Category Archives: sing

My New Beginning…

Don’t you just love plane rides?!  I do, I do!

1476158_10201063590531954_1003069799_n There’s just something about subsonic speed and being 30,000 feet up in the air, hurtling through the clouds that makes writing more exciting and grand.

So here I am!

Joy is our producer, Ms Gigi Borromeo’s cousin.  We’re a couple of excited mamas enroute to Orange County where we’ll be spending the weekend with friends and family for two reasons: 1) to celebrate the gift of music; and 2) to honor this gift by fundraising for super typhoon Haiyan victims. It’s a humble and most heartfelt effort that started with a very different story. You can follow the story here.

In two hours, we will be landing in sunny and warm California.  Buh-bye for now Toronto’s freezing weather. Buh-bye beloved kiddies, all three of them were still sleeping in their warm beds when Joy and I left home at 4:30AM this morning.

Buh-bye beloved asawa, who I missed as early as last night at the dinner table while having the sweet and sour noodles with beef and veggies.  I’ll be missing you for four days and three nights, my darlings.

I am declaring the official beginning of The Work todayIt is the sprouting of seeds I planted back in 2004. A full decade of many prunings and re-plantings blossoming into The Work.

It’s all about resonance. Teachers (and they come in all forms) hold up a mirror for you in just the right light, at just the right moment, and you just happen to catch YOUR reflection in it. They are strumming chords that are strung in your heart. You had it, they just tickled it. Your truth collides with their truth and you have an a-ha moment. – Danielle LaPorte

The deepest desire of your heart since Day One is alive and deserving of life and light!  I had to find this through sheer grit and gnawing at false beliefs and ideas.  Thing is only YOU can give your desires life. Inversely, you can let it wither and die in the cold.  The muses plant the seed, then free will needs to kick in. It’s up to us to water and care for the seedling.  Yes, my dear, I speak from my very own ups and downs.  My downs were so bad that I had unexplainable afflictions – like itchy, crusty eczema on my thumbs, just the thumbs (I know…weird!), sore throats every other month and this low-grade fatigue I felt daily whether I had full rest or not.  Living life without honoring one’s passion makes for a very blah*full (as against the bliss*full) existence.

 

My ‘wild ride’ began when I heard the four-letter command right there at the St. Mary’s church grounds alongside Jeanette who accompanied me. I have not gone to church for a while, make that a very long while. The clear-as-crystal command was: SING!

So I gave my three-letter word reply: YES. The see-saw, step-yes-step-no life was getting old anyways so I finally got tired of that and picked one.

Funny that, as soon as I replied in the affirmative, my Facebook friend, Ms. Gigi Borromeo offered an invitation: Come to Fullerton. I’ll help produce a show for you! We need to have a benefit show for the Marian Missionaries in SoCal. Are you in? (See how funny and punny God is? He even threw in the two Mary’s in the mix just in case I miss it again!)

There was no iffy-ness about Ms. G’s invitation. Oh, I’ve had tons of those in the past. (Something about water finding its own levels…me iffy = experiences iffy.) So, fresh from the Command order to SING just the weekend before, I said Yes!  That plan however went kaput due to US work visa issues. However, it morphed into something more expansive. And if I may humbly add, evolutionary for me. You see, I received another offer. This time to help raise funds for another church, St. Norbert, in Toronto. I subsequently inquired with a lawyer, a university schoolmate, for help regarding the US visa matter. He said, “That’s bad news, Chiqui. You’re not going to risk coming into the U.S. without a valid work visa.”  And as we were chatting about the recent earthquake in Bohol and Cebu (wala pang hangin ni Yolanda noon) he mentioned his fundraising event for the cause and suggested I do the same here in Toronto.

I believe that everything, in the grand scheme, happens for a good reason. We sometimes don’t see the good right away.  OK, I most times don’t see the good right away.  But it always flows towards that direction in the end.  The very pull to this page is a sign that there’s something here for you. And for me, too.

I believe it is this connection right here, and the many others like it, that will open us up to the next chapter of our lives. I’m ready. I know you are, too.

PS:  For tickets to my upcoming shows, please click on images on the upper right. Do RSVP @ https://www.facebook.com/events/227003374135206/

Courage in Creativity,

680d7-chiquisiggysmallsmile

Continue reading My New Beginning…

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Super Serendipity Sunday (or When It’s Time…)

The day was Friday, and just like any other morning, I woke up thinking of the following things: what to pack for the kids’ lunches, which coffee to brew, Vanhoutte’s hazel vanilla or Nescafe’s house blend, and how the heck I can overcome the daily resistance of the dreaded morning workout routine which seems to get harder and harder every year!

Oh, there’s another thing that’s been added to my morning’s running script in my head: What songs am I going to sing for my show in California in November?!?

So  I went to the bathroom, but before going, I glanced at my phone’s prompts, a daily habit now, and briefly saw it: (paraphrasing)

 On Twitter: It seems like the red-headed cat is alive and well.  Thank you @chiquipineda for sharing…. and I thought to myself “Hmmm…Twitter.  I’m hardly on there.  Who could be tweeting me this early…” and then let the phone go, went on my business and didn’t think about it until later that morning when I was more awake.
It turns out, this tweet was from my favourite kick-a** teacher, Steven Pressfield’s team!
The full story is right here.
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Today, another serendipitous moment hits me.  Of all people that my favourite speaker of inspiration, Oprah, no less, would have in her SuperSoulSunday for today, it would be, who else, but Steven Pressfield, but of course, right?    Like, can it be anybody else?!?  😀
Everything Mr SP shared in today’s show I’ve heard at least a dozen (and a hundred and two) times already.  I’ve had his book, The War of Art by my bed, in my bag, and in my iPhone – yes, I got the audible version as well – for years now.
Last week, I excitedly grabbed the follow-up which is Turning Pro.  I was, at first, momentarily disappointed.  The book was not on my Audible.com which is my go-to source of books.  I hesitated.  I was going to wait until it was up.  It was going to be up sooner or later.  But something inside me said “Go.  No more waiting, Chiqui.”
And so I did.
I got the substandard – no fancy audible techie tags (read: a bit disorganized) and more expensive version on Kindle.  But I remembered this, too: When the (God) Voice says “Go.”, you go.  So it’s 3x the price, so what!  I put Thrifty Chiqui to sleep.
I haven’t stopped listening + reading since that day.  I haven’t stopped getting nudges since that day.
This now brings me to the moment of Universal Truth that Mr. Pressfield and many other life teachers share about one’s passion, from William Hutchison Murray ~
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

I’ve been ignoring my signs for a very long time.  My closest and dearest will tell you how many excuses I’ve made, how often I added all sorts of drama to the mix and frankly, it gets boring after a while.  Thank YOU, to you who have listened, supported, put up with me.

And the signs are everywhere.  They are always strong and super-soul*full if and when we allow it.
The KEY is exactly that:  Allow it.
What signs are you noticing in your life?
What keeps popping up over and over, again and again, like a broken record CD?
And more importantly, this:
Are we paying attention yet?
And if I may have your attention for a few more…here is my very personal love offering to the world these days ~ Our California Show is a go. Nov. 15, Friday, Dance Pavilion in Fullerton, OC is a go!  To reserve your tickets, you can call/viber Ms. Gigi Villavert Borromeo @ 1(714)699-6143. It’s a small venue (150-200pax) so grab your tickets now! 😊👍💃🎶
Always, above all else ~
Love and Courage in your brand of creativity,
Chiqui Pineda-Azimi
Thank you, Ms. Oprah Winfrey and Mr. Steven Pressfield for the Work you do in this world.
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The Red-headed Cat (or What’s Your Life’s Metaphor)

In his book, Turning Pro, Mr. Steven Pressfield (The War of Art, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Do The Work) shares a story from his younger years about this particular cat that used to stare him down when he had his dinner at this rundown rental he used to live in.

Almost every night, as he sat by the cinderblock steps out back, this red-headed cat would come out from his side of the woods where he lived and just sit and stare at Steve, as if to give the vital message of how pathetic his life had become. At this point in his hero’s journey, Steve had come to terms with his hiding and avoiding his true calling: writing books.  He knew he was making up excuses and BS ones at that.  He’s been a trucker, an apple picker, a taxi driver among many other odd jobs, divorced, and was basically watching his life swirl slowly down the great metaphorical drain one miserable year at a time.

Redhead (let’s name him that for now) he recalls, would not even take the dinner scraps that he would toss out across the distance to him. “He was nobody’s pet.” and made sure he knew it.  In this staring contest, Steve continues, they both who was boss. Both knew who was in control of their lives and who was not. Both knew who had the upper hand.

Redhead sat there there, staring, daring SP to do it already.

Redhead was Steve’s life metaphor.  He says,

“I miss that cat. I missed him nights he didn’t show up.  I miss him now.”

So, as I was making the kids’ third (and 458th) chicken/bacon sandwich for the school lunches, after frying four eggs – two sunny side, the usual for Joshim and two scrambled, Oona’s special request; as I just finished wiping down the breakfast table and by chance, glanced out the sliding glass door of my kitchen, as I looked across the crab grass and weeds growing in our backyard, I had the sweetest sight of my morning :  a shock of bright red-orange against deep, dark green. 

Redhead.   My Redhead was right there.  This time he was facing away, back towards me, and immediately I knew it was him.

And this time with a message for me: “I’m here. And I’m watching you.”

As I opened the sliding door as gently and quietly as I could, he turned his big, round head and faced me and just as he did with Steve, stared at me for a full minute unmoving as if in a dare:

What now, Chiquita?

I knew. At that very moment, with Steve’s words and all of the 94 chapters of the book, MY book, Turning Pro still ringing in my ears, I knew.

My own life metaphor was staring me in the face.

Like Steve, and I imagine like you, we’ve all had my very own version of “slow-swirl”.  Thanfully mine hasn’t been Steve’s version of miserable.  Though you know what I mean when I say there’s that empty, hollow feeling, almost like a hole in your heart from all the hiding and feeling self-doubt and shame.  There were years of not singing a single song, all because I was…what?  Afraid of trying again.  I felt and allowed the fear to take over. I’ve had my own share of making excuses. And now…

My Redhead. He’s watching me.

Of course I took a photo:

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And I didn’t wait another minute and shared it with Steve. Yes, we’re definitely on first-name basis now. 😁 His simple “That’s him!” email reply to me this morning got me sharing this with you today.  And just like that I am a giddy fan all over again.

Thank you, Steve.
Thank you, Redhead.
And as always,
thank YOU for being here and keeping me company on this journey.

Here’s to YOUR life metaphors.  May they come at you with the same red-orange, Red-headed intensity and make you write your own version of your Turning Pro story.

What’s your *cat*, *dog*, *life metaphor* telling you today?

😁✏️

{This post is dedicated to Steven Pressfield and all the other teachers in my life.}

With love and courage in Creativity,
Chiqui

***Update: News Flash*** | Sept. 27, Friday, Mr. Steven Pressfield and his team posts this on both his Facebook and Twitter accounts!  I, of course, died and went to crazy-fan heaven.  The end. 😘

Yakap (:Embrace)

“Ako ay nagbalik
Sa init ng iyong yakap
Parang ibong sabik sa isang pugad
Nadanas kong lungkot
Nang kita’y aking iwan
Na di pa dinanas ng sinuman”

Yakap, A.M.B Junior (composer)

Let me try translating this into English:

“I came back
To the warmth of your embrace
Like a bird missing her nest
I experienced intense sadness
When I left you
A sadness never felt by anyone else…”

Antonio Morales Barretto, the original singer/songwriter of this beautiful song, probably dedicated this song to his special girl.  Or guy.

Anyway, back to the song, one that’s so easy on the ears and so deliciously sing-able, I’m singing..and more importantly, sharing this warm embrace with you ~

Artwork by Katie Daisy on Etsy.com | thewheatfield 

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Day 24 | And here’s another one* for "Throwback Thursday" and a throwback song, too!

Ang big hair!  Ack!!!  😀 | 1992
I was not more than 23 here but, man, the stylist made me look older than my mom!  Hahahahahahaha!!!

The above photo was my very first ‘glamour shot’ for a newspaper article they were going to write about me.  It was a feature on the San Miguel Beer Ad’s Centennial Jingle – 100 Years of San Mig – which featured the late great Fernando Poe Jr. as the hero on a horse.  I got to sing the jingle.  I don’t have a recording of it.  Sayang.
Continue reading Day 24 | And here’s another one* for "Throwback Thursday" and a throwback song, too!

020/100: the sweetest days

  020/100: the sweetest days i’ve found with you by chiquipineda 

Through the Years” 
Written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer
Original Recording by Kenny Rogers.
Minus One Produced by Star Records for Charice “My Inspiration” Album


No infringement intended.
Please support the original artists.

Dedication : For Cora and Bert Pineda, just because.

Welcome to Song #20 of the 100i.m.perfect songs project!!!  My 20th recording!  YAY, ME.  And on to the good stuff ~

This song happens to be my mom and dad’s theme song!  Sweet noh?  Married forty five (forty six?) years now.  Feel na feel nila yan – every word, every sentiment.  Kwento daw ng love story nila.

Makes me smile to think about my parents’ love story.  You know how when you get to a certain age and you realize that everything…well, almost everything your mom and dad told you (especially the stuff you rolled your eyes over) was true?  I get it now.  Well, most of it.  Now the smile is a big laugh when I think about how the kids are towards me and J.  And they’re not even teenagers yet!  The other day, I was helping my girl O with her guest list for her birthday celebration.  After calling everyone on her list, I said to her “Honey, make sure to follow-up on those who we only left voice messages to, okay?”  “Okay, Mommy.” my 8-going-on-9 sweetheart says.  Then I added “On those ‘follow-ups’, put an F and a U next to their names.  So you remember…F/U for follow-up.”  She starts giggling.  I smiled and asked her “What’s funny, bella?”  She looks at me and says “Mommy, you said the F.U. words!”   At first I didn’t get it.  Then it slowly becomes clear to me how my innocent little girl is now in school and exposed to all this.  Sigh.

I’m so grateful for my folks, my “Mamay and Daday”, for being the best teachers I could ever have.  Admittedly, I didn’t always feel this way.  I was very head-strong as a young adult and that made for a whole lot of interesting exchanges between my very strict and conservative mother and me.  Dad was more easy-going with rules but a strict organizer/time-manager.  But that’s a story for another time!

Let’s go back to the Love Story of Mom and Dad Here’s proof-in-photos.  May they continue to be each other’s best ally and wisest teacher and may their love continue to grow stronger every day!

I love you, Mamay and Daday.  Missing you.

xox,
Chikay

 Mom and Dad, Baguio, 1966
Boracay, 2004
Edsa Shang, 2006

 

019/100: when in doubt, choose red.

For J…because it’s his favorite song.  With love.

019 100 i’ll never love this way again by chiquipineda

10 Trivia Atbp.

1.  I had a nice walk in the rain today.  I brought Joshim’s dessert to school – sliced bananas with whipped cream and chocolate chips…yum! – which I forgot to pack during the crazy morning rush.  This, of course, is the excuse I made up just so I could wear my brand new, super cute, funky pink rain boots which J got me on our last fun Fridate last week.


My Pink Galoshes
^_^

2.  I’m writing this on a Tuesday, just after recording song number 19 on my 100im.perfect.songs project.  *Big breath*.  Day 19.  Almost three weeks.  Wow.

3.  Well, I’ve not been doing it daily for a few reasons which I’d like to dissect here.

4.  I love what my friend Joy shared with me during one of our Mastermind Sessions.  She said “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”  Now don’t be pilosopo and take this literally.

5.  The truth to this line lies in that how my attitude is towards one thing tends to be the same for everything.  How I react to a negative situation on a Monday is most like the same way I’ll react to a similar negative situation on a Friday – with seething anger and a whole lot of grumbling – except that Friday’s got Happy Hour.  So it may be slightly different…but I digress.  😀

How I am with projects is the same with how I am with all my other projects.  In a nutshell:  With a big bang, hi energy go, go, go! beginning  and a slow cool down to a not-feeling-too-good scenario, a brief stop and a general feeling of frustration over what I call the Why of the Woe (read: analysis paralysis) and the best part of being in the forties, picking up where I left off.  My coach Julie advises:  “Fail faster.”  Translation:  Do the whole routine, start over, but get to the “pick up” sooner.

6.  Speaking of the forties, if there’s one lesson that repeats itself over and over again, it is:  Attitude determines your altitude.  In other words, it matters more how you react to a situation rather than the actual situation itself.

7.  It took me thiiiis long to come up with #19 because I was forcing, yes – FORCING a song I didn’t care much for except for the impress.them factor.  (And who the heck is this ‘them’ again?  Sigh.)

8.   It was a full orchestra birit (full chest high notes) version of Wind Beneath My Wings, Charice’s version ba naman.  Of course I was making all kinds of grand mistakes everywhere.  I already know I don’t do birit all too well especially since I haven’t been singing much lately.  (Note to self:  Sing more.)

9.  Lesson #1437: In the spirit of singing, I choose songs that are more or less within my range, songs that make me feel comfortable, fit right – it may not come out auto-tune-perfect and, in remembering the purpose of this project is to get comfortable with imperfect.*

10.  I find it interesting how this applies to a whole lot of other life-stuff too like in choosing a career (choose what you like to do!) in choosing a partner (choose someone who makes you feel like you!) in choosing what to wear (choose what makes you look like…ok, maybe some of us need a bit of help in this area.  That would be…me.  LOL)

Found Star
(even on the ground
stars abound!)

It’s a process.  The whole of life is.

Thanks for dropping by, dear one.  Always and ALL WAYS…

Courage in creativity,
Chiqui