MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “inspiration”

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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Autumn walks

©MCD_Autumn walks - Karpenisi

©MCD

There is something soothing about a walk in the park, surrounded by the colours of autumn, the falling orange-brown leaves and the crackling sound of them under your feet. There is something even more calming when you are accompanied by people you hold dear in your heart; more so when you’re holding hands transferring the warmth of love with one cherished.

Autumn walks help clear your mind. Because for those valuable moments you are lost in the footpath, your mind drifts among the crispy leaves, the fallen chestnuts, the tall trees of shades of yellow and brown. The tranquillity touches upon your soul in ways that only nature can. And you return somewhat changed, more serene, ready to set and accomplish new goals.

In a season of change, we need the escape to rethink our own paths in life and be ready to take bolder steps.

A Platanus of history

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©MCD

There is a quote that says, “imagine if trees gave free WiFi; we’d all be planting like crazy. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe”.

Trees are more important and vital for our lives than we believe or even give them credit for. They contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. They produce the wood we use to light our fireplaces in the winter, make our furniture, even the paper we write on. Yet, we cut them down without second thoughts.

It is no wonder then, that when we come across a tree that is centuries old we treat it as a wonder of nature. We stand before it dumbfounded, gazing at this stupendous sight. And it makes you truly feel small and insignificant.

There is a place in North Evia, Greece, somewhere along that nature-blazing road that has you driving among trees, on your way towards the Kyreas River, in between the villages of Prokopi and Mantoudi. There is this place where a sign will direct you to the “Great Platanus”. A plane tree that residents will tell you has been there for centuries. It is “a tree of huge dimensions”, as the sign reads, a “monument of nature”. A Platanus Orientalis. It is 22-23 metres tall, with its trunk’s circumference reaching 18 metres, its trunk diameter at 5.5 metres, the surface of its stem at 900 square metres, and its shadow said to be once stretching over 2.5 acres. Its age is estimated at 500-600 years, although some say that it exceeds 2,300 years! It is said that this is the most ancient Platanus in the Balkans, perhaps even the whole of Europe.

20171028_133927Its tree trunks are larger than what can fit in your wide-open arms. It stands imposing before you and, even though lacking in foliage and somewhat deserted and with broken branches, the vastness of this tree is not diminished. Rather, it is a refreshing site in a world full of asbestos and tar. There is also a huge hollow in its trunk, big enough for 10 or more people standing. In it, you suddenly forget all the problems that trouble your head daily. You take a deep breath and simply be grateful for being alive. For being there. And for being able to witness this. Just think about all the changes this tree may have witnessed. It was there before you and will probably remain so even after you.

20171028_133932As with all over-aged creatures, there are myths and legends surrounding this tree. For example, it is said that if someone falls asleep in its hollow, they will fall ill or harm will come to them, as goblins will come out and cast a spell on them. In another legend, if you are found at midnight under the tree, you will hear voices, music, violins and clarinets, and see fairies and goblins appear dancing at the shores of the river. In yet another, it is said that at midnight two large rams come out of the platanus and start noisily fighting each other. This tree is often associated with fairies and goblins as it was believed that, being over-aged, it was also haunted.

No matter the stories, however, the reality remains that this, like so many others, is part of our natural heritage and should be protected and preserved. We devote so much of our time, energy and funds to things that matter less, yet we abandon those that benefit us more.

N.B. All photos are mine, taken in North Evia, Greece, on 28 October 2017.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

Master your days

http://lemerg.com/967936.htmlEvery day is a new opportunity. You’ve heard it before. But you know it is true. Because you wake up each day having a new target in sight. At least you should. And you don’t know how much you’ll manage to accomplish, to achieve, to fight, to tolerate, and to accept, until the moment you re-think you’re entire day when you return to bed that night.

Every day teaches us to be stronger. It makes us see that we are worthy and capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. That if we set our minds to it, we can “move mountains”. We are richer in more ways than we acknowledge. And if we read a little bit more, open our eyes a bit wider and allow our minds to broaden, we will find that enlightenment will sweep its way into making our lives better.

Every day we realise that we need to constantly improve. That we won’t always receive what we give; not even what we expect. We see that we’re not always surrounded by people who want our best. In fact, there are so many hypocrites around us, filled with jealousy and envy. Everyone we meet is there for a reason. Those scornful of us are to prove that we are doing something right, being better than them. Life has a way of providing lessons, either through the people we meet or through the situations we face.

Every day is a journey. To find out how much further we can travel. How much better we can be. How stronger, kinder, braver.

Every day is a chance to make life better. Don’t waste it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Enlighten

A monk’s enlightenment

Monk-who-sold-his-Ferrari-cover CROPImagine if one of the most successful people you knew suddenly disappeared. Now imagine that months, maybe even years, later he showed up at your door completely changed. Imagine if he told you that he had sold all of his material possessions and had sought a life of passion, purpose and peace among the most enlightened monks of our time. Wouldn’t you be intrigued to listen to what he had to say?

Robin Sharma manages to grasp your attention in The Monk who sold his Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny”. It is a book that makes you think, makes you re-consider certain things in life and above all inspires you to do things differently.

It makes you realise that the time to live is now, that we need to simplify our lives, to clear our minds of negative thoughts, to focus on the positive, and take risks in order to be able to truly fulfil the potential that is dormant inside of us.

Here are some of the most noteworthy quotes:

  • A person’s life can be summarised in certain key moments, which for everyone are the most important and crucial, the ones that mark their very existence.
  • Everyone has inside them reserves of life, more than we ever dreamt of.
  • Everything is created twice; first in the mind and then in reality.
  • We are the creators of our thoughts.
  • During a normal day, around 60,000 thoughts pass through the mind of an average person; 95% of these are the same ones that troubled his/her mind the previous day. Most of them are negative. Instead of focusing on all the good we enjoy in life and all the positive we can aspire to do, we cling on to things that happened in the past, trying to find justifications and reasons to explain our actions. We wither in our thoughts and hinder our mind from fulfilling its true potential of creating magic and realising all the things we dream of. Being able to properly manage your thoughts is key in managing your entire life.
  • You truly cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought – not even one.
  • When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.
  • The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
  • You need to empty your mind of negative thoughts to allow the positive ones to enter. You can’t fill a glass if it is already full.
  • The images you create in your fantasy affect the very image you have of yourself.
  • You need not change your world in a day. Start off small. The thousand-mile journey begins by taking that first step. We grow great by degrees. Small daily steps lead to stunning results over time.
  • Develop a lust for learning. Read regularly. Reading for 30 minutes a day will do wonders for you. Do not read just anything. Be very selective about what you put into the garden of your mind. It must be immensely nourishing. Make it something that will improve both you and the quality of your life. Something that will inspire and elevate you.
  • It’s not what you will get out of the books that is so enriching – it is what the books will get out of you that will ultimately change your life…Books will allow you to see what is already inside of you.
  • A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams.
  • Failure is not having the courage to try, nothing more and nothing less.
  • Fear is nothing more than a mental monster you have created, a negative stream of consciousness.
  • The only limits on your life are the ones you set yourself.
  • All progress comes from unreasonable people, people who follow their hearts and the instructions of their consciences rather than the commands of the crowd. All progress has come from risk-takers and men and women who were willing to visit the places that scared them. Greatness arrives once you refuse to buy into what others see as impossible.
  • There are no mistakes in life; only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery.
  • Being able to master your time means that you are able to master your life.
  • In order to awaken your best life, it’s important that you “die while you are alive.” Most people live as if they have all the time in the world. They wish they had more time in their days and yet they waste the time they have. They put off living until some event in the future occurs. In order to awaken to your best life, every day should be lived as if it were your last day on the planet.
  • It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about?
  • Never postpone the life you can live today.
     
  • We live in an age when we have forgotten what life is all about.
  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
  • Decide to be brilliant at what you do. And in how you live.
  • Life has bigger plans for you than you can possibly know.
  • Never forget the importance of living with unbridled exhilaration. Never neglect to see the exquisite beauty in all living things. Today, and this very moment, is a gift. Stay focused on your purpose. The Universe will take care of everything else.
  • Be patient and live with the knowledge that all you are searching for is certain to come if you prepare for it and expect it.
  • Life doesn’t always give you what you ask for, but it always gives you what you need.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Enlighten

In search of treasures

http://www.treasure-hunt-ideas.co.uk/site/siteImages/bg.jpgSantiago was in search of a treasure. Like all people, he was trying to find his place in this world. He read a lot and tried to travel even more. He longed to find where he belonged and what his purpose was. He was certain he had something exceptional to do.

But not every treasure is silver and gold. It took him a while to realise it.

For after travelling for years alone through sun, rain and snow, in lands that where not so welcoming, meeting all sorts of persons and seeing things he never even dreamt of, all he finally looked forward to was returning home. To a home that would be surrounded by the person who had stolen his heart from the very first time they set eyes on each other. Because life has a strange way of sending us signs for things that should happen. Falling in love is one of the strongest ones. And if you’re strong enough to fight for it, you are bound to find something amazing.

Santiago acknowledged after years of searching that his treasure was not material things. It was the knowledge and experience he had accumulated during his travels. It was the way his mind opened up and his spirit liberated. It was the push he felt inside him to constantly evolve, to want to become better for himself and those around him. It was the urge to become the exceptional person he believed he could be.

Treasures are first and foremost located in our hearts. We just need to first open our minds and souls to realise it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Exceptional

Take a breath of life

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuY3ZuxIEAAVFHC.jpgTake a deep breath. Slowly. Inhale and feel the air enter your lungs and fill your insides. Close your eyes. Now exhale. Free your mind of your thoughts. Allow yourself to be conscious of what you’re doing: you’re not just breathing. You are being alive.

Now do something more. Don’t just exist. Try to live.

You don’t need to worry so much about everything. Life has a way of making everything work out. Some way or another everything will fall into place.

And remember, smile. It’s the prettiest thing you can wear, and it’s contagious.

You’ll always be hit by negativity – from the people surrounding you to events that affect you. But you need to train your mind to see the positive behind it all, or rather despite it all. Don’t allow a little negativity to stop you from seeing all the good that’s around you.

Happiness, they say, comes from inside you. You just need to find the motive to bring it out.

It’s all a matter of choice. Just like the quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

So breathe.

Believe that better things are coming.

Breathe.

Everything will be all right.

When things go wrong

cat-tigerThings are bound to get rough. It’s a fact of life. Nothing is perfect all the time. There comes a moment when things will go wrong. And sometimes, too many things go wrong for too long. But like Charles R. Swindoll said, “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it”.

There are days when you won’t want to get out of bed, out of fear that something (even more) terrible will happen. Days when you’re overcome by negative thoughts, when you’re convinced that someone cast a spell on you – the neighbour, the person who competes with you for a parking spot, those others who are always jealous of you but hypocritically act as if they’re happy for you. And somehow, your mood drops, you don’t feel like doing anything, seeing anyone or even getting out of the house. Because you know that when one thing goes wrong, a whole lot of others will follow. And they usually do. Something breaks that you can’t fix; your computer gives up on you; you lose your lucky charm that you’ve had for years.

They say there is a reason things happen. You just never find out what it is.

But what you need to force yourself to do is to abandon the negative thoughts. Being negative attracts negativity. And in the same sense, being positive will turn things around. Try to smile and the sun will shine a little brighter. But most of all, surround yourself people who offer more than sympathy. People who will embrace you, look out for you and persuade you that there are things in life worth being grateful for. And if something goes wrong now, it’s because something even better is on its way.

You just have to believe.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Sympathy

Life is a journey not a destination

http://www.wns.com/Portals/0/Images/HeaderBanner/desktop/1087/53/travel_HD.jpgIn an interview, renowned architect Renzo Piano said, “when you are born in a city surrounded by water, the only thing you think about is that the water will become a path to take you away, to explore the world”. It is true. As children, we all have that feeling of wanting to discover what more is out there. You feel that your surroundings constrain you and you need to leave, to meet other places. As adults, we try to find the time and money to travel. But what we often forget is that “travel is not a reward for working; it is education for living”.

There is a saying that “we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us” and it is certainly true that “travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”.

We travel to grow. To allow our mind to grow and expand at all the new things we learn while in a different place. We find out that the world we live in is more vast that we acknowledge and that it is impossible to see it all in a lifetime.

We travel to get away. To discover new places, new people, different customs and other mentalities; but at the same time to (re)discover ourselves. We change places in the hope of finding serenity, calm and understanding when we lack it at home. With the optimism that we will rethink certain aspects and manage to find peace in a surrounding that is different to the one we see every day.  We travel to make ourselves better, in every way.

We travel to reinvent ourselves and ultimately to become richer – particularly, in the mind and soul. It is indeed better to “fill your heart with adventure not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.  Because one thing is for sure, when you return, you are never the same person you left.

Roots and wings

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/a8/52/99a85230057e9941cb6b01a6ba3711e3--black-tree-art-prints.jpgThere is a saying, “if you don’t like where you are, move; you are not a tree”. People were meant to move around, to explore, to evolve. Instead, with the passing of time, we have become so afraid of change that we fear the slightest disturbance of our known environment. We become rooted in one place, often because we don’t have the courage to risk and see what more is out there.

And as such, we close our minds to everything around us. We refuse to accept anything different to our own perceptions, or consider something further from our beliefs.

We become so accustomed to routine, that any turbulence to it is considered lethal; when in fact, it is the other way around.

We encage ourselves in a life that shrinks us and diminishes us instead of helping us grow and develop. We aren’t making ourselves better, rather, we persevere in a mediocrity and preserve a life unchanged, with the same mentality and the same lens on life.

But what we fail to see, is that as we grow, our surroundings change, our needs become different, and so do our characters. We have a different perspective on life when we are young, springing into the world, compared to when we are mature, looking back at it.

After all, we are supposed to receive and pass on two gifts: roots to remind you where you are from, and wings to show what you can become. It is only when you use the latter that you discover where you can go.

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