Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Seven things I do when $*^# happens!

 Have you been following your new year resolutions? I am happy to report that I have very much been following mine. :)  Going strong, in fact. In my last post, I told you about the reading wall.
 I have already finished reading two books so far, and now I am on my third. Satish too has finished reading two books, and he too is on his third. Any free time we get, we are reading secretly and competing with each other openly. :) Of course, both being bibliophiles, we read for the joy of reading more than anything else.

If you want to know the books I read and whether or not I liked them, you can leave me comments, in this post asking me to mention them. If there are at least a 50 requests, then will write a post on them. Why fifty? Because it's WORK for me to do a review, and I don't work for free. But if there are enough number of requests, then I will do it [call it a wave of altruism submerging me with the number 50 ;)].

 On a different note, what do YOU do when things don't go the way you expect them to? I am certain all of you have ways of dealing with a bad day. I know someone who binge eats (and then regrets it later!). I know someone else who drowns it with alcohol only to wake up with a massive hangover, not feeling any better. I know another who texts a friend.

Here are MY seven favourite ways to deal with a bad day, or to deal with life when things don't go my way. (This is of course apart from my 1st favourite thing to do, which is read, but I have included that too, as it  is something I do ).

1. Go for a walk: A walk always clears my mind. I love long walks. I sometimes go twice a day. Each walk is about an hour long. As I walk, I think about variuos things, and I can see different perspectives. A lot of my own thoughts become better.

2. Listen to podcasts: This is something I do, when I walk. There are some brillaint podcasts out there. I happen to like BBC's Reith lectures a lot. One that I found very pwerful, poignant, moving and enlightening was a  podcast by Atul Gawande called 'The problem of Hubris.

3. Sketch: This is my favourite activity as many of you know. I have an exclusive Instagram page for my art now. Check out https://www.instagram.com/preetishenoyart/
I am sharing here one sketch (or drawing or painting or illustration or whatever you want to call it. I am clarifying as someone asked me the difference between them) that I did in charcoal.

4. Write: I write such a lot! What would I do without writing? I have different journals for different things.  I maintain an illustrated art journal. I have one for my deeper thoughts. Another for my story ideas and yet another to develop the novel I am currently working on.

5. Call a friend: This is something that I do very rarely. I dislike talking on the phone as it takes too much time. But if the person is very close, I make exceptions, and when I do talk, we end up talking for 30-40 minutes.

6. Read a book: Always, always always. A good book can be your best friend. You can have several best friends :) It's a fabulous feeling to lose yourself in the world created by a skilled writer. The characters you read about, become a part of your life. You find some bits of yourself in them. You care for them. You understand them, empathize with them. They console you. That is the power of a good book or a good story.

7. Tidy my room: I always quip that you can tell my emotional state just by looking at the state of my cupboards. My room generally tends to be tidy, my desk is always mostly messy and my wardrobes depend on my state of mind.  When I get rid of clutter and organise stuff, it does make me feel better.

What do YOU do, when things don't go your way? How do you cope? Tell me in comments.

Till the next post (which will be soon), stay cheerful :) 

__________________________________ps: If you are anything like Aniket, you probably have a Subbu in your life :)
Read about it in my new book It's All In The Planets. Get it at http://preeti.io/3

Monday, January 02, 2017

The single best thing you can do for yourself in 2017

So we are already on 2nd January 2017. Hope you managed to stick to your resolutions at least on Day 1. I did. (see my previous post for my resolutions)

I had said that I would share with you, one nice thing that we did at my home, and that you could incorporate it in your home too, if you liked the idea. Any guesses as to what it was? Well, I created a Reading wall.

So what is a 'Reading wall'? It is a large sheet of paper stuck on the wall, on which you enter all the books that you read.  I made mine into four sections, one for each member of the family. We threw in sops like dinner at a nice restaurant, when four books are collectively read (so it's a win-win for all). We also threw in rewards like _______ (fill in suitably) when you reach  N books. I am sharing some pics with you.
This is what I made. The pen and the scissor give you an idea of the size of the sheet. I used a full size chart paper.

I added details in each one's section, like how you see below:

And then I stuck it on the wall! The snap is clicked at an odd angle. I am too lazy to click a 'proper angle one'. But you get the general idea from this photo.

And guess what---Satish has already made the first entry on this wall, under his name! I am secretly competing with him, and so I am quietly reading my book, whenever i can. (I read four books at a time and so I am all the more motivated now).

I think a reading wall is a great idea, if you live with people whose reading goals are same as yours. Give it a try.

Coming back to the title of the post, what is the SINGLE best thing you can do for yourself in 2017?

I think it is mindful living. Many a time we just go through the motions of living without any focus. If we ask ourselves at the beginning of the day 'What would make today a great day?' and if we do that one thing which made that day great, don't you think you would feel good when you hit the bed?

At the end of the day, we can take stock and think about how that day went. Make notes in a journal. Bullet journal is a great idea for those who lack time. There are tonnes of article online about bullet journals. Change it to suit your needs.

This morning, I waled 8.82 kms! Something I am proud of.

Especially so, as it was so cold! There was mist all around. The visibility was just about 8feet. Beyond that I couldn't see anything. Here's a pic I clicked on my walk.

And here's another:

How has your new year started?
Good luck with your resolutions. I am happy that I am  definitely keeping mine!

ps: my book was picked as top romantic reads of 2016. To see the full list go HERE
Buy my latest book: http://preeti.io/3

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Start Fresh!!

As I type this, I can hear the loud music  from the 20,000 watt speakers floating in. A DJ has been hired for the evening, caterers have been arranged and the residents association promises to make it a 'memorable' night. There's all kinds of food on the menu, there are games, stalls and celebrations galore. People are getting ready, wearing their finest clothes, planning to party it up to welcome 2017.

Me? I am staying home. There are years when I have given in to the 'popular thing' which is to party hard, and welcome the new year. But now I know I don't enjoy it. I want to start the new year in a way that has meaning for me.

We have a ritual in my home. We light the lamp at midnight, say a prayer, offer gratitude to the Universe for all the blessings that we have, we wish each other and welcome the new year. The next day, we don't sleep late. My grandparents used to say that whatever you do on the new year sets the trend for the rest of the year. So we usually start it on a very positive note. Quietly.

I do believe in making resolutions. Not just on new years, but whenever I have wanted to make a change in my life. New years eve is especially good, as one is in a joyous mood, at 'closure' of an old year. Hence it is as good a time as any.

I had spoken about letting go of the past and making fresh beginnings on Thoughtful Thursdays on Facebook Live . That video went viral and it has got 1.1 million views, 834 shares, 25,000 likes and 4700 comments as I type this.  You can watch it here. I will also upload it on Youtube, for those of you who aren't on Facebook.

I have already started following my resolutions.
Here is my list:

Everyone who has mailed me would have already got a reply. I plan to blog regularly too, as I wasn't happy with the number of posts that I made last year.

And yes:

In my next post, I will share with you something nice, which I have done at my home,  that you can
do in your homes too.

What is on your list? If you share, I am listening.

 Hope all of you join me in  making a magnificent new start


ps: buy my book :https:/preeti.io/3 
It was among the 35 great reads of 2016. You can see the whole list here: 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Updates from me--Some happy things!

Hi there,
How have you been? I  hope the holiday season has brought you cheer.

There has been a lot happening in my life,  since I last posted, even though I posted less than 12 days ago.

I was a part of the Bangalore Literature festival. I felt delighted that my session had a massive crowd, and was very well received, as you can see from the pictures.

A full house

Signing the books

The large screen projecting what was happening on the stage
You can get a better idea of the screen here in this photo

For more photos you can go HERE.

The other BIG news from my side is that It's All In The Planets was featured among the  35 great books of 2016, by Indian authors.

What made me really happy was that it shares this honour along with greats like Ruskin Bond and Amitav Ghosh.

Here's what they said about It's All In the Planets:

 A love story that becomes so much more, and with characters that are beautifully fleshed out, Shenoy’s latest offering is a delight to devour in a single setting.

On the personal front, I had a GREAT birthday. Easily one of the best I have had :) My family planned some great surprises for me. When I came back from my morning walk, this is what greeted me!


Of course I had to make a sketch :)

Here's a picture of me drawing it:


 And here is the finished sketch

Then Satish told me that we were going somewhere and it is a surprise. We went to Tipu's palace, where I had always wanted to go, to sketch.
I had an amazing time, and this is what I sketched:

After that we went to a lovely Art cafe, where I had a wonderful time with my family. We ended this perfect day with a movie.(La La Land starring Ryan Gosling)
Meanwhile there were tonnes of people calling, wishing.
I do feel thankful for being loved so much.

I have been sketching a LOT and I feel lazy to upload them all here. If you want to have a look, please see my new Instagram Art page: https://www.instagram.com/preetishenoyart/

One of the things which regular readers will know is that I watch  absolutely no television. In the past I have talked about how 'Breaking Bad' had me hooked, and how I watched the  entire 5 seasons on Netflix. Another one which I binge watched in 2 days (It was that gripping!) was Stranger Things. (it is rated a 9 on imdb). Go give it a try, this festive season.

Have you all made your resolutions?
I will be making mine soon.

And I am also going to give away three handmade cards :)
Stay tuned for more.

You can also connect with me on my Instagram(Preeti. Shenoy) or Snapchat(Preeti.Shenoy)  or Facebook Author Page.

Will blog again very soon.
Hope you are all having  wonderful  holidays, and hope you are making many happy memories  with your loved ones.

ps: Buy the book: http://preeti.io/3