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 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?


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


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