Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Hero's Adventure

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Barack Obama, the current contesting Democratic as the President of the United States to me was a male version of Oprah Winfrey. And I could not be more right especially after I read a fantastic book called 'Exporing Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey in Contemporary American Society' which highlighted the journey of four Heros: Lance Armstrong, Rudy Guiliani, Barrack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. When these heros speak, they speak from the heart and it is by pulling the heart strings of the common people that makes people relate to them. Reason why Barrack Obama could rise so fast to the top of the election ladder despite being black and having the least campaigning budget to begin with.

This book begun by highlighting that every hero has their own journey which usually contain a call to adventure. This call to adventure is the stepping out of these heros from their comfort zone into an element that they need to carve a name for themselves, realising that they are part of something much bigger than themselves. For Lance Armstrong who was one of the best cyclists and became egoistic, having a head too big for himself got a turn of this life when cancer hits him. Instead of pulling himself down, he went on to be the best cyclist in the world and after winning the fight of cancer, started a movement where people buy a yellow band called 'Livestrong' to donate towards the research to cure cancer. He was so strong he even remarked "Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me'. For Oprah Winfrey, it is a life changing event when she was 9 where she was raped that made her felt she had to do more than what she can and set foot out of her hometown to be a newscaster which brought the opportunity to host her own show. I will be able to talk about Barrak Obama more after I read this book 'The Audacity of Hope' which I attempt to do soon. Thus, explaning how he like Oprah uses the same weapon of human heart to lead and inspire and to make a difference.

All heros mentioned have followed their bliss, their own intuitive creative life force that burns in them. I too was tremendously inspired and reading this book become one of the most meaningful 3 hours of my life even though I had to do it during my sleepless night. No matter what befalls us in life, we always may keep moving towards the life that is waiting to be ours if we just have the courage to take it. Heed your call to adventure! We live in a perfect world that is only made imperfect through our own self-defeating ideas and emotions. Read more here.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Story of An Introvert and More

I learnt a new word today from watching Lars and the Real Girl, acted brilliantly by Ryan Gosling, winning a few awards for his believable potrayal of a lonely introvert. The word is 'decompensating'. It's definition?

When the world has let you down and you do not know what to do to make things better, you shut yourself from the world. It is safer for you not to feel anything than to be hurt over and over again. This can be seen from the characteristics of someone who blinks his eyes incessantly, trying to have as little view of the real world as possible. It is seldom of their choice to be an introvert but circumstances around them has made them cold, afraid to feel passion and afraid to face the real world as it might hurt them in the long run. A hard brick wall built around them protects them from the dangers of the chaotic, harsh and fickle world. Wanting everything under their own control, they get frustrated when things do not happen as they hoped for or envisioned. Most times, they feel abstinence, unable to feel the same euphoria and happiness that everyone else can feel, unable to smile when everyone laughs, unable to lead a normal life others can lead. They feel uncomfortable in a crowded setting even though they wished they could be like the famous, charming, suave person in the centre of attention.

It is with this intention that made Lars invented a version of himself in the form of a girlfriend, a sex doll he purchased from the Internet. The girlfriend became his outlet to vent his anger and frustration, his muse to show the world how he would treat someone had he been given the chance to fall in love and an ear for him to tell his problems and fears to. Being abandoned since young and not being taken care of, he showed signs of 'decompensating' where years of accumulated loneliness and frustration has turned him into someone deprived of love and compassion but so needing them at the same time.

It made me think that everyone decompensates in their own way, difference is how big the accumulation of emotions is. Those with pent-up frustration tend to be those who are silent, introverts who sacrifices for others and unable to voice their wants and needs. As a result, they decompensate in a different way letting out their emotions in a way considered abnormal.

With what most people will use to release pent up sex desires, positioning the doll in various karmic ways and releasing pleasure through the doll, Lars on the other hand, used the doll to release his pent up emotions, using the doll as a reflection of himself. The doctor did a great job exploring him through his doll, accepting that what he does is normal to help him gain normalcy.

I do feel like I gained a bit of excerpt of how an introvert thinks and feels as I have never been in the position of one. However, what touched me about the movie is what harm 'decompensating' can do to anyone and once accumulated, gets harder to resolve. Thus, communication is key.

My Ideal TV Boyfriend

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Are you an Adopted Child?

She had the eyes of a doll and the lips of an angel. Sleeping blissfully in a tiny cot, enveloped by warm, comfy blankets, she basks in the glory of being surrounded by peaceful sound of dripping waters from the fountains nearby and delicious smell of food baked in the kitchen. Growing up, she never needed to do any housework which will tarnish her soft white skin. She had all the toys and dresses that most kids desired but could not afford to buy. She enjoys food of the best quality and joins her parents in posh restaurants. She would never have expected to live like this had her mother not decided to give her up to a wealthy childless couple who were longing for kids but unable to do so due to health complications.

On the other side of the earth, a lady with the same pretty features as the girl wonders how her baby is doing. Had she not slept with so many men who treated her like an animal it makes her privates bleed sometimes, she would not have produced a child she could not take care of. Well, at least now she knows that her baby is taken care of, or at least she hoped. She could remember how her baby's eyes blinked with tears when she passed her to an adoption house. Wistful as she was, she had no choice. She just wished that her daughter one day will not come to know of how her existence came into being and will live a life she fully deserves.

The business of adoption has been seen as an act of kindness that will give the abandoned kids a chance to live in an actual family. When the insidiousness of the world throws a kid into the a live of abondonment where they lose their sense of belonging and family, when a kid is adopted, I do feel that the kid is given one more chance to live in a warm, loving surroundings they truly deserve. Have you seen the eyes of a kid in an orphanage where no matter how liveless, there is a certain yearning to gain back their soul. Have you seen how they try to fit in with their schoolmates even though they feel they don't belong? Have you seen the longing in their eyes when everyone else goes back to their family where hot, warm food is already on the table and warm shower is prepared at any time of the day? Have you felt how empty but heavy their hearts are feeling a void not many will feel, wondering thoughts many would have taken for granted? If you have, wouldn't it warm you to give them the warmth everyone else who is born into this world deserves? I am so proud of one of my friend who has recently adopted a child and has been caring for their beautiful baby just like their own child. At least I know that the baby will have a good life, fully taken care of all her needs having doting parents like my friend and his wife.

So, the next time you scream at your mother for not letting you go out clubbing with your friends, or the next time you complain of being to forced to eat home-cooked meal when you could have gone for a good but expensive dinner with your friends, think of those who would die to be in your position but instead appreciating every moment they are with their parents and savouring every dish that are served by their parents, knowing that nothing will ever taste as good. You will never be able to feel the same void had you not been in that position. Appreciate life.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wind and Rain

Besieged with insomnia, I jogged at 6.30 am today (yikes, some days I even sleep at that time!) under the tracks of the MRT. Dark skies loomed above me threateningly but the color of the skies illuminated the way my heart felt. As the small raindrops dribbles slowly down, and as I ran faster to numb myself of all feelings, the drops got bigger and I felt the warmth of the skies crying with me. I actually felt better having something that cried together with me. For a moment, I just want to escape to a place where hearts can never be broken and tears only dropped for joy. Well, there is always rainbow after the rain right? Slowly, I found my form of escape, through words.Too beautiful not to be presented. Surrounded by the lush music and dark clouds, I immersed myself in his soul.......Jay Chou's......

Dark clouds cast a shadow over our hearts
I listen intently to the feelings that have long been silenced
Distinct and clear
Just like a beautiful landscape
That can only be clearly seen in one's memories
Can a heart that's been thoroughly wounded cotinue to love?

I tried to hold your cold hands
The tenderness in the past
Is locked in time
All that's left are sadness that cannot be dispersed
Longing is like maple leaves, slowly drifting down
I light a candle to warm year-end's autumn

The aurora steals across the horizon
The north wind flits across the face that's thinking of you
Ashes from my burning heart falls like leaves
But I can never regain (your) familiar face again

Longing is like maple leaves, slowly difting down
Why must I try to recover all before winter arrives?

My love for you trancends all time
Two streams of tears that were shed for the autumn's end
Let the love flood through
I just want you by my side

The lush mountainside forest
Withers in the North Wind
I sway the windchime gently
Attempting to awaken this abandoned love
Snhowflakes have already covered the ground
Fearing that the maple leaves outside the window are already frozen

-Adapted from Jay Chou's song entitled 'Feng' or Maple.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Animal Talk - Endangered and Extinct

Gazing at the scenic view of elephants trawling through the dry lands of Africa with the towering Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, I was awed by its beauty and majesty. Will you be able to imagine if 20 years down the road, there would be no images like this and all that is left are views of tall skyscrapers towering polluted skylines and human in their big vehicles zig zagging across busy streets? Can you even imagine if 20 years down the road, your kid will ask you where the cute cuddly white bear with black eyes around its rim called the panda can be found and your answer would be 'Pandas do not exist anymore'. Can you imagine not having the enormous but tame whales swimming in the great blue ocean surrounded by the most adorable of dolphins jumping in and out of the seawaters?

All these and more could happen in the near future if we are not careful with the animals walking on the face of Earth today. As I was trawling some international website, I came across this beautiful photo of elephants but was heart-broken when I read the news on how these tame and obedient creatures are poached for ivory leaves. And I thought this action has been banned since 1989, considering the criticality of the situation and the realization that these animals will be extinct. I was flabbergasted when this piece of news mentioned that in 2006 alone, as many as 23,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory due to the rising demand of luxury ivory goods in Japan, China and the United States. Those who carried out these inhumane behaviour do not realise the impacts on the animals. Elephants are very much like human beings in which the young elephants seek for their elders for guidance and protection, thus growing up in a not complete family will negate negative behaviours and frequent clashes among the elephant communities.

Feeling sorrowful from reading this article, I was elated when I read a good piece of news from my own country, The Star saying that in order to prevent the extinction of a very unique mammal only found in Asia called the tapir, an animal with long stout and a white middle on black-coloured body, they trapped a female tapir to use it as an object of study and analysis. With an estimated 1,100 to 1,500 tapirs in the peninsula, even though not endangered their numbers could dwindle if left unmonitored.

Last but not least is how a little bit of glamour could bring out the message a little louder through the honourable actions of Hayden Panetierre who went to Tokyo and rowed out to the sea in her little bikini to drive the message of 'Stop Killing the Dolphins and Whales' a little louder. In Japan, Taiji fishermen kills doplhins as part of their traditional fishing culture while in Brazil, heartless fishermen kills dolphins in large quantities so that the meat can be used as shark bait, while complete dolphin jaws are hawked in an open air market in the large Amazon city of Belem. Their eyes are also plied as fetishes to men who believe they have magical powers to attract financial riches and women. My god, I can't even dare to print the words here but had to as I need to drive a strong point to my readers. So, let's keep these animals safe so that we can show them to our children instead of just photos of them.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do You See Life through Rose-Tinted Glasses?

When I was in Disneyland Hong Kong, my whole family was given a pair of glasses that looked very ordinary, almost like a 3D glass. What we see through those glasses was beautiful and astounding. When we were watching fireworks, lights reflected through the glasses looking like snow flakes with such wonderful patterns and illumination of colours. Till today, I keep the pair of glasses safe in my drawer, reminding myself of how when times are down, I should be positive and ignore the ugly side of life for a while. Besides, even Buddha needs time to recuperate before spreading his good works of wisdom and acts of sacrifice.

The news I read today however was way beyond putting current affairs behind some rose-tinted glasses. It was more of a deceit when the media of a country covers up all the bad and negative agenda even when it is so obvious just to portray a good situation in the eyes of the public. It was shocking how China media can block so much freedom of speech, preventing any misdemeanors which might happen. This is such a pity as it is acts like these that create a nation that is not civic-countries and even selfish.

London meanwhile published the whole story truth and truth, even showing pictures of the chaos that happened when the Olympics Torch was carried across London due to the protests of people towards the plight in Tibet. It is in a country like this that people are aware of social issues, contributes back to the society and voices out when things are not right. Even though sometimes, the demonstrations might get out of hand, it is encouraging to see the spirit of people coming out to fight for the rights of human while China continues to bask in their inhumane treatments of those in Tibet. And what better way to do it than during the lighting of the Torch which would give China media the greatest impact and exposure. It is such a disappointment to see China’s media, People’s Daily reporting such a rose-tinted view of the event, keeping their people under wraps of the ability to practise freedom of speech. Well to see that happening will be years and decades to come, stifling the advancement and growth of this economic powerhouse.

This brings me to the main topic of discussion: how much do you see life through rose-tinted glasses? Do you choose to live life this way or are you oblivious to certain important issues in the world? I know a lot of people (maybe even 90% of the people in this world) belong to the latter, choosing to live life the way they want, believing only things that benefit them and putting self-enjoyment above contribution. I am proud to be mixing with people who do not belong to this category, choosing to not just accept things the way they are but work towards change, towards an improved life, no matter how hard. Often times, the government stifles actions through filtered media, creating only a small handful who fights and criticizes what is not right. It is good and joyful to live life through rose-tinted glasses if you just want a comfortable life. However, I am glad not everyone is like that or else, there would be no Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Aung San Suu Kyi and Siddhartha Gautama in this world who made a difference and created greatness.

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. - Mother Teresa

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Chick Flick Chicks

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The dame of all shows, the belle of all movies. What makes certain girls stand out above the rest, garnering more female appeal than the rest of the female species?

It started with Meg Ryans as the doe-eyed beauty, always looking forlove in the wrong places and finally falling in love with the simple guy next door. Followed by Julia Roberts as the unique contemporary beauty whose potrayal of a New York hooker falling for a rich elite man brought many more romantic comedies to her helm. The tall blond beach girl called Cameron Diaz was on US most wanted list for chick flicks ranging from silly laugh out loud There's Something About Maryto holiday feel good movie The Holiday. Kate Hudson did not do too bad as the cheery, ever laughing girl who falls in and out of love with the wrong guy. Who can forget Reene Zellweger's porayal as the slightly plump but actually normal weight of a UK girl as Bridget Jones torn between two lovers in incredibly different personalitiesin Bridget Jones diaries which she lter ventured into more challenging roles. An ever lasting American sweetheart who won the votes of the Academy Awards through Johnny Cash is Reese Witherspoon but was lovable in chick flicks like Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde. Now, there is a new entrant into the lovely all-American sweetheart who has also won the long deserved Academy award, Katherine Heigl who now has claimed 2 fairly successful chick flicks: Knocked Up and 27 Dresses. I like her, due to the fact she does not potray the frail, stick thin actresses whose lives depend on love but who can hold her own while maintaining a buxom and voluptuous physique.

So what makes these bevy of beauties so alluring and appealing to the eyes of viewers that people can watch them on the big screens over and over again, laughing at their weird antiques, crying when they are lost and rejected in love and emulating their moves and accents. Why do we love watching the way their eyes curve when they smile, their nose cringe when they are unsure and their pitiful face when they cry? Besides their pretty, doe-like faces, with sunny dispositions and smooth mostly blonde hair, one of the qualities that make them endearing is their strong and independent but vulnerable & emtional attitudes. Despite the strong exterior they present while at work and in public, they are such softies inside, looking for true love in the funniest way possible. I guess this makes them characters that most of us girls can relate to and why us girls and even some guys get addicted to them. Thank God for chick flicks :)

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Pieces of Me

Sometimes I turn on the music so loud
It hinders negative emotions from seeping into my soul
Sometimes I drown myself in work which I do so well
It feels so good not to be pulled down by unproductive thoughts
Sometimes I sleep only at wee hours of the morning
Lulled by the stillness of the morning creating a void in me
Sometimes I sit alone by the water staring into darkness
Allowing the calmness of the water and billows of the wind to induce tranquility
Sometimes I hug a lot of pillows before I am lulled into dreamland
Feeling the love and warmth of these objects surrounding me
Sometimes I watch little movies that touches and tears me
Capturing these little fragments of emotions that I hold so dear
Sometimes I ask myself where you'd go
Hoping that one day you will come back.....

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Dream Green Wedding

Yes, the dreaded wedding images have been toying in my mind for sometime now. Maybe because my biological clock is ticking louder as I am nearing my big 3-0. But then again, who gives a fuck if I still have so much to love for as a single. Hehe!

Anyway, if I ever do have a wedding, these will be my hard and fast rules. Anyone who watched Blood Diamond will be cold hearted to be able to even lift up a diamond ring and considering purchasing one just to prove to your loved one the amount of money she is worth. At the back of my mind, I would have felt so guilty to have made so many Africans bleed and die just to dig that small sparkly stone out of the earth and to be place on my finger as a symbol of eternity. I was never one tempted by commercial values of things thus my dream came true when instead of buying Brilliant Rose from SooKee, a well known jewelry retailer in Singapore to considering purchasing Brilliant Earth, a retailer of conflict free diamonds where the diamonds are tracked from the mine in Canada through cutting, polishing and transport to ensure that it enters an uninterrupted chain of events that lead to the smuggling of diamonds to conflict areas like Sierra Leone. The best part is 5% of your purchase will be donated back to the African communities who have been sacrificed by the greed of human.

While everyone dreams of getting married on a cruise which to me is silly as it is so inconvenient to step onto a ship and be transported nowhere. Who knows, maybe my guests might get seasick and throw up during the ship ride. Ideally, my wedding location has to be near somewhere enveloped by nature be it water like a beach or grass like a garden. Of course that would be dreamlike but that to me is respecting the earth by being close to nature during the happiest day of my life. If you have watched ‘The Bachelor’ series, the walkway of The Bachelor 11 where the last 2 girls walk towards a dreaded rejection or a coveted proposal by the Bachelor looked simply sumptuous. It was a white carpeted walkway leading towards a white elevated platform, surrounded by beautiful pots of flowers, overlooking the best seaside I could have ever seen. Never has a place awed me so much I could open my mouth during the whole scene on tv.

The wedding meals will NOT consist of shark fin, despite it being an obligatory meal during the course of a Chinese dinner. I truly disrespect people who think having shark fin is a symbol of power and status as haven’t they heard how violent and cruel sharks are murdered just to get their fin? Or are they just ignorant? In its place, I will serve the best tasting soup or even lobster (but then I hate to see so many lobsters killed too) just like what was done during one of my friend’s wedding diner and I dare say the delicious chicken and cucumber soup was 100 times tastier than a bowl of soup with meager pieces of fins from the shark.

Performances during my wedding will not be tarnished by loud croaking voices from the karaoke of my relatives, or at least I will leave that till last. I will hire a band who can play a medley of beautiful English, Chinese and Korea love songs to bring back the memories of love among all my guests. And the performance will be done by none other than blind and disabled people, among some who could play incredibly well compared to some musicians in the bars and pubs. If I could pay someone to do the job, why not be charitable instead.

Last and not least will be my honeymoon which I have contemplated going for volunteer vacations so that I not only get to see new exotic places like Cook Islands, China or Nepal but also contribute back to the society by perhaps teaching them English or helping them build a school. What better way to adapt to the culture of others by being a part of them and eating their food? I am checking out programmes from Global Volunteers as they have such a large number of places to choose from and such great objectives.

There you have it, my wedding dreams which might not necessarily lead to reality but one can always dream. Who knows…I might inspire you – A wedding with a difference

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Little Deed Goes a Long Way

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What do you do everyday that changes a little bit of someone's life for the better? Some go to church every weekend to confess their sins and to donate money to the church hoping that it will be used for the better of the society. Some donate to the charity hoping that whatever little is left after spreading it out with the organization, the small donation will be contributed back to the poor and unfortunate. Some lounges on their couch and watches shows like Oprah and whinged an sobbed whenever the topic of poverty or diseases all over the world is brought up.

What do I do everyday that makes a difference in this world? I am proud to say I have done my part in denominations of daily. monthly and annually. On a daily basis, whenever I turn on my PC and I am already doing something to help cure AIDs, yes, you must be laughing, thinking these are just good thoughts but I do believe that by installing World Community Grid on my PC/laptop, I am helping to increase the chances of curing AIDs and cancer. What happens is this tool uses your PC's idle resources to calculate the different variances in curing AIDs or cancer. All you have to do is select which project you want to get involved in and click the Download button to get your free software.

Monthly, I donate a small portion of my money towards the empowerment, education and betterment of a girl I sponsored in Thailand. This is done through WorldVision organization who helps poor societies all over the world to build better homes for their kids, provide them with healthy food and pay for the children education. I am proud to say I am the proud step mom of a beautiful Thai girl who draws for me whenever she can. And I am even more proud when I spread this to other people and found more than 3 people close to me doing the same, adopting
kids from Indonesia, China and Laos. It's a nice feeling to know someone out there appreciates what you provide for them every month.

Annually, I participate in volunteer programs like Collecting donations for kids with Mental Disorders in collaboration with Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day. I approached people who lined up to get their free ice-creams to ask for their kindness in donating to the unfortunate kids to contribute to the cost of their operations and healthcare. It saddens me to hear of the condition of spastic and autistic kids who all they want is to continue living another day in their live. The enlightening observation I get from this volunteer activity is that those who willingly donate are actually better looking with better sense of dressing and poise compared to those who did not donate. God is fair after all ;)

Recently, I am honoured to say that I organised a Blood Donation Drive on behalf of the entrepreneur organization I joined in Singapore called Project:Senso. I printed posters and stick it all around Singapore hoping for a bigger turnout, hoping that entrepreneurs will learn to give to receive. It was quite dissapointing to have a small turnout but am glad that I went ahead with it. I even managed to create some first time donaters among my teammates. Sometimes, you need that extra push to encourage you to do the noble thing. Those I thought were afraid to donate had no fear at all but were just too lazy to do so without an event like this. My best observation from this blood donation is people who gives a bit of themselves are truly nice to one another as can be felt at the hospital. Strangers who sleep beside one another can't stop smiling and struck up conversations with the stranger next door.

In the future, I aim to go on holidays or honeymoons in the nature of volunteering my efforts towards the betterment of the society, be it teaching English or helping build houses and schools and visiting new and exotic countries at the same time. What better way to travel than to know that you are helping someone at the same time, clearly not for those who fancy luxuries and pure relaxation but hey, what is that compared to the feeling of satisfaction from helping someone creating a better life. Yoou can do this through Global Volunteers which gives you a great selextion of places to go for your volunteering efforts or Go Differently that promotes responsible and ethical travels to the exotic land of the Asia Pacific. Check out this website of a guy who quit his job as a Geography teacher to cycle all the way from Siberia back to London to see the world and managed to collect a donation over £21,000 for the children at risk charity ‘Viva’. His experience throughout the journey was priceless. Bravo!