Yes, We Can Do More

School of Life Management Team: Planning Workshop for the Beneficiaries

Oftentimes, the problems of the broken hearted appear insurmountable. oftentimes, it feels like its useless to work on things. But, this group of ladies has an indefatigable spirit that keeps giving, giving, and giving. At this meeting, I had pitched a protocol for choosing the right girls to be beneficiaries of the centre. With a variety of disciplines and a heart brimming with love, a battery of tests were decided upon and a new batch of 10 girls were chosen for 2019. God bless these holy souls


Coaching Programs for IT Leaders

the way of business has changed since I began working in 1989. The young executives set up businesses on their own and become the decision-makers for multimillion businesses overnight.

And, I am lucky to get the opportunity to work with them! As they put their services online, they continually pivot and work towards improvement making their products and offerings more competitive worldwide. Because online businesses have a high mortality rate and because competition is cut-throat, these young professionals need support to remain at the top of their game. And, that is what I provide: tools and tips to keep them confident and resilient for the long haul.


Meaning Making

Dani Girl…never lose your sense of fun

The weekend finds me resourcing for Carewell Foundation on a play about a spunky child afflicted with cancer whose wild and vivid imagination carry her through the ups and downs of being terminally ill. As she tries to stay strong for mom, her sheer will to live enthuses her to dream up imagined friends with whom she plays with for sprinkles of joy in the midst of sadness. There are many good lines, but my favourite of all is “not having a reason doesn’t make a thing worthless”. Sometimes we are caught up in being productive, showcasing our capability, maximising every opportunity …all the make life worthwhile. Would it then mean that being fallow, resting, sitting with a cup of coffee are endeavours with no worth because they do not have an endpoint? The show suggests that all of life…all of its experiences have value just because they are part of what makes life beautiful.

Catch the play Dani Girl, running on weekends till 8 September 2019



Champion’s Mindset

At the highest level of sports, mind conditioning is crucial to success. The best athletes always seem to get it right: despite the maddening crown of detractors, the heart racing and shortness of breath at tie-breakers, despite the pressure to deliver the winning point. They don’t seem to flake out, lose their cool, or melt out. Sports psychology played a huge part in their preparation for their event. Even when things go badly or the play is not in their favour, in the midst of devastating errors, ferocious competition, the greats have stood up time and time again with no sign of loss of confidence and win again and again and again. it is as if they are able to constantly pick up the pieces effortlessly. What makes them able to do so? How can psychology help overcome a devastating mistake and prepare for the win? By training athletes specific mind conditioning techniques: Imagery & modelling: managing state to remain in the moment; teaching them to depend on their mastery of the sport.

The champion mindset is about finding ways to deal with all the mind games that comes with stress and anxiety of thinking …”what is to come?’ and “what is to be”. And then replacing this by being focused in the MOMENT.


Life is Real. What You Give it is What You Get Back

“life is real. Hindi siya nagsisinungaling. What you put into life is what you get back. How you will react to it and shape it becomes what you will experience. What you need to do is to be true to yourself and to others. Do not come into life expecting that you will be happy when you always get your way. Life is meaningful and well-lived when you keep adjusting…growing…reconnecting

Life does not choose victims. For the most part, you are the victim of your decisions and choices.

It is with that mindset that MJ —-who came from a difficult life situation —got herself into the L’oreal Home Beautician School for women. She chose the hard road of earning a living while going to school and helping provide for others. It is such an opportunity to work with women who believe that they create their own lives by taking responsibility for their God-given freedom. They work in faith, with hope, and an undying belief that life will be fair to their efforts.

The world has hope if only for such women.


What Does Resilience Look Like?

As my practice continues to grow, I find life’s questions being answered an experience at a time. This hodge-podge  of momentos are the answer to the question, “what does resilience look like?” the bottled strawberry jam is from women who are creating new lives by finally getting that college degree; the golden toy horse came from a mother who reconciled with her family; the owl case is a project from my cancer survivors group; the roses from a cancer survivor who learned how to forgive before she passed away; the antique lamp is from a lady who sold things she loved to put food on the table, and the oil lamp is from mom and dad who have weathered 50 years of marriage and still hold hands.

I am thankful for all those who have enriched my life and taught me to look forward despite things seemingly falling all around; Those who have taught me that life does not stop when things don’t go my way; that there is beauty and wellness and joy even when it is impossible to see; that there is always happiness to give even when things are rough.

As I move forward in my career, I bring with me the power, grace, kindness, generosity of those who have shared their life with me. May their resilient spirit together with our own continue to propel the world and override defeatist thoughts.


It is When I Began to Dream that my Life Began to Change

“When I was living without any goals and not facing my challenges, I had a comfortable life. But it was a joyless life —-yes, I had food, clothes, gifts handed to me  —-but I had not worked for these using my talents, capabilities. Well meaning people gave them to me thinking I would feel happy, loved, cared for. They did for a moment, but the happiness was short-lived. I did not develop my personhood, my talents…and when life threw me a curve ball, I felt incapable, unable to cope with the demands of life. I coped by avoiding responsibility, ducking out of life —-my life’s focus was on how to avoid problems.

After the program, I learned to be solution focused,  I choose to face my problems and strive for more in life. Unlike before, where money and the security it brings drove me, today it is my dreams and hopes that fuel my drive. My vision for the future is what makes me get up in the morning and go for life.

It was when I gave myself a chance to dream that my life began to change.” —– Djakira

Working with the youth to develop resiliency and self-efficacy in times of challenge has been a very rewarding part of my practice.  To watch them metamorphose into capable, honourable leaders of their own lives is why I came to do therapy work. To witness first-hand the indomitable human spirit is worth waking up for and lacing up those work shoes even on a stormy day.


Training on Resilience Through Mindfulness with Dr. Greg Lang of Singapore School of Positive Psychology

Mindfulness is often an under-rated and overlooked methodology for building resilience. Mindfulness requires us to be at the present moment — identifying our current resources: skills, people who can help, positive elements in the current situation, connection to character strengths.  Staying positive is key to surviving a tough situation intact.


Run Wild!

Yep, that’s about the size of it! A visual illustration of Albert Bandura’s Theory of Self-efficacy.  The belief that you have the capacity to succeed at the goal you pursue. The feeling of motivation, abundance, sense of being carefree and liberated to just do things and see it all like a game, the sure-footedness that you can easily win just by having fun with it. the earnest engagement, the laugh-out-loud verve for life. This childlike engagement is the source behind every success.


We Are Each Other’s Fairy Godmothers

Its 10PM  and am coming from a long work day. I chance upon a Mary Grace’s fruit cart. Who sells fruit with a wide grin on their faces at 10PM at night? beckoned by the smile, I approach to buy a couple of mangoes and bananas. As Mary Grace weighs out the produce, we get to talking about our day. I tell her  of the cases I worked and she shares with the reason for the spunk after a 12 hour day on the street. ” I am funding my dreams, she said. If  I don’t stand up for myself, believe in myself, and take risks in life, I will live without having fulfilled my God-given potential.  Ako lang, at ako ang makakatuwid sa buhay ko. Para sa aking sarili at sa aking dreams, wala akong tatanggihim na trabaho.  Sa ilang oras kong pagbebenta abot-kaya ang panggarap. Konting sacrifice, konting timpi. Walang pili. Focus lang one step at a time.”

Mary Grace bagged up my purchase and I am reminded once again the importance of dreams and believing in them.  And how, with every gesture of kindness and generosity and simply making time to chat, we are able to help others reconnect and reach for their dreams.  I paid Php 45 for a couple of fruits and a tuition fee for a life class. Mary Grace, wonder woman.

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Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

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