(Pardon my lateness- its been two days late! And here is my blogpost.)
Thursday was pretty great – work flowed well, and I was surprised after lunch by my colleagues who gifted me with 4 bananas and wrote my name on each one of them (along with mon, tue, wed, thurs). I reckon they are nudging me to eat healthier, and be healthier 😉
Once work was over, I rushed off to meet Choo and Wayne: two of my most cherished friends for the last 12 years of my life.
We had a beautiful chirashi don dinner with fresh and sweet sashimi, followed by japanese gelato (see pic above). Delicious!! We then went for drinks at a chinese karaoke bar in Chinatown – followed by a Thai Disco in Parklane.
Omg. To reach home at 4am and have 3 hours of sleep before work on friday. That was a killer.
Your time is limited and your energy is precious. Only let yourself spend time with friends who add to your life. (Alli Worthington)
I count myself truly blessed: I do not have tens or hundreds of friends, but I do have a couple of really close friends that I can rely on, and that I love to be part of their life as well.
Time with friends, indeed a beautiful thing ❤
Awareness Question: how do you add to the lives of your friends?
Had the opportunity to meet new friends through Ranjan, at his mindful meets group… it was a beautiful evening, where we spent an hour in active meditation, and 20mins being in mindful walk on the lawns.
The precious sensation of feeling damp grass beneath your feet – the prickly, pokey, wet and squishy, like straws on a sponge.. felt weirdly liberating to be able to walk on the lawn, and bringing our full attention to the sensations around us. Very precious indeed, something I shall keep in mind to continue to do in the future.
When I come with and bring expectations into my meditation, often I get nothing at the end and often feel frustrated.
However, when I come with nothing and bring no expectations, I find myself enjoying the process of being still and being quiet. Then I truly experience what meditation is. (Fellow mindful meets friend)
And I guess my takeaway from today’s session is to let go of my preconceived ideas of how things should be, and to be more open to how they might unfold and develop. That if I could surrender more to being ok with not knowing, I would enjoy the journey more.
And yes – working with my mind, letting everything go, and finding my stillness in every single moment – that is magic.
Awareness Question: what expectations and beliefs are you holding on right now?
Today I took the day to prepare for my last interview for a potential programme director role with a local nonprofit… it allowed me to relook all my strengths and experiences, and to synthesize that into a coherent-enough story of how and why I fit this leadership role.
And it was mostly fun and interesting, with learning along the way as well.. as i allowed myself to brainstorm and articulate my professional journey so far, and what I hope to contribute to the work – also getting an extra perspective on what possible interventions would be useful for (nonprofit) organisations at different stages of their life cycle.
What gives you the right to be a leader?
What makes you a good leader?
Why should others let you lead them?
These were the tough questions I struggled to answer during the discussion with the Board at the interview.
I gave my darndest best, breathed into self certainty, and shared my truth that being a leader meant growing others to their fullest potential; that being able to pull the team together, integrate resources and perspectives (and making tough decisions), and go forward together would make me a leader; that ultimately being a leader meant that I served my team well, so that they can create the work they need to create.
There was a vibrant diversity of “leadership” definitions at the table, and it was so interesting to observe and participate. Also shows the level of alignment and agreement, haha!
Awareness Question: are we cultivating diversity or alignment?
I woke up feeling like i’m in bits, and felt rather demotivated… this is a strange mood that I’ve not felt in a somewhat long while (or so it seems).
And so I put myself through the motions at work – proposal finalisation and submission, and report writing. Such is the work of consultants, putting fingers to mouse and keyboard, before the real work can be done.
Discipline: doing what needs to be done, even when you don’t feel “in the zone”.
Then an invigorating gym session after this long workday. Straining muscles, but happier mind. Exercise does seem to help 🙂
So rest tonight, and tomorrow I get to further the career conversation.
Awareness Question: how else can I exercise my muscle of discipline to forward my goals?
It’s been a while since our family spent a good part of the day together – strolling through an older neighbourhood, having brunch in a café, and then shopping. A nice sunday indeed, and feeling very blessed.
And walking through Spottiswoode, I chanced upon this beautiful flower, floating in a small pot. It was a beautiful inspiration, showing me that we are perfect as perfect is – and no matter how small, or how normal the situation we are in, we can still be gloriously beautiful.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness, the light of your own being. (Hafiz)
For me, it was an invitation to stand in the magnificence of our being, and to be bright and bold in whoever we are – and a message I shall bring into this coming week. My Sunday is complete.
Awareness Question: if you could witness the glory of your own being, how will you honor the light of others?
My saturday was a rather relaxed one – met up with Jireh to indulge in a nice brunch. Pancakes, buttermilk biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs… they were the championing start to our day together.
We got to catch up, chat and laugh about so many things. Stuff that is, stuff that was, and hopes of stuff that will be. Pretty cool right, covering the entire spectrum 😉 and yes, we also watched Beauty and the Beast.
The film was intricate display of emotion and a beautyful remake… wow. The tenderness that both belle and beast brought to their characters was amazing. Their innocence and the playfulness in playing their roles.. very beautyful!
Days in the sun will return, we must believe as lovers do, that days in the sun will come shining through. (Disney)
And yet, we both enjoyed the film to different extents. That while we both loved the unfolding of the classical story and were both enthralled in the love and magic of it all, he felt that some musical parts were too lengthy.
And I found myself semi-shutting down because he didnt experience something in the same totality as me. Even though I know that we are both very different, I found myself holding him to a standard I created. Which is unfair, and a lesson for me to learn.
Awareness Question: how can I be even more like Belle, accepting and trusting and open to seeing people as they really are?
Started the day with an indulgence – a buttered raisin scone, paired with a hot cup of milo. Yummy and delicious kickoff to the amazing Friday I just had.
Had an interesting discussion over performance management within the organisation, and it was cool to get curious (to ask lots of questions), and also supportive (to give lots of suggestions). And that’s an important part of being an engaged staff who gives feedback and participates in the process – afterall, we are fellow staff and also customers of the system.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
Supported our leaders’ lab session today as well, and it was beautiful to be able to help offer this discussion platform for people to co-learn and co-network. Couple of leads and opportunities for me to chase down as well 🙂
Feeling very grateful and fulfilled this evening. Mmmm allowing myself to just sit in gratitude, savor before heading to bed.
Awareness Question: how else can I help? What other ways can I support and give?
Liquid courage is a cup of tea.
A more open conversation with someone who mattered… we were once close, and we drifted apart. We now have less things in common, and we’re growing in different directions – we seem to be at different stages in our lives. And thats okay.
You took the courage to share with me what was on our hearts and minds, and yes, I took the courage to ask what’s next. We both don’t know. And thats okay too, for now.
After many years, its okay to grow stagnant and to start wondering if what’s here is meaningful. I’m not sure – all I know is, the past is and will always be a memory; and memories to be cherished for time eternal.
If something doesn’t grow, it slowly withers and dies… such is love, such is friendship, such is relationship, such is life.
And I’m guessing the invitation is here for us to seize this opportunity to reflect: to go deep within and find answers for ourselves.
Awareness Question: where to, from here?
Yesterday’s adventure filled my soul, and also drained my physical reserves… I woke up today feeling tired and in need of rest and recharging. But life carries on no matter what – so I made the choice to sleep in an additional hour 😀 and then head to office to conquer the day.
And it worked (for a bit!). Needing to exercise new parts of my brain, it left me feeling zapped rather quickly. But a good kind of zapped, the kind you get when you’re learning something and doing it on the fly. Kind of an enjoyable process.
Not everything is going to be comfortable or enjoyable in Life – what matters is that you can be ok, with not being ok.
So taking the evening to enjoy an onsen spa with my mum, I feel all relaxed and with jelly limbs nw. Ready to turn in and rest – for tomorrow will bring challenges of tomorrow 🙂 and I will overcome them!
The fight is a mindset.
Awareness Question: what are my daily challenges that I can learn to make peace with?
A group of us from the office went on a Geylang Adventures expedition: to seek out a more grounded understanding of the social issues facing marginalised populations in the most diverse (and probably perverse) areas of Singapore.
Geylang is and has been our country’s “red light district”, which is the (somewhat) legalised area where sex work is permitted. And alongside that is the rife of illegal drugs, gambling, and potential outbreaks of violence.
And we got a deeper insight into how the space has been shared and shaped over time; how the community has grown and disintegrated in various aspects; and how societal stereotypes and prejudices prevent many of these groups (and the entire area of Geylang) from breaking out of this spiral.
There are many forces that keep people where they are – some visible, some invisible, some not even conscious to us – those nonconscious forces are the most dangerous and viscious.
Afterall, how can you change something that you do not know exists?
After the session of sharing and learning, I feel this sense of amazement at how this space is so wildly diverse in so many different ways; and also this heartfelt sense of empathy and compassion to the fellow humans (locals and marginalised populations alike) within this shared space that is Geylang.
Everyone has their unique life story, and their unique motivations that is personal to them. The moment we impose our judgment on who we think they are as a group of people, we remove their humanity and replace it with a label. That is prejudice without understanding.
Awareness Question: despite so many stark differences, does it make it any less home?