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brekky rant

  
Every so often you come across something that represents truth in life:

Dressing up in fancy prettiness actually doubles the disappointment when the wearer fails to live up to expectation. You almost feel cheated by the disguise and promise of a gratifying, fulfilling feast. The fact that the first taste of toppings are heavenly divine, just further contrasts the stale, chewy undercooked mess of a failure that’s underneath. No amount of maple syrup can drown out that misery.

A sobering reminder for us to focus on where real importance lie… Work on what’s below the surface beauty; or you’ll always end up being a disappointing waste of potential, no matte how much you appear to tantalise taste buds.

Human Capacity

#IWishMyTeacherKnew

Heart-breaking truths that resonate through to the depth of your soul. There are a lot of things that are unjust with the world… As a teacher, to advocate for the children, to let their voices be heard; that, is something that drives me, gives me purpose, and the meaning of life.

. .

Empathy is a crazy thing. As a child, I was naive and unaware of how precious life was. I didn’t understand hardship, I couldn’t empathise with struggles; I guess I had lived a privileged life. 

But as I grew to understand more of the world and how much of it couldn’t be under one’s control, I started to change. To even try to put myself in other’s shoes had devastating effects on my emotions. Pain, sickness, suffering… It is understandable that so many of us close ourselves off so we don’t feel it. 

Yet it is precisely the depth of pain that moves me. Humans have such capacity to withstand deep, violent emotions; it is incredible, marvellous and so humbling to witness such resilience. And it is precisely the sad greatness that awes me with how much more we must be capable of carrying joy, of spreading love…

So I carry on, let the sadness wash over me, and I keep on sitting with the pain of this world. It is what little I can do.

x

[Youtube] The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

“As soon as I’m in contact with beauty, the second thing that comes, usually, is pain.  And I think it’s almost a conditioned response, from having had that beauty crushed.” 

In much the same way, when I experience pure joy, a sense of sadness usually follows, from a conditioned response to that joy dissipating.

In the clip above, Eisenstein mentions how he hurts for the biosphere.  For me, I feel pain when I see the beauty in humanity.  There is so much beauty in every single one of us.  For that to be ignored, denied; for people to think/feel/act in destructive ways either towards themselves or others…  It brings me a deep sadness.

Yet, Eisenstein’s openness and compassion made me notice how beautiful it is to experience this sadness.  It takes great courage, to allow yourself to be that vulnerable, to feel pain, to grief.  Somehow I can see it as a blessing to feel this grief.  It is because my heart knows we can do better.  So let’s.

X

awestruck

I’ve always been drawn to the power of language and words.  There are much more powerful forces in life of course, such as music, art, and more; but language, words, and writing, have always had a profound effect on me.

With the ease of access to the vast array of information out there, I find myself constantly searching through link after link, page after page, hungry for inspiration.  Every so often I read something that prompts new connections to form in my brain.  It makes me a little richer, a lot more grateful, for what is out there.

Then I came across Jason Silva, whose words are so eloquently strung they put me in awe.  The way he speaks, the messages he tries to convey, the images he engineers… indeed, like he says, makes you have to “reconfigure, upgrade your mental schemata, just to accommodate, just to take in, the scale of the experience” (The Biological Advantage of Being Awestruck).

And what a blessing it is, to become awestruck, in the life that you lead.  To see for a second how our miniscule singularity fits in to the infinite vastness of this universe, to connect with the vibrations that carry through existence; it lifts me up from the worries of my daily life and fuels me with the motivation and energy to become better.  To do more, to improve myself, so I can in my own little way, spread the positive power I have been so blessed to experience.  I will learn more, process more, so that I may one day, have the capacity to strike a little awe into others.

Meanwhile, I’ll learn to appreciate the little things in life.  It shouldn’t take bigger, grander things for me to be in awe.  I want to appreciate the amazement in the webs of a spider, in the shine of full moon, and the smell of the ocean.  I will experience joy in the smell of coffee, the warmth of the sun, and the laughter of a child.

And I cannot help myself but to be awestruck, with the depth in your eyes, the gentleness in your soul, and the mind-blowing incredible awesomeness that is you.

bless our blossoming souls

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee, it blossoms and the bee comes.  -Mark Nepo

A couple of weekends ago I got into one of my many motivational rants with a bunch of single girlfriends.  I remember trying to convince them that rather than worry about where to find ‘the one’, or question if he exists; we should be focusing on enriching ourselves.  Not just for our own happiness, but also, to become the dream woman for our dream man, so that when we do find each other, we can commence a deeply fulfilling relationship.

So when I came across the image above on my Pinterest feed, I was immediately inspired to share it.  I followed the link to the website that provided this image, and found a little excerpt from Mark Nepo’s book…

“It seems the very job of being is to ready us for such love.  By attending our own inner growth, we uncannily become exactly who we are, and like the tulip whose blossomed petal is the exact shape of the bee, our self-actualization attracts a host of loving others more real than all our fantasies.  In this way, the Universe continues through the unexpected coming together of blossomed souls.”

This is exactly what I was trying to say girls!  Blind faith?  Perhaps.  Yet I know I wouldn’t want anything less, so onwards I go, along my path of happiness.

All I can do is try to inspire and show you how I interpret it.  The rest is up to you.  You know you want this too… ;P

[Youtube] Look Up

This video has been shared over and over on my Facebook feed for weeks.  You know a video has gone viral when ones with translated captions start showing up!  Essentially the 5 minute video criticizes the ‘reality’ of how modern technology, in particular social media, had changed the way we ‘connect’ with others.  It accuses us of not being present or productive when we edit the messages so carefully crafted to declare to the cyber space how amazing our lives are.  It clings to the dichotomy of people forsaking what is ‘real’ in preference to what he claimed to be ‘social isolation’.

It’s not that I didn’t like the video, I loved it.  In fact, the first time I watched it, I left the tab open, knowing I will have much to think about the mixed feelings that arose and the inspirations that spawned.  I loved how it urged us to “Look up”, and see the beauty and opportunities that this world offered.  A wonderful message that obviously struck many chords with people all over social media – as evident by the drowning number of shares.

For me though, it’s all about the balance.  I don’t believe in the black or white presented in this video.  As hooked as we might be to technology, the swings in my park are by no means empty!  There is definitely a place for social media, certainly for those who have overseas contacts to connect with, those with irregular work hours who want to keep up with their friends, and for lobbyists such as the author of this video, who want to share something with more than just his immediate social circle of friends and family.

I agree that when you are face to face with someone, it is certainly worthwhile to put away that phone and look up, be present for your company.  There is no grander privilege that you can bestow on another, than absolute focus and open attention.  For me, this goes beyond just looking at the person without your phone in your hand.  It also has to include switching off that yapping internal dialog inside your head and just BE PRESENT.  A lesson I’m still eagerly learning.

I also firmly believe in having no-screen time everyday.  For me, I am fortunate to work in an environment that demands my full attention to my surroundings – no screens.  At first it was difficult – I remember feeling insecure leaving my phone in my bag during my practicum.  What if someone messaged me?  What if I needed to check my emails?  I was used to chatting through group emails as many office dwellers are more than familiar with.  But after being away from all that chatter… Now, I appreciate the down time from technology.  In fact, I now deliberately leave my phone unattended.  Not just in my bag turned silent or in a different room when I’m at home, but to actually challenge myself to leave it at home when I go out.  I’ll admit, I’ve only gone as far as grocery shopping without my phone…  But it’s work in progress!  (And I’m sure my upcoming Europe trip will greatly advance me in this lesson.)

The thing that I really appreciate from this video is the reminder to connect with real people, in real life.  So I am posing myself a challenge, to smile at total strangers until I get one genuine smile back, every day for 21 days.  There was a theory that 21 days is enough to form a habit.  Let’s see how it goes. : )

[Movie] Divergent

So half an hour after the movie, I’m still absolutely completely overwhelmed by the ultimate fantasy that this movie created for me…

A man who is the best at everything.  “First in his class” they said.  Strong.  Smart.  Brave.  Honest.  Kind.  And of course, SO deliciously gorgeous.

That doesn’t make a fantasy, it could be the basis of any main character in any story.  What really drew me in and had me holding my breath, is the relationship he had with the protagonist, Tris.  It was one of mutual respect, understanding, and appreciation.  To be seen for what you are; to be mentored; to have your potential fulfilled; to be understood, cherished, protected, by someone who you equally understand and want to protect… That I realise, embodies my ultimate fantasy of what I see for myself.

And there lies my problem.  How can there possibly be a man who is better than me, who is able to guide me, teach me, enlighten and inspire me, yet need me in the same way?  What can I offer such a man in return, that is uniquely me, that will touch him, pull him in, and keep him there?

I don’t have the answers.

But it’s what I want.  It’s what I shall hold out for.

Until then.  More mind, body, and soul enriching use of my waking hours.  : )