CEO, Inspiration Inc…..

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To start with a rueful comment about how frustrating writing can get is right about apt because how else could I tag the emotions I felt 7 hours ago? Finished up a piece and was putting on the bells and whistles, suddenly Shazam!it’s gone and when the device in use is my back-up, suddenly the realization of how much I miss my laptop is suddenly brought to the fore…..Oh well, since I do not want to ‘join’ the vanished piece then I guess the best course of action is to shut down, call a time-out and welcome the new day. That I would categorize as being one of the unsavory duties of a CEO, there is no other table for the buck to go to. This event along with the ones happening in recent times make me question how busier can living be? How can I live without writing? It started off being an avenue to channel all the hurt, bitterness and resentment in a positive way but now it is becoming a vital part of who I am daily.

“All men dream, but not equally. Those men who dream in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the morning to find it was but vanity but those men who dream by day – these are dangerous men, for they dream with open eyes to make their dreams comes true.” – T.E Lawrence. Right off the top of that, I think I class myself as being ‘dangerous’ and were it not for the constraints of dystonia, I probably would have pursued a career in which danger played a huge role. Why? Danger lurks around every corner so why not best it as quickly and as often as you can however it is essential that you know yourself – stick to the shallow side of the pool if that’s the extent to which you can push yourself.

I have since learned not to view myself as strange whenever I tell people that I do not dream (and this is whenever I am able to wrestle insomnia to submission) but dreaming due to the heavy influence of lofty aspirations and objectives, that therein is a totally different subject matter. This is what I do when life chucks lemonades at me, I pick myself up, ignore the bruises and welts and find the nearest food processor and make some lemonades (summer is fast approaching anyway). Although turning and tossing, watching the hours slip by elusively is no fun but rather than give in to grumpiness and full-blown irritation, I dream and then act because I know time is no servant of any creation. Developing that uncanny ability of identifying the pros and cons is not very difficult but transforming the cons to pros is where the heavy lifting is done. Can all men dream? Most definitely! Can all embark on making those dreams come true? That is a question best posed and answered by individuals whose lives are greatly determined by their personal choices.

Some weeks ago, I posted something on social media and one of the many comments (in interpretation and in literal candor) was ‘you are an inspiration!’. Well dystonia or not, compliments are a pretty good boost to one’s psyche however over the years, I have somewhat become adept at separating the default comments from the sincere, unreserved comments. Now I do get to hear that comment frequently but for some reason, this particular day’s comment got the huge wheels in my head churning (which is something I try very hard to avoid because of the adverse consequences, it is so wearying getting them to stop) and I alluded to the fact that inspiration is a lifetime career with a lot of pomp and allure but ironically no financial remuneration. Oh, that sounds really grim especially when today’s world operates on the measure of tangible wealth that translates to an individual’s net worth. I do opine however (and most assuredly this is not borne from a place of lack) that if we were to tag everything in our lives with a physical cost, that would be utter shameful because then it would be most uncomfortable explaining why many lives are constantly in the red.

I remember that during those ‘ship-up or ship-out’ regular exercises as a growing child, one of the oft repeated phrased associated with those exercises was, ‘this exercise will help stop you from behaving like a gutter bred child!’ It took me a couple of years to completely decipher the meaning especially since it was associated with those frequent exercises and despite the fact that I truly was a ferocious reader and hungry for idioms and definitions but even those were not strong enough motives to ask a visibly upset parent to explain what that phrase meant. In the acquisition of knowledge, seeking the truth and/or definition yourself usually is the best way to go because when you do get the meaning, you somewhat get a personal patent that ensures nobody can take it away from you. And so attempting to tag a price to everything we do is akin to behaving like a gutter bred child, however the gutter has never been ranked on the list of suitable accommodation for humans. So get the heck out if you think you are in one or have been told most of your life that the gutter is where you deserve to be.

Every new day, I am thankful for the countless opportunities to be inspired by the lives and events that occur around me but most especially I am inspired by the false facade that many put up because when you just genuinely show some humanity, then you are confronted by the turmoils that many face and are trying to hide from by concealing them beneath this thin veneer. Just as the trickle on the surface of an aging dam is a sure sign of the torrent that will follow closely, so is the certainty that someday that facade will crumble underneath the pressure of trying to avoid charting your own path. It takes little or nothing to travel on a well worn path but remember that just as our DNA varies so do our purposes and so investing energy into determining your own purpose amidst the jungle of society and swinging at it with a machete will ensure that you forge your own path and help another begin theirs. We are all interwoven at some stage in life and we may begin together but remember that ‘in life, we meet to part and part to meet’

Life is an exercise in attaining balance; giving vs receiving, listening vs talking, empathy vs cynicism, kindness vs cruelty…the list goes on and at every milestone we attain in life, we must choose what side we want to be on. Seeking ensures finding, asking ensures knowing and knocking ensures access to doors we hitherto presumed were non-existent. It is no easy feat living your life but jumping on the band wagon is not an option because you really have no say as to the direction of the wagon. Being an inspiration means that more often than we think, we give a fellow traveler some company for some distance but then she/he must veer off when the time comes. Sprawled on the canvas of a boxing ring after a flurry of jabs, hooks and flush upper cuts does not give me the license to remain there and be counted out and so despite the urge to remain there, I must get to my feet and give it all I have got and some. And even when it is just the rings that are keeping me upright, there is a person or two out there who can truly draw strength from your fight, so keep at it until the bell rings.

With every new day, I strive to push myself just a tad more than I did yesterday and even when my body is playing out a symphony of agony and pain, that is not enough reason for me to stop, I just have to rest a while and then forge on. And when the inevitable opportunity of meeting a fellow traveler down on his back shows up, I will yet lend him an arm and pull him up. With arms interlocked, feet struggling to keep going, I can still whistle up a jaunty tune to make those moments worthwhile. We are a sum total of many parts and lives, and so to everyone who has played some role in my story, I say, “thank you for being an inspiration!” Because although today seems like it could be my last, I know with certainty that my destination is a place where the constraints of this feeble body will be no more. And so I apply myself as much as I can, without the lurking shadow of doubt to scare me, knowing fully well that ’tis but one chance I have got and so regardless of the cards in my hand, I will do the best I can with them.

Remember that “the real measure of one’s wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money” – Zig Ziglar. Now that is a tough pill to swallow but as long as we remain adrift on the sea of life, we must acknowledge that time and chance happens to all.

פרידה עד שנפגשנו שוב בתזמון שלו, וייתכן שאהבתו של אלוהים להיות אמיתית לך!

Adios!

Lasso’ing Sleep…..

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Lassoing Sleep

There will be always those days when it seems like this journey will overwhelm and crush me and in those times, knowing that there are people who are going through similar trials is always a much needed boost. In the last 8 weeks, I have been divinely privileged to have become a member of so many support groups, and just the realization that you can be yourself amongst others without the looks of derision, pity or disgust is quite profound. Acknowledging that for every thinly concealed nonchalance, there is a friend who knows what you are going through. And when you see a request for prayers from a new friend, it is not a gesture for fame or recognition, but a sincere request from someone who is going through torrid times.   With the medical capes of Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Dystonia, MS, Parkinson’s Disease and similar villains associated with the neurological system casting shadows, you can truly appreciate the warmth associated with being in a group of defiant individuals.

One of the support groups I belong to is aptly named ‘PD Night Owls’ because there is one common denominator with all these vicious medical conditions and that is the inability of the body to get its much needed rest. In addition to the ravages being wrecked on my body as a whole and the adverse influence it can have on my social life and activities, I still have to confront those little horrors that come with such conditions. Just like the mythical Peter Pan, I will claim my own shadow someday, (because the shadows of these villains just seek to further highlight mine) even if it requires patience, endurance and skilled needle work. As a child, one of my fond memories is darting around with friends trying to escape been tagged or trying to tag someone else depending on what your role in the game was. With the passage of time however, all the fun associated with that game is stored away as cherished memories even as I attempt to dole out some much needed discipline to a little rascal termed ‘Insomnia‘. The futility of playing that game in present times is more than just age-inappropriate, rather it is one where the odds are so unfairly stacked against me that it would be foolhardy to even contemplate it.

Even with a plate already over laden with all these nasty medical challenges,  insomnia finds a way of converting itself into a sauce that trickles through, further tainting the package with extra foul taste. Ideally, life is a series of decisions and choices and so instead of partaking in an unfair game, I choose to witness the birth of every new day. Again perspective plays a significant role, because perspective is a result of a choice being expressed and so I do not detest the approaching darkness of twilight signifying the end of a day or envy the stillness of the dawning that marks the beginning of a new day. Instead I count myself blessed that I am able to witness the birth of every new day, that is a choice I make, instead of devoting energy towards battling a foe that acts as the reconnaissance agent of a massive horde. I have learned that it is better to study your foe(s) for any signs or weakness and when you do find one, not to let a moment pass by without any action from me. Alternatively, I re-access my armoury, evaluate my relationships/allies and utilize what I have even if it requires a little bit of tweaking.

Most battles are won through the application of wisdom rather than just sheer brawn, and so instead of engaging with insomnia every day, I have learned ways to circumvent participating in a seriously skewed game. It is no longer rocket science that the body as a dynamic system requires a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to enable it reset and be ready for the next day. In recognition of that, what do you do to a body that is thoroughly exhausted and in need of sleep? When the habits inculcated in earlier years of running around in a Ferris wheel, have now turned around to nip you in the derrière. I try to lighten the situation by explaining that the brain is such an amazing creation, and so like a commander in charge on the battle field (safe and secure in the skull); it is still strategising, processing, sending out signals and assigning tasks to a neurological system that is almost buckling beneath the onslaught of neurological disorders. And in a bid to prevent a total collapse of this structure I call my body, I must find a way of reining in this magnificent commander lest in its efficiency, it pushes the body way past its limit.

A warrior in the heat of battle is confronted with two choices; live or die, and inadvertently the choice for life must be backed by commensurate actions or else death would gladly swoop in, ever ready like the vulture circling above patiently waiting for road kill. There is always the option of taking a short cut but again the ignorant will find that short cuts are never the fastest or the safest, and so we realize that depending solely on medication usually has a predictable route. With every dose, the body responds by building a resistance to that dose with time, and so we increase the dosage or switch medication. However, just like the fool belatedly realizes the folly of his ways, more often we belatedly realize the folly of borrowing an hour or two from Sleep time in order to accommodate that last meeting, finish up that work task that could not be left in the office or just tidy up that little assignment that is tied to a deadline that is usually unfeasible. There is no reward that can be obtained from cutting off your nose to enhance the beauty of your face, because if we do not adequately cater to the needs of our bodies, someday just like the Merchant of Venice, that pound of flesh must be required as payback. Contentment is not weakness, it will always be at conflict with the inordinate ambitions that characterize today’s world but it is an inseparable companion in the pursuit of noble aspirations.

Just like the daily battle with insomnia, there is the constant need to keep that tricky balance between living healthy and taking proper care of the body. For me, that balance is key because any slight external influence will not only destroy the balance but the chronic pain associated with daily living would assume proportions frightening to even conceive. You do not have to be sick to appreciate health, and so the same scenario plays out in lives everywhere: feign wisdom and take from tomorrow to assuage today’s needs. Most of us are undeniably guilty of that crime and inevitably the pretentious wisdom we applied will someday be revealed in all its entirety as sheer folly.  For every ill-advised action we take today, there will be the corresponding consequences tomorrow and it is not foolishness to be different. Sometimes we are placed in situations that did not require any input from us but to triumph in those circumstances, we need not embark on actions that are immediately associated with thought process of a child. There has to be an acknowledgement of what is real to enable us choose what we know the finality to be.

There is still time each day for that last valiant charge, a charge that has its distinct base in an unflinching faith in a Sovereign God and Commander. A charge that is not dictated by the size of this ragtag army but rather dictated by the promise of a sure victory ahead. And so, I will emerge from the trench – besmirched with dried mud, eyes red-rimmed, joints aching and clad in what barely amounts to a decent garment. With all the air in my tired lungs, my bugle will ring out across the mountains for just one final time today, notes marking the last valiant charge. Conveying in very clear notes to the foes arrayed all around that there will be no conceding victory today, there will be no terms of surrender and even if I have to be borne on my shield; I will seize that victory that is sure. There will be no ambiguity in my proclamation, ‘dystonia, there is no victory for you today and though you rave and rant as much as you want, there is no victory today, tomorrow or for as long as the battle rages.’

A charge more valiant than yesterday’s, my colors loftily raised in victory, a determination in the cadence of marching feet, there will be a prisoner of war but rest assured that it will not be from my ranks.

For just as your ranks ripple with number, and your fancy capes adorn you, so will they disperse in defeat, heads bowed in defeat, victory snatched.

To friends and allies alike, there is yet hope renewed and though the war be far from over, our anthem booms loud and clear, there is no giving up – not today, not tomorrow for as surely as the sun rises from the East, none will fall by the way because we depend not on the strength of men.

עד שנפגשנו שוב, אולי התענוגות שלו להיות העונג שלך לעשות

Adios!

Staying the shackles….

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Staying off the shackles

Staying off the shackles

“I am not as bad as people would suggest, and yet not as good as I would like to be’ – Robbie Williams

In tribute to a man who gave more of himself to bringing such fun to a sorrowful world, I acknowledge that most of the roles he was cast in were so intense that he was one of my favourites. Whilst not wanting to cast myself into the melee of murkiness surrounding his passing, I remind myself that life in death and death in life is inevitable but we can choose how to make both ends counts. My condolences go to his family and for the stone casters, remember that you can not claim to be a victor until you’ve fought your own battle. We all suffer depression at some point or the other but what strength it requires to stay those shackles. I know what it is but today I inhale and decide that there is a purpose out there way larger than what and how people perceive me in my pain ridden world struggling with a disorder that most medical experts find difficult to grasp.

It sure has been an eventful few weeks and whilst I pull myself from the minor relapse I had with the tremors so intense, I felt like staying safe required separating my muscles from my skeleton……Alas, talk is easy, going that extra mile converting it to action is where most limits lie and so still again it’s reaching down wearily to my boot strings….yank!and trudge on.

One of the most incomprehensible things that perturbs me is why do we consciously choose to long for shackles when it’s not rocket science that they are meant to constrain us. I recently enjoyed the company of some friends and despite the years that has gone by between us, the clarity of self choice and self centredness still shone through despite efforts to mask it with a thinly applied veneer of self-justification. We do what we choose to do and regardless of whether we are too lazy and let others make the choice, as long as we walk with those choices…..we must serve the time when it is proven a crime. One truth I gathered from those times is; you harm yourself when you strive to please others at the detriment of yourself. Disobeying God certainly has no merits. “Love your neighbor as you’d love yourself” it’s that simple and so when next you find yourself doing more loving for the former, then it’s time to draw in the reins.

I recall the tale of how circus elephants are trained or tamed, just by shackling their feet at birth ensures that even at the prime of their adult life, with huge reserves of brute strength, their minds still remain shackled and so the thrill is not about how flamboyantly the tamer puts those elephants through their paces during a circus but about how incredibly exciting the positive choices from lessons learned can be used…..even apply in them to death-defying scenarios. I’ve since learned that spending my days letting the false guffaws of many dictate who I am are over. I am who God says I am, and He’s sure not interested in taking a seat in the auditorium where I can’t even see His face while I sweat through my acts hoping to make Him chuckle so hard that next time when He wants some entertainment, He remembers me. Now that’s real sad!

No, I am fully persuaded that even as I act out my role on the stage called life, His guidance, strength, wisdom and presence enthuse me with so much that I can give without entirely emptying myself. I choose to defy the laws of physics that talks about motion continuance based on the transference of energy from one body to the other at the detriment of one. I stay off those shackles so eloquently illustrated by man with his limited knowledge because I know that life is based in relationships and so if I choose to ignorantly follow the bandwagon and allow people determine who and what I should do then I have failed myself and shirked my purpose.

“When you complain, you explain pain for no gain. Endure and balance yourself through the pain, be hopeful and persist to the end.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

My message still rings unchanged – no pain, no gain. Recognizing the moment of transition is something that we more oft than not, fail to learn. Life’s best lessons are learned in the house of sorrow however the question is are we so focused on the shackles that bind us that we fail to listen to that sweet voice within us because till we do, there will be no good lessons learned, no keenness of sight but with glazed eyes continue staring at the wrong people, the time of transition will like an open gate beckoning upon us that freedom lies beyond their boughs, slowly shut us in that world where we accept and comfort ourselves that as victims, life is never fair. What happened to being a victor for a change, it begins with a choice to keep those shackles away mentally and do something with the ones that welcomed us in at birth.

I wake up each day, today inclusive, thankful that irrespective of the limitations that are so familiar – health, finance, solitude, (the list is endless if you switch on the TV or look at what you can no longer do) I am more than a conqueror by choice of my new birth and that spurs me on. Life is all about seasons and to every season, there’s a beginning and an end. This world is big enough for everyone if we each can only dare to make a different choice today. Say a kind word to someone else, give a prop to another and whether it goes appreciated or not…do not stop because if we grow weary in well-doing, we’ve lost our claim to such a beautiful harvest.

…..” Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time ;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate ;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.” – H.W Longfellow

Today, I choose to make my own life count, remember “Don’t entrust your future on others’ hands. Rather make decisions by yourself with the help of God’s guidance. Hold your beliefs so tight and never let go of them!” ― Hark Herald Sarmiento

עד שנפגש שוב בזמן שלו, לא דגל לבן הוא אי פעם הולך לתלות מהמשקוף שלי

Adios!

Failing successfully……

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Falling.....

Failing to learn

Everyday just before writing, I stare at the blank page before me, say a prayer that the finished canvas will have a message for at least one person. That I presume is the desire of every creator. For at the end of all things, God rested because what He had created was pleasing to His eyes and mind you, what other authority or standard supersedes His. It has been a glorious month for me, and no I have not been scheduled for Deep Brain Surgery neither have I been rid of Myoclonus but I marvel with each new day taking full cognizance of the fact that somebody somewhere did not have that opportunity and so I know that every new day is a second chance for me. To make a better today than I did yesterday, and knowing that there just might be no tomorrow and so what better gift than to have the opportunity to create our tomorrow today regardless of whether we will be the main character or not.

This morning, as I knelt down in humble supplication and gratitude, it hit me that I just might not have asked God for a better playbook because in all of my prior failings, I have truly learned something that I will never forget……and that is in the effort lies victory. My next neurological review is in a couple of weeks and whilst I still struggle with more medication, each newer than the other, the pains and the battle still rages on but I look around me and what a multitude of friends and angels I have all around me. My heart goes out unflinchingly to JOIV who without an iota of doubt has been in the dumps with me all the step of the way. Every phase of this unending war, standing shoulder to shoulder with me and even hoisting me up when I could no longer do that anymore. Standing out, head and shoulders above everyone else and marking her place with more than just a gesture of love be it in the form of a massage when my back screamed out from unrelenting excruciating bouts of sciatica or a cheer for every little improvement.

Now I want to give honor to this very special person, who despite the failings of the past represents to me more than what a champion does. Holding on when it all seemed needless to just because of a conviction born in days past. Now I have a second chance and I bet you that I will die trying to make it the best shot I can muster even if the odds are stacked against me, because it is simply untrue, we are responsible for what we choose to make of our lives and the odds will always be stacked against us, so quit complaining and listing all the demerits of your present circumstances. Delve deep and realize that just as there is night and day, good and evil, beauty and ashes, there will always be merits and demerits but the choice on which to dwell on will forever be yours to make. I reminiscence with loads of nostalgia of the days gone and the failings I made and with stunning clarity, I realize that I am who I am today because I failed in the past and what better lessons than learning not to make the same mistakes again. That can surmise a successful life in all reality, just accept that you will make mistakes when you try, and you will not learn when you do not try.

Now I have failed on countless occasions, some still bring a twinge of sadness but today I realize that just like building bricks strewn across a muddy patch, each failing stirred up some resolve not to get all mucked up and bogged down but to aspire to each new stone and a greater distance from where I all began. With every gentle word of encouragement by JOIV, every whispered cheer, every rousing prayer and an inexplicable belief in me, I can stand today confident in the fact that I will never be alone anymore and although the storms will rage and the clouds loom, this is me – triumphant and stronger than I could ever have imagined. Prior to now, I believed that the recipe for fulfillment was in aspiring to attain some self-imposed goal but I beg to differ because it has never been and will never be all about YOU, it is about giving back from the much that you have received and that is a lesson I learn each waking day. Walking this path with a choice made, not with the trappings of the world’s definition of success but in the full realization that even when we fall, we cover more ground than we would have just standing with nose uplifted. But we must acknowledge that the road to success and perfection is inevitably strewn with huge boulders and till we appreciate each fall and sit, ponder and inculcate the lessons from each fall, we can not continue.

Today marks the beginning of the best days of my life and they are not measured by how much pain I feel each day or the incessant regime of pills that I have to take daily, the regular visits to the chiropractor et al, it is simply because i HAVE CHOSEN TO BE HAPPY REGARDLESS OF ALL ELSE. Nobody deserves happiness better than me and as I am blessed each day with life and opportunities to meet countless others, this is my message to you too, choose happiness because nobody else can make a better choice than you. Accept that there are falls that you must make but yank yourself up and be thankful for the fall because now you know what not to do when the next similar scenario rears up again. Now that to me is success.

I dare you to make a success from every fall and watch the countless #haters who will come clamoring for you with their faces all puckered up from eating the bile of their hateful words. Do something different, teach them because that is our purpose anyway and pray that we will have done something astonishing with the very short time we had.

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

Just do right….

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When you get, you give. When you learn, you teach!” – Annie Henderson

These simple words resonate through my entire being as I awakened to a new month, albeit a new day and I reminded myself that with each new day comes hope, help and loads of opportunities. Have you ever wondered why at certain times in your life, the things that usually go unnoticed suddenly assume an amazing degree of clarity? Or ever wondered what the entire purpose of being alive is? Or ever considered that niggling voice within you that insists you do what really do not feel like doing at certain moments? I believe that within each and every walking human, there is a purpose for being alive and whenever doubt assails you, be sure that you have acknowledged that purpose and are walking conscientiously by it. Hmmm! Pretty intense but that is the only way to be sure that your life counts for something.

It takes me 374 seconds to walk to the closest mail box and back, and yesterday just as I was struggling with getting my disobedient fingers to reach for my keys, I had the profound privilege of watching one of the most common wildlife events. I observed an orb-weaver spider diligently going about its interesting and intricate task of spinning its web. For many of us, it is an unknown fact that this seemingly simple task of spinning webs is not just a signature of most spiders but is an energy tasking one, usually requiring loads of protein. I really do not like spiders or crawly things but the beauty of the effort that went into the normal chore of most spiders was what interested me. And it made me realise that just like that spider, we all have been designed to excel in one thing and that is simply just doing right.

“I suppose there’s no good answer to that, Ryan. I wish there was. But if you take the wrong, path, something deep inside you will feel twisted. There are times when that will be the only way to know the right from the wrong.” – Inara Scott

Whenever I do get out, after loads of rest because of the energy sapping tremors associated with myoclonus, I am confronted with a myriad of responses from individuals – ranging from those who are freaked out and are frightened that it might be contagious to those who think it is a thing of amusement, barely concealing their smirks. Those who like Rose, have an understanding of the unique disorders of the human body and are eager to know more, and there are those who are unable to appreciate the fact that this is not something one would choose even in a totally inebriated state. There are those who flaunt the present wellness of their bodies and those who are unknowingly destroying themselves. However, the unifying factor amongst all these categories of humans is that we are all humans and so like Maya Angelou, I teach myself to recite this phrase ‘I am human and therefore nothing human should be alien to me’, that way I can deal with the barely concealed acts of insensitivity when I do encounter them.

I have actually embraced the Redcord therapy sessions (will put up pictures someday) because it is something new and even as Igor reiterates ‘you are a unique patient with a unique challenge’, I brace myself to continue to strive to do the one thing that comes easiest to a human, regardless of skin colour,  origins,  idiosyncrasies, or denials  – just doing right, (of-course in the effort lies victory). Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, we have all been designed to do right and although we all daily wage battles within ourselves to stray from that divinely assigned task, that is our task – to just do right and regardless of how much pain I am in or how discomfited I may be – I want to do right, I choose to do right. It is so difficult wearing my own shoes and heck, some days just getting out of bed is so herculean but I have and am committed to that task because that is how I can improve myself. It is only when we acknowledge that we get, that the need to give can be properly birthed. I am given daily and so I choose to do right by giving as much as I get, being careful to sieve out the anguish of being ‘unique’ and give of the good I receive daily.

“If you are at a point in your life where you are not sure what you need to do, which path to take, or whether you are doing the right thing. That is probably because your inner being is wanting you to delve deep within yourself and find what you truly want from your life, Your spirit is trying to guide you towards your life’s path. Please take a moment to think what you really want to do that you haven’t done so far, and what would make you happy. That’s probably the answer to your confusion. All your answers are within yourself’ – A. E. Moss 

Now I am at a point in my life where I am sure of what I need to do because I know that happiness is a choice you have to make and for me, despite the loneliness of my sojourn or the looming clouds above, I am not giving in. I will continue to do right even if it means I get to stand alone. I will persist in doing right even when the stuttering wants to obfuscate the very words I want to say. I will persist in doing right even when it makes me different because I know that is what I was made to do and as each day draws to a close and I sit in watch as the new day dawns because I am unable to sleep, I know that I am further strengthened by the very One who is my designer and my Companion. When I realise with every passing moment that my life is but a journey, then I know that as I plod along, I can only but leave behind me legacies by the very actions of my hands and not so much by the words of my mouth. I can only do right by doing it, not saying it and pray someday that just one person will catch the vision and walk with it. That I dare to say is a life fulfilled.

What we can do, we must do: we must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can, however much or little help we have for the task. What you have been given is a hard thing–a very hard thing… But my darling, what if there were no one who could do the difficult things?”  – Robin McKinley

It is indeed a new month and I always say it is better late than never. You can never go wrong when you simply just do right and so as I enthusiastically embrace the month with hope and determination, I know that within me lies the strength to not just triumph over this disorder but to also do right. As each of us, in his/her own little place begin to just do right, what an overwhelming tide of events we can cause to pervade our broken world. All it takes is to simply acknowledge that with the dawning of each new day, just like we welcome the breeze on our faces and bask in the warmth of the sun, so also we must acknowledge the good we receive and freely give just as we receive. Just do right, persist in it and behold the awesomeness of fulfilling your purpose daily.

Remember what a miserable tale ours would be if we choose to just exist rather than live purposefully. Just do right!

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

 

Voting with your feet……

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Use your feet, don’t stop at the mouth

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”  – Elie Wiesel

I have just washed down my clonazepam and yet I am still up, the warm eyes of my bedside radio faithfully tell me it is a few minutes past 3am and there is just something really serene about the night-time – it is the best time to actually have a conversation, and I know only One who is up at every moment and I am truly grateful for the alone time because usually it is a time of replenishment especially after struggling through the week on a gas tank that gets depleted faster each time. I really should have gotten round to this earlier on but I just needed to really try to step it down a notch. I take my last 300mg of gabapentin round about midnight and then wait, watch and pray for the sleep to really come. By the way, you know there is this thing about true victory – in the effort, lies victory. And for me, undeniably it has been a full week and just like the tastefully prepared Subway sandwich, there has been loads of sweet and sour and spicy but together it tastes great.  The fact remains that life is all about moments and so we have to choose those that will push us just that lil bit further down our path.

Going by the words of Aristotle “man is by nature a political animal” and therefore the way we live our lives to a very large extent determines what party you belong to – the crowd, the nonchalant and indifferent, the vociferous or the egregious,the nay sayers or the doers. We all each need to truly realise where we are before we can then aspire to be where we want to belong. However this is not a political pitch, I am a firm proponent of being a flag bearer of the truth and therefore in today’s world that makes you alone most times. Beautiful memories of days of activism still serve me and yet I still commit myself to bestir me from the lethargy that so warmly embraces most of us. Just choosing not to do anything and even when there is a need, we prefer to ask more questions (and usually end there) as against just doing something. I would love to appreciate my friend and brother – Uch for giving me the title for this piece and be assured that the word ‘vote’ certainly transcends ballot boxes anyway.

It is always more intriguing trying to express my journey through these words but I am assured that there are many who are presently sitting on a pile of lemons, battered and bruised by the impact of being constantly hit in the face with lemons and just out of ideas and it is really to you that I speak to because there again, you have to vote (and in this context, it simply means doing more than just talking) to either wallow in a putrid atmosphere of rotting lemons or get to work, making lemonades. I just responded to my cuz that the lemonade has become so normal to me now that I have chosen to spice it up with a little tequila……funny right, considering I do not imbibe alcohol. Thank God it is Saturday morning – it is a new day and every morning that I can behold the rays of the sun awakening in its splendour, I know that I can and will make it.  And like Dan Ruther, I would much rather wear out than rust out.

But what happens when you cannot help but acquiesce to the fact that your feet simply cannot go any further? That was the amusing event that occurred on Monday. It takes me about 390 seconds to the shopping mall and as usual, because I do have to really rest, I usually kinda try to make my outings count even though I get to do it alone but hey! we all have to vote and our feet need to take us from point A to B in order to make that vote count – this includes me with my trusty staff of authority that is already showing signs of strain and wear but I dunno about you, every accoutrement of mine says ‘I am still here for you’ and from experience, I have come to actually believe what they tell me in comparison to the deluge of unkept promises and insincere statements that I am inundated with almost daily. And so I decided to see if I could do just a lil bit of shopping as I was almost out of instant meals and fruits. Now the weird thing about this disorder is that no matter how much you would love to ignore it and just carry on for once like the average human being – before you know it, it eerily whispers its commands to my neurological system and the alarm bells go clanging away. The state of independence and emergency rule is declared – you cannot help it.

So there I was, after barely being able to cross the road, plunked down on a road bench wondering how I was going to get home. And I really cared less for the little groceries I picked up, I just needed to get home but how was the issue. The cab companies were not too forthcoming and so I prepared myself to wait for some miracle to take place because miracles do occur every moment. And then It hit me, I had scheduled a house call by my friend and brother and so immediately, with barely responsive fingers (thank God for bluetooth ear pieces), I called out and he rushed to my assistance – helping my quivering  mass into his car and home. Phew! that was really a close call. Anyway we got talking and at the end of the nice company, absolutely unexpected gift and him being there for me, I took away that phrase that until each of us begin to vote with our feet, we are pretty much consigned to a world where anything goes. A case of whichever goat cries the loudest is taken to be the hungriest. And here again, I am completely flummoxed….why do we spend more time making all these neighing noises and yet still standing where we are. One of the fundamental principles of life is that a real man puts his money where his mouth is and in this case, money represents action. We are constantly inundated with words from all sides but the real difference is the ones that actually get put into action.

Like I said, it has been a week – commenced the novel Redcord therapy (redcord.com) here in the UK and undeniably it is something new and worth a shot. Why curl yourself into a ball, throw a pity party and allow yourself be thumped into submission when you can simply get up and actually do something about your present circumstances. Vote with your feet, enough of the semantics and the speeches – it is time to do something and even if it has to be baby steps – get your feet moving. In a bid to fight insomnia, I have downloaded ‘Sleep Time by Azunmio’ which helps record my sleep cycle and tell me how I am faring and even though the stats are not very encouraging, at the very least I am doing something about something. Thanks Vas! I do understand how difficult is it make you understand how difficult it is to really get that sleep but I am thankful for the few hours I do get to notch because I am aware that there are a few who cannot even get an hour. So irrespective of how beaten down you may be, just take a second to realise that there is someone out there who could with a sincere expression of love, humanity, kindness and compassion because it is only in giving off ourselves that we can truly make room for something newer and different.

I recall the teenager who after loads of tests (as usual) was finally diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia, which is an entire reverse of insomnia but I applaud her resilient spirit because nobody can take that from you. And what an awesome experience it has been for me, choosing to place that resilience (it needs upping sometimes) in the Hands of the One who is sure to stand by you through the gloom of the valley of the shadow of death because there is really no hiding place from Him but you have got to vote with your heart and feet and then trust Him to do the rest. It is definitely no bed of roses but you know that you are never walking alone, and that feeling is priceless because no matter how much, a friend, brother, acquaintance pledges to be there for you – this is your journey and they have got yours so save yourself those heart- wrenching moments of despair when they just cannot fit you into their plans, remember it is their plans, not yours and there is only One whose plans for you are true and He will also be there walking you through them but you have to vote with your feet and heart, begin with a sincere conversation with Him and give Him room. I have done that and it sure keeps me going when all else fails.

I have learnt to continue giving for as long as I have got something to give and amazingly there is always something to give but you just cannot let the thought simmer forever in your heart, get those feet moving. Stand for something at the very least or like the crowd on the bandwagon, you will fall for anything. If you have truly experienced the pleasure of seeing that glow light up another’s face when you can share something positive in deeds then that alone is a dead ringer that you are more than just mere statistics. As each day affronts us with its myriad of opportunities, let us do less of words and more of action because you will be remembered not by the words you spoke but by the actions you took – and it begins with casting off that indifference and nonchalance and actually doing something. Thank you for the likes of gorgeous Ure, Funsh with his persistence even if he always has to say the last word, Estee for simply wanting to be different, solid Lola, amazing Shirls, Dee and HCM and a host of many who have been raised up for times such as these. I am giving back too and will continue to because life in itself is a test and you either choose to take it or be forced to take it. It is such a beautiful day indeed and yet again, I see hope even as the morning rays make their way into my room. Grab the opportunity and actually do something for a change – givers never lack and that is why I have chosen to be one. Anyway I really cannot afford to lack more than I already have but with each day, I know it is gonna be better than the last.

Remember what woes of miseries betide they who are simply existing when you can truly experience a life of purpose.  I cap my thoughts for now and see what catnaps i will get 😀

lמסתדר טוב עד שניפגש שוב בזמן שלו

Adios!

Digging In……

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It sure feels good to be recalled back into relief duty (as active as I can muster up on the day of assignment) and it really cannot have come at a more opportune time especially coming on the heels of the last medical consultation I had with a so-called medical expert supposedly well versed in this field but who is clearly unable to bend down and lace her own shoes. Even as I waited with bated breath, watching the minutes count down in my eagerness to close that chapter, I could not help but remind myself that for as long as we live, the best helping hands you will ever get are right there at the ends of your own arm. I look around with unfeigned disgust at the path many of us have taken, choosing to base our life choices at the behest of some person who knows no more than you can tell him. There is no end to knowledge and…” be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” – Sol. We can never rewrite the story of humanity and its creation, there is one source and one end.

It still beats me hollow at the insensitivity of man to the sufferings and agony of those around them whilst dwelling on their own selfish need for self-aggrandizement and for them, that is enough driving force however no matter how long you choose to bury your head in the sand, that is just what you will be – An orifice for the sands of time as time blows past you, covering whatever feeble tracks you may have hitherto laid. One truth has withstood the test of time, that truth has empowered generations past and given them the opportunity to seize and bequeath the legacies, many so limply take for granted today. That truth is WE CAN CHOOSE! Despite your admissions of helplessness and dependence, that truth still stands against you – what then will your course of action be? I look around and behold many who have chosen to bury their heads in the sand but remember just like the flotsam carried around by the waves, someday you will be deposited on some forlorn shore with nobody even recognising that you ever existed.

I recall with some degree of nostalgia, the lives of those who have soldiered through life, battling courageously against the health challenges that seemingly buffeted them on all sides. Many, today, stand victorious behind the shroud confident of the fact that to every season, there is a beginning and an end. And for those who have made the right choices, your end is sure and certain – for it is all working together for your good. I evaluate the relationships I have participated in, just like the sheep differs from the goat, so many of these relationships have come and just like the proverbial house built on sand, they stand crumbled with nothing worthy upholding them. And yet still a few stand, and many more are still being forged even now. I recall the conversations I have had with friends, the sheer horrors and experiences received at the hands of people they called friends and I ask, who gives man the right to seek his own pleasure at the detriment of another. I am still standing, not by any measure of my own strength but BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN MADE FOR A PURPOSE.

“Man has a choice and it’s a choice that makes him a man.” – John Steinbeck. How many of us have so eagerly given up that God-given ability to choose and have instead chosen to dwell their hopes on the utterances of  others. What makes another better than you? It is by your desire to cast away your ability to choose, and defer instead to another. I read about diverse solutions proffered that are so eagerly grabbed without taking cognizance of the fact that you can make your own path, by choice. I am appalled at the weakness of our generation as we like sheep without shepherd mill around with no direction, counting and hoping instead that somebody else will make a better plan for our lives. For in the words of Thomas Carlyle “The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.” Undaunted by what life tosses at you,we just have to keep on jostling and being jostled because like every farmer knows, taking the roughest road with your harvest of potatoes is the best way to categorize your harvest – the best of us rising to the top and the least sinking beneath in their inability to make their own choices and take a stand.

As I pour out my heart on this page, I acknowledge that sometimes, we just have to admit that we are on our own and the moment we can rise above the gloominess of that circumstance, the rays of light like the javelin will pierce through our gloom and cause the long sought illumination to become a reality. Whatever things you have unconsciously surrendered to, this is a call to shake off those shackles, dig in and birth the jewel within you. Nothing of value lies on the surface, deep down within each and every one of us, even as we are assailed on all sides by the insensitivity of man and the trials of life, there is something of inestimable value which nobody can take from us. Let go off all the past hurts and resentments, the betrayals and shallow mindedness of those who failed to recognise us for who we are and stand straight and tall. For as we do that, our weather-beaten brows scarred by these medical challenges, then we can truly utilise our helping hands and dig in to reveal the beauty of who we are meant to be. There can be no song without a story, no ballad without a tale but in all of these – nothing is closer to the truth than this……..It is in our hands, not another’s!

I have known huge financial burdens, some days seemingly overwhelming and clutched straws in expectation of the hands of others. I have walked through emotional and physical traumas, and yet I still stand. Regardless of the cowardice of those whom I once called friends, today I have made better ones and despite the bills and uncertainty of what tomorrow may hold, I choose to make the best of what I have today. For in giving, I receive. In assisting others, I get the urge and strength to plow on knowing that no matter how long the tunnel is, there is light at the end and though I stumble and fall from the sheer weight of this burden, I will yet pick myself up and soldier on. Digging in and making use of that which has been unerringly placed within me for times like this, I have made my choice, and that I stand by be it in isolation or not because I know that the less travelled path is usually the most difficult but the end in itself is a victory.

Remember this fact, we were made to live and not exist.

פרידהעדשנפגששובחבריםיקרים

Adios!