Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deciding not to swim against the current.

     It's amazing how, some lessons, we have to keep re-learning.  Self doubt never goes away no matter how many seemingly world-shattering events we've pulled ourselves through. Friends grow apart and it's always surprising. 
Every group of friends I've had, however seemingly perfect in it's entirety at any given moment, ends up splitting, sectioning off, and eventually fading out. When things are so great in any given area of life it's easy to forget that it won't be that way forever, or even long at all. What seems like "normal every day life" becomes a memory so fast I'm often left wondering what the hell just happened, especially when faced with expressions of a friend "wanting things to go back to how they were." 
I want to ask them, "How do you ever expect that to happen? People grow in different ways, evolution is inevitable. Nothing can stay." while a nostalgic part of me also wants the same thing.

This is extra motivation to live each moment as though it is new, and treat each interaction as though it may be your last with that person because it often will be. 

Interpersonal dynamics are about as easy to pin down or define as the wind. Every subtle gesture or subconscious attitude shapes these infinitely malleable relationships. Our neurons mirror each other, our moods and consciousnesses are in a constant state of exchanging information whether we're aware of it or not, we are all more impressionable than we'd like to admit.

"Here’s something most people don’t know about the human mind: It’s ridiculously easy to make literally any piece of unreasonable bullshit make perfect sense, to make any conclusion look solid, to rationalize things beyond recognition. All it takes is belief. Believe in something, and your mind will fill in the blanks with the necessary info to make it look like it’s true, no matter how untrue it is." -Manimal

For these reasons I will treat each being I encounter in the most conscious and present way. I won't let my brain go on autopilot and start making all kinds of associations based on that person's behavior of the moment or something they said. I will treat each individual moment and each individual as simultaneously unique and tiny pieces of the unchanging whole. Change is unchanging.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grabbing the Reigns of Connection!

Do you ever feel isolated? Alone in the company of many, or seeking connections that go deeper than the average discussion of the weather or how the Olympics went?

I crave this every damn day. That kind of connection and open conversation where I can express my every true thought without fear of judgment and epiphanies flow like the Nile happens every once in a while for me. Not often at all, and not often enough. I used to think it just took a certain type of person that I got that vibe with perfectly, for that to happen. And though meeting and connecting with kindred souls is beautiful, I've also experienced that connection with people I didn't hit it off with immediately after meeting them.

These interactions, whether with those kindred spirits or people very unlike me, are some of the most fulfilling experiences I've had. I have been brainstorming ways to induce more of this experience, and feel I am onto something big. I do not take full credit for this idea, since it was inspired by multiple people and ideas, but I'd like to spread it as far as possible.

The idea is to start asking people questions. Everyone, your mother, boss, closest friend, etc. It sounds simple but I've already had great experiences directly resulting from it. I'm a firm believer that everyone has something to teach us, if we just remain receptive. Ever have a day or moment where someone you initially judged as having absolutely nothing in common with you ended up teaching you something or sharing a great conversation with you and leaving you surprised, elated, and humbled? Me too. Why shouldn't this be happening every day when the potential surrounds us at all times? I meet people and I want to know their life story; Their greatest fears, passions, intense memories, longings, etc... but it's just not socially acceptable to ask your waiter these questions. It can come off as intrusive to some people, and not everyone is comfortable baring their soul for people to see. (This is another area I'm working on; being unabashedly myself, vulnerability and all).

What are some disguised ways to get to the heart and substance of a person? A great one is "If you could go back in time and tell your high school self something, what would it be?" This is just a fun idea to think about that nearly anyone would enjoy answering, but also immensely personal. You'll get some slightly humorous answers, ("Which sports team was going to win on the bet I made!" "To be more confident so I get get a bunch of chicks!"). Yes those are quotes from my lovely dad and brother.
But either way it's cool and revealing, and you learn about what's important to the person immediately. I am working on a list of thought provoking questions to ask people, and I'm going to start using them daily. Instead of complaining that there's no interesting conversations going on around me, I am going to try to create them.