Hello? Can you hear me now?

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Sound-check-1…2…3, check! @The Fairmont York, Concert Hall. 2013 Nov 24

How about now? 

Now?  ^_^ Well hello there and welcome back!

Sweet Success.  We all want it: success in our family life and in our careers. We make goals: physical, mental, spiritual and everything in between. We may very well achieve every goal we set for ourselves. By the age of 28, I did.  Or so I thought.

The missing link is literally just that: The LINKs.  I was missing the connection. 

You see, embarrassing as it is to admit, I understood success all wrong.   I’ve learned the solo style, lone ranger version.  Long story short, it’s shitty and sad and downright dark and depressing because it’s so damn hollow, like the inside of a rusty old drum.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was blinded by the bling-y version life.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with going for the bling. You want bling? You go get it, darling! Except that you cannot be happy and I mean truly happy when you succeed and play with all this bling alone.

Sweet Connection.  Do you like sweets?  Me, too.  Here, I’ll give you life’s desserts with a cherry on top:  There are people who are willing, able and actually want to support and help passionate and committed you.  I’ve learned, later than sooner, that we must receive this help graciously because in bringing others in, we are helping them too!

To be clear, I am not talking about paid help. Not hired assistants, employees nor managers. I am referring to folk who will sit with you when you’re feeling drained and overwhelmed and confused.  (Read: dramatic and suicidal.)  Friends who will hold your hand and hug you and sometimes give you the much-needed batok when you’re in your level 7.2 bitch-mode.  Folks who will continue to love you even if you’re crying and whining like a fx#8ing baby because you had to bite off more than you can chew.

“You’re so afraid to take a bite off more than you can chew. Don’t be afraid, you won’t have teeth, when you reach ninety two.” – Doris Day, ENJOY YOURSELF (It’s Later Than You Think)

The Other Side of The Sweet.  I belong to the Just Smile Sweetly generation.  You know, the one where when things are bad, your folks tell you to just ‘grin and bear it’.  When things get worse, well, Just Add Syrup.  This made for a lot of very confusing and painful emotions growing up.  I’ve learned that we need to take the bitter with the sweet by not denying that it exists.  Too much candy’s not good for you anyway.  We take the good with the bad.  Hiding the bad behind a goody-two-shoe persona and a perfectly painted, albeit fake, scenario never works.  Not in the long term, anyway.  (See Brené Brown’s TEDTalk on Vulnerabilty)

What works for me is this thing called allowing for more openness.  Quite hard for one hardwired to keep it all in, lock it all up and throw away the key.  But I’ve proven, time and again, that keeping it all in makes for some very ugly implosions.

Word of caution though: Be discerning about whom to open up to.  It takes smarts – both from the head and heart – to choose whom to share life’s ups and downs with.  It’s not that hard to find them.  The right people, your peeps, are all around you. If you look with your heart.  For those of us who were trained in the more left-brain leaning, logic-filled reasoning, this isn’t more challenging.  I had to go through so much reprogramming in this regard. Here’s my solemn promise though: Trust your heart and the right people will show themselves to you.  If not right away, sooner than later.  Trust in that.

At this point in my blessed life, with all its ups and downs, I can honestly say I’ve found my peeps.  Funny thing is that they’ve been there all along!  Friends from way back nursery who I can count on any time, any season, I know they’ll be there for me and I for them.  Family, oh blessed family, most who I took forgranted during the bling-y years – sorry for my momentary blindness and thank you for your patience with me!

It’s been almost two decades of pig-headedness slowly unlearning the bad habits: holding back/off/away.   I’m just back from a full month and a half of playing the diva dervish, and yes, enjoying some of the bling that life brings, and here I am sharing my adventures with family and friends.  Some days were divinely delightful.  Other days completely damned and drama-ridden. Overall, a flipping WIN-filled last quarter of 2013!  Being able to share it with my most trusted and beloved connections is the best feeling ever!
Courage in Connected Creativity,

680d7-chiquisiggysmallsmile

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Project Bayanihan at Max’s for the ABS – CBN foundation international’s Sagip Bayan fund. Nov 22.

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(l-r) up: Joy, CP, Chriss, Bing, down: Oying, Maro
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