How can batik improve your life?

Originally posted here, I re-publish the article on my blog, in a sign of gratitude for being in Kuala Lumpur and meeting my extended family: the Biji-biji team and volunteers! I am here for two months now, volunteering, helping out in setting up a batik studio. Step by step, we are preparing some new batik workshops that anyone interested can attend. New seat belt bags design with new original batik are also on the way! Stay in touch and if you are in Kuala Lumpur, do pay a visit! First of all, we are glad to announce that Biji-biji has gathered the materials necessary to kick start a mini batik studio at their headquarters, in the center of Kuala Lumpur! Batik is a centuries old textile art based on the technique of decorating and (repeatedly) dyeing a fabric by using removable wax to save the parts of the fabric that are not intended to … Continue reading

On bullying (part II)

More than one year ago, I wrote an article on bullying. Back then I felt that it would be just my first article written on the topic, and now it proves to be right because I gained more awareness and experience so that I feel like sharing some more on the same subject. Also, right these moments we are going through worldwide mourning over tragic events claimed by one group or another or just mere collective accidents. As I previously wrote, these events make me reflect on the frailty of life and of my own importance in this world! Because each of us is very important through every thought that you hold, every word that you speak, every action that you take, every talent and skill that you give to the world!! So, how aware are you of all of these?… and what does this have to do with bullying?? A LOT. Well, each of us is … Continue reading

Is being grateful a good way to spend your day? (part II)

So, you’ve probably read my previous post here, but you are not yet convinced? You are not sure what is this gratefulness thing all about? Waste no other second and watch the following TED talk with Brother David Steindl-Rast! “ A grateful world is a world of joyful people. Grateful people are joyful people, and joyful people — the more and more joyful people there are, the more and more we’ll have a joyful world. We have a network for grateful living, and it has mushroomed. We couldn’t understand why it mushroomed. We have an opportunity for people to light a candle when they are grateful for something. And there have been 15 million candles lit in one decade. People are becoming aware that a grateful world is a happy world, and we all have the opportunity by the simple stop, look, go, to transform the world, to make it … Continue reading

How to find meaningful work?

We are living privileged and in the same time, confusing times! And the quest for meaning in our lives has never been so important and on the minds of many, as it is today… I am sure that since you reached this blog post, it’s a high probability that you agree with me and that you are one of the many “heavy thinkers” out there. And this thinking process can become quite painful!! Especially if you feel alone in it… but you are not alone! For finding relief, in the age of Internet, thank God we have access to brilliant free videos created by brilliant, passionate and dedicated persons such as Alain de Botton and his team at the School of Life. Just check out the comments below the video and you’ll see that there are more and more people like us, in the quest for meaning… Summarizing the video, … Continue reading

Do you find it hard to find your one true calling? (part II)

Well, continuing from where we left it in the previous blog post… let’s say you’ve gone through a thoroughly self-examination and you’ve come to the conclusion: I have more true callings!! More gifts to give to the world! Perfect! Relax into it! Why would someone think that this is bad? Well, for once, because our societies nowadays seem to value specialization. And this is explainable because since the Industrial Revolution overall progress has been obtained by strict specialization on the job market. Simply put, is efficient to be specialized! But is it really true? For sure specialization is helpful within the bureaucracy of a company or institution, so it helps in finding jobs, but take the on-going change of technology nowadays.. For example, the Internet was a dream only 30 years ago, but look how far its materialization has taken us! And now we can only guess how far it … Continue reading

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Do you find it hard to find your one true calling? (part I)

Well, think again: it just might not be just one true calling, calling you out. For sure we are living these times right now that are like no other times before! Our family wants the best for us and they advice us to follow so called stable&secure career paths. But we might not feel like following their ideas, but following our own! And the content of every job and profession has changed tremendously in only the last few decades, with several new hundreds of jobs adding up, that couldn’t have existed, say 50 years ago! There is no certainty on the work market nowadays. Actually, in no time in history there has been a labor market security, so security itself is a myth! What are we left with then? I believe we are always left with ourselves. What I mean is that no matter the changes in history (past, present … Continue reading

A role-model for a lifetime

I’ve been planning to write an article about José Mujica, the president of Uruguay, for a very long time. I admire him for his life, lived with courage, authenticity, consciousness and on-going reflection, assumed risks, pain (but no more suffering!!), healed wounds and love for every moment he spends on this Earth! I might not know all the facts of his life or all his (supposedly) life mistakes. It doesn’t even matter. I look at him in this video below and I admire the human being that’s he’s become, the synthesis of good and bad that have inherently happened to him. He seems to be standing in a space which is just beyond any good or bad actually! This video sums up everything I ever thought I could learn from him and not just intellectually: I learn from his humble attitude, his soft and non-judgmental tone of voice and his … Continue reading

Going to Indonesia? Prepare yourself for a challenge!

I originally wrote this blog post for my friends from TidakPedas, and since I am back to Europe for a little while now and intensively thinking back of my time as a Darmasiswa student in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, I re-post it, because every word I wrote is true!!! hehe… from my experience of course! … unless you’ve traveled to Indonesia recently, and know what to expect, this country for sure is going to take you out of your comfort zone! And that is a good thing! Pay attention to the details and observe yourself: does it surprise you? Does it shock you? Does it annoy you? How do you usually do those things? How would you do them differently?… These are good questions to ask yourself in the beginning and you’ll be surprised to notice that while comparing Indonesia to your own culture, you face your own concealed judgments and prejudices … Continue reading

Is your definition of success yours?

Being a creative, curious type, with a multitude of interests and passions, I find it hard sometimes when I am expected to fit into previously defined career paths or life paths or any other paths or patterns that have been prescribed by societies or cultures. The good news is that I meet more and more people with whom I share this kind of profile. But it’s hard you know. This kind of transition between supposedly secure/safe societies and the newly cannot-afford-retirement-plans type of societies. I think I face the double standard: being free and creative while most of the jobs on the market stick to the same old definition of what a successful career is. And it is frustrating. What I come to experience is that time flies so-so fast and people change as well!  But institutions and social norms don’t change at the same pace. I’ve always based my … Continue reading

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9 months living in the most Muslim country in the world

It’s exactly today my 9 months anniversary of living in Indonesia. Time flies by. I felt a bit afraid, afraid and excited, before first stepping foot here. I knew so little about Indonesia. My time was short to do any research on it and when I did have a little time I preferred to keep away form creating any prejudiced or stereotyped impressions from books or any media. Personal experience with an open heart and an open mind is always what I choose. Flying here I had a 6 hour layover in Abu Dhabi. That was actually my first real contact with an Islamic country. Sitting just in the airport, observing the people. Further on, reaching Indonesia, I could just feel that the Muslims of Indonesia are different than the Muslims of the United Arab Emirates. Later I found out that there are some actual formal differences in the Muslim … Continue reading