March 19, 2012

Date a girl who travels

Date a girl who travels. Date a girl who would rather save up for out of town trips or day trips than buy new shoes or clothes. She may not look like a fashion plate, but behind that tanned and freckled face from all the days out in the sun, lies a mind that can take you places and an open heart that will take you for what you are, not for what you can be.

Date a girl who travels. You’ll recognize her by the backpack she always carries. She won’t be carrying a dainty handbag; where will she put her travel journal, her pens, and the LED flashlight that’s always attached to her bag’s zipper? In a small purse, how can she bring the small coil of travel string, the wet tissues, the box of cracker, and the bottle of water she’s always ready with, just in case something happens and she can’t go home yet?

Yes, a girl who travels knows that anytime, anything can happen and she just has to be prepared with it. Nothing takes her by surprise; she takes everything with equanimity, knowing that such things are always a part of life. She’s reliable and dependable, traits that she’s learned while on the road.

You’ll also recognize a girl who travels by the fact that she’s always amazed at the world around her, no matter if she’s in her home town or in a place that’s totally new. She sees beauty all around her, not just the ones featured in travel guides or shown in postcards. A girl who travels has developed a deeper appreciation for life. She won’t judge you, or pressure you to do things you don’t want to do. She knows too much about the importance of identity and self-efficacy, and she will appreciate all the more if you won’t pretend to be who you’re not.

You can lie to a girl who travels and make mistakes, and you can also be as idiosyncratic as you can be. Trust me, she has seen so much worse in her travels, and knows firsthand the vagaries of human nature.

Date a girl who travels, because when you’re with her, you’ll realize that even though she’s napped at a temple in Angkor Wat, went boating down the Mekong Delta, ran by the streets of Saigon, or went skinny-dipping in the caves in the Philippines, she still retains that humility that is the mark of a real traveler. She knows she’s been to a lot of places, but she’s humbled by the fact that the world is still a big place and she’s only seen a small part of it. Seeing this in her can make you feel all right with yourself too; there’s no need for you to do more, to be more. What you are is enough.

When you meet a girl who travels, ask her where she’s been and what she’s going to do next. She will appreciate your interest, and if you’re lucky, she may even invite you to join her. When she does, do. Nothing bonds people better than traveling. On your trips, you will both see each other’s best and worst characteristics, and you can then decide whether she’s worth fighting for.

It’s easy enough to date a girl who travels. She won’t want expensive gifts; you can buy her (or both of you) cheap tickets to Thailand for the weekend, and she’ll be more than happy to take you to the longest wooden bridge in the country. You don’t even have to go overseas; you can take her out on day trips, caving or hiking, or treat her to a full body massage.

You can also buy her the little things that she keeps forgetting to buy for herself; that carabiner that will attach her backpack to her seat so that she will feel easier about sleeping on her bus trip, or a backpack cover, a small alarm clock, a money belt, or maybe another sarong that will replace the one she lost in China.

She won’t mind if you get lost on your way to a date. She knows that oftentimes, the journey is more important than the destination. She will help you see the lighter side of things. She’ll walk along with you, not behind you, pointing out the interesting bits of things you’ll see on the way. Before long, you’ll realize that yes, the journey has been more memorable than the destination that you’ve planned to take her to.

Is a girl who travels worth it? Yes, she is. So when you find her, keep her. Don’t lose her with your insecurities and doubts. Because when she says she loves you, she really does. After all, she’s seen so many things, met so many people, and if she had chosen you, better grab that opportunity and thank the gods that you were lucky enough she’s chosen you and not that bloke she met while watching the sun rise in Angkor Wat, or while whitewater rafting in the Padas Gorge in Sabah.

If she says she loves you, she must have seen something in you, something that can always call her back from her travels, something that can anchor her to the world in the way that she wants to after weeks and months of being on the road.

Date a girl who travels. Make her feel safe, warm, and secure. Make her believe that no matter where she goes, and however long she’s gone, you’ll always be there for her, the one that she can call home.

*Yaay to wanderlust!!

March 12, 2012

I want to die with a hand on my heart

Je veux

Donnez-moi une suite au Ritz, je n'en veux pas
Des bijoux de chez Chanel, je n'en veux pas
Donnez-moi une limousine, j'en ferais quoi ?
Offrez-moi du personnel, j'en ferais quoi ?
Un manoir à Neufchatel, ce n'est pas pour moi
Offrez-moi la Tour Eiffel, j'en ferais quoi ?

Je veux de l'amour, de la joie, de la bonne humeur
Ce n'est pas votre argent qui fera mon bonheur
Moi je veux crever la main sur le coeur
Allons ensemble, découvrir ma liberté
Oubliez donc tous vos clichés
Bienvenue dans ma réalité

J'en ai marre de vos bonnes manières, c'est trop pour moi
Moi je mange avec les mains et je suis comme ça
Je parle fort et je suis franche, excusez-moi
Finie l'hypocrisie, moi je me casse de là
J'en ai marre des langues de bois
Regardez-moi, de toute manière je vous en veux pas et je suis comme ça !

Je veux de l'amour, de la joie, de la bonne humeur
Ce n'est pas votre argent qui fera mon bonheur
Moi je veux crever la main sur le coeur
Allons ensemble, découvrir ma liberté
Oubliez donc tous vos clichés
Bienvenue dans ma réalité


Give me a suite at the Ritz hotel, I don't want that
Chanel's jewellery, I don't want that

Give me a limo, what would I do with it?
Offer me staff, what would I do with it?
A mansion in Neufchatel, it's not for me
Offer me the Eiffel tower, what would I do with it?

I want love, joy, good spirit
It's not your money that will make me happy
I want to die with a hand on my heart
Let's go together, let's discover my freedom,
Forget all your prejudice, welcome to my reality

I'm fed up with your good manners, it's too much for me
I eat with my hands, I'm like that
I speak loud and I'm direct, sorry
Let's end the hypocrisy, I'm out of it
I'm tired of double-talks
Look at me, I'm not even mad at you, I'm just like that

I want love, joy, good spirit
It's not your money that will make me happy
I want to die with a hand on my heart
Let's go together, let's discover my freedom,
Forget all your prejudice, welcome to my reality

Five Causes of Belief in God

"To believe in God, you just need to believe, to have faith." I've heard this sort of statement at least a dozen times in my life. But what really causes belief in God and life after death?

A wide range of research suggests that religious beliefs can be altered (to an extent) by certain psychological needs and states. I discuss 5 of these below.

1) A Need for Control

Research by Aaron Kay (now at Duke University) and colleagues suggests that when someone is feeling personal uncertainty, or a lack of personal control, they are more likely to believe that God is in control. The basic idea is that people have a need for control, and when they receive this via secular routes (like cops or the government) they do not have the same need to believe that God possesses control. Evolutionary psychologists have made similar arguments, citing data showing that when economic and health security are high, people tend to be less religious.

2) A Need to Cope with Death

Reminders of death increase people's belief in spirits and the power of prayer. Moreover, having people read that there is life after death (even atheists) reduces people's psychological distress in response to thinking about death.

3) Suffering

Kurt Gray (University of Maryland) has conducted several studies showing that people believe in God more strongly after being exposed to unexplained suffering. For instance, if people read of suffering that can be explained (i.e., a man loses his job) this would not increase belief in God. However, if people read that am unexpected flood had caused a family to die, this would increase belief.

Ironically, suffering increases theism.

4) A Need for Justice

When people think that a God that can punish is watching them, they behave more morally. Moreover, they also feel less of a need to punish others. It follows from this research (though the study has not been done) that people should have less belief in God (at least his punishing characteristics) when they are feeling like secular sources of authority are providing ample justice. Somewhat supporting this, religious people have less distrust of atheists after watching a video of police effectiveness.

The need to punish others (who have not been punished) is associated with belief in God.

5) Experiential Thinking

There are (at least) two primary modes of thinking and decision making. One is called experiential thinking, in which a person relies primarily on their "gut" or their feelings when making a decision. The other is logical thinking, in which a person makes a decision in a more cold, calculated manner.

Research suggests that belief in God is higher among people who more often think experientially. Moreover, forcing people to think experientially in an experiment heightens their belief in God, compared to people who are forced to think logically.

In other words, people's natural thinking style could, or could not, lend itself to belief in the supernatural.

Further Comments:

I do not mean to suggest that these are the only five factors that influence belief in God. There are many other factors.

I also would like to add that these studies are all conducted measuring a continuum of belief, typically on a scale of 1-5 or 1-7, and the results of each study are dealing with average scores across all participants. Therefore, I am not suggesting that a person with strong belief will suddenly not believe at all (go from a 7 to a 2, for instance) if they are feeling in control, or are not exposed to suffering. I also am not suggesting that a person with no belief will suddenly believe entirely (go from a 2 to a 7) under certain situations.

What this work does suggest is that moderate shifts in belief can occur when people are feeling things, such as a fear of death, a lack of control or a need for justice, and when they are exposed to suffering or are thinking experientially.

March 8, 2012

"Preoccupied with a single leaf, you won't see the tree.
Preoccupied with a single tree, you'll miss the entire forest.
Don't be preoccupied with a single spot.
See everything in it's entirety..
That is what it means..
to truly 'see'"


The bride, Katie

Her name is Katie Kirkpatrick, 21 yrs old. Next to her is her fiancé, Nick, 23.

This picture was taken prior to their wedding January 11th, 2005.
Katie has terminal cancer and spends hours in chemotherapy.
Here Nick awaits while she finishes one of the sessions...(Pic1)

Even in pain and dealing with her organs shutting down, with the help of morphine,
Katie took care of every single part of the wedding planning.
Her dress had to be adjusted several times due to Katie 's constant weight loss. (Pic2)

An expected guest was her oxygen tank. Katie had to use it during the ceremony and reception.
The other couple in this picture is Nick's parents, very emotional with the wedding and to see their
son marrying the girl he fell in love when he was an adolescent. (Pic3)

Katie , in a wheel chair listening to her husband and friends singing to her. (Pic4)

In the middle of the party, Katie had to rest for a bit and catch her breath.
The pain does not allow her to stand for long period of time. (Pic5)

Katie died 5 days after her wedding. To see a fragile woman dress as bride with a beautiful smile
makes you think... happiness is always there within reach, no matter how long it lasts.....
lets enjoy life and don't live a complicated life. Life is too short.
Work as if it was your first day.
Forgive as soon as possible.
Love without boundaries.
Laugh without control
and never stop smiling.

March 5, 2012

Found this old photo in my computer. Have forgotten how I used to dance like it's my last day on earth :)