Some things are worthy of Second Chances

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

handsI didn’t always believe in second chances. I’d rather work on something new than go back and fix, what to me, was broken.

Three recent instances have taught me otherwise. Needless to say, I’ve been reluctant in all.

The only thing that has made me reconsider my point of view was – Sincerity.

The other parties’ sincerity opened up my mind into taking another look at how things have played out which has led to my decision to end things. It enabled me to think what’s possible if things were different, if we were different, or if we choose to try again.

I said yes to these second chances with open eyes and a more open heart – fully understanding what’s at stake and what could go wrong – again. It feels like walking on eggshells on some days and free-diving on others; it’s both limiting and liberating.

I deem these three things worthy of second chances, despite the effort I have to put into them and the leaps in consciousness I have to take, because in the undercurrent I sense a tenderness – life’s way of offering me the chance to forgive and  trust again on a whole new level.

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The Question is: Do you really want it?

Life path, Manifestation, The Self

blackhairAs I drifted to my waking state this morning, a vision flashed into my mind. I was shown, like a film on a huge screen, two of my most cherished desires from the moment of conception up to their fruition. I was asked, too, why there seemed to be a space in between and in hindsight, its possible significance.

I was dumbstrucked, my mind was sucked in a vaccuum and went completely blank. I never thought about that question. I never even bothered checking that angle.

At first I thought probably it’s because I still had to become the kind of person who deserved those things before I could have them. But that felt incomplete to me. It just didn’t fit. It sounded conditional and shallow.

Then I realized, those desires wouldn’t have materialized in the first place if it’s not because of what I did – if not because of my full engagement and devotion to them. If not because of  the chances I took, the risks I embraced and the work I’ve invested onto them.

The question was not whether I was deserving of my desires. The real question was and always has been: Do I really want what I thought I wanted?

I was deserving and always will be – we all are. What enables us to create is our desire and not our value (since we are all equally valuable and worthy to begin with).

We’re able to manifest some desires but not others, not mainly because they’re not “meant” for us, but because we don’t want them enough – we don’t want them in the same way, with the same intensity and passion needed to give birth to something that matters.

That space in between – between the conception of my desires and their fruition – gave me all the time I needed to evaluate whether I really wanted what I said I wanted.

More importantly, I didn’t find the answers by putting everything on hold and reflecting in isolation. I worked my way – I lived my way through them. I’ve expressed my “Yes-es” through my countless decisions to proceed.

Most of the time if we’re not “given” what we thought we wanted we think that it’s only either because it’s not meant for us or it’s not the right time yet. We fail to look at and/or underestimate our own contribution in the manifestation of our desires. When it feels as though our desires are put “on hold” it’s not always because of those two things above, more often that not, it’s simply life’s way of asking us, “Do you really want it?” And again, life expects us to answer not through our words but through our committed actions.

If there are things sitting on your list, unrealized and merely sucking up your energetic space – take the time to have an honest conversation with yourself. Dare to ask the question that matters the most, “Do you really want it/them?”. Take inspired actions from there.

Priorities

Career, Life's Work, Manifestation, People & Relationships, The Self

yellowbrownWe can strive to have what we’ve conceptualized as “work-life balance” or we can raise the bar in choosing which causes, career opportunities, activities and relationships to engage with. Then limiting the time we allot to work becomes secondary since the things we choose to invest on are in alignment with what nourishes us and the things and relationships that matter to us.

 

 

 

 

Choose Yourself

Authenticity, The Self

In the recent years, looking back, I noted that I was able to have/create what I really wanted not by actively pursuing them, but by giving them up.

huggingIt’s counter-intuitive, I know, but the lesson I get is always simple and always the same: When you honor your values, when you don’t settle for less than what you know you deserve, when you choose yourself, the Universe lights up and aligns everything in your favor.

The first time it happened, I could literally feel my angels and guides partying and showering me with kudos. Learning the most important lesson of self-worth and self-love is a triumph for everyone.

Since then that’s how I knew that if something’s making me feel like I had to choose between myself and that thing/relationship, that’s when I should let it go. It will find its way back to me if it’s meant for me at the right time, in the right circumstances, if not it will completely fade away from my life experience.

This happens because the manifestations of our desires are always secondary, what matters the most is our well-being, our joy and our expansion.

Getting Clear

Authenticity, Life path, Manifestation, The Self

topbunOur life is not determined by the things we do but by the decisions we make. On the surface those may seem exactly the same, but in essence they aren’t.

The things we do only pertain to the overt actions we take, for instance, what we do professionally, what our hobbies are, how do we spend our holidays, how do we manage our finances, where do we decide to live, how do we take care of ourselves and our loved ones, what makes up our bucket list, and so on.

On the other hand, our decisions don’t always have to be about doing anything in particular. They can be about choosing a particular thought over the others, choosing to follow through a certain emotion instead of the others, it’s about what’s at risk, it’s about the consequences, it’s about whether we’re being true to ourselves or not, it’s about whether we are reaffirming life or not, it’s about struggling or following the path of least resistance, it’s about following our heart or our ego, and the likes.

It’s more about the “how and the why” instead of the “what, where and when”.

What ultimately determines the quality of our life is how we feel about it and the details, the moments that make it up. Forms are secondary, because forms only follow our vibration. The seat of creation is in our state of being. It’s also where our fulfillment is.

Why do we Relapse?

Healing, The Self

upOkay, let’s say we get it right for a couple of days, for a few weeks, a few months and even a few years. Then at some point during our progress, we relapse, we go back to our old problematic situation – may it be a previous lifestyle, a disposition, relationships, habits, and just the very thing – anything – we have set our mind to get over with for good.

Why does this happen?

I know it’s frustrating and sometimes complex, but the answer can also be as simple as this:

Because we stop working on it.

Any kind of change worthy of our effort needs our dedication just like physical work out. We gotta do it regularly and even level up the intensity if we want to see progress. Our muscles get back to how they were or even in worse shape when we stop working out. We can’t just work out intensely for a few months and expect that it’s gonna do it for the rest of our lives. We need to be continuously on it, regardless if we’re in the mood or not for it, regardless if we feel like we’re getting back to how we were or not…yet. We usually stop when it either gets better or worse – and things are always gonna go either way, anyway.

Healthy habits have to be practiced consciously, consistently, especially when it’s difficult, since those times are probably when we are at our most vulnerable…to hit a wall or relapse.

Many of us think that we can just get over something for good.

Maybe scientifically, technically, yes, there are qualifiers and there is a need to do that as well. But not essentially. It’s a pretty subjective matter and things are open-ended until, well, we die. We just cannot get over our humanity until then. We are always subject to evolution.

Likewise, we may need to stamp on an issue for our own self-esteem and peace of mind, and that is certainly not a bad thing to do if doing so actually helps. However, for many of us, this only puts an intolerable pressure that backfires when we realize we can’t keep up with our own expectations. This only makes us more critical of ourselves and of others which can lead us into another (maybe worse) downward spiral.

What helped me with my struggle with chronic depression and my fears of relapsing (again) was accepting that it’s probably gonna be one of crosses until I die. I am probably more likely to be depressed because of how I am wired and there’s certainly nothing I can do to change that, and I wouldn’t want to, anyway. It’s only after being able to accept it that I felt powerful over it again.

It’s a struggle and also a beacon of light for me, guiding me on how I should be taking care of myself. It’s a constant reminder of all the healthy habits I should be embodying, not out of fear, but out of genuine self-awareness and self-love. It reminds me of how I won the battles of my life, which only proves how indestructible my spirit is, which only inspires me to move forward in my path.

Many times, I have wished, too, of a button that we could simply press to transform ourselves and our lives with for once and for all. But eventually I have realized what’s the point of life then if such a thing existed?

The narratives of our lives are about our struggles, transformations and triumphs. The Universe hopes that we learn to appreciate them more; to see them as beautiful and full of meaning – and to just. keep. going.

On Leadership

Manifestation, People & Relationships, The Self

cocreation

girlsLeadership can manifest in a variety of ways, and probably, we almost always associate it with career, business, politics or any religious/spiritual movement. Not all of us will be put in those situations, though, neither do we need to be in order to be in a position of leadership.

By default, we’re already the leaders of our own lives. Inevitably so, we are always influencing each other’s preferences, decisions and behavior.

We define leadership in a range of responsibilities and character traits that we think are part of the package of what it means to be a leader.

I’ve had my own struggles when it comes to leadership. Not sure yet how it all began, or if its just an intrinsic part of my character, but I’ve always felt conflicted towards what I assumed were “persons of authority” – from my parents, to my older relatives, to my teachers, religious leaders, health practitioners, bosses. There’s a part of me who just couldn’t fully trust them. While my peers blindly obeyed their parents, my classmates befriended our teachers, and my colleagues befriended our bosses, I kept my distance and gravitated towards my own ground instead.

I have learned at a young age to not trust their opinions of me completely – regardless if they’re positive or negative. I just didn’t accept them at face value, and instead, relied on my own self-awareness and self-evaluation. I didn’t always question their opinions outwardly, but I made sure to rely on my own judgment as the final word. I paid attention, did my research and used my critical thinking.

I’ve had my own share of rebellions at each stage of my life, to varying degrees, and it hasn’t been a smooth ride, as those of you who’ve been on a similar path would surely know. I didn’t get fair treatment from teachers for refusing to act like their pet, I’ve had messy, antagonistic fights with my parents because of decisions I made which contradicted their advice, I’ve been overlooked for promotions at work because I wouldn’t wanna open up to my bosses, and yes – I’ve had a couple of police beatings, too, for choosing to stand up for my rights and principles.

It’s as if the world pushed me back the more I dared to stand up. I would get beaten whenever I opted to use my own mind. I was banished for merely embracing myself.

I have made, and continue to make, quite unpopular decisions – decisions that made me look bad to others and sometimes, most of all, to myself. I’ve made decisions that have created conflicts and enemies I never intended to create. I have polarized camps, stirred discourses to a boiling degree and pushed for decisive resolutions before everyone else was ready.

It didn’t even take me so long before I earned the status of The Bitch. When one dares to be authentic, especially when one is a woman, this would inevitably happen sooner than one might expect. On the other hand, it took me quite longer before I finally got the lesson behind my life-long struggle with leadership.

It has come full circle for me lately.  Life wanted me to learn that at the heart of each leader’s long list of responsibilities lies only one common thing – the need and the ability to make decisions, day in and day out.

A leader’s job, above all, it to make decisions – especially, difficult ones. And more often than not, these decisions have to be done before one is ready to do so, before one has gathered all the facts and has deliberated the pros and cons. More often than not, a leader has to rely on her/his own judgment, or what we sometimes call, intuition. Consequently, the one who makes the decision gets either the praise or the beating as a result, even though many others, no matter how anonymous they may be, have also participated in the decision-making process in one way or another.

One can either be a good or a bad leader, and this is entirely situational. It is also secondary.

Before one can fully take the role of leadership, one must be able to make difficult decisions first. One must be able to step in the middle of the circle, in complete acceptance of one’s accountability to the consequences that may follow – including the unforeseen ones.

Each of us has been entrusted with her/his own sword to cut through the fog of life, but only leaders dare use them.

No one can proceed in her/his own path without carving her/his own way through. Thus, cutting through the fog becomes imperative for all of us.

We can choose to either actively carve our path out or be shoved all the way through it – the decision is ours.

It’s a hero’s journey – all our lives are – because it’s the one that requires us to be in our full capacity. It’s where timelines are shrunk into one and all we have is the power of Now. It’s the journey which invites the I to step up and be seen. It’s where all our possibilities intersect and The Potential is maximized.

When we step up, wave our sword and slice through the fog ahead us, we are inevitably paving the way for others as well. And from a wider perspective we are all progressing towards one major path.

By cutting through it individually, we are also making the path more visible and more accessible for everyone.

Again, one doesn’t need to be in a position of leadership at a bigger, more recognized scale. By default, we’re already the leaders of our own lives. Inevitably so, we are always influencing each other’s preferences, decisions and behavior – continuously co-creating reality as we know it. We must take our place in co-creation since the reality that ends up manifesting is the reality we must also live in. May it be the reality that lifts us higher.

The Silent Warrior

Life path, Places, Poetry, The Self

climb

lake2In one of my future lifetimes, I wish to become a mountain.

I admire them. They are silent but they have endured so much – and they have so much life and beauty to offer. It must be their height that’s influencing their higher and wider perspective. They don’t even need to say a word nor do anything. Their mere presence is other creatures’ rock and haven. You can find your strength through the climb up and your respite as you arrive on the top. You can admire the beauty of Earth together – something she sees everyday but still never gets tired of.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote about mountains (in Tagalog).

 

There is beauty, even in Regrets

Healing, The Self

huggingI’ve been wrestling with my regrets recently. Some days were downright shitty.

It went on for days and weeks…and months. Until had what I call a clearing. I have decided to get back on my feet and climb out of my self-loathing pool. Suddenly there was the sun, the sky and life as usual.

I remember a line from one of Sylvia Plath’s poems, “…I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.” While for sure it’s something I’ve already been doing for months, this time this particular line rang into my mind with a different meaning. It may have drove Plath off the bridge of her sanity, but  it gave me a breather and a glimpse of freedom.

I have realized that –

There is beauty, even in regrets.

Regrets are neither whips to beat ourselves with nor weed to pluck from our garden the moment they shoot out.

Regrets are mirrors of our path. They show us the blessings we’ve always been given and the times we’ve failed to notice them. They remind us that we are loved and taken care of. They are proofs of God’s faithfulness to us, that no matter how blind we may be at times, grace has always been showered on us.

They remind us how much we have, and therefore, how much there is to lose.

Like Plath, I wanna be acutely aware of the things I’ve taken for granted – but unlike her, it is not to beat myself to death but to enable myself to start again – this time, more grounded and more grateful.

I wanna know how much I lost so I can learn how to value and maximize all that’s left.

I wanna mourn and celebrate my regrets. Without them I won’t have enough pointers to guide me in correcting my course and in living my life to the fullest that I know of.

On getting Inspiration

Authenticity, People & Relationships, The Self

cupThe people around us will always have their opinions about our choices. We don’t have to – and we definitely shouldn’t listen to all of them. We have to learn how to filter out these voices.

We must only listen to those who we want to be more similar with and whose lives match the life we want for ourselves.

What makes other people happy or successful won’t necessarily make us happy and successful. So we should stop looking around us and mindlessly copy bits and pieces of how others live their lives – or be affected by what others say about us and how we live.