2013 was momentous! It's marked by some mega-events of my life. And it's dotted with millions of moments lived with an attitude that made me feel more happy, complete, magnanimous, humble, alive, than ever before.
- Became a teacher – finally!
- Bought a house.
- Kept cycling, climbing steps. With the above job change, I got rid of my 4 hour daily commute. Now, I cycle to my office. I also have kept up the habit of taking the steps in my apartment. 6 floors up, 1-2 times a day, done for a long time is a small but definite addition to my health.
- Water colouring. My attempts at water colouring saw a visible upswing this year. My paintings have started looking more fresh and confident. My feeling of struggle reduced too.
- Singing. Well, I have always played down my musical side. Partly because I never felt I had much potential. This year, I started some of those shortcomings wither, which I used to think of as inherent characteristics of my voices, starting to go.
- Family time. Has been better than ever before
- Learned mindfulness better:
- Handling anxious moments
- Faith in myself
- Comfort in discomfort. This has been an important step in overcoming my long-standing starting problem. Lack of clarity, ambiguity, uncertainty etc. used to paralyse me (they still do) before I was to start something. I have made a start to ignore these feelings when I know that what I want to do is good on other more objective measures.
- Self forgiveness. I consider this new found attitude to be the main reason why I have seen improvements in many of my endeavours (singing, painting etc.)
- Breathing while yet not there. It's a part of a bigger attitude change of not wanting everything to be settled in order to feel comfortable. Human mind will never stop aspiring. Therefore, there's never going to be a moment in life when there's nothing pending. Pining for the elusive state of completeness is a big mistake. Life is now, at the moment. Breathe.
No swimming, no Yoga. I started these all with great gusto, but was interrupted. Swimming stopped simply because the chlorine in the swimming pool of our apartment would giving me terribly burning eyes. While practising Yoga, I seem to have overdone something which made me feel very unwell at a point. I couldn't get back after that.
No publications again. My last 4 years have been without any publications! It's very bad patch. I have been doing research, have been getting results, but haven't published anything. You may think I got lots of rejects. Wrong. I never submitted any of my work. Don't ask me why!
Writing, drawing, reading. They saw a down-turn towards the last few months. All blames to my new job, which has consumed my time like a black-hole.
Leave certain details for the last moment. Rely on your ingenuity.
Don't curse yourself for everything that goes wrong.
Depend on others.
Breathe when in distress.
New Year Challenge
Of course, I would like continue concentrating on leading a more wholesome life -- moment by moment. But I am not perfect, and discovering my own weaknesses and winning over them remains an integral part of the fun.
Fear of Failure
My greatest challenge has been my deep rooted shyness/fair of rejection/fear of failure. Much of what I do, therefore, remains with me. On the one hand, this continues to prevent my achievements – however small they may have been – from being seen and recognised. But on the other, and more importantly, it has robbed me from the advantages of continuous practice, and quick , constructive feedback.
The next one year will be a time to work on my deep-rooted low self-confidence. I must offer to the world whatever I have to offer without fretting too much about how good it is. For this, even if I have to face competition, I must not get dissuaded (I still have an uneasy feeling about this, though). What concrete stuff can I do?
- Write more technical stuff. Submit papers.
- Write more non-technical stuff. Approach publishers.
- Speak more. Find fora where willing listeners gather.
Another art I need to work on is to take breaks. I mean – real, worry free, rejuvenating, recreational, re-charging breaks.
I would like to improve feeling comfortable in incomplete states, so that the act of completion is a voluntary choice, not a chore or punishment. I feel, I need to keep observing how many times I have survived – no, succeeded – after starting with nothing in hand. Faith should then grow, automatically.