Turn your worries into prayers.

When something bad happens, our first nature is to worry for the worst. Although we are aware that worrying cannot help the situation, we still do it. May we find the courage to convert our worries into prayers. The moment you heard a bad news, pray. Whether the news has a direct effect on you or not, and whether it involves people you know or not, pray. Pray.

These days, a lot of tragedy has been happening in the different parts of the world. How fortunate everyone who’s not there. May all these fortunate people pray for those who are on those places captivated by wars and by heartless people. Let us pray for the safety of the humanity. Let’s pray that the roots of all wars may be cut down and the wars be completely ended.

Dear Lord,

In the midst of all these bad things that are happening in the world, may we find you and your mercy and your love for your people. Please take care of your children. Heal our hearts, especially those who are causing the wars and those who are losing their faith during these dark hours of their lives. Lord, take away all the hatred and pains, and please replace them with love and compassion.

May all the bad things end and may peace finally arise in our world. Lord, forgive us all for our sins and please grant us the grace of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our everyday lives. May we always think what’s good for everyone, and not only for ourselves. Use us to encourage our brothers and sisters to be kind to one another and use us to be the messengers of your word and your unconditional love.

Thank you, Lord, for not abandoning us especially during these times. Thank you for listening to us as we turn our worries into prayers. Thank you for holding our hands when we seem to have no one else and nothing else to hold on to. We love you, Oh Lord. But, we know that our love for you cannot be compared to your love for us which is bigger than the world and surely, bigger that all of these unfortunate events.

Light up our hearts, Oh Lord, and fill them with courage, with strength, with hope, with love and compassion, and with utmost faith in you. 

All these we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, your son. Amen.

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. (Philippians 4:6)

Psalm 23

One of the most popular chapter in the Bible is Psalm 23. It was written by the shepherd turned king, David, who bravely defeated Goliath. Psalm 23 is also one of my favorite chapter in the Holy Book. I find the words calming, especially when I’m distressed.

The Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need.

The Lord, like a shepherd to a herd of sheep, looks after us and attends to our needs. Without our shepherd, we’re nothing but a confuse, hungry, thirsty, and scared herd of sheep. When we get lost, the Lord looks for us; he doesn’t stop looking for us and waiting for us to come back to him.

He lets me rest in fields of green grass. And leads me to the quiet pools of fresh water.

The Lord knows our needs; he knows when we’re already tired or when we’re thirsty. He knows that we’ve been working our best each day and that we deserve a break. God gave us not just fields of green grasses and flowers, he gave us a beautiful world filled with his amazing creations on where we could lie down, roll down, and live. He not only gave us a pool of fresh water, but he also gave us seas and seemingly never-ending oceans.

He gives me new strength.

Every morning, God gave us new strength to go through the entire day. He gives us the strength to do our duties, to serve him, and to take care of his creations including ourselves.

He guides me in the right paths as he has promised.

Our shepherd leads us to the right paths. Even though some of us disobey him and try to go our own ways, he never stops chasing us and leading us back to the path we meant to cross. We need to put our trust in him. He knows what’s best for us so whatever he allows to happen in each of our lives has purposes.

Even if I walk through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, O Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

No one else can give us the protection that’s so great. The Lord looks after us, although it’s not what it seems to be at times. He allows us to pass dark alleys, I believe, to help us strengthen our faith in him. So, if you’re going through some tough times right now, don’t forget to pray. Whatever happens, God got you.

You prepared a banquet for me where all my enemies can see me. You welcomed me as an honored guest and filled my cup to the brim.

For everyone who follows him, God gives nothing but the best. He will not deprive us of the things we deserve. If he isn’t giving you what you’ve been asking yet, don’t lose your patience. God loves surprising us in the best ways.

I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life. And your house will be my home as long as I live.

God’s love is the greatest. God’s love is the reason why we’re here. God’s love is what should always make us feel grateful, faithful, and hopeful. When everything else is gone, God’s love remains.

And because God loves all of us, he’s kind to us. He gives us our needs, he looks after us, he guides us, he protects us, he answers our prayers, and he’ll never ever abandon us.

All we have to do is trust in him. Let’s be faithful to God and surely, he’ll reward us with things so unimaginably awesome. ❤

Stressed or Anxious? (Part 1)

Ever since I’d begun this blog, I am hesitant in writing about this topic for the simple reason that while talking about it, I may feel it. Stress and anxiety were two of the not good things in life. Just the word anxiety makes me anxious tbh so let’s see how far I’ll go with this post. I’m hoping that it could be helpful still. Alright…

Since I’m scared of the word “anxiety”, I referred to myself as so stressed whenever I feel anxious. It’s almost the same anyway. Stress is one of the causes of anxiety. When you over think, you get stressed. When you get too stressed, you get anxious. Over thinking, I personally believe, is the main cause of anxiety. Other causes include physical condition, tension (which may also be caused by stress), fearful incidents, and genetics.

Anxiety can be felt mentally, physically, and both. When thoughts come in and in and in, and you feel like you’re losing control over them, that’s anxiety. When your heart’s palpitating with no reason and you feel an unexplainable tension, pain, or any physical sensation, that may also be anxiety. It’s different for everyone. But if you experience it, hey, you’re not alone. Also, don’t worry too much. There are ways on how you can cope with it. You’ll be well. Every episode shall pass.

I’m also hesitant to share this post because I worry that someone I personally know may read it and then, worry about me. Please don’t.

Anxiety, just like other illnesses, can be prevented through the following. A disclaimer though, I’m not an expert; these information were based from my experiences and the things I read.

  • Meditation

Meditation is a form of mind training. Its main purpose is to bring us back to the “now”. It trains the mind to focus in the moment and cut the train of thoughts that do not help us. The concept of meditation is not ignoring thoughts (no matter absurd); it’s about trying not to judge them so that we’ll be able to control them and not the other way around.

I used the mobile application “Calm” to meditate every night. This is basically how you meditate: (1) find a quiet place to sit down, (2) close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply in and out, (3) put all your focus on the flow of your breathing, (4) breathe normally and concentrate on your breathing for 5-10 minutes, (5) bring your focus back in the room you’re in, then (6) gently open your eyes.

  • Gratitude

Anxiety roots from negative thinking and so, to combat it, you need to be positive. I like another mobile app, “Bliss“. It’s an app that allows you to appreciate what you have to increase your happiness and improve the quality of your life. Another disclaimer, I’m not paid by any of these applications. I find them helpful so I’m sharing them with you.

Bliss has many options. You can list three things you’re thankful about daily or just write in a paragraph form the things and people you’re grateful about. You may also re-imagine a not so good situation and turn it into good. Each activity could really help us remove our focus on the things that are not working out, in our lives as well as our daily worries.

  • Rest

So simple yet not all of us does it. I’ve read that we experience anxiety episodes when our bodies were trying to tell us something. My body told me on the last day of 2015 that my blood glucose level is high through an anxiety episode. It’s not always that extreme though. Most of the time, we get anxious because our body needed rest.

We should acknowledge that we also have limitations. A machine will malfunction if used beyond its capability and so will a human body. When you’re tired, rest. You won’t stop, you will just take a break. You don’t have to sleep, you could just take a nap.

  • Pamper Yourself

Each of us needed relaxation. Each of us deserves pampering. Not all of us has the means to go to spas or massage therapists I know. But we definitely can still relax.

Here’s what I do when I pamper myself: (1) clean my nails and paint them, (2) light scented candles [strawberry and grapes] and massage my head, (3) put on face mask, (4) exfoliate my skin with milk salt, and sometimes (5) listen to ASMR through YouTube.

  • Express Yourself

Don’t hold onto your emotions and thoughts. Release them through different mediums. You could write them in your diary, blog about them, or talk to your friends or family about them. You could also indirectly release your stressors through drawing, painting, baking, singing, or any activity that works best for you.

Let it go! Let it go! Don’t hold it back anymore. (Let It Go from Frozen)

  • Yoga

Anyone can do yoga. Everyone should do yoga. Yoga is not only a great physical activity that can help us tone our body, it is also a form of mental training and relaxation. Yoga includes different poses; each focusing on one or more organs of our bodies. It also includes different breathing techniques that could help relieve stress and anxiety.

I do yoga with the help of the mobile apps “Yoga Monkey” and “Sworkit“, and  “Yoga with Adriene”  on YouTube.

  • Workout

There are different workouts that help us become fitter. Aside from their benefits for our body, it also has positive benefits for our thoughts and emotions. Working out may help us clear our mind and whenever we work out, we release endorphins (also referred as “happy hormones”).

I know we tend to be really busy with our daily lives and sometimes we no longer have the energy to workout after a day of work. We can always start small like 5 minutes of warm-up cardio before we head onto the shower every morning. The app “Sworkit” helped me plan my workout routines for every week.

  • Seek God

To me, knowing that there’s someone out there gives me hope and security. I trust that He will always save me from my troubles. I read Bible daily and other devotional books. I also pray all the time.

That’s all for this part. On part 2, I’ll share with you the things we can do when we’re having our visitors.

I want to end this post with my current favorite quote.

*Hey guys, if you are going to comment, please be very careful as I am pretty sensitive. I’d like to be of help by sharing to you the knowledge that I have acquired. For now, that’s all the help I could offer.

A Flow of Thoughts

Life is a series of what ifs and more questions. We are not meant to understand everything. What we’re meant to do is live. Just live…

Live your life the way you see fit. You can be a humanitarian who fights for human rights and who helps people in need. You can be an artist, always inside his own world; if outside, always looking for an inspiration; people, honestly, do not appeal to you that much. You can be someone of strong faith; you want to inspire people to believe to and love God and one another. You can be an atheist too who’s of good nature anyway; you help people without thinking that you’ll end up in heaven.

Anything. Basically, anything. We can be anything. And as long as we don’t hurt ourselves nor other people, I believe there’s nothing wrong with that. Let us not deprive ourselves of our passion, of that freedom to do our passion. Let’s give ourselves the serenity of being happy by living life as how we feel like living it.

Sadness, hopelessness, worries, fears… Oh! Who does not feel them? We all feel them. We feel them all. And that’s normal. It is normal to be sensitive sometimes and insensitive other times. It is normal to be grateful of the silliest, littlest things and then, ungrateful for the big ones. It is normal to be mad and be forgiving. It is normal to make mistakes, hurt others or yourself. It is perfectly normal to have so many emotions and even to get overwhelmed by these emotions. You got to snap back though; you got to take yourself back to the present. You got to release all your negative emotions and embrace the positive ones–those you need.

Don’t wish for a perfectly happy life for that kind of life has never existed. Wish for a strong heart, a brave mind, a great you who can get pass through all the obstacles in your life. Be a you who can wipe your tears after a good cry, a you who knows how to forgive yourself for every stupid things you’ve done, a you who is nice to everyone even if not everyone’s nice to you, a you who knows who s/he is, a you who loves her/himself, a you who appreciates what life is and everything in it.

Along the way, you’ll fall–whoever you are or however great you are. We’re all destined to fall. Not all of us knows how to stand back up though; know. Mold yourself into someone who’s ready to surpass a great fall. Be stronger than that fall.

And for those who can’t still stand up, now is the time to do it. Slowly but surely. Find a foundation that can help you stand on your feet. Find it now. And then hold onto it, grab it with all your might. Stand up. Stand up and then move forward. You can do it. Even if it seems impossible, so long as you’re breathing, you can.

Yes, so long as there’s life, we can… We can be what we want to become. We can be awesome. We can be great. We can be happy. We can love and be loved. We can… People, it’s time we live… really live.

Bakit Kailangang Magsimba?

Bilang buwan ng pag-ibig ngayon, atin ding talakayin ang isa pang klase ng pag-ibig… Pag-ibig na, kung ako’y tatanungin, pinakaimportante sa lahat.

Dati, hindi ako nagsisimba. Siyempre dalawang araw lang ako maaaring gumising ng hindi maaga dahil nag-aaral ako, isa-sacrifice ko pa ba ‘yong isa? Sa hapon naman, nakakatamad kaya at ‘yon ‘yong oras para gawin ko ‘yong mga assignments ko. Paminsan-minsan lang ako magsimba. Gusto ko lang magsimba kapag Simbang Gabi at kahit nagsisimba ako, hindi rin ako nakikinig. Nilu-look forward ko na kaagad ‘yong huling Sign of the Cross.

Pero no’ng elementary pala ako, nagsisimba ako every Wednesday. Nag-aral kasi ako sa Catholic school but just as the same, hindi naman ako nakikinig. Bata pa kami no’n e. Lalo na kung wala namang bantay, hindi naman namin sineseryoso ang misa o mga iba pang Catholic activities.

No’ng college ako, naging kasapi si Mama ng Catholic Women League dito sa lugar namin. Dahil doon, naging active siya sa simbahan. Isa hanggang tatlong beses siyang magsimba sa isang Linggo. Dati pa niyayaya niya rin kaming magsimba pero hindi niya kami napipilit. May mga pagkakataong papayag kami ‘pag tinanong niya kami ng Sabado pero hindi naman kami babangon kinabukasan.

Bakit ba kasi kailangang magsimba? Nagdadasal naman ako bago matulog. Kinakausap ko naman si God kapag kailangan ko? Sayang lang ‘yong pamasahe. Ang ingay pa minsan ng mga bata sa simbahan. ‘Yong ibang teenager, nagdadaldalan lang. Tapos hindi mo naman maintindihan ‘yong pare kasi maingay. Ang tagal-tagal pa ng homily!

‘Yan ‘yong mga rason ko dati kung bakit ayokong magsimba. So petty. Sadly, hindi ko nakita ang essence ng Holy Mass sa buhay ng isang Kalolikong kagaya ko. Sadly, natuto lang akong magsimba Linggo-linggo no’ng kinailangan ko Siya nang husto, no’ng nagkasakit ako.

Isa nga rin ‘yon sa mga pampalubag-loob ko. Baka kaya ako nagkasakit ay para mas mapalapit ang loob ko kay God. Kadalasan naman kasi gano’n, hindi ba? Kapag nakakaranas ka ng suliranin, doon ka napapalapit kay God.

Kung wala ka nang maintindihan. Kung wala ka nang makapitan. Kapit ka sa akin… Kapit ka sa akin. Hindi kita bibitawan. (Wag Ka Nang Umiyak by Sugarfree)

‘Yan siguro ‘yong binubulong palagi ni God sa atin ay ‘yan din siguro ‘yong reason kung bakit lahat na ng baging nawawala para wala ka nang makapitan, para kumapit ka na sa Kaniya. At kapag kumapit ka sa Kaniya, sigurado akong hindi ka Niya bibitawan. Ang dasal ko lang, huwag ka rin sanang bibitaw.

So, bakit nga ba kailangang magsimba?
Para makilala mo si God. Para malaman mo kung gaano ka Niya kamahal. Para malaman mong kahit anong mangyari, may makakapitan ka. Para tumibay ka spiritually. Kailangan mo ‘yong spiritual strength na ‘yon para malagpasan lahat ng matinik, bato-bato, lubak-lubak, at putik-putik na parte ng buhay. Panghuli, para rin malaman mong hindi ka nag-iisa.

God bless!

Pag-mamahal sa Panginoon ay simula ng karunungan. Ang Kaniyang kapuriha’y manatili magpakailanman. (Pagmamahal sa Panginoon by Himig Heswita)

How to be Motivated?

Like seriously? How to be motivated? I don’t want motivational articles or a video with smiley or angry motivational speaker talking. I need a real solution, like an antidote for laziness, perhaps? Lol. And no, I don’t want to drink coffee. My body does not love caffeine.

There were these days, right? These days when:

Today, I don’t feel like doing anything. I just wanna lay in my bed… (Bruno Mars)

But for me, it’s not just “today”, it’s more like “everyday, I don’t feel like doing anything”. I’m such a potato.

I woke up in a good mood today (even though it doesn’t show) because there’s no alarm clock that disturbed my sleep because my phone’s dead because I was online the entire night because… Damn it, Kriz. And you’re actually wondering why nobody’s reading your blog.

So, I woke up in a good mood. I even got the guts to walk outside for about 15 minutes. Then I went home kind of grumpily because I felt uncomfortable while walking. I actually almost have written a post declaring that today’s the last time that I’ll do morning walks. And then I was on my charging phone for half an hour or so then I fell into the thinking zone. Thinking zone… I barely come there, no, I barely give myself permission to come there for fear of overthinking.

So, I thought of my past failures but again and how those failures actually have effects on my future-great effects may I just add. Ugh. I just hate myself more than 2 years ago for my stupid decisions and for being just plainly stupid. I feel like I’ll be paying the price of my immaturity for the rest of my life. Joy. Absolute joy.

I came to a conclusion that even if I try-hard in fact-to score a job that would make me rich, I’ll just fail miserably. Too optimistic, am I not? Again, joy.

So that’s why I’m very unmotivated right now. But actually, being this much unmotivated motivates me! Yup, yup, the irony of life. Oh, life. The lemons you throw my way are bad, I can’t eat them. Why, though?

Anyhow, yes, now I am motivated. I am motivated to prove myself wrong, to prove that my thoughts, hypotheses, and the conclusion ain’t true. I can be successful. Maybe not in the most conventional way but I’d be. This, ladies and gentlemen, is called FAITH.

I’m off now to clean the entire house, cook lunch for the entire family, workout, and take a step towards my dreams.

Conclusion to this post: The best way to be motivated is have faith.