Tag Archives: blogging

Wheel

Wheel of time Wheel of fortune Wheel of life Wheel alignment… How many words contain wheel… Wheelbarrow Cartwheel Pinwheel Wheelchair… Thousands I guess. Most of them I never heard before or have seen use in a sentence. Life is a circle. A never ending circle. A wedding ring supposed to be symbolizing forever though the symbol of eternity and infinity as we all know isn’t always a ring. The shape of a sideways figure eight, the Ouroboros (or Uroboros) and the Endless Knot, are also symbols of infinity and eternity to name a few. The Armenian symbol of everlasting celestial life looks like a pinwheel and the Egyptians sign for it is the Ankh, or the “Crux Ansata” or ‘cross with a handle. Whatever we think is appropriate symbol of  eternal life and rebirth, it is still containing a circle in the middle. It got to be. Life never sit still. It turns and turns with time. And time is infinite. Our life is limited but time on its own is infinite… 

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ALL OF ME

Who is she, this rebellious, creative creature that refuses to play by the rules? 

She is the chameleon that catches your eye. She is each hue of the rainbow. She is every summer sun. Every dark depth. She has a too hot heat that scorches the heart and a deep rooted longing to take flight like so many birds.

With her soul stripped bare, stark, she will dare you to see her. To truly see her. She will challenge you to hold steady your gaze. To not look away. Even when ugly truths show themselves, dancing darkly, confident of their ability to stun you. To be shunned by you.

She will let you glimpse some of the darkness that she holds, the shadows that she knows.

And then, as you try to shine light on them, on her, she will turn away from you, wanting to keep her stronghold on the demons. Because they are a part of her too. And what unknown gaping void might be left without them?

She will push you away. And then bring you back, her conflicting behaviour causing her as much confusion as it does you. She will hover at the brink. At the place where freedom falls into a different kind of escape that promises no return. She won’t succumb to the chasm that calls softly, insistently to her, but she will be mesmerised by its allure of nothingness. Of its promise to stop the clashing thoughts and tangled feelings.

There are the times when she will want to give in to the vulnerability that encompasses her. She will want to be nurtured. Spoon fed. Looked after. She will want to climb on your lap, to curl up like a cat. She will want you to tell her that it will all be alright. That she doesn’t need to do anything more. That she won’t have to draw on her depleted reserves of energy that seem to elude her today.

She assumes the personas of all the warriors she has known and learnt of. She will not always know where she begins and where the fictional personalities end, for the lines are blurred and she has no true desire to clarify them. Rather she enjoys their comfort blanket cover, that she may be able to draw on them as she needs to.

She has the haughty pride of a peacock that struts knowing full well of the rich layered beauty that draws the eye. She wants to be admired. Adored. Adorned. And then, she wants to take off the trinkets that weigh her down for they feel gaudy and heavy after a time. 

Her turmoil is studied yet unexamined, only showing itself truthfully in the offerings that she is compelled to create. She won’t be able to tell you how her creativity is born or from where it came. She does not know herself. Only that it does come, and it must come, so that she may then know some modicum of peace. Of respite. Of purpose. Her art of choice is an extension of who she is. Of who she is yet to become.

There are the days when she will wake in the light but feel full of darkness. She won’t understand what happened in the hours of sleep that she should open her eyes feeling this way. The fog will cloud her brain and dull her brilliance. Everything will move slightly slower. More muted. A lethargy descending on her. She knows to wait it out.

There are the days she will find herself in scattered pieces. Like china, smashed on the kitchen floor. Bewildered and broken. Bloodied and cold. She will look into your eyes, searching for an answer that she knows she will not find. She will feel a disoriented sense of despair. A hopelessness of sorts.

Rage is not unfamiliar to her. Cries of anger let loose when fear threatens to take over. She will shout out, hearing a voice she knows to be hers, yet not recognising the stranger that she finds in the echoes that flood back to her.

She can’t always verbally articulate what she wants to convey, what she’d like to share. Rather she finds her voice in her craft. Adding an adjective here, a splash of paint there in place of the words that might otherwise stay silent. Solitude sits well with her, yet although she knows she yearns for this sacred time alone, too much of it leads to a distorted place where the world is twisted and misshapen. Once there, she races to return, taking gulps of air that will speed her back safely.

She will find segments of herself in the creations she makes. In her words, her drawings, her sculptures. She will smile then, as she has a feeling of unity. Of coming home. She will feel confident, connected, whole.

Turning to face you with eyes so bright. And then, in no time at all, she will yearn for the next creation, panicking that it might not come, that she won’t have any outlet for the chattering riot inside her mind. She will want reassurance. Understanding. Love. So much love.

She may be some or all of these things and much, much more. She will frustrate you. She will inspire and amaze you. She will infuriate you beyond a measure that you barely knew existed. She will be all kinds of temperamental. She cannot be any more or any less than she knows in that moment. She is complex and chaotic. She is poetic and proud. She is every kind of fire and ice and all the elements of earth and sky. She is the restless, rebellious female creative and this is what it means to love her.


I wish I wrote this piece because it describes me word for word but it was penned by Skylar Liberty Rose- freelance writer and fellow blogger who believes in creativity as a form of healing and is passionate about manifesting her dreams. Skylar is an advocate of stripping away layers of conditioning and instead discovering the unique truth within. She is inspired by souls with spirit and courageous hearts. She grew up in London and now lives in New York City with her husband. Skylar is a woman after my own heart.

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Truth slap

I can’t wait for the day when life finally makes sense, when we find the silver lining in every tragedy, when we learn the lesson from each mistake and when we understand why our hearts needed to get broken a few times to let love in.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we met the right people at the wrong time or the wrong people at the right time and why our lives didn’t align to bring us together.

I wonder if it’s because they’re the wrong ones for us or because we still have a lot of growing up to do and we’re meant to be with someone who understand who we’re becoming not who we were.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand the lesson behind every struggle. Why we struggled to be successful, why we struggled to find love, why we struggled to reach our dreams and why we lost people who meant the world to us. I wonder if we needed these lessons to learn how to appreciate life and feel the pain of others or we just needed to learn that there is no living without suffering.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we had to hate ourselves to love ourselves, why we had to destroy ourselves to build ourselves up again and why we had to start over just before we got to the finish line. I wonder who saved us or who inspired us to save ourselves.

I wonder if we are meant to be reborn a few times so we can learn how to truly live. I want to know what triggered us to change and how we can no longer recognize who we used to be.

I can’t wait for the day that we understand why we keep falling for the wrong ones over and over again, why we can’t forget those who hurt us and why we sometimes can still forgive them and take them back. I want to understand how our hearts operate, how they function, how they move us to do things we would never do and lead us to places that we know we shouldn’t go to.

I’m curious to know why we listen to it, why we follow it blindly like it never got us lost before, why we trust it even though it left us broken and why do we always go back to it for questions when it keeps giving us the wrong answers. I wonder if there will come a day when we stop listening to it and if we’ll ever be truly alive without it.

They say everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that, but I also want to know what this reason is and why it chose us. Why some reasons keep recurring and why some reasons leave us even more perplexed. I want to understand why we go through certain things, what’s the message behind it and what if we never respond to this message, what if we just ignore it and keep living, what will happen then? Will our lives get lost in translation?

I can’t wait for the day that life makes sense – some days I understand why certain things happened and others I’m not so sure, but all I know is that somehow we’ll connect the dots and someday we’ll complete the puzzle, until then, we have to learn how to live our lives without trying to understand it and we have to learn how to be comfortable with the irony and uncertainty of life; otherwise we’ll lose our common sense trying to make sense of the life we’re living.

~ via facebook

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Paper

What would we do without it? Even in this time of ultra- modern technology paper is still indispensable, especially in the western society where people prefer to use it in the little room to clean what needs to be clean instead of just using the more hygienic alternative- water. Don’t get on your high horse so fast because I am not on mine either. I am just telling the simple fact and the simple truth. Don’t look for meaning behind it. I have my own stock of kitchen rolls in the garage too, something which is unthinkable where I came from. We air dry dishes and only have one dish cloth and one rag to clean every surface. Now, I have boxes and boxes of paper hankies for my chronic sinusitis and ongoing allergies. And I still prefer good old fashioned books than E-books and still holding on to little notebooks and post it notes to record my old school thoughts.

I used to have a collection of expensive multi-colored stationery which I hardly use. I bought them because I like the way they look, feel and smell. Reminds me of the beginning of the school year when I was young and my oldest sister shopped school supplies for me and my siblings. Those were the happiest times in my life. Going to school was so important to us the worst punishment my parents could inflict on us was to make us stay at home on school days to clean the house. Corporal punishment was preferable than missing a day of school. 

I don’t know if our modern technology has a positive effect on deforestation or it’s the other way around. I hope those stories about sustainable forests is not just a myth. I love paper and its various forms but not in the cost of the environment. As of now, we are experiencing a heat wave for two consecutive weeks now it is forbidden by our government to even water our own gardens and fill pools so our kids could swim. And it looks like it will continue towards the next week for the time being. Record shows that the number of days with highest temperature in history have increased double in the last couple of years. I wonder how long those unbelievers could deny the reality of global warming.

Here I am getting side tracked again. Do you think living without paper is possible in the near future? Or is it like asking if we could exist without the existence of plastic and God knows what other engineered products we think indispensable to our lifestyle and survival.

I’m off now to have a few seconds under the shower to cool off. I guess the government will not fine me for trying to still alive. They don’t keep track of what I’m doing anyway. Or they will arrest me for sitting here typing this article butt-naked (or it is buck-naked?) Anyway, I’m out of here and maybe see you later. (P.S. It’s too hot to edit. You know what I mean)

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Meddle

Why this word prompt reminds me of two things: One is the Echoes, a signature track from Pink Floyd’s Meddle album which probably a reminiscent of my former life with my ex. The song goes like this:

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
No one speaks
And no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.

It was written by Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason, Rick Wright. A group effort with lyrical contributions from each member.

Here is another song that reminds me of today’s prompt. It is appropriately titled Meddle.

I remember all the things she did before
I remember all the times she cried
I remember all the things you promised her
I know it hurt, I remember all the times you lied

Don’t meddle with her heart, meddle with her mind
Meddle with the things that are inside
You don’t know what you’ll find
You don’t know what she hides

So don’t go messing with her heart or messing with her mind
Or messing with the things that are inside
You don’t know what you’ll find
You don’t know what she hides

She still remembers like it’s yesterday
She still remembers you so well
She still remembers all the things you saw forever more
She still remembers but won’t tell

‘Cause she’s a mixed up girl in a mixed up world
And you know she don’t mean any harm
So please understand if you take her hand
You’ll get much more than you bargained for…

The last stanza kind of reminds me of myself 😀

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To The Beautiful Woman Who Is Striving To Be Skinny

I see you everywhere.

You’re on my Facebook, posting selfies of your latest workout as sweat drips from your brow, words like dying, puking, exhausting are hash-tagged underneath.

Punishment.

My Instagram is filled with pictures of you, sporting your Lorna Jane as you burn away the calories of the cake you shouldn’t have eaten, but were too weak to resist.

Penance.

You sit opposite me, order your salad, no dressing, and berate yourself for being a kilogram heavier this week.

Self-loathing.

You are fraught with comparison, with how short you fall next to the mothers at the playground you’ll never be as fit as, the group of women at the gym you’ll never be as strong as, the bodies in the magazines you’ll never be as sexy as. You beat yourself up. Promise that tomorrow you’ll eat less and work out more. No excuses, no matter what. Push yourself, purge yourself, pressure yourself.

I was once like you. I obsessed over the number on the scale, lived by punishment or reward, survived on protein shakes, and applauded myself for staying under 1,000 calories a day. I worked out, no matter what. No matter how tired my body was, no matter how run down, exhausted, or unwell. I worked out until I almost threw up, head over my knees, rebuking myself with slogans. Go hard or go home. Unless you puke, faint or die, keep going. Excuses are for people who don’t want it bad enough. I pushed past the pain and worked out when my muscles were fatigued, when my body screamed for me to stop, when I injured my knee, my shoulder, until I eventually tore a disc in my back.

And that changed everything.

In an instant, I could no longer work out. My world ended. There was no worse fate that could have happened to me. I laid on my stomach for a month, unable to do anything. I cried with frustration, beat myself up with failure, drowned in self-hatred. I feared. I feared getting left behind, losing all the work I had put into my body. I feared people thinking I was lazy or weak. But mostly, I feared getting fat. Because in my eyes, that was the ultimate failure.

And so before my body was healed, I started to work out again. Each time would see me back where I’d started, in pain, on the floor, unable to walk. I did this for months until I just no longer could. Until I had to listen to my body, to surrender to what it needed. Rest. Recovery time. Gentle walks. Stretching. Yoga.

No more sweat-pouring, fat-burning, muscle-aching workouts.

At first it killed me, this surrendering. It yelled defeat, poked and prodded into my deepest places of insecurity and challenged my self-worth to the core; I was more bound in my body image than I realised. It’s subtle, the infiltration of what we are programmed to believe is beauty—we don’t realise the way it creeps into us, the way we yield to society’s standards even when we think we are immune to them.

Eventually, it became easier to surrender, easier to let go of the demands I had placed on myself to look a certain way. I stopped seeking my value in the number on the scale and found it instead in my mind, my heart, my character, and my contribution to the world. I shed lies, so many lies, of what I had come to believe beauty should be. I realised I had nothing to prove to anyone. Every day, I practiced kindness and spoke to myself the way I would speak to any other woman.

Beautiful woman, who you are, right now in this moment, is perfect.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you fill your head with your prerequisites of beauty. A flatter tummy. Toned arms. Size 10. Lose another five kilograms.

But I understand now.

Beauty isn’t measured in centimetres, my dear.

And the moment you understand will be the moment you find freedom.

You’ll begin to exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it. You’ll eat food that brings you life and health because your body craves nourishment, not deprivation. You’ll run in the sunshine because it brings you joy, not because you’ve earned punishment. You’ll let go of striving, of negativity, of guilt and frustration and failure.

But mostly, you’ll come to realise how beautiful you really are. How strong, how brave, how kind, how intelligent, how clever, how funny, how generous, how thoughtful. How much you love. Not how much you weigh.

Beautiful woman, stop.

Stop striving to be skinny, as if that’s the only measure of your worth.

Instead, strive to change the perception of beauty, the lies we have been told.

Strive to empower women, our daughters, through the truth of their worth.

Strive to see how beautiful you really are, right now, exactly in this moment.

And then watch the world become more beautiful, because of you.

Author: Kathy Parker

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Create

That’s my personal fix_ creating something. I am addicted to it – better even- I was born with it in my blood. If you ask me where did I get or inherit the fix, I would say I don’t know. I don’t remember my parents creating something aside from us. They were not even able to provide a proper home for us or a proper upbringing. What the heck they didn’t even managed to have a decent relationship with each other. It could be also that my memories are clouded with emotional and physical traumas brought by regimented fostering I cannot remember things correctly. 

Not that they don’t have the talents for it. My mother could draw anything beautifully and her aquarelles were legendary, or could be if she has dared to do something with it but as far as I can recall, I only saw her once doing it. She kept a sketchbook in her chest of clothes though full of inspiring images she I suspected created from imagination because they didn’t look like anything I’ve seen around or perhaps she might have seen them before there were us. Anyway, aside from that one occasion when she had drawn me a cow for a school project, I never witness her doing it again.  Maybe real life was difficult to combine with her art (that I can understand) maybe she had enough work with the six of us. Maybe that’s why she hated us (except one) Maybe I am exaggerating again. I don’t know. My father… my father could build a shack, on his own, using whatever available materials he could find. And he once turned a bog into a proper garden. Yes, the two of them had talents to create, if only they set their minds to it instead of… too many and too painful to mention.

Back to me.

A day without creating something beautiful and preferably tangible is a day wasted for me. I love to see things materialize before my eyes by the power of creation. I enjoy the process of designing anything that will produce beautiful results. That’s why I love gardening and why I got into design business. Mind you, I can draw and paint as well. Even better than my mother. She could not draw portraits, I can. All of us can draw but only me can do portraits. Why I didn’t do something with it? Nerves. Nerves and self-confidence. Don’t ask me. It is a long and complicated story and I hate long and complicated stories that’s why I dislike myself. I think.

Anyway, creating sits deep in my soul and has me on its grip from the cradle on. I remember finding a broken truck front light when I was young and bringing it home turning the glass upside down and made the thing into an aquarium complete with fish and water plants. My father scolded me for it saying the fish belonged in the pan not in my far-fetched vision. It didn’t stop there. I created playhouses wherever possible and decorated them with the things I could find lying around. I filled big shells with water and floated colorful flowers on the surface, collected bottles of shampoos, powder, lotions, anything I fancy that have washed up on shore and I could use to beautify my private place. I made handbags from scraps of fabrics nobody wanted and filled them with paper money I fashioned from old newspaper and pretended I was shopping or going to the bank. The pink piggy bank I bought from my Christmas money was doubled as a vase for the wild flowers I gathered from the side of the road. I see beauty in everything and believe in endless possibilities of re purposing materials. Nothing is impossible. If I can think it, then it must be doable or otherwise how can I come up with the thoughts in the first place? 

Once I was so despaired about our crumbling little shack I tried to elevate the place by planting colorful wild plants in empty milk cans I gathered from the neighborhood and put them on the front of our house at eye level so they were more pleasing to the eye. I also planted creeping ground cover in shades of purple and green placing them just under the eaves so I didn’t have to water them much for water where we lived that time was a precious commodity. Even then without proper training, I instinctively know what goes together. When it comes to design I have only one motto: If it looks good, then it’s good. I don’t care much about the process, what’s important for me is the result. Rules can go to hell, as long as the end product achieve what it needs to achieve then breaking design rules means nothing to me.   

I would like to say more about the topic but duty calls. First thing first. I will come back and edit this piece if necessary and perhaps add a sentence (or a paragraph) or two to complete the thoughts. But for now I have to go. I really, really have to. At least even with this incomplete monologue you got ideas already what create (or creating) means to me.

BRB

(first time I wrote this abbreviation and it sounds like the things those pretty girls who are working on cam will write on a piece of paper and prop against the back of a chair to let their viewers know they don’t disappear forever only indefinitely. Maybe I will tell you sometime how I come to know this. Signing off for now)  

EarthDay

Taper

A candle is lit

In a solitary, dark room

Full of

Paper bag memories

Wrinkled and strewn about

Smoke fills the air

Suffocating high hopes

And possibilities

To start anew.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Close your eyes

And hide in the darkness

Of corners that the candle

Flame barely illuminates

And slowly breathe in

The poetry of lost promises

As the candle burns

Leisurely into oblivion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wave goodbye

As you drift into

The darkness

Of black and white memories

That have since been lost

In the candle smoke…

~ found poetry

A woman participates in a candlelight vigil in support of women safety in Mumbai

Volume

Does size matter?

I bet there are more answers than one.

And all of them can be right.

Or wrong according to preference.

I heard a long time ago that when it comes to a certain matter it is not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean. Before, I would have contest it but experience taught me that it is indeed so. Is it important? Up to a certain degree it is. But not enough to rock a solid foundation.

What about our recent bench mark on beauty? The thinner the better? Thigh gaps and all?

Let’s talk about possessions.

Bigger houses bigger cars bigger balance in bank accounts

How about goals?  Not Citius, Altius, Fortius but Altus, Grandis, Immanis or it is Ingens, Bumelia, Magnus?

Just give me real, lasting and cozy. Harmonious, respectful, loyal and trustworthy. Quality over quantity. That’s good enough for me.

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Daily Prompt

I’m Back

Been a while since I write my own thoughts. I’ve been away for almost four weeks basking in the  sun soaking the atmosphere enjoying the weather admiring the views immersing myself in different culture and generally doing nothing but what I love to do in that moment. I crisscrossed the island on foot, drove around, swam in lagoons and tasted the food. I’ve been in a hospital also. Costed me a fortune but my health insurance will pay me back only  I don’t know when. They say it may take a while since it is a large amount of money but I see it as a savings; money I don’t have in my hand so therefore I can’t spend.

I’m home now with tons of laundry and lots to do in the garden. At least the slugs and snails didn’t devour my entire population of plants like I expected them to do. My chocolate mints died. D. said he upended small bottles of water in the pots but he said it was not enough to lasts for the entire time we were gone but I suspected he had forgotten to do it because I didn’t see any indentation on the soil next to the plants. So, today I drove to the garden center to get new ones but like always I purchased more than I needed. Believe you me I will have second thoughts buying anything for myself but will not hesitate acquiring something for the garden or for the house. I’m crazy that way. It gives me so much joy to shop for both and see them transform a space. The plants which are damaged by late frost are struggling to survive. They are still there but most of them become sort of bonsai, little miniature examples of their former selves. I hope they will totally revive next year. 

I reckon it will take me a week to go back to normal. I will return to writing after everything settled. But first I have to attend two big parties. One is the silver jubilee of a company and another is a retirement event of my father -in-law. The first one calls for a dress code. ‘Future’ is the theme we have to abide. Lots of shining garments dominated by silver and white in casual attire. I don’t know yet if I’m going to attend since parties are not my thing but let’s see when it’s time to go. Maybe I will and then again maybe not.

I wrote this piece without pause and without edit so if you spy some mistakes, look the other way. Till next time and enjoy the warm weather.  

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I’m The Type Of Person Who Is In Awe Of Pain

Everything I have created in my life, be it drawings or poems, was driven by suffering. Through you, however, was I able to create something driven by love and happiness.

I wrote you nothing but beautiful words.

The tables have turned today. For the first time, I reach out to you with melancholic words—yet I’m not sure if you deserve any more words from me.

I’m not the type of person who blames other people. When it comes to you, I’m only blaming myself.

I lulled myself into thinking you loved me. Doing so gave me a sense of security. I kept coming to you like a dog would come to a treat. But the truth is, you never asked me to come; and maybe this is why I blame myself.

I blame myself because it was crystal clear that we were not going anywhere and yet, I kept myself living in a shell of delusion. I translated your passiveness to humility, your silence to empathy and your reluctance to hope.

I drew a thoroughly different image of you than who you truly are. And yet, the universe was intelligent enough to spin the wheel of events and unveil the reality of your flimsy emotions toward me.

You never understood love, for if you did, you would’ve understood that nothing can keep you away from the person you truly want. No mistakes, no uncertainty and no doubt can keep your soul away from hers. No temptation and no desires can have you kissing lips other than hers.

A man who truly loves is a man who aims to fix, to understand what went wrong and own his part of the problem.

A man who loves is a man who forgives, who helps his partner remove the cloud that’s shadowing the truth.

A man who loves is a man who overcomes his fears and strongest insecurities.

But here I am today, learning more about the type of man you truly are. I am waking from the dream I’ve been in for far too long. You’re not the one who woke me up though—time and situation did.

And it seems you have woken up as well, considering you have disappeared. You were like a storm that knocked me over then vanished into nothingness.

I don’t hate you—I have loved you deeply, to the extent of not allowing any traces of hate to occur in the future.

But I suddenly feel indifference. I feel what I should’ve felt long ago.

As for you, we both know now that you were already indifferent about all of this. There is no need to keep speculating whether you love me or not. You see, love is simple and easy to spot. Love is a moment that transforms into forever. When you fall in love, there are no doubts, no speculations, no over-thinking.

You just know that this is the person you want to wake up next to every morning for the rest of your life.

And so, love defeats all. To love is to tightly hold a rose with all its thorns and allow them to deeply sink in your flesh. But if you’re not in love, you’ll behold that rose and think twice before scratching yourself with the tiniest thorn.

And sadly, you only stared at my rose, but never held it the way I thought you would.

Passive man, I set you free now. I set you free from my love, myself and my being.

Although I thought I wasn’t expecting much of you, the ugly truth is, I was. And thus, I too set myself free from the expectations and delusions that I willingly delved into.

You’re the one who taught me what love is and at the same time taught me what love isn’t.

And now, I can only thank you for the lessons and the memories.

~Relephant

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Why Becoming An Interesting Person Is No Longer Interesting To me

I don’t care that you’ve been around the world, I want to know what you’ve experienced in those places that has shaped you into the beautiful human who you are now.

What are you passionate about and how does it show up in what you do?

I was asked this by someone I met the other day.

I found it to be one of the more interesting questions I’ve been asked recently.

Generally, when I meet people at conferences, events or social gatherings I’m asked one of two questions:

“What do you do?”

“Where are you from?”

These two questions feel forced, canned and certainly not interesting.

So when someone asks me, “What are you passionate about and how does that show up with what you do?” I’m intrigued.

Well, intrigued and slightly stumped.

I knew that I could answer this in a number of ways, so I wasn’t yet sure of what I wanted to say.

I had to really think and feel into what I wanted to share with this human who I had just met.

You see, most introduction questions attempt to put us into a metaphorical box—but her question did the opposite.

I certainly wasn’t thinking, “Is she going to judge or stereotype me based on what I do?”

I was relieved. And her question opened up the conversation into a deeper understanding of how we can create more awesome and meaningful relationships.

This leads to an (interesting) discussion about being interested versus being interesting.

But first, I’m curious: do people generally feel more connected with someone when they’re talking about themselves (no matter how cool their world is or isn’t) or when they’re asking you questions about yourself that they actually want to know the answers to?

For me, it’s the latter. I love when people ask me questions that really get me to think and feel.

Not, “What do you do?” or “Where are you from?” questions, but questions that make stop and really consider the answers.

These questions don’t have to be fancy, but meaningful and connective.

Asking these questions is something I try to do whenever I’m getting to know someone else.

Most of us have been conditioned to believe that in order to become “cool” or interesting, we must be interesting — travel the world, own a business, live an unconventional life or do significant things.

This, however, is not the case.

In fact, the more I make relationships about myself or all the “cool” things that I’ve done, the more off-putting I become to others.

Ever hear someone brag and talk about all the places that they’ve been? Someone who doesn’t share this information with the intention of orienting the listener to another culture, but rather as something that makes the speaker feel significant or better in some way?

I’ve certainly experienced this and have tried to not be “that guy,” at times.

Being interesting is exhausting and it puts a lot of pressure on ourselves to keep up with an image that we think we need to be for people to like us.

Personally, I don’t care that you’ve been around the world. I want to know what you’ve experienced in those places that has shaped you into the beautiful human who you are now.

I don’t care that you’re about to sell one of your businesses for millions of dollars—I’d rather know why you started it to begin with.

I don’t care that you’ve written a NY Times best seller, but I do want to feel what you had to sacrifice to get to that achievement.

I want to know who you are, not where you’re from.

I don’t care what you do, unless you share it in a way that allows me to experience more of who you are.

So, I’ll do my best to not ask you questions that rob you of the opportunity to share how wonderfully human you are.

Will you do the same?

Be interested in an interesting way.

Ask better questions.

Listen—really listen—and watch a world of opportunities open up for you like you never expected.

Not because you wanted them to, but just because you decided to be interested in an interesting way.

Relephant

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