Tag Archives: inspiration

I Feel You

“Don’t you feel lonely? I see that you always eat out alone, watch movies alone, drink in cafes and read books in libraries alone. I always see you isolating yourself in a room with your phone, alone. Doesn’t it make you sad? Lonely?”

“Loneliness doesn’t work that way for me. The reason why I’m always alone is that I don’t want to be lonely. To be with myself is appreciating my own presence, especially when others couldn’t. You see, for me, being surrounded by people but still feeling alone— that’s lonely. Having a group to go out with but not feeling like you belong— that’s lonely. I’d rather be with myself and be alone, and no— that doesn’t make me lonely. Being with myself means I don’t have to fight for attention. Being with myself means that I don’t have to pretend that I’m a different person.”

~ thalia b.

digital-nomads-business-travel_1940x900_33662

People Pleaser

“You can’t let people scare you. You can’t go your whole life trying to please everyone else. You can’t go through life worried about what everyone else is going to think. Whether it’s your hair, clothes, what you have to say, how you feel, what you believe and what you have. You can’t let the judgment of others stop you from being you. Because if you do, you’re no longer you. You’re someone everyone else wants you to be.”

—Steve Maraboli

I was born swimming against the current without being aware I was doing so and continued to be ignorant of my course for more than four decades before somewhere along the way I developed somehow a soft spot and all of a sudden I find myself -caring is not the right word but I will use it for the lack of a better one- caring what people might think of me. It’s addictive. Once you start concerning yourself with such things, it is difficult to stop. That’s about the time I started wearing lipstick and wear more appropriate clothes. I don’t go about wearing jogging suits anymore and ditched rapper/skater attires. I still don’t do girly-girl stuff but there is definitely an improvement. I acquired bags as well. Pricey designer ones mind you. I still don’t use them unless necessary but I have them. I miss the time when I don’t even have a wallet and my cellphone fits in my shorts pocket and I don’t even have to comb my hair. Those were the days. Now, I learned about loose powder and highlighter but I draw the line on fond de teint and concealer. I refused to treat my face like a wall, plastering them to look presentable. No eleven makeup brushes for me to dip in eleven different jars and bottles. Maintenance is more important to me than makeup anyway. I rather feel clean than looking pseudo-beautiful I don’t even recognize my own face in the mirror. But yeah, to each his own.

gettyimages-543199027

The Damaging Effects of an Inauthentic Life & How to Change It.

By Tracy Crossley

Depending on how we define authenticity, we may believe we are being very real with ourselves and the world.

Perhaps, we come closer to the definition of who we are, when we’re alone. It would be true, if we still didn’t carry the same beliefs with us, no matter where we go.

Our beliefs color our perception, creating limitations or possibilities and how we view others. Our beliefs aren’t necessarily our truth, they’re often what we’ve given meaning to through our earlier experiences.

Does it mean we are lying to ourselves? Yes, though it’s unintentional.

Many of us have contrived patterns to avoid loss. We fear our beliefs are true about abandonment, shame, not doing the right thing, not belonging and so on. We also fear not getting our way, because it would change the image in our head of how life is supposed to be. 

We often don’t say what we mean, because we’re on auto-pilot. It’s our same old reaction we offer, without much thought to its validity. We skip truth, so we instead live in past projections now.

Being inauthentic means we beat ourselves and others up because we place so much value on expectations. Most expectations aren’t ones we even created, many are inherited through our environment.

To be authentic is to dig deep and look at why we believe what we do, see how we uphold these beliefs through our patterns and question if this is truly who we are inside?

Authenticity is to accept all parts of ourselves. Through acceptance, we build an authentic relationship with ourselves first and then others.

If we get off of autopilot, even for a moment, we can learn who we truly are and learn about others as well.

Until we do, we’ll continue to believe old truths without bias. We’ll unconsciously create situations, which prove to us their truth! So, if we believe all relationships ultimately fail because we don’t deserve to be happy and healthy, then we’ll do what we can to make it true.

We get others to help us confirm these inauthentic beliefs too.

Teaching people to lie to us, is something we do unconsciously. Though if we physically pay attention to our bodies, we notice we feel off when we allow it. They’ll tell us what we want to hear because they fear our reaction or fear of losing us. How often do we let inauthenticity breed in our relationships, because we’re afraid of loss?

When we live out these inaccurate beliefs and force them to be true through our relationships—our experiences become inauthentic.

Many of us are stressed out and believe that life is dictating that we must have experience in the same way, each time. Every time we do something against ourselves, we suffer and yet, we have a belief that tells us, this is the way it is…..and it’s not.

When we show up for things out of duty rather than desire, guilt rather than truth, telling someone what they want to hear, rather than what we really want to say. Acting in ways that feel disconnected, but meant to please. We are living inauthentically. We want approval.

The scary thing is we don’t want to lose this inauthentic connection.

Fear lies in knowing our truth because it often means change, loss and everything we’ve been afraid to let go of, including a perception. In choosing authenticity, some will leave us, some will be pissed off, but in the end, we feel better.

When we can face ourselves with truth— we face another. We won’t let lies be brushed under the carpet, or pretend; we’ll lovingly stand for our truth. Even when it’s hard to do.

Authentic relationships have little to do with a list of qualities. It’s about learning who we are every day and attracting someone to our lives with the same openness, the same desire to live life fully and passionately.

The benefits of authenticity means we are comfortable in our own skin—alone or with others—confident while embracing our flaws, truly kind and yet truthful, even if there is a cost.

Every time we challenge an old belief, through thought and then counter-intuitive action, we release ourselves to have a more authentic relationship with life.

To develop authenticity requires a deeper awareness. Paying attention to our autopilot reactions, sussing out the past projection from the present situation and being honest when we’ve been wrong in our perception too, helps us to get closer to our own truth.

Photography by Nigel Tomm

6 Ways to let your Wounds Breathe after a Toxic Relationship.

By Cynthia Madison

Letting go of a toxic partner is a sign of courage and strength.

After years of emotional manipulation and suppressing your personality, you’re finally free and you’re ready to look for a meaningful relationship.

So why don’t you see the silver lining yet?

Getting out of a toxic relationship should feel empowering and liberating, but we may not feel like that right away. The first months after the breakup can be very confusing.

Our ex-partner is physically gone, but the negative energy they built around us is still there, preventing us from healing and being kind to ourselves. After being under someone else’s shadow for years, we may feel alone and vulnerable, and we may find it hard to trust ourselves. With time, this will all pass, and we can learn to value ourselves for who we are.

Be kind to yourself.

If you’ve been in a destructive relationship for years, you may not remember the last time you received a compliment. Maybe your partner told you that you’re not good enough, that you’ll never find someone else who loves you, or that you’ll never be happy on your own.

These words are not true and they have never been about you. They are the way your ex expressed their own fears and insecurities. Allow yourself to heal at your own rhythm. Don’t force yourself to start dating right away if you don’t feel ready yet, and never, ever blame yourself for how you are feeling.

Don’t replay all the hurtful words your ex has said about you. Focus on the positives instead: you had the strength to say no and break the cycle. It’s the beginning of a beautiful journey, and you shouldn’t let the past haunt you.

Surround yourself with positive energy.

After ending a toxic relationship, you may realize that all your old friends are gone and you’re not as close with your family. A toxic partner doesn’t want you to develop healthy, nurturing friendships that cherish your independence and help you grow as a person. They want you to be isolated. They want to build a wall between you and the outside world so that they can control you better.

This you versus them mindset needs to stop, and now is the best time to reconnect with people you lost contact with.

Did your ex have a problem with your best friend? Call them to meet up for a coffee. Did you stop attending family gatherings because your toxic partner didn’t like them? They’d love to have you back.

Celebrate the things you love about yourself.

Forget about the things your ex said they loved about you—if they mentioned any at all. What do you love about yourself? What do you think your strengths are?

Make a list of all the things that make you feel confident and focus on nurturing them. Try to break free from your ex’s perspective and rebuild your own image. When you know what makes you special, without comparing yourself to someone else, no one will make you doubt yourself.

Experiment and have fun.

Toxic relationships often make us suppress our feelings and prevent us from exploring. Now that you’re single, you may feel that you wasted years wearing clothes you didn’t love, you didn’t visit any exciting places, you missed out on many great parties, and, let’s face it, your sex life wasn’t amazing either.

Don’t assume that it’s too late and that you’ll just have to live with regrets for the rest of your life. It’s never too late to learn, grow, and have fun.

Go ahead and dye your hair a crazy color. Book that trip to a Bali retreat. Go clubbing, flirt, and see the sunrise. Buy that plunge-neck dress and wear it with pride. Buy your first vibrator and explore your body without feeling awkward or ashamed. Take the time to discover what you love, and later on, it will be easier for you to find someone who’s right for you.

Set boundaries and learn to say no.

One of the dangers of being in a toxic relationship is that it puts you in a destructive mindset where you’re attracted to toxic people. Ending one toxic relationship doesn’t help if it’s followed by a second one, so learn to spot the early signs of toxic behavior and say no before it’s too late.

Does spending time with this person leave you drained instead of happy? Do you feel pushed around and like you don’t have a voice? Tell them you don’t tolerate this kind of behavior.

This doesn’t apply only to romantic relationships; toxic friendships are just as harmful, and you’re likelier to accept them if you already tolerate destructive behavior from someone else.

Channel your kindness toward something or someone who deserves it.

The fact that you were in a toxic relationship doesn’t make you weak or inferior in any way. In fact, toxic partners thrive on smart, kind, caring individuals who want to help and be supportive. This is a great quality, and a bad relationship shouldn’t stop you from honing it.

What you should do is direct this kindness toward a good cause—something or someone who deserves it and appreciates it. It can be a new friend who respects you and shows genuine interest in your well-being, a charitable cause you’ve always believed in, or you can channel this energy toward your own personal growth.

Loving yourself is not a sign of narcissism or arrogance; it’s a condition of happiness and self-growth.

When you love yourself with all your strengths and flaws, this love will transfer to everything around you and will build the basis of healthy relationships.

iStock_81242919_resized-640x427

Deep Down Below The Surface

I have a different idea of elegance. I don’t dress like a fop, it’s true, but my moral grooming is impeccable. I never appear in public with a soiled conscience, a tarnished honor, threadbare scruples, or an insult that I haven’t washed away. I’m always immaculately clean, adorned with independence and frankness. I may not cut a stylish figure, but I hold my soul erect. I wear my deeds as ribbons, my wit is sharper and when I walk among men I make truths ring like spurs.” 

― Edmond Rostand

Did We Do The Right Thing?

Since we have yet another brand new luxury car (this time a Mercedes instead of BMW- speaking of BMW, there is only one thing I could say about this brand- never again) we decided to leave the gate open while we are away from home for a short period of time as opposed to always locking it which we had done in the past. This way we can drive straight to our driveway instead of always parking next door and leave the car there till we are about to sleep and only then D. will fetch his precious carriage and park it where it supposed to be. This time we agreed that in this current climate you cannot be too careful.

Why we can park next door indefinitely? Because the house next door is a show model, a model home of the company from whom we bought our current house so, it is always empty. Well… almost. Sometimes the cleaning people will be there, mostly on Fridays or the occasional window cleaners, the gardeners and of course, the once in a while buyers. So no one is paying attention anymore if there are marked and unmarked cars park on the driveway, and that’s why we decided to leave our gate open since we have the new car because like I said, in this current climate you never know…

Yesterday arriving home after gallivanting (in our situation gallivanting means running after practical chores like shopping for food) passing the house next door I briefly saw a glimpse of a small dark car blocking their driveway. Stepping out I asked D. How many vehicles were there this time, he said two. Which is odd because it was Sunday. Sunday here is the equivalent of siesta somewhere else, everything is closed, therefore you cannot conduct legitimate business anywhere aside, of course, from those fast-food chains which are always open and some occasional business establishments like sports stores and cafes. But then again, some people visiting immediate neighbors sometimes use the roomy parking to abandon their cars for a couple of hours so perhaps it wasn’t that odd after all I thought.

I hate dressing up, I’ve said already before. If I could I would go around naked eternally. So, what do I do the moment I come through the door, run upstairs and peel off every bit of garment I could discard and change into something more comfortable. In my case a pajama or a jogging pants or just a robe. 

As it happened, my room (mine because D. has his own) is directly opposite the house next door. If I look outside my window, I can see their driveway, front door, side garden, and their entire back garden. The whole house in fact. From the outside that is. You see, this modern building (which the company called Skin and if in the time we bought our place is for sale, I would have opted for) is so cleverly built that despite having floor to ceiling windows even with the lights on you can’t glimpse of anything that is private. A corner of a chair perhaps, a fraction of a table, a bed lamp but further than that, nada. The glass sections of the house are systematically placed to ensure maximum privacy, which I am mighty jealous of and dreading the time when it is going to be sold and live in by real people.

Directly outside the front door which is located on the right side of the house, therefore, facing my window is an elevated portion of the garden, a neat rectangular area roughly the size of three parking spaces dressed in state of the art artificial grass (like the rest of the garden and similar to ours) and housed two giant plane trees with spotlights under. There at the far end with her back to me facing the back garden was a woman sitting with a carton of milk next to her. And contrary to what D. said, there was only one car instead of two. A dark-gray old model of Kia cadenza. I know I cannot trust D.

My initial thought was she was waiting for the estate agent. Perhaps they made some special arrangement to meet late in the evening on a Sunday.

When I finished dressing down and had a bite and check on her again (I don’t know why I had checked on her again, call it instinct) I had to revise my initial thoughts. Maybe it was not the estate agent she was waiting for but someone more intimate to her, a lover perhaps?

I watched her stood up and walk up and down the length of the side garden. She was around my age and there the similarities stop. The woman was tall with dark wavy hair that reached her shoulders and very fair skin, almost bloodless. Her arms and legs are on the skinny side but the overall picture is not anorexic but rather wiry. She was wearing a simple black sheath and believe it or not a pair of bath slippers yet she managed to look regal, chic even. Her posture and demeanor don’t belong to the car, she was somewhat out of place. Strange.

The next time I looked in on her she was lying on her side underneath one of the plane trees on some kind of sheet, a pillow under her head. Not a cushion but a proper bed pillow. She was facing my window but her eyes were closed. I decided to grab my phone and alert D.

We debated for seemed hours to me over what to do with her, or rather with the fact of her being there. D. refused resolutely to go down to her and ask what was wrong or if she needed some help. He said maybe she was just a bait and the moment he put himself out there someone or more people will jump on him and rob him or worse even, use him to gain access in our house and all those nightmarish scenarios we are seeing lately on the news. I can’t say I blame him.

Personally, I found the woman and the situation not only strange but scary. She looked like someone who belonged to a horror movie, a vampire film for example. She is definitely a caucasian but not from around here. More like from Eastern Europe, Romania perhaps? She could also pass for Greek or Middle Eastern. Anyway, for some reasons she made the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I was very, very alert. Which rarely happens. I am expect the unexpected kind of person but I trust my instinct more than anything or anyone. When my gut feeling says flight instead of fight, I follow without question. 

When she started dragging an inflatable mattress under the tree and cover herself with a thermal blanket we realized she was planning to spend the night there. That was when we finally decided to call the proper authorities to deal with the matter.

We waited anxiously for the police to show up and breathed a sigh of relief when they did. We watched guiltily while they talk to the woman (which took ages) searched her car and finally drove away with her in tow.

There are a lot of things that bother me about the incident. One of those is when I was secretly taking pictures of her and her car (for evidence in case…) she suddenly opened her eyes and looked straight to my lens. What I saw there was a mixture of sadness, despair, silent plea, and resignation. Enough for me to run down to her and offer my help if not underneath those emotions I saw also a cold-blooded calculation, a daring appeal and a shadow of a chilling smile behind those hopeless eyes.

She scares me. I expect her to materialize in the middle of my living room to collect what it is she thinks I owe her. The rational part of my brain tells me that perhaps she had a heatstroke and was not able to drive so she decided to lie down. Outside on someone else’s driveway with a proper pillow, inflatable mattress and thermal blanket which she happened to have with her? How about the carton of milk and all the things she had with her the car was stuffed to the brim. Okay, then maybe she had a row with her partner and he had thrown her out. I’ve been there done that. Asocial introvert person that I am I managed to keep a couple of friends I could spend the night with when it is really necessary, and how about family and relatives? Doesn’t she have anyone she can call for help if that was the case? Maybe she was embarrassed to let those who are closest to her know that she was having marital troubles or whatever troubles she was having. What is more embarrassing than to sleep in other people’s garden my brain said to me.

I can go on and on theorizing about her real situation but I guess I will never know. I passed the opportunity to know and even then if I asked her, would she tell me the truth? 

I guess what bothers me the most is the guilt, did I do the right thing? Perhaps she was really in some kind of trouble and I added to it by calling the authorities. But it was for her own good my brain insists, for her safety, if she needed some help the proper channel could provide it for her that way. You did the right thing. But I still have my doubts. 

What do you think?

Did we do the right thing?

homeless

Too Close At Hand To Be Seen Whole

“When a single tree fills your lens, the rest of the forest takes on a degree of abstraction.”

I wonder if the rule applies to people as well. Relationships in particular. I’m talking about blood ties, familiarity, trust, good old fashioned love and general blindness towards the object of affection. When you are completely taken by a strong attachment to a person and lost the ability to see the big picture and refuse to hear any second opinion. I wonder also if I’ve been in a similar situation but didn’t know or refused to know. Sober as I am I would say I don’t think so but who knows…

How about you?

nikon bokeh 1920x1470 wallpaper_www.miscellaneoushi.com_5

3 Types of Women

The first kind acts like you’re a feed trough and she is the pony. Everything you got is fine with her as long as you’ve got it. Of course, anytime you can do better is aces with her, but she will expect you to stay at that level or higher. The deal with this kind of women is you don’t go back. Once you get up to steaks and onions rings, the peanut butter and hotdogs are gone for good. So there’s a strain on you, right away from the start. Unless there is food in that trough, and the food is at least as good as it was the last time, the pony is going out the door. She’ll tell you she loves you but she’s leaving anyhow because self-respect means more to her than love. What you thought you had with her wasn’t what you thought it was, at all. You thought it was love, or trust, or a good time, or something like that, but all along it was only about her self-respect.

Now, the second kind is like the first, only the part about self-respect is now all about status and possessions. Women like this don’t really have brains, they have mental cash registers. Marry one of them and you’re so far up shit creek you not only don’t have a paddle, you don’t have a boat. You’re up to your neck, dog paddling to keep your head above the floating crap. You might as well join the army because all day long you’re basically following orders.

There is a third kind of woman but she is extremely hard to find. Which you might or might not care to do, because this kind of woman will mixmaster your brains a lot faster than those other two. The vast majority of the women men will encounter throughout their lives will fall into the first two categories, but once in a blue moon, the third kind will cross their path.

The first kind sticks with you as long as the going is good, and the second kind winds up appointing herself president of the corporation of you. They both take all they can get with both hands, only the second kind of woman is upfront about it because she’s after more than you got right from the start. Now, the third kind of woman could not care less how much money you got in the bank, and she doesn’t give a shit about what kind of car you drive, and that’s what makes her so damn dangerous. 

This is a woman who can think around corners and see you coming before you get there. She’s always one step ahead. You’re not sure where she’s from, but you know for damn sure it’s not around here. There are things about her that are different. Plus, she’s so far ahead you’ll never catch up. And believe me, she doesn’t want you to catch up. Because if you do, the fun is all over. Her whole game is to keep you guessing. She wants you up on your toes, with your eyes and your mouth wide open. 

See, these women are not interested in the stuff the first two are. They don’t want to get in your wallet, they want to get into your head. And once they get in there, they send down roots, they throw out grappling hooks, they do everything they can to make sure you can’t get them out.

Remember when I said they don’t care about jewelry and houses and whatever else money can buy? They want something else instead, and that something is you. They want you. Inside and out, but especially in. They don’t really want you out in the world, where you can mess around with your friends, they want you in their world, which is a place you never dreamed of before you got there.

The point is, either way, you are gonna think a lot about this kind of woman. You’re going to say “The sky’s a nice blue today, ‘ and she will say, “Oh, blue is just blue.” Even though yesterday the sky was red. for all you know, the sky there in her world is red all the livelong day, and up is down, and all the rivers run upstream.

Anyway, the point is, there are three types of women and you better watch out for them.

~ excerpt from Lost boy Lost girl

e3280714-de77-4973-918b-f2f4a3ce8ca2

Do you believe me?

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” 
― Edgar Allan Poe

If you are a constant visitor to my site, you probably know by now that my favorite authors are King, Poe, and Lovecraft. I read Straub-master of literary horror they say- once in a while and you know what the funny thing is, I am not a fan of anything horror. I find horror movies funny and whenever I read the works of those writers I have mentioned above, I failed to see anything horror in their writings. There is nothing ghastly frightening morbid or shocking in there as far as I’m concerned.

If I’m not a fan of horror and don’t prefer macabre tales you might wonder why I read them. The explanation is simple enough: because they write so well. And they write easy to understand phrases devoid of flowery words, and when it comes to King, I admire the way he can make ordinary whatever into something extraordinary. And Lovecraft can convey feelings and emotions so strong you can almost taste it. So does Poe. And that’s why I love them and not because I am fond of gristly and gory. It just happened that they write horror stories.

Do you believe me?

original (3)

Untangling My Chopsticks

“As my grandmother discovered long ago, the Japanese excel in cultivating nature. Their gardens come in numerous styles, including paradise gardens, dry-landscape gardens, stroll gardens, and tea gardens. Although each type has its own goal, tray all share the same principle: nature is manipulated to create a miniature symbolic landscape.
A paradise garden is meant to evoke the Buddhist paradise through the use of water dotted with stone “islands.” Dry-landscape gardens, usually tucked away in Zen temples, use dry pebbles and stones to create minimalist views for quiet contemplation. Stroll gardens offer changing scenes with every step, a pool of carp here, a mossy trail there, and a small bridge to link them both, while a tea garden provides a serene path to take you from the external world to the spiritual one of the teahouse.”

― Victoria Abbott Riccardi

DSC03668e

Eating Light

“There is a bench in the back of my garden shaded by Virginia creeper, climbing roses, and a white pine where I sit early in the morning and watch the action. Light blue bells of a dwarf campanula drift over the rock garden just before my eyes. Behind it, a three-foot stand of aconite is flowering now, each dark blue cowl-like corolla bowed for worship or intrigue: thus its common name, monkshood. Next to the aconite, black madonna lilies with their seductive Easter scent are just coming into bloom. At the back of the garden, a hollow log, used in its glory days for a base to split kindling, now spills white cascade petunias and lobelia. 

I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue campanula blossom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fiber of being immersed in the flower. …

Last night, after a day in the garden, I asked Robin to explain (again) photosynthesis to me. I can’t take in this business of _eating light_ and turning it into stem and thorn and flower…

I would not call this meditation, sitting in the back garden. Maybe I would call it eating light.

I’m going to sit here every day the sun shines and eat this light. Hung in the bell of desire.” 

― Mary Rose O’Reilley

DSC03649e