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

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Woman Empowerment in a TV Box

Call it Sex and the City, the successful female version, no such characters as a damsel in distress hoping for a life of perfection (aka Charlotte) and a struggling writer who falls for bad, unavailable boys over and over again (aka Carrie) even when they turn 40. It is women empowerment at its best and it has been presented through a TV show called 'Cashmere Mafia'. It was fun watching those characters going through the same dilemmas that I would, considering these ladies are more successful than their partners, holding bigger positions, higher salaries and more important responsibilities than their spouse or fiances. And to see how they thread through life in the most impossible ways being the woman in charged and yet trying their very best to maintain a sane relationship.

One moment that touched me was how the fiance of Lucy Liu broke up with her after she won the promotion over him by saying that he just wants to go back to someone who he can escape to, takes care of his kids and laugh with. And because Lucy Liu (aka Mia in the show) is always putting her work first and trying to compete with him, he gets tired. How can one blame one for knowing what one wants. Is it wrong? Maybe it is wrong when you do not compromise for the one you love. But I do think that some women are made stronger than others, less dependent and more career-minded. I most likely fall easily into this category and yes, some people do admit it gets tiring at times, cos I have such high expectations on my partner since I have high expectations on myself as well. The message was as though a woman can't have it all, a good career and a good marriage. Sometimes it gets pretty lonely to be at the top and yet you still have so much responsibilities to take, but guess that's how it is sometimes.

On the other side of the coin, the spouse who is married to a workalcoholic or someone driven and ambitious can get pretty lonely for having to take dinner alone when their partner is having late meetings and dissapointed at times when they see their partner getting more recognition and opportunities than they do. However, it touches me to see an episode when the husband of one of the successful lady went for dinner with another lady as his wife is late due to work an when the lady said how bad it must be for his wife to be leaving him like that, he denied and said that it is good that he is there to balance her out. Awwww....and when she suggested that they should sleep together as they are both in the same position, being neglected by their over-worked partners, he was shocked as it had never occured in his mind that he would. Anyway, we have to wait for the next few episodes to see if he will. And then, we will know if a woman can indeed have it all.

I could never imagine a tv series I could relate to more. I am a Mafia! :)

Dedicated to My Hero

I dedicate this to someone who has touched my soul so deep it changed the core within me. This person deserved more than the world could give him. This person has a belief so strong it held him firm no matter what he does. He truly is my hero despite how he is a bit weird in a lot of people's eyes.

I am glad he came into my life. I am glad he was there even for a brief moment. I am glad he gave me life's most precious lessons no amount of money could buy. And it made me realise that the best things in life is indeed free. He made me appreciate life no way anyone can. He introduced me to a life less ordinary and make me come out of it strong and motivated. He made me create a mission and vision within myself, encouraged me to be better without even speaking the words. He brought me to eat cheap but delicious food and made the experience so exhilarating. He made me realise life is not a bed of roses and as long as I appreciate and embrace what is has to offer, life will be good. He made me live life spontaneously which is what I usually don't do as I used to plan every step I take yet when I did not plan, I felt so free and uninhibited! He made me a selfless person. And the worst part is: I never uttered a single word of appreciation to him.

And yet he hung on. He cared for me when I am sick. I still remembered the times when I fell sick and still had to go to work as there was too much to do. And when he kept asking if I am ok, even offered to bring me to a midnight doctor but all I said was I needed an escape. He brought me to a high area surrounded by beautiful night lights with views of large ships (not sure why but the sight of ships gives me a sense of comfort). And that made all the difference. I immediately felt better the next day and much more refreshed than any other days.

He doesn't tell me the things he do for me. Like paying a higher plane ticket to go to the same country I am in during my business travel or having to go through a much longer route just to fetch me from where I was to my home. He doesn't tell me he kept that last piece of bread for me cos he knows I like bread even though his dad made it for him. He doesn't tell me how sleepy he is when he had to fetch me to the bus early in the morning even though I know he had slept so late the day before. He doesn't tell me that he had an early meeting when he knew I needed transport at certain times. But I knew. I just forgot to say thank you.

Sometimes he sees me cry and I can see the helplessness in his face. Yet he made some funny faces to make me laugh. Even though I didn't laugh at first, I did later. The effort counts :) And sometimes when I'm down, I just needed to pent out my frustration and even though he doesn't know what to say, he listened intently without uttering a word as though he is learning a lot from me. And all I want to say is thanks so much for being there. I know that sweetness only comes after bitterness. And he has made me know how important it is to treasure life's greatest moments as it does not come easy. And I again I thank him for that. Even though in the eyes of others, he might be weird for not conforming to the world's ideals and for being extremely different and difficult at times, I would like to tell him that he will forever be my hero.

I guess I have to count myself lucky for having met someone like him and for having him treat me so well. Some girls would never had the chance to feel anything near this even with their own partner. Selflessness, being true to oneself, bringing meaning to one's life, bringing the best out of each other and knowing you are there for one another. But I also feel sad that we will never be together. And if you know who you are and you are reading this, I would once again like to say "THANK YOU FOR BEING MY HERO and for being someone I truly respect!" Even though I don't say it, I appreciate every little thing you do and will cherish it for the rest of my life. So here, I dedicate the song by Elvis Presley to you - "You Were Always On My Mind".

Monday, June 23, 2008

7 Ways to Destress

Always on the go, always busy, relishing in the act of managing others and always thinking of others above oneself, I could be one of the most uptight, stressed person in the world. The tightness in my neck and shoulders could be a mainstay no matter how much I try to massage it away. The gastric in my tummy due to irregular meals and inability to eat when I am stressed will get worse and affect my later in life years.

It is with this that I am glad I found an article on how I can relax and reduce stress which I found rather effective:
1. Do a productive activity besides work so that you can reward yourself after the activity, be it cleaning the bathroom, clearing out unwanted items in your room or going for that high-intensity aerobics class. Performing an activity that will give you a visible, tangible results with clear goal in sight leaves you tired but happy as removes the thoughts away from your work for that few minutes or hours. For some, clearing out the physical clutter makes one feel like they are cleaning up the clutter in the rest of their life.
2. Get Mad: A bar in Japan called The Rising Sun Anger Release Bar allows patrons to scream, break glasses and beat up any of their beefy male employees for $10 to $50 per session. Suprisingly, a weird concept like this has a growing list of customers due to the amount of stress experienced by the workers in that country. Pent-up angers will create an unspoken amount of stress that once accumulated too much will create undesirable results. Thus, this restaurant provides a release that noj other place can. If you do not have a place like this in your country, scream into a pillow, go for kickboxing or scream into a music roaring car. You never know how much it will help to let the stress out.
3. Anticipate Laughter: Everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine but by anticipating laughter, it creates a positive mood that will help reduce stress. If you are anticipating meeting a close friend over a nice drinks tonight, watching a feel-good romantic comedy or going for that nice piece of cake you have been longing for after work, you most likely will not get stressed in most situations and knows how to prevent negative emotions from building up. When you are anticipating laughter, you're placing yourself in a state where your brain thinks you are happy and activates the chemicals or hormone(cortisol) to provide a positive outcome. It is true that doing something spontaneous that will make you happy works too but in situations where you can't, the next best thing is to anticipate it and think on the bright side.
4. Stop worrying about Money: Most people think money will make them happy as they can own whatever they want but usually that is not the case. The more money you have, the more you want it. It is ironic how people used to be happier when life was simpler many years ago. Thus, it is not a matter of how much money you have but how you put your money into perspective. You must be able to prioritise your goals so that you know what to do with your money. At the end of the day, it's not how much you earn; it's how much you save that matters.
5. Get Intimate: Having a close friend, couple or husband/wife that you can talk to and be intimate with will reduce your stress levels by a lot. Intimacy provide a sense of bonding and reassurance of being supported. In you do not have a second half, try seeking empathy and support from a close friend or book an appointment with a masseuse. You never know how much refreshed you feel after the session.
6. Shutdown for a While: No matter how much you can multi-task at work, everyone breaks down and requires rest. It makes wonders to turn off your mobile phones, laptops or pcs for a while just to relax your mind. On weekend, spend at least half or a full day not turning the laptop on and live on ordinary form of entertainment like sports and tv. It will surprise you how much you can get a different perspective or a new idea just by not being productive for a while.
7. Indulge in your Senses: Be it candles or aromatherapy, experiencing different sights, sounds and smells do wonders to your body. Having a nice warm bath (feeling) surrounded by bubbles (sight) and aromatic candles (smell) will help you forget about worries. Jogging round a new park, watching the sun rising (sight) and the birds chirping around you (hearing) also makes you see how beautiful life is. These moments can definitely wile the stress away.

Thus, it is with these tips that I am now going to light some aromatic candles around my queen-size bed in my nice silky pajamas before I lull myself to sleep while thinking of how happy it will be to bond with one of my close girlfriend whom I have not met for the past 2 months. How wonderful :)


Friday, June 20, 2008

Bloggers Unite in Malaysia

When a foreign newspaper has a front-page article of another country, the news gotta be big! And this time, Singapore reported about the power of bloggers in Malaysia who has led to better insights on why the Barisan Nasional lost so many states in the last General Election. Thus, it is reported that a study by four academics from Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Communications and Media Studies Faculty, showed that 80 per cent of respondents were aware of blogs, which were popular with the middle class and below. However, the high percentage of these bloggers or readers of blogs are not those who consisted of the majority who voted for the opposition.

“After making the cross matching, we found that there was no strong evidence that supports the notion that the Internet content had moved people to vote for the opposition,” Professor Madya Baharuddin Aziz told Bernama. Instead, the study showed that the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, which were thrashed at the election, failed to adequately address issues raised online, resulted in their loss.

It with this that I take pride in announcing how blogs are now becoming a medium and gethering of information so that people can make informed decisions. Keeping mum about something or a policy do not make it anymore. I am also glad that Malaysian bloggers are not penalised for sounding out their opinions including about politics even though I foresee this might happen in the near future, just not as bad as the level of filtering as done by the China government. It with this that blogs like MalaysiaKini and many others that are brave enough to report the truth and bring freedom of speech to the table.

I am glad to say I am still proud to be Malaysian especially a Malaysian blogger. If only, the petrol price will go down.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Am I an Imsomniac? Yikes!

What causes insomnia? I didn't want to admit it but after 2 years of lack of sleep or unrested sleep, I have some answers:
1. Thinking too much - Yes, I have a hyperactive mind which makes me think a lot not only when I am active but also before I go to sleep. Are you one of those who writes down your to-do list for tomorrow before sleeping. I am one of them. Not that I am a control freak but it helps that I put it down on paper so that I can sleep peacefully without worrying if I will forget about it the next day.
2. Insufficient personal time - When one spends too much time at work, in order to balance oneself and go back to work the next day, one has to make it up by spending some personal time by doing things that are brainless - watching tv, porn, etc and this eats into sleeping time. Guilty as charged!
3. Too excited or nervous about something - I can't sleep before I travel or before I am supposed to give a presentation. The excitement disallows me to calm down before I can sleep.
4. Inconsistent sleeping hours - well, what can I do when I watch movie till 3,4 or even 5am on weekends and then can't sleep at 1am when weekdays come? It's not as simple as 'Woi! Go to sleep la!' and I can sleep. No, doesn't work for me.
5. Loneliness - Yes, I admit it. I sleep better with someone next to me. Be it friends, family or boyfriend. It's nice sometimes to have someone to chat with about your deepest fears and dreams before you sleep and end up sleeping only for 3 hours, but waking up much fresher the next day. Now that I have none of the above, I just have to hug my pillow/bolster as tight as possible so that I can sleep.
6. Rooms with too bright colors - yes, by having bright colors for bedsheets, curtains and wall affects most people. These colors creates a chaotic feeling in oneself making him/her unable to feel at ease. My friend recently changed her room color to pastel and white and says she sleeps better after that. Maybe I shld try, color all black!
7. And the most important and reason where one can't sleep is due to unresolved issues, unsettled thoughts, unfulfilled desires. This I don't know how to solve except by perhaps talking to someone and releasing a little of your burden. Sometimes, music helps too.

So, here, I know that I can never sleep too much and even when I am tired, I still can't sleep but I am using my restless hours by doing productive things, like writing this blog. Haha! Well, all I can say is that I have the passion, drive and determination to use all my waking hours to fight for what I believe in and to make a greater impact in the lifes of others. So, let's see what I can get out of a little more hours than most people, besides my black eye bags. :)

So the last day my mom was with me in Singapore and I could not sleep, even though she has told me umpteenth time to sleep early for work, I just told her, "I really do wish I could sleep, cos if I could, I will." She just noded her head in understanding and said "I understand, you are not at peace". Only a Mom understands best.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Inspirational Women around the World

Yes, Jennifer Garner got nominated into Glamour's list of Women of the Year 2007, upping the glamour factor of the list of female philantrophists and inspirational women to admire even though I would have vouched for Lucy Liu due to her effort as ambassador for Unicef and her relentless effort to help the unfortunate in unnder developed countries. Other notable celebrities include Angelina Jolie for adopting children and visiting war torn countries, Madonna for adopting a Cambodian son, Sandra Bullock for donating generously to tsunami victims and Sheryl Crow for helping and inspiring cancer patients. Nominating Jennifer Garner would sell more magazines though. ;) So what good did she do besides marrying one of the most best-looking actor in Hollywood, Ben Affleck and having an adorable daughter, Violet that was so inspirational? She is actively involved in Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and the American Lung Association (ALA) to encourage flu vaccination.

Reading that article filled me with inspiration and I was awed by the things the female activiticts said and fought for. I have always been an ardent fan of celebrities using their cult status to influence the society for the better and lauded them in all their efforts hoping that one day I can do something as inspirational. Among the quotes that touched me:

  • Life is rarely what we expect it might be but we need to look for lilies. We need to do what brings us joy and what gives us a sense of purpose - Elizabeth Edwards, Mother, Cancer Patient
  • She sees the beauty in messy, complicated characters. She celebrates the imperfections that make life so interesting, which makes great TV, so says Shonda Rhimes the writer, producer of the hit-series, Grey's Anatomy that inspired everyone all over the world with its sometimes cheesy but very real and believable human experiences.
  • A bundle of energy who gets by on "three to four hours of sleep a night" (hmmm...that sounds familiar... ;) Snickers and Red Bull, Logan is fuelled by one urgent mission: to tell it like it is. Lara shoots video herself when she doesn't want to put the crew at risk. - Lara Logan, war correspondent. IMHO, she also gave one of the best thank you speech ever during the award presentation, reminded me of why I am so different from the other females who lives by female magazines.

I was also inspired by an initiative from Uganda called Empowering Hands to bring life back to ex-child soldiers to teach them skills even though they have gone through situations like bearing the kids of enemies that raped them and killing their own families just because the soldiers told them to. It shows that someone out tthere can help them to get back on their feet again.

I am also glad that Singapore had their own version of awards for inspirational female organized by Vanilla magazine and one of the winner is a cancer patient who wrote about how female can be great through her blog called for women who are fighting cancer, Ms Molly Lee. Unfortunately, she lost the fight against cancer on 29 May 2008 and the site had to be brought down. The blog allowed her to gather support from the public and to help those who are having the same disease as her. She was a fighter till the end, so says her husband, Josef Lee.

Finally, I am impressed that Malaysia has their own version of award for social entrepreneurs called AyaAwards to honour the same people who has done a lot of charity and inspired the nation.

It won't be long until we get long lists of green entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and philantrophists who will do whatever it takes to make this world a better place. As they say, the world is hurting, let's not hurt it more.