don’t like the idea of trying to win through emotional appeal. Calling one’s grandparents to get the masses moving is not fair to the other contestants. Well that’s another issue altogether.

I can’t wait to see who is going to be that lucky person who will wear the crown of VOI, or,will it be person(s)…………….!! We’ll see………………..

Posted by Jyoti at 19:22 Permanent Link Comments (1)

My daughter, My Inspiration

The world through the eyes of a child seems like the most interesting place to live. It was Saumya’s (my 4 year old ) birthday on Oct 18. I went to her school with a beautiful marble cake with whipped cream toppings and exclusive decorations of Princess Barbie on top of it. Apart from that, I bought some birthday paper hats and paper whistle and small little candies. As I walked through the door, the excitement on the face of all the children was a delightful experience. As saumya cut the cake and distributed the goodie bags of Dora for girls and Soccer for boys, the kids almost jumped in excitement .The most exciting thing they found was the most inexpensive paper hats which I had got 2 for a quarter. They wore the hats and sang and clapped for saumya while she was cutting the cake. Saumya felt like a princess and the most important person on this earth which was evident through the proud feelings on her face. I was a quiet spectator to the joy of the moment and thought to myself that no other thing can even come closer to such an innocent pleasure and joy like this.

There are very few moments in life when people can call themselves to be truly happy without any associated worries and tensions of the adult life. That was one of the moments when my happiness was pure and pious. I was so overwhelmed at the expressions of the kids and seeing my daughter brimming with life and enthusiasm on her birthday that I almost forgot it was time to leave....... On my way out, the kids thanked me for bringing cake and gifts for them and saumya came running to hug me and kiss me goodbye. As I started driving, still lost in that priceless moment, caught myself thinking, how our birthdays come and go and instead of celebrating them and living in the joy of the moment, we sit back complaining about all that has gone wrong and how truly unhappy we are and how much we lack in comparison to so many people on this earth.

As we grow older, we start getting disconnected with our present .Every moment we are either thinking about what is beyond our control as that moment has gone by; or something which is still out there in the future. More often than not, my daughter makes me realize that today is the only reality and we should bask in the glory of each passing moment with it. Should something go wrong, my daughter tells me, her eyes sparkling, “its ok mommy we will get it right next time”. There is nothing impossible for her, there’s nothing unachievable for her. She is always ready and says brimming with enthusiasm“yes I can do this mommy”!!

This is what we are lacking in our lives, the power of now, the positivity and the ability to move on!!!!!

Posted by Jyoti at 01:27 Permanent Link Comments (3)