Journey

21 Days Challenge

Have you ever joined any challenge? What challenge did you join?
When the challenge is for 21 days, then it takes commitment to complete. Usually many people drop themselves a long the way. It is like creating a new habit. It takes persistence to really make one. Once you made it, you can feel ‘a big success’. You appreciate yourselves more.

A friend invited me to join a 21 days challenge of abundance. We completed this challenge last week. This is not a physical challenge. It is a challenge for reflecting on abundance everyday for 21 days, different aspects of abundance. we were given a daily task to complete and we had to share in the group when we completed the task before 9 am the next day. So you have 24 hours to work on your task. Abundance is an interesting topic to reflect on each one. Each one of us wants to live our life abundantly. So I found it was fun to complete the daily task. We had to reflect on different aspects of abundance in our day to day life through contemplating, writing and drawing.

There are two levels of an abundant life to work on, physical or material level and mental level. We had to work on our money, our bill, our debt and how we ‘see’ it and relate to it. We draw notes, checks, stocks, bonds etc. We had to work on our relationships with people in our life, some might not work well and we need to fix them by creating a specific daily action. We had also to ask ourselves of the highest intention in life.

21 Days is not enough for me to work on abundance and become abundant. So I need to rerun this challenge myself in the nearest future. I did not really put myself fully in the last 21 days.

This challenge was in fact created by Deepak Chopra, a very famous author. You might have read his books.

Journal of the day

Nothing can go wrong

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Do you have any talent in drawing? I remember when I was in my school days, drawing was not my favourite subject at all. I have not been very good at it. I think I don’t have any talent in drawing. I always become very amazed when I look at a beautiful painting or drawing. In my heart I said I wish I had this talent. Those people can express their feelings into very beautiful art works. I really appreciate it as well as envy.

Until last week a friend introduced me to a doodling art. I joined her workshop on doodling. I never heard it before. It was an online workshop via Zoom. Basically you just draw anything your heart wants to draw….any shapes in any colors. You don’t need to erase anything, you won’t make ‘any mistake’, just keep drawing. No worries.

We were given 20 minutes to draw with piano music played as a background. I really enjoyed it. I thought my drawing turned out really well. I felt so good. At the end of the workshop each one of us had to share our drawing and show it on camera.

Someone reluctantly showed his drawing and said “I don’t know what I drawed, I think it doesn’t make a sense”.

My friend said “It doesn’t have to make any sense. Nothing can go wrong in this” This words sound very liberating to me. It is liberating the soul. I wished I heard these words long ago.

Just let the soul express its feeling and emotion freely. You will feel really good about yourself through this doodling.

Thank you Soni.

Journal of the day

How to stay creative

Everyone wants to become creative. To become creative means to keep creating an idea and executing the idea. To be creative you need to have an open mind, a mind that is open to new ideas. Not a closed mind. An open mind is more accepting. An open mind finishes worries and fears inside. It is liberating. It is courageous. Life keeps changing and you need to cope with the change, unless you will be left behind. Life keeps moving, you need to move with it. Life keeps flowing, you need to go with its flow. Life is never static. You need the power to adapt yourself for this. This is a power that you need to develop from within.

How do you make yourself stay open-minded and creative? I think you need to make friend with the younger generations. Talk to them more. Listen to them more. They are very creative. They will bring newness into your creative process inside your head. Many are fast learners, especially in digital technology. You need to be humble in front of them. Learn from them. Keep this spirit of a learner inside you, this spirit will keep seeking and creating new things.

I have a very good friend who is an expert in computer, she is in fact a web designer. This weekend I have an online workshop. I have to prepare a presentation for this workshop. I realize that I am not very good at digital stuff, like downloading video, converting the file and sharing it on a presentation. I knew whom to ask. So I begged her time for a meet up. She is a really kind-hearted person. She taught me everything I needed to know from her. She is not only very good at computer but she is also very good at teaching. Very patient.

Million thanks, Michelle!

Journal of the day

A lesson from life

When someone asks me how to keep writing or how to keep being inspired to write, what I can suggest is to write what she or he observes. To observe means to see. Use your eyes and your heart to see what is happening around you. Each and every moment in your life is interesting if you don’t miss it and you give time to reflect for yourself. It is always interesting to write it down. It always gives you a lesson to learn, if you are ready and open enough to learn. Lesson from life doesn’t have its own timing like in a school. It may come any time. So be always ready for what life is going to teach you through your observation. You are the student and life is your teacher.

This is what I observed last week when I was on a train. It was 8 hours trip. I was sitting in the aisle. An Indian family blocked the 3 double-seats, two in front of me and one on my left. They were going on a family trip. They were with three boys. The 3 boys were very special to me. The youngest one was only 3 years old, very sweet with his curly long hair, looked more like a girl. They looked more alike with the mom than the dad. All of them had smiling happy faces, especially the mother. I noticed that they looked very happy during the 8 hours trip. They enjoyed the trip. Unlike any other children who ussually become cranky for some times and start teasing one another. They looked very happy and very peaceful. “This is a happy family” I said in my heart. I enjoyed seeing them, especially the kids.

Finally I said to the mother “Your boys are very special. They look so happy.” She said: “Because they love train” Hearing this from the mother, the second boy said : “I love boat too.” This made me smile.

Journal of the day

How to start writing

When someone asked me how to start writing, I said : “Just write what you see, what you hear and what you feel.” You don’t need to be very creative to start writing. And you don’t need to have a talent to do it either. You only need an intention. Because writing is a skill, so everyone can develop this skill through practice. Just like speaking. Each one of us learned to speak when we were very small and we can speak now, we can express our thought and feeling through speaking. In the same way, writing is also a skill, it is also expressing thoughts and feelings. Everybody can express one’s thought and one’s feeling through writing.

You do not need to worry when you express your thought and feeling. Remember that you are writing for yourself. You are not writing for someone else to read. Liberate yourself from any worry or fear of being commented by anyone, being judged by anyone. In fact no one can criticize what you express, because your thoughts and feelings are always personal and nothing is wrong. To write them down is to be honest to the self. When you are honest to yourself, you will feel very comfortable with yourself. Start writing and start expressing what is inside you.

The mind keeps thinking all the time. It never stops. When you express it in writing, the mind slows down its speed. It becomes much lighter, not heavy.

Journal of the day

You can’t copy an experience

I remember when I started sharing some thoughts through short journals via WhatsApp to friends and contacts, very soon I started hearing from them a question why I did not start writing a book or creating a blog. This blog was not created at that time. Some said “Someone may copy your idea (story) if you just share it freely.” I thought what I had been writing and sharing to people were more about my personal experience. How could people copy a personal experience? I think it is not possible. In the beginning very often some people asked me if they could share it to their families and contacts or not. And I always said “Sure, you can.” I let them share it in whatever way the wanted to share it. My mission was to share it to as many people as possible. And my mission stays the same until this very day.

I have no worry if someone copies my thoughts. I believe that no one can ever copy an experience. Because an experience is always individual. It is never the same. In this way I free myself from any fear or worry.

Journal of the day · Reflection

The key to happiness

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What can you see in this picture?

Someone said : “I can see a little yellow plant in a glass filled with water.” Others said : ”a hope”, “growth”, “life“ etc. It is interesting. Each one has different answer. All of the answers are right. It depends on from which point they are speaking. If we see the picture with our physical eyes, we can see a little yellow plant but if we are using the eye behind those physical eyes we might see the beauty of it, something different, something more subtle. The beauty is always hidden behind the facades. It needs the ability to capture what is hidden. It is the inner eye that can capture the beauty. Some call this inner eye as awareness, consciousness, heart, the eye of wisdom, the soul or the spirit. In fact it refers to one and same thing.

The key to happiness in life is the ability to see the beauty in small things around you using this inner eye, not the physical eyes. The physical eye only captures the gross things, but the inner eye can capture the subtle things. Beauty is experienced by the heart. Not many big things happen in life. We might not experience big success so much in our life, but there are so many little things happening in each day. Start seeing the beauty or success in small things around you, do not wait till something big to happen to be happy. Open your inner eye and fill your heart with this.

Journal of the day · Journey · Reflection

The Spirit of Creativity

Someone shared her thoughts on how to become creative. She said that we should learn from children to be creative. I notice that most children are very creative. Their spirits are free….to explore everything. They have no worries and no fears in their spirits. They are not aware of what fear is. Each one of us was very creative when we were so young. When we grew up, we suppressed this spirit. We started creating fears and worries of what people might think about us. We started creating fear of being rejected by others. We might then stop doing something because of this fear. At some point in our life we might miss that spirit in us.

I remember when I was in a retreat, I escaped from one of the morning sessions, I went to the garden in the corner of the campus instead. The garden was small, beautiful and quiet. It was really enjoyable to sit there especially in the morning hour. I also could enjoy little birds and squirrels. They were running around on the ground, jumping from one twig to another. Sometimes they went so close to my feet. I really enjoyed it.

That morning I had an appointment with David who stayed above the garden. David is an artist and a musician. He promised to teach me how to feed squirrel at 7 o’clock. I was so excited about it. My heart said “If I can touch and hold the squirrel with my hand, it would be an achievement for me”. We might think that this kind of thought belongs to a child, not an adult. I knew it was the spirit of a little child in me who had that thought. David was ready with bread crumbles in his hand. He then made a little sound to call the squirrels with his mouth. We sat there and maintained silence. We should not make any movement that would create a feeling of threat in the squirells. We created a feeling of love to the squirrels. I said in my mind that we were friends and we loved to meet and play. I held that thought and created a feeling of friendship. We waited patiently and after a while one squirrel came closer to us. It jumped onto David’s lap and started eating the bread. It was so cute. I took the video of it. I hope I can share the video next time here. Then David gave the bread crumbles to me. I held it in my hand and the squirrel came to my lap and started eating the bread. The spirit of a little child in me was so happy.

Nurture this spirit inside you and you will experience so much freedom and joy.