and i watched it begin again

sunset at uluwatu, bali.

the trip to bali last week was great. i think i really came back from the trip refreshed and i would definitely head back there the next time i need a break from life here in singapore. finished the book “the power of now” by eckhart tolle and honestly believe i couldn’t have brought along a better book to read. i wouldn’t say it was life changing but i definitely felt like i had a greater understanding of the many issues that has plagued me for a long time.

according to the author, one of the easiest way to have more joy right now is to ask yourself “what is the biggest issue in my life right now” – now as in this very minute, this very second, and not the situation happening tomorrow or in an imaginary future. after trying out a few times, i realized i had more joyous moment in the present because right now, there is no need to worry whether i would have difficulty falling asleep later, because right now there is no need to worry about the deadline on wednesday, or the deadline next month, or the money that i need to spend 2 months from now.

right now, there is only one thing to do – enjoy the process of blogging in this moment and focus on finishing up this entry.

the book deserves a second reading and i can’t see how i would not experience more joy in practicing some of the tips suggested by the book.

had this great chat with a girlfriend before i left for bali. through the conversation, i realized that i’m ready to start a new chapter in my life because the financial woes and strange relationships that consumed most of my energies in the last ten years have ended. quoting my friend, “you’re a clean slate now!” that led to the next question – what do you fill the clean slate with? what do i want this new chapter to be about? i wasn’t expecting 4 nights in Bali and a book to give me a clear answer but i learned from the book that all the woes of the past decade came because i disliked being in the present and i did anything i could to be away from it, however temporary the escape was. perhaps, for a start, instead of dreaming up a new list of things to put down in this chapter, why not start living in the present and appreciate the goodness in each present moment. it’s easier said than done but i believe it will get easier as with all new habits.

it’s been a wonderful 2 weeks – with one mental breakthrough after another. quite amazing to think that this series of thoughts started with a song i heard on itunes radio on 2 sundays ago.

the song “on the other hand” by randy travis led me to “i told you so” by carrie underwood and that led me to ms underwood’s rendition of “how great thou art”. this song was on repeat for 2 weeks.

that week started with a voice in my head telling me “instead of wishing that you will never be plagued with problems, why not work on being a good problem solver instead?’ clearly, my mind has been conditioned to run away but i’m glad i could still hear the encouraging voice in my head.

the next day, my gym instructor, for reasons unbeknownst to me, asked me what my religion was and i told him i was undecided because i was stuck between christianity & buddhism. that led me to share with him one of the sweeter moments in my life where i was saved by joyce meyer’s “the battlefield of the mind” in the depths of my despair. talking about that moment filled me with gratitude.

then came the great conversation with my friend, followed by the good trip to Bali and clearing major major work when i came back to office on wednesday. all that put me in a pretty pleasant mood and i continued to practice what i’ve learnt while de-cluttering my life one thing at a time during the long weekend.

i thought it was quite meaningful for me to chance upon taylor swift’s new video “begin again” on friday. of course, it’s a song about love but taken from a broader perspective, it can be about life. i loved what she said about the song, “about having days where you just wander around to think about things”, “about moving on and finding yourself” and “the reinvigorating after dusting yourself off after a rough patch in life“.

“thinking that all love ever does is break and burn and end… but on wednesday in a cafe, i watched it begin again”.

my life begins again.

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