Reading List Interchange

Usually, I am the one to pound Adi’s email inbox with must-read articles.

Nowadays, he forwards the most interesting stuff about latest research,findings and articles.

Here is one that caught my eye.

How To Live The Good Life: 4 Easy Secrets Backed By Research

Here’s how to live the good life and easily boost the positive emotions in your life:
Smile: Flex that happiness muscle. (Feel free to thank me repeatedly over the next three decades.)
Laugh: How many things prevent divorce and can help you deal with the passing of a loved one?
Touch: Telling them how you feel need not involve telling. And you’ll be a better team.
Tease: Free your inner snark. A little teasing makes things fun. And it makes things last.

Nietzsche once wrote:A person’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.

And what do kids do a lot more often than we adults do?

Smile.
Laugh.
Touch.
Tease.

Today, resolve to approach life like a big kid. Now that’s the good life.

 

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Are you turning Better or Bitter?

I usually don’t fall sick. When I sense the onslaught of a sickness, I use the power of my mind to fight it.
Perhaps, that is what is keeping this terrible cold that wants to torture me at bay. That combined with coat, socks, scarf and being dressed like an Eskimo inside the house.

Anyways, we are about a month away from the year to end. So, here are my reflective thoughts.

bitter-or-better-ambal-balakrishnan

Over the last few years, I have realized only 2 things happen to people as they grow up. They either become BITTER or they become BETTER. That is it. Those are the only 2 things that happened.

That is my hypothesis. You don’t have to agree with it. In fact, I much rather that you go through your own reflection and prove me wrong.

So, let me explain my thinking.

I went through a lot of hardships when I was my younger self.
I think those experiences have left me very resilient.
I laugh now more than I ever did .
I take on challenges with a rather playful attitude.
I have also had the fortune of meeting many cherished souls that despite so many hardships, have become better over the years.
They have seen tough times and have done the “Phoenix Rising” act many times over. I adore these people. I look up to them as my role models. I learn from them. They inspire me to get better as I age.

Sadly, that is not everybody. Several people become bitter over the years. It is very sad to see. But, that is the unfortunate truth.

I think not facing adversity in life during early years possibly has something to do with it. They might have not built the “I-have-digged-myself-out-of-deep-shit-and-can-do-it-all-over-again” muscle. But, here is the good news. It is never too late to build that muscle and turn out better.

I also think that not planning for one’s life in early years or placing importance on things that don’t actually matter…leaves one very susceptible to “issues” later on in life.

One of my favorite Tamil poets Vairamuthu says:
Chinna chinna tholvi ketten
Seekkiram aarum kaayam ketten

What it means is the following:
I ask for small failures.
I ask for wounds that will heal soon.

I recite this poem to the boys often.
I wish failure and wounds for them and myself.
I want them and myself to continue to build resilience.
I fight hard to control my motherly instinct.
I let them fight the good fight for themselves.
I step back more often than I should.
Trust me, it requires a lot of self control to step back.

My mother in law used to tell me “Ambal, only keep the good memories”. That is also something that I teach the boys.

Do yourself a favor. Find somebody that really knows you, cares for you and is a straight shooter.

Ask them, “Am I getting bitter or better?”

I hope I’ll only grow better.
I hope that you’ll only grow better.

Because, after this game ends, I would so want to see you on the other side in the Better Camp.

Alrighty?

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The Starbucks Barista spelt my name correctly!

My throat was hurting due to the cold and fever. I really needed something hot. Because I looked like crap today, I decided to shed my cool and mysterious “Agent A” persona and gave my actual name to the Starbucks barista.

Guess what happened?

name-spelled-correctly-by-barista

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On Bells and Chimes

Bells and Chimes are used in cultures throughout the world in ceremonies and religious places. There is many reasons for this. But, the one that I like the most is the following –

The sound produced by a bell is designed to strike a cordial balance between our right and left brain. The striking of the bell is believed to instantly halt all thought movement, creating a natural state of awareness. This also works to soothe the mind. The ringing of the bell produces a sharp sound which reverberates for approximately 7 seconds as an echo, long enough to touch on the seven healing centers or chakras in our body.

A well designed bell can produce resounding strains of the sound of “OM”.

With that background, let me recount for you what happened today morning.

It was a windy day here in Austin. I walked into the Sri Venkateswara Temple of Austin (which had the Maha kumbhabhishekam last weekend). As I walked into the temple courtyard, I was pleasantly surprised by the sound of the bells. I just stood there for several minutes focusing on the sound and taking it all in.

Here is a short recording.

I hope the sound of the wind and the sound of the bell brings you as much joy as it did to me today morning.

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A Spring Dandelion – Here today…and gone tomorrow

I am sleep deprived, caffeine deprived and carbs deprived today….which, for me, means being in a hallucinatory state.
Even with all that going on today evening, this Spring dandelion looks beautiful to me.

Because,
I know,
this dandeloin…
like people…
like moments…
like life…
will be…
here today…
and gone tomorrow.

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