“You have to be burning with an idea or a problem or a wrong that you want to right.” —Steve Jobs
N o matter what victories, setbacks or heartaches come our way, it is important to always remember that at the end of everything, life flows on. While we may sometimes be overcome by feelings of what was or what could be, the choice to cling to loss disrupts the positive growth of our purpose here on earth. Dwelling on what we don’t have only poisons our spirits, and it takes a conscious realigning of our minds to abide by the natural course of the universe. The challenge then lies in finding comfort within the uncertainty of change.
For me, it’s been a constant battle to embrace change—especially when change can so often come unexpectedly, and is at times unwelcome. With all of the unanswered questions and shattered expectations, change has the capacity to bring about boatloads of stress and anxiety.
However, by learning to let go of the things I can’t control, and instead trusting in God and in the universe, I was able to shift my views on change towards a more positive light. As soon as I was able to find the silver linings hidden among the heavy storm clouds, I also found that the changes in my life had actually made way for bigger and brighter blessings.
While I may not have foreseen my trees being burned down to the ground, the ashes from all that pain had seeped into the soil and nourished it with vital nutrients, and now my regenerated forests grow more beautiful, lush and stronger than ever.
Ambiguity is uncomfortable for most, but it is also something that can be managed. Separate into lists what you can and cannot control. For the things you can control, write down the steps you need to take in order to reach your idealized life.
When you step into the unknown, listen to your heart and trust in yourself and in your power. As for the things you cannot control, learn to let go and let God. It is the only way away from the anxious pull of negative thoughts. Focus on the positive outcomes: new doors could open, new friendships could flourish and new relationships could blossom.
Of shamans and art
Last year, my drastic shift happened during the healing vacation I took to the States with my soul sister Vina Francisco. Vina arranged a visit to a shaman in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A shaman is a spiritual healer who clears all negative blockages and trauma.
We saw Concha Garcia Allen, a senior member of her Mexican Indian tribe and also a trained psychologist and somatic healer. While the concept of a shaman is not exactly mainstream in this country because it delves into the mystical world of healing rather than the scientific one, I believe that in order to truly discover and heal our inner self, we must be willing to explore all kinds of different pathways. It was a life-altering healing session, especially as it was on the same day as what would have been my 28th wedding anniversary.
So when I heard that international artist Jana Benitez was donating an art piece titled “Every Child a Shaman” to the live auction of The Pink Ball, I was so intrigued.
The very successful live auction had so many generous bidders. With my coauctioneer Tim Yap, we raised millions for breast cancer, and this is on top of funds from sponsors and table buyers. The rest of the auction items included La Mer Limited Edition Crème de La Mer 500 ml; a Vespa S125 in white from Motoitalia Philippines Inc.; an Omega Aqua Terra Watch, stainless steel with mother-of-pearl dial and 12 diamonds on the index from Lucerne Group of Companies; “Monster in Pink” sculpture by Distort Monsters from Globe Platinum X Distort Monsters; Jewelmer 10- to 12-millimeter pearl strand composed of 67 semi-baroque South Sea pearls; and a Paris bundle with round-trip business class tickets on Turkish Airlines and one-night stay at Shangri-La Hotel Paris for two.
After the awarding of Vina as the winning bidder of the painting of Jana, the ladies talked about the theme of the art piece. Jana said that she uses her painting as the potential tool for somatic reconciliation.
She said, “I recognize our body as a holistic refuge and encourage us to pay attention to our innate capacity for love and compassion. At a time of increasing social unrest and racism, how can we deal with the root of violence that embodies experience? I rediscovered the present moment and stillness that is always within reach. It takes practice to stay present in the rawness of pure feeling.”
Jana believes that her painting can “tend to the wound” inside all of us. She embraces every thought with every breath that comes with inspiration.
Pearl Lam Galleries (Pedder Building, Central, Hong Kong) is staging Jana’s solo exhibit until the end of October. Staying true to the artist’s intent, “Wild Silence” attempts to highlight an ever-present state, a perpetual fountain of life for the audience to experience contentment and to let go of their own worldly attachments.
The Pink Ball with the Estée Lauder team was a monumental success! But for now, I would just like to acknowledge all the musical artists that shared their time and talent for free for this meaningful cause. Big thanks to our very special guest, Martin Nievera, who I asked the day before to sing a couple of songs.
My deepest gratitude to the other artists—Rony Fortich, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez, Arman Ferrer, Kayla Rivera, Kate Torralba, Gian Magdangal, Michael Guevarra (sax) and Merjohn Lagaya (violin). And for the after party, big thanks to The Plug, the resident band of Pardon My French.
With time and practice, change can feel less stressful and more rewarding. By sharpening our relationship skills, learning from therapy sessions, and grounding in meditation and prayer, overcoming the anxiety of uncertainty is actually possible. Even without the total big picture complete in our mind’s eye, even with things still up in the air, we can effectively handle risk and decide and act accordingly.
The difference between success and failure lies in our ability to deal with uncertainty. It does make life more exciting, too. Be willing to accept ambiguity and embrace change. INQ