Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The porttrait of an INFJ

There are things I don't exactly know how to verbalise. I hope somehow I could better make sense of things with guidance. So I ask for guidance.

In the meantime, for anyone who loves to read about my MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) profile, i.e. INFJ (Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling), here's a link: http://www.personalitypage.com/INFJ.html

I wonder, how could I better use my gifts, and to live with enthuasiasm in this world?

Monday, September 28, 2009

An evening at Sembawang Park

Nature can serve to be a healer and pain-relief remedy at times. I visited the Sembawang Park last evening to be nearer to Nature.

I took the bus service 882 from Sembawang Bus Interchange (nearest MRT station: Sembawang) to get myself to Sembawang Park. The ride took about 10 minutes.

There are a few things that I like about the Sembawang Park: 1) It is relatively quiet even on a Sunday, 2) there is a natural beach at one end of the park where I can enjoy the sounds of the tides and the waves, 3) I can spot a few pre-war houses at the park, and I generally have a liking for pre-war houses!

Here's sharing the tranquil and healing moments with you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Green is for Gladful moments

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the midst of preparing for a music exams. In efforts to help myself feel at peace wth myself and to be inspired by the beauties of Nature, I had visited several parks in Singapore. One of my favourite places was the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Admission was free. The park was beautifully landscaped. There were lovely plants and animals to be spotted at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is generally a safe place to visit even on one's own. My favourite was to be able see large open spaces of lush green grass. Enjoy the peaceful moments that Nature could bring. Of course, imagine unknown insects and birds singing away.

Wishing you soothing moments in the meantime.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nature's therapeutic

This is a time when I have to ask for some care and soothing moments.

Nature is preciously beautiful, and I have found a recent photograph that I have taken at Swan Lake, Singapore Botanic Gardens. I've found it soothing and inspiring just to sit nearby Swan Lake watching the swans swim about gracefully. Here's sharing the photo with everyone here. May it soothe.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hari Raya Open House at the Museums

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to Muslim friends and readers.

If anyone of you is wondering what to do today, on 20 Sep 2009, you may wish to know that the various National Heritage Board museums will be offering free admission to all the galleries.

You may wish to know that there is a special art exhibition at Singapore Art Museum, 8Q, Yellow Ribbon Community Art Exhibition “Vision of Hope”. Till 20 Sep 2009, this exhibition is part of the Yellow Ribbon Project, and it features the finest selection from the Yellow Ribbon Art Competition.

"Find out more on the journey of arts in prison and how it has affected many others in their journey to a successful reintegration through the eyes of one inmate artist." Check out the video below.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUkXp3C3ZqQ

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Congratulations to Laokokok

The results of the Singapore Blog Awards are out. Congratulations to Laokokok of Times of My Life for winning the Best Individual Blog Award. Cheers!

Check out his nostalgic blog here: http://timesofmylife.wordpress.com

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Read: Gracious Living in a New World

A week ago, I finished reading the book titled Gracious Living in a New World: Finding Joy in Changing Times by Alexandra Stoddard. This is the second book that's written by her that I have read.

Reading this book gave me a calm sense of ease and peace in general. I particularly find it inspiring to read the chapter "Lessons from a Village". It reminded me that many times we aren't after the greatest achievements on Earth, more than we yearn to connect at a deeper level with the significant people in our lives.

The chapter "Working with Grace" also reminded me not to become victim of the "efficiency trap". Time spent "not working" can also be a vital part of productivity. Just because we are not doing things that is highly focused, goal-oriented or deal-closing do not mean that the time spent is unproductive. Time spent writing a friendly card, saying a word of appreciation and so forth at work can be productive too in that they help us get in touch with our essence as human beings.

One thing that I appreciate about this book is that there are many lovely and inspiring quotations that are placed in various parts of the book. I enjoy reading these quotations as I read the book itself.

So I end this post with one of the quotations: "To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life" - Samuel Johnson.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Choosing Happiness, part 2

This post is a part of a humble blogging project that I have started off recently to pen down some of my learning points and reflections from reading Stephanie Dowrick's Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul Essentials. As mentioned, this series of post shall be dedicated to one of my friends, XS, to honour her for being the first to introduce to me the concept of choosing happiness.

Yesterday evening, I spent about an hour reading the book at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I decided to find a spot away from the crowd to read the book. At the same time, the spot that I had chosen was close enough to the speakers from a nearby stage such that I could hear beautiful live music performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra while I read the book. My favourite piece of music that was performed was Mendelssohn's The Hebrides Overture (Fingal's Cave).

I realised it was nurturing to be kind to myself and to treat myself to fresh air from Nature. Somehow, the act of taking care of myself by going for an activity that would recharge me seems to coincide well with the topics that I was reading today: self-love, and soothing oneself.

Here are two strategies that I have found very useful from what I have read from the book thus far:
1) The strategy of emphasising and thinking of what had went well, what we appreciate and enjoy.

2) The strategy of telling ourselves "I can deal with this" when we recognise symptoms of panic, anxiety or fear in our body. I figured that this strategy can help us to shift the focus of the mind to something more positive, and hopefully we can look at the issue at hand more effectively.

So far, I have enjoyed reading the book. I am delighted to realise how enjoyable it can be to read a book out in the Nature. I've got to listen to the lovely sounds of Nature, breathe in fresher air and feed my mind with insights.

Entries in the series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Choosing Happiness, part 1

I have just embarked on reading a new book titled Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul Essentials by Stephanie Dowrick. While writing this post, I have found out Stephanie Dowrick is the author of a number of life-changing best-selling books, and she has lived in Sydney since 1983 and is the mother of two children.

I wonder if it is by good grace and fate that I ended up choosing this book to read in the month of September 2009? To read a book on the subject of choosing happiness, by an author based in Sydney?

It is now spring in Sydney. It has been close to a year after my last trip to Australia. About a year ago, in Sydney, one of my friends, XS, shared with me a powerful insight that happiness is often a choice. That insight helped me be more mindful in my everyday choices and has helped me find the strength to face challenging situations with greater ease than I had in the distant past.

I am still practising how to choose happiness mindfully in my everyday life. Earlier this evening, I decided that I shall make an attempt to have a humble blogging project to blog about some of my reflections and learning points that I have had while reading Stephanie Dowrick's Choosing Happiness. To honour my friend who was the first to share this powerful insight with me a year ago, I shall dedicate this blogging project and all the related posts to dear XS. May she be blessed with joy and happiness every moment.

Entry No. 1:

For the past few days, I managed to read up to page 50 of the book. One strategy that I find helpful from what I have read so far from the book is that when faced with challenges, it can help by paying attention to the strengths needed for the situation. Stephanie Dowrick suggests that we could ask the question, "What does this situation need?".

Reflecting upon some of the past challenges that I had faced recently, I realised that when I had asked similar  questions, I was more able to face the challenges squarely and positively than to be paralysed by the challenges. I shall practise this strategy for now as I am facing the inner challenges preparing myself mentally and psychologically for the upcoming music performance exams.

I find it a useful move for the book to start its first chapter with the topic: Trust who you are. I suppose this reminds us that happiness starts from within ourselves, and the first place to start is with understanding ourselves.

So far, I think Stephanie Dowrick's writing is fairly accessible. I look forward to reading the rest of the book.

Other entries:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Read: Just Who Will You Be?

I continued my endeavours to read at least one book per month. Just a few weeks ago, I finished reading the book Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver.

In this book was a speech that Maria Shriver has made during a commencement. It's a simple to read book and will probably be quite a easy-reading for anyone who needs to be reminded that we are each unique individuals. It encourages us to constantly seek to find ways to be our authentic selves. While I may not read this book again and again, it is still quite a nice book to read at leisure when one needs a reminder "Just who will I be?". I would think that anyone who is going through some life transitions searching for answers on who they are would find it useful to read this book.

In the meantime, I am still working in progress to answer the question "Who will I be?" and to be the person I want to be.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thank goodness for good friends

Earlier tonight, I have had the pleasure and honour to meet up with one of my good friends, Mystic. We had dinner at the food court at Raffles City and we both agreed that the Korean food stall's bibimbap needed more improvement. We will probably not visit that stall in the near future.

Many thanks to Mystic for being helpful to help me with shopping. The company of a good friend makes the task of shopping much more bearable.

We rounded up the night with tea at Cedele. Mystic told me that the organic soy milk there is good! I had the Rooibos Tea for I was told that it could help to relieve stress. The cakes were lovely. We ordered the Real Dark Chocolate Cake and the Blueberry Hazelnut Cheesecake. My preference was for the former for I seem to prefer food that has a bittersweet and intense taste. Mystic has such love for food that she took lovely photos of the cakes with lots of care and love. She even helped to cut the cakes with lots of love for the cakes.

I thank Mystic for lending me her company, listening ears, support and encouragement.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Serene Centre: During my Junior College Days

My secondary school's building was previously located fairly near Serene Centre and so I had the pleasure to spend some memorable times there.

In some ways, it was a rather conscious choice for me to eventually study in a Junior College near my secondary school. That probably explains why I still occasionally get to visit Serene Centre during the times when I was a Junior College student.

To get to Serene Centre from my Junior College, I would need to take a bus. Serene Centre is about three bus-stops from my Junior College. I remember visiting Serene Centre several times with one of my friends who was also my classmate back then. The Mac Donalds at Serene Centre was a place where I had spent quite a number of hours studying with my friend.

Honestly, I can't remember what I had studied during those hours spent at the Serene Centre's Mac Donalds. However, I do remember it was the time spent at Serene Centre's Mac Donalds that helped me learn more about what good friendship is about: to be there for one's friends, in good times and bad.

It was those interesting times with friends that made my growing-up years as a Junior College student much more bearable. Those were also the years when I fold countless origami and doodle on most of my lecture notes. I am thankful that I have positive memories of those days thanks to my friends.