Saturday, September 30, 2006

Holy Day Today

it's the end of one month, the beginning of another.

it's also just two weeks more before we-- my sister, my sister-in-law and i-- leave for the HK Show we have been preparing for for months already, to launch our new family export company, where i've been taking the lead role up to now.

so i took a break today and dated my self the whole day-- first for some cleansing and goddess pampering at the skin clinic, then off to the spa for a thai body scrub and aromatherapeutic massage, then capping it off with a hot oil, manicure, pedicure and foot spa treat at my favorite beauty salon. : ) my way of "arming" my self for the "battle" (i prefer to see it as an "adventure") ahead!!!

when i got home, Thea told me some people have been calling for me on the phone. i told her they called and texted me, too, while i was at the spa. but i kept my phone on silent, and texted them back only after i was done. Thea said she told one caller i was at the spa, and the caller wanted to know which spa, as they must have meant to follow me even there! : (

i told Thea not to do that next time, to reveal my whereabouts to people-- except family-- especially on a holy day like today. Thea quickly agreed.

goddesses deserve their day off, after all. : )

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How Women Sabotage Relationships

From a free subscription e-newsletter--

Amanda, 25, is a dynamic PR manager who’s rising quickly up the company ladder. She has a beautiful apartment, legs to die for and a six-figure salary. So why can’t she hold a steady relationship? Because every time she gets serious with a guy, she initiates the “where is this going?” talk – otherwise known as the kiss of death in any relationship. Read on for more fatal errors women make with their guys to find out how you could be sabotaging your relationship. Plus: take our quiz to find out if jealousy is jeopardizing your love life…

1. “I think I can change him”

You may be able to get him to pick up the dirty socks on the floor or stop clipping his toenails on the rug. But certain personality traits are inherent and no amount of cajoling or nagging can change them. Does he refuse to say he’s sorry, no matter how wrong he is? Does he insist on hanging out with the boys every Friday night? Women who constantly berate their partners for things they can’t change are headed for failure. The woman will feel ignored, and the man will feel constantly nagged. Facing the fact that your guy may never change can be hard, especially if you have to give up your dream of a happy future together. You can accept him the way he is, or better yet find someone else who’s more compatible with your desires and treats you well.

2. The dreaded “where is this going?” talk

When men hear the words, “Where is this going?” they freeze up. Women ask this question because there’s a lack of communication and they want to know where they stand. For example, if she wants a commitment but he doesn’t want to be tied down, then that’s an issue that needs to be brought into the open. Problem is, men don’t like to be put on the spot and discuss their feelings. And between us girls, we know it’s because they don’t know their feelings or how to handle them. So instead of trying to guarantee your future together, focus on your guy’s actions. Look for the little (and sometimes hidden) signs that he’s committed to the relationship. Does he open the door for you, answer the phone when you call and make an effort to impress your friends? If so, he’s investing in the relationship’s future. On the other hand, if the only time he calls you is to invite you over for hanky panky and can’t remember your favorite color or food, it’s safe to say he’s just not that into you.

3. Giving up your passions

Being in a relationship means making time for your man and keeping his needs in mind. But if his needs are the only thing you have in mind, there’s a problem. Living your life to please your partner and catering to his every need won’t make anyone happy. If you want a truly successful relationship, you must have other interests. If all you can talk about is what your man likes to eat for dinner and how he likes his shorts folded, then it’s time to get a life.
Think of the activities you used to do when single. Were you passionate about writing poetry, swimming or studying history? Making time for your boyfriend shouldn’t mean forgoing all the activities that you loved before. And don’t worry about leaving him alone while you jet off to Europe. He loves the downtime but would never admit it! And when you do come together, you’ll find that your relationship is fresher and you are both more interesting people because of your separate pursuits.

4. Living for the future

Many woman stay with a partner because they believe that somehow, the future will be better. Even though the present is filled with arguing and conflict, they hold out for the possibility that their luck will turn around. Of course, every relationship will has its rough patches, and if you’re both in love then it’s worth the effort to work out your issues. But if you’re arguing every day or you grow sad every time you think of him, then it doesn’t make sense to stay together. Occasionally, fights are okay, but your relationship should bring you happiness overall.

5. Dissing his friends

Like it or not, your man has known his buddies a lot longer than he’s known you. He may have friends who are like brothers to him, friends with whom he has shared his childhood and memories. Treat them like family – be gracious, complimentary and friendly, even if you think they’re complete losers. Being rude to those your boyfriend cares about could put him in the awkward position of having to choose between the two of you. If you love your man, you’ll make an effort to be gracious to those he cares for, including his friends and family.

Relationship etiquette comes down to a basic principle: Respect yourself and your partner. Even if they take extra time and work, having relationships matters because a happy union can protect your health, help you live longer and even boost your immune system. Relationships are complicated, but if you vow to never to commit these 5 relationship sins then you’ll be one step closer to your happily ever after.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Reclaiming Women's Wisdom, Women's Power

From "Romancing the Ordinary: A Year of Simple Splendor" by Sarah Ban Breathnach:

Women were created to experience, interpret, revel in, and unravel the mysteries of Life through their senses. Our senses speak the secret language of the soul—longing. If there is anything every woman understands—whether she is single or married, eighteen or eighty—it is the dialect of desire.

Emotion is the feminine mother tongue Think of how often the senses are evoked in our casual conversation to convey a women’s inner life: "I was so touched..." "I heard that..." "I see your point." "I felt misunderstood." "I could taste it, I wanted it so badly." "I had a hunch you’d call."

And yet how often in the course of one day do you deny your feelings’ validity? How often do you turn away from their urgings or suppress the unruly things? Could it be that we don’t trust our feelings because we haven’t ever given ourselves permission to live as we are meant to? Luckily, most of us are born fully sentient beings, able "to perceive the world with all its gushing beauty and terror, right on our pulses," as the poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman tells us in her exquisite evocation A Natural History of the Senses. And yet we continually shut ourselves down, condemn ourselves to misery by rendering ourselves blind, deaf, and mute.

Think back to the three best moments of your life. Slowly summon them to return. Watch them ride a wave of rediscovery on your sense memories as you bring back the setting and mood and power of those moments.

Call back a moment of exhilaration and engagement. What were you doing? What were you looking at, holding, or hearing?

Call back a moment of clarity and commitment. What private prompt of your intuitive heart did you act upon?

Call back a moment of transcendence and transformation. What wonder was hidden in the tastes and textures of your everyday life? Today revisit those moments when your soul soared and yet you were completely connected to earth. And then, throughout the day, echo James Joyce’s heroine Molly Bloom’s exquisite moment of surrender by offering it to Heaven as a private psalm: And yes I said yes I will Yes!


more than just senses, i'd call it Intuition, though. that wild kind of knowing, living by the gut, living by one's bones.

or simply following one's bliss. : )

Friday, September 22, 2006

Love Challenges

we've hurdled our first 3 months' head-over-heels-falling-in-love phase, and are now settling into laying the groundwork for more real love to grow...

this is a new experience for me, to go beyond the usual sweet nothings and lusty exchanges, but to settle into the day-to-day challenges of daily living, together with another, learning more sensitivity for another, patience, self-restraint, learning how to balance meeting another adult's needs as well as one's own, preserving the integrity of one's boundaries even while nurturing the development of deeper intimacy with another, and willingly taking on my own subordinate yet powerfully and subtly influential role towards the building of a common goal and dream together... learning the steps of a more intricate, masterful dance this time.

i am feeling quite disoriented, and at a loss... so i went to my favorite online oracle for more perspective on the situation, and here is what my free relationships reading at says--

Accepting your role in a relationship situation stimulates personal growth and leads to reward.

The card that lands in the Love Challenges position refers to ways that you can turn obstacles into stepping stones.

The Four of Wands in this position supports a persistent effort to be reliable and responsible in a relationship situation. Effective teamwork sometimes depends on successfully making up for each other's missing skills, and you are being asked to hold up your end. While your partner is working on his or her specialties, you are expected to work on yours.

This creative relationship effort may push you, stimulate you, and demand that you give more and grow more than you would on your own. When you rise to the challenge with enthusiasm, you may be richly rewarded. Enjoy the process. Take time to see how teamwork and accomplishment enhance your self-esteem and the closeness of your relationship.

amazing online synchronicity principle and insight at work, huh? : )

Sunday, September 17, 2006



Have commitment issues ever caused problems in your relationships? Maybe you played tug of war with a partner who couldn’t commit to you on the level you needed. Or maybe you were the non-committing party in the relationship. Regardless of who was more devoted, chances are that the relationship didn’t grow to become something meaningful. A solid and healthy relationship cannot survive if the level of commitment is unbalanced. The only way to have a healthy relationship is for both partners to be equally committed – sounds obvious, right? But it’s not always so simple. Find out where fear of commitment stems from…

Committing yourself to another person can be an incredibly powerful and gratifying experience. You’re melding your life with someone else’s, for better or worse. There are few greater gifts in life that you can give the person you love. But commitment is nevertheless a risk you take, no matter how gung-ho you are about the person you want to marry. Every big decision in life isn’t made without anxiety, doubt and fear, especially one that implies such finality. It’s what makes the decision real – and there’s nothing more real than committing yourself to someone for life. So how do you really know when your fear of commitment is valid or when it’s just masking unreasonable fears?

Here are five common reasons for your fear of commitment:

1. You think forever is a long time

The thought of eternal togetherness makes you look at the concept of time in a whole different way. If it’s a life-long commitment you or your partner wants, you have to be able to visualize the future and the rest of your life together. This is the person you’ll grow old and grey with, the only person who you’ll ever be intimate with again. Think in terms of finality and be sure to separate whether it’s the actual person you can or can’t see yourself with or if it’s any of next few fears. Some people are commitment phobic because they know they’re with the wrong person. And there’s nothing wrong with that unless you continue to string that person along. Commitment should be viewed as having more to gain than lose, so don’t make any promises to someone who you can’t see your forever with.

2. You fear giving up your freedom

Single people value their freedom, and for many, especially for those who have been single for such a long time, a committed relationship threatens that freedom. Having to answer to another person might not sound that appealing because every decision you make will have to be with your partner in mind, and that seems stifling to many. However, making decisions for your partnership is what love and commitment is all about, and if you’re not willing to forgo a little bit of freedom, then you’re not ready for commitment.

3. Your other priorities are more important

Committing yourself to somebody in mind, body and soul just sounds like too much effort and pressure for you. It might feel like you have to put everything else aside. But maybe your other priorities in life just can’t be put on hold. If your priorities are time-consuming, like finishing school, caring for an ailing family member or getting situated financially, then commitment might not be in the cards for you right now. And that’s perfectly reasonable when you have to prioritize your life.

You have to be willing to put your needs ahead of your partner’s needs in a relationship, so make sure that you have your life straightened out before embarking on a serious relationship.

4. You fear betrayal

You’re never more vulnerable than you are when you’re in a committed relationship, especially marriage. Your vows represent your commitment to one another, but unfortunately these promises aren’t necessarily guarantees. When you fully give yourself to someone, you’re taking on the possibility that your partner may let you down, and that’s a terrifying prospect.

For some, the thought alone of being cheated on is enough to get them to never fully commit to one person, especially if they’ve been burned before. Commitment issues stemming from infidelity become a security blanket to never fully commit. That way, a betrayal won’t hurt as bad if your whole heart was never fully committed. You can never know for sure what a partner might do to you, but you can definitely hedge your bets by choosing someone with integrity and values, and dating him or her long enough to really know their character. In truth, you have to be able to trust your partner with your life.

5. You’re just not ready for it

There’s nothing wrong with not being ready for a commitment to someone. Sometimes it’s your circumstances, state of mind, age, other priorities, or all of these factors combined. Maybe you don’t think you’re worthy or capable of being one half of a successful relationship. If you feel you’re just not ready for it, then take some time out to be alone to learn more about yourself and discover what your needs and wants are for your relationships and out of life. By strengthening who you are as a person, you’ll strengthen a future relationship and your chances of a healthy and long-lasting relationship increase.

If your partner exhibits signs of commitment phobia through his or her words and actions, and you’re ready to commit, you may have to let go of the relationship in order to give yourself what you want and need. You can’t pressure anyone into a life decision as big as marriage and you certainly shouldn’t want to. Chances are that you’ll feel your partner’s trepidation, and despite the heartache that follows this rejection, you have to move on to do what’s best for you.

There’s nothing wrong with being ultimately incompatible, but there is a problem with hanging onto a relationship where there are evident signs of commitment phobia. If you know it will never go anywhere, let go now before you waste too much time.

If you’re the commitment-phobe, don’t ever commit to someone because you feel under pressure to make a decision or just want to please your partner. You have to be honest with what you want and expect out of your relationship. Sometimes it’s the person that’s not right for you and other times it’s your situation in general.

Overcoming fear of commitment will happen when you find the right person, put faith into the prospect of commitment and sift through your fearful emotions to get to the heart of why you want to commit in the first place. It’s OK to enter into a committed relationship with fears, but don’t avoid identifying and evaluating your fears so that you never have to take the plunge. You’d surely be missing out on the best that life has to offer when you give in to your fear of commitment.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ebb Tides

there used to be a time when i would panic at the first sign of decrease... at the first signals of slackening... especially in close romantic relationships. i wanted all the highs without the lows... well, the lows too, but the emotional and dramatic kinds of lows, not the routine blah ones that normally accompany daily living and loving. i wanted the dance to last forever.

these days, though, i am learning to sensitively recognize and accept ebb tides gracefully, go with the flow and even ride them in peaceful, loving contemplation, welcoming the breathers, in fact, to temporarily withdraw and mend my own nets, nurture my own garden... knowing and trusting now that when the flood comes again, it can only be better, more transformative, deeper, bringing us even closer together.

these days, i find my self developing a wiser, more sober, more mature, but nonetheless even deeper kind of loving, the kind of loving that knows in time when to let go, and when to embrace, in tune, in step with the dance at last.

that psychological concept of the challenge between intimacy and independence that one must go through as a developmental task in adulthood; i think i am getting it right this time, balancing my and my loved one's needs for both, letting my self succumb to the natural rhythms without fear and anxiety now... well, there's still always that little feeling of dread and trepidation before the descent... but with more trust and grace and peacefulness and inner joy now.

i am also reminded now of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estes' "Sleep of Trust" phase that she described in her book --

When lovers enter this state, they are surrendering to the forces within themselves, those that have trust, faith, and the profound power of innocence. In this spiritual sleep, the lover trusts that the works of his soul will be worked in him, that all will be as it should be. This lover sleeps the sleep of the wise instead of the wary.

His trust is not dependent on his lover not to hurt him. His is a trust that any wound that comes to him can be healed, a trust that new life follows old.

For love to thrive, the mate must trust that whatever will be, will be transformative.

this is where i am right now.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Relaxing Into Trust

it's a strange feeling-- relaxing, easing into TRUST, with a man now. it's a new feeling, a new way of being and behaving... and it takes some time getting used to, but i like it.

it is such a relief not having to keep all my fears and doubts and worries to my self, not having to second guess a man's every word or move, knowing that whatever it is that bothers me, i can just speak up and ask him about it, and he answers me promptly and straightforwardly, even to the point of being clumsily blunt, in his own lovable way, as if i were just his buddy. : ) and i am loving it!!!

i don't have to worry about whether he'd feel offended by my questions, or get mad even, or feel hurt that i don't trust him enough, because he has enough self-possession and self-confidence not to get shaken by my temporary losses of faith...

i don't have to second-guess his silences and his words, because he means what he says, and he says what he means, and i am learning to actually expect that now, instead of expecting to be stonewalled, ignored, or scolded and accused.

i don't have to hide with him, as everyone close to him in his life (his mom, his dad, his business partner, even his dad's Filipino employee, and his apartment tenant!) knows about me and is happy for him and me! of course, that goes the same for me and everyone close to me in my life too. : )

i can be my self, at last, and i can come out of hiding, as i was always meant to be, as i always deserved to be!

the more i heal into Trust again with my love, the more i realize how much i still needed a lot of healing, how the past has hurt and broken me so, and how it's time for me to stop licking my own wounds in the dark, but time now to expose it to the light, because the light is gentle and loving after all, not scorchingly diminishing....

if only for this, i thank God for M in my life now.

i am so still so awed, and humbled, at this Grace that has come upon me, at this time in my life.