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Monday, 23 March 2015

Resilience: Lessons from a doll

Watch the first 50 seconds of this song “Aadisi nodu beelisinodu, uruli hogadhu” from the classic Kannada film “Kasturi Nivasa.” If you don’t understand Kannada, read the meaning, too.

While the entire song is very meaningful, I’d like to point to that tilting doll, which always manages to get back to an upright position no matter how strongly you push it to the ground. The bottom of this toy is a hemisphere and it is filled with a weight so that tilting the doll causes the center of mass to rise and ….oh, well, I’m not really into the physics of this toy, but those who are, can read about it here. Oh, but I am definitely into the psychology of it ….and to me, this toy signifies the concept of resilience – a quality all of us would do well to possess but which few of us actively cultivate.

What is resilience?
The loss of a loved one to illness or accident, a business deal gone sour, losing a job, the end of a close friendship, flunking an exam, lab reports diagnosing a terminal disease. These are just some of the crises people encounter; if you are lucky, your problems are just a pale hue of these grave situations.

But have you noticed how differently people react to such situations? Some just cave in and give up while others bounce back, adapting to the setback with newer strategies to cope. This ability to adapt to life’s difficulties is called resilience.

4 Things Resilient People Do
Resilient people are not superhumans; their trait is not an extraordinary one, either. Resilience is an ordinary person refusing to get overwhelmed by setbacks and instead, moving on and bouncing back from life’s blows. How do they do it?

They look positively at every event. So, when they fail, they don’t think it is final, but rather, look at it as a necessary step for learning. When they fall, they look for the lesson and learn it. Then they stand up, brush themselves and continue walking ahead.

They have a developed sense of self. They know themselves in and out, are wholly accepting of this information and always extremely self-aware. This gives them so much inner strength that they don’t get affected by ridicule, criticism or others’ opinions of their actions.

They adopt a proactive approach. They pay attention to change, accept it, and make sane decisions instead of ignoring it like the proverbial ostrich that burrows its head into the sand. They care for themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually, using habits that help them recharge their batteries from time to time.

They hold on to a purpose in life. Resilient people are driven by a major sense of purpose – volunteering for social activity, acquiring a new skill, achieving important life goals, self-development or any other goal that channelizes their energy and helps them look forward with hope for the future.

If you want to grow resilient, just adopt these 4 behaviors. And to make it easier, take up some form of spiritual practice for research shows a strong connect between spiritual well-being and resilience. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Welcome to Anu’s Words

For as long as I can remember, WORDS have been an important part of my life.

From age 2 to 6 – because I couldn’t find them, being a shy and introverted kid.

From the age of 6 onwards – because I devoured them as food for a hungry mind.

From the time I began teaching, 15 glorious years ago – because they are my bread and butter.

From the time I began professionally writing 5 years ago – because I realized there is an overwhelming market demand for good writers.

From the time I first counseled someone – when I learned to listen with attention to others’ words and realized that words people use – or avoid using – are a window to their emotions.

Most things I have learned from written and spoken words. I've always tried to be as good as my word and not breathed a word of secrets entrusted to me. 

Almost always, I have weighed my words before speaking to avoid having to eat my words. Rare is the occasion that will find me at a loss for words and some people claim that no one can get a word in edge ways when I lecture.

There are a few occasions when words have failed me; in some delicate situations, I've hidden behind empty words. 

I've gone from being a woman of few words to being accused of wanting to have the last word.

This blog is my attempt to make sense of the world in the way I know best – through my words. But I'm also going to be very careful not to get caught up in the web of words for as Adi Shankaracharya aptly put it,

"Shabdajaalam mahaaranyam, chitta bhramanakaaranam."

"The web of words is a dense forest that causes the mind to get lost and wander."

If you like what you read here, please do spread the word among your friends because, after all, word of mouth communication is what works best.