Tag Archives: Questions

A Game of Tag

23 Jun

A while ago, Kate from The Phoenixplains invited me to join a game of tag, to which the rules are as follows:

1. You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

So, Kate, here are the answers to your interesting, although at times difficult, questions:

What one ‘need’ and one ‘want’ will you strive to achieve in the next twelve months?

Need: find a new job.
Want: find a job in editing/writing which fulfils me and in which I can learn many new skills.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

At the moment, it is not other people’s judgement that is preventing me from doing certain things in life, but the financial means to do so. I would love to take a yoga teacher training course in Costa Rica, for example.

What three words would you use to describe the last three months of your life?

Challenging, confusing, instructive.

What makes you weird/interesting/different?

I always look at the time when the numbers are matching, for example at 23.23.

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

No, because I learnt a lot from it all!

What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?

It was a situation in which a sick person was paying more attention to the health and well-being of those around her than to her own situation. Her deep care and altruism brought tears to my eyes, and I will never forget that even when we are in difficult situations, we must nevertheless continue to show love and care to those around us.

If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

Apart from the essentials, such as basic clothes, money, a mobile phone, toothbrush etc., I would also put in my backpack my camera, my favourite jewellery, a pen and notebook, a poetry book, a few photos of my family and friends, playing cards, an address book and an umbrella.

What have you read online recently that inspired you?

In this post I discovered an amazing French song (video with English subtitles below).

If you could take a single photograph of your life, what would it look like?

Front plan: my sibling and I sticking out our tongues to the camera. Background: my mum and grandparents in the garden, looking at us and laughing.

What are you most grateful for?

The wonderful family and friends I have.

What is the simplest truth you can express in words?

Everything is perfect, even the shitty parts.

***

Here are my own 11 questions:

  1. What books have changed your life?
  2. What project would you start if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  3. When I say “time”, you say……
  4. Which well-known person is an inspiration to you and why?
  5. Which motto or theory do you love but find difficult to put into practice?
  6. If you could introduce a new subject to be taught to school-children in your country, what subject would you introduce?
  7. What activity always lifts your spirits and puts you in a good mood?
  8. What is the most challenging thing in your life at the moment?
  9. What are your favourite three quotes?
  10. Is there a song that captures your views/beliefs/thoughts on life?
  11. Which fellow blogger would you like to meet in real life?

I tag:

  1. A story of Light
  2. BA Expat
  3. Based on a True Story
  4. My Life in Colour
  5. The Sister Hawk Blog
  6. 6 Months to Live
  7. Shining Soul Yoga
  8. Life as I See It
  9. Love is the Answer
  10. Walter Bright
  11. My Sardinian Life

Looking forward to discovering your answers!

Embracing the Unknown

30 Jun

Three weeks have gone past since my last post. A whirlwind of events, thoughts and feelings provoked a natural pause in any ‘creative’ activities. In the past three weeks summer arrived unexpectedly, friends came and went, I grew a year older, I gave my month’s notice of resignation, I was reunited with people who I haven’t seen for two years, I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been, I saw breathtaking sunsets, I cried from happiness on several occasions, I came across confusing and irrational conflicts, I prayed, I listened, I got unexpected answers from unexpected places.

I am once more at a time of the great unknown. Yet for the first time, I welcome the unknown like a friend. In the past few months, the unknown tested me, challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone. The unknown revealed parts of my character, both positive and negative, that I had never known; it revealed desires to which I had never admitted; and it made me stronger by showing me my weaknesses.

It is not in my perfectly planned and organised life that I learnt about myself, but it is in moments of uncertainty, of turbulence and of absolute incomprehension that I managed to grasp, even a little, at my true essence.

Our first meeting with the unknown is like our first meeting with silence. It seems like there is nothing but emptiness Footprints on Beacharound and no matter how loud we scream our questions, we get no answers, except for an echo, in return. Yet is is not from silence that we should expect a reply, it is being in silence that allows us to hear our own answers. In the same way, it is not the unknown that will guide us, but our inner guide that will emerge once we’re in it.

In today’s society, we’re used to receiving answers and advice from a variety of external sources, whether it’s a GPS, an agony aunt, Google or a phone call to a friend. We rely on other people to tell us how we feel, what decision to make and which route to take. Yet what would we do if we got lost in a foreign place with no street names, no map, no phone and no passers by to ask for directions? What if we had to find our way without any external help?

In the past few weeks I came across a problem to which I had no answers…about which I didn’t even have a clue. I needed help, advice, guidance, yet I couldn’t think of who or what could offer me help in such a situation. I felt that rationalisation, discussion and writing out pros and cons would not be good enough. This was not a matter that the mind could solve. This was a matter of the soul.

And so I prayed. I sat in silence and I searched for an answer deep within. And something unexpected, something that no one else would have advised, yet something that was so perfect for the situation came to me. My intuition gave me an answer that I couldn’t have received from anywhere else.

So today, I will rejoice in the unknown, because it is the unknown that makes me listen to myself, that helps me understand myself and that gives me freedom.

A quote has been running through my mind all these weeks, which truly captures the beauty of embracing the unknown:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planed, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell

Live the Questions

5 May

Teenagers are known to feel lost and confused, unsure about their path in life. Yet the incertitude and perplexity of adult life is less frequently mentioned as a ‘natural’ psychological phenomenon.  For me, it is the dissolution of a fixed and compulsory structure to follow, after years of ‘being told what to do’, that has often led me to feel utterly disorientated.

As a child or an adolescent, your life is guided by the school system. Each year is separate from the other, each year has its goal, and each year is neatly divided into terms with holidays in between. You know exactly how to plan your time, your week, your month and your year within these structures. You also know that after hard work (exam preparation) there will be a reward (long holidays). And you know where you will be the following autumn and what you can expect of the following year. You know that school has a purpose: it will either get you into university, or it will get you a job.

In ‘grown-up’ life there is no set structure, there are no set holidays, there are no set guidelines, no mentors, no breaks ‘between years’, no rewards for working hard (promotions and bonuses are not guaranteed each year), and, sadly, in the majority of cases, no purpose apart from earning money.

School life is like a road trip, where adults drive you from city to city. You sit in the back seat, enjoying the ride. You are told the distance between each city, so you know when there will be a good view, when you can doze off, and when you have to get out to explore the outside world actively.

In grown-up life you are the driver, having barely got your license. You have no idea how long it will take or how far away it is to the next town. You have no map and no GPS to give you directions. You have to decide independently the places to drive through and those to stop at and explore, without a guide to tell you which sites are worth seeing. And amongst all of the hitchhikers that desire to share the journey with you, how to tell which ones are worth taking along on the ride, and which ones it’s best to leave on the side of the road?

The best perspective I have read on dealing with life’s uncertainties is that of the twentieth-century German poet Rainer Maria Rilke…

I want to ask you, as clearly as I can, to bear with patience all that is unresolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were rooms yet to enter or books written in a foreign language. Don’t dig for answers that can’t be given you yet: you live them now. For everything must be lived. Live the questions now, perhaps then, someday, you will gradually, without noticing, live into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Worpswede, July 16, 1903
Letters to a Young Poet