St Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

Hearts

Oh, Valentine’s Day. It is that time of year again when love is in the air where couples of all orientations express their undying affection for one another through PDA’s (Public Displays of Affection) and a showering of lavish gifts in the unmistakable colour of RED.

As with a flip of a coin, there’s another side to this day. For each love struck romantic looking to put their love on the line, there is the cringe faced eye-rolling cynic denouncing the holiday as a gimmick. It is individuals such as these whom Valentine’s Day equates to nothing more than Hallmark, Clinton’s and other cards sellers racking in a handsome share of profits from the sale of cards and other related products. And, let’s face it, those of us who have been unlucky enough to have been stung by rejection or have found ourselves surrounded by friends searching for opportunities to lip lock have most certainly felt the wrenching sensation whenever Valentine’s Day creeps up.

So how should you deal with Valentine’s Day?

Well, if you’re single, avoid feeling pressured to conform to societies norms of being romantically involved with another. It’s just 14th Feb, another day in the year which just so happens to be the day when many around you have made plans to shower undying love on their significant other. If this bothers you then make plans of your own; go watch a movie, cook something special for yourself or even treat yourself to something expensive. Although it is much more socially acceptable to be single in society, we find Valentine’s Day a struggle in a society of fixed ideas; just take a browse around the high street shops. The soft toys, cards and other tokens of undying affection are reserved primarily for the girlfriend, boyfriend, wife and husband. Might I remind the profiteering card companies of the many bloodline relatives in existence; parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and extended family. Buy your parents and grandparents flowers because everyone seems to forget that old people get lonely easily, especially around the holidays and they need to be reminded that they’re loved too.

As for those of you who are in the early stages of a new relationship, no Valentine’s Day this year folks. We all know that its hard enough getting to know another person without the added burden of having to deal with international love day. Take the opportunity to find activities which do not involve Valentine’s Day; volunteer at a day centre for the elderly or with children, take up a course or spend it with your single friends.

Now, for those of you seeing someone you actually like or in the early stages of a real relationship: make a real effort. Gentleman, make an effort!! Ladies, show some affection too!! Guys, at least purchase a card for your sweetheart and say nice things to her about your feelings towards her and make her feel special and pampered. Although, ideally we should all be expressing such affections daily but today make an effort, go the extra mile. Offer to prepare a meal but avoid the bare minimum sustenance meals which you would ordinarily only prepare for yourself. Ensure to set the table, use a clean table-cloth and importantly buy some flowers and good quality chocolate. I cannot stress the next point enough: TURN OFF YOUR MOBILES, LAPTOPS AND TVs!!! Today is about your sweetheart and you no matter how long or short your relationship has been. Also, try to avoid clichés today unless your sweetheart is into such things. Demonstrate that you pay attention to your partner’s particular interests and desires by planning something that is geared for your partner’s particular tastes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how far the smallest display of genuine effort and affection can stretch to. And if you are not sure, it maybe a good idea to discuss and plan the celebration you might like together; a night out or a nice intimate time or an adventurous day. This will take the pressure off the day by removing judgements and avoid disappointments through expectations.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day whatever you do and remember to love yourself because that’s the most important.

I love you!!

Best Wishes
Maahi PM

A Message

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

A lover, a lady has written a letter,
When is you return home?
For this home is empty, lifeless without you
They all ask, when will you return home?
The scented dawns, the riotous evenings,
The lonely nights, the flowers in her hair,
The incomplete words, the yearning embraces,
and the longing glances have all asked
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

The lover writes;
The towns, the shadows of the willow trees,
The old park bench, the rain showering down,
The fields of poppy, the town squares,
The ocher climbers, the twisting vines,
The rocking swings, the swaying flowers,
The bursting blossoms, and the lanes of the towns ask
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

The message has arrived,
Written with love in her eyes, words burstings with affection, with sentiment.
A tenderness, a warmth, a concern, a passion,
Sometimes Outwardly in anger, sometimes inwardly in love
In every word my lover asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

Oh passing wind, in your arms carry my embrace to my lover
Quicken to my town, where the twisting vines await,
Quicken to my town with the swaying flowers,
Quicken to my lane with the shadows of the willows tress call out,
Quicken to my lane where by beloved resides
Give embrace to her, give her my love, give her my touch.
Tell her I love her so
Tell her I shall return one day

Memory

I am a Rock

Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

I am a rock, or so I have been told today by a colleague who had a severe panic attack following an altercation with a fellow colleague in the office. We stand outside while she puffs away vigorously at her cigarette hurling obscenities at our colleague. I stand, watch and listen while offering what I believe to be very little in terms of support. kneeling down to her level, I comfort her and direct her attention away from her state of panic. I encourage her to breathe slowly and slow her pressured speech. My perseverance prevails. She began to breathe slower, speech returning to normal. Tears still roll down her eyes but she is calmer. She hold my hand. I feel the panic in her hand, it shakes, its clammy and cold. She looks at me, indicating that she is ready to return. I see her eyes. There is gratitude and there is relief too. So we walk back to the office, my colleague with red puffy eyes and a sombre look on her face. Angry, frustrated and tired. She links her arm in mine, and hold on tight with her head bowed. I walk in, eyes staring at me like I’ve just dragged in an alien. ‘Thank you’, she said again as we sit down, ‘you have been my rock today, I really do not how I could have managed the situation. I’m here if you ever need me’, she said; ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. I was grateful for the gratitude and the hand in support offered to me.

I’ve been dwelling on the entire event ever since. The words echo in my head ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. The truth is there was a period of time in my life where I relied heavily on most people around me for everything, particularly emotional support. Unfortunately despite relying on the person, there has been a lack of emotional or any other kind of support there. Slowly and eventually I have learnt to rely on myself heavily and make myself more self-sufficient particularly emotionally. It’s difficult to ask for help and support at a low point in your life only to be turned away or be let down. When asking for help, it is highly likely that you may already be struggling which may be making you feel slight vulnerable or outside of your comfort zone, but to then be ridiculed or to be brushed aside, is not really worth it?

Although it’s not hard for me to ask for help when needed, I usually prefer to rely on myself. To me its, taking full responsibility for the situation and an opportunity to learn something. In order to be a rock, I need to be a rock myself and yes its OK to sometimes say I really don’t know what I’m doing and feel almost isolated but its a lot easier than disappointment. When such situations arise, I take the back seat, reflect and try to make sense of it all. It’s important for me to know and accept that some things are out of my control and punishing myself over it or looking for a solution is often not an option. As a ‘rock’ I’m able to empower myself with the experiences of others and learn. It’s important for me not to take things personally or to heart. This is what helps me, this is what sustains me and for me life is full of moments when you must be your own rock your own saviour. Its most definitely worth it and its fulfilling.

I place myself in the periphery of a group and try to help others according to my capabilities. When tired, I can take a break, no one really notices I’m taking it. When I’ve had a rest, I go and be useful again. I don’t ask for anything in return, I just enjoy being a part of the scene. I don’t aim high, I just be helpful. In this way, no one wants from me more than I am capable of giving and also I don’t feel “used”. I find my happiness there.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

Ending

The pain does not stop
It remains as alive as the air in the lungs

A strong pounding, a slicing cut to the core
It does not cease with no horizon in sight
As the darkness deepens, so does this anguish
The words of criticism, disgust and contempt come at the speed of light 
Each word destroying all traces of hope and aspiration
No one listens, no one hears, no one sees and no one cares
It’s all coming to an end and a smile emerges
Soon there will be freedom
No worries to engulf the mind and no  people to call our own
Tears mock the sadness within and loneliness dances in joy
Time at a standstill, life lapses slowly
A soulless creature, a cheap being no longer needed
Dragged through the corridors of hell 
There is no scream there is no sorrow, but a numbness which fills a void
A nothing will soon arise 
Soon there will be silence
Soon there will be an ending

Hibernation

I’ve gone into what I call Hibernation mode currently. The emotional turmoil and roller coaster rides over everyday life have pushed me into a state of silence. There is so much happening at the moment that it’s getting to the stage where although I know what is wrong and right, I reframe from speaking out. I have often found that secluding myself from the real world and retreating to my own internal systems, I have found peace. Its allowed me to reflect on what can be achieved and what is currently out of control. There’s no point in fighting something that you have very little control over, its tears away the energy that you have for daily living.

A lot of people around me have their own issues and problems to deal with and its amazing how caught up they become with them and lack the ability to see, understand or even accept that often their own issues are much smaller than they believe them to be. Many of them attempt to control situations and people yet they don’t seem to understand that nothing can really be controlled, its our own attitude that gives us the sense of control and the sense of a lack of control. As humans we fail to understand our own limitations, yet we are quick to judge the limitations of others. There is nothing wrong in admitting you are wrong sometimes or that you have made a mistake or failed, yet the only obstacle that prevents us from expressing this ‘weakness’ is our ego, and of course our pride. Those who are in hibernation like myself often I find have a lot of self-awareness about themselves as well as those around them, however, this is often seen as arrogance and being uptight. Have you looked at their behaviour? Have you listened to their words and their tone of voice? Probably not. The hibernators are often viewed as the quiet ones, the ones without a voice or those who lack the ability to speak out and stand up for what is right fully theirs or an injustice against them.

So what is it about hibernation and hibernators which makes them different? Well, from a personal perspective, hibernators have the ability to be patient in stressful situations. They realise there is no point arguing with an individual that does not wish to understand, this a futile task which will rid both parties of emotional and mental energy. This patience is key; it gives both parties the opportunity to think but who thinks beyond the situation is dependant on who can remain calm and objective. Hibernation give you the real sense of control that people long for so dearly in their daily lives. During the phase of hibernation, I reflect on the situation in which I am in, I take control of all the natural emotions that may have arisen as a direct consequence of my circumstances. The process of taking control of these emotions is often the longest task purely because emotions are so natural and controlling them can be a difficult task, particularly when the circumstances dictate an emotional reaction. During this stage, I don’t dismiss the emotion, it’s not feasible or natural; instead I accept and feel it. To feel means it allows you to be natural, but feelings it doesn’t necessarily mean I express it. This is the nature of hibernation, it allows you the internal space and time to feel some very strong emotions yet be in total control of them. While feeling them I have the ability to put things into perspective, see how they fit the situation, judge if it’s an over reaction, and finally see how well I’ll be able to tame the emotion. Very often our immediate emotional reaction can be just that, emotional and this is perfectly normal as far as I’m concerned and its acceptable to a certain degree; as long as we aren’t physically, emotionally or mentally hurting anyone. Yet it is this emotional reaction that can blind us from reality and prevent us from viewing things in a rational manner. We can end up saying or even doing things which we can later regret and feel guilty for but are powerless to change it. Why allow that situation to occur? Taking control of them works for me, it allows me to give myself the opportunity to explore options through a clear mind. It put me in control of how I manage the situation because my initial reaction can often be incoherent. The self-reflection and the opportunity to cool down and approach it with a calm manner gives me a counter opportunity to approach it with an open mind. There are no situations where I can be 100% ready and I may have the residue of my emotional reaction but nevertheless, at least there is some level of control there that I can manage. Yes, opportunities allow me to grow and they give me the chance to learn new things about life in general as well as about myself because it really does take me outside of my comfort zone. I cannot learn, understand or acquire any form of knowledge without approaching any situation with an open mind. Hibernation is not denying your emotions or feelings or pain and hurt or even your happiness and joy, it’s just being able to stay composed but natural to your own self.

There is no specific time or place for me to hibernate, I can do it anywhere at anytime and the beauty of it I find it that it goes undetected even by those around me. It says a lot about their observation skills. I don’t necessarily need my favourite things around me, music and books helps me of course but very often its just quietness and an inward reflection. It’s also about putting things into perspective and ensuring that I know what my position is and what role I am to play too. I find that sometimes just a 10 minute retreat can help and sometimes a prolonged retreat works just as well. It really is dependant on what the circumstances are. What I do know is that I do need both long and short hibernating periods, and a key to both of these is to listen to by own body and spirit. My body, spirit and heart let me know when its time to hibernate and take a break and over time I have learnt to feel and read the signs and accurately attune myself to them.

It wasn’t so long ago that I found myself in an endless emotional cycle where a particular circumstance has had a great impact on my heart and I have neither been able to retreat or express. I’ve wallowed in self pity instead of work on the emotion and learning from experience. An unproductive task. As I have said previously, there is great difference between feeling a particular emotion and allowing it to overwhelm you to the point of wallowing. I have found that its pointless ignoring or denying a particular feeling, instead the importance lies in understanding it through feeling it and gradually moving through it. Any type of unprocessed feelings become apart of me and this can often lead to bitterness. Unhealthy.

Leading with emotion is not always bad as with most things in life, I have found a good balance is what is really needed. Any situation which dictates a black and white answer often hinders my own development. Life is a varied shade of grey and reasons are often embedded within what happens. It’s up to us to try to look for an answer which is the truth and not just something which suits are needs or desires. Our emotional state does, however dictate how we interpret things which occur in our life. The mere approach can have a totally different outcome. This is down to our choice: if we choose to be ignorant, arrogant and walk the journey of life with an attitude and ego, sooner or later it will catch us out in a situation where we really will feel powerless and out of control. The destination of not only our present situation but our life too is determined entirely by our approach to it. With hibernation, some lessons will come quickly while other will require time and space. Ask yourself, what is your agenda? What is your current state of mind achieving for you? What are your intention and are these intension being portrayed in a clear and honest manner? My life has been and still is full of lots of twists and turns, but its my approach and my attitude which will determine where my next move will be and the consequences of it too. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about accepting that you and other around you have flaws. When we punish ourselves and others for their flaws we deny them the opportunity to be human. We fail in our ability to see and understand human nature and expecting other to conform to our own ideas of behaviour is often an endless pit of suffering, not more so for the opposite person but more so for ourselves. We are the ones who are failing ourselves tremendously.

We must open our minds to our intentions and to the portrayal of these intentions because no matter how pure, if they involve another person, it is for them to decide what is most appropriate for them before us. The more I hibernate, the more I want to understand myself at a deeper level, it forces me to ask myself why I am doing things in a certain manner and the reasons behind it. It forces me to re-evaluate my own agenda and intentions. I’m a key player in my own life, I interact with both internal as well as my external life. It makes my life rich and worthy. I relish in the beauty of it, it has joy and sure there is pain and hurt too but through the pain I have given myself the opportunity to grow and acquire knowledge and experience life for what it really it. It’s an opportunity to pass on the good as well as the bad and most of all, to pass on hope, hope that life really will work our for the best. My expansion in the awareness of who I am and who I am supposed to be shapes my as a person.

For me, 2013 is proving to be very unique, fast, troublesome as well as exciting all at the same time.  But the biggest reminder that all these times are giving me is that I should and will continue to live by my heart. All I have needed to do is open it up, air it out of all the negativity, let the blood pump through it at its steady pace and trust that this is the new direction, a new journey of hope and one full of wonderful experiences and lessons to come.

Best wishes,

Maahi PM

 

When words are not enough…

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the words we use have a hollow meaning? We live our lives saying a vast number of things. Some we mean, some we don’t, some things are hurtful, some a lie and some are kind and some are loving. Words are heavy but actions are worth the weight of gold. Sometimes the words we use can break a heart, a promise, a ray of hope into a million pieces. The chances of recovery from them can often take a lifetime. Can we really trust the words which we use and the words of others too? Often our words are emotionally driven, and the nature of emotions is that they are volatile, ever-changing and binding too. We feel hurt or upset one minute and utter hostile words yet when we have calmed down we express apology and regret. So which of our words do we trust? The hostile ones or the apology? If we ourselves cannot be firm in our words how can we expect the same in return? Words are uttered into the wind and are difficult to catch. Words can be and are deceiving depending on how much meaning they contain within their letters. They lose meaning when actions reflect their opposite. Words have the power to make promises but only actions hold the key to keep them. So in this case is it not fair to say words have little meaning under the influence of actions? Do we need and depend on action alone? Yes I believe so. An action reflecting affection, love and commitment has heavier weight in comparison to words. Yet we must have and hold onto the faith of words as some actions are not possible in the immediate present. If we cannot be true to our own words, the reflection of our actions will demonstrate a skewed result. Sometimes thoughts in your head are going around in a circle and you can’t say anything because you think that you have no right. You reproduce a whole number of questions and answers or even the whole monologues with explanations in your mind, knowing they will never be words that passed your lips. But they are still spinning and spinning… until they burn out, leaving behind a scorched place leaving you feeling as if you lost a small part of your own soul… But in such times be patient, be strong and hold on to your faith. No it’s not easy but being true to your emotions, allowing yourself to feel and accept what you feel will guide you towards having words which are true. If you know your words to be true you will have no hesitation in proving them time and again, whether it be through action or even inaction. We are not responsible for other people’s misunderstandings but if we’re true to our word its our responsibility to prove ourselves particularly to our loved ones and those close to us. Our lives and their lives hang on our words more than our actions. We have no right to string them along if we ourselves are unsure. Be sure from the onset, do not become unsure half way through, this tortures the mind of others as well as ours. Many missed opportunities come about as a result of being unsure, yet when we utter the words of being sure we are not being true to anyone. What is to be gained from uttering words which are untrue? Immediate gratification possibly but in the long run we sink low, lower than we can ever pick ourselves up. Be careful with the words you say anyone. Do we realize what we say or how it will make others feel? In my experience I have had words uttered to me which can only an described as needles, not enough to kill me but have given me enough pain to cry and be wounded for life. They have created self-doubt and lowered my self-esteem. Although today these words do not create the same effect, there is still a hole, a nasty gap which was never filled with good honest words. The only person who can completely take the needles out is me and I have achieved this over 10 years. After the needles were gone I was left with the gap and bruises that only a few people see if at all. This is one side to the power of words. I can hardly speak of the other side but I know and believe it does exist. Words have and hold the power to heal. Motivational speakers. counsellors, other therapists all use the power of words to heal and they work but action is needed in some form or another. Sometimes, words aren’t enough to make someone feel that you care for them. It needs a little efforts to convince that you care. Actions are underrated and very often taken for granted. Yet actions reflect truth, always. Why would it matter whether you say I love you if what you do is what demonstrates it clearly? Whatever you do don’t hurt anyone through your actions, do not show tough love to a person in need of tender love. Do not drive someone to self-doubt and ultimately a death with the knowledge they are unloved. Actions become infinite and that’s when it all becomes worthwhile for us all.

Best wishes,
Maahi PM

 

Love at First Words

The quote or Shayari is the first declaration of love.

Khuda kare saari umar mujhe manzil na mile….
badi mushkil se raazi hue hain wo saath chalne ko…
God willing, my entire life I do reach my destiny
After much difficulty have they agreed to the path with me
The translation is not exactly correct however, the essence is all there.
Best Wishes
Maahi PM