Tuesday, 28 February 2012

An excerpt on fitness & being an ideal mom!!!


Let this blog find you taking good care of your self with regular exercise, eating healthy with awareness & sound sleep.

I have been a total fan of RUJUTA DIWEKAR (dietician, whose famous clients include Kareena Kapoor). Her book “Don’t lose your mind, lose your weight” sparked off a new level of awareness & connection with food & exercise in my life.

I came across her next book “WOMEN & THE WEIGHT LOSS TAMASHA”. This book is especially dedicated to women, the various life stages they pass through and how it takes a toll on their health & fitness.

I found this book extremely apt, lucid & pertinent for women of all ages. Even for men, this book is important. It will help raise their awareness of the challenges faced by women in their lives, be it their daughters, sisters, spouse, mom, friends... Thus they can help them in returning to their best.

This book is a simple read. It has many real life stories & conversations with women of various ages. I was quite surprised by some of them and could relate many others with people I know.

I have also found that most of the moms (especially with young kids) whether homemakers or working moms, keep feeling guilty about not doing enough for their kids or families. They keep sacrificing their dreams and choices. This takes a toll on their health, well being and self-worth. The idea of a perfect mom makes them give zero priority to themselves many times.

I have always believed that a mother’s role is lot more important in the upbringing of the children. The child’s self-expression is in many ways a sub-set of the mother’s self-expression. That is one logic I give to women to start expressing themselves to the fullest, do what they love doing instead of postponing it till their kids grow old.

Here is an excerpt from this book that I found very interesting:
“May be your team [support structure] is around and you are not letting them take part in the process because you are carrying some burden of “maternal instinct” or feel insecure that you don’t do enough for your child.

Do you know what the most priceless thing for a little baby or for any child is? A healthy, happy and a self-assured mother. Somebody who knows that by investing an hour in the gym she actually provides and ensures that the child will have a happy childhood with a spirited mother who can bend forwards, backwards, run, jump and not have swollen feet, weak knees and a bad back. A mother who eats intelligently, enjoying and relishing the flavor, taste and aroma of food, so that her hormones are regulated and she never feels unduly agitated, angry or low. A mother who feels secure about eating out with friends, going to movies, getting a massage, etc. and doesn’t feel threatened about losing her motherhood if she enjoys herself. A mother who leads a fulfilling and rewarding life by taking an active interest in her field of work, relationships, society, recreation, rest, everything under the sun and pushes herself to her max potential has a good chance of being an ideal mother.

Try telling any man that now he has a child, he should stop watching the IPL match, forgo that promotion at work, the badminton match in the club, not meet up with his friends and not shave and he will laugh it off. Tell him again that this has a chance of making him an ideal father and he will look the other way. Try telling a woman these things and she will buy it; we like digging our own graves. We will suppress our potential and then feel that this is it, I have a child now, I have to feel complete and not frustrated.

The frustration isn’t coming from the fact that looking after infants is physically demanding, it comes because we expect one act or the role of motherhood to compensate for everything we have given up on. It never can babe, it’s just too unrealistic. And then because it doesn’t make life “meaningful” like they say, we give up on some more and land up having a dull mind, tired body and a lingering feeling that the “real me” is lost. I mean, there is this huge sense of discontentment, like somebody cheated on us big-time, that somebody didn’t give us the complete or true picture of motherhood.

Motherhood is a huge responsibility and to successfully carry it out you need super fitness levels. You will feel fit:
a)    When you get good rest
b)    When you eat right and eat yummy food
c)    When you exercise
d)    When you get back to a healthy sex life.

When a mother enjoys good fitness levels, she doesn’t have to carry out a feasibility study for every small or big thing. She simply has developed the required strength in her body and flexibility in her mind to suit the new role and the responsibilities that come with it. She has the clarity in her mind that the role and responsibilities are going to change as the baby grows initially from month to month, then from year to year, and eventually the young adult may only look to her from time to time for advice or feedback and will truly appreciate being left on her/his own. The mother, however, will always remain everybody’s ultimate fallback option.”

Rujuta Diwekar, Women & the Weight Loss Tamasha
I wish you all the best in being yourself, and assisting women in your life to live their dreams.

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal

Link to our workshops

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Saying NO when you mean NO & accepting NO comfortably

Let this blog find you exercising life’s gift of free will.

We have come across some common dilemma:

-       How to say NO when I want to say NO without feeling awkward?
-       How to avoid feeling bad or rejected when someone says NO to me?

I found one logic that appealed to me & helped in resolving the above two questions in my life. You may find this useful for yourself!

When someone asks you to do something, it can be in two categories:
-       Instruction / Order, OR
-       Request
Practically all the interactions, among two people can be categorized in the above two categories.

Who can give you instruction/order? ONLY that person who you have expressly authorized to do so. So it can be your boss at office. When did you authorize him/her? When you accepted the appointment letter. That authorization is also limited to the job description. So you cannot be instructed to stand up on the table and dance. But you can be told to complete a particular task by a particular date.

As you start observing, you will realize that no one else has the authority to instruct you. Parents, elders, spouse… no one has been expressly authorized by you. You may out of respect or love, choose to treat their suggestions as orders.

So when someone asks you to do something, simply ask yourself or that person: Is it a request or an order? If it is an order and the person is authorized by you, you have 3 choices:
-       simply follow the order
-       revoke the authorization (by resigning!!!)
-       reason neutrally till the person changes the order or you agree to follow.
There is no other choice.

Now comes the interesting part. If it is not an order (which is the case most of the time), then it is a request. What is the design of a request? It means the person making the request is giving a true choice to you to say YES or NO.

So if the person is making a request, it should be absolutely okay for us to exercise our choice and express that choice.

You can experiment with the following strategy:

Whenever someone asks you to do something, that you feel odd about, ASK:
-       Is this a request or an order? (mostly it would be request, as when it is an order, you already know)

The person would be suddenly surprised. He/she will realize that it is indeed a request. Mostly the answer can be:
-       “It is a request but I really want you to say YES” (means: consider it an order!!)
-       “It is a request of course”

Now ask:
-       Since it is a request, it means you are giving me a choice to say YES or NO?
-       So if I choose to say NO if would be okay for you????
You may find the person more agreeable to accepting a NO from you without being upset.

NOW let us reverse roles. This time you are the person asking for something. Apply the same rule. When asking, check with yourself:
-     Is it a request that I am making or is it an order?
-     If it is a request (which would be most likely the case), then I am giving a choice to say YES or NO to the other person
-     This means if he/she chooses to say NO, it is absolutely okay. The NO is unconnected with my self-worth, my relationship with that person etc. So I can avoid feeling rejected. The person chose NO. He/she exercised the choice I offered & chose to reject the request. He/she did not reject me!!

I wish you all the best in being able to express yourself all the time.

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal 

Link to our workshops

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Totality & being whole in an enriching relationship

Let this blog find you amidst lot of true friends with enriching relationships!

In my research on people and their interactions with others, I interacted with many people in and outside our workshop sessions. Also read many books.

When I was a kid, I was told to keep away from OSHO books or anything related to it. My mom strictly believed so. She said that even some film stars have left their careers in peak and joined OSHO Ashram. Also other magnified rumours on what happens in the OSHO Ashram. So I kept myself away from these influences!! J

Recently I came across some books that are transcription of the speeches by OSHO and I was quite surprised by the clarity, simplicity and awareness in those books. One such book that I found very relevant is:

It is one of the best book I have ever come across regarding women, men, their connections with each other & how to transform first connection with self & then with people around you. I very strongly recommend you to look at this book with a neutral perspective and your awareness level will reach another high!

Despite all the automation, enhanced screen exposure via internet, TV, games, mobiles, one still has to deal with human beings and maintain relationships of various kinds. The search is on for what can one do to make a relationship pure? Is it even possible?

I noticed one thing; we all want to be ourselves. But based on various roles and situations, we do behave as someone else. So whenever you can be absolutely yourself with someone else, that is where a pure relationship begins. There is no pretense, no calculative behavior or thoughts or words. You simply state what you wish to, you simply do what you wish to. You are just yourself. That is the best use of your energy. I have found that whenever I am behaving as someone else, I mostly make a fool of myself, it takes away lot of energy and also results are average or pathetic!!

Easiest to give money: It is most easy to give money and get over with the accountability. One typical conversation: 

“Sweatheart: I am toiling so hard to generate money so that we all can live happily. What more do you want from me?”

Reply: “TIME”

So now the person comes home at 7:00 pm, and is now physically at home, but totally engaged taking calls, working on laptop, sending SMS or changing channels, or simply fidgeting. “Now why are you upset, you wanted me to come back home in time, I am home. What more do you want?”

Reply: “Attention”

“OK now I am not doing anything. See I switched off the TV. Tell me!!” Attention is there, but the mind is running with 100 other thoughts. Most likely the office events are still replaying. Next day meetings and jobs are also playing.

So the TASK MANAGER (what we get when the PC hangs and we press CTRL+ALT+DEL) has so many tasks, simultaneously processing or hanging (not responding). This I have noticed also in many people especially while dealing with their juniors. They will keep typing, looking at the screen, or sending SMS and will tell the person in front: “Yes, GO ON! I am listening”. We actually feel offended when others do it to us. But notice that we also do it with other people many times.

One thing is for sure, every human being has a special intuitive transmitter & receiver that can always detect whether there are other tasks in the task manager of the person in front. Can you make out when you are on a phone call, whether the person on the other side is totally with you or he/she is engaged in multitasking? Our special in built transmitter will always tell you that.

So we can at best pretend. I think MULTI TASKING is a myth… actually a limitation & not strength. This term originated from the computer world. We have so many tasks being executed by the computer at the same time. But when we get to the millisecond level, we find that at a given moment, the CPU is only executing one task and switches to next in millisecond and so on, giving an illusion of multi-tasking.

Finally what is more difficult than giving attention? Here lies the key to any relationship: be it business or personal relationship or friendship. Giving TOTALITY. That is the biggest challenge. If you can ensure giving your totality while being with a person (professional or personal level), you are laying a strong foundation to a relationship of purity & respect. This means that for that particular set of few minutes, your task manager contains only one task – that person.

And if you can also keep an objective to contribute to that person in that interaction, the probability of creating a high quality relationship is very high.

I think it is easier said than done. The overload of information makes our mind, board multiple trains of thought and makes giving totality more difficult.

Here is one suggestion to experiment with to bring totality in whatever you do and in your interactions. Carry a small writing pad with you (mobile notepad doesn’t work as good). When you are doing some work needing total concentration, keep that pad on your side. Anytime you get a thought that is unconnected with the work, note it on that pad. It will free your RAM.

When dealing with someone (especially officially) tell that person that you are attempting to give him/her totality and in case you get an unrelated thought, you are going to jot it in the pad. Initially the person may feel offended, but in few minutes, he/she will actually experience authenticity in you and that will take the connection to a new level.

Here is wishing you totality in your relationships.

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal 

Link to our workshops