Stress

Photograph credit: Kinga Cichewicz at instagram.com/kinga_cich

Knots in my stomach. Stress. Work. I imagine, what’s the worst that can happen ? Finally, I feel a little sigh of relief, already, with that train of thought. So far, I’ve tried to listen to anxiety relief music, talk to a co-worker and my husband, go for a walk, eat chips, not drive in crazy traffic by waiting it out in parking lots, etc. I started to Google, “How do you make money from a travel blog?”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a very pro travel-blog-as-my-main-source-of-income kind of a person. But this motivation to search was just a result of a dreaded meeting coming up at work tomorrow. So, yes, I asked myself as I sat in this parking lot slowly emptying of cars, “What’s the worst that can happen?”. “My temporary promotional assignment might not get renewed.”, “My annual production expectations might not be a favourable ‘meets’”, “I might be bumped back to my lower position.”, “It might take me long to remove this ‘do not meets’ from my performance profile.”, etc. What was a happy surprise is that all this was somehow making me relieved. No, they are not promising possibilities by any measure. But, at least the knots in my belly have a justification and it’s not all an anxious, unknown mess that’s keeping them tight. What any and all of those possibilities are promising me is a clean slate, somewhere where I can get an opportunity to start over and have my records re-written.

Sometimes, we need to fall really low to re-analyze and re-plan our path. To be able to adjust our view of where we are headed and maybe decide if we want to start climbing the same cliff at all. You know the satisfaction of cleaning a major mess is something much more satisfying than just clearing up an everyday clutter. I notice that, when my room is messy, I have no hesitation to add more mess. There’s less debating whether I can give in to my exhausted body and, just for today, not hang my clothes on the hooks but let them fall, and stay, on the floor. I give no cares when my aims to the garbage bin are royally missed. I know I will take care of it all when I take up the big cleaning task.

In a way, it’s great. I am at least saving time and energy with those little decisions of creating additional mini messes. The satisfaction when I’m fully focused and cleaning, all while being on a long overdue phone call with a friend or a motivational video playing, is great. Similarly, maybe, it’s not always a bad thing to let things sometimes just crash down all the way before we start re-building them from scratch again. It’s fresh.

Depths

Photograph by Cristina Gottardin at instagram.com/cristina.gottardi

Seeking this deep, deep connection with the universe. I imagine we all exist in some parallel existences, at varying depths of our perceptions of what our existence means. The layers are so many. This feeling that I’ve traversed closer to the core from the surface, and I have some more to go. Probably will take me few more attempts as one life isn’t enough. What are we, if not souls trying to question it all at our own level? Some question the how’s of their existence, seeking food, seeking shelter, seeking safety. Some question the why’s of the existence, seeking truths, seeking meaning, seeking purposes, and eventually oneness with everything. We all get there sometime.

The key to understanding each other lies in giving the needed benefit of the doubt to those at more superficial layers than yourself, being patient with them, giving them their own time and opportunities to gain their own lessons and learnings. Watching them go through their unique journeys, helping them if they seek, not interfering if they don’t. And, in turn, looking with reverence and a sponge-like curiosity to those beyond us, who are closer to the truth than we are. Not being ashamed to follow their paths with inspirations; speaking to them and gaining understanding of the workings of their genius minds.

It’s all a matrix, this life-system. To be enjoyed, to be experienced, to be journeyed through.

From the ‘verse

Photograph by Daniel Weiss at https://unsplash.com/photos/KCNwEiRaNBA

In the quietest of the hours is when you visit me the most. What am I to make of these meetings? Are you suggesting that I keep you a secret, almost scandalous to enjoy you selfishly alone? Or do you mean to present yourself in these magical hours where I may attempt to polish you your brightest, exhibit to the world tomorrow? Draw out some awe, instil some inspiration, provoke some deep thoughts ? Please tell me, my writing inspirations, for I am a mere vehicle, a bond, to connect you to where the highest need lies.

The above is straight out of the universe. Early, early morning this past Thursday. 2-3 am. I had a bad cold and I had no sleep. It was not me writing it, yet my thumbs wouldn’t stop moving on my phone. Or so it felt. It was as if oozing out. Unhindered with the many distractions that broad daylight brings with it. The silence just let the universe converse with the deepest parts of me. It’s not describable in words, what the universe was saying. There are no words to describe it; the messages from the universe are simply to be felt; just as simply, they are universally understood just as well, if we just listen.

Yes, I know that I haven’t really said what the universe was saying. As I said, I cannot describe it. The above is simply a description of the experience. There was no agenda, no motive. It wasn’t a task. It wasn’t a teaching. It wasn’t a realization or an answer to any deep, chronic questions that I have. It was a sensation. Pure and strong, just for the mere purpose of being felt without expecting anything in return. And so I just sat there, listening.

Spring walk

Photograph by Nellia Kurme at instagram.com/nelliakurme

What a beautiful Friday it was, this last one ! 26 degree Celsius, a light breeze, full sun, and absolutely no need for even a light cardigan. The colours of the grass, skies, and flowers were as bright as it gets. The clear sunlight was washing over everything to give it all a clean, bright, fresh sheen. There were all kinds of lilacs around, purples, wines, and whites. I walked for a good 20 minutes; it was all kinds of amazing. I noticed high school kids in their clusters just enjoying the weather (I’m typically not a fan of high school kids, but I just smiled); I saw a bunch of squirrels surrounding a Chinese man who fed them what appeared to be nuts from a bag on this little nature trail that I often take; a lady was walking her well behaved dog while yapping cheerfully with a friend on her speaker-phone. Oh, I was in pleasure mode. I wondered, no wonder people are so happy year-round in countries getting this weather much more than we do here in eastern Canada. Give me sunshine and I’ll accomplish anything with cheer. Ok, that sounds as an excuse, but would definitely heighten my chances.

As I continued the walk, I noticed spring was in full bloom. The wildest of shrubs and the grass flowers, the well trained creepers and the tulips in every colour were all presenting their best sides. The buds of every tree were sprouting their hearts out. I also noticed how the magnolia and the cherry blossoms that completely covered their trees last week had fallen off in a matter of days.

We get such a short summer. The plants make the most of it. We wake up and the grass is green. We wake up the next day and it’s all yellow with dandelions. The trees have budded and sprouted in less than a week. They are all eager to spread their seeds, to spread their roots, get stronger in this very short but very fertile and crucial period; helping them stand tall and strong, battling the iciest of Canadian winters, waiting patiently for doing this all over again. These sights, the feel of the sun and the breeze on my skin, the smells of flowers and fresh cut lawns, the sounds of the birds and the people singing, is all intoxicating. I drank it all in big inhales. Before I took my heavy footsteps back to work, I took one last, lungful inhale of the fresh, big, juicy lilacs to seal these memories in.

Puppy

Photograph by Leon Rojas at facebook.com/apageforleonsphotos

Have you ever seen a puppy confused about what it wants to do next ? It wants to play, it plays. It needs to pee, it pees. It gets hungry, sleepy, thirsty, playful, tired, sad, excited, scared, loving, sick, etc. And you can expect a reasonable expression of all of the above. There’s no hiding of his true feelings. There is no pretence. He won’t play games where you need to guess what he wants next. You’re eating ? He’ll come, sit or stand in attention at your feet, tail wagging in anticipation and wagging quickening with increased anticipation of getting a morsel fling towards him. You come home from a long day at work and he gives you a cold shoulder? No chance. He comes running to you. Unabashedly displaying his fondness and excitement that you’re home. He doesn’t give a shit about how he looks when he is practically vibrating his head and tongue around in your welcome, when he is struggling for balance as he tries his best to reach out to your hands or face on his two hind legs, he is there, full on, fiercely celebrating you with no ounce of ego. He doesn’t care that you didn’t bother leaving your seat when he came back from his walk. He gets sleepy and there’s no delay. He starts his walk to his bed. Hops on and rests his face down, eyes slowly closing. He brings his toys to you. Even the very last remaining one that he hasn’t chewed away yet. And expects you to continue playing with him and his toy. Staring at you when you just end the play and walk away, full on displaying his state of feeling dismissed and alone as you leave. Have you ever seen a puppy pretend that he is indifferent to you leaving and continue playing himself? Not me. Learn from the puppy. Keep it simple. Go for what your heart desires. Express things as they are: direct, without fearing rejection or ridicule. A puppy is still so very dependent on us to do his thing. We are independent.

Forced reflections

Photograph: Milada Vigerova at behance.net/miliv

It’s just that if I were to sit there for a long enough time, it would all start to come out. The truths. The tears. The dreams. The desires. The things that I want to start doing. The things that I don’t want to do anymore. The people I don’t want to meet anymore. The places I don’t want to visit anymore. The places I do want to visit. But it takes a special form of strength to tell yourself all this and an even higher form of courage to take it all in. It takes being willfully trapped alone in your car, in a parking lot, while the rain pours outside. It takes not taking any phone calls and turning off that radio. It takes taking a breather before starting my drive to the next routine stop: home. Home, where it all goes to the back burner. Where the puppy is who you start to bounce with. Where the readily served dinner, followed by tea, awaits you. Where you just go to bed when you don’t feel like doing any chores and then just go to sleep the moment you hit your bed. And that all sits, accumulates, until it spills over and you have to trap yourself alone all over again.

Do shit

Photograph: Todd Quackenbush at unsplash.com

Just do. Apply that face pack. Plant that mint. Pot that succulent. Wipe that mirror. Make that bed. Make that smoothie. Visit that cafe. Read that book. Soak that sun. Create that card. Paint that vase. Clear that clutter. Do that stretch. Learn that dance. Get off the phone. Just do it. When you see it. When it comes to your head. Instead of starting to plan for it or starting to push it into some kind of a list. Things important enough start to float to your RAM (random access memory) automatically in their order of urgency, once you let them. When you just be, instead of mind-numbing social media scrolling or video game pounding, you’ll never “forget” or “not feel like” doing things that need doing. Give yourself a true chance to explode through your chores that stay undone by abandoning too much planning and just going for them when you are reminded to do them. Chances are, most likely they will float to you when it’s their right time to be done. What’s required of you is to move in life with as much consciousness as possible. Be aware. Look around. There are all kinds of reminders around you. All kinds of memories will be provoked to go after that which is urgent and that which is of interest. But, not if you’re moving with your head bent low and your thumbs crab-bent on your phones. Try it.