The Novice’s Guide to Constructing Inner Worlds – Part 2: A State of CALM

Well, here we are: at the threshold of another deep dive into the recesses of our minds. And right there, tucked away beneath layers of reflection on the givens of daily life, lies your magic escape from the mundane. This is your inner world. Or, as I once aimed at describing it in Part 1, “a realm blueprinted from the dreams, ideals, and hopes of a soul in reflection, thriving on the creativity, novelty, and life-infusing forces of imagination.”

If you are reading this, it means you are in acknowledgement of your potential to wield your creativity. You are willing to use this long-neglected tool to build a mental fortress to withstand the siege of a near barbaric assault of anxieties, responsibilities, ruminations and societal internalizations. In part 1, a great deal of time was spent in dissecting the conundrum of the truth, and deconstructing the myths that we have so readily convinced ourselves of. And what you know, is that giving truth governance over your mental domain is the first step in laying the cornerstones of a mental retreat that can be an effective coping mechanism in modern living.

This is the truth with regards to your self: your holistic being – pieced together from your talents, your strengths; your character, your personality; your hopes, and your fears. It is the truth that pertains to what you not only desire, but what you essentially need. It is the truth that surrounds the thirsts of your mind, body, and soul. Regardless of where this truth is directed, your spirit understands the shape that it assumes and the message it conveys. And in acknowledging this truth, you create an imaginative realm that offers you substance in its security.

In this space, you chip away at those concerns that plague you within the real world. You make them manageable. Your inner world was never meant to be an escape, but a retreat. This space is, at times, a mere temporary fall-back when the battle cannot be bested. In calling it a retreat, you imply a return to the fight. But only after a cognitive reconnaissance. That means: you better make it count.

But how do we even attempt such a feat?

Freedom and Responsibility

Indeed, you may have triumphed over your habit of dishonest appraisal of yourself and your situation. You may have even come to recognise the complexity of your pedigree. You may have finally become more truthful.

Yet, in that act, you have set loose a host of horrors in your head; horrors uninhibited by the internalised blockades that is the brainchild of your socialization. A free flow of thought needs to be steamied before the stream becomes a torrent.

You may ask yourself: why would I seek control over my thoughts when I have worked so hard to obtain its freedom? And the answer would be to simply rephrase your own meaning of control as you have come to understand it. What you seek through that control, is to merely reign in your flow of thought to garner the chance to offer it guidance, lest it becomes overwhelming. Training your mind is no sin. The great injustice would only be enacted when you try to impress upon your private world the arbitrary expectations of a society you are taking a break from.

In sum: playing god in your own mental creation does not give you a kick-back ticket on the seventh day dearie. Your omnipotence is a shabby little thing, and you may need more time to tame the tides of thinking…

In the Eye of the Storm

So there you are, right in the middle of your mind scape. Meta-thinking is a bit like an oil-spill. Basically, you are watching chaos erupt around you in big, beautiful and shifting hues. Your thoughts are coalescing colours that sunder with the shifting viscosity and the nature of each idea. Sure, from the outside you had control. But in your head… there is no surface tension that keeps these musings level. So what do you do? Somewhere you need to be in charge of the ethereal movements of your thinking.

Wallflowers show a particular precocity when it comes to taming the tumultuous tempest that is their minds. They call it CALM. And surely this very term would spark unrest in its matter-of-fact simplicity, especially among those horses of a different extroverted colour. But before becoming your own raging nightMARE (you galloped right into that pun sweetie), let me explain how a sideline bloomer takes root in this almost meditative state – a little thing I like to call: The Serenity Cycle.

(C)ollect – (A)ccept – (L)iberate – (M)oderate. It seems simple enough, yet, it is a mindful and engaged process that requires your attentive custodianship over your own contemplations. Mastering the maelstrom is not easy. It requires a patient navigation through waves of unpredictability, and a gale of uncertainty that can steer you off course.

You Need To Calm Down

We love quoting subheadings from the hits of millennial music starlets…

You’re in for quite a session, so start off with a little Taylor Swift moment and marinate in her socially aware pop for a hot minute…

Now. Time to calm yourself.

Phase One: Collect

Collecting churning broodings in one place is a good start in cultivating an awareness of what it is composed of. From a truthful acknowledgement of your nature, comes the recognition of your doubts as much as your confidence. Collecting these in one place allows you to see the difference with greater clarity. Or else, you’ll be faced with a beautiful chaos that seems mesmerising in its shifting spectrum. Similarly, it allows you to distinguish your stress from your comfort, remove the barriers from your desires, and seperate the remaining myths and falsehoods from the truth you had so carefully curated.

For a wallflower, this is a patient endeavour to which they tend to with sustained focus, as the sideline bloomer is faced with a great amalgamation of information that they have processed since their last mental hiatus. Being highly sensitive observers, wallflowers perceive and test their present versions of self against an external world with a laudable opinion. Every experience is continually stirred into the cosmic collection of theories and feelings, awaiting assortment and comprehension. With a sensitive disposition, this means that situational input is intensified in effect, making them powerful ingredients to the mental mix.

Phase Two: Accept

Then comes the harder part: the unconditional acceptance of what you have regarded as your flaws. In the darkest abyss of your unconscious, where little light reaches the surface of your impulsive spirit (in its entirety) to reflect its blended beauty, lies repressed a deep shame of what in part defines us. We regard these as shortcomings, as weaknesses, as faults. Our shame has the consequence of leading us to the concealment of that which causes us discomfort. Thus, we repress it to a place where it can remain deeply hidden, and where we can be consciously unaware of its presence and influence. But these very parts of us that cause this shame is also rooted firmly in who we are as a core individuals. In our own minds, we are damaged deities seeking to build dynasties that magnanimously encapsulate our ideal sense of self. And yet, in that damage, lies our niches of improvement; our restorative spaces that allow us the opportunity to come to closer and closer approximations of the best versions of ourselves. But at that very moment, standing witness to the present image of ourselves in its complex mesh of virtues and vices, there is no immediate action that can fundamentally change our perception of who we are. It takes time. Therein lies the beauty of mindful acceptance.

To allow that present version of yourself to be. To see those flaws as realms upon which to improve, instead of areas as criticism. For in every passing moment thereafter, that version is reshaped, realigned, rewritten – and every developing narrative is based on what has come before as an experiential backdrop. Thus, THIS version of who you are – the version you struggle to come to terms with – is a necessary and invaluable stepping stone to a greater form.

Wallflowers have to be continually accepting of misperceptions that creep in among the environmental feedback that validates their strengths. In truth, these perceptions are dispositional and situational attributions. These attributions are bound by context due to the people we interact with, some who understand our need for quiet reflection, and others who misconstrue this as social withdrawal (situational attribution). Yet, these attributions also result from our delayed pondering on such feedback, often leaving us to question whether we are the ones that are in possession of some fundamental flaw that lies deep in our genetic weaving (dispositional attribution). So, we reconcile our views with a truthful understanding of who we are, accepting that such misperceptions will happen as we seek to find our place in the world. But it takes time and patient perusal, and the utilisation of a fitting context from which to draw energy.

Phase Three: Liberate

After this peace accord with your holistic self, comes the liberation of the negative energy that was harnessed in the self-reflected emotions and thoughts about who you are. The enemy at the gates is but a projection of our own mental imagery as to who can challenge dominion over your personal conceptualizations. In the real world, your fabrication of a public persona is a product of your attentions being paid to a collective opinion – a pseudo self, created for the purpose of affirmation and approval. And for adaptability within one’s outer life, this may indeed be necessary. But in your own mind, where you are omnipresent to your own flow of thought, your greatest crime would be to acknowledge such input when you are seeking a retreat therefrom. And in that knowledge, a blinder removed can often reveal that our greatest adversary is ever ourselves – distorted into a picture that we don’t recognise. It questions the reason as to why we pay heed to such an unrecognisable and unliked part of very beings in the first place.

For a wallflower, time is never wasted in the reflection over what they are posed. If opinion, critique, or feedback do not resonate with us on a deeper level, then giving it any degree of validation will surely cause dissonance and discomfort. It destabilises the foundation of the truth. It then becomes important to free ourselves of unnecessary burdens (false attributions, misperceptions, criticisms, self-inflicted insults), as they serve no purpose in the greater scheme of heavy cognitive and affective labour that we invest in constructing our inner world.

Alan P. Downs spoke of the concept of validation in his book, The Velvet Rage. Through our daily life, we vacillate between that which we are willing to accept and that which we truly need. What we need, is authentic validation, as it is crucial for our self-growth. In turn, this self-growth is necessary to combat these enduring areas of shame that we face with regards to ourselves (a topic he also addresses in his book). In our interaction with people, we sometimes settle for false or low-level validations. We are noticed and acknowledged, or else complimented on qualities that are vague, vapid, and most likely attached to the public façade we have pieced together in order to cope. Our high-level validations are flattering and boosting, and we attach value to them. Yet, even a compliment given with the intent of reciprocity will starve us of the truthful considerations that we need. Your inner world, now free from lies and untethered in its possibility, can not be anything short of authentic. It is there, where we have collected both our shame and pride, then accepted our shame (and now seek to liberate ourselves from its source) where we need to confront it with an authentic validation where it is most vulnerable. For only then, can we liberate ourselves from the parts that shackle us.

Phase Four: Moderate

We are then left with what remains. Having collected a holistic perception of ourselves, accepting the disparate parts that makes up that perception, and having liberated ourselves from those shame-bound views that offer no room for growth or meaningful reflection, the task is set to us to manage what is left. This includes the perusal of a unique blend of qualities worth appreciating: our hopes, our aspirations, our unfolding collection of life stories. We are left with our doubts: about our capacities, our skills, our core faculties – all tested through momentary blinks through our narrative. It is these that we seek to moderate, and reduce in their influence. We do not seek to cut off our awareness from the presence of such doubts, simply not to experience them at the level of amplification we were exposed to when we first confronted them in the zestpool that was our untamed meta-cognitive realm. When the storm abates and the wind ceases its howling inside our cranial caverns, we manage to focus with greater clarity on the resources that are available to build our realms of imagination.

Life is a constant act of engaged self-monitoring for a wallflower. Our introverted energies have lead us to seek control over our minds, so as to better police our ruminations. But in doing so we deny the very value in such deep levels of thinking. We suppress the vibrancy of our imagination or the intensity of the feelings that have allowed us the opportunity to reach useful epiphanies. Until we learned, that moderating the impact of such thoughts make it bearable. So we take our time and deal with our thoughts and its accompanying emotions slowly. In so doing, we yield the feeling without allowing it o overpower us.

Completing the Cycle

As your wellspring of good intentions are poured out into the world, the harsh, vitriolic, and unappreciative nature of some of its recipients will mould and distort the treasured thoughts from which they stem. The power of a wordly malice is a looming threat that drives our musings wild like cornered animals. The rampage is set loose as ruminations stampede through our minds, desperately seeking purchase. Retreating to your inner sanctum should leave you blissfully untroubled by the run-of-the-mill concerns that form the gestalt of your daily outer existence. Calming the mind is necessary, and acts as a boon to retake agency, and make your mind ringmaster to its circus of ideas.

Call it an act of meditation, a renewal of focus, or simply one of the ways of the wallflower… a state of CALM is a weapon to beat down the watchful dragons of our mental bounty, before they ravage the free-bound landscape that is yours to shape. Inner battles were never meant to be waged unchecked across the delicate peace of your private domain.

And so…

Serenity serves to steady the thoughts that soldier on through a mind at war.

An inner world is meant to be a space from which to confidently allow the voice of your intuition, and to discard the hesitations in choice that limit you in your outer world. Your goal is to broker peace for the fruition of your imagination…

Calm thee tender tempest, the greater storm 
The caged wail, echoing blindingly,
As white noise settles to deafened ears and screaming eyes.
Settle now the howling beast that in its freedom hunts sanity.
May peace be the sentinel
As thoughts unyielding
Prowl the waking pondering.
- Gernus Oosthuizen

Love and light fellow bloomer.

K. I. S. S. – A Lesson in the Art of Simplicity

Simplicity

/sɪmˈplɪsɪti/

A principle that emulates the return to the bare necessities of living. A lifestyle by which an individual renews their awareness of their own desires, which are then given expression with the necessary act of decorum to avoid the backlash of self-imposed expectation. Its about getting back to basics.

It’s storytime sweeties!

It was one of those slow and sublime Saturdays – the type where birdsong beckons and soft sunlight strokes your cheek, and no damn Disney heroine could ever match your gliding strides and your penchant for song…

And then you really kick it up a gear with a steaming mug of strong black magic (no, this is not an aphrodisiac, its coffee), play that one song that you just sucked dry since having it on repeat since last summer (still not knowing those lyrics), and grace the world with its first look at you in that sleepwear that just screamed to be left in your teenage fantasies (the world never really is ready for that kind of beauty on a sleep-in day). But darling, its like you have care! You feel you are winning at life!

My expectations of the day were few to none. I was about to rock it out in my leisure suit for a big one, doing what any sane human would do when the world wasn’t going to ask much of them: figure out how to heal the world; have a talk with myself; maybe relocate that one bit of clutter on my desk for the next time I am productive (have a laugh with myself, because I know that desk was made for that clutter); have that other talk with myself; reflect on the purpose of meaning; and take that late morning nap (because, you know, its not like I just had a good ten hours of sleep – and sleep hygiene is a thing).

So amid my third self-talk (because the other two got a bit intense and hurtful things were said) my phone gave that familiar set of vibrations of someone chaining their messages so that you obviously give notice…

Well f*ck. Now I had to look. I mean, you don’t get that kind of attention often… And who in God’s good name would ever think of messaging me while I haven’t even gathered my bits by midday. I mean… I must be special. Give the people what they want I say! Bless them.

So it was this fellow I had been chatting to for a while, after he had found and messaged me on social media a few weeks before. Since those early days where that approach just marinated in stalker vibes, he actually turned out to be down to earth and a pretty nice guy. So, a coffee date was proposed…

Of course I went! Who knows where that third self-talk was leading to… It was already scratching at childhood traumas… And… I was bored. Added, curiosity is a nagging banshee when she is not attended to!

So I whisked my hair into something resembling windblown spun gold (it did not resemble that at all); slapped on some moisturiser like a beauty influencer ready to look snatched (or because I felt that I needed something to resemble a get-ready kind of feel); and threw on a button shirt, denim jacket and some teal cargo pants. Oh… cargo pants, and in teal. Yes, I was about to crack Olympus and not even the gods would dare come down to handle all this glory!

Now at this point, I was already having hesitations. This do-nothing day was long in the coming, and I was about to give it all up for a coffee date which could have any of a number of turnouts. And this was sparking up a fourth self-talk. So here starts the lesson sweeties. When that fourth discussion rears its big ugly head, you know you are cracking the lid of Pandora’s box and should just leave things be. Especially when you are a wallflower who reserved themselves on keeping their petals closed for the day. Simple enough… right?

Yeah well, so is vanity. And after a soliloquy or two of glorious self-aggression, your main flower right here just needed to feel he could bloom a bit. So you only have that wise epiphany of going AWOL during your fifth self-talk and then the drama is already done. But like I said, I was bored. And FOMO (fear of missing out) has been my nemesis for years!

In her humorous TED Talk, The Magic of Not Giving a F***, Sarah Knight introduces the wonder of the “NotSorry Method”, where you can escape the trap of feeling obligated to do things that you don’t feel like doing. In essence, you can learn how to stop giving a f*ck (representing your time and energy) to things you do not really care much for. Well sweeties, it appeared as though my savings on f*ckbucks asked for a handsome deposit into something gloriously undesirable on that fateful day!

So lets fasttrack past some tedious details: I hopped in the car; dropped that other beat that I had on repeat since that one wedding; got to the meeting place; was welcomed by my date (whom we shall call Othello for good reason), and we were off to build some chats over a Cup of Joe. But Joe was a homely bastard that gave you diabetes with the amount of sugar my host added, and had a questionable ethnicity due to copious amounts of milk. I had after all sipped its cousin that morning, a little blend of ground El Salvador. Now he really seduced me with his exotic undertones!

But this is besides the point. So my date was not the best at conjuring up a cup of coffee (travesty as that is) , but he was of a genteel character regardless, and a gracious host. The necessities of hospitality were accorded to, and pleasantries were exchanged. And he asked me a few simple questions that showed a mild interest in my life at the least. Note: all these were already covered in extensive text messages, but we needed to follow the proper form during this meet-up after all. (My word but I hate small talk!)

So there we were, two blokes about to venture into a deeper introduction in the life of the other. A nice mutual reciprocation of shared stories, experiences and philosophies. This I could handle. All my reservations was for naught! We were about to have a spiffingly good time, I was sure.

God, I wish. I cracked the lid to Pandora’s Box remember, and this b*tch was about to release all the horrors of the world onto me! Oh and did he…. I had a front seat to the glory that was his entire beautiful trauma of a backstory. If my life was filled with monologues, than this guy would have had enough for a whole new act to make Shakespeare rethink his poetic prototype of a tragic hero! He would have this knack of building up a beautiful life event to a hopeful climax, and then create this disaster of a denouement that went crashing into an iceberg with many, many casualties.

Still, all of this was… Fine… In a very very patient backlog of my mind. But what really got me, was that Othello here did not hit pause for nearly two hours. And this wallflower came out to bloom darling, so I needed some watering as well… you know… a chance to actually respond! But gracious me, this fellow was raising his garden, calling a spade a spade and just making a big muddy mess by digging up his dirty drama! My petals were shook!

Darling, we’re talking family drama that would move Game of Thrones to Disney Channel. We’re talking sprees with lovers that would make him fill the self-help section in the book store on the psychology of love and relationships (none of which would be best-sellers, since he is writing so many… ). And then there was his claim to a German heritage that really upset my pollen. The last trace of a German practice in his family was nearly three generations removed, and he did not understand a single word of the language to boot! I guess it was his little histrionic habit of making himself seem more exotic.

He was so the drama. But a good raconteur, I’ll grant him that… being a lover of stories myself. But this story was effectively planting me back into my inner world… you know… where all the magic happens. So I was about to bloom there for awhile to figure out this dilemma.

Let me sketch this picture for you. Within a quaint little living room with two armchairs, one two-seater and some other questionable furniture, we were positioned accross from one another: me on the couch, and Othello having grabbed one of the armchairs facing me. The lighting was warm and ominous, making the whole room seem like some harlem to harbour many dirty little secrets. And I swore, I caught whiff of the traces of the seductive scent of spices in the air. There was obviously a mood here; there was a milieu I had not yet picked up on. See, here is the thing. At this point, my interest and attention had steadily wilted under the pressure of the drought that was my boredom… and my disbelief that so much strife could befall poor Daddy Drama across from me. My eyes were strained out of their sockets to keep up the appearance of attentiveness and investment, yet my thoughts were lost in the ether of “what the hell did I get myself into”.

But at this point, his story came to a screeching halt, and it threw up enough dust and gravel to blind my preparation on a response. Oh but not to worry, his mouth was revving its engines again! But this time it was a steady and idle hum in the utterance of: “So what do you really think of me? You must be overwhelmed with all I just said…” (no really, you think?) “but how do you feel about me?”

Cue dioalogue to self…

Sweetie, I think you are a hot mess, and you haven’t been to the therapist in a minute! Me: “Oh, well… Uhm… You have been through a lot. I can see you have faced your trials and tribulations, but you have shown commendable resilience through it all. I like that.” Please silence yourself. “And I can see you have gone through so much self-reflection with regards to your experiences in relation to others. I really think that is a mark of strength and that makes a man attractive.” Fool, be still thy tongue! “And considering the power of the events you have had to endure, it surprises me how you have managed to keep your smile.” For the love of the all that is good and sacred in big beautiful world… shut up you blithering idiot! “So I don’t think you have to be a product of the past, (he should revisit it though, poor lad needs to pull out those problems by the root!) and you can rather just try to enjoy to be the independent person you are instead of fixating on things that are long done. Because you are cool, and have done well. I mean, that certainly makes you likeable. ” Well, good morning Mr Affirmation, how the hell are you doing? I see you have done a stellar job with your psychology index so ready at hand… Still having trouble with honesty I see?

What happended here was what I like to call the “Daisy Dissociation”. The name blossoms well on the tongue of the wallflower admitting to their faults, but is also a playful tag on the female character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus The Great Gatsby. In the novel, her character often struggles with an honest appraisal of her own feelings and thoughts when the situation becomes white hot, and withdraws into her status and world of materialism to escape the overwhelming demands of the scene. In this case, I was hiding squarely behind well chosen words eloquently and sensitively conveyed.

But I was stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. My hardwon pedigree and practice of being a gentleman risked dissolution, and yet I was so keen to unashamedly confront Othello here with his talents in procuring so much (easily-avoided) sorrow… Do either, and the behaviour does not match the thoughts and feelings behind the alternative. A classic case of cognitive dissonance if you are interested in a bit of social psychology.

His response was a coy smile of contentment that brought me right back to the situation to really start smelling the roses and figuring out his angle. He excused himself for a moment, and made his way to the kitchen…

His claim to being German was about as legitimate as my claim to being Houdini’s successor, because there was no way I was escaping this as soon as I had hoped. And heaven forbid my weak stock of available alibis at that point, because I could think of no reason that I needed to excuse myself, but a million reasons why I wanted to. And intuition was shouting to me that something was afoot!

And then he strolled back in with a peculiar gait. Oh there was definitely a shift to the ambience, the lights seemed to dim at his very presence… And the foreboding of something fragrantly awkward was setting the scene. His pace slowed, and he gave a glance back at his chair before drifting over (unwelcomed) to sit next to me on ‘my’ couch. Yes mine, as in, I was seated in this ridiculously large throne, and the jester was not entertaining the king. And when I said end of the couch… I mean nearly on top of me. Oh no honey, you are stepping on the wrong flowerbed.

He scooched closer, and I lamemted to the heavens why the blood of Athena was not coursing through my veins that day to grant me more wisdom. He took my hand, and my whole essence cringed into perpetuity as I damned that trickster Cupid for his bad aim on this poor fellow. And from the depth of my navy-blue eyes, my soul cried rivers for the desperation of any flight-or-flight reaction when he neatly positioned the following words: “I think I really like you, and I think we should give this a chance”. I think I was two-thirds over the armrest by then… A deer in the damn headlights of damnation… with my own little bohemian rhapsody in questioning the borders between real life and fantasy. WHAT?! “Something like this does not come along often, and I think we have something special”. Au contraire my disillusioned little friend, this comes around quite a few times for you it seems, and special does not even BEGIN to describe it! I just bet you say that to all the boys… For shame!

So sweeties, at this point a few other lessons dawned on me, if too late. The first is awareness of your environment. Never sit on a seat that allows more than one occupant – especially on a first date. You never know when you need to jump the boat… or the couch for that matter. Secondly, drizzle a little less honey on your words and serve your tea piping hot, but with that touch of refinement. Thirdly, avoid self-talk on Saturdays… And don’t get so excited by things that vibrate in the mornings… LORD!

So I turned my gaze to look him squarely in his bespectacled eyes, twisted the rest of my body to face him in the least seductive way that I possibly could muster (which was hard, because you should never underestimate the desires impressed upon others by teal cargopants), and said. “Look, I think you are nice… good job, keep at it… and I am flattered that you would want to be with me… Literally, no one cares! Spill the tea sis! Throw that pot right at him! … but I am just really not ready for a relationship right now.” Oh for f*cksakes

So here is the problem with that line: ‘right now’ does not take into account a ‘later’ or a ‘one day’; your lack of feeling ‘ready now’ does not account for your possible readiness later; and your habit of dishing affirmations can turn an open and neutral comment into a hopeful prediction… for the other party. Basically, he was about to take his time sipping the tea I was serving, and would bounce RIGHT BACK with his advances once he finished his cup. I had delayed the drama…

And he looked about ready to consider other ways of convincing me… sooner (since I had not used my pronouns effectively in explicitly conveyeing my disinterest in him)… And his eyes were trying to strip me bare of my inhibitions. But he gave a nod, and what I believed was an understanding smile, and gave my hand a pat (as if I just earned a gold sticker on my report card) and went back to his own seat. “Maybe we can get to know each other for now. I think you’ll come to like me”.

I think the nerve endings of my hand flared back to life about a week after… But boy were those neurons firing in other places sooner to conjure a self-directed caveat for dating.

I carefully tended to the scenario which planted a few key observations in memory after that day. Firstly, my words were blunt shears if ever their intention was to convey hard truths without a hint of consolation or simply to knip the problem at the bud. I preferred the trimming of a situation with well-chosen words. Normally, I applaude this little disposition within myself, but when it comes to those particularly uncomfortable situations fellow bloomers, your escape is only imminent when you sharpen the blades. Speak your truth!

Secondly, we are entitled to our judgements or opinions, but that does not permit anyone to be an arse. Actually, you are permitted to be that as well, but the likes of approval do not then becometh you. However, you may not care about approval, in which case you would proceed regardless. But a blossom blooming alone amidst arid views, is wiped away by the flood of criticism. But roots entertwined with that of a few others, could perhaps just stem the tide (we all need friends, so be careful of what you say).

The moral of the story, is that honesty should be cultivated carefully, but allowed to bask in the sun when the situation calls for it. Truth, if dealt in a timely manner, is never unwelcome. It permits growth sooner than does misdirection. So fellow bloomers, learn to say no to invitations that ask your energy to be invested in those things you care little for. Resist hiding behind the words that sweeten the circumstances too much that you need to drink in. And… for f*ck sakes… when you reach that moment where unnecessary complications need to be weeded out, be your own bloody valentine and give yourself a K. I. S. S. …

KEEP IT SIMPLE SWEETHEART

Love and Light fellow bloomers!

Greetings from a Quiet Bloomer

Featured

The beauty of ‘being’ should not be brushed aside…

Wallflower
/ˈwɔːlflaʊə/

noun

An introverted soul with the magical disposition to see, to listen, and to quietly understand the kaleidoscopic vibrancy of the world in which they have taken root. A silent specimen inclined to bloom in the light of rare company and when the scent of the moment is right.


… One afternoon…

… As I rarely plucked one of the books from among my garden of good but untouched reads… I finally started on the page-turner that was Susan Cain’s riveting homage to the value of all introverts: Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I was but a few pages into the introduction, when I came across the line that convinced me that the book would be a resonating account of my world view:

Now that you’re an adult … you’re told that you’re ‘in your head too much’, a phrase that is often deployed against the quiet and cerebral.

Of course, there is another word for such people: thinkers.

Heard that?…………………………………………

That was the sound of my mind being blown…………. (I am sure you have some cartoon audio file tucked away somewhere in your greymatter for the right effect)

Simple… Yet profound enough to reignite a vestige of memory that I thought I had worked hard to displace, having regarded it as a criticism once upon a time.

“In your head too much…”

Well, that was a simple truth, as much as I might try to deny it. What is a reserved little boy to do after all, in a big bold world that provides more than its share of overstimulation. Those words were a reminiscent hammer blow that echoed across the memory of countless tedious lectures, parties passed in a blur, the long and laborious longevity of the voices of chatty Cathys and talakative Toms… and enough experiences with awkward silences to add another thesis topic to my repertoire.

But, is being in your head (even if “too much”) truly a bad thing?

Well dears, damned be the day when I allow anyone the authority to permit me my self-allocated playtime within the little flower patch of fantasies that I call my inner world…

It is too darn magical!

And once you adopt that pretty little penchant of expressing these enchantments of your inner life in a few well-chosen words, the talent really starts to make love to you! (Honey, you should really start taking your breakfast and coffee with a side of the Oxford Dictionary) Lesson #1: never underestimate the power of a descent vocabulary (It is one of those raging little quotes out there that remain unclaimed in credit, but adopted in its truth…) It breathes life into an idea.

So, there I was… Reading that piece in Cain’s novel, with nebulous sparks of recognition whizzing around the fort of my most reserved perceptions of self. And dazed as clear understanding dawned on me yet again of how much I valued being a quiet idealist, a dreamer… a thinker (as the book had so generously labelled me with merit). There really was something to this quiet revolution.

And then, we had been called adults as well (sigh). I am still exuding a daily effort to completely dissociate from that little assigned life-role (well… the effort in trying has been noble at least…) Oh, I am thriving! Responsibility: we don’t know her! (That is a lie… We definitely know her. She is a bitch that comes screaming just as loudly as Karma at our slightest misstep with Freedom. So be sure to invite her along to the party every now and then. She likes her playtime as well)

So in an era filled with generations accustomed to the buzz of free speech, being the ‘silent’ type often becomes a challenging position to assume. For within the crossfire of entitled opinions and the need to be heard… I have often felt that few come to actually listen. Society has become a pretty vocal zest pool of impulsive opinion. So the drama!

Don’t get me wrong…We need the brave camaraderie of more outspoken spirits out there in the world to spark the discussion, and remedy the world with a dose of honesty that has also been denied its place. But the situation becomes a bit muddy, and the flow of conversation murky, when a view that is shared is not set out to dry and see the sunshine for awhile. Or, if it does not pass through at least a couple of filters. God forbid, it seems as though the candid one-liners out there just call for the suspenseful panning of a camera to make the moment centre stage to some reality show! Reality does not call for cant or slush dears. Lesson #2: it is not always your circus; your tongue may be the whip that cracks at the wrong beast…

So I have rather come to see myself as an observer to the ways and whiles of the people that happen across my life. Gentleman that I try to be, I have felt inclined to allow both the misgivings and epiphanies of others with great courtesy and empathy. These experiences are then planted in my collection of stories, all nurtured and enlivened in the greenhouse that is my memory.

It makes of one a raconteur (what a beautiful word… I have been teasing the idea of taking French because of it). One comes to revel in the capacity for riveting storytelling. And in that beautiful scape of memory and the million filters it passes through as time lapses, a humility is beckoned forth among the bemused thoughts of considering how beautiful a narrative may be despite its outcome. What can we truly be but humble beasts running through the wilderness of a life where uncertainty is the only certainty… and where the winds of change can do such glorious things if we let the breeze take us on those flights of fancy. At the end, our opinions just seem to become more measured, more mindful… and heavens, less extra!

Poetically put, but what am I trying to say here?

Well…

Firstly, I am inclined to reserve all judgement. (That is a Nick Caraway quote right there… anyone give The Great Gatsby a read?) The judgement? Oh it is certainly present. I flirt with it in the backdrop and whisper dirty little things to it… but it remains within the harlem of my thoughts.

Secondly, the purpose was to introduce the ways of the wallflower. A beautiful little collection of hallmarks and habits that allow a holistic perception of the feels of the moment. Having cultivated the humble silence of quiet experience – and perhaps with a little moondust in my backpocket to sprinkle a dull situation with a bit of magic – life has become quite a breathtaking bouquet of opportunities in which memories are to be made and in which ‘thinkers‘ are applauded for their reserved voices. That is, until the moment sprouts with a need for it to be heard!

As I see it: gone are the days where the wallflower is a shy little sideshow… Instead, these mystical beings are the seasonal signs of sound sayings, who tweak the necessary cadences of their thoughts so that it may find its way to the assailed ears of loud society.

And perhaps this is what this blog is all about…. Thoughts and tales fully bloomed to become the centerpiece of attention for you, as the reader, for the briefest of time while frolicking in your own little pocket of reality.

A kindred spirit and soul sister parted ways with me after one of those spiffingly splendid sagacious sessions of sharing wild philosophies and philanthropic fantasies over a 420… and with these darling words: “love and light” . How magnificent is such a goodbye?… To leave with someone not only the whimsy of what was the teasing traces of your company, but to wish upon them the necessary truths and hopes revealed in the light, and the million beautiful variations of a diverse feeling such as love….

So I have adjusted my petals dearies, and turned my face to the sun, and allowed the beauty of ‘being’ and quiet contemplation to water my opinions with forbearance and sound judgement… for only then does the fragrant freedom of experience open its beauty to our enjoyment, and a love informed by self knowledge and understanding of life make itself available.

Thus, love and light fellow bloomers.

And welcome, to the inner sanctum of a wizard of words…