The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

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Manchester United 3:0 Aston Villa (Barclays Premier League)

Manchester United are the champions of England for a record-extending 20th time, after a swaggering first-half display of champagne football overcame Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

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Robin van Persie’s 31-minute hat-trick – including a staggering volley – had the outcome beyond doubt by the interval, and a relatively low-key second period passed without major incident as United ascended the throne in comfortable fashion.

After Manchester City’s defeat at Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, the Reds knew that victory would wrench the Premier League trophy back with four games to spare, and Sir Alex Ferguson sent out a side so eager to do so, that it took them just 81 seconds to forge ahead.

After Wayne Rooney’s sublime crossfield ball had released Antonio Valencia, the Ecuadorian teed up Rafael, whose deep, first-time cross was beautifully cushioned across goal by Ryan Giggs for van Persie to gleefully sidefoot home.

Old Trafford shook with joy, and the first renditions of ‘campeones’ were ringing around the brimming stadium when van Persie passed up the chance to double his tally, volleying just over from Valencia’s deflected cross in the third minute.

As a rampant United start continued to promise goals, the Dutchman unselfishly headed down for Shinji Kagawa after more sterling work from

Giggs, only for the Japanese schemer’s close-range effort to be blocked by Ron Vlaar. Villa were quickly indebted to the woodwork as Rafael’s swerving effort thudded away off Guzan’s right-hand post, but Christian Benteke fired wastefully off-target almost immediately to remind the hosts of their defensive duties.

But if that was a sobering moment for the Reds, Rooney and van Persie quickly combined to intoxicate Old Trafford once again with a goal of undiluted brilliance. Already looking sharp in a deep, roving role, Rooney clipped a magnificent 40-yard pass into the path of van Persie, whose audacious, first-time volley hurtled across Guzan and into the bottom corner.

A roared scoff of amazement filled the air, before again making way for chants commemorating United’s increasingly inevitable feat. Though Villa, to their credit, continued to probe for an unlikely route back into the game, the attacking incision of Rooney, van Persie, Giggs and Kagawa gave them no respite in defence.

The latter trio combined shortly after the half hour to seal the Dutchman’s double-quick treble. Kagawa’s fine through ball sent Giggs scampering into the area, and the veteran astutely squared for van Persie to take a touch, plot a path past Guzan and belt a finish in off the upright.

Having all-but sealed United’s 20th title, the Reds’ number 20 was also homing in on personal glory, moving to the top of the Premier League’s scoring charts with his 24th strike of the season.

Van Persie’s first contribution of the second period actually came at the other end of the field, clearing Andreas Weimann’s header off the line as the visitors made a bright start to the second period. David De Gea was forced into a low save by Benteke, then a wonderful, full-length tip over the bar to keep out substitute Karim El Ahmadi’s fine long-range effort.

Guzan’s involvement was comparatively muted, facing only sporadic attempts from the hosts. Rooney twice came close in a matter of seconds before making way for substitute Danny Welbeck, while Kagawa undid a beautiful feint by blasting high into the Stretford End after fine wingplay from Valencia.

There would be no fourth goal, leaving United’s number 20 as the man in the spotlight. Van Persie’s goals have made the difference to last season’s dramatic dethronement, but praise must also be reserved for those who stood shell-shocked at the Stadium of Light last May.

We were told that the landscape of English football had changed for good. Yet, here we are, a year on, and once again Sir Alex and his indefatigable players are atop the pinnacle of the Premier League, surveying all below them as worthy champions.

CHAMP20NS!

Glory Gory ManUnited!

S

Posted from my iPad

How to make time for the things you love to do

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Occasionally somebody will ask me “How do you even find time to write in your blog?” and this question is a strange concept for me. The only answer I can think of is – I find time to write in my blog because I love writing in my blog.

You can replace “time to write in your blog” with pretty much anything.

Another question I get asked a lot is “Don’t you find it difficult to cook during exams and stuff?

Once again, same answer. I find time to cook (and not only take the cooking stuff, but all the other many aspects of being a cooking freak – which is finding time to generate inspiration for a good meal, to try making new dishes and of course taste them) because I freakin’ love cooking!

Is it difficult for me to do it? No. I love it, so it’s easy. I love it so cooking is my pleasure, not my job. It’s so simple.

You can replace “time for writing in your blog” to “cooking” to “cooking” to “listening music” to “reading comics” to “dancing” to pretty much anything you do just because you like to do it.

How do you make time for it?

You make time for it because you like to make time for it. That is the single best incentive for making time for something.

You don’t really consider “making time to shower” or “making time to eat” because you like doing them. You like the end result (being clean and full!) and perhaps you even like the process too.

So the excuse “I love to ____, but I don’t have time for it” just doesn’t cut it for me…aka “not my lookout” brother!

This essentially translate to “I think I enjoy doing ____, but at the moment I have to prioritize something else in my life.”

And that’s okay too! We only have 24 hours in the day, and we have to choose wisely how we want to spend our time – it is an important life skill to learn. Another important life skill we have to learn is to stop making excuses.

So if you are still stuck under the belief that you don’t have enough time or space in your life for something you would like to do, here are some tips to create some more space in your life:

How to make time for the things you love to do:

1. Stop doing things you don’t love to do or need to do.

It’s pretty obvious that we won’t always love to do everything we need to do. Sometimes we need to do things because we will love the end product. You might not LOVE getting up and going to work from 9-5, but you love the financial stability it gives you – which in turns allows you to create a life that you love.

Then there are the things and you definitely don’t NEED to do all that much, that you might enjoy doing from time to time, but don’t need to do it in excessive amounts. Make a list. Examples could be: Going on facebook for 5 hours a day, watching tonns of TV etc.

I’m not suggesting that TV or facebook is “bad”, but this is time that you could use for these things you “love” to do, and you need to determine which is more of a priority to you at this time in your life.

2. Find out how to be more efficient at the things you do need to do.

The things we “need” to do can sometimes feel like they get in the way of the things we truly “want” to do. One way to start minimizing this belief is to learn how to become more energy and time efficient with the things that we do need to do. Some examples of these types of activities  could be cleaning your home, cooking, laundry, studying. How could you make your engagement in these activities more effective and efficient? How could you get things done to a higher standard, but faster than you have been doing them.

For example, when it comes to cooking (which I assume is something we all need to do), to be more time efficient, we could:

  • Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs so you can eat it on the days you don’t really feel like cooking.
  • Create a meal plan for the week and shop accordingly, so that “O.M.G it is 9:00pm on Monday, I am completely ravenous, and I have no idea WHAT to cook” does not happen.
  • Repeat your favorite recipes so that you can prepare them faster without thinking much about it.

3. Decide what you want to do more of in your day.

You must choose your priorities and commit to them. If someone asked me what is important to me in my daily schedule (if not daily, pretty darn close to daily), I could literally list them off. This is what is important to me:

  • Studying
  • My personal relationships
  • Cooking
  • Keeping things organized and clean.
  • Clicking photos
  • Writing in my blog
  • Manchester United/ soccer matches
  • Reading/learning
  • Meditation/ My spiritual connection.

That is my life right now. My priorities shift occasionally depending on outward circumstances. For example, during exam time, a few of those bad boys get knocked off the list to provide me with extra time to study – just because I know that is what I have to focus on. But for the majority of the time; this is my life. It is a wonderful concoction of things that allow me to express myself creatively, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually while simultaneously keeping up with the things in life that I personally feel I need to do. But I want to do everything on that list.

I want to be rich, so I want to study. I want to have a beautiful home, so I want to clean. I want to eat and share delicious meals, so I want to cook. You get the idea…brother?!?Nerd smile

I also am not being too hard on myself and promising myself that I will do everything every day. Because come on – watch soccer every day? Let’s be realistic here and not be so organized that I suck the fun out of a hobby. I watch soccer when I want to and I won’t do it when I don’t want to, but in my heart I know it is a passion and something that I will always allocate time, energy and love to. That’s why it’s on my list.

We might not have the same list. You might not choose to prioritize “photography” or “reading” or “dancing”, because maybe it just isn’t your joy. Maybe instead you would have other joys, such as “watching the best latest movie releases” or “your business” or “playing the guitar”. It really is a very personal thing. What is important to you? What connections are meaningful to you and important for you to maintain and strengthen?

If you can’t answer this question, you might find that you are not completely satisfied with your day, and yet still find yourself “busy” all the time, doing things you don’t really want to do!

So. Figure it out.

Make sure you are selective about what hobbies you choose to commit to. It’s very difficult to commit fully to many different hobbies and interests. It’s better to choose a couple that really make you excited, and excel fully at them.

4. Schedule time in your day for it.

Ok, so now you know what you want to do, now you have to make time for it. It shouldn’t be hard if you really and truly love it, and want it. If you want to make time for exercise in your day because that is important for you, just set your timetable and affirm to yourself that you will go to the gym 4 times a week from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

This is your new schedule now.

Don’t tell me that you don’t have time. You have time. I have time. We all have time. Remember, we all have the same amount of time in our day – 24 hours. Some people make magic in that time. Wake up earlier if you have to.Smile

Our goal is to get to a stage where we are consciously doing everything we do in our day because we want to do them.

To go to sleep each night feeling satisfied that we have made steps forward.

To go to sleep each night knowing that we are pursuing the things that mean the most to us.

To know that we are in control of our time and how we spend it.

The other day Mom and I were talking about this very topic – how we have to prioritize what is important and make sure everything is happening in a nice harmonious balance throughout our day, and how there is nothing really in our daily schedule that we don’t want, or that is taking more space and time than we would like it to. I asked her what kind of things make her really happy, and what things need to happen in her day to make her feel good.

She said “Well, my life makes me happy.

And I don’t think you could get a much better answer than that.

So our final goal of this blog post, is to get to a point where we can confidently affirm that we are living by example. And that if anyone asked you what makes you happy, you would be able to tell them – hey, you know what, my life makes me happy!!Smile

Cheerio!Hot smile

ShubiXbox