My Values

In a previous post on priorities, I mention my values and so I think it’s relevant to discuss what mine are. Values to me are a set of principles you live by. You take them very seriously because they are the core of your person and each of these things is paramount to the fabric of who you are. Yes, I said fabric of who you are. Where did this come from? I don’t know. But I said it.

My values are:

Accountability: If you do something, or say something, or hurt someone than you are accountable to those actions and it is really important to me that you acknowledge that, take ownership of that and be responsible for your actions.

Integrity: Is about strong morals and fairness. I think I am a very fair person and sometimes people don’t like that because fair can also be firm. I’m firm but I’m fair. And a strong moral compass is important to me, the understanding of right vs wrong. JUSTICE FOR ALL!

Fun: I love fun.

Freedom: I can’t stand to be held down. Like rules, authority. I can’t handle it – let me be free!

Connection: I’ve always been rather independent and at the same time I’ve always had a lot of friends. I took a trip to Koh Samui, Thailand – I hiked up a waterfall and caught the view of the city and in that moment, though I always knew friendship was important to me, building connections was at my core it became very apparent in that moment, that seeing the most beautiful things alone means nothing to me if I have no one to share it with.

Honesty: If you’re not having an honest conversation, you’re not having a conversation at all.

Compassion: To be able to look at someone else, and feel them even if you don’t understand them. I think compassion is what humanity is currently living without and without compassion we don’t have true connection. At the end of the day, we’re all the same and the life that someone else leads, less fortunate than you, by some twist of fate, could have been you. And that realisation is quite humbling. And I think compassion and empathy go hand in hand so add empathy to the list of values as well.

 


Sailing through Palawan with Tao Philippines

Over Christmas, my boyfriend and I took a 5 day, 4 night sailing trip across the islands of Palawan. It’s taken me 20hours (at least) to edit this video (my first time editing) – I hope you like it! And sorry for the shaky titles – after I uploaded the video to YouTube – it helped in stabilizing the camera but the titles I had already put in get all funky. I’m trying to accept it. Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 


Priorities 2017

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile, since November to be precise, because one of my girlfriends said to me, it’s all about priorities. I think that’s something we all know but that easily gets away from us. There’s so many distractions in life. There’s so many things that pull you away from the important things that somehow those things that were important, get lost, or taken for granted.

But here’s the thing…when you get pulled away from what’s important to you then you start to feel unfulfilled and unhappy. Or at least, that’s how I felt, so instead of resolutions, this year it’s all about priorities.

My priority this year is me, I mean all about me. I found that last year I did a bunch of stuff for everyone else, sometimes because they asked me to but sometimes because I felt obligated to, and sometimes a bit of both. I’ve learned that I have a strong sense of duty and of commitment. If I say I am going to do something, no matter how big or small I feel I must see that through to the end. I feel obligated to everyone, even people I’ve only met once or never even met! This was the number one thing that led me astray from the things that were important to me. At the end of the day, I had done so many things that filled up my day, but didn’t fill up my heart.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do things for other people but you need to have priorities, you need to do things for yourself, do things for others that are important to you, close to you or a stranger in need but never forget that doing what makes you feel fulfilled is what makes life worth living.

The thing with priorities is that you can’t have too many, if you have too many than everything is important and everything can’t be important because then nothing is a priority. You need to know what’s important to you or else you’ll get distracted – some things disguise themselves as important, but they’re not. How tricky! What you need is laser sharp focus. For me, this year – it’s important to be happy. How do I do that?

  1. Focus on today.  I think in today’s world all we see is success or failure and we don’t see progress. Either you did it or you didn’t do and to me, that mindset is so toxic. That mindset precludes success and it doesn’t allow failure, heck it doesn’t even allow trying – it creates paralysis. What happens is you can’t get better at something, you can only be the best at something. You can’t try because it won’t come out perfect the first time. And that’s really scary. What I know is, you can only be the best of whatever you are right now. Goals are good but can become overwhelming. Fear of failure, not knowing the steps, not being perfect…I think these things stop us from just being. Break big goals down to mini goals you can focus on everyday and instead of worrying about the end result, focus on the progress. A good friend of mine, his family owns a company that sells bottled water, they’re doing really well – and I will never forget what he said to me, “It all started by turning on a tap.” It’s as simple as that. Start small, doing what you can do today.
  2. Have goals. (Even though I just said goals can be overwhelming, hear me out.) Sometimes big goals make it all lofty and crazy and hard to wrap your head around. So just turn on the tap and let a drop come out. Mini goals or roadmaps are great. Just remember all roads lead somewhere, and many times roads end up in the same place or an even better place but the journey wasn’t what you expected and that’s ok. I think focusing on more than 2-3 goals can be just too much. Just start with 1 goal even. And it can be a really small goal. Because it’s still progress. When I was really depressed, I saw a therapist and she said, if you make it from the bed to the couch, acknowledge that as progress. You moved. And that’s it, it’s all about movement, big or small. My goals this year are:
    1. Make youTube videos.
    2. Start a business venture.
    3. Get some hobbies (2-3).
  3. Remember my priorities. There’s only 4 of them so they should be easy to remember. (1) Focus on today, (2) make youTube videos, (3) start a business venture, (4) get some hobbies. Since my weakness is feeling obligated – when asked something of me or when feeling obligated I simply need to ask myself, does this fall in line with my priorities? Sometimes the answer will be no and I will do that thing anyways based on my values (that’s another post), so somehow I need to balance my priorities and my values, which I guess is life.

This year, it’s all about me. It’s all about progress instead of perfection and it’s acknowledging movement because baby steps are still steps. To 2017, the year of priorities and progress.


Winter Likes & Dislikes 2016

*Sorry! I don’t know why this didn’t post and now it seems a little outdated…but thought you might be interested!*

It’s that time again – it’s actually one of my favourite times of year, and no, not because it’s Christmas but just because I can rant and rave about things I like and don’t like like I matter.

Likes:

I love wood. Wood house stuff – tables, stools, bookshelves. I love that rustic look but still looking chic and modern. It really warms the whole place up.

I also like glass – I like it for it’s simplicity and clean lines. I think it’s a great compliment to wood.

And I like white – I like painting walls all white and living in an asylum. That whole asylum look. Grey goes in there too, that could work, and maybe some black iron.

Moving away from home decor – I really like all that Christmas food has to offer. Even fruit cake, but not eggnog, but like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn I think is one – ham? Christmas ham, yup I like that. Cranberry sauce I mean it’s all so fantastic. And gingerbread, WOW I love gingerbread, I like it SOFT, not hard.

Cheese – I love all sorts of cheese but the thing is, cheese doesn’t really love me. If you know what I mean. Plus it makes me fat. But still, who can resist and entire wheel of Brie?! Hehe.

Westworld – in the beginning I wasn’t so sure and it gave me nightmares but as the show moves forward I really like how it’s multidimensional – deep and dark.

Bangkok, definitely one of my most favourite cities in the world. Lots of history, lots of sites, lots of shopping, lots of eating and usually great weather with the cheapest 5 star resorts because there’s just too many resorts there it’s simply the best.

Stickers, I really love the idea of stickers but I have no place to really put them so I guess I’m not sure how much I really like them.

Face oil – I used Rosehip and now I am moving onto Jojoba and I prefer it to cream at night. I think it sinks in deeper and it doesn’t oil up your bedsheets or anything but it gives you a radiant glow. Plus it’s cheaper! And I think you should try it.

Dislikes:

Obviously that it gets dark really early. Even in Hong Kong it gets dark at 5-6pm. And that’s just depressing even though it’s not cold. I don’t think it’s the coldness that makes SAD, it’s the dark.

Amazon Canada – not really it’s fault but it’s really no where close to Amazon USA. The options are so limited and it’s much more expensive and I get it USA is like SO MANY more people than Canada but still.

There’s just not really good options for shoes that are comfortable and stylish. Flats don’t work for me because I have the flatest feet my pediatrist has ever seen so I can’t wear those. Makes all my outfit choices ruled by converse, asics and birkenstocks.

Because I’m 32 everyone asks me if I’m married. Which actually isn’t that bad but what is worse is like when people ask me about my kids. What? I don’t have kids. And then I am left feeling perfectly secure about my body…(sarcasm)

Work politics – what a time suck and like really, who wants to spend more time talking about work?

 

 

 


Wat Po Thai Massage School, Bangkok

I’ve always wanted to learn Thai Massage – I just have and when my friend told me she wanted to go and had found a school I was IN! The sad part was, she couldn’t go. So, I went alone to Wat Po Thai Massage School in Bangkok.

What sold me on the school that it was in a temple -wow so cool. When I did my research online about the school there’s almost nothing about the school except one article in SCMP that reiterates the temple teachings as well lets you know that the masseuse from The Pennisula get trained there, well, WOWEE!

The basic massage course is about 300USD for 30hours, 9am-4pm for 5 days. The interesting thing is that the course starts any day of the week except Sunday. The NOT SO INTERESTING THING IS – it’s not in a temple, womp womp what a huge let down. This school is associated with Wat Pho the famous temple in Bangkok. Inside the temple is a place where you can get a thai massage however no teaching happens there. The teaching happens across the street in a non descript building.

img_1601

This is kind of a crappy picture, but I guess this is what it looks like.

It is in one word, exhausting. Physically it’s very tiring. Not just your hands but your back, your knees, your hips!! It requires a lot of flexibility to do thai massage, especially in your own feet because you’re constantly moving around on your toes, on the back of your toes and I had to get several massages myself just to relieve myself from massaging!

From 9-4 you practice massage and you get practiced on as well, which sounds like fun and it kind of is but students practicing on you isn’t really a true massage – more just like someone touching you. Besides that there is A LOT to know in thai massage, the positions – the movements, the techniques and because of that it’s trying to remember all those details while someone gives you the massage as well.

After class, I tried to take advantage of the SHOPPING in Bangkok, and I went to a lot of markets but I was so tired, I didn’t buy much. After eating dinner I would be back in my hotel around 7-8pm and then I’d have to study all the movements again.

Thai massage is comprised of 5 sections. A full massage should take 2 hours. This obviously means you need to study, you need to practice. My brain was so full – hardcore Asian student study mode and you know what? I nailed that exam. Yes, there’s an exam.

Practice, practice, practice until your hands hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, back hurts.

Practice, practice, practice until your hands hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, back hurts.

If you’re interested in doing Thai Massage School here are my thoughts on this particular school:

Pros:

  • Small class sizes
  • Official massage school in Thailand
  • Free professional massages if you need them during class because your body is breaking
  • Great price!
  • Really cool neighbourhood with both hip restaurants and street food

Cons:

  • Language barrier – teachers are not super fluent in English
  • Teaching method is very non Western, there is no try and fail, there’s try and YOU’RE WRONG AND WE MADE SURE YOU KNEW IT
  • It’s not in a temple as advertised
  • It’s not theory based so this you will need to learn on your own – it’s execution based. I would suggest knowing some anatomy and read up on meridian lines.
  • It’s not easily accessible by public transit unless you take a boat, I opted to stay at a hotel right next door. Hotels in the area range from 50-100USD a night which is rubbish because 5 star hotels in Bangkok start at 120USD/night, so major con.

Movie of the Year!

I used to post a lot of movie reviews, and I don’t really anymore, not sure why – maybe I watch less movies. Well I guess I do because in the last 10 years or so movies have really not be so great. So when a movie DOES come along that is a WOW, it definitely stands out way way way above the rest.

I think you’ll be surprised to hear that the movie of the year that I’ve chosen is none other than, Central Intelligence with Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. Yes, surprise!! But honestly, this movie has it all. It’s funny, it’s touching, it has action, it has enough plot – although I have to admit I’m really into those BANG BANG CIA type movies in general but this is like so funny. And I’m not really even into comedy.

All you really have to know is that DJ and Kevin Hart are HILARIOUS. Like I can’t even. I’ve watched this movie 3 times. THREE. Once with my Mom. Once with my Boyfriend who actually didn’t want to watch it but we got in a fight and then it was one of those – “We can do whatever you want” type scenarios – and what did I choose? Central Intelligence. Says a lot about me, says a lot about the movie. And you know what? He loved it (liked it). THEN I watched it one time on the plane, lol-ing to myself.

It's already funny just look at the photo Photo Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

It’s already funny just look at the photo Photo Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

The crazy thing is – you might be thinking like Dwayne Johnson? Isn’t he THE ROCK? HIS TRANSITION INTO ACTING IS SO SEAMLESS THAT I NEVER THINK ABOUT WHAT HE MAY OR MAY NOT BE COOKING. If you haven’t seen this movie, there’s still time because I mean well, it’s not like you have to watch it by the end of 2016 – but you can, and there’s still time for that.

Second Runner Up:

On a completely different spectrum I also really loved Stephen Hawkings – The Theory of Everything. I watched this on the plane and WOW, tearjerker. Blubbered like a baby – do we ever really know how much we love someone? GAH, my heart!!


A for Animal Whisperer

Alas it’s true! Th0ugh I am not an animal person – like no pets please, animals seem to love me. Animals and babies. Like babies just want to come right into my arms and have me hold them, so cute. Animals are less about me holding them but sometimes they sit on me. Well a lot of times.

The thing is – I just feel semi neutral to animals. Neutral but also somewhat negative because I’m not into shedding or slobber or smells. But animals and I, there’s a harmony, mostly one way but it’s weird so some small examples to start.

There’s this corgi on my street and we’ve never been introduced but once I said hi to it. Then the second time I saw it it went into this like frenzy – so excited to see me!! And then just came over and laid down on my feet. And just hung out there.

Another dog was walking by me off leash and it’s owner stopped to talk to someone on the street and the dog came over and just sat beside me. My friend even made a comment, like that dog really likes you. And I’m like I KNOOOOW, animals love me. Maybe it’s because I’m not trying hard for them to like me. Or maybe me and all animals have a connection.

Animals always listen to me (except mosquitos, they just bite me) – like I was hiking and I saw these 2 monkeys having sex and one was being a creep and looking at me while doing it and I said “Hey! Stop doing that!”, and then he stopped. And this stranger said – “He listened to you” – and I was like “I knnnnoooow”.

Another time I was visiting my friend and she had 2 cats and a dog. She had to go to class and left me with these furry animals. Ugh, so much fur, so much animal. When she come the 4 of us were all sitting on the couch super quiet watching TV. My friend said that has never happened before. I believe her, those animals are nuts when she’s around.

COUNTLESS times cats have crawled into my lap and just sat there. And this isn’t even country specific – Canada, Myanmar, Hong Kong just to name a few…this is why when I went to Myanmar to visit the Burmese Cat Sanctuary which is home to 40 cats I couldn’t go inside because I do not need 40 cats all over me. I just don’t.

It’s hard to explain this connection I have – babies and animals, it’s just natural and there like we are all in harmony. And you know what? Like true love it spans the test of time.

EXAMPLE:

I went to visit my friend’s new baby, she failed to tell me she had 3 dogs and actually in total there were 4 dogs. When I first got there all the dogs were super excited to see me even though 3 of there were strangers. The 4th dog, we had met before, a handful of times many moons ago. Many moons, maybe 10 moons assuming 1 year is 1 moon.

This dog was especially excited to see me, it bit onto my shirt and tried to bring me places – constantly following me around and just looking for attention. He kept jumping up on me like – look at me! Over here! It’s me! Bentley – and Im like I knnoooow.

Then my friend says she’s never seen him act that way but that’s probably because he’s never felt such deep connection for a human before. And then – you know, I sat on the couch, and this is a big dog, and he came and just laid in my lap. Another first my friend said. But that’s how it goes cause I’m an animal whisperer.

The is the dog in question - like when are you going to love me? And I'm like, o m g you're so obsessed with me.

The is the dog in question – like when are you going to love me? And I’m like, o m g you’re so obsessed with me.