Saturday, January 28, 2012

Prioritize Please (note to self)

Figure out what needs to be done, and do it.
Get everything out of the way
When your bright mind gives you something new don't discard it,
but don't let it spoil the big things.
Instead write it on the big white wall for later.
There will be time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The stubborn body. (State of body + State of Mind = State of Being.)

What is "state of being"?

To me, put simply, it is our state of body and our state of mind put together. Whatever the result is, that is our state of being. It's not quite as mathematical as that, as Being is often the space between objects instead of the objects themselves, and immeasurable, but in terms of becoming and self-actualization, (a regular b as in being instead of a capital B Being) there lies what I think the trick is to achieving what we crave to feel that we "are". To (after getting to the right state of mind) put the state of body in tune with our state of mind.

Personally, this is my greatest battle. Often I feel like instead of being me, a one whole me, I am a mind and a body.

My mind often feels like a ghost waiting to occupy a cooperative shell. A creative, hopeful, starryeyed ghost, floating around, getting ideas, being excited, but with nothing physical to show.

My body is a separate vessel, containing the mind instead of being fused to it. Acting like a cell instead of an instrument sometimes.

When my mind is excited, my body sits down, but then it gets too warm, or hungry, or it sees something and goes autopilot and gratifies itself with games, series, music, what have you.

My body needs to be tamed. It doesn't mean me any harm. It only is what it is. What I need to do is to train it. And I've been trying. I want to be in control. I want impulses to come from a higher, more creative awareness.

 I need to ignore distraction, get into the root, ask my mind what needs to be done. Then I should give my body a specific action. And I need to keep following that, and should I stray (which I will sometimes. Makes life fun)  My body shall be trained to remember what the mind wanted in the first place. In this way the mind will be its rider. It will be the mind's vehicle. The horse walks, but the rider decides where to go. That kinda thing.

But of course, cars need tuning, horses need water and food and rest, all that stuff. Meaning, I will attend to my body's discomfort first should there be any, so that it can focus on the mind's will afterwards. BUT I should stop letting it take advantage of that. Usually when I comfort myself, I get carried away. Then nothing gets done. I should stay alert, attentive, to the needs of both my body and mind/soul.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Don't drink your calories!"

In my recent efforts towards a healthier diet I've noticed that I've actually been having soda more often. Diet soda to be more precise. Diet coke/Coke zero to be even more specific.

Yes, I'm one of those people.

Now don't get me wrong. I've heard it all. I've heeded a lot of advice against diet/zero-calorie anythings and sweeteners before. But now that my focus has geared a bit more towards weightloss rather than "stick to natural" like usual, I somehow have a lighter conscience jamming more gratification into less calories, than in sticking to patronizing stuff closer to the way mother earth has made them. And zero calories a serving, in this regard has become an offer too good to pass up.

I'm not somebody who is so strict on themselves with anything. I don't mean that as a noble conscious way of life. I'd instead call it my strategy, because I actually CAN'T be so rigid. I try to find a way to indulge myself in small dosages even in times of dieting, because I'd aggressively relapse otherwise. I believe in making permanent gradual changes versus crash dieting or any other quick fixes, and permanent change can only happen when your whole body is on board. This is difficult to accomplish when you chastise it into rebelling against you. You don't have to be schizophrenic for this to happen. Our unconscious desires always exist beneath our conscious desires and decisions. You have to always recognize and respect and work with both to yield real change. That's why I try to surround myself with fitspiration, documentaries, and other people's stories about being fit and leading healthy lifestyles. The mainstream world already has its weapons loaded : TV adverts showing nothing but fastfood, in your daily commute, wherever you look, there is a billboard or a huge taxi sticker tempting you to have a quick drive through McDonalds to at least get a sundae and a small serving of fries, or donuts because they're only 10php each (true story). It's gradual but potent hypnosis. The only way I can fight back is to consciously surround myself with positive "counter-advertisments" for healthier options, just as frequently and just as encouragingly. 

I try to get to the root and cause of all the confusion: the mind.

You don't over-eat because you're actually "hungry"... Your body does not ask for this. Your mind does. It's the one in need of gratification and satiation, given that you're already eating enough.

But even with all of that figured out, it's not always easy. These are all easy to say, and even start.. But maintaining is another story.

I mentally resolved to only have one Aspartame drink a week, but I keep slipping. Diet cokes and zero calorie energy drinks are just too available and gratifying. And for the first week or so I couldn't sense any consequences. So for a little while I actually doubted what the whole fuss was about. Maybe there wasn't anything wrong with calorie-free sweeteners.

Weyll, this week I got my answer. One time after finishing a medium sized Coke Zero from the caf, I sensed it. An aftertaste that I couldn't ignore. I used to mask it with a bite of whatever my lunch is before, but now that I was drinking it on its own there was no denying it. And what made it worse was that, the impulse to mask the taste felt only natural! This was when I saw why, even when it has zero calories, Diet soda can really send me eating a lot more calories in total in the end. It makes sweet stuff enticing, and it's just SO SO GOOD when you drink it while eating something. And it tastes "clean", so the guilt will not surface until later.

So from now on, I will REALLY try to stick to only 500 ml of anything carbonated a week. Zero-calorie or otherwise. What I'm saying is that I've decided to stop abusing the powers of the amazingness that is diet cola, and use it sparingly until I've completely rebooted my system into having more self-control even with the aftertaste tickling my senses into stuffing myself with more food. That will take about, 21 days of successful dieting. I was close but, these weekends were reunions and birthdays WAH SO MUCH FOOD! So I will need to start again. After that, I'm a free foodie :D I'm hoping that after that 21-day period, when I get that aftertaste and feel like eating something, I'd be alert, reformed, and lithe enough to run to the stairs and brush my teeth in the bathroom instead. :D In any case, I'll make sure to keep documenting my activities on paper so that I can keep a CLOSE LOOK at myself.

Good luck, me!

PS: I wonder if they'll ever import diet Mountain Dew in the Philippines. AHHHH that would be heaven!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Roadbump. NBD.

This weekend was a productivity roadbump. I'm not sure if my slight ineffectiveness was the result of biological factors, (I had my period this week and it was brutal) or if it was its own thing, but I guess it's better now than later (like in two weeks, for my second thesis film shoot) when I really have to be on my feet.

This weekend we went to our Grand Family Reunion, it was for my mom's maternal grandparents' descendants, and really the family that I've always known I have. I don't really know them all, I'm only really "close" to my grandmother's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of two of my grandma's brothers. WHOO! I must've given you a nosebleed there!

Suffice it to say, I don't know all of them as much as I could...know them...were there a lot of opportunities.. to do so..

It was cute, we all had color coded shirts, one color for each of our apo's ("grandparent" in Kapampangan, one of the many dialects in the Philippines) sons/daughters and their own descendants and partners etc.. I didn't get to take pictures of the white shirts and green shirts. Someone else took the picture of us blue people obviously cos I'm the one with the thunder-thighs at the far right.

My restraint was put to the test, but not by much. I didn't really feel like eating lechon that day. Heuheu. I guess it was something about the piggies' decapitated heads being in full view of everyone. I can somehow REALLY taste how the lechon was a dead pig and all. But there was alcohol and coke everywheeere. And water was hard to find. In the end I only had one rum and coke, and then about two cans of light beer. But the day was filled with random bites of everything, random sips of pale pilsen and a coke zero. It wasn't the healthiest of days food wise but I'm proud of myself, it was still a long way from how much I'd have eaten in a salo-salo (filipino gathering. try one. they're great) if I didn't attempt to control myself.

Later in the night I tried to do a bit of exercising in the pool. Then during drinks and videoke my aunt Dianna passed on some of her contact juggling knowledge to us young enthusiastic n00bs. It somehow worked off my butt cos it was sore the next day, but I STILL am not quite sure why. Why the butt? Is it because the balls kept falling and I kept picking them up? It's still a bit sore right now to be honest.. I also capped the night off early in spite of my fellers still being hyper after hours... I somehow REALLY wanted to go to bed even though I also REALLY wanted to bond with my sibs, cousins and younger aunts. (You have no idea how fun they are)  My desire for a good night's sleep won in the end. Plus I was really missing my baby so I decided it was message-him-on-facebook-via-phone-in-bed time. I actually do that a lot when I'm not home (3 nights a week usually)... I'd turn it into an acronym but mhofvpib is a really shit acronym. Nobody will be able to remember that.

Roadbumps exist not to send you flying off the road but instead to make you go slower when necessary. I'm not going to say that I really needed a break, or that I even reached a good speed to need to slow down, but in this case I guess my body really needed a slow time to eat what it wants and to rest after a menstrual war. It also didn't hurt that I was surrounded by family, old and "new" the whole time.

I still feel like I'm in a productivity coma but I'm hoping that my drive will return tomorrow when my period really ends. (I think. you can't really tell with us irregular people. 'Kay. Enough mense references for now.)

Maybe this night's sleep will really cap this whole snoozey time off. So I must get to it.

This month's bracelet motto: PUSH

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Compass v.1

  • don't nag yourself into creating. - slide smoothly into it. 
  • stop speaking/thinking ill of others and stop pitying - focus on making YOURSELF better.
  • do not resist the fact that you want to do everything - work with it. make it an asset. but one skill at a time.
  • don't guilt yourself over lost moments. - catch new ones.
  • stop trying to be unnaturally rigid in habit-forming - work with the tides of your life. a time for being wired in, a time to live under a rock with nothing but a book.
  • don't let your uncertainties become insecurities. - be still and certain that this adventure will be great and is only beginning.
  • don't be so quick to resist something new - wonder, explore, appreciate.
say yes to life.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tips towards sticking to your New Year goals

If you're like most people around my age, you probably have stopped believing in New Year Resolutions. Resolutions are like promises, they bind you into a fabrication of a future (which, as we have established, is never in your hands until it stops being the future and starts being the present anyway) while doing almost NOTHING to help you achieve those outcomes. It's all just pressure man. You don't need that!

A better thing to list down when a New Year starts, are goals. Detailed, realistic, time/measurement-bound goals. And, more importantly, What separates the two (because it's certainly not the words themselves, which basically means the same thing) is how a "goal" implies that it's an end point of a process that has a middle. And it doesn't have the stigma attached to the word "resolution". Let's face it, wording is a big thing. Not everybody is willing to look beyond their own personal word associations. Even though in a perfect world, people would try to understand the intent behind the word, practically speaking, it's more convenient to use new words for new positive associations. That being said, if the word "goal" feels binding to you as well, you don't have to use it! You don't even have to use just a word. You can use something as long as: "How I want to live my life in 2012". It's just once a year after all.

What makes resolutions fail? Don't be too hard on yourself, it's not you. Okay, it kind of is, but it's not your incapability to reach them, but probably your method of creating them in the first place. And of course, there's life. What you should focus on isn't being perfect, but getting better all the time. Always be aware of how you're getting better. It's usually enough. :) Acknowledge your accomplishments, be they big or little.

Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals! These aren't meant to sound preachy, but it's things I try to remind myself with, and at the very least they make me feel better. They help me go beyond feeling that I've reached a dead end.

  1. Write things you REALLY want to accomplish. Real desire binds more efficiently than any piece of paper can. Imagine yourself accomplishing the thing, and imagine the good things it will bring to your life. If this doesn't get you excited, maybe you don't really want it. If you're one of those people that can't really think of anything but would like to make a change by giving this a try (for some odd reason..) Start by observing your life and how you feel about it. If you feel like something is missing, start there. Write what you don't like about it, and look for a counterattack. If you're perfectly pleased, then good for you! Maintain your outlook. (Actually if you are, you're probably not reading this so....)
  2. Write them somewhere you always see. Like your bathroom mirror (tip: whiteboard marker!) or desk, or closet door. Not as a way of feeding yourself guilt if it doesn't get accomplished but as a friendly reminder. If you think about it, hidden resolutions will give you more guilt because by the time you find them again, you've already forgotten what you were supposed to do and you're already off-track! Again, the key is to remember that setting goals is not a way to police yourself into accomplishing stuff, but to guide yourself towards those things. Be your own friend.
  3. Begin with the end in mind. Build a process. Especially if it's a big goal or a complex one, like losing weight. Think of what you want, then what you need to have it, and what you need to do. If you can't really imagine it happening yet, save it for later after you've thought about the how's more. The first steps will come clearer that way. List these things down and save them in a file on your desktop, or a notebook you always bring with you. And don't skimp on reminding yourself! put little notes of encouragement in your planner or whatever. If you have the time or are really serious about these things (like I kinda am), had a REALLY AWESOME METHOD that I used and I really feel like it's given me more direction in general. What I liked about it is how it really gets to the core and soul of things. It really helped me remember what I wanted in life before I became a bit more cynical or disheartened with age. And how it makes you list down the why and how of your goal, so that you're not stuck looking at it scratching your head saying "Yeah, but how?", and so that you always remember your initial motivations. It also makes you list what facet of your life it benefits, to enable you in monitoring how balanced all the important stuff are.
  4. Remember that a year has 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days. No matter how invincible the clean slate of a new year makes you feel, we are still bound by time. So if your goals don't really come with their own due date (ex: graduation, best friend's bridal shower), make your own. Make your goals measurable, so that you can reward yourself accordingly. You can do this as loosely or specifically as you like, as long as your goals are really achievable in a year's time! Otherwise you might stress yourself out or set yourself up for disappointment.
  5. Feel free to follow your heart! If even with your initial reasons in front of you, you don't feel like doing something anymore (ex: skydiving just somehow STOPPED seeming so exciting), update your list! Remember that this is all about YOU, NOW. Whenever the Now is. 
  6. Keep track of your progress. Have a weekly or bi-monthly check-up on yourself and your goals, or keep a journal, or have a silent staring marathon with your bathroom mirror list, reviewing where you are now. 
  7. Keep yourself excited! Read blogs about people with the same challenges, or read success stories, anything to make you feel good and happy about taking this journey. Because no matter what the bad days might tell you, what you're doing is a very brave thing. You trying to be better is what life is all about! Make sure you feel as good about it as you deserve to be!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Lists: Think less of them, and see the manifestations grow. Like a riot, like a riot, oh!
(Plus points if you smirked at that)

The new year has clocked in and everyone's talking about resolutions, or not having them. I've jotted down quite a few things myself, but they're motivators, not resolutions. Everyday I will try to be better. It's not just something for new year's!

Things to be excited about for 2012:

  1. Graduating! Even if some complications turn up for my March graduation, I can still get my diploma on September / October because I've already taken all of my subjects! So whatever happens, this is the year I become done with school :)
  2. My boyfriend visiting me for the first time!.. Yeah, yeah, say what you want about "internet" relationships but we're making it work so far, we treat each other better than most couples I know, and we've been together for more than a year now! Also he's spending his birthday here awww <3
  3. Travelling the around the country with him! We're going around to see stuff, most of which even I haven't seen yet so it will be new to both of us! Newer to him than me though, obviously :p
  4. Losing weight. Nope I'm not dismayed by the idea of exercise and eating "less" (I prefer to call it eating "better") It's just that I realized that I'm ending everything in exclamation marks and I'm starting to annoy myself!

  5. Being able to choose what to do with my time. This way, I can:
    1. Set aside time for things like : meditation, reading, creative time (sewing, crafting, singing, writing, practicing guitar and keyboard), "home office" hours (in which I attempt and succeed, even if in small dosages only, to start generating income), and exercise.
    2. Regularly pick up after myself, clean my room, do chores, cook food, all the good domestic stuff. Trainin to be a work-from-home kinda person hahaha. It's the new thing isn't it?
    3. Go out and explore new possibilities. It will be nice to not be chained to a primary priority you definitely cannot say no to, even if I eventually find myself in some desk job.. I want to treat life like an adventure and go see places and meet people with similar interests.
    4. Monitor my family's diet. It would be nice to be able to contribute positively to my whole family's overall health. My mother, who is the only other person in the family interested in being healthy, simply cannot fit it in her schedule to really sit down and make recipes for every day! Busy woman. So I want to be the nutrition guy. hahah. Maybe eventually we'll all start doing physical activities together like walking outside, or walking the dogs, which brings me to the next one:
    5. Take care of Seeker. We have three dogs in the house, and Seeker is somehow the one who's "mine." He's the last descendant of our great motherdog Swatch; her great-grandson. I named him after Harry Potter's quidditch position when the first movie came out. I don't know why I didn't name him Snitch instead because he's golden and it sounds more doglike, but I don't regret it much because I like what the name Seeker implies :) I think I'm a natural Seeker in life and I'm getting sidetracked here. As I was saying before I got rudely interrupted by my flashbacks and musings, I want to be able to give him baths and walk him. My older brother is a bit hard-headed about taking care of his adorable dog Mozart, and although we tell him all the time, I think nothing is better than walking the walk instead. (Thank you Modern Family for this lesson.)
  6. Designing a planner for 2013. ;)
  7. Learning new things :D With time and youth in my hands, I want to make sure I make the most out of my first year out of school. I'll never stop learning, and hopefully, I'll never stop being curious.
I feel that my outlook in life is so much more positive now that I'm out of my teens. Let's hope it lasts and that it eventually pushes me out of my "lost" phase! I honestly still don't know what to do! But now I'm excited about instead of dreading the outcome.

And now, annoying preachy-hallmark card-moment time!

To all of you,(I'm really only mostly speaking to myself, as is the same for this whole blog) Enjoy this year! Set goals, be excited, but be easy on yourself, and make health and your mood your first priority! Don't worry too much about running out of time to the point where you forget what you need it for. (hint: living a GOOD+HAPPY life) Or end up shortening the time you do have because stress kills, you know.

Laugh often, love fully, treat every circumstance in life as if you chose it yourself. Treat everything that comes your way as if it's good news or at the very least, an opportunity to grow. In the end, it's all just a ride. Don't let it get to you! Don't take yourself so seriously. Take it easy and the universe will reflect your attitude back to you. Life is a big game of pretend that everyone is playing, so play! And have fun. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Post-Holiday Gift-giving Recap! (copied from my tumblr)


SO LATE , I know. but here they are.
My theme for the wrapping paper was peppermint and cocoa, as I had previously stated.
I designed this really nifty bookmark.. the idea came to me after buying those necklaces. (really pretty right?) I call them Polaris bookmarks. the pendant was realllllyyy prettyyy but I somehow didn’t see it as looking its best when worn around the neck, I felt like it would look best dangling.. And I thought “why not from a book??” It’s a really classy bookmark, I was really excited when I started thinking about how to make it into one. 

I ended up designing a way to twist a piece of wire (or paperclip) so that when you pin it at the middle of the book, there’s a ring from where the clasp will be swinging away from without being pulled in and out of the book. I also had to round the edges so that they won’t scratch precious paperbacks my best friend would be reading. :3 My prototype, pictured with The Golden Compass (ISNT IT PRETTY??? I mean, sure it makes it obvious how slowly I’m progressing with my reading, but still) was made with a plain silver paperclip with a plain rounded edge. Carmen’s one, the final product, was twisted in a heart design at the back for extra cuteness, with a brown paperclip cos earthy-elegant-sleek is her style. :3

Also, there’s the mixtape I made for Ma in the making :B

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Be ok with silence."

This gem came to me after realizing that I might have an entertainment addiction. I'm a girl who constantly needs music, and if I turn it off I need to watch Family Guy. Or Archer. Or a new movie I just downloaded. If I stop that, I have to scroll through my Tumblr dashboard, usually putting my music on again. I distinctly remember being extremely uncomfortable whenever I commute without my iPod. I've recovered out of that for a while, but it was replaced by sleeping in the bus. It's as if I'd rather be unconscious than to deal with silence. I can't be by myself.

It takes me hours to fall asleep sometimes. Because I somehow have this pathological resolution that I will get restless if it's silent and I need something to lull me to sleep. Sure, it does lull me to sleep-state, but I'm usually woken up a dozen times afterwards and start paying attention to some asinine Peter Griffin quip. Or my favorite part in a song. Or simply, I get woken up because the volume is too loud. So I walk to the laptop (I position it in the other side of the room) and.... put the volume down. After a few more times, I get sleepy enough to decide to actually turn it off, because I'd be surely falling right asleep the second I go back to bed.

I wrote this on a bathroom tile when I remembered a lesson I seem to have forgotten. I don't want to forget it anymore: You can't pour more water into a cup that's already full. I was masking unease by getting absorbed in music, compulsions, games, and humor, but with it I am also masking all of my potential for creation for the day. Days shrink into minutes, It's like time is junkfood that I'm eating really fast. It does not do the job, and it's a resource that's usually depleted before I know it. Silence is a way of creating a vacuum in your brain, for functionality to seep in. I've been so afraid of facing my requirements that I feel I cannot accomplish.

Well Bea, let these things, tried and tested, reassure you:

  1. You fall asleep really quickly when you just fold the lappy onto itself and jump onto the bed.
  2. You get used to silence after a while, and it makes time go MUCH SLOWER. At first it feels like boredom, but eventually you start relaxing in this state, and it's just.. calm energy with a lot of  potential. :)
  3. After the initial "struggle", working starts to feel more natural, and freeing instead of limiting.
  4. It's hard to topple a bike over when it's moving.
  5. Thoughts and ideas become so much more tangible and real in silence. :D
  6. Daredevil's hearing is fantastic because he has no sight to distract him from sound. Using a lot of senses is a form of multitasking. It's a micro-form of that Napoleon Hill quote:

“Until a man selects a definite purpose in life, he dissipates his energies and spreads his thoughts over so many subjects and in so many different directions that they lead not to power, but to indecision and weakness.

With the aid of a small reading glass, you can teach yourself a great lesson on the value of organized effort. Through the use of such a glass, you can focus the sun’s rays on a definite spot so strongly that they will burn a hole through a plank. Remove the glass (which represents the definite purpose), and the same rays of sun may shine on that same plank for a million years without burning it.

-Hill, Napoleon; 1925

See how powerful this change can become? Clogging my brain pathways with music and entertainment when it's unnecessary leads to me pushing tasks along, and before I know it's time for bed, and even sleep gets pushed along, so I wake up late, and have less time the next day, which I use by pushing more tasks along. Being okay with silence, immersing myself with the discomfort of feeling my inadequacies, pushes me harder into action.

Be okay with silence.