Every birthday, I feel compelled to write a reflective post about the past year and life lessons learnt. I guess this has turned into a tradition.
This year flew by so quickly. Time is like that when you are busy.
Surrender / Letting go
This has been a big theme of recent days.
It is my most impactful spiritual practice now.
Surrendering everything and placing your trust in the divine to guide your life.
Everything just falls into place. Every time.
Surrender allows me to let go of fear and life’s worries (many of which are often unneccessary)
Surrender allows me to release past trauma and trapped emotions.
Surrender allows me to accept things I cannot change. To be patient and see what happens. Often I realize the learning points in each experience. Everything happens for a reason.
Surrender allows me to live without wants or expectations.
Go with the flow.
Trust in God …
and do your best.
Everything works out in the end.
Highly recommended: Surrender-novena
After studying for almost 7 years straight, I have finally graduated (twice) and begun my career.
It is both exciting and fulfilling because I am doing what I love and fulfilling my mission/purpose of helping others.
At the same time, I feel like I have matured significantly.
“Adulted” in the sense of starting a next life stage – life after school, getting a job, finding a partner etc.
Even my mindset, thought patterns and behavior have shifted remarkably.
As I observe the “adults” around me, I realize that many of them are still stuck in behaviors and thought-patterns or reactive-patterns they had as a kid.
For example, some people may not have had much attention paid to them as a kid. As they grow up and have more ‘authority/power’ over others, they may repeatedly assert their points for fear of not being heard.
Often times to the detriment of not listening to the other persons’ points of view. Hindering effective communication.
I now feel that communication is the one skill that everyone should strive to keep improving on.
So often people ‘hear’ but misinterpret messages based on pre-existing assumptions.
I find that the best way to avoid this is to reflect back what was said – like a summary or paraphrase of what you heard, in your own words.
Highly recommended read: People Skills : Robert Bolton : 9780671622480 (bookdepository.com)
Besides reflective listening, that book teaches us how to assert ourselves and express our needs, as well as resolve conflicts – all essential communication skills to navigate life with.
Diet & Compassion
I find myself gravitating towards a vegetarian diet more these days.
More out of compassion than anything else.
Industrial rearing and slaughter of animals is downright disrespectful of the sanctity of Life.
I feel that we are disconnected from our food source.
Modern man sees supermarkets as their food source where food is neatly packed and wrapped for convenience.
Hardly anyone stops to think about where that piece of meat comes from. Or how it was treated.
We don’t want to see the horrors of industrial animal farming – overcrowded “prison” cages/pens, standing in their own filth (or swimming in the case of fish), force-fed an unnatural diet, living with rampant disease, etc.
These animals aren’t even treated as living things anymore. Just as commodities to be traded for profit.
If you were to rear your own animals for food, would you treat them like that?
From a health perspective, it is also healthier to avoid industrial meat.
Often their unnatural diets (grains) makes their fat profile more inflammatory.
Coupled with the accumulation of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and toxins like heavy metals and plastics in the sea, its a no-brainer to eat less meat.
No doubt animals offer the most bioavailable source of nutrients because we are animals too.
However, the plant kingdom also offers a rich bounty of nutrients, if you prepare them well. (see my post on proper preparation of grains/legumes/nuts/seeds)
I now consider an animal-heavy diet more toxic and anabolic (building up) while a plant-based diet more like ‘fasting’ with longevity benefits.
Since going vegetarian at least 2 out of 3 meals, I have dropped weight and unnecessary fats, still maintain muscle mass, feel light and much less inflamed.
My autoimmunity has also been safely kept in remission for years.
It has now been 3 months since I started apprenticing under Dr. Sebastian Liew.
I could have gone out on my own and started a clinic. But part of me felt that there is much to be learnt from someone who has been practicing for 20 years.
True enough, the more time I spend here, the more I find I made the right decision.
He has timeless wisdom passed down from his teachers and doctors of old.
Essentially, his practice centers on the traditional Greek system of medicine, specializing in Phytotherapy (plant medicine).
The holistic aspect of treatment is prevalent because we integrate diet, lifestyle, herbs, nutraceuticals, even mindset and spirituality towards each individualized prescription.
He also formulates his own line of products (Leaf To Life brand) because that is the best way to know for sure you get quality ingredients from latest resesarch and patented extraction methods and also at clinically relevant doses.
Although the cost of treatment can be steep if many herbs/supplements are prescribed, I feel that they are worth the price.
I also feel that he is undercharging his consultation fees. Someone with his experience can charge upwards of $200 for an initial consultation in New Zealand or European countries.
What makes us different from your typical health supplement business or MLM?
There is a professional practitioner customizing your treatment. Not just selling you a range of products because its good for this or that.
Often, sales reps from MLM or Health Supplement companies do not have adequate training/education/experience in understanding the human body and disease.
Knowing what a herb or supplement does is one thing. But knowing how to apply it at appropriate doses is the art of the physician.
Most of our clients come to us because they have not found healing or lasting solutions from conventional medicine or TCM.
Skin conditions are most common.
Cancer is another condition which has made me lose faith in conventional medicine.
Seeing this many chronic conditions, even cancer and some people almost at death’s door has also made me reflect on the nature of life and death.
Some people suffer more because they cannot accept their predicament and the possibility of death.
Others take life one day at a time and still live life to its fullest.
Once again, ‘surrender’ is an attitude that may help.
God has called me to the ministry of Catechism this year.
I answered his call not because I had a lot to teach, but rather I don’t remember much from my own catechism and wanted to know more about my faith.
It has been a rewarding journey so far. They say you learn something twice when you teach. Although I haven’t taught yet, every session is like catechism for me too.
My faith has also gotten much deeper since practicing the surrender prayer.
Despite not attending mass physically as often anymore, I feel a deeper connection in my daily prayers.
I recently also found a video of the full set of morning prayers daily.
All these I find myself doing because I want to. Not for any reward or from fear of losing out. I guess purely out of love, thanksgiving and praise.
My ‘lovelife’ has been non-existent for almost a decade because I chose to prioritize other things (sporting and academic pursuits).
(Or) Maybe I didn’t feel ready or mature-enough for a relationship yet?
However, I feel like now is a good time to start dating.
As my Russian classmate puts it, “You are ready to leave the nest.” (Russians tend to be blunt and direct like that 😆)
God in his infinite wisdom has already sent me 2 special individuals. (I have not tried any dating apps)
A friend recently introduced me to someone.
My gut/heart gives me a good feeling about her.
But it may not be mutual.
Once again, I surrender all and let things run its course. Don’t expect anything. Be pleasantly surprised. Or defeated, learn the lessons and move on.
Time will tell.
I wonder what the next year will bring 🙂
Peace and blessings