Create your own rituals.

Note: these thoughts are my opinions and I mean no offense to anyone.

I love reading about lifestyle but it also bothers me. There are so many conflicting views people share online. It used to drive me crazy and confuse me with doubts and questions and fear. The thing about the lifestyle industry is that it is an important topic and it is also so easy to corrupt such a pure concept. I’m not saying it’s all bad. Of course not. There are good things about lifestyle websites. Great things that I have learnt from lifestyle blogs. But there is also some general advice that may not work for everyone. Sometimes even harmful advice.

It is such a pure concept- selfcare and self-healing. It is meant to be personal and different to everyone’s needs.

There are so many fads and “cures” people write about everyday. And I too have been prey to the new trends. From crazy skincare routines to insanely impractical and unhealthy diets.

It was the moment I decided I’ve had enough of online advice when I turned everything around.

I decided that every time I read something I want to try I will consult a health professional to check if it is a good fit for me.

I created my own rituals that helped me with my anxiety. I picked exercises that I enjoy and which work for me. And I chose to eat balanced and healthy. It is simple to have a healthy lifestyle providing you understand your current lifestyle and the changes you need to make to make your lifestyle better. It is also important to consult actual expert professionals who know your health better than online “experts”.

Here are things I did that I would like to share.

  1. Consult doctors, mental health professionals, nutritionists etc.
  2. Start slow. Give yourself enough time to notice if your new workout or diet is actually working for you.
  3. When in doubt. Consult a professional.
  4. Pick workouts that you really enjoy. Have a balanced diet based on the needs of your body and mind.
  5. Create little rituals. Your rituals that bring you peace. Whatever they may be.
  6. Don’t let anyone stop or slow down your journey to a better you.

Everyone is different. Everybody’s body and health requires different things. No one cure, can cure everything. Every life is unique and every lifestyle change should be suited perfectly to your needs. You deserve to feel great.

And with that, have a great week. Take care. 😀

-AG

Featured image: made with Canva.

How to keep a New Year’s Resolution….

Happy New Year to all of you! It’s finally over 2020. I’m sure all of you have some hope for 2021 and with that perhaps you have decided on a resolution. Like learning an instrument, a language, a skill? Work on yourself? Lose weight? Eat Healthy? Practice meditation? etc..

Whatever it may be, it’s actually hard to keep a resolution going all year round. Most of us fall short by the fourth week of January. I’ve been there too.

However, I have managed to keep a few resolutions over the years. Here are a few ways I made sure to not lose the motivation to keep a good resolution going.

  1. Identify why you need a resolution anyway. If you’re keeping a resolution because it’s just something everyone around you is doing. Then I’m sorry to tell you but you probably won’t continue it. A resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something.” Think about it, for a second. If you make a decision on a whim you’re going to end up thinking ” why did I do that?” A decision comes from a firm understanding of the why? ask yourself three questions – Why do I need to do this? What will I get out of this? How is this going to make me better?
  2. When you pick a resolution, notice if the resolution is something you feel you need in your life?, if it will make you better and whether you will get a good skill or experience out of it? If any act you choose actually teaches you something or enhances and enriches your life for the better then it is a good resolution to keep.
  3. Now it is actually time to keep the resolution, It is time to come through. Here’s a trick- tell yourself that this is a resolution for January. January that’s it. One month. That’s not a lot. That’s doable. I feel it’s the 365 days that we find overwhelming. How can you keep a habit going for 365 days if you’re not fully invested in it? So, if you just pick January. It will be less intimidating and it will feel less overwhelming. Try to keep a good habit going for the month of January and see how it makes you feel on February 1st.
  4. When you have kept a resolution going for a month everyday without fail. You will feel a sense of accomplishment. You will feel motivated to keep it going.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be rigid. I feel when I’m too rigid with a resolution. It feels almost painful, like a chore to keep it going and self-care and self betterment shouldn’t feel like a painful task. It is a self-care ritual. It should feel enriching.
  6. Lastly, wanting to do something good for yourself and your life can start anytime so don’t feel pressure to call your new attempt a resolution, don’t give it a name, just see it as a good thing to do. You will be more likely to come through.

I hope you liked reading this. Happy New Year. I hope 2021 will bring light and happiness to all of your lives. Let me know what you think. If you have any resolutions for 2021, in the comments.

thanks.

and once again

Happy New Year! 2021

-AG.

Let’s change our lives, who wants to join?

Yesterday I had a familiar feeling that “My life is in my hands and I’m gonna change it.” However, I’ve been down this road before I say this and my anxiety gets the best of me and I go back to the start. But yesterday was different. After 2020 I’m willing to be who I always wanted to be.

I bet that’s a thought that has crossed your mind too. Wherever you are reading from I bet there’s a person inside of you that you know you could be, a destined amazing self. You’d have become that person already if it wasn’t for all those inane voices that tell us we’re not good enough.

I personally am not one, who prefers sharing personal details of my spiritual journey or my anxiety but this time around I feel it might actually help someone, somebody who reminds me of my anxious self and I would really like to help that person. Now I’m not actually going to talk about my anxiety here, I’m going to talk about the things I’m doing differently this time around and I’d really love it if you could join me to be our best selves.

So here’s what I’m going to do. And I encourage you to try it.

1. Be gentle with yourself. Gentle in the way we talk, we walk, we handle situations and especially gentle in the way we speak to ourselves. I always admired those people who had a lightness to themselves who reminded me of the free-spirit of a bird. So let’s start with being gentle in our stride, actions and words to the point that it calms everyone around you and raises your vibration.

Made with Canva.

2. Give yourself a compliment each day. I am not one who ever does this. But I’m going to try. All of us deserve some words of kindness each day.

3. Give somebody a compliment. – there are so many nasty words people say to each other and make each other feel worthless. And it’s true we never forget the insults but we can replace them by focussing on compliments. Everytime a past insult comes to me I am now going to remember the good that people have said too. It’s the only way to finally be set free of the hurtful words.

4. Meditate everyday. Meditation is hard and seems to not work but it comes in many ways. Next time you feel overwhelmed put on a soothing song and close your eyes. Let’s start with that. And build our way to traditional meditation. The only thing we need to do to get better is to change our mind and perspective. It takes work but that doesn’t mean that the work needs to be boring. We can find exciting ways to meditate. Paint, dance, sing, run anything that gets you out of your head and into your heart.

Free media from Canva.

5. Getting in touch with our surroundings.- gentleness and kindness comes with being aware of everything that lives and flourishes around us. We can do this by watering plants, gardening, feeding birds. Going for walks is a great way to notice. Just notice.

Park Güell, Barcelona photographed by me.

6. Notice and appreciate the little things. Notice sunshine, rain, clouds, birdcalls, sounds of the city.

Sunshine pouring through the trees to come and greet me. Photographed by me.

7. Take a mental image of beauty in whichever form it shows up to you today. Beauty of the weather, beauty of nature, beauty of a person and especially beauty in ourselves.

8. Gratitude. This has to be a part of our lives. We spend so much of our time complaining about nonsense. No judgements I do it too. But I’m also trying to be grateful because there is a lot to be grateful for always. Write down your gratitude.

2020 has taught me this. We are just one second in this universe. And it is our duty to not waste it. To be happy and to let ourselves be happy. To feel like we are entitled to smiles and that we deserve love and happiness.

I hope you will try this with me. Here’s to hoping and creating a better 2021.

Share your thoughts with me. In the comments. Until then- you are amazing and have an awesome day. Lots of love

– anshudha garimella

How to keep your element on the right track….

Note: These thoughts are my own beliefs and my intention is just to share them.

So, I just posted a post prior to this called “How to find your element….” in which I talk about how I believe that, out of the four core elements there is one main guiding element in us which resonates with our higher self and guides us to be our true self.

Air, Water, Fire, Earth are all important and inherently divine. But the elements inside of us, our guiding element has both light and shadow sides. It is in our best interest to keep an equilibrium and find lighter sides and to learn to deal with shadow sides.

What I mean by this: I have always felt that if there is an element guiding me it has to be Water, it’s the one I feel like the most, not because my sun-sign is Pisces, but because I have a deep love for the sea, most of my poems and songs are about the ocean, my happiest moments have been on the beach. Water is divine to me. I relate to it the most. Its wavering serenity, its moments of ferociousness, its depth. It is what I am.

And while water is ever flowing, fluid movement, free, energetic, vital and graceful. It is also, unpredictable, rough, frightening and spills all over the place perfectly symbolizing my emotional instability at times, and hypersensitivity to feelings which leaves me at times, scattered, not knowing how to control them.

It got me thinking that this shadow aspect of water element stops me from bringing out the best parts of it to light. Leaving me restless.

I want to bring it to an equilibrium to a calm flowing energy that is in perfect harmony and control.

You also probably know about the rougher parts of your personality. The parts that keep you from being who you truly want to be and the best version of you that you could be.

We all know those people who could control their tempers, those who should take more risks, those who should be more self-confident, those who could be more gentle and kind, those who should be more vocal about their needs.

If you resonate with fire then the only way to avoid the temper of fire, is to focus on trying to be a warm person. Trying to be passionate but not aggressive, adventurous but not impulsive. Carefree but cautious, energetic but with a warmth to it. Every time you feel angry take a deep breath and take a time-out.

If you resonate with air then you should avoid being very idealistic and always aiming for perfection. The lighter sides of air are incredible traits to have, like being creative, full of energy and lightness. Best air traits are to be free but not rigid, light and laid back. When you find yourself being harsh on yourself for not doing something perfectly just focus on the creative aspect of your task because creativity and art doesn’t need to be perfect.

If you resonate with earth then it’s important to know that it’s not always good to play it safe. To have a truly full life there needs to be a grounded attitude, yes, but also adventure. It can be freeing to take risks, to not be afraid, to not be constricted to just one place in life. It is important to try new things. Take up a new hobby or activity and always try new things.

If you resonate with water then it is really important to spend time doing things that keep you calm and centered. Water is creative, passionate, sensual, fluid and free-spirit. But it is deep and can be scary. It can be unstable and wild. It is really important to find creative ways to learn how to balance emotions. It is important to share your feelings to get a better perspective on it. It is important to learn calming practices like meditation. You want to be creative and sensual, passionate and sensitive and artistic but not overly emotional, lonely and detached from the rest of the world.

All this being said, of course all of us have a little bit of every element. And keeping our guiding elements in equilibrium will help us to keep our entire being on the right track. Therefore, teaching us how to be a lively and happy soul.

Because at the end of the day a person that makes us happy will always be warm, considerate, sensitive, creative, grounded, laid-back , passionate, loving and adventurous.

I hope you enjoyed reading it. Thanks

AG.

Feature Image- free media from Canva

How To Find Your Element….

The views in this article and beliefs are my own. My intention is to share my thoughts and I hope they help those who read this.

Nature is everything to me, it is divine energy that is my guiding light. I feel now more than ever that we need guidance. Now that the world is a bit out of proportion with our desired lifestyle, the only thing to do is to reconnect with the people and things and hobbies and passions we hold dearest.

I believe that every single person has a leading element, I do not mean the element denoted in astrology, sun-signs, moon-signs etc. An element separate from all that you have been told about yourself, a core divine vortex of energy that lies in everyone and guides everyone from deep within.

In most mythologies and religions there are four elements Air, Water, Fire, Earth. We can’t go a single day without experiencing these forces. The air that we breathe, the ground that we walk on, the water we consume and the fire that gives us warmth, we are never without them, we are always governed by them, each day.

However, it is my personal belief that there is one element in each of us that pulls us harder, with greater force towards its divinity, towards it’s actions, towards its nature and its course. Ever since I found my element I have been more sure of myself, more inspired, more free.

How to find your element?

Sky Photographed by me.
  • Meditate with the sounds of elements

The first thing to do is; for a few days, either first thing in the morning or before going to bed is to meditate to the sounds of elements. Pick one element at first for example if you pick Air – find sounds online sounds of soft breeze, loud winds, violent storms. Close your eyes and listen to your air element in all it’s glory and every facet of it. The cam and the ferocious. Breathe deeply and imagine windy nights, stormy days or a calm spring breeze, add your imagination to it, your personal memories that stand out. What do you hear? Twigs fluttering, Windows closing, leaves blowing, how does it make you feel? Write it down. Do you feel calm, serene, tranquil, supported or do you feel fine but indifferent? Note down the feeling after each element meditation, repeat this a few times with each of the elements.

Now it is important to remember that all elements are beautiful and calming in their own way and nature lovers won’t really differentiate. However, when you hear a specific element and all your childhood memories, calming energy, inspiration comes rushing to you, it has a special significance just for you.

  • Visualization

Visualize yourself on the beach, by a river, in a storm, by a crackling fireplace and walking barefoot in a forest. Which imagery brings you the most peace? Is it Water? Fire? Earth? Air? Which imagery makes you feel the most grounded in your mind? body? in your soul? Connect with that element is it fire that gives you the most serenity? Write it down, you don’t need to know why you feel the way you feel. When you feel certain about your calmness, read about the element that you believe keeps you most grounded. Write down how you feel.

Ripples in water Photographed by me.
  • Get in touch with all the elements

Walk in the park, notice the plants, the grass, touch the trees. How do you feel in water? swimming, bathing etc. Do you like to watch the flames? Do you like windy days? Get in touch with all of these senses if possible. See which one of these elements comes up most in the music you like, in the movies you enjoy, in the books you read!

From Canva.
  • Practice the core elemental values

Write down in a journal about the desires and emotions you seek to feel, the experiences that illuminate you the most. What do you seek in life right now? Stability, Adventure, Fluid movement, Different experiences, Surprises, Freedom?

If you feel lost and you don’t feel grounded and stability is what you seek the most. Then as per your Earth element I would suggest take more walks, sit in parks, meditate learn the art of stillness, practice slow yoga and focus on holding yoga poses learn balance to truly learn what it would feel like to be stable.

Photographed by me.

If you seek adventure you have a burning desire to find new things in life then as per your Fire element pick up hobbies that set you ablaze but if you don’t know what your hobbies are yet pick up free hand sketching, painting or a sport, go for a run, learn what adrenaline feels like at its peak.

If you seek freedom at your own pace, meaning you want to be free but also grounded and not overwhelmed, if you want to feel light and free then as per your Air element make changes to your lifestyle, eating habits, sleeping habits, incorporate more exercise. Let go of anything and everything that makes you feel heavy in your heart. Let go of anything that stops your movement that hinders your tranquility. I would also suggest to occasionally feed grains to birds. They know what its like to be free and stable.

If you feel like you desire movement above all you want to be free flowing energy, you want to be fluid you want to be different things, you want to be a multi-tasker you want to take risks. Then as per your Water element imagine what it would be like to plunge into the risks, dive into water, learn what it means to be truly open, shapeless, a free-spirit. Take up dancing, gain control over your body with expressive dancing, power-yoga, Pilates, and any other form of movement that pushes the boundary of your flexibility, take control of your voice take up singing, learn an instrument, drink more water, take relaxing baths/showers. Let go of all your limiting rigid beliefs, move with the time always be new. Always be fluid and flexible, try different things all the time.

  • Keep Practicing, don’t give up

These beliefs set me free. At first, it can sound all too surreal, but that is what nature is. After you feel like you’ve found your element, practice the meditations, hobbies, exercises, journaling, do all that, which brings you closer to your element. When you feel like your element has begun guiding you, aim to be the element in human form. There are beautiful forces guiding us even when we lose perspective and when things seem blurry that’s when they are the strongest to help us out of whatever state we’re in and transform our lives into the better. All elements have both a light side and a dark side it is our job to understand them and keep then in balance by focusing on the good facets of the elements and learning to bring them out.

Thanks for reading. 😀

Reveries #2 : The Cabin in the Woods

Note: Imagine yourself as the I in the story.

#2.The Cabin in the Woods

I always enjoyed fairy-tales, not for the happy ever after, or the prince, but for the enchanting aesthetic of nature, castles, the friendship those princesses had with creatures of the woods, the birds, the deer etc.

The best part of a fairy-tale isn’t even hard to live out. I have lived it out before and can do it so many more times.

Often when I want to be taken on this reverie, I fall into a rabbit hole of imagery.

I picture this little story right here.

I’m in a cabin in the woods, quaint and hidden. It’s cozy and warm in here. There are beautiful rosewood floors, windows overlooking a little haven- a pretty little lake, flowing to become a river somewhere down the line. When the sun shines bright at noon, the leaves and branches outside cast dancing shadows on my window. I’m sitting by the window sill and the shadows of the leaves cast their impression on my skin.

I can do anything here, I have a forest of dreams. I feel at one with nature. This is my fairy-tale, to me fairy-tales were never about other people, they were about the protagonist being at liberty to explore her life, her dreams. Here, I’m at liberty to do as I please, I’m as free as a bird.

The sun is sparkling so lovely today, creating little glittering ripples in the stream.

Sparkling waters Photographed by me

So, I go outside and just sit by the lake, calm and serene. I can walk around in these woods and follow the sun streaming through the trees. It’s this little interlude that I desperately need. Often in my reveries I’m singing by the water, watching the sun shine, the birds fly and the fishes swim. Everything in this spot right here is designed perfectly. When this reverie is over I will still have this memory. When I wake up from my dream, I know this is not just a dream. Those quaint spots on this earth are set to perfection and they will always be that way, perfect under the sun. Why would I need anybody to come and rescue me from this?

-Anshudha Garimella

I hope you enjoyed reading it. 😀

Reveries #1 : The Gothic Library

This is a series of posts I’m starting. Reveries I welcome you to come with me to atmospheric imaginative adventures. To escape, To visualize, To read and to relax or just to experience something different. I hope they interest you and I hope you enjoy reading them. Thank You.

My only suggestion is to Imagine yourself as the I in the story.

#1.The Gothic Library

It’s the afternoon in a Victorian Mansion, facing a scenic beauty, but I cannot touch the scenery for it is too cold and lonely. It’s one of those days, grey, foggy, rainy, stormy. All rolled into a million shades of winter. I’m here feeling blue in my solitude.

The fire is burning, warm and cozy. The crackling of the fire breaks my reverie. I feel jaded in this weather, it happens this time of the year. So I take my feet to the library upstairs, I can’t go anywhere so might as well travel in some way. Maybe I’ll go to France, to Versailles in it’s prime, or to the Roman times. Maybe I’ll take to the sea, while I read the accounts of those seafarers, explorers and sailors.

Isn’t it wild that there was a time when people didn’t really know how big this world really is?

It’s small to us. It’s easy and predictable. I can travel better and faster than them. Yet I am just like those characters, just like those writers and poets, forever writing and thinking about things nobody knows the answers to. My life is a story just like everybody’s life.

In this atmosphere I can’t do anything else. So, I dance around for a while…….

The lightning strikes outside, it starts to rain down, like there’s a waterfall cascading down the sky. The cloud bursts and I’m startled, I feel like my heart just skipped a beat. Believe it or not I love those little moments of being startled, they have this energy, that makes me feel alive.

So, I pick a book about philosophy. And play Erik Satie, I’m creating an ambience now, a place to reflect on the questions nobody knows the answers to. Yet we ask, and we will forever keep asking. And, by the time the pale shadow of the sun sets I will too have no answers, none at all.

So I think, because our minds are our only true irreplaceable asset. I always kept thinking because I thought that, that was the only way to grow. But I thought to the brink of losing my vessel completely. It’s time to take a break for 10 minutes or so. To get lost in somebody else’s poem, somebody else’s melody. I need that.

I thought to the point of breaking. I thought so much that I needed a vacation to escape the thinking. And now that I’m in this library of thoughts, of other people’s art. I can sit here for a while, read some other’s verse, rewire my own mind. Because I have much to write, much to sing when I leave this library.

-Anshudha Garimella

Note: I got the idea of this, as I was overthinking about things and reading a poem just rewired my brain, it helped me get out of my doubts and relax a little. I’m sure you’ve all had an experience like that, reading something you just couldn’t put down. Something that transported you and made you feel better. : D

I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading. : D

*featured image from Canva free media.

The Winter Solstice Ritual….

Hey, It’s the time of the winter solstice. It will be colder and greyer now, in most parts of the world.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about the summer and winter solstice. It fascinates me how people throughout the ages, through centuries and time lived and celebrated this event.

From ancient times the elements, the planets, the sun, the natural environment designed people’s lifestyle. The position of the sun was how they could determine planting season.

During a solstice celebration summer or winter people got together, ate special meals, performed special traditions in honour of this event.

Every time I read about ancient civilizations it makes me feel bittersweet. Sweet because, to me it is just mesmerizing how ancient civilizations viewed and worshiped nature.

Bitter because it is something that is rare now. We are all so distracted by futile things, that we never stop to feel the breeze or smell the rose.

It wasn’t until this year that we started to miss the little things, the little things we took for granted like going out for a walk, spending a pleasant day outside.

Nature has much to give us, the more I read about nature in any form, the more grateful I feel in life.

Here is a ritual I created to celebrate this winter solstice, I hope you would like to try it too:

A solstice tradition to follow all through the remaining winter months.

  1. To be thankful for all the warmth in our lives. Warmth in fabric, warmth in a cup, warmth in a hug from a loved one. This is important to acknowledge because being warm is being extremely fortunate.
  2. Light up, the house, the mood, the mind. It’s the best way to fight the blues. So, light a candle, watch something that makes you smile and give yourself some me time.
  3. Cook a nice, warm winter meal. Solstice celebrations, like any celebrations contain a connection with food.
  4. Write down 5 things that you are grateful for.
  5. This winter- pick up a new good habit, a lifestyle change, a positive change to transform yourself for the better. Think about your present lifestyle, and think about how you can make it better. What do you need to do? What is bothering you? How can you change your life today? No matter how small the change, if it helps you be a better you, to be the one that’s happy. It’s worth it, work on yourself. So, by spring you will be ready to bloom into a better you.
Warmth in a cup, Photographed by me.

Have a warm winter. 😀

Floating Clouds on a Rainy Day

Gloomy Day in Paris, Photographed by me.

The absence of sunshine always brought me down. But I learnt something very important through song-writing and poetry.

Every thing is an allegory. There is beauty in everything, If you only look. A cloudy day can take you to memories of summers in your mind. They can show you something you never noticed, an idea, a wild imagination.

Music is the key to finding the beauty on a rainy day.

Next time the cloudy days get to you, do this:

  1. Notice the atmosphere, notice the sky.
  2. Put on some jazz, because jazz will just make sense, on a gloomy day.
  3. Make yourself a hot drink.
  4. Write down your feelings.

These are the artists I listen to on a gloomy day:

  1. Billie Holiday
  2. Julie London
  3. Sigur Ros
  4. Pink Floyd
  5. Charles Aznavour

Create your own personal rituals for every kind of mood.

What are some songs that soothe your mind on a gloomy day?

Share in comments, I would love to know.

Have a warm day.