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Eid Mubarak wishes from me

‘Tis the season for Forgiveness

Eid Mubarak! Blessed Idul Fitri to all who celebrates!

Growing up in Indonesia, this holiday is on the top 5 of important holidays in my life. It’s kinda like the Golden Week in China or Japan and Thanksgiving in the States. Everyone gathers with their family, the road is quiet, and it’s all about togetherness. To get a better picture of Eid in Indonesia, check out my post from last year.

In Indonesia (and Malaysia and Singapore), after wishing someone Eid Mubarak, we normally continue by saying “Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin”, which literally means “[I/ We] ask forgiveness on the physical and soul level.” I think this is a great tradition cause it reminds all of us of Forgiveness.

To me, Forgiveness is something that happens continuously. There’s always someone that we can learn to forgive, and that someone includes ourselves. Especially ourselves.

It’s really easy to pass out forgiveness as a lip service, but doing it completely and fully is not always easy, especially when we’ve been hurt badly. Sometimes, it feels impossible to forgive others. And often we think there’s no reason why we should forgive the other person cause he/she/they have hurt us. Right?


So how do we get into forgiveness?

Firstly, let’s shift our perspectives. We don’t forgive for others’ sake. We forgive for ourselves. Forgiveness is not done to negate what has happened. It doesn’t take away the hurt and it does not mean that what has happened wasn’t bad. But we forgive so that we can move on and live free of all these attachments.

By forgiving, we accept the situation, we come back to the present and to ourselves and claim our power. We say “enough of this hurt” and “what you did, said, and thought no longer has power over me. I claim my power and I’m coming back to being whole.”


And the second very important component of forgiveness is Compassion.

Compassion is like the yummy soothing balm that wraps our heart with the glow of its honey-like spread. It softens and warms and reminds us of self-love.

Compassion goes hand in hand with Forgiveness cause it reminds us that it’s not about being perfect, but it’s about the progress.


Here’s an Example

I grew up in a way that I feel the pressure of always excelling at things and getting things right and well. Originally, they were external pressures. But eventually, they become an internal pressure.

I started self-judging and talking to myself harshly when I didn’t get something fast or when I didn’t do something well. I started realizing this in the last decade and really noticing how tiring it was.

So I started learning self-forgiveness. I started softening the heart and the mind and said to myself that the harsh words I said to myself and the pressures I gave myself no longer have power over me. I am loved and whole the way I am.

But old habits die hard, right? I started noticing that I gave myself pressure to get self forgiveness right. Hah! It’s really funny. Why did I judge myself for not being able to forgive myself? ^_^ Well, I’m just human. ….And that was when compassion kicked in.

I started seeing myself as a toddler who is learning things. How do we help a toddler learn? By encouraging the toddler and celebrating every little milestone.

He/ she managed to put one foot in the shoe by him/ herself!! Hoorah! He/ she managed to hold the spoon! Hoorah!

And so I said to myself, I noticed what my mind is doing to myself! Hoorah!! I forgive myself for not getting things right and I started celebrating every little milestones towards self-forgiveness.


There you go, folks!

Remember that forgiveness has always been for yourself, not others. And that failing is part of the process and always always be compassionate with yourself.

So on this lovely season, I wish you all blessings. Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin. I ask forgiveness for things I may have said or done wrongly.

Blessings be upon you,

Happy International Yoga Day!

Today, 21 June, is the day declared by United Nations as International Yoga Day. And at the same time, it’s also the Summer Solstice in the Northern part of the world and Winter Solstice in the Southern part of the world.

I thought it’s just so beautiful that the world always finds a way to balances itself out. When the sun spends the longest time partiyin’ up in the north, the moon spends her longest time shining brightly in the south. Just like Yoga, it’s all about the ‘yoke’ or union of two very different forces and energy to maintain balance between the Sun (the male energy) and the Moon (the female energy) within us and in our lives.

So, on this International Yoga Day, do something that will bring balance into your life! Whether it’s doing Yoga, or meditating, or going out into nature, or writing, cooking, being with loved ones, you’ll know which one you need more of to unite the Sun and the Moon in your life :).


The Retreat Place Article

Hey Gorgeous!

I’ve been spending this week mostly in bed, down with something. I’m alright and pretty good actually. The symptoms were not bad but I had a low-grade fever and low energy. So, I cancelled all my teaching work this week and spent an awesome few days resting.

Being in bed doesn’t mean that life stops happening. There have been some big things happening on all ends of the Life’s curves and spectrums. At the end of the day, everything that happened were great and I’d like to share one of them.

So, drum roll please…

I have my first writing as a guest author posted on someone else’s site!


It’s not Huffington Post or The Guardian and not even a local publication, but I think it’s small accomplishment and I’m proud of it, especially since it’s a personal story. I’m also happy cause by holding the intention of learning to be a better writer, I keep being led forward to various opportunities to share my writings.

I know that I’m more comfortable sharing my stories as compared others, but it’s still not an easy thing to do.

It was my friend’s – Alaine’s – idea of writing it. We thought it would be a good way to spread the word about Social Zen Retreats. She suggested a “spotlight on Meta” type of story. I hesitated at first because most of the stories on the site give advices on how to do this or that and live a better life. But I decided to go on with the idea of sharing my story and the guys at Retreat Place liked it!

So here is the link to the article.

Thank you for being around. Thank you for reading. Even if you don’t read it, thank you for all your support.

I’m progressing onwards and hopefully will get to the dream of publishing my own book one day :).

To infinity and beyond,

Retreat and Relax Banner

Retreat and Relax

We are coming closer to the middle part of the year. And since almost half a year has passed, I’d like to talk about Retreat and Relax cause between now and August is a great time to do both!


Cause we’re going into summer time in the northern hemisphere and winter time in the northern hemisphere. Both are great times to take it easy – whether to be more playful, or to take a reflective rest. 

Cause it’s the school holidays for those of you with little ones, still in school, or teaching at a school.

Cause it’s a good time to take a break, recalibrate, and gather energy to head towards the second half of the year :).

I believe that our beings are made up of a mind, a body, and a soul and that all 3 parts form a balanced trinity that make up our ultimate healthy, beautiful, amazing self. Unfortunately, most of the time, we pay more attention to 1 aspect of the trinity and neglect the others.

For example, in this crazy fast-paced world, often times, we only stop and take sick days from work when we are physically very sick. It’s rare that we stop and take a sick day when we’re just mentally exhausted. And that is not quite right cause a mental exhaustion impairs our ability to perform as much as a physical ailment. Luckily, our body is a very intelligent being, and normally we are just so exhausted that we take off days for the sake of our sanity and well-being.

Here’s an idea: don’t wait till your body sounds an alarm to take a break.


When was the last time you take a break from your life and really allow your mind, body, and soul to rest? When was the last time you go on a retreat?

Ever since I made my mental health and well-being a priority a few years ago, I started taking a retreat yearly and that is one of my greatest ways to stay balanced and to be reminded of the greater picture in my life. Some retreats led me to a journey of wonder and magic, like this one. Some reminded me why it is important to unplug from the world from time to time (as I wrote in my old post here).

So folks, if any part of you wishing you were taking a break somewhere else or if you’re wishing to retreat and relax, don’t hesitate. Make the time. Open your calendar and book the time and start making all necessary reservations.

Commit to honoring this time-off as much as you commit to your work cause your health and well being is extremely important and should be a priority in your life.

Now, if you’re interested to go on a retreat and don’t know where to start or where to look for one, you can join me and a bunch of friends at Glow in Thailand by Social Zen Retreats.e-flyer of Glow in Thailand retreat

My friends and I will be holding a retreat in August in the beautiful Koh Samui! Your days will be filled with Yoga, Meditation, Dancing, Great nutritious food, Pool time, and time to connect with the beauty of the island. Head over here to read all the details about Glow in Thailand!

I am extremely excited about facilitating Yoga and meditation in this retreat and I would be sooper excited if you could join us! It would be really awesome to share this beautiful retreat with you!


I hope you you give yourself a chance to retreat and relax and I hope you get to reconnect with your true self.

Good vibes,

PS: share with me stories and photos of your trip! I would love to hear about it!

The Social Media Fasting

Hello cool kids!

I have decided to go on my social media fasting again. This means, no Facebook and Instagram for a while (normally about 40 days). This might be my..hmm.. 6th time doing it.

If my memory served me correctly, I probably first did my social media fasting roughly 9 or 10 years ago and I did it for Lent. As a catholic, I grew up giving up something I really love for the whole duration of Lent, which runs for about 40 days prior to Easter. That particular year, I just decided to completely give up on Facebook. (Other things I’ve given up for Lent includes Beer, favorite TV shows, Emping aka Belinjo crackers – and many other things I absolutely love).

So at that period of time, this became an annual thing. And after a while, as I become not too attached to social media, it turns into a once in a couple/ few years thing. I find it extremely healthy and refreshing. I haven’t done one for the last 2 years and feel that it’s time to do it again.


I love social media. Most of the times, I’m not constantly on it. .. tho there are times I’ll be constantly on it. As someone who naturally gravitates towards technological innovations and magic, I find it extremely useful. I mean, my Master’s thesis was on how we can use social media to market contemporary dance. That’s how much I find its potential fascinating.

Plus, as a photographer and a photo lover, I find it to be an excellent tools to share my snaps and the things I see and experience. It’s great for archival purposes too.

But sometimes, in this crazy life, instead of utilizing it as a tool, we get sucked in it. Without knowing, hours passed by of us scrolling mindlessly over animal videos, or worse, political and harsh videos from some parts of the world.

It also often becomes a habit. When we have nothing to do, our thumb gravitates towards the social media icon on our now-very-very-smart phones and we kill the time by getting transfixed on a screen instead of living in the presence.

It’s also an excellent way to numb feelings or emotions for those who are going through something harsh cause it gets the minds away from facing what we’re supposed to face. I’m obviously not promoting this. I’m just stating that this is also a way of how social media is used these days.

Of course not everyone behaves that way. My social media, for example, has been curated in a way that all the posts are uplifting and inspiring and serves as a reminder to live a better life. And it IS an excellent tool to keep up with everyone’s lives.

But I, of course, from time to time still fall into the zombified mode of social media browsing.


Why? cause I find myself getting way distracted these days. I have a very fast mind that is naturally very busy. It’s a blessing to have quite a fast brain – I can visualize solutions and plans and see how things are connected quite easily. But that also means I have many many tabs open in the Browser that is my Brain. And the bite-sized news on social media has made my attention span shorter. 

I observed that happening lately, and so it is time to slow down and learn to be present and have longer attention span on things and actually run one tab at a time.

And lately, I find myself developing a slight FOMO – the current cool kinds term for Fear of Missing Out.

No idea why. What do I fear missing? Experiences? Popularity? Acceptance?

No idea.

I choose not to think about it. Cause any fear or disturbances that come up are normally a sign that there’s a part of me that I don’t love enough and therefore not comfortable with. This normally leads to having an outward lens instead of an inward lens. The outward lens leads to a tendency of comparing myself to others and develop all sorts of anxiety and fear.


…to look inward, love myself more, get in touch with my awesomeness and connect more with my fabulous self! 

I’m gonna be honest, this time around it’s going to be tricky. Cause one of the things I do requires me to keep up-to-date of the art happenings in Indonesia. And due to the way Indonesians work, I follow about 70 instagram accounts to check out the art events. And I might have to promote certain things in the next month or so.

But I’m not really worried and I am actually very excited about this fasting. All the times I’ve done it has been absolutely refreshing and wonderful. And I never actually miss out on anything.

And oooh, I just realized that this fasting coincides with the Ramadan fasting and I’ll end the same time as the Eid! Whoaaa. Synchronicity. Awesome.

So, cool kids, have you done something similar? If you haven’t, I encourage you to try it. You don’t have to do it for 40 days like I do. Try it for a week. Heck, try it for 3 days or 1 day, observe what happens, and see what you learn from it.

Worry about not connecting with your family and friends? The phone still have a calling and messaging feature. Call them. And those who matter will text and call you anyway cause you are important in their lives. Living far away? There’s Skype and Google video. Those who you love and love you will always find a way to connect with you and catch up with your lives.


Soooo.. Let me know if you’re interested to try and join me! Would be happy to chat about your experience!

To a more quiet world, full of mindful awareness, with a more personal and lasting connection, and a lot of fabulousness!