Saturday, April 26, 2008

Zero Limits and Ho'oponopono

It took me awhile to finally finish reading this book, albeit having an incredibly exhausted month! Although I find it refreshing and stimulating to the soul, there were a chapter or two which I left out because I find it too difficult to comprehend.

This book is written by Joe Vitale together with Dr.Ihaleakala Hew Len. Dr. Hew Len is a therapist who helped heal an entire ward of mentally ill criminals - without ever seeing any of them professionally! He used a most unusual healing method from Hawaii called Ho'oponopono.

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian system that helps clean the unconscious, which is where the block resides. It helps dissolve the hidden programs that keep us from attaining our desires; whether health, wealth, happiness or anything else. It all happens inside us. It is to take total responsibility for our lives. It is a process of repentance, forgiveness and transmutations. It is a process of letting go of toxic energies within us and replace it with Love. Love accomplishes this by flowing through the mind, beginning with the spiritual, the superconscious. It then continues its flow through the intellectual mind, the conscious mind, freeing it of thinking energies. Finally, it moves into the emotional mind, the subconscious, voiding thoughts of toxic emotions and filling them with Love. The purpose of life is to be restored back to Love, moment to moment.

Joe Vitale puts it this way : Everone has a lens through which they view the world. Religions, philosophies, therapies, authors, speakers, gurus and candlestick makers all perceive the world through a particular mind-set. The book teaches us how to use a new lens to dissolve all other lens. Once we succeed, we'll be at a place called Zero Limits.

Zero limits talks about returning to zero state where nothing exists but anything is possible. In the zero state there are no thoughts, words, deeds, memories, programs, beliefs or anything else. Just nothing.

In the end, the entire essence of this book can be summarized in one phrase, a phrase that reveals the ultimate secret of the universe..."I'M SORRY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, I LOVE YOU, THANK YOU."

Monday, April 21, 2008

learning from letting go

What are some types of letting go?
Letting go of Guilt
Letting go of Grief
Letting go of Dependency
Letting go of Over-Responsibility
Letting go of Resistance to Change
Letting go of Fear
Letting go of Anger
Letting go of Denial
Letting go of a Loved one to death
Letting go of Life

Last Thursday, my brother-in-law held a most impromptu memorial service for my late sister, Jennifer. As it was rather a last minute arrangement, I wasn't keen to attend. I told my sister June that since I've always kept Jennifer in my heart, a memorial means very little to me. But eventually I attended and I was glad I did. The second part of Jennifer's message was revealed to me and it has to be now while I'm in the midst of learning to let go...
I'll just share it here :

"Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints in the snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die."

Her message is to let go. Life moves on..for her and for everyone.

Monday, April 14, 2008

To Let Go Takes Love by Dr. Margaret J. Rinck

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring. It means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off. It's the realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another. It's to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle, arraging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to be protective; it's to permit another to face reality.

To "let go" is not deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

Running in the rain

When I woke up at 4am this morning, there was a heavy downpour - waited until 6am, it got heavier. Is this a sign telling me to rest and get back to bed? Well, John & I decided that we should just go out anyway. I rang Francis and Gary and was told that it was drizzling at Bukit Aman. Ha, a drizzle means nothing to a runner.
John and I decided that we should just run Double Hills and not any further. We were thankful to just be able to run in this drizzle. The rest of the die-hard runners had left, some went for the Orange Run at The Curve today. John had to adjust to my pace in order to run alongside with me. We had a good run..enjoying each other's company, sharing some of my stories from yesterday's seminar. The temperature was 22 degree C so the air was cool and wet. The atmosphere was quiet and peaceful, I guessed everyone else must still be asleep and it was like the whole of KL had stood still for awhile. We could even hear the birds chirp and smell the scent from fresh flowers, trees and plants as we were plodding up Kenny Hills. In between, I took time to think of all that I've accomplished and learnt from the last week. There are certainly many areas in my life where I have not healed and need to improve and work on.
After a good run, I thought I was being 'refreshed' but oh no, I accidentally entered the wrong car. There was another X-Trail with a guy seated at the driver's and I thought it was John inside. When I realized it was some else in there, I apologized immediately and walked back to our own car, embarassed. I must be hungry!!
We met with the rest for breakfast at Yut Kee.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Good Cup Of Tea

A Vietnamese Buddhist monk and philosopher, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote about enjoying a good cup of tea. "You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea. Only in the awareness of the present can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup. Only in the present can you savour the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy. If you are ruminating about the past or worrying about the future, you will be completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea. You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that. If you are not fully in the present, you will look around and it will be gone. You will missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and the beauty of life. It will seem to be speeding past you.
The past is finished. Learn from it and let it go. The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste time worring about it. Worrying is worthless. When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment. Then you will begin to experience the joy of life."

I find this so true. Yet for me, knowing is easy, doing is difficult. At times, I realized that I've been dreaming and worrying too much and hence, wasted time. How many times have I spoken to myself, "don't worry, just let go" but here am I, still stuck there somewhere...

"Letting go is one of the most difficult challenges human beings ever face. I've always pictured letting go as transformation - moving from a closed fist to an open hand. As we take an open-hand attitude towars life, we can be free of the self-made obstructions that litter our path. This process requires a willingness to shed our persona - those inauthentic trappings we hold onto for identity but that no longer serve us. The choice to let go frees us to follow the pathway to our soul." - Benjamin Shield, in the Handbook for the Soul

Despite a very heavy schedule, I 'let go' and managed to squeeze in a day to attend an innerworks seminar. The topic 'CONSCIOUS CREATION OF LETTING GO" by Dr. Aaron Kwok is most appropriate and significant for me, at least for now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

About choice, freedom and a gift.

When we arrived at the Bukit Aman car park at 6am yesterday morning, it was exceptionally quiet with ample parking space. I guess after the recent KLIM, most runners are still taking a break, moreover it's also 'Cheng Beng' (Chinese All Souls Day). Gary, Wah Chai, Lawrence, Mr & Mrs Tai and I decided to run the Hoki Stadium route. Except for the slopes, I enjoy running this route very much. No traffic, fresh air, beautiful huge bungalows, nice views, greeneries and of course the hills!
It was a recovery run for many, especially for Mrs Tai after having successfully completed her maiden marathon last week. She is still filled with jubilation and only runners will be able to understand this kind of feeling. We were running leisurely...chit-chating most of the time and sharing marathon experiences. You called this social running?

We were talking about 'Personal Bests' and I remembered and valued my own PBs when I was at my peak performance 10 years ago. Achieving 1hr 35mins during the PJ Half Marathon and 4hr 07mins for Full Marathon is already history, and seems so vaque to me now. Will I be able to rewrite history? Perhaps but not without sacrificing the time and effort. I recalled those days when we were younger and 'unmarried', our gang : Yew Chee Chung, Law Lai Huat, Danny Kok, John, Dirty Chow, Richard Tang, Jessbird, Karen Lai, Lian and I used to go to the Kampung Pandan track at least once a week to train on some speed work. Oh, although we said it was only for fun and fellowship, it did help increase our pace greatly during race day. To break through another PB now takes a huge amount of hard work, discipline and determination. I believe I can still do it but then, to what purpose?

Well, the good thing about being a casual runner is you are given a choice. So, I had a choice. I could choose to accept the standards set forth by the running community as a whole, which emphasised on speed above all else. Or, I could create my own personal running world in which I alone was the standard bearer. A world where I alone would decide whether a run was good or bad. I had a choice to decide whether running was going to be an activity that enhanced my life or just one more area of my life which I wasn't able to live up to my own expectations.

I chose to view running - any running - as a gift. Yes, especially being an asthmatic in my younger days, any form of exercise seemed so impossible. Running or swimming is out of the question. Therefore, I choose to see myself as one of the most fortunate people on this planet! Fortunate because I can run. Fortunate because I am a runner. But then it's not that I, or other runner shouldn't strive to get better. We can choose to want to go faster or further or both - or not at all. And it all has to happen within the context of accepting that what we are is what we are.

So, if I am a 4hr marathoner, so be it. But if one day I become a 5hr marathoner, so be it. Because that is plenty. Sometimes, it's just not about the's being able to complete the race and live to tell the story. It's about friends I made during the marathon. And as with all endurance races, there will always be a lesson for me to share and to carry me through the next race. Indeed, for every runner,what we had in common is far more important than the differences in our finishing times. What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those on the sofa is that we learn through running to take what the day offers us, what our body allows us, and what our mind can tolerate.
This was what I shared with a fellow runner yesterday while running.

"When you love to run and you train hard enough to really feel it, running is all about freedom. Also, I find that sharing the value of sport is very important. When I think back on my life, it isn't the winning that I remember so much, it's the people whom I met through running." - Doris Brown Heritage (two-time Olympian)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

KL International Marathon 08 : Of being disorientated and rewarded

When I got up at 3am, my head was feeling heavy and I was sneezing away. It was not such a good way to start the day especially knowing that it's a race day. On the other hand, my dear husband was very cheerful, feeling good and all set to do well for his half marathon. So, I didn't want to dampen his spirit. But he could sense that I wasn't alright and felt worried for me. He even suggested that I check my BP first but I refused.

No matter what - the race is on! I rested awhile and at 4.40am, we were ready to leave the house. Upon arrival, I found out that there were not many full marathon runners. Most opted to run the half or 10km. John and I had already competed 3 or 4 full marathons in KL and it seemed quite sufficient for us. Everything is the same. Nothing has changed, nothing at all. The marathon course is getting from bad to worse with the interference of roadworks here and there. The medal is the same, only different year. The T-shirt is the same, only different colour. There's really no improvement at borrring!! Even with timing Chip, they still gave out reporting cards which I honestly felt a waste of time, money, manpower and paper.
Since we didn't run last year (were away on holiday) we thought we will just settle for the half marathon. After all, I did not train much and therefore, decided to take this race as part of training. This year the route for the half marathon had changed slightly.
But it matter little to me as I had little expectation and so, anything below 2 hours is good for me.

The start of the race took us to a big loop to Jln. Silang and back to Sultan Abdul Samad building before proceeding to the normal route ie. Federal Highway and Seremban Highway. I was running alone right from the start as I decided to run slowly with this heavy head and runny nose. Most of my friends had gone so far ahead of me that I thought it was impossible to catch up with any of them until I was crossing the junction at Dewan Bahasa, I heard a voice calling me "Wai Mun!" I turned and saw it was Dr. Raymond. Was I glad that at least, I managed to catch up with one person I know? Hmm..after the 15km mark, I was gradually feeling rejuvenated again. Somehow my body found a hidden reserve of endorphins that made me feel almost euphoric again. I began to run a fairly sensible pace until I reached the finishing line with a timing of 1:56:01. Then, I met Andreas Mindt who told me that his GPS showed that the road course is actually 21.8km. Later, I realized that I actually ran passed a few friends but I guess I was just so disoriented that morning to notice anyone. I was just blur!

John did well with a good timing of 1:45. We mingled around the site at Dataran Merdeka to cheer those who were competing in the full marathon. I could see these competitors sweat and heard them pant. I somewhat feel what some of them feel. I hurt for those who feel they'll never recover from the anguish of failing to do what they set out to achieve. I celebrate with the winning individuals who feel they had conquered the world!

Personally, as time moved on, time means less and more to me. Less in terms of how many kilometres I can cover within a given time and more in what I can still achieve. To me, personal bests only relate to myself. I have no problem setting myself some time goals to achieve, but then relating them to elite runners in my age group is taking them far too seriously. Well, I've had some wonderful races and some awful ones but this KLIM was such boring one!

That Sunday afternoon, while John was checking the official results on the internet, he pointed out to me that I got 10th placing in my category. While it's good to know that I could still maintain at top ten position, I wasn't excited at all. It was only late at night that I discovered that there is a prize money for 10th position. I guess I was really feeling disorientated the whole of that Sunday cos' being me, I would normally check on my position, timing and reward after a race. But the whole day for me had been blur - just blur...

I called up FTAAA the next morning to inform them that I missed collecting my prize money after the race, as there were no announcements made or card to show my position (which they normally have). They were helpful and quick to react - stating that they will bank in the money to my account. Today, Bani from FTAAA called to inform me that he had done the needful. I didn't expect to win any prize money cos' I still feel I did not perform well.
Although it's not a large sum, the prize money came as a pleasant surprise to me. Learning to be more responsible and conscious of myself these days, I recalled donating some diaper money to a home for retarded children in Ipoh a few weeks ago..and I remembered Dr Aaron's saying "Nature will always give you back what you give out. What you give is what you will receive."
Indeed, I do feel so blessed because I received threefold of what I gave out! And this has been one of life's lesson that I hold dear for many years.