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Wake up call to press the “Pause” button

At Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-Upon-Avon

It was the summer of 2005 and I was on the cusp of entering my forties. The photograph above is most significant to my life as it captures almost the exact moment at which I experienced a shift in my consciousness. A shift that would influence much of my decisions in the years to follow and put me on the path to my destiny.

I like to think of my life as having clear themes for each decade of my life. My 30s decade was my decade of “doing”. I was constantly doing things. Propelled by the need to meet career goals and material aspirations while balancing a home life with two small children, one having special needs and a strong need for personal fulfillment, I was always on the move, always doing things, always, always busy.

So it transpired that I won a scholarship from the British government to undergo a three month course at the University of Bradford, UK in the summer of 2005. There I found myself in Bradford with a select group of bright, outstanding Indian women for whom the course had been designed. The course was not too demanding and we found enough time on the weekends to travel and explore the country. So we were constantly making plans, chalking out itineraries, looking for deals for travel and stay.

On one of those weekend getaways, my friend Sanjukta and I did a tour of Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Cotswold country side. This was like a dream come true for me. The hallowed corridors of the colleges of Oxford University, driving through the quaint, picturesque villages which looked like they were straight out of the story books I had grown up on a steady diet of. And the most glorious was the visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Anne Hathaway’s cottage where Shakespeare had lived and composed. So while I was there, perhaps posing for the photograph above, I suddenly became aware of what I was thinking of. My mind was racing to plan for the next weekend. It was like I had checked off a box and was ready to move on to the next.

It was at that moment that I realized that my life seemed to have become only about checking off boxes rather than savouring the present moment. Here I was in a place that I had looked so forward to being, but instead of revelling in the moment, my mind was on the next thing. It was a moment of realizing how much we live our lives in fast forward. The message to me was clear, I have to slow down and relish the moment, live every moment, because it is in living the moment that we live the fullest…

15 thoughts on “Wake up call to press the “Pause” button

  1. Very nice and relatable. Over the years of growing, constantly we are conditioned for high paying jobs, materialistic development & success. We become robots & tick never ending list of do’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful thoughts penned with such a lucid manner…what a great story teller you are…I am sure you are on way to publish your books on life… waiting . God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @urmila you have just spoken my thoughts with so much clarity! There was a time when I always had a bucket list to tick off. And then it dawned on me, that life is not about ticking off bucket lists but savouring the moment. Even while I am working, I do it with consciousness, with joy and with passion. And it gives a whole new dimension to our existence!

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    1. So true Neelakshi… Having bucket lists shifts our focus away from the present to the next thing on the bucket list.. Dumping bucket lists makes life more magical because you are always discovering treasures on the way… The journey becomes more important than the destination


  4. Urmila! very beautifully penned down. The picture and the composition together is so appealing, . A perfect soup for the soul. Since the Pause button is pressed now, lets see some more from you soon. Love and hugs. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have expressed your thoughts very beautifully and I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes we need to slow down and enjoy what is infront of us and just live in that moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s such a joy to read your pieces Aunty, like a page-turner (or a scroll-downer, in this case). Gives me a β€˜What happened next in your consciousness??’ moment. Thank you for sharing how your mind works, and an honest account of your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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