What better excuse to haphazardly throw ideas and thoughts together than to justify that by calling this random thoughts.
Resonance is a beautiful thing.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t been to the gym in a while. But I feel like I’m running 10 speed on a treadmill.” - overheard in my thoughts
Are hard to keep up in general. Especially when friends are across the country. (And sometimes, across the world.) But I have a friend who I love dearly (heeey girl) but we often only talk every month or so to catch up on the things we’ve missed in each other’s lives. And by the end of the conversation, I’m usually like, “We gotta figure out more ways to keep in touch in the in-between times!” And so we started a mini-book club. But eventually, that fell off, well, because of life.
And so this most recent time, after my little, girl we gotta figure out how to stay in touch more, her response really sat with me. Something along the lines of. This works for us. If this works, why do anything differently?
And so. When it comes to friendships. Do what works. (Oh, and also, do the ones that work.)
As I seek to be more mindful in a world full of distractions (that prevent us from truly living in the now), I’ve come to realize that I’m obsessed (or find great pleasure) in love (of one’s self, of friends, of the planet, of another human being), traveling, and nature, because these experiences tend to force me into the present. Force me to turn inwards. Force me to focus my attention on one thing. Force me to readjust the assumptions that I have on the world, on what is possible.
Vacations are cool. Yeah, they’re pretty cool. I went on one a few weeks ago. To a place. And the whole time I kept thinking, “This isn’t gonna fix or change anything.” Being here. This isn’t going to fix or change anything that I dislike about my life.
That what’s more important. Instead of finding a place to escape to. Is creating and designing a world, a life, that you can’t wait to get back to.
So that’s what I’m trying to do. (And probably won’t take another vacation until I get to that place.)
The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh
I’m not the best communicator. So. Take mantra #4 in the book: I suffer, please help.
How often has someone hurt you (whether advertently or inadvertently), and you actually expressed your suffering to them?
I suffer, please help.
Honestly, rarely. I try to avoid conflict at all costs, unless I’m really pushed there. I am finding my voice. To communicate in a way that causes me (and hopefully others) less suffering.
I’m still sifting through my feelings about the point and purpose of work. (As a note; I actually enjoy the work I’m doing now; but in a world that loves feedback, I’ve got feedback for this concept/notion of work.)
Work, recently, has taken everything out of me. And left me exhausted on the weekends with very little time to do the things during the week that I actually enjoy. (Because by then, I’m so tired all I really want to do is collapse into bed.)
I find joy in reading. In writing. In making it to the 5:30 pm 60-minute boxing class. In being 23 years old, doing absolutely nothing with friends at some bar with semi-decent vibes and overpriced drinks. As work carves into the things that give me true joy, I’ve felt lately, that there is nothing left of me. I have lost myself as a result of NOT doing the things that form the foundation of who I am.
One of the worst day’s I’ve had in the past few months somehow coincided with one of the best day’s I’ve had in a while. Which is a very strange/odd feeling.
For a bit of context, I fell in love with salsa dancing in college. (And met one of my closest friends through that gym class! Who was my salsa partner-in-crime.) Unfortunately, since I’ve left school, I’ve yet to enter back into the world of Latin dance. Until recently.
On a Tuesday night, after a rather emotional day, I went to Alhambra with some friends/co-workers. And spent an hour and a half doing salsa in a circle (Rueda de casino). AND IT WAS AMAZING. Truly. Liberating.
And what I learned? Basically, you can sulk, and feel sorry for yourself. (There is so much guilt in feeling joy when our mind wants us to be miserable.) And let that ruin/steal your joy. Or you can let shit go. Also. No one has the power to validate your worth. (Ew, sounds like a line from a self-help book, I’m sorry.) The world can be a harsh/hard place. And so you’ve got to find the things that bring you peace. (And joy. And happiness. And a deep and profound connection to other human beings, which is what I think most of us crave.)
Took part in interesting psychological group experience a few weeks ago. On the final day of the program, participants were asked to come up with a project/idea (on how to improve Chicago) and showcase that in the form of a video, group presentation, and a poster board.
Throughout the entire day/process, an elevated sense of urgency was in ingrained within the process. You’ve got five minutes to confirm your idea. Two more minutes to submit your short film. One more minute to type up your project summary.
And as we finished the exercise, I spent some time reflecting on my leadership, on the things I could have done better to step up (or more likely, step back), to listen more intently, and to work to ensure everyone felt comfortable voicing their ideas to the group. I also reflected on the structure of the activity. And something I landed upon really resonated with me.
A false sense of urgency in problem solving/decision making is what perpetuates inequity.
Because our group was put under this incredible time pressure, there was not enough time actively work to bring people to the table who weren’t present. Or engage people who at one point, had become disengaged. Because we were so focused on getting to the finish line, and making sure that the product/idea was there. (Not that everyone else made it.)
Also. That we live in a world where we value how people communicate. And that if you have the skill and eloquence of communicating like a James Baldwin, that more people will listen to you, even if the words you’re actually saying aren’t all that profound or interesting. Which is incredibly unfortunate. Because we miss out on all the experiences and ideas of people who have amazing things to say but haven’t been socialized in a world that judges them based on how they we communicate. (Because I saw that if at Whitney Young or Cornell or in any of these highly academic places if I didn’t articulate voice my thoughts, no one would listen or take me as seriously.)
“Meditation is hardly romantic. The ways in which we need to grow are usually those we are the most supremely defended against and are least willing to admit even exist, let along take an undefended, mindful peek at and then act on to change.” - from the second book below.
What I’m Reading
Pleasure Activism by adrienne marie brown. Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.