Tag Archives: personal

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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Commit

My father used to say: Once you commit yourself to something, you have to give it all, heart and soul or otherwise don’t do it at all. I abide to that rule since day one and still live by it. A source of ongoing conflict between me and D. He has an irritating ways of doing everything halfheartedly, especially those that don’t interest him and I can tell you nothing interests him much. Aside of course for the things that directly and personally concern him like technology and chocolates. No, I am not complaining. Just trying to make an example I can vouch for. Like yesterday, I asked him to kindly deadhead a rose bush- just one rose bush- by the fence in the front garden (gardening doesn’t interest him) because it has climbed higher than I can reach. This morning looking out I saw that the dead flowers are still hanging on the canes. When I asked him about it he said he removed the spent blooms that was hanging outside the fence and will do the rest in the near future. There was only one flower outside the fence, the rest are inside, and since he was busy with it anyway why not cut all the dead effing flowers?  

But that is D. He is fond of procrastinating, waltzing around, and only doing things you assigned him to do if he likes to do it. He is lost without manual and in most tasks you even have to hold his hand and guide him through it and if you are impatient like me, you will end up doing everything by yourself. I can’t take his words at face value because what he says and what he does are completely different things. I’m talking about simple things like locking the doors, windows, setting the alarm, putting the car inside switch off the cooker and so on. Little things that can have irreversible damage if something goes wrong and believe me it did already in the past. There were other big negligence caused disasters that costed us money which can be avoided if he only commit himself of not doing the same mistakes over and over again. “Next Time” is his favorite excuse. Always next time. But although if I’m lucky he will indeed not do the same exact mistake again, he will do it other way- same MO different concept. Mind blowing. 

He drives me crazy (and probably I do the same to him with my goal-oriented perfectionist ways of doing things) but we are married to each other. We made a commitment a long time ago to stay together for better or for worse. He is a sweet guy. You can’t argue with him because he doesn’t say a thing and just stands there. Fights cannot escalate when it’s only you doing the talking. His most endearing qualities are the ones that can also make me want to sign a divorce paper blindfolded, like being passive and childish, accommodating, nonchalant and diffident. Sometimes I really want to give up but I am stubborn. Once I commit myself into anything I see to it that I did already everything possible for the cause to work out before throwing in the towel. So when I close the door there will be no regrets and no self-reproach later on. That’s why probably it took me twenty years to walk out from my first marriage even though it was a living hell. My tenacity for holding on while others would have already jump off ship could also be my downfall.

I’ll take a shower now before I get carried away again. This evening I will be attending the premier of my favorite movie of all times: Transformers. See yah later…

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Once Upon A Time

For many years I was in an extremely destructive relationship with someone who has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and during that time I was regularly subjected to a variety of emotional, mental and physical abuse.

Every day I walked on eggshells, living in fear of saying or doing something that might trigger an aggressive response.

Many people might wonder why I, or anyone else, would remain in this kind of environment, but by the time I fully recognized that I was in extreme danger, I was already badly emotionally and mentally weakened and debilitated.

I was living in terror waiting to be attacked at any moment and yet I did not feel as though I had the strength or courage to remove myself from it.

Abuse doesn’t always happen overtly and it isn’t always easy to recognize. Often it is a covert, insidious, invisible drip that slowly poisons the victim’s mind so they don’t trust their own judgment, is unable to make life-changing decisions and feels as though they don’t have the coping skills necessary to get help or leave.

It took me a long time, and everything I had, to pull myself from the bottom of the deep dark hell I existed in and to get myself to a place of safety.

By the time I walked away, I thought that the nightmare was over. But in so many other ways, it had only just began.

The terrors of the taunts, torture and torment that had become my normality didn’t subside. They remained alive and relived themselves in the form of intrusive, regular flashbacks.

Many months after I had left the relationship I discovered that I was suffering from C-PTSD, (Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.) C-PTSD is a result of persistent psychological trauma in an environment where the victim believes they are powerless and that there is no escape.

C-PTSD is slightly different than PTSD, which is brought on from experiencing one solitary, traumatic incident, or it can develop due to an accumulation of incidents. Although both C-PTSD and PTSD both developed from my experiences, I identify more with C-PTSD, as it was the effects of the prolonged exposure to repetitive and chronic trauma that I felt I couldn’t escape from that affected me the most.

For many months after leaving the relationship I struggled to sleep at night, and when I did I often woke trembling after experiencing terrifying reoccurring dreams. On many occasions when I did eventually sleep I would sleep solid for at least 24 hours, in such deep slumber that I would struggle to wake from it and when I did I would feel fatigued, spaced out and as though I was numbly sleep-walking through the day.

I was easily startled and panicked at the slightest sudden movement or loud noise.

I was ultra-sensitive, on edge and highly alert most of the time, which I believe was my mind’s way of forming some sort of self-protection to keep me aware so that I avoided similar potentially dangerous situations.

At the mention of certain words, names or places I felt nauseous and dizzy and would become extremely distressed. A painful tight knot developed in my stomach every time something occurred to remind me of the trauma.

I still have difficulty remembering large phases of my life, and for a long time I struggled to stay focused, and my concentration abilities were very poor.

I would get upset easily, especially if I was in a tense environment. I had constant anxiety and was regularly in fight-or-flight mode.

I didn’t eat properly. I had no motivation and suicidal thoughts regularly flooded my mind.

I had lost my spark.

One aspect of the aftermath of the relationship that affected me most was the daily gaslighting that I endured. This left me finding it difficult to believe anything people would tell me, and I analyzed, questioned and dissected everything.

Forming new relationships, whether friendships, or romantic, was almost impossible as I struggled to trust people’s intentions and felt scared of possible underlying, hidden motives and agendas for their words or actions.

I dissociated from most of what I had been through and pretended, even to myself, that the abuse wasn’t as serious as it was. Partly because I felt ashamed that I had not left sooner and also because I wanted to defend and protect the person I was involved with, as I still cared for him. Therefore, I rarely mentioned the relationship to anyone and froze and shut down through stress (sometimes resulting in a meltdown) if anyone tried to talk to me about it.

It got to the stage where I withdrew completely as leaving the house became overwhelming and a major ordeal because I wouldn’t/couldn’t open up and connect and I felt terrified of everything and everyone.

One thing that became apparent and harrowing was that although I had gained enough strength to walk away and I felt empowered by the decision knowing that it was the right choice for my emotional, mental and physical health, I was suppressing all my emotions and feelings and I was far from okay on the inside.

There were many rollercoaster emotions trapped inside me and trying to ignore and contain them was doing more harm than good. In many ways the ending of the relationship had signaled closure to one phase of my life and had opened up a new chapter that was going to take a little time to get used to.

It appeared that while I was in the relationship I had become so used to enduring a wide variety of narcissistic behaviors that they had almost become normal and acceptable. Stepping away from all that I had known felt like I had walked from one planet and onto another and I hadn’t got a clue how to navigate it on my own or how to relate to anyone on it.

I soon realized that unless I started to focus on healing myself, I would remain a victim of my previous circumstances as the build up of emotional injuries, wounds and scars needed urgent attention. Otherwise, they would seep out and silently destroy sections of my life without me being aware that the past was still controlling me.

It was up to me to rebuild my strength and confidence, otherwise I would end up alienating myself and causing further damage.

I had a lot of inner healing work and restructuring to do and trying to convince myself that just because I had left the relationship everything would be okay, was not going to be enough.

The first and most significant step I took was admitting and fully accepting that the carnage I had experienced was real and had a huge impact on my emotional and mental wellbeing.

I had been surviving by a fragile thread in a domestic war zone and for far too long I had been intimidated, manipulated, lied to and threatened, amongst many other toxic and dysfunctional behaviors. The whole relationship had been an illusion and resulted in me having serious trust issues as well as losing the will to live. I not only struggled to trust other people, but I also realized I had no faith at all in my own intuition, perception or judgment.

Finally, I gave myself permission to take as long as I needed to heal, even if it meant I would spend the rest of my life slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. I came to terms with the fact that there is no timescale to healing and there was no hurry.

I allowed myself to grieve the relationship and the loss of the person I had separated from. This was extremely difficult to do as I had so many mixed emotions due to the scale of the abuse. For a long time I denied my grief, as it was complex to come to terms with how I could miss someone who had been responsible for vicious behavior towards me.

One of the hardest parts to dealing with this grief was feeling as though I could not talk openly to anyone, as I believed no one would understand how I could remain in such an abusive relationship and still miss many aspects of that person and the life I had with them.

The reason getting over this type of relationship can be so difficult is that many narcissists display both “Jeckyll and Hyde” type characteristics, one minute appearing extremely loving and affectionate and the next crippling, cruel and cunning.

It is not easy to explain that I deeply loved and badly missed one side of the person I was involved with, and disliked, feared and never wanted to hear his name mentioned at the same time. Even thinking about this can make one feel a little crazy as it does not feel natural to love and hate the same person.

One essential step toward healing from narcissistic abuse, I believe, is finding someone to really confide in and who doesn’t judge or question anything that is said. Being free to talk openly and comfortably without having to over explain is vital to start putting the accumulation of experiences into some sort of context. If there isn’t a friend on hand, it is worth taking time to seek out a good counselor with an understanding of C-PTSD deriving from abusive relationships.

The most important thing that helped me to heal was focusing more on healing and rebuilding myself. Although I took time out to research and gain knowledge and understanding of the type of abuse I had been subjected to, I spent far more of my time indulging myself in whatever felt good for my soul.

Slowly and surely I rebuilt myself, formed new friendships, learned to trust people and forgave all of the past. There are still days that it haunts me, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and although it can be difficult to believe that when you start walking through it, as soon as you take the first steps of acceptance the path ahead begins to become clear.

Healing comes by taking one small step at a time, with gentle, loving care and without hurry…

Author: Alex Myles

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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

Revelation

This is a note of thank you to all the men who never had the balls to claim me.

Although I am a strong and independent woman, I have a secret cavern inside my heart that is open to be claimed—but never owned.

And while I realize I still have so far to travel on this journey, I also feel immensely thankful for all those “maybes” and “what ifs.”

I’m thankful for those that were intimidated by my wild heart because it taught me that I have two choices in life—to either live within the boundaries of their comfort level, or to say f*ck it, and be my own self—wild and all.

Thank you for teaching me to embrace, love and revel in my wild.

I am appreciative for those who I made uncomfortable with my truth. It was only through learning how much others don’t like the truth exposed, to learn for myself how much I crave its very existence—if truth were a drug it would be my favorite high.

Thank you for teaching me to never be afraid of the darkness that the truth may hold.

I’m gratified for each and every time that I felt I wasn’t getting what I needed from a man—because in fact I wasn’t. It was only through looking at what I didn’t have that made me realize what I do want. While I may travel along empty back roads by myself at times, I also have realized that it’s okay to not accept less than what I deserve, regardless of if it makes sense to others or not.

Thank you for showing me everything that I don’t want, so that when I finally come face-to-face with what I do want—I’ll have the courage to go after it.

I am thankful for the insecurities that your actions brought out in me, because if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. In looking at what emotions the behaviors of the others were triggering in me I had the ability to look at myself and make the choice on how I wanted to feel. It was only through this experience that I learned no one can make me feel a certain way unless I give them permission to do so.

Thank you for helping make me into the strong confident woman that I am today.

Even though at the time it is never easy, I am simply so grateful that you never loved me enough. We never love the same way twice, and while I know in your own way you did love me, it wasn’t the kind that could keep me warm on a blustery winter’s eve. Thank you for showing me that I don’t want someone to be only half in love with me, or to merely appreciate me—but to leave them breathless.

Thank you for teaching me that the love I seek is the one that is extraordinary.

I am so grateful that I was able to feel what it was like to be trapped by normality, because it taught me that I will never fit into any sort of box or label. I was not put here to make others feel comfortable, but instead to make them feel alive.

Thank you for never appreciating me for my individuality and spirit, because it taught me how important it is to stay true to myself.

Although being alone was tinged in isolation at times, I realize now that it was in those moments that I was able to take root and bloom into myself. Finding our own way in this world where so many think they know what is right for each of us is the most difficult work we will do. I will always be grateful for you trying to change me so that I was able to realize I am exactly as I should be

Thank you for leaving me with my loneliness so I could find my way back to myself.

I am so appreciative for you having tried to make me the woman behind the man, because it was there in the shadows I learned that I am meant to be a partner and nothing else. I can create a lot more trouble in this world next to a man who appreciates the burn of originality.

Thank you for attempting to dim my light so I learned that I needed to burn as bright as I could.

Thank you for being afraid of the power of my sexuality, and the mysteries of my eyes because it taught me that only those who can match my passion should be allowed to share in it with me.

Thank you for being scared of my intelligence and the depths of my mind, because it taught me there is a difference in loving how I look, or how I make you feel versus loving who I really am.

Thank you for not being the man that I needed, so that instead I was able to see the woman I already was.

Thank you for never having the balls to stake a claim on my heart, because it left the space and opportunity for someone who will be brave enough to take a chance on the wonderful desire of the unknown—someone who will cultivate every trait you tried to suppress.

Thank you for being all wrong, because it showed me what right will look like—and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

“The right man will love all the things about you that the wrong man was intimidated by.”  ~ Unknown

~Via Kate Rose

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Polish

Last night D. and I touched the topic of confidence, mainly self-confidence. He knows I have a problem with low self-esteem, lacking of self-love and general dislike of my appearance. Funny because everyone who knows me (including D.) swears I am Miss Confidence herself, and I understand where they are coming from because though I am insecure about my looks I never doubt (not even once) myself or my capabilities. I always know who I am, what I believe, what I want and where I want to go. I never question my thoughts or my decisions. For some people I come on strong and very assertive and in some ways I am because I only open my mouth if I know what I am talking about and sure of my rights, otherwise I shut up.

About my appearance, I long make peace with it. I don’t care if I’m ugly. Putting on weight only bothers me because of the inconvenience it brings: new wardrobe, uncomfortable clothing, my ankles swell up and so on. I don’t care much how I look. For my part I can walk outside naked or wearing either jogging suits or pajamas. It’s the people that bothers me, their reactions to how I look.

I see myself as… let’s say a firefly. Others (I presume) can only see my light but not my shape or what I am. To me I am race-less, colorless, gender-less and ageless. I am me and me is neutral. I go on with my days thinking/feeling like this till other people make me aware of the reality, their reality. That a poor immigrant colored middle aged woman has a lot to prove in order to be treated right in this society. Then (and only then) I (time after time) realize that I need to be polished in order to be taken seriously that I have to look natty to belong, to get some respect and to be heard. Looking normal doesn’t do the job. Being normal get you only that far. Closer to the bottom of the ladder than halfway up there. In this society which is obsessed with appearance and fashion, looking normal is not the norm. You have to be polished, fashionable, glossy and all that jazz to be included and counted. First impression counts and first impressions are (sadly) always based on appearance.

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Monday Thoughts

We are in a society that hates emotions. They are rejected as being anti-intellectual, anti-political, anti-everything. We are animals with brains. People all over the world have inherited the disease firstly of feeling that money is the answer to their life’s problems and secondly that intellectualism is an answer to their problems.

We need to stop intellectualizing so much and rely on what we feel. If you feel something, it’s true. The only truth you can really know is something emotional that you feel. When we lose our instincts for truth, we are nothing.

– John Cassavetes

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Why I Will Always Choose To Be A Little Bit Fat

How we can all feel good about ourselves, whatever our size.

I saw an article a few weeks ago with this incredible before-and-after set of photos of an overweight, post-baby woman who then became totally “bikini-worthy.”

So I had to click the link, of course, to have a look. No question about it—the “after” photo of this woman was a stunning shot. She looked fit, toned, healthy and gorgeous. I read on, eager to discover what her secret was; what profound magical method it was that she had used to shed however-many-number of pounds.

There it was, a long and detailed tract of the super lean, restrictive diet she had put herself on for a year. No carbs, no dairy, no fruit, no nothing. The sample diet she had shared in the article seemed to consist of little more than hummus, celery and endless amounts of steamed fish. Healthy—yes. Exciting, delicious, fun lifestyle—no.

I decided in that moment that I would choose to continue being a little bit fat.

Yes, I could do with losing at least about 10 pounds so that the Bébé dress I bought earlier this year would fit that much more snugly. But if it’s at the expense of not eating fruit, freshly baked breads, Greek yogurt and honey for a year, well then, I choose emphatically to continue being 10 pounds more than I should be.

Science is a wonderful thing. It’s revealed so many revolutionary ways of understanding the way our bodies work and the effects of new foods, super foods, bad foods and good foods on our health. It’s sad though that “health” has so often come to be equated only and necessarily with thinness.

The glut of diet programs, weight-loss fads, fat-burning supplements and specialized bikini-body workouts are now as much a part of our daily consumer choices as the aisles of (“forbidden”) food in supermarkets. There seems to be no excuse not to be “healthy” (read: thin) given the huge number of aids, YouTube videos and literature on the subject.

Articles like the one I read aren’t necessarily always an encouraging, inspiring thing. They don’t just tell the story of an overweight person who chose discipline and a healthier lifestyle. There is often also a more sinister sub-narrative that raises its eyebrows at the reader and challenges her—“If this person can lose xx pounds, why can’t you?”—even if the reader may not actually be unhealthy or overweight.

The titles of these articles alone are almost always weight-centered, like “I lost 120 pounds, ask me how!” or “How one man lost 200 pounds in a year.” Rarely are these articles presented through the perspective of someone choosing a healthier lifestyle, discarding bad nutritional habits or incorporating fitness into their daily routine.

There it is: the continuous, unceasing reminder that we should all be striving toward thinness. From cabbage soup fasts, to low-everything diets, to 20-minute fat-blasting workouts, the desirable end result is usually almost and entirely about becoming become a thinner version of ourselves.

I am not ignoring the fact that for a percentage of people who are facing the health risks of being dangerously overweight, losing weight is a part of becoming healthier. I don’t discount that and understand how important it is in these cases to count calories and lost inches.

Problems arise when that very same method is being adopted by people who aren’t facing any health risks—who may, in fact, be completely healthy, fit people—but who still feel that they would be healthier if only they were five, 10 or 20 pounds lighter.

So I’d like to suggest flipping things around a bit; looking at things through another lens.

Let’s focus on being healthy—and just that.

Logically and biologically, it would follow that by following a healthy way of living, eating and exercising, everything else will find its proper balance. We would lose weight if we needed to lose weight, we’d gain muscle if we needed to gain muscle, we’d balance out all the other things that come from not being healthy—stress, cholesterol, diabetes, poor complexion, hair loss etc.

And what does it mean to live healthily? In the face of all the new diet and exercise schemes, I think that actually, we all already know what it means to live a healthy, balanced, feel-totally-awesome lifestyle, without having to follow any fad or buy any specialized products.

Intuitively, deep down inside, we do know the basics of living well. We know when we’ve had enough to eat, what kinds of foods are good for us, what makes us feel good and what makes us go into a slump, how much exercise we need to do, when to stop when we’re exhausted and when to rest.

We know this not just intellectually, but physically—our bodies are always telling us what we need to do; we just need to listen.

One’s body will tell us when it feels like a massive binge on Chinese take-out. It will also tell us when it’s had enough so we don’t insist on finishing every last fortune cookie. Our bodies will take us dancing, running, swimming, trampolining and playing; but they will also make us rest and sleep.

I read something beautiful a while ago, about how we shouldn’t change our bodies so we can love them.

Instead, we should create change in the way we treat ourselves because we love our bodies.

Ultimately this is about focusing on health: the physical health of our bodies and the emotional health of how we see and relate to our bodies. We love our bodies—this temporary shell on loan to us for this lifetime—so we treat them well, nourish them, feed them, move them, hug them, stretch then, let them dance, discipline them, give them a treat sometimes and most of all enjoy them.

Enjoying our bodies is to indulge in the beautiful, sensual things like good food, good sex and the rush of an energetic run in the mornings. But also, I think enjoyment is about ensuring our bodies are at their prime health so that they truly get the most out of these things and appreciate, at our body’s fullest capacity, the good food, good sex and energetic run.

This is true whatever size we’re at, whether we’re trying to lose weight or gain weight, whether we’re severely overweight or dangerously underweight.

This is true because it’s a matter of health and of helping our bodies be at their optimum functioning levels, not merely a matter of what we look like.

Yes, ideally, I would still like the scales to tell me that I am 10 pounds lighter and to see my dress size drop to a single digit. But then, I have to ask myself what it really is that I’d like to get out of being that much thinner. I don’t have any illnesses, I live a happy, active life, and I’ve been medically cleared for good, prime health.

So what is it? To be more attractive? To feel more energetic? To turn more heads? To tighten that gap between me and the Victoria’s Secret models?

I realize now that if I only just went back to focusing on being healthy, everything else would find its rightful place. When I’m feeling healthy, my skin glows, my hair is shiny and I’m a face full of radiance. When I’m feeling fit after a big run and deep session of yoga, I’m also confident, joyful and there’s an extra bounce in my step.

Automatically, without being a single ounce lighter, I realize now that being healthy alone is enough to be more attractive, feel more energetic, turn more heads and gain almost as many admirers as the Victoria’s Secret angels.

With a focus on health, instead of weight, I find too that I enjoy life a whole lot more. I eat without guilt and play with abandon. I move and shift and indulge the very real needs of my body instead of spending good hours of my day fussing over diet plans, exercise schedules and meal replacement shakes.

It isn’t only when I achieve a vision of thinness that I am deemed healthy and attractive.

I am attractive because I am living healthily.

And if that means I shall always be a little bit fat, with a few extra pounds to shed, then that’s exactly what I shall be.

-via Jamie Khoo Conscious ReThink Elephant Journal

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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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Note To Self

When I get lonely these days, I think, So be lonely. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.

– Elizabeth Gilbert

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

When I started this blog I thought I will never run out of something to say. Not believing in writer’s block every time I read someone is struggling to come up with ideas to post I thought: How could that be? Just put your thoughts (any thoughts) on paper and that’s it, easy peasy lemon squeezy. How naive I must had been. I have a lot to say still. The well hasn’t run out dry just yet but I run out of time to say them. No, that isn’t right. I seem cannot find the time to put my thoughts on paper. These days I am face to face with another thing I thought I will never encounter: A life that is getting in the way of my writing.

In the beginning (of my blogging escapades) I never thought it is possible. If you could spare a couple of minutes, you can post your ideas online. It had worked for me till… now. Before I had no trouble writing, following courses after courses here, posting my entries at two in the morning while juggling with work, social and family life plus hobbies and vacations. Even with my condition I could still managed to do a decent job of blogging, posting once a day, no problem; till early this year. (I am still posting once a day, there is no change there. But I am posting other people’s article. They are good. Better than mine in fact or otherwise I will not put them in my space. They are articles that either mean something to me personally or have moved me in some ways. But they are not mine and that’s the problem. I want to write again. Writing is my life. I am lost without it.)

Suddenly life gets in the way. Things I could do with ease before like gardening for five hours after work till the sun goes down, staying late, watching TV while putting thoughts on paper and cooking dinner at the same time, writing while ironing… that is all things of the past now. One chore and I end up exhausted. I still have trouble sleeping. In fact, I don’t have a decent sleep yet since January, but while before my sleepless nights had proven to be my most creative and productive hours, now they are what they actually are- just sleepless nights; spent watching TV, fidgeting, suffering from lack of concentration and wrestling with pain. Before I could function with no or just a couple of hours sleep, now I can’t simply function. Those sleepless nights see to it that I am bone tired from doing nothing all the time, I can’t focus and the pain make me so grumpy and desperate. I am beginning to seriously dislike myself.

In four days time I will leave for my annual three weeks holiday in the sun and hopefully when I come back I am my normal self again- crazy, weird, out there but a writer. A writer with no problem writing and putting thoughts on paper. Just like before. Till then, please bear with me. Don’t go away. We can weather this together.  I am grateful for your support.

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