When I was giving an idea to a friend of having a hiking, she started browsing the place on instagram. It looked so cool on the instagram. As everyone might agree with me that everything put on instagram is suppossed to be instagramable enough. Only then it will attrack viewers.
My friend was very excited, having her impression and also imagination of what she saw on instagram. She wanted to find the spot where the picture was taken. She actually didnt tell me about it until we finished our hike.
I was not fully recovered from covid-19 at that time. My body was not fully ready for a hike actually. I brought with me a trecking stick and I foubd it so helpful. I walked slowly. I asked her to walk ahead of me and leave me as I needed to stop several times for a little bit of rest and also to enjoy the scenery and the morning breeze. She went ahead. She wanted to find the spot.
I didn’t reach the end of the track. She made it but she couldn’t find the spot where the picture was taken. She just missed it. At the end of the treck, she said there was a restaurant. She told someone at the restaurant that she didn’t see the spot she was looking for showing the picture on instagra. It might have changed a bit, probably the grass or the trees had grown up taller or just trimmed or cut down. So she didn’t notice.
I think she was too focused on the goal and didn’t make herself ready for the outcome. Similarly in life we have to be ever ready for the outcome life may bring to us and not to be so attached to our goal. Take time to pause, breath and enjoy……
Do you consider yourself as a creative person? To be creative person means to become one who creates artwork. To be honest I am not. I am aware I am not good at creating any artwork. I think I don’t have that talent. I can spend hours putting my thoughts in writing, but it is not an artwork. It is not a poem nor an essay. It is just a journal. There is no beauty in it, probably a clarity.
I have a friend who is very talented in drawing. Her drawing is just amazing. It looks like a 3D object. It looks so real. Below is one of her drawings.
Another friend is very good at patchwork. She made dolls, pillows, masks, cloth bags etc. She is just amazing at it. Another friend is very passionate in making cookies and cakes. Another friend is very good at playing classical piano. She even teaches piano to kids. I have tried all of that but none was good. I think I don’t have the talent.
I remember we were preparing a public program and a friend who was very good at decoration she was making flowers arrangement. I always enjoy flowers. I thought I wanted to help her. I had no sense at all in this. I helped cutting the stems for her. I didn’t dare to put them into the vase. I just gave her an assistance.
A few weeks ago we were having a long holiday. I thought I would learn something during the holiday. I just chose to learn flower arrangement. Below is my first flower arrangement after knowing the technique of clustering and layering the flowers. It doesn’t look so bad. At least now I know a bit of how to arrange flowers in a vase.
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 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.
I have to be honest that I was so scared of having an injection. Before I got my covid vaccine last year, actually I needed to prepare myself emotionally. I was telling someone who helped me getting the vaccine that If possible the schedule would be after two weeks, thinking that two weeks was enough for me to prepare myself mentally. Only in the evening I got informed to get my vaccine the following morning, it was arranged by the office. I had no time to prepare myself.
To be frank with you I was so nervous. I was not prepared. But finally decided to get the earlier schedule thinking I would be with some colleagues, if something happened then I had my colleagues with me in the venue. The vaccine was held in the national sport complex, in the middle of the city, in tennis indoor building. A huge and very well maintained building. 10.000 people from many different companies in financial business were invited for this vaccine.
In fact I was very impressed by how the organizer organizing the people maintaining social distancing. It was just so impressive. Though it is much easier than organizing a concert event or musical festival. It was very well organized. The building is very much in the middle of the whole complex, so we had to walk quite far. But I enjoyed the walk. I loved the pedestrian. A lot of trees. I felt a bit like a picnic. The way they organized the people in the hall was also impressive. The whole experience was not scary, included when I was having my jab.
A few weeks ago I got my booster vaccine. My colleague asked me “are you happy with your vaccine?” I replied “not really.” My booster vaccine was in a hospital. It was a different experience, a hospital experience not a tennis indoor experience. If you are a customer and your customer experience was excellent, you were satisfied with the product or service you bought, you might tend to put that excellent service as your standard for your future buying. It was exactly what happened to me.
My colleague then asked “why?” I then started telling her about how I was so happy with the vaccine in tennis indoor last year, as if she was not there with me, getting our vaccine.
So, the venue matters. She then smiled and said “I think it is very easy to make you happy.”
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.
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.
If you are working in a corporate where you have to deal with colleagues, where different heads involve, you might feel the challenge in communication has become greater and greater these days, especially during the pandemic. Emails and messages are more frequently used than a conventional meeting or even communication on the phone. Very often misunderstanding is inevitable. Small problem seems to become very big. A simple problem may become complicated. Everyone is working in their “limited space”. Friction among colleagues may occur very quickly and easily. Noone is comfortable in such a situation. I think we need to keep our heads cold a lot these days. Hold yourself back and do not react. So we can still think very clearly and not easily get provoked.
When a colleague was calling me, discussing a business process that had not been completed for several weeks and people had started making assumption and judgement, I was quickly aware that a misunderstanding had been taking place among us. I thought I should make it clear for everybody so they stopped making their assumption and judgement which had made the situation worse. In this situation, I knew the problem very clearly, I knew what made the process not completed.
I listened to her talking on the phone. I was surprised how a simple problem had become so complicated. I kept my head cold and said to her “I understand your situation, I appreciate your effort to solve this problem. Please now stop talking to everybody about this for not making it more complicated.”
I made it clear that day. I left a note to her with a smile ‘May everyone stay peaceful’.
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.
20 years old is considered as the beginning of adulthood in Japan. A friend told me this. So it is very special. A ceremony is collectively held for marking this. It is called Seijinshiki. For this ceremony the girls wear Japanese traditional dress called Furisode.
My friend’s first daughter, Haruka turned 20 in January this year. the ceremony for her was held in middle of the month in a city hall. It is quite a special day for her and also for my friend and his wife as parents. To be an adult means to be responsible for each and every decision and action made. One has to be so thoughtful before performing any action because the consequence will become her or his responsibility, no more his or her parents’.
She is no more a teenaged girl. Time flied so fast. I feel like I met her as a young girl only yesterday. I remember she loved hip hop music. Now she has turned into a young pretty woman. She is now a university student. She has one younger sister, who is more sporty look with short hair. In fact this family loves volley ball, the three girls are volley ball players, including my friend’s wife. So they are all sporty and very active actually. Sometimes they even participate a tournament, during this pandemic.
I don’t have enough time to clean the garden from the grass. I usually ask a gardener to come for the cleaning once a month. I don’t have enough patience to do gardening actually. I don’t have enough time also to take care for my plants. So I decided to get someone to plant cassava in my little garden, thinking that I didn’t need to take care for this. Cassava is very easy to grow here. As soon as it was planted, in only a few days I saw the green new leaves coming up. I was happy looking at their new leaves. They grew so well. In a few months they grew so tall. And the grass didn’t grow around the cassava trees.
A few days ago, we had the crops. Again I asked the same gardener to unplug the trees. It was amazing to see the cassava. I thanked to the Mother Earth who grew the cassava. I cooked the cassava as my menu for a few days. I realized how much I was grateful for the Mother Earth for giving me this cassava. I just boiled it and put some salt into it. And enjoyed it. What I noticed was more on the feelings in me while I was enjoying the cooked cassava. It didn’t taste extraordinary, but the feeling was special. There was gratefulness there. I understand it is because I put so much patience and love for seven months. I didn’t take it for granted. I appreciated more.
Many times I have left over veggies and fruits in my fridge. And I didn’t feel guilty in throwing them away. I realized that I just took it for granted. There was not much appreciation for foods I had. But for this cassava, I really took a good care, I had so much appreciation and so much love. I didn’t throw any piece away. I shared some to a colleague too. She was surprised seeing how big piece the cassava was. I was so happy when she said that she had that cassava for her breakfast one morning. she also enjoyed it.
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.
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.