The lessons of 2012

The year 2012 is another landmark in my 28-year life, because of achievements and travels, but most of all as a significant transition stage in my life. So many great life lessons were learned, and not the easy way.

I finished one of the most challenging goals of my recent life – to finish and open The Mind Museum to the public. But somehow, I had to move away and move on, because I am still meant for something else, possibly something grander than the world I moved in while still with The Mind Museum. My career was to take a big leap forward, towards where I ought to be.

However, I had to go through a rollercoaster, just to find the guts to keep on moving. At first I resisted the change. I was personally committed to the project until we finished. Everything after that was already a bonus. Then, something really made me decide to leave. Whatever that something was, it turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in disguise for me.

I had about four months of “soul searching” after my resignation. Those four months involved a lot of staying at home, freelance work, travel, and job-hunting. The most challenging was the job-hunting, because there was so much possibilities, and I had to narrow down the choices and “sell” myself properly. At the end of it, I found what I wanted, and a company who seemed to want me for who I was and what I am capable of. Big career leap, I may say. We’ll see how it works this new year.

I got to travel around in 2012 too. Twice to Boracay for vacation, to Bacolod for a wedding, to Singapore for a conference, to Malaysia for a personal adventure, and to Australia for a vacation with the family. The Malaysia and Australia trips were after I resigned, and in a way it was good because I got to spend three weeks in Australia and go around a bit. We mainly visited my brother in Sydney, met up with a lot of extended relatives, and went sight-seeing. We also got to experience Canberra, Gold Coast, and visit other relatives in Melbourne.

That’s a gist of what happened in 2012. Some important realizations and lessons:

  • I am lucky to have a wonderful family who I can always rely on, and I am quite sure they will always have my back no matter what. And I also now fully appreciate when they say “mother knows best”.
  • Introspection is very important. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks about you. You can never please everyone. Just focus on the things that are important to you, and just be the best version of yourself. I am who I am. I cannot be someone else. There are parts of me that I cannot change, and I would like to be accepted the way that I am, fluff and stuff.
  • We should be careful who we trust, even with the “good friends”. Be careful how much you share with them. I’ve been burned twice before, by two people who I thought will have my back no matter what. Seems like they were the ones who judged me the most, perhaps because they knew too much. They thought they knew who and what I really was, but they were already blinded by their prejudice and their own biases.
  • Boys will be boys. I can never understand how some of them are so willing to cheat on their wives or girlfriends, but I have no plans of getting involved in such. I can’t stand to be someone’s number two or someone’s mistress, and I do not want to be the cause of hurt to spouses, partners, and children.
  • I’ve completely closed and abandoned my “hope” for my first love. Finally, first love “dies”, after 15 long years. I now understand why it was never meant to be. It never was, never is, and never will be. The book is closed.
  • I’m bankrupt. I’m almost done paying-off my liabilities though. I’m now learning a better way of managing my finances, saving on basic expenses, and eventually putting something away for the rainy days. The credit card is taking the backseat from now on.
  • I’ve found myself into Twitter. It is indeed one useful tool of communication.
  • Home is where the heart is. It is not a single place, but rather, wherever love (and family) resides.
  • Simplicity and calmness. Two wonderful things I’ve learned from yoga and meditation.
  • I know now where I want to be, and what I want to be. I’m going after that now.

Maybe the greatest lesson of the year is learning to let go. Let go of things that you don’t need anymore. Let go of things that do not work anymore. Let go of the negative emotions. Let go of expectations. When you learn how to let go of the right things, you’ll learn to travel lighter, with less baggage. Then, you’ll have more space for new things, and possibly for the best things that have yet to come.

I have all the space now for everything that 2013 will give me. I’m ready.

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Zen

My guess is that it started with the rabbits. They evoke something so amazingly calm about them, the way they almost never make a sound, and the very gentle way they move. There is almost nothing stressful with watching a bunny go about its way, hopping around, munching on greens, cleaning themselves, or just snuggling. It’s been a month and I have been watching my rabbits every evening. They are a stress reliever, and somehow a good way to quiet the soul.

Another factor would be doing yoga regularly. I can’t say that its already a habit, but doing it once a week for one month without falter is an achievement for me already. So many reasons why I’ve decided to invest my time and effort into yoga. It does a lot of good things for me. First, it’s teaching me more discipline just to make sure I attend a session on the same day every week. Second, it’s helping me improve flexibility, balance, and core strength. Third, it is a good way to relax the mind, a way to ease internal tensions.

I’m trying to learn and get used to meditation too. I’ve been cleaning my room of clutter. I’ve been doing more quiet alone time.

Well, people who personally know me can attest to how high-strung I usually am, and I have been like that forever. A more relaxed, more zen way of living is very new to me. Not that I am completely shifting from my high-energy life to a zen life. I still love my crazy life. But finding out the quiet and relaxed state is amazing and possibly doing me a lot of good. It needed a space in my life for the longest time.

The fitness bug

I think the museum team may have caught the fitness bug. A few people from the team have already started attending fitness camps after work hours. More than 20 of us got a 15-day pass to a yoga place that is opening soon. Small groups have been running or swimming once a week. The office fridge is now filled with a number of milk cartons of all types, and the pantry cabinet filled with different kinds of cereals.

I must admit, though, that I sort of started the milk-and-cereal trend in our pantry. I have a carton of non-fat high-calcium milk and a box of high-fibre cereals in the pantry (with my name written all over it, literally). I also try to go brisk walking at least once a week, though I don’t usually do it with other people. I’m back to yoga too, and hoping to stay active in yoga at least once a week. In short, I am one of the people in the museum team with the fitness bug. It’s good though. It’s good to be in the company of health enthusiasts, not to mention, a group far from vices (unless you consider Jollibee Coke Float a vice, hehe).

I have a long way to go in terms of fitness. My heart does not allow me for high intensity cardio workouts (and even mid-intensity would still leave me knocked-out), and so I have to find a good fitness regimen that has low-intensity cardio but will still help me reach my targets. I’m hoping that regular brisk-walking and yoga would do the trick. I also need to find a diet that I can stick to, hopefully something that won’t leave me hungry or craving, but satisfy my hunger pangs without the excess calories. I still have to lose N lbs. (where N>10).

Well, we are all hoping for the best. 🙂

Yoga :)

It is a very good feeling to be back to practicing yoga. Well, I have never been able to practice yoga regularly before because of a number of limitations – financial, time, and the distance and locations of good yoga studios. It is wonderful to have recently discovered not just one, but two new yoga studios in convenient locations for me. One is White Space in the Katipunan Area (http://www.whitespacewellness.com/) which opened just last month, and the other one is Urban Ashram Manila’s BGC branch (http://www.urbanashrammanila.com/) which is opening this month.

I have started my first class at White Space and am very pleased with it – the facilities, the people, and the feeling of being able to practice yoga again. The studio also offers pilates, t’ai chi, reiki, meditation, and modern dance, but I have yet to try those other things out. But I really do intend to practice here at least once a week, time and traffic permitting. Its location is halfway between my workplace and my home. Now that things are a bit more relaxed in the museum, perhaps I can get more me-time and practice yoga regularly at White Space.

I have not seen Urban Ashram Manila’s BGC studio yet, but I and my colleagues already got a 15-day pass to try out their classes. I think they also have an open house these coming weeks before they go full operation. It will also be a good alternative location for me to practice yoga, since it is just a few minutes away from where I work.