Anna Oposa is one of my favorite young writers/bloggers out there. When we met last year at a “writing tour” that Writer’s Block Philippines organized with Carlos Celdran, there Anna was on the front row of the workshop group, looking wide-eyed and utterly enthusiastic about our discussion on travel, arts, and culture. (I felt your positive vibes, Anna, and I appreciate it!) I later discovered that Anna is an environmentalist and a fellow changemaker, having been on the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) and one of the Philippines’ youth representatives to COP 16 in Cancún, Mexico.
But that is not the only reason why Anna tops my list. She is also an extremely warm and sunny person, and she gives off positive vibes wherever she goes. When I declared today, on Twitter, that I needed a dose of energy and positive vibes to make it through the evening’s deadlines, she immediately replied with THIS blog post. I loved it so much that I’ve asked permission to repost some excerpts here.
This was the part that struck me the most:
My mom also taught me that the words we use shape our worlds. For instance, I wasn’t allowed to say “lazy.” My mom would say that “lazy” was a bad word. I’ve added “stress,” “tired,” “busy,” and “I don’t have time” to that list as well. Those words are just excuses, because we all get 24 hours a day. So do Oprah, Nelson Mandela, PNoy, Lady Gaga, and Kate Middleton (wala lang, malapit na yung royal wedding eh). We have time. The best part is, we can make time.
It’s always disappointing to see people complaining about how tired and stressed they are and how much sleep they lack. On Twitter, they post things like, “So much work to do! The work never ends! #stress #hassle.” I wish I would see, “So much work to do! The work never ends! #grateful #blessed.” For the most part, we choose to do the things we do, so we “can’t and shouldn’t complain” (Ick, J. 2010). When we live with the attitude of gratitude, life is enjoyed, not endured.
Another important step to being gvs is learning to embrace your body. To do this, one must exercise to challenge one’s body and trigger the release of endorphins. This is one of the things people “don’t have time” for. In high school, I had major body issues. It reached a point where I would weigh my food everyday just to know my exact calorie intake. I was in the gym two hours a day, six times a week. Just thinking about that version of myself makes me shudder. NEVER, EVER AGAIN. FOOD IS GOOD. I’m also glad that yoga and I met. I also got introduced to swimming and running. My body is not a temple, it is a wonderland (Mayer, J. 2001). It is a Disneyland (Jacinto, G. 2009). I will never be skinny, but I can be fit, and I can be healthy.
Lately, I’ve been complaining a lot about having too much to do when, in fact, I should be grateful that there is SO MUCH going on in my life right now! There’s a magazine to edit, people and artworks to feature, articles to write, clients to visit, money to collect, friends to hang out with, a husband to come home to, food to eat, a bed to sleep on, and so on. I’ve also used stress as my excuse for eating unhealthily, for failing to take care of my body, and all the usual yada-yada. Anna’s post reminded me that it wasn’t stress that was stressing me out–it was me and my mindset and my excuses.
So, thanks to Anna, we have access to a bit more sunshine and her own “personal guide to good vibes.” I highly recommend it to anyone who’s having a bad day or who’s just feeling too overwhelmed. If that doesn’t work, we’ll have to ask Anna to give us a stronger dose of “GVs”.
Have a good Holy Week ahead, folks!