Tag Archives: be present

Give yourself a break….

girl-517555_1280 via pixabayIt was not so very long ago that I never would give myself a break if I made a mistake.

My inner dialogue  would be so mean and hateful towards myself that nothing anyone else could say would even come close to the sting I could give to me.

I have been working on this, slowly and deliberately. It has been a journey.

One never really knows how one will do on a test until the test is over.

I had one such test a few weeks ago while pulling out of a tight parking spot from a Bed and Breakfast.

I had a rental car that was very low to the ground and I was trying to get out of a tight parking space.

I scratched the rental car and I did not beat up myself.

I heard the S. C. R. A. T. C. H.

And thought, “Oh no … that’s not a good sound!”

I did NOT think, “There you go you idiot, can’t drive to save your life!”

I pulled the car to a safe place and got out to take a look.

Yep, I did a good job.

It would be a claim for sure.

I filled the car with gas before I returned it, and I called the insurance company to start the claim process.

I kept a clear head, got all the details and was able to procure all the paperwork needed from the car rental company.

I got on my flight and took a nap.

Yep… I was able to take a nap!

I was so calm and so peaceful with myself that I was able to PUT OUT of my mind all that the morning brought.

This skill, of staying present, has been hard fought.

I used to really beat myself up if I made a mistake.

I was so hard on myself that I made myself sick.

I encourage you to listen to your self talk as you go through life and begin to clean it up and give yourself a break.

Love and light,

Indrani

How important is it to you?

gloves via cocoparisienne on PixabayRecently I was on a flight to an important business meeting. I was very organized and even brought my lunch from home so I would have a healthy choice.

I made it easy on myself, I packed the food in disposable containers and put it in its own bag so I could throw away the whole thing when I was done.

Things went very well, I ate a little, took a little nap and then ate some more. The attendant came around and I pushed the trash into the rolling cart myself.

Then, I had a thought… did I throw my telephone away in the food bag?

I reached under the seat, dragged my purse out and searched every nook and cranny on the inside.

No phone.

I sat back and took a deep breath.

What was my next step?

Well, that’s easy, go thru the trash!

I walked to the back of the plane and told the attendants my dilemma and they gave me some gloves and I got busy.

I dived into the rolling cart of trash.

I was so happy to have the gloves and to have had the presence of mind to look for my phone while I was still on the flight.

I looked thoroughly. I did not find it.

I had to rethink… if it’s not in the trash then I must not have searched my purse very carefully.

So I walked back to my seat and emptied my whole purse and there, in a very hidden pocket, I found it. I smiled!

Let me tell you what was great about this event:

1.  I never, not even once, called myself a name!
2.  I never spoke disparagingly about myself to the attendants!
3.  I never once complained about having to dig in the trash!

As I sat in my seat being grateful for the positive outcome I realized that there were hidden lessons in this experience.

What if we could identify the very important things in life that we lose, the VERY moment that we lose them? What if, we could arm ourselves with what we need, like gloves for trash diving, and we could happily get the work done?

We would get the work done because we would know that it was too important to lose.

The first time we lose our self respect, we go looking for it and not rest until we figured out what happened.

The first time we disrespected a child by screaming or physically abusing, we would stop and apologize and get help to treat them better in the future.

We would not blame them for our inability to be mature adults.

If we could really look at life and what we lose everyday the way we look at our prized possessions, we have a really great chance of keeping our humanity intact and we have a greater chance of keeping the relationships that are important to us.

Get those emotional gloves on and a start digging for the gifts you may have misplaced.

It’s your quality of life and it’s worth the effort.

 

Love & light,

Indrani

A compliment well placed is a gift to the receiver….

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a restaurant with a dear friend, her niece and another young lady.

The two young people were elegant and beautiful and had gorgeous bodies and were professional dancers with Brittany Spears’ Las Vegas Extravaganza.

I was loving being in the company of my friend and these two shiny young people. I was being my 60 years old self. I was mothering the whole group.

In the middle of dinner, a woman from another table came over to say something.

I thought she was coming to ask where something was or to tell the two young ones that they were beautiful or to tell my friend that she knew her from her TED talk.

It was none of the above.

She made her way over to tell Me that I was beautiful and that my smile was lovely!

Wait…What?

I quickly got up from my table and gave her the biggest hug ever and told her she made my life, not just my day.

Why was I surprised?

I was surprised because that had never happened before.

Actually, I am usually the one telling strangers how beautiful they they look.

I have to say, being on the receiving end of a compliment from a delightful stranger was a real boost to my ego.

Don’t we all need a boost?

Do you ever see someone looking so put together and being quiet about it?

How about you spread those compliments around?

The aftermath of me receiving the compliment was that the young ladies were saying, “what about me?”

They already knew they looked like a million dollars!

It was good for them to see that age does not mean “dead” or “unattractive.”

Maybe when they are 60, as I am now, they too will be on the receiving end of a surprise compliment.

 

Love & light,

Indrani

Sledge hammers, rubber mallets, nail guns…what’s your tool of choice?

woman-with-toolbeltYou must have heard the adage, “if the only tool you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail.”

If you have not heard it, now you have.

I was thinking about expanding on this… what if you only have nails and you need a hammer? Then you have to determine what kind of hammer you need, right?

For instance, if you need to put a small nail in the wall to hold a small painting it would not help to use a sledge hammer because you would not have any wall left.

If you needed to put together some delicate furniture that needed some good pressure, you better use a rubber mallet and that too, very gingerly.

If we can expand this metaphor into the challenges that life gives, we must determine exactly what king of challenge is at hand and what kind of hammer we need.

If a child makes a mistake, say spills milk or pushes a sibling, then using a switch to beat the living daylights out of him, a la Adrian Peterson, is akin to using a sledge hammer. Your aim will be to inflict the most pain for the smallest injury.

Why would anyone choose to do that?

In my experience, sledge hammers and rubber mallets are NEVER needed, nor are nail guns. Instead what we usually need is to take a time out and to discover what other tools we have in our tool belt.

When you have a challenge, take a time out instead of taking out the sledgehammers.

Everyone will be happier.

 

Love and light,
Indrani.

The languages of life… What’s your fluency?

woman_talking_iStock_000008940784XSmallYou may have heard of the very popular book called “Five Love Languages.”

The book tells us the different ways that we show love and how we like for love to be shown to us.

I was having an intriguing conversation with a dear friend this week and it occurred to me that when people speak, they immediately tell us what kind of person they are.

They can see the world in any variety  of ways and often all we need to do is USE our two ears more consistently than we use our one mouth.

We need to listen more than we speak.

When we listen, really listen, we will be able to hear what kind of life language people are using…

Positivity speak
Joy speak
Hopeful speak
Victim speak
Negativity speak
Powerless speak

I know that you understand what I mean.

I recently reached out to an acquaintance and asked how they were doing, and the litany of complaints began. I immediately felt deflated. I felt like saying, has nothing positive happened in this whole year?

I did not. Instead I just listened and made an excuse and got off the telephone.

If we wish to elevate our spirit, we must choose carefully the kind of person with whom we commune.

Now, comes the scary question, what life language do you speak?

Are you one of the people who is uplifting or down putting?

If you don’t know, try listening to yourself.

If you don’t know how to listen to yourself, then ask a trusted friend how you come across and promise them to not shoot the messenger.

It is a worthy exercise.

Try it.

 
Love and light,

 
Indrani

Let’s all do more of these in the New Year…..

Happy-New-Year-2014-Blast-Wishes-Greating-Card1

Smile more.

Speak with compassion.

Help a stranger.

Take more steps and move your body.

Tell yourself you ARE good enough.

Eat 5% more healthy.

Complete this sentence:
If I were to follow my purpose I would be brave enough to ________________.

Now find a way to begin that journey.

A very happy 2015!

 

Love & light,

TEAM ILF

A2A….Awareness to Action

listen-to-your-bodyI went to an AA meeting many years ago with a friend. AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are meetings all over the world many times a day where people who are struggling with addiction have a safe place to speak about their struggles.

The meetings do require people who wish to speak to say their name and to say, “I am an Alcoholic.”

The simple power of this introduction leaves no room in the mind of the speaker or the listener about the challenges being faced.

I would like to borrow this concept but I want to call it A2A.

What would Awareness to Action look like?

It would begin with the uneasy feeling that something might be wrong.

How do I know that something may be wrong?

That’s the easy part.

We would be on edge, scared and not able to identify the fear, sick to our stomach, etc.

These would be signs that our body is giving us that STUFF is awry!

The easy thing to do here is to ignore the feelings of dis-ease and discomfort. That is what most people do. They push down all the whisperings that the body sends our way. The headache? A whisper! The nausea? A whisper? The inability to speak? A whisper.

Whispers are manifesting in our bodies everyday.

My idea of A2A, Awareness 2 Action, is to listen to the whispers. To allow the self to feel the discomfort.

If you allow the feeling to continue to whisper and to give up the wisdom you will be able to find a path through the challenge.

So the next time you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, ask yourself these simple questions:

What’s happening in my body?

What are my thoughts about what I am feeling?

If you can take your blood pressure to see if it’s elevated that will be a sign that something internal is off.

Use all the whispers of the body to inform how you will navigate the challenges.

The challenges will always come and its up to you to be aware of them and to take informed action.

 

Love and light,

Indrani

Female Avatars – Helping teach about gender equality?

Untitled“Why are you playing as a girl?”

“I’m not, it is just a boy with long hair.”

“Oh, ok. Can I watch?”

This conversation between me and my son seems innocent enough, and, a few months ago, before starting to work with Indrani’s Light Foundation, it probably would have remained in my brain filed away as “not a big deal.”

But, through my work with the Live a Brighter Life training, corresponding with the ILF Team, and the research I have done for articles and blog posts, this was no longer a casual comment by my son. It worried me.

Why at the age of seven was he cautious when he thought my character’s avatar was a girl, but excited to watch me play when he discovered I was playing the game as a boy?

My mind quickly returned to another conversation we had also had about Tamora Pierce’s “Song of the Lioness Quartet”, a series of books we were thinking of reading, until my son found out the protagonist was a girl.

This was now the start of a pattern and it worried me even more.

So, I did the only thing I could think of to, hopefully, change my son’s view and start some conversation:

I deleted my character and made a new one, this time a female character.

It didn’t take long for my son to notice. The next time he came to the basement while I was playing the game we had another conversation.

“Where’s your other character?”

“I got rid of him and made this one.”

“Is that a GIRL?”

“Yes it is a girl”

“Why are you playing as a girl?”

“Because I think she is way cooler than my first character. She is a warrior and uses this big sword and charges into the bad guys to fight”

Long pause.

“Can I watch?”

 

Will my playing a female, instead of male, character make a huge difference in how my son perceives gender roles and stereotypes? I have no idea. But I figure it can’t hurt and we are at least talking about it now and can continue to talk about it when he watches me play.

Equally important, this video game and conversation has me realizing areas in my life where I am modeling behavior that is supporting gender stereotypes and inequality and I need to change that.

Asasha Veil, my female character, is at least one step in the right direction.

 

Does making a small change like this help? What seemingly small changes could you make to help model gender equality? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Love & light,

Jeremie Miller

LABL 006: Being Present – Be Physically and Emotionally Present

Welcome to Episode #6 of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast!

In this episode of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast Indrani and Andrea discuss being present. Specifically you will:

  • Reflect on all that you have learned
  • Determine your easiest path to living a brighter life
  • Reflect on your experiences over the course of the workshops
  • Assess your own shift in self-perception
  • Write a letter of self gratitude

Podcast Recording

When the going got tough… I had to find a way to keep going

*Psst.. Did you know you can highlight any sentence in this post to automatically share it via Twitter or Facebook? Go ahead, give it a try!**


cheerful-happy-woman-enjoying-nature-beautiful-sky-balloonsI have been having some significant issues the past few weeks.

Most of the time I am able to stay in the moment and to stay out of negative thinking and self judgment. However, a few days ago, all my resolve fell apart and I had nothing left.

I could not crawl into a hole and hide. I could not run away from home. I could not stop caring for the people around me.

I had to find a way through a difficult 24-72 hour period.

So I chose to live by the positive psychology of PERMA.

P is for Positive Emotion
E is for Engagement
R is for Relationship
M is for Meaning and Purpose
A is for Achievement

These five elements are what make life sweet.

If the details of each day put a little deposit into each of the buckets and you can look at the day and feel good and positive about what you accomplished then you are living with PERMA.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you are facing some significant personal issues and you have no energy to  do anything for anyone but you want to do a little something for a few key people and you want to feel great about what you do.

Pick a person who needs a little help and do just a small thing, like maybe giving them some tea or a meal or just a call on the tele.

When you do this small thing you will get Positive Emotion from the deed.

You will be Engaged with the person you love.

You will be building the Relationship with that person.

You will have done something that gives Meaning and Purpose to your life.

You will have Achieved something with and for them.

Stacking up these bits of PERMA during a tough day will make you feel a lot better AND will flood your brain with Positive emotion.

It’s not always easy to find something that fills all the buckets, so just being able to fill 3 or 4 is a great start.


Love and light,


Indrani