Peddler’s Purpose

My mom’s peddling made me furious until I realized that it was precisely what I need.

My mother turns to a drug the moment something unpleasant happens or an unpleasant thought has been vocalized to her. This drug has sustained her through challenges, and there have been some lofty challenges! Mostly emerging triumphant, wiser and stronger and sometimes just high of life is my mother, the user and the peddler.

Her drug is Positivity and she peddles this drug like her life depends on it & and as if it’s coconut oil and the time is 2015’ish.

If you think it, it happens! – My Mother’s 90% thought process.

From politics to potting plants – her ask/solve is to think positive.

I tried that with my succulents. And reported back to her that it doesn’t work out as such. Ofcourse, I knew that! This was was my way of fighting that positivity peddling.

That constant peddling of positivity was infuriating and confusing to me. Confusing because what she peddled was brilliant, true and I am more percent optimist than anything else. Infuriating because .. I had no clue and that made it worse.

The thing is that I spent my 20’s ignoring or let’s say slathering coconut oil on my life and waiting for a miracle. It was not until I turned 29, I self-helped – more of that in a post of its own, at a later time. Today we focus on my annoyance towards my mother’s positivity!

So, I did what I have done all my life – FFO. Figure the F**K Out. (Yes, my posts will have encrypted language once in a while, or all the time or to taste – I am not sure)

Why did my mother’s positivity peddling annoy me when I knew that has value and it made sense? I had to know and I did what I do best, over-analyze, only this time I did it with some method to the madness and it became clear: Positivity without a plan and Positivity without inclusivity are like ‘Thoughts & Prayers’ – sure, it feels good but you are no where close to a solution. And, for most of my issues, I was just whining. I did not have a plan or willingness to actually DO something about it. What I wanted to do was whine and for someone to dole out sympathy. Lucky for me my mother peddle-ed positivity!

I had self-helped myself for big things in life but for the medium and small parts, I whined. I whined when I should be acting.

For example: I whine about these extra 30lbs … 35lbs if I am being honest. I am surrounded by incredible examples of friends & family who are fitness and physical health inspiration. And, the ball is n my court.

So, if you ever find yourself dismissive or infuriated with positivity then I urge you to explore the below before you dismiss the peddler:

  1. Check in with your cynicism. Maybe it’s the hurdle to giving life. people and situations a chance.
  2. Explore opportunities for self-growth and plan in tiny parts. Physical fitness is my goal and mental fitness comes organically to me. I need to apply the same approach to physical fitness as I did to my mental routine – start small until it becomes lifestyle. I need to begin with water intake & 10mins of movement.
  3. No one has a perfect life. Sometimes done is better than perfect, unless you are cooking! But really, just pause, surround yourself with positive inspirations and if you find yourself unhappy, DO something.
My Mom!

When a positive message makes you smile – You are somewhat peaceful. You get it! You may not dwell on it, but you get it. It doesn’t annoy you. You are my inspiration 🙂

This post for my mom – my forever & always positivity peddler. And it has happened.. sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out. I love you, Mom!



Not ‘Keeping up with the everyones’

We all behave keeping our reputation in mind and when we display our life, our audience size varies – that’s all.

You know that frenzy of clean up when someone is coming home. And the ritual of exclaiming how the home is a mess, upon their arrival.

That 50 seconds filler conversation that, we all know, is mostly scripted.

I have that frenzy daily for surfaces that meet the eye.

I am a Virgo like that – my counters are clean but my drawers are a war zone that spare no one. I clean two ways:

One method is directly related to how-upset-I-am-with-my-spouse/situation — this one typically results in those war-zone drawers or trashing of everything! Nothing sparks joy at that time but my work quality, at surface level, is award-worthy.

The second method is called ‘crap! Now I have to clean up’ because I spent my alone time in my home with an intention of organizing, and 30 mins later I am styling clothes I have not worn in ages and have two different makeup applications on my face. It’s fairly obvious that makes up is not my strength and I must invest in skincare! My hair could be in trial extensions, that I once bought at Sally’s on a whim, or an up-do or a DYI mask of something ridiculously drippy.

The alone time at home cleaning method is rare since turns out that people you live with are always there!! (Read this again .. yes, Always There!)

By the time they come home, I am freshly showered, hair blow-dried and in a clean set of PJ’s – I only own pajama’s or going out clothes. Don’t we all?

Ofcourse, I don’t have to clean up and get presentable but I do. Regardless of our ethnicity, gender or circumstance we have all been told to groom, to be presentable, to behave well, to not chew with mouth open, to clean up the mess because someone is coming home .. the list goes on. Maintaining reputation is so ingrained that we ONLY notice if someone makes an effort above and beyond to maintain/enhance reputation – otherwise, on some level all of us do it. And it’s not surprising that we do this – turns out humans, at a surprisingly early age control their behavior based what is viewed as likable, essentially caring for reputation.

Then, I wonder …

If we find ourselves, not 100% ourselves even with the people we live with then what made us assume that the life someone lives on social media is ALL of the life that they live? And, then the audacity to criticize them for only showcasing their best to the world.

Our 4yrs old clicked this weekend morning picture of us.
A professional, in Spain, took this picture of us. Which one do you think makes a great profile pic? 🙄 don’t bother answering.

Let me own up – I too have been guilty of this. And hearing myself speak of that judgment, I understood it’s more of my reflection than theirs.

It is also true we must consume a mental diet with some self-sanity and commonsense. It’s easy to think that the grass is not only green but perpetually lush on the other side.

But do we need judgment for everything?

Display of affection, however overt, doesn’t indicate a problem in a relationship. Absence of that display also doesn’t indicate a problem.

Display of achievements doesn’t mean that the person is a fake or show-off. Absence of that display also doesn’t mean failure or stagnation.

Sharing incredibly well-shot pictures doesn’t mean that their life is constantly staged and fake. Sharing selfies doesn’t make one shallow.

Sharing nothing doesn’t make one exclusive. We all behave keeping reputation in mind and when we display our life, our audience size varies – that’s all.

The endless list of biases, complains and judgments.

No one should be the judge of anyone’s relationships, achievements, failures, lifestyle or choices just based on what is on display. Virtual life is a part of a whole life, and the significance of it varies from person to person. Some only consume, some create/share and consume, some only create/share. It’s time to take responsibility for what we choose consume and not judge for what is being presented.

Consume if you want otherwise, scroll on | Unfollow | Interact minimal – do something, don’t just whine or worst, troll!!! on social media or outside of it.

Mirror Mirror on the wall: Dear Men … & Women. Especially Men.

Performance evaluation while acceptable professional is still a stigma in personal life. Here, I said it!

Once upon a time, I found myself in a room with the evaluation paper in front of me. Seemingly, I was doing A-OK but could do better – tell me more! I thought as I rolled my eyes also in my thoughts. Once the fluff/filler conversation was done I was asked to sign the eval paper. I took the pen and drew a line across my name and corrected the spelling of my name. Stared back as I slid the eval back.

I thought to myself- I really do not like someone judging my work when they cannot get the basics right.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in the seat of the one evaluating. Guess what the paper misspelled – their NAME!! I will spare you the details of my flustered, embarrassed and humbled self.

Define Karma a short story by Shivani Kulkarni

Professional Performance Evaluation: The one where you evaluate yourself so that someone else can evaluate you and your work. Ranging from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur! Ranging from kill me now to tell how I can get better. Ranging from I know I am a superstar to let’s get this over with. Emotions, oh so many damn emotions.

This circle of feedback/learning/evaluation/reflecting can be positive, negative or non-consequential but it is accepted by all as a professional process. End of the day, the reward for the evaluation can often be tied to tangible growth or learning that ultimately lead to tangible growth.

Within 12hrs of an online purchase, an email is sent asking for feedback.

We all look for that nod and approving smiles in a big meeting.

Consumer feedback management is a business in itself.

We are incentives to give opinions on products and services.

We look forward to the validation that we are doing great and that growth awaits us.

More today than ever, one will agree, that there is a need to evaluate feedback, iterate and evolve!

We tirelessly self-assess to outperform ourselves: we reflect on the victories, the losses, the conflicts, the break room chatter, the public reviews and more. We are gender, race, and religion united when it comes to professional growth even if it means trekking that hard path of feedback, reflection and re-building.

Self Assessment = Self Reflection = meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives.

The same process is applied and welcomed for physical well being. Proactive measures of physical health assessment because …well – life! & the daunting cost of healthcare for a cure, in case of sickness.

We accept and encourage self-reflection in professional life as it risks tangible loss.

We accept & encourage self-reflection for physical health as it risks the quality of life, tangible discomfort, monetary loss & more.

Then, what makes us fight, mock, ignore, dismiss the tools of self-reflection for our mental health?

What if we gave our personal life the same luxury of personal evaluation?

Pro-active career-enhancing actions & physical-health enhancing measures surely do not imply that either one of those is broken. Then why are the measures for pro-active mental health enhancement viewed as frivolous and unnecessary – Especially, from men.

I am well aware of the gender generalization here and while I know some incredibly self aware men, there is a shortage. Stay with me till the end, if you can.

See, I have skin in this game. I care deeply to know why:

Self-Love | Self-Reflection | Mindfulness | Meditation | Journaling | Therapy | Counseling

Media, Merchandise, Services, Coaches & Publications are serving us reminders daily to enhance quality of life.

Maybe its daunting to start or maybe it needs to be normalized in your head. Know that you are the only one who can start and the only one who can normalize it.

Dear Men .. & Women, especially Men,

Maybe the society said Men don’t cry or the humor seems to suggest that only girly women talk about their feelings or that masculinity needs to be void of feelings and emotions, and thereby there is leniency with your behaviors or that mediation will make into a purple unicorn or that writing your feelings may make basic!

I know that one day my little boy will be part of your tribe. And, while I do my best to normalize self-reflection to him, he will look up to you too for what is normal.

Dear Women .. & Men, especially Women,

Maybe we allow for this normalization to thrive without judgement. Maybe we demand for better behavior. Maybe we self-reflect ourselves so that we are an example of mental growth.

Self-Reflection is your responsibility & it is not a one day gig. It’s my responsibility to myself. Its till our last breath, so that our regrets are slim and hopefully the smiles are wide.