Friday, September 28, 2012

[Daring Greatly] Book Nook's Day 1

Today, I'm going to borrow something from the mind of spiritual adviser, teacher and blogger Ronna Detrick ~ (with my additional thoughts in "{}")

Some thoughts before going further...{specifically in our DG Book Nook}

I'm aware of the tyranny of time; how incredibly difficult it can be, despite our best intentions, to clear space for spiritual reflection/practice.  {Any kind of higher study for that matter or simply honest-to-God time for ourselves.  No, not impulse buys, booze or bingeing or bags of Tostitos.  Escapism, anyone?  Um...guilty as charged! :p}

So when this quote landed in my inbox this morning, I felt it Divinely inspired - and perfect gift to both of us as we continue this journey together:

"What I want is a quiet life.
I mean a life that listens: to other people, to my place, to silence. I want to notice even the smallest things, to stay immediate to my surroundings. But daily distraction can be so fragmenting, so addictive, and the kind of attentive patience I seek requires clarity of mind. To find this clearheadedness, I must make a commitment to do so - I have to say no to the constant, frenzied consumption of "needs" (more often wants and excesses), and I have to make room for the quiet contented yes I actually desire.
It is a generous gift - to choose the way I want to live, in spite of circumstances. I believe that I am daily shaping myself through my decisions, and so I make them earnestly, carefully. But I too easily fall into patterns I believe to be obligatory - habits of convenience I depend upon. I am carried away by the impulse to keep up, though this sentiment inspires only a perpetual state of wanting. I'd rather punctuate my days with actions turning me towards gratefulness, revitalizing my eyes to see the calm goodness already around me." ~ Julie Pointer, from Kinfolk

Here's to "going further" - willfully, quietly, Divinely.

Courage in creativity,

Friday, June 22, 2012

for you, good mother

and join us @ Inarté 

if you, like me, want to be part of a tribe of other ma-arté, creative and expressive moms who need a place to simply be their ma-arté, creative and expressive selves!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

eat, pray, blog

I was in the bathroom doing my hair in curls around five this afternoon.  J was taking us out for Saturday night family dinner.  The last time we had a night out was before Ms O and I left for the Phoenix last April.  That was Nandos.  Barbeque was the craving then.  Tonight, the craving was for sushi and suku yaki.  So we decided to go to Koganei, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto in my humble opinion.

But this blog isn't about food.  Nor is it about family dinners out.  It's about this talk that I caught by Elizabeth Gilbert of the Eat, Pray, Love fame on nurturing creativity.  Which is why I began with the hair in the bathroom activity.  I always watch something interesting when doing my hair and I find TEDTalks very engaging and always interesting.

Here, watch Ms. Gilbert being her brilliant self and if you're as touched as I am, do return for more from me.  I'll share about the things that piqued my interest and do let me know what did it for you too.

So how'd you like it?  Next to Dr. Brene Brown's TedTalks, I love Ms. Gilbert's for her inspiration and willingness to be vulnerable about her fear of "this being the last and only great thing I'll ever write in this lifetime..."  I'm really interested in what she shares about That Thing In The Corner and how she's managed to create a some sort of a compromise with it:  Let the records show...I'll show up and do my part, now you do yours.   

I can relate to the following seven accounts:

1)  I know what it is, what it's like, what it takes to show up.  And the painful flip-side: to not show up.  Some days, this can be the damnest and hardest thing to do.
2)  I, too, grappled (and continue to) with this feeling of emptiness after a big song-and-dance number.  As with the African transcendence story, I know how the Allah/Ole factor fades and indeed, what's left is a bereft being, ordinary and feeling the emptiness even more deeply.
3)  I, too, have brushed up with this genius/divine creative entity/Socrates' daimon many times - in the shower, while washing dishes, on a relaxed walk outdoors, while biking, while cooking, while doing the most mundane tasks imaginable.
4)  I, too, have ran to pen and paper and sometimes to the voice recorder app on the phone and noted the project down.  Some came to pass, some didn't.  But from my personal experience, when I listened and obeyed, it almost always brought so much joy, not necessarily success and money, but sheer joy and a feeling of being propelled forward and if not to realizing a dream, moving closer to it.
5)  I, too, remember conversations with That Thing (I call mine The Voice that sometimes sounds like Morgan Freeman but most of the time sounds just like a wiser, more benevolent version of me) where I bargain, beg, whine for reassurance, another chance or plead for thanks-but-no-thank-you-ma'am-sir.
6)  The times that I chanced and trusted and showed up were the best times.
7)  The times I didn't listen, ignored, rebelled against the Work, I got hurt, more confused and feeling like square one do-over round the mountain we go again.
Which is A-ok.  If one likes doing it the loooong way.
So with that, I wish you short-cuts and showing up in a most Olé kind of way!

‘Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”(Elizabeth Gilbert)

Friday, June 1, 2012


@ The Elmwood Spa, Toronto
April, 2012

Blogging.  You are an enigma to me.  

I find myself deserting you and then I feel...this...lack of oxygen and I know.  I know it’s from lack of writing.  And not just empty writing but engaging writing.  Writing that digs down deep.  Writing that begins with one, one that needs to breath.
I did just that today.  Began again.  Deep in the pages of my personal and intimate journal.  One day at a time.  Inhale, exhale...breathe.

It has been a challenging week.  One where one, then two, and then three kids get sick.  And as most bouts with the bug go, after the tiring run, I start feeling that all-too-familiar itch in my throat too.  
One oxygenated day at a time.  Inhale, exhale...breathe.  

The most valuable lessons I learned (and relearned) this week come from some truly amazing teachers. I'm going to sum it all up below:

1)  Minimum Daily Requirement 
Your secret and most potent weapon is to always go back to the tried-and-tested-and-true: write some, walk some, sit a while some...and do something towards the good daily, even if it's "minimal daily requirement". ~ Julie Fleming, author of The Reluctant Rainmaker

This came after a coaching call with Julie, an almost hour long discussion on how to get back on track when feeling like crap for a long stretch of time.

2)  I am 100% responsible for my own happiness.

"I know now that I am 100% responsible for my own happiness.  It is a state of mind that is cultivated by my own choices and habits, not things or people.  Yes, my children make me happy.  Yes, sitting at the beach and watching a sunset makes me happy.  But I cannot rely on other people and my environment to make me happy.  I don’t ever want to make the mistake of thinking my happiness is dependent on something–a different job, more money, another child, wood floors, a remodeled bathroom, etc." Kelle Hampton, author of Bloom, Finding Beauty In The Unexpected via Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Blog
I love her book, The Happiness Project.  I love her blog, too.  Such great pick-me-ups and reminders on how to focus where we truly need to focus in this ADHD world.

3)  Big or Small

One of the things that I’ve learned, that I didn’t know before that [TEDxHouston] talk exploded, is how hard I’d been working to keep my career small. And that was a little bit heartbreaking for me, because I usually thought of myself as being pissed off because I couldn’t get my work out there enough. But really I think I was engineering that, because I was afraid of these things that actually happened, like the personal attacks. ~ Dr. Brene Brown, On Being Vulnerable

The third one hits hard and deep.  I, too, have been working very hard at keeping small.  The reasons are too many and way complicated (read: boring) to write about here.  So I won't.  

Just thought I'd share these with you today.  

One oxygenated learning/thought/day at a time.

Inhale, exhale...breathe.

Today's sharing-is-caring question: What keeps your levels of oxygen in your soul system up?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

on spring cleaning, sneezing and migrating

Hello, friends and family and a very happy Spring-Is-Here to you!

I know spring is really here because I've been sneezing in my kitchen mornings.

I know it's spring because the days are brighter and longer along with my mood : brighter and patience : longer!  YAY. :)

I know it's spring because I'm starting to snap more pictures and we're moving onto bigger and brighter things over at and a little later,

Hope to see you there and thank you so much for sticking around.

Always a pleasure to have you along for the journey.

Courage in creativity,

Friday, March 9, 2012

[Fiction-writing* practice] For one more day

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. ~ C.S. Lewis

It's all a beautiful mess. ~ Danielle Laporte | Instagram | March, 2012

She was feeling the same old resistance again, along with the the mild disappointment of writing in blue ink.
He forgot to get the Uniball Signo 207 pens. Black.  Only black.  How hard was that to remember?  To read off of the short list of 12 items?  How hard is it to do for one who asks for so little?  She complained a lot.  She caught herself going into the self-pitying places.  She caught herself just before jumping off the edge and stopped.
She remembers dinner the night before.  Remembers the dull white of the carbohydrates on the blue and white ceramic plates.  The IKEA bowl is filled with beef stew in red tomato sauce, vegetables hidden – chopped cremini mushrooms, processed broccoli and celery stalks seasoned with turmeric powder.  She remembers to take out the lemons from the fridge to squeeze on the kids’ fruit tomorrow.  She must avoid the browning of those perfectly sweet, organic apples from Walmart.  She must remember to give them their full doses of Vitamin C on these cold winter days.  The Thermos bags remain smelly.  She decides they’re bearable for another couple of days.
She worries about the self-cleaning oven, the one that always threatens to burn the kitchen down.  She frowns at that bully of an oven lock that holds in the over door hostage and only lets it go after two hours, three if she’s obsessing.
It is morning again.  She likes to twirl her freshly shampooed, Conair-curled hair around her left index finger while she writes.  Hair finally manageable after a decade of stressing over how to get the thick, black, unruly hair in place.  Ben, her Ricky Reyes salon stylist since her teenage years intermittently complimented and complained before every single show.  Always in one lush breath, “It’s so makapaaaaaal!  It's taking me soooo long!  I wish I had your hair, ‘dai!!!  You’re so laaaaacky!” always ending these swishy declarations with a toss of imaginary long hair off his thin padded shoulders.
She snaps out of the reverie and turns to her son sitting across from her at the breakfast table.  He’s home with a cough, eleven now and growing bigger, wider, chubbier around the waist.  He's gotten fuller in those pink cheeks with the darling peach fuss.  Soon the non-moustache will become darker, she imagines.  She notices the crumpled red and black cotton shirt, the one that says No Fear on the chest.  The flat iron and board are neglected in the spare room in basement, never used in all the five years they’ve been living in suburbia except for that one time when the borrowed pink piña shawl needed to be starched to a crisp for the Fiesta Filipino concert last June.  Those need to be returned to their rightful owner, she tells herself guiltily.  She remembers how she’s forgotten for almost half a year now.  She remembers how she’s forgotten how much of a decade’s worth of worthless things are still in the over-stuffed cellars, storage rooms and mice-infested garage.  She vows to let everything go this spring.  All of it.  2012 is the full spring-cleaning year and she recommits with resolve.  She momentarily doubts this will all get done...without hiring outside help.
It is ten thirty in the morning now.  She decides to walk over to her office, the blue benches by the man-made lake across the street.  This loon-filled reservoir has the power to calm the crazy loonie-minded mother-of-three living under the forty four year old dry, flaky, winter-weather beaten skin.

She was spent but happy after the walk, ecstatic even, after photographing some more geese, gulls and taking in the wide, open spaces.  She is tired but will not be able to rest much, not today, because after clearing the morning’s clutter in the kitchen, doing a load of laundry and folding while watching the Ellen Show and a quick lunch of a chicken sandwich with humus and sugar snapped peas thrown in the mix, the 2:45pm alarm will be quacking to pick up the kids. 

She opts for the smell of fresh-baked Pilsbury croissants and chocolate chip cookies to clean her cluttered home for one more day.  She joyfully serves this to her own hungry birds after she gives them their lunch of chicken alfredo pasta.   Kitchen Helpers are called helpers for a good reason. 
A quick gulp of caffeine from a can of Coke Zero momentarily heals her sagging spirit.  She smiles at the irony of how a zero-calorie drink with pseudo-sweet black-gold poison is able to fill her hollowed soul.
On the walk to the school, the second one for the day in the sun-drenched frozen-solid stretch of street, she quietly marvels at how a thirty-minute morning walk and bird-watching early in the day is able to revive a life.  For one more day.  She says a quiet prayer of thanks over how a thirty-minute long distance phone call can save her messy kitchen, her midday meal and consequently her mood.  For one more day.  She finds the grace of gratitude softly landing, finally arriving and she smiles.  For one more day.
She takes another deep, full breath.  For one clear moment, this calms her million-mile per hour mind.
For one more day.

Near-sighted/Far-sighted | Instagram | March 8, 2012

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui | "instasahm" on Instagram

*or is it now?  ;)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

High | a post about resistance

"In the field of the Self stand the knight and the dragon.  You are the knight.  Resistance is the dragon.  ~  Steven Pressfield, Do The Work

I love you.  I love me.  I love everything and everyone and every moment of this endorphin high.  High, high, high...such a nice change from the dark, winter-y low-oh-oh's of a few days ago.

I'm loving this high so much that it makes me want to share my stuff.   This morning it's images from my photowalk and my personal truths.  Are you ready?  Here we go!

Early Bird/Instagram/02.02.12/Chiqui Pineda
Personal Truth#1:  It is real.  It is as real as the letters and pictures in front of you and me.  It is this thing called Resistance.   It's that very thing that keeps us away from doing/being with/experiencing that which we Love.  Be it a Dream, a Relationship, A Weight Goal.  Its names are fear, evil, The Devil, depression, oppression/victimization, boredom/sadness/loneliness.  There’s more.  These are just the common ones.  I battle with it daily.

Personal Truth #2:  It can never ever be extinguished, erased, removed, banished for good.  The most one can do is…

Broken Tree/Instagram/02.02.12/Chiqui Pineda
Personal Truth #3:  Look It squarely in the face (mine looks like my high school religion teacher, let's call her Sister Callie who told me in so many words at the Stella Maris Academy of Davao that only the holy and the perfect will go to heaven which, of course, I am neither and where's heaven again?), get to know It and all Its nuances such as my all time fave: rewinding past mistakes, emotional eating, “so much to do so little time/money/space/etc.” syndrome, dramatic episodes with loved ones.  And after doing all that, move in this world with It knowing that...

Personal Truth #4:  There are powerful solutions to quiet/appease/shush or put all our versions of Sister C. to sleep.  No, it isn't and will never be in a tub of President’s Choice Cookie Dough like I once swore it was.  It is in My 10 Favorite Antidotes which I’m going to share with you.  Because I love me.  And you.  And everything and everyone and every moment of this endorphin high.

My 10 Favorite Slay-The-Dragon antidotes to Resistance:

#1:  Connectivity!  With Self first.  Then with others.  
This is why I love and swear by my daily morning pages.  It grounds me.  It quiets the monkey mind.  It gently puts me into gear and varrrrroom myself into my busy day of 99things and then some.  I then connect via my pics: iShake, Instagram, Canon Powershot, to the moment then connect via FB, email, Viber with family and friends.  Connect, with Self FIRST.  Then others.

Frozen Lake-ish/Instagram/02.02.12/Chiqui Pineda
#2:  Walks!  Not the “I gotta do this/burn that much/get the numbers in…” kind but rather the “Ooh...ahhh…look at that bird/cloud formation/sunset…” version.  Happy walks sweep the cobwebs out of my over-crowded mind, calms my frayed nerves, gets me away from the busy-making life and social networks and the NegaStars* (including myself!) that come with it.

#3:  Blogging!  Which, really, is part of #1 but with a brave twist to it because it entails vulnerability = courage = shut up, Sister Calixta!  It’s so much fun for me to put one’s thoughts and show one’s underbelly in all its glory (and muckiness) to the world.  I must qualify that: It's so much fun to see the results of my putting it out there...because it gives others a chance to get to know me and me them.  

#4:  Zzzzzz’s!  Obvious, simple, yet too easy especially for busy moms to forget.  Power naps, quick mid-day breaks, stop spinning.  All timed with one’s personal...
#5:  Timer.  Time it.  Time it all.  As I edit this, my oven is beeping.  A simple yet very powerful tool to fight the dragon of Resistance.  I use my phone’s alarm clock for my 10 minute morning pages and my oven’s timer for chores.  I know my coach Julie uses a red egg timer when doing emails online.  BFF Allison, too.  However you time it is up to you as long as you do it.  And another must-do...

#6:  Sex.  There.  I said it.  I imagine my mom’s eyes just bugged at number sex, I mean, six!  :)  But it has to be said if I am doing my Truth*full Thursday.  Sex with one’s spouse, partner, with oneself!  It’s such a huge part of a healthy adult's power source.  Good, healthy, responsible sex counts for most of a person’s good mood or lack of it. And moving on….(Mamay, you can close your mouth now.  LOL)
Dinner.Day2/Instagram/02.02.12/Chiqui Pineda
#7:Healthy food choices!  I find it hard to think happy, powerful thoughts when I'm full of unhealthy food.  So, I have enlisted my iPhone’s Instagram to be my quiet witness to this challenge I’ve posed for myself and for others who’d like a fun and creative way to awareness in eating.  I call it my FB Pic Your Food Project, an old idea from my friend Sylvie who first shared this with me before the holidays.

#8:  Fail faster.  Ooooh, this one took a long time to sink in.  I’m a dweller.  I review.  Take stock.  Rehash.  I loop-dee-loop the incident until I’ve totally figured out the ins and outs of the mishap.  New flash:  Sometimes, there's just no figuring out the mistake.  Momentum is a precious thing.  Now I’ve learned (and am continuing to learn) how to fail gracefully.  Fast.  And move on.  It does help to yell “Next!” at the top of one’s lungs, too.  And..."Next!" ;)

#9:  JDI.  Nike got it and got it good.  Just do it already.  Enough research, preparation, warming up or checking what others think, say, are suggesting or doing on Facebook.  One of my mentors even says this:  Begin before you’re ready.  There's a more poetic version of this: Leap and then net will appear.

And finally...courageously, gracefully and loving ~

10:  Share!  Which loops back to #1 with a goddess-bless benevolence as one can only share from what she has after she actually has it. 

When I have it, I can’t help but share with you because…

I love me.  And I love you.  And everyone, everything and every moment of this endorphin high.  And beyond.  As long as I can keep Sister Callie sound asleep in her corner of my mind.

On to fighting the good fight, my brave knight!

Courage in Creativity,
A Brrrr-y Cold Walk/Instagram/02.02.12/Chiqui Pineda

High Ideas inspired by my favorite authors, Steven Pressfield (Do The Work, The War of Art) and Brenda Ueland (If You Want To Write).

*NegaStars = Negative Drama Kings and Queens.  Thank you, my quotable mama JD.

*I just edited the title.  Didn't want to mislead anybody into thinking I was talking about illegal substances. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

the first morning walk for 2012

it was snowing hard. not quite a snow storm but enough to make me need to bundle up in three layers on top (t-shirt under turtle neck under snow jacket), and three layers in the bottom (thermals, leggings, and knee-high snow boots).  I protected my hat-covered head with my hoodie, tied it snuggly in front of my face with only my eyes and nose showing.  it wasn't that cold - it never is when snow's falling down, just about 1ºC (spoken like a true assimilated canadian, eh?! :p) - and had myself a relaxed, serene, sweep-the-cobwebs-in-my-head-away walk, snow falling into my face and on my iPhone everytime i took it out to take a photo.

everything was so bright that at one point i felt i was going to fall into the white ocean beneath me.  it's quite disorienting to walk on pure white and in this winter's quiet that's almost all-encompassing.  the only sounds were the occasional school bus (it is quite early in the morning) and the crunching of my boots on the fresh snow.  in front, across, above, below, pure bright white snow with just a few black bare branches covered with white powder, snow-sprinkled bushes jutting out of the white ground and the honking canadian geese overhead.  there's the blue benches by the lake and those crazy loonie loons over there wading in the frozen water!  what can these birds stand this cold and in the lake's sub-zero waters too?

adaptation.  this is what the loons are used to.  i bet if i put them in warm, salty waters of our beaches in boracay or manila bay with all it's hot dirt - ew! - they'd perish faster than you can say quack! this is what their systems are used to.  they're built for this cold, where it's winter four to five months of the year.  i think about this and wonder to myself: is this what i'm built for?

not really.  is this what my system is used to?  well, now it is.  the last time i was in philippines which was over the holidays, it wasn't that bad.  the heat was tolerable because it does go to the mid-20s in manila, december-january months.  but the summer we were there, oh my hotness!  my system's gotten so used to canada's cold weather that the humidity in manila has become quite unbearable.  i am fanning myself inside airconditioned rooms and getting all so sweaty-dizzy in the Greenhills tiangge that i need to guzzle down bottles of water every few minutes.  one reunion of college friends at chili's, mark half-joked if i was having hot flashes already.  mark, i'm only 44 (43 last summer) and i don't think menopause has arrived yet.  it will someday soon but for now, let's hold off talk of flashes of any kind, ok?  :p  

assimilation.  we make do.  we get used to things the way they are.  for the bigger picture that we want to be a part of.  just two days ago i got my canadian citizenship oath-taking appointment letter.  it was set for jan. 23 and i opened my mail on the 25th.  i missed it.  but the kind officer at the citizenship centers in mississauga said that since it's my first time to miss it, i'll be receiving an automatic second appointment in two to three weeks time.  you bet i'm going to check that mailbox everyday from now on!  jack was so pissed off at us missing it since we've been at this citizenship game for over 7-8 years now.  it's been challenging, the whole process of being the last in the family to be a non-citizen but here it is, i'll take it!

it's been 11 years, since 2001, that i've become, chosen to be canadian.  the papers are really just a formality and a convenience.  like i tell my friends who understand: "i'll never have to put up with the hassle of 'papers please' (kids' birth certificates, IDs, PR card etc.) and being thought of as the kids caregiver (yaya) or worse suspected of kidnapping them when traveling alone with them.  the names and citizenship are in order now.  thank you very much.

when jack and i had our eldest son, sol, in 2000, we both decided to live here in toronto.  the years seem to have flown by.  just like the geese that come and go, it seems like only a couple seasons ago that we came to this country.  now my then little boy of 1 and 1/2 is 11 and came two more blessings, a girl and another boy who keep me busy and on my tippy toes everyday.  i write these words with a smile on my semi-chapped lips, remembering to put on more chapstick and slather some moisturizer on my drying up face.

adaptation.  i've done very well for myself considering i grew up on a hill just above the warm ocean across the pearl farms of mindanao.

now i'm growing up just across a snow-covered lake dotted with the honking geese of canada.

Courage in creativity,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chi(qui!) in my home

[Inspired by an article: Chi In My Home, from the Canadian Schools of Feng Shui]

Happy ReNEW Year, my dear!
In the spirit of the new year and - a Kong Hei Fat Choy to you, my darling! - I'll share some of the things I'm renewing these days.

I just got back from one glorious trip back home to Manila.  Oh, oh, glorrrrrious to the maximum!  I still get tingly all over thinking about it all.  I, with my two boys, celebrated the New Year and our birthdays (I share Jan. 15 with my BFF sister, Leslie ;)) with side trips to Tagaytay, HongKong and Baguio, stays in three different hotels - oh I love, LOVE hotels and their clean sheets! - Mariott in Manila, Taal Vista in Tagaytay and Camp John Hay's Manor and of course, visiting some of our favorite eating places - People's Palace, Mang Inasal (with it's unlimited rice!) and Jollibee burgers: 2 Yumburger w/ Cheese please for Sol and 2 cheeseless ones for Joshim.  What a delicious vacation that was.

Happy Re-New Mission
All re-charged and re-newed and back to re-ality for me.  Re-peat!  Re-wind!  :p  Back to reality means back to getting things in order here in the home in preparation for back-to-school for our boys.  Back to the routines for me and the whole family.  YEHEY.  :p  Ok, ok, hold the sarcasm, Chiquita.

I've been on a mission since 4:30am* to declutter three areas of our home: my office/studio, the master bedroom and the kids' rooms.  In the middle of it all the tossing out of old papers from another box of stuff in my office (I am a shameless paper hoarder) I came across a Canadian Schools of Feng Shui handout most likely given to us by our Feng Shui master-in-the-making brother, Joe.  He has been sharing with me, in earnest, stuff that seem a bit weird in the beginning but the more I look into it, the more it makes sense!  And I am all about making sense these days.  Especially New Year days.  So let's begin.

In The Beginning
There are may things written regarding the Chi (energy) in the home.  In this particular article, there are 14.  I'm most interested in #2, Deteriorating Chi: Do not keep dried flowers in the home for more than 4-6 weeks, #3, Stale Chi: Keep the chi flowing in all rooms by using them or rearranging objects in them, #4, Closets: Most common area for stale energy (passing on unwanted or not-used objects creates a more positive energy flow) and #12: Under the bed:  Do not store things under the bed and forget about them.  There should be a clear space for a restful sleep.  Oh, and #14, Entry Way:  Chi needs to enter a clutter free, foliage free space and not around anything broken, or it will bring "broken energy" into the home.

Ack!  Feng Shui, if you were at all true, then the chi in my home is doomed!  Or has been for too long now.  My mom has always had them decorative style dried flowers so I did, too.  Who knew?!?  I'm throwing out this big jar of potpourri sitting in the living room as soon as I finish writing this.  Whether this one's true or not, I'm not risking it on a jar of dead plants.  Moving on.

Regarding #3, I do notice a refreshed, reenergized feeling whenever I move things around in the house especially after an energizing vacuuming under the couches or beds.  Now I'm not sure if that's from the energy flowing or simply the oxygen flowing through my body from the workout.

And Out of The Closet!
This is where I've gotten trapped.  And more recently, winning. Confessional #2564: I'm lazy with recycling/purging/giving away clothes.  There, I said it.  I'm out!  It's not so much that I'm selfish which I am, but with my clothes, I get attached to my old stuff (read: senti), and let's face it, they are more comfortable on one's body.  A friend, Renjie, has an old shirt with so many holes in it and he loves wearing them on weekends on his chill time.  It's hideous.  But comfy!  So I get it.  My comfy clothes are nothing to look at (and don't look anything like Renjie's naman), I wouldn't dare get out of the house or even answer the door bell in them.   But I value comfort over style eh!  Also, there's that other thing.  This sentimental attachment to stuff poses a problem though.  Especially when the closets and drawers and begin to bulge and break because they're beyond capacity with all these well-loved comfy clothing.

Love Is The Answer
Solution: The Love Meter and The Blue Bags Boogie, my version of Peter Walsh's Trash Bag Tango.  I learned the "love meter" system from one of Oprah's shows on easier decluttering.  The organizing coach said, if torn between keeping and tossing something from your closet, just ask the question: Do I love this piece of not?  Whenever the answer begins with a "Yes, but... (it's too tight/big/bright/etc.) or an "Ummmm, I think I can...", don't think.  Toss.  Only absolute "I love this!" for me.  This has been very difficult.  VERY.  But I've prevailed.  I've been at this Battle with the Basura (garbage) since the beginning of winter.  As of last count, I've given away twelve extra large bags of old clothes.  In less than two months.  12.  Winner.  This is how much clothes clutter has piled up in my house.  No more.  Next!

Under the bed???  And I thought IKEA made those huge boxes for me to get more organized and not so I can sleep restlessly!  I don't know about this one.  If one has five family members and limited storage space, wouldn't under the bed be a smart spot to keep the stuff?  As long as they're organized and not garbage piled?  Then again, the storage space in the basement can take some purging and the garage can definitely handle a second, third and fourth decluttering.  Ok, lazy bones, no more excuses.  Give them unloved stuff away already.

And after I throw out the dried flowers, I'm putting away all the shoes, slippers and boots by the entrance and declaring a two pairs per person rule.  It is late so I think I've done my share of clearing and cleaning for the day.

The Blue Bag Boogie and Me

Peter Walsh will be in my iPod for the next few days for extra motivation with the garbage-bag-a-day routine.  I used to think this was too much.  There's always someone "in the family" that could use the extra can opener.  But I have extra everything and it's clearly weighing down my home.  Enough is enough.  Hello, Blue Bag Boogie!  Why blue, you ask?  So I can see what trash is in what bag.  Oi!  Even in purging, OC pa rin.

It's an all-out war on clutter and I'm determined to win this one blue bag boogie battle at a time.

To dinner!

*Just jetlag, my dear.  I am not normally this chirpy. :p

Friday, January 20, 2012

There's so much you can find when your eyes are open

Oi, my darlings!

A very happy new year to you and yours and a big Hello, 2012!!!

I'm very excited to be writing this first post of the year from Panache Cafe in Lane Crawford, Kowloon. Kowloon as in HONG KONG baby! This being a love/birthday/holiday gift from very generous members from very rich family members...names withheld due to...ok, ok, it's Mom and Dad (trip to Manila), Leslie and Pet (trip here)!

As my sister Leslie and friends Rowena and Jeff do their shopping, I choose to sit down in this lovely corner of the mall and write because one, my feet are extra sore from all the walking at the Toy, Stationery and other gadgety stuff at the HK Convention Center and two, I don't have shopping budget na. :(

I would have attached some fun photos here but because I have not yet discovered the powers of my brand new toy, the iPad2 *insert image of me hugging the bedazzled Apple gadget.  The camera photos that I can't yet upload which will definitely be coming to this space soon!

I imagine that like me, you just had a most fun-filled holiday with family and friends, food overflowing and waistline bulging with post-celebratory goodness.

I wish you all the best in 2012, my dear friend.  Whether you believe it truly is "The End of The World" or simply "The End of The Old World Ways", let's make the most of it anyway.

Peace, love, joy and always ~

Courage in Creativity,