Whom would you remember in time of panic? Whom would you call to talk to in time of emergency?
Only yesterday evening an earthquake of 6.7 magnitudo struck Jakarta. I was in the office, on 23rd floor. As soon as we realized that the building was swaying, I saw my colleague rushing back from the meeting room holding her laptop. She and the other colleagues then took their bags and belongings and made themselves ready to get down. We were all in panic.
I said to them to stay, remain seated and not get down because the building was still swaying. It took a few seconds. Those few seconds was felt to be so long. We could feel the building was swaying. I remember I was calling ‘Oh God!’. I pushed my chair back to a pillar behind me. I then leaned the chair to that pillar. I remained seated and silent. I tried to recall what to do for a safety. I didn’t have much time to think and decide. I remembered that pillar was one of the strong parts of a building.
Very soon I saw everyone in the room was holding their smartphones and their eyes were looking at the screen, they might be searching for information of the earthquake. One of my colleague who was sitting next to me tried to call her kid at home to make sure that he was safe. Looking this scene in front of me, I said to everyone ‘Remember God, remember God!’ My colleague said ‘Yes, I am praying. I am remembering Him.’ She might be remembering God while remembering her family member (her kid).
During that moment, I remembered God and the earth. The earth was searching its balance. It was shaking and we call it an earth quake. I reminded myself of how much the earth has been supporting and giving life to me. It is just rightly to call it the mother earth. We owe so much to the mother earth. It is very obvious that we have to serve the earth. We have to help the mother earth. But how could we do it?
When the swaying stopped, I packed my stuff and my laptop and I went down to the lobby of the building. I saw many people were already there in the essamble point. I continued to keep the mother earth in my awarness. I was sending my good wishes for her.
When you meet a stranger and you might start having conversation with him or her, you might notice for your self the level of energy of that person. I mean the energy that creates vibration. Energy vibrates. We can sense the vibration around us. When someone starts complaining about situation or judging, you can sense a low vibration from that person, it means low energy. This low energy tries to pull you down. You might feel this.
I was in a conversation with a lady in a shop, a grocery shop. The lady is the owner of the shop. She is a stranger to me, I never met her before. She was at the cashier counter at that time. What do you usually talk about when you are in a conversation with a stranger? We were talking about random topics, from cooking, work, meditation till covid. I was the only customer in the shop at that time, so she was a bit relaxed and having time to talk with me. I remembered I was telling her that I got covid and how I dealt with it. I went through a lowest point during that period. She quickly jumped into a conclusion and said “Even you have been practicing meditation, you still had to go through the lowest point.” As we know covid may come to anyone. It doesn’t mean that someone who practices a spiritual practice like meditation will not get Covid or will not go through the lowest point. Actually it doesn’t really matter whether you get covid or not, whether you go through the lowest point or not. What matters is your attitude when you are dealing with it. It is your attitude that determines the outcome. Each one has different attitude to respond while going through a difficult situation like covid. A different attitude creates different vibration. The fact that I was there in the shop that day talking to her positively, it means I could go through my difficult time. I focused on the positive side of a situation.
I could sense that this lady was focusing more on the negative side of a situation. I could sense that she was a bit pessimistic. I knew I didn’t like the vibration and I said to her “I am a very optimistic person”.
When I was leaving her shop, she said to me ‘Tini, it was really nice talking to you.’
Is it possible to live without judgement? We are now living in a society where everybody is free to make any judgement on anyone and anything. You are free to have your opinion on someone or something and you are given enough room to express your opinion (judgement). You are free to leave your comment in their chat boxes. You have that freedom.
A friend showed me a video of someone doing a pole dance. I am not exposed to this dance so I never had any curiosity to know it, but I remembered one of my colleague learned it very long time ago. She liked it. It looks very difficult, more like acrobatic for me. I know how difficult it is to do it. So when my friend was showing me the video, I was amazed to the woman on the video, she was doing it really well, like a pro. She asked me my opinion about the video, about the woman. I said ‘it is good. She is doing it so well.’ Then she asked me if I didn’t see anything wrong. I said ‘No.’ I didn’t know the woman. I didn’t see anything wrong with her. A pole dancer wears a bikini costume. For some societies it is not considered to be polite to show it in public places. Well, social media is now considered as a public place because the public can see it. Finally she said ‘You are too positive.’ Probably she meant ‘too naive’.
My friend knows the woman on the video. She is a consultant on Human Resources. She didn’t expect her putting the video on social media. This image may create judgment to some people, especially those who use her expertise in Human Resources. Everybody can have professional life also personal life. Both may be in line and may not be in line. We are free to choose anything we enjoy, just be aware that people may create their judgement on you and what you are doing. It is always like that. And at the end, it is your choice to let yourself be influenced by their judgement or not. I agree to this, always live the life you want, not based on people’s judgment.
Do you have any trauma for a particular animal? I am not sure if it can be called a trauma or not. A friend of mine can not bear seeing a cockroach. She becomes so histerical instantly anytime she sees this animal. She can jump and scream. She doesn’t know why and when she started having this trauma. She couldn’t remember anything happened to her particularly that made her having this trauma. This is the reason why she prefers to live in an apartment and not in a landed house. It sounds a bit funny, cockroach becomes an important point to consider before buying a property.
When she visited me a few weeks ago, on our way to my home she was telling me this (the cockroach story). So I had to clean everything before she entered the house and make sure there was no cockroach. Cockcroach is small in size and it is not really dangerous animal. I used to tease her for this as if I didn’t have any trauma myself. I forgot that I also have similar trauma with caterpillars, the green one. The one that loves eating leaves. I know this is the reason why I am not very keen in gardening. Actually I have tried a self-therapy to reduce my emotional reaction when seeing a caterpillar. Every time I saw one, I tried to manage my feeling and I looked at it a bit closer to it and tried to know and communate to this creature, being aware my feeling. It worked to a certain point. At least to the small ones. But not the big one. So, size matters for me.
Another friend of mine loves caterpillars. Does it sound funny? I sent her some pictures of caterpillars I took for her. She said ‘It is so beautiful!’ I tried very hard to see the beauty of it. So every time I saw a caterpillar, I remembered her. So far I could manage my trauma. Until a few weeks ago, that trauma came again. I love green vegie so much. It was Saturday morning and I decided to have lots of vegie that day. I bought two bunches of fresh spinach from the nearest vegetable vendor. After my morning walk I decided to cook the spinach and unexpectedly I found a big green caterpillar on the spinach. Almost as big as my pointing finger. I tried to manage my reaction, I didn’t scream, but I felt myself ‘paralized‘ quite instantly. I stopped my cooking and I was not interested to have spinach anymore. I got someone to take the whole bunch of the spinach and throw them away. The feeling was very strong. It is interesting how each one react differently on animal.
I have noticed that for the last few years I have been hearing from friends that I should publish a book. After reading articles I wrote, a friend said to me ‘I want to see how far you will take this’. Another friend never stops encouraging me to write a book and publish it. I have been asking myself this question. Why do I have to write a book and publish it? for an approval? for a recognition? or for what? for myself? or for whom? So far, I haven’t got the answer and I don’t feel any urgency to do that till this moment. Before working on something, begin with why. I remember this advice. When the why is clear, you will carry it on more easily, and happily. I think I have been believing this.
A friend called me from far away last week, on Friday evening. He brought me a good news. He said that he just published his first book. I was happy for him. He also said to me that I was the one who inspired him finishing and publishing his book. He joined my journaling workshop a few years ago. So he called me to encourage me back to start thinking of publishing a book. I was not feeling any jealousy nor feeling less than him. I do not compare myself to anyone. I know myself quite well. So I congratulated him for what he has done.
Every time I think of publishing a book, I think of the long process of it, I might not be free to express my own idea in preparing a book for a publication but I need to consider what the readers want to read. I am not ready for this. I know I have a lot of ideas in my head to put in writing. Many of them are personal. Let me just process them. At the moment I think blogging accomodate my needs a lot. I don’t experience any pressure. I thank to myself for being consistent with this and I also thank to you, the readers.
A perfectionist tends to see what is not right in everything. A perfectionist usually has a standard for what is called to be `perfect`. He or she tends to stick to this standard rigidly. Someone said to me that a perfecionist finds it to be difficult to be happy or to be content and probably to be grateful. These three are interconnected – being happy, content and grateful.
One of my colleague is a perfectionist. The good thing is that she is aware of being one. She is also aware that it has made her uncomfortable in many situations. One day, she gave me a ride back home from office. During that ride, she was complaining a lot about her car. Her car was just repaired, full body repainted. Her car is white. Her eyes are just too sharp to see what is not going right with the painting. She showed me a small area behind the handle of its door that she complained. She was not satisfied with the repair. So she complained. Her standard is very high for this, her expectation too. She has a very small margin for things not to get right. She takes time to accept thing as it is, she takes time to make herself peaceful. This is the reason why a perfectionist finds it difficult to be happy.
I think we need to learn from God. God is perfect but He is not a perfectionist. This is why God is called the Ocean of Happiness. God has a very high standard for what is called as ‘perfect’, yet He is also flexible. He is not rigidly attached to that standard. He has the rooms for human beings to make mistake, He has enough room to forgive. He never complains.
A long time friend called me and told me that he was experiencing a spiritual awakening. Actually we had not been communicating for a quite long time. And we never talked about anything spiritual before. So when he suddenly called me and started discussing spiritual topic, I was surprised. He said that he remembered me practicing meditation. He might think that probably I could help him.
It is the spirit that is awaken. To be awaken means to be aware. The spirit is the awareness or the consciousness. The spirit resides in the body. The body is the vehicle for the spirit. It is not the awareness. To say that the spirit is awaken means that the spirit was in a sleep before. Because the spirit was sleeping, so the spirit was not aware. He was not aware of what he was missing either. When the spirit is awaken, he begins to be aware of it. He started searching.
In my opinion it will happen to everybody. Because everybody is in fact a spiritual being living in a physical body. Different people take different time to be awaken, and also different ways to respond to it. Some probably respond the way like my friend did, some probably deny it and decide to go back to sleep.
It is like a voice calling from the inside. For some the voice is too soft, for others it is quite loud, so it disturbs the sleep of the spirit. I remember it happened to me when I was in my early twenties. It was so disturbing. It was the beginning of my spiritual journey. It is a very long journey, not an easy one, but very rewarding.
A marriage counselor said that many married women at a certain age experience so much insecurities due to body shaming. They don’t want themselves not to look good. Many have tried so hard for keeping themselves to look good and in a good shape. None of them wants to look older and not beautiful. It has created strong insecurities. To be insecured is to create fear and the biggest fear is that her husband does not love her anymore or even leaves her at the worst. I never thought this as a serious problem, until a friend who is a marriage counselor shared this fact to me.
I think the first reason for this to happen is a commitment in relationship. A marriage is a committed relationship. To be committed means to be devoted. There is always a desire to make the one you devote or love to be happy. Each one has this responsibility for the happiness of the other side. A committed relationship also creates emotional dependency, then emotional attachment. There is no liberation, where there is a dependency.
Those women think that by keeping their bodies in shape or look good they will be attractive to their spouses. This draws their attention to become so much body conscious. The more you let yourself to be drawn by body consciousness, the more you become insecured. This is the price you have to pay. Because body consciousness is false consciousness. Body is made of the 5 elements of nature. Anything is made of the 5 elements will definitely change……. from new to old, from young to old. Accept this and be ready for this. Develop soul counciousness more. Because it is the soul that will never change. A soul doesn’t get older. A soul has the unlimited beauty. Uncover your own beauty within you, instead of desiring to fight against nature’s law. Accept the change of your body. And stay secured by being a beautiful soul.
When I had to stay in my self quarantine due to Covid-19 recently, as soon as I experienced something was not right with my body, I decided to disconnect myself from the world. And what it means to me is that I didn’t follow the news of what was happening out there. I did not allow it to enter my mind. I made my mind completely free from anything from external. I didn’t read any news nor watch any news. I kept telling myself that it was not the time to read or search for more information. The only information I needed at that time was how to deal with Covid-19. And I thought I was having enough of it with me. So I made myself focused on what was essential for me to do.
If something happened in the world and it was related to me or I had a responsibility in it, then I would surely know it very soon without me following the news of it. But if I didn’t know it or someone didn’t tell me, then I was so sure that it might not be related to me or I didn’t have any responsibility in it.
To be honest I was disconnected myself from ‘the world’ for a month. And I experienced my mind to be very clear through having very less thoughts. I listened to a class on zoom in the morning, it was my meditation class. So practically during the day I only had the thoughts of what taught in the morning class, which were positive and empowering ones.
What happened then with my mind? My mind became very clear in processing each thought. The decision I made was accurate. Practically I had no waste thoughts in my mind. When the number of thoughts is less, then they will become powerful and very clear. There is no clarity and thoughts are not powerful when you allow many thoughts occupy your mind.
So the practice of being disconnected from the world for a period of time is really really essential. I wish I can have this opportunity to do this again in the future, but of course without Covid-19. It is really a good practice for the mind and also for the heart. It empowers the soul.
My mission after having recovered from Covid-19 was to inspire many people to be fearless in dealing with Covid-19 in particular and in facing their life in general. Through several events onlines I have done this. It is accomplished somehow. Through ‘30 Minutes Celebration, free from covid’ I shared basically to my friends and colleagues only, still not many people. So I still need to continue this mission, to reach more people. And of course through sharing in this blog too.
When I shared this to a friend, he said ‘the next mission will be not to get reinfected’. I think he is right. absolutely right. Because we will never be completely free from Covid-19. I have got recovered at the moment, but it doesn’t guarantee that I will be free from the virus forever. This virus will stay with us, around us and close to us forever. There will be a new strain and another new strain and another one. They will keep coming, because that is also the way they survive on this planet. They also have right for their survival. There will be no other choice for us, except to be ready, to keep protecting ourselves and staying safe.