PRAYER OF ABUNDANCE

let go 3.jpgHave you ever felt in your life where you just cannot find the right prayer some times?   Were there times, you felt you didn’t have any prayer in your mind or heart? Were there moments you were just so overwhelmed with so much of problems and challenges you just don’t know how to pray? What about moments you lose faith that the Universe or God is not on your side you wanted to demand an explanation from Him?

Yes, those were the moments in my life. All my life, I have been taught structured prayers and that those are the prayers to use. As years  went by, with so much of challenges in front of me, I doubted if those prayers were even relevant; it was as though the prayers were not heard at all. It was just empty prayers for me. I wanted something deeper and something more meaningful.

My spiritual journey took me to a very deep experience with my Creator as years went by and when I doubted Him, there would be answers and assurances through angels sent in the form of friends, strangers, homilies and even posters or quotes that would flash in front of my eyes at that point of time.  Amazing ? You bet. Yet, there were times I was so caught up with finding myself, I became blind to His messages.

I was holding on and trying to solve my challenges instead of letting go and empty myself to trust Him. This spiritual awareness slowly became obvious but then, what will happen to the tradition and ways we are supposed to live by? I realized I still can and  at a deeper level because my spiritual relationship with my Creator is deep and profound.

It is so amazing that He has been listening to my search for a deeper relationship and understanding of Him and He has brought me closed to Him through wonderful friends who care to share their lives with me as they themselves have found deep spiritual relationship with God. It is more than just the superficial practice we do every day or every week. A truly spiritual journey with God is one who can

  1.  Understand what it means to let go and let God
  2. What it means to practice unconditional love.
  3. To give of yourself
  4. To share with no expectation
  5. Detachment from things and emotions
  6. Be happy and contented
  7. To give gratitude
  8. Emptying oneself so that one can have Everything

The most important and profound thing I learnt is about just giving gratitude in everything. The only prayer we ever need is just ‘THANK YOU’ to our Creator, for all that we have and for those that we don’t have.I remembered when I was totally empty at point in my life that I felt peace and was filled with that sense of calm and full,  I just kept silent and with felt peace in myself. We all have our own journey and we walk different paths. We all experience spirituality in different ways.

All these years, with all the challenges I faced especially those challenges within me, I have cried out for help to overcome them so I can love and accept ME the Catherine that He created in His Image. As time is not relevant in God’s Time, I found my time is NOW. To Just BE and BEING Catherine is so beautiful and enriching. I found that LOVE of God in Me because My Being is with God and in God. I only need to surrender to empty myself each day for Him to fill it up!

The more, I realise this abundance, the more I receive it and the more I want to give ABUNDANCE. It need not be material things or money; give unconditional love, patience, tolerance, empathy, share knowledge, practice act of kindness in creative and heartful ways. Each day now, I wake up and before I sleep I thank God for His Abundance.

I am truly grateful to my sister in Christ Connie for her spiritual empowerment and my others brothers and sisters of different faiths and life journey who have shared and empowered my life. I know I have also empowered them in my own way.

Whether you believe in God or the Universe or believe nothing, Abundance is there and it is real. Just allow it to come to you and you embrace and send it out to others, more will come to you…

It is difficult and scary sometimes to let go and totally surrender. That’s the challenge of it all. Pray like a little child; trusting and with faith.

My prayer – THANK YOU FOR ABUNDANCE! Even when I feel there is none but deep within I know there is.

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Memories of Wheel of Fortune

Have you ever experienced times in your life where life was so rocky that you felt as if the world had no more place for you and it would seem that the dark cloud would follow you wherever you go.  Nothing seemed worth living for.  Then as if by some miracle, something good would shake the dark cloud out of the way and lifted up your spirit even for a short time; but enough to lighten the pain in your life?  This was one of those miracle for me.

In year 2000, I went back into my depressive state for months. It was painful because it was of my physical condition that I was jilted.  Anyway, at that time, I was crushed because I gave my full trust and love to the man whom I had so much respect and faith in. Through that pain and suffering, I walked out not allowing myself to dwell into it but it was one of the toughest journey I had ever travelled. I was also suffering from hyperthyroidism at that time . Now that was another journey altogether which I hope to share with you the miracle of it.

I lost my self esteem and I lost my self eventhough I was consciously aware I had to get out of it.  It was as if I was in a dark pit looking for an invisible rope to pull me out of that black dark pit of life.  I lived my life unhappy although externally I would still smile but I was struggling inside.  I prayed and prayed that I could get out of this situation and continue to live my life.  I cannot change my physical disability so that’s that.

At the time, one of my favourite tv show was the local ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and people were talking about how to get in for the audition to be in the game show.  Without a thought, one morning, I decided to just call the tv station and asked about it. I gave my name and told them I was interested to take part in the gameshow.  The voice at the other end said that I would be called for an audition and I would need to wait a month or so.  I left it at that because I did not believe I would be even lucky to be called for an audition  Good fortune was not on my side r so I believed.  2 weeks later, I got a call and was asked to attend a series of tests 3 days’ time.  Was I excited?  I was numb and I could not find my joy. I called my godsister and she accompanied me 3 days later for the tests.

Believe it or not, that took me away from my pain and emotional stress. I had fun with the tests and auditions and I passed.  Of course, as usual, people were looking at a woman with a leg brace going for audition and wondering what can I do. I had to act out a script, be interviewed, take photo shoots, etc.  I really had fun and laughed so much doing them.  I did it and I got through into the game show.  Throughout the game show, I discovered how good I was and my confidence level was challenged. Still it was a great learning experience and I was in a different kind of world for a short time; short enough to help me heal a little bit more and gave me my self confidence back.  I got through up to the semi finals.  I was disappointed I could not get to the finals but it was, I believe a distraction for me from the Almighty.  It was indeed a miracle and a dream come true.  I  can still feel the joy and excitement today as I am writing this.  The chandelier I won is lighting up my home. I still can talk about it with excitement and pride.

I am blessed to be watched over by my guardian angels because, something good always happens when I am in my dark moments.  The Wheel of Fortune got me out of the dark pit and it helped me avoid dwelling over my pain of being rejected and cheated.  Now as I think over the incident, I no longer feel anything.  It’s just a passing memory and experience.  I am a better person today.

People treat imperfection like a disease and in the end, they are the ones who are diseased. I count my blessings and whether I want to experience those dark roads, it’s really not up to me but I know there’s always hope and light at the end of it.  This is one of my champion moments where I find my strength I have forgotten I had.  My physical imperfection is my greatest blessing because it has power in it.  After all, God blessed it and blessed me.

“You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging”   – Brene Brown
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2016

Today we celebrate the first day of 2016; A new day; a new dawn; a new beginning; a new life.

My life journey so far has been very interesting and met many challenges and some times so unexpected that I cannot see ahead of me.

Today, as I am in 2016, I want to welcome the unexpected year and live it fruitfully, meaningfully and powerfully.

So much has happened in 2015.  I have been pushed out of my rocking chair and to step forward to an exciting new year which I am destined for.

This year, I am changing lives, making a difference in my own life as well.  I am sharing experiences, touching hearts, spreading laughter, reaching out; making my own dreams a reality.

I thank all my mentors, teachers, friends, family members who have extended their hands to me. You mean so much to me……………. 

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Have a fantabulous journey in 2016 !

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Lessons from my parents today

Watching my father and mother in front of me during meals today made me recall how young they were.  It is unbelievable how much they have aged physically and mentally.

My father, now in his mid to late 80’s is not in a good mood today.  He grumbled and insisted we turn off the stove although we kept telling him we want to steam some food for him.  It is frustrating when he forgets despite explaining to him numerous times.  Finally, turned off the stove and he kept quiet.

Then came meal time, he wanted something which we told him that he can have something else instead.  He got angry and refused whatever we wanted to give him.  It has made me realise how fragile our brain becomes as we age.

My sister and I love to tease him because today he  was like a 5 year old and he keept asking the same question over and over again.  We do admit we do lose our patience when we forget that he is at the age where he forgets. 

Most days, he is fine and there are days he would fight us and said we bully him when  we tell him to stop  scratching himself (he scratched till he bled or skin would peel). He would get angry and told us to stop  ‘controlling’ him.  He is someone who used to laugh, play pranks and a very simple man. Now he has become that no-nonsense and serious man unless during his good days when he will joke.  At time when we play the same prank on him, he would get angry.  He is really teaching us patience and also what growing old is all about.

My mother on the other hand, is still tough and independent although physically she is weak.  She no longer can stand for long so she cannot cook anymore.  She is helping to care for my dad with his medicine and supervising him  when we are working.   Mom was the never sick in a day before, so seeing her suddenly weak was hard to bear.  She is in her 80’s too.  Dad was the sick one when he was younger but now it is just the opposite. Physically, he is healthy in a certain sense. Years back, mom took care of everything and made sure we had food on the table no matter what. Now it is our turn.

It was a joy today that we can go for mass for Christmas and have a meal together.  I enjoyed cutting  their chicken chop to small pieces and treating them with coffee and cake after that.  My sister kept teasing  both of them and our laughter filled the café. 

I thank God I can take care of them and each day God has heard our prayer to let us care for their needs. That they live a quality life as long as possible.

Merry Christmas pa and ma.  May you stay healthy and we love you very much.

Thank you for letting us take care of you and staying in our lives each day and teaching us to love you.

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It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. –Pope Francis

Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother

I have been absent for a long while now.   This morning, I sat myself down  and quickly pen this down to share my thoughts and feelings with you before I do my other chores.

I love watching CSI’s series. 

Today, a scene in CSI NY  (sorry turned the episode on halfway so did not know the title),  was about one of the CSI staff visiting his aged father in a home.  He wanted his father to remember how abusive he was towards him and kept pushing his father to remember.  He wanted his father to apologise to him and feel  the guilt.  He wanted his father to feel his own anger  of being an abused son.  Unfortunately, his aged father cannot remember.  He was so angry and hurt that his father cannot feel what he wanted him to feel.

Towards the end of the series, his superior spoke with him.  He shared to his superior  how much he wanted his father to feel his pain of being an abused son.  Throughout the conversation with his superior,  what he really wanted was to have his father back; the moment as a young boy whom his dad would take him to the record store to buy records.   He wanted to hurt his father but yet wanted to forgive him but couldn’t.  He wanted to release the pain he was carrying.  His superior said this “you wanted to remember him as a good dad.  You carrying the baggage will make it harder for you to accept him. He is also a victim.”

In the last scene, he reminisces his happy days by sharing a record he loved (his father’s collection with his girlfriend who told him that she is there to journey with him.

I enjoy CSI for many reasons.  There are so many lessons one can learn.  I love lessons like what I have watched today.

My own aged father can be annoying because of his stubbornness.  He argues with all of us even when he cannot remember that he did something but denied it.  He was not always there for me growing up and in certain ways, I felt what that actor felt in the moment.  It is  true for me, that I wish I had the father who would dote on me when I was 4 years old.  He would take me around on his bike and spend so much time with me when he could.  He was not abusive but avoid confrontation when there was any at home. 

On the other hand, I see him a fragile man getting older by the day and living his 2nd childhood except that physically he is an adult.  I am thankful today, I am reminded that my father was also a victim of circumstances and he did his best he knew how then.  He was who he was.

I am thankful he is still around and able to be with me and for me to care for  him together with my aged mum too.  I will do my best to provide and care for them with God’s grace. Yes, I have to sacrifice certain freedom and also postpone things I want to do for myself.  I know God has better plans for me and I trust Him to live my life.

4th Commandment –  Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

— Exodus 20:12 

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A Fruitful Day

Today has been a very productive and fulfilling day. Not only have I filled my tummy with delicious local fare but also filled my spirit with positivity.

It is a challenge to plan to meet up with friends or go places or just to have fun because every weekend is filled with tasks, errands, calls for assistance, etc.  I have put aside many things I want to do for myself.    I also feel guilty when I do not stay home to spend time or even be there physically for my aged parents every weekend.  Almost every Saturday and Sunday is filled with activities outside.

I finally decided to take my shoes to my shoemaker in the city for repairs.  At the same time, meet up with a good friend to visit and also go on a food spree.  Talk about killing more than 2 birds with one stone.   With half the day to spend, I could say that those hours were fulfilling and filled with motivation.

It was important for me to have at least one motivation or to make a difference to someone or even learn something from someone. I had all of them today.

When I went to my shoe maker, she was wearing a face mask and a cap and I knew what she was going through.  We chatted about her condition and she is still going through chemotherapy.  She is optimistic and living as every other day.  I pray she would recover and need not go through the series of chemo.

Then I met a wonderful 73 year old widow, Cynthia (I wrote about her in my Facebook page),  who was cleaning tables making sure walk in customers have clean tables to enjoy their meals.  She would greet everyone and smile.  I greeted her and got to know her .  She really inspired me with her pleasant and cheerful personality.  She has good work ethics and she enjoyed what she was doing.  Walking around, making sure all the tables were clean and trays put away, despite having rheumatoid arthritis.  She continued to work because she wanted to keep herself busy.  She lost her husband a year ago.  She has 3 sons and 5  grandchildren (I believe).  All doing very well.  She did not want to trouble them and wanted to be independent.

She told me to keep smiling because I bring sunlight to people who see me smile.  I think that was so beautiful.  A stranger who gave me ‘silver boxes’ like that.  This affirmation made a difference to me.  It has been a long time, since someone said that to me; or I have not been smiling that much.

Cynthia

Then meeting up with my good friend and going on an eating spree was something I have not done for a while.  It was fun.  We had small portions of many different types of food where she lived.  It was fun.  The roasted duck, meatball soup, braised pork, coffee from another state, shaved ice with fruits, watercress in sugar water….

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Wanted to have our King of all fruits – Durian, to end our spree but we could not find any.

We stopped by a little truck selling roasted pork and had a good chat with the boss.  He is young and handsome.  Jeremy is his name.  He said that when he has extras and bits and pieces,  he would give away to homes. It was good and my friend gave her number to him so that he can call (hopefully) to give her so that she can share them with poor communities that she knows. What a great day to meet like-minded people.

It was truly a day of pure fun and hanging out with good company.

Dinner was done for the day with so much calories during lunch.  Still I took my parents out for  dinner and hang with them

Overall, today was a good day and I can remember what I did. Usually I would run around like crazy and forget what I had done for the day.  There is so much to tell about today but my brain can only remind me so much for now.  Tired I guess!

Thank God for an inspiring and fun day!  How was yours?

Comfort

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 Nobody can live without comfort.

But comfort is not like alcohol.

It’s no injection, no sleeping pill which merely numbs you,

And then plunges you into an even darker night.

Comfort is not a flood of words.

 Comfort is a healing balm on a deep wound.

Comfort is a sudden oasis in an empty desert, which makes you believe in life again.

Comfort is a soft hand on your forehead, that makes you feel at peace.

Comfort is the gentle face of someone close to you who understands your tears,

Who listens to your troubled thoughts,

Who sticks by you through your doubts and anxieties,

And who shows you a few guiding stars in the dark night.