As we count the days left until 2016, I have made an extensive list of things to improve next year, which if not reaffirmed regularly, will be soon neglected.
That is the case with many people, not because we don't want to, but simply because we get busy. We take time now to map our year with the do’s and don’ts but a few, indeed, follow through. Because we get busy.
In the context of being so damn busy all the time and setting our next year’s resolutions, I have come across some great reads on leisure, its long forgotten effect on humans and its much needed return to confront the contradiction that rises from the overemphasis on the world of work we live in.
“Today, in our culture of productivity-fetishism, we have succumbed to the tyrannical notion of 'work/life balance' and have come to see the very notion of “leisure” not as essential to the human spirit but as self-indulgent luxury reserved for the privileged or deplorable idleness reserved for the lazy. And yet the most significant human achievements between Aristotle’s time and our own — our greatest art, the most enduring ideas of philosophy, the spark for every technological breakthrough — originated in leisure, in moments of unburdened contemplation, of absolute presence with the universe within one’s own mind and absolute attentiveness to life without, be it Galileo inventing modern timekeeping after watching a pendulum swing in a cathedral or Oliver Sacks illuminating music's incredible effects on the mind while hiking in a Norwegian fjord”( http://bit.ly/1Moen8U )
Perhaps one of our New Year’s resolutions is to be more idle, to take time away, to escape for a few hours a day, to take more days off or longer vacations, just to let the spirit wander, explore and sit and watch its amazing ability to take you to places you didn't know even existed.
"Leisure is a condition of the soul — (and we must firmly keep this assumption, since leisure is not necessarily present in all the external things like “breaks,” “time off,” “weekend,” “vacation,” and so on — it is a condition of the soul) — leisure is precisely the counterpoise to the image for the “worker.”(http://bit.ly/1Moen8U)
Another great concept similar to the above is available as an audio script: Lazy: A Manifesto. Available: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2015/04/03/lazy-a-manifesto/
Take the time to read the whole article: 'Leisure, the Basis of Culture: An Obscure German Philosopher’s Timely 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Human Dignity in a Culture of Workaholism'. Available at http://bit.ly/1Moen8U
This may be your best resolution ever. To reward yourself with the ability to be “at leisure” is one of the basic powers of the human soul. Learn it, master it! In 2016!
Happy New Year!
I have long contemplated over my inspiration for Halloween - Frida Kahlo. What took her a lot of laying in bed alone to depict her own self, now takes us a second. We pull our phones, one swipe and bam, our selfie is up there staring at us.
I cannot skip sharing with you my obsession with an airbrushing app I had for a few weeks until one day I felt ashamed. I am cheating only myself with my polished, vogue-cover-like airbrushed face. But more concerning is the desire to constantly take selflies of expressions that carry nothing but shallowness. How many people actually take selfies when sad or depressed? Or when really struck by something deep, touching? Do we even take the time to look in the reflection in the mirror sometimes? To look ourselves in the eyes, to read ourselves. Do we even know ourselves deep enough to be able to put a self portrait in our head of ourselves, such that truly depicts us? Or is it just easier to snap another pointless selfie and move on?
Frida spent days looking into the mirror on the ceiling and painting her pain, her lost baby, her misery when her beloved Diego was a horny dog to leave today some masterpieces. You look at them and the more you stare, the more mesmerized you get. You see it, the genius behind the brush and so much more.
We are so busy dressing everything in technology, vanity and destructive self-pseudo love that we forget who we are. We forget to look in the mirror and look for ourselves. The age of selflies and the dying of the true self.
Lace has been worn as an adornment since the 15th Century and it was first created in Italy and Flanders. Since its creation, lace had been held in high esteem. Due to its handcrafted nature, it was very quite expensive to make, and thus available only to the clergy and nobility. The handwork of lacemaking has largely been done by women over history, though the patterns were frequently drafted by men. Even today, the secrets of handcrafting exquisite lace are held by nuns, particularly in Belgium, who have retained their skills despite the rise of machine made lace.
The glamorous Hollywood styles of the 1930s called for less ornamentation, but lace did make an appearance on bridal gowns in limited applications. As Coco Chanel wrote: “unlike many other precious objects which, owing to industrial progress, have lost much of their luxurious quality, lace, adapting itself to the economic and industrial requirements of our age, has kept its main characteristics: precious elegance, lightness and luxury”
The lace craze was again set off both by the new availability of luxury materials following WWII and by Hollywood in 1950s. In the film "Father of the Bride" Elizabeth Taylor wore a satin and Chantilly lace bridal gown that immediately became the style which every bride tried to emulate. The iconic dress was designed by costume designer Helen Rose, who would create another important 1950s wedding gown, that of Grace Kelly in 1956.
A few years later Queen Elizabeth II made an appearance at a Windsor cocktail party in 1959 wearing a lemon lace two-piece.
Today some lace is still produced in Europe, especially Belgium, but much of the world's machine made lace comes from either Asia or New Jersey. Many of these laces, in particular the domestic ones, retain the beautiful designs and fine workmanship of the originals. The beauty of lace had ensured that its popularity for wedding gowns remains constant. No matter what trends come and go, it is a certainty that the luxury and romance of lace will secure its place as one of the most cherished embellishments of all time.
And if you cannot always afford the Belgium delicate lace creations, you can always resort to your grandmother's curtains :)
"I have stolen your granny's net curtains, and I won't give them back!" - Moulin Rouge dancer in Paris in 1926
Happy girls are the prettiest….are they?
Dostoevsky says "The beauty will save the world”, but will it save the world from the anti-happy wave hitting the streets of USA every day? More of the people I know take anti-depressants than not…what happened to them being pretty?
Beauty gotta be relevant to your inner, emotional status quo. Real beauty comes from inside out, not outside in…it is genuine, sincere, spontaneous, authentic, doesn't need foundation unless you had too much fun the night before.
But it appears some days beauty is shy, she is under the weather. Beauty resides in us on a permanent address, but do we sometimes forget to let her out the door?If happy girls are the prettiest, why do we spend fortune on make up, heels, eyelash extensions, botox, silicone? Happy is all you need, it is free, it is universal, it is portable, transportable, check in friendly and exist in exuberance in every shape, form, smell, sensation, touch, deep breath, laugh…Happy is what we need to be applying every morning instead of mascara, happy is in every sip of that flavorful morning coffee, it is also in that damn traffic jam that hits you on the way to work, when someone in the car next to you opens the window and plays a random song super loud for you.
Delight is all around. Try to find one delightful thing a day at least. Sometimes you could allow the list to be much longer, and instead of reapplying lipstick 5 times a day, try reapplying happy. Stay busy being happy, not being too vein.
We have all the resources to be pretty. Every day, every moment. Unleash that happy in you, if you wish to be truly amazing.
She would always say “polish your shoes”. It would be raining outside and she would say “make sure your shoes are clean”. This is the first and foremost thing I remember I learned from my mom about clothing etiquette. Ever since then if I see a guy with dusty let alone dirty shoes he is automatic ‘no’.
At an early age I also knew it was not acceptable to go to the near mom and pop grocery looking less than your best. You never know whom you will run into. Dress as though you will bump into that highly-esteemed someone on the street. Lipstick, teasing of the hear...