Little Things #2

Little things in life.

Here is #2.


I am not happy

I am insouciant.

Why settle for happy when you can be insouciant?

A Thousand Oceans

Your eyes carry the weight of a thousand oceans

and the echo of the universe

I promise you…

That you will be happy again.

~ My Persian Poet ~

I have written these words down where I can see them everyday.

Source of all misery and also the source of peace…

When we focus our thoughts on the past, we have two choices.
We can be grateful for what happened.
Or we can be filled with resentment, and wonder “Why me?”

When we focus our thoughts on the future, we also have two choices.
We can be filled with wonder and curiosity.
Excited to see what the future holds.
Or we can be filled with anxiety, worrying about what could go wrong.
And again, wonder, “Why me?”

When we focus our thoughts on the now, we live in the moment.
It is what it is, and we are here, in the now, and nowhere else.
To be entirely present, we look at ourselves in peace.
We stop comparing ourselves, stop feeling that we are not enough.
We have gratitude and appreciation.
Because we cannot change the past, and we cannot control the future.

Our perception is the source of all misery, and the source of peace.

Easier said than done.
Practice, practice, practice.

The Beauty of Pain

Our natural instinct is to avoid pain.
When we feel pain, we find ways to distract ourselves.
We suppress the feeling by scrolling through our phones, checking our messages and looking at other people's pains.

Then the pain just grows.
It builds up, it spreads like moss.
Till nothing is beautiful anymore, and our lives are but a puzzle of anxieties, dreads and unrequited love.

When people exercise they advocate "feel the pain and do it anyway".
The same goes in life.

We need to surrender.
Let it wash over us.
Feel every molecule of pain writhe through our bodies and squeeze your heart dry.

Only then will the pain begin to fade.
And you let other feelings in.
At first it is all bit numb. Then you start to feel your toes again.
And then you wriggle your feet.
And you get up.
And you start all over again.

Speak Lotuses, Not Mud

When you open your mouth, what comes out?
Mud? Filth? Negativity?
Useless comments?
Meaningless uttering?

Or lotuses?
Beautiful flowers that rise from the mud?
Generous praises and kind words?
Appreciation and thankfulness?

This stoic reminder is so simple, but so hard to do.
I like to imagine what spills from my mouth so that I do not speak words in hate, anger or frustration.
It is a daily practice that I do not often succeed at.

Do nothing.


I bought a book on my recent trip to New Zealand. “500 Words You Should Know” by Caroline Taggart.

The first word my daughter pointed out was “discombobulated”.

And it’s the perfect word to describe how I have been feeling these past few months.

According to this book, discombulated is “a jokey word meaning exactly what it sounds as if it means: confused, disconcerted, ‘thrown’ in a big way. You might be discombobulated by an interrruption or by the appearance of an unexpected guest; on a bad day you could be generally discombobulated, not with it and unable to cope with the many questions that life throws at you.”

Life has been throwing many questions at me and I have not been able to cope.

And in my quest to find some solace in this rather noisy and upset world, I came across the “art of doing nothing” – 無為 (pronounced WU WEI or oooo-way) – a Chinese concept from Lao Tsu. It literally means “no trying” or “no doing”, but it is not about doing nothing. It is rather a state of mind where one is in his/ her most natural state, in harmony with one’s surroundings/ situation. And also a state of “effortless action”.

Seems to make so much sense and no sense whatsoever to me at the same time.

And in exploring this concept, I have somewhat already found some peace and answers.

Isn’t that the Art of Doing Nothing?

From being/ feeling discombulated, not in harmony with myself and the world around me, what I seek is the state of 無為 – through effortless inaction. To just be.

The past few months has been a state of frantic action, goal oriented planning and doing which has thrown me off balance. So much so that I no longer enjoyed the things I once loved.

So I decided that I will do nothing.

Till balance is restored, or at least till I am combobulated. (If there is such a word…)


Day 214 ~ Day 220 – January 4 ~ 10, 2013

First of all, I don’t know what got into me but I needed a little blogging break to focus on rearranging the home in the past week.

I am back to normal now, I think.

The new bed has arrived for my daughter Nadia.
The house is 95% decluttered.

In Nadia’s words, our home looks spiffin’. (A bit of Kiwi slang I think.)

So here is my condensed gratitude list for the past week.
I am thankful for…

1. Finding an inexpensive but perfect bed for Nadia’s room.

2. The fun times we had at IKEA and MUJI looking for items we needed.

3. The hilarious noodle shop conversation with the chef and the waitresses who were fascinated by Nadia and I.

4. The smooth transition of schedule changes at work.

5. The operation that my dear friend had to go through was a success and she is slowly recovering.

6. My Singapore work trip will also be a special trip with Nadia tagging along!

7. The movie night with Beatrice, Veanne, Alex and Nadia – watching The Grand Master – still and always a fan of Wong Kar Wai.

8. The opportunity to turn an adverse situation around into a winning situation!

9. Your messages that made me feel loved.

10. Your presence – it’s all contained in what is unspoken. I love you.

Day 184 – December 5, 2012

1. I am thankful for the amazing limousine taxi ride into Seoul this morning – even though I had to leave before daybreak!

2. I am thankful for another great day at work – what lovely people I get to meet!

3. I am thankful for the unexpectedly interesting lunch – pasta + rice Korean spicy style – and it’s also Gangnam style! The restaurant is owned by the father in law of PSY himself!

4. I am grateful for the snow! First snow in Korea – beautiful and feels like Christmas!

5. I am thankful for the nice people here who looked after me so well.

6. I am thankful that a taxi was found for me to take me all the way back to the hotel.

7. I am thankful that I arrived slowly but safely back at the hotel in spite of the snow on the roads.

8. I am grateful for room service! Super delicious Korean Bibimbap! Yum!

9. I am thankful for my friends – their messages always make me feel loved.

10. I am grateful that I have opportunities to explore new places through my work!




Day 150 – October 28, 2012

1. I am thankful for a very fruitful but relaxing Sunday – I did so much!

2. I am grateful that I had another lovely afternoon at the Milonga – great dances and just a lovely time.

3. I am thankful for my local green grocer – cheap and fresh vegetables 7 days a week.

4. I am thankful for the productive morning – catching up some personal work.

5. I am grateful for the beautiful weather in Hong Kong now – cooler but still bright and sunny.

6. I am thankful for the great meeting tonight – artistic, creative collision!

7. I am grateful to know that I have such an exciting opportunity coming up.

8. Thank you for the appreciation and the compliments! I feel so so happy.

9. I am grateful for my little “sister” Beatrice who encouraged me to create this blog – it has changed my life.

10. Thank you for the dreams, the inspirations and the love.