#life

Quarter Life

So, I turned 25 this year.

Maybe it’s the fact that a person’s brain becomes fully developed at around 25, or maybe I got tired of my own bullshit.. but I felt a shift this year.

I suddenly developed this thirst for life, truly wanting better for myself in all aspects. From investing in quality pieces for my wardrobe to working out, to wanting to eat only quality foods.

It’s interesting. In the past, as soon as October arrived, bringing along winter, SAD would hit me heavily. Most of my winters were filled with low energy, feeling depressed and not wanting to associate with people. This time though, I look forward to putting on my fur coat, my leather gloves, and meeting new friends at new joints around the city.

Suddenly, you realize how finite things are. How temporary your existence is. I truly don’t think we were meant to take things as seriously as we do. Instead, we were meant to enjoy, connect and learn more about the unknowns this world has to offer.

Take a deep breath. You’re going to be okay. Our ability to be present is one of life’s greatest gifts. Once you harness that power, you become unstoppable.

Fuck the world being an oyster, the world is your playground. You have more power than you think.

Presently yours,

Vi

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philosophy

War As An Embodied Experience

The realm of research on war is very limited when it comes to understanding war as an embodied experience. Some scholars highlight that war is more than just about soldiers, heroes and statesmen, that war is the relationship between a body and the national space that it occupies. This removes war from being static and immobile, to becoming a political and social experience that is worn on the body. Through the process of habitus, which refers to underlying predispositions of social life that influence how we move both invisibly and visibly in society, war affects the physical appearance, behavior and the discourse surrounding a body. It does not just apply to the bodies of soldiers, but all the bodies that occupy a certain space are affected by war in this way. This habitus feeds into larger society that is usually proliferated with and governed by politics.

In contemporary western society, war has expanded beyond the battlefield. People are now able to emotionally and materially engage with war while being physically distant from the epicenters. We are indirectly affected through watching movies depicting the stories of soldier heroes or war victims, or through real life photographs and videos taken of violence occurring miles away. The violent practices of war may seem far away and unreachable, but they are already embedded within in our media and our discourse, revealing that violence has become normalized.

While some may argue that war has always been a part of human history, it has not always been as visually accessible as it is now. With the click of a button, I am able to log in and view what is happening in Ukraine in real time. I am able to engage in political discourse about Ukraine and Russia, while still maintaining my physical safety and distance. This disconnect becomes the threshold whereby we are able to opt out of seeing the whole picture and acknowledging the suffering that refugees and war victims are going through. Further, the fact that videos or photographs are taken in a different country that appears to be ‘far away’, empties them of their meaning and humanity. This makes it easier to turn off the emotional response to the media, allowing for the opportunity to easily relinquish the responsibility of looking deeper at what our society has become.

And what has this society truly become? We sit by and watch a nation being attacked, and this is not the first time that we have found ourselves on this side of history. The west looked idly by as the genocide in Rwanda went on for months, as the war on terror declared by the United States affected the innocent citizens of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq for years. At what point do we say enough is enough? After a pandemic that put everyone through hell, our leaders allow a war to carry on, leaving the rest of us feeling hopeless with no way to make a difference.

As Scholar Judith Butler puts it, how we view certain bodies as worthy of protection, while others as not, is ultimately determined by political frameworks that govern which bodies matter and which bodies do not. Ultimately, history will keep repeating itself unless new political regimes are realized, political regimes that prioritize human life before political ideals.

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Lifestyle, philosophy

Man’s Search for Immortality: Cryonic Preservation Through the Theories of Hans Jonas

Throughout the existence of man, many advancements have been made in terms of technology and medical interventions. However, one thing has remained unchanged and has become more imperative in the reality of human beings; the search for immortality. Man’s intellectual imagination has struggled with the concept of death, and from this, myths and legends toying with possible exceptions to mortality have emerged. The philosopher’s stone, the elixir of youth, and the 21st century’s latest development: cyronic preservation. Cryonic preservation is defined as freezing a dying body or head at temperatures near absolute zero, at -197oC with the aid of liquid nitrogen, which ceases any further cellular deterioration and is ultimately a way of suspended animation. The assumption has been that at a future time of advanced civilization and medical science, these bodies could be revived and any damage to the human body could be repaired and rejuvenated. Thus once reanimated, the individual that has been frozen would be able to enjoy a young and vibrant second life, possibly with a chance at creation of new bodies with future technological methods of science. Presently, there have been a few cryonic institutes that have begun offering their services at a hefty cost. Approximately 100 bodies and heads have been frozen worldwide, however, current scientists believe that reanimation is not possible with the present state of science and technology. Of the 100 bodies frozen, there has been no case of human reanimation so far. Cryonic preservation has raised a lot of controversy and questions ontologically, ethically, and as a whole, on the impact it could have on the human race.

Hans Jonas, a Jewish philosopher in the mid 1900s, talks about the concept of Hylozoism in his book, The Phenomenon of Life. Hylozoism is a philosophical belief that all matter in existence is alive. However, what does it really mean to be “alive” in the first place? The theory of being, according to Jonas, is that human life consists of two different entities: the body and the soul. The body being a tomb that houses the soul, the latter essentially being man’s true self, and only in death is the resurrection of the soul made possible. For this reason, a body is nothing but a corpse, that is brought to life by the soul’s presence in it. Man’s perspective of ontology has changed, especially with the influence and reliance of modern science. Jonas points out that modern science has placed a limit on ontology, reducing human beings to measurable scientific features only, which ultimately causes a deprivation of the understanding of human complexity. 

Concerning Jonas’s theory of being, the process of cryonic preservation is purely rooted in scientific methods and probability outcomes, reducing the human body to being only physiological aspects. It does not take into consideration the second entity of human life, which according to Jonas, is the human soul. It fails to explain what happens to the soul of an individual during and after suspended animation. While all cellular activity in the body has been halted during the freezing process, questions arise regarding the abode of the soul. Referring back to Jonas’s statement that the human soul represents one’s true self and identity, these features are essentially lost during cryonic preservation. That is to say, the frozen corpse is nothing but a frozen body, soulless and consciously empty. With the assumption that advanced medicine is able to reanimate the frozen bodies, the individual will lack an identity and active consciousness once rejuvenated. Therefore, according to Jonas’s theory, even through reanimation from cryonic preservation, the body cannot be alive once again due to the absence of the human soul.  

What is more, the process of cryonic preservation raises the concern of its effects on the finitude of humanity. Jonas emphasizes that the world needs a balance of death and procreation, and with the idea of extension of age, procreation of new life must come to a halt in order to balance the population. In his journal, The Burden and Blessing of Mortality, Jonas states that natality is just as essential to the human understanding as mortality. Natality brings forth eyes that view the world with a new perspective as compared to beings who have been existing in the world long before them. Assuming cryonics become successful in the future and we can be able to preserve old bodies and rejuvenate them to life at a later time, the population of the aged would increase, and young life would decrease. Without the constant arrival of beings brought about by natality, the well of novelty would dry up, springing the human species into routine and boredom. The renewed perspective of young individuals, is what humanity needs in order to bring forth new ideas that could propel the human race further. Jonas adds that when the human race is forced to remain stagnant, there will be a lack of evolution thus leading to a possibility of extinction.

The emergence of cryonic preservation has brought with it a blind promise of fulfillment for man’s never-ending yearning for immortality. Modern science and certain advances in altering cellular processes are seen as a gift to human beings, however it will ultimately lead to the detriment of man. Human beings have not yet fully comprehended the meaning of life and death to be able to comprehend the choice of cryonic preservation and its ultimate consequences. The human race is quickly moving to accept cryonics as part of acceptable methods of medical interventions without fully questioning the level of desirability for the individual, and at large, for the human species.

In instances like this, we must remember the importance of memento mori, a famous latin phrase meaning, “remember to die” which was historically uttered to signify acceptance and reflection on mortality. The memento mori is an important reminder to us all, that perhaps mortality is essential, in order to give life greater priority and meaning.

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Lifestyle

Contemporary Freedom

I believe the best thing we humans can gift to each other, and even to ourselves, is freedom. Love comes at a close second to this of course. The famous philosopher Simone De Beauvoir, argues a great point: that even though we are all free to make our own choices, we should also put others in positions whereby they are also free to make their own choices as well.

In the current climate, the word freedom is highly ambiguous. But that’s the point, we should all be free to define freedom for ourselves as well. Everyone essentially grows up with a blueprint of values they should embody, actions that are acceptable and palatable to the world, and even a blueprint of who to become. We don’t need a blueprint for what freedom should/shouldn’t be.

I had my first identity crisis in my early twenties, because I realized even though I was doing everything I was “supposed to do”, I felt empty and disconnected from myself. I would get resentful when most people did not care to get to know me fully, but what eventually dawned on me was that I didn’t even know who I was. I am still figuring that out by the way. The first thing that I realized was that I thrived in environments that made me feel free to be whoever I was/wasn’t. My healthiest relationships were the ones where I was gifted with this freedom, which enabled me to reciprocate that gift.

As someone who approached relationships(friendships/romantic relationships) with a certain possessiveness and expectation of loyalty, once I had connections that enabled me to feel free, I never looked back. Essentially, we all come into this world the same way that we leave it. Alone. And in between, we are lucky enough to experience loving connections that mirror ourselves. But being able to love other people into freedom has been one of the greatest things I have ever experienced in this lifetime.

Loving each other into freedom means that we do not own anyone, we only experience what they choose to offer us. Loving each other into freedom means that we honour the choices people make, even if those choices mean these people are leaving us. Loving each other into freedom is allowing each other to exist, and to view each other’s existence as enough.

But it all starts within. I first and foremost vowed to give myself the gift of freedom and this has continuously opened up avenues for me that I never thought would be possible. Ten years ago, I was in a boarding school in the middle of a small town in Kenya. Now, I am in Canada, living a completely different kind of life, one that I absolutely love, all because I wholeheartedly believed I deserved to live this kind of life. Take that trip that you have always wanted to go on, live in that place thats far away from home but that you have always wanted to live in, free yourself from any unnecessary obligations. You deserve a life that sets your soul on fire, and anyone who tells you any different shouldn’t be in your life in the first place.

You deserve the best, not because you are entitled, but because you are a free being, who through space and time exists in a world full of possibilities. Seize it.

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Inspiration, Lifestyle

Untitled: Feb 21.2017

Do not romanticize the pain darling.

Stop weaving your tears into wool covers that keep you warm,

And calling it love.

Love is the growth of all things.

Love is not pain.

Pain is not love.

Those two are distant cousins that are often mistaken for twins.

Darling, if you flowers stop blooming,

And you no longer have the laughter in the wrinkles of your smile,

And you find yourself leaving your heart out every sunset,

It’s time to cut loose these ties that are binding you so tight,

That you couldn’t breathe.

It’s time to water your garden,

With the love poems you wrote for him.

And during every sunrise,

Let the sun goddess bathe you in her magnificence.

And remember that one day, you too shall radiate your own light once again.

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Uncategorized

On Entitlement

Sometimes we have to look past the entitlement we feel.

Not because we are not deserving of that which we feel entitled to,

But because the other person may simply not be capable of giving us what we need.

This could be mentally, emotionally, financially or, spiritually.

It’s easy to vilify people who can’t give us what we want.

It’s even easier to vilify people who don’t want to give us what we want.

Labeling things as good or bad is the quickest way for our minds to process situations when things don’t go our way.

Take a step back and look deeper.

See this person as a human being, with a past and with a perspective of their own.

Understand that people are far too complex to be constricted within the good/bad binary.

Just as your actions that you have taken have been based on your own complexity(that you may not even fully understand).

And sometimes, it’s okay not to understand exactly why someone can’t give us what we want.

It’s okay for things to be left unsaid.

It’s okay not to have closure.

Because things don’t necessarily have to have a definite beginning or a definite end.

People, experiences and relationships are always in motion.

The sooner we loosen our grasp on the ebbs and flows of life,

The more we are able to appreciate things when they come and eventually, when they leave.

Until Next Time,

Vi.

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Advice, Indulge, Inspirations, Lifestyle

Day(I’ve utterly lost count) on psilocybin: Reflections on Self Sabotage

Current time: 1am

Mood: Staring out at the starless Toronto night sky

The thing about self sabotage is, in the moment you are doing it, you think you are protecting yourself, but all you are doing is creating conditions that reaffirm your fears.

As an over thinker(Virgo problems) for a long time, my brain’s default mode has always been about anticipating the worst case scenario in situations, especially when it comes to relationships. And no, this isn’t just one scenario we are talking about, my mind comes up with all the many many possible ways a relationship could go wrong. Intuitively, I am usually trying to brace myself and valiantly create an illusion of preparedness ‘just in case’ these situations arise. And that’s all it is, an illusion.

When the mind is constantly in this state, it becomes hyper aware, and starts looking for proof of the relationship going south. Nothing is ever perfect and if you look for flaws you will always find them. So my brain always finds a flaw, and this flaw disproportionately and unnecessarily ends up reaffirming what my fear is: the relationship ending. So what do I do? In a state of fight or flight, I self sabotage and push away the person I am in a relationship with, in order to avoid this pain that I anticipate will come. However, me walking away is what actually ends the relationship, and not the flaws themselves. How darkly ironic.

Now I know what you’re thinking: This girl needs therapy…yes yes I understand just how unhealthy this mindset can be. Shifting my mindset from a state of hyper awareness and hyper criticism to a state of letting the chips fall where they may has been one of the hardest lessons I have tried implementing in my day to day life. These things take time for sure, but in the short amount of time I have shifted my awareness, I have noticed considerable changes in how I perceive difficulties and setbacks. Present awareness has allowed me to deal with things/life situations as they come in real time, then letting them go when that time has passed.

And at the end of the night, when I am winding down after a day full of dealing with life’s debauchery, I put everything and everyone back down where I found them. I am then left with mental space without the noise or influence of outside energy/made up scenarios. Underneath all this there is a lingering sense of peace, as I let the thoughts be just that, thoughts.

There is something inherently beautiful about embracing uncertainty despite being aware that things could go wrong. Let life surprise you.

Presently yours,

Vi.

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Advice, Lifestyle

Manifesting The Life You Want

Hey word press tribe 🙂

Grateful for a lot of things today; life, family, love and new opportunities.

It took me a long time to understand that anyone can have the life they desire, and that the universe wants that life for you, the best possible life in this lifetime that we are granted.

Now, I am not ignorant to the fact that there can be major obstacles in the way of this, obstacles that we never see coming and that we have absolutely no control over. What we do have control over however, is having the tools and ways in which we can let the universe know that we are ready to receive what it is we truly desire. You want freedom? Figure out the ways in which you let others and most importantly how you let yourself get in the way of freedom. You want love? Figure out what love means to you, and your patterns, coping mechanisms and conditionings that surround love and if you are truly willing to give out as much love as you want to receive. You want a new job? Apply apply apply, put in the work, revise your resume over and over and over. These are just a few examples but you get the point.

But how do you truly manifest the things you want? Visualize, write them down, speak them into existence, embody these desires and wants in your life every. single.day. Train your subconscious mind to operate from a place of “I already have everything I desire” instead of from a place of lack. Say it with me, I will never be in a place of lack, God always has my back.

It’s a wonderful thing to always bet on yourself and continuously believe in the idea of survival of love, joy, beauty and survival of resilience.

Stay manifesting,

Vi

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Advice, Lifestyle

Day 2 of Micro-dosing on Psilocybin

Acceptance. Acceptance breeds presence, which begets contentment.

This morning, I woke up to a realization that I might have to walk away from a certain relationship and I could feel my unhealthy coping patterns creeping up(y’all know those ones).

Here’s the thing, sometimes life happens in ways that you did not choreograph in your head and you have to look at reality in the face and accept that shit, regardless of how painful it is. We tend to be present for the things we love and the things we want to experience, however the real hurdle is practising presence amidst the things we don’t want to see.

Mood Update: Feeling balanced, calm and collected. Anxiety and depression who??

Focus: I could write a book right now!

Overall: The second time micro-dosing feels more natural than the first, my body is starting to get used to this I guess?

Acceptance enables us to hold all our experiences in their fullness, and when we are able to hold space for our experiences, we are able to let them go with ease.

As much as I want to hold on to this relationship, deep insight is calling me to keep moving, with love and detachment. After all, detachment isn’t so much about letting go, as it is about letting things be.

Until next time,

Vi.

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Lifestyle

Day 1 of Micro dosing on Psilocybin

Hey heyy,

It’s your girl Vi back on her bullshit, but this time I am bringing something pretty exciting for yall. I promise it was worth the wait 😉

But seriously though, LIFE am I right?? I had forgotten how much I loved blogging. You never really realize how much your passions really contribute to your happiness until the universe gently steers you in that direction(I use the term gently with a grain of salt)

So I have been subconsciously mauling over the concept of micro dosing for a while. I have watched videos, done research, listened to my friends’ testimonies, you know all that jazz. But I never really felt ready to try it until this moment. On the 22nd of October 2020. For those of you who are also wondering about trying to micro-dose, don’t do it until it feels right. And I am talking about feels right in your soul type of shit.

Okay enough with the rambling, I know y’all are here for the results. I took 100mg of the Golden Teacher strain with my breakfast and let me tell you I was expecting the universe to open up and for me to be sucked into the parallel dimension(that we all know exists) BUT:

An hour in: Hmm, I feel oddly awake, no matter, I shall get up and get ready for the day.

Two hours in: I feel kind of mentally exhausted, maybe a nap will help. *Takes a two hour nap*

Three hours in: Wakes up from nap, feeling an energetic block being brought up to the surface, feelings of inadequacy arise, still feel a tad sad but not unbearable. At this point I am aware of what is happening. I am being forced to deal with the energetic block. So what do I do? I turn up some music, I recite some positive affirmations.

Three hours and a few cries in: There’s a sense of peace that dawns upon me, and finally the realization that I am going to be fine, I am always going to be fine.

So what did I do? I whipped out my laptop and started writing. And there it is folks, my first day micro-dosing. Current mood right now: My head feels clear, I am excited for the day, I am ready to tackle life by the balls.

Oddly yours,

Vi.


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