Sunday, March 13, 2011


Life is a multitude of experiences and most of us may only experience a very small percentage of the whole gamut that is possible. How does one swing out and do many things, challenge one self and work with all parts of the brain. How does one make the journey interesting, challenging and fun-filled? 

Engage the brain with Sudoku, cross words, puzzles, quiz and brain teasers. Play games like scrabble or Cluedo. Learn some classic card-games. Doing this on a continuous basis even wards away diseases like Alzheimer’s!  Learning different languages is another great way to work the brain. Learn to say thank you for a start in about 25 languages. Learn a different script like Chinese or Japanese for a totally different experience.


Learn to use your body and muscles as a medium of expression. Learn various dance forms- the salsa, the cha-cha –cha, ballroom dancing or the traditional dance forms like Bharathnatyam! Afraid to speak in front of a crowd? Take theatre classes and personality development sessions. You can kiss goodbye to your fears. Hand –eye co ordination can be improved dramatically by learning a ball game like tennis or badminton.


Personalities like Leonardo da Vinci dabbled in a wide range of activities. The trick is to expand your horizons. Learn to draw and paint. Sketch from real life.  Splash colours on a white canvas and express yourself. Do glass painting one day, learn Tanjore painting another day, there is too much available and one lifetime is never enough! Learn to crochet or dabble in macramé-you can produce works of art!


Design your clothes. Buy reams of material, some lace, team it up with some old buttons and make your dream dress or have it made as per your pattern. Give your home a make-over. Improvise. Make curtains from old sarees, paint a mural on the wall with some bright colours, frame some art-work by children and fill your home with things that mean something to you!


Read. Everyday and whatever you can lay your hands on. I very often have four books that I am reading at any point in time. One on philosophy, one on languages, maybe one action thriller to keep me on the edge and one novel on the best seller list . Read travel books and magazines and make plans for all the trips that you want to make! Read and memorize poetry. Read the greats like Shakespeare and Robert Frost. Read books by Indian authors for a different flavour. Read newspapers and understand world issues. Browse the internet- it’s truly knowledge on tap!


Write. Experience the magic of words. Start keeping a journal, write letters to the editor, write on issues that you are passionate about, keep travel journals and maybe the novel is in the making. After all, each human experience is a saga worth chronicling!


Listen to music, learn to sing or play an instrument. Listen to a wide mish mash of styles like World music, western classical, and Carnatic music to really appreciate the fact that we are world citizens! Catch a concert from a different country for that totally different experience. Music calms the brain, gets the creative juices flowing!


Watch movies of different genres and in different languages with sub titles. It’s a veritable feast.  It’s not only enjoyable but it’s also like a freeze-frame of different cultures! Musicals, thrillers, romance, historical, off-beat, there’s so much to watch that one life-time may not be enough.


Pay attention to nature. Watch birds, notice the varied hues of flowers and learn their names. Take a trip to a local horticultural society and use your green fingers. Get pleasure out of growing plants and watching them blossom and burst with life! Take a weekend trip to the countryside and take time to experience the slow life!
Visit places of worship of different religions, read and understand the richness of each faith and experience the power of prayer


Improve your emotional quotient. Reach out to loved ones, lend a helping hand to those who are depressed or sick, keep in touch with friends, laugh and enjoy the moments with family and friends. Life is too short to hold grudges. Let go, and experience bliss.


Eat healthy food and learn to cook different styles of cuisine. Cooking can be a therapeutic hobby. Enjoy the textures and the colours of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise and value your body. Walk, jog or do yoga. Learn tai-chi or kick-boxing.  Swim or play a game. Learn meditation and enjoy the stillness and calm that you experience. Learn to breathe the right way and find your energy stores unending. Read about nature cures and learn to treat small ailments at home. Learn Reiki, Pranic healing or hypnotherapy.


Break your mental barriers. Do something that scares you. Bungee jumping or base jumping off a cliff. White water rafting or trekking in the wilds. You will come back a different person. Fears have a way of dominating us- kick your fears out!
Celebrate life. All the successes, small and large. All the happy moments and the loved ones. Take every opportunity to have fun. Enjoy beauty. Go to art galleries, malls, the hills, or the local park. Look at the palette of colours and revel in life. It was meant to be multi-hued!



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