A Day In January…

 

22925604895_56c66d7a70_o (2)

                                                                       This is how I feel right now

 (Photo credit: Flickr)

I dug my teeth into my frozen lips as the winter air attacked me with gusto; my veins bulged out in protest. I hunched and huffed, hugging myself in a bid to thwart the desperate cold but it was to no avail.

16787824927_ec47b0f3c2_o (2)

                                                           You can guess how cold it is!

I was returning from a conference where a renowned expert, whose soft-spoken voice intoned deeply into my bored mind talked about the benefits of controlling our thoughts in order to be more productive. Granted that I did gained some insight into how to train and control my thoughts, nevertheless, I wasn’t sure that my thoughts could control me and not the other way round. Uncannily, my winter-ravaged brain had stylishly blotted the speaker’s name from my mind. I didn’t think controlling my thoughts could be hard, so I decided to put it to the test.

Strangely, I found my thoughts running haywire from the mundane to the downright funny, then to the sober and finally back to the speaker.

I got zero point.

My environment, things I see and feel could control my thoughts. It was winter, and I would be a fool to think that it was summer. So what happens to us naturally has great impact on our thought processes. Despite that, we could still control our thoughts through discipline although that’s open to debate.

16656177535_169acf5889_o (2)

                                                                          This is where I want to be!

The chilly January air continued its assault on my hapless face as I trudged home and the words of the speaker returned subtly. The man was right and I determined to have firm control on what goes through my mind.

When I got home, I switched the heater on, dove under the duvet and brought out my worn out diary, which reminded me of Yiyun Li’s ‘A Sheltered Woman.’ My tired eyes scanned through my schedule for Friday and as my eyes rested on the date, I was shocked, my amazement wasn’t feigned, it was genuine. Today is the 15th, the year is flying faster than my 5-year-old son’s kite.

The year had strolled in like an old lover, sniffing around with familiarity, extending his love, yet restraining back. Days had flown into two weeks and before we know it, shops would be brimming with Valentines cards. It’s unbelievable.

I had twenty minutes of solitude before jumping back into the fray, a tired sigh escaped my lips, then my thoughts strayed to the news of Alan Rickman’s passing and my heart sank. He was a beloved actor, I loved his role as the ‘Sheriff Of Nottingham in Robin Hood. I closed my eyes, my aim was absolute peace, no thoughts but it was a futile effort.

My mind drifted again, back to the speaker who believed that tiredness, anxieties, worry, fear all stem from our minds, eating deep into our days as we lose track of our jobs, he believes it affects our productivity and in a way, our lives.

However, how do we control our thoughts?

I have few theories on that but would love to read what you think.

This is my first post of the year. I don’t have a new year resolution. However, I’m determined to do things better than I did last year, which is recognising the things I could change while taking positive actions and ignoring things that could eat into my time. Like Reinhold Niebuhr would say, ”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I hope you’ll all have a fabulous weekend!

Much love, always!

:)

On Humanity And Idiosyncrasies

15473127814_89bfd63928_o (2)

(My ideal place to be now!)

“Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Dalai Lama

If we continually observe the world, it’s really filled with sad news, war, war, and war! Yet in the midst of the seemingly absurd, grotesque, insane, and obscene, we have to carry on living.

My husband and I were having one of our ‘philosophical chats’ when he quoted Dalai Lama, it hit me like a sledgehammer; am I working too hard?

However, after a brief soul-searching I came to this verdict: I love life, I really enjoy living even when I’m working hard and juggling multiple responsibilities with kids screaming for my attention, countless office deadlines and uncooperative plots ( my novels and several other manuscripts I’m working on).

I am absolutely certain that I enjoy my idiosyncratic attitude to living because life has no part two, there are no dress rehearsals or a delete button. We take what we have, use it wisely and hope for the best, and I think we ought to strive to find joy in life in any way we can.

December is a month of frenzy cum feverish spending, planning, office parties. Why not pause for a while, enjoy the snow-capped mountains, (if there’s one in your vicinity), the fake reindeer, and annoying Christmas jingles that normally grated on your nerves.

I intend to, I hope you’ll all enjoy everyday living.

Have a fantastic weekend friends!

Much love, always. :)

The Palm Tree Theory

 

758a633b48806655b3517be3427a2e1b

”All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

J.R.R Tolkien (1892-1973)

Palm trees are known to withstand severe storms. After a thorough bashing, you could still see palm trees standing, often times bent, but still in the race with a shot. I’ll relate this to us. Undoubtedly, we face storms in our lives and I think there’s no living soul on this planet who doesn’t have one teeny-weeny thing troubling them. Some could be as sublime as breathing, financial woes, all sorts. I’ve seen friends who are so ill, they couldn’t sleep without an oxygen tank close to their bed. However within a month, they’re back to work. Life continues.

Resilience, courage, and determination helps us ride the storm and that’s the theory of palm trees. They don’t give up, they simply adapt to their circumstances, maybe beaten sore but still around. And I think we could borrow a leaf from their philosophy too, storms may come but we can do what we do best, ride through it!

To the people of Mexico, who could soon be battling Hurricane Patricia, I wish everyone would be safe. I sincerely hope everyone would ride through this unscathed!

Now to sunnier news: October is my bestest (pardon my pun) month. I turned 40 on the 14th. Thankfully, I don’t feel or look it yet. I hope to stay that way but who am I kidding? :)

I hope everyone’s been good. I’ve visited as many blogs as I could and would continue to do so. To many of us sliding slowly into the cold ( I resisted the urge to write ‘fray’ ), stay warm. To those in sunnier parts of the world, enjoy the sun.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends and I’ll leave you with this song:

 Much love, always! :)

Brave Heart

 

2302336700_91ed843341_o (2)

(Photo Credit: Flickr)

”Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu

***

John Parker wanted to tell the kind man who’d saved him from death, but the words caught in his throat. He mumbled inaudibly then coughed loudly. He desperately wanted to unburden and bare his soul to Anselm but realised his new friend would probably call him a monster.

Time dragged on, and Parker waited. The silence in the room was as thick as a winter fog. How could he utter such words to a total stranger? How could he tell Anselm that his girlfriend of 12 years had been diced to pieces and kept inside his deep freezer. Why? Anselm may ask. ‘Oh,’ he may simply shrug his skinny shoulders and just give an excuse, maybe, because he caught her cheating and their seven-year old daughter, Amber, wasn’t his after all. How could he tell Anselm that he, Parker, was a psycho, a sociopath, a sadist whose pain went deeper than imagined? How in heaven’s name could he tell his new pal that he’d been in prison; a prison of the mind where walls whispered obscenities and the only respite he got would be to slash himself open. How could he say such words?

‘I don’t think I should be in this room,’ Parker finally said and a sad sigh escaped his trembling lips. ‘I should go now.’

He stood up but Anselm stopped him with a wave of his large hands.

‘Sit down,’ the older man said firmly. Parker obeyed, his eyes staring straight ahead.

‘You’ve done bad things. I see it in your eyes. Even there’s pain in death, killing yourself doesn’t make it all go away. Get yourself treated, ask forgiveness and turn yourself in. There’s still redemption son.’

John Parker stared at Anselm. His English was flawless, he’d dropped the German accent.

‘Who are you?’ Parker asked slowly.

‘I’m your conscience,’ was the apt reply and the room began to spin.

John woke up with a start, his heart beating wildly. He sat up and checked the bedside clock. It was 3 a.m. in the morning. He’d been dreaming, it was a huge relief but the incident in the dream wasn’t far from reality, his eyes sought his wife of 12 years who was sleeping soundly. He’d been hiding the voices in his head well, it was difficult explaining to his GP that he’d been battling severe depression for three years. After the loss of his job and his wife became the breadwinner, he’d slowly sunk deeper into the quagmire of depression.

There’s only one brave thing left to do, he tapped his wife gently on the shoulder, it’s better safe than sorry, he thought.

***

NP: Guys, I’m sorry I couldn’t post this story yesterday, I tried but life just got in the way. I totally had a different plot to this story but then, it occurred to me that men hide their frailty. They go through life as brave hearts, pillars, unmovable and then they crumple! If you’re a man reading this, please, don’t bottle things up if you’re not well. Life is in phases. Talk to your spouse, close friend or even your doctor. Depression affects a lot of people in our society today and some needless deaths could easily have been avoided if things hadn’t gotten out of hand.

The first part of this story is here if you want to catch up: http://seyisandradavid.org/2015/08/11/dreaming-when-awake/

I hope you’ll all have a wonderful weekend!

Much love, always!! :)

Out Of The Ashes

7455978968_04b8efb882_o (2) (Photo credit: Flickr)

I believe in life after death, not every one does, but I do. Human beings aren’t merely flesh and blood, we have souls, and soul are indestructible. I’ve got friends who are atheists, so I’m not going to expand too much on this before I start a debate that would rival a sitting in the House of Commons.

Yesterday marked exactly ten years when people with warped views of life took the lives of 52 Londoners, they also left almost 100 people with life changing injuries and scars. Yeah I know, my post is a day late but the topic isn’t. After work yesterday, I caught a few glimpse on the news and was sad at such wanton destruction of human lives. But I was proud, (in fact, I still am) to be a Londoner. Years has passed, but we’ve grown stronger as a city. More tourists visited London than ever before, I love travelling on the tube, bus or on a private car. It’s testament to the fact that evil will and cannot win.

If we read the news, there’s always stuff that would make our tummies churn (my daughter always says that), but life isn’t all gore and horror. There’s the incomparable breath of fresh air, there’s the sheer joy of clean water, what about the juicy goodness of an orange? The list is endless, life is good, and it’s tough, I won’t dispute that.

The relatives of the 7/7 bombing and the senseless and needless attack in Sousse would be comforted by the love and prayers sent their way. I believe in prayers but I also believe in living each day with a heart of thanksgiving in spite of my circumstances, that, I believe is what would keep me sane and out of the ashes of stress and despair. My husband used to say that everyone has problems, it’s just our ways of dealing with life’s daily grind that’s different.

I would end my post with this simple quote from Groucho Marx, ‘I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.’ 15598033400_01b66cb659_k (2) NP: I’m still writing, albeit slowly. I’ve informed my publisher of my inability to submit my manuscripts until next year. Life seems to have a way of sending many distractions my way and I always oblige :) I hope everyone is fine. Please, stay safe! Much love to you guys, always! :) :)

Change

14859226710_787db30d13_o (2)

To live well we must adapt to change

                       (Photo credit: Flickr)

The most constant thing in life is change. Sometimes we may try to fight it, other times, we could do the wise thing and let nature or life, as the case may be, take its course. As Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher would say, ”there is nothing permanent except change.”

I agree, the only constant thing in life is change. George Bernard Shaw also penned that ”progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

However, how do we enjoy the changing seasons of our lives? How do we glide seamlessly through the seemingly unknown tides of change? We could either attune our attitudes to conform to whatever changes are before us or despair which would do us more harm than good. Not all changes are bad, actually, some things needed changing to ultimately give us a breather in the chaotic life we sometimes lead.

Using myself as an example, I’d deliberately changed some aspects of my life, and life has thrust some changes on me too. Like when my dad passed, or when I left my job, or when I decided to go solo on my career. Those were necessary but not all changes are pleasant though; the death of a loved one, betrayals from people you love, not been able to keep up mortgage repayments, illness, financial worries…

The list is endless but there are good changes too; the chuckling of a baby, the miracle of new birth, finding love, nature, the beauty of life in its entirety. I could go on and on about changes. I don’t think we should shy away from it. Most times, a seemingly bad change in fortune could well be a catalyst for a better and more productive life.

259fc290-c8cf-11e4-a121-2106a2dfe4d7_image-3

When our situation changes, it will do us well to live in spite of it. Sir Pratchett said it best in the above picture. I think we should live well before it’s too late.

I’ve missed you all, and I hope you’re all well. I’ll be popping by your sites as time permits! Have a great Easter, and if you’re not a Christian, have a great holiday!

Much love guys! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Glimpse Of Bliss

 

Love is in the air!

Love is in the air! It’s all around us!!

(Photo credit: Flickr)

Life (love) is a pilgrimage. The wise man does not rest by the roadside inns. He marches direct to the illimitable domain of eternal bliss, his ultimate destination.

Swami Sivananda

How does one attain bliss in life? How does one attain bliss in relationships? I don’t think there is a clean-cut answer, but I bet it starts with a pure heart. That doesn’t mean the pure don’t get dumped, they do, but they can always pick themselves up again and march on regardless of their situation.

Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s day, the day set aside for lovers because some don’t believe in love anymore, maybe they have been burned several times and are now cynical. I still believe in love in its purest form, (not the kind of trash we see on films sometimes) there is still a lot of love in this beautiful planet of ours, we only need to look deeper to find the truth.
I hope you would all have a wonderful day today, love is the only thing we need in this world, the only remedy that can make our world full of bliss. We would not only catch a glimpse of bliss when we allow love into our hearts, we would live in a world free from pain.
Much love, always!
:)