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The World In Words

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“When you have contributed much, you should also enjoy much of the experiences you deserve.” – J. Sia

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Mermaid or Whale

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I didn’t write this but absolutely love what this woman wrote. So well done! Please read; it’s quite enjoyable and share.  

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “
Do share if you care.

 
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Of Loving and Doing

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Have you ever cursed a mountain for being so difficult, so uncomfortable, or so unrewarding? Perhaps it was a hike that it did not turn out the way you planned it: the weather turned bad even though it was summer, or the bus conked out, ruining the itinerary. Out of anger or frustration, we may say things like: “I’m never gonna climb this mountain again!”

To paraphrase that time-honored phrase, lipa happens. And when the poison ivy begins to ache in our skin, be reminded that it is a test of will, for although hiking requires a set of skills, it is above all a test of character. The challenge, then, is not simply to endure difficulty, but to transcend it with a joy that comes from the love for the things that you do.

Loving the things you do is not always easy, because every object of our affection – be it a place, an activity, or a person – is bound to be imperfect and unreliable. Our loved ones can disappoint us, just like the mountains: the sea of clouds may or may not be there. No matter how beautiful the scenery is, the scorching heat of the sun may make us blind to the beauty around us, and hunger or fatigue can turn even the most cheerful person into a volcano.

Yet, if we are seriously in our love for these things, we must embrace, with good cheer, the things they bring, whether good or bad, because even the most negative of experiences can make us grow spiritually and emotionally.

Indeed, to say ‘I hate you’ to a mountain is in vain, for it is not a valid object of scorn. What you are rejecting is your own experience of it, that is, a few hours or days of your own life. It is ultimately self-defeating.

In my first exploration in the Piapayungan Range in ARMM, we had to hurdle a lot of logistical and security concerns. But once we we were actually in the trail, instead of enjoying every single moment in that area which very few – if any – hikers have seen – the thorns, poison ivy, and rain dampened our spirits. Eventually, I reflected about it and said: “Thorns may be uncomfortable and at times painful, but they teach us patience.” The challenge, in a way, calls for the triumph of the mind over the body.

Jo Steven was a very strong lady hiker from New Zealand and she was my hiking buddy and mentor when she stayed in the Philippines for two years. I called her ‘Iron Lady’ because she’s just so strong and amazing! When we did the first three-day hike of Mt. Sicapoo, things didn’t turn that well on the first day: it rained so hard as we ascended the steep trail from Gasgas River to Saulay Junction. I coud hardly keep up with her! But when Jo – in the middle of the rain – suddenly shouted “This is hiking!”, my spirit was reinvigorated and we pushed on. Attitudes, whether positive or negative, are infectious, endowing us with the power to discourage, but at the same time to power to motivate and inspire.

Perhaps the most difficult negativity to deal with is those that come from our fellow men. Just as our skins are vulnerable to lipa, so are our hearts sensitive to other people’s words and deeds. Personally I really get stressed when people are too noisy and rowdy in the campsite; it will cause me a sleepless night. There is simply no way we can get people to behave according to our own standards! Instead of allowing myself to be stressed out, however, I simply just avoid the situation by camping elsewhere or on a weekday. There are solutions to these problems. Spam filters do not always work, but you can filter what people say and do at the level of your mind; ignore the hurtful, ponder on the lessons, and move on.

Indeed, when we think of mountains and life experiences as teachers, there will always be something to gain. And when we think of ourselves as instruments in making people grow and have fun, the impetus to mold our character becomes stronger.

Having said thus, my challenge to you is always have a positive attitude in whatever you do, whether you are in the mountains or in your everyday life.

On the other hand, there are times when we cannot do the things we love and this is when we begin to appreciate their value in our lives. Understandably, we need to work, to earn a living, to care for our loved ones. Life is a matter of priority, and mountains will never be more important than relationships. But there is another attribute of life, its finitude, that ought to drive us towards the trails.

When I say ‘do the things you love’, I do not ask you to abandon your loved ones, nor abscond from your occupational responsibilities. Instead, I urge you to maximize the rest of your time and turn it into a pursuit of the peaks. Was there ever a weekend of which you can say, ‘I did nothing but watch TV’, or ‘I did nothing but Facebook?’ I believe in the Internet as a positive force in changing the world and connecting people, but the world wide web can also entangle us, giving us the inertia of the mundane that may well represent one of the biggest threats to progress in the coming decades. Hiking, on the other hand, balances our perspectives on time and distance; food and shelter; life and death, day and night; success and failure: in other words, the things that matter.

Doing what you love requires determination and walking the extra mile- perhaps working overtime to get that coveted leave, or saving up for that plane ticket to your dream mountain. But you have to do it. You are young and young people always have more time than they realize. As your age increases, your free time decreases, until you reach an age when you have all the time in the world, but none of the strength you used to have. There are, of course, ways to overcome the loss of strength that goes with age, or the loss of freedom , but in general, these things happen no matter how determined we are to fight them.

Reflecting on my hiking life, there are many occasions that give me reason to say, “I’m glad I decided to do it!” Five years ago, I devoted an entire week to climb a little-known mountain. Back then it was a hard decision to make, but the experience of discovering a mountain with strange plants and a fascinating tribe, as well as the personal growth as a hiker and as individual that comes after several days of hiking away from your comfort zone, entrusting your life to two guides who were strangers to me- it was well worth the trip. Today, I am glad, in restrospect, that I pushed myself to do that mountain five years ago. It was expensive to climb alone, but while money can be earned again, time flies and never comes back again.

A hypothetical scenario: what if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, but you still have enough strength to pursue some of your most cherished dreams? Surely, you will not waste your time idling while the disease takes its toll! I bet you will hurry up and do the things you love. We do not yet have diseases or infirmities but life itself is, in a way, terminal. But whenever we come to this realization, as when news of deaths arrive, or when we ourselves feel the toll of age in our bodies, we should feel more motivated to make the most of life, rather than feel discouraged.

Indeed, life is so short and there are so many mountains to climb and challenges to face. But we always have the power to choose which trails to take, which dreams to pursue, which peaks to reach for. May these words be your compass: Love the things you do, and do the things you love.

Source : http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2013/05/essay-letter-to-young-mountaineer-part.html , by Gideon Lasco

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Eight things I Learned from 50 Naked People

In the past year, I’ve touched more than 50 naked people.

Don’t worry though—the fancy parts were covered—I’m a massage therapy student. They have you start on friends and family, other students and then the general public. Some people are silent during a massage; others can’t stop talking in a nervous attempt to clothe themselves with something, even if only words.

Despite our obsession with sex, American culture doesn’t really encourage nakedness (physically oremotionally). And if all the pleasantries and social constructs we use weren’t bad enough, we add social media into the mix and distance each other even further. When we’re naked and silent, all of that falls away. What I learn from what a person tells me is miniscule compared to what I learn by feeling his skin, muscle and bone. By watching him move. By listening to his breath. By feeling his pulse. So, in case you didn’t know:

1. Your body doesn’t lie. You might say, “I’m relaxed!” or, “That pressure is great, you can work deeper,” but your body may tell a very different story. What goes on in your muscles, with your breathing, with your pulse is the truest you: the you that even you might not know yet. It’s a good thing to get in touch with. You’d feel much better if you listened and let your words match up to what your body was saying.

2. When you stretch, you open up space.  This is physically true, and emotionally true. When you physically stretch (or allow yourself to be stretched) you create space and allow for greater movement, greater vulnerability and more growth. It’s the same when you stretch yourself emotionally, too. Your physical and emotional selves aren’t separate––stretch one, and you usually stretch the other, too. It isn’t always comfortable at first, but it’s a wonderful thing. Surrender to it. You won’t regret it.

3. That thing you’re embarrassed about? That you don’t want anyone to see? That you tense up and hold your breath over? The part of you that you wish were different? It’s okay. Let go. Enjoy it. It’s part of what makes you so beautiful.

4. Everyone has body hair in various places and amounts. There’s no one right amount. It’s all good. Same goes for moles. Even models don’t look like they do in the pictures. Smooth and hairless is a Madison Avenue invention designed to create discontent (and sell grooming products).

5. Everything you’ve experienced is stored in your body at a cellular level. Each cell is a record of all of it. I’ve felt it in your skin. Being born. Being held. The time you fell off your bike and weren’t that hurt but very scared. That brutal sunburn on your shoulders at 14. The time you fell out of a tree and broke your collarbone. The first time you felt deeply loved. The person who hurt you so badly you thought you were broken for good. Your muscles remember it. They remember it like it happened 10 minutes ago.

Your successes hold your shoulders high. Your losses pull your chest inward. You hold your sadness in your throat, your anger in your jaw and your fear in your belly. Your happiness rises and falls in your chest. Love rolls in and out on the tides of your breath. It’s all there, all the time. {You can release the parts that hurt, if you want to. Yoga and massage are the best ways I’ve seen.}

6.   Your weight is the least interesting thing about you. I promise.

7.   Your skin, however, is fascinating. Every line, every freckle, every scar tells the amazing stories of your life. Please don’t Botox, bleach or sand it all away. They’re all beautiful.

8.   Your body is a f*cking wonderland. You are amazing just as you are, right now.

 

Source : http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/09/eight-things-i-learned-from-50-naked-people-kate-bartolotta/