Blessings for the new year

Last year, I had set about to fulfill Neil Gaiman’s New Year Wish, which was:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

I realized all elements of the above, and for this I am very grateful. I look back at 2016 with immense gratitude, pride and joy. I will set out to accomplish this again for this year and I look forward to continue my journey in enriching my mind and life, surrounded by loving family and friends.

I spent 2016 enjoying the good company of my ever supportive and uplifting family, strengthening friendships and made new friends along the way. I was surrounded and enriched by affection and love, and deeply felt God’s magnificent love and mercy, along with an abundance of blessings bestowed by the Universe. I feel truly blessed and am ever grateful for the myriad of beauty, experiences and opportunities which have come my way. Many wonderful souls have touched my heart and made a difference in my life; I hope I continue to contribute towards a positive difference in others and in this dynamic world in which we live.

I completed the first year of my Masters degree and will be working hard to conclude the final 3 terms in school by the end of this year. While I want to finish with an excellent CGPA, at the end of the day, I would like to be able to absorb and apply what I learn towards my next career. Along the way, I managed to find good work with generally kind people, and look forward to complete a rewarding project this year.

This year has started out well and is already passing by quickly. I recently attended a lovely wedding of a delightful young couple as well as the birthday celebration of a brave little girl who inspired me to write my first blog post – she has just turned two and is growing up to be a healthy, sometimes solemn yet delightful child. My observance of young love and budding youth inspires me and further augments new hope for the future.

Chinese New Year is approaching next week; we transition from the year of the Monkey into the year of the Rooster on February 28. I would like to add the following addition to my personal aspirations and share with you another of Neil Gaiman’s New Year Wish, which is:

“…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

Blessings for the new year

Fabric of Life

A friend of mine (PL) recently gave me a keychain with a cute fabric elephant, a souvenir from her trip to Phuket from the Mayagotami Foundation. The tag said, “Saori weaving is pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind. Saori is profound inner journey yet we can enjoy it socially, working alongside Weave & Give”.

This led me to think about my own life, or rather myself as a piece of fabric, which is still a work in progress, so to speak. We go through life making choices on a daily basis, some big, some small. These choices impact our lives and others either directly or indirectly. Choices somehow shape who we are in terms of our character, and make us unique individuals. With every choice, we weave another string into the fabric of our being. I believe that the people we meet and let into our lives also contribute to the strings of our personal fabric, through experiences, shared memories and the way different people make us feel  – soft, hard, textured, sequined, beaded and in different colors.

At the core of it all, we are all special. Some of us are more quirky, creative, analytical, pragmatic, optimistic, sociable, fearless or reserved. I would like more of us recognize our own unique personal traits, accept them and embrace them. I have found greater acceptance of myself in the past few years; it took some time to build up this level of self confidence and I must admit that having a childhood in a loving, secure environment probably helped blessed me with this innate state of being. There have been times of adversity in my life; it is all relative when I compare what I have been through with so many others who have had to or are struggling with difficulties and challenges. However, looking back at how things have come to pass, I am grateful for these lessons in life and the opportunities they presented to make me assess who I am and what I capable of. Many of these experiences have reassured me that you are what you make for yourself, particularly in taking charge of your own happiness and self worth.

During difficult times, it may be very challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many times I had asked myself whether it would get harder, how much more would my psyche or heart be able to take? I remember it felt like I was drowning in a pool of mud and there was no possibility of pulling my way out, when it just keeps sucking you in deeper. Screaming in an empty room for a sign. For some relief. Some miracle. Then the roar of silence and feeling that crushing weight of emptiness. Time would tick by. Hours would pass. Then days, then months. All this has tempered my own fabric; adversity had stretched it, but it was never torn.

I examine my own fabric of life and remind myself to be grateful. I am very grateful for the life that I have, for the family that I have, for my health, for all the blessings God gives, and for the friends who give so generously in friendship and touch my life in ways they may not realize, whether they are near or far. With the bad, there is good, and I have learnt to appreciate the latter and actively seek to weave more happiness, joy and love into my own fabric, and hopefully into the fabric of others.

What does your fabric look or feel like?

Fabric of Life

Darling, hold my hand?

The song “Hold my hand” by Jess Glynne has been dominating my thoughts of late, and I have found it to be uplifting, energizing and motivating. Coincidentally this song seems to be playing on the radio often and I have been humming along, singing the lyrics I know with gusto.

Living alone, I do not have someone here to ‘hold my hand’. So I decided to hug myself (telling myself it’s okay) and hold my own hands, clasping them together as I sing the chorus of this song.

I acknowledge to myself that I am a strong woman, who is able to encourage myself from a deep well of inner strength, and brave enough to reassure that me, myself and I are okay. Also, I believe that God is everywhere, so I am truly never alone. I am grateful that at times I am in the company of family and friends, who are there to hold my hand, albeit briefly. This song is a reminder that I am ready.

Ready for what, you ask?

Ready for amazing achievements this year. Ready for more joy, happiness, love and success. Ready for anything and everything. Ready for whatever my heart desires and my mind imagines to be possible, to come my way.

Are you ready too? If you need a hand, I am thrilled to offer you my (cyber) hand or hand in spirit, and give your hand a gentle squeeze.

I saw a delightful quote during the last days of December 2015, and think that it is a wonderful blessing to bestow, from one of the world’s greatest writers. This shall be something that I shall endeavor not only for 2016 but for every year to come. I hope that you will find inspiration in this too.

 

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art – write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

~ Neil Gaiman

Darling, hold my hand?

Inner Strength

We all go through periods of self reflection from time to time. Life’s journey throws us the good and the bad; how we deal with it shapes us for who we are, our character, our inner strength.

The thing is, what do you think of when you are feeling down or depressed, when you are very sad, frustrated or feel that you are lost or at a cross road and find it difficult to make a decision? Do you have a reservoir of inner strength to draw upon, an anchor or talisman to keep you grounded during a storm? Would you be able to recognize a life line sincerely given to you by a friend or relative?

I believe that you would. I believe that we are capable of being stronger and wiser than we give ourselves credit for. Have an open heart and an open mind. Trust your instincts or inner voice. Trust in God. Believe in yourself and love yourself. Trust yourself to do the right thing, always. Live a life with no regrets; we all have regrets so my advice is to please learn to forgive yourself, leave those regrets behind and move on.

When I was in my late teens, my father gave me a plaque engraved with a quote, “Success is not about never falling down, it’s about getting back up again when you fall”. It was from sharing his own painful personal experiences that helped give me perspective of my own problems, and to understand how small my problem at the time was in relation to the problems of the world or truly challenging problems other people face. There is that well known saying, which still helps to ground me sometimes, that goes along the line of ‘one should not complain about one’s old shoes, when others have no feet’.

In my 20s, a friend (C) had shared the teachings of Buddha. I think the lesson of ‘not wanting/expecting more than you have, helps make you happy (or happier)’ has helped me be content with what I have. The green eyed monster seldom stirs (if it does it is often related to others enjoying exquisite food) and it amuses me when I witness others desperately trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Perhaps it is a good thing I am quite the hippy at heart *grin*.

In my 30s, when I was unhappy in a relationship that eroded my self worth, another friend (YL) invited me to church. While I was familiar with God from my time in missionary school at a young age, getting “touched” by His love helped me believe in myself again, and to ultimately leave the man whom I knew deep down I had no fulfilling future with. I am always grateful for the salvation and strength that I have found from God.

Recently my friend (M) shared a quote from William H Murray to help inspire me. I hope that it will help inspire you too.

“This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.
I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

Inner Strength