Bilkish Vahed

Rebellion & Romance

Tag: self-power (page 1 of 2)

Be a Nuisance

“I don’t want to be a nuisance,” my mother says. And for the umpteenth time I feel the upset in me spike.

“Be a nuisance, be a nuisance!” I want to scream to my generous-to-a-fault mother, who doesn’t want to be a nuisance to another.

Be a nuisance and in “being one” learn that asking for what you want, isn’t being a nuisance. It’s asking for what you want.

Why do so many of us find it hard to ask for what we want?

Be Picky

Some say, a dog and its human partner look alike over time, same twitches, same reactions, same facial expressions.

I say, the people we surround ourselves with rub off onto us. Their attitudes, behaviour, thinking, orientation to living, bleed seamlessly into us, influence our point of view. Our daily conversations with family, friends and colleagues create a culture that we become part of.

A culture of “hell-yes!” coaxes us forward, supports our dreams, facilitates our development. But a stuck in “smallness” rather than “greatness” stance – fear makes people feel small – sagely advises us to shrink our dreams to the “pitiable possible,” to settle for less.

Those who we spend our days with, wield tricky power around us.

Be picky about who you surround yourself with.

Your Life’s Work

As I drifted into wakefulness this morning, I was suddenly aware of a faint stream of excitement. What, I wondered softly? 

With more awareness I remembered that today I wanted to build a few posts on my new Facebook public page, to add a line or two to round off a piece that I was writing yesterday. How come, I demanded now fully awake, how come this “small” stuff was filling me with joy, real joy? 

Ok, I’m sorry, I’m probably not making much sense. You see last evening I was reading the work of some spiritual luminaries who describe how they arrived at a sense of purpose in their lives, and as a result of that came to be doing their life’s work, with all the accoutrement of success, like bestselling books and solid income. 

I went to bed with a feeling of discomfort – how was I to figure out what my life’s work is? So onerous. If I hadn’t figured it out yet in my fifty-seventh year, was there really any hope? Heaviness, I felt.

But this morning, joy. Joy about writing pieces that don’t earn me any money, that at best are read by a few. Was joy the hint that there was something more to these small pieces? I’ve been scribbling all my life. My writing project has remained largely underground with forays into public spaces that I’ve regularly abandoned.

Therein lies the simple but courage-calling-forth dictate: Continue on consistently and build momentum. Layering effort is what builds critical mass. And probably only after some measure of success is achieved, do we speak of doing our life’s work without others laughing in our faces.

In the ruckus of actual, imagined or perceived rejection; or worse still as Elizabeth Gilbert names it – being ignored – the creating must go on.

Anger & its Mysteries

I overslept. Kept waking and dozing, then waking and dozing again, until finally I jumped out of bed and, as one does, reached for my phone and opened a mail from a colleague. As I took in the words, a hot stream flushed through my body, filled me. A second later – there’s always a slivered lapse of time in my discernment – I realised that what was flooding me inwardly was the feeling of anger.

Anger is a shifty sensation.

It always surprises me, like the arrival of an unexpected guest. My frustration with my colleague was about the difficulty of pinning down details, getting her to understand the specifics and particularities of the product that we are making together, the frustration of clarifying, fine-tuning, and enlisting her support. But anger, anger is personal. I’m irritated and frustrated with my associate as we sort things out. But my anger is not about her, it’s about me and my sense of embroilment in a limping project.

There’s this woman, you see, who lives inside me, looking out from my eyes. This woman, who keeps me on the straight and narrow path of my own desires and dreams. When she rises, she rants: Do you need to remain entangled in this situation, this relationship? Have you forgotten that you’re never trapped, never stuck, that you are always the master of your own change, big and small?  Do you want change here? Hmm? Then let’s do it! 

In the wake of anger comes a clearing, a reconnection with my Self, lightness.

The Fragility of Self Care

On Thursday morning I woke up at 3.30am, was picked up at 4.45am and brought to the airport in time to catch a 6.30am flight. When I arrived at the airport, it was buzzing, just like it usually is at this time of morning. 

Incredible, I think to myself, how we all succumb to this insane way of working – routinely waking up in the dead of night, cutting short the vital renewal that each nights sleep brings, in order to touch down in another city at the top of the hour, to begin a new work day!

But everyone does it. And when everyone is doing it, then the behaviour becomes acceptable, the status quo is established. Like sheep we all follow and ignore the discomfort that we routinely feel.

Travelling throws me off balance in many ways  – it affects my sleep, what I eat, when and how much I eat, opportunity to move my body regularly, keep my circulation happy, blah blah. When I discuss with colleagues my travel discomforts, I’m met with glazed eyes. If they feel any “offness,” discomforts of their own, a painkiller here or there is the answer.  

But I make too much of this story of travel. The thing that really puzzles me is how out of touch so many of us are with our own needs. And if we get a whiff of them, how crippled we feel about finding a way to tell all concerned – bosses, lovers, friends, family – about what we want, and also what we cannot deliver in the relationship.

In bewilderment, we either occasionally throw our toys out the cot like angry children, or numb ourselves with too much food, too much sleep, or drugs. Mostly though, mostly we swallow our discomforts and unmet needs in a forest of silence.

Without caring for ourselves, and negotiating the delicate balance of relationships, we all too easily slip into shadows of our vibrant selves. Do you stay sharp to your own needs?

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