Liars, every one of us!

 

Exodus, Gods & Kings

I was watching Exodus, the movie, directed by Ridley Scott. Many reviewers and critics believe this could be one of his worst movies. Well, I’m not sitting on judgement. I watched it on TV and liked it. I remember thinking of Cecil B Demille’s The Ten Commandments, where Moses was enacted by Charlton HestonPoster for The Ten Commandments and Yul Brynner was Rameses. I remember being completely wowed by the scale, the effects, the colour, the story. It was magnificent and magic. Did Exodus live up to that film? Oh well, that critique is for another day, another post.

The era of watching a film like this has changed. I watched the latter film when I was in school perhaps. I watched Scott’s film a few days ago on TV. I’ve grown, the decades have taken a turn (probably for the worse), in fact a century has turned from 20 to 21 and am given to thinking about this business of commandments and edicts and diktats and of ‘morals’, where earlier it was just a mythological film, to be watched for ‘fun’.

To be human is to have desire, greed, envy, hate, grief, pain, courage, fear, love and everything in between. We are human because we do kill, and we do take the Good Lord’s name in vain (for those who believe in God, they do). We do covet and do steal. We do have many Gods and we do bear false witness again and again and again. Come to think of it, I wonder if Moses today would install Evernote on his tablet and make a list of his commandments thus:
Thou shalt try and get more than 1000 Likes on FB
Thou shalt always get ‘outraged’ on Twitter
Thou shalt plunder, loot and behead in the name of other Gods
Thou shalt limit yourself to ‘x’ affair de coeur and not covet your immediate neighbour’s wife, only perhaps the one who lives 2 blocks away from you
Thou shalt traffic in humans above the age of 10 years
Thou shalt close your borders, erect fences, protect your land at all costs and shoot refugees and their children (and then post pictures of tiny little angels washed ashore dead, to show how intolerant and inhuman we are)
Thou shalt ensure that women all over the world are treated with disrespect and continued to be trampled upon
Thou shalt always ensure that inequality is maintained, the corporates lord it over each of us and democracy is just a sham
Thou shalt always live in fear and thus invoke God’s name in fear, and give lip service to love
Thou shalt be doomed to be called human

It’s a crying shame really of how we delude ourselves into believing that we are the greatest species on this Planet, that we actually are really nice people and that Constitutions (penned by crafty people like you and I) and Holy Books are to be guarded with our souls (uncanny how souls and soles are phonetically the same but diametrically opposite in meaning), that human dignity and human life is the loftiest among ideals that needs to be upheld, that love will conquer all. Bah!

Who are we kidding? You may think I’m just a raving lunatic who’s just gone off her rocker and is making stupid statements about Life without knowing much of anything. Maybe I am. I admit I  know very little. But hey wait a minute! Hark back to Time Immemorial. Has there ever been a time in Human evolution and history when we have not fought each other in bloody battles?Can you please enlighten me and tell me which period in human evolution can you think of when one race has not committed some sin or the other in the name of God? Or killed and committed genocide in the name of power, protection, or mere survival? Can you? I’d be delirious with joy to know that there was an epoch in human history where we all lived as One.

We know in our souls at the microcosmic level that we are not meant to be the ‘holier than thou’ kinds. We just cannot be. And as we supposedly grow and evolve and make progress we are caught in the spiraling fantasy of our own immortality, of our own ‘greatness’ which continues to manifest itself in outrageous acts. Can you honestly tell me that we are humane? Don’t you think too much is made of all this Love and service and purpose when all we really want to do is maim, murder, rape, behead, bomb, rob, have loads of sex and feed fear? We are liars each of us. We kid ourselves. We love pulling the wool over our own eyes.

We know that we will always be on the path of self-destruction. But while we journey on this long road, over millennia, some brave souls who knew “The End” was well nigh, they gave us inscriptions and commandments and edicts and diktats that they thought would reign our murderous spirit in. Hah! They wrongly believed that we would follow these to save us from our own selves. But we are humans. We have evil, greed, depravity, fear, revenge and everything diabolical lording it over us just as courage, love, grace, kindness, compassion, and all things noble hang in gingerly by the skin of our teeth. Want to guess who is winning in this balance of power?

We are liars, each of us. We’ve been lying to ourselves forever, and we will continue to lie to ourselves for ever and beyond. Till there’s no one left to lie to or lie for. Because we’d have killed each other in the name of oil, money, land, religion, caste, colour, guns, power and pelf.

We are liars, you and I the generations that have come before us.  We are liars, yes we are. We were never meant to love, we were made to be killing machines. And the worst deception? We will continue to lie to our unborn children and leave them with nothing but stone inscriptions of Ten Commandments and mythological films upholding man’s nobility when in real-time we would have hacked (literally) into his future with mines and bombs and AK-47s or what have you.

We are the carriers and storytellers of untruths. Because we raise our children and ourselves to believe, to hope, to pray, to be ‘good’ and ‘honest’ and ‘decent’. Then we do exactly what we have instilled in them not to do or condone. After Pakistan, Beirut, Turkey, Denmark, Egypt, Paris or every other place on Earth, we are beyond redemption. That to my mind is the greatest proof that we are liars. We’re doomed to be human.
Ten Commandments any one?

 

Operation Abundance!

I have been suffering from a life threatening malaise – it’s called fear of lack. Yes, fear of lack, not lack of fear :)).

Ever since I can remember, though to tell you the truth I would like to know that exact moment in time when the wheels turned and I was no longer the same person, but for the life of me can’t, anyway to get back, ever since I can remember, I have operated from a head and heart space called “lack”. Believe you me it’s draining. It’s almost like being a character in a Stephen King novel, with ears pricking up at the slightest noise, wondering what that ‘heart pumping’ adrenaline was doing in your chest, worried sick of today, tomorrow and the future, hassled about ‘when, God, when?’ and those desires piling up alongside the “no, can’t, but.” So bloody energy-sapping I tell you. When would ‘it’ go away??

Would open my eyes in the morning and think of the day ahead and a slight groan would escape my supposedly rested body. I’d go to sleep at night and would keep thinking of “why the hell was the day so crappy?” and “I really have to get rid of the car, but…”. It’s the same story on a carousel, sitting on different horses every day, going round and round and bobbing up and down in that head of mine.

Yes, of course over the course of this journey of mine, there has been trepidation, a ‘giving up’ attitude, a fight and things will get right mindset, a digging deep into my inner reserves to figure out a way from this dark and brooding place called ‘lack. It was really like moonscape – bumpy, thoughts that’d float into my mind, even they weren’t full of gravity, dark, forbidding and as I turned it over in my body, heart, spirit, I’d sometimes see the sun.

I have probably not named it so specifically, but every coach or counsellor would tell me, “shit happens, so get used to it, this is it”. It’s like Olivia Pope telling Cyrus Beene, the Chief of Staff to POTUS when he’s packing his stuff after resigning from his post:

“When did you decide to let them ruin you? So your life’s unfair so WHAT? That’s how it is. So they’re mean girling you in the press? So you lost someone you loved. You lost the one person who felt like family. Well grow the hell up because that is how it is. The Cyrus Beene I know doesn’t hide in his half empty closet and wet his pants like a little BITCH BABY.

The Cyrus I know is a patriot. He bites the bullet and he does what he takes to serve the republic at all costs. And I wanna know right now in this moment who you are! Because the pathetic shell of a person I’m looking at does not deserve to stand on the Presidential seal in the Oval Office let alone tell the president what to do. WHO ARE YOU CY? … SO YOU’RE NOT A BITCH BABY? I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE YOU STILL SOUND LIKE A LITTLE BITCH BABY TO ME!”

Wow! Now isn’t that something? Life is hard, life is tough, there are sunny days and moony days and rainy days, and this is how it is. It’d be a darned sight better if I just fugged the hell out of ‘lack’ and decided to stop being a bitch baby. And at least for the time being, I’ve decided that I’m going to operate from ‘abundance land’. This whole business of “am so tired, so scared” is so bloody trite and nonsensical. Of course I am tired and scared, but for God’s sake, so what, that’s how it is. I’ve gotta grow up and say, ‘come on, show me what you got’, because if I get some I should be up to it to give back some with interest.

For if you got no fight in you then the Universe is also shaking its head and going “bitch baby, poor baby, so tired of trying to get her up and running”. Yeah, that’s how the story goes.

So it’s Operation Abundance now and let’s see what the Universe throws at me. Will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you’re suffering from this bitch called ‘lack’, my advice? Grab it, tear it, fart the hell out of it and get going. You got one life to live!

 

The burden of expectations!

When you were young did someone say, “what a fantastic singer!”? No?

Oh well, lucky you. And I don’t mean to diss praise, nope, not for a moment.

But when you get to hear that at every party, function or gathering, it tends to become a chain around your neck, dragging you down and asphyxiating you.

And then you can’t sing to save your life. Because the burden of expectations has made you fear failure. That OMG moment when you think if you didn’t hit the perfect pitch all was lost.

Sometimes adults do children a disservice when they believe they can play proxy with their children’s achievements, recognition, awards, talent.

Parents, grow up. Let children bloom to be their own person. You don’t have to be Tiger Mom, all you need is to have the commitment, belief, and some amount of skill to manipulate your child to grow up to be a whole person, not full of holes.

Singer, dancer, painter, mathematician, Nobel Laureate, poet, writer, scientist, fashion designer, hacker, or Ethan Hunt, doesn’t matter. He/she has her own unique fingerprint. Let them be.

Let not the burden of expectations become a millstone. Just applaud all the milestones, small or big, because life’s journey is tough and failure is part of that journey. Let our children not grow up to be afraid of making mistakes or fail. Who needs perfection? Perfection is boring!

 

 

 

 

3 things that could put you out of your blue funk!

I’m not an expert at “how to” or self-help. I’m not a therapist either. I’m just an ordinary woman with regular, ordinary bouts of self-worth doubts and hitting nadir on the Self-confidence scale. It happens to me regularly. Well if you were in your mid-40s, single, have a stuttering business, an old mother to take care of, with no expectations of any actual help or support coming from any quarter now or in the near future, all you have is yourself. To whip into shape and make that shift happen so the shit doesn’t hit the roof as it often does.

So when you’re looking at the world with the snot running down your nose, when you look at LinkedIn profiles of super talented, super achievers, when you look at the startup ecosystem of young, raring to go, full of beans youngsters, when you look at superwomen achievers who manage to balance the work, partying, the Hamptons, the children, the Guccis with not-a-hair-out-of-place look, the book signing, the 100,000 advance pre-orders on their books, the “how I got out of depression, or an abusive relationship and today am the CEO of a super successful 100 $ million business”, the cover on Time, or whatever it is that basically defines today’s success, you do wonder what you’ve done with your life no? No? Then let me say cheers to you. Because I’m weak and foolish and stupid and human and flawed and have green-eyed monsters tickling my amygdala and then the snot runs freely, dripping on my wrists as I feel that ugly gremlin called Hopelessness dwarf me. Yikes!

You may have someone to share your fears with. You may have sweet, accommodating friends and relatives with whom you can sip coffee and say, “i hate myself, feel like killing myself”, and get the requisite concern, the shocked eyebrows, the clucking of mother hen and the arms around you and fantastic sage advice. That could help sure. I don’t have the luxury of all of that. Friends are in different geographies and phone chats don’t work. Added to that is the fear that I’d be considered needy, self-centred, self-obsessed and repetitive and boring. People have lives to lead. Not listen to litany of woes. And how much can the distance-comforting really comfort? It does help to talk with them believe you me, but for me I let it pass. I know I have to cope and I do. Red eyes et al, sniffles and hiccups albeit, I manage. For me it’s like a routine matinee show – set time, set place, set drama. Who knows me better than me?

But since I’ve been spending horrendous amounts of hard earned money which isn’t really getting replenished easily, on coaching, some 3 things I’ve learnt that can put you out of your blue funk is:

a) Twist & shout – Shake your entire body. Just get up and shake yourself out of the emotions that have taken hold of you. And focus on your feet. As the brain takes in your feet, it really doesn’t have time to process on the emotions that are nipping at your feet. Aaargh! Get off your a-holes!! Slowly find that your breathing normalises and suddenly that whole visual of the world being T-Rex waiting to rip your innards up, slowly but surely dissipates. The hills are alive with the sound of music…tra la la la la!

b) Pour some sugar on me. Have a car? A bicycle? A motorbike? A ski? A horse? Legs? Great. Get out of the house and grab a dunkin donut or something sweet. Feel the sugar rush. Bite into a jam-filled donut or a chocolate brownie with the chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream meltingly inviting. Lick it up, feel the chocolate moustache around your lips, go on, get your hands messy. And if you don’t feel better at the end of that messy exercise, eat a chilli.

c) Born This Way – look at yourself. This is it. You’re born this way. This is your face, your body, your mind, your life. If you don’t wanna change it, well, no one will honey! So go out there and face the truth. And stop mooning. Take action. Because we really have one life to live and YOLO! Really, truly, madly, badly! So just do it, with or without your Nikes. Take 5 minutes, write 5 lines on what you want to do. And then commit to it. Spoiler alert: I’m still trying this last one out…not easy, blimey!

Yup, get yourself out of a blue funk. It’s time to make the world go rose or pink or violet? Whatever, colour me bad, but for your own sake, don’t feel blue. Say cheese!