A Day In January…

 

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                                                                       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.

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                                                           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.

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                                                                          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!

🙂

The Happy Isles

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And though We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

‘Thinking about that poem a lot lately and I think what it says is that while it’s tempting to play it safe, the more we’re willing to risk, the more alive we are. At the end what we regret most are chances we never took.’

Dr Frasier Crane.

Trying to sum up this year has left me floundering for the perfect words to write, but then, Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson came to mind. I realised that the reason we’re sometimes miserable in life is neglecting the things that are dear to our hearts.

‘It’s easier said than done, a dear friend once quipped wryly, fate is a cruel lover.’ I disagreed with her. Most times, we leave our lives in the hands of fate when we can dictate how we want things to turn. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things we can’t control, yet in the same vein, there are things within OUR control.

The end of a year signals something final and irreversible. Likewise, it also foretold adventures not yet taken, dreams not yet realised and battles not yet fought nor won.  It could however, prove an unsettling experience if we believe our lives aren’t what we want it to be by doing nothing to make it what it ought to be.

There’s a way out though, why not envision what you want and take ample steps towards it? By doing so, you would be able to satisfy your innermost desires knowing that you tried and succeeded or maybe not but at least, you took action.

The new year is almost here, and I want to use this opportunity to appreciate my friends all over the world, for their continued support and friendship. I hope 2016 would be a better year and that peace and love would be a visible part of our lives in the new year!

I hope we would touch our ‘Happy Isles’ in 2016, we just need to believe so.

Much love friends, and happy New Year!
🙂

 

A Time To Love

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

‘Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate the love of God and family and to create memories that will last forever. Jesus is God’s perfect, indescribable gift. The amazing thing is that not only are we able to receive this gift, but we are able to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year.’

Joel Osteen

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(I love the Lake District!)

‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.’

Norman Vincent Peale

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things.

Thomas S. Monson

Reading these quotes reminded me of the real meaning of Christmas. It’s a time of love, a time to share, and a time to have fun. Some people aren’t so lucky to be surrounded by loved ones this Christmas but we could help in our own way by donating money, food supplies to charities like the Salvation army and spread the spirit of love wherever we find ourselves.

From my end here, I wish every one of you a merry Christmas and a happy new year! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, happy holidays!

Much love, always.🙂

On Humanity And Idiosyncrasies

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(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.🙂

A Taste Of Heaven

Buttermere, Lake District National Park

(Lake District, England)

I was flying, at least several feet above the ground. I felt the warm sun on my face and the gentle breeze became my new lover by caressing my face. I saw a sea of sunflowers swaying to an imaginary music. The sight stunned me as I watched mesmerised by the awesomeness of it all. My soul was at ease, all my problems floated away into nothingness. I couldn’t remember where I was coming from or where I was going.

I was static but not in a bad way.

I knew I still had a body but didn’t feel any urge to check what I looked like. I felt a tingle on my toes and the sun shone so bright my eyelids almost hurt. I wanted to reach out and touch it, naturally, I wanted to stay there forever. I heard soft murmurings from afar and gradually, it developed into a chorus of some kind. My eyes flickered to the sunflowers again, the soft chorus emanating from the distance further heightened my sense of euphoria.

I watched and waited for what seemed like years. In the distant, I saw a hill covered in flowers I couldn’t possibly describe. It was an awesome experience. And then, I woke up and saw the worried faces of my sisters…

You can read more on this story here: https://seyisandradavid.org/2012/11/14/death-and-the-angels-of-mercy/

I’ve read and heard countless debates about life after death, my position is simple enough. I’m a firm believer in life after death. The universe and everything in it didn’t happen because of some flimsy big bang theory. It’s more than that.

The events described above were real. I had that strange experience after my heart stopped on the operating table several years ago. I didn’t see any angels but I totally experienced a brief taste of heaven and believe  me, it was as real as my fingers punching away on the laptop.

We live in a wonderful world, however, there are worlds beyond our human comprehension, beauty beyond any language known to man. I think that’s why I write more about the supernatural, I’ve experienced it so many times, I know God is real and He loves us so much.

I’ll stop here and hope all my friends would enjoy the rest of their week!

Much love, always!🙂

The Palm Tree Theory

 

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”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!🙂

Surviving Decay…

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      (Photo credit: Flickr)

”Although the living is subject to the ruin of the time, the process of decay is at the same time a process of crystallisation, that in the depth of the sea, into which sinks and is dissolved what once was alive, some things ‘suffer a sea-change’ and survive in new crystallised forms and shapes that remain immune to the elements, as though they waited only for the pearl diver who one day will come down to them and bring them up into the world of the living.”

Hannah Arendt.

I saw this quote by one of the most brilliant minds of the twentieth century. I studied some of her writings, and was pretty impressed by her bluntness, ingenuity, and simplicity. Some  of her works are ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism, ‘The Human Condition,’ ‘On Revolution,’ and ‘The Human Mind.’

It’s a known fact that when we don’t really use our cognitive function, we rot and decay. It’s no wonder that people with warped views of the world and society caused most of the evil in this present age. In layman terms, cognitive function can be aptly described as ‘an intellectual process by which one becomes aware of, perceives, or comprehends ideas. It involves all aspects of perception, thinking, reasoning and remembering.’

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I won’t go into too much details about the lack of this important aspect of our civility as humans, I’ll just try to touch base with some of the setbacks we would experience if we don’t use our brains. Lack of cognitive function is responsible for most of the ills in our societies today. Citing the examples of religious bigots like Islamic State murderers, Boko Haram and serial killers whose brain have been irreparably damaged by their intellectual paucity, its little wonder that they believe in fables and riddles purportedly yarn to elicit their obedience.

Decay is essentially part of all living things, we are born, we live, we grow old or maybe not, and then we die and the decaying would start. All living things, especially humans, have the extraordinary ability to survive decay through our offspring, thought patterns, actions and deeds.

How do we leave great legacies behind? How do we defeat the theory of decay which governs all living things? It’s simple – our thought processes is as important as the air we breathe because that would ultimately affect our choices in life, beliefs, and the quotidian or relatively mundane life we led.

Another thing I wanted to point out, also by Arendt, was the effect of thoughtlessness in the life of human beings, it’s always disastrous to lead a thoughtless life. This was aptly described when Hannah Arendt went to Jerusalem on behalf of The New Yorker, to report the trial of Otto Adolf  Eichmann, who was accused of crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Arendt described Eichmann as thoughtless;  quiet authentic inability to think. Succinctly put, absence of critical thoughts can actually turn us into a monstrous, stupid, or crass entity who could be easily blown apart by every wind of doctrine.

Critical thoughts are what makes us the higher beings, capable of making sane, rational decisions. That’s simply what differentiated us from animals.

Arendt is a political theorist but many scholars hailed her as a philosopher. I love reading her works, it makes me think deeply about life and society in general. The above quote could be used and interpreted in several ways, I have chosen my way and that is the fact that we can surely survive decay. We only need to think and we’re free to create a better life for ourselves and everyone around us. Life is in stages, enjoy it while you can and THINK before you act.

NP: The life of a writer is a lonely one, I’m still slaving away on my books hence the sporadic updates on my website. I’ll be visiting your blogs as time permits. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts, I’ll love to read what you think.🙂

Enjoy the rest of your week my friends!

Much love, always.🙂