CHAPTER FOUR -‐-‐ Searching for Answers
LESSONS IN LAUGHTER
The last time I laughed so hard it hurt I was in Jamaica on the Kingston 2 Kingston Mission Trip. We were asked to make skits on self-‐esteem and present them to middle school kids the following day. My friends Katie, Noel and Fred were in one group, and they made a skit about Fred getting bullied for having bright orange backpack, but eventually learning to love himself for his unique sense of style. The skit was so ridiculous it was hilarious!! Even our teacher supervisor Mrs. Hawkins-‐Hogan couldn’t take the skit seriously. We laughed so hard we could barely speak, and we all had tears in our eyes! When we tried to explain to the other groups what was so funny, nobody could understand why we found the situation so hysterical. You had to be right there in the moment to experience the cause behind our laughter. It was definitely a moment where I connected with some of my fellow mission trip members on a level which only we could comprehend. This moment taught me that true happiness can be found in the smallest of things, like a laughing fit with a group of friends.
SYMBOL OF SOLICITUDE
My dad passed away when I was in grade six, but before he died, he gave me a gold necklace which he bought from Cyrpus when he was on a peace-‐keeping tour there before I was born. Even though he hadn’t had me yet when he bought the necklace, he bought it purposely for the son or daughter he would have one day. This is the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received because I feel so lucky to have had a dad who thought of me even before I was born. Now, it’s a remembrance I have of him and his thoughtful nature. I hope to inherit this wonderful quality of his.
Me wearing the necklace my dad gave me.
FINDING RELIGION IN REMEMBRANCES
These two memories are absolutely some of my most cherished moments. They are special times in my life because they made me feel blessed to have such amazing people surrounding me. I have learned so much from my fellow missionaries and my dad. They are such amazing people; I can’t help but become inspired by their joyfulness and compassion. The feeling of being blessed made me connect to something bigger-‐ God. These moments and these people came directly from Him, and I feel like He put them in my life to help me grow as a person.
-‐-‐Make a scrapbook and include photos from special family moments, to look back and cherish special memories together -‐-‐Shopping for birthday gifts, focus buying something with sentimental value-‐ not material value -‐-‐Tell a joke to a friend the next time they’re having a bad day—laughter is contagious!
Laughter is the best medicine!
Mom preferred the homemade cake I baked her to a store-bought cake with no sentimental value.
CHAPTER FIVE -‐-‐ Your Philosophy Takes Shape
WHAT MATTERS TO ME
What means the most to me in life is having a strong sense of self. Having a sound mind, body and soul allows me to live my life happily. When I’m happy, I feel like my true self, and I can socialize well with others and make them happy too. I am a very social person, and I can only be at peace when all is well with my loved ones. If my friends and family are going through a hard time, I can’t relax. I feel anxious, and I feel the need to do something to make sure all is well in their lives. The happiness of my loved ones is pivotal to me. PRIORITIES OF MY WEEK -‐ At work singing Friends and family à being a loyal to a guest for support system for my loved ones his birthday! -‐Myself à thinking positively, eating healthy, exercising -‐Academics à doing all my schoolwork to the best of my abilities -‐My job à enhancing guest’s experiences as a hostess at Jack Astor’s -‐My yoga practice à finding time to meditate and reflect on my life Running -‐Respecting the environment à eco-‐friendly keeps me practices fit and healthy
My wonderful family!
Canoeing much more eco-friendly than driving a motorboat!
MY ROLE MODELS God-‐ My religion, centered around God, shapes the way I conduct myself. I try my best to make my every action in tune with Catholic Principles. Mom-‐ My mom has had a huge impact in shaping my life. Growing up in the Philippines, she has taught me to appreciate everything I have. Dad-‐ My dad was the most self-‐motivated and organized person I’ve ever known. I’ve inherited these attributes from him, and I aspire to mirror his selflessness as well. Kelley-‐ My mom’s partner Kelley has only recently come into my life, but over the few years I’ve known him, he has taught me so much about being self-‐sufficient and staying calm in tough situations.
My yoga practice has truly grounded me. It’s led me to realizing the beauty of simplicity, and appreciating that I am only one person within the great network that makes up our global community. The Jamaica Mission Trip was also an incredibly grounding experience. The trip taught me about the unimportance of material things. Being around the school kids who had nothing, yet were so happy, made me feel foolish for basing my happiness on getting new gadgets and clothes. Those kids taught me to look for joy in the company of others instead, which is also a lesson that Jesus taught.
-‐-‐Set an intention for my morning yoga class and carry it out throughout the day -‐-‐Cut out and save newspaper articles concerning the environment to stay updated on the issues that matter to me -‐-‐Do yoga with a friend to strengthen the mind and body of myself AND a loved one
CHAPTER SIX -‐-‐ Benefits for Me
I can achieve my goals in a way that benefits others by first and foremost considering others in my goal-‐making process. If I’m looking to achieve a goal which will better myself, chances are somebody else would love to earn those same benefits too! For example, I really wanted to improve my 5km race time. My good friend, Allyson, is also a runner, so I often encouraged her to train with me. By achieving my goal this way, we both got faster, and at the same time we bonded as friends.
SCHOOLING FOR SKILL-‐BUILDING
As for developing skills, a good way for me to do this while synonymously helping others is through teaching that skill to someone else. One of the best ways to study something is through practicing it by teaching. Everything is more enjoyable when done with friends anyway, so why not teach the skill to a buddy? I utilized this method before when I taught my friend, Fred, how to play the song “New Soul” on the piano. It was the piece I was currently working on with my piano teacher, and by teaching it to Fred, he learned a new song, and I got to strengthen my piano skills at the same time.
Playing piano is a great skill to share
EXTENSION -‐-‐Learn a new dessert recipe, then bake it and give it to a friend! -‐-‐Shop at Value Village with a friend; this method of recycling is eco-‐friendly AND will contribute to our wardrobes at a great price! -‐-‐Put on a short concert for the family; they get free entertainment while I get practice
Second-hand shopping is a great form of recycling! Sweet treats are made for sharing J
Sharing my love of music!