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Happy Birthday, Angel.

Juan Sebastian

 

Dear Basti, 

Hi love! 

I wish I were there, taking a photo of you blowing that blue cake for your second birthday. The truth is, I hate blue (I always have) but you like it so much that I do not have any resolve to go against what you want. I think it is every mother’s dream to be there in every birthday of her child. But then, things have not been exactly perfect for both of us. God needed you more than I did and I know deep in my heart that today, for your birthday, you are having an even grander celebration with the rest of the cherubs in heaven who have orchestrated the most amazing birthday song EVER, with Jesus probably giving you the most delicious cake in the whoooole universe!

Sometimes, I wish I could forget this day so that I could also forget the pain of losing you. But how could I? We were together for ten weeks, your tiny little heart thumping inside of me. The same blood flowing inside our veins. How can I forget? I would never. I could never.

In some universe, I know that I would be able to hold your tiny little hands for the first time.  To see if you looked like me or daddy, not that it would be a big difference anyway. I would hug you so tight and would never let go.

In the meantime, celebrate with me tonight. In my dreams. Where I can cradle you close in my arms, closer to my heart… forever. And ever.

Love,

Mum x

 

 

I Blog to Write, Not Write to Blog

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I still cringe when I am referred to as a blogger. It’s that squeamish feeling knowing that I am not, or probably, never going to be. But for lack of a proper (or should I say, more accurate) definition of the term, I suppose, I can be categorised as such. Just because I blog. Period.

When people say “blogger”, I would imagine those who have rankings that are way over the roof, have sponsored content, get consistent and constant event invitations, get paid to write a review and so on. I am neither of these.

I blog because I do not want to miss out on my craft. I blog because I want to share my feelings, my thoughts, my views on things, places, and people around me. I blog because I have a story to tell, my APAS disorder and how I am we (me and the husband) are coping with it.

This month, I applied and was chosen to be one of the administrators of a blogging community called Bloggers Ng Pinas. I didn’t apply because I am a self-proclaimed blogger. I am wayyy far from it. In fact, I am looking for a mentor (ahem!) to be worthy of the “title”… somehow. 

I applied because I wanted to help in marketing the blogging community. Coming from the other side of the fence handling media and  public relations for my previous job, I feel that I can contribute something – probably give a glimpse of what brands look for when they want to have a footprint in the blogging world. Besides, it’s always nice to know how people think/act/behave on the other side.

I wish one day, I could be both – a writer and a certified blogger. After all, it is always good to be multi-faceted, right? Haha!

In the meantime, I am just here, in this little .com corner of mine, sharing some slices of my every day life through two things I know most – images and words. Please indulge me.

Happy Tuesday, loves! x

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Book of the Week: The Art of Work

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Grabbed from The Art of Work’s website

 

 

“We must assume every event has significance and contains a message that pertains to our questions…this especially applies to what we used to call bad things…the challenge is to find the silver lining in every event, no matter how negative.”
― James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

I was a little bit under the weather last week as you may have noticed based on my last post. When I read it again, it really sounded more dreary that I would have thought. It isn’t that bad. I still have so many blessings in my life. 

Okay. So back to the quote I posted at the beginning…

It’s funny how things just unfold at the perfect time. I know that I have been so torn last week between pursuing my corporate life again or just pursuing this WAHM lifestyle. I think I have my answer… For now, at least.

What was my pivot point? Jeff Goin’s The Art of Work book.

I have subscribed to Jeff Goins’ amazing promotional offer sometime in February. Haha. For a marketing professional, my husband always told me that I am so easy to sell to. Yes, he is absolutely right.

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So, I availed of this at $6.99 offer. Jeff sent an e-book version so that you can have a head start and read it in advance. The e-book was sitting on my mailbox (I hate reading e-books) until this weekend (I had a short vacation with the husband to get away from it all) and I could not be more grateful that I have read it.

I started with this book and just right off the bat, I knew that this was my book for this certain chapter in my life. It was something that I needed, an affirmation to the things that I am doing and bringing me back on track.

The Art of Work talks about one’s calling. How people sometimes are faced with “bad things” or unexpected moments in their lives to steer them to what they were meant to do in the first place.

Here are just some of the quotes that I loved —

Quitting a job to chase a dream is anything but safe. If you’re not feeling a little insecure about taking such a leap, then you probably haven’t considered the cost. The problem, then, isn’t the fear; that’s natural. It’s that many get afraid and stay there.

The path to your dream is more about following a direction than arriving at a destination.

When you start pursuing your calling, you may find it more difficult that you thought it would be. … What you must do is to keep moving. Don’t stand still.

Every calling is marked by a season of insignificance, a period when nothings seems to make sense.

If you are like me, lost and somehow, unsure (for the first time in your life), then this book is for you. I could not capture the greatness that Jeff has written in this book. It is for you to read and be moved by it.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5. Please grab the copy while you can. Until its official launch on March 24, you can still avail of the $6.99 offer. Just head on to The Art of Work website>>

So what is my takeaway –

This. If there is one thing that I would like to do my whole life, it is to write. My autoimmune disorder has caused me to give up a fabulous corporate life. But it has brought me back to the joys of writing. I should be thankful for this silver lining.

For now, I want to write a book about my plight as well as hundreds of success stories of women with APAS and other repro-immune disorders>>. I have wanted to do this for so long but it is just now that I am gathering the courage to do it.

Because after all, (and yes I am proud to say this), I am a writer.

x,

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An Unforgettable Encounter with Paulo Coelho

I don’t know how and when my love affair for Paulo Coelho’s writing began. I am sure though that the first book that I read was By The River Piedra and not The Alchemist. And then, I read The Alchemist. And for some reason, I lost the book. And then I read Veronika. And then The Zahir. I haven’t stopped reading (and re-reading) his novels ever since. I lost track of how many Coelho books I lost because I keep on loaning it to someone, promising that it is a good read. Some of them were never returned to me (because of course, it is indeed a good read and they forgot to return it) so I keep on replenishing so I have the complete set! Yes, this is how my love affair for Coelho’s books is.

I don’t know why I love his writing so much. In his videocast, he said that he is an experiential writer. He needs to experience things before he can write. Maybe I could relate to that.

I always believed that my love for writing has sprouted from my love of books. As time passed by, somehow the patterns interchange. There are times that I am inspired to write because I have read something. There are also times that I need to read because I want to write.

Ever since I quit corporate life, I have become more attuned to my creative wind. My writing is very personal, most of the times and I know that a lot of people would stop in the middle of the blog and say, I don’t care. I do not have credibility when it comes to food reviews because I have a black and white palate – it’s either good or not. I can’t do ratings. How do you qualify a 4 out of 5? I have a very unsophisticated taste buds. I would love to have a travel blog but I seldom go out especially with my condition now so…

And so, I realized that I can’t be a better version of someone else. As I said, I relate with Paulo’s writing style: something experiential. Something raw, full of emotions. Something honest and is a journey to self-discovery. My blog can’t be a version of someone else’s. I really didn’t care about statistics or page ranks. Or monetizing this blog. What I write here is just plain old me. What I go through every day. How I have given up corporate for the want of a baby. How I read to pass time. How I share my marketing knowledge to people who are interested at times. Those things that are essentially me. Nothing forced.

Which brings me to this — something that I consider as a defining moment in my life. In my previous post, I was talking about wanting to have some inspiration and stumbling upon Paulo Coelho’s videocasts. And I wrote about it because it mattered to me. I wrote about it because he lifted me from my creative drought like he always does. And I tweeted him saying that he is my hero. Which is really true. (To validate that, you can search Coelho at the Search bar and find that a lot of my posts start with quotes by him).

And then this —

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho re-posted my blog in his Twitter and Facebook pages. That is simply unbelievable (but incredibly amazing, too!)

When your personal hero does this, how would you feel? What would you do? For guys, this is like Michael Jordan answering your tweet. (this could be a lame analogy, but…)

And so I love him even more.

I wanted to capture this moment in my blog because as I mentioned before, I have a really lame memory. Somewhere down the road, when things go rough, I could go back to this day and I know deep in my heart, it would lift me out of a pit.

And of course, this is my takeaway as again quoting Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

My heart is in writing. I wrote ever since I was a kid but there were many times that I put it at the back-burner. And at this point in my life when I have almost nothing, my writing gives me my treasure. They pay me to write for blogs and social media. I was able to have a personal connection with my hero because of it. And while I thought that the only things that could give me happiness were a high-paying job and an uber-successful career – I was wrong! Because nothing beats the gratitude I have for experiencing these things given to me by the Divine at this point in my life.

Cheers,
Balot

Inspiration by Paulo Coelho

“You are useful when you give inspiration to people.”

-Paulo Coelho

I have been struggling with my writing as of late. Some call it writer’s block. Some call it creative drought. Whatever it is, yes, I have it. For several days now.

I browsed some articles to research on how to get rid of this halt. These were the tips I got.

  • Change your environment. (But it’s so dreary outside!)
  • Read a book. (This bed weather is making me sleepy.)
  • Exercise. (Uhmm..)

And then, I stumbled upon this – Part 3 of 4 of Paulo’s podcast on writing.

 

“What is inspiration? Inspiration is breathing. You put what is outside inside of you. And then, you expire. So, inspiration is something that everybody has, not only writers… Everybody has, when you do things with love. It is connected with this energy that we don’t understand. We can explain, explain, explain, but it is connected with the energy of love.  If you enjoy what you are doing, you’re going to be inspired to share it with other people. However, inspiration, you cannot guide inspiration. Inspiration is a boat and you are in this boat, in a sea. So there is this gigantic sea. And your boat is taking you. Inspiration is guiding you. Inspiration is this wind that is guiding you towards your destiny. If you try to guide inspiration, you are lost.” -Paulo Coelho

This is actually the first time that I have played a videocast from Paulo’s blog and my admiration for this man has been cemented in my life more than ever before. I seriously had goosebumps listening to him.

If you are a close friend, you would know that I adore Coelho. I have all his books, I have read and re-read them more than you can ever imagine. I couldn’t pick a favorite Coelho book because I love them all. And yes, one more thing, I trash all my Coelho books. I am really sorry but I do. I only do this to his books. You know what those are?

Yes! Dog-ears! My bad. But what can I do? Too many lines that I love. How can one write so profoundly? Almost every other page? That’s crazy!

I wish that someday my own creative wind will guide me to write something that could give inspiration to other people. In the meantime, please do enjoy listening to my hero as he has inspired me enormously today.

Check out the first installments of Paulo’s videocast on writing below:

Part  I on Writing

Part II on Writing

Part IV on Writing

xx,

Balot

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