Reflection

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The face of the clock stands untouched,

It’s hands dutifully makes one round,

Over and over again,

Time marches on,

We rise, we sleep, we aged.

Over and over again.

One day, the face of the clock lies faced down

Its hands no longer moving, dead beyond repair

One day, we don’t rise anymore

Our body, dead and cold.

What then happen to our soul, our memories, our things we cling on to?

Must we be this ignorant to realize nothing stays forever?

 

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Do You Dare?

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Do you dare to take a plunge and leave your phone at home? If not, what stops you?

I have strong tendencies to do this. To off the phone, find a cupboard and just throw it in. Pretend I never have a phone in the first place. Pretend I’m back living in the 70s. At least for a few hours. A day. A weekend. A week my max. Whenever I feel suffocated by every notification that comes in and that small light emitted, blinking demanding for attention.

When I pay attention to the notifications, I’m effectively giving at least a minute of my time whether to respond to a message, to like a post, to read an email or to simple idle away browsing blogs after blogs, news after news. After a while, minutes turn to hours and whatever that I was doing initially just gets side track. When you go back to it, you wonder with a mix of regret, anger and probably lost at what you were suppose to do. Your focus was snatched away. You convinced yourself, you’ll have more determination the next time, but just as soon as you hear the familiar beep your hands reached out faster than your head can react. It’s a vicious cycle.

Until you tell yourself one day, this is enough. In a very serious manner. I thought about it for a while. I read about digital detox articles. How it is suppose to make you happier. How you make more connections in an actual social setting, where you actually meet someone face to face. How looking at the phone screen less especially in the night can do wonders to your eyes. Make you fall asleep quicker even. And I decided to try out. Just to see if it was true. This is what happen.

It has to be a deliberate intention. Else it’ll fail. I set a target say 2 days or over the weekend. I switched off the phone, dump it into a cupboard that I don’t open unless its for spring cleaning. I think of things that I intend to do to fill up all the times I would use if I had the phone with me. Now that I don’t have it, my hands are so free you won’t believe it. Of course it will be a lie if I tell you I didn’t think of my phone. I do. Especially in the first few hours. I wonder what other people are doing and posting. I wonder if I have missed commenting on a great post. I wonder if I missed the latest news. I wonder where or what my favorite blogger go and eat today. I wonder if my friends tried to make an appointment and I missed it just because they could not get me. In the end, I wonder if people will miss me most. I have to admit human do crave for social interaction, and I just cut all that away.

Anyway, those wonders was only nagging me for a couple of hours. In between, I manage to do more, be more attentive to what I am doing. I get on with my reading with an actual physical book. I could finish a few chapters in one sitting uninterrupted. When I take walks, I reflect more and see the world with a different feeling. When I cook, I don’t cook in a rush. I enjoyed the process just as much as the result. Again, no interruption. When I have a cup of coffee at a fancy restaurant, I’m observing how others are drown into their world with their hands securely wrapped around their phones. No one really talks at the table. It’s so silent, I feel empty on their behalf. Or are they talking in their private chatrooms while sitting side by side? Perhaps typing is easier than talking.

With this deliberate intention, there is no rushed conversations with people. There is no need for me to hurry the conversation just to reach out to the phone. Other people’s conversation is more interesting. You get to see facial expressions, you get instant feedback, you get to be together. You learned to listen and practice the true art of conversation. And I did get to sleep on time. Not dragging on hours later to see the hands of the clock at 3.

At the end of 2 days or over the weekend, I did felt some change. At least, I stop wondering of all the thoughts I had before. Life went on for all other people, people I know and bloggers who don’t know me. Life went on as well for me. Achieved more in the last 48 hours than a whole week combined and the clutches that my Samsung Note 4 had on me, loosen a bit. I can breath again.

 

 

 

If

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If I had ran away, would you find me? If yes, would you lose me?

If I had held your hand, would you have let go? If not, would you hold me tighter?

If I had a fall, would you catch me? If yes, would you let me go?

If I had whispered, “I Miss You”, would you have cringe? If not, would you kiss me?

If I had cried, would you wipe the tears? If yes, would you make me laugh?

If I had hurt you, would you fight back? If not, would you hurt me back?

If I had said “I Love You”, would we have been together? If yes, would you leave in the end?

You see, these if’s never go away.

They keep coming back ever since you die.

If you weren’t so selfish, we could have been together, forever.

 

Freedom Is The Oxygen Of The Soul

 

 

freedom-quotes-sould-quotes-Freedom-is-the-oxygen-of-the-soul.

If we need oxygen for our body to continue to live on, what do we need for the soul to grow?

For me, I truly believe in freedom. Specifically, freedom in doing the things we want, at the time we want, in the environment we want.

There was a time where my job was my everything. Perhaps at that point of time, money and promotions equate to freedom. I thought, the more I earn, the higher I climb, I’m bound to meet freedom at the corner. I thought, once I found this so-called freedom, I would feel more secure. I could buy anything I want, I could go anywhere I want, I can literary do anything I want. Isn’t that some kind of freedom? Yes. But I was not happy. Which could be weird for some people. In fact, maybe sound ungrateful to a handful.

What the majority did not really factor in was, was I happy with my job? Where did my time go? Was I in a happy environment?

No matter how much we earn, how high we climb, if we’re not happy and we start to question the quality of life that we’re living in, very soon, we’ll get burned out and start to struggle. We will get so frustrated things are not going our way, we lose our temper, our productivity level declined, our walls start to crumble….. what does that do to our soul?

I quit my job. I finally took a long hard look at what freedom really means. I know that it’s not about the monetary rewards anymore. So it must be something else. Something much bigger that I know despite the uncertainty ahead, getting the freedom in doing the things we want, at the time we want, in the environment we want will be worth it.

So far, it has done wonders to my soul.

 

 

 

 

This Is Our Time

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24 hours in a day. This is the fact but I used to wonder why 24, not 25, 26 or even 27. If it was more, would we hear less of statements like “I don’t have enough time!” or “How did time passed so fast?” or “Where did the time go?” or “I wish there was more time.”

Refer here or here if you have the same wonder as me. Turns out it’s another invention by the Egyptians.

Now that the curiosity has been satisfied, let’s ponder for a minute on the passing time. (In fact, it has been roughly 15 minutes since I’m stuck in this line.)

Do you stop and ponder if you have spent your time well? I mean if you’re 65, you looked back and question about the last 64 years. If you’re 37, you looked back and question about the last 36 years. Even if you’re 21, you looked back and question about the last 20 years before you get your legal freedom.

Irregardless, at whichever age, this question will come into our mind especially when we have regrets. Even more when we have bigger regrets. Perhaps some regrets that we still find courage to forgive ourselves.

a. Maybe we flunk that exam and got kicked out.

b. Maybe we did not get that promotion or score that big account.

c. Maybe we fail in that first business .

d. Maybe we did not wed our first love.

e. Maybe we were too busy and we eventually lost something/someone.

Maybe these experiences were so bitter,  the pessimistic us, are now in fear to stand up and try again. We keep replaying how we spend the time, what we did wrong, what we should have done. We keep regretting that we did not work harder in the time given. We did not spend it with so and so. And then we hear this quote over and over again. – “Time heals.” The skeptical in us asked “Does it?”

I am guilty of point (e), being too busy and slowly but surely I feel the emptiness and doubts. Question of how exactly am I spending time and with whom I was spending left me in misery. It is fortunate that I haven’t lost anyone, but I did lost myself. Was that more unfortunate? Losing yourself can be a very scary experience because then you can’t find any direction to move on. It is almost like standing on the edge of the cliff where you are prepared to jump anytime.

And then it hits me. Blaming myself would not help. Instead, choose to stand up again, face that fear, acknowledge that the past is the past, move on and choose to spend time wisely this time. This is our time to make a difference.

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Taking Action

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Believe it or not, we’re taking action everyday from the moment we wake up. We could be taking simple actions like what to wear or eat today to difficult actions like do i walk out that door to exercise or trying to wake up early? Sometimes, a lot of thought process and emotions lingers in our head and heart before we actually carry out the action. For example, all of us know exercise is good for the health, the early bird catches the worm the night before we doze off, but why do we still get stuck in actually doing them come the next morning? Has our determination slept off between the night before to the next morning?

Some people are great self-starters. They know what they want. They work to get it done. They took action. How about the other 95%? Didn’t we know what we want? Let’s ponder for a second, that our aim is to lose some weight like me. Probably these are our thoughts process and actions along the way:

  1. I need to lose weight. I’m so fat, I could not even fit in this top/jeans/shorts anymore (Awareness)
  2. I tell friends/family, I need to lose weight hoping to get some support. (Informing)
  3. I start to google how to lose weight. I start to read how to lose weight. I buy more books. I subscribed to endless newsletters in hope some actually share the real secret. I get in awe with success weight loss stories. (Getting caught in information overload. At this point, the brain has become quite tired.)
  4. I start to monitor my food intake.
  5. I start my exercise regimen.
  6. On the first day, I feel good for actually taking an action.
  7. Then along the way, I get doubts when I don’t see the results fast.
  8. At the end of 1 week/1 month, usually no longer. I conclude I must have done something wrong. This is not working. I’m still fat.
  9. The cycle continue. Repeat Step 1 to 8 because we now found out that it takes 66 days for a habit to kick in, and to start seeing results.

So, what now? Actions were taken. But our goals weren’t met. In our eyes and head, we’re probably thinking that we’re such a loser. When we stare again into a page similar to above, we’re reminded that time is ticking away. We’re wondering it must be a sign that God is trying to tell us something. After all, we don’t stumble into things accidentally.We asked ourselves, “If not now, when?”

We’re more motivated than before to try again. We reflect on the things that work and didn’t work the last time. We’re more determined this time to see it through no matter what. Yet, we still have that very, very small nagging voice in us reminding us how we didn’t quite achieve it the last time? Crush that voice and remind ourselves of this. (I’m printing it out.)

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Sense Of Belonging

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – F.Scott Fitzgerald

It does not matter if you’re introvert or extrovert. As long as you’re human, having some form of a sense of belonging keeps you alive. As John Donne quotes, no man is an island. We’re generally happier to be a part of something, no matter how little, how small. Which then means, to be part of something, it usually involves more than one person.

It gives us the generally feel good feeling when we can share our interest, our views, our thoughts or see what we’ve been working together reaps success. On the other hand, when we don’t find that sense of belonging anymore in the same group of people that we’ve been dealing with andwe’re alone lost in our own thoughts, the question of where do I belong can be quite frightening.

High chance that we may come across these question at some point in our life.

  • Do I belong in this forum/club/social media group?
  • Do I belong in this company?
  • Do I belong with this group of friends/this friendship?
  • Do I belong to him/her/this relationship?
  • Do I belong in this family?
  • Do I belong here………?

I have asked these questions before and I’ve learned that, to be asking this question honestly to ourselves does not mean we’re weak. Or that we can’t deal with the people or the situation. Asking these questions and hearing the answers will eventually leads us to know what matters to us more. What resonates more to the values that we now carry. What makes more sense to the current us.

And then take the appropriate action which will eventually lead us to feel that sense of belonging again.