Saturday, December 24, 2016

Choose to be grateful



I am choosing to always be grateful, and loudly express it, despite the circumstances.

A change of mindset makes this possible. Believe me, it is not easy especially when I am under pressure at work or battling my way in a busy hypermarket with all those hurrying shoppers and equally pressured cashiers and baggers.

So when I am feeling that I am becoming impatient, that I could not smile at all, and I am no longer verbally responding to somebody talking to me, I observe other people. How they keep their cool, how they are smiling, how they laugh heartily.

I saw this during a site visit with a client early this week. We went to the construction site of the training and learning center they have donated to a community in Cagayan De Oro. That same community was also helped by my client to resettle in their current site about three years ago. This is not the first time the community members thanked my client / company, but how they said it felt like it was the first time my client visited them and handed them the gifts that would make their lives sustainable.
   
Why can't we be all like them?

As we feast on our Christmas spread, exchange gifts with our family and friends, let us not forget that the reason for this occasion was the greatest gift of all --- Jesus Christ's birth.

Let us all be thankful we have what we have, and we will have more because of our faith in the One Above There, who sacrificed His Son so we are redeemed.

And for a change, let us try to always say grace, to be thankful for what we have, how we are still standing despite our current setbacks, and claim and thank in advance the blessings, the opportunities already lined up for us. Let us keep the faith.

Let us be grateful.

Friday, December 16, 2016

My favorite PH-made, Christmas 2016 campaigns

More Christmas / holiday campaigns are coming in and oh the feels.

Here is my new list, Filipino-made and feels, to add to my  #Top5: My favorite Christmas 2016 commercials:

Globe x Rogue One #CreateCourage campaign



This is not exactly a holiday campaign, but tied with the opening of the newest film in the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One.

This is very touching, not only it appeals to the Star Wars fans, but the courage of this girl to continue despite what she is going through is simply amazing. I have seen this couple of times already, but when she removed her Stormtrooper helmet, I still shed tears. And I am sure so did you.

Jollibee's Ang Regalo ni Lolo



The country's leading fast food chain has been known making commercials that espouse the values of Filipino family. In this campaign, this teaches us that it is not the amount of gift that matters, but how much thought, effort you put into it to make someone happy.

Mc Donald's The Boy Who Loves to Study



Remember the viral photo of Daniel Cabrera from Cebu, the boy who studies under the light of a Mc Donald's branch in their area? A year after, the American fast food chain reunited him with Joyce, then a MedTech student who took the photo of Daniel. Joyce said they were moved by Daniel's motivation to study despite his circumstances and that reminds her that she has no excuse to not study well because this boy is doing his best. Donations poured in for the boy and his mother, Mc Donald's giving him allowance until he finishes high school. Like with the #CreateCourage campaign, this one never fails to make me cry even if I have seen this a couple of times already.

Uber's #FindYourWayHome - Marie



The first of a 3-part series from this ride hailing services, the twist on this one is sad at first thought, but overall, it reminds us again that spending the Christmas and New Year with our loved ones is the very best to spend the occasions.

It is a good thing that there are still creative geniuses out there, companies with a heart who are able to come up with wholesome, heartfelt campaigns like these. And these are the kinds of post worth sharing on our social media accounts, not the vile, poisonous, fake posts we see these days.

Do not forget your box of tissue when viewing these.


Related: #Top5: My favorite Christmas 2016 commercials

Sunday, December 04, 2016

#Top5: My favorite Christmas 2016 commercials

Because I am sick of negativity filling my Facebook newsfeed (Duterte, Marcos, Trump, trolls), so I am always looking for motivating, inspiring posts to read or watch.

And this season, thank heavens for those super wonderful, heart warming Christmas commercials!

So, to save our sanity, and to feel the merry holidays spirit, here are my picks for so far, the best Christmas commercials of 2016:

Sainsbury's The Greatest Christmas Gift

Featuring the voice of James Corden, this advert from United Kingdom's supermarket company is made in stop-motion animation, which emphasizes that the greatest gift we can give to our loved one is our time. Currently with 13.11 million views on YouTube:



M&S' Christmas with Love from Mrs Claus

If Santa Claus forgets something, trust that Mrs Santa Claus will come to his aid and save the day. This M&S 2016 advert has 7.25 million YouTube views:




H&M's Come Together

Expect the grand feel, the visual spectacle from Wes Anderson (the director of Grand Budapest Hotel) in this advert from H&M, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody. The ad is of course, is about the holiday collection of the Sweden-based fast fashion company, but at the same time, it is about seeing the bright side of things amid an unforeseen or difficult situation. Now has 6.36 million YouTube views:



Heathrow Airport's Coming Home for Christmas

This one reminds me of Love Actually, where the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) said:

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there --- fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge --- they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."

Aww!!! Currently with 4.28 million views on YouTube:



Old Friends: A Tribute to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

This one is also heartwarming --- a boy who grew up watching the Macy's Thanksgiving parade, having that special bond with the Santa Claus balloon. Then see what the Santa Claus balloon did when he could not find his old friend. With 158,194 views on YouTube:


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lessons from the Advent: Stay awake, be prepared




Today marks the Advent, or the time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

From the Latin adventus, the Advent season is about waiting for the coming of Christ from three perspectives: As mentioned, the celebration of Nativity of Jesus at Christmas; in our hearts on a daily basis; and in the glory of time.

In his homily, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said Advent is about preparation; to know Lord Jesus Christ more.

But it is not enough that we know Him on a conceptual level. During this season, we must also transform internally.

We must also stay awake by being attuned to the signs of the times, especially the signals of Jesus' presence, the Cardinal said.

Let us also evaluate our quality of preparedness, the Cardinal said. "How focus am I on the Lord's words, presence, and [my] actions?"



Advent is also about fresh beginnings, as Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD noted.

"Let us pray today for the grace to live meaningful, beautiful lives. May we live lives spent for a mission for something or Someone greater than ourselves. May we not live empty and meaningless lives filled with selfishness, pleasure, and pride," Fr.  Orbos wrote.

Advent or not, it is important that we keep our focus; to feel the presence; to stay attuned to the signs the Lord Jesus Christ are revealing to us.

Advent or not, let us always strive to live a meaningful life.

Advent or not, let us always be spiritually --- as we do not know how long or short are we going to live or when is the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, let us live a life of purpose.

Have a blessed week ahead.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

#BookwormLessons: Your seventh year

The first page on the "Seventh Year" chapter in the book The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen.


Pardon the 1-day late post. Yours truly have been accomplishing tasks for my clients.

= = = = =

For lessons learned from a book, I am sharing with you about a chapter in the book The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen (which sermon I previously shared with you here).

Here, Lakewood Church senior pastor Osteen shared Deuteronomy 15, a law God gave the people of Israel that said every seventh year, they had to release any Hebrew slaves. He wrote, "If you were a Hebrew and owed another person money that you could not repay, they could take you in as a slave and make you work full-time until you paid them back."

"But every seventh year, if you were a part of God's chosen people, you had a special advantage. You got released. No matter how much you still owed, no matter how in debt you were, in the seventh year you were set free."

A friend also told me recently about the so-called seven-year cycle. That after a cycle of difficulties, there is a cycle of abundance.

And that is what we are forgetting at times. Everything is a cycle. Not necessarily as long as seven years, but whatever difficulty we are into now, the situation is only temporary.

And this chapter of the book enforces that mindset change: "When you come into your seventh year, all the forces of darkness cannot stop what God wants to do."

"...You need to get ready. When you come into your seventh year, God is going to do more than you can ask or think. He is going to exceed your expectations. It's going to be bigger, better, and more rewarding than you thought possible."

This book by the way is not the be-all and end-all, but material like this comes in handy when we need some nudge, a kick in the butt, to realize that we can shift our mindset, change our situation, and trust that the Universe is aligning things for us, and much more, because we asked so. Not declare that the temporary difficult situation as it is already is, and therefore, it becomes permanent and drags as down.

I have not finished the book yet, I am sure this inspirational / self-help has more kick-ass lines to wake me up as I bask in my seventh year.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Lesson from Doctor Strange movie: 'It's not about you'



You have probably seen Doctor Strange by now, the latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If you have not seen it, watch now and be amazed with all those visual, tantalizing illusions. And learn how to know that it is not always about you.

That is the lesson I am learning over the years, and more so lately.

Neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (played in the movie by Benedict Cumberbatch) had a tragic car accident, losing his ability to use his hands, ergo his ability to perform surgeries. Using all his resources, he tried to find ways for cure, but failed. Then he learned about the paraplegic Jonathan Pangborn who was able to walk again. From him, Strange learn about Kamar-Taj, and there, he met the master of the mystic arts Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who in turn, introduced him to The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton).

There, Doctor Strange begged The Ancient One to teach him what she showed him: the he astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension, among other mystical wonders. The Celtic mystic refused at first to teach him because of his arrogance, but eventually took him under her wing.

The movie, on top of the visual effects, has a lot to teach about humility, learning, and perseverance.

Unlearning

For one, Mordo offered Doctor Strange an unsolicited advice: "Forget everything that you think you know." The Ancient One also told the arrogant doctor, "You think you know how the world works. You think this material universe is all there is. What if I told you the reality you know is one of many?"

And as he insisted to be taught, "How do I get from here to there?" The Ancient One asked him,
"How did you become a doctor?" And Doctor Strange himself answered his own question: "Study and practice. Years of it."

Possibilities

Such challenge, when met, will allow us to open ourselves to open to more possibilities, something Doctor Strange did not believe at first.

The Ancient One told Doctor Strange, "You're a man looking at the world through a keyhole. You've spent your whole life trying to widen that keyhole. To see more. To know more. And now on hearing that it can be widened, in ways you can't imagine, you reject the possibility."

And Doctor Strange haughtily replied, "No, I reject it because I do not believe in fairy tales about chakras or energy or the power of belief. There is no such thing as spirit! We are made of matter and nothing more. We're just another tiny, momentary speck in an indifferent universe."

And so the neurosurgeon had to eat his humble pie, start anew, as he opened himself up to more possibilities.

Time

Time is a recurring theme here in this movie --- from the watch Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) gave to Doctor Strange with the inscription, "Time will tell how much I love you," to The Ancient One telling him that we do not get to choose our time: "Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered and your time is short. You'd think after all this time I'd be ready. But look at me. Stretching one moment out into a thousand ... just so that I can watch the snow."

And wasting time obsessing about things we have no control of, or dwelling on the past that is already behind us, is no good use of the short time we have on this Earth.

We can argue, like Doctor Strange did, "This doesn't make sense," "I'm not ready." To which The Ancient One taught him throughout his journey that "Not everything [has to make sense]. Not everything has to, and that:

"Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all: It's not about you."
That is true. We are so consumed with thinking we are the victim but what we are forgetting is that it is not all about us at all times.

That if we want the situation to change, we must do our part and be a player or a team player.

Enough of pity party. We have a choice to do better and be better. "We never lose our demons, we only learn to live above them," The Ancient One wisely said.

And more than teaching him mysticism, The Ancient One taught Doctor Strange life's lessons that we can all relate to.

It is not all about us. There is so much unlearning we have to do to open ourselves to possibilities, while staying humble in the process.


Movie quotes from IMDb

Friday, November 04, 2016

From victim to player mentality

Image from Pinterest


Last week, I completed courses offered via LinkedIn through its "Week of Learning" campaign.

The courses I took vary from life skills to leadership and management to project management and branding.

One of the interesting courses I completed on communication and coaching was titled "Powerless to Powerful: Taking Control," conducted by Fred Kofman, philosopher and LinkedIn's vice president.

The course overview reads, "victimhood means blaming other people or outside circumstances when faced with life's challenges. This "it's not my fault" mentality can scale to teams, organizations, and societies. But why shift blame when you can take control? "

And Kofman made interesting points, among them:


  • The price of innocence is impotence
  • The victim only focuses on what is happening outside his / her control
  • If you are arguing that you are innocent and other people did it to you, then you are not going to have the power to change the situation

Avoiding responsibility

Victim mentality, or "the acquired (learned) personality trait in which a person tends to regard themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case even in the lack of clear evidence of such circumstances," can be replaced with a better means to respond to a situation and to adopt a player mentality.

Kofman pointed out that:
  • On response-ability, if you are suffering, it is your problem
  • The victim avoids responsibility
  • The victim avoids response-ability

I at times succumbed to victim mentality. And as I got deeper into believing that I have not done anything wrong, that I have not contributed in worsening the situation, the more I felt I was powerless. Good thing I have friends who kicked me out of the s*** I let myself believing into by being brutally honest to me. Yet, at the same time, they have not left me and still, helping me stay above my demons.

That is why if I know someone who fell prey into victim mentality, I also kick them (not literally, but if push comes to shove, kidding!) As Kofman said, we must refuse to feed the victim mentality that are already crippling our loved ones.

Some questions that we ask and let the victim mentality take hold include:
  • What happened to you?
  • Who wronged you?
  • What should they have done?
  • What should they do now?
  • What punishment do they deserve? 

Be a player

One thing that we must accept is that we are not in control of all the things happening in our life.

We must ask ourselves, "what did I do? How did I participate?" 

We must realize our behavior in order to create a positive outcome. Let us have a warrior attitude that everything is a challenge, Kofman said.

When we feel we are hurting, let us stop and think a way to respond, and ask further:
  • What challenges am I facing?
  • How did I contribute in this situation?
  • Could I have done something differently? (Could is a player word; should a victim word, Kofman said)
  • Can I do something now?
  • What lesson can I learn from this experience?


Become a hero

And once we take the warrior stance, the player mentality, the next thing to do is to become our own hero, Kofman said.

That we must always keep in mind that some things do not work out.

That without a challenge, you cannot prove what you are made of.

In the online course, Kofman coached John on how to let go of his terrible experience when he was starting in his career. He pointed to John that the latter was a hero of his own when he walked out of the situation, that he refused to be the victim anymore (though through the years, he was still feeling sorry about it); that he chose not to stay in a place that he was not recognized --- a somehow similar situation I had also.

And like John, I chose to walk away, to tell how debilitating the system was to those responsible for it, and I could only wish that those people oppressing others in such workplace have learned their lesson, like I learned and learning mine.

Kofman said the hero stands for the truth, that they choose to do the right thing, and display their values no matter what.

And for us to empower others to become players then heroes, we must:

  • Listen emphatically
  • Engage in a conversation to pivot from victim to hero
  • Know the truth of the external situation
  • Know the truth of the internal pain

Also, ask:
  • Would you like to do something about this?
  • What is within your control to make the situation better?
  • What must you do to be proud of yourself?
There are real victims out there, and they have become survivors because they chose to rise to the occasion.

And overall, what is important is that, yes, we had a painful experience, but we got through it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

"I am"

I AM. In this book, Pastor Joel Osteen espouses that our attitude and what we tell ourselves determines our future. Photo from https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/ThePowerOfIam.aspx


I am a failure.

I am a loser.

I am hopeless.


Enough

Those negative phrases sum up the  roller coaster of emotions I was feeling about two months ago.

I was feeling that no matter how I did good, all the bad things happened to me.

That no matter how I tried to be good to people, these people stabbed me with  me all their bull**** because I am simply being me, I am simply doing a damn good job.

Until I wrote on my journal one day toward the end of September that ENOUGH.

Enough of tears, enough of negativity.

I have had enough of aloofness; anger; depression; loneliness.

That I wish myself peace because I truly deserve it.

And let fate determine what happens to those who maligned me.


Acceptance

Look, I still have my issues.

But I have chosen to look into them in a better light.

I do not deny their existence.

I have acknowledged them and have shown them that my faith, my attitude are bigger than them.

And soonest, these issues will be resolved because they are shown who is the boss.


Attitude

And coming across Pastor Joel Osteen's book, "The Power of I Am" reinforced that attitude change I am employing now.

The "Queen of TV Talk" Oprah said that Osteen's sermon on the power of "I Am" changed how she viewed her life.

I watched that sermon the other day and here are my 24 key takeaways:


  1. The "I Am's" coming out of your mouth will determine your success or failure
  2. What follows "I Am" will always come looking for you (ex. If you say "I am rich" then abundance will follow you)
  3. Get up in the morning and invite good things into your life
  4. A lot has to do with your attitude
  5. You should never put yourself down
  6. Take what you have and make the most out of it
  7. Nothing about you is an accident
  8. There is nothing ordinary about you
  9. Have a quiet confidence
  10. You have something to offer this world
  11. You got to shake off the negative things people say about you
  12. Quit telling yourself you are all washed up
  13. When you have the "right I Am's" you are inviting the goodness of God
  14. With your words you can bless or curse your future
  15. It is up to you to choose what follows the "I Am"
  16. Never say negative things about yourself
  17. Do not be against yourself
  18. What others say about you does not determine your destiny
  19. God stamped his approval on you
  20.  Do not give intimidation an invitation
  21. Change your "I Am"
  22. Make sure you have the right "I Am" come out of your mouth
  23. You have to call the things when they are not as if they are already were
  24. Invite the right things in your life





The power of "I Am"

So, being kinder to ourselves will do us more good.

Having the right attitude matters.

Let us stop beating ourselves as if everything is our fault.

We did our very best at a given situation.

And as Osteen quoted Numbers 14:28, "So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say."

So let us change our "I Am's" to (the following "I Am's" also from the sermon):


  • I am amazing.
  • I am anointed.
  • I am blessed.
  • I am created in the image of Almighty God.
  • I am crowned with favor.
  • I am excited about my future.
  • I am getting better and better.
  • I am hand-picked by God.
  • I am healthy.
  • I am improving. 
  • I am a masterpiece.
  • I am one-of-a-kind.
  • I am surrounded by God's favors.
  • I am talented.
  • I am wonderfully made.
  • I am valuable.
  • I am victorious.


So, I am counting on you --- that we invite the right things into our lives and see things improve for the better.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What’s your purpose in life?





Have you ever thought about what is your purpose in life?

Beyond your career, financial, health and wellness, or relationship goal?

Leadership speaker and author John C. Maxwell conducted a free 1-hour webinar on the topic “discovering your purpose” on October 4. And here, he expounded better on why we should live a purposeful life daily.

Here are the lessons I learned from the webinar:

Be intentional

Maxwell said that having a purpose is essential to one’s life. That once we learn to be intentional with our life, and then live our purpose, “we can be an every day purpose person,” (sounds similar to purpose-driven life that Rick Warren espouses).

And how to find our purpose? He said there are two ways:

  1. Through passion – the fuel that keeps us going uphill
  2. Through giftedness – which determines how high uphill we can climb


“If you’re going to find your purpose and live it out, you have to not only ask yourself, ‘What am I passionate about?’ You have to ask yourself, ‘What am I gifted in? What do I do well?’”

And on he went that when we find our purpose, we find our why. And that instead asking “why?” ask “why not?” as this opens a floodgate of opportunities.

And that when we find our why, we find our way.

Be better

Explaining further on discovering our purpose, Maxwell said that everything worthwhile in life is uphill, and that our purpose will give us the reason to go uphill.

And that in the course of finding our purpose, we have to answer three questions:


  1. What do I sing about?
  2. What do I cry about?
  3. What do I dream about?


Maxwell said he sings about unleashing the talent of his team. “The greatest singers are those preparing to give value to others,” he said.

And that giving value to others must be done consistently, as “leadership or influence is being able, day-in, day-out to be consistent in adding value to people.”

As for “crying,” he also underscored the importance of spending our energy on worthwhile things, and that sometimes, it is necessary to unload passengers “as you don’t want everybody on your train.”

And if your dream is only big enough for you, it is not then big enough to include others. “I gotta get better to help you get better,” he said.

And once that we know that our purpose is about intentionally adding value to people, we will begin to:


  1. Think things that average people don’t think
  2. Do things that average people don’t do
  3. Reap results that average people don’t reap

Every day with purpose

That one-hour webinar reinforced my conviction of revisiting the life I am living.

And I have a long way to go to distinguish between achieving my goal versus living a life of purpose.

For such dilemma I have, Maxwell offered his 30-day, self-improvement program (which I am still contemplating whether to avail of or not; mainly because I need to prioritize now which learning I really must spend money on).

But for those interested to dig more about living a life with a purpose, then visit Maxwell’s site.

But for my key takeaway, it is this: I gotta get better to help you get better.

Friday, October 14, 2016

When I ask for help ...



... It means I really, really, really need help.

That is why it pains me to be be turned down, to be advised, to be served a sermon when all I asked was help. Especially from someone I helped.

It is sickening. When I went out of my way to help, and when it is me who is in need, and I asked for help, it seemed that no one was there.

No one wanted to make time when I gave my time.

And  I thought there were angels out there to help me, when I was being an angel to them.

Very good thing I am self-reliant. And I am independent.

But yes, on occasions, I do need help. And rarely that I ask for help.

I know I should not expect something in return for all I  have done. I simply cannot understand though why there are people like me (and I am sure a lot more have done great deeds than mine) who were refused help when they did not hesitate to help though.

Lesson learned: I have to be more self-reliant. More independent.

And yes, I will continue to help. But I will be more careful to let no one abuse my generosity, kindness, time. As there are many others out there who truly need help and really appreciate you helping them.

I cannot always be helping, rescuing others. I need to help, rescue me first. Topmost.

Well, there, my adulting lesson for the week.

Friday, October 07, 2016

5 activities I do to keep myself sane

JOURNAL. As in, really journaling, ala Bridget Jones of rambling thoughts here, for things I deemed not for trolls to pry on online. Cut outs from Papemelroti; shoe stickers from Melissa Philippines; ruled notebook from Miquelrius bought from FullyBooked 


Too much time allows unwanted thoughts to creep into me, thus I keep myself busy if I got no work to do (as I am a Communications Consultant now, and I do not work that often, lucky in that respect).

Of course, there were times I sulk or veg out. But when I feel like going out, and just by myself, I usually do the following (including eating out, mostly sweets and cups of coffee):

Watch movies. The season of anticipated blockbusters just hit right when I have time to watch some of these flicks. The latest I watched was Bridget Jones's Baby (not as good as Bridget Jones's Diary but way better than Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). I somehow can identify with Ms. Jones's character, and the dream of having a Mark Darcy, oh my! Just losing yourself, letting go of your worries in about two hours or so is a welcome respite, especially seeing your heroes and heroines on screen solving their problems --- that, in a way, can give you the drive to continue.

Read books. Super happy I get to read more books these days (as I have a dozen or more unread titles in my bookshelf; on my study table in my room; on this office table I am using now; plus those purchased in the past two months; and the e-books on my Kindle app in my old iPad 2). Reading books is a great escape, and a way to learn more, whether it is fiction or non-fiction. The last I read was a self-help one, Teach Yourself Body Language --- I have become pretty good in deciphering body language, and I am also conscious of the body language I am showing, but still not bad to know more, especially dealing with high-powered people, thus this slim tome. My favorite reads lately, and have affected me in a great way were Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (too depressing, too dark, some points hit close to home) and Bossypants by Tina Fey (which I finished in about eight hours, and it was funny and inspiring, a no-bull shit leadership reading for women). There were some titles I started reading, but have not continued yet. Eventually, I will finish reading them all.

Update my daily, weekly planners. I was neglecting my planners (using Starbucks + Moleskine green weekly and red daily planners). When I was so busy at work, I was barely using these. Now, they are pretty filled with my to do's and (checked them once done), appointments, dates, etc., and I am mastering the bullet journaling method with these. Not sure though if I would get a Starbucks planner this year (I got mine because it was an office exchange gift, and one was a gift from Starbucks Philippines itself).

Start a journal (pictured above). Yes, as in journaling hard core. Running three to four pages for a single rant or musing. That kind of longhand writing. I pimped up mine (see the crafty cut outs and shoe stickers) then started writing (with my trusty Cartier heart-shaped charm pink lacq ballpen). I always carry my Miquelrius journal with me (even if it is thick) and as long as I get settled in a coffee shop usually, I open it and start journaling.  I get frustrated though every time I misspelled a word or my handwriting is so loopy (I am not blessed with a very good penmanship, the joke is those who would try to steal my interview notebook would have a hard time deciphering what I wrote because my writing looks like hieroglyphics!) And I came across the "ritual" called morning pages, "three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning." It is almost what I am doing, except I write when I feel like it (and lately four times a day max). And I am not exactly a morning person so this will be challenging, but I will try and let you know.

LIKE A KID. I draw to my hear's content in this "art" journal --- never mind if I suck at drawing! 

Get into drawing; adult coloring books. Not blessed also with a talent in drawing (my youngest brother is very good at it), but what the hell, I sure can do a damn good job in coloring drawings! I now have this separate art journal (got the idea from Samantha Dion Baker's Instagram account), and draw there (using Artline 0.6 drawing pen and Faber-Castell color pencils) whenever I feel like it, mostly my aspirations, my "visions" of blessings I like to attract and achieve (see above). I also returned to my adult coloring books again (one is a book on desserts, the other Art Nouveau fashion --- the latter too elaborate and difficult to color!) But one must finish what she has started, right? Right.

= = = = =

So there. My "alone time" activities that keep my mind going and the creative juices flowing.

So if you feel like stuck in a rut, pick an activity (a healthy, positive one, please) to do, and complete it. It will allow you to refocus, to rebalance your energies, and take your mind off unnecessary worries.

So, what keeps you sane these days?

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'll be all right ...

Image from http://www.goodmorningquote.com/

I declared this last week of September to be awesome.

But the past two days were challenging, waking up feeling so low, crying on occasions that the routine tasks of writing on my journals or updating my weekly planners were proving to be difficult.

I am often told that I am a strong, sensible woman, especially coping with my fiancé's death; dealing with the challenges I had at my most recent full-time job.

But sorry to disappoint, this woman is crumbling inside the past days. I could be described as depressed or sad. But at this point, I am simply inconsolable.

But like the instaquote above: I'll be all right, one day, someday. JUST NOT TODAY.

Tomorrow is a new month, fresh start, and we're getting closer to Christmas, so that should be uplifting, right?

To find out if you are showing signs of depression, take this test and seek help immediately.

Read this article also about the symptoms of depression.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hello, it's me ...


Image from Pinterest

... It's been more than a year since I last wrote here.

So many happened already --- been more than a year since my fiancé died. I coped, still coping, thanks to dear friends and supporting colleagues.

Then I got an executive-level job early this year, and which stint concluded two months ago.

My down time now affords me to take a long, hard look on what my life has been.

I am always hustling, always on the go, hardly stopping.

So the "freedom" I have now (with consultancy jobs on the side) is a welcome respite.

Anyway, I will soon be back working full-time.

Since I am competitive in nature, and my role in recent years carry more responsibilities, so I will be back hustling again in no time.

But, I will make sure to find time to be still, and appreciate what my life has become --- trials and successes and all.

Happy weekend to you all!