Stop looking for reasons behind that smile

The mantra to being happy is to keep it simple. You’ll find happiness in the smallest of things. I’ve learned this from nature – arguably a better teacher than any person can ever be. One morning, when I sat having my tea by the window, I saw one of the sparrows who lives in the birdhouse outside playing on the grille. Her slightly odd movements attracted my attention. On closer inspection, I realized that she had only one leg, with an injured stub where the other should’ve been. Without realizing, I started keeping tabs on her from that day onwards. I then came to realize that she was never idle, nor helpless. She never expressed any kind of weakness. She’d play with her mate, preen, feed, hunt, and nest just like the other sparrows. Her chirping never failed to make me smile.
She showed me how simple happiness could be. Expectations, comparisons and cursing at fate can only give you momentary satisfaction, if any at all. A certain amount of selfishness is absolutely fine. The problem arises when one stops being able to distinguish between simply wanting something and absolutely needing it. The more one has, the more one wants. In this way, contentment and happiness simply cease to exist in one’s life.
Have you ever observed the actions of a young child? Have you ever noticed how unaffected and simple the innocent joys they see in the world are? We were all born happy. This materialistic world is what has shaped us and made a whole new person out of us. This can’t even be avoided if you wish to survive in todays day and age. I myself knew unaffected happiness when I was younger​. I vaguely remember relaxed days, always spent smiling or laughing. My teachers at school once called me ‘smiling beauty’. Then life happened, and like any other person, I too started shaping my life to fit into the ideals of society. I knew then what I know now; it didn’t make me happy. So now, I’ve learned to take notice of the things that once made me smile, once again.
The thing is, happiness is a direction, not a destination. Don’t deny yourself the things you truly love, and don’t fixate on things you don’t really care for. It may sound cliche, but a lot of the things that can give you joy are things you cannot buy.
So, keep smiling. Your smile can, perhaps, help others find theirs too.
– Leena 🙂
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Problems

I believe we’re all familiar with problems. A problem is very much like the flu; often unexpected, and always undesired. You don’t want to catch one, but it catches up to you anyway. Moreover, both problems and the flu stick around for quite some time before they’re fixed. The worst part is that the occurrence of both is an inevitable part of life.
What do you do when faced with a problem? Do you get flustered and annoyed when problems show up like uninvited guests? It’s quite natural if you do. Eventually, however, you are going to have to figure out how to deal with it. While it’s okay to muse over it for a while, at some point, you’ll have to move past questions like, ‘Why is it always me?’ and ‘What have I done to deserve this?’. The next step is to question what actions you can take to solve the problem. Even more important is to actually make an effort to do those things.
Let me share my experience. When I realized that I was suffering from depression, I asked my doctor for help. Rather than prescribing anti-depressants, he told me to start taking long walks. I started doing so. I realized that the hour I spent in my own company – listening to music and organizing my thoughts as I walked – really did help me deal with my problems and think up solutions. The physical exercise also helped. I realized that we are only human. We can’t always use spells and magic to make everything alright. Everything takes time, and all we can do is learn to be patient.
I also discovered other things that relax me. Do any of you play Candy Crush? It’s a good game – helps to refresh your thoughts in as little as five minutes. Even in the game, you must have noticed that, although you rarely ever get the combinations of candy that you desire, noticing unexpected combinations – even the smallest ones – often helps you win. It’s the same with life. We all have our problems, and we don’t always get what we wish for. Figuring out alternatives, fighting with the odds, and making your own way through life is what helps in defeating problems. All you really need is faith in yourself.
Nothing lasts forever, not even problems. So stay positive, and love thyself!
                                                            – Leena 🙂

50+50

A successful relationship can be called a 50/50 deal. It’s really a 100/100 one, as both parties are usually required to put all their efforts into it, and give their 100%. The ratio comes into picture when one talks about how the contribution of one side matches up with that of the other. In our journey through life, we meet multitudes of people. The essence of our relationship with each one of them is completely different. Most often, if the feelings are mutual, the effort, time and trust put into the relationship will be somewhat equal. The relationship of parents with their children, or of siblings with one another, can sometimes balance just fine even if the equation of the relation is at 40/60 or 30/70, depending on age and circumstances. This is because their bond itself is of a special kind. The most preferable professional and work-related relationships are unsurprisingly 50/50, with one receiving according to what one gives. Such clear-cut professionalism helps eradicate any chance of confusion. Once you’ve done your part, you’re free, and especially so because there aren’t any excessive emotional attachments.
There are only a few kinds of relationships which can make or break an individual in an instant, because they exist too close to the heart and demand one’s 100%. Friendships, love and marriages are ones that are usually forged intentionally. Naturally, most people try their best to give it their all. The truth, however, is that in order for such relationships to flourish, the efforts put in by both parties should not only be equal, but also constant and lasting. Balance is the key. Excuses can never be an adequate replacement for effort. You have to accept each others’ virtues and faults, both with open hearts. Being judgmental will more often than not only create more problems. No one is perfect. It is very important to accept and respect the limitations of not only others, but also of oneself. ‘Balance’ means that you receive as much as you give. Don’t ever give away so much that you leave yourself behind, because you’re only establishing in others’ minds that you come second. Stand on equal ground. No two people are same, so you can’t always be on the same page, This absolutely does not give you the power to show others to be in the wrong and to put them down. Learn how to disagree respectfully. Each one of us, as individuals, is allowed to have a personal opinion. Ego, unsurprisingly, is the greatest destroyer of any relationship. Try to become a good listener, and don’t always jump to conclusions. Good communication can make a great relationship. Above all, cherish your partners and friends, for you are the one who made them a part of your life.
The mantra is to be there through thick and thin without being taken for granted. Cruelty and harsh words will not only lower others’ opinion of you, but also your own self-respect. You get what you give. Just behave the way you want others to behave with you. Just be you.
The most important thing for any successful relationship is honesty. You must be truthful about all your thoughts, feelings and opinions concerning the relationship, and have every right to expect the other person to do the same. Don’t hold each other too tightly and obsessively is the relationship doesn’t call for it. It’s ok for there to be some space for freedom in between. It’s often even necessary. Mutual respect and understanding goes a long way.
All such relationships do not necessarily last for a lifetime. In any case, let go of the negativity and carry forward with only all those beautiful memories that you have made over the years. Don’t curse and cuss at yourself or the other party, because you are only hurting and harming yourself. Treasure yourself. Everything that has a beginning always has an end. Don’t ever hurt yourself or others because of this.
Be the light of the sunrise and the calm of the moon, for both yourself and for others.
Happy living people!!

– Leena 🙂

Letting go…

Does ‘letting go’ really exist? If it does, then I guess I can’t figure it out. People are always talking about letting go of the past and moving forward. Sure, moving forward makes sense, but can you really just ‘let go’ of your past? You were there, in flesh and blood and soul, so can you really just rip away and discard all those memories? Can you? I don’t know, but I don’t think anyone really can. It’s true that if such a situation arises wherein you start feeling suffocated and want out, then it’s a great idea to still be patient with the other party and give them a chance, because they may not wish to be in that state either. The most important thing, however, is to never ignore your own needs. If you ever feel that you are unable to take it any longer, and if you are worn out physically, emotionally, or mentally, and can’t handle it anymore, it’s ok to stop trying and move on. Moving on is difficult too. It’s possible to become habituated with the labyrinth of such circumstances, and become so numb that you remain stuck there despite knowing that it’s bad for you. But at times, you have to do it anyway. At times, it’s necessary to do it. But even so, don’t force yourself to forget your past, because you may end up forgetting some beautiful moments too. There’s no need to regret any part of your life too much. Consider why it was worth it, learn from it, and grow as an individual. Remember, even in puzzle games, although not every piece can fit at a spot, there’s always one that’s a perfect fit. You’ll find yours too! Mixing colours while painting, you must have realized that some combinations create beautiful colours, while others don’t really work out. Similarly, we can’t always gel with everyone, and that’s ok! That never necessarily makes either of you bad. So, don’t simply let go. Try moving on with confidence, positivity and grace, knowing that you’ve grown. God bless!

# It’s very important to make peace with your losses, especially the emotional ones involving departed loved one or broken friendships and relationships. It helps you to move forward free from guilt and with a happy heart and soul. Stop simply existing, and start living! Love!

– Leena Prasad 🙂

When I find me, I’ll find you too…

20140131_114944 (2)There are days when I just want to live from my heart. Doing this liberates me, and gives me the chance to really be me. I’m a bit too romantic by nature – forever seeking beauty and romance in every bit of my life, even if there is none. I discover it in that cool wisp of evening air, in the blooming of little flower-buds, in the descent of the countless raindrops, in the tinkling of wind chimes and in the chirping of birds. Being a die-hard romantic naturally gives me happiness, but even so, there are many times that sadness arrives uninvited. Romantic movies are bliss, for they give me a window to another, refreshing world, even if only for an hour or two. For that little while, I become the character and live their life. Imagination, after all, is my constant companion that keeps me going through the most boring times of my life.
I’ve learnt to not depend upon making others the reason for my happiness. I’ve learnt that I can be happy by just trying to find a piece of myself every now and then. I can find happiness in the small things I do. A painting I’ve made, a sapling I’ve planted, a new dish I’ve cooked or some words I have written – things which need not be masterpieces – are what delight me. I pat myself on the back, and even dance or sing to celebrate the fact that I have done something myself. I’ve found a few things about myself – I am a good person with an empathetic heart, I am a good listener, a good mother (or so my kids say :P), a caring friend, an artist at heart, a lover of nature, and few other things that I can be proud of. I’m still in search of more.
I often enjoy reading people. I believe that every individual is like a kaleidoscope, because no matter how different situations change and shape them, they are a beautiful sight to behold. I know one thing for certain; time never waits. Somehow, I also know that this is the most beautiful aspect of the concept time. I believe that  right until our last breaths, we are capable of beginning once again. Never stop building yourself and creating your life. I won’t. Dream, and take one step at a time towards it. Always keep walking. And most importantly, enjoy every step along the way. It’s your life, so don’t live to impress others, but to impress yourself.
Stay blessed! 🙂

  • Leena Prasad 🙂