Meditation: Gratitude and Commitment

There are lots of delightful things to be grateful for, and for that, my yoga practice today was quite different. Instead of beginning with mountain pose followed by sun salutation, I sat with legs crossed, palms facing upwards, eyes closed. I concentrated on my breathing and began meditating on all the significant things that happened the entire week–good or bad that I should be grateful for. Then I proceeded with my usual routine. Towards the end, while on a corpse pose, one of my favorite relaxing poses, I made a little tweak as to what to contemplate on. This time, aside from giving thanks, I focused on my area of improvements, and made myself a few commitments I should strive to abide by:

1. I shall avoid thinking ill of others.
2. Never welcome jealousy. It only brings negativity.
3. “Save up, yet prioritize the things that are necessary” (one of my new year’s resolutions that I need to be constantly reminded about as I have the tendency to forget about it)

I reflected on those as I may have failed to embrace positivity this week and let anger and envy rule my thoughts and emotions. Also, I might have splurged (a little) the past few days, and I think I will have to stop right there and not elaborate further. I think it’s a serious offense I made there (breaking my resolution) so I’m gonna need a different blog post for this. LOL.
So there, I hope you try to make these two short meditations part of your yoga routine because it helps you reflect, evaluate yourself, open up internally, and draw in positive energy for a more blissful life and a better you! Namaste

I Am Taking the Dare: Oil Cleansing Method

Ok, so this thing excites me—washing my face with none other than OIL.

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of sunflower beauty oil as a Christmas present and was intrigued by its tagline, “Miracle oil”. I got more intrigued when I read the wonders it can make, it claims it lightens underarms, dark pimple marks, adds shines to hair, effectively removes make-up, prevents and diminishes stretch marks, etc., etc.


I got so curious, I had burning questions I need answers right away so I Google-d. After reading on the benefits of sunflower oil, I was able to dig deeper and I came across something that’s really new to me. It’s called the oil cleansing method. The info I got on this particular topic was not only enormously surprising, but also made me want to experiment on it myself.  These two blogs, One Good Thing by Jillee, and Crunchy Betty and this website called, The Oil Cleansing Method are very informative, even the comments are beneficial! What surprised me the most is that I have never read a negative feedback about it, and everyone who has been in this regimen is satisfied with the outcome.

nut-oilsOk, let’s cut to the chase, lemme explain briefly what the logic behind oil cleansing method is, and eventually share with you the actual process of this beauty regimen.

Scientifically speaking, like dissolves like, thus oil dissolves oil. Our skin produces bad oil. Mixed with dirt, bacteria, and what have you, acne breaks out. But when you replace this with good oil, it nourishes your skin and diminishes the risk of producing pimples, because bacteria will not grow in good oil–an environment that is unfavorable to their growth. If the premise is to simply eliminate oil, why not just buy the products that claim to get you porcelain-like skin? Because they strip off oil that are essential to our skin to keep its moisture. The problem with this is that our skin overcompensates, producing more oil, making us more greasy, hence, increasing the potential of break out. In this case, our skin will never heal because we fail to target the root cause. That’s why these products never worked!

Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) goes like this:

What you need: oils, washcloth, hot water

Examples of oils are*

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.

*these are lifted from The Oil Cleansing Method website.

  1. Blend oils depending on what your skin needs.
  2. Massage onto face (no need to pre-clean).
  3. Relax and continue massaging gently, focusing on problem areas.
  4. Put the washcloth under running water. Remove excess water and place it over your face while warm until it cools down. (I repeat this step 2-3 times).

All the things I retold above are so convincing, compelling me to grab to sunflower oil bottle and try washing my face with oil for the first time. Am just psyched to experience the results myself. I hope they’re amazing!

The Heart of a Mother

For three consecutive months, my mother has given me my monthly supply of Mary Grace’s Velvet Cake. It’s my fave. But this time, she brought home something that is familiar on the outside, yet as I opened the box to look inside, I was surprised to see something different from what I used to get. It was impulse that made me say out loud, “Wha– this is not velvet cake?!”

Not velvet cake…

My mom has been under a medication for her neck/shoulder/spine the past few months and it affects her memory a little. Sometimes she forgets details, she’s always sleepy, she’s becoming a little slower than usual, and she’s getting bigger (but I’m keeping my mouth shut on that subject). But all these are just temporary. They will get away once she recuperates.

Anyway, lately, I’ve been working my ass off, juggling my job–which is great because I was able to get a work-from-home arrangement approved by our management—and house chores.  I (partially) clean the house, cook, water the plants, do laundry, etc, all while having a fulltime job to keep. Two years ago I was not like this. I will only do things because I have no choice, but now that I get to think of my mom’s welfare first before my own makes it easier to handle all these things. I don’t see them now as part of my responsibility, but more like a passion. I am obsessed with doing everything for my mother. Besides, she’s the best mom anyone could ever have! She’s not getting any younger, she has sacrificed a LOT for me and for this family, and now it’s time to start giving back.

My reaction when I saw the cake was just reflex…

It was impulse that made me say out loud, “Wha– this is not velvet cake?!” I wasn’t thinking. When I turned to look at her, I noticed her expression drastically changed from excitement to total frustration. “I’m sorry ha? I forgot you wanted velvet.” Yep, that was instant guilt I felt. If I was only that simple to take back what I just said! I bit my tongue.

It’s chocolate cake…

Now, I am on my second serving, and as I devour this slice, I realized, my mother might be getting old—her skin started to wrinkle already, her memory fails her sometimes, and she gets OC a lot—but one thing is for sure, her heart will always be that of a mother who truly cares for her daughter. She will always be this thoughtful, understanding, passionate mom.  See, the mind forgets but the heart does not.

I asked her if she want some so she could taste (so I can get rid of it before it expires), and guess what? Of course she declined my offer. She’s unbelievable!

Claiming 2013

Year 2012 has been half-half for me—half bad and half good. Although a lot has happened, I can’t help but feel dissatisfied about the fact that I wasted so much time, effort and money on trivial stuff, on things that did not at all matter. e.g. slacking, impulsive shopping, surfing the net, etc.  As 2013 approached, I realized I’m turning 27 this year, yet I felt I have achieved so little in my life and am not getting any younger. While I took for granted the moments that I can never turn back in 2012, I feel that 2013 is a promising start to a better me.

So here goes my resolution list for this year:

  1. Cherish moments especially with people who mean the most to me. I belong to a big family and rarely do we get a chance to eat together, go malling or travel together these days. So when events where everyone or at least most of us are present, I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures.
  2. Save up, yet prioritize the things that are necessary. Spend less on luxury excluding books, travel and quality food. (This is something hard, but I promise to limit my spending on fast food, clothes, bags (since I have too many of them in my stash, and mobile credit!)
  3. Prioritize health. This year will not end without me paying a visit to my dentist, getting bridge for my molars, and having my bi-annual kidney check-up.
  4. Laugh and smile more, lessen negativity. Grumpy is my  last name. I am almost always angry.  Also, I want to be exactly like my favorite grandmother—she was a kind of person who would greet you with a smile every morning,  very calm, always smiling, never angry, and very generous.  Getting mad or annoyed easily is stressful, puts wrinkles on my face, and not healthy at all. Plus it stresses other people as well, and I don’t want to grow old being hated by everyone around me.
  5. Love. Love my family, friends, my long-time serious boyfriend, work, even chores at home. The first 3 are never a challenge, because I’ve always been close to them but the last 2 need a lot of courage and a constant reminder that I’m not making anyone benefit from it, but am doing it for myself.

keep calm 2013

I know this isn’t just another list of new year’s resolutions that most people do just for the heck of it. Some of my influences aside are travel stories, bohemian-themed blogs, and the book titled, “The Happiness Project”.  I’ve always been someone who dispise those whose lives have no direction, but I feel that mine has to go somewhere better. This year, I am not aiming worldly things, fame or filthy wealth. I am opting  for a more relaxed, tranquil and blissful, yet responsible and organized way of life. So here’s to 2013!

The Power of Smile

I was on my way to work, as usual, annoyed by traffic jam and the fact that I was running late. I wasn’t able to get a cab effortlessly and as I waited for an empty one, I began to get more and more frustrated. They say patience is a virtue and I say: I don’t have that. I decided to try my luck on another street corner near a school and as I headed towards that direction, a kid—I’m guessing he was in grade school, no more than 10 years old—was walking so fast that he nearly bumped into me. I quickly turned back at him and gave him a “what the hell was that, watch where you’re going kid” look. The boy stared at me as he kept walking and surprisingly, with smile on his face, lasted about 5 seconds—a smile so genuine that I literally felt the corners of my lips turned up.

Two minutes past that incident, another schoolboy caught my attention. He was doing something with his shoes. I got so fixated on him, eager to figure out what this kid was up to. A few seconds later, he was able to untie his shoelace, removed his shoe and took a coin out. He glanced up at me as if he already knew I was watching him all this time. He smiled and blushed. One word: cute. So I smiled back.

My mood has lightened up a bit. Still waiting for a ride, another kid walked in front of me. He was waving goodbye and grinning. I turned around to see whom he was gesturing at. This time, I almost laughed. I saw a girl frowning at him instead of waving back. I teasingly smiled at her and it was obvious she was forcing herself to keep her facial expression. Checked my wristwatch then I peeked at her again. Nothing changed, still serious. So serious it became funny at one point. Gawd! That little Ms. Grumpy! Whattacranky!

Then it hit me… I was her. I was exactly like her when I was younger, and most of the time until today. Seeing this made me thought of how unhealthy my attitude is. On the bright side, the guilt I suddenly sensed for being a snobbish, moody, bratty girl that I am made me realize how a smile is just a reflex—that it is so simple, natural and spontaneous thing to do, yet immeasurably powerful and moving that it can alter one’s emotions, change a situation and even define a person.

…and sometimes, because it emits and simultaneously creates good vibes, a smile can get a cab, even on a busy hour, on a congested street.