Did I ever tell you about how I became confident about my creativity and how it suddenly just exploded?
If you’ve been keeping up with my profile, stalking it, checking up on me every once in a while, you probably realized… oh Tida paints?? Tida photographs??
Well… That’s how I feel too each time I pick up the paint brush, style new food recipes, accessories, decor, pick up my dad’s camera, or even when I open photoshop to edit photos. I amaze myself when I just do things without thinking. (Creative things okay, like painting, writing, etc, not like robbing a bank without thinking.)
Of course I want to believe that I was born a genius, a total whiz kid, knower of all knowledge (LOL), but the truth is… it took a lot for me to get to this point when I trace my thoughts back to HOW EXACTLY I got here.
Before I start talking about this story that I’ve always wanted to share about but never had the opportunity to, let’s go back to the story of TASTE eMagazine first.
When my marketing senior left the events catering company that I was working at, I was left to handle our online food magazine slash newsletter all on my own. And to my excitement I was going to revamp the entire thing to be as color and artistic as it possibly can be. I scheduled my timetable so that I could go out and shoot and feature all the most interesting things of Singapore – and my boss thought I was going mad!! They were like, Tida you’re doing marketing for a catering company, we’re not a food magazine. We have an online food magazine but we’re not a publishing company!
But despite but boss’s disapproval I went ahead and did what I wanted to do any way but just reduced my ‘outing’ time.
And these were the results of my first magazine back in 2013:
For a marketing major with no prior knowledge of photographing – not bad right! To my utmost surprise, the board gave me a thumbs up and a green light on this project.
The second story – I’m not even sure if I told this before… but basically, I’ve been a painter my entire life. When I was 18 I lost my entire portfolio of artwork from childhood, and stopped painting for ages because I was angry and so depressed about it… I also believed that painting was useless because my father made me believe artists were all poor, starving, and our skills are only useful for a ‘hobby’.
But one fine non-working day, the angels kicked me out of bed (no kidding, I thought I was going mad when I heard my Param Param Guru, Babaji’s voice telling me to go paint. Here’s His Holiness Babaji,
or what many refer to as Maharaji if you are curious to know who He is!) It was two days before this Julien Coudray 1518 Watch opening event – and at that time I was painting luxury watches at 28th Fevrier
In my right mind I KNEW it sounded ridiculous to hear Babaji’s voice in my head, and I KNEW I couldn’t finish a 4 x 5 foot painting in ONE DAY, let alone (at that time it was 2:30) 5 hours that I had before my friend Pie would visit me from Bangkok.
But I went anyway. I got dressed and I took a bus allllll the way to Tanglin Road (town) from West Coast Singapore, and Dom (gallery owner/watch investment company owner) was like OH HI you’re here… and probably thought Why are you showing up last minute?!
When I took out the canvas.. I had NO idea how I was possibly going to finish that painting in 4 hours before dinner time, so I got down to my knees and bowed in humbleness and surrender to my spiritual lineage of Gurus (and to the canvas), and said that I had no clue why I was there, but please guide me in painting this Julien Coudray watch painting.
The watch was worth SGD 650,000 at that time, and if I painted this, it would be at the watch opening event at the prestigious gallery in two days, so I HAD to do it justice… BUT HOW.
In all honesty it was as if someone painted it, but not me. I was just the physical hands… Babaji’s voice was clear in my head the entire time: “Horizontal strokes, short strokes, now vertical strokes. Use just this much white and blue. Good.”
In my previous experience, I would probably pull my hair out if I had to paint an ENTIRE watch, symmetrically, in the short amount of time that I had, and USUALLY I would have to you know, print out the watch picture, make a grid on it, sketch the huge canvas and THEN use my charcoal to make outlines of it first before I start to even apply any color on it.
That afternoon I did not have time for that. So for the first time in my life I was in a situation where I just HAD to squeeze out the acrylic paint and paint the watch RIGHT AWAY.
By the time I got to the background (4 hours later), I had to postpone my dinner with Pie. And Babaji’s voice remained as clear as ever: Use white and blue for the background.
“What!” I thought. “But the watch is BLUE already?! Background also white and blue?!” (LOL shortening my sentences like a Singaporean)
To my rebuke was Babaji’s scolding voice: “Do you want to listen to my guiding words or do you just want to do this yourself?”
Oh God, of course I’ll listen to you Babaji, was my reply to Him, silently (or rather loudly) in my head.
I got to the gallery at 3PM.
By 8PM my painting was DONE.
I have no words for it. It was the BEST, most vibrant painting I’ve ever took part in creating IN MY LIFE. I’ve heard Babaji’s guidance before, through my Guru, Guruji Sri Sri Poonamji’s grace, as well as Jesus’s messages, also through my Guruji’s grace, but never such firm instructions before for anything!!
This was the painting right when I finished it:
Like… Holy Cow how did I do that in 5 hours!!!!!!
Yes I was always fast at painting even as a kid, but this was next level!!!!!!
I realized…. from this crazy experience….:
1. In humbleness, gratitude, and trust, your Guru (once you have found your Guru, a True Guru that would and could guide you to Enlightenment), She will always assist you to Open the Light within you, find you, expand your capabilities,
2. She taught me the value of realizing what my heart truly loves. And to realize THAT, it takes time to peel off each layer of your image: who you THINK you are, or are supposed to BE. She taught us that we are like an onions – to get to your soul, your core, who you TRULY are, there are many layers to peel from your subconscious, shedding off all limitations so that one day you could operate fully from your Superconscious.
3. Guruji taught me to just Be. Find me and be me. Release all necessity of being what society or expectations or whoever wants me to be. Through this, it also takes time and trust (in Your Guru and in your Higher Self) to realize what I think, what limitations I have in my mind about myself, and which part of me has been shaped by other people in my life. Like painting, I loved painting, I was good at it, and I grew up to believe it was…useless. Yet nothing is useless if you love it and do it from the heart. Guruji told me that She too, had no idea how to be in an ashram, and what ashram traditions to follow when She met Her Guru, Baba Sevananda Ji Maharaj
, but because Her Holiness, as a truly humble disciple, did all that She could from the Heart, everything
She did was right.
4. Giving is Receiving. Guruji always always reminds us that. I did not just receive all those blessings and graces because I showed up. I knew from the first day that I met Guruji that I wanted to serve Her, and learn the Art of Giving & the Art of Selflessness. She utterly changed my life through Her love, teachings, and blessings, and only in service will I ever be able to honor what She has given to me. Nothing in life is free, only in service will you truly benefit. People are so stingy with their money, yet what is money? Money is just our time and effort, and if I cannot be there to do work for Her Holiness, then only in money can I honor my Guru. Yet all the money in the world cannot repay what my Guru has blessed me with – self-love, respect, and appreciation.
To end this post, I’d like to finally get to the point of why I’m writing it. I am writing it because one day I showed up to the ashram in Singapore, and it was a very astrologically powerful day that the planets aligned in a way that they haven’t in a thousand years – and if we devote ourselves to meditation in selflessness, the receiving could be tremendous.
Some of you might be wondering… what does CHANTING have to do with self-growth?!
To answer your question in the best way that I possibly can – all matter is upheld by sound frequencies according to the law of physics yes? That’s how glass breaks when at a certain sound frequency, and the frequency of the Sun, when recorded, vibrates the primordial sounds of Ommmmm.
With this being said, our sacred languages of Sanskrit and Latin when spoken, vibrates at a much more powerful frequency than modern day’s adapted languages – that’s why mantras in Hinduism and Buddhism are in Sanskrit. The correct chants when done from the heart can change your life.
On Thursday, Jan 19th & Wednesday, Jan 25th at 8PM EST (Florida/NY time) there will be a Chanting Workshop at Divine Bliss International, and I wish I could be part of it, and I wish all of us (that want to experience this) can be part of it 🙂 So I just got excited to share my story in relevance to this workshop.
So if you’re in Florida, or are anywhere in the world and want to know more about it, here’s the workshop. If you want it to happen in your country too, let me know. Talk to me and Let me know that you want it to happen and we can work something out together!
The world is more depressed, lost, and angry than ever, and only in selflessness can we change it, and only the right teacher can teach you that. There are many books you can read, many ‘teachers’ you can learn from, but only the Enlightened one who knows exactly where you are standing in life can show you the way. If reading the Bible or the Gita can give us enlightenment, all of us would already be. That is why I am so eager to share this with you, because if I can find answers to Me when I share these experiences with you, and if I can be the vessel of sharing such stories (and learning from them as I type it to you), then imagine what you can benefit from selfless service too 🙂
Lastly… “You can only give what you have.” – says Guruji.
And I grew up thinking I have to be selfless and give to others first before I give myself. Yet I remained in anger because I gave in expectations and I wanted things in return. I wanted to believe I was a good person, and each time I felt like I wanted more, I didn’t have enough, and I wasn’t getting what I wanted, I was constantly angry at my selfishness – because that’s what society teaches you right? Selflessness is an art that must be learned.
When I discovered Guruji and saw how She was the epitome of giving, compassion, and enlightenment, I knew the only thing I could do for my life was to serve Her and be the humble vessel to share my realizations. Most importantly it was my duty to share it humbly without gloating with OMG look at how much I’ve changed – yippeee look I’m a monk and all kind of thing. Only in my service have I learned and received from Her. That is the biggest task She gives all of Her student, to learn how to Give selflessly, and to learn how to be a Nobody. When you are truly a nobody, you’ve realized you are one with the cosmic energies of light.
To really end this post now, through Guruji’s grace and the study of self-realization, my capabilities are at their peak, and each day I learn at such a fast pace through Guruji’s teachings.
“Learning with me is like taking the express way. You will progress quickly. The lessons you get will also increase.” – Guruji told us this before.
I’ve stopped sharing my learnings on this blog because I feel like each time I wrote I was preaching… teaching you all instead of being a student. But from now on I’d really like to continue sharing my stories and realizations with you guys, I just need to find my voice in my learning instead of trying to teach you guys what I have not achieved. Again, thank you for reading! Here are more pictures of how much my service at Divine Bliss International has made my capabilities explode so far:
The jasmine vines on the orange wall – Guruji’s grace as well that She allowed me to paint the ashram.
And in photography:
As usual, if you would like me to post more, like and comment on this post or on Facebook!
I’ll also change this website to a gallery for my portfolio images instead of just blog posts too, so I’ll let you know about that soon.
Til next time beautiful people,
p.s. I do believe I need to write more! When I stop writing for a long time it turns into a rant instead of an insightful article hahahahah 🙂