40 Tips to a Better Life

36442-Make-Your-Own-HappinessI came across some really applicable advices the last time I went to a household meeting for SFC in the form of our topic and I would really love to share them with you all. The things listed below are great reminders of the things I should start doing no matter how busy I am and things I should stop doing no matter how it might be natural to me because they are poisoning my mental health. So read on and enjoy and if you still find yourself reading this seemingly endless post, you can read some of the points I reflected upon.

 

  1. Take 10-30 min. walk every day and while walking, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a clock if you have to.
  3. Buy a DVD and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
  4. When you wake up in the morning, complete the following statement:

“My purpose is to e.g extend love today

  1. Live with three E’s: energy, enthusiasm, empathy
  2. Play more games and read more books than you did last year.
  3. Make time to practice meditations, yoga, tai chi and most of all prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
  4. Spend time with the people over 70 years old and under the age of 16.
  5. Dream more while you are awake.
  6. Eat more foods that grow in trees and plants and less food that is manufactured in plants.
  7. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds and walnuts.
  8. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  9. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  10. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  11. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but lessons you learn that will last a lifetime.
  12. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card.
  13. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
  14. Life isn’t fair but it is still good.
  15. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  16. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  17. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  18. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  19. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  20. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
  21. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: In five years, will these matters?
  22. Forgive everyone for everything.
  23. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  24. God heals almost everything.
  25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  26. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick, your friends will. Stay in touch.
  27. Get rid of everything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  28. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all that you need.
  29. The best is yet to come.
  30. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  31. Do the right thing!
  32. Call your family often.
  33. Every night before you go to bed complete the following statement: I am thankful for ________ & today I accomplished __________.
  34. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  35. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not a Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
  36. Please pass this to everyone.

 

 

Play more games and read more books than you did last year. I usually have a novel that I am munching on during my free time (which means at times when I’m not asleep while commuting to and from school) and it is a habit I will maintain and cultivate more. I noticed that I understand people through the eyes of the characters I read upon. I understand more where people are coming from through the insights I gain novel after novel. Though the next challenge for me is to extend myself to other people after trying to analyze and understand them. I am a thinker and I usually don’t act upon what I think I should do, so that’s more of a challenge I should climb high mountains to conquer. And, oh the playing part? I don’t really play games especially app games and the likes so I would just probably dedicate the time to more reading.

 

Make time to practice meditations, yoga, tai chi and most of all prayers. Our lives today are always up to one’s neck and I am no exception. What with juggling my academics with thesis with the very stressing (yet also fulfilling) clinical duties (and may I just add, SUPER DUPER DEMANDING hehe) with being a daughter with being a girlfriend with being a friend with being me and all the duties and responsibilities I should tend to. It’s a miracle if I sleep before 10pm and wake up after the crack of dawn. So where the heck should I squeeze in this meditation thing? Exactly my thoughts but I think this will aid me to become more focused with the things I should accomplish rather than thinking about a hundred things all at the same time which eats up most of my energy. Have you experienced doing nothing but you feel super-duper tired from all your thoughts you can’t keep track of anymore? That is what I’m talking about. Also, it will be worthwhile to calm my ever panic-ky self when I am in our clinic. It will help me to think things thoroughly and have the presence of mind with whatever procedure I am doing.

 

Clear clutter from your house, car and desk and let new and flowing energy into your life. In connection with being so swamped and preoccupied in my every day, I always find myself collecting a heap of mess, jumble and chaos every time I am “too tired” or “too in a hurry” to put things back in their proper places. So I end up being irritable whenever I try to do the things I have to in a much cluttered desk, bed and yes even the floor of my room.

 

Life isn’t fair but it is still good. This I have to always remind myself because I always hate it when life doesn’t turn the way I think is fair. Who am I kidding, really? I only end up getting annoyed when I don’t get things the way I think I should. Btw, I’m a Libra and you know the weighing scale? Haha. I don’t really believe in horoscopes but I always try to weigh which is rational, unbiased and due to someone or to myself (should have studied law! Hahaha).

 

You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. One thing about me, I am opinionated and I love to let my viewpoint known. Also, I love it when I exchange ideas or inspiration with other people especially with my boyfriend (which is very assertive also!) and sometimes our discussions turn into debates; and when we are debating, I sometimes end up getting pissed off with him because he does not take my side. To make peace with myself and with other people I have to always remind myself that it is okay to disagree and respecting others opinion is a must. I should not let my ego get the best of me because really I am not a know-it-all.

 

Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Lately, I have been finding it so hard to stop doing this. Comparing myself to others is becoming my benchmark in my achievements which always bears ill feelings. Why? Because there will always be someone who will be a lot prettier, smarter, kinder, taller (hahaha of course!!) and the list goes on, than me. I am reminding myself that I should only compete with myself and not let the inner demons of insecurity push me to the pit of self-wallowing because I am just not too good.

 

What other people think of you is none of your business. The saying goes: You cannot please everybody, is really true. I might be kind or whatever to someone and if they don’t like me, fine. Hahaha. This, I am somewhat good at. I don’t try to please anyone; I just do what I please. But also, I am guarding my actions because I might be violating others’ rights as well. Anyway, one thing about me, I think I have a resting bitch face syndrome and I roll my eyes A LOT, so some might hate me even before talking to me and it doesn’t bother me. Haha

 

The best is yet to come. This reminds me that the horizon stretches far beyond my immediate imagination and better and greater things are in store for me. It is like a promise from God that wherever He might lead me, I may not know the reason behind it right now but I know He is leading me to somewhere good because He will not forsake me. This is a very striking line for me especially when I think about my trying times of (my kind of) depression. During those times, I just want to pop like a bubble because I think life has nothing to offer me that will excite me. But, I realized that I was just focusing on the negative present without thinking of the endless possibilities that is offered at my very feet.

 

Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed. You know those little annoyances of our everyday lives? Surprisingly in the long run it does not matter. I am reminding myself to always look on my blessings and shy away from looking on what I don’t have. I am also reminding myself that not every battle is worth fighting for (they’re not even worth my time and effort) so instead of ruining my day trying to retaliate, I should just take a deep breath and remember that I am way blessed to be stressed.

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We Were Liars

 

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Look who is back to something she loves? Yep, I will try to reunite with writing again. Well, I was pretty occupied and tied up with all of my adjustments on school what with being a clinician, so I find it real hard to write but now, I will try  and make it work again. But anyway, whatever I’m doing with dental school will be another story. Today, I would like to write about my thoughts regarding this creepily great novel (Thank you E. Lockhart!) I come upon because I was bored with all the gooey young adult novels I’ve been reading so far.

One thing is for sure this novel is definitely something I am not used to reading. I hate uncanny twists and turns because I feel scared. Would you believe that even my beloved Harry Potter series spooks out the life in me when I reach the almost ending part? I was that scaredy cat. My heart cannot take even the slightest horror movie because I am sure they will be visiting me in my dreams or they will be lurking beside my bathroom every time I close my eyes. I was that paranoid and really my imagination is overactive. It is both a blessing and a curse (hahaha).

So you can probably imagine me reading this book without any background about what the story really is. But that my friends is one way to fully enjoy the book, randomly picking and no expectations. Anyway, the reason this creeps me out is because of the hallucinations our Cadence Sinclair (the protagonist) was experiencing. At first, I did not put two and two together but I know something is seriously wrong with her. Her narrations are not reliable what with her selective amnesia.

This novel revolves upon a beautiful (yes that was the description from the book) and fudgingly rich family, the Sinclairs. Of course they are perfect and of course perfection is nothing but an illusion. This story is centered on The Liars- Cadence, her two cousins- Johnny and Mirren and one outsider- Gat. They are pretty close knit even though their mothers are on constant feud regarding their family’s wealth.

This novel clearly depicts one of our human weaknesses which is greed. The family’s insatiability and power hungriness stems from the Grandfather- Harris, and vines of covetousness and jealousness are wrapped tightly around the Liars’ mothers’ necks. It was this voracity that’s tearing this family apart; the very same thing that tears us all from the inside out. I noticed that humans are hard to satisfy. Just like the aunties in the novel who have everything they need, they still beg and push and pull and claw each other in order to gain “the best among the rest”, the biggest, the grandest, the richest, although they do not need it. And worst of all, they are willing to bet anything to gain what they want even if it means using their kids as pawns in their relentless mind games and turning them against each other. It was what drove the Liars to do what they did. It was the reason why that tragedy happened (but of course I will not say anymore about this tragedy. You have to find out for yourself).

The aunties also do not work for a living and they are entirely dependent upon their father, who loves to compare and add salt to their ever growing hostility. Harris seems like he cares less about his daughters and more about finding the most dependable heir so that their riches, glory, dignity and family’s name will not go to waste. He depicted someone who is not ready to relinquish his riches to any one for he does not like to depend on another human being but himself. The aunties on the other hand represented the people who have everything they need and want presented at their feet. They never experienced working hard for the things that they have which is why as an adult they also never learned how to work and gain for themselves. They are just reliant on their trust funds to sustain their high end living.

Also, to maintain their façade of perfection and superiority, raw emotions and wearing them proudly on your chests is a major no no in their household. Cady was taught to suck up all her emotions because she can and because she was taught not to let her weaknesses show in public. Throughout the novel, the aunties and Harris always put up this cold, hard faces with their square chins held high and they tried to pass this to their children.

Luckily, the Liars are a lot better than their older relatives. They tried so hard not to meddle with their mothers’ dispute and not to let themselves turn against each other. Their pact is unbreakable and their ties stronger than ever until a tragedy struck them and ripped them apart forever (and this part right here is the reason why this novel is so twisted and so satisfyingly and shockingly great).

All in all, this novel other than creeping me out made me realize that we always have a choice. We might not choose the family we are born in but we can always make the decisions that can set us apart. Also, it made me understand that our recklessness can result in the gravest of outcomes. In every decision making, we have to pause and weigh our options first before diving head first because some effects cannot be reversed.

It also made me think the extent of havoc our own greed can make. It made me comprehend that even though greed is our human weakness, we can fight against it by choosing what really is important for us. To sum up the greatest lesson I’ve learned in this story I would like to borrow Mirren’s motto which is: Be a little kinder than you have to.

It was really a great read. For a long time, I’ve been looking for a novel that will really touch me and this right here did in a much unexpected way. I also loved the witty exchange of words between the Liars and their smart conversations that are really worth quoting. This right here crushed my heart and I think all great stories do. :

Astronaut

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A rocket ready for my voyage;

To explore the faraway foliage

Of dead stars and milky ways

Colossal place I need, he says

No gravity to pull me back

To our once jubilant shack

Thousands of light years away

To erase our memories of May

In the quest of mighty black holes

Swallow me whole, even my soul

Help me annihilate my recollection

Of his scent and warm protection

Of his touch and eccentric nature

Of his voice and crooked stature

And of our vows and solemn oaths

Now lost in winding and different roads

Lost

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“There is a wilderness in my heart. The longing to be free, to be somewhere I want to be, to be everywhere but here. I cannot satisfy my inner desires while I’m stagnant in the middle of a raging current. I am lost in this concrete jungle, in this traitorous river I am in.”

The Great Escape

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“When you cannot outrun the demons in your head, sleep. When you cannot outsmart the illogical yet persistent part of you, sleep. When you cannot understand how the world can be in such a gruesome chaos in a blink of an eye, sleep. Rest your tired bones. Shut down your mind. Escape for a little while and sleep off all the things that drag you down.”

Credits: Christian Schloe (Deep Sleep)

When Your Puzzle Don’t Fit

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“I was the odd piece in this jigsaw mess. That place, that space is and will not be rightfully mine, you say. Cut me, cut me. Press, pull, mold me. Toss me in all directions. Make me conjure up in thin air all the impossibilities you can think of. Try to fit me in the scenery painted in your factitious facade. I am the peculiar lioness in the periphery of your sky-scraping, unforgiving towers. I am the stranger in your pretentious environment. Won’t you, won’t you cut me some slack? My oxygen is depleted. Sure, after everything, you see me unsuitable. Let me, let me humanize myself for a moment. Let me drench in my own pool of salty tears and sweat. Let me drown in my sorrow. Let me refresh my exhausted soul. But I will never apologize because I am made this way. I will never apologize because I have fraying ends. I will never apologize for I am a human and sometimes it is essential to be weak in order to be strong. I will never retract for I am capable of thinking, feeling and yes existing but barely surviving in this atmosphere I was never made of.”

After The War

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It was the morning after, a ceasefire of warring emotions, the calm after a cyclone that threatened to tear our home down. It was the silence, the calculated moves, the subtle awkwardness, the madness within our hearts pulling us like opposite poles of a magnet. It was picking up of the clutter, cleaning the mess, fixing what is broken. These signs of life make our bloodbath worthy. We always come out more alive.

Castle of Lies

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Grains of sand, one by one,
You amass them in your tiny hands
Lines formed, shapes created
What with your expert stroke!
 
A grandeur before our very eyes
Oh, what a convincing lie!
Your sand castle mighty as it looks
With a flick it will be none
 
So caught up with your creation
Look beyond, a storm’s approaching
A raging wave is threatening
The impact will crush your lies
 
Tumbling and crumbling down,
It’s true nature’s for everyone to see.

Disclaimer: Photo not mine

Things You Don’t Know About Dental School

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So you wanna be a dentist? Be sure to read some of these preview because you should really know what you are getting into.

  1. You need to have an unlimited supply of cash. Don’t be fooled by your pre dentistry’s tuition fee because they increase every year especially when you reach your clinical years. And, of course don’t ever underestimate the amount of every dental materials you will need and I tell you, YOU HAVE A LOT TO BUY. From micromotors that are worth 10,000 php up, to surgery instruments that are worth 5,500 php and up (and it’s the cheapest in town btw!), to your consumables like alginate, cast stones, bibs, amalgam capsules and of course the loved and dreaded composites that are worth almost 10,000 php and a whole lot more of dental materials. You will basically need 2K per week to ensure you have enough.

  2. You will always go to Quiapo and Mendiola. So, you’re a rich kid who doesn’t know how to commute or who have never set foot in places like these? Oh well, in dentistry you are forced to know how! These places are our go-to when it comes to dental material shopping. They are a lot cheaper than the suppliers of our legit dentists. But you also have to be vigilant in shopping because cheap prices also mean cheap products. You always have to weigh and choose well.

  3. Having friends are necessary. I remember when I had my first class as a dentistry proper first year, the first thing my professor told me is that dentistry is team effort. At first I did not understand this but as I go along, I realize how important it is to have friends and to know how to do pakikisama. Your friends are your anchor when the day becomes so tough that your mind is already wandering. Your friends are your key to pass your exams because you can ask for their notes. Your friends are your laboratory tutor when you can’t seem to get how to do your project, and not to mention, you HAVE A LOT. It will totally drive you insane so friends are there to cope up with you! Oh also, pakikisama is very important when you reach your clinic years. You always have to coordinate with your seniors and super seniors regarding your chair time so if you don’t know how to deal with people, kawawa ka naman and good luck to you.

  4. Medical aspect of dentistry is very important. I had an unfortunate exchange of words with this one guy who thinks he knows it all (well he graduated nursing) and we were talking about medical stuff and of course I stated what I know but he told me to shut up because I’m just a MERE DENTISTRY STUDENT and we don’t know medical stuff that much! Of course, he was crossing some line so I told him he doesn’t even know what he is talking about and I decided not to talk to him anymore. There’s no point talking to a closed minded person. Anyway, all I’m saying is that we have a lot of medical subjects and don’t think we take them lightly. We sacrificed sweat, blood, eyebags, food, parties, family gatherings and a lot more to pass these subjects. How can we totally treat the oral health of the patient if we do not know the implications of these procedures to their general health?

  5. Respect is a must. Just because all your wishes at home are granted by your yayas in a whim, that doesn’t give you any rights to be disrespectful to anyone. In dentistry, we are taught the value of respecting everyone and that includes all your classmates, professors, guards, janitors and of course your patients. Without respecting them, you cannot survive dentistry. Instead of helping you, they will drag you down and people won’t even be sorry for you because, honey, you deserve it.

  6. Organizing is very important. From your locker to your notes, to your plans, organization is the key. Dentistry is a very demanding course and often times it drives everyone crazy so help yourself by organizing and categorizing and systematizing your life. It will make your life much simpler. It will help you save some time that you can use for extra minutes of cuddle time with your bed (which is very precious!!)

  7. Note taking is a special skill. Your professors don’t have the time of the day to slow down teaching because he or she also has a lot to do so you have to adjust. Use acronyms or special code or just have a plain messy handwriting just like mine but be sure that at the end of the day you can use your notes. This is also the answer to the mysterious, chicken scratch look-a-like handwriting of doctors. Hahahaha. But there are times when your professor will give you the powerpoint but don’t be fooled and don’t be complacent, they might ask questions that are not even in the powerpoint.

  8. Dentistry is NOT HARD… it is very hard. That was the bentang bentang line from our Mr. Dentistry last year because it resonates all the hardship, hurdles and problems all dentistry students go through. I never realized how dentistry can suck out your soul until I stepped into dentistry proper. It really is a very hard course. Military 101 as our loving chief of clinics said to us during enrollment. They just don’t train our hands to be good in the technical aspect but they train as wholly. Our character, knowledge, guts, willpower and perseverance are in constant test.

It is truly a miracle that I am still surviving in Dentistry as of now. I am currently in my 5th year (Clinic 1) and so far that’s some of the gems I learned along the way. I can never keep on surviving without the help from the One Up Above. Prayer is the greatest weapon against all the stress 🙂