water and jars

an illustration in the diary in the cloud to remember today in the future. My son spent hours playing with jars and water, fully immersed in his own wonderland. We chose to leave his play unstructured, allowing his imagination to run free. The alchemist : ). I tried to copy the same scene to have this illustration.

mental muscles

Every one of us have difficulties we go through. Only you and I know how it means for each of us. The more you accept that difficulty is inevitable and get familiar with that reality, the less it will shake you when it strikes. Embracing the darkness prepares you, so it doesn’t feel so scary after stretches of peaceful light. If you understand why challenges serve a bigger purpose in God’s plan, it becomes easier to make the best of whatever get thrown your way. You stay grounded and reflect on the reason behind it, rather than just falling apart. Constant sunshine gets you used to smooth sailing. The first storm catches you totally off guard, unprepared for how to navigate hard knocks. But if you’ve already stared down dark clouds and rough seas many times before, you know the drill for weathering the storm. I’m not praising adversity out of some negative, pessimistic view. I’m doing it to develop the resilience and understanding needed so those hard tumbles don’t keep flattening us. Writing and pondering about adversity builds mental muscles for pushing through it. The more we exercise that mind strength, the less threatened we’ll feel when the heavy stuff weighs down again. We’re preparing, not dwelling.

a child’s “why”

No matter how much we study sciences, philosophies, or histories, it’s the never-ending questions from a child’s mouth that humble us most. Their innocent, relentless inquiry lays bare how little we truly understand about existence. The most learned academics can meticulously map the cosmos, codify all knowledge into volumes, and hypothesize theology’s deepest meanings. But then a tiny human barely out of the womb will ask a startlingly profound “Why?” that stumps us all over again. In that moment, the veneer of assured, encyclopedic understanding shatters. We’re reminded that for every nagging existential mystery we’ve dissected and catalogued, a dozen more inscrutable conundrums await under each new layer peeled. An unapologetic child simply won’t accept “because I said so” as an answer. They demand to know the reason behind every reason in a way that strips our egotistical overconfidence bare. Their stubborn pursuit of fundamental truth across every “Why?” humbles the most zealously certain mind. To a child, our vaunted mastery of subjects is still hopelessly inadequate – mere fragmentary pieces muddling the big picture. Their endless curiosity exposes how much of life remains cloaked in humbling unknown no matter our credentials. The biggest questions burn from the smallest lips. And it’s their blunt, relentless need to know more that viscerally underscores just how much further we have to go.

unbottling art

There is something special about artists who don’t show much emotion on the outside, but then put huge amounts of deep feeling into their art. It’s like they bottle up all that emotion inside, concentrate it down into its most powerful form, and then finally let it explode out through their painting, music, writing, or whatever art they create. These types of artists seem very calm and almost emotionless on a daily basis. To people who don’t know them well, they might even come across as cold or detached. But really, there is a huge storm of emotion raging inside them that they are keeping tightly contained. When these artists finally release all that pent-up feeling into their creative work, it hits the audience with incredible force – precisely because there were no obvious outward signs that it was coming. The pure, undiluted power of the emotion they have been holding back suddenly bursts forth in full intensity. This makes the art feel more like a profound shared experience than just a painting, song, etc. It taps into something universal about the depth of human emotion and feeling. The audience is able to connect with that primal emotional core because the artist channels it so purely.

when doors close, new paths open: trusting the signs

Have you ever felt stuck in a situation, like you’re pushing on a door that stubbornly refuses to budge? Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, or even a dream you have, that just doesn’t seem to be panning out. It’s frustrating, right? We pour our energy in, hoping things will change, but sometimes, the only change that comes is the feeling of exhaustion. Here’s the thing – sometimes, those closed doors are actually signs from a higher power, a gentle nudge in a different direction. It can be hard to see in the moment, like trying to decipher a cryptic message. But maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason things aren’t working out the way we planned. Think of it like hiking in the mountains. You reach a fork in the path, and the map you have seems outdated. One path looks familiar, well-trodden, but the other is overgrown and shrouded in mist. It’s tempting to stick to the known way, even if it feels like a dead end. But what if the hidden path, with all its unknowns, leads to a breathtaking vista we never could have imagined? Trusting the signs, even the confusing ones, can be scary. But sometimes, the most beautiful journeys begin with a little detour. Here’s the truth – we can’t always understand the grand plan, the life path particularly woven for us in the most elaborate detail. But we can trust the Weaver, the one who sees the whole picture. Letting go of something that isn’t working, even if it hurts, can be an act of faith. It’s a way of saying, “I trust that something better is out there, even if I can’t see it yet.” And guess what? The universe, or a higher power, whatever you believe in, rarely disappoints those who trust. The pain of letting go might linger for a while, but with time and a little faith, those broken pieces can heal, and a new path, filled with possibility, can unfold. When you feel stuck, take a deep breath and listen to the whispers of your intuition. Maybe that closed door is a sign, a gentle nudge towards a brighter future waiting just beyond the bend.

patience, an antiquated relic

In our times of instant gratification and on-demand everything, the virtue of patience can feel like an antiquated relic. We expect fast shipping, immediate responses, quick career advancement and expedient solutions to all our problems. Any delay or hindrance is often met with restlessness, frustration and agitation.

Yet patience may be one of the most vital spiritual nutrients we are collectively starved of. For like the gradual unfolding of a rose blossom or a tree growing from a seed over decades, so many of life’s most magnificent blossomings require us to surrender to a coddle of unhurried unfoldings. When we demand that everything happen according to our predetermined timelines and expectations, we cut ourselves off from the resplendent mysteries that can only unveil themselves through the magic of waiting. The germinating seeds of our souls’ deepest growths, our creative genius works, and our most profound realizations about life all gestate according to a natural timing far beyond our singular will’s insistencies.

Like master artists, we must learn to steward the unhurried refinement inherent in each process. Raw effort and willfull striving alone cannot force open the sublime choreographies. This is the great alchemical art – to act while simultaneously remaining attuned to the inexorable pacing of a larger unfolding intelligence.Rather than slipping into resignation or inertia however, patience is an active, highly cultivated state of radical openness and present herenow awareness. It is the ability to fully embody and drink in each eternal moment without grasping to prematurely arrive at some future point of fixation. A serenely sustained beingness where our full participation is allowed to blend and merge with the ineffable unravelings always underway.

From this spacious ground, we gain an organic instinct for when to apply gentle effort and care, and when to simply pause, let go and let be. We begin flowing in symbiotic rhythmic attunement with life’s tidal pulsations rather than working against their oceanic currents. This is the patience cultivated by mountain sages and ancient groves of trees – where one becomes deeply at home harboring the poetry of a universe ceaselessly rebirthing itself through us, never growing restless or cynical about the gradual pace. For they know that the greatest masterworks, be they forms of inspiring humanity or awe-inspiring nature, all gestate through an unrhetorical release, slowly unfurling with inevitable grace when the season is finally ripe. With this mindset, we’ll be at peace with many of the uncertainties we face. Often calibrating such an inner compass has been of help. I hope it helps you as well. Always think about the broad picture, friends.

advancing to new chapters

We’ve all been there – relentlessly replaying past hurts and mistakes over and over in our minds like a broken record. Maybe it was a missed career opportunity, or simply harsh words said in the heat of the moment hampering relationships. No matter what it was, you can’t seem to let it go. The memories keep you up at night, rehashing those painful scenarios and “what ifs” until your mind is utterly exhausted. Dwelling on the past is like dragging a heavy anchor behind you everywhere you go. With all that extra weight, it’s impossible to move forward and enjoy the journey ahead. You’ll just get stuck spinning your wheels in the mud, expending tons of energy but going nowhere fast. Life becomes an endless cycle of looking backward instead of being present and appreciating what you have right here and now. I get it, letting go is hard. Our past experiences, good and bad, have shaped us into who we are today. Rehashing them provides a strange sort of comfort, like putting on a ragged old sweater you’ve had forever. While it may be frayed, faded, and doesn’t fit quite right anymore, there’s still a familiarity to having it wrapped around you. But at some point, you’ve got to be willing to take that sweater off and toss it in the donation bin. Why? Because there are so many better things awaiting you when you finally let yourself advance to a new chapter.

Just think about a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. If it stayed too fixated on the caterpillar way of life, it would never experience the profound beauty and freedom of flying. Those days of inching along on tiny legs and munching on leaves have served their purpose. Now it’s time for something far greater – soaring high above it all with a breathtaking new perspective. Each phase has its purpose, but you can’t fully embrace the next one while trying to cling to the last. The universe has this funny way of putting obstacles and detours on our path to help re-route us towards something better, even if we can’t see it at the time. So instead of dwelling on past pains and mistakes, look for the signs revealing your new way forward. Maybe it’s a chance encounter, a nagging intuition, or a door that keeps opening back up. There’s an amazing new adventure on the horizon, one that’s custom-designed just for you. But you’ll never discover it if you don’t let go of what’s already behind you. Have courage and take that first step into the great unknown.

greatest revolutions begin within

From the moment we enter this world, we are inundated with a relentless barrage of expectations – implicit and explicit demands to walk a certain path, to embrace specific roles and pursue sanctioned dreams. Voices from every direction proclaim the “right” way to live, the milestones we must dutifully check off, the narrow script we must follow to earn approval and recognition.

Obedient children become accomplished students, who grow into productive employees, partnering with equally ambitious mates to raise the next generation of societal contributors. All the while, we are benchmarked and prodded at every turn – Is your career suitably prestigious and remunerative? Have you accumulated the requisite markers of success – the upscale home, indulgent vacations, latest consumer goods? Those who stray from this well-trodden road risk being cast as outliers, eccentrics, or failures-to-launch. Their choices questioned, their priorities doubted, their very value scrutinized through the unforgiving lens of conventional metrics.

But what if we ceased to heed the siren song of society’s coercive dictates? What if we dared to forge our own paths, scripted not by external expectations but by the callings of our soul, the yearnings of our authentic selves? Imagine a world where we felt empowered to slough off the ill-fitting identities imposed upon us, to define our own values and compose lives aligned with our truest nature. A world where parents nurtured the innate gifts and curiosities of their children rather than funneling them into culturally-sanctioned molds. Where educators served as guides into the fertile territory of self-discovery rather than indoctrinators upholding a standardized status quo. In this world, we would feel liberated to explore the full dimensionality of our beings without judgment or constraint.

To embrace the seeming contradictions that make us whole – the gentle soul who finds serene communion with nature as well as the bold disruptor challenging archaic dogmas. The nurturing caregiver who is also an insatiable explorer of uncharted landscapes. The steadfast logician and the fearless dreamer. By living authentically, we may discover wellsprings of purpose and passion that the prescribed path failed to reveal. Perhaps the 9-to-5 corporate lifer was meant to be an artisan, sculpting sublime beauty from heat and flame. Maybe the disillusioned attorney is truly an interpreter and ambassador for the world’s cultures. The unfulfilled middle manager could awaken to their calling as a grower of life-sustaining foods. In this world, we would honor the value and dignity inherent to every pursuit that brings meaning and joy, regardless of its position on society’s stratified scales. For what greater contribution is there than to share one’s gifts in service of creating more light, beauty, understanding or sustenance in this world?

By breaking free from confined roles, we may also forge deeper connections with ourselves and one another. Freed from the relentless pursuit of status and acquisition, we could be more present partners, parents, friends and community members. We’d spend more quality time creating nurturing spaces of acceptance for those closest to us, allowing them to bloom into their most authentic selves. With our blinders removed, we may discover unifying threads of our shared humanity that transcend superficial identities and hierarchies. We could build bonds forged not in transactional calculations but in mutual understanding, vulnerability and respect for our fundamental sameness. In this more liberated world, our definitions of prosperity and legacy may evolve. Rather than measuring status in titles and net worth, we could find meaning in how our daily efforts shape the emotional, spiritual and physical landscape we’ll one day bequeath to future generations.

Will we leave behind nurturing homes and relationships, enriching wisdom and pursuits, sustainable practices honoring the Earth? By living aligned with our deepest values, we foster the conditions for our inherent gifts to be passed like precious heirlooms to those who’ll one day follow. Our most treasured legacy could be the courage to give full-throated voice and devoted action to our soul’s callings – no matter how unconventional or unrecognized by the prevailing paradigm. In committing ourselves to the relentless excavation and honoring of our authentic selves, we light the path for those who’ll one day walk this world. We give them permission to resist society’s coercive, homogenizing forces. To embrace their quirks and contradictions, to bring their whole, untamed selves to the sacred journey of life. In this way, we plant seeds for future generations to experience the liberating power of uncompromising self-discovery and self-actualization. To taste the profound fulfillment that can only bloom when we cast off the shackles of expectation and heed the calling of our soul’s code. For in doing so, we awaken to our highest potential and bear witness to an eternal truth – that the greatest revolutions often begin within.

the messy beauty of being perfectly imperfect

I have always had a feeling that the world around is endlessly trying to sell us on the myth of perfection. Constantly bombarding us with filtered images, idealized depictions of beauty, productivity, and success. The message seems to be that unless we sculpt ourselves into these flawless, blemish-free versions of human beings, we’re just not enough.

But you know what? I truly believe that perfection is overrated. And those endlessly curated, impossibly smooth social media feeds? They’re missing out on one of the juiciest, most delectable aspects of this wonderfully messy human experience – our breathtaking imperfections.

You see, it’s the cracks and flaws in our veneers that allow the brightest, most dazzling light to stream through. The quirks, the struggles, the mistakes – those are the places where we get to experience the real richness of being imperfectly, gloriously human.

Just think about it – a perfect life would ultimately be kind of boring, wouldn’t it? Where’s the growth, the depth, the opportunities to adapt and evolve if you never encountered a few plot twists, potholes, and detours along the way?Those”imperfect” periods of your life – the heartbreaks, the letdowns, the epic failures – they become the fertile compost that allows you to blossom into your most resilient, wise, and beautifully authentic self. Without them, you’d remain a tightly furled little bud, never truly glimpsing your full radiant potential.

So rather than beating yourself up for not having it all figured out, for being a deliciously messy work in progress, why not start embracing and even celebrating your quirks, flaws, and innate imperfections instead? They’re reminders that you’re constantly evolving, constantly growing, constantly forging new frontiers within yourself.

You aren’t static. You’re vibrantly, kinetically, perpetually alive in your imperfect radiance. A shimmering, ever-shifting kaleidoscope of glorious contradiction and messiness. That’s what makes you magnificently, unforgettably, powerfully human.Rather than shrinking away from your struggles and vulnerabilities, let them be the brushstrokes that exemplify the raw beauty and depth of your portrait. Let those “flaws” be the cracked places where your brilliance shines through unrestrained.Because in this crazy realm of existence, perfect is boring and imperfect is where the real magic happens. Forget sculpting yourself into tidy ideals – just stay wildly, messily, imperfectly committed to being your most vibrantly human self instead. That’s more than enough. That’s perfection.

fluid calligraphy

Through this post, I’m taking you through a hidden language we all have around us. Have you ever stopped to watch wisps of smoke swirling up from a campfire or curling off a candle’s flame? Noticed how ocean waves never crash onto the sand the same way twice? Or caught a glimpse of rapidly shifting cloud patterns in the sky?

Most of us observe these fleeting patterns and motions in nature without giving them a second thought. But what if I told you they were actually visible expressions of a complex hidden language, an intricate code that profoundly connects all things?

You see, the natural world speaks in a tongue few of us recognize – the universal language of fluid dynamics. Water, air, smoke, energy itself – all fluids follow a sophisticated molecular choreography too intricate for our eyes to fully decipher. Every ripple, eddy, spiral and vortex carries encoded information about the urges and stresses acting upon that flow. A crashing ocean wave isn’t just water blindly colliding with sand. It’s a three-dimensional script written in turbulent liquid calligraphy, recording in exquisite detail the literal physics of every unseen force and particle interaction involved.

The breaking foam, the patterns in the plume’s dispersal – it’s all data, a visible imprint of how the fluid negotiates with its environment. The same goes for that flickering candle flame performing its hypnotic dance. What you perceive as a quivering blaze is the language of heat describing, in swirling hieroglyphs, its delicate relationship with surrounding gases and the physics governing its intricate motions. Even a drifting storm cloud isn’t just condensed vapor droplets shaped by wind. It’s an ever-shifting poem etched across the sky each moment by atmospheric pressures, temperatures, and dynamics we can’t directly witness. The cloud’s form literally spells out, for those who can comprehend it, the invisible interplay of forces and fluid properties involved. Nature’s calligraphic scriptures are all around us, yet few of us realize we’re surrounded by cryptic texts narrating the deepest workings of the physical world through their elegant, ephemeral motions. All we need to reflect is to, look a little closer. Between every flicker and eddy lies a language written in flowing whispers. Not a co-incidence at all. Just like how you came now to read these lines was not a co-incidence. God bless.