Archive for January, 2013


What Do Delays Tell You?

chickenpatienceI generally detest delays. As of this point my thin slice of a patience is sorely being tested by the sluggish internet connection. Ironically this is happening when I want to accomplish more within the limited hours I have access to a laptop. Plus there is the health challenge of trying to go to bed at 9pm. Right.

What do delays mean to you? There have been many instances in my life when delays saved me from trouble. Like that internet voyeur incident I experienced, the delay caused by the web camera suddenly not working allowed me to buy some time to think. It’s not that over time I have learned to respect that delays are beneficial, rather it’s the lesson of the saving grace of delays that’s making itself appear more and more profound in my life. Divine intervention, as some call it. Ironically I feel like as my age increases, the more obstacles, blocks and delays I experience.

The delays intuitively tell me not to push it. If the internet  is sluggish at the moment, I might as well go to sleep and not push it. Sometimes my Pollyanna attitude sees delays as a test of perseverance. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Image source: www.savagechickens.com/images/chickenpatience.jpg

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As we get older, one of the things we develop is the ability to be discerning of where our family upbringing has brought us. We begin to see merits and flaws of our own parents’ disciplinary actions during our earlier years. Over the past few days I was beginning to notice a trend with how my mother is so protective of my 3-year-old niece and realized she had reared us in the same way she is treating her first granddaughter.

I know most people say that a grandmother’s love and care for her grandchildren can even surpass that of the grandchildren’s own parents’. I could see that clearly. But what I noticed is the way my mother seems to put too much restrictions on my niece that I feel she fears exploring on her own. Little kids are supposed to feel less restrictions. If they run too fast, fall down and get bruised, you can’t really tell them to stop running their whole lives, can you? It’s normal to get worried about these things but bruising is part of the learning and exploring.

I remember some things which I was restricted from doing during my childhood. Mental poisoning #1: Papa didn’t like seeing me trying to learn to ride a bicycle because he said I would get bruises and it would be painful and that riding bikes wasn’t a girl’s normal activity. Mental poisoning #2: Don’t run and play with the kids, you’re gonna get run over. Honestly that made me aloof because I was only reduced to being a spectator during the games, which also explains why I wasn’t too physically sporty. Mental poisoning #3: Don’t climb the tree, you’re gonna fall. Wow. No wonder I grew up so neurotic.

Lately I’ve been asserting myself when it comes to my mom’s dont’s on my niece. I tell her, “Stop suggesting fear into her head!” or “Actions speak louder with kids so raising your voice to scold her for not doing what she was told is a waste of breath.”

photo (8)Because I had talked about hypnosis in my two previous articles, I could not help but write about an online product that has an element of hypnosis as well. I am talking about Andrew Johnson’s relaxing Deep Sleep App. I can’t remember from which web site I had first clicked on or heard about the Deep Sleep mp3. However, I do recall that I had a bit of insomnia because of chronic stress from work in my previous job.

The Deep Sleep App normally costs $2.99 on iTunes but I was able to download it for free as part of a promo they had. I follow Andrew Johnson on Twitter and had read good reviews about the app from those who had tried it so as usual I was curious to try it out.

It was really intense the first time I listened to the 30-minute mp3. Andrew Johnson’s voice was soothing and his Scottish accent made me relax and drift off to sleep quickly. You’ll be able to drift off t o sleep in less than 15 minutes because listening to it is really hypnotic.

However after drifting off for a while I became aware that I was asleep and dreaming – I was having lucid dreams. It’s not like I never had lucid dreams before, it was just that the images I saw in my dreams were not the normal stuff of my tamed previous lucid dreams. I experimented listening to the mp3 two more times, each time always before going to bed and I would have drift off to sleep and then later be awakened by a set of lucid dreams. I know I should only listen to it at night but I wanted to see if listening to it during an afternoon nap would have the same effect. Same effect still during the afternoon nap.

The disturbing lucid dreams may have been my unconscious signalling the stress at work I was experiencing. I’m not sure but there are a lot of factors at work. I do know that the Omega 3 supplements which I started taking a few weeks after that helped return my sleep pattern to normal.

Past Life Regression Session

Hypnotism ConceptI had two weeks left to go in December 2009 before my flight back home when I became curious about trying out the past life regression therapy. Aside from my curiosity, my other motivation was my awareness of my own obsessive-compulsive tendencies when it came to relationships and my unrealistic expectations with men.

I found Dr. Selina Chew, PhD, C.Ht, a Malaysian certified hypnotherapist and past life regression therapist via a Google search. During our e-mail exchange to set up an appointment, she instructed me to listen to a 12-minute mp3 to enable me to visualize clearly. She reiterated the importance of letting the right brain (intuition and creativity) take rein in a hypnotherapy session. I knew I was in trouble and doubted hypnotherapy would work for me because I was highly focused on left-brain tasks (logic and reasoning) due to my day job.

The first two-hour session cost 320 Malaysian Ringgit and subsequent one-and-a-half-hour sessions cost 280 Malaysian Ringgit. This was back in 2009, I am not sure if she charges the same fees. For a standard regression session like mine, it was recommended to have 2 sessions.

On the day of my past life regression session, I gave her a bit of a background about my concern. I admit for the first few minutes I was able to drift off and relax and I could hear and understand her soothing voice guiding me. However my logical left brain desperately wanted to make sense what was going on within that peaceful state. I made it difficult for myself and I even doubted if the past life memory recall of somewhere in Europe could be verified in the Akashic records or if it was just a creation of my imagination.

Due to my flight scheduled back to my hometown on the last week of December in 2009, I could not follow up my first hypnotherapy session with a second session. I was skeptical mainly because my more logical self took over.

Three months after that session, I started attending group meditation sessions in Manila and with constant practice, it has helped me a lot to focus and to keep my mind still when needed.

If you’re living in Malaysia and want to experience for yourself what a past life regression hypnotherapy session is like, I recommend you look up Dr. Selina Chew.

Image source: Hypnotism Concept — Image by © Colin Anderson/Brand X/Corbis

Past life regression hypnotherapy has become one of the types of therapies reported to help one work through unexplained phobias, panic attacks, neurotic behavioral patterns and vices. The session is done by a registered and licensed hypnotherapist.

297498254_1359354964As the name of the therapy suggests, this process employs hypnosis to take the subject back to a traumatic life event from the earlier stages or previous past lives which triggered a particular defense mechanism. We all have different ways in coping with a psychologically traumatic experience; in some cases in order to deal with the pain or trauma, we rationalize and unconsciously resort to denial so we can bury the pain along with the memory. What has been repressed tend to show up as abnormal behavior because the trauma was not completely resolved through self-acceptance. Repression is a band-aid fix kind of defense mechanism and this is the unconscious’ way of protecting us from the debilitating shock of a trauma.

I was in Malaysia in 2009 when my friend recommended I read the true story of how a psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss M.D., helped his troubled 27-year-old patient, Catherine (pseudonym only), to work through her anxiety attacks and irrational phobias via hypnosis in his book called Many Lives, Many Masters.

I had not read the book that year but I was able to enlist the services of a past life regression hypnotherapist in Malaysia mostly out of curiosity. To move forward, we sometimes need to stop for a while and look back.

I have just downloaded the e-book for Many Lives, Many Masters. In my next article I will share how my 2009 past life regression hypnotherapy session went.

 

I used to have ambivalent feelings towards writing. With work responsibilities in the past I began to associate writing with painful words like deadlines and empty brain. I resented getting a writing assignment from my supervisors but of course I wasn’t that stupid to risk unemployment by openly expressing my dislike for it.

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Every time I thought of writing, I would groan and think I was running out of ideas. More often than not the writing assignments I received dealt with topics I had nil interest in, so it was more of a torture. However, I learned to be flexible as I could always research on a topic online and most of the time I did copywriting anyway.

In spite of that I created a blog in the past and I liked writing because in the first place I love to read. I just didn’t like the pressure of deadlines. I also hated the thought of writing assignments because I was more of an introspective person – I could be more descriptive and more productive if I write about my intuition, my feelings and my dreams. I believe being subjective isn’t always a bad thing, words carry power and the talent of being creative with constructing sentences to form a meaningful article is an art.k I was running out of ideas. More often than not the writing assignments I received dealt with topics I had nil interest in, so it was more of a torture. However, I learned to be flexible as I could always research on a topic online and most of the time I did copywriting anyway.

I love to devour information. The only downside of my brain processing information too quickly is most of the thoughts fly away before I can get a pen or type at a laptop or on my iPhone notepad. In fact I even hate it when I’m in the middle of writing and I suddenly get a call from dear full gall bladder. Between the trip to the bathroom and back to my table, I try so hard to retain what I was going to write next by concentrating on it so I can go back to being coherent.

I had a few small writing jobs late last year, yet again I resented subjecting myself to topics I had no interest in. There were simple topics but I also felt like I was having a boyfriend just for the sake of not being single. I do value being true to myself; I had to let go of that writing job because my own resentment would kill me and I don’t want to bring any more bad karma, to my employer and to myself.

I am glad there are sites that pay per views/visits. I am also glad Blogger and WordPress exist. I can express myself freely and not worry about deadlines. The only deadlines I need to worry about are the ones I impose on myself.

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I attended a funeral of my childhood friend’s father this afternoon and on the way to the memorial garden I was filled with thoughts about death and uncertainty. I listened to my mother and some of our old neighbors’ comments about the memorial garden where the deceased would be laid to rest, cremation, etc.

It was my first time to visit in Divine Shepherd Memorial Gardens, obviously because it was one of the few high-end cemeteries in the city. I heard my mom’s friend saying it was the only one in the city which offers cremation services. My mind was playing around with estimated figures and I concluded that even in death one cannot escape the expenses.

It struck me that my co-passengers in the vehicle thought cremation is kind of cruel. I noticed it was mostly the women who reacted that it was inhumane. I told them cremation saves the public a ton of space, we all come from dust anyway and to dust we shall return. So how can it be inhumane and cruel? If I die and get cremated, I’d probably be doing one or two homeless families a huge favor.

My mom thinks the process of preferring cremation over the normal burial is unconventional and doesn’t seem to respect the sanctity of the body. Her friends agreed that they couldn’t bear the thought of the deceased bodies of their loved ones being charred – they see it as some sort of double death.

Amid the conversation I couldn’t fully relate to, I decided to keep quiet and turned my thoughts inward.

I wrote about the problems I encountered when uploading photos to Redgage 3 days ago in this article. Since I didn’t receive a reply from Redgage Support within 12 hours (which I kind of expected anyway), I decided to study the problem and explore alternative solutions.

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In spite of my impatience, I wanted to resolve the confusion on my own and use the 12-hour period as constructively as I could. I noticed the problem when I tried uploading photos from my iPhone and separately from a laptop. Every time I click on Browse from the iPhone to select an image from Camera Roll, I would see “C:\fakepath\image.jpg” as its file name. It was the same file name for the second and third images I uploaded.

All images on the Camera Roll have the default file name as “image.jpg”. All images. No exception. You will also notice this when you try to click on Share below each photo and choose to share it by Mail. If you open the e-mail message from your laptop and download the image to your laptop’s folder, it will automatically be named as “image(2).jpg” if the folder you chose to save it in already has the file “image.jpg”.

It was from that observation that I got my clue – any folder in a laptop doesn’t accept duplicate file names. The reason why my first and second iPhone uploads to Redgage were superseded by the third most recent upload was because Redgage’s system recognizes a uniform file name for those 3 images – it assumes you are uploading the same picture and disregards how each of the 3 uploads did not have similar titles, description and tags.

To work around the problem of transferring the iPhone photos I wanted to upload to Redgage, I did the following steps. Make sure you have iZip and Dropbox apps on your iPhone. Both apps are available on iTunes for free. I upgraded to iZipPro last year so I could store many zipped files.

1. Open the iZip app. Click on Camera Roll from iZip.

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2. Click on the images or files you wish to be zipped. Click on Zip. You can see that from iZip’s Camera Roll, the file names now have specific numbers and are in PNG format.

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3. Choose among: Zip with no password, Zip with a plain password or Zip with an AES password. I usually go for the first option.

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4. Would you like to reduce the size of your photos?

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5. Check PhotoArchive.zip and click Open In. Sending to Dropbox or Sending to Mail takes longer especially if you’ve selected more than 6 images to zip and chose not to reduce the photo size.

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6. Select Open in Dropbox. Clicking on it will take you to the Dropbox app. Opening it in Dropbox is quicker as I pointed out in Step 5.

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7. In Dropbox, confirm you want to save the file by clicking on Save.

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8. The zipped file PhotoArchive.zip is now being downloaded to your Dropbox account.

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9. Access Dropbox from your laptop. Right click on PhotoArchive.zip and select Extract Files.

I received the reply from the Redgage Team after close to 36 hours have elapsed. I told them I was able to work around an alternative solution to my query. They thanked me for the solution I came up with.

Hope the above steps could be of help to any Redgage users who want to have the photos they took from their iPhone uploaded to Redgage.

Yesterday I was with my mom at a local bank and the transaction I made necessitated providing a photocopy of my 2 valid IDs. We didn’t have to walk that far from the bank as one of the country’s favorite bookstore is conveniently located across the bank branch.

photo (6)Once inside the bookstore we went over to the photocopying/scanning service section where one staff was leisurely trying to remove wrinkles from a laminated document. We said we wanted to photocopy 2 cards and I opened my passport to the front page and placed my SSS identification card on top of the passport front page on the desk. He only glanced a while at us and continued back to fixing the previous laminated document. We stood there and waited, wondering when he would attend to us. I was getting impatient as we had to go back to the bank and we never know what other delay might keep us from going home on time. I had stuff to do and unlike normal employees who are guaranteed to receive a paycheck every month, freelancers just can’t afford to slack off.

I blurted out to my mom and it was loud enough for him to hear, “How long are we gonna be standing here?” I then turned around and walked towards the bestsellers aisle. That was when he started to pay attention to us.

I would have been tolerant had my work circumstances were any different. I also don’t understand why anyone who’s supposed to be attending to customers isn’t warm enough. But I have to give him the benefit of the doubt – it was 10am and it wasn’t a busy day at the bookstore.

That experience awoke me to another realization – one that had to do with my 9-year career in the customer service industry. Having dutifully and diligently attended to client inquiries for that long has made me expect the same standard I had given to the clients whom I had served. Having responded to e-mail sales inquiries within a 12-hour period for almost 5 years in my last job has made me a wee bit impatient if I couldn’t get any reply within 12 hours to my technical inquiry regarding a website I am using.

It’s not about being too demanding – it’s about considering that your customer’s time is precious just like yours is.

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