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Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “choose happy”

Let’s make a pact

You know those New Year resolutions we already forget in the second week of the year? Well, what if we were consistent in keeping them? Or rather, what if we set more feasible goals that were easier and more plausible to implement?

We have this hope – or expectation if you please – that what we’re doing on the first day of the year is how we’ll spend the rest of the year too. So, we put on our most elegant clothes, choose the company of our most loved ones, and try to be as happy as possible having fun. But is that illusion realistic? That we can maintain this atmosphere and emotion all 365 days through?

Life has its ups and downs and that is a reality we cannot ignore.

Stress is inevitable, as a psychiatrist friend highlights, we’re bound to be thrown off balance, but the emotional anxiety it is accompanied with is something we can be trained to manage.

When we allow ourselves to fall into unprecedented bursts of anger it’s because we’ve been suppressing too many feelings for too long, of the sentiment that our viewpoint is not being understood no matter how hard we try to explain ourselves. Panic attacks set in because we’re not able to promptly manage the stress that surrounds us. But what if we could train our minds to be as happy, calm, and serene as on that very first day of the new year? It’s not easy. But it’s not impossible either.

When something goes wrong, we are bombarded with a myriad of thoughts, mostly negative. But what we most lament is the time we lost. We feel that we are in a constant race against time in life and when things go south it’s the first thing that comes to mind and causes additional anguish. The time we allow to pass without doing the things that help us grow, things that we enjoy, being in places that calm us, being embraced and pampered by the people we love.

When we’re having fun, we don’t pay attention to how quickly time passes. When we’re not, that’s when it becomes more obvious. Because we miss things. We miss the things that bring a smile to our face, the people who make us laugh, but most of all the person we are when we’re with them.

What if we made a resolution to be stronger this year? To tolerate more but also less, to set healthy boundaries (which is always not as easy as it sounds), to laugh more and sustain yourself as best as you can?

What if we made a pact to make the most of every single passing minute?

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Majestic

©MCD

When a child is born you see slogans flying around that a prince or princess has arrived. You want to do whatever you can to offer them everything their heart desires. And as we grow, we are prone to believe that we deserve the best precisely because we were raised to believe we’re royalty – perhaps not of blood but of spirit at least.

That’s why walking into a majestic room reminiscent of Renaissance century-old palaces makes you unconsciously change your posture to stand up straight and have your chin up.

We seek that feeling that we deserve diamonds and sparkles and fine wine and gourmet dining because we need that sense that we’re taking care of ourselves. If no one else gives us these pleasures of life, we can well provide for ourselves regardless. It just feels better to have someone to share the royalties with.

Fireworks all year

©MCD

Do you know why we use fireworks, sparkles and bangs to welcome the New Year? It stems from centuries-old traditions that sound and light made evil spirits afraid and were thus used to ward off evil.

We too hope that by filling the final month of the year and the subsequent first of the new one with lights and glitter will help bring luck, fortune, prosperity, health and blessings to our life.

Have you noticed how we light up inside and the world seems happier with all the festive decorations during the Christmas and New Year season?

We don’t need much to be happy and bloom. But we often forget that we are the creators of our well-being and happiness.

So let’s make a resolution this year to keep ourselves as happy as we begin the new months, to spread love just as we wish to receive it, and to keep the hope alive that everything will work out for the best with new adventures lying ahead.

Happy New Year everyone!

Kings or Pawns

It was Napoleon who said that “in this life we are either kings or pawns; emperors or fouls.” He was right, you know.

You either choose to react to anything you don’t agree with in this world and be named a rebel, or you remain a victim (and accomplice) to it.

Take so many instances of daily life: that job you’re expected to do asap – meaning yesterday – and you’re constantly pressed for time, but when you’re anticipating a reply, the other party takes all the time in the world. That ‘urgent’ matter that in reality is of minor importance yet is presented as a life-changing event for which you must stop everything else to address.

Those bills you’re called to pay for which you are often given no justification but which you are obliged to in every way and are threatened with fines if you don’t.

And the worst of all is that argument that “that’s what everyone does”, or “that’s how it is”, or even more, “that’s how it’s always been”.

Just think of flies: millions of them are attracted to crap, but that doesn’t mean this would be delicious for you too.

Remember: Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s right. And just because no one is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

So why not alter things?

Just because something has been done for so long in a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right way, or that there is no better mode to achieve the desired end. But if you don’t try to differentiate, you’ll never know. You won’t find something else – something potentially better – if you don’t take a different path.

But it is essentially your choice. Because every change begins with a vision and a decision to take action. And change begins at the end of your comfort zone. Growth and evolution occur the minute you decide to break that conventional / traditional cycle.

You will decide who you want to be and how you want to react in this world. Chin up or head down. The choice is yours.

Cash at hand

A wise man once said that yesterday is like a void cheque, while tomorrow is simply a promissory note. Today we have cash at hand. And we should spend it as best and as broadly as we can because we will never have that opportunity again. The world is immense, and all we have is now.

It is amazing how when you rid your mind of expectations, you also alleviate yourself from worry. The less you expect, the less you’re troubled.

Truth is, if you take things as they come, you’ll also be happier. Because you act in the way you feel, exploiting the moment and not anticipating anything. So, whatever comes is a pleasant surprise. It also reduces the pressure you feel, both on yourself and on others, to act or react in a certain way.

Studies have found that 85% of the things we worry about never actually happen. Yet we incessantly consume our energy and occupy our minds we these possibilities.

We fail to comprehend that life itself is the perception we give it. It is the lens we choose to view it with that makes the difference. And as such, we are the masters of what we select to see. We either wake up determined to make it a good day or moan that it is yet another morning when who knows what could go wrong. Just think about all the wonderful things that could happen, though.

If the secret to a successful and carefree life is the law of attraction, begin from within, attracting and ‘manifesting’ (as is the latest modern-day trend) positive and luminous energy. If we consciously choose to change our viewpoint and reject the thoughts that pose so many limitations on us, we will unconsciously begin to see that everything around us will smile right back.

Sometimes we just need to stop thinking altogether; to get out of our heads, to stop being so scared, and just go for it. Either it will work out or it won’t. But wouldn’t it be better to try than to regret? And what if it does work? What if you fly?

Learn, thrive, and grow together

It’s a skill knowing when to stop a tiff from developing into a full-grown quarrel. It takes patience and a lot of struggle to reach the point of constraint, of choosing to walk away and quieten down rather than engage in a fight not worth having.

It takes time to learn things. Any thing.

Like the fact that you cannot force people to change. No matter how much you love them or care for them. Regardless of how deeply you let them in, people will only understand what they want. And they will alter their ways only when they truly desire. But just like a selfish person cannot become more caring, an altruist cannot suddenly stop placing others first and only look out for their own benefit. It goes both ways.

It is a wonder, really: is there something in between either feeling everything so profoundly or hardly sensing anything at all?

We are so accustomed to the stories we tell ourselves, those deafening voices in our heads that convince us to try more, to talk more, to press more in the hope that we’ll put ourselves out there and people will finally see us for who we are, for what we’re worth, for the value we so long for them to acknowledge. Yet in this, we fail to see that what we intend as effort, as nurturing care, and affection, to others seems as a suffocating attempt to change their beliefs and attitudes. We judge ourselves on our intentions and not on how we make the other person feel. We act in the way we consider as ‘common sense’ and obvious, but it is not so for everyone, and we often fail to realise that people seldom think and act the same way. Our cheerful ramble confiding in another a portion of our day may be regarded as moaning and just noisy chatter. We feel disappointed and rejected because we’ve created an expectation in our head that is hardly ever met. We set out already knowing what we want to see, and are shattered when it doesn’t play out as such.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is taking everything too personally; even when that is how it seems, we are rarely the reason people act like they do. The real cause for people’s behaviour lies within themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, their fears, their influences, their social surroundings, or even just the noise in their own heads.

True relationships – of any sort – help us do three essential things: learn together, grow together, and thrive together. Having fun is just a bonus. Any relationship makes you better in every single way possible. That’s the point of it after all.

Maybe

Life is full of unpredictable twists and turns.  You can never be sure what will happen, and that’s exactly what also makes it exciting. That you’re never bored. But you should always be prepared. Mentally, more than anything. To embrace the notion that whatever comes your way, be it good luck or bad luck, will be dealt with for what it is, and time will tell how it will develop. Even a misfortune can turn out for the best if you’re open enough to view it that way. Lamenting about it certainly won’t help.   

To illustrate, here’s a Chinese fable:

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbours came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” The farmer said, “Maybe.” The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!” The farmer again said, “Maybe.”

The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbours then said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad,” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.” The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbours came around and said, “Isn’t that great!” Again, he said, “Maybe.”

Like Alan Watts said, “The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”

Bad and good experiences are all part of life; we need one to appreciate the other. And whatever happens, we’ll never know the consequences it may bring in the future. We just need to trust the process and believe that things will turn out as they should.

Light and colour

©Trish Nankeville

There’s something inspiring about waking up to light and colour. It helps awaken your senses and boost your mood. And when you emit a positive vibe, you feel more confident, like you can take over the world if you have to.

He would bring her flowers every morning simply to see that radiant smile of hers.

She would beam like spring in bloom and he would boast of a mission accomplished.

It was simple things like that that made every day special. Monotony was dangerous, and boredom was lethal. It was keeping the spark alive that made it all worthwhile.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Choose your outlook

We’ve been through so much already,” the little girl said, tugging on her father’s coat. “If someone offers us help, I say we take it”.

He looked at her. It was true, leaving your homeland with only whatever you could carry was a torment in itself, and a heavy burden for any nine-year old to bear. The series of misfortunes that ensued was something refugees were prepared for. Particularly those violently expelled from their own country. 

They had just met someone who promised to get them to safety. But after a couple of failed attempts to believe people who vowed the same, the father was now distrustful.

Not everyone is good”, he told her.

Her mother soon arrived, her eyes drooping from exhaustion. She took the little girl’s hand and gently placed her arm around her husband.

There is still so much good out there”, she hummed. “But life is how you want to see it”. “If you want to find the good, you’ll find it. And if you’re constantly looking for the bad, it’ll catch up with you”.

They all breathed a little slower now. The realisation of this truth sinking in.

We need to acknowledge that practical optimism is a much better framework on life than default pessimism”.

Let’s choose to believe that everything will work out”.

The things you shouldn’t know

You know that saying, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”? Well, it’s true for every age, and all contexts.

Happiness comes in waves. But like love and pain, it comes unexpectedly and leaves the same way.

The key to being happy – and most of all serene – is acknowledging that you yourself and you alone are responsible for that precious feeling. You’re the only one who can control your feelings even if most times it doesn’t seem so easy or plausible to do.

It’s a magical and refreshing sensation to allow yourself to get carried away in the moments. Those instances that take your breath away, that have you tearing with laughter so much that your abs hurt. Those glimpses of time you look back on and smile nostalgically.

But there is always that inexplicable – demonic – hunch that nothing is so perfect; and it won’t last.

So what do you do when you see something you shouldn’t have? What if you notice a message you shouldn’t be aware of? Or overhear a conversation you weren’t meant to? How do you “un-know” things you shouldn’t know? How do you press “undo” on life events?

It’s mindblowing how emotions can change in a millisecond. How your entire perspective can alter by knowing something you shouldn’t. How everything moves from one extreme to another simply because of a differentiation of facts. It’s as quickly as clouds of rain form in a clear blue sky and hail begins to pour.

But that you can’t really control.

Can you?

Or is it there to show you something? Because often things happen to remind you what you deserve and to rethink where you are and what you’re devoting your energy and time on. Is it worth it if you’re not feeling happy, appreciated and valued?

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