But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter. ―
Happiness! Oh boy, oh boy — do I get to tell you all about happiness today? Wowzers… but who am I to start pretending I know anything about happiness?
Nope, I don’t know what happiness is. In fact, I have a hunch no one does — anyone and everyone seems to define it differently, pursue it differently, but whoever actually gets there?
Sure, some people manage to get rich — but do they get happy in the process? At first, a little, maybe — but does that stick?
The most common definition of happiness out there seems to equate it to feeling good. But does feeling good lead to happiness? Well, does smoking crack lead to happiness?
You may feel I’m exaggerating right now, and I am — except I’m not. When we pursue pleasure or means of gaining pleasure, we’re doing the same as looking for a crack hit, albeit with a more “reasonable” attitude. By “reasonable”, I mean that the negative side-effects aren’t as immediately obvious or destructive.
For example, there are these people I know who went on to pursue a career to make lots of money, invested all that money in a cool house with a kick-ass pool in the backyard. They bought a boat, too — a nice one. They drank wine, ate steak — they weren’t exactly rich but upper-middle-class. They had a sweet life. But then eventually, it stopped working. Whatever they spent their lives doing became boring — a pool, a boat, and even wine will keep you entertained for only so long until you need to move on to something else.
Everything gets boring sooner or later. When it does, we need new and more intense excitement to keep us to that same level of happiness. But there’s a catch with all this: money. Better wine, a bigger house, and ever more exotic travels cost more money.
When my two friends’ careers leveled off, when the salaries stopped going up, then that pursuit of happiness reached a serious snag. They couldn’t get their necessary hits of pleasure anymore, and so they started being depressed. They started smoking more, drinking more, watching more TV and going out less. And eventually, that killed them.
Not that there’s anything wrong with dying. I mean we all die anyway, but it’d be nice not to end our days miserable and completely lost in our souls, still vehemently looking for solace in pleasure. It’d be nice to die peaceful, wouldn’t it?
I can’t tell you what happiness is, but I can tell you what it’s not: a pursuit. Happiness isn’t there, it’s not anywhere — it can’t be gained, if we try to catch it’ll just slip away. That’s why they call it a pursuit. It’s an eternal carrot on a stick.
This pursuit, that constant desire for something more, is what’s keeping us nicely chained and well-behaved members of consumerist societies. In the past, it was a religion that kept us chained and well-behaved — religion being the promise of something better in the hereafter. Consumerism outsmarted religion by offering the hope of something better in the therebefore, within this lifetime.
But it’s still hope, and the system is entirely dependent on hope remaining hope.
No, this won’t do at all. Happiness isn’t something to be hoped for — that turns the whole experience of life into one major crack addiction.
Happiness, if it has to be anything, has to be in the here and now. Look around you, savor the beauty, enjoy the air. It’s not about how lucky or comfortable you are — it’s about how crazy, interesting, and beautiful this world is beyond our own personal needs or desires.
Happily here, happily now,
—Day THe Spiritual Astronaut
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. When you are born a lotus flower, be a beautiful lotus flower, don’t try to be a magnolia flower. If you crave acceptance and recognition and try to change yourself to fit what other people want you to be, you will suffer all your life. True happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself. ― ~Thích Nhất Hạnh
This above quote made me think of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which btw I failed miserably on all levels, no wonder I grew up to be the person I am today. On the other hand, I don’t exhibit most of the symptoms that I supposed to be having being deprived of almost all the basic needs that made up the whole pyramid. For example, I practice the above quote without knowing and I don’t crave attention, love or acceptance. I don’t form an attachment to anything or anyone But then again maybe I am what I am because I never pass the first hurdle which is the psychological needs. This means that if a human is struggling to meet their physiological needs, then they are unlikely to intrinsically pursue safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. That explains probably why. Perhaps my greatest issue is Self-actualization, which actually is not a surprise according to Maslow’s theory. Maslow believed that to understand this level of need, the person must not only achieve the previous needs but master them. Though I believe and practice religiously what my father instilled into me which is to fulfill any task big or small with my utmost best, heart and soul or do not do it at all, I failed to utilize my talents and abilities pursuing my dreams (I prefer to call them that instead of goals) meaning success for me means translating one’s capabilities into monetary aspect. I wonder where that came from. It’s just so. And if my daughter is to be believed, my parenting proficiency is also next to nothing and let’s not talk about pursuing happiness because I miserably failed on that level too. So, what’s left? Me, a failure on all counts.
After living in the dark for so long, a glimpse of the light can make you giddy. Strange thoughts come into your head and you better think’em. Has a special fate been calling you and you’re not listening? Is there a secret message right in front of you and you’re not reading it? Is this your last, best chance? Are you gonna take it? Or are you going to the grave with unlived lives in your veins? ~Justine
It made me think of a horse that had been let out the corral after being held in there for so long.
It reminded me of myself when I feel “good” and want to do everything before my expiration date.
I compare it to people who worked and lived for mortgages, education of their children, bills etc. and at 65 found themselves free of obligations at last and try to cramp their dreams and fantasies into that little time left before it is too late not realizing it really is because the things you can do in your 20s you can impossibly do in your 60s and the experience is not the same.
You simply cannot wait to live.
So, what are we waiting for?
You know what they say…
Better late than never.
If someone would ask me which part in a movie I would like to play, that would be of Bathsheba Everdene, the heroine in Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd. And like Carey Mulligan, who insisted and got what she wanted, I would love Matthias Schoenaerts to play Gabriel Oak. Heck, I would play any part opposite him. Physically, the guy has everything I don’t fancy in a man but there is something about him that makes him so irresistible and he is a Belgian which makes him more accessible to me. Dream big right?
On the other hand, the storyline isn’t new to me. Move over Bathsheba, if you got three suitors vying for your attention, I once had five if not an entire basketball team.
But that was once upon a time.
Dreaming of Matthias Schoenaerts is what’s now left of my once technicolor life.
Still, dream big right?
And keep dreaming…
I’m obsessed with sleep. You all know that by now.
Just recently my GP prescribed me Diazepam for muscles spasm and -you guessed it right- insomnia.
It doesn’t work.
What it did was gave me nightmares.
My nightmares like my dreams are in technicolor and complete. Beginning. Middle. End.
Like a movie.
But mostly it is just Sleep paralysis.
You know… the
…sounds such as humming, hissing, static, zapping and buzzing noises. Voices, whispers, and roars. Fear and panic. Sensations of being dragged out of bed or of flying, numbness, and feelings of electric tingles or vibrations running through the body. Hypnogogic hallucinations, such as a supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying me accompanied by a feeling of pressure on my chest and difficulty breathing. A menacing shadowy figure entering the room or lurking outside the window, while yours truly is paralyzed.
That, and a lot more.
Like I’m about to change into something else and I can feel my skin and bones splitting, forming and rearranging.
Tempting though to let it happen and see where it brings me, I have a strong inkling that if I let that happen, there is no way back, so, I have to wake up.
Mostly this happens when there is a full moon or when the moon is waning or waxing. Basically, all the time.
My sister called me a Lunatic.
Funny coming from here. But I took no offense. She called me also a paper doll.
Either you hate them or love them.
I don’t feel anything.
What about you?
Do you have a similar experience?
Nightmares. Not family.
Well, do you?
Time has no divisions to mark its passage
there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to
announce the beginning of a new month or year.
There is nothing magical about the flip of the calendar, but it represents a clean break, a new hope, and a blank canvas.
I cannot wish you …
I cannot wish you good fortune
knowing that good fortune is what you are, while bad fortune is just a mistaken identity
I cannot wish you all the things of earth
since earth itself is yours and that is sufficient, while all the rest will never be enough
I cannot wish you the things you want to see
when much unseen is also here waiting for your denial of mind that refuses to see
I cannot wish you strength or courage to conquer the troubles and tribulations of life
because you alone are the master of limits and imaginary lines
I cannot wish you an easy and safe path in all your ventures
safe and easy paths are unworthy of the worthy
I cannot wish you any kind of freedom you may seek
life is the proof of freedom ; seeking is your prison ; expectations are your guards
I cannot wish you any kind of happiness
heart is too blind to be content in the certainty of reality, excellence and immortality of things
I cannot wish you good health
the voice within asking ever provoking questions is your health ; fear that silences you is your illness
I cannot wish you anything
as long as life is about being instead of having
Maybe holiday season is just not about wishes and celebration at all
maybe, just maybe, it is just a reminder about the power of state of mind
What else than state of mind can make things look beautiful when in fact they are ugly
what else than state of mind can make things look ugly when in fact they are beautiful
Let the New Year be the year in which we choose to be the masters of the mind and not its slave.
No brooding over old worries, let’s start a new series.
Forget about all the negativities, think of new possibilities.
Here to conquering a new frontier, that’s all I wish in the upcoming new year.
Compilation of quotes from Goodreads
“I want something else. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore except I know it feels roomy and it’s drenched in sunlight and it’s weightless and I know it’s not cheap. Probably not even real.“ – Mark Z. Danielewski
My best friend said to me once that the love/set up/relationship I was looking for doesn’t exist. Not in this world, she said. She is the same person who told me that I am the only one she knows that can come and go as she pleases and stands where she wants. Needless to say that I don’t believe her, not on all counts. To me, there is always a limit. Nobody has total freedom.
True, in some aspects I was more privileged than most but in other ways, not. Still is. I think the only difference is unlike some, I don’t need another person to feel complete and I will never validate/define myself through others. Both of my husbands, past and present claim that I don’t need anyone and D. said that I am the only one he knows that is sure of what she wants and who she is. I don’t believe that either. I think he is thinking of his own mother who is so indecisive she is in danger of losing her credibility if it is not already so. I don’t say he is wrong. What I’m saying is he made me sound like someone who is on the edge of extinction. There must be still a lot of us out there. I cannot be the only one left.
If the quote above exists and it is, it means there is a person behind the saying who feels exactly the same way as I do- dreaming of a place where finally everything would make sense and the pieces of the puzzle will finally fall into place. I would not say a place where I belong because I never feel I need to belong to something or someone. My brain doesn’t work that way. Like it never crosses my mind to look for love or be in love because there are lots of more interesting ventures I could think of than complicating your life by tying a liability around your leg but to each his own and what floats your boat, right?
Strange phrases coming from someone who is twice married and had lots of flings on the side, but I never said I would be a nun (though once upon a time that was one of my childhood dream/fantasy) I just happened to not believe in looking over your shoulders chasing/waiting for the love of your life and being depressed because you are single. I believe in enjoying life and seizing every moment –carpe omnia– and opportunities to live instead of waiting for love to happen because I can tell you this if it meant to be, it meant to be. None of my (mis)adventures I planned. They just happened. All the people I’ve met happened to be there, in the right place but at the wrong time. Grateful though for the diversion. Without them, I don’t know where I am today. Probably in jail or in a loony bin.
I know it’s not cheap. This phrase from the above quote I disagree. In my experience most of the things that matter are free. But then again, if he was not talking about the monetary value of such places then I am with him on this one. Because again in my experience, the price of “where you belong” or “what you believe in” is sky high. I’ve been there done that. I managed to lose just about everything for the sake of freedom and I’m not even free.
It’s drenched in sunlight. I find this one interesting. Like I find the general globally accepted picture of paradise is a sun-soaked beach with a single leaning over coconut tree interesting. I bet people who live in such settings think differently. I was one of them (though I managed to escape from “paradise” a long time ago) till of late, I’m beginning to think perhaps the one behind the iconic image is right after all. Again, those who inhabit such places might disagree because perhaps their picture of paradise is the land of milk and honey where I happened to live. What an irony. I have the privilege of having experienced both sides of the coin and I can tell you this much, no matter what your definition of paradise is, it is none of the two.
I wonder if there are people who are dreaming of places where it’s not drenched in sunlight, gloomy, dark and cold and for free in all the meaning of the word. I guess my dream destination comes close; my fantasy is to move to UK, to a chocolate box little cottage in the country complete with the definition of a cottage garden and a cute bubbling brook nearby. I love the country. I remember coming there for the first time, it was raining cats and dogs and it was indeed cold but I love it. I love every drop of rain on everything and I love the feeling the place gave me. It was akin to coming home at last. I visited a castle and instinctively, I know where and for what everything is. It felt familiar as if I had already lived in such a setting. If I believe in reincarnation I would probably go along that line but I don’t so I put it to coincidence instead.
Another dream of mine is to own a mobile home and tour around UK and Ireland and go visit those wondrous places like Peak/Lake District, Powys, Cumbria, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and everything that has a shire attached to the name. Perhaps next year, it will finally come true.
How about you?
What is your idea of paradise?
What if I get a chance to restart my life what would I do differently?
I will be less naive and forgiving. I will avoid toxic people and will not let anyone abuse me in any way. I will pursue my chosen path career-wise or otherwise and will not succumb to the demand of my family to be their meal ticket. I will not get married and have children. I will travel the world and take better care of myself and will not sell myself short anymore. I will not buy myself a life sentence looking for my rainbow connection. And most of all I will try harder to learn to love myself before it’s too late.
“Intuition goes before you, showing you the way. Emotion follows behind, to let you know when you go astray. Listen to your inner voice. It is the calling of your spiritual GPS system seeking to keep you on track towards your true destiny.”
― Anthon St. Maarten
How often do you ignore a dream, dismiss it as fantasy and then see echoes of the dream around you the following day? What if a dream were the forewarning of what will become your reality; if you are being told within the world of a dream what may occur in the near or distant future, but your mind mangles the truth and information so much that you discard it as fiction?
There was a time that my poison of choice was screw driver later replaced by margarita but that was a long time ago, I seldom drink alcohol and I never particularly enjoy them so I wouldn’t call them my magic elixir nor I can say real green tea is the concoction that can cure all my problems. There is a mixture of things though that can elevate my spirit and somehow can soften the pain of my everyday existence. To borrow a passage I have read somewhere in the internet I would say something like this:
City life is not for me. Malls and pubs are not for me. I don’t want to live my life in a place rushing from place to place and surrounded by people on all sides. What I want is a house in the countryside with a wrap-around porch that I can go sit on in the morning with a cup of coffee. My feet would be bare and my hair would be down and the only sound for miles would be the wind blowing through the trees. The rest of the morning would be spent baking in the kitchen with the radio playing in the background. I would spend the afternoon tending to my garden. And in the evening I would settle down in my rocking chair with a book, or go outside and star-gaze with a cup of tea. And even though there wouldn’t be a soul or town for miles, I would never feel so fulfilled.
That’s it, this would be it. I would not bake though (I am a good cook but I can’t bake) and not in the morning because I never been an early riser insomniac that I am and I would replace coffee with green tea rocking chair with a hammock and the evening tea with a glass of red wine but for the rest, this is my ideal set up.
I want to live simply. I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books. I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove. I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to rush off to. I want not to be governed by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposes on itself. I just want to be, boundless and infinite.