Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shadow & Light

Hi, would you like to do a little experiment?

Look around you. Ya, right now. Look for shadows. Do you see any?

Now that you're suddenly aware and consciously looking, you see lots, right?

Ok, now look for highlights - you know, the spots where the light hits and it glows. Or just look for the bright areas. Got any?

Everything, almost everything in your surroundings will have both shadow and highlght - regardless of whether you are indoors or outdoors.

I think it is the same with people. When I go around noticing people's shortcoming, I see plenty - and then of course, I tend to judge them poorly. But when I remind myself to look for the strengths and beauty in people - I also see plenty.

So now I believe that no one is completely bad or completely good. And it's up to me whether I want to focus on what's good or what's lacking.

Which brings me to another point : If I only choose to see the good, am I being an idealistic fluffhead living in a fantasy world?

This is the question that has plagued me for ever so long.

Haiyah - gotta stop and go for appointment now. I will continue this later ...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Finally! I can now upload pixes... thanks to browneyes, my teacher in so many ways

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Beauty Of Innocence

Our temporary maid has been a test of our patience. She appears to have come from a culture so different from ours that she seems almost alien.

Yesterday she ironed Dad's shirt, and has finally learnt that the iron needs electricity in order to get the job done. However, a little too much electricity and she burned the collar.

Then, she did something so totally unthinkable that it was impossible for us to be angry : She took a pair of scissors and cut away the burned areas, leaving two holes in the collar!

She was not ashamed or apologetic because in her mind, she had solved the problem. Throw away the burned areas and the shirt can still be used.

How to be angry? This tells us so much about her background. She was not trying to hide her mistake, she was trying to make amends, in the best way she could. I can only marvel at that. Such purity and such innocence.

And I'm still laughing today as I write this ...

Amazing! ..

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Monday!

I love Mondays! It's a fresh new week for me to play with. I get to create whatever I want, and have it turn out the way I want. Whoohoooo!

So Happy Monday to you, and have a great week!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Mango Tree

Would a mango tree still bear mangoes if there was no one around to eat them?

Of course it would!

I was reminded of this today when Jeremy told me that he enjoys reading my blog - my instant response was "tell me la, so that I know it's worthwhile to keep blogging"

Then I remembered the mango tree, and realised how conditional I was being. I only want to write if I know that someone is reading. No, that's not why I created this blog. I created it to share. If you enjoy reading it, fine. If not, that's fine too.

I'm sharing simply because that's what I want to do. I want to give.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Walking In The Light

What is darkness but an absence of light?

I heard an interesting analogy the other day - someone said she stands in between light and dark, like standing in the doorway between a dark room and a lighted one. I thought it made sense at that time, until my teacher said there can be no such thing.

If you are standing in the doorway between a dark room and a lighted one (doorway means the door is open, right?), the light from the lighted room will spill into the dark one, banishing the darkness.

When I heard that, I felt like a light switch in my brain had been turned on!

I see it now. When I think I am in darkness, feeling lost and unsure, caught in a black mood, feeling tired and drained... it is only because I have forgotten to open the door that leads to the lighted room.

The light that I am referring to here is what I call God's divine light. The light that energises and nourishes me, the light that guides me, the light that fills me and connects me with the whole world.

Yesterday, I went through an experiential exercise (yes, trainers get training too!) and when I imagined myself walking through a valley of obstacles, instead of struggling and wrestling like how I used to, this time, I saw myself opening the door to allow God's light to shine down on me, fill me and radiate out.

(Ok, this is where it gets fairy tale-ish)

I raised my hand and as the light shone out from my palm, the barricade of thorns and weeds that were blocking my path just cleared. The obstacles parted like the red sea. And my path was clear, all the way.

I have received this lesson many times. Walk in the light and my path will be clear. God will guide me. He made me to serve His purpose, whatever that may be. The task that lies in my lap would not be there if God didn't think I was ready for it. And who am I to question God's judgement?!

What's new for me this time is that I now realise how easy it is to walk in the light.

Just open the door.

That's all. I used to think I had to work hard, spend time practising prayer and meditation, work at calming my mind, resting my body, and all that, all that... in order to connect to the light.

Now I see it is as easy as opening the door, or flicking a switch.

It's going to be a beautiful day today. I wish you a beautiful day too. And may you too walk in the light ; )

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Spread the love ...

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning when I kissed Dad and wished him, he asked what does it mean ah? What's the background?

Actually I don't know. Think St Valentine was a matchmaker or something? Does anyone know?

Before I went to bed last night, mom reminded me to make sure I wish my husband. It's soooo sweet of her, but my husband and I don't celebrate this. I think it's just one huge commercial hoo-ha that reinforces humanity's downward spiral into materialism.

In fact, the surest way for a guy to lose my respect and admiration would be to buy flowers on Valentine's Day - it is such an incredible waste of money! I don't require any presents, just an open and caring heart is ever so much more valuable than any expensive gift.

I do enjoy Valentine's Day very much though - it's an excuse for me to send my loved ones some love. There's so much love in the air on this day, and I just want to add more to it and make the world even sweeter and more beautiful! Spread the love, spread the joy! Ya, that's me in full fluff mode hehehe...

It is a beautfiul day and if you're reading this, please, please send some loving wishes to all of your loved ones ok? You will make this fluffhead very happy. Thanks!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Our new "Ad Agency"

A group of our graduates from 95% have actually formed an "ad agency" called CC+J. It is in inverted commas only because they haven't registered it yet. They are marketing the next intake of the Ad Pro in Progress training that they have graduated from. And they are not doing too badly at all.

Don't judge them by their boring name : They are thinking, they are sharp, and they have definite opinions which they explain with surprising clarity. And they are on time! I'm very impressed!

The most amazing thing however, is that they are mostly either still studying or fresh grads - they have taken up this challenge because they wanted to experience what it's like marketing something real, and being able to see tangible results of their strategies and their ad ideas.

Chee Chiaw, Joescher, Sue, Herry & Wilson - I'm sure I speak for all of us here at 95% when I say I salute you for your confidence and commitment. You've got the guts to put your balls on the line (and ours too). I'm proud of you guys.

No time, no time!

How on earth do people find time to blog???

My last entry was on the Sunday of the CNY holidays. Once work started on the 6th, it's been rush, rush, rush.

Bloggers, help me out here! How do you find time???

Monday, February 06, 2006

Macom-macom adaaa...

hahaha, I bet the creatives who came up with the pakcik on Astro was doing it to connect with the rural masses - guess what? Both my parents, my dear traditional, conservative, English educated and as urban as you can possibly get, parents love it! Everytime he appears, they laughingly point him out to me. Hah!

Could it be that rural or urban, we are all touched and tickled by the same things?

My Best Friends' Parents

Yesterday, my best friend's dad passed away. I was sad to hear the news - although he lived to a ripe old age, the passing was sudden, and talking to my friend, I too felt a sense of loss. Why? I hardly knew him. I don't even know his full name or what his occupation was. So why? Am I grieving for my friend, or for this man whom I don't know...?

Then it hit me : I do know him. He brought up my friend. He planted the values, the hopes, the fears, that make my friend who he is. I know him because I see him in my friend. And this is something really, really special to me. Suddenly I realise that I am deeply grateful for his role in bringing up my dear friend, and I wish him eternal peace and oneness with God.

And to all the parents of all my many loved ones : Sonny, Mark, Martin, Mellissa & Maxine, Phyllis, Wati, Agnes, Jon, Zane & Summer, Shahnaz, Raz-berry, Eva, Esther, Shuhana, Christie & Lai Meng, Elaine, Kel, Vince & Verne, and many, many more - thank you and bless you for bringing up such amazing children.

Thank you with all my heart : )

Oh yes, and thanks too to Mom & Dad's parents - Grandmas & Grandpas, and ancestors - thank you!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Khalil Gibran

Have you read Khalil Gibran's "The Prophet" ?

On the topic of work, Khalil Gibran says "work is love made visible" - I've always loved my work but never thought of it in that light. Not until I left advertising and started painting (yah, I'm a writer but surprisingly, I can also paint!), producing greeting cards and trainings.

Everyday I would go to my 'inspiration room' and either paint or design trainings. And I could literally see the love that I feel pouring out of me and taking the shape of something tangible.

Now that I am running 95% Trainings, it is still very much the same experience. I love what I do. Love is my driving force, my inspiration and my reward. And my blessed colleagues - I see so much love in all the many things that they do too, especially in their stand for people and for me.

As Gibran says "... and all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love, you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”

(happy sigh ... )

Friday, February 03, 2006

Indra Sinha

Another great master that I had the honour of meeting is Indra Sinha. From him, I learnt the value of honest, passionate writing. In a seminar he gave in Mumbai, he said “The first thing to do is not to think, but to feel. Feel, and feel passionately. It’s not the words you write that are important, it’s the wind that blows through their gaps. Write honestly, from the heart and the feeling you bring to your work will flood through the gaps between the words.”

His words were a truth that penetrated to the very heart of me. Yes, I can ‘do’ advertising intelligently, crack the brief and produce a successful campaign - and make everyone happy. Everyone, except me. Because I know I have not given of myself. And the times when I do, I sweat and struggle and bite my nails raw, not knowing day from night, lunch from dinner, my cat from my dog! It is not easy - it's almost like giving birth, and in a way I guess it is a birth of sorts - I am bringing a part of me out into the world. It's a struggle. But one that leaves me feeling fulfilled.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Neil French

4 years into my career as a copywriter, I had the privilege of working with Neil French. From him, I learnt that an advertising master is one who is able to identify the core issue, solve it, and then explain it so clearly that everyone else immediately sees it too. Cracking the brief brilliantly is not enough, true mastery as Neil has demonstrated many times, is in being able to make the logic of the solution appear obvious.

Check his site and you'll see what I mean. It's www.neilfrench.com

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Copywriting Tip

My one and only Copywriting Tip : Be open to learn.

I believe I am surrounded by teachers. As long as I have the desire and humility to learn, I will. In this blog, as in my life, I’m happy to share what I am learning ...

All things do change...

I never thought I will blog. Don't like computers, don't like typing. And don't want to be addicted to yet another self-indulgent invention that threatens to swallow up huge amounts of my time.
But well, I do believe in sharing, and I guess this is another way to reach out. So just as I surrendered to the damn handphone epidemic, I now surrender to blogging too.