What Is In Your Heart Will Eventually Show

b0cf090eb3590b5ff3fbad58be448df6.jpgThe moments we show our true colours is when the layers are peeled back. No one, not anybody, can be truly defined by their job, their appearances, how much money they earn, what education they have, what car they have, what clothes they wear, what house they live in, how many friends they have or what photos they’ve taken. External definitions do not bring long term happiness. The true happiness that we feel are the moments we act with kindness and love, lend a helping hand or spend time with loved ones. It’s the kind that we feel in our heart. I recently listened to a video here, where he reminds us to be a selfless and loving person even in the heat of the moment.

We may have times where we’ve compared with someone else, and automatically it can bring ourselves down. No one can be happy by comparing themselves or pretending to be someone else. The video mentions about taking off the mask. This is something that really spoke to me because I believe so deeply in being true to yourself. At the same time, as an INFJ, I tend to be very private and not show many people the true me completely. As much as I value being oneself, there is that slight contradiction where I do strive to be myself, but at the same time, not everyone will see me for me at a glance. But perhaps only over time, if not years!

As much as I love writing about fashion, art, film and books, the one thing I feel most important to write about are topics like this. They are messages we need a reminder of. The way we value life shouldn’t be of materials or from the way things look. Everyone is capable of kindness and improving themselves. The kindness that’s important, is doing things even when not a soul will see it. We often judge things from the way they look. People may judge a person the way we judge a painting or a book cover at a glance. Things are most often not what they seem to appear. Imagine the way the water looks on the surface, with its dark blue peaceful ripples, and picture a beautiful magical ancient ruin beneath. There’s a story hidden inside that we don’t see at first.

The title reads What Is In Your Heart Will Eventually Show from how much beauty, we may or may not see in someone the more we become closer. What is in our heart shows through our actions. When people start to open up to each other, there’s a part of them that’s unlocked. Their personality and a certain rawness start showing more and more. A beautiful person is seen from their heart, where over time it opens like a sleeping rose. In 1 Peter 3-4 reads: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Art by Jiwoon Pak

A Few Things About Me To Tickle Your Fancy

tumblr_lobmukPhG41qbw5qso1_1280.jpgThere are several new people over the last few weeks that have visited my blog, and I thought it’d be good to share a few things about me to get to know me a little more. Please let me know something random, interesting, strange or quirky about you! This will sort of be a scattered pattern of words, as they pop into my head. Where are you from? This is one of the questions I get asked the most. I’m from New Zealand, but my parents are from Taiwan. What’s your favourite animal? I grew up on a farm, and am a huge animal lover! I am definitely more of a cat person than a dog person. I used to have two pet pigs who I adored.

What music do you listen to? I love listening to all kinds of music from classical, jazz, rock, pop to the good old classics. What’s your favourite food? I’m quite a sweet tooth but have slight allergies to milk. I love Japanese, Italian and Chinese food! What’s your favourite book? This is a tricky question. Pride & Prejudice is definitely one of my favourite books. I highly recommend reading it! What do you like to do in your free time? Anything from reading, writing, listening to music, going for walks, watching a movie or spending time with a loved one.

What’s one thing you used to bake a lot of? When I was living at home, I used to love baking brownies and the way it would make the whole house smell warm, toasty and chocolatey. What did you want to be growing up? When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist, zoologist, orchestral musician and writer. One of your pet peeves? People who put others down. Where would you like to travel? I’d love to travel to Japan and Italy some day. I learned Italian for almost two years, having a huge interest in the culture. Japan is a country I’ve always wanted to visit.

How would you describe yourself? Loving, kind hearted and passionate. I’m definitely someone who may seem shy at first, but am very friendly, quirky and caring at heart. As an INFJ and HSP, I sometimes give the impression that I prefer to be alone, but I do love talking to others and having really meaningful or funny conversations. What is one food you eat too much of? Oats, cereal and muesli (any breakfast food really!). I’m definitely a morning person and love to eat breakfast at any time of the day. Do you play any instruments? I play the piano, flute and a little bit of guitar. I also love to sing, but rarely am willing to sing in front of people.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? It’s not really a superpower, but the ability to read, write, speak and understand all the languages in the world would be truly amazing. What sports did you play in college? Hockey and swimming. I don’t consider myself a sporty person, but more of an artsy person. If you could be an animal, what would you be? A black panther, flying horse or a ginger cat. What is your favourite colour?  Yellow. It’s such a sunshine happy colour. The first thing I notice about someone. Their eyes, and the way they smile. What do you value? Many things. I value patience, kindness and being yourself.

If you’re curious to know how I came up with my blog name, you can read about it here. I share a few tips, thoughts and advice on my other blog here. If you’d like to read a little more, you can click the About Me page here.

image via

The Curiosity Of Noticing The Things Around Us

l.JPGA few months ago I wrote about learning from the past, planning for the future, and staying in the present. Curiosity makes me think of Alice in Wonderland, wondering into the Rabbit hole. It makes me think of adventure, exploring, experience and learning. When we’re a child, we’re always curious and constantly asking questions. Having curiosity is part of an education that lasts a lifetime. It’s the desire to learn and understand the world around us. We need to be present in order to truly live a fulfilling life.

When we’re curious about our surroundings, we’re more engaged and present. We don’t dwell on the past but focus on what’s happening in the now. It’s a spark that’s within all of us. A light that carries us and fuels us with energy. Imagine when you meet someone for the first time, you’re often curious to ask questions and know more about the person. Curiosity makes me think of a cat because they’re always very aware of their surroundings. In anything, we need balance. If we’re interacting with someone, it’s good to be curious, but not too much that we become intrusive or nosy.

I was walking into the city earlier this month, and there was live music playing. The band consist of a drummer, electric guitarist, bass player and singer. It was incredible to all experience standing there listening to the music. Some passerby would stop for a song or two to listen. I was curious to go to a jelly bar a week ago, held in a clothing store on High Street (below is a snapshot) I had a fig, honey and thyme jelly which was delicious. It was a lovely experience, and many people would wonder in wondering what event was happening. 17741046_430234223997531_433632794_n.jpgCuriosity is also important when we’re walking. When I wrote about the beauty of walking, I mentioned how walking creates awareness, presence and discovery into the unknown or a familiar environment. That is if we allow it to. We can give ourselves the choice to be aware and interested or be in a state of daydreaming and drifting. Curiosity in learning is largely seen as beneficial and important, as it makes our mind active, motivated, inspired, energetic and open to storing information. It encourages us to be creative and make new discoveries.

In socialising, it’s important, because it shows that you’re interested in the other person. Curiosity means living a far more fulfilling life, as opposed to a boring one. It broadens our mind and allows us to be more open minded about certain things. Curiosity can bring us out of our comfort zone and try something new. It means not being afraid to ask questions and having persistence in your goals. It can make us happier people because it makes us interested in life around us, the way the simple things like seeing a hedgehog walking across the garden could deeply amuse us as a child.

Photography by ! FlOrEcItA !

Some Of My Favourite Things In March 2017

451b521b5d3d01f55c839c8cd9bbeb8dAs each month farewells, it’s a gentle reminder of the importance of making the most of our time. Each month is like a chapter, with different stories and memories. Do you ever listen to a song repeatedly for a month, and then switch to a different one that really reflects how you’re feeling in that period of time? Here are a few of my favourite things this month!

Songs / Better Days, Electric Twist, Now Is The Start最好的安排, This Is Living, Slow Love, What A Beautiful Name, Lights Down Low.

Food / 葱油饼, 蘿蔔糕, Hubbards Light & Right Fejoa Cereal, Taro Bun, Sushi, Vegetarian Dumplings, Soba Noodles, Berries, Oats and Peaches.

Blogs / Empty, tere romances, frankie.b, well hello monday, the bright mornings, love from zar, Love, Lucy RebeccaI Accidently Ate The Whole Thing, Laura Bruj, Misty Prose.

Scent / Sweet smell of Jasmine flowers, Green Tea, freshly washed sheets, the beautiful morning clean air, a cats fur, walking past the Asian bakery. 0621b77d2cd6bbe75fe1f6ff5e2317bcArticles / Tiny Clay Creatures, Casual Denim Style, You Are What You Read新西兰航空的Dior空姐制服太有范了!

Movies / Midnight in Paris. The atmosphere, music and story all in beautiful Paris.  我的少女時代. This movie made me laugh and cry. It’s a great film.

Products / Natio sunscreen SPF 50+, Love Your Skin Manuka Honey Vitamin A Balm, Ecostore shampoo, Pears hand moisturiser, CROP facial moisturiser, Essano Coconut Body Wash.

Fashion / Black Turtlenecks, long sleeved shirts, cropped pants, loafers, black boots, gold jewellery, long skirts, tailored pants, minimal makeup.9949752eb6f75f06494055ffa0ea7c6fVideo / Biggest Lies & Problems of The Fashion Industry, What is pretty?, No One Knew I was Depressed, How I turned my life around.

Place / The Library, Parnell Rose Gardens, home in the comfort of my room, the little pathway surrounded by trees.

Artist / Yelena Bryksenkova. There’s something about her style that I find really wonderful. Newly discovered Ji min Yoon has really lovely artwork.

Cats / The neighbourhood grey cat that is a little chubby, but very friendly and sweet. This cat right here and here.

We Don’t Need A Lot To Be Happy

3f85c70d614be3fc93505bc512f236dd.jpgChristmas is just around the corner! I hope you all had a wonderful year, even through the ups and downs. The past two years have been a special chapter of my life. Life in Sydney had its challenging times, but most of all it made me learn, grow and change in a positive way. As I carry my life in suitcases, it makes me open my eyes to how little we need. This year has been a year of appreciating the time spent with loved ones and shopping less. Moving around in the last few years have made me far less attached to materials. It’s made me focus on the things I truly value.

Making health our number one priority reminds us how much we should be grateful and happy for it. This includes our physical, mental and emotional well being. Think of the moments you were lying in bed with a cold, and how terrible it felt. The time you felt depressed and didn’t have any motivation in your life. It reminds us how good health can give us the simple happiness in life. Happiness comes from the relationships we have. Our family and friends, the ones we love and sharing experiences and making memories with one another. That’s long term happiness.

Being happy means not having any stress or worries. No matter how tough life gets, worrying and stressing never helps. It makes us forget how much we have to be grateful for and what really matters in the world. It makes us focus on our own problems through a magnifying glass and forget to look at it from a birds eye view. The words that have been said to me the most in the last few weeks is “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself”. The problems we often perceive, are often far smaller than we think. We’re all capable of great things.

We can find enjoyment and meaning in the small things from being surrounded by nature, appreciating the time on our hands and using our creativity and strengths. The true happiness in our lives doesn’t come from things and they don’t even come from other people. It ultimately comes from within. Never rely on someone else for your happiness. In any good or bad situation, it’s our choice in how we react to it. Happiness is not something we can buy. Materials are temporary and do not give us long term happiness. Our material possessions do not make us better people.

The material possessions we said we needed, are often disposed of at the end of the year or after a few years. Whereas the family and close friends we have are for a life time. True happiness comes from having a purpose in our lives. It’s doing something that makes us feel we are making a difference. Happiness means you have been through the tough times, you don’t do things solely for money and you’re content with yourself. As I am currently in the process of disposing and recycling many things before moving, it makes me focus on the important things in life. Quality of life will always be far more valuable then the quantity of things we have.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make as people is to compare ourselves to others. Our self worth should never ever be determined by what others have. Many people feel a lack of something, because others have it. But that’s just the thing, those are all materials. Having a close friend or people you love is the greatest treasure of all. It’s something that’s felt. At the end of the day, money is important. We need it to survive. But it shouldn’t be the focus nor should it be the key to our happiness. Otherwise we become blinded.

Imagine a child that was raised in a poor background. They grew up to be a happy and successful person. The child had parents that were extremely loving and took the child out to the beach, park and walked them to school. The child was never hungry and didn’t focus on how their house was smaller or that they had an older car that broke down from time to time. When they grow up, they look back and don’t remember the materialistic and visual aspects, nor do they think about the things that they wish they had, but they remember how they felt happy, loved and cared for.

“Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.”  – Alain De Botton

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley

“Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” Unknown

Art by Lieke van der Vorst

Many Things In Life Are A Blessing In Disguise

kirsten-sims-6.pngAre you someone who believes that everything in life happens for a reason? From the people we encounter, the experiences we have, the places we travel and the memories we make. One of the best advice I’ve ever received, was being told that in any situation in life, it’s how we react to it. We have the choice to have a positive or negative reaction to something. We can also choose to see and learn from the situation in a positive or negative way. When I was in Taiwan, I met people who would work in jobs that required dealing with all kinds of customers all day, but they are willing to help and so people can really feel that energy and feel more relaxed.

We all face challenges, misfortunes, unpredictability and changes in life. At the time, many of them may of felt painful, sad or frustrating, but over time they can serve us the greatest lessons, make us stronger and wiser and allow ourselves to grow as a person. The friends we make are also there in that period of our lives for a reason.  Many things in life are a blessing in disguise, because the things in life that we feel were a failure may of been the very thing that pushed us to succeed. The things in life that made us hit rock bottom were the moments that gave us space to reach only upwards.

Have you ever had experiences where something didn’t work out, but something better came a long? A blessing in disguise is learning to be independent from a young age. It pushes you to chase experience, challenges and go through the ups and downs. It reminds you that your happiness is relied on yourself. When we go through our own battles, we can become stronger from them. When I didn’t feel the satisfaction in teaching music and decided to stop studying music, it made me explore the possibilities of other things and it opened new doors.

If you’ve ever been through depression, there is one thing I want you to remember. There is a strength within you that you don’t know you have, but it’s there and it always has been. It’s that pulsing thought that life is worth living, because in the end, everyone will die one day. Tomorrow is not promised, but today will be the best present we could ever receive. There are many things in life we do not have control of, and then there is the small percentage of things in life we have control of.  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” ― Charles R. Swindoll. 

Remember to have faith in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t achieve things that you are capable of. Many things we have to leave to God, whether that be our worries, stress, frustrations and sadness. Every person will face good and bad situations, but we can choose whether to become a better or worst person because of it. As you grow older you realise the things that truly matter to yourself, and you realise the things that don’t really matter at all. One thing I find more and more important is the practice of gratitude. We quite possibly have everything that we need in life.

Everyone has their own perception of a situation. We always have something to be grateful for. To be happy and healthy in life is truly all we need. When we gain more experience, we can learn how to face the situation better next time. A lot of things made me realise to never care what other people think, because they don’t truly know or care for me. Unless it’s words said out of love or from the mouth of someone you care for, most of the time it’s judgment of things only seen on the surface. If we believe that everything happens for a reason, we can leave things that have happened with peace.

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Christopher Robin to Pooh 

Art by Kirsten Sims

Small Ways To Face Your Anxiety Each Day

4.jpgYou can guess that anytime I write about Anxiety, it’s because I’ve felt some degree of anxiety during that day that makes me need to write about it. Today I’ve felt very low anxiety, and I find that it has been from making small daily habits from reading out loud a prayer every morning, exercising regularly and thinking positively. There is a voice inside of our heads that sometimes trickles in telling us you are not worthy. That’s when we need to replace that voice with our warm and tender voice telling ourselves that you are so loved. Deeply and infinitely.

The small things I do to face anxiety:

1.Go outside for a walk or go for a jog. Taking a walk outside can make you think more clearly and reminds you to breathe gently. Exercising is one of the best ways to deal with stress, because it instantly makes you feel better about yourself, and helps maintain your physical and mental well being.

2.Shop at the supermarket. This may sound silly to some, but I get really uncomfortable shopping when it’s busy and crowded. However, shopping on a quiet day at the supermarket is one of my favourite things to do.

3.Read a book. Reading takes you into another world. It allows you to be more open minded, imaginative and creative. I truly believe that reading has the power to reduce stress. It feels meditative and puts your focus off your own world. It widens your perspective on certain things.

4.Write positive words. Every morning I read a prayer in Mandarin and a prayer in English, and it really sticks in my head, because after a while it gets easier to memorise when repeated constantly. I have positive words of advice written on the wall that remind me I’m only human.

5. Tell yourself what you’re grateful for. Each day I like to reflect on what I am grateful for. Each day is filled with endless things we can be grateful for, yet it’s often that we can forget to do so, because the focus is so deeply on what’s not working out. I find that practicing appreciation, makes you feel more at ease, appreciate each day and love life much more.

6. Clean around the house and de-clutter your mind. After cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the floors and arranging everything back into place, the cleanliness is calming. It also helps with de-cluttering your mind and reminds us to let go of toxic thoughts that do not benefit us in any way.

7. Talk to a loved one. Talking to a friend or a family member you trust will help relieve a lot of the stress that one can often hold if they’re feeling anxious. It can lessen the feelings of being overwhelmed and it can be extremely comforting and often allows you to let a lot of matters go.

8. Eat healthy foods and remember to breathe. I can’t express how much foods affect your mood and your body. Having a healthy diet can make you less prone to feeling stressed and tired. When feelings of anxiety slip in, the breathing can often quicken without one noticing. If you start to feel like you may have a panic attack or are feeling down, try to focus on your breathing.

art work by Oamul Lu