About

Hi! I’m Ranjana and live in Bangalore, India.😃

I’ve forever wanted to have a space of my own to share my musings, inspiration, projects, and experiments. And so, this website was born:) Also, who doesn’t have a blog or a website these days? Seemingly, everyone and their brother!

Having lived in Bangalore my entire life (save for three years when I lived in Chennai), I have an abiding love for the city, its people, and South Indian food. I am a trained Bhratanatyam dancer and learnt it for over 20 years. Learning an art form for as long as I did starting at age five shaped some qualities which I think are the cornerstones of who I am such as discipline, hard work, and expression of one’s inner self. I’ve been a vegan for over half a decade now and it’s an important part of my identity. The journey has helped me become more connected and compassionate towards all living creatures on the planet.

I have a background in pure sciences and management and worked in sales, mostly in startups, for over 6 years. Along the way, I co-founded a sales tech startup, a roller coaster of a ride that I will always cherish. My professional journey helped my introverted, timid self become more people-loving and enabled me to develop my hustle muscle and some important skill sets which will serve me well no matter what career path I choose.

Why this website now? I’m at an interesting point in my life. A series of events in 2019 led me to decide that I wanted to make being a ‘writer’ a part of my core identity. I can’t tell you just how much this means to me. I’ve started leaning into life as a writer and blogger while embarking on a bold, untethered journey as an explorer of life.

This website is my platform to explore topics that deeply matter to me and define me as a person (though, of course, that’s a constantly evolving thing) in the hopes that it might inspire, help, and uplift others. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in personal growth. This was the primary force that led me to go vegan, start my own business, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run a marathon, and make personal development an inseparable part of my life. I think I’ve barely scratched the surface, though. It’s my endeavor to explore all of the following and more:

What does it mean to lead a life of courage, compassion, and love?

What does it mean to love oneself – truly love oneself?

How does one strengthen their sense of self and identity?

What does a life of contribution, care, and service look like?

How does one develop a strong, intelligent, and empowering mind?

What does a take to create a life beyond one’s wildest dreams?

As I embark on this journey, I’m reminded of the song Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield:

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind
I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Much love <3

Ranjana

Latest Posts
Week #46 – Assurance I paid attention to how my internal and external reality changed when I focused on feeling assured. First of all, I felt pulled to pay attention to people (public figures and people in my personal life) who had this quality. As I consumed more of the material they’ve put out there, I could see how they embodied this value in everything; from their demeanor to the work they did. Secondly, I stumbled upon content online that spoke about this value, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. Of course, it could have just been my reticular activating system seeking out patterns, but it did the joy nonetheless. Thirdly, I found myself feeling more assured at times. It wasn’t like I was consciously trying to feel this way, I just felt better about myself and my abilities, which felt great. Interestingly, I was able to be more vulnerable and authentic when I felt better about myself. Week #47 – Surrender I wanted to experiment with the concept/value of surrender for a week. There were some situations that I felt I was pushing against and resisting and that wasn’t helping me. What if I did the opposite and just surrendered, I wondered. I had an unexpected situation come up where exercising this value was very helpful. On Tuesday, I was PMSing heavily and my thoughts were spiraling out of control. The next day, I woke up feeling nauseous and sick. I could do little else other than surrender. That was really helpful in uplifting my spirits and getting me out of my spiraling thoughts. I had a breakthrough with an approach to work I was vehemently resisting. I did not recognize how hard I was pushing until I decided to just – stop. When I did so, I could almost feel space opening up in my mind and a solution began to emerge. Within a few days, I had completely mapped out a better, more aligned, joyful approach which I’ve already started implementing. This got me thinking that we often see surrender as a passive thing that doesn’t lead to real results or solutions. At least I did. But that’s not true at all. Surrender means stopping the energy drain that goes into resisting something. When you do that, it creates space. The saved energy can then be channeled into things that don’t have as much resistance. I also surrendered to my yearning for travel and booked flight tickets to Sri Lanka for a vacation. I’ll be traveling from the 2nd until the 13th. I feel so excited just thinking about it! I already know what my value for that week’s going to be! 😉 Overall, the week was a great success. It was one of those values that came along exactly at a moment I needed it the most. Week #48 Until Thursday, I hadn’t ever paid attention to the word moxie. I wasn’t sure what I wanted the value for the week to be and I set the intention for it to present itself in a way I’d instantly know it. I was listening to an interview of Whitney Wolfe Herd with Tim Ferriss and she said that she’d initially wanted to name Bumble ‘Moxie’. I was like, that’s it. Moxie. It’s not an oft-used word and it can either be used as ‘energy or pep’ or as ‘courage or determination’. I love it. As I’ve been going about this values challenge, I’ve been thinking about my top 3-4 values for every area of my life. It occurred to me that moxie would certainly apply to who Ranjana is, at a personality level. In terms of how I want to apply this, I am going to embody this value in whatever way feels good or right to me. I’ll share the different ways this value showed up in my review! [...] Read more...
I really enjoyed the experiment of setting 100+ intentions per day. I experimented with different ways of saying the intention, just to see if some ways landed better than others. I experimented with different ways of summoning intentions too; sometimes just writing down any intention that popped up without thinking and some other times seeing if I could deliberately set nuanced intentions in specific areas such as work, motivation, health, fun, and so on. Here’s how setting intentions consciously for a week impacted me: It helped me become intentional about how I spent my days.It helped me understand the sorts of intentions I have at this point in time. I could see the patterns and themes. That created greater self-awareness.It changed how I felt. I felt more optimistic, lighter, and energized. It made me feel inspired by connecting me to possibilities.It gave me direction from moment to moment and helped me focus. I found myself not running negative thought patterns as often. Setting intentions still feels like a new skill. It took a significant amount of time to write the 100 intentions every day. I see the importance of setting intentions multiple times a day so I plan to keep this going. For now, I’ve settled on writing 20 intentions during my end-of-day journaling and set intentions in my mind or out loud several times during the day. I also have a piece of paper with the question, “What’s your intention?” on my work table as a reminder. Week #46 – Assurance One of the themes that were predominant among my intentions was the deep desire to feel confident in myself, who I am, the story I’m living, and the certainty in the path I’ve chosen for myself. I find that sometimes I tend to get a bit shaky about myself or what I’m doing. Or I might look at how someone else is living their life and start questioning if I should be doing more or doing other things. While there’s merit in evaluating myself and the direction I’ve picked now and then, regular self-doubt and uncertainty do more harm than good. I’d like to use this week to keep setting the intention to be in a state of mind where I feel certain about myself, my story, and my abilities. In other words, I want to be in a state of assurance. I’m particularly curious to see how holding an intention to feel assured will influence my experience of reality and myself this week. I’m going to keep a lookout for external signs as well as pay attention to the internal shifts. [...] Read more...
I’ve realised that September through November is a morose time of the year for me usually (a pattern I’d like to change). Perhaps the season has a part to play and the grey skies do dampen my spirits. It feels harder to get myself to do even those things that I know I’ll enjoy. Anyway, all that was to say that while I have been keeping up with my exploration and journaling about it, I haven’t had the motivation to put pen to paper and write this post. Until now. We are on week #45 now, so I’m going to cover weeks 41 through 44 one by one below: Week #41 – Strength It actually turned out to be a difficult week for me. I heard some news that made me stop and question the choices I made and the path I decided to tread over the past two years. Having the intention to strengthen only those thought patterns that empowered me was helpful. I reminded myself, daily, that choosing to live my own story is far more important than any external validation. I read a quote by Adam Grant around the same time which goes like this: “Outer prestige is rarely a justification for inner misery.” I needed to read that and it made me feel so much better. I came out of the week feeling better about myself and my thought patterns reset from the negative spiral I had been on somewhat. I definitely felt the week was a success in that regard. Week #42 – Faith I felt a need to hold onto faith that week. The faith that I’m going to be okay no matter what. Faith that I was on the right track. Faith that better things were coming. I held these two quotes at the back of my mind throughout the week: “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark”– Rabindranath Tagore and Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.– Martin Luther King I decided that the best way to reinforce this value was to create a coloring book on faith. My thought process was that perhaps others would appreciate having an affirmation coloring book that reminds them to have faith too. So I did that. It was interesting spending so much time holding this value in my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. This value is more abstract than others, so I was experiencing it more as a feeling than as thoughts. It certainly made the experience of my week better especially because I was otherwise not in a great frame of mind. Week #43 – Imagination I have a tendency to hold myself back from indulging in imaginative thinking if I think that it won’t aid a project I’m currently working on. This basically means that I feel guilty when I do allow myself to daydream and consider future scenarios or projects. I wanted to use a week to remedy this line of thinking because I intellectually know that there’s nothing wrong with imaginative thinking and I needn’t feel guilty about indulging in it. It was a fun value to explore. I found it interesting to observe the directions my mind went in. Most revolved around what I’d like my life to mean, what I’d like to create, and how I’d like to add value to humanity and the planet. I journaled about this which was helpful and something I’m going to keep referring back to. I read a book called Meant for this by Erica Wernick which was a great listen during this time. I came out of the week feeling more energized and joyful. I think that’s because my mind finally got to indulge in something it wanted to but wasn’t being allowed to. Week #44 – Motivation I usually select values to reflect the sort of week I’d like to experience. Since I was going to participate in the Octo Intensive Workshop by Steve Pavlina which was on self-motivation, I decided that I’d make the week about motivation. After three days of being immersed in the topic, I found that it was fairly easy to keep my focus on motivation the rest of the week. I just started re-listening to the whole thing again yesterday. Honestly, there is so much great material that I think it will take me a bit of time to digest and integrate all the insights that I thought were gold for me. If there’s one thing that’s shifted in how I view motivation, it’s this: I have started looking at it as a skill to cultivate rather than something that’s just there or isn’t. Week #45 The first of the eight keys to self-motivation discussed in the workshop was intention. I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to this value for more than a few minutes at a time. I’m eager to explore it in an extended way for a week. As Steve explains it, intentions expire fairly quickly. So it’s important to keep setting intentions afresh – even setting a hundred intentions a day isn’t too much. I’d like to use this week to make intention-setting a habit. I’m going to set 100+ intentions a day. If possible, I’ll try to do it in multiple ways: writing, saying them out loud, and thinking them consciously. It’s hard to keep count, so I’m going to make sure that the ones I write are at least 100 in number. So it’s likely that I will set way more than 100 intentions daily. I’m curious what such an exercise will teach me or lead to. It’s often hard to predict any sort of outcome with this sort of subjective exploration. [...] Read more...
Keeping this value at the back of my mind simplifies things, for the most part, I found. How I should act in a particular scenario becomes clear because I don’t have the leeway to act out of alignment with my own boundaries and rules. Now, I’m not saying that extenuating circumstances shouldn’t be taken into account. In most cases, though, there are no extenuating circumstances and we are just indulging in self-betrayal. If at any point I found that different parts of me weren’t in agreement, I would listen to each part and then make a decision based on what being a person with integrity would dictate. For example, if I really felt like checking Instagram while working, I’d acknowledge the part of me that wanted the dopamine hit but come to an agreement with myself to not go through with the action because integrity would say that work time is for work. On another occasion, I was particularly tired after a night of getting less than restful sleep. A part of me wanted to push through and go to the gym but after checking in with myself, I realised that I needed to honour my need for rest and decided to do yoga at home instead. My promise to myself was that I’d exercise for 45 minutes that day so while I ensured that that happened, I also ensured that I was in sync with what my body was telling me. Seeing integrity as different parts of me being in harmony is an interesting as well as a useful lens. It’s a keeper! Week #41 – Strength Much like integrity, I’m seeing strength in the usual sense of the word as well as from a different lens. Over the past week, I noticed that some old thought patterns that no longer serve me were beginning to creep back in again. I want to use this week to show myself that I’m stronger than these old patterns and won’t succumb to them. I’ll do that by strengthening the neural patterns that tell a more empowering story. So while I will be practising strength in the usual sense of ‘the emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with difficult or distressing situations’, I will also be using this as an opportunity to lend strength to the thoughts that will serve me that aren’t yet strong. In a way, this is a mental workout I’ll be doing daily, to retrain my brain. When I catch myself thinking old, disempowering thoughts, I’ll redirect them to the new, more empowering thoughts. I’ll also spend the first few minutes of the day deliberately going through the beliefs and thought patterns I want to be reinforcing (I have them in a specific journal entry I created a couple of months ago). While there are many of them, I’m going to be focusing on one particular belief, which is that I’m the protagonist of my own story and am creating the hero’s journey that most makes sense for my character. [...] Read more...
I got more rest this week than I have in the past several weeks (individually, not collectively haha). I slept for more than nine hours almost on a daily basis. I still feel like there’s a sleep deficit, though, so I’m going to continue prioritising sleep this week. In fact, I just finished working on my Q4 plans, and getting adequate sleep is right on top of my list of goals. I aim to make eight hours of sleep on a daily basis a non-negotiable. I have been listening to Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. I figured that if I’m going to be taking sleep seriously, I might as well read a book about it. I’m curious to understand the science behind sleep and why we need it. Week 40 – Integrity When I Googled the word, the following definitions showed up: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.the state of being whole and undivided. My process of going about picking a value every Thursday evening or Friday morning is this: I think about the sort of week I’d like to experience (both externally and internally) and let the answer intuitively come up. Then I think about the value that would most help me have such an experience and run with it. I focus on the sort of gut-level reaction I have to the sound of a particular value. If there’s deep resonance at an emotional level, if I feel a sense of rightness, I run with it. This morning, I felt like I wanted to experience a week where the various parts of me worked together in harmony. I wanted to feel whole – like there was one voice guiding me as opposed to several opposing ones. I also wanted to feel like I was living in a way that honored my own boundaries and I didn’t betray myself. Integrity captured the essence of what I wanted beautifully. Every day, I’m going to think about how I can practice this value in my life. I might choose to journal about it if I wish to. I mostly see myself taking action in accordance with this value, whatever that might look like. I’m going to keep a log of what that looks like. [...] Read more...
I’m writing this in the first week of November but am going to backdate it to sometime in September so that it appears in the right order on the blog. Week #35: Pronoia This value, along with compersion, would definitely fall in my list of top five values I’d like to make a part of who I am. I always feel like my world lights up when I make this value a priority. It was certainly one of my better weeks of the year. I feel like pronoia is the antidote to anxiety as it reinforces a feeling of safety and trust in the world at large and how this reality works. Week #36: Discipline On September 3rd, I started the 77 hard challenge which is my personal adaptation of the 75 hard challenge. The idea is to, for 77 days, do the following on a daily basis: Meditate for at least 15 minutesExercise for at least 45 minutesWork for at least 5 hoursEat a bowl of fruits, eat one salad, and drink 1.2 L of waterRecord the progress made work-wise in my journal at the end of the day It made sense to pick discipline as the value of the week. I wanted to make sure that I got off to a great start so that the rest of the weeks would flow easily. After the week was up, I was glad that I didn’t choose any additional actions to take apart from just doing these five things because they felt like a lot in the initial few days! Week #37: Understanding I was having a few issues in my relationships, so I chose this value to get a deeper understanding of what was going on (especially my own reactions and emotions) and also be an understanding person. I don’t want to go into the details, but I’m so glad I decided to not act rashly. I perhaps had one of the healthiest conversations during this week and what I consider a personal breakthrough in my communication in a conflict situation. Yay to growth! Week #38: Alignment Earlier in September, I had created a few books as an experiment and while creating them was fun, I didn’t feel like they were fully congruent with the sort of books I wanted to put out there. I like my books to be personal-growth oriented and these were more generic. I decided that I wanted to focus on alignment as the value, especially in my business. As I go about this value exploration, I’m thinking about what the most important values are for different aspects of my life. Seems like alignment will make it right to the top as my work value. This value influenced other areas of my life too, of course. I found myself asking, multiple times a day, if the task I was doing was aligned with who I was or the most aligned thing I could be doing at that point in time. While it didn’t change my actions too much, it did lend more meaning to whatever I was doing which was an interesting thing to experience. Week #39: Rest Ever since I started doing the 77 hard challenge, my sleep went quite out of whack and the deficit started building up. It got so bad that I felt the need to choose rest as the focus for the week so that I didn’t work like a maniac at the cost of sleep and restfulness. The idea was simple: to get as much rest as my body needed every day. [...] Read more...
What a week. It was successful beyond my imagination or definition. I got closure on the subject that’d been bothering me for weeks as well as closure on a couple of other issues that I wasn’t actively focusing on. I always find it interesting how just focusing on a certain value can invite in a lot of it. As they say, where your focus goes energy flows. I journaled quite a bit early in the week and after a couple of days of doing this, I had a number of insights. On Aug 22nd, I had what felt like a download of insights and the solution became crystal clear to me. I spent a few hours reveling in these insights and in the general appreciation of my life. This week was salient for the closure(s) I got, but I feel like my biggest win was locking onto some powerful frames that will serve me well for years to come. I’m so pleased. Week #35 – Pronoia “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”― Albert Einstein I don’t think pronoia would be recognized as a ‘value’, but I certainly consider this to be one. Wikipedia has this to say about it: Whereas a person suffering from paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them, a person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good. The first lesson of the course Deep Abundance Integration by Steve Pavlina is called A deeply loving universe. To me, pronoia is exactly this – the belief that I live in a deeply loving universe. A universe that’s always on my side, no matter what. the belief that everything is always working out for me. Everything is happening for me and not to me. I’m going to keep this simple: as soon as I wake up, I’ll affirm this belief. While I meditate, I’ll focus my thoughts on this value. Before I fall asleep, I’ll affirm this belief again. I’m curious to see how this week unfolds! [...] Read more...
It’s interesting how these weeks sometimes pan out. I’ve done this weekly value exploration long enough now to really allow myself to sink into a value from day #1. Of late, I’m finding that while I might have a particular outcome in mind, the value has a life of its own and takes me directions I’d initially not planned to explore. I do end up accomplishing my original goal too, but sometimes in a different way. The exploration goes beyond the initial scope. ‘Decide firmly on a course of action’ is one of the definitions of resolve and my aim was to decide on a course of action for one particular ‘issue’ that’d been nagging for the past several weeks. As it turned out, every day, I faced an interesting conundrum and had to get to a point of resolution. It was like being presented with a bunch of interesting scenarios just so that I could exercise my resolution muscle. I have to admit that I’m pleased with the way I resolved all of them. I noted how I’d sometimes lean in the direction of compassion and empathy and other times take a more hardheaded route to resolution. As for the experience I’d been mulling over for the last couple of months, I certainly decided on a course of action. I feel like this week helped me to get to a state where, with enough work and time, closure is possible. This week was about gathering the tools and insights I need to be able to close the chapter. I also realised that it’s not going to be a one-and-done thing, which means that I’ll need to keep reinforcing the new thought patterns until it’s become second nature. Week #34 – Closure It felt right to pick this value as a natural progression from week #33. I remember having a conversation with my therapist a few weeks ago about what closure meant. One of the things she said stuck with me: “It could mean that when you think about the experience it no longer brings up strong emotions.” That struck a chord because closure really does have to do with emotions more than anything else. Her words also reminded me that as human beings, we don’t have a control switch over our thoughts and emotions such that we can switch them off when we no longer want to re-live a past experience. If they are thought patterns we’ve practiced for years, it takes work and time to gradually loosen their grip on our minds and replace them with empowering patterns. Bearing that in mind, I’d like to explore potential narratives I can come up with for the past experience in question. There are several narratives possible, so I’d like to try them all on for size to decide on the one that gives me the most relief and feels like the right one to reach emotional closure. I’d also like to practice this value in other ways! In what ways…I’d like to stay open to that. 😉 [...] Read more...
Wellness I was unwell during the week of wellness which was ironic. I had a particularly rough PMS followed by a particularly painful period which made a lot of my plans go topsy-turvy. But perhaps because I picked this value, I gave myself the space to rest and recover. One thing that stood out to me was just how important sleep is to wellness. The days I get restful sleep of seven hours or more (uninterrupted) are the days I feel best. I’m going to continue to focus on sleep and getting adequate rest daily. I intend to do this for the rest of the quarter so that the sleep piece of the wellness puzzle is well figured out. Trust I chose to focus on this value from August 6th to 12th after finding trust issues bubbling up with some people in my life. I wanted to look into this value from the perspective of understanding when I should consider re-establishing trust with another person and when I should decide to disengage. I also wanted to look at areas of my life where there were trust wounds and heal them. Most of my introspection happened on long walks. I had a coaching call where I discussed the specifics of what I was going through and got some good insights. I also had a call with my therapist where I covered various aspects of my trust wounds and what I could do about them. I started listening to DAI again and have been thinking about my trust in reality/life itself. The biggest positive that came out of this whole exploration was rather unexpected. After going into rabbit holes after rabbit holes of thoughts, I decided that I wanted to trust my past self. It seemed like I was still evaluating whether some of the decisions I had made in the past were right or not. I realised that no amount of evaluation now would be very useful because I would never truly be able to put myself in the shoes of my past self. What I could do was trust her to have made the best decisions she could have with what she had to work with at that time. That gave me a lot of solace and allowed me to release thoughts of my past and turn my focus to the present. I feel like I healed my relationship with my past self and now see her as someone capable, smart, and caring. Value for week #33 – Resolve I have decided to focus on resolve as the value for this week. Why this? With all the thinking I did last week, I realised that I want to find a solution for and decide firmly on a course of action on certain past experiences I’ve been (negatively) obsessing over. The other day, I woke up from sleep realising that some things that have happened in the past that I’ve been beating myself up about don’t inherently have any meaning. I’ve been choosing to give them a negative spin and then taking too much responsibility for them. I could just as well decide to take the good stuff and close the chapter, so to speak. I could, if I wanted to, once and for all decide on the meaning and from there, come up with a course of action. If a meaning I’m giving to a past experience or decision is not serving me and is hampering my ability to pour myself into contributing to the world in a meaningful way now, then it needs to change, doesn’t it? I was expressing to my therapist how I found it surprising that I had put something atrocious completely behind me but hadn’t done the same with other, seemingly less harmful experiences. She said something that stuck with me. She said that when something traumatic happens, we can be one of two ways. We can think, “that happened and that’s in my past. I’m not defined by it.” Or we can let it define our identity and hold onto it, letting it affect our present. My aim this week is to give a different meaning to one particular experience from a few years ago such that I can stop being defined by it. I want my identity to be carved out of the empowering and not the disempowering. This is my resolution for the week. [...] Read more...
It was a painful week. As soon as I made this my value of the week, all the things I was putting off making a decision about came to the surface and it was uncomfortable. I made a couple of major decisions and while there’s a relief, there’s also a degree of sadness. Decisions sometimes mean shutting some doors of possibility and that brings its own heartache. The week was helpful in other ways too. Making decisions such as which book to read next, whether to attend a particular gym class or not, whether to call it a day when I was feeling tired, etc within 60 seconds was such a relief. I’m someone who likes optimizing to a fault; I discovered that most decisions are not life-changing and I don’t need to optimize things to death. Whoever would have thought! Value for week #31 – Wellness Given that I’m going to PMSing for the majority of the week, I thought it might be nice to focus on self-care. Focusing on wellness as a value would also tie in nicely with the August CGC challenge which is to practice a daily routine. There are various components to wellness but I’m going to specifically focus on the following: Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily.Establish an evening routine: Start winding down by midnight latest, do my end-of-day review, turn off all devices and be in bed by 12:30 am, and read fiction until I fall asleep. For the August challenge, my idea is to practice this evening routine so it would be great to use the first week of the month to establish it. [...] Read more...