Observe

To observe, you must learn to separate situation from interpretation, yourself from what you’re seeing. Train yourself:… “It is impossible as I state it and therefore I must in some respect have stated it wrong.” Out loud instead of silently. In writing instead of in your head. It will save you from many errors in Perception. – Maria Konnikova, How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes

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Our lifestyle nowadays are quite sedentary, living in the city somehow tied us to our laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other gadgets. Sometimes, our ability to observe is reduced to those finite (or massive) spaces of the World Wide Web or that particular gadget we’re holding. It is true that in that space, we are taken to different places and we see people we normally don’t get to see. We are engrossed in the world of entertainment and social media to get our mind off things. We are tuned in to shows or so focused on getting to the next level of the game. Instead of scheduling time for exercise or other activities, we are preoccupied with lots of screen time which actually reduces our attention to other things.

Without practice, it’s not easy to play basketball or to shoot some hoops. So after a long time, our muscles couldn’t keep up quite easily if we ever plan to go back to sports. Of course, through discipline and practice, we could gradually change our lifestyle. This is the same thing with how we perceive things. Our perception changes depending on how we look at a scene or what angle we choose to capture. We could choose a spot to focus all our energies or we could see the bigger picture. We commit many errors because we easily dismiss things as how we thought we saw them. Both our mind and body needs training to prevent errors in our movement.

It feels nice to be back on the court to shoot some hoops with my nephews. Though it was just a one time activity, it felt good to be able to regain momentum at that time.

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Night challenge

Thanks to Sylvain for the challenge SL-Week 7: Night.

Night scenery is lovely. Somehow the city gives us a light show every night. It’s challenging though taking photographs at night especially without a tripod. I remember waiting with our cousin at Victoria’s Peak for the lights to light up and admire the city lights of Hong Kong. There were many people there who are waiting for that too. Cameras all raised, taking in the view; some were tourists while others just seem to want to capture the view after a long day’s work.

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I like the idea of spontaneity in photographs but I also revel in waiting to snap a scene. Singapore is a photogenic city and really beautiful at night with its great architectures and radiant lights. It’s a city that inspires one to just stare into the vast night sky. The air is fresh and inviting for walks.

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I used a digital camera for this one, something handy to carry as we participated a party for the 400 years celebration of the University of Santo Tomas (UST). This University was built during the Spanish colonial period. Lights and decors surround the building and school grounds. It is nice to take a walk during nighttime which we don’t normally do.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.”

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I remember coming to this area to watch a play, though this is not the picture of the Rajah Sulayman Theater in Fort Santiago. The place looked like a ruins but it is used as a venue for performances. It was particularly creepy because it was nighttime when we watched but definitely did set the mood for the theme of the play. Built during the Spanish era, the architectures in Intramuros are very different from today. This walled city has gone through a massive history but some structures have not been preserved well. It is still a good place to walk about, to find structures built about 300 years ago.

What’s to worry?

You do not need to be a victim of worry. Reduced to its simplest form, what is worry? It is simply unhealthy and destructive mental habit.
-Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

20150216_160917It’s easier to worry than not to worry. Watch the news and our brows furrow. Hear a bad news and our mind wanders off to something dismal. Our expression becomes grave and we affect the people we are with if we feel blue. Sometimes it helps to lessen our consumption of the news. Yes, it is important to know what’s happening around us, but too much information could only bring confusion and more worries to us. I still read the news and as well as updates on the internet but I stopped watching the news on television. How much weight can we carry on our shoulders? If we can do something concrete about the problems and tragedies we come across with, then maybe it is worth worrying about. If we choose not to do anything except generate miseries then we can give the people around us a little break. Sometimes, worry is futile. Our worries can’t change the facts, it somehow creates a barrier that people couldn’t pass through. Worrying makes us preoccupied with other things and we neglect the people we are with. We can instead choose to savor the moment rather than spend the whole time worrying about something. That way, we wouldn’t ruin the moment and even harvest a good memory. So not to worry, it’s still a beautiful world, we just have to find the spaces.

The Way to Happiness

The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.    -Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

IMG_6073 We can notice several things that can make us happy. If really minute and simple things could make us worry, how about minding little things that could brighten our day? Sometimes, we choose the lines that crease our foreheads, expect too much and we get dismayed easily. One key to do according to Norman Vincent Peale is to clear our hearts and mind from hate and worry. If we have a pure heart, it would reflect the good things and spread happiness to the people around us. 20150214_142117 IMG_6530

What We Cultivate

“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate.” – Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking20150215_125040 If we think of beautiful things and if we maintain a happy heart, it would be quite difficult to dampen our spirit. It is not full-proof though, as we easily get influenced by our surroundings. Just that, what we cultivate in our heart and mind will eventually reflect our attitude and behavior. This needs practice for we are swiftly distracted by simple things that we allow to get into our nerves.IMG_6280If we cloud ourselves with unhappy thoughts, spend time with unhappy people, our moods become agitated and we easily snap on people. Cultivating is not instant, it needs patience and constant reminder to be conscious of our thoughts and actions. Just as when we’re planting a seed, it needs further nourishment for it to grow. Thus, it is a habit that forms through practice.

These sculptures of nature in Kamakura, Japan have a calming effect. Its intricacies remind us that some things might appear complex, but it depends on how we decipher the picture and how we find a caption to attach to it. Maybe the complexities are necessary to paint a beautiful picture.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Wherever our footsteps may take us, it will be a meaningful journey depending on our attitude and perspective at that time. At times, looking back at the photographs, we’d be able to see footprints of happiness and discover marks of good memories beneath our feet.  20140426_151514 This photo was taken on a spontaneous day trip to Tagaytay. Sometimes unplanned trips have the best surprises! IMG_1099 IMG_1108 IMG_0988These were taken from our trip to Boracay last 2011. It was indeed a memorable one. You can do just about anything on the sand.