Monday Musings : Accidental Shifts

How a series of accidents led me to finding my voice and confidence.

Most people who worry, hide from the world. They are often too scared about a lot of things. Instead of opening their arms to welcome life, they hide in caves filled with doubt. I too worried a lot, from reliability of the mall to other mundane stuff. As I child, I knew one thing well and that was to run. Run away from people, experiences and opportunities. It wasn’t until I stumbled several times that I realized that I should stop.

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Survived swimsuit + Q&A with the help of chocolate

I was quite an insecure child who had little passion for anything school related except for English and Science. It was in my last year when I grew tired of attending classes (Hi Mom!). I was a bit of a smart ass (or that is what I thought then). I figured if I joined most of our school competitions, I would not be questioned for my absence in classes. I joined a lot of school competitions, from slogan making to a Bible quiz (where I surprisingly won first place and made my mother extra proud) but there is one incident that changed me.

One morning, I noticed the poster for extemporaneous speaking competition so I signed up thinking it would be another valid reason to not go into my classes. I remember the question was about Overseas Filipino Workers. I didn’t think through it but I just spoke my mind. It was a first for me to speak up my mind in front of judges. With my friends I go all out but I rarely spoke in a crowd ( only when my teacher called me to answer) so when they announced that I won a place, I was in shock. This incident, made me think about my speaking skills. I pushed it aside after that and went back to my introversion.

2009, I was already 22 years old and going through my first heartbreak. Despite my sensitive feelings, I did not want to be the loser. This thought led me to go on what I thought was a suicide mission. Perhaps you thing what an exaggeration but for an introvert it really felt like that! I told my mother that I wanted to join a beauty pageant. I figured winning a crown would be an ultimate slap to the ex boyfriend’s face. My mother was supportive specially because she had already been asked by her friends way back when I was in high school to let me join one. She asked her friends to do a major makeover!

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Survived swimsuit + Q&A with the help of chocolate

I was so keen on having the best revenge that I worked hard to train in heels. Unfortunately, the first pair of heels broke because I was so stiff! I traded rice for oatmeal and did 200 crunches in the morning and another set in the evening. From boyish, I went through a major transformation (think Princess Diaries levels except I don’t have a queen for a grandmother and was surrounded by gay guys).It was the first time I wore two piece swimwear and performed a talent in front of a huge crowd. June came and it was already the finals night, I ended up winning first place and it was after that I realized that in the process of getting revenge, I have recreated a bit of myself. From super awkward girl to somewhat a more confident one. This led to my career in the beauty pageant industry and gave me the chance to compete and win a place internationally.

Accidents happen around us on a daily basis. We usually try to avoid them but life just brings it to us. I am not talking about car accidents but those life experiences that we do not usually plan out. If I closed off from unfamiliar experiences, I doubt that I would be as happy with myself as I am now. Let us not close out our selves from these because these unplanned moments usually turn us into someone better.

Monday Musings: Dancing Through Life

Do not let life drown you out. Dance!

One sunday afternoon while catching up with the things I missed over Facebook ( You are not Filipino if you do not spend at least 10 minutes in a day, which I am occassionally guilty of.), I saw a feed from success.com about how Hawaiians managed to live happy lives.

Steve Rizzo said in his article that the secret for this was this:

Don’t wait for the storms of your life to pass. Learn to dance in the rain.

“Dancing in the rain” is an attitude that truly happy and successful people live by and few dancers come by it naturally. Can you learn to dance in the rain when the storms of change and misfortune are pouring down on you? I believe the answer is yes. It’s a matter of shifting your focus and way of thinking when times are tough that make the difference. “

I then recall how my life turned out last year, of how I wished for everything to leave me but then things got worse. I guess it is human nature for us to want things to stop. We are not the kind who would easily embrace difficult situations. There is always that instinct in us to resist change and close off.

I met a couple of people who have helped me learned to dance instead of remaining in the abyss like a drift wood. It is amazing how a change of perspective can do so much in one’s life.

How are you going through your life? Are you drowning or dancing?

Monday Musings: Beauty in the Now

We want not only to be loved, we want to think of ourselves as lovely. Rather than see ourselves as we truly are, we see ourselves as we would like to be. Self-deception can be more comforting than self-knowledge. We like to fool ourselves.

-Russ Roberts

Does the quote strike you? Yes? Then sadly you have fallen victim to the pressures of the dumb majority. But hey no worries! You know why? What was in the past and what is yet to come in the future does not matter ( really it does not). No need to deceive yourself by hiding underneath all those cosmetics, undergoing drastic surgeries or cover yourself to please others. There is no need to fake smiles. Trust me when I say, you are beautiful as you are now. Embrace you!

Monday Musings : Give A Little Love

Mondays always have a bad rap, almost everybody hates them and for a while I used to be one of them. I’d like to change norms and make it a better day. Thus, my first post for Monday Musings is a video that I found from YouTube.

With all the negativity being passed around, fueling hatred and narcissism has become the norm.

Remember when a friend, a loved one or a stranger helped you? Remind yourself of how a little love can create a ripple effect. Be that person for someone else now. Give a little love.

Over The Moon: Happiness in the Modern Times

“I’m okay.”, this is our usual response every time someone asks how we are doing. A primary reflex that most of us have used to avoid being faced with the thought of our own happiness. People have subjective definitions on what is happiness and where we derive it from. Happiness could be a good job, complete family, perfect health or it could simply be delicious food.  As the world celebrates International Day of Happiness today, we are again faced with the question: “Are you truly happy?”

Happiness and Reality

At an age of anthropocentricism, where human beings are considered the central or most significant species on the planet, all of our actions greatly affect everything else. While a small percent of the world are worrying over “first world problems” such as having WIFI connection or the latest Iphone, the rest are fighting just to live another day with dignity and basic needs. We are now facing a depressing reality that as society is getting richer and more technologically advanced it is not making the world happier. In fact, never have we experienced such great inequality and suffering. We witness wars, hunger and natural calamities. We start forgetting our connection and start thinking that we can exist as islands focusing on ourselves and no one else, thinking that another person’s misery will not affect us, but it does and there is no escaping it.

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Formula for Happiness

Action for Happiness has developed the 10 Keys to Happier Living based on a review of the latest scientific research on happiness.

The research suggests these Ten Keys consistently tend to have a positive impact on people’s overall happiness and well-being. The first five (GREAT) relate to how we interact with the outside world in our daily activities*. The second five (DREAM) come more from inside us and depend on our attitude to life.

           G IVING Do things for others
           R ELATING Connect with people
           E XERCISING Take care of your body
           A PPRECIATING Notice the world around
           T RYING OUT Keep learning new things

           D IRECTION Have goals to look forward to
           R ESILIENCE Find ways to bounce back
           E MOTION Take a positive approach
           A CCEPTANCE Be comfortable with who you are
          M EANING Be part of something bigger

For us to realize our own happiness, we must ask ourselves these questions:

  1. What do you do to help others?
  2. Who matters most to you?
  3. How do you stay active and healthy?
  4. When do you stop and take notice?
  5. What new things have you tried recently?
  6. What are your most important goals?
  7. How do you bounce back in tough times?
  8. What are you feeling good about?
  9. What is the real you like?
  10. What gives your life meaning?

Happiness is quite complex if we keep on postponing it, yet simple if we take the time to answer the questions honestly.

Make Your Smile Contagious

Happy People Means Better World

It is important that we take the time to check if we are happy with our lives. Several research have shown that happiness doesn’t just feel good, it has a lot of benefits for our performance, health, relationships and society. An extensive study in the British Medical Journal followed people over 20 years and found that their happiness affected others in their networks across “three degrees of separation”. Happiness is  contagious, making yourself happy means making your friend’s friend happy too. Countries with happy citizens have better GDP’s and standards of living. It is your obligation not only to you and your loved ones but to the world in general.

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What are you waiting for? Stop denying yourself of happy days.

Do what makes you go over the moon.

Pursue happiness.

Birthday Post: Life Can Only Get Better at 28

Crazy how years pass by so easily, today I turned 28. I normally avoid celebrating my birthday but my mom keeps on reminding me to. She says that it is a blessing, a special day worth enjoying.

A couple of days ago, I went back to my hometown visit Lake Danao, though I originally planned on going to Sagada for my birthday. There were a lot of things that did not go well. It was raining on and off, hours waiting for my friend, walking around to find the jeepney, waiting for hours before we left Ormoc City, missing the last trip back to Tacloban, getting stranded in Ormoc and to top it off losing my mobile phone and ATM card along the fields while waiting for a ride . It was a series of unfortunate events yet I managed to tick off several things in my bucketlist: top load on the jeepney, hitchhike from Dolores back to the city proper and stay with an awesome local family. In the end, thewhole journey made me content and happy.

The trip is a lot like life. We do not have full control of everything but in general life is still beautiful. You just need to turn away from the negativity and see things like a child.

Blessed with the freedom to steer my life into the direction I wanted, good people who are there for me despite my shortcomings and unthinkable opportunities that turned me into changemaker not just a dreamer (Fundlife). I am grateful to my parents for bringing me into the world. 28th year of existence!

Though I still find it difficult to see reason in celebrating my birthday, I have lots of reasons to celebrate life. 27 chances and counting, I choose to make things right and make the most out of my life.