It was Pentecost Sunday when we went to Singapore this June, and I remembered one of the things I'm thankful for this year - joining a fellowship at work.
My faith has always been a big part of me. Growing up in a religious family, attending a Catholic school up to graduating from a Catholic University. My faith helped me grow through the challenges that life has brought me, and guided me when others, too, needed some help or an advice. The hunger to know more about God, and being marvelled everyday by the fulfilment of His promises to us have been driving forces for me and my family.
Something that keeps me energised in the morning and grateful in the evening is the fact that despite the tests and some setbacks, God never fails to bless us. There is always something to be thankful for. Like the apostles who were tasked to preach the good news, we are all given gifts by the Holy Spirit. Knowledge and wisdom to understand and be certain about life - even simple ideas like what to write on a report or what to say to a customer, to the decisions we are able to make, keeps me grateful.
We are also blessed with so much strength. Being able to open our eyes each day is already a gift. More so to actually carry out tasks, travel, and discover things.
God also ensures that we are never alone. The right people are always there at the right time to support and guide us. In those environments we continue to develop as individuals and as His children.
Truly, He never fails to provide and to envelope us with so much love. John 14:26
Every year I try my best to declutter my spaces, may it be at home or in the office. I see to it that I have enough area for “new things” and energy to come in. This year I feel I’m doing it differently. I’ve mentioned previously that I’m hooked on the KonMari method of tidying up, for the most part because of the now-popular Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
A friend of mine argues that the show is getting popularity, but does not necessarily answer as to what will happen to collectors and people who are obsessed with history. However, I can argue that the show, or the KonMari method for that matter, does not impose the habit of throwing things away, of giving up history. On the contrary, it talks about saving things that “spark joy” for us - things that still have meaning that we want to bring them with us moving forward. Things that we actually use and are essential for us to live our lives the way we want to.
June came in a hurry, and now we are almost done with half of 2018. At times, busy feels like an understatement, and if I am to become completely honest with myself, I am getting tired. They say there are two kinds of tired: one can easily be satisfied with sleep, while the other with peace. These past few days, however, I find myself thinking whether I am just experiencing a physical need or longing for something deeper.
Feeling the second kind of tiredness is not necessarily work-related. It can be the effect of change or growth, a relationship, studies, dreams, or even life in general. But in the hope of salvaging myself from the brim of exhaustion, I revert to some practices that I have learned over time. My hope is this list helps kick our blues away.
I was checking some emails and social media notifications when I saw a memory that coincides with my Headspace reflection this morning. It was from 2010 - a high school friend quoted our conversation when I told him that he doesn't have to be "cool" to be in. Something that I still believe in. I think we all deserve to be in places and be surrounded by people who accept and appreciate our individuality. There is no need to pretend to like something or engage in an activity that you do not really value just for the sake of feeling a sense of belongingness. I think the right crowd will love you for who you are and for what you love or who you choose to love.
On a different note, I think that the diversity of interests in a group keeps it alive. Although commonalities attract us, learning something from someone you care about is a great step to discover yourself even more and deepen the relationship.
I start my day early. My body clock wakes me up between 3:30am and 4:30am, no matter how late I sleep. I usually find it hard to go back to bed so I'd rather start my day than force myself by counting sheep.
Before, my routine starts with a prayer, then meditation, then a home exercise, before going through the chores and responsibilities for the day. Now, I'd wake up, pray and then check my emails and messages, immediately going to my work mode.
As the day progresses, I'm usually looking for something I can't define or at times have some sort of irritation for something I cannot control. I realised that this is because I'm no longer giving myself time, again. Wanting to finish as much as I could within the day, I'd rather work than engage in other activities such as conversing with other people. Yes, my days are filled with meetings (tons of it), but having real conversations, where you explore the depths of life or the shallowness of it is something that I miss. I also miss writing, writing for the sake of it, not because it's part of the job. After all, writing copies, editing texts, making reports, and what not is what I usually do on top of other things.
Today's meditation helped me think about these things. I realised that how you love yourself is reflected by how the world loves you. When you choose you, giving yourself time to laugh, heal, and grow, the world will compensate it by giving you opportunities to continue doing so.
Rejection isn't the nicest thing to get (especially on a Monday) nor the easiest one to accept and give. It's natural to question the act and the circumstances surrounding it. It's easy to feel pity for ourselves, and ask if the world is conspiring against us. Considering that we are generally good beings, and that we strive hard to better the current state that we are experiencing.
But any moment, relationship or opportunity has that side whether we like it or not. As cliche as it sounds, it is not always about us. We have to accept that it can be about external factors like time, other people, systems and structures. Sometimes, we just have to acknowledge the simple idea that it's just the way it is, for now.
I started writing this post a few weeks back, but I didn't feel like it was the right time to publish it because I was still thinking of some points to include. Inspired by the Easter question "Are we worth saving for?" Hopefully, this article makes a lot of sense now. :)
Before my birth month ends and we welcome Easter this year, I'd like to thank everyone who made 30 years of my existence awesome.
A college friend of mine mentioned that she was so happy that I'm over the most confusing years of our lives - our twenties. Hilarious as it may sound, it's been a solid emotional roller coaster for most of us. I'm really thankful that I feel a lot calmer and content now, as compared to when I was starting to build my career path. We've all been there, and to some extent, been judged for our youth. Although I would agree that some would act entitled, I wouldn't really generalize anything, as most of us just wants to prove our worth in this life.
Anyway, I'm seriously grateful for all the experiences and people who have been part of those moments. I love you all!
I’ve been missing out on my Headspace sessions because of my need for “me-time”, forgetting that by going through meditation, I’m actually doing myself a favor. However, even if my mind was still adjusting this morning, trying to focus on the now and just breathing, it was a good feeling to be back.
We’ve officially entered a new chapter in our lives. Just like everyone else, I have the habit of looking back and feeling thankful for the year that ended, and hopeful for the one that just started.
One thing that I’m amazed of is that I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be able to sustain a conversation based on beverages. I remember looking at bottles of wine, and editing menus and listings in past jobs, but wouldn’t really have a clue of what I was writing about. I’d do my research, just like any PR-Marketing person or writer, but as I haven’t really tried the product or conversed with the “authority”, the lines remained mere words to me.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself as an “expert”, as my friends would tease, I’m glad that I somewhat understand brands and products now.
My life is far from being ideal. Just like everyone else, I get my share of doubters, detractors, financial challenges, insecurities, not getting support, and being treated as an afterthought.
But the older I get, the less I care about the setbacks and disappointments. It’s not that I don’t get hurt anymore. It’s just that I move on much faster now. I realised that worrying doesn’t really solve anything. I’m only hurting myself even more. So I’d rather think of what’s still working. What I can do to either change the situation or better myself.
Niguel is an experienced creative and marketing professional pursuing his dreams while growing with infinite possibilities.