Tag Archives: Holidays

life is like a box of crayons

Happy Holi everyone! I know the day is almost over, but better late than never. Holi is one of the major holidays in India and celebrated by Indians everywhere. There’s a long backstory behind it, but essentially, like any other story in any scripture, it’s a tale of a good, dharmic, devoted individual triumphing over an evil person who is a bad influence in society and leading people down the wrong path. Today, the festival is celebrated by throwing colored powder onto other people (it’s probably where the color run got it’s idea…I mean, let’s be real here folks).

But, if we take a step back and look at the broader picture, what value does color have in our day to day life? When I think of the different attributes of color, I think of vibrancy, brightness, spontaneity, joy, lightens up, and mood-changer just to name a few.

When we throw colors on each other during Holi, the significance runs deeper than just the colors streaming down your face. We’re telling each other, ourselves, to bring that vibrancy into our life. Life can be boring and mundane. But, we’re not limited by that. We’re not constrained by boundaries that we place on ourself. Life is full of vibrancy and brightness. We have to be open enough to bring it in. Be courageous enough to take on whatever handful of pink, purple, red, blue is being thrown at you. Live in the moment.

During Holi, there is not a forlorn face to be seen. Everyone is just really happy and really content with the present moment. Having a bright life brings nothing but happiness and joy. If we can bring that positivity into our life, how is it possible to not consistently be surrounded with joy?

Let your life be colorful and bright!

Life is like a box of crayons. There are hundreds of colors to pick from to color our life with. Some boxes even have the sharpener on the back (you know exactly what I’m talking about..), reminding us to consistently be developing into a sharper, keener, more sensitive individual. Or you can continue to work with the dull ones and fill in your life with gray. When I color my own life, the lives of those surrounding me will start to seem more vibrant as well.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” -Allen Klein

These are some of my favorite things about holidays; not just the tradition, but implementing those things into our day to day life. If there was ever a holiday in the Indian culture that screamed finding the incredible moments in the every day, it’s this one! Happy Holi everyone!

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blessed.

as i sit here thinking back to the past 5 days of diwali, i can’t help being drawn to the realization that i am so incredibly blessed. there is so much i have to be thankful for, and the question that looms in the back of my mind is, how can i show my gratefulness?

this was my very first diwali celebration in india, and it was such an incredible experience in itself, and the more i think about it, it included a lot of “firsts” for me. it was my first time doing rangoli (see picture), it was my first time doing fireworks by myself (i have a fear that they’ll blow up in my face before i can run away), it was my first time celebrating with family members besides my parents, it was the first time i felt a sense of community during such an auspicious time of year, and it was the first time where diwali wasn’t something i just came home to after a long day of school and classes.

the food was amazing, the decorations were spectacular, the clothes were beautiful. but more than anything, the time spent with my family and neighbors, the excited atmosphere, the smiles on everyone’s faces- that is what made these past 5 days worth it.

sometimes it’s really hard to look past the dazzle of this season. i’m guilty of it every year. this time of year is by far my favorite. i love christmas shopping and cookie baking, but i get so involved that i forget why i enjoy it so much. it’s not just to get presents for my loved ones, but the horrible traffic and long lines are worth it when you see that smile, that genuine expression on their faces that show how much they appreciate what you just did for them.

it’s about being the light in the darkness. there is more to just lighting a divo or stringing christmas lights outside your house. one small flame can brighten an entire room. one small act can change another person’s entire perspective/attitude. there is a mantra in the vedas “tamaso ma jyotir gamaya” which translates to “Lead me from darkness to light.” lead me from ignorance to knowledge. i want to seek the Truth, but when i can’t see clearly, when i’m lost in the dark, how is that journey possible? this path has been lit for me. how will i show my appreciation?

so, i think there is more to gratefulness than just a prayer of thanks. i can wake up every morning and tell God how thankful i am for every blessing i have in my life-family, friends, education, health, etc. but, sometimes just a genuine hug or smile is more than enough. i can be that light. after all, i am just an instrument of God, and my actions speak louder than my words.

first day divas on our balcony

me and my cousin working on our rangoli. safe to say my neck hurt a lot after it was done

final product of rangoli. so much time spent on this for real. not to mention my hands being 7 different colors because of the ink of the sand

decorations outside of our door in the hallway. each night we would light the divas with our neighbors

so many fireworks!

one that i set off. so proud!

fireworks

“Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya”

it’s finally that time of year

It’s safe to say that the holiday season is officially upon us across the world. Thanksgiving and family time is anticipated in the States. The arrival of St. Nicholas and the birth of Jesus Christ are in the air across the world. Here in India, Diwali, the biggest festival of our culture, starts tomorrow. And of course the celebration of the end of this year, and the ringing in of 2013 will be the perfect ending to what truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I just want to take a minute to remind myself, more than anything, that past the lights, gifts, and feasts, there is something greater to these days, and that is family, love, happiness, and gratefulness.

As we enjoy the food and gifts this season, let’s remember to be grateful that we have even been given the opportunity. Love. Be happy. Be grateful.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”          –Brother David Steindl-Rast