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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Have the Time of Your Life

Open your heart out this festive season and feel the joy.A unique combination of winter festivals, which binds us all together with a delicate thread of affection and joie de vivre!So, if like me, you are planning to make the most of this season then do remember to make enough time for these:

Connect more. Stretch out of your comfort zone and connect with more people. Though Facebook may be fun to network online, it is no substitute for connecting in person. I would suggest that you take the plunge and arrange a get-together for all those who matter to you. Invite the neighbours whom you pass by with a polite hello every day, old friends you haven't met for years, colleagues who need to see the fun side of you, relatives you have been meaning to have over but have not for years.Invite them all. Make sure there is good food and drinks to go around and let the festive mood take over.

Laugh a lot. According to a study, on average, adults laugh 15 times whereas children laugh about 200 times a day! I know in our adult world we have our deadlines, projects, presentations but maybe the festival season is a good time for us to put aside our 'grown-upness' and just laugh more easily and heartily. There is nothing like adding an element of dance and music to the playfulness.

Be different. Think out of the box, break away from old patterns and do something whacky this season. Rather than getting into the same old argument with your brother-in-law, do something different. When the niggling topic comes up, listen to him and tell him that he has a point (he does, it's just different from yours), be light-spirited and laugh off any disparaging remarks. Be more innovative with decorations, experiment with the party menu, have more fun being creative with your cards and gifts.

Give more. I do believe that you can only receive if you can give more freely. I've seen people who have a lot but are very scared of giving. These are the people who go through life complaining, feeling impoverished, being bitter and resentful. Then there are others who give freely and generously and life has so much to give back to them. They are happier, healthier and more content with life.

And this is not some new age spiel I am dishing out at you. My belief is backed with hard-core research.In a very well-known study, psychologist Larry Scherwitz from the University of California found that people who were more self-absorbed and used more of "I, me, mine" in their statements were at a high risk of coronary heart problems. The antidote, according to Scherwitz, was, "Give more, do things for reasons other than furthering your own needs."

Open your heart out this festive season. Connect more, laugh more, lighten up, give more. Have the time of your life!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The bird and the cage

Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with two perfect wings and with glossy, colorful, marvelous feathers.

One day, a woman saw this bird and fell in love with him.
She invited the bird to fly with her, and the two travelled across the sky in perfect harmony. She admired and venerated and celebrated that bird.
But then she thought: He might want to visit far-off mountains!
And she was afraid, afraid that she would never feel the same way about any other bird.

And she thought: “I’m going to set a trap. The next time the bird appears, he will never leave again.”
The bird, who was also in love, returned the following day, fell into the trap and was put in a cage.

She looked at the bird every day. There he was, the object of her passion, and she showed him to her friends, who said: “Now you have everything you could possibly want.”

However, a strange transformation began to take place: now that she had the bird and no longer needed to woo him, she began to lose interest.

The bird, unable to fly and express the true meaning of his life, began to waste away and his feathers to lose their gloss; he grew ugly; and the woman no longer paid him any attention, except by feeding him and cleaning out his cage.

One day, the bird died. The woman felt terribly sad and spent all her time thinking about him. But she did not remember the cage, she thought only of the day when she had seen him for the first time, flying contentedly amongst the clouds.

If she had looked more deeply into herself, she would have realized that what had thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body.

Without the bird, her life too lost all meaning, and Death came knocking at her door.
“Why have you come?” she asked Death.
“So that you can fly once more with him across the sky,” Death replied.

“If you had allowed him to come and go, you would have loved and admired him ever more; alas, you now need me in order to find him again.”