For you, this 2015: Be Mindful

I had a good talk with Lucille over wine right before the holidays. And it mostly revolves around her 2015 resolution: mindfulness. It’s interesting because mindfulness is a word I have overused in the past year.

I have gone to such point that I’ve obsessed about tracking myself in an attempt to be more mindful of everything that I do. Take note: Daily. With graphs. I measured my sleep hours, food intake, steps taken, workouts, finances, computer activities, travel time… I have transitioned from the happy-go-lucky, don’t-really-care-about-anything backseat kid to the person who absolutely needs to be behind the steering wheel and taking control.

I realized that time cannot be stretched. It is not a train that can be stopped midway, and it will keep ticking, no matter what we do or say or feel. Also, our minds and souls and bodies have limited spaces and energy, and so despite our desire to consume the world, and to explore every beauty, and to be present in every event, we can only really fit so much within ourselves and throughout our lifetime. Continue reading

Just to Thank You

I wanted to write an elaborate note, detailing how the year has been and has not been and things like that. But then it’s already two days after my birthday and I haven’t said anything yet. I think way too much sometimes.

So I guess I should say it in the simplest way possible: Thank You.

To you people. For your greetings and thoughts and gifts and hugs. Especially the hugs.

And to the universe. For all the things that worked well. For all the things that didn’t work as planned. And for all the things that came afterwards. (Especially the things that came afterwards.)

The universe has remarkably odd ways of throwing pleasant surprises. And when they come, it is always worth the wait.

So I’m 28 now. And it’s probably just another piece of this huge puzzle we call Life. Another dot to connect the rest of my memories to.

Nevertheless I’m off to build my constellations. Open myself up to things unknown. And place bets. And be brave.

On Dylan Werner’s Workshop, Yoga, and Going Beyond Yourself

Dylan Werner
Photo from dylanwerneryoga.com

This weekend was enlightening, to say the least. I attended my first ever yoga workshop led by Dylan Werner from California. It consisted of four classes spread in two days: Beyond Balance Vinyasa Master Class – 2 hours of flow that was so intense it felt like we were in a heated room, Strength, Balance and Core Stabilization Workshop – which emphasized how much we use the core in every movement and totally debunked the way I have always planked, Flexibility Fundamentals Workshop – 3 hours of techniques on how to be more flexible and how it is directly correlated to strength, and Get Acro Workshop – which was also the first Acroyoga class I’ve attended. Continue reading

Temple Raiding at Siem Reap, Cambodia

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA – Throwback from August 2013.

I had a long blogging hiatus last year, but it doesn’t mean I also had an adventure hiatus. I have been out and about, as I always am, though I’ve reduced my stories to snippets of social media posts which I now only see via Timehop. Blog posts take time to create, especially when they require curating photographs, and I probably just didn’t take the time.

Nevertheless. In the next couple of weeks, there will be quite some throwbacks of places I’ve been, things I’ve done…

In August 11-15, 2013, I went to Siem Reap in Cambodia with some office friends plus plus. I decided against bringing my own camera, so all of these photos were taken conveniently with an iPhone 4S. They aren’t superb, but they should be enough for appreciation purposes.

Siem Reap, Cambodia is all about temples. Temples, temples, temples. First time visitors are bound to be “templed out” as they go from one to another.  But they are beautiful nevertheless, as if they were made by beings from outer space. So I’ll be back for sure, and I’ll bring a more decent camera too.

Continue reading

30-Day Challenges: Freedom from Fried and Hahaha

Georgia O’Keefe died in March 6, 1986 and was born again 9 months later on December 7, 1986 as… Me. Well, isn’t that funny. The truth is I don’t know her. At least not yet.  I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs, Brain Pickings (trust me, this is the perfect place to hang out in when you want to feed your mind and artsy soul) and chanced upon this quote by the said lady:

“Anyone with any degree of mental toughness ought to be able to exist without the things they like most for a few months at least.”

It is almost fate, since I really just went online this lovely morn-eve to announce my next two 30-day challenges. Continue reading

Just Don’t Do It: Subtraction is Creation

Usually we stop doing certain things because they’re bad habits. I consider my Facebook addiction a bad habit, for example, so I got off it for 30 days. 2 years back, I did the same for social media in general. Since then I realized how effective 30-day challenges are in terms of letting go of previous habits and building new ones. And so I started applying the same for food: I’ve done a month of no rice, another of no junk (spell: fast food, chips and soft drinks). I’ve attempted a month of no alcohol (and failed on the 27th day). The latest I’ve done, which I finished 2 weeks back involved not eating sweets. Sweets, for chrissakes!

In every challenge, the basic rule is this: choose one thing you think you need to let go of, and just don’t do it. For 30 days.

It’s so simple, and yet it’s a very big commitment. There’s so much teeth-gritting involved, that I won’t be surprised if normal people would think of it as self-deprivation. I mean, Vida, why the hell do you do this to yourself? Continue reading

Why Facebook is like Junk Food

I’m one day away from going back to Facebook. I’m not excited.

Once in a while I give myself these mini challenges in which I get rid of one thing I’m addicted to for 30 days. Today is my day 29 without Facebook.

It started back in 2012, when I caught myself mindlessly refreshing social network feeds every single second. At that time, I remember I wasn’t even reading the feeds anymore – my finger just sort of automatically swiped down within my social apps as a force of habit. It was time consuming, to say the least. So one day, I was just, hey you know what, I’m gonna get rid of you all. And I did. I let go of my four basic sins completely: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

4 days came and went, and then 14 days… You’d think that at day 30 I’d be so concerned about all the things I’ve missed out on in the online world. But it was quite the opposite. Being offline meant I had extra time and mind space to be more productive, read real books, write blog posts that are more than 140 characters long, and in general, ingest things that are of quality and value. Continue reading

Life experiments on madness, poetry of movement, and the great perhaps.