A lack of faith or confidence in our ability as an artist is something all writers struggle with. Sometimes it’s fleeting like a summer breeze, other times, it lingers like a winter frost. So how do we navigate the storm and overcome self-doubt?
We’ve all heard the little gremlins, but what makes us carry on despite the crippling fear. One of my favourite quotes is by Suzy Kassem. She hits the proverbial nail on the head with her wise words.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem.
Sometimes it’s the shove I need to keep going, to keep trying. I cling to the hope that tomorrow I’ll believe in myself once again.
Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels
For me, perseverance is the only option. In the past, I’ve buried myself in a double quilt, hidden in Netflix series whilst gorging on chocolate: The ultimate self-pity…
‘OM’ the primordial sound is the eternal sound of the Universe. Chanting of Om tunes us spiritually and physically with every element of the Universe. Its rhythmic utterance creates vibrations at the frequency of 432 Hz, which has a calming effect on the body and the mind. It is the same frequency that can be found everywhere in nature. Om is chanted thrice indicating the past, the present and the future existence of our soul.
The three syllables of Om are:
A – U – M
Symbolizing thewaking – dream– and dreamless state.
The chanting of Om thrice before meditation helps us realize our highest potential or the infinite consciousness which is hidden from us by the veil of Maya or illusion.
We often find ourselves living in a state of confusion; especially in this world of social media. To develop our concentration and willpower the chanting of Om is beneficial.
Om chanting –
Detoxifies the body
Improves memory retention
Increases focus and willpower
Improves our concentration levels
Improve the blood circulation in our body
Reduces stress levels and relaxes mind and body
Improves oxygen levels in the body imparting a glow on it
Strengthens spinal cord improving its efficiency
Improves control over feelings and emotions
Increases alertness and awareness of mind
Rejuvenates the digestive system
Rejuvenates the nervous system
Rejuvenates circulatory system
Improves hormonal balance
Increases immunity levels
Improves quality of sleep
Reduces blood pressure
The overall result is an improved personal and professional life. Om chanting has tremendous positive effect on students. Children above 8 years can improve their academic performances with the regular practice of Om chanting before studying. They will be able to focus better in studies with improved concentration levels and memory retention capacities. The vibrations in the brain while chanting Om deactivate certain parts of the brain resulting in relaxation of the mind, reducing stress and depression. Chanting Om strengthens the body and mind, awakening the power within.
The outcome of chanting Om depends on the correct method of doing it–
Sit cross-legged in a silent area. Keep hands straight, positioning them on the knees. Palms opened upwards with index fingers touching thumbs keeping the other three fingers straight.
Keep the spine absolutely straight including the neck.
Take in a deep breath and think of peace and happiness around. Life is an illusion and we have the power to think as we like.
Breathe lightly and monitor the flow of breath and listen to the vibrations and sounds of the body.
Relax the mind and body.
Breathe in as much as possible and pause for a while.
Breathe out till the air is exhausted and pause for a while.
Repeat the process thrice.
The fourth time chant the ‘A’ in the Aum as you breathe out and feel the vibrations in your abdomen and navel area. Chant the ‘U’ and feel the vibrations in the chest. Similarly, chant the ‘M’ and feel the vibrations in your head.
After each exhalation pause before taking in a long deep breath and pause before the next chant.
With each chant expand the mind and body so that oxygen is absorbed and flows freely through the body.
A straight and correct posture ensures circulation in all the organs helping them to work efficiently.
When the Om chanting ends, chant –“ Shanti hi, Shanti hi, Shanti hi – Aauumm...” to invoke peace and calmness in life. (The word Shanti means peace)
Initially start with three chants and increase it to nine with time. Try concentrating on the area of the third eye or the forehead. The mind has limitless capacities waiting to be discovered. We do know about the sixth sense or intuition but do not know how to rein in its power. The opening of the third eye will help us in achieving our aims with ease.
The third eye is the most potent source of intuitive wisdom which removes negativity, develops creativity, and knowledgeable insight, leading to the highest form of intelligence. The third eye provides clarity in our thought process and guides us towards things that need our attention and actions.
Imbibing the habit of Om chanting on a regular basis can work wonders for the body and mind improving the quality of life and providing a radiant glow that comes from within.
I have always preferred living in small towns to living in big cities. Occasional travel to big cities, are fine for entertainment or work related purposes, but I have always dreaded living permanently in big cities. The few years that I have spent in a big city for educational and work related purposes have passed in a daze.
In those days, whenever I came back to my home in a small town, I found it uneasy to find people idling after work. I kept wondering how they tolerated such a slow paced life – without ambitions, without trying to improve and update themselves and secure their future. It became even more intolerable when I visited my ancestral village and observed the village folk leading lives with hardly any pace at all. I saw the men folk sitting under the old neem tree talking among themselves; totally satisfied to have their seasonal yield and to live in their ancestral homes without any major changes in their lives. The temporary change in my thought process at that time was a result of environmental conditioning at an impressionable age.
Living in big cities undoubtedly has multiple advantages. The multifarious facilities of health care, education, shopping, entertainment, are enough to lure the multitudes from small towns to migrate to cities. Life in big cities has the ability to cast a magical spell on its denizens. The challenges of day to day life are so many that residents hardly have time or inclination to ponder over the relevance of such a fast paced life – A life without any time to invest on people and things that really matter. It has its benefits too – It helps us to avert situations which make us uncomfortable.
The major disadvantages of a big city life are commuting time, excessive population and pollution. Fresh food without preservatives are availed only by the super rich, who can purchase high priced organic food delivered to their homes. Others have to make do with food products with added preservatives to improve shelf life. That too, if they can afford time to cook meals for the family; otherwise they have to make do with take-away food, cooked in reused oils that are terribly harmful for the body.
The comfortable life in cities, come at a high price that is paid by health and relationships. Parents hardly get to spend quality time with the children on regular basis. Children are not able to move about freely on their own due to high crime rates in cities. Therefore, things that are learnt through worthwhile experiences get lost along the line.
The major disadvantage of living in a small town is the lack of good educational, health and work facilities. Procuring better paid jobs is the major reason for migration from small towns to big cities. However, if lifestyle expenses are taken into consideration we would find that living in big cities are definitely more expensive than living in a small town. The options of going on a spending spree are less in small towns and hence the scope of savings is definitely more. The rent of accommodations, groceries and other services are much less than those in big cities. Living in a sprawling accommodation in a pollution free atmosphere with less competition and commuting time is definitely rewarding for people who prefer a life away from the hustle bustle of big cities.
The pandemic has increased the appeal of living in small town with less population. The close knit communities provide a stress free comfortable atmosphere in which kids can grow up freely. The post-covid era will see people opting for a more meaningful life in small towns and country sides. Hopefully, it will decrease the population load in the big cities and improve the quality of life in cities too.
Tense of a verb tells us about the time of action or event. It is a form of verb, which is used to show the state and time of an event. Tense helps us to show whether we are referring to the past, present or future.
In English tense must be expressed in all finite verb phrases.
But, most English full verbs have only two tense related forms.
The simple Present – find, look, live, leave, write
The simple past – found, looked, lived, left, wrote
The other tense forms are made with the auxiliary verbs mainly ‘Be’ and ‘Have’ telling us whether the action is in progress or complete.
Will be/shall be
Will have/ shall have
PRESENT TENSE V1
SINGULAR (‘s’ form)V5
(used in simple present and in future tense with ‘will/shall’)
(used in simple past tense)
(used in perfect tense with ‘has/have’ verb)
(used in continuous tense with ‘ be’ verb)
(used with he/she/it)
DIVISION OF TENSE
Tenses are divided on the basis of time as follows:
Tense chart for the word ‘Write’:
I shall write.
I am writing.
I was writing.
I shall be writing.
I have written.
I had written.
I shall have written.
I have been writing.
I had been writing.
I shall have been writing.
Before studying forms and usage of each group we must remember that a type of tense form may represent different time situations.
For example Present continuous tense may represent:
Things going on at the present- I am writing an essay.
Developing and changing situations – The world is getting hotter.
The Perfect Tense refers to an event in the Past with Present or current relevance. When we use simple Past the focus is on the person, thing or circumstances while present perfect refers to a situation or event.
[ Has – used with – He/she/ it: Have – used with – I/You /we/they ]
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE
Subject +has/ have+ been + V4(-ing form of verb) + Obj
I have been eating ice-cream.
Has/ have + Subject+been + V4 + Object?
Have I been eating ice-cream?
Subject + has/have+ not +been+ V4 + Object
I have not been eating ice-cream.
For an activity that continued from past and has just been completed.–You have been fighting.
For an action began in the past and is still going on.- She has been working since 9am.
For repeated actions – I have been playing tennis a lot recently.
For expressing actions in sentences beginning with ‘For how long’ or ‘Since when’– For how long has she been suffering from the viral infection?
For expressing temporary activities- He has been living here for a month.
( for expressing permanent activities we use Present perfect tense.-He has lived here for thirty years.)
For and Since
The Present perfect continuous tense is often used with ‘for’ and ‘since’. There is a difference between their use.
‘For’ is used to denote a period of time ( time span or duration)
It has been raining for six hours.
He has been working here for twenty years.
He has been suffering for a long time.
‘Since’ is used to denote an action starting from a point of time in the past.
She has been painting since 8 o’clock.
He has been looking for his glasses since he got up.
It has been raining since Sunday.
Present perfect continuous tense is generally used with verbs denoting continuity.