It’s Only Fear

“You do not see that I see inside,
The quiet heart you’re trying to hide.

Don’t hold your head too high,
Don’t be afraid to cry,
Because you know my dear,
it’s only fear, it’s only fear.
…Keeps you locked in here.
Now you may believe you are so bright,
And you may not see how they confine your sight,
And maybe you wake up late at night,
Wondering why you feel so tired.
Well my dear, let me tell you now, do you hear,
It’s only fear, it’s only fear, it’s only fear,
…That keeps you locked in here.” – Alexi Murdoch, It’s Only Fear

Love, Mish

FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

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“The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love.” – Julia Cameron

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My Projection of You Is A Reflection Of Me – I

“Where did you charge your phone?” – M

“There on the left.” – W

“Left where?” – M

“Near the custom. You will see it.” – W

We’ve been waiting for hours to board. All flights are delayed indefinitely. Our plane has been diverted to Sandakan to wait out the storm and crowds from later flights kept pouring in by the hour. There weren’t enough seats for everyone. Many sat in groups on the floor, many more remained standing, while others crowded into stores to kill time. With hardly any space to move, the rising level of noise and crying babies, everyone was getting restless.

delayed

Everyone, it seems, except me. I was quietly feeling good about myself. After making it to the top of Mount Kinabalu and back, I can do anything! I can totally handle this! For the first time, I am not annoyed at Air Asia or aggravated by the long wait. I am enjoying listening to other climbers swapping stories of their hike. I was even grateful that the delay had caused me to stray into a store and find a gem of a book by Paulo Coelho, ‘Like the Flowing River’, which I was now reading. I felt calm like a river!

By this time, my phone had died and I’d like to charge it. But I didn’t want to vacate my precious seat for nothing. So I’m staring at my cousin scrolling through her phone, fully charged. She had found the charge point. I wanted to know its exact location, but that was all the help I got.

“There on the left.”

“Near the custom. You will see it.”

What does she mean by ‘there on the left’? How am I supposed to see that hole in the wall in this crowd? Suddenly, many hours of perfect Zen gave way to instant irritation to the highest degree! It’s like Life wanted to show me, “So you think you’re so tough? Here, take this!” It was a test.

At that exact moment, these were my unspoken thoughts on rapid-fire, ‘Why can’t she talk properly? Why can’t she answer precisely? She gives poor direction! What’s wrong with her? She’s so damn lazy!’

My cousin continued scrolling through her phone in perfect calm, oblivious to my offended ego, which demanded an answer that instant.

But she did answer.

That was her answer. Why was I feeling so much anger, over such a small matter? When I asked that, I got myself an answer, in rapid-fire no less.

I realized I’m the one who is just sitting there, too afraid to move and find the charge point for myself, from fear of my own poor sense of direction!

Another cousin of mine had ventured out earlier to find a charge point. While she was charging her phone, W had gone off to find her, and in the process, discovered the charge point for herself. Nobody told them where it was. They found it on their own. Why couldn’t I do the same?

Who’s the lazy one now? Ooops! 

There’s no harm in asking for directions. But sometimes directions are just that. It directs you. It points you “THIS WAY” but the rest of the details is your adventure and up to you to discover for yourself.

I was too lazy to get off my seat and projected my laziness and poor directions on W. In truth, I feared my own tendencies of getting lost!

The first time I heard about the concept of Projection was from my friend Guillaume, in Berlin. As we were taking a walk, he shared, “We see the bad in others that we don’t want to see in ourselves… we project it out.”

At first, that radical idea struck me as bizarre! I’ve written about it here: Owning my Shadow / Taming my Dragon. After the initial shock, the truth of it began to reveal itself to me–and it’s still revealing itself till this day.

“Projection is a fascinating phenomenon they failed to teach most of us about in school. It is an involuntary transfer of our own unconscious behavior unto others, so it appears to us that these qualities actually exist in the other people.

When we have anxiety about our emotions or unacceptable parts of our personalities, we attribute these qualities—as a defence mechanism—to external objects and other people. When we have little tolerance for others, for example, we are likely to attribute the sense of our own inferiority to them.

Of course, there’s always a “hook” that invites our projection. Some imperfect quality in other people activates some aspect of ourselves that wants our attention. So whatever we don’t own about ourselves we project onto other people.

We see only that which we are.” – Debbie Ford, ‘The dark side of the light chasers’.

At the clear realization that I was projecting my own personal traits on my cousin, the hot flash of irritation vanished! I felt a little embarrassed for me of course. These kinds of awareness aren’t easy on the ego. But there was no more reason for anger, so I felt free and light as a feather!

I decided to leave my phone uncharged and happily continued reading instead. Perhaps I passed the test. Perhaps I really can endure anything after the climb up Kinabalu. BUT. My lesson for the day is far from over.

The hilarity of what ensues later must be shared in ‘My Projection Of You Is A Reflection Of Me – Part II. I’ll leave that post for another day.

For now, that’s all the humble pie story I’m sharing. Has anyone had a similar experience? What are your thoughts on Projection? Got anything to share? I’d like to hear it! Leave comments below! LET’S GROW… 😉

Love,

Mish.

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“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

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My eye is twitchy, but I AM HAPPY…

It started off a trade-off, but it ended up being a pro bono work. My mind tells me I’m silly, but my heart wants to do it. 3 days in though, I am feeling conflicted. It’s taking up time. Lots and lots of precious days and time.

I am blessed that I have an awesome friend who is just as giving, if not even more generous, in his heart and soul. I am so lucky, that despite my grumbling, he is able to remind me why we do what we do: “I think in the years to come, you’re gonna look back remembering this project, feeling glad that you did it for Krishna, supporting his passion. Its good for the soul and money may not be able to buy that…” – Adam.

Man. His words were like a booster shot! It was all I needed to keep going. He brought back the BIGGER MEANING into perspective. I thanked him, but he’s not done yet: “Ship has sailed! Bring it home Michelle!”

I did, 4 hours later.

And that feeling, that satisfaction when the job’s done was an explosion of JOY! All the more because what I attempted to do today, is something I loathe to do. It’s not my natural strength or interest, and writing it, is a big struggle. But in the end, it’s DONE. And I actually liked it! I felt like singing in the rain. And so I did! Out of tune. In tune. Making up words, making no sense! I was enjoying the moment, soaking up the sweetness of a labour of love, when, a self-negating voice began to rain on my parade.

“You think you’re worthy? To celebrate? All you did was ONE thing today. Others out there work on a million things a day!” I got guilt-tripped for a minute or two, until I recognised this voice as the work of Shame.

It has appeared in the form of countless individuals, throughout my growing years. When I tell someone of my pain, “You think you have it bad? Others have it worst!” Or when something goes wrong, and there’s literally an open wound, instead of looking at how to stop the bleeding, “What’s wrong with you!” If I got conned or deceived or hurt,  “Why are you attracting these people in your life?” Blame. Shame.

We live in a culture of blaming and shaming. It’s happening everyday. It’s happening all around us.

It’s happening WITHIN us, if we continue to allow these forms of reaction to be the norm.

The truth is, the persons perpetuating the blame and shame game, is deeply in need of love, themselves. They can only do unto others, what they do to themselves. Deep down, they need to know that there’s no shame in their struggle.

But change begins with YOU and I. It begins with Awareness. It begins with acknowledging that there’s no need to Compete and Compare. We each have our place in this world, to Complete and Complement.

Your JOY is important.

Your HAPPINESS is important.

Your PAIN is important.

Your HURT is important.

What’s more important are the stories you choose to tell yourself. If you hear yourself telling yourself a Shame, Blame, and Fear based story, over and over again, like a broken record, it’s time to pay attention to that… to let go, to heal, and to grow. And then, change that story into something you’d like to hear for a change.

So just as I was beating myself down for celebrating JUST ONE THING today, my Inner Best Friend bounced by my side: “You did one thing, and you did it well! I’m so happy for you! You saw that one thing to completion. If you did this once, you can do it again. And again.

And again! You did it!”

There and then, I gained an evidence marker that I can finish what I’ve started. It’s the confidence boost I needed, as I’m entering into ‘the war of my life’ in the days to come…

…Lord knows, right after gaining clear direction for my writing on Sunday, right after the initial euphoria shot up like the brightest sun in the morning and faded away by evening, fear began creeping in like fog in darkness, getting thicker by the minute, until all visibility is obscured. The path ahead is uncertain. I don’t know what lies ahead. All I know is the mission at hand, and a heartfelt compulsion to run with it.

And as of now, the twitching has stopped.

And as of now, I know why my writing has been delayed. It’s been put on pause so I can arrive at this very moment, TODAY: “My eye is twitchy, but I AM HAPPY!” 

And in the days to come, I’ll hear: “Ship has sailed! Bring it home Michelle!” 

Love is a funny thing

Whenever I give it, it comes back to me
And it’s wonderful to be
Giving with my whole heart
As my heart receives
Your love…” – Jason Mraz, Love Someone

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

“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t! If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!” – Christopher Cassey, my PADI OWC instructor.

“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t!

If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!” – Christopher Cassey, PADI instructor.

By Day 2 of my 3 nights OWC crash course, my mind wavered if I could do this… Maybe I can’t… Maybe I’m not meant for this… Maybe I’m just kidding myself… Maybe I don’t even want this! I tried to keep an open mind, observing my thoughts as they came, even while I was diving.

By the time the sun had set for the day, I had more or less decided. 

I want to pass my OWC. But I don’t think I can… Not in 3 nights. By the 3rd day, I had a plan. I’ll return on another trip to complete the 2 boat dives to get my license. I didn’t have the confidence to do it that day.

The instructor was supportive of my decision. He wasn’t going to push me if I wasn’t ready for it. That’s nice… But somehow, deep inside, I knew it would feel nicer if I left the island finishing what I had begun here.

One thing led to another. In the end, I opted to stay on an extra night.

I still remember the first boat dive. First thing he did at the end of it was give me a high five with the biggest smile. “Good girl, you did it!”

Man. That feeling was pure satisfaction. And I wasn’t expecting that!

My first boat dive. OWC 2014.

My first boat dive. OWC 2014.

With my OWC Instructor, Chris.

With my OWC Instructor, Chris.

I know I didn’t do that great underwater, and ascended 10mins before 40. But it’s clear he wasn’t looking for perfection. The second boat dive was kinda the same. But the point is that we made it. We completed this!

Ascending from the womb of the ocean,  back into the heart of life... ballerina style! ;- )

Ascending from the womb of the ocean,
back into the heart of life… ballerina style! ;- )

It felt surreal when he handed me my temp diver’s license. Put myself through a lot of stress to earn it! And it was worth it. In 3+1 night, I gained more than just diving skills. I got a reminder of life’s basic rules:

1. Relax
2. Breathe
3. Exhale
4. If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t! If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!
5. Calm down

Also, gotta love the bunch of awesome divers my couz got together for the trip. Couldn’t have asked for better company! Their massive support and empathy skills were off the charts. All in all, best 5D4N of my April.

Every moment and wisdom gained on the island is guiding me forth. That was my intention from day one–and for everything I’m doing this year:

To conquer the fear that’s been holding me back from doing what I want to do in life. 

Today, I found myself struggling while writing, thinking the same fear-thought patterns: “Maybe I can’t… Maybe I’m not meant for this… Maybe I’m just kidding myself. Maybe I don’t even want this.”.

But Christopher’s voice is coming back louder and fiercer in my head:

“If you keep thinking I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, then you can’t!

If you think I can, I can, I can, then you can!”

I CAN. SO CAN YOU.

After a dive and a swim... the Snorkle-Beerbong Initiation night, to "celebrate" passing my OWC. (Actually, I had not completed my 2 boat dives on that night, but in the eyes of my diver friends, I'd already passed the test! And so I did, the very next day... ;- )

After a dive and a swim… a Snorkle-Beerbong Diver’s Initiation rite, to “celebrate” passing my OWC. (Actually, I had not completed my 2 boat dives on that night, but in the eyes of my diver friends, I’d already passed! And so I did, the very next day… ;- )

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” – William Arthur Ward

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 Ebb & Flow Of Life!” – Chris Assaad

Love this post by Chris Assaad: “Today was one of those days when I woke up and for no apparent reason I was feeling a little lower in spirits than usual. I began to wonder why.

Maybe it’s the cold, rainy, dreary weather and lack of sunshine as winter officially sets in. Maybe it’s a subtle feeling of discouragement as I come up against obstacles along the path to my dream and as I focus on how far I have yet to go to my goal.

Perhaps it’s a combination of fears that have crept into my subconscious and affected my mood. Fear of failure is always high on the list and then of course, there’s fear of everything that comes with success.

Or maybe it’s a bout of loneliness that triggered my fear of never finding the relationship I long for and of being alone for the failure or the success. Blah blah blah!

Ok that’s enough. This is how our minds work a lot of the time and if we don’t catch ourselves, we can get completely submerged in destructive thinking.

There are two levels to this pattern. The first is that when I wake up feeling a slight change in my mood, my first response is to assume that something is wrong and to go hunting for a reason. Well, we’re all professionals at that and when we go in search of evidence for why we’re feeling down, we’re bound to come up with plenty of great stories. Oh how we love our stories!

The fact is that there is an ebb and flow to life. There are highs and lows. There is bitter and sweet. There are gray days and sunny days and it’s all part of the package. If it were peaches, sunshine and roses all the time we’d probably get bored pretty quickly.

The second level is that we resist the mood and immediately try to “fix” it or escape it.  In some instances this takes the form of eating, drinking, doping, buying, consuming or indulging our way out of the problem. In other instances, we run, we hide, we deny or we slam on the brakes and shut down completely.

The bottom line is that the idea that we’re supposed to be on a high all the time is misleading and it can cause us to have false expectations. It’s no wonder that we live in a world mired in addictive behaviors aimed at escaping the lows that we all inevitably experience.

What I’ve been learning is that the best way to cause a shift in our mood when the darkness hits is to completely surrender to the experience of it.

This means facing the feelings, writing about them, talking about them with someone we trust and sometimes, even laughing about them.

The more we resist the valleys of life, the more entrenched in them we become. But when we honor our darker feelings and accept them as part of the nature of who we are, then they lose their hold on us.

When we acknowledge our feelings, give them voice and allow ourselves to feel the ugly, scary stuff, then the darkness passes and gives way to light.

Most importantly, when we’re having one of those days, it’s an opportunity to practice loving ourselves more, to dig deeper and have greater faith in our dreams, to build up our spiritual endurance and press on in the face of fear and uncertainty. It’s an opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow by getting to know a side of ourselves that makes us uncomfortable.

There is an ebb and flow to life.  Rather than fight it or resist it, let us embrace it.

Let us adjust our expectations of what is “normal” and practice accepting the highs, the lows and everything in between.

There’s a lesson in all of it and it’s by fully being wherever we are that we can maintain a sense of inner peace and remain empowered regardless of what the day holds or what the weather outside looks like.” – Chris

Chris Assaad is a rad singer/songwriter and a TDL reader. Check out his website here.

Read this gem of an article from The Daily Love ❤ Disclaimer: Just because I share an insight by Chris / The Daily Love, does not mean I am aligned with their teachings / programmes in all its entirety. There will always be things we agree with /don’t agree with. Please apply personal discernment. Take what you can, leave out the rest.

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

She said, “I want to marry the ugliest man, so he’ll be faithful to me.” It turns out, the ugly man she married, was not only unfaithful, he didn’t care about her.

“I picked up an old photograph in the antique drawer, in my grandfather’s room. The beautiful girl in the yellow dress caught my attention.

There’s something about her that made me ask my aunt, “Who is she?” I found out she was an adopted child, the half-sister of my elder aunt’s husband. She had said, “I want to marry the ugliest man, so he’ll be faithful to me.” It turns out, the ugly man she married, was not only unfaithful, he didn’t care about her.

When her water bag burst, he didn’t allow her to deliver the baby. He told the doctors to hold until the next day of August 1st, which was more “auspicious”. Somehow, she fell off the bed, and died (before she could give birth). She was pregnant with twins.

An earlier scan had revealed that one of the baby was a girl. The dad assumed the other would be a girl too. So instead of saving the babies through caesarean, he allowed the babies to die, along with their mother. Later, when he found out one of the baby was a boy, he was hopping mad with himself.

She was, I was told, about my age when she passed on so tragically.

Life is so unpredictable. Death comes when you least expect it. And true ugliness is selfishness. The lady made a choice to marry that man, out of fear. All it did was let her down. What a nightmare…” – an entry in my journal, two years ago, 1st March.

yellow

The story of The Girl In The Yellow Dress is true, not just of the lady in the photograph, but of each of us.

At one time or another, we may have made a choice out of fear, in preparation against the thing we fear the most.

But as we have discovered, the very thing we fear, becomes our reality, when we make it our focus and when we allow it to inform our decisions.

Her story is speaking to me today:

Choose Love.

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

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

Observe the patterns in your life. In just 1 day, the past 1 week, 1 month, 1 year… and if you dare go further, up to 10 years. What’s stuck on repeat?

I was clearing out my room the other day when I came across a note I wrote, more than 10 years ago. It was a sea of questions and thoughts and fears. But ONE stood out most of all.

“I want to be a writer… But what if I don’t have what it takes to be one? What if I’m not good enough to be a writer?”

I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been wrestling with these same questions everyday recently. But to discover that it’s nothing new, that it’s an Old Fear, something snapped. I started laughing. I suddenly realised I have spent the past 10 years doing exactly what I had wanted to do: WRITING.

I’ve been Copywriting, Songwriting, Blogwriting–writing, writing, writing! I AM a writer. My clients love my work. There are people who love my songs. And then there are readers who love my blog. And I have proved my old fear wrong. So what’s stopping me now, from Storywriting and Bookwriting? It’s Fear. It’s just an Old Pattern of Fear, planting doubts.

Realizing that, has given me the courage to get unstuck, and work daily towards my goals. This includes doing things I’ve never done before, such as constructing a world for my heroine and the obstacles she must face in order to get through to the other side. As I began drawing from my own journey, experience and imagination to do this, I saw a familiar pattern…

…It’s a pattern I saw in this video sometime ago, “What makes a hero?”. Watching it again, I was surprised (and not so suprised) to see that I’ve gone through “The Hero’s Journey”, and am still going through it right now… I know I’m not the only one and I’d like to share it with you here:

“…you leave your comfort zone. Have an experience that transforms you. And then you recover. And do it again.

You don’t literally slay dragons or fight Voldemort. But you face problems just as scary.

Joseph Campbell said, ‘In the cave you fear to enter, lies the treasure you seek.’ What is the symbolic cave you fear to enter?

Auditions for the school play? Baseball try-outs? Love?

Watch for this formula in books, movies and tv show you come across. You will certainly see it again.

But also be sensitive to it in your own life.

Listen for your call to Adventure. Accept the Challenge. Conquer your Fear. And claim the Treasure you seek.

And then, do it all over again.” – Matthew Winkler 

For YOU, what is the symbolic cave you fear to enter? What is your call to Adventure? What is your Challenge? What is your Fear that can be conquered? What is the treasure that you seek? Every single day, is an opportunity to advance closer to your dreams–DO IT.

For me, this is the year of facing major fears. I’ll be diving to its deepest depths and scaling up its highest heights! Besides writing, I’ve committed to be dive-certified by April and will be climbing Mount Kinabalu in June. I’m so excited for me as these are the things I’ve been wanting to do but was too afraid to do. I know that by the end of it, old fears will be broken, more confidence will be gained! It’s just what I need to keep progressing.

I leave you with this amazing quote…

habit

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

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

We’re So Much Better When We’re Together

If you’re Malaysian, and like me, you’ve went through the highs and lows of the “mother of all elections”, we have an understanding…

“We’re so much better when we’re together.”

The past few days have been the brightest and also the darkest.

It has brought out the best in me, and also the worst.

How little I knew and yet, how much I’ve learned and am still learning.

How full of hope and then, how filled with fear.

Through it all, as the dust begins to settle, it’s clearer to see:

We’re so much better when we’re together.

I’m not just talking about the election or us Malaysians uniting together.

Back to basics.

Tonight I’m just grateful for my family, friends and colleagues at work.

They help me see the things I can’t see, about others and about myself–the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

Today, I am once again reminded, I can be a better human being because of You in my life.

Tonight and the day after, and the day after, can you see how the person next to you is grateful to have known you?

Can you see the difference you have made in their life?

And then, can you see who you are grateful to have known?

Can you see what a difference he / she / they have made in your life?

That SMILE on your face when you see it… well, I can imagine it right now ‘cos it’s on mine too.

“We’re so much better when we’re together.”

Let’s sleep with that thought and bring it along in our waking days. I guarantee you, it’ll be worthsmiles.

Love,

Mish.

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“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

2013 Booster: “It was safe on that mountain of excuses, but a bird is meant to fly. I’m not meant to live there, hiding in clefts known as fear. And neither are you!” – Inka

I’m currently working in an organization aiming to empower women and protect children in West-Bengal, India.

Part of the mountainous plan is to make a project called Asha Kiran run as self-sufficiently as possible.

(Now would be a great time to open another tab and type in www.waasta.in, to find out more about this wonderful organization)

It is a complicated and challenging endeavour, but the hoped result is worth every obstacle fought and won.

Right now there is a lot of “no’s” standing in the way.

Quite simply, we need to see the “no” turn into a “yes”.

I know that doesn’t mean anything to you. But you can still pray it with us: no to a yes, no to a yes:)

Many of my passions and talents, even parts of my personality have been stifled and kept hidden by a devious lie; “Who am I to do anything of importance? I’m not qualified! And besides, look at ALL these talented, beautiful, brave souls that can do it so much better than I.

“Who am I to write songs? My voice is not like hers. Who am I to take photos? I’m not a professional. I am not enough. I’m happy to stand back and let others go and do.”

Only, that is not true.

Here—in the midst of project and product planning– I’ve felt like a baby bird, who’s mother nudges the little one with her beak and pushes the baby, right off the cliff.

“Off you go little one!” she says,

“I know your wings will carry you if you only open them wide and flap with all your might. You will look silly for a while, flap flap flapping your little wings, being tossed by winds greater then you. But as you try, you will learn. You will learn to read the winds, dive and soar. You will learn to fly with grace. Fly low and fly high. So off you go little one.”

It all starts with the nudge.

It was safe on that mountain of excuses, but a bird is meant to fly. I’m not meant to live there, hiding in clefts known as fear. And neither are you!

I’ve been asking myself; what purpose does downplaying my God-given persona and gifts serve? It serves NO purpose. Culturally we are taught not to give praise, lest a child become proud! So we learn to downplay and wrongly assume it to be the equivalent of humility.

How sad. How sad that the Creator, who made me with such inspiration, creativity, love and deep affection, now has to hear me say what an inadequate job He did. Should He not be the judge of His own creation? Seeing as I had nothing to do with the creation process.

I didn’t decide the size of my nose or the tone of my laughter. I didn’t pick my gifts or choose an IQ level fit for myself. It was all Him. For in Him I live and move and have my being. His opinion is that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Such sweet honour He lavishes on us, and honour is a great escort for humility, true humility.

I’m still at the very start. Often I want to flap my way back to the safety of the cleft. But I’m being taught and encouraged, gently challenged by the best.

Love,

Inka

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Hailing from Finland, growing up in Turkey, and now working in West Bengal India–in a girls protection program. 21 soon 22 year old Inka Vappula is one of the two awesome contributors in a private fb group, “Don’t worry, chicken curry–a virtual scrapbook of Indian adventures”. In her own words: “I’ve only discovered this love for writing in the last 6 months or so, and thinking that anyone else would want to read what I write still sounds quite alien to me. But I’m practicing the art of jumping into challenges… and I guess this is a perfect chance to grow.”