Loving the Skin I’m In

Authenticity, Faith, Healing, The Self

do it

undressIt’s probably a natural byproduct of my recent spiritual spurt, this desire to be out in the sun.

I suddenly found myself looking forward to sunny days, so I can lie down in our balcony, bask myself under the sky and soak the sun’s healing energy. It’s become part of my routine. Whenever I can, I would take Munchkin out for a walk as well, sniffing on plants and getting all messy in the mud.

I’ve learned to like my tan, too. In fact, I feel more like myself now that I am brown AF.

I’ve always been on the dark side of the spectrum. However, I didn’t always like getting darker because, just like the majority of Filipinos, I, too, believed that darker skin tones were less attractive. There were even times when I would consume all kinds of skin-whitening products from soap, to toner, to lotion, to glutathione pills and injections. I was also reluctant to participate in outdoor activities to “preserve” whatever fairness I had.

This 180 degree change in my attitude was liberating. Now, I could fully embrace both – my joy to be out in nature and my natural complexion.

I did my research before immersing myself in this new routine of sunbathing, because like many others, I, too have been indoctrinated to believe that sun caused more damage than good. I was surprised to read many articles disproving these kinds of claims, and more surprised to know that there’s no single actual research that directly links sun exposure to melanomas. What we have been made to believe in was merely a sweeping generalization which has actually caused more harm than good. We have been sold all these sun screens and skin products which can supposedly protect us from the sun, despite the fact that they contain harmful, carcinogenic chemicals. This has also resulted to a deficiency in Vitamin D in certain groups of people, particularly those with lighter skin, which has been causing a plethora of illnesses beyond cancer.

It’s interesting to note what the people around me say about my new tanned skin. I’ve been getting a lot of compliments, ironically, even from people who put fair skin tones on a pedestal. Some were baffled. They couldn’t seem to understand why someone would want to be darker, so they kept quiet and kind of stared at me from a distance. Some, I felt, flatly rejected it. The rest simply gave me advice as to how I should sunbathe even though they didn’t sunbathe themselves. They spewed their internalized misconceptions at me about the supposedly harms of the sun, even though they couldn’t back up these claims.

Anyway, it’s been great! I’ve become an official Sun Child again.

The Sun doesn’t only provide me with body food, but also with soul food.

It’s helping me become more and more of who I really am. I’m lucky because it’s abundant where I live and it’s for free! So yay! 😀

 

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A Love Note to the Wounded

Healing, Life path, People & Relationships, Personal Stories, The Self

purple

When you’re hurting, don’t cave inside yourself. Keep your heart open. Let love and light fill you in.

You’ll heal only in your vulnerability.

Let the Universe plant a seed where there’s a hole or a sore spot. Let that seed grow with you in light and love. Let it guide you towards the direction of your expansion and your highest joy. Let the plant, the tree keep you grounded.

Let it transform you. Let it reveal your inherent strength and beauty.

Integrate the pain and transmute it. Rise up.

Two things: Don’t make it complicated. Update your OS.

Healing, Life path, Meditation/Visions, The Self

transformation

mountaintopJust a background for this post, I’ve recently been having issues with my laptop. For reasons I didn’t know back then, it started lagging and it won’t boot up and shut down properly. When the worst of it happened yesterday – it’s already been an hour and it still won’t shut down – I’ve decided to officially investigate what’s going on and solve the problem for good.

Like what people on this day and age usually do when they have questions, I went to Google. Shortly, I found myself immersed in all sorts of online fora and tutorials on YouTube, multiple tabs open while at the same time I was tinkering a bit with the settings of my laptop like a good online student.

Internet peeps suggested really complex and highly technical steps to follow to solve the problem. Despite my efforts to do my research, I was actually feeling lazy, so I simply ignored most of what I read and watched – I would skip to another website, another video, another article when the suggestion got way past three sentences.

As I was half-paying attention to the settings of my laptop, I bumped into this portion where I simply had to click a button so it can scan for issues which may have been preventing the OS to upgrade itself automatically. I didn’t even know such a solution existed – since apparently I was not that familiar with my own device and none of the online fora or videos talked about it. I was up for trying anything that might solve the problem – I was desperate – so even though I wasn’t familiar with it I clicked on the button. In a short while the process has already been completed. A message told me so. It seemed too simple and easy for me – but I took a leap of faith and restarted my laptop, anyway, half-expecting it will be back to normal. I told myself that if it would still take more than 2 minutes to shut down then the problem still persisted.

It shut down in a couple of seconds.

An OS upgrade was simply what it needed. I didn’t have to do anything complicated. I didn’t have to consult “the experts”. I just had to let my intuition guide me. And boy, I didn’t know I was a genius *winks.

I knew the Divine was on to something, and I was not gonna let it go to waste, so I posed a question. “What message are you trying to send me?”

I got this long and beautiful answer:

 

Part 1: Stop making things unnecessarily complicated

sleepingYou and your culture has a habit of making things unnecessarily complicated. You have this illusion that acquiring more information is always a good thing, that it always leads to something better. You “Google” this, you “Google” that. Eventually you are faced with all these chunks of information and infinite tabs open, both literally on your devices and in your minds.

What you fail to notice is that pieces of information that are not relevant to you will simply stay stuck in your mind. Information is energy, too, and energy has to flow.

If you don’t know how to transform the energy that is information, if you don’t know what to do about it, it can end up poisoning you or sucking the life out of you – including your own brilliance.

It can cloud your good judgment and your ideas that are actually relevant for you at each specific moment. Solutions naturally rise to the surface of your mind, but with all the clutter and mud, this would be difficult.

Keep your mind clear and simple. The information that you need is always already there inside you.

 

Part 2: Why you need to upgrade your devices’ OS

lostUpgrading a software, including your own devices’ operating system takes time, this reason alone usually makes people postpone it. They don’t wanna bother being away from their devices’ even for a few minutes. They think since it has worked for them so far it should still work fine for the next months and years. They’re even given the option to do the upgrading when they’re supposed to be sleeping during wee hours, but still, they choose not to. They brush the reminder off like it’s from their annoying mothers. They move on with their lives.

However, time always comes, when upgrading the OS becomes inevitable. The device lags, it crashes again and again – especially during times when they’re in the middle of something important like saving a file or cancelling an email or talking with an angry client – or it won’t boot or shut down properly.

Eventually most of these people will get it; they would simply want to end their misery and they know upgrading the OS is the only solution.

Some of them don’t wanna upgrade because they’re contented with how things currently are (yes, I’m talking to YOU). They don’t believe that the upgrade will provide them with a better user experience. Aside from that, they also don’t want to give more storage to the OS ’cause, duh, they’re saving the space for their selfies and downloaded baby animal videos.

 

Part 3: Upgrade the OS of YOU

undressMost of you are behaving this way towards yourselves. You know you gotta upgrade the operating system of YOURSELF yet you keep on skipping on it. You brush the reminder off from your Spirit. You ignore the signs that your existing OS really needs updating.

You try to live with the bumps of your life – rationalizing them simply as “shit happens” -, you stand passively as your good relationships fall apart while you cling to the toxic ones, you suffer from health crises, you slowly sink in to depression but you’re too used to feeling that way that you don’t see anything wrong with it – again it’s just life happening – you’re miserable at work that you’d rather die than do it everyday for the rest of your life – but you still won’t dare do something about it, your finances evaporate for reasons that don’t even nourish you or make you genuinely happy but you keep spending more, you start to think that people are monsters and everybody is out to get you and eat your heart so you lock yourself in, you isolate yourself, and you don’t dare ask anybody for help.

Eventually, to some, the moment comes when you just get tired of this downward spiral. Eventually it becomes too painful, too unbearable for you that you finally wanna to get out of it. Hallelujah, you finally want Change.

You finally wake up to the fact that your OS is outdated. Your outdated habits, beliefs, interests, choices and relationships float to the surface.

While you may not have a button that you can simply click and the upgrade will automatically take place even when you’re asleep, there is actually one decisive step that you can take.

Say “YES” to Transformation.

Decide that you want it, that you need it. Flip that switch, press that button in your mind that says you wanna move forward and never look back. Accept the invitation of your Spirit to start the upgrade. Commit to that irreversible change that you want.

You don’t even need to know the details of what’s gonna change and how it will come about. You don’t get to see what literally happens during a system upgrade on a device, right? Some steps have to be done on your behalf, like clicking buttons, yes, but you are not required to actively participate all the time in its duration. In fact, you can even sleep on it for the most part, or do something else while your device does its job.

A similar thing happens when you upgrade YOU. For most part of your spiritual journey, you are simply being led by the Divine, and miracles occur for you and IN you as you move along. No need for you to keep on checking, “How’s it going? Is it done yet? Will it be over soon? Is there anything I should do to speed things up?”, in fact this behavior only stalls the process. This makes you distracted and this makes the Divine’s work all bumpy.

For the most part what’s actually required of you is to simply…surrender.

When you say “yes” to the transformation and commit to it, trust that it will happen the best way it should happen. Trust that the changes are meant to give you a better experience of yourself and life.

The truth is, just like a device’s OS upgrade, this process is already over before you even choose to begin it. The BEST output has already been created, the BEST ending has already been achieved. The Divine has already selected the BEST way it can unfold. This is not a trial-and-error fling, we’re not on Beta either. We endorse it because we are sure of it. It is irreversible. It is groundbreaking.

All you have to do is decide. Accept the invitation of your Spirit. Commit to the Transformation.

I’ve survived my worst Acne Breakout – my Self-Esteem can survive anything

The Self, Women's Room

IMG_20170829_143032_793It all started in Hong Kong – after a week of stay, upon hiking one of its peaks. It must be the extreme July heat, the fabric of the cap I was wearing all day, everyday and the waterfall of sweat irritating my pores. It started with one, then two – then after a couple or more days I had a load shit of cystic acne creepin’ on my forehead. They were itchy, painful and angry red. Unfortunately my forehead was not enough, they’ve decided to climb down my nose, my cheeks and chin as well. The next thing I knew my face felt and looked like a jack fruit had fallen on it while I was mindlessly staring at the sky.

At the same time, I mysteriously had insect bites on my legs, which were itchy as fuck and left me with ugly, dark marks (and it didn’t help the fact that I had sunburn). My mom was traumatized when I got back home and she saw me again – she swore to my face she’s never gonna go to HK if it meant she’s gonna be ugly like me, too.

I thought things were gonna get normal again as soon as I got home and my skin problems would disappear on their own.

They. Didn’t.

My face kept on breakin’ out even after two weeks of being at home and for the first time in a long time I had to gather all my bag of acne treatment tricks. I mean, I’m used to having pimples – I’ve had them since I had my period at 11. But cystic acne’s all new to me. They’re monstrous, itchy and painful.

I was wondering what could have possibly caused it. I’ve read articles saying that acne breakout due to traveling was quite usual. Some say it’s the water, it’s the food, it’s the air, it’s the stress, it’s the humidity, yada yada yada. I was thinking it could possibly because I started eating meat again after 3 weeks of eating only plant-based food. Maybe it’s also because I started taking contraceptive pills again.

It was hell for quite some time – until it wasn’t anymore. I just let go of my worries. I said fuck it, I was having acne for some reasons which will never be clear to me. My face wanted to break out and throw a tantrum. She’s having her moment. Let her be. I still went on with my acne treatment routine (which consisted of the gang – salicylic acid, apple cider vinegar, exfoliating soap and all kinds of Korean facial masks) but threw my worries out the window. The same thing applied to my sunburn and the nasty marks on my legs.

But whatever – at least I was fit enough to travel and to do the outdoor activities that I liked even if it meant I would have girly problems eventually.

It’s been six weeks now since the breakout began – and I still keep on having new cystic pimples coming out. It’s not so bad anymore, though. My skin is finally responding to the treatment. I’m working out everyday as well and I’m back to my healthy diet. I have survived the worst of it, to hell and back again. I joke myself about it ’cause I know it may sound petty but it’s true and I know some people can relate – I’ve survived my worst acne breakout, my self-esteem can survive anything.

I can be at my ugliest and still chill and strut my stuff like business as usual. I think that’s a reason to celebrate.

Little milestones. *winks