Monday, May 30, 2016

I Will Never Take My Freedom for Granted

Today as I wake up I feel blessed to be an American and free! I am thankful to our soldiers who lived and died for our country so that we can continue to enjoy living the free and empowered life. We will always be in debt to them. We should always remember that we have the life we do because of their sacrifices. I am living a good life and I am remembering everyone who worked hard far beyond their comfort zone to give me this life.  I hope to also do my part to make this world a better place.
God bless our soldiers!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I am a Graduate! It wasn’t easy but I did it!

Yes, I finally graduated with cap, gown and master’s hood. I walked the walk with the class of 2016 at Pepperdine Law School, Straus Institute onto the stage overlooking the beautiful ocean view to receive my diploma certifying that I am a Master of Dispute Resolution. 

Some days in the last two years were difficult juggling classes, exams and magazine deadlines. I want to thank Prof. Tim Pownall who kept me going when I wanted to quit, and Joanna and Randy at the Straus office who answered all my questions and stayed with me when I was panicking.  I also want to thank my sons Kunal and Rahul for always supporting me. I can’t believe my mom who came here for my graduation, even when she was not well. It was nice to see her so happy to see me graduate. I feel blessed and so loved by all my friends and my FB friends for their wishes and support. 

I know I said a couple of months ago that I graduated when I finished all my class work and was done with exams and homework. For all practical purposes I feel I graduated then, but I still had to finish my internship, or as Pepperdine calls it, Externship. Externships are really good for real life experience and preparation I needed to work as a mediator and arbitrator.  Mediation Clinic was another very important program offered at Pepperdine where we use our skill in actual courts to resolve real life disputes though mediation. I am proud to say, I had a 90% success rate during my time in mediation at these courts cases. It is a great feeling when I am able to help two parties resolve a dispute and salvage relationships.

I was always a peacemaker, but now I am a trained peacemaker with the best skill set possible. Pepperdine’s M.D.R. program has been ranked No.1 in the nation for the last 13 years. I am looking forward to using all I have learned at Pepperdine to make this world, or at least our community, a much more peaceful and tolerant place to live and grow. 

I am currently working at Our Lady of Malibu School.  I am excited about my work there because I feel great that I am able to teach the students from a young age how to use words instead of anger and violence to resolve conflicts. The children are learning to listen and put themselves in other’s shoes so that they realize hurting others also makes the hurt and pain grow in themselves. As one of the students after our mediation sessions said, “As I am learning to have better relationships, I am realizing that it is also helping me in my academics.”  I feel so blessed to be part of this transformation. 

As happy as I am to be done with two years of hard work at Pepperdine while continuing to work on the Malibu Chronicle magazine, I’m happy to have become more peaceful and happy myself. I use the mediation skills in my own life as much as possible.  Even though conflicts are a natural part of life, I hope I will be able to resolve most disputes easily and peacefully while maintaining the respect for myself and for my opponents. I feel more confident in navigating my way through life because I have learned better skills for negotiation and mediation. 

I am not a fighter; I am a mediator and peacemaker!

Veera Mahajan, M.D.R.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

People Come Into Your Life For A Reason.

I believe we don’t meet people by mistake or an accident. Everyone comes into our lives for a reason. We might figure out that reason very quickly, learn the lessons we are supposed to learn from each other, and move on to the next step in our growth. Or it could take a lifetime to understand the reasons we crossed paths. Sometimes we end up hurting others and ourselves because we are unable or unwilling to learn the lesson. We blame each other for our misery instead of paying attention to what feelings are triggered and what we need to do to deal with the person or situation. If we pay closer attention to our own feelings, maybe we will learn that honoring ourselves is the lesson that we have to learn from a particular relationship. Maybe we are in a relationship with someone who needs us to be more empowered, and the only way we would feel the need to be empowered and do something about it had to come from the challenges of being with that person. 

My experience has been that the people in our lives come to us because there is something in our own lives and ourselves that we need to learn to become a better person. People in our lives, as challenging they may be, are there to help us grow stronger and smarter to fulfill our life purposes. 

My whole life, from my childhood to just a few years ago, taught me how to feel in difficult and uneven relationships. I always felt a sad and uncomfortable feeling like I could do more but I couldn’t. I always needed someone else’s approval, which was not always available. Even though I did a lot in my life, I always felt I could do more. I always felt I was not living my life fully or freely.  I was only able to move forward and live the wonderful free life of amazing growth when I decided to say NO to being controlled and scared. I had to make drastic changes in my own behavior. I had to endure many difficulties to be able to become the person I am today.  There was a time when I complained and felt hurt by the people in my life, but I now realize and understand that they were important in my life to do what was their job in my life. They came into my life to teach me the lessons I needed to learn. 

I am thankful for everyone who came into my life to help me carve my beautiful life that I enjoy today!

I am happy and free! Life is good!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Being a Mother and a Daughter

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and daughters!

Mother’s Day is especially important to me because I am a mother and a daughter.
I worry about my mother as much as I worry about my sons, sometimes more for my mother than my sons.

It is interesting that a time comes in your life when your children are grown and starting their new lives. You worry about your children, but you stand back and watch them struggle for things they want. This is okay because you know you went through the same thing at their age. It is good for
them to fetch for themselves and carve their own lives. It can be difficult to hold back and not roll the red carpet in their path, and let them explore their options on their own. We try as parents to stay in the sidelines, ready to catch them if they fall. As anyone who is a parent knows, once you are a parent, you are a parent forever, and worrying for your children comes with the job description.

At the same time your children are growing and struggling young adults, your parents are at an age where they are struggling because they are getting older and they need your help.  They try to make it on their own, but you know they are weak, tired or just forgetful to manage their everyday lives on their own. Their situation is completely opposite your child’s.  However, you are in the middle worrying about your children and your parents.

Today, I am gratified to see my two sons doing well and growing in the work they love, enjoying the
company of their friends.  It makes me happy and proud to see my sons work hard and succeed.  They are on their way up in the world.  It is all good!
I worry about my mom, as she is enduring a painful and slow recovery from her knee surgery.  I am graduating in a couple of weeks and she wants to be part of that, but I worry that a gap in therapy might be bad for her recovery progress.

I see myself always shifting gears between being a mother and a daughter! Either way I worry, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!  I love being a mother and I love being a daughter.



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