MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “daily life”

The invisible battles

You know that cashier who was rude the other day at the supermarket? The salesperson who seemed uninteresting in helping you? The waiter who evidently ignored you no matter how politely you called numerous times? The person on the bus who took up the whole adjacent seat and did not allow you a space to sit, or the driver who broke out in rage at the morning traffic jam?

They all affect your mood somehow or other.

Because we allow ourselves to be unconsciously burdened by the other’s disposition.

Consider it: If you begin your morning with angered yells, noise from all around, impoliteness, offensive remarks and gestures, and a general irritation that has no apparent cause, won’t you too inadvertently adopt an agitation you cannot explain?

But what about if you started your day with a smile? A sweet good morning message from a loved one, an unexpected caring note, a smile with your take-away coffee, a ‘have a good day’ from the customer you assist, a polite wave from the driver you allow to insert the queue in front of you. Wouldn’t that instantly make you feel better? The satisfaction you receive is immense even from the slightest of things that may seem irrelevant to you.

That morning greeting may have made someone’s day. And it subconsciously also made yours too.

Be polite, always. There is no excuse for rudeness. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Courtesy costs nothing.

Open road

©Matteo Paganelli

There is a risk with being too comfortable with where you are. You become too complacent and too lazy to budge. Like still water in a swamp, you become stagnant as the world around you evolves.

The problem is, we too often take things for granted. A situation to which we’re accustomed does not necessarily mean that it will forever remain so. Circumstances change, often in the blink of an eye, yet no matter what we tell ourselves, we’re never wholly prepared for any of it.

Confusion is followed by an anguish of how to proceed. We need a plan. That’s what we pressure ourselves to have. But life doesn’t always work in a scheduled manner. Sometimes we just need to take things as they come.

Consider this, however: Without a destination, you’re never late. Because you have nowhere precise to go. You’re always exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Or like the cat in Alice in Wonderland said: If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there.

Perhaps we need to see the positive in every situation. A step-back always rattles you to change.

We simply need the courage to move ahead with more experience and determination than before.

Don’t be afraid to start over; you might like your new story.

Offline

There is a reason why many meditation and life-seizing coaches recommend you go offline for as much as you possibly can.

Scrolling on a screen all day steals your energy and mental clarity.

But most of all, it takes you away from life itself.

Because be it as it may, life is what is that blur that is happening around your screen. Just lift your head up long enough to devour it.

We go outdoors to breathe in fresh air; to socialise with real people; to view greener fields, bluer waters, and clearer skies; to marvel at the beauty of the world we live in.

Yet we do nothing of that.

Because even out there, we’re stuck on a screen. We’re so invested in what everyone else is doing and showing off online that we hardly exploit our ‘free’ time. As if a photo for a social post is enough to have said that we’ve done something different. Sure, photos are the concrete remnants of our memories. But there’s so much more to that. It’s all the moments we spend talking, laughing, doing things, hugging, and simply being around our loved ones that make the difference. It’s the feelings we create in those moments that cannot be captured or properly portrayed in a photograph.

So next time you’re out and about, around your favourite people (or not), put down your phone and observe the world around you.

You might just be amazed by it.

Shine a light inside

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/sparkle-stardust-trail-light-effect-magic-glittering-dust-waves-golden-glowing-star-trails-gold-shine-christmas-shining-effects-167440863.jpg

There are two types of people in the morning: the chirpy one, who chatters, sings, and is hyperactive from the moment they get out of bed; and the one who doesn’t want a single noise to interfere in the still sleeping zen phase they are painfully trying to get out of.

Miranda was the second type.

Alan was the first.

You can see the problem.

The worst was when the only chance they had to discuss about something was before going to work in the morning because often their shifts did not coincide and they could spend entire days without seeing each other. Despite living in the same house, they didn’t always have the energy after work to talk about anything.

This made it all the more complex.

Because she was also the type to keep everything inside. She restrained herself from expressing what bothered her, be it from the slightest of things – from their online presence, to his behaviour towards others, to her problems at work, or financial difficulties.

The body had a mind of its own, though, and it began to demonstrate its anguish and exhaustion in various forms. The signs were ignored and neglect led to stronger pain in every form.

He saw what she refused to.

How she faded her own light and began to personify that “what doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness (Marcus Aurelius).

So he surprised her with a week away.

To a place she only dreamed of; where mice and ducks were favourite cartoon characters; where laughter was the only sound you could hear; where to feel the innocence and carefreeness of a child was mandatory.

A decade of Whispers

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Every big thing starts with a simple moment of folly in which, upon taking that leap, you ask “why not” and “what if”. Because yes, in jumping, you may fall; but what if you fly?

We have a tendency in this modern fast-paced world of ours to consider the downside more than what we have to gain. But we sometimes fail to see that if we don’t dare to try, we won’t move to grow. Change won’t happen if we don’t go after it.

In the past years of pandemic lockdowns, political developments, climate change (floods, heatwaves, fires), and so much more that has made us question the very essence of our existence, it is perhaps our mental health and psychological state of being that has been affected the most.

We find that we are often competing with our own self simply to remain sane. We’re battling the voices in our hear that we wish were not ours. We whisper that we’re fine, when inside we’re bellowing that we’re not. And we realise that we need days off everything; hours to do absolutely nothing – to lie in bed staring at the ceiling,binge-watch series or movies, to walk silently along the beach, to read after going offline. We ought to give ourselves those instances to regroup, to recharge, and to relax above all. It’s an opportunity to reconsider everything we do – from the support circle around us, the social acquaintances, our relations with the ‘outside’ world, to our employment prospects, our professional ambitions, but also our personal dreams which we so often push aside.

I began writing this blog a decade ago – can you believe it’s been 10 years already? It was my way of expressing everything I cannot (or wish not) say aloud. It’s not easy for everyone to speak out and converse so easily with people. Some of us are lost in the chaos of our minds. We’ll speak to those who win our trust, who we feel comfortable and secure with; to those, we will blabber away for hours, so consider yourself lucky, for you are among the selected few. But don’t think we don’t have things to say. The pen, it is said, is often mightier than the sword. And if we can’t speak, we’ll write it.

That said, consider this in the rapid passing of time: We come into each other’s lives in a mere fragment of it. We meet each other without knowing what led the other to this moment, and (on each occasion) we are trying to catch up on the time we ‘lost’ when we did not know of each other’s existence. In an effort to replenish that time, we want to draw in as much information as possible about the other, often being subject to jealousy of the people who have managed to spend a greater period with this new person.

We have but a glimpse of our lives to set our mark on another person and ensure our role and part in their lives is maintained. In the dozens (or more) of people we meet throughout our passage, only a handful will stay long enough to see us grow, change, laugh and cry, evolve. But those are the people who matter. And it goes both ways.

So, the message I’ll close off with in this 10-year anniversary post is this: sometimes it’s good not to know where you’re going and where something you start off in a leap of faith will lead. Because you never know how wonderful or life-changing it may be.

A rollercoaster that ends in tears

Our hectic daily lives cause a lot of stress. Or perhaps we allow our circumstances to stress us out. Almost constantly. And over anything/everything.

Stress is not an easy emotion to control.

Neither is anger, which most often comes as a consequence of the aforementioned anguish.

When we feel angry, frustrated, irritated, unjustly treated, hurt, or simply exhausted with everything and everyone, our body produces a flood of hormones that stimulate strong reactions – from a racing heart to sweaty palms, dry mouth, and short-term memory loss. Tempers flare, voice decibels increase, and soon it all elevates out of control.

And then, when it becomes too much, we often feel the need to cry.

Tears from anger are a powerful emotional response to high stress levels – a mixture of feeling mad and sad simultaneously.

“Tearful crying is a uniquely human activity, and scientists believe it may serve an evolutionary function: a distress signal used to summon help and provoke helping behaviours in others. Crying releases oxytocin and prolactin, two chemicals that can bring your heart rate down and otherwise calm you after a stressful event”.

That explains why after a heated discourse, and a meltdown of tears, you feel the urge for silence, isolation, and mostly, comfort.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions that ends in tears. Ones that are therapeutic enough to restore the balance we need to feel sane, mentally healthy, and strong enough to go on with life itself.

The next ship

©GE

Sunset was her favourite hour. It was as though the world suddenly relaxed following a stress-filled day and the sky breathed a sigh of relief. It was evident in the atmosphere. You could feel the air more tranquil, more serene.

It was his favourite time for walking. Free from the heat of the morning, and with still enough light to enjoy the path.

Their course was by the sea. Water was integral. She had told him that since they first began searching for a common roof.

But now, the city chaos had become too overwhelming.

“Let’s just leave”, she said in a breathless exasperation.

He stopped in his step; turned round and gazed right into her eyes.

Let’s”, he said in all severity.

The next ship sails at dawn.

Wash your worries away

© David Stewart

There’s something relaxing about getting lost in nature. It is tremendously soothing to allow your mind to wander off, to stop perplexing over routine daily life problems, and merely enjoy the moment of all that the outdoors has to offer.

Water helps. The trickling of it calms your nerves, and the endless flow is actually better than any anti-depressant or tranquiliser.

Waterfalls are the best at this. They offer a combination of sight and sound, and if you’re bold enough, you can even dive into them to wash your worries away.

Just don’t take it so literally, and drown instead.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The way we feel about it all

https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/sites/thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/files/feelings.jpg

We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

Weekends are for relaxing

©MCD

We seem to be spending too much of the (working) week looking forward to the weekend. Those two days that we can escape the chaos and irrationality that constitute our daily contemporary lives.

In essence, though, we’re anticipating this end of week so much because we need it. We ought to relax and our very organisms are actually calling for it. It is a sign that we’re experiencing life in rhythms that our beyond natural; we stress too much over meaningless things; we anguish and rush; we work, sleep, and eat at irregular tempo and hours.

We need a couple of days to do nothing that entails a tight schedule and an alarm clock. To allow ourselves to lie in, to walk on the beach, to go for a coffee, to meet friends, to engage in endless conversations, and to not think about the passing time.

We know we’ve relaxed and replenished, when all we’ve done is sleep and surrender to leisure, and just like that the weekend has passed, without us realising exactly how. But we feel complete and happy, and that’s what truly matters. And what will help us get through another week.

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