Archives for the month of: May, 2011


What makes a good president aside from all the obvious qualities of kindness, empathy, decisiveness, intelligence, wisdom, sense of fairness, justice, and not to mention, good psychological, mental, and spiritual health and morals, is… the mere fact that if he or she had the choice, he or she would actually not want to choose to be president.

In other words, what makes a good leader is someone who actually does not have any ambitions or grand plans or any inclination to exert and wield power over others, except over themselves.

Since these leaders are not wont to campaign for any position of leadership, they emerge during crisis when a leader is crucial for survival and their stepping up has become a necessity, or as a product of the duo of convincing and logical popular demand and the situation that is apt and ripe for acquiescing to the demand.

This is also why good presidents and leaders are few and far in between.

(c) Niconica 2011*

* does not apply to images

**This is in response to the bonus section of topic# 140


This is a response to Topic#140 as posted at which goes, “Would you ever consider running for president?”

No, I would not run for president because politics almost always requires having no privacy and is often more trouble than its worth as per my personality.  It does not go to show that it would be more trouble than its worth for people who are more sociable, extroverted, or have inclinations to wield power over people and situations. It just goes to show that not all people want to be leaders, presidents, or heads of state.

There are people just like myself who would prefer to live a quiet and private life pursuing more spiritual or personal goals.  Again, this is not to say that running for president is not a good idea for other people.  If everyone did not want to run for president, it would also be chaos; while at the same time if everyone did want to run for president, it would be a catastrophe too in another manner.

Yay for diversity and tolerance!  It’s different strokes for different folks indeed.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not include images

I wish I came up with that title–but nope, Adam Phillips, the genius that he is, came up with it first.  This book is in a word… “Superb.”  If you would want another word, I’ll throw in… “Sublime.”  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sojourn into the surreal and fascinating terrain of the psychology of the human mind.

The word “Sanity”, like the word “Love” is a much-abused word used to mean anything that the speaker wants it to mean to their own ends.  Much literature has been devoted to extolling and vilifying madness and there has been many medical texts and practitioners devoted to the study, cure, categorization, and exploration of madness or insanity; on the other hand, “sanity” has been taken for granted and/or overlooked as a vague concept of anything madness or insanity isn’t.

If, as a society, we focussed more on learning more about different kinds of sanity and exploring sanity, what are the possibilities? If we were all educated and aware of different forms and modalities of sanity, there might be more of an option to emulate and facilitate it…

Imagine what the world would be like then when people fully understand sanity and come face to face with it, instead of seeing it as a vague concept of something desirable somewhere in the background and grasped upon when needed to promote one’s agenda.

An intelligent, timely, and relevant book… a must read!  Two thumbs-up!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to images

Meeting in person was not discussed though we planned on touching base every once in a while to collaborate on our personal projects. Truth be told, were it up to me, I would have wanted to at least keep in touch fairly regularly via SMS, but it was not the case. It’s not necessarily a matter of romantic intention, but more of an inclination to explore the connection for whatever reason, and be able to keep the discussion going.  Were I younger, I would have spent more time than I did on the matter, feeling frustrated, but as it was… I was able to manage to let the feeling of sadness or frustration go each time it came up.

I also felt that it would be more efficient to have met up to discuss the project but at the same time, I felt hesitant to meet up because of the overwhelming awe of meeting such a person whom I had an intensely unique connection with.  I felt that keeping a healthy distance was the best way about this and so it went for a few weeks, and it came to the point when I was seriously questioning whether to proceed with the collaboration.

It was a matter of holding two conflicting emotions in the palm of my hand and assessing what was to be done.  One on hand, there was something which compelled me towards him in the most inexplicable manner; and, on the other hand, there was something which made me feel like staying away because it made me feel vulnerable because it was rare that someone sees me for who I really am–through all the veils of illusion.

It does not have to be further established that I don’t exactly possess wide-eyed naivete with these matters and it is rare that anyone really impresses me in this manner.  It is not a matter of having dazzling wit or stunning good looks–for there are quite a few people who possess these qualities.  It is a matter of having a rare intense connection.

Just when one thinks that one has life figured out, here comes a curve ball… For some reason or another, I decided to get right to the heart of the matter and focus on practically and efficiency and thus proposed a meet-up, half expecting that the meet-up would not push through or be declined.  It wasn’t the case.  We did meet up and it was a continuation of our compelling encounter before…

Conversation spilled forth like fine wine, reminiscent of the conversations in Before Sunset.  It was then I witnessed one of those rare smiles which reached his eyes–and my heart. It was an uncomfortable feeling.  I don’t like feeling anything more than I need to or want to, and this encounter was nudging the hidden corners of my heart via an unprecedented mental connection.

It’s both amazing and almost unbelievable when we actually talk to someone who gets exactly when we mean–without further elaboration.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

I have recently had the opportunity to witness how sheer emotional pain can drive someone to the heights of fearless foolhardiness. Don’t get me wrong–fearless people are to be admired when accompanied by sound sensibility, but without a good measure of discernment… it’s merely a megadose of foolhardiness which may initially misrepresents itself as fearlessness.

What is worse is that the person exhibiting rash recklessness does not care about the consequences or the pain that they inflict on others, indeed it might be construed that they unconsciously or subconsciously want to spread the pain around since they cannot seem to hold it in anymore and are practically bursting at the seams with misery and anguish.

Trying to get in their way or talking sense into them would be about as safe as jumping into an enclosure with a raging bull, and would count as too much trouble for the wounds that one may be left with after the well-intentioned discussion. It does not help that misery loves company and one would seek the company of enablers of impetuous behavior.

It’s like witnessing a natural disaster in slow motion, and one can only shake one’s head at the sheer waste of goodness within a person who used to be capable of it, and at the fact that painful experiences (i.e. break-ups) leaves a trail of disaster at its wake.  What is ironic is that the person is so deeply hurt and angry inside and fiercely trying to contain the pain while at the same time denying vulnerability that one cannot help but ‘act out’ in what one might construe as ‘fearless’ behavior and the vehemence of this conviction would scare off anyone who would dare to say otherwise.

What escapes such a person is that being fearless and decidedly reckless are not the same thing, and that being foolhardy is not something to flaunt.  What escapes such a person is that being fearless might actually be doing what one might more fear in the aftermath of an horrible break-up which entails looking at the hurt, pain, and anguish straight in the eye and not trying to exaggerate, to skew, to deny, or to discount it and eventually coming to the realization that being betrayed is not a testament to one’s worth (or more specifically, worthlessness).

Being betrayed (or to be more specific, cheated on) does not make one worthy of abandonment, unworthy of love, and hence a total failure.  It simply means that shit has happened for whatever reason it has and delving into the rhyme and the reason of it all would just drive one to madness (or in this case, foolhardiness, which might not be all too different).  It simply means that the cheater has put themselves in the list of people who are unworthy of our company, time, efforts, or emotions.

To spend all the time trying to “get back” at them, while undoubtedly having some childish satisfaction attached to it, is a further waste of one’s time.  Giving them more time, credit, or importance would be tantamount to breaking off more pieces of our “heart” or soul–the ones that were left after they’ve torn it to shreds.

After break-ups and emotional torment, we must learn to draw the line between fearless and foolhardy.  Being fearless does not mean one runs from fear and pain, but in fact, requires the strength to admit one’s vulnerability and to face the truth, instead of running and hiding from stark reality, which constitutes foolhardiness–reckless irresponsibility which does not only damage oneself but other innocent people as well.

At the risk of sounding trite, I’d like to say: Break-ups are painful enough… there is no more need to further pass the pain around in any disguised way, shape, or form.**

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

**If the pain is too much to handle or face alone, there is no shame in seeking help from qualified therapists to contain the damage.

It is not everyday that we encounter a kindred spirit in the deepest sense of the word–a soulmate in the truest sense of the word. I have to say “the truest sense” because the word soulmate, like the word love and sanity,  has been abused and bastardized to the point of it that it can mean almost anything anyone wants it to mean.

Based on all the literature and media representations of meeting a kindred spirit, an instant and magical indication is indicated in all it’s chick-flick glory.  While this sort of experience does undoubtedly exist, it does not exclude different experiences of recognizing a kindred soul… which might not be as dramatic as popularly depicted, but just as valid.  Time could gracefully bridge the meeting and the soul recognition.

The moment of recognition of a kindred spirit can be described as an unexpected sighting of a sudden beam of light in the dark with both the growing light and the dark surprising us in that it is not until we catch sight of the precious luminescence that we realize that we were in the dark all along–that the world which we had thought was bright and clear, until that point of recognition and contact, has been dim all along to the point of murkiness.

Yet, how many people are blessed with such an opportunity? I had long-lost hope of ever meeting a kindred spirit in this tenuous journey we call life, and it is at that point when a glimmer appears, and when it does, it captures your whole soul and it both encompasses and surpasses self-serving romantic love, and because of that it feels completely unreal–almost like a mirage. And perhaps it is… time will tell.

(c) Niconica 2011

*does not apply to image/s

Photo by Jurek Durczack

When we were younger, we tend to imagine that becoming romantically interested with someone would resemble what we see in the movies… but then again, that might not be a safe assumption nor a logical basis for believing in a certain behavior since movies merely last for a couple of hours and well… life is fortunately or unfortunately way longer than that.

After years of experience–and believe me, only the bad ones count, since the good ones don’t teach us anything that we would actually remember–we realize that acting based upon fleeting feelings does not have any bearing at all.  Facing the ebb and flow of emotions does have its difficulties and the exercise of self-control becomes relevant.

More often than not, acting on these feelings often do not turn out to be grounded since more often than not… feelings can be deceptive.  How often do we find ourselves snapping out from the grip of “infatuation” and shaking our heads and wondering what we ever saw in “that person” in the first place?

In other words, it does happen that when we may think we really like someone but when it comes to the point of reckoning, we realize that we actually… don’t.  It’s funny but it can be both blessing and a curse that cupid’s so-called arrows seem to be those rubber suction tipped arrows which seems to slip/pop off more often than not.

Don’t get me wrong, it has happened that some of them have been the pointy tipped ones which actually have taken and ripped through the flesh and drew blood… It is with this perspective that the ineffective suction type arrows would seem to be a blessing, however, not without its accompanying frustration.  However, as I get a year older, it makes me wonder whether one actually outgrows cupid’s arrows or whether one does, with time, develop a better immune system against it.

To be sure, there have been a few meaningful encounters with compelling people… however, none that really went beyond the superficial level of conversation.  It might be because logic is highly valued and thankfully, not lost during these encounters… so much so that I retain the good sense of not jeopardizing friendships with messy and often fleeting emotions… yet on the other hand, one wonders what it would be like if logic did not dictate the boundaries.

It would take more than mere attraction to compel me to transform any relationship or interaction into a romantic one due to the more-often-than-not ephemeral nature of romantic attachments.  Meanwhile, it is interesting and both delightful and frustrating to enjoy the ebb and flow of emotions… of attachment and distance.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Another outstanding book by Barbara and Allan Pease… no wonder it is hailed “an international bestseller” and rightly so… This is another case for putting gender psychologically on the table as a mandatory subject for K-12 education… As much as we’d like to say that men and women are all the same because we are human… biology would disagree with us and it’s time that we open our eyes as to “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps.”

A dysfunctional society is a product of maladjusted families and parenting… The core of the society comes down to how “mom and dad” brought us up and as much as we don’t want to acknowledge it, gender differences lie at the very heart of it all, at the most raw and fundamental level.  This is not to say that gender psychology should replace traditional therapy and psychology, but it’s something that has to be considered in the equation of achieving harmonious relationships and communication which then translate to more cohesive families.

I am not saying that this is a solution to the whole “world peace” issue but it’s definitely something to be considered when we think about normative education for children.  The reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic serve their purpose and should not be abandoned, but perhaps, we can add a bit more into the mix by adding the psychological facets of what biological differences imply.  However, it can be argued that this might lead to even more sexist behavior… and there can be a case for that, as there can be a case for everything…

What has to be weighed is whether the benefits of equipping people (not just children) with the knowledge of how to relate to the opposite sex, so to speak, and aid in more amicable gender relations, would outweigh the disadvantages of people using the knowledge to generalize and manifest their personality defects–which is a different topic altogether.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

An Unquiet Mind” is heralded as a National Bestseller and rightly so. Kay Redfield Jamison is both candid and insightful as she guides into the world of manic-depression or what is now more popularly known as bipolar disorder.

Reading her personal accounts of her experiences as she dealt with this very crippling biological disease which manifests psychologically and mentally provides one with an unparalleled insight into the nature of bipolar disorder.

She also debunks the popular misconception that people with mental illness or bipolar disorder cannot be functional members of society and should be locked up or that intelligent people who appear to be from sturdy stock cannot succumb to the genetic disease known as bipolar disorder.

The good news is that bipolar disorder can be managed with good medication and a good psychiatrist–not to mention a proactive attitude, and she has proven it to be so.

She is both the healer and the patient as a certified mental health professional and as someone who has openly stepped forward as a manic-depressive and is lauded for her expertise on manic depression (bipolar disorder).

I highly recommend this book.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

It’s funny… I’ve come across these books recently… Beyond These Four Walls by MaryRose Occhino,  Spirited by Rebecca Rosen, and Secrets of the Monarch by Allison Dubois.

When I scour the second hand bookshops, I hardly have an idea of what I’ll get… During the last few times when I’ve tried my luck, I’ve come across these three books separately. It happens that these books are written by mediums and are about their practice, so to speak.  I really quite enjoyed reading them and found them utterly fascinating.

I do have some interest in psychic and mediumistic phenomenon but as of late, since I’ve been preoccupied with other concerns, it has not been an active interest. Stumbling upon these books rekindled my interest in the world of the unseen and unexplainable.

It’s very disappointing that Medium and Ghost Whisperer have been cancelled.  I felt that in their own way, both of them have something to contribute to the the interesting field of spirituality and the paranormal… not to mention that they are intriguing and fun to watch.

It can only be hoped that I do end up stumbling upon more good reads about mediums, mediumistic ability, and furthermore, that there would be good series which deal with mediumistic abilities again–whether it be like Medium which deals with solving crimes or Ghost Whisperer which deals with finding peace for wandering spirits, or something else which deals with ghosts or spirits along similar lines.

The shows were probably cancelled because they didn’t turn out to be as popularly accepted as other shows which deal with more generally accepted themes… which does not go to say that they did not have its own niche following or that they were not popular at all.  I’ve been an avid follower of both these shows and I believe that I am not alone with these sentiments… Both Medium and Ghost Whisperer will be missed.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to images