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From Homesickness and Heartbreak to Healing: A reader shares with an author how a book impacted her life.

“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain” is the first line of an Emily Dickenson poem by that name. It is also the reason I wrote my book, to ease people’s relocation pain. Today, I felt so touched that I was able to do that in some way when I read a review of my book. It brought happy tears to my eyes!.

It’s written by Kathleen Thackham, an extraordinary woman who I met only once and got to know more online. Kathleen is a cancer and trauma survivor with a gift for writing from the heart. She’s embarking on her own writing journey with her own blog recreatingme.com.

Lately, like so many people these days, Kathleen has been feeling heartbroken and like she doesn’t belong. She said my book helped heal her heart and bring her peace. She will never truly know how much her words meant to me and how she inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing. This is what she wrote:

So much more than a book on moving!

This book is called A Mindful Move, “Feel at home again.”

I know the author of this book. I don’t know her well, but after reading this book I feel like she knows me.

The facts are, this book is very well researched. Kiran did a fantastic job of interviewing people from all walks of life, making sure that her information and research was current, factual, and helpful.

It’s a short book that covers a lot of ground, in great detail, and could very easily be used as a blueprint for your next move.

But I got something out of this book I never expected. I have moved around a lot. If I had to count, I’d say we’ve lived in over 30 different places, all over America and in England. I worked for a relocation company and I planned every move as though it was a project.

But with this last move, I have been here almost 4 years and I’m not ashamed to say I feel lost. For some reason, I haven’t been able to fit in and it doesn’t yet feel like home to me.

I picked up Kiran’s book and started crying because she got me. Without giving too much away, because I want you to read this book for yourself.

I realized what a loss this last move has been for me. I haven’t emotionally let go of my last home, so I haven’t been able to fully move into my new one. I haven’t been able to become a part of my new community because I was holding on to my old one.

This book is more than about moving. It’s about finding yourself in the process.

Picking up and starting over can be such an emotional process for some people. For many of my other moves, I just got on with it. This time I am heartbroken.

Kiran breaks down the process of letting go. The disconnection phase, the honeymoon phase, the homesickness phase, the connection phase. It’s all right there!

We are not robots, we are not moving companies. We are families, we are moms, we are wives, we have feelings, and moving isn’t just a strategic project to go from one end to another.

I love how she breaks down the emotional aspect and allows you to find comfort by adding in comforting quotes that speak to your heart.

Some, would not think that chapters on self-esteem would be of value in a book like this. However, leaving our homes, our friends, everything that we know, and starting over again in new communities with total strangers, can have shocking ramifications.

If this book was merely a blueprint on how to move, it would leave you emotionally bankrupt because moving is an emotional process and there is so much more than just packing and unpacking.

Could some of this be common sense? Well, anyone who’s ever hired a moving truck, or packed a box could find pieces in this book that are familiar to them. But the fact that she incorporates loss and self-esteem, and even a section on spirituality, mindfulness, and peace, shows that she has a deep understanding of this process and is passionate to share it with us.

Right at the end, you get sections on “Needing to fulfill our purpose in life,” and “Personal transformation.”

This author cares about her readers. She didn’t write this book because she wanted any book published, she wanted this book published!

She shares personal stories of her family’s experiences, she bears her soul, and you can tell she wants nothing more than for you to experience the peace that she has finally found.

The British have a term when something is good and they want more they call it “Moorish.”To me, this book was Moorish. I couldn’t put it down. It made me feel good. I felt like I wasn’t alone in a strange city anymore. I felt like she understood my pain, and I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know what else she had up her sleeve.

I work from home, I’m always in my house and that can leave you feeling very much like a hermit. Today I got out and explored my surroundings. But most importantly I resolved to let go of the past, cherish the memories, and finally settle into my new home.

So grab a cup of tea, I’m certain Kiran had the kettle on when she was writing this book, and take some time getting to know her. It really is like sitting with a new friend. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to review this book. It changed me, it brought me peace.

Kiran Prasad author of A Mindful Move: Feel at home again. Kiran has relocated 29 times.

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Binge-Watching TV Shows During Stressful, Uncertain Times

Instead of watching wall to wall coverage of US politics, lately, I’m watching reruns of favorite comedy shows or binge – watching (watching back-to-back episodes) of TV shows I used to love. I’m not the only one. I’m noticing my friends doing it too, watching old movies like ET or other old shows. 

I wondered why we ‘re  turning to this. Then I realized that these shows provide us a refuge or an escape from reality at times of crisis. ( Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting we  bury our heads in the sand because I’m still keeping informed about world news by reading about it ).  At times of uncertainty and change, it’s just comforting to have something certain and familiar in our daily lives, something we can count on as remaining the same. When we’re going through major change, it helps to have a  favorite routine to comfort and anchor us. Depending on what we binge – watch, it might take us back to simpler times.

I know watching hours and hours of TV is not the healthiest routine, but it’s a way for many of us to cope. What can make it less unhealthy is to take regular breaks to stretch or to do other forms of exercise.  We can also try to make it healthier by interspersing TV watching with having more real life experiences that put us in the present moment. It’s  very easy to lose ourselves in the world of a TV show!

My binge series right now is Frasier, What’s yours? What shows help you relax and what ways do you have of staying healthy while watching them? 

Kiran Prasad has moved 29 times and is the author of A Mindful Move: Feel at home again

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Reaching Out Across the Fences

When a new neighbor moves in, I make sure I welcome them into the neighborhood with a small gift such as a plant or cookies as well as a card. When I lived in the mid – west, a neighbor once greeted me with a gift of a welcome mat and a beautiful card with her contact information on it. I will never forget her kindness and have adopted this welcoming act ever since.

I follow this up with an invite for coffee. I do this because I remember only too well the coldness I experienced through some of my moves (and I have been through a lot of moves!).  It is a simple thing, but these days we are too busy or just don’t do neighborly things anymore. We could be more welcoming in schools and workplaces too.

I grew up in England and remember how my mother used to chat with our next door neighbor over a small break in the fence (many back yards have six-foot fences there). It was quite cute to see, and when my father decided he needed to repair the fence, both ladies protested. They said they wished there was no fence at all between them.

I don’t know about you, but I like and need to know who lives next door to me and to get to know them. We can make so many assumptions about people until we get acquainted with them. In my book, “A Mindful Move, Feel at home again,” I explain why it is so important to get to know your neighbors. 

I live in the US now. What I have always loved most about America is that it is so accepting of differences (at least in most parts of the country I have lived in). It is painful to see that changing now in a Trump era. However, it is also heartwarming to see many people reaching out across the fences and making their “neighbors” feel supported and not alone.

In a divided country, we need this kind of neighborliness more than every before.  Why not try doing it today?. Reach out and get to know someone new. When were you last neighborly? When was someone neighborly to you? Share with us here. 

Kiran Prasad has relocated 29 times and calls Portland, Oregon home now.

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Expats and Culture Shock in a Trump Era

North America has been my home for 21 years.  I was proud to be a citizen and felt I belonged. But lately, it doesn’t feel like the same country where I placed my right hand on my chest and pledged allegiance to the flag.

Growing up in England, for most of my childhood I was told I  didn’t belong and that I should go back to my own country. But England was my country. I thought America would be more accepting because it embraces differences. Indeed it was, and  I fell in love with this land of the free and brought up my children here.

However, like many expats, I am now feeling lost and in limbo, as though the ground has been taken from underneath my feet. I  am a newcomer again, trying to navigate my way through unfamiliar territory to determine how safe it is and how people will perceive me.  I am neither here nor there.

Many of us, not just expats, are experiencing these symptoms of “Culture Shock,” a term coined by the anthropologist Kalvero Oberg to describe the feelings of disorientation and uncertainty that might arise when people are thrown unprepared into an alien culture.

At first, there may be excitement or anticipation (as we had before the election). Then there can be feelings of grief such as shock and numbness, followed by anger,  fear,  and even depression. There can be homesickness too, with a yearning to return to the way things were.

Gradually, there is an acceptance of reality, that things will never be the same again. That’s where I am now. How about you? Does any of this resonate with you?

I would love to hear from you. Just remember, these posts are moderated and comments need to be kept respectful and free from profanity.

Kiran Prasad has relocated 29 times and is the author of A Mindful Move: Feel at home again.

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The Power and Magic of Setting Writing Deadlines

I always hated the word “deadline.” It sounds stressful, business-like, not at all me. I am a creative individual and us writers like to go with the flow, wait for our muse, for inspiration to come. We certainly don’t like to impose timelines to our work.

I went around like that for nearly ten years trying to write my book. Since I was planning on self-publishing, I could take all the time in the world, and there was no end in sight. But something changed all that.

Just over a year ago, my mother passed away suddenly, and I had to fly back to England for the funeral. At the service, I remember thinking  – that could be me in the coffin. None of us know how long we really have. I thought – what would I be leaving behind, what legacy other than my children? Then I recalled the words of Wayne Dyer from one of his inspiring talks, “Don’t die with your music still in you.” I imagined departing from this earth with my book remaining unpublished on my computer.

That did it! After flying back home from the funeral, I asked my son to help me set deadlines for my book and to hold me accountable for it. We decided I would revise a chapter a week and submit it to him by noon each Friday. It worked! I discovered that while I wasn’t good at setting myself deadlines, once deadlines were set, I was great at keeping to them. This way I quickly got my book ready to send to an editor.

However, after the book was edited, I found myself drifting aimlessly again. Now  I had all the time in the world to publish it. I carried on like that until the start of the new year. Suddenly one morning, I woke up thinking of something I read,  how dreams are just a goal with a deadline. There and then, I imposed a deadline on myself!

Although I had no idea whether I could do it by then, and it was scary to put it out there, I made a commitment. I announced on my author Facebook page that I would publish my book on my birthday.

Well, today is my birthday and I am ahead of that schedule. My ebook is published and my paperback is about to follow.

The writer who hated deadlines now understands the power and magic of them!

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The Day My Book Was Published!

I woke up in the morning screaming with joy! What a wonderful surprise to find my Kindle book was fully approved and live on Amazon! I was expecting it to take much longer, up to three days.

I reread the message from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) about three times because it wouldn’t sink in. I felt like how my son used to when it was his birthday. He would say how he went to bed – years old and woke up – years old. I kept thinking how I had gone to bed as a writer with an upcoming book and woken up as a published author! I can’t describe enough the joy I felt and am still feeling!

I couldn’t wait to do a Google search for it. It felt surreal seeing it listed with other books. Unbelievable how it was available to the world! Both my husband and I were ecstatic when we saw it!  We couldn’t wait to tell everyone, especially our kids. My family has invested a lot of time into helping make this happen, so they were as excited as I was. I just had to make everyone promise not to mention it to anyone for at least a day because I had to get my marketing efforts into gear. Despite the fact I was sick to the stomach with flu, barely able to hold down food or water, I continued with my launch a little ahead of schedule!

Writing and publishing a book has been a lifelong dream of mine since I was a kid, writing angst – ridden poems. I dreamed of someday publishing them as a collection. Well, I didn’t end up writing a poetry book, but “A Mindful Move” includes a lot of my poems.

I only wish everyone can experience the joy of realizing a dream as I did that day.

 

 

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Welcome to my Blog on Transition and Health

 

I have been procrastinating long enough on starting my new blog. My first book is about to be launched and I need somewhere to house it. However, I have been grappling over what to write about because there are many things I want to talk about.

In the end, I decided that most of what I would like to share fits under the broad umbrella of “transition and health.” Having studied extensively about transition (for my book) and having experienced many, major life transitions, I have become quite an expert on this subject. Change is never easy to accept, whether it is a change of abode, job, health, or even a presidency. There is a process that needs to be worked through, and I will be showing healthy ways to do this. You can find these posts listed under various categories in the sidebar.

I hope my blog can become a dialogue on these important topics. However, please be aware that all comments are moderated and any vulgar or hateful speech will be removed. This is a respectful space.

Thank you, and I look forward to getting acquainted with you soon!

 

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