Time flies, sometimes faster than we could imagine, and sometimes it just seems to drag on forever, so slow we feel we could stop every ticking second. Yet, whether time itself changes or not may require more elaboration and advanced knowledge which I do not possess, so for the time being, let us simply stick with the idea that our perceptions influence our relationship to this endless flow. One of those overarching cultural perceptions is the idea of a New Year, which has been associated with a new beginning, an opportunity to reinvent and improve ourselves, casting last year’s skin aside to embody the ideals we so desire for ourselves. Though the idea of re-creating ourselves is a good one, one must not necessarily wait for a socially constructed date of renewal to do so, for every day gives us an opportunity to start anew. In order to do so, here are seven little sparkles to help light the way:
1. Always look dashing: “Never judge a book by its cover” is a worthy saying, since all forms of judgments and preconceptions may lead to falsity and deception, though it nonetheless remains that our clothing is the first external layer we have to express ourselves, before we even open our mouths. This means that you can choose who you want to be, simply by dressing like the image your are trying to attain, the person you decide to be, and dressing the part helps a lot to embody the character. If you’re uncertain about what to wear by fear of others, this may perhaps help a bit.
2. Creation out of nothing: The best way to create something new is very often to start from scratch, since a blank sleigh leaves our imagination unbiased and free of the influence from which we might be trying to free ourselves. Especially when it comes to building ourselves up as individual people, there are so many external influences (media, surrounding culture, friends, family, etc.) that it easily gets confusing to select what comes from us, and what does not. Which is why the emptiness helps at times, to remove our focus from everything around us, and look within, to what truly makes us tick.
3. Focus on one leads the other: It is hard to multitask, despite the ever-increasing pace at which our modern society operates, so we can easily get dragged into an fast-paced circus which never seems to calm down, pulling us in one direction, then another, and then offering a third choice, which may even imply a fourth option, and so we work on the third one, think about the second, while all we actually care about is the thing we started off at first. The secret is to stay focused on one aspect at a time, because for all we know, everything behind it may fall into place from that one push. And if it doesn’t?? Then once one thing is done, we can simply let go of it, and move on to the next task.
4. Let go, so that it can come back: Ahh, the oh-so-common letting go. It refers to the attachment we keep to things we could have change, but in the end did not, or even the mistakes we wish we could take back. But things happen…choices are made…and the funny thing about time as we know it is that we cannot go back. So why drag along worries and regrets, slowing us down in the present?? Because letting go is hard, despite its necessity. If we look at a relationship for example, if one partner wants to go on a trip alone, but the other one fears the separation for lack of trust and insecurity, how could this confidence ever grow into a powerful trust, if it hasn’t even been given a chance?? Yes, the unknown is a scary thing…though it is even scarier to sacrifice a future for a past that cannot be changed. Having a little faith goes a long way, for we may never know what surprised to future holds if we take but a tiny chance.
5. Give back what was given to you: Being selfish benefits no one. Giving back simply means recognizing the gesture one has done and I believe there is no better way to appreciate such a gesture than to keep spreading the feelings it has brought us. If it takes but one flame to light a hundred candles, imagine what a hundred flames could do!!
6. Amidst the sounds, find your beat: Just like in most musical compositions, there are very often multiple layers of sound playing at the same time, all harmoniously put together, despite their differences. This gives us the opportunity to choose which beat we want to follow, so there is no reason to follow others, unless we consciously choose to do so. We are free to do anything we please, to follow whichever rhythm we like, and the fear that freedom because of its responsibilities is like refusing to eat because it is too hot. All it takes is a few breaths, a little patience, and an eagerness to try, and suddenly the world opens up as a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet in which the hardest choice to make is where to begin. Bon Apétit!
7. Follow the emptiness: Making choices is not an easy task, and sometimes we get lost within our own little mental world, thinking, planning, and organizing moments that have not yet happened, and which never end up the way we think. Sometimes it is even as if we are not in control of what is happening, that a path has simply opened up in front of us, and all we can do is follow it, from fear of the pressure if we might diverge. The emptiness is denser than we might think, so it is important to remain open and to let life flow through us, for resistance against this incredible phenomenon may simply lead to our tearing and destruction. Have faith in the path developing in front of you, and if you feel you are going down a bad road, simply chose another layer whose beat suits you better.
So this is it for now, the rest is all up to you. We are not confined to social constructs, we are ourselves first and foremost, living this deeply personal experience of being alive, giving us the choice about the life we want to experience. We can re-create ourselves at any given moment, so why wait for a specific moment to adhere to resolutions we do not truly believe in?? For if we did really want it, then there is no need to wait a moment longer.
Until next time,
If we believe in the Big Bang, then, despite our countless millennia of chemical transformation, we would be nothing more than the same physical components that make up the stars and planets in our universe. Yet that leads us to wonder if we would then also have the same properties as those celestial bodies, for example emitting heat or pulling other bodies towards us. It would be safe to assume that there is at least the possibility for it, even though we may now appear completely different than the planet on which we’re walking (but are we really??). If this is correct and we are also able to generate heat, for example, would our consciousness then be able to have an impact on this capacity?? This is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, since us possessing a certain level of consciousness seems to be, at first glance, one of the main differences between ourselves and the stars.
It has already been demonstrated that our bodies can change temperature by themselves, without a direct change in ambient temperature by a group of scientists from Aalto University, which can be found here. In their experiment, they saw that different emotions will have various effects on the many parts of the body, some emotions activating certain body parts, while others cool it down. Arguably, emotions are not exactly under our control, but this experiment nonetheless allows us to claim that we have the innate capacity to influence our inner temperature, thus we must also be able to do so consciously.
So perhaps this would mean that just like the celestial bodies, we would be able to irradiate heat from our bodies, or even cold, influencing other physical bodies around us. If we are able to do so consciously, we could always come to a point where it would be possible to reproduce emotions, simply by balancing our body to the proper temperature. If this were to be through, then it could completely revolutionize the approach taken to heal certain mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, for people could learn to control and regulate themselves instead of relying on a cocktail of overpriced chemicals with numerous side-effects. Maybe this is all to bring us back towards meditation, since it is believed one can directly influence one’s body temperature through this practice.
Us being able to freely alter our body temperature could have tremendous repercussions on the people around us as well, because just like the sun finally shining after a long winter, we could go around spreading heat and warming others, or just as easily cooling ourselves down and sucking up the heat of others. Which brings us back to the contagiousness of emotions, and why we must be wary of how we feel, and how it may influence others, thus influencing ourselves in return. But in the end, it’s not all that important, for we are simply floating around in endless space and just like the rock on which we’re standing, emotions are never static.
Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, our bodies glow warmly when we are happy, just like the sun in the sky above us, so keep on shining little sun, so that others can feel your heat!!
Until next time,
Credit: Figure 2 in this study.
Very often we use a certain mechanism to understand the world around us better, whether its other people, objects, animals, or even ourselves. Yet this way of doing it also has some negative connotations to it, because there are people who are arduously fighting against the idea of being put in a mould. Indeed, what I am referring to is classification, i.e. identifying a phenomenon or a person according to larger concepts than just that person. We do this kind of rearranging all the time, in order to perhaps increase our comprehension of life and everything. But does categorizing really help deepen our understanding of anything??
There are a few problems which come with classifying things according to our previous knowledge, one of which is that we might well judge without knowing. Like the saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”, we can never really know what something is, or who someone is only by face-value, and that because it is really easy to present oneself as someone completely different than who we really are. Actors do it for a living, but we still all do it to a certain extent in our everyday lives. Also, the categories into which we might want to fit the different people might be erroneous themselves, since they usually come from a lack of knowledge, and a quick judgement, so that we are not taken aback by something unknown. Perhaps this serves as a defence mechanism to block ourselves off from something we perceive as dangerous?? If so, then maybe it is time to open ourselves up and be ready to explore the lives of others!!
People are not the only things we classify though, because we very frequently do it with our emotions as well, so that we have more of a clear idea about how we really feel. Yet, the problem with that, is that it is extremely hard at times to properly define something, especially a feeling, by relying only on our words. As useful as they might be, using words to describe a certain vibe or feeling might become tremendously tricky, for some things cannot simply be described. Love, for example, is a very intricate one, for what does love consist off actually?? Love might be a variable feeling, for the emotion itself changes depending on the object of love, since there are countless possibilities for loving and being loved, and it could be argued that each one of them is completely different and unique, just like the individuals doing the loving itself.
Those two uses of classification show that it is something quite fragile to rely on, for we cannot know if we’re actually right, or if we managed to explain it in its entirety. So if this system is so uncertain, why do we use it so much?? Maybe it is in order to cast our judgements upon others, organizing our lives in a such a way as to make it more comfortable for ourselves by casting away the fear of the unknown, using moulds as shields to guard us. Putting anything into neat little boxes gives us the illusion that we are in control and that we understand, despite the opposite actually being true. So perhaps it is time to drop our classes, get rid of our judgements, and embrace the things we cannot fully explain, or the individuals which are completely different from ourselves. This could lead us to new incredible discoveries.
Until next time,