Journal entry: the end of another year (2017)

This was a journal entry that I have shared in my old blog. I am not really a big fan of resolution, typically new year’s (I can’t never seem to follow through with it) But this was a journal that I was reminding myself . I have decided to share this one here because it is just not only for me, but to all that needs it.

“Dear you,

It’s the last day of the year. Looking back at the past 364 days, there are some days where you feel blessed but more often you just want to erase some of the memories and never want to remember it. Most days feel like shit but look back and count your blessings.

Be thankful for what you have accomplished, what you have learned, what you have gone through and the mistakes and choices that you made. The friends you made and lost. The love and heartaches you went and are going through. Because without them, you wouldn’t be here. Without them, you won’t know your fears, tackle them with the strengths you thought was once lost. The patience to endure the challenges and obstacles.

Remember that the paths you take are your journey. It will always be an endless journey. It may not lead you to where you want to be or where you want to go, but have faith. You’ve done everything you can and now leave it to the universe to do its work. You are not your life story because it has been set out for you before you even exist. All you have to do now is just ride it out and trust that everything will be alright in the end.

I guess what I am saying is that be thankful that you are still here breathing and able to make the choices to move forward. Be proud of yourself that you are still fighting through to be better than who you were yesterday. Be happy that you have people that care and loves you even when you fail to see it.

Live and love life and never give up. Dreams and ambitions can be achieved through determination and hard work. You are never known to give up on something that you are passionate about, be the woman that you want and need to be, you are a fighter. Get back up and show yourself what you are capable of, prove yourself that you will conquer and master your fears and strengths, shower love to those who deserves your attention, eradicate those that no longer serves a purpose to you and in your life, move on from those that no longer gives you happiness. Take back what’s yours and make the most of it. Devote more time to yourself, to heal and love yourself more.

This year you have discovered some things about yourself- you went and see therapists for your depression, you fought through endlessly with your demons albeit mentally and physically draining you out, you went traveling alone, you rediscovered your independence again, you went out of your comfort bubble to talk more to people and best of all, you began writing. Writing that saves you from you, writing that gives you peace, writing the words that have never been spoken. You faced some of your fears and came out victorious. You started gaining more confident in the things that you do. You learn to let things go even it took you awhile, you salvaged what is left of you and turn it into strengths rather than your weaknesses. More often than not, you wanted to give in, but you know yourself that you won’t give in because there are far more better things up ahead for you. You just know it. Trust and faith. Be proud of yourself.

Don’t rush into fighting your weaknesses, at least find your way to overcome them and turn them into strengths- self-doubt, low self-esteem, the insecurities, the impulsive behavior, running away from issues, hiding away- let all of these go and learn to manage them. Turn it around and believe in yourself.

Take encouragement and support from others that care and loves you, pay no heed to those who brings you down or wasting your time. Take criticism and turn it into something positive, a lesson learned. Move on from those that no longer makes you happy. Cut the toxic ones out and welcome those who are there to fully support and encourage you, those who believe in you. Don’t forget to appreciate them, to be thankful to them, don’t forget those who have stuck by you when you were in your lowest and darkest times. Forgive and forget the past that have done you wrong or what you did wrong. Forgive and love yourself more. Forgive others and seek peace.

This chapter is coming to an end, it’s time for you to open a new one, a new beginning. So let the next 365 pages be filled with more excitement, adventures, self-love, independence, travel more and the challenges you will face with more vigor and confidence. Never stop or settle for something that’s less, go for something far beyond that makes you happy and content.

The next page are your goals that you have set up for yourself, look back on this day and see how much you have accomplished. Remember- do not feel discouraged at the ones you have not accomplished but rather take it as another challenge that you can do it.

All the best and see you next year.

With love always,

Me 2017”

Strength, your strongest weapon

I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend about strength. And I would love to share this with you all as well as what I have shared with her.

We are not all perfect and we are all flawed but one of the greatest qualities we have are our strengths. These strengths are the strongest weapons we could hold onto, that we could sharpen the blunt edges and to bring us forth towards whatever challenges, obstacles, upturns and downturns we may face. Strength comes in all forms but most of all it comes from us, it radiates from our very core. It is something everyone needs.

I am beyond perfect, we all have our own issues, demons and monsters to deal with but I believe that through a strong network of support system, we can move forward and beat it. It is an endless battle but one must not give up or give in, one must not raise the white flag if you know that you can conquer them. I am glad that I have one of the most strongest support system and without everyone around me, I wouldn’t be here. We can’t all simply be miserable when we can do something about it. Even when we are hopeless but if there is a tiny speck of hope flickering through, grab onto it because you might never know that tiny hope is the biggest strength you can hold onto.

Our passion to help others are our strengths too, we instinctively drop our worries away when we know someone that we care is not feeling well and you do everything you can to lift them up and be there for them. In turn, we don’t really worry about ourselves and the clusterfuck of worries bothering us because we care for others.

But sometimes we do need to be taken care of and sometimes it’s okay for us to withdraw ourselves from the world because we need time to ourselves to recuperate and to heal. This is what I learned and this is what gets me by eventhrough my darkest nights, I hold onto to that tiny light of hope to lift me up even when it is heavy, the hope lies within you and those around you.

So to those everyone struggling and in need of a helping hand to get out and bring you forward, let me give my hands to yours and hold on to it.

and here I end this post with one of my poems:

Of Kings and men, 

We fought for their battles, 

Of priests and clergymen, 

They battle against evil and malicious spirits,

But who dares to fight for us?

Of our own monsters and demons

That resides within us?

Pouring my love and strength to all. 🌹

Khamsa or Hamsa

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Khamsa (Arabic) or Hamsa (Hebrew) is the word for five. It is commonly known as the Hand of Fatima (Islam) or the Hand of Hamsa (Judaism).  We have seen this symbol everywhere and this popular emblem is known to protect the owner from the evil eye and bring happiness to the holder, it is also to protect the holder all negative energies especially from envious glares from people who wish you no good (yeah I see you over there giving me the evil eye) Hamsa or Khamsa is believed to be representative of the right hand of human body. The hamsa or Khamsa hand is worn by many people throughout the world, regardless of their religious faith.

The Hamsa appears in two forms: stylized with two symmetrical thumbs and asymmetrical, with a clearly defined thumb and pinkie finger. Either form may be displayed with the fingers pointing up or down. The centre of the hand often contains further symbols, especially that of an eye, however different cultures may fill the hand with images relevant to them.

Now a little bit of a background story on this symbol…

The hamsa or Khamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa is believed to provide defense against the evil eye. The symbol predates Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Early use of the hamsa has been traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) as well as ancient Carthage (modern day Tunisia). A universal sign of protection, the image of the open right hand is seen in Mesopotamian artifacts in the amulets of the goddess Ishtar or InannaOther symbols of divine protection based around the hand include the Hand-of-Venus (or Aphrodite), the Hand of Mary, that was used to protect women from the evil eye and/or boost fertility and lactation, promote healthy pregnancies and strengthen the weak. In that time, women were under immense pressure and expectation to become mothers. The woman’s upbringing was centered on becoming a mother as an exclusive role, and it indicated child bearing as necessary. It was also thought that marriage was a sense of protection for both the man and the woman. (Wikipedia you are amazing). 

The Hamsa are also known as the Hand of Fatima, the Hand of Mary, the Hand of Merriam, and the Hand of the Goddess.

Why are they known with different names and why does it associate with women’s name? well because we women are awesome! Just kidding… read through to find out why.

The Hand of Fatima– to commemorate Fatima Al-Zahra, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad SAW (Al Zahra is a title often used meaning “The Shining One”)  According to Islamic folklore, Fatima’s hand became a symbol of faith after her husband Ali, came home with a new wife one day. Fatima, who at the time had been cooking, dropped the soup ladle she had been using. Yet she was so preoccupied by the new arrival that she continued stirring using her bare hand, hardly noticing that she was burning herself.  It represents femininity and referred as the woman’s holy hand. The Hand of Fatima is considered a strong symbol of protection, power and strength. It also illustrates the Five Pillars of Islam: Faith, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Fasting and Charity.

The Hand of Merriam– Merriam was the sister of Moses and Aron. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Aron became the first High Priest. and Merriam? well she played an important role in the story of Moses and was highly respected (women power!) Legend has it that it was due to Merriam’s virtues that the Israelites always found water during the forty years they wandered through the desert on their way towards the Promised Land. The well that seemed to follow the people of Israel is according to legend called Merriam’s well. Thus, Merriam came to represent protection, luck and happiness.

The Hand of Mary– Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Bible mentioned that God sent his Son down to earth as a savior to mankind through immaculate conception of Mary. Hence, it was only Mary who was given the incomparable privilege of being part of the birth of Jesus, Son of God, placing her in an exalted position over all women, and possibly all of mankind. The Hand of Mary in this context becomes a powerful representation of the power of God to exert His will through the actions of ordinary human beings, imbuing them with gifts and capabilities far exceeding the ordinary.

The Hand of Goddess-One theory postulates a connection between the khamsa and the Mano Pantea (or Hand-of-the-All-Goddess), an amulet known to ancient Egyptians as the Two Fingers. In this amulet, the Two Fingers represent Isis and Osiris and the thumb, their child Horus and it was used to invoke the protective spirits of parents over their child. Another meaning of this symbol relates to the sky god, Horus. It refers to the eye of Horus, which means man cannot escape from the eye of conscience. It says that the sun and moon are the eyes of Horus.

So as you can  see, in conclusion, these historical empowering women (and Goddess) provide their nurturing, compassionate, protective nature to mankind since the beginning of time. Hence, they represent protection, power, strength, happiness and luck.

This symbol have been widely used as jewelry, wall hangings, decoration, tattoo, doorknockers and such. And I myself am in possession of one Hand of Fatima that was given to me for my protection. Many pieces of Hamsa jewelry are adorned with a prayer on the back of the hand. Translated from Arabic, the beautiful empowering poem is as follows:

Let no sadness come to this heart, 

Let no trouble come to these arms, 

Let no conflict come to these eyes, 

Let my soul be filled with the blessing 

Of joy and peace.

May your Hamsa Hand bring you love, light, luck and protection.

Meeting client’s needs

The 3Fs- Friendly, fair yet firm.

These have helped me in dealing with clients over the years with my experiences as an administrator, relationship manager, training assistant, project analyst and as a customer assistant representative (yes I know, I have jumped ships way too many times). Be it that they are your friends, relatives or colleagues- they are still your potential clients.

I have attended the Effective Sales and Negotiation Skills course and what I have learned from it, is that everyone is your client. Internal and external clients. In any selling situations, negotiation is an integral part of it. Buyers or clients will usually negotiate on the terms and conditions before signing up to your services or sales contract. Thus, sellers must have the ability to lead masterful sales conversations as well as to be able to create a value proposition for better negotiation power from the start to the end of a sales call or meeting. Otherwise,  the sales conversation betweens sellers and buyers will be disengaged and it will not produce a positive result-oriented outcome.

What I learned and experienced throughout the years is that you have to understand what your client needs are, listen to them and really take note what they want and their expectations. Listening is one of the most important skills we possess. It is one thing to hear what someone is saying, it is another to truly listen. good listening skills are essential because they help you build your client’s trust and confidence. Listening includes reading between the lines, seeing the nuances, emphathizing,determining the speaker’s intent and the actual meaning of what is said.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to give out suggestions or feedbacks to them. Develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs. Do it in a manner that is friendly, gentle and fair to them. At the end of it, you are there to meet client’s needs completely.

You also have to be firm because you are the seller, the provider. Some clients have brilliant ideas but they never seem to be grounded with their decisions. This is where you come in and be firm with it. In this context, you have to be the one to tell them “okay you know what? Let’s do this. We are sticking to idea 1 but if that doesn’t fall through, then we can visit idea 2 and so forth” Create a timeline and deadline for it.

You also have to be creative and innovative in helping your client to get what they want. Don’t just stick it to the manuals. Go the extra mile! But of course, you need to get their consent first before you sprinkle your creativity on their work! Again, develop strategic alliance to better meet client’s needs.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your clients about their ideas and work because I feel this is imperative to give them the product of your services. Confidential is the key. Your client trusts you or else they wouldn’t hire you! Not only do they recognized your awesome set of skills but they trust you with their ideas and needs.

Together, you and your client will work through in solving their ideas and make it happen. Simply said, you are helping them turning their dreams and ideas into reality. and you will have one happy client!

The Journey Begins

This is where it all started for my freelance writing journey. I am still new at this and I have done tons of research to get started since the beginning of the year (but it’s not gonna stop there!)

I admit that I am clueless where to start but hey everyone gotta start somewhere first right? I was nervous (I still am!) to begin this new journey but to overcome this, I know I have to start on taking some action and so I did.

I have yet to build a portfolio about myself and honestly, I am clueless as to what I should write about myself, what I should sell myself on. One thing that I am sure of is that I a fantastic writer! I have always known that I am a good writer but I never really pursue a career into it because I don’t have the confidence to boost through it. I do have experiences in editing, writing articles and even help with cover letters as well. All these through professional setting and of course it is what I do on a daily basis as an administrator.

I have been writing frequently just last year. Writing has saved me from myself. I write to express my feelings, emotions and the experiences I have in the form of poetry. I began publishing it through one of my social media account and it has attracted readers and amazing writers. They were all supportive and sometimes I would have request to make a collaboration with them. I made new friends who are a gem to me as they have been very encouraging to me.

Why I wanted to start this journey on becoming a freelance writer? I have been encouraged by my friends (who have seen my work) that I should do this because they see me as a good writer and I should use this potential skill to good use. At first, I was skeptical to this approach and didn’t really want to do it. This idea was already seeded into my brain and it grew onto me to try it out. So i began my research. The more I dig in, the more I am intrigued to give this gig a try.

I am the type of person who loves to take up challenges because I like to see the sets of skills and abilities I have for the benefit of helping others as well as helping myself. I like to go the extra mile of helping others for the sake of their positive development and I feel that through writing, it helps a lot.

So with this, my journey to freelance writing begins.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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