The problem I face with ‘Eat. Pray. Love.’

Eat. Pray. Love. is about a white woman whose life is a jungle of first world problems. I understand why it’s been massively successful – and of course I can see the value in the message being presented. White women with few problems and high disposable incomes should be influenced to love, self-actualisation and philanthropy – it would make the world a better place. If you can afford to routinely spend hundreds on your clothes you should definitely be investing in self-improvement and then putting your money to better use.

My issue is my own stab of jealousy – I want those problems to be my problems. Why couldn’t my problems be the mildly dissatisfied, disconnected from authentic life problems?

Instead of the rape-victim problems, the drugged problems, the ‘will-anyone-ever-love-someone-as-truly-broken-as-me’ problems, the ‘could-have-been-a-schizo’ problem and so on and so forth.

Then the guilt – my problems pale in comparison to other people’s problems – we’ve all got problems in varying degrees and pain is all relative – someone’s distress at not having the latest handbag might actually equal mine at being told I was ‘damaged goods’, and certainly there are millions of people worldwide who don’t have a fraction of what I have to work with.

I just have to be grateful I suppose.

I am grateful.

What I learned tonight

Hi world. I am wide awake because at a ‘mindful’ singles mixer my drink was spiked.

1. Always buy your own drinks, wherever possible.

2. If you trust someone to buy you a drink, watch them and your bartender like a hawk.

3. Take photos with any people you meet.

4. Make sure you have anyone in the world who can drive you to A&E or

5. Make sure you can afford a cab.

Game of spies

I sometime imagine a game of spies
And am inclined to speak
In riddles and lies
Though mostly it goes the other way
And I become an avid truth-teller
Like today
But something did not quite sit right
Because the whole truth
I didn’t divulge tonight
Is that while a ‘queen’ may think she makes no move
And that a King is a man with something to prove
A Queen is fierce, moves how she wants
Goes where she will
And a Queen Lioness will pounce
That’s the truth I didn’t quite spill

copyright 2016 J N Ali

I am not schizophrenic: the rest

The rest…

What more is there once you’ve got your body and mind looked after?

I am not grateful for what happened to me as some of the things I’ve endured I wouldn’t wish on anyone but a silver lining can be found wherever you look. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Mine was this – to manage what I considered symptoms I looked inwards. The only way I could think of to help myself was to know myself.

I had to learn to be patient with myself and to once again trust myself.

If you’re facing a diagnosis of any psychotic disorder, the biggest identity thief is that you feel you can’t trust your own mind.

At times I couldn’t – my mind would run away with fantasy and delusion, but it was running at the command of my intuition.

Why did I feel scared? Was it a general fear left over from the years that had picked me apart or was it specific to a situation?

My strongest weapon was my own self-enquiry, and I didn’t realise it at the time but it began to perfectly align me to practise yoga.

Self-enquiry is the beginning of everything, and without even really knowing what I was doing I took the opportunity to really delve deep into myself.

On a physical level I found my happy weight, questioned what my body is capable of and to look after it with exercise and my physical yoga practice.

On a mental level I started to realise the boundaries of my personality; what I was okay with and what I wasn’t; my limits for interacting with others.

Is there more? Yes, because on a deeper, intuitive level through my physical and mental inquiry I found a connection to everything around me.

I looked inwards and I found love. That sounds cheesy – it sounds terrible to an atheist – but believe me when I say religion is not the point.

We are at our core all the same stuff: the universe is always rich with promise and possibility – and that is what we are made of.

The basics : The mindset : The rest

Bitch, me? Oh, actually, yes…

Allow me for a mo

To totally run riot with ego

The reason people keep taking from me

(And taking things they think represent my individuality)

Is cause I’m beyond awesome, and that they can’t take

So all they can do is take and hope I’ll crumble

Everything outside of this body, me

It’s all surplus

You can’t take my identity

Your imitation only flatters me

Your devotion only empowers me

And yes, I say devotion – because

The years it’s gnawed inside of you

The seconds it took to write this poem

I thank you for your dedication

And your energy

It’s only proof of my divinity

Copyright J N Ali 2016


Romance word drabble

Is romance always romantic?
And is the difference between them philosophy?
Or is it just semantics
Differing definition based on old and new tradition
Or boundaries adhered to or even broken
Is it words beautifully spoken?
Or beautiful words, or just tone?
Or do actions speak louder
Is it time spent on the phone?
Or time put aside relative to
The time I have to spend on you
Time spent against the times I made you smile
But romantic and romance aren’t the same
A nice notion not like an image ingrained in your brain
Or an idea of ideals, of idealisation
Of poppies in fields and death
Even death of individuality by globalisation
Can be romanticised with the right spin doctor
So how do you concoct a romance?
Is it the sum of it’s parts?
Or something more not quite yet explained
But ever explored in the arts
It’s something more
Something bigger
Something deeper
Something else
Je ne sais quoi.

Copyright 2016 J N Ali