What sparks love?, part 2

Yesterday I spoke about how we fall in love when we spot in others a path for our personal progression as humans on Earth. And how, without this, attraction dissolves into nothingness in about 2-3 months.

But before I used to think we fall in love when we find great sex. Are the two visions reconcilable at all?

Sex can be just material. A matter of body parts in different angles and placements. And, exciting though that can be, even if both parties achieve physically strong orgasms, even if both parties are content with the state of their relationship, this type of sex can leave us feeling… profoundly unsatisfied. I felt this way for 4.5 years of my life, since the break-up of my previous relationship. And that felt hopelessly lonely.

Then there is another form of sex. It happens when both people have a deep sense of rhythm and their rhythms just naturally resonate together. Then when their bodies touch, body parts matter not at all. Eyes role backwards and, following their combined rythym, they enter another dimension of self, a space between heaven and earth from which day-to-day troubles are trivial and our higher selves are clear. In the middle of that haze, in this ethereal form, the lovers meet again and their rhythms converge some more and they enter yet a deeper level of understanding of existence and knowledge and the dance repeats itself, ever more profound, until completion. And then the two bodies rest, still in this space that is not of this world, their bodies liquid  and melting together at a subatomic level.

And if this sounds poetic, it has happened to me.

And if you find this, it doesn’t matter if you stay together for a day or a year or a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if otherwise the relationship works or not. You are “in love”. And fully satisfied. You are in love because you found a gateway for ultimate progression.

Sex has been understood as a path for progression of the soul for long. Pagan religions were so renouned. Also Tantric Bhudism (which is a whole branch of Bhudism and the national religion of Butan) places sex as a deep form of meditation where two people exchange energy and reach nirvana together. Few times are we as vulnerable as in sex. And in that vulnerability lies a key to our subconscious minds. A path to self progression that sets the brain to rest. Because progression is then no longer an intellectual exercise but an intuitive one, that includes your whole body, mind, and soul. Body mind and soul being one and the same, that is the surest way to move forwards.

So yes, the two statements we started from are fully reconcilable. And Voltaire was such a cool dude.

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What sparks love?, part 1

I have been trying to understand what sparks love, how you go from moderately entertained to full blown in love.

I’ve been a very successful flirterer over the last year, as I mentioned in How to be successful at flirting and work. And if there have been guys, kind people in attractive demeanours, trying to get under my skin (not just my pants), they have been met by an impenetrable wall not even I could have shaken, comfortable though that would have been.

And yet I have in the past loved profoundly and been loved just as deep. So why do some people just scratch the surface while others seem to shake one’s whole world?

I blame the usual culprit, the brain. Brains have priorities (I am going to go all Maslow pyramid here now):

1. Keep you alive

2. Keep you fed

3. Keep you healthy

4. Keep you pain free

5. Balance your emotions

6. Reach your personal goals

7. Evolve you as a person.

I think falling in love falls is the latter.

Attraction often comes first of course. “This person smell so good and walk so fine, wanna”, says the brain. Research says this tends to be satisfied in 2-3 months then kaput if that’s all that was.

But when your brain recognises in someone the ability to progress you, a spark of knowledge it wants to get for itself, “why do they smile so vibrantly and their eyes sparkle so, why do they stand their ground and are not subdued by my strength/charm (power and love must sadly always be balanced, which is food for a future post), why are they happy, where does their drive come from”, are examples of things brains want intrinsically to apprehend. So they set your heart racing and cruelly force you to go and collect more data, i.e. go spend more and more time with this person.

I call this imprinting. Your brain works diligently to create the synapses that represent the loved person and make your grasp of them. Research says this process takes about two years. Until all questions are answered and this person is fully grasped, you are stuck. After two years, imprinting is complete and so the physical need dries. Then one of two things remains:

– love, when the person is now your kindred spirit and you care for their well-being as much or almost as for your own,

– emptiness, when beyond the curiosity no higher common ground existed.

So it is not money, or lust, or comfort, or an answer to loneliness that are the key to falling in love. It is a higher purpose, a desire to evolve to a better new place as a human and the perception that this person can somehow help you clear the path for getting there.

Sex does play a part in all this. But that will come tomorrow…

Maybe sadness is lighter

Apparently, our feelings too are the result of evolution. Sadness too. If it was all covered with snow outside, sad people found it easier to stay inside the cave through winter, which made them more likely to survive until child bearing years. Therefore more likely to pass their sad genes down to us.

Of course the whole world was not immersed in the Ice Age equally. My South East Asian friends gloat when telling me South East Asia cities already thrived 5000 years ago. It’s however much easier to leave the cave and have ideas when you do not live on an ice cap and we eventually did when the ice cap lifted a bit.

My South East Asian friends also tell me people in Asians are less likely to indulge in sadness and  depression or to listen to their own feelings in a tragic way. I would love to see some stats about this.

My hypothesis is no ice no evolutionary reward for sadness.

If sadness has developed to reward us for being in, then maybe that is all it is half the time.

I call this biological sadness. For example, yesterday I had a brilliant day. I was at Last’s End, in Cornwall, UK, a land of dramatic grass covered cliffs falling into the wave covered ocean. I took a long walk over the cliffs, lots of sun and laughter, birds and light. Then back at the hotel, about 11pm, I started getting very very sad. The main questions of my life started popping round my head in a merciless assault. Then a moment of inspiration: I’m not really sad, my body is just tired! 

Biological sadness is a driver for me on many occasions: when I’m hungry, when I’m ovulating, while PMSing, when I’m getting a little ill, for example coming down with the flue, and of course when I’m tired. In those moments, when I eventually get what’s happening (somehow it’s never obvious), I just know to ignore my thoughts, make no analyses of them, bother no one around me, find a bed and give myself however long my body needs to be up and running again.

Thing is, if your brain is tired, it starts ill processing things, putting back of the mind thoughts to the foreground, mishandling disease fighting or muscle coordinating or efforts to annul background noise or to cope with your child’s cry, etc. He has no eloquent way to tell your conscious self to go to sleep after you’ve refused to. But he has sadness. “You thought this was fun, I’ll just take away your drive”.

I was in a (now I see it) abusive relationship for 4.5 years. This guy would live every single winsical emotion of his, every single trace of biology, as if it were the centre of the world. And there we were, navigating rough oceans for no good reason at all. Such a waste of energy!

Bhudists know what I am talking about. They say our thoughts bring us up and down and around at random. Like a lake under changing weather: its essence is not the changing ripples on the water, its essence is what happens at its depths. Learning meditation is going from that surface of biology driven thoughts to a place where our core, our higher inner true selves, is prevalent. Waters there do not sway.

Not all passing thoughts and states define you in any way or are worth acting on. And distinguishing those that are from those that are not is one of the wisdoms of life.

So when does sadness mean your life needs acting on? Read my post “Decision Times” for that.

Amazonia

I will start by saying that I am of course not in favour of the deforestation of Amazonia.

But I am also lot in favour of the self de-responsibilisation the countries who do not have forests anymore tend to make. In fact, the way we all point a blaming finger at Brazil and the few other countries who have any form of decent forests and accuse them of not looking after the lungs of the world is quite forgetful. It is forgetful of the fact that most other countries in the world have once been covered with luscious forests. That we meticulously cut down in the name of progress. This has allowed our ancestors to accumulate wealth that they reverted into industrialisation and that ultimately still reflects itself on a different wealth level among nations. Yet we expected economically poorer countries to not do not the same.

If we reaaaaly cared that much about the lungs of the planet, we would allot a percentage of our land to reforestation. Because forests can be planted! And of course it is not the same as a full blown virgin forest with its own animals and plants that do not exist elsewhere and could hold the cure for cancer and what other wonders, or its own native Indians who have never seen other humans.

But if it is lungs of the earth you are worried about, put your money where your mouth is.

Some even say investing in forests could be economically rewarding (source)!

But of course it is difficult to evict farmers or face all the complications such a concerted change would imply. So we fill ourselves with righteousness and blame others. For our own sins. Bah!

How to be successful at flirting and work

I believe in good vibes and bad vibes. Like electricity. Vibes are all around us and in us. When you have good thoughts, you are feeding good vibes in you. Love is the strength of good vibes. When you are pessimistic, you are feeding the bad vibes around you. Fear is the strength of bad vibes.

You want to finish a love? Mention how afraid you are of how things will turn out. Of whether he loves you enough. Go into that side of you where there is fear: love walks out the door. Believe in this love: watch you guys fly up high together into heaven and shake earth in your passing, quite literally. Love and fear are like light and darkness, they cannot coexist, they start cancelling each other out. Love and optimism are the energy of God and all good things, fear and pessimism is the opposite.

Remember, we have evolved to abore fear. Even peaceful dogs attack when they feel your fear. Fear is freeky! When you are optimistic at heart, people see in you a light they want more of.

When my body was weaker, I used to be way more fearful and everything was so much harder. Making friends, waking up, finding love, travelling, making my boss appreciate me enough. I was always burdened by, gosh, by life! When I became more symmetrical and more pain free but also when I got a job speaking to others, I realised my speaking lit up the room, people woke up from their dorment states and smiled and connected. I had no idea of this before because I never used to put myself in that position, I had always been the quiet one. This new awareness started a spark of optimism and self-confidence in my life. That has been growing ever since. I started approaching anyone with the inbuilt conviction that they too would have a good time speaking to me. And they did. Now guy seats next to me for ten minutes, he wants a relationship in not that long!!!!! Seriously, I’ve been having to manage at least two people wanting me properly in their lives for over a year now (it’s tiring :)!! And that is uncommon not just for me (years of struggle in that department before) but for so so many men and women out there!

The trick to flirting is to speak to everyone with equal disengaged love. Even if they’re drop dead gorgeous, they’re your equals, they’re just another human being! And if they are very amazing in most people’s eyes, it is so refreshing for them to seat next to someone who feels at their height! Didnt George Clooney fall head over heals for the one woman who didn’t worship him?! Why would anyone want to hang out with you if you have already put yourself in a position of inferiority? They’re better off walking off with that vain superficial girl/guy who didn’t. 

So speak to everyone like you speak to the grocery lady. Big smiles, lots of humanity, treat them for the human they are, not the looks they have. Looks are passing. Looks are objectification and when someone is put in a pedestal for their looks, they feel not much need to respect you that much, because really you are giving them the same respect you give a pair of shoes or any other luxury object you selfishly want to possess to brighten up your life. 

Entertain them and be entertained by them for however long you have together, like you would the smiling attendant lady at the shop, bright eyed, but do not focus on the outcome, who cares if you ever see them again, if you do you do, if you dont, there’ll be another train soon enough with some other dude sitting next to you. And please do not ever think “maybe he’s the one”. He/she has to prove himself to be the one, this guy is probably not good enough in many of the other things that are important to you…

Coming from a place of self-trust and optimism and love has helped me at work too. I take charge of situations I think are important and make an effort to influence the final result, whilst before I might have thought I was destined to navigate the tides others made wrong. I get so much more appreciation and respect!

Anyway, go get them tiger!

Note: this relates to the law of attraction. Self guided meditation / hypnosis videos on YouTube can help change your inbuilt believes about yourself. I found.

The upmost importance of symmetry

Humans love symmetry. Buildings are built with symmetry in mind. Studies have shown symmetrical faces are consistently considered more beautiful. And symmetric bodies. Symmetry gets high points in our perception, regardless of Spanish outliers like Desigual or Picasso 🙂

Why that matters? Peacoks. Female peacocks, relatively ugly though they are, love beauty too. For them, a beautiful male is the one with most eyes in his tale. The most beautiful male in the lot gets to copulate all season and fathers the entire next generation. While the second best, well, suffers 🙂 It turns out tail eyes are a sign of health and better equipped immune systems. Healthier stronger males are perceived as more likely to produce healthier stronger babies.

Peacocks are more elegant in that. Chimps and so many other species just pick the male that vanquishes all others at fight. Not the human strategy, at least not all the time.

So it is licit to hypothesise that the underlying sense of beauty is an indication of health.

I can testify for that.  

 
That’s me in 2009. Hot, I know 🙂 But you’re not looking carefully enough. And you are lacking one vital piece of information. I put myself in that position so as to be at my stable-most to take a photo that wouldn’t shake! And still it shook! My stable most position was a twisted hip, lowered shoulder, tilted head, argh. At this time, I was in pain all the time, tho not telling anyone to protect my social life. I was also emotionally very vulnerable, just as vulnerable as my body was.
  
That’s me in 2013. Bigger, I know, OK! But so proud that my stable most position is so much more symmetrical! Though not entirely, but such progress. This was taken during my solo trip to Thailand, Ana braving the world, something I would have been terrified to do in 2009! At this time, there were sometimes crises and I did have to dock at my brother’s house in Hong Kong to recover a hurt foot. But there was no constant pain and mostly everything in my life was so much better and my soul was beaming.

I can’t even do the position of the first photo anymore!

Two tips to be discussed in future blogs:

– your whole body conspires for you to be symmetrical. If it is not, it is because there is a structural obstacle. Find it! There’ll be tips for where to look.

– the effect of more symmetry is pervasive to every aspect of your life: love, work, friendship so, resilience, beauty, health, pain, etc etc. I’ll also explain how that goes.

Have a great day!

7 and the divine proportion

7 is my favourite number.

And apparently it is the most commonly liked number. The man who told me that actually wrote a book about it. He developed a whole internet survey around why people like their favourite numbers: some Hungarian dude told him 7 was like a sexy woman, bla bla bla.

I associate 7 with the divine proportion, Phi, which is embedded in the human concept of beauty and the way nature builds new forms out of old ones. Phi is approximately 1.62 and 4 times that is 6.48, which is a boring number as it is pair but it almost rounds up to 7:

– 7 years of thin cows, 7 years of fat cows, said the Bible,

– 7 years marriage crisis (my marriage died at 7 years),

– I got over living in Edinburgh after 7 years,

– economic cycles renew themselves every 7 years. 7 years is the addition (approximately) of 4 cycles, we learn in Economics school: 1. for the first forth of the cycle things are looking up, all’s good and optimistic; after Phi (1.62) years “mmm maybe it’s not all life-saving but it’s still ok”; 2. after 2*Phi (~3.5) years, “it’s as good as at the start but this shit’s been coming down”; 3. after 3*Phi (~5) years things hit rock bottom and you think it’s all gone; 4. then in the last year and a half you’re back where you started, you’ve gone full cycle, eternal Indian circles.

And then, after those 7 years, you find yourself wondering who you are. What you want. What was this stage that just finished. But more importantly, what is coming next. Am I equipped for what’s coming?, and who’s this person next to me who’s been here so long and who somehow doesn’t see the world my way anymore? And you reassess. And you make new investment decisions. And the economy picks up again. And you divorce and find something else to do with your life, for better or for worse. Or you miraculously manage to patch it up and you enter a whole new fresh phase of your marriage, like I have seen happen.

4 times Phi brings the snail shell back to a new growth cycle, a whole new beginning, a whole new stage of its personal evolution, that seems independent of the previous but stems from it indelibly. I think that’s why most people like 7. Not because it so a prime number that doesn’t quite fit. Not because it balances itself elegantly in a funny angle. But because it encompasses that very cycle that kills the comfort in our lives and sends us off on new adventures and the big Unknown, like the Portuguese on a nutshell boat across the big wide oceans, like Phoenix reborn from the ashes, again again and again.

Have a great day.

 

Healing, step 1

I have had many years of pain in my life. Constant pain. 10 years of that. It is very difficult to understand the outside world when your body is screaming in your ears. You just don’t have much bandwidth to focus on other stuff, like study or your lover or even your children. But 10 years is a long time. And I managed to complete a masters, a PHD, a divorce, an abusive relationship, a conflict-ridden job, and a relocation, while in constant pain.

I am now pretty pain-free :))) Over the last 5 years, I have gone from constant pain to regular crises, some of which really bad, then moved onto sporadic crisis and now my pain is more of a manageable discomfort every so often, which I manage in the middle of a very demanding travel-ridden job.

In this blog, I will explain how I did it, how I got rid of pain, and how I think you can do it too.

First I walk you through my mental stages.

Stage 1 – Acceptance:

For the first 4 years, I did what society told me to: go to the doctor, take whatever he says, suck it up, and continue operating. I would go to work on crutches, do 8 hours of that, take a taxi to my masters, do 3 hours of that, go home where my very loving husband cooked while I studied until bed time. I delegated the responsibility for my health on my doctor and on the system and I did my best to remain productive. Because I was stronger than my pain. WRONG!! I am stronger than my pain, yes. But pain exists for a reason. It is telling you something in your life/body needs mending. You gotta listen, you gotta care.

Stage 2 – Action:

I started looking for options. I saw everyone possible over several years: orthopaedists, osteopaths, chiropractors, homoeopaths, Chinese medicine doctors, Thai medicine doctors, Thai massage, deep tissue massage, Ayurvedic medicine doctors, psychologists, podologists, ophthalmologists, dentists, orthodontists, Alexander technique teachers, pilates, yoga, physiotherapists, Shamanic doctors,  meditation, self-hypnosis, you name it. I will be giving my assessment of how these different techniques can help in a future post. Each helped a little but none helped enough. I was still delegating, you see.

I still see some of these people. But only when I feel there is something I cannot do myself.

Stage 3 – Step 1 – Believe:

Stage 3 could be called Step 1. Believe you deserve to be pain free. Intimately. A priest opened this gate for me. A Greek Orthodox priest whose eyes were full of love for all the people in his church. PS I am not Greek Orthodox or Orthodox at all, but I was going to this church because its two priests cared. His sermon was like this:

“The devil has two ways of tricking us into sin”. At this I cringed: devil? Give me a break! But then I thought, listen listen Ana, it’s a metaphor for deeper meaning, try and grasp. “First, before you sin, he tells you the sin you’re considering is not that bad, look at all these mitigating circumstances, this and that and the other, surely you deserve this little side-step. And you go ahead and you sin. Then his second strategy is even crueller. He says that now that you have sinned you no longer belong in the group of righteous people, you are an outcast, a sinner, you only belong with other sinners, you can only go on sinning. But this is not true! If you look at every single saint of the orthodox faith, every single one of them, except Virgin Mary and Christ themselves, were terrible sinners: from murderers to prostitutes to torturers, all of them. All it took for them to free themselves was self-forgiveness and a decision to not go on in their sins. God’s love is incommensurable and welcomes all”.

This was truly ground-breaking for me! Until then, I felt guilt. I felt I had not protected my husband enough, I felt I had let him down mortally, I felt I had chosen myself over us, I felt I had disappointed my father, who had passed away of lung cancer when I was 18, while we were just living the two of us, I felt I had not looked after him enough, I felt guilt for reasons that were only in my brain. And I felt I deserved the pain. I could not find a way past my pain because I intimately felt I deserved it! But if all saints had been sinners and found their way to sainthood, maybe I too deserved to forgive myself for my wrongs. Really forgive myself. We are all humans, doing our best. Sometimes our very best is not good enough and shit happens anyway. But it was our best then. And it’s OK to make mistakes. Everyone does. Only God doesn’t. If you expect perfection of yourself, you are being unreasonable, immodest, you are putting yourself at the height of God!! No. You made a mistake, it’s fine, shit happens, just be better now.  Over the next few days, mind boiling, I repeated to myself how I too deserved the light. And all of a sudden paths for permanent healing started emerging from all around! They were there all along, but I had been blind to them! Now that I felt I deserved them, they started popping from everywhere!

Step 4 – Self-healing:

I went to a new therapist, a chiropractor. Until then I had been seeing the same osteopath for years but over the last few months I had become bed ridden every two-three weeks. He had managed to get me better, but soon I’d be bed ridden again. It was high time to see if someone else could help. Chiropractors are not the best healers, I find, their clickings of your body are even faster to reverse than osteopaths’. But a good chiropractor gives an excellent, the best actually, diagnostic of your posture. He analysed me thoroughly and concluded: your body is doing ok actually but you have major major issues in your jaw. My jaw?!!! That doesn’t even hurt! Eventually, he clicked my jaw. And I realised some crowns I had put a couple of years before in my left back teeth were too high and my jaw had adapted around it and was closing crooked! I went to the dentist the same day and he reduced the size of my crowns and my bed-ridding every 2-3 weeks crisis ended entirely! Low back / hip crises! Gone!

This was 4 years ago. Since then I have been working on my tooth/mouth symmetry. I am almost almost cured.

More on this to come.

Voltaire (1694-1778) was such a cool dude

“C’est une des superstitions de l’esprit humain d’avoir imaginĂ© que la virginitĂ© pouvait ĂȘtre une vertu”. ~ “It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.”

“Les hommes seront toujours fous; et ceux qui croient les guĂ©rir sont les plus fous de la bande”. ~ “Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.”

We are all crazy. Fact. We are all dealing with our internal folly whilst interacting in a world of external demands. We are all, when we can, trying our best. You are crazy. It’s ok, we all are. You and I deserve a place in the spotlight nonetheless. Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it liberating?

Why?

I decided to open a blog because I am opinionated. Tho not rudely in your face opinionated, I think.

Since I was very young, I started understanding the world via hypotheses, that I corroborate or dispell as I accumulate more for or against evidence for it. In time, my hypotheses crystallise into, I find, some pretty cool theories. And, now at 41 (and still looking good, btw), I have them for all sorts of walks of life. From God to politics, from health to religion, from humanism to environment, the magic in number 7, from love to faithfulness (to whom?),  you will see in time a full breadth of constructs from a at times consistent mind. Maybe you will agree with some things, maybe you will find others to be outrageous and irreconcilable with your own view of the world, this is my view and it counts!

I will tell you one thing though. My views on health are cool. And ground breaking. Really ground breaking. And really cool. All in due time. For now, this is my intro.