Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oliver Sacks on Life

"(...) Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

Oliver Sacks
in Gratitude

Soneto à moda antiga

"Depois de passar para o outro lado do espelho
Viu Alice o mundo do avesso
Inquieta, pasmou e tudo lhe parecia estranho
Mas era só da vida, o começo

Inquietar e pasmar são coisas de viver
Só é pena às vezes a gente ter de falecer!
Mas pouco importa o final triste
Se viajar for a razão que persiste.

Não têm fim as novidades do mundo
Não têm preço as histórias de encantar
Porque sem preço e sem fim é o teu olhar profundo

Surpreende-me a cada nova descoberta
Faz da vida um perpétuo celebrar
Olha em volta, do avesso, e faz a pergunta certa."
Carlos J Pessoa

"I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
Alice in Wonderland

Friday, November 27, 2015

"I'm standing in a field
A field of questions
As far as the eye can see
Is this what it means to be free?
Or is this what it means to belong to the free?
Bill Callahan - Free's

She stands strong, back straight and challenging attitude.
Knowing how fragile her whole world is,
she stands strong
and in her dreams she trusts.

The real free people have always been the lunatics, dreamers,
fragile when facing normality, but capable of escaping it.

You're never alone. There's always yourself.
And we can be so gentle and warm towards strangers.

Relax within a smile. Let it ease in on you.
And from that warm place of acceptance,
defy your deviant dreamer and let yourself "fall" in love,
dangerously free and wild.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Getting lost and finding yourself

For some, losing themselves in the woods or while traveling, or losing themselves in their own thoughts, it's a release, it's freedom and peace of mind. For others, it's a fearful and sad feeling, for they do not know which direction they should take, which words they should say or even which Life to take on and call their own.

We feel lost and disoriented when we loose meaning. Even though Life has a wide range of experiences, we need to feel that there's meaning and purpose to them. That's why for so many of us, being a mom or dad, it's enough for feeling complete. That's why for others, a long honorable career, or the publishing of a book or the Love for a life-long partner, gives them that sense of self-completion.

But Life is unpredictable, in itself and inside each of us. Our dreams change, our relationships change, our surroundings change, and so, more often than we think, all of us feel lost in one way or another. So many of us, dig deep into busyness not to feel that, filling our heads and world with stuff, stuff that distracts us from questioning, what am I doing here?

Our Life will be understood at its end, but it's built now, it's happening right now, so now is the time where we need to think and decide what meaning do we want to give to it. But that search for meaning does not imply stress and frustration. It exists naturally. So I ask, how can we give meaning to Life, naturally, if we don't even know where we are or what we want?

Or do we know?

Maybe we know, but we keep looking for others approval or we compare ourselves too much. So we need to trust in ourselves, we need to believe we know our way.  But we also need the intelligence to recognize that some things still need to learned. Experience teaches us that. We grow from learning and learning happens when we open ourselves to the world and it's many shades. When you're open and flexible, you learn that you're not always right, that you don't know everything and that you always have a very personal point of view on things and people. You learn to accept that there might be many truths, but you also learn that it's in the origin of an action that the truth lies. Truth is what we believe in, Wholeness is that Truth but from an origin of Love, and we are searching for Wholeness.

If we wish to look back on Life and feel it's completion, purpose, meaning, then we need to make our choices from a place of Love. Then give up competing with yourself and simply trust the honesty in your effort, "(...) as if to say 'I'm ready now,' and the readiness is what matters."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More Humans

"Truth is, I'll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour."
Tom Hanks

Thursday, November 19, 2015

on Nonconformity

... to refuse to conform to established customs, attitudes or ideas. To question and think for yourself, and you know what, it's good for your mental health! It's better to ask inappropriate questions than to submit your soul to what is the norm, to rules you don't identify yourself with, to submission.
Deconstruct the thoughts that bring you down, that make you sick inside, at the heart. It's not crazy to speak to yourself alone, isn't it worst  to go through psychological imprisonment and be pseudo-normal? This is the opposite of being free. We are free in our mind first.
We're too shy to admit that we might be damaged, lost, but imagine your life as your favorite movie. As any good movie it needs some post-editing. Don't be afraid to re-edit your own Life. 
Tell a new story. Stories allow to become present what's in the past and closer what's yet far in the future.
It also needs some imagination and unfortunately that is not so much taught in schools. We learn to read and write, but not to imagine. We learn to calculate, add and subtract, but we're not encouraged to create a new math, a math were adding and subtracting might change the colours and sounds in the world.
So many people think of themselves being dumb, but they're just incapable of memorizing data and facts as the majority, and they only don't memorize that well because they were just too distracted creating new perspectives and so, what they heard in class or saw in a book, became the launching pad to new realities and imagined new places. There are just people that "travel" too much compared to the norm.
Why is it that usually it's only the little kids that ask a bunch of questions and then when they grow up, silence wins them over? 
... so question, think for yourself, in your own space find out about what you believe and search for it. All our Life we're conditioned by parents, school, society. Learn to play again!
As Eduardo Galeano questions, what is Utopia/Dreams for? "Utopia is on the horizon. I move two steps closer; it moves two steps further away. I walk another ten steps and the horizon runs ten steps further away. As much as I may walk, I'll never reach it. So what's the point of utopia? The point is this: to keep walking.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life as a glass half full. A beautiful glass.

"I am sick of haunting myself
from within
like an old house."

Erica Jong

Go, speak, play, yell if you need to, but pause for a second first and think about the reasons behind your words, choices and actions. We can all be half full glasses, even when Life deals us a bad set of cards. If we can't see the reason why, we can at least find a reason to change and ask, why not.

"The twenties are as frenetic a decade as the teens. You have a voice inside your head repeating I want, I want, I want, but you don’t know what you want or how to get it. You hardly know who you are. You go on instinct. And your instinct mostly pushes you toward adventures you won’t grasp until you look back on them. Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward, some sage once said."
Erica Jong, in Fear of Flying’s Afterword. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sobre o pensar antes de falar

Sobre o código da autocrítica...

"Elogie sempre antes de criticar ou apontar um erro.
Primeiro conquiste o território da emoção e depois o da razão.

Tenha reacções generosas e surpreendentes.

Fale menos e haja mais. Economize argumentos.

Humanize-se. Revele capítulos da sua vida. Conte aos outros as lágrimas que chorou, os seus dias mais difíceis e as aventuras que viveu.

Descubra quem ama. Interesse-se pelos seus gostos, pergunte-lhe que dificuldades tem e demonstre preocupação por essa pessoa.

Se tiver necessidade de ser perfeito, de se defender compulsivamente e de ter sempre razão, recicle-se, pois este tipo de comportamento destrói os relacionamentos. O leitor pode ganhar o debate mas perderá quem ama."

Augusto Cury, O Código da Inteligência

Oração do Silêncio

… achamos que tudo tem um princípio e um fim.
E assim nos parece ser, nascemos e morremos.
Por isso precisamos dar um princípio ao Mundo, mas que principio poderá ser razoável imaginar?

Estamos cá para ser e não sabemos como.

E se realmente o Infinito existe? E se não existe um princípio e um fim, mas uma eterna existência, um continuum, uma passagem de um estado para outro, e assim continuamente.

Por isso só nos resta o Agora, este aqui onde estamos, seja de que forma for, este aqui que respiramos e partilhamos sozinhos ou acompanhados.

Neste Agora, somos imensa coisa, e tanto do que somos nem desconfiamos.
Sinto pena por tantas vezes não conseguir desconfiar, porque é muito fácil estar errado sobre o que pensamos ser certo e ser regra.

Por isso pensar é mesmo o melhor que podemos fazer. Não há pensar demais. Existe sim criticar a mais, falar de mais, mas pensar e reflectir, principalmente antes de agir, faz falta. O silêncio da reflexão, o silêncio que permite que as lágrimas caiam ou que o sorriso subtil surja…

Cineastas, músicos, fotógrafos, artistas da alma e coração, procuram por tantos meios captar esse silêncio, porque o sentiram já e sabem o quanto nos fala, o quanto sustém, esse simples silêncio.

Por vezes dói, e talvez por isso o evitamos, mas não permitir que nos envolva e seduza é virar as costas a um céu de fogo e imensamente belo.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Solitary. Unchanging.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.

It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Learn & Live

Learning is such a hard thing but it's such a great thing...
But it's a hard thing because most of the time, and your memory will do its best to keep it that way, we learn from mistakes, from our dumbness and we learn not easiest way, "the ops, sorry, won't happen again", but instead the "too late, too hurt, too f*** gone".

And when a mistake it's not fully acknowledged, when is not fully accepted, it darkens you, just like a huge dark cloud can take over a magical sunset. Sometimes we enjoy watching that darkness and heaviness, but rain follows it and we end up feeling cold and unsheltered, looking for a safe place to hide, and that feeling can hurt, even for the ones that supposedly have it all, it damages and hurts. It hurts to learn that we make mistakes that go beyond what we ever thought could ever be our worst face/action.

But they're also a great thing because we do rise from the ashes. Just like the beautiful, untouchable phoenix, that regenerates or reborns by arising from the ashes of its predecessor, we also rise from the ashes of our previous self.

There's so much of this "World" we don't know. There's more than the eye can see, and "only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

It's only when we fall from our horse, from our nice cosy armchair, from the usual and well repeated, that we actually learn how little do we know about what Life is, and our only possible answer to how to live Life (redundancy?) is that we're here to learn and grow, and we should do it in the best loving and unselfish way.

Learn & Live.
How do we learn? By listening, paying attention, by trying to understand and asking questions when we don't. By being actively interested in learning, doing the homework and then hoping to pass the tests.