I think that when you learn to love something, or someone, you feel connected to the world a bit more, because that which you love is reflected in other things. A love for one thing is a gateway to loving other things. Find one thing to love, see how it multiplies a hundredfold.
A thought has been consistently occurring to me lately. People notice the little things, even when we think they don’t notice them. People notice subtle nuances on how you talk, act – sometimes subconsciously. They look at how you dress, what shoes you’re wearing. They notice if you didn’t call, or if you were late, or if your teeth are white, if your pronunciation, grammar and spelling are correct. They notice if you combed your hair, if you dressed-up for a date, if you opened the door for someone. People notice bullshit too, but sometimes are too kind to look at the obvious or, are in denial. (And that is why we should also trust our gut instincts)
This applies our work and the art we create as well. It’s the small things that make all the difference. Sometimes, I find myself looking too much into the bigger picture that I forget that the minute details are the ones that make up the bigger picture.
So what is my point exactly? The little things are the big things, and if we get caught up in looking at the big things too much, we may easily miss the chance to enjoy and gracefully journey towards our goals. Our finished work, even though may be done, may not be as good if we were more mindful of the little things. We forget that people are watching, people are listening, that we aren’t mindful of our actions. We forget that people appreciate small gestures of kindness and effort. As much as the small gestures of love and kindness can build a relationship, it is also the lack of these seemingly irrelevant gestures that can also destroy it.
Effort on the little things, everything else will follow.
“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.” – Mary Oliver
Tell me about joy, yours, and I will tell you mine.
And world goes on with us.
This appeared on my FB memories today: “Take your time”, written on the last few bars by my piano prof whom I considered mother in college. It was as if to say: “don’t be in such a hurry to finish!”
All of the mother figures in my life have said this in one way or another – take your time to take your first steps, to talk, to chew your food, to read, to grow, to heal, to succeed, to find love, to dream, to become the person you are evolving into- so assuring of the love, patience, compassion and faith in us that we sometimes even feel unworthy of.
To all the moms, Happy Mother’s Day! YOU are amazing! You are LOVE. And to my mom, to inherit even just a fraction of your heart is the greatest privilege of my life. ❤
written on my journal – January 17, 2017 at Coffeebean
2 days ago, a good friend sent me a long but worthwhile read about Solitude and Leadership. The author talked about how solitude, though seemingly contradictory to the qualities essential to good leadership, is in fact, elemental. I would go further to say that solitude is both urgent and necessary for the follower as much as the leader. Everyone should find time for it.
Solitude allows us to grow fully into oneself and to realize one’s essence. It is in the laboratory of solitude where one formulates one’s thoughts, questions, develops one’s skills and talents, and strengthens one’s core values. Shutting the noise and external distractions that surround us allows us to be fully present with ourselves. I say this as though it were simple, but to be fully present to oneself is often a difficult task. Many people can be alone, but do not know how to be with themselves. We often look for distractions, like our phones, gadgets, social media, games, TV and such technologies prevalent in our everyday lives. (I am guilty of this!) These are all essential most especially because they connect us to the world beyond our spheres, but this becomes a problem when the very things that connect us to the world are the ones creating the disconnect to the people around us and, unconsciously, from ourselves. The paradox is, while these technologies offer distractions from our monotonous life, through solitude, we find that life becomes less humdrum.
Solitude offers us an awareness of our thoughts, which then leads us to be more deliberate and purposeful in our actions. We become thinkers, avoiding the mechanical auto-pilot mode which we are naturally accustomed to doing. We learn to question authority, systems, and rules. We develop the inner strength and character to swim against the current. Solitude allows us to reflect whether our external world is aligned with our inner one, thereby enabling us to become a powerful springboard of change.
These days, with daily current issues that picture the loss of humanity, it is not hard to be desensitized by what we see. As compassion is easily thrown to wind and the sense of moral obligation dissipating, all the more we need to relieve ourselves from the noise and current, and find solid ground once more in solitude.
“Ma, do you think you were able to fulfil your life’s purpose?”, I asked my mom.
Without any hesitation, she answered, “Yes. Our purpose in life is to be.”
“You know what I’m saying.”, I rolled my eyes.
“Why? Our purpose in life is to be – to be what you were made to do. Which is to love. It’s really simple. Why do you make it complicated?”, she replied.
I got her, but I suppose I associated purpose with doing great things for the world. I’m not really sure what answer I expected, but it certainly wasn’t that. Something more specific perhaps.
To love….how easy and yet so difficult. How ambiguous yet ever so certain. So attainable yet seemingly elusive.
Hmmm…Ive realized that my question is both simple and complex , depending on our own stages of life, where priorities and dreams vary. I know for sure that things get simpler when one has experienced much of life. But knowing is the shallow end of being. One needs to experience life. To experience its borders is to be well acquainted with our own sense of mortality, and this ultimately unfolds a deeper understanding of our raison d’etre. As any gem of wisdom is to be attained, I have yet to live life further and fully. Maybe I should just take the words of my mother and simple BE. Easier said than done. (I will need the assistance of meditation and yoga. Oooommmmmm….Lol!)
On a serious note, as someone who constantly asks and questions if I am in fact fulfilling my life’s purpose, I have found temporal peace through this quote:
“They say: ‘Find a purpose in your life and live it.’ But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”― Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed
Sometimes, finding one’s purpose is as unanticipated as my mother’s response. And as unanticipated as an act of kindness. And maybe, it’s all really as simple as love, unfolded in many a form.