Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Truth about Relationships

living practical miracles 
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” 
-C.G. Jung

You know the Cinderella story, the truth is that relationships are certainly no such fairy tale. But you know the only TV drama that I watch, Sex and the City? No, its definitely not so complex as well.

In my quest to live a happy and purposeful life in which I live and create the exact life I desire, I find that the truth about relationships is that it is mainly comprised of a few Cs, and I have an urge to share what I have learnt about this magical topic today.

By the way, I also happen to believe that the simpler you keep things, the happier one is. Usually, I find that simplifying things gives me more capacity to use my brain on more things. But, I speak from my own personal experience, so don't simply take my word for it.

C is for Complex
By Complex, I mean our own personal complex. Our thoughts, feelings and perceptions about ourselves. This is the basic personal filter where we consciously or unconsciously give meaning to our experiences and interactions with the world, especially with our partners since they are often very important to us. 'Nothing has meaning except the meaning you give it,' basically sums up how our complex can rule our world.

So, if our complex is somewhat mechanically faulty, this faulty root would most likely trip up circuits quite easily. To fix this symptom, I usually go back to the electric board to see what's all going on down there. Usually, there would be some deep feelings or resentment against certain things I rather not have in my life. When that bugger is finally fixed, one should usually expect the following -
Otherwise, just keep going back to that electrical board and keep working on it. When you finally get it, you can only expect the unicorn to much more, much more bad ass.

C is for Communication
Oh well, the age old adage of how important it is for couples to communicate effectively. 
But, are you really doing it? 
Have we recently reminded ourselves that Communication is most importantly Listening and Speaking?
If we simply truly listened to what our partner is saying, we would already have accomplished perhaps 70% of the needed communication. But well if we haven't even listened, we could still rely on all the fancy words in the world to bring home just a 30% success rate. Imagine if you could only fulfill your basic needs to a maximum of 30% repeatedly. It wouldn't be long till your starving tummy becomes a bloated tummy of air ready to explode any moment. Then apply this vision and imagine it on your partner - and you have intelligently decided what type of fate you really prefer.

C is for Compromise
This C I read it as Com-Promise. Traditionally meaning, a promise made mutually. A compromise also implies that the benefits and sacrifices are applicable to both parties. Compromise definitely does not mean that only one party is actively making the 'compromise', while the other repeatedly expects understanding for his/her situation but shows no empathy or adjustment for his/her partner's needs. If that is the case, wouldn't that sound more like TOS for Too Overly Stretched? I think some gentle everyday Yoga stretching is really already enough for any healthy homosapien to handle.

C is for Core Values
How very corporate sounding.. But if you find that approaching work is easier than broaching the topic of relationships and emotions, it may help to know that relationships can also be viewed as a corporation where only 2 people work in. 
Beneath the surface of all the technical how-tos, the core values of the 2 individuals are the most important fundamental building blocks of the story. A couple or may have opposite interests but still thrive if they have similar core values. Because ultimately, core values are what creates a person's actions and hence his/her character. If this jigsaw doesn't fit, no matter how good one's complex, communication or way of compromise is, the puzzle may not be so complete.

Ok, that's enough about relationships today. 
Writing about this has helped me crystallise my thoughts, and I hope it was useful in some way.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  -Einstein

create a beautiful life everyday

Friday, July 25, 2014

1 week in NYC

bright lights big city
'New York is not a city, its a world.'

I visited my very good, very old friend who had been living in New York for what seems to be forever. The best description of my 10 May days there would be - no plans, no targets. I wanted to experience the city like a new yorker - taking the subways, dashing through the temperamental rains, brunching around in the city's many cute cafes, and of course, walking many many blocks all around.

So I put together a little schedule of what I did there. These were planned day to day based on my friend's recommendations, and I must say I had a real blast going about these neighbourhoods and felt like I understood the city a lot as I traipsed around its sidewalks. Please excuse me for the sometimes lack of pictures as I was more about experiencing the moment, than taking photographs for this trip.

Day 1
I strolled around on the the south side of Central Park and really enjoyed the lush greenery. The Spring weather that day was absolutely perfect for lounging about on the grass.

After I was finally satisfied with enjoying the lush greenery, a little hop, skip and walk soon brought me  right to my favourite 5th Avenue. From Bergdof to Zara, Trump's tower to Tiffany's exquisite building, I loved the electric atmosphere of that street and how it never seems to slow down.

After having spent quite a few hours going through the adjacent streets of 5th avenue and the fabulous shopping it had to offer, I walked on to Times Square to marvel at the bright lights in this big city.

Day 2
Today was to traipse around the West Village. I took a walk to the famous Magnolia Bakery but skipped the cupcakes since somehow I wasn't quite in the mood for sweet nothings. Instead, I dined at the sidewalk of the fabulous Extra Virgin and watched people go about doing their everyday things -Models doing a shoot on the sidewalk of the fashionable meat packing district, mothers sending their children to school, a car ramming into another car as it parallel parked, an elderly gentleman, dressed in oxford shoes paired with bermudas and a knit cardigan sitting on the steps of his house opposite me, seemingly pondering about life and how he has lived his. And I wondered what his life was like before.

And then serendipitously, I chanced upon Carrie Bradshaw's apartment on 66 Perry Street as I strolled around the neighbourhood. How I love me a brownstone, and Manolo Blahniks!

I still wasn't tired and continued walking quite a many blocks to the nearby Chelsea, walked along the high line and explored the quaint bustling Chelsea market. Loved the independent artists and the work they showcased there. I was too immersed in the moment and probably too tired, and didn't take any photographs.

Day 3
But of course, the beautiful weather meant a trip around the hippie neighbourhood of the East Village. I had brunch by a cute little cafe, explored the little small shops and most of all enjoyed the interesting graffiti all around the hood.

After I was done exploring the East Village, I walked on to the bustling Union square, where the array of activities there included an outdoor farmer's market, people who played chess with you for a fee, and  buskers and street performers by the main square. In spring, many outdoor seats line the streets. So I grabbed a burrito from Chipotle, some juice and simply watched the city go by.

Day 4
A day of terminals, libraries, parks and museums.
I started the day of with a quick walk about at the Grand Central Station.

And then walked a few blocks to the historic New York Public Library, my other idea of heaven besides Bergdof's.

Stopped for a quick sandwich at Bryant Park just around the library, and my next destination was to MoMA a few blocks down the road! Was so excited to see Monet's Water Lilies, Van Gogh's Starry Night and Andy Warhol's pop art.

 You could also stop by K town for some korean food since its all about in the same vicinity. I wasn't really in the mood for kimchi and so I had a very full salad meal at a random salad shop that dots the streets of NY.

My plan was then to check out the city skyline at the Rockerfeller building (so that you could also view the empire state building), but by some twist of fate, I ended up feeling really faint and lost as I tried to figure out directions in the night. A gal's gotta go home when a gal's gotta go home, I thought, and subsequently spent another 50 minutes walking all over the street trying to find the subway station to head back home. Thankful for all the kind directions from kind strangers. So, to the Rockerfeller's another time!

Day 5
And after a good rest, I was up and running again for the day's agenda. Visited Eatily (over crowded!)  and the Flat Iron District. The lime light markets were unfortunately closed though.
Then I check out SOHO and the nearby Chinatown. Strangely enough, no photographs were taken for the whole day!

Day 6
I decided the day was to be a good day to be on Wall Street. And so I brought myself there. When I was young, I once wondered what it would be like to work in a large building when I walked amongst them skyscrapers on Shenton way one day. But that thought was quickly replaced with a repulsion at the thought of sitting at a desk all day working on a computer. Is Life, like the stock market, ruled by thought or emotion?

 After the market closed on Wall Street, I went to the nearby Fulton street to contribute to New York's economy, and then headed over to the 911 Memorial to take a moment to remember how we can never take peace and safety for granted. When I feel like my life is a joke here in Tucson, I remember the cause that I'm here for - to protect the country I love from harm's way. This gives me just some fuel to continue creating a beautiful and purposeful life I love even when the the conditions may not be the optimum.

Serendipitously again, I chanced upon the thick of action where newscasters stood in front of the World Trade Center to report on the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of the official end of the 911 rescue and recovery operations.

At night, my good ole friend met me downtown after her work to head to Brooklyn Bridge. A good friend and a good view in a good city.

Day 7
I wanted to do this but couldn't wake up in time - go for a run at Central Park! In the end, I ended up lounging about my friend's cute little how-very-pinterestsy apartment, with a book and cup of coffee.

And in the evening, we went for some drinks at a cute roof top bar, and later to Ola Gjeilo's Dreamweaver premiere at the Carnegie Hall. Loved the music!

And that, about sums up my time in NYC. And if you have a week there, you could do what I did, but don't take my word for it. The city is yours to discover, explore and thrill in. Have fun!

and the best place to be, is rivaled in every way by the best company to be with.

create a beautiful life everyday.