Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Last Saturday I was in KL to give a presentation and some tips about emotional intelligence to a group of women whose husbands had been detained without trial , some for the last 5 years.Most of them resonated with what I had to say because they had already reached the point of transcending their victim mentality and were empowered . I was thinking to myself , these women are getting stronger and stronger in spirit , in faith and in wisdom. Adversity has a way of either making or breaking a person but those who have a great deal of faith and a connection to the Divine will transcend their very selves to excel in spirit and this was what I saw in this group of women.

On the way back I found myself in front of Ampang Point and stopped to go to Pay Less Books. Indeed I paid less but I paid quite a lot, RM 180 and among the treasures I brought home was one on Synchronicity by Joseph Jaworski. It was the unlikeliest title for a book about leadership but it was not merely about leadership, it was about surrendering to the inner guidance , about transcending , about understanding the unity of the Universe. He succeeded in establishing the American Leadership forum which up till now trains leaders from all over the US about working together and about being the Servant Leader.
Joseph Jaworski now heads an organization that trains leaders from all over the world called
Generon Consulting

Having had some amazing experiences with the kind of synchronicity he was talking about , I could relate very well to it.
What I have yet to experience is the coming together of like minded people to do something truly transcendental. There is this longing within me of finding the people who share my beliefs and my convictions and who want to bring about the consciousness of a transcendental way of being that is available to each and everyone of us . We do not have to be saints and prophets to experience connection with the Divine neither do we have to be gifted or otherwise superior for in truth we already are. Who will join me in my quest to truly leave a lagacy of love and light to the Nation and to the World ?
The book ended with a quote from Carl Jung
"Invoked or not invoked, God is present"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

About Faith

Tiel sent me a note asking me to write something for the Progressive Faith Blog Convention 2006.

I actually got tired of writing on religion but I think Tiel did not mean that when she said write about faith.

But first let us get over the reason I got tired of writing about religion or belief:
Here is something that I experienced that will explain my point: Yesterday I joined a Malaysian online mailing list that had as its title Malaysia Spiritual Society. As I came onboard , I read one of the messsages from a guy who was just leaving. There were the usual oh please don t go, and other comments from others. I do not know what the dispute is really about but the gist of it seemed to be ' My religion is better that yours' and ' There is a big flaw in your religion.' Since this group of ove 100 people is mainly from one religion, with a smattering of members from other religions , there was a predominance of posts on this religion on the list ..which made me wonder at the name ...Oh no, not another religious wrangle or another place where one predominant group overpowers the discussuions....

There is another thing that is really bothering me right now: Since getting entangled in the training business , really , I think with me it is a calling, I have had from time to time been told to Islamize my training. Which put me into a wee dillemma really, not because I am not Islamic, I should think my words and deeds shout out Islam but because the material I was using was in my perspective very Islamic . My perspective said that all the material were principles that are embedded in Time . They were Universal Laws that had been put into place by the Eternal One.
Yet when asked to 'Islamize it' , I did . I took hadith and Quranic verses relevent to the topics and used them but I could not find the Muslim authors to quote because most of the material on these Universal laws were not written by Muslims ( but I suspect they had been dipping into Sufi sources ) .Then I got to thinking , hey hey hey , I am a Muslim and I wrote some of this stuff and what you are hearing is my Islamic perspective , is that not enough? Apparently not because for the last session I had in Bintulu , from a lot of positive feedback I got, one fellow commented that he/she disliked that I was pronouncing my quotes from the Quran wrongly and using quotes out of context. You can 't win can you?

Ok ok ok , so you think I am being defensive here right? I did a lot of soul searching and I did feel that I must learn to pronounce properly and also humbly state , please , those of you who have excellent Arabic, please correct me if I am wrong in my pronounciation and please, if I quote something out of context , do stop me and correct me.

What is the connection between what I am writing now to faith. What is faith? I do not want to look up the meaning here , I want to just write what I think faith is. Faith is believing in something so much that one acts on the beliefs , that one's perspective on things is from the perspective of the faith. Actually the Quran says quite often

Ya Ayuhal Lathina Amanu wa Amilusalihat.
Oh Ye who have faith and do good works

So actually one can have faith but NOT do good works but usually faith spurs one to good action.
What has many people quite confused is the definition of what good works is.
Many think it is prayer and fasting and going for Haj and throwing a feast now and then with people coming in to do the zikr , giving a donation once in a while to the orphans and attending weddings and funerals ..only of one's own faith mind you.
Then when you ask people who have been for Haj, they will tell you some nice horror stories of 'The Faithful ' performing the Hajj.Dear me nice and horror surely do not belong together. Oh but you know what I mean, the juicy stories that leave people shaking their heads and wondering how people of "other ethnic groups" could be so ill mannnered.
And you know the stories about how long it took to do the tawaf because a group from some other country decided to make a human chain and push you way way out so that the circle you had to make became very large. Or the man who did saie as though he was swimming and you were unfortunate enough to have been in his way and therefore stumbled after being pushed away by his hands and almost fell which would have been a disaster because you would have been stepped on. You have to admire the faith of these people really . They were determined to perform the Haj and fulfill their Muslim obligation at all costs, even if they inconvenienced their fellow pilgrims or caused a lot of grief to their fellow pilgrims........................................
You know I am being sarcastic here or at least I hope you do! I think for me ' Do good works ' is not about performing the rituals , which are important and meaningful enough when done with a lot of heart and done with presence and rememberence as well as with due consideration for the fellow worshippers...I think ' Do good works ' is being good and being kind to our fellow man, no matter what race, what religion , what perspective they are coming from. I think doing good works is being a Light in the darkness, being tolerant and speaking out against injustice , all injustice , not only the ones that affects one's own people but any people.

I woke up this morning upset with myself again. I could not find my identity card anywhere and then remembered my secretary took it to photostat for some applications I made and forgot to give it back. I saw myself asking her in a high pitched voice why she did not give it back to me and if she knew the consequences of trying to board my Air Aisia flight tonight without my IC and how about it if I could not fly....because I have a workshop to give tomorrow... As I saw this imagnary scene I was asking myself , Dear Lord , Ya Allah, there is this soft spot in my heart that inclines to kindness and goodness, and I am sure you put it there but why is it what comes out is this Shrill voiced angry woman who cannot have the patience to calmly ask for her IC and not lay the 'guilt trip' on my hapless secretary?
But I guess , even though what I visualised did happen, except I was less shrill voiced since I was aware of my actions , my secretary responded by laughing at me and with me. I guess she knows about that soft spot inside ..who told her I wonder?

So , if I put it in another way:
Faith is that soft and tender spot inside of you that loves little babies , that cries when emotions are touched , that defends the weak, that fights injustice........don t you go mistaking faith for something that puts people down and saying mine is better than yours.....you don t have to say mine is better than your, if mine is better than yours: It will be as clear as the Sun in the Sky and Allah knows best ......

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

On change!

I was in Bintulu last weekend , giving a coaching -training session on Knowing the self, Tools for change and Leadership. You can see some of the points elicited directly from the participants who all seem to be scratching their heads in this game that they are playing, what I call Follow the Hidden Leader. The guy in the center is trying to figure out who is initiating the Resistence Movement ...which at that point in time was head scratching!

This coming weekend will be a session in Kota Bahru and then it is off to KL for my next coaching workshop which horror of horrors, starts with mid course exams ...which I am supposed to be studying for.

So really I am not supposed to be blogging....

BTW, I had some really bad emotional vibes yesterday , maybe because of my hectic schedule , maybe jitters over changing my career ...no matter..I finally decided to seriously use a tool I frequently teach in my training, Emotional Freedom Technique and voila...I have since recovered..Masha allah, I never realised how much negativity I can hold inside when I am being negative....
I will be holding a workshop to teach EFT on the 2nd of July,it will be in Bahasa Melayu ie after I come back from Koh Samui for my EFT cert. Actually I can already instruct without the cert but it does not feel right...

You can read more about it here:

By the way, this is my temporary website , before I get a professional to jazz it up for me

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Golden girls

Guess which golden girls is me? I 'll give you a clue, this golden girl is wearing yellow/green/golden and is kneeling in the first row but not quite!

It has been 30 odd years since I last went to school. Met about 60 of my batch mates last Saturday. I was late , very late , almost missed them ......... all because I failed to note the times and assumed we would be partying all day and all night..a false assumption for half decade ladies

Well anyway here is something you can do to avoid clutter and chaos: My desk area is much clearer since I adopted some of the suggestions ...you would think it was common sense but guess what, common sense is NOT common!

Quoted from : Order from Chaos
Author : Liz Davenport

The Physical Environment


Creating a Vacuum

A vacuum means some extra space in drawers, bookcases, filing cabinets, and closets. People stop filing when files become jam-packed. Then a pile begins to grow on your desk and before you know it you are buried in stacks of papers.

Vacuum-creating Rules :

  • Don’t get bogged down. Box the old stuff and put it in a closet out of sight.
  • Get these supplies: Storage containers and several plastic boxes with lids.
  • Create these boxes: Label one “to-do now”, another “to-do later”, and a third “Archive”.
  • Clearly label what you archive with a dark marker and write in big bold letters.
  • Group like objects: Tax forms and legal documents, Memorabilia, Old Client Files
  • Throw away 95% of the old stuff. It’s a fact that 95% of everything you saved over the past six months may be considered trash. Keep only legal papers and documents.

Start at the End, not at the Beginning

Start with the oldest stuff and work towards the most recent stuff on your desk. Be sure to go through the closet that is scariest to open, first. The last place to clear is your desk.


Take everything out, and identify stuff by category as you go.

Label boxes . Keep those extra office supplies on a more convenient shelf, or use a box labeled “scratch paper”. Decide whether to toss, recycle or keep. If you must keep, put it in its proper category and labeled box. The least used items must be kept out of sight. Create as much empty space as you can.


Empty the bookshelf, identifying categories again as you go. Decide whether to trash or recycle items. Keep only the current phone directory and reference books.

Filing cabinet(s )

If you have a filing system where you are able to find things, don’t change it. Avoid using A-Z filing systems because if you do not remember the name of the file you will have a difficult time looking for it. Use a more general system.

Create Drawer Categories. Have major categories. You can have “Clients”, “Projects”, “Reference Material”, “Contracts”, for instance. Never use the category “Miscellaneous”.

Create larger categories within each drawer.

The rule of thumb is if a file does not have more than 20 pieces of paper in it, then the title is too specific. In “household” you can have a category “car stuff” which holds the insurance, repairs, registration and anything to do with the car. The most recent paper goes in front.

Don’t ask “How should I file this?” but “How will I use this?”

The receipts for bills we pay can be filed in 12 folders, one for each month from January to December. When you have paid the bill, whether it be for the phone, your credit card or gas, just drop the receipt in the month you paid for.

Color code

Clients can be red. Administration can be blue. Finances may be green. Just use colored markers to highlight the labels in color so you don’t have to go out and buy a dozen colored folders.

Don’t be surprised at the amount of trash you are generating as you follow this process.

Computer files

Computer files and paper systems are handled in the same manner. Use the folders in your computer as you would your physical filing cabinet.

As you create new files, save them according to your new system. Trash old files as you go. Label a folder as Archive, Clients, Household, and within each folder there should be more folders.

Boxes under/around the desk .

Again, 95% of the stuff under your desk is trash.

Desk drawers . Dump out the entire drawer then place the items you deem worthy back into the appropriate drawer. Remember to group like items.

Having a “personal” drawer is a big help. This is where the purse, hairbrush, and candy go.

Now take a look around your office and feel the freedom from distractions gently come upon you. You must be feeling lighter already. Celebrate your newfound feeling of physical and emotional lightness!

Step 1: The Cockpit Office

Setting up

  • Anything used daily should be within hand’s reach.
  • Anything used on a weekly basis should be within arm’s reach.
  • Anything used monthly should be in the office.
  • Anything used less often should not be there.

Be back in a second

That second actually takes us 20 minutes on average before we get back to our desks to work.

In a regular office, you interrupt yourself by “getting a cup of coffee, going to the restroom, or having a cigarette”. If you have a home office, you have even more time-wasting opportunities. “Water the plant, put in another load of laundry, walk the dog”

You may also forget why you stood up to go get something, (scissors, a letterhead, a stamp) in the first place. This is why we need to have all our essential tools within easy reach to avoid self-interruptions. The trick is you do not have to leave your chair to go get it.

Office Layout

In a study done to identify the most productive office environment the following four components were noted:

  • A minimum space of 10 ft by 10 ft
  • A door you can close
  • A phone you can turn off
  • A minimum of 30 square feet of open desk space (meaning desk space with no computer, phone or lamp on it)

The most effective desk configuration is a U. At the bottom of the U, place your computer. One side of the U is for project work or tasks that take about one hour or so to complete. The other side of the U is for those crisis/interruptions that take minutes to complete such as faxing a letter, filling up a form or opening the mail. If you cannot have a U configuration, an L is the second-best layout, with the computer at the junction of the two arms. The third best layout is two parallel desks. The least efficient layout is a straight line.

Open desk space

Keep mementos to a minimum. You need room to work. This is the reason we head for the kitchen or dining table when it is cleared after a meal so we can do our projects at home.

Interruptions versus Concentration

Suggestions to improve productivity:

  • Close the door and mute the phone. Studies show that a project that would take an hour to complete if you are not interrupted takes about four hours to complete if you are.
  • Create a fake door. Hang a “Do not disturb” sign across the entrance of your cubicle so coworkers will honor it.
  • Forward your calls to someone else or unplug it. Use voice mail or answering machines.
  • Do project work in a quieter space like a conference room, an empty office or at home.
  • If your office allows you to wear headphones, play a CD or tape of waves to drown out surrounding noise and increase concentration.

Four “must-haves” for every Cockpit

  • A desktop file
  • An In box
  • A To-Read box
  • A To-File box

The desktop file contains current files used daily. These are projects your are working on at the moment, clients you are currently working with, references used daily, and repetitive tasks performed daily like fax and email. Current projects/clients, Frequently repeated tasks, directories you use everyday, and blank fax cover sheets should be in your desktop file.

The desktop file at home: (place near a huge trash can)


  • Bills to pay
  • Things to file
  • Things to read
  • Things to take to office
  • One for each family member

The In Box

Everything new goes into the In Box. There are two In Box rules:

  • Allot a minimum of one hour each day to deal with all the new information you receive.

Don’t forget the virtual inbox such as email, faxes, voice mail, cell phone messages, etc. also other items where you place newly received information like your purse, bag or the front passenger seat of your car.

Whether you are a morning person or a night person, the time to attack the In Box is when you are sharpest and most alert. Make it a routine time each day.

  • Once you take something out of the In Box it should go someplace else. Every In Box must be emptied by the end of the day.

The To-Read Box

We seldom get around to reading everything we put aside to read. How do you purge? Take everything out of your To-Read box, select the three to five most important materials to read and put them back in the box, and throw the rest in the trash.

The higher a stack of In Box files and To Read files, the more guilt is piled on your self day after day. If you have more than three inches of files in these boxes, you will be overwhelmed by a stack of guilt you simply cannot bear to look at.

The To-File box

How often do you file? As soon as your To-File box becomes full.

The Rest of the Tools in your Cockpit

  • An Enormous Wastebasket

If the stuff is not needed, throw it away. If it merits a category, file it there. If you have an answer to How Will I Use This? Then file it in the place it will most likely be used.

Note: Crumpled pieces of paper take up more space in a trashcan than flat pieces of paper.

  • Pencil holder

One thing you need to learn to throw away: pens that don’t write anymore. We have a bad habit of sticking these pens back in the pencil holder.

  • File Folders/hanging folders

Keep a fresh supply on hand so you can add categories as needed.

  • Rolodex and Blank Cards

The most efficient system of keeping business cards and contact information is the 360-degree Rolodex. This way you can’t keep piling things on top like with a flat Rolodex. Just file the cards alphabetically, and if you don’t have 20 minutes to sort out your business cards, ask a friend or even a child to help you out.

  • Paper versus Electronic Rolodexes

If your system catches a virus, electronic Rolodexes can be very risky. Paper is faster even if it is bulky. Always have a paper backup to your computerized mailing list, so it can be retyped when necessary.

Keep the most recent phone books, white pages, and yellow pages on a shelf near the phone. Keep the most recent copy of your organizational directory within easy reach as well.

  • Note Cards/Thank-you notes

In the age of e-mail we find it more meaningful whenever we receive handwritten note cards that congratulate us or thank us. So keep a nice little file of your personal handwritten notes to look at when you’re feeling down, and also a nice supply of blank ones to write on and send out to people whose day you would like to brighten up. Your email message can be easily deleted, but a warm thank-you note will be kept for a longer time.

  • Stamps of various denominations, a postage scale, and postage rates chart

If you do all your own mailing, this is an essential timesaver. You won’t have to waste time standing in line at the post office.

Customizing your Cockpit

If you keep borrowing an item, buy one of your own. If you keep getting up to get something to finish the job, bring it back to the cockpit and keep it there. If you always lose your scissors, buy more than one pair.

Stuff you may need in your cockpit:

  • A comfortable chair
  • Good lighting
  • A clock
  • Paper stand/holder for typing ease
  • Business stationery and envelopes
  • Special paper, mailing labels, colored paper, certificate paper, etc
  • Return address labels
  • Telephone
  • Computer, fax, typewriter, printer, scanner, copier
  • Replacement ink cartridges for the above
  • Mouse pad, wrist rest, foot rest (tools for proper ergonomics)
  • Floppy disks, Zip disks, Jaz disks, blank CDs
  • Stapler and stapler remover
  • Tape (regular, double-sided, masking, duct)
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Correction fluid/tape
  • Calculator
  • Hole puncher
  • Reference manuals
  • Pen/pencil refills
  • Scratch paper/sticky notes (in a drawer not on the desktop)
  • Calendar