Butterfly effect

I had happened to read a book “The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews. I am not a big fan of non-fiction because most of the non-fiction books I have come across its quite lengthy and unlike fiction books I will not be intrigued to read further. But “The Butterfly Effect”  was quite interesting and short to read. Any avid reader could finish this book within a short span of time. This book gives motivation and inspiration when we need at times whether be it your big day , when you are looking for a push to move forward or may be in your gloomy day when you are looking for a glimmer of hope :).  The gist of this book – The decision we make, the way we seize the present moment and the way we treat others have more impact than we may ever realize.

Now, What is Butterfly effect -> A small change at one place can result in large difference in a later state.

The author explains how our life matters by quoting couple of examples for the fascinating phenomena, “Butterfly Effect”. Andrews first example, about a man named “Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain” and a single powerful decision that he made during the Civil war.  At the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, With many casualties and ammunition running low, Chamberlain pondered upon that dire situation and decided that , “they can’t retreat or stay”, so he ordered his men for “A Bayonet charge”. The sudden change from Chamberlain and his men gave an impression to the rebels that these men have been reinforced(coz a beaten regiment would not charge). within a short span of time chamberlains one move helped to capture over four hundred soldiers of rebels. Some historians believe that had chamberlain not charged that day, the rebels would have won @ Gettysburg, eventually which would have resulted in the territorial fragmentation of North America. So the United states Of America Exists as it does today because of a single man , “Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain” and his one move. Chamberlain is the perfect human example of the butterfly effect.

In the Second example, author Andrews explains a chain of Butterfly effects ended in the creation of new breed wheat for arid climate, that saved billions of lives from famine. The creator behind the new breed wheat was – “Norman Borlaug”. He hybridized high yield disease resistant corn and wheat for arid climate. Here are the chain of Butterfly effects happened behind Norman’s work . Who pushed Norman to hybrid Wheat and corn?  It was Henry Wallace (Vice president Of US), he is the one created a station in Mexico to hybrid corn and wheat for arid climate and he hired Norman Borlaug to do it.  How Henry Wallace developed a Vision on agriculture? Who is responsible for that?  George Washington Carver, he took six-year-old Henry Wallace for a ‘Botanical Expedition’  and instilled in him a love for plants and a vision for what they could do for mankind. when we look at all these instances, we can find a small change done by each person had made a very large difference in later state that saved billion people lives.

In the end, the author concludes, “there are generations yet unborn whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves we make and the actions we take today”.

Few amazing and inspiring lines from the book:

  • Everything we do matters to all of us forever
  • Every move we make every actions we take matters
  • You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.
  • The very beating of your heart has meaning and permanent purpose.

I am glad that I got an opportunity to read this book and indeed it ingrained the fact ‘Every move that I make counts’.

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Unxepected confrontation

Recently one of my best friend sent this confronting message ,’At least have basic courtesy to mail once in a year”. I was completely nailed out after reading this stupefying message. Since he is in India, I waited for his morning & called him over his mobile and I apologized for not being in touch. My friend’s message was an eye-opener for me. All these days I have been living in a circle where I have created time only for my family and friends in US.

Today we have in-numerable choices to connect with people. If I want to call a friend (whether they are overseas or nearby)I can dial them via viber or skype or do a face time from Iphone, or I could go for a Google hangout or jus send a message in Facebook or Whatsapp and still countless ways out there to connect with someone. Though I have various options to get connected with a friend then why did I shut myself off from my old friends? Everyone knows that Change is the inevitable thing in life and it will be happening forever. Similarly, My life isn’t the same after moving to US and my son’s arrival ,  something or other kept me busy and I might have missed something (like loosing some contacts). This is not a justification for not being in touch with old friends. What I did was wrong. I don’t want to stick to my mistakes , instead I want to move on and make sure that I shouldn’t repeat it.

It’s good to stay connected with new friends (or current friends) and it is also important to stay in touch with old friends. I can’t be in touch with some friends on daily basis but definitely I could drop a mail or text or call them occasionally .So I  promised myself that I should create some time to reconnect with my old friends (whom are very important to me). Howdy my old buddies, If you get a call or text from me, don’t be skeptical that why is she contacting me after so many years. Am just trying to reconnect with you.  Thank you “Mathan”, for sending such an eye-opening message. 🙂

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Laws of attraction

“Everything else you see and experience in this world is effect, and that includes your feelings. The cause is always your thoughts.”
Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
Long back, my neighbor car sideswiped our car in my apartment parking lot. This was an accident, our neighbor was an amateur  driver (she was in the learning process). while parking her car, instead of pressing the brake accidentally she slammed the gas/accelerator , as a result her car crashed into our car side doors and it costs us to replace front and back side doors. Fortunately, this happened in our parking lot and luckily we were not inside the car. Though, their insurance took care of everything, this incident indeed impacted our life and it also held us back from our daily routines for few days.
I know it’s an accident and it’s not our mistake but I feel the culprit is my thoughts. Whenever I drive or ride in our car, “I visualize as if my car collides and spins in the air (action movie effects I guess) “. After that incident,I realized the accident could be reflection of my negative thoughts and I presume, my negative thoughts attracted some negativity (thank god it didn’t happen the way I visualized). Since then, I have started to tune my thoughts by following few simple steps :
  1. Just Pray: I have started to say a small prayer before driving or commencing anything important. From my perception, through prayer we can summon more positive thoughts and also it’s a powerful way to know about our feelings. 
  2. Barricade the negative thoughts which is quite challenging for me. whenever I get negative thoughts, I ask myself this question, “If my thoughts are being telecast in a public media, will it be pleasant to watch?”. Obviously, the answer would be ‘no’ and it helps my thinking to shift from negativity to positivity mode.
  3. Figure out the root cause : When I assessed the reason behind my negative visualization (car colliding & spinning) , I figured it as a cast back of my fear or lack of confidence in my driving skills. I got to overcome my fear by driving my car more often :).
  4. Infuse positive thoughts , again this is not that easy as it sounds. It requires a lot of determination to eradicate negativity and infuse positive thoughts. (I am still working on this, will share my tips once I succeed :))
  5. Meditate . I have read that mediation helps to overcome negative thoughts. So I have started to meditate for 5 mins. Gradually I am planning to increase the duration.

Our car accident could be just an incident or could be the attraction of my negative thinking, whatever the reason may, but it manifests a fact – ” Better to have positive thoughts rather than clinging to negativity”.

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oru dheivam thantha poove…

For the very first time when I heard the song “oru dheivam thantha poove” from the film kanathil muthamital, I used to wonder, “how can a child possess extremely contradictory nature/ qualities”?  I got my answers when I become a mom. My 19 months old son showed the true meaning for this song.Those who do not know about this song, it’s a song about a child  sung from a parent perspective. It has been magically, beautifully and serenely composed (by A.R.R), written (Vairamuthu) and sung (by Chinmayi & Jayachandran). Now coming back to the lyrics, From my perception the below mentioned lyrics from this song sounded like a  perfect oxymoron.

Ènathu Šelvam Nee, Ènathu Varumai Nee
Kidaitha Kavithai Nee, Yezhuthu Pizhayum Nee
Iraval Velicham Nee, Iravin Kanneer Nee
Yenathut Vaanam Nee, Izhantha Širagum Nee
Naan Thøøki Valartha Thuyaram Nee

I would say all these lines would be apt to describe my feelings about my son.When my son:

  • makes cuddling gestures
  • smile , laugh
  • utters a new word
  • dance to the beat
  • mimics me
  • seeks for me
  • modulate his voice to say something sweet or sing
  • finish his puzzle
  • hugs,kiss me

the list from my joyful and prideful motherhood moments will go on and these moments keep me in cloud nine. But when he starts to do mischievous activities or act like a brat my patience will go for a toss. Sometimes I couldn’t withstand his naughtiness , I will be a serene person for a while and once my threshold has crossed, I will go crazy and burst out.  Guess the lyricist vairamuthu would have thought, a Child is a bundle of everything and wrote such amazing and contradicting lines. Indeed it is true, my son makes me happy as well as makes me cry. He is my sky where I can stretch out my wings and sometimes he is my cage too.  :). As mentioned in the song a child will have contradicting nature and I am cherishing it. I believe the bundle of opposite natures (e.g: happy and sad) keeps you balanced, strong, determined, patient and humble person.

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Last January was a month without take-out and restaurants. Surprisingly it went well. I have to thank my hubby for being very supportive and helping me to fulfill my resolution . There were few exhausting days that triggered me to get take-outs but somehow I pulled myself and cooked simple meal @ home. Few days my hubby took the responsibility and prepared some yummy food. When someone offered me to taste outside food, I told them about my resolution and denied to eat. Only once we bought chappathi from outside, apart from that I had home-made food for a whole month.

Some notes from the past month experience:

  1. “No” to fast-foods : So far I have seen only high calorie foods or junk foods in the fast food shops, also a very limited choices for vegetarian. Hence, I have decided not to dine @ fast-food restaurants unless it’s a healthy food . (Already , as part of my previous month resolution I gave up on junk foods like chips, fries. Now ‘No’ to fast foods 🙂 )
  2. Limited Visits to Restaurants in a month:  Taking a break from regular routine is a pleasant thing to do, if it can be achieved by family dining then it is counted as blissful activity. So Me and my hubby decided to explore various restaurants at least  twice in a month.
  3. No health issues : There will be transparency in home-made food coz we know the ingredients that we put in the dish. Since I was eating home-made food for most of the time, I didn’t have any abdominal related issues like bloating, acid reflex.
  4. Great opportunity to cook amazing dishes : We cooked new healthy foods , also we expanded our cooking style by trying other cuisines like Thai food and Chinese foods.  My hubby cooked some yummy food which was at par to gourmet food. Indeed this gave a restaurant feel @ home.

This February , I would like to focus on parenting and become a better mom. When I am angry or  frustrated or mad – “I Yell @ my loved ones “.  Especially I yell @ my son, when he rejects his food or stay awake till 2.00 and jumps over my head , list goes on. I need to find a way to control my temper and work up on to become a composed person. So this month will be  “A month without yelling” . This will be a biggest challenge for me, hope I could do it.

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Did you know ? Tips to start your day energetically

Here are few tips to have a peppy morning :

  1.  Breathe before you get out of bed  Instead of jumping up immediately when the alarm goes off , Take a few minutes to get focused and clear your mind with this easy breathing technique: “Keep your eyes closed and place your tongue behind your teeth. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a count of four and then slowly exhale through your mouth to a count of eight.” Do this six times.

2. Splash cold water on your face. This simple and energizing hydrotherapy technique literally wakes up your brain by helping it make the switch from ‘sleep mode’ to ‘awake mode’.

3. Eat Healthy breakfast.Sounds simple but it’s super important. Fuel up your body with a breakfast that includes whole grains, lean protein and small amount of healthy fat. With this winning combo, both your mood and your blood-sugar level will stay steady all morning. Try to have whole grain cereal with fruits or Have scrambled egg with chopped veggies accompanied by a slice of whole-wheat toast and a cup of green tea.

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New year Resolutions…

I have happened to read a post about “New year resolution” in “Zenhabits” blog. Few lines from that post:

“we’re finishing 2013 — what new habits will you have then?You can take the usual approach and make a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, and fail at pretty much all of them. Or you can focus on one habit a month, and use proven techniques to make them stick.

The repercussions of that post were thought-provoking and it gave me a new dimension to stick to new year resolution.  Instead of following all the resolutions at once , I have decided to introduce one at a time for each month and focus on one habit a month. Also, I can come up with facile strategy to stick with my resolutions. At the end of 2014 , I would have acquired 12 new life changing habits. Here is my plan:

  1. January -> Work out for 20 to 30 mins (at least thrice in a week)
  2. February  ->  Wake up early in the morning at least by 7 or 7.30 ( I know, 7.30 is not early but I am a night owl and I stay up late @ night till 12.30 0r 1.00. My Biorhythm got to be adjusted then only I can be an Early bird 🙂 )
  3. March -> Eat a fruit Daily. Or Take half fistful of nuts /dry fruits.
  4. April -> De-clutter and organize. My house always get cluttered frequently, I got to come up with a plan to de-clutter and be a well-organized person.
  5. May -> Meditate at least for 10 to 15 mins.
  6. June -> spend time to sing. I am very passionate about music but I haven’t spent productive time for singing.
  7. July -> Play Badminton at least twice in a week.
  8. August -> Read books. I was a voracious reader once, now I seldom read. Got to bring back my reading habit.
  9. September ->  cook new cuisine/ new food at least  fortnightly.
  10. October -> Learn to eat with chopstick. I get fascinated when I see someone eats with a chopstick. Hope, I could eat at least vegetables using chopsticks (in a month).
  11. November  ->  Let go of expectations.
  12. December -> Be optimistic

In the past, I have always failed to stick with three resolutions 1) wake up early 2) De-cluttering 3) Daily work out . Focusing on one habit per month might make me to get the hang of it. Hopefully by year-end, I will get habituated to 12 new habits.

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