You are not the problem. Inequality is.

You are not the problem. Inequality is.

Your mind goes undiscovered places, so much deeper into what you already know. Your emotions are strong, your emotions are valid. Your thoughts hold great value, you intelligent being. You have so much more to offer than an appearance. Instead of shedding pounds, you are shedding layers of untruths, outer expectations that are not aligned with your morals and beliefs. Your existence is important, you are needed. Your experiences, the good and the bad, are needed. Your wisdom is needed. Don’t waste your purpose by being convenient for someone else. Speak up when you have to. Even when by doing so you are being perceived as being difficult or problematic.

You are not the problem. Inequality is.

– Yours, Cara

Does rain increase your creativity? Pt 2

Does rain increase your creativity? Pt 2

Is rain really only a limitation?

It can’t all be bad, right?
Within the limitations that we experience when it’s raining, another freedom arises. A space inside of ourselves seems to open up and become accessible when we are directed inside.

Rain automatically slows us down. We cannot walk or drive as fast, we cannot work outside as productively as we could if the sun were shining.

When I think about it, as a result of not being able to move as freely, we are naturally directed inside. Not only inside of our houses but also inside of ourselves. Aren’t we all covering up, protecting ourselves from getting wet? Does rain maybe even make us more vulnerable?

“Does rain maybe even make us more vulnerable?”

The grey ambience influences our moods in a way that makes many of us feel more sentimental. When it rains I feel more introverted, I prefer staying in than going out. I would assume that even the music we listen to during the fall and winter season is slower, less upbeat than in the summer.

Rain seems to lower the multiple expectations we hold ourselves accountable to, it gives us an excuse to be less productive, it turns down the outside noise. And as a result of that, we get to hear ourselves more. We get to feel what is going on inside. Yes, rain does make us more sensitive to our own emotions. It creates a space of vulnerability. And I believe we can use this to our creative advantage.

Using rain as a creative force

If you’ve read Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” you might be familiar with her outlook on vulnerability, she says “[it] is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”.
Creativity can awake in a space of vulnerability. I believe this is where new ideas can unfold. In fact, rain is my favourite weather for writing. In a state of vulnerability my emotions are more accessible.

If the sun were always shining, I might not take those moments to look inside myself and reflect on whatever is happening in my life at that point of time. Instead of sitting on this rock, I might be running around on some beach, playing Frisbee (just kidding, I don’t play Frisbee. I mean, I would but I don’t. If you asked me, though, sure, we could play…). But truth is, I enjoy the beach, too. I enjoy the sun and rain both equally, if also for different reasons. I enjoy being able to move freely, I enjoy warm weather and being out in the world. And I love rain, as it gives me time and patience. It’s a form of Grace. It allows me be still for a moment and brings out a vulnerability that can be used for creativity. If we do not recognize its potential and only see the limitation, we will not be able to use it to our advantage.
With the rain, our souls, too, receive some time to regenerate.

  “He will come to us like the rain.” – Hosea 6:3

Return to Part 1


All images © 2017 Yosny Castro

 

Does rain increase your creativity? PT 1

Does rain increase your creativity? PT 1

Israel Series, Spring 2016

It’s cloudy in Ein-Karem, Israel, today. The sun is taking some time to regenerate after a few days of intense work, leaving us with enough energy behind to face this coldish day. Rainy weather somehow does something with my soul. It opens up a space within me.

EPSON MFP image
My little self eating cookies in the rain.

I remember sitting outside on my little garden chair as a child, eating cookies and hearing the sound of raindrops falling onto my yellow umbrella. When I close my eyes, I can still see the excitement in my mom’s eyes as she breathes in deeply, taking in the fresh, grassy scent and with it the joy in her voice that would also pass on to me. In the heat of a South-African summer, rain was a real blessing, cooling the hot air down and making dry land green again.

Oftentimes, we would use the opportunity to go swimming in the school’s pool down the street, being super excited about swimming in the rain until the first flash of lightening would strike the sky, forcing us to rush out of the water as fast as possible. Once the clouds had emptied themselves Mom would say: “Now everything feels new again.” It never occurred to me that rain was not liked by everyone in the world.

It never occurred to me that rain was not liked by everyone in the world.

Moving to Germany where it rained more often, it was also liked a lot less. In fact, rain in Germany (and maybe other parts of the world, too?) can be used as common ground for moaning. If you by incidence bump into someone you know but aren’t close with, “bad weather” (synonym for rain) quickly becomes a way to small-talk. You start the conversation complaining about the rain and your dialogue partner of course agrees with you, as he or she is equally affected by this natural event. It’s a great conversation topic for a short interaction. Formula: moaning together = connecting?

I think about this as I sit on a rock declaring the rain to come. I wonder, if by the time I feel the first rain drop on my head, I will have enough time to run back to St. Vincent to collect my laundry fast enough, which is hanging out to dry. The wind blows through my hair, I wait with anticipation. I hear the birds chirp as they, too, will soon go in hiding. The streets are emptying themselves as the people of Ein Karem are seeking comfort in their homes. I imagine them sitting inside their limestone houses covered in colourful quilts, sipping on cups of hot cocoa and tea.

I wonder what the town’s yoga instructor is doing this very moment, as a Facebook comment she posted earlier comes to mind: “Winter okay. But rain yuck.“ I smile at the irony.

Rain somehow seems like a limitation. And it can be. I think of the pic-nic with the girls last summer that got cancelled or our plan to go to the beach today that we rescheduled to a “better“ day. Rain seems to limit us in our freedom. Our freedom of movement, exploration, simply being out in the world, really.

But is rain only a limitation?

Continue to read part 2


Continue reading “Does rain increase your creativity? PT 1”

Can I be honest with you? 10 lies I tell myself

Can I be honest with you? 10 lies I tell myself

What are the lies you tell yourself? Here are some of mine, as well as some corresponding truths that help me put everything back into perspective.

 

  1. I am stuck
    No matter how much you believe things aren’t going your way. Truth is: Time is passing. Life is changing. You might be having a really bad day, even a bad season, but this, too, shall pass.
  2. I have to be nice all the time
    Sometimes it is not appropriate to be nice. Sometimes people treat you poorly and while you can still hold onto your own integrity and act as a decent human being, you don’t have to be nice. You don’t have to engage in destructive behaviour. You get to set those boundaries. You get to respect yourself enough to not be okay with being belittled. You get to be loyal to yourself. And if you have to walk away from the situation, so be it.
  3. I am too sensitive
    Oh dear… how many times have I heard this, how many times have I told myself this, how many times has believing this crushed me. Truth is: Everyone feels differently. Your emotions are valid. You don’t have to conform your emotions to someone else’s liking. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to feel. You are human.
  4. I have to fit the role I have been given
    People like to label. It seems to make things easier. But a label is never a full description or representation of a human being. What do companies do when they change the ingredients? They change the label. You are changing every single day. Don’t conform to an old label. You just ain’t that person no more. Whether you have been labeled as needy, loud, too much, annoying, or anything anyone, including yourself, has ever narrowed you down to, you get to rip off that label as if it never existed. You are saved every single day. You get to change your ways. In fact, you are supposed to. You are growing. You are receiving more pieces of the puzzle, getting to know more of your truth. Of course you are changing. Don’t hold yourself to a limited version of yourself. A wise woman once said, when you know better you do better and that applies to you, too.
  5. I should know what I’m doing
    Truth is: No one knows what they’re doing. We’re all just trying to figure it out.
  6. I should be further ahead in life
    Whether you are 25 or 75, you are exactly where you need to be. You need to get through this phase in order to get to the next. Comparing your path with someone else’s could either bring joy or frustration, either way this comparison doesn’t mean anything because their stage of life doesn’t have anything to do with yours. Stay on your own lane, buddy. You got this. Life is rooting for you!
  7. I can’t
    I can’t get over this relationship. I can’t pass this exam. I can’t leave… Whatever it is you think you can’t do, I challenge you to do it. I challenge you to be the only one in your life who believes it and I challenge you to prove everyone wrong. I challenge you to think better of yourself than you feel worthy of. I challenge you to believe that you can, even if you don’t feel like it.
  8. I always have to be honest
    Yes, honesty is a good thing. Mostly for yourself. It is liberating to stand in your truth and to own whatever it is that has been part of your life. But not everyone deserves to know all of your truth. Not everyone has a right to know your story. Opening up to the wrong people can be hurtful. Know who you can trust and keep in mind, not everyone will agree with you and that’s okay. This brings me to my next point:
  9. My opinion should be compatible with everyone else’s
    Truth is: No one will ever be able to truthfully understand the reason for your choices. If the person hasn’t been in the exact same situation, with the same background, thoughts and emotions, that person will never be able to understand the reasons. And in knowing that, it’s okay, if they question your reasons. You were there, you had to walk the walk and face the consequences. You understand why you did what you did and that’s enough.
  10. I can do it by myself
    Truth is: I can’t do life by myself. I tried it. It doesn’t work for me. I am most grateful for my relationship with God, because when I felt like I had no one, I knew I had Him. When I faced darkness, I knew He was walking by my side, every step of the way. My life didn’t become easy once I gave it to God, my problems didn’t disappear over night. But I changed. He promises me every single day, that He will provide for me, that He will not allow pain without something new to be born. He’s got my back more than I’ve got myself. How could I reject Him?

What are some of the lies you have been telling yourself?