MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “calm”

Magic waterfalls

©Dale Rogerson

“Look”. She saw his hand rise and point to the source of that calming sound they were hearing a while now. It was still the beginning of winter and the water was flowing rapidly.

She always loved that sound it makes. She found it stole your troubles and drowned them into its soothing flow.

“Listen”. She said. They stood mesmerised with the sunrays bathing their faces. It was a welcome touch in that cold morning.

Whatever happened, waterfalls had a magical way of making everything better. And of bringing them closer together.

Water, after all, is the source of life.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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Admitting to the problem

https://img.fotocommunity.com/sehnsucht-nach-meer-e5071e7c-1c5a-4ce7-88e1-8e87a1f6e2ce.jpg?height=400They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. In fact, it is true that more people would learn from them mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. In the same light, in order to begin to find some peace of mind, we need to acknowledge that we have none.

In our modern age, being (too) busy is a problem. But the thing is, we think that it is a privilege, an asset, or even something to be proud of – we actually boast of being busy. Of not having time for anything, not even of living.

We have lost touch of the things that matter. Instead of talking to each other and trying to help one another, to learn from each other and mutually improve, we have become so competitive that what dominates our relationships is hypocrisy and shallowness.

What is more, we don’t know how to relax anymore. We have become so obsessed about constantly having something on our minds and in our hands that we turn into inexplicably nervous freaks when we are faced with “doing nothing”. Keeping calm is not a concept the modern world understands. Yet, we so love to cant about it everywhere, we have drawn numerous gifs and images and posters and anything you can imagine, that begin with “keep calm and…”.

Let’s face it. We have become a troublesome kind. We are so afraid of being left out of pretty much anything that we create trouble where there is none, do things we don’t really want to do, and adopt styles that don’t fit us simply because they are the current trend. In the process, we choose to follow the crowd than stand out in our own unique way. And, like everyone else, we criticise or adore whoever and whatever is ‘in fashion’ at the time.

We don’t think anymore. And that is perhaps the most pitiful and severe problem of us all.

The trickling of drops

©MCD_IMG_20181021_131902

©MCD

Parks – all kind of them: theme parks, amusement parks etc. – all have something that always catches your eye, to the extent that you are left staring mesmerised: water fountains. They have often huge areas where water sprinkles in various shapes, forms, rhythms and intensity, resulting in a spectacle that thrills and excites.

Water is the source of life. 90% of our body weight comes from water. More specifically, 70% of the human body (and about 70% of Earth) is water, while it also comprises 31% of our bones.

We need water to survive. That’s how important it is.

Water is an integral part of our lives. Yet, it is constantly something that enthrals us: we love looking at water – in rivers, springs, lakes, seas – because it calms us down.

As this fascinating article explains, “The immeasurable sense of peace that we feel around water is what Wallace J. Nichols (a marine biologist) calls our “blue mind”—a chance to escape the hyper-connected, over-stimulated state of modern day life, in favor of a rare moment of solitude”.

Moreover, “More recent studies—including those out of a UK-based project called Blue Gym—have found that people who live near the coasts are generally healthier and happier. Other studies find that when shown photographs of natural green spaces, people’s stress levels drop, but the more blue spaces in the photos, the more people prefer them”.

Water is believed to be the most powerful force on earth: either calm or turbulent, its mood swings are something that captures even the most agitated spectator. Water relaxes us. It helps us unravel during our most neurotic of times, it is therapeutic to our moods and, thus, vital to our existence in more ways than we can imagine.

Keep calm

https://www.mindful.org/wp-content/uploads/Calm.jpgCalmness is the cradle of power” (Josiah Gilbert Holland), that is why being calm – having a clear mind and a patient heart – is nowadays considered something like a superpower.

Never before did mankind need so many motivational resources on how to be calm, find calm, calm down, and all the likes. Earlier generations considered being calm and having time to relax a given. But in this one, when everything moves so rapidly, when you’re away from a screen for an hour or less and new developments have already taken the course, people don’t have time to relax or slow down. Or so they say. In essence, we refuse to do so out of fear that we may miss out on something. That is mainly why youth are so attached to their mobile phones, checking social networks every so often. It is the very fear of missing out that stops us from actually living our own lives. Of doing something memorable that you don’t need to post on the web because it would lose its significance that way. Not every moment we experience needs to be demonstrated on line. We don’t cease to exist when no one is watching.

That anguish we have of what the world does or sees is also what keeps us so much on edge. Why we can’t stop even if we try. Why we sit on a couch at the end of the day to watch something irrelevant on TV and still find ourselves thinking about a million other things or be skim reading on our tablet or phone. It is also why when we do manage to switch our brains off, we instantly fall asleep. It is an accumulation of prolonged tiredness.

There are a series of “inspirational mottos” about pretty much everything. They begin “Keep calm and…”. Because we need to be reminded and prompted to calm down.

Apple has even created an app for that too. It was named App of the Year for 2017 and it is called “Calm”, offering “Meditation techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction”.

Isn’t it ironic how we need an application to remind us to “breathe” or “do nothing for 15 seconds”?

Maybe we all do need some “mindfulness”, that “basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”.

All we really need is to live fully, deeply and constantly and let our mind wander whenever it can. But in the world we live in, being calm and relaxed has become some kind of superpower.

The way you say things

misunderstandingStephen was a known diplomat. He had spent his entire life studying and training to devote his life to being a professional envoy. He knew well that the way you say things could save a lot of anguish and misunderstanding. That is why words were just as important as the tone in which you utter them.

That is what he was trying to explain to his young nephew one sunny afternoon on the terrace. The little boy had asked why his aunt was upset again. She had told Stephen that he sounded “mean and angry” and “she had done nothing to deserve such behaviour”.

You know, 10% of quarrels are due to a disagreement and 90% due to a wrong tone of voice”, said Stephen. His nephew looked at him with wide eyes, wondering how the tone of one’s voice could cause so much trouble.

Diplomats learn from a young age how to be able to be discrete in any situation. In fact, we are the ones who are – as it is said – able to tell someone to go… somewhere bad in such a way that they look forward to the journey”. The young boy laughed, even though he wasn’t sure if he had understood everything correctly. But his uncle had a way of being so persuasive that you just couldn’t disagree.

The point, in every conversation you make, is to be calm, to maintain your temper and to simply say things in the most serene way possible. In that way, even if you insult someone, they’ll take it much lighter than if you yell some bad words at them”.

There is always a way to achieve your purpose. But losing your temper is not one of them”.

Jessica appeared at the door still moody. Stephen got up, wrapped his arms around her and whispered softly in her ear “forgive me, I didn’t mean to sound so abrupt”.

Jessica smiled and fell deeper into his arms.

Their young nephew laughed. His uncle was right. And he seemed an expert in this art.

A green lifeline of tranquillity

bowl-and-leaves.jpgShe always believed a plant was necessary in every household. It was a symbol of hope and tranquillity. She had once been told that if she could take care of a plant then she could take care of a person. So she treated the little green lifeline as a precious friend, giving it a central position in the house.

This very plant was what taught her to embrace Thomas Jefferson’s quote: “It is neither wealth nor splendour; but tranquillity and occupation which give you happiness”. Gazing at it, she remembered that “worrying does not remove tomorrow’s troubles, but today’s peace”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Escape boots

dadsshoesWhenever I wanted to get away…to escape from it all…from the mundane routine that was choking me, or bringing me down, I would put on these boots and go”. His voice was sore, as though it was suppressing all the pain he felt and from which he desired to flee from. The boots were a gift from a German friend. One with whom he would often go wandering in the mountains. It was the only way he could find some peace, some spiritual relaxation.

But now… If I could only remember where I left them”, he uttered almost in despair.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

DIY relationship tests

https://www.google.gr/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fcreativelifeinfluence.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F02%2Fmotivatesus.jpg%3Fw%3D365%26h%3D360%26crop%3D1&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fcreativelifeinfluence.wordpress.com%2F&docid=DFS6g5ZDqXKI5M&tbnid=GDG_UM0yWgwxXM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwihkpjQqr_ZAhVP6aQKHRK6AfgQMwhcKBUwFQ..i&w=365&h=360&bih=603&biw=1366&q=testing%20your%20limits&ved=0ahUKEwihkpjQqr_ZAhVP6aQKHRK6AfgQMwhcKBUwFQ&iact=mrc&uact=8There is a modern saying that you haven’t tested the limits of your relationship with someone unless you try to build a closet or bookshelf with them. If you have ever bought a do-it-yourself piece of furniture, you haven’t yet realised the truth in this.

Good things take time they say. Three hours is long enough. That’s how much time it usually takes to build a closet. Because you first need to organise the what-seem-like-a-million parts, discriminate between all the different type nails and screws, find the required screwdrivers and hammer and distinguish which part belongs to which number in the instructions leaflet. The same leaflet usually says that a minimum of two people are required to assemble this piece of furniture.

It usually helps when the instructions are in a language you understand.

It also helps when you aren’t exhausted and tense from everything else that overwhelms you during that period.

But what helps above all is having patience. Because it is absolutely true that patience is a virtue. One that is also easier advised than actually had.

Cooperation is key in any joint endeavour. But communication is vital. And like everything in relationships and life, it is only when we indulge in something that we can find out how far we can go and how much we can achieve if we put our hearts and minds into it.

And if we are determined, then no matter how difficult, we will succeed.

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind”

Blissful

https://www.soulseeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/stairway-to-heaven.jpgBeauty is whatever gives joy” (Edna St. Vincent Millay). And what is joy? It “is a net of love with which you can catch souls” (Mother Theresa); “it is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognise how good things really are” (Marianne Williamson).

Sometimes – too often – we allow ourselves to be carried away by our anxiety, stress, anguish and worry to truly see all the things we should be grateful for. Our good health, our homes, the loving people around us.

There comes a moment when you feel you are drowning in engagement, in evergrowing “to-do-lists”, in increasing obligations that you persuade yourself to believe that something is wrong. But if we just stop, take a deep breath and look around, we see that there is a different perspective to life. One that is calmer, brighter, and a little more blissful.

Sometimes it takes a surprise, a gift, an escape journey to make you see it.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls” (Joseph Campbell).

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Bliss

When a river turns into a current

Holding on to angerThere comes a moment when even the calmest of rivers transform into currents, streaming their way, carrying with them anything around them, like a gush of strong, wet wind flooding its surroundings. Times change. It is the nature of things. Nothing can maintain a steady rhythm, pace or rate perpetually.

There is a need to react, to act, to do something to relieve all those feelings that are suppressed inside. And the longer you keep them locked up, the greater the explosion will be.

Buddha said that “holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”.

After the blow-out, disaster may have ensued around you, but it is you – the quiet stream – that has lost its composure, that has experienced something out of character, that has been irreversibly scarred. And the more times the river turns into a current and causes floods, the greater and irreparable the wounds will be.

The truth is, however, no matter how many self-esteem and self-improvement books we read, if we are not surrounded by people who understand us, who love us and who share our desire for mutual respect, it is not easy to maintain that much needed calm for long. All people really need is the acknowledgement of their actions and the reciprocation without needing to spell out everything done for someone else every single time. More often than not – and this should be the case – we do things for others because we want to, not because we have to. There is no point to the latter.

It is in the nature of things to fall apart. But it is also in their nature to come back together. The rate depends on us alone and our determination to prefer the calm river to the raging flood.

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