Journal of the day

A thousand years

Being a vegetarian for many years I have been asked by different people about the reason behind it many many times. My answers have been varied depending on who was asking and the situation. From a serious answer to a not serious one.

Not long ago I was in a tour group with new people for almost 10 days. Very often we sat on same table during our breakfast, lunch or dinner. And we talked. During this eating time ussually someone would ask me what I was eating on this diet. Usually different person because we sat randomly. And I gave a different answer too.

I remembered when someone asked me the same question, I replied “I want to live a thousand years.” It was a apontaneous answer, of course Everybody who was there laughing at me. To become a vegetarian means to take a lot of vegetable and fruits for daily intake. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be healthy food, containing high vibre, fresh, easy to be digested etc etc. If you are healthy then you are more likely having a long life span. Well, that is the simple logic.

Vegetable salad with olive dressing is my favourite menu during this trip.

He then said that if I live that long, I would be lonely because probably all my friends would have died.

But then someone said “Don’t worry, I will travel with you. I will become your travel buddy.”

Have you ever thought of having a long life span? What are you going to do with your life if you are given a long life span? Will you be feeling lonely?

If you have something to contribute to humanity or to people around you, you will experience your life so valuable. Your heart will be full and you won’t feel lonely. To feel lonely is to feel lacking of something in the heart. It is feel a bit empty in your heart. A lonely heart is an empty heart. It is by giving that your heart will become full.

Think of what you can contribute to people around you instead of what you can take from them. Be where you experience yourself having enough for yourself and for giving it to others, not be where you need to take.

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.

Reflection

Number doesn’t lie

How much do you really care of your spending? Or how well do you manage your money?

One of the aspects in money management is how to manage your spending. Are you a good spender?

After a meeting with a long time friend who had been so long not seeing each other for the last couple of years, I had a thought to make a proper analysis on my spending. I have recorded almost all my spendings for the last few years. I never thought that I could have become so discipline in keeping this for this long. I made the record manually. Every single receipt of any payment was recorded on a book. I have made a quick analysis on monthly basis. I knew whether the total expense was increasing or not, how much I spent on month-to-month basis. I didn’t make any proper analysis. No wonder that my expense was increasing for the last few months.

I decided to put all the records into a worksheet in my laptop. I am using Microsoft Excel for this. It makes everything so easier. In any data analysis, the more datas and the more detailed and accurate, the better. It will then speak something. It tells you everything accurately and honestly. Number doesn’t lie.

An accurate graph will speak the truth.

It says…

One. My year-to-date expense on Starbucks in 2022 increased more than 300% than it was in 2021.

Two. I have spent on Starbucks almost as much as on gasoline.

Three. A cup of hot chocolate is much more expensive than a litre of gasoline.

With this simple analysis, I know what I need to do or change in my spending. Gasoline is more essential than hot chocolate drink. Moreover the price of gasoline has just increased. I have to become more mindful on spending on what is less essential.

It also tells me the accurate number on groceries, house maintenance, meals, communication, insurance, fashion, leisure etc.

You will become more confident when you have to make any financial decision. You will also become more committed to what you are going to do with your money when you have this data-based analysis with you.

When I shared my charts and tables of this analysis to a colleague who is working in Finance Division, she said that she was amazed that I could make it so consistent. She tried to make same record of her spending, but then she did not like the feeling like being suffocated every time she was going to make one. Then she did not continue doing it. Actually I heard this from some other colleagues too.

I think the hardest part is to make something into a routine, then into a habit. To start something is easy. To continue doing it is always not easy. It really takes a commitment.

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.

Reflection

The sign of spiritual awakening


It is very interesting. Someone who is spirititually awaken will love solitude. They are comfortable of being with themselves. They enjoy their own company. They enjoy being alone. They don’t experience loneliness. In fact they experience their hearts to be full. They experience spiritual ‘excitement’.

Why?

It is the spirit that is awaken. The spirit is hidden inside. Very subtle. The spirit is the life. When the spirit is awaken, the life inside is back from a long deep sleep. An awaken spirit knows what is true and real.

The spirit is busy seeking the true peace, true happiness and true love. There is excitement in this internal seeking. The spirit understands how to get that feelings. It is not from the external. Not from people nor external entertainment. They know the journey to truth is an internal journey, the journey to the true self.

The more you enjoy being with the company of your own self, the more the spirit is awaken. There are more other signs of being spiritually awaken, but I think this is the main one.

Do you experience this sign in you?

Journal of the day

A very heart-warming movie

Do you like watching movies? What movie genre do you like most? Have you gone to cinema recently?

I am not really a big fan of movies. I only watched a movie after a review from friends. If they said it was a good movie then I would consider to watch it. Unless I would not watch it. I am so fortunate that I have friends around me who love watching movies. Any kind of movie, including horror, documentary, detective, comedy and also drama.

Very recently a friend told me a movie she just watched in cinema. It was a drama movie. Drama of a family life. She said it was a good one. Other friends were also telling me the same. So I was so encouraged to watch that movie. I asked her if she would like to watch the same movie with me in the coming weekend. She said that she wanted to watch Minion 2 instead of watching the same movie again. So the deal was made. I would watch the movie and she would watch Minion 2 which was scheduled to be played half an hour earlier that the movie I was going to watch.

The movie was about conflict between a father and his three sons. The father held the belief and the tradition very strongly. He wanted to apply it to his children. He wanted her first son to marry a girl from the same clan only, because he has to carry the family name. He wanted his second son to become a judge, instead of a comedian. A comedian is not considered to be valued more than a judge in the society (in his village). And he expected the youngest son to come back and live with him. All the 3 sons have moved to Java island for their study. It was about father and son relationship that did not work well in the family.

The family was from North Sumatera. A simple family in a village in Samosir island in the middle of Toba lake. A very beautiful island. I have been there 6 years ago. So I could relate a bit, but not to the culture. Anyway it was a happy ending one. The conflict was resolved with the father’s open mind.

A friend said: “It was a very heart warming movie.”

I think I agree with her.

Reflection

Temporary Beauty vs. Permanent Beauty

You might agree with me that cosmetic does an amazing thing, if not called a magic. It can change somebody’s appearance dramatically. Someone may look so beautiful having a make-up. Though someone may look so pretty with a make-up, she doesn’t want to have it for the whole time. When she arrives home or when she is going to bed, she will definitely clean her face from the cosmetic product she has applied on her face. A make-up remover is applied.

A friend asked me to buy a cosmetic product for her. It was a pencil for eyebrow. Dark brown colored. She also mentioned the brand in her message. I read her message very quickly and I replied OK.

I went to the nearest store, not a big store to get the stuff. I was so sure without asking the sales counter, I went to the cosmetic section. I knew what I wanted to buy. I looked at the whole section where different brands of cosmetic products displayed but I couldn’t find the pencil I wanted. Then I told the sales counter about it. She asked me the brand I was looking for. I said with so much confidence: “Vivo.”

She looked a bit confused and said: “There is no such brand for cosmetics. We have Viva, not Vivo.”

I became confused and to make sure I checked what my friend had written to me. It said Viva. Later I remembered that Vivo is a brand for electronic products.

Inner beauty is beauty from the heart.

You might also agree with me that make-up can only give a temporary beauty not a permanent one, an external beauty. While inner beauty is from the heart. You don’t need to apply any make-up to have inner beauty. What you need is a kind, gentle, strong and big heart. You can have it for the whole time. You don’t need any remover for this.

Journal of the day

Act like a boss

It is always interesting in making an interaction with children, especially those who are under 7. They are so genuine and spontaneous. I always enjoy it.

Some said that those period is the golden period for their growth especially mentally and emotionally. They pick up everything around them so easily and quickly. They also learn everything from what they see and hear. It very much depends on the adults around them who bring the influence into them. They get influenced. They get coloured because they still cannot colour themselves intentionally.

Today my nephew was taking me to airport. He brought along with us our cousins’boys. I think most of children like to be in a ‘new place’ like airport, especially to see aircrafts. Because it triggers their immaginations. Children tend to imagine a lot and they do it freely and also courageously.

Someone took this picture below for us. And I said spontaneously to them before the picture was taken “Act like a boss!”. So they were posing like a boss. Little children will quickly follow what you ask them to do with no judgment. Sometimes they just copy you. This is what I like from them.

My nephew said to me that on their way back home from the airport, one of the kids asked him “What is a boss?”

Obviously he never heard this word before, he couldn’t use his own imagination how to act like a boss.

Act like a boss!

I also remembered when I took my friend and her kids, little Joshua and Syaila to a museum many years ago. It was a museum of a palace where a throne of a king was displayed. It was not the historical one so actually the visitors may sit on it. I quickly got an idea and said to them “Sit on this throne like a king”. They then sat on it and posed like a king. They sat upright with their two arms on the arm rest and showed their faces royal like kings.

Reflection

Boredom

I like putting ideas in my head in writing. If someone asks me why, my answer would be in the sake of clarity. Yes, when it is put in writing, it becomes clear to me. I like writing everything, an idea or an issue that is occupying my head.

If it is an idea, it allows me to see how much I have understood. If it is an issue or a problem, it allows me to see the root cause of it and what possible solution or probably just a way to deal with it.

Long time ago a friend asked me if I have written a topic on boredom. I think she was feeling bored at that time. Another time she said to me that she was feeling overwhelmed. I then tried to recall if I had written one. I didn’t remember. I think I never write about this topic. It doesn’t mean that I never feel bored. Sometimes I also feel it, but it never becomes an issue that I have to really pay attention and seek a remedy.

I like to put myself as a learner. I see life around me and also nature as an opportunity to learn something. There is always something new that I can explore. The world around us is like a very big school and all of us are students. There is always enthusiasm in being a student. You will always find it as a life long learning process.

The exam would not be fixed in timing. The question would be different for each one. We can not copy it from other students. The good thing in this process is that we are still allowed to fail. We are given a chance to learn again.

How do you deal with boredom?