Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Five Inspirational Quotes To Help You Experience The Beauty Of The Present Moment


                        Photo Credit- Shubha Apte

Can you think of a time when you completely lost yourself in whatever you were doing?

 While you were on holiday, spending time on the beach or lounging around the poolside, reading a great book.

You only have control over when you stay in the present moment. Enjoying the moment is all about enjoying what you thrive on in the present. 

But the reality is that most of us are daydreaming about the future or the past. We find ourselves preoccupied with the worries of the future or the regrets of the past.

Living in the present moment and taking things one at a time ensures we are always calm. 

The biggest lesson for me was when one of my close friends went through surgery and chemotherapy and was in severe pain. I was there with her, holding her hand without speaking and without distraction. Just being present there was beneficial for her.

I see this often when I completely immerse myself in my consulting assignment or a one to one coaching. If my focus shifts and I get distracted, it immediately reflects on my work, and my clients feel I'm elsewhere.

But if I am completely lost in what I am doing, the time flies swiftly, and the outcome is satisfying both for the client and me.

The quotes highlight the importance of mindfulness and being fully present in the current moment.

"Mindfulness isn't difficult, we just need to remember to do it."- Sharon Salzberg.


 "Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply." Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh quote encourages us to practice living mindfully and being present in the here and now rather than being caught up in the thoughts about the past or the future.

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past,worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly." Buddha.

The quote suggests that dwelling on the past or worrying about the future can be detrimental to our health and well-being. Instead, we should cultivate mindfulness and awareness of the present moment and approach it with wisdom.

"When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle." Osho.

Osho's quote implies that being fully present in the moment is a precious experience that can be transformative. We can profoundly experience the miracle of life. We can let go of worries, distractions and preoccupations and be present in the moment with an open and receptive mind.

"Remember, then: there is only one time that is important-Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power." Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's quote suggests that the present moment is the most important time because it is the only time we have any power. It encourages us to focus on the now and take action towards creating the future we desire.

 A Story.

I remember a story that I had read about a young receptionist, Deanne, at a large corporation. She was getting depressed and upset about her job as a receptionist. She wanted to move to a more respected position in the organization. 

When the company's managing director noticed her downbeat attitude and asked her what was wrong, she told him she wanted to move on because she felt the other staff members and the customers didn't appreciate her. 

He listened to her and told her the magic words that immediately changed her attitude. He told her she was the director of first impressions. No other person in the organization has the power to affect so many people daily.

Deanne immediately realized the importance of her role and, from then on, threw herself into the job because she had the chance to make or break the company with every call she answered and every client she greeted at the reception. 

Her self-esteem and confidence grew, and everyone complimented her work style. She decided to dress more smartly and professionally. From then on, she enjoyed the moment, loved her job, and was promoted.

You chose to be happy and in the moment because you decided to enjoy the moment that was the defining element in achieving all that joy.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Unexpected Acts Of Kindness- How Strangers Can Restore Your Faith In Humanity.


Photo by Maria Lupan on Unsplash

Open the morning newspaper, and you find a report of some unkind act glaring at you. Switch on the television news channels, and you see stories of war and brutality on the screens. In such an uncertain world, you begin to wonder if we humans have lost our capacity to love and be kind.

The 14th Dalai Lama talks about how he is moved by the example of small insects such as the bees and their sense of social responsibility. The law of nature dictates that the bees work together to survive. They work together, build colonies and survive based on cooperation.

Despite our intelligence and a heart with a great capacity to love, we humans lag behind these tiny insects. We are poorer than the bees.

Kindness Opens Doors For New Relationships.

“Kindness is a passport that opens doors and fashions friends. It softens hearts and moulds relationships that can last lifetimes.” — Joseph B. Wirthlin.

Kindness tends to increase positivity and connectivity with others. It helps to enhance and open the door for new relationships.

When I was in 10th grade, my parents had planned a holiday in Jammu and Kashmir. Travelling from Kutch, located on the western border of India, to Jammu, in the north, took two days of train travel.

One of my uncle’s friends was supposed to receive us in Jammu. Due to some miscommunication, the friend could not make it in time to receive us at the railway station. We decided to hire a cab and search his house. Those were not the days of mobile phones and google — our attempts to find our friend failed.

While knocking on a few doors to ask about our friend, one kind stranger took us into his house. He noticed our weary looks and decided to offer us a bed and breakfast. The next day morning, he located our friend’s house. To this day, I have not forgotten the kind gesture of this gentleman and his wife. We were strangers to him, but he showed humanity by welcoming us.

This incident reminds me that despite what the media shows, the world is not a scary place. It does have kind souls that help strangers.

Miracles are good people with kind hearts.

It is a great feeling to know that you have people in your life who are always there for you. I have friends who will stick with me through thick and thin.

But there are times when you find yourself in a desperate situation, and the only people who come to your rescue are strangers.

I was faced with a desperate situation when I stepped out of the house on a hot summer day to shop for my mom. My husband drove me to the market and decided to wait in the parking lot while I completed my chores.

Shopping was done; I was heading back to the car when I tripped and fell on the busy road. For a minute, I blanked out. I could not get up as my knees, elbows and feet were bruised and bleeding.

There was a crowd, and some men tried to lift my handbag. But sensing my pain and trouble, two young girls quickly came forward and took charge of the situation. They got hold of my belongings and helped me to my feet. They offered me water to drink, got a first aid box from a nearby medical store, applied first aid and then supported me as I limped back to the car.

Had these two young girls not come forward, I would have lost my handbag and mobile and found it challenging to connect with my husband. I thanked the two ladies and offered to pay for the first aid box and medicines. They refused to accept it, instead gave me a warm hug and wished me a speedy recovery.

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” — Eric Hoffer.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Enchanted By The Ethereal Glow


Photo by the author -Shubha Apte

 The full moon is associated with mystery, magic and a sense of wonder and awe. I experienced a feeling of calmness and tranquillity while observing the moonlight on the Ganga in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. Ganga flows through the Himalayan Valley and originates from the mountainous terrains of Rishikesh.

I was in Rishikesh on the full moon day, and my hotel was on the banks of the river Ganga.

To sit on the banks and observe the moonlight spread on the river water can not be described in words but can only be experienced.

It reminded me of William Shakespeare’s magical words,

"How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!

Here will we sit and let the sounds of music

Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night

Become the touches of sweet harmony."

– William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

The full moon day, called Purnima in Hindi, is an auspicious day per the Hindu calendar. During this day, most people observe fast throughout the day and have a light meal at night after sighting the moon.

It is believed that taking light food on the full moon day helps to reduce the acidic content in our body system, slows down metabolic rate and restores the body and mind balance.

The full moon day is considered auspicious and is important in Hinduism because the moon completes its one cycle around the earth, which signifies the end of a chapter in life.


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Self-Love Transformed My Life


I am the sole caregiver for my 93-year-old mom, who was diagnosed with dementia. I had always been under stress thinking about my inability to understand her needs, maintain her hygiene levels and whether I was doing everything right for her comfort.

I was my own worst critic. I had put myself last on the priority list.

I wasn’t taking care of myself and was resisting the need to understand my emotions. I would feel sad, and the sadness became so severe that it overwhelmed my life. That’s when I decided to seek help.

It was only when I accepted that imperfection is human; I felt a weight lifted off my mind.

Self-love wasn’t easy initially. But slowly, I started embracing behaviours that made me feel more positive. I felt more energetic while taking care of my mom after I changed my daily routine.

I enrolled in a guided meditation course, which was very relaxing.

 I started spending an hour every day either going for a long walk or doing yoga. I get up at 5am and go for a walk. Listening to the sound of the wind rustling through the trees and taking in the beauty of the surroundings makes me forget my stress and feel fresh to face the day.

I engage myself in writing and reading. This helps me keep my mind and body nurtured.

I love driving, so the biggest gift I give myself once every two weeks is going on a long drive with no destination in mind. I just put on my favourite music or an interesting podcast and keep driving.

I started connecting with relatives, friends and support groups. This helped me reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness. It provided a sense of security and stability.

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness,”- Robert Morley.

I cannot agree more with Robert Morley.

Besides changing my daily routine, these two positive affirmations help me create a more positive mindset,

  1. I will find joy in everyday moments of life
  2. I don’t have to be perfect to be excellent.

Putting myself first and prioritising time for myself does not mean that I am neglecting my mom. Giving myself more space and making some healthy decisions for my mind, body, and soul has put me in a better form to care about my mom and her needs.

The biggest lesson I learnt was self-love is the most important love of your life, and if you have to share healthy love and relationship with others, love yourself first.

Byron Katie said, “Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.”