The New Year has begun…

Happy New Year! !! The New year 2012 has already been here.  Where was I?  I am like an alien or  “nothing new, it’s just a change of calendar – another calendar to turn its pages” .   Admit it, I did not welcome the New Year the same way as I had done previous years.  The weather has been so unusually amazing … .  We had a nice Christmas week, a chilly Christmas eve…   I got a nice long break for family events, then a breakaway for myself, and then time for fighting the flu/cold.  Blame it on the sudden amazing change of weather.   I can’t complain.   Everything would come so early this year – the warm weather, the sun, the rain.  The Iowa Caucus is already here.  I am not into it as it’s no longer the same as was in the history.   Too corrupt and crony – such are politics.   Very soon the Luna New Year will come, in 3 weeks.  It will be the Year of Dragon before I know it.  We had a good rain in Texas – the start of dragon’s watering the earth, to make up for last year.   As we enter the year 2012, we have to look back and also be prepared to open a new book/chapter of new, blank pages.  As usual, I am putting words on my new pages.

New Year symbolizes the beginning of a better tomorrow. Let’s raise a toast to the new year that holds many promises.

I wonder if I should do the checklist again.  It’s there in my mind with a few important items – I am sure.  I am thinking of doing something different – make a wish instead.

A new year has begun.
A chance to start life anew.

A time to stop living in the past, to forget all the failures, and let go of all doubts and cautions.
May this New Year bring peacefulness and prosperity to all countries of the world, uplift the life of those under economy hardships and mental breakdowns.

May this New year be filled with glory and victory.

May this year help me to let go of all the disappointments and anger, let my life be filled with strength and courage, and keep me in healthy shape and mind.

Let this year be full of adventures untold and mark the start of many sweet, wonderful surprises.


In front of me is the ocean  – only the sounds of the wind, the waves (Oh! my happy place).  Behind me are the buildings, the cities, and people.

Pueblo Bonito – the Pacifica Resort

its an honor

Tomorrow is big sister’s big day – her wedding reception.  It has been a long road for them… and finally, she is now married, to her man/best friend.  My oldest sis, the first to wed. I am truly happy for her.  Now as a maid of honor, I have to make a little speech.  Wow, time runs short on me.   It is an honor in deed.  At the same time it’s a big responsibility – representing the bride’s family.   I am behind, and now running on my neck.  Something to be remembered for her wedding day and will be addressed to both the bride and groom but has to be pleasant to the elders’ ears.  Let put these all together in writing.  The worst scenario is just being spontaneous.

Rippling effects…

A lot of us come across this image at many places, but how  many   have really put some thoughts or got the full meaning behind it. I like symbolic meanings.

There is a quote (Buddha’s quote, I think) saying, “Even drops of water can make an ocean; dust particles a mountain”.  This refers to the Law of Cause and Effect.  All actions have their own effects.  Our apparently insignificant action become causes for great effects.  The Zen thought of this law is also summarized in a similar “tiny garden” called the Eastern-Water Drop-Pot.

The garden is completely enclosed by raised paths and grooves, but the garden itself has no roof.  This allows the rain to drop into the “pot”.  There may be a reference here to the Buddha’s words: “Drop by drop is the water pot filled.  Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”

Further, the stones and gravels are used to express water.  The grooves or circles are the waves.  The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water has an aesthetic function. Zen priests practice this raking also to help their concentration. Achieving perfection of lines is not easy.   The rocks sometimes represent a frog jumping into the pond; other times refer to a boat, a person, or a mountain.  It is said the effect of the jump is a wave that goes out and, if strong enough, the wave will come back to push the frog out of the water again.  This is used as a metaphor for our intentional actions.  If we act strongly, with a heart that bears no selfish desires or anger, our actions create far more powerful effects that will eventually return to support us.  I always love Japanese and Zen gardens for their serenity and inner peace-feeling.  It can be both helpful for concentration and also thought provoking.  They are simple but delicate, and serve a deep meaning and sincerity of purpose – a very powerful message.

From an enlightened master’s point of view, we are as stupid as the creature, constantly making incorrect assumptions about the world because of our limited system of thought.

Visiting a garden with a few rocks in it gives our mind just enough information to feel comfortable.  Here we can train our mind to stop jumping about from one unrelated subject to another.    In this way, it is similar to the breath counting meditation.  Calming the mind, like calming water, allows the dirt to settle, and the water to clear.

Oh, the List(s)…

Last day before my 12-day Thanksgiving break.   It’s a break from work, yes.  It’s time of the year to make plan for vacation and use up remaining vacation days/holidays, to get personal to-do’s done, to shop and prep for the holidays.  As usual, I am checking off my work accomplishments before I can go on vacay.  What’s pending and what’s to follow-up, what can be delegated…   Turn my Email and Voicemail ‘s “Out of Office” option ON.   Voila.  Clear the desk and I am out of office.

And then I move on to my personal to-do’s list, in chronological order.   Remember to pick up the T-shirt for Thanksgiving morning race.  I am going to come out and trot, to support the Sheltering Arms Senior Services.  Then, have to remember to check out for any fun, musical shows for kids, my favorite little buddies.  Andy has a new interest – theater arts/acting, so he wanted to go see some Broadway and musical shows.   I gave him a list from The Nutcracker, to Riverdance,…  Cirque du Soleil.  I had in mind the Siberia orchestra – not sure if it fits his style or age.  Never underestimate a kid, huh?  How about “Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream”?  It must be good for his younger brother.  “My Fair Lady” sounds like the best choice.   A few medical/dental appointments are in line – checked.  This reminds me of one pending issue from the Flex Spending account.   The Made Ya Smile dental office has not done me any help.  I requested a statement to accompany the receipt of my copay for FSA, and what they sent me was an Account Ledger.  Bummer!   What a horrible decline of customer service!   With the sisters in town and some guests on Thanksgiving, I will be busy with cooking, prepping the houses for the holidays.  What else? Oh, it’s about time for car maintenance service.  Shop for my next car? I have been thinking about this (sport vehicle – a Jeep Wrangler describes me best), but I’d put a low priority on it, must be after my next property.  Then I will have a few days for resting, for pampering, for a bunch of meetups and holiday events, and there will be plenty of time for gym.  I probably won’t be able to get out of town until hopefully later this year…

Sustainable habit

October is over.  November is here.  It’s the month of light saving , of light transitioning from north to south.  There will be more colder, rainy days, and absolutely windy days of falling leaves…   Such are nature’s laws.   Speaking of laws, I have been sticking on my principles of living until… recently I have a new habit.  Drinking coffee – is it a bad habit?   I used to think so.  No smoking, no liquor, no coffee, no soft drinks – strictly for my healthy living.   I love the aroma of coffee – no doubt about it.   I passed by the coffee aisle at Kroger’s this weekend and could not resist checking out the Organic Columbia coffee beans.   Suprisingly, drinking coffee does not make me go to sleep as it used to.  I am more alert during daytime, and have slept much better at night.  That is a good sign.  So I am now into it – the freshly roasted and recently grinded.  It’s ok to drink coffee from time to time, as suggested by Mary Jane (my asthetician).  It all started with her; oh and the irrestible  “Keurig” coffee maker at the training class last week.   On the side note, Kroger’s was said in an GCImagazine article soon to become a hypermarket not only for groceries but also for private label health and beauty products.   I read that coffee helps with reducing pigmentation;  also read that it can make skin worse.  One thing I know is, I am drinking more water.  Coffee does dehydrate your body/skin.  Just like wine, there are so many controversies of coffee/wine intake.  Some coworkers I know have been drinking coffee all their lives and look really older than their ages.  I am setting the weekly limit: 1- 2 coffees only, no sugar added.   Keep in mind anything over-consumed is not healthy for your body.  Sustain it!

Laws of Leadership

Listed here are the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership.  From the analysis of each law at https://lynaynle.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php ,  I found an interesting point about Steve Wozniak’s leadership vs. Steve Jobs’.  Steve Wozniak was the brain behind Apple in the 1970s, but his leadership lid was low.  Steve Jobs’ leadership lid was high, and he built a world-class organization out of Apple.

  • The Law of the Lid – Leadership Ability Determines a Person’s Level of Effectiveness
  • The Law of Influence – The True Measure of leadership Is Influence– Nothing More, Nothing Less
  • The Law of Process – Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day
  • The Law of Navigation – Anyone Can Steer the Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
  • The Law of E.F. Hutton – When the Real Leader Speaks, People Listen
  • The Law of Solid Ground – Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
  • The Law of Respect – People Naturally Follow Leaders Stronger Than Themselves
  • The Law of Intuition – Leaders Evaluate Everything with a Leadership Bias
  • The Law of Magnetism – Who You Are Is Who You Attract
  • The Law of Connection – Leaders Touch a Heart Before The Ask for a Hand
  • The Law of the Inner Circle – A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to Him
  • The Law of Empowerment – Only Secure Leaders Give Powers to Others
  • The Law of Reproduction – It Takes a Leader to Raise Up a Leader
  • The Law of Buy-In – People Buy Into the Leader, Then the Vision
  • The Law of Victory – Leaders Find a Way for the Team to Win
  • The Law of the Big MO – Momentum Is a Leader’s Best Friend
  • The Law of Priorities – Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
  • The Law of Sacrifice – A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up
  • The Law of Timing – When to Lead Is As Important As What to Do and Where to Go
  • The Law of Explosive Growth – To Add Growth, Lead Followers–To Multiply, Lead Leaders
  • The Law of Legacy – A Leader’s Lasting Value Is Measured by Succession