A bottle, an experience

Tonight when I opened a bottle of wine… 🍾

It brought back my memory of being a waiter for many years in Brisbane.

You see, back then, I was a uni student and needed to work for pocket money. I despised my work as I was bossed around and paid a minimum wage.

100’s of bottles later, I’ve grown to be the person I am today. I learnt to serve people, work at the speed of light (as my boss used to say), and most importantly, cope with what life throws at me. For that, I am thankful.

What about you? Which life experience has helped you grow?

Cheers to that🥂

A bottle. An experience.

BD

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Yesterday, I rediscovered one of my favorite hobbies as a child – #origami.

There’s something magical and meditative about folding paper.

This boat also goes well with my favorite quote from #marktwain about life.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ” ⛵️😍

Which childhood hobbies will you rediscover? What dreams will you dream?

paper #art #inspiration #life #quotes #marktwainquote #motivation #lovelife #livelifetothefullest #origami #dream #goals #beyou

20 Life Lessons Learned in 2020

2020 has been a tough year. Here are 20 life lessons that this year has taught me so far:

1. Appreciate every little thing (eg, toilet paper 🧻)

2. Traveling is a privilege. ✈️

3. The value of a warm hug or a handshake. 🫂

4. Self-care is a priority. 💕

5. Enjoy the present moment as the future can be uncertain. 🎁

6. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Be kind. Always! 🥰

7. Laugh and cry. It’s ok to cry. That’s how we came into this world. 🥲

8. Eating out is a joy. ☕️

9. Having time-out is good for the mind and body. 💃

10. Stay positive. 🎉

11. Slow down and breathe. 🧘‍♂️

12. Be creative. Being shut indoors for months has reignited some old hobbies that I haven’t had time to practice such as learning Japanese and painting. 🎨

13. Never stop learning. Having the extra time means more time for learning a new skill. 📚

14. Be flexible with work. Most of my speech pathology lessons are now delivered online. 👨‍💻

15. Stay close to nature. It’s healing and good for our well-being. 🌿

16. Support yourself first, so that you can support others. ❤️

17. Make plans but stay flexible when circumstances change. 🗓

18. Adapt to the new “normal” – regular hand washing and checking in at venues 🧼

19. Love your friends and family. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

20. Finally, masks can come in different colours and styles – pick your favorite and roll with it 😷

Much love and here’s for a better year 2021!
🥰🥂🎉

Binh

20 Life Lessons Learned During Covid-19

Covid life has been tough. Here are 20 life lessons that I’ve learnt since the start of the pandemic:

1. Appreciate every little thing (eg, toilet paper 🧻)

2. Traveling is a privilege. ✈️

3. The value of a warm hug or a handshake. 🫂

4. Self-care is a priority. 💕

5. Enjoy the present moment as the future can be uncertain. 🎁

6. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about. Be kind. Always! 🥰

7. Laugh and cry. It’s ok to cry. That’s how we came into this world. 🥲

8. Eating out is a joy. ☕️

9. Having time-out is good for the mind and body. 💃

10. Stay positive. 🎉

11. Slow down and breathe. 🧘‍♂️

12. Be creative. Being shut indoors for months has reignited some old hobbies that I haven’t had time to practice such as learning Japanese and painting. 🎨

13. Never stop learning. Having the extra time means more time for learning a new skill. 📚

14. Be flexible with work. Most of my speech pathology lessons are now delivered online. 👨‍💻

15. Stay close to nature. It’s healing and good for our well-being. 🌿

16. Support yourself first, so that you can support others. ❤️

17. Make plans but stay flexible when circumstances change. 🗓

18. Adapt to the new “normal” – regular hand washing and checking in at venues 🧼

19. Love your friends and family. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

20. Finally, masks can come in different colours and styles – pick your favorite and roll with it 😷

Much love and here’s for a better future.
🥰🥂🎉

Binh

7 Ways to Empower Your Conversation Skills

Communication is crucial in our daily lives: when we want to understand others, to express ourselves and to learn or explain pieces of knowledge. Sometimes, we can “get stuck” and have problem communicating effectively. The following tips aim to equip you for productive conversations. Give them a try.

  1. Listen This is the first tip because it’s the most important one. Whenever we are speaking, we sometimes hear but may not listen what the other person has to say. Therefore, listen attentively, allow the conversation to take turns on who speaks and who listens, so you will learn much more about the other person and the topic instead of drawing the attention only to yourself.
  2. Open-ended questions When having a conversation, present broad questions and statements such as ‘What is that like?’ or ‘Tell me more’. When you demonstrate this interest for the other person to express themselves, you ensure that person’s perspective is important to you.
  3. Stay present. We all have our multiple daily concerns and chores to think about. However, we must not let them occupy our minds when in a conversation. It can be very frustrating when we are trying to have a conversation and the other person is checking social media, watching TV or simply lost in other thoughts. Provide the same attention you’d like to have from the other person.
  4. Flow. Sometimes we have a great thing to say, but someone else is already talking about another topic. Show that person that the discussed topic is still interesting. Wait for the proper moment to say what you wanted without interrupting other people’s moments to express themselves. Don’t let yourself become impatient while you don’t have the opportunity to say what you want.
  5. Be honest when you don’t know something. It’s important to show how much you know about a topic in order to allow the other person to remain comfortable speaking about it. If you admit you need more information, the other person will be able to adjust vocabulary. They could explain further and this would keep you informed and everyone will feel in line with the topic.
  6. Say something new. Every new conversation is a new opportunity to say something new. Try to not tell the same stories, comments, jokes to the same people, or else you’ll become predictable in your contribution to the conversation, which will make your company less interesting.
  7. Keep it brief. We sometimes have much to say. However, it’s important to keep it brief in sentences, explanations and opinions. By doing that, you can be easily listened to, and you can provide the necessary time for the other person to speak.

Keep these 7 tips in your pocket and use them as they can help you to be more effective in daily conversations.

“Communication works for those who work at it.” John Powell

Stay awesome, stay communicative!

Binh

The art of being still.

Life can happen so quickly. Monday to Sunday, then again and again. Work. Extra activities. Commitments. Life. And in general, there are things to “do” as we rush around like mad. I have experienced all of the above – and still am – until earlier this year…..

Chiang Mai, Thailand – the moment you land and check out of the airport – things seem to slow down a lot compared to many places that I’ve been to. People pace themselves around here – walking slowly, smiling, enjoying the night life at markets, sitting around and “being”. It’s a super spiritual place where you can walk around all day and visit various temples/historical sites. After being here for a week, I’ve learnt to:

1. Take time to enjoy the little things in life – such as watching how these geese stand in the sun and clean themselves @ a cafe in Chiang Mai.

2. Pause, take moments throughout the day to check in with myself and see how I’m feeling.

3. Answer that email, or a text when ready – there’s no need to reply so quickly! Unless it’s an emergency.

4. Take time to savour a cuppa tea or coffee.

5. Pay full attention to the person I’m talking to. Switch my phone to silence mode. Ask questions to clarify my understanding.

6. Leave more space in between activities so I can be prepared mentally and physically – more time to rest in between.

7. Say no to what I don’t enjoy doing.

8. Say yes to doing more of what I love.

9. Observe a situation rather than reacting.

10. Learn to do things in a different way, instead of doing something over and over again the same way.

Go slow, take time, breathe.

Namaste

Bình

Breathe Your Way to Good Health

Breathing blog

Breathing is something we all do automatically. Believe it or not, the way we breathe can affect our mental and physical wellbeing.

When we are babies, we take deep and relaxing breaths from our belly. As we get older, stress changes the way we breathe. In a stressful situation, the body operates on the ‘fight or flight’ mode to whatever that is troubling us.

Taking quick, sharp breaths while dealing with stress means we only use the top third of our lungs. As a result, a poor exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the bloodstream takes place. This can lead to sleeping difficulties, panic attacks, dizziness and extreme fatigue. The lack of oxygen can have a negative impact on our cells and vital organs.

Breathing properly can:
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Slow the ageing process
  • Lower blood sugar, and the risk of diabetes
  • Eliminate free radicals from the body and improve cellular functions
  • Improve mental focus and clarity

To breathe properly:

Apply the belly-breathing technique as follows:

  • Use your diaphragm – the large sheet-like muscle that lies at the bottom of the chest cavity.
  • Sit comfortably or lie on your back on the floor. Place your one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your abdomen.
  • When you inhale and exhale, the hand on your chest should stay still. The hand on your belly should move up and down. If your top hand is moving, your breathing is too shallow. Focus on expanding the belly when you inhale and the belly should go down on an out-breath.
  • Keep practicing until you feel comfortable using your diaphragm for breathing.
  • You may close your eyes and feel the breaths.
  • Slow your breathing down to 8 to 10 cycles (1 inhale & 1 exhale = 1 cycle) per minute while using the diaphragm. Breathe smoothly and slowly.

Take time out throughout the day to breathe. Practice regularly and soon you’ll get into the habit of “belly-breathing”, creating more calmness to your everyday life.

Love & peace.

Binh

 

Pause + Be – 3 Ways to Achieve More Peace

Most of us lead a busy life full of activities.

Have you (including myself) ever looked back on your day and realized that you checked your phone too many times out of habit or boredom?

When we forget to pause we:

 

  • feel rushed
  • experience stress
  • overlook wonderful moments in life
  • become distracted

It’s time to pause & be.

COFFEE

Let is drip….Pause & Be with a Vietnamese coffee…

1. Pause when we wake up

Before checking your email and messages as soon as you open your eyes, pause, take a deep breath, stretch and be grateful for a new day. Look after yourself first. Take time to wake up, have a shower, enjoy a cup of coffee or your favorite drink. Have some breakfast before heading to work or school. You’ll be more productive throughout the day if you feel good.

2. Pause in conversation

Listen and pause before responding in conversations. If you’re talking to someone and your mind is being distracted by other things, you might talk over them without processing what was said. Hearing words is different from processing them in order to understand the message. Be present for your communicative partner.

3. Pause during a meal

Do you check your phone during a meal? I do and I’m guilty of it. Doing something else whilst eating takes away the joy of this crucial activity. I make a conscious decision to put my phone away so I can focus on savoring each and every bite. When sharing a meal with friends and family, not being distracted by my phone helps me to focus and have a proper conversation with them.

Create more space for yourself. Experience peace.

Pause & Be,

Binh

 

How to Be a Better Listener: 4 Useful Tips

We can all hear. But do we listen?

Speakable-lowres-22

Listening is a great skill to possess.If you take the time to listen to what others have to say, you will learn more about the person and connect with them at a more personal level. Be careful not to judge or criticize – just simply listen.

Here are 4 techniques to help us listen more effectively:

1. Eye contact. Make eye contact with the speaker and avoid other distractions such as your smart-phone. Stay focussed on the person and listen to what they have to say.

2. Ask questions. Take interest in the lives of others. People love sharing stories and talking about themselves. Ask them open-ended questions such as “Could you tell me more?”, “What are your thoughts?”. These questions will give people an opportunity to elaborate on a given topic and will keep the conversation going.

3. Don’t interrupt. Let the conversation flow.  If you interrupt someone, it denies the speaker the opportunity to fully express their opinions or feelings. To practice this skill, hold back the urge to speak immediately and pause for a few seconds before responding.

4. Empathetic listening. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Imagine how the speaker feels even if you don’t agree with everything that they say. Put yourself in their shoes to fully understand their point of view.

Practice these strategies regularly and you’re on your way to becoming a better listener.