Thursday Thoughtsy: Bittersweet

Phase like this, I only have to open my old planners and voilah: sensible words that caught my attention few day/s or year/s ago and are still working the same magic to my inner being.

Say, like this one: Bittersweet: when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. when life is bitter, say thank you and grow

It’s really amazing how things are always at the right time and at the right moment when you need them to be. But the most important about all these – taking action.

What I have learned before the hardest, I shall apply now. Work is like any relationship, if they don’t see your worth and are taking you for granted, have the decency to walk away and regain your self. After all, God knows my heart and my dreams, and all these, I lift to Him. Your will be done, Lord. Lots of love, Rikki ūüôā

Just a Phase: Points in Paulo Coelho’s Aleph

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho’s book Aleph¬†¬†and it left me smiling how the Universe seemed to conspire for me to get hold of it.

I was at that ‘phase’ when I am decided to throw everything away again for a reason I myself was not convinced – self fulfillment gone empty.

I was praying and praying but instead of finding justifications for my rather impulsive decision, the more I was being shown that I have all the reasons to stay and to continue my success story for the very simple reason that everything is a blessing from Him and I am, in return, is being a blessing to others especially to my family and to the people around me.

I came across this book one Saturday, when I promised my¬†ate that I’ll take care of my nieces’ school needs¬†(It’s the start of the school year here in the Philippines and kids really look forward to the day they’ll shop for their new bags, shoes, school supplies, etc.).¬†

My boss, having the biggest heart I’ve ever known, allowed me to leave work earlier than usual to realize this promise I made to my dearies who came all the way from our province in Quezon for this. I met them at SM Megamall and I’m so happy the whole time because it reminds me of me and my ate’s childhood days that even if it is so tiring, carrying my nieces JC and RJ most of the time, I feel like I’m being a big sister to my ate¬†taking care of her kids.

When we were already at the National Bookstore for the kids’ school supplies, I saw the store’s current best sellers and this Aleph¬†is the number one. I have no plans buying a book that time knowing that I do not have time for that these days but something told me I needed it without even looking at the back part to know what this book is all about so I included it in our purchase.

Exactly a week after that, I have finished reading the book. ¬†Funny thing is, it is also the same day as my supposedly last day. Was I able to reclaim my kingdom the whole time I was going on with Paulo’s journey to finding where he wants to be, doing what he wants to do?

When I talk of right time, I talk of these points I got from Paulo and Hilal’s Aleph that made me realize we all go through phases like this at some point in our life, but reading this when I am exactly at this phase … it’s not just timely, I know this is divine.

So here are the 26 points in their journey that made me feel like I am reading my very own life notes in my 26 years of existence:

1. Now and then I go through periods of inner conflict that can persist for months … long enough to keep me frustrated because I can’t absorb everything I learn.

2. When a sense of dissatisfaction persists, it was placed there by God for one reason only: you need to change everything and move forward

3. Here I am trying to persuade myself that I always give the best of myself, and nature is telling me exactly the opposite: anyone truly committed to life never stops walking

4. We will always need to be humble enough to accept that our hearts know why we are here… We simply have to trust and follow the signs and live our Personal Legend;¬†

5. If I believe I will win, then victory will believe in me. No life is complete without a touch of madness.

6. I learned long ago that in order to heal my wounds, I must have the courage to face up to them. I also learned to forgive myself and correct my mistakes.

7. We need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our souls will illuminate what we need to see.

8. Routine has nothing to do with repetition. To become really good at anything, you have to practice and repeat, practice and repeat, until the technique becomes intuitive

 9. What hurts us is what heals us

10. Dreamers can never be tamed

11. We learn in the past but we are not the result of that. We suffered in the past, loved in the past, cried and laughed in the past, but that’s of no use to the present. The present has its challenges, its good and bad side. We can neither blame ¬†nor be grateful to the past for what is happening now. Each new experience of love has nothing whatsoever to do with past experiences. It’s always new.

12. People aren’t used to that way of thinking. They want everything to stay the same ¬†– and the consequence of that is pain.

13. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own responsibility.

¬†14. It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory … visit your soul; don’t visit your past

15. We are both creators and creatures, but we are also puppets in God’s hands, and there is a line we cannot cross, a line that was drawn for reasons we cannot know.

16. Being alone may make me more vulnerable but it makes me more open, too

17. Train your heart. That is the discipline every warrior needs. If you can control your heart, then you will defeat your opponent

18. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call on an infinite variety of responses

19. The search for peace is a form of prayer that generates light and heat. Forget about yourself for a while and understand that in that light lies wisdom and in that heat lies compassion

20. We can never wound the soul … , but we can become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched even when we have everything we need in order to be happy

21. Let us concentrate all our efforts on achieving Perfection through the imperfect gestures of everyday life. True wisdom means respecting the simple things we do, for they can take us where we need to go.

22. Going back into the past and reopening old wounds is neither easy nor particularly important.

23. A warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does  and not from what he imagines himself doing

24.Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near

25. That’s what makes life interesting – believing in treasures and in miracles

26. Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love

At the end of my reading, I found light and I found myself getting out of that phase and found myself moving forward again to realizing my dreams by being here – in the present.

My friend L’s right, this is just a phase and true to what she said that this, too, shall pass – this has passed and I’m so back spreading my love. Hope you find your Aleph, too.

Love, Rikki.

Chasing Dreams: Rikki’s Quick Guide to a Less-than-24Hours Escapade

I pictured myself ‘on the sand,by the shore, being submissive to the waves’ one morning.

  

And then that night, I got an invite from a friend for a surfing session in La Union. It was so tempting, I tell you. But then I thought of work and as hard as it was, I had to pass on that one.

The next morning, I focused on work as usual, gave all my time for it, but I feel like I’m losing track – one wrong move after the other while I’m trying to fix everything – uh-oh, something’s so wrong, I can sense it.

So before I totally lose everything, I packed my ‘work’, and finally decided that my longtime dream of beach-bumming alone has come to its perfect timing.

I wiped my tears, searched for my favorite traveling shorts (my own version of the traveling pants), slipped on my black beachwalk given to me with love¬†(my loyal escapade companion)¬†and off I go to chasing my ‘dream in life’ and to leaving another mark of my beachwalk trail.

   

So here, let me take you to a Quick Guide to this escapade:

  • Bus from Crossing to Buendia – P21.00¬†
  • Power-baon pack – (This one is subjective, of course. I decided to just buy a power-packed baon that will last for the whole duration of my stay to avoid spending much on food and I did it strategically: frosty and fries on my way to the pier (dinner), salad for breakfast, bacon mushroom melt baconator for lunch)
  • Bus from Buendia to Batangas Pier – P166.50¬†*less than 2 hours travel time (Prior to this, I already prepared my beach-bumming playlist: Moony, Kaskade and The Beach, purfet :o)
  • Ferry from Pier to Sabang Beach (Ferries are only until 5pm so if you arrived there past that time, there are special trips available but expect a triple rate than the ordinary fare. Expect also a tour around almost the whole of Batangas city because from pier, special trips have a different start-off point and end-point. You’ll love it, though, especially when you pass by the Malampaya area and see all its lights on, it’s so surreal you’ll feel like you’re in a different place. There are direct routes from Pier to White Beach though if you made it to the last available trip)
  • Tricycle from Sabang Beach to White Beach – P100.00¬†(Since these are more than 30 minutes apart from each other, they charge P300. To not pay this much, be friendly with the people on the same ferry as yours because some of them are most probably going to the White Beach as well. So instead of paying it full, it’ll be divided among you.)
  • Hotel Accommodation – P800.00 plus P200.00 deposit¬†(This I just found out as one of the perks of traveling alone – people are so generous to give you discounts! At first, they won’t believe you’re alone but when they realized that you really are ALONE, they become extra nice and become so protective of you. This even placed me on the room of my favorite number. Want to reserve at their place? Contact me for Las Villas Del Natividad‘s¬†contact details :o)
 
 
  • Gimick Puerto Galera Style(When I go somewhere, I make sure I don’t miss the best cocktails the place has to offer. And when you’re in Puerto, you should not miss Mindoro Sling – ¬†refreshingly fruity ūüėģ ! Of course I want to try something new aside from that so I just let the barista of Mikko’s Bar offer me one of their bestsellers – Lumumba and shoot, it’s deceivingly chocolatey. Being friendly is always always a must so when people, esp. the manager of that bar, asked for your name and the other bakasyonistas there asked you to dance and join them, enjoy it – just don’t give number and don’t stay too long with them)¬†
     
  • Full Body Massage – P200.00 (Best on the shore and best with¬†one bottle of Tanduay Ice *wink – P70.00. Befriend manang masahista, she’ll also offer you discounts for her handmade bracelets/trinkets. Again, contact me if you want to have Manang Jorie’s massage service ūüėģ )
     
  • Bull Ride – P50.00 (This is sooo fun you should not dare miss it at Rodeo Bull Bar Entertainment and Restaurant. You can choose from mild to wild and they won’t stop until you fall. Trick – a good and firm grip and body movement that looks like you’re swaying and swagging like a bull. Be careful, though, scratches and bruises will come in handy no matter how mild that ride is)¬†
       
  • Ferry from White Beach to Pier – P250.00 plus P10.00 fee * 1 hour travel time
  • Bus from Pier to Crossing – P166.50
  • Souvenirs – P100.oo up
  

Whew! I made one of my dreams come true in less than 24hours. See, things can always be done ūüôā But of course, you always, always have to pray – for your safety, for the loved ones you left behind and for the peace of heart and serenity of mind that you’re wishing to find.

Remember: We’ll only live once. And like what Steve Jobs said … ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’, friends! ¬†Cheers to realizing our dreams. Love, Rikki.