Monday, April 24, 2017

To Stay Married, Embrace Change

Written by Ada Calhoun

A couple of years ago, it seemed as if everyone I knew was on the verge of divorce.

“He’s not the man I married,” one friend told me.

“She didn’t change, and I did,” said another.

And then there was the no-fault version: “We grew apart.”

Emotional and physical abuse are clear-cut grounds for divorce, but they aren’t the most common causes of failing marriages, at least the ones I hear about. What’s the more typical villain? Change.

Feeling oppressed by change or lack of change; it’s a tale as old as time. Yet at some point in any long-term relationship, each partner is likely to evolve from the person we fell in love with into someone new — and not always into someone cuter or smarter or more fun.

Each goes from rock climber to couch potato, from rebel to middle manager, and from sex crazed to sleep obsessed.

Sometimes people feel betrayed by this change. They fell in love with one person, and when that person doesn’t seem familiar anymore, they decide he or she violated the marriage contract.

I have begun to wonder if perhaps the problem isn’t change itself but our susceptibility to what has been called the “end of history” illusion.

“Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished,” the Harvard professor Daniel Gilbert said in a 2014 TED talk called “The Psychology of Your Future Self.”

He described research that he and his colleagues had done in 2013: Study subjects (ranging from 18 to 68 years old) reported changing much more over a decade than they expected to.

In 2015, I published a book about where I grew up, St. Marks Place in the East Village of Manhattan.

In doing research, I listened to one person after another claim that the street was a shadow of its former self, that all the good businesses had closed and all the good people had left.

This sentiment held true even though people disagreed about which were the good businesses and who were the good people.

Nostalgia, which fuels our resentment toward change, is a natural human impulse. And yet being forever content with a spouse, or a street, requires finding ways to be happy with different versions of that person or neighborhood.

Because I like to fix broken things quickly and shoddily (my husband, Neal, calls my renovation aesthetic “Little Rascals Clubhouse”), I frequently receive the advice: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

Such underreacting may also be the best stance when confronted by too much or too little change. Whether or not we want people to stay the same, time will bring change in abundance.

A year and a half ago, Neal and I bought a place in the country. We hadn’t been in the market for a house, but our city apartment is only 500 square feet, and we kept admiring this lovely blue house we drove by every time we visited my parents. It turned out to be shockingly affordable.

So now we own a house. We bought furniture, framed pictures and put up a badminton net. We marveled at the change that had come over us. Who were these backyard-grilling, property-tax-paying, shuttlecock-batting people we had become?

When we met in our 20s, Neal wasn’t a man who would delight in lawn care, and I wasn’t a woman who would find such a man appealing. And yet here we were, avidly refilling our bird feeder and remarking on all the cardinals.

Neal, who hadn’t hammered a nail in all the years I’d known him, now had opinions on bookshelves and curtains, and loved going to the hardware store. He whistled while he mowed. He was like an alien. But in this new situation, I was an alien, too — one who knew when to plant bulbs and how to use a Crock-Pot, and who, newly armed with CPR and first aid certification, volunteered at a local camp. Our alien selves were remarkably compatible.

Several long-married people I know have said this exact line: “I’ve had at least three marriages. They’ve just all been with the same person.” I’d say Neal and I have had at least three marriages: Our partying 20s, child-centric 30s and home-owning 40s.

Then there’s my abbreviated first marriage. Nick and I met in college and dated for a few months before dropping out and driving cross-country. Over the next few years, we worked a series of low-wage jobs.

On the rare occasions when we discussed our future, he said he wasn’t ready to settle down because one day, he claimed, he would probably need to “sow” his “wild oats” — a saying I found tacky and a concept I found ridiculous.

When I told Neal about this years later, he said, “Maybe you found it ridiculous because you’d already done it.”

It’s true that from ages 16 to 19 I had a lot of boyfriends. But with Nick,
I became happily domestic. We adopted cats. I had changed in such a way that I had no problem being with just one person. I was done changing and thought he should be, too. Certainly, I thought he should not change into a man who sows oats.

When we got married at the courthouse so he could get his green card (he was Canadian), I didn’t feel different the next day. We still fell asleep to “Politically Incorrect” with our cats at our feet as we always had.

We told anyone who asked that the marriage was no big deal, just a formality so the government wouldn’t break us up. But when pressed, it was hard to say what differentiated us from the truly married beyond the absence of a party.

When I grew depressed a few months later, I decided that he and our pseudo-marriage were part of the problem.

After three years of feeling like the more committed person, I was done and asked him to move out.

When he left, I felt sad but also thrilled by the prospect of dating again.

A couple of years later, I met Neal.

Recently, I asked Nick if we could talk. We hadn’t spoken in a decade. He lives in London now, so we Skyped. I saw that he looked almost exactly as he had at 22, though he’d grown a long beard.

We had a pleasant conversation. Finally, I asked him if he thought our marriage counted.

“Yeah,” he said. “I think it counts.”

We were married, just not very well. The marriage didn’t mean much to us, and so when things got rough, we broke up.

I had been too immature to know what I was getting into. I thought passion was the most important thing.

When my romantic feelings left, I followed them out the door. It was just like any breakup, but with extra paperwork.

Nick now works at a European arts venue. He’s unmarried. I wouldn’t have predicted his life or his facial hair. I don’t regret our split, but if we had stayed married, I think I would have liked this version of him.

My hair is long and blond now. When Neal and I met, it was dyed black and cut to my chin. When I took to bleaching it myself, it was often orange, because I didn’t know what I was doing.

Now I weigh about 160 pounds. When I left the hospital after being treated for a burst appendix, I weighed 140. When I was nine months pregnant and starving every second, I weighed 210. I have been everything from size 4 to 14. I have been the life of the party and a drag. I have been broke and loaded, clinically depressed and radiantly happy. Spread out over the years, I’m a harem.

How can we accept that when it comes to our bodies (and everything else, for that matter), the only inevitability is change?

And what is the key to caring less about change as a marriage evolves — things like how much sex we’re having and whether or not it’s the best sex possible?

One day in the country, Neal and I heard a chipmunk in distress. It had gotten inside the house and was hiding under the couch. Every few minutes, the creature let out a high-pitched squeak. I tried to sweep it out the door to safety with a broom, but it kept running back at my feet.

“Wow, you’re dumb,” I said to it.
“I got this,” Neal said, mysteriously carrying a plastic cereal bowl. “Shoo it out from under there.”

I did, and the chipmunk raced through the living room. Neal, like an ancient discus thrower, tossed the bowl in a beautiful arc, landing it perfectly atop the scampering creature. He then slid a piece of cardboard under the bowl and carried the chipmunk out into the bushes, where he set it free.

“That was really impressive,” I said.

“I know,” he said.

 To feel awed by a man I thought I knew completely: It’s a shock when that happens after so many years. And a boon.

That one fling of a bowl probably bought us another five years of marriage.

Source:     NY Times

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How Would You Like To Supercharge Your Weekend?

Actually, the weekend is the perfect time to charge your creative battery and fill your well.

1. Go for something adventurous

You can go a nature walk, or a hike in the park. Diving or scuba is also another good idea.

You get my point.

This can stimulates your sense that you will not have in the office, and induce the most much needed productivity

2.  Reflect over the past week

Be obsessed with your goals and habits, and always remember to reflect.

Like machine learning, you can always adjust your habits and behaviours to get better.

3.  Block out time for personal development/growth

You are doing something to make yourself wise and better every single week.

Every single day maybe difficult, but people tend to overestimate what they can do in one day, but underestimate what they can do in one month.

One Simple Life Hack

Happy weekend to you!

Do you love simple life hacks?

I love little hacks that make my life easier. 

Here’s one a friend told me about. 

Ever take an elevator from really high the ground floor?  
Isn’t it annoying when your elevator has to stop over and over again as other people from every other floor get on. 

What if you’re in a rush?

Here’s the solution.

To force an elevator to go direct from the lobby to where you want to go - just  press the button for the floor to which you are heading to...
but also hit the "door close" button at the same time.

Hold them down for five seconds and you’ll go express to the lobby!

Did you like this?
Try it out soonest!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Man Vs Woman - Infographics

This is a must see

And they are all true


Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Letter To Humanity

My fellow Human Beings,

When was the last time
You looked at yourself in the mirror
And got a glimpse into yourself?

When was the last time
You saw through the eyes of another
And recognized yourself in them?

Do you even remember who you are?
Do you even remember what it means to be a Human Being,
Or have you lost your sense of self completely? 

We are walking in darkness,
Wanting the world to Light up our world.

But how can a dark and wicked world,
Give us anything other than itself?

You have been facing the wrong way
Wanting the world to give you what the world has not

And if Love and Light are truly what you’re after
You’ll open your eyes and start walking in the light

Look for Light,
And Light is what you’ll find.

Look for love
And one with Love,
You will Become!

6 Things You Should Know About Yourself

We are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frighten us… We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson

Here are 6 Things You Should Know About Yourself

1. There is nothing about you lacking

The first thing you should know about yourself is that there is nothing about you lacking!

It is quite challenging for me to describe in words the things I’ve seen and the experiences I had in my dark night of the soul. But what I can tell you for sure is that in that place I realized that our true nature is perfect, whole and holy.

There is nothing about us as Human Beings that needs fixing, changing and improving.

We are perfect! 

Life created us that way.

Our true nature – our essence – who we are at the core level is already perfect, whole and holy. And the more we try to change, correct and improve that which is already whole and perfect, the weaker we become and the more power darkness has over us.

2. Your Light is more powerful than all darkness

The second thing you should know about yourself is that the darkness of this world comes in many forms. It takes the form of fear, confusion, anger, self-defeating thoughts, blame, shame, guilt, excuses, regret, hate, resentment, limitations, etc. And through all of these emotions, darkness tries its best to keep us from experiencing our sacredness and it wants us to perceive It as being more powerful than We are. 

But it is not!

Our Light is more powerful than all darkness. And the only power darkness has over us is the one we give to it.

Just as it is written in the New Testament:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:5

3. In the eyes of the world, your good will never be “good enough”

We waste our lives trying so hard to impress the world, and what does the world do for?

What does this world do for us except to make us feel inadequate, unworthy and never good enough?

Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you? ~ Rumi

What can this world give to us that we don’t already have?

As someone who has tried her best to prove to the whole world that I am a valuable and worthy human being, I can honestly tell you that it’s not worth it!

And you know why?

Because no matter how much you try to impress this world, and no matter how much you give to it, there will always be more to be done. 
In the eyes of the world, there will always be more for you to do, to be, and to have.

This world is always “hungry…”

4. Don’t confuse your real value with the artificially created value

Not sure if you’ve to notice this, but from a very young age we are programmed to associate the value of a person with certain things – popularity, money, fame, success, number of Likes, Shares, Followers, physical appearance, etc.. And the more of these things somebody has, the “more valuable they become.”

It’s a clever way to control and manipulate people.

And we fall for it. Oh, how we fall…

5. If you don’t recognize your own value, nobody else will

One of the reasons why it’s so easy for us to be manipulated and tricked into thinking our value comes from what we do externally, not from who we are internally, is because we have no idea who we are.
We forgot about ourselves.

We disconnected from our true nature.

We want the world to recognize our value, failing to realize that this world is blind.

It’s not the world who needs to recognize your value, it is You!
It is your job to recognize your own value. And if you don’t, nobody else will.

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” ~ Confucius

6. It’s not about what the world wants. It’s about what you need. 

Stop giving this wicked world so much power over you.

Forget about what the World wants, and start focusing on what You want.

Focus on what brings You joy; on what brings You Peace; on what brings You fulfillment.

Always remember that:

Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself. ~ Rumi

Ask all from yourself.

Source:     Purpose Fairy

The Wisdom Of Silence - Learning To Talk Less And Say More

“Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.” ~ Swedish proverb

I remember going out for dinner one night with two of my closest friends but also with this other person whom we just recently met.

And while we were there, I noticed that this person couldn’t stop talking. I mean, she just couldn’t.

She kept going on and on and on and I honestly thought my head was going to explode because of all the noise she was making. I just couldn’t believe that a human being could actually talk so much and breathe so little. 

I was amazed and irritated at the same time. She was talking so much and so loud but her words seemed so empty of meaning. She wasn’t really saying anything. 

You know that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

Well, that’s exactly how I felt. I could hear her speak but I couldn’t really understand a word she was saying.

Not because she was speaking a foreign language but because she wasn’t really saying anything.

We do that. A lot of times we just talk and talk but without actually saying anything.

Maybe it’s because we want to feel that we’re heard and that people acknowledge our presence and existence. But is that really the way to go about it? 

Wouldn’t it be wiser to talk less and say more while at the same time immersing ourselves in those moments of silence and allowing them to just be?

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” ~ Plato

It seems to me that a lot of times we talk just so we won’t keep quiet, thinking that silence is something to be ashamed about, something to be avoided.

But it’s not.

There’s nothing wrong with silence. I don’t know how we got this idea that silence is awkward and that it should be avoided at all costs. 

“It has been said that it’s the space between the bars that holds the tiger. And it’s the silence between the notes that makes the music. It is out of the silence, or “the gap,” or that space between our thoughts, that everything is created including our own bliss.” –  Wayne Dyer

Silence is a precious gift. In that space between our words, it’s where we find ourselves. When the mind is quiet, when there are no thoughts and no words to be said, we can hear our own heart talking to us. We can hear our own soul and our own intuition. 

Herman Melville has a really beautiful quote that explains exactly what I mean: “God’s one and only voice are Silence.” 

When we allow ourselves to be quiet, to breathe in and breathe out, without the need to force ourselves into saying another word or think another thought, that’s when we can hear our inner voice, our heart, and intuition. That’s when we can experience our own Divinity, our own beauty, and perfection.

I have learned more from being quiet and from embracing silence than I have learned from thinking and from talking. Silence is my greatest teacher, whispering things in my ear and helping me know things that I won’t be able to discover from anywhere else. 

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” ~ Francis Bacon

I honestly believe that the reason why so many of us are under so much stress is because we haven’t yet learned how to quiet our minds and embrace silence. We haven’t yet learned to appreciate and see the value and the wisdom that comes from being quiet.

Who says that you have to be thinking and you have to be talking all the time? Who says that it’s not okay to have moments when you just don’t have anything to say? Who says that you should be talking nonstop even when you don’t have anything valuable to say?

“He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.” – Ausonius

Learn to talk less, say more. When you use your words, use them because they will brighten someone’s day and because they will teach people something valuable. Don’t just use words for the sake of using them. Use them because you have something to say.

“Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.” ~ Saskya Pandita 

** Do you believe that we can only communicate by using words? Do you think silence is something to be avoided? When you are alone with someone, if there are moments when none of you has anything to say does that silence make you feel uncomfortable? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 

Source:     PurposeFairy