Saturday, February 22, 2014

" He has a higher threshold of pain than normal.
He's used to living with pain for his life. "
I am shocked by this news.
I have a saved copy of this video on my computer because it lifts up my mood when I'm down.
A heart-warming and hilarious video made for her grandparents, showing a happy and healthy little girl who kept telling her dad that Mum was her favourite, went viral and was watched by almost than 9.5 million people.
But in a cruel twist of fate for a family that brought so much joy, Maddie died suddenly this week at the age of three after being diagnosed with two strands of the common cold.
Rocked by their grief, Mick and Kerryn say that they have been touched by the messages of love and support they have received from strangers and friends alike - people who were made to smile by Maddie's cute antics.
"In 10 years’ time someone will be having a bad day at the office and sit down and click on that video and it will cheer them up," Kerryn said. "That will be her legacy."

Friday, February 21, 2014

I'm not doing well.
My soul seems to be wandering. My 灵魂 is lost.
I've been very absent minded.
I've been staring blankly at my monitor, documents, people, everything and anything.
Thank my lucky stars there hasn't been any traffic accidents.
I've been drinking so much coffee that my stomach is now unwell.
Caffeine is my only source to keep whatever that is left of me grounded.
I haven't been sleeping well, have been having odd dreams - as if I'm in a very dramatic stories.

I felt much better the moment I met Cc, Am and LC at the staff lounge.
Their presence alone provided much comfort.
The very sight of them soothes my anxiety.

At the office, boss told me to get the staff to draw lots to decide who takes what from the gift basket.
This activity provided some joy.
I got the sparkling juice.
One colleague was jumping with joy when she got the empty rattan basket, which she was hoping for.
I was amused with her reaction.

I went down to the big boss' office to get some documents signed.
Met another admin staff V, she asked about my gym activities.
Big Boss' PA was also interested.
V pointed out that I made a lot of friends around the office, mentioned that she should make the effort too.

Thank Goodness I'm surrounded by people.
Interaction makes it all better.

99 wolves collide head on in to an invisible wall. Each wolf is created out of wire gauze stuffed with hay and wrapped in painted sheep’s skin. The concentrated pack of wolves are seen tightly running together until they inevitably hit the glass wall, where they then dust themselves off and re-enter the continuous flow at the back of the line.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I received news that an ex-classmate of mine committed suicide in 2008.
My first thought was, "Why her and not me?" -( the very same eerie thought each time I hear news about senseless death.)
I shared this thought with a friend.
" I was this weird depressed kid in school. She was this happy-go-lucky popular girl. She's gone and I'm still here?"
I'm still wearing my disbelief face as I'm typing this.

I've been feeling rather blue ever since I heard that news.
I met LC during lunch and I shared my thoughts with her.
She told me that my 'homework' for this lifetime isn't done.
I need to learn and practice some 'lessons' before it's my time.
LC, a devout Buddhist student told me it's important that I learn to 'let go' the seeds of darkness in my heart.
"Everything starts with a thought.
Start with positive ones."

"Perhaps, that is your ultimate goal for this lifetime."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our understanding of Buddhism should not be just gathering many pieces of information, seeking to gain knowledge.
 Instead of gathering knowledge, you should clear your mind. 
If your mind is clear, true knowledge is already yours. 
When you listen to our teaching with a pure, clear mind, you accept it as if you were hearing something which you already knew.

Shunryu Suzuki

Sunday, February 16, 2014

'When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion - then I go out and paint the stars."

~Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, February 15, 2014

There's a new Yoga instructor who speaks very odd English.
The people in the class were snickering and were quite frustrated because it was really difficult to understand him.
All of his words are monosyllable, "five, six, sept, eight".
Also, his instructions are either unclear or almost non-existent.
The worst part is the way he correct us, "Hey hey, hello hello, ***kissing sounds** look here".
Hence, there are some members who refrain to enter the Yoga room when he is the instructor.

I continued with my Yoga classes so as long as it fits my schedule, some of which are taught by him.
I found that the members who chose to continue with his class are more positive.
They are not bothered at all with his shortcomings.
As I continued with the classes, I found that his classes aren't that bad.
I wondered why my opinion had changed when he didn't.

I came to realize that I was affected by the people around me.
Their reaction inevitably became my choice of reaction too.
I embarrassed but I have to admit, I'm a sheep of my surrounding.

Friday, February 14, 2014

She likes playing hide & seek, playing with friends and reading, but after dark they light up candles and kerosene lamps because she still doesn't have electricity in her home. — in Panay, Philippines.

Taken from

"She always keeps her head when bad things happen. I've had a health scare recently, and she could easily have gone to pieces, but she's stayed strong for me."
"What's the toughest thing you've ever gotten through together?"
"Our daughter was murdered eight years ago, and we're still fighting it every single day."

From the ABC News Post:
Shortly after seven on a sunny spring morning in 2004, I freaked out in front of five million people.

I was filling in on "Good Morning America," anchoring the news updates at the top of each hour. I had done this job plenty of times before, so I had no reason to foresee what would happen shortly after the co-hosts, Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson, tossed it over to me for my brief newscast: I was overtaken by a massive, irresistible blast of fear. It felt like the world was ending. My heart was thumping. I was gasping for air. I had pretty much lost the ability to speak. And all of it was compounded by the knowledge that my freak-out was being broadcast live on national television. Halfway through the six stories I was supposed to read, I simply bailed, squeaking out a "Back to you."

My job as a reporter generally does not require me to reveal too much about my private life, beyond innocuous banter on Twitter and with my co-hosts on the weekend edition of "GMA" (Likes: animals, music, baked goods. Dislikes: math, reporting outside during snowstorms). But what I discovered as a result of the panic attack has genuinely improved my life, and could, I suspect, help many other people. So even though telling the story makes me uncomfortable, I've decided it's worth the risk.

One of the first things I learned when I consulted a shrink after the on-air meltdown was that the probable cause was my well-hidden and well-managed (or so I thought) drug use. In 2003, after spending several years covering the wars in Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine and Iraq, I became depressed. In an act of towering stupidity, I began to self-medicate, dabbling with cocaine and ecstasy. I'm not talking "Wolf of Wall Street"-level debauchery. My intake was sporadic, and mostly restricted to weekends. I had never been much of a partier before this period in my early thirties. In hindsight, it was an attempt, at least partly, to recreate some of the thrill of the war zone. A side-effect of all of this, as my doctor explained to me, was that the drugs had increased the level of adrenaline in my brain, dramatically boosting the odds of a panic attack. It didn't matter that I hadn't gotten high in the days or weeks leading up to my on-air Waterloo; those side-effects lingered.

The doctor decreed in no uncertain terms that I needed to stop doing drugs -- immediately. Faced with the potential demise of my career, it was a pretty obvious call. But as I sat there in his office, the sheer enormity of my mindlessness started to sink in -- from hurtling headlong into war zones without considering the psychological consequences, to using drugs for a synthetic squirt of replacement adrenaline. It was as if I had been sleepwalking through a cascade of moronic behavior. I knew I needed to make some changes to get my life in check -- but I didn't know how, or what they would be, exactly.

By pure happenstance, and despite my lifelong agnosticism, my boss and mentor, Peter Jennings, had assigned me to cover faith. Thus began a strange little odyssey. Leveraging my position as a reporter, I explored everything from mainstream religion to the bizarre fringes of self-help to the nexus of spirituality and neuroscience. The accidental yet enormously helpful end result of all this poking around: I became a reluctant convert to meditation.

Before you stop reading, let me point out that I am not a stereotypical meditator. In fact, I'd always had -- and still have, really -- an allergy to all things touchy-feely and New Age-y. As it turns out, though, meditation doesn't require robes, incense, crystals, Cat Stevens or "clearing the mind." It's exercise for your brain. And there's good science to back this up.

Meditation is a tool for taming the voice in your head. You know the voice I'm talking about. It's what has us constantly ruminating on the past or projecting into the future. It prods us to incessantly check our email, lurch over to the fridge when we're not hungry, and lose our temper when it's not in our best interest.

To be clear, meditation won't magically solve all of your problems. I still do dumb things—just ask my wife—but meditation is often effective kryptonite against the kind of epic mindlessness that produced my televised panic attack. When friends and colleagues ask (usually with barely hidden skepticism) why I meditate, I often say, "It makes me 10% happier."

This not-insubstantial return on investment has made me something of an unlikely evangelist for meditation. Self-help gurus are constantly telling us that we can get anything we want through the "power of positive thinking." This is an unrealistic and potentially damaging message, I think. By contrast, meditation is a doable, realistic, scientifically researched way to get significantly happier, calmer, and nicer. If meditation could be stripped of the syrupy, saccharine language with which it's too often presented, it might be appealing to millions of smart, skeptical people who may never otherwise consider it. So I've written a book, called "10% Happier," in which I attempt to do just that. It comes out in March.

Am I worried about what kind of reaction people will have to my getting personal in this way? Absolutely.

At the very least, it'll be a good test of my meditation practice.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

L, my colleague hasn't been doing well for the past few months.
I noticed that she'd laugh awkwardly by herself very often, giving solid ingredients for the other colleagues to gossip.
She has involuntary muscle spasms too.
I have been successful in keeping my distance from her hence, I had battled with myself if I should talk to her, you know, be the 'bigger' person.

I even consulted my colleagues who are also my friends.
They all know the background story.
The tougher friend said, "Here, drink this ice water to freeze your conscience enough to leave her be."
The more empathetic ones just kept quiet.

Today, I relented and talked to her.
Just as I had suspected -she's suffering from the side effects of the psychotropic drugs that she has been taking for years.
She's still very much lucid and coherent.
Just 10 minutes into conversation -Yup, we can't be friends.

Still, can't help but feel sorry for her.
I sincerely hope she'd get better soon.

Habits of Unhappy People

Chronic Complaining
The one thing that happy, successful people don't do a lot of is complaining. While it is psychologically beneficial to vent when you are under stress, there is a difference between small venting sessions and being a chronic complainer. The chronic complainer tends to always have something wrong in their life, their issues are more important than everybody else's, and when you have something to vent about yourself, they aren't very interested in listening. 
Everybody gets dealt a hand in life. Some get dealt better hands than others, but at the end of the day this is the hand of cards that is yours.   Chronic complainers tend to complain about their job, their significant other, how little money they make or how something wasn't fair.  I have news for you, anybody anywhere has hundreds of things they could complain about at any given time.  
If you are a chronic complainer, quit whining and talk about the things that are positive in your life and focus on what is good.  If you have a problem, sit down and work out a solution.  Constant complaining does nothing but push your friends away and keep you in that dark unhappy place. 
You have good in your life, find it, and share it.

Retail Therapy
Life is about experiences, however so many people get caught up in materialistic items that they forget what truly makes us happy.  Sure the latest gadget may make you feel good for the evening, but that high is temporary, and you will be back chasing that retail high shortly after.  Get out and experience the world.  If you can't afford to get away, become a tourist in your own city.  Skydive, bungee jump, go to the beach alone, take a hike on an unknown trail, go up to a complete stranger and invite them for coffee, hell… read a book; there are so many things you could be doing that will enrich your life that doesn't involve buying things.

Worrying About the Future

No matter what you do, you only have so much impact on what the future has in store for you.  Could you get laid off? Maybe.  Could you catch a life threatening disease? Yup.  The thing is, you have very little control over whether or not these things happen, so why spend your time worrying about it.  As long as you have a reasonable game plan and are living responsibly you should be focused on what is going on in your life now.  Focus on what you are doing this second, if you hate it, do something else. Right now I'm looking outside, it is sunny and my cat is rubbing up against my leg. I couldn't be happier.

Waiting for the Future
Much like worrying about the future, many people focus on future events instead of what is going on right now. The chain of thought usually starts like this:

When you are in high school, you think you will be happy when you graduate. Once you've graduated, you think you will be happy once you land a good job.  Once you have the dream job, you think you will be happy when you are married.   Next you think you will be happy when you have kids.  Once you have kids, you think you will be happy when they move out of the house. Next it will be when they have kids.  Before you know it you will have spent your entire life waiting for events to bring you happiness just to realize life (and happiness) has passed you by.

Lack of Hobbies
Before I even get started, your job, house cleaning and watching TV are NOT hobbies.  Hobbies are activities that you can become passionate about.  Hobbies are something that you can do when you have three hours of free time on a Thursday night.  Hobbies are skills that could potentially earn you money if you become good enough at them.  Happy people tend to have hobbies, whether your hobby is kick boxing, playing the guitar, or even basket weaving.  Hobbies give you something to do with your free time and give you some time for YOU. This is time you are investing in yourself. Group hobbies also have the added benefit of giving you additional socializing time.  

Eating Poorly

 Making bad food choices or eating too much is not only bad for your health, it can make you feel lethargic, guilty, depressed and when done for extended periods of time typically results in gained weight.  Unfortunately eating poorly is a vicious cycle.  Often times people eat to self medicate when they are feeling down.  They feel great for a few minutes while they eat their delicious treats, but then feel guilt afterwards, followed by lack of energy and reduced productivity.  Eating healthy not only makes you have more energy, it also makes you look better, which makes you feel better about yourself.  Contrary to what the millions of fitness magazines out there will tell you, 90% of how you look is determined by what and how much food you put in your body, not how much time you spend running on a treadmill.  Eat right, look great, and feel great.

Talking Poorly of Others
“Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.” ~Fran Lebowitz
Next time you go out, listen to what people talk about.  Are you spending your time gossiping or talking about other people.  Unhappy people get caught up talking about other people instead of talking about things such as ideas or current events.  

Unhappy people also have a tendency to judge others.  "Look what that idiot is doing!. "Can you believe what she is wearing".  If you catch yourself judging somebody you don't know, bite your tongue.  Trashing somebody else might make you feel better for a moment, but all you are doing is masking your insecurities by trying to put them beneath you.  Instead, try complimenting others, at first it might be hard, but it will make you feel good and will make you a much more desirable person to be around.

Holding Grudges

Harbouring animosity towards somebody is like carrying around a backpack full of rocks.  You don't have a problem carrying it, but it is a load on your back, and life sure would be easier if you could just take it off.  Do yourself a favour, forgive.  This doesn't mean you need to become best buds with whomever has done you wrong, but come to terms with what has happened and understand that people make mistakes.  Forgiving will help free you of anxiety,  stress and depression and allow you to have happier relationships. Free yourself of the hate, and move on.

Stop Learning
“The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.” - Rick Warren
It isn't hard to become complacent in life.  You've spent so much time going to school to eventually get a job that learning sometimes takes a backseat to life.  Learning doesn't need to be a chore.   Just like hobbies, get out there and learn about something you are passionate about.  Like mexican food? Sweet, start reading about it and practice making five star restaurant quality mexican food.  Learning new things not only gives you things to talk about in social environments, it also helps improve your self worth, which leads to happiness.

Not Following Through

It is easy to sit on the couch and make a list of things you want or plan to do.  Actually getting up off the couch and doing them takes a lot more energy. They say that taking the first step is always the hardest part with any plan.  Quit making excuses and walk the walk, nobody is going to do it for you.  Want to go back to school? Pick up the phone and register.  Want to lose 10 lbs? Get in your car and drive to the gym. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Quit letting the first step hold you back.

Loneliness (How you Choose to Socialize)
One of the biggest causes of unhappiness is loneliness.  I'm not referring to having somebody special in your life; having a significant other doesn't mean you won't be lonely.  Being lonely generally stems from lack of social stimulation.  The technology age is definitely perpetuating this by means of text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and other 'Social Networks'.  People are so addicted to these forms of social technology that they forget humans require real genuine human interaction. Socially insecure people tend to gravitate to online socializing because they have more control over the amount and timing of their interactions.  Reducing face to face interactions tends to reduce social anxiety for less extroverted individuals. Unfortunately staying within your comfort zone, limits personal growth, and prevents the development of valuable face to face relationships.[11]

Don't have something to do tonight? Instead of commenting on everybody's Facebook statuses, give somebody a call and go out for a drink, you would be surprised how much better it feels to talk to a real life physical human being.  

If you are single and feel like you need a significant other to be happy, I am going to be blunt,  YOU ARE WRONG.  You can't be in a healthy relationship until you are happy independently.  Using somebody else as a crutch for your happiness is a one way trip to an unhealthy relationship.  If you are struggling to find a companion, stop looking in bars and stop looking online.  Consider joining activity clubs for singles or participate in a group activity that encourages socialization.  You will meet like minded people who share more in common with you that booze or Facebook friends.

Letting Negative Thoughts Enter Your Mind

In the past I had this problem.  Negative thoughts would enter my  mind and I would let them stick around.  They would then sit there, fester and take control of my emotions and my happiness.  This got to the point I actually spoke to my doctor about it and he gave me this advice.  When these thoughts enter your head, immediately think of something else.  You choose what you think about, and the longer you entertain a negative thought, the more it is going to stay in focus.  We are all human, and bad thoughts will enter our heads from time to time, but by being conscious of what you thinking about you can push them out of your head before they take you over.

Jumping to Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is a huge source of not only unhappiness but also anxiety for people.  Jumping to conclusions usually comes in one of two forms; Fortune telling and mind reading.
Fortune Telling is when a situation arises and you automatically predict that things are going to turn our poorly.  Because of this fortune telling, you often take yourself out of these situations, which for the most part would end in a great experience.  You lose out by having jumped to conclusions and predicting an unsatisfactory outcome.
Mind reading is when you automatically assume that others are negatively reacting to you or something you've done when there is no definite evidence.  This can and will make you feel like a victim and can result in unfounded resentment towards these imaginary reactions.


Often times unhappy people have a tendency to blow small things out of proportion.  Take a step back before you deal with an issue and try to look at it objectively.  Often times if you try to take yourself and your emotions out of the equation and think it through you will realize that you are making a big deal out of nothing.  If you still aren't sure, ask somebody you trust what they would do in this situation before losing sleep over it. 


The exact opposite of magnification is minimization.  Minimization is when you take real problems and instead of dealing with them, tell yourself they are insignificant.  Unfortunately you can only sweep your problems under the rug for so long before they explode.  People tend to ignore problems like debt, infidelity, obesity amongst other things.  If this sounds like you, stop ignoring your ongoing problems, become actionable and take steps to fix them.  Much like grudges, you will feel much better once these problems have been resolved.

Self Labelling
How you talk to yourself can seriously affect your self image.  When you make a mistake, tell yourself "You made a mistake, next time you will do better".   Saying things like "You are an idiot", or "You are a piece of crap" does nothing but lower your self worth.  This might sound insignificant, but you need to believe in yourself to be happy, and calling yourself names prevents you from moving on after you've made a mistake.

Not Having a Goal
One of the most exciting things in life is setting a goal and accomplishing it.  Happy people have a tendency to make both short and long term goals.  Short term goals give you mini accomplishments that build self confidence and keep you motivated for the big picture.  These goals can be related to anything that is important to you. Fitness, finance and hobby related goals are examples of goals you can set immediately.  Successful people are constantly setting and accomplishing goals.  

While lack of ambition has a tendency to lead to mediocracy and limited emotional satisfaction,  unhappy people often set goals too.  The problem with unhappy people's goals, is they tend to be unachievable. One study shows[12] that people suffering from depression often set goals that they are incapable of accomplishing  When these goals don't come to fruition, negative self reflection begins.  For this reason, incremental goals are extremely important to build self confidence and positive reinforcement for the goal setter.  Start small, and build up steam, you are the only thing that stands in the way.

Worrying What Others Think
So many people spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to please others.  This generally stems from the insecurity that other people are judging them.  People do their hair a certain way, dress a certain way, and act a certain way in an attempt to fit in.  All these things take so much energy yet in most circumstances the people you are friends with would like you regardless if you did the things you do to try and impress them.  Stop doing things for other people and do things that make you happy. Go out with your hair a mess, wear a pair of torn up sweat pants in public and do it with a smile on your face.  Your friends will like you regardless and if you don't know somebody, why do you care what they think.

Let Strangers Affect Your Mood

The world is a scary place.  There are lots of pissed off people and people who want to drag you down to their level.  If somebody gives you the middle finger while driving, smile back at them and let them spend their energy being cranky. Don't let somebody else's bad day control the outcome of yours. If you have to deal with a grumpy person, kill them with kindness.  Often times your unfounded happiness will make them realize how big of a jerk they are being.

Wanting more Money
Money, everybody wants it, nobody seems to have enough of it; Or do they?  Most people think that if they had more money, their happiness would increase accordingly.  Unfortunately, much like "Waiting for the future" above, the illusion that more money will solve all your problems and make you happy is nothing more than just that, an illusion. According to a Princeton University study, emotional well being  and happiness does rise with income, but only to an annual household income of $75,000. [1].  If your household income is already over $75,000 it might be time to reevaluate your happiness, more money is probably not going to make you that much happier.

Dealing with Depression: 10 Ways to Feel Positive and Peaceful

1. Focus on self-love.
Some ways to do that are: be patient and compassionate with yourself, release perfectionist standards, remind yourself of all your wonderful qualities and talents, and give yourself praise and encouragement.
Doing a self-love meditation is especially comforting and uplifting for me. I talk to myself like I would to someone else that I want to express love to. It feels amazing to give myself what I want and need.

2. Listen to your inner child, without resistance.
Allow her to feel and express what she is going through and grieve when she needs to. Let him know that you are always there to listen and to love him.
When my inner child feels angry, I validate and soothe her. I let her know that she deserves to have relationships that feel good and have healthy boundaries within them.

3. Notice how you feel in your body when you are upset.  
As you observe your unpleasant sensations, name them. For instance, I feel heaviness in my chest, I feel like crying, my arms are warm, my head feels like it’s going to explode, my stomach hurts, my muscles are tight.
As you simply allow your sensations to be, you will notice that they start to dissipate on their own. Try it. You will be amazed.
When I do this exercise, I may also notice the thoughts that are causing the troubling sensations. I have learned that in spite of my unpleasant sensations, I can still hold a positive thought or belief and when I do, I feel better.
So, I may say something like this to myself, “In spite of all of these unpleasant sensations, I know that things can work out the way that I want them to.”

4. Ask someone else (or the Universe) for what you need.
One day I was feeling very disconnected from others, so I called a friend of mine and asked if she had time to come by and give me a hug. She said she loves hugs and she came over for a short visit to give me one, which gave me the sense of connection that I needed and wanted to feel.
Here are some examples of things you might ask for: a massage, a favor, someone to listen to you or to help you problem-solve, or a date with your partner or a friend or family member.
Something I do on a regular basis is ask the Universe for a gift. I always get what is perfect for me at that time. Sometimes a wonderful new thought fills my mind and lifts me up or I receive guidance on an important issue, and other times I receive an unexpected monetary gift or an interaction with someone that makes me feel loved or appreciated.

5. Participate in enjoyable activities to help you get out of your head and into the present moment.
Some things you can do are: meditate, spend time with (or call) a friend or family member, read, do a hobby that you love, listen to music, take a hot bath, watch your favorite television show or a movie, or treat yourself to something you have been wanting.
Spending time in nature helps me to ground myself in the present moment. It gives me an inexplicable peace and joy that surprises and rejuvenates me. I love going to the lake or for a walk or sitting on my porch, which has a beautiful view of the most wonderful trees.

6. Focus on the thought “All things are possible.”
You don’t have to know how you will receive your desires and you don’t have to figure anything out. Just rest, knowing that the possibilities will unfold.
I specifically remind myself that it is possible for me to: feel well physically and emotionally, be fulfilled and prosperous, and have love, joy, and peace in my life. When I do this, I sometimes get excited as I anticipate the changes and miracles to come.

7. Use a visualization to release your painful thoughts.
In your mind’s eye, place negative thoughts on leaves and watch them gently float away downstream, or place the troubling words on cars of a freight train and watch them zoom away.
When I do these exercises, I place distance between myself and what is bothering me, and I feel lighter.

8. Practice gratitude for the good times.
Notice when you are not depressed and take the time to be fully present in those moments and appreciate them. Notice how it feels in your body to not be depressed.
Now that I am more aware of when I am feeling good, when depression hits, I know that I am not always depressed. I acknowledge that this too shall pass.

9. Be productive.
Sometimes what you need to get out of the pit of depression is to be productive. You may get depressed because you are not getting important things done, or you may be depressed and therefore not get important things done. In both of these cases, productivity may make you feel good about yourself and lift your mood significantly.
When I feel depressed, I don’t feel like doing anything. So, I tell myself, “In spite of how I feel in my body and these upsetting thoughts, I am going to wash my dishes (or any other activity) anyway.” Once I get one thing done, I feel a sense of accomplishment and am usually motivated to get other things done.

10. Let love in.
Surround yourself with positive and loving people and healthy relationships. I remind myself that I deserve to have relationships that feel good and nourishing to me. I may give myself space in certain relationships and release others that are not working for me.
I remember that people do love me, even if they don’t show it the way that I want. I know they are doing the best they can, and if they don’t love themselves, then they are not going to know how to love me. I forgive them for the ways they have hurt me or let me down, and that gives me some peace.
I consistently practice using my tools when I feel depressed and I know that the saying “practice makes perfect” is not true. My human self will never be perfect, and that is okay.

Not all of my tools will work every time to help me move through depression. Sometimes I use just one tool and other times, I use additional ones. I listen to myself so I will know each time what I need. And you can do the same.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

8 Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Mental Health

1. Exercise: It’s not only the cheapest antidepressant but it lowers the risk of depression happening in the first place. Regular exercise improves school academic performance at one end of the age scale and reduces the risk of memory loss at the other. Some is good, more is better.

2. Nutrition: A rainbow diet of multicolored fruit and vegetables that includes oily fish and watches the calories – your granny was right when she told you fish is brain food. Fish oil supplements, and possibly vitamin D, may add benefit. (Check with your pharmacist if you take prescription medication).

3. Nature: Is for all, not only “New Agers”. Exposure to the outdoors, natural sounds (including silence), sunlight (as opposed to artificial lighting) and fresh air, can all reduce stress and ameliorate or prevent depression. Just getting out of the office for a short walk is better than staying cooped up all day.

4. Relationships: Human beings are hard-wired to be sociable. Spending more time with family and friends and widening social group contacts tends to improve happiness and quality of life. Conversely, social isolation increases the risk of mental and physical ill health. We don’t yet know enough about the impact of social media relationships to judge how well these can replace face-to-face contacts.

5. Recreation: Resurrect an old hobby or try something new. If it’s an outdoor activity all the better but what matters is that it engages your concentration and intellect. Channel surfing with the TV remote does not qualify.

6. Relaxation and stress management: Anything from basic muscle relaxation techniques through to yoga and meditation may be what does it for you. Go to a class or teach yourself – there is plenty of self-help material out there. It will work best if you use it regularly.

7. Caring and service: Altruistic behavior such as voluntary work is positively associated with improved psychological wellbeing. In helping others we help ourselves, provided the level of care input is sustainable.

8. Openness about mental health: Mental ill health is common but remains stigmatized in our society. We are all at risk of being affected. Recognizing when problems are starting, seeking help early and being receptive to the mental health needs of those around us benefits everyone.

Read more at BusinessInsider

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Balance and harmony are neglected today, yet they are the foundations of wisdom. 
Everything is done to excess. 
People are overweight because they eat excessively. 
Joggers neglect aspects of themselves and others because they run excessively. People seem excessively mean. 
They drink too much, smoke too much, carouse too much (or too little), talk too much without content, worry too much. 
There is too much black-or-white thinking.
All or none. 
This is not the way of nature.
 "In nature there is balance. Beasts destroy in small amounts. 
Ecological systems are not eliminated en masse. Plants are consumed and then grow. The sources of sustenance are dipped into and then replenished. The flower is enjoyed, the fruit eaten, the root preserved. "Humankind has not learned about balance, let alone practiced it. 

It is guided by greed and ambition, steered by fear. In this way it will eventually destroy itself. But nature will survive; at least the plants will. 
"Happiness is really rooted in simplicity. 
The tendency to excessiveness in thought and action diminishes happiness. Excesses cloud basic values. Religious people tell us that happiness comes from filling one's heart with love, from faith and hope, from practicing charity and dispensing kindness.
 They actually are right. 
Given those attitudes, balance and harmony usually follow. These are collectively a state of being. In these days, they are an altered state of consciousness. 
It is as if humankind were not in its natural state while on earth. It must reach an altered state in order to fill itself with love and charity and simplicity, to feel purity, to rid itself of its chronic fearfulness. 

We all "How is it that you say all are equal, yet the obvious contradictions smack us in the face: inequalities in virtues, temperances, finances, rights, abilities and talents, intelligence, mathematical aptitude, ad infinitum?" The answer was a metaphor. 
"It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person. Picture a diamond a foot long. 
The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors. 
"Now, some have cleaned many facets and gleam brightly. Others have only managed to clean a few; they do not sparkle so. Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets. 
The diamond is perfect, not one flaw. The only differences among people are the number of facets-cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect. 
"When all the facets are cleaned and shining forth in a spectrum of lights, the diamond returns to the pure energy that it was originally. 
The lights remain. It is as if the process that goes into making the diamond is reversed, all that pressure released. The pure energy exists in the rainbow of lights, and the lights possess consciousness and knowledge.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

I was watching a Chinese tv program about growing your own vegetables.
They were interviewing this man in Beijing who had successfully grown his own vegetables on his roof.
Despite the odds against him, his fruits and vegetables were very impressive.
Big in size, tasty and plenty.
There’s a snippet where he was talking lovingly to his little birds just before he opened the cage.
“Now, I want you to listen to me. Stay away from big birds. Stay close together. Don’t get too far. Be careful and don’t stay out too late, ok?”
The little birds were in line and looking at him when he spoke.
I believe that they really understood him. 
Of course they came back to their cage later.

I believe the main reason his plants grew so well was his positive energy.

They must have felt his love too.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

A poor man asked the Buddha,
 “Why am I so poor?”
The Buddha said, “you do not learn to give.”
 So the poor man said, “If I’m not having anything?”
Buddha said: “You have a few things,
The Face, which can give a smile; 
 Mouth: you can praise or comfort others;
 The Heart: it can open up to others;
 Eyes: who can look the other with the eyes of goodness;
 Body: which can be used to help others.”
 So, actually we are not poor at all, 
poverty of spirit is the real poverty.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Everyone can contribute...

Below is taken from Kechara Soup Kitchen
"" One of our regular client, Charlene, who comes consistently every morning to help maintain the cleaniness of our soup kitchen. She is a very good cleaner and despite her age, she is still very strong and energetic. Her contribution might be small to some but very much appreciated by everyone of us in KSK KL! ""

A brave boy, fearlessly risked his own life and showed astonishing bravery to save a helpless baby deer from drowning. The boy, called Belal and believed to be in his early teens, defiantly held the young fawn in one hand above his head as he plunged through the surging river. During the ordeal onlookers were unsure whether the boy was going to appear again.

When he finally made it to the other side the locals cheered as the deer was reunited with its family. The incident took place in Noakhali, Bangladesh, when the young fawn became separated from its family during torrential rain and fast-rising floods.
Wildlife photographer Hasibul Wahab captured the brave act while visiting on a photography trip. He said the Noakhali locals lose a lot of deer during the rainy season and that they have to do all they can to protect them.
 He said: 'He was such a brave boy - the river was so full of water and it was high tide so we thought he might drown. 'My friend was even ready to jump into the river to save the boy. But he made it, and when he returned, we thanked the boy.
'There were only five to seven people observe this situation but it was a phenomenal sight.' 
 Read more:

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

If this continues, I can start a new lable - 'dating' for my blog.
A newly acquainted colleague wanted to set a meet up for me with her male friend.
She was so efficient and effective that I couldn't back down.
Thank God my two friends LC and YL was willing to go with me.

When we were seated at the table, YL wanted to switch seats with me, she felt too uncomfortable to be seated directly opposite him.
I refused to budge because I didn't see what's the big deal and I teased her, "I didn't know you're that shy."
She gave me the look, "I wouldn't be here if YOU weren't shy."
Touche...   =P
God, I really must make the extra effort the let her know how I appreciate her being there.

So... the dinner went ok.
Newly acquainted colleague provided much entertainment.
I wouldn't have guessed in a million years that she was this humorous.

Such irony that I first made my acquaintance with her because she looked so stressed at workplace and I thought she needed a friend.
It was only after much persistence that she agreed to have lunch with me.
Haha... turned out, that I'm the one who needs help socializing.

Fun, really.
人生最大的财产是健康, Rénshēng zuìdà de cáichǎn shì jiànkāng,
 最大的财富是心足, zuìdà de cáifù shì xīn zú,
最大的胜利是无嗔, zuìdà de shènglì shì wú chēn, 
 zuìdà de chéngjiù mò guòyú bùlùn zài hé shí hé de dōu néng yōuránzìdé.
google translate : Biggest property = health, 
Greatest wealth = contentment, 
Biggest victory = without hatred, 
The greatest achievement = face all circumstances with a still heart.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

"Patience and timing . . . everything comes when it must come.
A life cannot be rushed, cannot be worked on a schedule as so many people want it to be.
We must accept what comes to us at a given time, and not ask for more. But life is endless, so we never die; we were never really born.
We just pass through different phases.
There is no end. Humans have many dimensions.
But time is not as we see time, but rather in lessons that are learned."
---Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Brian L. Weiss
The way she moves is such art in itself that you almost forget what is being drawn. 
Heather's goal is to "match her heartbeat with the beat of the universe." 
The emotion that she puts into each piece is almost tangible, with the near-perfect symmetry of her work giving a physical form to the emotional balance she feels as she draws. 

While most charcoal drawings come off as harsh and sharp, Heather's are soft and mesmerizing due to the lines being smeared gently by her skin.
The reveal of a finished piece is always emotionally charged. 
Although her pieces are black and white, the nature of her art invites us to explore the gray areas that connect our minds and bodies. 
And more importantly, it shows us that even when we are not as perfect as society would like us to be... ... if we dare to touch the world around us... we can truly create something amazing.

Shēnghuó zhōng qíshí méi duōshǎo dàfēngdàlàng,
 rénshēng duōshù shíhou dōu shì zì xún fánnǎo.
Suǒwèi zì xún fánnǎo, jiùshì xīshōu de fù néngliàng tài duō.
Yào xuéxí xiàngrìkuí, nǎ li yǒu yángguāng jiù cháoxiàng nǎlǐ.
Duō jiēchù yōuxiù de rén, duō tánlùn jiànkāng xiàngshàng de huàtí,
 duō xiǎng xiǎng yǒu lìyú rénshēng fāzhǎn de wèntí.
xīnlǐ ruòshì chōngmǎn yángguāng,
rénshēng jíbiàn xià yǔ yě huì biàn chéng chūnyǔ.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Yikes, I really need to get a smartphone because I really wish I had taken a photo to provide illustration to enhance this story I'm about to tell.

I was at McDonald's for breakfast.
I noticed an old man preparing whom I presumed to be his wife, out from the car.
It was his gentleness in his movement that caught my attention.
There was no form of haste nor uneasiness in the way he was wheeling his wife to the McD.

The next time I looked at him, he was steadily counting the coins to pay the cashier.
Upon my next glance, the old couple was already eating their big breakfast, while having a real face to face conversation.
I also noticed that both of them had taken time to dress up for this outing, unlike the rest of the overly casual patrons.( I wore the same set of clothes I wore at home)
I couldn't take my eyes of them.
Staring at this old couple, was like watching a Japanese tea ceremony.
They exude immaculate grace and class.
When they were ready to leave, I noticed the old uncle had taken the trouble to tidy up their rubbish on the table.

What a blessing to witness what the phrase"Aging Gracefully" truly means.