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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

This day marks our 11th anniversary.
J and I celebrated by watching a comedy at PJ Live Arts.  It is a solo acting show called D' Arranged Marriage, and I must say, that guy was good. Doses of Indian and Kiwi humor abound in the show.

When we got home it was late, but I found this letter waiting for us.

Yuan does the sweetest things for us because she is always thoughtful.  The only thing is she is too lazy to colour.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Life's Theme Songs

For Mind Alchemy Day 8, I am asked to compile a list of 10 songs that are motivational to me whenever I feel down or need a boost to get through the day.  This seemed like a huge task to me because I am a person who listens to songs without ever knowing their names or the singers.  So this really took some time.
The first song I chose was High by Lighthouse Family.  This was a song that really happened during the time when I was a new sales rep and it was very difficult to achieve my sales targets.  At the end of the year, I barely made it, and I remember my product manager at that time played this song for us to encourage us, in the meeting room. 
Subsequently all the other songs are those that I like that will pick me up, even though some of them are not really motivational in content. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Perfect Day

Mind Alchemy Day 6 sees us picturing a Perfect Day in our life.  According to Steve Aitchison, our coach for Mind Alchemy, coaches use this to help their clients clarify what they really want out of life.  And after getting a brilliant idea from Marty I decided to re-create my perfect day here.

Waking at 6.30am, I stretch and give a peck on the cheek of my sleeping husband and baby.  All is quiet as I step out to the living room and light a candle for the Buddha image.  I sit and meditate for 30minutes as the first light of day filters through the living room curtains.  I hear birds chirping and still I sit silently, observing my breath.

Then I prepare to go for a swim.  It is cold and I hate the first touch of water, but after a few laps my body temperature adjusts and I swim to my heart's content. I feel fresh and I have a sense of achievement that I have accomplished so much, mind and body, while the world is waking up.

J and the kids wake and we have breakfast together.  The kids lie around the living room on soft bean cushions and read their favorite books. I play with the baby, hold her close and smell her baby scent that I love so much. After that, J and I sit at our laptops and we catch up on work that we love to do: J with his designs, while I blog, read newsletters or plan interior furnishings for one of my properties.  On and off we chat to each other and fill in the details of our lives. 

At midmorning, J and I take the kids out.  We go to the green lungs in the city and have a picnic and a family photography session - to capture a piece of our ordinary daily life, yet can be so extraordinary to us. We take photos of us monkeying around, hiking, climbing, having sandwiches and laughing.  We tell silly jokes and riddles.  We play card games like "Happy Family" and "Donkey".  After a while, we all go to row a boat in the lake.

When we get home, we take a shower and enjoy cool yoghurt drinks.   I read a book on the comfortable sofa, J watches the sports channel, while the children play with their building blocks or Monopoly. We then enjoy a family movie together.

In the evening, we go for a walk while the kids ride their bicycle.  For dinner, we visit our favorite Korean restaurant and have a delicious, healthy meal.  

At night we read bedtime stories together and put the kids to bed. Before J and I retire for the night, we recount our perfect day over hot chocolate and marshmallows.  We give thanks for our wonderful day and hope that tomorrow would be another day of joy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

“You don’t get million dollar ideas from a ten dollar vision”

Continuing about my experience in the Mind Alchemy course from Steven Aitchison, Days 4 & 5 are about creating powerful vision statements.  The key is creating and visualizing outcomes that are absolutely emotional and touches you to the core, so that they are living statements and not just something that you do as homework just to pass the mark.
In the course of creating the vision statements, he asked us to think big.  The phrase "You don't get million dollar ideas from a 10-dollar vision", really struck me.  The exercises on the vision forced me to clear my mind and think about what I really want to achieve in the 8 aspects of my life: health, family, career, money, recreation, personal development, spirituality & outcomes (goals).  In these vision and values, we infuse into them our feelings.  And to make the feelings real, we add pictures.  Here is an sample of my vision for one area.

After this massive exercise, we are to keep all these in a folder and take these visions out and read them and view them and feel them first thing in the morning everyday.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Training to be A Mind Alchemist with Steve Aitchison

February marks Chinese New Year, which is an occasion of gathering with family and friends, and the start of a new mindset-changing course that I have signed up with Steve Aitchison, Mind Alchemy.  He is the owner of the blogsite, Change Your Thoughts, which focuses on positive-living.
The big reason that made me want to become a Mind Alchemist, although I feel I am pretty much a positive-thinker, was that lately work stress had begun to get to me.  I am certainly not living the life that I could, given this little nagging uncertainty from work that is always at the back of my mind, and I have many a time thought that I want to give up.  I want to change my mindset, to understand how there are so many aspects of life, and whether in the end I could overcome this setback, or accept this with contentment.
Steve started Day 1 with the Wheel of Life, which analyzes the 8 aspects of life.  Then on Day 2, he went on to show us that our effort towards gaining an outcome are either driven by positive or negative motivators.  I found out that I have a mixture of both, but perhaps I need to shift to more positive motivators as it would be easier for me to get to the outcomes that I want.
Day 3 sees us ticking off vigorously on the values that we have or want to strengthen, or would like to have.
Just these 3 days of work has made me rethink my goals in life and I am so glad I am working towards living the life that I really want.
I am a little behind time in my homework, due to the Chinese New Year and all, but I am trying to catch up and do my homework diligently.  I want to make it work, and having done it all, I want to give Steve some feedback so that he could refine the course for future Mind Alchemists.
Pudacuo National Park, Shangri-La, China
Sometimes I think I am such a whiner.  My life is almost perfect.  It is just that we always focus on the negative and it grows bigger than who we really are.  And that is why I am so thankful that I have ever stumbled upon Steve's blog to grow everyday to be a better person.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reunion Dinner

Ok this post is made by popular request of 1 person, J.
He said, "Aren't you going to take a picture and write about this in your blog?"
I gave him a look that said: "You're weird."
I think he was very happy with our simple reunion dinner tonight. As usual we have our seafood steamboat.  This year, he added a side pot of instant Korean noodle soup.  And all of us enjoyed it, except Yuan (who only have the plain soup) & the baby.  The baby just sat in her highchair at the table, happily munching bread.