❤ 33 Things

I have realized that…

I cannot protect myself from being hurt or being sad. It is a given. Sadness is as much a part of our life as happiness…

kindness is very important. Always be kind! Always leave everyone with a kind word.

living life to the fullest takes courage. Being true to myself takes courage. Its not easy. But there is no better way to live.

I have a lot in my life I am thankful for. Everyone that has been a part of my life... my parents, my family, my friends, my colleagues, my teachers... all make me feel so lucky.

I feel the happiest when I am helping someone, when I feel I am giving back.

I have changed a lot over the years… for better. And I will continue to do so. I do not care to be unique… But I do want to be better than what I was.

the one person I have to live with all my life is myself… so I better be someone that I like to be with.

I have the tendency to overreact and overthink. I should always be on the lookout for that.

anger turns me into a different person… but that I can also control my anger.

I let people walk all over me. As Maya Angelou says, “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

this is my life to lead… my decisions to make… and my responsibility to take.

I can let things bring me down or just let go, lie back and have faith that time heals all.

I have just one life and I should not say no to experiences because of my prejudices.

as long as I can laugh at myself and life, Life is good. Humour is what keeps us going.

it’s possible to love unconditionally and its very liberating.

material things buy me temporary happiness.

money is important but not everything. Don’t give it too much or too little importance. That’s something my parents tell me all the time.

though the child in me has lost her innocence, she stills finds delight in the little joys of life… and I am thankful for that

when it comes to life your attitude towards things matter the most. At any given point, I have the choice to decide how to react to a situation. And what I choose will make all the difference.

I cannot and should not try to change anyone and that people change irrespective. I just need to learn to accept or let go.

sometimes you need to move away from negativity in your life - negative situations, negative people… they just bring you down.

honesty is a virtue but kindness is better. I should learn to make better trade-offs.

life is as simple as we make it. Its all in the way you look at things.

I will find myself in helpless situations and with infuriating people. But regardless of what I think, I need to learn to give everyone their space. The way I need my space, to make my decisions and commit my mistakes.

it is easy to manipulate people but it doesn’t feel good afterwards.

life is a one-way street. I can never go back but I can always make a new start.

patience and hope, when things are not going your way, make a peaceful life.

if I take care of making everyday worthwhile, life will automatically be awesome.

travel opens minds and hearts. There is no substitute for it.

people will treat me like I let them treat me. I should stand up for myself… stand up for what I think is right.

there is no substitute for hard work and perseverance.

I don’t need anyone else’s approval… I am capable of making my decisions and standing by them.

I will always be fine. My parents, my family, my friends have helped me become someone who will always look at the bright side… Someone who will not give up… everyone I have met, interacted with has shaped me in some way. Thank you all for helping me become someone I can live with for the rest of my life! :)

❤ Ashwini

❤ Charged as guilty

Judgmental is not stating an opinion or even labeling something as "good" or "bad". Being judgmental is when, based on one quality of someone or something, you conclude about his whole nature, about all his other qualities. You judge his wholeness based on one aspect.

“We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” If this was a crime, I think i would be charged as guilty... :( I should repeat this saying to myself more often...

Over the past few years I have been trying (and am still trying) to be less judgmental... There have been so many occasions where I let one incident cloud my entire judgment... I am a lot better than how I was... But I guess I still have a long way to go...

Why is it so important to change this, you ask. It wasn't an epiphany... It was more that I was at the receiving end of it once...I remember that horrible feeling of being judged without having a chance to explain... All I wanted to say to everyone at that time was to please hear my side of it before judging me. Why it happened is not so important as what I learned from it... After bearing the brunt of it, I thought I would never judge anyone like I was... But you know what... I was wrong... :(

This gets me thinking..."What is it that makes us feel we are qualified to judge others?" I think the answer is simple.. We do it because its easy... To give everyone a fair chance means you have to open your heart a little bit... It means you have to give everyone enough room for mistakes (I am saying mistakes for a lack of a better word.. though they need not necessarily be mistakes... sometimes its just that we have to give people space to be themselves... we have to give people space to be different) This means you have to give time and you have to overlook a lot of things... So basically.. to avoid being judgmental means a lot of work on your part...

So here is my plan... Every time I express an opinion of someone I should just step back and ask myself these questions... "Is what I am saying right? Do I even know enough to say this? Does this one thing define everything? How would I feel if I was on the other side?" What do you think? This ought to save me from the "judgemental" pitfall, right?

So I guess the theory is grasped... Now I need to perfect the execution... Without exception... Wish me luck...!! :)

P.S. - I wrote this more than 2 years ago. And I am happy to notice that I am a lot better. Even now, I do sometimes fall into the "judgemental" pitfall, I am always on my toes to hop back out again.

❤ Ashwini

Footprints on my heart

Through the sands of time
In this short life of mine
A few friends have become strangers
And some strangers more important than life

Some walked in for a moment
And stayed on forever
Some disappeared
Breaking promises of a lifetime

So many have shared laughter
A few wiped my tears
A trusting shoulder I cried on
Even a knight who fought my fears

Some unchanged friendships
Some tearful separations
Some unspoken words
Many unforgettable conversations

I am grateful for both, the good and the bad
And for those close, and even those who grew apart
For they've all left behind their indelible marks
Eternally etched like footprints on my heart

❤ ashwini

Inspired by a Stranger...

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
- The Stranger, Albert Camus

I can't describe the solace I find in these words (Thank you, SG!). They inspire me to be good, even when bad things happen, to me or around me... :) In a world that seems to have lost its mind (Don't believe me.. read the news..!! ), we need such thoughts... To inspire us... To make us feel better... To make us believe in our own goodness...

In the summer of life, I am the oak tree. Through the storms, I am the reed of grass. I have the power to transform. I have the power to take it all. I have the power to emerge a better person. I will always greet Life with a smiling face, a resolute mind and a kind heart... What about you, Life, will you do the same?

❤ ashwini

Random travel musings...

When I decided to do this 8-day Alaska trip all by myself, I was both excited and worried. Excited? That's obvious, right?... 8-day vacation to Alaaskaa... Why worried then? It was that "all by myself" bit. I knew it could only go one of two ways - either I enjoy it like any other vacation... Or I am utterly miserable... Looking at the pattern in the past few months, I think it was a fair toss between the two.

But now more than halfway into the trip, I am happy to note that I am doing just fine. I am content being with myself. :) Know what, I think I am pretty good company, very entertaining. (You should hear what goes on up here in my head, and you will know what I mean...) Oh, I am not self-aggrandizing! I think after spending so much quality time with me, I can actually have an "unbiased" opinion on this... Haha.. Anyways, I digress (as usual).

So, as I was saying, I like my own company. I enjoy spending time just staring at all this beauty around me - watching nature at play, watching its mood swings everyday, how they change from a smiling sun to the sulking rain. I like meeting new people, the morning conversations over a hot cup of coffee, listening to the stories each one had to share... This was one thing, I was most apprehensive about. I have always been painfully shy in front of strangers. (Yeah, all those who know me well, you can stop guffawing. I can be shy, stranger things have happened!! :P). I love driving around in the rain, just thinking or listening to my audio books.

There are some things that I can't do alone though - like going on some of the hikes. Besides the obvious weight issues, there is another weightier issue - those grizzlies. For every hike, at least one person has commented on how they encountered grizzlies, and how it was fortunate they were in a group. However small the probability of me encountering a bear, there is no way I am going alone after knowing this!! So next time, I would love to have some company to do the things I am missing out on. (Even if they turn out to be bad company, as long as they are good bear food, I am ok ;) Haha...)

Unexpectedly, but thankfully, this has been a great trip. I know something about myself today that I didn't know 5 days ago - that I don't feel lonely just because I am alone. I know I will gladly do this again. And I know everytime I do this, I will have great company (Not the grizzly food... But me... :))

❤ Ashwini

A note to myself...

... to be read when I am wallowing in the dump of self pity...

So you are down in the dumps again! You silly piglet!

Ok don't worry, I've got this under control. :) Just follow the instructions below and we will get you out of there in a jiffy!

First, we need to make a magic potion.


1 whole Unconquerable soul (Borrow it from Invictus )

1 cup Fighting spirit (Ask The Stranger , he will know where to find it)

3 tblspn Self-worth (You found it one new years eve)

Faith according to taste (Get it from Pi Patel, I am sure he will lend you some)

Some smile for garnishing (I am sure you know where to find that... That curve is never far away from you...)

Mix it well and drink it while saying this magic mantra...
"I may not have control over what happens in Life. But I can choose how I react to it. I always have THAT choice and no one can take it away from me. I can let myself be sucked into the viciousness of negativity and cynicism or I can choose to hope and have faith. Have faith that no matter what happens, I can get through it. Like Pi says, if we have to anyways go through life and whatever it brings to us, why not do it with some faith and belief in God. So, I choose to smile in the face of adversity and give hope a home in my heart."

Repeat the above process until you get it right... :)

P.S. - If you find yourself in the dump again... Don't judge yourself. Just rememeber that you are not weak because you are down but you are stronger every time you pick yourself back up again...

❤ Ashwini

❤ To my parents... With lotsa love

I didn't believe in God or luck
"I am the ruler of my destiny" such was my pluck
But when I look back to seek what defines me
I realize I owe what I am, to none, but thee
Me being a part of you is nothing but chance
And at my faithless thoughts I look askance
I am left with no choice, but to believe in the Holy wise
When I count my blessings, I count you twice

You taught me to walk, You taught me to stand tall,
You urged me to run, You picked me after a fall.
You never gave me your thoughts, You taught me to think
You gave me courage, so my own story I could ink
You watched me soar, reach the high sky blue,
You gave me unconditional love known to lucky few
You are my biggest strength, my soundest advice
When I count my blessings, I count you thrice

I hope you are proud of who I have come to be
That your heart smiles to think, "This person is a part of me"
I know whenever through memories I sift,
I will think of you as God's greatest gift
That I was special to Him I can no longer ignore
When I count my blessings I count you a million times.... And more

❤ Ashwini