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Category Archives: Dear Readers

How to live a simple life

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I really like waking up early, and for me early is 8am. I like mornings because the day is fresh, the air is cool, and my mind is peaceful and undisturbed enough to absorb what’s ahead.  This morning was spent reading a chapter on Simplicity in Peter Kreeft’s book ‘Making Choices’. I really love the idea of being simple, and try to embrace simplicity in my crafting– using eco-friendly materials and repurposing items around the house for my craft projects instead of buying things…

But we can always take another step in embracing simplicity. He shares a few tips of simple living which I really like. In fact, I’m feeling so charged up right now and all revved up to live even more simply ;D

Here’re just two suggestions:

Master time. Many of us live as if time is our master. We’re always just too busy for important things. Even though we have so many modern gadgets to help us, we still do not feel as if we have more time to do what we want. Kreeft says there’re 2 sorts of time, the big bad monster time, Chronos, which passes by with the ticking of the clock and the movement of the sun, the kind of time we are “swept away in”

and Kairos, time with “a human face”, the kind of “time we make and take” to do things. The important ones.

To be simple, make time! Don’t let time pass by you mindlessly. Stop and smell some flowers. Take walks. Grow your own vegetables!

Yesterday, I made time for painting in the park with a friend, and I felt so refreshed after that I came home and made time for housework. Kairos: Chronos –> 1:0

What are you going to make time for? Off my mind, I’m going to make time to visit the grandparents, more painting in parks, cook my own meals and exercise 😀

Another tip I’m liking is to be silent, inside… so you can listen to your heart, ask some important questions like, ‘is this really what I want?’ It helps to switch off the TV, your ipod, the computer…

which I’m going to do in 5 minutes! Tata! 😉

Childhood dreams

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I was sitting down with a blank paper, trying to brainstorm my perfect workspace and life.

And I found it hard. These days, I have felt the enthusiasm seep out of me, because I’ve been interacting with people who don’t value what is handmade, and feeling lonely because I want different things for my life and there’s no kindred spirit to share what it’s like trying to figure out how to generate some side income from my work.

Then I was reminded of my childhood, and a favourite diary from my childhood days where I would draw and write my big dreams as if I were in a magical world.

I was in a world where the 2 characters in my clock came to life at night…

and, where I was a famous artist…

I also was crazy (in a good way) to write letters to fairies and call for letter submissions in the magazine I wrote for an imaginary audience and sometimes a younger sister.

Actually, I was surprised to see that I wrote the artist dream down because although I’ve always liked crafting, I didn’t remember dreaming so big that I was a famous artist! It’s funny as well because my english was so bad that I couldn’t think of an adjective to put before ‘artist’. Since ‘artish’ didn’t work, I stuck with ‘famous’. And my signature was amusingly pretentious as well–notice how I had to write my name and add the end stroke separately?

As an adult, I’ve been made to think whether ideas are feasible, profitable, which is well and good. I need to do that. But oh, sometimes that can get in the way of big dreaming and once in a while, pulling out the diary of big dreams helps remind me of who I am and what I want.

I was so blessed to have two conversations yesterday with two friends who secretly for one and not so secretly for the other want different things in life too and it’s good to know I am not alone 🙂 But it’s sad to hear how they struggle and sometimes keep their dreams locked up, like I sometimes do because I don’t want to be dismissed as a crazy idealist :X

But what is crazy? I recently chanced upon this quote while researching on Rome…

‎’walking on water” is an entirely sensible thing to do. It’s staying in the boat, hanging tightly to our own sad little securities, that’s rather mad.’

(George Weigel, in this article)

OK, I need to mention it was said in a Catholic/Christian context. This is research on Rome afterall. But I feel it’s so true for us all! We all have dreams, but for one reason or another, we’re holding it inside us, afraid. Because of that, maybe some of us are not living the lives we are meant to live but what others and society want us to live.  The Disney fan in me has got to remind you that Mulan says, you have a duty to your heart.

What dreams do you have? Are you secretly a quite sane but considered crazy idealist too? 🙂

To lose is to gain

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This picture reminds me to look higher and beyond.

Hey folks,

Today, I’ve been having some deep thought moments.

What sparked my thinking? If you’re keen to find out, go check out this article. It talks about a signboard business owner (Clover Signs) being so generous, it provided links to its competitors! The author’s position is that although the potential customer may eventually  buy the competitor’s goods, the business owner gained itself an lifelong customer, a relationship of trust instead of a business deal, which eventually pays off in terms of more business.

What would have been going through the mind of the business owner? Maybe losing a customer would come to mind. And business owners fear that. Assuming it was something to be feared, then what made him take the leap of faith to put his business on the line?

Is it care? When businesses says the customer is always right, sometimes you wonder if it’s because the customer pays? But here, it is clear. The customer is top priority, not money. He wants the customer to have choices, and to pick the best choice. And as a result, people come back, because where else can you find people you can trust?

Putting yourself on the line is like dying inside. There are so many ‘What if’s. There is the understandable fear of…failure. Yet, it is only through ‘dying’, through taking the risk, that you can succeed.

Investors know it. They take big risks to generate high profits. Jesus knows it. He says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24). Same thing. You want to succeed? You gotta lose. You have to think of the higher purpose and lose out on the non-essentials. Clover Signs decided its higher purpose was gaining trust, and the non-essential was money. Result? A successful business.

But we face another ‘What If’. What if you decide to lose out on the smaller things, but you don’t succeed in the bigger things? That’s possible, isn’t it? Perhaps we need to add a disclaimer. Let’s look at the investor. Obviously, he should take a big risk to generate high profit. But investors don’t just take risks impulsively. They research the market, they evaluate. The idea here is that you can lose but please don’t lose your brain. How about Jesus? Notice that his quote says whoever loses his life FOR ME will save it. Again, a higher wisdom is needed here, a higher wisdom that says God is more important than anything else.

I need to remind myself to be generous with all of you 🙂 There is a higher purpose that Whimsybeams has. It is, at the core of it, to change a little part of the world, to take a breather from a mass-produced dominated world. Personally, it is my attempt to break apart from living a life dictated for me, a life which is good and easy and very much the path of less resistance but does not inspire me, to carve a little space ‘somewhere over the rainbow’.

*This is the first in a series of letters, where I take the opportunity to post on other things close to my heart apart from crafts and nature. Feel free to reply! It IS a letter 😀