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621. Embracing The World at Distance

I went to watch a meaningful documentary for me a couple of days ago which is called “Llévate Mis Amores” – translated ‘All of Me’ which led me to experience a certain renewed ‘hope for humanity’ as it is said, but not in an airy fairy way. I mean it in the ‘love is work made visible’ way where a group of women have given themselves the purpose to daily cook for hundreds of migrants that hop on the train called ‘The Beast’ or ‘La Bestia’ which comes from southern México and passes through their hometown in a place of Veracruz, México, on their way to the north. They use their hands, their strength and will to make this daily routine work because they understand that one meal for them is a matter of life or death – and that life takes no ‘days off –  in their quest to get to ‘the other side,’ which is migrating to the US.

I’ve heard of this documentary a couple of years ago and couldn’t make it that day to watch it during Ambulante Festival and only yesterday I got to watch it and even the showing in itself was again, a sort of simple yet remarkable decision coming from a lady at a corporate facility that bought the documentary DVD after meeting the creator of it and setting up a showing at the office where they work. This is the first time I don’t go to an ‘established’ or ‘well known’ place to watch a documentary, but instead go into a more private showing where most of the people knew each other – lol – and a few of us there got to know of the event through Facebook and showed up, giving in exchange a couple of bags of rice and beans that will be given to the ladies that appear in the film to continue doing their work. 

It was also great to have the photography director there to share more about the way that they made the documentary. What I liked the most is that he shared how he is a human being first of all, which meant that at times he had to throw the camera to the ground to support the handling of the food to the people hanging from the train, who eagerly prepare themselves to grab the plastic bags with food and water bottles on a moving train, which means there’s only a split of a second to grab their meal.

That moment right there of seeing the handling of the food after seeing the whole process of preparation, the quantities of food, the logistics of making these lunch bags for them was heart wrenching if that’s the saying. I held back my tears because I didn’t want to start crying in that moment, but it was that touching considering that these people aren’t ‘well off’ themselves, it’s rather the other way around, which is quite common to find in this country: those with the least tend to help the most.  

How did they do it? They go and ask for food or leftovers in the market, in stores that give them stuff for free to make the food they know they provide to the migrants. Now they are recognized by human rights associations and have won international prizes, I’m sure you can find info by searching ‘Las Patronas’ which is the name of the group of females that have done this work for over 25 years now. Yes, daily, yes, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day, and yes, they are not paid at all for that – but their society recognizes their work and provides them with the food they produce or sell in order to be part of the cause. 

I stood for almost an hour after the documentary ended hearing the conversations and reactions from everyone else there, I asked the question of how they were able to afford it and got it answered – food donations, food that was going to be wasted, their own town assists now, etc. The documentary makers knew they had to tell this story, they gained recognition themselves and so forth, but the most relevant thing for them is for people to watch it and to have been able to work there, because he said that it was like a little utopia, to be able to work doing what they love, to assist with the cooking and support others in exchange of having a place to stay and food to eat. Simple.

I wondered how many of these projects would be able to be done if people decided to actually do something about it, instead of only looking at the problems that ‘the system’ apparently has. Sure, migration has become a consequence and I’ve written about it before, but if it is already happening, then some actions can be taken to at least make it easier for some to go through it, and these women are an example of that.

Their character showed such determination, will, discipline and an unbreakable spirit so to speak, which seemed like ‘a lot of work’ for most of us in that room, but then we all realized that THAT work made visible was their strength, their will, their courage, their determination and motivation to keep going in their own lives, and I’m talking about generations of people from the grandmother, daughters and granddaughters working on the same project. Well, yes, I take off my hat for these women for sure, but then the question came of ‘What can I do? What am I doing that can stand in a similar point of support for others?’

Times before when asking myself the same question, I’d become paralyzed, thinking I’d have to now go to shelters and save others, change people’s minds and kind of ‘shake them up’ to understand there’s more to life than limitation and struggle – or try to convert them to my newly found ‘path’ so to speak, which never worked lol – yet I was myself still very much living in such self-limitation in several aspects that I’ve come to identify over the years of walking this process. But it’s good that I had such intent anyways, I just wasn’t focusing so much on myself and I was too much focusing on the world ‘out there,’ well, I already told that story in the previous blog to this one.

After I left the documentary show, I realized that I cannot suddenly decide to go and live somewhere else to do the work that those women are already doing, nor do I see handing food for the poor as a solution either. It is a noble act, but I understand that my position and awareness of the totality of the conflict and situation we’re living in has an origin and starting point that needs to be understood and needs to be disclosed in the form of personal stories that relate to personal change, learning to change our values, our ways of perceiving our reality and making things work without simply falling into consequences or believing there is no way out.

As I was walking away from the place, I realized that I needed to stop rushing in my mind trying to ‘go and do more here and there’ because that has been a pattern in me that only becomes a nuisance, a worry-wart type of experience, and instead looked at how to me being part of Desteni and the work that I’ve committed to do for myself and to extend as a point of support for others walking the same process is my ‘grain of sand’ that I contribute with for now, which is what I can honestly do and can do based on what I’ve also learned and gained through the Desteni Process which is a whole new way of understanding our minds, the problems we face and create in our lives, to create a more meaningful and supportive life that in turn, can impact many more around us and I’m only now starting to see how that works, yes, after a decade of being ‘on it’ consistently.

To me even if the community is not physically together except for one place on Earth, being an interconnected community in the internet over these many years has been that pillar of support where we know we can always count on each other to share, to gain perspectives, to learn more about each other and in doing so, being able to reach out to more people that may resonate with what we do and the tools we live and apply, so that’s what I see has become my motivation, my response-ability, my contribution to the greater changes that need to take place in this world.

So, this way, I also remind myself why I like watching documentaries, I like embracing the lives of others, I like using them as a way to place my shoes in their lives and find a way through in it, to create my own solutions to it even if it ends ‘without a way out’ at times. I’m extremely grateful for documentaries – which is one of my favorite past times and activities – and currently there’s a burgeoning culture for them in my home city, so I’ve watched them not only by myself on my computer, but it’s become a collective meeting of sorts to go downtown to the theatre, watch the documentary, discuss them with the creators – when available – and with others watching and that is extremely cool and I enjoy that a lot. For a moment I also pondered how I can contribute to this ongoing cycles of documentary showing for the people because it is great, it assists a lot of people to create awareness about seemingly distant situations that we would not be able to otherwise face or confront if it wasn’t for the work of documentary makers.

For now, I’m simply disciplined myself to attend to those events and invite others whenever I can, it is a point of self-enjoyment but also of self-education, because not all stories are la-la-land and rosy, most of them are not. I realize I should have done a little commentary on a lot of the documentaries I’ve watched over these past months and I’ve drowned this idea within me because of thinking ‘well, people can’t watch them because the docs are only available to be watched in film festivals – most of the time’ but I realize that I can share what I gained from it without ‘telling the whole story’ so, this is a first point of it and will look at sharing some insights and perspectives on the stuff that I watch and listen to. I say listen to because also long format podcasts have become a constant in my day to day while painting or doing anything that doesn’t require me to read or write – cleaning, cooking, laundry, walking etc. It’s amazing to have the internet, to have this media, these documentary festivals and that is really what ‘moves’ me so to speak, to see more and more people speaking about change, bettering themselves, overcoming their difficulties and troubled backgrounds in life, that’s just amazing that I can get to ‘know’ a bit of a person through a long podcast.

One of my favorite ones is Joe Rogan’s podcast which I appreciate a lot, even if I don’t entirely like or relate to all of the discussions going on at times – and even if I discredited it some 9 years ago or so – listening to the people there and the questions asked allows me to check my reactions, prejudices, my ‘dismissive’ way of being with people that I believed I would have ‘nothing to learn from’ and then, bam! I end up really taking a lot of what they shared and realizing how much I was assuming about them and their life stories just because of how they talked or dressed. That’s a sure kick back at my own ass-umptions and ego there, and I love doing that for myself J because it broadens my perspectives about life and it assists me to embrace different mentalities, ways of getting to the same solutions I am aiming to create in my life and learn from a variety of people that it’s quite difficult I’d get to meet otherwise in my reality.

So, the word here is embracing, embracing more of my reality without having to ‘go somewhere else’ like traveling to ‘get it’ because we know how expensive it is and sometimes even dangerous like in some areas of this country nowadays– but we have the possibility to do this, to learn from other cultures, ways of living through the internet and all the media created by you’s and me’s. So that’s something I commit myself to share even when I believe ‘there’s nothing to share’ – I’ll share more of what I like sharing to myself as well as a point of support, of broadening the confines of my mind and learning to step out of prejudice and embrace another human being as myself. Each documentary I watch is like stretching myself a little bit more, expanding my awareness of the lives of people in this same world, and that’s a priceless opportunity.

Ok keeping it short this time. Thanks for reading and check out these recordings which are supportive and related to some of the things I’ve shared here

Meeting as Beliefs vs Meeting as People

What the Mind Can Teach Us About Sharing

 All-Of-Me-llevate-mis-amores-Mexican Documentary

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572. Selfishness and Equilibrium in Self Creation

Or redefining selfishness

I am looking at this word with the purpose of practically using it as a way to integrate ‘me-time’ and self-consideration when it comes to day to day living activities where, as I’ve explained in the past, I’ve had a tendency to put-off everything that had to do with ‘me-time’ and self-enjoyment time and instead geared myself with the idea of ‘always having to be doing something I’d define as productive, of use to others, of benefit to others’ and in that, create certain satisfaction of yes ‘producing something’ that to my eyes and consideration is of ‘worth’ and ‘value’ based on the support It could directly provide to others, but in this, I was at the same time neglecting this me-time where I can in fact disconnect from everything/everyone and as this awesome recording Wanting to Get Away From it All – Quantum Systemization – Part 155 explains, have this time where one does something for oneself, for one’s enjoyment at least for an hour every day.

I’ve walked in a way quite a process with this, because I’ve made it a habit to go walking on almost a daily basis for almost a decade now and I’ve defined that as the ‘me time’ where I go out for more than an hour and get away from computer and my usual environment where I created that deliberately notion of ‘I have to be doing something’, which has been supportive over time and an enjoyable time.

However, there were other hobbies and things I previously enjoyed doing that I completely put off and stopped doing altogether, like arts – painting, drawing, photography – because of defining it as something ‘selfish to do’ because I deemed it as ‘not useful for anyone’ as in ‘benefitting them in their life and process’ which was the kind of logic that I’ve used for quite some time to constantly decide and assess what I ‘should be doing’ and in that, I definitely refrained myself many times from actually doing what I’ve naturally enjoyed doing for myself before, including reading, playing music which I have to be quite honest I haven’t done in a very long time.

To me this denial of doing that which I enjoyed became a definition of a ‘virtue’ as I explained in previous blogs, and in that believing that this was part of the process, to stop doing that which would give me some kind of enjoyment or personal satisfaction and only focus on that which ‘benefits everyone else’ in one way or another. However this is only at a mind level, because I definitely not only did that with my time in reality, I could have easily integrated this ‘me time’ or ‘selfish time’ while continuing doing what I was focusing on at the time in the past, but in my absolutism, extremism and ‘black or white’ mentality, I tended to completely ‘cut my arm off’ and believe that I just could not give me the time to do something that I judged in one way or another as ‘selfish to do.’

Now, where did notion of ‘having to deny to myself’ doing that which I would naturally enjoy doing and that I had judged as ‘unproductive, useless, good for no one’ led me? Well, it was leading me to a reality of not building anything for/as myself that I could genuinely call ‘me’ and ‘for myself’ entirely, in a way having this ‘selfish activity’ where I can not only enjoy myself but actually support me to transcend all of the judgments, denials, ideas, beliefs and even self-doubt and giving up experiences that I’ve imposed onto something as seemingly ‘simple’ as painting or doing any form of artwork.

So, it is so as the audio I mentioned above explains on how in only focusing on one’s work/responsibilities, on what we have to constantly be doing ‘for others,’ and not taking time for oneself,  one is actually missing out on oneself, not really getting in contact with who we are, what we want to do and in fact see what is it that I have left ‘behind’ in this notion that ‘I cannot be selfish with my time’ and have denied myself to do that I in fact enjoy and assists me the most in developing my creative potential as a person, learn more about myself and even assists me in expanding and growing, which I had completely forgotten about myself how dedicate and detailed I can be when doing something that I am enjoying to give shape to : )

Interestingly enough I had not entirely seen how my idea of giving up something ‘selfish’ was in fact also due to the various patterns that emerge within me when having a ‘blank slate’ and create something in the moment, which even as I write this there is this very slight movement that I feel on my forearms, almost like a physical remembrance of how I have to dare and make decisions to move, to do, to create something while facing the inner judge  where I would constantly say ‘no’ to what I defined as my ‘selfish desires’ and instead direct me to do something that I defined as more productive, of support for others, advancing work/responsibilities, etc.

So the consequences of not giving myself this ‘selfish time’ so to speak is, as I’ve been explaining before, that I did get to a point of feeling like there is something ‘missing’ in it all. One can be a very ‘responsible’ person for something set that we have to do on a daily basis, but one is not really developing, growing and expanding out of one’s comfort zone which becomes work, responsibilities, and the ‘daily tasks’ that are constant or ‘always the same,’ which leads to a dissatisfaction about one’s life with an experience of lostness of ‘where am I within this whole equation? Where am I going with my life? What is it that I am creating for me, for myself, that I enjoy and that is not related to constantly doing it ‘for money/ for others’? And that’s how I opened up the point of doing art again, because of the ‘conflictive’ relationship I had created towards it within myself based on this morality-eye of it being something ‘selfish’ for me to do, almost existing in a denial of enjoyment, of having this thing that I do for, as and by myself.

Another example is I thoroughly enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together. In past years I’ve done quite a few, thousands of pieces etc. yet, I started judging it as ‘a waste of time,’ as something that is ‘insignificant to do’ or that doesn’t ‘benefit anyone else,’ and in that, have stopped making them, except for a time when I got sick some 4 years ago where I was ‘ordered by doctor’ to rest more, which was also the result of me taking a sudden leap of ‘taking responsibility’ for something in an attempt to ‘direct the ship’ in an unprecedented situation so to speak, which over time ‘led me’ but in fact ‘I led myself to’ have a form of burnout manifested in my physical body in quite an obvious manner. So that’s the time I last made a puzzle… so! should I wait to get sick again and be ‘ordered to take some rest’ to then ‘give me the permission’ to do something I enjoy/for fun? Hell no. It might not be ‘puzzles’ right now, but it sure can be something else that I enjoyed.

This also leads me to touch on the word ‘leisure’ as well because I’ve had a ‘no go’ relationship to this word where the notion of ‘taking time off’ or ‘vacation’ sounds good but it’s never a ‘full disconnect’ for me, and it hasn’t been that way for many, many years, probably 7 years where I had restrained access to internet in order to fully disconnect from everything. And, I discovered that’s where I then focused more on my relationships with people, on enjoying the moments with ‘doing nothing’ or watching others’ lives go by and what did I naturally geared myself to? Photography. Yet at the time, there was a constant nagging thought of ‘all the work/responsibilities I’m missing out on right now’ and ‘all that I will eventually have to catch up to’ which became a form of ‘anxiety,’ which is not cool at all. I mean, if it’s vacation, it should be full vacation, completely disconnecting, and I’ve sort of tested that recently though not fully to the point of not seeing my cellphone in one entire day. Not sure that will be possible either, or at least that’s what I think at the moment, yet even if it’s not a possibility for me to ‘fully disconnect’ for some time, it can be done for a couple of hours a day and stop having this ‘work, work, work’ mentality as well, which is in a way out of a judgment and fear of ‘not being productive,’ of not doing ‘something supportive for others’ or fearing ‘being irresponsible’ in the day and in that of course implying that I’ve valued what I do and am based on how it ‘relates to others,’ instead of entirely doing it for me, as myself, my decision, my responsibility and point of accountability, which is quite different than placing ‘others’ as ‘my reason for being/doing/living.’

What I just explained is the ‘selflessness’ that I have to turn into a form of practical and moderate selfishness of course – not going into the extreme – where the principle as Bernard Poolman once shared – paraphrasing – “if you are best for you, then you are best for all” which I ‘thought’ I was doing and living already, but it takes one good look at oneself to see how much I was denying, refraining or judging myself for doing it based on seeing it through the eyes of ‘selfishness’ while at the same time covering up the actual ‘uncharted territory’ that having this me-time in fact implies as an opportunity for self-creation in whichever way I decide it to be.

What does living a practical and considerate form of selfishness as ‘me time’ or ‘living for and as myself’ mean? Two things for me:  I have to be the starting point and origin of everything I do, to stop doing things based on morality of what’s ‘good for others’ and what’s ‘useless for others’ and secondly, make a self-honest decision about how I decide to spend my time, to distribute my responsibilities throughout the day in a way where I can also ensure I give me some ‘me time’ to do what is now a form of hobby yet also ‘work’ at the same time, and stop having what I believe are ‘others eyes’ on top of that, because it’s really only been myself and my own judgments towards doing something ‘for me’ that have limited my ability to actually do it, and nope this is not a self-victimization point because I am fully aware how I did this entirely for myself, ever since I was a little girl, having this ‘duty’ mindset as my own policeman in the head, lol which proves how I had to make of ‘school work’ also art work in order to feel responsible AND creative at the same time! LOL! That’s why I didn’t have an issue with ‘how I would spend my time’ back then because I linked both ‘responsibility’ and ‘hobby’ in one, which matched my workaholic personality,  yet I don’t need to place myself ‘in school’ to do the same and I’ve been implementing this for the past weeks with cool results in my scheduling.

This is another way of looking at living creative authority, where I decide to make changes in how I approach my life, my time, my responsibilities, my ‘me time’ and see how I do/how it goes as I implement and live these changes on a daily basis.

Sure, there are some changes on how I approach things thus far, a bit less with a rush of having to be ‘on top of all things’ and whenever I get to still do that, I am learning to check with myself to see if I am pressuring myself, to the point of ‘sacrificing’ something that I ‘really wanted to do for myself’ for the sake of ‘fulfilling’ certain ideas of myself through stuff/things that I would usually do, which I also know as a somewhat former ‘workaholic’ it becomes a very ‘justifiable’ comfort zone to not be with ourselves, learn to enjoy ourselves, discover who we are when having this ‘free time’ and our creative abilities in whichever way they exist in each one of us, because that’s what has been challenging to me, and to stop the ‘dutiful’ mindset in the midst of it all, therefore that’s a current walking process for me.

What have I found in this relative ‘short’ time of giving myself more time ‘for me’ is that there is a lively spark emerging in me, based on having a reconciliation with doing arts and creating a project for it in the long run, which is certainly something that I vaguely had ‘in mind’ since the beginning of the year, but now it’s definitely a more settled and ongoing path which required me to get things going in all practical ways, from making the space to do art and then actually taking the time of the day for it, which is great so far. Now! The point is to diversify it because, as I explained, I can become artsy workaholic LOL so, I’ll look at integrating other different things to do for myself, which is a walking process as I speak. 

Now what does that mean if I become best for me as a fulfilled individual that is not only taking responsibility for things, tasks, commitments ‘as usual’ but also takes the time for personal recreation and leisure and self-enjoyment? Well that’s definitely the kind of life that I consider we should all have where there’s an equilibrium in doing what we ‘have to do’ based on yes living in a survival system, requiring money and the rest of it – and also giving oneself this me-time which definitely assists in placing our lives/our ways/our paths into perspective and leaves space for creation, self-creation, creativity, recreation – whichever way it can be placed – which is a regenerative process as I see it, very necessary to be in fact self-satisfied, which will prevent me from getting to a point in life where I’m bitter, dissatisfied and believing I’ve done ‘so much for others’ but not really living my life for and as myself.

So! I prevent myself from doing that from here on and create an equilibrium in my day to day living, which means I become a ‘healthy’ person that is living in a world of yes responsibilities, tasks, commitments and ‘selfish time’ or ‘me time’, where I am a part of the whole that lives according to what I consider is suitable, healthy, balanced and enjoyable for/as life itself in this reality.  

Thanks for reading.

 Artwork002 color

                                                         

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