This year has seen me in an exponential growth and learning curve. Below are some of the things that have helped me, kept me company, distracted me from moments of intense pain ( growth is always painful initially). In no particular order:
Heart of the soul: emotional awareness – Gary Zukav
The Mind of the soul: Responsible Choice – Gary Zukav, Linda Francis
The Law of Divine compensation – Marianne Williamson
We- understanding the psychology of romantic love – Robert A. Johnson
Too big to know – David Weinberger
The Intuitive Way: the definitive guide to increasing your awareness – Penney Peirce
Thawing: adult/child syndrome and other codependent patterns – Don Carter
Frequency: The power of personal vibration – Penney Peirce
The Art of Loving – Erich Fromm
Creativity – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Enchanted love – Marianne Williamson
A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Man’s Search for Himself – Rollo May
Rainer Maria Rilke
Law of attraction [ Abraham Hicks]
Jungian psychology [ C.G. Jung]
Growth v. fixed mindset [ Carol Dweck]
Dark night of the soul
Healing inner child
Third kid culture
Hero’s Journey (monomyth)
Theory of positive disintegration
Novacane – Frank Ocean
Queen’s speech (prt. 4) – Lady Leshurr
Paint it black – Ciara
Roots- Imagine Dragons
Rose gold – Pentatonix
Here- Alessia Cara
Back to back – Alphacat (parody)
I took a pill in Ibiza ( SeeB remix) – Mike Posner
I hate u I love U – Gnash, ft. Olivia O’Brien
Runaway – Kanye West
Grown woman- Beyonce
Dance like We’re Making Love – Ciara
Eyes Shut – Years & Years
Mays Aroosna – Fuaad Cumar
Degmo – King Khalid
Adkeyso – Axzaab Osmaan
Boqol Sano – Axmed Rasta
Ideas and dreams conjured ( but not realized)
Creating a think tank
Going to somalia to travel cross-country
Start an online mag
Travel to: Dubai
Au Pairing in the US
Start an NGO
Become a freelance project coordinator
Went outside for the first time in 8 months [in May]
Overcame social anxiety
Travelled to another country [ Norway, UK]
Fell in love
fell in pain
Let go of love
Lost 50 pounds
Went off antidepressants
Freelancing (writing, translating)
Tutoring, assisting postgrads (!)
Significant improvement in distress tolerance
Becoming more public with my writings
Practicing understanding and compassion in most situations
Practicing mindfulness and vulnerability
Record number of apologies issued
Record number of uncomfortable conversations initiated that lead to phenomenal growth
Walked away from whatever didn’t serve me love
For nearly a week now I’ve been off facebook to regain my focus. I felt my energy was scattered all over, and that I had neglected myself. In the time since, I’ve been in a near-constant state of flow where time and space ceased to be. I’ve been devouring books in ways I haven’t in over a decade. Below are some of the books I’ve read (either entirely or partially) this past week:
People don’t judge others by their words or behaviour. They judge by the energy and intention that carries the person; that’s how like attract like. If authenticity and transparency is what drives someone in their expression, then authentic people would gravitate towards that; conversely, if someone is masking their true self by deception and haughtiness, others who don similar masks flock to that person. Perhaps that doesn’t come as a surprise, but what might surprise you is that it’s usually the same quality that divides people’s opinions of one. Take Russell Brand for example; he’s a controversial figure because he doesn’t shy away from who he is and who he was and he doesn’t try to appear as anything but what he truly is. This is a reason why I admire him, the fact that he speaks his mind and is humble enough to own his flaws and mistakes; however, this is exactly the reason why those who hate him do so. They say he’s ‘crazy’ and spews ignorance and misleads the masses. People are divided.
Take another example; Kim Kardashian. She’s loved and hated by millions around the world. Those who love her do so because she’s fashionable and business savvy and famous; those who hate her do so because she’s famous without merit and they find her public persona fake and airheady.
What you might discern is that people judge someone based on one of two things; their public persona and how they carry themselves ( by action and speech) or the intention behind their (perhaps quirky) demeanour. So you can have four possible outcomes in judging a person;
- You hate them → because of their contradictory energy [ inauthenticity]
or → because you project a trait you hold within yourself but that you suppress, onto them. [ projection]
- You love them → because they are not a threat to your mask [ inauthenticity]
or →because their inner energy and outward appearance are congruent. [authenticity]
People judge others the way they judge themselves; if they are honest with themselves and willing to take the painful journey within, then they would not judge at all, but simply relate. If, however, they are dishonest with themselves by trying to avoid the discomfort of consciousness and hard truths, then they continue that avoidance by looking outwards for distraction. Because they are running away from their feelings, they fail to relate to another person and see them for who they are. They view the world and all that’s in it through the lens of usefulness; the fear of pain forces them to use others as an escape route.
- Relate to themselves first, then the outward world.
- Because of the congruence between their true self and public self, they embrace uncomfortable truths and look danger in the eye. They gravitate toward people of similar mindset with whom they can grow and explore.
- Are shut off from themselves so cling on to external sources in a bid to quell discomfort. They are those who become attached to people and things fairly quickly, who can’t stand solitude, and who feel compelled to control the outside world because of a sense of inner chaos; this might be in the form of perfectionism, goal-obsessions, image-control, eating disorders, sociopathic tendencies, etc.
- Because of the gross incongruence between the self they try to bury and the purported self, they live life guarding that battle. They gravitate towards people who they can use, control, or fawn over while secretly envying them.
Basically, those who are looking for authenticity look behind the facades, whilst those who are looking for validation of the incongruence of their true self and public self, look for similar facades.
Ultimately, whatever one hates or love in another, is simply a reflection of oneself. Whatever one hates in another person is something one hates and rejects within oneself; whatever one loves in another is something one appreciates within oneself.
When one has become emotionally aware by overcoming the innate narcissistic tendency, one sees the world and every person objectively, without imposing one’s own projections and opinions on the object.
“The faculty to think objectively is reason; the emotional attitude behind reason is that of humility. To be objective, to use one’s reason, is possible only if one has achieved an attitude of humility, if one has emerged from the dreams of omniscience and omnipotence which one has as a child. Love, being dependent on the relative absence of narcissism, requires the developement of humility, objectivity and reason.
I must try to see the difference between my picture of a person and his behavior, as it is narcissistically distorted, and the person’s reality as it exists regardless of my interests, needs and fears.”
— Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
My own self must be as much an object of my love as another person. The affirmation of one’s life,happiness,growth,freedom is rooted in one’s capacity to love, i.e., in care, respect, responsibility, and knowledge. If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all.
Granted that love for oneself and for others in principle is conjunctive, how do we explain selfishness, which obviously excludes any genuine concern for others? The selfish person is interested only in himself, wants everything for himself, feels no pleasure in giving, but only in taking. The world outside is looked at only from the standpoint of what he can get out of it; he lacks interest in the needs of others, and respect for their dignity and integrity. He can see nothing but himself; he judges everyone and everything from its usefulness to him; he is basically unable to love. Does not this prove that concern for others and concern for oneself are unavoidable alternatives? This would be so if selfishness and self-love were identical. But that assumption is the very fallacy which has led to so many mistaken conclusions concerning our problem.
Selfishness and self-love, far from being identical, are actually opposites.
The selfish person does not love himself too much but too little; in fact he hates himself. This lack of fondness and care for himself, which is only one expression of his lack of productiveness, leaves him empty and frustrated. He is necessarily unhappy and anxiously concerned to snatch from life the satisfactions which he blocks himself from attaining. He seems to care too much for himself, but actually he only makes an unsuccessful attempt to cover up and compensate for his failure to care for his real self.
It is true that selfish persons are incapable of loving others,but they are not capable of loving themselves either.
Fromm, Erich. “Self-love.” The Art of Loving. New York: Open Road Integrated Media, 1956. 64-65. E-book
Love is possible only if two persons communicate with each other from the center of their existence, hence if each one of them experiences himself from the center of his existence. Only in this “central experience” is human reality, only here is aliveness, only here is the basis for love. Love, experienced thus, is a constant challenge; it is not a resting place, but a moving, growing, working together; even whether there is harmony or conflict, joy or sadness, is secondary to the fundamental fact that two people experience themselves from the essence of their existence, that they are one with each other by being one with themselves, rather than by fleeing from themselves. There is only one proof for the presence of love: the depth of the relationship, and the aliveness and strength in each person concerned; this is the fruit by which love is recognized.”
— Erich Fromm ( Art of Loving)
You know how people do shopping hauls where they display all the make-up and stuff they buy? Yeah, I don’t understand it either, but you know those right? How about a book haul for nerds? How many times have you stood in a bookstore or checking out Amazon or the Bookdepository not knowing what to buy ? So many books, where do you turn? And you have that itch where you desperately need money to change hands and you just have to go home with a book or six? No? Just me? Oh well, anyhoo, these are my picks. I haven’t read ’em all. But I can vet for every single one of them. Yes, I do judge books by their covers ;D
Read, indulge, order ( not plugging any of these books) and you can thank me later when your mind blows and brains splatter all over the wall. Eww. ( but protect the pages).
This book by Dr. Dweck is one of those books that completely shift your way of viewing the world. It goes way beyond mantras and meditation – it goes to the bottom of negativity and fear of failure.
I’m averse to all things labelled self-help, and I’m a staunch skeptic. Having said that, I was surprised by the author, Iyanla Vanzant, and this book. It’s simple and straightforward, without esoteric lingo and new-agey stuff that is as clear as dishwater. It’s about love, and how- or rather why- we attract people we absolutely don’t want, while the ones we do want are ever elusive. The premises of this book is simple; work on your self. Love yourself. And you’ll get what you are.
This book sets the record straight on what love isn’t. All that mushy stuff artists croon about in songs and that half of Tumblr is swamped with is toxic love. Love that says I need you to love me, me,meeee!
But authentic love says : I love you, therefore I need you.
It’s action-based, and it’s an ability one needs to develop.
Listen, I’m no mummy-material. Ever since my nephew AJ came into my life, I’ve looked at parenthood in a very different light. It is not easy. And it’s when people take it lightly that emotional/physical abuse happen. Having said that, I’m a prepper. I always think about worst-case scenarios. I love psychological thrillers and MacGyver-esque movies because I like to put myself in the characters shoes to see what I would do if I were in their situations. No lie. I hate The Walking Dead, but I still watch it whenever I’m bored because I like to get ideas for any possible zombie-apocalypse, unlikely though it might be. Maybe it’s just OCD? I dunno. In any case, this book is the handbook for contingencies. I haven’t even read it, but the title had me. 😀
If you don’t know this man, Sir Ken Robinson, I don’t know what you are doing with your life. Go on YouTube and check him out. Then you’ll understand why I’m not even going to write a blurb. Go!
I drew a line above this book because this is the most amazing book EVA. It’s been indispensable for me in trying to understand my nephew. It’s been so relieving to finally know why kids do what they do, and there are different types of children with different needs! And how tantrums are a sign of an underlying issue that the child doesn’t know how to address – and how you can help, instead of punishing or spanking! It’s been a lifesaver all those nights he refuses to sleep or when he keeps going to the kitchen to empty all the drawers or when he ignores his mum completely when she comes back after having gone out without him knowing. It’s — the cover does not exaggerate. It really is the ultimate handbook. And no, I’m not being paid for gushing about it.