Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Love Cats!

They are cute, furry and cuddly. They are independent, intelligent, and can pretty much look after themselves. They can be aloof at first, but when you earn their trust, they can be fiercely loyal. They make great companions and friends. Being the sensitive lot they are – not only to their surroundings but also to people – they know just how to comfort you when you need it.

Sometimes they can be charmingly manipulative – being extra nice to you when they want extra food!

I love them now even more when a good friend recommended me a cat website of cute, funny and witty cat photos. Some of my favorites (The images may take a while to load, though):

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions


For cat lovers out there, the website is:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two rituals of letting go

On the first week of this new year I stood by my friend as she performed two rituals that can change her life. At sunrise, on a small field with a playground, she carefully burned pieces of paper where she painstakingly wrote all the things she wanted to let go of – anger, doubt, and all other kinds of negativity. She then placed the ashes inside a box, along with objects symbolizing other things she wanted to let go of as well. I helped her bury the box.

At sunset on the same field on the same day, I accompanied her as she tied her life’s wishes to the strings of red, blue and white balloons. Earlier, she had easily chosen blue and red – her favorite colors – in the balloon shop and had also automatically chosen white, though she had not exactly known why.

Her choice of colors later proved to be a good match to her wishes – red was for her soulmate, blue was for her personal growth (“This color is me,” she says) and white was for her spiritual growth.

Slowly, she read aloud each wish before letting go of the balloons one by one. I sat beside her in support and murmured my affirmations whenever she finished with a request.

There was, however, an extra blue balloon with no wish tied to it. I call it the “possibilities” balloon, as my friend was asking for and opening herself up to blessings yet unknown from the universe.

Preparing for the ritual

We watched the balloons fly and disappear into the clouds. “Nasa langit na sila” (My wishes are already in heaven). I smiled at how my friend said it so lightly yet so certainly.

She had wanted to do these two rituals for so long already – several years, in fact, but could not somehow find the right opportunity. Now appeared to be a good time, as she had just undergone a situation that abruptly shifted her life’s course – being separated from the man she was going to spend the rest of her life with.

The rituals were also powerful and fitting for the new year – letting go of negative baggage to make room for blessings and new opportunities, especially room for fulfillment of life’s wishes. At the same time, letting go of those wishes for the universe to have a free hand on them.

I felt honored to be with my friend at such an important moment for her. I would like to believe that my energy and support added power to her rituals. We had some bloopers and “adventures” along the way, like having a difficult time digging the “grave” for the box (My friend only brought a spoon! I had to get something close to a shovel) and searching the village and the yellow pages for shops that sell flying balloons, as balloons on sticks are the safe standard in shops today. Also, she had intended to do both rituals at sunrise, but because of the difficulty finding balloons, we had to postpone the balloon part for sunset.

All these, though, I knew, only made the rituals all the more powerful. We had taken effort to make them happen.

Now all we had to do was believe.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun, however, I got my own purple, yellow and orange balloons and let them fly away one by one after my friend had finished, though with no specific wishes. I had already made my wishes before; this gesture was simply an affirmation. God – the universe – already knows my heart’s desires.

Friday, January 2, 2009

First Morning

Yesterday I woke up early and got on a bike to greet the first sunrise of the new year.

It was a cold morning slightly reminiscent of Baguio, with a thin layer of fog shrouding houses in the distance. I felt warmed, though, with the first heat of the sun – and I believe, also warmed with the energy and expectation of everyone dreaming and waking up to this day.

Most were still dreaming, though; the lights were still on in many of the houses I passed. The roads were deserted save for some street sweepers busily sweeping the remains of last night’s noisemaking and festivities. I was even able to ride my bike on the middle of the road without fear. Occasionally I passed a jogger or biker who probably had the same idea of greeting the new year as me - or were probably keeping to their morning routine without fail.

Almost every person I passed greeted me a happy new year. I felt their greetings were also for themselves as much as they were for me. Some smiled at me in understanding, as though we were sharing a secret in being one of the few to experience that morning while the rest of the world still slept.

As the sun came up and rays broke through thick clouds, I saw more and more houses with their lights turned off and an occasional person sweeping the yard of her home. I moved to the side of the road to give way to passing vehicles. I received more new year greetings.

While the sun steadily rose and gave more warmth, the clouds gathered and sprinkled us with a drizzle. People sweeping outside their homes and people jogging carried on, as though receiving blessings from the first morning shower. I welcomed the raindrops on my face.

I saw a jogger at rest and looking up, as though basking in both the sun and rain.

That morning, anything was possible. It was the first page of a notebook, clean and ready for the writer’s first words.

I wrote.