So, here begins the WAR...
As I have said earlier, I am no longer going to allow the enemies within me to rule over me, crippling me from moving forward and deluding my senses into believing that not trying is a virtue, that not doing anything is the safest protection from failure.
Upon deeper reflection and even just by looking at my physique, I realised how "ill-minded" I have been. I know exactly why I start so well, but never FINISH.
I blame no one for there is only me to blame. This is all my own doing.
For those who know me very well, namely my sisters, my parents, my close friends and my Spiritual Guide, H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche - I have never truly worked for anything in my life.
For those who do not know me at all, well, please allow me to share with you my illustrious resume -
I am the PHD Holder in "Not Trying", the Master Degree Holder in "The Art of Procrastination" and the Honoured Graduate of "Self-Indugence" with a major in "Self-Pity".
Get an idea of what I am now?
See what I am dealing with here? That's exactly what I have allowed myself to descend into and become.
Hence, if it began from me, it can end from me. Therefore, I am going to do something that will yield sustainable and lasting results which will speak for themselves. More importantly, it will help me cultivate a whole new set of habits - positive habits, I might add, into my daily life.
In Christianity, there are many books designed for Daily Reflections and I have always thought them to be most wonderful. And so I am going to use one of my most favourite books in the world as my book of Daily Reflections to accompany me in this Assassination of my enemy within.
This book is going to be my daily bible for the next 100 days, and the book is "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" by H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.
So, this is my game plan -
Timeline: 100 days
Target to be Assassinated: Queen of Sloth and the Knight of Vanity who reside in the mind of Shirley Maya Tan
Weapon: A Daily Regime, to be administered with discipline, commitment and consistency - absolutely no breaks
Variables Allowed: ONLY Ingredients to be added to raise the level at every phase fort he duration of 100 days. These will be announced on each Sunday of the week.
Bible of Daily Reflections: IF NOT NOW, WHEN? By H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.
I will close my eyes and pick a page at random to read. Most importantly, I must contemplate about the words and write my own thoughts and feelings about it.
While I am doing all the above, I must also continue with everything else that I am doing and must do them all without complaining or whining. Even if my work load increases and even when I travel, I must continue. No excuses.
Absolutely no breaks allowed. If I do have the utter bad luck of not even remembering or have "accidentally" forgotten about doing all the above, then I have to "pay back" by doing everything twice the amount on the following day.
Yes, this is for me.
Yes, I want to do this for me.
So, let it rip!
Date: Sunday 21st March 2010
Daily Regime: 21 Prostrations, Daily Sadhanas (by hook or crook) with Black Tea Offering, 15 minutes of meditation and a minimum of 35 minutes in physical exercise.
Daily Reflection from "If Not Now, When?" -
Ok, here we go. I close my eyes and pick out a page at random. Page 083.
OMG!!!!!! You wouldn't believe what it says on page 083 and I seriously picked it out at random.
I did not choose it.
IT CHOSE ME to read out loud.
The words run on two page and there are no photographs on either side, when most of the pages have photographs on at least one page. This being a coffee table book and all. Would you believe it?
I wonder if Rinpoche has a camera installed in this book and Rinpoche is trying to teach me a lesson.
Ok, here are the words from page 083. Read and believe -
" WHEN WE WANT TO GET SOMETHING, ACQUIRE OR ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING WITH LASTING RESULTS, THERE ARE MANY WAYS AND LEVELS TO ATTRACT IT.
IF IT IS BY LOOKS, THEN WE NEED TO BE DISCIPLINED IN DIET AND EXERCISE, ETC.
IF IT IS BY KNOWLEDGE, THEN WE NEED TO PUT EFFORT INTO STUDYING.
IF IT IS BY WEALTH, WE NEED TO MAKE A LOT OF PERSONAL SACRIFICE AND WORK HARD OVER A PERIOD OF TIME.
IF IT IS BY A KIND HEART AND MATURITY, THEN WE HAVE TO MENTALLY TRAIN OURSELVES THROUGH AWARENESS, PRACTICE AND CONSISTENCY.
WHATEVER THE METHOD, EFFORT WITH RESULTS IS THE KEY.
WHEN WE DO THINGS CONTINUOUSLY AND WITH EFFORT, THERE WILL BE RESULTS.
WHEN WE DO IT SPORADICALLY, OUR RESULTS WILL BE SPORADIC.
IF WE ONLY GO TO THE GYM ONCE EVERY SIX MONTHS, WE WILL LOOK LIKE WE ONLY GO TO THE GYM ONCE EVERY SX MONTHS.
IF WE ONLY DRIVE BY A GYM ONCE EVERY SIX MONTHS, WE WILL LOOK LIKE WE ONLY DRIVE BY A GYM ONCE EVERY SIX MONTHS.
SIMILARLY, IF WE MEDITATE, FOCUS, PRACTISE AND CONTROL OUR MINDS WITH THE DHARMA EVERY SINGLE DAY, WE WILL LOOK LIKE WE CONTROL OUR MINDS. WE WILL LOOK LIKE WE ARE PRACTISING THE DHARMA.
WE WILL SEE TRANSFORMATION."
Wow - what can I say? Even the book is sending me a message and for those out there who do not believe that I did pick it out at random, that is just too bad. But that is not important to me right now - whether readers believe or not. What matters is that I believe because this is my path to transforming myself into a better person. This is not about impressing some cynical reader or anyone. No offence.
What I write in here, is essentially, a personal sharing. And yes, it is all very personal because you are reading and witnessing my journey as I go through them and experience them.
As with all the comments which I have received, I truly appreciate them. I know I am not good at replying to all, but they are taken to heart and mind. And I do sincerely value them. So, I do sincerely thank those who have taken the time and trouble to write to me and in this blog.
A BIG THANK YOU!
Frankly, I am not even sure who reads whatever I write in here. I can only hope that it does offer some help, or at the very least, provides some sort of entertainment. So, let's get back to my daily reflection before I digress too much.
I am actually deeply moved by the words on page 083. For those who actually have the book, please turn to that page and read it as well. Yup, they are all there.
I have always been sporadic. It could very well be my middle name. Yea, imagine Shirley Sporadic Tan instead of Shirley Maya Tan.
In the past, I would only exert enough effort to create an impressive start but I did not or do not want to exert more effort to achieve a successful FINISH. And seriously, everyone only remembers how a game ends. No one really remembers how it begins, because the finish "seals" the results.
Even on a physical level, I know I can look better and feel much better if only I commit myself to working out consistently. But I won't and I don't. I shun exercise as strongly as I shun the morning sun each day, reminding me that's really time for me to get out of bed.
To the one point that even my personal trainer felt so bad about taking my money because she said that I was wasting my money and her time. I wasted the effort that I had put in at the beginning of the training but did not follow through. I am just surprised that she hasn't given up on me yet.
This is what I did instead - I would rather starve myself on really desperate days to lose the weight or cut down on my meals and snacks.
But what I won't do is the obvious thing - just exercise and get healthy. And the gym is just downstairs since I am living in a nice condo with good facilities. But I will not even do just that.
Imagine how lazy to the core the Queen of Sloth is and then she has the Knight of Vanity poking at her side saying, "you have a photo shoot coming up. You got to look good."
So, I'll pop in a couple more chocolates into my mouth and say, "its ok, I won't eat dinner later."
And this runs the same with just about everything else in my last life. Yes, I call it the last life because things are going to be very much different from here on.
It took me a long while to dig deep and un-earth the true enemies. I am very fortunate that I have a lot of help, especially with the guidance of a caring Spiritual Teacher.
But imagine those who don't and they will not even hear of it. They will shun every word that starts with Spiritual, Transformation and Surrender.
They go round and round in circles, deluding themselves into thinking that every retail therapy would ease their pain or the alcohol would numb their senses and the list goes on. But trust me, when it is all quiet and no one is around, you will realise that the pain never goes away. It gets bigger and louder and deeper. Then it starts to gnaw at you from the inside out.
Yes, I should talk because I have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and even got a tattoo just to prove that I have "suffered".
So, when I read those words on page 083 from IF NOT NOW, WHEN?, I cried.
The truth hurts.
But I am not going to just sit around and feel sorry for myself any minute longer. That would be glorifying it, if not, justifying it a little too much.
So, I am going to get up and finish what I am supposed to do as spelled out in my daily regime and get on with more pressing matters and important tasks at hand.
Tomorrow will be day two. A countdown to the next 100 days. For now, it is 1/100.
p/s For those who are waiting for the Part Two of my short story: Woman, Whore, Wife & Spirituality - yes, I am working on it. Not abandoning it in the least!
Have a wonderful Sunday, everybody!