Friday, September 14, 2007


As I read the book The Art of Happiness, a compilation of interviews granted to psychiatrist Howard Cutler by the Dalai Lama, I am amazed at how the spiritual leader handles life's never-ending dramas and battles.

He claims that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. Such a mundane mission if one may think. As we continue to live in this world and meet different kinds of people, experiencing different kinds of obstacles, our purpose in life can be shaped and molded by these occurrences.

Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment. Or a pleasurable experience. Winning an award brings happiness. So does making a lot of money. But this particular source of happiness is not the one emphasized by the well-known spiritual leader. Happiness should not come from these tangible things because this type is classified as impermanent things. They come and go. They give temporary pleasure. Impermanence causes suffering more than happiness.

According tho the Dalai Lama, happiness should come from one's self. Within one's self. Beginning from the mind, by changing one's perspective, the way one sees other people's ways and actions and the way one interprets certain unforseen events. Focusing on the brighter side always, may help one overcome life's challenges. It is easier to work out any problem when one sees it as an opportunity to discover other possibilities that will help him rise above the situation. The result is utmost satisfaction in life. Similar to achieving happiness.

It is really surprising that there is one person who can mingle with many people of different race, religion, attitude and yet exhibits the kind of gentleness and kindness only God can possess. He revealed that having these traits is inherent in him and in other people as well. In fact, he stressed that every person is naturally gentle, calm and kind and being rude, bad and vulgar may be the result of some outside forces or misuse of human intelligence.

Really, when we see our enemies, we perceive them as 100% evil. No amount of kindness nor gentleness runs in their blood. But the Dalai Lama will always refuse to focus on the imperfections of man. He will always reflect on the person's positive side because it will be easier for him to communicate when he dwells on one's good side. This paves the way to a better, harmonious relationship according to him.

The Dalai Lama would like to point out that each of us has a way or can get away from a bad circumstance. He added that we should be thankful for the difficulties each of us is facing. It is a kind of test for us. Seeing this kind of circumstance as a chance to improve one's self, purify one's mind, it is an indication that one is moving forward and willing to open up one's self to others.

This kind of mental discipline not only applies to our relationship with other people but also to our everyday situations wherein we are faced with difficulties and different human problems.

Seek happiness that is lasting and not temporary. Truly, there is no guarantee that material things such as money, cars, jewelries and even loved ones can give us lasting happiness. Happiness can only be found within ourselves. It has to come from us. Only when we are able to work on our inner selves can we gain the wisdom that will lead us to the kind of happiness that we should seek in our lives.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


One morning I woke up feeling tired and somewhat gloomy. Despite my condition, I was able to say my prayer of thanks to God. I got up and approached my dressing table. "Shacks!" "Puffy eyes?" Also, a line under each eye and oily skin. "Oh please don't ruin my day!" I cried.

I was not able to get a good night sleep, that was the reason. A good night sleep to me is having seven hours of almost continous sleep. I need to have it badly. What makes my day? Having "perfect" face according to my standard. I repeat, according to my standard and not according to standard of some well known beauty gurus like Bobbie Brown or Estee Lauder. Furthermore, I do not mean seeing the face of Gretchen Barretto or Keira Knightly superimposed on my image as I look myself on the mirror.

Not so oily skin, reduced puffiness of my eyes, pinkish lips. That is how I described my "perfect" face.

Sometimes, I would blame my parents for not giving me good genes. Having this means having impeccable complexion. It is the real reason behind perfect skin not expensive facials, glutathione tablets, papaya soaps. Of course, not everyone is blessed with good genes that is why Doctors Belo and Calayan are laughing their way to their banks as they continue to concoct cosmetics, the fountain of youth according to them, that promise to bring back the youthful appearance of their clients. But for how long can one delay aging and defy gravity?

I have mixed reactions to people who undergo cosmetic surgery not just to improve their appearance but to change entirely their looks without really knowing the consequences of their actions. At first, I will feel happy for them as they achieved the desired results. Look at those 3 finalists of Ms. Ugly No More, they look awesome now! But on second thought, what about the repercussions? Are they sure that their old identities will be forever locked inside their closets? How long will the new look last? Some questions I am sure will likely to beset them later on. As they say, to each his own. If one wants to change his or her looks and it will make him or her really happy, go for it. I also admit that my opinion will never matter to them. Truly, signs of aging can be unforgiving despite the fact that it is inevitable.

A former beauty queen of ours once told the media that she would never resort to cosmetic surgery because she is happy with her still youthful appearance. Her one beauty secret is that she has found a man who is likely to stay with her even if wrinkles and white hair decorate her looks. But this revelations were uttered before she formally introduce her daughter to the modelling world. Now, she is singing a different tune. She is likely to consider going under the knife when the need arises. Maybe she felt a little insecure or threatened because her daughter successfully stole the limelight away from her.
That only made true her classic line: Beauty is 99% youth.

For those who would like to fight aging and gravity the natural way, having positive outlook in life, taking care of yourself by exercising, eating healthy, organic food and detoxifying once in a while can bring miracles in your bodies. But if your beauty dilemma nags you that cosmetic surgery is the only way, do it. Just make sure to consult the experts.

On my part, over the counter and natural remedies still work for me. I will just focus on other parts of me that will greatly camouflage my flaws. I like to believe that we are created less perfect to have the opportunity to discover other potentials in us. I know of some who are considered gods and goddesses for having great face and body and what do you know about them aside from their acknowledged assets? None! They do not bother to think of other talents and skills inherent in them. They are just concentrating on what they have at the moment believing that those are enough to propel them to success. But what will happen if those assets are taken away from them? Rediscovering one's self is never an option to them. Thank God for the lesser goddess like me. I continue to find and know the real me since inner self knows the real answer to life's battles. Again, to each his own.

Go East like yoga, qigong, reiki, tai chi, organic food. Or go West such as pilates, weight lifting, cardio exercise on the treadmill, botox treatment. The choice is endless and be glad that we always have a choice.

Back to me, having oily skin would mean delayed appearance of the dreaded wrinkles. You see, a flaw can have its purpose.