Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Sense Of An Ending

Picture found on: camillo-longo

As I am busy finalising my packing for my trip to Phuket (I leave tomorrow!), 2011 is drawing to a close. I wish I could say that I fulfilled every single one of my New Year's resolutions, but the problem lies with not having set any in the first place. Haha. I tend not to set any as I find I either set the aspirational bar too high, or break them within the first 2 weeks of January.

Unfortunate as it is, 2011 has not been very kind to me but they have been necessary to develop character- as most things of this nature are. I've had to figure out many inner conflicts on my own - some resolved, many not. Learning to let go has never been more challenging than it has been this year. All of these thoughts continue to lecture me, sometimes at the most inconvenient of times. But pushing forward regardless is the best thing anyone can do. (I thank this blog for helping me to continue to search for what it is I need.) And I'm very glad to say that I am one step closer to where I need to be, and definitely better off than I was yesterday.

Enjoy the rest of your holidays. I, as I'm sure many of you who read this are, am looking for a fresh start for 2012. Good luck and will see you all in the New Year...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Holiday Season

Picture found on: o_lie
"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space." - Dave Barry
Here's hoping that these holidays will bring warmth, love, and happiness to all those who deserve it (ie. everyone).  Even though Christmas was never really celebrated as part of my family's religious beliefs, we still managed to find the will to see family friends, and, if lucky, would see family members all over the world. Spending time with those who you love can easily be taken for granted. Sometimes I hated going to other people's houses and having to mingle with people who I barely even knew. But I suppose I actually look forward to those gatherings now. They are events which are all too rare in my everyday life nowadays.

My dad flies back tonight after spending his 2 month hiatus from life in the sunny island of Singapore. No doubt, I was extremely jealous of his fortune, especially during times of exam study and 9-10 hour work days. But the upside is that he has promised me a great heap of presents from my favourite shopping city in the world (as well as from my lovely cousins, aunts and uncles). We're sort of even now. Haha.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday! And in the wise words of Jerry Springer, "Take care of yourself and each other."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Learning From Moments

Picture found on: theprettychoice
"Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. they're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are." - Pema Chödrön
Being the vulnerable and sensitive person that I am, I don't assume it comes as any surprise that I like this quote. This quote spins a new perception on 'feelings' (for want of a better word - I understand many people don't like showing and/or talking about it) that I have not yet come across before. 

I suppose I wear my heart on my sleeve; even though I've inherited the selfish and hypocritical quality that says I am not a fan of people who do in public. (Apologies if you fall into this category). I try to keep the  majority of "bad" feelings to myself and leave the "good" feelings out in the open. And if one feels happy and joyous, one should be able to walk around feeling like they are on top of the world. The cheeriness spreads like a disease everyone should catch, and no one is likely to be harmed if doing so.

But as always feelings and the moments they spawn out of are two-fold. Those terrible feelings like disappointment, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear are all indicative of our insecurities. I, for one, keep these emotions bottled up inside until it manifests itself into some grotesque creature within me. I suppose  it is due to the perception of being vulnerable. And when one is vulnerable there's the awful possibility of being a failure. But instead of feeling like a failure, why don't I choose to learn from the moment? I know I do not handle bad situations well; I expect everything to go according to plan (well, the plan in my head) and when it doesn't, I react badly. With no surprise, it is one of the traits of my personality that I need to work on a fair bit. Perk up and listen to the feelings - learn, reflect and utilise these emotions for positive reasons instead of playing the victim. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

One Day on Earth

One Day on Earth is a compilation of events that have taken place around the world on the same day. Its aim is to create a picture of humanity from different perspectives. The footage follows characters and events that explore the progression of life from birth, to death, to birth again.
"In the end, despite unprecedented challenges and tragedies throughout the world, we are reminded that everyday we are alive there is hope and a choice to see a better future together."

Friday, December 16, 2011


Picture found on: Cedric Sam
"Reality is created out of confusion and contradiction, and if you exclude those elements, you're no longer talking about reality. You might think that - by following language and a logic that appears consistent - you're able to exclude that aspect of reality, but it will always be lying in wait for you, ready to take revenge."
By now, you should all be familiar with my unhealthy obsession with novelist, Haruki Murakami. The story of Underground is another book I have added to my list. I do not usually stray into the genre of witness literature that often, simply because I find the issues too heavy and confronting, and therefore not an enjoyable read. (However, I do appreciate those who have an interest in reading witness testimonies on true events.)

Without going into too much detail, the Tokyo Gas Attack and Underground itself is, amongst other things, an attempt to understand the psychological effect of violence in an affluent, peaceful country. In many lucky parts of the world, we have become accustomed to safety. Wilful death is no longer a common occurrence. So when a mass murder is committed in such a place, this then has a strong social and personal impact on those involved - it shakes us out of our comfort zone and perception of harmony.

Murakami also attempts to focus attention on the 'Us vs Them' dichotomy. In his final essay, he looks towards people's immediate reactions to attack the perpetrators. And understandably, put as much distance between them and the event. This is a logical reaction but, as unfortunate as the gas attack was, more needed to be done than to simply say that one is a monster. And I suppose that is what Murakami tries to achieve in Underground. That everything happens within a context, and we are always part of that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things You Don't Forget

Picture found on: thoughtcatalog

I know I've preached to the choir not to dwell on the past, but I've decided to include a sentimental romantic piece from Thought Catalog. Sometimes it's good to reflect on happier moments. Sometimes...

"Where you met and where you went on your first date, and how excited you were in the hours before your first date, and how nervous you were during your first date, and how badly you wanted a second date, even before the first date ended....Anniversaries, birthdays and the names of parents and friends. The people you liked, and the people you didn’t like, and the people you tolerated because you had to tolerate them. 
Favorite bands and favorite books and the places you shared — the restaurant you always went to, and the route you took to his or her house, and how you stayed the night on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sometimes Sundays.
You won’t remember how he or she drank coffee or tea, until you hear someone order coffee or tea the same way and you will remember how he or she drank coffee or tea ,and you may even remember how it irritated you that three equals and a dash of cream was needed every time, and how you once had to go to two different coffee shops because the dark roast was out at the first place you went. 
Makes and models of cars will be forgotten, and the numbers of miles you shared in these cars will be forgotten, but you may not forget how he or she never offered to pay for gas, and how it started to drive you crazy.... 
You won’t forget how much you loved, because love is not something easily forgotten. You won’t forget how hurt you felt, or how betrayed, or how alone. You won’t forget your promise to not feel hurt and betrayed and alone again. You won’t forget goodbye. "

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Not You

Source of picture:

I have no choice but to admire people who motivate others for a living. Especially if they have a kick-ass body! (I also fell in love with Bob Harper when he showed off his incredible yoga poses on countless episodes of The Biggest Loser...) Speaking of which, I haven't touched any downward dog positions in well over a month - another activity to put on my non-existent 'To-Do' list...

We are so inclined to develop excuses as to why we don't deserve to have wonderful things, especially when it comes to our own well-being - physically and mentally. There are those who dedicate their whole loves to taking care of others. And, in fact, those are the people that truly deserve to be taken care. But sadly, rarely are. Are we to attribute this to the perception that 'wanting' is an act of selfishness? To this I say, there is a great difference between selfishness and a healthy body and mind. Wanting to be happy with your health is not a crime. Wanting healthy, mutual love is not a crime. Chasing your dreams is not a crime. In fact, being happy makes others happy. (It's infectious! I'm sure a scientific study out there can support this proposition.) And Jillian Michaels puts it perfectly: The truth is that we are all deserving. We all deserve to be happy.

So, as cliche as it sounds... love others, love your body, bless your soul. Chances are that all of us are a little over-worked, a little stressed, a little too busy, a little too afraid to take good care of our health and well-being. So why not do the things that make you happy? Why not you?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Everything Goes, Everything Returns

Source of picture: phildesignart
"Everything goes, everything returns; eternally rolls on the wheel of existence.  Everything dies, everything blossoms forth again; eternally runs on the year of existence.  Everything breaks; everything is integrated anew; eternally builds itself the same house of existence.  
All things separate, all things again greet one another; eternally true to itself remains the ring of existence. Every moment begins existence, around every ‘here’ rolls the ball ‘there.  
The middle is everywhere. Crooked is the path of eternity.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
Life is a series of entanglements of our dreams, hopes, experiences and failures, so I thought this poem from Friedrich Nietzsche seemed fitting. The simplicity in his words reminds me of how each of our encounters within our lives serves some sort of purpose - whether we realise it or not at the time. I am a staunch believer in the philosophy that what we expel, we receive in kind. And not to get all 'The Secret' on you, but there is some relevance that that book has with this poem; what we put out, we attract. For me, this is what keeps me going whenever I have days that aren't filled with as much light as the others.

It is sad to think that everything ultimately has an expiry date. The things that we have become accustomed to (and, in some cases, may have even loved) should, one day, be no more. And in this sense, nothing can last or be forever. But life is a ring of existence - a circle that ties us to our experiences. It is this process itself that is eternal. There's something beautiful in his phrasing that suggests what we give out will be returned to us in one form or another.  And that for every end, there will be a new beginning. 

I couldn't have said it better myself, Nietzsche.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shake It Out

Continuing on with my theme of 'mad women', here's Florence's 'Shake It Out'. Her videos oddly captivating, as well as stunningly beautiful. And I am particularly fond of this song. I suppose she is singing about the  moments before the light, the moments before a new beginning. And to rid of past baggage even though it may not serve any purpose in doing so or if one has a strong attachment to those thoughts/feelings - just shake it out. How apt...