Today's mantra is a little... harsh:
'If you don't celebrate your wins - you don't deserve them.'
Usually I am not a fan of threatening know-it-all type of mantras or affirmations such as this one, but I heard this one today and instead of rolling my eyes immediately... I took it in and while I may word this phrase differently - the notion of celebrating wins in order to solidify them - is something I'm 100% behind.
How is it a win if we don't acknowledge it?
How is it a win if we don't enjoy it?
What good is a win if we don't celebrate it?
I am often guilty of taking small wins for granted, and not rewarding myself for achieving my goals or handling a difficult situation with grace. I tend to focus on work so much that I forget to celebrate myself and my wins along the way - be them small or big, private or public, long in the making, or new goals achieved.
Are you also fairly BAD at celebrating wins???
Let's change that. Let's be deserving of our wins!
In today's world, we use our phones to snap pictures of everything.
We filter the heck out of them and make cool artsy things to post on social media.
But how often do we snap a moment that is truly breathtaking?
Not often, if EVER at all.
Photography done well, is ART at its finest.
And this photo by Anuar Patjane Floriuk is one of the greatest I have ever seen.
Not only because of the gorgeousness of the whale and its gigantic size near the diver, but also because of the parallels between the two: The bubbles above the diver's head, the small fish above the whale's head, the open legs of the diver, the open fins of the whale, and the way the whale and the diver turn to each other with mutual curiosity and ease. Even though the image is dark - I see no fear in it.
I see wonder. I see care. I see playfulness.
I don't see a man and a beast in this image -
I see connection. I see nature. I see LOVE.
*'A Family Portrait' by Anuar Patjane Floriuk
"Don't pick flowers"
My mother said.
"Look right and left"
My mother said.
"Say please, and thank you"
My mother said.
"Wash your hands"
My mother said.
But when I asked
Why do people die?
And why do people live?
How come we dream at night?
And why do people fight?
She only said:
She said: "Because."
And I'm still asking.
For years, I had a small wall piece hung on the wall a couple of inches above the floor. It had the caption 'Dogs have owners, cats have staff' on it. and it was hung so low because it was my cats' decor item. Not mine. After all - I have been their mere servant, their staff, their BITCH, just as that wall piece told it. BUT this staff member wouldn't have it any other way. Living with cats is a whole lot of wonderful - and the recent pandemic year made me grateful for my feline friends so much more. I mean, sure - I am not a fan of the litter business nor do I love when they yap and yap asking for food minutes after I already serve them, but the cuddling, the love, the feeling of another breathing aliveness next to you when no one else is... it's priceless. Connecting to animals connects us to ourselves, to our nature, to our humanity, to our mortality. And of course, having to care for someone else - is an exercise in generosity, responsibility and unconditional love.
~Seems to me that those traits are lacking in our world...~
So go adopt a dog!
Or visit a farm!
Or practice goat yoga!
Or do some bird watching!
Or swim with sharks!
Or live with cats, like me.
Real talk: One of my biggest pleasures in life is productivity. Is working towards a goal. Is crossing out the daily check list. And if you allow me to brag, I do a pretty great job at it. Some days nearly all my time is productive somehow. I use a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar to track my accomplishments or lack thereof, and go to sleep content that I've made progress towards my all-time goals, my dream of a life I'd like to have.
But then sometimes... I wake up to a day, where I don't want to produce absolutely anything. When I am spent. Burnt out. And all I want is to break every rule of my own making and make my day a day of total rest. Of escaping into a television show - a kind that I can't even learn from because it's mind numbing, and I don't even feel for because the acting is atrocious. You know the kind. It's not a soap or reality show for me, but a formulaic 'Law & Order' type of show does the trick. Thank you network television for giving me that very specific type of escapism for my day of rest! And I go to sleep exhausted from a day of binge watching and being absolutely useless. I don't even cook for myself on my day of rest. And if I manage to take off my make-up at night - that's a huge achievement in my day of rest.
My day of rest doesn't happen on a Saturday or a Sunday. It also definitely doesn't happen every week (or I would like it too much and wouldn't be able to be productive ever again). No, MY day of rest happens out of the blue, unannounced, whenever my body tells me '"Just let it go, girrrrl. Don't work out today. Don't wash your hair. Don't write or work on that audition. Don't clean the house like you are supposed to. Don't do anything. Just watch something and dissapear. And maybe play video games also because let's face it - video games take first place in the escapism route."
My day of rest just happens. And I let it happen.
Because self-care is more important than any goal I'll set up.
Self care gives me the healthy mind, body and soul to reach my goals.
A day of rest is essential to get any work done, ever.
Try a little...
A tender quality or condition, such as;
*Gentleness and affection.
*The quality of being succulent and easily chewed.
*Sensitivity to touch or palpation.
What would it be like to walk through the world feeling the quality of being 'easily chewed?'
How would I move then? How will I talk? How will I touch others? How will I touch cold metals on the subway train? How will I drive a car with tenderness? How will I cook? How will I type on my keyboard? How will I sleep? How will I dream? How will I work out with tenderness? How will I breathe with tenderness?
Only way I know how to answer those questions... is if I try a little tenderness. In a cold, sharp world... try a little tenderness. In tension, grip, or ego going overboard.... try a little tenderness. In a life so rushed to achieve and deliver... try a little tenderness.
Show me a road
And I'll lend you my feet
Open your heart
And I'll play on its beat
Lay your body next to me
And I'll purr in its heat
Sing me a serenade
One that's long and sweet
So I can forever hear it
And at last we'll be complete.
I once thought of myself as a seeker.
Like many other young idealists, I was seeking spiritual path, answers, guidance from the mystery of the world.
Then, I became a treasure hunter.
I now look for treasures -- and to me, a treasure is something that I feel at the core of my being. That can be a moment, and interaction, a story, a feeling, an encounter.
In the future I hope to not seek, or hunt.
Because you only need to seek or hunt something - when you don't already have it.
Because through my seeking or hunting, one thing I find over and over again:
Behind every corner -
There is just.... another corner.
As a millennial - I am not supposed to be into labels. It's the generation's trend, so I hear.
But there is one label I learned a lot about over the last few years that I find super important to know and use, when applicable:
Narcisissm, as most of us know, stems from the Greek mythology story of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He stared at himself until the day he died.
In the modern world, and in particular in the western society - narcissism runs rampant among the rich and powerful. Industries that are 'cut throat' will often find narcissists pining for their spot in the spotlight in leading positions. The most obvious example of a narcissist we all know (and I hope - dislike) is the former President (I'm still shocked at writing that) Donald J. Trump.
Trump is in many ways the cliche of the label: A rich entitled man who likes to talk about himself as the best at any opportunity, shows complete disregard to others (no empathy), will show no loyalty if it doesn't suit his goal (Machiavelli much?) and of course - he likes to do his number 2 in a GOLD toilet. Hm.
I am not a psychologist, so I am in no position of diagnosing anyone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder - even a seemingly obvious one like Trump - but getting familiar with the term and what it entails helped me identify two people in my life as narcissists. (There are probably others I know - I am in the cut throat entertainment industry after all... - but the spectrum of narcissism is wide. And there are specifics to the actual 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder.')
So, what are some red flags I learned about from the narcissists I interacted with?
Well, we all know that if someone talks about them endlessly - that can be a clue - but there are other red flags to be aware of:
*LOVE BOMBING - When we first meet people that have the disorder, it can be an incredible experience; We may be completely swept off our feet. They SEEM to be the full package: The 'one', or the charismatic mentor, or the new bestie. They are caring, attentive, and shower us with love of whatever language WE tend to speak. Often narcissists will also find ways to tell us how 'similar we are' - they try to mirror us so we feel closer to them. In truth - this is a form of studying. A narcissist will study you. Why? because they have to survive in a world of 'ME' (Sad world - if you ask me...) so they need know how best to USE you in the future. People are pawns for narcissists, so they have to love-bomb you in order to know how best to play with you, down the line. If it sounds cruel, it's because... it is. A lack of empathy will make it easy for a person to operate in such a manner. Even completely unconsciously.
*LYING - this one is easy to miss at first, because liars usually do it often enough to be fairly good at it.
And most us want to trust others and give people the benefit of the doubt, but pay attention if you are catching someone in a lie. If you catch one lie - even a small one - it MAY mean there are other lies that are better hidden. Don't be suspicious of everyone you meet though - we ALL lie sometimes. Find the balance...
*TALK BADLY OF OTHERS - Obviously, that's a lame thing to do. And very 'high-school'. Gossip of any kid is pretty lame. With a capital L. But... it's also human. And we are all humans and can do lame things... sigh... But some people - narcissists - do this excessively. Maybe in order to win your trust, or maybe they do that in order to separate you from others. But whatever the reason - if it's excessive - it's a red flag for some unhealthy behaviors. And of course - you know if they are talking s**t about other people in front of you - they are probably talking s**t about you behind your back.
*WON'T TAKE 'NO' FOR AN ANSWER' - we often praise persistence in go-getters in the western society we live in - BUT - sometimes that persistence can stem from an unhealthy inability to take 'no' for an answer. If someone doesn't respect your 'NO' - that's a very red... FIRE red flag, if you ask me!
*ABANDONMENT ISSUES - Okay, listen... many people have abandonment issues. It's human. It's very human. But interpreting every unanswered tex message as 'something is wrong' and 'you are going to leave me' is a bit... excessive. At the very least it points out to a lack of emotional intelligence, and a trauma that hasn't healed, BUT it can also be an indicative of the Narcissistic Personal Disorder.
These are just some of the red flags I've learned after my less-than-pleasant encounters with narcissists.
If you want to know more about this much talked about subject - read some books, or go down the rabbit hole on YouTube. Narcissistic abuse is a painful thing to go through, and can be absolutely devastating to everyone affected. If that happened or is happening to you - seek professional help to get through it. <3
I am a puzzle.
A three dimensional puzzle.
A kind one puts together just so they can take it apart.
Not the kind one frames and places on the wall for everyone to see.
NO - I am a puzzle that is always broken,
And gets built again,
What good is a puzzle - if it's in pieces?
What good is a puzzle - if it is whole?
I am a puzzle.
I live in between my two ends -
The broken, and the complete.
The empty, and the whole
The Vague, and the clear.
I am a puzzle.
A three dimensional puzzle.
A kind of puzzle with pieces like lonely, joy, anger.
A puzzle of the human kind.
The human tower of feelings,
Of sorrow, of rage,
Of laughter, of desire.
Wanna know what I look like?
When you build me - you undress me,
Piece by piece.
And when I am whole - you can see me,
Whole in my nakedness.
Until you take me apart
And begin anew.
I am a puzzle.
I get built up - just so I can be taken apart.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman