Creating a sense of wonder

Sleeping— Masking— Working and mostly chilling.

That has been 2020 and this year so far.

Over a year has passed. And restrictions have tightened.

For me, this pandemic has not changed much of my life. Subtract the masks and I have been living this life even before COVID.

I used to say “once I pay off my debt, I will….”, “when I move out, I will…”

I had precursors to living, and many of them legitimate. But prolonging desires took away a precious asset. Time.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life

Proverbs 13: 12

I am no stranger to deferring things into the distant future, but the pandemic has added a sense of unease in waiting. Especially since the limitations have been externally imposed.

If there is one lesson I have taken from all this, it is that time waits for no one.

It is independent of the pandemic and pays not attention to wishful thoughts.

I have a lot of mental curiosity, but it often goes unexpressed.

One thing that has been missing in my life since childhood is a sense of adventure.

Physical safety is still a priority, but waiting is no longer an option.

I have to do what I can, when I can, where I can.

The pandemic poses certain limitations. But hey, isn’t that the condition that creativity thrives in?

But, out of limitations comes creativity

Debbie Allen

My goal is to create a sense of wonder, and try new things everyday.

For the next 30 days, I will do just that.

Safety is still key and I will observe the health and safety guidelines.

From building a ginger bread house in the spring to starting a new project, I am open to possibility.

These will be small things I do everyday. But, it will make each day special.

I am not sure if I should share this journey, for fear of falling short. But, in the spirit of adventure, here it goes.

The Challenge starts April 20th, 2021 until May 20th, 2021.

Do you have any interesting challenge ideas? What things are you doing to keep yourself engaged during the pandemic?

What should this challenge be called?

Well, I do not have a stylish or elegant way of ending this blog, so, until next time…

Malaika

Clarity in Anger and An Empty Room

I am starring at this mountain. The feat required to climb this obstructive mammoth will require willpower, fortitude and discipline. From all angles, it is jagged and cumbersome. The only way past it is through it. And so, I climb.

This is rather a dramatic analogy to cleaning my room and I do not apologize for the comparison.

I have struggled with organization in my life as an adult. It seems, my mind cannot keep up with the chaos of maintenance. It feels like I am staring at a mountain with a horizon so high into the clouds, and realizing I have to get up one step at a time.

One step.

Only to realize I am walking backwards.

Inspiring for some, overwhelming for others. I was the latter.

I have struggled with organization in my life as an adult.

I have started to accept this notion that subtraction is foundation.

It sounds like an overly philosophical approach to cleaning one’s room. In essence, I have taken an minimalist approach in life. But in practical terms, I rid myself and my space of everything that is not essential to my well being.

I think I have decluttered over 50 percent of what I used to own and it feels so freeing. I have not looked back. In fact, this is considerable knowing I did not own a lot to begin with.

If you have followed my previous posts, I suffer from a cluttered mind. I cannot seem to see past my feet and it has reaped irreversible consequences in my life. It is often painful to think about.

The first step I have taken is to always make sure my room is clean. This idea was cemented after learning about Jordan Peterson’s Rules for Life; Clean your Room.

It felt like no matter what my day is like, no matter how lost I felt, how jaded my mindset, if only I could come back to a clean space, maybe that would be enough.

I still struggled with keeping a clutter free room. It is not that I had too many things. I just did not know why things were there. Until, I started to learn about the concept of essentialism.

Before being introduced to the concept, I used to have this weird habit of tossing things out when I was angry and ruthlessly decluttering my physical space.

Anger was and is a frustrating feeling, but simultaneously freeing.

Frustrating because there is something in the way, and I feel powerless. But freeing, because it gave me more clarity of things I did not care about. Things that did not matter. Did. Not. Matter. I talked about this in abstract in my last post.

Something about anger brought about a process of cleansing, really in a practical way. I tossed out everything in my way. I would rid myself of things I had hoped to pursue but did not. I am not sentimental when I am angry….or rather I am only concerned about the necessary.

I tossed out everything in my way

I still do not know what I want; it’s hazy and opaque. But, with crystal clarity, I know what I do not want. So, I start from the place of subtraction. A via negativa approach.

Having clarity, is like realizing that I do not want to climb that particular mountain, I do not care what is at the top of it. I still have to pass it, so I will walk around it and find something else.

Que in minimalism. Instead of waiting for anger, I take a more proactive approach. Why not eradicate distraction, clutter and sentimentalism in a tangible way.

I look at stripping away the unimportant, rather than learning to maintain chaos.

This ongoing decluttering process has helped my room stay clean.

This seems like a rather trivial or even juvenile accomplishment for an adult, in fact, it is. But, it is also my story as mundane as it is.

There is a point that subtraction can become addictive, a coping mechanism to overwhelm.

At this time, I will not attempt to derive a greater meaning to this than just having a clean space that I can come to at the end of my day.

The Beach

 

Orange Mason Jar in Body of Water

Feet firmly sunk in the sand, the shoreline pushes in to touch the tips of my toes.

The thrashing of waves hit the coast, bringing droplets into the air without purpose.

The settling sun illuminates what cannot be seen in the day; the silhouette of the tall palm trees. The shadows disappear and the horizon lifts up to be seen, like a curtain being drawn.

The sound of trees swaying in the wind is like soft applause to the day.

Seagulls take flight filling the air with and conversation.

The warmth of the red and orange that colour the sky also touches the skin.

 

Malaika

A drifting mirage

I do not know about you, but oftentimes (a lot of times) throughout the day, I find myself day-dreaming——-especially when I am at work.  I do not fully grasp my thoughts.  At that moment,  I am out of touch with reality (like one foot off the ground). In the next moment, I remember what is and I am grounded back to reality.  But what is reality? The passing moments or the unmanifested dreams? At that moment does not matter? 

 

A drifting mirage

A drifting mirage catches the glimpse of my eye

Faintly it escapes and softly it goes on by.

Into the breeze disappearing delicately

First lingering then evaporating vehemently.

Only in sprinkles can my thoughts commit

Taking on only what it will permit.

Speckles, shimmers, glazes of light

Only in the mist do my dreams recite.

Blurred visions of what is and what is not

A delicate dance between light and erratic thought.

Treading lightly before the vision escapes

Unrealized truth becomes obscure intangible shapes.

Nearly palatable, yet dissipating

In broad strokes the mind is painting.

The unseen

Is foreseen.

The horizon melts

Long-held desires felt.

A mirage drifting

A moment shifting.

The mosaic turns to glass

In remembrance of another moment past.

 

[accompanying instrumental ] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing Half baked Thoughts and Diving Deep.

When I start writing, I usually do not know the purpose of what I am about to write will be.  All I know is that there is something in the innermost part of me that wants to understand and communicate. I have this profound inclination to simply write, express and share.

What stops me from sharing is that my thoughts are often always half-baked. I feel as if when I write something, it should be a report of how I have accomplished something and how you can too.

I am on a journey. I know nothing, except for the fact that I know nothing,  As I am on this journey to self-discovery or self-creation, I have been watching YouTube videos, and reading articles that give advice on self-actualization. But, for me, a lot of what I read and the advice that is given does not reach home. It does not move me, and therefore, it does not change me nor advance me.

It is not that the advice given is not true. It may motivate me at the moment, but I get lost on how I pragmatize this into my life in a real and sustainable way. I am not sure how to internalize it so that I understand it at a transformational level.

Writing this out, I realize that for me, the purpose of this blog is not to provide a how-to, it is not to motivate, it is not even to educate. I write for the sake of expression and share for the sake of connection.

Each post may not provide closure or a life lesson, but it is a space of reflection, that maybe we can start sharing deep nuanced insights that mean something.

In my daily life, I do not feel a sense of connection to people. Understandably people position themselves and postulate. There is nothing wrong with this, but it can leave a gap in the human experience. At the end of the day, everyone wants to be understood. Whether someone is an introvert or extrovert they want to feel connected.  When a gap is left empty something else fills it in, like mental health issues and addictions.

Social media is a way for humanity to have conversations with itself.

~Yung Pueblo

Writing this has brought something to mind. In my previous posts, I articulated the same feeling. I had not meant to publish the article, these were just my raw, unpolished thoughts. In the comments, I received advice that “We suffer from this at different levels, because we all seek to be validated and acknowledged for our existence. Ultimately your self-worth comes from you.”.

I knew this was true. But, at the time this did not fully resonate because I did not know how this advice could be practicalized. My mind was clouded from understanding this on a cellular level. But as the clouds are lifting I am beginning to learn.  I can never feel connected until I validate and acknowledge myself.

In a practical way, acknowledging myself means writing and sharing without having a clear purpose. It is having faith that what I do in direct response to my internal compass is enough. Dysfunction happens when someone is not aligned with themselves. I cannot waste time hoping that others will get it. It does not have to make sense to anyone else, but me. It is what artists do with a paintbrush, and musicians do with music and it is what I do with words. 

How do you acknowledge yourself in a real way?

These are my thoughts. Until next time…….

This is the first time in a long time that I put my thoughts on to a page.

Where have I been? What have I been up to? Why have I not written? These are questions I imagine you asking me.

To be honest, I have not written in a long time because I felt like what I was writing had no value. Like what I write does not truly resonate with anyone. In fact, I was not even sure if I truly resonate with anyone. I still feel that way, but today, I just felt like I would write any way.

Well, since the last time I wrote, I have left that job in the financial industry. I was now or never.  I knew it was either I leave or I would have a mental breakdown.

 

So, I have been struggling with something, and I would like your advice. I have been struggling with a the sense of self-worth ever since I can remember.

 

 

 

365 DAYS OF NO BS. 365 DAYS OF NO SUGAR

Many months ago I started this blog with the fantasy that I was going to , ‘become myself‘, transform my life, slay the dragons of self doubt and escape the clutches of mediocrity. From zero to hero, that was my mission.

Instead, I fell lower into the arms of my old friend, depression, became trapped in the deep spirals of confusion, and ran around the hamster wheel called wishful thinking. Essentially, I did not move forward in my life.  I feel like a mess ya’ll and I wish I was exaggerating.

Let me give you the long and short of it all. In the last several months, I quit my full time position, because I was not able to execute well. To save myself from the potential disgrace, I opted to take on a part-time position at a lower level in the same company. In efforts to gain a marketable skill, I enrolled in college, but within a couple of months I dropped out. I moved to a new city, but still feel trapped by debt. I am still trying to figure my brain out, but still going through mental blocks.  Like I said, this girl needs deliverance from mediocrity.

I have tried a lot of things to help change my life, but things did not work out as intended. The truth is, I do not know how to guide myself through life.

‘Resilient’,’ bold’, ‘gritty’,  ‘fighter’, these are words that I have never been used to describe myself.  I have never fought for anything in my life. When things did not work out, I just let it go. I gave myself a pass. I think deep inside I have always hoped that someone would help me, save me, tell me who I am and what to do.

But, that is not how the life of a victor works. Not by passivity. Not by giving up. Not by cowering.

This time, I am fighting for myself. I am ready to taken on the challenge of becoming a better person and transforming my life in a year.

What is different this time?  There will be No BS. No sugar. I mean this both figuratively and literally. 

When I say no sugar. I mean I will not be making myself feel comfortable at the expense of getting things done. I will not be talking myself out of doing what is right for me in the long term. I will not be sugar coating, making excuses or bsing myself. I will hold myself accountable to myself. 

On the literal side, I will also be cutting out sugar from my diet. This means no artificial sugar in any form or quantity

For the next 365 days, I am documenting my journey, no matter how I am feeling. Mad, sad, tired, angry, depressed, I am writing, I am creating.

I am not waiting until New Years to change my life, no bueno. My journey starts today, right now.

At this point I know three things to be true: 1.  I am a mess, and 2. I need Jesus in my life, 3. I enjoy writing.

Let us see where this 365 day journey leads. My journey to becoming Malaika.

I will post on this blog at least once a week (every Saturday). 

I will write whether one person reads it or whether I am writing into oblivion, but I do hope you join the journey. 

I feel as if I am speaking with you (I am), and that you converse with me to (and you can—by commenting 😉 ). In the next 365 days, what are you committed to doing? Comment below. 

Until next time…..

Peace & Love 

Otto Regular

To bestow is to honour

I am not sure if I fully understand why, but I find ‘bestow’ to be a beautiful word. 

Even without going into the meaning of the word, the word in itself sounds full and rich.  It sounds both warm, and noble somehow. 

It is one of those commonly known words, but not commonly used that it still sustains its novelty. 

It goes beyond appreciation. To bestow is honour someone

It goes beyond giving. To bestow is to present something to someone 

I think of God’s love and how He has chosen to bestow His love (Luke 22:29-30). A lot of times I can be ignorant of my own vices, so self-absorbed I forget to look beyond myself. I forget to appreciate what has bestowed upon me. 

I have heard of “giving forward”. But to bestow is to take it a step further. It is to take ownership of giving what has never been meant to be kept, what has always been meant to be given away. 

Someone can bestow a gift, a feeling (peace, joy, love), or an experience. 

“God helps us to love the way that You love me”

Help Us To Love, Tori Kelly

I just heard the beautiful song, from a blogger and want to bestow it to anyone who wants to hear it. 

 

Has someone ever bestowed something to you (maybe when you really needed it)? And what did that mean to you? 

 

I have nothing to write

I have nothing to write,

but my fingers want to type.

I have nothing to say,

but my lips want to move.

I have nothing to think about

but my mind wants to ponder.

I have nothing to make,

but my hands want to create. 

 

Such are these moments when a heavy fog of thoughts fill my mind, but grasping and making them tangible is only a desire.  

Strange, at times, I think I like the physical act of typing more than the process of writing itself.  Sometimes I just want to write, even if it makes no sense.

What do you like about writing? What is your favourite part of the process? 

 

If its art, it is not for all| 3 Quote Challenge

This is the 3 Day of the challenge. I want to thank msykmak once more for nominating for the 3 Quotes Challenge. Check out her blog. 

“If it is art, it is not for all, 

and if its for all, its not art” 

—Arnold Schoenberg 

Would you say the same about life?  “Your life, it is not for everyone and if it is for everyone, it is not your life”. 

 

Rules: 

1.Thank the person who nominated you 

2.Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (if you can) 

3.Nominate 3 bloggers 

 

I nominate anyone who would like to do the 3 Quote Challenge.

 

Thank you for reading, 

Otto Regular