Monday, December 28, 2015

Reminders For Amber #25 - Be Artistic

Be free to live your life sustaining and being inspired by all your artistic inclinations. Whether it be musical, visual like drawing or lettering (calligraphy!), or even performing, be a wizard and work your magic through your artistic pursuits.

Art is freedom. It is being able to see things in a different light. By being artistic, you are able to use your talents to bend a straight line. You can think differently and do things in other ways, and with style.  You create a world that becomes more beautiful with what you put into it.

Remember your blue apple? Yes, never forget how creative and artistic you were as a child. Nurture it, and give it time to reach your surface. Give in to the artist inside you. It is one of your passions and one that makes you happy as well as something that truly makes you, uniquely you.

Be an artist and go create things. Within you are the endless beautiful things that you can artistically create!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Reminders For Amber #24 - Be Inspired

Dear Amber, what is the point of living when you do not at least try to do something remarkable with your life and the time that is given to you? So find the things that inspire you and makes you feel alive and go ahead do them. Your life is your message to the world, so make sure you leave something inspiring.

Meet people who have done great things and be inspired by their stories. Listen to inspirational songs, quotes, even jokes that will keep you going when life hits rough patches. Travel to stimulating places, reflect on brilliant concepts, and commune with enthusiastic people. Read inspiring books.  

Find inspiration from the mundane and simple things.  Find your passion and be inspired by it.  Who knows, you just might be inspiring others, with you living your life, and keeping inspired despite all odds.

Reminders For Amber #23 - Be Alive!

There is a difference between just breathing and truly living, Amber Declan. I wish that in your lifetime, you will truly live.

Suck that proverbial marrow out of life and experience each moment to the fullest. Since we only get one chance at living, be sure to do your living well. Take it the furthest, the highest, and the deepest that you can.

We often worry about how we are living that we forget to really and truly be alive. So when you are bogged down with life’s worries, stop and appreciate that you are still alive. Then go ahead and truly live.

Reminders For Amber #22 - Be Beautiful

My darling daughter, as you grow into the woman you are supposed to be, remember that you were born already equipped with the beauty that will bloom from within. By being yourself, you put something beautiful into this world that was not there before.

So remember that true beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin and that happy people are often the prettiest because their glow and smiles shine from deep within.

Make-up will not make you beautiful. Neither will the latest fashion. True beauty is who you are, what you say, how you do things, and how you treat people. Your thoughts, your words, your deeds, the essence of who you are, these are what makes you truly beautiful.

Do not hide your beauty. Let it shine. Wear your red lipstick with your best smile.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Reminders For Amber #21 - Be Strong

Dear Amber, you are given this life because you are strong enough to live it. So live well and be strong.

Remember that strength does not come from winning. It is the many struggles and tests that you go through in life which develop your own strength and make you into a strong person. And know that only from mastering your own weaknesses will you become truly strong.

When you go through hardships knowing you may fail and yet, decide to face them head on anyway, then my dear, THAT is strength.

So go and be that strong girl who makes it through life’s many trials. Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.

Tough situations build tough people. True strength is being able to keep everything together, when everyone else expects things to fall apart. Find your inner strength and use it. Fortify your mind, your heart, your emotions, your spirit so you are able to face anything and everything that comes your way with courage.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Reminders For Amber #20 - Be Resilient

Often in life, we get blocked and we make mistakes that make us want to just drop the towel, give in or give up the fight. Life taunts us to quit. What we mostly forget is that success comes to those who persevere. It rewards those who are stubborn enough to keep fighting and those who are resilient enough to keep on going.

So keep on. When you fall, cry for the hurt you’ve just been death with; mourn your losses; lick your wounds. But get up, keep going and keep fighting.

The greatest triumphs in life lies in falling and then, being able to rise up again. Over and over again. Resilience is knowing that you are the only one who has the power and the responsibility to pick yourself up. Resilience is not how high you have climbed but how far you have bounced back after life’s many setbacks.

Reminders For Amber #19 - Be Honest

It is sometimes difficult to tell what you really feel because you may not want to hurt other people’s feelings. There is a tack and a certain skill involved with being able to tell the truth. You can be truthful without being brutal. People will be able to tell a liar from an honest person, so always be honest. They say, “The Truth Shall Set You Free.” And that is always the case.

Lies beget more lies.  Indeed, it is simpler to tell the truth.  People who love you will appreciate and understand while those who only mean you harm will never listen, or believe anyway.  Still, keep to what is true and never lie even to save someone’s heart from breaking.  Your truths are as important as anyone else’s.  Speak truthfully always.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reminders For Amber #18 - Be Successful

Dear Amber, as you go through life, work towards progress and always strive for success.  When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will surely be successful.   Dream dreams, make goals, and do whatever it takes to make them real.  Achieve!

Success is not the key to happiness but happiness is definitely key to success.  If you are happy and love what you do, surely you will be successful.  Have your heart in what you do and do it with all your heart.  Live your life towards goals and measure yourself on how far you've come to achieve them.  Stay focused on your goals and always stay positive.  Believe that you can and will make them come true.

A truly successful person is one who can build a beautiful and strong foundation out of the rocks and bricks that others have thrown at him.  Turn your failures into lessons and hurdles into challenges to do better, to try again, to work harder and to triumph over anything life throws your way.

No one will hand success to you, you must go and find it yourself.  So live well and succeed!  Conquer the world, conquer yourself.  Be your own master.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reminders For Amber #17 - Be Responsible

Amber dear, as I try to remind you of things that will matter in life, I hope that you realise that these are just guidelines, merely reminders.  I cannot guarantee you a smooth, happy life.  I cannot secure for you a bright future.  I would if I could but life is just too unpredictable for anything.

But I can instill in your young person, the ability to be responsible for yourself.  I can help you grow up to be a responsible individual.  I can already see that in how you take charge with your studies, how you organise your time and how you handle the consequences of your actions.  I can see how your are growing to be a responsible and capable young lady!

Keep at it, and never fear taking on responsibilities.  This will continue to hone you to be the best you can be.  Just remember that you are always responsible for how you act despite how you may feel.  Be responsible for your words, thoughts and actions.  Know your rights; see the bigger picture; be accountable.  Your life is ultimately your own responsibility.

Reminders For Amber #16 - Be Healthy

Darling Amber, you've always been conscious of how you look and as you get older I can see that you are worried about it more.  My reminder is that you stay and keep yourself healthy.

It doesn't matter if you are curvier than most, you are a real person!  If doesn't matter about how straight your hair grows or how fair your skin should be.  In fact, I am proud that you are proud of your skin tone.  Brown is beautiful!

What really matters is that you feel strong and good and healthy inside.  If you are truly well on the inside, this will be reflected on the outside.  Your inner wellness will shine through and make you glow.

Keep happy and healthy thoughts.  Nurture good and positive feelings.  Exercise when you can, eat what you like but in moderation; drink as many as you can hold!

Insist on good habits and stay as healthy as you can be!  Life will be so much more enjoyable if you are able to keep up with it.  Live life well!

Reminders For Amber #15 - Be Respectful

Showing respect and paying others respect is what I've always tried to teach and remind you because it mirrors how and what you are as a person.  No matter how high you get, never forget to respect people - be they your family, strangers, bosses, friends, etc.

Without respect, everything falls apart.  The many conflicts that occur in our day have sprung from those who've forgotten to respect others; they who no longer respect life, or peace.  Without respect, we will fall into chaos and war.

Respect enables you to be more compassionate, more tolerant, more understanding of others, not just people but, of all God's creations. Respect is part of the Golden Rule.

Being respectful is key to becoming the best person you can be.  Respect yourself so that others will respect you.  Give respect to earn respect.  When you have mastered this, you will truly be happy, at peace and full of love.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Reminders For Amber #14 - Be Brilliant

Since none of us are really able to choose when or how we die, we should all just focus on how we live.  You should live brilliantly, Amber.  Shine bright!  Live your life in full, brilliant colours.

Try and triumph over your trials.  Yes, many try but forget the UMPH! Whatever job you will have, or role you will play, do it well and with a lot of umph.

Disregard the naysayers, keep away from the negative ones, the doubtfuls and avoid the pessimists who know nothing but complain and whine and bring everyone down along with them.  When they try to burn your light out, just take their negative energy and burn it so you shine even brighter.  Clouds may block out the sun but that doesn't keep it from shining.

Shine with all you have and share your light with others.  My go-to quote for being a bright, shining light is from Roald Dahl who wrote, "If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."  Keep shining!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Reminders for Amber #13 - Be Original

You were born unique.  Your hand prints tell you so.  You may look like someone else but even twins have so many things that differentiate one from the other.  So know that there is no one quite like you.  You are an original.  Stay original.

Your thoughts, your feelings, your ideas are your own.  True, they may be influenced by others.  Yes, these too may coincide or agree with many others. But each one is uniquely yours.  Celebrate your individuality and accept the variety of others and your differences with them.  Find similarities and jive but never forget who you are.

Never lose your specialness.  Remain original.

Reminders For Amber #12 - Be Humourous, Be Funny

"A day without laughter is a day wasted," says iconic comedian Charlie Chaplin.  So always fill your days with laughter.  Never let a day go by where you didn't at least smile.  Better yet, find humor in your troubles and learn to laugh at your self.  You are never too high and mighty to be unable to make mistakes, so instead of throwing a tantrum, laugh.  Never think too highly or yourself, or take your self too seriously, that you've forgotten to laugh at your own mistakes, and find joy in life's simplest things.

When your ego gets hurt, make a funny face and laugh at your own folly.  Being funny keeps you from feeling stressed or depressed.  Laughter is like a soothing massage that gives you positive energy, that helps you relax and makes you see the bright side of things.

Life is dull without humor.  Humor can make life's wonderful moments truly splendid, and the worst moments at least bearable.  If you can laugh at it, you can survive it.

Laughter is also contagious and costs nothing to share. So be funny, laugh and enjoy life.

Reminders For Amber #11 - Be Full of Hope

Never lose hope.  Never.

In life, you will be tested and sometimes you will be down and beaten.  But get up and never lose hope because whatever it is that you are suffering from at that very moment, that too shall pass.  Things change.  Things end.  When you have nothing left but you still have hope, you have everything you need.

If you are full of hope, you do not fall into despair.  You give life one more shot because you know that if you are well and truly down in the gutters, there is no other way to go but up.

It is darkest before dawn but a new day always comes.  Hope should spring eternal in your being.  Hope will bring you through the toughest storms and the most terrible of loses.  To hope is to know that life will go on.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Reminders For Amber #10 - Be Willing to Try

They say that the difference between winners and losers is that winners were willing to give it one more try.

Many also say that you've never truly lived, unless you have at least given something a try.

Grab a spoon and taste that weird cuisine.  Sample that beverage. Give that dance move a try.  Read a different kind of book, visit a different place.  Listen to some new beat.  Watch a new show.  Meet someone new.

We are often caught in our own comfort zones that we fear new things.  But don't.  Instead, try to do everything at least once.  Make a bucket list and achieve it.  Take as many chances and just keep trying.

With each try and each new thing you've tried, in each experience, you are feeding your soul, enhancing your spirit, helping your inner self...evolve.  Just try and let yourself develop, learn, and grow.  Keep trying.  Keep living!

Reminder For Amber #9 - Be Willing To Change

There is nothing constant in this world, or in our life.  Everything changes. Everything.  If you keep holding on to what things were, you will never be able to experience what could be.  If you refuse to change your own self, you would not be able to grow into the person that you could be.

Accept that changes are a given.  Friends will leave you, you will leave favorite places, even best friends.  Life can switch gears and suddenly you are in a different place, with new people, doing new things.  Be open to these changes, even welcome them, for that is the only path for you to grow.  That is the only path in life.

Change is the essence of life.  Just like a caterpillar that changes into a butterfly, or a tadpole to a frog, you will grow and you will change (and I hope as blooming like a butterfly and not warty as a frog! hahaha).  Have a plan B, C and even X or Z to prepare for the many changes you will face in life.  Yes, you may be able to plan for everything but accepting that life can change at any moment is the first step to getting you ready for any possibility.

What you learn increases, your opinions change, your social circle will grow (or decrease relative to how friendly you will be!), your friends will change, you will and should make new ones.  Your choice in food, clothes, music will change too. So, be open to new ideas, new people, new experiences.  Live up to life's many changes.

Reminders For Amber #8 - Be At Peace

Stress and the many problems you encounter in your day drives you towards frustration, even anger.  Finding the peace within you to stay calm and composed in the midst of all these is difficult but learning to tame your demons inside will be so much more rewarding for yourself and in your relationship with others.

Friedrich Nietzsche says, "To learn to see- to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts." 

The calm individual is not only the more intelligent person but also the more at peace and thus the happier being.

Never be hasty to react, to judge others, to speak - weigh your truths and contemplate before you take action.  Keep your peace, stay calm and tranquil because nothing gives you more advantage over others than remaining cool and unruffled under any circumstances.  Age tempers you, experiences  helps you but to learn calmness from a young age will only benefit you more.   True beauty comes hand in hand with a gracious temper and calmness of spirit.  Peace is Power.  Peaceful is beautiful.

Reminders for Amber #7 - Be Happy

You cannot make everyone happy.  It is futile to even try.  But there is one person whom you definitely can!  It's you!  Be happy, stay happy and inspire happiness in others.  You cannot please everyone but if you are happy, you've already won.

Surround your self with people who bring you joy.  Be with people who laugh with you.  Share your joys and laughter with them.

Find things to do that truly make you happy.  Do those things as often as you can.  Whether it be singing, playing your guitar, doodling, reading a good book, cooking and eating, or simply sitting down and chatting with friends, sharing a nice warm drink (OK maybe a cool one if it's in hot weather).

Laugh when you can as often as you can.  Choose to be happy. Live a life full of joy so that when others look at you, they will be happy too.  Smile, skippity-hop, laugh out loud.  Happiness is contagious.  Spread this "virus".

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Reminders For Amber #6 - Be Forgiving

Imagine a life devoid of forgiveness.  It would be a constant battle of revenge and retaliation.  It would be a life without peace, or rest, or joy.  It would be not worth living.

People will hurt you, and in turn, you will say words or do things that could hurt others.  But what keeps you going is the love and forgiveness that you give and get.  It is not easy to forgive.  It takes even greater courage to admit what you did wrong and ask for forgiveness.  But you will become a better person for it. Forgiving is not for the weak.  But you must do this to be able to move on and have peace in your life.

When you hold grudges, you imprison yourself in pain and suffering.  When you forgive, you free yourself and allow yourself to grow.  Learn from the bad things that happened in your past but let go of the bad feelings to move forward in your future.

Forgive others but also, learn first and foremost to forgive yourself.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Reminders For Amber #5 - Be Compassionate

The Dalai Lama has been quoted to say that, "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity will not survive."  Always show compassion for others.  Treat people the way you want to be treated.  Practice the golden rule of "doing unto others, what you would want others to do unto you."

Wish everyone well and help those who are not, in whatever way you can, be it small or great.  No matter how hard or bitter life becomes, find the means to always be kind.  Simple acts of listening, caring or simply just being there for someone can make a huge difference in their lives, and also in yours.

Know that compassion and tolerance are not signs of weakness but of great strength.  Having a soft heart in a hard world means you are braver than most, indeed courageous.

Reminders For Amber #4 - Be Humble

You are awesome.  You are magnificent.  You are beautiful and you are great.  You know that.  You should always remember that.  But you do not have to act like a diva or brag about your talents or what you know or act like a snotty, uptight, condescending witch.  Nobody likes a braggart.  You yourself hate people who are too hoity-toity.

So try to stay humble no matter how high you've gone.  Stay rooted by remembering where you came from.  Treat people the same way regardless of their status is life.

Do not feed your ego to the point that it will devour who you are.  Stay true to who you are, stay humble when you are in the spotlight.

Reminders for Amber #3 - Be Brave

You know that saying, "What doesn't kill you makes your stronger." Well if you face your fears, you become stronger and better each time.  No matter how little or insignificant you think your particular fear is; face it.  No matter how huge or insurmountable you think your fear is; face it.  The only way to solve any problem is to face it head on.  Take the proverbial bull by its horns.  Own up to your mistakes, admit your faults and make up for whatever wrong that you have done.

Often we fear what we do not know.  So get to know your own monsters and learn to live with them.  Wear your brave boots to fight them.  As your mom, I will try to help you as much as I can but our own demons we have to face alone. Be brave enough to conquer them.

Reminders For Amber #2 - Be Positive

Be positive.

No matter what happens in your life, in your day, in every moment that you live, look to the bright side.  Find the silver lining which may be difficult when you are feeling really down but keep trying to see the good and the positive in anything and everything.

This is key to your survival.  This is a choice you must make in order to sink or swim in life.  But I do hope that you swim because sinking is just not an option. Find that (optimism) within you, your protons (hahaha!) and charge your self with positive energy.

Old folks believe that good vibes attract good things and that's not bad at all.  Cheer up!  Stay positive!  Live a good life.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Reminders for Amber #1 - Be Confident

This month until the next few days, I'd like to start an uplifting photo blog featuring personal photos with positive quotes for my almost a teenager daughter, Amber.  I'm calling this series, "Reminders for Amber."  Stuff that hopefully will help, guide, encourage her and others who may find comfort, strength, joy, whatever in these positive quotes and photos.

The first one is below.  Self confidence is the best outfit.  Rock it!  Own it!  Dearest Amber, you are capable of being great and the possibilities are endless.  This year, you will be a true-blue teenager and with that, I wish you Self confidence in times of doubt.  When you feel shy or know fear in whatever situation, remember to look within and find your core.  There you are pure. There you are strong.  There you are whoever you want to be.  Rock it!  Own it!