Mindful Living: Don’t be a Slave to your Phone

The cell phone has become the adult’s transitional object, replacing the toddler’s teddy bear for comfort and a sense of belonging.
– Margaret Heffernan

Untitled Design 4.PNG

Back in the days when smartphones or even the cellular phones were non-existent my friends and I would plan to meet-up on the weekend and we will just set the time and place. Saturday comes and we will show up early, late or on time. Most times, I would be early and I would wait 30 minutes to an hour, there was even a time I waited 2 hours without the convenience of texting “where are you?”, I just had faith in my friends. If a friend failed to show up, i go home and move on, maybe something came up and we hope for them to be alright. Then I will just either call my friend on the landline if they have one or wait until Monday to confront them “you flake! what the heck happened?” And we are still friends. Now, with just sending a text you can get a last minute update if they can make it or not. If you don’t get a reply or you’re being ignored a.k.a. “Ghosting” you feel bad and you have all this bad thoughts popping in your head. Then you decided to push the button “unfollow” or unfriend”. Just like that, relationship is over.

LineTextI attended a seminar recently and while on a 10 minute break I went to the restroom. There were 4 people in line before me and as I look at our reflection in the mirror in front of us I thought it was funny, all four of them with bowed heads and their two hands on their phone. Exactly the same posture looking like robots, their noses down their digital devices like they were chained and is slave to it. You get the picture?

At that moment I wished i had my phone with me, not because I want to be like them but because I want to take a picture of them and show it to my husband. Who for sure will have a look of disapproval and probably laugh and say something like this, “You can be one of them, a phone addict.” When we are together quality time for him means getting off any digital device and be present in our moment.  I would often come up with reasons like… but it’s for work, it’s family, i’m doing research or googling for learning, shopping for pantry, for business, for study, … and so on and so forth. They are all good reasons mind you BUT, we are so glued to it that we forget how to socialize, connect and be fully present with those around us at the very moment. I get it, there is so much that we can do with this small device it’s so amazingly powerful we can do anything and everything with it. Wrong, it actually runs our lives. If we are not mindful that we get so obsessed with it, we become crippled. Life seem to be over and the world stops turning when it’s not there. Nomophobia. To many, it’s like a security blanket.

How can you tell when you are a phone addict?

  1. It’s the first thing you reach for the moment you wake up. Seriously, your phone doesn’t feed you. Say a prayer to start your day and reach out for those who gives you warmth.
  2. You always take a selfie, not a day goes by. Maybe you are a Narcissist maybe you are not. When I was grieving few years back I did it very often, I can’t explain why really probably out of loneliness and the desire to be acknowledge that I was doing great or that I was still cool despite of. It helps maybe for a time just to stay connected and not shut others out of our lives. But at some point you got to live in the real world and not let the likes or thumbs up define you because you are enough maybe even more than enough. So get out there and live. Never mind if it doesn’t get posted as long as you know you seized every moment. And you savored it. Here’s a secret: The world doesn’t care how you look when you wake up in the morning. But people will remember how you made them feel.
  3. DinnerTextIf you are not taking a selfie you take pictures of your food in every single meal. Unless you own a restaurant, food blogger, chef or  a food critic doing food reviews, I don’t see any reason why you need to let the world know what you eat all the time.   Just enjoy the food and have good conversation with the people in your dinner table.
  4. You have the Tech Neck. Always looking down on your phone gives you a bad posture. And then you whine your neck, shoulder and back are sore. You scroll down on every newsfeed for all the social media app in your phone and you don’t even notice you wasted hours you can never get back when you could have done something more productive. Move more. Look up and notice things around you. Don’t let life pass you by.
  5. You stalk. STOP. If it’s something to do with trust, know that it’s a waste of time. Talk and express yourself, you get answers faster. If you still do it after you have answers maybe it’s time to ask yourself, Is this how I want to live? Do I need this in my life? If it’s anxiety or insecurity get your shit together and focus on constantly improving yourself instead of comparing yourself to others. Get off your phone.
  6. You are so engrossed with your phone that you don’t notice you got robbed, a kid Untitled Design 5.PNGgets kidnapped, you got hit by a car while crossing the street texting, you forgot the food in the oven it burned, you were too busy taking videos in the crowd and there were gunshots out of nowhere, heck you may be one of those unfortunate ones if you were not paying attention of your surroundings. These are events that can happen to anyone and sadly it did happen to some people. Please be mindful of your surroundings, it only takes seconds to lose something, even a life.
  7. 511Xhb66g6L._SL1200_It’s the last thing that you look at before you close your eyes at night. *Sigh* We have a rule in the house, No phones in the bedroom. We used to have it as an alarm but now we got this vintage looking analog clock to wake us up. It’s so loud it might wake up your neighbors. LOL! But it gets us up in the morning without having to look at our phones first thing that probably has tons of notifications. Anyway, end your day with gratitude in mind.  Enough said.

The smartphone is a great invention, it does make our lives easier. However, be ever mindful how you use it that it doesn’t control you and your relationships. Be present and give someone your full attention today.  You are not only doing the person a wonderful thing but you are giving yourself a life that doesn’t need thumbs up or validation from others. Own it.

i remain,

img_6921

 

The Best Way to Welcome each New Year

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

New Beginning… Fresh Start… Reboot.

In whatever way you may welcome the new year, setting new goals or just pushing yourself to achieve an unfinish business from previous year or years; make it a habit to be kind to yourself every single day. What I mean by that is to just simply take care of your self in every aspect. Be mindful of where you need healing and where you need growth. Sometimes you set a goal and just aimlessly go for it. Often times you take more than you can handle and you burn out in the end, that could result to explosive drama or just plainly… giving up. In a nutshell, take care of YOU first and foremost so that you can take care of others. Invest in your growth and betterment… physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and when you got all these in good condition naturally you become financially sound as well. Every person has a unique way of getting to where one wants to be. There is no right or wrong paths or turns because all roads lead to one destination in this journey we call, LIFE. When we meet our maker we all want to hear this, “You did well my child.” Make the most of living, giving your best.

I’ll be turning 44 this year… for a moment there i pondered how I have reached such number. It seems like it was only yesterday when my childhood happened. But then again, looking back so much has happened in those years that passed. I ‘d say I have made quite a colorful canvas and I ain’t done yet. I have come a long way and I am grateful I have journeyed this far. But hey, there are still dreams to chase and embrace. That’s what keeps me going and I am so pumped for it. Go to bed with a dream and wake up with a purpose as Lewis Howes says it in one of his inspiring clips. Life is really simple it only gets complicated when we choose it to be.

This year I will learn new things like how to play the guitar or salsa dance, and at the same time upgrade myself with what I am already good at or having knowledge of. There are countless of ways you can upgrade to a better person of you. The possibilities are endless, all you need to do is believe in yourself. Show up. Start. Keep doing it. You don’t wait for someone to tell you, at the same time don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t make it. You must choose to do it, own it, You and nobody else is responsible for your life choices. The people who loves and support you are just there to cheer you on. And that is a great thing to have. We are all work in progress, we don’t really stop learning and we shouldn’t or else our brain will start to die and our memories fade. Learning is not limited to reading books, listening to a podcast or watching a webinar although they are great tools or resources for learning. Every day there is something to learn wether at home, school, work or in the streets; with every encounter we make to another human being or real life situations we are given the chance to grow in wisdom. Whatever the outcome, learn from it and use it to make yourself better. Don’t be afraid to take risk and fail, that is how we learn and grow. As you get better and better there is a time to reap all your efforts, you deserve to celebrate you and to pay it forward will the be the most rewarding of all.

When you have this wealth of knowledge you need to share it. You can not lock up knowledge in a box, it deserves to be spread like a mustard seed and grow in others. It’s like making history, a legacy you leave behind. However, knowledge can be a potential power too, choose the good ones that can be beneficial and harms no one. That is one of my purpose for writing and creating films. It is one of the many ways that you can help others expand their horizons by inspiring them and give them resources that they may need at the most opportune time. As I write this, I don’t really know who will be able to read this and if my message resonates. But I have high hopes and great faith that at least one soul will be moved with the little ripples that I make. It always starts with one small step or a tiny pebble thrown in the water that can move the world. Choose very well and wisely on how you do it.

I look forward to living until I am 108 years old, that is a long journey ahead of me and i will make sure it is a joyous one for the most part. It’s just a number really but who knows. What is important is the quality of life you live and that you are able share your knowledge, your wisdom and your heart in your lifetime. And that as you reach your twilight years you have that smile on your face as you watch the sunset or your love ones that speaks so much of content and fullfillment – you have peace of mind and your heart is full.

I wish every one great happiness and prosperity in this new year!

Gōng xǐ fā cái!

i remain,

Wellness Wednesday – Donating Blood can be Good for your Health!

“Heroes comes in all shapes and sizes. No matter what, measure up. Be someone’s hero today.” – Richard Norris

My Beau, has been bugging me for sometime to help him find and come with him to a blood donation center. He has been studying about the health benefits that it can do to your body. So it works both ways, you get to help one or more person with your blood donation and doing so helps to improve your health. It is his first time to donate blood and I am very proud he did this phenomenal choice and plans to do so twice a year.

img_9936

I am no doctor but here is a perfect explanation from one of our favorite Alternative Medicine Doctor  known in the  Paleo Movement, Dr. Joseph Mercola.

The Benefits of Donating Blood (Excerpt from Dr. Mercolas’s Article)

1. Balance Iron Levels in Your Blood

For each unit of blood donated, you lose about one-quarter of a gram of iron.

You may at first think this is a bad thing, since too little iron may lead to fatigue, decreased immunity, or iron-deficiency anemia (which I was diagnosed a year ago), which can be serious if left untreated. This is common in children and premenopausal women. But what many people fail to realize is that too much iron can be worse, and is actually far more common than iron deficiency (especially in men and postmenopausal women). So for many, the fact that donating blood helps to rid your body of excess iron is one of the greatest benefits it offers. It has been long known that menstruating women have fewer heart attacks. This was previously thought to be due to hormones but is now thought to be due to lower iron levels.

Similar to premenopausal women, blood donors have been found to be 88 percent less likely to suffer from a heart attack,  and this is thought to be due to its effects on iron levels. Researchers explained:

Because high body iron stores have been suggested as a risk factor for acute myocardial infarction, donation of blood could theoretically reduce the risk by lowering body iron stores.”

2. Better Blood Flow

Do you know what a high-sugar diet, smoking, radio frequencies, and other toxic electromagnetic forces, emotional stress, anxiety, high cholesterol, and high uric acid levels do to your blood? All of these make your blood hypercoagulable, meaning it makes it thick and slow moving, which increases your risk of having a blood clot or stroke. Hypercoagulable blood contributes to inflammation, because when your blood does not flow well, oxygen can’t get to your tissues.

Repeated blood donations may help your blood to flow better, possibly helping to limit damage to the lining of your blood vessels, which should result in fewer arterial blockages.

What is clear is that blood donors seem to not be hospitalized so often and if they are, they have shorter lengths of stay… And they’re less likely to get heart attacks, strokes, and cancers.”

3. You Get a Mini Physical

Every blood donor gets a “mini physical” prior to donation. Your temperature will be checked along with your blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin. Your blood will also be tested for 13 infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and C, West Nile Virus, and syphilis.

Donating blood is certainly not a replacement for medical care, but it does give you a (free) glimpse into your health (as well as notice if you’ve been exposed to an infectious disease without knowing).

4. A Longer Life

People who volunteer for altruistic reasons, i.e. to help others rather than themselves, appear to live longer than those who volunteer for more self-centered reasons. Altruistic volunteers enjoyed a significantly reduced risk of mortality four years later according to one study,6 with the study’s lead author noting:7

“This could mean that people who volunteer with other people as their main motivation may be buffered from potential stressors associated with volunteering, such as time constraints and lack of pay.”

So there you go, it remains to stay true that when your hands are open to give, blessings comes in hundredfolds. This seems to be a very simple act of kindness but it is truly heroic that you are giving part of yourself. He did get a little weak after, but was still able to drive of which I was supposed to do but he insisted. He was advised not to get too much excitement or activity but to just rest and let his body recover and regenerate. And surely he did with that handsome smile that I first saw the next morning.

DWC
David Clark, First Time Blood Donor at Stanford Blood Center

I hope this will somehow give you the curiosity to find out more about this good deed that comes with good benefits. May it somehow nudge you a bit in that direction to live life healthy, peacefully happy and to continue to have that desire to learn what can give us the power for longevity.

i remain,

img_6921

How to Deal with Death, Loss, Grief & Misfortune. No One Dies of a Broken Heart. Everything Heals even the Soul.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming, grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving

Oakhill Cemetery
Mama visiting Ron’s grave last February 22, 2018 which was also his death anniversary.

Memorial day has just passed and All Souls day is still way off but I have the urge to somehow share my thoughts on grief and walking your way through and above it. I have a couple of misfortunes in my life that tested my sanity and will-power, but most of all coming out of it with a stronger faith in God. It is a journey that I did not do alone, that is for sure. I believe that in order for us to thrive we need others. However, before others can meld with us and flow into the unknown, we as individual must already have a strong foundation on what we believe in (INTEGRITY) and the simple and  most basic yet often saves us and that is of knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong (VIRTUE). We need a strong backbone that can withstand all catastrophe life may throw our way without destroying others in the process.

It all starts with family, the love that emanates from our home is our building block as we go into the world to grow more relationships. It prepares us as we venture out from the comfort of home and into the unknown. There is no right or perfect formula of how love is taught and given  to us that can save us from unsuccessful ventures or failed relationships. However, it is in how we deal with the tragedy that is telling of who we are and what we are made of.  I have always believe to see the good in people and in every situation. A life lived with good intentions gives you peace of mind and very fulfilling when the goodness you extend to others resulted growth that made everyone better.

Presence of God in our life for both our emotional and spiritual growth. My relationship with God is deeply rooted and well cultivated as i grew up. I am a Catholic and a Filipino, and if you knew anyone like me very well you will agree that it is important for us that our relationship with God is our greatest source of strength to go through our daily life and how we treat each human kind. In both Catholic schools that I went to, from 1st Grade until I graduated in college this is what was instilled in me, “to be men and women for others, all for the greater glory of God (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam).  To be men and women for others means being of service to another without expecting anything in return but with the intention of helping to improve or betterment of someone’s life.  I know that now a days every thing has a price or so it seems. I’ve encountered a couple of instances in my life that there are indeed people who does good things but with conditions. I do not and well not judge them. No matter how goodness is extended, you must remember that everything you have right now is borrowed. You don’t own anything in this world. All can be taken away from you in a blink of an eye.

Let me tell you two major tragedy in my life. First, 6 years ago my husband died 11 days after being reunited and before that we’re apart for 8 years. No words will ever be enough to describe what I went through. Broken heart, broken dreams. In fact I was not just broken I was in pieces so much worst than Humpty Dumpty that I thought I will never be put together again. In a nutshell, I felt like I have died too. Second, I have lost everything I had to a fire incident 2 years ago. It is not as destructive as the first one and at least no life was lost but still, it shocked me to my core. I believe nothing will ever beat the first tragedy unless I fall deeply in love again and dies on me that will just be so devastating. Most of the time, these tragedy makes you ask to the heavens “what did I ever do to deserve this? have i been such a bad person? has God abandoned me?” And that what makes us human. We don’t have all the answers, but with unwavering faith God will see us through. No matter how a good person he/she will not be spared from these life destroying, heart breaking incidences. Like I said there is no right formula to avoid misfortune. However, in both these tragedy God made himself more present than I can ever imagine. I saw him in the people who took care of me in the worst of times and great loss. A perfect example of being men and women for others. I will not be ashamed to admit that during those times of my life, I was a charity case. I have never felt so humbled and so small in my life and yet love was flowing not just in trickles but in waves.

These losses in my life made me realized we don’t own anything in this world and there can really be a time we can be  stripped off everything we have but with God we will overcome the overwhelming sadness and adversity. It also taught me to be kinder, enjoy the simple things, be content with what I have, more grateful for being alive and being love, generous and selfless. Mind you I am not a rich person but somehow blessings comes to me through hard work and maybe luck. But I never forget to pay it forward most especially to those I hold dear in my heart. When our hands are always open to give to others, blessings comes in ways you don’t expect them to be. Maybe sometimes not what you hoped for but it always is better and so much more.

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.  – Wayne Dyer

Again. No matter how good you are there is no guarantee you will be spared of the bad things or bad people. Continue to do good anyway. By focusing and magnifying the good around us and the love that embraces us genuinely, we will be healed and saved.  During the times i was grieving i had this tendency to act brave and strong in front of others. Only because I don’t like to be pitied but most of all I have to be strong for those who are equally  in so much grief as I am or maybe even worst than I was. You have to remember that when  someone dies you are not the only one who got left behind there are others whose hearts are breaking as well.  No one can really know how much pain a person carries in his/her heart. But life does goes on around us and so should you.

Small gestures and well meaning sympathies were very much a source of strength and healing. Hugs, listening ears, prayers, gifts to make me feel loved, stories that were funny and inspiring to make me smile, and simply just by being there for me helped me to the road of recovery, be on my feet and eventually sprinting and hopping with so much life again. I have so much to be thankful for and so many people to be grateful for giving me unconditional love especially for the times I was most unlovable. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here writing this long post in the hope of inspiring others and give hope that human kindness is still alive and that love lives around us and will be around longer than you can ever live.

Each person though has her own unique ways of dealing with these tragedies. If you have something good and helpful to share that may benefit the readers you are welcome to do so. Thank you for your time and the willingness to be open and learn. Live a happy content life.

i remain,

img_6921