A old temple in Sitpaur

Navinagar Shiv Temple 

नवीनगर में स्थित यह मंदिर करीब २०० साल पुराना है। सीतापुर शहर के जिस मोहल्ले में मेरा घर है उसका नाम रानीकोठी है क्योंकि वह सारी जमीन नवीनगर स्टेट की रानी की थी।  धीरे धीरे सारी जमीन रानी ने बेच दी - अब वही स्थान रानीकोठी कहलाता है। यह मंदिर भी उसी राज्य के राजाओं-रानियों की संपत्ति है - पर अब क्योंकि वो यहाँ रहते नहीं - इसकी देखभाल करने और जीर्णोद्धार कराने वाला कोई नहीं है। आज नवीनगर लहरपुर के पास एक छोटा सा क़स्बा है।   

Mindful Living: Why Having a Daily Ritual Is So Important

“A daily ritual is a way of saying, “I’m voting for myself; I’m taking care of myself.” ~ Mariel Hemingway
Do you have any daily rituals? When you wake up in the morning do you immediately start rushing through your day or do you take the time to nurture and spoil yourself somehow, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes?
The way we start our mornings sets the course for the way our whole day will unfold. If we start our day with a sense of urgency, rushing and stressing about all the things that we have to get done, our entire day will probably be a very stressful one.
Watch this beautiful Super Soul Sunday video to discover from Mariel Hemingway and her soul mate, Bobby Williams what is one thing you can do every morning to start your day on the right foot, and also two other things you can do at night before going to bed that will prepare you for a wonderful new day when you wake up.

With all my love,
The article is from Purpose fairy

Murano - Italy

Murano - Italy 

Simple Ways to Avoid Burnout When You’re Working Hard

“Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.” ~Buddha
On any given day, you can find me perched on the edge of my chair, staring at a computer screen. My setup is most definitely ergonomically incorrect, and my posture would make any yoga teacher cringe.
I type and click my mouse and do my work. I occasionally look up and out my windows to a lucky view of ferns, palms, and a few unidentified trees rising up over a blue-green pool. A southern California sky caps the scene.
My brain buzzes with ideas, answers, and turns of words. I’m in intellectual and creative nirvana—and if not that, at least I’m productive. Next thing I know it’s evening and I’m standing up to stretch for the first time in hours. 
Working Hard
This was my story for years. I was a good obeyer of the modern-day Protestant work ethic, which is something like: Work hard, and harder; and under few circumstances is letting up appropriate or deserved. Keep going.
And oh, I did. I achieved to my heart’s delight.
What this story is missing is the gaps in-between. The gaps that represented truths I carefully subtracted from the sum. It’s the story about burnout, about getting fried up, that nobody wants to hear but most of us experience.
Before, I would plow through the day with a list of things to do and a yen to achieve all boxes ticked by evening.
I would shove aside feelings of fatigue and crankiness, and explain away my yo-yo cycle of cranking up the caffeine to combat my foggy head and laying off it to quell the shakes and sleepless nights.
When it got bad and I’d hit my walls, which I always did, I would end up a lump on the couch watching whatever would hold my attention in my dazed, cast off state. I’d sleep in, do yoga, drink green juice by the gallon, and sit beneath the sunshine in an effort to refill my energy tank.
And that’s what I was doing: refilling the tank so I could jump back in the car, slam my foot down on the accelerator, and get to where I was going. And so, the cycle continued.
Then, somewhere between teaching hundreds of yoga students, putting in years of dedicated meditation practice, and reading countless books on health, it dawned on me: I was neglecting my body.
Sure, I was regularly exercising, doing my share of breathing exercises, and eating better than the majority of the world’s population.
But I was like a crazed binge addict, denying my body and its needs and desires until I released a deluge of attention on it with the intention of appeasing it enough to make it behave properly and to my liking.
This was my cycle.
There’s a concept in yoga called ahimsa. It’s loosely the notion of non-harming, and, for the most part, I understood it to be applied to people and things around me.
Be kind and apply courtesy and compassion, I would tell students, to all you come across. This is ahimsa,and the starting ground for a true practice of yoga.
Then, one day it dawned on me that I wasn’t applying ahimsa to my own self, particularly my body.
To put it another way, if I treated a friend the way I treated my body, we wouldn’t be friends very long. They’d have shot me the finger and stomped away long ago. So, I decided right then and there to change that relationship. How would I treat my body if it were a person dear to me?
I’d feed it with pleasure, loving care, and compassion. I’d tend to it regularly as you would something precious, reconnecting not just when it felt depleted or because I wanted something from it. I’d do things with and for my body just because it was fun.
The results of treating myself this way are cumulative. And I’ve come to fall in love with my body, its rhythms and quirks and, I do believe my body has come to love me, too.
I still work hard and spend long hours at the computer. I still love the rush of a fully ticked to-do list, and I get a little wonky if I feel like my rate of achievement isn’t up to par. But now, I integrate consideration of my body into my entire day.
What I’ve discovered is that there are ways to reconnect that are silly easy to do. This isn’t about luxuriating in bubbles while dictating next quarter’s marketing strategy (though that’s nice to do). This is about taking simple, mindful actions throughout the day to reconnect with your body.
Here are a few suggestions how:
1. Set a timer.
It’s easy to lose track of time and skip the bathroom break or forgo lunch and power through. We all do it. One way to gently remind yourself to regularly reconnect is to set a timer on your phone or computer to go off every hour. Mindful Clock is an app for the computer and offers gentle chimes and bells. Or tryInsight Timer for the phone.
2. Stand up and move.
When the bell rings, stop what you’re doing and stand up. Even if you’re on the phone, stand up. It shifts your mindset and returns normal flow between the top and bottom half of your body. Breathe deeply. Raise your arms over your head. Do a few neck rolls. Reconnect and send loving attention to your body.
3. Feed the senses.
After you’ve moved your body a bit, move your focus to your senses. Reconnecting with your senses is like organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed juice for the body and soul. It provides nourishment beyond pixels and ambient noise, giving pleasure and fulfillment of a different order.
Try this:
Look up and find three things that you find beautiful. Observe them; enjoy them. Take them in—their color, texture, light, and shadow. Be witness to the grandiosity of simple light as it illuminates your landscape.
Or, close your eyes and feel what is touching you. Reach out and touch something right in front of you—the keyboard, desk, your shirt, or your own hand. Notice the texture and the way it makes your fingertips feel, the tingle of connection. Feel the sensation seep into your skin and deep into your system.
When you reconnect with the body and engage with the senses, notice how your body responds with a sigh. Tension wanes, you breathe deeper and relax. That’s the sign that it’s at ease. That’s your body saying thank you.
A body at ease is a happy body and that’s a body well tended to, cared for, and loved. That’s a body that will care for you, too, and more graciously give what you need.
Over time, with this attention and care, burnouts and breakdowns have waned. I hear what my body is telling me because I’m listening, as a good friend would. And like a good friend, I care when it tells meplease, stand up and feed the senses; I’m feeling lonely over here.
Excuse me; it’s time for me to stretch…

The original article can be found at http://tinybuddha.com/blog/simple-ways-to-avoid-burnout-when-youre-working-hard/. I own no copyrights for this work. 

Village Laalpur, Sitapur

Near village Laalpur

Natural beauty

Near village Laalpur 

Letting go of Control and Being Present with Uncertainty

This article is from Tiny Buddha - you can find it here.
“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins
I didn’t want to believe that uncertainty would be a part of my life.
I wanted control. I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen next—and I didn’t.
I was stuck at a job that was unfulfilling, I had no real romantic connection, and I worried about what would happen if I came out as a gay woman.
I was living a very unmanageable life, and I was spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.
There was a big piece of me that didn’t believe I was good enough. That constantly wanted more. That strived for perfection. I developed a need for control to avoid these painful thoughts and feelings. It distracted me from the pursuit of perfection and my unrelenting standards.
I didn’t like the unknown. That brought about fear. And my autopilot was to disconnect from fear.
I couldn’t comfortably deal with any uncertainty. And the way this manifested for me was quite destructive. I disconnected from the moment through an eating disorder, drugs, and alcohol. My addictions provided a distorted relief so I didn’t have to deal with living life on life’s terms.
I was scared to show my authentic self. I lived so far removed from my truth and my core that connecting with it seemed foreign and frightening. My addictions constantly wanted more and kept me in a cycle of destruction.
The thought of being present in my life scared me. I did not think the quality of my life could improve. I was stuck in a tunnel vision where my identity was my addictions—and they were destroying me, slowly but surely. 
I am grateful to have awakened in my life. I remember being in a taxicab in NYC, shaking. I had been out late the night before. I was in a constant cycle of engaging in my addictions and my body couldn’t handle it anymore. It was then that I realized that my addictions wanted to see me dead.
But I did not want to see me dead.
I knew another way of living was possible so I started to let go of these destructive coping mechanisms. I went away to treatment and for the first time let help in. I surrendered and knew I could not do it alone anymore.
And with this came some fear. Some uncertainty. The unknown. All of these feelings and realities that for so long kept me paralyzed. I had to truly face my feelings and the present, as myself, for the first time.
I realized that it’s a choice to stay paralyzed and stuck. A choice that I have all the power and control over.
I soon started to sit with these uncomfortable feelings, and guess what? I was okay! I learned that feelings are a part of life and fall on a spectrum day in and day out. I could survive any feeling that life threw my way.
The illusion of control is what hurt me. Resisting my feelings and my true self is what hurt me. It is by allowing myself to sit with myself that true strength comes in. I am connected to love.
So here is the advice I have for any of you that may be battling addiction or have a hard time dealing with uncertainty and the unknown.

Trust Yourself 

Two words that have a lot of meaning. You are stronger, more powerful, and more resilient than you think. All that you need is directly there inside of you. In infinite proportions.
You have the ability to sit with and conquer whatever life throws your way. The more you give that power to another person, place, or thing, the more you lose yourself. You don’t need to do that anymore.

Let it Go

tried to control everything for so long. I manipulated and came up with story after story to get my way. My family and friends saw me when I wanted to see them. My relationships were about what I could get from the other person, what void in me they could fill.
When I learned the freedom that comes with surrendering and letting things go, I watched in astonishment as things started to fall into place.
Letting go means accepting whatever life throws your way and knowing you don’t need to act on impulsivity, or fear, or insecurity. It means allowing reality to set in and knowing that in the end, you will be okay.

Focus on the Present

The present moment is a gift. It is all we have. This moment is everything.
The more I focus on the present, the more I can tap into gratitude and peace.
I spent years unable to accept the truth about the present moment. I didn’t think I was strong or good enough to handle it.
The worries about the future take me out the present as well. I have to let it go. I can’t obsess about all that I want to do and accomplish, or be dependent on the life I see for myself in a year or five years or ten years. All I have is now. This moment. And it is my duty to be the best version of myself in this moment.
Each moment is an opportunity for growth. You are okay in this moment. That is all that matters. The more you focus on this, the more the fears subside and you can be the person you were put here to be.

Take it All In 

There is no need to rush through life. We only have one life to live. Take your time. Slow down. Enjoy the little things. Take longer showers. Smile at a stranger. Practice affirmations in front of the mirror. Be true to yourself.
The more you get in touch with yourself, the more connected you become. And the more connected you become, the more the quality of your life enhances.

Prayer at workplace?

In UK, we have now these "Islamic prayer rooms" in almost every university. Why must universities feel the need to accommodate students who pray five times a day, with three of those times being during regularly scheduled classes? They say it is their fundamental right to pray at work. Why then university do not arrange some space for small gurudwaras, churches and temples inside offices and educational institutions? Do Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians not like to pray five times a day? Many certainly do but they are forced to make other arrangements. Right to pray at work, in public institutions and offices??? I don't have any problem with praying five times a day but please go home and pray there...why at work? Where is this society heading?

7 Helpful Things to Consider If You’re in an Unhealthy Friendship - By Jinhee Junis

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
For much of my life, I lived for approval and acceptance from family members, friends, and co-workers.  I can’t recall not considering what one thought about my actions or what I had said, wondering if I could have done them better. I was always thinking of others and their feelings toward me.
It was a constant battle in my head, and it was starting to drain me of my peace.
No matter what they had done to me in the past, no matter how much pain they’d caused me, I thought it was only right that I give it another try. After all, friendships take a lot work.
You see, for me, gaining a sense of acceptance from the people I cared about was a life source that I sought after, again and again, because it meant I was important, that I mattered.
But at what cost?
When the relationships we’ve worked hard to build for many years aren’t giving us the joy they once did or a sense of community and energy anymore, what do we do? What if, in fact, it feels downright toxic and negative to be around them?
This happened to me. All the signs were there, but I didn’t see it for what it was. I thought maybe I was just too sensitive. I would often tell myself, “Get over it, you’re thinking too much again.”
Then one dreary day I got a call from my mom. My dad was in a horrific accident and he passed an hour later. My family was grieving from loss and shock, and the one person I thought would be there by my side suddenly disappeared.
This person was my cousin, and a good friend I had known my entire life. I looked up to her as a young girl, and even thought of her as a big sister I never had.
My cousin proceeded to go on with her life as if nothing had happened. Not one single word was exchanged between us. It was as if I were a stranger to her.
It hurt me deeply and I was utterly pained by her actions.
Looking back, I understand why she made the choice to stay away. Facing death and pain isn’t easy; in fact, it takes great courage to face it head on and ride the storm.
While I had been hurt and resentful about how she avoided me during the most painful time of my life, I had the gift of time to reflect and to reevaluate my relationships, and the other issues that made this particular one unhealthy.
As painful as it is, there comes a time when we need to “break up” with a friend in order to live authentically and to be free.
Life is short, and we have to consciously make the choice to not tolerate the negativity and emotional abuse of being in a relationship that isn’t working.
We break up with our significant others when we’ve exhausted every avenue and know in our hearts the relationship isn’t working and it’s time to let go. Just because we are not in a romantic relationship that does not mean we have to tolerate negative behaviors or what isn’t working.
You don’t have to wait for a life tragedy and loss to realize this. Take the time to reflect on what kind of people you want to bring into your life and what you deserve to have—a friend who is honest, who will cry and laugh with you so you can grow together.
Here are 7 things to consider if you feel you are in a similar situation:

1. What does friendship mean to you?

The definition you may have on what makes a good friend may be different from your friend’s. This may sound silly, but this is the platform on which you build a relationship that may one day flourish and develop into a fruitful friendship.
The relationship I desperately wanted to have with my cousin was but a mirage. I had deluded myself into thinking that we had a strong bond. Reflecting back, it wasn’t a very healthy relationship.
Be honest. Tell your friend what you need. Your friend may see things differently and it may solve any misunderstanding between the two of you. But if your friend chooses not to reciprocate, you’ll be able to gauge if this is a relationshipyou want to keep.

2. Is the friendship just too exhausting and negative most of the time?

I used to wonder why it was so hard being around her. It drained me of my energy and left me feeling very negative about who I was as a person.
I resented that I couldn’t express my authentic self to her. Often she would reply to me with, “You think too much,” as if my feeling, values, and beliefs were not valid.
A friend who cares about your well-being will discuss any concerns you may have and not dismiss them as trivial. If you don’t communicate your feelings, resentment can build, and you may harbor negative feelings toward this person.

3. Is the relationship balanced?

To me, a friendship is like a seesaw. It takes two people, and each needs to give and take a little tobalance out the ride.
Like any close relationship, both parties need to make the effort and choose to grow together as friends, or it can be a very painful process.
Thinking back, our relationship was very much one sided. I always felt I was the second choice, a person to call when she needed company, or to vent. I don’t recall her ever asking me how I was doing, especially after my dad was killed. There was no depth in our relationship.

4. It’s okay to let go.

Relationships are complicated, and it’s never an easy choice to let go of a friendship. It was painful for me to accept that our friendship was over, but in order to live authentically and to be free, I had to let it go.
It didn’t happen overnight. As our relationship deteriorated, we saw less and less of each other. When she called to invite me over, I deliberately chose to decline the invitation. I knew that I would regret going, and that it would leave me feeling of resentful, with old, painful memories haunting me.
It can be a long, emotional, and unpleasant process when we are deciding whether we should continue on with a friendship or to let it go. All these feelings are normal. Any transition in life comes with some form of discomfort. It means we are growing and evolving.

5. Know that it’s nobody’s fault.

Sometimes relationships end, despite every effort to make it work. Just because we have made the choice to let go of the friendship, that doesn’t mean it has to end it a negative way. We can say farewell with well wishes and make the choice to remember the happier times in our hearts.
I think every relationship is unique and the way you choose the end the relationship depend on the situation you are in. Listen to your inner voice and honor it.
You may choose to tell your friend that you need some space. Or you may choose to write a personal letter to express your feelings and concerns if you think it will be too confrontational. At times I still miss the friendship I had once shared with my friend, but I keep the good memories with me in my heart.

6. Stay open.

Stay open to new friendships and to your present moment. Staying open allows for new opportunities and new relationships to come into your life when you are ready.
Jinhee Junis a teacher and a novelist. She seeks to bring some meaning into her daily life while embracing the unpredictable storm with loving kindness. Find out more at: www.jinheejun.wordpress.com and www.tutor-for-kids.com.


Countryside in Sitapur

Countryside in Sitapur 

A Diesel Pump Set in Sitapur

I took this picture while going to a village near Mahmoodabad. It was a hot sunny day. When I saw this pump set, I stopped for a while and enjoyed washing my face with cool water. It was so refreshing. 

Cricket in my village in Sitapur district

Cricket in my village in Sitapur district
इंग्लैंड से दो साल बाद घर वापसी हुई थी। होली का मौसम था। सब लोग घर पर मौजूद थे।  अम्बरीष और मोहित भाई भी गाँव पहुंच चुके थे। अचानक प्लान बना - क्रिकेट खेलने का।  फिर क्या था - छह लोग तो थे ही। नियम निर्धारित किये गए - राजा के खेत में डायरेक्ट गेंद जाएगी तो खिलाडी आउट माना जायेगा इत्यादि इत्यादि। टेस्ट की तरह खेलना था। एक दो ओवर तक खेलना बड़ी उपलब्धि मानी जाती थी क्योंकि इतने कड़े नियमों में देर तक ठीके रहना संभव ही नहीं था। बड़ा मज़ा आया था। 

10 Ways to Get Happy By Pernilla Hjort

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~Aristotle
I think having lived in 3 different countries, traveled to 21, studied 5 languages, had 17 different job titles, taken 36 courses (in social media, getting in touch with my intuition, sexual psychology, journalism, marketing, and spiritual guidance, to name a few subjects), given birth to 3 healthy kids (1 boy and 2 girls), lost 1, and suffered through 3 broken relationships has given me some insights in life.
But also, having been part of 1 religious group and managed to get out, done some serious soul searching, written 393 articles, surrounded myself with 5 close friends (as well as 250 clever Facebook friends and even more people who inspire me without knowing me), started 1 business in communications and soulful living, lived 40 years, written 1 paper book and 2 e-books, and having read 792 qualifies me for giving some advice on how to live a happy life.
Here is what I’ve learned:

1. Live now.

Yes it’s such a cliché, but dwelling on the past or constantly planning the next step stops us from enjoying life here and now. Here and now is when we live. We might live tomorrow as well. But who knows.

2. Follow your dream.

I’m not talking about “a good job,” “a fine house” or “an okay life,” or, for that matter, taking up knitting, which you’ve dreamed about for years. I mean truly and utterly opening the channel to your inner core and seeing what you find. I mean doing what you really want to do with the rest of your life.
Impossible, you say? Well, I don’t mean quitting your job and jumping into the unknown. I mean, setting up a plan and some goals to start doing what you’ve always dreamed about, step-by-step if you like. And when you do, (wo)man will you glow.

3. Give.

Yes, I know we sometimes feel like we give and give and get nothing in return. But hey, it’s in the giving, and doing it unselfishly, that we find true happiness.
Give freely from the depth of your heart. Help a friend in need. Help a child in your sphere. Help an organization in Africa. Help the homeless in the street. What ever your cause, help and set yourself free.

4. Think positively.

Our thoughts are so powerful that it rocks my soul at the core when I think about it. And yes, we’ve heard it all before. But we humans think so many negative thoughts every day, and it’s in this negative sphere that we live and breathe.
Can you sense the contaminated thought-air? I can. Well then, change it! 

5. Spread your love.

We all have our problems, and if we are to wait until we are problem-free before we love and share the love, it will never happen.
So how do we spread the love? It’s easy. Say a kind word, help someone, give someone a hug or a smile, send loving energy around you, think love, meditate love, live love, act love, make love, and encourage another person to do all of the above.

6. Get support.

Although I do believe we all hold some hidden super powers within, I also believe we need support. Find out what you need to live happy and make sure you get it.
Do you need a mentor? Do you need to get rid of some energy thieves around you? Do you need technical help? Do you need someone to tell you you’re wonderful every day? Ask someone to tell you. Whatever it is, take charge and make sure you get it. We cannot do everything on our own.

7. Take charge.

Yes, you are your own steering wheel, your compass, the principal of your life. Don’t sit back and expect others to solve your problem. Don’t sit back and wait for your boss to offer you another position. Don’t wait for prince(ss) charming to propose to you. Do it yourself!
Also, remember, you are entitled to live happily. If you need to meditate one hour a day, take a walk when the sun is out, or exercise in the morning to be happy, do it. You are allowed. Find out what you need and do it.

8. Change and adapt.

Society is a changeable commodity. We need to change and adapt. If you sit too tightly on your chair, you will not be happy.
Not many things are certain in life, but two things are: We all will die; and more importantly, things will change. Your job won’t last forever, your kids will grow up, your house will age, and your spouse will change.
We all need to change and adapt. Take the opportunity to have fun with it. See it as a positive.

9. Have fun.

Yes, life is supposed to be fun. Many days it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. And how do we get there? Laugh every day. If not, at least smile. Smiling releases tension; and endorphins spread in your body, even when you fake smile. Smiling is like a free happy pill. Do fun stuff!

10. Last but not least, remember who you are.

We are much greater than we realize. You are a spiritual entity. You have a higher purpose. You are connected to all living things. You hold some super powers.
And a great magical world is available to you. You just need to find your path to it. Look within.
Remember you. Your life is supposed to be happy.

Courtesy - http://tinybuddha.com/blog/10-ways-to-get-happy/

कंप्यूटर मोबाइल के युग में

कंप्यूटर मोबाइल के युग में किताब,कॉपी, कलम की वाट लग गयी है। लोगो की हैंडराइटिंग देख लो आजकल - जैसे चील बिलौआ - जैसे इंक की बोतल में गिरी हुई चींटी कागज़ पर चलती चली गयी हो। माशाल्ला। 

Cultural Marxism - a menace to Indian Psyche

Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Vipin Chandra, DN Jha, Srimali, KM Pannikar, Micheal Witzel, Wendy Doniger et al. - they all say have one thing in common - arrogance! They consider others' historical work as 'rubbish' and claim that they are the best. They have enslaved entire historical research community in India and try to stop any good research (that they think is trying to contest their conclusions) from getting published in reputed journals. New Indian historians must come together on a platform to give these snobs a befitting intellectual reply.