Finding ikigai

Finding “the purpose” can be demanding at times, what’s important is to keep moving and enjoy the journey! 🐎

An experience at TEDxGurugram

When I was discussing TED talks during a coffee break with my friends, little did we know that we were only hours away from witnessing one for ourselves.

The theme for this year’s TEDxGurugram was “LEVEL UP”. With 8 speakers and 200 attendees, the event was a perfect opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds.

The event started off with an activity where the audience came together to play a unique game with boom whackers and made music in unison. The challenge was to level-up with each attempt that set the pace with the theme. Since we had our own misconceptions about Talk events, it was refreshing to start the day and prepare ourselves for what was to come. What followed was a journey of various speakers and their incredible ideas and contribution to society.

Dinal Jain, born with a down-syndrome – went on to become a Gold Medalist in Special Olympics despite her disability. She shared, how much her consistent practice in swimming and yoga helped her to focus and concentrate on her passions. And this is not the end goal for her, when asked by the moderator regarding her dreams, she shyly replied that she wanted to open her own café, get married and have a family too. And, to the audience she said, I would like you all to help me find my boyfriend – there was a burst of laughter in the room

Avik Sarkar, Assistant Professor, ISB, shared his journey while working on several projects with the government. He introduced his idea to create a “Partnership based Accountability Platform”, that will be a centralized platform for the citizens to report and take advantage of the facilities that are available and at the same time defining accountabilities and building transparency around it by utilizing the data at disposal.

The project N-Pulse Prognostics was born out ofKajal Shrivastava’s dream to make Ayurveda and health practices more accessible and trustworthy to the world. NadiPulse is focused on building ergonomically precise, data-driven devices, which brings together modern technology and wisdom from the Vedas to create a revolutionary device.

Atishi’s talk on “Delhi’s Education Revolution”was a very inspiring success story on the transformation of Delhi Government Schools. With over 60% of the school-going children, dependent on government schools, she shared the government’s vision to provide not just a dignified environment but also preparing them to take on the future challenges, through the introduction of happiness project in the curriculum. The School Management Systems comprised of parents are set-up who support them in their undertakings.

When Rajiv Bajaj, Chairman, and MD, Bajaj Capital came on stage, our obvious assumption was him talking probably about his enterprise. To our surprise, he brought to light a very beautiful and interesting Japanese concept “Ikigai”. “Iki” stands for “Life” and “gai” for “flow”. Despite all success in his professional journey, he set on a quest for finding his purpose in life and that’s how he discovered his love for Japanese culture and Ikigai. Since then, he has been researching on the subject and also conducting “Ikigai” workshops.

Jonas Suchanek, born and brought up in Auroville, he is an “arborist” a concept that is new to India. Under the banner TreeCare India, his team has been doing exceptional work for creating a sustainable environment. In addition, has been working toward promoting and creating awareness around arboriculture in India through Education, Legislation, and Passion.

Last but the most powerful talk that also received a standing ovation from the audience was the story of Zainab Patel. As she grew up, she faced a lot of abuse while fighting for her identity. She was one of the petitioners of National Legal Services of Authority vs. Union of India, that led to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of India, which declared transgender people to be a ‘third gender’, affirmed that the fundamental rights granted under the Constitution of India will be equally applicable to transgender people, and gave them the right to self-identification of their gender.

As the theme goes, each moment about the event was a “Level Up”. The event closed with amazing performances by Shruti Jalhar and Djembefola United band.

And this is not the end, this is just a beginning – the talks and experiences shared by everyone including the speakers and the performers not just gives us reasons to be grateful for what we have and but also to make the best out of life through simple and impactful ideas. After all, its gratitude and what we give back to the society that gives real happiness.

A re-introduction –

Couple of weeks ago, I got an opportunity or rather I would say, I took the opportunity to attend a workshop, that was themed as “Partnering with Life”

As the name itself speaks, the workshop was all about embracing life by adding different flavors to the way we approach it.

Not a new concept! Isn’t it? Since years, there are so many books written, movies made, speeches given – aimed at introducing us to life in a more meaningful and impactful way. We see, we hear, we agree to all of it, only to come back to a reality where changing an old self is so difficult.

I had the same thoughts when I went to the workshop, but I also believe in the fact that, when we welcome these learnings with an empty mind, we never come back empty handed. There is a take away that stays with you forever, and will be reminded at the right time.

Who am I? Was a question, that constantly reminded me of the way I see myself more than how I introduce myself to the world. When I am asked to introduce myself, I usually end up, giving à one liner introduction that only reflects, what I do for a living 😂 But this session was an eye-opener even for simple things like this, that connects me to the world. Here I am, re-introducing and re-branding myself to you all –

“Call me Ancy, Aswathy or Ayesha, Ancy is the name my parents chose for me, Aswathy is the nick name only because this is also my zodiac sign as per Malayalam calender, Ayesha is the name I chose for myself as a writer. I work with a reputed organisation, and I am also a traveller, a singer, an aspiring writer, a leader, a linguist, a storyteller, an adventurer, a photographer …. And my goal is to keep adding to this list”

I invite you to also reintroduce yourself in the comments section below.

Letter to my younger self

My younger self,

To you, I owe my life, my world, and what I am today. I am thankful to the little dreamer in you who always reminded me of this beautiful world and the endless opportunities that were ahead of me. You made me realize, no matter how weak I may seem to the world, the power is within me to achieve what I always dreamed of.

If you have started thinking that it’s all because of you then you are wrong There were many obstacles, fears, and challenges that I had to face during my journey. But that’s why we are blessed with wonderful people around us both on the personal and professional level, isn’t it? Over these years, I have realized that in the end, there is nothing such as a good or bad experience. When I look back and connect the dots, I realize that everything happened for a reason and it falls in place at the right time. Neither too early, not too late.

I want to let you know that you are still in me, no matter how wise I become – to cherish the little things in life, to express what I feel through my writing, to offer a helping hand to the needy, to spread happiness and the list goes on.

Lots of love!

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Sea-Prayer

Here’s mine. What an amazing way to pay tribute to Alan Kurdi, and to the many refugee children who are caught in the trap of homelessness. It’s unimaginable what they are going through and the efforts required to rebuild their lives for a better future. “Sea Prayer” made me play a small part in redefining the hope for these little ones. Even though this is not a full-length novel, the intention is what inspired me to be a part of this. Do grab your copy too.

Food for thought…

Last weekend, after lunch I stopped by the Belgian Waffle to buy waffles for my niece and nephew. Going through the menu and deciding what to buy is always a pain with the fancy names.

So I decided to go by the pictures and whatever looked best. Since it was a takeaway, I had to wait for a while until I could get my order done. So instead of taking a seat I just looked around to see the artwork.

Even though it was a small place where hardly 10 people can be accommodated, they had done a good work to make it look cool. I was impressed!

However, I left the place with the below message alongwith the waffles.

~ Ayesha

Me..

Found this from a page I follow..

Belated Happy Friendship Day!

If you believe in angels, they are around you in the form of your close friends and family and so is the belief in evil. A human has the potential to bring out both either the best or the worst in you. That’s why it becomes so important to surround ourselves with people who can bring out the best.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have found those few yet close friends whom I consider as my angels because they were placed in different phases of my life and helped me to be successful in the journey so far.

When I feared to take risk, the voice said “Go on” I’m here

When I was sad, the voice said “tell me”

When I was happy, the voice said “Why don’t you share your happiness with me? ”

When I felt stagnant, the voice said “Take a different route”

When I told myself I am not worthy to deserve the best, the voice said, ” You deserve more than anyone else”

And this goes on forever..

Thankful to all my friends for being the best ones. And specially all my readers. Now you can also follow me on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. Please find the links below:

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Learn as you go

This holds very true for me. During my childhood or I can say until I started my job I had no fascination for books or reading. I was super confident that reading should be the last thing I would have considered as my favorite pastime.

But things changed in the last few years. Once I gained an interest in reading, I haven’t stopped since then. Started by borrowing books from friends initially and later started buying it for myself because I thought it was worth an investment. One after the other, my shelf was filled with all kinds of books from self-development, autobiographies, biographies, fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.

But what has this story to do with the quote I have highlighted in the featured image? Well, it has. Reading has widened the horizons of my imagination. Reading has helped me to be creative in my writing. To be a better story-teller. It has enabled me to look at every moment of life as an inspirational story that can be penned down to share with the world. I want to write more and more and learn during this process.

Last month, I was attending a corporate conference. The organizer asked a question to the audience, “How many of you think that life is simple, raise your hands”. I raised my hand and there were a couple of other individuals who raised their hands shyly. A lady sitting next to me said,”Guys, be practical. Life cannot be simple”. Probably she was expecting me to put my hand down hearing her words. But that boosted my confidence even more. Because I do think life is simple. Life in itself can’t be simple because of the challenges we come across, but the route we take can be simple without panicking in any situation.

I got this confidence after reading about so many people and their experiences, their failure and success stories.

img_20171124_2311021350246859.jpg

I recently finished a heartwarming book – “A Man Called Ove” and now reading “When breath becomes Air“.

I posted a couple of blogs in the last few weeks, if you haven’t got a chance to read here they are:

Captured in one frame

You are lucky for me

The Journey called Life

An unavoidable phone call

Happy Weekend, everyone! 🙂

Begin..

This one came up in my Facebook memory. I had shared a post by someone. Thought it’s a good way to begin our day. 🙂 🌸

August

Can’t believe it’s the last day of the month. I’ve always felt this slow pace in the first six months of the year. The second half just flies with so many festivals, public holidays and many occasions to celebrate. 🎉 And now, I’m already waiting for Christmas 🤶 🎄

This month, I plan to read some more books from my to-be-read, and also some writing as time allows. I did publish some posts in the last few weeks. Do check them out of you haven’t got a chance already and feel free to give your feedback in the comment section.

Bloom

Unfiltered

Koode

Happy Liu

Wishing everyone a rocking August!

A life beyond expectations

How many times in our lives do we end up in a situation, where we are compelled to think, “Wait, do I deserve this? What wrong have I done to anyone? I’ve always been kind to people and their needs, why can’t they think like me?”

How many times? I think the answer is, each moment of our life. It can place us in similar situations. Well, the good news is – if we want to get over this, we need to extend our kindness to people who are actually in need. Whom we can never expect to repay for what we do for them.

When we give to someone who we have never known, who we know can never repay us back – it naturally doesn’t make us expect. The expectations are what leads to disappointments. The people whom we touch through this kindness have only good words and blessings for us. That’s what is more fulfilling than any wealth in this world.

Have you felt the same way? Please do share your experience in the comments section below. I’d love to know your stories too and how you are bringing happiness into someone else’s life through your acts of kindness.

Wishing a blessed day ahead!

What is life?

Life is a gift wrapped and breathed into us on our birth-day and each day in our lifetime it surprises us in special ways.

~ Ayesha

Happy weekend

It’s the end of the day. I am on my way home, after work. Holding my phone, wondering what should I write? Somedays when I am not prepared I’ve noticed that so much of thoughts and ideas run through my mind on my next blog post.

But often I regret for not having a book to note them down at that point in time. What happens next? The thought and the idea is gone.

Writing has become a passion for me now, though I realize not all days can be alike. Writing cannot come by force. The words have to just flow giving the concept life so that it can strike a chord with the readers.

So many times, I am bowled over with the content by my fellow bloggers. Everyone have a unique style and stories to share.

Thus, when I feel I can’t write, I spend my time reading so that I can learn from the rest.

Have you ever faced a similar instance? I’d love to know how you overcome and spend time writing.

Wonder

No, not yet. I’ve being waiting but haven’t been nominated for “Quote of the day challenge”. 🙂

Although, I do wanted to share this quote from a book that I’ve being reading, “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio.

It’s kind of interesting why I chose to pick this book for my to-be-read list. I was in this book shop where I had picked a couple of books to read. While I was rushing to leave, something caught my attention. A yellow book cover with an interesting image of a boy. I knew that moment, I had to buy this.

I won’t get into the book review coz I would encourage everyone to get your copies too. It’s worth it. A very heart-warming story.