Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, My Past

Different Eras

Yesterday, I was blessed to be a baby shower of an old friends. I saw so many I had not seen in years, and we got to reminiscence about the bygone era of Ziba Music, promoting parties, out of state travels, being over each other houses all the time, I could not help feeling gratitude. Gratitude for still maintaining contact, for still having fond memories about the past, but most importantly, that we were still in each others lives. Sure, it’s not as frequent as it used to be, but it exists, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

This weekend turned out to be varying versions of remembrances as I heard my mom speak fondly of her dog who passed as well as the one who adopted her (our dog), and I was reminded yet once again, that sitting at lunch, around the kitchen counter, is this time that I will remember. I made note of it because I no longer take for granted that family lunches or dinners will happen endlessly. With old age, deaths now comes the realization that as each Era passes by, it is important to experience it for what it is not what I want it to be.

It’s strange to remember that Ziba music is no longer around, but it’s influence still present when I see my old music friends who bought many first legendary South Asian music from my father’s store. I count that as one of the major privileges of my life to experience so much great music, and to see so much talent blossom into great business for my DJ and artist friends. It took this past weekend for me to see different eras that shaped so much of my life. For that, I am truly grateful.

Happy Monday!  What do you cherish from your past?

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Old Friends

It amazes me how many of my friends are still in my life. Beyond gratitude, I often wonder how I got so lucky.  So many who are not just colleagues or acquaintances, but real friends interested in my history, and my future.  So many who i think of fondly and hardly ever a breakdown between us. Just sometimes, a long length of time of not communicating, but as we connect, it’s as if nothing has changed.

I used to believe that was only a few people from high school and UCLA, yet more and more, I meet others who I met at different times in my life, and the warm feelings for them come bubbling up. This past weekend made me realize how truly lucky I am for the people in my life, and how many I can reach out for support. I promised myself to remember that feeling the next time I feel alone or like a burden to my best friends. Or when perhaps I just want to catch up and reminisce about that one time when I lived a different life, and thought differently. A time when I was more ideals than practice, yet my life is not full of regret, just appreciation for the opportunities. So many roads not taken, but still on track on my journey in life.

So I take a moment to thank those who taught me so much, spent their time and energy with me, and continue to inspire warm feelings about them and my past. I look forward to the next get together, and chance to reconnect.

Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

8 Years

Between the illnesses, the deaths, the treatments, the grief, the one thing I counted on was you. You were there no matter what, even we were not in alignment. You supported all my ventures, and always encouraged me even when I doubted myself. Sure, I didn’t make it easy with my stubbornness and insistence on being right. There were days it hasn’t been easy, but so many more where it felt the day slipped away in seconds. So much laughter, joy, along with a sprinkle of anger, frustration, yet we kept plugging along.

You have been in my life a lot longer than being my wife, and I count that to be a blessing. Marriage anniversaries are a great way to reflect and remember you, my partner, the one who still takes my breath away. I wish I took more opportunities to show you my love, and I will working on that, but on this day, I can at least take joy in being able to hold you, and have you know that you are loved deeply. I know the sap is getting thick in here, and this message perhaps too personal for some to be put on a blog.

Yet as a writer, I am moved to express what’s coming up for me, so I want to tell you again. I love you, Preeti. And Happy Anniversary!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Another Monday

Mid July. Another chance to start over or continue on my vision. A chance to do over some things, or perhaps begin a new chapter. A choice to lead, or be lead. So much opportunity lies in a day, and how I choose to begin it means the difference between a super productive week or one where I am left scratching my head, wondering where the week went. More and more, the morning quiet beckons me to take time to reflect, ponder, and reconnect with my vision.

I admit some mornings I get caught up in to-do lists rather than checking in with myself to see where my head and heart are at. The time to just feel, to figure out if my path for the day is clear or just one task after another. Easy to just check off things rather than see where my mind and heart are at.

Some days are filled with passion, desire and the things to get things done ASAP, and then another more frequent days where the idea of doing work just sounds like lifting boulders continuously. It’s easy to find stories, to play victim, to not want to do things, but then based on results, if I am still where I don’t want to be then I have no one else to blame.

The big word is responsibility. It’s to be, it’s up to me. It sucks though because it means to take ownership in every aspect of my life rather than sit around and just believe that its because of other people, other things, other crises, I am not where I want to be.  So another Monday. A new day. To make it day 1 or one day. The choice is always mine. What’s yours?

Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Rigor and Accountability

Recently, a dear friend asked me my secret to my “rigor” i.e. my commitment to my vision to the various areas of my life. For a while, I didn’t know how to answer that question because to be quite honest, most days I feel like I am playing catch up. It’s easy to disregard the tasks that got done and compare myself to my large declarations for the year. I forget that to eat a whole pie, one has to start with the first diet (oh yeah, I love food).

Each morning, I wake up to a choice. stay put or move forward. There are days I go back to bed, but more often than not, I get up and begin my morning ritual of morning pages, meditation, morning reading, dog walking and sometimes the gym. I do it not out of obligation but the fervent belief in my vision: to be the best version of myself in all areas of my life.  I really sat with that. It wasn’t a wish or a desire. Well, it could be if I did nothing to make my vision come true. You see, vision doesn’t have to be specific, but it takes specific action to realize your vision.  To that end, I now have an accountability group that cares not only about my vision, but is more than willing to call me up when I am not feeling 100%.  I also use a planner, a time for tasks, google sheets to keep abreast on pending tasks and goal. I use many tools to ensure I am on task.

The past few weeks have not been easy as good friends are dealing with personal losses, and I wish I could do more to be in service to them. It’s tempting to lose focus, and allow the day to happen. And I admit there is time like that, but when I take time to reflect, to remember my reasons for being, I can do much for others when my heart is full.  There will be always be a crisis going on. Always a loss. Always something that pulls you toward an issue not of your making, and it’s remembering time and time again that if I am not fulfilled, if I am not committed to my vision, I will not be the best person for those tough situations.

So I train each day. I get up. I focus. I make declarations, and hope that I get to all of them. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Rigor isn’t about getting shit done, but it’s about checking in what it is that I want my life to be. It’s about knowing that I never gave up on myself. That I get to be my word to myself first because if I am not in integrity to myself, how can I believe i can be of service to others? So I get up. Kick ass. Then repeat.

Happy Monday!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Myself, Random

Integrity is Cheap

Monday mornings. A time I cherish. A time to reset, to consider, to take a hard look at my declarations. To drill down to what worked, what didn’t and what was in the gap. To review my various Google sheets and ask if I am in line with my vision. Some Mondays are not pretty. I see task after task and other idealistic declarations untouched week after week. And I realize that it’s easy to state things without a plan, or a real buy in. Easy to say I will become a published writer, or grow my business but then not have a deadline or a specific task to make it happen.

I find it’s easy to lie to myself. To make excuses, or justify that I am doing well in other areas. Easy to give myself a break, to let myself off the hook, to not be in integrity with myself or my vision.

Vision. That word keeps coming up in my life more and more. As I get closer to the big 5-0, I am motivated to complete some long standing dreams. To do a pull up. To run a Marathon. To be a published author. To be a successful law practice. To travel the world with my wife. To keep deep connections with family and friends. To be in service. To try new things. And yet, some things come easy, and others I just putting up over and over again.

So integrity to myself has become cheap. I cover it up with other actions, and stories that I am doing all that I can when I know there is so much time I waste on things and people who don’t serve me. I realize now that Integrity is a practice, and not a goal. It’s something I get to engage in daily and consistently, and there will be days I will not be honest to myself, and the best thing I can do is acknowledge it and then dig deeper on why that is. More times that not, it’s because of fear, or self-worth, or another failure. All fear-based emotions. And I get to work on that.

Integrity to myself requires constant work. And you know what? That’s okay. Because it’s about vision over circumstance. Being comfortable being uncomfortable. A choice: Give in, Give up or Push Forward.

Happy Monday