Apocalyptic movie or documentary?

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The promise of a movie night, with a simple dinner and a little sugar-filled treat we had bought for later. All seemed in place. She picked an apocalyptic movie – humanity’s only survivors from a climate disaster on a train to nowhere under the control of the greedy in power.

Twenty minutes in and I’d had enough. The portrayal of violent, selfish and evil people causing pain and suffering was too much for me to handle. She said I was ‘soft’. I laughed. “I don’t need to see the horrors humans can inflict on other humans”, I said.

If he had been here, I would have been mocked for the ‘loss’ of movie night. He wasn’t, and there was no loss. We decided to watch David Attenborough’s “Planet Earth”, again.

And what a pleasant gratifying experience that was!  To be reminded that
• our vast world still sustains us, even as we humans continue to test its limits;
• the natural world still holds many mysteries and wonders so let’s be humble;
• we ought not lose sight of or interest in this world we inhabit for it has much to teach us;
• we and the world beyond the boundaries of human-made structures are inter-dependent, and the survival of one is reliant on the other.

Sitting with her on the couch watching this documentary felt right. I had moved away years before from “indulging” in pain and suffering, the overcoming of which is worn as a badge of honour. No. There is more to my life than that. And no, I was not avoiding the reality of life.

I am aware of the trauma that can be life. I have experienced some of that. I am also privileged not to have experienced the worst of it. But as was told to me by a wise woman those years ago, “where you expend your energy, that is what you feed”. The media creation of need to consume the worst of humanity, the normalising of voyeuristic, and perhaps narcissistic, tendency to feed upon the plight of others – not where I intend to be.

As James Redfield said, “[E]nergy flows where attention goes.” And so where I can help, I do. Where I can’t, I choose not to energize.

But I told her none of this, only relaxing into the moment of a Saturday evening at home. We discussed natural history and geography, theory of evolution, the behaviour of the male species in the animal kingdom (humans included)… 🙂 and much more.

I was content that we were not expending our energy on a movie focussed on the darker side of the human condition, which propagated the narrative that fighting is the way to success and freedom, and being physically tough and psychically hard were the only ways to be. She wasn’t, not in that moment, further indoctrinated into the cynicism and distrust that can fuelled our existence.

Granted “Planet Earth” had its gory scenes of predator and prey, life and death. I was fine for her to see the cycle of life, the natural order of things if you like. To appreciate the black, white and grey areas of living. It gave me great comfort that nature knows what to do to survive, so long as we humans do not impose our will on it.

I was not ‘soft’, not in the sense of being weak and scared. I was perhaps just tired of the perpetual narrative of fight, dominance, ‘toughness’, and pessimism on the inevitable plight of the human experience. I have no wish to spend more minutes on negativity and pain. “Be like water” comes to mind. Flow and leave your mark.

Maybe I was over-thinking it, putting words to the experience. The feeling of my body constricting during twenty minutes of the movie, in contrast to the sense of peace and inspiration of the documentary, the choice was clear.

So I am soft, in choosing to be positive, to expend my energy on matters which lift and on creatures of beauty, to contribute to a positive consciousness.

What would you do?

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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How love turns pain into purpose – Stephen Hayes

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Disclaimer: what this video is not – an academic talk on psychology.

What it is – an inspiring personal account of the transformative power of love in the face of human struggles and difficulties.

Enjoy!

“… I stood up inside a promise – never again, I will not run from me.” Stephen Hayes

 

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Le bonheur mon cheri

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I stopped looking for happiness. Not because I don’t want to be happy, or that I don’t believe in its existence.

I stopped looking for happiness because it does not serve me, this constant evaluation of my state of happiness and this relentless searching and eventual disappointment.

There is no ‘right-er’ state for me than now. The state I am in is it, now.

True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.      Seneca

What I have chosen instead is a deliberate act of pursuing my passion, what challenges me intellectually, what fulfils me spiritually, what gives me a sense of accomplishment, what takes me into the zone of ‘losing myself’ in a space of creativity, beauty…love. Many have questioned my sanity… how could hours of research, reading, writing be all that? How could time spent alone be enough? My answer, because it is, for me.

Each of us need to find, to identify what it is that calls to us. And when you find it, hold it close to your heart. Don’t be dissuaded by the logical and sensible ‘advice’ that will come your way about it. Stay grounded in your conviction of its rightness. Revel in the delight of this adventure…

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.         Mahatma Gandhi

I am not certain I am in the harmony that Gandhi spoke of. It does not matter. I don’t chase it. What is, is. Trust in the intention of the present moment. It is enough I have a private smile of satisfaction more often than not. It is enough my lows and disappointments are few. It is enough I no longer compare my present with a future I believe I could have. It is enough there is no compulsion to chase the happiness defined by others existing always in the future.

Happiness—A butterfly, which when pursued seems always just beyond your grasp; but if you sit down quietly, may light upon you.             Nathaniel Hawthorne

Life is not perfect, this has never been my intention.

I choose for this life to be fully lived, by me; for each moment to be moment of love, grace or gratitude.

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Letting Go Takes Love

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To all who care and love:

 

To let go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To let go is not to enable,
but allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means
the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
it’s to make the most of myself.

To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.

To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.

To let go is not to be protective,
it’s to permit another to face reality.

To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To let go is not to criticize or regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more
and
To let go and to let God, is to find peace!

Remember: The time to love is short.

~ author unknown

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Hold yourself in silence…

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A man is known by the silence he keeps.    ~ Oliver Herford

 

The word ‘silence’ resonates, always have. It brings visions of

Vast luscious land…

Crisp morning air…

Sparkling dew drops…

Gentle river flowing…

Melodic chirping of bellbirds…

Not a soul in sight…

And Me, in that place, is merely observing… not a rift nor a ripple, no impact.

Ah, here it is. Am I that – moving through this world without leaving a footprint? A wish or a regret? No imprint of me in my space? Or a free spirit afloat, not belonging nor caged…? Beyond it all, my presence (if you can by definition call it that) unnoticed. Unnoticed by whom, you ask. There is no one in my vision. A sense of forlorn… no, not a correct word. It is… the lightness of nothing-ness, the beauty of what is, the alone-ness of being.

I seek to understand my desire for silence. Freud would ask for free associations – to what do I associate when I hear the word ‘silence’ – so here goes… peace, calm, me, together, whole, free, no obligation… Yes, perhaps years of therapy may shed light on this 🙂 … but perhaps it just is. While our mind does not comprehend, our spirit may embrace.

So why? What does silence say of the (wo)man that keeps it?

Perhaps it is my belief and practice (I try) of only speaking what matters, what needs saying. If they do not serve a purpose, no word is required. The person who is able to discern the effects of his words and when to hold his words has my respect. Yes, I have had my share of reacting – blurting words of hurt, anger, mockery, injury… I guess we all have. We are humans after all.

Ever wonder what motivates our speech? For whom do we speak? For ourselves so we feel ‘good’ for one reason or another? For others that is, to comfort, to care…? I have found that sometimes words of sympathy do not serve the other, sometimes our presence of being is all that is needed. Just silence. I know from experience, the knowledge of another’s presence is comfort enough, sometimes words are not required. The love is in the being present.

This world privileges, and at times abuses, self-expression… taking to spoken words, loud and proud.  In fact, it is cultural to associate speaking out as signs of wisdom, intelligence, boldness, creativity, innocence, truth… And the reverse is assumed to apply to those who are silent.

Imagine one who has no need to speak in order to gain approval, no need to concur to please and gain ‘acceptance’, no need to criticise in order to self-validate… Imagine being sufficiently self-aware to know the essence of one’s words and actions, be they harmless or injurious, to reflect and learn from them; and self-assured to seek no favour nor fear the world’s rejection.

If our imprints only add to the beauty of this world…

After all the above, the point is… what, you ask? It is this affirmation.

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Open your eyes and truly see the person who keeps her silence. Do you hear her?

Namaste!

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

They are not what they appear to be…maybe

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Have we sought answers from a Higher Being, from the Universe, from God … for the path to nirvana, to Enlightenment, to heaven…?

Haven’t we ask ‘why’ or ‘why me’ to the powers above? Are we nonetheless searching for calm, peace, beautiful, … or merely a way through our struggles?

Our lack, our struggle, our suffering, our pain and sorrow…they are not what they appear to be.   So I pray…

Here is a song that speaks to me. (Substitute ‘You‘ in the lyrics as your faith or religious beliefs dictate. 🙂 )

Enjoy!

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

[Chorus]
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if each promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

[Chorus]

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win, we know
That pain reminds this hearts,
That this is not, this is not our home…..
It’s not our home

[Chorus]

What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy.
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

On a journey,
– FlorenceT

© 2015 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.