Saturday, July 5, 2014

What I've learned from a little caterpillar

I was climbing the long flight of stairs (781 steps to be exact) up to a temple in Mae Salong, step by step instead of anticipating the beautiful view on top of the mountain waiting for me, breathe by breathe, focusing one step at a time, mindfully aware of my surrounding. I can’t help but to notice a small black little hairy caterpillar climbing along with me. Maybe I was curious, Karma knows I might have killed a lot of cats, not literally, taking the idioms from curiosity kills the cat.

I wasn’t sure where it was crawling, but my instinct told me it was heading the same way as me, towards the temple, I guess. Maybe the view attracted the caterpillar?

I stop and mesmerise by how this tiny little wonder crawling its way up, slowly, one tiny step at a time. That makes me to think. I’ve been dealing with grief lately, a friend of mine passed away recently, we were both born on the same year. What’s for me, upsetting is that he didn’t make it through his 34th birthday where someone like me whom was battling with cancer last year could be the one to go first. His death is too sudden and tragic so I took a break from my tea room for a trip up to the northern Thailand, where I always find peace. It’s like my sanctuary.

While the little caterpillar was still climbing, I can’t help but to wonder if we stop concentrating of what we have lost like anticipating the view on the mountain, but rather acknowledge how this friend of mine has live life to the fullest. Doesn't it makes sense that life is not subjected or defined by how long we live, but by how we make an impact to our surroundings, family and friends. I’m sure his friend like me will have a lot to say on how he touches our lives.

Also, part of me, selfishly, focus on my grieving, on what I've lost, fails to understand that this person doesn't belongs to me and his presence is not existential. Like as if no one but me experience grief before and yet we have yet to understand everyone was born to die.

Death/birth. Ending/beginning. Alone/together. Strength/weakness. Powerless/empowered. Active/passive. Tears/laughter. Anger/acceptance. Blindness/insight. Sweet/sour. Both/and. Or what if I’m suspended in threeness? Black, white, and gray? Or fourness? Denial, acceptance, avoidance, assent?

I echo Alice in Through the Looking Glass. “I can’t believe that,” she said to the Queen. In a pitying tone, the Queen replied, “Try again: draw a long breath and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” Alice replied. “One can scarcely believe impossible things.” “I daresay, you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.

I daresay I haven’t had much practice at any of this as well!

When caterpillar metamorphoses, it didn’t want the other caterpillars to feel sad for him. Instead every caterpillars know they will undergo through this process naturally. There are no pain, no sorrow, and no guilt. It merely is how nature works. No one can stop the metamorphosis. Death is just a temporary end of a temporary phenomenon.

Rather than stopping the caterpillar from metamorphosing, transforming into something beautiful and fly to a better place. I learn to let it go and let it be.

And for my friend, Gareth, like the caterpillar I saw, it is not the view that attracted the caterpillar but it’s the enlightenment towards the temple he might be seeking for…

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 – Be the Transformer

~ If there is bad in the good, then there is good in the bad ~

For the past few years, I’ve been encapsulating my yearly accounts into my blog, I reflected what I’ve achieve, who I have become or anticipating the future with new hopes instead of new resolutions. This year, after battling cancer for almost half a year in 2013, I ask myself, have I transformed?

Like the transformer, before or after any battle, a transformation is needed. Regardless any happy or unhappy experiences in life, you have to learn how to transform from it. Transforming means turning our experiences into something that we can use for the better, whether it is dealing with anxiety, guilt or even negativity, it could be turning sorrow into wonderment, heartache into joy for others, guilt into forgiveness, anxiety into letting go and be in the present.

Our heart, our mind, our life-force, is the starters of transformation. We need our heart to be true to ourselves, our mind to execute our actions and our life-force to keep on finding a balance and sustaining it.

Nothing else matters, and just like transformer we have to keep transforming to thrive. We must keep thriving through the good and the bad days. We cannot stop the flow of our experience. We need to take it in. We must transform.

So, have you transformed?

For me, this year, I’ve transformed not just from battling my cancer, I’ve transformed into someone whom can deal with my own anxiety, forgives a betrayal of a good friend for over 10 years, letting go of my calculative mind in terms of dollars and cents.

I’ve also transformed by the love and support from my family and friends, they bring so much warmth and affection in my heart that makes me feel like the luckiest human being in the world. Like the firewood that continues to burn in my heart, with that fire, I have to keep on burning and giving warmth to others too. It’s an energy that has to be paid forward.

If not, what’s the use of transforming?

Read my past year accounts

2012    2011     2010    2009

P/S: My favorite transformer is Bumble Bee

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New year 2013 – Who do you want to become?

I long suspected that making new year resolution is a scam just like my laptop recently has been plagued by spyware, which means someone hacked into your laptop and sending emails that you didn’t sent which comes to my point of making resolution that are not really what you want to do, but more of making yourself  feel better. Losing 10 pounds through salsa dance, earning 1 million dollars or having sex with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jodie that just makes us dream foolishly.

There is however some practical resolutions that people made that do succeed but that’s just one thing you do for that year isn’t it? I can’t help but wonder does making resolution confine us to achieve our itinerary within a period of time. If so, I disincline to the lack of freedom that my resolution can’t evolve or progress to another direction.

Instead of making New Year Resolution like what I did for the past few years, I change it to who I would like to become. The question is phrased within me, not emulating certain celebrities’ personality or hairstyle and dressing but more on how do I see myself and how can I be a better version of myself? Have we turned out to be someone unrecognizable? Is there some part of you that hates who you have become?

Whatever the regrets or turmoil are, It’s good to cleanse your thoughts in the beginning of the year, think about the passion that drives you and makes you feel alive, whether it’s baking, painting, try making more time for it or adopt a cause that transform your mind to think about others. If you've been suffering this year, alter your regrets to more positive remedy or repayment.

Whatever you do, it all begins with yourself, if you don’t like who you are, honey, no one is going to help you there except to dig deeper what makes you happy and unhappy, throw away the negative energy and convert your life as someone you hope to be.

Thus I start by asking myself, who I have become in 2012.

This year, I've become an author of the book 108 places to see before nirvana (shameless plug here). I've adapted to cold shower thus leading to saving water and money : ) I've become someone who knows a bit more about human trafficking and how our daily decisions can make an impact to the world. I have also become more vegetarian as more people are asking me why! I have learnt to be less appreciative of leather products and appreciate tea more, my collection of tea pots can attest to that.

Since few unknowingly years ago, I've come to terms with myself even though at times, I still mix cupcake with calories together but do I stop myself from eating? Nah, my muffin top didn't stop me. I've accepted my body better than last year; my purchase of sleeves top can prove it. I’m not a… well, I’ll keep this to myself.

Nonetheless, in 2013 I would love to become a better writer and write more than I should. I hope to become less fashion conscious, materialistic and judgmental  I would like to be a better designer creating more creative and ground-breaking design. I would like to be more mindful to my surrounding and people. I would like to be more eco-friendly traveler  Lastly, I hope my mum will be proud of me not because I've delicate my book for her but who I am as a son...

I am not who I was; I am who I choose to become. Happy who you've become new year 2013!

Read my past year New Year Resolution



Monday, October 22, 2012


At times I'm lonely &
I might have been deceived many times 
I still have the patience
But sometimes enough is enough

I've been waiting 
I've tried every age 
I'm so tired of the waiting

What if I'm still the single? 
Status doesn't change? 

I've wished for so long 
For someone to come and show me 
Lead by example 

What if I never find and I'm left behind? 
Should I keep hoping for love? 

I've been alone 
For the past thirty two years 
On Valentine's Day 
Christmas is no exception 
Birthday's is not a reason to celebrate

I've been waiting 
I've tried every age 
I'm so tired of the waiting

What if I'm still the single? 
Status doesn't change? 

I've wished for so long 
For someone to come and show me 
Lead by example 

What if I never find and I'm left behind? 
Should I keep hoping for love? 

Love is not just about 2 people
Love is for everyone whom are not fortunate to have in this world
Born in the wrong place
Die young and too early to live their life
Struggling to live
finding food in the dumpster 

I'll still be Happy and content with what I have cause I know
Love is not just about 2 people...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Opportunity," by Keri Smith.