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soul spa

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which in the Roman Catholic Community marks the beginning of Lent. Between Ash Wednesday and the first day of Holy Week, we have forty days of preparing ourselves for the commemoration of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. In this busy world we live in, it seems very difficult to prepare ourselves for that. Heck, it is somewhat even impossible to find a moment of silence with all these distractions around. We have to admit, we live in a world where we have grown comfortable with all the noise around us – the sound of mobile phones beeping or ringing (and not just the usual ringing tone but a whole array of weird ring tones…sometimes people in public places think they have the coolest ring tones and intentionally do not pick up, letting the whole world listen to their annoying tones first…PICK UP ALREADY!!!), the sound of computers, aircon units and other equipment running, and if we get too annoyed with the outside world we get those tiny ear phones (ear buds as they call them now?) and switch on our Ipods or mp3 players, or mobile phones with mp3 to drown the noisy outdoors with more noise. Our eldest got a 5th gen IPod Nano from her Ninang, and since her Mama cannot afford to get her own Kayla’s IPod now officially has more Mama’s selections than hers (Mamma Mia soundtrack, The Fame Monster [!], U2’s Achtung Baby, Songs from Ally McBeal Vo. 1 and 2, to name a few).

Sometimes I think it would be good to find oneself, and to get to really listen to yourself, amidst all the noise.

I have been a big fan of Bo Sanchez for years now. I am not much into the motivational non-fiction genre but with him I make an easy exception. For almost a year now I have been a member of his TrulyRich Club, which entitles me to newsletters, motivational CDs, and copies of his publications (autographed!), and more importantly, gives me the opportunity to help and support his many outreach projects and worthy causes. (If you are interested, please e-mail me.) As such member I receive GodWhispers everyday, and when I open my mail I get these really inspiring thoughts and messages as if God himself e-mailed me. Everyday. And it’s a great way to start the day, I tell you. I flagged one of my most favourite GodWhispers e-mail and it said: “Silence terrifies some people. Because they’re afraid of the scars they’ll discover within. But that’s precisely why silence is beautiful. It gives you the chance to find My presence deep within your wounds.” Imagine how splendid it is to receive such an e-mail each day.

Admittedly I am not grand on religiosity. But for this season of Lent, I have decided to go on a 40-day “retreat”, a soul treat of sorts, with Bo. When my Mama was alive I gave her one of Bo’s books (she actually introduced me to Bo’s literature), 40 Stories of Passion, which contains 40 testimonies/ anecdotes of ordinary people and how they lead lives with passion. I will find time each morning and read one story (followed by a prayer), as suggested in the book’s introduction. It will be my soul food and treat, and hopefully I will be buffed and nourished in time for lent.

I hope you also find time and ways to revel in solitude and serenity.

“Millions of people live lives of quiet desperation.
Without meaning. Without dreams.
Without fire in their belly. They work, they eat,
they watch TV, they read the paper,
and that’s pretty much what life is for them.

But when I meet someone with passion, I sense it…”

– Bo Sanchez, Intro to “40 Stories of Passion”


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