"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Kimya…..

Kimya is an interesting word. I first learned the expression while working in East Africa. In Swahili it translates to silence. Kimya is also a Persian female’s name that means precious, unique or hard to find. Kimya came to mind this week as commitments, people and sundry situations clamored for attention. Stress found its way out of my shoulders Friday night as I watched, exhaling and releasing the week’s pressure, as a vivid full moon slowly rose over St. Catherine’s Island. Leaning on the rail of a dock, I realized then and there just how much I have missed silence in my life of late. So much so that today’s M5T considers how we can gift ourselves with some Kimya.

1. Quieting Thoughts

The space between our ears can wage battles more intense than The Battle of Winterfell; with more paranoia, rage and cut-throat thoughts than Queen Cersei Lannister could have in a lifetime. Why do we allow negative thoughts of our own to so easily run through our minds and take up time and energy? Endless and insignificant to-do lists, fears and failures, regrets about the past, worries about the future, hurts… received and given, judgments… passed and taken. All of those thoughts can be conquered. That negativity can be turned into positivity. Ask yourself what is causing such noisy thoughts. What are you feeling obligated about? Where are your energies better spent? Take a breath, take a walk, take in a sunrise, a sunset or a moonrise. Take a moment to focus on what you are most thankful for.

2. Embracing Solitude

I really believe that practicing being and seeking solitude is a lost art. Expectations for instantaneous responses to emails, texts and social media intrusions have grown exponentially. Yes, I know you know that, yet, we continue to allow technology’s I’s and O’s to dictate our time, our reactions to the expectations of others and the way in which we feel about ourselves. Solitude gives us time to think, and time to get to know ourselves. Solitude grants us occasion to face our own demons, our failures and our fears, and to figure out what we are going to do about them. Solitude gives us space to unwind, isolation to reflect and opportunity to change our perspective without the din and clatter of other things or people. Solitude is a gift we can give ourselves that can bear fruit of peace, creativity or at the very least, time… even if for a brief moment, to simply catch our breath, release some stress, and gird our strength and courage to turn and face the challenges before us.

3. Muting Negativity

Naysayers. Negative Nellies. Doubting Thomases. We all have them in our lives. Sadly, some of the most doubtful and negative people in our lives are those closest to us. Refuse to accept negativity and choose not to receive what others may say about you that is wrong, dishonest or cruel. Release toxic people from your life and your time. You can impact, lead and encourage others, but it’s not your responsibility to solve their problems, to make them happy or to change their lives. Bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek. Take control of what is discussed when the negativity of others dominates. Learn to respond, not react. Or better yet, walk away. Find the wisdom to know which of those paths to take.

4. Silencing Drama

Leave drama for Shakespeare and the thespians on stage. Drama can best be avoided by eschewing conversations with people who lie and gossip. Mind your own business and don’t engage in the drama of others. There are two sides to every story, and somewhere in between those sides is the truth. Seek and speak the truth. Steer drama-filled conversations in other directions. When all else fails, default to the principle that ‘Nothing is as bad as it seems, nor is anything as good as it may appear. Time will sort it out.’

5. Finding Focus

Things one through four today all lead to today’s fifth thing. At times, finding focus means we need to disconnect, to get away, to remove the physical, metaphysical or emotional clutter in our lives. Finding focus can come from praying, meditating, or just taking time to think. Listen to that still, small voice that says, ‘This is why you are here, this is what you are meant to do,’ no matter what is going on around or what others my say about you.

Here’s to moments of Kimya this week. To finding silence where necessary, and to recognizing and purging negativity, allowing you to live out your unique gifts, talents and dreams for your life.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com