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The Rose That Grew From The Concrete

28 Mar
Copyright: Daydreamdaisies

Copyright: Daydreamdaisies

 

Here’s a painting of Tupac Shakur I finished the other day. I didn’t really have a burning passion for this guy’s music before picking up the brush since this piece started out as a present to my sister’s boyfriend. But its meaning soon became greater in my heart.

Tupac is one of those people who surprised me with his message.  I thought it was sex, drugs and bling bling combined with girls grinding shiny cars; in other words, the tool kit of many succesful (MTV) rapper. Oh, but how wrong was I.

Tupac speaks of bravery and of beating the odds. He encourages you to dream big, to journey on, to be resilient and to keep your head up. This man had many things to say, and many of them good. He had a tough life but still his voice rang clear and inspired many.

And guess what throws me and surprises me again and again?

The realisation that be your idol Jimi Hendrix or Susan Boyle, they’re all just humans. These inspiring, amazing people who we throw our dreams and knickers at in concerts.  These people who we look up to, they’re just people like us. Their hair gets greasy like ours and they have their bad days.

So if they are like us that means we are also like them. It means that the ability to inspire and comfort lives in all of us. We can reach out and touch someone’s heart. We can dream and make our dreams happen, if we only dare to. If we stop standing in our own way with doubts.

And even when life seems hopeless and dreams torn, there is still a way for us. Or have you not heard about the rose that grew from the concrete?

 

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?

Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.

Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams

It learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from the concrete

When no-one else ever cared.”

-Tupac Shakur 1971-1996

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Small but significant

26 Mar

There has been many thoughts swirling in my mind lately, too many to find words for them. Big changes are happening, like the news that I get to move to Scotland next September to study in University of Edinburgh. I am so excited!

But today, I found my words again. I found my way back home, back here. The feeling was quite magical.

I was sitting on a bench by the sea, gazing out to the horizon. Wind started blowing wilder and as I sat there, I took a moment to just empty my mind. I closed my eyes for a while and I tried to inhale the light of the spring sun climbing higher. Slowly, the insides of my eyelids became patterned with patches of blue light. I assumed this to be the sky shining through to my vision. But as I opened my eyes, I found that the sea had broken free. Where before there had been just a vast, blank canvas of ice, a distant and cold glacier, there was now the sea. It was deep blue and it spread. I stood up and as I gazed at the sea growing, I felt that I was in a right place, at a right time. I belonged but I was free to go. I thanked the sea for making me feel whole.

Just before the sea broke out in the distance, I took this photo with my phone:

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You can see that little black figure on the left, under the big cloud? Not much bigger than a black dot. Smaller than the rocks, smaller than the skies. Well, that is you and me. That is a human being. Small maybe, but significant too. Cherished for its ability to love, for its foolish pleasure of treading on the ice. The ice, it carried this person into safety, into the land. Only then did the sea free itself.

And it reminded me of how we are part of this whole entirety, how it carries us in its chain, even when we feel or act like the weakest link. And of how we should always respect the nature, for we belong, for we are enveloped by it.

We can choose to be the sun’s mirror. We can choose to be a willow’s branch, bent by the wind but not snapping.

Nature of Happiness

16 Jan

Deep below, under the stubborn ice and mouths frozen shut, the roots of life still linger. Slowly, they string their fine fingers upwards, infiltrate the army of snow flakes besieging us. Those fingers, you can feel them caressing your skin when you fall your cheek pressed to the iron-cold ground; sprigs and sprouts of onion being born, the sweet-tasting sap brewing, the birch babies and oak saplings still playing hide-and-seek, until the day that earth’s anticipation, its certainty of spring stronger than thousand ice ages, breaks all winter’s barriers and blossoms into light leaves of coltsfoot, pansy, primrose and thistle. But not quite yet my dear, not quite yet. First, we have to live through this concerto of whispering winds, nothing but rumours of life budding. That way we can have two summers; one blossoming in our ears and one, in time, blooming up from undeground, inviting us to a flower field dance.  

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Waiting for the spring is a sweet expectation, it is like waiting at the train station for an old friend to arrive. Peace and love, and warmth to melt your winter fingers! Take care.

Believe in yourself? But how?

29 Nov

I have a solution to all your problems.

Okay, I’ll admit, despite this grand start: I’m not going to promise you hundred new, innovative ways to blend your vegetables or one, quick and easy route to abs as hard as James Bond, the way they do on every tele shopping channel. Heck, I’m not going to lie to you. This might not be easy or quick, but I’m pretty sure it can help you. It helped me, hugely. It resolved all the worry-knots of my heart. This is it:

Self-validation.

I have realised that this is all that you need in life, a bit of self-validation. Giving yourself credit for what you have achieved. Accepting yourself, asking acceptance and love from inside and not from your friends, landlady, postman and your Twitter followers.

It sounds a bit like the “Believe in yourself” that you have heard before, that results in 282 000 hits in Google, I know. I didn’t think I could make this post important at first, but then I realised I need to talk about this, that I want to! Because I realised there is one massive difference. And I want to make people see this difference, want them to have the same blissful feeling I had. This is the difference:

Self-validation is not the synonym of believing in yourself. It’s the basis for it, the foundation. To have self-confidence, you first need self-acceptance.

Realising this was a huge relief to me. Because I have been struggling with this believing in myself-thing. That’s also why I want to talk to you about this, because I think there might be others who feel the same way.

Believe in optimism? Check.

Believe in life? Check.

Believe love exists? Check.

Believe in myself? Uh oh. I don’t know.

I want to give love to the world so why can I not give it to myself?  Sound familiar?

Well, there is nothing wrong with you, or with me, no reason why you couldn’t believe in yourself. You have just maybe gone a bit amiss with finding the way. I know I have, I have tried to climb that tree from the top. There is only so many times one can reach for the moon from the top of the highest tree only to fall into a mud-pond head first. But I want to tell you now:

Maybe you have fallen so that you can look at things from the right perspective. You have fallen so that you can finally start climbing that tree of self-acceptance steadily, from the bottom. Just as it should be.

And I don’t think we’re missing much from getting to the top, to the point of believing in yourself. I think  all that we’re missing is that crucial little ‘in’.

I think the only reason we don’t believe in ourselves is because we believe ourselves too faithfully.

We believe ourselves on those weak moments at 3am when our only company is the still-blank Word document that has not blossomed words, not even after ten cups of coffee (and those two energy drinks). We believe that we can’t write then. And when it’s grim and rainy and gloomy we believe we carry that greyness on our face, when we tell to the mirror that we don’t look nice. We believe ourselves when we think we can’t sing or run or dance. When we think that we’re indecisive, awkward or a bit lazy.

We believe our inner-critic. And then we wonder why we don’t believe in ourselves.  But who would, who would believe in themselves whilst carrying a  nasty, judging troll inside their mind, one that always wants to start a mosh-pit of guilt in your head? One that never pipes down.

But to silence that inner-critic, I want to tell you:

Those are your beliefs. In fact, all the beliefs about you are yours. All of them. Even the stuff you think other people think about you. That is your beliefs too. The way you think others see you just reflects the way you see yourself.

So, next time someone says something hurtful to you,  you can choose if you let those words make you miserable. Because you have a choice. You don’t need to welcome those words, you don’t need to accept them in your heart anymore.

You’re only going to take that nasty blow of life to heart if you believe it, and only then can it knock your heart out. But if you accept yourself, if you change the way you “believe yourself”, if you question your beliefs and your inner-critic,  it is a whole new world. 

A world of love and bravery. A world of peace and acceptance. All inside you.

So start climbing that tree, even if you’re scared of heights. Because that is what you have waiting for you! Move from believing yourself into believing in yourself.

Come with me, I’m climbing. And I have messed up something as easy as Rice Krispie cakes. So if I can do it, so can you!

Do you want to see that world?

 

 

30 Oct

Just spreading the word. I can only admire the wonderful folk behind this, have a feeling this will really be something great! The idea is there, the passion is there and so is the crazy determination.  It has all the potential. Now, all that’s needed is us joining this dream, artists unite!

Cristian Mihai

A few months ago I had this idea. I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing, but I do remember that it felt like a very good idea. I didn’t write it down, but I didn’t forget it either.

The thing was that I wanted to build a new website. One that would act as a sort of art/culture platform for promoting young artists. Writers, painters, photographers, you name it. You know, the type of website that would review independent movies and self-published books.

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In search for words

24 Oct

I have found myself at loss the past few days. I have reflected back on my old mistakes, looked forward to my dreams, but at the same time felt totally incapable of doing anything about either. It worries me. Because while I still have great spasms of inspiration and excitement, while I still know in my heart I need to work hard to achieve my dreams and to contribute in making this world a better place, by making myself a better person, at this moment all I wonder is how? How I’m going to do all this?

That is the question that bothers me the most. Because when you don’t know the why’s and the how’s, the reasons behind your feeling of tiredness or hurt or disappointment, it is hard to regain your sense of direction. It is hard to have a plan and then work the plan. Quite often you leave yourself there, in your anguish, not because you like to self-pity or don’t want to change things, but because you don’t know how to do it.

First, all you have to do is get to know yourself again. To put your work aside and work on you. Because if you don’t know who you are, you will never know who you can be. What you can achieve.

That is what I’m doing now. Getting to know myself, reflecting back on things. I realised I have been too busy doing this and that and everything to notice that many things have changed in my life during the past three years. That I have changed with them. I realised that in my will to look forward, I forgot to look back.

I think we are sometimes pushed too much to progress, to be all we can be and carpe diem every moment that is given to us. I think sometimes we push ourselves too much, papering the walls of our hearts with millions of to do-lists. But if all we do is charge forward, we might well forget the way back home. We have to know, in all our hurry to improve, how to get back to ourselves. What is the way to our hearts, where is the quiet place for looking back and resolving who you are. In all honesty, and in all kindess.

Looking back doesn’t need to be a guilt-trip to all your mistakes, it can be a learning curve to avoid the speed bumbs in the future.

That is what I’m doing now, trying to judge myself less and teach myself more. I’m polishing the mirror to see myself clearer. Because I don’t want to feel lonely in myself. I believe none of us do. Because if we are lonely in ourselves we can never be truly happy in others or in life.

That is also the reason I have scattered here some advice, in the form of photos and beautiful quotes. So that we never forget the lessons we have learnt and the ones we still can learn. So that we feel more consoled, in our search for words and for understanding. So that we remember, those wise words live in us and we can find them, always, if we just find ourselves.

What is the advice you would give to yourself today?

Dreams do come true.

17 Oct

Here are two a bit silly photos to make you smile. Smile can be a powerful thing.

This is the best I can do tonight, I’m afraid. This post was originally going to be deep and thoughful since my head is popping with ideas. That was the case before I checked my e-mails, however, and then silly-danced my way around the house so happily that my vocabulary shrinked to one expression:

OH MY GOD!

(I did spare you from making the title yayyayyayayayayay. It was tempting in my current ‘dosed-up on excitement’ state, let me tell you.)

Okay, breath. The thing is, my dear WordPress friends, the news that wired me up and scared away all my sensible rhetoric are that:

Queen Mary University in London has invited me to an interview for an English Literature and Linguistics degree. So here I am, biting my nails, smiling nervous, writing, looking for cheaps flights and resisting the urge to scream in case I’d wake up the whole house.

I hope I have descended from my euphoria by the time November and my interview date nears, because right now my excitement makes it hard for me to even form understandable sentences. Nevermind actually analysing literature in an interview. Right now I would probably squeel at the name of any author, unfamiliar or one I love, from the sheer joy of these news.

So, I think this is all tonight. Except, one more time, even if I take it overboard:

YAY!

Have a happy and worry-free whatever time of the day it is for you!