MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life”

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.

Moments of time

There are 86400 seconds in a day. But one is enough to change an entire life.

An instance is what you make of it – it can last entire minutes, losing track of time itself when you’re having fun; or it can be so small that it cannot even be measured when something tragic occurs.

It’s all a matter of perspective. And what we do with what we have.

William Penn had said that “time is what we want most, but what we use worst”.

Lao Tzu in turn uttered that “time is a created thing; to say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to’”.

We often spend our days appearing busy, too much even for our own sake. We make lists, set schedules, post-its, reminders, afraid of missing something, of not having time to do everything we need to or want to. We miss calls from family and friends, postponing their return-call or desired meeting to a later time when we won’t be so pressed. We cram as much as we can in those 86400 seconds of the day, and we still feel they are not enough.

But when something happens – when those few seconds suffice to capsize everything, what matters the most? The clients we gained, the money we earned or the friends we lost and the moments we sacrificed along the way?

It only takes an instance to make us stop and reconsider everything we do. What is of true value, what is significant in those seconds we waste or exploit in our daily lives?

It is up to us to prioritise what we spend time on, how we organise the seconds we have to keep our minds and souls healthy and thriving.

Occasionally we have to make time; we have the way if there is the will to do so. Otherwise we will come to regret the time lost, the time we could have spent with loved ones, making memories and filling our days with joy; and that is something we cannot retrieve.

Remember: time is not measured by clocks, but by moments. Particularly those in which you feel happy to be alive.

A challenging heartfelt wish

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When the last day of a very strenuous year begins with ominous news, you begin to question the very essence of our existence. It’s not only about reviewing everything we’ve been through the past 365 days anymore, or the past two years with a global pandemic still hanging over us. It’s about rethinking our very take on life itself; our perspective on how we march ahead; of what we consider important and prioritise; of what we actually do to live a life; and what even constitutes a ‘life of plenty’, a ‘happy life’.

It’s easy to spread wishes here and there. It’s as simple as saying ‘good morning’ or asking ‘how are you?’. But is it heartfelt? How rarely do we nowadays mean what we say, especially when it has to do with wishing others the best?

We desire health and blessings, happiness and love, strength and success.

What we really want is serenity, someone to lift the mental exhaustion off our shoulders, the safety of having a family nearby – be it of relatives or friends; that secure feeling of knowing that whenever something – anything, no matter how big or small – happens, there is someone there to call. We want peace of mind and of heart, that tranquillity we are so lacking in this modern era, to be able to create the life we want, to pursue the targets we set, to be realistic about what we want to do in our lives, and to have the stamina to live it.

It’s challenging to give out wishes – heck, to even say anything at all – to those who face loss. But encouragement is vital, simply to rest assured that you are not alone; even at the darkest of times, there is always a hint of light somewhere, and true friends/family are there to remind you of it.

So, to lighten the mood on this day and for the sake of hopefully making this a much better year in all respects, here are some genuinely heartfelt wishes:

May all sorrows get locked, and you get showered with the best of the best blessings.

Try to relax in the new year… and don’t think about all of the resolutions you’re supposed to be starting!

Happy New Year! May the coming year be full of grand adventures and opportunities.

May this year be filled with new adventures, good fortunes and surprises for a better life.

May every moment of this year would be unique, filled with pure pleasure and each day comes out like exactly what you want…Happy New Year!

Illuminating Trees

© Dale Rogerson

Why do we really need to cut down a tree to decorate it for a month? Isn’t that a waste”? Mary had taken her vegan habits too seriously, questioning almost everything we ever do.

But that’s its life purpose”, little Joseph stoically responded.

Do you know that this tradition may have started out as ‘Paradise Trees’ in Bible stories-plays acted out in Medieval Germany to represent the Garden of Eden? Pagans used evergreen tree branches as decorations during the winter solstice to remind them spring is coming”.

Think of it as an optimistic reminder, illuminating something that gives us life”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Birthday wishes

My birthday is on Christmas day. In case you haven’t noticed if you’ve been reading this blog for some part of its 9-year history. But what you may not know, is that, though many think it’s “lovely” to have a Christmas Birthday, I don’t really like it. Apart from being somewhat overshadowed by one of the most important holidays of the year, people tend to forget you amidst all the universal celebrations. And it’s just not the same with having an entire day all to yourself. When people can legitimately forget your birthday for not knowing of it.

But there is also the other side: the fact that you get a clearer picture of your friends and acquaintances during this day. Birthdays are a milestone and an indication of who cares. Because those who do, will take five minutes of their time – or less – to send a wish your way, one which will brighten your day and make you feel loved. It doesn’t take much, but to the person in question it makes a huge difference.

Birthdays, like a good friend told me, are a starting point. That day when the counter returns to zero and you start again, afresh, setting new goals for the year ahead, reflecting on what went well, what didn’t, who was there, who shouldn’t have been, and who wasn’t, where you wasted time and where your energy was invested in the year that passed. It is a day that fills you with delight, love, ambition, and determination to enshrine the saying that we grow older becoming wiser (and prettier).

It’s the day when you decide who and what is worth your time and concern. Friendships are evident even in a simple ‘happy birthday’ wish. Because no one is too busy or too distracted with anything else – whatever that may be – to not wish you something nice during the most significant day of your year.

As you blow out the candle on your birthday cake, the wish is almost always the same – more so now during these times – for our loved ones to be well and healthy, to be surrounded by love and positive vibes, to be optimistic that better things are on their way. And to know deep inside that our best days are still to come.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears”. — John Lennon

Festive Driving

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It all started with a 10-minute delay of the alarm buzzing. A domino effect soon followed. He was rushing to get dressed, to pack the last things – some of which he obviously forgot – to get into the car and drive off. Of course it had snowed during the coldest night of the year and he also had to shovel the snow off his car simply to find the door.

But when the engine finally started and he was off, the illuminated festive city roads compensated all the hassle.

Driving home for Christmas entails a particular emotion. Of anticipation and excitement.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Quirk of Character

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Introverts have a higher threshold than average for letting people in. Be it in their reading lists, their diaries, their lives, their homes, their minds, their hearts. If an introvert starts babbling away to you, you should know that they trust you and feel safe enough to confide in you. It’s not an easy feat for most to achieve.

Call it trust issues if you may, but introverts believe that the people around you need to compliment your happiness, your self-appreciation, and your confidence. Well, it’s what we should all really expect of others anyway. For if someone doesn’t add value to your life, why keep them there if they’ll only make you feel worse?

The truth is, there are certain instances in life that make you reconsider your friendships; who you consider your friends to be; who really are. Because it’s the ones who stick there through the rough times; when you have nothing to say or don’t even want to; at the times it feels like the whole world is against you and you’re raging against ‘the system’. It’s those who seek you as much as you search for them. It’s those who are willing to stay around when you fall face down and will help pick you up; those who see you at your worse are also the ones who deserve to see you at your best. Because as this excellent article says, “friendships do not have to be transactional, but they should absolutely be reciprocal”. It’s not all about having fun. It’s about being there for each other in every situation.

Each person reacts to life’s problems differently. We are not all the same. We have varying idiosyncrasies, mentalities, responses. Some seek assistance anywhere they can; others prefer to close up in their own shells and wait out the storm alone. It has to do with a person’s character and that’s not easy to affect. Introverts need to be left alone. They’ll come to you for help when they’re ready. But they want to know that you’re still there until they do.

In the end it all comes down to the fact that we virtually befriend hundreds of people on social media, but choose to have only a handful around; the best ones – those who remain no matter how far you unwillingly push them out.

“Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone”. – Charles Bukowski

“I restore myself when I’m alone”. – Marilyn Monroe

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