Shameless

Photograph credit: Yarden at instagram.com/yardenyphotography and https://unsplash.com/@yardi93

I am aligning, more, continuously, to myself. By ruthlessly cutting out, not associating with people, not participating in events, who, which, serve no purpose to my alignment, or, worse, who counter it. Shamelessly. At the cost of relationships. By honouring my mental space, shamelessly. By being not embarrassed of my absence at events or gatherings, which have no meaning to me or my priorities. At the cost of breaking societal norms. Supporting causes that ring true to my heart. Being shameless of my presence then. Owning up to my shortcomings, openly, shamelessly. Not discounting, hiding, or suppressing them. Acknowledging them, giving them space, to be heard, at least, to consider them, to be able to take the next step of changing them, for the better, or accepting them completely, and welcoming it as a true part of my personality. Not shying away from it. Knowing that I am a work in progress. Not feeling belittled for choosing my choices by people with opinions against them, the critics. Listening to them with an open, kind ear. Trying, at least, to do just that. ACTUALLY not giving a fuck about who thinks what about me, in front of me, or behind me. Accepting that that is perfectly normal, and ok. Liking that, in fact. That I am going in the right direction, following my heart, and distressing some people in the process. Sticking it out, be it my preference to not drink, not smoke, refuse that plastic container, carry that metal straw and being addressed as “extra”, not eat at 12 am, or rather, beyond 8 pm, sticking to my choice of not using phone on the dining table or at bed time, trying to be ok with people taking me as stuck up, the one with the planner/diary, or agenda, the one who likes to follow rules. Accepting that internal dilemmas are ok, trying to be patient with them, so that I can eventually decide which side I am on. Being extremely selective of who gets my time, attention and resources, and when, how often. Going with my vibe, and discovering things working out, or not. Honouring the outcomes, and my decisions. Doing things true to my heart and knowing that the right people will love me, and the wrong ones will leave. Being ok with it.

Wandering

Picture credit: Jairph at jairph.ch and https://unsplash.com/@jairph

Traveling is such an emotional experience for me. There are so many planes in which the mind, body and soul are getting exposure to enriching things unknown before.

The pre-disposition:

The time zones keep changing, especially if there are layovers. That, in itself, creates a lack of order for someone who is typically a little too preoccupied with being organized. The lack of general hygiene, or, the lack of putting extra efforts to maintain the same, creates mounting discomfort and disgust with oneself. The clothes getting wrinkled and clumpy with positions attempted to find long enough comfort in the tight seats in the flight, just long enough to get a long enough snooze. The lack of brushing my teeth in the last trip, (they threw away our toothpaste), was making my tongue and teeth feel grainy and disgusting with the mental image of a layer covering all the insides of my mouth. The adjusting, or not adjusting, poop cycle, the whenever you like coffees and alcoholic beverages. Basically, you’re screaming emotionally raw and vulnerable.

The sceneries are changing. They are not helping the emotional state. In fact, I don’t want them to help. I want these emotions. They try to melt the borders of my tightly compartmentalized brain. I intentionally want this, fully knowing that I will undergo unforeseeable, sometimes frustrating, experiences. But in the light of the enriching ones, the frustrating ones will be dealt with.

The life-transformative experiences:

There are the majestic clouds. When you look down at the fluffiest, straight from fantasy-land surface of clouds, you can’t help but stare at the forming shapes; with the awareness in your head that this is just gaseous, the experience is surreal. Wow, I thought we could’ve had a trampoline like experience on them. There’s the sun doing its glittering thing on the clouds, there are the contrails from jets passing by, like someone is drawing perfect curves with a very good quality glitter pen. There are other planes at varying heights and trajectories. The scene makes you acknowledge that so far above, this is the balcony view that we are talking about.

There’s the experience of seeing cities, farmlands, oceans, and lands battered with frost from up above. I try to squint and observe the details of the houses and wonder that the vehicles moving around are proof that life is going on perfectly at its own pace without two cares given to a very important phenomenon of “my existence”. Remarkable, life does go on, me or not me. Who knew, haha. This is profoundly humbling. Makes me question my entire identity, goals, moods, wants, shame, regrets, greed, anger, … really, ego.

It’s even more wonderful to observe your own city and surroundings from this high up perspective. That’s why they draw Toronto’s skyline like that and that’s where the silhouette of the Toronto islands comes from. I see.

When I drop everything and stare at our very own CN tower, which, by the way, I can see, if I’m conscious enough, from our 19th floor lunch room at work, every single day, from the plane’s window seat, my husband’s actually, but that’s mine essentially, I question as to why. Why am I so drawn to the same, mundane CN tower?

When it’s pitch black outside but you see clusters, big and small, of towns and villages, glowing, with gold and white lights, often with a thicker gold line weaving through the centre of the cluster, you’re in awe to observe it, especially when your gaze trails to the other kind of cluster up above, of a grand star studded celestial ceiling. With a faint horizon of the earth, promising daylight soon. I can’t help but press my forehead on the window glass and look at the slowly disappearing clusters as we move towards absolutely dark ocean waters, my breath fogging my view. The ocean.

I have an innate fear of being forced to go in the middle of the ocean and being pulled down by sharks or other assorted, weird, but terrifying, ocean reptilians. And, if the ocean is this dark, I don’t even allow that direction of thought. But, all this forces me to face my fears. Because deep down, I know, when it comes to surviving, I will have no choice but to go with whatever is being presented to me in life. Another little stirring of profoundness in the pit of my belly. This one will take a bit of time to sit well with me.

Cultures. People. Yes. How, the beautiful stores at the airports have nice salespeople trying to speak English in their own accents. Most of them are smiling a lot. Volunteering to tell you about their city. There are the grumbling ones too. But mostly, if I start at a good tone, I get it back the same or better. I’m not a very social person, otherwise. But, I get motivated to push my limits and just smile and say hello.

Traveling makes me push mental and physical borders, order lattes with customizations at a heavy-traffic Finnish cafe, deal with unforeseen emergencies and accidents with surprising calm and rationale, try to embrace the sometimes new and confusing shower systems, enhance confidence that I can eat at any place, continually perfect the balance between having everything in my bag and minimizing the weight and volume of the same, asking for help, giving help, find meaning by parsing foreign words, and most importantly, get a tad bit closer to the real me.

Needless to say, I always grab a traveling opportunity with bare hands, bounce it up and down in the air, and hug it tight.

Balanced life

Photograph credit: Nathan Dumlao at nathandumlaophotos.com and https://unsplash.com/@nate_dumlao

This careful-walk-on-the-rope kind of existence. Balancing forever. Balancing words, balancing actions. Life, work. Spouse, blood. Adventure, stagnancy. Chores, pampers. Emotions, duty. Creativity, money-making. Health, gluttony. Glamour, self-confidence. Solitude, formalities…. Exhausted. Nauseous. Overwhelmed. Done. Confused. Lost. Unsure. Reckless. Laid back. Withdrawn. Depressed. Renewed. Refreshed. Bloomed. Chirpy. Booming. Jumping. Burning. Exhausted…. Crazy? Yea. Exciting? At times. Worth it? Who knows. Roller coaster of a life. Always twisting and turning with expected and forced surprises. Plans? Who cares. I keep planning and keep updating them. Sometimes, I have to toss them out altogether.

My friend, Geeta, says that continuously take action without worrying about the outcome. Then why are we all explicitly reaching for a goal of sorts. I guess, goals are what keep us going. They are this lure to ensure actions happen.

After all, the game must go on. If stagnancy prevails, then our lines on the heart monitor will read dead. I should just make a swing from the rope instead.

Let it go

Photograph credit: Gabriel Benois at vsco.com/gabrielbenois and https://unsplash.com/@gabrielbenois

All the failed promises…let it go. 

All the hollow words…let it go. 

All the unkept deadlines…let it go. 

All the untrue words…let it go.  

All the failed relationships…let it go. 

All the cancelled plans…let it go. 

All the anxious waiting…let it go. 

All the hopes broken…let it go. 

All the less than feelings…let it go. 

All the self worth doubts…let it go. 

All the blame games…let it go. 

All the piercing guilts…let it go. 

All the regrets…let it go. 

All the loneliness…let it go. 

All the teary nights…let it go. 

All the stressful pains…let it go. 

All the abuse…let it go. 

All the advantages taken…let it go. 

All the takens* for granted…let it go. 

All unanswered communications…let it go. 

All the forced interactions…let it go. 

* – not a dictionary word

Look up

Photograph credit: Brandi Redd at unsplash.com/brandi1

Everyone on their phones. All the time. Doing what ? Finding what ? What are they all looking for ? Me too. Why then, with all this searching, do I feel more lost than ever ? Am I completely complete, yet, just “feel like” that I’m not ? Is the sheer variety and quantity of information just not palatable to me ?

In this sea of data, I try to make sense of what it is that I’m after, constantly doubting my decisions. Maybe, instead of my inquisitions inwards, I get constantly pulled into these outward snapshots of the people in the whole wide world, sharing their absolute best at their absolute best time of shining. And, in the process, I’m judging and feeling less than capable in myself. Or this urge to rebut all their posts with my own, highly polished, select best, moments of glory. To quench that ego. In this whole meaningless exchange, completely overlooking what I truly want and need. No wonder I feel so lost, so often. Living for the frames, not for myself. Experiencing memorable family birthdays, all the fun parties, the soothing ocean waves, velvet lush forests, sigh worthy valleys, and all the delicious homemade and restaurant meals through my screen in place of my soul. Obviously, the experience is not the same when I look through the photos and the videos.

Sure, a few, selected captures are very helpful to save the memory. But the abnormal quantities and angles captured are a waste; do I ever see ALL those images? No, I’m not a photographer or a professional blogger; this post does not necessarily apply to professionals and serious hobbyists of the photography world. Let’s be honest, typically, the more I obsess over getting the absolute right shot (to share that moment of glory), the less present I get in THAT moment of experience.

I have experimented with varying success to take breaks from social media, and my phone in general. The experience has been undeniably introspective each time. I’ve remembered more things without reminders, I’ve reached out to more long lost connections, I’ve written more, discovered more of what my heart actually wants on the internet and outside, felt more positive and grateful towards my life, etc. I do have, however, not been the first to know about happenings around me, about trends and updates. But, I’ve been updated about the same by people unintentionally discussing them all around me. Like the old school times, word of the mouth.

So, doesn’t hurt to balance it all out by checking in with the world on the internet. But, getting sucked into it and forgetting to live my real life, now that’s a problem, for me at least.

What to do?

Photograph credit: Brandi Redd at https://unsplash.com/@brandi1

What would you do if you look within and find nothing ? Nothing. No desires. No complains. No fears. No concerns. No hopes. No regrets. No guilts. No expectations. No fantasies. No plans. Wouldn’t that scare you ? Isn’t that odd ? Finding nothing inside of you to look forward to ? To solve or to speak about? To find inspiration from or seek answers to ? What do you do if you feel hollow ? Directionless ? Lost, but not bothered that you’re lost ? Clueless, but indifferent? When not voicing your opinions is effortless? When you are ok if no one calls or messages you for days ? Because, at one point, you ignored them all and they’ve finally listened. Do you get scared and question your lack of life ? Or do you continue on, in such momentum-lacking existence ? When you’re surrounded by souls who are too broken to see your cracks.

Do I need to be this empty for higher powers to visit me and express all these truths through me, as if I’m an empty vessel ?

What do you do when you keep on staring at something as if it’s nothing ? When you continue to be appalled and then desensitized to such people’s behaviours who are deeply stuck in the layers of the worldly possessions ? Possessions of greed, impatience, judgment, making more money, collecting more things, moving more positions, posting more photos, eating more things, and attaining more powers. Where do you go to escape such surroundings ?

Cyclic

Photograph credit: Jake Hills at jakehills.com and https://unsplash.com/@jakehills

For I’m the moon. Flawed, yet irresistible. The most luminous at the end of my period. Birthing right after. And I’m the high tide. Dancing with the moon, myself. Churning great oceans in my curves.

For I’m the fruit. From sprout to nectar-dripping. Season after season.

For I’m the young monsoon. Purging dusts, old and stale. Washing up, every visit.

For I’m the wind. Screaming and howling gusty thrusts. Tumbling all that dare obstruct me. And I’m the breeze. Mild, hardly noticed. Absorbing and disappearing in your skin. Like light, lavender body lotion.

For I’m the woman. Shedding and renewing, every cycle. Starting afresh. Possessing the spell to bring change.

New Year’s

Photograph credit: Natalya Letunova at instagram.com/naletu and https://unsplash.com/@naletu

Resting my face, sideways, in the warmth, the part between the bed and the pillow. No one can take this from me. My preserved shreds of peace are for this moment. This is my oyster. All the stresses, negativities, shocks, and surprises of the day have finally passed. Like tornadoes of the ocean. I stayed shut.

The neighbours across from my bedroom’s window have beautiful, new lights for the new year. I assume I’m held through the night as I stare at them, charging myself overnight.

Heal

Photograph courtesy: Bernard Hermant at https://unsplash.com/@bernardhermant

Let your mourning be uninterrupted. It is as important as moving on. It’s where you rid yourself of the debris. If you don’t take as much time as you need to nourish yourself through your healing, how will you build new skin on bruises ? Even small, little splinters sometimes poke in surprisingly strong ways when the most trivial things bring unwanted déjà vu. Every next time that you sink low, you see leftover debris from the past. Like sunken coral reefs, except these aren’t beautiful. These are decayed, like wounds untreated. They’re painful to the touch and sight. No wonder these become, what we call, pain bodies. I first read this term in Don Miguel Ruiz’s books. So, yes, pain bodies. They cause all kinds of pains and health issues. What was emotional becomes physical. It must express and try to escape. Much of disease is unattended emotional issues. Dis-ease: not being in ease. It’s not easy to heal emotional pains completely and religiously on a timely basis. However, practices such as inward introspection and meditation give you the consciousness to find the causes and try to relieve the untreated pains from before and present. As if, you’re massaging the sore spots of your soul and rejuvenating it back to a calmer place.

Anxiety Excitement

Photograph credit: Lidya Nada at instagram.com/lidyanada and https://unsplash.com/@lidyanada

A note to self:

It’s not anxiety, it’s excitement. The way my brain and body start to buzz with energy is nothing but anticipatory nervousness, the way the stomach knots before a stage performance. The sudden way that the brain gets into a creative overdrive, coming up with too many innovative ideas to keep up with, causes a normal human reaction of skepticism and fear. It is not fear, it’s excitement. The fear is but a small test to pass before I can get to work to realize at least one of those amazing ideas that I can’t wait to dirty my hands with. The kinds that make me forget to eat and sleep. It is not anxiety, it is an almost unbearable, lunatic sensation to grasp the vibrations of all these ideas; of course it is not possible to grasp them all together. Don’t be afraid of the sensation, it is a preliminary to what lies ahead. It is an overbearing wait that my soul expresses before it can jump and view the sparkling skyline already. An organized, structured layout where all my ideas can be looked at together; coordinated, so that they are linked and one pure meaning is rising up from it all. It is not anxiety, but a sweaty, breathless moment behind the curtains, before I meet the true purpose of my life.