Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gratitude for January, 2015 !


The first month of year January 2015 –unfolded itself with happiness and gratitude, of wanting to live one day at a time; to be present and thankful for all that has gone by, to begin a new with a beautiful affirmation which I have put right in front of me, that says:

Today is a providential gift;
“Today” is God’s willingness
To invest some more life on you,
“Today” is His way of telling you, “YOU can start again”
So, let it not pass off as just, another day in the calendar,
Make your “Today” count.

As soon as I get up from my bed; I look at this quote, which has become my mantra, read, and re- read it again, smile and then begin my day encouraging & motivating myself..

This has become important to me, as I am completely aware that those who were part of my life in the last year; are no longer today in my life. Some have gone to rest eternally, never to come back again, leaving some very memorable moments to be thankful for;

There are some others who just pretended to be my well wishers; but could not keep the mask for a long time, life situations created opportunity to help me recognize them as toxic, who I have let them go as they were not meant to be part of my life’s journey….

January brought in some very important and meaningful experiences to me; meeting a few of my friends after many years brought joy, after almost a decade,  I  spent the whole day with them, which made me come alive;

I appreciate the doctor, who reminded me for a health check up, and in the process identified my thyroid levels had gone high, feel grateful that immediately he attended and increased the dosage, now I feel so much better… and optimistic that all the other tests were normal.

My daughter attained puberty and I am glad that there is another lady in the house;with gratitude we had a small family  gathering.

Life has been a great teacher; so like a good student I am learning all the lessons. Some experiences bring in joy and happiness; While others bring pain, sorrow and also tears;  I value all these learning help me to grow and move on; influencing me positively, enabling me to make choices for myself... to  exercise, eat healthy, stay grateful & positive, to be kind, keep toxic out of my life and progress academically and stay connected with those who motivate and inspire… glad to be part of gratitude circle and I must confess that I derive a lot of energy by reading inspiring posts !!


 Affirmations I practice to sustain my gratitude:
I am thankful for the breath of life everyday….
I appreciate my body for carrying me everywhere...
I am thankful for family and Friends who are supportive
I am thankful for the meaningful work I do
I am at peace with myself! I am completely at peace with the universe
I surrender myself in gratitude everyday to the Divine
I am grateful for all those who serve me both at home and my office
I sing with gratitude every day as I ride to my office... I keep a track of everything that happens, and continuously practice thankfulness by sending thank you notes, thank you messages, cards and at times also remind those around how special they are to me... while I rest to sleep, I relive grateful moments and send vibes of love, forgiveness and happiness to everyone and relax myself with gratitude

Thank you for reading this post!! I smile with gratitude …

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Being Myself!!

24 days have gone by of 2015 I have not made any resolutions, neither a plan for this year.  I am letting the days unfold itself with surprises for me; I have integrated gratitude as a part of my living, I am grateful for all the good and bad things of life; I want to make gratitude a way of life for me.

I am feeling quite rich with so many experiences that has brought immense learning, and is leading me to focus on what really is important for me in this life. I have understood that it is very important to be healthy in order to be active; health as per the world health organizations definition; not the absence of sickness but a total well being… which I have taken very seriously this year, taking full responsibility for my health.

I got my health check up done last week; all the important tests, age appropriate ones – visited the doctor and with the medical reports, took the feedback and I am in the process of implementing moving towards a healthier self …

After having made a couple of presentations in the national seminar last year I gained confidence to move further academically; hopefully this year I am finding better opportunities from National Seminars to the international ones  in the area of psychological health & women’s empowerment. Partnering with like minded friends is also an important aspect for me this year 2015.


I have also learnt to respect and love myself in a new way; that is learning to get rid of all those dramas/circus and actors/actresses that contaminate my spirit. I want to devote my time & energy to something more meaningful and fulfilling.

One of the biggest pressures of my life in the year 2014 has been maintaining formal relationships, that brought nothing in my life, except unnecessary toxic, poisoning me and my family; now I am glad and totally relaxed as I don’t have to live upto anybody’s expectations and I don’t need to justify my choices and my stand on whatever I believe to be true.

Enjoying the freedom to be myself


Monday, January 19, 2015

Mental Health & Counseling!


Today I was reading Deepika Padukones interview in the newspaper, wherein she openly shared her problem of anxiety and depression.  Mental problems have existed even before counseling was ever recognized, and people have used different forms of help to deal with psychological problems. For more information read here http://www.buzzfeed.com/andreborges/deepika-padukone-spoke-out-about-battling-depression.


In most cultures, individuals experiencing psychological difficulties first tend to seek help from their social support systems-close friend, family member or religious leaders before seeking professional help (Perdersen,1981; Prathikanti, 1997; Ramisetty-Mikler,1993; Rule & Gandy, 1994; Sue &Morishima, 1982; Tinsley, de St. Aubin, & Brown, 1982). 

Conceptions of mental well being and illness come from the prevailing worldview and life philosophy of society. In a society such as India, this viewpoint is influenced by the religious framework that people live within (Ramisetty-Mikler, 1993).

This perspective can be frequently seen in Asian Indian families, where the family handles a problem by seeking help from the elders of the family or from close family friends. As mentioned earlier, religious leaders and holy people are sought for advice with many types of psychological problems (Prathikanti, 1997).

India has a long, ancient culture, and individuals hold mystical and religious beliefs which help them cope with daily life stresses. This belief as enumerated by Jayakar (1994, p.112) explains how Indian women "would accept medicines, prayers, or rituals, or even severe punishment under the guise of treatment before seeking insight oriented psychotherapy" which may hold true for both sexes.

Mental health in India has historically not been considered an important issue and is still perceived relatively callously among the general population that consists of poorly educated individuals. Mental illness and severe psychological disorders are associated with counseling in India (Ramisetty-Mikler, 1993). This means that a person going to counseling is not seen as a normal individual with adjustment or other minor issues, and he/she is catapulted into the realm of the abnormal, something that is to be avoided as far as possible.

Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated professionals, the field of mental health counseling is gaining positive recognition, and people are slowly losing their inhibitions about seeking help for coping with stressing life situations. Working in a psychological counselling centre as a counsellor for the last 4years; the most common problem I encounter all the time is students having fear, anxiety, adjustment and the next common one is Depression. 


If you are a youngster/a student who is reading this post; understand that Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms. Because of the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness.

They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is discovered. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include the following, if you have several of the signs & symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

·         Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge ?
·         Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities ?
·         Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake ?
·         Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way ?
·         Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they make you anxious ?
·         Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic ?
·         Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner ?

Similarly Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help. Common signs and symptoms of depression are as follows:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.  .
  • Appetite or weight changes. 
  • Sleep changes
  • Irritability or restlessness.
  • Loss of energy. 
  • Self-loathing.
  • Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains.
  • An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide: it's a cry for help.

If you are suicidal or are having thoughts of harming yourself, please seek help immediately If you are in Hyderabad you can call 040-27682451 between 10 am and 4 pm or 040-46004600 from 10 a.m. – 7p.m. Monday to Friday everyday of the week. Or you may visit your local hospital/doctor.


Be Blessed & Be Happy !

Adapted from:
http://gwired.gwu.edu/counsel/CounselingServices/PersonalCounseling/

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Mario Emmanuel’s 4th Death Anniversary


Emmanuel with his favourite drum
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” Kahlil Gibran
Infectious Laughter 
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for 0thers and the world remains and is immortal” Albert Pike
Emmanuel with his sister Maria Dorothy
“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die” Thomas Campbell.


Be Blessed & Be Grateful !!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good Bye 2014 & Welcoming 2015

I would like to say good bye with gratitude for some very special and memorable times. I some of the things that I wanted for 2014 were:
  • Take on to traveling within the city and within the state as much as possible
  • Bonding with family
  • Saying goodbye people and situations that influences me negatively
  • Connect with some very lovable relationships that I have lost touch with
  • Be academically sound, at least present one research paper
  • Have some fun accepting everything in life; as it unfolds naturally finding happiness, joy and meaning with thanksgiving and gratitude….

 THANK YOU 2014 –Highlights of my life

January
Enthusiastic month - with the dawn of New Year, scheduled the first travel within the state to Medak, 90kms from Hyderabad, enjoyed visiting the famous and biggest church in the state as well as in Asia, also went around two villages, breathing in fresh air and enjoying a nutritious and delicious food.
nearby village
 
Medak Church
Friends place
February – shortest month got busy at work & trained in Supportive Supervision for Global funding programme for AIDS TB & Malaria (GFATM Round 7).Also was winding up a pilot programme on Violence Against women wherein I was part of the implementing programme through YWCA (Young Women Christian Association – Secunderabad).

My workload was recognized and an additional person was added to the Psychological Counseling centre, which was a positive experience for me; as I had another person with me to share counseling concerns and also to distress myself when I clientele load was high.
 
Grand finale of the pilot programme
March
Final exams for my daughter; and she was down with chicken pox; and despite all the issues of notes, and gap in the class room learning, she managed to do her exams well and did not have any issue with attendance, as she was regular to school throughout the year.

April – exciting month for blogging – I participate in the A-Z Blogging connected with a variety of bloggers, a lot of interactions, learning and enthusiasm in blogging.. Traveled to pune to connect with some of our relatives, a time of fun, recalling and reliving memorable events of the past, enjoying good food, visiting all the loved ones….. back home celebrating Easter

Aghakhan palace at Pune
May – Attended a wedding party at Novatel, Vizag, took opportunity to visit the city and also take a break at Borra Caves and Aaraku valley ….  There was also 10 days Vacation Bible School for my daughter followed by another 7days summer camp at Sacred Space at Secunderabad

Vizag city
June – We got back to academics, school reopens for my daughter, me busy with my regular work at the University and David’s scheduled visit to the Vipassana meditation centre at Hyderabad beyond city limits. Attended refresher training programmes at my work place…

July – we got involved in family events and celebrations, I had supervision visits – meeting the deadlines at office; and also a city tour with the David’s prayer group, wherein we went around the city for a full day and had some fun with jolly rides.. it was enjoyable..

Charminar at Hyderabad

Nehru Zoological park
August – there were too many activities at my workplace, a workshop on cross cultural issues in counseling was organized, and it was very inspiring; there was also a book launch on social psychology by prof. E G Parmeshwaran, a renowned author; and there was also a travel for David to Vijayawada for a death anniversary of his relative; and back again preparation for my daughter’s birthday in the coming month..  
Dream valley resort .. enjoyed swimming here

Lunch at Dream valley resort with friends
September – my daughter’s birthday, a very special day for us, also celebration of mother Mary’s feast, a challenging month as I got an invite and opportunity to attend a “National Workshop on Counseling Initiatives and Recent Trends in varied settings”  First time I attempted to  make a paper presentation on Counseling women in violence, and it was great learning experience…

Maria's Birthday with nathu & tabu - my nephew sunny's kids
October  - it was a holiday time for my daughter… so time for a break, chose to move around the places in our city; and were happy to spend time at Shilparaman..  went out for lunch at Hyderabad house for the traditional biryani.


wedding anniversary dinner

Shilparaman - tribal set up
November – stressful period in the family, death of my brother in law who passed away after being sick for a long time, leaving two small kids. David was kind and generous to help this family, in helping them not only cope with the loss, but also offering moral support to them on one side, and enabling his mom to find a space for herself; as it was her choice to live on her own……

December – season of hope, joy and celebrations of Christmas that brings in cheer and good news, and motivates me to celebrate my birthday with gratitude….another opportunity to attend a National workshop on mental health & well being in schools.  I was happy to present another paper on A Proactive approach to Mental Health & Well Being, Focus on High School Students. I just desired to do one paper this year, and I ended up doing two…. feeling confident to do more such meaningful exercises. 

Christmas 2014
Throughout the year, David gets busy with organizing prayer meeting in the parish, once a month, every 4th Sunday – preparing for the day, practicing hymns with children, getting them ready for mass, and last year he was also invited to sing at a music channel (SubhSandesh), newly introduced for Hindi speaking - melodious songs in Hindi were composed with the help of Mr Francis who is very good in playing all the instruments..

We also said goodbye to a few relationships that were toxic, in order to protect ourselves from being manipulated; we are grateful for some very bad experiences within the extended family circle, as it made our eyes open to certain realities of life, which otherwise would not have come to the surface… yet at the same time giving ourselves the permission to feel the anger, pain, resentment and letting go all the negative experiences, in order to forgive. (may not be easy to forget).

free images from google
We have no ill feelings towards those who have harmed us and attempted to break our family… we in fact thank them for helping us to see our contribution (wherein we have allowed and blindly trusted, person to take advantage of us).

Now we take responsibility in learning and moving on to focus on what really matters in our life for us as individuals and also as a family. We are glad that despite the storms we are together nurturing one another’s goal, supporting and standby each other to deal with every crisis in the family, and leaving all toxic behind to start the fresh New Year 2015... no fixed agenda… but just doing what we love to…. hoping to travel more.. have more Friends and Fun…, enjoy holidays… do our best in whatever we undertake, academics… career and take life as it comes… staying positive and grateful all through….

Happy New Year 2015!!

May you be Happy & May you be blessed

Thank Diana for choosing me for  the interview at womensweb…

www.womensweb.in/2014/10/genevive-angela-counsellor-in-india/

There is so much more..... and too many photographs still for sharing...  tried to put it sequence ..  I do not want to make this post too long, all I want to convey is my gratitude for 2014 for everything .... and welcoming 2015 !!!
Love to all !!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MYSELF !!!

A card for myself 
Today I woke up with Gratitude in my heart; it’s a day reminding me of the day I was born…. Bringing memories to let me know how adorable and lovable I am.

Thanking my mom who always remembered and made me feel special, she has celebrated every birthday of mine; getting new clothes for me; preparing my favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner, entertaining my friends; storing jasmines for me in the fridge and reminding me constantly not to forget to put it on my hair; ensured that I had matching bangles to match the color of my frock; blessing me and keeping me happy.

She had a good memory and would even come home after I got married; and had my own kids, she was still there for my birthdays… today I know she is praying for me and smiling from above, as I pick up a new dress, wear the matching earings, bangles, clip my hair with a colorful band and look at myself in the mirror smiling with gratitude and walk towards the church, thanking the Lord for all that He has done in my life; I lift up my heart and soul in thanksgiving to begin my day.


My father used to offer mass for me on my birthday and pray for my wellbeing, I feel thankful for the gift of faith which I got it from him, my dad taught me to trust in the Lord at all times; and encouraged me to read the bible and was proud of my involvement in the activities of the church.

Today there are so many persons who has been a great source of strength in my life; and I would not have reached where I am today without the  help of all these lovely relationships at different stages of my life… and I continue to make new relationships as I keep moving on in gratitude…


To all the beautiful people out there … my family, friends, colleagues, teachers, spiritual guides, guruji’s, authors and every person whom I have met in the last 50 years - thanks for accompanying me in my life’s journey.

I appreciate you for enabling me find myself, thank you for all the learning’s, inspiration and motivation you have provided me and still continue to affirm me right through the year…. am happy and full of joy… wanting to share everything I am blessed with.

I recommit myself to the Lord; Love and Accept myself and continue my journey with renewed strength to keep discovering the meaning and the purpose of my life…. Making a difference where ever I am..


Thank you!! Be Happy!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gratitude for the month!!






This post was written for the Gratitude Circle; now that the decision is made to make a post on December 31st, 2014… I felt it would be appropriate, if I can do another post for the last day of 2014, which would be a review of the year, my experiences & learning’s and the way I plan to move on in my life… of course with gratitude and commitment finding myself in a new way in this journey and also taking inspiration from the gratitude circle..


I am grateful to have a new neighbor, who is simple, genuine and much focused in her work. She has also become my walking buddy!  Every day we walk together in the early hours for an hour; praying together, praying for one another, encouraging and motivating one another to keep up the time for walking. We also share a cup of coffee, it’s a blessing to have a good neighbor who shares your values; and who is also very positive in her approach.

Also thankful for my colleague and friends who are truly a blessing; they discuss and bring the best in me in all the academic related activities, interacting with them, gaining knowledge and skill to progress academically.


Glad for them in my life for they  inspire me to do some research oriented presentations, which I am learning to enjoy exploring new ways to do more such stimulating presentations. It’s because of them I was able to evolve a paper on Mental Health among high school students at IASE – Institute of Advance Study Education, Osmania University.

I pushed myself to present a theoretical paper on Mental Health and Well Being in school, with a focus on High school children, it was inspiring and a learning experience for me….I am happy to do everything I am interested and want to; thus eliminating all those aspects and persons who drain my energy….

Back home – am glad for my husband who is ever supportive in all that I do, observing my interest he installed the internet connection, so that I do not have to struggle to go out at the internet centre for browsing, posting. Now I can even complete important official reports from home.  I was feeling sick for few days because of the change in weather (cold & cough); had to compel myself to rest; David ended up doing all the work at home, which is truly a blessing to have a husband who is caring and very good at handling the kitchen.

My daughter is a blessing and is very good at the internet, and helps me if I have any issues of the computer. I am also thankful to God for the courage he has given my daughter to learn to ride on her own; it was very surprising now that she is tall and can touch the ground sitting on my bike – within two weeks she mastered the art of driving, I was wondering whom to contact to help her teach riding, as I was not confident in teaching her to ride… now I go to pick her up from the bus stop on the bike, and she rides home back, while I walk behind her. (She is not yet 18 and I don’t want her to ride on the busy road)




I am at home for Christmas; with my family, which was a quiet one, having a few family friends home, and then meeting a few of my daughter’s friends late in the evening. 

Merry Christmas !!!

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