How do you live your life?

Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.
– Hugh Prather.

Can you identify with this? I totally can. Since it always kept happening to me as a child, I learned by the age of 11, not to make plans or fixed decisions. Not about anything, ever.

Everytime I made a plan for something, it never worked out. Everytime I thought I finally caught a break, things would collapse again.

By the time I was 13, I started meditation. This only emphasized to me what life already taught me. Only, it gave me a new perspective & clarity. Life & God were not against me, I was not cursed or doomed to fail. I didn’t have to live fighting or with dejection, when things didn’t go my way. I deeply understood that change is just the nature of things.

At 16, I did Vipassana, which taught me about annichha – impermanence. Which helped me stop taking life, people, situations and myself so seriously. To trust life, flow with it instead of hustle. So I’ve never been competitive, fought for work, cheated others to get more etc. What’s meant for me will always end up on my lap. There are enough amazing, kind, supportive and generous people around me thankfully. I believe this firmly, because life made sure it rubbed it in deep.

Obviously, I’ve also met tons of well-meaning people who’ve said that my way of living is wrong, that I’m ‘airy-fairy’, living in the clouds, that I should grow up & live in the real world. I listen, but keep on walking (or floating as they say), without looking back, or caring about their beliefs of ‘should’. I understand where they come from.

But we all have our own learnings, and through them our beliefs. I love who I am, and living the way I do – mistakes, falls & all. And for all change & other life lessons, I always remain open.

Happy Teachers Day, to life, every single person on this planet & their opinions. πŸ€—πŸ™

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Misunderstandings (Part 1)

How often do you misunderstand people?
How often do you feel misunderstood?
Could that be because you lack the appropriate skills to communicate?
Or is it because of perception?

You are perceived by others, only in the way they know how. That could be based on their past, their patterns or their beliefs and conditioning, or their mood at this moment – not as you want, regardless of how honest your intentions are. Or as we often see on social media (especially Twitter), regardless of simple logic or established facts. In fact, the more logical or practical you are, the more angry people tend to get. Why is that?


Because they don’t have a reply?
Because they have to accept a truth they’d rather be in denial about?
Because it shakes them out of their comfort zone?
Because they realize there might be truth to what you say, which means what they believed was wrong – and since most people identify themselves with their beliefs, that makes them and all their years of existence wrong? And being wrong according to them, is a bad thing, a shameful thing. It means you accept defeat, that you are a loser. And no one likes to lose, right?

You will always only be received and understood, by the way another chooses, consciously or subconsciously to receive you. No matter what you do. Understand this deeply.

So always communicate with love and calmness. Choose to respond, instead of react. Be kind to those that are stuck in the frustration of not being able to receive kindness, love and help, when you communicate with them. Try not to judge, or condemn them for it.

Can you relate to this in other areas of life?
– Ramona Arena.
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Shams and Rumi.

Page 192, Shams (The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak)

 

They say in life, someone needs to come along and make you realise what your full and complete life has been missing all this time. Like a mirror, that reflects what is absent rather than present, this person shows you the void in your soul that you’ve resisted seeing so far.

But what matters most, is finding the soul that completes yours. Seems this is what all the prophets advised: Go find the one that will be your mirror.

Shams was a mirror for Rumi. So, as I was reading this passage, it suddenly dawned upon me. I have been Shams for a lot of people, and I have had a few Shams come into my life. But these are passing ones. Where is’the one’?

According to my interpretation of this, ‘the one’ can only be one with whom you have a constant Shams and Rumi situation. I realised, I have finally found ‘my one’. I am his Shams, and he is my Shams. I mirror in him what is absent, as he mirrors in me what is absent.

Glory be to The One! Whatever you may call Him – God/Love/Creator/Universe/Father/Giver/Truth/Compassionate/All Knowing/All Seeing/Eternal/Omnipresent/Just… Glory be to Him for showering upon me this wisdom. The wisdom to interpret this so. The wisdom to have recognised this, and the wisdom to be patient enough to allow my Rumi, to look into that mirror and finally see that the Shams he has been achingly longing for, is right beside him, for eternity.

The depth of this love is indescribable. This is truth. Just as you grow, you need to be able to help your Rumi grow. Growning together, rising together in ways that can be so different individually, and so soul shattering but it is always beautiful regardless, for you are always together. With this mirror, you are constantly reminded of 2 things:

  1. You must grow, as you acknowledge what you lack
  2. You are never alone

 

My problem is, I am too direct. Perhaps like Shams of Tabriz in a way, but I’m sure he had smarter ways of communicating directly – I Β perhaps comes across as harsh or blunt; like I’m launching an attack – which certainly is anything but what I want to do. And so here, my Rumi becomes my Shams – teaching me that I must be more clever and have more tact, when it comes to communicating and dealing with people.

May every living soul on these earthly planes experience this divinity, for love can never be more pure. This is an eternal love. Not meant to be understood, nor necessarily accepted by your closest ones. But you don’t need anyones’ approval. This is YOUR love – no explanations, no justifications. It can make you feel everything and nothing. And thereby, complete.

 

 

***This is my interpretation of this passage from ‘The Forty Rules of Love’ by Elif Shafak. I may be wrong, but this is something that resonated and pulsated very strongly through me as I read this. So strong was it, that I could not even finish reading the chapter. I felt the need to share it, so here we go. Feel free to discuss this. May you find your Shams and Rumi in ‘the one’ mirror. Stay blessed, Ramona. xx***

Exploring Self Worth…

Sitting at the airport for a few hours the other day, I was consumed with one prevailing thought. Everyone seems to be trying to be someone. You have the business suits, the cool teens, the frequent fliers, the first timers, the couples, the families, the backpackers. Some people dress nice but look so depleted, so sad and forlorn. And that got me thinking about what they really think of themselves vis a vis what they want to be seen as.

The concept of being born for something. A reason. A purpose. To make a difference.

Does there always have to be a reason for it? What about being born to just be?

People talk about making a difference to the world, adding value to it. They say you are born for greatness. To accomplish. To help. To make something of yourself.

What if all of this was nothing but a bunch of lies, possibly invented to comfort someone. Only somewhere along the line, it has now become a universally accepted belief; one that does nothing but put an enormous amount of unnecessary pressure on each of us to ‘achieve’ something. A thing that will justify one’s very purpose of existence!

What if all one ever wants to do is live a life full of peaceful existence? Away from the crowds? What if all that matters most to someone is to love someone – child or partner or… Does this make one less worthy? Less significant? Less deserving? Must the stamp always be on a sheet of paper, that can be framed on a wall, hopefully preserved by generations that follow, as evidence of purposeful existence?

I almost find it alarming that almost everyone on this planet is expected to have dreams – dreams of things they want to achieve. Why should they?

What if one’s dream is to never become a parent? Or what if one’s dream is to be the most supportive, eternally loving and understanding spouse to their partner? Why does that automatically raise eyebrows or make people assume that this person is weird, submissive, spineless? Is it not an ‘accomplishment’ to love? To love for loves’ sake? No boundaries. No motives, no hidden agendas, no divisions. To just be the greatest giver of love (without intending to be)?

Why must we be ambitious about goals and materialistic things? I may be perfectly happy living my life without fighting for things and attention, reducing this constant need to struggle, to push, to compete; in order to be or have something deemed fit by society. Does that make me a loser?

We seem to have forgotten a most essential thing to our core – we are not defined by things we have/got/made/accomplished. Or in today’s world, by how many likes or followers we have. We are defined by who we are.
So really, who are you?

-Ramona Arena 2015.