Welcome to this blog! I am an amalgamation of personalities, dare I say - fairly interesting ones ;). And these personalities - most of them - quite enjoy expressing themselves and getting to know others as well.

Whether it's health at every size or size acceptance; whether it's the counselling sessions I do or the breakthroughs I have in getting to know myself; my experiences on the Walk of Hope or my corporate avatar; I learn every day and intend to put my insights out here.

Hope you enjoy reading and happy to hear from you!

Happiness and positivity - for real?

Recently I received feedback from several people that they perceive me as very happy and positive. That surprised me - I am certainly not always happy and always positive. I have my moments of gloom and doom and those moments are more than my own high standard prescribes to me ( standard for self - the impossible is possible - therefore have zero moments of gloom and doom - did anyone scream perfectionist - how did you guess?).

And yet there is an external perception of my happiness and positivity. 

Well, I thought about it and I realised I am happy and positive. Not always but far more than earlier. And I wondered what made me so - what would I say if someone asked me why? The thoughts below are not meant as a prescription - just my contemplation on what rocks my boat :). 

First of all - am not happy and positive because I have happy and positive things happening around me all the time. No - I stay in the same world as everyone else and listen to the same news, work in the same organisations, live in the same city, so on and so forth. Yes, I am lucky in many areas but then there are others that suck as well. So it's definitely not because of my environment. 

Secondly - am not happy because I have had happy experiences all along - I have my share of tears and anxieties. More than some and less than others - so it's not because of my past and present or a secure future (as the advertisements on insurance keep harping about.)

So what does make me happy and positive? Well I think one of the key things for me is hope. I really have hope - hope that all is not as bad as it seems. Hope that even in the worst conditions, there is a blessing. I have hope that one day the most important values will be those of gratitude, integrity, kindness, simplicity, joy, creativity and productivity.  Contrary to the belief that these are soft skills - I believe these values actually allow a razor sharp mind and a greater possibility to achieve one's potential by eliminating stress and enabling focus and motivation. I hope that our education system, our social and work environments will reflect these values. 

I have hope that we will reconnect to ourselves, each other and our environment and understand how harmony supports us far more than the current age of competition. Hope that economists will be proved wrong about that basic law of economics which says resources are scarce - and we will experience the abundance. So many more hopes about peace instead of war, freedom instead of boundaries. And because I have this hope I stumble across examples of it everyday! I see it sometimes in the newspaper and sometimes amongst friends. Sometimes at my workplace and sometimes in strangers. But I do see examples that strengthen my belief that there is hope in this world. And that makes me happy and positive. 

The second thing that I am cultivating is respect. Respect that everyone is different and unique and the biggest curse on humanity is the need to standardise and be the same. The same body, the same skin, the same height- weight ratio, the same material possessions and on and on. It's like walking into a garden and wishing there were only red roses or walking into an orchard and wanting to see only oranges. When we don't wish a hippopotamus was a giraffe or an eel a whale then why on earth do we all want to look, be and feel alike. For the longest time I have wanted to look like a supermodel - wear a bikini and be called "sexy". Just today it occurred to me - I do look like a model - just for plus size clothes - it made me feel very happy and helped me drop a lot of hatred I have held for my body. How does it get even better!

Respect is also about there being no right or wrong in a pure sense. The mother who under the pretext of love stifles her child to do only as told is scarring that child just as much as the alcoholic, abusive mother who beats her child. One is more physical and the other more mental but the emotional result is the same. The point about respect is viewing both as they are - a sum of their life experiences and emotional heritage making an impact on this world. Both need education - neither is more right or more wrong than the other. 

Off course you can argue that there is no condoning a man who opens fire randomly and kills innocent children or not punish a gang of hormonally charged youths who violently rip into a woman's body. I feel every scream and loss of those human beings. Yet I see similar men who under the guise of politics, economics, religion and power do the very same thing on a mass scale but are revered and feared and chosen by us as leaders. Insisting on categorising things as either black and white only restricts our own freedom to play in this world. 

I cannot say it is all right and yet I cannot say it is all wrong either. If we call these human beings dark then they are often the cause for some of the brightest gems on the planet - the Nelson Mandelas and Mother Teresas and many more known and unknown who have shown that courage and perseverance can make a difference. When I look back at my own life - it's not so much the people who were nicest to me that motivated my development - it's those that challenged me, blocked me, shocked me and hurt me that spur me to be more than what I am. I may not want to have them on my friend list and I certainly don't call them to dinner but I respect their contribution to my life and choose not to hate them. So yes, being respectful of others' differences, seeing them as they are and not needing to change them keeps me happy. 

And this brings me to the third reason why I think I am more happy and positive now than
earlier. More and more I realise I can neither change nor save the world. Not my family or friends or people I meet - not a single soul can I change or save. First of all who they are and what they do is not for me to judge and secondly I have no ownership on their changing or not. The only person I can change or save is myself - again if I choose to and not because someone else wants me to. Is this a defeatist, selfish way of looking at the world? Am I abdicating from my responsibility to make a difference within my circle of influence and thus contribute to a more positive world? 

I can only speak from my experience - as long as I was trying to change the people around me under the guise that I love them and I knew what would make them happier - I made no impact. On the other hand the personal cost was a feeling of not being valued, loved or being special. The other cost was having the same people trying to change me in areas where they felt they knew better - and so the cycle of "loving relationships" continued. 

Today my need to change people is diminished - I wish I could say gone completely but that would be a lie considering the "well meaning" advice I gave my husband just two nights ago and the temper tantrum I had when he refused to listen :D. So I can only say my need is diminished and I have more time and energy to focus on making myself a better human being. As I make the changes within me I not only feel more valued and loved but I also seem to make an impact on those who notice the change and want it for themselves. And that definitely makes me more happy and positive. 

So thank you - all of you who made me notice my own happiness and positivity and think about the choices I have made to lead me here. And contrary to my perfectionist attitude about my moments of doom and gloom, I intend to embrace those moments with more kindness to myself. After all when there is so much fun in the variety of imperfection, perfection may just be over rated! 

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