Will You Merry Me?

  “Tell me, what is it you plan do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver, in her poem, The Summer Day.

HEAD GAMES  

was maybe five or six when Mr Bernie, from down the street asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I clearly remember the encounter. I also remember my, caught off guard response; I don’t know! His next statement has stayed with me ever since. “If you will help people you will be a great man.”

I have thought about this exchange many times throughout my life. It was as though something got embedded in me that day. I have wanted to help people for as far back as I can recall. Something that wasn’t made clear that day, was the root cause, of my inclinations to be useful. I regret the omission.

I’ve observed I’m most satisfied when I’m helping others. But, I’ve also realized, the desire to help others is rooted in a deep desire to help ourselves. Standing in the candy aisle, at the corner store, I was waging war in my mind. After a few minutes I noticed a lady had been standing there for as long as I had. Our eyes met, we smiled at each other, and she offered; there are too many choices.

My dilemma was not what to select, it was to not select at all. I’m more than prone to the sweeter things in life. Literally and figuratively. I heard my comrade mumble, what do I want? as I walked away. I knew what I wanted. It isn’t on the self, it’s in my heart. I want to say no when it’s in my best interest. My best self is to not give in to the very thing I will hate immediately.

Life is a sequence of choices made strong, or weakened, by every decision. We often forfeit the opportunity to entertain major life events because we didn’t practice good judgement when small everyday challenges presented themselves. It turns out that greatness is in the little things. We are always practicing to stay where we are or to move on. 

Life is fierce and fragile. Extreme and apathetic. We are challenged to see the world as friendly or unfriendly. Inviting or threatening. Peace of mind and sustainable joy reside in balance and moderation. Maintaining mindfulness about what we really want, what we value the most, is the trick to living on purpose.

HEART FLAMES

Passion seeks expression but has no compass. Without instruction it can go in any direction. I walked away from the candy that day, empty-handed, but in control of my destiny. Sugar is not always a friend in spite of its comforting qualities. In order to optimize my intention to help others I need to protect my heart.

This internal dialogue is more familiar than I would like. My habits fight to keep things the way they have always been while my intuition says there’s a better way to live. Change is threatening. Distractions can be overwhelming. Silencing my tendencies comes down to a clear and present choice; Do I want what I have more than I want what I don’t? To align with my authentic self I have to give up the life I have for the life I want.

In Hamlet, Polonius instructed his son Laertes with; “This above all: to thine own self be true.” Much debate centers around meaning and interpretation and certainly around application in modern-day social experiments. But one thing that seems beyond reproach is the virtue of authenticity. 

Indecision is commitment. Loyalty to the undefined is no less viral. Direction, or lack of direction, from the heart can be equally potent. I’ve always been driven even when I was unsure of where I was going.  

APPROPRIATE SUITORS

As I listened to the well-known speaker, lay out his steps to success, my ears where perky and my interest was aroused. Like the many other self-help and empowering events I’ve attended my appetite for completeness could be heard growling in the pit of my stomach. I was forever hungry and ready to eat because I believed something was missing and I desperately wanted to find it.

We are all vulnerable to some degree. Willing to believe this is the person or the thing we long for. I was ripe for deception and manipulation based completely on my perceptions of myself and those around me. What works for someone else might not be the magic carpet-ride we sign-up for. 

Every sales pitch I’ve ever heard, no matter what the product or system, includes the testimony of humble beginnings and adversities overcome. I’m always moved by personal triumph. I love to see underdogs make it. The thing I’ve had to isolate is my own story. If I want to be someone else I should imitate; If I want to be me I should initiate. Learning from someone is quite different from learning to be that person.

THE VOWS

look for patterns and habits that emerge within my decision-making processes. The thing that has climbed to the top of my priorities is whether or not the value is strong enough for my personal pledge of allegiance. When the honeymoon is over will I have the passion to finish what I started or the intestinal fortitude to call it a day?

Change is available as an instant option but is rarely chosen. We aren’t customarily ready for the new feeling. Good feelings are the things that propels us onward. Feeling is the dominant acquisition. We are willing to do more of what gives us the feelings we like.

I’ve come to the proverbial crossroads many times. I have habitually continued in things that didn’t allow for the greater good. On those occasions when I chose wisely, finding the courage to walk away from dysfunction and dissatisfaction, I have discovered fulfillment, joy, and peace of mind. 

We can’t expect a sweet-tooth to willingly disappear in the name of good health. We can’t blame too many choices for chaining our wings to the ground. Invitations to friendship, partnership, or opportunity are flirtations that should be courted for a while. I’ve learned to ask an important question before I enter into a personal or professional union; will you merry me?

I’m willing to work hard, but, the merry-age has to be greater than the adversity!

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Fear of Success

I would like to introduce you to a young lady who writes transparently. Her blog here is a snippet of her thought life. I know many people can relate to her.

Living Closely

fearIt’s been 20 days since my last blog post. I know this because the blog site I use, WordPress, is kind enough to remind me that I am procrastinating already. It also likes to remind me that I have had a draft saved for the past 19 days. It’s the third or forth version of a post about validation and feelings. It’s a very personal post, and it’s something I feel like I need to share. So why haven’t I posted it? Because I’m scared.

Lately, I’ve began to fear a lot of things. I’m letting this fear prevent me from doing things or even talking about doing them. I have developed a lot of ideas of grandeur; dreams of being a successful blogger or Youtube personnel, the desire to pursue the art of makeup and become a beauty consultant, the idea that I can change someone’s life just by being me…

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Adventures in Marty!

ngc_6326_by_hubble_space_telescopeShe is relieved as her husband leaves for work, and closes the door behind him. She turns off all electronics and spills into a chair at the kitchen table. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she folds her arms around her legs, and places her head on her curled up body.

Except for the pitter-patter of falling rain, she manages to capture the moment of silence she craved. Is it that big of a deal? She wondered. Am I being selfish? She asked herself. They both want children but can’t agree on the time. She spoke to herself without words, and grappled to understand the real source of her emptiness. Would a child solve her problem? Would a baby make her feel satisfied?

Looking up with wet and puffy eyes she acknowledges, she has a good life. Even an envious one. Several friends from her inner circle often shower her with compliments. She shakes her head, as if to answer the unspoken questions. She’s ashamed at her inability to be thankful. She’s where she dreamed of being and never imagined feeling this way.

They were young and just getting started. There were difficulties— you know, marriage changes things. They began in-the-hole, with school debt and credit card balances, but had more than most to start with. Tears run down the length of her face and hold steady at her chin. She isn’t aware of the invisible presence surrounding her, but Pantokrator is there. A tear departs the edge of her countenance. Pantokrator catches it in his hand . He will hold that teardrop until he can wipe all her tears away.

Pantokrator is as unique as his name. He’s a know-it-all, with a kind of humility seldom seen. Knowing her thoughts, before she chooses them, he directs the traffic in her mind. Standing beside her in her anguish, he sees her, feels her, knows her, and understands her. He can’t help himself. He’s concerned with her plight. With a translucent touch he strokes her hair and caresses her heart. Taking a deep breath, she exhales slow, and deliberate. She sighs in absolution, not knowing where her comfort is coming from.

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c/o Vineet Radhakr

She rises from her position of exhaustion, mesmerized at her sudden strength. Pantokrator smiles. He gets a kick out of being, “Johnny-on-the-spot!” Assured of a desirable outcome she’s determined to strengthen her resolve. She walks straight to the stereo and selects the song already at play in her head. She turns up the volume and set her feet to dancing.

Since she didn’t realize she had accepted Pantokrator’s request for a dance, he dances along with her, in secret. And he’s got  game- moves better than Jagger. She’s only suspect now, but he knows the joy forming inside of her. As she spins and twirls, his enthusiasm almost got the better of him. He has to restrain himself to hold his announcement, until the time is right. For now, he’s content for the two of them, to just dance in the Light.

While he is fully present with, Leelee Wintonia-Handman, Pantokrator is taking care of business elsewhere. It’s just the way he rolls. It’s part of his magic. Marty has been waiting in the wings for his next assignment. And when he gets the call, his entire community erupts in euphoria.

As Marty dances in the street, without restraint, he’s aware of the importance of his appointment. He understands the family business well. It’s about kids, always, about the kids. Whether its a newborn or a senior citizen, Fatherhood is the name of the game. And Marty is eager to get started.

He’s already packed and ready to go when he thinks of a few more questions. He approaches Perfect and Complete to inquire if he is forgetting anything, but answers his own questions before he asked them. Must be pre-conception jitters, he quipped. He knows – everything he needs, is already inside him.

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c/o YouTube

Standing at the edge of eternity, bag in hand, he awaits the call to board his flight. He fastens his seat-belt  in  preparation for takeoff. He removes both shoes, and opens his magazine to the first page, when the voice over the intercom says, prepare for landing. He thought to himself, I didn’t go anywhere. He takes his first step from timeless and pauses to identify all the foreign matter he senses. His natural warm light is greeted by cool darkness. Recognizing the squishy substance he is standing in, from biology 101, he takes in the grandeur. So this is what a womb looks like… Having no experience with the five senses, he pauses a minute, to explore each of them. Familiarizing himself with his new digs, Marty settles in, still feasting his eyes. Breaking the silence, with his all important whisper, he releases his first words; let the adventures begin!

Adventures in Marty will return next Friday!