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Archive for January, 2008

A small voice whispering 4

Posted on January 27, 2008 by jimparedes

You can be kicking and screaming but please come 1

Posted on January 15, 2008 by jimparedes

It’ s so strange how many times I have had students in the workshop who took about 3 or 4 invitations to finally go. In itself, that is probably a symptom of many blocks and this is the type of student I am waiting for. It is a courageous step to go into the unknown. When they finally end up going even if so hesitantly, they end up being so enthusiatic about it after.

If you find yourself in this situation, take the step NOW! Life is short. Wake up to it while you still have time and energy. Often we turn down what is good for us and only go towards it kicking and screaming along the way.

This is the last call for the TCU workshop this Saturday. If you are planning to join, I need to know your intention so please get in touch ASAP since we are preparing meals. For those who have signed up, read below.

Here are a few things to prepare for the workshop. Please take note of the following:

1) The staff will be there by 8AM. Workshop will start at 8:45. Registration will be open from 8AM.

WHEN: JANUARY 19, 2008
TIME: 8:30 AM to 6:30PM
200 Jersey Rd., Plumpton, 2761


2) Bring a journal

3) Bring 4 or 5 old andom magazines that you will be ready to leave behind. This will be used for an excercise.

3) Dress comfortably.

For directions, please call 0424338142.

Thank yourself for signing up for this great adventure called TAPPING THE CREATIVE UNIVERSE WORKSHOP (TCU).

The Swiss Army Knife of life 11

Posted on January 12, 2008 by jimparedes

I am an incorrigible gadget guy. Smart and easy approaches to problems — those small digital, electronic and other technical wonders — have never failed to beguile me.

It should be no surprise therefore that I am a big fan of the Victorinox Company. Ever since I was a Boy Scout, I’ve always liked their Swiss Army Knives which have something useful for every need. The joke goes that on one episode of MacGyver, the TV hero was preparing to stop a couple of tanks with only a grenade and a Swiss Army Knife in his hands. An employee of Victorinox asked, “What does he need a grenade for?”

There’s nothing like a one-stop-shop solution to our every need.

Which has made me wonder if there exists an all-in-one attitude that can carry us through life. Hundreds of philosophical and spiritual quests have been launched in search of a theory that encompasses everything we believe in. Is there such a thing? I don’t know. Could there be one solution to every situation one faces?

I came across this story on the Net.

“Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, ‘Is there a mantra or suggestion which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and every time? Something which can help me when none of you is available to advise me? Tell me, is there any such mantra?’

“The wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. One answer for all questions? Something that works everywhere, in every situation? In every joy, every sorrow, every defeat and every victory?

“They thought and thought. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested a solution that applies to all situations. They went to the king and gave him something written on paper, but on the condition that the king was not to see it out of curiosity. Only in extreme danger — when the king finds himself alone and there seems to be no other way —will he be allowed to see it. The king put the paper under the diamond on his ring.

“After a few days, the neighbors attacked the kingdom. It was a collective surprise attack carried out by the king’s enemies. The king and his army fought bravely but, alas, they lost the battle. The king had to flee on his horse with the enemies in hot pursuit. His horse took him far and deep into the jungle. He could hear the many troops on horses following him and the noise was coming closer and closer.

“Suddenly the king found himself standing at the end of the road — that road was not going anywhere. Underneath there was a rocky valley a thousand feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished. Turning back was impossible since the enemy had occupied the road and was getting closer. The king became restless. There seemed to be no way out.

“Then suddenly he saw the diamond in his ring shining in the sun, and he remembered the message hidden in the ring. He opened the diamond and read the message. The message was very small but very great.

“The message was: ‘This, too, will pass.’

“The king read it. Again he read it. Suddenly something struck his mind: ‘Yes! This too will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom. I was the mightiest of all the kings. Yet today, my kingdom and all its pleasures have gone. I am here trying to escape from my enemies. But just like those days of luxuries have gone, this day of danger too will pass.’ A calm came to his face. He stood there and gazed at everything around him. The place where he was standing was full of natural beauty. He had never known that such a beautiful place was also a part of his kingdom. The revelation in the message had a great effect on him.

“He relaxed and forgot about those following him. After a few minutes, he noticed that the noise of the horses and the enemy was receding. They moved to some other part of the mountains and failed to pick up his trail. He was spared.

“The king, as it turns out, was a very brave leader. He immediately reorganized his army and fought back. He defeated the enemy and regained his lost empire. When he returned to his empire after victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing in the victory. Everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers were being thrown at the king from every house, from every corner. People were dancing and singing. For a moment the king said to himself, ‘I am one of the bravest and greatest of kings. It is not easy to defeat me.’ With all the reception and celebration, he noticed that ego was emerging within him.

“Suddenly the diamond of his ring flashed in the sunlight and reminded him of the message. He opened it and read it again: ‘This, too, will pass.’

“He became silent. His demeanor went through a total change — from the egoist that he had become, back to a state of utter humbleness.

“‘If this, too, is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours. The victory is not yours. You are just a watcher. Everything passes,’ he told himself.”

The story was a real eye-opener for me. Who has not witnessed something like this to some degree in his or her life? Yes, we are living our lives, but we are also only watching it in the end. We perceive life, happiness, sorrow and everything in between as they come and go. And yes, everything really just comes and goes. We are all only spectators.

As you read this, sit silently and watch yourself reading it and thinking about it, as you evaluate your own life. This very moment — this, too, will pass.

Can you think of anything that is permanent? Aside from change itself, is there anything else? Friends, relatives, youth, ambition, wealth, gains and losses will all come and go. Everything and its opposite are the two faces of the same coin. They, too, will go.

What about you? Are you permanent? What of you will remain when your face and body age and crumble and eventually die?

The only thing that does not change is the real you. So who are you? To answer that is to touch on the very core of all meaning and spirituality. If this question makes you feel excited, confused, depressed, angry, delighted or mystified — remember that this, too, shall pass.

Feeling ‘local’ 18

Posted on January 06, 2008 by jimparedes

I heard something interesting on Australian TV a few nights ago about the attitudes migrants in Australia had about their host country, which was prominently featured in the news. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs commissioned a survey a few months ago to find out how migrants felt about being in Australia. The people behind the survey interviewed migrants who have been living in Australia for three years or more.

They specifically asked two questions and the answers the respondents gave were quite amazing, and yes, surprising. In many ways, they said it all for me. The first question was, ‘What do you like about Australia?’ The answer that got a high thirty percent rating was ‘the people’. Migrants, it seems find Australians quite easy- going, friendly and funny in their own way. The weather got another high response. Other positive answers were “the beach’ (17 percent), nature (17 percent), lifestyle (15 percent). Clean air and surroundings got about five percent.

Even more revealing were the answers to the question, ‘What don’t you like about Australia?’ A very surprisingly tiny four percent put ‘discrimination’ as a negative. I say it is surprising, considering that the subject of discrimination is the most commonly asked query I get about living in Australia when I am in Manila. I always answer that I have not experienced discrimination here so far. The low figure of four percent belies the perception that Aussies are generally racists. I have experienced alienation, yes, but not discrimination.  Besides, I subscribe to the answer of a friend who has lived in the both the US and Australia for a long time. On the question about whether there is discrimination in Aus, his answer is, ‘Anywhere on the world, there is discrimination, if you allow it.’

Ten percent answered ‘missing the family back home’ as a drawback to living in Aus, which is quite understandable. Unhappiness with employment got something like seven percent. But the biggest, total surprise of all was this:  a whopping 30 percent answered ‘nothing’ to the question of what they did not like about Aus life. Believe it or not!

I could not believe that such a sizeable number of migrants from different parts of the world were seeing Aus almost the same way I was seeing it. Sure, there are things I complain about, but the obviously palpable pleasantness of life is something that is so evident to many who live here.

I actually felt good listening to the results of the survey. I knew I was not being blindly positive about this country and that I had made a good choice on which country to migrate to.

I celebrated Christmas and New Year here in Aus, and it was a very different experience. In the Philippines, the yuletide season is all about hordes of relatives, fireworks, noisy revelers everywhere and the longest Christmas season on the world. In contrast, last Christmas Eve, I just had my immediate family with me, and I was amazed to find myself not missing everyone in Manila. It was a quiet, intimate, wonderful and meaningful Christmas with just my wife, three kids and grandchild as we ate, drank and opened our present amid laughter and gaiety.

In Australia, while there is also the build-up to Christmas day, there is not the frenzy and anticipation that we have back home. It is sedate by Philippine standards. The next day which is the 26th, is strangely called ‘Boxing Day’ in Aus and in all Commonwealth countries. Boxing Day is the time when a second round of shopping occurs since prices drop rock bottom right after Christmas.

The next big one is New Year’s Eve where Sydney puts up perhaps the biggest, most spectacular fireworks show in the entire planet. In the Philippines, revelers buy fireworks and explode them. Over here, the explosion of fireworks to greet the coming year is state-sponsored to the tune of four million dollars this year. It is a government monopoly.  Hundreds of thousands of people crowd every inch of space in the city that has a view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House to be near the center of the fiery display. There is TV coverage, and tourists from all over Australia and the world come to watch.

Celebrating Christmas outside one’s home country is quite a unique experience. I was not lost in the revelry but I very intensely watched everything, including myself, and my own reactions. I have discovered that one’s absorption of different cultures and practices usually entails two steps: the first is the constant comparison between one’s home culture and the way it is done in the foreign country. While that can be fun and even fascinating, there is also a deeper joy in finding oneself in the next level of appreciation, which is the cessation of comparison and to the total immersion to the foreign customs and ways. For a few moments, one catches oneself NOT looking at other people as foreigners but as plain people, just like the way one looks at people in one’s home country.  One crosses the ‘them versus us’ line and just enjoys oneself, period.

Gone are the seeming differences that have always put a gap like accents, races, skin colors, religion body sizes, etc. Every one is just like everyone else. We are a throng of humanity simply celebrating what it’s like to be alive amidst such beauty and celebratory happenstance. It’s great to hang one’s protective coat and layers, and one’s defenses and simply allow oneself to be overwhelmed by everything unfolding.

Almost every week that passes, my comfort zone gets bigger as I allow more of the Aussie lifestyle into my home, habits and skin. I figure, all this can only make me a richer person and a better inhabitant of this part of the planet that is shared by a lot of races and people of different creeds.

While at certain points it is important to heed the call of nationalism, there is also virtue in seeing the world as borderless. And one does not even need to give up one for the other. In a way it is like a widening of identity. It’s akin to how one psychiatrist described the concept of compassion and enlightenment in the terms of his trade. He said that one must have an identity first and foremost before one can ‘lose’ it. ####

Make 2008 YOUR year 4

Posted on January 01, 2008 by jimparedes


Here’s a few questions we should all ask ourselves at this time in our lives.

- Do you want a new experience this 2008 or would you like it to be just like the past years you’ve been living?

- Do you want to (FINALLY) get over past experiences, attitudes and beliefs that have bogged you down in the past and start living with joy and power?

- Would you like to learn and acquire life-long tools that will help you unblock your creativity, and keep you unblocked for life?

- Do you want to totally amaze yourself in a great, positive, fantastic way this 2008?

That would be nice, wouldn’t it? In fact, it would be more than nice, it would be GREAT! If you answered yes to all or any of the questions, it’s time to invest in yourself and experience the best of who you can be.

I will be running TAPPING THE CREATIVE UNIVERSE (TCU) workshop this January 19, Saturday in Sydney.

This is a workshop whose main aim is to your awesome creativity that may have remained dormant these past years, and give you the experience of unlimited joy, power and achievement. If you are in between dreams, relationships, careers, lives or feel that parts of you are stuck, this is the workshop for you.

WHEN: JANUARY 19, 2008
TIME: 8:30 AM to 6:30PM
200 Jersey Rd., Plumpton, 2761


If you are interested or have any queries or want a copy of the syllabus, you can send me an email at: and I will be happy to respond.

All materials, snacks are included. (Lunch will be extra. I am arranging something very reasonable).


This is the best time to do it. Don’t fall into the usual pattern of again delaying fulfillment of your dreams with doubts and negativity. You’ve been there and done that—too many times. ACT NOW! Call or write now and reserve a slot.

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