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Posts Tagged ‘thank you’

The Craft Box Project

A couple of Mondays ago, despite the fact that I was nursing the worst migraine EVER, I found myself suddenly inspired by a new project that was perfect for  me. The inspiration of this came a bit from the traditional Christmas party we have in the clinic where we have all sorts of crazy themes and tasks that aims to challenge us to go beyond just shopping for our Christmas tokens and the like. So this year, we were told that instead of having some kind of kooky theme and a price cap for the Kris Kringle, this year it should be anything handmade. Oooohhh :) so perfy for me, right? :)

Anyway, I immediately knew what I wanted to do, but was not sure about the execution yet. I knew I wanted to design a box and do that. Given my usual enthusiasm for projects like this, it soon snowballed into something bigger and…well…suffice it to say that The Craft Box Project was born.

The Craft Box Project

It took me some time to find the right boxes but eventually I found some and even if these weren’t really the “perfect” ones I had wanted but I just went with it. Not only did I go with it, but I spent a little fortune (well, that’s an exaggeration. A nice sum would be a better way of describing it!) on all sorts of shapes and sizes. I also stocked up on paints, glitter, glue, colored sand and paper, as well as double sided tape and all sorts of other craft stuff.  Today I think I took Project Sunshine to a whole new medium :-)

I have always loved boxes for some reason, especially pretty little boxes tied up in string. Something about it speaks volumes to me. What made my love for boxes even more was the fact that during one of the most difficult and painful time in my life, it became a sanctuary for my soul.

During that time, when I had no words to speak and and only pain to know, I discovered the gift of my art. I began, what I called back then, to doodle to help quiet the thoughts in my head and to comfort my weary heart and soul. Eventually I stopped calling them doodles and realized they were messages, very special ones, from my soul.  And so I continued to draw until I had a whole bunch of them and I realized they needed a home. And so I found this box, a craft box painted with brilliant red and black swirls, and I knew it was the perfect home for my drawings. I lined the bottom with a bed of soft tissue, as a mere reminder that whenever I am tired, there is rest to be found if I be still and centered.

When I started to get my words back (which, for a writer like me was the most painful loss at that time), I began to write little notes as reminders of my dreams, wishes and even hurts which soon found it’s way to it’s own little box. Before putting these notes in boxes, I tied them up in pretty ribbons, much like a ritual or tradition that allowed me to give my thoughts, good or bad, validation and honor.

And so these boxes still have a special place in my room, tucked neatly away safely, away from prying eyes and harsh criticism. In them  still lie all my secret dreams and wishes, as well as my deepest, darkest and most unspeakable thoughts. Every once in a while, when I am feeling lost or tired, I take it out and just listen, and eventually, I find myself feeling better somehow.

In as much as my boxes have seen me through my brightest of days and my darkest of nights, one thing I am grateful to them for is the fact that not only do I find healing with them, but because of them, I, too, am able to help others find their own healing. It doesn’t really matter, I think, what the boxes hold, but it’s the way it becomes much like a totem that one can hold on to to remember who they are and what really matters. I never really thought of it as such, but someone once called my box a treasure chest….I suppose she was right. And so while the box I will be giving my Kris Kringle will come empty initially, I hope it soon is filled with little trinkets that speak of  love, hope, and whatever it is he or she deems their treasures.

Random thought: I know I’ve been using the word “project” a wee bit too much lately (errr…Project Sunshine, Project Prettify Me for example), but lets just go with it, okay? :) Oh…I couldn’t stop with just one box (teeeheeeheee)….check them out in my Flickr stream :)


Welcome To My World of Quasi Sunshine

...if all the sun beams were bubble gum and ice cream, oh what a sun that will be...

People say happiness is a choice. I beg to disagree.

For me, I’d like to think it is a process and not just something you chose to do. It is something that is worked at, very hard, continuously and with conscious effort. It’s something you don’t take for granted or assume, just because you choose it. More than choosing happiness, I think it is about creating your own happiness, and part and parcel of that creation is acknowledging and honoring the sadness that may come along, recognizing its inherent value in the building of your soul. Sure, making a decision comes with the package, but it doesn’t end with just choosing to be happy. It comes with creating what makes you happy and reframing the way things happen around you.

Take this, for example.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate the rain. For me, the rain brings back bits and pieces of bad memories from really traumatic events that have greatly impacted my life. For me, the rain represents so many negative emotions like fear, dread, impending doom. At times, even death. The slightest hint of rain, from gray skies to the rumbling of thunder, always manages to tap into that. And while it may perhaps be a psychosomatic response to the rainy weather, whenever dark skies come and raindrops fall almost endlessly, I always seem to find myself physically debilitated and no amount of antibiotics or any medication would completely make me better. It is as if my physically body is commiserating with my soul, which slowly withers to the point of being at the brink of ‘death’. Read the rest of this entry »

Little Signs, Big Messages

Lately I’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep. I’ve been plagued (okay, to be fair at times blessed, because they’re good) with a whole lot of dreams that have yet to fully make sense to me.

I have always been a big believer of dreams. Signs, not so much, but dreams, yes (although I have changed my mind about the whole sign thing already!)  However, while I have always believed in the powerful messages dreams bring, I often try to push them away because they tend to open that proverbial Pandora’s box. I guess that’s also why during hypnotherapy class (and other exercises that involved a whole lot of guided imagery exercises) I always fought hard to repel it. The thing is, just when I feel like I am in control of things and the world around me makes sense, I begin to dream. Yes, lots of weird, strange dreams that tap into inner insecurities and fears that, at times, are just so hard to understand at the moment. What’s  annoying about this whole dreaming thing, however, is that when I need them, or when I actually ask for them, they don’t come! Before they started to come, I had asked for them. But things got clearer. I found myself being more content and happy, which like I said in my other blog, has been my little secret…yes, happiness and contentment are the  best diet pills as far as I’m concerned! And so I was at this place, I had no more questions for my dreams to answer.

Then they started coming. Now I kinda find myself wishing for the sleepless nights I used to have where I’d wake up like clockwork every hour but be somewhat more rested than the day before. Now, although sleep stretches a little bit longer, I am less rested. Grrrr.

Tonight, however, as I browsed through my old Friendster blog (okay, okay, even I have to smile at the fact I started blogging at friendster) I came across an old post that came out of a period of elusive sleep and discontent. Maybe this is the answer….

...in me lies the mind of a realist, the heart of a dreamer and the soul of a believer...

The Contender
Saturday, May 28th, 2005

As sleep remains elusive and the clock ticks by, thoughts of who or what or why consume me. No matter how much I try to turn it off, I can’t. It’s like an annoying commentary that goes on in my head. Sometimes it even begins to sound like a debate.

Then it hits me: yeah, it is a debate. Once more the mind of the realist and the heart of a dreamer are arguing and fighting to claim dominance. No matter how much my head tells me I’m okay, my heart says otherwise. Put it this way: in therapy, I have the answers to other people’s questions; for my kids, I’m Teacher Ria, their goddess equivalent; in class I’m Miss Ria, the kikay fast-talking prof; as a student, I was at the top of my class, but not a nerd…in short, the mind in me had everything down-pat. Then the dreamer emerges…and everything hits the fan. You know how the song goes… “my head says go and find the door, my heart says I found you….”….With that, all control is gone.

However no matter how bad things have gotten, or how defeated I begin to feel in this emotional joust, something in me keeps pushing me through. Through this battle, a believer is born. Although the believer knows it will survive, sometimes doubt, fear, pain and disappointment overrun it. And it’s hard to fight a losing battle. Especially if it’s fighting an invisible foe. Worse still, if it’s fighting itself.

Perhaps a harder part of the battle is knowing that it cannot continue the fight alone. It needs to go to its corner between rounds, and perhaps ask the cut-man to tape up a bloody eyebrow. Maybe the medic needs to rub down the swelling and wipe away the sweat. What makes it hard is asking for the help to continue the fight. And harder still, is when you ask for help in your corner, and you don’t get it.

Like a fallen contender backed into a corner, battered and beaten, all it can do is wait for the bell to ring and the next round to begin. This time, who knows, it might just land the right punch. So though the clashing and struggle continue, hope is not all lost. Much like the right punch combination, it’s just a matter of timing.

And no matter how much the realist and the dreamer debate or fight, ultimately it is the believer that survives… and yes, I am a survivor.

I’d like to think that this is one of those little signs that are here to deliver big messages….I haven’t really completely browsed my old blog, so I randomly clicked on a month and this was there.

I think it resonates a lot with something I was telling a friend of mine the other day after a random, unexpected bursting of tears…that maybe my dreams are telling me to make my way to believing again in the reconciliation of the dreamer and the realist. To find the middle ground. It is telling me to drop my defenses and just admit tiredness every once in a while, which never will be a sign of weakness. In the same manner, it tells me to keep at it as long as I can, despite the stumbling and falling I take along the way. It is also a reminder, I suppose, that I can only do so much…and while I may hurt the other along the way (or others who are at my corner for that matter), it’s bound to get better somehow. And while win or lose, each side will make it through one way or the other and that those on either side cheering them on in support will still be there despite the blows and hurts thrown their way.

In the end, I’d like to thing that these signs are reminders that being a dreamer, while holding on to the very abstract and random, at times is what is right. In the same way, working from the side of reality alone is not always enough. It’s the art of balancing things, after all, that makes life what it truly is: an unexpected battle. However, unlike a fight where only one can win, in life both sides can win.

Reclaiming the Gifts from Darkness

...you are exactly where you are supposed to be... from the prayer of St. Threse

Three years ago today I started on the most difficult, yet most soulful, two weeks of my life ever. It was at this time that I was in the deepest and darkest moments of my life. There I was, in the throes of a major depression, trying to keep my head above water and tread to safety, lost beyond imagination.

On this day in that not too distant past, I did the hardest thing I ever had to do. Correction: I was made to do the hardest thing I would ever have to do: face my darkness head-on.

I wasn’t there to confront it, I was told, nor was I there to fight it. I was there to get to know it and make amends with it so we can co-exist in a delicate balance of darkness and light.

Um…hello???

I fought as hard as I could so as not to go there. How, in all honesty, could I allow myself to go there, especially since going there meant letting go completely of all sense of comfort and familiarity? Sure, I was in so, so much pain and misery at that time, so much so that every night as I poured myself a drink so I could fall asleep I would pray fervently that I didn’t have to wake up again the next day. But that was familiar. That much I knew. And the hurt would go away anyway, as long as I stuffed myself with cookie after cookie, cupcake after cupcake and so on. Plus I had my distractions…I’d spend countless hours downloading songs from Grey’s Anatomy then one by one, arrange them and label them per episode. I virtually camped out at Seattle Grace during that year and from there, I was able to make an alternate reality for me. It was such a great façade, in fact, that no one knew how deeply depressed I was…no one saw the bottles of tequila hidden in my closet nor knew I would take a Nyquil or two, or three at times, just to get a few hours of restless sleep. No one knew how dead and empty I felt on the inside. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Bloggers (or groups) I want to thank

For my second Serial Sevens, I am listing 7 bloggers or blogger groups who I want to thank. They have helped me immensely in my journey through blogging and exploring my creative side. It is also through them that I have changed in so many ways. With no further ado, here they are:

  1. My blogger guru’s Mommy Rubz, Iris, Jen and Jeff, and Earth. They were the ones who taught me how to optimize my blog, get income generated and how to finally become a friend of the sheriff!
  2. Noemi, Chats and Cess, my POC editors. They have helped me fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to hone my craft under such supportive and encouraging bosses :-)
  3. My  Movie Blogger partners (Jori, Flow, Earth, Ohms, Iris, Sire, Cathy, Cher, Lace, Az, to name a few) and our sponsors :-) Watching movies without you guys is not the same, I swear!
  4. My Blog Anniversary Sponsors for making my first anniversary contest a success.
  5. My new-found cousin (Cuz Sis as she likes to say) Ryan (a.k.a. Fedoran) for making my blog adventures even more fun.
  6. My first blogger friends and hosts, Az, Lace, Jonel, and Ed :-)
  7. My Plurk buddies for making my daily existence so much more fun. Thanks for listening to the rants about my you-know-what’s and you-know-who’s. Hehe.

Here’s to you my dear friends! I’d send you some wine and cigars (as are customary congratulatory gestures in some places) but since we’ve gone virtual, let’s settle for some cupcakes topped with chocolate wine and cao cigars!

wine and cigar” , c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved.

It’s my Blog Anniversary! In gratitude, here’s a contest for you!!!

Today my blog turns 1!

It’s been a truly wonderful year in the blogosphere for me and I am forever going to be grateful to all those who have supported and encouraged this venture of mine. Blogging has brought me a lot of blessings and opportunities this past year and I look forward to more in the coming years ahead.

Because I believe in the importance of giving back, here’s a contest for all of you who read, comment, support and subscribe to my blog. It is also a chance for those who do not yet to do so!

Before going to the contest mechanics, let me outline for a minute my 1st Anniversary theme:  I Blog to Thank.  As I mentioned, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been with me in my year’s journey in blogging and so what better theme but thankfulness or gratitude. I hope to be able to inspire you, too, to take time out to see what you are grateful for this past year.

With that, here are the mechanics of the Three Cheers and Many Thanks Blog Contest by Yapatoots Read the rest of this entry »

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