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Live up to speed with who you really are: The best of you

Originally written in summers, probably in June or July.

Bumblebee. Happy bumblebee. Ooo I like saying this word.

Do you often see the quotation, “Be the best version of yourself” and really feel it resonate within you, but do not know what is it or how can you possibly be the best version of yourself on a more stable basis? Here is a positive dose for you fresh from the oven of my inspired life.

Who am I? is perhaps the most pondered upon and the oldest question in philosophy. A question that if you seriously sat down to think about, would make you realize that it has no bottom.  And usually when humans fall into the hole of deep thinking well, with no bottom at all, a sense of pessimism engulfs them.

I have been there. A hundred times. And I have done that right, perhaps only a few times. But out of that well, when you emerge, you come out a victor no matter what you have learnt about yourself. So, today morning when I saw a post shared by a friend on Facebook, that spoke about a positive message for those who feel confusion about where are they in life, I instantly knew what my answer for that is and wanted to speak my two cents.

Who am I? I am many things. We all are many things. Many things wonderful. But who are we on the core level is the same for all of us; we are brilliant human beings capable of great love. Capable of great goodness and our purpose is to create glee and live joy in this life time on planet Earth, to share it with others, to like for others what we would like for ourselves. Our calling is to be the best of who we are and lead a ridiculously fulfilling, authentic, fun and one satisfying life. But why then, is it sometimes almost like a battle to live a positive life? Comparison is a thief of joy, so is depression, sadness and complaining. Also, when you do not embrace who you are, spiritually, physically and mentally, you feel a gap between where you are and how you would like to be or want to be. So in a way, you are your own enemy, there are no others.

I expressed in my last post how people find me totally a good positive influence and it has really become my true radiating energy. When I say this, it doesn’t mean I do not face blues or face energy fluctuations. As it happens, I am a human like you all, and next you know what I mean, but because of my constant love and pull for the wonderful life around me, I do manage to get back up on my feet after facing some blues.  In other words, when I connect to the positive energy within me, I am on my path. I am with my best self and smiling.  And because I am beginning to understand my energy and commit to it more on a daily basis, I recently received a positive comment from a friend who said she loves me for encouraging her to live positive. I had been meditating for awhile and I realized, okay, this is another best part of me that something I have to live up to speed with and when it came to uplifting another person, I regained some of my own perspective. Isn’t that wonderful how the so called teacher also gets to learn in the process? In this way, we all are students.

It is very  important to recognize who am I (you are love and light), and then maintain your connection with your own higher self (the best of you, not the perfect you but the best you) in a successful way and live the way you want to live. At first it seems all wishy washy and a daunting task, but there is great power and happiness in recognizing your core. Make a habit of meditating daily. Never ever, underestimate the power of  meditation and finding your balance. It is like that calibration system often found in smart phones. Same way, meditation provides you opportunity to find balance and recognize your energy. All is well. To sum it all up:

1- When you are centered, the world is your oyster. There is much love and happiness and sincerity to go around in this world. You have to see this all through the eyes of your higher self. There is happiness beyond any measures and abundance beyond your imagination. You can always choose your peace. Peace, not resignation.

2- When you see someone happy, living the best of life that they have created, and you feel glad for them, you are seeing them through the real higher self eyes. Your energy is purest and highest when you are being real loving you. It is also when you have truly mastered your connection with your self and it is a sign that your own happiness is flowing towards you and through you and you do not radiate hate at all. It is all love. Pure love. 

3. Whenever someone is living the best of their lives, appreciate it. Celebrate it with them. it only means they have mastered the art of living happily, and are living up to speed with who they are. If you are not where you wanted to be, it is not because what you want isn’t there, no one is keeping anything away from us, it is only when we repel it ourselves and not live up to speed with our own desires and aspirations or just choose to feel anxiety instead of peace. Listen to the voice inside you that is always fun, always good, always sincere and always pointing you towards the direction where your bliss is. That voice is God, guiding you gently and telling you, chin up. You are not alone in this.

So make a resolution today not to let any negative emotion cripple you or keep you away from being who you are. Embrace positive vibes. There is great magic in optimism. It is your true energy. In fact, it is the only true energy.  Rest of the versions are just shadows, often created by negative emotions over time and perpetuated. 

Smile and B.e.l.i.e.v.e.

Blemishes are beautiful too.

A lot of things are going on in my mind right now, 

1- The big canvas that I just ruined.

2- My dreams.

3- And my own voice that has been living inside my head for a long now, trying to gracefully manage it all. But I guess, it is okay to speak about it all. 

Depression.

I just came across a video on Facebook this morning, and the information I learned through that video hit me deep.

Effects of Depression & Anxiety

1- Depression makes one so tired 24/7. Anxiety keeps you awake 24/7.

2- Depression makes you have no motivation. Anxiety makes you feel terrible for not doing anything.

3- Depression pulls you one way, anxiety pulls you another.

4- Anxiety keeps you from having good relationships. Depression makes you not care.

5- You have constant arguments with yourself..

You see, ‘Depression & Anxiety’ are so subtle sometimes, that you don’t really realize they have been a part of you until you understand the signs or watch a video on it.  In fact, even if you do realize, you try to shrug it off in order to live in denial, for the sake of appearing composed and calm. Does this make any sense? For me, not being able to paint this morning was an alarming sign. Art enters people’s heart through sadness. My case is totally opposite. Happiness and love around me makes me and my ability to paint radiate.The amazing thing of all is, so many of us are going through it on daily basis. So many of us, yet we keep it all inside. That is really brave. Yet, I need to tell myself first and foremost, and then anyone else, that it is also very fearful and not a healthy way to live.

Where does that lead us? I searched online how to cope with it all. And the best and most practical advise was, “talk about it with someone you want to share it with,  talk, talk and talk.” And that’s the main problem. We are not encouraged in our society to talk about our problems in an open way. We are not given a space apart from “online” world, to have a conversation with someone face to face about it and just don’t let it eat you. 

My conversation with someone in the morning came to my mind. I realized I wanted to talk about something, and the person wanted me to further suppress my  already suppressed ‘depression & anxiety’ in that particular moment and save it for later. I see the same thing around me at home sometimes, when I want to talk but no one is actually interested in sitting down and having a heart to heart. The love is big. The love is really big, but something is missing inside all of us. It seems like we all are running away from real life and in an attempt to reach the happy cloud, we are just not being there for each other in times when we really do need to be there. The result is, people have to pay to therapists and get more depressed because therapists are not people who matter to us personally.

Is it not a part of being a human to be not so perfect and let each other, your parents, your friends, your colleagues, your every possible intimate connection know that wait, listen to this, can you listen? Can you feel this wave crashing at my sanity shore and making me feel like I need to rise and speak and speak but my own ears aren’t listening? Can you listen to it for me and prove to me we all are humans, we all are here to feel not just bravery but fears too. We all are here not to just win, but lose too. We all here not to just always appear strong but weak too? We wouldn’t be humans if we deny ourselves all the darker emotions along with the sparkly ones. 

I do not know what am I going to do in the next moment, the next hour, or tomorrow. But I am telling myself in this moment, that I need to be myself. And to be myself, I have to tell myself that it is okay to feel all you are feeling and not try to be perfect. Do things right, respect all, be honest, and be kind. But not to just others, but also to yourself. So it is okay to not feel okay sometimes. Stand in this moment, do not be so still that you are considered a dead, do not move so fast that you are deemed as reckless. Just stand, look at your hands and pray, you were brought here for a reason. 

I don’t think I have ever publicly admitted that I think I am depressed, or suffering through some anxiety. But that’s exactly my point: we hide the parts of us we ought to be revealing, to live authentic lives. We forget, blemishes are beautiful too. We forget.

I am going to publish my unpublished post next that was written in between May or June. My natural human anxiety made me play it down. I owe myself and my thoughts this honor to have them published without any judgement from my own inner critic. 

 

12 Positive Affirmations for that Dream Job

Want to know a secret to a successful passionate life? Of course, you do. Who wouldn’t love a prosperous and a joyful life. I know I do! So do we all. And here’s my little secret!

“Be happy, and ridiculously, optimistic”.

I know it sounds easier said than done, but who said that things said easily are difficult to do anyway? It is only our belief systems that either make us, or hinder us. 

Recently, I have been hearing a lot from people how they totally find me a positive influence on them, how I light up the so called proverbial room, that my energy moves things all around me, that they envy how I go about my day, and on many levels, inspire others to have a good feeling lifestyle. But this habit of being warm fuzzy positive bug isn’t achieved overnight. Once you get the hang of it, you really rock at it. The moment I accepted I was born a positive pure energy being, like you all are born, I found the secret to tap into the success that slowly but surely, and sometimes, magically faster, zaps itself into your life and comfortably stays there, as long as you maintain the good positive energy vibes. And as you know, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”, opportunities to be more happier, healthier and wealthier, come in abundance, too.

You might wonder, as to where to begin from. It is too simple and easy.

Know Thyself. Once you know who you are, what you like, and what are your preferences, accept it.

Accept yourself. Be who you are and we all are nothing but love, darling! Love in different forms. Done that? Good.

Now any subject that is of importance to you, be specific and clear about it. In today’s post, the subject  is “Work/Career”. I love  working in a a creative environment, holding a prestigious job title. I even love working from home because I simply love the freedom of being my own boss and as I am sifting through the diverse opportunities of working as a freelancer, I also miss the “office”, so called, getting up in the morning and getting ready to go to work kind of feeling with great financial freedom that I once had. But it wasn’t enough, which is why I left my job in the first place, to gain more personal happiness and prosperity. So I sat down and started thinking about what kind of a work would really hold me this time. And after choosing the desired fields,  understanding my own interests, I jotted down the following points along with some positive affirmations.

My work/job priorities are:

  • Great working environment
  • Generous & friendly boss/colleagues. Vibrant and creative minds.
  • Reasonable working hours (So I can have plenty of time for my hobbies, health and adventures)
  • And the best and generous salary package in the field.

Ever since I have become clear about what kind of work makes me use my abilities and what work commitments would really suit my lifestyle, sifting and sorting through work opportunities and bagging them has become very easy. The day is not far when I’ll be having an empire of my own, where I would love to assemble up a team of most creative, nice and brilliant minds, and we would be doing the most inspiring, and meaningful work together. Till then, I am really enjoying my stepping stone collaborations with amazing people that will lead me to my ultimate dream.

For your own clarity, do the same exercise. Narrow down what matters to you in terms of comfort level, what brings you joy and passion and that wa wa voom feeling! And when clear, develop positive thoughts about your intended desire or goal. Here are some positive thoughts that I think of, for energy and feeling of worthiness.  Feel it, bathe in it, and expect absolutely the most joyful experiences ahead.

I deserve to have a successful career, and I accept it now.

My work makes a difference.

It’s a beautiful thing, when a career and a passion, come together.

An exciting new career prospect is on it’s way to me.

My work fulfills me, and allows me to prosper.

I am capable of incredible things.

I am appreciated, and valued, wherever I work.

I absolutely LOVE my work, and love the people I work with.

I work in style, earn in style, and live in complete happiness. 

I am appreciated and treasured at workplace.

My job brings me immense pleasure, success, satisfaction and wealth.

I am a productive individual, leading a meaningful and zesty life! 

 

And of course, you can build on and on, adding more affirmations and positive feeling thoughts to your belief system as you go along. You’ll love it, I promise!

May you all never settle for anything less than extraordinary!

 

 

Amazing DSLR Filmmaking: Canon EOS 600D Video Quality Test

Amazing! A massive welcome back to all of you. I am so thrilled and excited to relaunch Khanumsays with a new layout, new features, more navigation freedom and a broader vision this time. 

As you all know, I am team Canon, before that I was team FujiFilm Finepix, and still I am but the photography experiences I have had with my Canon EOS 600D since I bought it, have been simply marvelous. People look at the results and ask, which camera do you use? And this is perhaps the most common question out there. If you happen to own a higher and more expensive model than 600D, the results are pretty obvious. But digital photography or videography becomes a very sweet experience when you have very basic gear in terms of the giants out there. 

Today’s blog post is about it’s video quality test. I recorded some scenes on 600D with the basic 18mm-55mm kit lens and no tripod. It was entirely a hand handled camera shoot thus the shakes. But hey, the mini beast I have is absolutely a joy to experiment with. (And I have heard it has been discontinued so if you get your hands on 600d for a start from someone, grab it.) The following first video was shot in the first week of Feb, with extreme cold and the unavailability of Sui Gas in some areas of Lahore during the day hours, we were glad to make our food this typical desi way! What a joy it was! Enjoy the mouthwatering experience! 

 

That was some smooth filming! Isn’t it! Not bad at all given that it was just a DSLR.  (The abrupt music ending in the second video is due to Youtube’s weak editing studio). Now for the details, I’ll be summing up my experience in a rather short way. For in depth review, click here.

This camera offers you  different video recording settings in terms of quality control concerning frames per second and the picture dimensions/resolution. These two shot clips, were recorded in HD mode 1080p, 25 frames per second continuous shooting mode. The results came out pretty nice. You’ll definitely enjoy a satisfying video recording experience, sweet results in terms of HD, Freedom to shoot in cinematic look. Though it has it’s limitations. For the focus, the lens you are using plays a major role here and it’s smooth ring . But there were some annoying moments for me as well. And I am honestly going to lay them out. 

You quite enjoy the video look until you pump up the contrast int he editing mode and see the difference. 

 

I usually like to edit my videos using Adobe Premiere, but I did not have access to it for this video so I used simple and limiting editing provided online by Youtube. There, you can see, as I pumped up the contrast to +3, the video result changed significantly. The colors were brighter, better and satisfying.

Another thing I noticed is that you definitely need ND filters for video recording. And must put up with the ISO settings for the video. I intentionally added a small clip of the eagle in the second video where the ISO is messed up, despite the contrast pumped up in the editing, the need for ND filter was loud. Because the rule is simple: You can’t shoot a nonsense footage and expect it to become sensible in editing all by itself. And lastly, the sound quality is good. The camera mic does catch sounds amazingly but you definitely need to attach a microphone with it if you wish to catch only a specific sound, else you’ll be recording every freaking noise around. As you must have noticed, I have the original sizzling sound intact in some of the clips in the first video, and in other I had to turn the sound off in the editing since the camera caught all voices around. 

In a nutshell, There are certainly much better video quality cameras but if you happen to own 600D or plan to own it for the purpose of photography plus videography, then be assured, the results are beautiful. And all is well. And do you know you can enjoy Magic Lantern with your 600D? Go explore that.

In the end, what matters most is how you skillfully use it. The results depend on absolutely on your technique, features added to enhance your video result and the post processing to a certain degree. 

I’ll definitely be making more videos and enjoy the joy of film making, taking one step after another. If you have a videography experience as a film enthusiast or a blogger, you are more than welcome to share your two cents and your story with me. And Oh! I would love to hear the videography blunders. We all love that as they serve as a learning curve.

 

 

 

 

Lunching munching these days & good reads

If you want me to love you. You must love food & books.   

Why? Because I lurve them! … And because … I would  probably judge you on your choice of books and zauq for eating.

What is more enjoyable than food and having a good book in hand. I prefer this more than having the company of people. In fact, I can party alone with tasty food itself without any other human around. Spend my entire day reading something than be out there with people. And that is exactly what I have been doing lately: trying out new things whenever I get tired at my workplace. I either eat something new or read something new. Since eating delicious things puts me in good mood and I do have a thing to taste everrrry new food item before me, I have made it my mission to keep my lunching munching and reading records and tell you how it actually tastes. Should you spend money on it, or forget about it all together. This job, it’s delicious fun. Expensive on my pocket but boy! Does it excite me or what!

The books on my currently reading list are Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, The Poisonwood Bible, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Book of Questions by Pablo and more that I would lurve to dedicate an entire post to. 

The cafes tried out by me are Kitchen Cuisine and Latteria Mozarella. So far so good, but so expensive. Would I recommend them? Yes. A big yes. But all of their items? uh ha ha. Lets see that. 

For now, enjoy the tasty bits & pieces.

The Weekend Banana Cake

..with grapes on top.

I call it the weekend cake, for a reason.

It requires good mood that you always get to have on weekends only. No work stress, no social commitments (for me at least) and absolutely no worry about running out of time. I baked this cake yesterday in the noon, decorated it in the evening, and photographed it today few mins earlier in the natural light, using my cell. And as I am typing this away, my family is busy licking the cream off their fingers. Did I mention I made the cream myself using butter for the cake topping?! Yum yum and voila!

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Here’s the quick recipe that I would share. You can make it on Eid if you like, or whenever you find the courage and craving for baking. 

For the mixture, you need nearly 2 cups of Flour.

1 and a half cup sugar.

1 Half cup oil

2 eggs.

Half teaspoon Baking Powder

Half teaspoon salt

Half cup Milk & skills to make the batter. 

For the homemade whipped cream you need:

Homemade butter, icing sugar and few drops of milk. 

For decoration: Grapes that my mommy got from bazaar just in time.

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How did I make it? 

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Beat the egg whites using electric egg beater for smoother result. Whip whip whip until they are like foam and even if you turn the bowl upside down, they shouldn’t fall out and stay firm. That’s how you check and rate your egg whites whipping. Here’s a short clip for my test and batter. I made 3 fantastic cakes with this much batter. 2 medium sized, and one small cake.

Add sugar in the egg whites and set aside. Now for the batter, add all the dry ingredients in one bowl, pour in the egg yolks, oil and milk and mix it together. Make sure to mix it well. Once done, gently add the egg whites into the mixture and fold rather than mixing. 

Oil the pans, pour the mixture into them and off they go to be baked into the oven. 

How do I know the cakes are ready?

There would be sweet aroma of the baked sponge cakes everywhere in your kitchen. Moreover, when you’ll touch the surface of the cake, it would be soft and bounce back. That’s how you know your sponge cake is ready.

How do I whip cream?

Using the same egg beater, beat the butter well. Add in sugar and milk. Your whipped cream is ready.

But where are the bananas in it?

I made the banana syrup filling for that. Cut 3 bananas into tiny pieces, add few drops of water, milk and 3 tablespoons of sugar into the pan and heat the mixture for few minutes. There you go, you have your banana filling. Set aside to cool down. Once the cake is ready to be decorated, make the cream border on the cake using piping bag, then fill the center of the cake with banana mixture. At the end, cover the entire cake with cream and decorate as you want. I used grapes for the final look.

Sweet! ^_^