Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014 in review: Annual Report for this blog!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas are some of the festivals that bring happiness and sanity in this insane world. Merry Christmas to all. Always remember you are one of God’s magnificent creation. You’re beautiful. Stay blessed. Let Santa fill your life with joy once again this year.

santa claus

How to Stay in the Present Moment in Everyday Life: 5 Simple Habits (by HENRIK EDBERG)


“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control over.

The present moment.

But most of us still spend a lot of our regular days lost in memories, reliving a sunny vacation or maybe more commonly repeating an old conflict or negative situation over and over in our thoughts.

Or we get lost in scenarios about what could happen in the future. Maybe through wishful daydreams. Or maybe by building monsters in our minds as thoughts go round and and round and create scary and dangerous mountains out of molehills or just air.

Or your thoughts may become split and unfocused between several different things and tasks.

If you spend a lot of your everyday moments and time in the future or the past or you have difficulty focusing and you feel this may have a negative effect on your life then maybe you want to learn to live more in the present moment.

Here’s what works for me to do that. Just a few simple things that I use in my normal day.

1. Single-task not only your work.

I and many others have often written and talked about the importance of single-tasking your work to get it done more effectively.

I have found that it becomes easier for me to stay present for more time throughout my day if I single-task everything as best I can.

That means to not use tabs when I browse the internet but to just be fully engaged with one thing online at a time. It means to not use my smartphone or my computer as I also try to watch the TV. Or to use any of those internet-devices during a conversation.

Get a good start to your day and set the tone for it by doing one thing at a time as soon as you wake up.

If you have to multitask, then try to set off some specific time for it during your day. Maybe an hour or so in the afternoon.

2. Do it slowly.

When you wake up and starting doing your first thing of the day, then slow it down a bit.

Do it and the next few things at a relaxed and calm pace. It will probably not take that much longer than if you do it quickly. And you’ll be able to stay present more easily, to focus on each thing you do and to find a simple joy or stillness in it.

Do that instead of increasing your stress right away and getting stuck in worries or though loops about what may happen today before you even have had your breakfast.

And as you move through your day, try to do it slowly when you can.

3. Tell yourself: now I am…

As I do something I simply tell myself this in my mind: Now I am X.

For example, if I am brushing my teeth, then I tell myself: Now I am brushing my teeth.

This habit is maybe most important when doing things where it is easy to drift away to the future or past. It could be when you brush your hair or teeth or when you are taking a walk to the supermarket.

I don’t tell myself this line all the time, but I pepper it in a couple of times throughout my day.

4. Minimize what you let into your head early in the day.

If I check the email, Facebook and other websites online early in the day then I have found that I will have more thoughts bouncing around in my head. And so it becomes a lot harder to concentrate on anything, to stay present and to not be dragged away into some negative thought loop.

So the kind option towards myself has become to not check anything early in the day. And to check things as few times as I can.

If I minimize such things then my day becomes lighter and simpler and I not only stay present more easily but I also tend to get more things of importance done.

5. No, no, no + reconnect with the here and now.

The four tips above make it easier to stay in the present moment and to use it and enjoy it fully. But each day I still drift into the past or the future. Or my thoughts become split between different things.

If you have read any of my stuff on self-esteem then you know that I often use a stop-word or phrase to quickly disrupt and stop the inner critic or a self-esteem damaging train of thought. I do the same thing here.

As quickly as I notice that my thoughts have drifted away I say to myself: No, no, no.

Then I quickly follow that up with focusing on just my breathing or just on what is happening around me right now with all my senses for a minute or two to draw myself back into this present moment.

Even elephants go on vacation in India :-)



Away from the concrete jungle, Lakshmi and Prakruti, the two temple elephants of the Union Territory, the darlings of several devotees and fans, are going to enjoy a 48-day holiday camp organised by the Tamil Nadu government.

Far from madding crowd, they will be in the company of their clan and back in their natural habitat. A steady supply of delicious food and mirthful games are on the agenda to fit in with the overall stress buster purpose of the camp.

The Forest Department of the Tamil Nadu government every year organises the 48-day rejuvenation camp for elephants belonging to temples, mutts and others. This year over 100 elephants including Lakshmi and Prakruthi, temple elephants in the Union Territory of Puducherry, will be attending the camp that gets rolling from December 11 in Thekkampati, Coimbatore district.

The pachyderms would be taken to the Bhavani riverbed in Coimbatore district and Puducherry government would bear the cost for its part. The authorities have been busy with preparations to send the elephants for the camp.

G.Sathyamurthy, Deputy Conservator of Forests, told The Hindu, “The permit was issued for sending the animals to the elephant rejuvenation camp to be held at Coimbatore organised by the Forest Department of Tamil Nadu government.

The temple authorities should take all appropriate preparation to ensure safe transit of the animals as per the rules specified in the Wildlife Protection Act.”

Lakshmi of Manakula Vinayagar Temple and Prakruthi of Dharbaraneswara Swamy temple located in Thirunallar, Karaikal are to participate in the camp for third consecutive year. The mahouts of the temple elephants will also join the camp for training.

Lakshmi, now aged 29, was donated to temple as a 10-year-old when R.V.Janakiraman was the Chief Minister of Puducherry. Since then it has become the darling of devotees who come to temple who have lavished on her all kinds of gifts, including silver anklets.

In the recent past, the maintenance of Lakshmi has been mired in controversy following animal activists raising ill-treatment charges. Later the Forest Department censured the temple authorities for certain lacunae in the maintenance. Since then the temple authorities have provided extra facilities to the animal.

Prakruthi at the age of 7 was brought from Karnataka to Thirunallar and now it is 11 years old.

A. Manikandan, a mahout said, “It may be disappointment for several devotees but the camp will be stress buster for the animal. Prakruthi is always friendly and mirthful. Last year, when the camp was concluded, the animal was not able to move out of camp as it became too close to another elephant from Srivilliputhur.”

An official said the two elephants are in hale and healthy condition.

Various experts in the camp will also inspect the health of the elephants and they were provided with supply of vitamins and other supplements.

The only flip side to this vacation is that fans will miss them for the next 48 days.


Nobel Peace Prize Winners – 2014

OSLO: Child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel laureate, received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. Malala is from Pakistan and Mr. Satyarthi is from India, both belonging to the two South Asian rivals.

Satyarthi, 60, is recognized for a 35-year battle to free thousands of children from virtual slave labour while 17-year-old Malala became a global icon after she was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban for insisting that girls had a right to an education.

Satyarthi’s organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Movement to Save Childhood) prides itself on liberating more than 80,000 children from bonded labour in factories and workshops across India and has networks of activists in more than 100 countries.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) there are about 168 million child labourers globally.

The basic problems of humanity transcend borders. Let this be a lesson to India, Pakistan and all other governments across the world to stop fighting and instead focus on improving their social indicators. As Prime Minister Modi put it, there can be no classification of terrorism into good terrorism or bad terrorism. Terrorism in all its forms is a cancer. Hope the countries who patronize it are listening.

Jai Hind.