Friday, September 27, 2013

Many Lives, Many Masters

I recently read a book by Dr. Brian Weiss titled Many Lives, Many Masters. The book is about a prominent Yale Psychiatrist who lives a very scientific life, his depressed young patient Catherine, and the past life regression that she goes through to heal her of the present life anxieties and phobias.
Reincarnation presupposes a Godward life energy which as the Bhagavad Gita puts it "does not die when the body dies." It is a concept that the soul, is reborn into new lives. Depending on the religion or philosophy, the soul can appear incarnate in humans, animals or plants as it works its way toward an eventual escape from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Reincarnation is considered the path to purity and salvation.
Karma is a Sanskrit word which literally means "Action". It operates in the universe as a continuous chain reaction of cause and effect. It is believed that actions affect the quality of life and the quality of future lives. Good deeds create good karma and evil deeds create negative karma. Karma's effect can manifest immediately, later in life or after multiple lifetimes. Karma is the law that governs reincarnation.


Not so much of a spiritual person myself, I have always believed in Karma and Reincarnation. A firm believer in doing good and being a good and fair person, not only on the outside but from within too, I do not believe in atoning for one's sins by fasting, visiting temples or offering sacrifices.
Many a times we get a feeling of deja-vu, which literally means "already seen". Some researchers interpret these feelings based on reincarnation. At times we feel a strong connection with people we have just met, or even with people who are already in our lives. That is because we know them from a previous lifetime and are brought together again in this life too.
What was an eye opener in this particular book were the messages that Catherine could channel while in between life stages from the "Masters" about how to live life (make good karmas). These teachings of the Master Spirits ("We are not to kill.....Only God can punish", "Charity, hope, faith, love....we must know all these things," and "Our body is just a vehicle for us while we are here. It is our soul and our spirit that last forever"), are restatements of the traditional religious views that I have been brought up and thoughts that have been instilled within to make us better people.
I would definitely recommend this book to those who are open minded about the concept of Reincarnation and those who enjoying thinking about and talking about the ephemeral. It sure made me feel more at peace about my purpose on earth and about life after death.

                                                                  We are what we think. 
                                                     All that we are arises with our thoughts. 
                                                      With our thoughts we make the world.

                                                                                               - Buddha

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dr Seuss themed 1st Birthday!

It seems like yesterday that we brought our son Ronav home from the hospital, but a year has just flown by and all that we are left with are memories and lots of photos!
Since my husband and I are huge Dr Seuss fans, we decided to throw Ronav a themed birthday party to satisfy the child within us. The planning and execution took 2 months of burning the midnight oil as that was the only time we would get after putting Ronav to bed. All the decorations were hand made by us, only the balloons were outsourced. Here's how we did it.

The Invitations: 
Were sent via what's app and email 3 weeks before the party and was created on photoshop.

Were sent out 4 days before the party to get a better idea of the RSVPs. 

Thing 1 :
Ronav was Thing 1. We customized a T-shirt for him which read "Thing 1".

Mom & Dad of Thing 1 :
Mommy and Daddy got customized T-shirts too. They read "Mom of Thing 1" and "Dad of Thing 1".

Birthday Month Banner: 
We took a picture of Ronav for his monthly birthdays and eventually planned to frame all the pictures. But for his birthday we made a banner. 

A close up of the banner

The Birthday Banner : 
Was made using the Dr Seuss books.

 A close up of the banner

Other decorative banners : 

Welcome Sign : 
Was put at the entrance of our house.

The Cat in the Hat :
Made this 5 foot tall Cat in the Hat out of cardboard. 

Happy Birthday Book : 
We bought a hardbound Dr Seuss Birthday book and had all the guests write messages for Ronav. 

Candies in the Jar game: 
One of the party games in which guests had to guess how many candies are there in the jar. The one closest to the correct answer would get to take the jar home.

Pin the Hat on the Cat game :
A game in which guests were blindfolded and had to pin the hat on the cat.

Photo props :
We made these photo props of the Dr Seuss Cat in the Hat characters. Kids had a great time taking photos using them.


Toothbrushes for Guests:
Being a Dentist, I thought this would be fun, a kind of party favor to take home. Based on Dr Seuss's Tooth Book.

The Birthday Cake : 
Was made by Love Sugar Dough. They did a fantastic job in making the exact replica of what we described to them. The cake was chocolate in flavour. Not only did the cake look great, it tasted absolutely yummy too. The cake was placed on a cupcake stand and we had 40 - 50 mini red velvet cupcakes below the cake.


Cat in the Hat Party Hats : 
We handmade these hats for our party guests. It was an instant hit.


Thing 1 and Thing 2 cut out : 
All the party guests, right from the babies to the grand parents, posed as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Here is the birthday boy who got the first chance at a photo opportunity.

Centerpiece :
Using the Invitation that was sent out to everyone we created a centrepiece.

Food :
The menu for the party was Lorax's baked dish, Hop on Pop Chips, Birthday Cake from Katroo, Thing 1 & Thing 2 Cupcakes, Red & Blue Drinks by Fox in Socks, Mr Brown's special Hummus & Pita Bread, Horton's Puffs, Sandwich from Cat in the Hat and Yertle's Ice cream.

Party Favour Bags: 
We did not get ready made bags of the colour we wanted so we made our own party favour bags! It took 3 days but was so worth it!

Thank You Note:
All the Party favour bags carried a Thank You note to all our guests. Again the note was designed on photoshop, printed and stuck on a background.

Party Favours:
All the children were given age appropriate books. The adults were given Cupcakes boxes and/or Cake Jars made by Love Sugar Dough.

The Party Area :
This is what the living room looked like after all the decorations.

Family Portrait:
Here's our little family.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Stop and smell the flowers

Being born and brought up in Bombay, I am truly used to the fast paced life that the city throws at you. Jet setting from one chore to another life has become all about getting the job done. As a Dentist, my day is driven by the clock from the minute I wake up until bedtime. Days filled with "to-do" lists that need to be checked off at the earliest.
My one year old son is super active,  already preferring physical activity to just sitting around. It's impossible to have him sit in one place for more than a few minutes. But despite the boundless energy, he likes to take his time to eat. Not that he's much of a foodie, he's one guy who likes to enjoy his meal, a total opposite of me, I eat a meal in less than 10 minutes. I have realised that trying to rush him won't work. It just leaves us both frustrated. I've learned to calm myself while feeding him. One day it almost felt like he was asking me 'mamma do I have to rush with my meal again?' Once I realised that, I learnt to be more patient. I learnt to follow his cue and offer a bite when he's ready, and not me. That's when I realised that my always on the move son taught me how to stop and smell the flowers.
Every now and then I forget that important lesson, but seeing him concentrate on the littlest of things, get excited by mundane activities and buzz around the house exploring reminds me to take a breath, smile and learn to relax.

Dr Seuss themed 1st Birthday!

It seems like yesterday that we brought our son Ronav home from the hospital, but a year has just flown by and all that we are left with a...