Lessons Learned in 2014

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Lessons Learned from 2014

Each year brings in new hopes, opportunities, new friends, relationships and with that many new lessons. I will cherish 2014 always, as it transformed me completely. It gave me a new direction and I found my purpose. Here are few lessons that this wonderful year taught me.

Powerful Beliefs- Your beliefs have the tremendous power to break you or to make you. This is most profound thing that this year has taught me. When you believe in yourself and in your strengths with full conviction, you are able to achieve much more that what you ever thought. Growing up, people around us instil many beliefs on us, but as a responsible adult, we need to check them. If something is limiting us, then it is time to shed those beliefs and embrace new empowering ones.

Dream- All innovations were once a dream, so dream and believe in your dreams. When you believe in them, you get powers to make them a reality. It may take time, but your dreams will come true, gradually.

Love yourself- One of the best feelings in life is to fall in love with yourself, just the way you are. When that happens, your life transforms magically and everyday your life becomes even more beautiful.

Spend Quality Time- The best gift that you can give anyone is your time. When you spend time with your friends, family, children or pet, they feel more loved and connected with you and you make memories for a lifetime. You also need to make time for yourself, to introspect and to find answers to your challenges. Listening to music, going for a walk, cooking, writing, playing a sport or reading are some of the ways you can connect to yourself.

Learn to let go- It is much easier said than done, but when we let go, we give more power and freedom to ourselves. Holding on to grudges takes away our peace. Instead, forgive the other person and bring peace. Try doing it once and see how life transforms, easily.

Express your love- The Peshawar incident is enough for us to realise that life is too short and unpredictable. Don’t wait for the right moment to express your love. Every moment is precious, so go ahead and hug your family, call your friends and say ‘I love you’ to your children.

Friends will go- No matter how much you try to hold on….your best friends may leave you. It could be for a new job opportunity or a career shift, marriage or studies or there could be no reason at all. It will hurt you and you may feel that your world will collapse. However, this is the same time when you should go and meet new people, make new friends, travel to new places, work with the underprivileged and take up some new hobbies. This is time you can rediscover yourself.

You can make a difference in other’s life in your own little way. Your mere presence could give courage to some. Your words can give hope and heal some. You can inspire others. You are a miracle and you can spread magic wherever you go.

Be grateful- Life may not be perfect, yet there are so many things to be grateful about. Maintain a gratitude journal and write at least one thing you are grateful for everyday. Gratitude adds more beauty to your life.

People make resolutions every year only to break them. I recommend that tonight before you go to sleep, make a wishlist instead of resolutions. Set a very powerful intention as you write each wish and then watch how each day takes your even closer to your dreams. Have a lovely day today and keep enjoying every single moment.

Let the New Year bring even more abundance in your life and may it give even more confidence, good health, support, environment, skills and determination to pursue your dreams! Happy New Year!

Gayatri Aptekar

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learned from My Daughter

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Lessons Learned from my Daughter

It’s been a wonderful seven and a half years of parenting, with its share of ups and downs and occasional outbursts. There are no perfect or correct methods to follow when it comes to parenting. As parents I believe that we need to be highly flexible in our approach. Each day awaits a new learning and a new surprise.

They say that, ‘The child is the father of the man’ and I completely agree to this. In the past seven plus years my daughter, Samu has taught me some very important life lessons. This ‘Children’s Day’, I would like to share them with you all.

One Activity at a time:

This is one of the most important lessons Samu has taught me. Reading, playing, dancing or watching TV, she is completely engrossed in that one particular activity. Her full focus on one activity at a time leaves her refreshed and even more energetic for the next activity.

As adults, we are so fascinated by multi-tasking, which I guess drains us out by the end of the day. I started following her footsteps. Now whenever I am cooking or doing household chores or writing, I completely concentrate and give my 100% to the task in hand. This ensures that, I enjoy the tasks and also helps me to give my best.

Forgive:

I do shout at my daughter, I am guilty for having spanked her, but that doesn’t stop her from cuddling and kissing me. Unlike adults, children don’t know to hold grudges; they have a pure heart, which knows to forgive people. This is what makes them even more special.

As adults our ego stops us from forgiving others. What if we too could cultivate the habit of forgiveness, how much peace, will our soul get…isn’t it?

Try new things:

She keeps on trying new ways to comb her hair, to write, to play, to keep her toys and her clothes. This is something which amuses me a lot. Today she might have kept her toys in lower shelf, tomorrow, it will be in another. I asked her once, “Samu why do you keep shifting your toys?” “Mumma toys ko bore ho jaata hai, same place na, so I shift”, she replied.

At times, you really need to shift your focus and try out something different, or do things differently. Maybe you will get different results.

Ask questions:

When we sit to study, she has a list of endless questions and till the time, she is not completely satisfied with the answers, she will keep bombarding me with her questions. When I ask her to do something, again there is a nonstop Q&A session.

Every time, I am confused, I do the same. I ask myself questions, and I get the answers to all my challenges, always.

Not comfortable, just leave:

When I take Samu to birthday parties or functions, she will only play with children she is comfortable with. The moment she senses, someone is behaving badly or is being unfair, she will move away from that person. How simple it is for her, however, we adults, try to please everyone and at the end remain stressed out.

Be happy for small things:

There are times, when Samu is happy just like that, no particular reason. A balloon, some colour pencils, her favourite cartoon, tiny droplets of rain, the sun shine, the flowers…they all make her smile.

There are so many things to be happy and grateful about. Good health, a secure job, friends, food to eat and the list is endless. Find happiness in the small things, big things will follow!

What are some of the things your child has taught you, I am curious to hear them. Do share them with me, here.

About Gayatri

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learnt from maintaining a Diary

 

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Lessons Learned

I’ve been writing a diary from the age of 10. Initially I would write the small incidents of my school life, the anger towards by biological mom and her indifferent behaviour, but later I started writing poetry in Hindi, Marathi and English. I experimented with stories and also wrote my opinions about social issues.

Many a times when we are stuck in a challenging situation or problem, we associate ourselves so much that we seldom look beyond the situation. Writing the situation in a third person’s view, gives a fresh perspective and helps us take better decisions.

Over the years, words became my best friends and through them I could vent out all my emotions. Putting the emotions of love, curiosity, anxiousness, jealousy, hatred, hurt and guilt on paper helped me to calm myself. Writing a diary was highly therapeutic and it helped me gain more control over my emotions.

Recording anecdotes from my life helped me to capture those wonderful moments and today when I read some of my old diaries, I am surprised to see how much I’ve grown as a human being. Memories stay alive in the form of words in the diary and your diary could be a best gift to someone whom you love!

Writing my gratitude list at the end of the day makes me appreciate my life even more. I urge the readers to write at least three things they are grateful for everyday night, in a small notepad of your choice. You will be amazed by the results.

Writing regularly helped me hone my writing skills. I write random stuff for ten to fifteen minutes, describe the sky, the leaves, the road, the buildings or a rainbow. Its fun and who knows maybe you could be a bestselling author in future.

Gayatri Aptekar

DSC036641 300x225 Lessons Learnt from maintaining a Diary

Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Writing is an art which brings peace to your soul. Why wait…go grab an awesome diary and some super smooth colourful pens!

Lessons learned from Driving

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Lessons Learned from Driving

Driving is something which I wanted to learn from years but then I had a phobia of driving. Yes you heard it right, thanks to my numerous dashing car (the game) experiences and the suggestions that my friends gave me, ‘Please you never drive a car the population of India will start decreasing’ But recently, I made a vow to get over this phobia and to learn driving. Everything in life teaches us many things and driving too taught me some lessons for lifetime.

The road is full of idiots I am sure you might have heard this one before, as a tagline of Ceat tyres and it is truly apt for the Indian roads. I came across a group of college students completely engrossed in their mobile phones crossing the road and suddenly they stopped…exactly on the middle of the road and started giggling. I was confused as to what to do….and had to apply the break immediately.

Walk and talk is not a safe option When ‘Idea’ came up with this idea of ‘Walk and talk’, little did they know that people will take it seriously. I come across college students to old aunties, who are super busy talking over the phone, completely ignoring the road and the vehicles. And if I honk, then they immediately give me that stare as if I have stolen their priceless treasure.

Rules are made to break My instructor was busy teaching me the rules of right and left indicator when I saw a man taking a left turn without giving the indicator. How am I supposed to know if he is going to take the straight road or turn left? Seeing the confused look on my face, my instructor said, “Madam, this is India, here rules are made to break”.

You have complete control As a driver; I have the complete control over my car. I can stop, accelerate and decrease the speed at my will and how cool is that. We have the freedom to choose which route to take and when take, don’t we? I wondered, isn’t it the same with life. We have complete control of how to respond, what to think and how to act, don’t we?

I am enjoying this phase, wherein I get to drive a different car every day. Hopefully, I break the myth that women are not that great at driving icon smile Lessons learned from Driving

Gayatri Aptekar

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons learned from my Teachers

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Lessons Learned from Teachers

The word ‘Teacher’ transports me back to my childhood days, when I was excited to attend school. My school was my sanctuary, where I got the much needed attention, love and care. I loved reciting the nursery rhymes along with my teachers, giving all those cute and naughty expressions. I remember playing teacher-teacher with my childhood friend Smita. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher, because it was the only profession where one could talk a lot. But life had different plans for me and I ended up being an Accountant and later a Research Associate.

As a student, I was quite mischievous and I enjoyed imitating and irritating my teachers. I remember making fun of one my Maths teachers in college and I was suspended for a week. Many years later when I met the same teacher in a mall, she recognized me immediately and said that I was her best student. I still smile when I think about her statement.

A great teacher is someone who inspires and I am glad to have had some of the best teachers in my school and college days. As a student, I have learnt a lot from my teachers and on this teacher’s day, I wish to share those lessons with you all.

Believe in yourself

They say, ‘your I can is more important that your IQ’ and I completely agree with this. Our beliefs are the strong foundations of a successful future. Beliefs add more power to our dreams and increase our risk taking abilities. Beliefs shape our destiny. My teachers believed in the potential I had and that helped me to explore various opportunities and carve my own niche.

Focus

Our mind has the wonderful capacity to focus, if only we train it well. Our ability to focus completely on a given task helps us to achieve even more success and maximum productivity. I realized that with 100% focus, I could complete tasks much quickly and easily.

Failures are lessons

I remember my English teacher telling once, that ‘It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you got up’ . How easily she explained to us the importance of learning from our failures. She strongly advocated that failure teaches us to do better the next time and it unlocks the creative abilities within each person.

Practice

To achieve anything great consistent practice is a must. We all are unique and are born with some specific skill sets, but with continued practice, we can enhance our performance and hone our skills. By doing this we can accelerate our growth and take our personal and professional life to a next level. My dance teacher says that we must practice as if it is a live performance.

Keep Learning

The best part about learning is that it is a continuous process. Each person we meet teaches us something very profound and all we need to do is be a curious student forever. There is no age limit to learn anything new. If it interests you, then you must go ahead and learn it. As we continue to learn and enjoy, we must also share our knowledge with others. This will in turn build leaders for a wonderful future.

Let us keep the curious child within us alive and continue to learn and inspire others in our own little ways. Happy Teacher’s Day!

 

Gayatri Aptekar

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Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learned as a Therapist

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Lessons Learned

 

‘A therapist is the weather: They provide a Climate for change’- Milton Erickson

When I entered the magical world of NLP in July 2013, little did I know that I will get even more ability to transform the lives of people around me, instantly. I discovered the immense potential hidden within me and this discovery led me to accomplish many things, which I earlier thought were impossible. I quit my corporate career and I started working with parents, couples and children as a therapist, coach and a friend.

The past twelve months have taught me many profound lessons and I consider myself blessed to have chosen this field of working with other human beings.

Too many times we tend to judge people by their behaviours, don’t we? If we see a mother yelling at a child, we label them as a bad parent, or if we see someone sad, we term them depressed. It just takes a minute for us to label them, but what if we drop these judgements and look beyond the behaviour. A significant lesson I learnt here was, ‘There are no un-resourceful people there are only un-resourceful states’. There is no angry person, shy person or depressed person. Anger, shyness, anxiety and depression are just emotional states and these can be controlled with the right tools.

When we face problems or are stuck in challenging situations, we tend to ask, ‘Why me?’, but what if we ask a different question, ‘What has this situation taught me?’ ‘How differently can I do things, so that I succeed?’ Have you ever asked such questions…? I learnt that when we ask the right questions, we get right answers, which help us to get out of the challenging situations easily.

Often misunderstandings break a wonderful relationship, the reason being our way of communication. We must have learnt the art of communication in books or in workshops, but the ‘essence of communication is the response that we get’. The rules written in books are universal, but each person we meet has a different way to look at things.  We have to communicate in a way that matches the reality of that particular individual. If we are able to do that, then we can build rapport and get the desired response, successfully.

Our life is the after effect of the decisions that we take and our decisions are highly influenced by the choices that we have.  And the wonderful part is, at any given point of time, people choose what is best for them, if they have the right choices. As a therapist, all I do is show my clients the various choices they have and give them a direction so that they choose the best and the most resourceful choice of all.

At times laughing at our problems solves many things, easily. Yes you read it right; humour lightens the situations and gives us a fresh pair of eyes to see things differently.

I once meet a mom, whose normal routine was to worry, worry whether she will get a rickshaw, whether she will get train, reach office on time, finish her deadlines, will be able to spend quality time with children and so on… This habit tied her down and she couldn’t perform well. I suggested that she should set aside 30 minutes every morning to worry. She gave me a confused look, but I assured her that all she needs is 30minutes of worry time in a day. But after that I emphasised that she should completely focus on the tasks in her hand. She first laughed at that idea, but the very next day told me that she is able to focus even more of her tasks and that worry has vanished. Different actions yield different results.

What we are today is a mix of our environment in which we were born and raised, the beliefs that were instilled and the values that we cherished from childhood. If any of these limits our success, then it is time that we instil new and powerful beliefs, embrace empowering values, such that it alters our internal and external environment effectively. As a therapist and coach, I have realised that we all have an exceptional potential to sustain and succeed, despite all odds, the challenge only lies in tapping the potential.

May this festive season, help you tap that inner potential and show you many ways to reach your ultimate goals. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.

About Gayatri

DSC036641 300x225 Lessons Learned as a Therapist

Gayatri Aptekar

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learned from Robin William’s Death

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Lessons Learned

I first met him as Mrs Doubtfire and instantly fell in love with him. He was a performer, who could bring smiles on million faces, instantly! His sudden death came as a big shock to me. And what made me even more upset was that it was suicide. His smiles hid all the pain…such an irony, isn’t it?

I was 19 when I had tried to commit suicide, not once…but twice! I still remember the feeling, as if something inside me had died and I was living like a zombie. I had everything, as my Appa had aptly put. I had clothes to wear, food to eat, place to stay and had money to go to college and study…then why did I decide to put an end to my life? I was feeling worthless and this feeling was eating every single part of me. I didn’t know how to get over that feeling and the only way I could find to end this throbbing pain was to cut my wrist. And I did it….but the Almighty had other plans, I survived…

Robin William’s death teaches us the importance of our mental health. We take so much care of our priced possessions like TV, car, mobile phone suicide. I can feel the pain, as I too had tried to commit suicide at a very low point in my life.

Like our body, our mind too at times hits the low, but what if we gain control and have the immense ability to switch states.

Reach out to friends, well wishers or healers and therapists. At times talking and sharing can save lives. Let us remember Robin Williams and the splendid roles he played!, expensive sarees and crockery, but when it comes to our mental health, we are negligent. We keep carrying the burden of the past in the form of hatred and guilt not realizing that they are just like a virus which will eventually eat up our peace.

When that happens, what we can do is ask for help. When equipment breaks down, we call for mechanics to repair them instantly, then why do we hesitate to ask for help when it comes to mental breakdown? It is perfectly okay to seek help from a therapist or friend or a well-wisher. At times a third perspective gives us more clarity and helps us get over things, quickly.

We may not know what the other person is going through, so we need to be kind, for everyone we meet is fighting a battle within. The least we can do is respect others and accept them as they are. If you know someone who is going through a rough phase, talk to them; hug them, maybe that’s what they are looking for.

People who are depressed are operating from the level of feelings; the emptiness engulfs them so much that they wish to end their life. At that time, as a therapist, friend, parent, sibling or well-wisher all you need to do is step into their emptiness and feel like them…maybe for few moments. Then, immediately show them how beautiful the world is with them in it and tell them that they are very important in your life.

If you can do this successfully, then you can save a life! Today, I am grateful that God has chosen me as a medium to touch and transform lives through my NLP therapy. I feel satisfied to see my clients getting over limiting beliefs and unhealthy relationships.

Our mind is a beautiful garden, let us nourish it well, so that the flowers keep blooming and the fragrance keeps spreading…even more!

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Gayatri Aptekar

About Gayatri

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found at “Outside the Kitchen Window” (gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

Lessons Learned from Kung Fu Panda

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Gayatri Aptekar

I am a big fan of Hollywood Animated movies and as a movie buff, I watch them every time they are aired on TV. I believe that Hollywood movies teach you many life lessons and I actually keep a notepad and pen next to me, to note down my favourite quotes from the movie. Kung Fu Panda is one such movie, which I have seen maybe ten times, yet each time, it teaches me something new.

I instantly fell in love with the cute, chubby Panda who, like me is a foodie as well. The movie connected to me at an unconscious level and inspired me in many ways. Here are some of the lessons that have etched in my memory forever…..

The Power of Belief

This is one of the most significant lessons that this movie teaches. Oogway asks Shifu to just believe and train Panda and that belief leads to the victory of the Dragon Warrior. Our beliefs shape our destiny and I strongly believe in this. No matter where you are and what you are going through, believe that something awesome and wonderful is going to happen to you….very soon. Every now and then, check your beliefs, remove limiting beliefs (like, I can’t/ It will never happen), if any and instil empowering beliefs.

Living in the Present

When Po says he wants to quit and get back to making noodles, Oogway interrupts and says, “You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.” Such a profound thought, isn’t it? Too many times we are concerned about what will happen in the future and at times, we are busy playing the old record from our past. And in all this, we are unable to enjoy what we are doing. What if we shut all the thoughts from past and worry about the future and completely focus on the present. I bet we will be 100 times more productive and happy than we are now.

Everything happens for a reason

When Oogway says, ‘There are no accidents’, what he meant was, everything happens for a reason. It is just that maybe we are not yet aware of the higher purpose or the bigger picture. Many times in our life, certain things happen and we are unable to understand why it happened at that time, but after few years, when we look back, we can connect the dots, easily.

Perseverance

Po struggled initially to fit amidst the ‘Dangerous Five’ .He was ridiculed for being fat and the Kung Fu training took a toll on him physically, yet he persevered. When we take the road less travelled, we could face challenges, but our perseverance will shape our destiny.

Finding the connection

Po was a foodie and Shifu struggled initially to train him. But later, he used the same food as a motivation to train Po. At times our weaknesses can become our strongest strengths and they can shape our destiny. We all are motivated to do certain things very easily, like watching TV, or movies, playing games, shopping, sleeping or trekking, but when it comes to other things like studies, working on a project, meeting a client or reading a book, many of us laze around and find excuses. What if we could use the same technique that Shifu used on Po? We all are unique and it is our uniqueness that helps us stand out in the crowd.

There is no Secret

Po’s father had initially told him that there was secret ingredient that he puts in the noodles soup and Po believes in it. But later he discovers that there was no secret ingredient. The Magic lies within us and we have tremendous potential, it is just that we haven’t unlocked it until now. We have all the necessary resources within us, to build an even more richer, abundant and awesome life, now!

Lessons Learned from my Step-mom

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Gayatri Aptekar

I am sure the word, ‘Step-mom’ made you curious, isn’t it? There is a kind of negative emotion tied up to the word ‘Step-mom or Step-dad’, thanks to the fairy tales we’ve been listening to as children, the movies and the numerous incidents that we keep reading in the newspapers. To tell you the truth, I was sceptical too, when my dad broke the news of his remarriage. I was 11 years old and I did understand that my life was going to change, but I never knew that it would change so beautifully with the presence of my step-mom.

She is one who has shaped my life and whatever I am today is just because of her. Over the years, we have had our share of fights, but I have learnt many things from her. I lovingly call her, ‘Chithi’

Love unconditionally

This is one of the most significant and valuable lesson I learnt from her. I remember the initial days, when I shouted at her many times, but she patiently handled all my tantrums and showered me with even more love. They say that, ‘Only love can drive hatred away’ and I completely believe in this. She showed me that unconditional love could exist between any two people; all it needs is the ability to look beyond imperfections.

Forgive

I could never forgive my biological mom for her indifferent behaviour towards me. Anger, guilt and hatred were building up within me and I did not know how to let go of these unresourceful feelings. Chithi told me that the only way to get over these feelings was to forgive my mom and myself. It was very easy to say, but quite challenging to actually forgive, but with time, I did forgive myself and my mom. Since then my life has transformed and it is really a wonderful feeling.

Accept what you can’t change

Many times in my life I wanted things to change as per my perceptions, but Chithi made me realize that there are some things which will not change. She taught me that it is futile to spend your energy, time and resources on something which will not change. She instead would urge me to find opportunities in every situation and work towards making the best of those. This has helped me a lot personally and professionally.

Invest

Chithi taught me the importance of saving and investing money for my future. Though I ignored her suggestions as a teenager, I realised the significance of her advice after becoming a mother.  I remember her saying on the day of my marriage, “As women we ought to handle our finances well, so that we can plan a bright future for our family.”

Power of Prayer

She taught me that no matter what you are going through saying a small prayer, really calms your soul and also gives you the right and purposeful direction. I remember asking her a thousand questions about the various customs that we followed and she would just smile and say, ‘We followed all this because we never knew how to ask the right questions, but you have a choice to explore, so pick up what connects to you the most.’  She believed in the power of gratitude and she passed on this power to me as well. Now, I pray every day, not because I want something, but to thank the Almighty for providing me with all that I need.

Apart from these, she also taught me the importance of relationships and how we can build fulfilling relationships with trust, patience and love. She has done a lot for me and I am grateful to have her in my life. She is more than a mom to me. We share a relationship which is beyond words. Even today when I call, I speak more to my Chithi. My dad at times gets annoyed, but I am sure he is very happy that we have gelled with each other so well. During my college days, I remember my friends telling me that I looked exactly like my Chithi and I would laugh at it. Now I know why they said that, because I and my Chithi have connected at a much deeper level, something beyond blood relationships.

About Gayatri

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found “Outside the Kitchen Window” (www.gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book

 

Lessons learned from Mumbai Trains

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Gayatrri Aptekar

Growing up in Mumbai, the local trains always fascinated me. The undying spirit of Mumbaikars, the bundled energy and their persistence amused me as a child. This love for Mumbai Locals, led me to choose a college 30 kilometres far and each day I would look forward to my train journeys. I have been travelling now for 14 years in the local train and each day teaches me something new. Now you may wonder, what a train journey and that to a crowded one could teach me. But there are some very profound lessons I have learnt and some of them I am sharing with you all, today.

Time Management

If you are travelling by train and happen to stay in Badlapur, Ambernath, Titwala or Virar, then each microsecond counts for you. If you miss one train, then the next train comes after 20 minutes (if they are on time). Train travelling teaches you to manage your time efficiently and effectively. I learnt to prioritize the important tasks and get them done quickly, so that I can catch my regular train and reach college/office before time.

If there is a Will, there is a Way

“Move inside, don’t push. There is no space here to stand”, shouted one lady. “What move inside, there is no place to stand inside”, another lady shouted. And within seconds, it started raining heavily and guess what, the ladies cleared the footboard to close the door. Few moments ago there was no place to stand and everybody was pushing each other and now, the compartment could easily accommodate 10 more ladies. That clearly shows us that if we are really willing to do something and it is highly important to us, then we surely will find a way or make one.

Travelling is fun

If you are a Mumbaikar and travel by train regularly, then you have a separate set of friends called, ‘train friends’ and trust me this is the best friendship to have. The one hour train journey felt like just 15 minutes with my friends around. I would easily get a seat the moment I boarded the train. We as a group would celebrate birthdays and festivals in train compartment. Amidst all the chaos and crowd, it taught me how to have fun and celebrate.

Let Go

This is one of the most important lessons that I have learnt over the years. At times no matter how fast I ran, I couldn’t catch the train. I had to let go and wait for the next train. Momentarily, I got upset, but what amazed me was when I started to let go, the next train would always be empty. In life too we might have to let go of certain things and who knows, maybe what follows could be the best for us.

Apart from these profound lessons, there are some practical tips that I would like to share.

  1. If you are boarding a train from any of the junctions, especially in the Central line (Thane/Kalyan/Dadar), do stand on the bridge, until you see the train arriving. I am sure you don’t wish to waste time and energy by climbing the stairs, unless you seriously wanna lose weight.
  2. Before getting into the compartment, do ensure that you tie the Dupatta/Stole properly or might as well; keep them in your bag. Also tie your hair to avoid unnecessary breakage.
  3. While getting down just stand, the crowd will push you and you will get down at the station, easily.
  4. Sports shoes are the best, when it comes to train travel. They are comfortable and no matter how much someone stamps on your feet, you will be safe.
  5. Trains are the best place to introspect. So do carry a book or listen to music and trust me creativity flows, instantly. You could also get some amazing ideas for your next blogpost or a short story.

About Gayatri

A curious student of Life, Gayatri believes in the power of Dreams. She quit her career as a Research Associate to follow her passion of writing and interacting with people. A Master Practitioner of NLP, she is a NLP Healer and a life coach. She can be found “Outside the Kitchen Window” (www.gsaptekar84@gmail.com ) wielding her magical wand to pen her thoughts, poems, fictitious stories, mouth-tingling recipes and book reviews.