sadness

On Sadness

Greetings, folks 🙂

I haven’t been writing much cause I was traveling for a little bit and I’ve been needing a lot of alone time.

I’m not alright. Well, actually, I’m alright, I’ve just been sad. And that’s alright.
In this life, often, we work too hard on being happy, that we make sadness not okay. And because we make sadness not okay, we don’t know how to handle sadness.

Sadness is uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel good. It particularly turns me into a beautiful fountain of salt water. (Maybe that’s why I love going to the ocean when I’m tender – so that my salt water merges with the ocean salt water and I become a part of something bigger, no longer feeling so alone.) But that’s the more reason to make friends with sadness.

I’ve been through a lot of sadness – many different kinds and each one is never the same as the other. I’ve been through a very deep sadness that made me so afraid of sadness. But that didn’t work cause the more I was afraid of it, the more it sneaked up on me and took me by surprise and engulfed me in it until I no longer knew who I was.

So after experiencing that, I said no thank you and I started getting to know sadness and being a friend to sadness.

These days, sadness is like that friend that I rarely talk to, but once in a while would come and visit and demands a lot of attention from me. Since sitting around with sadness is uncomfortable, naturally, I try to avoid it – I would surround myself with other people, get myself busy, avoid certain songs. But guess what, unless I attend to sadness, it will never go away.

Like tonight, I was on my way back to my room after hanging out with my family and I got a little voice in my head that goes, “you sure you want to go back to your room? cause you’re just gonna be sad.” And there was a part of me that wanted to do a 180 and say “you’re right! let me just go back and entertain myself some more.” but instead, the wiser part of me replied “yeah, I’ll be alright :).  it’ll be good.” And I went and spent more time with it.

I never knew how long sadness will stay or how much I need to attend to it. I wish I could put a specific date to it – “okay, you can only stay for 2 days and after that you gotta go, cause happiness is gonna come and I need to spend time with happiness.” – but that’s not how it works. It will come when it comes and it will go when it goes.

And to be honest, I’m blessed to have reached a point in my life where joy is always around (even though sometimes it’s playing hide and seek with me). Joy makes dealing with sadnessmuch easier. And sometimes joy occupy sadness and takes sadness for a walk so I don’t have to attend to it, and that was really nice of joy to do that.

This time around, when sadness arrived, I was actually reminded of another friend that I can bring along to make spending time with sadness much easier. So I called up compassion and ask compassion to be around whenever it can while I play host to sadness. And what a great companion compassion is – its presence softens things and made me embrace sadness with an open heart.

So there you go, folks, I’m playing house with sadness, who drives me crazy sometimes, and makes me cry in a puddle on the floor whining “i’m miserable and in pain, help me! just take it away from me! why do I have to go through this? where is that magical band-aid when I need it? I got a boo-boo and can someone kiss it now so I feel better?”

But other times, I’m alright. We sit here together, playing my uke and singing and crying, and drawing, and reading and it’s all quite enjoyable. And oh my lordy lord, the insights we have come up with just from sitting here together have just been beautiful. These insights shines a beautiful light on areas that I can grow to be a better, more loving and more compassionate person, and these insights have always shown that there has always been love and that there is only love.

Yeah, sitting around with sadness ain’t bad at all.

And when things get a little crazy again, I remind myself of what Glennon Doyle Melton said:

“What happens when we transport ourselves out of the pain is we missed all of our transformations. Because everything that we need to know to become the people we were meant to be is actually inside of our heart loneliness. So when we jump out of it, when we jump out of our mat, we are like caterpillars who jumped out of our cocoons right before we were to become butterflies.”

See that, folks? Imma be a butterfly.

“It’s morphin’ time”
– Power Rangers

Love always,

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you-got-a-lot-to-give

You got a lot to give

A couple days ago, I was sitting in my living room, taking a short break from cleaning the house and cooking and being with my mom and I decided to flip through Netflix.

And I came across Tony Robbins’ I’m not your Guru documentary (Link leads to the trailer).

Now, I’m not and was never attracted to Tony Robbins. Just cause I think his energy is completely different from mine. I have never read his books in my life. I have never attended any of his events. Just never been attracted to him. (Tho interestingly my mom had been to his events once). And that has nothing to do with the fact that I know he is amazing and has done many amazing things and lots of people loves him and I would still be happy to see him one day.

But I heard so many things about this documentary in the last few months that I decided to click play.

And I was already crying in the first 5 minutes of the documentary. (And I continued crying/ tearing/ being emotional throughout 90% of this documentary).

Now this documentary is not for everyone. It will show you how fucked up this world can get. (And you might get put off by Tony Robbins cause he really does have so much energy). But I want everyone to see it, to simply reminds everyone that there is so much love in this world.

And below is the passage that got me crying in the beginning of the movie and got me watching it till the end. Somehow, discussion of suicidal thoughts (of mine and others) had came to me in the last few days and it was beautiful how the documentary started with a man who is suicidal.

This man, came to Tony’s event to probably find an answer. And he courageously shared his vulnerability and his soul to a whole room of 2500 people, and I connected with him.

And this is Tony’s reply that I’d like to leave you with…

” You’ve been so hard on yourself.

I love you that you have such high standards.
But those aren’t high standards. That’s called perfection.

And most people over estimate what they can do in a year.
And they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.
And you haven’t been around long enough to have those extra two or three decades.
So don’t fuck it up.
There’s time.

And if you give yourself just a little bit of time..
And if you’ll be a little more loving to yourself…
I think you’re gonna find that you got a lot to give.”

And to me, that’s everything.
Give it time, be more loving, and realize that we, each one of us, has so much beautiful valuable gorgeous things inside of us.

*deep breath*

Have a beautiful September, you :).

And if you’re interested to watch it and don’t have netflix, hit me up and I’ll let you know where else you can probably watch it.

[mini] existential life-crisis

What have I done with my life?

“What have I done with my life?!”

There are certain moments in our lives where a situation presents, in 100” High Definition 4K Ultra HDTV, a more detail and complete view of Life (with capital L) that puts our own lives in perspective and gets us thinking/going – or to be more accurate, gets us into a mini existential life-crisis.

Well this afternoon, this situation came in the form of the Introduction and Foreword to the book: The Salmon of Doubt. The book is a collection of writings of the late great author, scriptwriter, comic, world’s no.1 nerd, animal lover and activist, Douglas Adams. The prologue by Nicholas Wroe, and the foreword by the also very funny Stephen Fry, painted the life of Douglas Adams, the extremely successful, cult-enducing, writer of The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (one of my favorite book series in this lifetime).

Sure, Mr. Adams was an ordinary human like the rest of us. He had a nerdy passion like mine and gets into massive excitement about little things like the latest Apple gadget. He enjoyed music and had even played with the Pink Floyd. And he loved his daughter very much. But I believe, at times in his life, he was also an asshole. He had that typical assholic behavior of an artist who doesn’t give a flying fuck on the implications of his action if he had a work to create or a script to finish. Yep. That one.

But I read about him creating the amazing series at the age of 25. And I read about Stephen Fry, his buddy, missing him cause now he no longer have Adams to make fun of a posh hotel soap over email, and he no longer have Adams replying him with an incredibly witty comment (over email) that would make Fry dance around in the hotel room for an hour….

…And that got me off my bed to stand around in my room, literally just spinning and looking around my room, looking at items strewn everywhere, photos in many many picture frames, mementos of life young and younger, and thinking “What have I done with my life? What have I done in my life? Have I created something significant? Have I been that person that make someone laugh and dance around in his/her room for half an hour? Why am I here??”

It was like a bewitched trance really. The spinning around like a slowed down Sufi dancer, the repeated existential questions like mantras, the extended arm, the glossed gaze over different random items. I was really having a moment..

..and I stopped.

There were 2 ways I could have continued from there. One was to go into panic mode, gasp dramatically, and silently sighed (but actually screaming inside) “Omg I’m having an existential life crisis..” and proceed to wail miserably (which is probably the path I would easily have chosen in the past). Two was to shrug the shoulder and laugh and smile and say “Haha, look at that, you just had an exciting crazy moment there. Yep, you just had a mini crisis. And yet look at what it did to you? It woke something in you, didn’t it? Good.. good *nod sagely and stroke imaginative sagely beard*).

So I went with the 2nd choice.

I feel like someone just turned on the stove in my body. My heart is pumping slightly faster, my eyes are wide open, and my skin feels electrified.

This is not about doing an inventory of what I have done with my life (Well, okay, it’s about that too. Never stop being grateful of where you are in your life, folks!), but it’s about getting inspirations and new jolts of life at the weirdest places and situations. And about mini existential life-crisis.

Crisis can be bad or good, depending how we handle it and view it. We can crumble and fall apart into a pool of unworthy self-criticizing mess, Or we can rise above it, fully aware that our lives are never comparable to anyone else’s life, and take that shocking endorphin to do something good instead.

So this is me, taking that endorphin to write you this story. And to tell you that these moments happen – they happen randomly and unexpectedly. And you have the power to use it for awesome things, which you never know, might lead you to write your first novel, or start your own business, or start a circus, or it might lead you to the best thing of all: happiness. And it’s exciting.

But you are not going to get there if you’re stuck in an unhealthy cycle of mundane life starring you as a walking zombie. So this is a reminder for you to do something fun everyday, like read a book, play music, sing, dance, or take a walk outside, or swim, or cook, or whatever your heart desires.

What I did before I picked up the book was deciding on whether I need to do the work that I’m getting paid for or let myself relax and read the book; the work that I’ve done last night and the night before, and the night before that; the work that I absolutely enjoy but I am also aware can suck me into it. I was in a little struggle of easing into taking a break and reading that book. The temptation to work was high. But I relaxed and stayed by the book cause that was my reward for working. And I’m glad I stuck by it cause it led me to my crazy lil moment.

So, have a wonderful week ahead! Don’t forget to make time to rest and do something that you love. You’ll never know what excitement you’ll get out of it.

this Dance called Life

Let’s Dance

Recently, I’ve been reminded of the magic of dance.

Last week, I talked to a mandala artist for a writing assignment. Our conversations revolved around life and how he sees it as a dance. When he referred to it as “a Dance called Life,” I was reminded of my first ever blog, also titled “this Dance called Life”, that I set it up in 2004 – the early days of blogging. (It’s actually still up and running on this massive world wide web. So if you’re intrigued, I welcome you to find it :D.)

A few days ago, I went to watch a performance put up by my old dance mates – these are the girls that I learned ballet with from the age of 5 – 14 or 15. They put up a performance as a tribute to my late teacher in the theater I performed many many times when I was young. Watching the performance brought back so many memories.

Life reminded me of my love for dance and how I relate to things through my body and movement. Movement has been an integral part of my life that has taught me so many lessons.

My early ballet classes really taught me about discipline and hard work. The early performances taught me to breathe and calm the nerves, step into the lights and perform like no one is watching. It also taught me to let go and completely trust my body to remember every movement.

Later in LASALLE, I learned about being part of the company and that dance is really a group effort. A dancer who is technically brilliant is not going to look good on stage if he/she doesn’t match the group’s energy.

I’ve also experienced so many magical moments on stage. There were many times when excitement and higher forces just took over and I became the movement and the character. There were moments where the energy of my dance mates and I became one and I could sense everyone on stage as we move together as one.

And for me, life is really one big dance.

Living is about following the inertia of the movement, allowing the energy to finish its extension before pulling the movement to go into a different direction.

There are a lot of allegros as well as adagios in life. We just have to follow the pace and be flexible.

There are many moments where you have to get on stage and step into the light, despite how nerve-wrecking it feels. There are moments when you have to wait backstage cause no matter how eager you are, it’s really not your turn yet.

We’re all really connected as one big company. Physicality doesn’t stop the connection. One person excelling is not going to make the whole thing look better. With each of our expertise, we have to move as one company. And the energy we put up, affects others.

And that there’s so much we can learn from our body if we just listen to it.

So, You, if you never dance, give it a try. If you have been dancing, never stop.

I haven’t been taking classes lately cause I just haven’t been inspired to do so. But that doesn’t stop me from moving. Dance to me is the solution to everything. When I’m sad, I move. When I’m happy, I move. When I need to be inspired, I move. When I need to wake up in the morning, I move. And so I continue moving on my own.

I am trained in a lot of things. I can do ballet, I can do contemporary, I can do jazz, I can do a bit of salsa and a bit of samba. But You, I’m an expert in Crazy dance – it’s the kind of dance where you say “to hell with form and alignment and steps” and move as however your body wants to move.

So I’d like to encourage you to do your own version of Crazy dance wherever you are. I promise you it will boost your mood, raise your heart rate, and release any tension that you may have from stress. Plus it reminds you to not ever take life so seriously, cause after all, life is just a dance.

So, shall we dance?