Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year to All!

New Year’s Day is like the present we wait to open with a lot of excitement for wonderful things that we hope to come our way.  We hope for fulfillment of new goals and happiness. The most important part in this new gift/present is that it is not predestined as to the content of the box the present comes in. It is the culmination of what happened in the years before and the intensions and effort of what goes into it from this day forward. You can make this
wonderful gift of hope into whatever you want to make of it! How you receive this gift is a very important part of what it brings to you!

I am sure everyone is preparing and planning how to celebrate the coming of the New Year.  Do you have parties planned? Do you have your New Year’s resolutions and goals lined up? Do you know whom you’re going to be with and where you will be when the clock strikes midnight and the calendar shows January 1st, 2016?

We look forward to the New Year because it reminds us of all that we have accomplished.  We look forward to doing better and finishing what we did not the year before.
The New Year is about the future and we always hope the future to be better and more progressive.

At Malibu Chronicle we are looking forward to how our publication will grow in the New Year and go beyond what we have done in 2015. It is the time to look ahead, it is also the time to reflect upon what we have done so far. We’ve learned from our work and also from all the wonderful people we have met during the last year.  We consider our readers’ and partners’ suggestions.

Our past: Publisher Veera Mahajan purchased Malibu Chronicle in 2011 as a sporadically published loose-leaf paper. With a staff of one, herself, she continued publishing the monthly newspaper for a year and added our online publication www.malibuchronicle.com.  In January 2013, we started printing the glossy magazine and since then we have been constantly evolving and growing in pages, quality, readership, distribution and staff. In 2014, we grew from a quarterly to a bi-monthly magazine, six issues per year.  Our expanded distribution route includes Conejo Valley, San Fernando Valley, Calabasas, Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura and Beverly Hills.

At present:  Malibu Chronicle is mailed directly to 8400 homes in Malibu, we are in Ralph's and Whole Foods grocery stores and in all free stand from Venice to Ventura. We are now a beautiful glossy, perfect-bound, 78 pages of thought-provoking stories to promote and share the Malibu spirit and lifestyle. 

Our publication and publisher, Veera Mahajan is very well received and liked. We regularly get calls from readers who thank and congratulate us for putting out a wonderful publication.

We received many local and international awards in 2015. Very soon our publisher will be on her way to India to receive the Hind Rattan, another prestigious award. The award will be presented on January 24th, 2016 in New Delhi, the capital of India. 

Our future: We see only good and wonderful things in the magazine’s future, because we are building this publication on the basis of love and respect for all concerned. We base our magazine on All Good News and that is what our readers have grown to expect from us.  We plan to continue to support and highlight our local personalities and businesses. 

We are planning to grow in size and increase our reach way beyond where we are now. We are developing innovative and creative ways to bring more exposure to our magazine and in turn to our advertisers. Of course we can't share everything right now because we are constantly evolving and also we like to share a few good surprises in every issue.

How will you meet the New Year? Are you Prepared? Send us stories about your New Year experiences so we can post and share online.  

Have a wonderful beautiful New Year’s Eve and have a brilliant and Happy New 2016!

Have Fun and Be Safe!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

What is Renunciation?

True renunciation is the capacity to set the right value for all the worldly things and to realize how inconsequential they are to our existence, even though we may have them when we are here in this world, and may even enjoy them. 

As long as we are not attached to having them, and do not depend on our possessions for our
happiness we can place the right amount of value on Things. The Things you think you must have might not be what makes you happy, because they may not be there tomorrow.  Even the people you are with today may not be there tomorrow. It is okay to enjoy your things and the company of people you like at this moment. Enjoy this moment and be happy that you have this time, but if you start counting on those things and people to make you happy, you are asking for trouble and unhappiness which is sure to come.

Renunciation is the measure of spirituality.  It is a misconception to think that renunciation is the resignation of life. You do not have to go barefooted to the mountains or forests and be alone to practice renunciation. It must be practiced in our daily lives, at home and in business.

Renunciation does not mean to give up all your worldly possessions or not thrive to do well and grow in business. It is good to have goals and reach them through hard work and intelligent decisions. It is not right to grow at the cost of hurting yourself or others, as if winning and succeeding were the only way to be happy.  Winning by hurting others may bring you things but it will not bring you everlasting happiness.

A successful and rich person can be a renunciate if he is not attached to his money and knows that it is momentary and a temporary possession.  He should know that possessions are not his existence, while a poor person, who always thinks about money, and is always looking for ways to possess material things is a materialist, whether he has the money or not.

Here is a poem from my favorite book Vedanta Treatise to clarify the meaning of renunciation:


Once in Persia reigned a king,

Who upon his signet ring

Graved a maxim true ad wise

Which, if held before his eyes,

Gave him counsel at a glance

Fit for every change and chance.

Solemn words, and these are they;

“Even this shall pass away.”

Trains of camels through the sand

Brought him gems from Samarkand;

Fleets of galleys through the seas

Brought him pearls to match with these;

But he counted not his gain

Treasures of the mine or main;

“What is wealth?” the king would say;

“Even this shall pass away.”


Mid the revels of his court,

At the zenith of his sport,

When the palms of all his guests

Burned with clapping at his jests,

He, amid his figs and wine,

Cried, “O loving friends of mine;

Pleasures come, but not to stay;

“Even this shall pass away.”


Lady, fairest ever seen.

Was the bride he crowned his queen.

Pillowed on his marriage bed.

Softly to his soul he said:

“Though no bridegroom ever pressed

Fairest bosom to his breast,

Mortal flesh must come to clay –

Even this shall pass away.”


Fighting on the furious field,

Once a javelin pierced his shield;

Soldiers, with a loud lament,

Bore him bleeding to his tent.

Groaning from his tortured side,

“Pain is hard to bear,” he cried;

“But with patience, day by day,

Even this shall pass away.”


Struck with palsy, sore and old,

Waiting at the Gates of Gold,

Said he with his dying breath,

“Life is done, but what is Death?”

Then, in answer to the king,

Fell a sunbeam on his ring,

Showing by a heavenly ray,

“Even this shall pass away.”


Enjoy this moment, this is all we really have!

Light and love to all!


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Slow Down and Smell the Roses!


A few days ago I met with a friend who introduced me to a book called “Your Life Is Your Message” by Eknath Easwaran.  It is a little book with a big message.

I knew it was a book with a message just by the title, and also because my friend had said that he was so impressed by it that he gives it to all his students at the end of his Business and Spiritual Growth class.  I didn’t give it much thought because I am a pretty spiritual person and I do read a lot of books like this one, Vedanta Treatise being my favorite one.  Vedanta Treatise has kept me grounded in very potentially volatile situations and kept me calm and collected,
when otherwise I could have easily lost it.

But, this little book did get me quite wired up when I finally start reading it. I got up early one morning because I had decided the night before that I am going to get back to my early morning reading and teatime. I missed my quiet time with myself. I was pretty good with that until a couple years ago, when my work with Malibu Chronicle magazine was getting busier and I was also taking classes for my Masters in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine. I have now finished my classes and so my life is a little bit easier, although I hardly realized the difference when I was in it. I have learned through life to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and get things done.

One fine morning when my son, Rahul, was still sleeping, I woke up early to read a few pages from my new book (my gift).   It is an easy read, small passages, short stories, but big messages. After an hour I realized I was still reading and I really wanted to save some time for meditation (since it was also part of my plan from the night before).  It is my compulsive desire if I make a goal I must strive to reach it.

So, I closed the book and meditated for 15 minutes. Everything seemed fine till my son woke up and very lovingly said, “Good morning Mama”. Out of nowhere I had so much to say to him and I must admit none of it nicely. I was upset at him for wasting time, leaving his things all over the place, leaving the lights on all night.  He pushed back for a second, who could blame him. It seemed I’d lashed out for no reason as soon as I saw him. He probably wanted to go right back to bed and away from me. But, my wonderful beautiful son saw me in turmoil and became the calm presence that I needed at the time. Very quickly I understood my mistake but still did not understand why I behaved that way. Now I was upset at being upset.

As I gave myself time and kept trying to understand my own behavior, I realized I was projecting my own hurried life style on my son. I have been on the go and missing out on the good things along the way. I realized from my new book that the more we hurry and try to do too many things at one time, the less time we seem to have.  We can easily delete a lot of unimportant things from our daily schedule and enjoy the ones we choose to do. We will enjoy the things, places and people in our lives more if we only spend some more time with the things, places and people, instead of rushing through them all to the next place or person.

Since that day, I am trying to spend more time doing one thing at a time. I’d like to spend time with the people that I really want to spend time with, and who are good for my well-being, instead of trying to do everything and please everyone.  I know I can never please everyone even if I try. It is a foolish goal anyway. We are all responsible for our own happiness. I am trying to cut out the clutter in my life and stop trying to be part of everything. 

I am very happy with the magazine (Malibu Chronicle) and I am glad I am done with my classes. I am enjoying teaching Peer Mediation at Our Lady of Malibu School. It is very inspiring and satisfying to help young children towards learning how to resolve disputes peacefully and mutually, instead of using anger.
I am happy to refocus and be able spend my morning teatime with my spiritual books.  This practice prepares me for the day and for whatever it brings my way. I always have a choice to engage in a situation or not. If someone or something is not good for me, I remind myself I always have that choice to walk away.

I choose to slow down and smell the roses!
Still Learning to L.I.V.E.
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Is it possible to move on when there is no apology?







Monday, November 16, 2015

Forgive and be Happy!

I believe this too. I know, as hard as I try to be good and proper, I still make mistakes. I believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.  I believe in “loving thy neighbor as thyself.” Matter of fact, it is the only commandment that I really resonate with and believe helps us be good citizens and love and forgive each other. The rest of the commandments are obvious.

Forgiving someone is good but letting him or her hurt you again and again is not good. Just like loving someone else is good but loving someone at your own cost and not loving yourself enough is not good. If you let someone hurt you again and again, and you are not doing anything to stop it or move away from them, you are not loving yourself and, you are not being good to yourself. Jesus may have said turn the other cheek, but I don’t remember him ever saying let them strike you again.  

"Hit Me Once, Shame On You.
Hit Me Twice, Shame On Me."
I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before, but it doesn’t only refer to physical hitting. People hit and abuse others in many ways. Physical pain is just one of many ways people hurt. Emotional and verbal abusers get away with it everyday. All too often, the victims try to please these abusers more and the abuse only gets worse. This kind of abuse can go on for years. The victim keeps trying to forgive and move on till they are hit again, but the abuser does not stop till the victim decides not to be the victim anymore.

It’s okay to want to live a loving and forgiving life. It’s good to want to forgive our perpetrators, but if the abuser’s behavior isn’t changing and they continue to hurt you, it’s okay to forgive and move away. The forgiveness is not only for the other person.  Forgiveness is for you to be able to put the past in the past and move into a happier life for yourself. It is okay to protect yourself. If moving away is the only way to take care of you, then move away.  Forgive with no expectations. Forgive for your Self! And be Happy!

You deserve to be happy. If you have to be alone to make that happen, so be it!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Didn’t know I would be thinking about my mom like this…

Spending time with my mom for the last three weeks was amazing in more ways than I thought possible. I think we both grew as individual women and in our mother-daughter relationship.

I remembered my mom as a woman who did everything for everyone and taught and sometimes even pushed me to follow her footsteps. Over time she has let go of emotionally controlling me and I have learned to stop behaving as a little girl who did what she wanted and then felt bad and complained.  We were both stuck in dysfunctional co-dependent dynamics of a loving and irritating relationship.

Last month, when we were planning her trip to visit me, I was excited to see her and spend time with her, but my close friends also knew that I was a little skeptical of how the three weeks together would be. I was expecting argument about one sore subject at least.  But, the three weeks came and went. I just dropped her off at the airport on a flight to Michigan. I think she went home happy.

All I know is I am going to miss her. I miss having tea and lunch with her.  We had many conversations about many different topics. I have learned to accept her at her level and it seems like she has decided to accept my way of living and me.


In the whole three weeks we were together, we tried to spend as much time together as we could and sometimes she read her book or watched CNN while I did my work. Anyone who knows my mom knows that when she is here, I don’t have to listen to news, watch sports or look for the weather channel.  My mom knows everything. At the end of the day, she will update me with everything important happening in the world. She also updates me on all family news, even when I don’t want to know.


It was fun having my mom here. I am going to miss her. We have grown from loving each other to also respecting each other. It took growing up on both of our parts, and I am happy that we have made peace and are in this wonderful loving place now.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Celebrating the Miracle of My Life

Celebrating the Miracle of My Life

Mother's day at Kunal's Kindergarten class

Today I am celebrating the 27th birthday of my first-born son Kunal. Kunal was the first blessing for my positive attitude towards life and the direct result of the power of intention.

Kunal all grown up!

About 28 years ago, all I knew was that I had the intention to stay positive and have a child despite being diagnosed with a tumor on my pituitary gland. I was told that I would probably lose my eyesight, live only 20 more years and, worst of all, I was told that I would not be able to conceive a child, and, if I did, I would not be able to carry it full term.

At that time, I wasn’t planning to have a child; I was busy doing my Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the time.  But, the probability that I would never have a child broke my heart.  Till that moment, I did not know having a child and being a mom was so important to me.  I didn’t care about only living 20 more years or going blind, but I could not stop crying at the thought of dying without ever being a mother.

I left the doctor’s office with the horrible news and went straight to my husband’s office still crying.  This was a shock to him too. Even though we were not planning to start a family yet - I was still in school and he had just started his new business – we agreed we should start trying to get pregnant right away.  Low and behold, 3 months later I was pregnant.  We overcame the first prediction that I was not be able to conceive!

We started the journey of carrying the pregnancy to full term under strict doctor’s observation.   At one checkup, the doctor could not hear the baby’s heart. The nightmare seemed to be coming true. I was sent for an ultra sound and, to our relief, the baby waved his hand as if saying “Mom, I am okay.”  The technicians cheered with us at the sight of that waving hand.  I was placed on strict easy life order by the doctor.  No stress, no travel, no hard work. It was great. I felt fine, I was not sick and I had a forced vacation. 

The baby was growing fine. We waited for the due date with the option to have an emergency C-section at any sign of trouble.  The plan was that the baby would grow in the incubator and I would have brain surgery if we saw a problem with the baby or my tumor.

The due date came and went and I was still good and healthy except I gained a lot of weight. I was eating everything by the book, did not want to deprive my baby of anything while he was waiting to come out into this world. If I went to surgery after that he might have had to live without my care for some time while I was ready to take care of him.

Six days past the due date on November 3, 1988, 27 years ago, I gave birth to my beautiful and healthy son Kunal.  We have been celebrating the ‘miracle’ of my life, my son’s birth, for 27 years now, and every year I can’t help but think of how much I wanted to be his mother. If I was scared or had given into the negative thoughts of not being able to conceive, I would not be celebrating this miracle and joy for the last 27 years. I wanted a baby at any cost. The cost was inconsequential; my eye was only on the prize of holding my baby.  I got it!  Incidentally, after Kunal’s birth, the tumor disappeared.

Two years later, we were blessed with another bundle of joy, love and laughter, his brother Rahul.  I feel like I have been blessed with two sons because I wanted to be their mother so much that nothing was going to get in the way of accomplishing that goal.
Kunal(5) with his brother Rahul(3)
I am grateful to be celebrating my son’s birthday today and being a mother!


Pick up my book:
Learning to L.I.V.E. was written to increase awareness of domestic abuse  and eradicate this cancer from our society by empowering women and men who are suffering due to this epidemic.  My goal is to help them believe that they deserve a life in freedom and self-love.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Can amazing news and good feelings be overwhelming?

Today, I awoke to the amazing news that I will be presented the 2016 Hind Rattan award in India on January 25, 2016. As I write this, I find that I am at a loss for words and feel completely overwhelmed – overwhelmed with gratitude that the universe has been so appreciative and generous.

Recently, I wrote about my trip to London, England to accept the Mahatma Gandhi Parvasi award.  This award was given to only a few people of Indian origin living outside of India for their good and inspirational work.  People travelled from around the world to accept this prestigious award. It was an amazing experience that I was able to share with my sons. 

Upon returning to Malibu, I plunged back into my work and published a beautiful October/November issue of Malibu Chronicle magazine. The magazine is very well liked and received. Within two days of hitting the stands and delivery to Malibu homes, we started to
hear from our happy advertisers that they were already getting calls. Our online publication www.MalibuChronicle.com is growing in following, and our clients are getting calls and leads from their ads and articles online.  One of our online advertisers reported he received 35 leads in just a little over a month of being with us. All in all, I am happy to report we are doing well! 

I am also pleased to be a part of the team bringing Peer Mediation to Our Lady of Malibu (OLM) School.  OLM is the first school in Malibu to offer Peer Mediation as a course elective, teaching children how to resolve conflicts peacefully instead of with anger and force.  As one of the teachers in this program, I get to use my skills as a mediator with an MDR, Masters in Dispute Resolution from Straus Institute at Pepperdine Law School.

In the last couple of weeks I was invited and nominated to be the co-chair of the Entertainment and Tourism Committee for BizFed, the Los Angeles Business Federation.  I am honored, and even though it is a significant time and work commitment, I want to be part of a wonderful group like that, where I feel I can make a difference.  I am currently talking to our Malibu Chamber of Commerce to see if I can also represent them in this organization. I have attended a couple of meetings at BizFed through SABAN, South Asian Biz Awards Nationwide, and have learned BizFed is very well connected with businesses nationwide. It has an elite membership with a seat at the White House level. I believe I can help bring state and national recognition and support for our Malibu business issues.

Amidst all these events, I woke up today with an email from NRI Welfare Society of India, the same organization that presented the Mahatma Gandhi Parvasi Samman  to me in September. They have selected me for an even more prestigious award  - HIND RATTAN AWARD, 2016. This will be presented to me in New Delhi, India (the Capital of India) among the celebrations of India’s Constitution day on January 25, 2016.  I am so overwhelmed by this good news that I still have not responded to the Advisory Board for this huge honor. I am still letting it sink in before I can properly respond.

The universe is wonderfully accepting and appreciating my work and me in general. I am grateful to all good things and people in my life. It just is overwhelming sometime, in a good way of course!


Pick up my book:
Learning to L.I.V.E. was written to increase awareness of domestic abuse  and eradicate this cancer from our society by empowering women and men who are suffering due to this epidemic.  My goal is to help them believe that they deserve a life in freedom and self-love.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Key Elements for Solving Conflicts

Key Elements for Solving Conflicts

I sometimes wish grown people acted like grown people and not like children. 

Children who learn to resolve disputes peacefully will be able to deal with disagreements better when they grow up by using the skills they learned from their more peaceful role models.

One of the most important things in resolving disputes is to acknowledge it to yourself and not ignore it. 

Next, it is important to know with whom you have the conflict, and what your relationship is with them.

You have to find a calm, clear and peaceful way to communicate your grievance to the other party.

You must give the other party an opportunity to say their side.  You must listen peacefully, with the intention to understand what is being said. 

Most conflicts take place because of a simple misunderstanding. Misunderstandings only grow when grievances are ignored.   

Misunderstandings can be cleared and relationships can be salvaged if grown-ups act as mature adults. The same principles can be taught to children through good example.

Both parties must be willing to apologize if they realize they are in the wrong.

Everyone needs to keep an open mind and not judge anyone without knowing a definitive wrongdoing.

To achieve a peaceful lifestyle, it is important for everyone to remember author Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Principles:

1.     Be impeccable with your word.
2.     Don’t take anything personally.
3.     Don’t make assumptions.
4.     Always do your best.

Life is not as hard as we make it out to be with unnecessary dark clouds of complications from misunderstandings, assumptions and harsh words.

Let’s please revisit our part in the conflict and try to understand the other person before we take things too far and misbehave. Let’s keep the love alive, for ourselves and for others.  That is all that matters!