Sharing is Living

so here, you'll find my faves and recommendations,
on things, places, books, food, websites, softwares, and much more! =)

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Aid in Africa - Speaking of Faith

October 6th, 2009 · No Comments

I have forgotten how much I love the Speaking of Faith website, I haven’t been there in a while. Such a wealth of information, some of the most amazing interviews ever done.

This particular episode, I sensed would be interesting. Finally! Someone who realized, and a recipient, nonetheless, that aid is not doing the things that it’s intended to do. It makes the people feel entitled, it teaches them that they’re incapable, and that they do not need to build the country themselves.

If one person actually things  and believes this in that corner of the world, there are more! It is only a matter of time before this consciousness spreads out and Africa will rise up and be a valuable and healthy and contributing continent.

I will live long enough to see this done.

 Ethics of Faith - http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2009/ethicsofaid-kenya/

→ No CommentsTags: Web Sites

What’s a scanner? You could be one!

July 22nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

Have posted about Barbara Sher before, quoting huge chunks of paragraphs from her book.

This next one is from her occasional email newsletter, and she is just so lovable. Always giving moi ‘aha’ moments.

This one is particularly funny, no matter how many times she wrote about this already.

“What’s a Scanner? Here’s how to know if you are one:

If you find you have loads of interests, that you’re curious and love learning new things, that the subjects that fascinate you are all over the map; if you hate the idea of being limited to any one thing because you’d miss all the others, you’re a Scanner.

If you wish you could find the One Right Thing but you fear you’ll never find a career  (or a hobby!) that will remain interesting for very long…If you’re a sweetheart of a person, kind and friendly and childlike in some ways, and you like to help people or make the world a better place, you’re a Scanner.

If you wish you were born rich so you wouldn’t have to work at all, just so you could play forever with fascinating ideas and concepts and skills and never again have to do anything boring, If you find yourself wildly enthusiastic about something and you believe you’ll stay that way — but after awhile the enthusiasm dies down and you become excited about something else, If people call you a dilettante or flakey or a ‘hectic eclectic,’ (as one person wrote me), well then, you’re a Scanner.

And if you thought you were the only person like you and often wonder how you got so strange, you’re a Scanner.”

→ 1 CommentTags: Books

My Near Death Experiences

July 7th, 2008 · No Comments

I went to Madam Sachiko cookies again today. And I almost fainted. And that whole can’t see, can’t feel the ground underneath me, and can’t stand up without feeling the world spinning so fast episode made me think about my near death experiences in the past.

Yes, of course fainting isn’t really dying, but when you’re experiencing it, it’s really scary.

So my NDEs:

1. Diving down the pier on Pulau Bidadari trying to retrieve my missing rental snorkel. I was so out of breath that I thought I would die down there. But I feared my parents’ wrath from losing the snorkel more than my own death. I was 11, I think. I got the snorkel, and obviously I didn’t die. I was quite the fish. So proud of myself.

2. Driving home from work, using the mountain route because the main highway was so backed up. I ran over a big rock, my car was stuck, right there on the turn. Then we got out of the car, and just stood around, without realizing that another car would speed pass by and kill us.

That was actually really stupid. But I was too distracted by the problem at hand, ie, how to get the car back home from the middle of that remote mountain.

3. Falling down the icy hill while skiing. It was 4th trip skiing, and against all fears I tried one of the advanced run. One I took a misstep, I couldn’t stop tumbling down the hard ice.

The run was supposed to be closed because it’s still not suitable for skiing. And lucky me, I fell down that same unsuitable hill. About 500 meters, I think, and I was actually rolling down, feet over my head, then in reverse, and on and on and on. Such a miracle I didn’t suffer any injuries other then few cuts on my cheek.

Therefore, I conclude that falling down skiing isn’t as bad as it looks! How many times have you seen horrible ski falls on TV, with the sort of falls that looks to be bone breaking or even body paralyzing? But then, often, the skier came out fine, suffering only minor injuries.

Well same thing happened to me. It was really cool while you’re tumbling down. First of all it didn’t hurt at all. There’s all that abnormal positions that your body go through, and that helplessness from being unable to stop the fall, but all in all, it was rather painless.

I’d do it again if I can have a guarantee that by the end of it I’ll be 100% fine. It’s sort of fun.

4. Getting lost for about half an hour on the May Lake trail in Yosemite Park. It was the classic getting lost situation. Once we realized we were lost, we seem to get even more lost. After a while, I pictured in my mind that a bear would get me and eat me. Then my parents would be so sad, and they wouldn’t even be able to recognize me anymore, because my face by the time they found me, it would be all deformed and eaten. Yes, really cool.

5. Getting lost in Angkor jungle trying to find Ta Nei temple. What was I thinking anyway getting into a clearly wild jungle? I think I was pretending to be some early explorer finding an ancient Angkor temple. I followed what seems to be a trail, but the deeper into the jungle I get, the trail branched and then they seem to just disappear.

I saw lots of ant hills, ruined so many spider webs, and broke so many plant branches. I think the jungle must’ve seen me as this incompetent intruder wrecking the once peaceful life in there. When I saw some wild berries, I filed that in my mind as food that I could possibly eat if I really have to camp out in the middle of that tropical jungle.

In one of the desperate moments, I started marking the trees with my initial, so that I can see if I’m going round and round. I really thought I would die. Nobody goes to see freaking Ta Nei temple, and I now understand exactly why. They don’t want to die by getting lost in the jungle.

Then by all miracles of miracles, I found my way back. So not dead yet.

So there you go. My fabulous 5 NDEs. Anyone want to share theirs?

→ No CommentsTags: Web Sites

How many ways are there to listen to a song?

July 6th, 2008 · 4 Comments

You know when you listen to song, there are some parts of it that you just love? And somehow your senses are just heightened when that part is being played. It’s like you hear everything, even the smallest details, and what kind of instrument they play in the background the kind of sounds they make.

I realized this hidden world of music when I was little. It was Sebastian’s “Kiss the Girl” song from Little Mermaid. At some part of the orchestra, there were some amazing acoustics that made for a truly wonderful effect. I used to rewind and play it over and over and just listen specifically for that part.

It’s too bad I just realized what a wonderful technique this is. Technique for listening to music, I mean. (Maybe if I paid attention to music theory class, I would know this sooner).

Well, today, I’m reminded of the wonderful hidden world of music yet again, by Loreena McKennitt’s song called Snow. She reminds me about everything that is extraordinary in the world of sounds and songs. She should get some kind of amazing award or something, or maybe just boatloads of money from her recordings.

I hope I can see her in concert before I die. Yeah, I will put that on my to do list.


Well, I listened to this song, paying attention only to the harp in the background. The effect is just amazing! It’s like the vocal blends out in the background, and the violin suddenly becomes more prominent, and the harp sometimes so soft you can barely hear it, but it’s still there.

Listening to it this way is like going inside a comfortable cocoon, and be enveloped with such wonderful melodies. With eyes closed and headphones on, and preferably lying down on a bed, this song is enough to make anyone feel joy and peace for 5 minutes.

The good news is, there’s almost an unlimited number of ways to listen to this song. You can focus on the vocals, or on the harp, or on the strings, or any other sound you like. Each way opens up a new way to experience the song.

I will never forget this so-called technique again. And that proves once again, the best way to do something, anything, is to give it your all. No distraction, no multi-tasking, and no un-awareness. Just one thing at a time.

What a wonderful world this is.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Music

Madam Sachiko Cookies

June 27th, 2008 · No Comments

I just got back from Madam Sachiko cookies, and WOW! A woman after my own heart!

Well, in the greater scheme of things, I actually just got back from biking to the Angkor temples. Plus, I almost died when I got lost in the jungle trying to find Ta Nei temple. Plus, I rode alongside the butterflies. Plus, I had a wonderful lunch with three Cambodian little girls who each made me wildflower wreaths.

But what got me fired to boot up my pc and write this is Madam Sachiko.

Sachiko Kojima single handedly provides employment to 40 Khmers, by making Japanese cookies and opening a smoothies cafe.

She hires local people, she uses local ingredients, she even uses Kampot pepper, for goodness sake, and she makes little trinkets that you won’t find anywhere else in Old Market. Talk about being different in the sea of same same.

I knew about the cookie store since my last trip to Siem Reap. At first I thought, “Come on, Japanese cookies, Japanese name, Japanese food, in Siem Reap Cambodia? No, thank you.”

That’s why I never bothered to visit the place, until this afternoon, when my leg was so tired, and I remembered their slogan, “The best shakes in town”.

Even then I almost didn’t go; I passed it by, but then made a u-turn for the sole reason that I knew I’d be too lazy to go back there in the future.

Well, I’m so glad I did. I was truly blown away by this business operation.

The attendants are so nice and helpful, the items are unique, the cookies are delicate and delicious, the lotus tea is happiness inducing, and the shake, OMG, it is to die for!

I took one sip of my watermelon shake, just one sip, and I had to stop and be surprised at how amazing it tastes. Totally flabbergasted, I told the waitress about it.

It was watermelon through and through, with a uniformed icy texture, and a little bit of sweetness that I think is from added sugar. But nevermind all that, it was the  one perfect drink after biking all the way from Angkor Wat.

I care not whether it is Japanese or Cambodian. Good is good, no matter where you are! I hereby declare that my obsession with pineapple shake has ended, replaced with the watermelon shake at Cafe Puka Puka (Madam Sachiko’s cafe).

And if I ever, ever, go to Angkor again, on my way back I must stop by for one of those shakes.

But that’s not all.

I was there, sitting in the cute air-conditioned cafe, overlooking the street with jasmine plants on the window sill, and just enjoying my amazing watermelon shake, my jasmine tea, and my pepper cookies that I just got.

I was leafing through a Japanese magazine, before I remember that I took a copy of a newspaper article about store. Then I started reading that instead.

The article was very positive, and from what I’ve seen already I agree that she is an amazing businesswoman. But what sealed the deal for my utter admiration for this person was what she said in the closing paragraphs.

“Many of the foreigners in this country are aid workers and people from NGOs. I’m not saying they’re not needed, but the longer I’m here the more I doubt the wisdom of simply giving people handouts. In many cases it discourages independence.

What I try to do is offer a workplace to people with the will to work, and pay them in keeping with their labor. If they work hard, they earn more.

I turn down almost all requests for charitable contributions…”

Damn right that handouts discourage independence! I agree that NGOs are well meaning organizations, but sometimes you have to look at the long term effects of what you do.

I would really love to talk to this woman. I’ve never even met her, but I’m so excited knowing that there’s a person like her in Siem Reap, and it’s like I already know who she is.

I’ll definitely make a page dedicated on madam Sachiko cookies and shakes, and place it in a prominent place on my Angkor website. Maybe I should contact her and see if she would give me an interview. Wow, I get to be an interviewer? I love my life.

→ No CommentsTags: Places

Cambodian music

June 6th, 2008 · No Comments

I was researching on what to write next on my Angkor site, and found these two. They’re soooo cute, and the tune is catchy! Watch it if you don’t believe me.

I can’t stop smiling when listening to this. So next time you want to smile a big smile for a 6 minutes, watch these.

→ No CommentsTags: Movies/Films

Raw Food Diet, day 30

May 12th, 2008 · No Comments

So this is day 30, and I just have to say that this diet is the best I’ve ever done. I might eat my words later, but I plan to do this forever. Yes, forever.

This diet plan makes me feel super. I’ve never felt so good (without regular exercise) in my whole life. Imagine if I stick to my workout routine. This lifestyle is it!

In the past 30 days, I cheated 5 times. Which isn’t too bad, I don’t think.

First one was on my brother’s b’day. We went to Korean BBQ place, and I ate only half of Bibimbap cuz everyone was taking some (!!), with no meat on it, only to eat a piece of the bbq meat later. It tasted good, but surprisingly I felt horrible. As in I kept seeing the cow being slaughtered in front of me.

Second cheating time was tasting my bro’s chicken satay. He’s doing a new venture, and was cooking up recipes. And it was really good! I would definitely buy them, they’re yummy. I ate 1 stick, with a spoonful of rice. I did have flashes of chickens running around.

Then third time is just few days ago, Mom and I went to Bakmi GM, and I ate capcay veggies. I also ate several spoons of her bihun noodles. Boy were they good, but an hour after I felt miserable, and my stomach was acting up.

Then fourth time was yesterday, I ate 1 big lumpia that my aunt brought from Semarang. Lumpia Semarang was my weakness, still is I suppose, so I couldn’t resist tasting this new lumpia.

Then fifth time was last night. Mom found a new place that sort of replaced Art and Curio in Menteng, and she brought some home. I ate 1 spoon of mashed potato, a slice of the beef, and a bit of gravy (no cow images this time). It’s not as great as Art and Curio, but respectable.

All in all, I gotta say I did very well! One month passed by so quickly! I ate few concoctions that were good, and some that were inedible. But all is good.

I got my routine down, I think. Morning would be green smoothies. Lunch would be fruits or salad. Dinner would be fruits or salad. And lots of fruits and nuts snacking in between. Almost every monday I’ve had Urap made for me, but instead of boiled, it’s raw. Extra crunchy, and still yummy! I’m getting bored of it now, though.

I’ve failed in the beans department. I’ve soaked some mung beans, normal beans, black soybeans, and soybeans, but I didn’t do much with them. They take too much work, and I don’t have the patience. I’m thinking of making rice milk, and soybean milk, but haven’t gotten around to them.

Also, mom went crazy over Alisa Cohen’s Caesars Salad dressing that I made. It’s good, but I just don’t understand why she likes it so much. She’s obsessed with it, and keeps on telling me to make her a salad.

That is all! All is well, blender is my new best friend, and fresh food 4eva!

I notice that I no longer obsessed about cooked foods, instead I’m more looking forward to raw foods as being the best choice for me. Whenever I cheated, I did it with heavy heart (well, except the lumpia). How cool is that, my whole outset about food has turned 180 degrees.

Oh, hm, if anybody knows how to stay being a raw fooder while traveling, please do let me know. I think travels gonna wreak havoc on my new lifestyle. Should I bring blender everywhere? That’s not much fun, is it?

WOW! I just completely forgotten about the one best thing about this diet. My eyesight has improved! I was gobsmacked when the Doctor wrote the prescription. I’m very shorshighted you see. Last time, my vision was -5.50 and -6.00. Now, get ready, they are -4.50 and -5.00.

How. Cool. Is. That!? I am speechless.

Fine, this isn’t done is some controlled test environment or what not, so I can’t really know what’s causing the improvement. But I would guess it’s the raw food diet. Each year they have been getting worse, and this is the only time that they’ve improved.
Green raw veggies, here I come!

→ No CommentsTags: Raw Food

Blog Carnival #6

May 5th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Ahem. We have quote a submission this time, ranging from infidelities to StarCraft tips and tricks. Knock yourself silly with these posts. Enjoy!

Chelsy Albertson presents Saving Money During College posted at Earn Money - Earning Money From Home, saying, “Dorm Earning has
personal finance advice for college students, including tips to save money.”

Life. Money. Development. presents The 7 Attributes of Leadership posted at Life. Money. Development., saying, “An excellent presentation of the attributes every leader should have.”

Linda W. presents Recognizing Verbal Abuse in Relationships posted at The Eclectic Female, saying, “Words can hurt, and it is important to recognize when verbal abuse occurs.”

Nara presents Surviving Marital Infidelity - Signs of Infidelity » FAQ For Those That Commit Infidelity posted at Infidelity, saying, “Answers to frequently asked questions for those that commit infidelity.”

Talk Prom Dresses presents What’s Hot - Prom Dress Trends 2008 posted at Prom Dresses, saying, “Updates on the latest fashion trends in 2008 prom dresses.”

Fuel Efficient Driver presents I Want Better Gas Mileage » Blog Archive » E85 Ethanol Vehicles posted at Getting Better Gas Mileage, saying, “Author talks about the new E85 ethanol vehicles.”

books

Christina M. Rau presents Prepped Proper posted at Livin’ The Dream (One Loser At A Time), saying, “Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, a truly great read”

James DeLelys presents WORDS » Articles posted at WORDS, saying, “Prejudice… Excerpts from WORDS A Prophecy Fulfilled”

Adam Wilson presents Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus posted at Letters on Pages, saying, “This is my book review of Banker to the Poor, which is an inspiring biography of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, which is involved with micro-credit to the poorest people in the world.”

Adam Wilson presents Dark Summit by Nick Heil posted at Letters on Pages, saying, “This is my review of Dark Summit by Nick Heil. Dark Summit is a really cool story of the 2006 Everest climbing season. The writer is great and you won’t be disappointed!”

food

Rachel presents Apricot Squares Recipe From Sue posted at Bakedblog.com - a Mothers blog about baking, cooking, parenting, and enjoying all things in Life., saying, “Sharing with a blogger friend I met, we swapped recipes on our sites. My site has her recipe for apricot squares, and her site has my recipe for blackberry coffee cake”

gadgets

Andrew Edgington presents Digital Camera Reviews To Help You Pick The Right Digital Camera! posted at Complete Photography Secrets Guide, saying, “Planning to buy a new digital camera? Be sure that you are not misguided by the salesman in the electronics store you visit. A number of times people get misguided by the inevitable qualities described by the sales persons. So, you must be aware of certain things while buying the digital cameras. The best source to get informed on the essential features of digital cameras is reading the digital camera reviews.”

Raymond presents Free Coin Counting At CoinStar Machines and Participating Banks posted at Money Blue Book, saying, “Learn to save money using Coinstar machines”

other

Covert Hypnotist presents What Hypnosis is NOT! posted at Conversational & Covert Hypnosis Blog, saying, “Hypnosis has been given many false pretenses through the media, movies and just plain rumor. Hypnosis is not the ability to have complete domination over one’s mind, nor is it domination over another human being.”

Albert Decker presents The Hunger posted at Resonant Enigma, saying, “Your comment about being a vegetarian wannabe, however you meant it, brought to mind this post, which I created because I really do wonder what people think about the fact that we MUST kill in order to FEED, that our bodies may survive. I mean, where do you draw the line, and why?! Broccoli lives!!!”

Carole Fogarty presents Great Adventures To Kick Start a New Decade in Your Life: posted at
THE HEALTHY LIVING LOUNGE
, saying, “A new decade is nothing more than an opportunity to embrace change with the welcome support of your body, mind, soul and universe. Here’s a list of different suggestions to celebrate the transition.”

Hopeless Romantic presents Dealing With Distance- Building A Solid Long-Distance Relationship posted at Quest For The One, saying, “Long distance relationships can be difficult, but they are possible when done correctly.”

Linda W. presents How To Talk About Money With Your Partner posted at The Eclectic Female, saying, “Financial issues often cause stress in relationships. Knowing how to discuss money matters is key to a healthy relationship.”

Value Seeker presents Stock Investment Resource: Stock Market Investing Tips - Is Small Cap Value The Key For 2008? posted at Stock Investing, saying, “Small cap value stocks performed poorly in 2007. Will 2008 see a resurgence of small cap value?”

Sarah presents Choosing The Right Grass For Your Local Climate | Spring Lawn Care - Lawn Care Tips posted at Lawn Care Tips, saying, “Savvy lawn owners are interested in imported specialty grasses and exotic species from around the world or for their lawn.”

First Lady Of Poker presents The Art Of Checking posted at Shopping and Poker Blog, saying, “Sometimes, the best move in a hand is to just check and wait to see what others do.”

people

Jessica Jones presents Winning at Parenting through Trust posted at Practical Nourishment, saying, “Lessons on parenting through connection and attachment.”

softwares

Creep Colony presents StarCraft - General Tips » StarCraft / StarCraft 2 / Starcraft II Strategies, Bots, Maps, Downloads, Cheats, & News posted at Starcraft II Information, saying, “The #1 StarCraft & Starcraft 2 tips/tricks source, providing the latest news, downloads, maps, bots, strategies & cheats.”

Andrew Edgington presents How to use Photoshop to Match Colors posted at Learn Photoshop Now, saying, “How to use Photoshop to Match Colors”

websites

Elizabeth presents Who am I? posted at The best is yet to come!, saying, “This blog discusses how to have success in finding out who you are!”

Kevin presents Dachshund - Breed Information posted at Dog Breeds, saying, “Breeds of Dogs contains dog breeds info on a variety of pure bred dogs.”

That concludes this edition. I could not include every submission, due to this and that. When you submit, please do read my measly requirements, they’re not hard! Oh, also, 1 submission only per website, per month. Sorry!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of sharing is living using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Music · Web Sites

Going On a Raw Food Diet

April 16th, 2008 · 2 Comments

After that failure of going on a vegetarian diet about a year ago, I’m starting a new ‘diet’. Last time it lasted about 3 weeks, all went down the drain because of travels, gatherings, and just too many temptations. I hope this one is the last.

So this is day 4 on going Raw. Day 2 and 3 was weird. I felt weak, my nose was runny all the time, and just didn’t feel like doing anything. I only half-finished a new page for Angkor, and spent the day not doing very much.

Day 4 is much better! When I woke up this morning, everything seemed ‘clear’. I don’t know how to explain it, but this must be what they’re talking about having some fog lifted. Yes it does feel that way. Everything seems more real, I’m more alert, the moment of now seems to be more abundant. It’s cool!

I don’t approach these diets as diet per se, but more of as a way of life. Raw food diet makes a lot of sense for me. And they’re ready in 10 minutes!

Day 1

morning - apple and string beans, blended. 1banana in mid morning.

afternoon - fried noodles (i was planning on easing in), 1 orange, 1 banana.

night - more bananas and oranges.

Day 2

morning - apple and string beans, blended. This tasted good, actually. What a surprise.

afternoon - can’t remember. non-raw, I think.

night - big bowl of lettuce salad (I went shopping for raw food)
Day 3 - decided to be 100% raw.

morning - 2 bananas

lunch - big bowl of spinach and lettuce salad, with avocado and raisins. The salad dressing was okay, got an idea for next one.

night - bananas bananas bananas, oranges.

Day 4

morning - bananas, oranges, watermelon. Mom told me to marinade the meat for steak, and I was grossed out… dead meat looks ugly…

lunch - kailan and papaya smoothies. Wow, such a green gunk, lol. But it’s actually good. 5 minutes prep time.

Obviously I need more variety. Also, I’m still confused about the green smoothies. Is it okay to combine fruits and vegetables? Doesn’t that break the cardinal rule of Food Combining methods? I also snack on fruits whenever I’m hungry.

I want to have a dehydrator. That seems fun! If can make my own potato chips and crackers, that would be heavenly.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Web Sites

I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was

April 11th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I just got this book in the mail today. An SBIer recommended Barbara Sher, and of course I’m a sucker of recommendations. Plus, the title hits a chord with me.

And now, I gotta share these. There are too many stunning paragraphs in it. This book is unbelievable!

Page 17.

“How can our families harm us when they love us? Very easily, unfortunately. Most of us overlook one important fact when we think love is enough: Love and respect aren’t the same thing.

Love is a fusion. As a baby, you belong to your parents, you’re an extension of them and fusion is good for the survival of infants. Respect is differentiation: you belong to yourself, and you’re an extension of no one. Differentiation is essential for the happiness of adults.

Take just one more careful look at that list of what your family wanted from you. You’ve got all those messages in your head, right? Now, where on your list is the message that says that you must go out and fulfill your unique identity? Who insisted that you find your own original self - whatever the cost? Very few of us ever find that message on our list. No matter how much they love us, our families rarely say “We respect you, we know you’re unique, we know you want to find what you’re supposed to do in this life. Go out and get what you need. We’ll be here”

Parents have their own dreams - and its those dreams they’re pushing, not yours. In their heads, they have images of successful sons and beautiful wealthy daughters, children who are impressive - and secure. Very few parents have the luxury, the calmness of spirit, to realize that most practical thing any child can do is to find its own vision - and follow it. “

Pg 31

Meaningful Work

Real meaning, your kind of meaning, is as pure and unique as you were as a child. We do not know where it comes from. Like your identity, it just seems to be there. It doesn’t have to be created, just discovered. Personal meaning connects your deepest gifts with the rest of the world. Whether you turn out to be a gardener or a builder, a filmmaker or a doctor – when you’re doing the right work you will feel connected, both to your soul and to the world outside you. A gardener feels he’s creating beauty and has reverence for nature. A builder or filmmaker feels she’s using her best abilities to create something to delight the world. A doctor feels he’s using his best skills and brains to heal people.

The very first step to finding work that fits you is to understand the connection between doing what you love and doing something worth doing, something that has meaning.

Because they are one and the same thing.

You’ll never be happy just amusing yourself. I advise against choosing a long vacation as your life’s goal. Even in retirement, even when you’re only looking to get off the fast track, and “smell the roses,” you should be pushing past what you merely enjoy into what has real meaning to you. When something really matters to you, you must bring it into your life.

Without an activity that really matters to you, you’re going to feel empty, even if you’ve set yourself up in Paradise and are living the life of the rich and famous. If you’re not involved in something you truly care about, anyplace can seem like a prison.

And that’s not all.

If you think its selfish to put yourself first like this, think again, because when you’re doing work you love it’s a gift to the world as well! Picasso wasn’t trying to help anybody. For that matter, Einstein wasn’t either, not when he was working on the theory of relativity. They just wanted to do their work. That work seemed very important to them and they couldn’t get their minds off it. Their efforts were personal, self-absorbed, even selfish – or at least, no one’s welfare was in mind when they worked. Even the saviors of this world have some kind of personal vision they’re fulfilling when they go out to help the sick or to heal the planet, they are listening to their won urgencies, not just trying to be good people. It’s time to dismantle the myth that says you must choose between pleading yourself and doing something meaningful.

To do one, you must do the other.

To do “great” work, you have to be in love. And with work-love, as with people-love, there’s no accounting for chemistry. To live a life that is exciting and fulfilling, you can’t do what’s “right”, you have to do what’s right for you. In the long run, it’s the most generous thing you can do. It can be heartwarming to think you owe it to the world to do what you’re best at and what you love most. It gives you the right – by giving you the obligation – to do it.

Page 48

Nothing Is More Wasteful Than Ignoring What You Long For

“You own a great treasure that you’re not using, not sharing.

Inside you is a bona fide genius who’s original, curious and loaded with potential. That genius is dying for you to open the gates so it can jump into life with both feet. Until you act on that energy, the rest of your life goes on hold. When you an unfulfilled wish waiting in the shadows, you don’t fully invest in your work, or your family, or your vacations for that matter, you just fool around, halfheartedly.

You must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning. It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is. You’ve got to regain some meaningful direction if you want your life to be exciting. “

Pg. 114

“If you find yourself saying “I start to feel guilty when I get into something I love and I feel I should start doing something for someone else,” you think diving is selfish.

Sometimes, when we’ve had unhappy families, we won’t allow ourselves the pleasure of becoming immersed in our favorite activities. It’s not only that we feel ashamed of enjoying ourselves when our mother or father always felt bad, we actually feel we’re helping lessen their burden of unhappiness by depriving ourselves.

One day it finally dawns on us that depriving ourselves didn’t help anyone, that it wouldn’t have made the slightest big of difference if we had allowed ourselves to be happy. While this knowledge sets us free, it also leaves us with no defense against the agony of witnessing the unhappiness of someone we loved.

But a parent’s sorrow is not in our power to fix, and as hard as that realization may be, it allows us to finally give our parents the sympathy they really deserve, instead of offering them our unhappiness as a consolation price.”

Pg 122

“You got very specific marching orders: become a most-valuable player. Make a lot of money, or get a lot of prestige. Whatever the markers are, every insider knows them very well. And, whether or not the people in your family made it into the winner’s circle, the advice they gave you was clear: You know what you have to do, kid. Be a winner or you’ll be a loser.

Now, if you follow my definition, a winner is anyone who is doing what he or she loves. Whatever that may be! And a loser is someone who is losing time doing something they don’t like. My losers list includes anybody in a Rolls-Royce who isn’t happy. Because they haven’t yet invented the shiny thing that makes up for the loss of a fulfilled life.

If you don’t get to live your life, you’ve lost an incalculable treasure. Fate gives every single one of us the most astonishing uniqueness. Each person is a complex mesh of finely woven styles, viewpoints, abilities, tastes and gifts. There’s no one in the world who can do what you can do, who can think and see the way you do, who can create what you can create.

Listen to me carefully: If you’re unhappy, something important is going on
. When your body hurts, it needs attention. When your heart hurts, it needs just as much attention. Your mind knows that you’ve been taught, but your heart knows who you really are.

And it’s trying to tell you something!

Pay attention or your spirit will get worn out. It’s possible that you’re going to need a complete overhaul of your definition of success. I’m extremely cautious about burning bridges, but this is one case where you might have to change everything around. You’ve got to make sure that this success is really yours, not somebody else’s, and that it really suits who you are.

If you’re a winner for the world and a loser for yourself, you’ve struck the worst bargain of your life.

Pg 123

Feelings Management

“Do me a favor: Don’t put on a happy face. When you feel rotten, admit it, don’t try to brainwash yourself out of it. You might want to cover up in front of your boss or your clients, but never hide your real feelings from yourself. A whole generation has been raised on the virtues of seeing life through “rose-colored glasses,” trying to talk themselves out of what they feel, thinking they can change their situation by trying to see it differently. “I can create my own realty”, they often say.

Every time I hear that I want to cry, “Please don’t create your own reality. There already is one!” Don’t change the word “problem: into “challenge”. A problem is a perfectly decent thing to confront, and we’re problem-solving animals. We like problems. They make us creative! Don’t call a disaster an “opportunity” Who needs such opportunities? You don’t have to plunge into despair when things go wrong, but for God’s sake, call them by their real names. When there’s trouble, you need a clear head!

Why force yourself to reshape all your natural responses when you don’t have to? Nature has provided you with superb equipment to handle anything that happens to you with strength and precision, and it’s called Your Real Feelings. You pay a high price when you talk yourself out of your real feelings. All your energy goes into pretending you don’t feel bad, but buzzing in the background is the truth: you feel very bad indeed. After a while you get very nervous, and to calm yourself down you might take something that’s probably not good for you: live Valium, or candy bars or alcohol.

If there’s any one thing I’d love to teach you, it’s this: Your feelings won’t kill you; repressing them might just do that.”

Pg 299

Fact one: You cannot tell your heart what it wants. Your heart will tell you.

When you try to force your feelings to submit to your mind, it’s like throwing away the map to a happy life.

It’s a terrific way to get totally lost.

Your heart is the center of a million-year-old survival system. If it’s longing for love, there’s a good reason.

So, if you’re having a hard time getting to work on what you’re supposed to be doing because something else keeps distracting you, you’d better put down your tools, quit trying to work, and start listening to the messages from your hear.

To Lee – and to many of us women – the forbidden wish is for love. “Love” feels like part of the old “women were born to love, men were born to get out into the world” training that our mothers got. And that old propaganda did a lot of harm to women who longed for meaningful work, who wanted a chance to get into the game they knew they’d be so good at. We’re smart to avoid falling under the spell of old propaganda. But we shouldn’t let ourselves get confused; the right to meaningful work does not cancel our need to love someone.

No man would consider it wrong to want to love and to fulfill himself – not for a moment.

Of course, some people are perfectly content to live alone. I’m happy that the time has passed when our society felt that a woman – or a ma- without a mate was an incomplete or pitiful thing. We’ve seen through that myth now, and none too soon. Yumie Hiraiwa’s story “Lady of the Evening Faces” ends when woman leaves her husband in what one reviewer called “the classic act of liberation”: “She was indeed lonely, but she was free. From then on, she would be able to live just for herself. She notices that the mend and women walking about town thinking the same way were surprisingly numerous. They all strutted triumphantly along the chasms of the city wearing the elegant expression of the single nobility.”

If you feel like this woman, you don’t need to read this chapter. But if you think solitary people are wasting a wonderful opportunity for connection, if you’re somebody who has genuine gift for good relationships, you will not be happy alone. If you want love, then love is what you must go after; you must at least give it your best try.”

Pg 311

“If Lee had started working on getting back together with Steve and made that her only project, she would have lacked patience and timing. So she pursued her new career as a comedy writer at the same time she pursued Steve. Pursuing her career reminded her that, although her need for love was the most important thing in her life at that time, it wasn’t the only thing. Working on both goals at the same time was essential to help her remember who she was.”

Pg 312

But what if you don’t have a happy ending?

If your campaign works and you wind up with the person you want, you don’t need any further advice from me. But what if your campaign doesn’t work? What if the person you want really doesn’t want you? You’ve done everything that could be done, and the final conclusion is that there’s no more doubt. The party is over.

What happens then?

When you fail to get the love of the person you cared for, you put your beautiful, loving feelings back in your pocket and get on with your life.

With a heart life yours, you will love again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Give All to Love” begins: “Give all to love, obey thy heart.”

And if your love should leave you? Emerson knows exactly what will happen then:

Though thou loved her as thyself,

As a self of purer clay,

Though her parting dims the day

Stealing grace from all alive,

Heartily know,

When half-gods go,

The gods arrive.

When half-gods go, the gods arrive.

When you go after what you want with your whole heart, it’s always worth it. It really is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Even if you don’t get what you want, if you gave it your best try you’ll find yourself mysteriously fulfilled and able to move on with the rest of your life. You may feel some hurt – although you may be surprised to find that you feel less hurt that you imagined possible.

The heart hates unfinished business.

You simply can’t walk away from the game of love when you know deep down that all the cards haven’t been played yet. When you’ve played out your hand, your heart will set you free.

So don’t concern yourself with the outcome. If you get the love you want like Lee and Celia did, you’ll be riding high. And if you don’t, well, then the gods will arrive.”

 

Excerpt from I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was, by Barbara Sher.

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