Archive for August, 2014

pomegranate

Photo credit Chany Crystal, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

 

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard.”
John Bytheway

That’s a great wisdom, indeed. A cinch means an easy task, something natural such as a child’s play.

Taking small steps

When we focus on life as a whole, we can’t master it. When we focus on a big problem head on, we are overpowered to face it. When we focus on an important life decision, we get stuck.

Future apprehends.
Size overwhelms.
Analysis becomes paralysis.

Yet … when we approach problems and decisions by taking small steps, the solutions are being slowly created. Or revealed.

***

Have you ever eaten a pomegranate? It is a fruit with an interesting structure. Some nations consider it as a symbol of prosperity and fertility. It makes me think, indeed.

A pomegranate has a hard exterior and an interesting inner side. The dark red seeds are fully hidden inside. They are embraced by a yellowish, rough skin. The seeds live in small compartments, as if in their tiny “rooms”. It is a beautiful organization.

The seeds are sweet and juicy, but the skin is very bitter. If you happen to take a bite of a pomegranate, you will get shocked ;). The bitterness of the skin dominates the taste. The roughness makes it impossible to chew. It is a totally unpleasant experience, to say at least.

On the other hand, if you choose to eat pomegranate one seed at a time, you will experience joy. Not only will you cherish the process of removing seeds from the rooms one by one, but you will be rewarded with delicacy and sweetness. Eating pomegranate this way is a calming and meditative act.

A metaphor

Pomegranates make a great metaphor for your life.

First, everything (substantial in life) is a process.

You don’t wake up with a new skill fully born in you. Even if the foundation is there, it takes you months or years to master it.
You don’t recover from a loss overnight. It becomes a healing process in which you live your life day by day until you renew your Inner Self and overcome the sadness.
You don’t educate your children in one go. It becomes a journey of growth, in which you are challenged to walk your talk.

Secondly, when you focus on small steps in the now, you move forward with breeze.

If you face a huge problem now, don’t attempt to solve it in its complexity. Concentrate on the solution of today’s part. That’s it. And, you are further on towards the solution of the whole problem.

If you consider all your problems, then life may seem too difficult to handle. If you have a dissatisfying job, insufficient money, personal problems, unhappy relations, kids to grow, serious health issues, chores, duties and responsibilities, life can become unbearable, indeed.

But …

You don’t have to deal with all the problems of life, do you?

If only can you deal with the problems of this day. If only can you withstand the pain of this moment. If only can you take this hard decision now, to move forward. If only can you focus on your tasks today.

Your Inner Power is there, inside. It has always been there. Ready to serve.

If only can you give. Attention. Listening Ear. Love.

Things will move forward.

Inch by inch

As for a pomegranate, cherish the seeds of life, one at a time. Neglect the rough skin of negative thoughts, nay-sayers or circumstances. Just appreciate the seeds of the moment. For beauty. For sharpness. For pain. And for being alive.

Take them by an inch. Soon, your pomegranate is happily digested 🙂

***

Live by an inch, make life a cinch!

 

Being authentic

Photo courtesy Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.

On being authentic

My son loves to talk to strangers. He starts conversations in buses, parks or shops, on playgrounds or even when passing-by a stranger. He has always something to share, discuss or ask about. As a child, he likes to get attention. Yet, at the same time, he gives attention as well. Grown out of his curiosity.

My son is truly interested in people and the world around. He is especially curious about things or behaviors that are new to him.

He wants to know. Immediately. No waiting possible.

He is truly authentic. He has no borders, no limits and no pre-conceived expectations. It is me now and then who jumps in and establishes some rules for him to obey. For instance, I keep telling him to start a conversation in a polite way. His usual approach is pretty direct: “Hey you, what are you doing?” or “You… you… what are you carrying inside?” or “What’s your name?”

“Is it the way to condition him for life?” I wonder at times.

My son especially adores tipsy (or drunk) men and grandma-like ladies. While the later choice is perfect for me, I find tipsy men uneasy. There is something sleazy about them. Yet, the recent few encounters blew me away. I will share with two of them as the other ones are similar.

***

In the first scenario we were walking on a street and there was a tipsy man at a distance. My son was staring into the eyes of this stranger. With total attention. It has taken us good 10 seconds or more before we approached him. The man was clearly disturbed by my son’s interest. He couldn’t stand this silent attention and asked my boy reproachfully “Why are you looking at me, you, little boy?”, “Why do you dare so?”. My son answered “Because I really like you.”

The man got flabbergasted. He couldn’t say a word for a while.

In another scenario, my son picked up a stranger and chose a nearby seat. He started a conversation about my hometown, travels, toys, lego, building, playgrounds and so on. The man happily joined in. My son asked the guy “Are you a good man? You know …  because my mum doesn’t like me to take up with bad men.” The guy nodded approvingly. 😉

The conversation seemed to please both of them. At some point the man asked my son, “Why are you talking to me?”. And my son answered: “Because I know you are a nice man. I really like you.”

The man was moved. He couldn’t say a word for a while.

***

Both men got shocked.  The words they spoke after a silence were: “It has been years for me since I heard somebody telling me to like me. Just like you.”

They got tears in their eyes. Their defenses melted away and they both stood before us as real humans.

Open. Vulnerable. Liberated.

I was surprised by such responses. I followed with little conversations. The men told me how much their kids stopped paying respect to them. How bad their lives were. How little hope they had. Yet, … at the same time, I saw a spark in their eyes. A little light that shines from acknowledgement and appreciation. It was beautiful.

I have been touched myself by these (and a few more) encounters. As a result, I’ve stopped interfering and conditioning my son on how to lead conversations. I just keep remembering that being authentic is transformational. The power of a real, unadulterated connection with another human is priceless.

It is touching the Core. It is liberating the Spirit. It is changing Life.

***

The next time when you make yourself or your child to conform to the norms, just pause and let things be the natural way. Perhaps a real transformation is behind the corner….

***