Journey

Money Management

For some people discussing about money makes them feel uncomfortable. But these days I think people are more concerned about money management and many start to be open discussing it.

Financial problem may cause other problems in life, like relationship problem and problems in family. All the resources we have should be managed well. Including money.

Almost everyone have money, either from our income or from any family member who support us financially. We have some money to be managed.

Money in, money spent, money saved and invested.

In my opinion money management is very much on how we spend the money. It says ‘use everything you have in a worthwhile way.’ It means don’t spend it unnecessarily. Do not waste it. Be mindful in spending.

The question is then, how to become a mindful spender? What should we do with our money in our day-to-day ? What should we do before spending, when spending and after spending? What inspired actions should we take?

Before spending – make budgets. At least there are 4 categories based on financial purpose. Essential (for living), Optional (for shopping), Leisure (for playing) and for Saving.

We also need to be aware of the daily, weekly, monthly and also yearly expenses when we are budgeting.

When spending – spend according to the budget made. Make a proper record of every spending.

After spending – analyze your spending! Only if you record your spending, you can make an analysis. If you make a proper record, at the end you will know whether you are over budget or under budget. It gives you a good feeling about yourself, because you are being clear with yourself.

Only when it is recorded then an analysis can be made.

Each one of us is playing a role as a finance manager. We are responsible for every single spending we make. We are responsible for each penny we spend.

If you can do it, you will have a sense of being a responsible individual. It gives you sense of trust in yourself.

Journey

Don’t wait till perfect

When you are building a habit, a good habit of course, you need to be ready to accept imperfection.

I have been starting a new habit of recording my expenses since 3 years ago. And I have made it into a habit now. I can do it consistently without feeling burdened.

I have made an analysis and used it as a consideration when I make a financial decision. I become my own financial controller. I am fully aware of each and every expense. I become more mindful in shopping. I give more value into what I spent. And it works!

When I shared it to a friend, he asked in which category I put the toll fee and parking fee. I realized that I had not put these expenses into my list. The reason is, I always made the payment through electronic money, so I do not take the receipt after making the payment. So I have missed these expenses. Little amount though, but frequent.

Less emotion is involved in e-payment

I don’t need to feel bad or not perfect about this missing. I accept any room for my improvement. I accept my imperfection.

When things get easier bacause of technology, in this case using an e-payment or a payment card then emotion is less involved. Then it also means less self-controlled.

Journey

Mevlana Rumi

I don’t know if you know Mevlana Rumi or not. Rumi was a Persian philosopher and also a poet in the 13th century. He was a prolific poet. His poetries are very popular especially among those who are interested in sufism.

He lived in Konya. I agree a lot with his thoughts. I read many his beautiful quotes to uplift my soul and also others.

A few years ago I read a blog post written by a blogger in his blog in this WordPress who was on his trip in Turkey. He is actually a journalist. I liked the way he wrote the story. It was very descriptive, direct, honest and also fun.

One of his agenda of his trip was to go to Konya, to visit the graveyard or museum of Rumi. It was during winter season. He planned to read one of his favourite poetries written by Rumi under the snow and got it filmed. I could not stop smiling while reading his post. He wore head cap covering his ears and also gloves due to a very cold weather at that time. He decided to choose a short one. It sounds very sweet.

He went inside the museum and saw a woman sitting in one corner of the room for so long. She was in silence and having her eyes closed. She seemed to be in a very deep meditation while soft musical instrument was being played in the room. He was waiting for her opening her eyes, finishing her meditation.

When he saw her opening her eyes, he approched her and asked “are you a Hindu or a Moslem?”. This is the most interesting part of the post for me. The woman looked down and remained silent. He started to feel uncomfortable and said to him self “I should not have asked this question.”

He realized that he should not have carried his spirit of a journalist in such a place.

For those who have learned to go beyond labels for their spirits will understand that no label is required for the souls. Not label of religion, belief, race, nationality nor whatever label. All of these labels is for the body. And this is what Rumi had taught. He did not say that he belonged to such and such religion.

The woman was a business woman in Dubai, she left her business and moved to Konya after the death of her son. She went to that place everyday because she found peace there.

The spirit is beyond any labels

So when I was in Konya, visiting the place of Rumi a few weeks ago, I carried this story with me in my head. I really wanted to see and feel where the woman was sitting, the music, the peace and the sacred feeling.

Your spirit uplifts so many.

It was a bit crowded with visitors. Of course I could not spot the exact place where the woman was sitting. I enjoyed the music being played there.

Deep down in my heart I was thankful to Rumi for his beautiful thoughts that uplifted my soul. Your body is finished but your spirit is eternaly alive in the universe, tiredlessly inspiring and uplifting many souls.

Journey

My first trip

I just arrived from a trip to Turkey with a small group. It was my first oversea trip after 2 years. I joined the group with a friend.

We took a long flight, during night time. What do you do when you are on a long flight?

How do you enjoy a long flight?

My friend took a sleeping pill to help her sleeping during the flight. After settling down in the cabin, she started enjoying movies. I decided not to touch the screen in front of me. So I slept very easily and quickly. A quite good one. Only after enough sleep, I watched one movie. A drama movie. It was about a family, about a young daughter in the family, about how she digested the way the parents and also siblings relate to one another, the relationships, the conflicts and also her self.

When we just landed in Istanbul I asked my friend if she enjoyed the flight or not. She said that she couldn’t sleep, even after taking a sleeping pill. I asked her : “How many movies did you watch on the plane?”
She said : “Three movies”.

No wonder that she could not sleep. The movies are there for an entertainment. It is to entertain the mind. The mind will keep processing what you see on the screen and what you listen through the little earphone. The mind keeps busy. So it doesn’t rest. It doesn’t sleep.

It is in your hand to put the mind awake or asleep. Not in the pill.

Journey

This is what is called life

A long time friend has just visited me. She is married with two children. They have grown up, so when I offered her to come to my house and spend the night during weekend just for something different, she quickly agreed. She said that the children didn’t mind at all.

Are you a morning person or an evening person?

We spent every morning going in the botanical garden near my place for enjoying the nature. I think everyone agrees that nature is a quick mood booster at least both of us found it true.

She is an evening person, it means that she really likes enjoying evening. She wanted to spend the evening sitting in my veranda and said “Evening is very short. It will turn into dark very soon.” I was smiling in fact listening to her reasoning. I think I am a more morning person. I enjoy morning time more than any other time during the day. Morning time is my most productive time, ideas seem to flow in my mind, sometimes best decision I made in the morning. I don’t want to miss my morning time. It is my precious time, my valuable treasure more than anything else. We can not buy time.

As a morning person and almost everyday spend the evening working at office, I could not understand the beauty of evening time. I rarely enjoyed my evening relaxing, being in nature. I also don’t understand some people enjoy sun gazing in the evening. It is the moment of sunset. I think the sunrise in the morning is more beautiful.

When I joined my friend sitting next to her enjoying the evening, she said “This is what is called life.” I looked at her and feel amazed.

Journey

This is what has led me to journaling


Very recently I was invited to give a sharing session by a company for their managers. It has become a regular event in the company as development program for their employees. I talked to the general manager of the company and asked about the topic they wanted me to share. In corporates, the most popular topic is related to soft competencies like leadership, communication, decision making, coaching etc. I am aware that many people out there are probably better than me in delivering those topics. I reluctantly offered the general manager if I could share on dealing emotions through journaling. I think it is not a popular topic in corporate, at least here. Somebody said to me that writing is not popular in most Asian countries. Surprisingly he was interested to this topic.

I said to myself “from now on, I need to know each and every expectation I have created”

I was very excited preparing the presentation. I focused on the audiences, what they might need relating to deal with emotions in their day-to-day life in office. No one is free from negative emotions. Ussully the trigger is the people they work with, either their co-workers, subordinates, bosses or even customers and clients.

I remember what has brought me to journaling was also from a situation in office. In fact I have to thank to my co-worker who had taken a credit from me in a meeting and it triggered my emotion. I realized I was feeling very uncomfortable and low. I also remember I said to myself “I need to do something”. Surely not paying back to her, but dealing the feeling inside. and I didn’t know what to do at that time. Similar situation might be reoccurring in office and I don’t like the feeling. The situation in the meeting and the feeling have led me to a book on how to deal with negative emotion. This book said that the reason of each and every negative emotion is an expectation. This was just the book I needed to read. Probably God has arranged it for me and given me a way.

I said to myself Okay, from now on I need to know each and every expectation I created that had triggered my emotion”. And not only knowing it, but also writing it. Since then I have been processing my emotions and expectation in writing.

Journey

When the war doesn’t stop


No one likes war. Many people are suffering due to a war. Thousands people have left their homes for safety. Thousands people become refugees.

Only a few days after the invasion someone shared to me an invitation for a global meditation for Ukraine. The program was organized from Kyiv. It was a non-stop program for a few days where everybody from all corners of the globe could share their good feelings to souls who were suffering. Being in that ZOOM meeting I felt that we are one big family. We are brothers. The globe is one big house for all of us. We could feel the suffering. We were empowering them with our good wishes and pure feelings. A world map with Ukraine in a spotlight was being shared on the screen during the session. Many of us might never been in this country, we might have no idea where Ukraine is, but in soul level I could feel the connection. I could feel the vibration. We still can share our pure feelings and vibration to the souls there. Your contribution will never miss. No physical power can stop this giving and taking. Not guns nor missile. So keep sending. Keep giving.

Can you feel that you are sharing the same feeling with them?

The other day when I just opened my mobile phone the first message in that day I received was from my good friend. It said “I truly hope that we can hear war stop news today.” He might have been reading news about the war a lot. Many of us can not stop the war. Only a few people can do it, if they have the intention.

The war is still going on till today, more and more people are suffering. Don’t lose hope, there is still something we can do – keep sending good wishes for everybody. Although we are miles away from one another but we can still share the same thought.

Journey

The spontaneity is lost


A friend was telling me about her 12 years old daughter. She has been showing some rebellious acts recently. And it has made her so worried. I met this teenaged girl a few years ago when she was only seven. She was just so adorable to me. She had a very kind and gentle heart, a super loving girl. I think my friend is a wonderful mom for her kids. She teaches good values to them since very young age. She gives them so much love as well as teaches them discipline. It was very obvious to me in her kids. I find in many children this pure and innocent personality. There is so much spontaneity.

This personality is expressed genuinely till they become teenagers. Then everything changes. The consciousness starts processing self-identity. Children don’t need to process this, this is why children are more spontaneous. The ego starts to develop. Teenagers become more aware of themselves, of who they are, of what people may think about them. And they start comparing themselves to people a lot. This comparation often leads to the feelings of insecurities or arrogance in them. Insecurities and arrogance are the products of ego. Teenagers starts processing the identity of themselves, they start seeking in the adults around them. They are also seeking in their peers. Then they are processing it internally. They need the adults around them to understand and accept them. They need some approval and encouragement to make the internal process easier. So they feel supported and loved. This is what they need.

My friend wanted me to talk to her daughter. I tried to understand her phase and situation. I didn’t want to preach her of course. I knew it was not what she needed. I reminded her how I saw her when she was much younger as a super loving and kind girl. I reminded her of how much I loved her.

This world nowadays might be very hard on young people especially for those who are still going through this internal process of seeking.

Journey

Namaste


This word of namaste has been so familiar among colleagues in my office. It has been frequently used. Everytime I tell them of taking leaves, especially for a vacation, they will quickly say that I am going for a namaste. For them namaste is to meditate in a quiet place or in nature. It is so funny.

Namaste is used to show a respect

They also have been using this word to remind anyone of us who starts  losing control our emotion during working hours. If anyone in the room starts speaking on the phone in an angry tone, usually speaking to another colleague from different division, she might be speaking loudly or even shouting, then another colleague in the room will remind her saying ‘namaste’. Namaste here means ‘be peaceful’.

Of course they do not know the exact meaning of namaste. They only relate this word of namaste to the practice of meditation or yoga. They can relate a meditation is a practice to become peaceful. This is what they understand. I am not really sure what is in their mind or what they imagine when someone is doing namaste. I remember when I joined a yoga class in a fitness center long time ago, the yoga instructor also ended the yoga session with cooling down through being mindful of our breath with a little bit of reflection. And at the very end of this session she would say namaste.

I also knew namaste from my meditation class. It is the word used by God to show His respect to us. God is so humble that He puts us higher than Himself. He has the greatest personality of all. It is also the way He shows His love to us.

Journey

My squishy

What do you do when you have to wait? Nobody likes waiting. But when you are on an air trip, you will have to go in a queu after a queu. And it means you have to wait a lot. You probably have to queu to scan your barcode to enter the airport building, the you have to queu to check your luggage, then you have to queu at the check-in counter, you have to queu to go inside after passing the check-in counter, plus you have to queu to declare your electronic health application, then you have to queu to board on the plane. Queu after queu after queu….

If you have have to transit at the airport before continuing your next flight or probably your flight get delayed, and you have to wait for quite a while what do you usually do while waiting? Long before covid when I was in a transit at an airport for several hours I was sitting in a lounge, a very nice lounge. It was an international airport. Very busy airport. Many flights from different continents transited there. I saw a young woman carrying a yoga mat in the lounge. She was practising a little bit of yoga exercise in the lounge. The lounge was quite big and cozy and not crowded. I thought it was a brilliant idea to have yoga exercise during transit. It is especially very good if you are on a long flight. The body need some exercice.

I never do that actually, but I remember I always carried with me a squeshy. I had a strawberry-shaped one. Not quite big but it suited to my palm. I noticed by squeezing that squishy could give me some comfortable feelings. it brought calmness in me. I could play with it during my transit or waiting period. I didn’t need a big space to play with it. It is also a bit of exercise for me. I remember when we were traveling in a big group and I played the squishy with a friend while waiting our boarding time. It was always fun! She said that her daughter loves squishy too. The squishy has broken long time ago and I got a new one but it was not as good as the first one. It was smaller than the first one. I wish I can get a new one.

It gives you a calm feeling!.

Modern airports usually provide cozy lounges or interesting spots. I found this interesting mural painting at the airport in Jakarta very recently.

Stop and have some fun here
another fun spot at airport

Look at this. It was painted on the wall along the corridor on the way to the baggage claim area. It looks fun, doesn’t it? Looking at the mural, I said to my friend to stop and I asked her to take these pictures for me. I always said to my self ‘You are free to do anything that makes yourself happy.’ It is including taking a picture with the mural painting. After taking some pictures I asked my friend to do the same. I could take some pictures for her. But she refused to do it. I jokingly said ‘By taking the picture with the mural painting, you won’t get older quite soon’. It may give a lot of fun to her too. Hearing this she just laughed at me. And I said ‘probably you won’t get older quite soon, but you will get crazy quite soon.’ I think she agreed with the humor and we laughed together.