Embrace The Storm

A seventeen year old once asked me if all problems in life spring from laziness. It took me a moment before responding, “yes, and no.”

That thought, however, did get me thinking. Firstly, different cultures breed different definitions of “hard work”. Some see working hard as a career, a financial ladder to climb. Others see it as overcoming struggles of one’s youth. Some see it as maintaining a healthy and happy home, others see it as maintaining a healthy and happy mind. Secondly, different people have varied perceptions of hard-work. To some, it’s what we put out into the world, and to others, it’s what we give to ourselves.

So is it truly laziness that springs all problems? Yes, and no.

Yes, in the sense that whatever we become negligent in, we will lose balance. Now this is not to say that we must do all things on our own — in today’s fast-paced era with rapid advances and reactions over responses, it is very draining to do all things alone. This type of “aloneness” can also lead to levels of arrogance, as evidenced by the growing narcissism within the millennial generation; not necessarily the grandiose sense of it, but the covert sense, where people don’t make an effort to relate to others yet expect others to cater to their needs.

This, my friends, is arrogance, the type that is sprung from laziness and negligence. It is an insecure arrogance, not a humble pride.

It is for this reason that we have people in our lives: to humble us. Some maintain our emotional health, some boost our physical selves, others cause us to reflect on our inner workings, and then there are those who motivate us to put it into action.

Of course, we could do all of it alone if we really put our minds to it, but it can also be a long, tedious, and extremely lonely journey. This type of “loneliness” leads to complacency. People get tired, and then take a rest. They get comfortable resting for so long and forget what motivation feels like. Climatologists would look at this “low pressure zone” and call it a “tropical depression”. Psychologists would look at it and call it a “clinical depression”.

Here’s the good news: we’re all human, we have life. I look at nature — flowers, trees, grass, oceans, skies — all life has seasons and changes. We’ve accepted that flowers bloom in spring and leaves fall in autumn, then it is pure logic that humans, too, have seasons. All life changes with nature, we are humans, we have life, we have human nature.

How does a depression blow over? Embrace the storm. Let the cyclones and typhoons blow away the pollution so that you have clear skies (clarity) and sunshine (smiles). The rain (tears) wash away the pollution (toxins) and

voila, the solution presents itself.

But you must first embrace the storm.

(Hint: the sky isn’t always up…it’s right in front of you… the globe is round… just saying…)

Mikavelli

Embracestorm

Mind Over Matter is Truly the New Matter

(*Disclaimer: This one is a bit paradoxical, on the theme of “Crossroads”)

We live in a world of information, competition, and perceived freedom.

It is true that since the perpetuation and expansion of what one generation calls the Internet, and the rising generation calls “Social Media”, information has been at our fingertips by choice.

The Internet has provided us with a platform of access to our minds. A smartphone, a laptop, a piece of almost “mundane technology,” once one of the greatest inventions of our species, now a simple representation of our minds manifested in a physical realm. The Internet is an invention, probably the only revolutionary invention (not upgrade) of the modern generations. It is also one of the first real tools that has no physical entity except for how it is expressed. The Internet, cyberspace, social media…they are intangible creations that transcribe our minds to the eyes of other readers by leaching onto physical entities such as gadgets.

The mind (Internet) over matter (devices) is the new matter: all that appears to matter is what happens in the mind

This information gives us “choices”, guidelines and “standards” of “civility”. In the last two decades, we have seen this level of “information boom” shock the planet into civilization. All that was known to us suddenly sent the world into an unspoken fear of the “perceived known”. That shock woke the world into realizing how much there is we don’t actually know. How chaotic everything can be, and also how fear drove one spectrum into civility and another into barbarianism.

Is it really a choice, though? We believe that we have the freedom to indulge such information, such knowledge, such “updates” and so forth. But how often have you clicked on a link, a post, a picture, simply because you “couldn’t resist the urge” to do so? Does this not stand to reason that your freedom has thus been overridden by the constraints of habit?

The Internet, or social media, has allowed us to develop new languages and modes of communication where we feel like “mind over matter” is truly the new matter. Being drawn into political debates about countries that have no physical bearing on oneself, empathizing with the idea of philanthropy (social justice) around the world, taking it upon one’s egotistic shoulders to “change the world”, adopting new labels and definitions simply because this “sounds a bit like what I am”.

What if…none of that matters, and all if it minds?

None of those “matters” are physical, all those thoughts are intangible. Therefore…none of it…”matterializes.

Your physical self (the matter) and your emotional+psychological+spiritual self (the mind) are merely reflections of each other. What you write online reflects what goes on in the mind, and what you put into your head, you could condition yourself to become.

So now, in 2017, it is no longer the debate about mind over matter vs matter over mind. The mind, and the matter, have now combined.

Have fun with that!

Peace and blessings,
Mikavelli

My Story: On Love and Fear

Only LOVE can overcome FEAR.
~Mikavelli~

Personal story:

As a child, I saw how fearful my peers were of studying; they preferred electronics and video games. I didn’t. I was drawn to the smell of fresh books and the unmarked innocence of new notepads. I fell in love with reading and writing, two parts of me that incidentally not many around me appreciated, nor had the patience to enjoy.

But I fell in love nonetheless, with characters, with planets, with words, with knowledge…I fell in love with the unencumbered infinity of time, space, experience. A place where there were no boundaries…

Life progressed, and innocence became a thing of the past as I slowly learned of the atrocities of which humans were capable; humans, this species I was indoctrinated to treat with respect. It was a respect I’d felt “they” hadn’t earned. Humans, the self-destructive, entitled, greedy evils destroying what was once beautiful: the planet, the lands, the seas, the people of the world…

Love had been overridden by competition, by aggression, by the anarchy that losing one’s innocence had allowed.

I learned, instead, to fight: to fight for what is right, what is true. To fight for justice. I fought for those who fought for me, and against those who detested me. I fought, until I realized that I had become exactly what I had been fighting against: FEAR. I had become… fear.

In fighting the fear, I realized that I was only fighting myself. And that the only victory was LOVE. I had to love myself. I had to overcome fear with so much love that I feared how much I could love — myself as well as others. I surrendered to my “self”, to the love that overcame fear.

The love of “self” does not mean to be in love with yourself.
It is in the wording: the love…of self…
self’s love, not self love.

So what if…just what if…we allowed someone to love us that exact same way…?

Love yourself, but let yourself be loved too.

Peace,

Mik

Weakness is not A Failure

When “weakness” is no longer deemed as failure, rather as sacrifice, then strength alone lies in the success of what is gained. ~Mikavelli~

Much like any logical flow of pros and cons, humans have a pattern of “strength” and “weakness”. But what if those “weaknesses” were not actually failures, but sacrifices that are made in order to achieve something that is for the greater good of self vs. man?

Take a human example, Einstein. Much as he was a genius with an intelligence that was through the roof, the sacrifices that he made were his ability to communicate with and be understood by people. As a child, young Albert had a speech delay that was not rectified until his later stages of childhood, leaving the boy uncommunicative, misunderstood, and alone with his thoughts. In his solitude, Einstein was given the space to develop the most advanced theories that till now still roam the planet. If anything, many of Einstein’s theories were so far ahead of time that it is more in today’s day-and-age that we understand the sacrifice he had made for us. And essentially for himself, because Einstein’s theories are his immortality.

Another prominent example is Beethoven, who is famously known for sacrificing his “hearing”. What fewer people seem to bring into discussion, however, was Beethoven’s obvious cyclothymic tendencies, where he would snap into “highs” of writing multiple symphonies simultaneously. In these phases, he would throw dinner gatherings and socialize religiously. However, it is argued that Beethoven would intentionally overwork in order to push himself into a melancholic state of mind whereby his best and most prominent works were created. In the latter stages of life when he lost his hearing, Beethoven unfortunately stooped into full-blown depression.

These are merely two of many well-known examples of Greats who have sacrificed aspects their own “humanity”, as millenials would call it. Incidentally, if the resources of our modern world were available at the time the Greats created the work that deemed their titles, then perhaps they would have been more stable, but at the sacrifice of our future. Perhaps, what made the Greats “great” is how much they sacrificed of themselves — of their time, of the effort, of their reputations, of their loved ones, and of their sanity.

What few speak of, are the people who are caught in the crossfires of what the Greats set-out to do. The failed relationships, the conflict with family, the friendships that always seemed unfinished…

It takes an inner strength to make sacrifices. A strength that comes from a drive only those who follow their passions find.

Everyone is set out to be Great in his or her own way, but we cannot assess each other by our weaknesses and sacrifices, only the strength that comes from it. We, in the modern world, are taught to “rectify” our weaknesses and conform to a standard, a norm. But sometimes, when we set our priorities straight, harmony falls into place.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction: we reap what we sow : what you give is what you get : what you sacrifice is what you gain

Everything is cyclical and everything is connected. Sometimes, the best action is inaction, and let things fall into place naturally.

If the Greats were pushed to conform by modern standards, there would be no modern standards in the first place. So do what you are compelled to do, let that drive be the motivation that opens your eyes every single morning. Be it your passion, your family, your friends, your work, your job, your religion or what not.

Be Great.

In your own way. Because ultimately, things fall into place.

Surrender to yourself.

Peace,

Mikavelli

 

The Simplicity of A Rational Life

 

Our only limitation is that we don’t know our limits. ~Mikavelli~

People live with the attitude that the ONE life we have will last forever, but facts tell us that we can’t. Everything living comes to an end, right?

But LIVING is relative and subjective. The breathing and heart-beating (physical) aspect might come to an end, but legacies, thoughts, and ideas have its way of continuing to exist without necessarily taking a physical form. This is called “inspiration“.

Some people live many lives, and experience changes. The life that worked at 21 is not always the same life we want at 35 – in essence, we don’t just limit ourselves to one LIFE. LIVING is about exploring, experimenting, and experiencing. What we take from our experiences defines our character, and the more experiences we have, the more we know our limits.

However, until those experiences are had, everything is infinite. The importance of an experience is that it tells us what our limits are.

But what we take from the experience is how to accept those limits. As a kid, we are encouraged to go out there and make things happen. As a teenager, we try to make those things happen. As a young adult, you start to realise those limitations and why certain things might’ve been impossible as a kid.

Then comes enlightenment: to fight or to walk away. We reach that stage in life where we go beyond cognition, we go beyond the pros and cons lists we can logically make. We reach experience, and that is something which can’t be taught or transferred. Cognition is something that any logical person can comprehend by reading a book or an article. Experience is transformative, it’s something that you feel and then learn how to cope or grow.

We can never force someone to have an experience; force can only lead someone to understand a concept from a logical, formulation point of view. But to truly teach, educate, and inspire, we must allow others to have that experience for themselves, and allow them to experiment different strategies for themselves.

We can never tell someone what to think, only how to experience. And when the world reaches that mutual point where this can be experientially understood, then we’ll realise that every system ever created by man was simply to compensate for an insecurity that springs from lack of experience.

The more you read, the more you realise what it is you don’t know. The more you communicate, the more you see how others think. The more you travel, the bigger the world begins to seem – which means the more possibilities arise and you don’t feel like you only have one reality.

But the more you experience, the more transformed you become. And when you reach that point, you’ll discover what really matters – and none of these discoveries ever include lots of money or material items.

Everyone comes to that realisation in their own time, but step one is the same for everyone: get out of your comfort zone and make those experiences, because it’s your life and no one will live it for you. Those without experiences will, at best, understand you cognitively.

Yet those with experiences will guide you, because not know can they grasp your situation cognitively, but experientially. And people like that truly understand how to balance feelings and logic.

The reality of being rational: embrace both emotions as well as logic, and go with your instincts because your logic will fall into place naturally.

Stop falling into the 21st century trap where everything appears to happen immediately. Remember that the first humans were not created in the 21st century – we have never evolved. We still live in caves (little blocks of personal space called a bedroom) and we still eat dinosaurs (birds – including chickens – DNA has been scientifically proven to be evolved from dinosaurs).

Humans appear to have progressed, but evidently it just meant denying human nature. Embrace your human nature and apply it in the real world.

That’s balance. And that, is called accepting our limits. Go and find out which ones you can push, and don’t force the ones that can’t be done. We can never shut off our emotions, but that doesn’t mean all of our reactions have to be emotional. Our actions will be rational if we experience our emotions, not analyse them.

If you want emotional analysis, talk to a psychologist – but on a daily basis, embrace the emotion, know where it comes from, and understand why it makes you feel that way. Then go ahead and feel it, express it, and keep doing whatever you need to ensure long-term happiness. (Hint: keeping up with the latest trends is not long-term. It’s just unnecessary stress to distract you from your real stress).

So go forth and make things happen. Experience the feeling, and apply it in your situation. It really is that simple.

References
1. The Experiential Learning Cycle (Alberton, 2013)
2. T-Rex Protein Confirms Bird-Dinosaur Link (National Geographic)

Gush of Nostalgia

I know there’s trees
I know there’s sand
I know there’s grass
Is it somewhere in the past?
~MGMT~

Consumed by a sudden gush of nostalgia as the prospect of a future is threatened by an irrevocable past. The present being history in the making, and history being the potter of a defining future.

In running from the realities of what has already happened, the future becomes nothing more than a fanciful skin covering the skeleton of a past already lived. Life being no more than history redefining itself, elucidating every rationalization of infinite possibilities.

Possibilities. Dreams. Future. Ideals. Goals. All but whimsical words invented by oneself to assemble and collocate the mistakes of the past, and relive them in a different image, different light, different setting. There is nothing more than what already is – everything in between being the simplicity of understanding and perception of an innovative conception.

Love. Hope. Happiness. Security. Stability. The beauty in a mundane commonplace which most define as “life.” Beauty lies in the ability to acknowledge and appreciate the presence of such luxuries. The luxury of waking up in the morning, knowing that no man is an island. The luxury of having a reason to wake up. The luxury of anticipating the comeliness of what each new day brings.

Nostalgia. Contemplation. Truth. Fear. Avoidance. Words designed to interpret the inexplicable, the twilight zone in which we subconsciously access the sublunary elements in life. The abstractions of an extraordinary phenomena in which science meets the metaphysical. Where knowledge and wisdom compromise. Where the conscious meets the subconscious. Where the circular motion in which we run ceases. The place in-between, where all the answers can be found, but none of the right questions are ever asked.

Primal. Past. Present. Future. Infinity. The endlessness of time, stretching both ways. For if time never ceases to exist, thus there was no beginning. For if there were a beginning, there would inevitably be an end. The enigmas of the universe, stretching far beyond time, leaving the concept of time a triviality contrasted with the vastness of infinity. Everything around being the “bigger picture,” the real issue. Life in itself is meaningless without rational explanation – yet rational explanation in itself being the simplification of a seemingly phantasmagorical truth.

Everything that is: every atom, every molecule. Every noun, every fact. Every substantiated realization, every abstract sensation. To stand and revel in the surfaces of life, the momentary pleasures which one mistakes as “truth” and “reality.” To watch our lives from the present, stretching our lifeline (now being the pinnacle, birth being the starting point) into the potentials of an infinite future. Our lives, our minute issues and minuscule moments of happiness, just happens to be, as the infinities of the universe surround us, and pass by (however slowly) in comparison to the pace of everyday life.

Adding a definitive meaning to life is all but undermining the limitlessness of something greater, something unfathomable. Whether the rationalization being religion or science – to add a written account for what was meant to be experienced is denying the fact that there are questions meant to be unanswered.

Everything has an explanation, but not everything has an answer. The only truth in any controversy is that we, as humans, cannot accept the fact that the universe is larger than life. We as humans create religion and science to define what was meant to be lived: to add meaning to what was already meant to be. To add relevance to what is already relevant.

And what is larger than life is not meant to be explained.
It’s meant to be experienced.

When busy streets a mess with people
Would stop to hold their heads heavy?
When pleasure moments hung before the takeover
The sweeping insensitivity of this still life.
~Imogen Heap~