Amy Poehler: "You Can't Do It Alone"

My best friend posted this in her Facebook status,

"Continue to share your heart with people even if it's been broken. Don't treat your heart like an action figure, wrapped in plastic and never used.
-- Amy Poehler at Harvard College Class Day 2011

It definitely caught my attention. Before I knew it, I was crying and laughing my heart out watching a 15-minute video of Amy Poehler giving a speech at a recent commencement exercise at Harvard University.

What an odd choice for a speaker at a Harvard graduation. Amy Poehler is am actress and comedian. She is also a good friend of the Tina Fey. She is even known as the blond Tina Fey. If only there were more of them in the industry - those who actually use their brain.

Sharing with you excerpts of her speech.

By the way, her speech was funny and hilarious but it hits you and makes you think real hard. I can't stop thinking about it so I'm here writing.

And if I wanted to give you advice as an actor, I would tell you this: don't do it. Don't be one. There are too many. I have a lot of talented friends who aren't working. Sorry, no more room at the inn. I bet you are great, but just work with the human genome instead.
All I can tell you today is what I have learned. What I have discovered as a person in this world. And that is this: you can't do it alone. As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people's ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own. Okay, maybe Josh, but he's just a straight up weirdo. You're all here today because someone gave you strength. Helped you. Held you in the palm of their hand. GOD, Allah, Buddha, Gaga. Whomever you pray to.
They have helped you get here, and that should make you feel less alone. And less scared. Because it has been a scary ten years. You were young children when you watched planes hit the World Trade Center. You quickly understood what it was like to feel out of control. Your formative teenage years were filled with orange alerts and rogue waves and unaccomplished missions. For my generation, it was AIDS. We all grow up afraid of something. Taking off your shoes at the airport. My generation had to get used to awkward PSAs from boys to men telling us to use protection. But during those tough times, we realized how wonderful it felt to be part of a group.
Listen, say yes, live in the moment, make sure you play with people who have your back. make big choices early and often.
If you are scared, look into your partner's eyes. You will feel better.
I cannot stress enough that the answer to a lot of your life's questions is often in someone else's face. Try putting your iPhones down every once in a while and look at people's faces. People's faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry or nauseous, or asleep.
You never know what is around the corner unless you peek. Hold someone's hand while you do it. You will feel less scared. You can't do this alone. Besides it is much more fun to succeed and fail with other people. You can blame them when things go wrong. Take your risks now. As you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible. And I mean that literally. I hurt my knee on the treadmill this week and it wasn't even on.
Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don't know about. Limit your always and your nevers.
Continue to share your heart with people even if its been broken. Don't treat your heart like an action figure wrapped in plastic and never used.
Even though, as a class, you are smart, you are still allowed to say, "I don't know." Just because you are in high demand, you are still allowed to say, "Let me get back to you."
Which leads me to my final thought: would it kill you to be nicer to your parents? They have sacrificed so much for you, and all they want you to do is smile and take a picture with your weird cousins. Do that for them. And with less eye-rolling, please.
This is what I want to say. When you feel scared, hold someone's hand and look into their eyes. And when you feel brave, do the same thing. You are all here because you are smart. And you are brave. And if you add KINDNESS and the ability to change a tire, you almost make up the perfect person.

Inspiring thoughts for this evening.

Borrowing Amy's closing, I wish you love and light, joy, and much laughter.

(PS/ Thank you Ney for sending me the rough transcript of the speech.)

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Dream Home Set-Up

I am regular reader of organizing blogs. I get excited when I find blogs dedicated on home management and organizing making me an organizing geek. These blogs inspire to keep our home neat and in order, even the way I manage our household.

My three organizing heroes at the moment are Jen from IHeart Organizing, Carly from Perfectly Pretty and Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Toni recently hosted a Parade of Homes event where bloggers opened up their homes and shared photos for everyone to see.

I couldn't get over how pretty some of the homes are. I keep on thinking when the time comes for us to build our own home, I want to be reminded of how these homemakers fixed up their lovely homes.

This is a portion of her living room.
I love how she organized her knick knacks in all those different pretty boxes.

Her launch pad.

A closet desk in one of her son's bedroom. Talk about a creative use of space.

I like the idea of hanging a map and clocks in his son's bedroom.

Jen's very own closet desk, more like a home office.
I dream to have something similar - my very own nook.

Now look at this one-of-a-kind laundry room.
It makes me want to hang-out in the laundry if mine is as pretty as hers.

Note: All photos are taken from Jen's IHeart Organizing blog.

Our second stop is the home of Carly from Perfectly Pretty.

White is not scary after all. I kind of like it.
And Carly has twin daughters. Her house still looks this pretty.

Remote controls in a rustic box.

Her kitchen.

I love how everything is in order.

On my wishlist for the longest time - a Kitchen Aid mixer

Excellent idea of putting her daughters' stuffed toys in baskets.

Makes me want to have a daughter.

Her daughters' playroom. How IKEA-like!

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her craft room.
It's like having your own craft store.

Her home office. I love how everything is in order.

Note: All photos are taken from Carly's Perfectly Pretty blog.

Last stop, the woman who started it all, Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons.

I so want a similar clock!

Her kitchen. Someday, I will have a counter, too.

A basket full of her favorite cook books.

Another Kitchen Aid mixer.

Her coffee station.

She has two sets of dining tables.

Her daughter's toys and books tucked inside baskets.
Now where can I buy baskets like those?

Note: All photos are taken from Toni's A Bowl Full of Lemons blog.

Ah, it's so nice to dream.

Everything starts with a dream, right?

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Grow in Discipline (Small Change #17)

According to the built-in dictionary of the Kindle application, DISCIPLINE is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code behavior; using punishment to correct disobedience.

I really thought I was going to nail this chapter. I may not be artistic or talented but what I am is systematic, accurate and disciplined. God gave me those gifts.

If there are rules, I would follow them. What's the point of implementing a set of rules when no one follows them, right? I can follow my schedule to a "T" in fact my life is built on schedules.

I think I also have self-control. I would wait for Christmas morning to open Christmas presents. Remember the marshmallow test for kids?

I am pretty confident if I was given this test, I would choose to wait.

However as I read through the entire chapter 17, I realized how much I need discipline in so many instances in my life. For instance,

  • In exercising regularly
  • In eating healthy food and controlling my junk food craving
  • In how I use my time and restricting my use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • In my temper
  • In my quiet time
What is God's take on discipline?

1. Recognize that discipline is a spiritual issue.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

2. Readily acknowledge sin.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
- Galatians 5:16 (NIV)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
- Ephesians 4:30 (NIV)

Do not quench the Spirit.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NIV)

3. Realize that discipline is an act of the WILL.

We need discipline in the following areas:

Your temper (Proverbs 25:28)

Your mouth (Proverbs 17:28)

Your eating (Proverbs 23:2)

Your diligence (Proverbs 20:13)

4. Rejoice with each victory.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 15:57

5. Remember that discipline mirrors MATURITY.

I will continue my battle every day to stay focus and be disciplined. I definitely wouldn't want a wasted life be listed in the book of records when Judgement day comes.

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Amazing Thailand: Ayutthaya

My family was here so it's time for another road trip. I hired the services of Little Pigeon Tour again.

Ayutthaya, here we come.

Ayutthaya used to be the capital of Thailand (Siam then) between 1350 and 1767. It was a melting pot of culture, art and trade. In 1767, the Burmese army came and destroyed the city.

Located in Central Thailand, Ayutthaya is north of Bangkok. We reached the province in an hour to an hour and a half.

Our day trip to Ayutthaya started off with a tour of Bang Pa In Palace, also known as the Summer Palace. We enjoyed the mix of architectural styles - European, Chinese and Thai buildings.

We cannot stand the heat so renting this golf car proved to be the best idea.

Floating Pavilion

Replica of the Tiber Bridge in Rome

Phra Thinang Uthayan Phumisathian (Garden of the Secured Land)

Withun Thatsana (The Sage's Lookout)

The elephant-shaped Topiary garden with my little boy.

Next on our itinerary is the Wat Chai Wattanaram. One of the temple ruins and Ayutthaya's most photographed site. And I totally understand why. I was in awe.

First thing that came to my brother's mind was the movie "Tomb Raider."

The Burmese army beheaded the statues because of the gold that was on its heads.

We took a break for lunch and Little Pigeon Tours brought us to Tony's Place.

My family enjoyed their first taste of authentic Thai food at the restaurant.

Chicken in Cashew Nuts

After lunch, we stopped at an Elephant Camp/Village.

We didn't see that many elephants as Pattaya. So my family did not truly witness why I adore these creatures. There was no show, unlike in Nong Nooch.

My mother and sister both had their photos taken beside a baby elephant.

I am not an animal lover but we did not like the way the baby elephant's trainer would hit him with a stick with a sharp/metal edge so he would keep still.

Our last stop was another temple ruin, the Wat Phra Mahathat.

Its most popular attraction is a Buddha head embedded among a tree's maze of roots.

Ayutthaya has many attractions for tourists and visitors. A day trip is definitely not enough. Tourists do stay for a couple of days to make sure they have visited each attraction.

Seeing the major ruins has made me want to pursue my dream of visiting Angkor Wat. I would not leave Thailand without traveling to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

I still don't know what our next location would be.

I will just surprise you with another post in my Amazing Thailand signature

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