Monday, May 30, 2016

Has Life also become a task?

Where you put your Heart and Attention, that’s what you’re going to Feel.

Hanging between anxiety and depression, how many times does one feel fear of failure, but have no urge in being productive… or care about so many things, but realises that in the end nothing really matters.

Wanting, wishing, praying for meaning 
and having to conform with life’s absurdity…

But where you put our Heart and Attention, that’s what we’re going to Feel.

No point in looking back
Over your shoulder
Leave your worries behind
For a while
You'll forget everything
Junip - Your Life, Your Call

Has Life also become a task?
What are we doing, why are we in such a rush to go nowhere?

What will be the good of the conquest of leisure and health, if no one remembers how to use them?” Bertrand Russell asked in his 1926

Living under a unrelenting cult of workaholism and productivity, where do our souls go?

The more inventions and speeding mechanism we create, the faster we’re driving and rushing. We feel like we have less time. Where’s the contemplative, excellent digestion “future man”, described by George Eliot in 1880, the stout gentleman “…of quiet perceptions, undiseased by hypothesis; happy in his inability to know the causes of things, preferring the things themselves.

We were supposed to be creating a world where everybody had a reasonable chance of happiness.

… hey, focus on your Heart. It looks for kindness, value and sweet simple pleasures, even when everything else says it’s foolish or childish. Focus your attention on you Heart, and make those tiny little dreams come true. Simplicity it’s not easy, but takes you back to that nice place where you are nowhere else but present and alive.

Happiness is also a practice, it needs both learning and constant maintenance. In some studies they’ve seen that Happiness diminishes as we transition from childhood to adulthood and then starts rising as we grow wrinkles and acquire gray hair. Why is it?… Maybe because we stop taking our attitudes so seriously and stop worrying about who we should be and we simply are?

Because in the end “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives (..) There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by. A life of good days lived in the senses is not enough. The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less; time is ample and its passage sweet. Who would call a day spent reading a good day? But a life spent reading — that is a good life.
Annie Dillard

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

on Meaning

... what do you mean, what do you really mean?
I want to know, I need to know.

"What do you mean"... when you act in a certain way, when you say the things you say.
- My dear, you mean nothing to me.
Boom, punch in your stomach! Neck squeezed and head detachment possibly...
Because to mean something, for someone, for a reason, for ourselves is our number one thing. We want/need to mean something, to have a definition, to make sense and of course, to be important in someone's life. 

But too often we forget that meaning starts with ourselves, with our own release and breakthrough.

We all have one meaningful song, thought, book, picture, spoken word and moment. More than one hopefully. And when we recapitulate who we believe we are, those are the moments that occur to our brain as defining of who we are. So when we're just killing time and waiting for life to happen, we are creating a void, an unmeaningful void... 

It's not about having an awesome inspiration on what your Life's purpose might be, but instead, really bluntly and honestly defining what's important to do with your time here. What can you do with your time that's important? or just for the sheer joy of it.

If you could speak with your old 8-year old self and he/she asked you, why did you stop writing, drawing or playing, and you answered, because I'm not good enough, or I have to pay my bills, or because no one else cares about it, how do you think your old self would feel? Would he/she cry? ... If so, don't give up on your dreams and fantasies. Take some time for yourself, play again...

We need to feel we have meaning. To feel that somehow we make a difference, we add up something to this world, something good, and that we will be remembered as someone dear to some...

Find meaning and let yourself be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is actually a very sexy thing, it "is usually downright uncomfortable. But that’s OK. Because being vulnerable in your interactions creates a greater deal of trust and intimacy, removes games and ambiguity, creates sexual tension through bold behaviors, accelerates sexual and romantic relationships, builds self-esteem and (usually) demonstrates confidence to the other person."
Mark Manson

Let's be authentic, accountable and unconditionally vulnerables.

Know, accept and appreciate yourself. Have one sweet loving & sexy relationship with yourself, and make that inner 8-year old happy again. Find all the meanings you need to smile, love and live, for "The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, "If you will take care of me, I will take care of you. "Now I say, I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.
Jim Rohn

And now, let yourself go with this amazing performance: Ólafur Arnalds - improvisations
... wow, on repeat...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

On Hope… and the power of words.

Hope is a feeling, the somewhat painful expectation and desire for something to happen. We hope to come back; we hope to start or finish, we hope to surpass, to conquer and win, we hope to get it or leave it behind us. We Hope but we will lie to ourselves if we need to believe in it. So how good is to have Hope? It doesn’t push us forward to fight and look for a solution, it keeps you waiting, it seduces you into inaction, it retrieves power from you, who like any old leaf stands waiting to fall and be taken away by the wind.

Remember Pandora’s Box? Pandora opened the jar and all the evils flew out, leaving only Hope inside once it was closed again… what does that mean? Why was Hope trapped with all other evils…?

Pandora was created by the Gods to please Zeus, who wanted a Godlike woman. Hephaestus, the smith god from beneath the Earth, made her from Earth mixed with water; Athena, goddess of wisdom, taught her crafts and weaving; Aphrodite, goddess of love, gave her irresistible charm; Hermes, god of imagination, gave her a deceitful nature, persuasion… curiosity… because of her curious nature she didn’t resist to see what was inside the box…

Sometimes we can be having such a nice sweet dream that we actually might wish to wake up to see if its real. We expect it to be real. Hope is expectation, an illusion.

Is being hopeful a good thing? The higher you dream, greater the fall…

When we look into our inner mirrors and think there’s not much to hope for, either Love, growth, or safety, then we have lost our “lust for life”, and that is dangerous. Not only because it makes us disconnect from our feelings, but also because, right at the core, it’s a lie. We always Hope to be rescued, like food for the soul we imagine and fantasise a sweeter, happier Life

We always Hope, otherwise we’re just surviving… 
Are we just surviving? … 

If it weren’t for the dreams one sighs for and love, then yes, we would be just surviving, as it’s usually said after a couple of wine glasses, a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.

We have to Hope, if not we would have to quit our struggles, and it’s those struggles to the top in themselves that can fill our Heart with the Love and energy to do better, greater and share. “Without the dark, we'd never see the stars.” 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dare to Dream...

"(...) We have not overcome our condition, and yet we know it better. We know that we live in contradiction, but we also know that we must refuse this contradiction and do what is needed to reduce it. Our task as [humans] is to find the few principles that will calm the infinite anguish of free souls."
Albert Camus

Fiending... to incredibly crave for something.

We aspire and dream, we invoke and pray, we love and we're sure, ah... Heaven has to be made of sweetness...! Heaven is sweetness and a huge smile on your face.

But, nothing last forever right?
Says a million songs, says Life.

And we get scared, angry, frustrated, impatient! Dam, not again! Not again...

It's justifiable, everyone around you confirms. You're entitled to feel upset. You probably should respond with more emotions, creating some havoc. But..

"... anger’s long cultural history of being seen as morally justifiable and as a useful signal that wrongdoing has taken place, it is a normatively faulty response that masks deeper, more difficult emotions and stands in the way of resolving them. (...) Our emotional life maps our incompleteness”
Martha Nussbaum

So drop any resentment, free yourself from guilt, remember only the sweetness of Forgiveness, Understanding and Empathy. We all make mistakes, we all get confused. So remember that smile, the smile you've shared or lost in pure concern for that Love, that piece of Heaven, and Metabolize your feelings... And cry! Oh yeah, go for it, clean it all up! Tell your Heart it's ok and even good to cry, cry, but never, never break. Always go back to that sweetness of the Heart/Soul.
... Because “We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, we are still each other’s only hope” 
James Baldwin

Sustain that Hope, that Dream. Believe and Trust.
Getting hurt and acknowledging a learnt lesson is what growing is all about.
Maturity is the sense of enoughness in you.

"Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them. Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good you’ll never have real growth."
Bruce Mau

Take it easy, take it slow and get on with the show... indulge, feel, connect with the art, poetry, songs of Life. Metabolize what does not serve you.

And this I must also share:

Kurt Vonnegut, father of seven children, who argues that the modern family is simply too small, leaving too much room for loneliness and boredom, and advises: “I recommend that everybody here join all sorts of organizations, no matter how ridiculous, simply to get more people in his or her life. It does not matter much if all the other members are morons. Quantities of relatives of any sort are what we need.

"I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world. Everybody asks during and after our wars, and the continuing terrorist attacks all over the globe, “What’s gone wrong?” What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.

(...) When Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, he said, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.” What kind of a man was that? Any real man, obeying the Code of Hammurabi, would have said, “Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.”

His greatest legacy to us, in my humble opinion, consists of only twelve words. They are the antidote to the poison of the Code of Hammurabi, a formula almost as compact as Albert Einstein’s “E = mc2.

(...) I am a Humanist, or Freethinker, as were my parents and grandparents and great grandparents — and so not a Christian. By being a Humanist, I am honoring my mother and father, which the Bible tells us is a good thing to do.

But I say with all my American ancestors, “If what Jesus said was good, and so much of it was absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?”

(...) Revenge provokes revenge which provokes revenge which provokes revenge — forming an unbroken chain of death and destruction linking nations of today to barbarous tribes of thousands and thousands of years ago.

(...) We may never dissuade leaders of our nation or any other nation from responding vengefully, violently, to every insult or injury. In this, the Age of Television, they will continue to find irresistible the temptation to become entertainers, to compete with movies by blowing up bridges and police stations and factories and so on…

But in our personal lives, our inner lives, at least, we can learn to live without the sick excitement, without the kick of having scores to settle with this particular person, or that bunch of people, or that particular institution or race or nation. And we can then reasonably ask forgiveness for our trespasses, since we forgive those who trespass against us. And we can teach our children and then our grandchildren to do the same — so that they, too, can never be a threat to anyone.

(...) You should know that when a husband and wife fight, it may seem to be about money or sex or power. But what they’re really yelling at each other about is loneliness. What they’re really saying is, “You’re not enough people.”

If you determine that what they’ve been yelling at each other is that, tell them to become more people for each other.

and don’t give up on books. They feel so good — their friendly heft. The sweet reluctance of their pages when you turn them with your sensitive fingertips. A large part of our brains is devoted to deciding whether what our hands are touching is good or bad for us. Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us. 

(...) A computer teaches a child what a computer can become. An educated human being teaches a child what a child can become. Bad men just want your bodies. TVs and computers want your money, which is even more disgusting. It’s so much more dehumanizing!

Monday, May 2, 2016

The soul is like a wild animal

Are there bad things and good things? Aren't they maybe complementary of each other?
We do forget of the other when facing it's opposite peak, immense pain or joy.

Can different truths coexist? Well, it depends...
How far are you willing to go to make it true?

Unfortunately it's only when we lose something we had as part of our Life that we rethink about Life itself. Most of it is an illusion created to suit our needs.

We were taught to think one way, to cry or laugh accordingly, to pursue certain dreams, dreams that would represent success. But would you feel you were pursuing anything if you just had yourself and nothing else?

It's because there are so many opinions and rules, so many must, should, ought to, that we believe without hardly any doubt that something is right or wrong, good or bad. You'll save money and food for the future, you'll go to school and find a job for the future, you'll fall in love for the future. For that sweet envisioned future.

If things ever go wrong, blame it on your imagination. It was greedy...

But it's that willingness to go further and finding for yourself if the world has an end or not, that builds your strength.

"To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures."

To endure and not giving up in finding Life for what it is and not through the desire of having to prove yourself better or worse. We are what we think. Sometimes we are tired. We can be tired for years! but, we'll wake up one day.

"The test of one’s decency is how much of a fight one can put up after one has stopped caring.

Opposites are complementary. Hardship and joy are in relationship with each other. You can feel an amazing jubilating joy, because you have felt intense sadness.

You can also choose to have as little displeasure as possible, but you'll be also denying yourself of Life's joy provoking events and growth.

There's wrong and right, but it's your choice which one is truer.

That's why we make such an effort to find our truth, our purpose. And no book or education will provide it for us. What others have thought can only serve us as a mask.

Actively surrender... Shake off those shoulds.

"Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent"
Parker Palmer


"The soul is like a wild animal — tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek."
Parker Palmer