Stop

This is my rant to many rants. How ironic!

There is so much wickedness, bitterness in this world. Do your part to save the world by  not adding another problem. We do not need a  lot of rants, bad words, or trivial complaints. Of course, we need  to practice critical thought and discernment but there is a proper place and time for everything.

I hate ‘hate.’  Being pessimistic over a lot of things is not making the world a better place to live. Before you rant and before you critique, ask yourself: What will I gain and what will people gain out of it? Am I making the world  a better place to live?

I’m still pessimistic especially when my bratty self wants to come out.  We are a work in progress.

Here are some of my bad habits I want to unlearn.

Stop questioning people’s kindness
We always read news on corruption and crime. We have our personal stories of betrayal and trust issues.  It is hard to identify who are genuinely good. Sometimes, I ask: Is this person good to me because s/he wants something from me? Is this person nice only on the surface? Is this person building a charity to help or to improve his/her image? But who are we to judge a person’s intentions or motives? We can’t surely say what they want to get in return.  If we haven’t proved such judgement or claim is right, it is wise to give people an opportunity to do good before we shut our doors.

maleficent

Stop stealing people’s happiness
In other words, don’t be such a killjoy.  If someone is so happy over a chocolate bar, comics, soap opera, TV series, Justin Bieber, One Direction, chick flick, zombie movies, let that person be. People have different tastes and interests. We don’t have to like what others like to live peacefully. In fact, we can like one another without sharing the same interests or backgrounds . Let and let live.

Stop finding answers
You don’t have to know everything. It’s human nature that we want to make sense of the world but you do not need to have an answer for every life question. It is physically and emotionally draining to answer why does this have to happen to me? No explanation will ever be enough for life’s uncertainties. On what life does not entitle you to know, you let it go.

what happened

Stop glorifying busy
I’ve posted this twice but I think  this should be a constant reminder. We define productivity by the number of tasks we have in a day or by the number of roles we play but we should always put premium on quality or quantity. Being busy is not worth bragging and a lame excuse for not having time for yourself, and loved ones and time to rest. If you put your heart and soul into one activity in a day, consider yourself productive. And if you can’t comply all your to-do list, forgive yourself.

busy

Stop looking for things you don’t have
While ambitions and aspiration give motivation and meaning in life, too much thinking of what you do not have is a mental torture.

Stop looking at other people’s flaws
People have good and bad side. We always have a choice to magnify which side we want to see in people. I try not to judge someone’s value based on their shortcomings or their mistakes. It does not mean he is not a good student, he is not a good son. It does not mean he does not have a good temper, he is not generous. Ideally, we want people to be consistently good but reality tells us that people have different shades of goodness.

Stop talking negatively about yourself
Venting out your frustration about yourself is cathartic. It’s true that sometimes we just want to fish compliments. Every human being according to Maslow has this need for acceptance and affirmation. And sometimes we want a cheerleader or someone who can empathize. But too much negative talk about yourself can be damaging. I realize the more I talk negatively about myself, the more I remember the negative feelings I have for myself.  Hence, it prolongs agony and self-loathing. We can be very self-absorbed that we fail to notice that some people have more needs and failures but they choose not to see themselves as worthless.

Stop using What-if phrases
The what-if phrases are poisoning our minds. But then again, let go of what you cannot change.

Stop spreading the idea that men are polygamous by nature
We’ve heard a lot of real life stories of men having many women. It is happening but I will never buy the idea that it’s natural for men to have two women or more. It is not a call of nature. It is deviance. And spreading this idea that it’s so normal for men encourages more men to be like one. I simply don’t like it because it’s gender biased.

polygamy

Stop complaining
I am very guilty of this. I love to complain. When I’m bored, I want to argue. We like to complain because it’s also cathartic. Ranting may help us unload our stress and anxiety but you’ll never know you might be passing stress to your listeners. Be sensitive to others. As painful as this may sound but not everybody likes to listen to your problems or even world problems.

14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Philippians 2:14-16

 

I know complete abstinence from these bad habits is easier said than done but we can change our mindset gradually. Maybe we can have a quota for bad words, negative words, criticisms, gossips in a day or make sure pleasant words outnumber negative vibes.

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Minimalist Lifestyle Experiment?

“Lifestyle experiment!” I love the effect when these two words are combined. It sounds like a scientific method of life. I first heard the term of ‘lifestyle experiment’ from a TED talk of a young man who moves to a different part of the world every four months. I’ve heard a lot of lifestyle experiments such as a family not having sugar in their diet, a man who tried to live biblically, a Tech savvy guy who did not use the internet for a year. There are a lot of ideas on how to twist life but what I want to try is what I call “minimalist lifestyle experiment.” The principle behind this lifestyle experiment is to prioritize what matters most to you and eliminate what you do not need. The concept sounds simple but the execution is extremely difficult, especially if you are living in a highly urbanized city. In a world highly driven by commerce and appetite, you are a survivor if you can maintain a minimalist lifestyle

My interest on minimalist lifestyle experiment stems from how we define success and happiness. Today, we define success by excess. We live in a world where we celebrate abundance. We have an irrational obsession over accumulation which is influenced by our consumerist behavior. While we commend people with multitasking skill and with multiple roles,  we should pause and contemplate, is it worth it to have it all? It seems we define success in quantity. I was once obsessed of acquiring a  lot or doing a lot.  For every new task, new role, new item in my bucket list, I examine if this can make me happier or will this be an additional problem.

It takes calamities and life tragedies for us to realize that all the wealth you acquired and the status you gained in your lifetime are meaningless.

 

But….

 

I don’t subscribe to extreme minimalist lifestyle such as the vegetarian lifestyle, or full-time monks. I can’t imagine myself living in the woods with no wi-fi and electricity. I still believe in moderation. As what Confucius philosophy teaches:  The key to happiness is moderation. We don’t totally eliminate, we just prioritize.

 

Here are some of the things I try to work on to have a minimalist lifestyle.

Focus one thought at a time

This is probably the hardest thing to do. I describe my thoughts like tangible things that fall and break into pieces and my friend tells me that my thoughts are like waterfalls. And sometimes my thoughts are like raindrops I cannot catch them. It’s a challenge  to concentrate. I am learning to be on focus by living  in the present and by setting limits on the things I have to do in a day.

stop the busy

Stop being futuristic

I try to be less obsessed about the future. I keep a mental note that the future does not hold a promise. Thinking about the future gives me too much stress and anxiety. As what I wrote in my last blog post: “Brilliance is seasonal. Let go and let God decide when.”

It does help to be less futuristic. It minimizes expectations. I enjoy my trips, events and activities more because I don’t have pre-existing feelings of excitement or tension.

Savor the moment

savor the moment

Sometimes, we think about dinner while watching a movie. Sometimes, we think about our plans over the weekend while talking to our friends. This kind of habit is not a wise way to maximize your time. I learn to savor the moment by paying attention to details. When I walk on the street, I observe the random strangers along the way. When I talk to someone, I notice the person’s gestures. I have one particular subject at a given time to focus.

Declutter

I’m a trash collector. I’ve been keeping a lot of trash for sentimental reasons. Now I am brave enough to give up that things that used  to hold value to me such as my favorite shirts, my worn-out jeans, my college readings. Because I have no permanent address, I learn to have less. I don’t have a lot of room for everything.

Have self-control in social media and internet

This is very hard. I can’t live without the internet. This is where I learn a lot and share a lot of things. I try to fight the urge to post a lot in a day in my FB. I just made a simple rule that the maximum number of posts is two, that also applies to the links and photos I shared on Facebook.

 Have a minimalist gadget

Having a gadget does not sound minimalist at all but it helps to have one gadget that can do a lot of things. I like my Samsung Note 10  because it has many functions. I stopped buying paperbacks, spreading sticky notes around my room, having notebooks and planners because of my gadget. I become more organized and must I say environment-friendly.

samsung~2

Samsung Note – a mobile phone at the same time a picture frame hehe

 Turn off the TV

It has been a while that I really spend hours to watch TV. I just realize the TV causes thought pollution from TV commercials with wrong values to exaggerated news. I am taking in a lot of unnecessary trivia on my head. Though, I do like arts and entertainment, I just want to filter what entertains me and what I want to be informed of.

Eat clean

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My friends are teasing me that I am a goat because I have so many photos of leafy vegetables in Instagram. I do eat a lot but I always aim to choose the lesser-evil food. I want to enjoy food but I don’t want to feel guilty and bloated that I feel like I want to sleep after a big meal. I want to feel light and energized so that I can move quick and vigorously.

 Walk

walk

Walking is a real minimalist habit. I used to ride a jeepney to reach MRT station but later on, I replaced it with a 20-minute walk. Like most office worker, I spend so many hours sitting on front of the computer. I want to challenge myself to do something for my body and for my savings.

Save

When you don’t know what to do with your money, save. It does not sound believable that people don’t know what to do with their money but in reality, people don’t. They are not the richest people in the world but they are overwhelmed by the amount of money they have. People have a tendency to splurge. When they have extra money, they buy an extra phone, extra shoes. My rule: I think ten times or more (and sometimes months)before I buy something I really like.

 Cut the bills  you don’t need

I always have regular calls offering postpaid plans. Because I can’t find the necessity and urgency of a postpaid plan, I decline. Having a lot of bills and material things makes life complicated. Money can give or take your freedom. Most of the time, when salary increases, our expenses increase. That should not be.

Change how you reward yourself

Rewards do not have to be in cash or possession. We always say that the most valuable things in life don’t come with price tag but this does not reflect on how we spend our time, money, and energy. When we want to reward ourselves for a job well done, we buy a new phone or a new piece of furniture. Instead of shopping, why not reward yourself with vacation or quality time with friends and family? Or learn something new? Take classes? Look for a new adventure? Invest on experience and learning. These are priceless.

falls

Enjoy life’s simple pleasure

When our aspirations seem impossible and when we fail ourselves, we add an emotional baggage. We want to eliminate baggage whether it’s in kilograms or feelings. My remedy is to gain appreciation on the things around me. Watch rom-com or laugh at your friend’s corny joke. Bring out your 16 year old self.

deny

 

Less is more 🙂

Bipolar Meal

There are so many foodies in  instagram and so many food bloggers  in the web.  Hence, I choose to blog other things that not everybody takes time to share and appreciate. Hence if ever I am going to write or blog about a restaurant, it should be interesting and unique. This one is an example.

My friends and I ate at Van Gogh is Bipolar, the only restaurant opened in Maginhawa on Holy Friday.

Entering Van Gogh is Bipolar
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It’s self-service. We chose from the menu on the wall and wrote it down on a piece of paper.

Van Gogh is Bipolar  Menu

Van Gogh is Bipolar Menu

It did feel a little creepy inside. We were encouraged to wear some headpieces.

2014418185245~2

 

Virginia Woolf’s Turkey Soup  is probably the most remarkable I have tasted in Van Gogh. For one reason, I did not really expect to like it. I’m not a fan of soups but I was able to consume this heartily and wanted to have more.

Viginia Woolf Soup

Dining at Van Gogh is Bipolar is somehow a little expensive. You pay not only for the food but for  the experience. Plus, Jetro, the owner/ the chef is the one who prepares your meal.  I chose pescetarian meal because I wanted something light and healthy.

It was a combination of different kinds of fish. I loved it that they add small slices of yellow mangoes in the dish. They did refresh my tongue from all the fried stuff I had eaten.  I wanted to have a dessert but  I was so full after finishing the main dish

Pescetarian Meal

Pescetarian Meal

 

Even the restroom looks hippie

 

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Some things you will see inside:

Van Gogh is Bipolar serves exclusively for 12 people per night. If you want to make a reservation, visit their page.

 

Where?

Innercourtyard 154 Maginhawa St. Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
1103 Quezon City, Philippines

Five Years Old

An artist asked me, “Are you guys really into theater?”

I replied, “Slight.”

“But you enjoy theater?”

“I just enjoy being a kid!”

“That’s great!”

remember the kids quote
Yes, what were we thinking???

Sometimes, it’s just so good to be a five-year old kid. There’s something about kids and their world that  reminds us life can be easier. I do like taking photos of kids more than taking photos of adults. For one reason, they are cute and fun.

kids1

I have so much drama in my life lately that I want to divert my mind to happy thoughts which we can get from the kid’s world.

Let’s be kids again.


1. Be colorful.

I don’t know why people  have to wear neutral colors in the corporate world.Why is it such a norm? I always prefer to wear bright and lively colors.  As fashionistas would say, what you wear speaks who you are. Surround yourself with bright colors. They bring positive energy.

colorful

2. Discover

Kids are always curious. I don’t  know why we adults are less curious now. Do we think our world is too familiar and uninteresting? Maybe we should be less assuming that we know everything and that we’ve seen all that there is in this world. There is always something new to learn.

3.  Watch Disney films

Sometimes, light and wholesome movies make you feel better.

kids are

4. Have a sweet tooth

Sweets are instant happiness

5. Be amazed over small things

While I was taking puppetry lesson, I notice how small actions of puppets can bring so much life.

puppeteer

6. Laugh at small things

Adults have an odd sense of humor.  Not all adults I guess. And some require sophisticated sense of humor, like the ones in sitcoms.  But why can’t we just laugh for no big reason. I have an office mate who loves to laugh. Everytime I meet her, we just laugh.

7.  Sing  children song

 

Last on my list:

8.  Have a kid’s party -I want to hehe

9.  Try kids rides

My twenty-something friend and I tried this animal ride in the mall.

animal ride

 

Journey

I am about to make a major decision in my life: I want to be nomadic. After so much thought, I realize how much I am missing in my life after reaching and struggling, testing and deciding, competing and asserting. It is a cliché  to say that  “Life is a journey.” But most of the time we are focused on our destination and not on the journey itself. The process is as important as the results. We are so preoccupied with the future and most of what we do are based on perceived consequences. We study to work. We work to save money. We practice to be perfect. We learn a set of skills to get a better job, and to be a better person. Can we just learn simply because we want it? We live for the future and much worse, you hear some people linger on the past. Why are we like this when the most important moment in our lives is the present? I got inspiration from a TEDx talks of Colin Wright, Extreme Lifestyle Experiments and Eoin Finn, Hammock Enlightenment. They have a different perspective on what a quality life is.

How does being nomadic relate with all my nonsensical and impractical ideas?

I want to be nomadic because….

I want to meet “real” people.

Our society is highly industrialized that we have become machines too. We are extensions of computers, power plants, cellphones and cars when it should be the other way around. We are programmed with a set of tasks and goals. Sometimes when you ride a train or walk towards work, you see people like paintings not as human being, capable of sending and receiving stimuli. On the other hand, when you travel and meet people who are on vacation, you see them as themselves.  Real people are not machines, not slaves, and not just members of the population.  They love family and friends. They are passionate in what they do. They get scared.  They get tired. They share the same feelings with you.  You may feel bad over the news on TV but not everybody can understand your sentiments.  On the other hand, traveling makes as one. We can all share the fear of heights, the excitement of a new place.

sagada family

new friends – the family we met during our trip to Sagada
sagada tourguide

Our Tour Guide during trekking … She taught us a new word “Ibayaw,” an expression to show concern
sagada mangcesar

Mang Cesar, the owner of Happy House. He cooks and serves his guestssagada clement

Our tour guide in Echo Valley… he looks nice, divah? pwede? hehe

I want to experience.

Everything counts as an experience but the thing about having conquest behavior (the busy mode mentality in a fast-paced environment), we don’t do things for experience sake. On a regular day, before trying something new, we always ask, “How will this benefit me?” Will I be rich? Will I be pretty? How we think is influenced by trade and commerce. And again, it all boils down to practical value. When you’re a tourist in a town, it changes how you see things. Your mind is set that this might be the first time in forever or the last time. I just wonder how Makati or big cities would look like if everybody acted like a tourist. Probably, there will be a few hot-tempered people, and probably an increase of friendly people.

sagada climbing

I want to be a minimalist

I travel light. As much as possible, I only bring one backpack. When you travel, you try to keep only those that are essential. You don’t bring all your clothes, gadgets. And sometimes it helps when you have no internet access. There you can appreciate life, bare and uncluttered.

IMG_1448

I want to be connected with the universe.

The world will be a happier place if everybody take their time to appreciate what they see, what you taste, and what they hear. These are moments that make us alive: when you take notice of the birds, when you hear the shore chasing your toes, when your skin gets hurt with the warmth of the sun, when you let the wind lift you up, when you don’t think too much, when you are in awe over small things.

 sagada echo valley

sagada terraces

sagada mountain

After reading this, question:

do you think im odd

The world is too big and life is too short 🙂

Miracle Art Exhibit

My friend and I  toured around Binondo, Manila. One of the highlights of our tour is the Miracle Art Exhibit in Lucky Chinatown Mall.

A picture paints a thousand words. For this, I will stop writing from here.

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