It’s almost the end of 2016 and I want to thank you for being an integral part of my journey. Wow, 2016! Let’s just say it was an educational as well as a watershed year. In fact, it was such an important year that I will always think of my life as before 2016 and after 2016. Why? There were lessons that I learnt that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I would like to share them because they may resonate with you. I learnt some lessons in the running of my business; others, in my day-to-day dealings with people. I learnt lessons from my kids. And, in a way, it was like coming out of a hibernation (or from a deep freeze!) and actually learning to live. I know that sounds heavy, but it was the opposite, a kind of liberation.
- Writing and photography are two things that I love doing. I never find excuses to put them off; I manage to find time for them in the middle of everything. In fact, I need to do a little of one or the other every day. Writing or taking pictures grounds me, helps me connect to my soul, and gives me something to look forward to even on the most stressful of days. It’s like being face to face with divinity, that moment of quiet bliss when I take a picture. You probably know what makes you feel that way- dancing, writing, scrapbooking, collage work, swimming, singing, sewing, knitting, running, sitting by yourself in silence, working in a lab, solving a math problem, meditating, making jewelry, drawing, pottery, yoga, biking, cooking- the list is endless, and there are as many activities as there are people. Do it every single day. Find time for it. Don’t trivialize it. Don’t neglect it. Stay connected to what makes you feel alive. Even if someone says, surely, you have more important things to do, blah, blah,.. it doesn’t matter. Find time to do what nourishes your soul.
- Life in only about the journey. Sure, on a material level, things can change and improve. But if you are waiting to reach that perfect place at which point you will start being happy, the bigger house, the grander space etc., there is no such ‘perfect’ place. Start being happy now.
- Learn to let go of things that don’t serve you anymore. Learn to let go of things that are not for you. I’ve spent a lot of time pruning projects I take on as well as letting go of toxic relationships. It’s okay to admit and accept that something is not working out, or isn’t what you hoped it would be. It’s okay to not see it to its bitter end. If you want to change it and build something else altogether, that’s okay too.
- Embrace your pace of growth. This is a big one. As I grow Collectivitea, I have run the whole gamut of reactions, from “awesome”, to “really, do you think it’s going to go anywhere” , and, “do you think you can compare to … (insert marketplace of your choice)?” I was rather naive initially, and couldn’t understand why someone would condescend or be disparaging of my baby. To me, it’s working on my dream, an opportunity to build a platform and a creative community. I will probably be writing here and sharing pictures until I am very old- though to be honest, I hope to write and take pictures until I die because like I wrote above, it nourishes my soul. That’s how much this place means to me. So, I will tend to it, water it and watch it grow. And that is my reward as well, to be given this amazing opportunity to build something from scratch. Everything else is just icing on the cake! (Sorry about all the mixed metaphors!)
- The biggest lesson I have learnt is to be careful about who you choose to share your vulnerability with. I have always struggled with the idea that we can only share our hopes, dreams and fears with a chosen few. I still feel that if someone does us the infinite honor of sharing their dreams, we are bound to show them the respect that dreams deserve. But a few experiences have made me wary, and I have realized that not everyone maybe in a space where they are receptive. However, I also live in the constant hope that we can do that for each other, show honor and respect for each others dreams, regardless of whether they are among our close intimates or not.
Have a wonderful holiday season! I have just one more post for this year, I thought I would share a tour of my home, and that will be up on Friday. After that, we will back on New Year’s Day. The goal for 2017 is to have a post every day and since I am already working on the stories, I am hopeful that I can blog much more often. Writing here has always been about connecting with a broader, supportive community and I want to thank you for being here! – Priya