Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Being me is a courageous thing

When I was a teen, I was given a book of Khalil Gibran's work. Most of the time I didn't understand what I was reading, but some of the phrases and words made an impression in my mind. He was one of the people who inspired me to write. 

I always used to wonder: What's in a word? How can a word make a difference? Over the years, I discovered that the art of writing lies in combining specific words creatively to shape the thoughts of other people. 

Words alone don't necessarily make the difference because mood matters. When we communicate with people, they are aware of what we're saying, but there's more to it. The power of communication doesn't always lie in what we say. The power lies in how we say things. Not only in casual conversation, but even on paper we are able to pick up on the mood. It's visible even on screen in the way people comment or make status updates on sites like Facebook or Twitter. They just spontaneously write, whatever they're thinking, with little concern about word choice. 

Many people are negatively inspired. Negativity comes naturally and builds up over time because life is full of frustration and irritation, hurdles, and uninspiring events. Suffering especially causes negativity. Who in the world does not suffer? Some people suffer poverty and others battle with their health. Some suffer isolation and others suffer abuse. There are so many forms of suffering. Sometimes we endure different forms of suffering at the same time. Life, then, requires more courage than we realize, and for us to be who we are becomes a courageous thing. 
My adult life has been a struggle financially and even though I always thought that this was hard, I never considered how different it could be. About a week ago, I became extremely ill. I visited a doctor at the start of the week and was convinced the medication would work. Two days later, I was bedbound and thinking I was at death's door. I had never felt so ill in my life. At one point I remember thinking: all I want in life is to feel better. I wanted to feel the way I had done prior to becoming ill. I visited another doctor and this time the pills worked. Today, I can't believe I was that ill. What made me ill? Stress. What caused the stress? Negativity.

If I must suffer, which would I prefer: ill-health or financial instability? Surely one form of suffering affects the other. In the end, it's the way we perceive suffering that makes the difference. After all, suffering is a perception. (Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~ Haruki Murakami.)

I find the placebo effect when I focus on positive things. Reading work like that of Khalil Gibran's or Helen Steiner Rice, in my case, makes a
 difference. To me, it's all about the power of words and my simple belief that every dark cloud has a silver lining. When I get tired and all the negativity builds up, I lose focus. I stop reading. I stop believing.

There are so many positive things in life that we fail to see and while negativity blinds us, we have so much power. Our strength lies within. Our thoughts have the power, like words, to shape our days. When life knocks us down, we need to remember these simple words:  "You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~ Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh.


Sunday, 26 December 2010

Moving ... again!

As a child, I moved a lot ... not by choice. Every time my father was transferred between army units (which was every 3 years), I had to cope with the stress and I simply hated it. I attended seven schools, which may not seem much in comparison to what other children go through, but for me it was awful.  Each move affected me negatively: socially, emotionally, and academically.
My childhood trauma has obviously left its mark. Every time I have to move it shatters my sense of security. I have nightmares of my father (who sadly passed away in 1990), and I'm left feeling helpless and vulnerable.
Now I'm moving again ... not because I want to, but because I have to. I'm also moving to a place I do not like. Knowing that I do not like the place has made me consider many different options. I've considered resigning and moving to the city where my husband works. I've considered moving elsewhere in town. Balancing the pros and cons has been tough. Financially, any move I make, other than the one forced upon me, will be a burden.
My health has been affected: I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't think clearly. The only way I'm going to regain my sanity and good health is by accepting my fate. So, perhaps now, whilst writing, I should make peace with the inevitable. 

Over the next few days, I'll be packed and unpacked. Of course, there'
s packing and packing.
This is not the way I do it.

I'm just not that organized. I love the idea, but with me, it starts out well-planned only in my head. Then it gets worse. Reality sets in.

The most important thing is that I get there and settle in, eventually. So here's looking forward to the last week of 2010, me and the big move.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bouncing back

Every trial or bad experience in life makes you more resilient. Failure in itself is a stepping stone. It's a learning experience to achieve something better. A lot of people prefer to stay down once they've hit the floor, but in reality, it's not how far you fall that makes the difference. It's how high you bounce when you reach the bottom.

It's hard to bounce back if you're always negative. Negative thoughts just keep you down. So the first thing to do after hitting the floor is to get up and limit the amount of negativity that enters your mind. The more resilient you become in life, the more you'll find yourself using positive thoughts to help you bounce back.

Negative emotions not only keep you down, but they also put limits on your thoughts. They prevent you from thinking clearly and finding solutions. That's where the power of positive thinking comes in. When you're positive, your mind works in so many different ways. You find yourself coping better and recovering from setbacks a whole lot faster. The most amazing thing about a positive mindset is that it helps to drive negativity away.

Bouncing back isn't easy, especially if there's no bounce in you. When you're really down and life seems to have come to a standstill, bouncing back may be the last thing you're thinking of, but no matter how far life pushes you down, you have the power to decide whether you're going to stay down or bounce back. You decide when, how, and why. Continue to think positive thoughts and give yourself enough time.

Then, when you're ready, start bouncing.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I changed my mind

The metamorphosis is clear. I am what I continually think.
It all starts in the mind. If you can think of it, you can do it. If you can do it, you can have it. Simple. In theory, perhaps, but there's more to it.
Many people believe that happiness lies in what they have. The more they have, the better. The truth is that you don't really need to have anything in life. Life is not about material gain, possessions and wealth. Life is about who or what you are. Happiness comes from within. It's a state of mind.
Unfortunately, selfishness is the greatest hindrance to attaining happiness. So by reaching out to others and moving away from the self, you can make a difference. If you choose to be happy, give your happiness to another person. If you choose to be sincere, give your sincerity to another person. If you choose to be despondent, give your despondency to another person.
In the end, you are what you continually think. Your state of mind reproduces itself. Being happy or sad is a choice. It doesn't matter what your circumstances are in life, your mind has the power to cause an effect on your body. This means that negative thoughts will result in discomfort, stress and bad health while positive thoughts will result in comfort, relaxation and good health.
The power of thought is yours to control. For many years I have suffered bouts of depression and unhappiness. Today, I'm fighting the forces of negative thoughts. It requires effort and patience, but it works. It really does.
Being positive and changing your mindset is a challenge. If you can think it, you can do it. If you can do it, you can have it ...

A ray of hope

I have always wanted to start blogging, but time is a constant nuisance. With the end-year holidays being as slow and uneventful as they are, I've found some time to surf, and here I am, at last, blogging. This then is the first of many posts. Let it boast as the inspiration for being my first new year's resolution for 2011: May I continue blogging successfully and relentlessly.

When I look at myself ...

  The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that yo...