Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I like it all

I like the quiet days when it's just me and my home, when I have all the time I need to focus on work.

I like the days buzzing with excitement at a training, where the learning and challenging my beliefs never stops.

I like the days  which are filled with meetings with  my friends,  and as our hearts unravel  I know that I belong. 

And yes, I do get tired and frustrated about the "having it all", deepening what I already have and reaching out to what is new.

Still, I like it all. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Beauty of anger

I used to think that anger was something to be repressed, avoided  and feared. 

But after a workshop I attended recently I  looked at anger with new eyes.

That wave of fever that runs through my body when I feel angry, that sudden splash of somebody else's anger  in my face  brings an energy that can take me somewhere important. 
What is my anger trying to tell me? 

Just as I was writing this post I got an e-mail with news that brought a hot flush to my cheeks.  I do have to say it didn't feel so beautiful at that moment, rather uncomfortable and disstressing.  I stopped for a moment asking myself what my anger was alarming me about. I tried to follow its energy and yet find a more compassionate side to it.   

And there it was showing its not so obvious beauty, softening and ready to guide me into something deeper. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

There's something about October

I have read already a few posts on my favourite blogs which are "odes" to October. I guess not much has changed since Keats and the beauty of seasons simply must be told over and over again. 

The way apples are crunchier than at any other time.

The way  the intense coulours of changing leaves remind me that change can be beautiful. 

The way with the days getting shorter the rays of sun become even more precious.

The way  the air is still crisp, but not too moist nor frosty. 

The way there is some more seriousness, maturity than in September,  which still belongs to the summer, and yet  it is filled with energy and briskness that is later swept by the melancholy of November.

The way it takes us gently into the autumn season. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Conversations with the heart

This is something I have been thinking a lot in the last years. Unrequited love. 

It can be an act of courage and living from your deepest conviction to care for someone even if  they won't love you back. 

But it can also mean a kind of withdrawal from life and holding back to something that doesn't change. 

It can mean that you have found something so precious that you put loving someone before fulfillment, you trust in your choices and intuition.

On the other hand it might bring your self-worth down to the point to believe "I don't deserve to be with anyone".

Is it unselfish, beautiful and romantic? Or is  it foolish, obsessive, delusional? 

Maybe it's the question how to live this kind of love. How to give that other person the freedom, and at the same time look after yourself, after your heart.  Be faithful to yourself and value your choice, even if the world should say otherwise, but at the same always be ready to question if that's what you really want. 

And the most important question of all: does it make you grow or does it withhold you. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Miss Representation

When I take the metro I often watch the women around me.  I observe how they are dressed,  their hairstyles  and the look on their faces. Obviously, I think about their age. When I look at a  woman who is younger than me I think "I am never going to  look like her again" and then when I look at an older woman I wonder how will I look at her age.  I think about what shapes beauty and whether it lasts.  Obviously I think of aging.
In a time when older women can be fit,  active and succeed, why should  I be afraid of aging?  As time passes why do I worry about changes if when I think of older women that I know and admire, all I see is their class and grace?...

I started writing this post before attending the Women's Congress in Warsaw on 15 September where I saw the documentary Miss Representation. 
The picture is now sharper to me, I understand more.  The film made me realize to what extent, almost subconsciously, the model of perfect beauty and youth influences me when  I look at myself and other women. 

I could say it's the media that promotes ideals I don't agree with, I could say that I value the heart and the intellect more than the looks (and I do), and I know age is just an etiquette and I would never let anyone judge my professional value on looks but... The truth is that there is always that moment, that incidental slip, that instinctive (though culturally acquired?) look and comparison.  

And I need to be aware of that, embrace naturality and imperfection even more.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some thoughts on empathy for the "me, myself and I"


 When I  think of the things this world might need the most, empathy comes to my mind. Empathy is kind of a gentle power (gentle vs. soft which often means simply getting your way in a nicely-coated fashion)- the power to change how we feel in this world, and how we are with other people.

To me empathy is  for example trying to listen to the other person first before making a judgment, or at least noticing the judgment when it comes, and talking to yourself in a loving way. 

I wonder why sometimes being empathic toward yourself is so hard. It's easy to be over-critical ("I always screw up"), it's no so hard to be sympathetic ("Poor me"). 
But it's not so easy being  a gentle observer of oneself: (''Hmm I am not feeling so great right now, because I did something I didn't like, but maybe there is something I could do about this?")

This has been puzzling me, because I have been practicing empathy in many ways and I am becoming acutely aware of situations when my "I-need-empathy-alert" goes on. But empathy seems a gentle remedy, and in situations when my inner critic goes wild or my pity party wailing voices sing, I want to be drugged. "Let's pretend it never happened", "It just doesn't make sense"

I have felt the positive effects of self-empathy, it calms and soothes  the "me, myself and I" and makes me look around and ahead. But it takes time to absorb it, to learn to talk to myself this way.

So even though self-empathy can be spontaneous, is always there if I take the effort to switch my thoughts and words, but it's not a quick fix once for all, rather something that is (at least for now)  conscious decision and effort.