Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Joy + More Enthusiasm + More Happiness + More Wellness > Success Is The Quality Of Our Journey by Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy

Imagine being alive from the top of your head, down through the body and out the tips of your toes. Not just alive and surviving, but energized and living the life of your dreams. Turning a so-so life into a passion filled, exciting adventure is possible. However, there is a catch: It won't happen on its own. If you want the feelings of greater happiness, joy, success, inner peace, and abundance, a necessary adjustment is required. You are going to have to learn to shift your focus from everything that is going wrong and place attention on the necessity of feeling good right now. Here are six tips on how to bring more joy into your life!                                      
                                                                                                                                                                       Dreams and Goals
Feeling good is about having a dream, not just having the outcome of a dream. Spend joyful time with your dreams and desires even before they become real. Dreams are about self-love and a decision to feel good from the inside out. They reaffirm the beauty and joy of living."Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost." Dreams provide a sense of purpose; a guiding direction; something to hold onto during life ups and down. Dreams give you the opportunity to feel good, now in this present moment. How? By loving yourself for having a dream, by breathing life into that dream, and by learning to nurture a growing expectation that things will work out well for you.                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                             Joy is Now, Not Later
Your goals and dreams are important because they provide a sense of direction for your life and form a basis for your decisions and choices. However, don't postpone your joy until the end of your goal. Joy is not going to magically appear like a pot of gold waiting at the end of the goal rainbow. This is because you cannot earn joy. Instead, joy comes from inside of you. It rises up because you consciously chose a specific direction or goal that was important to you, and then you decided to spend energy and effort engaged in bringing your goal to life. Joy is the delight your share with yourself now and each day as you think self-supportive thoughts and take self-empowering actions to create success for yourself.                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                   Permission to Feel Good
As odd as it may sound, it is important to make a conscious decision that you want to be alive and you want to feel good in your life. Until you decide to give yourself permission to feel good, it may be quite difficult to make decisions that support your goal of increasing your joy. Deciding to feel good builds new self-supporting beliefs inside of you. Those new beliefs state, "I exist, I can have what I want, I am supported, I'm good enough, and it is important for me to feel good."
Make Decisions That Support Joy
Feeling good and increasing your level of joy is something that you allow or do not allow. Each day you make many decisions related to your ability to allow yourself to feel joyful. Actions that support joy include paying attention to what is most important to you, moving personal priorities to the top of your to-do list, and talking to yourself in a supportive and encouraging way. Joy expands as you focus on what is personally meaningful. You can increase your level of joy by asking yourself, "Is the energy I am bringing into the relationship of me and my life allowing me to feel good? Am I taking actions that increase my feelings of empowerment? Do the thoughts I am thinking take me closer to, or further from my goal?" The answers to these questions illustrates how much influence you have over your own ability to allow joy, to nurture it, and to make it important in your life                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                          Boost Your Energy
Joy is your ability to connect your spirit with your physical life. If you are feeling stagnant, lethargic, bored, or stressed it is time to get your energy flowing. Stand up and shake things up. Take a five minutes walk, get some sunlight, and get involved in some activity that helps you breathe more deeply. Move around a little and take several deep breaths. Consciously and deliberately, take the kind of breaths that say, "Yes" to life, and "Yes" to joy!                                                                                                                                                          

Be Kind to Yourself
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, sad, or even depressed, this is a sign that you body is calling out for more support. Some of the best ways to increase your level of joy include sunlight, fresh air, and enjoyable movement. In addition, love yourself and focus on a joyful experience. Acknowledge your efforts and successes. Speak kindly to yourself. Watch movies that inspire or make you laugh.Go for walks outside. Pamper your body. Have more fun. Breathe. Joy is essentially the celebration of your own life.                              
                                                                                                                                                                     Gaining more joy can seem perplexing at first, but with practice and a positive attitude, your ability to feel more alive, happier, and more joyful gets much easier. Joy is always around you, in you, and available to you. Follow these ideas and give your joy level a boost today!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Deal with Disappointment

Deal with Disappointment

It’s happened. Maybe you were afraid of this. Or, maybe it blindsided you but… it’s happened. Your daughter didn't make the dance team. Your son was passed over for the scholarship. Your child didn’t get the part or solo or moment in the program for which he/she worked so hard.

Now what? Your son is hurting. Your daughter comes to you crying. They may look to you to make it all better.

Parent your child through this setback and support them in becoming a more resilient and confident human being. When your child is faced with a letdown, you have a great opportunity to encourage your son or daughter to face and rise above the obstacles that come their way. It may not feel like a gift but it is.

Fix it. As a parent, your first instinct may be to try. However, just as it is a parent’s role to help his baby become proficient in feeding himself, assist her preschooler in learning to use a potty, and teach her grade-school child to tie his shoelaces, it is a parent’s often unhappy duty to give a blossoming young adult the tools they need to cope with disappointment.

That’s Life                                                                                                       Disappointment can actually be good for kids -- especially when you teach them how to bounce backWhether it's a trip to the playground that gets ruined by rain or there are no more chocolate sprinkles at the ice cream shop, life is full of little and big disappointments. And as much as we'd like to spare our kids from letdowns, we can't -- and that's a good thing. "When children learn at an early age that they have the tools to get over a disappointing situation, they'll be able to rely on that throughout childhood and even as adults,"."If you bend over backwards to shield them from disappointment, you're keeping them from developing some important skills."                                                                
                                                                                                                                     That's not to say you shouldn't lend a hand. "If you help a child learn to ask for realistic support, lean on others, communicate well, and stay optimistic, you're assisting that child to handle what life throws at him". The most effective approach: Tailor your tactics to how your child currently reacts when a curveball comes his way.

This is meant for parents of young children. However, as I researched this issue across age groups, the methods for helping children deal with disappointment listed in the article, were corroborated. I have adapted many of them to fit the situation your pre-teen or teen dancer may be facing.

A. Gauge Your Child’s Resiliency
Does your child tend to take things personally? Does she usually have a positive outlook?Now take this brief resilience test about your child.It has a handy 5-question quiz that will help you place your child’s resiliency.

Does She/He
1. Bounce back when things go wrong? Yes 2 No 0
2. Rationalise disappointment and rejection rather than take it personally? Yes 2 No 0
3. Take a positive view when challenges come his way? Yes 2 No 0
4. Pat himself on the back when he does something well? Yes 2 No 0
5. Let little things spill over and spoil other parts of his life. Yes 0 No 2

10: A resilient child. He bounces back up when things don't go his way.
6-8: A hardy soul.
0-4: Probably too hard on himself. Need some help to lighten the load.

At this time, it may also be a good idea to make a mental note about how YOU feel about your child’s setback.As the above article so rightly states: “Your attitude can make a huge difference to how a child reacts. If you see rejection or disappointments as problems then your child will be hamstrung by this view.”   

B. Tailor Your Tactics
When it is a BIG Deal

1. Validate the emotions.
“I know you are disappointed. It’s okay. I would be too.”

2. Help them recognize what can and cannot be changed.
What can be changed, of course, are the things regarding self, including one’s attitude. What cannot be changed are the actions and decisions of others. Despite hard work and determination and talent sometimes you just don’t get what your heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. Those that move on and continue to work hard are the ones that fulfill the adage that “if you work hard or set your mind to something, you can
be anything you want to be.”

3. Redirect her attention toward something in which she is (or is likely to be) successful.
She will likely see through empty or untrue sentiments about why she was unsuccessful or how she was wronged. No matter how small, a real boost to the ego will be much more effective. What comes easily to her that doesn’t for everyone? What has she been recognized for in the past? What activity might be more suited for her qualities and talents?  

4. Don’t punish or belittle her negative reaction.
After all, everyone needs to let it out sometimes.

5. Offer choices or alternatives
Help her realize that though she didn’t make the team or get the part she wanted, that she still gets to dance. She has the freedom to take some extra classes elsewhere, or in another style, or during a summer workshop. These are things that may improve her chances next time but, more importantly, they will strengthen, improve, and challenge her. Alternatively, she may have time to spend on favorite activities or pursue other interests outside of dance. Ask what she wants to do now. How does she want to proceed from here? What can be most disruptive about disappointment is the feeling of having no control over a situation. Choice can help your child regain that feeling of having a say.

6. Put it in perspective 
Volunteer at a hospital, help her organize a dance performance at a nursing home, work together at a soup kitchen, walk for charity. Find or do something that helps your child recognize how fortunate they are and reduces her “big deal” to its proportional size in the scheme of things.

7. Let her solve it on her own.
Once again, resist trying to fix things. Even if she wants you to come to her rescue, resist the urge to pacify her hurt by taking action or dwelling upon things that cannot be changed (a Guru’s decision, the reality of another child’s skills or talent, the criteria for recognition by another…). This is not easy but children are often more resilient than we give them credit. Though kids of all ages may be quick to dramatize their displeasure, many bounce right back. Look carefully at your child for cues, don’t bring up their disappointment if, by the next day, all seems right with the world again. Accept that your child may have recovered more quickly than you have!   

Your good example will make a world of difference   
What you say: “I’m sorry you didn’t get 1st place at the competition. What did the 1st place team do well? What do you think you’ll work on for next time?” vs. “I can’t believe you didn’t win! You were the best dancer there! The judges are clueless.” or “Next time you need to point your toes. Your Dance Steps were the worst I've ever seen you do. What were you thinking?’

What you did: Share your experiences with disappointment, what you learned from them, where failures led you, how you felt and what you did to overcome.

What you do: How do you react when you face disappointment or failure or frustration? Do you throw a tantrum at the checkout when the clerk makes a mistake? Do you gripe about your boss when you don’t get a promotion? Do you quit when the going gets rough? What message does this send to your child?

When to step in  
 Is there a time when you should step in to solve something for your child? My short answer is almost never   

 If you feel like you absolutely must act on his/her behalf, you may want to know How To Discuss Problems With Your Guru and Be Heard.When it comes to decisions about roles or teams, however, it is important to realize that work ethic and even abilities are not the sole criteria from which gurus cast their shows or teams. You may disagree with their specifications but it is within their right to select and judge based upon a standard of their choosing. You might approach them with a desire to know and understand their process but demanding they defend a decision does not put you or your child at an advantage. (How or under what circumstances would you demand this of a prospective employer that passed you over for a job? What about your current employer if you were not selected for promotion?) When your son/daughter receives a “no thank you,” your goal is to gain understanding so that you might help your child cope with the decision. The guru will see through attempts of getting him on the team or somehow winning her that role if that is really your ambition and you’ll hit a roadblock if it is.

When hard work doesn’t pay off
(I’ll repeat) Occasionally, despite hard work and determination one does not always get what their heart desires. It is a hard truth, but one we all learn one way or another. The difference in people is how they respond to that truth. You and your child both must accept this and look for the positive in every disappointment.

In addition, when it comes to hard work, attitude, or any other virtue, what a person deserves is not always what he will get. Thank goodness I don’t always get what I deserve because sometimes I don’t deserve what I get!

Final Thought: What do you want to be?
It is sometimes easy to confuse our accomplishments and awards with who we are. In our culture we place a lot of emphasis on the achievements for which a person has been recognized – she is a two-time Olympic medalist; he is a famous actor who has won numerous stage and screen awards. These things say little of who a person really is. In addition, these recognitions only look back never forward.

Who is this person becoming? In children especially, where one is going should matter a whole lot more than where one has been. Missions accomplished and tasks/goals completed are how we develop self-confidence in our abilities, however, we are not defined by our achievements. In fact, often we are defined more by our failures. It is despite and sometimes because of obstacles or disappointments that we become a dancer, a doctor, or something completely opposite but all the more right than whatever it is we want (or wanted) to be.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Join @ KalaAnantarupah Art Center - We Make You / Your kid to become Leader

Join your kid @ KalaAnantarupah Art Center - We Make  You/ Your kid to become Leader 


Whenever  the summer vacations comes you send your kids for hobby classes like dance,music, theater,art and painting classes. Maybe you feel this art education was never your cup of tea. But there are many who enjoy dancing, singing, drawing and acting.. The only thing I can say to them is if you are passionate about it don’t let it be just a hobby.
                                                                                                             If your child possesses talent in a particular field, you should encourage that talent. Such encouragement will make an opportunity available for your child to pursue an alternative career. There are lots of alternative career options which your child can opt. Read on to know more about the alternative career options.
                                                                                                               Most of the parents want their child to pursue traditional type of careers like Doctor, Engineer, MBA, etc. However, with changing times and increasing competition it is essential for parents to allow their child to pursue alternative careers too. Every parent wants his or her child to be successful in life by choosing an appropriate career. But, forcing child to pursue a career of your own choice may become a burden for the child. Therefore, it is essential to support your child when he or she wants to pursue an alternative career.
                                                                                                                       Some orthodox people do not support this concept of alternative careers. However, there are quite a lot of examples which prove that one should definitely go for an alternative career if he or she has got talent in a particular field. If you feel that your child is talented in a particular field, you should try to encourage your child to pursue a career in that field. If such talent is polished and pursued as a career in future by your child, it will definitely bring a lot of success to your child. Here are some of the alternative careers which can be pursued by your child.
                                                                                                                   A bit of History
India boosts of a very rich dancing heritage but only eight dances have the classical status, namely:
Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu), Kathak (North Indian States), Odissi (Orissa), Kathakali (Kerala), Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), Manipuri (Manipur), Mohiniyattam (Kerala) and Sattriya (Assam)
                                                                                                              These dances are based on mythology and scriptures. They often depict stories of Gods and Goddess through their routines.
Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form originating in Tamil Nadu, India. One of the oldest of the classical dance forms in India, it is also known as the fifth Veda. Bharatanatyam is usually accompanied by the classical music. Bharatanatyam is a traditional dance-form known for its grace, purity, tenderness, and sculpturesque poses. Many people choose to learn Carnatic music along with it. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by many dancers all over the world.

Odissi: It is the oldest surviving dance form of India on the basis of archaeological evidences. It is particularly distinguished from other classical Indian dance forms by the importance it places upon the tribhangi (literally: three parts break), the independent movement of head, chest and pelvis and upon the basic square stance known as chauka.
                                                                                                              Kathak: This dance form traces its origins to the nomadic bards of ancient northern India, known as Kathaks, or storytellers.
The structure of a conventional Kathak performance tends to follow a progression in tempo from slow to fast, ending with a dramatic climax.
In today’s time
                                                                                                    Unfortunately over the years the visibility of Indian classical dancing has been diminishing. “One of the reasons why classical arts are not very popular is because people have stopped relating to them. People are not willing to invest time and effort into it”, says Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy,Director,KalaAnantarupah Group. Youngsters are willing to take two months training of exotic dances like salsa and rumba but 2-3 years for a “dance” seems to be unreasonable.
                                                                                                           People coming from abroad and NRI’s seem to be more motivated for the dance form. According to, a noted Bharatanatyam dancer, “Students coming from abroad are much focused to learn the dance form in the limited time they have. It’s not only about learning, when they go back home they teach more kids and help us pass on this beautiful heritage to the youngsters.”
                                                                                                              Popular mediums like films and Television have also reduced the air time of the classical dances. In the yester years every bollywood actress was classically trained like Waheeda Rehman and Hema Malini. Even the songs had a classical bend to them. Many of them became full-time dancers after their retirement from the movies. But today we see a lot of jatkas and salsas in our films, only a hand full of actors learn it when the “role demands”.
                                                                                                Thiyagarajakumar Ramaswamy  -  feels that the governments have the reach and the funds to showcase this heritage. Promoting the dancers even on a state level can really boost the dances. After being heavily criticized for having performances by movie stars during the CWG Sydney, the government made sure that the debacle of never repeated. On the eve of Queen’s Baton Relay they showcased the dancing heritage on an international stage. This is what we need!!!
                                                                                                              Does classical dance have any future in India?
Certainly! We must understand that traditional dance forms that are more than 2000 years old cannot and must not be allowed to pass into oblivion forever. True, the majority of youth today have digressed towards modern dance forms. Hence arises the need to create awareness and genuine interest in the minds of these young people, so that they are able to enjoy classical dance performances in the real sense of the term.
                                                                                                       Apparently thousands of young people are heavily into non-classical dances; but there is no dearth of real talent and latent qualities in many individuals, who will religiously carry forward the traditions in future.
                                                                                                            People like  Thiyagarajakumar  Ramaswamy are determined to make this art form more popular among the youngsters. She currently teaches more than 100 students from all the corners of the country.
                                                                                                              After mastering the dance you can go into being a full time dancer or choreographer, have your on troop and tour countries. There are many who choose to pass on this to the next generation and become teachers.
                                                                                                              Just like any profession you must have dedication. Money is good when the sponsors are good. If you just want to be in for the money or fame then you may want to rethink, the dancer must have love for the art to survive in this field.
                                                                                                                Facts and Figures
According to a survey conducted by human resources solutions company kelly services, a majoirty of Indian Workers prefer meaningful jobs over income and status. Out of the nearly 3500 workers surveyed in the country, about 62 % said they will forego income or status to do something more meaninful. 
                                                                                                         Pursuing alternative career can help your child achieve more in life. Nothing can be as great as converting hobbies and interests into careers. It is better to encourage children to become what they want to become in life instead of forcing them. Alternative careers are one of the best which can also help your child to have a secure future.

KalaAnantarupah Art Center Presents Public Speaking For You -The Quick and Easy Guide To Build Your Confidence For Speaking In Public

This article is for the business person, college student, school student, housewife, working peoples or anyone else who has to speak publicly. Nearly everyone, at some point in their life, will need to stand before the audience. This article will help you do just that.

Let’s start by first asking ourselves the most important question, “What is public speaking?” Does public speaking mean only addressing gatherings of hundred people and nothing less? No, and herein lies our first misunderstanding.
Public speaking is simply the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners. Hence it can mean speaking to twenty people or hundred people whatever the case may be. The important point here is that in public speaking we share our opinions, views, ideas with an audience.
                                                                                                                                      So where does the problem lie? Why public speaking is the most common fear of people, second only to death?
From my experiences of interacting with people, I have gathered that one of the most important reasons of this fear is that we are worried about being judged negatively or criticized. As in, most of our other endeavors in life, herein too we are most concerned of what others will think about us. “If I forget will they laugh at me?  Will I disappoint those people who know me well and expect a lot? Will they be interested in what I say?”
The fear is all about ME. What if I choke, what if I mess up, what if I don’t remember.   Me me me.
When we are nervous, it is because we are worried about ourselves. I will mess up. I will lose my train of thought. I will look like a moron. I will be boring. Me me me.
But the minute it stops being about “me” and starts being about the content and the audience the better you will feel. What we do end up forgetting is that the only way we can give a good speech or be a good speaker is when we stop thinking about others and instead enjoy the process of voicing ones thoughts. It is important for us to realize that the more we think about others, the more keyed up we get and the result is that we either forget what we had to say or talk in order to get over with the whole thing. We should never try to understand whether our audience likes our talk or is waiting for it to get over, while giving a speech. Looks can be deceptive they say!! We should just enjoy the whole process of talking before an audience, and that itself will take care of the rest. The more relaxed you are, the more your audience will enjoy what you speak.
There are a number of tips available across the net, about how to handle your fear of public speaking, but the most effective tip that I feel and know from experience is to just practice, be confident and then relax. The more you practice, the more confident you will be. Also remember that your audience doesn’t know the full content of your speech. So even if you forget they will never realize it until and unless you stop or start stammering. Never just blindly learn the content of your talk. Always understand it so that you do not have to keep getting worried about forgetting a line or a word and it will also help in having an interactive session with the audience rather than a long monologue.
The following are some useful questions and answers which might help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
                                                                                                                                         How can I relax while giving a speech?
·         One great tip is to take very deep breathes just prior to taking your place at the podium. This relaxes your body, helping your blood pressure to lower and your mind to clear.
·         Another trick is to pretend that you are all alone in front of a mirror.
·         Nothing can beat being prepared for your speech. The more comfortable you are with your speech, the better that you will do.
                                                                                                                                         What is the best way to prepare for my speech?
·         Try practicing the speech in front of friends and family first, before the “actual” speech.
·         Make sure that your note cards are very easy to read. (The large note cards are the best choice. You can even get colored cards now in any office supply store.)
·         Use colored markers to highlight the main points of your speech.
                                                                                                                                 What is the best way to practice for a speech?
·         I mentioned it above. A mirror can be very useful. Say your speech into the mirror, noticing what each hand and face is doing at all times.
·         Practice the words in your head over and over again.
·         Pretend that you are there, in front of the audience.
                                                                                                                                    What can I do if I lose my place and get all flustered?
·         The best advice is to be prepared, but even the most prepared person sometimes loses his or her place.
·         If this happens, glance down at your cards. Look for the bright color of the next topic, and move on.
·         Take a deep breath and smile. Your audience is probably completely unaware of the problem.
·         Adlibbing can be both helpful and also very dangerous when giving a speech. If your speech is timed, this may become a problem. Adlibbing can help to get your out of a sticky situation, though.
·         Quickly get to the next main point if you lose your place as smoothly as you can.
                                                                                                                                    I am too nervous to have good eye contact. What can I do to help?
·         Find a person near the middle of the crowd which you know or have a friendly relationship. Look at this person, but be sure to also look around to the other ends of the room.
·         When you look in other places, though, you can maybe look just above them. This may help. Later, you will be more comfortable with this, and learn to look into their eyes.
                                                                                                                                  My gestures look forced, should I leave my hands at my side. This makes me even more nervous. How can I have relaxed gestures?
·         Speak to the crowd in a conversational tone. This can take practice, but helps immensely with your gestures.
·         Try to NOT think about your hands.
·         If you play with buttons or put your hands in your pockets, try to NOT wear clothes with pockets or buttons. Putting your hands in your pockets is a big distraction to your listeners that you should avoid at all costs!
·         If none of these works, try keeping your hands at your side, and pinching your index finger and thumb together tightly. This should help to remind you not to pick at your clothes.
                                                                                                                                 What do I do if I drop my cards?
·         Pick them up. Ok, sorry. We authors do have a sense of humor sometimes.
·         After you pick them up, go to the appropriate card.
·         If you number your cards in the top left corner and circle the number, this is very easy to do.
·         If you do not remember the number you were on, and then go to the COLORED topic you were at.
·          This is one of the reasons that using colors and numbers help.
·         Another trick is to use your mind to make a map of your speech.
a. What I mean by this is that you simply have a maze drawn out in your head of all the main topics.
b. Do this by visualizing your story like a movie or story. You can even see yourself doing the speech in the mirror, and then replay it in your mind several times. This helps!

Hopefully this article will help those of you who have faced inhibitions before speaking before an audience to overcome them and emerge a better speaker.I certainly hopes that you are much more comfortable when you speak in publis. The nextime that you have the opportunity to give a speech, you will be armed the knowledge that you need to give a good presentation. A speech that will flow off of the tongue and not make you hands shake.Now, go write that speech!