MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “transformation”

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.

Nine Whispering Lives

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There is a saying that “success is falling down nine times and getting up ten”. Because in every fall, in every adversity, in every challenge, there is a lesson to be learnt. We grow up wiser (hopefully), stronger, more resilient, and more prepared for all that lies ahead.

The number nine holds a special symbolism.

Among others, it represents fulfillment, life mission, wisdom, and higher consciousness. It is said to symbolize transformation.

In the nine years of writing this blog, this is exactly what the past year has been all about. Changes, in every form and every level, lead you to rethink your course of life, your choices, the decisions you’ve (not) made, the way you view your existence in general. Finding inner peace and mental serenity means you need to acknowledge what is not working out. And in so doing, change it. It’s amazing how life improves when you develop a positive perspective for it. It is essentially true that when you smile at the world, it smiles right back. Well, not always; but at least for more times than none.

Birthdays – even if just for a blog – are a period of reflection of how time has passed, how things have altered, how you’ve progressed and evolved. One year is a lot and a little, depending on how you look at things. It is 365 days of starting over and hoping it will be a better day, and not giving up no matter the difficulties you’re facing. And that alone means you’re stronger every day. Because you survive. And you maintain that aspiration that things will get better. As long as we can keep that attitude, it’ll all be OK.

In all the tragedies we face, we witness, we experience, we need to remember to be extremely grateful for the lives we live, the comfort we enjoy, and that imperative feeling of safety. It can all be taken away by a simple spark that turns into a raging flame.

So let’s live this one life, as if it we’ve had nine.

Empty pockets and full hearts

There is a saying that being rich is not about the material things you have, but the wealth you store inside – the things that enrich your mind and spirit. As such, the more we have inside, the less we need on the outside.

In his beautiful and very inspiring book “The Richest Man of the World”, Rafael Vídac states that most of the problems in this world come from people with full pockets and empty hearts. For this reason, he has written what is described as “a complete map to follow for anyone who needs a profound change in his life” (Diana Zuluaga). He prompts readers to take steps to enrich their internal wealth, which will help in transforming them into a more dynamic person by expanding their mind.

In a page-turning story that grips you from the start, the author notes that all people go through periods of personal crisis. And these consist of five stages:

  1. Ignorance – not acknowledging why you feel terrible
  2. Wandering – accepting you feel bad but not knowing what you want
  3. Utopia – you know what you want but don’t know how to achieve it
  4. Paralysis – you know what you want and the steps to take to realise it, but you are still incapable of taking action and this causes pain and disappointment. It is scary to take hold of the realms of your life.
  5. Resistances – you are able to move into action and pursue your goals, but for some reason you are unable to succeed.

At the same time, however, we are taught that there are three “laws” worth taking into account during periods of crisis:

  1. No one regardless is forced to endure a difficulty that they are not capable of overcoming.
  2. Every pain and effort is always rewarded and at the right time.
  3. The truly important things that happen to us do so on a wise purpose that we will understand sooner or later.

“Try to believe and life will prove to you that no matter what, it will support you,” Vídac states, stressing that “life will show you the path you need to follow.”

He makes the reader open his/her eyes to things we are too busy to see. Or the ones we don’t want to.

For example:

  • Material things are only the shell covering people’s feelings and thoughts.
  • We tend to substitute insecurities with the need to have control.
  • Control is a useful tool on condition that you do not allow it to govern you. It is impossible to control everything in life.
  • You need to learn how to take steps in the dark – if you can move without any prior information, you will sharpen your senses to move on the ground on which you tread.

In this amazing and very motivating book, the reader is forced to think, to ponder on where s/he focuses their energy on a daily basis and what needs to change for a better life.

Here are some of the best messages from this must-read book:

  • Our body needs vitality. The next step in achieving internal wealth is to correctly manage unpleasant emotions. When such feelings have been supressed for too long they become toxins that poison our bodies and distort the way we view the world around us.
  • The problem does not lie with the unpleasant emotions per se, but in our inability to appropriately manage them. For that reason, we don’t need to eradicate them but to harness them.
  • It is easy to feel angry. But few know how to appropriately manage this feeling. Anger when suppressed for a long time results in bitterness. Sorrow may turn into depression and fear into a pathological insecurity against any situation.
  • The real target is not the target itself, but the person who you wish to become. The aim is for you to transform into someone who is ready to accept what s/he desires. The way you deal with circumstances must be that of a person who was already conquered his/her goals. Start to believe that you have that something you want. From that moment, you create it, by believing in it (Law of attraction).
  • Never underestimate the impact of the true meaning of words. We don’t “chase” our dreams – the phrase insinuates running after something that constantly evades us.
  • Possessing the necessary internal wealth allows you to hold the necessary energy and have a mind capable of concentrating.
  • What we call ‘luck’ is only the final consequence of all our past actions. What you do alone does not determine your luck, but also what you feel and what you think.
  • Our stance – as per our emotional or mental actions – also has a great role to play in implementing our goals. You need to believe strongly in what you want to achieve, but also be able to distance yourself from the result, whatever that may be – to accept any outcome.
  • Our perceptions are packages of brain information that operate autonomously and affect our way of perceiving the world.
  • No one knows you better than your own mind and that is why no one is more enticing when it wants to convince you about something.
  • Focus your mind on what is happening at that moment and not on the disappointments that may never come. Worry is a mental creation born out of fear
  • The person who becomes obsessed with what he is looking for cannot appreciate what he already has.
  • At times, life destroys in the most painful way what matters most to us, but that only happens when we are ready to succeed in something better.
  • The only limits that exist are the ones we ourselves impose.
  • A flame does not stop shining because of the darkness that surrounds it.
  • We should wonder if what exists in our life is what we truly want or what we fear to change.
  • All of us, and each one separately, can transform into something wonderful, someone brilliant. There is no better time than now.

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.

A siren purr

http://cdn.cutestpaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/l-a-the-cats.jpgThey found him on the street behind a bush. His faint yet persistent cry acted like a siren call. His eyes had the colour autumn leaves take just before falling off the tree and they radiated a sadness that should not have been there at his age. He was so small he could fit in the very palm of your hand.

It only took a bowl of milk to tame him enough to get close. He needed a petting and a warm hug. Who knows for how long he had been abandoned out there all alone. It wasn’t very cold, but for him it could have well been the middle of winter. Loneliness messes with your senses.

He perched almost immediately in her lap, as if he had found the home he had been dragged away from. Then he started to purr. That soft, constant, vibrating purr that causes a smile to appear on your face and goosebumps to take over your body unconsciously. Because it was a sensation like no other. Knowing that the simplest of things, the minimal of your actions, can cause someone so much happiness.

She soon felt dependent on it. It was the moment she longed for after every day. To sit on the sofa and allow him to settle in his usual – by now – position. And then begin that sweet chime that only a cat can utter.

It’s amazing how such a small thing can take up the most room in your heart.

Because she soon found that she cared more about that feline creature that had so surprisingly yet decisively entered her life, than for some human beings she had known for much longer.

But that was a bit of a problem though. Because for years he had been her companion, her friend, her confidante, her family, her soulmate.

And then one day he left.

As suddenly as he appeared. But far more painfully for her.

On that morning, when his purr ceased to sound, something inside her broke. It is painful losing something you love so much. Especially when he had your entire heart from the moment you saw him. The image of him lying there still could not be erased from her mind. But neither could all the moments spent with him. Those numerous occasions they had experienced together and which she would never change for anything in the world.

His little paws had forever been imprinted on her heart. And that is what she was going to hold on to. That her life had transformed in the most unexpected of ways with his arrival and she had become a better person because of it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Transformation

The Transformation Hat

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931.jpgThe first one that ever came into his possession was a tall black suede one. It looked so elegant and it made him feel so sleek and classy, like a real gentleman. The next one, he found in a vintage store. It was a dark green beret, like the ones marines wear, and with it, he felt athletic, strong and robust. After that, it became an obsession for him. And it seemed that with every new hat he acquired, he was granted the key to emphasizing an aspect of his character, sometimes even one he was unaware of.

Jonah would wake up every day and decide on the hat that he would wear, before choosing the clothes he would match it with. It all depended on his mood that day, and mainly on what he wanted to feel. So if he wanted to feel sporty and pass by almost unnoticed, he would wear his favorite baseball cap. If on the other hand he wanted to cause gazes to turn his way, he had the brown plaited deerstalker hat á la Sherlock Holmes. On the days he wanted to seem adventurous and exotic, he had the black cowboy hat with its silver band glistening in the sunlight.

Jonah was generally a very hat person. But that was not always a good thing. Because one time he actually misplaced his hat and could not decide what type of personality he was until he eventually found it again. He relied too much on some material good to dictate who he was to the extent that he forgot what type of person he truly strived to be. It was wonderful that he could be all those different persons with a simply change of a hat, but what about when he was without one? He no longer new who he was, and that was a quest he was reluctant to take on. That is the danger of getting too used to something – you fear too much of letting it go.

Change the scene, Change yourself, Change life

The saying goes that if you don’t like something, you change it. And if you can’t change that, then change your attitude (Maya Angelou).

Changes are necessary because they help you move forward. To overcome a traumatic experience and to find the strength to move on. Even if it is just moving furniture around and redecorating, such alterations feed your mind with the allusion of being in a different environment. Indeed, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”(Wayne Dyer). And sometimes that is all it takes in order to be able to let go of the things that tie you down with the past, with memories that now make you sad, and push you to move on with life.

Just like you change your wardrobe when seasons change, so must we every now and then introduce alterations in our life. Change is a sign of progression. Of evolution. That we are not at a standstill. That we are able to keep moving no matter the circumstances.

Change might be frightening at times, but it is what will give you courage, to plunge into the unknown. It involves overcoming your fear and moving out of your “comfort zone”, daring to try something new and demonstrating the ability to adapt. Sometimes, when that very zone stops providing comfort, that is when you know you have to make changes. First in your environment and surroundings and then progressively in yourself. In your attitude. Change is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and your view of things.

Change is also a motivator to grow. It is about transforming yourself and your surroundings in a positive way. To bring a new breeze into your life, to confront what is keeping you back and be courageous enough to pursue a new course. And to “boldly go where no one has gone before“. There is no intermediate in change. Like Yoda, the Jedi Master of Star Wars, said “you do or you do not. There is no try”. It is about commitment, about putting in the effort and believing it will be for the best. Change stands for progress and will only lighten up your load and pave your way forward. In other words, change happens because people want to improve their conditions, are motivated to do so, have the prospect and resources to carry out transformations, and because that is what a developing society and hence a progressive mind does!

Mahatma Gandi had encouraged us to “be the change you want to see in the world”, for if you keep waiting for others to change or for a different time, that change will never come. Grand changes begin from small alterations. The world will not change if the people themselves never do. We must be the transformation that we seek and we must seize the very moment to be the perfect time to achieve it. Life cannot be lived without changes.

All things must change to something new, to something strange – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Also part of Daily Prompt: Everything Changes

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