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Let’s talk about COMPASSION.

One of my colleagues shared this during our briefing, “though most of them travel to certain destinations are holidaymakers, but let’s just not assume that.” She continued, “it was just another flight, then I saw this lady, rejected the only meal we were serving. She was looking sad, so I went to talk to her. I found out the reason she traveled this famously holiday spot, was to collect her deceased son’s body. He was involved in an accident…”

 

Recently, there were 2 fatal Boeing plane crash incidents. As I stumbled across this article, which I could totally relate, and I believe any of the crew (and ex-crew) could too. Then, the mosque-shooting incident in Christchurch, New Zealand, happened. And again, I could relate. Not only because that’s a destination my company flies to, but it was also exactly where I’m heading to two days later. And it reminds me that the world is no longer a safe place for anyone anymore.

 

Before I continue on with how the world should be a safe place for us, I went for the Christchurch flight. I found out that on this particular flight (and the day before), there are people flying in, because of someone they know, either their family or their close friend, is a victim of that incident.

 

Upon checking in, our driver from the airport to the hotel, a New Zealander, expressed his condolences to us in case anyone of us is affected by that recent incident, and shared that it is especially relatable to him as one of his close friends would have gone to one of the mosques if he hadn’t been called up to something. From his tone of voice, I could tell he was deeply affected.

 

Truth is, death happens every day. As inevitable as it is, we will still be affected especially when it happens unexpectedly. We often tie life to many adjectives: life is unpredictable, life is fragilelife is shortlife is full of surprises, etc. That is why we constantly remind ourselves to live our life to the fullest. And sometimes, we focused on ourselves so much, we forget that others are (trying or hoping to) living their lives to the fullest as well.

 

Now, it’s totally ok to focus on ourselves. After all, we have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others, right? My question is, how much of taking care of ourselves is enough before we can start taking care of others?

 

The truth is, everyone is worthy of compassion. The very fact that we are conscious human beings experiencing life on the planet means that we are intrinsically valuable and deserving of care. – Kristin Neff, from her book Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

 

Kristin also said that self-compassion doesn’t mean that I think my problems are more important than yours, it just means I think that my problems are also important and worthy of being attended to (also in her book). Though the book is about self-compassion, I figured by removing the word “self”, it’s the basic definition of compassion: seeing other’s problems are as important and worthy of being attended to.

 

So how do we practice compassion? We do not have to be ‘in-their-shoes’ or experience what others experience to show concern or empathy. We can simply acknowledge that their problem(s) exists and that everyone faces challenges. A smiling person does not equal to a worry-free person.

 

Having said that, I would think compassion is not just towards our fellow human being. We could really show some compassion towards the environment, a.k.a. the one and only Mother Earth we have. Imagine how would the environment feel (if Pixar could make a movie about feelings have feelings, the environment can have feelings too) when we show little or no compassion towards it, and all it has ever done is providing us a place to live?

 

Life can be unpredictable, fragile and even challenging, but it doesn’t have to be tough. Let’s make each other’s life a little easier by practicing a little more compassion.

 

Click here to watch Cowspiracy on YouTube for free.

 

Full documentary available on Netflix. Or you could click here to watch Fashion Factories Undercover by RealStories on YouTube.

 

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What have I learned from Capsule Wardrobe?

Now that I have learned about S.A.V.E.R.S. (click the link to read more about S.A.V.E.R.S.), I was excited to begin my every day with that Christmas Day feeling (Sidenote: I’m still learning to get better in all the activities in my morning routine after more than 2 years). So I walked to my closet, just to find out, I had nothing to wear.

 

‘I have nothing to wear, is something I always said. That justifies my urge to shop for new clothes. Every occasion, season and weather require a different look, I thought. I am adventurous and I am experimenting with different styles and designs, I thought. Shopping is a hobby of mine, I thought. Even though I felt really happy checking out a basket of clothes, my excitement towards the piece of clothing don’t usually last very long and I would repeat that I-have-nothing-to-wear sentence and went shopping again. That’s how my collection of clothes grew. My wardrobe was overfilled, yet I still feel like I had nothing to wear. Until one day, I chanced upon the word capsule wardrobe.

 

It was a new term for me, but the idea seemed interesting. So I watched video after videos (thanks to the mighty YouTube which has just about answers to anything and everything, read a few articles, pinned some checklist on Pinterest, and decided that I am building my own capsule wardrobe.

 

This is not a post on how to build a capsule wardrobe. Rather, it is about things I’ve learned since I embarked on this journey:

  1. Numbers are just a reference. You may adjust freely according to your personal preference and personal lifestyle.
  2. Gather as many ideas as possible before you begin the project (in fact, any project), but select only one or two guides that resonate your style and lifestyle most to follow. Mixing up all the advice together when your base has not even set up, might complicate things and make you feel like giving up.
  3. Once you feel like you have grasped the basic ideas, feel free to experiment more. Having a small (or capsule) wardrobe doesn’t mean we are boring. Be creative!
  4. Time spent on selecting what to wear has significantly reduced. I have more time to do other things!
  5. I might be repeating outfits, but no one actually cared. And I am more confident because I am putting on clothes that I am comfortable with.

 

Though I still have this urge to browse through websites checking out latest offers, I would ask myself a few questions:

  1. Do I really need that item?
  2. Do I already have a similar one in my wardrobe?
  3. How do that piece of item complements the other pieces that are already in my wardrobe?
  4. How many wears will I get out of that garment?
  5. What is the material used (I was not a label-reader)?
  6. How do I take care of this garment to make sure it lasts?

I would go through these questions, if not all, and answer them truthfully. Then, I’ll allow myself at least 1 or 2 days before hitting the checkout button. For in-store, I’ll ask myself if the garment would cost me 3 times more the price, would I still consider buying? If my answer is no, then it’s pretty safe to say I do not like the garment long enough to take good care of it and get max use of it.

 

As I research more about this topic, I have also learned that the fashion industry is one of the most unsustainable industry: pollutions that are created during production, poor working condition for factory workers, fast fashion companies pushing out ‘new’ collection every other week to boost sales encourage people to buy less quality and poorly made products that fill up landfills in a shocking pace. It is saddening how a simple I have nothing to wear and the habit of shopping could lead to these consequences. So from capsule wardrobe, not only do I have a better idea of what I truly like and why I do what I do, but it has also opened my eyes to how one thing can lead to another. It might not seems obvious in the beginning but our actions and decisions might bring an impact that you might never imagine.

 

After more than 2 years, I am still reviewing my wardrobe from time to time. I did not go out and buy a bunch of new things while I was building my capsule wardrobe (because I wanted to get as much use of things that I have already own as possible and that’s the core value of capsule wardrobe, in my opinion), which, unfortunately, a lot of the clothes I owned were not in great condition due to impulse shopping (purchases during sales, products of fast fashion companies, poor fabric qualities etc.). So I was using what I have, and replace them when I could find a replacement or when the condition became unbearable. And because I’ll constantly ask myself those questions, the frequency of me going impulse shopping reduced significantly. I have also begun to do research on fashion company that has more ethical and sustainable practice before shopping. Though these companies tend to have a higher price tag, I know I am investing my money into a better quality garment (that I could get more wear out of them) and more importantly, supporting the value behind the company itself, which is to create a better environment for us and the planet.

 

Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world that you want. – Anna Lappe

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And it all begins with The Miracle Morning

The previous post I’ve told a little about how I came from non-reader to enjoy reading. And the credit all goes to this book: The Miracle Morning – The 6 habits that will transform your life before 8AM, by Hal Elrod.
If you are still telling yourself that reading bores you, or reading is not my thing, but you have 1 hour and 22 minutes to spare, maybe you could consider checking out his video on Youtube, you may watch it while you are having dinner, or folding laundry, or mopping the house. You need to play something in the background anyway, don’t you?
Now, do I need to first declare that this is totally #notsponsored? But I would really love it if I am because I’m totally telling everyone how this book transformed me.
Habit-building.
Expert says it takes 21 days to build a habit. But it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t stop there. According to Hal, on this 21 days journey, you have had this negative feeling about doing the habit. And then on the 22nd day, when you finally feel good (or at least, neutral, not hating) about doing it, you decided to reward yourself. And most of the time, how do we reward ourselves? By taking a break, or relaxing, by not pushing ourselves to do the habit. The question now, why reward yourself with NOT DOING something you know it’s good for you? Isn’t that habit is deemed to be good hence we force ourselves to adopt it? If you look at it another way, there were 21 days of negative feeling vs 1 day of positive feeling. The negative is far more than the positive! So what do we do? Add more of the positive so that whenever we think or do that habit, we get positive feelings.

Continue reading

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How to get into reading?

Let me begin with, I don’t like to read.
Well, I didn’t like to read.
Until I understand that, not all books are created equal.
The introduction may sound a little negative because it is.
This is the mindset I used to have when I was younger.
Whenever my dad would tell my mom, “She loves reading”, both my mom and I would laugh, and gave him that you-don’t-know-your-daughter look.
When I was growing up, there’s not much reading culture around my society. At least, not the people I used to hang out with.
There are libraries in schools, but they are more like every-school-has-it-so-we-will-have-a-library-too thing.
Then schools will have those reading programs where pupils were asked to summarize books they have read and submitted the summaries as homework. More often than not, the “answers” for the homework – summaries, would be at the back cover of the book, so why go through the entire book to retrieve the “answers”?
Reading for me, as a student back then, was more of a chore, a homework, a least preferred task. It was something I wouldn’t do until the exam was just around the corner, it was the reason I was so looking forward towards graduation because then I wouldn’t have to read as much anymore.
And every new year I would tell myself, this new year resolution would be reading more. And then I’ll visit a bookstore and pick up books that I told myself, this title is so interesting and I’m sure it will help me to become a better human being. I thought by getting the book is already halfway to success. Til another new year came, those books would be still there, most of the time, untouched.
I gave up on the idea. I knew I wasn’t going to read, no matter how noble the idea of reading seems to be. And I kept telling myself, I don’t like to read, for years.
Until about 2 years ago, I came across a video on Youtube by Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning. After watching his 1 hour and 22 minutes video, I felt so inspired and wanted to know more (even though I felt he has already said a lot in that video), so I went on my phone, downloaded Amazon Kindle, downloaded a copy of a sample of his book, and started reading.
Then I realized, I could read that book. And I actually enjoy reading it, considering I finished the whole sample pretty quick. Books normally give me yawn and sleepy eyes, which didn’t happen when I was reading it. English is not my first language but I found that book is quite an easy read. So I came to this conclusion, not all books are created equal.
What would I know if I hadn’t picked up that book and start reading? Because all those years I’ve told myself I don’t like something, and that I’ll never become something, I cut myself off all opportunities. So to answer the question of how to get into reading? Or in fact, anything else? Just begin. Here are my few tips.
 
1. Start with something easy, like kindergarten level easy.
Before buying, take some time at the bookstore and start reading. If you could finish the first chapter without much trouble (feeling sleepy or uninterested), you’ll probably go through the book easier.
 
2. Author writing style.
One main reason not all books are not created equal is that they have a different author! Find a writing style that you enjoy reading. As much as a title interest you, you will know immediately if you like an author’s writing style. It doesn’t mean that bestselling authors have the writing style that suits everyone. If you don’t enjoy reading, then it is not for you. At least not for now.
3. Schedule your reading time.
If you know about Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, one of the habits is read. Set a time in your day to read. Start small, baby steps. Instead of finish a chapter, which some chapters are longer than another, set a time. 10 minutes a day. You just need to get through that 10 minutes, regardless of how much (or little) you read. If you think it’s too short, extend your time!
Let’s keep the list short and simple. As time passes, you will figure more ways to motivate yourself to read, simply because you’ll find yourself enjoy reading. You might find yourself looking for every opportunities to read: commuting, waiting in line, waiting for a friend who runs late… Then you might find yourself trying to make reading more accessible: instead of bringing a physical book, you’ll start reading e-books or listening audiobooks, because who doesn’t have a phone with them while doing anything? You might say I prefer to read from a physical book. Well, why not do both? Physical books give you that satisfaction of flipping pages and research shows that we remember better by reading from physical books, and digital books give you the luxury of carrying thousands of books in a single device (but you might want to turn off notification to avoid distractions while reading). Reading from e-books doesn’t stop you from reading from physical books, does it?
Here is another thing about the different author’s writing style. Maybe you have found this title and you really want to read that book. After flipping a few pages and you notice you don’t enjoy the writing style as much. You can keep that book on your wish list and return to it some other time. As you pick up the momentum of reading, you will go through books much quicker and after reading a few other writing styles, you might find it easier to absorb whatever was difficult for you. Then you can go back to your wish list and start reading that particular book. Even if you find it difficult to read again halfway through the book, put it down and start reading something else that is easier for you, until you pick up that momentum again, then you could continue. Remember, we don’t have to finish one book in order to start another one. It’s better to know when to pause, pick up something else, keep the momentum going, and then pick it up again another time than being stuck at one position if it makes sense.
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Purpose

As I was doing some mind-decluttering (journal-ling, if you will), I knew I wanted to write something about this — Purpose.
The very reason I’m starting this blog is to serve as a tool for me to discover my journey, the purpose of this lifetime, for myself, and hopefully able to inspire some people.’
I strongly believe every human being and everything in this world has its purpose. And everyone has their very own personal unique purpose, that makes everyone different. But at the same time, everyone has their very own personal unique purpose, that makes everyone the same. Does it make sense?
Think about it.
I’m not saying everyone is the same and we have to do the same things.
I’m saying we are all doing different things, in other words, we are all doing our own things, that makes us, the same.
No one’s purpose is nobler than another. That’s what I’m saying.
There is a purpose behind all actions, but it’s up to us to decide to see it or not.
Knowing why we do what we do, helps us understand our purpose.
As for me, I’m on the journey of getting to know myself why I do what I do.
I’m on the journey of understanding my purpose.
Have you found your purpose?
And how did you do that?
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If not now, when?

Hello, week 4 of 2019.

While everyone (almost everyone) greets a new year when it has begun, I wonder how many people greet a new week?

I have been waiting to create a new site, that focuses on a certain topic, rather than, you know, all-in-one kind, that has its own identity, hence, AmourMarvel.wordpress.com.

Probably I’ll explain why AmourMarvel in the future, if that strikes any kind of interest, but for now, it’s about the search for meanings, thru a camera lens (or multiple lenses), thru journaling, with two different brains and perspectives.

Do follow along if that is something you might be interested so we can start a conversation/ discussion there!

I have one piece of advice to give you all about what to search for in your quest for What Next, it’s to find where the line blurs between hard work and happiness for you. To find that thing where working hard at it makes you happy, and where you’re happy to work hard at it. – Tom Fletcher

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Restart.

Only if there is a ‘restart’ button in everything.
Imagine if we are able to ‘restart’ every time when things go wrong, go back to the time where everything is at its clean slate, and do it all over again, life would be perfect.
But, life is not as such.
There is no ‘restart’ button to allow us to go back time.
I mean, how often do you hear people saying ‘Oh only if I had a chance to redo it all over again, I would..’
But then again, life is not as such. We don’t need to go back time to restart or to redo things all over again. We can use the time we have – now and do things right – now. What is a perfect life anyway?
Restarting is really not about when we do it. It’s about how we do it.
There is a reason why we do what we did.
It can be because that was the best solution we can think of at that point in time.
It can be because that was the only resources we had.
It can be because we didn’t experience in the field.
It can be any reason.
But whatever reason it is, it has been done.
Unfortunately, the outcome is not how we expected.
That’s why we thought of that ‘restart’ button, isn’t it?
Note to self
Instead of thinking to go back to the time, think of restarting, now.
Now is the best time to restart, because it is the only moment we have.
The saying ‘life doesn’t always have a second chance’, is not true. Chance can be either given or created. ‘I don’t have the chance’ is just an excuse for not wanting to try harder. If there is no chance given by others, create one for yourself. Because if that is something you truly want, you shouldn’t give up easily.
I choose RESTART as my first topic because I want to remind myself that, I am a believer of do-it-one-more-time.
Many times I thought to myself that I wish I could just push a ‘restart’ button and do things right from the beginning.
My mind is always occupied with ‘only if..’ statements. Instead of thinking about what to do next, I would spend a whole day thinking (and regretting) how I would do things differently if I can go back time.
It is not helping and I knew it, but because it is easier to come up with an excuse for not doing it, I let myself sank in that thought.
But I’m not going to let that happen anymore.
Because now is the perfect time to restart. Now is the only time.
———
A post that I have written it some time ago, on another blog, because I wanted to start a clean slate.
Then, logging in WP and by just scrolling thru the headers of the post (which most of it I have transferred from another blog (creating a new blog, not blog post is a habit of mine when I wanna ‘restart’ things) brought back so many memories and kind of remind me how far I have came.
I’d write anything and everything on my blog because I felt this is a safe space for me to spill everything. But apparently not.
The internet is not a safe space to share anything personal. And that would be another topic someday, maybe.
But, having a space that I could share my thought and interest would be cool, so for this new year new start, I would love to blog actively again!
Restart, because we only live once.
Restart, because now is the best time for everything.
Thank you for your time reading!
Have a wonderful 2019!