Archives for the month of: March, 2010

Have you ever lost your mind?  If you have lost it at some point or another, be grateful that you have not lost it completely.  If you haven’t, be thankful that it’s still intact somehow… and functioning… sort of.

Until we are confronted with something so dire, so difficult as a terminal or long term illness, a sobering loss, or a shattering crisis, we live our lives in a bubble, completely unaware of how bad everything can get.

While we are in the bubble, all that we can be bothered to do is chase after shiny, shimmery, glittery, and pretty things.  All that we seem to end up preoccupied with is the pursuit of fancy dreams and fleeting illusions.

All we keep thinking is that things are not good enough, and we deserve or want more things – better things.  If we are lucky enough to get them – that’s great, but if we aren’t, it becomes an endless chase for happiness which ironically makes us more and more miserable, because we can never have enough.

Once you’ve lost your mind completely to complete and utter chaos and experienced sobering emptiness, you finally actually come to and start to seek within and gain a semblance of calm.

You will find that everything that you had been chasing for had been meaningless all along and that the simple and ordinary things such as being able to smile again, to laugh again, the think again, to walk again, and to speak again, are such great blessings.

And what if you have never lost your mind at all?  What if you have never gone through such soul numbing, gut wrenching, mind blowing experiences?  Then all the better to rejoice that you are one of the fortunate ones, and open your eyes to the wonderful simple ordinary pleasures which surround us.

It is the simple and the ordinary which are strung together like pearls to make life wonderful and meaningful, and this makes the amazing and the extraordinary shine and valued even more.

Cherish the simple and ordinary moments.  Welcome the rare and beautiful moments.  With this in mind, every moment is a cause for celebration.

(c) Niconica 2010


Maps are very useful tools, especially when we first step foot into unfamiliar terrain.  If only it were so easy that every single experience in life would come with a map to guide us through.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Most of the time, when we are brave – or foolish – enough to push the envelope further, we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere and we have to rely only on our wits to survive.  When we are in the middle of a strange place, we find out what we are truly made of – eventually.  We find out whether we sink or swim, fly or fall, win or lose.

As much as we could want to call out for help and use the GPRS system, we find that the satellites have not yet been invented to help us get through uncharted emotional and experiential grounds and all we can do is say a little prayer and carry on – hoping that we survive.

As we stumble through the unexplored thicket, our apprehension causes us to seek refuge in the confusing but temporarily effective mixture of anxiety and reason.  We alternately comfort ourselves with relaxing fantasies and detach ourselves from the unnerving foreboding with seemingly immutable logic.

However, this curious concoction can only get us so far before that buzz wears off and we have to confront ourselves – and this fact, more than the anxiety of being lost, is even more horrifying.

When the effects of the self-inflicted oscillating medley wears off, we have to accept the fact that there is no available map, no established path, no illusion, and no logic which effectively shields us from the novelty, ambiguity and unpredictability of being at some point where we have never been before.

As much as we might be tempted to refer to the past as a frame of reference, we shouldn’t since in doing so, we then risk the hazard of imposing a defunct blueprint which would most likely not be relevant to present circumstances.  As much as outdated diagrams might be more accessible and enticingly easy to refer to, referring to the obsolete would most likely turn out to be more dangerous than having no map at all and starting from square one.

What’s left then is for us to buckle down and face the challenge of actually charting a brand new map of what we discover.  It might be more of a rough sketch or a doodle riddled with slight to gross inaccuracies than the exact scaled diagrams which we might prefer.  We find ourselves relying on raw mettle more than anything else, along with the contingent blend of exhilarating fortitude and unsettling trepidation.

Take courage and you will find that through the precarious balance of sheer guts and blind faith, a fresh world unfolds beguilingly, a new map drawn out, and a transformed person emerges, possibly fumbling at some point, but ultimately prevailing.

(c) Niconica 2010

Gravity has very much to do with any sort of fall.  Unless we are in outer space, gravity does not seem to play any favorites.  However, there is a way to trick, cheat, or work around gravity and we have found many ways to do it – through parachutes, airplanes, flying balloons, and bungee jumping cords.  These are ways to enjoy the free fall without completely losing control, and thus keep us safe to a certain extent.

The other sort of falls which are unmediated by safety measures mostly turn out to be accidents or mishaps of some sort – with someone or something coming out the other end a bit worse for wear.  This is what everyone tries to avoid, as much as they possibly can.  So again, in the interest of safety, we try to keep our two feet on the ground as much as possible.

Both these methods are concerned with caution – with minimizing risk and loss.  While it is wise to engage in one or both ways of prudence, taking the preoccupation with risk aversion to an extreme is another matter altogether.  Sooner or later, we find ourselves living a life of utter order, discipline, and even suppression.  Sooner or later, we find ourselves so utterly safe with these devices which we have adapted to bypass gravity and we wonder why we feel numb and flat.  Sooner or later, our whole energy falls into a deep hibernation.

Logic dictates that proceeding with caution is the best way to live.  After all, with the dangers and uncertainties about, it would be but natural to find a way to cocoon ourselves from all the potential threats to our peace of mind.  Reason cannot argue otherwise.  It is irrefutable that being careful, in control, following the rules, and protecting ourselves – even from something as general as gravity itself – are sought after qualities.

However, the perils of falling into the deep end of logic might be as dangerous as falling into the deep pools of passion, if not even more so.  In pure passion, we are at least fully alive in the moment, could the same thing be said for being in pure logic?

Seeking shelter in the solace of reason could not be wiser and equally dubious – for what is life but an incomprehensible series of seemingly random and uncontrollable events?

As we attempt to find some semblance of order and control, we would undoubtedly be faced with the fact that life is inexplicably messy and chaotic while being attempted to be tied together by arbitrary laws of physics such as gravity.

It might petrify us to know that at any moment we might miss a step and slip, and gravity is there, ready to pounce on us – then we’ll be done for.  It’s almost scary enough for us to curl up into a ball and hide, isn’t it, knowing that at any moment we can fall… gravity might do it’s thing and that would be it.

It’s almost mind-numbing to think through all the reasons why we should not take risks – especially with the uncertainties and the unexpected joyous and horrifying moments lurking the dark, just around the corner.  And yet, what would life be without all the risks, the uncertainties, the flying, the falling, the moments of perfection, the mistakes, the triumphs and the defeats?

For at every moment we take a true risk, we are more alive than ever.  For every moment we face the unknown, we are more courageous than ever.  For every moment we dare to face the rules and break them, we are more victorious than ever.

Let us not let gravity or any self-imposed rules get in the way of living every single moment of our lives to the maximum capacity.  Let’s leap off the plane without a parachute and see what it holds – an accelerated meeting with certain death or the only actual moments that we would ever feel truly alive, or both. For what is life, if it’s not for living fully, completely, totally, wantonly, in complete abandon and surrender.

(c) Niconica 2010

I ask you, what is your real mask?  There’s so such thing you say? All masks are fake?  I beg to differ.  There are many masks we wear which are fake, but there is one real one – so real that we actually do not know that it is a mask.

It’s the mask that stays on even after we’ve taken off all the ones that we wear for the day – and suffice to say, we might easily go through several in one day.  It’s the mask that we believe is our true face.  It’s the mask we wear to deceive no one else but ourselves.

Let’s not even begin to talk about the various masks that we put on for other people – now that would be an endless conversation.  Let’s just talk about the masks we put on to lie to ourselves with or cover up something about ourselves that we can’t bear to face or admit.

The first thing would probably be to kick and scream (read as: denial) that we don’t wear such as mask and why would we be foolish enough to want to lie to ourselves.  That’s all well and good, but after all of the theatrics, let’s ask ourselves this: are we strong enough to face the lies we tell ourselves so much that they have become “the truth” about ourselves?

Find a quiet place and look into the mirror of your soul and have a conversation with yourself.  Who are you really?  What are you hiding from yourself?  What are you purposefully convincing yourself is true? What illusions are you holding onto?

Chances are, if you are honest with yourself, you’d actually end up catatonic with the pain.  However, once all that washes away, once you admit to yourself that there is a layer that you need to peel away, and once you amass enough courage to look at your true face, you might find some glimmer of hope.

Before even concerning ourselves with the free trade of lies between us and other people, we must focus on the more relevant issue which involves the lies we tell ourselves because we can’t face ourselves, because we can’t face the naked truth.

Yes, what you see in the mirror, once all the facade has been peeled off, might be a monster, but it will be the real honest to goodness truth which you can then choose to work on to truly transform into the ideal self (or the better self) you wish – instead of slapping on layers and layers to cover up the ooze which leaks out.

The purpose of looking at our true face in the eye is not to possibly horrify and torture ourselves with what we might see in the mirror.  The purpose is only to call attention to the fact that it is only when we see, acknowledge, and recognize our true face, that there might be a chance for the redemptive powers of love to shine upon it.  And love – oh love – truly works miracles.

(c) Niconica 2010

Some of us might have wanted to lose faith in goodness all through these years. Goodness knows, when we look around, there are a thousand and one reasons why we should lose faith.

When we look back and cast our gazes about, we see all the pain, the suffering, the betrayals, and the hatred.  At the very least, it’s disheartening.  We remember the losses and we remember the grief, and there’s almost no point in keeping faith in goodness.

Let us remind ourselves, that while we are so busy looking at the darkness, we’ve turned our backs away from the light.  Whether we want to admit it or not, and whether we see it or not, blessings surround us.

Yes, things can always be better, but then again, they could actually be worse… way worse.  Seriously.  It’s not just about trying to fool ourselves into feeling better, it’s more than that.

Think about all the unexpected kindness which people have shown you.  You would be lying to yourself if you cannot even think of one occasion of kindness or goodness which has graced your life.  And, life is incidentally filled with such surprising moments.

Think about it.  At the moment when you have even given up on yourself, you find someone who has not given up on you.  At the moment when you least expect it, grace surrounds you.

The truth is, even what appears to be a curse now may be a blessing in the future.  We really wouldn’t know, would we? Okay, fine, even if some curses remain to be curses, it pales by comparison to the immense blessings that surround us.

What we know is that if we keep dipping our quills in acid ink, it’ll burn the paper – and ruin the quill!  And I’m sure none of us would be keen on being either the paper nor the quill in this case.

Blessings, blessings, blessings… we are surrounded by them. However, at times, we are too blind to even see.

Open your eyes! May we all be blessed with the special sight of being able to recognize the blessings – big and small – that come our way each day.

(c) Niconica 2010

What defines the perfect storm?  It is when all our most well-cherished pre-existing structures and concepts are all washed away in an instant, leaving us helpless and bare… but able to finally enjoy a blank slate – after all the rubbish has been cleared away, that is.

It is none other than the quintessential crisis in whatever way, shape, or form it takes: the dark night of the soul, a personal catastrophe, a mental devastation.  The essential questions are… “Why did it have to happen?” “How do we survive the perfect storm?” and “What do we do after?”

If we are honest with ourselves, we hold certain illusions near and dear to our hearts… and feed the illusions daily.  Sooner or later they become as much part of us as the hair on our heads.  The more difficult challenge is accepting that many of the things we accept as reality are actually false.

If they were true and real, they would not have been swept away in the wrath of the crisis.  Finally when everything has been washed away, we stand there in the emptiness and wonder what we truly have left inside, or whether we still have something left.  This is the true test of what we really possess, and the ultimate opportunity to rise from the ashes anew.

As horrible as it might have been to go through, and as unbelievable as it would be to hear, it was high time for the storm to come and it could not have come at a better time to shatter the battered remains of the old beliefs, the old prejudices, the old misconceptions.

Throw out the rubbish!  At this rate, they would have been there long enough to actually be malfunctioning anyway – filling up our current headspace with enough ill-conceived notions, delusions, and lies.

The wreckage contains a virus so effective that we might actually have mistaken the deception for the truth and have gotten lost in the fantasy – only the perfect storm could have had a chance of wiping it out.

Start anew, start from scratch… without even a sliver of the ruins, at least you would not have the headache of looking for a basement to store the leftover scraps.

Out of the chaos, you will find a refreshing and unexpectedly clarity.  Out of the uncertainty, you will find hidden strength.  Out of the gap, you will find a glimmer of all things possible.

(c) Niconica 2010

Fear exists in every one of us, as real as the air we breathe and yet as invisible, if not even more invisible.  It keeps us in check, in line, and in place.  It may be rational or irrational but one thing is for sure – it is very real in our lives.  What causes the fear may or may not be remembered, but we cannot forget what we fear.

We can run away from it, hide from it, deny it, exaggerate it, minimize it, or embellish it, but the fact remains that sooner or later, we would have to confront it… for it does not take kindly to being hidden in the dark corners of our mind.  It does not take well to being stored in the dark cellars of our psyche or the secret attics of our soul.

What is it that you fear?  Look at it closely for it reveals much about you… it reveals who you are… and if you do not take steps to correct it, it will reveal who you will become.  There may not be a truer mirror to our soul than our fear.  It extends deep into us and wraps itself around us – a tight death grip that strangles us as much as is sustains us.  It is a parasite we feed, which we wish we can live without, but cannot imagine being without. It haunts us and if we are not careful, it eats us alive.

Keep your fear at bay if you as of yet cannot find the will, the courage, or strength to confront it and let it go… but it note that it cannot remain hidden forever for it festers as it grows through time.  Fear doesn’t leave us alone and it serves as a barometer for change in our lives.  How can we say that we have changed when we have the same demons still haunting us?

We may move forward in time, we might age, and in effect, get a few steps closer to death, but if we don’t do anything about the proverbial monsters under our bed… we are just the same place where we were before.

We have lived with these fears long enough.  It is time to take stock.  If we think about it, all the fears that we possess inevitably have something to do with our past, and might have some or even considerable bearing on the present, but they should not have any effect on the future, if we hope to have a better future and hence, do not drag them along with us as we move forward.

Fear encourages enough caution in us, but take care not to let it own you.  It may be that it is up to us to deal with our fears whichever way we want to and whenever we feel we are ready to, but let it be remembered that at any crucial turning point, and there will be many, if we decide to give our fears more weight than our hope, then we might as well bid goodbye to all the new chances, opportunities, and possibilities that life may bring us.

(c) Niconica 2010

Now, if only we could be completely utterly in charge of our lives… won’t that be fantastic? Wrong.  If you or I were completely 100% in charge of our lives, it would be even in a worst state than it is now.  Why is that? How can we, being the “masters of our destinies”, not know better what would be in our own best interests?  Easily.

If you or I had our way, everything would be mired up in convolution due to our own myopic thinking and self-righteousness.  Whether we admit this or not is irrelevant.  The fact remains that that one of the sheer blessings in our lives is that window of opportunity – that gap which allows for miracles to come into our lives.

With our perpetual or habitual chronic negativity, if it were all up to us, all the miracles which have graced our lives would never have existed.  They would not even stand a chance.  Now, take a deep breath and step back.  No, step further back.  Even further back.  Watch, observe, forget, and allow for a miracle to happen.

It is often during the times that we least expect it when these beautiful cosmic accidents occur, and as much as we would like to take credit for them, we can’t.  It is because… it is not of our doing in the first place.  If we really think about it, we were too busy standing in the way, more than enabling wonder and blessings into our lives – oh well, perhaps not all of us, but most of us.

Isn’t it funny how blessings chance upon us jut when we were about to or have already thrown in the towel.  No, it wasn’t because we had given up that the blessings have come, but it was because we had managed to let go and this created the ripe conditions and space for miracles to come into our lives.

Let go.  Let go.  Let go.  Give miracles a chance, get out of the way, and they will more often than not, not only surprise us, but surpass our expectations.  We might find that the best experiences are often the most unexpected.

(c) Niconica 2010

Who would not want the perfect love, the perfect partner, the perfect relationship, the perfect life, and the perfect career? In our search for perfection, we sell ourselves out.  Endeavoring to seek flawlessness in every interaction, we prevent ourselves from seeing beauty.  As much as we would like to think that perfection equates to beauty, reality disagrees with us as far as most of the immensely beautiful things in life actually have a degree of imperfection – think of diamonds.

It may not dawn on us but the preoccupation with perfection is actually an imperfection in our mindset.  It causes us to block out anything that we think is not up to our impeccable standards and cause us to turn away, just before something truly manages to blossom.

We seek the perfect experience, but does it even exist? Since most of us do not possess the gift of precognition, we are then left into the capricious hands of chance… about as safe as the roll of the dice.  Shall we find the perfection we see in our lives, in ourselves, in our lovers, in our careers, in our family?

Let us remember that even with diamonds which are valued highly, perfection is rare.  What more with us mere mortals? If we set out on our quest with an eye on perfection, the endeavor will be half-doomed… for which object would be able to bear the weight of such scrutiny while retaining the mirage of perfection.  For that is what perfection is… it is a mirage, it is an illusion.

The minute we drop this falsehood: the idea that everything has to be perfect, we allow ourselves a chance to breathe, a chance for hope and beauty to grace our lives, and a chance to allow for the enjoyment of the everyday wonders and joys of life, within a healthy frame of mind.  Letting go of the unrealistic expectations of perfection, we then are able to open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts even more.  We allow forgiveness to exist so that we may be able to allow for happiness.

To put it succinctly, perfection can only exist when we stand at a very safe distance, and when we are too far away from the object to truly see it for what it is.  That is the only way perfection can exist: in our minds with the help of an optical illusion we gladly participate in by keeping a considerable distance away from the so-called object we attribute perfection to.

In our quest for perfection, we barely scratch the surface.

(c) Niconica 2010