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Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa took Ike Pono Seminar in Baguio City. She currently advocates Mental Health Awareness.

The past decade had enriched many of us with learnings and appreciation of different perspectives that we and the people we deal with hold.

Looking back, as I prepare for another round of book writing, I had the privilege to revisit the thoughts in Remember Who You Really Are, the book that I had written and was published back in 2017. The insights and inspiration were derived from Ike Pono and Mission Courage seminars and the life encounters that had enriched me.

Having survived bouts depression which I had to bear for five years, I outlined the questions that helped me find the light. I was not able to answer these questions in one sitting; I had to carry it inside my heart for gruelling days until it finally bore fruit. I wrote the book keeping in mind the people who are going through life crises, with the hope that it may help them gain clarity over their journey.

Actor James Blanco browses the book. James bravely spoke about his anxiety attacks and depression. He believes that human connection and support will help heal emotional wounds.

I recently asked myself if the questions and the concepts outlined in the book still hold true for me. My answer came with a resounding yes – and with the grace of the Heavens, I have found more insights about it. Below are a couple of the chapters that I revisit every now and then.
Where am I in my life right now? I quoted in this chapter the words of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, a great Austrian philosopher. “For your happiness, you may thank many things in your life. But if you have gained knowledge and insight into the spiritual connection of existence, for that you have to thank your suffering, your pain. You owe your knowledge to that fact that you did not allow yourself to be mastered by suffering and pain, but were strong enough to rise above them.”

Asking yourself where you are in your life right now and trying to answer it with all honesty is such a messy task. But to those who can brave it, the grace from the Heavens always appear so that we are able to see the beauty of the burdens that we are carrying. Many times, we always wish for life to be sweet. But sweetness makes us sleepy. However, when we are in pain our senses are awake. It’s like the sour taste. When we eat something sour, we are totally awake.

I often hear many of my contemporaries say, “I no longer want to feel happy anymore because I know very well that this happiness is coupled with misery.” Or “I am afraid to love because I fear I might get hurt.” But we inevitably hurt, inadvertently or otherwise. No matter how seemingly perfect our loved one is, the person will hurt us. So we better choose the one worth feeling the pain. That is part of the rhythm of life. Even our body’s bioelectrical rhythms reflect that ups and downs. Perhaps a better route to master pain and suffering in our lives is to face it head on and with an inner resolve to accept it, feel it, and grow through it.

Do I love and respect myself? This question is often misconstrued as a cue to spoil one’s self. In our consumerist world, we often hear ourselves saying, “I love myself so I am going to buy this or that. I don’t care what they say, I love myself.” While shopping could be a gesture of loving, restraint is all the more loving and respecting gesture. On another note, many of us tend to neglect ourselves because there are so many people counting on us at home or in the office. In fact, we so easily deprive ourselves of that one thing that has the power to renew us – sleep.

Ever so often, we unconsciously neglect the message of our body when it tells us to pause and rest. When our bodies get sick or tired, we are so used to taking medicines or energy boosters that undermine the need of our physical body and life forces to recoup. Taking a pause and listening to what it is telling us; even the act of staying in bed when your body is sick is one of the simplest gesture of loving and respecting yourself.

These are only two of the twelve questions in the book that I have mentioned. Looking forward to share some more thoughts on the questions discussed in it.

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