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May all find the teacher within to guide oneself towards unconditional love and peace

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My life stories - Part 4

My life stories - Part 4 
Stories from my past memories - childhood, family, friends, growing up, poverty, integrity, dreams come true, finding peace and happiness, Buddhism, Yoga, and now...

(Updated November 2020)

Since I was a little girl, I didn’t desire to have material things or enjoyments. I grew up in a simple family with very humble background. During the financial difficult moments, we didn’t even have the money to buy food. My parents had to borrow money from friends and relatives to survive those few years. I was grateful for every little thing we had and contented with everything as it was. But, if I really wanted something and willing to work hard on it, it would come to me.

On the opening day of my aerobics studio in Taman Sri Sentosa, one of my long time students introduced me to her cousin sister who was an astrologer. I wasn’t interested in astrology, but she walked up to me and told me that both my thoughts and my speech were very powerful, that I needed to be very careful for what I think and say, that I should only have good wishes and utter only kind words, whether I believe it, or not.

When I was a kid, out of a sudden, I would have spontaneous thoughts and feelings about something good or bad about a person or a place, and most of the time I was right. Sometimes I would have vision of something that was going to happen before it actually happened. I really didn’t want to hurt anyone intentionally whenever I had some bad feelings or thinking about somebody. I tried to control my anger when I experienced something that would upset me. There were times when I was over-powered by anger and hatred I would have bad wishes for the people whom I was angry at, and bad things would be happening in their lives not long after that. When I realized the evil tendencies in myself, I made a decision to develop self-control to overcome the impurities in my mind, and was determined to free myself from evil thinking and behavior.

During the time when I was deeply unhappy and angry, I had wished or cursed many people with bad wishes intentionally. Most of the time my wishes would come true, which later made me felt guilty for making those bad wishes for other people and had caused them bad happenings. I also had visions or feelings about something good was going to be happening and they came true as well.

After I came in contact with Buddhism teachings, I learned that everything happens according to their related karmic cause and effect, that there’s no one can interfere with others’ karma, that one can only create good or bad karma for nobody, but oneself. We all are the creator of our own karma. We are the writer of our own fate and destiny, and the painter of the colour of our life. The thoughts or visions that I had were merely some forecasts about what was going to happen. It was like something or someone was trying to inform me, to guide me, to protect me and to prevent me from undesirable encountering.

The happenings around me whether they were good or bad, they were meant to happen because of the law of karma – cause and effect. I was just happened to be able to feel or know before it happened, by having visions and feelings about them before they happened. But, all these happenings weren’t caused by me. Knowing this, I had stopped blaming myself for other people’s unfortunate or bad happenings, even though I had cursed them intentionally.

All these experiences were in the past and I left them there where they belonged. I had to forgive myself for being evil when I was very ignorant, as whether I had intentionally or unintentionally inflicted suffering onto other people’s life, I can’t go back to the past to undo anything. If I will be receiving some bad karma because of my past evil thoughts, actions and speech, I will accept them as they are and take full responsibility for the consequences of my own actions, if I was the one who was responsible for someone else’s suffering.

I learned that even if I was the one who was responsible for inflicting somebody’s unhappiness or suffering because of my bad wishes or evil curse onto them, it’s also part of their karma to experience such unhappiness or suffering, but just happened that I was the instrument. Most important was that I realized my wrong doings in the past and I truly repent. I forgave myself for hurting others whether intentionally or unintentionally, in thoughts, actions or speech. I also forgave those who had hurt me whether intentionally or unintentionally, and let go of the past and move on with better and clearer understanding, awareness and self-control.

I learned that even though I could predict things that were going to happen before they actually happened, I couldn’t change anything or stop things from happening and I couldn’t change other people’s karma.

I knew that my mother was going to suffer stroke. I dreamt about half of her face was paralyzed just one week before it actually happened. I felt very strong bad feelings about my father at the time when he was injured in a work accident. I had bad feelings about my sister, my late brother-in-law and my brother when they suffered injuries in road accidents, or even before they were going to encounter some undesirable happenings.

The moment my brother came home to tell us that he was going into partnership with some friends to start a business, I knew that he would get into troubles. He did. He and two other good friends had joint venture to set up a precision mould engineering company as they didn’t want to work for others anymore and earn very little monthly salary. They wanted to be their own boss and earn bigger money. Not long after the joint venture started, one of his friends pulled out from the company. He was lucky. The problem began when the company started to receive a few big contracts that brought them a lot of money. The partner became greedy and ran away with the huge upfront payments they received from the clients, and left my brother by himself to make and deliver the products to their clients. And so, my brother had to borrow lots of money from friends and relatives to be able to pay the rentals and bills and to get the materials to finish his work. On top of that, he didn’t have any profits from all the works he had done as the partner had taken all the profits with him, and left my brother in lots of debts. Life was really difficult for my brother since young until the year before he passed away in 2019, but he never gave up. I saw him cried a few times when life was very hard. But, he was still cheerful and kept smiling most of the time.

I also knew that my brother-in-law was going to bring unhappiness or bad luck into our family. I told my parents about my unpleasant feelings the moment I first saw him on the day my sister brought him to our home to introduce him to our family. I was only eleven years old. Of course my parents ignored me. They thought I was just a child, that I was just talking nonsense. But soon, they realized I was right.

Sometimes, I could feel the people I saw on the streets as well. There were many times when I thought of something spontaneously out of nowhere, it would come true.

One day a thought of a Walkman came into my mind while I was at school in the classroom, and my mother handed me a Walkman when I came back home that evening. She said she had bought it for my brother as a birthday gift, but my brother didn’t want it because he didn’t like it. He wanted another brand. And so she gave it to me.

We seldom went out to restaurant for meals. One day I had a spontaneous desire or craving that I wanted to eat seafood which was too expensive for our family. A few days later, my wealthy uncle had invited us for a delicious seafood dinner in a restaurant.

I had visions of thieves coming into my aerobics studio on the night before it actually happened. It helped me to prevent myself from loss of money or physical injury. Usually I didn’t go back home to sleep. I slept in the aerobics studio instead. Two weeks before the break in, out of intuition, I asked my mother to bring home the cash that we kept in the studio and I started going back home to sleep. On the evening of the break-in, I actually saw shadows and images of people in the studio and the stairway while I was closing and leaving the studio. I had a strong feeling that a break-in would be happening. I seldom prayed to ask for something from gods, but that night, I prayed to gods to protect me from any big loses, as life was already very hard for me and my family.

The next morning when I arrived at the studio, there were many policemen already arrived and they told me that my studio and the office downstairs had been broken into. They asked me to check the aerobics studio if I had lost anything valuable. I lost nothing. Though it was a mess everywhere as the burglars searched for valuables, but they didn’t take anything. There’s no valuables for them to take. There were some smelly branded sports shoes of my clients if they wanted, but they didn’t take them. They didn’t damage anything else in my aerobics studio except the door-lock. The policemen said that I was very lucky because the office downstairs had lost a lot of cash and valuables.

One night I was at home by myself and out of a sudden, I just felt like crying, and I couldn’t stop crying loudly for quite a long time. More than half an hour later, my sister called me from the hospital in Kuantan telling me that she suffered some physical injuries from a serious car accident. It was a head-on collision with another car, and the passenger on the other car died at the scene while the driver suffered serious spinal injury and both his legs squashed. One of my sister’s friend who was sitting at the back seat of the van she was driving also plunged out from the windscreen and landed on the other car. But my sister was so lucky that she only suffered a few cuts from the seat-belt with one of her shoulders dislocated and one of her feet broken. The other two people in my sister’s van only suffered minor injuries from the strong impact.

By having this sixth sense or intuition, I could change my own fate. I would know beforehand about something good or bad was going to happen to me. I had prevented many bad happenings onto myself. But, if it was about some other people such like my parents, or my sister and brothers, or my friends and the people on the street that I passed by, I could only know, but I couldn’t change their karma, unless they wanted to help themselves and did something to make changes.

One day, I realized all these visions and predictions had disturbed me more than what I could be benefited from it. I didn’t know how to deal with this sixth sense business at that time. It was really disturbing for me as I was too sensitive towards other people’s feelings and energy. When I told my friends about my visions about what was going to happen to them, they ignored me and stayed away from me. And when my predictions came true, they thought the bad things happening on them were coming from me and they were afraid to be friend with me. They thought I was weird and evil.

I knew that I wasn’t pure. I had intense anger and hatred. I really didn’t want to hurt anybody with bad wishes if I couldn’t control the anger in me. And so, I had made a wish for all these visions or sixth sense to go away. After that the visions had started to become less. But I continued to have feelings about places and people’s good and bad energy. Such like when I was being at a place full of unpleasant energy, I would feel dizzy and heaviness on my forehead, and that was my instinct telling me that I should leave the place immediately. Sometimes naturally I just walked away from certain people in the middle of a conversation, it didn’t matter if people thought I was very rude.

Besides having the sixth sense, I could control my dream when I was little. In my dreams, I knew that I was dreaming. I could control what I wanted to dream in my dreams. I could repeat or replay what I wanted to dream on the next day. I could have part one tonight and continued my dream on part two tomorrow, and so on. I could change the storyline of my dream. I could remember my dream clearly when I woke up. I liked to play with my dreams when I was small, but I don’t bother about what I dream now. I stopped playing with my dreams when I went through the unhappy stage in my life.

I had some dreams or ambitions when I was a little girl just like everyone else. I wanted to dance and sing to perform on stage in front of the world. I wanted to be a dance champion. I wanted to be a national champion for once in life. I wished I would be good enough to be qualified to compete in international dance competitions representing my own country. I wished to travel to many places in the world, especially France. I wished to live in the countryside and somewhere near to the beach. I wished to be happy. And it all come true one by one in my life.

When I was about eight years old, a fortune teller told my mother that my life would be very hard, that my dreams would never come true, that I would never win in any competitions no matter how talented I was, or how hard I tried. It also meant that I would never be a champion. She was right about my life being hard, but I had proved her wrong on the rest.

It’s true that I didn’t have good luck in any types of competition before I was twenty eight years old. At school, I won every time when I played badminton and ping pong matches among my classmate, but I never won when representing my class in inter-class competitions. I would get A+ for singing, but I was never chosen to represent my class in school singing competitions. I didn’t mind about win or loose, but I dreamt of being a champion one day. I was very passionate to be performing on stage and I would do my best in whatever I pursued.

Competitions are of two types. One is very professional with good judges and fair judgment where you will win if you are the best. Another type is non-professional competition with unfair judgment, buyer judges and things that are not very nice behind the competition where you may not win even though technically you are the best. Though there is one exception – you might be the best and the competition is fair, but you might not win because it isn’t your day to win, or you might not be the best, but you might win because it is your day to win.

I was around fifteen years old when I started to enter dance competitions even though I hadn’t went through any formal dance training. Some of my classmates went to dance lessons, but I was not so lucky. My parents couldn’t afford dance lessons for me. Though I wasn’t in the top three of the competitions, I got lots of cheers and supports from the audience and the judges. One of the judges told me that I had talent and I always won consolation prizes of hampers filled with crackers, chocolates, packet drinks and preserved fruit.

I took up an aerobics instructor’s course and started to teach aerobics classes as part time job after school. I gained more experiences and I entered a few aerobics dance competitions. Instead of consolation prizes I came in second or third place. But, I still hadn’t achieved my dream of being a champion. I took part in the first Malaysia national Fitaerobics championship in 1988 held in a ballroom of a five star hotel in Kuala Lumpur. There were many participants in that event, where all the participants were judged in the preliminary round where everyone following the instructors on stage to be doing an aerobics dance session. Sixteen participants who made it to the final round had to perform a two minutes self-choreographed aerobics dance routine with one of the random songs chose by the organizer, and I came in fourth place. The competition had been broadcasted on Malaysian television national channel and many of our villagers started to know about my participation in aerobics dance competitions. All these competition experiences were from 1985 – 1989. After that I didn’t enter any competitions until 1993.

It was the first official national aerobics championship organized by Reebok Malaysia in 1993. I came in fifth place. Technically I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t have the technical skill and didn’t have a good choreography even though I was flexible and energetic and good at dancing, but I wasn’t very good at aerobics dance that requires strength, speed and power. I didn’t have all these qualities at that time. Though my enthusiasm had drew the attention of the fitness affiliate of Reebok Malaysia. She also told me that I was talented, but I needed good coaching and training. I stopped competing after that because of heavy responsibility to support my parents financially.

Five years later I entered an aerobics marathon championship at the IOI Mall in Puchong. There were about forty participants. It didn’t require any choreography, but was judged on stamina, strength, flexibility and energetic performance. It was easy for me and I won. Though it wasn’t an official national event I tasted the feeling of becoming a champion for the first time. But it didn’t make me became arrogant. Since then my luck in competitions began to change. I had proven that the predictions of the fortune teller didn’t have to be true.

On the same day, there were a few professional aerobics instructors and national champions were performing at the national stadium in Bukit Jalil. Both our events were reported in the newspaper on the same page the next day. I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to be training and competing with these national champions later.

A few months later, the Reebok Malaysia fitness affiliate called me one day and told me that a few people were training for the upcoming First National Sport Aerobics Championship in the national gymnastics federation training center in Cheras. She asked me if I would be interested to enter the competition, but of course I had to learn what was sport aerobics first, and then had to train for it. Without any hesitation I told her I was very interested to do that. I knew that it was an opportunity for me to pursue my dreams. She gave me the contact details and since then I started my sport aerobics training with my mentor who was also my good friend.

He was the one who had helped me in making of my dreams come true – representing Malaysia on the stage of world championship in France and also won the Malaysian National Open Championship one month later. Usually anyone has to become a national champion before he or she can represent the country for world championship, but in my case it was the other way round. Strange, isn’t it? Without him, I wouldn’t had the chance to be entitled to participate in the world championship representing Malaysia and then won the Malaysian national championship later. I have to admit that there were other people who were better than me. But, it was my karma to be there and it was my day to win, and I was blessed to have my dreams come true. When I won the national champion, it was mainly due to good luck besides I had to work very hard on training for three hours a day, six days a week, for one whole year.

There weren’t many people participated in this first sport aerobics competition in Malaysia – only five of us. As usual, I only came in fourth place. I was happy enough for my performance as it was a lot better than before. I didn’t care so much about the placing. I learned how to do proper push-up and improved my overall fitness and choreography even though I still wasn’t good enough for competitive competitions. I gained lots of experience and improvement through participating in that competition, and I really enjoyed the intensive training and the feelings of performing on stage. I would love to continue training in sport aerobics after that competition, but again, the responsibility towards my family had been a huge burden for me, as well as some other family issues at home, made it very difficult for me to have the focus for such intense training for competition. And so, I stopped training with them.

Meanwhile, I did some volunteering work in a Buddhist library in Taman Sri Sentosa. Somehow I had started giving Dhamma talk twice a month to the people who came to the library. In one of the talk, I had made a resolution in front of everyone who came to listen to the Dhamma talk that I wished to be a Malaysian champion one day and be qualified to enter the world championship within the next five years.

My mentor had went back to Australia for further study at that time. I thought that it was finished for me in sport aerobics competition. I was already twenty nine years old. I thought I was too old for any more intense training and competition because sport aerobics is really tough and requires a lot of intense physical fitness training. Though I thought I had to let go of sport aerobics I didn’t give up my dream to be a champion.

For the next couple of years I was busy with teaching aerobics classes and all the money that I earned went to support my family.

One afternoon in 2001, I got a phone call from my mentor. He was back from Australia. He said to me that he planned to retire from sport aerobics, but he would like to coach me if I was interested to train again for the upcoming national championship. Well, YES! Of course! I knew that if I won I could represent Malaysia in the world championship in France. I thought it might be my last chance to have my dream come true. My trainer laughed at me when I bought a lottery ticket hoping to win enough that I could go to France. Of course I didn’t win the lottery, but that didn’t stop me training for the national championship with him again.

We started training again. It was so hard in the beginning. I hadn’t done any training for a long time. But I was determined. We started training at my studio for a few days a week, for a few hours a day, and eventually we increased the training to six days a week. On top of that, I still had to teach two or three aerobics classes every day.

Sport aerobics is very different from normal aerobic dance. It requires a lot of strength, speed and power. There are artistic components, gymnastic elements and technical skills involved. We needed to choose a suitable piece of song or music and the choreography of the routine has to be artistically matching the song we used. We also had to be able to show appropriate and natural facial expressions to portray the artistic components of the choreography while performing the high energetic routine. After many months of intense training my flexibility improved so much that I could easily do the splits in any directions. I did hundreds and thousands of jumping jacks, high kicks, straddle jumps, free falls, standard push-ups and one-arm push-ups. I could hardly do four push up consecutively before the training, but after many months training I could easily do fifty.

Initially the plan was he coached me to enter the individual women category. I was doing all the strength and flexibility training under his coaching and we choreographed the routine together with the song that I chose – “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. I always thought that he was so talented and he shouldn’t give up competing at his age. He was still very strong and flexible. He was the best in Malaysia for many years. He was Malaysian champion for many consecutive years and had achieved good result and ranking in world championship.

I suggested to him that he could do the training and practice the routine with me to motivate me to work harder. He agreed. As we practiced the routine together, we realized that the choreography was more suitable and much nicer as a partner routine than a single routine. I asked him to cancel his plan for retiring and to partner with me in that routine to enter the mixed pairs category. He loved that idea. And so, we worked together for many months thinking that there would be a national championship coming up. But it didn’t happen.

Just a few months before the world championship in June 2002, we were told that the national championship was cancelled because lack of sponsorship. But it didn’t stop us from training. In fact we trained even harder.

Being the national champion for the previous year he was qualified to represent Malaysia without the need of going through national championship selection if there wasn’t one. So he suggested that we should continue practice to enter the world championship. That’s how I was able to represent Malaysia and participated in the world championship. I didn’t even need to be a Malaysian champion to do that. I owed it to him. I also suggested to him, since we were going for the world championship, he should also prepared himself for the individual men category. He agreed with me.

Anyhow, the training wasn’t going smoothly all the time. I suffered injuries from time to time. But I didn’t give up. Injuries couldn’t stop me from training.

Doing the mixed pairs routine was definitely harder than doing a solo routine. In the solo routine one can just execute one’s highest ability of strength and flexibility. But in the mixed pairs routine, it was about teamwork and synchronization. Two people with different strength and flexibility had to learn to adjust a little to be synchronized with one another. It wasn’t about the ego showing off the best ability of oneself. It was about putting aside the tendency to show off one’s highest ability and lowering one’s ability to accommodate the partner who was less strong and less flexible. At the same time the weaker one would try to train harder to catch up with the stronger one. In our case, I was more flexible than my partner and he was stronger than me. We had no problem adjusting our ability to each other’s level.

Some of his friends had come to assist us in the training. Somehow one of my shoes kept falling off while we practiced which was a guarantee of points deduction. They told me that I needed to be good enough for partnering with him and I had to be good enough for Malaysia. And so, I worked really hard.

Just about two months before the world championship, one of his best friends who was also a Malaysian champion before, told him that I wasn’t good enough for him and would only make him look bad, that I should pull out of the competition so that he could focus on his own individual category. He came to tell me about that and asked me if I wanted to pull out. I was very disappointed and angry, but I kept my emotion down and I told him, “No.” I wanted to continue after so many months of intense training and it was only two more months to go. I knew I could do better. I was ready to work harder. Luckily and thankfully he believed in me and ignored his friends’ criticism. We trained even harder, so hard that I suffered a few more injuries, but that could never stop me.

When we decided to go to France for the world championship I didn’t have enough money. I needed about eight thousands Ringgit Malaysia for the entire trip. Somehow I didn’t have to support my parents anymore for a few months. My sister had received some compensation money for my late brother in-law’s death about ten years ago. He fell down from above 130 feet height and died immediately with all his bones broken into tiny pieces. Two days before that happened, I saw his face was blackened that I couldn’t see his features at all. I didn’t mention anything about it to my family until after he died from the work accident. Since my sister had the insurance money I was dismissed from giving all my money I earned to my parents for the next few months, and I could save enough money for France. After I came back from France, I had to continue to support my parents living because my sister had spent all the money within a few months because she had a lot of debts and continuing to accumulate more debts from different banks.

The big day drew closer. We booked our flight ticket to France. I had never been on a plane before and I had never travelled any further than Singapore. To say I was excited about the trip would be an understatement.

We finally finished our full routine in one piece. When we practiced the routine we didn’t do the whole routine every time. We practiced part by part and kept practicing one part until we were good at that particular part mastering all the little details of the moves, and then we would add in another part. Imagine that we had to listen to one part of the song repeatedly over and over again. I even kept practicing in my dreams as I heard The Weather Girls while I slept.

Finally we arrived in France. There was a big parade the day before the competition, with teams from more than forty countries walking through the streets of Montpellier. While some teams had ten or twenty participants the Malaysian team had only two – just me and my partner. He held a board that said ‘MALAISIE’ and I proudly held our national flag – the Jalur Gemilang. It was a very emotional moment for me.

After we came back from the parade, we practiced our routine in a big hall with many other contestants from other countries doing the same. Everyone in the hall was a champion, except me. But I wasn’t nervous at all. I was very confident. The other contestants saw our routine and were very kind to inform us that part of our routine needed to be changed because it was against the rules.

It didn’t stop us anyway. Immediately we thought of some other steps and practiced it by hard. We practiced until late night when we were confident of the new steps. And the next morning, we were ready.

All the contestants were waiting backstage – waiting for their names to be called. I doubled check my shoes, lacing them tightly hoping that they wouldn’t fall off during the routine.

Just before they called our names we told each other, “No matter what happens, just keep going and do our best, and enjoy.”

Then our names were called. We hold each other hands and walked towards the stage.

As soon as I walked onto the stage seeing so many people in the stadium with many judges sitting in front of the stage, with many spotlights heading towards us, I told myself in my heart – my dream come true. There was nothing to be afraid of. Just do my best and enjoy the moment that I had always dreamt of.

The music started. Our routine went exactly as we had practiced.

Until one of my partner’s shoes came off.

Points will be deducted for sure. But it really didn’t matter. We didn’t panic and continued our routine as if nothing happened. In the beginning, there weren’t many people noticed that one of his shoes was missing from his foot but it was on the centre of the stage. We didn’t stop or make any mistakes or expression. We were very natural like nothing happened. But very soon, we could hear the crowds making noises as everyone in the whole stadium had stood up and watching us. They cheered for us and clapped to support us. We were so thrilled and so touched by the encouraging supports from the entire crowd in the stadium. We could hear all those cheers and claps. We danced more energetically. We finished the routine with the loudest cheers and applause.

Of course we didn’t win, but it didn’t matter. We came in tenth place out of thirteen teams. But we were very happy and satisfied with our performance even though there was an unexpected incident. I didn’t blamed him at all. How could I? He told me that of all the competitions he had done over the years it was the one his enjoyed the most. He already decided to retired and was very pleased to end his sport aerobics career on such a high note.

Dozens of people came to congratulated us for continuing despite the missing shoe, and afterwards, during the dinner, the Malaysian team’s missing shoe was discussed as one of the highlights of the day’s event. Later one of the judges told us that if there had been a prize for sportsmanship we certainly would have won it.

Other teams also had encountered their own problems on stage, but they scowled at each other and lost their concentration – affecting their performance and making more mistakes. But we just kept going as if nothing happened.

After the competition, we drove around the southern part of France and visited many beautiful places. It was my first time seeing so many sunflowers and lavenders on the fields, and also first time tasted the sweet cantaloupe. It was my first experience of cool climate where we had to turn on the heater in the car. It was my childhood dream to be in France. I had two dreams come true together.

After two weeks in France, we came back to Malaysia. On the next day, my mentor told me that there was a national open championship coming up in the next month in Sibu, Sarawak, East Malaysia. Since I had been training regularly, I should keep it up and enter that competition as well. Why not? I hadn’t achieved my dream of becoming a Malaysian champion. But this time, I was really confident and without any pressure from anyone. I needed to make some changes to the routine because this competition has different rules. But it wasn’t a problem at all. My mentor continued to help me to change the routine. I prepared myself for my next dream to come true.

It’s going to be a tough competition because it was a mix individual competition where men and women compete in the same category. There was particularly a strong competitor, a young man who was many times champion for that particular championship. He was technically stronger than I. I knew he would win the competition, but I entered all the same. I had proven the fortune teller wrong, and already had my dreams come true in France.

I arrived in Sibu two days before the competition. On the day before the competition I learned that the previous champion had to pull out of the competition because one of his wrists was injured during training a week ago.

They say to catch a train you have to make the effort to go to the station. I certainly had some luck, but that luck would have meant nothing without those hours and hours of training and practice. I couldn’t have come so far if I hadn’t believed in myself and persevered in my training. The path had been very hard, but I had turned around what was supposed to be my pre-ordained fate, changing my life and my luck, and realizing my dreams of performing on international stage representing my country.

The first competitor did his routine. I was next. There were thirteen more contestants to go. I sat through their performances, eager to learn the final result. I knew I had done quite well, but there were two other competitors’ performances had both been very strong. Finally the results were announced. I stepped up on stage and was handed the trophy for becoming the new Malaysian national sport aerobics champion.

Because the organizer didn’t expect a woman to win, they had prepared a trophy with the title ‘Juara Lelaki’ – Men’s Champion. They scratched off the ‘Lelaki’ and left the ‘Juara’ when they learned that the winner for that year was a woman. But, actually it didn’t matter at all. I was really grateful for all the supporters there who gave me so much supports although majority of them were from Sarawak and Sabah to support their representatives. That was what sportsmanship is about.

Without all the coaching, helps and supports from my mentor I wouldn’t have my dreams come true even if I was strong and flexible and trained very hard. For all that he had done for me, he had never asked for any credits or acknowledgements. Most people will want to take credit for what they have done for others. If it’s something good people would say, “It was me. I did it!” But if it isn’t good people would either keep quiet or they would say, “It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it.” That’s how the ego reacts in everyday life. My mentor wasn’t just a champion, but he had lived the spirit of sportsmanship as well as a great yogi.

Thanks to my mentor and everyone who had involved directly and indirectly in making my dreams come true. May all of your dreams come true too.

I wanted to live in the countryside and somewhere near to the beach. I was teaching yoga and living in a simple house in a small village surrounded by nature about a few minutes drive away from the beach in Langkawi. And now, I am living in a comfortable apartment with hill view and sea view on Penang Island.

I wanted to be happy, and I am happy.

I didn’t earn much money and live a very basic simple life, but whenever I need money for something, the money will come to me.

I had a feeling or prediction since I was a little girl. I believed that my future husband or life partner will be two years older than me and I always felt that he was somewhere faraway from where I was. And it’s so true. My husband is two years older than me and he is from Ireland, exactly on the other side of the world faraway from Malaysia. And it was meant to be for us to meet each other in India in an Ashram while studying yoga in the same course at the same time.

This is our 2 minutes sport aerobics routine "It's raining men"

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1 comment:

  1. u have a beautiful story, meng foong.
    great aerobic sequence too!!!
    reminds me of when i was a little girl, following my mother to her aerobics class (sitting at the side waiting) and also when she played her jane fonda home video at home and i tried to follow the steps...but of course not so canggih la...don't have those one arm push ups and jumping splits!


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About Yoga

Know thyself. Everything is impermanent and selfless. There is no 'I'. There is no 'I am selfless'/'I am not selfless'. There is no 'I am hurt'/'I need to be healed from hurt'. Non-blind believing, non-blind following, non-blind practicing and non-blind propagating, but be open-minded to inquire the truth of everything. Be free. Be peaceful. Be happy.

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