08 January 2017

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ATTACHMENT WITH DETACHMENT

I have the pleasure of forwarding a very touching emotional article by Mrs. Chithra vishwanathan a well-known Cooking expert, as to how you can transform your life by transforming your thinking:

"When my daughter, elder one of my two children, got married and left the house, I felt as if I could not let her leave me. Having a daughter and a son, I know what both mean, but differently.

Once my daughter reached her teens I had started feeling as if my daughter was a 'physical extension" of me. So when she was leaving home to set up her own nest, it was as though, I was losing a limb.

The next time she came for a short stay with us, I was astonished how her priorities had changed. (of course we must have given the same shocks to our own parents). When she said Amma, she meant her mother in law, not me!
I imagined that she was always in a hurry to go back to her house and not stay with me for a few more days which I wanted so badly. That was the first time; it dawned on me that I have to start practicing detachment in attachment.

Two years after my daughter’s marriage, my son left for higher studies to U S.

Having experienced a child's separation once, this time I was better equipped emotionally.

I plunged head long into various classes held in the city starting from Vedanta to healing to Ikebana - I just wanted to be away from home. My husband, who was a workaholic, also could not understand my predicament.
My son used to write how he was missing my home cooked food, how he was waiting to come back to live in Chennai with us etc. After a few years, he did come back and we got him married.

He started living separately with his wife & we were also happy that they wanted to be independent. But now, it was all changed!

When in the U S, he missed my cooking. Now if I called him to come over with his wife for a meal, it was always some excuse like "oh, amma, we have other plans for the day, please don't mistake us if we don't drop in today “!
I could see that his priorities had also changed completely.

We talk in theory so many things and give advice to others etc. but when it comes to our own children, acceptance comes very late  and  next step is just leaving them undisturbed in every way, mainly without advice from our end.

It was at that time, I made the following lines as my " new profile":

In all my relationships , rather interactions , I give my best. I work hard to mature & cherish them. My attachment with them is complete.

However, I remain detached in the sense that I do not expect them to reciprocate my affection.

Most importantly, I make a conscious effort , not to interfere or pass judgments on the lives they choose to lead.

My concern for my near  and dear ones will not fade with my detachment. If you let go of the ones you love , they will never go away – this is the beauty of attachment with detachment !

I have learnt to love and let go. This dictum has developed tolerance in me. When I let the people live the way they want to, I have learnt to accept them for what they are.

Most importantly , I learn to tolerate the world around me & this tolerance brings in me a sense of peace and contentment.

I ask God to guide me in being loving , compassionate , tolerant  and understanding when I interact with others. If a person wants to share a thought or concern with me I want that person to feel comfortable to do so. I want to remain peaceful and approachable to others. Before I speak , I pray to God to give me the right words so that I express myself clearly and with consideration to others.

Since both my children live in Chennai, I follow this very strictly, you know why !

Now I have realised that we start growing mentally much more only after the children leave the house and we have to tackle the emotional vacuum, that arises, along with age-related problems. I find this is the most testing period for a woman, as well and emerging successfully is a slow process.

I specially dedicate this post to my  friends, who are  totally  dependent  on their  children's lives, to nurture their  own  selves  emotionally.

Please develop your  own  interests, hobbies  etc, however, mundane they seem to be..


We must learn : To love  whatever  we  do instead of doing whatever we love !!

04 January 2017

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HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND

Beautiful message explaining how Happiness is a 
State of Mind. All of us should try to develop such attitude

A man of 92 years, short, very well-presented, who takes 
great care in his appearance, is moving into an old people's home today.
After waiting several hours in the retirement home lobby, 
he gently smiles as he is told that his room is ready.
His wife of 80 has recently died, and he is obliged to leave his home.
As he slowly walks to the elevator, using his cane, 
I describe his small room to him, including the sheet hung at 
the window which serves as a curtain.
"I like it very much", he says, with the enthusiasm of an
 8 year old boy who has just been given a new puppy.
" You haven't even seen the room yet, hang on a moment, we are almost there. "
" That has nothing to do with it ", he replies.
" It is already decided in my mind that I like my room. 
It is a decision I take every morning when I wake up. "

" Happiness is something I choose in advance. 
Whether or not I like the room does not depend on the furniture, 
or the decor rather it depends on how I decide to see it. "

"I can choose. I can spend my day in bed enumerating all 
the difficulties that I have with the parts of my body that no
 longer work very well, or I can get up and give thanks to heaven
 for those parts that are still in working order. "

"Every day is a gift, and as long as I can open my eyes, 
I will focus on the new day, and all the happy memories
 that I have built up during my life. "

"Old age is like a bank account. 
You withdraw in later life what you have deposited along the way. "

So, my advice to you is to deposit all the happiness 
you can in your bank account of memories.

Thank you for your part in filling my account with 
happy memories, which I am still continuing to fill.

Remember these simple guidelines for happiness.
1. Free your heart from hate.
2. Free your mind from worry.
3. Live simple.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

If you have been blessed by this message,
 send it to your loved ones and your friends. 
It is the way we touch each other with simple truths that 
spread goodness in the world. 

Who knows, a miracle may happen as a result


15 December 2016

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LEARNING IS A POSITIVE AGEING STRATEGY

LEARNING IS A POSITIVE AGEING STRATEGY
(LEARN NEW THINGS, TRY NEW THINGS)

“Anyone who stops learning is old whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”             - Henry Ford

Learning is an important positive ageing strategy to help you remain vital in your later years. Learning in old age preserves intellectual functioning and ward off memory decline (dementia) which is very common in old age.  By learning new things you are improving your brain health-your mental faculty, attention, memory. There is a saying- “use it or loose it”. If you are not using your brain you will loose its functioning. Learning is a life long process. If you are continuing your self educating you will stay up to date.

Learning, like physical exercise, is effective when you develop a habit or pattern of doing it. Learning to begin with requires some initial effort. If you persist it will become easier to do and you will get satisfaction from the out come. Learning needs persistence and sustained effort. Do not worry about slow process of your learning.  Remember you are not  going to be examined.  Suppose you want to learn some musical instrument  you may encounter some difficulty, don’t loose your motivation to learn.

You may raise a question –“ what one should learn” ?  It is an important question. The answer is - it depends on your choice or interest or your curiosity to know.  Desire to learning is the strongest motivation. For learning in old age strict class room setting is not essential.  Life long learning is an expanding  learning beyond class room settings and into the home. You may use Internet and computer, ( you may join senior internet net works) Radio , Television, Print media etc.

Learning in old age is a form of personal fulfillment.  This is your opportunity  to exercise your true interests  and pursue something  simply because you are interested in it or you are curious about it. First you examine your beliefs about your self as a learner. Therefore, it is suggested that ask your self prior to  perusing  a learning opportunity :

A.  How do I learn ?
B.    What do I want to learn ?
You are still capable to learn. Learning can help you remain intellectually active. So mobilize your resources of learning . First you must have belief that you may learn new things,( or learning is possible in old age), Identify your curiosities or interests and  know your learning strengths and weaknesses.
You may learn music, new  language, writing, game or some skill of your interest.  The benefit  from  learning  will come with time, learning involves persistence and patience.
Learning in later life is optional. Therefore, learning can be a hobby or a leisure pursuit.
The senior citizens who pursued educational experiences expressed the following views :
*Learning is how I became more engaged with others
*I like learning because it opens up new ways of thinking and relating to the world.
*It’s fun to learn new things.
*I enjoy the challenge of acquiring new skills’ learning makes me feel more youthful.
*When I learn. I challenge the saying “ you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.
 Cognitively impaired elderly can  also learn. Learning  in such cases is  very useful as a strategy   to give boost to   their self-enhancement. Cognitively impaired persons ( persons with AD) have curiosity, creativity and intact sensory processes. Family care givers should  motivate elderly person to learn some thing-/some skill/ some activity.
Learning requires the integration of social, emotional, aesthetic, spiritual and cognitive domains. The whole person is considered. Care givers should provide an opportunity for the elderly to explore familiar materials in meaningful ways so that he may interact with others as a consequence of the process.

Respect and caring are at the foundation of educational  curriculum for  such elderly persons. 

19 October 2015

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AIM OF LIFE TO BE PURSUED WITH FULL STRENGTH

Generally people of different age groups, both male and female, ask me such questions: What is life and what is the aim of life, what should we do or what should we pursue in life? and host of other questions related to such issues.

These questions are based on the assumption that there is something out there and we should try to achieve it. But we forget to see or unable to recognize what is within us. Humanity is within us and we have to use this source in its full force. We do not need to seek any other thing which is not within us. Unfortunately we all waste our time and energy in achieving that which is not within us. The constant pursuit of something not within our reach is the cause of anxiety and tension in our lives.

Human life is a symbol of consciousness, strength and faith. The real life is that where we can reach our goal with ease by performing our duties to ourselves and to the society in general. It is seen that majority of people blame their situations for any failure in their lives. They consider their situations as sources of worries and anxiety. One should not be worried about the nature of his situations or resources, because man with his sincere efforts can change the given natural situations. We should respect whatever situations we are in. The maximum use of given situations or given conditions is the real respect of life.

The word "respect of life", does not mean attachment or fondness (moha) for luxurious things. It simply means that we should respect all the situations given to us. The proper use of situation is always based on our KARMA (action). The thinking or brooding on situation gives rise to attachment towards situations. Thus, thinking ( or brooding ) on the situations is the cause of many defects.

Action (KARMA) is related to present and the leaning of thinking is towards past and future. (Thinking, if it is necessary, should be done on that thing which cannot be achieved by action). Distancing (vimukta) from our own knowledge (niz-jana) means distancing from our own life. This alienation from one's own nature is due to our lethargy (pramad). Lethargy keeps us away from our own real knowledge. The awareness of this secrete, results in embracing the situations given to the individual and by which he becomes one with life.

Life is a form of means to Humanity. Humanity, as a seed, is infused or is within all human beings. The seed of humanity, which is within us, is to be developed in the light of ones' own wisdom (vivek), because the light of wisdom is potent enough in abolishing our failings or defects. The gradual abolishing of defects of life leads to gradual development of life as a means to humanity. When all the defects are removed from life completely, life becomes means to humanity. Such a means (sadhan) is not mere a part of life but, of all the actions of life, from awakening to sleep (sushupti) and from birth to death. This is real human life. When life becomes such, then the doer or actor (sadhak) and means become identical or one and the same.

In principle means (sadhan) is the nature of end (sadhya).Means (sadhan) cannot be separated from the end (sadhya). The sadhan is the existence of actor or doer. It follows from this that doer oractor, in essence, is identical with means. The felt difference of Sadhak from Sadhan is due to his attachment with the situations. But man by nature is free to remove this attachment and can realize the unity with the end. This is the meaning of becoming Human being.

Generally we believe that wisdom (vivek) in identical with intelligence. But it is not so, because intelligence is natural and mechanical and on the other hand wisdom is beyond intelligence. In other words it is transcendental. To make my point let me give an example: electricity is energy and it expresses itself through electrical appliances such as bulbs, tube lights etc. But this fact is known only by a physicist. Ordinary man thinks that bulb, tube light etc. are the examples of electricity.

Wisdom is changeless and intelligence is changing or varying in nature. Intelligence is the function of nature (prakriti) and wisdom is beyond nature or prakriti. All the so called sources of light such as lamp etc. are finally, based on sunlight or sum provides light to them. Similarly the knowledge of intelligence and sense organs are enlightened by the extra ordinary light of wisdom ( vivek). When the intelligence is enlightened by the pure light of wisdom then the pure intellect purifies the mind (manas). The purity of mind brings purity in the activities of sense organs. Man's character is formed by the virtuous behavior generated by pure or unpolluted mind. The virtuous behavior of individual makes the society beautiful. Therefore, vivek is the only powerful source which not only makes individual's life beautiful it also makes the society, to which he belongs, beautiful.

Wisdom (vivek)---intellect---pure intellect----pure mind(shudh manas)----pure behavior------character formation-------virtuous act-----beautiful society.

When an individual disrespects his own wisdom, which is inherent in him by nature, then he completely relies on the knowledge of senses and believes firmly that knowledge derived through senses is the only knowledge. Dependence on knowledge of senses causes attachment towards external things. This attachment leads to the tendency of craving and selfishness in an individual. The tendency of selfishness keeps away an individual from human concerns and infinite love towards other fellow beings. Individual develops passion towards his own body and different types of greed’s. This greed’s are the cause of dependence, insensibility and discontent.

As we have said earlier that humanity is our nature or it is inherent in us. With our nature we can do our welfare and also can build a beautiful society. This nature of ours' is a gift to us to make best use of sufferings and pleasures. It is not for luxurious use of worldly things. The best use of pleasure is compassion towards other living beings and on the other hand the best use of suffering is disinterest towards those situations which are causes of sufferings. Disinterest does not mean siting alone or feeling bankrupt. These are all external symptoms of disinterest.

Disinterest only means to develop disinterest in the objects of senses. It is a feeling in which individual thinks that sense objects are inferior then the enjoy-er-I (bhokta).This increases the value of enjoy. Object of enjoyment and the means of enjoyment both are dependent on the enjoy. Enjoy-er is not dependent on them. The interest of seeing an object illuminates both eyes and the form of object. Eyes have the capacity of seeing, but, eyes do not have the "interest" in seeing. The interest lies in him who is the master of eyes. Therefore, humanity makes us powerful in transcending both pleasure and sufferings.

28 December 2014

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Foods that slow down the Ageing process and formation of wrinkles

What we eat in our regular diet affects our ageing process and skin treatment. A various packed and non packed food products in the market claim to slow down the formation of wrinkles and glow your skin better.

Who doesn't love glowing skin? A correct diet & regular exercise can help getting glowing complexion. Here are some food Tips which can help you to regularise your ageing process:

1.      Make use of butter more then margarine, as butter is better in retaining the youth of your’s skin.

2.       Say Goodbye to Alcohol drinks as they always damage the elasticity of your skin which makes your skin dull and tired. Wine, beer, and liquor can dehydrate your skin, leaving it quenched for moisture.

3.      Artificial Sweeteners are a highly concentrated source of calories that don’t fill you up, so it’s easy to see how a high-sugar diet can promote weight gain. A high intake of sugary foods and beverages has also been linked to high cholesterol, high triglyceride, and increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

4.      Always Go for meat that have at least 95% lean. Avoid Fatty meats, as these fatty meats are high in saturated fats, and can speed up ageing

5.      Deep Fired food products such as chips and French fries contains a large amount of fatty oil which may raise  your cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease. These Types of foods also contains a large amount of salt which may cause  harm to the elasticity of your skin, if consumed frequently.

6.      Avoid Refined Sugar and salt as sugar causes high blood sugar levels and salt causes effect to your digestive process. Excess sodium in your diet can suck the moisture out of skin, leaving it dry and dull.

6.      Drinking Coffee may be harm full as Caffeine is a major culprit when it comes to dry skin and the magnification of wrinkles. Quench skin by drinking lots of water.