Tag Archives: musings

A letter of no sense…

Dear So and So,

It is a great belief of mine that at least half of life is made up. We read novels set in other times and what people’s days and thoughts circled around were very different from those of modern times. There was a time when it was thought that you were born into a certain position in life and that is where you should stay. Today, it is people’s belief that you make your own fortune, yet, it cannot be objected that we are all born into a certain position in life; a position where we are surrounded by different people and events who influence our thoughts and, in turn, behavior. These influences often lead us to either make our own fortune or create our own misfortune. We believe ourselves to have free will and be dictated by all we know at the same time. We judge current situations based on past ones and we are often deluded as we do so. And at any one time we are biased by our own longings and desires, friendships and enemies.

Unless we use intuition to base our decisions upon, we are basing them on past experiences, or DNA (biology), whether consciously, or unconsciously. Mentalists have a rather fun time with this as they use common triggers to play with our minds. But even when another human is not controlling our mind, other influences likely are.

We may have free will, but can we use it?

It always perplexed me how a person could live but one meter from someone else, yet have a completely different experience of life. It is no secret that people tend to fall into patterns and suffer, or rejoice in the same victories and failures over and over again. Ones very different from their neighbor, yet it must be possible to experience something else if one just chooses to change. If one engages one’s will and opens one’s eyes, but does that require a trigger? An outside fctor? A manipulation, again, of one’s mind?

To break free from the influence of your past and believe that your life can be entirely different from what it has been is, indeed, quite remarkable. I do believe it to be true though. However, it requires that you distrust your own mind. That you silence the voice inside before you act. Before you make decisions. Before you judge the person in front of you. To survive we have to make assumptions on which we act, but we do well in being aware that our assumptions, our view of the world and, consequently, that the decisions we form, may not be true. In the same instant we do well in quieting our own ego, because the ego will insist that we are right and make us feel jolly ashamed if we are not. Once the ego has been silenced, there is only curiosity left. A curiosity to truly find out what is happening.

Looking back in time there are some things that are, of course, very much like they are today. People appear as led astray by their egos as always. What people think of them matters. Their pursuits are often egotistical. And when their ego is broken they try to break others, or simply control them by gaining their like, somehow else feel valued, overpower them, or degrade them. We love people who love us and dislike us when they do not.

People condemn what they do not feel part of. Different religions have ruled lives for centuries, one often condemning another. Yet looking back it all seems a rather big folly. Everyone is judging everyone who doesn’t think like them a hedonist. This fury in turn is transfered to politics, which affects re day-to-day lives a great deal more. Yet in  few years time, the tides will have turned again. Not unlike people fallin into attraction and realizing it had nothing to do with love; sentiments change unless they’re founded in true respect.

Maybe the most bewildering thing about life is that no one knows much at all. Atoms came together to form life. We’re all stardust. But how did it start, why did it start, what is our purpose, if any, and can something have existed forever? Who knows. Not I.

I believe though, when we always search for the good in life and the good in a situation, life, quite drastically, changes.

Yours Truly, etc.,

M

P.S. I happened to read a Jane Austen novel. I was then siezed by the desire to write a letter as I saw a pen and paper in front of me, but didn’t know whom to pen it for, so I wrote a blog instead. Hence why the writing style is partially different from the rest of my blogs. I may also have been inspired by a certain Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, my coach and The Four Agreements. My free will might not have been entirely free.

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Anyone ever been led astray from the heart by desire?

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A little bit of miracles and sex appeal…

The other day I met a former racing driver. He’d retired from that career at age thirty-three. He had procured two masters and worked as head of sales for some corporation. Then the crisis hit Greece and he was over-qualified for most jobs as they couldn’t afford him. He became unemployed for two years. Then he decided he’d had his time moping, signed up for Uber and became a driver once more. As sales and marketing is his thing he keeps popcorn, crisps, the lot in his car on Saturdays to treat his clients.

If I’d owned a corporation I’d hired him for sales right there.

A few days ago when out shopping food I stopped in the street when I saw a kitten. As I kneeled down, the kitten ran up to me and jumped into my lap. Consequently I was sat there for twenty minutes with a cuddly kitten in my lap. The kitten was quite big – I’d guess a couple of months old – but he had a cold and winter is coming.

This kitten was adorable. It stood on its back legs to be able to “kiss” my neck, it played with my hands, it curled up in my lap, purred and sneezed. I was at the point where I was ready to adopt a kitten which I was dreadfully allergic to, just to ensure it wouldn’t die from a cold.

Just then a man came. He’d passed by earlier, carrying stuff from Royal Canin. I could see a cat carrier and some food. He told me that I was holding the kitten he’d been looking for; he’d take it to his mother’s place in the countryside when going there as she looked after a large number of cats.

As I left the kitten to its fate I was happy because I knew it’d be cared for. I was sad because there was another kitten sneezing in the street too.

Life is filled with good and bad. The people with sex appeal do something about the bad, but focus on the good. They see the miracles and fight the hardships. They enjoy each precious smile and laugh; they live for the good things, because they believe time on Earth is precious and they deserve to enjoy their lives. They unapologetically go for what they enjoy in life. But they also stand up to the bad. They have a spine. Courage. And an incrediblly sexy desire to live life to the full.

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Ego: a knight in shining armor…

I’m a writer and director. That means I’ve learned how to entertain an audience and pack a punch. That’s why when I blog I often frame things up. So as to make a regular insight/life lesson more interesting I use humor and (humorous) sexual metaphors to make it entertaining. I get the point across in an entertaining way, basically. The sex and humor are add ons though: they have nothing to do with my life. It just makes it funnier to process my thoughts that way.

I just spent one and half hours listening to my coach yelling at me, telling me off and lecturing me on my poor communication skills. Apparently trying to make things entertaining, giving people a way out, softening a blow, cracking jokes, etc. isn’t a good idea when being vulnerable in real life.

Let me give you an example.

I meet Richard Branson. We chat. We get to know each other over a couple of weeks. I have a business idea I’d love to chat to him about, but I don’t want to make him think I’m only friends with him for the sake of business. So I tell him I’d love to have a chat about a business idea, but I say it in a round about sort of way and also make it clear that whether or not he wants to have a look at my business, it’s OK. In fact, if it would be of any inconvenience to him, then maybe he should’t look at it at all.

Apparently this isn’t clear communication. Instead of being vulnerable and speaking from my heart, sharing that I have this precious idea I’d love to speak to him about, I’ve muddled up the communication and sent a signal to him that he should opt not to speak to me about it. Because my ego couldn’t stand being rejected by Richard Branson.

Also, just as apparently, I do this everywhere in my life, though I’m fairly certain I’d say just that to Richard Branson.

I always say you have to step out of your comfort zone and “break” your ego. Because your ego is trying to shield your heart by acting knight in shining armor, but in actual fact what you want in your life are things that are a reflection of your heart. Your ego’s way of protecting you is only harming you.

Why do I have to be so clever about these things? Because now I have to stick by my own word and go break my ego, instead of punching my coach. Sigh. Double sigh.

So this is your favorite ego maniac. Over and out.

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Fulfilling your needs…

The first step to fulfilling someone’s needs is figuring out what they are. I’m fairly sure most us are pretty keen to do so when we meet someone we like. Why? Becuse we’ve got at least 5,000 hormones telling us that the person in front of us is the answer to our happiness. Getting his/her jeans off is just part of it…

The hilarious thing is, we don’t have 5,000 hormones activated when it comes to fulfilling our own needs. We want to be happy and when we hit on something that makes us happy, we tend to do it again. However, in this maze called life we often get lost and confused and end up utterly miserable from time to time. The things we don’t love tend to have as much hold on us as the things we love; the things which make us happy.

Last week, I went on a happiness mission. I’ve been miserable for three years about the situation I’ve found myself stuck in with my life; the visa-career-adopt kids situation (a long story for a rainy day). As I am Miss Solutions and used to finding a road out, this feeling of being stuck did not suit me. In fact, it did a number on my head, becasue I was stuck feeling stuck and on the brink of a breakdown from exhaustion from the situation with the kids. While I still couldn’t find an immediate road out, I decided this year to take charge of what I can take charge of and enjoy the now as much as possible.

As the story goes I really kicked some butt in the beginning of the year, but when I had visa setback no. 303 all the nightmares, fears, feeling like living life in limbo, etc. came back. I was still doing better than the past two years, but I had ups and downs and after visa setback no. 304 a few weeks ago the demons inside my head were doing a dance.

This week I decided that whenever my thoughts go down the wrong path, I need to stop and do something which takes me away from any slippery slope I’m going down (see this blog). I need my strength, or I’ll never get to the point where I can sign those adoption papers. Happiness is part of that strength. Frankly, I also just need to be happy because I’m a human being who deserves it, like everyone else.

Secondly, I realized that while I can’t overhaul my entire life, because I am stuck in a visa-career-adoption situation, I can still do what I love. Maybe it won’t be my fulltime career, maybe it won’t pay me, but I can do it. No more excuses that I don’t have the funds to do it, I don’t have the time to do it, or I have to travel so much it’s not worth trying to do something because I soon have to leave anyway. No more excuses.

I am currently busy doing an inventory of what I feel I need to be happy, from mental stimulation (intellectual challenges), to spending time in nature. Then I’m finding ways of fulfilling those needs. Every single one of them.

In the past I tried turning every need into a business, or some gigantic thing or another. Like in my teens when I had hell because I couldn’t decide whether to become a doctor or a filmmaker. In between those two I also contemplated at least ten other careers. Today I was making my housemate soup and brewing some herbs as she’s sick. I like looking after people, I enjoy herbal medicine and health in general. That doesn’t mean I have to be a doctor to fulfill this particular need, or interest of mine.

I always used to feel torn between the many things I love in life and, as a result, miserable. I wanted to be a doctor, a filmmaker and an entrepreneur. One without the other seemed unfulfilling, but maybe it doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s, in fact, quite possible to fulfill our every need…just not in the way we always expect to.

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Happiness is…road trips with my best friend!

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Love is a beautiful battle…

A few weeks ago I was having a phone conversation with my best friend. I had flown to Athens to see her and was really looking forward to seeing her, so I was trying to arrange a meeting. She launched into a monologue about what her schedule looked like, that she never came into central Athens during the weekend, or evenings, when I was free, she was so busy and blah, blah, blah.

I had had a shit week, I had PMS and the one thing that kept me going was the idea of alone time, on a beach, or anywhere in nature, with my best friend. As I did have PMS I was struggling with an insane amount of thinking I was unlovable, so by the time I hung up the phone, ready to cry because somehow I had now triggered my best friend into treating me unlovingly as well, I felt like shit.

I knew I had to do two things: I had to tell my best friend she was behaving like a twat and I had to excuse myself for, most likely, trying to provoke her into behaving like a twat. Because if you feel unlovable, you provoke people into doing things to prove you right. And you have to understand, when I have PMS you can tell me I have coffee on my nose and I will think you hate me, or that you are the biggest idiot alive, the world has come to an end and we can all just prepare for doomsday.

So I wrote my best friend a funny message about PMS where I pointed out the above. As it turned out, she had turned around and just yelled at her boyfriend a few hours later and he had calmly picked up the calendar and told her she had PMS.

She had had social demands on her, for a week, so when I told her to come into Athens she lost it, because she had PMS.

I didn’t enjoy messaging my friend to sort out whatever weird “actions” (drama school language for mental as well as physical actions we have towards people) and purposes (drama school language for what our psychological gain is for doing something) we had during that conversation, but my relationship with her is a lot more valuable to me than my discomfort is discomforting.

Which brings me to the next point.

Last night I came home after a long day. I had been rockclimbing the day before (amazing!) and spent all of yesterday out with friends. You see, last week, I decided that it was time for me to do what I love in order to build my spirit and regain my strenght, so as to have strenght to work and get back to the kids after visa hick-up number four. I had an incredbile weekend, but I was physically spent. That’s when I received a message from my baby girl in Cape Town.

As some of you know I help raise a pair of ten-year-old twins and their now one-year-old baby brother in the township and I’ve fought visas and adoption rules for about four years; having known them for five. This journey is the hardest journey I’ve ever had and I’ve been on the brink of emotional collapse more than once.

Last night I got all these messages saying she loves me, the baby has taken his first steps, and then she sent me this crying emoji and I asked her why. She’s like “it’s just the baby ❤ ❤ ❤ ” and I said I wish I was there to hold him and she sent the below picture. Cue me bursting into tears. She even found an image with the right skin tones. I don’t know why that made me more emotional, but it did.

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I had just been thinking of how tired I am. I have spent you don’t want to know how much money setting up a business and going round the world on a visa mission to be with these kids and I’ve messed up my career, my social life and my life in general and I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.

At that moment, all I wanted was a hug. Not from a friend, but from a man. It’s all I’ve wanted since I started helping the kids, because I’ve wanted someone to be there for me. Support me. Not do my job for me, just be there. Just hug me. And it’s the kind of intimacy you’ll never get from a friend, because it feels different. Friends help, but a relationship is intimate on a whole other level.

Yet, a few weeks ago when I was talking to my coach and he was giving me “love goals” I was telling him I didn’t understand how to achieve them, because let’s face it: I might know a gazillion things about relationships, and I might get 800 men swiping right on Tinder in a few weeks (true story, ego hallelujah), but falling in love makes me feel so terribly uncomfortable (unlovable and not good enough) that I spend most of my time trying to become perfect (impossible) and end up giving up on the whole thing because it’s too uncomfortable feeling like I’m not perfect.

This is when my coach told me that he’s seen me with the kids for five years and no matter what life threw me, I didn’t stop. Nothing stopped me.

I remember thinking when gran got senile and I was helping her in the bathroom, that love isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful. Love isn’t easy, but it is worth it. And my childhood didn’t make it easy for me to accept love, instead I strove to be perfect feeling I wasn’t good enough. I’ve often felt my adult life has been a long fight of not giving into the demons of my childhood; a long fight of opening myself up to love and joy and letting go of depression and self-hatred.

The question maybe I should ask myself is this: if my kids and best friend are worth me overcoming my demons, my fears and my discomfort, maybe my own happiness (a.k.a being loved by a man I truly have a connection with) would be worth the same? It’s a question of will.

I’m not perfect. My best friend isn’t perfect. My gran wasn’t perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. But we are all perfectly lovable. And it is perfectly possible to create great relationships. You just wade through the discomfort, is all. Because it is worth it.

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The five levels of attraction…

A long time ago someone who had made spirituality the main focus of his life and who had studied a lot of Gurdjieff told me something about relationships. He told me that attraction happens on five levels: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical and sexual.

I believe Buddha Bear, as I used to call him, was right. I believe we are attracted to these five different things and for a relationship to work they need to be a match. Not a 100% match, nothing ever is, but high enough.

In the past I used to be scared of ending up with the wrong guy, because, let’s face it: maybe it’s just the physical, sexual and intellectual that’s a match, but if you’re scoring 99% on each of those, you can get a bit blinded. Just a little bit…

Likewise, maybe you have a friend and the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical are all pretty high up there, but one day you fall into bed with each other and realize that the sexual is really not a match. You’re already emotionally invested, so then what?

What I came to realize over the years is that if it isn’t working on one, or more, of these planes, the attraction fades. You don’t get hurt, your life doesn’t turn into a mess, friendships don’t die, you simply lose interest in more than friendship. The only pain is the void you feel; the void you were hoping to fill with Mister-Who-Didn’t-Turn-Out-Right. It’s a little bit harder to let go of those who were close to being right, because we all have emotional and sexual needs, but that’s about it.

The only time you get hurt is when people don’t communicate, or simply just treat you badly.

When I was younger I did get hurt for other reasons, but that was because I didn’t understand any better and let myself get led astray by one form of attraction or another, thinking that was the real deal, then being horrified when it wasn’t. I also had a tremendous amount of ego thrown into the equation; needing to be liked.

There’s also what I call “false attraction” which is basically being attracted to people who reflect your scars by proving them to be true, as opposed to being attracted to people who reflect your true nture; your heart. It’s part of emotional attraction, but as the story goes you are drawn to those who are where you are at emotionally, so if you haven’t sorted those childhood wounds… In short, being an emotional fit isn’t always a good thing!

Even today I believe the best approach is to take things very slow in the beginning, because I don’t think anyone knows if they’re a fit on all levels when they first meet someone. You don’t need to know. You can just slowly find out. Being a fit doesn’t mean you care for each other, or are emotionally invested in each other, either – that takes time. And there’s more to it than being a fit: you also have to be willing to create a beautiful relationships and build your dreams together. That takes work. Work not everyone’s willing to do and that’s their perrogative – we all have different goals in life.

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The milk and cookies rebound…

We’ve all had one right? A rebound. The restoration shag, or date, or…just about anything goes so long as it’s not Him or Her. It’s like milk and cookies when having a bad day: it restores your mind and heart by giving you a rush. You’re no longer down in the dumps, you’re functioning again. You might even see the rainbow after the rain.

For that reason, I am all pro rebounds. You went from being down in the dumps to functional. Realized there were more people to date than your ex. Marvelous. Or if you were onto the milk and cookies rebound, you found some energy and realized the world wasn’t half as bad as you thought half an hour ago. Again: marvelous.

Restoration shags/dates/cookies, if you so like, are one way of getting out of the dumps and back into the world of the living. The problem (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?)? The problem is that if you’re constantly living your life in reaction to events, you are no longer the captain of your ship (mind and body).

You had a bad day, so you call your friend to go for drinks, to take your mind off the day. That means you aren’t going there to enjoy the company of your friend and the bar; you’re going there to get away from your thoughts about the day. Which means you aren’t likely solving whatever problem is bugging you either.

In other words, what’s your end result for the evening? Moping about your problems, running away from them, or having fun with your friend?

That’s not to say that venting, getting love and encouragement from a friend, or taking your mind off things, isn’t a good idea. It can be a great idea. If that’s what you want to create. If that’s what your heart desires.

The thing is, we do all sorts of shit just because of how we are feeling in the moment. We try to release whatever tension we’re holding around something by doing something else. If what you truly want is to create a relationship with your soulmate, going to a bar to find someone to shag is not going to get you any closer, unless intuitively you know that going to that bar that night will take you closer to your goal.

Rebound techniques are similar to simply unleashing our frustration. Like, you know, wanting to create an amazing relationship with someone, only to yell at them when they say, or do something that hurts you. Do you really think you’ll create what you’d love (an amazing relationship), by trying to hurt them because you feel hurt?

Whether you’re feeling frazzled, or happy, stop. Ask yourself what you’d love to create right now. What would you truly love to create? Then take obvious action.

If you’re feeling lonely one night, then curling up on the couch with a movie and a bucket of ice cream might make you feel better, but what becomes obvious is that you should find something to do where you meet people. Possibly not that night, but for the future. Open Google and do some work on that, then you can have the ice cream and the movie.

Quick fixes are sometimes brilliant solutions as they get you in the right frame of mind for creating what you’d love, but remember that if you want to create long term highs, you need to ask yourself what you’d truly love to create, not just resolve the psychological tension around whatever’s bugging you at the moment.

Aniston and Butler in a photo shoot for W Magazine. Unfortunately there are no cookies in there, but see, I found at least one sexy picture with milk… 

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