Tag Archives: Motivation

Women at sunset

Step Into the New…You

Renewal: You and The World Around You

As I tuned into this topic, I became aware of the internal environment that is created because of the people in our lives and how we perceive ourselves in relation to them. Often keeping others comfortable becomes our comfort zone. Stepping out of it rocks the boat. As we step into this New Year, I invite you to step into the New You.

It is too long that you stayed in a shell to keep others comfortable.

There are some around you who have always loved you, with whom you are amazing and it is easy. You feel safe being yourself.

Then why walk on eggshells with everyone else? Why numb the goodness and brightness in you? 

Nobody realizes that you are simply trying to fit in. You value them too much, even more than yourself.  You are getting comfortable with that. In your mind, you are being nice to them. And yet often feel miserable. They are also getting used to that. Stop…just stop!

Look at those who really ‘see’ you. You seem to do everything right by them. Break the shell and crack it open. Do what it takes! It’s worth it!

They will find others who feed their comfort. Yes, give them a shock.

They will have to step up to understand you and cheer you in your growth. They will have to know your pain.

You in your truthfulness will mourn your perceived loss of some of them because you truly cared about them. That’s why you kept them comfortable while you suffered.

Yes, I know you also wronged some people. Those too will reach out to you or you to them, in your growth. Just know that you are not accountable to all of them this very minute, so don’t judge yourself too hard.

Go ahead take that step, a small change, break open, fly. The ones ready for growth will grow with you. Some will fall away, as you both cannot see eye to eye now.

Forgive yourself, forgive them, love yourself, love them, allow yourself to Be, allow them to Be. Trust me, it’s worth it. When you feel stuck and choose to wiggle out, it hurts, it’s worth it.

The ones who care for you and the ones you care for will have to accept you as you are today. Let them know you are one of them but be stronger on your own path.


Pragalbha Doshi lives with her husband and 2 teenage boys in San Jose, CA. As a yoga teacher, she facilitates therapy & change for people who struggle with chronic symptoms of stress, physical & emotional, and who want a productive & fulfilling life. 

The contents of this article first appeared on my personal blog Infinite Living on Jan 5, 2017. Find more inspiration in poetry and prose at the link.

You Are the Cake and More

“I start my day choosing happiness and being in the moment, as the mystery of the moment opens up to me” writes Geetanjali Arunkumar in her book, ‘You are the cake’. Such revelations that she arrived at through travails of illness and loneliness are what she shares in this debut work.

This is a book written from the heart and is a timely and gentle reminder to tap into our essence, even as many influences sap our energy and erode our confidence. A joyous, tasty metaphor for everyone alike, young, old and in-between, the title leaves open the door to accepting and enjoying who we are as individuals and build on that.

Accepting such a notion and not just thriving, but flourishing is the author’s message, one that she’s obviously been mastering even as she’s overcome inordinate challenges.

Right from the get-go the reader can realize that this author’s journey is one that many of us can relate to, even if the challenges may be varied in intensity. Reading on, one also realizes that this is not from a self-help guru, though we need guidance at times from one such, but from lived experiences and lessons learned through struggles.

As she aptly says, trusting the inner voice clarifies the action and path empowering one to make the right choices, be it of friends or partners, and other life’s decisions, big or small.

For many of us life rambles on, at times desultory and as Michelle Obama writes in, Becoming, of her good friends, ‘ Most of us lived in a state of constant calibration, tweaking one area of life in hopes of bringing more steadiness to another’, and ‘’You’re the cake’ offers a recipe for that.

I’m one for mnemonics and  “FACT-RE” as depicted by multiple layers of the cake – self- forgiveness, acceptance, compassion and trust, leading to respect and empowerment – is one I’ve begun remembering when I feel unsettled.

Original Artwork of Sravya Attaluri

Geetanjali then expounds thru’ the Recipe and Utensils used for cooking up happiness, emphasizes what seems obvious, such as hobbies, but often ignored, limited by our daily lives. 

The author quotes Muhammad Ali, “It’s the affirmations that lead to beliefs, and moreover once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”  Affirmations convert desires into reality, but she points out it’s good to be realistic about desires to begin with, and with time it will lead to greater things. 

Geetanjali provides tools like journaling, keeping a gratitude diary, or even tasks as simple as, when falling asleep ‘being grateful for the smallest things that happened during the day’ and, ‘ wak[ing] up in the morning using Abraham/Esther Hicks method of seventeen seconds of positivity and beauty.’ These soften the dissonance or even chime a song in our hearts!

Showing appreciation and acknowledging another person and being non-judgmental, as we’d like to be treated ourselves, strengthens the other and certainly builds lasting relationships.

I wish I’d had this book when I’d had an accident some long years back and was quite dispirited , but needing to pick myself back up, raise our toddler son and get back to work, with great support from my husband and loved ones.

There’s a Tamil proverb my grandma used to tell my mom, which roughly translates to, ‘only if you have a wall, can you paint a mural’. Only when we are kind to and take care of ourselves, can we be of support to others 

Geetanjali’s talents show not only in her writing style – such as, “…. Ways to unfold your soul, which whispers to you the truth of your gifts…” and inspiring thoughts, which are well-researched and informed, but also she accompanies them with lively and spot-on illustrations. This Bay Area author serves up the cake with swirls of decadence and pearls of wisdom on an inviting platter! 

Madhu Raghavan is a pediatrician who enjoys writing, exploring our great outdoors, gardening and art as pastime.

Athlete and Hollywood Actor On A Mission To Inspire Hope

Indian-American Navin Kumar is on a mission: to defy all odds laid against him. He is proof that people with medical issues and/or disabilities can lead not only productive, but extraordinary lives. The list of Navin’s accomplishments is surely longer than his health conditions. He is a Hollywood movie actor, a Table Tennis athlete representing the USA in international competition as part of the Para Olympic program, a musician, and a motivational speaker!

Navin has survived five major open heart surgeries that led to a partially mechanical heart and a pacemaker. Six years ago, at the age of 39 he was diagnosed with young onset of Parkinson’s disease. Despite his medical challenges and nicknamed the “Bionic Man” in the competitive Table Tennis world, Navin continues to represent the USA (for Table Tennis) in international competitions, with the next one being in October at the inaugural International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships in Pleasantville, New York. He is determined to win a gold medal for the US.

In June 2015, Navin represented the USA at his first ever international Table Tennis competition, the “Spanish Para Open”, in Barcelona, Spain. Though he did not win any medals Navin believes that the privilege to participate and represent his country in itself was equivalent to winning a gold medal. 

Navin made history in December 2018 at the “US Open Championships” in Orlando, Florida, when he became the first ever medalist with Parkinson’s and congenital heart condition to win two bronze medals for the USA at the US Open for Table Tennis.  

As if his athletics were not impressive enough, Navin made his Hollywood movie debut earlier this year in the movie, “Attack of the Unknown” which is scheduled to be released in theaters across the country, at the earliest, this fall. He plays the role of a SWAT Team police officer named Atul, who is in charge of driving the armored SWAT van. Not only does he have speaking lines in the movie but  he has also served as an executive producer! The movie role holds a special place for Navin because his maternal grandfather, originally from Karnataka, was stationed as the chief of police in Vijayawada, a town in Andhra Pradesh. Navin dedicates his movie performance to his late grandfather who passed away a few years before Navin was born. 

As a young boy, Navin performed Bollywood-style vocals and played the violin at Indian shows and weddings. This strengthened his fearless attitude to eventually speak on stage as a motivational speaker. Navin currently travels all over the country, sharing his story. He also uses social media, online features and television interviews to inspire people to not let their struggles stop them from achieving their dreams. In his motivational speeches, he teaches his audiences strategies to deal with the tough times in life. Navin’s motto is “Never give up”. Though life has knocked him down several times, he has fought back and picked himself up with a positive attitude and a smile. He conquers his health challenges by staying physically active and having a positive attitude. Navin has chosen to feel “ENABLED” and not disabled. 

An IT professional for the Federal Government, Navin currently resides in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. 

US Open: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Table-Tennis/Features/2019/January/27/Kumars-Table-Tennis-Passion-Lifting-him-to-New-Heights

Movie: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm10297504/

Source:Based on Navin’s bio

Anita R Mohan is a poet and a freelance writer who lives in Fairfax, Virginia. Her passion is writing about people who are making a difference by inspiring others. Anita is also a volunteer Adult ESL tutor at the Chantilly Regional Library in Virginia.