Help Me Help Baby India

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Have you had ever had a life-changing experience around children?

An experience which changed you and your life for ever?

Today I am going to share a key experience from my life – and also the incredible and moving story of baby India. You will then understand and appreciate exactly why I am taking part in the London Marathon this coming Sunday.

I have had 2 life-changing experiences around children – one of them was when I experienced unconditional love for the first time in South India whilst visiting Nirvana School.

A few years before this, I went through an experience which affected me deeply – and it was only recently that I had a sense of completion.

We are talking about a time over 20 years ago. My eldest brother’s wife was expecting twins and there was much excitement in the family – my parents especially looked forward to their first grandchildren.

One evening I got the call that the twins, both baby boys, had arrived prematurely and I rushed off in total excitement to see my newly born nephews. But it was only at the hospital that I found out how just premature they were – and how seriously ill. They had been put into intensive care straight away.

Even worse news was being told that one of the babies was really weak, under-developed and unlikely to survive for more than a few days. But the prognosis was very promising for his twin brother.

As you can imagine, we were all in shock – the good news followed by such devastating news.  I still remember to this day how what sustained and encouraged us was the incredible kindness and support from all the hospital staff. Such tender kindness was so welcome during those torrid days.

Four days after the birth of the twins, the doctors told us that they were losing the battle to save the weaker twin and it was only a matter of a couple of hours.

So they gave us the space to be alone so we could say some final prayers and be with the baby.

There we were, the entire family in a private room and we were handed a tiny bundle. We then said some prayers around my little nephew, smaller than a 2 lb bag of sugar- and even lighter.

Having seen the little guy previously just through his incubator, it felt so good to actually hold him – incredibly tender and fragile looking and yet so much personality and presence already after his first 4 days of life.

It was an incredibly poignant and sad moment in my life to feel this little guy, his heart pumping away and his tiny nostrils fighting to take in some last gasps of oxygen.

I can’t even being to imagine what his mother and father were going through. As for my own parents, they were trying to keep a strong facade but I could tell just how hard it was for them too.

And then it happened – the baby was in my arms and I could feel the heart beating ever so slightly – and then no more. A life had been extinguished even before it had much of a chance.

That life-changing moment stayed with me forever.  Feelings of helplessness, sadness, anger all came up – only to be suppressed forever. Or for many years anyway, until I visited Nirvana School, where I learnt once again the joy of being around children.

And the other tiny twin nephew? He stayed in hospital for another 4 weeks and slowly but surely put on some weight. From being just 3 lb of weight at birth, he is now a gangling young man and is following a promising career in IT and Banking – and of course we are all very fond and proud of him.

The hospital held a small service for my nephew – and after that, as a family, we got on with our lives. We were not even sure if and where he had been buried. Through our grief, we didn’t even follow up – and looking back, maybe we were simply in denial.

Over the years I wondered where he had been buried and I thought of investigating but just found it too painful to even think about it.

Roll on many years – and over the last two years, I felt it was finally time for some closure and I contacted the relevant hospital and cemeteries but didn’t get anywhere.

Then a miracle happened – going through my late father’s files last Xmas, I found a little postcard meticulously filed away – and on it was the Birmingham cemetery address, section and plot number

Dinkar1Two weeks ago, on a glorious spring day, we finally visited my late nephew’s tiny grave – it was a poignant moment in our lives, and especially for his twin brother.

It felt like closure in a way, and yet a reminder of someone who is very much part of our lives. His soul lives on amongst us.

Two decades later my memory of the baby passing away in my arms is still as intense as ever – but now there is only a tinge of sadness over our loss and about what could have been.

I am now wiser and braver – and can truly see how death is just as much part of life. I am now also  strong enough to deal with grief and know that as I go along on my life journey, I am sure to experience such loss many more times.

Why the London Marathon?

So moving forward to today, here I am once more on the verge of taking part in the London Marathon.

This will be the third time I am taking part and once again I am raising funds for WellChild, a charity that helps look after sick children just like my nephew and gives support to their families.

Please check out 2 articles I wrote after my previous marathons:-

1. 10 Life Lessons from Running the London Marathon

2. How to Change the World in Less than 8 Hours and 27 Miles

This coming Sunday, 13th April 2014, I’ll be lining up for my third London Marathon with over 36,000 other runners and each one of us will be raising awareness and sponsorship for their chosen cause - I have chosen Well-Child.

Some friends have been asking me why I am so passionate about WellChild and indeed why I am taking part in the London Marathon for them once again.

So having now shared about my late nephew, they all know – I simply want other families and children to receive the same tender kindness and support we received all those years ago. And that’s exactly what WellChild provides.

This is my way of contributing, making a difference to children and giving something back. And you too can do your bit by sponsoring me.

Please click here to go to my sponsorship page

To give you an example of how your sponsorship will help, I am sharing a story about Baby India. Your contribution will be helping baby India and other brave children like her.

(I have been given permission by baby India’s family and WellChild to share her moving story).

Baby India’s Story

Here is India’s story:-

After a fairly uneventful pregnancy, India Stern was delivered early by Caesarean Section. As a second-time mum, Suzy, was initially relaxed when India, just like her older sister Freya (3), was slow to feed in the first few days. However she then began to notice signs that India’s breathing might not be normal and sought medical advice.

Within days, when things continued to worsen, India was rushed to hospital. So began a nightmare time for her family as India’s condition deteriorated further and her breathing continued to be problematic even after the trauma of major corrective heart surgery. Eventually doctors established that India has a chromosomal disorder which affects her development and breathing and that a tracheostomy (a surgical opening in the neck to allow oxygen directly into the windpipe) was needed.

Fortunately for India’s family, Sue Donald had just started the pilot phase of her appointment as a WellChild Complex Care Discharge Coordinator and was soon introduced to them. Suzy was heartbroken, grieving for the baby she had thought she would have and wracked with worries about how the family would cope with the complicated regime that India would need at home.

Immediately the move home seemed nearer and less daunting as Sue introduced her first to other families whose children had tracheostomies and then to the vast team of healthcare professionals who would help look after India once she was home, with Sue always taking the lead on the momentous tasking of coordinating everyone.

Suzy said: “I remember feeling very overwhelmed and wondering how did get here? As I sobbed on Sue’s shoulder she was incredibly supportive, listening to me and not giving me false comfort but practical advice.”
Over the next few weeks Sue rushed around making preparations for India to be discharged from hospital at last, keeping in touch with Suzy at every stage. Despite another recent stay in hospital, things are now going well for India who has been home for a couple of months where she is thriving.

Suzy said: “India is now the smiliest girl in town and her smile was worth waiting for. It’s hard work but we’ve had lots of contact with Sue since we’ve been home which is a tremendous comfort.”

So there you are – my participation in the London Marathon and your sponsorship will help provide more nursing support for children like India.

My target is to raise at least £1,500 for WellChild. Please help me get there.

Click here to go to my sponsorship page

If just 50 readers sponsor me for at least £20 each, I’ll reach my target easily.

Of course, you can sponsor me for more than £20 each:-).

Thanks everyone for your generosity and kindness.

The #1 Secret to Get Ultimate Happiness in Your Life

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Happy International Happiness Day everyone!

So just how happy are you in your life?

And just how much happiness is there around you?

Today is the day decreed by the UN for universal happiness and this is the second year of this day happening.

So to start with, here are my 17 tips to become happy right now.

And no matter where you are at in your life, always look on the bright side of life!

But just what is happiness – and how can you sustain these feelings of happiness?

Is happiness what you feel when your favourite football team wins? Only for you to get really upset when they get thrashed the following week?

Or is happiness the feelings you get after a night out with your friends and drinking beer and feasting on your favourite dishes?

Or is happiness being with your loved ones and seeing your little child at play?

I believe that happiness is all of the above – and is much more. The challenge comes when we see happiness as transient and dependent on external factors as in the above examples.

So how can you sustain happiness and how can you generate it from within you, no matter what’s going on in your external world?

Let me explain a bit more by sharing what’s going on for me right now.

It was my birthday yesterday and what an amazing day it was!

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Why It’s Crazy and Dumb to Only Celebrate Your Love on Valentine’s Day!

be special to find the special one!

So how was Valentine’s Day and week for you?

Did you spend some quality time with your loved one – or was it just another day for you?

It always amuses me to see people spending a small fortune on just one day every year to show their love for someone!

What happens during the remaining 364 days of the year!?

Why not make it a fun Valentine’s Day every day?

As for me, I did have a friend over for lunch on Valentine’s Day – and yes I too made a special effort by preparing some love based dishes.  It was a fun day but to be honest, no more than usual:-).

Check out my pictures from Valentine week on Facebook :-)

My point is this – you CAN create love every day of the year – and it’s simply crazy and dumb to specially do so on just one day of the year!

valentines day lunch

Today I would like to share a couple of stories about love which till touch and move you.

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101 Ways to Make It Happen For You In 2014

How is 2014 going for you?

Is it just me or has time speeded up in 2014!?

As is traditional at this time of the year,  if you are also looking to set some goals, please download this article from YogaLife magazine, featuring my goalsetting tips.

A lot has happened in the world since I last wrote a blog post. For a start, the world lost Madiba – and how amazing to watch the world coming together not only to mourn Mr Nelson Mandela’s death but also to celebrate his life – a life that transformed our world forever.

I have worked hard enough, so I can now rest in eternity” – Nelson Mandela

Mr Mandela has left quite a legacy and do check out some of his lessons in leadership.

Around the time Mr Mandela passed away, there was a huge wave of nostalgia as we all basked in the glory of his life and his legacy. But now I feel that we have already forgotten his teachings and his message of universal brotherhood.

As you look around the world today and all the challenges we face in 2014, this is the time when the world needs all of us to be a “Nelson Mandela” too. Yes, quite a challenge, but why not?

We all have to start somewhere. We just never know what a tiny act of kindness can lead to. I remember how my own life changed after I experienced unconditional life for the first time.

So where do you even begin to follow in Mr Mandela’s footsteps? You start by first making your own life the best you can – a life based on high moral and ethical values. At the same time, you do your best for the world around you and you create our legacy.

To help you get started for my first blog post for 2014, I have created a treasure collection of some of the best life-changing articles I have written. This is an eternal anthology to help you get more out of all areas of your life.

Before you dive into my treasure trove, also remember the 7 things to finally stop doing this year.

I looked through all the almost 600 blog posts I have written over 7 years and I have picked out what I consider the best 101 articles.

It was quite a challenge to pick these out and organise them into one post but this has been a labour of love for me this week – and I sincerely hope you get a lot from the 101 articles below.

I have put them under some relevant categories but there’s clearly a lot of crossover. I suggest you read a few articles at a time and bookmark the ones that resonate with you – and of course, do share them as you wish.

I wish you all the best for 2014 and beyond. Thanks for sharing this journey with me – we have much work to do to fulfil Mr Mandela’s legacy.

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Why You Should Never Ever Underestimate the Impact of Your Kindness

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Happy Thanksgiving Week everyone!

This week, as is the tradition in the USA and other countries around the world, people are celebrating with their families and loved ones. And here in London, over the last few years, thanksgiving is being celebrated more and more. I feel it’s a truly wonderful way of getting reconnected to what really matters in our lives.

Thanksgiving Week is a reminder for us all to live with an Attitude of Gratitude

As we look back this week at our lives and be thankful for all the goodness around us, we can also remember all the little kindnesses that make our lives so wonderful and worthwhile.

At the same time, we should also look at the kindnesses we have carried out for others, whose impact though not immediately obvious can be far reaching and hugely significant.

There are so many ways to randomly make a difference to people – check out my 31 ways to carry out random acts of kindness every day.

So many times in our life, people show us great kindness and yet are not even aware of the impact they have had on us and others as a result of their kind deed.

This week I have been looking back on my own life and reflecting on all the little kindnesses that people have shown me over the years. There are a couple of life changing experiences of kindness which I’ll never forget and which continue to drive me to share more of such kindness and spread the goodness,

To start with there was the kind Mr Roy – this diminutive  Indian man was instrumental in starting my real life journey and who completely changed my life and that of others 16 years ago.

He showed me how to be kind to others and get to your own Nirvana.

Please do check out the story of how in just a few hours he transformed my life and ultimately that of thousands of Nirvana School children.

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8 Ways to Bring More Love into the World – Before it’s too Late

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Have you ever wondered what it is that every human being ultimately wants in their life?

Well, wonder no more – I can tell you what we all ultimately want to do:-

We all want to make a profound difference in the lives of others.

Deep down you already know this – but you may have not been willing to acknowledge it. Or maybe in your world, it’s not considered cool to openly declare your desire to help others.

As I look around the world today, I am so encouraged to see so many more people stepping up and wanting to create their legacy and to live a life of contribution.

You may argue that maybe that’s just the circle of people I move in. Well, that could be true but then again I seem to attract people who want to make a big difference in the world!

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Right now, the world is shocked and moved by the plight of the millions of people affected in the Philippines after the most powerful typhoon recorded in human history. And this could just be the beginning of many more such massive natural catastrophes to come in the years to come.

What has been so heartening and moving is how so many people around the world have stepped up in their efforts to help the millions of people affected in the Philippines.

What is it about the human heart that so moves us in making such superhuman efforts?

Maybe it’s because the path to Nirvana lies in kindness to others

My Update from the Last Few Months

As some of you will have noticed, I have not been blogging much over the last few months. It seems a long time ago since I wrote 100 blog posts in a month and wrote 28 relationship articles in the month of February 2011!

I have been on quite a journey over the last few months – and like for so many of us, it has been a time of deep soul searching and retrenchment.

This year began for me with a wonderful Yoga experience with Sadhguru in February which really reconnected me to my true core and made me realise what’s important to me.

A World full of love, light and laughter. It’s time has come. Let’s make it happen!”- Sadhguru

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Warning: Why Facing Your Fear Doesn’t Always Work – and 4 Things to do Instead

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What are you afraid to do in your life?

Probably the most common advice you’ll get when you are afraid to do something is to “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Whether you want to talk to a person at a party, start your own business or bungee jump, you’re supposed to face your fear and do what you truly desire.

In essence, this is good advice. The principle behind it is solid. It is by pushing against your fear and challenging yourself that you build confidence. You can even overcome your fear of speaking in public, like Arvind did.

Indeed, you can feel the fear and change the world anyway.

However, based on several years of experience as a confidence coach, I believe that in practice, this guidance often doesn’t work.

This is because in practice, many times the fear someone is feeling is too strong for them to be able to just face it and do what they want. No matter how hard they try, they cannot overpower their fear.

Unfortunately, many individuals who offer self-help advice simply don’t understand this, which is why they keep repeating the same advice for people to face their fears and to try harder, as if this by itself is the universal solution to overcoming any fear.

But it’s not. Many times, just trying to face your fear doesn’t do it. I’d like to show you a few things that you can do in these situations, and genuinely become more confident.

Here are 4 proven ideas that you can put into practice:-

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Special Coaching Offer for a Happy August!

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Happy August everyone!

Have you noticed how quickly 2013 is slipping by? Before we know it, it’ll be Christmas time!

Firstly, thanks to the 100s of friends who attended my 12th annual “Friends and Friend’s Friends Picnic” in Regents Park last Sunday.

It was the best and biggest ever picnic with over 300+ people attending. I’ll be writing a full blog post soon about the ethos of my picnic and the lessons in life from the event in a future post, but in the meantime check out my picnic photos :-)

Being the beginning of the month, I want to share a couple of articles to help you get the month off to a fabulous start:-

1. 31 Days to Bliss and Lightness

2. Make It Happen in 30 Days – Just Go on an Adventure!

The beginning of a new month usually gives us new focus and energy – and my invitation to you is to embrace this period and see what new focus and zest you can bring into your life.

It’s clearly time to be more creative:-

Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself.” – Alan Alda

Special Coaching Offer for August

With so many new subscribers to my blog, some of you may not yet be aware of my coaching services so please check out my Coaching Packages.

I truly believe in the power of coaching – and I have a coaching package to suit each and every one of you.

For the month of August I am offering 10 coaching slots for my One Month KickStarter Package.

My usual price for this package is £250 but for August I am making it available for just £150.

This is the perfect option for you if you have a very specific problem that you are struggling with in your life, your career or your business that we can quickly solve together.

You will get clarity, momentum and an action plan for the way forward in your life.

And this is how we’ll work together:-

  • One 60-minute Skype session 
  • Copy of the Call recording
  • Detailed Plan of Action
  • 2 email correspondences after your session

To book your session and reserve one of the 10 available slots, please EMAIL ME right away.

I am here to empower you to get the life you love – I want to bring you alive!

I want to do for you what the spring does for the cherry trees.” – Paulo Neruda

And always remember Nulli Secundus – Second to None!

Secrets of the Money Shaman Offer

As we head towards the end of the summer in England, it’s only a few weeks before autumn sets in and we knuckle down to the colder days to come. This is a good time to take stock of our lives and our finances.

“Would you love to experience a really powerful breakthrough in your financial situation and know how to release your fear and struggle around money?”

A while back I teamed with my friend Davide De Angelis aka “The Money Shaman” to share his ethos of abundance and financial freedom. And I am delighted to share with you his life changing online course – “Secrets of The Money Shaman”.

This is a Powerful 7-Week Money Innovation Course in Attracting Money and Opportunities without fear and struggle

Click here now to get your copy of this life changing course

My 7 Tips to Improve all your Relationships

I was interviewed recently on another radio station where I talked about rapidly improving all your relationships – and here are my 7 key tips:-

  1. Be Authentic
  2. Be Generous
  3. Be in Integrity
  4. Be Present and truly Listen
  5. Look to Contribute and Serve Others
  6. Empathise and Put Yourselves in Their Place
  7. Lighten up – we all take life too seriously. Ask – does this really matter?

Have a fabulous August everyone!

And remember to EMAIL ME right away to grab one of the 10 Coaching Slots.

 

Warning: The #1 Secret to Success in Life Which You Ignore at Your Peril!

steve jobs
Do you ever wonder why some people are more successful than others?

Maybe you are even frustrated seeing how some people are doing so much better than you?

And have you wondered what it would be like to discover the #1 secret to success in life? What differentiates you from Steve Jobs or Richard Branson?

Well, in the next few minutes reading this blog post may just change your perspective on life forever. No pressure!

I had a dear friend around for lunch last week – and as we often do when we meet, we got talking about life and what the next few years will bring us.

We all come to a crossroads in our life when we face having to make some major decisions – and depending on the path we take, our life may change one way or the other. Sometimes quite dramatically.

So often a life-changing event such as say a serious health challenge or the passing of a loved one causes us to reflect and review our life. And yet so often, we do nothing to change our life as day to day commitments and challenges take up our time, focus and energy.

My friend who came for lunch shared this powerful prayer from Marianne Williamson:

Dear God/Universe/Source (insert here whatever word you prefer),

“Please impress upon me the vision of whom I am meant to be – reveal to me the bigger life you would have me live and undo the forces that keep me bound so that I might serve you more” – Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson is one of my favourite teachers and I have been privileged to be the “mike-runner” at a couple of her talks.

So that’s it – the number one secret to success in life! 

At the end of the day, it all comes back to being of greater service to others. As the late and great inspirational teacher Zig Ziglar said:-

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” – Zig Ziglar

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Happy Father’s Day – and FREE Kindle Books to Celebrate!

time to honour your father on father's dayAre you celebrating Father’s Day this weekend? 

Most of the western world celebrates Father’s Day on Sunday 16th June, whereas other countries and cultures celebrate such a day at different times of the year.

Initially I found the concept of having a special day for fathers a bit strange – in my Indian culture, it’s our duty to always respect and honour our fathers and mothers. So I used to wonder why anyone would even need a specific day just for that.

However the idea of having an extra-special day with your father is a fun thing to do and I hope that where ever you are, all fathers and their families are having a fabulous day of celebration.

To me, Father’s Day will always be a time for me to remember what my father has done for me.

At the same time, do avoid all the commercial circus – I suggest you be sensible and do not succumb to all the hype around this day.

Honour, appreciate and remember your father for what he does and has done for you.

As long- term regular readers will know, I lost my father a few years ago – and incredibly it’ll be 6 years next December since he left us. He still lives on in our memories, and in my siblings and me. His essence will always be with us.

One thing that he always encouraged me to do was to write and publish more books. In the last year of his life, every time I saw him he would ask me if I had published another book – even though I had only seen him 3 weeks before!

If he was alive today in the days of kindle books, I could probably answer in the affirmative and say that yes I had just published another e-book on Amazon kindle:-).

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101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free – Book Interview

Green Living with Anna PittHow clean and green is your life? Are you aware of the concept of “Green Living”?

Do you even have any awareness of your impact on the environment around you?

Every now and then, I meet someone who is just so passionate about what they believe in and what they stand for.

One such person is Anna Pitt whom I met a year ago at my talk at the Millionaire Author Bootcamp. That was the day I overcame my fear of public speaking on a big stage!

I vividly remember how Anna met me after my presentation saying how I had changed her life! She was really inspired to finally get her own book out there about green living and today I am proud and honoured to interview her about her first book “101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free (Amazon USA /Amazon UK).

By the way, if you also want to Make it Happen and get YOUR book out in the world, then contact me today for some Kick-Ass Make It Happen Coaching

Green Living

Green living is something I am also interested in and whilst I was composing this blog post, Anna sent me the feedback she received from one of the first people to apply the ideas in her book:-

“Reading Anna Pitt’s book has really surprised me of how much I could do to recycle and reduce waste – flicking through the pages I’ve either thought or said to myself, I either do that or I could try that.  Recently I have copied some ideas in the book.  It has turned a full bin in to half a bin!”

Which makes me even more excited to share Anna and her book with you and to further spread her message about green living:-

1. Anna, your book idea totally resonated with me when we first met. Please tell my readers more about your book.

101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free is about reducing waste.  It gives the reader 101 simple ways in which families can be kinder to the environment without having to spend a single penny.  There are tips on how to reduce food waste, how to save water, energy and fuel and how to recycle and reuse your stuff.

The really important thing is that my book takes a look at the maths and the science behind all these green efforts and shows exactly how much difference small changes of habit can make.

A few years ago I started a project to try to show the next generation exactly how and why we need to rethink our attitude to waste.  I believe that we need to embrace whole-heartedly the circular economy and shun the linear economy that is destroying our planet.

However not enough people are allowing this message to sink in and then doing something about it.  

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