Monday, September 27, 2010

Loving Presence

(From the Daily Om)

Loving Presence

Surround Yourself with Love

Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with in our life- we do.

In our everyday life we are surrounded by a variety of people. Some of the people we deal with on a daily basis are a joy to be with, and their loving presence nurtures and encourages us. Others may have the opposite effect, draining us of our energy, making us feel tired and exhausted. Our well-being can be easily influenced by those around us, and if we can keep this in mind, we will have greater insights into the quality of our social interactions and their energetic effect on us.

Once we think more deeply about the people we interact with, it becomes easier for us to work toward filling our lives with people who help us cultivate healthy and positive relationships. Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with, we do. The power to step back from toxicity lies within us. All we have to do is take a few moments to reflect on how another person makes you feel. Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness.

When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about.

(I love this message that's given out to us.  We definitely have choices in life to make, in regards to the people we see around us everyday.  I believe if we set strong intentions to have a nurturing environment, we'll achieve it at some point.  Never give up finding the 'truth' to your self purpose.  That's probably one of the greatest gift you can give yourself)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Chick Flick !!!!

                       A Night Out This Friday 1st Oct.

The film Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is finally out on the big screens in Brunei this coming Thursday.  And I'm organising a night out for us on the 1st Oct.  We'll head down to Escapade Gadong for dinner first at around 6.30pm and then probably catch the film by 8.30pm in Gadong Mall Cinema.  So, if you're interested to join us for the night, please inform me at the latest by Thursday morning. 

But please be warned that if you're the type of person who likes watching action packed films or a movie with a lot of slap stick comic lines from the actors, this film Eat Pray Love is anything but that.  But if you love drama, a little bit of spirituality and self discovery on the side, than you might (and I stress this again,....might!) like this movie.  Cause if you don't have patience for 'love is in the air' than seriously, don't even attempt to try and watch this movie on the big screen. Wait for the dvd and watch it leisurely at your own free will.

And do take note this movie runs at 2 hours and 10 minutes. 

Here's the short summary of what the movie will be all about.

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a modern woman on a quest to marvel at and travel the world while rediscovering and reconnecting with her true inner self in EAT PRAY LOVE.

At a crossroads after a divorce, Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical from her job and steps uncharacteristically out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life. In her wondrous and exotic travels, she experiences the simple pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of love in Bali.

Based on an inspiring true story, EAT PRAY LOVE proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Taste of Something Different

It is nearly the end of my stay here in the States and I'm glad I got the chance to experience it's culture and the way of living here in U.S.  It's very much different from living in England and elsewhere.   I was pretty sceptical about being here in the States, practically because I wasn't sure if my journey here would have taught me anything different from what I might have already known or thought I might have known from books or tv or any form of media.  How wrong was I! So far, people in Reston, Virginia are pretty pleasant to talk to and from what I have gathered, generally Americans have a much different way of bringing up their children (much more different than what you would have seen on Ricki Lake or Jerry Springer's stereotypical shows).  I was told Americans don't usually swear (not even by the word of 'crap') and .....children here (well in VA, esp) are 'seen & heard'.  P.S  dear asian mums (esp. s.east asian mums....) if you have seen 'Full House' (American Comedy Series), children are generally treated in the same manner similar to it.  More or less.  And the result of it is ...'Shri'. I find it quite cute when they call their kids,"Hey Bud!".  On the plus side as well, the Americans just don't stare or 'look' at you in difference to who you are regardless of race or color, wherever you go, you are talked to as if you were one of them. 

The only thing I couldn't get used to still is the way they drive on the roads in Virginia.  Red means stop unless you are taking a right turn,  keeping in mind there shouldn't be any oncoming cars from your left? The driver seats on his left but drives on the right side of the road? W-h-a-t?!! Good job is not me driving! I be like Steve Martin in Planes, Trains & Automobiles where Martin was telling Hughes,"YOU'RE DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!!!!!"

Oh, and if you're going to eat in a diner or perhaps in any other restaurant, be aware the quesadillas and fajitas or even salads are enough for two.  I don't know how I'm going to kick my legs up in handstand.  Okay, if you see me back in Brunei, just be nice to me when you see the 'pounds' on me.....or it be low boat pose for 2 minutes when you step back in class!!!! (Evil laugh coming on......... just kidding!)

Pity I didn't get a chance to meet Obama but I got be at Lincoln Memorial.  It was very overwhelming to be there standing at Lincoln's feet and his Inaugural Address was 'strong' to it's own words and some parts were inspiring. I especially like this part,"Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully."

Besides Lincoln Memorial, I made a trip to New York and yes, went to visit Ground Zero.  It felt  surreal to be there.  There was this sad feeling knowing innocent lives were lost, not just Americans but other nationalities too.  I'm sure there's so much political reasons and 'why's' it happened but no unjustified death of innocent lives, regardless of race or country is ever worth killing for in the vanity of any war.  

In any case, I took the Gray Line bus and toured around Manhattan.  There was much to see but little time to do it.  But if you're ever in New York, and you need to stay somewhere, try the Lucerne Hotel on 79th Street, Amsterdam Ave and for a hearty meal, try the Manhattan Diner on 78th if you're a die-hard yoga fan, there's Pure Yoga studio on the same street as the diner.  But I advise you to do yoga first then eat later.  Seriously!  Plus if you like museums, the Natural History Museum is a good one to visit especially if you have kids.  Go to the History of South Americans on the 2nd Floor.  Pretty amazing and interesting stuffs!!!!!!!! No worries about having to find restaurants to eat, plenty wherever you go in NY and there always seem to be a Starbucks nearly every 10 minutes of your walk in Manhattan.

But be weary of this when you're in NY, if you need to hail a cab, just step 3 to 4 feet away from the curb and make sure you stick your arm out where the cabbies can see you.  Also, if the middle part of the rooftop is lit, then the cab might be available.  If it isn't lit or it's completely lit, the cabbie might be off duty.  Keep in mind that you also have to tip taxi drivers in NY esp. or you might get a right told off for being a rotten passenger.  Seriously.  Nearly everywhere you go, you tip for their services.  You do feel at first it's something you're 'made' to do and it's not something you normally do if you're not happy with the services.  However, wages for service personnel are pretty low, so they do depend on tips for their livelihood.  I did feel that New Yorkers were a little wee bit rude when you converse with them, but if you ain't happy with their service, don't be a stingje, just give the tip (it's part of the norm and ways) and then on your way out, maybe just mentioned the waitor's 'event' to management. 

But how cute is this?...I love where I stayed in NY in Lucerne hotel cause it was pretty much in a residential area and you could imagine Carrie (SATC) with her mates about.  And Central Park isn't too far away from the hotel.  Talking about Central Park, I made a visit to NBC store and it was quite fun to see FRIENDS tees with Central Perk written across it.  And can you believe this, if you like HOUSE, NBC were selling scrubs as well.  :P  How weird was that?!!

All in all, I'm glad I had a chance to be here with my family.  It's given me a chance to focus back what I need to do, not just for myself but others too.  I think I'll definitely come back to the States again and maybe next time I'll be able to make a trip to California and perhaps Boston?

Monday, September 6, 2010

First Time in America

Phew! Finally...... I'm here in America.  It was definitely 'the' longest journey I have ever made from Brunei.  And let me say the stress level was ten fold when I got to the immigration check point.  For some odd reason, the men in uniform were pretty intimidating and I got a bit nervous when it was my turn to have my passport checked.  The officer checking it was quite stern and just huffed at my passport when he saw it.  And the first thing he said was," ....I don't think you can use ESTA with this passport ".  My heart just dropped immediately and I instantly thought 'damn it, I'll have to make 21 hours flight back to Brunei again!!!!???' I explained to him the passport was definitely a biometric passport.  He then said," Well, we'll find out then!" ..............You know what, my passport did checked through.   I'm not sure if this officer thought to himself,' Let's make this woman's brain go to panic mode before she lands officially on our soil'
I think I was pretty intimidated by their loud voices as well.  I felt like my voice sounded like a little mouse next to theirs.

Glad my sister didn't live too far away from Dulles Airport.  It was a 20 mins to 30 mins drive to Reston, Virginia.  All I can say is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.  Love the view of Lake Thoreau from my sister's house.  Her house sits cosy-ly at at gorgeous lake surrounded by forest.  Even though I was jet lag, I felt so awaken by the beauty of nature around her house.  Lucky her to live in such a nice place! 

In the past two days, I've already decided I like America.  They have a wide range of everything.  We went to Trader's Joe and it had one whole aisle just for a selection of bread alone.  Aiyayai!  And there were different sorts of hommus (my favourite), lovely selections of yoghurt ice cream, all sorts of dark chocolate and all sorts of whole grain cereal.  Woo hoo!!!!!! And I got to try my first black bean burrito.  D-licious!!!! And we got bargained goods (good quality) for reasonable prices.  Ohh and I finally came across Gaiam yoga products.  There's the yoga gloves to yoga socks.  I wanted to get the yoga gloves but there was only one glove left.  Never mind, I'll keep looking for other yoga stuffs.

I'm still not used to americans saying," Hi, how are you ma'm?" I mean I lived in UK for 10 years but not everybody will ask and say it to you.  But here in the States, everybody says it and they say it so loud too.  I feel as if I'm being 'questioned'.  My reply to them is only (with a very quiet voice) ," I'm fine,thanks?"

Well, we're off to Washington D.C today and we might just hello to Obama today.  Not!