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Posts from the ‘DIY’ Category

Setting and Achieving Life’s Goals– the Tree of Life Way…

We’re pretty much so caught up in a world full of madness. Over –communicated and over-stimulated. Work, home, family. study, relationships and the continuous insidious call of social media that eats into our lives more than we realise. Is it a wonder then – that the concept of a quiet time where one can be with oneself to pause, reflect, unwind and have a sense of awareness of what is going on in life. And to plan ahead for a life that could make the difference to our sense of self – is virtually non-existent ?
Life-coaches charge fancy amounts for what now seems to be catching on – the phenomenon of setting personal development goals and identifying ways to achieve them. We’ve put together a simplified a goal-planning system which can be broken up into the following three parts and detailed each below :

1. How to choose your life goals
2. How to get there
3. How to keep track of all your goals and actions and your progress

imagesHow to choose life goals
Some of us may know what our life goals are. Some of us may realise those with a bit of quiet contemplation. Some may be fairly clueless as as they have never figured out what their dream is, or what they’d like to accomplish. For them, here are a few suggestions:
1. Take out some time for quiet contemplation.
2. Think about what’s important to you.
3. Think about what you’d like people to say about you when you die.
4. Brainstorm — make a list of all the things you’d like to do in life, things that sound fun and exciting and wonderful, and then choose the best of the list.
5. You don’t have to come up with your life goals right now. You could just think of something you’d like to achieve over the next 6 months to a year, and continue to explore different things until you find your dream.

12558276_136092090107122_1806599967_nHow to get there
If you know your goals, the next question is how to get there. A simple method that’s used often is called backward planning. Here’s how it works:
• Have a clearly defined goal with a clearly defined outcome — you should be able to visualise what it looks like when you’ve accomplished the outcome. Try and be as specific as possible. Quantify it. Put dates to it.
• What is the last thing you’ll need to do to achieve that outcome? If your goal is to publish a book, for example, the last thing you’ll need to do (before the publisher does the layout and design, printing, marketing, etc.) is edit and submit the final draft. Right ?
• What is the thing you’ll need to do just prior before that final step? If we stick to the book example, you might want to get an outside editor to review your draft and give your criticisms and suggestions and edits.
• What is the thing you’ll need to do before that previous step? Keep working backwards – step by step, milestone by milestone until you get to the first step. The first step is what you need to focus on in order to begin. You would need to think of ideas and plots or topics for your book as your first step.

If you follow this plan, you’ll have a step-by-step guide to achieving your goal. Now you just need a way to keep track of your goals and your progress towards them

65895db45dbe8a21578ae32e34584df0How to track and achieve your goals
Track your goals, broken down by into time periods (1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc). with specific goals defined against each time period. You can further simplify this by choosing one to accomplish within the next 12 months. Or even choose a sub-goal of one of your life goals to accomplish in 12 months. And only choose ONE goal.

The key is to maintain focus on your one goal, and to put all your energy into achieving it. Don’t forget it, don’t be distracted from it. Maintain your focus, and you’ll achieve it.

That’s pretty much how the Tree of Life came about to be. Our founder – Himmat Anand had enough and more experience in the business of travel and hospitality under his belt. Having experienced different levels of what is essentially a service business – with focus on people, he had a definitive, experiential, luxury boutique hospitality concept that he wished to bring alive. One that would be different from everything that had existed so far.

And so the goals were created and set.

Infinity Pool at nightAnd the Tree of Life Resorts began to take shape. Brick by brick. Idea by idea. Detail by detail. Locations away from the city amidst nature and serenity. Creatively designed expansive guest spaces. Cuisine that would be personalised to guest tastes but put together in style with wine pairings and a mix of the fresh and exotic. Concept meals that would include creative takes on the special cuisine of the soil. Service that was designed to be discreet yet attentive. And a curated selection of experiences for guests to discover the area, become one with nature and find themselves.

Times were challenging. But the journey continued. Goals were broken into tasks and sub-tasks. With everyone on the team working toward the goal of the creation of the Tree of Life Resort ,Jaipur and its’ opening in 2010.

We’ve come a long way since then. The horizon is wider. The goals change and yet remain the same. The Tree of Life Varanasi is taking shape in time for a Summer 2017 opening. Our second brand – from the Tree Leaf Hospitality series is growing quickly and will move up from its present three properties to six by next summer.

Come, explore our world with us. Experience the fruits of our efforts. How we made dreams come true. Take time out for yourself. Be inspired. Because we believe we are different. And we make a difference.

To the lives of those who we meet. Including yours.

Explore more on www.treeofliferesorts.com read what our guests have to say about us on TripAdvisor.
And call to book directly on +91 9602091000 / 2000.

The Road to Inspiration

The word “inspiration” usually means something that mentally and emotionally stimulates you. And is the trigger to feeling, doing and achieving better things in life. Did you know that “inspiration” also means to ‘breathe in’ ? It is this meaning that gives a whole new meaning to the word – when you imagine yourself breathing in amazing thoughts, images and more – and filling yourself and your life with ideas. It is, however, important to ensure that you don’t forget to breathe. Out.

People search for inspiration in different ways. Some watch TED talks. Some follow the teachings of evolved souls. Technology geeks visit Hacker News every few hours, looking for new and fresh ideas. Musicians, writers, artists, and creative folk seek inspiration in people, places, things. Everyone is busy breathing in, and in, and in, and in.
Yet most of us don’t feel inspired enough. They’re looking for more, thinking something else out there will truly inspire them. More than what they’ve already found.

We think we know the reason why. It is because nothing is truly inspiring – unless you apply it to your work. Here – “Work” means your life’s output, whether creative, business, or personal.
It is your work and what you achieve with it. That, itself, is the inspiration.
You may hear something or see something that gives you a new idea. But it’s only when you stop and think of your work through this new perspective, and when you actually take that idea and turn it into reality and achieve something with it – that is what matters. That’s the real inspiration that we all are looking for!
2009_04_17_TOL_DDunning (141)_0)Inspiration is not merely the receiving of information. Inspiration is about applying what you’ve assimilated.
We’re truly grateful for the inspiration we experience every single day of our lives at the Tree of Life. Beginning with the inspiration that began as a dream for our Founder & CEO – Himmat Anand. Who gave up an extremely successful career in the travel and hospitality business – all for a dream. With no big names or funding to back him. As he worked on his inspiration on the ground – the Tree of Life began to take shape with funding coming in , the land being bought and the design of the resort taking shape under the creative and watchful eye of an architect-designer with soul. The results are there for us to see.
hansa.jpgWe’re also inspired by the story of Hansa – who is supported by the Balika Foundation set up by the Tree of Life Resorts. Baby Hansa lost her father some 15 years ago and her mother – Dappu, who now works at the resort, was pulling Hansa out of school for financial reasons when the foundation stepped in. Little Hansa made the most of the opportunity and grew to love biology and decided to become a nurse. Today she is on the verge of completing her nursing training and stepping out into the world.
binAnd how do we appreciate the hosts at the Tree of Life Binsar – who actually carried a specially abled yet adventurous guest in a wheelchair over rocky paths for her to get an unhindered view of the Himalayas at Zero Point ? Because they realise that mountains inspire everyone of us.
Just three stories that inspire. Because they are about what was made to happen. About reality that was created. Because someone didn’t just take in the inspiration. They actually manifested it in reality.
You have to pause the input and focus on your output. For every bit of inspiration, use it and amplify it by applying it to your work. Then you’ll finally feel the inspiration you’ve been looking for.

So don’t forget to inspire.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

And don’t forget to get inspired. At the Tree of Life. Book on +91 9602091000 / 2000 now !

 

The Great Indian Road Trip Essentials

Road trips out here can be as interesting as the destination they take us to. As long as one makes wise choices and is prepared for eventualities.
There are certain things you should carry in your car to deal with an emergency while on the road. And since all of our properties lend themselves to great road-trips and if you’re reading this , you’re probably planning one such to us. Right ?
Road trips can be an adventure of the best kind, be it a weekend getaway to clear your head or a cross-country trek to explore the world and get away from it all. Or even stretching yourself and your wheels in ways you haven’t done before. So here’s a checklist of things to do, stuff to carry while heading out. These could be lifesavers or at the very least – spare you a lot of discomfort and angst.
Read on for our list of travel essentials needed for your next road trip :

first-aid-kit_1364806755First aid kit.
If you’re planning a road trip, a comprehensive first aid kit will help treat common injuries and basic illnesses. Consider including tubes of antiseptic and antibiotic creams, a bottle of Dettol liquid, cotton wool and bandages, a Volini spray for joints and sprains, OTC medications for fever, headache, upset tummies and colds. If going to high altitudes – then do include Diamox to deal with high altitude sickness on doctor’s advice. Any prescription medicines that are regularly consumed – must be carried along and consumed as you would normally do.

downloadJumper cables
It doesn’t take too much to drain your car’s battery. Leave the lights on during the day or for an extended night drive and you could find yourself in the middle of a nightmare. So, keep jumper cables handy. You could use it for yourself or you could help out a stranded driver.

Puncture repair kit

61tkc98fs4L._SL1200_Save yourself the bother of a tyre change – if you can identify it ! Fix a minor tyre puncture temporarily – using a tyre sealant, such as Fix-a-Flat, to plug the hole and till you can find a repair shop. You could also try a repair kit such as the Slime Smart Spair, which includes a sealant and a handy inflator. It’ll be enough to seal the hole and inflate tyres to normal pressure. The kit is a portable solution for flat tyres and will save you the hassle of replacing a flat in the middle of the road. Or else you can simply roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Tool kit
Yes – all cars do have their own tool kit – but in addition – having a multipurpose knife, a roll of duct tape, screwdrivers and spare fuses can be invaluable. Duct tape can help reattach a broken rear view mirror or even secure a hanging bumper until you get to a mechanic.

NV-CTM-DarkChocCherry-ProductShot.ashx-1Food
Make sure to keep some food that won’t spoil easily. Try meals in cups – where you add hot water to upma or noodles and make a meal of it. Less challenging are energy bars or biscuits, dried fruits or even bars of chocolate. Asides of water – cartons of fruit juice or coconut water or even packets of Tang can help with a sugar rush.

Water

Water is essential for survival. We can survive a few days without food, but the body needs regular water intake. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can cause organ failure in turn. Water is also useful to reconstitute dry food, to wash wounds or to cool an overheated engine. Be it summer or winter, it’s a good idea to stock up on large cans of water before a long journey. Especially of you’re driving in remote areas.

Blankets
A lot of road trips happen in autumn or winter when the climate is tolerable. Being stranded or driving in the night do call for blankets to stay warm. It is worth the extra space they take, trust us !

imagesFlashlight
Solar-powered LED flashlights are easily charged and very reliable. They’re compact, strong and prove incredibly useful, in all sorts of situations – be it to look for dropped cellphones, or to take a look at what’s going on under the hood while its dark. Or carry a large torch – but do ensure its in working condition with full and spare batteries for good measure.

download (1)Cellphone charger
The cellphone is now an extension of our selves and life seems unthinkable without it. Car chargers are great – but carry a couple of high end power banks that can juice up not just phone but your cameras as well.

Pepper spray
Irrespective of whether women are travelling by themselves or are in mixed company, it’s worth exercising caution. Carry a can of pepper spray in your handbag or keep it in the glovebox.

So. Be prepared as the Scouts would say. We wouldn’t want you to face any problems getting to us now, would we ?
But before you head out – make sure you have your bookings with us in place. All you need to do is call +91 9602091000 / 2000 or mail unwind@treeofliferesorts.com or go to www.treeofliferesorts.com

How To Take Even Better Pictures With Your Phone !

Thanks to smartphones and editing apps, we can now take high quality photos and edit them without too much trouble.
But taking a great photo on your smartphone is not as simple as pointing and shooting. There are plenty of bad smartphone photos out there – I’m sure you’ve seen one or two of them. A great smartphone image is a great thing. And these days even the world’s best professional photographers like to experiment with smartphone photography and happily show off their results.

So, what’s the secret to taking great pictures with your smartphone? Turns out there are a few of them. Check out these tips below to improve your smartphone photography game.

13113854_1800072586880240_1296559293_nFocus on one subject.
Many of the best photos include just one, interesting subject. Plus, it’s usually easier to get the composition right when your photo only has one subject. Spend some extra time setting up the photo, tap the screen of your smartphone to focus the camera on your subject, and shoot ! .

2Y6A0061Embrace negative space.
Use negative space (i.e. empty space) to your advantage here to make your subject stand out even more. When you include a lot of empty space, your subject will stand out more and create greater impact. Negative space is a large expanse of open sky, water, an empty field, or a large wall.

Find interesting perspectives.Post bicycling expedition bliss

One great way to make your photo memorable is to take it at a unique, unexpected angle. This can create a cool illusion with the subjects in your photo. Try taking a photo straight up and playing with the sky as negative space, like in the first photo below. Or take it from the perspective with an object in the foreground – as is the case with the handlebars of this bicycle overlooking the mountains.

12568213_161237267585155_588730887_nPlay with reflections.

Look for opportunities to play with reflections. There are plenty of other sources for great reflection photos: puddles, larger bodies of water, mirrors, sunglasses, glass, metallic surfaces, and more.

 

Keep an eye out for repetitive patterns.12547604_164116833955972_234400826_n

Repetitive patterns are another pleasing subject to photograph. They appear whenever strong graphic elements are repeated over and over again, such as lines, geometric shapes, forms, and colors. These patterns can make a strong visual impact. Keep an eye out for where they appear naturally. As in this image with rows of lotus shaped lamps.

12556097_182024042154872_1775749746_n

 

 

Capture small details.

Close-up photos that capture small, intricate, delicate details can make for really compelling photographs. Because god is in the details..

 

Keep the flash off.13256418_1107076626015389_9109301579881041766_n
Have you ever found a great smartphone photo taken with a flash ? Most of the time, they’re overexposed and make the colors in your photo go totally out of whack. Take advantage of whatever natural light you can find. Play with shadows, or create a silhouette.

12825831_1664286583838711_1754771794_n

 

Keep it candid.
Candid shots of people doing things, or people with people, are often far more interesting. Because they more effectively capture the emotion and essence of the moment. One of the best ways to capture an interesting candid shot is to take a lot of photos. Try Burst Mode. You’ll have more to choose from, and often the best photos happen when the everyone is just so. Or an expression has been caught.

 

Use the right photo editing apps.
Composing and taking your smartphone photo is just the first step to making it visually compelling. Editing your photos using mobile editing apps is the next step — and a very critical one, at that. Hunt around for the best apps for your device. Read reviews. Experiment till you find what works for you and create some awesome images right on your phone.

And make sure you try these tips and tricks when you’re with us at the Tree of Life. The cool climes of The Tree of Life Grand Oak Manor await to take you off the grid at Binsar. Or splash out at the Tree of Life Resort and Spa, Jaipur with personalised cuisine, award-winning service, curated experiences around quiet luxury. If you’d like to go wild – there’s the Tree of Life Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve open till June 15th.

Call us today on +91 9602091000 / 2000
or e mail us on unwind@treeofliferesorts.com or go to www.treeofliferesorts.com

Salad Days

It’s that time of the year when cooking or eating the regular stuff seems like such a tremendously heavy task. Who on earth would want to slave away in a hot kitchen anyway ? The heat is also responsible for taking away appetites and reducing the urge for heavy duty foods.
A salad meal is cool, easy, healthy and trendy. If you’re one such who’s a tad taken in by the multiple and exotic ingredients and dressings and methods and don’t quite know how or where to begin ( unless you’re at the Tree of Life, of course where our resident Master Chef will whip up your heart’s desire ), worry not.
We’ve got it all lined up for you – so read on ! We’ve got a basic salad and basic salad dressing recipe lined up for you. Try it. It’s incredibly simple. Once you’ve tried and mastered it – you know where to begin and what variations to experiment with. It will actually turn into a journey of discovery – until one day you’ll be known as the salad expert !

b-1-300x200Step 1
Get a head of lettuce.
Wash the lettuce thoroughly in a bowl. Break the leaves off, and rub the lettuce under cold water, then dry. Dry thoroughly using a kitchen towel or use a salad spinner. If you prefer, you may add on other mixed greens. Romaine, and red-tip lettuce are great options for a salad, as are radicchio, spinach, curly endive, and kale.

Step 2
Add vegetables that you like
Wash and chop a few fresh veggies to toss into the salad. Add interesting flavors, such as tomatoes, celery, and herbs. Avocados, almonds, broccoli, and apples are among the healthiest foods, so you could add these. Other healthy vegetable options include bell peppers, goat cheese, carrots, cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, mozzarella cheese, figs. Do not overload your salad with too many vegetables, however.

Step 3                                                                                                                                                                                               Add on meat
For a salad with extra protein, add chopped pieces of meat, or chicken or fish. .White meat works best in salads, but dark meat is fine.If you have leftover chicken or turkey, dice the meat into small cubes, and toss it into the salad.

Step 4                                                                                                                                                                                     Keep it vegetarian
Tofu or cottage cheese chunks are good options for any meat-free salad with all the protein power. Or toss in hard boiled eggs !

saladStep 5
Nuts add delicious crunch
Pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, and even peanuts are packed with healthy oils and protein. Almonds may be the healthiest, most protein-rich nut you can add in a salad.

Step 6
Add on grain
Whole wheat pasta or Quinoa are great options instead of meat. Or try Orzo – a small, seed-shaped pasta that cooks quickly. Quinoa is a grain-like crop, often used as a substitute for rice. Quinoa is healthier, but both are delicious in salad.

Step 7
Dress it up                                                                                                                                                                                   A salad needs a dressing to make it complete. Salad dressings consist of oil, an acid, and seasonings. The ratio of oil to acid is often 3:1. This means for every three tablespoons of oil, you would use one tablespoon of acid. For a basic    versatile dressing simply whisk 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add salt ( sea salt is great ) and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and you’re set. For a twist – add a dash of ready made salad dressing – but its not really needed. Lemon juice can be substituted with balsamic vinegar. Also, any citrus juice (orange juice and grapefruit juice) works well with vinegar (apple cider or white wine vinegar).

cThe golden rule is that when it comes to salad, there’s no need to follow a “recipe.” If you’re missing an ingredient, replace it with something else that will provide the same effect (crunch, spice, tang, creaminess, etc). No one will know and it’ll still be delicious!

Enjoy your Salad Days ! Or simply spend quality time with our Master Chef in residence at the tree of life and feast on the most exotic, awesome salads !