Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Great Escape


The weekend is a great time for soulful conversation or reflection. But, when today's lifestyle is spent mostly on computers or smartphones, there's a little time for a real and deeper retreat about the things that matter; our life's soulful journey and the quest for meaning. I may be guilty of binge-watching over Netflix series or movies, but hey! It's Sunday and just a moment of relaxation and appreciation of visual arts. 

After all, we get to enjoy and got a moral lesson from the striking lines of the actors. Sometimes, it's the simple and short movie lines that strike us from inside leaving us in tears. It brings back wonderful memories of a recent or distant past and we couldn't get over easily.

What's with The Dalai Lama that I got so interested to watch a movie about his great escape? It was back in 2011 that I started to know more about him and how significant and influential he is to India and the rest of the world. The Dalai Lama may be a Tibetan by blood, but through the years he has become a world-renowned spiritual leader. It was then in India when I started to read his books that talk about love, peace, and compassion — truly captivating to the soul. Perhaps, many people still do not know him, but his message of love and compassion is similar to that of The Pope. I am a Christian, but love is a universal language that unites humanity and the world. Same as with compassion on which we have evolved as human beings. When we love someone, it's not about the similarities that we are looking into. We love someone despite our differences; in race, creed, or beliefs. 

The Dalai Lama's great escape was about the sacrifice he did to save Tibet and its people. It was in 1959 when he sought asylum in India to escape from the persecution of the Chinese. He feared for his life and the fate of the Tibetans if they chose to stay under Chinese rule. His escape doesn't mean cowardice, but he was thinking about the future of the Tibetans. Almost 6 decades have passed and The Dalai Lama is still strong and remains to be a highly influential figure both political and spiritual. He is the greatest gift to India and is visited by thousands of people globally in his hometown in Dharamsala, the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. People who are into spiritual practice would love to see and hear from his lectures and stories that are practical in today's time. 

I was fortunate to have seen him personally in Dharamsala back in 2013. Meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala was one of the greatest experiences I had. To have met him is a spiritual bliss that I always cherish. His philosophy is beyond the teachings of Buddhism and that was the time when I see Buddhism from a different perspective. It is simply universal teaching about love, peace, and compassion that is relevant in our time. 

The Dalai Lama's great escape led to a movement calling for a "Free Tibet" even after decades of settlement in India. The Tibetan Government-in-exile is very much active in its quest for freedom. to be an independent state concerning their culture and spirituality. How could his great escape be relevant in our time? As I watched the movie, I could imagine his suffering, but that is due to his undying love for his people. The Dalai Lama left Tibet without expensive and luxurious possessions. He just had enough to survive the long days of wandering until he reached the spiritual land of the free. 

There are times when we have to make the greatest sacrifice for our loved ones. We have to go independently by leaving them behind. However, no matter how long we haven't seen them, still they are in our hearts. Our love has evolved that it is not only about serving them but serving others with love and compassion. The great escape is about leaving our fears, hatred, and other negative emotions that are toxins in our being. In today's time, people may fear the unknown, becoming hateful and full of revenge and wicked thoughts. We forgot to align ourselves back to our nature of being good. 

We have seen countries go against each other; world leaders fighting each other; citizens against their government. We have not ended centuries-old conflicts and wars resulting in poverty and suppression. When shall we become free again? Free from abuses, maltreatment, and slavery? When shall we end physical and emotional suffering and killing? We may never know what the future holds, but one thing that can free us from pain and suffering is when we learn to plan for our great escape. Like the Dalai Lama, he made a wise decision and acted with bravery to face his fears, deal with the unknown and free his heart from hatred. We can learn from The Dalai Lama's spiritual journey on why love and compassion can free us all modern-day suffering. That we can live not by having more, but by having what is truly important and meaningful. 

Back to reality, that was another quality Netflix time. With a cup of coffee and relaxing meditation music, I can have a goodnight's sleep and start the working week full of positivity. No matter how tough our world has become, still we have to free our inner world not to defeat our life's purpose our quest for life and meaning. 

© 2018 Del Cusay


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Weekend Fitness Inspirations for Better Health

It's summertime and people are into different activities that are fun and exciting. It may be the ocean breeze that makes people swim on the beaches. Others may enjoy the long ride reaching the mountain peak; offering the best view of the valley and the sky. Some may enjoy bonding moments with their family in their hometown while on summer vacation. Endless bucket list to fulfill desires to unwind, feel relaxed, and live the greatest moments of their lives. These are what different personalities are up to as they experience the hottest season just before the onset of the monsoon.

Summertime is what brings us closer to our goals as we finally execute plans in action. I have set some goals as my new year's resolution to shed a few pounds, maintain ideal weight and get fit. Forget about Travel Inspirations for a moment and focus more on regaining better physical health. This way I can do lots of activities and opportunities as I get back on track feeling lighter and healthier. It seems a simple goal, but determination and the willpower to make a brand new start is the key to make it happen. Oftentimes it's just a plan and when a cycle of procrastination attacks, nothing happens and the goal is dying and worse is to have just expired. 

All these years, I have learned to put an expiration on the goal being set to accomplish. Never wait for the right moment or the perfect moment, but to have the will to start and discover ways to improve as you get closer to achieve success. Nothing in life comes easily from the start. 

It's always the willpower that sets us to burn our desires to become fast like a car or higher like an airplane. Our dream, it's limitless! It's our pace that sets us closer to the destination and to win. Like a race, we burn the fuel of passion and perseverance and we stay on track with agility and endurance. 

I am determined, so I have to start... on my own time... my own pace. This summer season is ideal for physical activities as fitness enthusiasts bring awareness to people about the value of health and wellness. I have witnessed the 2-day Fitstreet, an annual event at Bonifacio high street, BGC offering various body, mind, and spirit activities. Non-stop Zumba of different classes encourages everyone to relieve stiffness and start swaying the hips and losing love handles. Marathon is fun for those who would love to go the extra mile and burn calories fast while strengthening their core.  Yoga and meditation are pure bliss. It's done just before the sun shines so bright in the serene environment. The Power of Meditation is alive! It's been a while since the last time I practice it regularly, but the body, mind, and spirit have to sync so well for better awareness and right consciousness. 


Fitstreet was created to inspire and motivate people to step up, move up, get started, and finish what they start. In years to come, we may be living in a highly digital society, but being aware and conscious of what truly matters makes life precious. 

A lifetime commitment to physical fitness might not be a goal for now, but a single step is enough to start the game until the time when we lose the energy and could no longer carry out the things we used to love. As long as we have the energy and the will to live, we can go the farthest distance and live the greatest life we deserve. 

© 2018 Del Cusay



Sunday, April 8, 2018

Physical Fitness For Better Health


Lifestyle change is such a hard thing to commit since it requires discipline and consistency. A dietary change for instance is hard especially when living and working in a place surrounded by instant or fast food. That is more convenient for always-on-the-go people who don't have much time to prepare their food. The physical effect could be worse since it makes people obese and prone to hypertension and a higher level of cholesterol. This urban lifestyle is making people becoming unhealthy. Looking fit but in the process of developing symptoms like pre-hypertension or hypercholesterolemia.

It was in 2016 when I felt that there's something wrong with my health. The heaviness on my head accompanied by cluster pain is making me sick. I experienced an increase in heart rate and hyperventilation. That time I felt anxious about what's happening in me. Until I seek medical help and through diagnostic and laboratory tests it was found out that I have a very high level of total cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol. In medical parlance, I have hypercholesterolemia and I am predisposed to cardiovascular diseases leading to heart attack or stroke if left untreated. That really scares me whenever I think of the possible consequence of the lifestyle I have chosen.

I used to be a health trainer for about 4 years and during those times I have helped people get fit and healthier in all levels of health; physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. I used to teach physical exercises and breathing techniques for health and longevity. I have reached out to more people in several cities in the Philippines and Asia. After I left my role, I am back to the old ways; less exercise and a meat-based diet that is high in fat content. I can't resist or maybe I couldn't live without meat in my diet. I didn't bother since I believe I could eat anything without getting sick. I am not obese and I didn't feel unhealthy. Until one day, I am convinced that an unhealthy and unbalanced diet is really bad for physical health since its manifestations bothered me.

In November 2017, I decided to consult a physician again and have a laboratory check, and the result is still the same. My cholesterol level remains high and I was prescribed to take the anti-cholesterol drug and dietary change. Another test 2 months after and the result was consistent though I have taken medicine but have ignored food choices. I just can't avoid eating fast food almost daily for about a year. However, I was alarmed about people getting stroke at a very young age and I don't want to experience it. So I have learned to ignore fast food, though not totally and I try to drink less soda. I started eating a lighter and preferred pescetarian diet; fish with some vegetables. Then I felt good that I can survive the dietary change. One more thing is the physical fitness to be part of the lifestyle change. I used to be physically active, so I believe I can start again.

Living in a highly urbanized city should not be an excuse not to become physically fit and healthy. In BGC, just a few steps from my new place is a good place for exercise. Built as a recreation park, the Track 30th  is for those who have an interest in any forms of exercise like jogging, brisk walking, and breathing exercises.  You can see people of all ages, young and old who are into fitness even for few hours. It's wonderful when urban planners now see the importance of having a piece of nature with trees and natural elements that make people grounded. There are bigger stones where one could sit to relax and meditate. That was bliss when finally I have the energy and enthusiasm to be back on fitness for better health. Track 30th is a good place to start and as I continue to explore, I should get more determined of the end result; to feel lighter, calmer, and healthier -- free from diseases and untoward symptoms.


The post-exercise meal should have been light and to have dropped by at my favorite bakery is also a fitspiration. Few pieces of Pandesal stuffed with Spanish-style sardines and coffee is already enough for carbohydrate and protein dietary requirements plus the antioxidant for free radicals. I should learn to prepare healthy meals and snacks to improve my health and achieve wellness. With exercise and proper diet, I can become a living testimony that we can achieve health and fitness and fight off diseases through appropriate lifestyle changes.

I am inspired to share this journey with others who may share the same story or those busy professionals who might be struggling to commit to a total lifestyle change. Physical fitness starts with a commitment followed by endurance and perseverance. It's not only today, but I hope to maintain what is ideal.  A strong physical body also follows a strong mind and spirit that's all we need.


© 2018 Del Cusay