Operation Abundance!

I have been suffering from a life threatening malaise – it’s called fear of lack. Yes, fear of lack, not lack of fear :)).

Ever since I can remember, though to tell you the truth I would like to know that exact moment in time when the wheels turned and I was no longer the same person, but for the life of me can’t, anyway to get back, ever since I can remember, I have operated from a head and heart space called “lack”. Believe you me it’s draining. It’s almost like being a character in a Stephen King novel, with ears pricking up at the slightest noise, wondering what that ‘heart pumping’ adrenaline was doing in your chest, worried sick of today, tomorrow and the future, hassled about ‘when, God, when?’ and those desires piling up alongside the “no, can’t, but.” So bloody energy-sapping I tell you. When would ‘it’ go away??

Would open my eyes in the morning and think of the day ahead and a slight groan would escape my supposedly rested body. I’d go to sleep at night and would keep thinking of “why the hell was the day so crappy?” and “I really have to get rid of the car, but…”. It’s the same story on a carousel, sitting on different horses every day, going round and round and bobbing up and down in that head of mine.

Yes, of course over the course of this journey of mine, there has been trepidation, a ‘giving up’ attitude, a fight and things will get right mindset, a digging deep into my inner reserves to figure out a way from this dark and brooding place called ‘lack. It was really like moonscape – bumpy, thoughts that’d float into my mind, even they weren’t full of gravity, dark, forbidding and as I turned it over in my body, heart, spirit, I’d sometimes see the sun.

I have probably not named it so specifically, but every coach or counsellor would tell me, “shit happens, so get used to it, this is it”. It’s like Olivia Pope telling Cyrus Beene, the Chief of Staff to POTUS when he’s packing his stuff after resigning from his post:

“When did you decide to let them ruin you? So your life’s unfair so WHAT? That’s how it is. So they’re mean girling you in the press? So you lost someone you loved. You lost the one person who felt like family. Well grow the hell up because that is how it is. The Cyrus Beene I know doesn’t hide in his half empty closet and wet his pants like a little BITCH BABY.

The Cyrus I know is a patriot. He bites the bullet and he does what he takes to serve the republic at all costs. And I wanna know right now in this moment who you are! Because the pathetic shell of a person I’m looking at does not deserve to stand on the Presidential seal in the Oval Office let alone tell the president what to do. WHO ARE YOU CY? … SO YOU’RE NOT A BITCH BABY? I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOU STILL SOUND LIKE A LITTLE BITCH BABY TO ME!”

Wow! Now isn’t that something? Life is hard, life is tough, there are sunny days and moony days and rainy days, and this is how it is. It’d be a darned sight better if I just fugged the hell out of ‘lack’ and decided to stop being a bitch baby. And at least for the time being, I’ve decided that I’m going to operate from ‘abundance land’. This whole business of “am so tired, so scared” is so bloody trite and nonsensical. Of course I am tired and scared, but for God’s sake, so what, that’s how it is. I’ve gotta grow up and say, ‘come on, show me what you got’, because if I get some I should be up to it to give back some with interest.

For if you got no fight in you then the Universe is also shaking its head and going “bitch baby, poor baby, so tired of trying to get her up and running”. Yeah, that’s how the story goes.

So it’s Operation Abundance now and let’s see what the Universe throws at me. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you’re suffering from this bitch called ‘lack’, my advice? Grab it, tear it, fart the hell out of it and get going. You got one life to live!


The burden of expectations!

When you were young did someone say, “what a fantastic singer!”? No?

Oh well, lucky you. And I don’t mean to diss praise, nope, not for a moment.

But when you get to hear that at every party, function or gathering, it tends to become a chain around your neck, dragging you down and asphyxiating you.

And then you can’t sing to save your life. Because the burden of expectations has made you fear failure. That OMG moment when you think if you didn’t hit the perfect pitch all was lost.

Sometimes adults do children a disservice when they believe they can play proxy with their children’s achievements, recognition, awards, talent.

Parents, grow up. Let children bloom to be their own person. You don’t have to be Tiger Mom, all you need is to have the commitment, belief, and some amount of skill to manipulate your child to grow up to be a whole person, not full of holes.

Singer, dancer, painter, mathematician, Nobel Laureate, poet, writer, scientist, fashion designer, hacker, or Ethan Hunt, doesn’t matter. He/she has her own unique fingerprint. Let them be.

Let not the burden of expectations become a millstone. Just applaud all the milestones, small or big, because life’s journey is tough and failure is part of that journey. Let our children not grow up to be afraid of making mistakes or fail. Who needs perfection? Perfection is boring!





Ok I admit, I’m afraid!

I was in a blue funk 2 weeks ago. I was in a ‘blue-funking-afraid’ moment 2 weeks ago. That’s why I haven’t  written since. I’ve been wondering how to stop myself from getting in the way.

As I take a walk and listen to Jon Acuff and Srinivas Rao on the Unmistakable Creative podcast, I realize what a boring, uninteresting and unimaginative life I’ve been leading. When I chanced upon this blog of a young girl called Sahaja Patel and I started reading it, I was a wee bit jealous of her wonderful way with words and her writing style. The thought of leading an uninteresting, unimaginative and boring life was further emphasised. I was left wondering why I couldn’t write like her and fell into the familiar trap of comparisons and self-flagellation. Pointless I know, but sometimes habits are hard to break :). Last week as I sat in a pub with 4 adult men who were all part of a start up team and were sharing stories about people, I just sat and listened. I didn’t have stories to tell, I was not a raconteur and yes, I had led an extremely uninteresting, unimaginative and boring life. My life was dull. There’s no two ways about it. No exciting boy friend woes, no drudge grudge against Mother-in-laws, no heart breaking but inspirational rags-to-riches sagas, no break-ups with BFFs, no bumping into amazingly gritty people on adventurous travels, no networking and meeting with the next wizards of Oz and storing away little nuggets of learning to be translated into a book later, no random trysts with handsome hunks in run down motels and orchestrated quickies or l’affair de coeur with a married man or woman, or overcoming natural disasters or failures of everyday life. Nope, nothing. B-o-r-i-n-g, I know.

Now I have ideas which if I were to somehow get the guts to implement and go after, it would lead me to glory. Like they say no guts, no glory. But I have no clue what to do, how to go about it, and while I keep trying to scratch my head about who to speak, how to get it off the ground, I am losing momentum, but that unmistakable feeling of ‘this is it, this can work’ just gets stronger. So when do I take that leap of faith and how? Beats me.

I know there aren’t any right answers or wrong. It’s all about me trying to figure out how to live an adventurous life at this age and stage of my life and somehow manage to do it alone. Shoot!

When I hear Jon Acuff in the podcast quoting Zig Ziglar telling a woman, “You’re going to be 44 regardless. Now it’s up to you to decide you’re going to be 44 and a nurse or just 44”,  I know it’s a brilliant metaphor for how you need to think about your life. I know.

A friend of mine the other day said, “Renu you’re always starting a sentence with buts”. Don’t I know it! That’s what I’m saying. I’ve got to get out of this mindset of “I can’t be a failure,”, “I wish I could but I can’t because I’m not as good as that brilliant person out there,” “I know that this is all my life is going to amount to and I hate myself for it”.

I want to take a pledge that from now on I want to think differently.

Not limited. Limitless.
Not fearful. Fearless.
Not lack. Abundance.
Not woe. Joy.
Not oh my god, what will I do. Oh my God, I can do this!

I guess it’s time to just go out there, lace up your keds and ‘just do it’. (And don’t run away from evil-eyed gremlins called ‘fear’, because life is to be lived not in fear of fear, but despite it. It’s time to beat them at their own game wot?)



3 things that could put you out of your blue funk!

I’m not an expert at “how to” or self-help. I’m not a therapist either. I’m just an ordinary woman with regular, ordinary bouts of self-worth doubts and hitting nadir on the Self-confidence scale. It happens to me regularly. Well if you were in your mid-40s, single, have a stuttering business, an old mother to take care of, with no expectations of any actual help or support coming from any quarter now or in the near future, all you have is yourself. To whip into shape and make that shift happen so the shit doesn’t hit the roof as it often does.

So when you’re looking at the world with the snot running down your nose, when you look at LinkedIn profiles of super talented, super achievers, when you look at the startup ecosystem of young, raring to go, full of beans youngsters, when you look at superwomen achievers who manage to balance the work, partying, the Hamptons, the children, the Guccis with not-a-hair-out-of-place look, the book signing, the 100,000 advance pre-orders on their books, the “how I got out of depression, or an abusive relationship and today am the CEO of a super successful 100 $ million business”, the cover on Time, or whatever it is that basically defines today’s success, you do wonder what you’ve done with your life no? No? Then let me say cheers to you. Because I’m weak and foolish and stupid and human and flawed and have green-eyed monsters tickling my amygdala and then the snot runs freely, dripping on my wrists as I feel that ugly gremlin called Hopelessness dwarf me. Yikes!

You may have someone to share your fears with. You may have sweet, accommodating friends and relatives with whom you can sip coffee and say, “i hate myself, feel like killing myself”, and get the requisite concern, the shocked eyebrows, the clucking of mother hen and the arms around you and fantastic sage advice. That could help sure. I don’t have the luxury of all of that. Friends are in different geographies and phone chats don’t work. Added to that is the fear that I’d be considered needy, self-centred, self-obsessed and repetitive and boring. People have lives to lead. Not listen to litany of woes. And how much can the distance-comforting really comfort? It does help to talk with them believe you me, but for me I let it pass. I know I have to cope and I do. Red eyes et al, sniffles and hiccups albeit, I manage. For me it’s like a routine matinee show – set time, set place, set drama. Who knows me better than me?

But since I’ve been spending horrendous amounts of hard earned money which isn’t really getting replenished easily, on coaching, some 3 things I’ve learnt that can put you out of your blue funk is:

a) Twist & shout – Shake your entire body. Just get up and shake yourself out of the emotions that have taken hold of you. And focus on your feet. As the brain takes in your feet, it really doesn’t have time to process on the emotions that are nipping at your feet. Aaargh! Get off your a-holes!! Slowly find that your breathing normalises and suddenly that whole visual of the world being T-Rex waiting to rip your innards up, slowly but surely dissipates. The hills are alive with the sound of music…tra la la la la!

b) Pour some sugar on me. Have a car? A bicycle? A motorbike? A ski? A horse? Legs? Great. Get out of the house and grab a dunkin donut or something sweet. Feel the sugar rush. Bite into a jam-filled donut or a chocolate brownie with the chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream meltingly inviting. Lick it up, feel the chocolate moustache around your lips, go on, get your hands messy. And if you don’t feel better at the end of that messy exercise, eat a chilli.

c) Born This Way – look at yourself. This is it. You’re born this way. This is your face, your body, your mind, your life. If you don’t wanna change it, well, no one will honey! So go out there and face the truth. And stop mooning. Take action. Because we really have one life to live and YOLO! Really, truly, madly, badly! So just do it, with or without your Nikes. Take 5 minutes, write 5 lines on what you want to do. And then commit to it. Spoiler alert: I’m still trying this last one out…not easy, blimey!

Yup, get yourself out of a blue funk. It’s time to make the world go rose or pink or violet? Whatever, colour me bad, but for your own sake, don’t feel blue. Say cheese!