Reflections & Resolutions

years end is neither an end nor a beginning

Before the year comes to a close, its time to recount the happenings of the last year. The things to be grateful for and the experiences to learn from. What went well and what could be worked upon. All this is an effort to honor my year and to have clarity and zeal to grow more.

stay hungry stay foolish

I believe that its important to not be too content in our life journey. We must keep trying to improve ourselves, but without stressing ourselves. This journey of self improvement must be taken with a lot of lightheartedness, ease and joy. So in this spirit, it is time to evaluate my journey so far.

Many choose to recount their lives journey as a graph, with the ups and downs. I choose to compartmentalize, the things that are important to me. This allows for clarity and helps me to not get foggy about my future goals and plans.

Wellness

Touched upon an extremely significant milestone – 5 Years Cancer Free. I am in gratitude to my team of doctors, nurses, family, friends and everyone who was a part of this journey. Without this network of support it would not have been possible to reach this point.

This 5 year journey has been about giving complete priority to gaining back my health in totality, which included wellness of the physical body, the mind and the spirit. Now its time to take it a step further and focus a little more on body image. Being an artist means gaining a certain level of physical fitness which will allow me to take on more challenging roles and opportunities. This is something which I look forward to working on.

you are more than you realise

Another aspect which I would like to work upon is not being fazed by challenges and obstacles. Although I am extremely driven and motivated, I have observed myself procrastinating and loosing confidence in face of obstacles. Eventually it all works out, but I would like to resolve to be more focused in face of any challenges.

Relationships

Spending the major part of 2017 in Kathmandu gave me ample opportunities to bond with my family here. Travels with mom to Haridwar & local Nepal sights have been wonderful bonding moments. And in the coming year, I resolve to find or make more time for my old friends and bond with also.

treat you family like friends

Relationships need constant work. We must strive to accept ourselves and each other and this means we must avoid judging, complaining and trying to fix each other. Just accept and love each other. An aspect which I will work on is communicating very gently with all. One thing I have realized is that earlier I used to not speak out at all and now I am working on learning to be more mindful of what I say.

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Professional Life

My work is an essential part of my life. As you grow older and as you grow more mature it becomes more important. It can take a different shape and form but it will always be an important aspect of life. This year, I have added to my plate, my vocation as a motivational speaker.

Manisha Koirala TEDx Jaipur

On the cinema front the year has been very eventful. Starting with the release of Dear Maya to working on Dibakar Banerjee’s Bombay Talkies 2. And of course working on AR Rahman’s maiden project 99 Songs and portraying Nargis Dutt in Rajkumar Hirani’s next has been extremely satisfying. I wish to continue this trend by ensuring that I take on work which challenges and forces me to expand my own limits.

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2017 also saw a slew of speaking engagements from prominent corporations such as HCL, Apollo Hospitals, a few government led initiatives like the Women’s Parliament event and many more. However the cherry on cake was definitely coming on a platform like TEDx. This gave me an opportunity to meet and interact with individuals across different industries and it was definitely a brilliant experience.

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Finally getting felicitated at Dadasaheb Phalke Award and by Navbharat times was the highlight of this wonderful year.

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Philanthropy

Every year I have like to evaluate if I have made a difference to wherever I have gone, if I have impacted communities possibilities. Starting at home base in Kathmandu, we took great strides in cleaning Bagmati River. A lot is yet to be done, but on the outset progress has been made. Lot of work was undertaken in tandem with the UNFPA team, we travelled twice to the tarai areas of Nepal, once for flood relief and another for the fistula awareness program. Also steps were taken towards cancer awareness with Cancer Care Nepal, working with young committed oncologists was wonderful, and at Bhaktapur Hospital and of course meeting the lovely girls at St. Mary’s High School in Kathmandu.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender 920414267_1514240848632618_8426459263076805295_oWhatsApp Image 2017-06-24 at 3.43.49 PMManisha Koirala during the Bagmati River Cleaning Campaign

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Similar efforts taken in Delhi by Walk For Life CanSupport and the the My Hair for cancer event undertaken by the Nargis Dutt Foundation in Mumbai. Every time a philanthropic work is undertaken, it appears no matter how much you give, you end up taking more in terms of life experiences and realizations. Hope that 2018 brings more opportunities to reach out and do a lot more.

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Finances

the goal isn't more money

One more chapter I want to discuss is my relationship with money. Its more about a certain amount of energy you create in the world than just maintaining a bank account. Our earnings are also linked with a sense of worth, the thought that we can generate that money if wish too, so it becomes a confidence building process as well. In the coming year, I will value and respect this energy more by taking steps to preserve current funds and be mindful of my expenditures.

Travels

2017 was indeed the year of interesting experiences. Beginning at the Nepal, whilst Kathmandu is not very comfortable due pollution and crowds, just a couple of hours away you have the most beautiful hiking spots. There is the scenic Budhanilkantha – Baghdwar hike and of course another place to visit around Kathmandu is Chitwan National Park comprising of thick lush jungle… jungle safaris, elephant rides, boat rides and beautiful sunsets. Couldn’t be close to Nature.

Next was the Kailash Trip.This was the most finest and exotic trip ever. There is a certain amount of mysticism, certain amount of mystery and attractiveness here. Its something which unspoken, unsaid and unexplainable. Such things can only be experienced.

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We started with camping at Lhasa to acclimatize and then we traveled to Mt. Kailash.For most of the trip, I was on horseback and it was on the last day that I walked a lot. It was extremely calming and soothing experience. While we all were in a group, everyone was also by themselves by silently taking it all in. The whole energy was just fantastic.

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There were a few challenges related to hygiene, washrooms and sleeping in dusty probably used beds, these made me very uncomfortable. But a place like Kailash has a different vibe, and you realize that you can actually tolerate the hardships and go beyond the physical and mental hardships. Once this this obstacle was lifted, I found that I could tolerate this kind of atmosphere and this was very liberating for me. God willing, the next year I would be back for a couple of weeks, do some meditation and try to absorb more of that energy.

A few other noteworthy trips included Haridwar with mom, where we mediated on the river banks, Goa trip with Aysha my friend from Denmark, Poland for the first ever film festival and Cape Town for shooting of the Dutt bio epic with Rajkumar Hirani’s film unit. All wonderful experiences where the beauty of the places and the joy of travel was increased twofold with the right company and travel partners. Travel is something which will definitely continue in the new year, i hope to discover some unknown places and learn more about different cultures, histories and way of life.

Here ends the review of my past year and hope that the next year will be as eventful as the last and brings in ample opportunities to learn, grow and indeed have a content year ahead.

I would like to close by asking you dear reader about your year. What are your reflections of 2017 and resolutions for 2018?

Trust the process.

What should one do, when you have too many dreams and goals, but neither the time or the physical capacity to see it through? That’s how I feel at times, overwhelmed !! I’m sure its pretty common with most of us, especially those who are on the crossroads where one life chapter gets over and before you start another, there is a struggle to get clarity. It gets confusing, does it not ?

At this stage in my life, I still feel like the same 16 year old, on the precipice of cinema… with big dreams, shy, nervous, unsure, slightly lost and slightly alone. (Even though there was ample of advisors and mentors, no was saying “that this route and for sure you will succeed,” Notice how we all love to give advice, yet we feel clueless in our own challenging times.) 

That time, it was the dream of being an acclaimed actress, but in this second phase of life, I have so many more goals to accomplish.. directing films, starting wellness programs, pushing more awareness for cancer patients, even opening shelters for the poorer patients, I definitely want to write a book too, and all the while living between Mumbai, Goa, Kathmandu and NYC… aaaahhh !! 

manisha koirala

Right now I’m in Thailand to be a Bikram Yoga Teacher… as you all know wellness is my passion and an integral part of wellness is Yoga and so here I am. There are days where I feel I have taken on too much… Bikram Yoga twice a day, 90 mins each session in 105 fahrenheit temperature trying to perfect the 26 postures and all this amongst experienced practitioners !!! Everybody here is well toned and so balanced… and I know I have a long long way to go and yet I have to be mindful if I’m overloading myself. I have to keep watch on my harmony between body, mind, soul….

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And so just like my 16 year old self… I struggle, I have anxiety, I shed a couple of tears, and I have my inhibitions… what if I’m not good enough? Have I done the right thing?  Again slightly lost and slightly confused… This is when I remember people who have converted adversity into opportunity, meeting these people, learning about their human spirit, acts like my own personal fuel !!! Such people never give up, they aren’t confined to being too old to change or too scared to try some thing different and new… 

manisha koirala

So, Just like before, this chapter too is new and this new road is tough and its dark out there… but despite the fears, the tears.. one must walk.. walk.. walk.. with faith.. trusting the process!!

Spiritual journey…the road less travelled

  • What is Spirituality?

Is it being religious or doing all the rituals mantras japas, kirtans or is it renouncing the world and going to the caves in the mountains or just sitting under tree and meditating? People have different definitions. Maybe spirituality is fusion of all of this things, but what resonates true to me is, a spiritual person is synonyms with being a person who’s highest priority is to be loving to oneself and others, as all are manifested from the same one source. We are interdependent and consciously honour this oneness. We know that everything and everybody is an extension of the divine. (As Quantum physics says that we are made of waves and particles of energy that makes up the grand universe).

  • How can it Benefit Us?

Better equipped to deal with challenges – Life is filled with unexpected challenges and we can never be fully prepared for them, but spirituality gives us a larger perspective of life. Because it gives us birds eye view  rather than worms eye view. So once we are trained, we are better equipped to deal with challenges and we don’t get easily consumed by them.

It gives clarity – Since we are following directions from our heart and our paths are clear, a spiritual person rightly knows which battle to choose and that, is thoughtfully done.

It gives us Peace – Cancer provided me with the gift which was surrender to the divine’s will, after I had exhausted the human possibilities. I let go of inner conflicts, which ultimately gifted me with peace. I use this tool every time, even now.

Celebration – Once we are in tune with life’s flow, we are living more from out heart (love, compassion and oneness) rather than from the mind (worry, fear and anxiety), this term is called flowering of the heart. Life becomes a celebration.

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morning meditation at Oneness University
  • When should it be practiced?

I am a firm believer that we should make our own rules. It must be aligned with your true nature, you must be mindful and commit to your own growth and ‘WHEN’ will automatically follow.

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At Oneness campus.

Gratitude

Some of us go through entire life complaining and not notice that life is a gift. We get so engrossed in our day to day activities that we fail to notice the magic that life gives us free of cost!!

How many times do we notice the early morning sky, the grandeur of sunset,the flock of birds passing by..the miraculous colours of a flower & leaves..

Lets take a deep breath and be thankful for this life. Our own body is a marvel of intelligence. The way its design, it knows exactly how to pump blood in the heart, how many times the heart needs to beat and how to digest. Our body has more intelligence then we can comprehend and do we ever wonder what have we done to deserve this? This life, this body and everything that comes with it.. It is a gift.

Whichever muscle works more, becomes stronger, we can either complain or be grateful, we decide.

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Whichever muscle works more, becomes stronger, we can either complain or be grateful, we decide. Picture Courtesy – Mike Baldwin.

 

Benefits of Gratitude

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Do’s & Don’ts

  • Notice your day to day world and keep a journal.
  • Constantly focus on positive things
  • Give compliments, and MEAN it!
  • Be genuinely interested  when listening to others..
  • Vow to not complain/ criticise for 7 days, as a practice..
  • During tough situations ask yourself “what lesson is here for me?