Tuesday, August 29, 2006

We are looking for 'The Chosen One'

95% is looking for an individual to take on the position of Training Executive. The criteria to be 'the chosen one' are as follows:

* Love to be with people, talk to people, make a difference to people. If you prefer to spend your time in front of the computer, you are not the one.

* Have an eye for detail. Doesn't have to be as detailed as a CSI or an obsessive compulsive like Monica in Friends, but enough to organise your work efficiently, and handle follow ups faithfully.

* Goal oriented. You get high on setting goals and achieving them.

* Love to be part of a dynamic team of passionate individuals who are as tight as family. We work hard, play hard, laugh a lot, and eat even more! Those who are looking for a serious corporate environment, please stay away.

There will be a fixed salary and a commission scheme that guarantees a win for both parties. If you think you have close to 95% of the mentioned characteristics, call Esther at 03-2287 7095 or email askme@95percent.com.my

Message from The Guru

Neil French has an inspiring message for creatives.
Click on What's Up At 95% (link on the left) to see and hear it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

What's Up At 95%

To keep everyone in touch with what's happening at 95%, we have created a new blog! Click on the title to visit whatsupat95percent.blogpsot.com or use the link on the left.
It's still new so there isn't a lot of stuff there yet, but do visit often cos we'll be putting updates on trainings, activities, graduates, and all sorts of newsy stuff.
(oh, and the guru besar has been doing the writing! waaah...)

Thanks David & Alina.
Our Story Writers In Progress (and Advanced SIP) graduate David Byck and his lovely wife Alina recently gave 95% the blessed opportunity to create an ad for his new book. This is what a couple of our graduates produced (I'm not revealing their names only cos I don't want to assume that it's ok with them) Guys, if it is ok for you to be known as the creators of this ad, pls reveal yourself - you did a great job, with much sensitivity and heart. I'm proud of the way you two embraced this project, embraced the book, and gave your full commitment to the job. Namaste.

Friday, August 25, 2006

How do you eat cream crackers?

The other night, while brainstorming with Norman and Rae, they shed some amazing insight on how cream crackers should be eaten! Do you nibble round the edges and leave the center for last? Or do you crunch it from left to right?

The amazing insight that I gained was how much time and energy these two guys were willing to spend on the subject (instead of working out their ideas).

And I also learnt that if you change your seat while eating, you will marry more than one wife. Fascinating!

Monday, August 21, 2006

This is how I feel on Mondays...

Yay! Another whole new week for me to play ... so much to explore, so many things to chase. I love Mondays! (guess this is a symptom of loving my job?) Cat lovers, you must click on the title!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nadia & Yue Mei

I've moved your messages to my earlier entry titled "16 glorious years" - sorry I couldn't figure out how to put your blog id pix - if you'd like to add that in, please do so.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wabi's getting even better!

Last night I was vegetating on the lazy chair with another one of my cats Milk, purring on my lap. I was half dozing while watching CSI.

Suddenly, out of the blue, the thought came to me that "I must go and let Wabi out - he's locked in my bedroom downstairs."

I half got out of my chair before I realised that hey, wait a minute - why should I think that Wabi is in my room? I don't remember putting him in there.

But then I didn't see him on his usual spot on the carpet, so I went down to check...

True enough, he was there, meowing and wanting to get out!

So did he just send me a telepathic message???

Thanks Ummi, for these lovely, lovely pictures - you're right, they really brought a smile to me. Sooooo cute!

Hehehe, my husband has been emailing me cute kitty photos too! You sure know how to melt my heart :) To visit a cute kitten website, click on the title of this entry.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

16 glorious years ...

Late last night (9th August 2006), I received news that a brave young man Jonathan Gan aged 16, had passed away after battling cancerous brain tumours.

My husand and I went immediately to his home, and once we were there, I just sat in silence. Words failed me. I just could not speak. His parents are my dearest friends, Peter and Agnes, and I cannot imagine what they must be going through.

As for me, I had memories flooding my head. A series of flashbacks...

The first was this one where I carried Jon for the first time. He was probably 3 or 4 then. Peter brought him to a shampoo commercial shoot at RK Studios. Jon true to his nature, was brave enough to leave his dad behind and go exploring on his own. I saw him wandering amongst the heavy lights of our set, and calledout to him. To my sweet surprise, he let me carry him! Now, if you know me well, you'll know that I'm not the sort who go googoogaga over kids. Well, apart from my own nephews and neices, Jon was the first child who let me carry him. And he was quite happy to be carried - that melted my heart straight away.

The next vivid memory was at Agnes' father's funeral. I arrived just as the service was about to begin - and Jon came straight up to me, hugged me and cried his heart out. He was only about chest high then, and he had only recently embraced the Methodist faith. Again my heart melted - to think that I could be his shoulder to cry on : what an honour. After that I always felt a special closeness to this child, even though I wasn't closely involved in his life.

I would hear his proud father extol the virtues and exploits of son No. 1 : how he went to football camp, how he got in to Victoria Institute, how being a scout had brought out the man in him.

Next I remember Jon from a year ago - yes, I think it was in July or August last year. He attended our Teenagers Short Film Workshop. He was vivacious! Cheeky! Creative! Wittier that both his Mom and Dad combined! Such a rascal, and yet so much potential was already being manifested. Here's Jon and Yue Mei at the workshop.

Then I remember the shock of his tumour being diagnosed, and how he faced it. He was the one who broke the news to his younger brother and sister. He was the one who shared his experiences with his friends openly and with much courage.

I remember Yue Mei from his Short Film Workshop telling me how amazed she was at the way he spoke about his ailment, about accepting it, and about having faith. She said she never thought someone so young could see beyond his predicament to find wisdom.

Then the next flashback : I brought mom to see Jon. Mom was hobbling along using a walking stick - so was Jon. As Mom slowly limped up their driveway, Jon came limping down and greeted her. Simultaneously, they asked each other "How are you?" and then burst out laughing.

Next I remember Jon in hospital, and then at home. I last saw him about 2 weeks ago. He had grown so tall! Taller than his father, I think. And home is where Jon spent his time loving and being loved. Until last night.

As Peter used to say, Jon is away fighting dragons. Everytime he chops off one dragon's head, another pops up to attack him.
But he is still fighting. And when he is done, he will come home.

Well, now his fight is over. He has slayed all his dragons. And this brave warrior is free to go home. Home to God. Free and at peace.

Jon, you have given me 16 glorious years. I will miss you. I wish I could have seen you grow up, and achieve all your dreams. But as I look at you now, lying at rest in your scouts' uniform - and hear your father tell me over and over "Jon is so much more of a man than I'll ever be" - I realise that maybe you have already grown up and achieved your dreams, in your own way.

It takes most people 60, 70, 80 years or more to fully grow up. It takes some people 20, 30 years of building a career to gain respect and recognition. It takes most of us a lifetime to learn to love unconditionally, and to live fully. Jon, you did all this in just 16 years.

Goodbye Jonathan Gan. I love you, and I always will.

My brother Mike sent this message :
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am the thousand winds that blow
I am the diamonds glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning, Hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds' encircled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there. I did not die.”
~ Author Unknown ~

From my brother Ken and Wati :
“Our deepest sympathy and condolences for your loss.”

From Sarah Chen, seen in this photo with Jon :
“Thank you for introducing me to such a great soul. Truly one with so much love. He made an impact on all with his simple presence.”

From my cousin David Cheah :
“My condolences and wish you all strength, hope and comfort in this difficult time. May Jon find peace and may you all cherish the beautiful memories of your time together.”

From Jennifer Guan, YAC :
“My condolences and love to Uncle Gan and family”

If you'd like to read more about this amazing young man, click on the title of this entry.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What's My Purpose?

A couple of weeks ago, my Dad was venting : he was just letting off steam, expressing his concern about Mom's health and how she's getting more and more forgetful. When he said "...she can't take care of herself anymore, and all of us are so busy with our own lives" ... I was cut to the core.

I actually thought that maybe I should give up 95%, close down for a while, and look after Mom completely for the next few years. After all, the two months that I spent looking after her, after her stroke, remains a very sweet and precious memory to me. I do love her so very much. But ...

95% is a dream that is already coming true. We've worked so hard to get it up and going that if I stop now, I don't know if I'll ever have the energy to do it all over again later, when I'm older.

Sigh... I felt so guilty for wanting to pursue my dream and leave Mom so alone. What made it worse was that she had 'loaned' me a rather big sum of money to set up 95% - if I close down now, all her money would be just gone. So how? What do I do?

Sigh again ...

That was the self-inflicted drama that I went through then. When I came to my senses, I realised that Mom has always, always wanted us all to lead happy, fulfilled lives. I think it would upset her tremendously if she knew we wanted to give it up for her. If you know my Mom, you'll know that she would never allow that. She's such a great giver.

One day, I received some feedback : these two friends I sat with told me that they see me surrounded by people, children of all ages. I saw it too - I saw myself in the middle of a huge crowd - in a beautiful garden full of colourful flowers and tall trees. There was much love and laughter, and in the background, mom sat in her wheelchair smiling proudly.

Sounds so corny huh? Well, that was the picture in my mind.

It doesn't mean I will leave mom lonely though, I'll spend time with her - and because I'm not feeling guilty anymore, I can be fully present for her.

The day after I decided all this, I was cuddling Wabi Sabi in the chair next to her. Wasn't really saying much, and wasn't doing anything in particular for her, just relaxing with my fat cat. When I got up to go, she suddenly said "it's nice to have you home". And I thought, gee whizz, it's that easy? I was just relaxing. And she's happy? Amazing!

Anyway, I think my purpose (as I understand it now) is to reach out to people and make a difference. And 95% is a vehicle that can make that happen. So I will continue building 95%. I want it to be big and prosperous, with many trainers. And I will have free time to go home to relax with mom (and Wabi) ;)

That's my stairway to Heaven. Tell me, what's yours? What do you think your life purpose is (for now, anyway)?

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's been a while

I miss reading a really good book, and so I was very happy when our SIP (and now Advanced SIP) graduate David Byck put a really good book in my hands.

And I was ecstatic that it was a copy of his own first book "It's A Long Way To The Floor" a book about how he started yoga. Wah, so thrilling to actually know someone who has written and published a book. A real author! Wow!

It reads just like how he speaks! Heheh, if you were in the same intake as David, you'll know what I mean...

It's a simple, unpretentious book that is rich in meaning. Made me miss my yoga lessons. And also reminded me of some basic, important life lessons. It's the kind of book I wish I could write one day.

Click on the title to visit David's site.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Peace Within

I have been feeling like I'm on the edge of a loooooooooooong fall - the image of a waterfall has been with me for the past couple of months. So I looked for some pixes and these were the ones that called out to me.

This first one says to me "Trust fall". Do I trust what God has in store for me? Yes. And I do believe that God only gives me challenges when He knows I am ready. Do I trust that I will not be broken in the process? Well, what to do? Just do my best la...

Then as I was falling, this is what I experienced ...

Sometimes the fall is a looong one, sometimes a short bounce around. Bounce, bounce, bounce. Long or short, the fall is still ouch! but then hey, I'm still okay. Well, better than ok, think I'm stronger and wiser now.

And that's why I think this is the best one of all - I look at this and I feel p e a c e the sweet, beautiful peace of flowing with life.

May today there be peace within.
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing and dance.
It is there for each and every one of you.