Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Window To the Soul

Beijing - home after holiday. I am back and jetlegged, somewhat sad that I am away from the family and view from my window doesn't reveal snow on mountains. Alps were wonderful.

Before I get some sleep I invite you to see Nic Askew's film for this week.

I wish you were there, I wish you were here...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Way before the March of Penguin or Happy Feet, it was 1999, a penguin appeared in my dream and gave me a message that care for nature was the meaning of life. The dream message was clear to that extent that I wondered why penguin was not talking to me in my waking life. Wouldn't it be nice if, just for the fun of it, it came to me and truthfully said: This is the meaning of life!

Without any further hesitation I decided to pay attention to each moment I would see a penguin as if it was a confirmation that I was on the right way. Something like passport for success. Little I knew at that time how responsive penguin would get...

Thailand: a child's drawing of penguins at a hostel's reception desk
Nepal: water brand Penguin
London: posters all over the city: Where is the penguin?
Beijing: six new penguins at Beijing Zoo 2003
Cambodia: penguins on a T-shirt
Montreal: Biodome
Australia: penguins on the shore

It never appeared in my dreams again, it became part of my waking life and my passport is getting filled with the stamps. For 5 years it has been walking with me as my company logo.

The story behind the logo

I simply explained what the key words were and how I wanted the meaning to be combined into one. The rest was inspiration. Jose Abad, artist, has expressed it all in one Chinese character, the symbol for Dao, the Way (道) and upon the request added the penguin. The base for Chinese words ‘business’ and ‘penguin’ have the same character(企)as their foundation. So logo in Chinese simply translates to ‘Business Way’ or ‘The Way of Business’.

道 – Tao, the Way
首 - To lead
业- Business
鹅 - Penguin

Friday, February 09, 2007

Happy Feet

Happy Feet, story about a penguin who decided to save the nation and convince humans to stop harvesting fish.

Listen to their feet!

The land is melting

I notice, I keep getting back to the Earth - without it not even health could help us.
It's been bugging me, it's been haunting me.

What can I do?

Photo: Biodome, Montreal 2006

Dumplings, Fireworks and Family

Spring Festival is one of the most significant holidays in China.

It is mostly about

food (dumplings),

Year of the Monkey

fireworks (noisy)

Year of the Monkey

and family (connected)

Family in Beijing

We are now (still) in the year of the Dog (year mostly auspicious for marriages) and are barking our way into the year of the Golden Pig (auspicious for having children, and great financial rewards).

Wild Bore Where Art Thou?
Year of the Bore (Pig) 18.2.2007 - 7.2.2008.

This festival is recorded in the lunar calendar which has been (sadly) failing us recently. It used to predict weather changes so precisely, like a prophecy recorded at the beginning of this ancient culture.

Looking back, there are some basic rituals that are still kept as part of tradition for most families.

Fireworks start rocking day and night even a week before the actual festival begings. This way bad spirits fearfully leave humans alone.

Children receive 'hong bao' (red envelope) with money inside. That way community provides support to all families so everybody gets to celebrate to their heart's delight. Hong bao is also given at weddings, birthdays etc.

Hong bao given at the ceremony of apprentice acceptance into the 6th generation of
Liu Xu Yang Sifu's Xing Yi Bagua School
(Year of the Dog)

Families are visited on appointed days - I usually get confused about the order and 'must'. Here is what it says on

The second day of the Chinese New Year is usually for visiting the family of the wife if a couple is married. A large feast is also typically held on the second day of the Chinese New Year. The seventh day of the Chinese New Year celebration is traditionally everyone's birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. It is also the day when tossed fish salad, yusheng, is eaten. People get together to toss the colorful salad and make wishes for continued wealth and prosperity in the new year.

To read more about Spring Festival check the link Spring Festival Today

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thank you for Bamfield, keep watching the stars & be mindful

Recently, a friend's father passed away.

I sent her a card and observed stars with her

From another perspective.

A day has passed and as the sky switched its starry lights on where she was

She sent a message

Many thanks for the card and your thoughts.
I woke up 6.37 am this morning in the realisation that the veil between the visible and the invisible has gone, maybe for good and I don't think this is about just me. Be mindful.
Love peace and light.

To experience death of a parent is still unknown to me.

My mother says it is a peculiar feeling.

I resist to begin to imagine.

I choose peace instead.

I love them dearly.

February is so short...

February is for Resistance

I was, accidentally (or not), reading about the Release Technique and as the topic moved onto Resistance I realized my 6 Seconds callendar (based on EQ) was still on January (Self-Awareness). And as I flipped the page February revealed itself with its theme: Resistance.

This is what it says...

Be aware; resistance and its cohorts surface when anxiety is produced. Anxiety differs from fear in that anxiety deals with imagined or perceived dangers. So rather than employ resistance (or any of its synonyms) a better strategy is to consciously make a choice of limiting the stress. Then the negative effects can be minimized. Any of the following techniques are equally effective: meditation, deep breathing, napping, a sauna, escapes (reading, crafting), reframing, exercise, laughing. consider the above to be a cafeteria line. Select what works for you, your family, and community.

I am looking forward to February - Valentine's, Meilan's birthday, Dana's birthday, Martin's birthday, Ana's birthday, Chinese New Year: the Year of Golden Pig, skiing in Davos will inevitably bring healthy breathing and there it is - 28 days go by so quickly...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


A stable, calm state of the emotions:
aplomb, balance, collectedness, composure, coolness, equanimity, imperturbableness, nonchalance, poise, sang-froid, self-possession, unflappability.
Slang cool.
See calm, feelings
Have you ever been in such a place where nothing and nobody can bother you?
The perfect place to be and it is not outside but within.

I just read (and remember, I am also learning): viscious circle starts with a problem and then...

We become insecure
We try to figure it out
WE want to know what to do
We want to know what the answer is
We try harder
We disapprove of ourselves
We beat ourselves up more
We still hold on to the problem

Beyond the circle I check this long word I have never heard of before: Imperturbability, space of calm emotions. No apathy, no grief, no fear, no lust, no anger, no pride - just courageousness, acceptance and peace.

Oh, I remember, I have been there once, just at this moment and, look, I become...



Thursday, February 01, 2007

Run Dalida run + cue for a bit longer

For those who are born under the lucky star of 'visaless' travel my experience may not offer much except a glimpse of understanding what it takes to travel when holding less privileged booklet.

It was just last week that I thought I will try, first time in my life, to apply for American visa and attend a training held in Orlando. Once a year opportunity triggered will to go and try although, I have to admit, I have been in somewhat stage of helplessness even thinking about the possibility to travel to States.

As it goes with shattered beliefs, after receiving invitation letter from the organizer of the seminar, I learned that I had to do the following in order to apply for an interview:

  1. Pay $100 at the bank for visa fee (non refundable)
  2. Buy a phone card which allows me an excess to a number where I set an appointment (total 8 or 12 minutes available)
  3. Call the embassy and set the appointment
  4. Fill in the application forms
  5. Provide 50x50mm photos (quite unusual format, I must say)
  6. Write an employment letter, stamp it
  7. Provide bank statement of my account
Now, many would agree that getting the appointment may take a long time - however, they said - come in two days, total surprise! Rushing and getting all the documents was just a minor added stress in comparison to expectations for the approval: will I get to go? I felt like a little girl waiting for parents to allow first-time-after-midnight-party-time.

I got the appointment for 9am. I was there 20 minutes earlier, I cued for 10. Once in the building I thought it was just the matter of time, however... I found out that I couldn't bring my mobile in, ok, I understand. What to do?

"Go to the building accross the street, purchase locker key, and leave it there"

I run.

I still have time, I get back and give my jacket for the scan.

"You have Ipod?"

Yes, I do.

"You can't bring Ipod in."

What do I do with it?

"Go to the building accross the street, purchase locker key, and leave it there"

OK, I have the key, I just need time....

I run.

I come back - still smiling gracefully and they let me in.

I cue... 20 minutes, hand documents in exchange for a light blue card. I joing the light blue group... I cue....30 minutes.

Fingerprints are taken, and they show us to the other section of the hall. We are not allowed to talk, at least not loudly.

I cue... 20 minutes

My interview time is here... 3 minutes. With a smile and a comment that he has never handled a Yugoslavian passport before visa officer informs me that I got a 3 year multiple entry visa.

I smile back, I turn and walk back home. I am still confused - I broke my helpless mode, got visa and after few runs, patient cues and printed fingertips the road has opened.

I am going to America.