Learning and Planning

Planning ahead….due to sudden shifts, new phase of life had begun. Planning ahead… not really! Just going with the flow. I know that I cannot control time and most things are outside my control.

However, despite that I can still plan ahead in small ways. Looking forward to starting new adventures. It may take me some time to get there but that’s what I am planning for. Riding motorbikes for me is thrilling and adventurous. So, the first adventure that I am planning on is setting out on a motorbike tour.

Why am I sharing it? When I  am not even close to it yet? Do I believe in law of attraction? Write down your goals and recite them before sleeping each night and as you wake up every morning. They shall soon come to pass!

Not really!

I do know that goals written down have much more meaning and for some reason I am a little more determined to fulfill them.

Just like my endless thirst for seeking out knowledge. I write down goals and work towards them. But let me tell you, I have encountered more failures so far than successes. You may wonder what those might be, as an example, learning languages for me is exciting, stimulating and fun. Yet, I am still a beginner after many years spending time to learn German, Persian and Arabic. The truth is my effort has never been deliberate and focused enough to learn one of them and get good at it. Yet I am fascinated by people when I hear different languages. If I could fluently speak in a different language, the conversations could help me explore different cultures and ideas too.

There are so many things that I would like to learn but if prioritise them appropriately, the skills and knowledge gained will be of future benefit both in building career and life. My current focus is building on these valuable skills while keeping up with other hobbies at a minimum to remain consistent and not losing those skills. 5 mins of German a day, 5 mins of Arabic a day. Persian??? I will go back to it when I start reading Rumi and Iqbal again.

I have been neglecting the practice of martial arts. I have been hiking a lot lately, but not enough exercise and sweat doing that on its own. Yesterday, I ran, the plan was to jog 4 miles. I only managed to jog 2 miles, and even that alternating between jogging and walking each mile. It’s easy to lose skills too if they are not kept honed. Martial arts may be one example, excel or a programming language maybe another.

The point is, it is important to make time to sharpen one’s skills and keep up with them. Martial arts and teaching it is part of that planning ahead. So, while I wait on things to materialise, I got to keep practising so my movements remain fluent.

I have never walked a linear path. If I were a molecule in a beaker full of liquid. The brownian motion would pretty much describe my path so far, despite such haphazard path, I am still contained in a beaker so I am able to maintain my goals in sight. Maybe not the best way to describe it but this is how I have been able to keep sight of my goals. If I were to lose myself in an ocean, I might just lose myself. The ocean is vast, full of sharks and creatures of the deep sea. Navigating through all of that might be even tougher, but I believe planning, practice, and sticking to my game plan will be crucial when it’s finally time to immerse my being in the depths of oceans.

I am going to stop the rambling now, it’s been a a whole month since I last wrote anything on here. It feels even longer. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing, I just have to get better at managing my time. This weekend it has all been about creating a routine that will help me be more productive and writing it down so I can start following it.

A conversation with the Speechless Boy! A disability story

“Good Morning Noor!” I try say it with a burst of energy, putting in warmth with every word uttered. Noor lays there in his bed snoring. Sleeping like a baby on his side. He is positioned to sleep every night. I will leave the other details of his routine for another time. Today, I wanted to talk about how he can whisper, if you focus and listen. If you pay a little attention, he tells you how he feels.

“Stay by my side.” He tells me. Hold my hand, when I cry. It soothes me. He reminds me that because he doesn’t have the capacity to think, he feels everything. A kind and gentle touch is what he seeks and loves the most.

I ask him why is it that not all touches are gentle. He tells me, “It’s not that they are not. It’s just the part of their job. Routine and time keeping often takes up their attention. But you, you are here to help slow things down and be gentle.” I chuckle when he says that. “Hmm… I wonder, so if I can slow down the routine work a little, do you mean I can inject some gentleness and kindness into it all.”

“That’s exactly right,” he says. He continues, “A little slow and steady, although I will tell you that people looking after me have the warmest heart and are most experienced. They have known me for a long time. So they also understand the nuances and expressions I convey, that much more.” He chuckles again and adds, “Yes, that’s right, they know when I am being a cry baby and throwing a tantrum.”

“That makes sense!” I tell him. “I read through your file and case to understand your needs better.”

He smiles when I tell him that. It’s a lot of effort and work to look after you, ain’t that right! He beams upon hearing me say this. I take a deep breath then centre my thoughts, so our conversation doesn’t distract us from looking after him.

He is a big star wars fan. He loves marvel and has watched every movie. In the movies, he tells me,”I fall asleep and then I am in the movie. I dream the movie, that’s how I watch them.”

“Wow, you must have the best dreams. You are really imaginative and creative.” I tell him. I then tell him about some of my experiences where I have dreamt the storybooks, audiobooks and podcasts. He is joyed to hear it and happy that he shares the similar experiences.

“You sure do, but you’re much more creative. It must be similar to watching anime.” As I tell him this, I realise that he has fallen asleep. Perhaps dreaming another movie and bringing our conversation to a close.

Thoughts At Dawn

I am writing this at the hour of tiger. Although, I hear more ravens cawing haha the dawn is about to break. I mostly wake up around this time, no matter what time I go to sleep. It’s like a body clock that just wakes me up before dawn. Boy am I glad it does! Some of the most fulfilling moments of life are the hours witnessed at the break of dawn. The still and calming air. It’s almost as if all tranquility descends down at this time. Those who wake up find some of it descend into their hearts. However, waking up is not enough. Once out of the bed, you have to perform your routine rituals to truly feel and witness the moments. One of my habits when I wake up at this hour is to feel and witness the quietest moments, enjoy them, meditate on them.

That said, sometimes I lose the ability to get up of the bed and laziness becomes my companion. I wake up lying in bed, feeling cold and sometimes feeling other emotions. At other times it’s a rush of thoughts in my head that I am trying to calm. This turbulent state of mind sometimes really worries me. How can the mind not be quiet at the break of dawn. When all life is still, why is the mind not still? Why are there thoughts zooming in and out of the head? Pretty sure though, this is probably something a cycle or a period others go through too. When I get to this stage, I am concerned with the ways to return to a state of calm and quiet. Sometimes that is through meditation, other times through prayers, or at times simply accepting the fact that I am feeling lazy and half the reason why my mind is filled with myriad concerns is because of feeling unproductive. The mind is concerned with productivity and perhaps ego. Ego wants to feel valued, ego wants to break laziness, the higher consciousness is rebuking the laziness that is creeping in the self.

Exercise- martial arts, running or some of form of routine is a good way to create a void in mind, where thoughts can be blocked out. This void is quite healthy the way I am. Solitude and finding time alone is something that has always come easy to me. To keep my self in balance though, I have to balance solitude with activities or simply conversations with other humans; friends, family, peers and so on.

Then there are fewer periods where I lose the ability to wake up at the hour of dawn and my body clock stops waking me up. There are also periods of fatigue tied to waking up naturally at this time. No matter what time I go to bed because I wake up just before dawn, which is a blessing to me. My body requires a nap in the afternoon. Lately, these naps had been turning to hour long naps or more. Last few days, I have been so fatigued I guess that I fell asleep during the daytime without realising it. The following few nights were followed with waking up from a sleep paralysis and hypno-whatever the term for that nightmare lol. I am saying this and yet here I am writing at the hour of dawn… this had me worried because when I woke up, my leg muscles felt so weak that it felt like I had no strength in them. I looked this up and all symptoms pointed towards narcolepsy. Yes… taking a long look back I have had few moments here and there where I have fallen asleep and woken up confused. However, knowing my level of activity in those times especially school days and college helps me dismiss these as symptoms of some sort. These last 2 weeks fatigue built up is probably due to some other factor too, lack of consistent exercise, poor blood circulation. The fact is because it has been raining I haven’t ran or exercised at home. Yesterday though after waking up, I exercised till my leg muscles gained their working strength.

What I am saying is human body has limitations. Sometimes the weather, other times poor sleep pattern-(in my case), lack of exercise or psychological or physiological stress can induce fatigue, undue stress in our body which is out of the ordinary. The best thing to do when stuff like this happens is to take extra care of the self.

I didn’t start writing this article today. I have written it over a few different days. More like whenever I felt like dumping my thoughts in my head at the early hour of dawn. Writing at this hour helps me quiet the mind and focus, instead of just scrolling through the internet or YouTube or some other platform. It helps me centre myself so that I can look forward to mediate and exercise at the minimum. After I have done that I am more than grateful and happy to head back and catch up on my sleep.

This is my normal circadian rhythm. I am quite used to the fact that I have to catch up on my sleep via naps. Although there are occasional days when I sleep a whole 12 hours or more. This reminds me of the time when I was around 9, I fell asleep for two weeks. There are just a few things I can recall from that time, I vaguely recall being dragged to go to the toilet, I recall waking up after two weeks and getting up to walk and falling down. My body wasn’t responding, so I had to crawl until I could walk again. Which only took a week at most. The reason given to me at the time was that I was sick and mumps made my body quite weak. Not sure if that was a coma, because I was not hospitalised. Anyhow… that’s just a short trip down memory lane, the last two years has really helped me recall most past memories. Before that I mostly used to think that I have had a poor childhood memory. Even though I know that my memory in the present has always been really good. In fact, if anything it has improved a lot more after being able to process and recall many of the past memories.