There’s much ado about minimalism of late, especially with the emergence of Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising’ and aesthetically pleasing tiny homes. Evidently, there’s a rich history to the practice of minimalism, dating back thousands of years and across various cultures and religions. Buddhists, for example, tend to shun material possessions and have for thousands of years, while the Danish’s hygge lifestyle, is a Scandinavian term encompassing a feeling of cosiness, contentment and well-being found through cherishing the little things. Then there’s the Japanese minimalism — thousands of years of tradition that have influenced their architecture and interior design and lives.
Slowly but surely, minimalism is seeing a resurgence around the globe. We list everything you need to know about this lifestyle below.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalistic living or lifestyle is pretty self-explanatory; it is essentially intentional living and ridding clutter from all aspects of your life (let’s face it; we have lots of clutter). While it has been practiced for centuries, minimalism didn't become conventional until the 20th century, when writers, photographers, beatniks, architects, and most importantly artists embraced the idea. According to the New York Times, the realm of art spurred the minimalist movement in the world.
Guiding Principles of a Minimalist Lifestyle
One of the main guiding principles of minimalism is not allowing the things or the pursuit of things (like materialism) obstruct what truly matters to you. The best part of being a minimalist is that it doesn’t and shouldn’t cost you a cent. You shouldn’t be buying new things that have a certain minimalistic aesthetic. The best way to get started on this journey is to adapt the KonMari method by Marie Kondo and declutter. What this means is first determining your ideal and simplistic lifestyle. Then, commit to this vision by discarding items in your home that no longer add value or use. After you’re done decluttering, you can then organise what remains. We admit, it’s immensely tempting to want the contemporary and minimalist interior design of Scandinavian or Japanese homes in our own home but that goes against the principles of this lifestyle.
If you’re a beginner in embracing the minimalist lifestyle, it’s ideal to take baby steps and gradually work your way up so that the process doesn’t overwhelm you. Tackle the easy stuff first and save the harder items for later. Use the decluttering process to build your decision muscle and determine what you want and don’t want in your life. Over time, you’ll find yourself getting better at making intentional decisions, hence making intentional living easier.
Minimalism isn’t limited to things you own; it can extend to the projects you undertake, to-do lists, and responsibilities. When you limit distractions and remove the less vital projects, you would have more attention and time to finish the ones that truly matter. By removing the project clutter, you’re removing the distractions that prevent you from finishing anything at all.
Benefits of Minimalism:
Cleaning becomes easier
We have to admit, a messy space is uncomfortable and creates anxiety. It also makes us feel sluggish and unproductive. The fact of the matter is, when you have accumulated superfluous things like your 20th decorative item, cleaning your space takes a ridiculous amount of effort. That’s why you focus so much better in a cafe or library, because there are no personal possessions to tug at your focus. There’s also less pressure and stress to clean when everything is orderly. Remember, the idea of minimalism is to create a haven that is focused on functionality and as simple as possible.
It’s a given when you buy fewer clothes, unnecessary makeup products and go out less, you would find more money on your hands. Spending less on things you don’t really need will increase your savings and result in financial freedom.
A space free of clutter immediately exudes a clean and pleasing aesthetic. You can make use of your existing items such as plants or books to amp up the look of your space. However, if you’re at your wits end in terms of designing, seek inspiration from Pinterest, especially Scandinavian design which features functional beauty with white walls and simple lines.
You’ll Focus Better
According to Peter Walsh (Australian-American organiser), clearing the clutter in your physical space will go a long way toward clearing the clutter in your mind and relationships. Many people find that focusing on a task is easier when their vision is less distracted by the mess in the room or living area. There’s also a sense of mental clarity and relief when you’ve organised your closet or gone through the junk drawer in your kitchen (no judgement, we all have that one mess of a drawer).
If you take a moment to truly look around your home and evaluate the number of possessions you have, it could be shocking. They are ascribed to impulse purchases, impressing people and retail therapy. “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like,” said Dave Ramsey, financial advisor and New York Times bestselling author.
Besides material possessions, clutter exists in aspects such as our undertakings — overcommitting to work or events because you can’t say no or are afraid to disappoint someone. Look inwardly and ask yourself whether the things you have committed to are imperative. If it isn’t, start scaling back. Imagine the relief and freedom you would experience when you finally let it go.
Valentine’s Day is indeed one of the most anticipated events in the month of February. It’s when the world fills up with love, and people are showered with gifts of blooming flowers, wholesome chocolates and unique date experiences like picnics, a staycation and more! And while the gesture of gifting flowers and chocolates have become a norm on the 14th of February every year, we at Fab! Luxe curated the perfect idea list for you to elevate your expression of love to your partner this year. With the stressful shift in daily activities due to the pandemic, there’s no better escapade to relax luxuriously with your loved one than these:
Picnic at the beach? How about renting an entire yacht instead! Not only do you get to spend time alone with your partner, but soak in the view of the horizon while you’re at it. In fact, you and your partner can also learn to steer the yacht together, making it a memorable trip. To make your luxury yacht date even better, lay out your very own picnic and pop some champagne. Don’t forget to pack some cosy throw pillows and blankets to cuddle in as you watch the sun set.
Movie dates are probably the most popular type of dates that people generally go for, whether on Valentine’s Day or even on normal days. However, make your date luxuriously romantic this Valentine’s by renting out the entire cinema just for you and your partner or spouse. Add in some wine or champagne as you enjoy the movie, and even get the cinema to play a montage of pictures of the both of you, with a sweet message at the end of the movie for an unforgettable night.
There’s no better way to spend time with each other than a calming drive through scenic routes as you jam out to 70s music or chat about anything and everything. And truly, there’s no better experience than taking a drive in style this Valentine’s Day, by renting a luxury sports car. Take your pick from Maseratis and Lamborghinis to Porsche and even Audis - one thing’s for sure, it’ll be a date night you most likely will never forget.
Here’s one for the sporty aficionados - instead of bouldering, hiking and mountain biking this Valentine’s, level up your endearing activity to a unique hot air balloon ride. Take the initiative to learn with your partner on how a hot air balloon functions and rent one for Valentine’s Day as you soar up high for the first time in your life. To end the session, set up a romantic lunch below for some memorable picturesque photos capturing colourful hot air balloons from above.
Booking for a table at any fine dining restaurants this Valentine’s Day will definitely put you in a labyrinth. Restaurants are sure to be booked out months in advance, and for those of you last minute lads, it’s going to be a hectic day. However, lucky for you, fine dining take outs are still available and a nice candlelight dinner at home can sometimes be better than a packed and noisy environment outside. Just remember to end your night with some decadent petit gâteau!
We can’t think of a more luxurious experience to treat your partner to this Valentine’s Day than a relaxing spa session at a 5-star hotel. Starting off with a warm lavender foot soak to a full body massage and ending with a facial and manicure will surely tickle your partner’s fancy. You can opt to dine out after the spa session or even book the presidential suite to have room service as you spend the night cuddling and watching movies together..
For couples who love the sea and the marine life it offers, can opt to book a scuba diving trip this Valentine’s Day. Not only do you escape the cold weather and indulge in the heat and beach, but experience something entirely new. In fact, after your trip, you can choose if you’d like to be a certified diver and even attend classes together. Diving is also 100 times better when done with your lover as it builds trust, communication and the endearment you have for each other..
Forget about the usual cafe hopping, it’s all about luxury this Valentine’s Day and nothing says luxury like high-tea hopping. If you haven’t already known, high-tea is a British tradition of enjoying tea whilst having some delightful bites of scones, smoked salmon sandwiches, fruit tarts and other sweet treats. It’s also not to be confused with afternoon tea, as high-tea is typically enjoyed on sofas or casual chairs. High-tea is a great date idea, especially if your date enjoys taking pictures and indulging in high-quality tea alongside high-grade ingredients.
Any date isn’t complete without a glass of wine, but for wine enthusiasts, a date that revolves around wine-tasting seems like the perfect one. Which is why this year, scrap the idea of enjoying bottles of wine at home and take a trip to your local vineyard for a wine-tasting session instead. For those who stay far away from vineyards can opt to visit wine factories or wine bars as well. Aside from exploring different types of wine, you may just walk home with an abundance of knowledge that could spark up interesting conversations with your partner the next time you share a bottle of wine.
Due to the pandemic, it’s always a safe bet to stay home during seasons like this. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t need to compromise a luxurious dinner for our lover. Thus, we suggest booking a personal chef for the night to treat your lover to the best foie gras, ribeye with truffle butter and the ultimate chocolate dessert that’s sure to express your love. You can also opt to add in the finest bottle of champagne and a bouquet of roses to elevate the night.
The day is magnificent – I look up and see clear blue skies and a smiling, happy sun. I am out on a boat, hair blowing in the wind; the waves flapping and boat jumping in the elated water. Ella Fitzgerald’s Get Happy is playing at the background and I can’t help but feel tremendous joy. I think to myself, “This is what life is all about.” The beauty that surrounds me and happiness that embraces me, while basking in luxurious nature.
Feed your mind and soul soothing, beautiful music, poems, pieces of literature that boost your spirit and make you feel inspired. Wake up every morning surrounded with beauty; be it words, music, flowers or beautiful aroma of your favourite coffee. , and Imagine living your life daily on a cinematic lens; how lovely it will be – taking in all the littlest blessings that is ever present in your life, feeling glad to be alive.
Life in 2020 has not been easy for all of us; some have it better than others while a handful, hope things had been different. No matter how resentful or regretful we are, the fact that the whole world has been hit by a pandemic remains true. We are not able to change the fact but we are able to shift the thoughts we have. It is not going to be easy but living life on a cinematic lens might be one approach for a happy life; the kind of life that takes note of every little thing that steps-in your day and comes in your way. In our busy-ness, we often overlook those minute details, which could be our saving grace in this time of need.
The last couple of months give me perspective like never before. I learn that I am truly the director and producer of my life; I steer the direction; emotions and feelings come with it. Life is not meant to be constantly smooth sailing, however let’s put our focus on abundance, which is tremendous, if we care to put our rose-tinted glass on.
The grandness of our giant universe is undeniable; look for beauty, no matter how small. Analyze each scene of your life with a director’s lens and start writing your own life’s script; inject lots of happiness into the scenes. Start by appreciating and marveling everything in your life. Live life like you are the hero of your story. Know that no matter how bad your life is at this point, nothing is permanent. You are the protagonist of your movie and going to emerge out as the hero.
Take a walk in nature and observe everything around you. Knowing that every single thing is placed there, including yourself for reasons and that is enough to be assured you matter in this vast world.We’ve often been made to feel bad if we dream. Truth of the matter is, I always see dream as a step towards my reality. Every single thing that had been made started off from a dream; so dreaming is not so bad, is it? Invite whatever you desire in your dream, work towards it and see that very thing manifest in your life.
The road to abundance of happiness in life is within grasp for every single one of us. We just need to pay attention to details that make our days; those little details that might even set our heart and soul on fire if we care enough to invite them into our daily thoughts towards a more lush and luxurious living.
As we bid farewell to 2020, it’s that time of the year again to bring out your notebooks, planners and colourful pens as we list down our New Year’s Resolutions for the upcoming year of 2021!
New Year’s Resolutions is a yearly tradition followed by many, in which a person sets a yearly goal to instill good practices or change a bad behavior to overall improve their life.
Why should we have New Year’s Resolutions?
It’s common for people to discourage you from setting New Year’s Resolutions with the reason being that you’ll feel unmotivated one month into achieving that goal. While that may sometimes be true, New Year’s Resolutions are still important to keeping you motivated as you adjourn into the new year.
It can be quite frightening for some of us as we’re unsure of the plan for next weekend, let alone next year. Which is why setting goals at the start of the year can help keep your mind on track and assure you throughout the year. It will also help you make the right decisions in life as you have a rough idea of what you want.
Setting resolutions will also help you in your personal growth, to become who you really want to be. Like how you aspire to be fit and healthy that you’re able to run a full marathon with ease. Well, setting resolutions is a great way to help you become that person. It will assist you in self-reflecting and clearing your mind to focus on the person you want to become.
Setting your New Year’s Resolutions
#1 Start small
When you start small, you set goals that are easier to achieve yet amounts to that one big goal at the end. Not only do you allow yourself to relish in these mini accomplishments, you also don’t damage your motivation by overwhelming yourself with such a big and overpowering goal.
Therefore, when it comes to setting New Year’s Resolutions, start out small. Set goals that are manageable for the kind of lifestyle that you live in and set those that you’ll most likely be able to keep. This makes it more realistic and gives you more focus in life.
#2 Define your goals clearly
Once you’ve set a goal, define it. Let’s say your goal is to save money. But how will you save money if you don’t know how much to save in the first place? So, define your goal. For example, note down that you’ll save RM10 a week and the way to achieve that amount of saving is to limit how much you spend on food every week.
When you define your goals, it’s much easier to stay focused because you already know what you should do in order to achieve that goal. Having a small target with clear and precise definition, you’ll be more encouraged and there will be more reasons to celebrate your progress.
#3 Plan ahead
To ensure success, you will need to plan ahead. This involves reading up on how you can make the change and planning your steps day-by-day. Remember, your resolutions don't have to start on the 1st of January itself. So, take some time to think and work on a plan that would ensure success as you progress throughout the year.
Another thing to note is to ensure you have everything you need in order to achieve that goal. For example, if you’re planning to take up hiking, then make sure you have your equipment ready like hiking boots, waterproof backpack, water bottle and a face towel. By doing so, you’ll have no excuse not to do it.
#4 Educate yourself
Let’s say your goal is to lose 20 kilograms but you don’t have a single knowledge on fitness or exercising. It’s likely that you’ll struggle to achieve this goal. Which is why it’s important to research before writing down your New Year’s Resolutions.
When you’ve figured out roughly what you want your goal to be, start researching and reading up. Try googling about it or maybe take a trip to your local library. You can also ask your family and friends for advice, because you never know if any of them have had similar experiences as you. Educating yourself with more knowledge will help you achieve your goal better.
#5 Go public with your resolutions
Don’t be afraid to share your resolutions with the public. In fact, it may help you achieve it even more. This is because when sharing our goals with the public, it holds us accountable, making it harder to back down or back out from it.
It also reminds us about the resolution we made when we share it with friends and family as the topic may come out when you meet up with them. Having a friend share the same resolution with you is even better, as you both can keep each other on track and celebrate together when you achieve it.
How to achieve your goals this 2021
#1 Don’t be perfect
Striving to be perfect all the time can weigh on unnecessary stress and overwhelm you to the point of giving up. It can also mean failing more. Try to do your best every time you take a step towards your goal instead of being perfect.
#2 Have discipline
If you want to achieve something, it’s important to be disciplined throughout the progress. This is because having little to no discipline will encourage procrastination, resulting in your tasks being undone. So, do your best to instill discipline in your life and get at least one thing done everyday.
#3 Embrace positivity
Instead of thinking of all the bad things that can happen when it comes to achieving your resolutions, switch it around and think of all the good things that could happen instead. By embracing positivity, you’ll have the drive to keep going.
#4 One a day
Take at least one step a day to achieve your goal. It may look small right now, but these steps will add up to bigger things in the future. It also doesn’t feel too much, which will help in keeping you motivated.
#5 Have fun with it
It is indeed important to be serious when it comes to achieving your goals. However, it’s also alright to have fun with it to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out in the process. Just ensure to balance it all out and you’ll have a memorable progres
There is something about sexual harassment that most often than not, leaves the victim feel helpless, uncertain and angry. In many cases, the perpetrators said or did things with a smile or giggle or nonchalantly, that mask-off the malicious intentions. This makes the victim feel like the feeling she or he has might be an overreaction.
“Oh wow, you look sexy in that dress,” said Mark when Ashley walked into the office. Mark is Ashley’s colleague. The day before, when Ashley requested for a document, Mark remarked that he’ll pass it over to her if she’d go for a drink with him.
Some years ago, these two scenarios might just be brushed off as a boy’s mischief or a joke. Well, not anymore. Sexual harassment has been the topic in the media for the last several years. Of late, things have started to reveal themselves – sportsmen, movie producers, medical practitioners and even educators have been put in the spotlight for what is deemed as the act of sexual harassment.
For decades, we have often been made to believe that sexual harassment is the act of sex itself. The truth of the matter is, sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour that is offensive, humiliating or intimidating; can be written, verbal or physical and can happen in person or online – to the perpetrators, it is all about power, aggression and manipulation.
You see sexual harassment everywhere - in the office, amongst business partners, on the streets, in schools, even online professional platforms not sparred. We have seen many revelations in the media recently, however, there is still something not right with the current climate of communication. Words exchanged are often taken to a different level; a level that should have never even been treaded-on.
So, let’s walk down the list and see what constitute sexual harassment. This includes but not limited to :
It is reported that 52% of women had experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. A fifth of this number has experienced sexual advances, while a quarter had been touched.
Do bear in mind that both men and women can be the victims of sexual harassment. A 2019 study on Sexual Harassment and Assault by UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health reveals the following.
This is how alarming the situation is.
What do you do when you feel you are sexually harassed? The Association of Women And Research, Singapore (AWARE) stressed that you should indicate clearly that you are uncomfortable with the behaviour. Say NO effectively. It is more important to be firm than polite. If you are more comfortable not speaking to the perpetrator face to face, send an SMS or email. This message and the perpetrator’s reply may also be used as evidence.
Start collecting evidence; logs and note down dates, times, places and who was present at the time of the incidents and give detailed accounts of the unwelcomed sexual behaviour. Also, keep any email or message correspondence with the harasser as evidence. Taped evidence is also useful.
It is also good to alert or inform someone whom you trust of the harassment. Talk to friends or family members even if they were not present at the harassment scene, they may be able to support your case as witnesses.
Just sad how sexual harassment is so pervasive that it is accepted as way of life in some societies. Something has got to change and it starts with all of us speaking-up and out
I had been called “nancy-of-many-master-of-none” – not once but many times over. I’ve had people telling me that I am flaky; changing my vocation every so often.
I was a dancer and have a degree in Business Management and later, a Post-Graduate Degree in Journalism. Started my career in the airlines, then the hospitality industry as a communications specialist; stayed on it for more than a decade. Then, made my move as a trailing spouse, teaching English in Korea and then setting up my events firm in Norway. Fast forward seven years later, we moved to Malaysia.
It was then, I realised I have always wanted to learn in-depth yoga so, I took up yoga instructor’s certification and went on to teach for about a year or so. Another long-time calling came around and I took up Image Branding Consultant certification and started having clients, ranging from individuals to corporate ones. Having been a writer since I was 18, I am always writing for periodicals in their lifestyle sections, wherever I was in the world. So a few years later, I was offered to be an Editor for a start-up magazine. Took up the offer, it flourished, left it and here I am today, owning my magazine title. Phew, what a journey that was but not without few raised-brows.
Not so long ago, after leaving college an average person joined a company, worked his or her way up and finally joined the upper management. The said person will not even cast a second look at other companies outside, citing career growth and pre-historical concepts like pensions and accumulated off-days as their pushing factors.
Today, however, career paths are much less conventional. How many of us can say we have been in a company for more than 6 years? A very small handful and even smaller if we take in Gen Z or centennials into the equation.
That said, how many of us list a couple of professional identifiers on our LinkedIn account? I’ve met many, over the last couple of years dabbling in full-time work and side-hustle at a given time.
Marci Alboher popularized the phrase, Slash Career in her book, One Person/Multiple Careers. Be it “writer/singer/florist,” “writer/actor,” or some other amalgamation of combos, Millenials have taken-up what is called the Slash Career. They are choosing to take more creative, passionate routes to success, breaking the old rules in the process.
So, my question is, does this make you flaky? Are you being accused of being someone who cannot make up his / her mind when it comes to holding on to a job or a specific industry – that you haven’t had things figured...out yet. Does this make you less credible?
Why should it be? Many of us, whether we are aware or not, have multiple talents and passion; so, why not make use of the talent and passion to live your best life.
I was speaking to a friend some days ago, discussing this very topic and something hit me, People who make differences are usually those who are multi-passionate. Take Leonardo Da Vinci for example; he was an inventor, painter, mathematician, architect amongst other things. If we are to look into a much recent time, there is Maya Angelou who was a dancer, poet, actor, activist and linguist. Then, there is James Franco who lists university lecturer, actor, director, author and visual artists in his resume.
If you’re still feeling up-in-the-air about your Slash Career work-life, I have these tips to share to make sense of them altogether.
Embrace your flake
Be real about your journey; stop being ashamed – at least you are living your dreams. Own the fact that you are multi-passionate.
Be an all-rounded achiever
Whatever skills you’re polishing in an area of your career is most certainly serving you well in your other pursuits. Working on being a strong writer, makes you a better speaker. Look into each one of your vocations; every one of them enhances the other, arming you with a robust skillset.
Position yourself properly
Treat your multi-passionateness as a strength rather than weakness. Show the world that there is absolutely nothing wrong with living all your dreams at the same time. Life is short; do what sets your soul on fire!
Know that you’ll never be bored
Having multiple vocations energizes different parts of your brain and keeps your creative juices flowing. You can always turn to the other career if you are a little unenthused with one, to find new inspiration.
You’re more interesting
Staying engaged in different types of vocations means you’re being informed in hosts of areas and collecting life experiences at a faster rate than if you are devoted to one job.
One thing all my multi-passionate aficionados should know is that you can balance being a multi-passionate individual. The very things you’re passionate and curious about, they are truly not by chance those might be your calling.
I am obsessed with my aperitivo hour. What is aperitivo? It is that brilliant couple of hours between 6pm and 9pm, a very social and functional way of meeting up with friends, having a cocktail, and enjoying nibbles or hors d'oeuvres. This is pretty similar to Spanish tapas or happy hour everywhere else, however, aperitivo is an event itself and often taken pretty seriously by the Italians.
The word aperitivo comes from the latin verb ‘to open’ and what it means is to whet your appetite and open up the stomach before dinner. It is a very lengthy but relaxed affair, not meant to replace dinner instead to make you hungry. Nibbles can range from olives, peanuts, mini pizza-like pastries, cold cuts and crostini.
Regardless of which variation of drinks and snacks appeal to you, recreating the ritual of Italian aperitivo is no different from gathering good snacks and good friends, pouring Aperol, prosecco and soda water into a glass over ice and simply letting your hair down.
Let’s talk about the main highlight - drinks. They are supposed to stimulate appetite therefore sweet cocktails are usual no-nos. The classic Italian aperitivo drinks differ by region but usually include a mix with Aperol or Campari liquors. Most often people will order a glass of wine or an alcoholic drink like the Americano, Spritz, or Negroni. The Negroni is a mixed drink using Campari, gin and vermouth. The Americano is pretty similar to the Negroni except it uses Campari, vermouth and soda instead of gin. The Spritz, which is said to have originated in Venice under the Austrian Empire, is a mixed drink using Aperol or Campari (depends on the bartender or area), sparkling white wine and soda. These classics are served in a glass with ice and usually garnished with an orange peel.
Although other cocktails such as Mojito or Cosmopolitan are on the menu, aperitivo drinks should be low in alcohol content and bitter or dry to ensure soft start and get your pre-dinner juices flowing.
While it is pretty likely that aperitivo was born in the 18th century Turin, home of Vermouth, the Milanese might not agree that this idea originated any further south than Rome.
So what nibbles should you serve alongside aperitivo?
While I love to keep it simple at home during our aperitivo hour with drinks, olives, nuts and perhaps some feta cheese in olive oil, some bars and restaurants go all out with their food spread, offering fresh pasta, assortment of Italian cheeses, grilled or sautéed vegetables and sandwiches. While it is nice to be snacking on some food while enjoying sips of your drinks, try and keep your nibbles easy and simple because the main purpose of those few hours is to stimulate your appetite for dinner.
You can also create your own aperitivo while at home, while hosting friends or family, just before heading out for dinner. Open a bottle of wine, bring out some light snacks of whatever you have from your larder, gather everyone around and enjoy the time together.
My ultimate favourite is while at the beach - a casual aperitivo on the sand. I’ll collect some wild flowers, spread out a mat, arrange drinks and nibbles. The evening is just spent sitting, chatting enjoying the lovely air of togetherness.
In Italy, aperitivo remains a quintessential Italian lifestyle – it is very much their dolce vita.
Her last words to me was, 'so you come to Phnom Penh for holiday with your husband to be happy happy..." Mindy’s voice trailed off and she looked away sadly; the look of resignation, despair and a future so bleak.
Whenever we travel, my husband and I will venture in to places where not so many conventional tourists would go, unless of course, they are seeking some sort of service there. We are well aware, many are exploited in name of tourism, the world over and this is our way to make a tiny little difference to the unfortunate ones.
On our last visit to Cambodia, Paal and me spent about an hour with the working girls of Phnom Penh. Hailed from villages all over the country, these ladies were tricked and somewhat forced into prostitution. Waiting in run down clubs at the back streets of the city, they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are young enough to still be in secondary school.
They are all beautiful in their own rights; gentle, soft-spoken - they are all dreaming of a good future - for themselves and for their kids, some back home in their villages, whichever village, that is – some have their kids with them, running in and around the backstreets, accompanying their mothers - working. Thinking about my own kids, comfortably sleeping – safe, nice and warm in their own beds many miles away from Cambodia truly broke my heart.
It has been some years now, but up till today, Mindy’s voice and those last words keep repeating in my head. Their faces – forlorn, devoid of any joy. I don't know if these ladies know - someone, somewhere is thinking of them; their predicament, their future, their lives.
Probably for most of them, there's no way out.
~ I wish you bluebirds, in the spring. To give your heart a song to sing. And then a kiss - but more than this, I wish you love ~
You get a strange feeling when you are about to leave a place. You’ll not only miss the people and sights you love, but also the person you are at this given time and place because you are never ever gonna be this way again.
We evolve, we move on, we get to better or worse places. One thing is for sure; the person we were yesterday will never be the one we are tomorrow. Shifts within us happen whether we are aware or not; big shifts, small shifts.
For the more concious, they strive to be better tomorrow; there’s no need for self-judgement, jealousy, loathing and resenting. Just the best they can – step by step; little by little. Love more, hate less – be in the current moment; develop yourself gradually from within.
“Look around you. Everything changes. Everything on this earth is in a continuous state of evolving, refining, improving, adapting, enhancing and changing. You were not put on this earth to remain stagnant.” Dr Steve Mataboli
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