MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “lifestyle”

A cheetah among dogs

We humans are curious creatures.

We like to talk about each other, but we have a vital need to feel acknowledged. More so by those we appreciate and love.

It makes us feel valued, it boosts our confidence, and gives us motivation.

But the thing is, in all these modern self-help and manifestation vibes going around, we’re taught to depend on no one other than yourself in knowing your own worth.

We’re supposed to know our own value. To not alter that despite what others think. Yet, we are unavoidably impacted by external opinions. Perhaps to a larger extent than we should.

It takes strength and great confidence to dispel the outer voices and go with whatever you think is appropriate and what makes you feel good with yourself.

You don’t always have to prove yourself.

Sometimes it is even insulting to have to demonstrate your worth (just look at that cheetah in the dog race).

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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.

Disappointed but not surprised

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Every new month we start with the hope that things will be better in the next 30 days. We garner all the optimism we sort of lost along the way during the previous month to start over.

Until it crashes over our head much sooner than we’d hoped for.

Perhaps we are living out a self-fulfilling prophecy in that we expect to be disappointed so we’re just waiting for it to happen. But what if this pattern is a recurring one? What if the circumstances around us simply lead up to that painful loss of optimism? Or maybe it’s just that we hope for a lot.

In the past few months (or even years) we’ve been through so much – so many ridiculous, unperceivable, irrational situations – that we’re no longer surprised by anything. Yet, we’re still left disappointed.

And that is the worst feeling of all.

Maya Angelou had said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We desire the people closest to us – to whom we confide our deepest insecurities, thoughts, and dreams – to actually do what it is they proclaim.

Rhetoric is easy. You just tell the others what they want to hear. But it’s in the implementation that most are found wanting. It’s the actions that will prove who you are and how much you care. And it’s in the adversities – when you need a clan around you the most – that you’ll see who truly values and supports you. It’s all bright when you’re having fun, but when lightning hits and you’re called to confront the difficulties, who is by your side?

We rethink everything when the world overturns. It’s a push to awaken when we’re caught doing the same mistakes. When we still believe that everyone loves and cares the way we do; at times, prioritising others’ needs above our own because that’s just who we are.

We expect our people to support us in all our endeavours, professional efforts, and personal goals. To push us to be better and to help us maintain our sanity and serenity. Who will demonstrate their encouragement through the slightest of things: a virtual like on a social media post, a digital heart on our business page, an online follow to keep us going. It’s the people you can turn to at any time – be it in the middle of the day or at 2 am – because that’s when you want to speak your heart out. The people who will understand your burden and who will sit and listen to you despite having a great day themselves. The people who will try to soothe your distress because they respect, empathize, and acknowledge that that is what you need at the moment. Who will use a calming tone to communicate with you because criticism and patronisation won’t help.

Showing you care doesn’t mean moving mountains. Love is in the little things; it’s in the time you devote, the priorities you set, and the concern you show. It’s in making the other person feel safe and cherished, that they’re important and worth fighting for.

The more we mature and the more we experience certain things in life, the better we learn to appreciate the people who stand by us regardless. Unfortunately, we don’t always receive the support from the people we anticipate it the most. And we continue to realise it in a hard way. But we should be thankful that there is a handful who will help us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move ahead because that’s what we do best. Egoism is bad if it borders narcissism and arrogance, but it is often good if it helps you build confidence and makes you realise your value.

We keep telling ourselves to expect less to avoid disappointment, yet that too is on the list of things easier said than done.

Live with a grateful heart

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We should be grateful for friends to whom we can turn and say “I’m gonna moan for 20 minutes straight” and they’ll just make you comfortable and listen to every complaint you make.  We should be grateful for people to whom talking feels like therapy. For the family we choose to support us when life turns upside down.

We should be grateful for so much more than we actually do.

Because we don’t realise the instability of the modern world. How things may change in an instant. How plans rarely work out and how we’re often forced to forge different paths ahead.

When we get too comfortable to move, alter, or evolve, life will usually find ways to push us out of it.

We may need to reassess our entire theory of the world, but it will probably be for the best. If we’re not obliged to exit our comfort zone, we will never realise the potential we have.

This social-media-driven world has manufactured a mentality where everyone – every single person out there – has a voice that they too often than not use to proclaim how perfect and outstanding they are. Yet, it is those who have nothing to say that usually shout the loudest, and those who have nothing to show for that proclaim their greatness. Others simply try to prove their worth in actions, not hollow speeches.

We live in a contemporary state of constant disappointment but not surprise. Because we’ve learned to expect the worst, despite fighting for the best.

Regardless, however, there are so many things to still be grateful for: our good health, the family around us, the friends who embrace us, and the love we receive from the people we truly cherish.

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

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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.

Walking Habits

Why do you walk so much? You cover miles each day. Don’t you get bored of it? Or tired?

It was a question many asked. Few comprehended why he was thrilled to wake up and go for a walk to start his day.

He would stroll up hills, on beachfronts, around the city, but mainly wherever there was a view and it was quiet.

Walking helped him clear his mind. It made him zone-out of everything in his head and helped rid of the accumulated daily stress. The endorphins on the rise greatly improved his mood, and it was a perfect energy boost to the day.

For health reasons, walking is good in that it burns calories, strengthens your muscles and helps maintain a healthy weight.

But more so, by walking he discovered so many places he didn’t know about. And he learnt to pay attention to the details. To everything that make up this beautiful world we live in but hardly notice.

He usually walked and talked. It helped save time and get caught up with friends. So by the time he was back home, showered, and ready to get to work, he had already exercised and socialised simultaneously.

It’s one of those things that you won’t fully acknowledge unless you try it for yourself. That was his answer in the end.  

The way we feel about it all

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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.

Learn to relax

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In a daily routine that we’ve become so accustomed to constantly being engaged with something, how do you truly manage to relax and unwind?

Relaxing is increasingly difficult in our always-on digital world”, as this excellent article explains.

We are always busy with something, occupying our minds with often useless information, so much that we don’t know what to do in situations when we have no screen to look at and nothing to keep our hands or minds busy with.

The paradox of this world of technological ease and plenty is that we find ourselves unable to relax and switch off. We simply don’t know how to do this anymore.

There are also “periods of time when your mind is so exhausted and overwhelmed it takes itself out of the situation”; when we’re not even engaged in what we’re looking at – totally zoning out, not being able to recall what we’ve done for the last half-hour. It’s as if our mind itself is disassociating itself from its surroundings.

But yet we are still unable to completely switch off.

We live in such hectic rhythms on a daily basis that we find ourselves unable to cope with days off. With not having responsibilities, obligations, or simply something to pass the time with.

Walking outdoors, taking a hike, a bike ride, a road trip, seem “too much trouble” and we dread the idea of finding ourselves somewhere without satellite reception that we’ll be “cut-off from the world” no matter how short a time this will last.

Like everything else in our process of development, we need to learn to relax and switch-off.

It will help us view the world in a different perspective; change mentality on a few things; and perhaps even enable us to adopt a healthier lifestyle.  

Pause and breathe

There is always something to do in a day. If you want to, you can find tonnes of things to keep you occupied – doing your actual work being a fundamental one.

But the thing is, nowadays, we lack the will to do pretty much anything.

We may blame it on languishing, the phenomenon of our times. But it may also be due to a series of reasons.

Life’s hectic rhythms sometimes result in us being too exhausted to be productive. And we realise that if we pressure ourselves, whatever we deliver will not be up to our own high standards. Perhaps that is why we prefer to do anything else, other than our obligations. And that anything else is often nothing. (Unless binging on TV series and Netflix counts as something).

We need days off. If anything to clear our minds and actually relax. Those moments we spent as kids just lying on the bed and staring at the ceiling, daydreaming; well, they were actually priceless. Now, we seem to be lacking time for a proper meal, let alone for an instance of losing ourselves in space.

But it is necessary to breathe. To hit pause and do nothing, simply so we can get back on track of actually doing all the things that we’re used to filling our days with.

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