Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 - Year of Courage and Hope

It has been many years since I made a new year's resolution. I gave up because my resolutions unraveled within weeks. even days. From simple things like waking up at a certain hour of the day, to going to the gym twice a week, to earning a certain amount per month or year. As a result, instead of inspiring me, and spurring me on through the year it made me feel like a complete loser whose words are not to be trusted. A weakling, unable to achieve the simplest of tasks.

My hiatus from blogging has led me to many resources which made me understand that whatever I face in the physical realm stems in its entirety from my internal state of mind. And I that isn’t too difficult..I just need to change my mindset and everything will fall into place.
Hence I realise also that the clutter that manifests in my physical realm is due to the clutter plagueing my mind. That is the broad guidelines of the principle..and for someone like me, it gives me hope.

I realise that there is nothing to worrry about. So long as I am granted my time on this reality called Earth, I have nothing to fear. I and my children will be sufficiently provided for...and the extent of our provision is in direct proportion to how much I believe we deserve.

Knowing that I can change my life for the better makes me happy. Knowing that it is as simple as changing my thoughts gives me HOPE and COURAGE to try. It makes me feel less intimidated as opposed to methods requiring the identification of physical targets too scary to draw up due to my history of failures.

Hence today, taking the cue from a blog I avidly follow,
Zen Habits, I am going to be brave and make these resolutions . I think I will be able to keep it this time, because it isn’t anything mechanical but deals with my consciousness. It will be an experiment to see whether these theories are for real and see how it manifests in my physical realm.

Here are my Four Resolutions which I shall call My Commandments:

1. To be true to more pretenses
2. To practice gratitude everyday and keep a gratitude journal
3. To act from love and not from hatred or anger.
4. To believe I can be better then ever before and forgive myself if I err from this path

There are many more I can list but for fear of being over zealous and overwhelmed I shall start with these four.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is there a Silver Lining In the Slush and Rubble..

I woke up with a start at 6.00 am. I rubbed sleep from my eyes to find the name flashing on the screen to be Kak Awe, my ex-husband’s sister. She wouldn't call at this hour unless it is terribly important. “There’s a landslide here..,"she said, "we are having a blackout.” That was expected, I thought. I asked her whether it’s on the way up to Bukit Antarabangsa as I saw some blue PVC sheets being laid on the steep slope along the road. "No,” she said, “it's at the bungalows. Abang Megat just missed it; he passed the location, just 15 minutes before it happened, and Ammar too. We are cut off...we are trapped in here.” I perked up...I obtained further details and finally managed to get a rough picture of where it actually happened....Yet the immensity of the disaster hasn’t sunk in. I found myself completely calculated, not really feeling, merely thinking, trying to identify solutions to the problem of them being trapped. Then, I remembered my sister, Nani. I told her I needed to call Nani because she hasn't called me, she is probably still asleep.
The first thing I asked Nani was, “You are having a black out now, right?"
“Yes, she said...why aaa?” she replied with a question...
“There’s a landslide, apparently about 7 bungalows affected...and you guys are cut off. No exit”
“Yes aa...where...Oh my God I can hear a electricity la, and water also very slow now. My battery running out. Lucky I charged the kids’ phones.”
“I will find out further and keep you wired. If I cannot get you, I will call their phones” I said.

I positioned myself at my watch post, in front of my puter.
There was nothing on the news yet, and when I googled, only old landslide stories appeared.

Later I opened my facebook and saw the first picture Nani posted. It was dark and I couldn’t see much. I saw the bungalow we all call the Cinderella house intact, and heaved a sigh of couldn’t be so bad...I thought. The road would be cleared within a day, at the most. Yet... a nagging worry was tugging at the back of my mind.

After half an hour, I saw Nani posted a brighter picture of the affected area. From her distance and angle, it still didn’t look too serious. It was only after 7 that the first news appeared on the Star Online website - 14 bungalows affected, and 4 people dead, 15 injured, 93 people rescued but 8 missing.
I began updating Kak Awe and Nani via sms and kept refreshing the page for the latest updates. I still thought it wasn’t too serious. I tried calling both of them but the line was getting congested. My heart constricted. A lump began to form in my throat. Fear and panic began to seep in slowly through my pores
Then Kak Awe called, but I couldn’t hear what she was saying. Slowly but surely I began to swell with panic. Then I saw the 7th update, which said that the 3 to 5 thousand residents who were cut off by the landslide will be evacuated...the graveness of the tragedy began to sink. I kept Kak Awe and Nani abreast with my SMSes.

Only when I saw the TV3 news, did I realise the immensity of the legs felt like jelly...and tears began to stream down my cheeks. I looked at my phone and saw a message from Nani: “Can you pick us up at Athenaeum”. I called Kak Awe and asked her whether she was planning to leave...she said she was discussing with her husband... I was already reduced to tears. It was then, that Shake called me to tell me that he will be there to help too, I was so grateful.

I went with Umair, Johan, Zara and KT. We stopped to get mineral water and lots of bread so that they have something to eat, and we set out. Shake arrived first.
Seeing Nani and her family, my fear burst into joy. I was so relieved but relief gave way to worry again, since Kak Awe and family were still not seen. Kak Nab, Kak Awe's elder sister were there with her son, to wait for Kak Awe. After knowing that they were already on their way, I decided to leave. Meanwhile, Shake waited to see if he could help Kak Awe's family with transportation. Alas they had enough cars.

I am eternally grateful to Shake for his big heartedness. A friend in need like him is such a rarity. I am so blessed to have known and met him.

We made a pit stop at Diva for lunch. I can't imagine what it must have felt for Nani...having to leave her belongings behind...and having to live in a crammed room in my house, no air cond and such. Water pressure is also lower in my house as opposed to hers

Being a Cancerian, home is my sanctuary...and I know how off balance I would be if I were displaced like her. But she took it with such tranquility and grace.

Later, we had to drive back to BA to send my clothes to the laundry. Even if everything looked perfectly normal around the Giant area, you won't be able to dismiss the highly charged energy there. It was like the air, the trees and the earth were trying to tell us something. They speak too, but their language cannot be can only be felt.

It was only during this time that the immensity of the disaster sank in. Sadness fell like a heavy curtain around me...My mind cowered under the onslaught of “what ifs” ...As we went about our business, I thanked Allah for sparing my family and so many more. But my thoughts went to those who have lost their loved ones and their homes. I thought of how they are unable to carry on their normal business as I was, and of how their lives are changed forever.

I have always been able to find a wisp of silver lining or two in my tribulations...but in this case, the overcast is too vast and heavy for me to discern any light, just yet...It was then did I realise how small we are, and how nothing is certain in this life...