Archives for posts with tag: inspiration

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

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So far it’s all been rather somber and serious – even the “Simply Jimbalian” cake was rather withdrawn… so I’ve decided to go for a touch of whimsy this time.

I’ve been enjoying buttercream icing as a medium, but I do know that I should eventually give the other kinds of icings a try.

Roses are still my favorite though and i would like to be able to practice my skills in making roses with other mediums.

(c) Niconica 2010

I haven’t posted cakes I’ve decorated in a while.  Well, I’m still into blue cakes – I used a blue gray cake base topped off with ivory colored buttercream.  Enjoy!

(c) Niconica 2010

I would have to admit that when I started this blog back in March, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Initially it was a way to indulge in my love of writing and share my thoughts.  In the course of the past few months, I’ve ventured from writing articles (which are meant to be thought-provoking at the very least, and at best, inspirational) to trying my hand at writing reviews, sharing funny photos of my pet dog, to sharing my newfound interest in cake decorating.

It occurs to me that a monthly summary is a good idea and would like to make it a regular occurrence.  In this instance, I shall include March and April blog entries.

March 2010

“Wanted: Perfection”

“Time for Miracles”

“True Fear”

“The Perfect Storm”

“Blessings”

“The Real Mask”

“Gravity”

“Uncharted Territory”

“Simple and Ordinary Moments”

“Wanted: Perfection” is about how we sell ourselves out in our quest for perfection.  “Time for Miracles” is about allowing miracles to happen in our lives.  “True Fear” challenges us to face our fears.  “The Perfect Storm” shares that there is a silver lining in destruction.  “Blessings” invites us to contemplate on the interchangeable nature of blessings and curses.  “The Real Mask” provokes us to face our true selves.  “Gravity” inspires us to live to the fullest, while “Uncharted Territory” evokes us to take more chances.  “Simple and Ordinary Moments” encourages us to cherish the simplicity of ordinary moments.

April 2010

“Poem 172”

“Poem 182”

“Leaving the Darkness”

“Memories”

“Poem 172” and “Poem 182” are both about love.  “Leaving the Darkness” is about letting go of negativity. “Memories” inspire us to deal with memories in a healthy manner.

July 2010

“The Clean Slate”

“It’s a NOYNOY State of Mind”

“Dainty and Sweet”

“Turquoise Delight”

“A Sojourn to District 9”

“As Sweet as Fine Wine”

“Out of the Delectable Blue”

“A Slice of Rainbow”

“Vibrant Green Blessings”

“Pretty in Pink”

“Sentimental Sweetness”

“Roses are Red”

“Potato Alert”

“Violets and Blues”

“Subdued Sweetness”

“The Kindle Book Parade is in Town”

“Aqua Sweetness”

“Swirl”

“The Clean Slate” discusses being able to start anew while “A Sojourn to District 9” is a movie review on District 9.  “The Kindle Book Parade is in Town” relates my experience of reading Kindle books on my iPod.  “Potato Alert” contains funny photos of my pet dog holding a potato hostage and the rest of the other entries have photos of my cake decorating projects.

Stay tuned for more articles, reviews, poetry, and photos!

(c) Niconica 2010

I was summoned to take a step out of my evident partiality for floral cakes when I was requested to make a child’s birthday cake.  Embracing the opportunity to create something simple but colorful, a rainbow inspired cake popped into my mind.  Here’s my version of a slice of rainbow.

Suffice it to say, I’m sure Neelix would not mind the rainbow cake at all, keeping in mind his penchant for motley colors as evidenced by his attire on Star Trek Voyager.

(c) Niconica 2010

It has to be said that I’m an avid fan of the Star Trek Voyager TV series.  The Jimbalian Fudge Cake which Neelix baked for Kes for her birthday is a particular shade of blue – and it inspired me to create something along those lines.  In mixing the blue frosting, I kept in mind that I wanted something which looked unusual, convincingly space age, and synthetic, grounded by a grayish tinge – reminiscent of cement.

I was gladly able to indulge in my fascination for blue roses with the first cake.  For the cake base, I specifically mixed up a batch of pinkish flesh toned icing to compliment the cascading blue roses and sampaguitas (Philippine Jasmine).

The next mini cake is more faithful to Neelix’s blue Jimbalian fudge cake – with a blue base.  I’ve chosen to top it with graceful ivory colored roses and sampaguitas (Philippine Jasmine).

It can be said that the inspiration for these cakes come from… another galaxy… or if my pun can be further indulged… they come from… out of the delectable blue.

(c) Niconica 2010

While there may be a series of stops and starts, there can only be one true beginning.  While it can be contested that time and experience might almost make certain that no adult would have the proverbial clean slate, situations (on the other hand) can claim tabula rasa at the initial onset.  It is at the verge when all possibilities exist and is not yet polluted by the complicated interactions and machinations of human emotions.

It is at this crucial and priceless juncture that one can invoke the power of being able to start anew – as much as is possible.  However, most of us drag around our issues and baggages like corpses and bring it to the table when we begin anything and chances are, we end up consciously or unconsciously bringing the same problems to the table which then once again resurrects the vicious cycle of challenges.  It’s not to say that we should hide or suppress our issues as that would be unhealthy and would probably end up undermining the new experience.

Noting that fabricating fictitious backgrounds and personas would probably backfire in the end, the suggestion is simply this: be aware of the precious new window of opportunity that a new beginning and clean slate provides.  A new beginning should not be a convenient excuse for escapism but should warrant careful consideration.  It is in fact the closest we can get to a rebirth, and is a better second chance than an actual second chance would be.  Being able to start anew is better than any second chance we may ask for.

(c) Niconica 2010

Have you ever felt cheated by your memories?  During different moments, they can be elusive, ever changing, and selective.

Whenever we look back at the fabric of our past, it seems to glitter, change, and transform into different colors – and when we choose to focus on a certain hue, it might almost change our perception of reality altogether.

It is an utter conundrum – our memories can be cruel or kind. When taken together, it’s a jumbled and tangled mass, which when unravelled would seem to almost be an utter illusion.  This makes me think that we should not take our memories, or the past, too seriously.

In saying that, it does not mean that amnesia is recommended – for we know all too well that if we do not learn the lessons of the past, we might be doomed to repeat them again.

However, if at times we are tempted to dip into the well of our recollections, we should be able to let go once the cup is empty so that we allow ourselves to remember something else next time – and be able to detach from it once again in order to be able to come back and live in the present.

We do not want to be haunted by memories, do we?  No  matter how beautiful or how horrible they are, they have gone.

Let us allow the memories to waft through us like a poignant scent, stream through us like flowing water or brush past us like a gust of wind, then continue to firmly have our feet in the present, resolutely walking forward, without letting ourselves be altered or confused by nostalgia or resentment.

Be here.  Right here.  Right now.  So that you will be able to make new memories, instead of simply just looking back at the old ones.

(c) Niconica 2010

The more we think about it, the more it irks us.  What am I going on about?  I’m referring to the senseless random things that go wrong in our lives.  The more we think about it the more frustrated we feel.  The more we try to find a reason for the madness of it all, the more agitated we become.

Let me assure you at this point – all the struggle is futile.  What use is it to sit in the darkness and rave and rant, brood and sulk, when all these efforts will be to no avail.  What use is all the useless anguish, when it is just as possible (and maybe not as easy) to stand up, leave the darkness and walk to the light – without trying to make sense of what we leave behind.

There will be a thousand and one reasons why things did not turn out as it should have or could have.  There are a million and one possibilities as to why it happened, and since omniscience evades us, it is unlikely that we would find out why.

Nevertheless, not knowing how or why the cookie crumbled is not a good enough excuse to sit there in tormented stagnation waiting for the proverbial answer to fall from the sky.

Realistically, if you did know the underlying reason would it really make you feel better?  It does not detract from the fact that it cannot change the event.  Only you can change.  And it is time.

Stand up, flick off the dust of the past, and move forward – move into the light.  It is not as easy as it sounds.  You are just as welcome to stay in the darkness for as long as it pleases you.

However, when you are ready to let the darkness take care of itself, the first step into the light is through none other than forgiveness – forgiving ourselves and others.

Forgiveness, as difficult, as challenging, and as impossible as it may sound, allows us a purging, a letting go like no other.  It is time.  Do you pick the darkness over yourself – over your redemption?  Take the first step.  At least, try.

(c) Niconica 2010

Have you ever lost your mind?  If you have lost it at some point or another, be grateful that you have not lost it completely.  If you haven’t, be thankful that it’s still intact somehow… and functioning… sort of.

Until we are confronted with something so dire, so difficult as a terminal or long term illness, a sobering loss, or a shattering crisis, we live our lives in a bubble, completely unaware of how bad everything can get.

While we are in the bubble, all that we can be bothered to do is chase after shiny, shimmery, glittery, and pretty things.  All that we seem to end up preoccupied with is the pursuit of fancy dreams and fleeting illusions.

All we keep thinking is that things are not good enough, and we deserve or want more things – better things.  If we are lucky enough to get them – that’s great, but if we aren’t, it becomes an endless chase for happiness which ironically makes us more and more miserable, because we can never have enough.

Once you’ve lost your mind completely to complete and utter chaos and experienced sobering emptiness, you finally actually come to and start to seek within and gain a semblance of calm.

You will find that everything that you had been chasing for had been meaningless all along and that the simple and ordinary things such as being able to smile again, to laugh again, the think again, to walk again, and to speak again, are such great blessings.

And what if you have never lost your mind at all?  What if you have never gone through such soul numbing, gut wrenching, mind blowing experiences?  Then all the better to rejoice that you are one of the fortunate ones, and open your eyes to the wonderful simple ordinary pleasures which surround us.

It is the simple and the ordinary which are strung together like pearls to make life wonderful and meaningful, and this makes the amazing and the extraordinary shine and valued even more.

Cherish the simple and ordinary moments.  Welcome the rare and beautiful moments.  With this in mind, every moment is a cause for celebration.

(c) Niconica 2010