We are truly alone in the experience of being the human being we are.
“Can anyone truly understand the existence of another person’s internal world?” Correctly asks the author Olivia Laing in her book “the Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone”.
Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about loneliness. Perhaps because I’ve been lonely, like everyone else, a lot of times. (managing and understanding emotions)
At some lone moment a couple of months ago I picked up Olivia Laing’s book. I thought the title would explore a writer’s journey through the lonely city life — something I’m interested in because not only do I find loneliness in metropolitans but also in the countryside where local cultures can be alienating, unintentionally or intentionally (read my Spiti mountain journey to see how I felt isolated even amongst a local family). But I found that the book is much more than the singular experience of Laing.
Getting dumped isn’t the end of the world. The silver line of a breakup (first only faintly visible) is we get to feel and smoothen out the rough curves of our personalities.
In this essay I talk about my first love and my first break up. Though that first love seemed like my last, time proved me wrong. Looking back into the broken shards of the relationship I also see how scattered a human being I was.
In Search of Lost Time Quotes By Proust That I Found Too Hard to Ignore – Collected from Volume One
Previously, I published the ethereal lines from Proust’s Swann’s Way (In Search of Lost Time Vol 1) underlining his understanding of human composition and admirable usage of precise words. Now I bring you quotes by Proust collected from the length of the same volume Swann’s Way (Book 1 of the 6-Volume collection In Search of Lost Time).
The below Marcel Proust quotes tell us our griefs aren’t unique, that we aren’t the only ones miserable and despondent in love, that our minds and memories play tricks on us all, and that habits anchor us to the known. These collected words also emphasize the everlasting joy that nature brings, prove we all lie to ourselves, highlight the illusion of power, and tenderly sympathize with us for bearing the mundaneness of acceptance.
Hope you enjoy these words pulled from the depths of Proust’s consciousness.
Sharing Some of the Sunshine that Marcel Proust Spreads Through Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time Volume 1
I heard of the French author Marcel Proust for the first time in the compassionate visionary Alain De Botton’s book the School of Life: An Emotional Education. In the chapter The Importance of Sex, Botton talks about Marcel Proust’s lesbian sex scene from his book Swann’s Way. Proust’s Swann’s Way is the volume one of his influential seven-volume collection In Search of Lost Time.
In the scene, the lover Mademoiselle Vinteuil invokes her partner to spit on the photo of her deceased father. This heavily criticized section describes how Vinteuil is just trying on the freedom of sensual pleasures — which may make her appear wicked. The author Proust argues that despite what one might think, Vinteuil is essentially of a moral and sound character.
Proust writes, “Sadists of Mlle Vinteuil’s kind are beings who are so purely sentimental, so naturally virtuous that, for them, even sensual pleasure seems evil, seems the privilege of the wicked. And when they allow themselves to indulge in it for a moment, it’s the wicked whose skin they try, and try to get their accomplice, to enter into, so as to have had the momentary illusion of escaping their scrupulous and gentle soul in the inhuman world of pleasure.”
On Indian Roads Amidst the Second Wave of the Pandemic, Collective Feeling of Helplessness, Fundraisers, And Hope
Here in Himachal Pradesh.
I’ve finally ended up in the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh, and I would live here for the next few months. This mountain excursion was always the plan for the summer and now as my fingers freeze, I wonder why I chose Himachal. Because I love the mountains or because I’m familiar with the Himalayas from my last four-month trip to Dharamshala in 2019?
In the Shimla area of the mountains where I’m at, summer is not well-known. Locals talk about hailstorms and snowfall even during the months of May to July when the plains of India scorch. During the summers, rains in the lower part of India are scarce but right now heavy rain falls outside my one-bedroom-and-hall house. I have kept the netted house door open by sticking a thick foot mat between the door and its frame. The temperature is no more than 11 degrees outside but when all the doors and windows are closed I stifle, a claustrophobia I picked up, perhaps, by growing up in a very open garden-facing independent house of my parents.
Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own Quotes — Wisdom on Writing and Life
Virginia Woolf was once asked to speak about women and fiction.
Woolf wandered the streets of London, sat by the riverside, pored over shelves full of books in the British Museum, went to luncheons, and considered the then state of literature. While working in a constricted space in that London where women weren’t even allowed to walk on turf paths in colleges (only men and students could), Virginia created a masterpiece on why there were limited women writers and even more limited writings by them.
Woolf delivered the lectures in October 1928 at the women’s colleges of Cambridge University. Published in September 1929, A Room of One’s Own is an essay based on those lectures.
Woolf went back to the works of Proust, Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Kipling, Keats, and many more known and unknown writers to understand the truth. She read fiction written by women and studied her contemporaries’ books. She contemplated why the writing of men scorned women and if women were writing good fiction.
In the essays, Virginia emphasized — while showing her detailed thought process — “that a woman needs money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
In addition to being a seminal work on feminism, A Room of One’s Own is an infinite pool of wisdom on writing and life. In the essay, Virginia Woolf argued passionately and statistically about how cultural, spiritual, and financial restrictions may limit our creative freedom.
Given the essay has so much to read into, I will only delve into the lessons on life and writing that Woolf was so benevolent in sharing with us.
This Giant Guide on What is Emotional Intelligence and Understanding Emotions Includes
- What Are Emotions
- Understanding Emotions and Feelings – How to Process Emotions
- The Non-Duality of Physical Sensations and Emotions – Where Do Emotions Come From?
- Separating Purely Physical Distress From Emotions is Important – Understand Your Emotions
- What is Emotional Intelligence and Managing Emotions Intelligently to Live a Better Life
- Different Kinds of Emotions
- How to Deal With Emotions
- Philosophy of Emotions
- How Do Cultures Perceive Emotions?
- My Emotional Journey
- How Do I Manage My Emotions (now) to Live a Peaceful Life
- All Articles on Emotional Intelligence
Purposeful, Healthy, and Mindful Living.
- What is the main method that we will follow to live this amazing, mindful life?
- What is Ikigai and why the hell are we talking about it?
- Lessons on Longevity, Health, and Happiness – From Ikigai and Others
- Hara Hachi Bu — Fill your belly to 80 percent — a Japanese principle that has blown my mind away.
- About Two Meals a Day and Intermittent Fasting — One of the methods of eating less
- Are there any foods that we should prefer over the rest?
- Retiring early isn’t the best thing after all — An active mind is better than a lethargic one.
- Finding Purpose — Ikigai is Important
- Stress is the worst of all
- Continuous sitting can be really harmful to your body.
- Sleep is more important than you think
- Find flow— staying immersed improves health and happiness
- I was blown away by this finding about exercise
- A feeling of belonging and togetherness is essential to keep us sane
- How to live a happy, healthy, and aware life? – All is Well.
I had planned to share lessons from the book “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” and experiences from practicing a sustainable and conscious lifestyle in this piece. But as I wrote, I also added health concepts I had learned (and practiced) growing up in India, lifestyles I had studied from books, and ways of living I had seen while traveling.
So now this article is a conglomeration of the most logical, useful, and effective ideas — that I’ve found — on living a healthy, simple, and, yet, purpose-driven life.
Out of the 48 or so books I read in 2020, 25 percent — that’s only 12 books — were non-fiction. The rest were fiction books and children’s tales.
I started reading non-fiction in 2017 when I started this blog On My Canvas. I always read stories and novels, but nonfiction wasn’t a big thing around me. Not that reading fiction was a trend in my social circle either. I can count the selected few readers amongst my friends, batchmates, and colleagues at my fingertips.
There was one guy in college who loved Shakespeare and read philosophy. There is a poetry lover and creator who is still a great friend. Some of the elites from Vidya Mandir and other high-class Delhi schools could talk about Mark Twain and J.R.R Tolkien but only seldom did I see them with a book. Or maybe I wasn’t noticing books at that time myself.
Did anyone ever tell you that you should read books to change your life? Actually I would go as far as to say one of the synonyms of personal growth is reading.
I started reading non-fiction and fiction books sincerely only for the last four-five years. But in this duration, I read some books that shifted the course of my life. They exposed me to unbelievable facts. They laid open the science that I didn’t know exist. They told me stories I could never imagine. They made me cry like I hadn’t before. They made me laugh as if I had nothing to worry about. They accompanied me when I was lonely. They unfurled the greatest lives. They told me life can be lived in many ways. They reassured me that it was okay to be who I was. But also that I could grow.
You don’t know what is out there until you read. And then the ghosts don’t leave you alone, ever.
Rules to Live Your Thirties By.
On my 30th birthday three years ago, I had written 30 life lessons my twenties had taught me. From exercising regularly to fixing a hung laptop before anything else to not running after money but finding my calling and chasing experiences were the core learnings of my 20s.
As I’m about to turn 33 in less than two weeks, I found myself riding the life lesson wave again. “How am I managing life in the 30s” question stared at me.
Contrary to how it might look like, I always say that age is just a number(as many of my friends told me when I asked them to contribute to this article). Ignoring my steeping age that rushed towards my 30th birthday like a break-less ambassador car and blocking my parents who looked at me as if the time for me to do anything good had gone by, I shifted my life gears in my late 20s — changed my career, left my apartment to travel long-term, found the love of my life, took physical health sincerely, and finally chose life skills over money and ignored short-term gratification.
Though my late 20s lifestyle has poured over into my thirties, life feels different now. Personal awareness and growth have been the top priorities on my mind since I graduated into the 30s decade.