This is Blog 11 in my A-Z Blogseries:

Trust in karma may be seen as contradictory when expressed by an areligious person like myself (which isn’t the same as an atheist, all though I suppose I am that as well). 

This blog took me a couple of days to write because I couldn’t even really explain it to myself in the beginning. As a matter of fact, I am just winging it here, because I still don’t really know what I am going to say. Sometimes it helps to just open up a draft document and start to put thoughts into words and words into sentences.

What I can tell you is that I do not believe that there is some divine power that actively rewards or punishes me for my actions (now or in the afterlife). Nor do I believe in a cosmic law of justice that keeps tabs on me, making any bad situation I face some sort of retribution for a bad thing I caused earlier.

An additional fact is that there is no way to define “bad” behavior, in my opinion.

Obviously there is a clear line when it comes to what is legal and what is illegal. Also there are some guidelines you can follow if you are religious. Your upbringing will have shaped your concepts of right and wrong further.

However, your “bad” may not necessarily be equal to someone else’s. That means that someone else may not feel guilty at all about a certain action that you may consider reprehensible, wrong or sinful.

Take murder, for example. Even though murder is illegal all around the world, it can be justified in certain circumstances, can’t it? At the same time, I think such an action will ALWAYS damage you, even if you had good reasons for it. It is an unnatural thing to do.

Karma motto of the Inca’s:
Don’t steal, don’t lie don’t be lazy

And that is what I think that karma is about. It is about coming to terms with your actions. Not for the law. Not for your family. Not for the victim or its family. For you. Nothing more, nothing less.

I guess I believe in karma in the sense that I believe that you make your own reality. I don’t think it has to do with right and wrong or fair and unfair. The truth is that life is not always fair (and neither is karma).

I’m thinking the distinction is one between healthy and unhealthy actions, more than anything else.

Stealing is an example of an unhealthy choice. A less extreme example would be lying. Unhealthy behavior will eat at your soul (Yes yes, I know I said I was areligious and atheist it’s just that language is a difficult thing and “soul” is a shortcut way of saying a lot of things at once. Let’s just agree that when I use the world “soul” I mean a combination of your being, your identity, you conscience your most personal self).

Unhealthy actions damage you on the inside, even if you don’t get caught. And as I said earlier, the line that defines what is healthy and what isn’t, differs from person to person.

For example, ignoring someone that wants to ask me something on the street, is unhealthy for me. However, in no way do I feel that a person who chooses to avoid eye contact with a street vendor, beggar or evangelist is “bad”. I get it, I really do. The fact that I can not do it doesn’t put me higher up on the morality scale. Also, it’s just highly unpractical sometimes…

I have learned that I can deal with it by cutting the conversation short with a quick “Sorry dude, not today”. Saying nothing or even worse, lying (“I don’t have anything on me” -when I really do-; or “I’m in a hurry” – when I’m really not) will keep me awake at night. It’s bad karma, for me.

So I don’t think it is true that I “believe in karma”. I think it is more accurate to say I “like the idea of karma”.

It keeps me on my toes. It makes me want to the best version of myself I can be. It keeps me optimistic, playing with the idea of earning karma-points as I go and being grateful for the little gifts life gives me in return.

There it is; my blog on what karma means to me. I apologize to any true believers that may feel offended by my haphazard definition of it. Feel free to let me know what I may have missed in the comments.

No such thing as bad weather

Because my promise to publish five easy-to-digest light topic blogs is proving to be a bigger challenge than I thought, I have resorted to Daily Prompts to find inspiration.

I agree, it’s kind of worrisome that I have very little trouble thinking of half a dozen topics to write about when it comes to my personal annoyances, petty opinions and the state of the world but go completely blank when requested to write about something optimistic.

So, like many people who don’t know what to say, I am going to be talking about the weather.

Soooo, the winter is crazy warm on this side of the globe….. El niño sure was strong this year, huh?!

Calvin rain.jpgMy dad is actually a big fan of the weather. He would always whisper to me as a kid to be silent for a minute and listen to his friend….

*dramatic pause*

…. the wind, whistling past our house. And the rain; oh how he loves the rain! The rain is a blessing that we must be thankful for. Also, it’s the perfect time for a walk, provided that you have the right coat / a change of clothing with you. Feel its rhythm, smell its earthiness and see how nature reacts to its arrival; you are alive!

It sounds quite romantic and idyllic now but you can imagine I wasn’t quite as charmed by his eccentric ideas as a teenager. Imagine being dragged away from your favorite TV show to go walk around in the mud during an autumn storm… Not so amusing, daddyo.

But yah, I actually love it nowadays, all though I still get a little cranky when the cold gets into my bones and the skies are grey for weeks on end.

When I hear people complain about the weather though, I usually can’t help but remind them that there is no such thing as “bad” or “ugly” weather. All you need is the right clothing and a bright attitude.

Oh and maybe some hot chocolate.

And a fireplace

Oh yeah.


Flexing for charity

A charity get together I saw today on someone’s Facebook got my all bothered, despite its good intentions. The event that was being promoted was called “Pop up yoga for the refugees”… and that’s when my inner cynic took over the wheel.

By the way, have you watched the new animation film, Inside Out? I can hardly think about my feelings anymore without envisioning some little colored creature hopping around in my head’s control center.

Anyhow, I am trying to figure out what exactly bothers me so much about this. I think it’s a combination of things.

It’s because it is an activity that was born in the far east, that has now been appropriated by western hipsters. The fact that it is something I associate with well off health freaks, constantly on the edge of a burnout, plays a roll as well. It has a lot to do with the feelings I expressed in my blog on mindfulness, about a month ago.

It’s the fact that yoga, constructive as it may be in some people’s lives, is an activity I would categorize as a hobby. It’s not a basic need one can’t live without and I can just imagine it must seem so utterly futile to the people this yoga-charity aims to support.

think-positive-1It also leans on my anti-prayer sentiment, in the sense that I think they might actually think they are doing the world a favor by thinking happy thoughts…And I hate how cynical this makes me sound because I am really such an optimistic person and I honestly make a point of cheering on positive thinkers and shooing away the pessimists, but in this case I don’t seem to be able to do that…

And for some reason the fact that they named it “pop up yoga” just gives me itchy feelings all over… Haven’t really figured that one out yet, though…

mood happyI must admit I often give people who dislike my nasty opinions the finger (but I promise I do that purely in my mind, never actually in their faces), but in this case I don’t even really like me for disapproving of such a good initiative. Times are dire and there are way to many truly bitter and fearful haters and the open-minded-gang can use all the support they can get. So my conclusion is that I really want to back this idea up for the full 100%.

So, now that I have vented my self righteous ideas here, I can mellow the cynical fellow back down and guide him into the back of my mind, where he belongs, and hand the controller back to a better version of me.

Now if you would please excuse me, I believe I have a sun salutation to practice.