No Shame Poo? Hair Soda Instead?

Have you ever wondered what your personal daily cleaning products such as shampoo, skincare, soap, make-up products are made from?

Yes. Palm oil. Chemicals derived from palm oil and palm kernel oil.

Do you know palm oil has become one of the biggest drivers of deforestation in Southeast Asia over the past 20 years?

According to a study published by Greenpeace in February 2014, some 3.5 million hectares equivalent to 8.7 million football field of forests were cleared in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea between 1990 and 2010. Can you imagine the price of all other precious flora and fauna that had wiped away along the forest destruction?

Palm Oil Documentation in Central Kalimantan

The ecological footprint by consuming such products is largely reflected through the resulted manufactured landscape of such clearings and plantation. As guilty as charged, we are indirectly funding the deforestation of unsustainable practices of companies such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever in their supply chains.

My journey of minimalism for the past few years have nurtured my practices in conscious consumerism, both striving towards socially and ecological conscious consumption. Along its altruism motive, I’ve been weeding out unnecessary chemicals in my life and most importantly saving some bucks from excessive products. Among some contaminants primary found in personal care products include in the form of synthetic fragrance (dioxine), sodium laurel sulfate, and parabens which are linked to asthma, cancer and other health problems.

One of my most successful experiment to get rid of such nuance is my attempt to a make my own hair soda! Yes! Yes! It’s guilt-free and most importantly greasy-free?

It’s easy and cheap, it smells good and it leaves you a healthier and shinier hair!I kid you not.

So what is hair soda?

As simple as 1-2-3?

  1. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate
    This ingredient is available cheaply and famously known for its multi-purposes. The fact that it can be consumed orally shows that it does not pose any threat to our health. Not to mention it has over 50 usages for personal care, cleaning and deodorizing.
  2. H20
  3. Natural Essential Oil (optional) of your choice. My pick is rose.

These three ingredients are best mixed in a 100 ml bottle to keep its freshness.

First fill ¾ of the bottle with baking soda and then water. Place 2-3 droplets of essential oil accordingly. Lastly, give it a good shake!

And there you go, apply hair soda as your shamepoo, rub it in thoroughly as it does not lather into bubbles. Rise it with water. This hair soda does not only clean your hair like shamepoo did, it doesn’t strip the oils completely from your hair thereby no conditioner is required.

By simply making our little d-i-y experiments, it does not only enhance our creativity but also truly strengthening our capability in problem-solving thereby dealing with trade-offs in our daily informed decisions.

Love actually

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Three people from three different continents traveled over 1500 km, crossed path with one cheetah, one leopard, four lions, one spotted hyena, eight white and black rhinoceros, ten hippopotami, countless zebras, elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, kudus, oryxes, springboks, ostriches, impalas, elands, hartebeest, damara dik dik, bushbuck, steenbok on the way to attend and witness a wedding of a German-Namibian couple over the weekend at Etosha National Park and Caprivi Strip.

Love has been defined in this short period. The love which is unconditional, with complete acceptance, pure happiness, trespasses time and distance is ultimately proven and witnessed in the wedding. The joy of finding our one true love and commitment to spend the rest of our lives with the one regardless of sickness, hardship and how big the storm might be is the greatest gift one could ever have. Without love, we are nothing.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

On the other side, I also have witnessed that love is jealousy, possessive, selfish and unreasonable. Love can both bring out the best in one individual and destroy the best of one. Distrust, thoughtlessness, inconsiderate, depressive, egotistic in one’s personality can be the result of love.

Photobucket

Photobucket

I’ve seen how the newlywed couple truly appreciates one another and despite of the cultural differences, they can honor and respect their traditions and people of their own creed. Humility like one quoted is one of greatest quality in the humanity. We respect our partners and remain faithful to the people around us. We strive to treat everyone as how we want to be treated. Humanity exists because love brings us together and makes us whole. However if love were manipulated, it can also destroy our humanity.

Photobucket

So, here I am in Namibia learning about love for animals, love for a child, the respect to nature and experiencing the love shared by others: the beauty of love, the infinite love, as well as the selfishness of love, the protected love, the love that demands and not given.

Photobucket

Photobucket

I’m once again overwhelmed by the extent of it. I can only admire and learn from the all these people around me and ultimately be a better person.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Mr Mario

As the boyfriend was sharing with me on how human being’s talent and destiny can sometimes be so easily determined by our folks during our last breakfast’s conversation left me kind of bewildered. Well, he left for India and have had led me with no choice but to think of some futile INTERESTING stuffs to keep me occupied in our lonely little apartment.

Correctly speaking, say in a medieval context, we humans can be destined to be as philosophical as a poet or to be designed to have an inventor’s complex mind to solve quantum mechanics.
So can a think tank who’ve had just issued a 1000-page report on climate change perform a 1.9 m Michael Jordan’s slam dunk?

He got me into thinking if we human beings can be classified as a generalist rather than specialist! Well, someone who can put together Moonlight Sonata and put up a bloody lawnmower at the backyard at the same time.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. — Robert A. Heinlein

I’ve been telling people all my life that I’m a ‘Jack of all trades but master of none’ and today I feel as though I’ve came to a point of enlightenment knowing that there’s something called INTEGRATED HUMAN. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even close to constructing a lawnmower or playing the Fur Elise, just the philosophy or concept of it got me all hyped up though I have to emphasis that it’s the implementation and not the definition that counts.

So an ‘integrated human’ is an individual strives towards development which encompasses physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. They recognize their body as a part of their person (not the sum). They are consciously trying to maintain the level of health necessary to have a positive impact upon the world.

I’d like to share with you these guiding principles which I find pretty amusing:

Physical

Physical Fitness
Flexibility
Agility
Nutrition
Healthy body, healthy mind
Hand-eye coordination

Mental

Thirst for Knowledge
Critical thinking
Researching skills
Willpower to do physical and mental work to get things done
Awareness
Philosophy of Liberty and Abundance, not Greed and Theft
Knowledge or intuition of how the world works
Follow the golden rule, treat others as you would wish to be treated
Forethought, good judgment
Open minded
Able to work independently
Able to cooperate with others
Focus, concentration, mental discipline and positive inner dialogue

Emotional

Emotions are controlled, they do not control
Empathy and Compassion
Respect for one’s self and others
Independent
Cooperative
Mindset of sustained sufficiency, rather than consumption of resources
Able to honestly change mind based on facts, not hung up on ego attached to something
Self assured, not dependent on what others think
Resilient “survivor” personality, able to thrive in challenging conditions
Accepts other people as they are, no one can force another to change, individuals can only change themselves
Looks past the superficial surface of things to try to see the core, the true nature
Can take direction
Can give direction

Spiritual (different than but compatible with religious)

Intuition, informed by knowledge
Meditation, yoga or reflection

Source: Opensourceecology

I have definitely a lot to learn and improve in order to achieve the state of ‘integrated human’ but hey, I’ll strive to be a better me, girlfriend, daughter and a better citizen! And I still don’t have to know how to fix a car, boyfriend. 🙂

Now, C’est ça l’amour!

When giving is NOT buying

I love Christmas. It’s a season of hope, renewal, love, inspiration, joy and contemplation. It’s about giving and sharing.

Being in Beijing, well in a country which originally doesn’t really have anything to do with this celebration or meaning, it has definitely a lot to offer. The lights, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, billboards, jingly decorations and snow man portray nothing of any sort of the birth of Jesus. This is definitely not surprising coming from a City where there’s not a single sight of a standing church.

Unlike in many western countries, where the smell of mulled wines, cookies, waffles and bakeries lurking in the winter air, the Chinese smell OPPORTUNITY in the air, well which is literally translated into MONEY. Whether it’s the money-burning shopping spree from the consumers or the cashing-in sound of the register, it spells ECONOMY.

This is unquestionably a trend of globalization, no? One World?

This is purely an excessive crapload of commercialized and propagated consumerism. People just want to find reason to buy. Oh, Christmas Sale? People can save thousands on this season? Listen, people save when they DON’T buy what they DON’T need.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of giving, especially to our loved ones, but not the twisted and manipulated picture painted by greedy corporations. We shop for months, getting into debts, rip apart the packaging one morning, forget it the next day and chuck them in the closet and shelves collecting dust. Do we need more cluster? C’mon it is about giving, or buying?

The focus here is certainly on buying not on sharing.

Christmas is NOT about wish-lists, shopping, overconsumption, frenzied malls, consumer debt, environmental waste, excessive fancy wrappings, and bunch of endless needless stuffs that goes with it but it is the time for family, friends, eating cookies, laughing at each other, gossiping, tightening bonds, reunion and reconciliation.

Giving can be in many forms, with a little thought and creativity; we can give our loved ones gifts which can leave little footprint to our environment but large footprint to our hearts.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012 my dearest ones!

Thank you 2011.

Photobucket

Words without borders

It was on the 13th August I stepped my foot on Beijing’s soil as a first timer. I know my merely 2.5-month’s observation and stay in Beijing will not justify my whatsoever opinion I have for this city. As superficial as it might sound, as an ‘outsider’, my instinct urges me spit it out before my intangible time here vanishes.

Oh boy, my very first impression for city was: this place seems to have undergone an extreme makeover. It is nothing new to mention that the economic development that has taken place here is simply jaw dropping and deservingly admirable – modern high rise buildings, shopping malls, and more skyscrapers mushrooming like hotcakes. Almost all families own electric bicycles, motorcycles or even cars; walking seems to have become a lost art. People are inseparable from their latest electronic and mobile devices.

Children and teenagers are losing their competency of mingling with people as a result of the implemented “one child” policy. Growing up in an environment where absolutely no one knows who their neighbors are and people are busy minding their own business shuts them off from the social institutions completely. Kids’ best friends are television, brand new toys and I-pads. Going outdoor seems alien to them.

It would terrify parents today if their kids start playing mud and throwing stones, as kids these days are destined to get themselves ready for good scores in the upcoming test or an interview for a kindergarten’s enrollment. While internet and technological devices are booming, there’s also no need for local or public libraries. As kids and adults in other big cities are privileged to borrow books on a wide range of subjects, local bookstores are equipped with textbooks, college entrance exam preparation guides, or various electronic handheld devices called ‘study machines’.

And as the kids’ main purpose of life is studying, the adults now have more free time on their hands. Most seem to fill this time eating and drinking. Food is unhealthy and rather expensive, yet restaurants are always crowded. Karaoke clubs, pubs or “Mahjong” is in the next agenda and often till the following morning.

Though some people confide that they find such dinner parties unwholesome and meaningless, but they go anyway, as they do not want to stick out or become a social outcast.
Adults no longer can identify what are the activities available to spend quality time with their kids apart from shopping malls, since their kids are the happiest when are showered with brand new toys and gadgets.

I found a great difference in the use of spare time between the place I grew up, Hamburg and Beijing. People might think that life would be more monotonous in the west, where people live further apart from each other.

Activities in the evenings, where people mow their lawns, wash their cars, jogging, go fishing, baking, gardening, play sports, read books, or develop various personal hobbies such as in music or art. Things that I take for granted, such as hiking in the wild, visiting local museums or libraries or going to the park, are rare excursions in Beijing apart from the local tourists or senior citizens. Even the China’s literary culture such as calligraphy and ink painting are losing its ground amongst the youngsters.
The cultural landscape here, especially in emerging economic areas, is a wasteland that cannot be concealed even by the glare of red-hot economic development.

I couldn’t escape the feeling that its newfound economic prosperity seems to be defeating the purpose of improving standards of living.

Can this constant fear that people have of not securing enough wealth and possessions which is the sole driving force to this economic development and prosperity in material life be called progress?

If people’s hard-earned money is spent on wasteful eating, artificially engineered food, unhealthy drinking and ear deafening Karaoke clubs, can this development actually be called progress?

If a society can allow a 2-year child bleeding in road after being run over by two different vehicles and then ignored by 18 passersby and later found dead, can this development be called progress?

If human beings are denied from the very basic of nature’s essential, namely clean fresh air and water, can this development be called progress?

We are what we do and eat.

Twenty years from now, what will we be doing?

Photobucket

Love Affair

There are some days when we’re awake, there’s a great gush of contentment that kicks in, bringing in a big broad smile to our face to welcome our day.

Today is one of those days where it feels so natural to think simply and presently. There’s no smog, no rain, solely the goodness of sun throwing incredible beauty to its vicinity on a cold autumn Monday morning. I felt nothing but gratitude for being alive, for seeing the sun shine again. It’s clearly a reminder that the sun will always shine again no matter how big the storm or particularly SMOG it might be.

On a day like this, it’s easy to see how we forget to stay present, be happy, and reacquaint ourselves with trust and faith – things that were once a natural part of us.

It is the joy of smiling for no apparent reason, and yet for thousands of reasons.

I breathe. I give. I receive. I love. I am loved. I am healthy. I have fresh food. I’m present. I’m excited. I’m trusting. I’m grateful.

Photobucket

I’m falling more and more for this city bit by bit.
I fell in love in Beijing.

Photobucket

I LUB YOU, MIIIIIISSSSIAAAAOOOOOOOOOO says my lover.
She’s a two and a half year old girl, Ping. I’ve been home staying with a Chinese family for almost two months now. This family has been so kind to me.

For years, I’ve learnt that giving is purely a personal selfish act to grant me keys to my contentment and happiness. The more I could give and offer the happier I’m – which is only partially true. In other words, I’ve came to realization that, being in that place of receiving where we can validate the giver’s blessing is one of the greatest gift one could ever have.

Whenever I feel that I’m unable to receive, I’m reminded that I’m actually denying someone else the pleasure of giving.

This totally makes sense!

I’m counting my blessings, on every single day!

Energy

I swear in no time I can beat Josiah Ng on velodrome and have thigh as thick and strong like his. This is all thanks to my daily cycle to work and getting around here! NO rule to abide. Just GO and make sure be FAST!
Well I do have a choice. It’s either I choke myself on a 30-40 minutes packed in like sardine bus ride smelling men’s and women’s armpit, bad breath plus FART for bonus OR choke myself on a potentious deadly bicycle ride inhaling a mouthful of toxic fumes. It’s obvious I’ve chosen the latter. Sounds exaggerating? NO!

You can give me the lousiest bicycle; I will still choose the latter.

Dear Beijing,

The capital of the most populous nation in the world – CHINA which consist of 20% of the world population; 1,3 billion of almost 7 billion people! You made me perplexed. Damn you Chinese. Left, right, front, back, north, south, east, west people are flooding everywhere. Tiananmen, the biggest square in the whole wide world is filled with Chinese. The “Wai Laos” are sunk deep deep into the sea of Chinese people!

Your development pace is too fast for me to grasp, your pollution intoxicate me, your consumerism soars like an eagle but your ethic which is sinking down the drain is utterly disgusting. Your intensity left me bewildered, lost in translation.

As a traveler, our ability to adapt and adopt to the local environment is one of the most essential element that keep us going and longing for more. The constant challenges, culture shock, peculiar food, faces, custom, colors and energy level that flow in every city differs so greatly and THIS is exactly the attraction and the whole point of travelling.  Seeking for something NEW. Therefore, in any case the objectivity of our perception needs to be reminded and refreshed in order to enjoy and infuse into their locality.

And discovering Beijing has been one of the most delicate I’ve ever experience. Unlike populous country like India which I dearly heart, Beijing has a very different historical background and philosophy which I find it interesting but difficult to digest.

It’s like me telling you Mahatma Gandhi versus Mao Zedong.

Photobucket

This whole era transition is happening too quickly that there’s no one could ever define and sum it up in a few words. The core of this underlying dogma is infinite. As I went through the history books of China, browsing through paragraphs to photographs, I felt chills down my spine.

I’ve spoken to people about my confusion and sought for a better explanation from both Chinese and outsider. What left me in standing in awe has to be the siding of different parties and their ideas of  their personal iconic heroes!

Well it’s none other than Mao Zedong versus Deng Xiaoping in this case.

We’re not even bringing the history back to the fall of Ming Dynasty. The corrupted institutions where people were blinded with greed and power have never changed ever since, and here I question myself today what is our human common ground?

We are all running after security, comfort, power, and fame you name me? Well, probably politics are never meant to be understood, it’s just a dirty monopoly game where the goal of is to monopolize and marginalize!

I’ve came to an edge when my neutrality has reached to a point of nauseate just by having a slight thought of it.

At the moment, I will just sit, enjoy and watch the time passes while listening to Bare Necessities and anticipating the arrival of my empress and emperor.

Photobucket

Let me present you my Beijing, Mom and Dad.
Love,
Daughter

Aleph

I left Hamburg on the 19th of July, so many things took place. I’ve been travelling around and I’m sitting now in my office in Beijing sipping a cuppa Chinese tea and munching Chinese flat bread 7 in the morning listening to Times like These from Jack Johnson. Pure bliss or what?

Exactly 2 months passed by, I went to a desert and a zoo, fed monkeys and a horse, saw a volcano, pandas, lemurs, tasted horse cheese and milk, scorpion and drank airag, traveled with all means and sort of transportations including a tricycle (shit, it was hard to ride) a horse and a camel, slept under a blanket of stars, met and still meeting people from all over the world, all these seem so surreal when I’m airing them in past tense.

Honestly, till today I can’t seem to find the right words to describe my summer break. It’s so bizarre and full with surprises. Things I’d never expect to happen, well came about. From Indonesia to China, then to Mongolia, and back to China again, the faces, the smell, the taste and touch of every country is so damn mind boggling.

Indonesia stole my heart in a very subtle way, the people; they are so warm and genuine. The Balinese, fellow travelers, arak, our little bungalows, paddy fields, the scenery, the right and crazy moments, the music and laughter. Lovely gifts!

I heart Mongolia. The anticipation to be in the Trans-Mongolia train has paid off and I can proudly declare, if I die today, I’m a happy person! The GER, Russian van, the Gobi, the sunset, the vast clear skies, the shooting stars, I can throw out words endlessly just to describe the beauty of this emptiness, nothingness, quietness, remoteness and simplicity but we’d not fathom until we experience it ourselves. It’s our existence and living at that presence counts.

I stumbled upon a beautiful excerpt this morning, called the motto of Alchemy from none other than Paulo Coelho: Solve et coagula “Concentrate and dissolve”. It says.

Perseverance is not the same thing as insistence.

There are times when battles go on longer than necessary, draining everybody of strength and enthusiasm.
A prolonged war finally destroys the victors too.
We must know when to insist, and when to withdraw our forces from the battlefield.
Solve (dissolve) means: time to rest
Coagula (concentrate) means: time to act

The two worst strategic mistakes are: acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip!

So, are you an alchemist, love?

Sail away

I’m sitting here in my room that I’ve lived for almost 3 years, now empty as it was before. I have this tinge of melancholic feeling that I couldn’t really figure out yet how to describe. As I ran through my belongings, packed, unpacked, unpacked and packed again, I realized how much I’ve grown and changed as a person. The person I used to be, the things which seemed to be so important to me back then have awakened no interest to me anymore.

It’s hard to depart with certain things. They bring us back to the memory lane and the reminiscence is limitless. It’s like a catalyst. It triggers you, it says to you aloud shouting, “Hey you! You remember me? Remember you used to………? I’ve missed you!”

I’m left with none other than these three choices, to donate, to discard, and to dock after mulling them over for almost three days. Believe me, it was the longest 3 days, ever.

Donating is pretty easy, books, clothes, food basically anything which can bring benefit other people fall into this category. Let it go, let these things do its duty, let them be useful to other people I thought to myself. Why hold on to things which you know you’re not using it but keep wondering to yourself what if IN CASE you might somehow or rather, potentially need it ONE DAY?

Screw that ONE DAY; I want that you be useful to other people TODAY.

So these things were happily channeled to Oxfam and an Orphanage for charity.

Discarding is disheartening. It’s unbelievable how much of courage it took me to shake things off my hands. Again, if I don’t I’d never have enough space to fill in the imminent undertakings.

Docking takes strength. You need energy to restore and care to conserve them.

This is Life. Every day we are making these three choices.

Looking back, I’ve got to admit that I am glad of every decision I’ve made so far. I care that today I must live my life with all that I can give for the passion and people I love most.

I was taking a breezy night walk along my favorite area of the city with a friend earlier. We passed by my favorite bars, restaurants and coffee shops. I can’t help but have this huge sense of gratefulness and tears swelled my eyes. I love this city. I will miss this place and the people.

Thank you Hamburg!

PS: Happy Birthday Madiba! I dedicate this to you. 46664 will always be remembered!

It doesn’t matter I’m poked thrice today! Thank you Blood Bank Hamburg for the compensation, at least my pain wasn’t in vain.

A song entitled Hamburg, my City. Some sneak peek of this lovely city. 😀

Today

 

Bonnie Ware’s style of writing is simple but somehow powerful. Enjoy of my favorite here.

What does good enough mean to you? Does it mean true contentment? Does it mean satisfying the dreams of your heart? Or does it mean plodding along?

We are the creators of our own lives, whether we do so consciously or not. Many people go through lives with dreams, but with no honest ambition to see them come true, or with no real belief that attaining them is actually possible.

Sometimes we see our dreams as a fantasy, not as a possibility. We get so caught up in that fantasy that we become addicted to the dream itself. Yet we are scared of seeing it realised, of it becoming reality. We hang onto the dream as a dream, with no true belief or intention to make it reality. And yet what are dreams? They are the yearnings of our heart, the driving force of who we are.

So, many people plod along through life semi-satisfied with a mediocre existence. This doesn’t present challenges. It allows safety in routine and conformity. Why rock the boat and change anything? Why indeed? As they watch the lives of others for hours and hours on television, their own lives are passing them by.

Fear, an emotion given far too much power, rules. We all have fear. No one is immune. But we have a choice to face it and in doing so, dissolving it into the nothingness from which it came. It takes courage, will, strength, determination, and positive action. As Einstein said, wisdom comes from the doing not the knowing. We can all know about something enough, but until we actually do it, we can never truly know it.

We are given the power of choice. And our lives are our own. We owe it to ourselves to be the very best we can be. Life is over in a short time. And not all of us will even be blessed with living until old age. If this was the last week of your life, are you living how you truly want to be or working toward that?

Congratulations if it is. And thankfully for some it will be. But guaranteed, none of those people have a mediocre existence. Anyone who knows true contentment knows that they have had to work toward it, make conscious choices, face fear and be misunderstood. But the beating of their heart is the beat they walk to, not a beat set in time by others or by fear.

I fell into conversation with a lady the other day, a stranger, as I often do. We chatted for about ten minutes, laughing and friendly. As we departed, we hugged and wished each other well. It was lovely of course. Until her final words to me, “You have a good enough day”. Good enough? What sort of farewell is that?! What sort of wish is that? It took me back, initially leaving me a little speechless. I then wished her well on her way, in a much more positive fashion, and off we went to our own lives. But it stayed on my mind all day and still is, obviously. “You have a good enough day!” Her heart meant well. I know that. The greeting was given with kind intentions.

But to me “You have a good enough day” translates roughly into “You have a day of mild boredom and complacency, an average day that you survive just for the sake of it”. Gee thanks! It was a puzzling remark and still leaves me a little puzzled. But having expectations that others will be as we are, or as we would like them to be, is a waste of time anyway and as I said, I am sure that her intention was kind.

Personally, I can’t do good enough. I tried that. It was never good enough! If we spend our lives kidding ourselves that we are happy with good enough, then we will join the ranks of some of my previous dying patients, who wished too late that they had found the courage to honour their own hearts.

You have the power of choice to create the life that you dream of.

So what is good enough for you? What is it that you could change to take you to another level of contentment in life? The changes don’t have to be grand. We can only ever do one step at a time anyway. We can talk ourselves out of our dreams if we look too far ahead, wondering how on earth it could all come together. We don’t know how it will all come together. Leave that up to life itself, because life rewards those who honour their hearts, in ways too perfect for us to imagine.

Our job is to find the courage and simply take the first step. Then the next step will be revealed, then the next and so on. Each step will become clear when it is time to do so. Don’t worry about anything beyond that. Just take the step in front of you.

Then one day, you realise that you are now living your dream. It is real, not a fantasy anymore. You have caught up with it. It is said that our dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them. Be open to growing in that direction. You owe it to yourself.

What is good enough for you? What is good enough that you can look back on your life and be content with the choices that you have made? I hope that it is how you are living your life now. But if it isn’t, then what are you waiting for? Determine what is good enough and take the first step towards that. That’s all that you have to do. Take one small step at a time.

Then one fine day, you will smile to yourself. You will realise that you did it, that the life you are now living really is good enough.

I’m Yours

A life which ends with death, is a life not well spent.

Photobucket

Live and let live

If you want to be happy, be. – Leo Tolstoy

SwitchfootAlways :

This is the star
This is your heart
This is the day you were born
This is the sun
These are your lungs
This is the day you were born

And I am always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

These are the scars
Deep in your heart
This is the place you were born
This is the hole
Where most of your soul
Comes ripping out
From the places you’ve been torn

And it is always, always, always yours
But I am always, always, always yours

Hallelujah!
I’m caving in
Hallelujah!
I’m in love again
Hallelujah!
I’m a wretched man
Hallelujah!
Every breath is a second chance

And it is always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

Girls Like You

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

I love walking in the rain.

Be wet.

Be free.

Be there.

Be with nature’s laughter and tears of joy.

I love doing yoga and meditation. I love chanting OHHHHHMMMMMM towards the end of every lesson.

I love sailing and learning to sail. I love learning to tie all sorts of knots. I love not knowing where the wind comes and simply drift me away.

I love letting in as much atmosphere as I can.

I love being me and with me.

I am.

Be me.

Be kind.

Be brave.

Be love.

Be cosmic.

I am.

Anything we write after I am is simply a concept.

I decide what I am.

I define me.

I am thankful.

I am alive.

I am happy.

I am a vegan.

I am a minimalist.

I am.

I’m enjoying unveiling THIS mystery. I’m enjoying the fact that NOBODY, absolutely NOBODY can write the future.

No control issue here. Purely swimming along and waiting for THIS treasure to emerge.

Screw security and certainity. Screw goals and plans.

Foodprint

Photobucket
Every day, tens of millions of one-day-old male chicks are killed because they will not be able to lay eggs. There are no rules about how this mass slaughter takes place. Some are crushed or suffocated to death. Many are used for fertiliser or fed to other animals.

 

I’m ashamed to admit that I put off almost one year to adopt this commitment for real.

I was too chicken to commit to my decision as I was afraid that I will be a burden to my family and friends with my new eating habit.

I was wrong.

Here’s a little story on how it all started:

My first attempt on pure vegetarian diet begun when I was in India. It wasn’t much of a hoo-haa as almost 40% of Indian households are vegetarian. And I’m sure you know the figures better than I do, 40% of 1.2 billion people in total (minus the unreported cases)……. do the math. Daniel, Kalyani and Andy were very encouraging on this matter, the reasons on why I should be a vegetarian were too good for me to resist.

Soon after that I landed home for two weeks and never really mentioned my will of changing my diet to my family. I know that they wouldn’t be particularly supportive plus who would actually give up the only 2 weeks full of TLC with family I have. I didn’t want to make a fuss out of it.

Then I was back in Hamburg at end of September 2010, I continued my meatless diet for almost 2 months before I got diagnosed with Shingles. Doctor claimed that my immunity was low and prone to suffer from diseases so he suggested that I should get back to my normal nourishment for that period of time. Shortly after that, it was Christmas and New Year’s Eve, friends, parties and get-together, I got carried away and cornered the idea in the name of not “jeopardizing” my health.

When Katja and I made a pledge of a 30-Days-without-meat mission together, I was in cloud nine. We pulled that off  before I head home for my Winter break.

My plan disrupts whenever I’m not cooking at home or having lunch in my school’s cafeteria because I tend to be “weak” when it comes to dining out with friends.

Nevertheless on THIS day, I’m so blessed that  a friend gave me strength and inspired me again to push forward where I’ve started.

Therefore, in conjunction with the World Children’s Day and World’s Environmental Day this year, I dedicate my pledge of effort for our children of tomorrow and an act to reduce my environmental and ecological footprint.

Minimalism

Photobucket

Minimalistic Feather from hinomori

 

Since the last five years, the idea of minimalism has slowly creeped into me unconsciously.
I’ve never intended to worship or assign myself into certain cults, categories or whatsoever. I strongly believe and digest the fact that it’s completely OK to be different!
Some say I’m a hippie because I listen to Bob Marley, smoke weed, support Greenpeace and preach about veganism.
Some say I’m a dreamer and shallow because I’m too engrossed in my perfect little world.
And to be honest, I still do not know what is the definition of a hippie.

Whatever it is, I’m proud to declare my official journey of becoming a minimalist today.

Live simply so others may simply live. -Dalai Lama

After Jonathan’s departure from life, I started seeing things in a bigger picture in many ways. I’m learning and training myself to let go of everything I fear of losing.

I packed my bags with little money and left for India for two months and experienced more than anything I’ve learnt in my two years of University. There’s life out there, without possessions, greed, scepticism but purely trust, sincerity and openness.

Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is – Yoda.

I’m happier now than I ever was owning all of those things people told me would ‘make me happy’. The idea that my society has been hammering and drilling in me since young has proven utterly false over and over again.

Minimalism is all about having enough. It’s about having only what you need, no more, and especially no less.
It’s about finding happiness in what we have already, instead of chasing something that is always out of reach.

It’s true, in a big way, that minimalists have less. We have fewer clothes, shoes and accessories. We have smaller houses. We may have no possessions but we definitely have more of what life is made of. – Jessica, minimal student

Ask ourselves again, it is worth standing up, going against the flow and start making a change?

But does that mean we live unhappier lives?

Is it always worse to have less?

Maktub

Carpe Diem!

What’s on your Bucket List?

Dated 5th November 2006

1) Learn, pass and excel in German
2) Get at least 85 pointers for AUSMAT
3) Fly to Germany
4) Study Environmental Enginnering
5) Travel around Europe
6) Save money for my family to visit me
7) Study in Western Germany
8.) Work for UNESCO
9) Meet Nelson Mandela
10) Win the Noble Peace Prize just like Dr Muhammad Yunus
11) See Bush assassinated, murdered in a horrendous and appaling way
12) Adopt a Child
13) Work as a volunteer for the Third World Countries
14) Work for Green Peace
15) Mend the Ozon hole
16) Teach Malaysian to be more courteous
17) Be an environmental and world peace advocate
18) Fight for poverty and hunger
19) Fight for gender equality and racial discrimination
20) Form Kwa Foundation like Bill Gates

Updated 28th February 2008

1) Embark on a Hugathon. (HUG ME, IT’S FREE!)
2) See the Northern Light
3) Go work and volunteer in Africa
4) Engage in WWF and Green Peace

Updated 31st  December 2010

Smile more
Catch the Northern Light
Volunteer more
Learning by Doing
Give more
Learn Spanish
Get a Tattoo
Save more forest and orang-utans
Never say never
See more
Be the citizen of the World
Bungee Jumping
Sky Diving
Conquer Mount Kinabalu
Love more
Savour Balut egg
Learn Sign Language
Hug more
Meet Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela
Let’s zorb
Listen more, talk less
Get a Mandela Bangle
More Free Hug Campaign
Work with engineers without Borders
Care more
Be more engaged in Greenpeace and WWF

Top Travel List

Tibet, Nepal and Northern India
Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar
East Malaysia, Indonesia
New Zealand, Australia
Africa
South America

Updated 21st May 2011

Embark the journey of Santiago de Compostela
Be thankful
Smile always
Go on a blind date!
Play better Guitar
Go on a road trip and hitch hiking
Try magic mushrooms
Go backpacking
Watch Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Coldplay Live!
Random travels with no itinerary planned at all
Go swimming with dolphins
Dance like no one is watching (out of Rhythm)
Live in a different country for at least 6 months
Knit a scarf for my Mom!
Get Braces!
Build a treehouse
Witness a solar eclipse
Get a Vespa
Go stargazing
Plant my own tree and watch it grow
Learn Spanish and possibly Esperanto
Get bald/dreadlocks! 😀
Run a 42-km marathon
Experience Water rafting, Kayaking, Sailing, Scuba diving, Snorkeling
Get a driving and diving license 😛
Play Rugby
Go skiing
Get another Tattoo
Connect with teachers and friends from past schools and let them know how they have shaped my life
Be a mentor
Bungee jump, Skydiving, Parachuting, Paragliding, Ice climbing
Climb another mountain
Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
Enjoy and practice Yoga and Meditation
Make a difference in someone’s life
Visit Everest Base Camp
Perform a kind deed to at least 5 strangers without expecting anything in return
Write a book(blog)
Sing my favorite song to an audience
Experience a sunset and sunrise
Own a dog
Whip up the best meal ever for my loved ones
See the Machu Picchu, Sea Salt, The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef, Cape of Good Hope, Hagia Sophia
Gain enlightenment
Bake a cake for someone special
Go deep into the heart of Mother Nature.
Go trekking in a rainforest
Camp out in the wilds
Visit a waterfall
Swim in an ocean
Love spring, summer, autumn, winter = Love Life
Read a book on a subject I’d never have thought of reading (Linux rocks!)
Fly a kite
Fall asleep on grassy plains
Try veganism
Go snorkeling and experience marine life up close
Go on a meditation retreat
Start a social movement
Watch cherry blossoms in Japan
Donate blood anually
Play Paintball
Be a Mother
Get closure on all my hurt, grievances and unhappiness of the past
Bury the hatchet with all the enemies
Sign a donar plegde
Organize more picnic outing
Visit a volcano
Fly in a helicopter
Tell my parents that I love them
Go on a cruise in the sea
Fall in love
Be in love!
Live in a rustic hut
Change the world 😀
Help someone in need

I might not be able to cross out the whole list, oh well who knows!

Bona Fides!

Trance

Photobucket

Did I mention that his performance was orgasmic!

It was so intensive that I got really emotional and overwhelmed.

Just him and his guitar, completely washed me way.

Great music is like a deliverance, it brings us to the zone and carry us into a trance state, where our mind and soul is purified.

Photobucket

Noah and the Whale for my Birthday!

Thank you for your music!

White Feather

I found it! It’s a sign!

Never stop believing.

I cut myself, got disheartened and am clinging to the edge of hope but I know along the way, they are feeding my soul and building me into the person I’m for today, tomorrow and eternally!

the noblest thing a human being can experience is acceptance of the mystery

The Warrior of Light sometimes behaves like water, flowing around the obstacles he encounters.

Occasionally, resisiting might mean being destroyed, and so he adapts to the circumstances. He accepts without complaint that the stones along the path hinder his way across the mountains.

Therein lies the strength of water: it cannot be shattered by a hammer or wounded by a knife. The strongest sword in the world cannot scar its surface.

The waters of a river adapt themselves to whatever route proves possible, but the river never forgets its one objective: the sea.
SO fragile at its source, it gradually gathers the strength of the other rivers it encounters.

And, after a certain point, its power is absolute.

Paulo Coelho

PS:  Tada! They are here! 😀 Joy of the Day despite of the many uncertainties and confusions I had to face today. And the good news is I have 3 books to giveaway!

Photobucket

The Killers – Mr. Brightside (Jacques lu Cont’s Thin White Duke mix) from loutsos on Vimeo.