Winners Never Quit : Uma DeviReddy in conversation with Rashmi Kansupada
Rasshmi Kansupada   Jun-2019   151 Views   0 Comments

Have you ever wondered why minorities are underrepresented in your favorite Game of thrones show? Similarly, have you ever wondered why there is under representation in your work environment or in the world around you? Or have you ever felt like you are being seen but not heard? If any of these questions resonates with you then my thoughts in this article might garner your interest.  

I have been working for 22 years for companies ranging from nimble startups to fortune 500 firms in entry level to middle management roles. My work experience makes me uniquely qualified for penning my thoughts about diversity and inclusion.  In my most recent experience working with a major financial institution service I was fortune enough to have worked in various teams from technology to business giving me the insight into a diverse perspective of different teams. Through my experience I have learnt that it is not just being represented or the not being represented but, the real question is are we  being heard. I have over years felt like I have had to work extra hard and constantly prove my worth to be accepted. I questioned if my challenges and struggles were due to diversity being looked at as a detriment rather than as a strength. 

As I shared my experiences with others, people started sharing their experiences and it seemed evident that it an epidemic concern that still needed to be addressed. Many felt like there still was an invisible limitation that pulled them down from moving up the corporate ladder or being heard. Although there has been a lot of work that has been done towards Diversity and inclusion, it felt like there still is a lot that can be done.  

According to the annual 2018 diversity report, 66.8% of all jobs are held by men while 33.2% are held by women.  Based on Quantum Impact’s diversity report, one out of every five organizations (20 Percent) do not have a single woman serving on their leadership teams. These number are even worse for women of color. Only 4 percent of the top corporate jobs are held by women of color. As interesting as these numbers are, these numbers totally substantiate my experience.  

Studies have shown that diverse workforce not only brings creative thinking and a fresh perspective but also increases company’s bottom line. A recent Clover Pop research study conducted over a 2-year span with 200 business units showed inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time. While these numbers for average teams were 66%. Decision made and executed by diverse teams were successful over 60% of the times.    

Based on my experience, here are a few things I think absolutely needs to be done for us to be able to see some real change. 

1.       Leaders need to go through a training so that they become aware of their subconscious bias

2.       Organizations should consciously make efforts to hire diverse leaders in executive roles

3.       Leaders should consciously make efforts to interact with diverse team members. Leaders should ask themselves, who do they sit next to when they enter a meeting room? If you are looking for someone to go out and eat lunch with, who are you drawn towards?  Make conscious decisions to be inclusive in your choices

These numbers and facts were call to action for me. I felt compelled to do something about Diversity and Inclusion. While there are many organizations that have started to do great work in this phase of diversity and inclusion, I still feel like a lot of work needs to be done. I am influenced to continue this work not only for me and many like me but also for leaders of tomorrow.

To move these efforts forward, I created a forum for us called Inside the Diverse Mind to address this epidemic concern of diversity and inclusion. Inside the Diverse Mind is a talk show featuring successful leaders in 45-minute episodes that will be telecast bi-weekly on YouTube and Facebook.  Our focus at Inside the Diverse Mind is to educate and encourage leaders to be conscious and intentional about Diversity and inclusion in their hiring and leadership decisions. Our goal is to educate our future leaders and our next generation to learn the skills to be more inclusive.  

Leaders from various organizations have come forward to support and participate in our show already making the right strides towards a better and inclusive diverse world. 

Please like our Facebook page @insidethediversemind to stay updated on our upcoming shows.

 

...

Read More...

Extremely Busy People Learn Meditation by BK Sister Jayanti
Toppick Media Editor   Jul-2019   60 Views   0 Comments
More people are living, but fewer are choosing, life in the fast lane. The need to restore balance, find inner peace and replenish spiritual power can be satisfied by some form of daily meditation. Sister Jayanti, an extremely busy person in her own right, presents the how to of meditation and ways that meditation can help to take the stress out of busyness.

I wonder how well I know myself. Sometimes I really do wonder because I surprise myself at my own reactions and responses in certain situations. I wish I could have behaved a little bit differently. It's one of the indications that tell me that I need to know myself a little better. In a materialistic world everything carries values in terms of matter. So often the value that I have placed in myself has also been associated with external factors, the possessions that I have, the property that I own, the position and profile that I occupy or the position that others give me. Very often I see myself in compartments, just simply in the way that others see me. What is it that you see when you look at me? Instantly the inner computer begins its calculations and we connect with each other in terms of our face, our colour, our skins, our features, our age, the profession we work with and yet, when I begin to think about it, I question this and wonder whether external factors tell me anything either about myself or about you. And I begin to be aware of things that are actually not material at all, nothing to do with my external form or external situations and these are the things that I actually value and appreciate about myself.

I look inside and I become aware of things like my feelings, my emotions, my thoughts and I begin to wonder which bit of me is really me. It's important that I learn to separate two identities, the material identity, that is the physical form, and the inner reality of my thoughts and feelings. It's important to know things in terms of the external, but much more important to know that which is under the surface, that which is below the skin, and when I focus my attention inside, on my inner being, that's when our journey begins.

Coming into this inner space and finding what's happening in my own inner world is actually an adventure as marvelous as the adventures of outer space. Where is it that my thoughts and feelings emanate from? As I begin to allow my mind to be quiet I discover that the source of life, the source of energy that I am, is actually just a spark, a being, a point. I am not 5 feet tall, but I am just a point of light. In our language we use sometimes this expression `my soul', or `I have a soul'; and yet this is not true at all-the reality is that I am a soul, I am this point of light. And operating from this consciousness creates a total change in my awareness. In this awareness, knowing who I am, I am able to step beyond all those limits that the physical body has imposed on me. So often I have said  I can't do this, that or the other, and yet none of that is reality. I am this eternal being of light. I am being of light, I am actually a being of love; these are my natural qualities, and coming back to this awareness means that I'm able to go beyond all barriers, all boundaries. I am able to find that inner freedom of the self. In  this awareness of knowing who I truly am, I'm able to manage myself. Sometimes we question whether the original state of the self is that of goodness. And yet peace is that which is totally natural for me, and so I know that it is a state that belongs to me. I don't need to attempt it. It is there within me. In a life in which one is very busy, if I know how to turn my attention just for a moment, to this point of light that I am peace is instantly accessible. When I find that inner peace, it's like the recharging of the battery and then I am able to accomplish all that I need to accomplish on the external level. If I can even do this for one minute within every hour I would find that the other 59 minutes are able to flow very, very smoothly.

My own being of peace inside also means I have power inside. I am able to find my own inner strength. We use this word `empowerment's a great deal and yet empowerment cannot come to me from anyone else outside, but empowerment which comes from within means that it's a strength that stays with me forever and ever. Wherever I go, whatever else it is I do, this power is that which I carry within my own being.

Let's experience a few minutes in which we use this concept so that you can actually see how it works for yourself.
Sit quietly just letting the body be relaxed, preferably both feet on the ground and your hands folded quietly. Let your breathing become natural and slow. You can
keep your eyes open. (In fact it is preferably to do so, so that this awareness becomes a natural stage of awareness for you.)
I focus inside and I watch what's happening inside my own inner world.
I see many thoughts flickering on the screen of my mind and I can consciously choose which thoughts to have.
I choose the thought of peace.
I visualise a point of light and in this awareness of peace I know that this is who I am.
I am a being of light.
I am a being of peace.
My thoughts slow down and I savour the beauty of peace within, as my inner world is filled with peace.
I am also filled with light.
I can feel the clouds of confusion receding and as this light becomes bright I can feel my own inner power growing within.
My own being is light, is might, is peace.

Having forgotten myself I had forgotten these original and natural qualities of mine, and now that I know who I am, all these qualities naturally belong to me again and in this awareness I radiate light, peace and might.

And now I let my thoughts come back to the awareness of the physical body that I occupy and the situations in life that I find myself in today, but now I come back with an outlook transformed with an attitude which is very different.

Coming home in this awareness of I the soul, the master of this physical instrument, this precious body of mine, I know now what it is I have to convey through my eyes, through my lips, through my actions, I know the direction that I have to move in. My vision of others has also been transformed. I don't put them into boxes anymore. I am able to see them as external beings, as souls. I still carry on with those things I need to do, but now having created that original eternal world also, there is clarity in the way which I think; there is understanding and empathy in the way I behave with others; there is power in my actions so that my actions lead to the right conclusions; and positive results emerge in my life and also the lives of others around me.

I compare this to the state I was in before, a state of chaos and confusion inside, and so little wonder that there was chaos and confusion in the world around me. Managing myself means to know that I am the creator of my own inner world. I'm able to be the creator of the world around me. Managing myself means finding my own dignity, finding my own state of self-respect so that I'm able to stand independently on my own feet. We surround ourselves with so many different supports and are unable to manage without those supports. But now that I know who I am, I carry my own stage of self esteem and of course when I value my self, I value others around me. In a state of self-respect that respect extends out to others. Managing myself means I'm able to move with stability in which I bring calmness to the world of chaos around me. The peace that I have means that I can begin to create a little oasis of peace around me. The light that I have means that illusion and darkness no longer touch me. The power that I have means that I can truly be free.

Om shanti. Om means I am, shanti means peace. I can turn back to this awareness at any moment and again be a master of myself.

Sister Jayanti is the Director of the Brahma Kumaris in London. This article, originally published by BK Publications (www.bkpublications.com) in Retreat Magazine #10, is an extract from her opening presentation in a series of audio presentations entitled Meditation for Extremely Busy People.
...

Read More...

PORTUGAL HIGHLIGHTS
Dr Reena Koppala   Jul-2019   19 Views   0 Comments
Portugal, officially Portuguese Republic, is a country lying along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe.

Day 1:  We got on to a flight from Dallas to Madrid and had a one-day stopover in Spain. At that time my son was an ardent fan of soccer, so this stopover was a surprise for him. We went on a sightseeing tour of Madrid and had breakfast, lunch and early dinner in Madrid. Just before we went on to board the flight to Lisbon we made a stop to shop for footballs and jerseys.

Day 2: We landed in Lisbon, Portugal capital. Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus. The westernmost portions of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, which is known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains. In Lishhboaaaa (that is how they say it) we stayed at a hotel that was a 15th-century Portuguese palace with a sea view. The first thing my son picked was a Hippo tour. It was a minivan that took us around Lisbon and later drives into a sea and becomes a boat.  We could barely keep our eyes open because of the jetlag. On our way back we stumbled across a museum, the Portuguese teachers were explaining about Ramayana and Mahabharata to their field trip students (made a note to read Jaya by Devdutt Pattanaik on Kindle once back).

Later in the evening we traveled by train to downtown Lisbon and had dinner at ' Timeout'. One of the most unique eatery places that I have ever been to. There were around 40 eating places under one roof with a contemporary look and so informal (fell in love with the concept). Strolled on the streets of the historic downtown and had late local coffee, Of course, shopping inclusive.

Day 3: My son's pick for today was Oceanário de Lisboa which is the world's largest saltwater Oceanarium and is a fantastic tourist attraction especially for families. Just to go to that place we took 3 forms of transportation metro, train, cable. One of the main adventures of any travel is “TRAVEL LIKE LOCALS”.  Trying to understand Portuguese and trying to find our way, was the most interesting part of our travel. Next stop was Vasco da Gama Shopping Center. We took a Cable car on the ocean and had lunch at Cais de Sondre. By the time we came back to our hotel, it was 6:00 pm. The hotel always had surprise exotic chocolates for kids. We quickly changed into formal wear and got ready to witness the iconic Fado show in style. Fado is commonly regarded as simply a form of song which can be about anything but must follow a certain traditional structure. In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a sentiment of resignation, fatefulness, and melancholia.Awesome Portuguese music mixed with dinner made it a perfect evening. We came back from the show around 12 am. Today we really felt the essence of Portugal. 

Day 4:  Woke up late and had a brunch in the hotel itself. Took the metro, to reach another station. There we went on a city hop off tours castle line and Belem line. Our next stop was Rossio Square or Praça do Rossio, officially called Praça de D. Pedro IV, is Lisbon's nerve center. The square is situated in the city's Baixa neighborhood, on the northern end of Rua Augusta, very close to Restauradores Square. Praça do Rossio is the liveliest area in the capital of Portugal and where many locals and tourists meet up. We had a good walk and browsed all the antique shops on our way. My son Arnav played with water that was hitting the shores for sometime before we moved on. 

Our next stop was Padrão dos Descobrimentos; Monument of the Discoveries, which is a monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River, Lisbon. Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and the Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. From the top of this monument, we had a breathtaking view of Lisboa. It was 6 pm now and we headed back to our Palacio. We walked for over 3 miles to get to our train station. My son said that he may forget this trip but will never forget the walk from the monument to the train station. We reached Hotel and almost collapsed, had a quick dinner and called it a day. It is at this hotel we learned the essence of Peri Peria very hot sauce made with red chili peppers.

Day 5:  We started our day at 6 am. Took a cab to central Lisboa to board the tour bus to the Sintra. Sintra is consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest and most expensive municipalities in both Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula as a whole. Sintra is similarly known for its high standards of living, consistently ranking as one of the best places to live in Portugal. The historic center of the Vila de Sintra is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates & villas, gardens, and numerous royal palaces & castles, which resulted in the classification of the town and its historic passage as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palacios Reais de Sintra was beautiful and calm. We had a wonderful stroll spending our afternoon there on the cobbled streets. Had lunch at a 1945 Portuguese restaurant. Don't miss Paste De Nata the Portuguese official dessert. Later grabbed some coffee and went on a shopping spree. Loved the village ambiance and spending time with the locals. Towards the evening started our way back and drove to Cascais another beautiful town so pure and so rich in history. We stopped briefly at Cabo da Roca or Cape Roca the westernmost point of the Europe Continent. Now we called it a day and headed back to our hotel. 

Woke up early had a quick breakfast and headed to Cristo Rei, took a ferry to the other part of the town Your trip would not be complete without visiting this place.

Day 6: The giant statue in cement was constructed to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II. To view Cristo Rei in close proximity was an experience by itself. Later returned to Lisbon and visited the Jerónimos Monastery. The Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém.We later took a tram to Jorge Castle. It was totally uphill ... my son got to play with the peacocks there. He and his dad visited the entire fort and later saw the archaeological sites. The scenic view at night from the castle was spectacular.  By this time it was dark, we quickly wrapped up our shopping and walked back to our station en route to our hotel. I started packing our bags and now my very own husband and son disowned me and they refused to give me any space in their luggage for all my shopping. At last, I did some pushing and pulling and finally got to close my suitcase. We woke up at 3 am in the morning and headed back to home sweet home Dallas on a 16 hr flight.  




...

Read More...

Miracles do happen when our spirit is stronger than the body - Sushmita Sen
Miracles do happen when our spirit is stronger than the body - Sushmita Sen
Toppick Media Editor   Jul-2019
  61 Views   0 Comments
“Miracles do happen when our spirit is stronger than the body”
Writter & Photographer : Juliet Albuquerque Photography
If there is any woman who touches your heart warmly and blows your mind, all at the same time, it would have to be the former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress, the ever so beautiful and charismatic Sushmita Sen .

She could rightly be called the fist lady of India for all her first’s.

One can never forget that moment, exactly a quarter of a centaury ago in 1994, when those results were announced and 18 year old Sushmita Sen became the very first Indian to win the title of ‘Miss Universe’ putting India on the international map of beauty with a purpose and rightfully so. Literally the whole country gleamed with joy and pride celebrating that victory that we all experienced through her.

A powerhouse having 5.7million followers on Twitter and 4.1 million followers on Instagram and counting , who lives on her own terms not just by mere words but by example through her very own life and actions giving strength to thousands of women across the globe.

Sushmita Sen had the pleasure of meeting mother Theresa, just before she passed away in Calcutta /India. She saw her work in the orphanages and in the missionaries of charity and was inspired and in her own words expressed that she learnt from her how to be a mom.

She was awarded ‘ The Mother Theresa International Award’ by NGO ‘The harmony foundation for her efforts towards achieving social justice.

At 24 years of age, being a single girl , Sushmita adopted her first daughter Reene and later Alisah who she says have been born from her heart . Sushmita showed the world that you don’t need a man to be a mom . All you need is God, love and the strength of a woman. With that power of unconditional love she now has two immense creations of strength that call her “Mom”. She has single handedly raised her two kids defying all odds in a so called mans world.

In 2014 Sushmita had gone through an adrenal crisis and was declared steroid dependent for life. She had to take the steroid hydrocortisone, every 8 hours to stay alive. Sushmita under went treatment in London and Germany. It was a very traumatic time in her life experiencing loss of hair every day, with very high blood pressure, heavy eyes and loss of bone density among other side effects not forgetting the fact that she was a single mom. She was even advised to change her profession but this defiant strong willed diva decided if she goes down, she would do so living her life to the fullest on her terms. Advised by doctors to stay away from anti gravity she defied it (which she clearly doesn’t advice anyone to) and got her trainer to do exactly just that and she then got into yoga until one day she collapsed and was rushed to a hospital in Abu Dhabi where she was taken off the steroids in hospital and did the Synacthen test again. This time the results were a MIRACLE !! The doctor told her that in his 35 years of medical practice ,he had never seen anyone with an adrenal failure that had come back to producing cortisone again which means she did not have to take those steroids again and was on her way to recovery.

And this takes me back to the very first time I ever met Sushmita 18 years ago at the ‘Warsi’ residence on one gloomy evening where this ray of sunshine walked up to me and hugged me whispering in my ear “ Juliet , this too shall pass.” I’m so glad it did for you Sushmita ,you kind hearted angel. We wish you only the best. Continue to spread your love and joy and touch more lives, which very evidently you do . Shine like the sun and reach for the stars miss universe and we will follow you …..
...

Read More...

Swati Goyal having a candid conversation with the comedy kings Kunal Kamra & Rahul Subramanian
Swati Goyal having a candid conversation with the comedy kings Kunal Kamra & Rahul Subramanian
Swati Goyal   Jan-2019
  79 Views   0 Comments

I had the pleasure of having a candid conversation with the comedy kings Kunal Kamra & Rahul Subramanian who were here in Dallas for a standup comedy show. Here's their story Dallas, sit back and enjoy!

Swati: How did you enjoy performing in Dallas?

Rahul, Kunal: We had a great time, the audience was so responsive and so full of life. It was almost like performing in Mumbai with the exuberant crowds that motivate you to do better!

Swati: We’ve had so many comedians come to Dallas this year – Amit Tandon, Atul Khatri and they all had an IT background; clearly there is a strong correlation between IT and comedy. What are your thoughts on this? 

Rahul: That’s a fair question because in India most people end up doing IT. From the same batch of people, you will see other careers evolve like pilots, journalism and comedy. So that explains why most comedians have an IT background. Kunal actually is unique in that he’s not from IT (Kunal chuckles).

Kunal: Yeah, I am a BCOM drop out. I actually saw that poster where all fish are going in one direction and that one fish is going in opposite direction; I chose to be that fish. But if I become a PM someday, I’ll fake my degree, Kunal quips. 

Swati: How has life changed for you guys after being famous in comedy scene?

Kunal: On a personal level, it hasn’t changed much. To us, our content/ delivery is same just that now we have more people coming in to listen to our show and now we are  expanding geographically. From performing in Nagpur, Nasik, Ahmedabad, we have evolved to performing internationally and are glad to be here in Dallas!

Rahul: To add to this, comedy platform is still very grounded and connected to the audience. It’s not like Bollywood where with one movie you shoot to fame. End of the day we are normal people who still travel by Uber and still use discount coupons!

Swati: Rahul, on one of your shows we heard how your breakup inspired MBA. Is that true? 

Rahul: Wow, that’s a tricky one! Well, I’d say my breakup didn’t inspire MBA but breakup was the reason I did MBA, basically to get away from it. Before the MBA entrance exam results are announced, you have to buy the admission forms for colleges. I didn’t get admission in any of the colleges I had bought the forms for. But there was this one college giving out forms even after results came out and that’s the college I ended up joining and here we are! So yes, sometimes something good can come out a little bad in life.

Swati: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on stage so far.

Rahul: For me it was performing at a standup comedy show where only fifteen people were present in audience, none of whom were really listening. In the middle of the act,  these five girls right in the middle stand up and request me to take a picture of them. And guess what, I did! Those five girls were 33% of my audience so I couldn’t have disappointed them. So that was me, taking a picture in middle of my act!

Kunal: During one of my shows, an elderly uncle eating pasta got so offended by my comedy that he got up in the middle of the show shouting “This is not comedy, this is anything!”. That was the most discouraging/ embarrassing remark I received till date, comparing my comedy to “chicken tikka” would have felt a little better (Kunal giggles).

So this was our inside scoop from the comedy kings Kunal Kamra and Rahul Subramanian. Hope you enjoyed reading their story. Stay tuned for more!

...

Read More...

HOROSCOPE

Previous Next

HEALTH

View More

ART GALLERY

View More