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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,

An Encounter with the Soul of Bali

I landed in Bali with a prayer and a hope to heal the emptiness in my heart. As I left the airport, the island began to answer my prayer in its own charming way. Ubud’s expansive rice fields reminded me of my limitless capacity to love. The waves of Canggu beach woke up my courage and yoga brought me to a space of gratitude. I was almost whole, but little did I know I would find that completeness in the most unexpected way.

One afternoon, after walking the busy streets of Legian, I hopped on a motorbike taxi, heading to a yoga class in Sanur. The bike dropped me off at the end of a narrow alley where the noise from the traffic descended and I found myself in front of a bamboo hut by a quiet beach. I quickly signed up for a class but since I had a full hour to wait, I proceeded to sit on the beach and listened to the sound of gentle waves lapping the shore.

Suddenly the soothing sound of waves was broken by children’s laughter. Four young Balinese boys came running across carrying a large kite. Their wild laughter and excitement filled the air as they attempted to get the kite airborne and before I knew it I found myself smiling and cheering them on.

Eventually the boys pulled the kite away and a little sadness came over me, only to evaporate as soon as one boy began to sing Kecak, the Balinese gamelan human choir. I was in awe as the others joined in and I heard a harmonious pentatonic melody made up of each boy’s unique syncopated tone. Their little bodies moved in response to the underlying notes and completed the living orchestra. Their voices stirred the air and created vibrations that traveled through the space and touched my heart.

Bali had invited me to see a glimpse of its soul through the impromptu act of the boys expressing and communicating their joy through Kecak. Its distinctive Balinese melody sounding like it was carved out of the people’s connection to their land and gods. The soul of the music was reflected in the sway of the coconut trees and the fragrance of the offerings. As the music soothed and enchanted me, I reflected upon my own connection to nature and the lives around me and found myself whole.

The boys and I exchanged no words, but their presence and combined energy had taught me to always keep my own spark of joy and express it freely. On the sand of Sanur beach, I said a prayer of gratitude for the completeness I had found through the pure soul of four Balinese boys.

Balinese Boys playing kite at Sanur beach.
Balinese Boys playing kite at Sanur beach.

Thank You

Today is exactly 32 years since I came out of my mother’s womb. I was born on Friday, 11 May 1984, at somewhere around 5 AM.

(If you subscribed to my letters, you’ll notice that I schedule my non-travel edition letters to come out on the 11th of every month at 5 AM Bandung time. That particular combination of numbers is magic to me.)

On this special day, I’d like to express my gratitude of the amazing life I’ve had.

I could not have predicted I would be where I am today, at this age.

My 6 year old self probably thought that I would grow up in Bandung and end up being an engineer like my parents. I ended up leaving home at 15, and spent the 17 years after that away from home.

In the States, at the exciting age of 18, I thought I’ve found the perfect field (Information Systems), and I was going to work at a multi-national company and live a happy life in the States till I’m old. Well I did love my major, ended up working for a huge huge multi-national firm. But I ended up leaving all that behind and moved thousands of miles back to Singapore to enroll myself in dance, just because I wanted to. It would make me happy and I was tired of being sad.

My 26 year old self thought that was it. I would graduate with a dance degree, be a dancer, and live in Singapore. Little did I know that couple years after that, I would switched to arts management, earned my Master’s degree, worked in it a little bit, and decided that I should start something on my own and moved back to the homeland.

I also thought I would get married at 28 and have children in my early 30s. Now looking back, I think I was waay too young and so not ready to get married at 28. But I’m getting closer to feeling ready to get married. Which is exciting and scary at the same time.

And that brought us to the present. Life is full of turns and flips and drops and climaxes and I end up not where I thought I would be. But my oh my, I’ve had an amazing life.

I’ve been blessed to have seen many parts of this world. Not as many as some people perhaps. But I looked at my travel instagram photos and realized how I’ve been to so many beautiful places in this world.

I have an amazing family who continuously supports me, despite my curly topsy turvy journey in life and despite their fears and doubts. And I can never thank them enough. I love my family so so much.

I have met so many amazing souls in this journey that have guided me in navigating my life.

I have loved and been loved so deeply by all of my romantic partners. I am so blessed to have always met men who are good, solid, sweet men, who never treated me badly. And I’m so blessed to have learned so much from each and every one of them.

And through all of that (especially through the heartbreaks), I have learned to love myself. I have also learned the meaning of unconditional love.

Love, in its highest form, is the most important thing in this world. Nothing else matters. I am forever grateful I have an abundance of it surrounding me in the forms of friends and family.

So on this special day, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being in my life. I’m thankful that we have crossed path at one point in our lives. Let’s raise our cup/ glass/ mug of our preferred beverage to a lifetime of connection.

And in the spirit of not knowing where our lives is going to take us, I’d like to share a quote from probably the best blog post I’ve ever read. It’s written by the beautiful Kate Northrup. (And I strongly encourage you to take your time to read the original post in the link above):

“You won’t do it at the right time.

You’ll be late.

You’ll be early.

You’ll get re-routed.

You’ll get delayed.

You’ll change your mind.

You’ll change your heart.

It’s not going to turn the way you thought it would.

IT WILL BE BETTER.”

And indeed, my life has turned out better that I thought it would be.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.