MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “January, 2022”

Reaction to life

Stress is your body’s way of activating your flight-or-fight response to a perceived state of danger. It causes your senses to go on alert, often resulting in convulsive – irrational – reactions, heightened adrenaline, faster heartbeats, and increased breathing rates, as well as altering your food digestion and consequently your glucose levels. Stress has multiple effects on our body, many of which we are hardly aware of.

It’s easy to advise a person not to stress. What is not easy, is to actually follow that advice.

You may have heard/read it before from so many sources nowadays: stress is a fear reaction to life and life’s constant changes. To manage it, we need to equate stress with fear and then begin to eliminate fear from our lives. We need to wonder why are we in fact so afraid? Why do we so passively give our power away? William James had said that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over the other”. Because in essence, what causes our bpm to rise is in fact our own thoughts. If we replace the constricting and fearing thoughts we allow to invade our heads with positive and empowering affirmations – keeping it cool and focused – will actually allow us to reach what Louise Hay describes as “the totality of possibilities”. If you let your mind go beyond what you think is possible, you open yourself up to a myriad of options and potential.

What is interesting is the fact that many of us create the ideas we have about life by the time we are 5 years old. And from then on we live in the limitations created by our 5-year old consciousness, often stopping us from experiencing all that we could or desire. It is our own excuses, beliefs and limitations that obstruct our way. We have the option of either accepting them or overcoming them and moving beyond what we think is possible. Because it’s all in our head.

Anger is a significant form of stress.

One of the best advice on learning to alleviate it is what is termed as the “5-minute rule”. You should not spend more than 5 minutes stressing over something or being angry. Give yourself five timed minutes to vent, to moan, to scream, to let it all out. But afterwards, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that you cannot change what has already happened, so there is no value in wishing it were different.

Put simply: deal with it, and move on. Otherwise your just wasting your energy and time.

It’s not so easy to do. But it’s definitely worth a try. And if you keep at it, you’ll eventually get there.

It’s so simple

http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/entrevo-keypersonofinfluence-overcome-fear.jpg

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Let that sink in for a minute.

Think about it.

Really consider it.

Because the possibilities are endless.

If you didn’t allow your mind to block you, to obstruct you from moving outside your comfort zone, from doing something out of the ordinary, from taking a risk, a leap into the unknown, what would you truly be capable of?

If you’re not afraid, it’s usually not important, or not worth the risk.

If it scares you, do it. It’s the only way you’ll grow.

It’s as simple as that.

And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It is so simple.

We just make things complicated.

Snow Caps

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Four days after a historic snow blizzard that shook the city, Melissa was certain it was only a matter of time before people began to tumble on the ice.

After multiple near-misses, she slid and fell too. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt – accustomed to falling ever so randomly.

That’s when she felt a gentle squeeze on her arm. “Are you OK?” Tall, slender, with glistening emerald eyes, Nick – as she would soon learn – was genuinely concerned. “May I offer you a hot chocolate to toss off the cold?

And somehow like that, each day becomes unique, fascinating, and seldom boring.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Cold days

©MCD_Snow

There is a game to play when you want to make a quick decision and you’re hesitating between two options. To resolve the dilemma, you’re told to ask yourself a series of questions with two answers; the key is to respond as rapidly as possible without thinking too much. So when you get to the query at hand, you’ll answer quickly enough to know how you truly feel about it. Speed here leads to authenticity.

One such question could be if you prefer to be too hot or too cold. But what really is the answer to that, without being season-sensitive concerning when you’re actually asking the question?

In summer, we’re likely to say we prefer being cold. And in winter, vice-versa.

But then a day comes, when snowfall begins unexpectedly – as suddenly as it may be given the week-long meteo warnings. And everything seems so much prettier. Snow makes everything appear happier, more magical, more walking-on-clouds-fluffy-paradise-bright. You don’t care if it’s cold when you’re dressing up like an eskimo, to walk outside like a penguin, to engage in snowball fights like a child. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel your limbs, let alone your fingers when you’re gathering snow to build a perfect snowman. Amidst the laughter the snow day is causing, the cold is just a side-effect.

But when it all starts to melt, when the fluffy snowflakes turn into rock hard ice, when it’s too slippery to tread outside in the sludge, and when it’s so freaking freezing that it doesn’t even matter there is the sun in the sky, then, yes, you begin to consider that not everything is so lovely as it initially seems. Everything has its limits, and if you’re not prepared – without the infrastructure or mechanisms – to deal with extreme weather conditions, the problems caused can be life-threatening.

Perhaps the cold is something that can be solved with a warm house (via a fireplace or radiator at least), a cosy blanket, a hot beverage, good company, and some entertainment. Perhaps even the temperature is something we control in our minds. But the truth is, cold makes you shut down to preserve energy.

We want days off because we’re too cold to move. But if we were moving in the first place, we might not feel the cold too much…

Daily snippets of motivation

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“Call”. It’s as simple as that. Call to tell someone they’re in your thoughts, you miss them, you’d like to meet up soon, you love them.

“Talk”. Say what’s on your mind. Not everyone can guess it. Show you’re interested. Others long to know that there are people out there who care.

“Say good day”. It costs nothing and it can make a whole morning or entire day for any person. One random act of kindness at a time can change the world. It all starts with the slightest of gestures.

“Smile more”. Don’t sulk. Not everything is horrible in this world. Just find those little things that make it all worthwhile. Be positive even if you’re forced to see the bright side. Things will shift eventually.

“Believe”. If you try with the perspective that it will all flourish, you’re one step closer to succeeding. Just have faith that it will work out.

“Hope”. Because when all is done and lost, this is what remains. You have nothing else to lose.

“Trust yourself”. Because if you don’t, no one else will.

You’re stronger than you think. Don’t let your mind – or those sneaky voices in your head – fool you.

Change the perspective

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A storm was brewing. Literally. The weather was turning piercingly icier and the sun was in hiding. You could feel the wind changing.

But also metaphorically. People were evidently affected – they were colder in attitude too. Agitated, nervous, and too easily irritated.

It was all wrong. For no sensible reason.

So she decided to leave.

These are the best decisions; the get-up-and-go-on-the-inspiration moments. Because if you don’t think about certain things too much, they end up being the best decisions you ever make.

She acted upon the impulse to flee. And travelled all across the world to where the climate was exactly the opposite.

She didn’t exactly encounter a heatwave, but a much warmer weather, and a much kinder folk. People who had much less – of material belongings and wealth – yet much more heart and goodness. They knew how to enjoy the utmost of what they had, and to appreciate the instances, the smallest of heart-warming gestures, the gratitude of having even the slightest of everything.

If you step back from your own world and delve into someone else’s, perhaps you’ll just realise how lucky we are but never acknowledge it enough. Be grateful for everyday; for the goodness around you; and focus your energy on all you want to create, not on what you want to get rid of. Know who you are and what you want to achieve, but be careful who you choose to walk with in life, because in the wrong company you’ll never reach your destination.

Treasure troves of magic

©Ted Strutz

It’s a place of magic. There are so many different worlds to travel to. So many personalities to impersonate. Here, you could be anything, anyone, at anytime, anywhere.

Libraries, she was taught, “are more than just a storage place for books, they are treasure troves filled with creativity and knowledge. And that knowledge can be empowering(R.L Hemlock).

Libraries open windows to the world, inspire us to explore and achieve more, to contribute to improving the world, and thus change it for the better.

They are parts of life’s necessities, reminding us simultaneously of the excitement of being a kid.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

You’ll know

https://medium.com/non-monogamy-help/feeling-valued-in-non-monogamy-ddad001eb67e

There is a sensation that overwhelms you the first time you lock eyes and you share a conversation. You know. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds – minutes top – but the feeling arrives. Or it doesn’t. You know.

With every person you meet, you can tell from the start if the continuation will be good, or at least worth pursuing. Be it out of simple curiosity, you might give it a chance. But the intuition is real and often it is much more aware of the situation you’re in than you yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Be it with friends you’ve grown out of sync with, or with potential flirts that have nothing more to offer than a few interesting initial conversations, your psychosomatic signs will make you understand when it’s time to move on and find others who might be more of an intellectual stimulation as well as a pleasant company.

As we mature, as we make our way through life, we acknowledge that there’s always much more to living than simply scraping the surface. You quickly tire of people who cannot hold an intriguing or interesting conversation with depth that has nothing to do with gossip or daily routines, but rather something genuinely attention-grabbing: things you read, or simply thoughts you catch as they fleet instantaneously from your mind and may be interesting to share. From the slightest silliness to the most bizarre thing you heard, anything out of the ordinary can actually be a measure of how much there is to discuss with anyone after all has been said and done.

We tend to seek more out of the people around us. Because if we ourselves are active and in constant search of a higher level in everything we do, we want to surround ourselves with like-minded, goal-oriented, perceptive people. We help each other grow, evolve, be better. That’s how (healthy) relationships work.

We encounter so many people in our lives. Some for a while, others come and go, and few remain. But each time, if you think back to that first happenstance, you feel it. You sort of know how important or not they’ll be.

There are people whom you keep forever and hope to hold on to. Because that feeling is mutual.

But there is an even stronger emotional bond to those who entered your life, disappeared for a while, but searched their way back in. It’s as if there is an invisible thread uniting your lives and drawing you back together wherever you’ve been. It’s those people you feel most comfortable with. It’s people like that we need but rarely find. Who ignite that special feeling. And you just know.

Anywhere in the world

©Bradley Harris

Anywhere in the world?

Yes, anywhere at all”.

I won’t tell you the clichés, that there is no other place I’d rather be than here. Truthfully, I would want to be at that place on earth where the ocean meets the mountain. Where the ends of the planet seem to meet in harmony. Where all nature is at peace. There is no evident – and ugly – human intervention in sight. It’s just you and the world. And your soul is calm. Like everything around you”.

Is there really such a place?

I sure hope so, otherwise I’ll be searching in vain”.  

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Languishing

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Do you feel it too? It’s quite common nowadays. That sense of not moving forward, of being underproductive, of aimlessly drifting in life. There is a term coined for it: it’s called languishing. Quite the opposite of flourishing, it’s the sensation of feeling empty and stagnant. Of feeling “blah” and “meh”. It’s the loss of purpose that two years in a pandemic have caused. That absence of meaning for anything we do.

As this NY Times article explains: “Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness”.

People worldwide have been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to a level they cannot explain. Hence, the term invented for this inexplicable feeling. We are dispirited, discouraged to do more. It often appears that we’ve lost the will to do something astounding because we see no point in it anymore. Our mental health is perhaps our most valuable asset and what has been most severely affected by this pandemic. Yet, we usually don’t recognise it, sometimes because we don’t want to admit it, and most times because we can’t really explain what it is that’s wrong.

We’re angry more often than usually. We become irritated by the slightest of things – by the tone of a person’s voice, the queues at the supermarket, the agitation in traffic jams, the high prices, the stalling of public transport, the inefficiency of the public service… anything can spark a distress that is difficult to mentally control. And then it becomes a domino effect of things going wrong, adding to the existing stress and the thoughts about the futility of it all.

Counsellors advise you to name your emotions, to get in touch with your inner self through mindfulness, to take it easy and give yourself time to go through the process, to relax and enjoy things as much as possible, to generally ‘be present’. We are told to focus on small goals because they are more easily achievable and bring satisfaction all the same. To transcend this feeling we need to start small, acknowledging, however, what we’re dealing with. Managing mental challenges is a feat in itself. Immerse yourself in what you do, be it a project of any kind, or a Netflix marathon; if it absorbs your uninterrupted attention it will help keep your mind off existential questions. It also helps to speak to like-minded people, who keep you calm and optimistic about life. Changing the scenery also helps, from redesigning a room to travelling abroad.

Languishing is not a disease that can be healed. It is a state – of mind, of psyche, whatever you may call it – that is greatly affected by the circumstance in which we live. Perhaps not everything is in our hands to control, but the way we react is. What we can do is realise that the best way to defeat whatever is bringing us down is to face it head on, and simply not let it. Whatever disrupts our mind, is what overpowers it and guides it too.

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