Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Can you find the hidden tiger in the picture above? Once you see him, it seems so clear, so obvious, but it takes a little while. You don't see him right away. You have to search. Maybe not long, but you have to search. Then you see it clearly.
Friday, October 17, 2008
“Pass through all doors completely.”
When I heard this, I immediately stopped walking, turned my iPod off, and I really thought about what it means to go through all doors completely. The rest of the story isn’t important. I’d like to focus just on these words because I think they offer truly wise advice.
Namwen and I have been talking about decisions lately. Mostly about making them and the difficulties that entails. My difficulty has never been in making decisions. I’ve always felt that they sort of get made for me, I go where I need to go. I’ve been truly blessed to have this clarity. My difficulty came in accepting the outcome of the decision. I'm specifically talking about my decision to come to the
I didn’t exactly choose to come to the
“Pass through all doors completely.”
Clarity. I now saw clearly that I was hesitating, and I have now truly passed through the doorway of the decision I made that brought me here. I’m no longer waiting for…whatever it was I was waiting for. I never had a name for it. I thought at first that it was a fear of change, and I was disappointed in myself. What happened to the brave girl who longed for everything new? Now, I realize it wasn’t a fear of change at all, it was an addiction to change. I got a change, and I didn’t like it immediately (this was not like going to
Look! A banquet! A feast I couldn’t see because I was staring too hard at the closed doors behind me.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
And here are two books I recommend to you, both are deep first hand observations of human struggles seen from the points of view of two very different women.
Paulo Coelho - Eleven Minutes (Story of a young brazilian girl that comes to Geneva, where she becomes a prostitute. It has some for me impressive insights into the nature of sex and love, suffering and pain)
Oriana Fallaci - Letter to a child never born (I have not read it entirely yet, but feel it is a very relevant book for anyone of us, containing the sad and deep thoughts of a pregnant woman that she tells her unborn child)
Have a good day, everybody!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The generation before us had to struggle for the way they wanted to live their lives. The generation of flower power basically felt restrained by society and some found that it was time to resist and do what they could to lift the chains that held them.
Today, all those political and societal struggles have found their place in the past and many of the old flower children have become politicians, policemen and lawyers. The society that they brought their children up in is different in a whole lot of ways, though not in every way, from the one they knew.
If our parents felt more connected to the "establishment" or to the newfound "freedom", they never experienced today's world of endless possibilities as absolutely naturally given like we do. We grew up thinking that it was absolutely right to get a car for your 16th, respectively 18th birthday. We knew how to handle a computer before we had to first apply for a job that required those skills. We know we can get any (and we really do mean ANY) kind of information within a few clicks.
Now we are in a situation where there are no clear rules anymore. We can choose to have sex in Thailand or marry gay in Germany. We can go whale hunting in Japan or protest against it on a Green Peace ship.
Where do you want to go today?
There are very few things restraining us, and by US I mean the kind of people that are reading blogs which in itself already has some preconditions. We should feel privileged by our unique position and yet we are overwhelmed and helpless, restless and stressed, procrastinating and wondering about the right decisions because every decision is ruling out endless possibilities we could have had.
I feel that the only way to face this obvious overflow of possibilities is to give yourself into the flow of life. There seems to be much wisdom in the words of this mom that where we are today is the result of the way we have taken. There were some decisions involved and who would say they were bad?! For my part I can say that if my decisions have lead me here, then I have always made pretty sound decisions. Why is it that I doubt everytime I feel one approaching? Why is it that I doubt decisions already made? Why not leave all this doubting and fear behind?
There is a great book by Eckhart Tolle that I received as a gift and which has since rewarded me with some moments of insight how to leave this suffering behind. Buddhism has a point when it talks about this as the ultimate aim, to get rid of the human suffering and distance ourselves from the rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. That is never to say that you don't feel or think anymore, but that you have the control and distance to know that all that cannot hurt your true core. I have experienced this and practice every day.
Maybe we can help each other, because we are all on this inner road together...
Hope is as hollow as fear.
What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?
Whether you go up the ladder or down it,
your position is shaky.
When you stand with your two feet on the ground,
you will always keep your balance.
What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?
Hope and fear are both phantoms
that arise from thinking of the self.
When we don't see the self as self,
what do we have to fear?
See the world as your self.
Have faith in the way things are.
Love the world as your self;
then you can care for all things.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I feel that it's not just a matter of having more options available to us though. The world has become vastly interconnected. Our generation has grown up with instant access to a constant stream of information. We are constantly bombarded with sights, sounds, and experiences, and if something bores us, there are a million other experiences waiting for us! So maybe we've developed a sort of Social A.D.D. (ooooh shiny!) I can personally attest to this; it's taking me far longer than it really should to write this post. My attention keeps getting diverted elsewhere. With respect to our choices in life, I think we are finding things that superficially capture our interest, while losing sight of what it is that really drives us.
Making choices has been hard for me, for as long as I can remember. In situations where I could only choose one thing, jobs, relationships, you name it, I never knew what to do. Because, by choosing one thing, I was eliminating other options available to me. I couldn't have both, but I was afraid to not have both. Having options and contingencies is comforting to me. Throwing that all to the wind and choosing one thing, and focusing solely on it is not an easy thing to ask of me. So I've gone through life being wishy-washy, never fully committing to anyone or anything. But I finally realized what it is that really drives me, what I really can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
Photography! Everything else has just been idle interests, things I found fascinating and enjoyed doing. But photography, I can't imagine a life without it now. I've decided to follow my heart and do what I love, money will come somehow.
"Pain shared, my brother, is pain not doubled, but halved. No man is an island."
--Spider from Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman