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Make every day your masterpiece

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“Make every day your masterpiece” —John Wooden

I read this quote from my RSS feed yesterday and I was so inspired that I went to google more on John Wooden. Turns out he was a legendary basketball coach who wrote a book and had loads of inspirational quotes.

Here are a few quotes that stood out:

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”

Inspirational, huh? Read more here.

Meanwhile, let me update you on what happened in my life in the past nine days since the last time I blogged … in bullet points, I hope.

I turned down a high-flying job that offered a six-figure salary, because I decided that I need more free time and less stress at work … for the next foreseeable few months at least … to heal my heart (and repair my wrecked emotions?). Weak, I know.

Sometime late last week or early this week, I was pleasantly startled when I realised the physical pain that had been a permanent resident in my heart since a year ago was gone. How did it happen? I was in the midst of my morning mediation session, when I asked to be aware of where my body was feeling tension and how I was feeling emotionally — same questions that are asked in every session. For the longest time, I felt acute pain in the area where my heart resides, similar to a stab wound. The pain was especially intense two months ago when my thoughts were beyond my control. Then about a month ago, I started meditating to calm my mind down and to take the pain away. And I guess, it worked!

I ate more fast food meals and potato chips in the last two weeks than I ever had in prior months. My blood vessels are transporting oil within my body as I type this blog post.

I have missed gym sessions for the entire month. And I still feel really guilty.

My office’s cleaning lady among a few other colleagues complimented my new haircut and for some strange reason, it made me really happy. Weird, I know.

I watched the first two episodes of Mad Men‘s season six and I was blown away. The storyline, the cinematography, the colours, the outfits and the decors were amazing. After skipping the entire second to fifth seasons, I’m finally hooked to this Emmy award-winning TV drama series.

I am also watching the reruns of Sex And The City and I’m absolutely hooked to this one. It’s extremely hilarious, even though the ladies are clearly too wanton liberal-minded for the situations to be true IRL.

I texted my ex-girlfriend Happy Birthday yesterday without expecting any reply in return and it turned to be a rather meaningful, but short, conversation.

I also texted two friends whom I haven’t seen in a long time separately Happy Birthday on different days and they were pleased that I remember.

I think this girl I know has a crush on me. But I could just be narcissistic.

I watched the final two episodes of How I Met Your Mother‘s season eight and I finally saw Ted’s future bride. It was … underwhelming. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but after eight seasons, finally seeing the mother wasn’t as exciting as I’d thought. I don’t think she’s pretty either. But I did feel more for Ted. And I’m beginning to see why I’m starting to empathise with him.

“Maybe we don’t need the universe to tell us what we want; maybe we already know deep down what we really want.” —Ted Mosby

“You can’t cling to the past, because no matter how tightly you hold on to it, it’s already gone.” —Ted Mosby

“Is she really [out there]? Because I’ve looked. I have looked high and low for someone I can love and adore and cook waffles for.” —Ted Mosby

I had been having really bad insomnia that I even had to meditate to help me drift to sleep. My sleep efficiency has increased as a result!

Also, if you have free time, do watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset — two of the best romantic films ever in the cinematic history of romantic films.

That’s it from me, folks! My last blog post for the month of May on the last day of May in the last hour of the day before a new day and month arrives. How poetic.

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Three years ago today

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Three years ago today was a wonderful night for me, because she said yes to be with me. I didn’t know then that was the start of a beautiful memory and a journey of subsequent pain with no destination in sight. I was so happy that night I could barely sleep, even though I had to wake up early for work the next day. I think it was around this time 1:15am in the wee hours of the night/morning, when she replied me on Whatsapp. You can read all about my romantically prosed happiness here. She used to tell me that I made her so happy that her life was full of rainbows, babies and laughter (you know, things that make you smile when you see them).

And with that in mind, I’m going on a (selective) social media diet. I’m cutting off all contact with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and reduce my use of Whatsapp. I saw some upsetting updates from her a few days ago and I’m still recovering from the anguish.

It’s weird, huh? Everything is so accessible these days, especially if you have a good smartphone and high-speed 3G or wifi access. You can do almost anything (or nothing productive, depending on your perspective) on your mobile device. And I got this reminder from my meditation app today:

When you find yourself resisting something or someone, rather than look for a distraction, examine the resistance. There’s something valuable to be found. —Headspace

I thought it was rather apt for what I was going through. I was trying to resist both something AND someone. So it is with regret delight that I’m formally denouncing my absence from the above social media networks. I’ll probably log on in a few months’ time when my emotional health is restored to nearly 90% or I’ve become a drone.

I’ll still blog here and use my Weibo and WeChat, because those are the only things left that I feel comfortable with, since I won’t get to see updates that would still affect me. Maybe when I have finally regenerated my mana from the fountain of lightness… I will be okay reading about your life again.

Meanwhile during my virtual exile, I will continue practising mindfulness in my daily life. Meditating has been a good mental cushion for me.. I feel like most of the pain that I ought to be feeling has been dramatically blocked. The sensation is almost like how you’d feel when your ears are blocked and you can’t hear half the things being said to you. A force field for the mind? Hmm, well that’s the best metaphor you’re gonna get from me at 1:25am. Bite me!

P/S: I lied. I remember the time. It was 1:37am — the exact moment she replied me — the same time this blog post is published. I’m a fool for romance, isn’t it?

Photo credit: Molly Hahn via HuffingtonPost.com

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Out of my head

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I was on my way to work yesterday when I heard this song on the radio.

“Was I out of my head? Was I out of my mind? How could I have ever been so blind? I was waiting for an indication; it was hard to find.”

It’s so brilliantly catchy that I can’t believe I didn’t hear this song in the 90s. What was I doing then?! (I was busy being a teenager. HAHA!)

And somehow the song was apt for what I was experiencing the past two days. I read about this free mobile app on meditation and I immediately downloaded Headspace onto my phone. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life!

It looks really cool and is brilliantly designed. It has short videos and bite-sized recordings (the founder of Headspace has an amazing voice) to guide you through your meditation and even daily reminders to help you practise mindfulness. The screenshot above is one of the alerts that I have been receiving over the past days, reminding me to focus on myself.

‘Me time’ is with you wherever you go. The only thing that gets in the way of ‘me time’ is wanting to be someplace else. —Headspace

Guess what? It really works. I meditated in the past two days — once in the morning and once before I sleep — and I do feel much better now. There’s clarity in my mind and I’m more focused on the present. And I feel less hung up about the past. I also feel less frightened and apprehensive of what I dread most… If that makes sense. Amazing huh?

Try the app and let me know how it goes. Meanwhile, check out the song below. Goodnight, y’all!