In order to gain anything, you must lose everything.

I’ve been studying the teachings of the 14th Dalai Lama lately and he mainly focuses on practicing the art of Compassion. What’s crazy is that the 14th Dalai Lama was chosen by a group of lamas and religious dignitaries after the death of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso, who passed in 1933. When the 13th Dalai Lama passed away, his head was facing South then turned to the Northeast. This interpretation meant that he was facing towards the next reincarnation – the home of the 14th Dalai Lama. All this reincarnation stuff is crazy right?

Anyway, he speaks heavily about how important it is to be compassionate. Being compassionate isn’t just about caring for someone close to you, it’s also about caring for another’s well being, including strangers and enemies. It’s about helping and relieving ones struggles other than your own, even if that person pisses you off. Lol.

I’ve been a strong believer in Altruism all my life and some may say that I’m naive or I shouldn’t sacrifice my happiness before my own. But the truth is, it hurts me more to see someone else suffer. And if I feel that I can relieve someone else from their struggles, I will put them before me. It isn’t reciprocated often, but I rarely expect anything in return. I just feel that we are all human and we all face adversity at least once in our lifetime, some more than others. People may also see that being compassionate is a sign of weakness, but to me, I see it as a sign of strength. And if my kindness gets taken advantage of, it’s best to leave it in God’s hands anyway.

I have also been practicing Bodhicitta at least twice a day (Yes, TWICE! I might go 3! Lol) Bodhicitta is a form of meditation and it allows me to stabilize my mind before I start my day. Nothing is more difficult than taking a deep breath and visualizing all your negative thoughts then having to exhale it out. Lol. I’ve learned that it takes a ton of work, especially when you’ve been through hell and the end result is you wishing your enemies well. That shit takes hella hella practice which is why I do it when I wake up and before I close my eyes. 😂 All jokes aside, my inner Dalai Lama has helped me get through my most stressful days.

Anyway, I’ll post more about my spiritual journey at a later time. It’s 2am and I need to sleep but it’s too damn hot in my room.

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Happy Easter

I kept it super low key with my son today and took him to Easter Mass at our local church. The building was filled with people with some left standing the whole time.

During the homily, a short Filipino woman in her 70s, walked towards our bench and sat next to me. She was a cute little old woman. Her energy was so strong; I could not help but turn to look at her from time to time just to smile at her. She would smile at me back then we would return our focus on the Priest. As we read the scriptures aloud from the big projector screen, her voice lit up the room. She prayed loud and she sang her heart out. She had the lyrics memorized while I was over in my holy space mumbling the verse Lol. Playing it off by tapping my son on the head and pulling on his arm just to get his attention. Attendees even turned around to look at her as if they were bothered. I personally had no issue with it. Her voice was beautiful. Then suddenly the vibe changed.

In the Catholic Church, some of us receive Communion. In 2007, I attended RCIA classes at Christ the King church on Thursday nights. Then in 2008, I completed the III and IV Sacrament. I received the Eucharist for the first time, which is a thin, round, tasteless wafer given by the Priest (Body of Christ)

It was time to receive the Eucharist during Mass. We stood up and waited in line. I normally tell my son to walk in front of me since he has not been through Communion yet. Nevertheless, I tell him to walk up to the Priest with his arms crossed against his chest so he can bless him. Then I follow behind and receive the bread. After receiving the bread, we both walked back to the bench and got on our knees and prayed. While I was praying on my knees, I looked to my right at the woman and she was in tears. I was in shock. I could not understand why this happy little old woman was singing joyously one moment and then crying the next. I overheard her praying hard and fast in Tagalog and she was in tears! In addition, that is when I realized that she was hurting inside. I slowly understood why she prayed and sang so loudly – she wanted God to hear her.

A huge part of me wanted to stop praying and give a hug but instead, I shifted my focus and prayed for her healing. She was obviously hurting inside and all I wanted to do is pray to God that she will be okay. I am not a super religious woman, but I believe in the power of prayer and I continue to pray for those who yearn for healing – I am one of those people.

Temporarily Deactivated.

I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram recently and I must say, it felt like a ton of weight off my shoulders. No more reading negative news on my feed, no more foodie pics, and I no longer have the satisfaction off laughing my ass off over hilarious memes.

I do however, miss posting the images from my Canon on Instagram displaying my trips to New York and showing off pictures of my kids. But from what my best friend tells me, I’m not really missing out on anything. Good.

The only access to social media I allowed myself to be on was Snapchat – with my 20 friends. Lol. I do continue to post on there because I feel it’s safer – with my 20 friends. There were way too many creepers on my Facebook list and I lost count on the amount of followers on Instagram. I received threats on Facebook through a new game Profoundly. This is a game where FB’ers can send you messages anonymously. I admit that I was terrified so I decided to take a break and deactivated my FB and IG.

I needed a serious break.

Trolls, I call them internet gangsters, get a kick out of pissing random people off. Maybe it’s out of boredom, maybe they have self esteem issues, or maybe they’re just plain psycho. Whatever it is, I don’t want to get caught up in it. I’ll probably never find out who sent me those threatening messages on Profoundly, but whoever it is, must have developed some deep hate towards me. And what scares me the most is that it could be someone I know or someone in my “circle”.

Anyway, I’m on Day 2 and have not been tempted to log back on. I deleted the apps on my iPhone and downloaded books to read on Kindle instead. This is totally out of my comfort zone since I’ve grown addicted to those sites. But I need to start reading more and be more productive outside of social media.

I do promise to get back to posting more of my travels. But I’ll save that for a later time. It’s time to focus on myself and tune out the world – temporarily.

Today, I made myself a refreshing drink for once. So here is an image of that. I’m just glad Mother Nature decided to bring out the sun today. Tired of the rain.

Transparency.

My mind has been going in different directions and I don’t even know where to begin. But I’ve held in my feelings for too long that it was starting to become self damaging.

I permanently cut ties with my ex-boyfriend the other day. I told him to never contact me again and I am glad that he respected my wishes. I thought it would be a good idea to maintain some kind of friendship with him, but his toxicity lead me to believe that remaining friends with him wasn’t worth it. Plus I was resentful for what he did to me in the past and what he did literally broke me. This was a man that ignored my calls when my car broke down in the middle of Oakland and disappeared when I found out that my daughter was ill. On top of that, he was cheating and discussing our relationship issues with other girls, without communicating with me first. When I felt at my lowest, he wasn’t there for me. So if he wasn’t there for me during that time in my life, what makes you think he would be there for me as a friend now? Some people are not meant to stay in your life. Ever since we broke up last year, I chose to live a fairly private life, especially in any kind of relationship I get into. I just chose to share this personal part of my life because it took me a lot of strength to let this piece of my past go. And I know my friends are like “It’s about fuckin time!” LOL

Clarion Alley – Mission District, SF

Amongst all the places I love to visit in San Francisco, it’s Clarion Alley. This alley lies between 17th and 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District and is known for its murals by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. I try to come here every few months because the artwork changes every so often. But I noticed that some murals have remained on some buildings for more than a year.

I stopped by the alley yesterday since I had some time to kill. After my short walk on Valencia Street, I decided to grab a prawn burrito and my favorite, horchata, at Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th St.

Here are some photos that I captured during my walk. Some were taken from my Canon and the couple were taken with my iPhone.

The mural above happens to be one of my favorites! 😍

Hella Hella. ✊🏽

I have more photos but these are currently on my Top list of murals on Clarion Alley. Except for the exquisite painting of the woman below. I captured this while I was walking on Valencia Street. How beautiful is this? 😍