Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Afraid to be alone [A knowledge post]

Afraid to be alone [A knowledge post]

In my experience, there are 4 aspects that go into the mastery of being alone:

As an extrovert, I always find alone time intimidating. I oftentimes find myself restless or bored or seeking an activity.  So much of the last few years of my life has been activity-based.  When I decided to stop watching TV in high school, I had to cope with realizing that throughout my whole life, I had created "distractions". We all create distractions in our lives.  Distractions that could potentially consume us.  We are what we think of 80% of the day.  So if we spend 80% of our day staring out a window, thinking about make-believe scenarios, watching TV, reading a book, listening to music, we are not living.  Our personality should be an outcome of our core beliefs, loves, thoughts, and influences...not of distractions.  Why are we afraid of being present? Must we distract ourselves every minute of the day? 

Do not be afraid of the person you are when you are not entertaining worldly thoughts.

Between living in the future and indulging in the distractions, it is really difficult to stay present.  I want to laugh because someone told me a joke, not because I want to entertain the person's ego.  I want to listen, really listen to someone in an attempt to feel their emotion and experience, not thinking of my next response before they finish their last sentence.  
Presence is sharing.  It's sharing experience whether sharing it be sharing it with others or yourself.  I constantly forget to share experiences with myself.  If I'm on the top of the mountain, and all I use is words to describe how I feel, I'm not sharing the experience with myself, I'm sharing it with words I already know and sentences I've most likely already said.  If I'm on top of a mountain, I want to close my eyes, unembarrassed, and become cognizant of my heartbeat, the dryness of my tongue, the feel of the wind or the sound of the silence. I want to look at the speckles in Emmy's eye color or become aware of the way Megan's smile differs when she's happy vs when she's embarrassed or the memorize  the feeling of Adnan's hug.  
Becoming infatuated with a love for others and all the goodness that can be between two people. Becoming so infatuated with a love that is ever-present, that is us, that is God-given, that it consumes our entire being.

Share life with yourself in the exact moment that it is happening.

Note to self: Don't forget, you are not a separate entity.  Also, you are not in control of your life.  You are only in control of how you channel the energy around you.  Don't contend with your surroundings.  You are your surroundings. Let yourself be influenced by the energy surrounding you.  

Let yourself gravitate naturally towards what is good. 

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. 

Saint Francis de Sales once said, "never be in a hurry".  It is in slowing down that I can feel reverence toward all that flows to and fro.  It is then that I can meditate on what feels good and right.  It is then that I can reach a sense of whole.  When I focus on [God]'s presence, the good is unprecedented. It is sturdy, strong, and surrounding. Goodness is not a feeling or an action, it is a calm, endless communication between the earth, [God], and you.

**For those without an experience leading to the observation of a God, God is placed in [].  God is as you wish. More simply, I refer to a presence that is wholly good.

I spend time alone.  I spend time by myself.  I do not, however, spend time "with myself".  Spending time "with oneself" is something different. I constantly preach gratefulness and appreciation to myself, but it really does boil down to that. If you spend time with yourself, you open up, you let go, you give in.  It's too exhausting to hide from yourself.  Don't forget that the open, transparent, vulnerable good.

We derive from goodness, and that's it. 

I am not shamed. I am open to myself and I spend time with myself because I enjoy loving myself.

Being alone is just enjoying loving yourself.  Loving yourself is a feeling, a necessary commitment, but enjoying loving yourself is an experience. Take time to smile and feel the warmth in your fingers and enjoy the calm in a deep breath.

Enjoy one's love for thyself

Fam goes to Interlaken


The whole fam went to Interlaken this weekend, which is a small backpacker's town.  It's known as one of Switzerland's most famous towns for extreme sport excursions; ex: sky diving, paragliding, canyoning.  The hostel we stayed in was absolutely huge. It was called Balmer's Hostel.  Definitely the best hostel in Interlaken. There were at least 100 beds; there were large social common rooms, a bar, and a club. The hostel was very safe, clean, and had an incredibly friendly, fun atmosphere.

Sometimes you meet people that will dance with you, sing at the top of their lungs with you, embarrass you, mentally push you, and accept you because they're genuinely wonderful. Grant is one of those people that will ask why, will question things that need to be questioned and will be honest without hesitation. He also has a tragic flaw of not being able to resist himself from a good joke.  Here is a photo of my beloved friend and I wandering the streets at about 2am singing House of the Rising Sun while playing on a piano sculpture.  This was the middle of Grant yelling at me "Play a diminished chord!" ...It was one of those moments that you look at someone & think, "dang, I got really lucky."

The first day, Megan, Hannah (Megan's friend), Caroline & I hiked through three BEAUTIFUL towns in Switzerland (Between which were the Swiss Alps): Lauterbrunnen, Murren, and Grimmelwald.  It was so crazy going from the French side of Switzerland to the German side. In Interlaken, the people were so friendly.  We had full conversations with almost everyone we came into contact with. Much different than individual-minded, professionals in Geneva. 

Here are photos from our 10 mile hike.

There were huge waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen, one that we were able to walk through the side of the cliff & under the waterfall.

At the top of mountains, you can often find these water troughs. We think they're for cows, but I love them.  You can fill your water bottle up with mountain water.  I love being up in the mountains with no human interference, but there is also something simply beautiful about a small, unobtrusive man-made trough with life-sustaining mountain water sitting lonely on a mountainside.

The next day, we went to the top of another small mountain; it was early in the morning & we ended up being in the middle of a cloud, which was way cooler than expected. 
check: walk around inside a cloud

Interlaken was the funnest, most laughter-filled adventure thus far. If coming to Switzerland, put it on the list.