VUCA Reality

VUCA Reality

VUCA times like these –┬áVolatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, how do we anchor ourselves? How do we keep ourselves sane? Jobs are not secure, political unrest can escalate any minute, countries may go to war in a blink of an eye, crisis after crisis. How can we grow at such challenging times?

Time is of the essence. There is no opportunity to waste. At the eye of the hurricane, we need to stay silent, centered. No more excuses.

So how? Well, it is a matter of choice. If you wanted something bad enough, then you will do everything for it. You won’t be distracted by things-to-do, nor with ambitions for wealth, power and fame. You won’t say that you are too busy to stop and listen to yourself because there is nothing more urgent, nothing else more important.

Well, unless you want to suffer the cycle of samsara endlessly.

Absolutely YOUR choice.

Perspective Overhaul

Perspective Overhaul

I have been gone from the blogosphere for months. Many things happened. Many things changed – I turned a year older, I hurt my lower back, I got sexually harassed, I was diagnosed with a condition that I need to manage my whole life, I switched to vegetarian diet, I took up yoga, I started painting and hiking again, I received an award, my organization is undergoing a reorganization, I started dating someone, I reconnected with college roommates.

So many changes in such a short period. So many experiences and news to take on and recover from.

But what strikes me the most is that compared to my earlier adult life, I feel that I can get over things faster and easier now. I don't hold grudges anymore, nor do I wallow in a depressive mood, months at a time. Yes, I still feel sad sometimes. I still get pissed of and murdery sometimes but I realized that I just got to let things go. Change is inevitable. Pain is part of life and I have many more possibilities than staying on my current state. I have to relearn how to live like I have never been hurt before. Like I never lost anyone or anything. Like I never got my heart broken.

Growth is hard. But being stuck is harder.
Finding in myself to start seeing the world with a fresh perspective is half the battle.

Auto-misery

Auto-misery

Just a reflection: I guess I love suffering so much it is my autopilot mode. I make more and more creative excuses to justify it because it  makes me feel bigger than myself. “Hey, look at me, I am in deep trouble…” Because nobody will look at me when I am happy and blissed out. 

The thing is, when will I ever get bored of this? When will I ever say enough is enough? 

Shit and Roses

Shit and Roses

I was undergoing some tough shit these past few days. I am telling you, it wasn’t pretty. It was sad, pathetic, traumatic, a massive mixture of crazy soup, unenlightened stuff not meant for blogging at all. It was tough and still is.

But then I realized, everyone experiences difficulties. Hell, we experience more of shit than of roses in real, actual life. So why not be honest and admit one’s frailties and low moments? Accept life’s positive and shit and all? Why pretend or cover up these insane and weak moments? Why paint a fabulous selfie all the time? I then realized that I needed to get real.

Maybe these moments aren’t neat and flowing. Maybe these moments destroyed an image that I had saved in my head of myself. But these moments also contain seeds of possibilities. Maybe a seed full of slaps to wake the hell up! Maybe a seed to rise up beyond suffering, or whatever.

I don’t know yet, but hard as it may be, I am gonna use all the facets of life – shit and roses and betweens to at least try.

Thank you

Thank you

For

Another day

For another chance to

Discover myself

Thank you for the life

For always supporting me 

In every way

Sometimes I stumble

Muddle myself with earthly woes

Sometimes I forget myself

But thank you for always reminding me

That I am the most important

No one else, 

nothing else

To discover my real face is my only purpose

The rest is but secondary, supporting actors on this play.

Seekers Seeking

Seekers Seeking

Seeking and being a seeker is not that easy. 

I sometimes stare at people, are they really alive? Have they really found meaning in their lives? Or better yet, have they thought about who they really are for a second? Am the only alien person here, ever wondering about life and its mysteries?

Well, seeking can be lonely too. It does not always have company. It mostly requires courage and daring to be alone, trodding like a blind person unto unknown shores. A seeker is not afraid to go against the tides of society.  

Most of the time, it doesn’t give any solace to your dreams. No promises of fame, power nor riches. It actually breaks everything you wished for, shatters you completely. It demands your very best, your most authentic self, your most vulnerable self – until you reached your real and simplest form. Undiluted. Uncorrupted. Clear like a still lake on a day without clouds. Reflecting only the full moon.

Seeking and becoming a seeker requires a real hunger. A thirst for the everlasting, the absolute.  This great discontent is the fire. 

Yet despite every effort, it doesn’t promise you any destination. You may reach, or you may stay stuck for a million lives. There is no guarantee. At times, one loses the fight and gives up. At times, one loses direction and gets lost in the woods. 

In the end, personally, I choose to continue. I have trust and faith that existence will smile at me, because deep in my heart and embedded in my bones, I know no other way to be – but to be a seeker. 

Attachments and selfishness

Attachments and selfishness

It had been perrenially mentioned that attachment is the number one stumbling block to finding our true selves. But what is it really? From my personal experience, I “lose myself” into a situation and get attached quite easily at work. In other daily life, perhaps not that easily.

But then, the question is why? Why this automatic mechanism to become swept away? Why this “forgetting” of myself?

For me, I am so used at it, I know no other way to survive. I am so deeply programmed to sympathize and empathize, suffer and feel for something or someone. In short, working in this position, I have become too much identified with it. I closely define myself depending on my work ethics and my work performance and my results. In this world of capitalism and utilitarianism, it is forced on us for generations. To be useful. Such is our curse. We are but worker bees, that without work, we do not know how to define ourselves, our dignity, our meaning. We lose our purpose outside work or on any business we are part of. Without our productivity, we have been made to believe we are nothing. Such is our sad reality!

But let me take a different pose, is it really true? Am I really all what society has defined me to be? Does ‘working ’til I drop’, the only way of living? Am I cursed on this drudgery forever? Does my value come from outside, that without it I don’t have any intrinsic meaning?

So how then do I thread this path to freedom when I have been hypnotized to be always attached to my work? How do I remain myself, be distant and aware?

It may require a little more selfishness. A selfishness to not sell myself. A selfishness ┬áto be steadfast, to remain with myself, and be who I am – not judging nor carried away. Yes, it seems like an uphill task for someone who has been deeply functioning otherwise. But I have to at least try, experiment, watch different situations.

In order to gain myself, I have to be selfish.

Awareness

Awareness

What is awareness? I have been trying to fathom this lately.

Somehow I noticed that in some situations, like in a work meeting for instance, there is a very subtle “shrinkage” happening inside of me. In my body, I unconsciously cross my arms, protecting my chest area and keeping myself “into a ball” occupying as little space as possible, where I crunch my shoulders and not straighten up my spine.

With some people, it may not be as obvious, but if you listen a little bit deeper to your body, some people also bring this kind of effect on you. 

It can also be very subtle, a certain change of breath, a sudden tightness, normally in the jaw, chest or stomach areas.

Different situations, people, food, places and things bring a certain effect on us.

The trick is to listen, listen deeply and listen without judgment and preconceived ideas.

But before one can listen, some silence is needed from within you. Silence from our inner talk and inner battles. 

Minimalism

Minimalism

I watched a documentary on minimalism today. I said, hey, that’s easy, I am not much of a materialist myself.

 But when I came to take a closer look into my life, I can see that I have been on denial all along. 

1) Who needs four winter jackets for someone who lives in a tropical country? Just because I visit Europe two weeks a year, that doesn’t justify buying those other three more. Oh yeah, they were more “fashionable” at that time. Not to mention the shawls, leg warmers, stockings and winter boots. So where are those stuff? They’re stuck at my friend’s attic in Germany for safekeeping, waiting for me ’til I visit her again. 

2) I have two saris that I have never worn. Since I bought them at what I thought was a steep price during my Mumbai trip eight years ago, I have justified on keeping them in my closet.

3) I have bought more than 50 books (from my last count) that I have only skimmed the first few pages but never read them. I have too much an ADHD to finish them.

4) I have eight email accounts I use to register on different social media accounts, five blog pages, two facebook accounts and tons and tons of subscriptions and accounts on different sites that I never use. 

5) I have stuffed animals that I never care about. 

6) I am now down to fifteen pairs of footwear from 30 eight years ago. But still, tons of clothes and blings – far more than I can remember, much less wear. 

So yeah right, I am a not a materialist.

And oh, I have a 55-inch curved TV that I watch movies on, for less than thrice a month.

What about you? Are you a minimalist or a materialist in denial?