Jurassic World and a sigh!…

So I suddenly decided to watch Jurassic World today. I had time and I had completed all my work for the day, perhaps for the week and maybe for the month. I generally do go to see movies alone, I quite enjoy my own company :).

I saw, I yawned, and I was left wondering why the hell are people making this the biggest blockbuster ever? I mean, hey it’s not just about the children and dinosaurs, but the movie hall was so full of adults it seems we’re really crazy about mad, evil, killing dinosaurs and end-of-the-world fatalistic dysotpian films. God! It was boring for me. There were no “OMG” moments in the film for me. And whatever anyone might say, the first Jurassic Park was really a chilling film. I remember actually feeling afraid. But this one was slightly antiseptic for me. Or maybe dinosaurs aren’t just my thing, he he!

Well, post movie at the multiplex I window shopped and then went to the parking lot, got my car and was in queue to pay my parking charges and leave. There were two lanes and so naturally two boom barriers. I paid up, the barrier pivoted open and hardly had I got past it when I almost had to slam my brakes hard as there was another car that was upon me. But surprise surprise, the car waited. Now in many countries around the world this might seem so normal, to wait, be polite,  show some courtesy. But in my country, er…to be honest, nope, nobody waits for anybody. Everyone is constantly honking even if there’s a lapse of a second between a green signal and you. And if someone does wait patiently, those instances are so rare you can actually count them on the fingers of one hand. In my country the intense desire to be first and take shortcuts, to lose one’s temper, to be verbally abusive, to not stand in queues, to basically do everything that is uncouth comes naturally, even to me. It’s very natural for me to curse, use expletives on the road, basically be prepared for a good fight. We’re on the defensive almost all the time and what is the best form of defense? Yup, offense, so we’re offensive all the time. Get it?

Anyway, to get back. The car waited, I turned to look and found a charming man at the helm. I nodded my acknowledgment and thank you for allowing me to pass and he smiled and nodded back. Sigh!

He was charming. I drove out and I was hoping he’d be right behind me and probably have the same route as mine. I was wondering if I should actually get out of my car at the signal and say, “hi, you’re really cute. Would you want to go out for a coffee?” but I knew these kind of scenarios play out only in movies, books, or fairy tales. Sigh!  And I was so much older. My time for romance and fairy tales was so done. Sigh! I wasn’t dressed to kill, I wasn’t attractive, and well, who’d care about an old hag like me eh? Sigh! (the narrative changes so quickly from a ‘what if’ to a ‘oh no, never ever’). Well, obviously none of my 5-second orgiastic fantasies were going to come true. So, in my typical, cynical, skeptical, hardened-middle-aged manner, a shrug of the shoulder, a little turning up of the volume of the car radio, I turned the corner. There wasn’t any black car with a charming young man at the helm. I wasn’t at the movies.

Well, Jurassic World might have been a bore, but kudos to Michael Crichton, the original author, dreamer, thinker, imaginator. The movie certainly had my imagination on the move, all because of a shared thank you, a little bit of etiquette without T-rex or Velociraptor like monsters.  Oh well, life is such. It’s real. Sigh!

 

Acceptance doesn’t mean you’ve given up!

 

Acceptance

It’d be good to accept.

 

I’ve grown up fighting acceptance. For some reason unclear to me, acceptance was equal to defeat. And defeat was equal to failure. And failure was anathema. Complete unacceptable.

But I’ve grown to realise that acceptance actually is a good thing. Non-acceptance of things can drain you of energy and occupy some really pricey real estate of your mind and heart. It’s a depreciating liability, not an asset.

How and why did I come to the realisation that acceptance is good for the mind, body, soul?

I think it’s a combination of many factors: growing older and perhaps wiser, maybe more vulnerable, maybe short on energy, maybe willing to actually let in a new experience, perhaps seeing the futility of hanging on to something that was unproductive, yes, many many factors.

So:

a) when I found myself unwilling to commit myself to a goal loftily stated, emphatically underlined, remembering that goal repeatedly over the weeks, months and years, without taking action to bring it to fruition, I knew I had to accept that this goal was not to be.

b) when I found that I spent far too much energy getting het up about some people’s habits which weren’t changing despite my loud, angry protestations, I knew I had to accept that it was me who had to change my approach.

c) when I found that I was happy to crib about everything that was wrong with the world without ever doing anything to change my attitude, habits, or contributing to change, I knew I had to accept that the world was going to continue as is.

d) when I found that despite how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to like people due to my own hypocrisies, I knew I had to accept that it takes all sorts to make the world including people like myself.

Change the changeable

Accept change

e) when I found that Life continued to march to the beat of its own drum and was far too proud to succumb to my exhortations of maybe granting me a BIG favour or two, I knew I had to accept that Life was what you made of it.

So okay, I realised that acceptance did not kill you. It did not defeat you. It did not make you look small. Because you were accepting of certain things, did not mean you were cringe-worthy or were a ‘small, pathetic creature’. No, of course not.

On the contrary, acceptance of certain things can liberate you. It can make space in your mind, body and soul for new thoughts, attitudes and goals. With one fell swoop of acceptance, doors close and others open. You are no longer slave to your ego that denies the existence of acceptance as a good sister. You are free to chart a new course.

Not going to complete college and get that degree – just not you? Sure, accept it and move on. Who knows you could be the next Steve Jobs!

Not going to ever get the ‘ms popular’ title in college or be asked out on a date by the pretty cheerleader, accept it for what it is. Don’t cry buckets or feel vengeful or loathe yourself. Move on and make way for events and people that truly matter.

Not ever going to be a great parent, husband, wife, lover? That’s okay, accept it. Maybe you are a good friend or care giver. Not everything in life has to be like Gone With The Wind.

Not ever going to be able to complete the marathon? Big deal! Maybe you can do a 10k. But first accept it.

In my book, acceptance is honesty. Whoever said being honest was giving up? Honesty requires courage, a deep insight into yourself and willingness to do what it takes to blossom into a good human being. Flawed? Sure. But who wants to be perfect?

Yes, it’s time to accept that sometimes you’re not strong enough, or brave enough or smart enough or competitive enough or talented enough or healthy enough or understanding enough or compassionate enough or beautiful enough or wealthy enough or ambitious enough or knowledgeable enough. It’s okay really. Because in accepting you’re also giving up that which drains you but gains you a new inner calm and confidence. That you are enough.

Life and acceptance

Look forward to life

What are those areas of your life that you find are holding you back because of your stubbornness of non-acceptance? Identify 3. Think about why it makes you angry to accept it. And just say, “ok”, that’s it. And sleep over it. Tell me what happens next.

Why are we afraid of asking questions that matter?

Quote by Melissa Senate

Asking the question

We’re bloody complicated people. Hah! No kidding! No seriously, we are. We go about our lives in such dramatic fashion, but we long for a life without drama. Peace and serenity and quiet with all the money, the luxuries, the material comforts sounds really like a must-have no? What BS! We’d be tearing our hair out, dying to throw caution to the winds and just give peace and all that jazz the royal slip. Who wants to be a peacenik?! Hrmph!

Let me park all of the above for a moment and get to the crux. We spend so much of our time hiding from answers to questions that we don’t even know how to question any more.

|| I’m your wife, the mother of your child. I see red when I see you. I can’t stand it when you drive, or talk, or eat. || >>>> What am I really angry at? <<<<

|| You’re my husband, friend, lover and father of my child. I’m really tired of carrying the entire financial burden on my slender shoulders.|| >>>>Why the fuck can’t I just tell him to stop sponging off me?<<<<

|| I am a working mother with a hectic work schedule. I do love what I do. Thank God, I have a house-husband!|| >>>> How do I assuage my guilt of not being around for my child?>>>>

|| You are my wife and the mother of my children. I married you because I loved you. Today, I don’t care.|| >>>>You’re just an unpaid housemaid for whom I have no love, no respect, perhaps never did.>>>>

|| You’re my aged mother. You’re difficult and stubborn and you don’t listen to my requests.||>>>> I don’t mean a thing to you do I? Why am I unable to tell you that I am afraid that I don’t matter.>>>>

|| You’re my wonderful friend. I always end up saying yes to wherever you want to eat, whichever movie you want to see, wherever you want to shop.|| >>>>I can’t stand my own inability to stand up for who I am. I am worried about rejection aren’t I if I were to just be my true self?>>>>

I had a grandmother. In fact even two great grandmothers. They never told me to cut the crap and just ask the question. I never learnt therefore to get to the crux of the matter. I always brooded, glossed over, pretended. But I was always afraid to say something because it might make me look, sound, seem foolish. I’ve been in love so often when I was younger, and I was always afraid to ask, “do you love me?” and my fears came true. They never did. It was like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But that’s what we do. We live our entire lives disconnected from our true selves. Now in the age of smartphones, the disconnectedness is even more. Each of us lives in dysfunctional families, societies, states and countries. We see what’s wrong, we’re dying to ask why, yet we keep mum. When someone asks, “how are you?”, why do we mouth “I’m fine” on autopilot, when actually you’re burning with anger, pain, grief, disillusionment or what have you? It’s the same with everything and anything else. Do I write well? Will I ever write a book? Can I ever muster enough resolve to get rid of my insecurities? Will I ever be famous?

Questions that are always chasing answers, provided asked. Who are we kidding?
Why are we afraid of the truth?

3 ways you can press ‘pause’ now!

The alarm rings. That sound sets off your day and the mad rush of the day envelopes you. From that moment on when you rub the sleep off your eyes (waking up) to the time when you’re trying to rub the sleep off your eyes (trying to keep awake), Life is in a hurry. It’s become fashionable to be busy. So much so that people actually fake it. Wow!

Soon the juggernaut of life rolls on. While we ‘want to’, ‘think of’, ‘dream of’, ‘wish to’, ‘sigh’, and various other expressions in between, we are just waiting to exhale. I’ve lived a life of breathless anticipation – God alone knows of what. All the tension, excitement, ticking off the ‘to do’ list in your head before heading to work, going over dreaded incumbent telephone conversations, replaying confrontational scenarios with colleagues, feeling nervous and anxious at the presentation, with the sweat making your palms slide off the steering wheel, yes, been there and done that. I gave it all up. I knew I couldn’t live like this (or that, from where I am now at) anymore.

Today, living a more sedate but more fulfilled life is important to me. I remember being fascinated by a TED Talk by Carl Honore, author of In Praise of Slowness. Of course in the world where I come from, it did seem to me far fetched or an indulgence, but I was left wondering what it would be like to savour life slowly. So I’ve tried in my own way to build a life which is not a blur and I share that with you.

Wake up early and pause: everyday when I wake up, I consciously put in an effort to just sit on my bed, and go over and think about how I’d like my day to be for at least 5 mins. Earlier I used to use this practice as an excuse to go over my day in my head and would end up feeling agitated. Now I just close my eyes and pause before I get into the day headlong. 5 mins is all it takes. It helps me ease into the day rather than rush into it. I feel calmer, more relaxed and somehow more grounded and ready to take on whatever the day throws at me.

Meditate, meditate, mediate: Wherever you are, whatever you do, make this as normal and life-giving as breathing. Sit cross-legged or even with legs extended, close your eyes or keep your eyes slightly open, listen to meditative music or not, focus on your breathing. And feel the rush of thoughts. Don’t panic. It’s okay to have a million thoughts colliding like neutrons in a Hadron Collider. It’s called being human. And then slowly as your breathing gets into a rhythm, your thoughts get feebler, there’s a possibility you go into deep wakefulness. Yes, it’s sleep, but you’re acutely aware of ambient sounds, birds chirping, the sounds from the kitchen, the honk of a car, your body slouching, your neck hurting (maybe), but you’re resting. It’s peaceful somehow. I do this everyday, though there are Sundays or some Saturdays where I miss it. But meditating has helped me feel so centred, so calm that I am reveling in this new found spirit of ‘can do’. I suddenly feel so empowered and feel, unafraid. As if all my fears (well not all), have been dissolved. And when you experience that, you suddenly feel unconstrained and the ability to explore, do, be is simply phenomenal.

Mid-day breaks: I am self-employed and so when there’s work, there’s a flood of it and I work to meet my deadlines through the day. But earlier I used to go at it non-stop with lunch breaks. Now I deliberately go slow, I pause wherever I am at in the course of my work day and browse the internet, go to the living room, watch some TV, go watch the world pass me by as I stand in my balcony, basically, take a break. I don’t feel guilty. I don’t feel pressured to see the advancing hands of the clock, I don’t feel a sense of dread or panic. I have committed to deadlines and have by and large met them. But while I’m big on commitment, I realise not meeting a deadline isn’t going to kill me. All clients are by nature suspicious, angry, and somehow think it’s their birthright to be extra cautious about money (clients and their misplaced caution about budgets merits another post), feel an insatiable need to somehow have the last word, always rub it in that you’ve made a mistake, and feel really proud of their really sad ideas. Yes, they pay you money to get their job done, but in the bargain make you feel like they’ve done you a favour. So I’ve stopped questioning their motives, and am not fazed by all this anymore. If they can’t wait, well, here’s your money, thank you, but no, thank you.

Life is here and now. It’s true that all we have is this moment. So don’t rush through it. Take a moment, take a break, because as far as I know, YOLO. Pause~