the quiet rhythm

The office sounds like a toned-down version of what it had probably been like during the 1900s when a room full of typewriters made their joyful clickety-clack sounds. At least, that’s what the period movies usually depict. Quite therapeutic, the rhythmic bashing of computer keyboards lulls me to a state of almost-asleep. It’s after lunch and my mind would always shut down briefly around this time. I believe it has something to do with how the digestive system is using up most of the energy in the body and so the brain has to give in.

So, I sit back on my chair, cross-legged and neck tilting slightly upwards. It takes my brain at least 15 minutes to replenish the energy it needs. Sometimes it may demand more time and usually, I wouldn’t mind. Alas, Guilt kicks in and reminds me that I am paid to sit here and do work. At the same time, Pride barges in and tells me that I’m in full control of my life; I can and should do whatever I want. To appease Guilt, I wake up. To satisfy Pride, I continue day-dreaming.

It is still rather quiet, but the rhythm goes on. I wonder, as I always do, how they can keep on typing. Do they really enjoy doing their work? Is it just merely an obligation they have to fulfil? I don’t think I can type continuously for more than 3 minutes even on a topic that I find interesting. My mind pauses at intervals. Like my body, it needs rest every now and then.

The bashing reduced to two pairs of hands. The quiet remains. We are each in our own little universe. And quite suddenly, a different sound decides to join. It was first a pitter-patter and then quickly joined by a rush like that of a waterfall. The furious rain hitting the roof breaks the spell and the two pairs of hands take a breather, a pair of legs starts walking to the loo and a voice starts an empty conversation.


 

The above was written today. Whenever my mind feels congested and my heart is dangerously close to exploding, I indulge in writing. I played with my senses, which caused me to be present. Then, I write down what I see, hear, touch or smell. I played with the sentence structure and I gave inanimate objects some character. It may not be great, but the process sparked that thing in me that I nearly forgot how it felt. And I bloody love it.

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FIVE PLANTS TO WATER

If I had learnt anything about entropy it is that any system will eventually go into disorder. It is inevitable. If I do nothing, my state of mind will break down and my health will deteriorate. Even without learning about entropy I would have figured that out by now through the mistakes I’ve made, most of them repeatedly. Therefore, I do have to do something to at least slow down such disorder, especially now that I am not tied to any institution. 

And so I faced yet another round of doubts, what ifs and instability. This was necessary, and I welcomed them with open arms. Instead of panicking, I sought my comfort zone, which was continuing and focusing on my daily habits — meditating, dancing, reading, eating — as if the insecurities were not troubling me. 

That helped calm me and bring me back to the centre. But all the while, the thought of creating my own structure kept lingering at the back of my mind. I acknowledged it and I kept asking myself how exactly do I want the bricks to be laid. I fervently asked God to show me the way. 

Inspiration came eventually in a form of an interview session with Pedram Shojai during this week-long ‘Soul of Healing Summit’. He talked about how the term multitasking is misconstrued and that the most effective way of getting many things done is to actually do things one at a time.

He then advised listeners to focus on only five major things that they need to improve on. He gave an analogy of having five types of plants to care for. I suppose this limit is set that way because realistically we can only care for a limited number of things at a time. And if we try to do many things at once, it may be that we won’t be able to care for them as efficiently, and so the weeds would eventually dominate.

With a bit of thinking and honesty, I’ve identified the five plants I need to nurture:

  1. HEALTH & FITNESS
    • eating well and avoiding as much processed food as possible.
    • increasing strength, flexibility and mobility by practising the arts of Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, Dance and possibly the very basics of Parkour.
  2. SUSTAINABLE LIVING
    • reducing my waste to landfills by practising the 5R’s.
    • learn to DIY household products.
    • towards living a more meaningful life.
  3. PLANT KNOWLEDGE
    • this means planting a wide range of knowledge in my mind and,
    • learning more about plants for healing (herbs) and gardening (growing my own food).
    • this goes well with the concept of sustainability and personal growth.
  4. SELF-EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY
    • continue writing, if not more frequently, on this blog or anywhere else.
    • speak more often — the purpose of my posting videos on YouTube.
    • basically just about whatever way I can do to get my creative juices continuously flowing.
  5. CONNECTION
    • with people who will help me grow.
    • with Nature.
    • with God and my spirit — always.

These are my pillars and I hope to build great things around and on top of them. Wherever the course of life takes me, I will keep in mind to carry along these five plants. If what I’m doing takes my attention away from them, I would have to rectify the situation and get back to them no matter what. I shall hold myself accountable. If I allow the weeds to grow rampant, I would only have myself to feel sorry for. 

It’s going to be tough, yes. But I believe that if I keep firm and do what I need to do, these plants will blossom beautifully and I will become a better version of myself than I am now. I will only add more plants to my collection when I know that the care of at least one of them has become a habit rather than something I need to consciously work on. 

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