Receiving and Letting Go

Stoic Lesson from Marcus Aurelius.

Things, titles, praise, adulation…

They come and they go.

Enjoy the moment.

And be ready to let go at any time.


Winged Scarab

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.

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…)


17th July, 2013 – Ripples

I am making small changes.
And I am looking forward to the tremendous impact.

What difference have you made today?
Whose day did you brighten today?
What act of kindness did you extend today?


Day 310 – April 10, 2013

Feeling so tired and I ache all over today.
Traveling to Singapore for work.
Finally can put my feet up and it’s almost 11 o’clock at night.

On this day, I am thankful for…

1. Getting everything I need for my working week in Singapore.

2. Having a laugh in the office with everyone before I left.

3. Knowing that Bradley will be getting his internship sorted out.

4. Enjoying my new book on behavior change!

5. Watching the movie – The Impossible.

6. A smooth flight on the giant A380 to Singapore.

7. Nice taxi drivers.

8. Feeling at home in Singapore.

9. Messaging my daughter.

10. Going to bed feeling loved, blessed and looked after.


Day 268 ~ Day 270 – February 27 ~ March 1, 2013

Have to back track a bit with my gratitude list because I have been a little bit under the weather, a little bit busy, and wanting to go to bed the moment I got home…

However, I still wish to list what I am thankful for over these few days.

I am very grateful for

1. The opportunity to work with TED x Happy Valley. And going to the TED x Hong Kong Live event on Thursday night.

2. The chance to work with the senior command course of the Hong Kong Police Force – training workshop on the subject of change management.

3. The chance to work with the Children’s Cancer Foundation Hong Kong.

4. Seeing my girl friends again – it’s been a while! And posing with Triny’s very special spectacles!

5. A great brainstorming session at work – having four brains working together on one thing is just so much better than one!

6. A chance to catch up with my lil’ sis at work – lunch was so delicious too!

7. Catching up on sleep and recovering from my cold so rapidly.

8. My daughter also recovering quickly – and her sweetness.

9. Your candidness and your sweetness – it’s important for us both.

10. Our love – unspoken but strong.

A message found in my bathroom.


TED x Hong Kong Live 2013


Trying on my friend’s very special spectacles.


Day 91 – August 30, 2012

1. I am thankful for being able to give my niece a memorable and fun day at this play zone where she spent hours just having pure fun.

2. I am grateful to be able to enjoy the day through watching someone small having such a huge amount of fun.

3. I am thankful that my mother is willing to indulge in my whims.

4. I am grateful for this short summer break.

5. I am thankful for the sweet messages I received today.

6. I am grateful that certain things have stopped bothering me.

7. I am thankful that negativity has its place in life.

8. I am grateful for strength.

9. I am thankful for indolent days.

10. I am thankful for the change.