All posts by 4ever21christina

Christina is 25 years old, living in Los Angeles, USA. She graduated in 2013, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Creative Writing. Christina is a curious soul, so she filled her college career with classes about art, philosophy, fashion, photography, etc. You name it, she took it (say... archery? Yes. Hmm belly dancing? Yes!). Yes, it all that "learning" did result in prolonging her stay at college, but she doesn't regret it one bit, as she feels ready as ever to produce this blog to you and introduce you to her colorful world! She has three blogs, make sure to check them out: 4ever21Christina https://4ever21christina.wordpress.com A blog for the happy, modern, well-rounded woman. Today Is the Day http://everdayinspirationalquotes.wordpress.com Tune in for daily inspirational quotes plus their matching photos. I Heart Vocabulary http://iheartvocabulary.wordpress.com A vocabulary devoted blog.

know thyself 2

 

“1. Here is a funny story: a friend of mine who teaches at a university used to complain saying that he was sick of seeing half of his students sleeping during his classes! Poor things were always bored to death. It may have something to do with the fact that he was teaching ” Constitutional Law” , but still, indeed a good teacher should be someone who can make any subject interesting. So he finally decided to do something about it and arranged a meeting with a famous Austrian Professor, specialised in Pedagogy, to ask her for an advice.

The first thing the woman said was: – Are you also bored when you teach? He said: – Oh yes, absolutely!!! It is a simple point but we all can learn something from this: A bored person is boring and an ” interested” person is interesting!

2. Most of us have no connection to our inner selves. The best way to make that connection is to be CURIOUS about ourselves. Just to wonder why we do what we do and why we think what we think. It can be really fun to look at yourself this way: with compassion and curiosity.

3. The closer you get to yourself, the closer you get to others. And we only need two things for this: To find the right TOOLS to look inside. To find the right WORDS to describe what we see.

TOOLS: – The best tool I know is Alain de Botton’s philosophical meditation. They have a video about it on this (Youtube- The School of Life) channel. Don’t miss it! You could then print the questions below the video and go through them at least once a week. They are extremely helpful. One tragic thing about almost all of us, is that we really don’t know how to think. It is so difficult to think ” clearly” about yourself. What we call “thinking” is often just ” brooding”. And we have all sorts of mechanisms to delude ourselves too. So it is great to have a clear question in front of you, to which you must find an answer without changing the subject! If we learn to ” talk to ourselves” in these very interesting and productive ways, we can hopefully do the same with other people too! – Another great tool is Mindfulness Meditation. You could search for this on Itunes and start today: UCLA Hammer Meditation. ( I have watched a lesson on Mindfulness from Yale University on youtube. The teacher there recommended these guided meditation podcasts. They are extremely helpful! ) And the best books I have read on meditation are: Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill, by Matthieu Ricard Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan For Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams.

WORDS: – Wittgenstein says: ” All I know is what I have words for”. In order to have more words at hand to describe how we feel, we need to read a lot of good books, poems, watch good movies, listen to beautiful songs, and listen to the people around us very well. After all, our stories may be very different, but we all suffer more less because of the same things.

4. Three excellent podcasts on how to listen and communicate well are: Listening generously, Rachel Naomi Yemen with Krista Tippett On Being with Krista Tippet, Kwami Anthony Appiah BBC A Point of View, Alain de Botton on The Art of Conversation.

5. A writer from Turkey, Ahmet Altan, says that the most interesting things people could say, are the things they don’t dare to say and rather keep for themselves. What a pity really! But he also adds that children don’t have that kind of fear. And that’s why when you talk to a child you can always hear something interesting!

6. It is so true that those who had travelled the most or met famous folks etc. , aren’t necessarily the most interesting people. Once I had a coffee with a musician I knew, a few days after he came back from his South America tour. So I asked him how it all went. I thought it must have been a life changing experience! But all he could say was: – Oh, yeah, it was cool. Cool! It was so cool you know…. He had gone through an extraordinary experience but he didn’t really ” experience” anything! He was the exact opposite of the painter in this beautiful lesson, who knew how to make something so valuable out of an ordinary ( at first sight ) experience!! That’s why this quote by Rilke is so important: ” …For believe me, the more one is, the richer is all that one experiences“. So our goal should be to become wiser, more sensitive and more profound , so that everything we experience can also become more meaningful. And if we feel the need to share all these, we won’t be boring. At least to some people!”

 

  • Copied from a comment on Youtube by Lua Veli.

know thyself

“The gift of being interesting is neither exclusive nor reliant on exceptional talent. It requires only direction, honesty, and focus. The person we call interesting is in essence someone alive to what we all deeply want from social intercourse, which is an uncensored glimpse of what the brief waking dream called life looks like through the eyes of another person. And reassurance we are not entirely alone with all that feels most bewildering, peculiar, and intense within us.

 

my love, E.E. Cummings

animal-wallpaper-with-a-group-flying-doves.jpgmy love
thy hair is one kingdom
the king whereof is darkness
thy forehead is a flight of flowers
thy head is a quick forest
filled with sleeping birds
thy breasts are swarms of white bees
upon the bough of thy body
thy body to me is April
in those armpits is the approach of spring
thy thighs are white horses yoked to a chariot
of kings
they are the striking of a good minstrel
between them is always a pleasant song
my love
thy head is a casket
of the cool jewel of thy mind
the hair of thy head is one warrior
innocent of defeat
thy hair upon thy shoulders is an army
with victory and with trumpets
thy legs are the trees of dreaming
whose fruit is the very eatage of forgetfulness
thy lips are satraps in scarlet
in whose kiss is the combinings of kings
thy wrists
are holy
which are the keepers of the keys of thy blood
thy feet upon thy ankles are flowers in vases
of silver
in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes
thy eyes are the betrayal
of bells comprehended through incense.

Admonitions To A Special Person – Anne Sexton

country-meadow

Watch out for power,
for its avalanche can bury you,
snow, snow, snow, smothering your mountain.

Watch out for hate,
it can open its mouth and you’ll fling yourself out
to eat off your leg, an instant leper.

Watch out for friends,
because when you betray them,
as you will,
they will bury their heads in the toilet
and flush themselves away.

Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.

Watch out for games, the actor’s part,
the speech planned, known, given,
for they will give you away
and you will stand like a naked little boy,
pissing on your own child-bed.

Watch out for love
(unless it is true,
and every part of you says yes including the toes) ,
it will wrap you up like a mummy,
and your scream won’t be heard
and none of your running will end.

Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can’t be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.

Special person,
if I were you I’d pay no attention
to admonitions from me,
made somewhat out of your words
and somewhat out of mine.
A collaboration.
I do not believe a word I have said,
except some, except I think of you like a young tree
with pasted-on leaves and know you’ll root
and the real green thing will come.

Let go. Let go.
Oh special person,
possible leaves,
this typewriter likes you on the way to them,
but wants to break crystal glasses
in celebration,
for you,
when the dark crust is thrown off
and you float all around
like a happened balloon.

Anne Sexton

Animals Truly Bring the Best in Us

Iron Mike Tyson Visits Pigeon Fancier

tyson-pigeons-9.jpg

mike-tyson-and-pigeons

“It’s no secret that I love pigeons. They have been a fascination of mine since I was a young boy, and they continue to bring me great peace even now. People are curious as to why I have such great affection for them.

The answer is simple. It’s because they aren’t difficult to understand. Unlike human beings that have the capacity to manipulate and deceive one another, they are basically animals of habit. If you treat them well, feed them, give them safe housing and lots of love, you can expect a good relationship with them. However, that isn’t the case with human relationships. Through life experiences we learn that treating someone decently and being loyal to them will not necessarily guarantee you the same in return, although it should.

As a child, I was very awkward and never felt as though I fit in (anywhere). On the roof, none of my insecurities mattered. As I watched the birds soar above me, in that moment I was free just like them. I didn’t have to think about my growling stomach, wondering where I was going to get my next meal. I didn’t have to worry about the other kids trying to bully me or make fun of me because I didn’t have money to get nice clothes.

My birds never judged me or made me feel inadequate. I was actually the most important relationship that they had. They were totally dependent on me for food and shelter and I felt honored to be needed, and this made me feel wanted and relevant.

Actually if it weren’t for a pigeon, I may not have been the heavyweight champion of the world. Pigeons were the first loving relationship I ever had. As a matter of fact, when a bully that was antagonizing me killed one of my birds in front of me, I snapped and began fighting him. If it weren’t for this guy hurting my beloved animal, I may not have ever had the desire to fight. By him hurting an innocent being that I loved and cherished, it was the catalyst to the fighter within.

Now that I am retired from boxing and living a fairly normal life … a wife, kids and a home in the suburbs, I still have my birds. My pigeons have gone on an amazing journey with me from a child to a man. They’ve been with me when I didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. They were also there when I had more money than I could even count. But rich or poor never meant anything when it came to my birds.

Unfortunately, pigeons get a bad rap, especially by New Yorkers. However, the next time you pass a pigeon on the street and consider kicking it out of your way, be reminded of my story. They are highly intelligent animals and arguably the most loyal. Make a pigeon your friend and you’ll never be lonely.”

Mike Tyson, the former world boxing champion, was recently featured in a six-part documentary for Animal Planet, “Taking on Tyson,” about his passion for raising and racing pigeons. Originally from Brooklyn, Mr. Tyson currently lives near Las Vegas, but keeps one of his pigeon coops in Bushwick, Brooklyn. For Bird Week, we asked Mr. Tyson for his thoughts on New Yorkers’ winged nemesis, the pigeon. This was his response, which we received via e-mail from his wife, Lakiha Tyson.

Source: https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/bird-week-mike-tyson-defends-the-pigeon/?_r=0

I’m very touched to learn about this tender side of Mike Tyson. I never really considered him a role model but I am in awe about the sight of tough guy gently caressing a pigeon. It is a proof that the innocence, and gentleness of animals can truly pierce through  our harsh, concrete facade and bring out the best in us.

Word of the Year: Post Truth

Post-truth politics (also called post-factual politics) is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.

Oxford’s 2016 Word of the Year and why I stopped discussing anything with people and why my the generation is the way it is and why the world is the way it is.

At the end of the day after all the malarkey and noise, the very real suffering that exists in this world slaps me in the face and reminds me of my utter and irrevocable weakness and fragility. My thoughts race about trying to solve it all, but how can I solve something I can’t fully comprehend? How can I solve something I am too fearful to face? After my brain exhaust itself, I run to Him to take solace and refuge. I let Him be God and let me be me. (And that’s how I sleep at night.)

 

2-corinthians-12_9.png

The problem with Millenials

Unfortunately the disconnect that is happening today within my generation is nothing but a result of the Individualism movement (& the Self Esteem movement) that was bound to happen after a generation has been spoon fed brain waves by false media and crooked celebrities through screens. Screens everywhere and at all times! The elites tapped into humans’ deepest fears and darkest desires: the yearning to belong and to feel important and successful without doing anything important or successful. Now we are merely “celebrated” for being Who We Are and while on the surface that sounds beautiful and poetic, it is not! This belief makes us stuck in a place of complacency, cheap egocentrism, and blind selfishness. Anyone who dares not see how “special” we are, just for being Who We Are must surely be wicked and backwards. Everything is “me, me, me” and is designed to make “me, me, me” feel good. Until we find out the hard way that the world doesn’t revolve around us then we lash out. Don’t get me wrong and cast me backwards just yet, I think we should all have self worth to be able to lead healthy lives but our self worth shouldn’t be embedded in merely Who We Are as there is no foundation there for it to grow but rather what we do for others and yes, how much we sacrifice and deny ourselves. The reason our pursuit of “self esteem” is backfiring is because self esteem shouldn’t be the pursuit and it’s an idea that can not sustain itself. And even as we are contributing to others, our motivation shouldn’t be to “earn” self esteem as that will inadvertently lead yet again the pointless pursuit of self esteem. Once we let go of the idea of Who We Are, mentality of entitlement, and strip down of the layers of labels and identity then we can see what truly matters and we can feel JOY, not happiness, because noting brings more soul-nourishing ecstasy to the human heart than denying ourselves of ourselves and letting go. 
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ” (Matthew 10:39)

Rules of Happiness: Spend Out

image1Dear Wonderful Reader,

In her book “The Happiness Project”, Gretchen Rubin advises her readers to “Spend Out”. When I first read the header of the chapter, I thought she will talk about money and how we should spend more money in order to be happy.

Thankfully, her advise was much more accessible, and simpler than that. Ms. Rubin is advising against hoarding (guilty!!) or basically saving our “good” bra for only when we’re going out somewhere fancy. Or in my case marking my fancy perfume as a “special occasions ” perfume. How many of us are guilty of saving our “nice” things to events where we see fit, which may never come. Why not just enjoy them now  and put them to work and get our money and hard work’s worth. At the end of the day, they’re just things and they’re irreplaceable. Emotionally, it makes a lot of sense to suck as much happiness from what we got now rather than assigning them to a future they may never see (lol). Economically, it makes even more sense because you’re using all your resources (which may go bad or out of style if you keep hoarding).

So SPEND OUT and don’t hoard things. Wear red lipstick even if you’re only going grocery shopping. Break out the fine China for a simple event (or none at all). Wear your sexy bra even if you’re only running errands. Adore Me is encouraging women to wear their “good” bras AT ALL TIMES, check out their Instagram page for more inspiration. And I HIGHLY RECOMMEND “The Happiness Project”.

And yes, that’s a dog’s bed in the photo.