Time Is How You Spend Your Love

Daily Thoughts

We can spend periods of our lives in a cycle that repeats itself if we don’t seek the desire to change. Nature is always changing and evolving. That is the beautiful part of nature, as it takes its time to achieve great change. How we spend our time is precious. When we break apart everything, time is really all that we have. Our lives are unpredictable, and no one can be completely sure of how long they are on this earth for.

Every moment counts. The moments we stand at the traffic lights, the moments we sit on the plane flying home and the moments we are there for a loved one. The beautiful words are from Zadie Smith. It also makes me acknowledge the sad reality that there is so much time spent on the things that we don’t truly love. We live in a world where people are deeply hurting or they are bounded to a life where they are helpless.

Thoughts and Feelings / What you focus on is how you will feel. The thoughts we feed ourselves and the feelings we have ultimately affect how we view the world, how we view ourselves, how we treat other people and how we spend our days. Our thoughts and feelings impact how we experience the world around us and the world within.

Precious time / How do you spend your time? What we spend our time builds us into the person we are. If we spend time doing more of what we love, it can only benefit us in the long run. It can enable us to have a healthy relationship with people and it can make us a whole lot happier.

Leisure / The Art of doing nothing. There is praise for always being switched on in a fast-paced digital age. Being productive and busy is seen as the definition of success, when in actuality good things take time, and our focus is heightened when we give ourselves conscious rest.

People / Who do you spend most of your time with? They say that the 5 people you spend the majority of time with can impact you as a person, from your world view, character, interests and behaviour. The environment we are in and the people we spend our time with can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.

Memories / What are the good memories you can think of? Remembering memories that make you smile can bring them alive. When we focus on a bad memory, it can evoke a strong negative emotional reaction. The time that we spend to create memories that are good are often built around the foundation of love.

Gratitude / What are you grateful for in your life? Gratitude is a practice that we can actively do each day. The moment we forget all the things we have in our lives is the moment we can feel empty and unhappy. Where we put our focus and intention is everything. Our wellbeing depends on it. Remember to cherish all that you have.

Change / In what ways have you changed over time? We are always changing every day. In everyday we are learning something new. Change is inevitable and people will change, but the important thing is to know your values. What is it that you want in life? What’s important to you?

Choices / The choices we make over time influence the person we are today. What you choose to do is your responsibility. How you treat others, the conversations you have, the products you buy, the food you consume and the activities that you do all impact who you are as a person. The choices we make and how we spend our time impacts who we are as a person. 

Creativity / What do you spend your time consuming and creating. We spend a lot of time consuming content from online articles to social media. We spend more time more than ever consuming digital content and buying materials. The time we spend creating is quite possibly one of the most precious moments.

The time we spend to practice something, create something or write something is valuable. When we do the things that we love and spend time with the people we love, then we must be doing something right. Our lives are meant to be enjoyed and the purpose of being here is more than we can understand. All that one can really know is that the existence of every being is precious.

No one is better than the other person. There is a false belief that by feeling superior to someone we can feel accomplished. Whether that is through materials, status or wealth. However, it is the biggest lie that we are sold in society. External things don’t add true value into our lives. It makes me think of The Little Prince quote that reads “What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye” all that is truly important in life can only be felt with the heart “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly”.

Art by Monica Barengo

What I Love About Taiwan

Culture

Taiwan was once known as Formosa, which means beautiful island. If you ever have the chance to travel and explore the island, you will see its beauty in nature, culture, and people. It is really somewhere you need to come to see and experience for yourself. When I was younger, when I said my family is from Taiwan, there was often a response of you’re from Thailand? When I was in Taiwan as a child, some people weren’t sure where NZ was on the map or would think New Zealand is a place in Australia or part of Australia.

New Zealand is definitely far more well known now among tourists. I really really hope Taiwan can be more and more well known among tourist destinations in Asia. There is definitely a significant lack of knowledge about the country, compared to say Korea or Japan. It is a hidden treasure for many, as I really feel that it’s not quite so well known globally as it could be. This has been the longest period of time I’ve stayed in Taiwan, and I would definitely love to live here someday.

1.Friendly people. Taiwanese are some of the most friendliest, helpful and polite people in the world.

2. Convenience. It is one of the most convenient places to live, especially if you are living in one of the cities.

3. Transport. Similarly, the transport is incredibly convenient and efficient. For example, in Taipei, you can use the MRT, Bus, Bike, Taxi or Drive.

4. Recycling. The sorting of rubbish here is taken seriously, as the rubbish is sorted into food, plastic, paper, etc.

5. Food. You haven’t had the full experience in Taiwan if you haven’t tasted the food.

6. Busy but also not. Taiwan is pretty slow paced in many places, and even in the larger cities such as Taipei and Kaohsiung, it is more slow-paced compared to cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

7. Biking. It is a wonderful place to bike, and you can actually travel the whole island by bike!

8. Efficiency. Food is usually delivered quickly to your table and even when I got my wisdom teeth removed, I made a last minute booking on the day and got it pulled out.

9. Safety. I never feel unsafe in Taipei if I ever happen to walk on the streets after 11pm.

10. Nightlife. From night markets, cafes, bars, parties, arcade, movies, events, exhibitions and so on, there’s always something happening.

11. Mountains. It doesn’t take too long to travel to beautiful mountains and go hiking. The nature in Taiwan is breathtaking.

12. Fruits and Vegetables. It is one of the best places to be vegetarian or vegan. There is a plethora of options.

13. Cafes. Most cafes have their own personality and vibe. There is usually a certain feeling or theme.

14. Cute things. There is definitely a lot of Japanese influence. But, if you love cute things, Taiwan has a lot of cute things!

15. Cinemas. If you love watching movies, there are different kinds of cinemas in Taiwan. You can also go to ones where you can watch several films in one day.

16. Tea Culture. If you love tea, there is no shortage of tea in Taiwan.

17. Bookstores. I feel like you can spend hours sitting in a bookstore in Taiwan, just reading.

18. Random things. I was biking to the grocery store today and biked past a park where an owner was walking her cat on a leash.

19. Insects. I love creepy crawlies, and when I go hiking up the mountains, if I look around there are caterpillars, butterflies, dragonflies, and other beautiful insects.

20. Chinese Culture and Taiwanese Culture. The Aboriginal Taiwanese culture and Chinese culture.

21. Hotsprings. Winter is my favourite season, and it’s the perfect time to go to the hot springs.

22. Walking. As someone who walks most of the time in Auckland, for me, anywhere that’s walking distance within 30 minutes is very close.

23. Creativity and arts. There are so many activities in Taiwan to do from crafts and workshops.

24. Natural beauty. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places. I think it’s always good to go out of a city to really see a countries natural beauty.

25. Internet. There are many areas with Free wifi and the internet is fast.

26. Umbrella. This is something I really like because I like to use an umbrella in NZ when it’s sunny which still gets a few stares, but in Taiwan, it is a norm.

27. 7/11.You can do so much at 7/11 from buying food, paying your bills, ATM machine or sending parcels. Plus It’s opened 24/7.

There is definitely more than 100 things I love about Taiwan, but there are also areas I hope that will improve. Every country has its pros and cons. Some areas I hope will improve include the economy, politics, architecture, traffic, driving, pollution, education system, tourism, the number of scooters, low paid jobs and the number of stray dogs.

The Ability To Judge Less And Love More

Daily Thoughts

Capture

It’s interesting to think that no one really knows what we’re like. Only a very few that are close to us will see us through our ups and downs, but no one can live the journey of another. I had a conversation with a friend recently about how people will view you the way they see you. They will create a perception and an idea of you, but not many people will truly know you. It sort of makes me think of famous people, and how incredibly judgmental people are towards them, without knowing them at all. I’m guilty of doing it too, and felt the need to write about it, because when we judge it repeats the cycle of talking about things we don’t know as if we do know.

On a conversation with a new friend about forgiveness, we talked about how when we don’t forgive others and hold a bad feeling against them, it’s not so much hurting them, but hurting ourselves. If we let go and learn to forgive it will free us. There is difficulty in this in times where we feel something is very important to us or we don’t understand why people do things a certain way. There are many things we truly only see the surface of, and only in the times where we have peace, love and acceptance, do we catch a glimpse of seeing one another as we are. Most strangers that are unkind to others are often letting out how they are feeling within.

Everyone has different opinions and thoughts. The thing is we seem to be more hard on ourselves more often than we are on others. At least I know this for myself. At the same time, I notice there are many people who focus on the bad things about other people, but don’t focus on self improving and changing themselves. When we fear judgment, it restricts us from doing the things we want, being the true person we are and embracing life completely.

Nobody is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, goes through tough times and experiences life in a different way. Remember to raise yourself up, because the more you love yourself and be kinder to yourself and know that you deserve all the happiness and joy, then you will do the same to those around you. The moment we feel down is when we put our focus on things that drain our energy. It’s difficult to not judge when we feel something is unfair, but the thing to also remember and remind ourselves is how we often only see the surface of the water. The ability to judge less and love more is the homework we should strive to do each day.

Photography by Helena Moore

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Daily Thoughts

2b80dbb19b0d3aa996e3ab0ac87648db.jpg

I believe the title is originally a book from 1981 by American writer Raymond Carver. There are different types of love. Affectionate love, friendship love, romantic love and spiritual love. Affectionate love expresses the fondness and natural love a parent has for their child. The love we may feel towards our family. Friendship love is the love that is freely chosen through connecting in our similarities and admiring one another’s differences. Romantic love is the appreciation for pleasure and the feeling of being deeply in love. Finally, spiritual love is the kind that is felt greatly, for it is felt within ourselves.

When we talk about the word ‘love’ what exactly do we talk about? What images, feeling, colours, memories does such a simple yet powerful word evoke? Perhaps for some it may conjure up the face of a past love and for others it may be the time they spent with their family. It may allow our senses to be heightened. I think that instead of thinking high and mighty, we must start small and simple to begin to make a difference. The simple act of kindness, that goes hand in hand with values of making a difference, creating unity and helping people. We are all capable of it.

Love makes us think of equality. A world where there is acceptance for all individuals. From the way they look, the colour of their skin, their sexuality, the clothes they wear, their beliefs and the way they may speak. If I ask you to pause for a moment, and asked you: what does love make you think and feel? Listen to the words that come inside of your mind. Whatever you hear, we are all connected in the sense that each human being wants to be loved. We want to feel connected with one another. Learning to love gives a greater appreciation towards nature and beauty without judging it, especially in a world that judges greatly.

Growing up we are taught to hide our feelings as adults. This causes us to become more inward, rather than outward in showing emotions. The strong resistance in trying to fight looking ‘weak’ and appear strong, means that we hide our greatest strength. It sounds ironic, but I deeply believe this to be true, when many of us have the capabilities of creating huge differences in how we are feeling and the energy we give into the world. Even I could not deny, how much I may limit my ability to spread simple acts of love each day. The action can be spread through words of kindness, giving a helping hand towards someone or contacting an old friend.

There are many voices everyday from the media and from those around us, that convince us to be divided in many ways. Even divided in ourselves. They say that our bodies are not beautiful enough, that our features are flawed and the colour of our skin makes us a target. Even the physical elements of how we should love are taken into tearing it down. For what benefit and gain? Acceptance is key for great change to take place. When we talk about love, we must first talk about the love that comes from within. For without it, we cannot be able to go about our day and expect to get along with everyone, if we cannot learn to be selfless and accept ourselves.

Let’s return to the four kinds of love. Affectionate love: It is the most humble of all four loves. It is the enjoyment of ones company and the fondness through familiarity, especially among family. Friendship love: It is a strong bond between people who share common interests. Romantic love: The state of ‘being in love’. It is most felt and only seeks one person. Spiritual love: This is the most selfless and unconditional love. One that causes us to spread love to those who are undeserving of love, because it comes from the decision, rather than emotions. It gives freely and asks for nothing in return. However, the emotions are boosted from the other three loves. Spiritual love strengthens the soul and fosters emotional health and self-confidence.

When we open our eyes to the realisation of how much love is within this world, we also open up to how much is within ourselves, and vice versa. Anyone is capable of selfless love. But, everyone craves the four kinds of love because it is what connects us with people. Love is to feel connected, never divided. It’s important to remember this because when we talk about love, we often mention the issues surrounding the lack of positive change. However, there is far greater change we are making and can continue to do so through mindful actions and positive feeling. Every individual has the power to create acts of kindness.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Art from Kiki’s Delivery Service

You Are Such A Beautiful Person

Daily Thoughts

44575b227cc69deaa4d5cb3adb21674f.jpg

We see the world differently through our own eyes everyday. I feel like there is this part of myself, that wishes I could tell anyone who has ever felt alone, left out, worthless, ugly, hurt or question what their purpose in life is, I wish I could tell them how beautiful they are as a person. Not in the superficial way. Not in the surface leveled way, but the kind of goodness that goes far far deeper. I truly believe every person is born with goodness in their heart, and every person has the ability to be kind to others. There is a certain beauty we all have that is so different, and that’s what makes us who we are. You are capable of so much more than you know. We all share the same thing in that we were all born into this world, and we will all die on this Earth. I hope this can speak to anyone, on their best days and on their worst days.

You are beautiful through your kindness and heart. It radiates warmth and light into others life and brings a smile to their face.

You are beautiful the way you smile and the way you cry. Your honesty in expressing your emotions, and feeling the raw feelings straight from your heart is beautiful.

You are beautiful the way you respect your body and feed your soul with good words. Your mind and body is thankful for the kind words and good food.

You are beautiful for sharing love in this world. For helping other people and praying for those in need. For not judging but opening your heart to try understand.

You are beautiful with your bare face in the morning. Your inner self shines through and your personality surpasses any physical beauty.

You are beautiful for treating those as your friend. You do not feel better or higher than the person beside you, but you treat them as your neighbour.

You are beautiful because even when you face failure, you keep trying. Life is not perfect, but you always keep trying and you pick up your feet even when you fall down. You learn from the mistakes to keep improving.

You are beautiful in your honesty and faith. Self belief and truth are two beautiful characteristics. When you believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to. You don’t build the walls in your mind that stop you in life.

You are beautiful when you help others without expecting anything in return. You help because you truly care from the bottom of your heart. You have good intentions.

You are beautiful because you are compassionate. Compassion makes us human. You have empathy and sensitivity towards others.

You are beautiful because of your abilities and intelligence. You are amazing in your own ways, with more potential than you give yourself credit for. You are so beautiful through your intelligence and wisdom.

If you are the sort of person who tells yourself that you are not beautiful, I really pray that you could try tell yourself once a day in the mirror, and say “I’m a beautiful person.” because you really are. Everyone is going through their own struggles in life and living their daily challenges. We are all walking on the Earth on our own journey. When I tell you you are a beautiful person, I hope you can understand that your beauty comes straight from your heart. Your experiences make you stronger, and the strive to live a positive life and bring light into the world makes you such a beautiful person!

photo via