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.

Poetic Meditations #2: A Snowy Afternoon Spent in Warmth

READ and VISUALIZE

warm your soul in this imagery:

It’s the afternoon on the dot

all of a sudden everything’s come to a halt

This morning that just ended was one of those cold blazing

winter mornings, but It’s the afternoon now

an afternoon frosted in white

A picture painted in cotton, a landscape so cold to touch

if you step outside it will make you blush

the deepest red.

It’s been a cold year, the coldest in a while,

so we’re going to stay inside.

Put on a record that sings the tunes of winter

pour some wine and just sit for a while

Picture yourself calm and serene,

draped in cashmere,

curled up in a haven.

Repeat these words…

“It’s been a cold winter, the coldest in a while

but the love in my heart survived”

Everything outside is still, the sparkles in the snow glisten

the winds are performing a dance, listen!

wild and ferocious, but graceful nonetheless

Everything is freezing but not you, you still have so much love and so many dreams

to hold on to.

You are warm in your soul

Warm in your heart

You breathe in deeply

You are about to start,

a new year, in the blink of an eye

and as this snowy day comes to an end

breathe in the dreams that you hold

and repeat these words…..

It was the coldest year, coldest in a while

but I still have love,

and the warmth in my life survived.”

-Anshudha

This is for you, wherever you may be. Have a cozy winter, imagine yourself this way, read and visualize. I hope you sleep well tonight. Seasons Greetings.

With Love.

AG.

Here’s an idea – Keep a Beauty Journal.

There’s a habit that I have recently started that I feel can benefit many people. I didn’t start this with the intention of making it a habit. I just did this to try to teach myself how to think more positively. And it started to make me feel better, so now I’m turning this into a habit.

I call it Beauty Journaling.

You all have heard of journaling, people write their fears and anxieties down to get ahead of them to gain some power over them, some people write gratitude journals to incorporate the positive routine of being grateful.

Maybe you’ve done it maybe you haven’t.

Journaling is just keeping a log of important things, feelings. I started to keep a notebook that I call a beauty journal. It’s not a vanity thing.

Basically every night I decided to either write or say out loud ‘five things that I found beautiful today.’

At first I didn’t know what to write so I started with simple things, I would write something like this:

These are the things I found beautiful today:

The birds chirping in the morning outside my window, the warmth I felt in my bed while listening to them. I went for a walk and I saw a beautiful sunset. I photographed the changing colour of the sky. It was orange, then pink, then purple, then dark. I listened to a beautiful song today, that I’ve never heard before. I watched a lovely film today that touched me.

These are just simple things. But as soon as I wrote them down and said them out loud. I felt positive, calm and happy. So I kept doing it. And the more I kept doing it the more beauty I saw in the little things and the big things.

Beauty is in the air. Morning Sky Photographed by Me.

The more I acknowledged the beauty that exists, the more I observed it and made a note of it. The more beauty I found. The more beautiful ideas, thoughts, feelings I found within me.

The Idea behind Beauty Journaling:

What we choose to focus on keeps coming to us in various ways. If you choose to focus on your fears, those thoughts will keep coming back, overpowering you and discouraging you from following your dreams and making you feel miserable.

Fear is a normal part of life, it isn’t easy to be fearless. I get that- saying don’t focus on your fears is easier said than done. But it can be done. It’s hard to just pick fear up and throw it out of your life. But it is possible to not give fear so much power.

If you can focus on things or teach yourself to focus on things that you find beautiful, motivating, positive. You will feel encouraged, vibrant and one day fearless. Perhaps I’m idealizing things but it is worth a shot, if nothing else.

By focusing on beauty, (and I don’t mean material beauty) you will be shifting your energy from the negative to the positive. Therefore, making room in your life for more beauty to take place. welcoming more happiness. It is kind of like de-cluttering. When you throw out jaded, unwanted things you have more space to fill up with new things.

After a while there are emotions that are just toxic and are not doing you any good. Like all the clutter taking up space. Why keep them?

I can see this happening to me. My brain became so inclined to thinking negative that I couldn’t say a positive word . But I’m teaching myself how to change that, to rewire my mind. To truly write and say lovely things.

By focusing on beauty you’re sending a message to the universe that you are ready to accept beauty, that you see it and you appreciate it. It’s this shift that is necessary for a lifestyle change, a positive mind, a happy life.

You can find beauty anywhere. All of us do. But sometimes we are unaware of it because we are only focusing on our fears.

If you focus on beauty, you will start seeing it more. It will get pulled to you like a magnet.

If you are doubtful about what to write start with little things. Beauty is in what we see but also in how we feel. Beauty is in a perfume, a melody, a word, a sunrise, a feeling, a thought etc.

This is like a gratitude journal but is easier than that. You are just writing, just noticing loveliness. That’s it. When you do this you will start feeling grateful. So it is like a first step.

It was hard for me to practice gratitude before. So I started with this. And seeing and feeling so many pretty things made me feel grateful.

I hope this will be helpful to you in some way. Everyone deserves to feel happy and beautiful.

Good Vibes.

AG.

😀

A Winter Playlist For You….

For me the joy of Winter is in the things we do to bring the lost warmth. Lost warmth poured into a cup. Lost warmth that comes in the form of Christmas lights. Or the soothing melodies that warm the soul on a cold Winter’s night.

Here’s a winter playlist that I really hope makes you feel as warm and cozy as it makes me feel. I hope you like it. I have picked songs that cover all facets of winter, the blue, the warm, the festive and the pensive.

The Winter Playlist Painted Blue

All these tracks are not specifically about winter but they have a vibe that immediately fits with winter. A blue mood, with melancholic lyrics, melodious warm voices which contrast with a cold winter’s day.

  1. Solitude- Billie Holiday
  2. Good Morning Heartache- Billie Holiday
  3. Cry Me A River- Julie London
  4. California Dreamin’- Nancy Sinatra
  5. Old Money- Lana Del Rey
  6. Nights In White Satin- The Moody Blues

The Winter Playlist To Feel Warm

Of course warmth is a temperature, an immediate feeling of physical comfort. But warmth is also in a voice, in words, in melodies. Anything which soothes you has a warmth at its core.

Winter’s can send shivers to your mood too, and wrapping yourself in cashmere won’t be enough to escape those moody days where you just don’t now what to do to feel better. On days like these a peppy, warm, soft and sensual playlist can instantly enhance the mood. Again these songs are not all about winter but I often listen to them in winter and it makes me feel warm.

  1. A Bushel And A Peck- Doris Day
  2. Time After Time- Margaret Whiting
  3. Warm In December- Julie London
  4. Can’t Help Falling In Love- Elvis Presley
  5. Moon River- Audrey Hepburn
  6. I Will Follow You- Ricky Nelson
  7. Cheek To Cheek- Fred Astaire
  8. Jardin D’hiver- Henri Salvador

The Festive Winter Playlist

Now for the festive, the happy, the cheerful holiday playlist. We can all use the happy tunes right about now.

  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Frank Sinatra
  2. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!- Dean Martin
  3. White Christmas- Bing Crosby
  4. The Christmas Waltz- Frank Sinatra
  5. Sleigh Ride- Ella Fitzgerald
  6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree- Brenda Lee
  7. Jingle Bell Rock- Bobby Helms
  8. Michael Bublé – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

The Moody Winter Playlist for Pensive Minds

When Christmas is over and New Year’s too, the winter feels worse, colder, longer, harsher. It can send some people into a very lonely mood. On the coldest days it can feel like there’s nothing warm to hold on to. But there’s always something warm. On days like these I become very pensive, thinking about random things very deeply. Thinking about nothing and everything.There needs to be a playlist to go with that. Not all of these tracks are about winter but this following one is a mood playlist. A mood that creeps up on me often in winter. As it does for many people.

  1. The End Of The World- Julie London
  2. Ain’t No Sunshine- Bill Withers
  3. Moonlight Serenade- Glenn Miller and Orchestra
  4. I’m A Fool To Want You- Billie Holiday
  5. Dream A Little Dream of Me- Doris Day

I really hope you check these out and I hope they bring you warmth and I hope it fills your home with light and melody.

From Canva.

Merry Christmas! 😀

I hope you like these suggestions. If there are any specific songs that set the mood for your winters. Please mention them in the comments. I would love to listen to them. Thanks and Merry Christmas!!!

Poetic Meditations #1 : A Misty Evening

READ and VISUALIZE

sleep tenderly in this imagery:

There’s a vacant road you’re walking on

it leads to everything you could ever want

This ground you feel supporting your feet

is taking you there.

Imagine a beautiful road, empty, silent, foggy

there’s a mist in the air, cloudy skies

The trees line your path

they’ve lost all their leaves

But there’s not a thing to worry about here

You’re entwined now

in an atmosphere of calm, serene skies

There’s a fog, there’s a mist, a drizzle too

but you’re not cold, not at all

you’re free to dance as you please

there’s nobody there, nobody in between.

Just the trees and the soft wind

a petrichor, an ethereal daze

There’s nobody there nobody in between

you’re free to sing as loud as you’d please.

See yourself dancing under heavenly skies

in an atmosphere this beautiful how can you not smile?

The soft wind whispers in your ear “you’re safe here”

the light drizzle kisses your skin

this is your moment, an interlude

a little time to yourself

a little waltz for an evening.

There’s nobody there just you and all your loveliness

there’s nobody in between

you and your happiness

You’re free to do as you please.

you’re free to be who you are.

-Anshudha.

This poem was written for you. I want you to imagine yourself like this. Keep good vibrations in your heart, read, visualize. And I hope you sleep well tonight. Sweet Dreams.

I’m going to post poetic meditations every now and then, my intention is to transport you, so you can forget everything for a little while, and feed your imagination. I really hope you like it and it helps you in some way. Wherever you may be. Thanks for reading.

There is a power attached to feeling beautiful…..

Lock-down made everyone feel the same way- jaded and blue. Even now most people are working from home even if there isn’t a strict lock-down. You perhaps still feel bizarre in a way you can’t really describe.

There are little things that perhaps you miss, like getting all dressed up to go out, putting on make-up, doing your hair or just doing something for yourself that you feel there’s no point in doing right now.

But that isn’t true.

Pampering yourself has a sacred power that doesn’t need any reason to exist.You never need to justify your need to feel good. It should just be a part of your life- sun or rain.

Even while working from home you can trick your brain to feel like a lot is happening. You can trick yourself to feel that things are moving. You can do certain things everyday to feel like- there is movement, you are not stuck even if you are still.

If you feel lazy and unattractive and just jaded, just do this.

Get dressed up, do your hair and make yourself look exactly how you would make yourself look if you were going out. Making up yourself should be done for the sole purpose of feeling good and taking care of yourself. It is a personal ritual.

Photographed by me

There is a power to feeling beautiful. When you feel beautiful you attract beauty to your life in various forms.

Beauty that is deep, because beauty comes in many, many ways. The aesthetic and the spiritual. The skin deep and the profound.

Things you can do today to feel beautiful:

  • Get dressed up– I know that you don’t need material things to feel beautiful, however when you feel demotivated and just drained, a simple act of putting on lipstick or perfume/cologne can uplift you.

We shouldn’t be dependent on material beauty to feel beautiful, but if these things please you there’s nothing wrong with it. If wearing a great outfit makes you feel pretty-then do it.

  • Think about the last time you felt beautiful– What was it? Was it a special day, Birthday? or was it just a random Monday? Who were you with? Or were you alone? Was there a specific song playing? Were you wearing something specific?

Re-create it in some way.

You know when we misplace something and we have to retrace our steps to recall where we left it last, in order to find it? Happiness is similar it’s not gone it’s misplaced and to attract more happiness you need to retrace your steps to your happy moments and re-create it in little ways in order to find it again.

  • Embrace beauty in all forms – To feel beautiful you need more than just a great outfit. Look at some beautiful art online or some aesthetically pleasing videos. Take a walk and observe the most beautiful thing- nature, Listen to the music that makes you feel amazing, it could be a beautiful melody or just the most lovely lyrics. There is beauty everywhere in and out.
Photographed by me
  • Embrace spiritual beauty– To heighten the power of beauty, embrace the spiritual beauty. Think of the most beautiful thoughts and ideas you’ve ever had. Read beautiful literary works, find spirituality in just being you and being present.Tell yourself nice things, Relax and take deep breaths and tell yourself that you appreciate, invite and deserve beauty in its entirety.

wherever you are I’m telling you the following:

You are Beautiful!

Photographed by me

Some lyrics about majestic seas and oceans…..

The ocean is a great muse of mine. It’s the most overwhelming, beautiful, divine source of inspiration. What are our thoughts if not waves of creative meanderings in the ocean of the mind?

Whenever any artist, author, poet, musician speaks of this beautiful force. I can’t help but be mesmerized by it.

Any song describing the imagery of the sea just transports you as it creates a visual painting in our minds.

I hope these lyrics inspire you as much as they inspire me.

Here are a few lyrics that describe the ocean/ sea so beautifully.

  • La Mer by Charles Trenet

“La mer qu’on voit danser/ le long des golfes clairs/ a des reflets d’argent/

la mer des reflets changeants/ sous la pluie.”

“The sea that we see dancing/along the clear gulfs/ has reflections of silver/The sea, the reflections change under the rain.”

There’s an English version of this song called Somewhere Beyond the Sea by several artists including Frank Sinatra.

  • Une histoire de plage by Brigitte Bardot

“Qui joue la couleur/ Et qui peint la musique/ En orchestrant les fleurs/ D’un casino aquatique”

“That play the colours/ and paint the music/and orchestrate the flowers/into an aquatic casino.”

  • The Ocean by Led Zeppelin

“Singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean’s roar
Play for free, I play for me and play a whole lot more, more!”

  • Never Let Me Go by Florence + the Machine

“Looking up from underneath
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me
As before I went under.”

  • Mariners Apartment Complex by Lana Del Rey

“You lose your way, just take my hand
You’re lost at sea, then I’ll command your boat to me again
Don’t look too far, right where you are, that’s where I am
……….

Catch a wave and take in the sweetness
Think about it, the darkness, the deepness
All the things that make me who I am”

  • 1983….. (A Merman Should I Turn To Be) by Jimi Hendrix

“Hurray I awake from yesterday
Alive but the war is here to stay
So my love catherina and me
Decide to take our last walk thru the noise to the sea
Not to die but to be reborn
Away from the lands so battered and torn
Forever forever”

  • Mer by Françoise Hardy

“Mer magique, originelle
Dans son rhythme essentiel….”

“Sea, magical, original, in its essential rhythm.”

Improve your relationship with food.

Food is essential to live, but it’s more than that, it’s what brings us together over dinner parties, shared love of restaurants, shared love of comfort.

But sometimes stress, bad moods or low self-esteem can ruin your chance to have a healthy relationship with food.

Sometimes we can feel so low that we feel only the most unhealthy dish can uplift us. And while indulging in cheat meals every now and then isn’t wrong but it’s when we rely on that indulgence to feel better it turns into destructive cycle of emotional eating.

But don’t worry if you are stuck in a rut of emotional eating there are ways to get out of it to have a positive relationship with food.

things to remember when you feel like emotional eating:

  • Your bad mood is temporary, You are more than your negative thoughts.
  • You are more than what people say or think of you.
  • You have so much beauty hiding in your mind, like ideas, words, art. Bring those out.
  • Food is a friend not an enemy.
  • Food is necessary it isn’t meant to be a drug.
  • Mindful eating is easier than you think. And you can do it.

How to recognize if you are in the cycle of emotional eating:

Recall that moment in the past when you felt overwhelmed, upset or stressed and eating something greasy and unhealthy made you feel better and then notice that the quick high you got from unhealthy food fades away just as quickly.

When you give into emotional eating, you feel good at first but then your energy shifts and your mood declines rapidly, then you may feel you need to eat more to feel full and happy. This goes on and on and it will only make you feel worse and empty.It’s ironic I know but that’s the biggest downside.

Remember if you’re feeling empty and you’re trying to fill a void with unhealthy habits, there is an underlying stress/ anxiety issue or some other issue that perhaps you’re ignoring.

But don’t worry anxiety is the most common thing and just talking to your family or a professional about it can make you feel so light.

How to deal with the emptiness?

Write down how you feel. Recall the moments that let to this feeling and when you get there, find a way that’s best for you to fix this.

  • Talk about it with your friends and family, you will be surprised just how many people you will find that understand just how you feel.
  • Consult a mental health professional if you don’t know how to handle the stress in your life.
  • Start to go for a walk. It’s the easiest change you can make today.
  • Watch comedies immediately when you feel down. It can take away the immediate blues, so you can think on what to do next.
  • Find physical activities that you truly enjoy. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a punishment. It is also your friend.

Ways to improve your relationship with food:

  • See food as an ally that nourishes you and takes care of you.
  • Notice how you feel when you eat mindfully, you feel more active and stable and confident.
  • Mindful eating helps you be happier and more present.
  • Mindful eating is just being aware of what you’re eating and how it makes you feel. It isn’t about appearance/ weight etc. It is to feel better in every way.
  • It doesn’t mean that you must set up restrictions for yourself. Because strict restrictions do more harm than good. You should be flexible with yourself.
  • Often times when people try to lose weight they are so strict and restricted with themselves that they reach a point when they give up. Don’t be strict just be mindful. This way you feel more motivated to stick to your exercise and life changes.
  • You shouldn’t feel guilty when you indulge in your favourite treats and you won’t if you indulge in it once in a while. It is something to indulge in to give yourself that delight not to escape some bigger issue.
  • Try to not eat unhealthy when you feel awful. Indulge when you feel fine. This way you’re not entering that dangerous area of emotional eating. Having the right mindset solves most of your problems.
  • Consult a nutritionist if you are doubtful about what you need to keep and what you need to change.

Everything starts with taking care of yourself. You deserve to take care of yourself and to feel the pleasure of being happy and calm.

Note: Please remember to consult a health/ mental health professional to deal with any issues you may have. These thoughts are just mine and those that have helped me. However, your lifestyle needs to be designed and altered according to your benefit and your betterment. Keep yourself and your well-being in mind before starting anything new and always consult a professional when needed.

Energetic scents to start the day with

Aromatherapy is a big part of my daily life. Whether you consider yourself to be into aromatherapy or not. You will still recall memories from your childhood the minute you get a whiff of a certain thing that reminds you of vacations, a specific person or a specific day.

You just feel calmer when there is an air of subtle, beautiful fragrance.

It can uplift your mood.

Note: Make sure you aren’t allergic to fragrances before involving aromatherapy into your life. Also start slow as too much and too heavy a fragrance can cause headaches in some people. Be subtle.

I wanted to follow-up on my post “Scents of Tranquility” while it is important to feel serene it is just as beneficial to feel energetic. These are some refreshing scents to start your day with.

Image from Canva
  • Citrus Scents

Orange– Oranges are equal parts sweet and fresh. A perfect reminder of energetic mornings. It will remind you of summer days.

Lemon– Lemon is an obvious choice. They are refreshing anytime any day.

Grapefruit– They are not an obvious choice because they do have a slight bitter scent and the smell less delightful than oranges, they are not for everyone but they are just as refreshing if you do enjoy grapefruit.

Bergamot– This one just screams REFRESH. It doesn’t smell sweet or bitter it’s just like a splash of freshness.

I find shower gels and bath products that smell of oranges, lemon or bergamot can instantly wake you and energize you in the shower.

Other ways to use these scents are essential oils and body mists/ perfume. Look for specifically summer scents, they are deeply vibrant and brimming with vitality.

Bergamot Photographed by me at the Fragonard Perfume Museum in Paris.
  • Peppermint

Peppermint, Spearmint, Mint, it’s cool and the taste of it can wake you. Most toothpastes contain minty flavours this is the first way to use this.

But you can mix peppermint essential oil with lemon essential oil to spread that cool aroma in your bedroom, while you’re doing your morning routines.

  • Coffee

If you are a coffee lover, look no further this will always do the trick the taste and the scent everything just hits your brain with hyper waves of energy.

Now that mornings have been strange due to lockdown, quarantine and many of you are working from home. Sometimes it can feel like there’s nothing to look forward to and you can feel low on energy and a bit upset and out of it.

These scents always rejuvenate me and I hope they do the same for you.

How to remain healthy during the holiday season

This is the month of indulging in the sweetest things. During the holiday season we indulge more than usual, sometimes it makes us feel guilty for going overboard on alcohol, chocolate and Christmas treats.

You don’t have to quit those holiday delights if you can manage the consumption a bit better. We all deserve the holiday sweetness, especially these days.

The worst thing about holiday eating is the guilt and the lethargy that can come with it. It can put us in a rut of not living our best healthy life.

Here are little changes you can incorporate to have guilt-free holiday sweetness.

  • Don’t skip out on exercise at least not everyday. If you are not in the mood to do any exercise on a specific day. Go for a walk.
  • Make green tea a post meal beverage. Green tea is an incredible source of antioxidants.
  • Have hot water with lemon. First thing in the morning. This is a good habit to have in general. It is a great detox drink and improves digestion and gut health.
  • Follow a 60% healthy 40% indulgent ratio. Indulging is not always bad as long as you still have an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s when we go overboard on indulging it becomes a problem. This is a good ratio during the holidays to at least eat healthy 4 to 5 times a week and you can have your 1 or 2 cheat days.
  • Dance. If for some reason this time of year you want to change up your exercise routine. Dance. Dancing is a great form of exercise but at the same time when we dance it doesn’t feel like we’re working out because dancing is fun. It also puts us in a celebratory mood with all the happy hormones. Great way to get in the holiday spirit.

Indulgence always feels better when there is no guilt attached with it.

Different things and different practices work for different body types. As always you should keep your physical health and happiness in mind.