Archives for the month of: December, 2011

Thomas Moore‘s Soul Mates is a must-read! I usually write this recommendation at the end of my review but this time I decided to lead with it.

This book is a profound and moving work of artful and poetic literature and I believe that anyone who takes the time to read it will be enriched by the insights Moore shares with us.

I’d like to think that divine providence had a hand in my chancing upon this book and I would like to share this blessing with you all on this first day of the year 2012…

May the new year be kind to all of us…

(c) Niconica 2012

Whether we are inclined to any particular faith or spirituality, there are some situations which we come to face where prayer–any form of it–can be the best recourse.

It’s not about any external religion or deity but a human need and vulnerability which causes us to surrender to something which might be greater than us or something external if us and we hope for some clarity or release.

Sometimes, prayer us not so much for an external deity as it is for ourselves as a way for us to cope, process, and deal with the unknown, the uncertain, and the unpredictable.

Prayer can just be simply about surrendering our human ego and realizing that it’s not all up to us… And that something larger is at work, as we humbly recognize the need to ask for help.

(c) Niconica 2011

Sometimes something completely shocking and traumatic happens in the blink of an eye and it leaves us feeling that the experience has been unreal.

There is a sense that perhaps we might have imagined it or that it might have been part of a nightmare we have yet to wake up from. Sometimes, reality is the hardest to accept and fantasy is more palatable.

As we wade through the various stages of denial, we feel as though we are moving through life in a daze and unable to comprehend the gravity of what happened and maybe this is the best coping mechanism.

For when we do come in contact with the utter stark reality of what happened, we might not be able to bear it and end up shattering into a million pieces. Sometimes, life just doesn’t make sense and we just have to accept it eventually.

The first noble truth as taught by the Buddha that life is impermanent can sometimes be one of the hardest things to comprehend much less digest.

Maybe it is a blessing that our psyche breaks intense massive situations down into little pieces so that we are able to deal with them eventually as opposed to bowling us over with the immense severity of it.

So perhaps, it might be a blessing that things seem unreal for a while… Until we are able to process it.

(c) Niconica 2011

My laptop is acting funny and I’ll have to bring it for a check-up pronto. I hope that it is nothing severe or fatal because I am quite attached to it.

Being as I’m posting from the WordPress app, there would be no customary photos which accompany my posts.

I find it a bit harder to adjust to cut and paste and add photos on the iPod WordPress app than when I’m on my laptop so kindly bear with me.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season to some capacity.

(c) Niconica 2011

With relationships or pseudo-relationships which are not working out, there is a certain sensation of feeling stuck and/or frozen.

It’s the strange feeling that one should be heading straight for the exits and firmly locking the door behind so as to conclude a certain chapter of one’s life yet being unable to do so.

It’s the numbing feeling of staying in place when one should be somewhere else–anywhere else–but in a dead-end situation where there is little room for growth.

And yet we stay here frozen, unable to move… Heart half-filled with futile hope and half-filled with certain dread yet being unable to do anything about it.

Helpless while at the same time screaming out silently for help… For something or anything to help us out of the quicksand of a relationship because we know that the longer we stay there…

It becomes more dangerous because when we remain frozen we don’t sink… But when we try to get out we seem to end up further in…

(c) Niconica 2011

Let’s all admit it, as much as we look forward to the Christmas Holidays and everything it’s supposed to represent to us–good tidings and cheer and what not… We have to also deal with the other things it represents to us such as having to deal with finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones, and finding the appropriate obligation gifts for people we don’t really like but have to give gifts to.

It’s the time of the year when relatives or even friends who are not speaking to each other or actively avoiding each other might possibly bump into each other in gatherings and have to endure each other–at best it will be awkward and at worst it would be excruciating.

There’s also the pressure of being the epitome of happy and joyful during the Christmas season, which presents quite a challenge for some of us who aren’t particularly having a good year or season thus far or even for some of us who are just naturally dour and melancholic.

It can also be that for even normally cheery people, the pressure to be constantly jolly and giving all the time would lead to tolerating more stress and difficult people and circumstances than usual and thus turning oneself into a scowling sack of potatoes.

Sometimes it’s unrealistic to expect that just because it is that time of the year to be happy and jolly that we should be so because putting undue pressure on ourselves would just lead to further stress and with all the factors swirling around in the cosmos–maybe even a meltdown.

Maybe it’s time to consider Christmas Anxiety Syndrome and be kinder to ourselves and others during this hectic time.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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I started reading at a very early age but I’ve always underestimated the usefulness of bookmarks since I’ve always managed to find some sort of makeshift bookmark–a stray piece of cardboard or some spare receipt that I can insert to keep my place when I put a current book down either to do something else to to shift to another book which has another scrap piece of paper inserted to make the place where I left off the previous time.

It is now, a couple of decades into being a bookworm that I start appreciating that proper bookmarks do have their uses and sometimes a piece of scrap paper just doesn’t give the same satisfaction. So I guess it means that in the near future, when I visit my favorite bookshops or novelty stores, aside from perusing the bookshelves, I shall be looking at investing in proper bookmarks… and alas, whole new world opens up to me–the bona-fide bookworm.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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Sometimes when we have had this conversation a million times and it’s to imagine how more words can improve upon it There comes a time when there is nothing more to say and more words will just aggravate the situation.  It’s ironic because silence then becomes a pregnant pause where there are too many things to say that nothing comes out of our mouths anymore.

There is a threshold to all the arguments, discussions, and debates when all words dry up and nothing suffices but no words come out of our mouths, not because there is nothing to really say but because all the words are jumbled up in our gut causing a very uncomfortable feeling reminiscent of indigestion and/or hyperacidity and in the midst of all that, the words are unable to find their way out of our mouths.

So sometimes, when all words fail, silence will or should suffice in the meantime, until the next time the right words or circumstances or timing finds us again.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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Christmas season officially starts in September here in Manila and when we were younger, it was pretty easy breezy–it was all about thinking about what we wanted or wished for as Christmas presents from our loved ones… However as time passes by, it becomes about thinking about what to give to our loved ones for Christmas and preparing both the budget and the gifts themselves and there is a certain satisfaction in being able to properly prepare our presents.

There are some Christmases when our minds seem to be all over the place and as much as we don’t want to admit it, we haphazardly prepare and purchase presents for our loved ones as well as what we can consider as “obligation gifts” for people whom we don’t want to give gifts to but we feel that if we don’t, it’s just not proper or there would be serious repercussions–emotional or otherwise.

There is a certain satisfaction when we are able to prepare gift wrappers, gift tags, as well as appropriate gifts–and know deep inside that they will appreciate what we have for them.  It’s a delicate balance where we consider what we would like to give as well as considering what the person’s interests and inclinations.  In addition, there is the anticipation to their reaction when they open their presents.

Here’s to Christmases when we feel that we have managed to appropriately prepare and package the presents we are to give to our loved ones.

Happy Holidays.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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Popular literature and culture promote shopping as a therapy–perhaps as a joke but perhaps because it’s also true in a sense that when we are stressed–shopping does make us feel better.

I am stressed but my shopping therapy did not include any clothes or shoes or any fashion items–it included a lot of books. I scoured three Book Sale branches here in the Metro to look for precious finds.

The first branch I visited yielded only one book, but the second and the third proved to be much better in terms of good finds.  The third branch of Book Sale most especially gave me a feeling of satisfaction which I can’t explain.

After all, it doesn’t mean that purchasing these books causes the issues which I have to deal with to go away, but somehow it served as both a welcome distraction and an exciting adventure which only an unread but interesting book provides.

(c) Niconica 2011*

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