Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Honeymoon's Over?

At some point in time, all romantic relationships wind down a little, and it signifies what people call the end of the ‘honeymoon period’. The undying urge to see each other, be with each other and talk for hours has diminished. And both parties are supposed to take comfort in knowing that while all things are reduced, it does not signify a deterioration of the relationship.

But sometimes, we have an issue of onlookers and some people with ‘well-intentions’ offering you feedback. Feedback like, “Oh, the first 6 months are supposed to be the sweetest.” Or even, “You boyfriend should do this for you still. It’s too soon to wanna stop.” While they were indeed sincerely giving well-meant opinions based on their experiences, we gotta remember the key word will always be “their experiences”. When these words stir up insecurities within you, you have got to remember that, it’s all about their experiences, and nothing to do with what you are experiencing.

Each relationship has a different speed of development, whether it is due to the characters of the couple, or circumstances. Hence, never judge this relationship in relation to other relationships. Sit down and think about the way your relationship had developed, and remind yourself of all the milestones you have achieved together so far. But in any case, the best thing you can do is to discuss it.

Sometimes, this happens when either party has become burnt out, and needs to reduce efforts. Sometimes it happens because either party has gotten comfortable enough to not require so much contact to feel involved in the relationship. Whatever the reason is, it will be good to discuss the situation and assure the more active party that the relationship is not deteriorating. While contact may have been reduced, it doesn’t mean they are not being thought of or cared about. Try to come to a middle ground or even discuss how the active party can be helped to be transitioned into a ‘slow-down’ state. Once this effort is made, the situation will have a chance of calming down and the relationship can proceed in peace.

To assume, is one of human’s most common mistakes. When you assume the other person understands, or even they know you still care for or love them, it’s creating opportunity for misunderstanding to occur. I'd like to call it, 'assumption begets assumption'. If you assume they know you care, they may assume you don't really care. So some things do need to be said. For the sake of clarity and making sure all bases are covered, you need to be vocal about it so that the other party will have no chance to feel insecure by a sudden or even gradual change in your attitude.

While each person is ultimately responsible for handling their own insecurities, we should still do our best to help the person we love or care for to feel better so that they can be encouraged to overcome it. This is by no means coddling the person. Encouragement is the best thing you can give anyone feeling negative. They are seeds to help a person start growing positive thoughts.

Open, honest and willing communication can solve a lot of problems. So if we take the time to air our feelings in an honest and caring manner, we would eventually come to understand each other better, and allow the relationship to grow :)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Slow in the Mornings

I’ve had this problem for years, and I’ve always concluded that I wasn’t a ‘morning person’. But there was one thing I have begun to notice in recent times. The earlier I got up, the easier it was to just ‘get up and go’. The longer I lay there on the bed, snoozing, or the later the hour I had to actually wake up, it gets harder to actually open my eyes and get off my comfy bed.

I don’t know if you have the same symptoms. Heavy head, aching body or perhaps some regular ailment you’ve always had; in my case, acid reflux. These things give us reasons, or perhaps if you want to be a little more forthright, excuses to just lie back, and keep snoozing. Another 5 minutes, another 10 minutes, another 15 minutes, and you realise you’re late :) I’ve always envied people who could just sit up and get off the bed the moment their alarm clock sounded, but I realised, it wasn’t that these people didn’t feel tired or aching, they’ve just made it a good habit to ‘get up and go’.

Yes… it’s a habit; one that we all need to form in slow succession. It doesn’t come naturally like breathing or needing a drink of water. We need to actually train ourselves to stop being… lazy. Haha! So what have I been doing to cure myself of this?

First thing I needed to resolve was my acid reflux problem. Somehow, this problem requires a mind over matter approach, and also some actions. Every night, I tell myself that I don’t have a problem, and I’m going to wake up feeling good. After 2-3 nights, lo and behold, it seemed to have worked. Second thing was actually a tip from my colleague… coffee in the morning is too acidic for my stomach. To be honest, I have been too addicted to coffee to stop having coffee with my breakfast, but after being reminded by my colleague, I decided it’s time to take better care of myself. I can still have coffee, just not in the mornings. So guess what? Acid reflux is now pretty much gone. So what is it that I have learnt? My problem was a result of a habit that I had refused to eliminate. Now that the habit was gone, the problem was diminishing. One down!

Alright! Next comes the problem with aching body or heavy head, probably from restless sleep or perhaps a strenuous workout from the day before? The second would be a pretty valid reason, but the first one, well, is an excuse. Yes, I will call it as it is now, even if I do experience it myself. It’s an excuse. I have learned that the moment you roll off that bed and get moving, the heavy head is going to lighten, and all those aches will eventually be forgotten.

One way I tried to motivate myself was:
‘If I woke up earlier, I could get ready leisurely.’

I don’t even have to look at the clock and just went about my routine and I would walk out of my home on time, unhurried, and not forget anything. So these days, I allow myself a small snooze still, but I would wake up, stick my mobile phone in the handbag (so I wouldn’t forget it when I left home), and start to get ready, without bothering to watch the time. Because I knew that if I had woken up on time, I would have ample time to get ready at a comfortable pace :) This has resulted in a very enjoyable process of getting ready for work.

Of course, if you want to work further backwards, you’d also have to make sure you go to bed on time and etc. But that’s another habit we shall examine at a later time.

Learning to be a ‘morning person’ is pretty much like making the effort to start working out for the first time or making the effort to learn a new skill. The first step matters a lot and every day after, you try again and again until you finally get comfortable with it. And when you do, you will find yourself bounding onto your feet in the mornings, even on a weekend! :P Yep... it will affect you so profoundly that you would even lose the urge to sleep in on weekends. Haha!

So, the truth is, we could really all not be a ‘morning person’, but we can all definitely learn to begin our day with more commitment and less laziness. In his article, The First 10 Minutes, Dr. Paul Osteen said that behavioural scientists have discovered that the first ten minutes of each day can set the course of your entire day. So, will you commit yourself to having a good start each morning so that you can start expecting an awesome day ahead? I’ve begun to see the benefits of it, and I am sure you will too! ^_^

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Making Peace with Your Past

I am sure that many of us have past mistakes or past hurts, and I don’t think it would be presumptuous of me to say that most of us try to ‘forget’ about it and move on, when all we actually do is suppress the incident, and try to walk forward. However, like an iron ball and chain, from time to time, we are reminded that we’re not getting too far, because we are ‘suddenly reminded’ of the incidents. At that point, we would replay the whole scene in our heads, relive the hurt, the pain, the humiliation that came with it, and allow ourselves to feel miserable for that moment or sometimes, for a longer time than we should. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Referring back to my previous post on forgiveness; Yes, sometimes there really isn’t anything to forgive, but most of the time, we revisit the past because we have not, so to speak, recovered from it. It still angers us when we think of how this person betrayed us. It still annoys us when we remember a foolish thing we had done. It still saddens us when we remember a loss, be it a person, object or perhaps a dream. But there is one thing we can all start doing to enable ourselves to let go much more easily. So the question I pose now is, “Are you ready to really let go of your past?”

Yes, that person hurt you. Call it bad judgement on your part or perhaps that person was really just lowly scum. Just sit down one last time, and think about how everything happened. Take note of the key points and learn from them. Then, tell yourself that it was a mistake, and mistakes happen, and that you will not make the same mistake again. But still, there is no reason to believe that everyone else will be out to hurt you. Have faith that you just happened to meet one bad person. That one bad person does not represent the entire human race.

Yes, you made a mistake. Call it momentary stupidity or perhaps you weren’t as alert as you should’ve been on that day. But no one is perfect, right? We have our different levels of ‘being our best’ each day, and that happened to be your best that day. Stop dwelling on it! I bet no one actually remembers that you even made that mistake. In any case, people are more interested in fresh humiliation. As soon as someone else makes a mistake, your mistake will be forgotten ;)

Sure, you missed a boat, lost your dream. Call it lack of determination or even bad luck. Do your dreams and goals end here? No they don’t! Find new ways to achieve them. If you can’t get exactly what you want anymore, ask yourself how you would be willing to settle, and start planning how to get there. It’s really how flexible you wanna be in the quest to make yourself feel happy and fulfilled.

Yes, you lost someone you love. It could be through death, or perhaps the person walked out of your life. But know that a person who passed on would want you to continue living happy and healthy, while a person who walked out on you couldn’t care less anymore. In either situation, you have a choice; be happy or be miserable. If you choose to be happy, the person who passed on will definitely be happy for you. As for that person who walked out on you… you’re showing that person you’re better off without him/her.

So what is the gist of it all? We all need to be honest about what happened, review it and let it go for real. Apologise if you need to, forgive if you need to, write it out and recount all the details, then tell yourself it has truly passed and you’re on your way to a new life. Don’t stick it in a shoebox in your closet and peek into it every now and then. Stick it in a shoebox, and throw it out! The sooner we get rid of negative emotional burdens, the lighter we feel, and the faster we are able to head out into a more promising future.

So do yourself a favour today, and choose to make peace with the past, then move on. Once you do, I am sure you will feel like you’ve just hit the ‘reboot’ button on your life and given it a fresh start :)

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Faith vs Fear

I never knew how debilitating fear was, until I took a good look at how it has affected my life. I grew up in fear, and I am pretty sure most of us did to…

Fear that my parents would be displeased with me or punish me.
Fear of ghosts, and all things scary.
Fear I would not pass my exams.
Fear I will not have a good career.
Fear I will not find a good husband.
Fear I wasn’t attractive or intelligent enough.
Fear of being alone.
Fear of death.

All these things, one way or the other, have been dictating the way I lived life. They made me so insecure and fearful that I have lived life without conviction and confidence. People have always told me that I looked like a secure and confident person, but I would be honest now and say… that was a front, and when I did speak with confidence and conviction, it was mostly false bravado. Sad, isn’t it?

Other than reading Don Miguel Ruiz and Gary Chapman, I have recently been introduced to a new source of inspiration. It would be pretty radical for me to start calling him a source of inspiration because I come from a family of staunch Taoists, but Joel Osteen, a pastor, is now like a life mentor to me. Call it Fate, but I believe his messages came to me at the right time. They spoke directly to me.

When you agree with fear, you are giving what you are fearing the right to come to pass,” Joel said in his message, Activate Faith, Not Fear.

I agree wholeheartedly. Pretty much, when we agree with a particular fear, our thinking and actions will begin to react in a way that may eventually cause that fear to come true. Some call it the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. When we continuously worry about something, we are going to start reacting to ‘prevent’ it from happening, not even knowing if it was going to happen in the first place, and eventually, our actions may cause it to not only happen, but to be blown out of proportion at the same time. I have definitely seen that happen to myself before.

So if you are worried about something you know you have no control of, or fearing something you know, deep inside, is irrational… STOP! Do not agree with the fear. Have faith!

Faith is the exact opposite of fear, because it is about believing that good things will happen to us. So… rather than believing that something bad is about to happen, wouldn't we rather believe that good things will come to us, and subconsciously act to enable them to happen? If I had known to turn all my fears to faith long ago, I am sure I would now be a happier, more confident and secure woman with a brighter future ahead of me. But it's never too late to start today, so let’s take all my earlier fears, and turn them into faith!

My parents love me and are proud of me.
There’s no reason to be afraid of ghosts for I have done nothing to offend them.
I will pass all of my exams because I do my best.
I will have an awesome career because I am intelligent and capable.
I will find a man who will love and cherish me for the rest of my life.
I am beautiful and exceptionally intelligent and talented.
I am never alone because I have awesome friends.
There is no reason to fear death if I have lived my life to the fullest, to the best of my abilities.

I am certain if we all believed in the good things in ourselves, good things will start happening to us. Try it today, and let me know if you feel more and more awesome as time passes :)

Monday, 4 March 2013

I challenge myself :)

For the longest time, I only blogged when I was sad. Writing became an outlet of expression for when I was feeling depressed, stressed and negative. It was recently that I came to realise that… no one wants to read about sadness all the time.

Sure, friends would sympathise when you occasionally wrote about the bad day you had at work, or the occasional disagreement you had with your boyfriend, but no one would be interested to read or even hear about it day in, day out. Even if I were the best writer or storyteller, I don’t think anyone would like to be, or should be exposed to that amount of negativity for an extended period of time. In a way, this is why I ‘reactivated’ this blog.

My new goal was to write about life; I would write about my achievements, and I would write about my failures. All in all, the goal was to provide my readers with a good mix of stories about my life and share my new discoveries. In order to achieve that, I look to my everyday life to find new inspiration and stories to share.

Alternatively, I could end up one being one of those sarcastic bloggers that attack and deride everything they see each day. But that’s not me. I am learning that even complaining about something is negative energy where you need to limit your audience. You’ll never know if it backfires on you, like when you bitched about something to the wrong person and end up getting backstabbed.

I am reminded daily by Don Miguel Ruiz's 1st agreement:

Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Hence, my new goal as a writer is to entertain and inspire! ^_^

Moving forward, I would like to challenge myself to write about more diverse topics. Politics will probably not be my thing, but generally, I believe I can write about anything else. A friend from university asked me if I would try writing a script for something he wants to film this year, and I am seriously considering trying it out :) Really hope I can do it.

What would you like to read about? Let me know and perhaps I can put my skills to the test and write a piece about it. Post your requested topics below! ^_^