How Acute Leukemia saved my Life

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The lessons I have learnt from my condition has pretty much surfaced itself in a way where I can hardly begin to count it.

Fast forward 2 years plus later upon diagnosis, here I am, sat here typing on my laptop, with an entirely new and different perspective on Life, and most probably, a completely different person too, pre-diagnosis.

My health ordeal sparked off an internal journey to within. Deeper. And Deeper, smashing away to bits everything I have ever thought I knew. I realized I know nothing. And one of the life lessons are, I probably still know nothing. Every single thing which I thought mattered, no longer mattered that much. Everything I used to live for, completely dissolves itself away in front of my eyes.

The girl I thought I was, no longer exist.

It was time to be born anew.

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Within every adversity, lies an Opportunity.

My condition did in fact give me a new opportunity, another chance at Life. I don’t know how I would be as a person now had I not been diagnosed with leukemia, forced to take necessary actions to prolong my life then, one by one, day by day, until I can be sure that I am perfect health again.

Right now, I relish at how I view life, and how I am able to keep in check things which used to bother me in daily life.

Mind you though, It hasn’t been an easy journey. Took me 2 years to get to this place. Difficult, is underestimating it. One of the biggest challenges I have had to encounter was battling with my own mind. Yet battle I did, and succeeded.

It was more than a necessity.

It was my lifeline.

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Acknowledgement and Acceptance

However, one would be mistaken if battle and force was what made the ultimate solution reveal itself. The secret to the solutions which came over the prevailing 2 years of my life for the challenges which Life threw at me, arose out from a place of peace, fearlessness, and non resistance. The battle of the mind is necessary to keep you afloat, but there can come a time when all gets too much, and you are forced to look right at your fears, and acknowledge them exactly as they are.

In fact, one of the lessons I have learnt is to make peace with any situation that arises in any moment. Even if it is non-peace, anger, impatience, intolerance.

It was never about fighting fire with fire, but acknowledging, allowing, accepting, and merging with the shadow side and negative aspects of me, my thoughts, feelings and emotions. I learnt that transformation cannot be made happened. It can only be allowed to happen, when I stop fighting and resisting internally.

Yet these lessons only came little later. Thankfully, not too late.

Initially, I was afraid to die. I saw dying as failure. All that I could think at one point was, all my spiritual knowledge and all the ‘do-good-ing’ will render itself meaningless if I die. But little did I know then, that the acceptance of what I fear, was one of the necessary aspects to the solution I required then.

The acceptance of death.

A Knowing

I wouldn’t want to put into people’s mind that it was just a real strong belief that I can be well and healed of leukemia which was what did it nor would I recommend people doing what I did. The truth is, I don’t know for sure what did it. But what helped me recover from leukemia, was because I stumbled upon a traditional advanced Ayurvedic treatment. 6 months of chemotherapy sessions later, I decided that I have had enough of the invasive treatment.

I have had the guts, or perhaps, stupidity, to doggedly determinedly declare that I will heal without the said conventional treatment. I was determined to do it because deep down inside, I just had a knowing. That I could do this against all the odds of what was statistically known by modern science. 

And did it, I did. And recovered, I did.

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Lesson

If there is a one main thing which stands out in my whole entire journey, it is constantly learning over and over again to listen to the nudge from within, that internal “calling”. It is something which I can’t really pin point as to exactly what it is, but it is almost like as though my entire body knows, with every fibre of its being. Oftentimes, it shows up as an initial thought which faded away but remain behind the background of the “noise” of thoughts in my head. Other times, it remains as a feeling of discomfort which hovers inside my body, a feeling I can’t put a finger on. Almost like as though it’s a feeling of grey dust which flutters and rests in the insides of my chest and stomach.

The main message of that “feeling”, is a feeling of “No.”, “Don’t.”, or “Move.”, depending on what the situation is calling for.

I learnt that my body knows, before my mind could make sense of it. And I learnt more and more, although I was mocked for this once in a job interview, that I have an innate sense of people, things and situations, before I can absolutely consolidate it in my mind as a fact that is real.

The truth is, I still don’t get it all right, or get my life in a way which completely satisfies. However, if you know what I know, external situations can never satisfy you. Satisfaction and contentment is a trait one has to develop internally for true fulfilment in life. It is an interesting way of living. Yet when one gets in touch with this, you might then begin to realize that most external pursuits are done in a way which is back to front. You might then realize that you can begin to pursue something externally, not because you want it to fulfil you or a need inside of you, but just because…. No other reason, then just because it is fun, because it is something you find interesting, because you’d like to see how it can contribute to your natural expansion and evolvement as a human being.

Constant Evolution. Constant Expansion.

It is in the nature of Life and Nature itself, in that change is programmed in its DNA. Constant evolution. Constant expansion.

To live against this programming, would set one up for trouble. Because then you will fight against change when change and evolving itself, is wired into your own DNA. We are not meant to remain stagnant. In fact, we are meant to evolve. To become even better than we were in the previous moment before. To see if you could handle things better and in a different way. To see if your previous thoughts and behaviour is benefitting you or not. To question old ways of behaving and thinking. And to understand the implications of this, I believe will benefit not only you, but humanity at large.

And this is where Life has gotten me to at this point.

 

~

Ever Evolving. Ever Expanding. 

Where my condition has brought me to today, through all its twists and turns, through all the eventual daily life challenges which a condition like mine would spark off like financial dramas, every single one of that has brought about the realization that nothing is really ever as bad as it seems. A situation can never be so bad, that it is the end of the world, that it has to ruin your life so badly that it bothers you day in, day out.

When I was diagnosed, I often wondered why I made my life a living hell with all those iggledy pickledy things which worries me day and night before, why I have had the tendency to be concerned about things which are so insignificant, that when I was unwell and dealing with larger problems, every one of those things seemed so small.

Yet, up till now, Life continuously remind me of this way of living. My diagnosis has lead me onto a pathway, where I am constantly reassessing and readdressing the way I look at life.

I begin to live in a way where I constantly remember what really matters. And the truth is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t choose to live my life any other way than how I am now, or change a thing about what happened because if it never happened, I would probably be just exactly how I was as a person, living a solidly miserable existence, never knowing how Life could really be – even if its just a glimpse of it; Fearlessness. Boldness. Courage. Strength. Fulfilment. Ever Evolving… and Ever Expanding.

 

Note: For those who might not fully understand what I am referring to when I talk about presence and acceptance, I learnt about them from Eckhart Tolle. 

 

P.S: I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you know of  anyone going through something similar? Have you had direct experience with a condition/illness? Do you have to care for someone who is going through a severe illness? What are your thoughts on that? Has your thoughts on how Life should be lived changed? Let me know in the comments below, and if you like what you read, subscribe for more of such articles 🙂 

 



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My Planet, My Concerns

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A simple thought provoking question first.

 

Could we last for another 100 years?

 

The talk on Global Warming was a topic I honestly never thought I’d come to a point of even beginning to share and talk about. This was never something that interested me, and I always thought like few of my friends, that the Earth has its way of rebalancing itself, and all will be well, irregardless. Until one day, as Life had it, it shoved some people and information my way showing me the probability of less-than-positive-light on the eventual outcome of the Earth. (For example, watching “Before The Flood”: by Leonardo Dicaprio)

So, here are couple points.

Our generation, people my age, are the ones who will directly feel the effects of what has been done and what is being done. It will unfold in our time, in the next 20, 30, 40 years to affect us, my children, and my grandchildren, directly. 

 

My Vain Optimism

Now I am an optimistic person.

When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, I was utterly convinced to the point of being accused irresponsible and irrational that I will recover despite all statistical evidences that suggests that I probably won’t last another 5 years. I am still going at 2 and a half, and I am in much better health than before. Whether I will last another 3 years is not as important a question as knowing, whether I am fully recovered from this disease or not because I am, thanks to a traditional advanced ayurvedic treatment.

So here, you can see, I am as optimistic as it can get. And I benefitted from that positivity. But I don’t really fancy what I am seeing when I get myself educated with global warming and climate change. While I am an avid believer of the fact that what you don’t know can’t harm you anyway, but had I not gotten myself checked in the hospital and taken practical steps, all the while remaining overwhelmingly optimistic, probably I would more than likely be dead by now.

Hence, there is the fine line where you thread and balance by educating yourself with known facts , and dealing with the information so you can get the best final outcome.

 

Dealing With The Information

For us positive thinkers, it is all good being positive and doing light work and visualizations, and avoiding negative news. But the real truth is, if we are all wanting to truly be of help and service, we need to be able to sort through the data and facts presented to us by science, and having the emotional maturity and wisdom to deal with it.

I don’t agree with fear promotion, and showing up with too much negative statements like saying “Oh, you might get cancer tomorrow.” I don’t agree with doing scare tactics.  I don’t believe in having such a negative viewpoint and perspective of anything at all because that is not how it works.

I know that had I not have the belief that I will recover from acute leukemia and with a non invasive treatment , I would have continued on with chemotherapy, and that, quite frankly, would not have benefitted me. Believe me when I say that at that point, options for other therapies and treatments were close to none. Alternative treatments which would cure other stage 4 cancers did not give even an inkling of a hint that they could help mine. Yet I managed to find a treatment that would assist me to where I am today.

So here I say, “Anything is possible.” and it will serve us well for us to continue in this light.

 

But here is where I feel we need to work on. 

Getting acquainted with information on climate change.

When we get educated, I can tell you, it will push you right out of your comfort zone. You might get angry with what you find. You might get fearful. But that’s ok.

It’s important to acquaint yourself with facts and reality and it’s ok to feel emotional i.e angry or fearful with what we find. But that is where awareness starts, and it is only with awareness when we can do something about changing the mindset and therefore the situation.  

I don’t see myself as an intelligent person where I can scientifically make a difference. I am quite simple really. But, I can’t help but feel that if I could just practise presence, be something of a frequency holder, whilst at the same time, if I can write about this, then I’ll write about it to just bring alittle bit more awareness and tap into something that’s in all of us. 

There are little things that we can all do, for instance, awareness of the things we consume. Could the awareness in the choices we make , make a much bigger difference? 

 

What You Do, Makes a Difference

Our awareness, bringing awareness, could make a huge difference. This is our urgent task. Also remember, governments follow public opinions. And maybe that’s where the real change will happen.

Even though science might paint a very bleak picture, it doesn’t stop us from being able to feel optimistic about the possibilities of what solutions could come. But a real awareness of the problem is more likely to bring about a solution, than by burying our heads in the sand, because there is very little doubt based on the facts that are coming through, that we are headed towards a catastrophe.

 

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What If Tomorrow Never Comes?

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This has become one of my favourite question of contemplation. And while it might sound depressing, it actually isn’t and can be one of the most awakening and enlightening question ever asked.

So, here I ask you, What If, Tomorrow Never Comes?

I would like to invite you on this opportunity to contemplate this question now and view it as a reality which is more than likely a possibility.

So, with this, two things can arise. 

First, you might begin to feel fear because you don’t know what will happen. You might begin to feel the fear of dying.

Second, there might come the regret that you haven’t done what you wanted to do, said what you wanted to say, all the opportunities you might have missed or seen fly past your face.

But every adversity comes with an opportunity. 

It is here where I invite you to take this opportunity to see that, all that was, has happened. It is in the past, and there is nothing you can do about it except accepting as it is, acknowledging it and moving on with it now. Regretful though it can be, or as painful as it can feel, the fact remains is you are here now. And so upon considering all of that, here are some another questions:

How would your perception of everything change?

How would your outlook on life be different?

How would you react to things happening in this very moment?

How would your outlook on your entire life up till this very moment of now be different?

And lastly, the million dollar question:

If Today, is All You Have, what would you do, think, behave, or say, given “Now”, is all that you have?

Once you have met with your fear, one of three things can happen either by itself, or progressively.

First, the Denial of the fear.

This will result in you telling yourself, that the likelihood of “Tomorrow never comes’ will never happen anyway. At least not now.

Two, You decide that this question is too much to handle.

Of course, this is okay. Most people rather not face this question because it can be too much. Yet all it takes is just some gentle pondering. Baby steps.  The truth is, you can give it up now, but you will have to come back to this at some point anyway. And the not so nice truth is, Death, is the inevitable. Perhaps, rather than trying to avoid the topic of “Death”, we might as well look at it directly. We might as well die early. And by that, I mean, not physically , but meeting with the possibility of death now, conceptually.

Three. The journey of accepting, acknowledging and working with the true source of Fear begins.

We all live our lives with fear. Fear of something happening to us. Fear of a disaster in the form of a physical accident, natural disaster, sickness, loss of jobs, breaking up of a relationship, bankruptcy, loss of a roof over our heads, loss of stature and position within the society, and the fear of physical death of yourself and all of whom that you love. But looking beyond all that is, underneath it, is the fear of us losing everything that we have ever known, the fear of everything that we think is ‘Us’, the identity that you think is ‘You’ being utterly and completely shattered and ripped away from you.

We fear death itself.

Our mind, consisting of all of whom we think we are, what we think to be our personality, and all that it encompasses including material possessions, is so fearful of losing all of these attachments that it will do literally anything to hold on to it. That’s why we fight so hard in our daily lives, we push, we strive, we’d do anything just to hold on to this identity we have created, all of which actually, is just an illusion.

My Glimpse through the Window of Death

I have the opportunity to glimpse through the window of Death whilst I was in hospital. It was more than just a mere possibility. Anything could happen. I heard that a woman few rooms down passed through the night out of an “unexpected” after surgery complication. The “unexpected” was not accounted for. That woman never had the opportunity to see through the night.

That’s when I realized I might not even wake up tomorrow.

Now that incident has made me realized the truth.  That upon lying on your deathbed, or in my case, in a hospital bed, immobilized, helplessly weak and in pain, I. Have. Nothing.” That everything I ever thought I have is just like the whiff of the smell of a perfume passing by on a breeze. I never had anything. I never owned anything, and I will never be able to take anything with me if I were to die now.  

Everything that I have sought to hold on to, my relationships, my position in society, money in the bank, my identity, is all gone. It never truly mattered. What was left and what was real at that point in time was my physical body that was diagnosed with a condition called Acute Leukemia. I was left with nothing but regrets of what I have not done with my life. Regrets that I was so hard on myself, regrets that I have lived the whole of my life up till then being incredibly inauthentic and small, regrets that I have tried to live my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations and needs, and not mine.

This ripping away of attachments and the illusion of my identity, continued on during the process of recovery where I continued to “die before I die”, looking and reconsidering what really matters for me and my Life. 2 years later now, I am finally able to talk about it, and meet with the possibility of death. Which is why I now speak about it and encourage everyone else to do the same.

What Truly Matters

Meeting with death, before your actual death can be the most liberating experience one ever have.

Why? Because you do away with what is not real. And then what is left behind, will be more than just a precious stone. It will be the jewel of the source of Life, the elixir of Life, and the one thing which never dies.

What is real, can never be destroyed. And that is the essence of who we are inside of us. That one constant factor which is still there when everything else fades away. The constant factor that which is the real You.

When Tomorrow never comes, all there is left is You. The You that comes out once you do away with the false self that consists of all your fears and insecurities, when you realized what truly matters in Life.

If Tomorrow Never Comes, you will begin to see that what truly matters. And what truly matters is the here and now. What truly matters is showing up fully in this very precious moment that you have and giving it everything you’ve got, and appreciating every second, and every moment you have. It doesn’t matter what you have not done, nor what you should have done. It doesn’t matter if you are completely bankrupt, and your lover left you. It doesn’t matter who betrayed you nor who stolen from you. Because all that is past and gone, and you might not even have a tomorrow.

That is dying before you die. Yet if one were to truly begin live this way, they will then begin to see Life as what it is. Instead of living in a routine and dying in the process, living will become one of the most amazing things that have happened to you. You live like there is no tomorrow. 

Everything will become worth living for.

Another Invitation to Life

So here is another invitation for you to contemplate the questions of how you would live your life herein onwards after contemplating ‘What if Tomorrow Never Comes’ .

What would you do, given you have now considered another aspect of reality which you have probably never touched on before?

What decisions would you make, given what you know now?

What thoughts would you choose to think, given what you know now?

Would you make more conscious decisions on doing things that you have always wanted to do?

Would you live your life in a different way?

How would you live your life, if you are given the chance to choose again?

How would you choose to live your life, after having even the slightest glimpse, through the window of Death itself…?

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Live Like You Are Walking A Tightrope Across Niagara Falls

 

The other day, I wrote a post on “Getting Over Depression”, but for some reason, did not share it out there. I am all for sharing my experiences, and letting people out there who might be going through the same thing know that they are not alone. However right now, truth is, I am feeling alot less than an inspirational and a self help preacher. Still, stay with me, because you might still gain something out of this post on Living Life. And look, this is just how it is. Life journey at it’s best. Even during the down times, there is beauty in it. So if you are really going through a similar situation, just know that you are not alone. I can bet at least someone within your circle, someone whom you know might very well be going through the same thing.

Keep going.

I found that in the midst of life throwing lemons at you, one of the best thing to do is to keep going, and my way of keeping going is to get involved in something that I really enjoy doing.

I’ll be frank, my situation is abit of a precarious one. I have a love for many things, yet at the same time, at the moment, my current truth is I do not wish to be tied down to anything, or rather, I am not sure if I’d want to be.  After almost 2 years 5 months in, recovering from acute leukemia, I feel like I am like a baby chick just born into this world. Many choices, many decisions to make. It is a quest for myself to find out who I really am, what I want to do, what I really want to pursue, who I want to Be, and what I’d like to redefine myself to be.

Let’s face it.

I am no longer the same person I knew or thought myself to be.

It feels like a complete reborn, with past shackles slowly coming off me, and me redefining who I want to be. Life is a constant evolution, growth and expansion, and I am personally witnessing that for myself. While it can be extremely uncertain and the not knowing where I am going absolutely drive me nuts at times, I have to say that being an observer to my own life can be quite satisfying as well.

So here’s what I have been up to:

Engaging myself with what I love as much as possible 

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Breakfast/brunch lately has been a special affair given the scenes I would have set up before hand for a photoshoot. When you finally sit down after about 50 takes of shots, it’s one of those moments where despite all that is going on, you just feel really grateful to be alive. Plus, the weather has been quite kind recently over here.

I do so love the mornings, when the occasional whisper of the morning breeze gently touches my face from time to time, always seemingly trying to remind me to stay present in the current moment where all the magic is.

 

That’s also where I learnt that Spirit, or a Higher Power speaks to you through Nature.

If you are open to hear it.

 

 

 

So here’s a simple, short little something of what I have since been applying into my life:

Live every moment like as though I am walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls. 

And no I am not saying to live in fear. What I really mean, is to be fully engaged with your senses, to be fully in the moment. When you are in such a risky situation, where a single wrong step can be fatal, that’s really the point when you will be fully, thoroughly, absorbed in the moment. 

 

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That’s the moment when you truly engage with Life.

 

 

 

Yet, you do not need such an intense situation to begin engaging with Life and its wonders.

In my experience, when I am fully absorbed in every action, fully present with all my 5 senses, that’s when I can truly see and feel the essence behind everything. Life becomes even more special. The trees look greener, the brown woody colour of my table looks even more enhanced. When I look out the window,  I sense the magnificence of the towering buildings which I have been looking at for the past 5 years, which was once just ‘another’ ordinary building to me. Everything around me looks even more 3D. That’s also what happens when you see something or someone who takes your breath away. Even just for that one instant.

I found that when you look at something without any conscious or unconscious inner commentary or judgement, when you become aware or conscious enough of the running train of your thoughts, it is when you begin to truly look at something, like as though you have seen it for the first time. Like as though you are looking at something with a new, fresh pair of eyes. Try this on a person and see what happens. It can be interesting. 

Of course, that is just my experience.

I always say to people, you cannot truly know something until you have tried it out for yourself.  Until it becomes your experience. Until it becomes your truth.

So begin by getting out of your mind, and don’t run away with your usual thoughts and the feelings which comes with it. They will be there  and you probably can’t stop them. But what you can do, is to just allow them to be. Look at your thoughts from the perspective of an observer in the background, but don’t judge them. It is what it is.

With enough practice, you might realize that you are thinking a thought, but that you can also disengage from it. When you do that, you will find that you can allow your thoughts, feelings to arise and be as they are, without letting them run your life, and taking you over. Also, often times, our thoughts, conscious and unconscious judgments mask up the true experience which you are meant to be experiencing in any given moment.

And in every present moment, there is much magic and power awaiting for you to realize it, and to know that to be so

 

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Simple Pleasures of Life and it’s Lessons

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Sometimes, when Life is a little bit more difficult to deal with, it’s far more easier said than done to try to appreciate the simple things that comes with daily life.

Life has been especially tricky with me, and the past 2 years of my life has not been the easiest. Other than going through a series of life challenges thrown my way, I have learnt so many things along the way, one of them include really growing up, and I mean, really,.. and while learning to grow up, also learning how to dig my heels into the ground and say ‘No‘.

Having been a person who was into inspirational quotes (and still is), and indeed, all my quotes came through during one of my life challenges when I was forced to be confined at home due to a treatment I was doing to heal my condition (confinement, and quarantine do, do you wonders.), what I have found is, it will, if you are able to absorb the message of it. But for some of us, or even more specifically so, me,.. during other types of life challenges, those darn inspirational quotes not only didn’t bloody work, but they made me even more pissed at the world.

Oh well. Life is as such.

But see, the thing is, sometimes, there is beauty in the horrible, ugly side of Life. What I have learnt, is that most times, when I struggled and experienced one of those dog-gone tantrums and inner conflict was because I didn’t trust my heart and go along with the first feelings which arises even before the entire situation came into full throttle and slaps you across the face when you realized that you were right all along.

Sometimes, it’s really that easy. Maybe we got to learn to trust ourselves much more.. I bet you might be saying, well, I decided to trust myself,.. and I got myself into trouble. Well yes, if you consider people disagreeing with you and being upset with your thoughts, opinions, and decisions, trouble. Perhaps we ought to distinguish between trouble, and growth. As written in one of the books from my favourite author Neale Donald Walsch, Conversation with God Book 2. (No it’s not the kind of God that you know. You’d probably either really enjoy and have a good laugh with this book, or recoil in absolute shock and horror haha.)

A lot of people whom I know considers me as someone who knows a great deal of spiritual growth, and someone who is very much equipped with the New Age and spiritual knowledge. Well, as far as I know anyway. But this post is to perhaps inform everyone that I don’t know anymore than I do before, – perhaps I know even less now. Life has brought me to a place of realizing that I know nothing,.. that Life is an experience. At one point, you think you got it all covered but in the next, you realized that all that you know are not only a load of bullocks but useless in being able to bring you to a point of feeling a little more better about yourself.

I have been extremely blessed for the opportunity to have recovered from my acute diagnosis of acute leukemia. I know I am meant for much more than what I have lived, and what I am currently living. In the midst of this knowing however, there is a great deal of learning, realizing, experiencing, threading the line, falling off the rope, climbing back up again, and repeat. I realize that I can only be a teacher in my own way of being, and behaving instead of words, and even this, I realized that I do fail from time to time again.

But what is failure, really?

I believe we fail only when we fail to be truthful to ourselves, to be honest with ourselves, and to fall short of being in integrity with ourselves. Even that however, is not entirely failure. You can only begin to learn from such experiences.

So the phrase ‘I have failed.’ is rather redundant. Rather, asking yourself ‘What is Failure to you?’ will serve you much more. From there, do yourself the favour and investigate if failure to you means falling short of other’s expectations of you, or, your own expectations of you. If you are living your life of the former, I highly suggest you to reevaluate your life unless you want to live your entire life living up to other people’s expectations of you which let me tell you, you will never ever be able to even begin to fulfill those expectations. However, don’t think you are off the hook either if failure to you means you failed to live up to your own expectations of you. Because that within itself spells a life of misery and doom arising out of unnecessary stress caused by the disease of perfectionism.

Oh will you look at that, we have gone a little out of topic so back on topic.

When I realized that I know nothing, not only is it one of the most scariest thing, but it renders a sense of loss, of everything that you have known and ever believed in. Probably because all the techniques which you are trying to apply to make yourself feel better are not working. And quite frankly, that’s okay too, feeling like you know nothing. It’s better to know nothing, than think you know the world, and remain stagnant wherever you are because you’re too arrogant to learn anymore.

Plus, I have no proper answer which might satisfy one who has a need for the perfect answer. The one way I know to make it easier for those of us in these circumstances , and might prolly’ even save your life is to take the easiest way out. Take the route that doesn’t restrict and restrain you emotionally. It might mean you needing to be entirely upfront and honest about your feelings. It might need you to walk away from the current situation you are in, like a job, or a relationship… I don’t know, but I am spelling out things which I have personally walked away from. And indeed, I have walked away from quite a number of things in my life and I will be lying if I say there is no drama after that.

But let me put it this way, drama comes when someone else disagree with you and tries to voice out their own opinions and feelings which might spell double trouble in the form of a huge ass argument or quarrel. Not something we all necessarily like or want to deal with, but it is also something that means growth. Not the arguments I mean, but growth is harnessed in your ability to be able to handle such disagreements and dramas, and your ability and courage to speak up for yourself.

Oh, and remember, if you don’t speak up for yourself, no one else would.

And if all else fails, perhaps chill, and have a drink, coffee, tea – whatever floats your boat. Though, I wouldn’t suggest alcohol because it has a way of making you feel worse the day after. The simple pleasures in life sometimes are already there for us to bask in, if we allow ourselves to get out of our minds, and just enjoy whatever that is in front of you in that moment.

You know, since you are already feeling bad, you might as well try something else, don’t you think? Rather than allowing your mind to go merry-go-round like a hamster on a wheel on that goddamn issue.

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Why Dishonesty kills, and Integrity wins.

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From my recent experience of Life, I have come to see that, that is a very common way of being wherein people feel that it is necessary to say something which is less than the truth, all in the name of survival.

As you already might know, telling the truth, and being honest isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. It stems from the fear of what others might think of you, and it relates to our natural human desire to want to be socially accepted and fitting in. And what’s more, in the career line, and corporate society, it seems to me that it is more for the sake of being able to get that next promotion, or to get a better ‘deal’ if you like. It is for the sake of pleasing the other person who is higher up the rankings than you, so you can get yourself in their rated ‘A’ book.

Gosh, what a way to live.

Now, I realized I have changed much for as I grew older, I realized my capacity to say ‘no’ grew as well.
I stopped being willing to say ‘yes’ to things that goes against my gut feeling. I stopped filling my brain with countless doubts of ‘Am I wrong?, What did I do?’, to looking at things in an overall context, and preventing myself as much as I can, to be a victim of another’s moods.

That does not prevent me however to feel like as though I am caught in the scheme of things of being compromised because other people have a way of being and behaving which is completely unlike mine.

(Anyone else feels the same way?)

So for a while, I felt this ultimate sense of discomfort which gnaws at my gut and my heart. My facial skin definitely shows for it because I broke out in pimples far more than I could count in the last 2 months.

Now, here’s the thing.

I am a lover of the New thought, age old knowledge and wisdom, and indeed, it has helped me through my darkest times. However, what I have found is that sometimes, such New age or spiritual advice or wisdom has been overly abused where it is completely misunderstood and hence used wrongly.

So let’s talk about the age old advice of the New Age proclaimed “Self-love”; in the form of Integrity, in the context of Transparency, Truth and Honesty with yourself.

Now this is not about some overly abused New age or spiritual morally justified theory of ‘I love and accept myself, so I don’t need to care about what others think of me and so I am going to do my own thing, and you do yours.’. Nor is it about some fighting for the survival for your own personal viewpoints by insisting that you are right and others are wrong.

No, rather, this is a balanced, all rounded, grounded approach in managing your own values and expectations while at the same time being able to navigate your way around your daily life and relationships, and sometimes this really involves putting your feet down, and a hand up saying ‘Sorry, I can’t do this.’

Ultimately, it is up to you as to what you personally desire to uphold as personal principles and values.
For me, given my tolerance of dishonesty, and less than the truth and transparency has drastically reduced, I am much less willing to say or do anything that does not reflect the truth, even if the truth might not sound pretty. Nor am I willing to undertake anything which goes against the boundaries I have set for myself hence saying ‘No‘ has become a common occurrence recently.

And quite frankly, the sleepless nights ain’t worth it.

So let’s dissect a few simple ways on why the title of this article is at it is.

Why Dishonesty kills?

Who do you have to live with for the rest of your life when you push against your own integrity?

You.
Who lives with that burden of guilt, shame and blame?

You.

And we all know all of that creates some psychological impact on our mind and soul, which then can have a not so wonderful impact on our bodies.

And Why Integrity wins?

With enough integrity and value for yourself and what you uphold, I.e your principles and values, you will be more aware of situations where your integrity, self-honor might be wavered and therefore, you will be likely more inclined to put yourself in a better position to be able to handle it.

Oh, and you have nothing to hide. #SelfConfidenceTipNo.1

Also, why do you want to live with all the mental discomfort which dishonesty brings?
#IntegrityBringsSanity.

Listen folks, this is a touchy subject I agree, with being honest and transparent with yourself and others. I can already hear people saying ‘She ain’t know what she talkin’ about’ but seriously, take it from me.’
Nothing is worse than going against yourself, going against integrity with you, your principles and values, and being dishonest with you. And once you’re become good at being honest with you, I can bet that you will become a bit more uncomfortable with not being honest with others as well. So, you might want to start telling the truth to others as well then.

The more we do this, the more we get better at it. And if the more of us start doing this, the more we begin leveling out the playing field in the corporate world and in all your relationships too. And once being honest and transparent becomes a society norm, the world will then become a little bit better, if not a better place.

Note:
Being in integrity has resulted in a sense of lightness, freedom, instead of the feeling of burden and heaviness which have engulfed the author her whole adult life. Also, she sleeps better, lives a little more care freely without all the guilt and burden, and does not have to deal much with those horrible huge pimples breaking out overnight.

 

Jassica Nia xx

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Secrets, Lies, Truths – Being Honest with You

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Secrets.

In my life, and from what I witnessed and am still witnessing amongst the culture that I live in, I noticed that people have secrets.

Well, let’s face it.

No matter what society, or culture you come from, everyone, have secrets. Of course we do. And it’s not like we are going to spew our deepest secrets to the person we just got to know, or a stranger sitting next to you on the tube.

But what I am going to talk about is truth, to yourself, and then to the people closest to you. This also involves people you are involved in matters which matter in your life, activities which make up a whole lot of your life, i.e work, and in general, relationships you have going on with literally, everyone and everything.

Having said that, are you aware that relationships govern everything that is going on in your personal life?

Yes. Starting from your relationship with you.

So let’s start with that.  

Telling the truth to you.

And I personally learnt that, that can be the one most difficult to thing to do. But when applied into my life, I also realized that it can be the one most liberating thing to do for myself.

Sometimes, we are afraid to be honest with ourselves. Because we are afraid to lose everything we have ever known and the very thing we are trying to cling on to. Yet, the beauty with truth is that there is light which is shine on that which was once dark, unknown, or should it be said, perhaps something that was once.. refused to be acknowledged – for some of us.

I once read an article called Keeping Secrets – a Life Limiting Habit , an article which made me realize the dark side of keeping secrets. Of course, all of us always do something and behave in a way which is rational to ourselves. We always conduct ourselves in a way we deem appropriate, even if to another, it is not. So with regards to secrets, more often than not, I realized that keeping secrets is a form of trying to protect ourselves, rather than trying to protect the very person we are hiding it from.

Well, the thing is, no one wants to be lied to. In actual fact, no one really, wants to be withheld from a truth. But because most of us do that, i.e keep secrets, some of us tend to be more understanding of why another keeps secrets.

Now the thing is this. If we want to be told the truth and have no secrets with our loved ones, and this applies not only to love relationships, but all relationships in general, how can we make it easier for this phenomena to happen more frequently in our lives?

What is the real truth here?

The real truth is, sometimes, or in fact, most times, most of us do not react well to the truth.

While we might think we can handle it, but can we, really?

On this note, we might want to think about making it easier the next time, for the next person in our lives who open up and be honest about what they feel with regards to any issue. No matter how difficult it might be. #FoodForThought

Then again, it’s not our fault – for those of us who want to be told the truth, and for those of us who withhold the truth.

Our current education system does not teach us how to handle such sensitive situations.

Society does not teach us how to tell the truth, and to do it the right way. And society surely does not teach us how to be more accepting of other people’s views and opinions as well as being open to an outcome of a situation.

Even as I am typing this, I chuckle at how I could have handled such situations better. The first port of call is, do not under any circumstance talk about such sensitive issues through texts. #ExtremelyImportant #FirstLearningPoint

That might be overreacting a little, but you get the drift. 🙂

Telling the truth, or discussing a sensitive issue, as difficult as it might be for some of us, might require us to do it in person because sometimes, when we are within the capacity of the other, we convey much more than our words. Our body language says a lot about what we really feel.  So if you are really going to want someone who matters to you to get what you are trying to say, you better really mean what you say, and be honest and as open as you could possibly be.

Now, sometimes, in the communication of our truths, we get confused.. And that, is the real truth. Sometimes, we just don’t know what we want, and we are actually scared and lost.  

Now here is the next part.

Are you able to be okay with you?

Communicating truths to another is one thing, and is a tactful skill to be applied even in the most skilled conversationalist.

But the thing is, what actually makes telling a truth, and discussing sensitive issues so difficult?

Well, it could be due to the fact that we find it difficult to live with ourselves – with the real truth that lies within us.

We are not okay – with us.

When it comes to speaking of something that matters to me, and conveying what I really think about something, I found that what really bothered me is what others might think about what I think. It is ultimately the need to fit in, the need to please, and the need to want others to accept me in that what causes the friction and conflict within me when conveying my truth.

The learning point is this:

When I accepted myself, when I accepted what I think and feel, and that it’s okay for others to have their own opinions and viewpoints, and that not everyone is going to think the way that I do, I became okay and sure footed in conveying and sharing my truth.

There is no longer the need to “sugar coat” my words as there is no more need to want to make others accept what I think and wanting them to ‘like’ and accept me.

I became okay, and liberated in that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and with this thinking in mind, I have set myself free.

I became okay with the knowing that people might not like me, and might not even be comfortable with me being in their circle.

I realized that there is no need to put up with bull**** and things I do not agree with. That it is within my rights to communicate freely, but also realizing just as much that it is equally as right for others to express themselves and communicate their thoughts.

Having said so, there is a fine line between truly communicating our truths in an open and genuine way, and expressing what we think and feel in a manipulative, hurtful and blaming way. To even get into the subject of how-tos and to navigate around the ways of trying to express our truths might need more than a thousand five hundred and thirty one words as on this page so we wouldn’t get into that here. But the rule of thumb is, you will know by way of how you feel whether you are getting onto the manipulative, blaming line or you just really, genuinely, want to express how you feel, and what you think because you want to resolve an issue, or because you want to get what you feel out in the open.

Remember that when you are in such a situation, how would you think you would feel if someone else claims to tell you something of what they feel, yet seemingly blame you for it? Telling the truth is one thing. Doing it tactfully and with grace, is another.

Of course, this topic is very subjective, and requires a lot of maturity and wisdom to handle it. In fact, I think I could even come up with a lesson called “Navigating The Tricks and Trades of Telling A Sensitive Truth Course 101” – and study it in detail myself. 😛

Coming back to our topic at hand, at the end of the day, it’s not even so much about what others think of you. Everyone is wired very differently. Neither do you have the capacity to control how and what every single person in your life think of you. To try to attempt that will be not only unfruitful or unsuccessful but it will be one of an unnecessary, exhausting, never-ending spiral.

At the end of the day, you need to live with you. So to even begin learning to be honest with others, you might want to start by being that, to yourself.

When you are honest and more in acceptance of you, you might even begin to find that you will be more tolerant and respectful of others opinions and viewpoints and allow them… the space, to speak their truths…

 

 

Jassica Nia xx

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3 key players to our Happiness and Work Efficiency levels!

In Life, all of us want the same things ultimately, Happiness, Love, Good Health and Abundance. And we all have our own personal ways of achieving what we want. 1fa14fb0

Hence, one of the things I am most passionate about throughout the years of my spiritual journey is playing around with the techniques of manifesting or creating my desires. It intrigues me, fascinates me and thrills the heck out of me. It is often a wonder really how it all works, and contrary to what I have believed where I thought that you need to have intense focus to manifest your desires, oftentimes, it is a blend of everything that is really what make everything flows.

I believe a lot of us would have experience some days where it can be especially tough and you feel like you are not even sure where you are going, and you just completely doubt yourself. I know that those are the days when I would be just so far removed from everything that I believe and know to be the ultimate truth.

So here’s the thing.

During such days, it is not that you are completely incapable of doing the best that you can, but the truth is, you are most likely just running low on fuel. I don’t quite believe you will tell your car off for running low on petrol, won’t you? Likewise, we all have our personal emotional and physical tanks of fuel where we sometimes find ourselves at one point just completely drained, tired and just plain exhausted.

And what’s the best part?

These emotional and physical fuel tanks of ours are indicators of what we need to do to fill it back up again.

These indicators are reminders to prevent ourselves to coming to an unnecessary ‘forced’ halt in the form of a possible physical breakdown where your body stops you from being mobile. That is also the reason why some people come down with a horrible bug and render themselves completely immobilized and needing to be confined to the bed for days at a time, or for worse case scenarios, an illness which stops devoid them completely of physical activities for a while. For such situations, it is often after years of doing everything that is against their emotional well being, which might have led to this. 

Listen to your bodyHealthy living

It knows what you need. On days when you are completely drained, it is highly likely that all you need is a really good night’s sleep, or a lay in for the weekend. From my personal experience, it
sure works for me. And yes, even being a Miss Positive does not stop me from being drained and exhausted by the end of the week. It sounds simple, but I can count many people who won’t allow themselves such a simple thing which is required to recharge the body. Also, don’t forget to eat well, and make sure you are properly nourished via the foods you take. Food is medicine. Choose wisely.

Take time off for You

It is important that one takes time off for themselves, in the midst of the hustle bustle. It might mean you need to be firm about your schedules and stop being a ‘yes’ person.

Now, I suggest rather than viewing this perspective as being ‘selfish’, try seeing it in the perspective in that you can’t be of any help to another if you are feeling down, grumpy, moody and drained. As much as most of us want to help and be helpful, we often forget that since we are one of the main components to play in other people’s lives, putting ourselves first needs to be on the top few on our priority list because without us being rejuvenated, and energized, we are really of no use to anyone else, much less ourselves.

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The truth is, if you are not happy, and if you are not filled with enough love and joy and excitement for Life, you can’t really give much to another anyway.

I have always heard this sentence ever since the start of my spiritual journey, but it wasn’t until I truly and totally assimilated this knowing into my being in that I finally understand what this really means.

Contrary to what I have been taught in that, it is wrong to please oneself in doing what you love because ‘Life is hard’, it has been difficult to even allowing myself to all the goodies of Life. Hence, it certainly has been a journey to a point where I have finally learnt to stop feeling guilty for having and doing something that pleasures me. And may I add, the statement ‘Life is hard’ is a belief within itself. If you have been browsing about my webpage, then you will know that I am a strong advocate of  choosing only beliefs which serve you and make you feel better about yourself.

Sometimes, rather than being too caught up in our daily routine, take some time off to consciously focus on what makes us feel joyful and happy. Other than enough rest, and good nourishment, what feeds and stimulates our mind plays a major part in our emotional and physical fuel tanks, and ultimately our happiness levels. As a real work addict and someone who likes to push through the lines of what I can achieve, I found that I need to consciously remember to be in touch to what thrill my soul buds. The result is always a wonderful feeling of heart expansion, to me a clear sign of channels opening up for me to achieve more in my daily routine.

How does this relate to work efficiency?

If you are not already aware, how this all relates to work efficiency is that, when you take time off for you, when you allow yourself enough fun, and play time, the end result is a much happier, contented, and stimulated you. You will find yourself much more at ease, much more playful and hence resulting in a much more creative you. Usual problems and life’s tricky situations which occur will bug you less, and you will be more inclined to be in a position to maneuver around such situations without allowing them to get you down. 

On the relationship area, you will be much more well liked, and have an instant charisma attractor factor, all by just being a much more happier, well balanced and easy person.

And no, I am not a fortune teller. 

Try this for yourself and you will be your very own testament to this truth. 

 

Take a look at what thrills me! 

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Tips to get through Mercury Retrograde

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 Another period of Mercury Retrograde has ended, for now,.. but finally.

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Pic by courtesy of Conor MacNeill

The energy has been intense and for those of us who are much more sensitive, we are bound to be influenced by this particular planetary movement. I have long wondered however despite saying so, is it true that this particular course of planetary happenstance is affecting us, or is it just in our minds?   

I just listened to a particular youtube video of Eckhart Tolle explaining just this, and it reassured me a little that it is very possibly true (given he is someone of deep spiritual insight for those of you who don’t know him), that some people can be affected by energies of all kinds.

But what hit home is how he mentioned very simply, as he always does, that the act of being aware and staying conscious is what will reduce the impact of these energies flying around, almost making you invisible to such energies. Which means they pass through you, and do not affect you.

Personally, the past 3 weeks for me ever since the start of these year has been challenging, to say the least. It coincides with the start of Mercury Retrograde from the 5th of January, until today , 25th January. I was also involved with some work that deals with plenty of other people’s energies so it was really interesting how everything happened.

I have to say also, the past 3 weeks was a time when I was least conscious, or present. It was a time of my life where I struggled to stay afloat and grasping the better of myself by the tip of my fingers. Interestingly enough, it was also a time where I learnt the most , from learning the skills of dealing with people, from learning that the toughest time could also bring out the best in me, and from remembering all the simplest and easiest ways I could uplift myself and make myself feel better again.

I survived it all. And this ordeal came with the price of humility and it certainly felt like it has brought me back down to earth – if that makes any sense.

Anyway, here comes the point of my article.

If there are any tips to get through the next Mercury Retrograde coming up April 28 – May 22, 2016, (which is still a while yet but still..), here are some of mine which I have gathered through the last few intense January weeks.

  1. Practise Presence.

Making it a constant spiritual practice of staying present. Be a non-judgmental observer of your own thoughts, and stop making an identity of yourself out of your thoughts and creating any more negative energy,

I have been an avid practitioner of the Power of Now. Yet, quite frankly, during challenging times, it is even much more difficult to stay present and to not identifying myself with my thoughts. I occasionally suddenly become aware that I am taking my thoughts too seriously- but most times, I am also aware that I am constantly caught up in my pain and troubles.

Eckhart Tolle always say that it is easier to practice presence during less challenging times, and even during times when things are going well. And indeed, it is.

Life has its own peak times and low times. Such is the nature of Life. But if we know how to navigate around it, and manage the low times, times where we are experiencing low energies, we won’t feel like we are constantly up against it, and pushing against Life.

Also, it is indeed good to have Eckhart’s confirmation that being present helps one to get through times of intense energies. And yes, even during one such as Mercury retrograde.

 

  1. Take it easy.

When the going gets tough, and you feel like you are pushing through life, then it is often wise to take a step back.

Put you first because truth is, forget about everyone else when you are down in the dumps. Just like this analogy, you can’t help another in a rapidly decreasing oxygen environment when you don’t even have your oxygen mask on, the same thing applies here. If you are one who is always all for being in the spirit of giving, being kind and compassionate, and looking to be an uplifter and an inspirer or role model, then please, do yourself a favor by giving some love to yourself.

 

  1. See the approach of Mercury Retrograde as an opportunity

It is said that Mercury Retrograde is a time of reassessment of our priorities, our desires. Which is good because I prefer dealing with anything that is considered to be ‘challenging’, in a way that allows us to make friends with it.

Rather than looking at this period of Mercury Retrograde as a time of challenge, rather see this as an opportunity to reassess your current position, your values, your goals, your desires,… you get the drift.

 Be honest with yourself with what you really want, where you really want to go, and while honesty with oneself is actually one of the hardest things to do, it is worthwhile doing it. I have found that it is during the down-est of times when I am forced to be completely upfront and honest with myself about my Life, and while I don’t like the answers, there is power with being completely open and honest with yourself.  It forces you to have a clear view on what is going on, and pushes you into a direction which eventually benefits you. Even if you can’t see it yet.

So, see this as a time of reevaluation of your current positioning in Life, perhaps even a time to take some time off and chill. If it is going to intense, then at least you are prepared for it, and even though we never know what Life can bring (it might not be as intense as you think) but at least you know where you stand. And meanwhile, take a few hints off Eckhart Tolle’s book the Power of Now, (if you haven’t read it, I really suggest you do) and constantly practice them.

 

  1. Be willing to slow down.

So what about situations when you feel like you are literally pushing against things and situations around every corner?

Then, slow down.

Life isn’t as mean as you think it is actually. In fact, some of this constant struggles and blockages, perceived or real are actually in place for us to make us stop, and really take a look at what is in front of us. They serve as a reminder to ‘ Be Here Now.’

Which always brings us back to staying in the present moment, and to be willing to allow ourselves to not resist what is happening in the moment of ‘Now’.

Be willing to allow yourself to slow down, and allow yourself the luxury to move through the day, slowly but steadily, allowing yourself to ‘allow’ things to be as they are, and staying completely present with the knowing that what you need to know to resolve any issue will be revealed to you.

And as you trust, have faith, and know it to be so, so it will become undone unto you. Just so Life works.

And so, there you have it. I hope this helps for those of you who might have been through the ‘worst’ of intense energy.

Let me know if it does!

 

Tons of love,

Jassica Nia xx

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