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August 14th, 2017

07:54 pm - Best Decision
Apart from receiving Christ as my Lord and Savior, and becoming a committed member of my church, the next best decision I made for myself was to walk away from that church that was my refuge and nurturer for the most part of my adolescent and adult life.

It sounds strange but there was no way remaining in that situation I had been in could my led to the enlightenment that I have found and continue to find after I changed my environment and learned to be dead honest and real with myself, and only myself, apart from God.

It was painful because the whole belief and way of life I have build my identity and self upon collapsed and became non-existent. It crumbled. But it enabled me to face myself and build a new one, one that was stronger, had deeper foundations and more threads. Yes, when I cut that single strong thread, it broke me really badly, but I was then more aware that I had to build my life upon multiple threads, instead of relying only upon one.

I hope it doesn't sound too abstract. It was the best decision I have made since that one I made to become a Christian.

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August 13th, 2017

09:24 am
Growing up in a girls' school and then hanging out in the Christian community that has a predominantly female population, you wonder where are all the men? Diving helped me see they are pretty much kicking and alive.

One thing I am grateful for that I discovered through diving is more guy friends. :)

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August 12th, 2017

12:08 pm
It shows how love deprived we are when we fall for someone who touches us or gives us special attention.

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August 10th, 2017

01:28 pm - Uber Ride and instant validation
I am often mistaken as from the PRC, rather than Singapore. Apart from how I look and dress, I found out it was out I talked! At first, I thought, hey not bad that my broken Mandarin sounds native or I have very poor Singlish and need to up my level. Yesterday, on my Uber ride to Marina South Pier, I chatted with a very cool driver in the pawn (I heard porn at first also) and gold jewelry business and he was very kind to explain what about me that was so China Chinese. It was how I talked, I was not confident.

I did not even realize I was not confident. I think I stammer and hesitate when I speak, the way non-native speakers who are not confident in English speak. I explained that I am not confident when I talk to strangers but once I get to know people, I'm okay. I'm okay with family and friends. So funny, after I said I am nervous with strangers, he immediately said he's a good person. LOL.

The interesting part was that later on, he found out I was pursuing a PhD, and there was a sense of, "Wow, hey you really should be more confident, future Professor."

I thought that was so funny.

I think the other reason why I want to get my PhD is so I can finally stop trying to prove myself and let that qualification say it all.

Instant validation!

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12:07 pm
That feeling came back when I was reading an article that talked about nonrational education. I was just thinking to myself... Oh my gosh, there's someone else who is interested in the kind of stuff that I'm keen on. Oh my gosh. How come work for me is about reading about cool stuff that others are doing? Can there be a better job in the world? How can this be?

I hope you find and do the activities that make you feel this way as well. :)

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11:58 am
Suddenly felt overwhelmed by good feelings, positive emotions, gratitude and overflowing contentment.

How can life be this good?

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07:23 am - Breathtaking experiences
Two night ago, I sneezed in the restaurant. I was with grandma, walking out to go NTUC Finest and in quick successions, a few big sneezes. And the slight wateriness of the nose continued throughout the night. I was worried I was falling sick because I really wanted to go diving the next day, and I've never dived with stuffy nose before. I wanted my energy as well.

So gosh, what else can I do but pray? I also woke up early to rinse my nasal passages and detox my system because I was feeling very bloated after the steamboat.

Thank goodness, I wasn't sick. Maybe it was an allergic reaction to the fluctuating conditions in the restaurant, cold, hot, damp.

I think what helped me dived better than before was to be among the right group of people who had similar issues. The people on my buoy had difficulties with equalization, carefully watched over by our coach, M. So we can empathize and we were encouraging and genuinely happy for one another's successes. And then gentle souls to dive with is nice too. People who aren't too competitive but like bettering themselves.

So what was special and nice for me this time was becoming better at the hands free. I sometimes whisper about this, because it's so not recommended. Previous open water dive, I was pretty stressed out and it was the first time I was trying hands free. I have yet to perfect the technique and was still experimenting with ways to open the eustachian tubes. Playing with rolling the eyes back, stretching the ears back, pulling the jaw down, holding the back of the throat up (like in singing). So there were confusion and uncertainty going down. I wasn't sure whether it would work. But it worked better than any other method getting me deep, I must say, despite the lack of perfection.

But it didn't work well under stress. When I tried variable weight down, like holding the weight and going down, I was scared and I could not eq, and for the first time in my life, I felt tightness in the ears. So uncomfortable. And then held me back.

Yesterday, I was more relaxed and so the eq came without much thinking with a gentle lifting of the throat, almost like a lifting of the eyebrow and chest, like the whole upper body moves up. (I'm trying to mimic what happens in the water on land now, but oftentimes I am not very conscious what is happening in the water. I come up and try to explain why I turned back and struggle to find words.) I don't know why that works and what are its limits yet.

I think I didn't want to know its limits. I wanted to end the dive knowing that hands free works for me and there's more to explore and try the next time round. I didn't want to end the dive at my limit.

That is a new thought... I have not seen that part of me, that holding back part of me, I am a very give it all person... It's nice to see the holding back part of me. :) Freediving thought me that (actually writing too), you may have more to give, but you don't have to give it, it's your choice. Your choice what you want to experience, how far you want to go, what you want to accomplish today.

I really liked that it wasn't about depth, but about what each of us wanted to do and learn and accomplish individually. I think I really hope to work on relaxation. Going down and coming up without tension, becoming comfortable with the new sensations of pressure and lighting and apnea of course. Oh yes and perfecting the eq sequence.

Chris taught me. Go down, mask eq, ear eq, go down, mask eq, ear eq....

I am now like equalizing my mask and then sucking the air back in! All these strange and new experiences under the water! Yes, going down also, it reaches a stage where it gets easier and easier to pull yourself down... (I just can't wait to be able to free fall!)

Okie, now for the moment of magic. I think I am very sensitive to light. My first spiritual encounter was a light encounter. How when I closed my eyes, I saw very bright lights.

When I decided to give up frenzeling and valsalvaing, and do hands free, I could achieve a depth that gave me time to enjoy the ascent. Ascending is easier for me because I don't have to pull myself down or focus on mask eq and ear eq... I just relax and float up, kick up, or pull myself up.

And then there's changes in colours. I can't remember now, except the last light colour was white. And that stillness. Yah. It felt like I was rising into the heavens. When I pop my head out of the water, I was like wow, that was so breathtaking. It really took my breath away.

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August 9th, 2017

06:34 am - Korean Ginseng
I sat next to grandma at the Chinese medicine hall as she chatted with the salesgirl on how much and which Korean ginseng to buy.

I don't seen grandma as much now since she moved to live with my uncle, but every time I see her, she hands me a handful of Korean ginseng and white ginseng slices to chew on. My parents reject that from her, but I always accept them. I grew up with her handing them to me periodically to chew on.

She told me that when she was 32 or so, she aborted the foetus that was supposed to come after my mum. She went to a doctor who refused to do the abortion because the doctor thinks my grandma is still young and can have more children. So grandma learned a recipe for abortion that involve the young of the pineapple. She said it was very painful and bled a lot. So she started taking Korean ginseng to strengthen her body.

That's the story. There's another plant liquor she swears by that stopped the bleeding.

I think it was a very special moment as I recalled the bond I had with grandma when I was a little girl. When I was little there was a lot of grandma and my domestic helper in my life.

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06:17 am - Reflections and recollections?
Sometimes when I cannot sleep or think, like there's a blockage in my channels, I write... And it helps me unblock the mind a little, the way exercise can do powerfully.

Sometimes I glance back at my life, to just one year ago, two years ago, and three years ago, and even four, five years ago... And I look at who I am today. It surprises me and fills me with gratitude.

If I had still been the same Shuyi as I was back that 1,2,3,4,5 years ago, and not who I am today, I think I would have felt very miserable and regretful about my life.

A few years into my Christian life, as I reached a stage of stagnancy, I remember asking myself, "Is this all there is to life?" When I first became Christian, it was a magical experience and adventure and I had been exploring but it reached a stage where I felt all boxed in and trapped. People say you can leave or hide from that box for awhile and then come back and be happy again. But, I think what I really did in the past two years was to smash that box into non-existence.

My God no longer functioned within the confines of our Christian thinking, following the threads of apologists, theologians, pastors, traditions... My God really now is the God of all people and the whole Universe and not just Christians.

And I feel much more at peace. I twitch my thinking and words to fit my (more traditional?) Christian friends so they can understand where I'm coming from. Having come from that culture, I think I still know what soothes the Christian's ruffled feathers and unease.

This journey started out with a very confused me. I remember telling my friend in the airport on our way to attend a wedding in Bangkok that I never felt more confused and that I have no idea who I was. She told me she felt the same way but saw it as something exciting, rather than stressful. Exciting as she can discover who she is.

It started when I stopped lying to myself, and my heart, what I really wanted in my life, what really made me feel safe, secure, and happy, who I really enjoyed being with, what I really liked doing, and the kind of help I really needed.

I never spoke to others about this much. Sometimes I think others go through this stage during adolescence and not so late into adulthood as I have. This stage about aligning who you are inside with what the world expects of you. Maybe we have to constantly do it as well throughout our lives. And this is the reason why people experience mid-life crises.

We reach stages in our lives, whether inspired by external or internal circumstances, that we have to stand honestly before our own selves and decide what kind of person we want to be and what kind of life we want to lead. Heart and life work is forever work.

We also decide that even if the world disagrees with us, if it is true, we stick with it and heck care what others think. We give ourselves permission to try the unknown and make U-turns if we explore and find something unsuitable. We no longer have to stick to our first choices or hand-me-downs.

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August 8th, 2017

02:06 pm - ;-)

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