This quote by the ancient Greek poet Homer was written on a notebook I bought two years ago – a light blue, thin notebook with sea shells on it. It struck a chord deep within and I always came back to it, especially when I got lost in thought over the future, over the next ‘destination’, over the to-do lists. It always brought me back to ‘this moment’, the moment I was in, and helped me realize that this is all that I have, and all that I ever need.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
This quote by Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl, the author of one of the most deeply touching, illuminating and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, never ceases to give me goosebumps.
We all have the innate power within, no matter whether we realize it or not, to connect with our inner core wisdom instead of getting caught in the web of our Ego, to respond with our heartfelt, genuine feelings and thoughts instead of reacting with our habitual defensive patterns and primitive coping mechanisms, to hold space for ourselves and embrace our vulnerability even in the most challenging situations, instead of wearing our armour and denying our humanness and resisting our pain, while unconsciously making it much bigger.
Our fears aren’t monsters that we need to protect ourselves from by pulling the blanket over our heads as we used to do when we were little – they indeed have dark sides, but what in this vast universe doesn’t?
When they come to visit us, we may tightly shut the door to prevent them from entering, and start thinking that we’ve escaped them, that we’re free now. But what we may not realize is that we’ve shut the door not only to them but also to other emotions, other feelings that would’ve soon come to bring us light and peace and freedom… When we close that door, we in fact take away our freedom with our own hands that turn the key.
Instead, if we could try to connect with the wisdom we hold by looking within, and choose to take a step towards our painful emotions, even though the ground beneath our feet may tremble at the beginning, we will slowly begin to realize that with each step it becomes stronger. With each step that we take, with our strength, courage and confidence growing inside…
A flash fiction story originally written for and published by The Story Seed.
What he liked most about this small town was the silence that enveloped everything. In winter, even the cars hibernated – all you could hear was the sound your footsteps made on the untouched snow. Late-night winter silence was particularly soothing.
This flash fiction story was originally written for and published by The Story Seed. It is inspired by and dedicated to the teachings and meditations of Thich Nhat Hanh, a beloved Zen master, spiritual leader, activist and poet.
She closed her eyes and inhaled the sunset mist…
As she let her breath out slowly, a deep sense of nostalgia filled her.
It felt like she was in a long-lost 19th-century Romantic painting.
We all feel like life’s too overwhelming sometimes. It seems like when it rains it pours, and we may think that things are totally out of our control and almost impossible for us to handle. At those intense moments, we may easily believe these thoughts without further questioning, and find ourselves carried away in feelings such as hopelessness, desperation and fear, that accompany our belief.
And we may not even realize that we are breathing. We often forget to pause and ask ourselves, “Could there be any other way of looking at this?” We get drifted away by the thoughts and feelings generated by assuming, in the autopilot mode, that the answer is no, without even asking the question…