Live A Life That Matters

BASE girl

Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant
Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what…

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Being In The NOW Releases You From The Miserable “What Ifs” And Frees You To Enter-Into-Joy (En-Joy), This Present Moment.

“Now I know why dogs love sticking their heads out the window! This is fun!” Lilian laughed with the glee of a child, waving one hand out in the air, steering the wheels with the other, hair flying wildly in the wind.

It was a smooth cruise up the clear and winding road.

We were driving into clouds bursting into icy sprays all over our face. A delicious treat when we’re so used to heat, all year long. The thick, heavy mist all around was getting thicker and heavier by the minute. A sure promise we’ll be freezing our ass off, as soon as we make it to the top!

Luca, her Italian friend who’s down for the weekend for a visit is the reason why we’re making this special trip up. He is smiling brightly and enjoying the surprising coolness as much as we were. He’s been to Malaysia 2 years ago. It had always been warm and humid. He never knew it could get this cold, and we’re only halfway up Genting Highlands!

“I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy, happy, … I wish you were here!” – Incubus

It was in this moment that I was happy, that I fell into a state of misery. I was thinking of Mr.X and missing him so. As my mind drifted to the past, I was no longer in the car but a passenger in a dark train of thoughts. It was rushing through a tunnel of regrets, going deeper underground.

“What if I didn’t say goodbye? What if I waited for him to call? What if I tried to call again? Would it have turned out differently?” “Maybe if I did this, he would’ve responded positively.” “Maybe if I did that, he would’t be silent.” “Maybe if I kept silent, he would’ve called.” “We could still be together IF I was more patient, more understanding, more forgiving… right???”

This has happened before. In my journal dated 12.12.10, this was the morning Rinda, my Spiritual Director, asked me how I felt. It was our one-on-one session time, the only time we get to talk in the Silent Retreat.

“Up and down and up and down,” I replied.

“Mmmm. Let me introduce you to the 5 stages of grieving,” she said, referencing Elizabeth Kubler Ross. “Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.”

“The last stage, Acceptance, takes the longest to arrive at.

Until you do, you will find yourself bouncing between one and four, for some time.”

That explains a lot. I didn’t know what stage I was in but I had a question for Rinda. I have been following all the rules in the retreat and I’ve tried as much as possible to focus on God, so I wanted to know something.

“Is it okay to hope? Hope that maybe I can still work things out with him?”

Rinda smiled. “You are bargaining. God, if I promise to be good in this retreat, and remember You when I’m needy, can I keep him?

You need to let that die…

In order to be opened to what God wants you to do.

Be in the Nowness. Seek God and what He wants,” she said. “His will, not my will.”

These days, I’ve been struggling with the concept of God and believing. Yet in the midst of unbelief, it is an agnostic that assures me there’s a Higher Love. It is the girl with the tattoos that stubbornly insists God is real, in between smoking and flicking ash into the tray. It is a celebrity with no specific religion that eagerly shares that he has now chosen to believe in God, and wants to have a relationship with God. As I continue vacillating between a place of Faith to a place of Doubt, and back and forth, I find that I am still Guided through life, in my darkest moments.

As my heart was sinking and my smile fading, Mr.Now appeared instead.

“Be in the Nowness,” he suggested.

“You can’t change the past. Worrying will not change a thing, right now. It is your attachment to what you had, that is making you miserable, right now.

It is your fear, of what you might not have in the days to come, that is making you miserable, right now. The future has not yet happened. So why worry, now?

He isn’t here right now. Being miserable won’t bring him here right now. But you are here, Right Now. You can choose to enjoy this moment, Right Now.

You can be happy. You are already happy. You just need to realize that, and realize you can stay happy, if you stay in the Now.”

Just like that, my mind sprung back to the present and I was back with my friends in the car, joining in the laughter and enjoying our journey up.

That was Saturday. Today it’s Monday Blues! I am back in Bargaining Mode, miserable over the What Ifs. So I found myself writing a letter addressed to the Universe, Life, God, J… I stated my wish to see X again.

But what are my reasons? I began thinking what it is I loved about him.

I love the way he supports me. “You’re on fire babe!!! Inspiring me!

Be proud of how strong you’re being right now. It’s always hard to touch such sensitive themes with people you have chaotic backgrounds with. You’re super tough and looking at the bear straight in the eye!” he said, when I shared my struggle for the day.

I love the way he sees me. “A little work of art (he sends me the image that came to mind. An original sculpture in marble of a lady in a veil, by Raffaelo Monti)… for the absolute beauty, meticulousness, purity and peace that comes out of it.” “Your laugh… I like it… it’s pure.”

I love the way he understands. “No problems are small, all problems are important, relevant and proportionate to each person’s reality.”

There are so many things I love about him. But there are reasons why we’re not together now. I needed to be honest and remember why.

I thought about the ways he frustrates me (be it unconsciously or subconsciously). I thought about how worried and insecure I became in the process. And through that, discovered how needy I could still be.

“If only we could reconnect again, try again and understand each other,  we could help each other heal and grow, right?” I tried bargaining. 

That’s when a stream of Bigger Questions flowed through my heart.

Could it be, our connection is meant to be short and sudden, For Now? Could it be, we have served our purpose in each of our lives and done our part for each other’s healing and growth, For Now? 

Could it be, we are apart, For Now, in order for Life to flow the way it needs to flow, bringing us along the paths, persons, experiences and lessons we need to encounter before encountering each other again? 

Could it be, the frustrations were meant to build up and explode, to blow through the wall of resistance we built towards our growth?

“This is the year I get myself together,” – X

“My theme this year is Wholehearted,” – M

We both have a great vision for our life. Can I trust that we can continue in our vision for our lives, even when apart? Can I trust that our daily work on ourselves, will lead us to a new level of wholesomeness? And because like attracts like, lead us back to each other–if not as lovers, then as friends? Could I be satisfied, with having him in my life, as a friend, if nothing more could be offered? 

The answer to all of the above is Yes.

For Now, everything is as it should be.

For Now, I get to wish him happiness.

For Now, I get to wish me happiness.

For Now, I am grateful for all I had, all I have, and all I am yet to receive…

…Life is full of Surprises.

So allow yourself to be Surprised!

By the end of the letter / journal writing, I felt so much better, lighter and free. I felt Grateful. For the Awareness. And for the tools I’ve been equipped with to deal with the pain and misery whenever it sneaks in.

As always, my intention for sharing my story and journey here is in the hope that we can grow through this together–one day at a time.

Today is The Day, made and created for you, to enjoy and be glad in it.

It’s okay and healthy to grief, for a time, for the loss of a loved one–be it due to death, separation, divorce or break ups.

But right now, if you’re done being stuck in the past with the miserable “What Ifs” and you’re ready to move on and Enter-into-Joy (En-Joy), try being in the Nowness.

May living in the moment, bring you release.

“If this life is one act
Why do we lay all these traps
We put them right in our path
When we just wanna be free…

So I just let go
Of what I know I don’t know
And I know I only do this by

Living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
With peace in my soul…

I’m letting myself off the hook
For things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong…” – Living In The Moment, Jason Mraz.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Like the sun, sky and clouds, Love has always been there for you–though you have it not in your hands.

theloveculture

**This is a REPOST of my blog on 26th December.**

I just got back from a two week Silent Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand–the land of the Flying Lanterns.

It has been an epic Spiritual Journey through the inner labyrinth of my being, with many twists and turns that led to the centre of my soul.

I faced my Fear of Fears and the two monsters from the land of Me-Me-Me and Perfectionism. Instead of running away, this time, I said hello and embraced them openly. I saw the sadness and emptiness in their eyes.

All they wanted was Love. All they needed to know, is that despite how unlovable they seem to appear to be, at all times, they are Loved.

All along, the lonely Me-Me-Me “monster” belonged in the land of We.

All along, the Perfectionism “monster” just needed a pair of new eyes, made in love and of love…

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Leonard Cohen and life as a Love Avoidant

A Spiritual Realignment

‘It was the shape of our love that twisted me’

I spent the weekend in Hunter Valley to see Leonard Cohen. It was amazing, he was incredible, but when he spoke those words I almost gave myself whiplash snapping my head around to look at him.

Hi my name is Lisa and I’m Love Avoidant.

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Today’s Love: Enter A New Relationship With A Clean Slate

Today's A New Day

Do whatever it takes to enter each new relationship with a clean slate. Experience shouldn’t equal baggage! #Love

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“When we hang on to our baggage, our hurt is what we bring to the table. In essence, we perpetuate our pain.” – Chrissy

Unload Your Baggage… All Of It.

“I’m putting this on the main page because it is the most important tip; it’s also the hardest.  The word “baggage” as it refers to relationships is so overused and has such ugly connotations that it’s easy to ignore it.  

Let’s tell the truth:  every single one of us has experienced the pain of being heart broken, let down, lied to or hurt (physically or emotionally) by someone close to us.  It’s not bad, it’s just a part of being a human.  

What we seldom acknowledge is the impact it has on our self, our view of the world and others and how we treat people.  

Because being in a relationship involves letting someone be close to us, specific things that the other person says or does can trigger that pain without notice.  

In an instant, using your emotional reflexes you react as though that person was the same person from your past who caused the pain in the first place.  

Once the dust settles, you may or may not realize the source of what hurts you; the trouble is that you haven’t let it go.

Upon failure of a relationship, I hear so many people, not just women, say, “I have trust issues.”  Really?  It’s great that you know that.  Now, deal with it.  Another one I hear quite a bit is, “I have issues with my mother/father.”  Fantastic.  Don’t we all?  Resolve the issues.  Get help.  See a counselor.  Take the Landmark Forum.  Do something about your issues so that you can stop hurting others and inviting people into your life who will hurt you.  

We’re adults and can now choose who we spend our time with and who we don’t.  Nobody has time for an unhealthy relationship or repeating dating patterns.  Remember, efficiency.

When starting a relationship of any kind, our partner never says, “I can’t wait for you to hurt me.”  Yet, when we hang on to our baggage, our hurt is what we bring to the table.  In essence, we perpetuate our pain.  

We do this through fight-or-flight responses born out of deep insecurity caused by pain from our past.  Some examples are lashing out, withdrawing, breaking up, lying, withholding true emotion or being passive-aggressive, to name a few.  

Since we’ve been on the receiving end of these behaviors at some point or another, we know how hurtful they are to the other person.  Often they’re left scratching their head asking, “What did I do?” or, “What just happened here?”

It’s not who we really are at all.  Imagine what life would be like if you could be the person you really are instead of a series of pain-inspired responses?  Dealing with the pain from our past breaks this painful cycle.  

The bottom line:  if you have baggage you have no business pursuing a relationship.

It sounds ugly, I know.  Hurting others is ugly too.  Hope is in the healing, though.  When we give ourselves the opportunity to heal, we let go of our baggage.  

We do end up having the experience of being lighter.  It’s easier to smile, spread joy and tell the truth in love.  It’s easier to love and be loved.” – Chrissy

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Don’t just Break Up, GROW UP. Don’t just Move On, GROW ON. Don’t just Break Through the Pain, GROW THROUGH the Pain.

Breakups are never easy…

It’s like going for an open heart surgery. Your chest is being ripped apart to remove something that was once a part of you, but now it has to go. By “something” and “it”, I am  not referring to a person, but the unhealthy cycle and pattern you’ve decided to put a stop to.

With Awareness, you can choose not to stay in a relationship that isn’t serving your growth anymore. If the growing has stopped, it’s time to evaluate what’s not working, acknowledge it for what it is and grow.

To grow well, there has to be a time of pruning, ploughing and weeding out what doesn’t belong. It calls for a time of “dying”, just like the seed of a green bean has to “rot” and “die” for a new shoot to grow into light.

During this time of dying to what was, embracing what is, and looking forward to what will be, the Fear of Uncertainty will be there.  The desire to cling on to a dead past will be there. The struggle is real. So is the pain.

The soreness felt during this time is a constant reminder of a lesson learnt. It’s tempting to numb it. To look for distractions. So even as I’m navigating through this challenging time, a thought is coming to mind:

Don’t just Break Up, GROW UP. Don’t just Move On, GROW ON. Don’t just Break Through the Pain, GROW THROUGH the Pain.

“Think of some of the painful events in your life. For how many of them are you grateful today, because thanks to them you changed and grew? Here is a simple truth of life that most people never discover. Happy events make life delightful but they do not lead to self-discovery and growth and freedom. That privilege is reserved to the things and persons and situations that cause us pain.

Every painful event contains in itself a seed of growth and liberation.

In the light of this truth return to your life now and take a look at one or another of the events that you are not grateful for, and see if you can discover the potential for growth that they contain which you were unaware of and therefore failed to benefit from.

Now think of some recent event that caused you pain, that produced negative feelings in you.

Whoever of whatever caused those feelings was your teacher, because they revealed so much to you about yourself that you probably did not know.

And they offered you an invitation and a challenge to self-understanding, self-discovery, and therefore to growth and life and freedom.

Try it now, identify the negative feeling that this even aroused in you. Was it anxiety or insecurity, jealousy or anger or guilt? What does that emotion say to you about yourself, your values, your way of perceiving the world and life and above all your programming and conditioning?

If you succeed in discovering this, you will drop some illusion you have clung to till now, or you will change a distorted perception or correct a false belief or learn to distance yourself from your suffering, as you realize that it was caused by your programming and not by reality; and you will suddenly find that you are full of gratitude for those negative feelings and to that person or event that caused them.” – The Way To Love, Anthony de Mello.

Allow it to serve you, this Gift of Pain. We’re in this Together, You and I.

Keep Growing.

Love,

Mish

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Loving Yourself Through The “What Ifs”

theloveculture

If you’re stuck wondering “What If?” today, may this post bring you release and help you grow on in Love.

The night Sweetie left us and the following day, the whole time, I kept thinking,

What if I brought him home on Tuesday, would he still be alive today? What if I left him at the petstore, would he still be alive now?  

What if? What if? What if? It never ends.

These thoughts kept coming as surely as the tears have been flowing. But I’ve been through this before and I know doubting myself and allowing it all to spiral into a big self-hate party wouldn’t solve a thing. So in between doing the dishes and cleaning up baby’s tank and apparatus and wiping my tears, the thought that came to my mind is this:

Can you love yourself through the ‘What Ifs’?

How do we do…

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We’re All Connected In Our Pain and Inner Trembling. You’re Not Alone.

Whatever it is you are struggling with, it may feel like a lonely struggle, but we are all in this together.

I don’t always feel this way, especially in the midst of Fear, when it gets too hard and I’m slowly crumbling. But time and time again, that’s when the Signs appear, telling me without words, “You’re not alone.”

Yesterday, I received a text message that sent me into instant panic mode. I didn’t understand what was going on, and still don’t. Fear started firing a million Questions into the air and demanded answers. I didn’t have any.

By evening, I was falling apart. Called up a friend. Didn’t expect he’d make it, but he did. When he came, I found out what a shit day he’s been having too, and the thought that crossed his mind when I called was, “Oh yes.”

Oh yes, because misery loves company. It was just perfect timing. And comforting to know you’re not the only one having a super hard time.

So there we were, up on the hill, sitting by the road, blowing smokes, trading misery, seeking calm. Then it began to drizzle. We stayed on. Then it started to rain. We stayed on. Then it started to pour. We moved on.

We went to a mamak, with our hair and clothes wet. “It’s okay. I look like how I feel,” he said when I suggested a wipe down while waiting for our food and drinks. When the maggi goreng arrived, like the weather and our mood, it was wet and soggy. But it was good. Something to be happy about. So we had more maggi goreng. Highlight of our miserable day.

When I got home, I saw that I had a message waiting for me in my inbox. It’s from a friend, and she says that this is her favourite new song now, but it makes her bawl. I listened to it and I’m floored. How is it possible that the song describes how I feel so completely? “Say something… I’m giving up on you… I’m feeling so small… just starting to crawl…”

“Trembling :)” my friend replied, when I checked to see how he was doing today. I didn’t think of this word when I chose this morning, to Lean Into My Fear… It describes my state of being too… Trembling.

He had taken that step forward, even though he’s scared to death about it. But he knows it’s the best thing to do, for the both of them. Choosing what’s best, isn’t an easy decision. It takes Courage, even when in Fear.

And the thing about Trembling. It doesn’t just describe the feeling of being Scared, it’s also a state of being when we come face to face with the Sacred. The Unknowing and our Inner Trembling is a Sacred Moment.

The Sacred moment is when we get to Choose Love, inspite of Fear, and watch the magic unfold. So just like that, just when I chose to Lean Into The Fear, this quote appeared on my newsfeed, strengthening me on:

“Love can be hard. Love requires you to be kind when you are angry, patient when you feel anxious, compassionate when you judge others, caring when you feel apathetic, trust when you’ve been wronged, let go when you want to hold on, know that the other person is you, take risks when you’re scared, to always see the lesson and never look back once you’ve decided.” – Jackson Kiddard

How do you stay patient and trust, during this time? For me, it’s all about the Signs. That phonecall in the evening, and that song in the night, those were my Signs. It appeared to remind me again, “You’re not alone.”

What are the Signs you’ve been receiving? Pay attention to it. Everything happens for a reason. Be patient in this time of Unknowing. Lean Into Your Fear. See where it takes you. It’s going to be okay. You’re not alone.

We are all in this together.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

“The Thing That Is Blind Is Not Love But Attachment.” – Anthony de Mello

“It is said that love is blind. But is it?

Actually nothing on earth is as clear-sighted as love.

The thing that is blind is not love but attachment. 

An attachment is a state of clinging that comes from the false belief that something or someone is necessary for your happiness.

Do you have any attachments–people or things that you falsely believe you could not be happy without?

Make a list of them right now before we go on to study how exactly they blind you.” – The Way To Love, ‘The Blind See’ by Anthony de Mello

“…contemplate in horror the endless list of attachments that you have become a prisoner to. Think of concrete things and persons, not abstractions…

Once your attachment had you in its grip you began to strive might and main, every waking minute of your life, to rearrange the world around you so that you could attain and maintain the objects of your attachment. This is an exhausting task that leaves you little energy for the business of living and enjoying life fully…

So instead of a life of serenity and fulfillment you are doomed to a life of frustration, anxiety, worry, insecurity, suspense, tension…

And here is something else to ponder on: Each time you are anxious and afraid, it is because you may lose or fail to get the object of your attachment, isn’t it? And each time you feel jealous, isn’t it because someone may make off with what you are attached to? And almost all of your anger comes from someone standing in the way of your attachment, isn’t it? And see how paranoid you become when your attachment is threatened–you cannot think objectively; your whole vision becomes distorted; doesn’t it? And every time you feel bored, isn’t it because you are not getting a sufficient supply of what you believe will make you happy, of what you are attached to?

And when you are depressed and miserable, the cause is there for all to see: Life is not giving you what you have convinced yourself you cannot be happy without.

Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.” – The Way To Love, ‘He Went Away Sad’ by Anthony de Mello

“Now the tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if it is attained, it does not cause happiness–it merely causes a flash of pleasure followed by weariness; and it is always accompanied, of course, by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.

There is only one way to win the battle of attachments: Drop them.

Contrary to popular belief, dropping attachments is easy.

All you have to do is see, but really see, the following truths.

First truth: You are holding on to a false belief, namely, the belief that without this particular person or thing you will not be happy. Take your attachments one at a time and see the falseness of this belief.

Second truth: If you just enjoy things, refusing to let yourself be attached to them, that is, refusing to hold to the false belief that you will not be happy without them, you are spared all the struggle and emotional strain of protecting them and guarding them for yourself.

Has it occured to you that you can keep all the objects of your attachments without giving them up, without renouncing a single one of them and you can enjoy them even more on a nonattachment, a nonclinging basis, because you are peaceful now and relaxed and unthreatened in your enjoyment of them?

If you learn to enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers you will not cling to one or suffer when you cannot get it…

Attachments can only thrive in the darkness of illusion.

The rich man cannot enter the kingdom of joy not because he wants to be bad but because he chooses to be blind.” -The Way To Love, ‘The Eye of a Needle’ by Anthony de Mello

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture