THOUGHTS, STORIES AND OTHER RANDOM THOUGHTS
I have always loved to travel with a little notebook. I am not sure why but it is in planes where the most random thoughts occur to me. It may be because of the quietness, because of the adventure ahead or just because looking above the clouds separates me a bit from my daily little worries…
I would like to share some thoughts that I have found in all those notebooks that I have been carrying around for over 10 years and the tales and metaphors that some good friends have inspired me.
For the moment I have divided it in various subjects… it is work-in-progress but, if I wait for it to be finalised, I know I will never share it. So here it is, as it comes… There are some very personal thoughts and I apologise in advance if it is TMI from my side. And I also apologise if translation sometimes is too literal and part of the meaning is lost…
– ABOUT PEOPLE
2011 – The SPONGE tale / the BALLOON tale (both inspired during a vipassana meditation in India):
THE SPONGE TALE – “The more I squeezed you and tried to retain you the smaller you became, turning more and more blur until almost disappearing. It was only when I released that you appeared again, with your full shape, just as you are”
THE BALLOON TALE – “The more I squeezed you and tried to retain you the more deformed you became, trying to escape the pressure. Then I pressed you even more, so strongly than you ended up bursting into pieces. Only then did I realise that I had lost you forever”
I prefer a million times the sponge tale… but in life we can never tell whether what we have in our hands is a sponge or a balloon. In any case, in order to be able to enjoy people it is important to stop squeezing, pressing and trying to change their shape so that they can become how they really are and how we like them to be!
– ABOUT ATTITUDE IN LIFE!
2012 – Think less, feel more! As simple as that!
2011 – Not all stories necessarily need to have a happy ending and nobody said that life has to be fair. Still, I would rather know that I fought for what I believed in, both what worked and what did not, than stand still wondering “what if…”.
2010 – on my way to Turkana… in the middle of a text about detachment – “I do not lack answers; what I have are too many questions”
2010 – Everything changed for me the day I moved from wondering “why, what for?” to “why not?”. A whole new and unknown world opened. Everything that is in that grey are between the “no way” and the “absolutely yes” moved from being a “bah, not interested” to a “let’s jump on it and try and see what happens”.
Since then so many experiences, so many new people, so much to share, so much to be grateful for.
2009: From a trip to Kerala, India – Are you happy? If not, what prevents you from becoming happy? And, if you know, what prevents you from achieving it?
– ABOUT DREAMS
2010 – We grow old when we give up our dreams, when we stop fighting for them, when we forget what one day made us wake up full of hope and not sleep at night. When we abandon who we are and we settle for what others expect us to be… or what we believe they expect us to be.
– ABOUT LIMITS
2011 – Understand that limits are not such when we take the risk of pushing them and that, with time, all limits can be pushed.
– ABOUT SUCCESS AND FAILURE
2011 – Learning to “overcome” success sometimes is more difficult than facing failure.
– ABOUT EXPECTATIONS… And the damage caused by movies with happy ending and other childhood fairy tales (2011)
2011 – We are taught that things end up happening, that by merely trying or wishing something intensely the result is guaranteed, like if we had the right to expect a predetermined result. No doubt trying hard significantly increases the chances of achieving what we want but it does not guarantee it. Somehow we are not prepared/trained to be denied what we wish and believe we deserve.
– ABOUT FEAR
2008 (just before going on the Mongol Rally)
“Fear? Yes, sure, I would be crazy if I did not feel scared. But I am more scared about many other things and I live with them daily. It frightens me to think that one day I could wake up, look back and not be able to know how I got here.
And even more the thought that one day I may become tired of searching, of wanting to learn, to know. That I may lose the strength to fight, that I may contempt myself with whatever comes, that I stop biting hard and moving forward, whatever happens.
Because that day I will have lost the most important thing I have: myself. And then, what will matter what I may have, what I may believe, what I may do?
It scares me to let the people I care about leave without ever having told them how much I love them, regardless of the fact that “they already knew”. To think that, the day I also leave, when making balance, I may need to wonder if I ever made the world a bit better, if I ever changed somebody’s life, if I generated an impact that will remain much longer than the memory of who I am, if, because I was too focused on my little issues, I did not help somebody who really needed it”
– ABOUT DEATH AND THOSE WHO ARE NO LONGER WITH US
2010 – (conversation with a good friend) – “Are you afraid of dying?” “What I really fear is to not know how to live because I live with fear”
2009 (dedicated to a good friend in a difficult moment) – extract from an email
In such a complicated moment all that comes to my mind is to send you a huge smile. A smile for you to share, for you to give to those who need it, for you to have the strength and energy to look back, think about your father and smile thinking about all the special moments you have shared.
I am not sure whether I ever told you that Jose and I lost our father when we were 20 and 21 years old respectively. It is very sad to see someone so important leave like that but, at the end of the day, years go by and the person remains with you in every detail, in every memory, in all he contributed to making you become who and how you are today.
It may be difficult to explain but I see death as part of life. What matters is the impact we generate, that we can make other people’s lives happier, that we have lived a fulfilled life and that we can leave in peace, looking back and feeling proud of what we leave behind.
– ABOUT PURPOSE IN LIFE
2010 – chatting with a good friend
– What do you think is your purpose in life?
– Mine is to give. And yours?
– Mine… I think that it is to generate an impact, to give opportunities and to help that everybody has the chance to fight for their dreams and that, the day I am no longer around, the world is a bit better because I existed.
– Quite similar in essence, don’t you think?
The more I think about it and discuss it the more conscious I become that somehow we all search for something similar: different definitions of the same purpose in life.
2010 –Could it be the case that, by searching so much we forget that it is right in front of us? The purpose in life is not something to search for, it is within us, it IS. We just need to leave some space, some peace to see it, to feel it, to live it.
2010 – If you pray for me do not forget to ask that I always have a clean heart and my eyes wide open to see the path; the strength to follow it and the perseverance to stay on it.
We have everything right in front of us, we just need to see it and have the strength to follow it!
– ABOUT HAPPINESS AND MADNESS
2012 – To me happiness is to close my eyes, take a deep breath and feel that everything is in the right place, that I am one with the universe and everybody around me.
2010 – Yesterday you asked me when I have felt happy. There is a sensation that I really like which might not be the serene and balanced type of happiness but makes me feel quite alive and connected with who I am. It is every time I say WTF and jump into things. When I stop thinking too much, going around in circles and I simply let myself go. When there is no need to have an explanation for everything because it is a luxury to be able to do what in the eyes of others is madness!
That feeling in the stomach of overcoming my fears, of laughing at myself in front of the mirror, of saying “why not”…
2010 – A sentence that made me reflect a lot … from a book by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild: “Happiness, only real when shared”
– ABOUT LOVE…
… and plastiline! – 2010
When I was a girl I liked playing with plastiline. I had various blocks of different colours and tried to create figures with them. When I finished one of two things could happen:
– If the blocks had mixed the result was always the same: an unattractive brownish ball. Where were all those bright colours from the blocks?
– But if I was able to mold and interlink the colours without getting them mixed, the result was wonderful.
That said, the more interlinked the colours were, the more difficult it would be to separate them afterwards and recover the original blocks of different colours and more tempting it was to simply mix them up into the brownish ball!
We need to find ways to interlink our colours with those of the other person so that the result is something truly spectacular without falling into the temptation of mixing them up into the brown ball in which our colours that make each one special with be diluted!
Dedicated to MG, who is so inspiring and with who I share all kind of thoughts, some deep, some absurd, with all my affection.
… and shoes! (apologies if it sounds a bit frivolous!)
For years I have loved to share this story, particularly with female friends.
How many times do we go shopping and find “the perfect pair of shoes”… at least in appearance, when we look at the window?
With a lot of determination we enter the shoe store and try the shoes on. How beautiful and how great they look on me although, ouch, they are “slightly” tight. “It is fine, I am sure that later on they will not be painful, they will enlarge a little bit and adapt to my feet”. This is what we tell ourselves over and over; a thousand excuses to justify what we want.
And what is the outcome? That really depends on each one but it always implies suffering. In my case, I wear them one day, realise that “slightly painful” becomes “they kill me” and I never wear them again. Other friends continue using the painful shoes even if they know that they will suffer.
And I wonder… why do we insist in denying what we already know? When a pair shoes really are “our shoes” we can tell from the very moment we try them on. They are perfect and they feel like if we had worn them forever, we can barely realise we are wearing them because they fit perfectly.
Well, relationships are the same. Sometimes, we know deep inside that someone is not the person regardless of how many boxes we can tick in the infinite checklist of “things I would like the person to have”. When somebody IS, you just know and do not need a list or anything else. Everything fits. Just like that, fits, flows, is.
Dedicated to so many friends to whom I told this story many years ago, when I thought I had the “perfect pair of shoes” and I spoke to them believing “I knew everything”… Although I still believe the same about fitting, life gave me a good humbling lesson…
… a paragraph about love… could it be possible that I am a romantic?!
True love is love in all its purity, without limits, without conditions, without expecting anything in return. It is simply Love.
It is to be prepared to let the other person go and do anything for his happiness, even if it is far away. To wish him a happy and fulfilled life, that his heart is always full of love.
Otherwise it would not be true love and it would not be worth existing.
– ABOUT THOSE WHO OFFEND US
2011 – Luckily it has no particular recipient… just a general thought
Do not give someone who has offended you the double pleasure of committing the offence and seeing that it affects you. Just feel compassion (or at least indifference) for that person who, having other more productive and positive things to do with his time and energy, has decided to devote them to you.
– ABOUT MATERIAL THINGS AND ATTACHMENT
2011 – I have so much that I can barely enjoy it
2010 – The issue is not having possessions or enjoying them. It is healthy to enjoy what we have. The issue appears when we generate dependence and attachment to what we have and we feel identified with it. If what surrounds me defines me, then who am I really?
I am not my house, my work or my possessions. I am not even those who are closest to me. They are just with me so that I can make the best use of them and let them go. My happiness should not depend on what we have or what I would like to have. As long as I have, I will enjoy it and, when I no longer have anything, I should not be more unhappy than when I had.
Who I really am is beyond my possessions and the place to search for my happiness is not outside but inside of me.
– ABOUT SENSATIONS
2011 (learning from a vipassana meditation course, very different from my usual way of living, searching for strong emotions. Ido not know whether I will be able to combine both ways)
– Sensations are enjoyed in a decreasing continuum (in Economy the law of decreasing marginal utility). Time plays against them because an excess or a very long exposure saturates us. That is why we are always looking for new and more intense sensations that superpose the previous one.
– Solitude (as a choice), silence, inner peace work just the reverse. At the beginning it feels strange, like something is missing, noise, movement… and it is difficult to adapt to a slower level of activity, in appearance with fewer sensations. However, time plays in their favour: inner peace allows us to discover subtle sensations that we could not appreciate during the constant search for strong sensations.
– An example would be food. We really like strong flavours, sweet or sour, that elicit intense sensations. But, after some time of exposure, the result is the reverse. We end up detesting by saturation those strong flavours that we used to like so much while with time we learn to appreciate and savour the subtleties of those flavours that we were not attracted to originally. Within what initially appeared tasteless there was a whole world of shades of flavours that before, while searching for intensity, I had not been able to appreciate.
– ABOUT MY UNRESOLVED MATTERS
– About limits in general
2011 – What has been most difficult for me to learn – learn to release, to let go, to accept and to relax. Understand where is the limit between fighting and try to make things happen and pushing and generate my own unhappiness holding on to a subjective idea of how I would like the world to be.
– About commitment … and dependence
2010 – Maybe it is not commitment what scares me but dependence.
– About love… and my unresolved matters
Allow myself to be loved – 2010 (a thought about my own attitude… )
Mi biggest unresolved matter, to allow myself to be loved.
It took me a while but I finally learnt to love, to be happy making others happy, to smile making others smile, to generate an impact in the world, to make an effort to be a better person every day. I still have a long way to go but I know I am on the way and I am enjoying it and walking the path in peace and happiness.
However, I somehow forgot to learn the other half. I learnt to love but not to be loved, to give but not to receive, to worry about others but not to let others worry about me.
Always so deign, always so self-sufficient, always so organized that I do not leave any space. Will I ever learn that leaving some space, letting others love me, does not make me weaker or more vulnerable but completely the opposite? Not more dependent but more complete?
Dedicated with all my love to Arturo, a great friend who always knows how to make me think even when I do not want to and who always finds a soft and sweet way of telling me what I do not want to hear and who has managed to remind me what I had forgotten… that I need to take risks in life in order to be able to enjoy it!
– ABOUT TRAVELLING … AND PHOTOGRAPHY
2010 – extract from an email
Travelling is for me one of the most incredible experiences that I can aspire to. It defines me as an individual, every trip, every person, every experience is somehow embedded in who I am. And, being able to picture it is the most incredible luxury because it allows me to share what I have lived, to tell my story, to share a part of who I am.
2009 – extract from an email
It is incredible to know that, thanks to my Pictures, I can share a bit of the reality I have lived when travelling; that, through those images, each story and each reality also become part of the reality of the person who sees them.