Journal of the day

How creative are you?


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.

Journal of the day

A lesson from nature


I have been having grass jelly plant in my garden since long time ago. I remember I bought this plant more than 15 years ago in a flora exhibition. This is a climbing plant. It climbs up trees nearby and also the fence. It gives a lot of leafs from which we can make grass jelly drink. I think it is a natural and healthy drink with a lot of chlorophyll in it. I think it is an eternal plant. The gardener who cleaned up my garden had cut it many times and I thought it might had died but it has grown again and again. Probably its root was not completely pulled out from the ground. It is now growing so well with a lot of leafs. I just realized that it has been crawling the gate now. I am sure it will cover the whole gate very soon.

This grass jelly plant is eternal.

I learn one thing from this plant that nature never becomes corrupted. Plant is part of the nature. How wildly it grows, it is not corrupted. It takes nutrition and water from the grown and also light from the sun to grow, not more than it needs. Even when it grows ‘wildly’, it is not called a corruption. A plant grows not for itself.  They give leaf, flower or even fruit, but those are not for themselves. Plant, like animal they don’t develop any greed. They are not selfish either. It is human being who develop selfishness and greed. It is human being who exploit nature out of greed. No wonder that nature has a very good energy or vibration. It heals. No wonder that many people like being in nature. It gives really nice and fresh feeling. It is healing our souls.

Reflection

Begin with why


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.

Why do I have to write and publish a book?

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.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Journal of the day

My debate partner

My friend has moved to Dubai since last few years for a family reason. We didn’t communicate much since then. Yesterday out of the blue we chatted. She told me how she has been going through the lockdown in her place. Then we chatted about many things. Random topics.

Suddenly I said to her: ”Hey, I remembered something. You were my debate partner.” When we lived in the same city, we went to the same meditation class. And in the class many times both of us involved in a debate on any particular topic. I remember that I always expressed my thoughts in a very strong way. This made her listen to me, though not necessarily agreed with me. But she had become a nice partner. Each one of us understood that we wanted to seek a better understanding on particular point we were debating, not to put any of us down. No. It was in fact a sweet debate.

Our memory flew back to our days when we did rediculous things together, like spending hours at Starbucks reading our favorite book and discussing it. I realize that it is very nice to have someone you may call a friend who has the same interest with you. You can talk or debate or have fun together. I miss that moments.

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!

Reflection

The blessings behind the pandemic

How long have you been staying at home? Some might have been staying for two months and some even for three months now. The questions of what, why and how have become less. The worries and fear have become less. I think most of us have become adjusted to the situation. This coronavirus is not in our control. And ultimately we have to accept what we can not control. We have accepted the situation and started focusing more on what we can do.

Some bloggers shared how they spent their days in their quarantine. They shared their tips in quarantine. It was really good. I enjoyed reading it. I reflected on myself and started counting blessings I have been receiving. Here is the list of my blessings behind this pandemic.

1. Less spending and save more money
Basically only for groceries. Veggie and fruits. My credit card bill was the least for the last ten years. So it was good that I save money.

2. Start cooking for my meal
I only eat what I cook. I don’t trust any food from outside. I eat more veggie and fruits. I think I become healthier.

3. Weight Loss
It was really surprising that I lost 10 kgs in only two months. It never happened before. Losing weight has become a never ending struggle for me.

4. Develop cooking skill
I started experimenting on making vegan cakes. And I have become very good at cooking vegan carrot cake and vegan nuts cake. I shared it to friends and colleagues, and they are happy.

5. Learn hosting a webinar
I never thought that workshop through webinar would be effective. I found out that it worked.

6. Serve more people
I have conducted off-line workshops before the pandemic. Many people could not join due to different reasons. When the workshop is online, it becomes more flexible for everyone. Those who are living far away can even make it.

7. Develop my presentation skill
I am pushed to become more creative in making presentation and preparing the topic for webinar.

8. More blessings
If you are doing good to people, helping them, you will definitely receive blessings from their hearts in the form of good feelings. You are happy by helping others.

What about you? How do you enjoy your quarantine? What blessings do you receive?

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

The price of happiness

I shared with a friend on how I am so passionate on journaling. It has become my hobby for the last four years. I am writing on my 21st notebooks now. I notice that I become very particular in the notebooks and pens I am using for my writing hobby. I said to him that I spent more than USD 300 for the notebooks and pens. I am only using one brand and one particular design only for the notebooks. And the design has been discontinued. I do not like the new design. Knowing this, I hunted to several different bookstores in one day, hoping that they still had the stock of the old design. I got about 25 notebooks. I thought it would be enough for my journaling hobby for another 5 years or so.

Spending USD 300 only for notebooks and pen! My friend said that how much I paid for the stuff is the value of my happiness. ”For five years of happiness, you pay only USD 300. It is very cheap!” he said. I never thought of doing this calculation. There are so many people out there who buy their happiness with much higher price. Some might buy a brand new car, a new camera, a new smart watch or a fancy trip. All the marketing people say that you need to buy all of those stuff, because they will make you happy. Really?

He said to me “I think you don’t need a fancy trip to be happy.” In fact, I was smiling in my heart hearing this from him.

Journal of the day · Reflection

The key to happiness

Image 01.jpg

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.