Darkness And Light

It is getting darker and darker
Soon, I’ll be blinded by the night
How will I look and see beyond
When the sun is disappearing?
My other senses are alerted
But they have no awareness

It’s pitch black now and I’m scared
Where am I? Why am I left here?
I grab onto something – it’s cold
A metal hand rail for support
I wonder if it’s strong enough
To carry my weight, my cross

The hand rail is leading me
Going nowhere, descending
My world suddenly crumbles
A blurred vision is then shown
My past, my life up to now
Playing in an infinite loop

It’s never ending, I want out
The rail will also soon collapse
I start to sink, struggling in vain
Something below is tugging me
I’m helpless, ready to give in
Then a strong hand reaches to me

It lifts me up, it rescues me
A ray of light is now at sight
Then a face is slowly forming
Now, it’s the only thing I see
It glows, His smile is glowing
It shines, He’s shining upon me

– June 8, 2017

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Kaleidoscope

kaleidoscope

photo credit to permadi.com

Look inside and experience the beauty
A mirror of an abstract mystery
Turn it around and see the evolution
It goes beyond my imagination

New patterns are emerging in each glance
A view of an amazing performance
Colours are changing in each rotation
It takes me to a different direction

Each shape is shifting the mind’s paradigm
A fresh knowledge is forming every time
It’s a wonder, it’s my inspiration
It is the kaleidoscope’s attraction

– March 23, 2017

Change (Hmmm…)

mosshworld

photo credit to mooshworld.com

Author’s Note: I’m feeling off today. This morning, I got a reminder that life is indeed short so I’m asking myself again – why am I wasting my time to things I’m not passionate about. To somewhat uplift myself, I read this thing that I wrote almost two years ago. This was inspired by the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and a training/seminar that I attended in my previous job.

My significant other asked me if I’m a principled person. Without thinking I automatically said “no, I’m not”. After careful thought, I am actually a person who is very grounded by my own principles. My principles are probably different from most people and they are not the best but I live with these principles and I try to enhance them as I go through life.

I am mostly governed by these three which are actually quotes from various sources, not in order of importance:
1. The biggest competition I have is versus myself (this is from an athletic apparel commercial, I forgot which brand exactly but I think it was Nike)
2. My laziness is my most fearful enemy. Defeat is acceptance of my own laziness (from Lim Yo Hwan, a legendary Starcraft Pro-gamer)
3. Do you not know that a life not dedicated to a great idea is a useless life. It’s like a pebble lost in the field than being part of an eddifice (from Simoun Ibarra from the book El Filibusterismo written by Jose Rizal)

Do you see some commonality in these principles? How about flaws?

I attended this training today where the speaker was talking about most people tend to be more horizontal than vertical. What the hell does that mean? In a nutshell, horizontal people are so attached with their past resulting to so much baggage in their lives. They couldn’t wait for tomorrow because they are also attached to the future. They are having a tug-of-war with past and future, hence, horizontal. They forget that what’s important is now. “This is it!” – this is the secret as what the speaker has said. Vertical people, on the other hand, tend to focus on what’s happening now, have open hearts and know how to manage their own minds. Horizontal also try to change and control the world because they are mostly controlled by their amygdala which is a part of the brain that shows animal instincts for animals to survive. Vertical know how to manage their amygdala and use the prefrontal cortex instead.

I might lost you with the brain stuff but the concept also says that horizontal people have so much negativity, anxiety, depression, resentment, and arrogance. They are mainly motivated by fear and/or greed. Vertical people, on the other hand, have optimism, peace, joy, freedom, and openness. They are focused on their purpose, committed to excellence, and constantly improving.

I’ve been through hell when I was searching for my passion. I was at my lowest when I couldn’t find answers. I thought to myself, what could be worse than this? Another failure? Yes, another failure was worse but the worst part was when I had to cope with death of a loved one at the same time. When I thought things could not get any worst – then BOOM! Here’s work-related stress.

This was a long 2+ years which I consider my lowest so far. I was definitely a horizontal person during these times. I was depressed, I was frustrated, I feel imprisoned. I was searching and longing for freedom. I was still very much governed by my principles despite these tough times but I found the flaw in my principles. They don’t include the two most important things that I need during these times – hope and positivity. I was stuck but when my mom passed away, it just hit me. Life is too short. Why am I wasting my life? What the hell am I doing with this negativity? Why do I dwell with my insecurities that started during mid 90s? Decades have passed, move on! Will I just cry about losing my mom? That was the time that things started to finally sink in. It’s time for me to take control, I realized that I have to do something about it. I have to create – a word that also keeps on popping up during the session. Creating rather than informing, rather than teaching. Creating is to take action and to execute – this is it! It is now!

It is tough. When I was trying to look for rainbows and was trying to be more positive – work dragged me down. Work-related stress is difficult to bear especially when so much things are also going on in my personal life. Well, it makes sense when study shows that 60% of our lives are actually spent on work. When I reached a crossroad and my frustrations at work peaked, I was probably at the lowest level of being horizontal and that’s when I realized that I cannot control things. I can only change my mindset. It even surprised me that when I look back during my teen years, I was actually a very optimistic person – a vertical person. I have to bring back this old me. No one can change what’s going on in my surroundings but I can change myself. It all depends on me. You know the song Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson? Here goes…

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself then make that change…
You can’t close your… your heart!

It took several years and many ups and downs, mostly downs, but I finally found the answer that I’ve been looking for. I also found my passion. Did I get freedom? Not yet. But what’s important is that I’m getting there. I was able to step-out from being horizontal. I am confident that I am in the vertical zone again. I am always a vertical person, the downs just dragged me down for a while then I got stuck.

I think we all experience being horizontal at some point in our lives. Being horizontal is not that bad, it’s having a comfort zone. It’s probably fine to some people, it is also good in some circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with surviving but it will keep one person from improving. Changing mindset is tough. Sometimes, you need to be at the bottom to find eureka. But it’s always up to you to deal with it. You can cry and pity yourself or jump over the cliff or you can choose to snap out of it. It’s not an overnight process – it is an evolution. I am not there yet. I am not perfect and I am not striving for perfection but I am excited to improve myself, accumulate more knowledge and eventually apply them. Knowledge is wasted if it’s not put into action.

When I keep on failing and failing and it seems like I was in an endless loop, I asked why. I was looking for reasons. But the truth is, I got stuck because I was just asking questions, no action was done, no change was done. It’s understandable to ask that question but learn from it. Don’t dwell or you’re going to be stuck. You have to embrace it, change your mindset, and start creating. After finally learning to accept my life that’s when I realized that those failures, that journey, that climb or whatever you want to call it is a key experience to my life. It helps me become a better person. It helps me shape my principles.

As what the speaker has mentioned during the session we need to learn to survive and be horizontal because survival is part of everyday life but after that, we have to evolve and become vertical. He also said that when the mind is no longer holding back, you’ll experience freedom. I agree, it’s similar to what Walter Mitty did. He lost the most important film for the last publication of the magazine where he works and that’s when he finally started to let go, to not hold back, and to live his life. I want to reach that state. I’m excited to be more inspired, to be more positive, to find more meaning, and to keep on progressing. You know the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen?

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway

– May 15, 2014

One Day At A Time

this is a comic strip from Peanuts but I obtained this from whatnext.com

this is a comic strip from Peanuts but I obtained this cartoon pic from whatnext.com

Author’s Note: I wrote this in October; I thought I posted it here but I didn’t so I’m posting it today. It started like a cheer in my head and then I sat down and finally wrote it. Well, even up to now, it still sounds like a cheer. This may seem like a cliché but somehow it helped me unload work-related stress and enjoy life one day at a time. Chill and relax 🙂

One day at a time, one day at a time
Taking it slow is not a crime
Let’s go out and enjoy the sun
Not worrying is so much fun

One day at a time, one day at a time
Show that smile to make it sublime
There’s no need to hide and run
Enjoy each day and despair will be gone

One day at a time, one day at a time
Life is brilliant and it is prime
Stop fretting and don’t be stunned
Be positive and battle will be won

One day at a time, one day at a time
Taking it easy is not a crime
Let’s relax and enjoy the sun
Isn’t this great? This is so much fun

– written on October 20, 2014

Jigsaw Puzzle

IMG_20150205_230040

Author’s Note: I wrote the poem on January 14, 2015 and I already posted it here last month. Since this is my first attempt to write this way in English, I’m so happy with what I’ve accomplished. I’m satisfied and proud with this so I sincerely hope you’ll enjoy. 🙂

 

This is my second 1,000 piece puzzle. May be I was so engrossed by it the first time that I didn’t notice how awesome it is. Little by little, piece by piece; various chocolates and desserts are slowly coming to life. It’s amazing! Now I’m drooling…

Aside from segregating the pieces by color, I first look for the border and corner pieces. This is my starting point before I dig further into the puzzle. It helps me visualize the image. Next, I try to figure out the pieces beside the edges but usually this doesn’t work. Despite the border pieces, it is still vague; I just dive right into it and look for whatever that fits.

Finishing it is not an exact science. It’s wherever it takes me. The border pieces are just there as a guide. Oftentimes, I can’t find any piece that fits. I get stuck so I have to go back and check all the pieces over and over again to look for that important detail. After several minutes and still nothing, I conclude there are missing pieces. It’s frustrating! It’s like searching for a needle in a hay stack. When I reach this point, I relax, step back, then re-examine the pieces. This time, from a different angle. Then I remind myself that it underwent quality control; that there is assurance that the pieces are complete – I have to trust its creator. I just need to keep on looking for that one piece (or may be a couple) and for that special detail that will magically glue them altogether. I will just be surprised my collage is slowly forming variety of desserts. Yet again, I’m drooling…

IMG_20150117_231804It’s unbelievable how those tiny pieces of puzzle tell their own story. Each one is unique and special. Each comes in different shapes – one piece can never be a substitute of the other. Each one is key. Each contributes to be part of the overall picture. All of them are connected. If one is missing, the puzzle can never be whole.

Same as life, isn’t it?

The puzzle pieces are life experiences. The inter-connected life experiences that I fail to recognize. Then, the special details are the lessons. The key lessons that I tend to neglect. They need to be found and understood before everything falls into place.

Like doing the border pieces first, in life, I always try to begin with the end in mind. It helps me create a plan. But usually, I get confused. I get lost. I ignored a blotch of an ink without realizing it is the most critical detail. Same as solving a jigsaw, I need to be patient. I need to be determined. I need to re-focus and look at things differently. Otherwise, I will accomplish nothing. So, while keeping my faith and trust intact, I go with the flow; see where it leads me.

You know what’s the best part in solving a jigsaw puzzle? It is the experience of putting all those pieces together. I appreciate its magnificent beauty more because of the challenge and excitement of finishing it. It could get frustrating. It is time consuming. But that’s the fun part! I just have to enjoy the ride and keep on searching for the magical pieces. The process of discovery is priceless!

Life is a boundless beauty and it’s an exciting journey to get there. Let’s enjoy the ride and grab the opportunity to discover its wonder. Isn’t it amazing that those small jigsaw pieces all fit together in a masterpiece called life?

‎Life is truly a wonder
Amazing, boundless beauty
It’s something to discover
Let’s open our hearts and see

It’s to search for a needle
In a field with stack of hays
It’s a thousand piece puzzle
That will soon fall into place

Each piece is key and special
To form and fit together
Every step is material
It’s a journey to ponder

 

– written on February 6, 2015

A Puzzle

Author’s Note: I plan to expand more about this in a journal format. Hopefully, I’ll find the perfect time to write about this.

Life is truly a wonder
Amazing, boundless beauty
It’s something to discover
Let’s open our hearts and see

It’s to search for a needle
In a field with stack of hays
It’s a thousand piece puzzle
That will soon fall into place

Each piece is key and special
To form and fit together
Every step is material
It’s a journey to ponder

– written on January 13, 2015