Come pause a minute,

Sit with me awhile,

and share your thoughts...

16 July 2014

When wise people tell us that we are responsible for our choices...

it means that when we choose - we have to tell ourselves - this is what I choose and I will take responsibility for whatever comes in its wake...I will deal with whatever happens as best as I can. I will not shift blame, nor indeed the decision, onto anyone, no matter whose advice has been an influencing factor. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross says, 'I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.'

I will try to do my best in the circumstances I have created for myself with my decision.

Life is all about choices - every moment we have to make choices - and the only way those choices can make any sense, and importantly, give us peace of mind is if we consciously say (if need be, say it out loud) - This is what I choose to do and I will take responsibility for what it entails. If it's the wrong decision, I will right it, or I will learn from it; and if it is the right decision, it would bring happiness to me, to those I love and lighten my little world.

At our Baccalaureate, our Principal, Miss Shipstone said - Go out into the world, and remember these words from Deuteronomy 30:19 - I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life... (King James Bible)

In everything we think or say or do, life and death (metaphorically speaking) are ingrained - one brings joy, teaches us important lessons in life, gives us satisfaction and true joy. The other brings sorrow, unhappiness and deep distress. While we can enjoy the one, we can turn the other to something precious...

15 July 2014

I am a great fan...

of Ari Seth Cohen's ADVANCED STYLE.

This site took me to another one, which has also become a fave: STYLE CRONE.

This morning, STYLE CRONE took me to this page. It is on how to practice intentional imperfection.

Through life we hear things like: If you are doing something, do it well; Whatever you do, put your mind to it and always do your very best; Strive for perfection; Practice makes perfect; and so on.... It's all about perfection, perfection, perfection...little realizing that in our striving for perfection, the feelings get pared and pared and pared till there is only a perfect-feelingless entity left...Nothing of you has actually gone into the fabric of this perfect thing you are creating/striving for/working towards.

I loved the phrase "analysis paralysis" that I came across in this article. It really sums up something I, who so believe in wabi sabi and try to live it, do many times....and fall victim to, many times. 

We don't need to be perfect - we need to give whatever we are doing or whatever we are engaged in, our best shot.....and leave it at that.....that is the key - leave it at that.

I think this goes for our friendships, our relationships - both close and distant, and importantly for ourselves, too - they/we do not have to be perfect. For one it is a strain on us to keep things, including ourselves, perfect, and it would put a tremendous strain on our friendships/relationships if we always expected perfection from the person, or persons in the friendship/relationship.

I had never thought of it as such before, but in the light of my belief about imperfection, and totally reinforced by this article (which took me back to refreshing myself on wabi sabi, as well) I realize that I have to consciously practice imperfection...what a delicious self-assignment to get started on....

12 July 2014

Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil...

is a fighter. She rebelled against the military dictatorship in Brazil. In the 1970s she was arrested and jailed for three years where she was tortured.

But, her spirit did not die. Here are her words - words of strength and courage and solace...

'Only you, yourself, can defeat yourself. You cannot allow torture to defeat you.'

And here is the key:
'You cannot allow yourself to be contaminated by what torturers think of you. There’s just one way for torture not to contaminate you; you cannot allow it to develop anger or hatred towards those who perpetrated torture against you. You cannot allow that to go into your being.'

(I do believe, that, by extension, this key is what will help us deal with any painful and difficult situation we may find ourselves in.)

Another admirable lady...

passes on...

No matter how many words were spoken in tribute, no one could fully capture that very special spark, that joie de vivre that shone in Zohra Sehgal.

Here are some tributes that were paid to her - none do full justice to the woman she was...and what a woman!!

Zohra Sehgal defied convention and defied stereoptypes. She refused to be anything but true to her spirit of independence and rebellion. Full of spunk, she was the star attraction of any film she worked in - in any frame that she appeared, it was she and not the actor to whom all eyes turned. Shabana Azmi remembered Zohra Sehgal for her vivacious personality, and Shah Rukh Khan says she was the 'naughtiest young girl' he had ever known.

Zohra Sehgal like Maya Angelou will never really leave us. Their legacy will live on through those of us who find we too have it in us to live as they did.

08 July 2014

An insightful turn of phrase...

Among the many colorful, yet perceptive and astute phrases Gabriel García Márquez uses, this one found its mark inside of me.

In his book, Love in the Time of Cholera, when talking about the President of the Board of Directors and General Manager of the River Company of the Caribbean, Don Leo XII Loayza, to whom the lovesick Florentino Ariza goes for a job says that at first he was very angry...

".....but he allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves."

This, I thought was a fitting response to when we are tempted to say, think, feel - oh, this is the way I am; life has made me this way; this is my DNA or genetic pattern; this is what my life is all about...and other such phrases, to absolve ourselves from making the effort and finding the energy to lift ourselves up. To all of these I find  Márquez's words so uplifting.....never mind my genetic pattern, never mind this is how I always react, or this is how life has made me.....No, and again NO. We have to give birth to ourselves every time life's road, for better or for worse, takes a twist or a turn, hits a speed bump, or causes us to have an accident. Yes, even when things are better, we have to give birth to ourselves so that we can enjoy the lovely gift without rancor ( though it may be easier to stay steeped in self-pity). Of course when things go the other way, then we have to give birth to ourselves to be able to overcome the adversity (and not groan and moan about the unfairness of life).

Life requires us to give birth to ourselves in all situations, simply because we CAN...

04 July 2014

It is, to my mind...

 the worst possible thing to make yourself an object of sympathy.....and worse than that is to try and get mileage out of playing the wronged/unjustly treated person. Even if you have what you think is the least of things, you are still better off than the person who does not have even that. Importantly, we all have hidden talents - something will surface if you allow yourself to trust in yourself - if you face each day with gratitude and the belief that you CAN do something....If not, while still able, you will be dependent on the kindness and mercy of others, which you can rest assured is a painful place to be...