newlife2design

When I can't think no more, and the thoughts crowd my head, I let them out, one at a time, and after sorting them, put them back together again…in order to begin entangling another web!

Archive for the category “2011”

Letter to my 18-year old Daughter

Today, I found this letter that I had written to my darling daughter about a year ago. It was a harrowing period with tons of conflict and confusion. I wrote this to gather strength for both of us, and help us get through that difficult time. Today, it’s not just a bittersweet memory, but also a very important lesson in priorities – deciding what’s important, what’s temporary, and what’s the real feeling that will continue forever. I thought I’ll put it here as a record and a reminder.

Hey baby,

I want to start by saying, once again that I love you. I know that you know that I love you. But I wanted to say it all the same.

I know that you and I are having a real bad time right now. And I know you want me to stay out of your life, and not try to discuss anything with you. But it’s really tough for me to do that because I love you. And when I see you going through all that pain and hurt, I want to take you in my arms, kiss and make it better. It’s just a natural Mom reaction. It isn’t something that is unique to me. All moms feel this way.

It doesn’t mean that you are wrong. You want to be independent, and you want to do your own thing. And this is right. You should be independent, and I will always be proud of you no matter what you choose to be. I think you know that – that I won’t dictate your choices. Guide you maybe, but never force you.

But please remember:

Being independent does not mean cutting away from me.

Being independent means that you do what you want to do, with me and without me.

Being independent does not mean that you do the wrong thing.

 Being independent means that of all the right choices available, you choose the right thing for yourself, the one that you like.

Being independent does not mean that you never make a mistake.

Being independent means that you try new things, in the process even make mistakes.

Being independent does not mean that you make a mistake and turn away from it.

 Being independent means that you accept that you made a mistake, fix it, and move on.

Being independent does not mean that you do not study.

 Being independent means that you study hard, build your career (NDA, choreography, CA, whatever!), and be strong and happy.

Please understand baby that you are now old enough to have feelings as strong as love. But even adults find it difficult to manage their love relationships. So, you are not the only one who is having fights or problems. A lot of people do. It doesn’t make you a bad person. You are not a bad girl for being confused between two guys. It’s a natural feeling, not a bad feeling. In time, you will figure out the right guy for you, and until you do, all that you need to do is try and understand yourself. Once you have understood yourself, you’ll know what you want also. This is just a period of confusion. And I know that you are very disturbed. But believe me motu, it will be ok soon. And you will once again be happy and fine.

I can understand that you feel a divide between you and me because I am your Mom. But you do need to talk to someone, such as a counselor who can help you sort out your problems.

Just remember that I will always be there for you. In your heart. Call out once, and I’ll come running.

Take care and be happy,

Mom

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Choosing Peace

Jan 2011 I decided to give up my anger. Among other factors, I felt that my anger had been the primary reason, at times instigator, sometimes the catalyst for all the negative situations that had arisen in my home. True, a lot of horrible things happened to me, and I hadn’t done anything to deserve them. But caught up in self-pity and desirous of sympathy and attention, I refused to consider if I could have chosen to not get angry, and, thereby, prevented situations from worsening.

With my 20/20 hindsight, it’s so easy to see where I could have not shouted, toned down my reactions, and removed provocation. In the false sense of calmness that I feel while looking back, I know I could have handled things better, leading to very different, maybe even positive consequences.

I can’t bring the time back, I can’t change anything in the past. Neither am I so confident that I will do things differently in the future. It’s far too easy, and too damn difficult to “Never ever get angry!”. But I know how I feel now. The regrets in my heart don’t help me forgive others, but pretty much put the ball firmly in my court. The sense of control that I have on my own actions, makes me feel that at least for the time being, I can choose peace over anger. And that I think is far more sustainable than trying to control all of my future. “For the time being” is so much easier to predict and handle than “never”, “always”, and “forever”, don’t you think?

So, here’s my renewed choice for 2012 that I make today: When I need to, my first choice will be peace and calm, cooperation and understanding, not anger or disruption.

Last year, I could count the number of times I lost my temper on the fingers of one hand. Each time, the consequence was bad. Very strangely, I was became increasingly aware of my feelings every time. Perhaps the first time I lost it last year, I was too caught up in the situation to acknowledge my emotions, the rise of anger, fueled by my sense of righteousness and ego. The last time I did it on Dec 25, 2011, I was so darned aware of what was happening inside me and the way the whole situation was proceeding towards disaster, that I could almost feel myself standing on one side, watching myself rip the scene with my rants, and I knew exactly what was going to happen after I’d finished doing it. And it happened exactly that way, minute-by-minute the scene played out my script. Unfortunately, even in my sense of awareness, I was unable to find the alternate way of handling that situation. It was like I knew what I was doing was wrong, and I totally let myself do it.

Well, my morbid curiosity is certainly satisfied now! And the more I thought over it, again and again, I realized what I should have done instead. A much more liberating thought than that helplessness that I had allowed myself to feel! What else can I do in this situation? How long can I keep my mouth shut? When will they understand and do the right thing? These questions still rake my mind. But this time I know what I can do. I know how I could have changed my responses to the situation, and changed it towards a better end.

Here’s what I realized:

What else can I do in this situation? – Nothing, if that is really the only option.

How long can I keep my mouth shut? – Always, if I cannot think of the right thing to say.

When will they understand and do the right thing? – One day they will understand. But that day is not today. So, I just need to wait.

Choosing to do nothing, to say nothing, and to just wait suddenly does not seem like a sense of helplessness. I realized that it’s a deliberate choice that I am making, and I am being smart if by controlling myself, I am preventing the situation from worsening. Inaction doesn’t seem so bad now, especially when I can do silent Daimoku while I think the right thing to say or do. 🙂

Happy 2012, Thank you 2011!

I am so thankful for the year gone by. It was a year that taught me a lot about life, myself, people, relationships, hope, letting go, self-control, Buddhism, and my blessings. I struggled on both personal and professional fronts. I struggled to keep my temper in check. Many things did not go the way I wanted them to. And during all these struggles and disappointments, I realized my own strength. I realized that I can go through a lot of difficult situations and come out smiling. I realized the most important lesson of my life: I can be alone, by myself, without anyone, and I can be quite happy and satisfied. I do not need others for my happiness. They do not bring me peace, and, therefore, they are not the cause of my problems and dissatisfaction. I am independent and responsible for my feelings, and I can take care of myself.
This also made me free, completely free, to do things for others without expecting them to acknowledge it, to change anything because of it, or to care for me because of it – not even one tiny bit of expectation.
Yes, it was hard to learn these lessons. But this learning leaves behind such a sweet happy taste! I feel stronger and more ready to do things.
It’s not a spark of confidence. It’s a cemented force with the potential to do more, and the grounding to be able to go on, to continue.
Ooooh! I feeel gooood!!!

Last day of the year is here

It’s that time again. Time to reflect and critique. Time to plan and dream.

so, here goes…

I want to work harder than I’ve done over the last few months. Redesign the work for the two projects assigned to me.

I want to make the dresses I have been wanting to all year. Maybe I’ll mess up yards and yards of fabric. Maybe my backache will worsen. But I think some good dresses will come out of that effort too. One every month – twelve in the whole year!

I want to cook new dishes, new cuisines. One whole new menu every week – 52 in the entire year!

I want to learn how to make fantastic cocktails. – 24 mixes in the year. Need to set up my bar too.

I’d like to drive to at least three holidays in the next year.

Get my kids’ passports made.

Chant everyday for at least one hour. Nam -Myo-Ho-Renge-Kyo.

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