"No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it.” 
― Stefan Zweig
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More often than not, all of us have gone on a guilt trip of our own. Its this vacation which comes every now and then which surprises you out of nowhere and then you start saying things like " Its all my fault.,
Why God, why me? , I wish I didn't do that, If only I could go back in time and..." 
It so happens that somehow going on with our life we forget to pause and see what we're really doing or saying and don't realize how we end up being someone we think we're really not. 

This becomes a battle of the should's." I should have done something at that time but I couldn't." 

Guilt often stems from lack of action but honestly it comes out of lack of intention. We feel a lot of things and its sad but sometimes we need to see things tangibly go wrong on the outside to figure out where we're going wrong on the inside. 

Even so, no one likes going on these guilt trips where we've set standards for ourselves to feel right or wrong and control ourselves to feel more sane or make sense of our actions and feelings. 

We becomes these messed up souls with no idea about how this happened to us and what we did wrong and how to fix it. We lose ourselves on this path of self destruction. Now even though guilt can sometimes be a useless reaction, more often than not its an inside signal telling you something's gone wrong with your emotional system.

Its more of a wake up call to remind you that no matter how much you believe things can't or won't change, you're capable of a lot and you can help yourself even if you don't know how. Guilt can be used as a tool to rise from all that's made you fall and become one step closer to the real you. Its never the people who're good or bad, but situations which mould you a certain way. Guilt, I believe is the protective defense which can mould your inner environment to deal with your outer environment.

So what I really am trying to say I believe is guilt makes you feel like shit, it makes you go to an all together new low for a lot of things you could have been and you'd like them to be, feel all of it, but don't hold on to it for too long, use it for what it is, the red signal which made you stop to seek the yellow to think of your next possible action to fix it and the green when you're good to go. :)

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Courtesy- Google
 
 
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Ever heard yourself wonder if what you're doing is good enough or not, right or not, is this more me or not? Do you end up believing what others say to you about the person they think you are and what you can or cannot do?

If you answered Yes to any of the questions above, you're a victim of self doubt.

This is dangerous mostly to you not others. This feeling of questioning yourself and being perplexed constantly not just by your own questions but by others questioning you further is like a gradual course of poison in your mental system which gradually creeps into your behavior.

You will always have a question mark on your face and people will wonder why?

Look at this right now : ?

Don't you feel the urge to question that very question mark above? That's how people will feel seeing the question mark on your face. The minute you decide, whether for good or bad, you make a choice and it
shows on your face and through your very actions.

We chase after things we think exist but which don't, we believe in something with such conviction that it seems almost impossible to believe in things otherwise. Life will question you enough anyway in the circumstances it presents to you, why add on to those questions?

The anxiety of not knowing what to do when or how has perplexed every human that has come upon this Earth, but as they say learn to deal with things or situations as they come to you and not worry yourself too much with 'What if's ' ?

I'll show you an example of my What if story?

What if I end up choosing the wrong career, making the wrong friends and getting into trouble? What if I end up being someone I don't want to be? What if I hurt people around me? What if I grow old and sick and have no one to look after me?


That's usually how it goes in all the self doubtful people's minds. I could go on but I think you get the point. The truth of the matter is no matter how much we plan or dream of a future, it never turns out the way we picture it. We try to control certain things which we think we are in control of yet do not realize that by questioning even those things we question our growth and what's alive inside us right now.

So, here's a thought, the English language has other punctuation marks which can be of great interest to you, like a , (comma) or a full stop . or even exclamation marks ! to spice up those boring days.

Imagine having read all your stories or texts as a child till now in question marks, how annoying would that be.

So rid yourself of things you don't know yet and don't even need to know yet and work your way through with the right now and the near about future which is just enough to keep your mind full.

Until then ?

Sorry, wrong punctuation.

Until next time. 

 
 
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This column began with the promise of delving deep into your consciousness. We gradually covered your day to day problems, once in a while though there comes a time when you need to take yourself a little more seriously.

Most of us go through problems and know for a fact that they'll be a part of our life always, so the key lies not in solving one and moving on to the next, like in levels of a game, because real life doesn't work that way. 

What then is the answer ?

The key to yourself lies in growth which will naturally take place as it has to but more than that we tend to skip or ignore or become oblivious to the constant self dialogue going on in our heads, as if a parallel world plays in our heads day in and day out.
I dedicate this article today as a beginning to resourcefulness, which is basically doing the best you can with what you have, where you are, in the present. 

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I honestly feel every human's journey is incomplete without 'introspection', somewhere down the line. The dialogue we have going on in our heads, that's our way of talking to ourselves, trying to make sense of things and act in accordance. We never stop to realize what materializes around us, is a result of that dialogue. Isn't it better to stop once in a while and actually talk to yourself and figure out what exactly is happening around there then?

Some philosophers, poets and learned say we carry within us a world. They're right, we carry our lens of seeing the world and people around us and our perspective on all that surrounds us and makes us the product of exactly where we are. So as much as you feel you have no control over things around you, you actually do. Take our time for yourself during the day where you don't need technology or people around you for a while, and stop to be with yourself.

Hear the dialogue in your mind and wonder, think about your day every day and begin to notice and observe things you've passed by unseen, things you've heard and passed off, what you've felt and not understood. It isn't necessary to be an introvert to do any of this, as is often misunderstood. Whether you're on your way to college or home, listening to music, taking a shower, whatever works for you, all you need to do is be aware of everything you are and are made of. Look at yourself in the mirror eye to eye, and begin to realize what you are on the outside and now on the inside too because most often what we can't see with the eye, we can see from our heart, a cliche which will always stand true in the roughest, brightest and all of the times in between. 

 
 
Hi guys, now mostly all problems here are anonymous but today I'd like to share a problem of my own and what happened throughout till the very end.

I am part of an all girls college where friction becomes inevitable after a while. There's hormones flying everywhere and ego clashes and the works. In the midst of everyday life, somewhere creeps up this thing called disagreement and slowly and steadily it comes down to my way or the highway. It can happen with one person or two or many as was my case. Psychology states that frustration is blocking of one's goals, well when your path to do anything gets obstructed so often I think it reaches an altogether different level.We all have different ways of dealing with it and I wish I were a monk who could permanently chill in the Himalayas but modernized, messed up society it is !
Anyway getting back to where I was, I kept passively blowing up a volcano inside my head and knew it would erupt on someone one of those days and then I'd go on a guilt trip for hurting them but I suddenly stopped and questioned what it really was that was getting me so worked up.

It wasn't about people not listening to me or not having my way, suddenly I came across this quote which said ' Where attention goes, energy flows' . I realized what's done is done and what will be done is still in my hands. Letting go of emotions is not easy especially anger but the minute you work a way of becoming assertive and powerful and doing the obvious which is not clear while you're feeling the emotion in all its intensity. You might not realize it while you're in that mood but the minute you snap out of it your path materializes and you get to deal with the shittiest of situations and the worst of people and as they say when life throws lemons, you make lemonade and refresh that steamed up mind of yours.

 
 
" To be frank with you, there's no problem as such but I always tend to delay work. I'm having a perfectly normal social life and college is going by pretty well to except by the time I realize how much I have to do I am in no mood to do it and it just keeps adding up. I'm sick of this happening every time. This has to stop but how ? "
To be frank, your problem is so common yet majority of us go through it without pausing to fix it. It's the Procrastination fix.

I get that you're content with the pace of things in your life and that is pretty good in itself, so let's cross the minor speed breaker in your path.

We often hear about work that needs to be done and figure we'll do it later and there's no rush and just in the blink of an eye we don't realize when that 1 assignment turns into 2, 3 or more and let's face it most of us phobic of math hate it when the numbers go up, giving us all the more reason to 'let go' .

Letting go is the solution to most emotional conflicts of the highest order but not this not so emotional one.

First of, if you spend even so much as an hour and begin, since the beginning is the toughest part. Start by writing the topic, your name, subject, essential details, look at the paper there, write a page and once you get in the flow it gets rolling.

Make a list of all that is left, begin with the toughest so that your worst nightmare gets away with at once and the rest come to you easy.

If you're a music person, plug in those earphones and go at it, if you're a dance person, do your routine then do a bit, do more, do the other bit, if you're a social person, do it in a group, now I know that is quite an impossible task but stay trapped in one room or one place for a long time, stock up your food and drink supplies and delegate each bit to each one and before you know it, it'll be done.

If you're more of an introvert, sit in a nice coffee shop, sip your favorite coffee,use their wifi or books or whatever you need and call a friend in between when you're bored. You get to meet, eat and finish off that nasty bit of work and that my friend will cease to create bumps on your road to contentment. 
 
 
" I have a friend who's always had her way and dominated me all throughout the smallest of things. She says something and I just can't refuse but in the end I don't like it. What do you suggest I do? "
So essentially thus begins the problem of being dominated by another. I understand at times one goes through a phase where its much easier to just comply than argue or confront but when it goes on for longer periods of time it reaches a stage where it becomes frustrating.

It becomes an obstruction to your own path, to your own growth and development and for your own good you need to weed it out before it becomes toxic to you.

Now that the problem is clear, it becomes easier to work towards a solution. Begin by gradually maintaining a distance from this person and start in your mind by maintaining a psychological distance. Most often it so happens that we construct a far worse picture adding our emotional interpretation to things than what is actually there.

Gradually once you begin to do this, you'll see the changes manifest physically. Talk to the friend as normally as you'd talk to the other person but keep in mind the physical and mental distance you need to keep yourself emotionally stable and free of mental clutter. 
 
 
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Picture Courtesy- Google

I've noticed that in the last few weeks my overall attitude towards life has become dull. I'm not too keen on hanging out with friends, and I just wanna sit at home and watch TV or sleep. I'm feeling as though my life isn't going anywhere. This problem seems to have started ever since I lost a good friend in an accident about 2 months back. I can't seem to understand why I wasn't like this when the accident happened. Am I suffering from depression?
First of all, I'm really sorry for your loss. It's understandable that any sort of loss is difficult to cope with, and the loss of a good friend is especially difficult to overcome.
What you have to understand is that the coping process is very complex and not necessarily the same for everybody. What you have been going through is very normal and nothing to worry about or stress over.
Some people have complete mental break downs at the occurrence of an unfortunate incidence while others may have a reaction days or even weeks later. What matters is how you deal with those reactions and what you do to overcome such feelings.
Since all of us cope differently, I can give you tips on how to get back on your feet and lead life as you normally would:

1) Talk about the person
Usually, talking about a loved one who has passed can help you to overcome sad feelings about that individual and also help to share memories about that person. Sharing feelings and memories also provides a sense of closure and allows one to move on from the loss. This will make talking about your friend easier over time and he/she will no longer remain a sad or taboo topic.

2) Cry
Crying is very much part of the grieving process and may also help to take some of the load off. Sometimes after we let the tears roll, we feel as though a huge weight has been lifted. There's a feeling of calm and relaxation which could be very helpful. Also, if you don't happen to cry, it doesn't mean that you're abnormal. We all have our individual differences so don't be worried if it doesn't happen.

3) Draw comfort from faith
If you follow a religious tradition, embrace the comfort its mourning rituals can provide. Spiritual activities that are meaningful to you (such as praying, meditating, or going to church) can offer solace. If you’re questioning your faith in the wake of the loss, talk to a clergy member or others in your religious community.

4) Express your feelings in a creative
For those people who are not the best at simply talking, drawing, writing journals, etc. can help. Since the loss you are suffering from is very sudden, you could write a letter to your friend about all the things you may have wanted to say to him/her which you never got a chance to. Sometimes making scrapbooks or putting together albums of old photos can also help.

5) Look after your physical health
The mind and body are connected so do not neglect yourself. When you feel good physically, you also feel good emotionally. Eat, sleep, and exercise as per your normal routine. Do not use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain. That never helps.

6) Look to friends and family for support
Friends and family are our 24/7 support system and you should never feel like you have to hide your feelings or be embarrassed in front of them. Draw loved ones close, rather than avoiding them, and accept the assistance that’s offered. Often times, people want to help but don’t know how, so tell them what you need.

7) Most importantly- Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel, and don’t tell yourself how to feel either.
Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it’s time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgement  It’s okay to be angry, to yell at the heavens, to cry or not to cry. It’s also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you’re ready.

I would personally also suggest that you see a counselor if your problems seem to persist and  make normal living a hassle. There's no shame in seeking help when it's needed and no it does not mean that you're depressed or crazy. Grief works in extremely complex and mysterious ways so take it as it comes, one step at a time. There's no hurry and there's no rush to feel normal.
I sincerely hope this grieving process brings you closer to your friend and helps you learn a lot more about yourself.
Do feel free to send us an email here on Conscious Ink if you ever need ears to listen to you or a shoulder to cry on. Remember, you're never alone.
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Picture Courtesy- Google
 
 
"I'm a 2nd year student and have been in a committed relationship with a girl for 1 year now (same year, different college). She became friends with a fellow from her college about 3 months ago and I thought it was great at first. But now, I feel as though all she talks about is that friend of hers. What's more, she hangs out with him and has frequent and very long conversations with him over the phone. Sometimes I fear that we'll drift apart because of this new 'friend' and the importance he has in her life. What do I do?"
Ah! The green monster of jealousy, a classic hurdle in the lives of most love birds. Before you begin to think wrongly of the relationship that your girlfriend and this friend of hers may have, you need to ask yourself a few  questions:

1) Do you trust your girlfriend?

If your answer happens to be "yes" then the issue is resolved then and there. You shouldn't have to worry about your girlfriend falling for someone else if you trust that she would never fall for someone else. If you have complete faith in her as well as your relationship, you need to push this jealousy and anger out of your head and focus on more positive thoughts such as how strong your bond is as a couple and how much love you two share. However, if your answer is "no", then you have to reconsider why you're in this relationship in the first place. Trust is a basic foundation of all relationships; so if you do not trust your girlfriend, your problems definitely lie beyond just the presence of this 'friend' in her life.

2) Does your girlfriend ever lie about her conversations or hangouts with this friend?
If you have caught her lying, then that is definitely a red flag. But, that's not necessarily a reason to panic. Ask her why she had to lie to you. If her answers seem trivial and random and she seems to have been taken by surprise, you may have something to worry about. Be clear about your doubts but do NOT argue, she may also have a point somewhere. However, if your girlfriend is an open book, then you just may be over thinking it!

3) Has there been a change in your relationship since this friend has entered her life?
Now this is the trickiest question and must be answered with complete honesty. Generally, jealousy and doubt envelope us to the extent that we can no longer judge situations objectively. If your relationship has been going strong for the last 3 months, then there's definitely no reason to doubt it. In the last 3 months, if you feel as if there are growing differences between you two, then there just may be something to worry about. Nonetheless, it is best to keep in mind that these growing differences need not be because of this new friendship. There could very well be other issues that need to be addressed.
All in all, what you need is to seriously ponder upon these three questions. Also, the most successful relationships are the result of perfect communication within a couple. So, simply talk to her and share how you feel. There's no need for blame, bitterness, or anger. These negative feelings usually lead to further arguments and have no end.

Remember, relationships are the hard and it takes a lot of patience to deal with the feelings that come with it. Sometimes we have to dig deep down inside, find that green monster of jealousy, and scare it away with love, trust, and the belief that the bond we share is so much stronger than anything else.
 
 
" I've been having a tough time because there are so many times when I've tried to voice my choices or decisions to my class, department and professors but fail to make a difference. All decisions are ,made and I end up being socially excluded while feeling stupid since I know my ideas could make a difference. What can I do to change this? "
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you read this? Don't be quick to judge because each one of us has faced it at some point or the other.
 
This is a problem of passivity. We become mere spectators in our own lives, maybe due to fear or just because we're not sure of ourselves.
 
Like school as the foundation of childhood and adolescence, college is about discovering how you're going to be for the rest of your adult life. 

It gives you the chance to rediscover or redefine your individuality for which you need to shoulder some responsibility.
 
What then is the solution to such commonplace everyday problems for you and me?
 
ASSERTIVENESS : Sounds like a nice, fancy word but what exactly does it entail !
 
We read stories about how something heroic happens when people stand up for themselves and what they believe in. Well, there is some truth to it. We need to be our own heroes. 

You might be shy or have anxiety or fear of groups maybe but I'm very sure about one thing. No matter how much fear or doubts you have filled inside you, you also have some things you really believe in or love no matter what anyone says or does, you hold onto them real tight.

You need to remember the feeling you get when you think of that thing, person or idea and also know you are one person you're going to hold onto for the rest of your life and that is one thing you can be a complete 100% sure of which means that you put that belief in yourself.

I was a very shy person myself and assertiveness began for me in the form of a whisper in my friend's ear about an idea I had which I thought made sense, she blurted it out and next thing I know I find some people agreeing, some disagreeing but nearly everyone think about it and it happened and when it was out there it became one of our best memories and made me believe I make a difference.
 
So all I'll say is put forward your choices, your decisions and why it makes sense to you and even if its not always IMPLEMENTED, keep in mind it is always IMPLANTED and that most certainly makes all the difference.
 
 
Light of recent events, women’s safety has definitely gained a great deal of importance; an event that should have happened much sooner. As they say though, better late than never. The nation’s capital had slowly become a feeding ground for men who see women as nothing more than pieces of meat. They are constantly on the prowl; while some get a kick out of a simple whistle or shoulder bump, others go on to commit much more heinous acts. With the string of protests and forwarded SMSs which strongly condemn such acts, we all know change takes time. The change required here is much more than reduction of a particular form of behaviour. It is a deeply ingrained thought in the minds of many individuals raised in a society of complete patriarchy.

As society changes however, we women have to keep in mind that safety comes first. I’m sure all of us have experienced at least one incident which sent chills down our spine. Whether it is a casual stare or even somebody following us, we’ve all been there. What matters is, there is always a way out. I remember an incident in which three men who were on one bike followed me as I was travelling back home on a rickshaw. Though I did not pay heed at first, as they continued to follow me, my fear grew. I began to sweat profusely, my hands became clammy, and I did not know what to do. At that very moment I realized that I needed to get a hold of myself, I needed to think my way out of this one. I picked up my phone and pretended to dial the police, acting as calm and non-chalant as possible. I made sure those men could hear me, all I needed to do was make them fear me; make them realize that I can do just as much harm. Though that did work, I got off of the rickshaw a few blocks before my house, just so the men would not have a definite idea of where I live.

The incident, though extremely frightening, did teach me to rely on my senses. I learned to not picture myself as a vulnerable and helpless damsel in distress; rather, as a woman who knows how to get out of a tough spot. Though such thinking does not apply to all situations, it’s a thought all women should carry with them as they venture out into the city. In fact, there have also been reported incidences of women beating up eve teasers. Now, we know violence is not the answer, but we can learn a lot from these women. The most important lesson being preparation and confidence are very important!

Aside from the normal advice we all get from our mummies and daddies (‘come home before it gets dark’, ‘don’t travel alone’,etc.) women should also keep in mind that we are not vulnerable. If we use our heads, there are so many ways we can scare off wrongdoers. Moreover, with several operational help lines and alternatives such as self defence (classes happening all over the Delhi-NCR area) we can actually prove that there is no such thing as the “weaker sex” by being prepared, mentally as well as physically. So Delhi ki kudiyaan, party, protest, be safe, and remember: ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’

 

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