On Struggling

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Each weekday I struggle to wake up at 5am. More often than not I snooze immediately, but instead of going back to sleep, the weekly and daily tasks begin to sneak into my head, and thus I get up a few minutes before the alarm, and I walk down to drink water and be in gratitude. As soon as that happens, the excuses drop away and I sense the potential of the day, and begin my morning routine.

I struggle with that too. There are times I want to read longer or not write at all or perhaps just skip the journaling, but I also know that if I don’t allow myself this self-care, I will go through the day not really checking in with myself. Instead, it will be me going through one task from another and not allowing myself to feel whats going on inside.

And so I struggle, at Crossfit, at work, in my relationships, and it hits me that it will always be that way. Struggle is not a good or bad word, it just is. It is what I learn from that action that I can move forward. It is from frustration, fear, and fatigue that I can grow. If everything came easy, it means that I am not living my best life.

That’s not to say I choose unnecessary struggle. Sometimes it is important to know that I am making things more difficult than they need to be especially in the area of relationships. I struggle from not always being more open or clear on my needs. I see a pattern of not making requests or seeking support and thus I can drown myself in resentment against others who have no ideas as to my state of mind.

Then there is also my struggle to have things be a certain way. It is what causes a lot of my suffering. I realize that until I get to accept things to be the way we are, I will not only needlessly struggle, but I will also continue suffering more than I need to. So there is good struggle and there is bad struggle, but those are the values that I am placing on it. Maybe it’s the other way around or maybe all of it is who I am, and what I need to do in order to be a better version of myself.


On Reading

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One of my deepest joys is having a spare morning where I can make my french press and lose myself in reading. I have loved reading since I was a child, and I used to take it granted that others shared the same passion. It helped that my mom likes to read and my older sister now my other sister does as well. Also my aunt with whom I shared an impromptu book club, sharing books that I had finished and who in turn gave it to others.

I know I have spoken about it in the past, but got me thinking about it again is how much I use reading as an incentive to get other less desirable or uncomfortable tasks done (like writing, meditating or legal study). I see it a a reward and as a time out for me which is why my bathroom is littered with New Yorkers, Men’s Healthy and Scientific American magazines.

Moreover, the reading has to be in a physical format. Although I got an Kindle as soon as it was released ages ago, I just missed the flipping of the pages too much. I loved the feel of the hardcover, the paper, the reading of each line imprinted. In a weird way, digital felt like cheating, and it just didn’t carry the satisfaction.

Since the beginning of the year, I have really made a concerted effort to read more different subjects, more authors that are non indian, more so called fun reads that make you want to finish the book quickly. I love the race to the end, its a game I play with myself. I always win because no matter if the book was good or bad, I got to live in a different world, see characters and hopefully glean some knowledge on how I can be a better writer.

And so today, relish the opportunity to read, and I am grateful that I have the luxury of doing so. Happy Monday!


On Getting Older

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Yesterday we celebrated my niece’s 26th birthday and I couldn’t help being grateful to my sister and brother in law to allow me to have so much time with Maya. She is the first I saw from birth, and we always just had this connection that brings me joy each time I meet her. I have been lucky that recently I have seen so much more of her, and seeing her grown into a woman is truly breathtaking.

I keep revisiting Maya as I am lucky again to spend time with my wife’s niece, and I can’t help comparing as both the nieces are kind, loving and just a sheer pleasure to be around. They create joy just by their mere presence and also by how thoughtful they are. I always smile when I walk into my moms house and I see Maya and my mom just hanging out, spending time. I am a bit envious but only in the way that I too want to just hang with them.

I also envy my wife as she too will get to experience her niece the same as Maya and the road ahead is just filled with so much joy, pride and love. She too will see her niece transform into an even more special being.

Happy Monday!


Making Time

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One of the my habits for a while has been to be in gratitude. It started off simply enough before the pandemic with the 5 Minute journal, but it took on more significance as the days progressed and it became less clear if we would ever return to the normalcy. What took on more urgency for me was to count and collect my blessings as I had so much more than others and even that I realized until I began to take note of it. From expressing gratitude that even if I couldn’t go to the gym, I could run or be held accountable by my crossfit friends asking me as to what I was doing to stay healthy. Or the fact that I still had work, and getting more as I allowed myself to think opportunity and let go of my scarcity feelings.

Yet my greatest strength and blessings were the facts that I had a large family in my bubble. From amazing in laws to my own relatives, I had a bigger list than others to rely on. Over and over, I expressed gratitude that I had options while others had none. Again and again, I could count on meals with various people while so many had to make do with one or a few people.

This past weekend, I acknowledged how far we had come when the family went out to Temecula and got a chance to something outdoors together. I am luckier than so many that I hang out with my loved ones not out of obligation but of desire. It was heartening to see my mom and mother in law toasting each other while my cousins, sister and brother in laws sat and enjoyed food, company and so much laughter. Even in that moment, I sensed of how far we had come. That there was so much light in this darkness, and it was because I chose to look at the pinpoint of light rather than allow darkness to envelope me.

I am blessed, and I know it, and I am grateful. Happy Monday!


By The Numbers

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I was a bit hesitant to do this post as I feel it would come off as bragging, but really it was me experimenting on myself to see what I was capable of. It helped to have several accountability groups in various areas and also to share my progress or when I hit snags.

  1. This month I joined the 800 gram challenge with 25 other people at Crossfit box. Eat 800 grams (g) of fruits and/or vegetables, by weight, per day. No foods are eliminated, but only fruits and veggies count toward the 800g. Eat the fruits and veggies of your choice. Raw, cooked, canned, frozen; doesn’t matter! If you can weigh it as a standalone and unprocessed fruit or vegetable, you can count it. Yep, that’s it! Being vegetarian. I thought this would be a breeze, but part of the challenge was to weight my food, and that’s when it hit me that salads don’t weight much, but fruits do. And thus. I began to eat fruits daily not just bananas like I did occasional but apples, oranges, pears, and really anything that caught my eye at the supermarket. It became a bit of a game to buy something I normally didn’t and know that it wouldn’t go to waste. I managed to do 800 grams every day for February. Another unexpected side benefit, my energy levels shot up, and I also managed to lose weight faster than I’d anticipated.
  2. Running: So I never really thought of myself as a runner, but after doing several races and then the LA Marathon last year, I realized that the reason I don’t consider myself a runner is due to my speed, and the fact that I don’t run everyday. Again, crossfit friends came to the rescue. Running is not about doing it daily or length, it’s about consistency, and so I managed to run 50 miles in a month which to the old me would have sounded insane a few years back. So far this year I have run 95 miles out of my 1000 mile goal for 2021 (another insane goal)
  3. I also began tracking my habits as per Atomic Habits book, and I made a list of 15 habits that I wished to know how I was doing. I managed to meditate for 15 minutes every day, read a chapter of a book every day (which allowed me to finish reading 4 books this month), write 100 words every day (which got me to 3500 words on a short story), I exercised daily, mixing it up with Crossfit, running and swimming and only missed one day (Valentines Day, but that’s a very good reason to miss). journal daily which included my morning pages, my clear habit journal as well as my food journal. I also managed to do 10 pushups (minimum) 26 days out of 28, but I am most proud of that everyday I took the opportunity to hug and kiss my wife. It may seem silly to track that, but I realized that it became a form of self-care to know that my partner is by my side even if she didn’t sometimes get my crazy schedule. I also managed to cook 23 days out of 28 which for me is pretty huge. While I only managed to not drink 14 days out of 28, I did stop drinking Mondays through Thursdays which meant I was less groggy, and able to wake up earlier which leads me to my next point.
  4. I began to wake up at 5am on weekdays because I realized that a lot of my self care (reading, writing, meditating, journaling) required quiet time that did not interfere with quality time with loved ones. What worked was not drinking on weekdays, and also habit stacking as outlined in the Atomic habits. Became I woke up early, I meditated, then journaled, then read, then wrote one after another, which made my day already a huge win because even if I got nothing else done, I knew I had done the things that nourished me.
  5. I also signed the most clients this month than ever before, and hit several personal records in weightlifting. So I ended the month with a need to do more, to keep pushing myself, to keep growing and so this month, I am adding acts of service, completing more MasterClasses, diving deeper in study for ADA Access and Immigration legal matters, doing an act of service of some form, and marketing.

It feels crazy to write this post, but I know that unless I don’t acknowledge my wins. I will also focus on the losses and feel like I am not moving forward when in reality, the movement isn’t a sprint, it’s one step at a time. Happy Monday!