Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Conversations

It was one starry night in the mountains of Totonicapan, Guatemala at the indigenous village that we were serving last year in which I found an answer that shed light into my heart. After much *itching, ranting and complaning, this phrase came from a complete stranger, whom I barely met a few days ago, hiked for three hours in the wilderness and shared a meal or two of tortilla, beans and chicken soup. This phrase was uttered with such an unapologetic grace and compassion enough to remind myself to forgive my and other's vilest transgressions and that God's fierce and tender love engulfs our whole entire race.

"Because we are human."

Flow

Recently, I have been reading Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration by Penny Pierce and it has given me powerful insights about life and relationships. Here are some realizations that has rummaged through my mind as I have been reading:

At every point in our lives, there is always a source of pain and a source of pleasure. There is always a challenge to teach us a lesson, and blessings to inspire us gratitude. These two forces are always present to propel us to continually transform and grow as human beings. 

The grass is never greener on the other side. The situations are designed to change you, and not the other way around. There is no point in resisting but to surrender and accept your situation. Once you learn to let go, it is easier to let the flow of life guide you to where you are supposed to be.

Life always has its ways of shaping you. 

Life is a continuous flow.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Found My Way

"A Golden voice said to me
try to stand, don't try to flee
Oh, Oh..."



This song has been played on repeat for days.

In other news, I will be flying to Vancouver and Hong Kong next week! It will be 17 full days of non-stop travel. I will be meeting up with close friends and venturing to new places (aka Tofino). Look out for new travel blog entries.

And after all the hectic travelling, I will be moving to Costa Rica to teach full-time at an International School. Hopefully, this will give me space to grow as an Educator and Writer. You can't stop this gypsy from moving/travelling!

Also, you should visit my new website

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Music of the Spheres

The Music of the Spheres has been a subject of fascination of mine ever since I've encountered the topic in one line of my favorite hymn ("This is my Father's World") and in Fray Luis de Leon's poetry. Today, I came accross Johannes Kepler's text on The Harmonies of the World as I have been dvelving deeply into Astronomy/Astrology lately. Kepler highlights with great mathematical precision the geometrical beauty and harmonical placement of the planets. I love how he refers to God as 'The Artisan'.

So here I leave you with a piece of 'Celestial Lore'...

IN THE CELESTIAL HARMONIES WHICH PLANET SINGS SOPRANO, WHICH ALTO, WHICH TENOR, AND WHICH BASS?

Although these words are applied to human voices, while voices or sounds do not exist in the heavens, on account of the very great tranquillity of movements, and not even the subjects in which we find the consonances are comprehended under the true genus of movement, since we were considering the movements solely as apparent from the sun, and finally, although there is no such cause in the heavens, as in human singing, for requiring a definite number of voices in order to make consonance (for first there was the number of the six planets revolving around the sun, from the number of the five intervals taken from the regular figures, and then afterwards—in the order of nature, not of time—the congruence of the movements was settled): I do not know why but nevertheless this wonderful congruence with human song has such a strong effect upon me that I am compelled to pursue this part of the comparison, also, even without any solid natural cause. For those same properties which in Book III, [300] Chapter 16, custom ascribed to the bass and nature gave legal grounds for so doing are somehow possessed by Saturn and Jupiter in the heavens; and we find those of the tenor in Mars, those of the alto are present in the Earth and Venus, and those of the soprano are possessed by Mercury, if not with equality of intervals, at least proportionately. For howsoever in the following chapter the eccentricities of each planet are deduced from their proper causes and through those eccentricities the intervals proper to the movements of each, none the less there comes from that the following wonderful result (I do not know whether it is occasioned by the procurement and mere tempering of necessities): (1) as the bass is opposed to the alto, so there are two planets which have the nature of the alto, two that of the bass, just as in any Mode of song there is one [bass and one alto] on either side, while there are single representatives of the other single voices. (2) As the alto is practically supreme in a very narrow range [in angustiis] on account of necessary and natural causes unfolded in Book III, so the almost innermost planets, the Earth and Venus, have the narrowest intervals of movements, the Earth not much more than a semitone, Venus not even a diesis. (3) And as the tenor is free, but none the less progresses with moderation, so Mars alone—with the single exception of Mercury—can make the greatest interval, namely a perfect fifth. (4) And as the bass makes harmonic leaps, so Saturn and Jupiter have intervals which are harmonic, and in relation to one another pass from the octave to the octave and perfect fifth. (5) And as the soprano is the freest, more than all the rest, and likewise the swiftest, so Mercury can traverse more than an octave in the shortest period. But this is altogether per accidens; now let us hear the reasons for the eccentricities

---Johannes Kepler in Harmonies of the World (1619)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Till we have Faces

"It was when I was happiest that I longed most. It was on happy days when we were up there on the hills, the three of us, with the wind and the sunshine...where you couldn't see Glome or the palace. Do you remember? The colour and the smell, and looking across at the Grey Mountain in the distance? And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing..."

----CS Lewis in Till we have Faces

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Free Bird :)

My best friend's mom showed me this song on our way to San Miguel during one of their missionary trips. It has stuck with me ever since.

Never give up your freedom.

"And this bird you cannot change."


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Humanness

"For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, 'Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened,' He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love. He knew that physical pain, the loss of loved ones, failure, loneliness, rejection, abandonment, and betrayal would sap our spirits; that the day would come when faith would no longer offer any drive, reassurance, or comfort; that prayer would lack any sense of reality or progress; that we would echo the cry of Teresa of Avila: 'Lord, if this is the way you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!'"

----Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

This year has been probably the hardest year of my life so far. Before, I used to wonder why would people abandon God or quit Christianity altogether after going through a rough time. But you don't truly get it until it hits you. Until God has stripped everything precious and dear to you - your dreams, hopes, close family ties and leave you nothing but (physical) heartbreak and disappointment.

This is when your faith is tested. 

This is when shit gets real.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Alchemy

Our lives are fluid. Our experiences in the physical world is constantly shaping our worldview. Lately, my worldview is evolving into a more holistic view rather than binary one. And rather than getting into the "right" side of things -being right/wrong, good/bad, success/failure, etc...I have come to accept everything as a whole.

Suffering and pain is part of the process of becoming, and rather than avoiding them all together by numbing or distracting, I've learned to fully embrace those feelings and 'feel' all my emotions, no matter how painful or hard they are. I'm no longer resisting against unfortunate events, but I am actively seeking redirection. Everything works for my good.

Whenever my close friend and I tell each other about our problems, we remind ourselves to listen to our bodies and honour our emotions. What are our emotions telling us? How is our intuition guiding us to do? What are other's perspective about the issue? What can we do to solve the problem?

And this brings us to this point -we are called to become Alchemists. We can choose to transform darkness into light, negative experiences into positive lessons, past brokeness into wholeness through self-compassion and so much more. This magical ability to transform brings healing to ourselves and others.

So here I am, trying to explore and love the darker and broken sides of me and bringing them into light.

I am in the process of becoming an Alchemist.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

An ode to God's Tenderness

The Earth is filled with God's kindness!
Breaths of life ignite nature's joyous morning rapture.
The dews of dawn -drops of silver over glades of green,
Glide down to nourish the dry thirsty ground.
Soft, soft bright light that meets the darkened soul of the night,
Buoyantly drives darkness to shyly retreat
Behind the courtains of purple, orange and gold.
And like a silent song, like a loud dream,
The earth and sky bespeaks of God's tenderness
Like a Mother soothing her newborn babe,
Like a Father gently wrapping His arms
During His childs's hour of sorrow, brokeness and loss.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Saturn Return

Life has a funny way of kicking my (figurative) balls once in a while and remind me not to take myself seriously when things fall apart (Chinua Achebe, anyone?). I am currently experiencing a Saturn Return, which means that Saturn has returned to the same place in the sky that has itself occupied at the moment of my birth. Before you accuse me of being supersticious and believing in all that mumbo jumbo Astrology, I cannot find a more logical explanation behind of what is happening currently in my life.

The Universe is showing me some tough love.

Belief systems that I have previously held are put into question during this period of my life. I can see why so many Christians leave Church or abandon their faith in their late 20s or early 30s. Poignant idealism cannot solve life's major problems. And at this point, I have experienced a number of disappointments by Christians, specially by money/power-mongering "Christian" leaders. I am taking some time to re-evaluate and reflect my whole faith/life experience. In other words, I am coming out as a non-religious Christian (oxymoron much?), which means that I am retaining my faith but I am more skeptical on man-made religious structures and norms.

Career: There may be a possibility that I will transition from a teaching career into a publishing career. Don't get me wrong, I like teaching but I love writing and editing.

Family Relations: I've come to accept that nobody is perfect and there will always be a degree of dysfuntionality in each family. Generally, people do not hurt out of maliciousness but are motivated by other personal reasons. All I can do is acknowledge the pain, forgive, set boundaries and move on. Why dwell in the pain? Why be nice to the person who mistreated you? Shessh, seriously you don't deserve that crap. Just move on.

Love Life: To love yourself remains imperative for a healthy love life and sane existence.

Beware of Narcissists: Ha. Ha. I have well learned my lesson. Don't fall in love with one, and if you do...run to the hills!

I am done with being "perfect": Let's face it, we are inherently flawed and broken as human beings. I am done with striving for perfection (as opposed to the more religious and younger version of myself). I just want to be authentic and happy.

This Saturn Return has urged me to re-examine certain beliefs and goals in life. I often lay awake during dark hours trying to answer the question: Am I living out my purpose on earth? AM I? AM I? (Okay, don't stress about it).

Our late 20s is a tough season for most of us. And I totally understand why some people go into drug addictions or weight gain. Or why Britney Spears shaved her head in 2007. No judgment zone. You are allowed to go a little bit crazy...just remember to bounce back.

"Sometimes it's best to let things fall apart so better things can fall together." ---Marilyn Monroe