Rainbow Pegasus by Sofia Naznim

Rainbow Pegasus by Sofia Naznim

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Do you love yourself? Do you appreciate your existence? If yes, how big is your love towards yourself? If you never thought of this, it probably sounds new to you. If you know well about loving yourself, I would love to know your point of view on loving yourself better. 

Anyways, knowing and not knowing is both beautiful because knowing means you can learn more and not knowing you can learn new things, and there’s nothing wrong about that. Sometimes in life, we have to learn to unlearn and relearn. Most importantly, we open our mind to learn new and different things. :)

From personal studies and collective of personal and others experiences, it is vital to love yourself if you have not, and love yourself even more if you already did. How? Here are 3 tips to cultivate self-love in your life. ;)

♥ Get to know the real you
One of the hardest things in life is to actually really understand ourselves. Yes, that’s true. Sometimes we think we know ourselves, but there are many things they we couldn’t notice with the help of others giving us feedback. 

Prior asking others to give you feedback, you need to understand yourself first. Who you really are? What kind of person are you. What values do you hold onto. Your character, your likings, what you don’t like, your principles, strengths and weaknesses. Are you a left-brained or right brained or both. Are you the same person at home and at the office. Are you the introvert or extrovert type. How social and reserved you are. 

There are plenty of other points to note but these are some of the important ones. In short, analyze yourself, understand the real you, in and out. It would be beneficial for you if you jot them down, especially your strengths and weaknesses as these points can help you understand yourself even better in life and also in your career.

♥ Understand the JOHARI window
I have learned this technique back in my school days when I was in the Peer Counseling Club. We had many events and facilitating other students and that was one of my best experiences in life. I enjoyed this facilitating and motivating kind of thing and I kept that close in my life, till this very day, and hope to do more in future. 

This JOHARI window is a famous technique used by many psychologists, self-help groups and corporate motivational talks around the world to help people to understand their relationship with themselves and others.

JOHARI window

ღ The Open or Arena quadrant in the table below is the part where ourselves and others know or can see. For example, I know that I love writing and other people re also aware that I love writing too.

ღ The Hidden or Façade quadrant represents what you know about ourselves but others don’t know. Depends on the person to disclose the information or keep it secret as it is. For example, no example, cuz it’s a secret. :P The key is, you don’t want other people to know because it’s your privacy.

ღ The Blind Spot quadrant is other people can see but you are not aware of the aspects. This is a point where it’s good to ask other people for feedback and constructive criticism for areas of improvement, if any. It is a great way to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses that you might miss, overlooked or overconfident in thinking that you’re actually good on certain things but you’re not as good as you think. 

To illustrate, I might think I’m a great singer (which I totally know I’m not, my voice is so Shizuka/Doraemon), but I’m not. Or, people might see I’m a good cook, but I don’t know that I actually can cook well. Be open and accept feedback as from there you can grow and learn things that you don’t know. Find the right people to ask, take it easy and improve.

ღ The Unknown quadrant is that you don’t know and others don’t know too. God knows. This is the most mysterious area that the unconscious and subconscious part of us and others are not aware and can’t be seen. Example, I don’t know that I’m a fierce person and others don’t know as well. This is not me, but who knows if it is. ~ Example :P

Hope you can grasp this JOHARI Window technique from my explanation above.

♥ Embrace the real you and be grateful for who you are today
Once you try to get to know the real you and also understand the JOHARI Window quadrants and apply these in your life, you will eventually learn how to embrace yourself completely. It’s vitally important to love yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. In Bahasa Malaysia, we called this as teori motivasi JERI (Jasmani, Emosi, Rohani, Intelektual) or I called them as PESI motivational theory. 

If you can master these techniques, you will find your inner peace and satisfaction in life. Not for anyone, but for yourselves. Make friends with yourself, then you can make better friends with others. Be grateful for knowing and understanding the real you, you will find inner happiness. 

Inner beauty is important (a good heart – kindness) if you are able to get this right, no matter how you look, you will look pleasant and you will make other people feel pleasant to deal with you. Of course, you have to know your limits and when to be firm and strict when times needed you to be one, but don’t harm people. It is subjective your good and my good, your bad and my bad, just don’t harm, don't be a vicious person and ruin’s the life of others, in short.

To conclude, it is normal for some of us are not aware of cultivating self-love in our life. Some, might care less. No problem, it’s never too late to realize something that can benefit us in the long run. 

I do think it’s important because in the times of hardship and sorrow, you know how to get back up on your feet and know your principles when people bullied or try to screw with your life. Know yourself better than anyone, because sometimes you have to make difficult choices in life and sometimes the only person you can rely on is yourselves. 

You know yourself better than anyone else does, but sometimes it’s also good to understand other peoples’ views as well. Remember, the JOHARI window concept. Probably we know, but others may see better on the things we can't see. 

Understand that we are not perfect and will never be. All we can do is try to be better than we were yesterday. If you can help others, do so. Most importantly, help yourself first and hopefully one day you can help others as well. One step at a time, you will eventually reach what you aimed for.

Love yourself deeply so no one can break you no matter how cruel life can be. :)


Friday, February 17, 2017

Hi everyone,

Is there any of you out there who are doing voluntary efforts to help those in need? Or is there any of you that is reading this article interested to do so? I am looking forward to gather more friends and volunteers who have the heart and time to contribute towards betterment - the life of another being, not necessarily humans.

I know that many of us have the trouble to find the time and money to contribute towards such effort. I was there previously, thinking about when can I actually help someone if I can't even sometime help myself to find time and save money. However, every time I see the news about underprivileged people, seeing the stray animals near my house, down the streets and watching homeless people try to get shelter and food really hit me hard.

Since I was a kid, I always love animals and people. I will try my best to treat people or animals as nicely as I could. If I saw beggars, I will usually give them, not all the time, but sometimes, and I treat them with food and drink instead of money. There are many sad stories that they have shared with me and it makes me realize a lot of things in life.

After I got married to my husband, we make an effort to provide food and drinks to the homeless in Central Market, Kuala Lumpur. There are many homeless and hungry individuals there that really need food. Unfortunately, we couldn't do it every week due to our tight schedule. We try our best to make it monthly.

However, nowadays, there are not that many homeless at Central Market because there is major renovation happening around the area. We try to continue our efforts in other KL city areas that have homeless people.

There are many other groups that are also making this effort to help the homeless and the hungry and you can find them mostly in social media platforms. I love their spirit as they get together and make it big.

For us, we started small as partners, and now we have beautiful, kind hearted people who contribute money and sometimes effort to help us to help the poor ones. Here are some efforts that we put in place and we hope to have as many volunteers join in together to help these communities.

1) Feed the homeless and hungry
2) Feed and pat the stray dogs
3) Feed and pat the stray cats

1) Feed the homeless and hungry

We do not constrain ourselves from giving food and drinks only to the homeless. After our first experience of giving food to a group of homeless, we learnt that there are many individuals that does not look like a homeless person, but they are totally hungry and thirsty, food is all they need.

We avoid judging, we understand that some might just lose their job, no place to stay, just lose their family, encounter with financial problems, got sick, mental problems, divorce, lost, drunk, drugged, or simply hungry. If someone comes to you and ask for food, it means that person really need that food. It's not about free, it's about they need to fill their empty stomach, or they want to give to someone or some animals that in need of food.

2) Feed and pat the stray dogs

I would like to emphasize on the species, dogs. Yes, I'm a dog lover, besides being a cat lover. I love dogs since I was a kid, although I used to have one bad experience with a crazy dog when I was little. I ran from the dog and phewwwhh, luckily I survived.

Every time I see a dog, I always get excited, especially if I see a friendly one. I'm sure you know there are so many stray dogs out there. Not everyone can deal or like strays. Some people are afraid of them. But do you know that not all of them are fierce? Do you know that those strays that are fierce is because they feel afraid of humans? They feel that way because they are traumatized just like how a human being would feel and react if they have been bullied or treated badly. It's the same experience - feeling.

My advice is don't feel afraid until you are not willing to help a needy dog when they needed the most. It's alright to take precautionary steps to ensure that you are not getting bitten or infected by a wounded dog by wearing protective gloves/attire or just be extra careful. It's always great to give them food, especially bones if you can find them. They love it. And if you can see, not just to feed them, but they are some dogs that you can actually pat them (just see if there are the friendly ones) and they love every single stroke you give them.

These stray dogs and animals do not just want food, they want to feel love. Best, if you can take them home and take good care of them. If you don't, there will be bad parties who will do bad things to them, worse, kill. Really devastated.

Only take them home if you can really look after them. Do justice to them and yourself. Don’t take them for a while and throw them away when suddenly you realized that you actually are not able to care for them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong to care for a dog or dogs. All religions teach to do good to others. Know what you are doing and just do what is right.

3) Feed and pat the stray cats

It’s the same as the stray dogs, they need food and water, and TLC (tender, loving, care). Animals are just like humans, wanted to be loved and sometimes they show their love in the most unique manner. If you can, adopt cats that are at the animal shelters or the strays.

Please don’t buy them at pet shops, unless you can do both. There’s many sad stories at the animal shelters. One of the saddest is when an animal is not managed to get adopted, they have to put the animal to sleep because they have to make room to those new strays that need shelters. Same goes to the stray dogs. It’s very sad because although they are trying to help the best that they can, but the numbers are too huge for them to cater for each animal.

Millions of cats and dogs are killed each year because the shelters are too full. That’s the reason why it’s advisable to spay the strays that you come across and your pets too. It is sad, but it is even worse to let them breed as their generation will be homeless, bullied and killed.

Why I wrote this article is to briefly introduce you the world of homelessness and strays. I myself need to do more although sometimes I feel bad because I struggle to do more because of lack of time. Perhaps, most of us would feel the same way, due to time, we don’t have time to do this – giving back to others.

All I can say is try. Try to go out there and experience to give a bread to a homeless. Feel it yourself, how to give people the things that they need – food, water, blanket, clothes, vital items, etc. When a cat or a dog comes to you, instead of shooing it away or beat or scold, why don’t buy them a fish or food that they can eat, and give it to them.

Once you are ready, buy cat and dog food and keep them in your car and your house. Every time if there are strays, give them enough, so that they won’t feel so hungry. Give them clean water too. It will be quite hard at first, because it’s not something that you used to do. Once it’s your routine, it will be easier and you will be enjoying doing it.

When you are really ready, do something bigger. It takes time to do all this. It takes dedication and you need to be committed. It does involve money, time, emotional feelings, people can also unnecessary misjudge you, but you just do it slowly and wholeheartedly. If you have the money, if you don’t have time, find people that can help you to do it for you on your behalf. That also works and great. As long as you want to help what you can, that’s good.

I have learned from the homeless, poor and the strays. I also have learned from the rich. I hope we can learn more from everyone for us to understand better the world we live in and how we can make better certain things that we think is good for us and others. I know you have also your experiences. If you can share yours. I’m happy to know more and learn from you too.

Thank you for reading my article. I do hope anyone that is reading this article can help a soul today or do anything good to the environment and the world. Start with yourself, then you will eventually want to do more and more. It will be a habit. A good one.

Share your stories, experiences to inspire more hearts to do more today and tomorrow for a better us.
You can share your thoughts and interest in joining us to do more at snaznim@gmail.com

A kinder you and me. J

Lots of love,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

When you love someone wholeheartedly, every day is a Valentine’s Day.

I had this wonderful, funny moment today when I saw this uncle carrying bouquet of flowers and got a beautiful box on his left hand. I was thinking, “Oh yeah, it must be the Valentine’s presents”. His hand was full and he was looking for someone to help him.

Right on time, I’m just about to step into my office, and he asked me, “do you know who is this?” It strikes me immediately as I saw my name on the paper he showed. There was my friend there laughing and saying, “It’s you!” and I was like “Is this real”. The uncle gave the beautiful box to me and asked me to sign the paper as proof of receiving the item. My friend helped to hold the box for a while as my hand was full of bags during the moment. She passed the box to me and I bring the box to my place, blushing and wondering.

Many things were running through my head. One of my good colleague and friend, Kak Jo was making me blush even more when she starts to tease me. I was like is this from my husband, and still wondering. There was a card on top of the box. I opened it and oh yes, it’s my husband. It was a great surprise because it’s my first time getting a gift at the office by delivery. Usually he surprised me with gifts face to face. This time, it’s different and I love it, as always. ;)

The words from my husband was beautiful, as always. Just like he said, there’s no words can describe such feeling and I have to agree to that. No matter how well I write my feelings towards him, it’s always more than that. 

The box is beautiful. I texted my husband and tell him how grateful I am. I thought of opening the present with him but he asked me to open it first. I untie the ribbon. There was this knot that is quite hard to untie. It took me 5 minutes to untie it but it’s worth the wait rather than cutting it. If you know me well, I always unbox any presents delicately and kept them well. Don’t know why, but I don’t like to tear things unless I really need to. To me every gifts is meaningful even how small the gift is. The thought that counts.

Once I manage to open the box, I smiled, he knows me very well, for sure. There’s this cute bear with fresh roses next to the bear and all well positioned in the box. Super cute and beautiful. Most of my friends that drop by to my table tease me like God knows. Kak Aira is the funniest. Tease me like crazy. Lol. Above all, they wish us well and thanks for that. :)

Thank you so much hubby. I like your wittiness and being unpredictable at times. You totally surprised me, my loyal secret admirer. :P

All I can say is every day is a Valentine’s Day when you truly love someone. Always appreciate their existence every day and show your love towards them in many ways. Not necessarily gifts, but the act of love, even the slightest. 

Genuinely show that you care and really do it, means a lot to a woman, especially after you got married to someone and also after having kids. It should be a continuous process. Dedicated and passionate for your partner and  eventually it builds a better you.

Sparks of love shouldn’t die after you got married and have kids. Ignite your spark of love daily, and to achieve this, it involves both parties to make it true. Having an understanding partner that support you always is important. Most importantly, communication. Occasionally, giving thoughtful gifts is good to make someone extra happy.

The greatest gifts in life and love is time. Value your time with your loved ones. In the end, that matters the most. My love, you know the best. I wish us all the goodness in life. May our love remains the same. Spark, spark, spark. :D

I wish all the couples out there everlasting love and all the singles, love yourself best and if one day you meet someone, I wish you all the love in the world. J

Pure seed, thanks for the wonderful arrangements, it’s beautiful. Hubby thanks for choosing them, I love the name already. Pure seed, as pure as our seed of love. (I just invented a tagline) :P

To everyone, happy celebrating one of the love days, and here's to celebrate the coming days like it’s the Valentine’s day. 

Lovey dovey,

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