Insights about what I feel as a writer v/s a reader

As we know, writing is all about language, the correct use of grammar, vocabulary and putting it all together in a conducive manner. It’s more about an individual’s thought process, a perspective-oriented approach and creating/construction of a literary artform.

Writers reflect a sort of expression or output as one may say, while a reader is encased by absorbing or intake of information. There is one common thread which binds each of them, viz. enveloped by various approaches (in terms of reading and writing). They are two different aspects of the same world… one to understand humans and the world itself while the other to be understood.

In words of award-winning writer Jacqueline Woodson, “You don’t need to have a great vocabulary. What you need to have is a creative way of using the words you have. I think sometimes it is detrimental to writers to have too much of a vocabulary.” Using the write set of words is essential, it’s easy to propagate the path ahead and an easy scoop for the readers to consume. Words fuelled by passion, a strong vision and content-driven force are always propelled towards a larger part of the audience. Also, for readers, having a deeper insight, learning appetite and empathy is vital.

Being a writer is an extension of one’s personality. Before anything else, you are an individual with a voice. A human being with a rational mind, freedom of expression and the ability to use logical reasoning. Writing enables one to leave a part of our self into the universe, to fill in the gaps with your words, wherever you go. While, reading enables one to fill their empty cups with abundance of knowledge and look at things from a fresh lens.

I am nothing without reading, totally empty without words. Being a reader since childhood has deeply ingrained that into my subconscious. With my books and reading entities, I feel sane or rather more human, if that makes sense. Fragments of literature, author’s mindset, their processes of writing, the core of written entities has been a large part of who I am today. Reading has moulded me into a better viewer and a patient listener.

But, being a writer has made me more biased towards writing. The best part is that there is a constant hunger …. for more fleshed out pieces of content, to learn and evolve constantly and put some of the best pieces of my work out there. The creative satisfaction is beyond anything else. When your written work touches people’s heart, gives them hope, fill their hearts with unbridled joy, that’s all a writer strives for… to make a difference and leave an impact on the world.

Advertisement

Mindfulness

What is mindfulness and how do we define it?

Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It focuses entirely on the “present” or the “current state”.

It also means paying close attention to our thoughts, our habits and the way in which we look at things. We observe, interpret and become conclusive from a highly-focused and clear lens of perspective.

How does being mindful help us?

Studies have shown that being mindful not only help us to connect with our inner self but also boosts our immune system and helps to improve the quality of sleep.

It increases positive emotions while keeping negativity and stress at bay. Apart from this, it increases the density of grey matter in our brain which is linked with memory, learning and emotions. It aids to improve attention and decision-making.

Let’s take a deeper look into what mindfulness exactly means : 

Example 1 :  A high-sugar filled snack is tempting and indulgent. We relish it with utmost amount of pleasure and happiness. Once we eat, we crave more. Let’s admit, it’s highly addictive.

Example 2 :  Having a party with your friends is fun. Eating non-stop whether it’s burgers, fries, pizza, etc along with continuously sipping a glass full of coke.

Example 3 :  Sitting at home, getting to the fridge or the kitchen at regular intervals in order to find a snack or having those midnight sugar cravings.

In all the three examples stated above, one thing is common – calories? Yes! but maybe more – like guilty pleasure, unhealthy stuff, over eating, etc.

Whether it’s the sugar snack or junk food or over eating habits, all of this occurs as a result of negligence and not being mindful.

Now, what exactly does that mean?

Being mindful means to be fully aware and conscious of what you are eating. Asking oneself, is it healthy? Is it good for the body? Are we really eating enough to provide sufficient nutrition or just over eating and increasing the calorie intake?

Having cheat days or rewarding yourself with a sweet treat is fine. But, binge-eating on a day-to-day basis can be damaging to the body. It’s being aware when to stop eating and it’s all about eating in the right manner, i.e. being mindful while eating.

Practising mindfulness on a daily basis can be quite effective. Not only for the physical health but mental health as well. It enables us to have a deeper understanding of one’s own self.

We can have a stronger sense of our self, believe in our values, be more aware and take clear decisions. It’s like practising gratitude – being thankful, thinking positive thoughts and focusing completely on the present.

How can we practice and cultivate mindfulness?

1. Spending more time with yourself : The more time you devote to your well-being, the easy it is to be mindful.

2. Paying close attention to your thoughts : Monitor your thoughts. What do they convey? Are they aligned with a positive self-talk? Ask yourself.

3. Spend some time in nature : Experiencing and being aware of your surroundings can have a greater impact on you.

4. Setting up a regular routine : Regular practice and discipline can help you to focus more.

5. Self-awareness is one of the keys to mindfulness : Being fully aware of one’s self enables you to align with your energy and match the vibrations of your inner self.

6. Practising yoga or meditation : It enables you to be more aware and gain control of your mind. 

As rightly said by Buddha, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” This captures the essence of mindfulness: bringing our attention to the present moment – the only moment we can ever be sure of.

“The Versatile Blogger Award”

Just going through my WordPress blog and found this notification where I was being nominated for the “Versatile Blogger Award” by one of my favorite food bloggers and my dear friend, J.C.

It was nearly 3 years ago that she nominated me for this. The reason I took so long for this post is that – back then I felt that my journey had just begun. I had lots to learn and grow as an amateur writer (still learning and growing). Today, I look back and feel extremely proud and grateful for how far I have come.

So, let’s do this!

The Rules :

 ✏ Thank the person who gave you this award. Include a link to their blog.

✏ Share seven things about yourself that people might not know.

✏ Nominate other bloggers.

Thank you so much https://getsetwriteblog.wordpress.com/ for the nomination. Your blog is awesome and you have always been a great source of inspiration for me. 

A little about myself –

1) I absolutely love reading! Love the smell of fresh pages of a book and getting lost in the beautiful world of writers and storytelling.

2) My Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw and favorite character is Hermione Granger.

3) One of my favorite subjects is Psychology. I love to learn and explore the different aspects of mind and human behaviour. 

4) I am a quote junkie.

5) My favorite book genre is crime fiction.

6) I love fun facts. Here’s one – 

Sigmund Freud (the father of psychoanalysis) was nominated for a noble prize 13 times (12 times for medicine and 1 time for literature) yet was never awarded any of them.

7) A hardcore coffee-lover who fell in love with tea.

Instead of nominating people, I would like all my readers to take a moment and thank 3 people they are grateful for. 

Also, you can put up a post on gratitude and don’t forget to tag @visitatblog in the post. 

“Gratitude” is one of the small yet big things that you can express towards people who are extremely valuable and make a big difference in your life. 🙂

One last thing, I would like to thank all my readers who have been with me through this entire journey. I started this journey with a “desire” to write and “passion” in my heart. Today, this has become much more than that.

Lots of love,

Visitatblog 💕

The subconscious mind

Your subconscious mind is 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious mind.

But, what exactly is the subconscious mind and how does it operate?

In psychology, the subconscious mind is the part of mind that is not currently in focal awareness; existing in the mind but not consciously known or felt. It is nothing but a huge “memory bank” with a virtually unlimited capacity that stores and retrieves data. 

It works along with your conscious mind (objective or thinking mind) to carry out all the functions of the mind effortlessly. It obeys all the commands of the conscious mind. So, the conscious mind is basically the gardener who takes care of the garden, which is your subconscious mind.

Let’s see how exactly does it work?

For eg: When you learn to drive a car, initially, your conscious mind takes the entire control of your movements, judgement of speed, accuracy, mindfulness of the threats around, etc. The main focus is obviously paying attention to the first gear, accelerator, turning on/off the car indicator signal lights.

In a couple of days, your mind is conditioned to these operations and requires little or no conscious efforts at all. That is when the subconscious mind comes into play. You drive effortlessly with hardly any attention to gear or the accelerator.

Apart from this, it is also a “secret weapon” or a “magic spell” for your mind. Whatever you feed it, it entirely takes the information and function accordingly. The thoughts that you think, the things that you affirm, the goals that you set, your priorities, all are passed on to this operator. So, remember that you yourself have the power to choose your thoughts and build on what you want or desire.

If you want to achieve a particular objective or a dream, feed that to the subconscious. If you want to be healthy, affirm ad repeat loudly, “I am healthy. I am feeling great. My health is my priority.” It will exactly pick up those powerful vibrations and help you achieve them; likewise with the negative thoughts.

When you try something out of your comfort zone, initially you feel tensed and uneasy. It is nothing but your subconscious mind pulling you back to your comfort zone. It is only when you have the power to control your subconscious, you will be able to achieve great things, way beyond your potential.

The interesting thing is that you can actually feel and experience the powers of the subconscious mind. For instance, Doing a 20-min yoga session or a 10-min mantra meditation or a weight-training or a cardio (any form of exercise) engages and connects you to the subconscious. It is all about gaining control of it, when you can actually feel it’s power.

Likewise, writing a story or a blog, or even maintaining a journal. In these activities, the subconscious mind plays a huge part. It governs the thought processes and enables the flow of ideas within.

Isn’t it just amazing that this invisible yet crucial aspect of the mind which resides within us – does miracles, yet we are so unaware of it’s mystical powers. 

I know I have been so much intrigued by this, that I can actually go on writing about this …. but just a last thing, I promise.

Our “intuition” or “gut feeling” is entirely a function of the subconscious mind. It’s true! That strange feeling about a person (bad vibes) or this the right opportunity is governed by none other than the secret weapon – the subconscious.

It is quite simple yet complex at the same time. The more you use, believe and understand the true potential of it, the more effective it is!

In words of Joseph Murphy, the author of ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’, “Within your subconscious mind, you will find the solution for every problem, and the cause for every effect.” 

A place called home

 

The first thing that comes into mind is “comfort”. It ultimately transports us into this abstract (yet concrete) space which is so close to our heart, one that has both interior and exterior aspects to it.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “We shape our homes and then our homes shape us.” It describes our connection with this special place. We are conditioned by the people we love, the people we live with, the people who nurture us, our minds are shaped by the kind of environment we live in and the kind of individual we become in our society.

It is interesting how we identify and become attached to such a place (that we call our home) that contributes to our personal well-being or how we feel and think about ourselves. How we respond to our surroundings. How our physical environments have a psychological impact on us. How we as human beings (men and women) respond to the same environment differently.

Home is not just surrounded by boundaries and shapes or forms or dimensions, it’s much more than that. It offers security, emotional and mental stability, a sense of belonging, an aspect of permanence, rich yet enriching environment, safety and comfort. It’s a reflection of our thoughts, fabricated out of our cultures, values and differs in various aspects of societies, groups or communities.

Our identity is supported by the way we personalize our space. This habitation makes you ‘complete’ as an individual where you can be yourself, where you can say it’s my family, it’s where we live, it’s where you belong and identify yourself with a group of people – so close to your heart.

We, as individuals change and evolve. Our relationship with spaces, objects, places vary. Understanding and adapting to different places is something we all manage on a timely basis. But, our attachment to our special place ‘our home’ remains the same. It’s where we are welcomed, where we grow and develop, we form a bond with our loved ones, where we are nurtured and which affects our relationship with the people around us.

Really, there’s nothing like home. It’s where our story begins.

   “I believe wherever dreams dwell, the heart calls it home. So may you untangle yourself from the twist of melancholy and let your thoughts carry back to the birthplace of your truth.” – Dodinsky

NOSTALGIA

Morning 8:30 am : I got awakened by the sound of birds chirping alongside the window pane. The sun was shining brightly, scattering it’s rays in every corner of the house. Before I could start the day, it suddenly stroke my mind… Oh, today’s 1st of July… the start of a whole new month and also last year on this day, I was travelling.

This sudden realization just got me deeply immersed into this big bold ”cloud of nostalgia’. I miss those days! It was on this day that I was on my journey to the beautiful city of Indore (Commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, India), trying to explore every bit of it, being a sort of a hungry gallivanter who doesn’t want to waste any opportunity of exploring each and every corner of this city.

The diversified cultures, the architectural marvel from the design and the patterns embedded in the temples and the galore of food, exceptional beauty and the quest for acquiring knowledge of the historic landmarks just leaves one spellbound.

Each place I visited, not only left me mesmerized and open mouthed but also reminded me of the lines by Ray Bradbury, “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world… it’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories”.

This not only evoked so many memories down the memory lane but also made me realise that I have already left a “part of me” in this city. It has already become mine in some way or the other. It has created moments that will be cherished forever.

I also think that, I still have a very long way to go as far as my journey is concerned. What I’ve seen is just a drop in the ocean. Amidst this, I was hit with the fact that this happened a year ago and things are not the same anymore. The current pandemic has just hit us with a “gigantic thud” which is probably even larger than a earthquake or a thunderbolt.

With that, I heard the sound of my mother calling me for breakfast and a huge reality check. Though the times are quite challenging and the world has turned upside down, all I can do is just hope for the best and keep my fingers crossed that soon I’ll be ready with my bags packed and ready to travel with a ‘wanderlust’ and a tiny bit of a ‘pixie dust’.

“PERSPECTIVE”

The quotation by Douglas Adam, The Salmon of Doubt : Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time – “The fact that billions of people live on this planet has a deep gravity well, surrounded by a gaseous layer of atmosphere, encompassed by various galaxies that are miles away and think this to be normal is the obvious indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be. It all hinges on our “perspective”.

As they say, “Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty”. The odds which seem to be insurmountable does not differ entirely in their aspect, it’s basically the way in which we perceive them is different. A tragedy may appear as a ‘setback’ for one while an ‘opportunity’ for another.

It’s quite interesting how the mind sees, the way it thinks and interpret things and then respond in a certain manner. Although, the kind and degree of the response differs from person to person.

Perspective is defined by the “frame of focus” towards a particular subject. It involves how things are perceived and ideas are accepted by the details that are involved in the analysis and the valid interpretations that are based on the understanding of the matter.

The night sky has always made me wonder, moreover think about this term ‘perspective’. The perception that the sky is full of darkness and it reflects a deep black color. However, if we carefully observe, we might come across the “twinkling stars” that shine so brightly only in the dark and lay hidden behind the sunlight; each in turn waiting for their opportunity to shine as bright as they can. Their beauty which display the “light in the dark times” theme so aptly but also the values of hope, faith, patience, perseverance, etc.

All in all, it’s about how we look upon certain things with a all new focus, a new vision and a whole new “perspective”. As “The real voyage of discovery consists not only in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes”.

Have you ever thought how many flowers does a garden comprise of ?

Have you ever imagined how big is the universe? or rather  does the entire universe resides within you?

Have you ever gazed at the sky full of stars?

Have you ever experienced the power of God? or the belief that some infinite potential, some force or some form of energy does exist in the world?

Have you ever dedicated yourself on improvising your own thoughts, your decisions or your habits?

 

…….…………..

 

This is quite unusual that I’m asking these questions and entitled the blog post as ‘cryptic’.

Well, it totally makes sense.

The questions that I have asked above are all  related to my friends. Each of the aspect of the world, nature, quality all are synonyms for the name of my friends.

As stated by Aristotle, friendship is a “reciprocated goodwill”, It is a virtue which is most necessary with a view to living… for without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.”

 

PS : Dedicated to all my friends (JIVANTI, SHRISHTI, ASWINI, VAISHNAVI, ARPITA).

“ERMEN”

” I don’t want other people to decide what I am.  I want to decide that for myself”, well said by Emma Watson.

Being famous for the role of ‘Hermione Granger’ in the famous Harry Potter film series really stoked me; she being opinionated, pragmatic, logical, valiant and muggle-born.

As a 21-year old, she was riddled with insecurity and self-critiquing. Anxiety had struck her so hard that she couldn’t even get up from the bed. She completely changed her attitude after falling a prey to the social system. And, ironically, it made her more beautiful and much more confident. Yet, another reason to adore this strong, vulnerable, influential young women.

Being a feminist, it was still hard for her to cope up and maintain the pace. She also became the brand ambassador for the UN ‘He For She‘ Movement. Whenever thoughts of negativity and low self-esteem stirred in her mind, she always said this to her family….

                          “If not me, who?    If not now, when?”

From being the bold, decisive yet ravishing Hermione Granger to the activist of gender equality, she is definitely an absolute source of inspiration for many young women out there.

In her words,

                             ” I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about”…… Amen!

FIGHTER

She was born in Hereford, in a small village near Kington, second of four children in the family.

At the age of 9, she started playing the clarinet and at 14 learned guitar. At 15, she started songwriting and soon won a singing competition too. She was noted for her high piercing vibratobreathy tone and emotive delivery. It sounded that her voice was totally out of control.

At the start of her career, she started experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks. During her single release in 2010, her mental problems increased but she continued to fight.

As she said, ” I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in yourself “, she fought and fought till she emerged out of it stronger.

This brave girl was none other than singer and songwriter “Ellie Goulding”. Her story inspires me a lot as it is somewhat similar to mine. I think anxiety, depression, fear, agony, pain are all parts of human emotions which can be brought under control. By believing in yourself and trusting your instincts, working hard on self – improvement, anything and everything can be possible.