Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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Knocks of wisdom

When wisdom knocks it is never easy…
When wisdom knocks know its just the beginning
When wisdom knocks be ready to be challenged
When wisdom knocks know you are learning
When wisdom knocks know you are meant to learn
When wisdom knocks be open to understand
When wisdom knocks it opens many doors

When wisdom knocks know be ready to experience the now
When wisdom knocks be ready to dare
When wisdom knocks be ready to acknowledge
When wisdom knocks be ready to respect
When wisdom knocks be ready to witness
When wisdom knocks be ready to accept
When wisdom knocks be ready to gain
When wisdom knocks be ready to let go
When wisdom knocks know the value of balance

When wisdom knocks know your own equanimity
When wisdom knocks be ready to know your self
When wisdom knocks know there is something beyond your self
When wisdom knocks be aware of the greater purpose
When wisdom knocks become willing to understand beyond…

When wisdom knocks know it seeks you
When wisdom knocks know there is always a reason
When wisdom knocks trust yourself
When wisdom knocks keep the faith
When wisdom knocks know you are in the path of awakening.

When wisdom knocks be ready to accept responsibility
When wisdom knocks know you are strengthened in spirit and soul.
When wisdom knocks know you are on your path.
When wisdom knocks know you are blessed
When wisdom knocks know you are enough for you!.

There are many knocks of wisdom…
Each unique in its potential lesson
To learn to see the now in every moment
Every knock of wisdom leaves imprints in the spirit of the soul.
Are you ready?
Savvy

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Gift of Listening

Giving your attention without fear or favour and caring to understand what another is saying, before responding says a lot about the person who is listening…

Here is a true incident…

Viktor Frankl, one of the great psychiatrists of the twentieth century, survived the death camps of Nazi Germany. His little book, Man’s Search for Meaning , is one of those life-changing books that everyone should read.

Frankl once told the story of a woman who called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone and talked her through her depression, giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.

When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live?
“None of them”, she told him.
What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed?
Her answer was simple, it was Frankl’s WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN to HER in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

A world in which there was SOMEONE ready to listen to another’s pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.

Often, it is not the brilliant argument that makes the difference. Sometimes the small act of LISTENING is the GREATEST GIFT we can GIVE.

How can we choose to listen well?

What are the barriers to effective listening? How can we improve our listening abilities.

A few issues in listening well….or what is called Ineffective listening.

Distraction caused by the difference between speaking and thinking speeds in humans. So if the speaker speaks too slowly or too fast, the listeners may lose the plot.

At times the appearance or personality quirks or the environment changes can create distractions.

Distraction also causes the listener to show a lack of interest through body language like in posture of loss of eye contact.

Overcoming distractions requires keeness to improve and interest in personal development as much as a sense of commitment to the task at hand.

Here are a 5 tips for improving listening skills.

1. Restating . Pay full attention so as to be able to restate or paraphrase in your own words every once in a while, what it is that you have heard so as to make the speaker feel listened to.

2 Prompting . Use short and positive prompts by interjecting them in the pauses … to show interest like .. And then ? So ?or I know…

3.Validating .Express your empathy . Show that you understand what another is saying or going through. Acknowledge the issues faced by another or the feelings as they are speaking. It shows you are sincere in your concern.

4.Pausing . Allow for some gaps in the conversation.. it helps buy time to think for both the speaker and the listener . As it helps process the information. Silences are great tools to let go the unnecessary gibberish and loose-ended talks which may be counter- productive.

5.Shifting . Redirecting a speaker when needed by shifting the topic gradually changes the tone of the discussion which can at times get too aggressive or violent for comfort.

There are so many ways that develops the GIFT OF LISTENING .

Have also found that in practise, the art of listening well involves all of our senses.

After all the art of a great conversation lies in the ability to listen keenly and respond well than simply react.

Savvy

Personally speaking I have often been a good listener… yet I must confess that there are a few close friends to whom I have spoken who are such great listeners that they put me at ease.

It is truly wonderful to be listened to as much as to listen. There is so much healing in the listening as much as in the sharing. I take this opportunity to thank those friends and readers who cared to give me a listening ear and time.🙏

THE LIFE OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

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Ups and downs are part of life they say,
But if you have ever been in the shoes of an entrepreneur
Check out life on the other side
Where pitfalls and catapults are happenings of every day
!

Easier said than done, get married to one
And watch the brewing storms and tumults of every moment.
Staying centered is the name of the game
Play on, as fame and shame are small matters under the sun…

Just know in your heart to trust the moment
Live it with love and enjoy this now
Cos worrying is never the path to take
For it traverses on, a test of will in the torment
.

Change is the only constant they say and its best manifested in the life of an entrepreneur…

One of the important lessons in living with an entrepreneur… that I can pass on…

Well take nothing for granted

Neither the gains nor the pitfalls.

Everything is in a flux.

So enjoy the moment at hand

And happiness is in your heart!

Savvy

Sounds so wonderful to say I have my own company, or I am the Founder ….

But chew on this a while ….before you bite

Entrepreneurs are a breed apart

They strive for and thrive on success.

Of late the world seems a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and their dream what with almost every one dreaming to become one . Yet the price of startups in scaffolding years leads to so much learnings through it all.

Yes amazing is the feeling of being the boss, where you think you have it all taken care of and you have mastered your game… but then being at the healm of things has so much more at stake! Like never ending work hours , overt commitment workholism, insecurities,and relentless tensionand stress and most of all the looming responsibility of raising funds.

You realise you have to answer to your investors and funders . Your liability is your own conscience Your success is like a game of chances. The laws can make or break you in no time!

Your peace is at stake and your family takes a backseat most often, as you have so much to prove every day!

Your time is not your own but your companies ….and you realise it all only too late.

It certainly is not for the weakhearted as the pressures that surmount to stay at the healm can challenge the strongest minds.

I wrote this as I have personally witnessed the price of the entrepreneurial dream upclose. In the ups and downs the journey goes on , as ironically, these bravehearts never back down!


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On Leadership

As a dance educator and trainer…while teaching and sharing social dancing skills one of the important learnings we work on is the understanding of the art of leading and following. Both very significant for any kind of partner dancing as much as in life itself. After all, life is a dance and dance imitates life!

In the first place, what does it take to be a leader? Many things but most importantly, a follower. So simply put, there must be a follower to be a leader. There can be no leader without a follower and there certainly would be no follower without a leader.

Dancing together is a lesson in leading and following in partnership!

In such a perspective both the leader and follower in the dance have a relevant role to play, that of completing the dance successfully and like so in life as well.

A dance can teach a lot about leadership and here are a few reflections on what it is to lead…

To lead is an opportunity to honour the trust of a follower.

To lead is to light the flame of inspiration to win the vote of trust of the followers.

To lead is to have a strength of purpose that inspires confidence.

To lead is to allow yourself to make decisions for others to evolve along.

To lead is to accept the responsibility of mistakes.

To lead is to maintain a decorum of standards unflinchingly.

To lead is to believe you can!

To lead is to be led by a greater purpose.

To lead is to value the laws of nature.

To lead is to value the need for self expression while respecting the need for structure.

To lead is to better the followers and not beat them down at every opportunity.

To lead is to be able to collaborate and learn just as much as to compete.

To lead is to denote respect and not expect overt attention.

To lead is to show the way for others to follow.

To lead to work tirelessly with a sense of inner commitment without hesitation without expectation.

To lead is to muster the resilience of the spirit.

To lead is to endow the spirit of courage in others.

To lead is take into account the potential of all possibilities.

Savvy

Do share your take on leadership. I would be keen to understand how you see it impacting your life and work.

The strength of support and flow of movements while dancing together is based on the connection established and that marks the quality of leadership in question.

Savvy

http://www.danceconcepts.in

#danceworkshops #dancing #danceeducation #dancelessons #lifelessons #learners #leadership #leadandfollow #danceconcepts


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Project 101

Today marks a personal milestone in blogging as I publish my 101st post. I have completed my continuous 100 days of writing on WordPress.

On a lark after a challenge to post a few of my favourite songs for three consecutive days came my way from a fellow blogger and friend Dr Sridhar. I decided to take it up and posted my favourite songs for three days. Then I started thinking if I could manage to post for a week and continued to write . The seven days went smooth and easy and then I upped my goal a little further to see if I could write a post everyday for a month.

I had a few ground rules established in my head . First that this was no competition to complete in pressure but simply an effort to see if I would find an inspiration to write on anything that caught my fancy each day . Second would I have the perseverance to continue and be able to dedicate time towards the effort .
Thirdly I wanted to see if I could keep my readers and audiences interested if I happen to post everyday.
And most of all I wanted to test whether my creative instincts are effected in anyway by habit…
A months regular posting on WordPress got me supercharged to aspire some more. Wp would egg me on with reminders of completing a 30th day streak of posting on WordPress.
It was no surprise that once I reached 30 I wanted to try and reach the 50th day.
Seemed then that I could do it if I was smart enough to manage my writing time around the early hours of the day. And that’s what I did.
No one in my family or friends knew much about this plan, but I was pretty clear how to go about it by then and dedicated a bit of time to writing every morning no matter what.

A few learnings.

Have a goal that seems workable, it is easier to focus.

Persevere… and believe you can work towards it.

Push your goal a step ahead as you reach a level.

Manage your time better, to make it happen

Value your goal and be dedicated.

Your creative sense will begin to work for you all the more…

Believe in your self and be passionate

Trust that you will find the way!

And most of all enjoy the journey as much as the destination.😊

Although I have written on WordPress for a few years now and I would have written and posted perhaps continously as well earlier without my own realisation. This was a task that had a goal and hence it is different to me.

The last few months have been personally challenging in terms of health where I was even admitted to the hospital and I am continuing to battle a condition that might require surgery soon. So basically being unwell literally I use the relatively painfree bits of time in the day, I have in my hands for creative enrichment …be it writing or painting and more.

Blogging through I reached my 50th day of posting. And I knew I couldn’t stop it in my heart . The magic figure of 100 floated in my mind and I was sold to the idea of making it happen.

Today it is the 101st day streak of publishing a post everyday and I truly wonder how I managed it all along with my present condition.

My biggest take back has been the loving support and generous comments from my readers which kept me going .
But other than that was a learning and affirmation that if we really make up our mind , we can beat the odds and find a way to acheive our goal .

Besides that I realised how my reading others blogs and writing every day would bring up some topic to contemplate creatively for the next day. The best part was I never had to try too hard … every post I wrote and shared I enjoyed with all my heart.

Writing gives me a sense of completion.
A feeling of contentment of a job well done. And if its well received it truly makes my day… and my fellow writers this I am pretty sure you would agree as well.

Thank you my dear readers and friends for staying with me right through. It has been an absolute pleasure to share and learn along the way… on what I can gratefully now call Project 101.
Wishing an awesome year 2019 for us all !
God bless all!
Savvy

Touching Peace in the Middle path.

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Her likes were not the blatant and ĺoud
Not the one to shout out
Her kind of songs were of melody and rhythm
In synchrony with her heartbeat
Her type of books were all of an understanding
The soothing and sagacious kind
Of healing and harmony.
Her friends were far and few
Not much would escape her lips
Her speech was guarded.
None had really stepped into her inner world
In fact, her family too knew little about her
Her words were simple, not stormy
In fact, she chose the middle path in life …
A road safe and steady
Not for her the bane of fame and fortune
Not for her the choppy waters of high tides
She preferred the smooth sailing in serenity
She was a lover of grace in simple things
She never was the seeking kind ever
Neither love nor laurels, pleasures nor pain
She lived a life content, she never craved too much

She knew the price of desire only too well…

Awakening the self, the way bearer in the wisdom of living.

Want of wealth, never brings balance of needs

Hoard nothing and healing begins Living intentionally is not about living selfishly…

She was privy to the clasping clutch that ambition brought

She witnessed the sacrifice of lives barely lived

She grew in the unfolding drama that power portrayed.

She was torched by emotional upheavals, to rise in fortitude

She amassed the wisdom in the power of silence

As she knew and sensed the peace in the middle path.

Savvy

This is an interpretation of my own painting I have shared above. I choose to delve a bit on the nature of the central character in the painting…

Who is she?

What makes her who she is?

What guides and motivates her?

What brings her peace and contentment?

What makes her grateful?

To every evolving question there is always a reason to be…

And to each their own path to be!


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Celebrate Life… Live than just exist.

This note above has a true story that happened with me…. I have published it in my earlier article called the Magic of Movements.
This is one of those moments when writing and sharing stories from our lives bring us a deep sense of connection… with our readers and ourselves in gratitude for the learnings. And there is that sense of magic through words.
This is an old story but to me, but sharing it evokes the same poignant feeling of fond memories of the people that are attached to it

Here is the story if you would like to read.

The Magic of Movements

‘Life is a dance’….A painting by Savvy Raj

As a Dance Educator and a Creative MovementTrainer using Ballroom and Latin dances to improve health and well-being through various Dance for Wellness programs, it has been an enriching experience watching the learners revel in the simple joys of movement.

I have witnessed complete shifts in self esteem, confidence and agility among learners of all ages.But to cite a very recent instance …there is a small group of senior learners at one of my workshops who are gradually changing their mental makeup to being extremely enthusiastic about life and learning to dance. I still remember that Sunday morning about four years ago when I was almost through with teaching a Waltz class and I saw this slender, elderly elegant woman walking in and standing quietly, keenly watching the students who were practicing their steps from the sidelines. She was waiting to speak to me ….In that first moment of contact instinctively I knew there was an instant connection.. I gave her a listening ear and noticed she spoke softly and clearly . She said she was heading a group of Senior citizens she would like me to come over and meet the group and also teach them to dance . Her request seemed just right up my alley as I had been intending to conduct some workshops for seniors myself but hadn’t had the opportunity yet . This seemed as if my intentions were slowly finding a way to fulfillment . We fixed up that I would come over and meet them the following Monday at the local church where they all meet up for their weekly meeting . This I came to know later,was the only activity they had together every week .

Soon enough in a week or so I got a call from the lady who initiated it all saying that they need some time for permissions to use the same space of the church for the dance lessons . And that was that … nothing happened . Meanwhile I continued with my Dance workshops , and facilitated training’s of corporate clients . I would remember that meeting once in a while but left it to time to decide the outcome of that meeting.

A few years passed and I was returning back after finishing a children’s workshop in Chennai when I received her call again . Her clear and determined voice was cheerful and hopeful . She said she had two things to say , the seniors have agreed to join in and the church had given them the space to go ahead with the classes . Fantastic …. I knew in my heart it was no coincidence that it happened at all . After all the connects that we established that day were just moving to affirming itself !Well I got Godspeed on my side this time around … things moved on smoothly and we were well into rolling out the first class of Swing Dancing and more .

When I had first met up with them, I remember them huddled in chairs, quite apprehensive and some of them unsure about their ability to learn dancing . But today they have a spring in their step , glint in their eyes and a smile on their lips as they Swing and Cha Cha to their hearts content . And guess what… they love to dance the Merengue and Bachata too and are waiting to learn some more.So happy to have had the opportunity to make a difference in their lives.

The first time I met them they were a group with lots of concerns. They heard me patiently and asked a lot of questions , ranging from whether they would be able to learn at all as most of them were well over sixties and seventies or so .They also mentioned that though they have danced earlier in their lives, they don’t remember much. Some said they know all there is to know, a few others brought out their health issues which were bothering them so much that they cant possibly exercise let alone dance, some questioned what is the point of learning to dance …

Well to be frank I had an interesting and enjoyable time clearing their doubts and addressing their concerns . I knew most of their concerns were common to most people at their age in India.I spoke to them addressing each of their concerns and finally mentioning instances of my own intention of wanting to work with a group of Seniors.

The initially reluctant let their defenses down and an interactive session followed, where I got some understanding of them and they of me . It was one of those fulfilling days a wonderful memory now which I hold close to my heart .Though at the end all they said was that they will get back to me in some time…. somehow as I drove back home that evening I knew in my heart we were all certainly going to meet again in time .

Today as I write this its been six months and more.Dancing together they say they have realized the values of the human connection and the strength of community . They mention to me how they eagerly wait for their dance workshops .They speak of how dance steps into their lives , in moments of loneliness and makes them positive and alive again. They know dancing now is so much more about valuing that equal partnership between the leader and the follower and that the bonds of the dance floor leaves lasting and empowering impressions in their hearts and lives .

This experience as well as many similar incidents has left me even more confident about my beliefs …C ultivate Patience. Dream selflessly. Positive things are waiting to unfold if only we continue to dream our unique dream and believe in it ! All you need is the strength of intention and the dreams realizes itself , just trust in the process! Do what you do with all your heart ! Like minded people will arrive somehow and help you actualize it !

In this endeavor I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of appreciation to some of my dear students who assisted me at the workshops who took time out to be with me at these sessions and I know they shared with me equally the joys of making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Savvy

www.danceconcepts.in