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Stories

How To Live Happily: Advice by an Indian Yogi

While addressing a group of students in Chennai, India, Sadhguru answered a question on how to maintain joy and happiness regardless of the external circumstances. 

Questioner: Good evening, sir. I listened to a lecture of yours that talked about joy and happiness. You said joy depends on oneself, whereas happiness depends on others. I tried a little while to practice it but what I found was that I was not able to sustain those small moments of joy. I could experience joy when I was completely into it, very passionate about what to do, but somehow when an external person or entity recognizes what I do, the joy is just out of my life. So how do you sustain those moments of joy and not succumb to pleasures of happiness? If you could…it would be nice if you can share the difference between joy and happiness to this crowd too.

Sadhguru: Let’s say your Dean tells you, from tomorrow, what kind of clothes you should wear, immediately there’ll be protests in the college. If your Dean goes further and tells you, ‘everybody should get up at five o’clock in the morning.’ Let’s say he put ten different rules like this, physical things to do, you will think he’s trying to convert you into slaves and you will shout and scream for your freedom, isn’t it? But look at yourself and see.

If someone else determines what should happen around you, you feel like a slave, but right now somebody else is determining what should happen within you. Is this not slavery? Somebody can decide whether you’re happy or unhappy, is this not slavery?  Just because everybody is like that it seems to be normal; it is not. It is not normal. As a human being, life will never happen hundred percent the way you want it, and it should not happen; because if everything happens the way you want it, where do I go? I’m very happy it’s not happening your way.

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Personal

Team Singapore & Rio Olympics 2016

On July 9, I was invited to the official Team Singapore Rio 2016 Flag presentation Ceremony in tandem with Olympic Day at Marina Bay’s Floating Platform. Being an unapologetic night owl, it was a refreshing change to wake up at 6am for a 3.6km walk and see our city in a different light.

Starting on 6 August, there will be 25 athletes representing Singapore, among 10,500 athletes across 206 countries, who will be competing over a span of 17 days. See the schedule here. The Paralympics held in Rio a month later has a record high of 11 athletes from Singapore competing across five sports (athletics, boccia, equestrian, sailing and swimming).

Singapore’s Olympic flag bearer is badminton’s top shuttler Derek Wong, currently ranked 60th in the world. He is one of only two shuttlers who made it to the Rio Olympics 2016, which is said to be his last game before retiring.

Did you know? The best Paralympics swimmer in the world is our very own Yip Pin Xiu. The 2008 Beijing Paralympics gold medalist Yip has traveled to over seven countries this year for training and competitions to prepare for the Games. She will head the 11-member Paralympics team in Rio.

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Stories

This is Why We Grew Up & Got Bored

I stumbled across this writing by Samsaran titled, “boredom” and it went, “why is it that small children and babies are rarely if ever bored? It is because they live in a state of full mindfulness, or living in the now.”

As Samsaran put it, mindfulness is our natural state of being when we are young. It is only later that we start filtering everything through our conscious minds. When we do this, we translate and reduce our direct sensory input to abstractions and symbols.

Thus, that lovely rose becomes not the thing in itself but an abstraction. A kind of amalgamation of “roses I have experienced before” and an abstract concept known as “flowers”. So we don’t see that particular flower with its own individual beauty, color, shape, scent, and imperfections. When we are in this state we are bored easily unless our experience is either very new, very intense or very unique.

One of the things that happen to people when they experience their awakening is that they get caught staring at a flower or a stone intensely for a long period of time. Friends may ask “what the heck is wrong with you it’s just a rock”. But to the newly awakened it is not just “a rock or a flower” it is “THIS rock and THIS flower.”

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Travel

Part 5 of 5: The Isle of Man Manx Museum (Vikings & Dragons Apparently Did Exist)

Read part 1 HERE (intro to Isle of Man, where I stayed), part 2 HERE (Snaefell, Laxey Wheel, The Sound, Point of Ayre), part 3 HERE (Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Old Grammer School) & part 4 HERE (Bradda Glen, Cregneash village & ancient churches).

I took these images with an iPhone 6.

Just like how my brother always has a “McDonald’s” wedged in his travel itinerary to mc-conquer the spectrum of patty flavours and combos across the world (well, you can tell a lot about a nation through their taste in Macs), mine could possibly be “The Museum/Heritage anything”.

My brother, who had visited Isle of Man before me, had perfectly described it as “a place where if you visit the museum they don’t just show you the history in pictures and paper but actually friggin have the place that still stands today and you can touch it.”

The Isle of Man Manx Museum is where you’ll hear of King Olaf and Sigurd the dragon slayer like you stepped inside a Game of Thrones museum…except that it supposedly depicts real life.

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Beauty

[Review] Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturiser

Shiny glossy legs, checked. Moisturized skin, checked. No messy hands with creams stuck underneath nails, checked.

Although my grandmother has been using Vaseline for years, I only became a petroleum jelly convert few years ago after I decided to try this “eye and anything” secret that made Tyra Banks (literally) roll on the floor during her show while giving bedazzled Vaseline jars to her audience. Since then, I’ve slathered it on as an overnight moisturizer, a lip balm, and even with my liquid foundation if I want it more dewy.

I’ve always bought their jelly for a few bucks at convenience stores but this time, Vaseline let me try 3 bottles of their new Intensive Care Spray moisturizers, available in major supermarkets and pharmacies for $13.90 per bottle.

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Personal

I Quit My Job Today

Today marked the end of my 4-year journey doing corporate communications, PR & all things digital for the Les Amis Group of restaurants since I was an intern in year 2012 for one of the subsidiary concepts, Peperoni Pizzeria – yes, the one with the insta-worthy 21-inch XXL pizzas. In year 2013, I joined them full time to do marketing for all the restaurants group-wide; from luxury to mass market brands.

It’s one company I owe so much to, blessed with great food and greater people who taught me a great deal, and it was hard to bid farewell to a place that has become a second home to me; a place that gave me a chance to kickstart my career. I never thought saying goodbye to a small team of colleagues-turned-friends could make me teary-eyed as one by one, we move along our own paths. I’ve spent the most time with these guys every day, growing and helping each other even through personal issues. It was hard answering questions like “why” and “where will you go” because I quit without a steeled plan, but I took a long time to think it through.

This life is a constant string of phases and I think it’s time I needed a refreshing shift in paradigm. I don’t want to be just “too busy” anymore or “too busy” again thereafter, losing that sparkle from the speed we’re going. People might say that there’s no such thing as “not enough time” because all you need is to “make time” but that’s partially true if you’re extraordinarily disciplined or just not juggling that many things. Writing is my passion and sometimes I earn a bit of extra cash doing it, but when I work 9-6+ everyday (or 10pm if I host media dinners), before I reach home to bathe and walk Bibi, sometimes the last thing I want to do is to be on a computer again late at night when my eyes are already strained. Plus it’s not just words, but the entire process of drafting, editing, taking photos, and re-doing them again. And that doesn’t even describe my day in detail.

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Playlist

Raye – Hotbox

[Verse 1]
I’m on my feet, but I can’t feel the ground
I’m swimming in the distorted sound
What? I can’t hear you babe
This ain’t my buzz, I inherit a high
How ya doin’? Have we been hear all night?
Speak up, I can’t hear you babe

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Personal

Singapore Dog Shelter & Upcoming Adoption Drive

I popped by Ericsson pet farm @ Pasir Ris this afternoon to visit the BFF dog shelter, led by Aunt Ann & her group of Buangkok residents to prevent these strays from being culled.

Thankfully with KohePets (my pet store sponsor for years) I could share supplies like shampoo and toys with the shelter dogs. I get everything I need from these guys who will deliver them to my doorstep. My gratitude for Kohe surpasses the weight of my pet bear Bibi (plus my other furry & feathery members) because it’s unbear-ably traumatic to lug his 100kg bag of kibbles home.

On the 25-26 June 2016, there will be an adoption drive at East Coast Park, Angsana Green 1.00 to 4.00pm where you’ll see some of the BFF shelter dogs pictured below. There will be free entrance, free vet consultation, pet health talks, and a dog fashion show using recycled items only. More details HERE.

If you wish to visit BFF to find a dog to adopt, donate, or volunteer, you can either email me your contact at cv_cheng@hotmail.com or reach out to them via their Facebook.

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Beauty, Personal

[HAIR] Ash Grey Lob

After futile attempts to grow my hair long, I’m back to a mid-length bob.

Big hugs to Salon Vim 313 and my stylist Fiona, as always. They have been my sole hair sponsor for years now, even though I’m usually too busy (or tired) to keep up with my bi-monthly appointments.

This time, Fiona snipped off a few inches and tamed my weeds with the collagen treatment (before/after picture below). She picked a gradient ash colour with a darker shade on top so when the root grows, it’ll blend in better. Partially because she knows I won’t be able to keep up with the touch-up appointments. Even my friends subtly nag at me for being hair-y lazy (that’s why I usually just bun my hair) so I have to make do with fuss-free hairstyles.

For first timers, quote my name for 15% off!

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