Jewels in my crown. Or ears.

This post is brought to you by Michael Hill

Growing up in an Indian household, I have been exposed to jewellery since a young age. Especially gold jewellery. As an Indian girl, you have your ears pierced as a little baby {a good thing I later learnt!}. You are also told about all the jewellery you will receive from your mother and her mother and her mother’s mother when you are of age {read: married off!}. Yes, jewellery is a big thing.

Like most of my dislike for all things Indian, predictably, I never fell in love with chunky gold jewellery. Instead I remember falling in love with this one jewellery set my mum had — a silver set with a garnet. It was the only non-gold item in her jewellery case. And it was beautiful. Sadly, while playing around with it once, I managed to lose the ring, Down the drain. Literally.

Neither mum nor I was happy.

Fast forward to my college days and I suddenly went through a whole new phase in life. Especially when it came to jewellery. I was still conscious about my body and being a bit overweight so fashion wasn’t really a priority. Instead, I got my ears pierced {2 more holes on each side} and started wearing rings on all fingers. Some gold. Some fakes. Nothing chunky. But a lot that was funky. I even had a ring like Phoebe did halfway through my finger!

Image: Michael Hill

Image: Michael Hill

I was excited about my ear piercings and the ability to experiment. But I soon learnt that my ears were sensitive. In other words, apparently nothing other than gold suited my ears. If I tried silver, the skin would peel off after a few days. If I tried artificial stuff, my ears would get sore and infected within a day. I was devastated. Basically I had to resort to wearing yellow gold hoops on all three piercings. How exciting. Not.

Image: Michael Hill

Image: Michael Hill

After coming to Australia, I continued the boring yellow gold trend. And then figured I’d try my luck with some sterling silver jewellery every now and then. I’d wear them to dates and dinners and nights out with the girls.

Image: Michael Hill

Image: Michael Hill

But I think I pushed my luck a bit too far and in 2012, two of my piercings had a bad reaction and I couldn’t have any earrings in them for a while. Resulting in them closing.

So I went back to the yellow gold. Until one day when I was browsing in Michael Hill at my local shopping centre something struck me. White gold! Of course, I didn’t know how my ears would react. But surely, it was worth a try. Here was something that was gold. And it looked nice and shiny — like silver. And most importantly, it was still affordable {unlike say platinum!}

Image: Michael Hill

Image: Michael Hill

So I bought a couple of white gold hoops. And it was great! My sensitive ears were perfectly fine. Call me vain but I was excited. I could now wear something that wasn’t yellow gold {which to me represents Indianness} and actually enjoy it. As some of you might know, I got three more piercings in my ears in December last year. And then bought another pair of white gold hoops as well as a pair of studs {for the piercing on the top}. It’s something I can wear every day. And when I want to really dress it up, all I have to do is change the bottom earrings. To something dangly that I saw at Michael Hill like this:

Image: Michael Hill

Image: Michael Hill

So simple!

What about you?

What’s your jewellery and metal of choice? Do you like the chunky styles or the more simple delicate ones?

Do share!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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O is for Openness #atozchallenge

When I first started studying psychology, we learnt about personality. One of the theories was about the Five Factor Model of personality and it looked at the Big Five Personality Traits: Openness to experience, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. Personality is not something that is set in stone. And one thing I have noticed is that my Openness to experience has definitely changed in the last couple of years enabling me to live a much fuller life.

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Earlier I used to be quite cautious in many ways. Sure, I was curious when it came to my imagination or anything intellectual. But not so much when it came to experiences in life. I tended to prefer the tried and tested. But when I decided last  year to get out of my comfort zone, it showed me a whole new world and a whole new me as I previously talked about.

I think though that in order to be open to new experiences, I needed to have an open mind as well as be an open book. I had to let go off my defenses and trust people. Show my imperfections and be myself. I am generally open-minded but I realised I needed to open my mind even more. To not be rigid about things I used to be. To not be a stickler for every rule I had made up for myself and my life. To live a little. This let me enjoy new experiences. Like karaoke for instance. Or travelling a bit more rather than just saving money for a rainy day. Or to just meet new people.

To really live my life, I have learnt that I need to be completely and utterly open. In my mind. In my soul. And in my heart.

And the experiences will come.

How open are you to new experiences? Are you an open book?

Do share!

***This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You can read my other posts here***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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N is for Nature #atozchallenge

nature

I love being around nature. Going hiking, camping or even just for walks in the neighbourhood or at the beach when it’s quiet is heaven for me. Hiking and camping in the remote national parks is something I find hard to describe properly in words.

Sure I enjoy the company of the people I’m with.

But the landscape and the offerings of Mother Nature out in the Australian bush is beyond belief. I am fortunate to live in a beautiful country.

In the past year I have been making it a point to get out and be one with nature as much as I can. Sitting indoors as part of my day job has its disadvantages. But even then, on a lovely sunny day, I make it a point to have my lunch outdoors and enjoy nature. In the past 12 months, I have been fortunate to visit several hiking trails and try easy hikes, scenic hikes, hard hikes or multi-day hikes. There is nothing better than scrambling in the bush, listening to the sounds of the various birds, admiring the flora and fauna and yes, even screeching at the sight of leeches on you or snakes in the bush. It’s all part of the experience.

There is something about the fresh air, the clear skies, the natural scents that puts both your mind and your body at ease. It is a special thing to wake up at the crack of dawn in a misty valley and enjoy the quiet while listening to the birds. It is something that has to be experienced by one and all.

It’s like it makes you realise that life actually can be simple.

It can be more than the everyday humdrum.

That there is so much beauty in all things natural.

We just have to live it.

What is your relationship with nature?

Do share!

***This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You can find my previous posts here***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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M is for Mindful living #atozchallenge

Mindfulness is something I came across through my work. In the last decade or so, mindfulness has become a big part of psychology. The new wave of psychological therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy have incorporated the Buddhist principles of mindfulness.

mindfulness

Mindfulness basically refers to paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgementally (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Most of us lead busy lives. We go from one thing to the next filling our lives with moments of busyness. Work, keeping house, looking after kids, socialising, reading, watching TV, going online — you know, keeping our minds occupied. Sometimes we do two or more things at once. {I know I always have the TV on while I’m blogging!} But rarely do we just sit and notice things around us. Or just notice the thoughts running through our minds. Or just intentionally pay attention to our breathing.

I try and get my clients to practise mindfulness and while teaching them in session, I practise it with them. And you know what? It’s not easy. It’s not easy to just focus on my breath. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about mindfulness so far it’s that each of us might find something different where we can be completely and wholly present.

For me usually, that is when I’m exercising or at the beach or hiking. When I’m weight training, I focus all my energy on my muscles, my sweat, the weights I’m lifting, the way it feels in my hands — I am very rarely caught up in my mind thinking of everything else I need to be doing for the day. Maybe that’s why exercise is such a stress-buster for me. I have tried being mindful about my breath at home. But I have struggled big time with it. More often that not, I fall asleep. Which is not the point of mindfulness!

I realise I need something more concrete to be mindful about.

Whether it is my body while exercising or certain sounds, smells or sights to focus on, it becomes easier. But I guess as Russ Harris says in his mindfulness CD — no one ever gets perfect at mindfulness. You are always working on becoming better at the skill. Knowing that you can never be perfect at it helps you to not set unrealistic standards for yourself. It allows you to be ok with your mind wandering when it is trying to be mindful. But in the end, you bring it back to the present.

If anything, trying to be mindful helps me to be more present.

It helps to appreciate the little moments in life. To not dwell on the past or the dream about the future or the could-haves.

It helps to live.

Do you try to have mindful moments in your day?

Do share!!

***This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You can read my previous posts here***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

 


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14/52: Feet

14-52-Feet

A bit late this week thanks to the A to Z Challenge but here’s my photo. Buttons’ little feet on me {or the doona} in the morning. So hard to wake up in the mornings with these munchkins keeping me company!

***Linking up with Toni for 52 weeks of memories***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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L is for Loving your own company #atozchallenge

solitude

Until I came to Australia I was used to living with a loud family. Sometimes, way too loud for my own liking. I remember loving it when every one of them went out and I had the place to myself. Which got rarer as I grew older thanks to my dad’s mother living with us and well, not going anywhere as such.

I remember always enjoying my own time. Whether it was travelling to and from uni {and later work} or working out at the gym, it was always nice to have me-time. I was never short of thoughts, never short of conversations with myself. 

Somehow though, after coming to Australia, I felt quite alone at the start. Here was all the solitude I had wanted and suddenly, I didn’t want it any more. I wanted people around! Go figure. But then, as time went on and I made friends, I felt better. I was ok having my own company. I found that I enjoyed going to the shops by myself. Or going for a walk. And exercising. But there were other things I didn’t like doing by myself. Like hiking or the beach or anything social for that matter. I got used to do these in particular with The Ex. After the break up though, I made myself go to the beach alone one time. And I was hooked.

I loved the solitude and the time by myself. I loved my own company while wandering around the shops as well. And then, I did the big thing last year. Well, big for me. I went on a holiday by myself. My first ever. And it was the best thing I ever did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a week long and I got time to reflect on myself and what I wanted. Especially as I was going through a bit of a hard time. It helped me think. It helped me connect with myself.

I am perfectly fine going most places by myself and am confident and happy in my own company {next step: movies!} I still love being with others and do feel more energised when with others lately. But I think that has come as a result of being comfortable being alone. I think we all need to do that to learn about ourselves, to reflect on our lives and more importantly, to know that life doesn’t end when there is no one else around.

Life sometimes, is just beginning.

Do you enjoy your own company?

Do share!

***This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge and the Ultimate Blog Challenge. You can read my previous posts here***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

 


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Where there’s a Will there’s a way

This post is brought to you by Turner Freeman Lawyers

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It’s been almost 5 years since I purchased my unit. But I remember the days like it was yesterday. Running around looking at open houses on weekends, after work or in my lunch breaks. And then I found mine. Almost by accident. I had to get back to work but quickly ducked in to view this place. And fell in love with the two bedroom unit. After heading back to work and seeing a client, I rang the real estate agent and made an offer. Within an hour or so as I was driving back home, my phone rang. I remember the exact spot I pulled over to take the call. And heard them tell me that the vendors had accepted my offer.

The rest of the process took a few months before the final settlement. As I got the keys and finally settled everything, I remember one thing that the lawyer advised me — to consider getting a will as I now had an asset in my name.

At 25 years of age, a will is the last thing on your mind.

So I didn’t do anything about it.

But lately, especially since hearing about the death of an acquaintance my age from natural causes, I have been wondering about it a lot more. You see, even at 30, you don’t really expect your life to end. As you continue each day travelling to and from work, immersing yourself in work, enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, death is the last thing on your mind. But it can happen.

And so, without being too complacent, I have been seriously considering my options. I know I need to write out a will. To think about my property and the mortgage that is currently on it. Given that I am currently single, it makes sense to bequeath it to my sister and my parents. {Who by the way, will probably message or call me after reading this and tell me to stop being morbid!} But I have had more questions about the Will. Questions beyond the property.

Do I include the custody of the cats on the Will?

Who do I bequeath my books to?

And what about my passwords to the blog and other social media sites? Am I going to be allowed to include them on the Will?

Do I also get a chance to say who will inherit my meagre savings?

At 30, we don’t like to think about all of this. But in all seriousness, I think we must.

I know now that in addition to the physio for my knee and the massage therapist for my stress, I also need to call a lawyer like Turner Freeman and make an appointment to discuss making a will. 

Because life is unpredictable.

Have you made a Will yet? 

Do share!

photo credit: Ken_Mayer via photopin cc

Until next time,

Cheers!!!


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