Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not Enough Words

The nonverbal brain knows things you haven't put in words.
What do you almost know? Let it come into your
awareness; speak it.
--Martha Beck
I've been thinking lately how much I feel inside, how many interesting thoughts are swarming in my head, and how inadequate is my ability to express any of it. Writing blog posts is a tremendously helpful channel to bring our inner life to the external world. Another favorite quote of mine on the subject by Gayle Brandeis - "We don't know what we know until we write it". I've had so many revelations about myself through writing: about the issues I didn't know I had, or the solutions to the challenges I've encountered.
Writing gives form to our seemingly shapeless, blurry pondering. But so does speaking. I wish I could add the depth to the conversations I'm having  with all sorts of people. I wish I could believe that I will find listeners as soon as I summon the courage to speak up, open up, disclose myself without holding back. I wish life hasn't taken away so many people I connected with and could share my thoughts with freely.
If everything is a lesson, then what am I to learn from this current void? Have my fears pushed these people away? Have I not tried hard enough to look for and initiate connection with those who I could call like-minded? For now I can only hope that everything will change as I'm learning to express myself on a new level - and maybe "listeners will follow". I should better start practicing voicing those sacred, intimate thoughts, even if just one a day, even though the walls are my only listeners.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Living is Risky, Not Living is Wasteful

“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.” —Neil Gaiman

The biggest mistake in the way I lived was overusing my improved ability to turn my back to the wind, whatever side it was blowing from. My protective back would hide me for all the bad, worrisome, annoying and heartbreaking that life sent my way. All I had to do was stay alert and rotate my position in anticipation of the next blow so that by the time it hit me I could no longer see or experience it at its full force. Like a snail hides inside its shell at the first sign of danger.

The only problem with this approach to life is that with time more and more events and interactions get classified as "danger". And even when common sense told me there was nothing to be afraid of, I still chose to hide just in case. To say that I was missing out would be an understatement. I existed in such a narrow world, all fenced up against real life, a slave to my assumptions which weren't necessarily true.

All highly-sensitive people are extremely protective of their delicate emotional structure. But avoiding excessive experiential stimulation and limiting any situations that can stir some unnecessary feelings will inevitably lead to an internal conflict, when you realize how much you crave life but too afraid to live it.

I'm taking baby steps in reversing this erroneous way of thinking. I'm taking risks by opening up and reaching out. I re-learn to make eye contact and be the one to initiate a conversation. I'm ready to get burned but sometimes our burns and scars are the best testament to the fact that WE LIVED.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


I get angry at my friends who go to Landmark. They call me up and try to "share" ecstatically all the cool things they learned and discovered. They don't even sound like themselves, but rather like someone brainwashed and re-programmed.

A friend called me yesterday in the middle of the Landmark seminar to ask me how I am. Having some previous experience with this, I suggested, "they must have given you an assignment to call with a specific purpose". To which she replied, that yes, she would like to ask me if there's anything that she can do FOR ME. I didn't know if I should  have laughed or screamed at her. It was late, I was tired and it was my obligation to come up with something so that she could complete the assignment and cross an item off the list? Her "transformation" is my headache? If you really wanna do something for someone, you take the time to call, and ask questions, and show genuine interest, so that it felt safe for me to open up and share what's on my mind. And then you would know that something you could do for me, it would float right up to the surface. I will ask you for a favor, for a helping hand, if I know you are sincere about helping me, not because it's part of the self-help session you are in the middle of.

A number of years ago another friend of mine asked me for an interview, where I was supposed to honestly answer what I thought about her, what were the things I liked, and what were the things I believed she needed to work on. Apparently, completion of a series of seminars prepares you to stomach the truth however hard it  hits you. I tried my best. I softened and sweetened the "flaws" part. But I did tell her - care about others not just yourself. Hear people out. Well, I never saw any change, so I guess all her efforts went to the process, not the purpose and outcome.

I know I sound bitter. And I have nothing against Landmark though I never took any of the sessions myself. I believe it helps people to understand themselves, the meaning of their lives, the purpose better. And I should be happy for my friends who took this direction and set out to the self-exploration quest. But having followed so many inspirational and self-help sites for years, I am no-stranger to this area of human practice. What they've been doing for a weekend or two, I've been doing daily for months. I've discovered and learned so much. And the main thing I've learned is that the key part of the transformation process takes place inside. However you change the surface, it will go back to its old form without changing the content within. Knowing is big, but without feeling and believing and willingness to work hard through pain and self-disdain, your words and actions will be empty.

They never asked a question about why things the way they are, but after a couple of seminars they suddenly think they know all the answers and go preaching to the rest of the world how to live and think. What they don't know is this learning process has no ending and after years and years of digging, they will still not have enough knowledge to have a huge positive impact on someone else's life. It takes self-sacrifice, devotion and unconditional love to make a difference.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6th, 2012

A nice day at the beach today. We specifically planned it out before the crazy heat strikes tomorrow. Not a bad life being able to assign an activity to any of the 7 days of the week, being able to reject some days simply because it's too hot.

My son seems to have caught the "calm germ". He can go without TV the whole morning and his frantic urge to fill up every minute of his day is gradually subsiding. He is more okay doing nothing and for longer stretches of time too. We are like the two bums now but in a good way. Mostly we don't have anywhere to be, neither there's a purpose to our days. Our goal is just to have a good time and we proudly succeed.

Today I learned that there are two kinds of bores: those who talk too much and those who don't talk. I happen to have very good friends who are exactly that - one is the talker, the other is the silent type. I more or less learned to deal with the non-talking friend, if I am persistent enough and touch upon a number of topics, sooner or later I come upon something that sparks her interest and she opens up. She visited me this week and we spent the whole day together; in spite of some fears I had there wasn't a moment of awkward silence: mostly the conversation kept flowing and neither of us got bored with each other's company. That's quite a progress considering that we used to struggle through lunching together and that's was just one hour. The "talking friend" is still a problem and so far the best I can do is avoid her all together but eventually I need to come up with a better strategy.

I'm floating slowly along the river of time. I am not attached and just lazily observe the life on the riverbank. But sooner or later I will have to debark and attach myself to a new life phase with new people, situations, problems and lessons to learn. That's the future and however distant it seems, it will arrive one day. For now I just want to hold on to this life. These days are too elusory and memories are too vague that each day I wonder if yesterday really happened. I guess that's the problem with having a good life: without true obstacles and well-won victories we don't truly know who we, why we are and where are we going.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This Summer Every Day is a Sunday

Today we went to the zoo. It's nice to have this hidden gem living in New York City - a suburban zoo center with a great reptile collection, stunning fish and human-like spider monkeys with priceless facial expressions. All within 10 minute driving distance and with barely any other visitors, especially on a weekday. Me and crowd don't go together so that was a nice retreat.

Eventually we did bump into a group of young YMCA campers all in identical oversized yellow shirts with a camp logo. I asked my son if he missed being part of the camping crowd, to which he responded that he didn't. He'd rather go on a trip with me. And I didn't exactly miss sitting at work while he was taken on yet another tour on a school bus under reckless supervision of his neurotic teachers.

I let him use my new camera and he enjoyed running around and taking photos of every single species on the exhibit. He did get some really nice shots so thank god that's another feature he takes after me, for his dad is a useless photographer, capable of nothing more than blurry lopsided pictures.

The trip added to the calm I'm feeling these days. The balance I have finally achieved because I'm no longer pulled in a number of different directions. I do get slight nudges of guilt for not doing much, but just being feels too good, too surreal to give it up and set out to climb the next mountain. Summer is given to us to halt, and take a deep breath, recuperate our strength and then maybe leap forward. But not until I've had enough of the vast summer sky, the sensation of breeze on my skin, sudden flashes of fireflies close to the grass, the delicious taste of vegetables in my garden and a sense of complete happiness and harmony, that washes over me with an almost suffocating power.

inside out - Free Blogger Templates, Free Wordpress Themes - by Templates para novo blogger HD TV Watch Shows Online. Unblock through myspace proxy unblock, Songs by Christian Guitar Chords