Showing posts with label self-care & inspirational. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-care & inspirational. Show all posts

We're Not Everyone's Cup Of Tea - And That's Okay

Thursday, March 25, 2021

This morning, I was surprised by a lovely email from my colleague. She's a dear friend who's a lot older than me and she's so motherly that it's hard for anyone not to love her at all.

She remembered me because recently, there were 7/8 positions advertised and she encourages me to apply because she wants me to make my mark now. How sweet, I was emotional after reading her message.

However, promotions and studying are the last things on my mind now. Besides my hands being full with a toddler, work and side hustles, I just don't feel very capable and confident right now. 

I told her so and coaxed her to give the opportunities a go. We both got promoted at the same time, but I'd be very happy to see her advance ahead of me. Then she can mentor me hehehe.

But then she replied that she wasn't interested because she's retiring soon. Then she further said, "You are very smart Jenny - there is no need for any one to mentor you. I have told your [TL] that." Her message really lifted up my spirits.

I was flattered, of course, but mostly just thankful because she gave me some self-confidence when I felt like I am failing at everything at the moment. 

I'm a bad mom, I am slow at my work, I am this and that... that's what I think most of the times recently. But mostly it all boils down to me being a very unpleasant person. I don't why, but my mind has been mostly occupied with negative self-talk lately.

Then it dawned on me and I realised that our circumstances have a great impact on what we think, but we can change that. It's hard to say things out but the reality is, there will be some people in your life who wouldn't like you or hold grudge and have something against you and they'd make a point of making you feel that. 

I know I should do myself a favour and live the life lessons I often share on my Page - focus on the good and forget about the ones who make you feel bad for no reason - but it's just so hard.

I think a lot about these people. I think a lot but mostly the "why's." What's so abhorrent about me? I know I am not perfect, but is there ever one? I could be quiet most times but I think a lot, to the point of sometimes hurting myself inside.

So my friend's message was like a gift, a blessing. Peace to my exhausted mind. It reminded me that there are people - silent and distant as they may be - who secretly wishes us well. 

Sometimes, we forget about them because we don't see them a lot. We don't live closeby or they aren't in our social media. But they're there.

Think about these people instead. People who build you up instead of talking ill about you behind your back. They are the ones happy to see you succeed and they cry with you when you're down.

I think I should add in my crafting list to make a Photo Book of Lovely People. I'll include everyone's faces, starting from my husband, my children, my relatives and then the friends who I can trust my life with. This shall help me shift my wondering mind from asking too much WHYs because the truth is, there might not even be an answer.

It just so happened that we are not everyone's cup of tea and that's okay. The good news is, there will always be some people who will secretly pray for you too despite your flaws and shortcomings. Think more of them and make them your role model. Actually, a better idea would be to secretly pray for them too... 💗

Cup of tea inspirational quote
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19 Years

Monday, February 15, 2021

On the morning of 15 Feb 2002, I, together with my parents and eldest brother, prepared to go to Apalit, Pampanga for our baptism. It was a very cold day, the kind that makes you shiver. 
I can't remember if I were excited but I was definitely calm. I have made up my mind and I am surrendering everything to God today. That was my thought.

A few nights ago, I had second-thoughts about proceeding with the baptism. Sure, I coaxed my parents to attend the indoctrination but something scared me. It had to something with dress codes.

I won't delve into the details but I was a very insecure girl at 18. I didn't like to keep up with the latest fashion trends but I didn't like to stand out like a weirdo as well. But one thing was not negotiable: I didn't want to wear knee length skirts that would show my legs. Never.

So I thought hard about what my life would be like after: I'd strut around the school grounds like "Maria Clara" amongst all these modern people. I'd be a laughing stock!

Still, I decided it was such a little sacrifice to prove my faith. People in the olden times had their heads cut, what's a little insecurity compared to that?

So I stated my vows, got submerged in water and walked away feeling happy and victorious even while I was soaked and shivering from cold.

I never regretted my decision. At first, I felt very self-conscious with the evident change in my attire and people didn't hide their confusion either.

When people asked, however, instead of giving alibis, I told them straightforward that it was because of my faith.

By and by, my uneasiness went away and it's not like my life became difficult. If some people saw me as weird, I was oblivious to that. In fact, I even received compliment from some well-meaning friends that they like how modest my clothes were.

I tell this story to make people realise that just like all our goals in life, faith requires some sacrifices too. When I made up my mind to graduate with honours in college, that meant I must give up distractions (including boyfriends and/or barkadas).

In the same manner, when I graduate this life, although I am quite content to just pass it, I must also give up some things to reach my goal.

Over the years, I had given up a lot to stay in my faith for 19 years. As I have said I never regretted it. I had been through a lot of trials, their difficulties ranging from "surprise quizzes," to "periodical tests" and even multiple "board exams." And I continue to face trials every day.

But I did receive a lot of rewards too, and the trials are nothing in comparison to the blessings.

The trials pass, but the blessings stay.

And so, as I celebrate my 19th year in church, I would like to recall my vow. That I will surrender everything to God until my dying day. May God help me, just like He always had, every step of the way. 

My baptism card, weathered by time ❤
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Tribute to Brother Eli Soriano

Friday, February 12, 2021

If I consider my life an open book, moreso of bro. Eli. His was a life that touched many souls and his dedication to the propagation of the truth about God was incomparable.

He was the instrument to my own discovery of the truth...

💗 And I will never get tired of reminiscing this story

More than 19 years ago, in 2001, I can still remember how one person was made an instrument to an important turn in my life. On numerous occasions I would walk past the living room, I’d hear this person's voice blasting from the TV while my Dad was in front, fixated, captivated. Sometimes, Mom was there too and my eldest brother, kuya Niño.

I never really paid attention. First, I was a very busy student in college back then. Second, I was never a fan of TV, much less of a TV program whose main host was too loud and boisterous for my liking.

I did catch a few glimpses to broadly know that this guy was a preacher. He’d get heated up calling out fake pastors as wolves in sheep’s clothing.

My indifference only grew. 

How could someone upholding a religious belief be so rude and callous? 

Of course, those were just my prejudice. I never knew that my life would take a massive turn soon, from that point.

One day, kuya Niño burst into the bedroom babbling excitedly about this preacher. Apparently, he’s exposed several preachers again who prey on their members’ vulnerability and sucked them of their money.

“Why can’t he just stick his nose to his own business?” (“Bakit ba hindi na lang nya pakialaman ang sarili nya?”) my other brother said something of this sort.

And I chimed in, “Yeah, no one’s bothering him.” (‘Oo nga, wala naman nakikialam sa kanya.”)

But my eldest brother is naturally insistent especially since he’s authority over us 2 so he defended him to the end. That was the start of my curiosity. I decided to join my family the next time they’d watch to see what’s getting my brother all fired up.

His name was Eliseo Soriano, brother Eli as I endearingly address him ever since. Some members address him as Ingkong (Grandpa) but I like to reserve this title to the ones who are in his inner circle. And the TV program was "Itanong Mo Kay Soriano (Biblia Ang Sasagot)".

It didn’t take a lot of watching before my preconceptions changed and I swallowed everything I said before as bad judgement. 

💗 First of all, he appeased long outstanding questions I have which started during Elementary Days in school

I studied at an all-girls-catholic school and although we were never devout catholics (my parents had me baptised at 5 years old only because it was required for enrolment at St. Scho.), I always had a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ. I didn’t require icons or statues because we didn’t have them at home. As a child, I access God in my mind and would speak to Him by thinking whenever I felt the need to.

One day, we were reading about the Ten Commandments in CLE (Christian Living Education) from our textbooks. It was not the first time I noticed the verse references to the actual Bible but there was a nagging voice inside me to check that particular verse. When school was over, I perused the Bible right away for Exodus 20:2-17.

There was a series of verses omitted and a verse that’s split into 2 (to still complete all 10 commandments). I was puzzled of course but I shoved it at the back of my mind. It was never my character to be outspoken since childhood so I keep my discovery a secret in my heart. After that incident, I encountered more questions banked in my subconscious because there were no answers to be had.

But that moment I was watching, the long outstanding questions flashed before me, and I felt an inexplicable joy inside while watching him. I no longer see impudence or callousness before me. Only pure passion... passion for telling the truth. This man is of the purest of heart!

From then on, I had the yearning to watch and hang on to his every words. It was a perplexing but splendid kind of feeling. I knew I found something precious, something worth keeping. 

True to the title of his TV program, every question, every issue that was settled, the knowledge, everything were deeply based from the Bible. I was in awe!

And I thought that was all there is to it. Just listening to him every night was enough. Then I overheard my parents talking about getting indoctrinated and participating in their church activities. They have an actual church! 

💗 This could be the answer to another longing I had in my heart

Studying in a catholic school, when your family were not earnest believers of catholicism, was challenging to say the least. Every week, the school checked whether we attended the Sunday mass. But we never did. Maybe once in a semester we’d go when I asked but we’re not regular church-goers.

At first, I would report in honesty that the family didn’t go. But I hate confrontations and interrogations, so I later just said yes, even though we didn’t. I used to hold this against my conscience.

When I was older and more independent, I tried going to mass on my own, but I discovered that I didn’t have the heart either. I longed to be part of a congregation, but I felt closeness to God better when I speak to Him in my mind than when I attended mass.

So I spoke up to my parents if we could all go to this indoctrination. I remember even using bro. Eli's famous words in the intro of Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia Ang Sasagot, "Di ba nga sabi nya, huwag kang magpadelay-delay?"

Ngayong nakasumpong ka ng Mabuti, huwag kang magpatumpik-tumpik, huwag kang magpadelay-delay, huwag kang magpabukas-bukas. Pagkakasumpong mo ng mabuti, gawin mo agad!

Photo original source here

These were the words that made me haste to look for the place where I could safely make myself "belong." I entrusted my faith because I had no fault found. Everything was soundly based from the Bible and I can sense in my heart that this man's spirit is pure. There was not a hint of evil intentions in his actions.

We got indoctrinated early in 2002 and was baptised on 15th February 2002, Dad, Mom, kuya Niño and I. It was a most peaceful day in my life when the longings of my heart were finally answered.

All this because bro. Eli was used as an instrument. He was the instrument that led me to find the truths I have unconsciously craved for since childhood. He was the instrument in fixing the spiritual aspect of my life, such that when I encountered great tribulations, God's words became my anchor. He has become my role model in kindness and selfless love.

Now the book has finished and here is a simple tribute to our beloved bro. Eli as a declaration of a selfless man who gladly spent and was spent for the sake of propagating the truth of God. All thanks and glory be to God for sending him as instrument for people of all places and ages.

Original photo source here

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Year End Reflection

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

2020 has been a really challenging year for many of us, and before this year ends, it's an excellent time to reflect on our achievements and learnings.

Last year, I decided to start making time-capsules for the whole family. It's a fun way to look back at how our year went and also realise how we have grown as individuals over the year.

This year, we'll be opening our time-capsules from last year and then make new ones to read for next year.

If you want to try this out with your family too, here are some of the year-end reflections that you could use:

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Moving House

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Our humble abode for years to come...

After more than a month, I finally got the chance to write about our latest house move. For the last 6 years, we lived in a small 2-bedroom unit on the ground floor which was brand new when we got it. I'm not complaining. The girls were very little back then so the space was just right for us. I will never forget their happy faces when we first took them there and showed the backyard where they could play. It's a sweet memory that's etched in my mind forever.

6 years ago when we just moved in our previous house

We've made a lot of happy memories in our previous home, so I had mixed feelings when we had to leave. But with an additional member in the family plus the 2 girls growing up (they're as big as us now!) we need another bedroom and plenty of space. 😁

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3 Easy and FREE Self-Care Tricks!

Friday, July 10, 2020

As we all begin to ease in into the “new normal,” I realised that it’s the perfect chance to find some spare time for self-care. I remember the last time I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognise myself. Inside I felt young but the face I’m staring at in the mirror didn’t look young at all. It looked tired and beaten. 

This was mostly due to lack of sleep. Before I gave birth to Darla, until now that she’s over 2 years old, I haven’t slept for a stretch of at least 5 hours. She’s such an alert baby and she still wakes up in between her night sleep, sometimes for as many as 5 times!

But then it’s also because I haven’t been very caring for myself lately. So I decided to establish a self-care routine that’s easy and most importantly, free! 😊


Face wash routine

When I wash my face in the morning, I like to use cold water. It’s supposed to slow down the aging of the skin, prevent it from being stripped of its healthy natural oils and I can feel like my skin tightens when I use cold water to wash my face.

However, my before bedtime routine is a bit different. I would use lukewarm water first to wash off the daily dirt and grime and then finish off with cold water to tighten the skin.

You can use any facial wash that suits your skin condition. For me, I use Atomy Deep Cleanser and sometimes I follow with Atomy Foam Cleanser. I have very dry skin at the moment from lack of sleep, so I try not to use the foam cleanser regularly. So far, I’m quite happy with these 2 K-beauty products as they’re very mild and affordable too. 😊


My go-to skin care products - mild and safe

Natural exfoliating mask

Once in a while, I would also exfoliate to remove the dead skin cells. Normally, I would use Atomy Peeling Gel when I don’t have much time but when I do get the chance to indulge, I would prepare a face mask recipe that I have been using since I was a child: Lemon-Milk Mask. I have learned about this facial mask from my THE teacher and out of boredom, I remember taking my time in the bathroom to apply this mask. I used calamansi because we didn’t have lemon in the Philippines (it was very expensive to buy them from the shops too) so you could also substitute the lemon with calamansi and it will still work.

It’s just very simple to make this:

Just squeeze a spoonful of lemon juice onto a bowl and add a spoonful of milk too. The lemon juice will make the milk curdle therefore it’s easier to apply it onto your face. Leave it on for just a couple of minutes then wash it off with water or if you have a water filter like ours, you could choose the pH level 6.5 (beauty water) to match the pH level of our skin. Lemon has ingredients that were found to be good for melasma too.

Just some precautions though, do not use this mask if you will be going outside because the lemon will cause the skin to become sensitive to the sun. I suggest using this before bedtime just to be safe. And don't overdo this just like you won't overuse other exfoliating products.

For final touches, I would mist my face with grapeseed oil infused in beauty water just to rehydrate the skin because exfoliating could make the skin dry.


Smile more often 😊

This is something I have just recently discovered: facial exercises makes the facial muscles firm thus preventing it from sagging. The idea behind this is that, the face is made of muscles too and facial exercises make the muscles firm.

The easiest facial exercise is smiling and while it does wonder to our facial skin, it also does a great deal on our heart because a happy heart is a good medicine. 😊

However, if you want to step up and do more exercises, here is a good book I recommend. It’s got good reviews and could help you target facial areas you want to improve on. It's not free but it's very cheap and you can use this as reference for a lifetime. 

For now though, remember to smile often! 😊

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Today Is A Day Filled With Gratitude

Friday, June 26, 2020

Photo credits

I have been preparing myself to face the worst today but I was blessed with yet another unexpected gift... again. I'm beyond thankful because no one will believe when I tell them this is a miracle. But I know my capacity and I can tell anyone in all honesty that it wasn't I who did it. So I wouldn't want people to tell me, good job, or you did it because I couldn't accept that. I just want to give the credit to where it is due, and that is thanks be to God. I am not deserving of this, in terms of either ability or attitude (hehe).

I do not want to rant even if it might sound like so if I retell now how extremely difficult a journey the past half year had been. Imagine going back to full time work after more than a year of hiatus from maternity leave. Plus my not-so-ordinary toddler still keeps waking me up at night, not just once if I may add. Sleepless and rusty, my brain is far from well functioning and in fact I forget a lot of my daily tasks. Not to mention that my baby is clingy like glue which left me with no time for myself at all.

To say the least, the past half year, I had to let go of a lot of things but personal time was icing on the cake. Not that I had much to begin with. But I had to let go of this remaining "luxury" because of responsibilities. That is what made this journey so difficult to bear and I could no longer remember how many times I broke down. I was so burnt out. And whenever I did, I was far from the deserving person. It was more like a mad kind of break down. So, was I deserving in terms of attitude? Far from it. In fact, I was too embarrassed to even pray about it.

So today I am reminded that I was merely graced with mercy despite the despicable me. This good news was for the neverending heartaches I had been through the past half year. So thankful 😭 all my tears paid off after all 😭 Only 2 to go, willing.

Thanks be to God because the things I let go, he gives back tenfold.
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3 Attitudes You Need to Ditch In Order To Succeed

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Success is relative to each person. For one, it may be the idea of getting married and having children. For another, it may be achieving the peak of his career. It may come in different forms for every person but the common ground for being successful is the feeling of fulfilment and happiness.

I have heard too many times before that successful people are the ones who were born talented or gifted but I think that talents and gifts are only a small factor in someone’s success. To me, character will mostly determine whether you will win or fail. If you have the right attitudes such as integrity, humility and accountability, success shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve.

However, there are 3 things I have adapted on my list to avoid doing and whenever I catch myself in these behaviours, I stop myself as quickly as I can:

Photo credits 

1.         Self-entitlement

Self-entitlement is the belief that everything you have in life is a right therefore, you fail to appreciate the things that you receive. This creates a lazy mentality and people who are self-entitled tend to blame others for the inadequacies they experience in life rather than taking accountability. Instead of pointing the finger and waiting to benefit from other people, look for ways you can improve yourself and exert more effort in making your life better.

2.         Laziness

No matter how intelligent or talented you are, you won’t get anywhere if you are lazy because let’s face it: life is 90% work and 10% reward. The cake that you ate took several hours to bake but only 15 minutes to gulp down. You save up for months to take that 1-week holiday. It took you years to practice violin before you got that standing ovation on a 10-minute recital. All things are difficult before they become easy and life is a constant series of hard work.

If you are lazy, you won’t achieve anything in life because halfway through, you’ll get tired and quit. It’s like being impatient. You want things to come to you easily and blame others for your circumstances. The reality is, when you’re lazy, you get a lot of “rest” and “slack time.” That’s already your reward. You trade your dreams for easy life.

If you want something in life, you have to work hard for it. Instead of being complacent, keep working on your dreams. If you don’t quit, your hard work will pay off eventually.

3.         Arrogance

A healthy does of self-confidence is good but having an excessively high opinion of oneself is dangerous. Arrogance is characterized with feelings of being high and mighty to admit one’s mistakes. As a result, you will never learn and grow. When you are arrogant, you tend to be stubborn and you fail to accept that your actions sometimes result to your failures.

Instead of being stubborn when you realise your mistakes, try to be accountable of your actions. Perhaps, change is really needed. Being flexible and resilient are qualities that should replace arrogance because these characters will help you grow as opposed to being resistant.  

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When Family Relationships Hurt

Sunday, May 10, 2020

For so many months now I have been troubled about what I did: I blocked my family members on Facebook. I cut the only practical tie I had with my original family, now that I live many miles away from them. This means I no longer see what goes on in their life and they no longer see mine. For now, I have to content myself with prayers that despite the distance, they are all kept in good hands.

I have always thought that we have close family ties. Growing up, our holidays were spent in a huge celebration of extended relatives, every single year. This made my childhood days memorable and I owe so much happy memories to my parents for that.

Family is an integral part of people. To me, it is my core foundation, my history, my upbringing and values. Who I am in general was because of my family. I have always regarded my parents, brothers, sister, cousins, aunts, relatives and in-laws as my sanctuary. 

My parents especially were the biggest motivation for most of my achievements in life. Seeing them happy is like a reward for me.

But as I grew up, I experienced the most hurtful relationships from my family. The most recent one made me decide to finally cut ties. Coming up with this decision was not easy especially when there's a lifetime of emotional investment involved.

I only had 2 choices: to fight for it or walk away from it. But since it takes two to tango to fight for a relationship, walking away seemed like the only choice left.

What is family?

Family is defined by the dictionary as, 

"a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit."

In simple words, family is us. It is where our first relationships were, and also where our core beings were formed because the past makes up a significant part of who we are now.

But there are interesting aspects to a family, and not all family are cut the same. Moreover, not everyone in the family have the same personalities and character even if they grew up together.

At the time I was hurt from a recent fall out with some of my family members, I was looking for self-help articles that could help me deal with the emotional turmoil caused by my decision to break ties.

I came across Lizett from, who wrote in her article

"An interesting aspect about families is that people can tolerate more bad than good,"[sic] 
"Families can simultaneously be the ones to cayse you distress, but are also there by your side in tough spots."[sic]
"These relationships, when stressed or tense, are the worst to endure because family means so much to us personally and within our culture/society."

I couldn't agree more with what she wrote. I mean, this isn't the first time I've had fall outs with relationships, but it's hardest when the one involved is your family. It's just easier to walk away when there aren't too many strings that attach us.

My family is everything to me. I had a happy childhood and I have so much fond memories of my family.

Sad to say, I witnessed how our relationships started to fail. Despite being physically together, I felt that the members became more and more disconnected. 

Now, I barely see the shadow of the family we once were. My family, which used to be a picture of a bright and happy home, was no longer the same as I used to know it.

My family was no longer the same as I used to know it (photo by Elias Schupmann)

Strained family relationships

I have been away from them for a long time (since I moved overseas with my husband and kids). During those years, I was mostly unaware of what goes on with their life. There's usually just one side of the story I was allowed to see: the sufferings and bad ones.

It wasn't healthy, of course. Imagining my family suffer made me feel anxious for a long time. I often felt guilty over things I had no control of which led to feelings of frustration. My mood was often agitated because I forced myself to accommodate an extended responsibility of helping my family rise up from their situation. 

There were times when I dreaded showing any signs of happiness because I didn't want them to feel left out knowing that I was unable to provide all their needs as well. Sometimes I even felt guilty just because overall, I was living a more abundant life here.

It took me some time to realise that just like my life wasn't always dandy, their life wasn't always miserable either. I just wasn't allowed to see the happy parts because the painful realisation was that, when they were well and happy, they didn't remember me.

I denied this realisation for a long time but the more things unfold, the more I realise that I probably am not loved by my family in a way that I love them and expect from them as a family.

For years, I've been craving to see them again, but now I realise that this feeling might not even be mutual after all. For years, I tried to help them but it still felt like I was always lacking. For years, I had always included them in my plans but no one welcomed my suggestions. For years, I tried to reach out but it still felt like I was a stranger.

And the accusations I've heard were just plain hurtful: I was stingy, selfish, proud, greedy, insensitive. I was all these things to certain members of the family.

Cutting ties are never easy

I love my family, my siblings. My love for them extends to the ones they love too, partners, spouses, children and all.

But there comes a point when you get tired. I'm tired of feeling guilty for the things I shouldn't even be. I'm tired of being criticized all the time where everyone is quick to jump at my faults but nobody appreciates the things I've done. I'm tired of feeling like a stranger.

But mostly, I'm tired of feeling like I have to choose between my original family and current family.

It took me some time to come to terms with what I did but eventually, I had to CUT TIES for these reasons:

History tells it all

  • Historically, there was a point when I felt ostracized from the family in favour of someone else. Dating back to my cousin's wedding day, the day my mom decided to choose my cousin over me, and so did the rest of the family, I believe I had lost my place as a member.

They say past is past, forgive and forget, and I have. But these circumstances bring up such an impactful turnover in my life. On the night before the dreaded wedding day, when I was deliberately made to feel an outcast, I begged my sister-in-law not to go, she and her family at least.

My pleas fell on deaf ears. I was on the brink of suicide but nobody bothered. Whenever I am reminded of that day, desperation is all I see. To them, it must have been a happy day.

For everyone's best - at no one's expense

  • In terms of who will be much affected, definitely not them. Assessing the relationship, my family lives together overseas. They can look out for each other. My loss wouldn't be felt much less noticed.

How do they feel about me? I'm the villain here as always. Losing me wouldn't be an issue. They can think I'm dead and not shed a tear and that's how I want it to be. No dramas.

Enough of the stress 

  • I have been stressed long enough. This has been going on for years. I'm not saying everyday I get to deal with it because most days everyone's just quiet with their own merry ways. But quiet does not mean peace. There is an ugly wound that's covered. It festers and rots in the long run.

And I can't live thinking that anytime, something could explode. I was falling in out of the stress cycle and I finally had to do it.

It hasn't been fair to my husband and children as well, to be at the receiving end of my frustrations. It's not fair that my husband, who appears callous on the outside but was actually supportive to my family, gets dragged into this hatred. Not especially when his family never treated me uncompassionately.

Cutting ties hurt, but is sometimes necessary

I have set boundaries before, but I realised that sometimes, the only solution is letting go. It hurts A LOT and I can't tell you the number of times I cried at night, or the weird places I'm at when I couldn't control my tears and people would see me. It came to a point when I decided, enough and with tears pouring out my eyes, blocked them all, every connected person, one by one.

It hurts A LOT because I know not everyone in the family hates me. I know the few ones who still truly care but are silent about it. 

And if anyone accuses me again for what I did, so be it. I am angry and hurt, I won't deny that. But at the bottom of these all, I know I will still pray for my family, even the ones who dislike me and my most sincere wish is that they all live a happy life.

I may never become part of that happiness anymore but that does not matter to me. Just to have my sanity intact is more than enough for me and so it's time to say goodbye for now...

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3 Ways To Help With Perfectionism

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Everyone at one point in his life would experience perfectionism. Sometimes, a healthy dose of trying to be perfect in what we do could boost our productivity and creativity. However, when perfectionism becomes too much and runs long term, it could also make one critical of others and unforgiving of one’s self. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s time to step away, take a break and go back to basics. Long term and unhealthy perfectionism is stressful and could lead to a variety of physical and mental illnesses.

Perfectionism is often characterized by being sensitive of criticisms and fear of committing mistakes. When this happens, we end up being frustrated and stuck in what we do, and we miss opportunities because we are afraid of taking risks.

Below are some of the simple ways I practice whenever I feel crippled by toxic perfectionism.

Be flexible in defining “success”

Success should be viewed not as an end, but a series of effort, like a journey. It is more of an attitude than a result. If we could maintain a mindset of focusing on the journey and not the destination, we will start to be happy on NOW and less stressed about the FUTURE.

Acknowledging mistakes

Perfection fears mistakes. Realising your mistakes and being accountable for them is like confronting your hardships face on. The more you face your fears, the more you overcome them. This will open doors of opportunity because you are more willing to take risks when you’re not afraid of “what ifs.” Making unintentional mistakes isn’t so negative after all when we see them as a chance to learn and improve.

Photo Credits

Practice more self-compassion

We often watch ourselves on how we treat others nicely, but we rarely apply this to ourselves. Be gentle on yourself. Choose your battles wisely. If your hands are full, then say NO to commitments. If you say YES, give yourself an allowance for shortcomings. When we feel disheartened, do not entertain the self-demeaning thoughts. Instead, take a short break and treat yourself to something you love. Just like you would support a friend in times of his needs, you should firstly be a good friend to yourself.

Striving to be perfect in the things we do is natural. It’s a good thing and if we view this as doing our best. However, when it starts to frustrate us, then remind yourself of the 3 things above. Nothing is worth achieving if we lose ourselves in the process.

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Ingredients to Avoid in Your Skin Care

Sunday, April 26, 2020

It's been a while since I have last paid attention to my skin. After giving birth to my toddler, who is turning 2 in a few days (yipee!), I have noticed that my skin has become dull and dry. Lack of sleep is the main reason for its deterioration.

Our skin, just like the rest of our body, actually needs plenty of rest to heal. Since I don't have a choice about getting enough sleep - my toddler still wakes up every now and then at night, so it's been more than 2 years since I have experienced blissful, uninterrupted sleep - I realise that it's time to probably use moisturisers.

I have never used moisturisers in my entire life. I am very particular of what I leave in on my skin because whatever is in it would eventually be absorbed by my skin and end up in my bloodstream. It might be "just small traces" but using it everyday and for a continuous period of time could accumulate and that's when problems start to arise.

Photo Credits

If you look at the list of ingredients your skin care product has, it's not very easy to recognise what they are. Most labels use the scientific names and even if you do recognise an ingredient, how do you know if it's safe or not?

So I did a little bit of research. Firstly, I discovered this website where you can type in the skin care product you are interested in and the ingredients are classified according to its safety level, with 1 as safest and 10 as harmful. Personally, I can tolerate results of up to 5 if there aren't too much ingredients. But if there's at least 5 ingredients marked as 5 and up in safety, or even if there's only 1 ingredient marked as 6 to 10, I wouldn't use that skin care product.

Click here to visit the site

The results may not be a hundred percent accurate but I have read reviews from a lot of people that it could be reliable especially for the ones with sensitive skin. You may still do your further research, after all, its your skin's health at stake!

It's not easy to recall all these ingredients so it's a good idea to keep an eye on WHAT TO AVOID.

Here are the 15 ingredients that I watch out for when choosing my skin care. Be sure you have your skin care's list of ingredients handy so you can compare and decide afterwards whether it's time to switch to something new!

1. Parabens

2. Phthalates

3. Benzophenone

4. Triclosan

5. Retinyl Palmitate

6. Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate

7. Synthetic (Chemical) Fragrances

8. Synthetic (Chemical) Colors often labeled with letters FD&C or D&C followed by a number

9. Stearalkonium Chloride

10. Triethanolamine

11. Petrolatum

12. Mineral Oil

13. Imidazolidinyl Urea aka Germall II and Germall 115

14. Propylene Glycol & Butylene Glycol

15. PEGs aka polyethylene glycols

Most of these ingredients have been linked to risk of cancers such as parabens and phthalates.  Benzophenone, which are commonly found on sunscreens, has also been associated to cellular damage and cancer. This is shocking considering that the reason we use sunscreens is to protect ourselves from getting cancer from too much exposure to sun. So I would watch out carefully for this one.

Retinyl Palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, may sound like a safe ingredient in your skin care however, a study has been found that this substance can speed up the growth of cancerous tumours when used in the presence of sunlight. So watch out for this one too especially for skin care products that you use during the day.

Even the Mineral Oil, which sounds pretty natural. Apparently, it's a cheap alternative used as a filler and moisturiser in most products to save cost. However, it seals the skin and prevents it from breathing and contains no nutrients.

If you want to read more about these toxic chemicals, visit the source website here.

Paula's Choice is also one of my trusted sites when I need to check on a beauty product ingredient.
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How to Keep Track of Goals

Friday, January 24, 2020

I think I don't need to emphasize the importance of goals as a factor in anyone's success. Goals are like the heart and soul of your journey. Perhaps, it is second to motive and values, which are the core of your goals (these are the bases that define what you want to achieve in life) but without goals, your journey has no direction.

So it is equally important to keep track of goals. I made a template I want to share with you. Use this template for EACH ONE of your goals because each goal would have a different "why" or obstacles and deadlines.

For every goal, think carefully about your action plans and how long you have before you expect to achieve it. And then at the bottom, write down the expected date of achievement.

Download this goal tracker for your use.
You can print this in A4 or A5 (I prefer A5 as it's more compact and because my journal size is A5) and then review it everyday or every week. It should depend on the goal though. If your goal is long term, maybe checking once a month is sufficient.

This will serve as your map because let's face it, we do encounter a lot of distractions a long the way, such as rejections, failures, discouragement. These are just bumps on the way but if we have our tracker to go back too, we are constantly reminded of our WHY's and HOW's and of course, the PRIZE itself. These are the most important factors of our journey and when you focus on them, you'll reach your goals easier and faster!

Good luck to reaching your goals!

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Don't Crush Other People's Dreams

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Do you know about the story of the fox and the grapes?

One day, the fox was very hungry when he saw a bunch of grapes hanging high from the vines. He tried his very best to jump high but he just couldn't reach it.

Defeated, he walked away thinking to himself, "those grapes are not even ripe. They must be very sour."

Photo credits here

Why am I telling this? Well, I had a pretty bad experience this morning. At 3AM, my baby, Darla, was unusually restless. She woke me up multiple times but would go back to sleep right away. However, the 3rd time she woke me up, I couldn't go back to sleep.

I didn't want to waste my time trying to go back to sleep so I opened up my phone and do some work.

There was a lot of people asking help to be registered to the info session I posted a few days ago. So I went about and helped them. A few minutes later, I was receiving multiple notifications that this lady was spamming my Page with comments. 

It turns out that she was trying to sabotage my Page, bad-mouthing and deceiving the people who commented. I was curious as to why she was doing that so I looked at her profile to see if we know each other personally. We were not connected in any manner but I noticed that she was an entrepreneur herself.

Initially, I thought about answering back but I decided it was not worth confronting her negativity so I just banned her. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY - I told myself. Clearly, this lady just hated the fact that I was an entrepreneur too but I was taking a path not similar to hers.

I get that we have different dreams. This is my dream. I love what I do sharing who I am and inspiring others to see that if someone as SIMPLE as me could make this journey possible, then so much more for THEM who are more talented, outgoing, gifted, charismatic and all the other strengths they have.

I don't force people to join my journey because I understand that we are not all cut the same. I think we all just need to respect people's differences and preferences. Still, I am very grateful for the ones who support and join my journey and I want to give back something in return by inspiring them and helping them reach the same dreams as I do.

Thinking back to the story of the FOX and the GRAPES, I thought it might have been better if the lady who tried to sabotage me would just be like the FOX. Ironic? Let me explain.

The FOX left the grapes and probably chased something else within its reach.

Imagine, if the FOX stayed there, guarded the grapes and told every other animal who wanted the grapes that they were bad and sour.

The grapes would rot and no one would benefit. As for the fox? It would eventually not survive from hunger too.

In the end, everyone loses. Nobody wins.

So go and chase your dreams - and may you prosper in your journey. But one simple wish. Please don't crush other people's dreams just because it's different from yours.
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30 Things About Me

Sunday, January 12, 2020

After 8 years, I think it's about time to update 30 things about me. Not that much has changed but you can refer to old one here

This is a good exercise as well to look back at my life and reminisce and also a great way to encourage other people to share about themselves.

So what are the 30 things that people should know about me?
  1. My real name is Jennifer.
  2. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be renamed "Ambrosia." At that time, there was a famous roast pig branded as "Ambrosia's Lechon" so you can tell that my brothers gave me a hard teasing about it.
  3. I am the 3rd to my parents' 5 children who were all named with a -FER at the end - Heliofer, Kristoffer, Jennifer, Juliefer, Johnfer. 
  4. I was an ugly duckling (though I never became the beautiful swan, at least I improved over the years hehe). Here's a secret though: there's still a hint of the ugly swan in me ;)
  5. When I was in Kindergarten, John Lloyd was my classmate - YUP, that's the one. The celebrity that a lot of girls drool over (I can share you how cute he looked like in our class picture hehehe.)
  6. Although he was my classmate, we never knew each other personally (but I know where his childhood home is *wink*)
  7. When I was a kid, I loved red and blue crayons and always made sure they're beside each other in the box. I placed pink at the farthest end. (Because red and blue were lovers and pink's trying to steal blue from red. Weird.) Then when I grew up, I undergo the PINK stage wherein all my stuff was in pink.
  8. When we were a lot younger, my brothers made my life hell! (they teased me til I cried and everybody got pissed of me because I cried loud).
  9. So I pestered my mom for a sister. After 10 years, the sister arrived who turned out to be an enemy as well during the early years (due to the age gap of course)
  10. I belong to a musically inclined family, my brothers play the guitars, drums, keyboards. The youngest brother learned drums very young while the sister has great voice and plays keyboards well.
  11. I'm the only one among the siblings who can't play an instrument even after an attempt to self-study keyboards.
  12. Me and my girl cousins formed a girl band though, aka Spice Girls (the imitation version hehe).
  13. Around 15, I loved Ghost Fighter aka Yuyu Hakusho. The only other anime I've become addicted to other than Princess Sara and Cedie.
  14. I have a best friend whom I've known since grade 1 and been a close friend from 1st year high school. She is still my best friend although we haven't spoken that much. I just love her so much but she doesn't know it!
  15. I never learned to commute or ride public transports until my first day in college. My brothers teased me to the ends of the earth about this, of course.
  16. I shifted beliefs when I was in college and have been convicted to it since then.
  17. I love music, arts and literature, but I ended up with a career for numbers.
  18. 2 of my weaknesses are: Travelling (so poor with directions) and socializing (I'm an extreme introvert) yet my first job forced me to travel to different parts of Manila  and deal with various people - auditing?
  19. I claimed to be "Sassy Girl" at 22 when I started to work - ask my hubby how and why hahaha.
  20. I love cats! I was never without one from when I was 7 until I was 27.
  21. The reason for having without cats, is my OC husband. I have met the OC husband from Friendster.
  22. His Frienster profile says he wanted to meet "My Sassy Girl" but when he met me, we had a series of "away-bati" (love-hate) relationship.
  23. We've been more than friends but less than lovers for 5 years in the internet world, before we finally met. He didn't meet me until he was sure I was in love haha.
  24. I have been there, done that, but was able to sprung back (huh?)
  25. I ceased to be the Sassy Girl or at least suppressed it when I gave birth to my first daughter. Not immediately after that, but gradually. ;)
  26. The first daughter inherited the sassy traits. The second daughter got the more sassy traits. The third one? Hmmm... you can imagine ;)
  27. People who don't know me assume I am uptight and serious - close friends know the sick sense of humour I have hahaha.
  28. I love to read. But I prefer books over newspapers. I tried to instill this love to my daughters before but now, I support whatever interests they have.
  29. I love my family, extended family, etc. I am not very showy about this but my affection could be really profound.
  30. I try to look strong for my family but deep inside, I am very emotional and soft. I have learned not to show tears over the years ;)
So there! It could be scary to reveal a part of yourself but I trust my friends and followers :)

Basically, it all boils down to 2 things: 

I am a living paradox and nobody knows me fully well except the One who created me and

My life is an open book, very few people would understand what's written on it. :)
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