Posted on August 4, 2021
As I’m reading about center-focused exposure feature of my camera I can’t help but make a connection with real life. Center focused metering setting is just what it sounds like – a camera chooses the center of an image to calculate exposure, or light, that will be reflected in the entire photograph. Do we do something similar in our personal life? Do we “calculate”, judge, and project our life based on what’s in the immediate center of it, oftentimes blind to the entire picture? Perhaps because it’s simply outside our focus range? Another metering setting is called Matrix. With Matrix a camera takes the entire frame into consideration when calculating light. Can we project life in a similar way, seeing the entire picture that fills our frame of life and not just its center? Can we go even farther and see beyond the limits of framing? All 360 degrees?
Posted on May 5, 2021
We often seem to concern ourselves with these arbitrary questions: What is my meaning in life? Am I living a meaningful life? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?
How to answer such vague philosophical questions? The meaning of life is not one specific question to which a very specific answer can be given: it embeds in itself an array of underlying questions. If I say that your meaning in life is to be a doctor, can this really be the only meaning you have in your life? I don’t like the predeterministic nature of the question. Do you have a specific meaning that you need to live out? If you don’t live out your predetermined meaning, then what? Philosophers have been trying to answer the question of the meaning of life for thousands of years. No one has yet a direct answer. If they can’t find the answer, then why should I assume that I will? If there is no way to answer the question, why to spend precious energy on trying?
Remember Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy? The smartest computer in the universe was built to find the ultimate answer “to life, the universe, and everything”. After 7.5 million years of calculating, the supercomputer gave them the answer: 42. No one could understand that! When asked what it meant, the computer asked what the question was. It was a very vague question which received a vague answer.
The meaning of life can simply be happiness and enjoyment. It can be following your passion or learning, or teaching. It can take many forms and it can change throughout life. I think the meaning of life is to be present and to enjoy it. The better question to ask yourself is this: If today was my last day would I still do the same thing I’m about to do? This is what Steve Jobs said at Stanford University Commencement in 2005:
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something… Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
Posted on April 21, 2021
I always thought of myself as a night person who stayed up late and slept late. When I was in college I liked to study late at night, staying up until 4 or 5 in the morning. Only now I start from the opposite end of sleep cycle. I wake up at 4 am and get busy before starting my 9-5 job. I learned that a night/morning persona can be interchangeable depending on your lifestyle and habits. So why do I wake up early, before dawn?
According to ancient veda scriptures 3 to 4 o’clock in the morning is the most beneficial time for any type of spiritual activities, such as meditating, prayers, etc. which is why monks often wake up at such an early hour. In Buddhist culture waking up before dawn represents greeting the day and therefore starting the day with good energy. 4 to 5 am is the peak hour for creativity and you will notice a flood of ideas that normally doesn’t occur often, as well as easiness of focus and concentration. This time is great for writing, painting, or doing anything creative. From 5 to 6 am is the time for productivity during which you can accomplish more in less time. This time is great for studying, working on projects, working out in the gym, or doing any type of activities where a desired result is the maximum output in the least amount of time. I noticed from personal experience that I come up with solutions to issues at work or in personal life much quicker in the hours between 4 and 6 am than I do during the day. Before 6 am your mind is yet uncluttered with the happenings of the day and can be compared to the blanc canvas on which you can draw ideas and inspirations. Waking up after 6 o’clock and onward causes a person to become less and less productive. The later we wake up the more tired and foggy we feel. Our daytime bodily processes are already long at work but our mind has yet to catch up.
Waking up at 4 am every morning allows me to get a lot done before starting my 9-5 job. In the evenings I stay away from any type of chores and use that time to unwind. Staying away from your phone and computer an hour before going to bed helps to get the best sleep. Our brain perceives blue light from phone and computer screens as daylight and becomes more alert which can cause sleep problems that in turn can cause depression, fatigue, and inefficiency due to lack of focus and concentration. To note, when you choose to wake up early make sure to get your required hours of sleep; the number of hours of sleep per day varies from person to person (for me it’s 7.5-8 hours). Waking up early can change your life and give you a peace of mind knowing that you have that time to yourself every day for you to do whatever you choose without being disrupted.
Posted on March 24, 2021
I used to dream of a life different than the one I was living and I was trying so hard to stay happy even though it felt like I was slowly dying inside. I knew I was on the wrong path, fluttering and struggling to get off it.
Think of floating on a raft on an angry river. You want to get out onto the shore to rest and think in which direction you should go next, but the river is thrashing you and you sort of let go of the oars at this point and just holding on for dear life. What do you think the river is? Life? Circumstances? Wrong. The river is your mind. It screams different things at you, all at the same time, until you give up and just float because you don’t know anymore what the right thing is. I remember thinking I want to get out of this, I want to come out onto the shore and rest. Why didn’t I? I was too scared. I didn’t know what was on the shore! It might turn out to be a beautiful and peaceful place or it might turn out to be a nightmare, a terrifying new place full of monsters. That’s the fear of the unknown. We all experience it, right? When no matter how uncomfortable the present situation is it’s at least familiar and we don’t have to risk encountering horrific new situations that will make our life miserable. But what will happen if we always only do the comfortable things? We’ll never grow, right? Because, as Brianna Wiest said, growth is painful. It’s painful to grow. When you grow, your old skin sheds and breaks and burns to ashes. But new and young skin is revealed underneath it. A beautiful new you. It’s a process. Most of the time, I mean it, most of the time, it’s not the life that’s scary, but what’s in our imaginations. Your worst fear will probably never come true. When you make a change, at first you may freak out and suffer a bit, or even a lot, but then you look around in the darkness that you feared so much and realize there is no one there but you. No one to come and get you. Your mind scared you witless in order to protect you, because an ego believes that it protects us, but if you trust your soul, your intuition, you’ll see there is not much that you need to be protected from. As Deepak Chopra said “You are safe.” I am not saying to be reckless, although lately I find that to be okay too, but I am saying don’t let your fears control your life. Trust your gut feeling – that’s your intuition. When your mind drives you crazy and pushes you in never ending circles of overthinking, get out of your mind. Go for a walk, meditate, exercise, do anything that will get you out of your head. Meditation helps to develop your connection with your intuition and to better hear it. To better hear your inner voice. Start thinking less and feeling more. Start listening to your inner voice, your true feelings.
What is it that you really want? When you get excited thinking about something, that’s a cue. Why do you think you can’t have that? Write down all your reasons and then read it to yourself. Are they real reasons or are they mostly fears? The ones that appear to be real reasons for not following your heart – can you do something to eliminate them? What steps can you take in order to clear your own path? Understanding yourself is the most important step. Understanding what it is that prevents you from living out the life you desire. Understanding that a big portion of the excuses is just fear. And then analyzing the real reasons and making a plan. Make a step by step plan of what you need to do to clear your path to freedom.
Follow your true desires. Start small and grow big. You can.
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Posted on March 15, 2021
I started journaling about a year ago and have found tremendous value in it. I recommend writing every day because it helps understand what you’re feeling and what thoughts run through your mind. It also helps to brainstorm ideas and to reflect on your mood and possibly figure out why you feel the way you feel. First, write down honestly how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking without sugarcoating. Then ask yourself why you feel or think that, and try to answer honestly. You may find that the reasons may be very different than appeared to you at first. You may be surprised that once you start writing it will be hard to stop. It’s like yanking out feelings and thoughts from the depth of your subconscious, removing them from your head and placing on paper. If you’re brutally honest with your journal it can feel almost like talking to a therapist. Because you can tell it everything. When you understand yourself better you can approach any situation you’re in with a new perspective and new ideas about how to go about it and in which direction you want to move. Just make sure to keep your journal safe from anyone’s eye and it can become your very private friend:)
Posted on February 11, 2021
I thought this is an appropriate follow up to my previous blog where I admittedly blame my parents for everything that is wrong with me. I realize just how easily I slip into a blame mode the minute I feel uncomfortable or scared. Is it how I escape from dealing with a real situation? Surely I still think it is important to work through our issues and to learn to let go. But it’s been liberating to realize that my parents are no longer responsible for me and there is nothing they can do to fix the damage. Casting blame is the route I take to avoid facing my fears. I am so terrified of facing them that I throw an emotional tantrum instead. I really am terrified of pretty much everything in life. I don’t appear to be but there is always this inherent fear of life, of future.
The only way to deal with existential fear I think is to stand up and look it in the face. The fear itself is a petrifying, paralyzing emotion, not what’s behind it. It’s like running through a maze, never stopping, fearing that there is evil right behind us, following our footsteps, but if we do stop and turn around there is nothing there, and it’s silent. And is the maze actually beautiful and peaceful? Was the omen of death just an animagus? Sirius?:)