Riri · what i think

Happy?

A Good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are

I used to think that happiness was always tagged with a condition. I grew up in the environment where I have to do something to be rewarded and be happy, I had to pleased my parents or elderly to get pocket money, I had to study hard and aced my report card for every subject. There was always a contingent reward to things that I wanted.

As simple as, when I was 8 years old, I wanted a Swatch watch (hey, it was an IT thing back in the days), mom conditions was for me to finished all my piano level in 3 months, instead of 6 months (1 semester), I worked extra hard to finished and practiced all the lesson before going to school and practice again after school and again before going to bed. I remember my neighbor was complaining to my mom because I was not doing it correctly (I was rushing!). It turned out that our neighbor was a professional piano player, so my mom offered her to teach me. I remember I hated her so much because she was such a perfectionist. I remember that every day my finger was becoming more and more like a crow fingers, I can’t write properly, I can’t hold my spoon/fork, let alone using chopsticks, LOL. But after 3 months accelerating all the necessary compilation, I performed, passed with a flying color and went to the next level. I remember I was so proud to see the watch on my wrist and having that ‘trophy’ reminding me on how hard I worked and was rewarded accordingly.

I know my mom just wanted me to excel and be fast in everything, it gives me a sense of proudness when I can succeed every obstacle and be rewarded. These days, I don’t buy things anymore to reward my success. I chose to collect memories with people I care about. When I can dream of something, work hard to get it and be grateful for it, It’s enough. It satisfied me.

Today’s homily was about accepting, being generous and cultivating care with others (horizontal) without having to weight in their title, skin color, intelligent, family backgrounds, etc as you love your God (vertical). Time to time I need to be reminded that I have to accept and love others unconditionally. Be caring without being asked, just like Elisha. Today I was reminded that happy can be unconditional, free, and pure. Happy can happens without reason and terms & conditions. Accepting others as God accepting whoever that comes to his church. Be generous as a Father given His only Son because He knew that human need a savior. Love one another because love is the only way.

I don’t need a reason to be happy. I just need to allow it.

life · Riri · what i think

Self-awareness

Acceptance is a practice. It is hard and troublesome. It is something that I need to do for myself, my family, my partner, my friends, my job, my attitude toward life, etc. It takes a lot of understanding, probably time-consuming to follow the situations and moving on from there. It is not something you do once, say when you decide to accept. It is an ongoing process and commitment. Daily practice is needed when you set your intention and lean into it 100%. Once I have made a decision to accept something, someone, a certain situation, any chapters of your story, I consciously know I am responsible for being committed and consciously practicing every single time. It will be hard and there will be resistance, which is why I maybe haven’t been able to accept in some cases. This process of inability to accept will always keep me stuck and anxious or even panic, pushing me down into a low mood. Most of the time when I choose not to accept because I afraid to loose the control. Clearly, I know that the truth is by not accepting it what makes me loose control. So I try to practice acceptance, maybe someday I will learn that it really means letting go of trying to control.

As for the things that I can control are the following:

  1. My beliefs
  2. My attitude
  3. My thoughts
  4. My perspective
  5. How honest I am
  6. Who I choose to be friends with
  7. The books or blogs I choose to read, the music, youtube or podcast I choose to listen
  8. How often I exercises
  9. The type of food I eat
  10. How much risks I’ll be willing to take
  11. How I interpret situations
  12. How kind I am to others and how I decide to treat them
  13. How kind I am to myself
  14. How often I say “Thank you”, “I love you”, “Please, help me”, “How are you”, etc
  15. How I express my feelings, thoughts, care
  16. How often I practice gratitude and/or appreciating the things I have
  17. How many times I smiles today
  18. The amount of effort I put forth
  19. How I spend or invest my money
  20. How much time I spend worrying
  21. How often I think about my past
  22. Whether or not I judge other people
  23. Whether or not I bounce back after a setback

to be continued.. to jot down things that I can control. As it, for now, I am ok knowing that I can have 23 things that I can control.

Riri · what i think

My Procrastination

Key reasons why I procrastinate

My procrastination can take many forms;

  • Maybe it actually ways to delay and do a different urgent task
  • Maybe it was too full of a scheduled to work on task
  • Maybe I chose to delay and do unimportant tasks instead
  • When it’s just too overwhelming, if there’s too much to do I tend to freeze and end up doing nothing or something unrelated
  • When it’s too easy, boring or too hard. I have a hard time to stay engaged in the job when the task is too easy or not interesting enough. but, when its too difficult, I tend to put it off and chose to do all the research (time-consuming, also) because I don’t know what to do. Usually, after doing research, I begin to plan how to tackle my tasks.
  • When I too tired and need a break
  • When I have to step outside my comfort zone and I find it to be scary. I tend to slow myself down so I don’t have to face the thing I am afraid of doing. I found out that I sometimes fear success. What if it goes right? Am I ready for this?
  • Whether I really want to do it ??!.. No matter how much under pressures I am in the situations, If I am faced with a task that I don’t want to do it, I may put it off for days, weeks or months : )

I found productivity tips for procrastinators from Forbes by Frances Booth (forgot the date, as I copied it down to my Bujo awhile ago)

I have to:

  • Name and Notice that I am procrastinating and Acknowledge it and Do something about it.
  • Look at where my time goes
  • Make time for my best friend
  • Improve my estimates. Allow time for it to happen. Gives a good time frame and make sure you get it done.
  • Meet more deadlines. I work best if a deadline is looming. Setting deadlines for myself is very crucial for me to get the task done.
  • When I found myself underestimating the task (too easy), I will give myself mini rewards to stay engaged. When I overestimating, I will break the task into small pieces.
  • Intentionally make a schedule for 5 minutes breaks in between tasks. Take a breather (do vinyasa yoga or meditate by going walk around outside your indoor workplace).
  • Re-writing my to do list. I will delegate some tasks and add new tasks that I enjoy to balance the ones I enjoy less, when I am having trouble getting motivated.
  • Ask myself if I expecting a Miracle ? Stop being perfectionist and work with yourself to face of what I’m scared of that can halt with an unrealistic expectations. Take baby steps!
Riri · what i think

Growth mindset

Just be you

The three words that sometimes so hard to achieve.

Just become you

Maybe it wouldn’t be so daunting.

Every day I am becoming more “me”

Maybe because being “you” brings about certain expectations that limitless. Something that we don’t know how to fulfill. In turn, being someone else feels easier because there is shoes to fill, a pattern, something to stance on. Also living a lie. The fun part when I get past the fear, it’s great because you embrace it, create myself and become who you want to be.

I like to believe I have becoming “me” more. I look back at myself from three years ago and I can see how much I have changed. I care less and less about what others think and say, and more about what I think, say and do. I’m still not where I desire to be, but I’d like to say that I’m making progress every day.  The hardest but most exciting adventure. It’s a mystery but I love not knowing the ending of the journey that sounds so freeing – Not impossible!

My plan to catch and tell myself whenever I go to that place of destructive thoughts:

When I find myself saying:

  • I can’t do it!  —->  I will try saying —-> What CAN I do?
  • I don’t know how! —> I will change to —> I don’t know how yet.
  • It’s too hard ! —> be mindful and telling myself —> It will take time and effort to learn new skills and try to make the best of every opportunity you received.
  • I’m bad at this or I never be good enough — > I am LEARNING and I will get there!
Riri · what i think

Reminder

When was the last time you asked God to do something impossible, something out of the ordinary? Sometimes the reason we don’t see God do great things is because we only ask Him for small things. Most people pray over their food, pray for protection, or pray for wisdom. I think that’s all good, but I don’t think we should limit what God can do. There should be something you’re praying about, something that you’re asking for that is beyond you. Something that you can’t accomplish in your own strength. Do you dare to ask?

My dreams may look impossible. I don’t always have the resources or the connection to the right people, but I learn today that God is saying, “I dare you to ask Me to bring it to pass. I dare you to ask Me to show you a flood of my favor.”

All through the scripture, we see people doing this. Elijah prayed that it wouldn’t rain, and for three and a half years there was no rain. Joshua prayed for more daylight, and God stopped the sun.

I do realize for quite sometimes that when I have the conversation with God, I often say something that’s so mundane. Routine prayer that I learned since I first discovered about ‘Our Father prayer’. I feel that it’s enough to cover all my worries, my wish, my goal to have a simple happy life. I learn today that I have not been clear. I was in fear to ask Him and tell Him all about my dream. Though He sees through me, I learn today I have to ask, converse, and practice to take that opportunity to lean on Him. I realize that I have been holding myself back. I realize that I’d fear to ask, fear to face my fear to give it power.

We could give ourselves every reason not to do something and most often times we do believe in those reasons. I excused myself from stepping into the wet concrete because I fear to be stuck in the probably overwhelming situations later on. My fear holds me back. My anxiety, my worries, my over-analyzing self may have held me back. I have to remind myself be fearless again, be brave to grow and to face my fear in order to be free from it. By allowing myself to do something about it, say yes to opportunities and take deep breaths when fear wants to take control.

to make a habit of reminding myself to have compassion when I doubt myself and to have faith in people.

Riri · what i think

Self – Respect

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy

I found respecting oneself is an obstacle, self-respect is the first step to start loving yourself. Cultivating care by observing how you have been treating yourself.

If the meaning of respect (n) is ‘ a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievement.”, then I only have one that I have deep admiration to. The value of Him and what I feel about Him is too hard to conceive and into make me feel that way about myself. His unconditional love is too hard to obtain! If I have to choose a person, also too hard. My role model changes over time, as I keep discovering that no one is perfect. But I do respect people due to their abilities to motivate people to be better. I respect people who put efforts, energy, money and knowledge for making the world a better place for the next generations to come. I guess in that sense, I can narrate to the word respect now.

Respecting myself to start has been a hurdle. The obstacles that I have to overcome to stand grounded at my principles, loving and respecting myself, and even when the surrounding may bring a lot of temptations to side track my life. For example, some of my temptations are maybe having someone defined what you need to have in order to be happy, or when people around me doubt my abilities, or when I care about a person who could care less of giving me their love, or when I think about lives others have is better. Those are some of the examples that I was going through during different path of my life so far.

By now, I start to understand that I need to acknowledge my need first to be respected as a decent human being. I deserved and can choose to be happy regardless in any kind of situations. I understand that I cannot always control the situations nor the people on how they treat me, but I can control myself and how I wish to proceed from the situations.

By finding out who I am, I learn to know what I want and who I really am. By exploring and getting in touch with myself and understand what matter to me, I have finally understood the need to respect and loving myself are the foundation of self-respect.

I have learned throughout the years that it is essential to keep company with those who respect me and respect themselves. Having someone negative only makes me drained and it does spark the negativity in me without I even realizing it. I have very little friends and very picky with friends, and family is no different. I classified them by my needs, though it does sound like I’m not being a good friend. Do understand that I been hurt and left by people who are not genuine. enough is enough.

When I was starting my career path, I rarely have time for myself, friends, family. One of the best ways that I have in motivating myself is to never settle for less. I know what I deserve and I deserves the very best in life: The best people, career and the best feelings to be in any situations. Due to that, I feel that I have built up my confidence, I learn to accept compliments, having myself to build myself up, by doing things that I feel I am good at. As a human, we are designed to be productive and be useful for other people. Many years ago my mentee asked me, without sounding offensive, how can I look confidence at all the time? I told her that I am not always confidence. But I value my life and experiences enough to show to others that I can be valuable to them. Many people avoid confidence as they confused with being self-centered. It is very different and I feel everybody need to understand themselves enough to not go overboard and becomes egotistical self. Especially if you start to think that you have all the power in your hand. Being heroic is different than being kind, honest, fearless, bold and brave. 

I am currently on the stage where I need to keep pushing myself to forgive my past and mistake I have made. I need to keep reminding myself to keep moving positively forward. I can not go back but I can be someone better. Also, I need to learn to forgive other people. I have been hurt badly and forgiveness can be really difficult. I need to let go of the pain others have caused and I need to challenge myself to cultivate love and respect towards them to love myself.

Honesty for me is the ultimate sign of respect. When I am being honest with myself, knowing what I want and need, what makes me happy or not, what supposedly be good for me and what’s not. oh boy, it has been tough! I have been trying to meditate and reflects to understand more on how I feel and think. But then I realize, the more honest I am with myself, it does make me easier to be more honest with others. I have learned the hard way that I cannot count on others to respect my decisions, my way of life and/or my feelings, even I always be mindful to respect theirs. Being a good person does not guarantee that others will be good people. I only have the control over myself and how I choose to be as a person. As for others, I can only choose to accept them or walk away. I have learned the hard way to just realized that people are not always good to others. I am lucky enough to have a Mom that always reminds me to forgive and stick to my morals, and with hope, the right people will come my way.

I am starting to take care of my body in my later age. I could care less about what is the product of being beautiful. In this lifetime people still perceived beautiful by having skinny body, sparkling skin and having a good sense of fashion. Once I understood that I feel good physically by having healthy food, exercise, getting enough sleep and low stress, the more kindness and the more internal love I feel. My yoga teacher once said that your body is a vessel transporting you around this world. How would you like to achieve to have certain body types, is depending on your goal. If you want to be strong and have healthy organs then you exercise, if you only care about body image and being skinny then don’t eat. Just as I need to take a good care of my body, I also know that my mind needs a little love as well. The way I do it is by keep getting new experiences and gathering information. Keep looking to find new perspectives, find resources for inspiration (traveling is the best way for me to learn new cultures, meeting new people, learning a different way of living). The more I know, the more I am allowing myself to spare some space to grow. All the rejection, all the struggles, and obstacles will empower me. By allowing that to happen, I earned respect for myself.

Last but not least, Don’t compare to others! “Comparison is the thief of joy”, said Theodore Roosevelt, and I couldn’t agree more. The more I compare my life with others, the more difficult it becomes to cultivate self-respect. It is hard not to compare (especially with social media), but I keep reminding myself that no matter how well you know someone, you never ever know every aspect of their life. No life is perfect, the essential way to respect myself is to focus on what I have, not on what I have to own in order to gain more friends or followers.

Start by being aware of finding yourself, do your best to find a way to make it a positive, self-respecting experience, and then use what you’re going through (good or bad) to cultivate care for yourself and others. 

You can only appreciate the highest of highs if you experience the lowest of lows 

Riri · what i think

I’m lost but I’m hopeful

Do you ever feel lost?

Do you ever feel tired?

Do you ever feel abandoned, almost?

Do you ever feel unmotivated?

alone in a crowded room?

dark cloud overhead?

breath 

remember how it feels

to let go and try to walk away

I found last Sunday message from the church was so relatable. Nothing of particular events that reminded me of the story that father Michael have shared, about how he was lost in the carnival that he visited with his family when he was a wee boy. I remember when I was little, I look up to my aunts a lot. Me and my late brother always have been so closed with both of 2 younger sister that my mom has. Almost every day they would pick me up from school, and if no homework or extra lesson, they would bring us to the mall for lunch or shopping. Me being the youngest and the impatient ones always fancy being lost in the middle of clothing racks or discover a new way to go to toilet or sometimes I can find myself being acquittance with the sales lady or discover the new happening place in the mall, when both of my aunts busy trying on clothes and having my brother occupied by bringing their shopping bags. There was more than several occasions they have to get help from the security guard for help to search for me – as I was nowhere to be found. But, most of the time I was the one who found them first rather the security guard found me. After few times they just wait for me to find them, instead of going through all the hassled to try to find me. LOL. Sweet memories!

One of the most helpless feelings I have ever faced was when I lost something important to me, but could not go looking for it. What was it that I lost? It was not like that I got lost while looking for my aunts and brother or driving around to find my destinations or looking frantically for my keys, remote or my phone. No, I lost myself. I lost who I was as a person, my goals, my dreams, my values, my beliefs. There were times when I felt like I was by myself, looking into my brain, and saying, “Who is this person? I don’t recognize her. She has no connection with her past nor plans for the future. What is she thinking next?” There was a time when I first introduced to Facebook and a mandatory column to be filled was “about me”, and the best I could come up with was: Ask me questions, maybe we can figure it out together.

My relationship with my family and friends are the most intimate I have. Somehow, I feel that I have lost myself as a result of getting in the relationship with Jesus. I have always been famous for asking too much of detailed questions, the history and the why. I took a stance with having to have a relationship with someone when I have enough pieces of information and done a background check on this someone. The problem with doing this, however, was that I ended up losing some of my definitions of my identity and persuasions. I have never seen, touch, having two ways conversation with Him, to be honest, that was frustrated me the most. I have so many questions that I want to ask, not through the priest or having to decipher what his disciples wrote about Him.

Last Sunday sermon, I was once again reminded to revisit and re-asses my relationship with Jesus. I see restoration and healing entering my relationships. I no longer feel like I’m lost. I can be curious again and to sustain my relationship with Him. Despite my intimate relationship with family and friends can be distance due to countless different reasons, but my relationship with Him is convenience. No excuses of being too busy, too far, too expensive, everything you need to know is already been written and waiting for me to devour.

Reading and writing not always work for everyone who feels lost, but it has always been something that brought me peace, joy and a sense of direction. One of the purposes having this blog is a way to keep myself checked and able to share my thinking process so I (hopefully) no longer feel lost.

Do you sometimes feel lost? So did I. and still do time to times. I have discovered that the best thing to do is sit down, breath, and wait for the light to arrive and hope to appear.