DAY 598

autumn's finds

November must be one of my favorite months. There is something in the air, in the light, in the weather that always changes my mood. Even this year, even only after five days. It is already working its magic.

I have gone through many stages along my process of mourning. Indeed I have gone through all the stages of loss and grief many times, and I have started the whole process all over again at least three times, or even more. It was my response to the consecutive death of a dear friend, my sweet cat and another best friend in the space of six months. It was also my response to my own impotency.

It may seem a cliché after all the texts and information existing about them, but I have found myself coming and going from one stage to another during all this year, although coping with my pain has been a deeply personal experience. I am still far from a total acceptance. I still experience anger and sadness, but I have now many moments of calm and gratitude. As I have not experienced the stages in the order that they are usually listed (denial, anger, bargaining , depression and acceptance), I have always had them, but now  -since mid October or so- they are much more consistent.

Nevertheless, one of the things I have been longing for -even in the best days- has been the sense of joy and illusion that was part of my nature. Even being an analytical introvert, even when I have gone through many difficult times along my life, I have had always an active, venturesome and proactive attitude. Regardless of sadness or pain, I always found a reason for living: a new project, a new dream, a new challenge… but not this time. This time, I have felt that this little spark inside me was fading. I have felt that life could be futile... that maybe my spirit was giving up.

But November's energy is blowing on that little flame and I am starting to feel its warmth inside my chest again. And with it, a new life is emerging. A new being is appearing. A new strength is taking form. A new future is coming into focus.

All this is still a bit blurred, fragile. I still have bad days. I still have many bad days, indeed. But the beat is unmistakable. And with the beat a call comes. It is a call for new things. It is a call for boldness. I have always wanted to break the boundaries that keep me safe inside an academic context. I have always wanted to share my learnings, but doubts have undermined my confidence. However, –after all this year- I have come to the conclusion that I have nothing to lose. I used to think in terms of “what if”. But now I am thinking in terms of “so what”.

Shall I dare to do what my heart desires?. I hope so . The vertigo that I experienced when I faced the possible lack of sense is becoming a new motivation (not sure how). And I know I have a few kind helpers up there... in the heaven... among the stars. 


DAY 597

in {and out} Week 31: Soft drink

The first time I saw the water with pieces of fruit or vegetable, I found it appealing and I thought it was a clever idea to enjoy water (something that I cannot easily do). So I decided to give it a try, but when I drink my first glass I thought: salad!. It was not tasty and fresh as I expected and I didn't like it. Every single person all over the blogosphere seemed to be enjoying it, storing new varieties inside  big mason jars and drinking it with delight, except me, so I decided to forget about it. And then one day, almost by chance, I prepared just a single cup of water with a slice of cucumber and another one of lemon, I took a tiny sip and it was not too bad, then another one and -by doing that- I finished the cup.

The same persons who had written about that were already busy with another thing: chia puddings, raw breakfast bars or maybe homemade granola (you get the idea) and I was still trying to become used to naturally flavored water. And -being analytic as I am- I started to think about how this could be possible. 

I was not unhappy with that (on the contrary I always appreciate inspiration) or concerned by my slowness ( it takes me time to make changes and I have clear criteria about things). I didn´t feel uneasy either (I know that quite often a small post is just the final step of a longer process), I was simply curious about how a this movements and trends worked.

I started a blog in order to find a space where I could be myself and other's blogs became a mirror where I could see the same determination that was moving me. It was a way to stay outside the conventional paths and to be creative, but of course, nothing escape the market’s clutches and now blogs are part of a wider scheme that involves many social nets, trending topics, trend setters, big marketing teams… you name it. 

Of course, this doesn't invalidate that kind of proposals, if perhaps makes them a bit more predictable. However, blogs still allow connection, the sense of belonging to a big community of kindred spirits or the possibility to overcome the gap that existed before depending on social origin or cultural background. They also help to make the world visible  as it is, to increase personal opportunities and spread knowledge… but –because it is in market interest- there are now a sort of (increasing) equalization that was less evident years ago. 

The good new is that regardless of this, there are still many persons making the most extraordinary things on a regular basis, showing us that there is a spark of brilliance in all of us, promoting awareness, advocating creativity, reclaiming their own strength, their vision,  and -through that- making us connect to our inner warrior, encouraging us to fight our  everyday battles. 

Yes, there are still lots of authenticity and uniqueness out there.  And I love having the chance to contemplate it. 

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share 52 photos. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 596

in {and out} Week 30: Red

Vibrant colors are related to strong emotions, and in particular, red represents joy and passion. Even when I can be joyful and passionate, those colors wouldn’t be easily linked to me. Not only because I don’t wear them usually, but because they are quite expansive and this is not my case.

Colors are codes, ways to send messages to the persons who are around us, and when I am in a social situation I don’t feel like attracting much interest or I prefer to be seen as a person which is serious and responsible rather than spontaneous or fun (something that is not false). However, this changes when I am at home. There, I don’t fear to reveal my creativity, my love for mixing styles, my need to extend my energy and personalize every single detail. There, I am not so conventional, and all the rigidness turns into freedom.

I have thought much about this apparent contradiction, I have wondered if I am more close to be my real self at home than outside, or if I should try to overcome the gap between those two spaces. But I have come to the conclusion that beyond the natural impact that being in a social -or private- place has on our behaviors; beyond the game of mirrors that we all can play, the masks and the strategies that we all (me included) develop in order to survive in this planet, I have to accept that I am an introvert and this makes me prone to be reserved and discreet (not shy).

This means (among many other things)  that it takes me a bit more time to show up in social contexts. That is part of who I am, part of my nature and it doesn’t make me less valuable or capable of achieving my goals, or less competent when it comes to understand what is happening around me, to analyze situations, respond to them (even from an emotional point of view) or help others, although I have to follow my own path while doing it.

In short, I move at my own pace but I don't need to compete against no one (even when this society often seems to reward or promote extraversion) or to act at the commands of others. Of course,  there is plenty room for improvement, but I  want to evolve while staying true to my own nature. I want to cultivate my own system for being assertive, showing empathy, leading and managing situations or making myself visible while I keep loving solitude, silence, dark colors, wandering along my inner landscape or  thinking too much... without starting to give opinions too fast, to become too expressive or to show off in front of strangers. 

There is nothing wrong with that but  I choose to be present in this world in a way that I can respect and  honor my truth.

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 595

in {and out} Week 29: Noon

Twelve o'clock in the daytime (the moment I took this photo)  is a very precise time. It is midday, literally speaking. And it's difficult to perceive, unless you are looking at your watch. At this moment the sun is crossing the local meridian, it is in the zenith, so the light is direct and sharp. It is said that is not the best moment to take photos, but I do love that light. It is fierce and merciless and challenges the photographer, but if one learns to tame it, results can be amazing.

But noon is also (according to dictionary) "the highest, brightest or finest point or part of something". Although the definition is clear, this concept is less precise than the previous one, and even more difficult to calculate. The predominant speeches in our society usually link the peak of one's life to early adulthood, economic success and professional achievements... but as far as I am concerned, the highest or most important top of a person's life has nothing to do with that. Indeed it is not characterized by the gaining of wealth or position, but involves clarity and joy. 

In my case, this has coincided with midlife, that -if we trust advertising- is the start of decay, even when reality shows a different state of things.  Due to all those factors, it has taken me time to accept that this is a good moment in my life (indeed, maybe one of the best ones). But I truly believe it is. 

However, it is not good in the way I used to dream of (prejudices, again...), but in  a completely different way.  Things seem to be raw right now, not more refined. My emotions, my opinions, my perception are not so filtered or subtle, they are not even so genteel. I used to waste many time moderating them, but now I have no time (or disposition) to do it, I need to be sincere, open… to be natural, to feel  that I am just me. 

 I know this  need to process less has to do with the authenticity I was yearning for. To be honest, I still don´t know how to deal with it, but I guess that it is like the midday light: I only have to learn to tame it.

This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


DAY 594

in {and out} Week 28: Summer Selfie

When I started my summer vacation this year, suddenly all seemed to be irrelevant. I left my personal habits, this blog and many other things just abandoned. The photos taken, the posts unfinished, the doubts unresolved, the dreams suspended. I experienced the urge to try new things, to join new challenges, to dare to explore what I felt was waiting for me. Little I knew that I would spend most of the days just resting.

Yes, I’ve been learning that I can experience serenity beyond meditation, my inner work or any other practice. And from this accidental calm a new path has started to emerge; from the days I couldn't even leave my home a new clarity has stormed into my life; from the long afternoons alone with my thoughts (and my fan) a new direction has become manifest, and so very evident.

After the first half century of my life (oh, gosh!), after all the grief I went  through the first semester of this year, I am realizing that I am finally able to do what my soul has been yearning for. After a whole half century, I feel that I am finally ready.

The problem was that once this unexpected (and powerful) catharsis started to take place, I couldn't imagine how to make a comeback, how to start again here in this old place when I feel so changed… but finally this self-portrait (taken one of those days) gave me an excuse –so to speak- to restart this conscious practice. So here I am. 

This is a new chapter of my life. I still am not sure how it will take shape, but I know that I will be much more devoted to my inner quest and my creative endeavor. I know that all the things I have always wanted to accomplish regarding these aspects will come true. I do know it. 

I will be reporting the evolution of this tiny revolution. Hope you all will unravel this thrilling episode with me.

Much Love, dear friends,


This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

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