It’s All About The Big C

I just received a notification from WordPress congratulating me on my “blog’s” first year since I registered this account. Man how time flies. Because of that, I am choosing to delve into this C that’s been a struggle for the artist in me.

I’m definitely not pertaining to my second name, but rather the big C that’s been one of the greatest challenges in my life: Courage.

Don’t we all have this huge fear over something that stunts our personal growth? The fear of heights, of public speaking, of narrow places, of spiders, of failure, of success, of the unknown, of vulnerability and of a whole lot more? We all have at least one thing to fear about and we are all forced to go through it everyday, if not defeat it entirely.

The bad news is, there is no overnight remedy for overcoming fear. The thought stays in our mind as long as it can until we finally get over it… which is until when? The day we die? Let’s hope not.

Last year this is what I focused on–slaying this major demon that’s been getting in the way of my personal growth.

Courage is a big word, and admit it or not, not everyone can surpass their greatest fears in a blink of an eye. But is it solely about outshining it?

My answer is no.

A very good friend of mine, my angel in disguise, constantly reminded me one thing every time I came in contact with fear. She’d always tell me to “feel the fear and face it anyway.” Took me sometime to fully absorb those words, and the moment I embraced fear and made it my friend, I cannot fathom myself going back to that scared little girl I once was.

It wasn’t an easy ride though.

Before I took the leap, when I imagine myself going beyond my comfort zone I get more than terrified. The thought really scared the shit out of me (mind you, I was just picturing it then). So the terror of finally taking one baby step forward made me want to just quit and retract to who I was.

“But that’s not what life is all about,” I incessantly told myself. Every moment that I had to adjust, to stretch my capabilities, to question my own negative beliefs, at the back of my head, I knew for certain that I had to do it no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel.

So screw fear!

It’s just a thought and thoughts can be changed.

Reframing and reprogramming my beliefs were a challenge at first, but the moment I decided to take the plunge, it was all but a breeze. Besides, first step is always the hardest, isn’t it?

It all started December last year.

I did things I never imagined I’d do. Prior to it, I was too caught up, too confined in my self-limitations, that when I completely gave in and did what I had to do, I was rattled with bouts of gulping and gasping and panicking. But as soon as I got it over and done with, I found it so much easier to breathe, to truly live.

First, I dealt with my disempowerment that manifested through authority. What was once impossible to my eye became so palpable after I faced it head on. The initial apprehension existed, but the want to cut ties and stand my ground was more dominant than anything else. So I did it and my power gradually ricocheted back.

Second was overcoming my fear of vulnerability. You see, I’m not one of those women who cry easily, not unless the emotion is so hard to express that I get frustrated and there’s no other option but to cry. Either that or heartbreak. In this case, however, it didn’t really involve any bawling. It was a happy kind of vulnerability; verbalizing my deep-seated emotions without holding back. Being the first to admit my feelings toward a guy I admired for quite a while also unnerved me. But it had to be done.

The first two took a few hours and weeks (consecutively) for me to muster up the courage to follow through, but I eventually did.

Little did I think it was in preparation for something so much greater.

Before the year ended I came face to face with my biggest fear: the unknown. The moment this episode presented itself to me, I knew I had to seize it. Even if it’s nerve-racking due to unfamiliar course and extensive transition, I jumped right in.

It’s been a week and three days since I did, and I must say, I am not regretting it. Sure, I had to sacrifice a lot to get to this point, and for the past 10 days, I have nothing but so much gratitude for the freedom and foreseeable success I yearn to attain before I turn 30.

What brought me to this? The big C.

The intimidating word that’s imperative to one’s personal growth. Courage brought me to where I am now. I may not be as successful as I planned YET, but I know I’m one giant step away from it.

Hence the most important thing I’ve learned that pretty much sums up my 2013: C It’s so cosmic because I always check that app on Facebook, and today when I did, that’s the message given to me. I am a believer of signs and this one I take as one big fat sign that I truly am on the right track.

So, that being said, 2014 is all about POWER, OPENNESS, and COURAGE; to go beyond my limits no matter how distressing and perplexing it is at first. To hold on to my power, express myself openly, and have immeasurable courage to do things I’ve never done despite sacrifices and hurt because in the end it will all be worth it.

The fear will always be there and more things to be afraid of will come, but the will to choose to do things and the courage to really dive in, that’s when amazing things and feelings take place.

Like what I always say: Fear is temporary; regret is permanent. So, no regrets this year, just immense courage to overcome all fears. 945678_614440051909034_42122692_n

Mélange

To see more of what I’m about to discuss, click and like the blue text below:
Mélange

Ah, the French word that literally translates to mixture or medley.

So why Mélange? By the time we started in 2010, we knew for certain that the business will not focus on women’s accessories alone. Given the fact that I have two other partners, most definitely all our passions will not focus on one type of merchandise only. Hence the name, a brand that will offer various items, catering to every consumer’s need (or want!).

Therefore we can only assure that in the coming months, people can expect more products that will cater not only to women, but to men as well.

For the moment, all we have on-hand are purely accessories. Here are few of the stuff of Mélange.

A Short Background
Our products are from all around the world. My partner is the one in charge of supplier canvassing and all the heavy lifting. She then picks the nicest, most affordable finds so that it will be more convenient for both our new and forever loyal customers (thank you!) to just order and wait for our delivery. My other business partner designed our logo and banner and hopefully soon we’ll be able to launch our own website designed by him too (I’m looking too far ahead already, I know).

Mélange had to stop selling early 2011 for a few personal reasons. This year, however, we decided to bring it back. We relaunched our brand last May and I am so glad to see it progress day by day. Taking over a business taught me a lot of things and refreshed me with numerous values I’ve forgotten along the way. Really can’t help but feel grateful everyday.

To view our products, our Facebook page is always available for your browsing pleasure (https://www.facebook.com/themelange).

You can also follow us on Instagram, username @themelange 🙂

We have Twitter as well @the__melange (two underscores).

Show us some love dear readers. Like and follow away! 🙂

PS
We have an ongoing giveaway hosted by the fabulous Sarah Tirona. To join click: http://www.fashioneggplant.com/2013/06/giveaway-melange-accessories.html?m=1

Good luck! 🙂

Blocked Artist: Hungry For Passion

Ever had a feeling of losing appetite on things even if they are really, really fantastic ones? Like opportunities or new experiences that when your energy is up you’ll be more appreciative of it? I felt that; December last year was too slow for me up to the first few days of this month.

Then I realized I haven’t taken time to do things I’m extremely passionate about. 

So I went back to writing the traditional way, singing to the top of my lungs in the shower, and did yoga every single day. But it still wasn’t enough. Until I stumbled upon my big ol’ book and did some refreshing.

I hold this book so close to my heart because it helped me while I was doing thesis in college. Especially in times I go blank and zeroed out on ideas for my project/s. A friend introduced it to me a couple or more years ago when I tweeted for suggestions on books to read that will inspire the artist in me then she recommended this:

aw_artists_way_0000

I never got to fully commit til the end of the book though because I became so busy with other stuff that time (excuses, I know). But tell you what, the first few chapters (or weeks rather) are so eye-opening you’d never want to stop. The Artist’s Way is a 12-week program aimed to retrieve the participant’s creativity.

This 224-page book is full of exercises to help awaken your hibernating creative spirit. Best thing I ever did was the morning pages (and it’s the first task!) wherein every time I get out of bed in the morning, first thing I do is grab my pen and paper and write away ’til I fill three pages back-to-back. You need not think so much for this exercise. Just write what’s inside your head (and heart if you may) without really thinking about it or trying to perfect it. Heck, even “I don’t have anything to write about” is allowed. Plus, you don’t review these pages; not until you are beyond the 8th week of the program. Julia Cameron calls it the “brain drain” because she believes that the first thoughts we have in the morning, most especially the worries we nurture everyday, are the ones blocking our artistic side. (Now I believe it too!) It’s these thoughts that stand “between you and your creativity.” The second task was to have weekly artist dates for 2 hours without interruption or company. Meaning it’s just you and your creative self going out on a date. Whether to an exhibit or musical plays, you have to go to these places alone. Sounds scary at first, but it’s just two hours a week allotted for your artistic reception. Julia says that the morning pages serve as an outlet whereas the artist dates are practiced to receive art. So it’s the basic give and take process to creativity.

What I love most about the book is it serves as a personal journey to self-awareness all over again. It’s like doing yoga or going to a therapist and feeling better (about yourself) instantly after every session. And we all know that with feeling better comes passion, and passion breeds inspiration.

So now I’m back to square one, back to the first week of the book and I really intend to finish it this time.

I highly recommend you grab your own copy and do the exercises religiously. Go ahead! Bring out the artist within that’s longing to be seen and experienced.

The Missing Piece Meets The Big O

Here’s a quite accurate picture book by Shel Silverstein about self-completion. The Missing Piece Meets The Big O is a succession to Silverstein’s first book entitled “The Missing Piece.” I remember a number of friends who narrated this to me; some in details, some preferred to give a bird’s-eye view. Either way, I am fascinated by how metaphorically apt this piece is considering it is literature for children.

Personally, I love this story because no matter how short it is, it tackled most of the grown-up issues many are oblivious about or possibly choose to ignore. I was told once that suppose I’m feeling lonely or unconsummated (or both), it is mainly because I don’t pay so much attention to my own needs. Case in point, I am going to grow old in this body and psyche, so why neglect it?

I love how Shel Silverstein chose to depict this story the simplest way possible. It is simple, yes, yet direct nonetheless. Areas of concern such as being too flashy, looking way too close than necessary, ignoring the pieces on the side and just rolling away with life. Plus the idea that the missing piece was left by the one that fitted the first time they met. Through it, I imagine outgrown relationships in my past be it intimate or platonic.

And then we all meet the one who’ll teach us about what we ought to learn, trust that we can do it on our own (at our own pace), and support our big change, which was well, the Big O’s role.

The rest is history.

So to those who haven’t read it yet, here’s the video version of the book (just don’t get carried away with the background music):

I love looking back to this story especially in times when I feel like I am missing a piece.

Thoughts? 🙂

Cybercrime Law

Today is the day that our government implements the bill on Cybercrime Law. I’ve only been online for a few hours and I’ve already witnessed a lot of protesters do their own thing to voice out their grievances on the said bill. After all the online controversy on Tito Sotto’s plagiarized speech et al, the government has gotten too far with this I suppose? I’m all for moderating human rights and governmental rules, but in my opinion, there are far more important things to prioritize other than this law. Besides, it has been written on our bill of rights under the 1987 Constitution, and I quote,

“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
-Art III, Sec 4

Also…

“The privacy of communication shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise as prescribed by law.
Any evidence obtained in violation of this and the preceding section shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.” -Art III, Sec’s 1, 2

It may be unlawful of me (at this time) to post about it, but we all have the right to freedom of speech and privacy don’t you agree? Considering the number of budding bloggers in the Philippines with different niches, how can they survive with this law? Our RH Bill is pending for the longest time now, why don’t they focus on that? Just because one senator got humiliated online? Is it even fair? Are we not allowed to speak for ourselves anymore? Are we the epitome of an abusive country that’s why our privacy must be taken away from us just like that? I read somewhere that “nobody owns the internet,” so why monopolize it now?
To be truly honest, I don’t see the point in this bill. It doesn’t even help our economic growth and our homeless fellowmen for crying out loud.
Please help us obtain our online right as a nation. The longer these public officials stay in position, all the more they’re becoming demented. And I don’t mean it literally, just so we’re clear. Unless you think otherwise.
I respect your opinion.
For more information on this new law that they want to pass, click: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/276136/scitech/technology/phl-cybercrime-law-outrages-netizens

Why Move On When You Can Just…

I’m not proud to say that it’s breakup season on my side of town. And that doesn’t even include me. Nope. I’m single and I was surprisingly greeted by my ex a happy anniversary the other day. It wasn’t even for the time we hooked up. It was the quite opposite actually. He greeted me because September is the month we’ve broken up… Two years ago. I know right? (I promise to post a more sympathetic entry next time)

Anyway, yes, it’s breakup season and I’ve heard a considerable amount of cries and disgust that I can actually build a house from them (if it’s even possible converting feelings into estates). Unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact, like I said in my previous post, best thing a third perspective can do is listen.

Because the reality here is it’s over and there’s nothing people can do about it. We can’t force ourselves into someone else’s life if we’re not welcome there anymore. Reality bites, I know. And it can sure damn suck my balls.

In situations like this, friends would always end up saying the overused advice, “stop crying and move on–for yourself.” Easy to say when you’re not in the position. Like, “yeah I can be all bipolar with this case and you know, cry one minute, then move on the next. And voilà! I’m better. Let’s paint the freakin’ town red.”

Then again, it doesn’t work that way.

So what is it about breakups that make it so hard to endure?

Is it the huge amount of effort you exert in adjusting to new ways? Or probably the feeling of getting dumped even if the two of you were the ones who did the dumping? Could it be the self-pity that follows it? You want to seek revenge because you’re hurt sore? Or maybe the hopelessness because you felt the person was “The One” – that got away perhaps?

Whatever the reason may be, one thing holds true: this is another chapter of one’s life wherein he/she is actually entitled to improve and redo one’s self. Yes, it definitely is the perfect excuse to be conceited. Now you can tell your cliché-talking friend to get lost because it’s your time to shine.

But, before change happens, acceptance must take place. So prior to cutting your hair short (or shaving it, whatever rocks your boat), take a moment to breathe and embrace the endless possibilities that are about to come your way. ACCEPTANCE is key. Accept that it’s over and fixing it is beyond your capacity. Accept together with forgiveness. Just like what Aunt May said to Spiderman in Spiderman 3, ” Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself.” Indeed. And you never thought you’d pick up values from a superhero movie huh?

Once you’re done accepting and forgiving (even the ones who aren’t even involved) then the transformation begins. Go out. Meet new people. Experience new things. Do stuff that you didn’t get to do when you were still tied up. Learn a new language. Cook a gazillion dishes in a month. Play with your dog. Chat with your long-lost friend. Spend more time with your family. Get a makeover. Go shopping. Hit the clubs. Finish that book you’ve ignored. Or better yet, go to the movies by yourself. Do everything you’ve been meaning to do in your own sweet time.

People are normally scared of change. It’s natural. So break the record, and accept that another major life change is taking place. I won’t be one of those friends who’d tell you to move on. Instead, I want you to accept, surrender to the process, and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not going to be easy, cliché as it may sound, but trust me, everything’s going to be worth it.

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.” ~William James

So why move on when you can just accept?

Oh and when you’re done, hit me up, maybe we can grab a coffee and talk about… Love. How does that sound?