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Archive for April, 2011

Rewriting my Mantra

A few days ago I found myself flailing once again in a sea of uncertainty, feeling lost and caught in the trappings of a life that simply did not have enough joy or things to look forward to.  Or so I thought. I was done, I had said. I’m tired. Enough already.

Oh, this came a day before my little road trip to the Chapel on the Hill, so…yeah, drama.

I was just feeling frustrated with having to be responsible for so many things, tired of being pleasant and supportive or simply being there for people who didn’t really matter much,  and somewhere in there was a stirring of anger as well. Anger because I felt no one was understanding me. And yes, that little insecure girl inside of me was once more whispering that I prolly didn’t matter much to people around me in the first place.

With a bit of a weary heart, I headed of to the St. Alphonsus Mary De Liguori Parish in Magallanes to pay my respects to my cousins’ grandmother who had passed the day before. When I arrived at the church, my cousins were just starting doing the customary Stations of the Cross and they invited me to join in. As I went through the different stations, being reminded of that sacrifice Jesus made, I couldn’t help but feel his presence and His comfort touch my heart. When I reached the 7th station, all that feeling of being useless and tired and weary just went away. I was reminded of why I do what it is I do….that even if I feel like this little blip on a radar that doesn’t matter at all, I am not after all.

The 7th station is that of the second fall of Jesus and in which Simon comes and helps him carry the cross. The reflection prayer for that station read:

He was forced to change his path, a change that made a difference in his life. He was forced to carry your cross and he himself was also a victim of poverty and injustice. He experienced your pain, Lord, which is why he discovered that life can only be meaningful if there is willingness to share one's time and effort to others.

And so the Lord toinked me, right? :)

I was reminded (but mind you I wasn’t listening yet!) that yeah, I may feel tired every now and then, frustrated and feeling embittered that I feel unloved and remembered (after all, every once in a while it would be nice to come home to a surprise on my table, like lets say one of those bouquets from that Louisville flower delivery website I keep looking at, or perhaps with a gift for no particular reason  haha), but that there is a reason for all of this and if I let go of that notion, things will not be so frustrating for me. And that’s only when I can find meaning in what it is I do.

So I decided to rework my life mantra that night (and the day that followed, I must say):

I quit.

No, not anymore the way  I was quitting earlier on but this time, I am quitting the histrionics (but, true, do expect some drama every now and then haha)

From now I have decided to live simply, speak kindly, care deeply, love generously, forgive readily, release attachment to results and be grateful no matter what :)

Gnyty peeps.

Get Sexy with Samsung’s New Sexy PC!

As much as I so very, very love Apple (aka my apple-red-candy-shelled Macbook), I am in dire need of a new sexy lappy because Apple seems to be hanging on it’s last thread, haha. Yes, it’s definitely on it’s way out as the batteries are no longer working, the LCD is starting to flicker…sigh.

In comes Samsung’s new Sexy PC!

The Samsung Netbook Series 9 was recently launched and OH MY GOSH…just take a look at how drool worthy it is:

up close and personal....sooooo sexy!

Touted as Samsung’s thinnest notebook, it boasts of specs that would make any PC jealous. Look at all of the things that comes in a sleek, new package weighing only 2.89 pounds:

  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 Processor 2537M (1.40 GHz, 3MB; turbo up to 2.3 GHz)
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) / Windows® 7 Professional (64 bit)
  • 4GB DDR3 (up to 8GB)
  • 128GB Solid State Drive (up to 256)
  • 13.3-inch HD LED-backlit SuperBright Plus display (400 nit)
  • Resolution: 1366×768
  • Intel HD GT2 Integrated Graphics
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, WiMax
  • USB 3.0
  • 3 watt (1.5W x 2) stereo speakers and 1.5 watt sub-woofer
  • 1.3megapixel HD Webcam
  • Li-Po battery (up to 6.5 hours)
  • 2.89 lbs.

Sexy right? :) And what makes it even more sexy in my opinion is the fact that it goes beyond just looking great, it is actually MADE great. I am a firm believer, after all, in the importance of things being more than just the way they look right? What matters is what’s on the inside but if the outside is just as fabulous, then that’s just perfect :)

During the launch last March 22, Manila’s most stylish and fashionable graced the runways with three of the country’s most coveted and respected fashion designers showcasing their collections inspired by the Samsung Notebook Series 9.

Here’s what some of the night’s highlights and what the had to say about the new sexy pc to die for :)

Want your own Sexy PC? (yes yes yeeeees!!!!)

Get a chance to win your own Sexy Samsung Series 9 Netbook!!!!

For a chance to win your very own unit (which is estimated to retail for about Php 79,000!), simply Like the Samsung Facebook Notebook Series 9 page and watch out for their contest very soon! I DEFINITELY WILL!!!

This particular lappy is so perfect for me because it’s not only pretty and stylish, but it’s packed with lots of great things in it! What about you, why would this be great for you??? Do drop me a line in the comments section below :)

Playing Out the Wave

To say the past two weeks or so have been like treading on rough waters is an understatement. Perhaps caught in the middle of a summer storm in the middle of an angry ocean would be a better way to describe how it has been for me. Yes, that rough. So much so that almost every night, tears stained my pillows as I stuggled to fall into a restful sleep and even my yin yoga class last Wednesday (which is one of the things that gives me the most pleasure lately) was a great struggle for me. It’s been quite difficult to deal with so many things that have been going on, so many things I feel I messed up with and perhaps, yeah, there was some mistaking there, but it just felt so overwhelmingly difficult that it was like being caught in a riptide with barely enough lifelines to hold on to, or strength and desire for that matter, to do so. In a way I guess I should say I was glad I was on holiday break because save for Monday, the only people I had seen were my yoga teachers and so I didn’t really have to explain my goldfish eyes or have to pretend I was happy and okay and that my heart wasn’t so painfully wounded by words said and unsaid. I could just be sungit and quiet and that would be fine.

Although the storm seems to have tapered down a bit, and the faint glow of the sun was slowly returning, I found myself so very tired from treading the waves that were so big and strong. And so with a very tired heart last night, I did the only thing left to do. I prayed. I heeded to a message I was sent not too long ago, that I should pray more. I should pray for strength, I was told.  And for hope. And for love.

And so as I wrote down my prayer (I like notes, so there :)) I prayed oh so very hard for those. I said, Lord, I am trying to find reason in all of this, but I know the more I search the more I won’t find it but that all I need to do is believe there is reason for it. So please, take it from me and give me an answer to what I ask for. I’m tired, I had said, of having to figure out what to do, how to fix things, how to manage, and of doing everything myself. So I asked for the strength physically and mentally to be able to just keep trying, even if I always feel like I’m falling short, to keep going, despite all the bitter disappointments, and yes, to hold on even if I don’t want to anymore. I asked for the strength to keep on giving and caring, without expecting or asking anything in return and to let go of bitterness when disappointments set in. I asked for hope to be able to quiet my spirit and give my heart some rest. But most of all I asked for love in all sense of the word, from myself, from family, from friends. I asked for a love that I could understand and believe in, and one that wouldn’t go away or get mad or push me away when I am hard to understand (which very often admittedly I am).

Um…demanding much? Haha. Maybe, I guess, but as I dried up my tears I felt a stirring in me that said go to the Chapel on the Hill tomorrow and you’ll find the answer there.

As I did last October when I felt that need to go on a road trip to converse with my soul, I fought and rationalized at first. It’s a waste of time, you have lots of other things to do, it’s a waste of gas and money yadiyadiya. I even went to yoga class this morning and told my teacher I had planned to go to Caleruega but opted not to because I’d rather go to her class instead.

But no…the Universe, nay —God, had better plans for me.

My teacher often has a theme in her yoga classes and today was all about waves and how we everything is like the wave of an ocean, it comes and it goes, like the tides. So you just have to play out the wave, she says, go with it and allow it to take you where it needs to take you. Talk about being toinked while doing your asana, right?

So I was in the snail pose today, one that I struggled with for a long time prior to today, and for the first time, I find comfort in it, feeling the pleasurable surge of energy and chi flowing in my body. And it hit me: ride the current and breathe, Ria. Play out the wave, don’t flail too much and soon you will make it back to still waters. Thus I decided to play out that wave and listen to the voice that told me to go drive to that chapel.

And so after class, I came home to change, threw in my camera, my iPad and a blank craft box with some pencils and coloring materials into my and drove away.

When I got to the chapel, I entered through (as would be expected of me) one of the side doors and as soon as I did, the answer I had asked for last night was right there:

Caleruega Chapel on the Hill

remain in my love that your joy may be complete...

I asked for love, and I got it.

Or should I say, I was reminded that I had it all along.

21 Days to Break A Habit

A few months ago a friend of mine posted a status message on her Facebook profile that read “21 days”.

Hmmm…I thought. I assumed it was something she was planning for or perhaps a project she was doing but then she said, it takes 21 days to break a habit. I never really thought of it that way, but when I did my 40 day Lent sacrifice, I realized that she may be right :) At first it was such a struggle to not go online via my phone. It was literally SO HARD to do. Yes, I was always the type to check my mail constantly, do silly stuff online like play games and order things I don’t need just because they’re on sale or have a special promo, like those million billion note pads I got from Arts Cow for no reason at all and stuff i don’t even wear like parish clothing or athletic shoes for that matter. Why? Well, I realize now that it had become a habit.

By the time I reached the second week, the impulses were much less by the mark of the third week, the desire to respond to that impulse came only on rare moments, particularly when I was stressed, unbalanced and upset. The good thing, I think, is that I knew how to much better respond to the urges.

So I guess, yeah, it takes about 21 days to break a habit. However, I think the habits don’t really go away completely, we just manage to keep it at bay. It’s kinda like an addiction, right? We get addicted to something for a reason. I guess the desire or “need” for the habit doesn’t really change completely, but the response, that changes immensely :)

21 days…things change :)

That’s Just the Way it Is

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. -- Marianne Williamson

It’s funny how in just in a span of like, what, four days, I heard “that’s just the way it is” said to me so many times and by different people. I guess it’s the Universe’s way of telling me to listen and just let it be, right?

Today as I sat in the hammock in the garden, soaking up the sun and pretending I was in the beach instead of where I am right now, it became more clear to me that the sooner I let myself be okay with things being just the way it is, the less hurt, pained, stressed or upset I’d be.

Okay, that may seem like such a random thought but earlier in the day my yoga teacher told me my down dogs had gotten so much better and she told me that what made the difference, she thinks, is the fact that I stopped pressuring myself to force my heels to touch the ground (errr…that’s what it’s supposed to look like e!) and just allowed myself to go with the feel of it, allowing the lines of energy to direct me and focusing on how it felt rather than looked. She went on to remind me to shift the weight on my feet in order to accommodate the way my body is built (ergo adjusting my feet inward a bit to square my knees and lifting my toes a wee bit to create arches in my superdidooper flat feet), and when I did, I had to just let out happy sigh and say, it doesn’t hurt :) Well, not that the other way I was doing it “hurt” but with the adjustments to accommodate MY NEEDS, it was definitely more comfortable. That’s the way it is, Ria, she told me. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Days to Success :)

Five more days :)

Yup, there are five more days to my Lenten sacrifice :) Yeeeey!!! Yup, I have not gone online since March 8 and today when I got my bill (my significantly underutilized consumable Smart Gold plan ergo I kinda had to pay anyway for a service I did not use toink), it dawned on me that it’s been 35 days since I went on this little sacrifice :) I have realized a lot of things in the month that I have been offline for more time than I’m used to and I guess I can say it’s a good thing :)

For one, I think I am a much better conversationalist now. I don’t know if that’s a real word, but I’m going with it haha! I can actually sit through an entire meal without checking my mail or my Facebook or chatting with someone online, thus I am able to do better in offline relationships. For example, yesterday I managed a whole two and a half hour conversation with someone without even checking my cellphone/going online! Yey me.

Secondly, I have become a safer driver. Yes, I realize with all the time I have left the phone in the bag how reckless and careless my behavior often is.

Lastly, because I am not always online, I have learned to focus on other things. I realized that many times I was going online when I’d be in the car because I didn’t like having to sit by myself and to just be alone with my thoughts. But because I forced myself to do that, I guess I’ve grown in that aspect of my life. In those many, many times of silence, I have learned so much about myslef.

So there…my Lenten sacrfice…..my friends were teasing me about it at first, especially since I am not usually the type to practice these traditions or observe such rituals. Apparently from sacrifice so much can be learned. I did this only as a challenge, but in the end, Im gained so much in return :)

At the end, I guess it was all well worth it :)

Maybe Detours aren’t Wrong Turns

Dear You,

Today I took a wrong turn on my way to work and found myself in the little corner of the city where we last were together. I felt my breath get caught in my throat as a flood of memories came rushing in. Ironically, it had to happen today, right? Today of all days. Gah. I wasn’t so surprised, however, because you’ve been haunting my dreams a little extra these past few weeks.

I wouldn’t say it was an unconscious move in my part to pass that way, because honestly, I had no idea where I was. However, I missed the turn that I was supposed to take. I was tempted to backtrack a bit and go back to where I was supposed to turn but I couldn’t find a u-turn slot and so I just sucked it in, took a deep breath and stretched a bit, believing that somehow, I would find the way to where I was supposed to be. And I did. I just didn’t expect that along the way, I would find memories of you. What’s even more ironic (yes, this borders on cheesy and self-serving I have to admit) is that as I traversed that road, the Script was playing on radio and of course, that made tears well up in my eyes. Sigh. Yes, right at that moment, I felt exactly what that man who can’t be moved felt.

I wished hard, no scratch that, I PRAYED hard that I could forget but, well, I have a very good memory, remember and so I found myself taken back to that time and place, many, many years ago.

It was a difficult time for you, that time we last saw each other there, remember? When I came in to see you, you rushed to me and hugged me real tight and said you were so happy to see me. You thanked me for coming, if I’m not mistaken, because as we both know, we weren’t exactly in good terms when that happened. But earlier that night I received a call from your best friend telling me what had happened and that it would be nice of me to go see you and well, being the me that I am, I came. I was out with my girlfriends that night, and they were nice enough to accompany me there because I had no idea how to get there and errr…yes, that area of the city is like foreign soils to me. I sat with you for a time, and we talked. You tried hard to pretend you were okay but I knew you were hurting. But what else could I do, right? When it was time for me to go, you walked me to the car and hugged me again, squeezed my hand and said, thank you. Then you turned to my friends and said, please take care of her for me. They nodded, of course, and I never doubted they would take care of me as they always had all those nights I cried and needed someone by my side as I tried to pick up the pieces of my heart that had been broken. You turned back to me and leaned in to brush my cheek with your lips and kissed me for the last time. I’ll call you, you said as I walked away.

I have learned, however, to believe in signs and messages being thrown my way. And so I do believe that in many ways, this was a sign about something. Perhaps it wasn’t really a wrong turn, but a detour that I needed to take. Maybe it isn’t clear to me today, but I’m sure someday it will. As my yoga teacher always says when we do our forward bends, to fall forward we must first learn to fall backwards. Perhaps that’s what today’s random moment was all about. We’ll see. But yeah, being there, at that very moment, kinda felt like I fell back. And throughout the rest of the afternoon there was only one thing I could think and feel….

I miss you.

’cause if one day you wake up and find that you’re missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinking maybe you’ll come back here to the place that we’d meet
And you’ll see me waiting for you on the corner of the street…

But who knows…maybe by then I’d fallen back enough that I finally, finally make it forward.

Andrea

Where the Heart Is

Today as I walked Bubba, enjoying the cool breeze of this not-so-summery-summer day, I could not help but think…I live in such a pretty village :) Yes, today I did get to appreciate the lovely environment I am blessed to live in. Despite it being in the heart of the city, it is still a very homey community.

In the afternoons, children still play in the park with their nannies. Young mommies and daddies are seen pushing around their Graco or  uppababy vista baby strollers in little groups with their cute little infants and toddlers in tow. There are paved walkways around the park for the senior citizens and health buffs to walk or jog on safely. Like me, other villagers likewise walk their dogs around the village.

Yes, I am lucky to live here and while many times I may complain about my home, today I remembered that home, it really is where the heart is. Having such a beautiful environment to have it in sure does make it so much homier :)

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