Magens Bay --San Thomas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The greatest gift of all ...

A friend of mine shared a link where there is this article about phenomenon that are happening in K-Mart and Wal-Mart stores somewhere in US. People are showing up and performing good deeds. They have been paying off some lay-away items for those who need some extra gestures. As you can imagine, so many tears have been shed out of appreciation. These Santa have done the good deeds anonymously leaving others the feeling of joy and appreciation. What a noble heart they have!

On the other hand, I didn’t realize that there are many unfortunate people in this part of the country. I come to learn about it thru some of the volunteer works that we have done in November and December. Thanks to my co-worker who had arranged these activities for our group. Thanks to her for getting me the exposure. Now I can in turn expose my girls to the events.

We are so blessed and lucky in so many ways. We have access to many luxurious items in our lives. Sometimes we don’t even know what to buy for our loved ones, friends, and relatives. At the same time, we don’t even know what we want or need. Growing up in my family has given me the opportunity to expose to many luxurious items that I sometimes take them for granted. Having said that, even today, I am quite fortunate that everything I ever wanted so far was pretty much granted.

Thru my life encountered, I believe that the greatest gift of all, attentiveness, is priceless. The one thing that money can't buy. Attention from our loved ones can give us lasting comfort, lasting memory, lasting love and those are priceless. During hardship, when money is tight … when our feeling are down … one thing that we need the most are not those luxurious gifts where the happiness generated only for a moment, but attentiveness can give us the lasting feeling of contentment.  That is invaluable.

As I put forward another step in my journey, I will take this thought with me and give as much attention to others as I would receive from my love ones. At the same time, I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you who has given me your undivided attention to my blog. Because of your attention, my blog has flourished. What is a blog without a reader I say …?

Having said that, this would be my last blog for the year.  I hereby would like to wish everyone “Happy Holiday and May your journeys will always fill with happiness. And that happiness can spread thru your circle of friends. So they too can be blessed with your happiness.” Until next year, meantime be contagious with your attention!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sweet aroma ...

Looks like blog of “Attractiveness” has its own mind. Start with First Impression –What Makes You Attractive.” Next Beyond First Impression… what makes you stand out. Then Louis Vuitton anyone (Brand Name/The way wedress matter.) And today, I would like to touch on “Fragrance.”

It was said that the first perfume was incense. Incense was used in many different cultures for thousands of years. According to, the words perfume was derived from Latin words of “Per” and “fumus,” which mean “through” and “smoke.” We, human, celebrate the religious ceremony by burning these incenses. Incense still exists even today in the Eastern cultures.

Perfume, which origin from Egypt, was first developed to “attract the goodwill of gods.” The Egyptians believed that gods would approve them if they smelled good. They even buried with perfumes when they died not to mention using perfume for mummifying. According to, “The more perfume they used, and the stronger the perfume, the more likelihood they’d have of going to heaven.”Through its own evolution, perfume has reached you and I and its meaning has evolved.

We are attracted to anything that smells good. We often associate aroma that smells good with attractiveness. Before our mind conclude that a food tastes good, we often attracted by its look and its aroma. With living creatures, it is a little more, our looks, our movements, and then our aromas.  

Imagine this, she has a great figure, her movement is killing, she dresses attractively, but then something doesn’t smell right. Would she be attractive? I doubt it. Immediately her attractiveness has taken its toll.

Holiday is around the corner, come to think about it, perfume may not be a bad idea at all for a present after all. :-) Let’s spray that smell good perfume in our journeys and perhaps our journeys will be as sweet as our scents. Maybe then, our journeys would be as attractive as us.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mind Reading ...

I first noticed about mind reading when my girls were young. Every child goes thru the same cycle in life. They will attempt to deceive us. If we pay close enough attention, we may catch them and hopefully they will not have the chance to hone this skill and becoming an expert. When they are younger, my girls tried to deceive me and I could see thru them? I often tell my kids that mommy knows what you are thinking. The truth is each of has this power, mind reading.

--courtesy of

In fact, according to the article in Psychology Today dated September 1st 2007, newborns were born with the ability to read minds and they are able to mimic facial expressions in just a few weeks old. And Nancy Eisenberg, a psychology professor at Arizona State University and an expert on emotional development stated that, “By two months, infants can perceive and respond to the emotional states of their caregivers.  By age 5, children have acquired a rudimentary ability to read others' minds; they possess a "theory of mind." That is, they understand that other people have thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are different from their own.”

The theory of mind reading is actually merely reading facial expressions and body languages. It was reported that on average we can read people's minds at the accuracy of 20 percents. This number goes up to 35 percents for couples and close friends. The article claimed that we, females, tend to better read mind, simply by motivation factor. We want to know. Men can too; however, often they don’t bother to do so. Not motivated.

We also tend to feel the emotion that the other parties have. By going thru the same emotion, we can somehow better read their mind.  In contrast, we fail miserably on mind reading when we are under stress and no time, according to “Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” by Malcom Gladwell. When we are under stress, our minds stop reading and our abilities to read mind have become impaired. Worst, they are filled with our own assumptions and thoughts. And sometimes, we simply don’t have the chance to do it when we are given no time.

Often, when we know someone well (long) enough, we take it for granted and assume that we know them well enough. We become presumptuous to pay details attention to their facial expressions and body language. And, we may insert our own presumption. And this can lead to disastrous. But, good news is, we are given many opportunities to re-confirm our initial reading. After all, if we care enough, we would keep trying and understanding our friends or significant others and that could lead to better mind reading.

Last December, we were on a Princess cruise to Eastern Caribbean, and we attended a “Mind Reading,” show. It was incredible! This person, (pardon me, I am not good with names,) asked the audiences to clear our minds and start focusing on one thing, anything. Later he narrowed down the reading by saying, “I see someone is thinking about a dog.” Then he went on, “The dog name starts with letter A.” Then he concluded with the exact name of the dog.  It was impressive! He also claimed that if any of the audience can prove that the participants were his accomplice, he would reward them with $ Million.

Hope you fun with Mind Reading … See you on my next stop!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Louis Vuitton anyone?

Come to think about it, we, females, are a bit spoiled.  Brand name clothing all the way to purses, shoes, sunglasses and jackets and on and on … Look inside women’s closets and you will know what I am talking about.  No wonder those smart marketing people are aiming at us. How many guys do you know go to shopping for themselves. I am sure there are some but mostly their stuffs are bought by their wives, women.

When men go out shopping, they shop the more expensive stuff for us. Diamond, expensive watches even purses. Why? They know what we like the best. Once we are happy, they have hit home run.

I enjoy dress up with an excuse that I often give out, “I only live once, so I want to enjoy my life.” Going back to my blog on “Firstimpression – What Makes You Attractive?” There are things that we could do to make ourselves more attractive aside the obvious. Somehow when you dress up neatly or attractively, you will definitely not be ignored. One time, I walked into a car dealership for an appointment. I couldn’t believe that I was greeted by 4 different service advisors asking me whether I needed their help. See what I am saying? The look matter, the way we dress matter …

We, human, believe that if we care to dress up then we must be serious enough to spend our money or perhaps we have thick pocket or at the very least, appear so. Is it true? I am not sure. Sometimes, those of us who dress simpler are the ones with a lot of greens in our pocket. :-) But nevertheless, the way we dress do matter.

Now let’s discuss whether brand name matter or not, for some it doesn’t as for others it does. Ultimately it is our choices. To me, buying branded stuff while on sale much worthier than brand-less items at full price. I guess what matter the most is, how we like it. How they fit us.  After all, even it is branded stuff, if it doesn’t look good on us. It won’t matter.

What about Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier?  Hmm … I dunno. I am so tempted to tell you that it does signify something. It signifies status. Why?  Not sure. All it matter is it does make some of us feel good. Perhaps appear to make us look better.
courtesy of
We, Americans, are not as fancy as the Asians or Europeans. They think that we are too casual. Maybe so! If we were in Milan, Italy, we would not see many people with Jeans and t-shirts.  At least that what my experienced was. They are a lot more stylist. Having said that, with the slim fit look nowadays, Jeans can be as stylist as any attire. Still not fancy though!

Try to walk into a fancy boutique with a casual attire and next time try with fancier one. Compare the attention you get, then you tell me whether it matter or not …
I hope you enjoy my blog today as much as I enjoy writing this one. Have a nice weekend!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Thank you Miss ...

Last night, I found myself smiling when the Starbuck's cashier addressed me with “Miss.” I was wondering why I smiled, was it the fact that I was addressed as “Miss,” or the interpretation of the honorific, Miss, that usually addressed to younger women?

Couple years ago in my high school’s mailing list, one of my friends mentioned that he was afraid of getting old. I responded to his posting describing my encountered with an older lady on my cruise to Mexico. This older lady, I would say, around the age of 70-ish. She might look like 70-ish but she sure didn’t feel like one, at least appeared not to be. We were on a snorkeling trip to one of the island in Mexico and it was the fiesta time. The music was booming and guess what? This older lady was up there rocking with the younger folks. Her husband, watching from the sidelines, couldn't help it but laughing.

Growing old is inevitably, but we don’t have to feel old.  More importantly, take care of our bodies so we can grow old gracefully and enjoying the last bit of our lives not worrying about our health. Growing old comes with wisdom that we are lack of when we are much younger. But it doesn’t mean that we need to take away our joyous feeling of adventure.

Let’s pause on this journey to take care of our healths so we can spend much longer time with our next generation and yet, still enjoying our youthfulness in our hearts.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Music ...

Recently I decided to join the musical choir in our business unit to perform at our Holiday gathering. I was just looking for something fresh and fun to do to contrast with my routine at work. Little did I know it was so much fun that I have found myself moving joyously to the rhythm of the music. My mood was brightened and I was smiling and laughing especially when “Rudolf," and “Jingle Bell” songs were up. Then, my former, happy and carefree self seemed to resurface.

Music is indeed mystical. Do you know that music therapy has been around ever since? It has done its wonder of touching people's lives.  In fact, there is this true story mentioned in the on how music has changed an autism boy's life for better  For those who are not familiar with autism,  People with autism have limited verbal expression. In another word that was described in, “They live the life of involuntary silence.”

With music therapy, this boy has fine-tuned his gross and fine motor skill. Through a small group, he has learned to take turn, learned to be a leader as well as a supportive member. Music therapy has enabled him to read music notes and feel the rhythm.

As I mentioned earlier, verbal communication is a challenge for the Autism. But with music therapy,  he had learned how to communicate in a very non-threatening ways. He learned to participate in asking questions and answering them. Not to mention learning to display behavior in a way that socially acceptable.

Music therapy has given him the confidence to serve as a drummer in his school. In fact, he has performed in front of large and noisy audiences at the House of Blues. Isn't that Impressive? Kudos to him and his music therapist!

How many of us out there have found ourselves listening to music whether we are happy, sad, depressed, frustrated or even in a celebration mood. Music somehow can soothe our down feeling and bring up our moods where we are not in ones.

Jazz up that music in your lives! I hope your journeys will be sprinkled with music here and there. I know it will be on mine as it has always been.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blink … The Power of Thinking Without Thinking …

Have you ever wondered sometimes, somehow you know something is wrong and you just know it but yet you can’t describe how and why? You interviewed a candidate and in that short time, you are supposed to make up your mind and give your recommendation whether you think this person would fit or has the ability to do the job. Do you think if they would have given you one month to work with this person first, your decision may stay the same?

--courtesy of

In September of 1983, J. Paul Getty Museum in California was approached by an art dealer by the name of Gianfranco Becchina. He offered Getty a marble statue dating from the sixth century BC for the price of $10M. It was what is known as kouros – a sculpture of nude male youth standing with his left leg forward and his arms at his sides. According to Blink, the Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcom Gladwell, “there are only about two hundred kouroi in existence, and most have been recovered badly damaged. But this one was almost perfectly preserved.”

Getty requested a geologist from the University of California named Stanley Margolis to do an investigation and at the end he concluded that “it wasn’t some contemporary fake.” In another word, it was real. After spending fourteen months, finally Getty decided to buy the statue.

However, the statue didn’t look right to Federico Zeri, an Italian art historian. He found himself staring at the sculpture’s fingernails. He couldn’t articulate why, but it seemed wrong to him. The same thing happened to Evelyn Harrison, she is world’s foremost experts on Greek sculpture. When a curator said to her, “Well, it isn’t ours yet, but it will be in couple weeks.” And Harrison replied, “I am sorry to hear that.” According to the author, “Harrison had a hunch, an instinctive sense that something was amiss.”

“In the first two seconds of looking –in a single glance – both Zeri and Harrison were able to understand more the essence of the statue than the team at the Getty was able to understand after fourteen months. Blink is a book about those first two seconds. “

Hope you will find yourself walking down the library’s isle looking for this “Blink” by Malcom Gladwell and find yourself enjoying it as much as I do. Until next pause.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life