Monday, 29 December 2014

Love yourself

"Loving yourself first" sounds selfish, but it actually isn't. Only when you take care of yourself, be truly happy with yourself and your life, can you in turn take good care of others and truly love others. For when you no longer judge yourself, you lose the urge to judge someone else. When you no longer have to protect your own ego, you accept someone else for who they really are. When you are happy, you see the world in a positive light, and spread happiness too. 
Therefore, in the new year, would you make the promise to love yourself first and foremost? It is OK to put your needs before others. It is OK to say 'no' when it is the only way to take care of yourself. Don't say 'yes' to things that drain you mentally, physically or emotionally, so much that you end up hurting yourself and others. It is OK to place your happiness first. 
In fact, it is crucial. Fill yourself with so much happiness and love that it overflows, so much that you can't wait to share it with everyone. 
You deserve all the love the world can give. And you know what? It doesn't come from something outside of yourself. It comes from you. It comes from your choices, and the desire to always act from a place of gentle kindness, a place of love. Be kind and gentle to yourself, Love yourself. You hold the key. It may feel scary at first, knowing that you alone are responsible for your own happiness, not anyone or anything else. But when you can tap into the place of unconditional love within yourself, feel the liberation from external sources of happiness. Now, that is freedom.
Much love to you, my friend. =)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Sarah Kay, performing poet

I came across Sarah Kay a year ago, when I watched her TED talk, "If I should have a daughter..", and really identified with her words. She spoke to me in a visceral way, like a friend I had never known. This evening, I chanced upon her other TED talk, "How many lives can you live?". Again, her words, though short, touched me on such a deep level. I felt like she had helped put some of my thoughts into words (like in that song, "Killing me softly"?).
Well, just sharing. I hope you like her poems too. Do click on the hyperlinks if you are interested.
Happy Monday, everyone =)

Friday, 19 December 2014

Appreciate how awesome you are!

Happy Friday! It's the holiday season! Amongst taking the time to appreciate those you love, do remember to also appreciate yourself! You have come a long way, and you are awesome!! ^_^


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Change your questions, change your life

I highly recommend that everyone reads this book. This book introduces the idea of question thinking, a way of approaching any situation or any thought process with questions, instead of statements. 
When faced with a situation, we often react in either of two modes: the Judger mode, or the Learner mode. The Judger mode is judgmental, negative, and keeps you stuck in the spiral of negativity and non-action. The Learner mode is open-minded, inquisitive and looks for solutions. It is easy to fall into the Judger mode, as we are only human (so don't beat yourself up if that is your default state), but it is just as easy to switch into the Learner mode, once you are aware that you are in the Judger mode. This switch is as easy as asking yourself, 'What do I want to do about this situation? What do I want?'. To change your frame of thinking in the Learner mode, you can start asking questions about the situation, 'What are the facts? What can I do about this? What do others need?', etc. To illustrate the difference between the two modes, here is a chart from the Inquiry Institute:
This process is not difficult at all, and can change everything in your life, personally and professionally. All it takes is first awareness, a choice to switch your mindset, and then asking questions. Most of us practice this sometimes anyway, but not intentionally or consciously. Can you imagine how much more powerful this habit can be if you are aware of it and practice it everyday, consciously, in every aspect of your life? One can only imagine the possibilities. 

*Thanks to J&J for giving me this book!

Happiness is an inside job

Often, we hear people say, "When I get this / When this happens, then I will be happy." What if you turned that around, and said, "No matter what happens, I will be happy."? How about focusing on the good things you do have, and enjoy the process of working for your dreams, instead of what you lack, or the outcome of what you are working toward? Seeking happiness from outside of yourself always leaves you looking for more. When you make the choice to stay positive and remind yourself of the good, thinking of difficult times as 'challenges' instead of 'problems', notice how your perspective also changes. When you are happy on the inside, everything outside of you will make you happy. Anything you receive or experience will be enough. When you are not happy, not even a billion-dollar job or the best spouse in the world is going to lift you up.
So why not take a shot at being positive and happy, and see how life turns around? All it takes is a moment, a conscious choice.

Friday, 5 December 2014

A life lesson, in a baby's illness

This touched me very deeply. I am not going to taint the underlying message with my words (for I cannot; it is beyond words), but simply let you experience it in your own way.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The art of stillness

It is the start of the holiday season, and many of us are rushing around, trying to get the last bits of shopping and partying done, squeezing in as many activities and work as we can before making our resolutions for the 'new year'. Some of us may feel overwhelmed, feeling like we are running around like a headless chicken, with an endless to-do list but not really figuring out deep inside what it's all for. Maybe you feel like this throughout the year. Here, at the start of December, I invite you to take a step back, and take some moments for yourself to sit in stillness, take a few deep breaths and dedicate some time (it doesn't have to be long, 5-15 minutes will do) to just be with yourself. Turn off the alerts on your phone, close the laptop, and just turn your attention inward to your breathing, to your inner thoughts. Turn off the distractions from the outside world. Tune in to what your body is telling you, try to listen to what you really want for yourself, in this year, in this life. Not what you think society, your friends, your family, your colleagues, or anything or anyone else wants from you. What do YOU want? What makes YOU truly happy? When you make some time for yourself, instead of being pulled in all directions all the time, you gain clarity in what you're really looking for, what you're really living for. =) Also take the time to review and reflect on your journey. You have come farther than you think. Pat yourself on the back for the constant growth! Embrace the lessons, enjoy the memories, release what does not serve you any longer. Remember the big picture. You may realize that you have more time than you think. Or that you have more resources, more sources of love than you think.
So why not give it a try? This act of self-love is free, does not require too much time, yet is immensely rewarding (p.s. potentially addictive =p ).