My grandmother passed away six years ago, but memories of her linger still.  It feels like a dream.  I am old enough to think of the good old days but not old enough to indulge myself in reminiscing since I am still actively making new memories.  There are moments when I remember how she took care of us and how she would warmly greet us when she saw us.  Her face lights up and it made me feel loved.

Those days when we were young, it felt like the world was safe and sunny, and now that a few decades have passed, I’m old enough to know better. That every moment should be cherished because they become memories far too fast and sadly enough it almost feels like their existence as a dream because memories have a fleeting quality about them, they are not solid.

Life feels like it’s not quite real but at the same time oh so real.  I remember her, but now that I am used to her being gone, it doesn’t feel so painful, but there is a dull ache of longing to be able to see her again and interact with her and hang out with her.  It’s those little moments that feel like they are not important which become the most important, as we get older.  It’s those moments which become poignant and pierce our hearts when we remember how much we miss them.

When we are young, we can’t wait to grow old, yet at the same time we are very of the moment, we are not able to think too far into the future except maybe to wish for something to happen but then get distracted once again by the moment.  Now that we are older, with a few battle scars and having experienced the loss of loved ones, the perspective is different.  We are not as young and carefree as we once were, nor are we as brave.

Sometimes I wish that I could hang out with her again and share meals with her.  There is something so comforting about her and so relaxing.  It’s a feeling of home.  And now, all that’s left are memories which weave in and out of our mind as we go through life.

(c) Niconica 2019



According to Google, concept of undermining is defined by “gradually weakening or damaging someone or something especially gradually or insidiously.”  This is why we must be mindful of people who are out to harm us with their supposed good intentions, it’s like leaving little crumbs for us to eat up until we find ourselves in a hole that is too deep to dig out and before we know it we are someone else’s lunch so to speak.

Just because someone assures you that they love you and care for you, or just because someone is related to you, it doesn’t meant that their intentions are as clean as they purport it to be.  They can make it sound as though all their supposed “sacrifices” and decisions are for your benefit but it doesn’t meant that we must believe them.  Actions always speak louder than words and when you feel that unsettled feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is not quite right, you have to pay attention to it.

You will not be able to confront them or discuss their intentions because they are experts at double talk and they will demand for hard evidence that what you are saying is the truth.  They will tell you that you are imagining their negative intentions and that you are too sensitive and you are difficult to deal with.  There is no discussing truth or logic with these “wolves” and one should not even try to do so for our own mental health.

In the fairy tale, the wolves are identified as wolves–good and bad are clear cut.  However, in real life, many people who surround us and who might even be closest to us and even related to us may be manipulative enough to use our own weaknesses against us and the when we realise that something is amiss, they would dismiss it by simply attributing it to our overactive imaginations, and that they really mean the best for us–they might even stare straight into our eyes and claim that they love us, however all their little actions are clearly the opposite–strong enough to make us feel bad but subtle enough that they would not be called to task for it.

They are masters of mind games and more interaction with them will risk our peace of mind and our sanity.  We all know people like that in our lives, sometimes they might even be family or supposed best friends or supposed trusted employees.  We must be vigilant and listen to our guts because sometimes if we keep trusting in their words, we fail to take them to account for their actions and there is always that discrepancy between what they claim they intend and what they actually do and they would never admit to it.

In fact, if they are called to task for it, they will have the gall to be hurt and lie through their teeth that they are the victims of wrongful accusations and even, paranoia.  These sort of people will have it coming to them–karma will not discriminate between a well-concealed negative deed and an overt one. Our job is to stay our of the way and let karma have a straight path to them.

(c) Niconica 2016


Daniel Goleman’s books are a must read when we wish to learn about how we think and how to cope with the world around us.  Social Intelligence provides insight into how we interact with people around us. It also makes us understand how and why people are the way they are and how we can improve ourselves.

Getting along with people is a crucial factor for our survival; hence, the reason why it is pertinent to learn social intelligence.  I will belabour the point that learning emotional and social intelligence should be mandatory in the education system.

We learn that how we are treated during childhood affects our levels of anxiety and how we cope with daily stresses and this may make all the difference between a well-adjusted individual and a criminal. We learn to look at humans beyond the typical IQ assessment and ability to memorise facts and figures.

Social Intelligence is a very insightful and relevant read for all who wish to understand the human mind and how it works.

(c) Niconica 2015


Eckhart Tolle Oneness with All Life

Life is getting more and more fast-paced and it’s hard to find moments when we get to slow down and read books.  Eckhart Tolle’s Treasury Edition of Oneness With All Life which contains inspirational selections from his bestseller A New Earth is precisely aimed at busy individuals who do not have time to read his book and yet are curious as to what all the fuss is about.

The selections contain easy to read and brief excerpts which give us some reminders of staying in the present moment.  His teachings are very similar to Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul which I find to be more insightful and appealing, however, it might just be because I grew up with Zukav’s works.

By the articles I choose to write, I am not one to shirk from heavy emotional issues and tackle them intensely so I would prefer a book which deals more deeply into our mind and how we think and feel.

However, it’s light and feel good reading which would be good gifts to inspire or remind loved ones to stay in the present moment without touching on or their wounds and opening up locked emotional issues.

(c) Niconica 2015



I don’t know why I always have some skepticism for the bestseller lists, perhaps it’s my natural penchant for going against the grain, so books that have “More than one million copies sold” on their covers don’t really catch my interest that much.  However, being in convalescence, The E-Myth Revisited (Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It) by Michael E. Gerber was lent to me and when I had to stay away from fiddling with my smartphone and chatting with friends, I finished reading this book and I would have to say that it makes a lot of sense.

Perhaps if I hadn’t gone through the failure and subsequent of our small business this year I would not have appreciated the book as much since it seemed to be common sense and sound theory at best but having gone through the actual experience of starting a business and it not working out, I would have to say that the author Michael E Gerber shared nuggets of wisdom which I wish we would have known before even starting the business.  However, we cannot turn back time even if we wish to cry over spilt milk.

It is in this light that I wish to share that anyone who wishes to start a business with their talents and hard-earned money would benefit from reading this book as a primer even before starting out.  The instinctive mistakes many neophyte business owners commit are discussed in the book.  Most of the time when we start a business, we tend to be over-optimistic and let our dreams of success carry us away, and Gerber shares how we can fine tune our perspective and approach towards the business.

A must-read!

(c) Niconica 2015

Yes I’ve emerged from the black hole once again.  Life has gotten in the way somehow–and we all know that when it rains, it pours and one misfortune can easily call up a bunch of other misfortunes in a short period of time, sweeping us away in a torrent of self-pity, regret, anger, and depression as we constantly ask ourself “Why did it have to happen to me?”  There is no satisfactory answer because the presence of the misfortune in and of itself will eclipse any philosophical or religious feel good point of view shared with us.

While it seems that the path of least resistance is to just allow the downhill slide of emotions, sometimes we are fortunate enough to be in the midst of people who will not allow us to go down that road.  They will try to pull us out of our misery with advice and attention and discussion but we may resent them for being cheerful or optimistic and think that they would not know how it feels unless they are in our situation.  It is most likely true that other people do not know or will not know how we really feel unless they themselves have gone through what we have gone through–but what are the chances that they go through the exact same thing?

Nonetheless, it doesn’t make their well wishes and good intentions any less viable.  After all, in the midst of misfortune, being able to keep our wellbeing and sanity would already seem like a huge blessing and sometimes, it is.  It’s a great starting point for being able to pick up the pieces and get past the rubbish and the rubble of whatever has occurred.  We must take our lessons for people who are doing well in life mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and physically.

It might seem to us that it’s sheer accident that some people are doing well and some people aren’t.  It might seem that it’s all the luck of the draw. However, once we have gotten sick and tired of our whining and wallowing in our own misery, and we are lucky to not have drowned in it, we might realise one thing about these people–Winners do not wallow.  They survive not by sheer chance or laziness.  If we examine their lives, they have a lot of setbacks as well–on different scales and of different qualities as our own, but one thing you won’t hear them do is bring it up over and over again.  They do not drag around the corpse of defeat and misfortune with them and that makes all the difference.

If wallowing were a sport, I might be a professional at it  However, it’s a profession that doesn’t have a good return of investment so I have to rethink this preoccupation.  Less wallowing might not ward off life’s challenges but it doesn’t help as well, it also makes our disposition sour and disagreeable and causes life to be more unpleasant. While there are a lot of things which are not going quite right, and while there are a lot of things which still want for improvement, we can make it easier for ourselves to look at people who have made it and be inspired by their example.

Undoubtedly, people who have it together have other qualities and habits which make them thrive in life, but even if we learn just one thing from them for starters is that they do not make it a habit to wallow in misery and replay the past in their heads, they are fully in the present moment with their eyes set on the future, no matter how hard or difficult the past has been, they do not let it factor into their present endeavours.  This is something worth striving for–a step in the right direction.

(c) Niconica 2015

It probably holds true for all humans that failure is not a welcome experience, and yet it occurs with or without our permission.  The best of us are more flexible and able to view the failure as a manifestation of life’s impermanence and move on, but to some of us, who are more doggedly set on our expectations coming to fruition, failure is probably one of the hardest experiences to muster–probably at par with rejection.

Failure comes in many ways and for many reasons–it is hardest when we have to acknowledge our contribution to the experience, as much as we may want to brush it off and place the blame on others or feign that we did not have a hand in it.  One of the hardest lessons of failure is that we are forced to come face to face with ourselves and the occurrence, and if we are wise, we must have a good hard look and find a way to not repeat the mistakes which lead to it.

If we try to digest the entirety of the failure, we will end up choking and probably suffering a serious depression or a mental breakdown.  As with many overwhelming experiences, it might be better to digest it a day at a time or an element at a time.  Where there are some factors which we may not come to terms with or justify, then we have to allow time to heal the wound so to speak.

We might not be as resilient as other people and it might take us a longer time to wallow and get over the experience.  One of the more important things to remember is that we must learn to forgive ourselves and let go.  This is, of course, easier said than done as we might keep ruminating about the past and wondering how and why, even with the best of intentions, we went wrong.  We might be completely baffled as to why the experience has turned out to be an experiment gone awry even with our best efforts and intentions.

Hindsight is 20/20 and if we are honest with ourselves, we would recognise that we are as fallible as the next person and we most likely have overlooked some little things along the way which eventually add up–a lot of small bad or mistaken decisions do add up to a monumental disaster and we were most likely either too preoccupied, too sure of ourselves, too closed minded, or too stubborn to have realised it.  Failure is a very humbling experience if we choose to learn from the lessons it brings us.

Repeating the sequence of events in our heads or wishing that we had known all along is one of the surest ways to not be able to move forward.  Failure requires us to have the resiliency and flexibility to acknowledge the facts and be able to move away from the past and stay in the present one day at a time until we move further into the future and have the courage to trust ourselves once again.

(c) Niconica 2015

I have been away for a way, not a vacation or a holiday–I wish.  I have been mentally, emotionally, physically, and psychologically overwhelmed for the past few months and it’s been quite a journey, I am not even sure whether to begin.  Each time I write a blog entry, I keep thinking I’ll be able to sustain the momentum and write at least one entry weekly but sometimes, life gets in the way.  It’s been a bumpy ride so far and there is definitely more fodder for discourse for the blog.

Sometimes, that’s all we end up gaining from bad experiences–the lessons to discuss, to remember, and to share with people, because there is nothing we can do to change things.  It is how it is.  One of the lessons that I’ve learned is that wide-eyed idealism and being naive catches up with us in the end, especially in a poverty-stricken country like the Philippines.  We keep thinking that it’s as simple as giving jobs or opportunities to the people who need it but we do not consider the flip side of the equation where hiring people who are in such a state, we end up having to deal with their erroneous habits and thinking.

We also subject ourselves for manipulation, trickery, and theft because they are that poverty-stricken that they seem to have the faulty assumption that it is the only way to get ahead.  There is so much media coverage on the nobleness of being in poverty and how the wealthy are the ones who exploit the underprivileged and it really sells as a viable plot line and appeals to the mental archetypes in our head and therefore a lot of movies and books tout this view however reality is a bit more complicated than that.

If we keep on raising up the underprivileged and poverty-stricken on pedestals as though they can do no wrong, because they are already at a position where it will not be politically-correct to criticise them, then we place ourselves in a very blinkered perspective where we do not consider the whole story.  In order to address an issue, we must not be afraid to look at it and tackle it head on–starting with the reality that there is the tendency that people who are raised in a chaotic and poverty-stricken environment will have to adopt some tendencies and mindset to survive a very tough childhood, upbringing, and neighbourhood, and they bring this thinking into the workplace.

There are many stories where the employers or business owners are manipulated, fooled, cheated, tricked, and embezzled from by these employees, but the excuse of the perpetrators are often the very salable lines that it is because they are financially challenged and had no other choice but to engage in dishonest behaviours and that they are the ones who are the victims.  They turn the whole story around and make the employers the villains, and this is swallowed up by the mass psyche.

I would call this tendency manipulative self-pity.  This has often been used as an excuse to get away with murder and vilify people who are more privileged and it’s just a way to passive aggressively express envy and hostility.  These psychological tendencies need to be addressed in order to move the country forward because if such personalities and attitudes are allowed to thrive, there would be more chaos and crime, and getting away with murder so to speak.

We here a lot of these supposedly maligned people spread their stories onto the media, we hardly hear or give proper platform to the other side of the story where it is the business owners or employers who often get the short end of the stick, because it is not popular to criticise or bring up the habits and tendencies of the underprivileged because they already have their poverty to deal with and we would not be good people if we add to it, therefore we all turn a blind eye to this area which needs to be addressed if we wish to move forward.

(c) Niconica 2015

Imagine if children could go to school and learn more about about common sense and humanity instead of Maths and Sciences… We spent so many years learning how to do Algebra and Trigonometry, and to what end? We do not come out of it learning how to get along with people, how to deal with abusive people, how to have healthy boundaries, and how to prevent opportunists from taking advantage of us. Worse even, some of us turn out to be one of these morally decrepit characters. This is evidence enough that schooling is useless.

What do all these knowledge and earning serve except to produce more mental rubbish for people to digest? We have had the precious blessing of having a human life and every second that ticks by is priceless and the more that we use the time to help and benefit others or at least prevent negative people from breeding their abuse by not allowing them to have another opportunity through abusing us, we will have spent the time more wisely than when we spend all the time in school for naught.

When we allow people to get their way, we are only encouraging them. Sometimes the cycle of abuse must stop with us. Perhaps it may be too much to think that we can be the judge and jury of the person, but to simply not allow them to siphon or energy we will have at least not allowed them to perpetrate their violence any further on one occasion.

Imagine if we are taught about emotional intelligence and we would be decent human beings who become good parents to the benefit of our children. Formal schooling is secondary, perhaps if there is an interest or thirst for knowledge for its own sake, then it would be helpful. However, without the family as the main source of humanity and learning about humanity, all the knowledge in the world will only serve to harm others.

If the decade of schooling taught about kindness and respecting each other’s boundaries and how to deal with conflict instead of rote memorisation and nonsense , perhaps the world might be a better place. What do you think?

(c) Niconica 2014

When we discuss certain interactions with people, we categorise the interaction as having “Good Vibes” or “Bad Vibes” and there are some people who are too logical that they do not account for the gut feel or the vibes we get from people and they would wish for some logical evidence that the person is indeed good or bad.

However, when the evidence that the person is bad is already there, it is often already too late to avoid them or damage has already been done. It has to be said though that negative people would have good vibes with people who are likewise as negative as they are so this would have to be considered.

People with like vibrations often attract each other and become fast friends. Criminals and sociopaths often hang out with each other and enjoy each others company and let this be your guide that “Birds of the same feather are often the same birds.” Try to let go of your saviour complex and delusion that you would be able to save or reform such a person.

People who eventually harm us are able to do so because they present themselves in a manner which allows us to let down our guard. So the comment, “But he/she seems like a nice person.” is not valid in such cases. Predators are great with conserving their energy for the kill so if they are able to disarm the prey who willingly submits to them, all the better.

These people who eventually harm us irreparably often present themselves in such a benign manner that when they start turning up the toxicity, we often wonder whether we are imagining it. If they presented themselves in a manner which clearly outlines them as negative people capable of harming us, we would not even have let them in close enough to do any damage.

Even if the person presents themselves in such a charming, likeable, and harmless manner, we must consider our gut feel whether we get “Good Vibes” or “Bad Vibes” from them. If we feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, we must not proceed with abandon because we might end up regretting it. We often allow our five senses to deceive our better judgement.

It’s time to be more vigilant and make better emotional choices since the consequences of faulty emotional choices can be deadly.

(c) Niconica 2014