Category Archives: Relationship

Happy New Year! Stay the Course in 2014.

The old has gone, the new is here!  Indeed, today is the first day of a brand new year, 2014.

Six practices that will help me stay the course this year:

1.  Practice my faith.  Listening to Charlton Heston reading the Bible is a great way of reminding myself of God’s words.  The Word lives!  Pray when I need guidance, courage and encouragement.  The Holy Spirit understands.  I praise for who God is and for God’s deliverance.  Worship God whenever and wherever I can.  Participate in the collective worship and fellowship of believers.  My faith sustains me. 

2.  Practice the spirit of Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer.  Accept the things that cannot be changed.  Have courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.  Living one day at a time…accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, trusting that God will make all things right.  Truly, when I let go of my expectations of how things/people should be, and trust my God for all things, I seem to have more peace and contentment, and at times even more fun of living my own life.   

3.  Practice living one day at a time.  Life is full of joy and sorrows.  With this skill of focusing on the here and now, I am able to experience both without feeling overwhelmed.  When I was going through several rounds of chemo a while ago, each time I only focused on the one that I was about to do, then on the recovery.  One by one I completed the task and recovered.  The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s thought that “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.  A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” is one of the most practical advice that carried me through the dark time. 

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Lao Tzu


Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

Lao Tzu


4. Practice enjoying the present moment whenever I will.  Here, I want to emphasize on the joy of living or on “taking in the good” (Rick Hanson’s, Ph.D. expression).  Make the good feelings last by savoring the positive experience.  Every morning, I take time to smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee then drink it with abandonment.  I also indulge myself with a rich chocolate croissant every now and then.  I make time to spend with my loved ones and friends and catch up on their latest.  When I choose to be there for them, I wholeheartedly enjoy their presence. 

5. Practice getting out of my house.  When I am in the great outdoor, nature has a way of cheering me on and reminding me of the wonders of this physical world…that’s earthy and real.  I walk, run, hike, snowshoe, kayak and maybe even bike.  I have never regretted the time I spent outside. Fresh air has always done me well and exercise is the key to not only physical health but emotional and spiritual as well. 

6. Practice hobbies. I love to write, paint and play a little bit of piano.  My hobbies keep me interested in my life and the lives of others. They also challenge me to grow.  I find great joy in learning and mastering new tasks.  They also define some parts of who I am.  Hobbies that arouse my curiosity, activate my brain, and enhance my senses are worth of my lifelong pursuit.

Have a blessed New Year and may you live long and thrive!





Invisible: The Dark Side of Love

I really thought
you were my family,
Believing all the while
You would always stay.

However long I’ve learned.
The demons of your past
Are more powerful than
The promises that you made.

We were too blind to see:
This invisible war
Of unyielding hearts
Was doomed from the start.

Who’d have ever imagined?
Your love for me
Once overflowed;
Now is not enough.


My Weekend

Nourish my identity with food, senses, intention and consciousness;
Feed the soul with Bartok, Haydn, Beethoven and Strauss;
Immerse in rain, spirituality, and artists’ creative processes.

Have conversations of the heart–light and heavy.
Joy and sorrows pass on by like clouds in the sky.
It’s a rich and beautiful weekend–all in all.


Six Ways to Become Unpopular on Facebook or Anywhere Else in the Cyberspace

Readers beware: my dark side is writing this post tonight and be ready for some unpleasant emotions if it speaks to you, or not.

I had an interesting discussion with my colleagues this week regarding the on-line community.  There are at least 6 ways to become unpopular on Facebook or anywhere else in the cyberspace:

1. Keep posting mundane updates like: “I am bored.” “I just had a cup of coffee.” Please respect your friends’ time and make their reading your posts worthwhile.  If you want to keep a log of your daily activities by the hour, have your privacy setting to “only me”.

2. Keep posting comments that need decoding. Not sure about you but for me anything that requires a great deal of guesswork makes caring for/paying attention to you that much harder.

3. Bombard your friends with your rants whether they are political, religious, professional or psychological.  If you need a special place to air out your convictions, consider creating a fan page for your followers.

4. Be passive-aggressive with your comments on-line because you don’t have the guts to talk to your friend(s) and sort out the differences in person.  Passive-aggressiveness is really a form of aggression and there is nothing healthy or helpful about it.

5. Lurk but rarely participate in the on-line community. I totally get some people setting up an account to update themselves on the status of their loved ones once a while.  However, if you read your friends’ posts regularly, would it kill you to click on “like” or comment once a while so we know you are alive and well and have an opinion.

6. Post comments that are insensitive and/or offensive. You may enjoy your jokes but maybe not all your friends find them funny, especially when they have to do with people’s age, gender, race/ethnicity, weight/height, sexual orientation, religion, politics…Equal opportunity offenders are not an excuse for being mindless.

Time to stop here and it’s okay that you decide to dislike or even unfriend me after reading this post.  After all, this is a post about how to be unpopular.


1 + 1 = ? >2 Three Ways to Add Values to Your Relationships

No worries.  This post is not about calculating math.  It’s about ways to add values to your relationships.

It all started when the other day, my dear friend challenged me to look at relationships as a math equation.  On an one-on-one level, do I add to or subtract from a relationship?  (Hope I add to).  Hence, 1 + 1 = > 2.

A fair and sound question and here are three simple ways to add values to any relationships:

1.  Be Mindful. It’s in our human nature that we spend most our time thinking about ourselves.  However, to be in a mutually nurturing relationship, it really helps to pay attention to the person you care about.  Deep connections usually form when your partner/friend/family member feels listened to and understood.  What are his/her likes and dislikes?  How are things going for him/her lately?

Here is the test.  Recall the last three conversations you had with that person.  What percentage of time you talked about yourself vs. what percentage of time you truly listened to the other person?  Did you learn anything new about him/her?  If the ratio is off, you probably talk too much.  It never ceases to amaze me that people can talk up a storm but rarely listen. When we don’t listen, we miss the opportunity to learn and connect.

2.  Be Thoughtful.  Do you go out of your way to help a friend?  The little things do make a big difference.  My dear friend who is very handy often goes out of his way to help me and others with any repairs he is capable of doing.  No joke, he almost always leaves the place or appliance in a better condition than it was first found.

Saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you” is not overrated.  One of my good friends has a knack for writing the sweetest thank-you card.  A person who picks out a card, sits down, takes out a pen and writes a couple meaningful sentences really sends out a message to me that she cares.

3.  Be Equitable.  Do you take more than you give in a relationship?  Granted, not all relationships are 50/50 but when one constantly takes more than gives, it usually leaves the partner/friend/family member feeling resentful and discontent.

I know it’s not warm and fuzzy to look at your relationship like you look at your bank account.  At the same time, it’s rather an useful analogy.  it makes one examine the balance sheet of his/her relationship.  Have you made emotional deposits lately to offset the withdrawals?  Emotional deposits can be kind words and/or kind deeds.  Withdrawals, well, you guess it, it’s the opposite of kindness or lack of.

Okay, it’s your turn, what are some ways you add to your relationships?

Sand Dollars