Hello everyone!!! Gosh, how long I had to wait for this day…being back to blogging. And what a year I had since I took that ‘unintended sabbatical’ from my blog. First, I never expected it to last this long. A ‘roller-coaster ride’ sounds too clichéd but I can’t help using it coz that is the only way I can truly describe the past year and a few years before that. However, last year was more so…full of paradoxes – of lows with highs, of disappointments & hope, of desires & content, of turmoil and peace. It was also a year of learning and unlearning. I know that’s what life is all about – paradoxes, but this time I played life differently.
I would be blatantly lying if I say I emerged unscathed from it. However, what matters most to me is the fact that going through it all has helped me evolve further as a being, as an individual and also in most roles that I play in my life. Have emerged wiser, stronger, calmer and at peace with not just myself but also that what goes around me and how I play with life’s many curve balls.
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
I guess through these experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – we understand ourselves and others better. Our potential, our grit, our endurance and our strength comes as a surprise not only to others but to us as well!! I guess these experiences are essential for our growth – mental, emotion and spiritual.
While going through the bad times, it is easy to lose grip on facts and reality and even seeing the big picture becomes hard. But once we cross that threshold, it becomes evident that whatever happened perhaps happened for a reason…like the silver lining in every cloud. It is up to us how we react and face circumstances and how we let those situations of life affect us – whether we let them “break us” or “make us”. Life surely offers at least that choice to us!
I can’t help sharing this mail which was sent by a friend and which probably will sum this all up…Besides, you will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again J “A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ‘ Tell me what you see.’
‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardboiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.
– The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
– The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
– The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are at their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level J
2 cups granola (or muesli)
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 C dark chocolate chips plus extra for topping
½ C yogurt (dahi)
½ C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ C oil
Oil and dust a 12-hole muffin tray or line it with muffin liners.
In a large bowl mixing bowl, sift together the baking powder, baking soda and all purpose flour (APF).
Add the granola and chocolate chips to the APF and mix them all well.
In a separate bowl, beat together the yogurt and sugar for a minute. Add the oil, eggs and essence and beat till everything is well assimilated and the batter is smooth.
Add this batter to the granola mix and stir till the mixture just comes together. Don’t over mix the batter.
Spoon in the batter equally, in the muffin liners, and bake at 180 degrees oven. The muffins should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Insert a skewer in the centre of the muffins to check for done-ness.
Note – I often add nuts and raisins to the muffins to make them healthier.
IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: firstname.lastname@example.org