Imagine sitting alone, thinking of death, of hardships, of a scary phenomenon. Imagine all this happening to you or to your loved ones. Don’t you want to cry over your thoughts?
Hell knows where these thoughts come from. Is it imagination? Worse: is it intuition? Or is it a mental health issue?
Specialists (and I asked some of them) believe that professional help is needed in case of total disturbance of daily activities due to these thoughts. If not, then one can and must know their origin. It’s hard to tell most of the time whether these thoughts are imaginary or intuitive. They are intuitive if the thought becomes reality.
What is less known for common people is the normality of these dark thoughts. A “healthy” mind would have light and dark thoughts. All depends on one’s background and experiences and their interpretation of life.
One of the best ways to deal with dark thoughts is to try to know the cause of their emergence. Is it because of guilt or a feeling of failure? Is it because of deceptions in the past and fear of the future? We know the answers only if we choose to focus and understand. Once we know the cause, the solution is around the corner.
For heavier cases, speaking out is the path to remedy. Also activities such art, sports, yoga, meditation or any kind of activity that keeps the mind busy and helps boost self-confidence can help soothing the pain.
I noticed that dark thoughts emerge in my lonely boring inactive times. Martin Heidegger, the German philosopher, underlined the importance of boredom to reflect on the essence of life in his philosophical masterpiece: Being and time.
I have been trying to keep myself busy with what I like to do and to reflect on my dark thoughts in my alone times. I noticed that all of them have one origin: the fear of a future deception and loneliness. However, these thoughts have become much lighter and some images they brought disappeared.
In 2019, the planet burned! From the Amazon Rainforest to Australia, fires devoured trees, plants, animals and lands. Facing this heartbreaking and scary scenery, only romantics like Greta and us yelled the danger of global warming.
So, global warming is the planetary issue, right?
Not so fast. The less romantic among us don’t care about global warming. To them the real underlying issues are elsewhere. They are respectively: energy and nutrition.
The world population was estimated to have reached 7.7 billion people in 2019. Authorities’ worries are more about producing energy (nuclear, alternative, fossil…) and finding ways to feed the immense number of mouths. It is an issue because food industry is one of the biggest energy consuming factors.
Does this all show us that the real problem is the shrinking of the vital space?
The vital space is the space needed for a specie to survive. With an increasing world population in terms of demographics, the concept of vital space is not openly discussed for ethical reasons obviously. The concept of vital space requires harsh questions: fewer babies? More birth control? If so, isn’t the current population at risk of aging?
Or, as awful as it sounds, wouldn’t wars do the job to lessen the number of people?
Whether global warming needs urgent and immediate actions, it is high time we let go of the past in order to face the future. What past are we talking about? Traditions and religions.
The revolution in Lebanon is still on for the 24th day, with protests in front of institutional buildings accused of being corrupted places. Economically, the situation is very bad: not a lot of cash, due again to corruption. If I want to talk about stress, I wouldn’t know where to start from. Therefore, relying on my very long experience in protests and revolutions (some 20 years long), I want to answer this question that’s been around since the beginning of this revolution: How to keep yourself sane in times of political and financial turmoil?
Here are to me the best ways to keep you balanced while fighting:
Focus: in chaotic times where life is threatened, we tend to lose concentration by thinking too much and being anxious. So, recenter your priorities: money, jobs, necessities, protesting etc. and why not organizing yourself around them.
Take care of your finances: maybe the most important issue in terms of surviving where economy is crashing by the day. Spend on necessities only; it is a time of restriction.
Healthy eating and resting: it is the 3rd on my list because people tend to forget about this one but it is as crucial as the first 2. Less sugar, less caffeine, no processed food, less meat, otherwise you would be more irritated. Some intermittent fasting would do good for the body and the mind.
Switching off news sometimes during the day and focus on yourself, maybe for a good read. It will help you refuel physically and mentally.
Staying fit as much as possible for endurance of both the body and the mind. Yoga and meditation are great at keeping you healthy and in peace.
When life is threatened, survival instinct is on alert, but it can be exhausted quickly. Here are the tips I found useful for difficult times. What’s your emergency kit to cope up under stress?
Usually criticized for being counterproductive starting from school, slowness (often understood as laziness) has been the antidote to success and ambition. So, the world revolved into one huge running field with one aim: fortune. If the State promoted activity in the sense of having a job and being ambitious, it is for 2 reasons: making people busy (so they are unable to think of important issues) and therefore making them pay taxes. The more you move the less of a thinker you become; the more you move the richer you become, the more taxes you pay. It’s a double-bind equation.
In this scenery and ideology, many types of work are considered slow: philosophy, painting, writing, poetry, teaching etc. These types of activity don’t include speed and fury. Socially speaking, they don’t include climbing the social or professional ladder: once a painter, always a painter. No titles, no fitting in the crowd, artists, philosophers etc. are misfits.
Slowness is not idleness which is inactivity also known as slothfulness. Therefore, here are the benefits of slowness:
Thinking: it is mainly an individual and lonely activity, evolving with time. To think deeply about existential matters needs time.
Creativity: there are days where creativity is absent. But to be inspired requires a constant awakening of the mind, which means less running and more contemplating.
Freedom: which is solely a faculty of the mind and it comes with time. To be free is to be ungovernable by others.
Spirituality: I haven’t heard of any type of spirituality that promotes speed to reach enlightment.
Silence and stillness: they are fuel to the mind and the body
In a world of speed, slowness is so old-fashioned. However, were we meant to be fast? Aren’t diseases multiplying? Isn’t confusion the keyword?
Same question goes for shirts, jeans, sweaters, make up products, cars, houses, food, drinks, partying and the list is very long. In other words, when too much is too much?
Whoever had to move out knows exactly what I am talking about. The sudden awareness of why and how and when did we buy all this, hits us in the face. The endless dialectic of desire versus need is still here.
I am convinced we have been misled by the idea “the more, the better”. And we have been misled by the definition of happiness as comfort, therefore belongings, therefore eating more than we need, therefore having more than we can chew.
Hundreds of sites and videos talk about decluttering. However most of them fail to mention the importance of shifting the mind where the real decluttering begins. So it’s not about organizing the closet in a beautiful and coherent way. It is more about changing the approach to life. Less is more and it is not minimalistic but reasonable.
How can the body heal itself if we keep on fueling it every 2-3 hours? Isn’t snacking one of the most stupid and harmful ideas? Spending more, eating more, being sick, spending again more on treatment.
Same goes for shoes. How many pairs of shoes does a person need? Not too many. But how many pairs of shoes does a person want? We can never have too many. Both are political statements.
An identity is a complex concept made of different layers: nationality, racial, ethnic, religious (of course!), cultural, subjective…
While most of the aforementioned have always been issues unfortunately, the subjective identity remains the core understanding of identity.
All national and supranational identities tend to reduce a person, including her being, feelings and experiences, to one aspect: race, religion, culture etc. How fair is that? And how or why do people accept it? Why do we agree on being reduced to a politicized inherited character? A human being is beyond a definition of words.
The subjective identity is given by consciousness and reflexivity. It is synonymous to the internal world of thoughts, memories, fears, anxieties, desires and so on. As these elements keep on changing throughout the years, an identity is neither set, nor rigid. It’s not given once and for all. It is constantly evolving. Therefore, reducing this complexity into one tangible aspect for political or social reasons is a paradox to its essence.
That being said, tell me why are we still fighting each others?
The ego is very important. It allows us to look after ourselves, to cover in winter, to eat when hungry, to seek shelter for safety, to interact with others. Constituted mostly from our primary instincts and from our habits and thoughts patterns, the ego is our living kit.
Anxious people are caught in their inner narrative speech: who am i? What to do? How to act? What people would think of me? What if I fail? Etc. In other words, they are caught in fear. This turns the ego into a rigid machine operating upon one’s dominant thoughts patterns and narrations. In other words, this dragon ego will prevent a person from being emotionally touched by new experiences.
This calcification of the mind leads to a calcification of life. Only the ability to be open to anything new can make us hear melodies in daily noises and annoyance. An enhancement of the mind comes from new perceptions of the very close and, paradoxically, the very far. Life is to be amazed by the wonderful: the “wonder-full”. And why not to believe in mermaids and unicorns? Ideas are not supposed to be normal but extra-ordinary.
Here are some tips that open the mind to amazement (they worked for me so I am sure it will work for you too):
Workout, workout, workout: the power sensation over yourself alongside your body image enhance self-confidence, give energy and is an anti-ageing process, both for the mind and for the body
Yoga: needless to point out its benefits on yourself and on humanity. The headstand, also called the King of asanas, sends a blood flow to your heart and to your brain, making you feel calm, concentrated and so happy, you would smile from your liver!
Meditation: few minutes a day is a good start. Close your eyes and inhale and exhale slowly. Start counting backwards from 11 to 1 and when you reach 1, start from 11 all over again. 11 inhale, 11 exhale; 10 inhale, 10 exhale and so on. With time, it will change the structure of the brain!
Walking, preferably in nature. This also brings oxygen to the soul. The impact of nature on us is magical. Pay attention to colors, shapes, sounds. If not, any good walk outside will change your life.
Reading: shut the world outside and read a good book of your choice. It works on imagination and opens the mind.
From the latest statistics of the World Health, 74% of the world population is under stress and anxiety. I’m not sure about the number but anyway it is scary. To achieve peace within ourselves, to become amazed like children, one must take actions. Because life is worth it and because the world is wonder-full!
It’s chilly and dark outside and I am alone in my bedroom. It is perhaps my favorite part of the day, when I am in complete harmony with my inner self. It is the time when I rethink the world and people, when love is vivid in me. Isn’t it the way to consciousness?
The night is always magical and charming. It has the power to turn multiplicity to unity. People are all alike in the dark. They get along emotionally. It is when the brutal images of the day quit clashing in front of me and violent noises remain quiet. Then I become in a thinking mode. Music would be my greatest companion in these moments. All this is, to me, an exciting cocktail for creativity. Life is beautiful when we write it; it is never the same on every page. We write it with style and metaphors, with poetry and images. Feelings are only expressed after being crafted.
The metaphor of life makes me laugh. I would love to laugh so hard it hurts. I would love to laugh at life and for life, because life is beautiful and ironic. Once I think I understand it, it plays tricks on me. To be drunken of laughter, incapable of seeing clearly, letting all off, from my inner soul until I can hear no sound but mine, laughing! All channels in me are open, connecting with the universe; life demands openness; only death is a closure. Refusal is a closure; hate is a closure, envy is a closure. Every time I am negative, I am shutting down a part of me.
In fine, my face remains, in all this surrounding darkness, white like snow!