Archives for the month of: July, 2016

Life has a wonderful way of offering surprises to us when we are open to them. As I was heading out to meet a dear old friend from Chinese school on Monday, I had a very random thought about my big brother come through and I felt it was rather odd. It was a Monday, it was not the 19th, the date that he passed away. I had no triggers to set me off emotionally. I wondered with curiosity why I had this rather random thought come through. I received my answer that evening just before I was about to hit my pillow.

I received an email from Toastmasters, asking me if I am ready to deliver my third prepared speech the following evening, as a member had cancelled their scheduled slot. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and felt so excited! This was the second time that I had taken this sort of opportunity from Toastmasters. My original speech slot was scheduled for two weeks time. I thought to myself, “woo hoo, I am going to achieve my goal earlier than planned so let’s go for it Kit”!

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I had little practice for this third speech and knew without a doubt that I would need to use flashcards to deliver my speech. I had planned on getting an A4 sized photo of my big brother as a visual aid yet I had no time now. I used two small photographs of big brother instead and planned to have them passed around the audience. I knew that this would distract their attention from my speech yet it was no problem.  I knew some of my fellow Toastmasters would pick up on these two “areas for improvement” for this speech. Yet why focus on what the issues are when they are not important to me? My goal was to deliver the speech with or without flashcards and to complete this third speech.

Tuesday morning came with so much excitement even though I was feeling exhausted from a disturbed sleep and pms. Work was very challenging that day as I had stripped and made thirteen beds plus completing a number of other tasks. By the end of my shift at work, I was ready for a sleep!

I came home to get into the shower to revitalise myself and washed my hair. After drying my hair, I rested in bed for 45 minutes to recharge.  I then prepared my flashcard, grabbed a quick dinner and practiced my speech TWICE!

Now it was time to head into my Toastmasters meeting to rock the stage because it has my name on it!

I stayed calm and collected during my journey on the bus as I listened to meditation music.

I took my seat at the front left row at Toastmasters next to Pip. I felt my mouth was dry as the room was rather stuffy.

My speech was scheduled to be delivered after an Icebreaker speech by Pip. After Pip’s speech I was feeling the nerves getting the better of me so I used my deep breathing to remain calm.  I closed my eyes to centre myself and used affirmations to set me up for confidence.

That stage was mine for the next seven minutes after our Toastmaster for the evening,  Neil, introduced me to the floor.

I thoroughly enjoy my presence on stage at Toastmasters and I always get feedback from my Toastmasters who tell me that I am very confident on stage.

The next seven minutes had me flowing rather well with my speech. I did feel nervous at some point which is understandable and I used all the techniques I knew to stay calm and confident.

All eyes were on me and my audience looked rather emotional and shocked at times from my personal story about losing my big brother to a very sudden death. They were engrossed and I certainly had them engaged with my stage presence. The use of flashcards did not distract me from keeping eye contact with my audience even though the objective of this speech was to strive to speak without notes.

I was feeling very comfortable with using my flashcards and had no care in the world what my audience thought. My goal was to deliver this speech and engage my audience. I achieved my objectives and rocked the stage. I felt so much lighter after talking about my emotions on such a major life experience. It felt like I was in group therapy!  It was essential and vital for my recovery and healing as suggested by my therapist Rebecca. I am ever so grateful for her sound advice.

The feedback I received from each of my fellow Toastmasters was so encouraging, supportive and inspiring. One particular member wrote in his written evaluation of my speech as “a very engaging speech with strong and valuable message for the audience. It is because of speeches like this that I come to Toastmasters. Well done”!

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There is always  areas for improvement in everything we do yet focusing on perfection is off balance to what we want to achieve.

Focus on the goals and objectives. Perfection to me robs us of achieving our goals.

 

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A very happy second anniversary to our two year long distance relationship! We truly deserve a gold medal for getting through all this ups and downs, all the challenges and all the barriers!

What does it take  to make a long distance relationship work? Some people don’t believe that a long distance relationship shall last. My opinion on that is, they merely lack what it takes to make it work. They lack the skills to get what they want. Maybe they are, like the majority of people have no idea as to what it is that they want from their ideal partner.

After reading Jack Canfield’s book The Key to Living The Law of Attraction back in 2012 and then Allan and Barbara Pease’s book Why Men want Sex and Women Need Love,  I wrote down for the first time in my life, what I wanted from life. I wrote my bucket list in 2012. I wrote down on a scrap piece of paper what I wanted from my ideal partner.  Without too much thought on this subject, I missed out on a very important detail. Where did I want my ideal partner to live when I attracted him into my life?

Maybe that was a blessing in disguise. Or maybe the universe was delivering to me, what I  had asked for about “Seeing Sydney’s famous landmarks” as I attracted my ideal partner in February 2014 and he lived in Sydney. Was it a coincidence that I attracted an Aussie living in Sydney?

It was to be my huge bonus. Why?

I got the opportunity of a lifetime to “See Sydney’s famous landmarks” in June last year and to spend quality bonding time with my sweetheart for more than three weeks which strengthened our relationship. We then flew to Hong Kong to meet his family and my extended family.

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Our first year together was filled with so much fun, banter, craziness and that created a solid foundation for our long distance relationship – LDR. It is vital to have fun each day in order to bring out the best in each other. Seriousness brings serious circumstances. Without having fun, a relationship dies a slow and painful death.

After my sweetheart flew back home from his first visit to Glasgow, Scotland to meet me face to face for the first time and to spend two weeks with me and my sons, we had no idea when we would be getting together again. That was very tough on both of us and our relationship. Yet we were more than capable of riding with it and getting through the next eleven months of uncertainty has helped us to grow our love for each other. Distance was no problem because we have the technology of the internet to keep in touch as well as our smartphones which has been vital to having the fun that we both know is vital to maintaining our strong foundation.

To date, we have had ten weeks together physically which is a lot less than what other couples get. Yet, this works for us because we are strong and positive. We cherish the time we get to talk through a screen each day. There are times when we are unable to see each other through our screens to chat,  due to other commitments and our different time zones. Yet, we have never allowed these small things to create a distance between us.

Communication is vital to any relationship yet it is effective communication that gets us what we want. How long a relationship lasts is determined as to how a couple communicates with each other. It is said that those couples who commuicate effectively with each other are less likely to scream and fight where they create a distance between them.

Our relationship has it’s fair share of ups and downs like any relationship yet we talk and listen to each other with the intent to understand the other person’s viewpoint. We acknowledge and validate each other’s emotions which is vital to creating intimacy. We feel safe to reveal our vulnerabilities, weaknesses, flaws and imperfections in the presence of each other. We take time out when we feel our emotions are aroused and heightened where our logical thinking is out of the window. After a time of allowing our negative emotions to come through and settle, we then sit down and talk with each other with the intent to understand each other’s opinion. We also talk about what triggers we had, what emotions we had and get to know each other on an emotional level. Many couples neglect this important process in their relationships because they never saw their parents do it. Instead, they are creating intensity which is destructive.

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Other vital ingredients to our LDR are: positive mental attitude, solution minded, teamwork, support, understanding, agreeing to disagree, giving each other space to do our own things, sharing the good and the bad, creating time for us, showing gratitude for what each other does for our relationship, sending surprises to each other, creating mush and intimacy through words, pictures and other internet means and the most important is our own self worth.

We are only capable of loving each other when we know how to love ourselves, warts and all. We love each other’s imperfections, weaknesses and flaws.

We compliment each other’s weaknesses and that’s what makes our relationship work when we are physically together.

As we enter our third year together, we are still getting to know each other, because there are many different versions of us that needs to be explored and discovered.

Our love for each other has grown deeper each day from the past twelve months of intimacy.

Our relationship is nowhere near perfect, yet it is a love story that we are proud to share with the world and shout out “we make it work each day because we cherish each other!”

 

 

 

 

 

In my culture, being self sufficient shows strength of character and asking for help from others is seen as a sign of weakness. What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Is it such a bad thing to ask for help? Is it such a bad thing to be weak? I remember needing help from my big brother when I gave birth to my third child and my then mother-in-law made a comment “if you can’t manage on your own, you shouldn’t have another child”!  She is entitled to express her own opinion yet it was merely her mentality and mind set that she grew up with.

In my culture, a weakness exposed means others takes advantage of it and the weak person is shamed. Therefore, people hide their weaknesses and never set themselves free of toxic shame.

There are certain things and many of them in life that requires the help of others. Those who are successful are never shy of asking for help because they know that they are only able to complete their tasks, get what they want and achieve their goals by asking for help.

Toxic shame says we shouldn’t say this or do this and that because nobody does it! We get laughed at for saying something that nobody says. We get laughed at for doing something nobody else does.

I remember my dad telling my youngest son Calvin, on a number of occasions not to say this or do that because he shall get laughed at. That is toxic shame which was passed onto him from his set up and he is passing it onto my son.

Do we become prisoners of what others think of what we say and do in order to avoid being shamed? Do we tread on eggshells in order to be free of being shamed?

A see a huge number of people in my culture are being prisoners of others opinions of them and never get what they want from life. Why?

I am grateful that I had the support and help from my sweetheart to be able to have the tools to learn to set myself free from toxic shame. Living  the life that I want for myself and NOT what others expect of me has been my biggest achievement on a personal level.