26 March 2014

On innate hypocrisy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Melissa de Blok and I am a hypocrite.

I recently learned a lot about my behavior, my mistakes, and what respect and love truly means. I have learned - finally - what it means to love and value myself, and how to respect others as they are. I learned that setting boundaries would make me whole, and that forgiving myself would allow me to move on.  I learned that other people play NO part in my feelings - I am in control, and any time I feel I am not, it is because I allowed it to happen.  I also learned that my way of loving men had been destructive, and that I needed to take some time away from relationships to focus on myself.

So what, you ask, is hypocritical about that?

Well, somewhere along the line, after finding out all the things I learned, I spent a lot of energy shouting about it.  I spent a lot of time trying to "help" others in a similar situation, by excitedly sharing my nuggets of info gold.  I gave out so much energy to the marketing of my new self that I didn't realize that my "new self" was getting more and more corrupted on the inside.  As a friend in a similar situation said to me today, "my intentions weren't pure".

I was basically shouting about not needing approval, in all the public places where one usually mostly posts... for approval.  And so, I slowly started taking steps back.  First the cracks were barely noticeable.  Then, I found myself dwelling on things that made me sad; things that hadn't even hurt me in the week before that.  Suddenly, I found myself sending "annoyed" messages that were nothing more than angry ones.  I was back in a place of being angry at myself as well as others, but still preaching the gospel of inner peace.

We are innately hypocritical.  How can we not be, when we are all the products of polar opposite qualities?  We aren't robots, and so hypocrisy is bound to occur.  The danger is in denying this - and then focusing on such a far-away external point (a great example is when we start "helping" others with their problems), that we lose sight of the point where we start unravelling.

Inner peace, I'm starting to realize, is a constant balancing act.  It's not an end goal that we reach; a foundation course that, once passed, makes life a sit-back-and-relax game.  It's just as constant and never-ending as any craft is.  I'm not claiming life is hard; it truly isn't, as I found out in my glimpses of happiness.  But like everything that one can succeed at, it is something that needs constant nurturing.

Today, check where you are investing your energy.  If it's outwards - what are you avoiding?  It's ok to be scared - but facing those fears and denials rewards like no other quest.  Invest in you; that's all your happiness depends on.

And try not to write blog posts about it.
Cos that's hypocritical. ;)

04 March 2014

Unveiled 1:1 - Sh'anaa

She shuddered.

    The skies drooled on her hair with the spit of a long-dead dog; cold, unpleasant, and reeking of the omens to come.  She pulled her elaborately jeweled necklace tighter around her neck.  The sparkles at the bottom of its chain had become so entangled in her dress that the jerking motion pulled her garments tighter around her weary body, giving her a temporary illusion of added warmth.  She muttered under her breath, wary of being too loud.  Shadows were not supposed to talk.
    A cough accompanied by flicker of light, where there should have been silence and darkness that would make a Rogue weep, evoked a split second of fear and panic in her.  She reached one hand into her pocket in what felt like hours but was only an instant, and was about to grasp for the familiar cold metallic smoothness, until she realised she recognised the cough.  Also, attackers usually didn't make a habit of announcing their presence with an annoyingly polite sound.
    "Oh," she said, trying to sound as bored as she possibly could, "It's you."
The cougher's throat appeared to be healed into silence by her emotionless voice, which seemed to linger in the hollow alleyway like the leech her tone accused him of being.
"Well, er, yes, I... I'm not sure who else you would be expecting in this... in this."
His voice trailed off with the uncertainty at what "this" actually was.
    The thunder made a welcome entrance in their awkward silence, and later, when the lightning lit up his face for a split second, she thought she noticed a look of relief.  Grinning, despite herself, she started making her way along the alleyway wall, deeper into the gaping mouth that would lead her to where she had promised to go.  She stopped breathing until she heard his dainty footsteps behind her; he had promised to join her, but a man can change his mind very easily in the dark.  She thought it funny that he would be the one helping her now; years before she would have trusted in friends more than a beneficiary.  Perhaps money was thicker than water.
    They walked for what felt like hours, but she knew this tiny cobbled lane well.  The darkness only served to amplify her memories; like a dark movie screen, she found herself projecting the moving images of a long-forgotten summer on the black canvas infront of her.  Strawberries stolen from grumpy old Mister Hu'tan; their succulent flesh exploding into syrupy heaven in her mouth, while the memory of the old man's wrinkled face and fist shaking at them simultaneously still burned on her mind.  Undamaged hair flying in the warm wind, she remembered the joy she shared with her fellow strawberry thief, and how the grin in her eyes was echoed in another pair of young eyes.  The clear vision of her sister brought the sour taste of nostalgia to her tongue, and she swallowed to keep from losing her last meal to a memory she had buried with purpose.
  "We are almost there. Er. Sh- My lady. Your Grace. Er."
She grimaced.  As much as she didn't like his assumption that she had forgotten the way, what she appreciated even less was his apparent struggle with their role change over the years.  Age was a devious thing, and she was not so sure she enjoyed the weight of adulthood.  No, if the gossip was true, and he was to be her only ally, she knew better than to sever their ties with the expectations of society.  As much as she would rather be with anyone else in this predicament, she knew that he would only remain an ally if they were on equal grounds.
    "Things are different in the here and now.  Remember me as I was, timekeeper."
She thought she heard his breath shake at her recognising his old ways, and was about to smile at the idea of them rekindling the bond they once had as children, when she suddenly realised his reaction did not have anything to do with her request to drop the formalities.  In front of them was a door both hidden by darkness and illuminated by its contents.  Its wood seemed new to the touch, yet the aged abstract carvings told of secrets so ancient the skies would not remember it.
    His voice choked a little, and she swallowed even harder now to stop herself from bursting into tears.
"We have arrived, my Lady..."
He hesitated for a moment, as though he was struggling to regurgitate a jagged piece of glass.
"We have arrived, Lady Sh'anaa."

07 November 2013

Words from a distant place

Welcome to the most honest and raw blog post I have ever written.  I'm not really sure where to start.  Do I tell you where I am physically (Bermuda), or where I am in every other way?

This year has been a year of change.  Between January and June, I went from being a weak, sickly, depressed girl, to a strong, empowered, positive woman.  I figured out that I am very sensitive to changes in diet, sleep, and exercise, and that the constant depression/bipolar symptoms I had struggled with, could actually be minimised with the simplest of things.  My regular acupuncture sessions, and the simple act of treating myself with respect, brought out a person with qualities I never knew I had.  I would look back at the sad being I used to be with pride, and often comment how I used to not be able get out of bed - and how far behind me that phase was.  I almost felt disgusted with who I used to be.  "Thank goodness that's over," I'd think.

But pride comes before a fall.

06 May 2013

On Balance, Friends, and Loving Unconditionally.

Sometimes I really think that the ultimate goal in human life is balance.  

We are naturally hypocritical creatures made up of conflicting qualities, aiming to achieve perfection when our circumstances scream "impossible" at every turn.  We avoid being what society deems to be unacceptable, and embrace the qualities we feel will be approved of by loved ones and strangers alike.  Some claim to not care what people think, yet dress to conform and find themselves in the limelight of popularity amongst their peers.  Others openly admit to caring too much what people think, yet secretly embrace what makes them different.

Our characters are a conundrum to ourselves, and yet we seek understanding from foreigners to our every thought.  We want to belong yet we aren't at home in our own mind.  We want the world to accept us, yet we live our daily lives in denial about the parts of ourselves we want to hide.  We practice loving others, but it is without substance.  We expect acceptance, but we do not treat ourselves like the delicate creatures we want others to embrace us as.

One of the biggest keys to balance, bliss, and almost-perfection, is the most illogical one out there.  It is only when we truly embrace the things we hate, that we learn to love ourselves and all that is around us.  It is only through acceptance that we make change - and yet we have been taught a much more stubborn and more seemingly logical way for so long, that this sort of thing becomes difficult to accept - leave alone practice.

30 April 2013

A perfume update - from you?

Hello All,

I am not sure if writing this will have a point, especially if I'm not going to reach out to the lovely perfumistas I got to know in the past year, but I do hope that some of you may see this post.

I have been out of everything perfume-related for the past few months, and have also been going through some life changes.

Anyway, I briefly decided to "catch up" with my favourite bloggers, only to see all these strange perfume names that I'd never even heard of!  Not only that, but a large part of my sample collection seems to have evaporated :(

In the coming two weeks, while I sort myself out, I want to get back to reading my favourite perfume bloggers (if I ever commented on your perfume blog, you're one of them), but for now:

I need your help.

09 January 2013

On Movie Buffs in Kenya

Are you a movie buff?  What is a movie buff, really?

Well, I'm a movie buff.  I'll tell you what that means to me:

- I always watch carefully for the craft of acting - I admire subtle actors more than the average joe, and that tends to mean that I like a lot of the non-dramatic actors the masses may consider "stiff" (eg chick from Juno, Dunham from Fringe, etc).
- I like classics, and consider it fun education to watch them.
- I admire composition in films, and love to see the rule of thirds being taken into account.
- I view the entire work as a piece of art, and expect each scene to be filmed, written, and acted out with purpose and focus - nothing is accidental and can therefore be analysed and discussed in deeper ways.
- I get excited about actors I like, when they get big opportunities.
- I have a few favourite directors and script writers whose working patterns have become clear to me.

Does any of this apply to you, and do you live in Nairobi?  If so, please go to this Facebook page and ask to join.  I am trying to start a small movie club for true movie buffs, so that we can meet people who are as passionate about films as we are.

24 December 2012

Merry Christmas! :)

I haven't blogged in ages, as I've been super busy with three simultaneous projects.  Christmas Day will be my only day off, and then it is back to work again.  I'm not complaining though; I am working towards a goal that will give me plenty of free time. :)  I just popped in to wish you and yours well during the holiday season.

May your coming days be filled with love, light, and growth. We are in interesting times, and I am excited about the future. Tomorrow, make a slight extra effort to make someone happy. You'll be surprised how fast one's misery lifts when spreading cheer and love. I have always lived for the sole purpose of spreading love, light, and growth through inspiration - in any way I can. You don't have to be famous to do so - just love the people around you.

I will end my greeting to you all, with the words of Evo Morales. ♥

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, called for a new age to begin December 21, 2012. Speaking at the United Nations in September, Morales said the date signals an end to individualism and capitalism and a turn toward the collective good. That's a common theme for Morales, who often speaks of 'vivir bien,' a phrase that can be translated as living well. 'Vivir bien' is often defined by the Andean nation's leaders as pursuing the collective good in balance with the Earth, and contrasted with 'living better,' which is seeking to amass wealth at the expense of the planet or other people.

“And I would like to say that according to the Mayan calendar the 21 of December is the end of the non-time and the beginning of time. It is the end of the Macha and the beginning of the Pacha, the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood, it is the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism – 21 of December this year. The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a bio-centric life. It is the end of hatred and the beginning of love, the end of lies and beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness and the beginning of happiness, it is the end of division and the beginning of unity, and this is a theme to be developed. That is why we invite all of you, those of you who bet on mankind, we invite those who want to share their experiences for the benefit of mankind."

Transcript of Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 26, 2012.