Thursday, September 9, 2010

I see you...

I met someone whom I havent seen in the last 15 years. And this time , I met her under a totally different circumstance from the first time i met her. I dont think I even made the effort to get to know her the first time we met. I was in my own world, caught up in my own thoughts and priorities. This morning on my way back from meeting her, I was thinking about her and about me at that time in my life. This morning I could really see her. I saw her beauty ...not just how attractive she was but also her inner beauty. I felt her goodness and warmth. Made me wonder why I dont have this memory of her from the first time i met her. Was it me or was it her? or were we both in a different space at that time that we never gave each other that opportunity to really meet. I think we do that often, we meet people but we never really meet them. Reminds me of a particular line from the movie Avatar, " I see you" and columnist, Jay Michaelson decribes the meaning of that statement as follows: "As the Na'Vi explain in the film, though, "I see you" doesn't mean ordinary seeing - it, like Namaste, really means "the God in me sees the God in you." I see Myself, in your eyes." I couldn't have said it better, i think that is what happened for me this morning. I saw her for who she truly was and in that process I saw me. Very humbling ....Life never fails to amaze me!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pure Bliss....

We learn lots of things in life but I think the most important lesson of all has to do with "learning to be ourselves".  its probably the hardest lesson too.  It's odd that most of us are not comfortable in our own skin... to varying different times and situations. We get told, " be yourself"  and yet many people are afraid that if they showed themselves that others wont like them. I see this in teenagers, in myself at different times. 

I remember attending a talk by Wayne Dyer many years ago and he was talking about awareness, and about the games we play in life and he made one statement that stayed with me ... that sometimes he was embarrassed to be with himself!  The difference is that he said it out loud and many people bury that thought deep inside themselves.

Yesterday, I was watching Chris Rock on Oprah and he said "secrets rot the soul" ...we often think we have secrets or thoughts that others dont know but the truth is that most people get a sense of where someone is at and most people actually cant be bothered about someone else' thoughts and discomfort because they are too busy worrying about their own!

We waste so much energy holding to things , past hurts, secrets, and in trying to hide ourselves from the world and believe takes up sooo much energy!!! I know I have been there many times.

My most glaring lesson when I was 25 and was being interviewed by the media ( one of my first few) and the reporter asked me about my education... what kind of education I had...whether I had a degree or experience in business. Until that point, I tried to avoid these types of questions because I didnt have a degree at that time and naturally I didnt have that much business experience. But that day, I decided that I had enough of "pretending" and I said " no, I dont have a degree and no , I dont have business experience". Funnily that got me more publicity in the media than anything else I had done in the past. Looking back, I think I know why...I was authentic and stayed with me. I was willing to show myself as I was at that time.

At different times of my life I have been more myself than other times.  I dont think its an age thing because I see more young people who are happy to be themselves which is quite refreshing. Maybe we learnt this when we are young and told to be at our best behaviour in front of visitors...and as children we understood it to mean that  we were not good enough to be ourselves. Maybe its because we are not comfortable with ourselves and our own company..... I dont know... all i know is that I have felt such peace and calm within me at those times in my life when i was in alignment with who I was and the more I have those types of experiences, the more I know that this is where my bliss lies and... this is where I am most my own skin... being me. Its freed me up to live life do what i really came here to do at last! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

spirit intact...

My 15 year old daughter and i were having a conversation about spirits, ghosts  and things we cant see.  Here in Asia , we often hear stories about them. She was asking me what  "spirit guides"  were and I replied  ( like if I knew the answer...I never met a spirit guide before!) that spirit guides help their loved ones and solve problems for them. She replied " can I have a spirit guide to solve my math problems"  That made me laugh. She always did have a strange sense of humour .... like the time when she was 3 years old and I was teaching her how to thank god for her blessings and i said " what do you want to thank God for today and she replied ...for the wall ...and the TV controller ( remote)
But maybe she had a point, its the little things we take for granted that we have to be thankful for...things we assume will be there and working every time we need it. When we turn on the lights, we expect it to come on, or  the toaster. We take these things for granted because we are so focussed on wanting ...wanting more ! We get bombarded with ads and TV programs that constantly fuel this need to want more. If we are not wanting then we are trying to preserve what we have. This constant agitation and propagation  of "not enough" or not being good enough. It makes people live in regret, " if only I did this or didn't do this, I would be in a better place today" I know that feeling, I have been there before.
And yet, i also know today that if I didn't experience this, I would not be able completely savour the bliss I experience these days.
 To me this bliss state is the state of gratitude or thankfulness ...that feeling when your heart is full and yet light.  It doesn't need to be an earth shattering experience. It  could be the simple things like the smell of the morning, or hearing the birds outside my window or even feeling well enough to get up in the morning. I know points in my life when I have had to make a conscious effort to think about these things but these days I catch myself smiling for no reason! . A friend of mine in australia has a tattoo on her arm with the words " this too shall pass"  a quote she took from Eckhart Tolle's book.

Someone I know has had a serious operation, someone else has a young child who is very sick and when I think of these people, my heart goes out to them and these are times when I want to to send an army of spirit guides and angels out to task heal them and support them through this time. I  hope they find their bliss by embracing the challenges they are faced with. That they are able to look back and still see what an incredible life this is. Maybe that's all we are supposed to do ... be able to go through life's ups and down and come out clean on the other side with our spirits intact and smiling again!

Monday, June 21, 2010

One life time...

My dad passed away 2 years ago on this day. I have been very aware of this day especially as it drew closer. I was worried for my mum ... if this day would make her sad or nostalgic. This morning, I asked her if she was going to the temple, and she looked a little confused until I reminded her about what day it was. She said that she was thinking about this day but somehow lost track of the happens but I see this as a good thing. It tells me that her life is busy and full. This morning, I commented about how temporary life is.... about how life carries on like nothing happened after we die....its like if we never existed in the first place.  To this my mum replied, that its more important to think about what we do when we are alive and not how we are remembered after we die.

We make so much of endings, probably because we don't do enough for the ones we love while they are alive. I like my mum's pragmatic approach to life. In her words "all of us have to go one day" . My mum was married to my dad for 68 years and till the time he died, she was by his bed side looking after his every need. We always said that my dad should go first because he wouldn't know what to do without my mother.

Today, I read about our Senior Minister, father of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, and how he sits by his  ailing wife's bedside and reads to her for 2 hours every evening. I was very touched by  the article that was written by his daughter, describing how she admires her father's commitment to her mother.

It is what we do for our loved ones when they are alive that matters, this is why my mum is at peace with herself , knowing that she has given her best to her relationship with my dad. I wish I had the experience of that kind of a deep love, one that withstands the tests that life throws at us. One that carries on even after someone dies.

Publish Post

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Now matters !

Its so easy to get caught in the "busyness" of everyday life and lose the plot...we give ourselves all sorts of excuses anything from work to family dramas to keep ourselves away from ourselves. My favourite one is travel... " when I travel , my routine gets disrupted" or " I just need to get through this bit of work before I can settle down and look into my own needs" 
Months later, I look back and I can see that I am still running the same excuse!! I know now that that I have "excused myself" from being fully present in the moment!!
Being fully present in the moment is a discipline , to me it means:
1. Being aware that I need to drink more water 
2. Taking time to exercise
3. Making time for prayer or daily reflection
4. Eating consciously, slowly, appreciating the flavours and effort that has been put into its preparation
5. Looking up from my work when my kids talk to me and giving them my complete attention
6. Making time to catch up with friends/family and making even more time to laugh wholeheartedly
7. Minimising distractions that deplete my energy - internet, TV, people who whine frequently, thoughts about past failures and fears about future mistakes
8. Living in gratitude for everything ....even things that I don't like.
They are really simple things, nothing earth shattering but I know that whenever I have done this, I have felt every cell in my body radiate joy. I know that when I radiate joy - I add to the world and in my own way I help to make it a better place. Something else happens too - an exchange of energy.... you cant possibly put energy out into the world without it coming back at you multiplied. Opportunities find me easily and effortlessly. 
Everyday, life presents us the opportunity to do something different from yesterday. Its a chance to renew and refresh. An opportunity to engage fully in the current moment so that when we look back we can see a life that takes our breath away... thats how I want to leave this about you? There is no other time except NOW!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The philosopher, leader and the connoisseur of life....

A year ago, I wrote about today. Its a special day because three people I know are born on the 24th of March...a very close friend , my boss and a business partner who was introduced to me by my boss.
One day I want the three of  them to meet ...maybe over a meal and i would like to see how they get on. ...I think they will have a blast!
Its funny how life is - all three are from totally different backgrounds but i know that they have alot of common ground and similarities:

My best friend : a true warrior and live wire of any party.. the youngest of the three , wise young mother of two amazing young adults, a business woman and philosopher of life. She has done some pretty amazing things ...things that even the strongest amongst us wont do - situations where she has put herself last and thought of humanity's needs first. A true planetary citizen.

My boss : a great leader who has more followers than he knows, because he is a "dream weaver" and people like to follow someone who has a dream /vision and the bigger the dream, the bigger the following! He is a scientist at heart and despite that very pragmatic part of him that looks for proof, he is also spiritual in his own way as he recognises that there are things that human beings cannot perceive ..things bigger than us. A risk taker with a vision.

My business partner : a classy man who puts his heart out first. People remember him because of the way he connects with them , he is most comfortable around people and he loves life. A sportsman in many ways, very open to new ideas and opportunities to learn. A true connoisseur of life!  A high achiever who knows that its not always about winning,

A philosopher, a leader and a connoisseur of life... three people but each of them fits all three descriptions. lucky am I to have these people in my life.  We sometimes forget to take a closer look at people in our lives and how they add to the planet and make our lives that much better. Today, I will drink a toast to three awesome people in my life, may you have a very happy birthday and continue to touch the lives of others in your own special way!

Monday, March 15, 2010

....just being...

I often get asked what I have been up to lately... "just being" my reply.  Here's what i have learnt :

1. Its ok to be silent if I have nothing to say...the world is noisy enough without my voice to add to that noise
2. Friendships and loved ones add colour to my life
3.  Its nice to take the back seat to allow someone else to shine and bask in their glory
4. I dont have to be anything, or do anything to be loved, accepted or recognised, I  can be just me
5. Laughing out loud and laughing often is the best way to live a long and happy life
6. When a friend needs help, be there, in the bigger scheme of things, getting the opportunity to demonstrate generosity of spirit is a gift in itself
7. Learning keeps me alert and inspired
8. Slow down to take in life, and make time for prayer, reflection and gratitude

How do I feel? .... Absolutely Brilliant!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lover of Life

Its Valentine's Day and the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. My belief with any sort of celebration is " why should it be just for that one group of people" ...why is it that Valentine's Day is for lovers...its a day of love and friendship  and  its  also Chinese New Year...its also a day of renewal.
This morning, I had a trail of sparkles from my children's' bedrooms leading downstairs to the dining table...on this table were two "love jars"  for each one of them.  The jars were filled with love notes, pictures, crystals and other bits that reminded me of moments with  them.  We then had breakfast together and we are going off to the science centre to just spend the day together  and this evening, I have planned a chinese new year dinner .
It does look like effort for some people but its not effort for me as its for the people I love. Its easy to get caught up in life and postpone celebration. Many of us, do that...In fact this year I was going  to do that  because I wondered whether it was relevant anymore for my kids as they are becoming teenagers now. I am glad I changed my mind and chose to celebrate. I feel its an attitude that I consciously chose to adopt many years ago..... why should I change it now? Everyday here on this planet is a reason to celebrate life... and  I do have parties for no reason but if there is a reason such as Valentine's Day or Chinese New cant stop me!
Life is a one time journey and if  I  put some magic in it for my children....perhaps they will take some of that magic and put it out into the world when they are adults. Yes Valentine's Day is for lovers ... I choose to be a lover of Life anytime!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

always connected to the ones we love

They never leave us... grandparents, parents and loved ones.... they stay in our hearts and they watch over us. They may not be physically present but the part of  them that connects  us to them ...was never born and will never die.
If they could speak to us, they would ask us to be happy, to live our lives fully and never live in regret. They would tell us that they are ok now that they have gone back to their source.  They would say  that all the things they struggled with , on the earthly plane no longer matter in the bigger scheme of things and that they are fine with that.

"  Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones shines down upon us to let us know that they are happy"  (eskimo proverb)

Dedicated to anyone who has lost a loved one

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"He fights no more in War!...

An interesting thought came to me this morning. I was thinking about inner conflicts and the energy that surrounds it .  I notice that I am sometimes not even aware that I am conflicted. I get into "auto pilot" and get lost in the day that I sometimes forget to "check in " on what I am feeling. and its not anything big, its just everyday events, ...conflict between what i must do  and what I want to do... people I want to meet vs people I have to meet... and then, there are more familiar conflicts ...its got to do with what I think of myself on  the inside vs what I want to project of myself to the external world!
In some ways, its what we are used to, its a part of life having to deal with duality and polarity. And yet I remember times when there's been a raging "war" inside of me. That's just person .. If I take that and multiply it by the number of people I know and if I  make  that picture bigger by taking into account  all of the people in our planet .... this builds a scary picture for me.  If our thoughts are energy and are made of the same stuff that everything else around us is made of and if we are a part of everything else... then the my inner conflict is connected to the external conflicts in the world. That  thought makes me very conscious of my thoughts and the energy I project into  the world.  The words from a song called The warriors prayer by Tim Wheater come to mind " He fights no more in war!"
I am not sure if we can completely do away with conflict as I think its a necessary part of life and it helps us clarify what's important to us. It is a process of life,  but when we get sucked into the " drama or content" and cant lift ourselves out to rise above it... then we suffer and our suffering adds to the suffering of the world. And it is this suffering that causes wars in us and around us. We get connected to the details and forget to step back to see what is really happening... usually its a call for recognition, love, appreciation or acceptance ... how hard is that?... to give to ourselves or others around us?? This is what I am thinking of today.  Follow youtube to Stuart Wilde's warriors prayer, its warms my spirit and inspires me :

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Married to amazement !

"When it's over, I want to say I have been a bride married to amazement, I've been a bridegroom taking the world into my arms." — Mary Oliver
I was looking up something on the net with a friend, when we came across this phrase and both of us laughed and she suggested that I change my facebook profile to "married amazement" . This was exactly what my friend needed  to hear as we were talking about relationships and how  some people prefer to stay married because they are so afraid of being alone...  well ....not if you are married to amazement! You will never be alone!
So tonight I started thinking about what this means....what would a person's life look like if they were " married to amazement" ??
I guess, this person would be laughing alot, having fun, going with the flow...generally enjoying their life journey. Here lies  the difference,
it is about an attitude to life....embracing life and celebrating the wonder and not being too hung up on the outcome.
When I got married, we only had one "agreement" ....and it said " Life is good with you and Life is good without you" ...meaning... "I am not going to curl up and die if things didnt work out". Both of us will still be ok." It took us away from the " destination" we wanted to get to and helped us focus on the journey instead. It worked for a while.... it probably worked as long as it needed see, there is a bigger scheme of things ( most times we only see parts of it ) but we need to trust that everything that is happening, is happening for our highest good... breathe deep and dive into life. There is a song by Martika that goes " Love, thy will be done "... when I think of this, I see myself, standing on a mountain top, arms raised up to the heaven's and allowing all goodness and power to flow to me from above...and then taking a deep breath and jumping off the edge of that mountain. And when I fall, i float like a feather, and I get to go on different adventures ...floating in the arms of a gentle breeze that takes me from place to place. 
The choice to live like that is a moment to moment choice.....its almost like if we make a pact with life by saying " I will give 100 percent to each moment and you (Life) will  look after me and help me learn and do what I came to do in this life time"  and that's all we have to do...just do our part and let life amaze us with what it brings to us" 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Heartful" Lover....

I was listening to an old song this morning and it was about how lovers have a language of their own...called "lovers speak" by Joan Armatrading. It was given to me some years ago by someone I loved dearly and whenever I heard it, I would feel a sense of regret.... that relationship had to end. However, this morning when I heard was different. It made me smile....this sentence in particular :

"lovers walk a looser tightrope...with feathers thrown upon the ground"

It made me think about how people are when  they are in love.... it is  a time when everything is wonderful, and we are so grateful for all our blessings...because our heart is open.
Why do we only limit such an experience to when we are in love?... and i am speaking about the early stages of love... after a while we fall into a routine - the chores take over and we sometimes even forget to see the blessings.
What if we could all be lovers of life and call upon that state that we get into when we just fall in love.... this is what made me smile!
I was thinking about how we limit our view of love to just our family, children and partner and how we so badly need to love everyone and everything in the same way by recognising that part in us that connects us to all of life around us. Its not my idea... lots of spiritual leaders speak about this and Echkart Tolle in his book " a New Earth" says that we are all connected and that what separates us is the ego's need to take ownership and label things and relationships.
So this is where I am at today : connecting to that inner essence to everything around me"  and seeing beneath the identities and labels"  That makes me very happy. All of us want to be loved and for me the only way to do that is to embrace that opportunity to love right now ...wherever we are at this point in time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

part time dog....

I am setting up my home office- I will be working from home and working half time. Its an easy thing for me to do as one of the things I have learnt in running my own business for several years is that you don't get attached to anything. Everything has to keep moving.... changing shape and form...its a part of life. I have moved offices and houses so many times that I have lost count...the good thing about it, is that you get to clean up the "junk" that collects over time and cull.

This last office move was the same, whilst I got rid of many things, every item I chose to keep is a memory of some sort. When I sit in my new office, what i see are my friends ... I feel like I am surrounded by friends and loved ones... thats kind of special. Here's why.......the things i have chosen to keep are things that remind me of them.  some examples :

1. Amethyst geode - my acupuncturist carried it to my office and gave it to me, he selected it personally for me (  6 months ago)
2. Three kaleidoscopes -one  given to me by my sister and the other my business partner- both make me smile ( 20 years ago) a recent addition given by another close friend  ( 1 year ago)
3. A big porcelain plate with a "hundred children " theme - given by my good friend, she hand carried it from indonesia for me ( 10 years ago)
4. a small porcelain bird - given to me by an elderly lady I met whilst climbing the statue of liberty and we became friends, she has passed on since. ( 25 years ago)
5. A blue and white elephant tea pot - given to me by my assistant  (25 years ago)
4. A tiny porcelain statue of a chinese man that used to sit on one of my father's bonsai plants ( 1year + - he passed away about a year ago and he had it for 30 years)

There are so many other bits and pieces including the cupboard behind me...even that was given by friend.
 These items remind me of occasions.... christmas parties, shopping trips, travels and friendships.

At the end of the day its not about what business deals we won or targets we achieved, ... all that is gives us some excitement but it fades away over time. What stands out more in our minds are times when we felt loved or cared for ...its about friendships, special bonds ... and experiences...makes me feel very rich and very blessed...what else can a wandering dog ask for?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

my friend ...the dragonfly

There is a gift waiting for us within every challenge we face. Sometimes we cant see it straight away but its there. And even though I know this, there are times when I get really frustrated or impatient with myself because I cant see the "gift" in the situation. Its got to do with the state I am in . I find that when I am in a space of gratitude , things flow freely and effortlessly ... I find answers and see things clearly. There is no agitation, instead a sense of peace , a sense of knowing that everything will take care of itself..... I just have to turn up and be fully present in the moment.

The times when it doesnt work for me are when I try to hold on to this experience ...when you see a butterfly or dragonfly in the garden ... you dont try to hold on to it... you watch it... you be with it for a while by noticing its colours and enjoying its presence and then you watch it go away...knowing that it will come back again.

I like dragonflies and I was recently watching a video on dragonflies and how they can travel long distances across the ocean. I didnt know that. The dragonfly also has a life span of about a year but  the time it spends as an adult is only about two months, the rest of the time, its either an egg or nymph. Which kind of makes it special  because it needs to live its life to the fully in the short time it has.... Some people say that  "Dragonflies can also be a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity. Also, as a creature of the wind, the dragonfly frequently represents change" ( dragonfly 
I can relate to that... if i wasnt a wandering dog... I would be a dragonfly!!