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Following Your Star

I often hear from others that you’re going to need a lot of courage the moment you decide to follow your star. Although I understand it, I cannot quite relate to it. Why would you need courage? You’re only following your heart and your dream. It’s not like you’re bungee jumping, right?

But now I realized why. It’s because your dreams are often impractical, scary, and risky – a lot like bungee jumping. Although you know that you have a rope tied on your feet to keep you from falling flat on your face and die, it still does not take away the fact that jumping in to the vast space of uncertainty is frightening.

You will have plenty of valid reasons to quit, and most often than not, these reasons will echo in your head like someone pressing the rewind button over and over. This only intensifies more the moment you let yourself  listen to any of it. And before you know, you will have succumbed back to your old self and back to the logical way of life like the rest of the logical around in the world. And your ego would have won, and you would not have known what it feels like to bungee-jump.

That’s the way ego works. It acts as if it has your best interest by making you remember that you don’t have enough skills or enough management or financial creativity to tread the path you’re going, so it tells you to save your face now and quit while it’s still early. From the logical standpoint, it makes sense. It will always make sense because it knows you and it knows what works for you.

But this does not mean that it is privy to what God has intended for you to do. It does not mean that it is right.

What you must do instead is tune in to what your heart and ask yourself “what does my heart say on this matter?” Does it feel right jumping into this? How does it make you feel?

It’s alright to feel scared because it means that something in it is worth pursuing; else, it wouldn’t have brought out such kind of emotion. Scary means there is a great potential for personal growth. Oftentimes, this scary feeling is accompanied with excitement – and that is the combination of emotions you will want to pursue.

Your ego again is going to want to butt in as its last retort. But I’ve learned from past experience that this is exactly the moment when you want to be stubborn and persist in your goal.

Why that is, I don’t have the answer. I just know that it will be worth it even if things don’t turn out the way you wanted it to be because your heart would still have won over your ego.

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Do You See the Lesson?

Do you find yourself repeatedly being stuck in the same old situation? For example, do you feel like you always fall for the same abusive people over and over again? Or perhaps you constantly find yourself in a situation that tests your patience all the time? These situations are not there to punish you or make your life a living hell.

These situations are there to teach you the lesson, to which you are not conscious of. There is such a thing as karma and reincarnation, and believe it or not, you are here in this lifetime to settle old debts from your previous lifetime.

So in the above situation where you repeatedly see yourself falling for the wrong person, ask yourself what are you here to learn? Why do you keep making the same mistake? What are you not learning and seeing? This is much like taking a school exam. You either flunk it or pass. If you flunked the test, then clearly there was something in the lesson that you did not understand. But if you passed, you can move on to the next level.

Similarly, you are here to balance things out. The clearer you see the whole picture, the better you will be able to accept the lesson and  heal.

Unfortunately, most people don’t see the lesson. Most choose to be victims of their circumstance and ask God “why me?” instead of “what am i to learn from this situation?”

So, instead of running away from your emotions and other situations for fear of having to face the same issues, tell yourself that this time you’re going to be ready for the lesson, and that this time, you won’t make the same mistake.

So assess your life right now to figure out what similar circumstance keeps popping up in your life. Perhaps there is a lesson that you’re not seeing.


The Other Road

I know no one who dared enough to travel the path I’m going. It’s foolish and impractical. Truth is, most dreams are impractical, at least those that mattered; that’s why it’s called dreams. It is so we could stretch ourselves into doing things we never thought of doing, propelling and shaping us to be the person we thought we could never be.

Had I known that the road to finding my castle would be difficult and uncomfortable, I might have made more preparations; but just the same, I would still tread the same road.

In life, we probably get one chance, more if we’re lucky, to follow our dreams. And then it gets buried and forgotten by fears and responsibilities. But those chances are always there to open our hearts and pursue those dreams, if only we are strong enough to try and let go of the need to control. Oftentimes, we toss aside our dreams for the promise of temporal goals. Hence, the road to security emerged; the road that’s often being walked.

I had walked the same road for years because it was expected of me. I tried to deviate a little by going to a little less common to the standards of the “walkers.” Nevertheless, I was still considered a “walker.” 

A “walker” is whom I call a person that walks for the sake of going somewhere, never minding that the view is dreary and old. It’s a person who walks automatically to the default road. The person walks the same old road for his entire existence because it’s safe and tested and everyone else seems to walk the same path. He cares and wonders not what his life would have turned out to be had he chosen the other road, because as long as he surrounds himself with material possessions,  great or not, there’s not a need to do anything else but continue walking.

Dreamer on the other hand, risks everything else – security, power, comfort, routine, recognition – all for the search of something more grandeur; for what can be loftier than leading a life in search for the castle of his dreams?

The dreamers are becoming quite extinct because everyone in this world is obsessed in getting ahead and acquiring more and if that means abandoning the dreams, so be it. People are dying of acceptance and recognition and so they let their dreams die along.

I could have stayed where I was and programmed my thoughts to liking it. I could fool my mind by buying me toys to justify my stay but I knew, I  could never fool  my dream nor my heart. I deserve to give my dream a try.

So I have resurrected my long buried dream. I have awakened from sleepwalking and have begun traveling to a road less traveled. The problem with this road is, there are no signs to help me where to go next or how to go about doing it. There aren’t even much people around to ask directions from, much less, find someone who will deign enough to look at weary, lost kindred. But still, I travel forward, in search for the castle I see in my head, even if it rains or snows and I’ve no shelter to dwell and no one to comfort me but my voice. My voice is my compass and my heart is the road map. I could only rely on myself. How can I expect anyone to understand what I’m doing when most of them have forsaken their own dreams?  I just need to have faith that I am going to find it.  I know that when I see it, none of these will matter. 

 

I dared enough to dream and I know that in this world, that is rare for there are very few people who believe enough to dream. If for instance that I’ve reached the end of the road and no castle can still be seen, I know without a doubt that only the worldly goods would be the ones destroyed and depleted because as long as my heart beats, so does my dream.


10 Reasons Why You Should Love Reading

I can still vividly recall back when I was in grade school when I would use my chance to buy new pocketbooks as incentive to take piano lessons. I cannot recall how my passion for reading started. I just know that I love books – the smell, the texture, the characters, the words.

I rarely meet someone who’s as passionate as I am in reading that’s why when I meet a kindred soul, I feel an instant connection.

I didn’t know then that to be a great writer, you need to be a great reader. And even if you don’t intend to be a writer, I still cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t want to sit back and curl up with a good book.

It is not my intention to persuade you to start heading to a bookstore to get a book or to start buying e-readers but here are just some things to let you know what books and reading materials have done for me over the years:

1. Reading broadens my perspective in life. I cannot hope to experience everything and the best I can do is to listen to the writers’ wisdom and reflect on those to mine.

2. Reading sweeps me away from my world temporarily and brings me to places that only existed in the writer’s creative mind. 

3. It introduces me to new concepts. I don’t expect people to teach me new things through their stories, words and actions. Not many of them will want to or will be able to.There are far too many things that can be learned from books and it is best to learn them on your own.

4. Reading makes me experience things I otherwise could not have felt or experienced.

5. It calms down my agitated nerves. When I’m all stressed out and the voice inside my head won’t shut up, I turn to books.

6. It teaches me to visualize. Visualization is something I can do as soon as close my eyes. I visualize the characters I want to write; I visualize the things I want to achieve. At an early stage, parents who read to their children are prepping their children for their future. Visualization is a must in success (not necessarily be financial success).

7. It has made me love words and writing. It not only expands my vocabulary but it greatly improves my writing as well as I take in new concepts and writing styles in each blog, book, newspaper articles or magazines I read.

8. Books connect people who are in two different sides of the world. Books unite people of different cultures, different world, different personalities.

9. It keeps me preoccupied. Sure video games, TV, sports can occupy my mind as well but nothing is as satisfying as reading.

10. It challenges my thinking.

Just like your body, you have to keep your brain healthy by supplying the right kind of food. Reading is the brain food. Sometimes, I can tell if the person I’m talking to reads books or not. So reading not only changes your perception in life but your words as well.

What about you? What does reading do to you and how has reading changed your life?

For Further Reading
Why You Should Read Books
Why Reading is Important


Why Are We So Obsessed About Our Future?

 I woke up around 2 in the morning today with a question in my mind: Why are we obsessed about our future?

We are hardly at home with our family because we are out working our butts off for their future. We miss out so much social gatherings that we are feeling so left out when we get the chance to meet our friends again. We only get 4 hours of sleep everyday and tell ourselves it’s for the future. We find ourselves on the brink of physically breaking down but we tell ourselves “it’s okay, it’s for the future.”

We are living for the future that we forget we live in the present. Why are we so obsessed about our future that in times of desperation, we are willing to seek out those gifted people who can see –  just to have a glimpse of our future? We are even quick to believe in what they say they see even if it’s not real.

Is it so we can control our lives, control our future?
Could it be that we want to be seen by our friends and other people as accomplished, happy and wealthy?
Why are we stressing ourselves about the kind of lives we do not have?
Why are we in a habit of comparing ourselves to others who seem “happy?”
An even better question to ask ourselves is – how do we truly live today?

We can’t control our future. We are not even sure if we will live to see our future. We should only be concerned about controlling today with a dream of tomorrow. We cannot help thinking about the future, but too much worry and too long of a stay in that state leaves our soul in the future. We end up with our physical selves walking today without souls. Hence, we become zombies, following those with their souls intact, who clearly live for the present.

We find ourselves comparing the lives of our “happy” friends – and what happens then? We develop a mind frame to work harder for our future so that when that “day” comes, it will be our turn to post our “happy” faces on Facebook and tweet our major accomplishments. This is a major depression and just gets us so obsessed about our future all the more.

So how do we embrace the present and live today?

1. Thanking for the gift of today. When we think about what we want our future to be, we can’t see what we have today. We forget to be grateful.

2. Don’t attempt to multi-task. We cannot savor and do what we have to do well in the present when our thoughts and soul are in for the future things.This is also about being mindful in everything we do today.

3. Live responsibly today and leave our future to Him. He never intended us to worry about the future, if so, he would have given us the gift seeing the future. We just worry how we are going to make it tomorrow with our souls fully intact. We may not have the given us the gift of seeing the future, but He has given us the gift of foresight

4. Stop comparing our lives with others. It can eat our hopes and dreams alive and we end up being depressed.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to stop obsessing out the future?



For Further Reading
Live in the Present
Tips on how to live in the Present


Morning Coffee

Drinking coffee in the morning is such a universal act, no matter what your status in life maybe. The rich, the poor, the famous and the ordinary, decaf, non-fat, espresso, 3-in-1, whatever it is, it is a one thing that we all have in common.


People however have different reasons for drinking a cup of coffee every morning. For some, drinking coffee is a way to get in touch with their friends, a way to socialize. For others, it may be as something as straight forward as an energy boost. Drinking morning coffee to me though is a ritual, a reward, a routine, a state of mental preparation for what lays ahead of me. It is something to look forward to each day.


Morning coffee brings me bliss.

I can state a number of reasons why I love drinking hot coffee in the morning.

One reason is that coffee mentally prepares me for the challenges and events that will take place that morning. It is the alarm clock for my brain. Another is that coffee brings hope to my life; hope that one day at a time, I will not need to rely on coffee or dopamine to make me happy; hope that coffee will not be my only reason to wake up and face another day.


Coffee in the morning is not the same as coffee in the afternoon. Each sip I take renews my outlook and refreshes my soul – all in preparation for the day ahead of me. It also eases stress when I know there will be storm coming in. Every gulp is like a reminder that I can get through this.

Coffee sparks creativity as well. It activates brain cells and ideas just seem to jump right at me. Drinking morning coffee is something I cannot miss. It is my companion. When everything and everyone seems to have let me down, a cup of coffee is all it takes to lift my spirit. With all these in mind, I’m pretty sure that I am not the only one who feels the same.

Coffee is big part of people’s lives and it’s no wonder why coffee business is sprouting here and there.
Morning coffee to me is not a luxury, but a necessity to get through life.


Music And Fashion

Music has definitely evolved into something more complicated back when it was just jazz, classical or rock. Today, there is a whole new range of genre like indie pop, indie rock, garage music with indie that is called grindie, electro pop and others that it has become a bit difficult to categorize what kind of music the artists are really into. But regardless of the categorization challenge, music is and will always be an inspiration to all of us. It is a language anyone understands even if someone may be unfamiliar with the genre or the language. The creative tune behind the words, is powerfully enough to evoke passion and motivation in any weary soul. Besides the feet humping. head banging, body grooving to the music, it seems to move things from impossibility to success. Coupled that tune with lyrics and you’ve got an exploding combination of art that can heal anyone’s wounded heart. 


Music has been always linked to fashion and vice versa since they both share certain characteristics. Music has different genres as fashion has trends; songwriters create new songs and singers, bands, artists and most often the songwriters themselves translate that beautiful, meaningful songs into haunting melody while fashion has designers who turn their vision of beauty into visceral art and models carry out those visions to reach out to the people; loads of songs come out every day and fashion changes every few weeks; music has top songs and fashion trend has “ins” and “outs.” 


And because of these parallelism, you can easily see people’s taste in music often reflected on their piece of clothing and style. People who are into alternative, punk-rock, rock, emo genre whose fashion style is evident in their all-black ensemble while those who prefer contemporary music and are very much “in the know” as to “who’s who” in top 20 last week are often seen wearing cutesy, sexy, in-the-season fashion. 


And then there are those who don’t care to know the current songs in the hit list nor do they follow a specific music genre are most often seen in clothes they are most comfortable in. They do not have specific “look” or signature style. They wear whatever suits their mood for the day and listen to the music that matches that mood. They can go from sporty style to hippie look.


There are also those who dress conservatively in their almost uniform like clothing style every single day – trousers and same colored long sleeved polos are most likely into old, songs they are familiar with for the longest time and never cared to learn who is Bruno Mars or Katy Perry. Their thinking usually falls into the category that music is fickle as fashion is and they have no time to waste on music the kids and young ones enjoy these days nor risk wearing pinstriped long sleeves paired with striped neckties.


With the examples stated above, it is safe to say that a person’s particular fashion sense is greatly influenced on how that person feels toward the music he is listening to, or the lack thereof.


Music is food for our emotions and thoughts and Fashion is clothe. Fashion is an expression of who we are and who we want others to see. No matter how capricious the nature of music and fashion is, both are not a luxury but a necessity people should start paying attention to because both can turn an ordinary life into how it should really be – art and passion.