The best definition of Optimism I heard…

When I reviewed my Culture and Communications Training (CCT) notes from my previous job in preparation of me, taking the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as a requirement for my application abroad, I stumbled with the quotes my trainer, “Laeden” mentioned during the training. I can still remember the time my trainer mentioned the quote, what she said was very deep that’s why I wrote it in my notebook.

“Optimism means to move forward beyond hurt.”

Ever since I was young, the only definition of optimism I know is “to be positive”. It’s about positive thinking. But hearing the definition of Laeden, optimism has taken a different toll. The word became a lot deeper than I knew before. It means anyone who has moved forward, even if they think they aren’t optimistic in life, we can uplift their spirit and tell them that they are indeed optimistic. Whenever we are hurt, it can break our spirit, but moving on from the unpleasant experience, a brave soul, has arisen. Moving forward beyond hurt without the assurance that next time, it’ll be different, that this time, it’ll be correct, that in the future, things will work out, that in the coming days, the situation will be different. So moving forward, every time we wake up is another form of optimism, knowing that life goes on whenever we are hurt. 🙂

P.S. I’ll be posting more in the coming days, as I need to practice my writing and English skills for the IELTS (plus I really miss blogging). I’m planning to do self-review for the exam. It’s not that I’m becoming complacent or what, but there’s this inner voice telling me that this is the best thing to do. I’m planning to take the exam before reaching my first anniversary at work, probably on July or August of this year. The exam is quite costly that’s why I really need to prepare not to put my hard-earned money into waste. Next post? About my Malaysia and Australia trip last year. Yeah, I know it’s too late. But it’s better late than never. Happy blogging! 🙂 Optimism

A search for an image

chello abstract painting by juneri

cello abstract painting by juneri

I had the opportunity of owning an abstract painting that was given by a classmate in the graduate school. At first, I didn’t understand the image even if I was looking at it everyday, figuring out what the painting really was. I searched in amazon.com on books and got interesting ideas about abstract painting. Here are the facts that caught my attention:

“We don’t have to know what a painting is if we know how it makes us feel.”

“Abstract art is about taking the road less traveled. It is about taking risks and going places in your mind where you have never been.”

“Painting abstract changes the way you view the world. Once you have practiced focusing on the details, you will begin to see them everywhere. You will look at the world in an entirely new way. Painting abstract opens up new possibilities and broadens the senses.” – Journeys by Abstraction by Sue St. John

“Painting is intended as a means of expressing ourselves on a flat surface.” – The Art of Abstract Painting: A Guide to Creativity by Rolina Van Vliet

“Abstract art, is about us individuals, about our understanding of the human condition- its strengths and frailties, beauty and horror. These compel us to look further than the here and now.”

“Abstract art is not how we see and hear in front of us. A beautiful landscape can tell a story and a portrait can tell us much about the sitter and their part in history but painting a representation of how we perceive our world – how we communicate, feel, hope and dream – is very different.”

With these information about abstract painting, my interest grew of what the message of the painting is. My classmate told me that it’s an image of cello because he likes stringed instruments, and there’s a little bit of a realism in it but more of an abstract. I asked for the opinion of an office mate, who’s a Fine Arts graduate, a father and already on his 40s, and showed him the picture of the painting. My office mate liked the painting and found it really good. He showed me where the cello in the painting was. A little bit confused, I searched for an image of the cello in the Internet (I know what cello looked like, it’s just that the image was refreshed when I saw it in the picture rather than imagining what it looked liked from my memory). Then that’s when I saw the image of cello in the painting. I was so happy! It’s like I was able to solve a very difficult puzzle. I appreciate the painting more than ever. I really like it.

Abstract painting is extraordinary. The person who will look at an abstract painting will be challenged to be able to get the message of the work.

Thanks Juneri for this beautiful painting. 🙂

See the world…

It was exactly one month when I traveled to Australia. There are a lot of firsts. But the most obvious is my first trip outside the Philippines. I first set foot in Malaysia for a connecting flight, and that’s for 9 hours and made a city tour for almost 5 hours. Looking back when I enrolled in the Graduate School on November 2013 for my MBA, I was a newbie, I didn’t know what subjects to take, and it’s like my adviser was being impatient to me because it took me few minutes to choose the subjects. When I stumble at the subject, International Trade and Business, I chose it, it’s like there’s a voice in my mind that says, “Take it!”. The reason is because when I see the word “international”, I knew I will learn a lot from that subject because the focus will be the countries outside the Phlippines. Ever since, I really wanted to travel to other countries, without me knowing that subject will be the door to one of my goals. Australia is such a lovely country. I fell in love with the people, their transportation, with the convenience of life, the scenery, landmark, art and history. The people are so kind, so helpful and such a smiley. When you look at their faces, they will give you a nice smile. Maybe beyond all the wonderful sight seeings, and new places I visited, the highlight is our meeting with the Philippine consul in Melbourne, Ma’am Gigi. She is a steward in her profession. She has given an above and beyond service to the Filipinos in Melbourne. What touched my heart and soul is her way of coming up with a decision towards her work. She is praying and asking for discernment to God for all the decisions that she will be making. I love her inspiring stories about the hardships of the Filipinos just to provide a good life to their families left in the Philippines. One advise she gave is for a Filipino that’s having a hard time because of a personal problem. Her advice is, “Whenever you are hurting and in pain, just look at the cross and you’ll see Jesus. He saved us from all our sins, so your pain is nothing compared to Jesus’ pain in the cross.” I nearly cried when I heard that. She is such an inspiration. I will never forget that moment.

 

When I was in the Ferry, looking at the beauty of Sydney, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Why am I here?” Not the superficial answer, but the answer that’s deep within my heart. Because there are still uncertainties in my heart at that time. I did not spoil the moment, and just forget that senti question, and just focus on the view. I couldn’t believe it was real. The post card of Sydney that I was looking when I was young is true, because I am seeing it in front of me, the bridge, the opera house, etc.

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I would love to go out and see the world while single. Travelling will open your mind to other cultures, people, and experiencing it first hand will draw understanding of the realities of life. This experience removed my fear to travel outside the Philippines.That I can go the next level which is travelling to another continent. Looking back when I applied in the graduate school last year, I have lots of fears, but conquering those fears are really worth it. Had I surrendered to those fears, I would not experience this, I wouldn’t meet new friends, and I will be stuck in my life thinking what could have been if I do this, do that, I wouldn’t learn, and I will have regrets. The decision feels so right and life is unfolding in every step with so many wonderful opportunities. Thank you God for the courage and strength.

More fears to conquer. You’ll never know it until you do it. 🙂

Experiencing life without conditions.

It’s been almost 1 year since I last posted. So what happened in that year? Well, so much more of knowing and finding myself, taking a break, becoming unattached with other things to give way for new opportunities, making a decision, taking a risk, reading books, magazines and articles to validate thoughts. I really miss writing. Whether you believe it or not, during that year, I was reading my articles in this blogsite, and it made me happy and motivated because majority of my posts are very positive, exactly what I needed during times of uncertainty and setbacks. Those are the thoughts that I would like to be told to myself if I am low-spirited and feeling weak.

I will be writing more in the coming weeks, a lot of new experience, insights and realization from everyday life. I was reading a book review from Amazon.com, and I got this phrase straight to my heart, “experiencing life without conditions”. I’ve been too sentimental before because I was expecting that life will give me things that I want. In a certain book review, it was suggested to live in the moment, give without expecting anything in return, and by that, we will avoid the drama that comes from expectations. Just enjoy life, give what you can and what you have. Give and give and give without any conditions.

What keeps me busy lately? I’ve started attending graduate school and next week, our class is scheduled for an academic tour in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia. I’m excited for my first out of the country experience. Will blog about it once back. I know my life is not 100% harmonious right now, as there have been some challenges, but I am just so positive and excited for what is yet to come and what life still has to offer me. It is true. The best is yet to come.

My theme for this new year is,  Lovely 2014! 🙂

Never stop exploring…

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It is the theme of the clothing brand “The North Face”. That line caught my attention when I found the paper bag in our home. I haven’t seen any North Face boutique, but now, wanting to see one. When I saw the paper bag, I know, that message is for me. Berna, never stop exploring. Follow your heart.

 

I’m now in the age where I can decide on my own and choose whatever path I want to take. I’m just excited to explore and try many things. The time where parents let their children fly on their own, trusting that past experiences and learning will be their number 1 weapon in surviving the open jungle called life.

 

It was my rest day from work last night, that’s why I was able to watch a movie in the laptop. One line in the movie caught my attention, “Do not follow your heart because it can be deceived, but instead, lead your heart”. Sometimes, I agree here.  If the situation is something that you are committed to do, but you don’t want to continue anymore, yes, you have to lead your heart for what is right. Just like in marriage, if ever a couple feel like not wanting to be together anymore, they shouldn’t give up easily because they made a vow to God for a lifelong commitment. It warrants couples to lead their hearts and stick together no matter what. But if you are not committed to a certain situation, and your heart says choose another path, and then it’s perfectly fine to follow your heart. For example in a career to take, there is what we call, late bloomers. Meaning, they are able to realize what they want to do in life in a later age.  They suddenly decided they love writing and wanted to be a writer, or they’re into music and wanted to be a musician, or love dancing, etc.

 

We are all entitled for our own happiness. Instead of being unhappy and dragging yourself into something you do not like, let’s enjoy life! Everyone deserves all the bliss, and every good thing in this world.

 

One reflection I got from my favourite blogger, Tom Basson, he asked, “What makes you come alive, and then go do that”.

 

What are the reasons you wake up each morning? What makes you smile? What makes you feel good about? What do you look forward to in the future? Why are you striving even if it’s hard? Why do you stick into hardships wherein you can go into easy way?

 

I already have clear answers in all these. In this journey, we want to grow, to mature, to learn and to be strong. Because the pain, hardships, and waiting are all worth it in the end.

 

For every goals we have, and in this life’s journey, every experience counts. So, never stop exploring. 🙂

 

Breakthrough 2011… Awesome 2012… And looking forward for a Colourful 2013

Starting 2011, I had an idea of thinking of an adjective for the current year. Two years ago, I called it, “Breakthrough 2011” because my life had a 360 degrees turn when I started to live out my heart’s desire to grow spiritually and to reconnect with God, this all happened when I became part of a spiritual community. That opportunity became the biggest break in my life because I learned a lot about God, my faith, I get to know myself more and what I believe in, I get to reach out to others in any way I can.

In spite of all the strength I acquired, challenges and struggles are always present. I’m still human and made mistakes, as well as wrong decisions. But I have no regrets because if I didn’t do those things, I will not experience the consequences, and will not learn. Then came “Awesome 2012”. I can say this is not the best year for me, but sincerely, I’m still thanking God everyday for the learning, teachings that will always remind me that the best is yet to come. I remembered the questions in the back cover of the book I’m reading. “When our heart’s in the right place, why do we keep getting hurt?” “When we want so much to succeed, why are we often disappointed?”  The message of the book is to listen, to dig deeper, and look within our hearts. According to the book, sometimes the self is our biggest enemy, because we want so much that is beyond what we can achieve, we are giving so much that is beyond what we can give, that’s why we always end up being unhappy. I just started reading that book, so more of the learning next time, when I already finish it. Oftentimes, there is a driving force in what we do. Then I realized, if God is the reason for everything we do, we will never feel disappointed. Awesome lessons they are!

At work, whenever I commit mistakes, (because I just started), the trainer and my supervisor always say after telling me the right thing to do, “Moving forward…” They don’t deal with your mistakes much, and with your past, but will always make you learn and use it in the future so mistakes will be lessened. So “moving forward” this coming year, I will call it “Colourful 2013”. Yesterday, when I was looking at my clothes, I loved and imagined myself wearing colourful clothes. So it gave me an idea of looking forward for a colourful life next year. Painting the town red, happy colours, pastels, I’m aiming for happy thoughts, happy deeds, happy disposition, happy feelings and happy memories. More time for my family and self, discovering and realizing my dreams and knowing where my heart belongs.  More household meetings with my lower group. More time for my loved ones. Stable, back office and daytime job after this seasonal work. To dance, to exercise, and to write more. To learn to cook more. To change for the better.  There’s no wrong in changing for as long as it’s for the better. More explorations of our country, more traveling. More time with God, less talk and being silent to hear Him. I need to do time management more.  Prioritization more.

Happy COLOURS… Let’s apply them to life.

Just like this image, life can be as sour as lemon, but we can make it colourful still.

Colourful lemon

Colourful lemon

Inlove with words

Living up to the confusion

Seems like self  is takin’ so long

Why do these things have to happen

Seeking the heart

Seeking the self

As I lay my feet to the ground

Of the journey that’s still one of a kind

Will I try?

Will I walk to the new direction

Crossing new place

Engaging in a new world

Smiling in new faces.

Oh what do i got to do

Confusion’s taking me so long

But self, always remember

Whatever it is

A better person, is what you will be

For every hardships and challenges

It’s for you to keep

‘Cause pain creates wonders within.

-We may have failed a thousand times, we may stumble and fall every now and then, it’s the rise everytime we fall hard on the ground that matters. I’m so inlove with words and advices. Another important thing I learned from my other trainer: Whatever it is that we experience, it will always make us a better person. Learning new things and experiencing difficulties, in all these, we will grow as a person. My trainers don’t only teach us skills and give us knowledge, but the emotional needs and motivation are shared as well.

Last points (or else I won’t sleep)

Before going to sleep,I just want to write a very quick post. I love the advice our trainer said to us last friday. We’ve already finished one training from my seasonal work, and unfortunately, I’ve had colleagues who didn’t make it. And her advice is that, whatever the result of the training is, for those who didn’t pass, we should not think that the value of one person depends on the result. She is very motivating. I got her message straight to my heart. Same is through with other circumstances in life, if we didn’t pass the job interview, were rejected by the ones we love, got hurt, been ignored, failed in school, failed in the board exam, these things will not and will never determine our self value. These things may happen, but maybe, they are not meant for us, and/or the timing isn’t right. And God has other plans that’s way better than what we desire. That’s all. Good night! 🙂 (Now I need to sleep, training for tomorrow will start at 7am :p)

The flyer that started it all…

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How my spiritual journey started was with the flyer that was tagged in my facebook account by a high school friend, January of last year (Jan. 2011). It was an invite to attend the Christian Life Program conducted by the spiritual community, Singles for Christ. My friend and I knew in an instant that it was the answer to the spiritual longingness and emptiness that we feel deep inside. Without forcing one another, hesitations and whatsoever, we went to it. And there, without fast absorption of the weekly talks, i continued attending till I reached the Lord’s day. Only did I know that it was the start of my spiritual transformation.

Almost everyday of my life, i encounter situation that weakens me, hurts me, saddens me, and breaks my spirit. But most of the time, i had learned to love, to trust, to ask for forgiveness, to let go and to surrender everything to God. He is always with me. And with this security, it brought me so much strength and passion to live life with optimism and to serve despite overwhelming odds and difficulties. I met people who inspire me in one way or another. And the rest of wonderful things followed.

God has let my life unfold in ways i could clearly understand that everything in my life, good and not so good, are all purpose-driven. I want to live my life according to God’s purpose. His purpose for my existence which is to glorify and serve Him through serving others. This is the best use of life.

Whenever I watch the video of the CLP journey of my batch, I get goose bumps and teary-eyed, tears of joy with a BIG SMILE. A lot, from the inside, has changed a year ago.

Thank you SFC West B1-A for a great service. 🙂