Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Is fear your friend or enemy

Two years ago when I was in my final year of secondary school , I promised myself that I was going to get a job at ClubMed. My uncle who had worked at different ClubMeds around the world as a trapeze instructor had sat me down , on my 17th birthday, and practically converted me to a ClubMed lover and from that day on it was a plan.

Now, two years later, after college, I got an opportunity to follow some friends to ClubMed for a sponsored seven day stay in return for some promotional work. So of course I followed them!

Although the holiday I pictured in my mind was going to be filled with fun it wasn't so simple. Let me explain. I am the type of person who searches for things I'm afraid of and challenge's myself to overcome them. I do not want fear to stand in the way of me living my life and experiencing everything life has to offer and so instead, I seek them out to be conquered. And of course, for the rush. Whats the fun of walking to a place when u can swim , bungee jump and tunnel to it.

To begin, I had the choice of going with my family or with these friends. It was kind of intimidating following three people who have known each other for ages and are best friends. Will I be in their way? Fit with them? But, i went anyway. They turned out to be really nice with their encouraging " Go for it bro" phrases, their constant jokes,listening ears and adventurous attitudes. So fear was defeated.

The biggest fear I faced had to be doing trapeze.

The first day we reached club med, we changed and went for trapeze. I convinced myself that the only way to get it done was to just jump into it and of course the excitement was killing me. Not doing trapeze was not even an option.After all the anticipation and stories I had heard , there was only one option. After the first day of somehow doing it successfully , I found every excuse to skip it and instead went for archery, went to the beach, to the gym. It was a constant struggle. I would wake up thinking that that is the craziest stunt I had ever done and when I actually did it I remembered how fun it was and that actually, it wasn't that frightening. But every morning , the struggle would ensue. In the end, I went for it for 4 out of 7 days, which was hard but by the time the last day arrived I was enjoying it so much that I knew I missed out on more trapeze due to my fear. I had succumbed , to a certain degree.

And of course there are the other lack-of-self esteem causing fears which are unreasonable but still remain there. Especially when you are dealing and interacting daily with people who have seen the world and challenge your thinking. Do you stay to interact or rush off to bed? Do you dance because you enjoy dancing or do you follow the rest and stay put?

So, the real question is how do I feel about my decisions? Am I proud of myself for going forward anyway at every step and not choosing the easier path.Well,yes.

Make fear you're friend instead of you're enemy. Face up to it and I promise you extraordinary experiences and an uncompromising future. I may be a timid person,but I don't let it stop me. I may still be afraid but my experiences say otherwise. And that's all that matters. Maybe one day I may convince myself that I'm actually brave. But for now, I'm just dancing with fear and living my life.

Christine Antonio

Monday, July 13, 2015

One Can Make A Difference

There was a writer who used to go to the seaside to his writing. He had a habit of walking along the beach before he began his work. One day, along the shore, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. Intrigued, he began to walk faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and he was not dancing. Instead he was picking up something and very gently throwing it into the sea.

He asked the young man what he was doing, and the latter replied that he was throwing starfish into the sea. When asked why he was doing that, he replied that the tide was going out and if he did not throw them out in the seas, they would die.

The writer said, “Young man, don’t you realise that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the sea, and said, “It made a difference for that one.”

We are all gifted with the ability to make a difference. Once we become aware of that gift, we can gain the power to shape the future through the strength of our vision.

Extracted from 'Self Empowerment' by Bridget Menezes (Malaysian author)

Values as Our Protector

A frog when put in a pot of water that is being brought to a boil does not jump out of it. Its body temperature adjusts to its environment. As it keeps adjusting to the water which increasingly becomes hotter, the frog ultimately gets boiled.

If one continues to cling to old precepts in dealing with change, one is afflicted with the boiled frog syndrome.

We are adjusting and reacting to dramatically appalling levels of pollution. We thought we could just adapt to it and that everything would be all right. We are adapting to low levels of moral and ethical integrity in business, rising crime rates and everything else. There will come a time when we have to stop adapting and start thinking what we are going to do about it.

Instead of accepting the status quo, we need to re-examine our value system and instill the age-old value system that has stood us in good stead. It is values that have protected us from a life of corruption and degradation. Money should not be our sole criterion in life, rather a life based on high moral values will give us the contentment we seek.

It has to be a personal transformation within the individual, a change of consciousness.

Extracted from 'Self Empowerment' by Bridget Menezes (Malaysian author)

Looking for Virtues in Others

Today, I am going to experiment and make genuine effort to see at least one virtue in every person with whom I come into contact. I know that no one is perfect, so why dwell on anyone’s defects? If I actively search the goodness in others, it can be found. There is not a single human being in existence who does not possess at least one virtue, and look at each person with that particular virtue in mind. This has a great effect.

If I am thinking about someone’s weakness or defect, I may become uneasy and irritated. I feel annoyed and wonder, “Why does this person have to be this way?” and “Why does this person do such-and-such a thing all the time?” On the other hand, if I am thinking about someone’s good qualities, I begin to feel lightness and easiness within my mind. Then I am influenced by the sweetness of that person. The world is a variety play, and the role of each one is different.

Extracted from 'Self Empowerment' by Bridget Menezes (Malaysian author)

Cultivating Sweetness

Anger comes when I am empty and someone wants me to love, to give him what I need myself. The love is there but it is banked already and there is no loose change to hand him. And so I turn on him as though he has asked for the earth, when just a smile would have done. And then he does ask for the earth, because little I could have given, I did not.

If only I had been loving and responded positively, I could have avoided many complications. When the love that is stored is touched, I can give freely and he would have been happy.

Sometimes, a break or even sleep helps to dissolve our anger because in sleep, a change takes place inside us. Only with realization and understanding can we change anger into love and then it becomes friendship.

So why get angry? With anger I lose all my friends and besides, no one would like to approach me. It is said that anger even dries up a pitcher of water.

Extracted from 'Self Empowerment' by Bridget Menezes (Malaysian author)