Tag Archives: life

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.

 

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.

Books that I Have Enjoyed Recently

I suck at book reviews so don’t expect fancy reviews here. Though, please go to Amazon to read actual real reviews if anything sparked your interest, that’s what I usually do.

 

2011, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I loved this book and how the writing really make the characters come to life. Definitely a book where you could still hear the characters’ voice visit you in your head months later or even years. Captivating story about Hemingway and his first marriage. About love, careers, France, Spain, babies. Highly recommend!!!!

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2015, Circling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain

Just as colorful, Paula Mccain never fails to deliver memorable characters that will live with you for years. Our heroine is simple fierce and unstoppable just like the African tigers and horses.

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2015, The Improbability of Love by  Hannah Rothschild

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If you like over the top wittiness, then this book is for you. Simply amusing and irresistible book that will teach you a lot about the Art world.

1999, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding

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This book is funny and describes perfectly what it’s like to be a woman caught in the world of dating and self help books and zero size supermodels magazines. A must read if you enjoy chick flicks.

 

Start the Day on a Good Note

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What do you guys do first thing in the morning to start the day on a good note?

 

Today, I found myself clung to my phone browsing the internet and forgetting my priorities. The dangerous thing wasn’t the aimless browsing but it was embarking on the “negative” websites that one tend to find spontaneously on the web. I researched problems instead of solutions, illness instead of healing and I felt like I am not setting a good tone for the day.

 

How do you guys spend your first hour of waking? How should I spend my morning?

The Acquisition of Faith

leap-of-faith_724_482_80I didn’t know that this moment would be carved in my memory until today, but it is. One time my brother and I were driving home after attempting to Christmas shop at an expensive mall (South Coast Plaza, CA). The drive home was traffic-filled and we got to talking about random stuff then somehow the conversation shifted as it always does after being trapped in a car long enough with someone close to you to Life and The Big Picture.

He told that he thought that Faith was truly the greatest virtue. Heck, he said it was the greatest word. It was the vehicle to everything and through everything. It was the vehicle to God.

I never understood then that this moment would stay with me so much but here it is echoing in my brain every second in this trying time in my life.

Some people seem to be gifted with this virtue. Or maybe I just don’t know the arduous journey they had to go through to acquire it. I find myself thinking that I have faith, only to find it how little I have it when I experience trials.

I am facing a great trial right now. I NEED to have faith. I need faith. I need you guys to tell me anything that would help me. I need to learn about your life experiences and how you have the faith that you have.

I need to see God through your experiences.

Please share your thoughts and pay for me.