Reflections and Resolutions

It is almost a week till Christmas (and yes before you say it, it is definitely one of my favourite festivals and time of the year) and I am sat here at the table with a cup of coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon reflecting on this past year and the year to come. This is the time where we all stuff ourselves with mince pies and drink way too much mulled wine, and come January resolve to sign up to the gym, exercise at least thrice a week and eat no sugar!! I know I certainly have and my resolution started with much gusto lasts a total of a week at the most!

I probably will do it all again this year but for today I wanted to write about three ladies who have personally inspired me this year and how I would love to imbibe some of their qualities/teachings as I see myself into the new year.

  1. Eli Shafak – Author of forty rules of love

I stumbled upon her book by chance, thanks to my mother’s love of reading and instilling this in me as well. Her book is so beautifully written and warmed my soul directly. It is full of history – about the bond between the poet Rumi and his guru Shamz-e-Tabrizi, wisdom about the teachings and beliefs of sufis and an insight into the true/higher meaning of life where the modern is blended with the mystic. It is a book that anyone and everyone can relate to at various levels.

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She is a Turkish author whose parents separated when she was young and was brought up by a single parent. She is now a successful author, has won various prizes and lives in London. I recently watched one of her TEDx talks where she says anyone can write about anything. I have always wanted to start a blog where I can pen down my thoughts and write about my journey through life and was inspired to do this. I have always had a thirst to learn more about other people and their experiences and better myself as a human being not only learning through my own journey through life but also theirs. This blog has opened up a world of knowledge/life experiences out there and I am truly grateful for that!

eli-shafak

The book also inspired me to start on a spiritual quest, something that has always drawn me and I have wanted to pursue.

I hope in the year 2017, I continue to strengthen my passion for writing and spirituality.

2. My Mother – entrepreneur and founder of @rosamysticaindia

The words that always come to my mind when I think of my mother are – will power, strength, integrity and compassion. She is truly an incredible woman who has faced several obstacles in life – to do with family, health, friends, career and has always braved these with immense strength and determination and triumphed. She has sacrificed and compromised a whole lot for her family and her love is truly unconditional.

She recently started an NGO called Rosa Mystica. It is an initiative aimed at empowering the women of Garhwal, India by showcasing their talent.These women are mostly single parents striving to provide a better future for their family or women who are struggling to make ends meet. I have never seen anyone so dedicated and passionate about her work and cause.

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I have always loved and enjoyed being creative and as a result I created an instagram and Facebook page dedicated to this noble cause. Please check out their instagram page @rosamysticaindia or Facebook page to learn about their work in more detail.

www.facebook.com/rosamysticaindia/

Here is a sneak peak of an ethnic and vibrant kurti that these ladies made. All their products are handmade and made with a lot of handwork and love. You name it and they make it: clothes for women/men/children, fashion accessories, bedding items, home goods such as hot water bottle covers, table runners, dining table covers, place mats, potholders etc, handmade cards etc.

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In 2017, I hope to have more compassion, passion for what I do and will power to see through any obstacles and goals.

3. A friend 

What i admire the most in this dear friend of mine is her determination and motivation to stay fit. She goes to the gym everyday without fail and eats in moderation (without depriving herself of sweet treats/eating out). She always strives to stay healthy and happy.

We really need to learn to respect our bodies, the saying that we are what we eat is true to a great degree. A healthy body and mind are key ingredients to a happy life full of contentment.

What I admire about her is not going on ‘crash diets’ for a certain occasion or to fit into a dress or prepare for a beach holiday. Those kinds of diet don’t last for long. I did one myself before my wedding (kind of) and did manage to lose weight but have not been able to sustain it.

In 2017, I hope to become more fit by exercises a bit more regularly and indulging in yoga and meditation to heal my body and mind.

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So bring on 2017 and the challenge to advance myself….physically, mentally and spiritually 🙂

Photo sources:

  1. amazon.com
  2. cnn.com
  3. my visions.org

Rosa Mystica

” She is worth far more than rubies” – Proverbs 31;10

Today, I am going to write about something that is close to my heart and I strongly advocate and believe in.

Since childhood I have encountered strong, hard-working, beautiful and independent women numerous times. I have always admired the sheer enthusiasm, passion and determination to succeed in these women. They are not just beautiful on the outside but more importantly, beautiful on the inside. One such woman is my mother, who at a very early stage in my life embedded both a desire and a need to be independent in every way, emotionally and financially, regardless of the circumstances. She has immense will power and is a perfectionist, always trying her very best and giving it her all.

Recently, along with another such woman, she started a venture in our local hometown in Dehradun, India called ‘Rosa Mystica’. It is an initiative consisting of women who are single parents or the only bread earner in the family or striving to become financially more secure in order to provide a better future for their families. Using their talent and creative skills, these wonderful ladies produce beautiful handmade clothes, accessories and household items. It is truly incredible to see how determined, hard working and passionate these women are. Here is a picture of all of them at work;

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The items that they are selling are ethnic and chic, and adds that extra bit of touch to ones home decor, wardrobe and they also make lovely presents. All these items are handmade, using block printing, eco dye (environment friendly), embroidery, knitting as skills. They are available in cotton, silk or woollen. Below is a link to their Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/rosamysticaindia/

My personal favourites are the hand knitted dolls.

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Ethnic hand made cards

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Quilt covers for those chilly winters and to add some extra colour to the bedding:

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Block printing for dining/coffee table runners and on the right is a scarf:

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Ethnic tote bags and cute frock:

Embroidery and block printing:

From the ladies of Rosa Mystica:

“We have an immense reserve of strength inside that emerges when life puts us to test and when we face challenges to bring up our children and both financially and emotionally support our families.
We are thinkers, creative women of substance, looking for avenues that would bring a positive change in our lives and strengthen the world around us.

We would like your encouragement and support to make this venture a success and empower us.”

A breath of fresh air

 

The sky was overcast yesterday with grey and black hues,

Were the clouds going to transform into torrential rain I didn’t have a clue,

My heart however, desired to venture out and breathe in the fresh winter air,

And also to feed the magnificent birds as planned, it was only but fair.

The more I contemplate on the best course of action to take, the harder it gets to make a decision. Whilst it is sensible to always weigh the pros and cons, especially when important life changing decisions are concerned it is also equally important to follow your heart and take a risk once in a while. There is an extremely thin line between being practical and spontaneous; one which we have to carefully tread.

I have always found it hard to make decisions, over-thinking things and possibly thinking the worst outcome of any course of action I chose to take; but whatever little experience I have had in life all I can say with conviction is ‘If you don’t try it, you will never know’. Be it with decisions related to work, relationships, personal well-being or small day to day choices we make. Which dish do I order at this restaurant? Should I try something new or stick to the one I know is good?; which outfit should I wear to this special event? Should I agree to do that project when I am not sure I will enjoy it? Should I speak to this person – what will they think or say? And so on.

So rain or no rain; despite the overcast sky I decided to take a walk around where I live. I live in a set of apartments with a view of the city as well as the calming water of the Quays (best of both worlds) and there are a number of beautiful ducks and swans around this area. I have always wanted to take some time out to to feed them; something that I imagined to be a therapeutic process. My excitement was palpable when I bought that loaf of bread to break bit by bit and watch these elegant birds eat it. As I approached the waterfront and took out the loaf to open; what seemed like a million swans/ducks/pigeons/birds all sensed the treat and made a dash towards me unexpectantly. It got to the point where I got visibly concerned and had to half abandon the bird feeding and run a safe distance away whilst requesting my husband to complete the task I had so confidently started. He was braver than me and emerged victorious. It was hardly the ‘therapeutic process’ I had hoped for it to be; but nevertheless I was happy by the end of it.

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Elated by the short-lasting experience we nipped into the outlet mall next door as I really wanted to check out a store organised by the Francis House Childrens’ Hospice called ‘Festival of Christmas trees’. It is a store full of beautifully decorated glittery christmas trees and decorations by various retail stores and one can bid on each tree; all proceeds go to the hospice. It was a magical store. I later on checked out their website: www.francishouse.org.uk

I found these cute promotional items and tea towels designed by the children and bought the tea towels!

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So back to the start, to all decisions we make; however big or small is always a learning experience. It might not always work out as we would expect it to but on the other hand work out brilliantly and surprise us! You never know what is there around the corner and for the series of events to truly unfold, sometimes you just have to take the plunge.  After all, if you don’t try it, you will never know!

 

 

 

If -Rudyard Kipling

A very good morning to all!:) Thought I would start the day today by reading a very meaningful poem that I had stumbled across many years ago, and that cast an everlasting impression on me!

I thought I would attach a picture of my hometown (Dehradun) in India. This is on the way up to the mountains (Mussoorie) which is the start of the Himalayan range. This picture was taken during sunset. Very serene and a great view to look at and reflect/do some soul searching.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

By: Rudyard Kipling

Have a gorgeous day 🙂

 

A Love-ly Breakfast

I am not sure how I feel about Sundays. My Sundays usually commence mid-day at the latest followed by a good few hours of procrastination, until I feel utterly depressed around evening time for being such a sloth coupled with the knowledge of the impending doom of Monday and the week ahead. But no feeling like that today, because I am off work (please read my first post if you have a burning desire to learn why). https://onedayatatime665.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/img_5893.jpg?w=1462

I actively attempted not to browse any of my usual online retail therapy stores, thanks to my bulging wardrobe, my rapidly decreasing bank balance and my new resolve to not be so in love with all things material and embark on more of a spiritual journey.

I did however, browse amazon for items to make my flat a home (I am newly married and also a bit in love with interior designing) and lo behold! I do not know how but after a great deal of browsing, tabs, websites and what not I found out that certain organisations and institutes did an amazon wish list where you could buy things required by them. And trust me, not all items are expensive! The ones that stumbled upon were Ronald McDonald House (rmhc.org.uk), which provides free accommodation to families whose children are in the hospital and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital (childsplaycharity.org). Did I really need that extra lamp for the living room? Nope,I didn’t! But wouldn’t it be nice to buy that toy for a sick child in the hospital? Or those paper plates and flower bracelets? And this is what I exactly did!
By this time, my husband was up unexpectantly from a deep slumber post his night shift on call due to an even deeper rumble in his belly. And suddenly I realised that I hadn’t eaten since I had woken up (it was 2pm), just a cup of delicious coffee, oh how I love you so! And so after a long time we decided to cook ‘breakfast’ together. He was in charge of the chopping and washing and I was in charge of making the omelette stuffed with tomatoes, cheese, peppers, chilli and onion. It turned out to be absolutely delicious and I am afraid I do not have evidence in pictures of our lovely breakfast as we devoured it because both of us (me especially) were on the brink of being ‘hangry’. 

But wasn’t it just lovely to do something together as a team, to share this small portion of the day. We didn’t do a great deal of talking except cooking related, but coupled with the music, a number of silly dance moves and trying to show off our culinary skills….a lot was said unknowingly and filled me with so much warmth and love. Next time you get a chance from your busy schedules, do try this; the cooking not the silly dance moves, although thats entirely up to you 🙂 – could be a partner, friend, sibling, parent, anyone.

Not such a bad Sunday after all eh?

ps: I have to post a picture of my beloved coffee machine here, please pay special attention to the mug 😉