Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Inspiring women in my life ...



I want to dedicate this month for inspiring women in my life.  when I think of women -  a lot of them come to my mind, especially those with whom I closely interact and keep meeting them often, either because of my work that gives me the space or sometimes in a social gathering where in I come across women who are so courageous and at other times, I meet them in my own counselling centre, they  never fail to motivate and energize me.  I am grateful to all the women in my life; and specially those who have shown great courage to fight all odds and continue to live with hope and optimism.

In one of my usual visit, I observed saritha (name changed) who came to the centre for counselling; married at an early age and within one year, conceived and came to the PPTCT(Prevention of Parent to Child Testing) centre, for ANC (Antenatal Care) where she was sent for HIV testing. (HIV testing is mandatory for all pregnant women)

Saritha was found  HIV positive;  she was very angry, upset, and felt cheated by her husband.  When the husband was called for testing; he refused to come, instead fought with saritha; argued and blamed her for the status, stating that it’s her problem and she needs to deal with it;

Saritha was devastated and with great difficulty and courage fought with him and his family, but did not succeed; her husband left her to her fate and moved on with another women. She was thrown out of the house, because she was found HIV positive; and nobody was willing to take her even from her family side. Being an orphan and brought up by the aunt and uncle, she did not know what to do, as she loved children, she chose to continue her pregnancy till the ninth month, unfortunately saritha gave birth to a still born child.




The death of the child caused severe distress…. despite all these problems, she never gave up; she is full of optimism and cheerfulness and visits the ART regularly for medicines. (Anti retroviral Treatment), she visits the counsellor  regularly at the Government hospital.  The last time I saw her, she was full of enthusiasm saying that she wants to move ahead in life, and does not want to live in the past.

I salute saritha for her determination to fight facing discrimination and humiliation only because she is HIV positive, and that too which is not her fault. She works hard as a domestic help and makes a living; there are so many saritha’s who become victims without their faults. when I thought of this lady and the kind of problems she was facing, my problems appeared so small and insignificant.  I appreciated saritha for touching my life, showing me that no matter how broken we are; we can always start afresh, leaving the past behind and focussing on the present, and taking charge of our lives.... 

May this post  inspire you !
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My gratitude list for February, 2015!

This post was written for Gratitude Circle for the month of February, 2015

Thanks to vidya& corinne for the image
 There are so many things I want to be grateful for this short month, but I want specifically to be thankful for the following:

  • I completed 4 years working as a psychological counselor in the University campus and am grateful for all the learning’s and every opportunity this place has offered me in the last few years. I love the ambience and the space that  I have to work; I feel good to give my best as there is so much of acknowledgement, affirmation and encouragement I get from my head and colleagues.

  • I had opportunity to visit the government Integrated Counseling Testing Centre’s and the Parent to Child Transmission centre’s for HIV/AIDS as part of my supportive supervision, wherein I interacted with women who came for pre test and post test counseling, and some of their stories brought tears to my eyes. (I will share in my next post a few of the cases that I witnessed) I am grateful for these field experiences that lets me enter the lives of simple women, who suffer innocently and the courage they display is very inspiring.

  • I am grateful for the opportunity to co author a Research paper on Prevention of Violence against women at an international seminar scheduled at Madurai in the coming month.  I am grateful for my companion Aparna for initiating this process to reflect back on the pilot programme implemented in our city.  I am thankful for YWCA for encouraging and supporting me to attend the seminar and represent the organization for this programme.

  • Training has always been my strength; and I am grateful to the University for sending me to take a few sessions at SICA (State Institute of Correctional Services) Telengana, on substance abuse and its impact on behavior, which made me do a lot of reading, understanding, and discuss with my team and evolve presentation to suit the target group.

  • I am grateful for my good health of body and mind.  My thyroid levels have come back normal and all the symptoms that was interfering me to function normally had disappeared.  I have resumed walking, yoga stretches, counting calories, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and practicing gratitude every day.

  • I am thankful for my daughter who is full of life; and very motivating to explore new places for shopping and also helped me fight fear (I always avoided escalator due to fear and prefer to walk down the railing) this time she encouraged me to try taking the escalator, I succeeded but still have little fear, I am sure it will go, once I make it a habit. On the Valentine’s Day we went out together to Big Bazaar and picked up a few tops on discount, we enjoyed the window shopping.
    My daughter Maria Dorothy

  • I am also grateful for meeting an 11 year old child in a social gathering, who reminded me of my son Emmanuel; I could not take my eyes of him, for he was so charming and cute, very affectionate, cheerful and innocent.

  • I was very happy and felt as though I had visited my son for the second time in my life, on enquiry I found out that his name was Mahesh; he was Down syndrome kid, a year older to Emmanuel and goes to school. The rest of the day was a flash back of my son Emmanuel; its only 4 years that he is no more and I find him in all the simple things of life – smile, touch, hug, laughter, fun, togetherness, celebrations, children, flowers that I encounter almost daily reminding me that death can never be final, those we love, continue to live in us; and we can see them everywhere around us…
    Me and Mahesh

  • I am grateful for the Lenten season for it has helped us to bond as a family, wherein we could go for mass on ash Wednesday and also fast twice a week, David and Dorothy have been my inspiration for this lent, together they have made this season meaningful by fasting and praying – for me it’s a big U turn to practice rituals with a sincere heart, bringing in changes in attitude and desiring to become a better person.

  • I do appreciate the blogging community; who have been posting very motivating and inspiring post.  I am happy to read all their posts, especially the 1000 post for compassion was a good initiative, and I was glad to see so many of the bloggers coming together to share their valuable insights; I experienced a lot of positivity in the virtual space.. and I do appreciate the constant supply of energy that I get from reading these posts.

I desire to continue walking with gratitude; and spread awareness on the immense benefits of living with gratitude.


Thank you for reading this post !

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Call for Compassion

When I think of this word compassion; the person who comes to my mind is the Lord Jesus Christ, brought up in a catholic faith, I always marvel at this great personality, who was extremely compassionate to every one around him.

I remember the parables from the bible, wherein he had compassion for people because they remained with him for three days, having nothing to eat; at another instance he felt compassion for the people as they were like sheep without a shepherd, when he went to the shore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion for them and healed the sick, moved with compassion Jesus touched their eyes and they regained sight. 
He made the lame walk, raised the dead to life, healed the leper.  Every thing Jesus did was out of compassion; compassion to the extent of forgiving the enemies and praying for those who persecuted him.
Working as a psychological counsellor in the university campus – it is very important to be kind and compassionate; as the students who come to the counselling centre are broken in many ways, they are away from home and most of them come from the rural background with agriculture as the family occupation.  Their families are economically backward and they are financially stressed.

The common issues they face are  adjustments, fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, relationship failure, violence and low self confidence, poor communication skills, too much competition, insecurity leading to loneliness, and low motivation.

I feel honoured when they just open up their hearts and display the weaker aspects of their lives and the struggles they face in dealing with their own issues, I  accept with great reverence and treat it as something very sacred.

The more I listen to the sad real stories of life; the greater I feel is the call to be compassionate; in today's  context wherein there is so much of violence every where, the daily newspaper is full of stories covering suicide, murder, rape, too much of negativity in our thoughts, hurting one another in the name of ideology, religion – there is a definite need to be kind, compassionate.  


Let us join together to spread love, peace and harmony around. I am glad to be writing this post for the 1000 speak for compassion, and appreciate all those who have participated by writing some very beautiful and motivational post, which has inspired me to do this post today.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and
 the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

 

Friday, February 20, 2015

GRATEFUL FOR LENT!

This post comes with gratitude to  Robyn post http://essenceofafamily.weebly.com, which inspired me to write this post.


This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday, we got up early and went for mass; this year my daughter Maria Dorothy chose to come with us for morning mass, and even was ready to fast for the morning.  I am impressed with my daughter for the choice she has made, even though I always felt one must go beyond fasting and practising rituals.  Every year David is very particular about Lent and he will make sure that we fast, pray and take vegetarian food for all the forty days.

I have not been particular and over the last few  years, as I felt that Lent must be  an opportunity to become a better person, to give up all those qualities that hinders us from being loving and harmonious. I also realize that improving ourselves and becoming human is a lifelong process; and one must not just restrict it to only season of lent.

In a busy life, with too many activities and deadlines to meet, we may forget the need for reflection, to look within and explore to find whether we are happy; and living fulfilling lives. Lent is a blessing for us as Catholics, for it comes like speed breaker, and slows us down reminding us that we are all on a journey and our destination is the same, despite the fact that we may be in a different compartment, the journey is only one. 

There is no second journey on this rail track and the we are all moving, expected to be and do our best. In this little time here on earth, we are called to journey with happiness, while we watch our companions getting down at different stations as their time has come, we take the learning’s, and also share our learning’s in life, enabling those who find difficulty in this journey, extending our helping hands and giving them some comfort and space in our compartment and sharing what we have.

Last evening I was planning for the menu, as today is Friday again David will fast and not eat anything; so wanted to prepare breakfast for my daughter… and then my daughter tells me that its Friday, and she will not eat breakfast and she will only take light lunch; I got worried for her, as the distance she travels for the school is quite far and it’s a full day school, which means she will leave home by 7.45a.m. and come back by 5p.m.  I tried rationalizing with her that she must take lunch enough to sustain her till evening, but being adamant, she had her way and took idli’s for lunch.

This was the first time Dorothy has taken lent very seriously, thanks to her catechism and her friends she made her own choice; which made me reflect too and sometimes it’s ok to fast, with all my reasoning and understanding I too decided to join my daughter and husband to fast this lent twice a week. I felt a lot better and spent more time in praying for my students; and all those who are part of my life.  Fasting for a cause and spending time in prayer makes a lot of difference.

I hope to sustain myself for the next 38 days, and will also allow myself to be flexible in learning adapting myself to things that I did not do before…

Be Blessed & Be Happy! 
  

Friday, February 6, 2015

WORLD CANCER DAY!


My inspiration today comes from all those souls who have survived cancer, which once upon a time was considered a dreadful disease, and people were afraid even to mention and bring this topic to speak about and discuss.  It is still considered terminal illness, and unfortunately cancer gets identified only in the last stages.

I feel privileged to encounter persons who have fought and bounced back fully alive; and have become a source of motivation and inspiration for many, it’s a complete turnover of what life was before they were contracted with cancer and what it is now.


One such lady whom I have met 6 months ago was referred for counseling, as she had some issues with her daughter who was in college; interacting with her and exploring reasons; she told me all her problem about how difficult it was to deal with her daughter, who does not listen to her, and who is all the time busy on phone, she seemed upset that being the only daughter, she seem to be isolating from her for tiny issues , and how she is feeling helpless and lonely; in the few more consecutive sessions her focus was only her daughter and she seemed desperate to change her daughter.


Listening for a few sessions and providing space for her to articulate and vent; I felt it was time for her to   shift her focus from her daughter to herself, so I started enquiring about her own well being – she started sharing all her struggles, married young, had lot of issues in her marital life, difficulties in traditional joint family system, forced to take divorce, live with stigma and discrimination as a divorcee, She had to chose to bring up her only daughter single handedly, took up a job to fend for herself and after few years, she was detected with cancer in the last stage; it was shocking for me to hear that she had survived cancer of the lungs from 4th stage; at the same time, I admired  her strength,  courage and persistence to fight back and take control of her life. 
  
She did not want to give up easily as her only ray of hope was her young daughter, for whom she was ready to fight the battle and come out victorious, and she did not stop there; she explored alternatives to prevent it from reoccurring, by changing to Ayurveda medicines and continues to live a healthy life…… Suddenly I felt compassion for this lady and began to understand her desperation to bring in changes in her daughter’s life… so I encouraged her to love herself, to do all those things that can make her happy, let go of the past, practice gratitude every day, spread peace and I found improvement at every session and things started improving, she stopped coming but kept in touch on phone; updating me regularly as to how she is coping with whatever problems she is facing. 

There was another women who survived uterus cancer in the fourth stage, where in the doctors gave her only a month to live; and she with determination fought and went on to live for another 10 years of her life… what I found common in both these women were that they did not give up but trusted themselves, trusted God and made positive choices to keep themselves happy. There are many more persons around us; who have fought cancer and have survived


Doctors say that most of the time 80% of the healing is in the patients themselves; with right attitude, positive thinking and practising forgiveness, gratitude and taking good care of themselves, they are able to come out of the disease…… awareness is the key, let us spread awareness that cancer Is treatable, and a person can come back to leading healthy life style..

You may even read the posts on
http://www.provcancerblog.org/

Be Blessed & Be Happy!

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


Recent Comments

Recent Comments Widget