A Letter to Lockdown

Dear Friends, India has emerged as the strongest countries in the world. In times like these, what is needed most are leaders who raise the consciousness of the country to a higher level. And we are honoured to have PM #Modi#Sadhguru#NirmalaSitaraman#PiyushGoyal#YogiAdityanath (to mention a few) they have worked relentlessly to keep us safe. Nipping the bud before it spreads. To find light in darkness and solidarity in isolation. It was so wonderful to see the entire world coming together helping each other in solidarity. Never has it happened before.

We all know the truth about what has happened so far. Don’t listen and allow negativity eat into your brain… that when we are going to come out of this, a larger battle will have to be fought. A battle to sustain after we survive, and we need all the strength. A leader in times like these encourages, ensures, and motivates to keep the spirits up along with making plans to grow. Leadership cannot do without the support of its people.

When darkness ends and the sun rises upon us, let us remember the goodness in each one of us. We took care of our animals, migrants and sick, single-mindedly. Of course some have suffered… these are casualties of war, they will happen. A good leadership ensures the casualties are kept to minimum. Many didn’t buy essentials more than they needed so everyone could be served. Those who couldn’t help sat at home so they don’t add to the problem, but prayed and bled themselves seeing their businesses fail and wondered how they will stand up again. Once this ends, their battles starts to lift the economy. They need our support.

When we come out on 14th, it’s like coming into light. Having clarity about those who stood strong in times of crisis and those who let us down. Let’s us remember the foot soldiers, the policemen, army, doctors, nurses, cleaners, essential services, farmers.. who were on the frontline and kept doing the good work. The ones who fed the poor and the hungry, showing compassion to animals. There is a saying that a country which takes care of their animals, is definitely a country which will never let its people down. We have definitely raised the consciousness of each one of us as a single energy body to that level.

Let us continue to serve the animals, poor and the foot soldiers, and when we step out we ensure that feeding the animals and the poor become a habit, a ritual.. a necessity to our soul for we are one. We all pledge each one, feed one. And if we do that.. can you imagine.. no one goes hungry and thirsty.

Also, when we come out, let us be sensitive to nature. It has nurtured itself back and we are grateful. I can hear sparrow’s in my window. Different birds.. peacocks. Let us be conscious about them.. travel only when necessary, honk less, make less noise in the morning from our temples and mosques. Do you remember how they were startled with noise when we ran bells at 5pm? Let’s create less garbage, eat appropriately and allow food to be distributed to all instead of hoarding. Our health will be good. Cook at home. Watch less tv. Spend time alone at least an hour a day.. and be kind.. make a beautiful list of things we can do to sustain our planet.

Now, from 14th, let us help the ones who took the beating and on whose arms the country rests. The businesses, farmers and small shop owners. We should buy Indian, be India, travel Indian.. we might learn more about our countrymen than about others.. and learn to love each other more.. and help our people grow, for while the foot soldiers were are roots, businesses are our trees. They need to grow to give us fruit.

Our leadership will need support from us soon after. They are like the skies, they need to provide rain. We may or may not like things they do.. some have so much hate inside them. Nothing is perfect. But we need to cooperate, provide our suggestions and ensure that things happen instead of working towards things not happening. Negative energies will want to disrupt growth. We should not allow them to get into our space. And when they come we must remember today and know we had done better and we shined through. Let’s become a 5 trillion economy. Let us be an all inclusive country.. #standunited #stayunited #forindia #fortheworld

Together we can emerge as a strong and stable economy. I hope that the 21 days penance has changed us, given us clarity and hope, shown us who we are.. let us diminish fear and bring courage.. let us Stand United. Take care folks!! Love to all.

©2020 Dhanlaxmi Puja Goyal

Express Yourself – Intro

Self – Expression: the expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, or ideas, especially in writing, art, music, or dance.

Without being tainted with the burden of living, its responsibilities and a thousand manuals handed over by adults in informative years; children and animals already know the meaning of self – expression. They communicate their needs creatively through words, paintings, emotions, reactions, and play naturally from the moment they are born when they need milk or a change in diaper. They will cry and their degree of bawling will vary according to the adult response to their communication. Creatively modifying and changing their behaviour to the adult communicating back to them as a response.

However, over the years, we condition ourselves to action and response according to varied stimuli and rules are regulations we receive based on our environmental, societal and other boundaries. So, are these restrictions important, or do they curb our growth potential? Can they become a hindrance to living a full life and therefore should we then revolt and demand the freedom of full expression; or instead find a middle path where we are able to utilise the tools and restrictions available in our society to help us find expression and not treat it as a handicap.

As adults are we providing our children and us the right guidance and environment for self-expression? How would we find the right environment in the first place? Most importantly, why do we want to self express?

This 5 Part Article Series explores the importance of self-expressions, challenges faced in expressing oneself, tools for self expressions and the spiritual, assisting each other and using self – expression as an effective tool for communication, how creativity assists self expression, and emotional need to express oneself when you are a child or teen.

Read: Self Expression – Why Express?? on 11th March, 2020

Conscious Corporate Gifting

From the month of October to January, Corporate Gifting is at its peak. Corporate Gifting happens in companies and includes Schools, Colleges, Communities, Families and the likes. A compulsion to show thank you through gifts. A lot of thinking goes into deciding what should be given, budget is allocated and then long painful discussions happen in meetings about what should be done; and of course the Corporate Gift Company suggest ornaments and readymade boxes which they sell on discounts. Budgets allow for only so much and include more waste material than the gift itself.

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There have been occasions when I have received Mementos, T-Shirts, Candles, Pen Stands, Pens… etc. They often only occupy space in my wardrobe.
Gifting creates waste. I am appalled with the money spent on this without any constructive outcome except that money allocated was spent; target achieved. Energy wasted, and after a year, all this collected and dumped in garbage or sold at the second hand store. It is quite a useless exercise unless it means more than just a gift.

CONSCIOUS GIFTING” maybe an alternative to the never ending cycle of what to choose. A complete redo in the Gifting Styles adds value to the Employees, Customers and Clients. It lets your people know how much they mean to you instead of how much the gift is worth. Here are some tips on How to add Meaning to your Gifts and Create an Environment of giving without hurting the Environment.

  1. Be Inclusive: When a Client, Customer, Vendor or a Partner Company wants to gift your employees; speak with them before hand and request them for a collective gift for the company; a gift which will make working easier for your employees. Something you had been planning to buy; a PhotoCopy Machine, Air Conditioner (just guessing) a Van to ensure transportation for the safety of employees… If the budget of the Vendor is small then contribute some cash yourself or ask the Vendor to get something useful within the budget. When you inform the employees that the Client they had been catering to was so impressed with their hard work that they decided to gift them something which will make their working easy, and you have decided to contribute to it as well. Imagine the cheer!! Add to your Asset.
  2. Gift a Lesson: Make it a lifetime of learning. Individuals who are stimulated with new experiences and skill based knowledge often do better than others. When people receive a gift that speaks growth it means more than materialistic gifts. It says you are valuable to me and I am willing to invest in you. This gesture is enough for an employee to know you care for their growth. It also contributes to peer Service Industries and their Businesses. Gift Dancing Lessons, Martial Arts lessons, Music, Pottery, Theatre, Origami.. Yoga Courses like Inner Engineering where people come together for community spiritual growth.. create an atmosphere of creative and spiritual learning and make the Office talks more than just the Company, Targets, Vision and Marketing. Watch how interactions become Positive Engagement. We are creating a community here.
  3. Organise Programs: Invest in their performance. I’m not talking about Company Annual Days when they learn choreographies and perform for each other during event based functions. No. Organise a Theatre Program and hire a production company or director from the outside, where they contribute and set up a Professional Production along with the employees for the General Public. Invest in sponsoring the event and watch them shine on stage, donate the proceeds to your people’s favourite cause. This will change the way employees work. It will make them responsible, fun, and creative at work. They will learn more from being directed and working under another production company in a short span of time. What better way to get them to exercise team work, learn how to act and react and find solutions to problems while becoming sensitive and conscious in developing skills.
  4. Plant a Tree: ISHA FOUNDATION organised a campaign called “Cauvery Calling” where each individual can donate Rs. 42 for a tree. Now imagine if a company donated Rs. 42 for each employee it has towards the environment; because we care about our children and their future, we invest in the world for your children. How beautiful it would be and the kind of impact it will have on them. It will empower the employees and inspire them with your act.
  5. Sponsor an Animal or a Forest: Organisations like VOSD – Voice of Stray Dogs , Welfare for Animals in Goa, Animal Lives are Important work tirelessly to take care of our Animals. Taking a day out and commit with your employees to help them build infrastructure, donating in cash or kind, medicines will go a long way in building compassion and empathy in employees. This will create an inclusive environment and build bonds stronger than just living pay check to pay check. Help them become larger than their work. your employees will thank you for it.
  6. Contribute to Music Concert, Theatre, Film: SOLD OUT!! Are nice words to any Creative Artist. What if you bought an entire performance for your employees and their families?? Have them experience a program of Yakshagana, meaningful Film, Socially relevant Play, Entertainment or Live Music Show, Traditional and Indigenous performances. Many Film Screenings are done by Cinemas where they allow companies to buy entire shows, support Independent Films by buying their tickets, Theatre Production Companies by buying their Performances. Surprising employees by taking them out for a show will not only encourage Performing Artists but also expose your employees to Creative Stimulation.
  7. Make it Useful: Don’t be cheap!! Don’t buy something your employee won’t use. Instead, a Fruit basket, Traditional Craft, not only get consumed but says we care about your health. Gift them a Gym Membership or a sticky pad, notebook… think out of the box and Make it useful.
  8. Let your Ego be under your Feet! Have you seen those Corporate Gifts which scream company… the logos are so huge, they could be seen from outer space. Don’t make yourself Stupid. You don’t need to make Festive Occasions an all out Marketing Campaign for your Company. Your people are there because they already know you. Many Individuals and Companies go on a Self- Praise Spree. While its good to be confident and know who you are, campaigning too much can make you look Vulgar, Cheap and Indecent. Everything with your name on it screams I gave it to you and you have it because you work for my Company!!! Make it about Appreciating the employee not You.
  9. Gift a Trip: A Culture Trip, Trekking, Camping…. you name it. It doesn’t have to be to an expensive place. It can be meaningful. Combine learning with patriotism, Have you been to a museum lately??? Your country will thank you for this. Your children will thank you for this. Invest in ecological, traditional and cultural sites by buying that ticket and learning more about the locality you stay in. Instead of a one day trip at the Resort where the MC talks crap, plays meaningless games with disinterested employees and instead want to get wasted with a belly full of beer.

Make Corporate Gifting meaningful and exciting, not a target to be achieved and a budget to be spent. I have seen companies which just want to get it done with, they have a budget allocated and it has to be spent and thats it; its a very heartless way to approach gratefulness to individuals on whose shoulders the company stands. One thing is to being the fake Company which acts like it cares, and another to really care for the people who work for you.

How are you rethinking the value of your family (employees)? We must express gratefulness… Our gift must be more than just a Company Budget. Include your people to become less materialistic and more about contribution. How can we be more than just a Successful Company?

Life is fleeting, and before we know it, we end up with a retirement fund, alone in a retirement home or with children who have seen us working regular jobs… and they learn the same thing from us. How shall we tweak this cycle and how can we let our employee know their lives mattered. Let’s make our employees live Larger than their Lives!! They are valuable and we are grateful for them, aren’t we?

© 2019 Dhanlaxmi Goyal