Sunday, December 24, 2006

Living in the Now

it's that time of the year again; my Christmas rush is through. Thea and i will just spend the whole day at home tomorrow (Dec. 24, as i write this close to midnight) wrapping the little ones' gifts "from Santa" while the little ones are distracted by their father, or their cousins, who will come to take them out for the day.

since early this month, the house has been in what i would prefer to call "transformative disarray"-- first repainted, then as what probably happens when you start working on improving how your home looks, then refurbished, and the housekeeper's quarters even renovated.

ive dreamt of these days for so long ive forgotten ive even dreamt them. they've just become so palpable and insistent now that it seemed almost natural to just go ahead and do them. first, i thought it was just to repaint the house. baby steps. but as what probably happens with baby steps, i was led on to the next, and the next, and the next steps, finding the resources as the needs arose!

i will be back to zero balance in terms of my finances by the end of this year and the start of the next, but strangely, unlike before, i am... content. still. even serenely joyful, as if poised for takeoff towards somewhere, somehow, sometime, i don't know where or how or when, i just know.

***

so the general management of the start-up family export business has been taken from my hands, because i am not able to attend to it fulltime as everyone wishes i would. well, ive got to feed my self and my children, so i really cannot attend to it fulltime also, especially since it's not paying the bills yet.

i am still smarting from the ego-slap, although family has been very gentle with it. yet, in the long run, i also know this is the best way to be, that things are actually happening for my Highest Good, as i cannot see my self spending the rest of my life fulltime on just this business track anyway.

so, furniture is being rearranged in my life, both literally and figuratively.

so i submit my self to the changes, willingly and gracefully, even without fear nor trepidation now, like a child holding on to her Parent's hand, secure in the knowing that with each step and each move she takes, she will be alright, she has always been alright.

***

papa and i had a tiff recently, while having dinner at his house. my eldest daughter Thea took the initiative to pour him a glass of water, but he didn't want water, he wanted softdrink. and, instead of just telling my daughter he wanted softdrink, he hemmed and hawed about it, insinuating how stupid she was, that if she just used her head, she'd know what to do.

this time, i did not take his verbal bullying sitting down. i calmly told him to stop it, and he got angry. i stayed on course, calmly telling him that he could always just correct my daughter but neither he nor anybody had any right to call my daughter names. he got even more mad, accusing me of things and rehashing perceived hurts from the past, blah, blah and blah, even banging his fist on the table.

but this time was different. i wasn't scared of him nor anybody anymore. i just calmly held my ground and reiterated my point, while he ran around terrifyingly in circles trying to threaten me, then bait me, then goad me, then even insult me too.... but nada.

im a big girl now.

in the end, after i finished my dinner, i had the strong urge to slam the door and walk out on him, like what i would have done before.

but this time, i handled it like the woman that i am. i calmly told my children to pack up their things now as we were going home. then, when we were ready to go home, i asked them to kiss their grandpa goodbye, while i gently kissed papa on the head and softly bid him goodbye too.

he just sat there stunned... and thoughtful.

***

i love M and he loves me. we are building a future together, mostly him doing the building with me doing the supportive waiting.

i am learning lessons in supportive waiting, too, growing deeper into Trust... and a sense of wellbeing and security, being able to more fully trust a man and his word again, this time, after so long.

if only for this, M is a blessing in my life.

***

it is 11:59 p.m. now and the children are asleep. i am still here, preparing to go through my 559 emails which have built up over the last two weeks since my net connection went down, and then i had to go away to Zamboanga for a week-long training of campus journalists there.

yet, while i sit here, relaxing from my shower, not having changed into sleep clothes yet, i savor these quiet moments, just living in the Now, feeling content and at peace, feeling how all is right with my world now, even if the world still seems like in shambles on the outside... waiting for nothing...

... yet oh-so-poised too, for everything.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Xooma

I have been an avid water drinker for the last 2 to 3 years now and I can personally attest to the health (clearer skin, more regular movement, even weight loss!) and mind (lighter feeling, focus, clarity) and lifestyle (simpler, cleaner, clearer, more peaceful, happier, more joyful way of life) benefits that come from simply drinking lots of water regularly.

And I basically adopted more water drinking as a way of life because of several initiating reasons: tight finances necessitated that my children and I drink water instead of our usual favorite beverages, which in turn led me to the pleasant discovery of feeling lighter and more focused and losing weight and looking good, which coincided with my meditation studies and practices, which led me to spiritual literature and spiritual cinema, like "What the Bleep Do You Know?", which mentioned the water experiments of a Japanese scientist, Dr. Masaru Emoto, on the amazing effects of both positive and negative thoughts on water!

So, when I received an invitation from Vance Alford to check out Xooma and after I read and studied what Xooma was all about, I became very excited! Somehow, it rang true to both my heart and experience! And somehow, too, things seem to be coming together, addressing my first reasons for turning into a water-rooted way of life: as a way to deal with tight finances and wanting not only to look and feel better about my self and my life in general, but living a life of Abundance in all ways.

It has been such a wondrous journey, and I believe Xooma is not just any MLM company out to fatten its Network by feeding off its downlines, but a unique business that both offers a product that not only improves health but even helps promote a more peaceful way of life, as well as lets everybody in on sharing all the Abundance this Universe yearns to give to us all!

In case you're wondering what I do (and whether I'm just one of those tree-hugging kookies talking about the Universe, etc. : >)-- well, I teach Economics, Cultural Studies and Communications courses at a well-respected university in our city, a freelance writer, researcher, speaker and trainer, and a multi-awarded children's book writer in my country, and I'm willing to put my name and reputation on the line for such a worthy endeavor as this!

: )

Thursday, November 30, 2006

preparing to receive

i'm back home, but only for a half day. tomorrow, i leave again, for Cagayan de Oro City this time, until Dec. 5.

i went to the bank today to check my Euro balance, as well as withdraw some to help pay some bills. i also paid the last of my Visa monthly installments to fully settle my account with them. ohhhh, that felt sooo good, finally closing that last chapter of my old life behind. in the afternoon, the kids and i did grocery shopping, and the two little ones especially were very very happy because they got to choose all the food items they liked.

paolo kept asking, "are you sure we can afford this, ma?" and he was so cute, looking at the price tags and comparing prices before making his choice. : ) i kept saying, "sure, we can, love. God has been soo good to us!", but he still kept comparing prices anyway.

after all the groceries were put in the trunk of the car, i had to go back to the mall to buy some laundry clips and candles which were outside and farther from the grocery section. the kids chose to remain in the car.

as i was alone, i ventured forth into the home furniture and furnishing department, and soaked in my home-beautifying dreams again this time, as i checked out prices and stuff. the clerk informed me that there's going to be a sale from Dec. 2 to 31, with discounts at 30%!

suddenly, this dream feels soo within reach now. i mentally calculated how much two new real beds and closets and an entertainment rack would cost, and how, if i paid for them using my new Visa now, i would pay off the credit card balance as quickly and as comfortably as i can...

then, too, i thought that even before we can have the new furniture , i would have to have the house repainted first, the inner walls at least, so they'd provide the proper backdrop for the new furniture. the kids and i discussed it in the car and we thought we'd want a happier, cheerier yellow for living and dining room walls this time (we're currently at pale, lonesome blue) and Thea and i decided we'd want our bedrooms to be more feminine and cozy and romantic, so maybe we'd choose something like peach or old rose or something along the hues of purple to pink...

secretly, i also thought that according to feng shui and color theory, this is my way of preparing to receive more Good, especially more Love : ), into my life now.

feng shui teaches that if you want more Love, make your bedroom more Love-friendly with the colors of love like pink and red. the bed must also be arranged so that it is in the middle of the room, so that people can climb on it from either side. (right now, both our beds are right smack against the wall... the feng shui symbol for keeping your distance! i just learned this recently.)

i wish i could do something about the L-shape of our house, though, but that would be a major renovation, or house move, altogether. feng shui says that L is for loneliness... hmmmm.

and then there's our kitchen, too, which is separated from the main house, but in the housekeeper's quarters instead. feng shui says the kitchen is the soul of the house, if the bedroom is the heart. hmmmm again... no wonder ive had the kind of married life (no heart, no soul) ive had!!! heehee.

well, one step at a time.

i asked my brother for estimates re house repainting, and found i could afford it with my funds now. : ) so we agreed that after i get back on dec. 6, he'll send the painter over to start working by december 8.

yeheyyyyyyyy!!! : D

i'll just do what i can, given the resources i have.... all the rest will just fall into place somehow.

i know that now. : D

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

blessings in the midst

i am at the business center of the Iloilo Grand Hotel writing this. the kids (the school paper staff i advise) are in the middle of their individual writing contests now. i have just finished a full and satisfying brunch of cream of chicken, garlic rice, sizzling fish and shrimp cutlets, fresh sliced papaya and pineapple orange juice.

although this is an official business leave for me as moderator of the school paper, it actually is more like a vacation because all i have to do with the kids is to be their chaperon, adviser and morale booster, but being the smart and independent kids that they are, i really don't have to do much except make them laugh. : )

so in a while, after their lunch, i am checking in at the day spa right here in the hotel, for a complete package of full body massage and milk and honey scrub, facial massage, turkish bath, and foot spa and manicure and pedicure!

did i say that isn't it good timing i recently got the full lumpsum amount of my royalties from the first printing (it's all sold out and going on it's second printing now) of Papa's House, Mama's House??????? aside from the surprise P1,500 speaker's honorarium i got yesterday for volunteering to conduct a training on Media Literacy and Peace Journalism (PJ) to campus writers all over the province??????? : ) : ) : )

God and the Universe are truly great and Abundant!

They knew i needed this break more than i cared to admit, and they arranged for it so and things just fell into place!!!

tomorrow i go back, but leave again on friday for a five-day advanced peace journalism training for professional journalists in Cagayan de Oro City. i look forward to meeting old acquaintances and friends again, as well as to a new adventure my PJ colleagues promised to initiate me into-- white water rafting!!! : D

Friday, November 17, 2006

Quote From Dr. Seuss : )

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Celebrity

for a few days these days, i bask in local celebrity status as hometown heroine.

a press release issued by the University was published in the local papers last Tuesday, coinciding with the blessing of our University Press, where i was also invited. so, at the blessing, it felt like my own coming out party too, although i was just one of the guests. everyone flocked around me and congratulated me and asked about royalties and stuff. haha. i graciously humored them, sharing the limelight by letting them in on a little secret-- i haven't even received a single centavo from my first award-winning story 3 years ago yet!

then, of course, there's family, telling one and all about my win, and being congratulated, too, for being my family. : ) i enjoy this part, having them bask in the celebrity feeling, too. God knows how they've put up with me and my unpredictable passions all these time!

the Chinese Lee family association put out a half page ad in the local papers today to congratulate me and the family, and proudly claiming me (and the win) as one of their own. : ) then my old Chinese high school's alumni association president wants to interview me, too, as they will put out a big streamer congratulating me right there across the school gates. no problem. the limelight is big enough for all of us!!!

then, earlier today, a journalist-friend sent me an email interview as she wanted to feature me in her column tomorrow. just a while ago this evening, somebody from Manila-based Newsbreak asked for my email address for another email interview they want to do, too, so they can feature me in their next issue. my sister, who's a television host herself, has arranged to interview me in her women's talk show, Amiga, for next week. : )

through this all, what touched me the most, though, were two little comments from a university literature professor, known for her very exacting standards, acerbic tongue and sarcastic humor, who asked for the two other entries i also submitted to the Salanga Prize (but which did not win, as my third entry was the one which won) to be published in the arts and culture journal she was editing.

mrs. G knows my personal story, as she was already a literature professor then way back when i was still studying at the same university im now teaching in. and she has been sitting in at most of the writing workshops i have been granted fellowships to, too, so in a sense, she has watched my growth too as a writer, over the years.

after reading my two other stories (which she calls narrative poems... i didn't even think of them as poems!), she mentioned a grammar lapse or two (of course : >) and then later on texted me, "your stories remind me of W. Blake's Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience." i texted her back, ": > why?" and she said, "they are written with a child's voice, but with a higher mystical meaning at the same time."

that warmed my heart, coming from her.

and then, her clincher: "the drought is finally over, Jean. your time has finally come."

: ) : ) : )

Saturday, November 11, 2006

happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

Manila just called-- I have just been informed that I won the Philippine Board of Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga Prize for Children's Literature again, for 2007 this time, for my entry, "Tight Times"!!!

: D

Monday, November 06, 2006

First Step

i just signed up (and paid for) a Yahoo domain name of my own, and i am excited!... as the first step to another dream has now been made.

i have my work cut out for me when i take my one year's unpaid leave from my university work by June, 2007, as this will be one main project i want to get off the ground within then!

check it out here.

what do you think? : )

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Root of Joy

From "Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer," by Brother David Steindl-Rast:

Ordinary happiness depends on happenstance. Joy is that extraordinary happiness that is independent of what happens to us. Good luck can make us happy, but it cannot give us lasting joy. The root of joy is gratefulness.

We tend to misunderstand the link between joy and gratefulness. We notice that joyful people are grateful and suppose that they are grateful for their joy. But the reverse is true: their joy springs from gratefulness. If one has all the good luck in the world, but takes it for granted, it will not give one joy. Yet even bad luck will give joy to those who manage to be grateful for it.

We hold the key to lasting happiness in our own hands. For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

Evolutionary Women

From Evolutionary Women's The Call -

As Evolutionary Women we are co-creating, with our brothers and sisters, an enlightened world that works for everyone. We’ve arrived at the critical time when our very survival depends on us becoming greater than we are now. Many experts, male and female, have acknowledged that the missing element in our social context has been the full participation of the Feminine Principle. We are the Feminine embodied. We are conscious that through our individual talents, skills and presence we contribute to the evolution of all of humanity, individual and collective.

And Barbara Marx Hubbard's explanation--

What is an Evolutionary Woman?

Something radically new is happening in our age around the roles of women. It is almost as though a new kind of woman is emerging.

In the west we are having fewer children and living longer lives. Women’s visibility is increasing as they participate at all levels of society. In less fortunate parts of the world, population pressures are impacting women as well, and the old dictum “be fruitful and multiply up to maximum” does not always apply.

The effect on women of this bio-evolutionary development is profound. We are shifting from procreation toward cocreation. There is a trend developing, away from reproducing ourselves toward evolving ourselves. Many of us are experiencing this trend as an upwelling of creativity, spirituality, and vitality. We find ourselves yearning for life purpose, chosen work, and a vocation that expresses our unique creativity for the good of the self and the larger human family.

I call this the rise of suprasexual cocreativity. Our life’s impulse now is expanding into the creative drive for purpose and self-expression.

We are recognizing ourselves as Evolutionary Women; Feminine Cocreators. We are building a new archetype, a new agency of evolution. This archetype is arising now during Late Transition on planet Earth, along with many crises that we are told might destroy our life support systems within our own lifetimes! It is clear that the current leadership, whether male or female, is not leading us in a direction that will carry through the transition to a future equal to our full potential.

The whole woman, the universal woman, the evolutionary woman, the feminine cocreator is now vital to the survival and evolution of our whole species.


Why the Worst of Times Can Be the Best of Times

a sharing on positive options for the future of humanity (pls. click on "positive options" to get to the link)...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Different

Paolo came up to me earlier today and asked, "Mom, do you also worry about us?"

I thought for a moment then honestly said, "No, not really. Why?"

"You're not like other moms then."

And I go, "Why is that, honey?"

"They keep worrying if their kids will do the wrong thing, make a mistake, turn out bad. Why don't you?"

I needed a few more reflective moments for that. It frankly never occurred to me why I didn't!

In the end, I answered him simply and truthfully--"Because I trust you. I believe in you. And I believe I brought you up right. God approves and takes care of us."

He beamed at that and said, "Even if I do wrong and make lots of mistakes???"

'"Even if, honey. I love you, anyway."

He hugged me tightly and went back to playing.

Until now, I am still pondering his questions and my answers, though.

I didn't realize our home is so different. I thought we've always been doing what everyone else is doing.

And how children notice, huh. Oh, how!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Speaking from the Heart

i am glad i spoke from the heart with M, before he leaves again for another weekend business trip halfway across the globe. it cleared things up between us.

i was reacting to his own fears and anxieties with my own fears and anxieties. initially, i thought id play it cool, not let him know. that's what LoveTactics.com teaches, to not appear needy or desperate. but in the end, i was so heartbroken i needed to let steam off.

it was quite a feat, expressing my true feelings, yet taking care not to accuse or blame him either. the best course of action was just telling him my feelings, and asking him if my interpretation of his words and actions, which caused my heartbroken feelings, were correct.

M was quick to respond back, speaking from the heart too, telling me his worries about not being able to provide well for us, so that's why he said that if he couldn't do that, i deserved better. i interpreted his words to mean that he's pushing me away, though, and i felt hurt and scared and panicky, that he didn't want to be with me anymore.

in the end, we both learned that we both clearly loved each other so dearly now, we cannot see life without each other in it. i still cherish his words-- "if it's meant to be, it will happen. if it's not, i will go to my grave still trying to change that reality. i love you more than life itself." : ) : ) : )

ohhhh, how this man takes my breath away; he says very little compared to what i say, but what he says, goes straight to the heart.

in the end, too, i learned that it is always best to speak from the heart, to risk being vulnerable, rather than act cool and disinterested, especially with something that means my life already!

i stayed put this time, instead of lashing back in hurt and anger and beating the other party to goodbye.

i stayed put this time, and spoke from my heart instead, shaking and trembling so, but staying put.

my, how far ive grown in so short a time!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

After HK

'still trying to get my bearings back after a wonderful, magical week-long Hong Kong trip! 'cant even begin to express it in words; maybe the pictures i will upload here soon would do it more justice.

i am glad i am coming home to semestral break, so i don't have to go to school to work. i still keep working on my many projects at home, though.

M is suddenly being a jerk with his sudden performance (commitment?) fears, and i don't think he realizes it. he scares me; im getting panicky, but he will never know it. the wiser part of me sees it as just another phase in our growing deeper in relationship, the push and pull dance of loving and taking space... so, unlike before with other loves who were also jerks at one time or another, i am staying put this time, deciding to ride this jerk's crisis of doubt out instead of matching it with my own tantrum too. maybe im tired of the silly old games before; maybe im just growing up now. or maybe i do love M too much now. or maybe, too, i just want to be worthy of my Soulmate--whether it's M or somebody else (somebody better?) still coming along.

besides, unlike with lesser loves before, even if my heart is breaking apart, my world is not necessarily crumbling down now. ive grown wise and strong enough to have built up my life and wellbeing not dependent on anybody else outside my self. so worst case scenario, even if M persists in being a jerk, my heart will break, yes, but i will move on, my life still intact and full and blooming in all other ways.

i finally was able to update my more than a year's worth of mortgage arrears today-- HOOORRRAYYYY!!! in addition to my paying my bills on time and collecting the certificate of full ownership for the aircon installment ive been dutifully paying off for a year. by next month, too, i will have paid off the last installment payment on my biggest credit card, and by the end of the year, i will only have the land tax arrears and a minor credit card payment to clean up.

by New Year's, my life will be mine-r than ever. : D sweet success, all mine.

thank You, God, for all the blessings we have received, all the blessings we are receiving, and all the blessings coming our way!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Soulmates

i took the soulmate quiz at Lifescript.com and this is what i got--

Your Results: You've found your soulmate

Let the skeptics be cynical - you know that soulmates do exist because you're already with yours! Many women choose partners for all the wrong reasons - he offers financial security, the sex is great, he's romantic - but your relationship is based on the things that actually matter. Your soulmate is someone who you can see yourself growing old with, someone who respects and loves you for who you are. You have both kept your individuality, even as you form your identity together. You know that you don't need a man to give meaning to your life because you cherish your friendships and personal hobbies and activities. You understand each other innately and share each other's worldview. Many relationships end in a short time because the lust has fizzled out. But because you have such an intense emotional connection, your guy is always attractive to you, whether he's in his pajamas, brushing his teeth or in a suit and tie. You may sometimes feel more like friends than lovers because of your natural mental connection, but don't let that worry you. Continue to challenge each other in conversations and you won't forget to keep the physical passion alive.

***

: ) : ) : )

i knew it!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keep Going

oohhh, how the Lord sends you angels and messages, right when you need them!!!

i just got this from a year-long daily inspirational newsletter a friend ordered for me two years ago (italicized parts were italicized by me) --

THE DAILY MOTIVATOR
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keep going
+++++++++++++++++++

When you've reached the goal you've chosen for yourself, set
your sights on an even higher objective. And keep going.

When things have not worked out the way you planned, learn
the valuable lessons that the experience has to offer. And
keep going.

The key to meaningful achievement is not in how clever you
are or how lucky you are or in how much advantage you can
gain over others. The key is to keep going.

When other people give you encouragement, insight and
assistance, thank them for their help while offering your
own special value to in return. And keep going.

When others seek to block your every effort, raise yourself
up to where you can clearly see beyond their petty,
shortsighted attempts. And keep going.

Whatever may come or go or happen or fail to happen, there
is always a way, some way or another, to keep going. You
will get wherever you wish to go when you consistently
choose, in each moment, to simply, thankfully and gracefully
keep going.

Ralph Marston

............................................................................
This is the Daily Motivator email edition.
Copyright (C) 2006 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All rights reserved.
Visit The Daily Motivator web site at http://greatday.com for an
archive of more than 2,500 daily messages, inspirational photos and more.

downtime, shop closed

suddenly i dont want to talk about butterflies. or wings. or the HK show. or anything at all to do with the export family business.

here i was patiently and stolidly chugging along for months now, emailing everyone promptly with updates, asking for comments, but except for my uncle who heads the company and my mom who acts as consultant, everyone else is mum.

so i proceed with the assumption that silence is agreement.

now the Big Day nears and one by one, the silent ones start speaking up, that it could have been this, that it could have been that, blah blah blah and till kingdom come blah. helllooo!!!!!!!

you were all promptly, frequently and consistently updated. is it my fault now that you did not even bother to read your emails?????????

next to dishonesty, the next thing i hate most is cleaning up after other people's sloppiness, when i consciously and consistently make sure i don't even have my own mess to clean up after.

hmmmmmpppp!!!

i did this for fun, and for love, and i know i did this well. i don't know what they are in this for.

maybe it is just my period, huh.

whatever.

today, i am unavailable. shop closed. sorry.

let me go back to my creative writing, and my teaching, and my peace projects. i really don't need this aggravation.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Abuzz

i have been up all night last night, until 2am this morning. and i only forced my self to sleep by 2am knowing i had to get some physical rest before i woke up early again at 6am today to prepare and bring the kids to school.

i said "physical rest", yes, because even as i was physically asleep, i was buzzing from all the ideas and the energies of preparing the last set of materials and arrangements for the coming HK Show. last night alone, i was able to draft our company profile/story with layout concept, layout and write the product specs for our three types of products, finalize the proforma invoice, even as i texted back and forth with my brother-in-law, who was in charge of Shipping and who walked me through computing how many wings and masks we can accommodate in 10-, 20- and 40-foot containers! : O

'just thinking of a container full of wings and/or masks was heady!

even while i was doing all those, i was also emailing with our uncle in New Jersey, back and forth, to discuss the content of the website for the export company, as the little ones kept coming to me to ask me questions about their homework and their own personal little projects.

today i woke up at 6am, but instead of feeling groggy and sleepy, i jumped out of bed, raring to start the day again with more working and preparing for the HK show.

while driving to school, i planned my day in my mind, as usual; and while already at home eating breakfast, i managed by cellphone, texting my students about reminders and deadlines, a supplier about a new order, and even the family partners to check their email....

this is what i love doing best, next to creative writing--- using my talents to make connections, bring people and resources together and work towards a vision together.

the feeling is indescribable; beats physical orgasm anytime! : )

God is sooo good to me! I am lucky to be doing work that revs up my passions so deeply.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dreamstealers

there are just people, who, without their even realizing it, steal, even kill your dreams.

when you share your dreams and passions with them with enthusiasm, they sit back and smile, but make it their self-appointed mission to give you unsolicited advice, poke holes at your dreams, dampen your spirits.

they do not understand that when you do share your deepest longings, you are baring your heart and soul, inviting them in to sacred, holy ground. a guest is just supposed to enjoy what you have to offer, not walk all over you and tell you what to do nor how to do it, or they outlive their stay. but they do not see that, much more understand that.

it all comes down to trust, i guess. whether they trust you enough to be okay-- not even to be successful at the dreams you are working on-- but to just be okay, no matter what. for me that is the greatest form of love and respect, to trust you enough to be you, for you to handle things on your own and in your own way, well enough for your own good.

but then again, they have to trust themselves first to be able to give you that same kind of trust. therein lies the rub.

it would be easier if people like these are just acquaintances; you can always just avoid them. but what if they are almost family, who purport to love you so and are just looking out for your own so-called "best interests", according to them?

Today's Blessing

i'd like to share today's blessing from the May You Be Blessed site:

"Our life is what our thoughts make it. A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him. "


It really sounds too easy to be true, doesn't it? When we are told we can change our lives by changing our minds, most of us are usually a bit skeptical. Oh, we may try it out, change our thought patterns for a bit just to see if the idea has any credence at all, but then later when we look around and see that pretty much everything is as it was, we shrug our shoulders with that familiar "just what I expected" shrug and move on. We do not see the changes made on the molecular level, we do not notice the way every single cell in our bodies responds to the change of thought, we do not see how the universe responds by clearing paths and setting up meetings and re-arranging circumstances. We see none of this and so deem our bodies and our minds powerless to change and then we return at once to the exact same thought patterns that brought us to and keep us bound in the place we do not want to be. And when we do, every cell in our body returns to that state it was in before, and every cleared path becomes once more cluttered, and every meeting canceled and every circumstance unarranged.

Changing our lives is a great deal like building a house. It is not done by hammering one nail in a board but by repeated application. Over and over we must let our minds center on the life we would live instead of on the one being lived. And just as applying hammer to wood repeatedly can eventually lead to the completed frame of a new house, so can steadfast application of one thought to another lead to the completed frame of a new life.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Wish for You

whoever you are, if you have come to this place, i believe you are meant to read this. so here is my wish for you today (please click on the word "wish") ...

and please just pass it on. : )

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Holy Day Today

it's the end of one month, the beginning of another.

it's also just two weeks more before we-- my sister, my sister-in-law and i-- leave for the HK Show we have been preparing for for months already, to launch our new family export company, where i've been taking the lead role up to now.

so i took a break today and dated my self the whole day-- first for some cleansing and goddess pampering at the skin clinic, then off to the spa for a thai body scrub and aromatherapeutic massage, then capping it off with a hot oil, manicure, pedicure and foot spa treat at my favorite beauty salon. : ) my way of "arming" my self for the "battle" (i prefer to see it as an "adventure") ahead!!!

when i got home, Thea told me some people have been calling for me on the phone. i told her they called and texted me, too, while i was at the spa. but i kept my phone on silent, and texted them back only after i was done. Thea said she told one caller i was at the spa, and the caller wanted to know which spa, as they must have meant to follow me even there! : (

i told Thea not to do that next time, to reveal my whereabouts to people-- except family-- especially on a holy day like today. Thea quickly agreed.

goddesses deserve their day off, after all. : )

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Tenderest Kiss

i woke up at 2am earlier today to work on my presentation for my Graduate School class at 9am later today. by 7am though i felt really tired and sleepy, so i thought id nap for a bit before my class.

i was immediately awakened at 8am, though, by a dream which felt so real, i woke up with tears in my eyes, but in a good, sweet way.

just before waking up, i dreamt that i was sleeping (figure that one out), and a special man slowly, tenderly grazed my lips with his own to wake me up... and gently kissed me ever so lovingly. in my dream, i responded back in kind...

and then i woke up as i did.

it was my first tender kiss, ever, asleep or awake.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Love Challenges

we've hurdled our first 3 months' head-over-heels-falling-in-love phase, and are now settling into laying the groundwork for more real love to grow...

this is a new experience for me, to go beyond the usual sweet nothings and lusty exchanges, but to settle into the day-to-day challenges of daily living, together with another, learning more sensitivity for another, patience, self-restraint, learning how to balance meeting another adult's needs as well as one's own, preserving the integrity of one's boundaries even while nurturing the development of deeper intimacy with another, and willingly taking on my own subordinate yet powerfully and subtly influential role towards the building of a common goal and dream together... learning the steps of a more intricate, masterful dance this time.

i am feeling quite disoriented, and at a loss... so i went to my favorite online oracle for more perspective on the situation, and here is what my free relationships reading at Tarot.com says--

Accepting your role in a relationship situation stimulates personal growth and leads to reward.

The card that lands in the Love Challenges position refers to ways that you can turn obstacles into stepping stones.

The Four of Wands in this position supports a persistent effort to be reliable and responsible in a relationship situation. Effective teamwork sometimes depends on successfully making up for each other's missing skills, and you are being asked to hold up your end. While your partner is working on his or her specialties, you are expected to work on yours.

This creative relationship effort may push you, stimulate you, and demand that you give more and grow more than you would on your own. When you rise to the challenge with enthusiasm, you may be richly rewarded. Enjoy the process. Take time to see how teamwork and accomplishment enhance your self-esteem and the closeness of your relationship.

amazing online synchronicity principle and insight at work, huh? : )


Thursday, September 21, 2006

5th Barlaya Creative Writing for Children Workshop, Sept. 14-15/06, Ateneo de Manila University


a quick group pic before the last afternoon session started;
ella, me, alice, wilgrace, catherine, ed and frederic (standing, L-R),
Dr. Benilda Santos, Carla Pacis (seated, L-R) Posted by Picasa

me studying "The Mountain Who Loved A Bird", beside Alice Mallari, who was very kind to share these pics with me and the rest of our co-Fellows Posted by Picasa

us 9 fellows and Adarna House publisher Ani Almario (2nd from right) - standing; the panelists--Edgar Samar, Carla Pacis, Dr. Benilda Santos and Christine Bellen, and the Dean of Ateneo de Manila University's College of Humanities (seated, center) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Than Enough

i am starting to have more than enough now, when less than a year ago, even just last Christmas, i was still so caught up in being anxious about where to find the resources to pay for our needs and some basic wants...

these days, i am so busy with so many income-generating projects, i don't have time to spend the income i earn from them anymore!!! : O

oohhhh, it's not much (yet), but enough to start generating surplus.

and what is so special about this now is that im not running around for the money; im just driven by passion for all these kinds of work i already loved doing in the first place, even if i wasn't paid for them!

how has this come about? sometimes i catch my self and ask.

1. clearing my Mind and teaching it to think only on what i desired was a major thing. the clearing part, especially, took months of hard inner work. when you've spent a lifetime reacting automatically to the events and people around you, thinking negative thoughts when things go wrong (or sometimes,just seem to be going wrong) and thinking positive thoughts only when things are already going right.... it takes supreme self-consciousness to catch one's self and one's thoughts, and check them against what one truly wants to manifest, and then transform these negative thoughts into positive ones, even if appearances show you have more reason to think negatively than positively.

ooohhh i researched and followed so many tools and exercises for clarifying one's mind, too. the most helpful for me, though, has been the learning from Stuart Lichtman's cybernetic transposition, and EFT (or Emotional Freedom Technique).

i have developed a quicker, simpler way for my self, though, after trying out all these tools-- i simply either just write down whatever it is i am feeling and thinking, pour them all out in my journal (called "framing"), and then, after everything has been poured out, i write down my favorite affirmation at the time at least 10 times in my diary, over and over and over, until, my mind feels cleared, and i feel much better.

for so many months now, this has been my favorite affirmation--

God's wealth is circulating in our lives. God's wealth flows to us and through us in avalanches of Abundance. All our needs, desires and goals are instantaneously met, because we are One with God, and God is our Infinite and Abundant Supply, and God is Everything.

of course, it might not mean a thing or strike any chord for you, but it does for me. affirmations, to be most effective, have to be very personally meaningful. it helps, too, to research on what are the effective affirmations used by others out there, take the ones one likes, and refine them according to one's own special needs and resonances.

so far, i have used up 3 notebooks in 9 months' time, just doing these clarifying and affirming exercises.

2. getting into the habit of Gratitude, too, has been a major thing. in fact, even before i learned the techniques of clearing one's Mind, i first stumbled into the power of living life daily in a state of Gratitude. it not only helps one feel instantly better, it sets one's disposition automatically in alignment with an Abundance consciousness or mentality, instead of otherwise.

how can one ever feel poor when one recognizes so much to be grateful for?

this automatic "re-alignment" actually then aligns one's self in the pathway of blessings and Abundance. i've had it happen to me too many times already for it to be purely coincidental. whenever i thank God/the Universe/Life for what i have, what i've had, and especially even for what's coming, somehow, doors open where i never thought there were even doors! i meet people or am placed in circumstances where my way is just almost perfectly paved for me, even when i my self lack the material resources to secure them for my self.

i have experienced going to Manila and back, with only 80 pesos in my wallet, for instance.

and having our almost brand-new Vios, all fully paid for, given to me by my father whom i used to think was Mr. Scrooge personified, with no strings attached, when before the kids and i made do with a rickety almost 30-year-old car which kept conking out and leaving us stranded wherever, is a major miracle in my life!!! and what i remember most before the Vios came was that i've learned to accept it gracefully and even joyfully whenever the old car conked out, thanking God still that at least it was just our car conking out but that we were safe and healthy, and then thanking God too for the new replacement car coming our way!!! : D that last part actually became such a habit, it felt like some kind of private joke i shared with God already, every time the old car conked out. "thank you God, for the new replacement coming our way!!! (wink, wink!)" : D

3. part of growing into Abundance is developing an Abundance Mentality, instead of still catering to the usual poverty and scarcity mentality of our culture. whenever im asked by anybody, stranger or not, as long as i have the resources, i share whatever i can, and i give them freely, time, energies and/or money.

particularly with money, when i part with it, deep inside me i part with it willingly and freely, blessing the person receiving it from me, whether in the form of payment or alms. when someone overcharges me, or "steals" from me in some way, instead of cursing them and getting angry and self-righteous, i try to understand why they did what they did, sympathize with their needs, and bless them anyway. i figure, if they can't or won't pay me what's due me, i'll just charge it all to Heaven, which must surely pay me back, my cup overflowing.

i learned, too, to treat my self like the goddess that i am and that i deserved to be. this meant many shifts in thinking and behavior, like not eating my children's leftovers anymore (does a goddess ever eat leftovers???), learning to feel good and even finally revel in splurging on my self without guilt (why would a goddess scrimp on being good to her self???) and finally, learning to part with money graciously and happily, believing and trusting now that there's always more where that comes from, where this goddess comes from!!! : D

***

and yes, they work.

biblical, magical? maybe. but i have a strong suspicion now that it's just basically certain fundamental universal principles and laws, like the laws of physics and gravity.

Mind creates all. Imagination and Will choose what to create. Attitude and Emotions attract like matter, people and circumstances.

so choose well. think only of what you have chosen. and get into the spirit/habit/consciousness of the stuff what you have chosen is made of.

that is all.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

angel angst

somebody pointed out to me long ago how my role in life seems to be that of a "fiscalizer" (his term, although looking up the meaning now, i find that no such word exists; it is a Filipinized term that means "watchdog" or "monitor", so i guess he used the wrong word), saying how i seem to come in when all the rest of the world go out, to straighten out people's mess, and do a good job of going about it quietly and tenderly.

in my family, i am the most sensitive and the quietest one, and everyone turns to me for wisdom and comfort when the chips are down. unfortunately for me, it seems, im the most honest one too, so everyone tends to turn uneasy with me and shun me (temporarily), too, when they're bullshitting and i name their shit.

among friends and at work, it is the same. i usually get picked to do the job nobody wants (because it takes too much, and no known solution is in sight; because it is too complex; and/or because it is too messy), and i am able to turn the job into a source of admiration and envy for everyone in the end.

just last friday while in manila for a creative writing fellowship, and riding the taxi from quezon city to makati, the taxi driver poured out his life story and his pains to me, telling me of the double life he's lived for ten years now, how he had to leave his hometown because he killed somebody in defense of his gay brother, with the other life his wife and children now even knew nothing about! as i reached my destination, i could tell he was restraining himself from crying. i asked him for his name, his real name, not the alias his wife and children knows him by, and said his name and left him with a "God bless you", praying for the grace of God to bring him the healing that he sought. he bowed at my little blessing, and his countenance seemed much lighter, as i alighted from his taxi...

i've never seen it in my lovelife before, though, until now-- just now, after my love has finally revealed to me the state of his life and the source of his fears... and how he is afraid he will disappoint me and hurt me. : ( i am quick to cheer him up, of course, because i don't see it that way, and i encourage him to get his life back in shape, that i will always be his good friend, beyond and before anything else.

this just suddenly reminds me of the ex, though, and how, when he met me, his life was going downhill, too, and how, his marrying me, his trophy wife, somehow gave his life a semblance of stability and acceptability, that he initially worked to build on, but later lost the steam for, as old habits and character traits got the better of him, when bigger challenges came our way.

this reminds me, too, of the few romances i've had, with people who were at a "lost" point in their lives, drifting, aimless, and who, in one way or another, expressed to me how i provided them with the motivation to go on, to shape up....

the last big love (not a little romance at all) called me his "Angel", for essentially fulfilling the same role in his life, except that, for me, too, he also became my angel in many ways, healing old wounds and dark hurts.

now here is My Love, calling me "precious"... and i understand why, now, after his recent revelation.

it makes me wonder though, if i'm meant to be attracting these people to be an angel to them in their lives, or are there just basically a lot of broken-ness out there?

it makes me wonder, too, how, if im an angel to many people, who is my Angel to me, the one to salve all my deepest pains and save me from my darkest self?

so far, no one has filled that role for me, except my Higher Spirit, God, books, consistently all throughout my life. i count all i have come across with as my angels, too, in the sense that i have learned and grown much from being with them and loving (and even hating) them and being loved (and hated) by them, but they were never the angels in the way i seem to be to them, that of almost-saviour, light, guide, rescuer, lifeboat.

times like these, i feel so alone. always the giver, rarely the receiver... sigh.

...

or is this just telling me that maybe, it is now time for me to be so less self-contained and self-reliant, to learn to depend and let go and trust others more now, to relax into letting them take care of me too?

hmmm.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Paolo, again

Paolo joins me on the bed, where I'm on my tummy, writing on my diary.

I wish I had fairy godparents, ma!

"Why, honey?" I ask.

So I can wish for you and Papa to get back together again, and it'd come true!

"Ohhhhh, you wouldn't want to wish for that, darling. If it came true, we'd have no peace at home like we do now." I wink at him and smile.

He pauses for a moment, then declares--

Okay, I'm changing my wish then. I wish Papa was honest and loyal to you!

: O


Re-inspired

i just got back from that Creative Writing for Children Fellowship and my soul is full of new ideas and renewed inspiration for my dream!

They critiqued my manuscript on "My One-Boob Mamma" and there was quite a discussion on the ideas the story presented, but generally the feedback was affirming; one panelist even said that it is a courageous piece, hitting a deeply felt need rarely talked about, but handled very sensitively and delicately too.

They only wondered how the market will bear such a story, though. There were one or two suggestions for improvement, too, which basically had to deal with my tightening the language and the voice further to reflect the most appropriate age group the story was meant for (9-12 years old pre-puberty stage) instead of the too wide an age group my story draft seemed aimed for (3-6 and 6-9 and 9-12 years old). I am taking their suggestions to heart and will polish the story further for this year's Philippine Board of Books for Young People (PBBY) Salanga Prize.

More than anything else, though, beyond contests and prizes, what the Fellowship has done for me is that it has made me see my dream more clearly, and has inspired me further to go for it, no matter what.

To write stories that children from all over the world will love, stories that will heal and build, stories that these children will take with them as they grow on and grow up to make their own healing and building stories with their own lives.

That is all. : )

And that is enough, for me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Little One"

it's one of a staple of the Disney classics i regularly listen to these days, as its on a cd i continually play in the car while i drive. its the first Disney song i truly took to heart and has stayed with me since my girlhood and all throughout my adulthood so far.

in between (and even during some) short-lived crushes and romances, when i pined and still longed for that special Someone who was truly of my own heart and soul, i would play the song or-- if it wasn't readily available-- even sing or hum the song to my self, to comfort me, to keep my hopes up; to keep holding out for more, for something better, higher, finer, truer... even as the loneliness of feeling so alone in this world threatened to engulf me into despair.

but i only realized the meaning of the coincidence early this morning while driving the children to school, and i was thinking of M (again), and the song played, again...

Be brave little one
Make a wish for each sad litte tear
Hold your head up
Though no one is near
Someone's waiting for you
Don't cry little one
There'll be a smile where a frown used to be
You'll be part of the love that you see
Someone's waiting for you
Always keep a little prayer in your pocket
And you're sure to see the light
Soon there'll be joy and happiness
And your little world will be bright
Have faith little one
Till your hopes and your wishes come true
You must try to be brave little one
Someone's waiting to love you

"little one"... "little one"... "little one"!!!

why didn't i notice it sooner when it's been there all along???

it was the Universe's way of telling me, to sit up and pay full attention, to this special man in my life now: a heart's desire is finally being answered!!!

ohhhhhh... OHHHHHHHHHHH.

no wonder the first time M called me "little one", it felt like... coming home.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ebb Tides

there used to be a time when i would panic at the first sign of decrease... at the first signals of slackening... especially in close romantic relationships. i wanted all the highs without the lows... well, the lows too, but the emotional and dramatic kinds of lows, not the routine blah ones that normally accompany daily living and loving. i wanted the dance to last forever.

these days, though, i am learning to sensitively recognize and accept ebb tides gracefully, go with the flow and even ride them in peaceful, loving contemplation, welcoming the breathers, in fact, to temporarily withdraw and mend my own nets, nurture my own garden... knowing and trusting now that when the flood comes again, it can only be better, more transformative, deeper, bringing us even closer together.

these days, i find my self developing a wiser, more sober, more mature, but nonetheless even deeper kind of loving, the kind of loving that knows in time when to let go, and when to embrace, in tune, in step with the dance at last.

that psychological concept of the challenge between intimacy and independence that one must go through as a developmental task in adulthood; i think i am getting it right this time, balancing my and my loved one's needs for both, letting my self succumb to the natural rhythms without fear and anxiety now... well, there's still always that little feeling of dread and trepidation before the descent... but with more trust and grace and peacefulness and inner joy now.

i am also reminded now of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes' "Sleep of Trust" phase that she described in her book --

When lovers enter this state, they are surrendering to the forces within themselves, those that have trust, faith, and the profound power of innocence. In this spiritual sleep, the lover trusts that the works of his soul will be worked in him, that all will be as it should be. This lover sleeps the sleep of the wise instead of the wary.

His trust is not dependent on his lover not to hurt him. His is a trust that any wound that comes to him can be healed, a trust that new life follows old.

For love to thrive, the mate must trust that whatever will be, will be transformative.

this is where i am right now.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Relaxing Into Trust

it's a strange feeling-- relaxing, easing into TRUST, with a man now. it's a new feeling, a new way of being and behaving... and it takes some time getting used to, but i like it.

it is such a relief not having to keep all my fears and doubts and worries to my self, not having to second guess a man's every word or move, knowing that whatever it is that bothers me, i can just speak up and ask him about it, and he answers me promptly and straightforwardly, even to the point of being clumsily blunt, in his own lovable way, as if i were just his buddy. : ) and i am loving it!!!

i don't have to worry about whether he'd feel offended by my questions, or get mad even, or feel hurt that i don't trust him enough, because he has enough self-possession and self-confidence not to get shaken by my temporary losses of faith...

i don't have to second-guess his silences and his words, because he means what he says, and he says what he means, and i am learning to actually expect that now, instead of expecting to be stonewalled, ignored, or scolded and accused.

i don't have to hide with him, as everyone close to him in his life (his mom, his dad, his business partner, even his dad's Filipino employee, and his apartment tenant!) knows about me and is happy for him and me! of course, that goes the same for me and everyone close to me in my life too. : )

i can be my self, at last, and i can come out of hiding, as i was always meant to be, as i always deserved to be!

the more i heal into Trust again with my love, the more i realize how much i still needed a lot of healing, how the past has hurt and broken me so, and how it's time for me to stop licking my own wounds in the dark, but time now to expose it to the light, because the light is gentle and loving after all, not scorchingly diminishing....

if only for this, i thank God for M in my life now.

i am so still so awed, and humbled, at this Grace that has come upon me, at this time in my life.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Credo

i received this as a forwarded email from a good friend, and i thought id want to post it here for net posterity, as it also aptly describes what has been my attitude for a long time now in dealing with others, although my own "credo" only consists of four words: "Be honest. Be kind." : )

A Credo for My Relationship with Others

You and I are in a relationship which I value and want
to keep. We are also two separate persons with our own
individual values and needs.

So that we will better know and understand what each
of us values and needs, let us always be open and
honest in our communication.

When you are experiencing a problem in your life, I
will try to listen with genuine acceptance and
understanding in order to help you find your own
solutions rather than imposing mine. And I want you to
be a listener for me when I need to find solutions to
my problems.

At those times when your behavior interferes with what
I must do to get my own needs met, I will tell you
openly and honestly how your behavior affects me,
trusting that you respect my needs and feelings enough
to try to change the behavior that is unacceptable to
me. Also, whenever some behavior of mine is
unacceptable to you, I hope you will tell me openly
and honestly so I can try to change my behavior.

And when we experience conflicts in our relationship,
let us agree to resolve each conflict without either
of us resorting to the use of power to win at the
expense of the other's losing. I respect your needs,
but I also must respect my own. So let us always
strive to search for a solution that will be
acceptable to both of us. Your needs will be met, and
so will mine; neither will lose, both will win.

In this way, you can continue to develop as a person
through satisfying your needs, and so can I. Thus,
ours can be a healthy relationship in which both of us
can strive to become what we are capable of being. And
we can continue to relate to each other with mutual
respect, love and peace.

Dr. Thomas Gordon

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good News

i just received an email from my publisher, Adarna House, who co-sponsors a creative writing workshop for children's literature with the Ateneo Institute of Literary Arts and Practices (AILAP), that i am among 9 fellows selected for the 5th Barlaya workshop grant i applied for some weeks ago!!!

there's still some concerns to smooth out with transportation and accommodation costs, though, but i trust that the Universe/God will provide, and/or pave the way for me.

life is sweet. suddenly, all my heart's desires are just manifesting, like rosebuds coming to full bloom now!!!

God is good. Life is good. the travails of the past are all worth it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Our New Bea

our 6-year-old not-so-little Bea exploded into reading yesterday! : D

i woke up to find her beside me in bed, on her tummy, reading from the novel i have been reading!

she read aloud and slowly, of course, but gone is the torture.

she used to be able to read only 3-letter one-syllable words, and it frustrated her so whenever there were instructions in a game she was following on the Net, or in her activity book, that she had to ask help with from me, her older sister Thea and older brother Paolo.

well, yesterday, she was a dynamo, reading from any and all she could see and get her hands on--by their little book shelf, picking out her favorite bedtime stories again, by my big bookshelf reading out the titles from my collection, by the tv, watching out for text on the screen.

and she isn't even on first grade level yet!!!

'times like these, when your child breaks into a barrier and explodes into a new level of who she is-- i feel so blessed to have been given the honor to midwife and witness such births.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Terms of Endearment, Terms of Engagement

so now that we've settled more comfortably into our "L" words, it's on to another set of challenges.

he calls me "little one", while i call him "love"... but somehow, i know, it is also as much a part of habit as of feeling now.

i have never been called "little", even as a kid. i have always been taller for my age, and when grown, fairer and more voluptous and leggy than the average Filipina. so, i kind of feel awkward and embarassed when he calls me his "little one", like receiving an undeserved accolade... or a term of endearment not really meant for me. : (

i am not guiltless my self, as my using the term "love" is so easy and natural now, an old habit with a former love that is hard to break, not that i would want to break it even, as this former love was a good person (a break from the old pattern in fact!), it's just that our path together just had to end...

so we'll grow into our own terms of endearment, as we get to know each other better, and work on merging our plans and lives together, bit by bit, each moment, each day.

it just amazes me, though, how i've never noticed, much less been aware, of things like these before!!!

every thing feels so shiny and new and bright and fresh, 'feels like the first time all over again, feeling 17 all over again!!!

(blushing but smiling so, too... )

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Acts of Faith, and Miracles

i remember a line from the film, Under the Tuscan Sun-- "if you build the house, the occupants will come" -- which was similar to another line in the film, Field of Dreams -- "if you build the (baseball) diamond, the players will come"-- or something to that effect, and i marvel at how true they are in my life now.

a year and a half ago, i decided to stop "playing around" with short-term flings and little romances, because even if they were fun adventures, they were not doing any good to my mental, emotional and even physical health in the long run, with the risks i were taking. ive learned what i had to learn, i figured, "sowed my oats", so to speak, and so i thought it was time for me to settle down into my self, and give to me the loving that i sought elsewhere but never seemed to get, just love me and give to me and pamper me as i deserved, at last.

and so it went that as i got used to loving me just as i am, i met friends -- men and women -- who were also more of the giving types, not the taker types i used to be surrounded with before. and their friendships and nurturing further bolstered my sense of value, of feeling more deserving of true and good loving just as i am, without my having to do anything else to earn it or to pay for it.

a little over two months ago, i was introduced by an old college friend to a man whom i connected with so deeply and so soon, it brought that old girlhood dream and mantra... "soulmate"... back to life for me again.

im taking it slow this time, though... making sure i do it right this time. and surprisingly for me (i have been with men before who just pushed and rushed and insisted, never mind what i wanted or how i felt about things), he respects it and abides by it. our friendship's developing beautifully; he is like the amalgamation of all the other friends ive had over the past year and a half. he has introduced me to his mom, and his mom and i hit it off quick too. : ) he told me one time how "bizaare" his feelings for me are-- "i cannot imagine life without you in it, and yet you have just arrived in it!"

what never ceases to amaze me is, in addition to the fact of our quick and deep connection, his life circumstances are in such a way that they fit mine, and mine his, supporting each other's dreams, filling each other's little lacks.... oohhh, almost like a perfect fit. bizaare, indeed. one example is even before i met him, i resolved to my self that i will take a leave of absence from my day job by next schoolyear, to create space for my heart's true desires-- writing and reading and maybe even more travelling through the family business and my burgeoning speaking career. now, here comes a man who is not only very passionate about reading and writing (and his mom and only sister are writers too!) but a world traveler too, who is seeking to settle down at last yet still also wants to introduce me and my little ones to the places he has been! i still secretly glow from his solemn promise-- "someday, we will all travel, including your little treasures." : ) : ) : )

of course, one side of me says maybe it is still too early to know for sure, that time will tell. but so far, things have been growing beautifully, everyday miracles manifesting.

if not for anything else, what i love (we haven't spoken that L word yet...so hush...) most about this man is that he makes me laugh. even when he complains and rants about his day, without his meaning to, they always come out funny, and he just makes me laugh, and feel warm all over. i could live with someone who makes me laugh, no matter what, for the rest of my life!

: D

***

oohh, God, help me be worthy; God help me do it right this time!

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Thea

ohhhh....

Thea posted in her Friendster blog how she had a dream (more like a nightmare) about me dying in a plane crash... : (

what could it mean?

... and it's strange how i also dreamt last night, while in my Iloilo Punta Villa hotel room, of the ex's taking my car while i was away...

: ( : ( : (

Through the Glass Wall

now, i know, i can handle an audience of 1700 teen-agers fine. : )

it was grand.

thank You, God! thank You, Holy Spirit! thank you, Universe!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

1700 (!)

it is only 501 am here but i am suddenly starting to hyperventilate.

i am about to speak to a congress of young student leaders in Iloilo City today on media literacy and an introduction to peace journalism. rough initial estimates given previously were that the delegates, composed of mostly 12- to 14-year old students, numbered around 800.

i just opened my cellphone now to get a message from my colleague that as of last night, confirmed attendance is 1700!

***

how do you speak to a throng of 12- to 14-year-olds, in the unholy siesta hours of 1-3pm today, on a very significant topic, and who number 1700, all at one time????!!!!

***

oh my God, i need not only all my knowledge, public speaking skills, and wits about me today, but your Divine Grace, Guidance and Protection, to be able to pull this whole thing off successfully!!!

by successful, i mean--

1. a quiet and attentive audience
2. their eager and thoughtful participation in the questionning and discussion and workshop portions
3. and their getting the essence of the presentation-- which is how leaders need to be themselves self-aware, literate and empowered in allowing how media influences their minds, their thinking, their decisions, their attitudes, their behaviors, and those whom they are tasked to lead.

oh, God, help!!!

Holy Spirit, be with us today, especially at that crucial time between 1-3pm.

***

was this how Jesus must have felt too, when he saw the crowd, gathered to hear what he had to say?

oh, God, help us all!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

life is rich

the kids (including their cousin Redd) and i just finished washing the car, after a series of little debates on who gets to pour the car shampoo and wax into the pail of water, who gets to sponge this part and who gets to sponge that part, who gets to wipe with the special chamois cloth, who gets to brush the rugs, and even who gets to wipe the vinyl interiors with Armor All, amidst lots of splashing and hosing each other down. : )

as thea and i were temporarily left on our own working on the car because the three little ones ran back inside to eat and watch tv for a break, thea asked me to watch the vcd she borrowed and already watched this morning, Chocolat, again with her tonight. i asked her why, does she think i'd like it? she grinned and said, "the main female character reminded me of you, ma."

i glowed inside and smiled in the dark while i asked, "why is that so?"

thea said, "this lady, she's the only one in their smallminded village who doesn't have any guilt about eating chocolate!" : )

and we both knew she meant more than chocolate. ; >

*****

i am reminded now of the vision of paolo yesterday morning. it was the last schoolday of the week, but when i woke paolo up along with his sisters, he asked to be absent as he was feeling tired. no problem.

so i took the two girls to school.

as i only had one exam at 930am yet, i went back home after bringing the girls to school.

i found paolo in the bedroom, jumping on the bed, then rolling on it, hugging his pillows, then standing up again and jumping and spreading his arms wide, yelling, "woooooooooo, life is rich!!!"

i was brushing my hair by the dresser and i smiled at his unbridled joy, while i asked him why he said that.

"Manang (his older sister) isn't here to boss me around, Bea isn't here to whine, I can play with the computers and the Playstation and the pets all I like, eat and drink all I like, and I'm with you!!!"

awwwwwwww!!! that's my boy. : )

*****

life is rich, indeed. : ) : ) : )

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Remember Who You Are

i just got this from a free Silva Ultramind newsletter i subscribe to, and i felt warmed by the serendipity; just in time when ive been feeling beseiged the other day (yesterday was magical though; but i will post about that separately) and i almost forgot what it's all, what i am, about--

The Little Soul and The Sun

Friday, July 14, 2006

riding the waves

it's been a long day, and im exhausted and spent, but i am also proud of my self.

it was bad enough that paolo and i were woken up at midnight last night by a large SLAM! we thought it was the maid accidentally slamming one door harder than usual as she locked the doors; we found out it was the water tank, which had imploded from the underground pressure.. : (

i quickly computed how much that would mean to replace it, and started feeling down, but i resolved to my self that id sleep it off for the night and think about it in the morning. i also tried to look at the bright side-- at least it imploded, not exploded; and it happened when we were all safely inside the house, and not when somebody was outside doing laundry or washing near where the water tank is.

early morning, i woke up at 630am already, when id usually wake up at 4am, feeling groggy and disturbed. i dreamt a very sexual dream, where an old younger lover was nuzzling my neck in a tender way and just embracing me, but i felt the fever in the dream, and woke up feeling very hot and feverish.. and quite disoriented.

i had to push my self to rise and wake the kids up and bring them to school, in 30 minutes. at the same time, my mind was zooming again, multitasking, multithinking, even as i instructed the maid to get one of the male guards of our subdivision whom we usually call for repairs, and ask him to bring us water using his bike and sidecar. when the guy came, we asked him if he knew anybody who could fix our water problem, and thankfully , he said that he has a cousin who runs a plumbing business.

i brought the kids to school and rushed back home, on the way withdrawing the last of my peso savings, in anticipation of the huge cash outlay for the water system repair. when i got home, i changed into business clothes even as i waited for the plumbers, and did business emails and prepared the files for the business errands i had to do this morning before 9am, when i also had to attend an entrepreneurship and exporting seminar for the family business.

soon enough, the plumbers came. they checked out the repair job to be done and gave me their quotes-- 5000 pesos for the service and around 3000 pesos for the GI sheet water tank (6000 pesos if i wanted stainless steel). i managed to bargain for the service fee to 4500, and just decided on the GI water tank instead. even as i closed the deal, i was thinking, "there goes my phone bill payment" even as my mind whirred, sorting through my resources and where i could generate the rest of the funds to pay for the repairs.

after the deal was settled, i rushed to the housing loan office and remembered that i could still renew an old multi-purpose loan ive been paying off, if i wanted to, and so i inquired about the renewal process, just in case. at the same time, i texted my brother if i could borrow 10000 pesos, and he promptly texted back for me to come pick it up at noon.

i had my Euro savings from the peace project of course, but i didnt want to touch that, ever.

in the seminar, even as i listened to the very enlightening talks, i texted my students and managed their concerns from afar.

by noontime, i went to papa's and was pleasantly surprised that the 10k cheque was issued by him, for me.

my sister was there too, with her husband, and youngest child, and they said they were waiting for me to have lunch with them, but i declined, telling them i had "free" lunch already at the seminar, and that i had to go to quickly encash the cheque before the bank closed at 3pm.

before i went, papa mentioned how he had this rich Chinese friend who's the major owner of one of our local papers now and how his friend wanted me to maybe manage the local paper, even as he wanted my sister to manage one local tv channel he also owns.

i smiled at papa's attempts to set me up financially, in fields that utilize my innate gifts, respecting my talents at last. i just said yes, i was willing to listen to the offer but i had to go to the bank now.

i quickly encashed the check, went back home to pay off the plumbers, who had, by now, finished the job successfully.

after settling matters with them, i went back to the seminar, at the same time texting a student in school to please help me inform one of the bosses that i couldn't attend a late afternoon meeting after all.

after the seminar, i went back to school to still pick up thea and paolo (bea absented herself today), even as i went into another meeting with an old friend and colleague whom i promised to help out with her training modules.

on the way home, we stopped by the mall for bea's pizza (she kept calling us from home, reminding us of her pizza and asking why it was taking us so long to get home), paolo's pad paper, and thea's special hair accessories for her Spirit Night tomorrow night.

now, i am here, winding down, waiting for the muscle twitches and soreness all over my body to be relieved before i go for my shower, as i sort out my thoughts and feelings from a loooooooong, beseiging day, even as i was suddenly feeling very lonesome, and alone, missing something, someone i had chosen not to be with anymore, for very good and very right reasons... : (

i think i did very well, today, riding the waves as they came, not wasting time anymore on needless worrying. anxiety-chewing and feeling sorry for my self, but just going on ahead anyway, doing what needed to be done, thinking on my wits, and still retaining a pleasant, cheerful manner.

so far, at the end of this grueling day, my chin is still above water.

and for that alone, i congratulate me.

ooohhhhh HUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGSSSS to me, my dear heart.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

going back home

i am going to church again today, my second since last sunday when i felt compelled to go back, not because of any external pressure, but more of an inner need to refill my thirst for something deeper, higher.

the first time i went back to hearing mass again last sunday, i cried even as i thought to my self, "with God's help and Grace, i want to do it right this time."

it was a welcome, healing cry, and i felt mended, more whole afterwards.

so im going back there again today.

i told the kids last night and invited them to come along. paolo said he didnt want to go but the two girls said they'll come with me.

they stayed up late last night, though, and right now, they're still blissfully asleep.

i hate to wake them up.

birds are singing outside, and it is very quiet here, just me and my thoughts.

mama gently chides me for not being more of a regular churchgoer, and i keep resisting, although inwardly, i smile. God knows ive fulfilled my share of churchgoing for three lifetimes the year i was 17, when i passionately wanted to be a nun, and i went to church every day, sometimes, even twice a day, for more than a year or so! : )

she accuses me of being too much of a freethinker and a freespirit, an "activist" as she calls it (the way she says it makes "activist" sound like a cuss word...), but in my heart, i know-- i am as Catholic as probably even the most devout are.

i know my Church history and tradition and understand its failings even as it struggles to fulfill its role in this world. all through my teen years, when most other girls went crazy over clothes and makeup and boys, i steeped my self in reading the lives of the saints and Papal encyclicals and studying the Bible and thinking and writing about life and the spirit (even if i went crazy over one particular boy, from afar : > ) ... my God kept me company in a most intimate way, and sustained me for the trials and challenges of life then and afterwards...

oh no, ma, i could never really turn my back on what i was weaned on early in life, thanks to you and Mommy (my maternal grandma). : )

so im going back home again, today.

by God, with God, i want to make it right this time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

the labyrinth

i think i know now what my dream (post below) was talking about...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

labyrinthine dreams

i've been having disturbing dreams lately, ones i can barely recall when i wake up, but which leave me feeling tired and troubled.

since in my teens when i used to keep a dream journal, i can usually remember my dreams, in enough detail for me to make sense of them in terms of self-interpretation.

but lately, the dreams ive been having were dark, confused and troubled dreams.

i can't escape from them either, as i have them even while napping during midday... : (

today, at least, i can remember dreaming of being in a big house (hotel?) with many rooms connected to each other in dark, labyrinthine passages. somebody was chasing me and i was desperate to escape.

towards the end of my dream, i met a group of my students who were preparing for a gig in some room. i asked them which was the way out, and they looked at me and smiled, as if ive asked a very stupid question.

one student told me, "miss, you created this whole thing yourself, so you can uncreate it too."

and then i woke up.

Friday, June 23, 2006

What Are Eyebrows For?

Bea asked me this question last night, as she was looking up at me while digging into her cheeseburger, and it confounded me no end.

I just Google-searched for an answer and I was led to this site's answer--

Scientists aren't entirely sure why we kept this hair, but they have a pretty good guess. We know that eyebrows help keep moisture out of our eyes when we sweat or walk around in the rain. The arch shape diverts the rain or sweat around to the sides of our face, keeping our eyes relatively dry. The most obvious advantage of this is that it lets us see clearly when we're sweating a lot or out in the rain. Without eyebrows, getting around in these conditions is a little more difficult. The shape of your brow itself diverts a certain amount of moisture, but eyebrows make a significant difference in your ability to see. Diverting the sweat away is also good because the salt in sweat irritates the eyes, making them sting a little.

There are a number of ways these qualities might have helped early man survive. Being able to see more clearly in the rain could certainly help you find shelter, and there are several circumstances when keeping the sweat out of your eyes could save your life. If you were trying to outrun a predator, for example, it's a good bet there would be a lot sweat running down your face. If all that sweat flowed right down into your eyes, you wouldn't be able to see that well, and your eyes would be irritated, which would certainly impair your ability to escape! Because of this slight survival advantage, nature would most likely select for humans with eyebrows over humans without eyebrows.

hmmm... interesting answers. i see a link below it on the question: "Why is the hair on your arm short but the hair on your head long?"

: D : D : D

thank God for the Internet!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

everyday choices

as of last night, i was still trying to convince little Bea, who's turning 6 tomorrow, that instead of the Palmas del Mar Beach Club weekend treat we'll have for her birthday, we'll have an overnight hotel stay and circus show treat in Iloilo sometime in the first week of July, when i'm supposed to bring them all to the Iloilo regional office of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs to present them for their passports anyway.

Bea mainly doesn't want to go because her memories of Iloilo on our way to and back from Boracay last year was that it was the place where she started throwing up as we traveled by boat, then by van, then by boat again.

***

yesterday, the maid shared with me our weekend laundrywoman's problem with her ten(or eleven?)-year-old grandchild who has run away from home.

our laundrywoman was widowed around two years ago, but is now left with more burdens, caring for her grandchildren who have been neglected by their parents. her daughter, who married a drug addict, has left their home to live with a much older widower and is now pregnant by him. the daughter's four very young children, are left alone at home with their abusive father, and so our laundrywoman has decided to take the two younger girls in even as she keeps watch over the two older boys. the girls go to the local public school while the boys have stopped going to school.

last week, the eldest boy ran away because our laundrywoman's other married daughter, the boy's aunt, scolded the boy for sleeping off instead of running errands for her. apparently, the boy talked back and the aunt not only verbally, but even physically lashed him. so the boy ran away.

their neighbors say that they have found the boy at our nearby Libertad Market, begging for alms and sleeping on the sidewalks, but who would quickly run away when he saw them coming. one neighbor caught up with him and asked him to come home with her but he refused. he said he'd rather live on the streets than continue being whipped at home.

i felt sorry for the boy, and his grandmother. i actually grew up in Libertad Market, because we had a store there, and we lived on the mezzanine floor. i saw and heard all the horror stories of street life and how our other market childhood friends easily turned prey to drugs and thievery, and later on, even prostitution.

i am glad now that we had the very strict parents we have. papa and mama refused to let us play too much with the market kids, but instead forced us to stay cooped up in the mezzanine floor reading books, or, if we came down to the store, helping out at the store, even while other kids played.

anyway, i felt heartbroken for the boy, mostly. i know what market and street life can do.

so, despite all head logic (what will it do to my budget??? what will it do to our existing easy and comfortable household set-up now???) i went ahead anyway and told the maid to tell the laundrywoman the next time she comes over, to look for her grandson in the market, and to bring him home, here, to my home with my own kids.

i said i can't promise to pay him as we actually didn't have work for him and i didn't have the extra budget too, but he has a safe, comfortable roof over his head and food to eat. in return, he can assist the maid in little everyday chores.

i also asked the maid to tell the laundrywoman to show me his last school report card. i said i will see... maybe we can help him go to school again, even at this late hour, despite my tight budget.

the kids and i have been so blessed. it's the least we can do to pass it on, to pay it forward.

still, i balk at the commitment my heart has just made for me.

it's really not about the added financial demands; i know by now, from experience, that somehow, we will all be taken care of anyway. that we will be okay.

it's more about the call to love... the call to give more of my self, my patience, my understanding, my nurturing... the challenge to pour out more... can i handle it? am i worthy? or have i just stretched my self too thin?

my head still protests, but my heart seems to be winning more now.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Heart

a good friend who's younger than i, intelligent and pretty, and who married a rich and attractive young businessman commented to me yesterday in what seemed to me like an envious and longing tone on how i look reborn these days, in my element, making things happen in my life in ways that delight me endlessly, while she is stuck with too many things to do but ends up tired and listless and lifeless anyway.

she was talking to me, and yet, she was not talking to me... more like to herself, not knowing what to do with herself.

i kidded her about following her heart, and she said she doesn't even know where her heart is now. : (

this article i just got from Beliefnet today reminds me of our conversation yesterday; maybe i'll send it to her, maybe not (i don't want her to feel imposed on)... but there are parts (ive highlighted them) in this article that resonates deeply for me, and i guess, in many ways, this describes well where im at in my life now...

***

More Heart than Talent by Jeffery Combs (Part 2)

When stepping out of what is perceived to be comfortable, it is often uncomfortable in the beginning. These early tests are where you really get to learn and grow from adversity and to gain insights and wisdom to the causes and effects that stop "want to be success seekers". When we are being tested is typically when we are about to learn our greatest lesson.

Heart can be looked at medically through microscopes and surgery, but cannot be measured by typical eyesight. Heart is about feelings and emotions rather than thinking and contemplating. This means being outside of yourself, your head, your ego, and being inside your heart and loving the process, the evolution of change. Having heart means being able to take any ball in life and saying, "Follow me! I don't know how we are going to get there, but we are. Just give me the ball." Heart is what separates the average from the exceptional.

Heart is what separates the average from the exceptional and I have learned in life that heart beats talent every time. Show me a man or woman with heart and I'll show you a way to overcome someone else's talent. We all have talent, talent on loan from God, more talent than humanly possible. That guy or that woman has so much talent it's unbelievable. Look how much talent he or she has. They are loaded with talent. These are all statements that refer to how much potential a man or a woman may have. We all have this; it's God-given. Unfortunately, not many people really get outside their talent, instead they hide behind it and they stay in it. They stay in their ego; afraid to reach their human potential; afraid to risk and be vulnerable; afraid to become the person they really deserve to be.

Now, "deserve" is a very interesting word and it is a word that keeps many people from becoming who they really could be. What the word deserve references in Latin is "de servire" which means day of service. When you have self-esteem issues or don't feel good enough, you send a telepathic mixed message in a business situation or in life that says things such as, "Please join me, but don't follow me because I can't lead you." Or "Please reject me, because I'm not lovable." Or "Don't go out on a date with me because I wouldn't want to be on a date with me either." Or "Please send me money, but don't send me money because I'm not comfortable with it. I have an emotional resistance and I want to keep it away because I don't deserve it. I was born on the wrong side of the tracks."

This is how many people stay in their talent, afraid to take a risk. Any kind of success is going to involve risks and average people resist taking risks because they believe that they have to stay comfortable. The average person's comfort zone is really a miserable zone and you have to get uncomfortable, you have to get out of the box, you have to be moving into the present to become the person you deserve to be. This is where you're going to have to take some risks. This doesn't mean you jump off the Brooklyn Bridge on a dare, but start to take a bigger calculated risk than you've typically been comfortable with. This is when you really begin to stretch and grow and become the person that you really are. Risk is really a perception. And sometimes the biggest risk is not taking one.

Changing isn't nearly as difficult as you perceive. You already are a brilliant person, you're a masterpiece in progress, and you have the ability to design your life rather than make a living. The people who stay in their talent stay in their safety zone. They're not excelling; they're being stuck, procrastinating, using money as an excuse, and using perfection as an excuse. When your excuse becomes believable to you and you become the excuse, constant reminders of how talented you are don't help much.

Stepping Outside Your Talent

Now, let's take a look at what it's like to get out of your talent and some of the feelings that we have when we truly take this step. Being outside of your talent is the hands-free zone; it's a state of flow; it's a relaxed state of consciousness; it's playing like a child.

People ask me all the time, "How do I get into flow?" A better question is, "Why do you ever get out of it once you're in it?" I ask people to smile and laugh. When you see anyone who is laughing, they are in a state of flow. They don't have to try to be in flow.

The average person spends too much time trying to achieve, rather than just being. If you're being, you're in the moment, you're in the now and that's where you can really tap into your heart consciousness. This is the highest level of consciousness where you really attract the people, situations and opportunities that you are seeking. When you are outside of your talent, you are who you really are. You're riding a bicycle with no hands. Success becomes you and it comes to you rather than you chasing it.

Being out of your talent is when you are present; then you unleash your full potential. You begin to transmit, telepathically, your thought waves through the universe from a position of peace. It means you love who you are so you can love what you're becoming and doing. What you do becomes a game rather than a job. You develop touch, finesse, you glide, people want to touch you, be with you, become you, you become what is called a people magnet. You vibrate from a level that says, "I'm very comfortable with who I am and who I'm becoming."

***

how did i get here?

i don't exactly know, my self, about the exact formula; i guess the formula is different for each human being... but a good starting point was following my heart-- coming to a place in my life where intellect was not working for me anymore, neither was talent, or beauty; in fact, they were working against me, causing me to let my self be used (abused?!) and detoured into so many actitivites and projects and dreams that were not really mine, that did not really resonate with me deep down... so there was nothing left except to follow my heart at last, to just let go and take the wild bungee-jump and rollercoaster journey of following my heart, no matter what.

that's when life happened.

that's how Life finally happened.