Monday, September 30, 2013


"I love the sound of my breathing when I've found my stride. Everything is better when you really breathe." - Quish Turner

 "The thing I love most about running is that you can start at any stage of life. It's not how fast you are or how far you go that makes you a runner. It's all about the journey." - Jessica Rubin Cohen of Found the Marbles 

"The thing I appreciate most about running is that it's a race for and against myself and nobody else. For so long, just a quarter mile seemed impossible. When I finally ran that distance, I stopped and cried. No 10K, half-marathon, or triathlon since has been as emotional as that first accomplishment (but I do always cry at the finish lines!)" - Katy Widrick

 "No matter how I feel before I run, I always feel better after. If I'm tired, I feel energized. If I'm in a bad mood, I feel harmonious. If I feel sick or have a headache, I feel healthy and strong. And if I already feel pretty good before my run, I feel amazing when I'm done." - Debbie Woodruff of Live from LaQuinta 

"Running is always there for me no matter what life throws my way. I run when I'm happy and content, but I also run when I'm feeling sad or angry. It's the cheapest form of therapy there is, and I know that no matter how long I go without it, running will still be there welcoming me back with open arms!" - Jana Thompson Antil of Happy Wife Healthy Life

"I figure out most of my toughest problems or decisions while on a run!" - Erin Chamberlin of Running Tall 

"Running gives me the chance to enjoy the beauty of the world around me that I so often miss in my day to day life." - Suzi Fevens of Confessions of a Fitness Instructor

 "Running is simple. One foot in front of the other. Doesn't have to be fast. It's a mind, heart, and foot connection that make us move forward with thanksgiving." - Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch

Sunday, September 29, 2013

An East German soldier helping a boy cross the newly formed ‘Berlin Wall,’ 1961.
 The boy was found on the opposite side of the wall from his family.
Despite given orders by the East German government to let no one pass, the soldier helped the boy through the barbwire.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Last week in the Brazilian town of Manaus, a truck weighed down with almost 28,000 pounds of paint tipped over as it tried to take a curve a little too fast.
This worked out to nearly 3,000 gallons of what turned out to be very pleasant colors being spread all over the road…

Taken from
“In this world of change, nothing which comes stays, and nothing which goes is lost.”
 ~ Anne Sophie Swetchine

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Liu Wenxiu, a 19-year-old waitress from Shenzhen, has been praised for stopping a 16-year-old boy from committing suicide with a simple kiss.
Liu was passing by a pedestrian bridge in downtown Shenzhen when she spotted hundreds of onlookers watching a young man with a knife in his hand, threatening to jump.

She managed to get close to the boy by telling the police that she was his girlfriend and also the reason for his attempt to commit suicide.
According to local television, the boy’s mother had passed away, his stepmother didn’t treat him well and she left with all his father’s money.
 “He told me he didn’t have a home anymore, nobody cared about him and no one trusted him. I showed him the scars on my right wrist as I used to be suicidal too because nobody in my family was happy.
That boy, he was like a younger me. he had to be saved – because I’ve been there before and I knew exactly how it was,” said Liu.

The negotiation on the bridge ended like a romantic movie when Liu hugged the boy and kissed him unexpectedly. Police took advantage of the situation to take away the boy’s knife and pull him inside the handrail of the bridge.
Liu left after the rescue, but local police needed her help again because the boy refused to reveal his story without her presence,
Taken from elephantjournal
In Buddhism, we talk about the Three Poisons—greed, aversion and delusion.
These three poisons all come from within us and they cause a lot of our suffering.
When we are guided by these poisons, we are causing ourselves to suffer.

The first poison is greed or desire:
I want, I need, give it to me, please, please please I really want it. I need to get it and I need to figure out a way to get it.
Maybe I can just take it. Greed interrupts the natural flow of things.
Adding my desire into the equation of life, trying to change or alter the way things are to bring me satisfaction, ultimately can lead to suffering.
We often want things that we don’t need and we sometimes want them so much that we get upset. We also sometimes want things that are incredibly unrealistic.

Aversion or hatred is the second poison.
Aversion is essentially rejection—get that thing away from me.
Hatred and aversion arise in response to something we don’t like or want to happen to us. It often leads us to push away, at worst culminating in violence.
Hatred and anger can overwhelm us, causing us to act in negative ways in order to get relief from these feelings.
Sometimes, pain can’t be avoided, of course, but we make things worse for ourselves when we get angry or stressed out about it.
Obviously bad things are going to happen and we want to avoid them and we should try, but at the same time, we shouldn’t become obsessed about bad things.
We tend to worry about things that are unrealistic too. And we tend to magnify things. If something bad happens and we get angry, we are making ourselves suffer more.
Anger doesn’t help. It only contributes to our negative feelings. 

The third poison is ignorance or delusion—this poison follows directly from the other two.
Our greed and anger leads us to a sense of separation. To live with that separation I make up a story or narrative to explain who I am and why my greed and anger are justified.
More and more of my true self is lost and I live in the dream of my narrative.
 This is a fundamental delusion. The more rigid we become trying to justify and bolster our story, the more we suffer, and the more we cause suffering for those around us.

So what can we do about this? Awareness. Moment-to-moment awareness is what we talk about in Buddhism.
If my mind is here and now, living in this moment instead of in some kind of delusional fantasy, then I am not polluted by the three poisons.
Things are going to happen—the universe is going to unfold however it unfolds. We can’t control everything. The only thing we can really and truly control is ourselves. We can control how we respond to things. Sometimes, it can be very difficult.

Understanding our own actions and responses is the first step in getting out of our own way. It is a big step. If we practice meditation, we can learn to be more aware of our minds. This is important.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Syria's child refugees: 'You feel that they have lost their hearts' - video

Syrian children from the Zataari refugee camp in Jordan speak about their experiences during the civil war, leaving their homeland and life in the camp. They explain their current difficulties in adjusting to life as displaced people and express their hopes for the future, with one pondering on the meaning of the word 'refugee' itself

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"What was the happiest moment of your life?"
"Any time I wake up and nothing hurts."

Taken from Humans of New York

Friday, September 13, 2013

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
 "Be optimistic."
"When did you have the toughest time being optimistic?"
"Two months ago, when I got diagnosed with prostate cancer."
 "What was your initial response?"
"Depression, anxiety, fear. They caught it pretty late. Hopefully not too late, but late. There were times when I was walking down the street and I wished that I could just get shot or hit by a bus. My father died of prostate cancer when I was twelve, so you know, I assumed that was it for me."
"So how'd you get past those feelings?"

"By going to work every day. And having a drink every night."
Taken from Humans of New York
A man was feeding a baby hummingbird, found half dead on the ground outside his office building, when he noticed a worried mom hummingbird flying past his window.
 He opened it up and the mother bird started feeding her baby right away.
After a while, she found enough courage to feed it in the palm of his hand.
He's now sleeping on the window sill with the windows open so his mom can keep feeding him and checking on him piano music
The Lotus Flower Composed by Isisip.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
 "Try your best to deal with life without medicating yourself."
"You mean drugs?"
"I mean drugs, food, shopping, money, whatever.
I ain't judging anybody, either. I was hooked on heroin for years.
But now I've learned that every feeling will pass if you give it time.
And if you learn to deal with your feelings, they'll pass by faster each time. So don't rush to cover them up, or you're never gonna learn."
Taken from Humans of New York

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Taken from Yvonne-Foong-Ming-Niang
At one of my talks few years ago, a youth asked me if I had ever considered ending it all. From her tone, I could guess that this student was suicidal. 
There was one point in my life when the environment surrounding me overwhelmed my heart so much I entertained the thought of numbing the pain with a knife. 
It was not because of NF and my health concerns. 
This happened before my diagnosis. It was caused by the everyday bitterness of people around me that weighed down my small shoulders. 
That was more than a decade ago. 
Even though I entertained the thought of ending it all, I never followed through with the act because I chose to persevere. 
A little more each time. 
Life is a gift. I have come so far in life - grown up safely after my father's stroke, learned to be independent, overcame so many obstacles and trials..
 To end it all is to throw all my efforts away. My years of effort fighting to live the best I can. It would be too easy to throw all that away in a split second. 
Is it worth committing suicide? No it Is not, not at all. 
I know that I will regret giving up my life. 
I did not want to regret. So I persevered. 
Day by day. Until that phase of my life came to pass. 
My heart and mind became stronger because I chose to persevere. 
To this day, even as Neurofibromatosis demands more from me, I still believe that life is a gift, as I have always thought from the beginning.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

12 years ago, I had applied to study the Foreign Language (choosing Japanese as major) course in this prestigious university.
I cried my eyes out when my application was rejected.

This year, I was accepted into this university with great ease, to study a course which I didn't know existed until these recent years.
I entered my first class last evening.
And there were four Japanese students sitting in front of me.
They were there for an exchange programme.
I took my opportunity to chat with them for awhile during the break.


Got nothing and yet she is smiling.... Little girl in the charcoal factory, Tondo, Manila.

Friday, September 06, 2013

I am still here.

So much has happened, yet more is to come.
My voice quivers, my steps are small.
I am still on my way.

The cruel cold wind slips by.
I can rest but not for long.
Darkness is too eager for me.
I must go on.

Shame, regrets, anxiety ... they are my Shadow.
Defeated at times,
But I do not surrender.
I am still here.
"Whatever you do, remember one thing: 
Out of fear you are not going to grow; you will only shrink and die.
 Fear is in the service of death.
Mahavira is right.
He makes fearlessness the fundamental of a religious person, and I can understand what he means by fearlessness - that means dropping all armour.
 A fearless person has everything that life wants to give to you as a gift.
 Now there is no barrier: you will be showered with gifts, and whatever you will be doing you will have a strength, a power, a certainty, a tremendous feeling of authority."

Taken from OSHO

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It is with utmost sadness to find out that my postgraduate night classes clashes with my ZUMBA classes.
As I was dancing in my presumably last class with J, the Fun Zumba instructor, I was feeling very sentimental.

I might never see him again.
Strange enough, I had this same heaviness in my heart about my childhood friend (whom J resembles) when we parted decades ago.

Taken from 

Friends, I have an incredible story to share about a family I met in Kuala Lumpur. When they heard I would be speaking in Kuala Lumpur, they drove seven hours to come try and meet me, only to arrive and find the speaking event was already filled.

After patiently waiting more than 4 hours for us to leave the venue, they managed to track down which van I was in. That in itself was no easy task, as there was quite a bit of commotion exiting the event, and our convoy was made up of three different vans which carry the team and our gear.
 They followed behind us, planning on saying hello whenever we reached our destination. When we stopped for fuel, they came running out of their car.

Our host, Joshua, saw them coming up to the van and said to me, "Wow, you'll never believe what I'm seeing. There's a family with a girl who has no arms and no legs, and they're coming to see you."
 We all immediately recognized that moment as a divine appointment. Her mother was crying, her father's face face shining with joy.
My heart was so drawn to them, even after chatting for just a short while. After a few hugs and kisses, and praying together, I invited them back to our hotel for a meal and some fellowship. There I learned that her nickname is actually Nik, her father is a doctor, and her mother is nurse.

Like my own family, they had no idea Nik would be without limbs until she was born. We had a great discussion over dinner, and I look forward to keeping in touch and encouraging them as much as possible in the future. It's meetings like these that remind me how love can bring together some of the most diverse people. I love that love knows no bounds.

 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:13